Monday, October 24, 2011

in our defense, dinner was delicious

I did a lot of growing up this weekend.

On Saturday I went shopping with my mom and Emily.  Our first stop was to look at kitchen tables.  I know.  ONLY GROWN UPS SHOP FOR KITCHEN TABLES.

After that, we hit the mall so I could get some more business suits for work.  I picked out several suits that I liked and went into the dressing room to try them .  The first one fit me perfectly, but it was so shiny that it looked like I was either wrapped in tinfoil or masquerading as a giant bicycle reflector and that's really not the look I was going for.  Although it would be the perfect suit for a hip hop star's agent, so if I hear that Chamillionaire has an opening on his staff, I'll be back to buy that shiny suit in a heartbeat.

Emily sat on the bench and listened to her ipod while giving me the thumbs up or thumbs down on each suit I tried on.  She said very little, but when she did speak, she did so EXTREMELY LOUDLY in order to hear herself over the headphones, a tendency that was particularly charming when I tried on a pair of pants that may have been one or five sizes too small and she loudly exclaimed "OH WOW! CAN YOU EVEN ZIP THEM?' 

I think shoppers in housewares heard her and her honesty.

Finally I settled on two suits and three tops, and at the checkout I applied for a Macy's card.  ONCE AGAIN-how grown up of me.  And then, as if that weren't enough, we stopped by the Verizon store on our way out, and I was once and for all booted off the family plan.

After our shopping excursion Emily and I went to a place very near and dear to my heart. 


Since I've started my new job, I haven't been to Sonic once.  Truth be told, I am actually surprised that they have managed to stay in business without my loyal patronage.  I would be lying if I said I didn't think about Sonic daily, and I'm happy to report that this weekend I was finally reunited with my beloved peach sweet tea.

It was just the girls for dinner Saturday night, so after our stop at Happy Hour my mom sent Emily and I to the food store with twenty five dollars and instructions to come home with something tasty yet healthy for dinner.

We returned half an hour later with a classy, mature dinner.

A family pack of fried chicken and a bag of grapes.

Perhaps I do still have some growing up to do.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

two steps forward, one step back

As a general rule, I'm not a fan of road names that are solely numbers, or that feature a letter indicating a cardinal direction.  

Main Street?  I can handle that.  

Cherry Lane?  Bring it on.  

676E?  No thanks, I'll stay home.

I have a rocky and longstanding relationship with highways.  What happens is that I tend to panic in areas with several exits and SO MANY signs.  I never seem to have enough time to find the sign I want, and then I end up doubting my gut instinct, and just get on to the nearest exit ramp as quickly as I can.  Which is usually a poor decision.

That exact scenario is how I learned that there is a lovely little town called Grantville in the middle of Pennsylvania.  I accidentally discovered it when I was en route from Penn State to Philadelphia.  I was coming home for a job interview senior year, and it was the first time I'd done the drive by myself.  My dad emailed me a set of incredibly detailed instructions, and after step #9 he wrote, "Okay, if you're made it this far, you can't go wrong now! The rest is easy!"

Well, guess who went wrong at step #10, and ended up in tears on the phone with her father while sitting in the parking lot at the Grantville rest stop.
This afternoon I had an obligation in the city for my new job.  As it turns out, that's not really the kind of situation where you can say, "Well, boss, I have bad luck with highways and following directions, so THANKS BUT NO THANKS."  It meant I had to grow up and drive from the suburbs to the city.  I looked over the directions a few nights ago and didn't think they sounded that complicated, and told myself that if I missed my exit, I could always just turn around!  Easy solution!  I showed the directions to my dad and, just for some reassurance, said, "I mean, what's the worst that could happen if I miss my exit?"  


Hmm.  Note to self.  Don't miss the exit.

So today was the big travel day, and I did it.  Without any problems at all.  I was pretty proud of myself.

After I parked I walked down the street and found the fancy office building.  The lobby was HUGE and after I signed in and went through security, I walked up to a hallway FULL of elevators.  There were at least eight of them.  I saw one elevator that had the doors open and a few people waiting inside.  Perfect timing.  I marched right on over and hopped in, and the man standing in front of the buttons asked me, "What floor?"  

"Five please," I told him.

He sort of looked at me expressionless, so I repeated myself.

"Five.  Please."

And then he said, "Uhh, you know not every elevator goes to every floor right?  The ones that go to five are down there on the end."

Obviously I did not know that, because if I did I would not have boarded a (full) elevator bound for floors 11-15.  I walked out of the elevator and down to the end of the row, where I saw the sign

I have another meeting in the city on Thursday.  

I'm not worried about the drive at all.

But I can assure you that once I arrive, I will be taking the stairs.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

unfortunately, i really have missed the autumnal equinox

It was very dark outside when I woke up this morning.  So dark, in fact, that I was initially concerned I had missed some sort of Daylight Savings time related clock changing.  I laid in bed for a few minutes thinking about what a tragic situation that would have been, because it would have also meant that I lost the chance to throw my annual End of Daylight Savings Time Gala.  The gala is always great fun and a true autumn highlight each year.  Everyone wears their finest dresses and brings their clocks and we all ceremoniously change the time together, and then feast on the traditional Daylight Savings Time foods like fried chicken and cheesecake.

