Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Highway to Hell

I took a trip to see my sister in Philadelphia this weekend. We had a great time Friday night and then I continued on my journey home to see Rome and others. As I was driving to Philadelphia from State College on 76 (aka the Pennsylvania Turnpike). I realized that I was tired of people picking on the New Jersey Turnpike. What's so special about the Pennsylvania TP that makes it any better than the NJTP, huh?

I'm determined to find out.

So the first negative of the PATP was the ticket. I found it difficult to read and almost smashed into a divider trying to see how much it would cost me to get to Valley Forge ($5 and some change). Not to worry! I did not almost smash into anything as I was taking this picture! =)
I know it's hard to read but the yellow represents the exit I got on. I found this difficult to understand because I would assume that since it is in the lower right corner that I got on at the last exit. I didn't. So I had to back track and search this entire ticket to find Valley Forge. Why was I finding Valley Forge if I was going to Philadelphia? Shouldn't I just get off at the Philadelphia exit? Apparently not. Who would know this?

So I'm driving the 79 miles to get to Valley Forge and I smell this horrendous smell. Everyone complains about the smell of the NJTP, but I've been driving that for years and never smelled anything like this before. Could it be that I walked through a dog park on the way out of my townhouse to my car? No. It was fertilizer. January fertilizer? I'm not a farmer so I'm not sure of the rules but I never knew that fertilizer could smell so ripe in mid winter.

I felt better about the fertilizer when I saw this. My Berks branch campus exit. I wanted to go but resisted the urge.
So after hitting traffic I finally get to Philly. Drexel's campus is on the streets of Philadelphia by the way. When you're at Penn State, you know when you're on campus. It looks like the stock college campus. Lawns, buildings, little walkways with benches. All very typical. My sister needed to tell me that I was on campus because Drexel looks like it was just dropped in west Philly. I wish I had a better picture but this will have to do.
You'll never find a four lane street going through the middle of University Park. Anyway...we had a good time and took lots of pictures. Why? Because we're really cute girls.
So then I continued my travels to the New Jersey Turnpike. I love driving in when you first see the sign "New Jersey Welcomes You". It's always nice when you're away from home all the time to come back and be welcomed. I really feel that the state of NJ misses me while I'm gone.

Onto the Jersey TP. The ticket is in order. What a concept! The exit you get on says No U-Turn and you know if you're going to higher exit it's north and a lower exit is south.I enjoy driving on the NJTP over the PATP for serveral reasons. The first reason is that the NJTP is 3 or more lanes wide while the PA version is only 2. NJ doesn't allow trucks in the left lane so they can't slow me down. Another reason is that everyone drives faster on the NJTP and that makes me happy. Also, I've never smelled any rotten animal droppings in NJ. Everyone says it smells but I don't get it (or maybe I'm used to it...who knows?) I'm guessing that this is the part everyone thinks stinks.
Finally the reason I prefer the town has it's own exit.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Red Flagged

It is not a good thing when you walk into the bank and everyone knows who you are. My bank account was over drawn for a long time (I would rather not say how long) and I just got my rebate money put into my account recently. My loans went through when the semester started two weeks ago but Penn State likes to take their sweet time and hold onto my money for as long as possible. They like to see how long I can survive on pretzels and pasta (plain money for sauce).

So I thought my money went in a day before it actually did and I tried to check my balance at an ATM but I just got my card eaten. I didn't think it was that big of a deal since I would have the money the next day. I'll just go talk to them then. This happens to lots of people right?

Next day comes and I have money so I go to retrieve my debit card. I walk up to the teller and explain my situation. She seems to understand and asks for my name. I give it to her. She stops. "Hold on," she tells me and turns to the head teller next to her.

"Do you still have her card?"

Her card?!? The head teller did not need clarification. She knew who I was. Didn't ask my name, social, nothing.

"The card was destroyed. She needs to talk to Jason."

Who the F**K is Jason and why does he know so much about me?!?!

