Archive | June, 2011

Hiking With Knuffle Bunny.

30 Jun

My roommate and I hiked Switzer Falls in Bear Canyon… with my little green friend, Knuffle Bunny. Before anyone starts thinking “Aw Dear. Her little heart’s broken and now she’s a grown woman bringing stuffed animals everywhere…”, the Bunny belongs to the little girl I babysit. I tried explaining this to people along the trail. I’m pretty sure they were only humoring me with “Oh cool!” (And later “Dear Diary, a Sasquatch carrying a stuffed animal talked to me...”)

It is kind of comforting to hold a squishy terry cloth paw or ear in my hand. Hmm. Maybe it’s time for my own Knuffle Bunny.

Roommate and the yucca plant. A spikey ground shrub that sprouts these super tall blossoms. They’re called “ghosts in the graveyard” in the midwest. Here, they remind me of my neighborhood taco stand.

The road to the trail is full of roadsters and motorcycle gangs.

Here’s Knuffle Bunny. Ready to go, just before a pit stop at the bathroom which was just an enclosed, glorified hole.There are brilliant orange, yellow and white flowers on the trail. Chris and I discuss how we have friends who would be able to name all the different species. I just like taking photos. Bunny takes a sniff.

I gently wrangle the Bunny, by the ears. 

At the half-way point, tucked in the canyon, there’s a waterfall. People stop for lunch (I’m fascinated by all the different ethnicities represented and how their food is a perfect representation of their countries), there are a few dogs bounding through the stream (– super interested in Bunny…), and a very brave couple treks to the top of the falls and slides down on their bums. The girl screams bloody murder.Knuffle Bunny takes a dip.

Bunny air-dries on the hike back to the picnic area. And we drive the twisty wind-y path back to Highway 2. I try not to look down in the car and activate my “curvy road barfs”.

We talk about the trail and its great variety (vistas, creeks, waterfalls, sun, shade, incline, flat). And how next time, we wanna bring a picnic to eat at the base of the falls (we are both German, so I guess it’ll have to be shnitzel). And metal underpants so that I can slide down the falls on my bum, too. Chris says it’s probably not so bad — its a quick slide. The water carries you. I agree. And I gently pat my precious cargo (read: badonkadonk) and think about wearing multiple layers of granny panties instead.



An Imagined Invite For My Sister’s Baby Shower.

29 Jun

I designed what I thought would be a refreshing take on the miracle of life.

My clients (Mom + Dad), worry that there are grandmothers who wouldn’t understand the humor. 



Your East Coast Is Showing.

28 Jun

A tiny antidote to the blues (– and not the cool jazz kind. The sloppy, girly, sad-sack, I ate too many cookies kind. Anyway –). The brand new (not even grand opened yet) Broome Street General Store in Silverlake. The owners are warm and lovely New Yorkers and the Broome mentioned, is the namesake of the actual NYC location.

I looked at a perfectly prewar apartment once upon a time, on Broome. To give you time reference, I missed snagging it because the landlord didn’t pick up my call from the pay phone on the corner. (I’m pretty sure my Mom and I had a big, brick-like mobile phone on hand — for emergencies. OMG Mom I have to have this apartment didn’t qualify.)

They brew Gimme! coffee (strong and not ass-kickingly-bitter) and you’d almost swear there’s chocolate in the latte. There are sweet dime store treats, luxury beauty products, local jewelry, pantry goods and thoughtfully curated household items. Many of which will remind us east coast transplants of our roots. At the top of my wishlist: Bloody Mary Mix and a stick of celery.

Every time I’m in there, I wish I could shave my face. So I could lather up with a fine brush and an honest straight razor. Finish things off with their Dude No. 1 beard oil. (My pre-pubescent peach fuzz ‘stache knows I’m bluffing.)


The Mondays.

27 Jun

This is today: Laughing one minute. Sour, knotted stomach the next. Right now things feel —  bad. And difficult. My own sadness. And reflecting on others’ loss. Thinking about what’s really important. What needs doing. What must be let go.

My friends have the not-small talent of being able to inspire me toward lightness. And add a lot of light into my world – and the rest of it.

They tell me it’ll get better, they listen, they make me laugh by being themselves, and when I ask them to, they pour whiskey on letters and light them on fire.

It’s an amazing thing – to know these really great people and to have them in my life.

It’s rare that you find it. In LA or any place…


Photos by Alex Citrin

Fridays in LaLa Land.

