Wednesday, March 30, 2011

it's true what they say...nothing is ever completely free

I have never written a letter of complaint when I have been disappointed with something at particular establishment.  I’ve composed various letters to senior management in my head, of course, but I’ve never actually taken action and sent one because I am not a fan of confrontation.  And I’ve heard the whole “one droplet in the ocean creates a ripple which creates A GIANT TIDAL WAVE” comparison but let’s be realistic here.  It rains all the time in the ocean and tidal waves are rare.  Plus, I highly doubt that Map Quest is going to change their new website layout because it takes Laura Darling over here seventeen minutes to figure out where to click in order to simply “get driving directions.”

            (Seriously though, anyone else hate the new Map Quest site?)

Anyway, my lack of letter writing changed today.  This morning I wrote a letter to B101 radio to express my disappointment in their new campaign, “No Ballad Weekends.”  I’ve discussed this at great length before, so talking about it further would just be beating a dead horse.  However, thanks to technology I can see what google searches bring people here to Oh Laura Darling, and judging by the number of those who arrive by googling “No Ballad Weekends,” I do not stand alone.  This weekend I heard Usher and Pitbull on Philly’s Soft Rock Station and that was the straw that broke this ballad loving camel’s back, and ultimately caused me to write and mail a very honest letter in which I threw down the “now you’re just like all the other stations” gauntlet.

Oh yes I did.

Also, that paragraph included three instances of four legged animals.  A personal best!


My mom, sister and I had a girly weekend this past weekend, which means we spent a great deal of time shopping and were serious about our eating.  Plus, Emily and I were truly gifted with the fact that my mother chose to bestow upon us another pearl of wisdom…“You can indeed control your emotions and actions, and you cannot let strong emotions dictate your actions.  For example, sometimes you will wake up in a bad mood.  That happens.  However, it does not give you permission to get into your car, speed to the nearest convenience store, smash your car through it, and then tell the policeman, “OOPS…bad morning.”  

Ladies, feel free to laminate that gem and stick it in your wallet to pull out in a time of need.

Anyway, before we went to church on Saturday evening we stopped by the library to pick up a few movies for our marathon that night.  If that doesn’t sentence doesn’t tell you what a wild trio we are, I don’t know what will.

As we were walking through the library to get to the move section, we passed what has become my new pet peeve.

Rental books.

If you’re thinking, “All books at the library are rental books,” you’re not alone.  I too thought that way until I was recently introduced to this new, harsh reality.

Because these rental books are different.  They are the ones you have to PAY to take out of the FREE public library, and I’m just as annoyed as I could be about the emergence of this trend.  

Most of the rental books are new releases, books that are currently very popular, or the ones that have been part of Oprah’s book club.  They are the books that the library KNOWS people (except for me because I refuse on PURE PRINCIPLE) will be willing to shell out a dolla for, which I’ll admit is clever and tricky on the part of the library and shows that they have put some serious strategic thought into this money making scheme.

Since I’m on a letter writing roll today, I think I might compose one to send to the library to share my thoughts on making patrons pay for certain books.  

I have the salutation ready to go:  Dear Township Free (except when it’s not) Public Library.

 It’s just the body of the letter I haven’t totally figured out.  I can’t use my signature line, “Now you’re just like all the other libraries.”  Unless, of course, libraries nationwide have adopted this controversial new feature.  And if that’s the case, this uphill battle will be far steeper and more complicated than I imagined. 

I might even need some Map Quest directions to lead me.

Oh boy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

planes (not really), trains, and automobiles

I had to go to school last night, and I wasn’t exactly thrilled about it because I felt as though I caught the plague and tried all day to get some sympathy, but was largely unsuccessful. 

Talk about kicking me when I’m down.

I’m looking for the silver lining though and I have to say that last night’s drive home from school was better than the one a week ago when I drove home in a lovely mixture of rain and sleet and snow because apparently Mother Nature has not yet received the memo that THE SPRING…IT HAS TECHNICALLY ARRIVED.

Speaking of spring, Stacy and I have decided that when the weather gets a little nicer, we’re going to go into the city one day and walk around because let’s face it, there is a limit to how many times you can aimlessly wander up and down the health and beauty aisles at Wal Mart and we’re dangerously close to reaching it.

