Category Archives: Uncategorized

SOYLENT 

Not to be confused with Soylent Green.


Over two years ago I heard an interview on NPR (I thought it was NPR but now I can’t find it so maybe not) with a man named Rob RhinehartHe had been working on a formula that would replace meals and to prove it he lived off of it, without any other food, for three months.

So naturally several articles came out being like, “Why does this guy hate food?”

But it’s not that at all. The point is, you should eat delicious food, and when you can’t, you should just consume the nutrients you need. So instead of going to get crappy fast food made out of who knows what, or wasting time on making food because you feel obligated, you can enjoy food.

Soylent comes out to less than $2.50 a serving for the premade stuff (Soylent 2.0) and the powder version (Soylent 1.5) is about $1.50.

So Rob got rid of his kitchen and fridge. He drinks Soylent and when he wants good food he leaves it to the pros and goes out to eat. He said with the money he saves he can take people out to lunch and with the time he saves he can focus on other things.

Personally, I think I’ll keep the kitchen, you know, for brownies and stuff, but how cool is it to think there’s something that people on low incomes or no incomes or poor college students could live off of if they had to. I don’t know if it really is something I’d want to live off of for years and years but it’s definitely better than Ramen. So while people are like, “ew gross” or “food should look like food” I think it’s cool someone is trying to solve world hunger.

It’s like dry shampoo. You could go throw the whole effort of showering, or you could just dump some stuff on your head and you’re good to go.

It’s not just vitamins. The formula includes fats, proteins, and Omega-3s and other science stuff I’m not qualified to try and explain. 2.0 is made with Algal oil. “Produced efficiently in bioreactors rather than traditional farms to conserve enormous quantities of natural resources while providing energy and essential fatty acids.” How cool is that? There are some people who find the ingredient list alarming but I’m going to take my chances for the sake of experiment. Weird names on the ingredient list doesn’t stop me from eating Cheetos and in the nutrition world everyone just argues back and forth, somehow the same thing can cure cancer one day and give us cancer the next.

For me, personally, I’m excited to try it because I have grown to hate food. I hate that it makes my stomach hurt. I hate that it takes so much of my time. I hate that I never remember to eat breakfast and sometimes forget lunch and if I wasn’t married I’d probably forget about dinner too. I love food, but it also stresses me out. By eliminating some of the stress I think I’ll be able to enjoy food more. Food should be enjoyed not just endured.

How does it taste? Well, I wanted to get a candid reaction. So here you go in the form of two snaps:


It could be better but I like that it’s not trying to be some fancy flavor and I’m sure it’s kept their costs lower because they don’t have to offer a variety. It just is what it is, with no frills or promises of weight loss. Just something some guy made and has been living off for years now. I’m going to try adding chocolate to it and see what happens. It does have a weird after taste so I had some berries. See? I’m not forgetting about real food.

I ordered the 1.5 and the 2.0 so I’ll let you know what happens and if it makes me feel not hungry or if it kills me or whatever else might happen.

Is it the food of the future? I don’t know, I’m also going to eat lots of popcorn today because it’s national Popcorn Day.

Old Year, New Year

Hello.

It’s me.

I’ve been thinking I should blog more this year than I did the one before. First, I want to sum up the key things I think I learned in 2015.

Lesson #1: Tell Fear to Take a Backseat . Resolution #1: Write More

In this lovely NPR/Ted Talk Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the Border Collie in her brain. I had felt similarly about my own brain before and it was sort of exciting to hear I’m not the only one.

If you know anything about dogs, particularly herding/working dogs it is that they need a job. When not given a job and left unattended they will destroy your house. She explains that when she is not using her brain creatively it has an effect on her relationships and mental well-being. Essentially, if you’re brain wants a job and you don’t let it do that job, it’ll take that energy and put it elsewhere.

nmqiyzu

I hate that I don’t write more. I have all these ideas in my head and they bug me. They keep bugging me because I don’t let them out and I think if I did I would have room for other ideas in my head, or I’d remember where my keys were, or I’d actually be able to turn off my brain at night and sleep without having crazy dreams about celebrities and war zones. I love to multi-task but some ideas are distracting and need to be addressed individually before they’ll go away.

