Saturday, April 26, 2008

Been a few weeks! Happy Anniversary to my blog!

I've had this blog for one year.... as of April 16th. I wanted to go all out and create this anniversary post, but things were a little crazy the past few weeks, so I missed out on my anniversary blog post. Damn.

Last weekend, I headed to Seven Points Marina on Raystown Lake to spend three nights on a houseboat with a few of my friends my the MA in Creative Writing Program at Wilkes. I can't tell you how awesome the weekend was. It is just so great to get together with people who have a common dream-- and then to spend the weekend sharing our work with each other, getting feedback, advice and whatnot. And the fun.... what a great time. Good food, drinks, games and lots of adventure, that's for sure. If anyone is looking for a fun weekend or week get-away, I highly recommend that you consider renting a houseboat at Seven Points Marina on Raystown Lake. The staff was wonderful and the houseboats are super cool. We have an 8-sleeper, but they let us look at the next "ship" bigger, a 12-sleeper which was brand new last season- a lot more modern than the one we had.

Our boat had a deck on the stern and bow and also a roof with a hot tub and lounge chairs. We had two "bedrooms," the stateroom and salon, as well as guest rooms in the "bowels" which had two full mattresses on either side, dowstairs. There was a bathroom, or the Head and a kitchen/dining area and a living room areas and of course, the captain's chair. We had a dinghy that we towed along that came in quite handy when we became stuck the one morning.

Raystown lake is beautiful! It is a man-made lake-- a project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-- they flooded the area, and in fact a little town, to create this lake for recreation and energy. It was just so peaceful to be out on the lake- and it's not really in-season yet, so we had this lovely environment to ourselves! Aside from Seven Points Marina, there are also camping areas, hotels, resorts, hiking trails and lot of other places to stay around this lake.

Lots more happened in the past few weeks since I blogged- and I had all these ideas for blog posts, but they are all kind of old news now.

Like- they are finally doing some work on Route 118-- that's making headlines. Hopefully this road will become safer because frankly, I hate driving home every night.

And also- I am so tried of gas prices. It almost cost me more to drive the 3.5 hours to Raystown than my share of the houseboat rental. That's sad. All these poor tourist places may start to lose money because people can't afford the extra few hundred dollars to drive there. A plane ticket from Wilkes-Barre to Orlando may have been less money! Cripes.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Just a random post- tanning, CDs, NPR, old friends and the like

This week has been great. Lots of good stuff.

Writing & the Memoir
Had a great writing workshop with some Wilkes U. creative writing classmates and friends on Sunday, so I am feeling all sorts of motivated. I've been getting some great feedback from my mentor as well. I finally understand what some of my roadblocks have been and have some ideas on how to get over them. The first thing is to turn off the Internet and get writing, meaning I really should not be writing this. My big thing now is to reconnect with the people I was close to at ages 13-16- so I spent a few hours on MySpace and Facebook last night to find some old friends. Memories are already flooding back at just the mere sight of someone's name.

I'm not just a white girl. I am a very white girl. I used to tan regulary a few years back, but I let myself get back to being Casper-esque. I feel healthier when I am darker, so I am now committed to tanning and getting a nice glow. And then maybe next is to whiten my teeth. (Years of coffee stains and my dentist swears I smoke.)

CDs & Wayne's World
My next blog will be about how I like tangible things, so I'll elaborate. But today, I went to Wayne's World, which is in the same plaza as the new tanning place. The smell of incense filled my nostrils and I went back to high school where I lived for spending my ice cream parlor money on incense and Dead t-shirts and other rock-and-roll apparel at Gallery of Sound in Mount Pocono or Living Dyes at Blakeslee Corners. So, I bought 10 incense sticks for a few bucks, a really cute Dead shirt and a local artist's CD. The sounds of guitar lessons at Wayne's World reminded me that I really want to learn guitar someday.

Tonight American Idol is doing a fundraiser which I guess is cool. But part of me just hates that fact that all these celebs and muscians-- that became famous the 'hard way' are being part of a show dedicated to insta-fame. Not that the Idol contestants aren't talented, I just mean that in the old days, people packed up, moved to Nashville or LA or Seattle or Austin with nothing but their guitar/keyboard and a notebook full of songs and poems and paid their dues and played their hearts out for years and years until they finally were at the right place at the right time. Now, people on Idol get stylists, make-up artists, etc. and record deals even if the lose. Okay, this could be a blog post on its own, but what I meant to say is that I pledged my annual membership to WVIA last night for George Graham's show, specifically- local and unique music every night. And of course, I also want to support WVIA for its NPR affiliation- I love Morning Edition and Fresh Air. So, $120 per year to get the best news and music. Worth it.

