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Sunday, June 30, 2013

4 days!

4 days! We took a road trip to Delaware today to get alcohol since it's cheaper and tax free there and crabs. The crabs didn't happen as we got lost, but I bought Jack, absinthe, and Sangria (I love Sangria). I should at least enjoy my birthday, haha. We did stop off at Famous Dave's though.

I would like to share a memory of a past birthday with you. I think for the next 3 days, I'll post a birthday memory. :)

In honor of the Battle of Gettysburg's 150th Anniversary, I'm going to back track to 2004 when mom, dad, my friend at the time (Asha) and I went to Gettysburg on July 5. We spent July 4, 2004 at my Aunt Linda's house because she has a pool and back then we spent my birthday there (until 2005, for that birthday we went to Baltimore. I'll share that with you tomorrow, maybe). My little cousin, Joey, was 3 at the time and just learning how to talk. He kept calling me "chair." Asha thought that was hilarious, it was a bit funny, but I was a little embarrassed.

That night we stayed at my house and lit off some fireworks. I ended up making a CD with my new external CD burner on a refurbished computer my pop-pop gave me. Asha suggested songs too, so we'd have something to listen to on our drive to Gettysburg. We went to bed rather late, despite leaving early.

July 5th was so much fun, though the day was so hot. Dad used to work for the park service back in the early to mid 80s before he became a deputy. At the time, his one friend worked at Gettysburg as a park ranger. He ended up meeting us and giving us a little discount, but he was too busy to give us a tour. In April that year, I went to Gettysburg for the first time with my 8th grade class; I ended up showing everyone around. We climbed Little Round Top and saw other sights. We also visited Boyd's Bears. It was just an amazing day.

I didn't have a camera back then (my first digital camera was given to me for Christmas 2004), but I went again in 2009. Here are some pictures from 2009:

(Look how thin I was at 20! I was with my ex at the time, sadly, and didn't take many pictures. My Aunt Kathy has a house near the Battlefield. I want to take a bus trip there and get tons more pictures)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Upper Merion Civil War reenacment

Upper Merion is turning 300 this year and in the celebration they decided to do a Civil War event. Sadly, the 53rd Pennsylvania Regiment was a no show because of illness. The rest of the day was alright.

Anna Holstein reenactor. She was really good.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Secret Life of Blogger's Blog Party: Mega Bad Movie Night

This week for the most part has been uneventful (and not many pictures, sadly), but last night I went to the Academy of Natural Sciences for their Mega Bad Movie Night. They showed Night of the Lepus. It was so bad that it was funny and the critiques were great. :) I arrived at 6pm; the Academy opened up at 6:30pm and had a party before the movie. The party included food, drink, games such as Raving Rabids (which I won a prize since I beat my opponent), make up your own movie title and dino-opoly. They also opened up the exhibits, which was awesome without children (the event was for people 18 and older). The next MBMN is October 24 and they will be showing Them. I'm hoping to go. :)

I'm a lightning bug. Part of the Glow exhibit.

Jellyfish! Also part of the Glow exhibit.

The way the one table was set up. Other tables had different rabbits.

One of the live animals: the skink.

Mega Bad Movie Night: Night of the Lepus's Photo Recap: Mega Bad Movie Night: Night of the Lepus

Still waiting for the ANS to post their album. :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Off to ANS (Tomorrow Night) and Feeling Slightly Better

Tomorrow I'm off to the Academy of Natural Sciences for their Mega Bad Movie Night. It's like Mystery Science Theatre with their commentary of a B rated movie. The movie they are showing is called Night of the Lepus starring Janet Leigh. I've never heard of it, but the picture they posted enticed me. I'm so excited because before the film starts they will be bringing out the animals. :D

This morning when I walked into the office at my school job (last day for the week), I found an envelope sitting on my desk. I thought it was something from my boss, but it was from my coworker. This is what it had to say:

Dear Jess,

Thank you for the Starbuck's gift card! I am glad we get to work together one more summer, you make me laugh! Looking forward to many more coffee trips with you. Thanks again!

