Thursday, June 28, 2012

i was going to say something about the sand being grand

When I woke up on Monday morning I had grand plans to come home after work and compose a post about the rest of our trip to the beach with photographs and an accompanying poem.

And then I got to the office and realized that it was the last day of open enrollment and all of my insurance forms were due by 4:30.  I thought about my options all morning and finally sent my dad an email at 1:00 with the subject line "insurance stuff - i am so confused" because OH MY WORD at all of the choices.  He responded with a detailed email about what he recommended and ended it with a paragraph about insurance being one of those tough decisions you just have to make as an adult.  Judging by the fact that I got a serious case of the giggles when I read the section in the brochure about how much you get paid per lost toe, I have my doubts about how well I fit into the adult category.

When I finally settled on what coverage I wanted, I had to complete all sorts of math equations that about sent me over the edge and reminded me why I am a paralegal and not a mathematician. When I came home on Monday night the last thing I wanted to do was compose couplets and rhymes about the beach.  

Tuesday night rolled around and I went to visit my cousin's new kitten and made a trip to Target because I was out of some necessities like trail mix and purple nail polish.

 And Wednesday.  Oh, Wednesday.  It was one of those days when I think SOMETIMES THIS JOB IS REALLY HARD.  And so last night I got a manicure with Michelle and and then caught up on some Lifetime tv. 

Which brings us to today, and I'll be honest, the cute little rhymes that I had in my head on Monday about the beach and the dolphins are history.  And so, here are some rhyme-free photos of our trip to Cape May, New Jersey.  We stayed at the Summer Cottage Inn, and if you're planning a trip, you should stay there.

They serve cheese pudding for breakfast.

I don't think I need to say anything more.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

i'm using this post to pretend i'm still at the beach

Last Sunday marked six months of living on my own!  I figured there was no better way to celebrate that milestone than to sleep over at my parents' house!


Oh, I am only semi-serious.  I did sleep at home last Sunday, but it was because I was home to celebrate Father's Day, and was leaving the very next morning for a few days at the beach with my mom and sister. 

For Father's Day we presented my dad with the gift that every father wanted this year, AKA the WILD GAME INNOVATIONS 5 MEGAPIXEL MICRO GAME CAMERA.  
Okay, maybe only fathers who have recently constructed a large body of water in their backyard put that on their wish list.
Either way, I hope that the camera enables my dad to capture covert night vision photographs of any after dark wildlife visitors to our lake-pond!

On Monday morning my mom, Emily and I got ready to go to the shore.  Emily and I made a last minute trip to Dunkin' Donuts because that is the land where all good road trips begin.  

Since it was a Monday morning I had a feeling that the drive-thru line would be busy, so I told Emily that once we got up to the order screen she would have to think fast.  No flip flopping or thinking about her order for several minutes.  I even gave her a little pep talk as we pulled into the parking lot that featured phrases such as "Speak confidently" and "Trust your decision" which were admittedly a little serious for the situation.  A few minutes into my speech Emily looked over at me and said, "I'll try to hurry. Geez.  I can't help it if I'm just used to the Starbucks menu."

My my my.  


Once we had our Dunkin' Donuts we were on our way, and the drive to the beach was uneventful.  We checked into our bed and breakfast, ate lunch, and hit the beach.  It was overcast and windy but that did not stop us from having a grand old time.  

After some reading and some walking and some OH MY GOODNESS THIS WATER IS SO COLD we sat in our beach chairs and I explained to my mom and Em that I read somewhere that pictures actually turn out best when you are laughing, not simply smiling.  In an effort to prove my point, and also because I love to be photographed, I asked Emily to take a few shots of me laughing.

Listen.  I have no explanation for why I rose my arms like I am directing a choir and posed my face in an expression that suggests I'm experiencing a high level of pain.  Rest assured that I do not actually look like that when I laugh.  

Unfortunately these pictures blow the theory of looking better in a picture when you laugh RIGHT OUT OF THE WATER.

It was my mom's turn next and, ladies and gentleman, we have photographic proof that I get my fake laugh arm raising from my mother.  However, I know better than to post that picture here.

Finally, it was Emily's turn.
 She was not really on board.

When evening rolled around we took a carriage ride through the town.

