Confessions of: a girl tired of labels, just trying to be human

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if only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies, how very different our ideals of beauty would be,” -?

Remember as a kid when Christmas Eve meant an inability to fall sleep, chocolate milk was synonymous with dinner and dandelions weren’t weeds, but wishes. When sidewalks were for hopscotch and chalk, skip-its and scooters, and pinkies were reserved for promises and ring watches. Before calories existed, when the worst of days was the bleep-test in P.E, and all artistic creations were masterpieces worthy of display on the refrigerator.

When we were young and worrying lived only in the form of nightmares, dreams were boundless, and names were ascribed in giggles of superpowers and secrets.

Free,
they’d say, as we’d twirl barefoot in floral dresses and pigtails, and careless they’d note and wild and free as the butterflies we pretended to be.

Now.

Christmas morning is practically the same, only fewer matching flannel pajama sets and more cookies for Santa. Wine and dinner are essentially interchangeable, and wishes are still occasionally made on eyelashes. Sidewalks are a cheaper mode of transport than the metro or bus, and engagement rings become favorite promises. Calories and steps are counted; the fridge is covered in magnets about hangovers and Mondays and filled with day-old leftovers of take-out containers. The best of days include a long run, a good book, and a bath, or trashy reality TV.

Basic, they’ll say now, assuming that cups of venti black coffee are peppered in pumpkin spice flavor, or PSL’s for those of us who speak in acronyms. Slut, they’ll imply with their brows raised, or prude, they’ll mock laced with disgust. Fat, they’ll argue or anorexic they’ll assume, plain, mousy, awkward, weird. Because we have to fit in labels, boxes, we can’t be messy or complicated.

Somewhere, in the time between catching fireflies and paying rent, dunk-a-roo’s and 9-5’s, lunchable’s and ramen noodles, aesthetics became equivalent to our worth. Remember instead when labels were reserved solely for store brands and album covers? When someone’s worth wasn’t determined by beauty, but instead their humanity?

Why is it so easy to forget the one definitive label that triumphs in its significance, because it unites us all: human?

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Confessions of A New Year!

Confessions of a New Year and 2015 resoLUtions:
2015                                            “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year,” -RWE

Serious question: how the heck is already 2015? 2014 seriously flew by.

My year in review: NYC, DC, NC, SC, HK, Cambodia, LA, MD,

I spent last new year’s in Manhattan, well technically in BBrooklyn at a Delta Spirit concert in a bowling alley, drinking micro brews. I had been living in NYC (move #13) and writing for a blog–walking 4 miles a day just to get to and from my office and falling asleep to the changing lights of the Empire State building, hiding from my roommate’s creepy cat, spending all my money on coffee and rent and running along the East River. I had an “entry” published in the New York Times Metropolitan Diary and at the time, I thoroughly loved the chaos of the city. Sometimes, now, I wonder how I survived, how I wasn’t swallowed by the sleepless city, but then again I think that’s the fun of it–just trying to stay afloat, an adrenaline junkies haven, total clusterfuck.

My summer began in Folly Beach with my family–drinking fat tires at loggerheads with my people, eating too many slices of pizza and running for hours along the sandy shore. I continued traveling, throughout Hong Kong and Cambodia–country #47, visiting Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Siem Reap, biking through the winding roads and drinking dollar beers with my dad on PubStreet, eating crocodile and hoping my stomach wouldn’t seek revenge on my foreign feasts, hiking Victoria Peak in HK and dodging bamboo snakes, drinking red wine with a dear friend and succumbing to salmonella and lactose intolerance. Ending the season with an 11-inch hair donation…my third ponytail to Pantene ProLengths!