I head over to Jason who seemed to be waiting for me. I sit down and he types my name in his computer...without asking. He knew me too. I was the talk of the bank. "Oh dear," he says shaking his head, "How did you let this happen?" How did I let what happen?? I was overdrawn but I have money NOW! Isn't that what really matters? Can't we forget about the errors of the past?

The conversation continues as follows:

Jason: Is this still your phone number?
Me: Yes.
Jason: We tried to call you but you never got back to us.
Me: Well you see, the problem with that was that I already knew my account was overdrawn and I didn't think you had anything new to tell me. Oh yeah...and I didn't have money to pay my phone bill.
Jason: That makes sense.
Me: I have money now though.
Jason: Yes, that's good...but there was a charge everytime you overdrew your account.
Me: Oh?
Jason: You overdrew your account 7 times.
Me: Oh?
Jason: And then there were charges every 10 days it was overdrawn...
Me: Oh?

Needless to say, this all added up to a lot of money. The conversation got worse. At this point I was thinking that I should have majored in finance instead of education. Jason turned out to be a nice guy and he says hi to me every time I'm at the bank now. They all do now that I think about it. Apparently they get upset when you owe them money. Who knew?

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go pay back my sister, my mom, my rental office and late fee, get my car an oil change, and finally buy food that has some sort of nutritional value.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Today's Post is Brought to You by the Letter "B"

I've been given the letter B by Irish Chicken Soup. She did a pretty sweet job with the letter "W" so here goes "B". Ten things...

Bees: I was, am, and will forever be a Bayonne Bee. The fighting bee is the mascot of Bayonne High School. The bumblebee was chosen as the BHS mascot because physically, bumblebees should not be able to fly. Their wings are too small to support the weight of their big, round bodies. But they fly anyway. It’s inspirational. My sister often makes fun of my because I am 21 years old, about to graduate college and am STILL talking about high school.

Bayonne: My city by the bay. This is where I grew up and where I spend my time on the off-season when I’m not chasing down kindergarteners or wishing the flu on professors (just kidding…I LOVE ALL OF MY PROFESSORS VERY MUCH!). Anyway…Bayonne is nestled smack in the middle of Staten Island and Jersey City, and for those of you who have no idea where those places are, we’re across the water from New York City. It’s a small city and everyone knows everyone else’s business but I find something comforting in that. It's also where the Tom Cruise version of "War of the Worlds" was filmed.

Bunnies: I love bunnies. I have had three pet bunnies in my lifetime and the first two came to tragic ends.
Bunny #1 was Copper. Copper was a present from my dad on Valentine’s Day of 2nd grade. It was kind of a “sorry I don’t live with you anymore” gift (my parents split up the month before). My mom got tired of him and sent him back to my father’s house where he lived for 6 years until his brand new chocolate lab got a hold of him.
Bunny #2 was Bunny. Bunny was a gift from my darling boyfriend, Rome, on my 16th Birthday. Bunny was not a very nice bunny and tried to attack the Kringle. My mom got sick of that bunny too and sent her back to Rome where she lived for 2 years until we went off to college. At this time Rome’s father sold her to a pet store where, we later found out, she was fed to a snake.
Bunny #3 is Waffle. My darling, Waffle. I am determined to give Waffle a better life than my other two rabbits had (despite the fact that both of their deaths can sort of be blamed on my Momma).

Boys: Ugh. They’re horrible. Don’t EVER live with boys (see this for reasons why). For most of my life I’ve mostly been friends with boys because I realized early on that girls cannot be trusted (see this for reasons why). However, I have recently realized that boys cannot be trusted either (at least I learned early). Luckily, this has not resulted in me hating all people…just those over the age of 10. Boys are just interesting creatures. I’ve been told that boys are easier to raise than girls and so I hope to have boys for children. We’ll see how that goes.

Bacon: Everyone loves bacon. Even vegetarians love bacon…they just suppress the urge. The best thing about bacon is that it can be considered both a dish in it’s own right and a nice topping to almost any other type of food. For example, you can have a bacon cheeseburger, turkey and bacon club, a grilled cheese with bacon, or a classic BLT. When my sister and I were little we loved bacon. It was pretty much the only meat we would eat that wasn’t chicken. We went through a period when we felt guilty about eating bacon when the movie Babe came out. He was such a cute little pig that it was hard to imagine he was sitting on our plates right next to the pancakes. We got over that though. Why? Because bacon is awesome. Hail bacon!

