Thursday, December 29, 2011

if only this was more exciting

Whenever I have a three day weekend, the first morning back at work is always a challenge.  However, that was not the case after this past Christmas weekend.  On Tuesday morning I was wide awake and feeling more than ready to face the week ahead, and I think I owe it all to my brand new leopard print high heels.
 That's right.  I am finally able to realize my dream of Bringing Animal Print Back to the Office in a Classy, Relatively-Understated Manner.  As I slid into those high heels on Tuesday morning, I felt totally on top of my game.

And then I got to work and looked down at my desk calendar and saw this...

It was bold.  And highlighted.  And yet it meant absolutely nothing to me.

Oh, of course it meant something.  I just COULD NOT remember what.  And, to be quite honest, I still haven't remembered.  I have a very complex highlighting system for my calendar at work, and in general I use pink for non work related reminders.  I chose pink because in my opinion it is the least professional color, and I like to save the most professional things for work.  Like blue and green highlighters and LEOPARD PRINT HIGH HEELS. 

So the good news is that C.C. has nothing to do with work.  The bad news is that apparently it was something I felt was important enough to make the calendar, and I still cannot remember what it means.


After work on Tuesday I headed back home for Emily's birthday dinner.  The good times continued on after dinner when my mom provided me with several food items to take back to my apartment, including Christmas cookies, pizza, cheesecake, and some coffee grounds.  And a bag of green peppers because clearly I am nothing if not TOTALLY HEALTH CONSCIOUS.

If you're thinking, "Wow, it sounds like she took half the kitchen," you are not alone in that sentiment.  Just ask my siblings or my dad.  I don't know what my family was planning to eat the rest of the week but fear not! Oh Laura Darling was not going to go hungry!

After my food was packed, I sat at the table and had a last minute chocolate covered pretzel.  I put my coat on but then I decided I might get thirsty on my long, arduous, trek home, so I poured myself a glass of sweet tea. 

And then my brother exclaimed "This is the LONGEST goodbye EVER.  LAURA JUST KEEPS EATING."

So, my leopard print high heels and I made our grand exit.  
And that was my Tuesday.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

of course we popped

It's no secret that my favorite photo pose OF ALL TIME is The Pop.

And so it only seemed appropriate for us to pop out of my dad's Christmas kayak on Sunday.
Houston, we have a framer.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

here's hoping she never drives faster than her guardian angel can fly

Well, today is an important day in Emily's life.  She turns the big one-six.  Turning sixteen is a big deal because that is the age at which the Powers That Be in the state of Pennsylvania decide that you are old enough to operate a motor vehicle.

Not only am I her older sister, but also someone who was blessed with SUH-WEET driving skillz, so I feel that I have an obligation to pass along some words of vehicular wisdom to Emily on this monumental day.    Something like always use your blinkers.  Never use your phone when you're behind the wheel.  Or, my personal favorite, don't spend more time looking in the rearview mirror than you do looking out the front windshield.  That may seem like obvious advice, but sometimes I find myself spending so much time worrying about what is coming up behind me that I lose focus on what's right in front of me.

That actually sounds like it could be a metaphor for life.  Pay more attention to what is in front of you than what is behind you.  You can't change what is in your past, but it is up to you to determine how you approach your future.

Oh, I am so deep and intellectual.

I wish I could dispense more driving advice, but I have to admit that I found myself in a wee bit of a car-related dilemma just this evening.  I was attempting to back out of my parents driveway, which in my defense, is not straight and has some tricky pavers on both sides. Anyway, things did not go as planned and after about eight attempts (unfortunately I am not exaggerating) my dad finally had to come outside and back my car out for me.

And then on my way back to my apartment I got my first THREE BEEP ALERT on my new snapshot discount device from Progressive.  And by "new" I mean I've had it for 24 hours.  Apparently I may have utilized some "harsh braking" in order to stop at a yellow light. 

Last time I make that mistake.  Next time I'm just going right through.