And then, August 1, I began my new life in Maryland, move #14, where I’m pursing my MFA in fiction (whoo hoo for grad school) and working as a house mom, living with 31 dudes and surviving via the gym, red wine and CVS chocolate! Although I’m not one who frequently reflects I will say that I was happy to spend 2014 with my favorite people, ending an incredibly busy, but wonderful year in Chapel Hill, NC and New Orleans, LA with my lieblings and my cousins and my Molly of course. Also, I think I’ve almost perfected my chocolate chip cookie recipe (thanks Sally)…which is a lifelong goal. Also, I feel like my year can be summed up in a few words: travel, booze, family, exercise…sounds about right, eh?

And so begins 2015. And while I kind of hate resoLutions I also kind of appreciate them. And so…commence my resoLUtions for 2015:

1. drink more water. hydrate, hydrate, hydrate (without caffeine)
Lets be honest, I drink a shit-ton of coffee and coke zero…alternating a few of said beverage choices for water is necessary.

2. stay happy. always. always.
because damn it, life is too short.

3. travel to another country #48. (new continent: hello, South America, preferred)
i’m getting restless again! this. is. a. must. …ideas anyone?

4. read & write every day, no excuses.
because I love it. Even if it’s garbage, even if it’s not scholarly, or publish-worthy.

5. eat healthy & exercise daily. (see no excuses)
because it’s too important to me.

Ta da. Super boring…I know. but at least they are realistic.

This is life according to resLUtions Lu, in 2015 anyway.

Confessions of: A Basic, Whatever.

This life according to being “basic.”

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those are pumpkin spice M&M’s (disclaimer: do NOT purchase. will result in regret…can’t. stop. won’t stop.)

so, it’s already been established that i’m old, alright? blame it on the al-al-al-co-hol, oh wait, different problem, blame it on the aging process, i.e. memory loss and/or inability to adapt and adhere to modernity–be it technology, fashion or slang–but this whole mockery of basic-ness is a new, bewildering concept to me, like butt cleavage aka “underbutt.”

perhaps this is the plight of having male friends, but apparently, some things i do are like, so basic.

basic–to most translates as simple, plain, straightforward, perhaps the opposite of acidic. keeping up with the times of 2014 here, apparently, basic means so much more. according to urban-dictionary a basic “b” would be someone who is obvious in terms of their behavior, dress and action. synonyms include: boring, white, fake. while i personally consider this a cruel description associated with “bitches,” here are other determinant factors:

*must love PSL’s. For the acronym-challenged, that means pumpkin spiced latte’s. which, hello, i obvi don’t drink because way too many cals, apparently indulging in starbucks is a contender. venti blonde roast, black please, and yes, that’s lindsey with an E. but i can also spell out b-a-s-i-c for you, if you’d prefer?

there’s a starbucks in the forbidden city. everywhere i’ve resided, i own a city mug. and when i lived in china, starbucks was “the place” to be, hello, mango frappes. sorry i’m not sorry, but starbucks is ubiquitous and peripatetic, like me, and i associate it with happy memories of travel and coffee.

*loves fall, or autumn, and quotes like “i’m so glad i live in a world where there are octobers.”

but seriously, who doesn’t love some inspiringly beautiful diction to associate with.

“but what do dreams know of boundaries?” -a.h.
“not all those who wander are lost,” -j.r.r tolkien
“write drunk, edit sober” -ernest hemmingway
…i can keep going.

also i love ALL holidays, not solely thanksgiving/halloween and ALL seasons. suck it, fall.

you watch SATC.
you wear flannels
and UGG’s.
And T.Swift is your homegirl.
you workout, because apparently “workin on mah fitness” is predictable, boring and not cool.
and enjoy yoga. not to mention wear yoga pants.
you like candles (…seriously how lame of you, B.O and dirty scents = so much cooler and unpredictable)
and your horoscope.
you brunch. (because booze and breakfast don’t mix?)
you speak in abbrevs. shortening words is too obvi, ya’ll.
diet soda is your jam. ddp, all the way.
and splenda.
you “juice” –again, being healthy isn’t cool, peeps sorry kale.
you enjoyed the notebook (so essentially you’re a girl of the 80’s or 90’s)
you quote mean girls still and love reality TV and breathe and eat and bitch about being fat and you wear clothes and you have insecurities and you have girlfriends and say like and literally and wear brands like LULU and anything “trendy” and pop and BASICally you are a normal human.