Most likely we will be taking the train into the city because listen, I am not about to drive Old Blue into the city.  I know some people drive in the city every day, and big ups to those people, but I am not one of them.  In fact, last Friday night I went into the city to go out with some friends and also prove that I am the muse for Flo Rida’s song “Club Can’t Handle Me.”  Although perhaps the order of those words should be reversed because as we were walking down the street trying to decide which bar to go into, I announced that “I WOULD LIKE TO FIND A PLACE THAT IS NOT TOO CROWDED AND ALSO WHERE I CAN COMFORTABLY SIT DOWN.”  

And it wouldn’t hurt if they have a senior citizen discount for grandma here.

Oh, Flo Rida would be so proud.

On the way into the city I actually had to cover my eyes because the combination of bumpy cobblestone streets and four cars packed into two lanes does not a calm experience make.  I wasn’t driving, so rest assured that it was completely safe for me to cover my eyes.  However, I can’t promise I wouldn’t instinctively do the same thing if I was behind the wheel, which could throw a wrench into a lovely springtime afternoon in the city.

AND SO, Stacy and I will take the train.  Although trains aren’t my strong suit either, so Stacy will be navigating.  Unless of course we decide that we would like to spend the afternoon somewhere other than Philadelphia, in which case, LET ME LEAD THE WAY.  

I don’t take the train into the city all that often, but when I do, I am usually with Matt.  I just follow his lead because he knows the difference between R-2 and R-3 and the R-17.486 and whether we should get off at Market East or Suburban Station or 30th Street, which is all Greek to me.  However, since I don't have to decide which train to board or which side of the track to stand on, I am totally freed up to take pictures of the glamorous experience that is mass transit, so, you know, BONUS.

The one and only time I have been in charge figuring out the public transportation for a trip was when my roommate Heather and I decided to take the bus to Target in college one day freshman year and things went terribly wrong.  There are BUSES GALORE at Penn State so I looked at the schedule, found the one that I thought made the Target loop, and away we went.  

Well, as we were traveling along we noticed that tons of people were getting off the bus and no one was getting on.  Before we knew it we were the only two people left on that bus, and it was then that we realized we were in a wee bit of trouble.  

Turns out the bus we got on wasn’t going to Target at all.  I had apparently misunderstood the bus schedule big time.  The bus driver just shook his head, dropped us on the side of the road at the end of his route, and told us we would just have to wait for a rescue bus to come and get us.  

A rescue bus.

Now, the bus driver was just disgusted with us when he realized what we had done, and it wouldn’t have surprised us in the least if he didn’t call us a rescue bus.  However, we decided to wait it out for a little while and sat on the curb and called our mothers and our friends and our godmothers’ hairdresser’s fourth cousin twice removed to tell them that WE GOT ON THE WRONG BUS TO GO TO TARGET AND NOW WE’RE SITTING ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD WAITING FOR A RESCUE BUS TO COME AND SAVE US AND ISN’T THAT JUST THE FUNNIEST THING?

We had no shame.

Sure enough about forty five minutes later, the rescue bus showed up and took us the rest of the way to Target.  We were the only ones on that rescue bus.  They sent it out specifically to find the girls who couldn’t figure out the bus schedule.  

I will admit- that was a little bit embarrassing.

And that is why I feel it is a responsible decision to appoint Stacy as the navigational beacon on our big city adventure.  I have a funny feeling that the Philadelphia mass transit system doesn’t send out rescue trains for the girl who cannot accurately read the train schedule.

Plus, someone will need to step up and take pictures of the train station walls and the extra long escalators, and I’m willing to rise to the occasion.  It’s for the best.

Friday, March 25, 2011

it would make me look especially sophisticated

Well, I hate to say this but nothing remarkable has happened this week.  I've just been going through my little routine and waiting on the weekend, which isn't necessarily a bad thing because I am a BIG FAN of routine.  However, since nothing very exciting has happened, I don't have much in the way of material for the old blog.

The most dramatic thing going on in my life right now is probably the decision whether or not to get some bangs.  Obviously I am using the word dramatic VERY LOOSELY here because when you think "haircut" you don't necessarily think of a situation fraught with drama.  Or perhaps you do and if so, we are kindred spirits.  Nevertheless, this is an internal battle I fight about twice a year. 

What usually happens is that I decide that I need a change and want to get some bangs, so I get a haircut.  Then the honeymoon is over by the time I get home from the hairdreser and I’m pinning those suckers back in a bobby pin and wondering how long it will take them to grow out again.  I proceed to spend the next few months walking around looking like a girl who got bangs cut and doesn’t know how to fix them which is mainly because I GOT BANGS CUT AND DON’T KNOW HOW TO FIX THEM!