And after that we ate dinner on the patio of a restaurant where we had a Russian waitress, and I came to a realization.  The accent I have invented, named Scirish (Scottish+Irish), and use when I am trying to make Emily laugh and/or roll her eyes already exists.  

And it's called Russian.


 And that was Day 1.

Friday, June 22, 2012

haven't seen mail addressed like this in a while

I am 23 years old.  I graduated from college over two years ago and have been living in my own apartment since December.  I have a full time job, and besides the fact that every time I visit my parents I come back home with leftovers, for the most part I support myself.

So imagine my surprise when I checked the mail AT MY OWN APARTMENT this afternoon and saw this.
Mail addressed to my mom and dad.  The back of the flyer congratulated them on being the parents of a brand new college student, so either PNC is a little bit confused, or they know something I don't about my educational status.

Just when I was feeling like a grown up. 

Let's just hope that tomorrow I don't find mail for my parents from my high school principal.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

all good things must come to an end

Well.  I just returned from an amazing few days at the beach with Emily and my mom.  We walked and ate and talked and read and tanned and laughed and sat in sand chairs with beach towels on our heads.

Okay, just Emily did that last thing.

 To be fair, I'm pretty sure this was right after I spent half an hour telling her some ridiculous made up explanation about how the word "dolphin" actually originated from the words "dual fin" and that the technical term for seagulls is Mid Atlantic Sea Birds (none of which is true, by the way) and she JUST NEEDED A BREAK FROM ALL THE TALKING.

Some things never change.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

the one without a clever conclusion

Well, today was a strange day.

It all started when I stopped by the grocery store on the way to work.  We were having a little birthday celebration for a co-worker this morning and, not surprisingly, I was in charge of bringing the funk. 

Oh just kidding.  I was in charge of bringing the flowers. 

True to form I found myself overwhelmed with the options and spent about ten minutes deliberating between purple daisies or some gorgeous sunflowers.  As I was looking I heard a voice say, "Excuse me, are the roses part of the $9.99 sale as well?"  I kept my attention focused on the task at hand until a moment later when I felt a tap on my shoulder.  I turned around and saw a man standing next to me.  "Excuse me young lady- I asked you to tell me if the roses are part of the $9.99 sale."

"I'm sorry, I said, "I don't work here."

"Oh," he replied.  "Well you SURE look like you do."  

I glanced down for a second to make sure that I hadn't accidentally gotten dressed that morning in khaki pants, a hunter green golf shirt, matching baseball cap, and giant button proclaiming ASK ME ABOUT DOUBLE COUPONS! 

Sure enough I wearing a black dress with tiny white polka dots and a cute little bow, and black high heels. I am going to choose to think that the gentleman thought I was an employee not because I looked like one in the physical sense, but rather because I was exuding botanical knowledge.  That's what happens when you volunteer to be the gardener for the rooftop garden at work I guess.  COMES WITH THE TERRITORY.

I decided on the daisies and we had our little breakfast birthday celebration at work, and then it was time to pack up for what was going to be a full day at court.  Another paralegal was going with me, and we each had a cart with two huge boxes of files.  Getting the files from our office to the courtroom took thirty four minutes and required two security guards, access to the VIP elevator, one band-aid, and four sheriff's deputies.  

When we finally, AND I DO MEAN FINALLY, got to the courtroom, there was a woman already there that I didn't recognize.  She walked right over to me and said, "Good morning! Are you an intern?"

What I really wanted to do what say "I  FEEL LIKE I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO I AM TODAY," but she was nice and I get the intern question quite frequently I just said, "No, I'm the paralegal."

And then I gave her floral advice!

The day was extremely long it didn't help that the fire alarm went off at about 2:00, prompting a courthouse-wide evacuation and LOTSA CHAOS.  We finally finished up the hearings around 4:00, and I'm sorry to say that by that time my strength was severely depleted since the court hadn't recessed for lunch and all I had to eat was 13 goldfish crackers and half of a Special K bar. 

As we packed up to go back to the office my coworker and I strapped two boxes onto the first cart successfully, but when we attempted to strap the boxes on the second cart we discovered that the strap was stuck in the wheel, and due to our aforementioned lack of strength, we decided to walk carefully and just fix it when we got back to the office. 