I guess I'm not toxic after all. I should just forget all the negative people I've encountered in my life, similar to what nan and someone once told me. Maybe I'm not that bad after all.

8 Days

Next Thursday, July 4th, I will be turning 24. This year will be the first time in a few years that I will spend my birthday at home instead of in Philadelphia with Christine. I sort of wish I was spending the day in Philadelphia, though, but I will be going on the 5th to see the National Constitution Center's 10th Anniversary, meet my cousin Tori for happy hour and maybe go to the food festival. I found the entry from July 2011 chronicling my trip for my birthday. I didn't finish it, but I should (maybe after my Wisconsin book). You can view it here.

This is going to be my first birthday without nan. I remember that birthday in 2011, it was right after the diagnosis of bipolar disorder and mom was upset about it (among other things, I think she was upset over me becoming more independent and getting an industrial piercing, but after she saw that piercing it was no big deal). Nan picked me up from the p&w that evening on the 4th—my relatives left my house for the day and it was time for me to come home. She was so happy to see me and we ended up having a great time that night despite mom calling me angrily on July 3rd and the huge fight on July 5th. In years prior we'd go out to dinner and celebrate at my house with cake. It was simple, yet it was comfortable. The past few years I've enjoyed traveling, but when I was younger I liked staying home. Last year we celebrated my birthday with nan on the 5th since I stayed with Christine and hung out with her friends on my actual birthday (sadly, the next day—July 6th—nan was diagnosed with cancer). Last year's festivities for both days were so much fun. It's going to feel a little empty this year. :\

Yesterday Seth, a professor at the University, was on the bus and I was talking to him. I was telling him that I'm not actually looking forward to my actual birthday because as of right now none of my friends are coming (some are maybes and will let me know closer, the other one something happened) and I will be spending it at home with family for mom. He said, "well, you could always spend a few days celebrating—one day for her and one day for you." I think that's what I'm going to do—the 4th for mom, then the 5th for me. Besides hanging out with Tori for a little bit (hopefully), I will be alone. That doesn't bother me, really, last year during the day for my birthday Christine had to work—but this out of town couple eating at Con Murphy's heard it was my birthday and treated me to lunch. That was so sweet. Then at night it was spent with people. That was fun too, especially going swimming at Christine's, then Anthony's (a friend of her friend, it was our first time meeting him). Fireworks in Philadelphia were amazing too. In King of Prussia, we can't see them too well from our house and space is limited at the township building.

I'm off July 10th, so maybe I'll make that day trip about me too. ::shrug::

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Memory Rose

(Taken from my mom and from her Facebook)

Earlier Andrew posted his trio of roses and it reminded me of the picture mom posted on Sunday of the rose Aunt Peg gave us in memory of nan. Tomorrow I want to see if it's grown some more. Today has been five months since she has died. It's crazy to think of how fast time has gone. I was thinking about how much I miss her and my old cat, Olivia, who died last April. I'm thinking I'm going to write some poems tomorrow about those feelings. I'm sort of feeling a muse again. :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Trip to the Casino and my Aunt's Pool

I'm not really a fan of gambling, but last year King of Prussia opened up a small casino with some restaurants. Sadly, it's $10 to be a member (most casinos are free) meaning they're trying to make it exclusive. I think it's their licensing agreement where it's supposed to be more entertainment than gambling. Mom, dad and nan (when she was still alive) thought it was alright, but sometimes it's more convenient to go there than driving 30 minutes to Chester (PA) or 2 hours to Atlantic City. Mom let me use her guest pass and dad bought a card to play. The casino was nice, although small. The machines weren't really hitting -- I managed to win $7 and mom and dad broke even too. We only stayed an hour, but I was glad I finally had the chance to see the place. We went at 9am and left at 10am. Next time I want to go at night to experience restaurants and entertainment. :D

At around 12:30pm, we went to my aunt and uncle's house to see their new chickens. I wanted to get pictures, but they won't go out in the sun and their coop was too dark. Next time, though! They're adorable -- two white chickens, which aren't named yet, and a brown chicken that's named Chaos. I'm not sure if they are male or female or a male and two females, but apparently they all lay eggs. My aunt and uncle also have a pool,but sadly my cousins don't use it much. It looked so inviting, especially on an 85 degree weather day. After food shopping I went swimming. :) I might make it a Thursday and Friday ritual after work and a Saturday. I'll ask my aunt, I don't think she'd mind. I just find swimming relaxing.