i instagrammed this flower earlier today. because i think it’s pretty.
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to quote chandler bing, could i be anymore basic?
***note, post is intended to be laced with irony..this life according to lu confession: anyone who classifies others as “basic” is trying way too hard to stand out and be notably different. humans are too complex to be basic. yes, all of us are united in this endeavor.

confessions of a life remembered through food, this life according to hungry Lu.
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somewhere on your plate is goat, the last supper–india 2013

“life is a combination of magic and pasta.” -federico fellini

“people who love to eat are always the best people,” –julia child

all of my memories are associated by place. an inevitable truth when your roots are precarious. if my life story was a poem, the refrain would be my dad’s famous words: this is where you will graduate from high school, or, girls, we need to talk to you. only much more eloquently phrased and peppered in Shakespearian language, with the obligatory “-eths” and “thou’s,” “shan’t’s” and elisions.
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illberico pork burger. o..m..g.

more importantly, i would title the poem: chocolate chip cookie kids or tuna mac n’peas Conklin casserole. something ridiculous and obnoxious and obviously incorporating my adoration for food. my memories are evolved around taste & smell, and while traveling (aka desertion) may segregate, nothing unites two beings better than a well cooked meal or homemade dessert.
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i still remember the taste of the mini orange muffins my sisters and i consumed during teatime in bermuda. to such an extent, a life goal has been birthed: recreate the zesty flavor.

bermuda saturday’s tasted like banana ice cream at the beach, creamy vanilla bean squished between two chocolate chip cookies, cocoa muffins from Herrington Hundred’s generously sized, potato skins and sunscreen.

cinnamon and vanilla sprinkled on coffee: that’s how i will forever see london.

baguette’s in paris, loaded with cheese, for park picnics and paying to wash my hands in a bathroom because as my dad screamed YOU HAVE TO TOUCH EVERYTHING, DON’T YOU?

florida is donuts–maple, glazed, and a dozen. kansas is root beer floats, boxed mac’n’cheese, fresca and black cherry. texas is tacos, mini cinnamon buns, strawberry lemonade, and biscuits with butter and jam.

in shanghai, my mom used to purchase nuts from the street vendors, a gamble for any stomach and germophobe, yet totally worth the risk. they smelled like sweet potatoes, but looked like deer poop. served warm and toasty and tasted like the holidays, roughly the size of a quarter.  and this beauty:bellagio breeze

red bean ice dessert from bellagio’s, which i dream of often. it’s pork buns and shanghainese noodles from 1221, so brown and thick, shrimp lettuce wraps and ham subs from WAGAS.

if i could re-eat a meal, it would be the illberico pork burger with white asparagus from a hong kong restaurant called “Flint,” or tuna salad sandwiches from a cafe in Sydney.

i remember when my sister forced food down our throats, it became a game to her to watch us cringe while we gorged on the most ratchet of creations: all airplane food, Australian meatpie’s, japanese sashimi, NSA rhubarb pie (NoSugar Added and dessert are not synonymous, by the way, so stop trying to make sugar-free happen) and an accidental thai burger order.

“eat it! you can’t let that food go to waste,” my older sister instructs, chomping on her chicken fingers from mcdonalds like they were prey, to demonstrate her power.

“NO. The meat is green. that’s not right,” kristi whines. we both laugh and attempt to slyly steal a nugget every-time her gaze is altered. pathetically failing. my stomach flips and i can’t tell if we ordered a vegan patty or if green meat is a thai preparation. begrudgingly, i take a nibble, in hopes of exchanging chew for chicken.

food transports you: favorite cup of coffee–christmas morning, favorite glass of wine: chelsi’s 25th birthday in the Bahamas, best italian meal: new york city date night on E. 63 and 3rd, best pizza: cebu, in the Philippines with my ex-boyfriend, but partially due to starvation, and desperation.

nothing will ever remind me of home the way a from-scratch chocolate chip does, or transcend me to foreign countries, sensual dates, and celebrations, nostalgia. Whoever said “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” has obviously never had my homemade fudge, or no bake truffles and pumpkin bread.

psa: to anyone i ever meet, any land i ever travel to, i will remember you always by cuisine.

