Season One, Episode Nineteen: Rocking the Boat

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
                                                                                                                                                                         —Oscar Wilde

I love that quote.

And how true it is.  Our entire lives, from the moment we can comprehend human speech all the way through young adulthood, we are told we are special.  We are told that there is no one else in the world that is exactly like us.  No one has the exact same fingerprints, no one has the exact same DNA, even identical twins.  We’re all different.

Except we’re not.

Especially now.  We live in a generation where it’s all already been done.  Hollywood, books, music, fashion, life…all been done.  So we try to recycle and remake our society‘s culture, try to recreate the past in a collective mash-up of old and what we think to be new.  We strive so hard to be that special kind of different that we ultimately lose touch with reality.  Our desire for uniqueness has bred a generation of narcissists who are more interested in their imagined self-importance.  And yet…Most of us don’t live a single unique moment in our lives.

We spend most of our time mirroring others, gauging others’ opinions of us and striving to be liked.  How many women follow the actions of the Kardashians and other “reality” shows with rapt attention?  How many of us spend painstaking hours following the latest trends and fashions in Hollywood, so that we can all look like generic re-creations of our favorite celebrities?  How many of us regurgitate what we read in the newspaper or saw on the news and try to pass off as our own intellect?  How many of us hide behind others’ words and try to make them our own, either through repetition or through our daily actions?

We all do.  We mimic each other as a way of safely assimilating into society, because we all want to belong.  It’s part of what makes us inherently human.  We need company, and we need to feel a sense of belonging, a sense of community.  The ones that think outside of the metaphorical box are thought of as weird, that there must be something wrong with the way they are wired because society doesn’t behave like that.  We blend seamlessly into the background and let the ones who are “weird” really do all the living.  We would rather be a community of muted shades of gray rather than change the world with our own brightness.  We all tread lightly on the surface of life just so that we have a full table surrounding us on Dollar Draft Night.

My parting thought to you this morning is this:  I want you, after reading this post, to ask yourself what you’ve done lately to break out of that metaphorical box of sameness and positively rock the boat.  I want you to think of one positive thing that you can do today to live a life not of mimicry, not of quotations, but of your own thoughts, your own actions.  What is one thing that you want to do for you, and not for the other seven billion lives on this planet?  And once you think of it, please do it…because, well, we are all different, and it’s in rocking the societal boat that we can celebrate our uniqueness.

The world was changed by those who thought outside of the box.

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Season One, Episode Eighteen: Migraines and Monochromatic Mayhem

Mondays.

So boring.

I feel bad for the poor day, however.  It’s not like it asked to be boring and dull and ho-hum.  It’s the monochromatic sibling in a family of neons and pastels.  No one wakes up on a Monday morning and jumps happily out of bed and chirps “Yay, it’s Monday!  I can’t wait for the day of neverending work and monotony ahead of me to begin!”  You think of Monday and you think, Crap, I have work.  All week long.  You think Monday, you automatically start to yawn because there is just something inherently tiring about Mondays.  Monday is not known for being a day of festivity and glee.  Nay.  Monday wanted to be cool, but instead Monday wears clunky glasses and ill-fitting sweater jackets.  Monday is Friday and Saturday’s nerdy older sister who would rather stay home and memorize the Periodic Table instead of go to the club and hook up with some greasy, over-tanned and over-muscled guy named Tony who wears waaay too much gel in his hair.  Monday is a day of general blah-itivity.  Monday is the Karen in the room (cool points if you caught the Dane Cook reference).

So…not only was it a droll and blah kind of Monday, it was a Monday after a three day weekend, one of those Mondays that you dread, especially when Christmas came the day before and you’re still kind of full of Yuletide spirit.  I really was not looking forward to today because I wasn’t really in the mood to go to work and do workish stuff, but to make things worse, I had a ridiculous migraine all day long.  My head was hurting when I went to sleep last night, but I figured it’d be gone by morning.  Wrong.  Not only was my head screaming when I got up, but I also had an upset stomach.  Faaaabulous.  I felt like I was completely hungover all day long, which wasn’t even fair because I haven’t touched alcohol in weeks.  The phones were obnoxious at work, and I took a few ibuprofen and chased it with Mountain Dew to try to soothe the ferocious brain beast.  I’m feeling a lot better, but my head is still kind of achy.

