Monday, November 29, 2010

bet your bottom dollar

Matt and I were going to watch a movie the other night, but we decided to run out and get some snacks first.  A new store just opened nearby called Bottom Dollar Food, and I have been dying to check it out because I am all about scoping out new retail establishments.  In my opinion, the person who named the store Bottom Dollar Food really took a gamble, because "bottom dollar" is not a term I would like to associate with my food.  Call me crazy.  So off we went to see if Bottom Dollar Food was top dollar quality. 

We spent quite a bit of time in BDF, and while I debated between purchasing Sour Patch Kids or Mike 'n Ikes, Matt turned into Mr. FDA and set out to inspect the produce and spot check expiration dates.  Just a friendly warning...don't buy the onions!  On the way back to my house we stopped at a red light behind this bus. 
Apparently Philadelphia has the second worst bed bug problem in the nation, but at least we have the BEST exterminators.  Silver lining.

And let's be honest.  The person who named Bottom Dollar Food should probably take a lesson in naming companies from the person who came up with BEST Exterminating.  I'm going to try to arrange that.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

maybe they're BFFs?

I'm thinking that the Barnes and Noble employee who put this display together is either politically neutral or hoping for a presidential literary showdown right there in the current affairs section.

Friday, November 26, 2010

i blame it all on ikea

It has always been a tradition in our family to watch Philadelphia's big Thanksgiving Day Parade every Thanksgiving morning.  Despite the fact that attending the parade in person would just require a quick train ride into the city, we watch it on tv.  While there are plenty of parade attending people in this world, we do not fall into that category. 

 For as long as I can remember, the parade was called the Boscov's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  But a few years ago the Grinch who stole Christmas Thanksgiving came a few months early and in the form of chapter 11 bankruptcy, and now we have the Ikea Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I'm sorry to report that the parade took a major nosedive to the south this year, and I can't help but blame it on Ikea. 

When Boscov's was the major corporate sponsor, there were marching bands and Christmas songs and jolly elves aplenty.  And now that Ikea is the sponsor, it seems that all they can come up with are lots of big blue and yellow flags and pop singers that no one has ever heard of singing songs that, coincidentally, no one has ever heard of.  To be fair, my dad said that the blue and yellow flags were actually the city flags, and I'm sure he is right, but don't you think I'm oblivious to the fact that Ikea's signature colors are indeed blue and yellow.  I smell a conspiracy in the form of Swedish self-assembly furniture.

So anyway, we were watching Siobhan Magnus (see what I mean?  WHO IS SHE??) belt out a song that was certainly not a Christmas song, and what looked like snow started falling all around her.  I figured it was fake snow, since who knows what dirty tricks Ikea has up their sleevs and the meteorologists had not mentioned anything about snow in their forecast for a perfectly lovely Thanksgiving morning of clouds and freezing rain.  However, a few minutes later snow started falling in our neighborhood too. 
  I went outside to take a few pictures, and apparently the snowy weather caused all kinds of crazy to come into the Oh Laura Darling family, because I came back in just in time to see Phil displaying the traditional Thanksgiving gang signs (or something?), and Emily throwing her hands in the air like she just does not care. 
Luckily we found our composure and were able to enjoy my mom's best Thanksgiving dinner ever and a visit with family.

In case you were wondering, and I'm sure you were, the snow stopped and Phil's gang signs did not make another appearance. and Emily only threw her arms in the air like she just didn't care that one time.  Talk about something to be thankful for.

However, if it snows on Christmas, heaven only knows what might happen.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

before and after

You, my friend...
 were delicious.


I have a lot to be thankful for.  Of course I am thankful for The Big Four---family, friends, faith, and Penn State football.  But I'm thankful for lots of little things too, like my new lipgloss in the lovely shade of Zesty Red and peach sweet tea from Sonic and the way the world looked so pretty this morning as the snow fell. 

And in about four hours I will be feeling VERY thankful that my mom cooked nine pounds of potatoes for our Thanksgiving dinner. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

lesson learned

Matt came home from school last night for the Thanksgiving break.  In honor of his homecoming, I will share with you a treasured memory.

