Friday, July 29, 2011

i was tempted to buy a bow and arrow

If someone asked me a few years ago if I ever planned to spend part of a date night in the hunting department of the sporting goods store, looking at countless types of guns and ammunition, I would have said HECK TO THE NO.

  And I would have been very, very wrong, because look where I accompanied Matt the other night.

Oh my.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

did i mention that it's been HOT?

The other night after dinner Matt and I decided to go for a little creekside walk.  The temperature that evening was 101 degrees, and the humidity was about a thousand percent.  Oh, and the heat index?  ONE HUNDRED AND NINETEEN DEGREES.  FAHRENHEIT.  So basically, the perfect night for a twilight stroll!  

If you enjoy spontaneous combustion.

Matt and I were about thirty eight seconds into our walk when we caught this glimpse of The Wildlife. 

This deer turned around and stared straight at us for about fifteen seconds.  Then, once he decided we were harmless and firearm free, he continued on about his business of wading through the cold water because did I mention it was ONE HUNDRED AND ONE DEGREES?  I tried to take some pictures but they are a little bit blurry due to all of the excitement.  

Our deer friend eventually wandered to the other side of the stream and put his mouth down towards the water.  I looked at Matt and said, “Aww, look!  Do you think he’s fishing?”
Well, talk about spontaneous combustion. I think Matt’s head almost exploded.  And for the record, no, the deer was not fishing, because WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU SAW A DEER EAT MEAT?  THEY EAT THINGS LIKE LEAVES. 


While I may not have seen a deer eat meat recently, it's also been QUITE A WHILE since I've seen one eat an apple. 

Another milestone in my life occurred this past weekend.  I took the train into the city and back, ALL BY MYSELF!  Getting into the city didn't make me as nervous as coming home, because let me tell you, there are some OPTIONS when you are homeward bound.  It wasn't as overwhelming as I thought though, and once I was 99% sure that I need to be waiting at track 4B, I claimed myself a spot on a bench and waited in the underground train station even though it was several hundred degrees because oh, the horror of possibly missing it. 

While I was sitting on my bench with my ol' eagle eyes glued to the incoming board, TWO PEOPLE asked me where they should be standing for their particular trains.  One man was going to DELAWARE.  I decided it was not the best idea to be giving out directional advice to others when I wasn't even totally sure of my own mass transit decisions, so I basically just wished my fellow travelers good luck on their inter-state adventures. 

I felt badly though that they had questions that I couldn't answer.  If only they had asked me whether or not deer eat fish.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

if you have a brother, i bet you can sympathize

I took several hundred pictures on vacation a few weeks ago.  Last night I sat down to look at all of them, and once again I was blown away by the breathtaking scenery.
There are some definite framers in this group.

HOWEVA.  It appears that between my cloud and mountain picture taking, SOMEONE commandeered my camera and took several photos of the famous and TOTALLY MATURE elbow butt.

I wasn't going to name names, but there's nothing I can do about self- incrimination.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

my BFFs nellie bly and madonna

These past few weeks have been chock full o’ busy.  After being away for a week pet/house sitting, going on vacation two weeks ago, and being out of town these past few days with Emily and my mom, I feel a bit like Nellie Bly must have felt after she circumnavigated the globe in a mere seventy two days.  Except I never left the Pennsylvania border states.  And I most certainly did not travel with only one single dress and a bag of toiletry essentials tied around my neck, OH MY HEAVENS NO.  

I have a feeling Nellie and I would have a very different definition of what constitutes “essential.”  For example, I’m willing to bet that her bag of necessities did not contain lavender sea salt body scrub, Milani 3-D Glitzy Glamor Lip Gloss in Fashion Diva, or a bottle of organic cold pressed castor oil for a once weekly facial application to ensure clear, radiant skin.  

However, I do think that the kinship I feel for Nellie could perhaps explain why a few weeks ago I suddenly started saying, “Sweet Nellie Bly!” in an exclamatory fashion when something was shocking/funny/exciting.  The first time I heard it come out of my mouth, I even surprised myself.  And then I couldn’t. stop. saying. it.  The next morning I decided to do a little research because SURELY it had to be an already established saying and somehow I just picked up on it, since prior to that day I had thought about Nellie approximately zero times in the last decade.  

