The Death Star!

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Well ladies and gentlemen, guess what time it is?!?!?! It’s end of month at Initech!!

My word, Han Solo, I forgot how amazing you were in these movies.  TV Timeout while we admire Harrison Ford and the complete B.A.ness of him through all three movies.  Han Solo2Why don’t I know anyone like this in my life??  SOMEONE PLEASE BE MY FRIEND IF YOU ACT LIKE HIM!!

Anyway, back to the Death Star, er, Initech, as you all know it’s my least favorite time of the month.  That wonderful week of absolute hell and torture that comes at my high stress job.  Mandatory overtime, understaffed expectations we cannot obtain, and a frustrating bank that I want to burn to the ground.  Ok, maybe that’s a bit harsh, but I’m sure you’ve all had that moment when you have wanted to just scream your head off while sitting in your cubicle.  You must understand my pain.

Irony of ironies, because I’ve been working so many hours this week I haven’t had time for my running regimen I’ve set myself up on.  Still don’t know why I’m running, but that’s another post for another day.  The point is that I waited all day like a kid on Christmas Eve for that 6 o’clock hour to hit so I could leave, head home, and head out for a run.  It was beautiful out today, mid 80s, sunny, slight breeze.  A little humid, but I can deal with that.  Until 6:00pm on the dot, though, when a huge thunderstorm rolled in and unleashed over Pittsburgh and the surrounding suburbs.  Well…scratch that, then.  Guess I’m going home and being lazy like I have all week.

Readers, friends, what do you do for exercise when it’s raining/snowing/tornadoing/earthquaking out and the free gym you call the park is not available?  Pilates puts my to sleep, so don’t suggest that.  What are some other good activities I can do that won’t take 30 years and will get my heart rate up??

It’s Memorial Day weekend this weekend, one of the few holidays Initech actually accepts exists.  Hello, we didn’t even get Easter off, those commie bastards!!  So I am gunning for Friday, and this wonderful 3 day weekend that is coming up.  Three days without crabby coworkers??  I’ll take it!!

Baking tonight, and then to bed early, it will be another long day tomorrow at work.  Just have to keep reminding myself that I’m blessed to have a job.  Blessed to have a job.  Remember that!!

Night everyone!!!  Let’s go Pens!!

R is for Roller Coaster Tycoon

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Screenshot_2013-05-12-19-55-12I’m sorry, when did spring decide to take a hiatus from western Pennsylvania?  We have a freeze warning in effect tonight, and the high tomorrow is only supposed to hit 53??  It’s May, weather gods, I would like some nice springtime weather!  And don’t tell me “Wednesday is supposed to hit 83!”  That’s too hot for May!!  I want nice 60 and 70 degree weather for a few weeks, is this too hard to ask for??

**end rant**

Another wonderful weekend is just about in the books, and boy am I tired!  I love weekends where you sit back on a Sunday night and wonder whether you need a weekend to recover from your weekend.  Sitting on my bum watching movies all weekend is not my idea of a good time.  Riding roller coasters in the pouring rain, well…it’s not my idea of fun either, but it’s certainly an adventure!! 🙂

So this weekend I traveled home to see my family, and we spent Saturday at HersheyPark.  It sounds like a great plan for a day off, until you wake up on Saturday to be met with pouring rain.  Ah, May showers bring…more pollen?  I’m not sure what May showers bring, but they certainly don’t help you cram as many coasters into one day as possible.  Being Days, though, we crammed into the car anyway and decided we would make the best of the day at Hershey, regardless of the weather.

Apparently we weren’t the only ones who thought it was worth making the trip to the park on Saturday.  There were a ton of people there, even though it had been raining steadily since Friday evening.  No worries, though, Hershey was still able to keep a few rides open despite the rain, including a few roller coasters.  Ever ride the Great Bear in a downpour?  No…??  You don’t know what you’re missing!  When the lift hill chain clicks onto your car and gallons of water/brake lubricant come pouring down on your head from the top of the car, that’s when you know you’re really living!!! 😀  Honestly, it really is quite a rush!

With all the rain, though, we killed some time in the video arcade playing pointless games that no one will remember three weeks from now.  20130511_114814Their video arcade is decent, they have everything from Dig Dug to Fruit Ninja, and it’s all rain-free!  I managed to get third highest score on Galaga, one of my favorite old-school video games around.  I even took a picture to show all of you haters! 😉  Read ’em and weep, boys, a long way from second, but bronze medal at HersheyPark’s video arcade goes to me!!  😀  If only they had an old NES Duck Hunt game for me to destroy as well!!