Matt loves any opportunity to look under the hood of a car.  Any car.  For any reason.  And then he likes to throw around fancy words like tie rods and carburetor and serpentine belt while I nod and pretend like I know what he’s talking about even though we both know quite well that I do not.  But it makes me smile that he is so serious about it, and that he loves to know how things work and how to fix them when they don’t, and wants me to know too.   

 So when I visited him a few weekends ago, he insisted on checking the oil in my car before I left even though the handy little sticker the mechanics put on my front windshield told me that I had a solid 1500 miles left before I would need to have it changed again.  I got in the car while Matt checked things out, making sure I was good to go for the drive home. 

After a few minutes he closed the hood and came around to my door to update me on his findings.  “Well,” he said, “you certainly have plenty of time before you need to have your oil changed again.  But I don’t think you have any windshield wiper fluid left.”  This was terrible news because I am a huge fan of windshield wiper fluid and use it on a very regular basis since I value a crystal clear viewing area as I navigate highways and byways.  He had hardly finished speaking when without even thinking, I turned those wipers on full speed and very enthusiastically pushed the windshield wiper fluid button (that's the technical term, by the way).  As it turns out, I did in fact have plenty left.  Just ask Matt, because he was standing right in the line of wiper fluid fire. 


Poor Matt was just an innocent victim as my windshield wipers flew back and forth at top speed showering him with an unwelcome and unexpected monsoon.  Let’s just say that the majority of the windshield wiper fluid that was left ended up on Matt’s sweatshirt and head and I bet right at that second he was wishing he had an umbrella or at the very least, some goggles.  It was one of those times where for about five seconds you thing “I can’t believe I just did that,” but both of us couldn’t help but laugh and laugh.  Matt’s a good sport and said, “Well, apparently you do have some left!!”

And thus concludes the story of why Matt will always stand far, far away when I decide to see how much wiper fluid I have left.

Monday, November 22, 2010

just a lot of words

I had a big project to finish this weekend for one of my paralegal classes, and I’ll be honest, by 9:00 last night I was ready to just skip the whole hypothetical trial, sentence the hypothetical defendant to life in prison, and call it a day.  But three things stopped me from doing that:

1-     The point of the assignment was not to decide the sentencing.
2-     Paralegals aren’t really allowed to determine the fate of accused murders, hypothetical or otherwise.
3-     INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.  I had the hypothetical murderer spending the rest of his life behind bars before he even had a chance to exercise his sixth amendment rights to a fair and speedy trial.  How unconstitutional of me.

Part of the reason I was wrapping up this assignment 9:00 the night before it was due is because Michelle and I spent the afternoon at the mall "Christmas shopping," which took precedence over a hypothetical murder case since there are only THIRTY FOUR SHOPPING DAYS LEFT UNTIL CHRISTMAS, and plus, we had a lot of talking to do.  I promise we went with great intentions of buying gifts for family and friends, but somehow ended up just buying a few things for ourselves and then going out to dinner.  Whoever said it is better to give than to receive obviously never encountered a $4.99 scarf sale. 

As we wandered the mall it was evident that no matter how much protesting Thanksgiving fans do to please just let their holiday have its day in the sun, the Christmas season is very much upon us.  Also, I did hear the song Christmas Shoes on the radio last week, and everyone knows it's just not Christmas until you hear a song about a very poor child who has a dying mother without a single pair of nice shoes.  If that doesn't put you right into the holly, jolly spirit, then I don't know what will.

Speaking of Michelle, I was filling out a job application today that required a few references, and you couldn't include family members or previous employers.  So that meant Michelle made the cut.  She assured me that if she is contacted, she will give me a glowing recommendation, and “tell them they should give me a job in accounts payable because in college I always paid the rent on time, and always a different amount to keep people on their toes!”  