We made it out of the courthouse, but evidently we didn't walk carefully enough because as we proceeded onto the sidewalk, I watched in what felt like slow motion as the preciously balanced top box of files tumbled right off the cart right onto pavement.  We both stopped in our tracks, and for half a second I didn't know if I was going to laugh or cry.  And then we started laughing - the kind that is silent for several seconds because you are laughing so hard you can't catch your breath. 

We quickly composed ourselves and got the files back into the box, but as we were kneeling on the sidewalk in our dresses and high heels surrounded by boxes and carts and purses I said, "It would be just our luck for someone we know to walk by right this minute."

And do you know what happened right that minute?

The attorney that I used to work with came strolling around the corner.  "Look!  It's my two favorite paralegals!" she said as she saw us.  And then she offered to stand on the sidewalk with our files so that we could bring the car around and avoid having to transport all of our equipment to the parking garage.

In the end we got the boxes more securely loaded and made it to the car without any additional spills.

There is one more notable event from the day, but I will save that for the next post because HOW MUCH EXCITEMENT CAN FIT INTO ONE POST?

Monday, June 11, 2012

at least my whole arm isn't sunburned

 So.  I went to the beach with Matt's family this weekend.  I left after work on Friday, but before I hit the road I made a quick stop at McDonald's because any time I have to drive somewhere that is more than an hour away I like to bring a medium iced coffee for the ride.  I tell myself that it will help keep me alert but let's be honest.  99% of the time I'm not sleepy at all, just in the mood for a little iced coffee treat.

I placed my standard order at the drive-thru on Friday, but when I pulled up to the window, was handed this bad boy.  


 I actually have no idea what this was besides DELICIOUS, so unfortunately I will never be able to order it again.  I will admit that I am a bit sad about that because I am fairly certain that I actually drove better with this fancy thing as my road trip beverage.

However, when I arrived at the beach this frozen strawberry daiquiri was waiting for me. 


The next day we went out for the morning and came home for some lunch and the beach.  Before we set out for the afternoon I diligently applied my suncreen because SAFETY FIRST.  Or something like that.  

I used Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunblock.  I bought it a few weeks ago for the Memorial Day Pool Weekend That Wasn't, but since I didn't need it then, Saturday was my first chance to give it a try.  
I've been a Banana Boat girl my entire life, but the fact that this sunblock was a spray intrigued me.  And, since I am not one to pass up the opportunity to try a new skincare product, especially one with a fancy misting nozzle, I shelled out the eleven bucks and finally broke it open on Saturday for a pre-beach application.

And then I spent six hours here.
It was a beautiful afternoon.  The sun was warm, there was a great breeze, and the ocean was so calm that I actually swam around in it for a long time and it felt just like a pool.  At one point while we were swimming a huge group of dolphins came so close that I could have gone over and touched them if only I still had the same speedy aquatic skillz that I had back when I was a championship swimmer.

And right now you might be thinking, "Oh Laura Darling, I didn't know you were once a championship swimmer!"

That's because I wasn't.  But wouldn't that have been neat?

After five hours on the beach, I went back to the house and jumped in the shower to rinse off.  The second the water touched my body I turned it right off because OUCH, IT FELT LIKE IT WAS BURNING MY ARMS.

And then I looked down at my arms, and discovered that it was not that water that had burned them.

It was the sun.

In the most unique pattern.

And now, a word to the wise.  If you choose to purchase this Neutrogena spray sunblock, please be advised that if you simply stand on the back porch in your bathing suit and spray this wildly around your body, you too may end up with a very strange sunburn.  I would recommend paying more attention than I obviously did when applying.

I had high hopes that the white and the red would blend together and fade into the perfect suntan, but thirty six hours later that's not looking promising.

Looks like I'll be wearing long sleeve shirts this week.

And buying some Banana Boat.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

just glossing it over

Well, all I have to say is THIS WEEK IS FLYING BY.


That is not all I have to say, and this week is not flying by, NOT AT ALL.  Which is surprising considering all of the exciting things that I have been doing.

For example, last night I went to the store in an effort to continue my years long quest to find the perfect shade of pink lip gloss.  I ended up buying two new options, but am unimpressed with the results.

Both colors are pretty in the tube but when I put them on they sort of disappear into a very pale shimmer which might cause someone to say, "Hmm, are you even wearing lip gloss?" instead of "OH WOW, I LOVE YOUR PINK LIP GLOSS."  The latter is the obviously the reaction that I am aiming for.  And so the search continues in that department.

