Tag: the land of Wawa and TastyKakes

Wildwood Daze

(God, I’m being pun-y. Shoot me now.)

So, half of my vacation over the weekend was in beautiful North Wildwood, NJ. My aunt and uncle have had a house there for 25 years and we started taking family vacations there a year or two after they bought it. It was in terrible shape and needed a lot of work before it could accommodate my extended family of approximately 16 people. It’s gorgeous now. (But no, I didn’t take any pictures of it.)

I already talked about my super-fun flight issues heading to Philly. Like I said in the other post, I was surprisingly calm about the whole thing. Now, if the flight had been cancelled, it would’ve been a different story. But as long as that flight took off with me onboard, I knew things would be okay. And they were. I think listening to Deja Entendu on my iPod after we took off was also helpful. Even after we landed and I found out that my brother and sister-in-law had fallen asleep while waiting for me at their house, I was cool. What did I care? I was in Philly and that was all that mattered. (It also helped that they live about 20 minutes from the airport, especially when there’s no traffic.)

We got up on Friday late enough that we all felt like we were sleeping in, but early enough that we were able to get to the shore at a decent time. After all, we were all taking a day off, there was no need to get up at the ass-crack of dawn. The best part of Friday was that we got to Wildwood in time to see our two cousins and their little girls. I’d never seen the three-month-old in person and it had been over a year since I’d seen her three-year-old sister (who, by the way, looks like me, which I think is strange because I don’t think her mom and I look alike). I saw my other cousin’s 16-month-old in May, but it was good to see her again as well. Unbeknownst to me, my birthday twin (a/k/a the 16-month-old’s mommy) was taking pictures of us for her blog. I would link to it, but that would go against my plan to blog in relative anonymity 😉 Regardless, it was great to see them, especially since they all went home that afternoon.

The rest of Friday was spent in chill out at the beach house mode. I did eventually accompany my other uncle (who went home the next day, although I hadn’t known that was his plan at the time) to Douglass Fudge on the world-famous Wildwood Boardwalk. So many tacky shirts in the little shops! Phanatic Pillow Pets in the claw machines at the arcades! (Probably much cheaper to just buy a Phanatic Pillow Pet from the Phillies official store like I did.) It was pretty great 🙂 Plus, the several mile walk was good for me since I’m so damn sedentary.

On Friday night we gathered around the tiny TV on the back porch to watch the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics. I only saw part of it (mainly because I couldn’t have cared less) and what I saw was really stupid. (Mary Poppins fighting Voldemort? What?) Danny Boyle, I am disappoint. I gave up during the parade of nations or whatever they call it, read a little bit, and went to bed.

I slept in on Saturday. (By beach house standards, not by my standards.) Which meant I missed going out to breakfast. I was bummed because going out to breakfast every morning has always been one of my favorite down the shore traditions. But it was good to have gotten sleep. And missing breakfast just meant that I got to have cake, cookies, and candy for breakfast.

We went to the beach in the afternoon. I made it down the shore, I had to go to the beach at least once, right? It was the most eventful several hours I ever spent as a lazy person just sitting in a chair on the Wildwood beach. We saw lifeguards spring into action (which I think is a thing I’d never seen before in my life). Although as far as I could tell it ended up being a false alarm. It was still pretty exciting. And not five minutes later, a plane flew by with a tow-banner marriage proposal. And the couple was not 20 feet away from us. She said yes. I’m not a proponent of public marriage proposals, but it was sweet. My normal soundtrack for sitting on the beach is summery stuff like Jack’s Mannequin or Something Corporate or upbeat, dance-y stuff like Walk the Moon, but with the tide coming in and a bit of a breeze in the air, I decided to listen to The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. It was perfect.

Saturday night included a walk to the Boardwalk so some of us could ride the Great White, a fun wooden roller coaster. Then we rode the tram car back to the North Wildwood end of the Boardwalk so that we wouldn’t get quite as much exercise as we could’ve 😉 Also, the tram cars are better at navigating the ridiculous crowds than a group of seven people is. We also stopped at Dairy Queen for some ice cream. Once we got home, I read some more of Emma and went to bed.

