Did that really happen? Just did a podcast for Matt Lewis on ‘Girls,’ ‘The Carrie Diaries,’ and my BOOK!

"The Wingmen" by ME!

“The Wingmen” by ME!

I already know what you’re thinking: Laura, stop teasing your book already and just RELEASE IT. I may not be a businesswoman, but I do understand the benefits of hyping a project. The other issue is technical: I’m having some problems with online file reviewing but should have the book out there by Thursday at the latest. If I have to make another phone call to Amazon today, I so will, and luckily the folks over there are beyond kind and helpful. Everyone seems to be awesome these days, or perhaps I’m just in a really good mood. And why wouldn’t I be? My story will be available to the whole world soon. Come hell or high water, I’m stoked.

Anyway, get excited for “The Wingmen”! Until it comes out officially, you can listen to my podcast about it on my good friend/former colleague/top mentor Matt Lewis’s show. We covered everything from savant Lena Dunham’s “Girls” to “The Carrie Diaries,” which I’m sure Matt has never had a reason to talk about on his program. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to chat with him about these new series and my book. What is my life?! I don’t know, but I really love it.

Thank you, Matt for giving me the chance to share my story with your followers, and thanks to all my friends and supporters for sending love and light to me all the time. I love you all. I really, really do. Now that I’ve professed my undying affection for y’all, please return the favor by tuning into the podcast. You won’t regret it :)

At what age are you supposed to start looking at people’s hands for wedding rings?

Blake Lively’s wedding ring! Now THAT’S a ring I’m happy to discuss.

A couple of days ago, one of my best friends approached me with a dilemma. She’s pretty serious with her boyfriend, who is from Canada, and they finally had the talk about what to do after graduation. It’s a chat no college sweethearts ever want to have — whether they’re undergrads or pursuing a higher degree of some sort — but a necessary one at that. If they’re still serious in a couple years, she may move to his hometown with him, although neither of us really know what that means. At any rate, it’s kind of a scary thought for me — not just the notion of my best friend living in another country, but the fact that I’m so far behind her in comparison.

Several weeks ago, I was fascinated by a seemingly exotic guy I met at a bar. The desire has since fizzled (gorgeous, intellectual, well-groomed European stops calling, shocker of the century), but I thought I was hooked at the beginning of the month. The first time I mentioned him to the aforementioned BFF, she said, “Was he wearing a wedding band?”

I laughed and responded, “Why in God’s name would I look for that?”

Then it dawned on me: maybe I’m the weird one for not even thinking to search for rings when interacting with people. I mean, I’m 24 and this is NYC. No one ties the knot that young here, and call me naive, but it’s not my first instinct to assume guys are cheating on their wives. That said, I’ve known enough vulnerable young women who have made out with attached men and hated themselves afterward to understand that it’s more common than one would hope, especially here in New York.

Really, though, when does the ring-searching habit kick in? Am I a late bloomer or merely someone who doesn’t hang around people who are ready to think seriously about marriage?

Sorry to get all Carrie Bradshaw on you, but I’m genuinely curious as to when all of this begins. Clearly, I haven’t reached that point yet, so enlighten me, sages.

Why I finally understand the ‘Sex and the City’ opening credits

When “Sex and the City” premiered in 1998, I was ten years old and under a lot of television and film restrictions. I couldn’t fall asleep one Sunday night, so I climbed down the stairs to talk to my parents, who were parked in front of our family room TV. Before I could explain that I had a lot on my mind (hey, it ain’t easy being a fifth grader), my mom ordered me to leave the area immediately and return to bed.

“This show isn’t for little girls,” she said, muting the TV set.

After rubbing my eyes, I looked up at the screen and saw a brunette lady grabbing a wooden bedpost. They were of course watching “Sex and the City” in its beginning days, and Charlotte York was the aroused onscreen character. I didn’t understand what was going on or why I was in trouble, but my parents once again shooed me back to my room, where I slept restlessly.

