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My baby sister leaves for college tomorrow. I say baby because with seven years between us, I always think of her as little. It doesn’t matter that she turns 18 (oh my god) on Sunday. She will always be my little sister.

I’ve thought long and hard about the advice I could send her off with. The Do’s and Dont’s I learned along the way. So I’m making her a list (mostly based on personal experience) and I’m asking you to help a sister out and tell me what you learned in college. I’ll compile it all and send it off to her. She can share it with her friends and be the most popular girl in school. Really!

  • Dining hall food is awful. Because of this, you will find the one thing that isn’t awful and eat it all the time. Make sure this food is not grilled cheese. Grilled cheese makes you fat.
  • Speaking of fat, it’s not a rumor. If you drink all the time and eat a lot of grilled cheese, you will gain the Freshman Fifteen.
  • Living with someone is a challenge. No matter how much you like them, if they leave a bowl of milk and cereal in their bed the day your parents come to visit, you have to say something.
  • Express common courtesy. Don’t sexile (locking them out for a booty call) your roommate. That’s just mean.
  • What Dad said was true. Most guys are after one thing. It’s OK to have fun, but be safe. ALWAYS be safe.
  • Use common sense. It’s probably not the best idea to drink the punch out of the storage container that’s sitting on the bathroom floor of a frat.
  • You’ve heard it a thousand times, but it’s true. Don’t get in a car with someone who has been drinking. Please.
  • Go to class. The whole point of college is to, you know, learn. College classes aren’t like high school. They’re interesting. Go. Do the work. Pass. You won’t regret it.
  • Get involved. It’s a great way to meet lots of different people. (I joined the Student Entertainment Committee and a sorority and met some of my closest friends and my boyfriend.)
  • If a class is only offered in the fall, sell the book back at the end of the spring semester. You’ll get more money back that way.
  • Call home. Your family misses you.
  • When you go out, always have a buddy. And take care of each other. If your friend disappears into a bathroom stall with a random guy, go find her.
  • Take lots of pictures. You’ll want to remember it all.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got for now. So I’m counting on you to beef up the list. What advice do you have for my sister?

Before I get in to anything, I’d just like to update you on the score. Currently we’re at Universe: 4, Molly: 0. My bra broke on the way home from work last night, causing the underwire to pop out and stab me in my boob while I was making a left turn.

Anyway.

We have a new car! (A GMC Envoy) Well, really Michael has a new car, but I get to drive it! It’s purrrdy and looks all fancy sitting in the driveway. It’s also the biggest vehicle I’ve ever driven and I’m terrified of parking it and backing it up. I don’t know how those soccer moms do it.

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The reason for such a big vehicle is two fold: one, Michael is 6’4″. Most cars are too small for him to ride in comfortably for a long time. And two: we have dog. A big dog. A 130-pound shedding/drooling machine that needs more space than a traditional back seat can offer.

So SUV here we come. Much like the new car smell, eventually the excitement over the sun roof, the XM radio and the OnStar will fade away. But know what’s pretty cool? In a few years that SUV won’t be carting around just a dog. It will be carting around a baby. My baby. Our baby. And that makes me unbelievably happy.

I have a good feeling about this fall, people. A really good feeling.

The Universe has been seriously kicking my ass this week. First, I unintentionally mooned someone. Then, I think I’m going to end up the lead story on the 11 o’clock news. And then yesterday the Universe chucked another one at me. Right at my face when I wasn’t looking.

My boss and I attended a webinar–a web seminar where we watched a PowerPoint presentation online and called in to listen in on a conference call. At the close of the hour the host opened the phone line to questions, telling listeners to dial a certain code if they wanted to participate rather than just listen.

At least, I thought that’s what she said.

People were randomly asking questions until one guy made a lame joke. People did that polite laugh thing–the awkward “ha, ha…ha”– and I started laughing to myself. I looked over at my boss, who was also laughing.

“Jeesh. That was the fakest laugh ever!” I said to him.

All of the sudden he clasped his hand over the mouth piece of his phone and hissed “You’re not on mute!”

Oh. My. God. I just made fun of someone on a recorded conference call that 80 people were participating in.

I looked over at my boss in panic–expecting him to be pissed. Instead he was laughing. Uncontrollably. Which of course made ME start laughing as well. We were doubled over, doing our best to keep our laughter quiet when the Big Boss walked in.

“What’s so funny?” he asked.

So of course my boss had to tell him. I won’t live this one down for a looong time.

Damn you, Universe. Damn you!