There is nothing but truth behind that statement.  Michelle and I lived in an apartment with a few other girls junior year, and the rent was $375 a month per girl.  There was not one month where I paid $375.  Not one.  I overpaid every single month.  There was no real method to my overpaying madness except that I always just added in a late fee automatically for some reason that I cannot explain.  So sometimes I paid $380.  Other times I paid $400.  Occasionally I paid $395.  It was like I was planning in advance to pay my rent late.  What's even stranger is that the rental office was right on the first floor of our building and my rent was not late once.  Yet I kept on writing checks for all sorts of amounts between $375 and about $410 month after month.  You can just imagine the headache that ensued when we got the security deposit back a few months after we moved out and were just perplexed at all the strange numbers under my name.  My dad is an accountant, so he had the job of figuring out who got what, and also why in the world his daughter paid such odd amounts every month as opposed to the standard $375 like everyone else.  I think the most accurate answer is that "I like to keep people on their toes," just as Michelle said.  I'm sure the women in the billing office totally appreciated that.   

I think I'll stick to my paralegal plan.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I'm inclined to believe that the placement of this Weight Watchers was not completely coincidental.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


This past week someone has been bringing leftover Halloween candy into the office kitchen.  So, in other words, I’m in heaven.  There happens to be an abundance of little Starburst packages with two original fruit chews inside, and I made it my one woman mission to see just how many packs I had to eat before I got to the jackpot duo of one red Starburst and one pink one.  Turns out that it took a lot more than I thought it would, which explains why I was only able to eat half a sandwich at lunchtime on Tuesday.  I’ll be honest though, when I still hadn’t unwrapped a red and pink combo by Tuesday afternoon, I started to think Mars was running some sort of crazy fruit chew conspiracy.

Wednesday dawned with the promise of finding the elusive twosome (say that five times fast) though, and I shared my mission with my brother.  Not one to shy away from any food related challenge-he announced he was totally up for a race to find the prized pair.  We took the same number of Starburst packs, and decided to see who would get a pink/red combo first.  A while later he came up to my desk, and sure enough he was holding a package with a red Starburst and a pink one.  “It took me a while to get to this one though,” he admitted.  “I think this was the second or third pack.”  Obviously he had taken his time, eating one Starburst at a time and savoring each color (even yellow and orange, which are basically dead to me because I am not a fan of a citrus flavored chewy treat) equally. 

Well.  I wasn’t about to tell him that I was so enthusiastic in my quest that I inhaled all of my candy in five minutes flat and had already been finished for a good long time.  I would hate to ruin that dainty, ladylike reputation I have going on in the food department.  And so, after two days of searching and all that speedy eating, I never got a package with the two best colors.  There were plenty more in the kitchen this morning, but honestly I think I would get very sick and possibly even die if I eat one more Starburst. 

But all was not lost, because I remembered a text I got from my friend during the very last week of college that just made me laugh and laugh.  The six words “the very last week of college” are key in this situation because they are code for “we were down to the very last of our food.”

Me: I'm trying to eat the food I have in my apartment and not buy more, so today I had leftover spaghetti for lunch and tuna fish for dinner. Not stellar, but definitely not bad.
M: well my meals today were...
M: breakfast= starburst
M: lunch= starburst
M: dinner= more starburst + corn

Fruits and vegetables.  Nothing wrong with that.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

i don't hate them all...

Directions for living a life...

--- Mary Oliver

I just felt like I should show that I really don't dislike all poets.  Mary Oliver is one of the good ones.  :-) 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

more about poetry

As you can tell by my post last week, poetry is definitely not my forte.  In general, I am not much of a fan of the poetic world.  Of course, there are certain poets and poems that I do enjoy (holla, Shakespeare!  Way to go on those sonnets!), but overall there is just far too much gray area in poetry.  Incidentally, the whole gray area issue also happens to be one of the two reasons why I abhorred Psych100 freshman year of college.  (The second reason is a story for another time, but suffice it to say I was downright fooled!)  I sat in that Psych lecture hall three mornings a week for four months debating “is it nature?  Or perhaps it’s nurture?  Shall we discuss?”  And believe me, discuss we did, day after day, month after month, and I STILL don’t know if it's nature or nurture. 