The bottom line is that I can't believe Emily is turning 16.  SIXTEEN.  WHERE OH WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?  I was in second grade when she was born, and I really can't remember what it was like not to have a sister.  

So, happy 16th Em.  You make life a whole lot of fun.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

sleep in heavenly peace

A funny thing happens when you move out of your parents' house and take your bed with you.

And then return home a week later to sleep there on Christmas Eve...

Merry Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

all i want for christmas is lasagna

Well, it's almost midnight and I am WIDE AWAKE.  That's a smidge inconvenient because I have to wake up in six hours to go to work, but my brain...IT WILL NOT TURN OFF.

Of course, I'm not completely surprised that I'm still awake, because it has been a very eventful day.  That is, if you consider "very eventful" to be eating an entire bag of Ghirardelli chocolate and getting lost on the way home from the office.


I've gotten lost two out of the four days this week.  And my commute is only four miles.

You see, this is my first week driving to work from my new apartment, and I am on a quest to find the fastest route from my office to my front door.  It turns out that NOT ALL ROADS LEAD HOME, and in fact some of them lead to deserted industrial areas on dark roads which is not the ideal place to find yourself on a rainy night.

On the plus side, I now know where the county's fire academy is!

Speaking of excitement, I had myself a little Christmas miracle today when one of the supervisors at work came around and announced that there were some leftovers in the kitchen from an earlier lunch meeting.  You better believe I shot out of my chair like a bullet and beelined it to the kitchen where I discovered a salad, some cookies, and  A GIANT PAN OF LASAGNA.  There were no plates in sight, so a fellow paralegal and I scrounged up two cups from the box behind the water cooler and started filling them up with lasagna.

We were about three forkfuls into our respective lasagna cups when one of the secretaries appeared at the door.

With a pack of paper plates.

"Wow," she said, "You girls must be hungry."

So that was awkward.

If you think that being caught in the office kitchen eating lasagna out of a cup from the water cooler would deter me from going back for seconds, you have underestimated my love of an Italian casserole.  I had a meeting with the other paralegals at 3:00, and when we were finished I may have strolled by the kitchen to survey the status of the lasagna situation, and upon seeing that there was plenty left, made myself a plate.

It was, once again, delicious. 

And it turned out that I needed all of the sustenance I could get to help me through my arduous, confusing, four mile journey home.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

we may be on our own, but we still have a lot to learn

This weekend was moving weekend.  Forty eight hours ago I was sleeping in my bedroom at my parents' house, and now I am living the life of luxury in these digs...

Is it fancy OR WHAT?!  If I had a nickel for every time Michelle and I have used the words classy, sophisticated, grown up, adult, and elegant in this past two days, I would have enough money to shell out the fifteen bucks for the premium parking here. 

When we had this little apartment photo shoot tonight, Michelle said, "I just want people to look at these pictures and think...Wow, she's really made it."  


We spent most of Saturday unpacking and hanging up various pieces of wall art, all of which were hung without the aid of a level or tape measure.  We have become masters at the art of eyeballing it.  Last night was our first night here, and we celebrated by playing Scattergories and watching Half Ton Teen and an episode of My Big Fat Gypsy Christmas.  In other words, LIVING THE DREAM.  

This whole weekend we have been calling ourselves the "Workin' Girls."  We used the term frequently this morning as we strolled Home Goods because we are SO CLEVER.  

"We can totally buy that vase!  We're working girls!"  

"You know who would have those flowers in their house?  Working girls!" 

We went to far as to make that the name of our wireless network and even contemplated sending out Christmas cards from "the Workin' Girls."  Well, that grand idea was nipped squarely in the bud when my brother texted me tonight and said "you guys do know working girls is another name for hookers, right?"


Do you know what else we don't know?  How to change the name of our wireless network.  But I think that is something we better figure out AT ONCE, before our neighbors get the wrong idea about how we were able to afford such lovely wall art.

