Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Well, last week was quite the week around here, meteorologically speaking.  There was an earthquake AND a hurricane here in the northeast, in case there is anyone left out there unaware of our major weather events, in which case they must live under a rock or perhaps just the central/western parts of the country.

Luckily things didn’t get as bad as the meteorologists thought/hoped they might, and honestly it was kind of nice to just spend most of the weekend at home.  I only left the house three times, and that was to go to church and Sonic.  The math whizzes out there will realize that means I went to one of those places twice.  

It was not church.

Although we went to church on Saturday evening when the storm was picking up, so I’m really hoping that means we scored some heavenly bonus points.  And the priest started things off by saying how the Lord SHOWERS his blessings upon us, and I do enjoy weather related humor.

The local news stations were SO EXCITED about Hurricane Irene.  Their meteorological enthusiasm apparently warranted CONSTANT NEWS COVERAGE starting at 5 a.m. on Saturday, which I thought it was a bit unnecessary because it didn’t even starting raining until about 12 hours later.  That left them with a lot of air time to fill and I’m sad to say that things hit an all time low around 2 in the afternoon when the anchors on the local NBC station WENT THROUGH THE CONTENTS OF THEIR LUNCH BOXES ON AIR.  I am not kidding.

 At that point Emily decided to do something productive with her time and started crocheting, while I laid around on the couch in my pajamas and tried change lyrics to songs to fit the current weather conditions.  My best was changing Cascada’s “Evacuate the Dance Floor” to “Evacuate the Seashore.”  What can I say?  Hurricanes bring out my lyrical brilliance.

Emily rediscovered her crocheting supplies earlier in the afternoon while were taking everything off of the basement floor in case it flooded when the storm hit.  She taught herself to crochet a few years ago and has gotten pretty good at it, and even started making little gifts for others.  And by “others” I mean my mom, my grandmother, my aunts, several of her friends, her teachers, and her hairdresser's neighbor's cousin.  

Do you know who is missing from that list?  ME!

Over the course of Emily’s crocheting career, I have ordered about sixty seven items.  I've picked out scarf colors.  I’ve let her measure my ipod and various cell phones under the guise of a promised case.  I've gotten my hopes up time and time again, only to have them dashed.  For several years now my cell phone has been case-less and my neck has suffered through some very cold, scarf-less winters.

However, a little bit of guilt and a whole lot of boredom finally wore Emily down this weekend.  On Saturday night she came in my room to sleep on my floor (partially to up the HURRICANE RELATED DRAMA and also because she currently thinks I'm the greatest person ever.  Seriously.) and brought her crocheting with her.  She worked away while I read before bed.
I was lying there minding my own business when she THREW something at me.  Just chucked it right on over.  Under normal circumstances I would have reacted to an incoming projectile in a loud/probably immature manner, but not this time because IT WAS A CELL PHONE CASE.  MIRACLES DO HAPPEN.

As if that wasn't enough, the next day I was sitting on the couch and she came in and handed me something.


And here they are...

As you can see Emily is liberal with the whole concept of "measuring."   However, if my cell phone is every having a day where she is feeling tall and skinny, she will have an appropriate case.

So, all it took was an earthquake and a hurricane for Emily to make me a cell phone case.

Maybe someday if we have a volcano I'll finally get my scarf.

Friday, August 26, 2011

i think the national weather service suggests this

You know what they say...if a hurricane is headed straight for your area and you're facing the possibility of being stuck inside for several days, make sure you stock up on...

I hope everyone stays safe this weekend.

Monday, August 22, 2011

we are far more alike than she would care to admit

The other night I completed my final homework assignment.  Ever.  Or at least, until I go to law school.
 JUST KIDDING about the law school thing.  

The assignment was for my trusts and estates class, and it was to draft my will.  As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have much in the way of assets, so it took no time at all for me to complete the assignment.  My beneficiaries will be so lucky!  When I die they will be handed enough money to go out to lunch!  And perhaps even order dessert!

After I was finished with my will, I decided to paint my nails, because earlier this week I had a regrettable run in with a bottle of turquoise nail polish and it was high time for the situation to be resolved.  I’ve been searching for a lovely shade of turquoise to take me through these final weeks of summer, and last week I thought I had met my match in the $1.00 nail polish section of Bed Bath and Beyond.  I rushed home with my new nail polish and some high expectations, and got to work right away.  

