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"think like a wise man, but communicate in the language of the people."
~william butler yeats
let’s face it.
i’ve always been cool.

i mean, look at me. three years old and already rocking lacoste?
even if the only reason i liked it was because of the neat alligator, the fact that i was trendy enough to wear the double bracelet at such an early age speaks highly of my coolness.

regardless of being an awesome toddler, once i stepped off of the plane into california twenty three years later--i realized that my level of hipness was not exactly up to par with 90210 standards.

people always say that living out here will change you. i don’t think that i’ve changed in any way in the past nine months except for the fact that i’m a little more comfortable with the way that i dress. it took twenty five years, a best friend who always reminded me that “there’s no right way to wear something”, and seeing the locals in even more ridiculous outfits than i could have ever dreamed up--to realize that it’s okay to wear something a little off-the-wall. you’re not going to see me in lady gaga’s meat dress anytime soon, but i am loving some off-the-shoulder shirts, scarves, and sunglasses lately.

oh wait.
that's not me.

not me either.

every region in america has their own style of language. you won’t hear many people north of the mason dixon line using the word “y’all” and you definitely won’t hear someone in south carolina drop the word “wicked” in an everyday conversation.
i always knew that california was known for its laid back, surfer-like way of life, but it wasn’t until moving to hollywood that i discovered that the language here is just as important as the lifestyle. on the plus side, there are two popular west coast words that i somehow picked up much earlier in life. at some point in my teenage years--most likely while watching MTV--i heard the words “rad” and “stoked.” for whatever reason, they stuck with me and became a part of my everyday language. although “rad” and “y’all” don’t really belong in a sentence together, i was glad to already have some california-isms prepared when i arrived in los angeles.

proud of my fancy (yet limited) west coast vernacular, i immediately jumped into conversations with every local i could find. it was then that i realized, i had no idea what the hell anybody was saying.
nine months later, 
and this is what i have learned:


urban dictionary has a few ways of defining this slang word, but i have to admit--number two is without a doubt the funniest:

2. a f--king lame way to say totally.

although shortening the word totally to “totes” may seem a little ridiculous, it’s as common of a word out here as “m’am” is in the south. the best part of using this word is that it already sounds so absurdly hip--it’s necessary for the rest of the sentence to follow the pattern.

regular sentence: it’s your birthday saturday? we should totally get together for dinner!
california sentence: birthday saturday? omg. we should totes round up a group for sushi.


i have to admit, this is definitely up there with my favorites. cray-cray is the kind of word that you only use with your friends under special circumstances, and that you wouldn’t dare use in a conversation with your grandmother.

regular sentence: i had to move out of my apartment, my neighbors were crazy.
california sentence: the people living in my hood were legitimately cray-cray.


i first came about this word--well, when i was four and decided that i wanted something else in my cheerios besides milk. however, the west coast version of this word was introduced to me by my neighbor keltie.

although she was originally from canada and then lived in new york, she spoke like a true californian. i’ll never forget the very first time i walked into her apartment (which i subleased for three months) and asked her why she was going out of town. i later found out that she wasn’t traveling at all--but was a contestant on the bachelor. however, in that moment, these were the words that she spoke to me, “well, i’ll be traveling around europe for a while. it should only be about three months--this trip is kind of bananas.”

i quickly wiped the blank stare off of my face as i tried to decipher how fruit had anything to do with this conversation. and then i changed the subject. after putting a deposit down on an empty apartment in the building--a few months later, my other neighbor stella stuck her head into my empty living room.

“wow. you really need some furniture. this place is bananas.”

i was finally beginning to catch on.

and i immediately spread the word.

regular sentence: i’m so overwhelmed with work and everything that’s going on in my life right now.
california sentence: that beyonce tour that i just got finished working with was bananas.


this word may be a little newer to the human language, but the concept certainly isn’t. i have vivid memories of going to miss muffet’s frozen yogurt in north raleigh with my family at a very early age. this soft, much creamier version of ice cream has been around forever, but it’s just now starting to become a craze. although frozen yogurt places are popping up all over the country, the term “fro-yo” seems to be a recent trend. although it’s simply a shortened version of its original self, it’s a common california word and was best described by my friend loryn the other day.

our friend john from new york: “fro-yo? what the hell is fro-yo?”
loryn: “it’s frozen yogurt.”
john: “well why don’t you just SAY frozen yogurt?”
loryn: “because we don’t have time for all those other syllables!”