I was nervous as the black clouds rolled in, but it managed not to rain until I went to bed later.

I'm going to go to this on Thursday evening. I won't be home until late, I'll be exhausted for work at the library on Friday, but at least I don't have to get up until 6 (unlike when I work at the school Monday-Wednesday when I have to get up at 4:45am). :p

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Am I Toxic?

Just another really depressing day despite it starting out good (going to the casino with my parents and then swimming at my aunt's). Someone I wanted to reconnect with on Facebook deleted and blocked me as I was talking to him. I forgot my pills last night and got really depressed on him. Am I a toxic person?

I'll have a post about swimming and casino tomorrow. :\

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Elmwood Park Zoo

Great day at the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, PA! I'm really tired, so I'll write tomorrow. Enjoy some pictures, though!

The EPZ just brought in giraffes (Memorial Day)! Not sure if it's permanent or not. But, they let me pet them. So soft and just so beautiful.

Jacob Sheep: The Jacob sheep is a rare breed of small, piebald (colored with white spots), polycerate (multi-horned) sheep. Jacobs may have from two to six horns, but most commonly have four. The most common color is black and white. Jacobs are usually raised for their wool, meat, and hides. They are also kept as pets and ornamental animals, and have been used as guard animals to protect farm property from theft or vandalism and defend other livestock against predators. The origins of the Jacob are obscure, but it is certainly a very old breed. Piebald sheep have been described throughout history, appearing in works of art from the Far East, Middle East, and Mediterranean regions.[1] A piebald breed of sheep probably existed in the Levant, specifically in the area that is now known as Syria, about three thousand years ago.[2] Among the many accounts of ancient breeds of piebald sheep is the story of Jacob from the first book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. According to the Book of Genesis (Genesis 30:31–43), in what may be the earliest recorded attempt at selective breeding,[3] Jacob took every speckled and spotted sheep from his father-in-law's (Laban's) flock and bred them. The Jacob is named for the Biblical figure of Jacob.[1][4] The resulting breed may have accompanied the westward expansion of human civilization through Northern Africa, Sicily, Spain and eventually England.[2] However, it was not until the 20th century when the breed acquired the name "Jacob sheep".[5]   

From Wikipedia. I've never heard of them before, until today.

 I'm thinking of making this my profile picture since I love goats (and wearing my Milwaukee hat). Thoughts?

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Secret Life of Blogger's Blog Party #4

Saturday, June 15:

The day of the happy hour I won. I was supposed to meet with Louis at 6:30, but I wanted to catch the train and SEPTA early just in case because of the golf tourney, New Kids on the Block Concert and everything else going on in Philadelphia that day. Mom dropped me off at the mall at around 1:15pm; the bus (92) wasn't due to arrive until 2:30pm. As we drove to the mall, we saw overhead of us a person dressed in a carrot suit. I knew I wanted to visit! So, as soon as we parked, I walked to where the carrot and the farmer were standing. They were advertising for an organic food home shopping network. It was neat and I had my picture taken with the carrot.

I also wore eye shadow. I love Urban Decay, although it is expensive. I decided I would doll myself up; I wanted to look nice and I hadn't played with my makeup in a while (since the Ravens won the Super Bowl in February). I went with my gold/brown eye shadow with the gold eye glitter (yes, even sometimes I do like some sparkle!).

I was really nervous. I have been very anxious as of late. I remember one time my friend Zach told me I looked like I was trying too hard the one time I wore makeup when I was going to meet Sean (February 2012... and Sean never showed up), so I was a bit worried that it might look like I was trying too hard. I was also a little nervous about being stood up because it seems like in the past few years, people have been good about doing that to me -- never showing up! Christina kept reassuring me that it would be okay (and it was, it was really nice and fun).

