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Sugar Rush

By | games, hokies, memories, roommates | No Comments

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When the Hokies played the Sugar Bowl in 2000, I was there. =)

Sugar Bowl fun

When they played the Sugar Bowl again in 2005, Allison and I hosted a sweet party at 304. =)

This year, I’ll be watching the Sugar Bowl in my new favorite Ralph Lauren flannel pajamas, cuddled up on the couch with J, the puppy, and a delicious lasagna I’m about to take out of the oven.

Go Hokies!

A Letter to the Governor of Pennsylvania

By | breaking news, drama, extreme sports, games, hazards to my well-being, new jersey, political views, posts in the form of letters, top notch communication blunders, weather, you might learn something | 4 Comments

Dear Governor Ed Rendell,

You’re an idiot. Was it just that you had nothing else you could possibly do other than watch football on Sunday night? Sounds like you’ve scaled your social life to about the same level as my neighbor who rifles through trash bags on Tuesday afternoons.

As an elected public official, I would think that the safety of the general public would at least cross your mind before you start calling your country a “nation of wusses” and comparing us to the Chinese, who, according to you, can march to football games in blizzard conditions while doing calculus. (Note: Marching because if they can concentrate on sports and calculus at the same time, then I’m assuming they’re smart enough not to drive in white-out conditions.)

The thing is, Ed, we’re not a nation of wusses. We’re a nation of fearless, bumbling morons in pickup trucks who like to drink beer, go shirtless in the freezing cold for football, and drive in f-ing blizzards. So, people like the mature, intelligent mayor of Philadelphia are forced to make unpopular decisions because if given the choice between staying home or driving to a game in the snow, nine times out of ten the “fans’ choice” (as you put it) would be the wrong one. And by getting on the road in a blizzard, those fans would be putting everyone else in danger.

Granted, a majority of the snow didn’t fall in Philadelphia (only a foot!), but everywhere east of there was pretty much pummeled. The Eagles are cool enough to have fans in New York and New Jersey, right? Or maybe even Delaware? There’s nothing going on in that state, so you’ve got to have some fans down there.

My point is this. One of the contributing factors to the lack of plowing going on around here is that there are abandoned cars blocking all of the major roadways. Plows, ambulances, fire trucks, emergency vehicles have been unable to navigate their way to where they need to be for going on 48 hours now, but people are still getting in their cars to drive around, and people are still getting stuck in some places. Do you see the problem?

Think before you talk, Governor. If the mayor of Philadelphia was able to keep even 5,000 measly people off the road on Sunday night, he did the right thing.

To the Eagles and their fans, I’m sorry that Tuesday’s game was a disappointment and you lost, but seriously? I don’t think you wanted to play/attend that game in that snow either. Right?

Anyway, to sum things up, I’m pretty much glad I don’t live in Pennsylvania because I’d be super embarrassed to have my state name associated with yours these last few days. (Also because you have no beach there.) Maybe you should drive your car out onto the PA Turnpike, pull over onto the shoulder, and sit in it for two days. Then you might understand the importance of not driving in snow. (And also how crappy that dumb road is.)

Good luck recovering from this fumble.

Idly,
A snowed in former resident of your neighboring state of New Jersey whose dad and brother spent 7.5 hours stuck on the side of the road in a car trying to get home from the NJ Devils game, which also should have been cancelled

P.S. In China, football is soccer, and it’s so poisoned with corruption, they’ve actually had to kick off a campaign to set it straight.

Snowed In – Part II

By | breaking news, conversations, drama, extreme sports, food, games, hazards to my well-being, new jersey, trains/train stations, weather, you might learn something | 12 Comments

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This was the view out my window when I woke up yesterday morning. Um. Yeah.

Hold on, let me back up. On Sunday night, my dad and my brother took a train to the…wait. Further than that.

One of the gifts my mom gave my dad and my brother for Christmas was a night stuck in a snow drift near Monmouth University pair of Devils tickets for Sunday night. As the predicted 10 inches (that’s nothing up here!) of snow began to pile up Sunday evening, they drove five minutes up the road to the train station and headed up to the game. I was reading a magazine when they left, but the last thing I heard Stephen say was, “I’m 25, and I care what my hair looks like! I’m not wearing a hat!” Um, okay.

The first plow came through our neighborhood around 8:30 that night, and as the hockey game drew to a close on TV, my mom headed out in the blizzard to shovel a path up the driveway for my dad and my brother to get in. I guess that’s when she noticed there was about two feet of snow in the road. In. The. Road.

We tried to call them and tell them to find someplace to stay in Newark, but they responded with something along the lines of, “We’re two grown men. We can figure it out.” Click.

