Thursday, April 28, 2011

i wonder if kate middleton's tiara will light up like mine does

I normally have school two nights a week, but this week I was scheduled for three nights and I was NOT ONE BIT happy about it.  In an unexpected turn of events, I received an email this afternoon from my professor explaining that she had come down with bronchitis and had to cancel class for tonight.  I was relieved because the canceled class meant I could spend all of Royal Wedding Eve adequately preparing to be TV-side at 4:00 am. 

I have been waiting for the wedding day since the moment I found out about the engagement, because there is nothing I love more than a celebration with some pomp and a decent helping of circumstance.  As I always say, “it’s not a party without some some circumstance.”

I’ve never really said that.

But now I’m thinking I should probably start.

My mom and sister are into the wedding too.  In fact, my mom came home from Wal Mart this afternoon with tiaras.  That light up.  And Emily spent the evening making scones.  And I don’t know that I’ve ever had a prouder sisterly moment than when I heard Emily say the other night, “I think I’m going to sleep on the couch on Thursday night.  In my school uniform.  Just so I'm a few steps ahead on Friday morning."

So, I've just been waiting all week for Friday to arrive, and these past few days seemed to drag on and on, heavy with work and school and what some people may call RESPONSIBILITIES.  Although Tuesday shone like a bright beacon of hope and cheerfulness in a week when I otherwise seemed to be floating off shore in choppy waters and a tiny bit of fog.  Tuesday brightened my world. 

Tuesday was my lighthouse.

Oh I am getting carried away with the dramatics.

Emily’s had a school holiday on Tuesday so I went home to eat lunch during my lunch hour.  Emily was in the BEST mood and she made me laugh the entire hour I was home, telling me about her morning and her breakfast and her shoes.  She was ENTHUSIASTIC about the shoes.  She got them last week and when we sat down to eat and she says “I LOVE THESE SHOES.  THEY ARE MY FAVORITE SHOES.  I’VE WORN THEM EVERY SINGLE DAY SINCE EASTER.”

It was Tuesday.

So basically, she wore them on Monday.

After work on Tuesday I went into the city with Stacy and her family to have dinner and watch the Flyers game.  The Flyers won 5-1 and due to a lot of talking I missed every goal except the one scored by the other team.  I just cheered when everyone else did, which is pretty much the route I take whenever I watch any sort of sports event, except for Penn State football, in which case I HAVE SOME OPINIONS. 

There were a lot of young businessmen at the restaurant and at one point we were sitting at the bar and there were two men behind us who had the following conversation.

Guy 1- “Hey man!  I haven’t seen you in a little while!”
Guy 2- “I know!  How have you been?”
Guy 1- “Good good.  Everything’s been great.  Congratulations to you guys!”
Guys 2- “Congratulations on what?”
Guy 1- “…Uhh…didn’t your wife just have a baby?”

Not even kidding. 

I should go to sleep now.  I have a date at 4:00 a.m. with my mom, Em, the tv, some scones, and a tiara.

And plenty of pomp and circumstance.

Cause it's not a party without some circumstance.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

it was both eggcellent and eggceptional

We went to the Easter Vigil this year, which is late on Saturday night.  And by late I mean 8:00 pm.  Anyway the church is completely dark inside when it starts, except for the light coming through the stained glass windows. Then a big fire is started outside on the front steps of the church, and the church is lit candle by candle, person by person.  I tried to take a picture of the dark church and the bright stained glass window before the Mass started, but unfortunately I had my camera on night vision, which means there was a flash.  Whoops.  As soon as the flash went off I tried to cover it, and that’s how I ended up with this priceless photograph of the palm of my hand.
All I can say is it’s a good thing we were sitting in the last row during my camera faux pas.  Every other Sunday of the year we sit in the same pew, on the side, towards the front.  But on Saturday night we sat in the very last pew because my dad and brother like to get the best view of the fire!

