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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

Snowed In

By breaking news, hazards to my well-being, holiday fun, new jersey, weather One Comment

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Baby, I’m not driving my car anywhere because I am snowed in. It figures the first year I actually drive to New Jersey for Christmas, rather than fly, we get dumped on. I was scheduled to drive back down to Virginia Beach tomorrow, but now I’m scheduled to sleep in and eat more Christmas cookies for breakfast.

Although, look at the bright side. My flight would have been canceled anyway.

Do you ever feel like these weather headlines get a little out of control? “Snow totals build as blizzard rages.” That’s what the Asbury Park Press says.

Rages? I’m not sure if that’s how I would describe it. I mean, if anything, I would say this snowstorm is a little lethargic. It’s just kind of moseying its way up the coast, dumping two to four inches per hour on our heads, but there isn’t much about it that’s raging, per se. If anything, it’s quite quiet and peaceful outside, save for the occasional 41 MPH gust of wind.

Being stuck three states away from home isn’t so bad. I’m pretty sure there’s more snow in Virginia Beach than there is here. Although there’s a good chance that could change by morning — I’m looking out the window, and I’d have to say we’re at about 12 to 14 inches and counting based on what’s piled up on the table outside.

The most entertaining part of this storm was conning my mom into taking pictures with the timer out of the back of her SUV after we stopped at FoodTown on the way home this afternoon.

My dad and my brother headed up to Newark this evening to the Devils game. Waiting with baited breath for their dramatic entrance because I’m pretty sure they’re going to have some trouble navigating through the foot of snow on our street.

Hope you’re enjoying the storm!

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This crazy trip has got me feelin’: content
And I’m singin’ along to: Frosty the Snowman

Six, Seven, Ate

By facebook, food, movies, new jersey, really great money-making ideas No Comments

Saw 3D? Is that for real? Seriously? I kind of feel like I’ve been trying to ignore the fact that Saw exists for, like, going on what? Six years now? Maybe I’m totally off-base for saying this because I refuse to watch it, but I don’t really see how you can justify creating seven freaking movies on the same premise in six years. Six years. Seven movies in six years. Do you see the problem here?

Saw is like the only thing I can think of that’s worse than Jersey Shore. I moved to Virginia Beach to get away from idiots like that, and now I can’t go 24 hours without overhearing some mention of fake tans and fist pumping. Where did that even come from? Fist pumping? I don’t think I ever noticed anyone fist pumping while I was living at the Jersey Shore. I do remember the lack of arm hair though. And Snooki Monster? Too bad I already picked out my Halloween costume.

You know what was a great movie? The Facebook movie. Yes, the Facebook movie. I loved it. The acting was pretty awesome, and it kind of made me think that I should have been just a tad more inspired in the early 2000s, so as to make my millions by inventing an Internet sensation (or writing seven of the same movie in six years). Also, LiveJournal made an appearance, so that’s important. (At least LiveJournal helped someone change the world, you know?)

Am I the only one that is insulted that there are going to be more Saw movies than Star Wars movies? Animated films don’t count because I said so, and don’t even get me started on those Clone Wars toys I keep getting in my Happy Meals. Every time I say, “No toy.” And every time, the McDonald’s employee on the other end of the drive-through speaker hears, “Boy,” and I end up with yet another Clone Wars collectible. (Although, they switched to Mr. Potato Head trick-or-treat buckets this week, so things are looking up.)

Happy Meals are proof that you can buy happiness. Seriously. It says it right on the menu. Happy Meal. Personally, I always order the Mighty Kids Meal with a six-piece, fries and a Diet Coke. That’s a total of about 11 Weight Watchers POINTS, and it’s the only way to order a six-piece McNuggets anymore. You can get a four-piece from the Value Menu, or a 10-piece meal, but seriously? Who the f- needs to be eating 10 nuggets? That’s gross.

Anyway, I wanted to get a Happy Meal for lunch today, but I didn’t because I had one yesterday. I went to Wawa and got a sandwich instead. Coincidentally, I was supposed to eat Wawa yesterday on the way to Busch Gardens, but we got lost looking for one in Williamsburg when we exited the Interstate. Williamsburg is really pretty because, you know, their street signs are all extremely aesthetically pleasing and blend in with the landscape (which means they’re practically non-existent). Hence, we got lost following the signs to Wawa, since there weren’t really any eye-catching signs. There’s not much that’s aesthetically pleasing about golden arches, but we saw them, therefore we had McDonald’s for lunch.

And that’s all I’ve got for today.

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: full
And I’m singin’ along to: Lisztomania – Phoenix

Dear Livejournal,

By blogs, lj, new jersey, posts in the form of letters One Comment

I’ve decided that it’s all your fault that I don’t post in this blog anymore. I’m the type of person who gets crazy attached to inanimate objects, so I haven’t been able to accept that I may have to move the LJ to another website. (Can a website even be classified as an inanimate object?) The thought of migrating the LJ to another site makes me think about what will happen to all of my tags (especially the posts tagged “lj”). I’m seriously considering moving though. For real this time. You want to know why? Because when I drive through a New Jersey intersection after midnight and see a muscly-looking dude standing in the middle of the road outside his vehicle, trying to force a black t-shirt over his fedora-ridden head, I want a cool place to jot that down. Especially if, when I roll down the window, the guy yells, “I swear, he farted,” pointing at his passenger (who is still inside the vehicle). “He farted and I can’t even get into the car!”

I also would love to have someplace to brag about how I won a trip to St. Maarten at work and how I think my hair color is more interesting than everyone else’s. And I seriously doubt that readers of my other blog would respect me very much if I posted there about how I fell backwards down some concrete steps in Norfolk trying to take photos of my own outfit with the custom timer feature on my point-and-shoot camera. I need this blog for posts like that, you know?

You have until December, LiveJournal. Become cooler or I’m pulling the plug.

Sincerely,
Your author (formerly known as the Pineapple Enthusiast)

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: annoyed
And I’m singin’ along to: Clean Getaway – Maria Taylor