Confessions of: Turning 26.

This life according to Lu, confessions of turning 26.
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that’s me on my birthday in dc, with my fellow resident directors (WHO ARE ALL SO YOUNG)

“the trick is growing up, without growing old.” -casey stengel

happy belated and all the jazz, but more importantly, guys: i’m going to be living somewhere for 2 years. two years. that’s terrifying.like a snake dropping from a bamboo tree inches from your feet kind of terrifying…yes, that recently happened.

the last time I lived somewhere for two years was Gettysburg College, NOSTALGIA #bullets. But college was nearly a half decade, permanence is implied. i didn’t need a plan yet, or a career, or life goal. i remember feeling pride when i learned to do my own laundry, and made it to class punctually, or got up before 10am and managed to stop at the liquor store before closing. plus, i was young, i had time, semesters, opportunities, tomorrow.

but now, a week before the inception of my graduate school career, i’m officially among the “mid-twenties.”

like when the fuck did that happen? august 8th, to be exact…and now i’ve annoyingly answered my own rhetorical question. ew.

i still call my mom to ask cooking (slash general life) questions and have never attained my own car, i get excited when reruns of full house play at night and i still sleep with my childhood blanket, cleverly named “blankie,” (commenting on my coolness in this endeavor is unnecessary, it’s totally implied, amirite?) needless to say: i definitely don’t feel old.

but every new birthday cake candle introduces additional responsibility. 300-level collegiate classes soon transform into 700-level graduate school courses, rent (especially in new york city) will cost you roughly your social life & also $1650/month for a bed, bath and closet converted kitchen. Recovery from anything too strenuous–drinking, squatting/lunging, heartburn, bone-breaking will be oh-so-much harder.

26 candles. now there’s a hell of a movie title. sweet sixteen, only fast forwarded ten years, when let’s be honest, we’re still doing the exact same behaviors we were too young to be exhibiting as a teen, only now it’s more acceptable to wear higher heels, publicly consume more shots of tequila and advertise our adult-sized breasts (well, for most women, i still have bad boob growth karma, apparently, are you there god, it’s me, Lu). plus without the added stresses of retainers, pimples, homework and curfews. (remember when you got paid just for household chores like making your bed? sigh. those were the days, #teamlostboys)

age is just a number though, right? so why is it that NUMBERS seem to dominate our lives entirely (and no i dont mean #hashtags)…damn all you “destination” focused people. it’s all about the journey, baby.

26–years of existence
14–number of places i’ve lived
2–the number of sisters i have…slash years i have to complete my masters degree.
8–my lucky number. my birthday is 8/8/88, it’s just too easy.
[insert # here]–sexual partners.
[insert # here]–countdown to specified holiday, vacation, the weekend.
129–my weight [for the day]
shocking that i’m willing to write my weight, yet not the # of people (and by people i mean men) i’ve slept with because it’s wayyyy less than 129 😉
4–the number of years i have until i seriously feel old. (30….NO)

but you get the point.

drama aside, i have an admission, truthfully, i don’t mind this new # at all. the opposite to aging is dying, right? though, FINE, maybe, perhaps (definitely) i’m still (slightly) jaded in 50 shades of denial. i’ll just be 25 plus 1 until i accept this new age (ERA!). besides, there’s always 27 to freak out about.