To me, poems (and psychology debates) are like riddles, except you never find out the answer.  And to top it all off, I am not a fan of a writer who tries to confuse readers by writing about something like a tree stump and some moss when they’re really talking about death.  I’m always in for a rude awakening by the final few lines because in my mind I have created a cute little woodsy scene, complete with pinecones and chipmunks and perhaps a squirrel or two, because  I am an optimist and also UNAWARE THAT A TREE STUMP IS A PARALLEL FOR DEATH.

I’m sorry.  It’s just that I have been burned by a symbolism loving poet one too many times.

Senior year of college I signed up for my mandatory senior seminar.  There were plenty of classes for English majors to choose from, but for some reason, and perhaps it's because the title just SCREAMED riveting, I signed up for a class entitled “Modernism in Post War Great Britain.  The seminar was taught by the head of our English department, a very smart man who was educated at Yale, Columbia, and Cambridge.  He knew his stuff, so to speak.  To top it off, I was like the little sister of the class because 8 of the other 11 students were either 5th (or 6th…) year seniors.  English is apparently a very rigorous major which sometimes takes ten or even twelve semesters to complete!  I sat in my desk the first few weeks and the literary geniuses around me discussed intertextuality while I tried desperately to come up with something slightly more profound than
“I like all the adjectives.”

And I will never, ever, as long as I live, forget the comment on the first assignment I turned in to that genius of a professor.  I had written a thoughtful, detailed analysis of an essay entitled Three Guineas by Virginia Woolf, and the effect the essay had on American women's right to vote.  I just knew it was BRILLIANT.  A home run.  My professor had scrawled in red ink on the last page…”Laura, this is very well written, but Virginia Woolf published this essay in 1938.  And she lived in England.”  Okay, so I was a little off on the countries, and women in America had already been voting for 18 years.  But my sentence structure and use of transition words?  GOLDEN.

I spent the first few weeks thinking "There is no way I can finish this class.  I can't read all of the books that have been assigned.  The professor is too difficult.  I don't know enough about history.  I can't do it."  And when we were given the directions for the assignment that would be 60% of our grade--an incredibly long in class analysis of a POEM that seemed to be nothing more than a bunch of unrelated words--I was convinced I was a goner.  I spent weeks poring over the poem and making page after page of notes.  I didn't sleep for days before the test.  I went to class that day shaking.  And a few weeks later when the professor handed back our grades, I almost cried when I saw the A-. 

As the weeks went on, I began to feel more and more comfortable in the class.  I felt like I belonged there and I was able to hold my own in conversations about elements of postmoderism.  That’s not to say I wasn’t relieved when the semester was over.  Because I was, and I even got myself some celebratory nachos on the way back to my apartment after the last class, since nothing says "way to go, self" like some chips and queso.  Despite my A-, that class certainly did not transform me into a poet or a poetry lover.  But I learned more in those fifteen weeks than I can begin to articulate.  I worked harder than I had in any other college course, but I also got more out of that class than any other.  I was so proud of myself for the work I did that semester, and I learned valuable lessons about literature and about myself that I will never forget. 

And don't worry, you can bet that one of those valuable lessons was that it' a good idea to make sure you have your countries and dates all straightened out before you hand a paper in to the man who holds your college graduation fate in his hands.

Monday, November 15, 2010

just a girl and her sweatpants

Last night I packed away my summer clothes and brought out my winter ones.  I had been holding out hope that if I left my summer clothes in my closet, winter wouldn't come this year and I could sport sundresses and flip flops straight through March!  Unfortunately, it appears that old Mother Nature has a mind of her own and no consideration for my pipe dreams, and cold weather and snow will indeed be making their annual appearance. 

On the bright side, I am confident that I have a navy and white t-shirt collection that would make any Penn Stater proud!  See?
After I put those bad boys away and folded multiple pairs of jeans, all of varying style and wash of course because a girl needs her options in the denim department, it was time to tackle the sweatpants.  I just could not bring myself to count how many pairs of black sweatpants I actually own because I know gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins, and my relationship with those comfy pants may very well fall into the category labeled “Gluttonous.”  So let's just say that the entire bottom drawer of my dresser is filled with black sweats and leave it at that.  Alright, it may or may not be the largest drawer.