Goodbye, Workin Girlz.  Hello, Career Women.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

i will be filing a patent tomorrow

I am moving in two days.  TWO. DAYS.  I am getting very excited!

 The last few night I have been busy packing, and accepting the fact that I have way too many shoes.

Oh my word THE SHOES.

However, the packing process has also led to the creation of my latest invention.  Allow me to introduce the hanger-belt.
 The perfect solution for transporting large quantities of clothes hangers!

If only I had thought of that during one of the, oh, EIGHT times I moved throughout college.

Oh well.  Better late than never!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

my backup plan

If this whole paralegal thing doesn't work out, at least I know I could have a successful career as a dog trainer.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

pretend there is a clever title here

 Yesterday, there was Something Big a brewin' in our county.  I was fairly certain that there would be news vans aplenty at the courthouse all afternoon, so after I finished my lunch I headed there under the guise of "picking up some documents."  

Actually, I really did have to pick something up at the courthouse and the fact that news cameras would be there was just a bonus.  And a reason to apply my best lip gloss and practice my network TV smile.  In an effort to make a cameo on the nightly news report, I took the long way around the building, IN THE RAIN, ensuring that I passed each and every news truck.  

I am sorry to report that my vanity and I did not make the evening news.

 Anywho, now on to the main point of this post.  And this next part is free from humor or sarcasm or clever puns.  I know.  THERE'S A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING!!

So, getting to the courthouse requires driving through a fairly bad neighborhood.  The streets are crowded and narrow and lined with cars and old, run down row homes.  The residents are poor and drugs and violence are not uncommon.  

While I was stopped at a red light in this neighborhood yesterday, I looked over and saw an old woman standing in the rain, setting up a nativity scene in her tiny front yard.  The figures looked like they were wooden, and the whole crew was there.  Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, even a cow and some sheep.  

As I sat at that light, I thought about how that woman, who likely has so little in the way of money or possessions, wanted to make sure that her tiny patch of grass between her front porch and the street was filled with a nativity scene this Christmas season.  There I was, sitting in my warm, dry car in my nice clothes, focusing completely on applying my lip gloss perfectly in the hopes of "running into" a news reporter, and there she was, standing in the cold rain making sure that the manger was front and center and boldly displaying her faith in a place where it might not be so well accepted.

I began to think some Deep Contemplative Thoughts.

I wish I could say that the moment continued to be one of reflection.  However, just before the light turned green, I watched the woman pick up a large mallet type object and proceed to whack every member of the holy bunch on the head.  

Several times.  

And with great force.

I am assuming that since the figures were wooden, they had some sort of stake on the bottom so they could be secured into the ground.  And it appeared that this woman wanted to be sure that those stakes were in there as far as they could possibly go.  I don't know if she was trying to protect them from tipping over or being stolen or perhaps being swept up in an uncharacteristically forceful gust of wind.

Whatever the reason for the mallet, I laughed out loud right there in my car as I watched this woman make her way around the nativity scene, whacking all of the attendees on the noggin.  It was a sight I never expected to see.

The bottom line is that if a nativity scene catches your attention this holiday season, pay particularly close attention to the facial expressions.  If the shepherds look disgruntled, you will know why.  :-)


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

the joke at the beginning has nothing to do with the rest of the post

So, do you know what the fish said when he swam into the concrete wall?


This past weekend started off on a great note because on Friday Matt and I went out to dinner at Applebee's.  Actually, first we went to Kohl's because Matt wanted to pick up some more new threads for work.  I usually see Matt in jeans and some sort of dark, solid color shirt, and I just assumed that he would dress in a similar style for work.  You know, a white shirt, black dress pants, plain tie.



It turns out that when it comes to dress clothes, Matt is quite the snappy dresser.  He was picking out bright ties and striped shirts and fancy socks, although he did draw the line at a pair of multicolored suspenders that I suggested.

He may live to regret that decision because just yesterday I read that 2012 is going to be the year of the suspender.  