When he was in college Michael was also a volunteer fireman. He rose quickly through the ranks and was well liked. He loved what he did and was great at it, but he did not want to be a fireman forever and after graduation he got hired at his current job.

This was fine with me. While there were some things I enjoyed about him being a fireman (mainly the uniform), the fact that he was running into burning buildings left me feeling nothing short of terrified. There’s actually a photo hanging in the station of him up in the bucket above a burning building. You can barely make him out through the flames. I do not like this picture.

So now he has his career, and while he’s not fighting fires, his job can still be dangerous. Mainly because people are crazy. And crazy people have guns.

Last night I was home alone since he was working over night. I was sitting on the couch when I noticed a van pull up in front of the house. I didn’t think much of it at first since our neighbors always park on the street, making it difficult for people to drive around their car. But the van didn’t move. It sat there for awhile, then drove up the street a little, stopped, backed up and sat in front of the house again. And while I couldn’t make out the driver’s face, I could tell they were straining to see the house, the driveway and the yard. After ten minutes of this I got nervous, wrote down the license plate and called Michael.

Eventually the van drove away and Michael told me to call him if it came back. He also assured me that his coworker was in the area if I needed him.

I sat on the couch rigid and scared the rest of the night. Every time a car would drive by I would grab my phone, ready to call. I finally fell asleep around midnight, only to be woken up by Kodiak barking and growling at 1 a.m. I lay frozen in bed, absolutely terrified that my worst fears were coming true.

“This is it,” I thought, visions of becoming the subject of a Law & Order or CSI episode. 

Obviously nothing happened, as I’m here today writing this. But I’m still a little shaken up. When Michael crawled into bed just after 2 a.m. I held on to him as tightly as I could and incoherently begged him not to leave me.

“I’ll never leave you,” he said stroking my hair.

I was finally able to fall asleep and when I woke up this morning next to the man I love, safe and sound, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief.  

So, let me get this straight. You didn’t post on Friday and now you’re going to give us a weekend recap? Laaaaame.

Yes, it’s true. Please forgive me, dear readers, for it appears that I am lame.

* I met up with my friend J-Ra on Friday night. She recently moved back to RI and I was super excited to see her. I arrived at the restaurant first and put my name on the waiting list. We spent a half hour sitting outside and catching up, enjoying the cool ocean air. When the host came outside and said “Molly, party of two,” we stood up to go inside. So did two other women in their late 40s.

“Wait, you’re Molly?” one of them said to me. “I’m Molly.”

“Well, nice to meet you Molly,” I replied. “I am Molly, too. And I was here first.”

“Is she really Molly?” the woman asked the host, who was starting to look pretty uncomfortable.

This was ridiculous. Like, yeah lady, when I heard him say party of two I thought I would pretend to be Molly and get your table.

“Do you want to see my I.D.?” I threw back at her, clearly annoyed.

Just as she was about to argue with me, the host confirmed that yes, there were two Molly’s and yes, I was there first.

As he lead us inside Molly Two said loudly to her friend, “It’s only because they’re blonde that he sat them first.”

Bitch!

* Michael’s grandmother stopped by yesterday and told me I look like I’m losing weight. Yay! However the pint glass strawberry mojitos I had Saturday night probably don’t help to maintain the skinny. They are, however, delicious.

* After seven years, I took out my belly button ring for good yesterday. There’s a hole. I’m annoyed.

* After my shower this morning I threw on one of Michael’s t-shirts as I got ready. Kodiak was lying on the deck and didn’t feel like coming in for breakfast, so I went outside to bring him in. I bent over to grab his collar and just as I did the wind blew. I think you can guess where this is going.

I stood up as fast as I could, but it was too late. The driver of a red Toyota got a clear view of a full moon.

I think Monday is taunting me.

I received an interesting email this morning from a reader in Turkey who could no longer access my blog. Apparently, the Turkish government has banned access to WordPress!

I am sad to lose a reader, especially a reader I didn’t even know I had. So today I’m reaching out to the readers I don’t know. The lurkers, the passerbyers, those who have never left a comment. Today I ask you to stop by and say HI!

I’ll leave you with this question, so you don’t feel like you’re doing that awkward thing where you see someone you know and wave like a crazy person, only to not have them see you. Oh you know you’ve done it. And pretending you were just fixing your hair does not hide it!

Question: What was your worst fashion mistake? (And regular readers, you do not get a pass! Answer up!)

Updated to add: I realized it wasn’t fair that I didn’t mention my worst fashion mistake. It was seventh grade. Baggy was in. So super skinny me thought I would look HOT in super baggy, flannel lined jeans with the cuffs rolled up so you could see the plaid, a baby doll tee and one of my mom’s button down shirts. (Hangs head in shame.)