As I was folding pair after endless pair of sweats, I realized that in terms of my sweatpants, the winds of change are blowing.  I went to a Catholic high school, so I wore a school uniform, and a scoliosis back brace (I should clarify that the brace wasn’t part of the uniform, but more like an added “bonus” for me and my very crooked spine!), so sweatpants had no place whatsoever in my wardrobe.  However, once I started college and was introduced to the wonder that is wearing sweatpants every single day, I fell in love.  And I fell hard.  Never had I met such a versatile yet comfortable item of clothing.  My love for sweatpants remained strong through crisp fall days and some very snowy, frigid winters.  And the day I discovered they could transition to an early spring wardrobe staple simply by being paired with a short sleeve top and flips flops?  Well, that was nothing short of a cotton poly blend miracle! 

I distinctly remember one morning freshman year, my roommate Heather and I were leaving for breakfast at 7:00 AM like we did every day.  We both had 8 AM classes, but don’t you dare think for one minute that that fact deterred our half sleeping selves from trekking to the commons every SINGLE morning.  There were always three very important things to see in the dining hall, which were, in no particular order: the football team, our favorite cute food service employee who we called Hash Brown Boy (or HBB as we eventually referred him when we brought him up with embarrassing regularity in casual conversation throughout the year), and an endless supply of breakfast potato options.  Anyway, I was wearing jeans that particular morning (it must have been laundry day) and I proudly announced to Heather, “This is my first time wearing jeans to class all semester!  I have worn sweatpants every. single. day!!”  She responded, “I haven’t worn sweatpants once.”  Well then. If I hadn’t been feeling snuggly and downright cozy in my soft, stretchy pants, I may have felt just a teeny bit lazy and/or sloppy.  But, I was in love.  And love is blind, and in this particular case, extremely comfortable.   Also, you can rest assured that by sophomore year, Heather had discovered a hidden love for sweatpants too.

My point (finally) is that for the last four years I have implemented a system in which I classify my sweatpants into three divisions.  Division One is for pants that are only suitable to be worn as pajamas and must never, ever see the light of day. Division Two is reserved for pants that are only in so-so condition but are certainly still appropriate for trips to my usual haunts, aka Wal Mart and Target.  And Division Three is for my "good" sweats.  I may even classify a few that fall into this category as dressy.  In case you are of the belief that the term “dressy sweatpants” is an oxymoron, let me assure you that you are absolutely correct.  Which is precisely why I feel that it may be high time for me to retire my sweatpants classification system, along with all of the sweatpants that fall in Divisions One and Two. 

I am twenty two years old, and a sort-of-but-not-really adult.  But I do work in an office where dressy clothes are required, and I wear jeans on the weekends now because I am apparently GROWING UP!  So, while my heart is protesting, my head is telling me that I need to get rid of the four year old, faded, holey sweatpants that served me so well throughout college.  They had a good run, though, and will  always be remembered.  I’ve heard it said that you never forget your first love, and in the case of leisure pants, those cotton beauties and their elastic waistbands were mine.  They will be truly missed.

Now, I’m off to classify my forty seven thousand t-shirts.  I wish I was kidding.  Baby steps.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


 Emily and I are sitting in Barnes and Noble, drowning our sorrow from the devastating Penn State loss earlier today in fancy hot chocolate.  Emily is reading Lord of the Rings and I am getting a kick out of watching and listening to the people around us.  I am quickly learning that a bookstore cafe is quite a place to people watch.  Currently, there is a group of hippies behind us discussing whether or not sushi is allowed in a macrobiotic diet, and the three old men next to us are debating the existence of God.  It's a definite mixture o' people in here, that's for sure.  A bona fide mini melting pot.