Google maps said it would take me 2 hours and 50 minutes to get to the spot. I thought it would take longer with everything going on, but I arrived to 15th Street at 4:15 (after catching the bus at 2:30, then the train from Paoli at 3). I was early, very early. I stopped at my favorite cafe (Cappricio's) and just hung out to eat a scoop of ice cream until I decided I'd leave for the subway at 5:15 (it was scheduled to come at 5:40). I wanted to be at Broad St. Bullies a little early. The subway was 10 minutes early, so I arrived at the XFinity Center at 5:50 instead of 6.

I met Louis a little before 6:30. We spent a few hours at Broad St. Bullies and just talked about the past semester and other things. At first it was really crowded; the New Kids on the Block concert wasn't until 9 or 9:30 and everyone was gathered at Broad St. Bullies until then. It was really loud. We left there around 8:30, then went to Devil's Den. I love that place; their food was really good and I loved the Sangria. It's also inexpensive, which is good for the city. We left there around 11. My train didn't come until 11:45; I was sitting up front and the conductor never came around and I rode free. It was just a nice evening.

Sunday, June 16 (Father's Day):

Father's Day at Fogo de Chao

Wednesday, June 19:

When I work at the school on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays I walk to the bus. There is a house on my way that has these pretty flowers growing. Mom took me to work on Tuesday since she was on business and I asked what kind of flowers they were. She wasn't sure, but she thought they were pretty too.

It was also my coworker's 22nd birthday. I bought her a $10 gift card to Starbucks and made her a card. Since my birthday is in two weeks, my boss treated us both to lunch at Three Little Pigs, a sandwich shop in West Chester.

Thursday, June 20:

James Gandolfini died on June 19th. :(  Thursday is a library day, but since my memory card was corrupted, I couldn't take photos of our children's reading program decorations. But, I will next week!

I found the birthday card my old friend made me for my 17th birthday. The picture from my 17th birthday is my profile picture on Facebook. I'm thinking of making this picture my profile picture (temporarily), what do you think?

I also looked through all the old cards I saved. I always save my cards. I loved reading the cards nan, my pop-pop (mom's dad), great grandma (mom's grandma), and Aunt Millie (nan's sister; dad's aunt) sent me. It was so sad reading them, though. I miss them. I also found the two cards my old cat (Woo) sent me in 2007 -- one for Valentine's Day and one welcoming me home from Germany for Easter 2007. I took a picture with my phone, when I bought a new memory card, though it's blurry. Tomorrow I will get better pictures.

Friday, June 21:

Me today in the Verizon store. The guy that looked at my phone and changed out the memory card took my picture:

Tomorrow I'm heading to the Elmwood Park Zoo, I will update tomorrow with that and post more pictures from it next week!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Real Post tomorrow

My SD Card went to read only on my phone, but the community bus never came to work to take me to the mall. I hope to get it all straighten out tomorrow. I hope they can fix it-- I don't want to lose all those pictures. :( Only the camera isn't working, my other apps seem to be okay.

I found the card that was pictured yesterday. I was thinking about old online buddies I had in that time period. I talked to one younger person (2 years younger than me) at the time. I wonder if she's still on AIM. I haven't used that in years and I'm not sure if I remember the password to my screen name RomRomRommel. I remember after seeing Gretchen Wilson in 2006, I remember saying to Mary from a line of Wilson's song, "I'm going to make Pocahontas proud;" she replied, "how? By marrying a white man?!" I still crack up when I think of it. We were both really into history, especially the Civil War. We actually started this Civil War RPG once; she was Gen. Grant and I was Stonewall Jackson.

Despite all the issues back then, I still miss those days from time to time. Anyway, here's what the card Stevie sent me said:

Front: Christmas in July?!

Inside: Unfortunately, no. But it is your birthday and to James Gandolfini, there is no difference. Christmas, your birthday, and the 4th of July make you a special person in his eyes, as well as mine. We wish you the happiest 17th birthday possible, filled with the best things that you can imagine. =)

Much love,
Stevie (and James!)