I just scrolled down my screen in my little composition work area and couldn’t help but notice the tags that WordPress suggested that have absolutely nothing to do with what I just wrote.  I’ll share a few with you:

Um…okay.  Did any of you guys see anything that would remotely correspond to any of those tags in the first few lines of today’s post?  No?  Me neither.  I just Googled this Louis C.K. fellow and apparently he’s a comedian.  Okay…I can see how broadly he fits into the grand scheme of tagging things, but I’m still a little confused by the other suggestions.  Whatever.  I’m thinking maybe a certain blogging platform had too much non-virgin eggnog on Christmas morning.  And on Kwanzaa/Boxing Day.

Speaking of holiday festivity and joy, I am wearing one of the new sweaters my mom and dad got me for Christmas.  It’s comfy, it’s warm, and I like it.  Especially because it’s all belted and business below my rack and ’80s prom dress above.  It’s got that weird shoulder thing going on…I’ll find a pic to show you.

Sorta like this, only as a sweater, and not white or ruffly at the top. Sorta hideous, I suppose, but super comfy and awkward. Yes!

I feel like Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink, only cuter.  I was messing with the shoulders all day to look like I really should have been at some kid’s Senior Prom, circa 1986 instead of at a Ford dealership, answering phones and informing people that our parts and service departments were closed due to the holiday.  Too bad my hair was in a ponytail and I didn’t have a particularly gaudy corsage on hand, because I would have looked pretty damn awesome at that receptionist window.

Next time, next time.

Season One, Episode Seventeen: The Myth of the Supermom

As being a mom goes, I guess one would say that I’m not particularly very good at it.

Let me rephrase that.  I am a good mom, in the actual definition of a mother.  My son is pretty well adjusted and happy, he eats three meals a day, is very loved, and takes his baths and does his homework.  I’m good at the parenting part.  It’s this idealized notion of motherhood that I suck at.

My fabulous little boy!

I’m not very good at being the stereotypical idea of what a mom should be.  I go on to sites like CafeMom, which I refer to as the “MySpace of Mommydom”  or other “mommy friendly” blogs/sites and I’m just like wow, I really suck at this mom shit.  These ladies are really on the ball when it comes to the nominees for Mom of the Year 2011.  I’m not married, nor do I really have a desire to do so.  I’m not a stay-at-home mom.  I don’t cut my son’s sandwiches into fun little shapes with cookie cutters because A.) I would never be able to come up with something like that on my own, and B.) I think it’s a little stupid to cut my kid’s PB & J into the shape of an Easter egg just because Holy Week is right around the corner.  I don’t volunteer for school related activities because I work crazy hours, so if it’s in the morning I’m usually sleeping because I’m tired from work the day before, or if it’s in the afternoon I’m trapped at work.  I actually don’t really like kids that aren’t mine.  I don’t make fun little crafts for Nicky to take to school because I don’t have an ounce of craftiness in my body, and I remember making fun of the kids that would bring in crafty stuff for the teacher.

I am nowhere near this. Nowhere. In my world, the dishes would be piled up and I'd be off doing something fun and adventurous with my son. My husband would be the one washing the dishes in joyous exultation.

I can’t sew.  I’ve tried, but I can’t make cutesy blankets or scarves or whatever the hell it is that those perennially perfect moms do with their spare time.  You know, the little bit of spare time they have between making amazing vegan/organic meals that they have to take pictures of to remind the moms like me how much we suck for taking our kids to McDonald’s or making them Ramen noodles for dinner, taking their kids to the 8858475484 sports practices, ballet recitals, and band rehearsals, and just being all around awesome and perfect.  I’ve never made a cake from scratch or boasted about how I got this stubborn grass stain out of my husband’s khaki shorts.  I don’t have time to create a beautifully elaborate scrapbook of every single memory my son and I have shared or created in the almost seven years he’s been alive.  I barely have enough time to spend with him when I get home from work before it’s time for him to go to bed.  I am not a domestic goddess, not by a long shot.  Nor do I want to be.  It actually sounds pretty damn boring.