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.


At the beginning of my college career I was casually flirting with the idea of bangs but had yet to make a formal commitment to them, and one day I decided that I wanted to see just how bangs would look on me.  So, armed with a headband, hairspray, and a great deal of follicular enthusiasm I created a style known as the fake bang.

The Fabang.
Now this is a look that would surely bring some drama to my life.

I think I'll make this spring the season of the Fabang.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

maybe i should frame it

It’s almost a rite of passage for every college student to get mono.  It’s not a question of if you will get it, it’s just a question of when.  That’s not at all surprising because college is a bit like living in a giant petri dish with not nearly enough sleep and a great deal of beverage sharing.  Plus, let’s face it, it's college and mono isn't called the kissing disease for nothing.  KIDDING!  Just a little infectious disease humor!

Well.  A few days before Thanksgiving break my sophomore year, my eyes transformed into very, very swollen, puffy little slits.  It was so bad that even some very liberal applications of Garnier Anti Puff Eye Roller Serum couldn’t help me.  And when G.A.P.E.R.S. can’t help, you know it’s bad.  I chose not to go to the university health center because, as I told my mom, "they will just tell me I have mono."  The health center was a joke around campus because no matter what symptoms you walked in with, you walked out with a diagnosis of mono.  Stomach pain?  Mono.  Toothache?  Mono.  Broken arm?  DEFINITELY MONO.       

I arrived home for Thanksgiving break a few days later and went to the doctor first thing so I could get a diagnosis of NOT MONO.  At the time I still went to the pediatrician, because it’s a hassle to switch medical records, plus I wasn’t quite ready to give up the post appointment lollipop/sticker combo.  And honestly, at that point, I just wanted someone who could provide me with large amounts of steroids.  Looking back, I should have just called some of my major league baseball friends.  JUST KIDDING.

Turns out the doctor diagnosed me with mono before she even had two feet in the room.  I spent the next seven days lying in bed convinced that I could not possibly feel any worse and wondering if perhaps the doctor misdiagnosed me and I had a terrible case of YOU'RE A GONER.  I'll admit that I have a flair for the dramatic, but truthfully I have never, ever been sicker than I was that week.

However, this past weekend my sister reminded me of the most painful memory from my mono ordeal.  She was writing a paper for school on Sunday afternoon and I let her borrow my all time favorite book from my all time favorite college class, Writing Creative Nonfiction.
I'm not sure that a blog about my love for Flo Rida, Sonic tater tots, and trips to WalMart was what exactly what Mr. Zinsser had in mind when he wrote this book, but it's brilliant nonetheless.

And look what Emily found inside when she opened it up...
My doctor's note.  The colorful, childish doctor's note, with a happy little turtle carrying cheerful balloons and wearing a pink hair bow and a darling heart locket that I had to present to my COLLEGE. PROFESSORS.

When the nurse handed me this note I died a thousand deaths right there in the doctor's office.  I could think of nothing more embarrassing than presenting my lovely pastel doctor's note to my professors.
And, as if the walking, blue-eyed turtle, the balloons, and the pastel color scheme weren't bad enough, there was a section for recess.


I was nineteen years old.

I showed this note to all five of my professors that semester.

They laughed.

And now I go to a family doctor.

Lesson.  Learned.

Friday, March 18, 2011

this may be the first time i embarrassed her, but it probably won't be the last

Last night was a bit of a crazy one around our house, and my mom said I could either help prepare dinner or pick Emily up from play practice after school.  Given those options, you better believe I volunteered myself to be in the school parking lot at 5:30 in the pm.

Actually, it ended up to be slightly after 5:30.  I ran into a lot of traffic (NOT LITERALLY) and hit almost every red light (AGAIN, NOT LITERALLY) on the way to her school, and as the time neared half past cinco, I was worried that Emily would think I had forgotten about her.  And there is nothing worse than being left alone in the school yard.  ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY NO LESS.  Talk about o'tragic. 

Now, I NEVER, EVER, EVER text while driving.  Or while at a red light.  I am just not a risk taker in the texting while driving department.  However, I was so worried that Emily would become distraught at the lack of my prompt presence that I decided to fire off a quick text to her while sitting at a red light to let her know that I was on my way.  I was typing quickly and trying to keep most of my attention on my roadside surroundings, so instead of a text that said “on my way-bad traffic,” I sent one that said “on my way-bad tariffs.” 