Bon Jovi: Like any true Jersey Girl, I love Bon Jovi. They’re pretty much the best thing that happened to the 80’s (other than my birth, ha-ha). They’re also the best band to come from New Jersey. One of the things I admire about Jon Bon Jovi is that he still calls Jersey his home. He’s also married to his high school sweetheart. He’s an absolute superstar and still recognizes his home and remembers where he came from. You have to admire someone like that.

Big Blue: Ahh…the New York Giants. 2007 World Champions. You may remember that Super Bowl when we beat the undefeated New England Patriots. It was a glorious day. For those of you who don’t know, the New York Giants aren’t really a New York team at all. They actually play in East Rutherford, NJ. I realize that doesn’t sound as glamorous but it’s the truth. I was born and raised to love this team and I do. I got a lot of smack this past week from Philadelphia Eagles fans about the game this past Sunday but I don’t care. I’ll be right by their side in August when the kickoff preseason. I also have a thing for Eli Manning…his pictures are all over my room.

Berks: I started off my college education at Penn State Berks in Reading, PA. Despite the fact that I enjoy the nightlife in University Park (the main campus), I miss my quite rural campus. I learned more about myself in the two years I spent there than I did any other time in my life. I’ll always remember my roommates and dorm rooms and all nighters that always ended up with McDonald’s breakfast. Those were good times and I wouldn’t have traded them for the world.

Bears: I love bears. They are absolutely my favorite wild animals. If I believed in reincarnation, I would think that I was a bear in a previous life. We love all the same things! Napping, snacking, swimming! When I was little my dad had nicknames for my sister and me. I was Boo Bear and she was Baby Bear. Corny, I know but it was sweet at the time. I also had a teddy bear that was given to my mother at her baby shower by my Nana. The bear was older than me and I had it for 18 years…until the Kringle ate it. I still can’t look him in the face.

Bed: I love my bed. I’ve always had an issue with beds seeing as how my mother traded mine for an exercise bike last year. I have my sister’s bed in my apartment now since she’s in a dorm room. Every Tuesday and Thursday at about 2:00 pm I start to get excited. Why? Because I know that I will soon be warm in my bed drifting off into a glorious nap. I get just as excited at night when I know bedtime is approaching. Is this sad?

So there it is…my B’s. I hope you enjoyed it. If anyone is interested in their own letter then leave a comment. If not, then I don't know what to tell you.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Thumper the Humper

I have a rabbit and I love him dearly. He is the joy of my life and he's kind of like my little child (since I don't know what it's like to have real children).

That's my darling Waffle and my sister when he was just a baby bunny and we thought he was a girl. About a year or so ago I was feeding him and noticed that he had something near his bottom. "Oh, Waffle! You have poop stuck to your butt!" It was not poop. It turned out that Waffle was not a she but a he.

Since then I've come to accept the fact that he is a boy. If I had known this in the beginning I would have named him Thumper, but that's okay.

It turns out that I should have named him Thumper because he has this habit that he's picked up since going through his bunny puberty...

He humps...A LOT!

I always used to tell people how friendly my pet bunny was. He used to go up to people so they could pet him and he would snuggle on their laps and such. Now he has become a little too friendly. I let him out of his cage so he can run around and he chases me around the room. I tell him, "Waffle, this is disgusting! I am your mother!" He doesn't listen.

This is him eyeing up my roommates ankle.
She had no idea what she was in for.

He spots something he likes...he sniffs a little.
He likes what he sees. He likes what he smells. He's gonna go for it.

He may be a sexed crazed bunny...but he's my bunny and I still love him.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Where is Everybody??

Last night we got an ice storm in Happy Valley. Nothing out of the ordinary. The normal ice covered roads and sidewalks. We were all hoping for a snow day or a delay at the very least. I still don't have a cell phone so I asked my friend to text Rome who's staying with me for the week. This way I know if I have to go to school or not.

