Sunday, October 28, 2012

happy campers

Matt and I went camping this weekend.  We left Thursday morning and when Matt came to pick me up he asked, "Um--are you going to change your earrings before we go?" 

The last time we went camping, Matt thought my earrings were a little over the top.  Apparently he felt the same way about my thumbnail sized faux diamond studs.  I CAN'T IMAGINE WHY.



I decided that wasn't the right moment to tell him that, along with those classy, elegant jewels, I had my pale pink hairdryer and an entire arsenal full of beauty products in my bag.

As we were walking out of my apartment, I asked Matt if he could run through a list of typically forgotten items just so I could double check myself and make sure I wasn't leaving anything behind.

"Sure," he said, "Did you pack your toothbrush?"

 Guess what.  I hadn't packed my toothbrush.

I have an electric toothbrush that doesn't fit in one of those handy travel toothbrush containers, so I stuck a plastic baggie over the bristles, stuck it in the side pocket of my bag, and off we went.


I am very sad to report that my toothbrush fell out of my bag when I was putting it in the tent.  

Right.  Into.  The.  Dirt.


That plastic baggie was no match for the dirt that it fell on BRISTLE-FIRST.  I picked it up and dusted it off, QUITE LITERALLY, and when it came time to brush my teeth before bedtime I just told myself that a dirty toothbrush was better than no toothbrush at all, which was a tough pill to swallow but WHAT CHOICE DID I HAVE?



And after I brushed my teeth with my questionable toothbrush, I embarked on my nightly skincare routine, which includes Clinique Take the Day Off makeup remover, Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit facial soap and cleansing cloths, some Pore Refining Cleanser, and moisturizer.  After I was finished with all that I sat next to Matt and we were chatting away.  A few minutes into our conversation he paused and said, "This is weird but I think I smell...oranges...?"

It was my face.

Awesome.

Thank you very much, pink grapefruit oil-free cleanser.    

The weather didn't really cooperate for our trip but, despite the clouds and the rain, we still had fun!  


 





















Saturday, October 27, 2012

just your typical educational weekend outing

Matt and I went to the Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site this weekend.  It was cloudy and rainy but we still learned a lot!


















 This was a self-guided tour, and there was an older couple behind us for much of it.  When we got into this building, the older woman started making a huge fuss over that wooden cart on the right.  She went on and on about how beautiful it was and must have told her husband, Jim, that a cart like that would be so great to have around the house at least thirteen times.  Finally Jim looked at her and said, "Carole!  We already have a wheel barrow just like that in the backyard!"






Wednesday, October 24, 2012

just a few life lessons

You know what you should never do?  Stand at the copy machine at work and decide that you want to make 3 copies of something.  And then change your mind and decide you only need 2.  And then change it one more time and decide you need 3 after all. 

Because you may end up actually making 323 copies of something. 

Ask me how I learned that. 

Something else you should never do is clean your car windshield with Armor All car cleaner instead of the more traditional Windex.  Your windshield will appear crystal clear in the daylight, but when it gets dark outside you will learn just how streaky it is, and will have to pull over on the side of the road and wipe the windshield with the sleeve of your sweatshirt so that you can make it safely home.


Let's just say IT HASN'T BEEN MY BEST WEEK.

The good news though is that the week is essentially over, because Matt and I leave in the morning to go camping.  And unless things have really changed since the last time I was in a forest, there are no copy machines there that I can mess up.

The only possible problem we might face with our camping weekend is Hurricane Sandy, who is evidently alive and well and on the move.  I am currently watching the weather to get the latest update and listen, I love some good meteorological drama as much as the next girl.  But once the weather people start talking about the "cone of uncertainty," I start to feel a little bit like they're just manufacturing drama.  

I heard talk of the "cone of uncertainty" on the 6:00 news, and when I turned the weather on just now, the meteorologist was explaining some "spaghetti plots," that she had created, which consisted of about 47 squiggly lines all over the map informing viewers that the hurricane could hit anywhere between Illinois and the mid-Atlantic or IT MIGHT NOT HIT AT ALL, WE DON'T REALLY KNOW.  

If worse comes to worse and it starts to rain this weekend, we can just come home.  

It's a good thing Matt's driving.  

He always has a crystal clear windshield.