Outside: This card has been made possible by: Wal-Mart, Major League Baseball, the Internet, James Gandolfini, Stevie's right hand, etc. =) (c) 2006

Two weeks until my birthday!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

R.I.P James Gandolfini

James Gandolfini Dead -- Star reportedly dies in Italy

James Gandolfini was one of my favorite actors. In 11th grade I had a HUGE crush on him; for my 17th birthday a blog buddy from Greatestjournal (not sure if the site still exists) made me a James Gandolfini card. This makes me so sad. :( I might write a poem about the summer of 2006 and even the fall, being friends with that blog buddy (she dumped me when I said I wanted to be friends with her ex, I understand why...) and just the Gandolfini joke. I'll post more of an update tomorrow for Throwback Thursday.

I forget who made this for me. It might have been my friend from, Kiya. Or an old friend. Summer 2006.

Gifts from my 17th birthday and I still do have that card!

On my 17th birthday and from my first camera (look how far I've come camera wise!)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day at Fogo de Chao

I can't find the card I gave my dad (he usually saves them, so it's probably upstairs), but it said something like this, "the older I grow the more I am thankful for you and all that you do. I love you. Happy Father's Day, Dad!" I'm not Southern, but all my life I was called a Daddy's girl and I guess I am. I love my dad and he's always been there for me. When mom was away for business it was he and nan that would step in and take care of me. I remember him hugging and holding me when I was very suicidal in my early teens; him just trying to talk me out of things as I just sobbed into his shirts. I'm feeling better from yesterday; it's ironic that this happened after Father's Day and around 11 years ago after the incident of girls harassing me in middle school (later to get a restraining order against them). Anyway, my dad does so much for me and I'm thankful for him. <3 p="">
For Father's Day, mom and I took dad to Fogo de Chao in Center City, Philadelphia. We were going to take the high speed line, then the ell, but with the golf tournament going on we didn't. It felt weird not taking public transit into the city (I prefer it, honestly). We left early just in case of traffic; we were an hour early. We saw that the city still has an FYE on Broad St. -- King of Prussia's FYE closed three or four years ago. We browsed around; I found they had Eminem's CDs and all his CDs I have are edited from when I was a young teen (I was allowed to listen to unedited starting in March 2003, that day was the happiest day of my life, haha). I wanted the Marshall Mather's LP unedited, I picked it up and then a Korn CD that was $5. We walked around for a while more; the store had two stories and was just fascinating. I miss having CD stores around here, though I love the Mad Platter in West Chester (family owned store).

Mom, dad and I made our way to Fogo de Chao. I ordered a Sangria and it came out in a pitcher with tons of fruit. Mom and dad stuck off with iced tea (but mom did have a Riesling wine after dessert). We were presented with an all you can eat salad bar and buffet, which was the appetizer. The main meal was the meats, which was all you can eat. It was cool because they gave us circular cards -- the red side meant that we didn't want the gauchos to serve us the meats, but the green side meant to serve. The meats which ranged from lamb (don't like lamb) to beef. I ate mostly beef because I was getting full. The beef was mouth watering. Dad really liked the lamb. We were there for two hours and it was well worth it and the dessert was to die for. I would definitely recommend it. Fogo de Chao

Dad and one of the gauchos.

Me being served the roast.

My awesome Sangria.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Rough Day

“You can’t save everybody. In fact, there are days when I think you can’t save anyone. Each person has to save himself first, then you can move in and help.” (posted by Erin Condiff, a friend of my little cousin)