My alarm went off as usual and I snoozed it (as usual). I figure that even if there is school I'm not going to make myself look too pretty for it. Just my normal radiance. Haha When I do get up I immediately check the phone. No text. Damn.

I get up and get ready. Usually I hear my roommate getting ready across the hall, but didn't. I think to myself, "Oh, he must be running late."

I step out my back door. (Back story: They're redoing our front porch so we haven't had a front door since Thanksgiving. They took out part of our balcony railing and built makeshift stairs up to our second floor apartment. They pretty much took a bunch of old ply wood and nailed it all together and called it stairs.) I almost fall down from the ice that has accumulated on my balcony. I step forward to the makeshift stairs and it's all smooth ice. I look at the railing and it's all smooth ice. Jack Frost strikes again!

I almost die trying to get down the stairs...but continue on my way to school because these children need to learn!

I open my car and turn it on. It sounds like a wild banshee screaming because I need an oil change but don't have money (typical college life).

I begin to scrap the ice off my windows and wipers and think about all the trouble my kids are having trying to get to school. I think that this is dumb that I have to go to school. Then I think that these children need to learn so it's all worth it.

Then I get in my car and begin my journey up the road to Starbucks. When I get there I see that it is empty. I thought that was strange seeing as how it's usually packed at 7:50 am. No bother. Everyone must have made their own coffee because they were afraid of what the Starbucks parking lot would be like (since it was all smooth ice). Luckily, I am a brave soul and I need to pump myself with caffeine because these children need to learn!

I continue on my way to school. My school is up on the top of a hill and the hill was all smooth ice. As I made my way up the hill in my tiny compact at 15 mph I was thinking to myself, "Wow, I wonder if anyone else had this much trouble getting up this hill. It's all smooth ice! I hope I don't start rolling down backwards because these children need to learn!"

I get to the top of the hill...the parking lot is empty. I still didn't understand. I think to myself, "Wow, everyone must have hard a rough time this morning because I'm the first one here!"

I turn the corner and still do not see any cars. I spot the custodian and his snow blower so I wave him down.

"Good morning!"
"What are you doing here?", he answers, "there's no school today."

Yeah...I would tell you about my journey back home from school, but that's not funny. It's just sad.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder

I went on a little trip with Rome down the shore to visit his aunt and little cousins. There are 4 of the little rugrats and they're all under the age of 10. The two middle girls are 7 and 5. They love Hannah Montana (in fact, I think I'll call them Hannah and Montana). Hannah and Montana got matching Hannah Montana makeup kits from Santa. He's so thoughtful!

So I'm sitting at their kitchen table, just minding my own business when Hannah comes up to me with a big grin on her face (Montana was close behind).

"Can I give you a makeover?!"

...I wasn't aware that I needed one. If there's one thing I learned in Kindergarten it's that children are brutally honest, so if the 5 and 7 year olds think I need to update my look I'll take their word for it.

It started out with a manicure. The nail polish was of the peel away variety so it didn't last past the first hour. Then it was time for eye shadow. First of all, I would just like to say that there were 4 different compartments of eye shadow, blush, and lip gloss. I couldn't tell which was which and that's when I became worried.

Slowly she dipped the wand in the pink "eye shadow". I mean pink. Full on 1985 hot ass PINK! I closed my eyes and hoped for the best. She began to apply and then I heard the most horrifying words I've heard in a long time...

"No, Hannah! That's too much!"

When the 5 year old is telling the 7 year old that she's using too much eye shadow you know there's a problem!! I looked like a clown for 3 days. I just kept scrubbing and scrubbing. It would not come off. I'm pretty sure that "eye shadow" was the lip gloss or something else that greases up your eyelids like a fast food cheeseburger. This stuff would probably make it through a nuclear war.

This is false advertising. The package said I would look just like Hannah Montana and I came out looking like Amy Winehouse. Is this Hannah Montana important enough to have a complaint department? I'd like the address.