If you haven’t grasped this by now, it doesn’t matter what kind of car you’re driving, whether it be a Hummer or a front loader — you cannot drive through two feet of snow.

So, they got stuck. They got off the train around midnight, and by 2:00 a.m., they called to let us know that they were stuck with a bunch of other cars near Monmouth University. “We’ve got a full tank of gas and heat, so we’re going to wait it out,” Stephen said.

“Tell them to keep both tailpipes clear,” my mom said.

“Mommy says keep both tailpipes clear, so you don’t die of carbon monoxide poisoning,” I said.

“Okay, but my phone is dying, so stop calling me.”

By this point, I hope you’ve already learned three things:

1. Don’t drive in the snow if you don’t need to. Ten inches can turn into 30 pretty quickly.

2. If you do get stuck in the snow, crack a window and check the tailpipe.

3. Who the f— leaves the house in a blizzard with a dead phone? Don’t do that either.

Anyway. So, back to the photo up top there. That’s what I woke up to around 7:00 a.m. on Monday. Still hadn’t heard from my dad and Stephen, so we were getting a little worried. We waited around watching the news until about 9:30. Stuff about abandoned cars on the Parkway, busses stuck, people stranded on airplanes and subway trains, women giving birth in SUVs…the works.

Then the phone rang. “OPEN THE BACK DOOR!” It was Stephen.

He had somehow managed to work his way through a quarter mile of waist-high snow to walk home. WTF?

Apparently, they were towed from where they were stuck because they were in the way of an ambulance. They managed to get the car to the West Long Branch fire station, where my dad stayed with my car, and my brother decided to make a break for it.

My mom opened the back door. “Holy sh*t,” I said. “That is f-ing deep.”

“You have to go around the front, Stephen,” my mom yelled to him.

“I can’t! I’m exhausted. Call daddy, and tell him not to try to walk here. He’ll never make it!”

RESCUE MISSION!

No, seriously. We had to f-ing dig him out. Like we had to bundle up and use shovels to dig ourselves out of the garage and around the side of the house out to the pool to make a path for him to get into the house. No joke.

See?

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Anyway, so Stephen got home. My dad, on the other hand, had to stay with the car in case the fire station got a call, at which point he would need to move it out of the way to make room for the trucks to get out.

We hung around the house all day, eating all kinds of junk food, playing Wii games like Boggle, Sorry and Yahtzee, taking naps, shopping online, and various other boring things that people do when they’re stuck in a blizzard. I can say it was still a blizzard on Monday afternoon because The Weather Channel said so the wind gusts were still exceeding 40 MPH, so even though the snow wasn’t falling, it sure didn’t look very pleasant outside.

By 3:30, we were bored out of our minds and feeling a little bad for my dad, who was still stuck at the firehouse. We hadn’t seen or heard a plow all day, and we figured he’d be spending the night there. We decided to take action and hatched a plan to bring him some supplies and food. We packed up some overnight essentials (toothbrush, pajama pants, slippers) and luxuries (blanket, meatballs, A Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffett) and got ready to shovel.

You can see the flags flying at the firehouse from our window. See them?

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The problem is that a very high fence runs all along the side of this property to the road, so you have to go around. We figured we could just start digging where our path to the pool left off. Except that didn’t work out because the wind completely filled it in. So it goes.

We started shoveling.

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I thought we made it pretty far, but…after about an hour, we were losing light, losing steam, and not even halfway there. Epic fail.

It was a valiant attempt, though. I mean, look at this mess.

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A phone call ensued.

Dad: “Hello?”

Lisa: “Hi. So, we tried to dig our way to the firehouse to bring you slippers and meatballs, but we didn’t make it.”

Dad: “I told you not to do that.”

Lisa: “I know, but we were pretty bored, so we figured we’d give it a shot. We at least have a really funny video for you to watch if you ever make it home, but don’t expect me to help you shovel anything tomorrow because I’m already pretty sore. Have a good night at the firehouse.”

Dad: “I will.”

I unpacked the supplies and ate one of the sandwiches I made for my dad. My brother and I watched Russell Brand in New York City and Zack Galifianakis Live at The Purple Onion, and then I went to bed.

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Remember Christmas morning as a kid? You were so overcome with excitement that as soon as you woke up, you just leaped out of bed and ran for the presents? That’s what I felt like when I heard the sound of a plow outside my window this morning. (Except I was pretty sore from shoveling, so my leap was more like a hoist.)

My dad was down there, too. He managed to walk home on the road once the plow came.