Stock up, everyone.

On Saturday Michelle and I drove out to see our new apartment.  We were meeting at 2:30 but I went a little bit early so I could drive to the nearest Target and then time how long it would take me to get from there to the apartment.  I think everyone knows that when choosing a residence, proximity to Target is of utmost importance.  Well, I'm happy to report that it will be four minutes, door to door.

My research also led to the discovery that the Target is located in THE SHOPPING CENTER OF MY DREAMS.  Not only is there a Target, but the shopping center is also home to AC Moore, Barnes and Noble, Ross (dress for less!), Old Navy, Gap, the food store, Famous Footwear, and the Guitar Center.  I don't even play the guitar, but I might start because I will be living FOUR MINUTES from the Guitar Center and it seems ashame to waste that sort of convenience.

On Sunday I went to church and then made a stop at WalMart for a Christmas tree.  I found a 4 foot tree for $30, and a 6.5 foot one for $34.99.  And as they say, go big or go home.

I went big.

And then I went to the checkout line in the Christmas section of Wal Mart, where I ALMOST LOST EVERY LAST OUNCE OF MY CHRISTMAS SPIRIT.  

Our Wal Mart has a separate Christmas department with two checkouts meant specifically for customers puchasing holiday items.  I am a big fan of this rule, and I'm almost ashamed to admit how annoyed I become when people violate it.  On Sunday there only happened to be one Christmas line open, so, you can imagine I DID NOT FEEL VERY CHRISTMASY when my six and a half foot pine tree and I found ourselves in line behind a man buying one package of Capri Sun juice boxes and 28 cans of Alpo dog food.  NARY A YULETIDE ITEM IN SIGHT.  And yes, twenty. eight. cans.  Twenty seven were steak and one can was lamb.

His canine compadre must be very sophisticated.

The cashier scanned the juice boxes and then started on the Alpo.  And neveryoumind the fact that there were TWENTY SEVEN OF THE EXACT SAME ITEM, she canned every. single. blessed. one.  

I stood there in line and had quite the internal dialogue.  It went a little something like this.  "I cannot believe she is going to scan all 28 cans individually.  And if this guy had the NERVE to be a Christmas checkout interloper, he could have at least grabbed a box of candy canes or something.  This is taking forever.  Okay, GET A GRIP HERE Laura.  Keep some perspective.  It's only five minutes of your life and YOU JUST LEFT CHURCH FOR GOODNESS SAKE.  And it's Christmastime.  FA. LA. LA. LA. LA."

Finally, and I DO MEAN FINALLY, the cashier was down to the last three cans.

Can three.

Can two.

Can one!!
"BEEEEEEEP."  Item not found.  IT WAS THE LAMB.

It was right then and there that I knew my head was going to explode.  I wasn't even going to be able to enjoy my brand new six and a half foot Christmas tree or learn to play the guitar at my neighborhood Guitar Center, and I think we can all agree that would be nothing short of tragic.

After several phone calls to the customer service desk and a visit from an assistant manager, the Lamb Alpo Debacle was settled.  I quickly paid for my tree, and went on my merry way without my head exploding.

Talk about a Christmas miracle.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

t minus eleven days

When I finished classes for my paralegal certificate a few months ago, there was a celebration dinner held for graduates and their families.  The university was Catholic, and before dinner the president of the school, a priest, stood up and said a prayer.  He prayed for the graduates to act honorably and professionally in our careers as paralegals, and then he gave thanks for those who supported the students.  

He said that behind every student was a spouse or a child or a parent who cheered them on and was always there with some encouraging words.  Right after the "encouraging words" part, my dad leaned across the table, and in the loudest whisper I've ever heard, said, "Yeah!  Like MOVE OUT!"

He meant that in the most kind and gentle way, of course!

 (That thing hanging next to my dad's head is a bird house.  We are aviary FANATICS over here.)