I imagine she was originally quite perplexed as to why I encountered taxation on imported and exported goods at such an hour, since I usually try to get my international business over with in the mornings.  Oh, I kid.  However when Em realized I meant traffic, she thought my misspelling was just HILARIOUS, and even shared it with all of her friends who were waiting on their fashionably late drivers who also must have hit rush hour tariffs.

This was not the first time the T9 feature on my new phone has led me astray.  A few weeks ago I was texting Matt and I intended the message to say “Nah, I’ll go later.”  However, my phone took the “nah” I typed and changed it into “naghski.”  I’ll admit that naghski has a little more in the way of pizzazz than plain old nah, but it doesn't do so well at getting the point across.  Plus, who says naghski so often that it would be the default T9 word?

So those are my two main T9 gripes.

Although the first three weeks I had the phone, every time I typed “haha” (which is A LOT), it was changed to “hagar.”

"Laura, are you going to be here soon?"

"Naghski, I hit some tariffs.  Hagar."  

I am just a JOY to converse with.


Emily and I were driving home yesterday and since her school play is Godspell, she was cheerfully singing Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord while I sang/rapped (srapped?) along with Timbaland.  We were at two ends of the musical spectrum and by about the third stoplight I decided we needed to meet somewhere in the middle, so I turned on the cd I had.  It happened to be my new favorite, Best Hits of the 80s.  "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tiffany came on first and I was overjoyed.  It was warm out, the windows were down, and eighties songs were on the radio.  Hello, heaven.  Emily didn't share the sentiment, and when we stopped at the next red light, I could not believe what she did.

She looked at the cars around us, hoping against hope that their windows were UP and that none of them were looking in our direction.  She was EMBARRASSED.


To restore my status as COOLEST BIG SISTER EVER, I surprised her at the bus stop after school today and took her to McDonald's for a shamrock shake.  We like to be fashionably behind with our holiday related treates.  But Emily was just thrilled to death and I was totally back in her cool sister good graces until I nearly screached the car to an instantaneous stop because I thought I heard her cell phone ringing and she told me it was just wind chimes on the house we had just passed. 

And then I turned on some Flo Rida and told her we were shamrockin' and rollin'.

That didn't get me many points either.

But am I worried about it?  Naghski.  There's always tomorrow. 


Thursday, March 17, 2011

perhaps things would have been different if i wore my car racing outfit

On Saturday night Matt and I went go karting.  We originally had plans to go somewhere a little classier, but the plans changed at the last minute and that explains how I ended up wearing leggings, a cute floral dress, and black suede boots to the go kart track.

You could say I was a bit overdressed for the occasion.

We were meeting some friends there so while Matt and I sat in the parking lot waiting for them to arrive, I asked him if he had any requests for songs he would like to hear.  And by “hear,” I meant “performed.”  By yours truly.  He answered in the negative but I didn’t let that stop me and I launched into a powerful rendition of New York, New York, followed up with Give My Regards to Broadway.  I was spot on, naturally, hitting every note and probably causing passersby to think that Frank Sinatra himself was sitting in Matt’s car.  

We went inside a little while later and had to wait in a bit of a line while we watched the group before us cheat death as they sped around the track at frightening rates of speed.  I conveniently had just enough time to solidify my decision that if I am riding in a vehicle that is capable of traveling at a speed upwards of 25 miles per hour I would prefer it to have, you know, DOORS.  Perhaps a ROOF.  I’m not asking for luxuries.

When it was our turn I stepped right up to the equipment shelf and buckled on a very large electric blue helmet and goggles, partially for safety and partially because why not complete my ensemble?  I was a SIGHT, believe me.  I chose a go kart, climbed in, fastened my seatbelt, and said the Rosary until the start flag was waved.  Following the waving of that flag a series of rather unfortunate events began to unfold, involving me flooring the gas pedal, grossly underestimating the severity of the curve in turn one, slamming against the tire wall, and ultimately getting totally stuck. 

That’s right.  Turn ONE. 

Give my regards to Nascar. 

The lights blinked yellow and cautioned everyone all of the other drivers to slow down so they didn’t run into either me or the lucky attendant who had the pleasure of  venturing onto the track to locate the driver who had managed to become completely immobile not twenty seconds into the session.  I’m sure the attendant was JUST PLAIN SHOCKED that it was girl who chose to wear a DRESS go karting.