The blog posts I think of and don’t write haunt me when I have a spare moment to think about them. That freaking screenplay I told everyone I would write always comes back to haunt me. People don’t forget when you tell them you’re writing a screenplay and/or let them read drafts. They’ll haunt you too with periodical, “have you finished that yet?”

So I live life in a constant state of distraction, when I could have just written the thing down and moved on.

People say coming up with an idea is the hardest part, but that’s not the case for me. It’s the actual writing that can be hard.

Writing. Is hard. It’s hard. It’s sexy, but it’s hard.

The reason it’s hard is because there is an active force that works against you when you try and create something.

Once again, Elizabeth puts it nicely,

“I think instead what you have to do is recognize that fear and creativity are conjoined twins. And what I see people doing in their lives is they’re so afraid of their fear that they end up trying to kill it. And when they kill it, they also kill their creativity because creativity is going into the uncertain, and the uncertain is always scary. And so what I’ve had to figure out how to do over the years is to create a sort of mental construct in which I make a lot of space to coexist with fear, to just say to it, hey, fear, listen, creativity and I – your conjoined twin sister – are about to go on a road trip. I understand you’ll be joining us (laughter) because you always do, but you don’t get to decide anything about this journey that we’re going on. But you can come. And I know that you’ll be in the backseat in panic but we’re going – mommy’s driving. (Laughter) And we’re going anyway. And you just take it along with you. And that seems to work for me.”

It doesn’t always manifest itself as fear. Often it’s just a block, but it comes from the same source and ain’t nobody got time for that negativity.

With the recent shootings and other turmoil going on in the world I had a moment where I had to think about what I wanted to do with my life. Legitimately. What if I died suddenly? I realized that I didn’t want to die with the stories that were inside of me. I don’t want that unfinished screenplay to haunt me when I’m a ghost myself. If I can leave behind something that makes people laugh or makes them happy in some way I want to do it.

So out-weighing my fear of doing something is the fear of not doing anything. This feeling manifest itself as quiet confidence rather than panic. There is something I can do and I need to just do that thing.

I’m lucky in the sense that I have found something that brings me great joy. Writing a screenplay/blog/whatever makes me feel the same way falling-in-love feels. It’s an cheap, easy, natural high but for whatever reason (see fear above) I ignore this great love of mine when it’s right there begging for attention. I’ve ignored it for too long and it’s destroyed my brain-couch.

I’m excited for this year because I’m giving up everything else temporarily (or maybe permanently) to focus on writing. I’ve seen clearly this year as people have responded positively to things I’ve created and I know I’m not going to be curing cancer anytime soon so I may as well contribute to society in the best way I know how. John and I have some pretty decent ideas queued up.

Oh and if I fail, then at least I know I gave it a good try instead of always having it as a thing on the side. 

If you’re resolving to write more this year too, here are some helpful tips.

If you hate writing, find what you do love. That’s also a hard thing to do, but tell fear to take a backseat.

 

 

Dear Daughters

I don’t know if I’ll ever have daughters but I’m afraid by the time I do I will have forgotten how hard it is to grow up as a girl. I often think of what I will want to tell her/them and I don’t want to forget.

 

Dear Daughter(s),

Be funny. A sense of humor will help you through everything. I hope you know you can be funny. I’m assuming, since you’ll grow up in a post-Tina-Amy-Amy-Mindy-Chelsea-Melissa-Kristen-Leslie-Elizabeth-Jennifer-etc-etc world you’ll know that but I’m afraid that you won’t. Someday I’ll teach you about Lorne Michaels and Paul Feig and everything they did for us. If for some reason you’re not funny I will think about disowning you but I probably won’t actually.

 

Dear Daughter(s),

I am really excited for you to listen to Taylor Swift as you go through your teenage years. It’s too bad she didn’t do anything after her Red album.

 

Dear Daughter(s),

Remind me to make a list of all the benefits of being female that I can give you the first time you get your period. It’ll probably take me thirteen years to come up with something so I’ll start working on it when you’re born.

 

Dear Daughter(s),

If I ever tell you you can’t wear something please assume I have your best interest in mind, but also feel free to remind me that I have worn the following things: knee-high bright orange boots (with a white skirt and green shirt to look like the Irish flag for St Patrick’s Day), multiple pairs of wolf leggings, trucker hats, neon colored high-tops, striped sequined pants, and worse.

Also, feel free to remind me that I often said Miley Cyrus should be admired for her unapologetic forms of self-expression.