Hey, remember that writer’s block? Yup, still here. So guess what you get? Shoes! Bad, mostly animal-themed shoes!

Ever been sitting in your house and a bird flies smack into the window? Ever go pick it up and think, gee, that would make a great shoe? Me neither, but someone did.

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We once went to a rescue dog reunion and there are some crazy dog people there. People that like to spin yarn out of their dog’s hair and then knit it into scarves. I kid you not. Apparently, this is what cow farmers do to show their appreciation. Moo.

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No wonder Dumbo couldn’t fly! Someone took his ears!

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Medieval fashion at it’s finest. All that’s missing is your chastity belt.

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Great for checking your lip gloss, and for inviting perverts to look up your skirt.

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Sometimes when Kodiak gets excited a little something pops out, if you know what I’m saying. We call it the Red Rocket.

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Snakes on a Plane! No…Snake on Your Foot Holy Hell Get It Off, Get It Off, Get It Off!

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If they had potty training toilet paper, I imagine this is what it would look like. WIPE HERE.

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I’m a maaaaniac, maaaaniac on the floor! And they put me away for buying a sock/legwarmer/high heel combo.

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Version Two

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Version Four

Look what came in the mail today! Back when my dear friend Clink registered for her wedding, she put a lovely little item on the list. That item was a cookie gun. I thought it was fantastic and was so excited to get it for her.

Well, she’s tricky, that Clink. She conspired with my boss and this showed up at work today:

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What was inside, you ask? THIS:

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That’s right, four containers of homemade cookies. FOUR! Including homemade individually wrapped oreos:

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 And a delicious cookie called chocolate chip meltaways:

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 Plus a super cute card.

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Is she an awesome friend or what?

Here I am, at work, staring at my screen. My body is here, but my brain? I think it went on vacation. Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s shoe shopping on Rodeo Drive. But my brain didn’t consult with me before leaving. It did not ask me if it could go, did not get approved vacation time. My brain? I might have to fire her.

Actually, I might get fired if I don’t buckle down and write the magazine piece that was due (cough) last week. Luckily, my editor is really awesome and pretty and super skinny and has great hair. So she won’t kill me.

I’m just having major writer’s block. Actually, the only thing I can seem to write is a blog post about having writer’s block.

My checked-out brain has caused other problems as well. Knowing I had to be on public access again this afternoon, I took my time choosing my outfit and doing my hair. Then I met up with my coworker and carpooled to work. It wasn’t until 20 minutes into the ride that I realized that my car? The one that’s supposed to drive me to the TV studio? Is waiting patiently for my return this evening. Yeah. I didn’t drive today. Luckily, my coworker is able to drive me to the taping. Jeesh.

It’s not that I didn’t sleep well. Surprisingly, I actually slept great. I miss Michael a ton, but I didn’t feel scared home alone last night. Not even when it started to thunder. Maybe it was because I kept the Maglite close by.

But brain or no brain, I have to write this story. Now. As in right now.

It’s going to be a long day…

* This weekend was fantastic. I took Friday off and went on a wine tour and tasting. Five tastes and two purchased bottles later, we were off to downtown Newport for the afternoon. My big accomplishment for the afternoon was parallel parking on a busy street. I never parallel park. Ever. In fact, just last week my boss, coworker and I went out for ice cream. Since both of them have two car seats in their cars, they asked if I could drive. Sure, we could take my car, I said, but I’m not parking on the street. Nope, not gonna happen. So I let my boss drive my car! I think I’ve parallel parked three times since my road test. So it was a big deal that I did it, and did it well on the narrow streets of Newport.

* I also saw Superbad this weekend. Hilarious. Go see it. Now.

* And for a random weekend event, Jen and I went bowling. I haven’t been bowling since college and it was really fun. Especially since we took her eight year old brother who needed bumpers so we had to get them.

* I may have also watched High School Musicial 2. May have.

* Michael leaves today for a three day boy trip up to Lake George. I don’t care if it sounds lame, but I miss him already. It wasn’t as big of a deal when I went to Vegas because I was with my friends and was always doing stuff while he got to sit home and pine for me. Now I’m the one doing the pining! Yeah, I’ll survive. It’s only three days. But he took the dog with him too so I’m really home ALL ALONE. At night. When the monsters come out of the closets and the Boogie Man grabs your feet from under the bed.

Sometimes when I’m home alone I look around the room I’m in to see what heavy/sharp/blunt objects are within reach in case I have to confront an attacker. Does anyone else do this?

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