I’m not jealous of, or threatened by these “supermoms”, the stay-at-home Wonder Women who claim to be able to change a diaper and frost a cake simultaneously.  First of all, that is overwhelmingly unhygienic, and secondly, I highly doubt that they can actually do that.  No, I actually think it’s pretty cool that they are so dedicated to making their husbands and children so happy.  That is their life and they love it.  Kudos to them.  I, on the other hand, am on the other end of the spectrum.  Like I said earlier, I have no desire to get married and have a huge house with a white picket fence and big backyard for my 2.5 children and my golden retriever.  I have no desire to buy a minivan or discuss home decor or the amazing sale on corn at Giant Eagle.  Nay.  I suppose I am selfish.  And lazy.  And crazy independent.  I’ve always been that way, though.  I was the girl who didn’t want a husband or a dream house or kids.  I wanted to travel the world and have ridiculous experiences to tell whenever I’d write home or visit or whatever.  I didn’t want that cutesy perfect life most girls dream of, with the fairytale wedding and the Cinderella-type happy ending.  I don’t even think my Barbies lived happily ever after, to be honest.

That said, however, I love my son.  I love being a mom.  I’ll just never be that perfect idea of what a mother should be.  I’m the mom who is always late, rushing out the door in the middle of winter without my coat on, juggling my purse and coffee and coat and keys, yelling up the stairs for Nicky to hurry up, when he is actually on the porch with me, coat all zipped up and ready to go.  I’m the mom who loves snuggling up with her son and watching movies.  I’d rather crack jokes with Nicky and lose at Monopoly Jr. than pretend to be perfect.  I’m the mom who sings silly songs at the top of her lungs and gets in tickle fights and has awesome conversations with her kid.  I’m a hands on mom. I’m the mom who works six days in order to make forty hours so that she can supplement the ridiculously low child support she gets a month.  I’m the mom who toughs it out and still lives at home because she has the common sense to know that she can’t do it alone.  I’m pretty proficient in self-sacrifice.

I think, actually, that this alleged “Supermom” that seems to exist only on CafeMom and these other peachy keen mommy sites is just a myth.  It’s easier to sound perfect when you’re behind a computer screen and no one is actually there to back you up.  I’m willing to wager that 85% of the moms in the world are like me–imperfect and fun and nowhere near the stereotype from the 1950s.  I’m pretty sure that I’m the definition of a real mom, and I’m okay with it.  Just don’t ask me my thoughts on matching wall paint colors with curtains and upholstery.  You’ll get a blank stare 😛

I love this, haha. Sums me up in one short sentence.

Season One, Episode Sixteen: Christmas Magic and Reddit Madness

Merry Christmas!!! I hope Santa was good to all of you…I guess Santa did not read my blog in time, because Alex O’Loughlin was not under my tree. Damn. Oh well, there’s always next year, hahaha.

Merry Christmas 🙂

And holy Reddit, Batman!!! I signed up for Reddit last night and posted the link to this little gem of blog fabulosity. I currently have gotten 98 hits in the past 24 hours. Um, that is pretty splendid. And to all the people who have followed the link here to Chasing Lala, I say thank you and if you like what you see, please follow by email or click the sweet little Facebook “like” button on the right side of this blog to head on over to the Chasing Lala Facebook page. I appreciate you checking my blog out, and feel free to come back again!