But please never dress like Miley Cyrus did in 2015.

 

Dear Daughter(s),

You can take your husband’s last name if you want to.

 

Dear Daughter(s),

There’s no such thing as a sensible career, only the career you love and the career you love to work hard at.

 

Dear Daughter(s),

If someone is touching you in a way you don’t like I want you to tell them to stop. If they don’t stop immediately I want you to punch them in the face. We’ll deal with the consequences later.

 

Dear Daughter(s),

You’ll only be 1/8 Syrian but I want you to know that you come from a heritage of strong and brave people. Maybe you’ll be able to tan well. I’m excited that you might get a chance to grow up around Syrian people as more of them are immigrating to America.

 

Dear Daughter(s),

Please don’t read my journals until I’m dead.

 

Dear Daughter(s),

Forgive me because I’ll probably name you something other kids will make fun of but at least you won’t have to have your last initial  on your name tag.

 

Dear Daughter(s),

Don’t tell the other kids you know Santa’s not real…or at least break it to them gently.

 

Dear Daughter(s),

Try not to fall for guys who spend more on jeans than you do.

 

Dear Daughter(s),

When I was a teenager the only person I’d cry in front of was my mom. I hope you’re not as emotionally stunted as I was but it’s okay if you are. I’ll be there for you when your heart gets broken. I will always believe you can be anything you want to be. I will defend you.

I’ve had my heart broken by boys, friends, teachers, and other people I trusted not to let me down and you will too. I will probably say something like “life’s tough but your tougher” or “just get over it” but it’s okay if you tell me you don’t want to hear it. We can just cry and eat grilled cheese and french fries together or over the phone.

 

Dear Daughter(s),

Never pay full price for anything.

 

 

Dear Daughter(s),

Hermione was the real hero.

Be an Active Complainer

Checking the messages on our work machine is one of my least favorite things because I have to go through the series of 4 numbers, then wait, put in 5 more numbers, wait, 1 number, wait, 1 number. We had two separate phones, meaning I was supposed to go through this process twice, but I got that changed. It’s a nightmare for someone who loves efficiency.

Yesterday, I go through the whole process to check one message. The message said (in an irritated tone) simply, “[It] isn’t working, what are we going to do to fix this?” [quick hang up].

I was taken aback (and a little bugged) at first but then I thought, wouldn’t it be great if she actually meant that? She didn’t leave her name or number so I don’t think she actually had any intention of helping, but she said “we.” Now I understand that passive-agressiveness is a part of our society but I thought about finding her number in the call history and calling back, “Hey, thanks for wanting to be a part of the team, I would love to explain the process to you and how you can help.” Now, I’m judging but I don’t think she wanted to help and I’m not even sure she really wanted to understand why there was a problem.

I like problem-solvers. I try and surround myself with them. It makes life easier and more enjoyable.

I’ve been working in public service for just about 8 months now and it’s really opened my eyes to how much people complain and how much better it is when there are people in the community who see a need and do what they can to fill it themselves. Want to see a music or arts festival? Start one. Want to see upgrades to the parks? Want another dog park? Vote for the RAP tax. Or pull a Leslie Knope and get your friends to build a park with you (I can’t confirm if that’s legal or not but I saw it on TV so…). Come to council meetings. Go to any meeting, really, and speak up while you’re there, try and come up with solutions. If you’re worried about the youth of today go coach a sport or find another opportunity to be a mentor.

I see so many people doing awesome things. People are solving hunger, helping women get educated, making playground equipment that conducts electricity. Just listen to NPR, there are some good stories. It’s amazing and a lot of it happens just because someone is motivated enough to pull together the resources to do something.

It’s really easy to see the problems around us but I believe it’s also pretty easy to try and come up with solutions. Not every problem has an easy fix, but a lot of them do. If you have the energy to complain I’m sure that energy could be put to some good use. So, if you’re going to complain, be an active complainer. Take the sarcasm out of “What are we going to do to fix this?” and it’s a pretty good mantra.

Fan Fiction Friday #1

Everyone should create.

“You might say, ‘I’m not the creative type. When I sing, I’m always half a tone above or below the note. I cannot draw a line without a ruler. And the only practical use for my homemade bread is as a paperweight or as a doorstop.’ If that is how you feel, think again…” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

You can create. Because there are people all over the internet right now creating content. Not only that, people are consuming that content. Whether it’s “good” or “bad.”