I graduated from Penn State with a bachelor's degree in English.  Contrary to popular opinion, a liberal arts degree does not necessarily put one on the fast track to a suh-weet career and the financial ability to live someplace other than your parent's house.  And so, once I graduated in 2010, I found myself on the "going back to school and living in my childhood bedroom" track.  


Well, I am happy to say that in two weeks, I will be leaving my childhood bedroom behind. 

I'm moving out. 

Which explains why our garage looks like this at the moment....
 New furniture, ahoy!  Please note that those wreaths will not be coming with me to my new digs. 

There are several amazing things about this whole situation, not the least of which is the fact that I am able to get some great mileage out of songs I don't have the opportunity to sing on the average day.  For example, just this week I changed the Rascal Flatt's song "I'm Movin' On" to "I'm Movin' Out."  That is a slow ballad, which makes it perfect for me to sing when various family members start to tear up thinking about my impending departure.  

As you might imagine, that happens quite frequently.

For those upbeat, packing, shopping for bath towels and bed sheets moments, I can sing "I'm Movin' Out" by my friend Billy Joel.

And finally, for those middle of the road moments, we have R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly," specifically the line that goes "I think about it every night and day, spread my wings and fly away."

To say that I am excited about moving out would be the understatement of year.  I am renting the apartment with one of my best friends, and I know we will have so much fun.  

That's not to say that it won't be an adjustment.  Living here at the old homestead was what some may call a cushy lifestyle, evidenced by the fact that just last Monday my mom brought breakfast to my room as I got ready for work, packed my lunch for me, made dinner, AND bought me a pair of festive holiday socks.
When I'm on my own I will need to learn to do things like cook something more substantial than a tuna melt, and operate a coffee machine. 

And purchase my own holiday socks.

As happy as my parents are for me to move out, I know they will miss me.  Once I'm gone, who else will recite Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding vows at the dinner table?  IN AN AUTHENTIC BRITISH ACCENT, NO LESS!

 It's a good thing I'll just be a phone call away.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

i really wish this was more exciting

So, Thursday was Thanksgiving.  It's one of my favorite holidays simply because it centers around food, and I am a girl who can put away some potatoes.  I am sad to report that I had a little bit of a cold this year, and unfortunately my appetite was not up to par.  However, I was able to add "Nyquil" to my list of things I'm thankful for.

Not that I keep an actual list.  Maybe I should.  I already know what #1 would be.  Lays Classic potato chips in the yellow bag.  Holla.

On Friday morning, my little bit of a cold transformed into a FULL BLOWN, MAJOR COLD.  Because I am now a member of the real world, I still had to go to work, despite the fact that it was Black Friday and also, did I mention, I WAS NOT FEELING SO WELL?  My headache and I got dressed and set off, and I spent the morning working and also making frequent trips back and forth to the vending machine and my little mailbox because I was full an eternal hope that perhaps there would be something new in it every fifteen minutes. 

There wasn't.

Around lunchtime I looked down and what do you know, MY SHIRT WAS ON INSIDE OUT!  Super!  I am so glad that the day I chose to make thrice hourly trips ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE OFFICE to my mailbox was also the day I chose to wear my clothes inside out.

I left work a wee bit early and headed straight for bed without even looking through the mail and inquiring about the whereabouts of every single one of my family members, as is my usual routine.

Around dinnertime I woke up feeling worse than ever, and was about three sneezes away from getting in the car and heading to the drugstore because you know what they say, desperate times call for desperate measures.  And I was pretty sure my desperate measure was about to come in the form of a Neti-Pot.  Luckily things did not get that bad, although there were a few moments of panic when I thought we had run out of tissues.  My poor nose was so sore, and the thought of having to use toilet paper instead of Puffs Plus with Lotion was almost more than I could bear.
Having to use TP instead of a soft tissue would have made for a rough night.

See what I did there?  Rough?  I am so clever and witty.

Things were touch and go all day on Saturday, but I managed to pull through.  