Or maybe I was just delaying getting out of bed and thus created this imaginary gala.  

Although it does sound like fun.

Eventually I made my way out from under the warm covers because, you know, carpe diem.  And also, I have a job.  The next half hour went smoothly, but things took a nosedive to the south when I went down to the kitchen to pour my coffee, and remembered that I used up the last few drops of my coffee creamer yesterday.


I'm going to be honest here for just a moment.  The only reason I drink coffee is because I love creamer.  There.  I said it.  In my mind, coffee is merely the means to a delicious, high calorie end.  The creamer is where it's at.  Sometimes I pour so much in, that it actually makes my mug of coffee cold.  

Hmm.  Writing that out makes it sound less than appetizing, but believe you me, there is nothing like starting the day with a mug of white chocolate caramel mocha creamer and a teaspoon or two of Folgers.

I thought about stopping on my way to work for coffee, but that is something that I NEVER do simply because I have perfected the art of getting up, showering, getting dressed, doing my hair and makeup, and packing my purse and lunch in exactly 37 minutes flat.  It took months to perfect that routine, and adding another task is like PLAYING WITH FIRE.

But, as the saying goes, desperate times call for Dunkin' Donuts, which is where I found myself five minutes later ordering a large, hot, pumpkin spice latte with whipped cream and caramel.  

Basically, I had dessert at 7 am.

After work I had an appointment to get my hair cut, which meant I spent the last several days performing my semi-annual ritual of deciding whether or not I should do something drastic to my hair and if I should get bangs or not.  Of course, there is always the option of the fabang.

In the end I got a simple trim because I stopped for coffee on the way to work and HOW MANY RISKS SHOULD ONE GIRL TAKE IN A DAY?  I also got a teeny, tiny section of my hair cut into very long side bangs, so I have the option of  either styling them as bangs, or blending them right in with the rest of my hair.

Part time bangs.  The solution to years of follicular discontent.

And the best part is now that I don't have to think about my hair anymore, I can focus my full attention on planning the Annual End of Daylight Savings Time Gala.

Just let me know if you want an invitation.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

come to think of it, i could easily eat two gallons of sonic tots


I just turned on the news, and one of the top stories is about a chili eating contest that took place this past weekend.  The contestant who consumed TWO GALLONS of chili in just six minutes was declared the winner.  Although I think in this case "winner" is a relative term because, yuck. 

A chili eating story as the headliner means is a sure sign it was a slow weekend around here.  Speaking of the weekend, on Friday night Emily, my mom and I ate dinner with my grandmother.  We dined on pizza, mozerella sticks, and chicken fingers, because sometimes you just need a light, healthy dinner.  

Now that I think about it, perhaps people in glass food houses shouldn't throw french fries.  My apologies to you, Mr. Champion Chili Eater.

I spent most of Saturday babysitting, and then Matt and I ate dinner at the Longhorn Steakhouse.  We have been dating for three years, and I have NEVER ONCE ordered steak when we've gone out.  Not once.  It's not that I don't like steak.  I do.  When my dad cooks it.  But when I'm at a restaurant, I prefer to go with what I know, and I know poultry. 

This is something that boggles Matt's mind, especially when the restaurant happens to be a steakhouse.  If I had a dollar for every time he exclaimed, "WE GO TO A STEAKHOUSE, AND YOU ORDER CHICKEN?" I'd be one rich lady.

Saturday night was no different.  Matt ordered some sort of fancy wild west sirloin steak, and I played it safe with the always delicious chicken and mushrooms.  We both gave our respective dinners two thumbs up.  I know sometimes restaurant chains get bad raps, but how many other places offer a dining experience directly underneath giant, fake, livestock suspended precariously from the ceiling?  Not many, my friends.  Not many. 

In addition to the agricultural paraphenalia, our waitress said, "y'all" which caused me to spend a better part of the evening pondering if she was just wholeheartedly embracing the Texas theme, or if "y'all" is a part of her everyday vocabulary.  The latter would be unusual, because unfortunately people suburban Philadelphia don't say y'all too frequently.  I occasionally try to throw it in during casual conversation, but without fail Emily says, 'DID YOU JUST SAY Y'ALL?" so the transition has been less than seamless.

Several years ago, my mom and I were in Barnes and Noble, and the man at the cash register had the most authentic sounding British accent.  As we were leaving the store I said to my mom (remember...this was SEVERAL YEARS AGO), "So, do you think he's really British, or was the accent just for fun?"

After composing her thoughts for a few seconds she looked at me and said, "Laura, most adults don't just speak in foreign accents "for fun."

And that's the day I retired my Scottish accent.

I'll admit that Sunday was less than exciting around here.  I switched my clothes from summer to winter.  It took several hours, but at the end my closet was once again organized by color and length, and my cozy sweaters and warm boots had taken the place of shirts and flip flops.  