Luckily he was able to reach me quickly, which makes sense since I only made it about fifteen feet from the starting area.  Before I knew it, I had been pushed off the tires and back onto the roadway of doom. 

I survived the rest of the fifteen minutes around the track holding on for dear life but without slamming into anyone/anything or requiring the assistance of an attendant or medical personnel.  So, even though I was lapped two or quite possibly three times by my fellow drivers, I consider the night a rip roaring success.  


I awoke on Sunday morning to the strange sensation that two lead weights had taken up residence where my arms used to be.  Washing my hair before church brought tears to my eyes, and maneuvering the shopping cart in Target?  Forget about it.  I feared irreparable deltoid damage had been done.  By Monday night I was worse than ever, and decided that obviously I needed to either sue the go kart place for millions or seriously consider beginning some sort of exercise routine for my arms.

However, the last time I attempted to develop any sort of muscular tone in my arms is a painful memory, and I could not mean that more literally.  It was two summers ago when I attempted to do the Thirty Day Shred OF TORTURE with Jillian Michaels.  On day one, I was bursting with fitness related enthusiasm and couldn’t wait to show Jillian that the Shred was no match for me. 

After her quick and slightly intimidating introduction, Jillian announced that hand weights were necessary for the workout routine.  Hmm.  Equipment was apparently an aspect I neglected to consider, so when she said that canned goods would be appropriate substitutes for weights, I was thrilled.  I ran down to the kitchen in search of the largest canned goods I could find.

I managed to find two huge cans, and I wish I could say that there was something very healthy inside of them such as green beans or corn, but that would be a lie.  Because those huge cans contained apple pie filling.

For some reason I found it incredibly ironic to be doing bicep curls with industrial size cans of apple pie filling. 

Nevertheless, the apple pie and I made it through levels one and two of the Shred OF TORTURE, but by level three I decided that I would much rather just eat the apple pie filling than slowly raise it to shoulder level, hold for twenty seconds, and repeat ten times, thankyouverymuch Jillian.  So I quit.

Give my regards to Jillian.

I am finally starting to feel better though, so I won’t be suing the go kart place.  And let’s face it, go kart bitterness and temporary arm pain does not a lawsuit make.  And I won’t be doing the Shred again either. 

What I am open to doing is eating apple pie. 

At least that’s something I can do in a cute floral dress and leggings.  And black suede boots.

Monday, March 14, 2011

this particular march day was full of madness

Sunday was a big day.  It was Selection Sunday which meant March Madness had officially begun, and I’m not talking about the madness that is Macy’s lowest prices of the season.  Last year I filled out a bracket and chose Louisville to win it all, and although they did pretty well, I won’t be choosing them again this year because lighting doesn’t strike the uneducated basketball “fan” or casual observer twice.  Both my alma mater and the school I am currently attending are in the tournament, but I probably will not be choosing either of them since I have a feeling they are going to go the way of the Louisville Cardinals of 2010 sooner rather than later.  Instead, this year I will be throwing my support behind Akron.  Do me proud, Zips.

As if that wasn’t enough excitement for one day, Emily and I had our “adventure” to Target.  First of all, I have to say that I’m saddened by the news that most of you don’t have two floor Targets, and so I took a picture of the escalator to show the world or twelve people proof that two story Targets do indeed exist.
Emily was mortified when I took this first picture and actually hid behind a rack of the adorable new spring line of Mossimo purses while I whisper-yelled “It’s for the blog!”  Then we went upstairs and she picked up the new Glee cd and I stood in front of the clearance shoes mourning the fact that my feet aren’t a size 4 because I would love nothing more than a $4.37 pair of gray ankle boots with a small heel or leopard print flats for less than $3.00.  Unfortunately I do not have miniature feet, so my size 8 ½ feet and I walked away empty handed.  Or bare footed, as the case may be.

I actually brought a list to Tarjay with me because I needed envelopes and coffee creamer and I would hate to forget one of the two things I had to remember.  Both items are located on the first floor, and as we headed to the escalator to go back down Emily said “Wait!  Let’s grab a cart so we can take a picture of the CART ONLY escalator in action.”  Well then.  Appears someone had a change of heart.  She also had a last minute request for me to snap a picture of the sign that says “CARTS ONLY” but due a camera malfunction and some trepidation I have about boarding escalators it came out a giant blur. 