It looked awful.  Just plain UGLY.  Instead of the beachy, summery look that I was going for, I ended up looking like I either had some sort of unfortunate nail disease or incredibly poor circulation.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I made a critical mistake during the application process.  As soon as I realized things were heading south, I decided to apply several coats in a futile effort to improve the color, which is how I ended up with TURQUOISE STAINED NAILS.  I am now sporting a lovely shade of gunmetal gray because that is the only color I had in my extensive nail polish collection dark enough to cover the remains of Turquoise Mistake of 2011.  

If anyone has some suggestions for turquoise nail polish that is in my price range, meaning three dollars or less, I’m all ears.    

While I was doing my nails, Emily was lured by the unmistakable smell of acetone and came in to join me.  Apparently I still had death/dying/last wills on my mind because before I knew what I was saying I suggested that we play a little game called “Seven words you want on your gravestone.”


Just call me if you need a cheerful, uplifting game suggestion!

 After intense deliberation, we decided that my seven words should be “She liked to laugh.  And eat alot.”  Emily’s would read, “She was quirky, and also very emotional.”

 I don’t know that two people have ever been summed up so accurately.

Once our nails were finished I went into my room to read a little bit before bed.  A few minutes later I heard a knock, and Emily popped her head in.

 “Hey Laura,” she said, “Am I allowed to please add two more words to my gravestone saying?”


However, I take my chances at authority where I can get them, so I gave her permission. As soon as I said yes she breathed a HUGE sigh of relief and said, “OH GOOD, because I REALLY want to make sure I add that I’m pretty.”

The good news is, we won’t need to find room for the word “humble.”

Thursday, August 18, 2011

23 is off to a fantastic start

Do you know what's better than getting one Kate Middleton ring for your 23rd birthday?

Getting two.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

what's been going on

I took this picture of the hydrangeas in our front yard yesterday.  It POURED a few days this week, but this is a happy little side effect of all the rain.  :-)

We did have a break from the rain on Saturday though, and that was perfect because I was going tubing down the Delaware River, which is one of my top five favorite summer activities.  Actually, I don't have an official top five favorite summer activities list, but if I did, this would totally be on it.  There is a place along the river where you rent a tube, and ride a school bus several miles up the river and get dropped off.  Then you float back down!  

Matt and I went with a bunch of friends and once we arrived we had a blast. The key words are "once we arrived," because the day started off slowly due to some construction and a very tricky detour.  It seems no event in my life is free from driving related troubles.  The directions for the detour said to cross over the (teeny, tiny) bridge into New Jersey, then turn left and cross the next bridge back into Pennsylvania.  The directions failed to mention that the next bridge was about TWENTY SEVEN MILES AWAY.

There were three boys, three GPS systems, and three VERY STRONG OPINIONS, which resulted in us crossing that little bridge between New Jersey and Pennsylvania a grand total of four times.  After the third time I wanted to just get out of the car and swim across, sort of like when George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware, except far less dramatic and not nearly as important to the future of our nation.

After our day on the river we went to Red Robin for dinner, where I was introduced to the concept of endless fries.  Brilliant.  And THEN, because we were on a serious mission to cram as much fun as possible into one day, we went bowling.  Which I was thrilled about because I've just been dying for an opportunity to showcase my less than mediocre bowling skillz.

Yesterday was my second to last day of class, and also happened to be my second to last day of being 22!  I actually thought last week was my final week of class, until I realized I had been a bit too enthusiastic in the calendar department and still had a week to go.  However, the rush hour commute last night was once in a lifetime.  I don't know where my fellow motorists were, but it wasn't westbound on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, that's for sure.  

At one point I went several miles without seeing another car, until a bright blue Mustang, who must have been boycotting speed limits and blinkers, came flying up the left lane.  You know how those wild Mustang drivers are.

Oh, I kid because my mother is also a member of the 'Stang Gang.  Actually I'm not totally sure what comes along with being a member of the 'Stang Gang, and if it's any true gang related activity I can assure you she's not involved in that.  She just drives a sweet Mustang around whilst FOLLOWING ALL THE RULES OF THE ROAD AND NEVER, EVER BREAKING THE LAW.

In addition to a light traffic night, I heard Party Rock Anthem on an unprecedented THREE RADIO STATIONS AT ONCE.  And then I heard Bottoms Up, and we all know there's nothing I enjoy more than a musical collaboration between Trey Songz and Nicki Minaj. 

I am actually quite fond of Nicki Minaj's song Super Bass.  The other afternoon Emily met her friends at the bookstore cafe to work on their summer math assignments, because they are sophisticated yet slightly nerdy.  I picked her up when she was finished, and when I arrived I texted her and said, "Hey Em, I'm in the parking lot.  Follow the sounds of Nicki Minaj."