Earlier tonight Em was flipping through the Christmas magazine from our local Catholic Shop.  The glossy red pages were filled with seasonal trinkets and decorations, and then she stumbled upon this...

Saintly golf balls!  But of course!  What golfer in your life wouldn't love a three pack of festive saintly golf balls just in time for the Christmas season?  Now, Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, but I can’t help but wonder if the other two members of this holy trio were chosen on purpose.  Saint Anthony is the patron saint of lost things (he and I are buddies), and Saint Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes.  Is that perhaps a commentary on Catholic golfers?  I am Catholic, but a golfer I most certainly am not.  And if I were to ever hit the links, I would need all the help I could get, especially from Saint Anthony and Saint Jude.

The next page was filled with beautiful Nativity scenes.  Emily was quietly reading their descriptions, when suddenly she gasped.  I mean gasped.  In pure, absolute shock.  When she was able to wrap her mind around what she read, she shared with me that, “The three kings cost almost TWICE as much as the Holy Family! TWICE as much!  As the HOLY FAMILY!  Shouldn’t the Holy Family be more expensive than the wise men?!  This does not make any sense.”
Apparently the wise men come with genuine gold, frankincense, and myrrh this year.  That’s the only explanation.
We're about to pack up and head home, but in case you were wondering, sushi can be eaten if you are on a macrobiotic diet, just in very small amounts and once in a good long while.  And the three old men are sticking to their guns about whether or not God exists.  And have ironically have moved on to discussing guns.  I think we should have brought them our Catholic Christmas magazine!
Fore!  Amen!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

letter switching

My life was in need of a little jazzing up this afternoon, so I sent Matt the following text:

Me: I just want to let you know that in all of my texts from now on, I will be replacing Hs with Ys as a fun little experiment. 

No, I was not bored.  WHY EVER DO YOU ASK?

Matt:  I’ll be honest, that’s a little odd.

Me:  Don’t you mean to say "I’ll be yonest, tyat’s a little odd?"

And then...silence.  My phone did not beep for another hour, when Matt sent me a message about the Flyers hockey game.  And believe it or not, he used every single letter appropriately.  Apparently he was not up for my sweet letter switching experiment.
Since Matt was being SUPER LAME, I texted Emily.

Me: Hi Em.  From now on I will be replacing all of my Hs with Ys in my texts.  Just to cyange tyings up.

Emily (an hour or two later):  Way to text me in the middle of the school day, Laura.

Me:  Wyoops! Your pyone wasn’t on, was it?

Emily: Well it was in my locker, goofy.  

Me:  Oy good.  I wouldn’t want you to get in trouble.  Wyere are you now?

Emily:  Play practice. 

Me: Oy.  Tyat sounds like so mucy fun.

Emily: Your new way of typing confuses me.  So now I am replacing all my Es with 3s.  S33 how long this lasts.

Me:  Yayaya.  I am DYING.  Tyis is yilarios!

Emily:  I agr33.

G00dbh3.  Yav3 a yapph fr1dah!

Em: I’m bor3d.

Me: Me too.  Yow was scyool?

Emily:  Good.  How ar3 you?

Me:  Oy you know.  Yanging in tyere.  Do you know if tyere’s anytying going on tonigyt?
Emily:  Oty3r tyan play practic3?  I don’t tyink so.

Our letter switching game kept up at this pace for a little while longer, until Emily actually had to practice at play practice.  Imagine!  But around 5:30 my phone beeped again.  Emily was at the store with my mom buying ingredients for dinner, and she returned to the letter switching game with all guns blazing.  She had added at least three more letters to the substitution list and it was positively out of control. 

Emily: Ch3ck tye tomato3s and s33 1f tyeh ar3 r3d.  Can w3 3at ty3m for d1nn3r?

I was barely able to decode that one, but when her next message said "and d0 w3 yav3 anh fr3ncy fr13s?" I waved the proverbial white flag of letter switching surrender.  I could not communicate in that ridiculous manner any longer.  