On Sunday morning I went to Mass (under what turned out to be false pretenses). The priest didn’t seem to have gotten the memo that Masses down the shore are supposed to be finished in record time. Sure, there was no music, which definitely does shave time from the Mass, but he talked too damn much in his sermon. (See, this is why I don’t go to Mass. I don’t get anything out of it and instead generally end up angry about something or other.) But we eventually went out to breakfast at Samuel’s and that was awesome (coconut pancakes – yum!). Then we packed up the car and headed back to my brother and sister-in-law’s place. We didn’t hit much shore traffic on the drive, either, which was also awesome.

The rest of my time in Jersey was mostly spent hanging out with my parents. Not exciting, but I enjoyed it. You won’t believe this, but I never made it to a single Wawa. We drove past them, but that was the closest I got. I didn’t have access to a car, either, which meant that I couldn’t just go to Wawa for the sake of going to Wawa.

I flew back to Tampa yesterday morning 😦 There were no weather delays to try my patience; we even landed a little bit early. However, my parents dropped me off at the Philly airport two hours before my flight, which ended up being a very good thing because I spent 50 minutes in line at security. Stupid TSA. I wasn’t allowed to use the so-called Expert Traveler lane because I’m poor and can’t afford a first-class ticket. It’s not called the First-Class lane, it’s called the Expert Traveler lane; it’s bullshit that they have co-opted it for rich people. (Occupy PHL!) And after all of that, I was forced to go through the rape-y scanner, which I hate doing. But I’m never going to opt for the pat-down because while the rape-y scanner is incredibly intrusive, it doesn’t actually invade my personal space. I love the way we all get treated like criminals just because we have the unmitigated gall to want to ride an airplane. Whatever. I still had enough time once I finally made it through the security shithole to buy the new Entertainment Weekly (Matt Smith on the cover and a feature on the 25 best cult shows? yes please!) and some soft pretzels and a Diet Coke. (I love the soft pretzels at the Philly airport. I think they’re from the Philly Pretzel Factory. They’re nearly as awesome as Wawa soft pretzels.)

And now I’m back in Tampa. And that sucks. But at least I still have almost a month before classes start 🙂

And just so I end on a good note, here’s Bobby Rydell singing “Wildwood Days.”

Until tomorrow.

Month In Review: July

I think this month was bad, but we shall see, eh?

  • Take better care of myself. Thank God for all of the walking I did on vacation or else I’d probably have to give myself negative points for this. In June’s month in review post I said that I was determined to get serious after the Fourth and that did not happen. It was far more fun to eat junk food and drink hundreds of calories a day. I can only hope that next month will be better. At least I’ve nearly eaten all of the junk food in my house.
  • Read every day. Yay! I have yet to fail in this resolution. Now I haven’t read yet today (unless reading the new Entertainment Weekly cover-to-cover on my flight to Tampa counts), but as long as I read before I go to bed, this is a non-issue. And I will read before I go to bed. I’ve finished five Austen novels and get to start Pride and Prejudice today 🙂
  • Blog every day. Dammit! I finally failed in this resolution this month. I could just blame my failure the past several days on my vacation, but that’s not entirely it. I never asked anyone for the WiFi password at my aunt and uncle’s shore house. And then once I got back to my brother and sister-in-law’s place I was out of the habit. Oh well. I just have to get back on the horse, right?
  • Work on my house. Raise your hand if you’re surprised to hear that I didn’t do a damn thing to work on my house this month. (There should be no raised hands.) I’ve got most of August to get some work done, but I don’t have a lot of faith in myself on this issue. If I had the money I’d hire a cleaning service. But things are so bad that I’d want to do some work first before they showed. At the very least I should put my personal papers away neatly, rather than having them piled up in any random place.

Yep, that’s a pretty bad month when it comes to my New Years Resolutions. But July was actually pretty good. I had a job for most of it. I survived my penultimate semester, stressful as it was. I got to go to the land of Wawa and TastyKakes (but more on that some other time).

In other news, I made a conscious decision not to talk about the Phillies on my blog after the All-Star Game in a superstitious attempt to help them turn things around (and they have gone on two legitimate winning streaks in that time). So maybe I haven’t really reached acceptance yet. Or maybe I’m a control freak enthusiast who needs superstitions to deal with something so completely out of my control. Whatever. But I can’t not at least mention that the team traded away Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence before today’s trade deadline. I expected Ruben & Co. to trade one or the other if they could get a decent return, but trading both in separate deals was shocking. I’m more okay with the Victorino trade, but I’m not that upset about either of them. And the way I look at it, they’ve each just landed on contenders, so good for them. Plus, Domonic Brown finally got called up, so that’s good. And tonight’s game was hella fun to watch. I don’t know if the organization’s tacit admission that this season is a wash made things less stressful or if it’s just fun to watch my team kinda beat up on Stephen Strasburg (including a Jimmy Rollins inside-the-park home run that involved Bryce Harper attempting to kill himself on the fence in right field). I suspect it was a little bit of both.