When she got to the car she looked at me with a priceless look of an amusement and disgust and said, "Oh.  You weren't kidding." 

She does not like Super Bass.

Tonight was my very last day of class, and, of course, my very last day of being 22.  I have high hopes for the next year, but 23 seems like a much more mature age than 22.  When you're 22, I feel like you're still sort of a kid.  But 23?  Well to me that just screams maturity and adulthood and HEY LAURA, IT'S TIME TO GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER.

My dad just nodded in agreement as he read that last sentence.

Anyway, that's what's been going on around here.  Getting lost, eating french fries, enjoying summertime things.    

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

camping is intents

Matt and I went out the other night, and our evening started off at the place any good evening does.  Sears.  Matt was in the market for a bathing suit and I was in need of a pair of leopard print high heels.  Okay, perhaps "need" is the wrong word.  I saw a pair on Sunday afternoon and just fell in love, although I wasn't quite sure I was ready to take the plunge into the world of animal print footwear.  So, being the cautious shopper that I (sometimes) am, I employed the 24 hour test. Turns out I was still thinking of them Monday night, so I decided to go ahead and seize the retail opportunity.  Now, some people (coughmysistercough) may say that a pair of black, white, and blue leopard print high heels at any price isn't a bargain, but I disagree.  $11.99?  ONCE IN A LIFETIME. 
When we got out to the car I immediately opened up the box to try those bad boys on again, and while I was doing so Matt informed me that I should download the app called "How Stuff Works," because, as he said "it really comes in handy for all those times you wonder exactly how a two stroke engine works, for example."  

Do you know how many times I've wondered about the mechanical logistics of a two stroke engine?  ZERO.  Truthfully, I didn't even know there was such a thing as a two stroke engine until Matt broke the news of its existence to me and my leopard shoes last night. 

You may think that after Sears, there was nowhere to go but up, but you would be wrong.  We continued on our merry, low budget way to Wal Mart, where we were in and out in five minutes, and we didn't even take a detour through the camping department.  That is quite remarkable because Matt has been bitten by the camping bug. 

He decided a while back that he was going to plan a camping trip for one of the last weekends in August, and that he wanted me to accompany him.  Apparently he subscribes to the theory of “go big or go home,” because in the next week he ordered enough camping equipment to stock the local sporting goods store.  Also, because he loves a good spreadsheet, he made one about what we will need to bring and the food we can eat, and then he printed it out and it is currently stored in his leather portfolio for safe keeping.  I’m not kidding.  All. Business.

One of Matt’s purchases was a sleeping bag that is guaranteed to keep him toasty warm even if the temperatures dip down into single digits.  I don’t foresee that being a problem though, since the trip is planned for AUGUST when the temperatures hover around, oh, NINETY.  But better safe than sorry, I suppose, since you know how unpredictable those late August low pressure systems can be.  

Not to mention that tricky jet stream.

Or something.

Matt’s been asking me if I have a sleeping bag, and what the temperature rating is.  He advised me to get one that is promises warmth even when it’s 30 degrees cold outside.  Although if he thinks that I will be sleeping out in the wilderness in January with just a layer of nylon between me and a raging case of hypothermia, he doesn’t know me nearly as well as I thought he did.  

I have assured him that I do own a sleeping bag, I’m just not exactly sure where it is, and since it was used primarily for the high school sleepover circuit, I’m not even sure that it has a temperature rating.

Well, the other day I came home and literally tripped over something in my doorway.  It was the prodigal sleeping bag.  I was curious to know from whence it came, so I asked around.  My mom knew nothing about it.  My brother wasn’t home.  Next up?  Emily.  I went into the kitchen and said “Hey Em, did you put that sleeping bag in my doorway?” 

Nope,” she said, “Phil did.  He was cleaning out his room, and he had it because that’s the sleeping bag he always uses.  Although I did take it with me on the youth group trip because we slept on the dorm floors…sooooo…you’re probably going to want to wash it.”

Well how kind and generous of my dear siblings to make sure my sleeping bag gets plenty of use and attention, and then return it to me just in time for it to be washed!

Perhaps the How Stuff Works app has a little section that I could share with them called WASHING MACHINES.

I got a little off track there.

So, the other night I got home and introduced my shoes to the family, and then Emily came into the kitchen and asked me if she could use my laptop to google something for school.  I told her that I'd like a go at the question first because I take any and all opportunities to blow her away with my intelligence.  