So tomorrow, the language of the day shall be Pig Latin.  I sure hope Emily is ready.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

i'm not a poet

I'm not a poet, and I know it.  But, I just might have a career in marketing!   Call me up, Panera!
This is a pumpkin spice latte.
Be careful-it is very hotte.

I didn't care for it, so Matt drank the rest.
While I had a broccoli cheddar soup fest.

That broccoli cheddar soup is really delicious.
Though, I'm afraid, not very nutritious.

But I threw caution to the wind and ate a whole bowl of it,
I could have had two, but wanted my clothes to fit.

So if you are in the mood for a warm soup or drink
Try this at Panera and see what you think.

You will never regret, believe it or notte,
trying their soup or their pumpkin spice latte.

Monday, November 8, 2010

some con-tro-ver-sy

A few months ago my mom asked me about the origin of the word “blog.”  I told her it was a combination of the words “web” and “log” and she was appreciative of the explanation, especially since she thought the term orginated from a technological evolution of "blah blah blah."  Which makes quite a bit of sense, really.  It's just funny to me because now I have one of those blah blah blah blogs and both of my parents have become loyal blog readers.  That's a sentence I never thought I would type, but it means so much to me that they read each and every post.  Plus, it’s a little way for me to say “Hey, Mom and Dad! Look!  Here is my English degree at work!!  It may not be as lucrative as that silly nursing idea I had but now at least I can cultivate my love for several exclamation points in a row and liberal use of capital letters!!!  By the way, I’ll move out soon!!!”

Anyway, there was a little bit of controversy on the ole blog recently.  I innocently published some lovely photos of a nighttime October sky, and titled the post “Goodnight, Moon.”  The next morning I received the following comment…

"If you took those pictures right before posting, the moon was two days past full which makes it a waning gibbous. Further, the moon when almost full rises shortly after sunset, hence this moon being so close to the tree line in your photos. So, if indeed the moon had just risen, shouldn't it be Good Evening, Moon, instead of Goodnight? It wouldn't be Goodnight Moon until very early this morning, when the moon would set shortly before sunrise. Being an English major and a stickler for proper usage I would think that you would know these things."

The comment was anonymous, but I knew right away it was from my dad.  His use of the word "further" combined with the fact that he is one smart guy and knows about things like the phases of the moon and where it sits in the sky at a particular time of night gave him away.  While this comment was chock full o' words like gibbous and hence, my dad will be the first to tell you that he is “hip to the jive talk.”  I can attest to the truth behind that statement because I have received many an email from him with the following closing:

Okay, study hard. 


And, "jive talk" or not, my father can use words in ways that I envy.  We exchanged lots of emails while I was away at school, and most of the time, it wasn't just what he said in those emails that were meaningful, but how he said them.

(In a funny twist, one of the most memorable emails I ever received from him was the one he sent me the day I decided to change my course of study from the aforementioned lucrative nursing major to the not lucrative at all but VERY!! FUN!! English one.)

The bottom line is that I have become accustomed to my dad's writing style.  And though he did not include any “jive talk” in his comment on my post about the moon, I knew it was from him.

Now just hold on to your hats, because this is where things get dramatic.

Someone responded anonymously to my dad's comment and said, “Wikipedia much?”

You may be thinking “Oh no they didn’t” whilst snapping your fingers in a “z” formation in front of your face.  And to that I say, Oh. Yes. They. Did.

I went home on my lunch hour that day and my Dad was home waiting on a plumber to arrive.  That's another long, sad tale, and since I like to stick to one long story at a time (you're welcome), suffice it to say that my parents informed us that night we had all better really love and cherish our new kitchen faucet, because...$$$$$.  Anyway, I walked in the house and my dad said “Hey! Someone responded to my comment on your blog with a nasty one!”  He said that he didn’t want to start any controversy with that person and their bad attitude right there on the ole blog, but confirmed what I already knew: that he composed his entire comment without even considering a Wikipedia consult. 

As it turns out, there was no need for my dad to argue with the nasty commenter in the comment section because he could do it from the comfort of our very own home.  Since the controversial commenter was in fact...dun dun dunnn...MY BROTHER.