Monday, October 22, 2012

more of a shiver than a cold

Well, I'm just sitting here fighting through the tail end of an extremely mild cold.  Good news- I think I'm gonna make it.  I'm not 100% back to normal but I was healthy enough to buy new black high heels after work today and eat 8 taquitos for dinner, so I'm well on my way.

It all started on Saturday night. Matt came over in the afternoon and we enjoyed some fall festivities and then decided to order a pizza for dinner and watch a movie.  Actually, we ordered two pizzas and I ate half of one all by myself.  It was delicious.  

We started to watch Spanglish but turned it off halfway through because, to be quite honest, it was a little boring and a lot confusing.  I feel like it's a low point to admit that a movie starring Adam Sandler confused me, but it is what it is. 

Later on Matt was getting ready to leave, and I stood up and suddenly felt VERY SICK.  My head hurt and my nose was stuffy and I felt like I was swallowing knives.  

I may or may not be exaggerating a wee bit.

I convinced Matt that he should probably tuck my into bed before he went home.  When he agreed to that, I proceeded to request a cup of cool water on my night stand because how could I be expected to get up to get myself a drink in my weakened state?  I am also a big believer of MILKING SOMETHING FOR ALL IT'S WORTH.  

I requested all of these things in a whisper, for dramatic effect, and held onto the wall as I made my way to my bedroom in an effort to convey LOOK AT HOW WEAK I SUDDENLY AM.

Finally, I took the opportunity to whisper to Matt that if he wanted to stop by the next day with some soup I would be most appreciative, but requested that it be something simple like chicken noodle or maybe a nice cream of potato.

And it was at that point that Matt looked at me and said, "You know, I've never seen such a serious illness hit so suddenly.  It's really hard to believe that just a few hours ago you were laughing and talking and eating half a pizza with extra cheese, peppers, and onions, and now you can barely speak or walk."
  
My jig.  It was up.

I knew the whole 'holding onto the wall while I walked' thing was over the top.  

Matt still agreed to tuck me into bed, but after further discussion we determined it was far too logistically complicated, because it would involve him leaving my apartment, locking the door behind him, and then coming around to my bedroom window and passing the keys back in to me.  Retrieving the keys would require me to get out of bed which would make the whole thing pointless anyway. 

So I said goodbye at the door and tucked myself into bed.

This morning it was back to work, and I found out I got a promotion.  I have left my cubicle behind and now have an office with a view.


Oh, I kid.  I was in an empty office for a conference call.  Rest assured that I'm still holding down the fort in a cubicle in the middle of the office with nary an outdoor view in sight.  

Although I think I may try to schedule some more conference calls in the future.

As soon as I recover from my extremely mild cold.



Friday, October 19, 2012

now that's what i call getting in a jam. literally.

Well, I had a bad day today.  I was frustrated with lots of different things and knew I was hitting my limit at about 10:00 this morning when I found myself saying, "I HATE THIS STAPLER.  THIS IS THE DUMBEST STAPLER IN THE WORLD." 

After those words came out of my mouth I realized, "WHOA, TIME TO CALM IT ON DOWN."

And so calm down I did, in the form of a lunchtime trip to the mall with two other paralegals.  Because sometimes you just need to spend thirty minutes trying on shoes that you can only afford in your dreams or the case of an unexpected financial windfall.

 Tonight I re-read my last blog post,  and Emily's calm greeting in the face of a time constraint reminded me of one of my favorite Emily stories.

Emily was a freshman in high school and was going to her first big school dance.  Her friend was picking her up at 6:30, and yet at about 6:12 Emily was laying on her bed in her bathrobe, painting her nails with not even a hint of urgency.  I went upstairs to gently encourage Emily to GET A MOVE ON while my mom made her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich so she could at least have something to eat before she left for the dance.  

While my mom was in the kitchen, Emily finally put on her outfit - a pretty, flowy, cream colored dress.  My mom brought the sandwich up to Emily and then the two of us waited in the living room so Emily could finish her last minute primping.

About five minutes later Emily came down the steps.

"Hey mom, can I have a wet cloth?"  she asked.

"Sure," my mom said, "Is everything okay?"

"Yep everything's fine." Emily said, with the calmest voice in the world.  "I just sat on my sandwich." 

Sat.  On.  Her.  Sandwich. 