Confessions of: A Fictional Ruler

This life according to Lu, confessions of a wanna-be-ruler. IMG_6887
“And for once a band of thieves in ripped up jeans got to rule the world”
my homegirl, T.Swift

That’s ME on the right…don’t I look responsible? Responsible enough to create my own ubiquitous rules? I vote yes. I like the world we live in now, really, I do. But if it were up to me, I would do things differently. Sure most of these things are beyond anyone’s control, but it’s my imaginary kingdom, and in it, fictional laws are up for grabs…think less Fascist & more Harry Potter inspired. And so, if I were Ruler-of-the-World, or a dreamed universe, this is what life would be:

10. Karma would exist. And happily ever afters.
Don’t you think that seems fair? I would reinstate Karmic revenge and deplete the world of unnecessary evil. And totally make people believe in organic love again.
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9. I would create a hangover cure.
No, I don’t mean like a burger with a greasy egg atop it, or an unsuccessful water claiming to have Vitamins, and something much more potent than 2 capsules of advil and a cat nap. But an actual  reliever of all that debilitating hangovers imply. So, cheers, friends, bottoms up!

8. There would be segregated sidewalks for fast walkers.
BECAUSE PET PEEVE 101: your lazy stride is slowly killing me.

7. No one would have to wake up before 6 am. (Unless by choice, in which case, we can’t be friends)
Does this need further explanation? 5 am is just beyond too early to function. Period.
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6. Humans could speak dog.
Because I just need to tell this sweet little face that I’ll be back in 30 minutes, or the Pizza Delivery Guy is our friend and you won’t like the taste of 2 cups of unsalted butter with the wrappers, I promise.

5. Ah, the 5-minute-flight.
Travel made easy. You’re welcome. Because who needs jet lag and a 16-hour cramped middle seat, stuck next to the guy who needed two chairs and brought aboard the sardine infused calzone (conveniently forgetting the TUMS)…

4. WORLD PEACE.  Yes. I want world peace. Yes, you can insert Miss Congeniality jokes here and yes, I’m all about Amy Grant’s Grown Up Christmas List. No, I don’t understand why humans can’t support other humans. We are the same breed after-all. Where is the love, people?!

3. Shoelaces would always be tied. I am absolutely, admittedly, the only almost-26-year-old to struggle with this endeavor. Yes, that task being one of shoe lace tying…the struggle is real, folks. And it’s totally avoidable! Commence the self-tying-shoe-laces!

2. Pimples would be banned from existence.  Because, really, without sounding like an existentialist: WHAT IS the purpose? They are functionless and disturbing and should be ostracized for their lack of use/fruitless place in the world. IMG_5481

1. Calories would not count. At the end of the day, I’d like to be greeted by a dozen cookies, a buffet of entree’s melted with cheese, and a plethora of peanut butter and chocolate spoons without the added guest of cellulite, extra poundage and rolls (unless they are homemade biscuits with butter&jam). Whose ultimate dream doesn’t consist of overindulgent stomach aches without the repercussions?  

I think we can all agree on this: the only thing that could possibly better my fictional creation would be if it began at platform nine and three quarters.

And now a world to imagine. If only this life could be according to fictional ruler Lu.

Confessions Of: A Semi-Failed Maid Of Honor

This life according to Lu: confessions of a semi-failed maid of honor.
Image                               “be silly. be honest. be kind.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Growing up, there were three things I knew for certain: brussels sprouts were not to be trusted, my older sister was going to be the next Queen of England and I was to be her Maid of Honor. Although my relationship with brussels sprouts has since changed for the better, minus the fact that they have an “s” that is never pronounced–what is that about–it was Kate Middleton and her gorgeously perfect taste in pea coats who crushed my sisters’ royal potential. But, luckily, said position remained mine. I was her Maid of Honor, a divine birthright, I suppose, or perhaps an expectation, yet deserved after years of playing ‘wedding’ and holding floral bouquets, aka whatever was in the garden, read: dandelions.