Today has been rough. I woke up this morning to a message from a Facebook friend in Tennessee saying her cat and dog were given away by "friends" they were staying with. She's homeless and is going from house to house.  In the message she said she wanted me to call different numbers; since I woke up I didn't understand. I never really call people because I try to save minutes for emergencies (especially when I travel), but I have unlimited text messaging. I texted her that I just woke up and received her message. I was getting ready for work and in my walking to the bus stop, I received several messages from her saying she was very angry with these people, she wanted me to call them to get to the bottom of it and to call these other people and to post this to Facebook. I knew I didn't want to do that. She told me to read her Facebook to see what was going on, so I did. It seems like I was the sixth person she told this to and the people that were taking care of her pets told their side of the story and it was all convoluted. These people were commenting and starting fights with the people that posted; and it was a big war. I knew I didn't want to be involved because I try to avoid drama with my health and I've always had bad experiences with this. Also, the husband of the friend has PTSD and was going off. I told her I didn't want to be  involved, she pleaded with me and said if she called me it'd be free; I said no. At one point during the day, I did go on Facebook and saw she had more people involved, more numbers and more fights that were downright mean. Once someone got my number from Facebook and would call, so I'm glad I didn't do it. Another poster wrote, "please stop calling me every five minutes. I have an infant and a family. I don't have time for drama." Others stopped getting involved because the story was so confusing. Someone put it best, "I knew someone who was once scammed in a situation similar. The scammer was known to police. I don't think this is the case, but you never know." I know not getting involved probably was smart, but why do I feel so guilty and bad?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

I'm really tired from my night out last night -- arrived home at 1am and went to bed at 2am, woke up at 7am. Today was a nice Father's Day and we went to Fogo de Chao in Philadelphia. It was awesome. :)

Happy Father's Day to the dads out there who read this blog. :)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party #3

Saturday, June 8th:

Ah, yes, mom and dad offered to take me to my friend's new salon. We became lost and it turned out it was an hour away from here. Needless to say if I want to go to him again, I'd take the bus. I don't mind, but the hair cut was $45 and he wants to high light my hair. I don't have that money, although he does a good job styling.

Go Brewers! They won all games that weekend. :)

After the hair cut, mom and dad went to the car dealership to find dad a new car. His old car was a green 2000 Honda Civic. The air conditioning went three years ago and he kept getting it fixed, but it would always go out. His breaks were also going. 4 hours later they came home with a 2013 Honda Accord. This picture was from my mom's iPhone (she hates it and can't wait to change to an Android in September).

Sunday, June 9th:

Just a nice, lazy Sunday outside. Mom and dad gardened while Mimi and I sat on the porch. As you can see, she made the table her home!

Wednesday, June 12th:

On Wednesday night (no more West Chester for the week since I work Monday-Wednesday there and Thursday-Friday at the library, I can sleep an hour later!) mom, dad and I sat in the basement and watched Vh1's 90s music video countdown. Mimi really enjoyed watching the dancing videos, as seen here.

Thursday, June 13th:

Ah, Retro Rama at the National Constitution Center! I was sweating it since it was pouring in the morning and people at the library thought I should skip it since it was supposed to thunder (I paid $35 for it, no way was I going to skip!). Fortunately, it stopped raining at 1pm and stayed clear for the rest of the day. The event started at 5:30 and was awesome! If you live near the Philadelphia area, check out the 1968 exhibit. It's worth the money (I'll write a blog post reviewing it later). The dinner was also awesome. I stuck off with the British meals because I've never had bangers and mash (which was awesome and their fish and chips were awesome) and I don't like Salsbury steak. I also tried a Tom Collins for the first time and a Rob Roy. Both weren't bad, but I wouldn't drink it on a daily basis, lol.

The Huey

I keep checking the CBS website to see if they uploaded pictures. I think they took a picture or a few pictures of me doing the twist (badly, I'm sure. I need to take dance lessons).

Friday, June 14th:

My cousin Maddie's 20th birthday and Flag Day. I worked at the library until 1pm, came home and relaxed. Went to Walmart to find something to wear tomorrow. It'll most likely be me and the guy; I'm a little nervous and I don't want to over or under dress to give wrong impressions (I might be not interested, but my social anxiety amps up and I always fear how I'm perceived). The Walmart here had nothing, so I might go with this dress (my friends liked it). This picture is from last year (it should still fit, I'm only 5lbs heavier):

It was between this (I'm not sure if this still fits either):

But, I don't want to wear a miniskirt on the subway at night... never know in Philadelphia! I'll go with the white and maybe a jean jacket? Would that be too fancy, though?

The rest of today I just took some more pictures of Mimi:

I just thought it was cute how she had her paws propped up against the window.

Stay tuned for #4 next week!