And then today it was 82 degrees.

After all that work, it's a bummer it wasn't CHILI!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

time to reTIRE

Last weekend, I made the biggest online purchase of my life thus far.  The number in the subtotal column was equivalent to several days of work, and when I clicked the submit button I crossed my fingers hoping my debit card wouldn't blow up because WHOA BOY, the purchase price was unprecedented.  A few days later I arrived home from work to see that my order had finally arrived.

Here is where I wish I could tell you that what was delivered to my doorstep was a diamond encrusted tiara a la Kate Middleton, or perhaps a designed purse made out of snakeskin.  If there's one thing in this world I love, it's a purse made out of faux reptile skin.  Classy.   

Sadly, what actually arrived what this...
With the combination of a much longer commute and the approaching winter season, Old Blue needed some new tires.  So I bit the bullet and bought these, since I would hate to face a snow covered commute with anything less than SUPERB TRACTION AND CORNERING STABILITY.  

Even though I'm not one hundred percent clear on what cornering stability is.  I just know I want it.

The tires are being installed tomorrow, so on Tuesday you better believe I will be burning (brand new, expensive) rubber.  Speaking of cars and long commutes, I have started listening to the traffic report each morning and evening.  I feel like that is a requirement for driving on the highway at rush hour.  Sometimes I sit at red lights and look at the business people in the cars all around me with serious expressions on their faces and blackberries attached to their ears.  And it is that moment I know for certain that I am the only person in the line of traffic listening to Flo Rida.

So, in the interest of appearing just as serious as my fellow commuters, I turn on the AM news station for "Traffic and Transit, on the Twos" to check in on the status of my homeward route.  But here's the thing.  I only know one way home, which means that if that was is backed up, and the friendly traffic reporter suggests taking an alternate route, I wouldn't be able to.  I have a habit of getting lost, and it certainly doesn't help that the roads here are called 76, 276, 476, and 676.  


The bottom line is that it's rush hour in the suburbs of a large city, so it pretty much looks like this every day.
I can't complain too much though, because I have some sweet new wheels on which to commute.  And of course, Flo Rida on the radio doesn't hurt either.

Monday, October 3, 2011

all this to say, things are status quo

Well hello.  I am back.  Finally.  It seems like the longer I go without writing something, the weaker the muscles in the writing department of my brain get.  It's sort of like exercising.  If I go a few days or weeks without a good workout, my muscles get weaker and weaker.

Clearly I am JUST KIDDING because I do not exercise.  Although I imagine that if I did, that principle would hold true.

The truth is that I have planned several times to write a post for the ol' blog but then I suffer from what I like to call DISTRACTIONS.  For example, last night I sat down with the best intentions of composing a few paragraphs, but instead ended up buying a set of tires for my car and then reading every last detail of DMX's lengthy criminal history.  If you're wondering how tires and felonious rappers are related, you're not alone.  I don't know how I went from one to the other, but what I do know is that perhaps DMX should familiarize himself with what constitutes a weapons violation, because it would appear from his rap sheet that he cannot remember.  

Haha.  Rap sheet.  See what I did there?

Anyway, the reason I've been so quiet is because September was a big month for me.  When it started, I was still in school, working at my old admin job, and living at home with no realistic plans to move out anywhere on the horizon or even in the solar system.  And now here I am on the other side of September, and in the past thirty days I finished my classes, interviewed for and was offered a new job, left my old job, started working as a paralegal, graduated from school, and started planning to move out on my own.

And I still managed to find time to get a speeding ticket!!

My new job required me to go on a trip for a few days last week, and I got a hotel room all to myself.  It's just ashame that it wasn't big enough.

Kidding, kidding.  The room was enormous.  I could have run laps back and forth from the door to the window if I were someone who enjoyed exercising.
And on Thursday night I graduated.  'Twas a lovely evening and it sure is a good feeling to know that I am finished with school!  Forever!  

Although, I will always be a student of life.

And a fan of cheesy quotes.

The other weekend my friend and I did some apartment hunting.  When I got home and broke the news to Emily that her fantastic older sister is really, truly going to be moving out, great sadness abounded.  Oh, there was devastation.  There may have even been some tears.

And then Emily told me to pull myself together and start clearing out my room because OH, SHE HAS SOME GRAND DECORATING PLANS.

Actually, she was very sad to hear the news.  I may have encouraged the sadness by quietly singing Trace Adkins' "You're Gonna Miss This" every time I saw her.  Although I did try to console her by telling her it will be a lot like when I went away to college.  She said, and I quote, "Yeah, but when you were at school I always knew you would be coming back home.  And plus, I didn't really like you as much then."

It was a precious moment.

On Sunday morning Emily was still in bed, and I pulled the old "knock and enter" on her door, and went in and loudly announced that it was time for Laura's First Weekly Performance of Singing Pop Songs, Opera Style.
I'm thinking my moving out may not be looking so bad to Emily anymore.