 After my wonderfully awkward and semi-failed, notorious experience I feel obliged to advise all ladies being considered as MOH-worthy on what not to do.  Because lets be honest, expectations versus reality regarding this job title varies vastly, a detail I wish I had known prior to July 27th, 2013. So, cheers, from a slightly dishonorable, overly intoxicated maid of honor, to all current MOH’s, wedding season shall commence. Do you promise to take these vows? (Really…you should.)

 I solemnly swear to eat the food. Please. I sacrificed sweets for nearly three months prior to the wedding to fit comfortably into my gown. By the reception, I was looking at the bacon covered scallops and crab-cakes like they were naked Ryan Gosling on a toothpick. But, I was worrying senselessly over orating my speech; I skipped every deliciously juicy, colorful plate because the butterflies in my stomach insisted I wasn’t hungry. Vow to eat the food because a-it’s delicious, b-it’s been paid for, and c-you physically need it, you’re exhausted and running on adrenaline. Eat—a verb I never imagined I’d dispute with.

 I solemnly swear to drink the wine, but not too much.  While I was frantically worrying over my MOH speech and saying RIP to that roasted asparagus lying scantily on top of a perfect sear of steak, I befriended the Cab Sauv. The wine was multi-talented, so magically capable of continuous restoration to the rim of my glass. Drink, absolutely! It’s a party after all and you’re there to celebrate, but do not overindulge. You’re also there for support—do not be the girl who can’t remember the bouquet toss. (Whoops). RE: I solemnly swear to attend all wedding festivities. If you spend the night with that Champagne bottle, said vow could be broken (i.e. Sunday brunch). 

I solemnly swear to not make out with the best man/groomsmen
. Sure, he’s cute and hey, you’ve kissed before—why not?Because, he’s more trouble than the boy who walked in Taylor Swift’s life (and she knew it, too) and that infinity pool of white wine you accidentally gorged. Remember: your attention should be dedicated to the bride and making sure you don’t accidentally pull a Lea Michele kind of nip slip! I solemnly swear to keep the bridesmaids and wedding guests in check. One of the cousins is getting weepy and grandma is apparently lost. Do not let said stress affect the bride. MOH, duty calls! Note: grandma is a priority! Do you take the listed vows above? If yes, then yay, you shall succeed in the plight. I now pronounce you an honorable maid, which lacks slight credibility when the source is from an admittedly botched MOH, but still.
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Confessions of: A Curious Ex-Girlfriend

This Life According To Lu: All My Exes Have Tattoos.

I have no appropriate pictures for this, so naturally I'm going with a cookie. Oh and love. obviously.

I have no appropriate pictures for this, so naturally I’m going with a cookie. Oh and love. obviously.

           ‘Show me a man with a tattoo and I’ll show you a man with an interesting
past.’
–Jack London

“What does it mean?” I asked Jeremy, running my fingers through my middle part. I called him gem, with a J.

Xīwàng, hope,” he responded, offering the translation for my limited understanding of Mandarin.

“Oh,” I said, unsure of why I felt disappointed. He turned over his shoulder, as we both stared at the chinese symbol permanently engrained on his back. “I like it.” I lied. “Did it hurt?” I wondered, considering when I went with my best friend, Morgan, to get hers the year prior, she giggled the entire time while the man drew a paw-print on her left butt cheek. Still, I held her hand anyway.

“Yeah, a lot. I’m glad you like it, baby.” He smiled, displaying his lime green braces, which made me smile, and I reciprocated the awful neon that encased my teeth. It had been the most romantic gesture my dorky, 8th-grade self had ever received from a boy. It looks like I have gum stuck in my teeth! I explained to my friends, a hasty rubber band choice I regretted immediately. A few days later he came to school with the same color and grabbed my hand as we walked to assembly together. Now we both do. A few weeks later we were already texting each other on Nokia bricks words like “luv” and the cliched “u r my world.”

My first LUV and first ex to get a tat.

While the following is by no means a compilation of all the men I’ve dated…’cause that’s quite a list, it includes the milestones. And Jem, he was the first.