The rain was not letting up for the longest time, though, so we kept riding through the rain and the wind, looking incredibly awesome the entire time.  There’s something to be said for my sister Allison who managed to keep all of her makeup in one piece even while dealing with all of the weather elements.  If only I had her mad skills.  303057_4746289222702_1648917783_nThis picture is the two of us as we pulled into the station of the Lightening Racers after completing the ride.  We’re soaking wet and freezing cold, having just hurtled 55MPH through the storm, but you know what, it was certainly a memory maker!  “Ride a wooden roller coaster in a torrential down pour” can now be checked off of my bucket list!

The storm FINALLY passed though, giving us a chance to dry out, get some food in our system, and wait for the big rides to finally test run and open up for the afternoon.  Even though I’ve been to HersheyPark dozens of times, there are definitely rides that I love to ride every time I’m there, and I wasn’t missing them just because a storm interrupted most of our morning.  We managed to squeeze in rides on the Great Bear, the Wild Cat and Wild Mouse, the Lightening Racers, Reese’s Xtreme Cup Challenge, Sky Rush, SooperDooperLooper, Fahrenheit, and Storm Runner.  That’s a lot of coasters!  I have to say, no matter how many coasters they add, Hershey’s hidden gem of a coaster will always be the Great Bear.  I’ve never been on a coaster that is as much fun as that one.

942112_625352842242_1034145897_nEventually we headed over to Chocolate World, Hershey’s shameless plug to entice you to buy lots of candy.  And I have to admit, they have a good thing going there, it’s so hard to resist all the candy!  Are you telling me you want me to actually go into this room that’s filled from top to bottom with Reese’s products and not walk away with something in my hands?  Ha, fat chance!!  It’s just too good to be true.

And yes, for those of you who were worried, I did manage to squeeze in an awesome Hershey Ride tour, despite the rain and heavy crowds.  Can’t pass that up, even with the cheesy music and talking animatronic cows.  Free candy is free candy!! 🙂

The only thing that could have made my Saturday day better was a Penguins win…oh wait, that definitely happened late Saturday night!!  Best day ever!!

All that walking/running/drying out/riding really wore me out, though.  A 4 hour car ride was NOT what I wanted to do today, but I am definitely glad to be back home.  Now I’m just trying to gear up for another work week at Initech, and a few less coasters in my day-to-day activities.

I hope you guys have a fantastic week, and that the weather gets warmer ASAP!  I’ll be back next week with a new adventure as I try to play catch up a little bit!!

Lis

P.S. Forgot to mention this earlier, but my sister and I found this gem in HersheyPark as well.  Why does this exist??

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The Worst Mistake of My Life

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There are moments and events in my life that I look back on and think, “What in the world was I thinking?”  We all have them, sometimes I think I have them more than most.  I mean, I found my keys in the fridge the other week…what in the world was I thinking to stick them in there??

Most of my life I’ve been able to laugh at those “What in the…” moments I have.  My keys were a little chilly, but they still drove me to work in one piece.  Everyone once in awhile, though, I have one of those “What in the…” moments that I can’t laugh off.  I can’t laugh off because they’re so ridiculous, and un-Elisabeth.  They’re awful ideas.

I had one of these ideas 3 weeks ago, and I’m still regretting my decision to pursue this.  In an effort to get back into shape, I suggested to my old college roommate that we sign up to run a 5K.  I figured she’d say no, that I’m crazy, and we’d go back to discussing hockey.  Except, my old roommate didn’t say no.  She said yes.  And just like that, I was training for a 5K.

Here’s the thing about me and running: we hate each other.  Honestly, I can’t think of any worse way to spend a day than running around a park somewhere.  I’m not good at running, I run at one pace, which is super slow, and I always seem to some how trip/injure myself when I least can afford to take a spill.  Honestly, I’m the world’s worst runner.