I was feeling much better today, so I went with Matt while he picked out some new threads for his NEW JOB!  Matt and I haven't gone clothes shopping together very often, but I knew it was going to be an adventure when we walked into the store and the first thing he said was, "Okay, so I'm looking for one of those headless dummies with the outfit on already so I can get an idea of what matches."

I sure hope none of the MANNEQUINS heard Matt refer to them as HEADLESS DUMMIES.

In the end Matt got some fancy duds and I know without a doubt he will be the best looking guy in the office.  Let's just hope he doesn't wear anything inside out.

We went out for dinner after our shopping trip, and while there was a small issue with some extremely raw (read: I think I heard it cluck) chicken, we had a delightful time.  I ate bread, a salad, an appetizer, chicken parmesan, and a dessert, so I think it's safe to say that my appetite is back and better than ever.  

Now if I am able to dress myself properly tomorrow morning, I think I can say I'm officially cured.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

while on hiatus i lost the ability to develop a narrative structure

So, I was away for a training for work for the majority of last week.  I left Monday and came home on Thursday and I'll be honest - I was quite confident that I would have more than enough time to compose several witty blog posts while I was away.  After all, the training ended at 4:00 each afternoon, which left me with a solid seven hours of time to fill before bedtime.  

And then I started reading a new book and became engrossed in it.  Also, another paralegal from my office was staying at the same hotel, and every night at 8:30 we went down to the lobby for complimentary milk and cookies to talk about all sorts of things and most importantly, strategize about how to bring back animal print apparel back to the office in an understated, professional way.  I'm lookin' at you, zebra print high heels.

 And finally when it was time for bed each night, I would turn on the tv and become overwhelmed because HELLO, SEVERAL HUNDRED CHANNELS.  I could have watched anything.  News shows.  Sport shows.  Sitcoms or soap operas or continuous weather coverage.  I had the television world at my fingertips and I should probably be ashamed to admit what I chose to watch before bed every night.


Listen, they are addicting.  One minute you're thinking, "Oh wow, that Ninja Kitchen System 1100 sure would revolutionize my culinary blending," and the next minute you are LITERALLY HIDING YOUR DEBIT CARD IN YOUR SNEAKER to keep yourself from ordering a Miyashi pillow, which, by the way, is quite possibly the answer to all of the world's problems.  I'm convinced that people worldwide would be a heck of a lot happier if everyone just had a Miyashi pillow.  Not to mention sore backs, necks, and feet would be things of the past!  Perhaps I should suggest to the current presidential administration that they next time they have hundreds of billions of dollars to throw around, they should think about going the As Seen on TV route.  MIYASHI PILLOWS FOR EVERYONE!! 

 While the content of the training last week was nothing to write home about, the food would have warranted several lengthy postcards home, with maybe even a telegram and some sort of message delivered via carrier pigeon.  Seriously.  It was that good.  I ate tortellini and stuffed green bell peppers and paninis and tomato and gorgonzola soup and taco salad and stuffed shells and grilled sandwiches and thirteen of the best cookies I have ever met.

And that was just on Tuesday.

When I got back home later in the week I settled right back into my routine, meaning that on Friday afternoon I tried to convince Emily that people in England pronounce sandwich "sond-wick."  I knew things were bad on Sunday morning when I found myself performing a soprano version of My Country Tis of Thee for her.  It was time to GET THEE TO TARGET. 

On Sunday evening my dad was invited to the VIP MEMBERS ONLY EVENT at Cabela's, WORLD'S FOREMOST OUTFITTER, and invited us along as his guests.  Before we arrived we were joking that maybe there would be a red carpet at the entrance for all of the VIPs. 


I can say without a doubt that I never in a million years dreamed that I would walk into a store full of bullets and fishing poles and camouflage apparel on a red carpet.  However, it delighted me.