24 Jun

I decided to skip kickbox class Thursday morning, in favor of a gentler walk in nature. I laced up my old sneakers (they’re vintage-styled Nikes, but they are also old. Just not 40 years old), left my earbuds and phone at home and walked out the door. OK, I brought my phone. It’s LA. But I opted for the sounds of the city and wildlife, instead of “Run Mix 3” on my iTunes. Even without my Kanye, I still had the theme to Magnum P.I. stuck in my head for a good 30 minutes. I just went with it.

Soon, I was tracking gravel on a trail toward the Griffith Observatory. It was a hazy (sad face –> smoggy) morning, but quiet and warm. I watched a few hawks circle low amongst the trees. I could barely make out the downtown skyline.

And I thought that phrase that almost everyone speaks when standing atop any LA vista: “On a clear day, you can see the ocean.”

Then I started thinking about it.

I thought about how I sometimes feel like I will never ever ever never EVER NEVER (You get my sentiment) see the $%#@!& “ocean” – in my life. Where the F is it!?! It’s like a $@&#^!*&@ unicorn!! The Universe answers gently, “Dear Lauren, Peace to your soul. It’s in the same fucking place it always is, because I put it there.” (In my head, The Universe keeps it real.)

There might be smog blocking the view. Or fog. Low clouds. Nightfall. Something. But the ocean’s there. In the same spot. All the time.

It was kind of calming. Thinking about all that vast, infinitely powerful potential always being there. Even when the fog today is so dense I can’t seem to see it.

Here’s hoping for patience, while waiting for the smog to lift.


23 Jun

I don’t know what to write today. Not feeling so great.



Los Angeles Mag’s Big 5-0.

22 Jun

I made it to Wednesday! A small victory in itself. Right now, I’m barely flinging myself over the finish line, once every 24 hours. Dear Universe, I just want to feel ok.

SO. A bit of fun news. I totally won that thing you guys voted for. Thank you! This is Los Angeles Magazine’s 50th Anniversary party at 5900 Wilshire Blvd last week.

It kinda felt like my first bona fide LA party. Beautiful people, fancy snacks on trays – mini tacos, psychic readings, signature cocktails, cover art gallery, guy playing a theremin (not that guy), a champagne toast, Holly Golightly standing by a vintage Cadillac…

A clarinet band. I know. These kids were clari-neat-o.

Reader submish winner! (Can I just say that I wear this dress to EVERYTHING here. If I were in People magazine, it would be one of those spreads showing me at different parties and restaurants in “my favorite dress”. $20 from Sloan Boutique in Portland. One word: POCKETS.) And beneath the frame, a little blurb about my art. 

A closer look:

I’m thrilled that they misspell my last name with the mystery “L”. It’s like a weird alter ego that appears at public events. Blair. Always my “plus 1”.

My roommate and I pick up a signature cocktail (I feel proud of myself for sticking to my 2 drink limit. Three(+) tends to make me feel gooshy the following morning.) I requested the pomegranate “Sunburn” on the right.

I like older men in suits, talking shop. And women’s heels and hemlines on the floor.

Maxed out on cocktails (and no food, courtesy of my “Do not eat glutedairameat” meal plan), Chris and I take a turn at the digital photo booth. Which, as much as I love ye olde photobooths of yore — is amazing. Everyone looks good. Doing whatever. You have control of the picture taker clicker thingie and you get 5×7 prints of your photos in immediate and rapid succession. SO fun.

If anyone asks, the guns are from DNA and cardio kickboxing. The ‘tude is from booze.

We each had our Tarot cards read by gypsies. At least that’s what they seemed like. Chris got a lovely reading and I got a standing-room-only quickie where the woman asked me to pull 3 cards, said “Ah, you are emerging as a femme fata—” and then abruptly ended things, “Ok honey, we’re closing up now.”

There were plenty of interesting people to mix things up. (And for once I actually had business cards ready to swap.) This guy redesigned the most recent Academy Awards envelopes (I got to hold one…!), this hot chick photographer had a cool fashion piece in the show, and I kinda fell in love with the man in the plaid suit. *He’s got a show this Friday called “Los Angelesland” – featuring LA’s kitchiest, most classic “attractions”. Read: The place where the ice cream trucks park themselves, among other things. I can’t wait.

Thank you to Los Angeles Magazine for a super fun night!


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