When we got home from church we ate some candy because we had about thirty pounds of chocolate in the house and those malted milk balls weren’t going to eat themselves.  Then Emily and I decided to have a slumber party in my room, complete with sleeping bags, green tea, and The Cosby Show.  In other words, the perfect sleepover trifecta.  We were having the time of our lives until 12:30 when she abruptly announced “Okay, I’m going back to my room now.  See you in the morning.”

Ditched.

Sunday was the first Easter I’ve spent at home since I was in high school, since I wasn’t able to come home for Easter during college.  It was also the first Easter morning that we didn’t search for our Easter baskets.  When we were younger that clever Easter Bunny would fill our baskets and hide them in the house, and we would have to find them in the morning.  It was the same scene, year after year.  Without fail, Phil would greet the morning with BOUNDLESS EASTER ENTHUSIASM and locate his basket, along with mine and Emily’s, in less then sixty seconds.  He was kind enough not to reveal the hiding places though, so Emily and I could have the pleasure of experiencing the thrill of the hunt for ourselves.  Emily would find hers a few minutes later, and then I would spend the first forty five minutes of my Easter wandering around the house completely void of any and all emotion and determination, apparently just waiting for my Easter basket to grow legs and walk out of its hiding place to greet me.  We have many a basket search on home video, and they are PAINFUL to watch.

It was also the first Easter in YEARS that it wasn’t freezing cold and rainy, so that was a nice treat.  We had a lot of family over for Easter dinner and had a wonderful time.

I did my best to capture the day on film/a memory card, however that was tougher than it sounds.  But look!  Here is our candy!


And here I am in a blue shirt!  It's not THE blue shirt, and while I am flattered that some of you asked to see what made the final cut for the Easter wardrobe, the only picture you can see it in is one where I am standing in front of my house and that is something I would like to remain a mystery.  But trust me, it was a darling shirt!  This particular photograph was taken by Phil, and I was unaware that he had commandeered the camera.  When I checked it out later I found about six pictures of me like this, and also one of the bottom of someone's bare foot. 

He has a future in photography.


And here is the silverware in an EASTER BASKET.  This was my brilliant idea, and if you would like to start calling me Martha Stewart, I wouldn't object.  We're like twins.

Except for the age difference.

And also the prison sentence.


And finally, here are two pictures I took of Emily posing outside with a chocolate pound cake.  Looking back I don't know why I felt the need to take these pictures, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. 

And someday she might wish she had a picture of herself in her Easter dress posing with a chocolatey baked treat, and she will be totally covered.

All in all, it was an eggtremely sweet day.

Literally.

Monday, April 25, 2011

an easter shirt, and an almost easter bonnet

Let me preface this by saying that I had no plans to write several hundred words about shopping for an Easter outfit.  Apparently I have more to say about the issue than even I realized, and once I got started I got a bit carried away.

Friday night I went out in search of an Easter outfit because there’s nothing like leaving things for the last minute.  I cannot remember the last time I shopped for clothes all by myself, and I learned that I am the epitome of indecisive when it comes to making clothing choices independently.  For example, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to commit to this shirt or not, so I sent this text to my sister and made a lovely face just for her benefit.
 She told me she HATED the shirt and that I absolutely should not get it.  I really did like it and was surprised at her strong negative reaction, so when I got home I asked her what was so terrible about it. 

Do you know what she said?  “Looks too much like what I’m going to wear for Easter.”  Lovely.

I also found some stylish shoes I wanted to try to work my Easter outfit around, but just couldn’t quite decide on which pair I loved most. 


 Kidding.  Well, about the last two pairs.  I really, really, really did almost buy the first ones because I have just been searching and searching for a shoe with some sort of animal print for what seems like forever and these just sang a sweet song to me from the top shelf the sale rack.  Emily’s response upon my seeking her shoe advice via text was “No. No. No. No. Leave the store now.  Resist the temptation.”

Lately I’ve been thinking that I need to incorporate some color into my wardrobe, because right now it pretty much consists only of black, white, and various shades of brown.  But you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and I ended up leaving the store with gray pants and a cream colored top, both of which I will be returning.  They were purchased in a fit of fashion desperation.