"It's for my summer math packet..." she said with a hint of doubt in her voice, as if I might not be able to handle it.  However, I did make it through high school and college and out the other side, so I was pretty confident that my math skillz were adequate enough for her 10th grade homework.  Although I don’t think I will ever quite recover from my Math 21 experience in college.  Intermediate algebra with my professor, Sunghoon Bueng.  He spoke little to no English which wasn’t exactly beneficial for a class full of liberal arts majors whose idea of math was figuring out how many loads of laundry they could do with the change at the bottom of their schoolbag.

Emily read me the problem…

A plane makes the trip from City A to City B at 800 km/h. The return, at 1000 km/h takes 1/2 h less than the initial flight. Find the distance between the towns.

I literally felt sick.  There is nothing I dislike more than a distance word problem.  Also, HELLOOOO METRIC SYSTEM!  HAVE WE BEEN TRANSPORTED TO GREAT BRITAIN AND NO ONE TOLD ME?  

I slid over my computer and wished her luck.  Although looking back, I should have just showed her the “How Stuff Works” app because I bet there would have been a solution on there.   

And if not, she could have just written an essay on two stroke engines.  I’m sure she totally would have gotten some bonus points for that.

Monday, August 8, 2011

at least i was wearing shoes?

There’s nothing like spending the day going out to lunch, browsing the mall for an hour or so, and then dropping by the food store, the library, and the bookstore only to sit down at 4:30 in the afternoon and realize that you went all of those places while wearing two different colored shoes.

Not that I would know from experience or anything.

Friday, August 5, 2011

i wonder what they would do if i went away for TWO weeks

When I was in college, one of my favorite pastimes was staying up until the wee hours of the morning talking.  I know…shocking.  I specifically remember freshman year when my roommate and I stayed up until 2 or 3 am on pretty much a nightly basis, talking about boys and classes and boys and the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy and boys. 

And, of course, our academic pursuits. 

We were giddy with the freedom and the absence of someone in authority telling us to STOP TALKING AND GO TO SLEEP.  The talking was poorly planned because we both had 8:00 classes, and went to the dining hall for breakfast before class every single day.  We sat at the table next to the football team and it was our daily brush with division 1 football fame.  

Also, I valued starting each day with as many fried potato products as possible. 
Anyway, when I graduated and came home, I noticed that when it was bedtime, everyone in my family would just get in bed and go to sleep.  It’s like they wanted to be well rested for work and school and responsibilities!  I, on the other hand, could not make myself do that.  So every night I would go to Emily’s room and chat with her until my mom would come into the hallway and say “LEAVE EMILY ALONE AND LET HER GO TO SLEEP.”  

However, now that I’m a full year into this whole “waking up fairly early and not having time for a three to four hour afternoon nap” routine, I love nothing more than to get in bed and go right to sleep at 10:30.  I’m twenty two going on SENIOR CITIZEN.  Unfortunately, the tables are turning because every night for the past two weeks, Emily has come to my door several times while I am trying to go to sleep.

Just other night I was brushing my teeth, and when I came out of the bathroom, she was sitting on my bed waiting for me.  She wanted to see the youtube video of Phoebe singing Smelly Cat, which really made me regret singing my own version to her in the car earlier that day and putting the idea in her head.  We watched the video and then I turned out my light and started to fall asleep.  Until I heard my door slowly open and someone tiptoe in.  I opened my eyes and there was Emily, about two inches away from my face saying “can I just turn your light on so I can ask you a quick question?”  Sure Emily, just make sure you stand far away because because MY HEAD, IT MIGHT EXPLODE.  

Em turned on the light, held out her hand and asked “which color do you like best?” as she showcased five differently painted nails.  My head went from imminent explosion to pure joy, because seriously?  It made me feel like a rock star that she went to all the trouble to paint her nails five different colors, and then wanted my opinion on which one I liked best so badly that she was willing to wake me up to get it.  I’m sure if I had a little brother I would think the world of him, but having a little sister?  Pretty sweet.

(Although I knew there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in you know where that she would pick the color I chose, because she is, how can I say, CONTRARY?  But still, it’s the thought that counts.)

This week I have been dog sitting, so I haven’t been at home.  And let me tell you, I’ve been missed by the rest of the family.  Understandably so.  I went home on my lunch hour the other day to get some more clothes, and Emily greeted me at the door with a HUGE hug.  That’s remarkable because she’s 15 and at the age where she and her friends hug EVERY SINGLE TIME they see each other, but hugging your sister?  TOTALLY NOT COOL.  But I got a hug the other day, and even Phil was glad to see me.