So please take a moment to imagine a sign that says “CARTS ONLY.” 

And, here is the cart making the grand descent.  This Target has existed for years and years, yet the novelty of the cart escalator has yet to wear off.  And I doubt it ever will.
While I was typing this, Matt asked me if I wanted to participate in a March Madness pool.  The cost was $5.00 though, and while I decided about ten minutes ago that I love the Akron Zips, I don’t feel confident enough about their chances to stand behind them financially.  So, I’m going to save the $5.00 and opt out of the tournament. 

I feel it's the right decision because I know that one of these days Target is just bound to have some size 8 ½ shoes on clearance for next to nothing, and I want my five dollars and me to be ready.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

you never know what you'll find on the clearance rack

Look what I found on the clearance rack the other day.

These lovely, hunter green, corduroy leggings with faux stitched pockets.
It's truly a wonder they didn't sell at full price.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

rain and rocks

Well, it’s Thursday and you know what that means.  Time for my traditional Thursday list.

Actually that’s not a tradition around here but you know what I always say regarding traditions.  No time like the present to start a new one.

1-  We are in the midst of a bit of a monsoon around here.  It’s been raining all day and is supposed to continue until tomorrow.  There is a possibility for flooding, and you better believe the weathermen are really playing that up because there is nothing they love more than a meteorological emergency.  It just so happens that there is nothing I love more than falling asleep while listening to rain outside.  I have been looking forward to going to sleep tonight since this rain storm was just a sparkle in the eye of the weatherman and his ten day forecast.

a- My umbrella is nowhere to be found, which, as you can imagine, is less than convenient.  It’s also ashame because it’s a lovely floral pattern and it just the right size to fold up and stick in your bag yet still sturdy enough to withstand all sorts of wind gusts and pouring rain without flipping inside out, rendering itself completely useless.  It’s difficult to find an umbrella that embodies all of those qualities, and I am just lost and soaking wet without it.
2- I’ve been doing some research, and it seems that I am not the only one upset about No Ballad Weekends.  Soft rock lovers from far and wide are up in arms, as well they should be.  Luckily my dad and brother seem to have rediscovered their love for Simon and Garfunkel in the past few weeks.  Also the other day we heard “In the Ghetto” by Elvis and judging by the number of times I’ve heard Phil sing “in the ghet-TO” I think it’s safe to say he’s adopted it as his new theme song.  Despite the lack of weekend ballads, there’s certainly no shortage of sad, slow songs in my life.

3-       Yesterday was Ash Wednesday so I went to church on my lunch hour.  I went to a church right near my office, but it’s one I’ve only been to a handful of times so I am unfamiliar with the parking situation.  I just followed the car in front of me as we drove past the main lot, which was full, and over to the parking lot of a neighboring office complex.  We had to sort of cut through the woods to get to there and imagine my delight when I realized I would be off-roading on some gravel.  Normally driving on gravel means that you are only a few moments away from consuming some type of fried cuisine and risking your life in the name of structurally compromised portable amusement rides, and that obviously was not the case yesterday.  But still, I rolled my windows down yesterday and listened closely, because there is nothing I love more than the sound of a car driving on gravel.  Except maybe the sound of rain outside my window, as I believe I have already mentioned.  I am a fan of simple auditory pleasures.

4-       Last night Emily came into my room and asked me if I wanted to go on an adventure* this weekend.  I asked her what the destination would be and my eyes filled with tears when she announced it was Target.  I remember a day not long ago when she despised retail related adventures, and look at her now.  Of course I agreed because I’m no fool…I would never dream of turning down a trip to the place where you can expect more, pay less, while simultaneously saying hello to good buys.  As you can tell, I’m a slogan expert.  I’ve memorized nearly every McDonald’s slogan since they came into existence, because you just never know when that sort of information will come in handy.  Although I can tell you from personal experience that so far, it hasn’t.