I was ready to continue the search on Saturday morning, but this time Emily, and her honesty, came with me.  I saw this lovely dress in the window of a thrift store...
 ...and we decided to go in to check it out.  Unfortunately parking close to the store would have required me to parallel park, which is a maneuver I generally try to avoid.  So we parked in this shady lot and just walked quickly.
Sad news.  The store was closed.  So, it was off to the mall.  When we got there we had about four hundred conversations that went something like this…

Me: Do you like this dress?
Emily:  Yeah, it’s cute.
Me:  It costs $45.00.  Do you think it’s $45.00 cute?
Emily: Yeah, I think so.
Me:  Are you sure?  I think it might just be $30.00 cute.
Emily:  Maybe.
Me: I just don’t know if I $45.00 love it.
Emily: Okay.
Me: Does it scream EASTER?
Emily: I don’t know.
Me: I really think it’s only about $30.00 cute. Not $45.00 cute.  And it’s not really screaming EASTER to me.
Emily: Then pick out another one.
Me: Okay, how about this one?

Emily: No, that’s ugly.

And on. And on. And on.

Finally we headed to H&M, where my favorite moment of the afternoon occurred.  I was furiously digging through the rack trying to find a cute peach skirt in my size.  I turned around to ask Emily’s opinion, and she’s standing next to me, serious as can be, wearing this hat…
The traditional Easter straw hat.

She wore it totally seriously for the next few minutes while she spouted off her opinion on various styles and patterns.  It made me so happy. 

Finally I decided on a lovely blue shirt from H&M.  Emily approved, and it was definitely $24.95 cute.

And that concludes this post.  If you read the whole thing, that is surely an Easter miracle.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

the dramatic evening that wasn't

I visited Matt this weekend.  My large iced caramel latte and I drove up Friday after work and about an hour into the drive I realized that I had neglected to pack any shoes other than what I was currently wearing.  That would have been fine if I had been wearing my cute black ankle boots or some type of neutral flat, because they would both go perfectly with the skinny jeans I had packed for the next day, but I was wearing my “driving shoes.”  My driving shoes are old, clunky, pale blue and white sneakers, and I wear them when I have to drive long distances because there is nothing worse than being uncomfortable in the footwear department when you are putting the pedal to the proverbial metal for upwards of an hour. 

When I got to Matt’s I explained my predicament and while he has never had to face the reality of simultaneously sporting clunky sneakers and skinny jeans, he understood the gravity of my situation and you will never guess where he offered to take me.

Wal Mart. 

It’s like there is some magnetic force that pulls me in to the home of roll back pricing.  So, the weekend started like any good weekend should, with a trip to Wal Mart and a sobriety check.

Apparently the checkpoint was announced in the local paper earlier that week, and Matt will deny this up and down but I know he took that particular route to Wal Mart because he wanted to go through the sobriety check.  He acted “disappointed” and “annoyed” that we would have to “sit in traffic” but I am telling you, he was giddy.  We waited in line while we watched police stop each car, talk to the occupants, and shine their flashlights through the backseat windows looking for signs of anything suspicious. 

As we got closer, Matt and I turned off the radio, got our licenses ready, and rolled down the windows so we would be ready to prove to the officers that we were big time rule followers.  And also sober.  Well, we must REALLY give off the big time rule follower vibe, because the officers barely slowed us down enough to throw a coupon and a seatbelt pamphlet through the window and send us on our sober way. 

They must have seen my driving shoes.

There was no breathalyzer.  No flashlight search.  No backwards recitation of the alphabet.  Matt hardly even had time to say “Good evening, sir,” which is his greeting of choice when speaking to anyone in authority.  Usually when he talks to strangers he addresses them as “buddy/bud.”  Parking attendants.  Cashiers.  Waiters.  Toll takers.  They’re all his buddies.  But he broke out the big guns for the sobriety test and I don’t think the officer even heard it.