My second first “real love,” it’s in quotes because not really, was Ludwik, though I called him Lou-chi-oh (pronounced exaggeration of the OHHHHHH). We dated for a year in a high school, which equated to the length of time I lived in several cities, my best friend completely, though we aren’t even friends on Facebook, anymore. He now has at least a half dozen tattoos, one of which is a bumblebee. Ironically, my AIM screenname was bumblebeelac (I liked the rhyme, okay!), although there’s absolutely no correlation.

My third significant ex to make this list is Eli, although we had the most messed up relationship of all time. But I had such a crush on him throughout my duration in Germany and we had an on-off relationship that involved way too many other people. Now his arms are completely sleeved with various designs. *Also, we’re still buds, so perhaps this admission is nullified.

My actual first love was my college boyfriend, who I dated nearly two years. He has some symbolic saying of his family’s name written across his back.

Most recently, my boyfriend of two years, Tom, whom I lived with, got a tattoo of his grandparents on his chest. I am pleased that this purchase was post-breakup.

Hey, I’m not here to judge because bumblebee’s and chinese symbols? Quite feminine if you ask me, but you didn’t. Interestingly, I hate tattoos. Perhaps this relates to my inability to make plans and my lack of permanence. I get bored of my favorite sweater after a month, I can’t imagine living in the same place for two years and thrive on change. How could I ever value something that is eternally stained on your skin? And yet, the majority of significant men in my past are decorated in ink. Maybe it’s cupid’s way of trying to spite me, or maybe I seek consistency more than I realize.

Either way, this is my life and I think it’s weird that all my exes have tattoos.

Confessions Of: A Wanna Be Baker

Confessions of a wanna-be-baker:

...mouth-watering.

…mouth-watering. chocolate chip cookie dough brownies-both made from scratch

             “you can’t buy happiness. but you can buy make cupcakes. and that’s
kind of the same thing.”
—?

This life according to Lu, my ambition to be a baker.

I’m an anomaly. While most young girls’ life ambition/adulthood consists of cliched answers like ballerinas or mothers, even school teachers, without fail, I picked the humble profession of farmer (pronounced “FAH-MA.” Ugh r’s were impossible). I envisioned life playing with the cutest of animals, (read cows, chickens, horses, ranch dogs) surrounded solely by nature and wearing a plethora of overalls & plaid.

Always loved animals.

Always loved animals.

Eventually, said dream morphed into becoming a writer or novelist and has yet to re-alter. I love words, the ability to create an image by stringing together diction–carefully debating which syllables complement each other and which can fully convey the thoughts inside my head. I’m easily inspired and for some odd reason, feel as though I have a story to tell…with a passion for photography on the side.

Writing+animals = progress

Writing+animals = progress

Like I said, such is my dream, but secretly, I want to be a baker. It should come as no surprise–though perhaps, we aren’t that well acquainted–chocolate is my kryptonite. Whoever said “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” clearly never OD’d on cookie dough, tasted a brigadeiro, or spent Christmas at my house, in which we (and by we I mean I) bake easily a dozen different cookie flavors–sugar, peanut butter blossoms and fudge are staples, the rest are up for debate. (Cake box cookies, thumbprints, snickerdoodle, red velvet, gingerbread, chocolate chip, turtle, crinkles)

Classics.

Classics.

I can spend hours perusing baking blogs to search for a new recipe. Recently, I baked banana bread, in which I carefully argued a cinnamon crust or a peanut butter chocolate chip. Ultimately I went back to basics: everything tastes better with peanut butter.

see?

see?

Now, with the arrival of Easter, I am thoroughly browsing blondies, pizzokies, brownies and cookie recipes, to decide what to bake with my purchase of Easter theme M&M’s. (I clearly purchased regular and the PB filled). I am insanely jealous of baking bloggers who have turned their career into their hobby (I’m talking to you Sally’s Baking Addiction), altering recipes and experimenting with foods–the way I examine words and sounds. Like this peek-a-boo cake I made last fall:

MMmm

MMmm

Anything I bake is homemade. Screw mixes and pre-made doughs! That baby was quite the beast, a pound cake with a pumpkin bread inside and a sweet frosting. Does anyone else frequently dream of chocolate chips or is this just a problem of a wanna-be-baker? Sigh.