regular sentence: we should get some frozen yogurt after dinner.
california sentence: did you see that fro-yo place that just popped up down the street from that other fro-yo place?
enough said.


this is a word i’ve never felt cool enough to use. maybe because for as long as i can remember, i’ve felt that it was a west coast word that just wouldn’t be appropriate coming out of my mouth. i mean, if i heard someone in los angeles use the phrase “fit as a fiddle” or “lord a’mercy!” i’d tell them to stick to their own jargon.

regular sentence: those fries were so good.
california sentence: that in-n-out burger today was hella good.


once again, i’m going to refer to urban dictionary for this one because they explain it so damn accurately.

lamesauce: a description of how hard something incredibly sucks.

as usual, this is just a funny california way of making an already cool word even cooler. for me, i think i’ll stick to the original--but don’t be surprised if you hear me come up with a different variation of it. 
i like to be differentsauce.

regular sentence: that dress was so lame.
california sentence: her romper was totes lamesauce.

seeing as how i’m not even a full year into living here, i’m sure i have many more ridiculous words to learn and share with you. i feel like everyday i add something new to my vocabulary, whether it’s just learning the local words for describing locations:

hollywood: h-wood
west hollywood: weho
referring to studio city when you live in hollywood: over the hill or just on the other side of the mountain
santa monica or culver city: the west side

...or shortening everyday words to make my life a little easier. now that i realize that this west coast laid-back lifestyle basically just means that you’re allowed to be lazy and use less letters in your words, i guess i’ll do my best to fit in here.



thanks to the best friend over at simple thoughts from a simple girl, i have a fun new friday blog game to play!

1. soup!

i'm not really digging this whole "june gloom" thing that apparently happens every summer in los angeles--but at least the cooler weather means i get to have more of my favorite soup. that being said, this was lunch today.
yay friday soup!

2. this face 

exactly one week from today, i'll be on my way over to the other coast to see this face--who has thankfully agreed to be my eating/drinking partner for the weekend in boston where we'll watch my oldest friend get married.

3. good morning

although i enjoy the snappy tune my alarm clock wakes me up to every day, today is friday, which means tomorrow is saturday, which means F you alarm clock for the next two days!

4. friday night lights

although there are events in hollywood which require red carpets and cameras pretty much every night--fridays tend to have twice as much hoopla. i have a strange obsession with spotlights (don't hate) and i have to admit, even if i'm just home watching them from my window on a friday night--it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

5. i just want to hug all of the cats in the world...

it's true. i love cats.
i love cats so much that i decided to volunteer for the shelter where i rescued my furry little friend olive. last weekend was the orientation--but THIS weekend is the first time i actually get to go in and volunteer! so this friday marks the beginning of that journey. 

sorry, i had to.....


"the ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned."
~maya angelou

for those of you who read my VERY first blog post--a detailed account of my last 
minute, completely spontanous, barely twenty four hour trip to los angeles when i was 19--you've probably realized the following about me:

i can be a little extreme.

i'm usually a pretty sensible person; the kind who thinks things through; who weighs the pros and cons; who never sees things in just black in white--but always recognizes that there's a gray area in between every decision, every opinion. but there have been some moments in my life--life-altering, life-changing--moments where i know that there is no need to THINK. there is only DO. i was unexpectedly handed one of these moments two sundays ago when i woke up and decided to buy myself a plane ticket home. 
okay, it wasn't that simple. the short version of the story is that i had been
dealing with a lot of homesickness that past week that i hadn't really let anyone, including myself, in on. while i'm normally the last person to hold back any of my feelings, i guess i felt that if i didn't acknowledge these things buzzing around inside of me, then they wouldn't really be true.


although part of me always has a longing for the familiarity of the east coast, a 
major factor that brought these feelings crashing down on me last week was some very specific things going on in my best friend's life. as you'll read from her recent blog postentitled "let's get serious", sara is perfectly fine--however, she has had some health-related things going on in her life that have made me feel further away from her than ever.

the day she had her MRI, she said this to me,

"after hearing things like 'what you have is very rare' and 'we'll have to wait on
the results of your MRI to see what to do next,' i got in my car and just sat there.
i was in such a dark place and i felt so completely alone. right at that moment,
'take me with you' came on. it was like a sign that you were there with me."