Disappointed by the lack of drama, we continued on to Wal Mart where I was able to score some footwear that seriously straddled the fence between slipper and boot for just five American dollars.  When we got back to Matt’s apartment it started pouring rain and didn’t stop for the next thirty six hours, which meant I got door to door service wherever we went because Matt is a gentleman.  It worked out because I had serious concerns that if water touched my slipper-boots, they would completely disintegrate.

Although the rain ruined our plans for Saturday we had a lovely weekend, and on Sunday afternoon I laced up my driving shoes and came home.  The next time I see Matt it will be for his college graduation.  I will be sure to bring adequate and appropriate footwear.  

Thursday, April 14, 2011

i certainly hope that last thing isn't true

I wasn’t going to write anything today, but then I thought about the possibility of years from now wondering what I was thinking about on April 14, 2011 and not having an answer.  And I don’t know that I could handle that sort of tragedy.

Today is the first sunny day in what seems like forever.  I feel as though we have had WEEKS AND WEEKS of rain and cold weather even though I know full well that it was sunny and eighty degrees on Monday.  The trees are finally starting to bloom, which is a relief because it means they have recovered from the snow we had on April 1st.  That’s right.  It snowed here on April Fools Day, and you better believe that every meteorologist in the tri-state area got A LOT of mileage out of that built in April Fools joke.

So the sun has me thinking about summer, and there are a few Big Events on my summer calendar and one of them is the free concert our city’s country radio station puts on each June. 

This year the headliner is Jason Aldean and while I’ve never seen him in concert, I’m confident that I will love him and have been practicing his songs in preparation for the big day.  I want to be prepared in case I am invited on stage for a duet.  Thompson Square  will also be there and will hopefully sing their hit song “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?”  Not only is that a lovely song, but I have great admiration for an artist who can incorporate suspense into their music.  Is he going to kiss her?  Or not?  That’s probably part of the reason why I like Meatloaf so much.  After years of pondering I still don’t know what it is that he wouldn’t do for love.

The other night Stacy and I went to a bar to try to win tickets to the concert.  We went inside, got our raffle tickets, and walked out seventeen minutes later with 4 passes to the concert. 

Perhaps that luck would transfer to the lottery.

As we were leaving I saw my man Tim McGraw looking positively LARGER THAN LIFE on the side of one of the radio station vans, and of course I wanted my picture with him STAT.

Stacy agreed to take a few, and the results are photographic memories that I will treasure forever and may quite possibly frame and hang in a prominent place. 
Don't Tim and I look great together?
Turns out taking a cell phone picture outside at night is more complicated than it sounds.

Hopefully we will be able to locate the van at the concert in broad daylight and can try to recreate this priceless shot.

P.S. – I am always entertained when I see what google search terms have brought people here to Oh Laura Darling.  Most of them are some variation of “Oh Laura Darling blog,” but here are some other popular ones…

-          but you’ve always known who I am
-          laura darling breaks a leg
-          hillshire farms dangers
-          hue teal corduroy leggings
-          laura darling sings
-          laura darling elementary
-          I am their favorite
-          Do all passengers have to go through a body scanner
-          Gray area of poetry
-          Having multiple pairs of sweatpants in college

And my very favorite…”I embarrassed my mom with my actions.”

Sorry Mom.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

she has the dramatic aspect totally perfected

Last week Emily left a comment telling me “i think you should pretty please write a blog post about how awesome Godspell is and how much you luuurrrvvveee me after you come see it on Friday. love, emily.”

So, pay attention Emily, because here it is.  I luuurrrrvvveeeed Godspell.  I also loved it.

The play was fantastic and I was very impressed with what a group of high schoolers can do because let me tell you, that takes some serious guts.  I can sing my heart out when I’m in my car or living room with no problem at all.  However, on a stage in front of all those people?  I will pass on that terrifying experience thank you very much.  I give these kids a lot of credit.

Also, Emily was not kidding when she told us that she cries a bit at the end.  In fact, it’s more like she basically sobs throughout the entire second half.  These tissues that she tucked ever so neatly into her sock? 
Well, they were necessary.  On the way home from Friday night’s performance we told her she didn’t have to be so sad at the crucifixion because she knows Jesus will rise again in three short days!  But nothing helped.  She just could not hide those emotions.