Okay- enough rambling. Time to microwave some corn. I was supposed to rotate 1/4 way ten minutes ago.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The School Bus: My Favorite Shot

I have to thank Jimmy R. and my days at Froggy 101 for learning how to ride the bus. The school bus is my favorite shot.

I've been doing more school busses as of late, and wanted to write a tribute to them. In 2003, I was actually paid for an essay I wrote about the school bus shot for a book called The Buzz on Beer- I am not sure if my essay didn't make it, or if the book wasn't published. At any rate, I tired tirelessy the last few days to located the essay. No luck- that was two computers ago.

So, what is a school bus? A school bus was long before Jager Bombs. But, it's a similar type of shot. It's a mug filled a quarter the way with orange juice and a quarter the way with a draft light beer. It's served with a shot of Amaretto. This shot works best with glass mug and glass shot glass. Then, you drop the shot glass in the mug and slam it. It tastes so smooth! Yummy! I love them.

I was introduced to this shot my a record guy from Nashville when I worked in radio. It became a popular shot among the radio staff and we always did them at our regular hang-out, Hops and Barley's. After the first few times of getting them there, the bartenders knew exactly what the school bus was. But, I must take credit along with the old radio crew for spreading this to NEPA. Everytime Jimmy would come to town, he would jingle his keys and say, "Ya'll ready to ride the bus?" At the big Country Radio Seminar one year, be made a bus pass- it was a laminated pass with a professionally drawn caricature of him driving a school bus. That's what he was known for! The School Bus shot. I still have this bus pass, by the way. I'll try to find it so I can scan it in here.
The school bus can be messy. While dropping the shot glass in is the best way to do it, the bar staff will be upset if they have to follow you with a mop. So, try to respect the floor and ease the shot in. : )

I've been doing a lot of school busses lately with my new co-workers and they are quickly becoming a favorite! I've included a few recent pics!

So- spread the wealth. Teach your local bartender how to do a school bus. And remember, school bus safety: don't drive your own car if you've done too many busses.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

My First Ticket

I've been know to live life in the fast-lane. However, I don't drive there.

I am a slow driver. People pass me all the time. People ride my ass all the time. In general, I think I piss other drivers off. I'm a 29-year-old grandma driver.

Yet, Wednesday morning, I was given my very first speeding ticket. It's like a life milestone. Your first tooth. Your first step. Your first word. Your first "time." Your first beer.

Your first speeding ticket.

It was my first day at our new location in Shavertown, so I took a different route to work. Work is now about 12 minutes closer for me because I don't have to go into Wilkes-Barre on the Cross Valley, or through all the lights on Wilkes-Barre Boulevard. I have a short-cut that I can take which leads me right to the road my new office is on.

My first day going to my new workplace. I am driving on Sutton Road in Shavertown, which has some gorgeous houses. I dream of living on this road, actually. So, 1) I was extremely hungover. 2) I was in la-la land and 3) I was starting at houses, left and right. Next thing I know, I see flashing lights-- no siren though.

I do a double-take because I thought these lights must be intended for someone else, but I realize that I am the only car on the road, so I pull over.

I was quite embarrassed because if you are a regular reader of this blog, then you will know about my letter to the editor a few months ago-- about speeders and terrible road conditions on Route 118. So, I tell the cop this, as well as the story about it being my first day. I still got a ticket. $164. I was nice, polite, didn't object or anything. It is what it is. He was doing his job, and I was now late for mine.

48 in a 25.... yikes. That's almost double, a co-worker pointed out to me. It didn't feel like I was going fast. Maybe since the road is hilly and curvy, I was caught while I was coasting? I don't know.

I wanted to say to him, "Oh thank goodness you got me this morning because I was shit-faced when I drove home from Hops last night..." but I didn't think that he'd think it was funny. Haha. I sort of wondered if my breath still smelled like alcohol. I read Tucker Max, I Hope they Serve Beer in Hell, and he actually had his own breathalizer and was still reading drunk the next morning. I mean, I doubt I was, but it was a funny thought to actually get a DUI the next morning on your way to work.

And, as Murphy's Law would have it, I did win a Spiff at work-- $100! Collected it that same morning, which was quite comical. Last time I won on the slots (five years ago), my car broke down, so as Donna Luck would have it, win money- something happens to my car, or in this case, my driving.