There is nothing worse than being hungry on the red carpet, so we stopped at Cracker Barrel on our way to Cabela's.  I ordered corn, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, french fries, and hush puppies because I believe in carbohydrates.  The main course was half a pound of fried shrimp.

We were all talking and laughing as we ate, and when I was about a quarter of a pound into my shrimp, my dad looked at me and joked (because everyone know you don't eat the tails of shrimp) "Hey Laur, not eating those tails are you?"

Yes.  Yes I was.

I guess I just figured that if it was fried, you were supposed to eat it.  It turns out that you're really not.  Whoops.  Although this experience is just further evidence that everything tastes delicious fried.

Luckily the consumption of countless shrimp tails did not kill me, which is a relief because I would have hated to get to the pearly gates before I had the opportunity to walk into an outdoors superstore on a red carpet.
Or buy a Miyashi pillow.

Monday, November 14, 2011

one of those stories that's only funny several years later

One of my favorite things about my new Kindle is the ability to browse through countless genres and writers and topics.  I've already discovered several authors who I think will become long time favorites.   This afternoon I was reading a book by an author I've never read before, and he wrote a story about receiving an invitation in the mail for a fishing club.  As it turns out his experience in the world of fishing was limited to a few summers on the lake as a young boy, which didn't exactly qualify him as a prime candidate for an angler's club.  However, those experiences did provide him with enough material for a few funny stories.

Which of course made me think of my own fishing stories.


That would be because I'm not.

However, for nearly every summer of my entire life, my family has packed up the car and driven to the mountains of western Maryland to spend two weeks at a cabin on the lake.  And over the course of all those vacations, a lot of fishing has gone on. 

This particular story took place when I was about twelve years old, which means Emily was five and Phil was thirteen.  We had arrived at the lake earlier that day, and after dinner my parents, Emily, and Phil went down to the water.  For some reason I did not accompany the rest of my family down to the lake.  Probably because I had to put on some Bonne Bell lip gloss.  I was a big Bonne Bell fan at that point in my life.

Let's be honest.  I still am.

Anyway, my parents and siblings brought a fishing pole down to the lake with them, and the plan was to do a little after dinner fishing.  My dad rigged up the pole and put a worm on the hook at the bottom. 

At the time, Emily was a very inexperienced angler, as most five year olds are.  But Phil gave the fishing pole to Emily and showed her the basics of casting.

And then it was time.

First cast of the vacation.


My parents and Phil stood on the dock while Emily enthusiastically brought that fishing pole behind her head in preparation for one giant cast, hoping against hope to catch something. 

Well, she caught something alright.


Or, more specifically, his eyelid.

The good news was that my dad sprang into action and immediately cut the fishing line to free Phil from being anchored to a five foot graphite pole. I  heard yelling and crying coming from the direction of the lake, and after I put down my lip gloss, I looked out the window to see my mom running up the lawn with her arms around my panicked brother, who had a hook through his eyelid and a slimy worm dangling on his cheek.  My dad followed close behind with a hysterical Emily.

The next few moments were a bit of a blur, but it turns out that the while Phil was running up from the lake, the hook was jostled out of his eye.  Thankfully the worm was history too.  My parents decided that the best bet was to take him to the hospital, because, you know, he had just had a DIRTY FISHING HOOK in his eyelid.

And they wanted to avoid any situations of, HELLO TETANUS, SO GLAD YOU COULD ACCOMPANY US ON VACATION.

The three of them jumped into the car and drove to the nearest hospital, which was forty minutes and two stoplights away.  The fact that one can drive for FORTY MINUTES and only meet two measly stoplights boggles my suburban mind. 

Meanwhile, Emily and I watched Nick at Nite and I'd like to take this opportunity to give Bill Cosby a shout out.  It takes a very funny person to be able to make someone laugh when their brother is in the emergency room because she went fishing and CAUGHT HIM.

After a check up and a tetanus shot, Phil was fine.  He lived to fish another day. 

And I think it's safe to say that Emily will never be invited to join a fishing club.