In the light of today being Christmas, I figured I’d share some little holiday factoids with y’all, courtesy of Random Facts:

  • In A.D. 320, Pope Julius I, bishop of Rome, proclaimed December 25 the official celebration date for the birthday of Christ.
  • Christmas trees have been sold in the U.S. since 1850.
  • In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas trees decorations because according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus. In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas.
  • Christmas wasn’t declared an official holiday in the United States until June 26, 1870.
  • Alabama was the first state in the United States to officially recognize Christmas in 1836. Oklahoma was the last U.S. state to declare Christmas a legal holiday, in 1907.
  • Because they viewed Christmas as a decadent Catholic holiday, the Puritans in America banned all Christmas celebrations from 1659-1681 with a penalty of five shillings for each offense. Some Puritan leaders condemned those who favored Christmas as enemies of the Christian religion.
  • Christmas has its roots in pagan festivals such as Saturnalia (December 17-December 23), the Kalends (January 1 -5, the precursor to the Twelve Days of Christmas), and Deus Sol Invictus or Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun (December 25). The Christians church heartily disapproved of such celebrations and co-opted the pagans by declaring December 25 as Christ’s day of birth, though there is no evidence Christ was born on that day.
  • Santa Claus is based on a real person, St. Nikolas of Myra (also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker, Bishop Saint Nicholas of Smyrna, and Nikolaos of Bari), who lived during the fourth century. Born in Patara (in modern-day Turkey), he is the world’s most popular non-Biblical saint, and artists have portrayed him more often than any other saint except Mary. He is the patron saint of banking, pawnbroking, pirating, butchery, sailing, thievery, orphans, royalty, and New York City.

Merry Christmas ❤ Here’s a little Josh Groban for you all to enjoy 🙂

 

Season One, Episode Fifteen: A Very Lala Christmas Eve

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Christmas Eve, 2011.

My house smells like hot chocolate and s’mores, thanks to the amazing candles I bought from Bath and Body yesterday at the mall.  My dad is watching TV, and getting frustrated that the only thing on TV is The Sound of Music and It’s A Wonderful Life.  My mom and Nicky are at my grandma’s house, celebrating Christmas Eve.  I just got back from Mass, church was packed, and I’m still not in the Christmas spirit.

There’s still no snow on the ground, although it is reallllly cold out.

I’m pretty bored.  I’m still dressed from Mass, I smell fabulous and look fabulous, thanks to the Atelier cologne sample I got from Birchbox (Ambre Nue), the new foundation I just bought (philosophy The Supernatural), and my rockin’ new eyeshadow from Stila (It Girl Palette #2).  I’m all for looking awesome while I blog to all my lovelies 🙂  Speaking of lovelies, I’d like to thank all the readers who came over to scope out my fab post on Alex O’Loughlin.  You guys rock!  Thanks for the unexpected hits and I hope you guys come back to read more excellence.  Increased page activity is always a great Christmas present!

I just scoped out the NORAD Santa Tracker on my iPhone, courtesy of Google Maps, and it appears that the Big Guy is currently in Tarrafal, Cape Verde.  I guess it’s time for me to start preparing the plate of Chips Ahoy and glass of milk.  And since he is probably hours from Ohio, I suppose I should remind Santa that Alex would be a nice little present to find beneath my tree tomorrow morning…and maybe this makeup collection from Chanel.  Just sayin’, Santa.

I’ll provide Santa with some visual aids, just in case he missed yesterday’s post.

Alex O’Loughlin:

Come on Santa...You could put one of those huge bows that they put on new cars on him and nothing else...well...maybe shorts because Nicky will be there, hahaha.

Chanel makeup:

So Santa, just go to the Chanel website, click "makeup" and then select this collection. Scroll on down and decide what you think would be best for me. I'm leaning toward the blush and the hot pink lipstick.

Season One, Episode Fourteen: Santa Baby

So…Christmas is in a few short days, and I totally just realized that I didn’t send out my Christmas list to Santa Claus.

Well, shit.

…I hope Santa reads blogs!!!

