Monthly Archives: February 2014
So this is how I know I’m getting old. Back in the good old days of the early 00’s I was (somewhat) of a dare devil. I swang off rope swings into the local reservoir, went on every ride there was at amusement parks and fairs, and I rode on my friend’s motorcycle…one time…I think we almost got up to 30 mph before I threatened that I would jump off. Haha This morning while I was running on the treadmill I saw an ad for the newest ride hitting our local Six Flags and I almost threw up. I literally said out loud “NOPE”. Other people at the gym looked at me. I didn’t even mean to say it out loud, but I couldn’t help it. It was definitely NOPE-worthy.
The ride is twofold. There is the Zumanjaro Drop of Doom which is built within the Kinga Ka Coaster. So the Kinga Ka Coaster is the tallest coaster in the US at over 450 feet. You go from 0 to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds. No thanks. I prefer to keep my speed around 80, while fully encased in metal. Then there is the Zumanjaro Drop of Doom. Sorry, am I the only one that doesn’t want to go on something called the Drop of Doom?? It’s like the Tower of Terror, which I have actually been on, but over twice the size. Yes, twice the size! At over 400 feet you’re more than twice the height of Lady Liberty only to plummet back to earth, hopefully without dying. Oh, and while you’re dropping at almost 100mph you have a roller coaster coming directly at you. Sounds like a heart attack in a seatbelt if you ask me! NOPE.
I do apologize for the length of this post, but there is really no shorter way to paint you this picture. So this past weekend me and my sister traveled from Connecticut to Iowa to visit our grandparents. Because the airport in Dubuque, where they live, is smaller than most town’s local Target Super Center, we decided to fly into Chicago and rent a car to finish out the trek. Our flight got in around 11pm so we thought it best to stay in a hotel along the way. Though I do take full responsibility for the troubles outlined below, I just want to make it clear that I booked a hotel-with the mind frame of “ok we are going to get there after midnight and leave first thing to get to grandpas so let’s just go with whatever is the cheapest. Worst.Decision.Ever. In fact, as a result of this hasty decision, I have lost all future booking privileges while traveling with my sister.
Ok, so let me start by saying that I’ve been known to stay in some sketchy establishments. There was that time in Ireland where me and Stef stayed in the most sketchy “bed and breakfast” ever. Literally, I was nervous one of us (or both of us) were going to be kidnapped by the guys from New Castle in the room next to us. And then there was that time I was on a business trip in Santa Barbara and my flight got cancelled and instead of going back to the four-star hotel I was at originally, my at-the-time-boss thought it was fine if I bunked up at a motel in the ghetto right by the airport. Surprisingly, no one knocked on my door looking for crack.
Anyways, I degrees…this was much worse. Here we are in Rockland, IL, and things are looking pretty good. We see a Holiday Inn and Marriott, followed by a Kohls, Longhorn Steakhouse, and my personal fave-Starbucks. There was tons of stores and I could tell we were on the main drag. Cool. A few miles go by and more and more space lies between stores, the lights are dimmer-clearly we are driving into the depths of hell. I should have know better since the main light to the hotel was barely on. It was kind of flickering like a motel light would in a horror movie right before he main character gets murdered. But hey, what were we going to do-we did have a $42 reservation. So we go in.
The guy at the front desk was nice enough, but let’s remember, you don’t have to be smart to be nice. After standing at the front desk for approximately 15 minutes while he tried to figure out how run my credit card, we finally got our room key. Room 205, which ironically was in the basement. This was an obvious sign that we were walking even deeper into the depths of hell. This level smelled. It went from smoke, to mold, to another smell that I can’t really really describe, probably because my senses were being numbed at this point. You know, part of the body’s defense when it begins going into shock-I’m pretty sure that’s what was happening here. Finally, after walking by numerous doors with dogs barking in a frigid hallway we made it to our room. Phew!
Just kidding. This too only added insult to injury. There was caked on mildew on the faucet sink. So bad, in fact, that I literally felt it was a better option to not wash my hands at all than touch the sink, or the water that may (or may not) come out of it. There was cigarette ash all around the bathroom (in our supposed non-smoking room), and literally shit stains in the toilet. All of that aside, all we wanted to do was go to sleep. With a Nalgene 3/4 full of water, we figured we had enough to get through the night for the two of us if we rationed properly. So we slipped into pj’s and turned down the sheets. This is when shit got real. There was no sheet on the bed. Seriously. No.Sheet.On.The.Bed. OK, no that’s not completely fair. There was a sheet…but we had the option to sleep between the sheet and the disease-ridden comforter, or the sheet and the disease ridden mattress. Either way, I was not willing to take the risk. I’m sorry…the second I left the hotel I thought “shit I should have taken pictures!”, but seriously, I was in survival mode and the only thing I could think about was getting out alive…so you’ll have to use your imagination here…even if you think you’re letting it go wild, you’re probably not far off from what we encountered.