The Hunger GamesAnd yet here I am, 3 weeks into training for my first 5K.  Oy.  It’s been slow going, but that’s ok.  I’m up to a steady half mile run, and then a lot of walking.  Maybe that doesn’t sound like a lot to you, but remind yourself that every step I take I take with absolute dread.  I am forcing myself to put one foot in front of the other by pretending I’m in the Hunger Games and I’m being hunted.  I even downloaded the soundtrack so I can run to the bone-chilling music while I fight for my right to live  as a Victor.  I will defeat everyone!!!

Ok, maybe that’s a little extreme, but that’s how I feel.  No lie.  I have to blare Pump Up Music into my ears every time I run or else I just give up.  Eye of the Tiger, I got you!  We’re rocking up the hill together.

20120513.ColorRun.1751So what’s the end goal of all this?  Well, we are going to run the Pittsburgh Color Run.  I decided early on into this suicide mission (like 30 seconds in) that if we were going to run a 5K, it was going to be a fun 5K, And what’s more fun than running 3.2 miles while being sprayed with all sorts of rainbow colors so that you have to throw everything you’re wearing out?  Don’t answer that, your replies may force me to quit this entire “running” thing I have going right now.  Just nod and say, “Of course Elisabeth, running a color run is a great idea!”

Help me keep this up, by the way.  Offer to run with me if you’re around, or just remind me why it’s good that I want to run.  Or give me cookies, same thing. 🙂 I won’t tell anyone if you slip me some cookies.

Done with my run today, making good time.  Now it’s time to curl up on the couch and watch some mindless television before it’s time for bed.  At least I don’t feel like a lazy couch potato…much. 🙂

Happy Hump Day!

Lis

Next Week: R is for Roller Coaster Tycoon

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Holy Cinco de Mayo, it’s May already!!  Where has this year gone??  We’re in May already???  Really?!?!?

Like many things in my life, I’ve let this blog slide a little.  It’s not to say I don’t care about my blog, it’s just that life, and it’s oddball ways, has kept me super busy for the past few months, making it hard to find time to blog.  Maybe that’s a good thing…maybe it means I have a life again. 🙂

I’m hopping back on the blogging bandwagon, though, with a brand new adventure next week with one of my favorite people in the world: my sister Allison. ali When you share a room with a person for fifteen years of your life, you inevitably become close to them, even when you swear on your assortment of blond-haired Barbie dolls that you won’t.  We’ve definitely had our moments as sisters (what sisters haven’t??) but we have a lot to celebrate next weekend.  It’s her birthday, Mother’s Day, and a blog entry on my blog all rolled into one!!  Who has time for arguing when there’s so much celebrating to do!?!

Since I’ll be making the loooooooooooong trek home to my parent’s house next weekend (the middle of Pennsylvania is probably the dullest landscape on the eastern coast), I figured we should try to squeeze in as much fun as possible when we’re there.  This will include a stop at one of my favorite places in the world (ironically located in the middle of that awful Pennsylvanian landscape I dread driving through: HersheyPark).

For anyone who does not actually know me and my family, we are amusement park junkies.  So many people I know tell me about how their family vacations growing up were caravan trips to the beach, where they spent marathon hours on the sandy shores building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and watching their skin darken.  Their family vacations consisted of laying around, slapping on the sunscreen, and watching the world float by.

I think my family took one beach vacation like that, and we became really bored.  We Days are movers and shakers: vacation isn’t about relaxing to us, it’s about seeing new things, having fun, and learning how far we can push the boundaries of family bonding time before we want to explode (max: 5 days).  It’s about laughing too much, eating what we shouldn’t, and running around to different amusement parks throughout North America.  As a family, we love amusement parks.

At my current age, I can safely admit to you that I am a roller coaster junkie.  I can’t get enough of them.  My first front seat ride was at the age of 7 on the Phoenix at Knoebels Amusement Resort.  I remember, to my horror, as family members ran up the exit ramp to make sure I really wanted to sit in the front seat.  Yes, silly adults, I wanted to sit in the front seat.  I was 7!  Clearly old enough to handle a top 5 best wooden roller coaster in the world.  Who wouldn’t be ready for that??  Since then, I’ve ridden on most of the top roller coasters on the east coast, as well as Knotts Berry Farm and Disneyland out in California, and cannot get enough of them.  It’s such a rush.

One park in Pennsylvania that has a TON of roller coasters is HersheyPark.  As a family we’ve been going there since I was born (it’s only 90 minutes away from our middle-of-nowhere town), and as the park has expanded so have the rides.  Some top notch coasters reside there, and next weekend we’ll be taking a spin on a few as we head back to one of my all-time favorite parks.