I went to Google, typed in “sweet Nellie Bly,” and do you know what came up?  Nothing.  Not one result of those three words being in the same category as “oh my goodness” or “wow!”  I have since stopped saying it, because, WEIRD.  Although now that Nellie and I are practically BFFs, it might be a good time to reintroduce it to my lexicon.

Last night seemed like the first time in a long time that I wasn’t packing for/unpacking from a trip, so I spent the evening the way millions of people all over the world only dream of.  Introducing Emily to Madonna’s version of “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina.”

(The truth is…I neeeeeeeee-ver left youuuuu.)

I felt it was part of my duty as a big sister.  I also decided I need to add that to my regular reportoire of songs, which so far is limited to Meatloaf’s "I Would Do Anything for Love," Whitney Houston’s "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," and Celine’s “It’s All Coming Back,” complete with sound effects.  Once in a while I throw in Michael Bolton’s “How Can We Be Lovers If We Can’t Be Friends?” because I appreciate a vocalist who can ask the hard hitting questions.

The audience for my singing is typically my mom, sister, or Matt.  I bet they’ll be thrilled with my new addition.  Of course the alternative is that they will wish they were Nellie Bly, halfway across the world.  

I’m hoping for the former.

Monday, July 18, 2011

bic doesn't stand a chance

We returned home from vacation two Saturdays ago which meant that once last Monday morning rolled around, the train of Responsibility In The Form Of A Full Time Job And Night School was leaving the station and it was time for me to hop aboard.  

I'm sorry to say that things on the R.I.T.F.O.A.F.T.J.A.N.S. train didn’t get off on the right foot (or track, if you will) because I had class the very next night and it was there that I found myself in a situation I hoped to never be in.  To get the full story let me back it up like a Tonka truck (name that song) all the way back to college.  Oh, college.  How I miss you dearly and on a very regular basis.  

One thing that annoyed me in college was when a fellow student would show up to class without a writing utensil of any kind.  As someone who maintained a sizable inventory of pens, pencils, and highlighters in my bag AT ALL TIMES, I could not understand students who would arrive to class and not bring ONE SINGLE INSTRUMENT WITH WHICH TO WRITE.   

So the other night, after a harsh re-acquaintance with the world of rush hour traffic, I arrived at school. I proceeded to go through a quick mental checklist before I went to my classroom for my Estates and Trusts class, which can only be described as DRY.  DRIER THAN THE SAHARA DESSERT.  Unless of course, you’re talking about excluding a close family member from your will, in which case, DRAMA.

 I gathered my things, “textbook…check; notebook…check; pen………………”

 I didn’t have a pen.

Oh, the judgmental, collegiate tables.  How they had turned.

I walked to class with my head down and shamefully asked a peer if I could borrow a pen.  Since I neglected to bring one.  

Turns out I had class the next night also, and guess what I didn’t bring?  A pen.  Since asking for a pen TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW at SCHOOL was something I was not willing to do, I drove on over to CVS where I stood in front of one of the largest pen displays I had ever laid eyes on.  I came very close to purchasing the new Sharpie pen, because if I had a dollar for every good thing I have heard about it, I could actually afford to buy one.  In the end I decided couldn’t justify spending five dolla dolla bills on something that would likely be misplaced within 24 hours, so I went with the Papermate Profile.  I felt it was the right decision because they were buy one, get one free, plus it’s THE WORLD’S SMOOTHEST PEN.  And I’m a sucker for a superlative.

And now I am very curious about how that determination was made.  Is there cold, hard proof somewhere?  A spreadsheet of raw data I could perhaps look at?   Also, who tested every single pen in the WORLD?  And how do I get a job doing that?  I am confident that I could find make a wildly successful career of testing several products I enjoy and then making sweeping generalizations about them.  



Sign. Me. Up.

My 4 pack of pens and I made it to the classroom just in time.  I ripped open that bag o’ pens and got ready to take some serious notes.  Please know that the next sentence is written without one ounce of sarcasm whatsoever.  

I have never written with a pen that smooth.  

Seriously.  I could hardly control my writing.  My normally neat, boxy, controlled writing was suddenly flowing wildly onto the page.  The profile has a mind of its own and just glided across that page like an Olympic figure skater on a rink of ice.  It was unbelievable.  I can officially attest to the fact that the Papermate Profile is indeed the WORLD’S SMOOTHEST PEN. 