We couldn’t stay there. So I did what anyone would do, we put on our shoes and my sister pulled around the car while I pulled a Jo Anne. If you’re unfamiliar what this means, Jo Anne is our mom, and in the right situation, gets really angry and does something magical that results in her getting her way. It all started in a nail salon circa year 2000, but we’ll leave that story for another time. Anyways, I walked up to the front desk, rolling suitcase in hand and told the clerk we are leaving and never coming back. Though he looked extremely confused, he was nice about it, which didn’t give me the opportunity to get as angry as I wanted to, however, given the situation, you’ve gotta think this is not the first time this happened.
10 minutes later we ended up in a clean, newly renovated room at the Hilton, which we were very pleased with. Ironically, outside of our fourth floor window was a huge dumpster which we probably would have ended up in if we didn’t make the move.
I bought my first “new” car a few years ago and I’m pretty much obsessed with it. My sister openly makes fun of it and says it’s ugly and looks like a spaceship, but I don’t really care because this spaceship gets the job done. I bought a Honda Fit, and it’s amazing. I can fold the seats down and toss my dogs in there without getting fur on the seats, I can fold the seats up and 4-5 Rubbermaid bins in the back seat, I can put my bike in the back without having to remove the front wheel, and best of all I get about 40 miles to the gallon. For me, it’s great. Then a few a weeks ago, all my walls came crashing down around me. I was going about my business, I was doing fine (Jewel reference J), and a coworkers informs me that I’m driving what was rated the most unsafe car of the year. Great. Thanks for ruining my day, pal.
So I do what any girl would do in this situation – I called my dad. I guess I thought maybe he would sympathize with his eldest child and, you know, want me to be safe and not die. I thought he’d, I don’t know, give me his car or buy me a big (safe) Hummer or something. I thought wrong. “Are you seriously concerned with this?” he asks me…uh yea I’m concerned, a person with my luck (and by luck, I mean driving record) should not be driving around in a death box. “What, are you thinking about buying a new car or something?” he follows up with. Well, the thought crossed my mind!! “Just don’t get into an accident”. Great. Thanks for the advice pops. Before you said that getting into an accident was on the to-do list, but I’ll cross it off now. I proceed to tell him why my car was so unsafe and how if get into an accident apparently the steering panel is going to come into my car and smash my legs into a million little pieces. “I’m a runner dad, I can’t live my life from a wheelchair. I’ll DIE!”. It was at that point that he responded “Erin, you are ridiculous”. And hung up on me.
Nice to know I have a strong support system.
Have you ever met someone so dumb that you are literally embarrassed to be be sharing a country with them? I had an experience recently that really made me wonder about people.
After a couple years of going without, I decided to get cable, and after about a month of having cable in my living room and becoming completely addicted, I decided to go for the gold and add cable to my bedroom as well. Now this shouldn’t have been an issue as a cable line was already run in my bedroom and a tv in my basement, but unfortunately it wasn’t working. So I called Cox Communications to see if I could get some over-the-phone help. The first girl I talked to was not part of their tech team, but tried to assist me so I wouldn’t have to sit on hold. Although she was unsuccessful, she was very nice and I found our conversation quite pleasant. The next person I talked to really made me think twice about my fellow Americans. For lack of a better way to get across how utterly retarded this woman was, I’m just going to give you a play by play of our conversation:
Me: Hi, I’m having some problems getting my cable to work, can you help me?
Cox Woman (CW): I’ll try. Whats the phone number on your account?
CW: I’m sorry that number doesn’t come up.
Me: Can you look me up by my address?
CW: What is your address?
Me: (tell her my address), Street, City, Connecticut.
CW: Do you mean Rhode Island?
Me: No, Connecticut.
CW: I don’t see Connecticut on my list. Are you sure you don’t mean Rhode Island?
Me: No, I definitely live in Connecticut.
CW: Hmm…I’m not sure…pause…Connecticut? Where is that? Is it near Ohio?
Me: Are you serious?
Me: Connecticut is on the East Coast….It’s part of New England…..It’s bordered by MA, RI, and NY….
I was so completely dumbfounded by this conversation I literally told her I would call back another time. I mean seriously, do you really think she would be able to help me with, well, anything?! The woman doesn’t even know that CT is a state! Welp, you can’t win ’em all, hopefully she’s beautiful because no one’s gonna marry this chick for her brains!!