We all talked for a few minutes and then I went into the bathroom because I forgot to pack my Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, without which I cannot survive.  When I came back Emily had played a practical joke in the form of taking several knick knacks off of my dresser and hiding them.  And removing the light bulb from my lamp. 

And then Phil locked my in my room and did some tricky maneuver with the key from his spot in the hallway so I could not get out.

It’s so nice to be missed.

Monday, August 1, 2011

i bet i'll be thrilled if this happens when i'm sixty

If I had a nickel for every time I started a post with “I can’t believe it’s already Monday…” I would be a rich girl.

Or I’d have about thirty five cents.

Either way, I can’t believe that it’s Monday because these past two days flew by, as per usual.

The weekend started off with a bang.  Literally.  We had a major thunderstorm on Friday night, with more lightning than I think I’ve seen in my whole life and rain that blew parallel to the ground.  In the midst of the thunder and rain, Matt and I decided to go to the movies!  We waited to leave until there was a lull in the storm, but even during the lull it was still raining hard enough for Matt to immediately turn on his windshield wipers, which is noteworthy. 

Matt and I agree on many things, but we have completely different philosophies about windshield wipers.  I believe in turning them on as fast as possible at the first indication of precipitation.  I hate it when there is a drop of rain on my windshield.  HATE. IT.

Matt, on the other hand, is content to leave them off until he can hardly see through the windshield.  So when we’re driving together, we have an unspoken battle of wills.  He leaves the wipers off for as long as he can, and I try to keep myself from saying, “PLEASE TURN ON THE WINDSHIELD WIPERS!!”

I always lose.

By the time we arrived at the movie theater, rain was coming down in BUCKETS.  Matt dropped me off at the door because he is a gentleman, and then ventured out to find a parking spot.  Keep in mind that it was Friday night at 7:45, so the closet parking spot was practically in the next zip code.  His shirt was soaked when he made it into the theater, and was still wet when we left two hours later.

While Matt parked I went into the theater to purchase the tickets.  I stepped right up to the ticket window to place my order, and the grumpy, middle aged woman behind the counter asked me how old I was.  I assumed that was because she wanted to see if I would qualify for the student discount.  Unfortunately I didn’t have my school ID with me, and I knew if I told her my real age it was possible that she would doubt the fact that I was a student, because in general 22 year olds have completed their education and I certainly didn’t want to bore her with my lengthy tale of how I am pursuing a post-graduate degree because while I had a lovely time as an English major, it’s not something that screams IN DEMAND IN THE JOB MARKET and I just want to be able to move out on my own and support myself and buy cute little accessories at Ikea for my apartment!

So, I lied.  I told the woman that I was 21, hoping that she would assume that at that age I was still a student and knock a dollar off the adult ticket price of $11.50.  Or as I like to call it, HIGHWAY ROBBERY. 

However, when I told her my (fake) age, she asked to see my license.  The license that clearly shows that I am no longer 21.  Shoot.  I opened my wallet, pulled out my license, and slid it across the counter.  She studied it for a moment, looked straight at me, and said “You’re 22.”

I did the only thing I could do in that moment, which was look down at my feet and utter the lamest, most unbelievable excuse in the book.

“Oh.  I forgot.”

Luckily she did end up giving me the tickets, along with a large helping of some serious eye rolling.  Can’t really say that I blame the woman.

While I waited by the popcorn counter for Matt to come inside, I looked down at our tickets.  

Theater 13
Horrible Bosses
Rated: R

RATED R.  The ticket woman wasn’t asking my age because she couldn't decide if I was young enough to be a student; she wanted to make sure that I WAS AT LEAST SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD.  Which means that the effort I went to in order to make myself appear YOUNGER was TOTALLY UNNECESSARY.  

Saturday was a full of shopping and visiting and eating homemade pizza with some family.  My cousin and I are dog sitting this week, so we devoted our Sunday morning to watching quite a few hours of quality television programming, and by that I mean the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana along with several episodes of Jerseylicious.  And then we spent the entire afternoon floating around in the pool.  Tough life.

As it turns out,  royal weddings, Jerseylicious, and swimming can really wear a girl out, and by last night we were understandably EXHAUSTED.  I went to bed at 9:45 and enjoyed a solid nine hours of sleep.  It was glorious. 

Although, I’ve read that one of the best anti-aging techniques is making sure you get enough sleep.  I’m thinking that perhaps I should cut down on the shut eye.  After all, I’m turning TWENTY THREE in a few weeks, and I’d love to look, oh I don't know, MY DECADE.