Saturday, April 30, 2005

Today I Miss Brotherly Love...

...Not the kind between my brothers and I. On a day like today, when it is nice and cool and sunny outside, I miss the neighborhood I lived in outside of Philly. Isn't nostalgia a wondeful thing. When I lived there, everything seemed great. Everyone got along with each other. All my neighbors would end up sitting on each others' porches drinking smoking and yelling conversations across the street to one another. On my last visit to Philly I found out that the people that moved into the house we lived in, had already been evicted (This took less than 6 months, although I probably should not have been surprised. They had a dog named Hitler.) and the new tenant was running a 24 hour "pharmacutical" sales operation out of the house. This was discovered on the second to last day of my trip when I couldn't visit my old neighbor because they were pulling a body out of my old house and I was not allowed near the area. It was very surreal to watch the news and see police hauling a sheet draped corpse out of the front door that was mine less than 6 months prior. Anyhow, I find myself yearning for the barbeques at Big Guy's house, the walks along the railroad tracks to the river with my neighbors and their kids, the Saturday night poker games, and yelling from porch to porch.

I miss being 2 hours away from the shore (even if it was Jersey),2 hours away New York City, 2 hours away from Washingon D.C.(even though I only got to go once the whole time I lived there), 2 hours away from the Poconos, and being able to drive into the city on I-76 along the Schulkyl River. On a day like today, people are out on the river by Boathouse Row, running and biking in Fairmont Park and by the art museum. The lines seemed to go on for miles at the landmarks including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. As well as, at the cheesesteak joints Pat's, Gino's and my personal favorite, Tony Luke's in south city.

I don't really miss the traffic and how rude a lot of the people are in the northeast. Growing up in the midwest, I learned say hello to people that I pass on the street and expect a response other than a grunt or silence coupled with a look that seems to say, "Leave me alone and go away." However, the character of the city as a whole really worked for me and today I am finding myself really missing it and the friends that I made there.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Car Trouble

To put this in perspective; A few years ago car trouble was figuring out how I was going to get to work because neither of my cars was working and I couldn't get a hold of any of my friends.

Today I went to my local Ford dealership. I had been waiting until I got to a point monetarily, where I was comfortable ordering a 2005 Mustang GT. When I showed up and sat in a V6 model, turned it on and messed around with a few of the options, I was more in love with the car then when I first saw pictures of it 2 years ago. I asked the salesman about ordering one and how much time I had. He told me that if I wanted a 2005 model I would have to buy off the lot or wait for their net shipment(which would be their last of the 05 model) to see if anyone canceled their GT order. I nearly cried. Since I have gotten divorced, and it suddenly became possible for me to afford my current dream car(Thanks Jenn), I have been preparing to buy it for months. Now I can not get a hold of an 05. Good news is the 06 model will look the same, probably just a few new options and colors. Oh well, sure is nice to have this sort of car trouble.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Adventures in Alabama

I was recently sent down to Alabama on a business trip. Prior to that trip I had worked in Huntsville and went to Mobile one evening with a coworker. I thought it was just a nice southern state. Little did I know it was a bass ackward, bigot infested, swamp. It started on my first full day, when, while listening to the radio I heard a conversation that went something like this;

Radio Host: Today we will discuss the status of illegal aliens in the US, and how they are treated in comparison to our citizens. (At this point I thought this could be an educational segment and decided to listen)

Caller: (back woods southern accent) The only way to deal with them is to evangelize them or put a bullet in there heads. (And here I am, thinking, "Ok, well at least it can only get better." Wrong again.)

Host: That is what I have been saying for years... (Oh boy! Here we go.)

Caller: (back woods southern accent) It is a conspiracy by the Mexican government. They are sending their citizens up here to colonize America and take it back over for Mexico. (What are they going to do, landscape us in to submission?)

Host: Again, that is what I have been saying for years. People are going to be sorry when they are listening to a spanish language station and can't find a job in 20 years...(AHHHH!)

At this point I had to change the station, because, I just couldn't take it anymore. But that radio show was just the beginning. The next day myself and a coworker were driving north on decently well traveled state highway. We turned left, which, theorectically would be west, onto a county road marked CR 222 West. Forty minutes later we were 25 miles north and east of where we had turned left and had not passed over the state highway. Right after we had made our turn to head west a song started on the radio and then jumped about 3 minutes ahead. My coworker said, "What was that? Were we just abducted by aliens? Because you hear about stuff like songs skipping like that when people get abducted by aliens."

My reply was, "Well, does your ass hurt?"

He said, "No. Does yours?"

This conversation came back to haunt us 40 minutes later when we ended up nowhere near our intended destination. We both figured it was possible and our asses may not hurt because alien technology has come a long way.

2 days later, while driving down the interstate toward the Gulf Coast I witnessed a couple parked on the side of the road with what appeared to be car trouble. The hood was opened and they were on the front seat having sex in broad daylight. Some people have no shame.

While traveling home, I was just north of Birmingham, when I saw one of the most rediculous things I have seen in a long time. There was an eighteen wheeler with spinners on the back tires.