Monthly Archives: March 2011

Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady

This happens in my apartment daily.

At least I think this is what they’re doing.

Please turn your speakers on or put your headphones in, it is critical.

No, I don’t google around for cat videos all the time. Someone who will remain nameless shared it with me.

I may be crazy, but I appreciate that the furballs are good for a hysterical laugh every now and then.


Slacker Town

I feel like I’ve been living in Slacker Town the past several days.

I’ve thought about blogging every day, with my promise to post every day nagging at me in the back of my mind, sometimes in the forefront, often ping-ponging in between the two.

But I’ve been busy, and for the life of me right now I cannot verbalize why I was busy.

I normally write — or at least begin — most of my posts while on the metro, commuting to or from work. I usually have one or two in my back pocket for a low-creativity day. But I’ve just been fresh out.

I think the hot water heater fiasco of last week, among other things, left me exhausted even to the point of no sense of humor. No sense of humor Lauren is not a Lauren who should be writing.

So here I am, days late, dollars short, with hardly anything to blog about except not blogging. I am a shell of the writer I was a week ago.

Therefore, I present you with a tactic all writers (and non-writers for that matter) use when their words are not making sentences like they’re used to — the bulleted list:

  • Winter has returned to DC and my Uggs and I wish it wasn’t so. Something feels so wrong about wearing tweed, wool and suede in March.
  • Thankfully Jessie and I are headed south this weekend, to Charleston S.C., for some girl time and warmer weather.
  • I found warmth in a gathering of VT alumni tonight at a historic manor out in Haymarket. Perhaps I will be able to write words about it in the future.
  • As touristy as it sounds, I can’t wait to take photos of the cherry blossoms next week. Last year I dragged Hugh out to the tidal basin at sunrise so I could take photos. Upon arrival, my camera died. I would really like a do-over.

Now my vocabulary and I must go get some rest so that we may make a gallant return to creativity in the morning.


Since we started last Monday, my co-workers and I — some I’m close with and some I’d never spoken to before — have folded 1,001 paper cranes.


We also raised a sizable contribution for the American Red Cross’s relief efforts in Japan, which have only just scratched the surface of what is sure to be an endless recovery process.

In celebration of the work, the patience and the time we donated to this project, a few of us enjoyed a post-work celebratory hurricane at a local New Orleans fare restaurant. We stayed so long we got to enjoy the jazz band also.

I’ve been more than happy to work on this fundraiser, but I’ll also be happy if I never fold another piece of paper.


What Do You Do?

In college, if you had to make small talk (which I tend to believe was pretty rare), then you talked about your major. If your major was common or if you weren’t that into it, you talked about your extracurricular involvement or your part-time job or the internship you had last summer that inspired you toward a certain potential career path.

Hugh and I went to a gathering at his coworkers’ house last weekend and Hugh was the only person there I’d ever met. With every introduction to a new person, whether immediately or after answering “how do you know so-and-so?”, the question always showed up:

What do you do?

I really should work on a better definition of what I do.

Normally I start out with, I’m in publishing.

The natural response is, That’s so cool! or Oh really?! Books, magazines, or what?!

Actually, scientific publishing. A peer-review academic journal; a scholarly journal; like the kind of research you cite in term papers… is what I usually say.

Now, at this particular gathering I was talking to mostly financial types. Some CPAs, some folks who work with the Fed, some people who were into investments. This is all over my head. And as far as I know, as soon as they hear me say I’m in publishing, I’m instantly less cool than everyone else who works with millions of dollars in budgets and Excel spreadsheets and receipts every day.

I really should work on hyping what I do for a living.

At social gatherings recently, conversations turn into networking opportunities. The topic of conversation at happy hour on a Thursday is what you spent 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. doing that day. We talk about the tasks we do, the people we work with, the opportunities afforded to us or not. We used to talk about attending (or not attending) a 10:10 a.m. class and how we still planned to get whatever grade we needed. We talked about who ruined the curve and how crazy the pop quiz was. We liberal arts majors talked about the subject matter of our classes, often passionately, to business or engineering majors who baffled us with talk of numbers and use of vocabulary we’d never encountered.

If, at 24 or so, we’re using our jobs and degrees and future aspirations — essentially our resumes — to make small talk, what’s next?

How long have you been married?

Oh, you’re expecting your second?

Did you get a good rate on your mortgage?

I’m looking at an active living retirement community also.

Do you golf?

I’m not ready for any of those questions yet.

I majored in communication and I work in publishing. Let’s just talk about that.

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