Until tomorrow.

Bad Trips Can Make Great Stories

But not right now.

It is 3 AM and I am at my brother and sister-in-law’s place in Jersey. (I’ve actually been here for an hour, but we were busy watching House Hunters.) My flight from Tampa got in to Philly at 1 AM. It was supposed to get in at 10 PM. We actually took off almost an hour after we were scheduled to land. Fun.

I was actually pretty calm and chill about the whole thing. I even found it kind of funny. This is not like me, but I’m glad I didn’t have my normal angry reaction.

Apparently there were crazy, crazy storms affecting 10 states tonight. Of course that happens when I want to fly home. But whatever, I made it to Philly safe and sound. I got picked up at the airport and have a place to crash for the night. And tomorrow I’m headed down the shore. All in all, this did not suck.

Until tomorrow.

Month In Review: June

Wow, we are nominally halfway through the year. Where has the time gone?

  • Take better care of myself. I’m like a broken record with this, but I can once again only give myself partial credit for this. The month started on the right track. I was more or less eating right and I even exercised a couple of times, but then my birthday happened. And instead of being inspired to take better care of myself, I was inspired to eat as much junk food as possible. Not to mention all of the extra calories I’ve been consuming in the shape of frappuccinos and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and free sodas in the break room. I’ve already decided that I’m going to get serious about this after the Fourth. But in the meantime, I have a bunch of junk food in my house that I have to eat. (I can’t just let it go to waste, you guys.)
  • Read every day. I was really quite smart when I came up with these resolutions, giving myself some that would be easy and others that wouldn’t be so easy. This is one of the easy ones. (Going in to this year I thought it would be the only easy one.) I only read 2.5 books this month, but that included 2 Austen novels: Northanger Abbey (which is great) and Mansfield Park (which is awful). (I’m now halfway through my Austen re-read and I ordered the books so that I’ll read 2 great ones, 2 bad ones, and 2 great ones. I’m also interested to see if my opinion of any of the books changes this time around, but that hasn’t been the case so far.)
  • Blog every day. This is my other easy resolution, even though I was afraid it would be quite difficult. When I really stop and think about it, I am pretty shocked that I’ve managed to blog every day. But I really like blogging. I mean, how else could I ever justify spending hours on YouTube looking for Chase Utley videos?
  • Work on my house. Yikes. Does selling old textbooks and DVDs to Amazon count as working on my house? If it doesn’t, then I haven’t done a thing for my house this month. At this point I don’t even care if asking my mom to help clean my house makes me a bad person, it has to be done.

Holy crap, I just looked at a calendar and there are only three weeks left in the semester. And I will have a lot of assignments due. This will adversely affect my blogging, but I will try to post every day. Thank God my boss asked me to take next week off.

But my reward at the end of July will be a trip down the shore. I’ve already got my plane tickets to Philly for the last weekend of the month. Can’t wait!

Until tomorrow.

Month In Review: May

Okay, I’m pretty sure there were some good things and some bad things, but let’s get into it.

  • Take better care of myself.  Once again, I can only give myself partial credit for this. I ate pretty well for most of the month, except for the early part that was full of traveling (you try eating well while driving 1,000 miles in a car full of junk food and only stopping at fast food joints and gas stations). I haven’t gotten back on the exercise train at all. And my sleep schedule is still wonky. I would even go so far as to say that it is fubar, but fubar would imply some drastic change and that’s not really the case. My birthday’s in June, so hopefully that new digit in my age will inspire me to start taking care of myself again.
  • Read every day.  It’s so nice to have a resolution like this one that is easy and enjoyable. I really kicked ass this month too, reading seven books. This was, of course, aided by the fact that I read the entire Hunger Games series in five days 🙂 I could’ve done it in three if I’d made a more serious effort to read on the drive up north.
  • Blog every day.  Another resolution that is both easy and enjoyable. Technically speaking, one could make a case that I fell off this month because I only have as many blog posts as there are days in the month as opposed to April, which has 30 days and 31 blog posts, but that would just be silly. This has been a really fun project so far, even on the days when blogging feels like more of a chore than a choice. Plus I’m almost to 200 posts, which is crazy.
  • Work on my house.  Oy vey. While I did no less this month than last month, I feel like the collective result of the past two months makes May so much worse than April. Would I be a terrible person if I asked my mom to help me clean my house? She has offered.