They might use too many adjectives and run-on sentences. Maybe they are littered with typos and have winding plot lines. The important thing is that these people have used their imaginations and put words on the page. That’s more than I can do somedays. I also learned that sometime fan fiction in the form of a screenplay can get you a job.* Fan fiction has also been known to be published and reach the top of the Best Seller list.**

Recently Jase reminded me how great fan fiction can be and inspired the first idea I’ve had for a YouTube series that might actually result in more than one video. And with that I would like to present:

 

Fan Fiction Fridays are brought to you by the artists at Channel 17 (because we just can’t get enough of each other during normal work hours).

*It just hasn’t worked for me yet

**How this happened has yet to be understood but maybe throughout the course of this project I will come to understand better.

Patriotic Post

I’ll be honest. I didn’t feel very patriotic this 4th of July. I had been working hard all week and was sleep deprived. I had to wake up around 5am to go to work to broadcast the parade. We got one review, “such low quality it wasn’t worth watching on TV.” The streets were covered in litter. Apparently people walking the streets and camping out for said parade felt that uglifying the city is a great way to celebrate. I was tired, hungry, and said “I hate people” more often than I should have.

There was a moment though, during the fireworks that were giving me a headache, where I thought, “I am so grateful I don’t live in a country where there are actual bombs going on outside my door every day.” Then today at church we sang patriotic songs. One of them has a line that goes:

America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,

That line stood out to me for the first time when I was singing it. America is flawed. I don’t have to tell you that if you’ve heard any news story lately. People aren’t always nice to each other. We’re still dealing with racism and people being discriminated against for all kinds of reasons.

But we have it pretty good.

Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

We know, of course, that freedom isn’t free.

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!

Mitt Romney posted the following on his Facebook, something I’m not sure I ever really thought about.

“Anyone ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags. Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton. At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr. noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months. John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later, he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.

Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates. Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more.”

Nothing good comes without sacrifice.

double ugh

The last thing the world needs is public displays of my stream-of-conscious writing but it’s the third and once again I haven’t written.

I could write about how I am being forced from my home because it isn’t zoned for us, even those I asked the landlord specifically if it was zoned for the three of us and he said yes, no problem. (Did anyone else read that in an Arabic accent? No? Just me?). But then everyone would get worked up and pity me and as much as I love being pitied, I want you all to save your energy.

All you need to know about the last two days is that the city that hired me to work for them has also betrayed me. But as Tess pointed out that basically makes me Batman.

But I will issue this WORD OF CAUTION. Most Provo landlords suck. Be careful what they don’t tell you or what’s in the fine print and also you will straight-up get lied to.

I could talk about all the ways guys have it easier than girls using only examples from the last two days of my life: Birth control pills. Peeing in a cup. Wedding dresses. Heels. Price of swimwear.

And I could write more but for some reason instead of writing I just read about 25 celebrities who don’t drink…and by read, I mean scrolled through their photos.

I want to be friends with Blake Lively.

Ugh

It’s Day 2 and I already want to give up. I’m the weakest.

It’s Groundhog Day so I’ll make a list of topics I could talk about over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

Nah, forget it, I’ll just do that tomorrow.

Feb 1 is the new Jan 1

Hi, it’s me. I got engaged and fell off the face of the planet–you were expecting that, weren’t you?

Ugh, so cliche.

So I decided a couple weeks ago that I would officially start my New Year’s Resolutions on February 1st because it seems like a good starting point. Why should January have all the fun? And I’m sure the gyms are less crowded now.

One of my big goals was to write everyday. Here. And it is now 18 minutes until February 2nd and I have nothing.