Sunday night was the cast party and when she got home she reported that while she did have a good time she cried her way through that too.  They all had to say goodbye to each other and will miss each other SO MUCH.  They must have temporarily forgotten that they do all go to school together and will continue to see each other all day, every day.  Although, they are the drama club, so I suppose I would expect nothing less.

The whole weekend wasn’t full of tears though.  After Friday night's performance these little girls asked Emily for her autograph and I’m pretty sure she thought her life couldn’t get much better than that moment.
I’m thrilled she had a great time.  And I know that not all of her tears were sad ones…some were tears of joy.

And while I managed to keep my emotions in check at the play, I do know a thing or two about the occasional tear of joy.  For example, my dad took me to Sonic for dinner on Saturday night.

Holla.

And great job Em.

Friday, April 8, 2011

perhaps i should bring crutches, in case she breaks a leg

I’m going to the theater tonight.  My driver will be dropping me off shortly after high tea and crumpets at the Ritz.

And I shall wear a mink stole.

Just kidding.  I’m actually going over to Emily’s high school to see the spring musical.  I’ll be driving myself.  In Old Blue.  After I eat pizza for dinner.

I do have a mink stole I could wear though which would certainly bring a little fancy to the occasion.

And I am all about bringing the fancy.

Emily is in the drama club at her school and this year their spring production is Godspell, which is funny because the two main characters in Godspell are Jesus and Judas.  AKA men.  And Emily goes to an all girls school.  However, it is a Catholic school and since the play falls during the season of Lent this year, the nuns at her school were insistent that the play had to be a religious one.

No one laughed when Emily came home and announced that her all girls school was doing a play in which the leads were boys.  Which annoys me slightly because when I was young and FAR LESS WISE than I am today, our coed high school performed Annie as the spring musical.  Since drama clubs are usually made up mostly of girls, it worked out perfectly for all the girls to be the orphans and one brave boy to be good old Daddy Warbucks. 

However, my fourteen year old self could see this play running into a bit of trouble if there weren’t so many girls available, so one night while I was doing the dishes with my brother I asked him what he thought would happen if a boys school did Annie. 

Well, he proceeded to laugh and laugh and laugh and then share my question with my parents, and finally told me that DUH LAURA…A BOYS SCHOOL WOULD NEVER DO ANNIE.  That comment was made nine years ago and I still haven’t been able to live it down.  It seems like once a month some family member (usually Phil) says “Hey Laur, what do you think would happen if a boys school did Annie?” 

OH THAT WAS SO FUNNY I FORGOT TO LAUGH, GUYS.  TALK ABOUT “SO NINE YEARS AGO.”

Anywho Emily’s drama club had a heck of a time finding local high school boys to portray Jesus and his apostles.  In fact, for many months their slogan was “Got Jesus?  We don’t.”  Finally though, they found some boys and the show went on.  Which is traditionally where it must go.

And so, Godspell is all Emily has talked about these past few months.

Seriously. 

All.  She.  Has.  Talked.  About.

A typical conversation with Emily goes something like this…

“Emily, do you want to go to Target with me/eat dinner/watch a movie?”

“Okay, but at Godspell practice today we finally got the lighting down/sang my favorite song/wore our costumes/used tambourines/did the dances over and over/perfected the finale.” 

Oh, and cried. 

According to Emily, the whole cast is always in tears by the crucifixion.  The crucifixion is a very personal, reverent, thought provoking thing for most people, so I understand.  Plus, when you put that together with fifty teenage girls and ALL THEIR EMOTIONS, you have a sure fire recipe for LOTS O’ TEARS.

Emily keeps telling me that I should bring tissues too because I might find myself crying at the end.  However, if there was a scale to measure “HOW OPENLY DO YOU SHARE YOUR EMOTIONS?” Emily and I would be as far apart on the scale as possible.  She would be on the side labeled “shares emotions freely, frequently, and dramatically,” and I would hold down the fort on the “buries emotions inside as deep as possible and then just ignores them until they go away” side.