"take me with you" is a song by one of our favorite bands: secondhand serenade, and it always seems to come on right when one of us needs the other one, but we're not in the  same place. there's a lot of meaning behind it, but to us it's kind of the anthem--if you will--of our friendship, which has always been a promise to each other to be there through everything. it's a song about telling someone else every little thing about you, putting your heart in their hands, and trusting them that they will always be in your life. when i heard sara tell me how alone she felt in that very moment, something inside of me broke. 

have you ever just needed to get to somebody?

i knew that i had to get to her, and there was nothing that was going to stop me. as soon as i let myself feel those far away sad feelings, i couldn't help but be overcome with homesickness for not just her--but my family as well. it wasn't that i wanted to be home, i HAD to be home. i HAD to walk through my parents' front door and feel their arms around me. i HAD to lay on that purple couch and shoo mango away from my dinner. i HAD to drive to south carolina and let sara know that she wasn't alone.

i did. 

in an emotional tornado of uncontrollable can't-get-out-of-bed sobs, i 
opened up my computer and bought the very first ticket i could find. luckily the very first ticket i found happened to be at an UNREAL price--which i knew was a sign. i also happened to select wednesday as my departing date, which just HAPPENED to be the 25th. and if you don't know what that number means to me, go back and read that very first blog post.

so i packed my things... 
well, MOST of my things.

and headed back to the right side. i had one full day with my parents before heading one state down so you should know what pictures are coming next.

...i was so excited to eat the roast chicken and caesar salad i forgot to take a 

and then friday came.

things i love about the south:

yep...that's banana pudding.

the surprise for sara was everything i could have expected and more. after conspiring    
with her aunt, cousin, and mom about setting up a lunch date with her, i patiently waited at the 
table of the italian restaurant to see the top of that little blonde head bobbing  
by the window. 
and by  
patiently waited--i mean, felt as if my heart was about to burst out of my chest. 
as sara walked through the front door, around the corner, and then two steps into  the restaurant--she came to a dead stop in her tracks as our eyes met. the initial
shock swept over her face with a "oh hey fanny, what are you doing here?" kind of 
expression, and then it hit her. and the tears came. for both of us. 
i couldn't have asked for a better moment. i 
regretfully explained to her that we had just over a full twenty four hours together, 
but that i was here to make every second count. so we did just that. we  
woke up at 4:30 AM the next morning to drive behind her parents to boone--a place 
that's very dear in the hearts of the mclamb family--where we then spent an
amazing day eating, shopping, and basking in the the simple joy of being just inches  

we parted ways with tears in our eyes, hearts that felt slightly less
broken, and matching candy necklaces.

i also happened to leave with an extremely special gift. two years ago when i still lived in raleigh, i had driven to south carolina for the weekend to attend the annual blue crab festival in little river with sara. i had been searching for the  perfect pinky ring that year, and luckily found it at a little jewelry stand near the fried shrimp baskets. 

not only was the ring sized exactly to my finger, but it felt extremely important to me  because it came from a very special day that i shared with my best friend. 
about three weeks ago, i woke up to find one of my rings on the floor, and the 
other (my pinky ring) nowhere to be found. although olive had never jumped onto
my TV stand and played hockey with my rings in the past, i guess she was trying 

out something new. after tearing up my entire apartment (twice) i still couldn't 
find my beloved ring anywhere. the blue crab festival happened to be taking place 
that very weekend in little river and sara casually mentioned looking for the same 
jewelry stand while she was there. i knew that my ring was somewhere in the apartment, but part of me had 
given up hope and with every day that passed, i felt as though a little piece of me was missing.

as sara and i prepared to say our goodbyes in boone, she pulled out a card 
and a small plastic bag.

the day i returned back to california, i had decided not just to unpack--but to
clear all of the clutter from my closet and storage spaces while i was already in
"cleaning mode." as i opened my dresser drawer to place sara's card inside, i moved the contents over with my left hand and lowered the card in. just as the card hit the bottom of the drawer, my pinky ring (the original one i had lost) fell out of the pile of clothes and bounced onto sara's card.

now THAT is fate.

now i have two pinky rings that both hold a special place in my heart.

saturday night, i returned home to have one last amazing meal with my parents.


and then i headed back for the west coast. 
while most people might think that buying a completely unexpected, unplanned, last-minute plane ticket is completely irrational--i know that it was everything i needed. through the love i got from my parents, my best friend, and her family--part of me was restored. it was a short journey, but it was worth every penny and every second.

what did i learn?

sometimes, a phone call just isn't enough.

oh...and the st. louis airport has a bar in it. 
how rad is that?!