Dear Santa,

I have been a reaaaaallllly reaaaaaallly good girl this year.  Seriously.  I refrained from any mischief, shenanigans, poppycock, and/or tomfoolery all year long.  I was thinking that since I’ve been such an awful good girl that it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle if you were to try to get me a few of the things I have compiled in my short list below.  You can skip around and get what you think is best, but I’m really more or less partial to number one and number five.  To prevent confusion, I’ve added pictures for quick and easy referencing.  Thanks Santa!

Love,

Lashawn

L. Diddy’s Fabulous List of Christmas Excellence (The 2011 Edition):

1.  Alex O’Loughlin.

Umm...yum, Santa.

2.  A little something from Tiffany.

I'm not even saying it has to be this, Santa. I'm just giving you a general idea of what I have in mind...

3.  Perry the Platypus.  How friggin’ cool would he be???

4.  An iPad 2.

I want one of these sooo bad. They are super fantabulous.

5.  Alex O’Loughlin.

...Sorry, I was drooling. Oh my goodness.

Season One, Episode Thirteen: Musings of a Night Owl

Hello. My name is Lashawn, and I am a night owl.

It’s four am, and what am I doing? Am I sleeping? Noooo. I’m sitting at my laptop in my badass penguin pajamas, playing with the Biblical Curse Generator. I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty entertained. It might be because it’s four in the morning, it might be because I’m slightly jacked up on caffeine, it might be because I enjoy the simpler things in life, I don’t know. What I do know is that the shit this site is coming up with is cracking me up. For example:

“May you see your pomegranates wither, O thou dabbler in abominations!”

Take that, guy who wanted to argue with me over the price of his oil change.

Staying up late opens your eyes to a whole new world dominated mostly by network syndicated comedies (such as How I Met Your Mother and That 70’s Show) and cheesy yet überslick infomercials for hair removal products and weird spandex bra shaper things that I don’t really need. Late nights make you feel classy, like you’re better than all the people who fell asleep during CSI: Miami. Horatio Caine peers at you over the top of his sunglasses and salutes you my friend, because you stayed up long enough to see him catch the bad guy and utter some really horrible and cheesy dialogue before and after he handcuffs said villainous villain. It’s a twofer kind of thing.

Horatio Caine: "There will be no tying of virtuous young maidens to any railroad tracks on my watch, evil silent film guy." Dastardly Evil Guy: "Curses, foiled again!"

Sleep? Ha, who needs sleep.

Sleep is overrated.

People often ask me why I stay up until the birds are chirping. I say why not? I work in the afternoon, my life is pretty boring…so why the hell not? I would much rather stay up late than wake up early in the morning, if that makes any sort of sense. I’ve always been a night person, even when I was a young lass. Nighttime is me time. I can shut off the Lashawn that the rest of the world gets to see and get in my pajamas and be the Lashawn who enjoys aloneness and contemplation and a good book or a corny sitcom.

I like the quiet, the solitude of what Robert Louis Stevenson called “the black hours”. I like that I can just sit and think and not have to be a mom or a sister or a receptionist or a friend or a daughter or anything that everyone else wants me to be. I can just be me, and not have to worry about what the rest of the world thinks. I can read random crap on Wikipedia or research the French Revolution or watch an old show from the ’50s. I can sit around with my favorite fleece blanket and eat Tostitos and salsa and not have to share. I can sit on my upstairs porch and just look up at the night sky and feel so infinitely insignificant and think philosophical things. It’s my favorite time of day, hands down.

To me, the night is beautiful, in some ways just as beautiful as the daytime, in other ways possibly more. One of my favorite things ever is when the sun sets and there’s this smooth, seamingless transition of blues and purples and pinks across the sky, from east to west. Simply beautiful. I adore the stars, and I think the twinkling, sparkling “heavens” are just as breathtaking as the white clouds across a vivid blue mid-afternoon sky. You can’t appreciate the sunshine without the inkiness of night. Sunrise wouldn’t be as memorable without the sunset. I’m suddenly reminded of one of my favorite quotes:

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness so I can see the stars.”