Can't get you out of my head.

Can’t get you out of my head.

 

Confessions Of: An April Fools Day Hater.

Confessions of: An April Fools Day Hater.
198220_1010315864206_9456_n           “What if April Fools Day doesn’t exist and its been the longest prank in
history?”
—?

This Life According to Lu, should be April Fools Day-less

There’s an art to mastering the practical joke and to be victorious timing is of the essence.(Right, Kristi?) Which is why I detest April Fools Day. Rather than an opportunity to perform an original act of comedy, it is instead a day designated for the ingenious folk whose failed attempt at humor relies on a specified date to achieve said plight. The true commanders of their craft are capable of executing tricks in unforeseen timing and ostensible spontaneity. And so, to the conventional souls who rely on tasteless wit & an ever-so-boring labelled day: you have floundered at being amusing and have only triumphed in utter annoyance.

Historically, in the life of Lu, this day has become a staple of inconsistency and connotes capricious life-changing events.Although, I still commend my older sister and her ability to anger my dad to such an extent he stopped watching the madness that is March basketball (an ironic detail considering it was April). Her well-contrived prank began with a tiny halter shirt, a belly-button ring stud and a casual strut past the television. “TAKE THAT OUT RIGHT NOW,” he screamed in such a terrifying manner the joke lost much of its humor, and we were all deluged with a paralyzing fear, thus the two little words “April fools!” lost quite their well-intentioned, naive, core fun.

To this day I remember it, the exact moment (see what I mean about the crucial detail that is timing) we we’re Eastering in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, playing trivial games on my grandma’s carpet, waiting for our parents to return with chocolate milk, a dozen donuts (for me) and bagels (for Chels and Tis). Ah, nostalgia, for a simpler time pre-coffee addiction when calories didn’t exist and I could casually eat 6 donuts before noon without gaining an ounce and yet still manage to be starving for lunchtime. When my biggest concern having to put on sunscreen before swimming and whether I preferred a sugar or chocolate chip cookie.

Playtime interrupted for breakfast, hooray! Only not so fast…

We’re moving to China! 

Ha, you got us, guys, good one, April Fools. 

Except it wasn’t. A revolutionary twist on the cliched holiday. An admirable, original approach to the dull day.

Because we did move to China. Every other attempt at a practical joke on 4/1 will forever seem obsolete. My parents laughed and laughed at our inability to accept said truth as fact, until the second, when the craziest practical joke didn’t fade into the sunset with the inception of April, but instead lingered in the April air, like a rain cloud that can’t decide where to pour

Seven years ago today, my neighbor in Germany sat outside on our stoop, our homes connected into one gigantic mansion, he smoked a cigarette, casually, in jeans and a blue sweater when he proceeded to walk downstairs and rest momentarily in our shared garden. His wife, watching him, lovingly from the kitchen window. I was upstairs in my pj’s, playing on my computer, my mom was reading in her bedroom, while Kristi sat with her back to the garden, in our living room. And that’s when he blew his brains out. He looked like a fallen garden gnome in the grass, I will never forget it. Especially the sound of the gun, my mom thought a madman was outside trying to murder us, the shrieking of his wife’s cry, a moment I will never be able to stomach.

No one believed us. April Fools. As if suicide was some sick, funny subject to joke about.

And so much in the way Chandler (always a Friends  reference) hates Thanksgiving, I hate this day and it’s sick, twist on humor. It’s unfunny attempt to be funny.And while China was ultimately, the best experience ever, I still resent this day and those who resort to it to play jokes. I FIND IT CRUCIAL TO BE FUNNY YEAR ROUND, okay?