*The word “adventure” is used very loosely here.  It’s not like we have to drive for miles and miles and face countless treacherous obstacles in order to get to ourselves to Target.  In reality it’s probably a six minute drive, and that’s if you hit the red lights.  There’s not even any gravel involved.  Although there is a tricky “left turn yield on green” light on the way back, and of course there’s always the decision of which one of the four entrances to use.  And then there’s the whole business of trying not to spend a good chunk of your money at the dollar spot, which is always difficult because once you see festive holiday socks and teeny tiny little flower pots and colorful picture frame magnets, it’s hard to convince yourself you don’t actually need them.  And I would hate to leave out the part where you ascend to the second floor to browse the shoe, book, and music departments, and your shopping cart travels up next to you on an escalator meant just for shopping carts.  And of course, the checkout.  That’s all I need to say about that.  

Now that I think about, Target really is an adventure.

Emily and I are like a modern day Lewis and Clark.

Except I bet Meriweather and William never misplaced their umbrellas. 

Or went to Target.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

a little Sunday morning ballad never hurt anyone

When I was in kindergarten, I had a pink Disney princess alarm clock.  It sat on the shelf above my bed, but to be honest I don’t really recall it going off very often because my parents usually woke me up.  However, when I turned six I meant all kinds of first grade business and I was so over the Disney alarm clock.  I became the proud owner of my first clock radio in preparation for the big bad world of first grade.  The kindergarten party?  It was over.

I remember my dad showing me how to set the alarm and turn it on every night before I went to sleep. 

Quick side note, I also remember my Dad showing me how to set the alarm on the first real watch I ever owned.  I got it when I was about seven or eight years old, and it was a Shark watch because anyone who was anyone in 1996 had a Shark watch.  The watch came with a lovely teal canvas wrist band and the best feature was that the waterproof capabilities would hold up for miles and miles beneath the surface.  That was a very convenient feature for me because just in case I decided to do some deep sea diving I knew that I would never look track of time whilst exploring the ocean floor.  Anyway, we set that watch alarm for 8:12 pm.  There was no real significance to that particular time other than the fact that I just liked it and when it beeped I could say “Oh it’s 8:12 pm.”  And to this day whenever I happen to glance at a clock at 8:12 I always think of my Shark watch and the deep seas dives we could have taken together. 

But back to the clock radio.  Finally, the moment came during clock radio installation to pick the radio station that would I would wake up to each morning.  Oh, I had ARRIVED.  I chose B101, Philly’s Soft Rock Station, because what else would a six year old with very sophisticated musical taste choose?  My favorite song that year was “Take A Bow” by Madonna.  It seemed like it came on every morning as I was putting on my plaid uniform jumper and yellow turtleneck and what can I say?  It spoke to me.  I also particularly enjoyed Expose, Phil Collins, and Meatloaf.  Nothing like a little “I Would Do Anything for Love” before a long day of addition facts and compound words.

My loyalty to B101 remained long past the first grade.  Their slogan was “Playing the best hits of the 80s, 90s, and today,” and they really did do just that.  Also, they like to get in the Christmas spirit sometime around mid-October and I can appreciate premature yuletide excitement in a radio station.  Plus their mascot was a bee, and who’s not a fan of the obvious yet endearing marketing technique?  I added other stations to my presets of course, but I always knew I could turn to B101.  They were, in the words of Bette, the wind beneath my wings.

However, these past few months I have noticed an awful lot of pop/borderline rap music on my go to soft rock station. 

It’s not that I dislike pop and/or rap because, because that’s most certainly not the case.  Chamillionaire had my heart from his first/only number one hit, and I think T-Pain and I could be great friends.  I just think that pop and rap should not be on the soft rock station, that’s all.  

I don’t think I’ve ever written a nerdier sentence.

Anyway lately Katy Perry has been spending and awful lot of time on the B101 airwaves, in addition to Taio Cruz.  I will admit that both of these artists have catchy songs, and even I join Taio and throw my hands up in the air sometimes, saying AYO, gotta let go.  But, I just feel like Katy and Taio do not belong on the soft rock station.  Yet despite the prevalence of pop songs I decided to soldier on with B101, because true love runs deep. 


I was driving along last Saturday, with B101 on the radio.  A commercial came on advertising their new “No Ballad Weekends.” 

Oh.  No.


I was crushed.  B101 without ballads is like a beach without sand.  Or a birthday without cake.  Or a stop at Sonic (America’s Drive Thru) without tater tots.  Or a Saturday in the fall without a college football game.  YOU SIMPLY CANNOT HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER.

I’m choosing to view this as just a poorly considered bump in my musical world, but I’m hoping the road doesn’t get too rocky.  There are better days and ballad filled weekends ahead, I’m sure of it.  

And until the ballads resume, seven days a week?  I have these to fall back on.