Oh, Freud would have QUITE a field day with that I’m sure.

So, the jury is still out on whether or not I will cry at the end, but I know for a fact I’ll enjoy the show and seeing Emily in her First Official Musical Stage Performance Ever.

Here’s hoping she figuratively breaks a leg or two!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

i'm going to choose to look on the hypothetical bright side

I went to Ikea this weekend with Emily, my mom, grandmother, and aunt.  Despite the fact that the latter three have places of their very own to furnish and decorate, and I only have my little bedroom, I spent the most money.  Go figure.

We wandered around the store and the model rooms and Emily and I talked about how much fun it would be to live in them.  On our way out we made one last stop at the food court for some famous Ikea Swedish cuisine, because as they say, when in Rome!  Or in this case, when in a Swedish based furniture warehouse store!  I chose the traditional Swedish cinnamon bun and Emily got a slice of Swedish pizza.  I'm sure it was all completely authentic.

My biggest purchase of the day was a little lamp for my dresser.  It was love at first sight and I really thought I could see a bright (literally) future with that little lamp, but in the end it proved to be a bit of a disappointment.

When we got home I opened the box and pulled out the instructions.  Or the “destructions” as my dad calls them.  I headed for the light bulb cabinet to retrieve the required 40 watt bulb.  After a few minutes of unsuccessful searching, my dad came in and pulled a 40 watt right out of the exact box that I looked in thirty seconds earlier and found only light bulbs with 120 on them and wondered why in the world we had so many 120 watt bulbs.

Then gave me a valuable refresher course in wattage vs. voltage.

I headed back upstairs to Lamp Assembly Central and immediately found myself in the midst of another dilemma.  There is no rest for the weary lamp assembler.  The problem this time was that the bottom of the light bulb was round, but the place where the light bulb goes (I’m sure there’s a technical term for that part of the lamp, but-here’s a shock-I don’t know what it is) was shaped more like a rectangular slot.

Trouble.

Right here in River City.

Music Man, anyone?

Anyway I knew after a few minutes that this particular light bulb wasn’t meant to fit in this particular lamp, and if you think this is starting to sound like one of those “how many English majors does it take to screw in a light bulb?” jokes, you’re not alone. 

            (Although the answer would be MORE THAN ONE.)

I sat there for a few minutes with my rectangular lamp and my round light bulb and thought about how I’ve never felt more in tune with how Hilary Duff felt in her 2003 SMASH HIT when she sang “Trying to fit a square into a circle was my life.” 

I hear ya, Hilary.

The next day my dad confirmed that apparently this particular lamp requires some sort of Swedish light bulb, which is quite unfortunate because I don’t generally keep a stock of those on hand. 

So, last night I got on ebay and ordered what I needed from a light bulb dealer in Hong Kong .  If there was ever a time I was doubtful about the reliability of an online purchase…now is that time.  Of course I could have easily just driven over to Ikea and picked up the type of bulb I need, but where is the drama in that?

And so, my lamp currently sits on my desk.  I can’t even sing “you light up my life” to it because, well, that would be a lie.

Don't worry about me though...I’m not completely in the dark.  Because do you know what my other Ikea purchase was this weekend?

108 fruit scented votive candles.

It’s like somehow I knew I would be needing them.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

i've always known i'm their favorite

On Saturday night my parents were talking about what to make for Sunday dinner.  They didn't really ask my opinion, but since I have a hard time keeping my thoughts to myself I felt free to go ahead and tell them that I would really enjoy my dad's delicious cedar plank grilled salmon with the fancy sauce.  I also told them that I thought it would go great with some broccoli.  And a side of alfredo noodles. 

And perhaps some strawberry shortcake for dessert. 

Please.

Well.  Look what we had for dinner tonight.

Sorry Phil and Emily, but these pictures just prove that I am indeed our parents' favorite child.

And also maybe a teeny tiny bit spoiled.