Exactly ten years later, when I was a journalism intern in D.C., my mom and I went to the “Sex and the City” movie in Chevy Chase, Maryland and laughed about the fact that she’d scolded me for walking in on her watching the program just a decade earlier. We still talk about the series all the time, but I didn’t fully understand the significance of the opening credits until I moved to Manhattan.

The opening credits feature a bright-eyed, frizzy-haired, totally-nineties Carrie Bradshaw roaming the streets of Manhattan in what appears to be a light pink ballerina dress. The sun is out, taxis abound, the Chrysler building sparkles, the Twin Towers are still standing (<3), and Carrie is just peachy. She revels in the awesomeness of her NYC journalist life until a bus drives into a puddle and sprays the dirty water onto her pretty outfit.

Rattled, she glances back and notices an ad for her sex column on the vehicle. At the end of the day, she’s a big deal and living in a chic place, but New York can still make you feel like a bad luck magnet. The water puddle incident is all too common here, and while it has only happened to me once or twice, I’ve experienced plenty of other embarrassing public mishaps.

As most of you know, New York is overcrowded. The sidewalks are tiny, apartments are small (and are about to shrink even more thanks to Bloomberg), and the subway trains are always full. The other day, I tried to maneuver past a pair of winsome teenage girls in the east village and accidentally bumped into a bicycle, which immediately fell to the ground with a crash. All because two people refused to make room for oncoming traffic. The sidewalks have become congested roads, and there’s simply no room for everyone to co-exist. If you’re not getting splattered with sewer water, you’re knocking things over. Oh, New York. I still love you with all my heart and never want to leave. The beauty of Manhattan is that there are so many awesome parts of the city in addition to the grime. Dean & Deluca, though unjustifiably expensive, will always have a special place in my heart. I mean, where else can I find these?

Or this?

I’ll take bike-pedestrian collisions and brown water over driving a car any day.

Carrie Bradshaw vs. me

Lena Dunham’s “Girls” premieres tomorrow, and while I’m intrigued by the concept, the whole “‘Sex and the City’ is unrealistic” statement is kind of tired at this point. The idea, however, is fairly accurate. I’m no Carrie Bradshaw, as I lack the fashion sense and glamour to to lead that kind of life, but my own existence isn’t so bad compared to that of the fictional character. We’re both columnists in Manhattan who enjoy writing about ourselves. She’s made of money though, so the photos below show how we’re similar and different:

Carrie Bradshaw’s Mac and desk:

My laptop and lapdesk:

Yes, that's Chuck Bass you see on my iPad.

Carrie Bradshaw’s walk-in closet:

My closet:

Love that my jackets fill it up!

The view outside Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment:

The view from my room (a playground! Better than the junkyard at my last place)

Carrie Bradshaw’s room:

My room:

The day I moved in, tiny!

So there you have it. Another girl debunks the lavish “Sex and the City” theory. It’s all good, though, as I have something to work towards.

Sorry for being a deadbeat blogger

One of the most important unspoken rules in the blogosphere is to push out daily posts. As noted by Cracked.com, writing for the Internet will break your heart because no one reads your work. Consistency helps, but until you develop a strong following, it’s crucial to produce constantly and keep your audience entertained.

At the moment, I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life: I’m about to move to my dream city to take an incredible job and attempt to pick up on the style of chic New Yorkers in the process, but because I’ve been showered with praise and good wishes the past few weeks, I’ve neglected this blog, which doesn’t have the luxury of stagnation.

So, I apologize for the lack of blog posts. I’ve been busy shipping my belongings away to California and New York, terminating my D.C. area lease, and dealing with all the yucky paperwork that comes with unexpected change. On top of everything, my poor roommate Monique is going to have to move back home for a while, so I’m not stoked about being the catalyst for that. As I’ve said before: This is the most insane thing I’ve ever done in my life, and I’m actually kind of excited to couch hop for the next couple of weeks until Hillary and Emily are ready to relocate from Brooklyn to Manhattan (I’m making the move with them and staying at their Brooklyn residence until we find a new home).