Just like Gloria says, I will survive.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

you will be on the edge of your seat for this entire post

Whenever I have to wake up very early for something important, I am completely unable to sleep the night before due to a nagging fear that if I fall asleep, I will oversleep.

For example, the very last final of my college career was at 8:00 am, and I could not fall asleep the night before.  One single press of the snooze button was all that stood between me and college graduation, and I ended up lying awake in bed all night because the early bird gets the worm.  Or the college diploma, as they case may be.

Anyway.  My big business trip was this past Tuesday and I had to wake up bright dark and early at the hour of 4:00 am and I hardly slept a wink the night before.  I've never woken up that early before and when I turned on the news as I was getting ready, the anchor cheerfully announced, "Well, morning hasn't quite broken here in Philadephia." 

Hasn't quite broken?  I'll say. 

We flew from Philadelphia to Atlanta and it was only my second time on an airplane.  I didn't particularly enjoy the whole takeoff procedure, but once we were at cruising altitude (that's just some airplane lingo I picked up) I was fine.  Although I was a little disappointed when it was announced that once we were wheels up (just another technical term) cell phone use was forbidden.  It was really ashame because first of all, I hear cell phone service in an airplane is just spectacular.  And also, I had been planning to call my friends TI and Ludacris from the air and tell them I was on my way to their city of residence in case they were available to meet for an early lunch.  However, I have a feeling that one or both of them may currently be serving a prison sentence so a lunch date with my favorite rappers was unlikely anyway.

My fancy phone does have an "airplane mode" feature that supposedly doesn't interfere with all of the flight instruments, so I turned it on for two seconds to snap this lovely photo.
I didn't have a window right next to me so I had to lean my chair waaaaay back and then stretch back a little more to use the window of the person in the seat behind me.  Nothing says "airplane rookie" like borrowing your neighbor's window to take a picture of the beautiful body of water you are flying above.  (I think it was the Atlantic ocean.)  I turned my phone off immediately after I took this picture because the last thing I wanted was the flight attendant coming on the loudspeaker and asking the passenger in 10A to please turn off their cell phone. 

I had my very own hotel room, and I have never stayed in a hotel room all by myself before.  I have also never slept with eight down pillows before, but let me tell you, a girl could get used to that.  The hotel was very fancy and had some lovely hand lotion in the bathroom that smelled like it was sent straight from heaven or possibly Crabtree & Evelyn.  Anyway I wanted so badly to bring it home with me but unfortunately real estate in my ziplock baggie meant for 3 ounce containers of liquid was hard to come by.  It was a tough decision but in the end I decided to ditch my travel tube of toothpaste at the hotel and bring the lotion home instead.

I'm thrilled to report that my ziploc bag of liquids made it safely through security and so did I.  I did have to go through the full body scanner though, so let's just saying I'm hoping that what happens in Atlanta stays in Atlanta. 

Although if I could transport a few things from Georgia to here in Philadelphia they would be the southern accent and restaurants dedicated to nothing but barbecue.  Neither of those things exist here and I think they would do worlds of good for the northeast.  Ya'll.

And now it's back to the real world here in the life of Oh Laura Darling, and my mind is already full of pressing issues, as you can imagine.  For example, tonight I painted my nails navy blue because I read somewhere that navy blue nails are SO IN and I would hate nothing more than to be a season behind in the latest nail polish trends.  However, I'm a bit concerned that this particular navy is a few shades too dark for me and I'm not sure if I should take if off and apply something I'm more comfortable with, like a nice BRIGHT PINK, or go with it for a while.

Also, this afternoon our church had a fundraising concert and a Broadway star came to sing, and it made me rethink all sorts of things including pursuing the dream of becoming an international singing sensation as opposed to just belting out New New, New York while I wash the dishes.  It's sort of like what happens when I watch the Olympics and convince myself that I could indeed become the next world class figure skater or champion gymnast if I start intensive training RIGHT NOW.  Never mind the fact that I can't even do a cartwheel and can only maneuver around an ice rink with the assistance of a very large orange traffic cone.  Michelle Kwan has nothing on me except grace and impressive coordination.

I have nothing more to say tonight but I can't come up with a clever way to tie this whole post together.  Between my nail polish dilemma and all the thinking I've been doing about becoming some sort of broadway singing gymnast on ice, my brain is understandably tired.

I do hope you had a lovely weekend.