I use the term “plow” quite loosely here. There was some action resembling “plowing” going on down there, but in all honesty, the guy barely made a dent. He said he’d be back by the end of the day with a front loader, and he left his snow blowers for us to borrow. (It’s 10:30 p.m. as I write this, and he’s not back yet.)

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We spent the morning walking around outside saying, “Look how deep it is” and “That’s so much snow!” Broken record much?

I’m hoping to one day make it back to Virginia Beach. My Christmas long weekend has morphed into an extended week-long vacation, only I don’t feel like I’m on vacation. More like I’m grounded. And I know for a fact I’m too old to be grounded.

So, by this point, if you’re still reading this, I’m assuming you’re snowed in, too.

Good luck with that.

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: trapped
And I’m singin’ along to: Winter Wonderland – Jason Mraz

A Brief History of How I Developed My Computing Skills

By | being a computer genius, games, gen y, life-changing purchases, lj, memories, myspace, really great money-making ideas, ruling at life, school, skills, technological enigmas | One Comment

It occurred to me this morning that I have been fumbling around with computers for approximately 20 years now. It’s no wonder I’m such a computer genius.

Playing on the computer used to be so much more fun. For example, making banners with the first version of The Print Shop, and printing them out on that primitive, perforated printer paper with the holes on the sides! Yay for the old school Apple II series (which recently celebrated is 30th anniversary).

My first instant messaging experience
I sent a message from the family room computer to the computer in my parents’ bedroom. Then I ran in there and sent a message back to myself in the family room. Then I ran into the family room and sent a message back to the bedroom. (Notice how this used to be less of a social networking experience and more of a physical activity.)

Early gaming
I definitely learned a few things from Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? – mainly the states and capitals, the locations of various foreign countries, and the beginnings of my impeccable detective (aka “Internet stalking”) skills. I liked Carmen San Diego much, much more than The Oregon Trail. The only thing I learned from that game was how to ration money and kill off the rest of the people in my wagon in order to keep more food for myself.

Adopting e-mail
My first e-mail address was Atlantys23@aol.com. (Don’t try to e-mail me there. AOL sucks, and that address doesn’t exist anymore. The AIM name Atlantys23 still belongs to me, however, and you might catch me on there once in a blue moon.) I used AOL to keep in touch with friends from summer camp and hang out in the occasional teen chatroom (13/F/NJ u?). Those chatrooms always turned into an insult-fest. I vaguely remember typing something along the lines of “well, you have the IQ of a tube of toothpaste” to more than one stupid ass in another time zone. By this time, Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? was a television show.

Keyboard brilliance
I learned to type in high school, but luckily I still got to take my standardized tests on paper with a No. 2 pencil and an answer sheet. (Do kids still take SATs with pencils anymore?) According to multiple online typing tests, I type approximately 103-108 WPM.

My computers
When I started college in 1999, I had a computer that was solely mine for the first time ever. It was a piece of crap. It would freeze, and the power button wouldn’t turn it off, and I would have to pull the plug and kick it to turn it off and start over. (This probably had something to do with all of the music I was illegally hoarding off Napster and Limewire.) I learned the value of saving my work every five minutes, along with grasping the concept of an ethernet cable, being connected to the Internet 24 hours a day, managing multiple e-mail accounts, and using the computer to communicate with people in the next room.

In 2000, at Virginia Tech, I got my second computer. That one worked a lot better. I learned how to reformat my own hard drive and operate a computer while under the influence of alcohol. I also discovered the usefulness of an FTP site and submitted my homework online, and I was the proud owner of a pirated version of Windows XP by the time I graduated college.

Internet omniscience
If you’re an avid reader of this blog, I’m sure you remember the arrival of my post-graduation laptop. All hell broke loose! I came to terms with wireless Internet, I mastered [the basic concept of] HTML code, I started up the LJ, and I I finally broke down about two years ago and created a MySpace page. I’ve found roommate after roommate on Roommates.com; I pay my bills online; I’ve got more than four functioning e-mail addresses; I’m on my second iPod and my fourth digital camera; I’m making money off of at least four different websites while I sit here at my desk (Associated Content, CafePress, SurveySavvy and eBay); I’m working hard on developing my new Virb profile, and my pride and joy at the moment is my 250GB external hard drive (that my awesome boyfriend gave me for Christmas). You’ll get more results Googling “VTJerseyGirl03” than you will “Lisa DeNoia,” and I even have an abbreviated version of my online alias (VTJG03) on my license plates!

So, there you have it – how to become a computer genius in 20 years.

Anyway, back to work (and Internet browsing, and solitaire, and MySpace, and Facebook, and Virb, and Google, and e-mail, and Vision, and…you get the point).

Oh, and at some point during this 20-year technological revolution, Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? became a board game?