This morning began just like every morning, meaning that I sighed and whined and complained to myself when my alarm went off at 6:55.  I've never been a morning person, but one might think that after months and months and months of waking up at 6:55, I would just accept it.  

I haven't.

At precisely 7:03 every day I stumble into the bathroom and wash my face with the Clean and Clear MORNING BURST FACE WASH that I bought hoping that perhaps if I washed my face with that every morning I would feel just as perky and alive and excited for the day as the girls on the commercial.

I don't.

And then I return to my room and turn on Good Morning America while I finish getting ready, partly so that when I get to work and someone mentions the election or current global tensions I have something more intelligent to contribute than HEY SPEAKING OF NORWAY, DOES ANYONE KNOW OF A GOOD PINK LIP GLOSS, and also I may or may not have a major crush on Josh Elliot.

Today the lead story wasn't about politics or the global climate, but instead it centered on Donald Driver, Greenbay Packers football player and this season's Dancing with the Stars champion. Apparently Mr. Driver was at some sort of event over the weekend, and at one point threw his shoe to a young boy in the crowd.  A woman standing near the boy WRESTLED HIM DOWN and eventually got the shoe for herself.

Now I'll be honest.

I don't know much about Donald Driver aside from the fact that he performs a mean Samba and apparently knows his way around a football field.

However, if I ever became so famous that an adult would take down a small child just to become the owner of one of my old shoes, I would think "WHOA NELLY - TIME TO REIGN IT IN."

The rest of the day progressed as usual and after work I ate dinner with Matt's family and then swung by my parent's house.  True to form I came home with a box of miscellaneous items - including some fresh cut lavender, two large mason jars, a gift certificate to Rita's Water Ice, and a lemon.

The only thing missing was some pink lip gloss.

Monday, June 4, 2012

just consider us your local botanists

 At the beginning of May I had to go away for a few days for a work conference. During my first day of the conference I received a text from a coworker who stayed back at the office that went something along the lines of "THEY ARE OPENING A ROOFTOP GARDEN AT OUR BUILDING.  THERE IS A RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY WITH THE BIG BOSSES AT 11:00.  I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU ARE MISSING THIS."

And really, I couldn't believe I was missing it either since there are few things in life that bring me as much joy as watching a bunch of people in fancy suits cut a ribbon with awkward, oversize scissors whose accuracy is mediocre at best.  

Plus I love a good rooftop garden.

As soon as I returned to the office on Thursday morning I dropped my bags at my desk and hightailed it to the elevator so I could see the garden for myself.  My building has five floors, so naturally when we got in the elevator I pressed 5 because most logical people would assume that is where the rooftop would be located.

However, my coworker said, "Oh no, the garden is actually on the third floor."

 IT HAD ALREADY BEEN A NAVIGATIONALLY PERILOUS WEEK.  The news that the rooftop garden was on the third floor of a five floor building was almost more than I could process.

I trusted my coworker though and sure enough when the elevator got to the third floor the door opened to a huge garden and bright blue sky.  The garden had a lot of potential, but it struck me that that there weren't too many flowers in the gardens, and I wondered why.  

I didn't have to wonder long because at the staff meeting the very next morning our director announced that each department was going to get assigned a section of the garden to plant, and in a few months the gardens would be judged.  And the best news?  They just so happened to still need volunteers from my department.


My friend and I volunteered to be the gardeners for our department, and the other day at lunch we walked out to our cars to bring in our gardening supplies, which included a few trowels, gloves, several flats of flowers, and twenty five pounds of potting soil.  

One of the security guards saw us walking in with our goods and gave us permission to use the freight elevator by the coroner because it was bigger and closer.    

People may assume that there are no perks to sharing an office building with the coroner, but oh, those people would be wrong. 

My life never felt as glamorous as it did when I carrying twenty five pounds of dirt and a dozen white vincas to the elevator by the morgue.  JUST LIVIN' THE DREAM.

Just another day at the office.

 Here is a picture of the finished product.
 It might not look like much now, but once those flowers bloom we are confident that we can win this contest hands down.

As long as don't get lost in the elevator on the way to the third floor rooftop.