And now I think I should probably build up the superlatives section of my resume so that I can find a job sampling chocolate/nail polish/coffeemate flavors PRONTO.  I don’t have a second to lose, so tonight I’m going to start a hunt for the WORLD’S BEST POTATO CHIP.  It's for the people, really.  I’m just happy to help.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

once you pop, the fun don't stop

Well, well, well.  I have returned.  I say that as though people far and wide were missing regular humorous content over here at Oh Laura Darling, which is by and large totally unrealistic.  Nevertheless, I spent last week vacationing with my family at a lake in the mountains a few states away.  ‘Twas a lovely time, but when I returned my brain felt a wee bit dusty because I spent several days writing nothing more complex than a Wal Mart shopping list.  

Yes, we went there.  

One or four times.

I can't stay away.
Anyway, I have OH SO MUCH that I could write about vacation.   It was fantastic.  We swam and hiked and explored and boated and shopped and s'mored and rested and laughed.

Friday, July 1, 2011

they call me the cat whisperer

So.  I'm currently doing something I never really thought I would do.

Pursuing my pilot's license.

Oh,  I kid.  I'm pet sitting.  

Things are going well, except this whole experience has solidified the fact that I am not a cat person.  First of all, I do not like the fact that she can sneak around silently, and most of the time, I know not where she sneaks.  
Furthermore, Kitty and I had ourselves a battle of the wills on Saturday night when it took twenty minutes for me to lure her into the half bath where she sleeps.  Twenty.  Long.  Minutes.  I was scared to death to pick her up and she refused to move from her perch at the top of the stairs.  Eventually I resorted to enticing her with a trail of tuna flavored cat treats.  She stared at the path o' treats for a long time, but eventually gave in and as soon as she ran in the bathroom I shut the door behind her and breathed a sigh of victorious relief.

And that is when I realized I was in a Major Pickle because I had left the light on. 

Suddenly I felt sympathetic and wondering how, OH HOW, will the poor cat get a proper night's rest with the light on?    However, I knew if I opened the door enough to get inside, that cat would shoot out of there like a bat out of you know where.  And there weren’t enough kitty treats left to lure her back in since I had totally depleted my supply in round 1.  

So I just waited a few minutes to throw her off her game, then I opened the door a teeny, tiny little crack, wedged a wooden spoon in through the opening, and slid it up and down the wall until I found the switch, and flipped it down so the cat could sleep soundly without being bothered by the light.

I'm pleased to report that the cat seemed extra rested and refreshed in the morning, no doubt due to her dark sleeping quarters.  Also, she has gone to the bed every night since without a bit of a problem.

Not only have I learned to outsmart a cat, but this week has provided me with the opportunity to add three things to my list of Things I Never Thought I'd Google.

1- How do you know if a cat is happy?
2- What does it mean when a cat arches her back?
3- How do you clean a litter box?

I'm still a little unclear on the answers to questions 1 and 2, but I learned the answer to number 3.  OH, I LEARNED.

And then I gagged.

Anywho, in addition to the cat, I am also in charge of a very agreeable beagle, some well behaved fish, and a guinea pig.   That's right.  I'm a regular Dr. Doolittle.

The experience is actually reminding me of the time my college roommates and I bought our own guinea.


Hey, did you know that Petco has a 30 day return policy, and that it includes animals?
That’s one of those things that people read on the back of the receipt and think, “Who in the world uses the return policy at Petco?!” 

Me.  I use it. 

I promise that we bought Winnie the Guinea with the best of intentions.  


We thought a guinea pig would be SO FUN AND ADORABLE.  You know what's not fun and adorable?  Cleaning out a guinea pig cage several times a week, and a member of the phylum rodentia living in your kitchen.

Truthfully I can't even believe that Petco sold Winnie to us, because when we saw the guinea pig cages we decided they didn't go with our decorating scheme so instead we bought Winnie a pink, Victorian style bird cage in which to live.  

Well, four days later we were back at Petco with our receipt, the pink bird cage, and a makeshift shoebox-carrying crate for Winnie the Guinea.  'Twas not meant to be.

 And that's the story of Winnie the Guinea.

Now, it's time for me to go create a path of tuna treats. 

I don't know how I stand all the glamour around here.