I love HersheyPark because the entire park, actually, the entire town is built around one man, one company, and one amazing  brand: Hershey’s Chocolate.  I’m not saying it’s the best chocolate bar I’ve ever had in the world (it’s not), but who can resist a delicious Reese’s Cup, especially those Easter eggs??  At HersheyPark they have this dumb tour ride you can go on where it shows you how they make chocolate.  chuck e cheeseIt’s so cheesy, it looks like one of those old Chuck E. Cheese animatronic shows they used to show us as kids.  Remember how scary those things used to be??  No wonder they nixed those in the early 90s, who wants to eat pizza when this fabulous gang of creepers is staring at you!  But seriously, I think the pizza place sold these dumb things to HersheyPark when they dumped them, and HP in return reused them to teach kids how chocolate is made.  It sounds dumb, and it really is.  Yet for some reason I have to ride this ride every. single. time. I’m there.  Maybe it’s because at the end of the ride you get free candy.  Or maybe I’m just being nostalgic for a childhood that, like Power Rangers, Dunkaroos, pogs, and Sock’em Boppers, has been left behind in the last millennium, never to be resurrected again.  Wow.  This blog post just became super deep.

So next week is HersheyPark week!!!  🙂  And my sister’s birthday (anyone have any birthday present ideas for a soon-to-be-24-year-old who loves J Crew??).  And Mother’s Day!!  So much to do in one 48 hour period!!

For now, I’m heading out for a run (more on my suicide mission later this week).  Maybe the endorphin rush will help me forget about these Chuck E. Cheese creatures staring at me.  Maybe…

Have a fabulous week!

E

I’m Here

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No posts in over a month…why am I always so bad at completing things I started?

Trying to get back into the groove of my.alphabet.year.  I’m so busy anymore it’s super hard to find the time sometimes.

I do have a few things planned, no worries.  🙂  I’ll be back, once I’m done baking…

 

One other question: if this blog is stating I have viewers from the “Republic of Korea” does that mean North Korea or South Korea?  That’s a vague way of stating Korea, WordPress…I’m worried Kim Jung Un is reading my thoughts.  Although, maybe he’ll be distracted starting his own adventures and leave the world alone…

I is for International Escape

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Well hello my friends!!!!  I am back, back to blogging, back from my trip, back in the good ole USA.  What a weekend it was!  I need a few more days off just to recover!! 🙂

For those of you who missed it, I went to Canada this past weekend.  Niagara and Toronto is where I spent most of my time, though I did liven up Buffalo and St. Catherine’s for awhile too! 🙂  It was a great trip, and I’d love to tell you about everything we did, but that would be pretty much impossible!  Instead, I’ll hit the highlights, low lights, and lessons we learned over the border!

Highlights:

20130303_1011431. Niagara Falls.  A lot of people in the NE USA have been to the falls before, and many of you may pass this off as “Oh, I’ve already seen the falls, it’s just water.”  And sometimes I find myself saying that too.  Until you stand in front of the falls again and realize, Wow, these falls are wonderful!  There really is nothing like them in the world.  Now if only I could find my barrel and send myself over those falls.  Bucket list!!! 😀

2. Niagara, ON.  It’s been a few years since I’ve been there, and man is this town trying to revitalize itself.  I loved it!! 😀  Niagara will always be a tourist trap of kitschy shops, ridiculous restaurants, and high priced novelty shops.  In the past few years, though, Niagara seems to be working to reinvent itself as more than just a tourist destination: sure, that’s all still there, but now there are some upscale restaurants, bars, clubs, and other fun places to spend the night or weekend with friends.  While there we watched the Penguins play the Canadiens at a bar in Niagara.  Since it wasn’t tourist season, it was low key, relaxed, and a lot of fun.  I’d go back in a heart beat, especially when the Penguins win!!

20130302_1159213. Toronto.  Man is this city happening! You guys know I love and adore Pittsburgh, but compared to Toronto, Pittsburgh looks like a hole in the ground watering hole.  This could partially be because Toronto is 10 times the size of Pittsburgh. But it’s such an electric city, it’s hard not to love the place.