I know!! Drama in the house of OhLauraDarling!  Listen, if the moon and her phases ever came up at the dinner table, my brother would never, ever, EVER dream of saying "Wikipedia much?" to my father.  No way, Jose.  But Phil chose to go head to anonymous head with my dad in the comments, and you can bet they did have a (lighthearted) chat about Phil's gross underestimation of my dad's knowledge of the moon that evening.  Although in this case, I like to think that my brother was not so much thinking about the possible author of the original comment, but instead concentrating on defending his younger sister.  At least, that's the story I'm going to go with. 

And let's hope OhLauraDarling and the OhLauraDarling family stay controversy free for a good long while. 

Or at least until the next waning gibbous comes around.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

the weekend in...

The weekend in faux toes.  Foe tows.  Or just photos.

Wouldn't be a weekend with one (or two...hey I needed socks!) trips to WalMart!

Friday, November 5, 2010


I saw these bike license plates the other night at...brace yourselves...WalMart!  My second home! Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to go biking with my friends Hannah and Precious!  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

one for the books

This past weekend will go down in the books as a good one. That is, if I actually had a book or two in which I logged such vital bits of information. 

On Friday night I went into the city with some friends and my brother.  Phil drove us down and we were only lost for about forty minutes!  The upside of the circular route we kept on taking...and that I was able to memorize the Sunday service times and architecture of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia since we drove by it forty seven times!  

Anyway, it was a fun night.  We got quesadillas, which I felt deserved to be photographed.  No surprise there, because the food...I love it.
I sat in the front seat on the drive down, but my sense of direction and I were demoted to the back on the way home.  Apparently, after our earlier experience, Phil felt it was a better option to have someone with some navigational skillz up front.  That someone, sadly, was not me. 

But look!  I was able to take pictures from my post in the back and in the distance of this one you can see City Hall!  The cheerful, gigantic sunflower is sort of obstructing the view though, and I do apologize.  Let it be known that Phil was driving my car on Friday night, hence the enormous yellow bloom dangling from the rearview.  The rearview mirror in his car is most definitely not sporting such a ladylike floral decoration. 
Bright and early Saturday morning, my mom, Em, Mommom, aunts, and I set off for a day at the outlets. 
We walked into Chico's and standing right there in front of us was Emily's mannequin twin.  Of course I told Emily we should take a picture because, hello, once in a lifetime.  Also I assured her that one day she will be grateful that I take pictures of anything and everything, and this particular one will come in quite handy if she is ever in need of a shot of herself and a smartly dressed mannequin friend.  Which is basically an inevitable future scenario, obviously.  She'll thank me.
 Lest you think she posed there of her own accord, I can assure you that she did not.  My mom gently guided Emily because she is a woman who understands the value of a once in a lifetime photo op.
 Our next stop was Anne Klein, and let me just preface this next picture with the following disclaimer.  They were practically GIVING things away in there.  We would have lost money NOT buying all manner of sweaters and boots and pants and more boots because most things were 25% off, and everything was AN ADDITIONAL 40% OFF THE LOWEST PRICE!  You did indeed read that correctly.  We may never see the likes of such a monumental sale again.  So needless to say, we did some damage at Anne Klein.
Anne Klein is also the store where my Mommom and I bought the exact same pair of pants.  And you won't believe what kind of pants they were.

Skinny jeans.  Dark wash.  Adorable.

Now, it is certainly not appropriate for me to reveal my Mommom's age on the internet.  It wouldn't really matter anyway because if you ever met her you wouldn't believe me, and you would take at least ten years off that number.  That's what everyone does.  But let's just say she not only has grandchildren, but great-grandchildren.  And she bought skinny jeans on Satuday.  And looks so stylish in them.  I'll be honest, I never thought my Mommom and I would each get our first pair of skinny jeans from the same store on the same day.  But what other 22 year old girls can say their Mommom is on the cutting edge of fashion?  Not many, my friends.  In more ways than one, I hope I follow in her footsteps.

And, of course, I hope I inherit her amazing genes.  Pun totally intended.