I could fill you in on all the things you missed from last month like…

  • How I was unemployed for a month–fun ends tomorrow so that’s over.
  • How I felt about Selma —It’s black history month so I can slip that in still.
  • How I feel about 50 Shades of Grey –that one hasn’t come out yet so there’s still time to express those feelings.
  • I still wear leggings.
  • I sorta wanted the Seahawks to win.
  • How much I loved Treat Yo’self 2017 and the rest of the last season so far.
  • How I didn’t meet Mindy Kaling but had an intimate conversation with her tinted window (I’m saving that for some day when I’m on a talk show and need an embarrassing celebrity story to recount).
  • Wedding planning…and how it’s exactly like making a movie.
  • The two movies I saw (and loved) at Sundance.
  • How I got viruses trying to steam the Bachelor and other moments I’m not proud of.
  • A well-thought out feminist rant about the new Ghostbusters–I’m sorry but how can it not be brilliant with those ladies and Paul Feig?
  • How I can’t believe that Hershey’s would do such a thing to America.
  • How I fell in love with a single beauty product…the boar bristle brush.
  • Legal Scamming*: How I’ve gotten clothes for way less $$ than they are worth.
  • *I guess the kids would call that a Life-Hack and other ways I’m out-of-touch.
  • How I fell in love with Master Chef Jr: And other residual side effects of watching television for a job.
  • Registering for My Wedding: Please Someone Get Me a Roomba.
  • Give Ava an Oscar.
  • Someone Please Take This Cat Off My Hands.
  • Please Someone Find Me a Home that Allows Cats.
  • “You can’t just keep faking your death through life” and other lessons learned from NBC’s Marry Me.
  • Someone Should Hire Me to Be a Life Coach.
  • Reality Shows That Make Me Cry.
  • Whenever Landslide Comes on I Cannot Not Listen.
  • I’m Getting Married on the (Pitch) Perfect Day.
  • Why You Should Say Yes More
  • Why You Should Say No More
  • Tai Pan Trading: Where Everything Has Fake Rust On It and I Still Want It.
  • Things I Would Do For Money.
  • High School Musical’s Legitimate and Meaningful Affect on the World
  • Facebook Posts I Wanted To Troll But Didn’t.

It’s 11:59 so you get no conclusion.

See you tomorrow!

Once Upon a Time a Boy Met a Girl…

…Seven years later they fell in love.

That’s the tl;dr version.

Here’s the long version:

Wyview 2007: Freshman year. Young, impressionable 18-year-olds meeting for the first time as they lived just around the corner from each other. Jeff spent most of his time rock climbing and Lauren spent most of her time trying to impress people with her baking (lack of) skills and eating cup-o-noodles. Not the time for love to blossom.

Jeff went on a mission to Argentina. Lauren went on a mission to Italy. 3.5 years passed.

Add a few more years of life experience and some awkward Facebook exchanges and then…

20141001flannel 20141004 20141013uscolor  IMG_3381 IMG_3249

Then a week of me being super stressed because I knew it was coming and was trying so hard not to ruin the surprise that I was breaking out in hives (we’re talking literal hives–all over my body) for two days. Romantic, right?

We exchanged Christmas gifts and he got me a dope Feral hat and watch (pictured below) but no ring…

My friend Alessandra told me she needed someone for a photo project so I agreed. I was suspicious along the way but by the time I got there, even though Jeff was acting super weird when he dropped me off, I was lulled into a false sense of security and complained to Alessandra that I just really wanted him to propose. And somehow she kept a straight face because after that he did…He and some of my wonderful friends snuck up on the photo shoot…

And Alessandra, with her camera already out, captured it:

Llawsy Rose Proposal_001     Llawsy Rose Proposal_004* Llawsy Rose Proposal_007 Llawsy Rose Proposal_011Llawsy Rose Proposal_008 Llawsy Rose Proposal_015 Llawsy Rose Proposal_018Llawsy Rose Proposal_020 Llawsy Rose Proposal_021 Llawsy Rose Proposal_027 Llawsy Rose Proposal_040 Llawsy Rose Proposal_047 Llawsy Rose Proposal_048Llawsy Rose Proposal_045

Llawsy Rose Proposal_051 Llawsy Rose Proposal_057

THEN there was the Christmas party that night that I thought I was planning but wasn’t. It turns out when I showed up it was a SURPRISE engagement party for us. Completely with all kinds of engagement puns to go with the desserts. I’m glad that my friends/fiance are so uncomfortable keeping secrets from me because that means they don’t do it often. And I guess I can’t say I wasn’t surprised because look at that face…

surprise2surprise

I love Jeff because we are always smiling and laughing together (as pictured above). He thinks I’m super hot even in oversized sweatpants and I love that he is kind of guy who will carry my purse in public (actually I think that might be more embarrassing for me than it is for him–I should rethink that). It’s been a long time coming and a short time coming all at the same time but mostly it’s all worked out fine by me.

Basically being engaged feels like this:

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