And in the process, got grape jelly on that pretty, flowy, cream colored dress.

And it didn't bother her in the slightest.  She just wiped the grape jelly off the dress and off she went to the dance.  I admire her ability to stay calm in stressful situations.  This coming from the girl who almost hurled her stapler out the window this morning after one simple jam.

Happy weekend.  

I'm off to buy some new office supplies.


Monday, October 15, 2012

a lesson on scarves and parking lots



Matt and I had plans to go out to dinner in the city with some friends on Friday night.  Matt works in the city, but since he is finished work at 5 and our dinner reservation wasn't until 8:00, he decided to take the train to my town and hang out at my apartment until it was time to head back in.

 The train station is less than a mile from my apartment, but I never drive down that way at rush hour and had no idea how congested the traffic would be. It took me eight minutes to make one left turn.  To make matters worse, all I had eaten on Friday was a banana that had seen better days and some pumpkin gumdrops.  Listen, I'm not proud.  Anyway, my famished state plus ALL THE TRAFFIC was a recipe for disaster in the form of ONE REALLY BAD MOOD.

I finally made that left turn and pulled into the parking lot to wait for Matt's train.  And wait and wait.  And wait.  Eventually it occurred to me that I was parked on the outbound side.  Which would have been fine except Matt was waiting for me on the inbound side.

I switched lots and found Matt and executed a rolling stop while he jumped in the car.  He could tell right away that I was in a really bad mood.  Probably because I said, "HELLO.  I'M IN A REALLY BAD MOOD."

The car was very quiet for a few minutes as I concentrated on feeling sorry for myself and Matt weighed the pros and cons of abandoning ship and getting back on the train.  As we sat at a red light I heard a sound coming from the passenger seat that sounded like Matt was blowing bubbles through a straw.  

I stared straight ahead. 

The bubbling got louder. 

Finally I caved and turned to look at him.

And there was Matt, in his shirt and tie with his fancy briefcase at his feet, holding a water bottle and gargling.  

GARGLING.

My bad mood was gone after that and we had a great time at dinner.  It was Restaurant Week in Philadelphia, which means that several fancy restaurants have a special menu and you can get three courses for just $30.  It's a good deal and kind of balances out the fact that I ordered a fourteen dollar martini.  

For dinner I had caesar salad and filet mignon and sauteed mushrooms and creme brulee.  It was delicious and we all ate until we couldn't eat another bite.

Except Matt.  Because after dinner we stopped at a bar and he promptly ordered a beer and a giant tub of crab fries with hot cheese dipping sauce.  

Nothing like a little dessert, that's what I always say.

Saturday night's plan originally included the movies, but at the last minute I said to Michelle, "Matt wants to go somewhere haunted tonight" and she looked at me and exclaimed "YOU'VE READ MY MIND."  And so we went to a haunted hayride, motel, and corn maze with Michelle and her boyfriend.

The weather was chilly and Michelle and I decided to wear scarves so we would be warm while we waited and also fashion forward.  Here's a photo of Matt and me before the hayride.  Please note my scarf.

As we handed in our tickets for the haunted house, Michelle's boyfriend said to the ticket taker, "Tell the people inside that these two girls are really scared."  And the guy looked at us and said, "They've already given themselves away. Look at them.  They're wearing SCARVES at a haunted house."

I will be honest with you - the haunted house was so scary that I thought I might physically get sick.  And when that was over we went through the haunted corn maze, which about pushed me over the edge.  Matt dropped me off around midnight and I proceeded to lay in bed and watch 48 Hours: Hard Evidence, because I AM A GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT. 

On Sunday Emily had a school event and both of my parents were busy, so I was in charge of getting her there.  She had to be at school at 12:30, so I walked into the house at 12:00 to pick her up and she said, "Oh hey Laura, I'm just making some biscuits."

Nothing like making biscuits when you're in a time crunch.

Luckily they were done a few minutes later and we got in my car and Emily drove to school.

That's right.

EMILY DROVE.  MY CAR.  ON THE OPEN ROAD.

I know. 

I can hardly believe it myself.  

She told me she's taking the driving test in a month or two and I know what you're probably thinking.  I should teach her the difference between the inbound and outbound parking lots before she has to pick a future boyfriend up at the train station.

I'm on it.