If I were to grade myself, I think it would be D+, A+, A, and I (somehow F doesn’t seem harsh enough). But it’s good to have room to improve, right?

In other May news, I got to go home for the first time since just after Thanksgiving (oh, Brand New show in AC, you were one of my favorite parts of last year) and that was awesome. My cousin had her baby, an adorable little girl. I started my penultimate semester in grad school. I saw The Avengers and discovered the wonderfulness that is the mocha cookie crumble frappuccino. And the Phillies are two games over .500. All in all, May was a pretty damn good month.

Until tomorrow.

Personal Cheerleaders

Do you have a personal cheerleader?  That friend who will always root for you.  Who you know will support you in whatever crazy endeavor (large or small) you undertake.  Who will never let anyone talk crap on you.

I do.  And it’s pretty awesome.

My personal cheerleader is my college roommate.  (I am also her personal cheerleader, lest you think I’m some sort of terrible person.)  Over the years she has provided me with many positive affirmations.  She even supported my decision to move to Florida, even though she didn’t want me to.  (She also supports my desire to move back to the land of Wawa and TastyKakes, although there’s less altruism in that.)

We coined the term “personal cheerleader” when we were in college.  It’s not really a thing I think about a lot, but every now and again she’ll do something and I’ll remember how awesome it is to have a personal cheerleader.  Today it was a simple text message.  I have a short paper due tomorrow, but I was having a hard time forcing myself to work on it.  I sent her a text about the minuscule window of motivation I was dealing with for this task and her response included “You can do it!”  And, you know what, she was right.  Turns out I just needed to hear from my personal cheerleader 🙂

So whenever you read this, woommate, thanks for being my personal cheerleader.  It is greatly appreciated.

Until tomorrow.

Four Years And Counting

Today marks the 4-year anniversary of the day I quit my first real job (retail jobs don’t count as real jobs).  Actually, that almost sounds like I up and left in a fit of pique and never went back.  Which isn’t true at all.  No, I gave my two weeks notice like a good corporate American drone.  But March 19, 2008 was my last day at that company.  (It was also the day my dad retired from his job of 30+ years.)

As it happens, March 19, 2008 was a Wednesday, which is admittedly a weird day to leave a job.  (I left all of my other jobs on Fridays, like normal people do.)  But there was a very good reason.  Easter that year was March 23 and my parents and I had decided to move to Florida by Easter.  And I couldn’t leave my job before March 12 if I wanted to get my 2007 bonus (and I wanted that bonus).  As I remember it, the last day of work was Wednesday.  The movers came and packed up the house on Thursday and then my parents and I started the drive south at 5 PM.  (My dad swears we left Delaware at 5:00 on the dot.)  We made it to my parents’ Florida house sometime Friday evening.

Oddly, the only thing I distinctly remember from that first weekend in Florida was the mini emotional breakdown I had at Easter Mass.  I don’t remember what triggered it, but I do remember that I nearly broke down crying at the end of Mass and my parents let me go sit in the car (score!).  (I swear it wasn’t an attempt to get out of Mass.  If it had been, I would’ve had my freakout much earlier in the service.)  Maybe I had a vision of how miserable I would be in Florida, who knows?

Today isn’t technically the anniversary of when I moved to Florida, but I will always think of it that way.  In my head, leaving my first real job is synonymous with moving to Florida.  And today was the day I left that job.

The anniversary of leaving my first real job is the kind of thing I tend to put in calendars (especially of the electronic variety), but for some reason I hadn’t done that before today.  Nope, I remembered this anniversary just because I remember this anniversary.  I even called my dad earlier to wish him a happy retirement anniversary.  He also remembered what today was, although he had entered it in his Outlook calendar.

Here’s hoping that by the time March 19, 2013 rolls around I will be gainfully employed in the land of Wawa and TastyKakes once again.

Until tomorrow.