The uncertainty is frightening but thrilling. My half-sister Megan’s NYC relatives called me up yesterday and begged me not to worry, so I’ll work on cutting down on the panic sessions. Don’t laugh, but I’m going to be really lame and compare myself to Carrie Bradshaw circa 1980. Whilst in Italy this July, I sat down and read, “The Carrie Diaries”, Candace Bushnell’s prequel to “Sex and the City”. I had the opportunity to interview Ms. Bushnell earlier this summer and she recommended I check out her new book, so I decided to check it out during my week-long Europe vacation. Throughout the book, 17-year-old Carrie from Connecticut longs to live in New York City but doesn’t have the support of her father to do so. At the end of the novel, she scraps her plans to attend Brown University and purchases an Amtrak ticket to NYC. With two giant suitcases, she boards the train to Penn Station, where she gets mugged. This sort of thing is not unusual in New York City, but her fictional character goes on to do great things as a result of her spontaneous move.

Last night, I went with my buddy Lisa to see “50/50″, which I criticized several weeks ago for making cancer seem like a funny misfortune. As some pointed out, I shouldn’t have been so harsh with the film before viewing it.

Based on a true story, the movie follows Adam, a 27-year-old radio employee who likes to play it safe. Adam’s flakey painter girlfriend walks all over him and takes advantage of his good nature, and his co-worker Kyle means well but seems incapable of caring about anything meaningful. Adam, who was too afraid of cars to get a driver’s license, discovers his aching back pain is caused by a spinal tumor. He has a 50/50 percent chance of survival but tries not to focus on the negative. Of course, everyone around him — his mother, friend Kyle, girlfriend, and novice therapist — want him to “freak out” and express emotion. It takes a while for him to lose control, but he doesn’t get worked up over his illness. He’s upset he led a low-risk life.

“50/50″ is pretty short, but who wants to watch a twenty-something deteriorate on-screen for more than an hour and a half? The story, which was inspired by screenwriter Will Reiser’s life and recovery, has a happy ending but doesn’t speak true for everyone with cancer.

Almost every time I go to U Street, I have an unwanted encounter with creepy strangers. Three months ago, I attempted to maneuver around a pack of high school males on the sidewalk only to be swarmed by the teenage boys. One of the guys pretended to punch and slap me. The others laughed and took turns feigning physical assault. I tried to scramble out of their circle, and thankfully one of the guys pulled me away from his buddies and said, “you’re okay, you’re okay.” He went on to scream at them for making light of violence against women, but I was shaken up from the bizarre, almost altercation.

I’d long since forgotten about the weird event until last night, when my friend Lisa and I wound up on a sketchy street in Columbia Heights. On our stroll to the bar to meet our buddy Joey, we caught the attention of six tall guys who decided to mess with us.

“Hey girls, do you have boyfriends?” One of them shouted from behind.

We quickened our pace and ignored the boys, but before we knew it they got in our faces.

“We asked you a question. Do you have boyfriends?” they asked.

I made the mistake of opening my mouth.

“No, we’re lesbians,” I said, taking Lisa’s hand.

“Even better!”

They wouldn’t go away, so we ran into the road to hail a cab. Moments later, something whacked me in the back. I turned around and saw one of the men had a pile of rocks in his hand. He took a final throw but missed me. The malicious, violent look in his eye was the scariest part of the incident. It’s almost as if he took pleasure in hurting women and used our rejection as an excuse to lash out against the female gender. Thankfully, they fled the scene, but I was left with haunting memories of an eighth grade trip to Great America theme park, where something similar happened to me. I’ve heard the catcalling is even worse in New York, so I may have to invest in some pepper spray for late night walks home.

In the mean time, I’ll watch out for men in groups. They act out to impress their friends and conform to groupthink. I don’t want to be subjected to violence, abuse, or harassment simply because they want to look cool in front of each other.