There’s so much to see in Toronto, I wish I had an entire week to see what all was going on.  I’m just not used to a city of 5 million people.  Crazy!

Overall, though, we had a good balance of tourist and native Toronto.  We climbed the CN tower, made it to the hockey HOF, and then ended up wandering around Chinatown for awhile acting like we knew where we were going (we didn’t).  Maybe next time we go back we can act like we own this city! 🙂

20130302_1342564. The Hockey HOF. Can I say any more about this?  You all know I love hockey.  Why not go to the place that celebrates hockey for everyone to enjoy!! 🙂

The place lived up to expectations, partially because as a Penguins fan the place was crawling with Lemieux and Crosby shrines.  Not sure how Flyers fans could stand the place, but I adored it!  There was so much to see, including the Stanley Cup.  Plus, a wonderful overpriced gift shop.  Usually I’d avoid the place, but a very cute Habs fan employee might have mentioned to us that Crosby shirts were on sale.  And what do you know, there was a game that night and we were missing our Pens swag.  So those 50% off shirts were scooped up, lots of tags were ripped off, and we watched the game repping 412!

Low lights:

1. Missing teeth: On Friday night we ate dinner at the casino.  Afterwards, Kara offered me a piece of gum.  I was just breaking the piece in when I crunched on something.  I pulled the gum out, and found a piece of my tooth had chipped off.  What?!  I’m 26, I shouldn’t be losing my teeth this early!  But it was true.  I totally was staring at a piece of my tooth that should have been in my mouth.  Except it wasn’t.  It’s still mia, by the way.  My dentist couldn’t fit me in until Thursday.  Won’t I have a funny story to tell them once I’m finally there.

2. The taxes. Goodness, I always complain about the 7% taxes in Pittsburgh, but I failed to realize how much Canadians are taxed for the same stuff.  A price tag would read $17.99, I’d take it to the register and would be asked to pay $2.042.  Wha…?!?  You’re charging me an extra 20% for this??  Ridiculous!!  And their roads were just as bumpy as ours!!

20130303_1010413. Nickel and dimes.  Want to visit the falls?  That will be $20C to park.  Want to use the free wifi?  That’s a purchase of at least $5C.  Another thing that really irked me was how they try to squeeze so much out of you.  Sometimes we managed to beat the system: throwing our four ways on at the falls and parking in the middle of the road saved us $15.  Sometimes we couldn’t: we had to buy food at Subway just to use their wireless, because they wouldn’t give us their password.  Whatever.   I just don’t like being charged for dumb stuff like that.

Lessons Learned:

1. Cell phones don’t work in Canada.  Dumb to not realize, but you forget how often you use your cell phone until you can’t.  We couldn’t google “Crime rate in Toronto” or “Number of Tim Horton’s in Ontario” whenever we wanted.  We’re so spoiled, America!! 😀

2. Border patrol workers are morons.  Kara and I brought some extra blankets with us because a). It’s winter in Canada and b). We weren’t sure if our hotel would be shady (it wasn’t, and we were pleasantly surprised).  Both seem like ordinary reasons to pack blankets.  Yet on the way into Canada we were questioned about them and asked if we were hiding weapons under them.  At first we thought he was joking.  Then we realized he was serious.  And all I could think was…really???  Do I look like a gun runner?  And wouldn’t Wilson be a little nicer if I was?

3. Converting to metric stinks.  12.2 km to the exit means……*crickets chirping*.  I was converting in my head all weekend.  Miles, gallons, degrees.  Oh my.  I was never so happy to see a bank tell me it was 28 degrees out.  Finally, something I can understand!!  That being said, US government, seriously, isn’t it time we switch over to the metric system?  Are we really that pig headed that we think it’s better to use the imperial system??

4. Maps are useless.  How did our parents do it?  Thank goodness Tim Horton’s offers free wireless and we can screen shot directions, or we’d probably be in Montreal by now. 🙂

20130302_120506Whew.  A weekend in Canada.  It’s finally over.  And I’m so glad we went.  If nothing else, my alphabet year has taken me to some new and exciting places, and I’ve loved the opportunities.  I mean, who just randomly drives to Canada with no real purpose?  I do, thanks to this blog.  Yay!! 😀

As for me, I’m in the middle of a Dance Mom marathon, so I’m going to be returning to that.  Have a fabulous week, and don’t get snowed in Pittsburgh!!

E