Archive for Philly

Come on and take a free ride

Summer is officially over. How do I know? I was 20 minutes late for work.

A new bus schedule gives me options: leave a couple minutes earlier than usual and allegedly arrive at work at 8:19, or leave a couple minutes later than before and arrive at 8:28. Being the dedicated employee I am, I left a few minutes early and waited. And waited. The bus finally rolled up at 7:56. The doors open and… people start pouring out.

Someone upchucked on the bus.

The upside? The new driver didn’t make me pay.

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The Mind Erasers weren’t mine

Random observances from last night:

  • Rain makes my hair double in size. And there’s not much I can do in a bar to contain it.
  • Drinking three Mind Erasers in 20 minutes may make you want to stand on a chair.
  • Standing on a chair will get you in trouble.
  • If you get in trouble for standing on a chair, the odds that you’ll get escorted from the premises will quadruple. The rest of your group will continue to party without you.
  • I’m much better at playing rapid-fire Quarters than regular Quarters.
  • There are other people in Philadelphia who like country music! But I couldn’t convince any of them to see Brad Paisley with me tonight.
  • I’m not as young as I once was. The next day is more painful now.
  • Potbelly closes at 9. Eating dinner earlier would have been a great idea.
  • Hot guys in suits are excellent eye candy but they can make you want to gouge out your ears with a blunt knife if they sing karaoke.
  • If you break any of the karaoke rules posted by the karaoke stage, the Karaoke Troll will rush from the other side of the bar to yell at you.
  • There’s an unbroken umbrella in a bar, just waiting to be photographed for Katie. And of course it started raining, which reminded me that I forgot it.
  • Do you know what’s really funny? Seeing someone walk onto a Septa bus carrying a case of beer.
  • There’s scuttlebutt about a potential road trip Monday to see NKOTB on the Today Show.

Did you learn any life lessons last night? Please share! If not, make it a point to learn some during this fabulously long weekend.

Shiny New

Please tell me I’m not the only one that goes through weeks of boredom and then bam! There’s a week or so that’s fill with all kinds of shiny new THINGS that totally make you forget what a loser you were last week. Here’s what’s made my week sparkle:

  • Hersheypark on Tuesday with the nephew. He doesn’t get the concept of sitting down during rides. And he almost fell out of one of them. Whoops! We had so much fun on the water slides.
  • Things are going to be changing ’round these parts because I just won a superfab new blog design from the fabulous Jen at Jayesel. Thanks Janet for the heads up about the contest. I owe you!
  • I do have plans for this weekend now thanks to KTS. Her blog reminded me to volunteer for this weekend’s 20in24, a road race to benefit Philadelphia’s homeless. I recruited a couple sorority sisters and you can still help, too!
  • I had so much fun at happy hour last night that I came home and fell asleep promptly at 9:30. Do I know how to have a good time or what? For some reason I woke up at 3 a.m. and didn’t fall back asleep until 4:30. Did you know there’s nothing on TV at 4 a.m. if you don’t have cable? Is there anything on at 4 a.m. if you do have cable?
  • I went to a cool luncheon today with the founder of HelpAReporter.com. PR folks/journalists: Did you know about this service? Am I the last to the party, as usual? And speaking of last to the party, Peter inspired me to Twitter. Stalk Follow me at twitter.com/pomjob.
  • Today was my friend Mel’s birthday! (Happy birthday, Mel!) She invited me out on her family’s boat to celebrate. It was amazing! Tonight’s sunset was spectacular over the Delaware River. Raindrops were falling on our heads as we floated into port and mosquitoes swarmed as we said goodbye in the parking lot but it was awesome none the less. I might get to go along next week for her sister’s birthday. Whee!

What shiny new things did you do this week? Or tell me something fun you have planned for the weekend.

Boomer and the Bus

I do what I can to minimize my impact on our favorite planet Earth. I recycle; I reuse the blank side of copier paper; I don’t eat (much) meat (although that has nothing to do with saving the Earth but why not count it in my favor anyway); I use a power strip at work for my cell charger, PDA charger and printer; I turn the thermostat up in the Summer and down in the Winter.

Since I moved to Philadelphia, I’ve taken public transportation to work. No only does it save me a minimum of $7 in parking fees, but I also have about two hours each day of reading time. I’ve had a few interesting experiences but today I had TWO Tales from the SEPTA Trenches.

First, we were about 15 blocks from my office when a truck tried to squeeze by the bus as it was stopped to allow people to safely board and depart the bus and somehow the driver’s mirror was shattered. Traffic was snarled for a few minutes but a couple other buses were in line to pick up the abandoned riders.

Around 4:45, I was engrossed in my book when a sweet Southern drawl caught my ear.

“I love you but I don’t want you to waste your money on me, God bless your soul,” said the Boomer as she pushed him from the token box.

I don’t know if the two riders were together or whether he just took pity on her soul and was going to pay the fare that she was refusing to pay.

Seniors can ride SEPTA for free, but I guess she didn’t have her Medicare card ready at the wait. Boomer and the Driver bantered back and forth, each politely jabbing at each other in a very humorous fashion. (I give them credit, usually these encounters quickly dissolve into name calling and threats of police intervention.) She sat down and shuffled through a menagerie of grocery club cards, gift cards and the like.

“I found it!” she said as she held up her fists in triumph, in true Philly Rocky fashion. The riders – their audience – broke out into applause and the driver cracked a wide smile. Boomer took her bow and order was restored.

A couple blocks later, she bid us adieu. “Goodbye Everyone,” she said to the enchanted crowd as she made her way down the steps. And to all a good night.

Fireworks are my favorite

To commemorate the birthday of our great nation, four-fifths of my family came to visit me in the City of Brotherly love.

We drank Canadian beer*, saw John Legend sing, watched fireworks (not quite over the Art Museum) in the rain, walked a LOT with complaining, rode the Ducks, missed a bus by a second, ate Philly cheese steaks** and watched the entire first disc of How I Met Your Mother, Season One***. It was a great weekend but conversation kept circling back to the one who wasn’t there****.

We had a lot of fun and I learned a lot about my city like that one of the Three Stooges was from South Street and on Tuesday at noon I can see someone read the Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall. Also? Philly residents hate the Ducks.

But the most important lesson was learned on the 32 bus: If you beep your horn first, you can totally run red lights.

How was your Fourth of July?

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*How’s that for patriotism?

**Delicious bread, crappy service.

***You need to watch this show if you haven’t seen it. The PomFam wanted to steal my roommate’s DVDs to take home. Let\’s Go to the Mall

****Like the proverbial elephant in the room, I can’t ignore that she chose her new boyfriend over her son and family. I still don’t know how to get her the help I think she needs but I guess that’s the key: I THINK she needs it, she doesn’t.

Impressions at Night

City lights at night can make or break a city. Dim lighting hides what is dingy, dirty and degraded during the day, making nighttime stroll through the city enchanting, endearing and engaging. The Philadelphia skyline is beautiful. Not too tall and interesting enough to keep you interested. It masks the homeless men, curled up on stoops and over grates. Neon lights beckon you to the neighborhood bar which might look skeevy on the outside but is actually quite charming beyond the front door.

I lived outside D.C. for nearly three years and some of my favorite memories took place after dark. The Vietnam Memorial should only be experienced after twilight, when the dark shadows mingle with the spotlights to make the statues even more haunting.

As for the show:

  • Hal Sparks should cut his hair. But he’s dang funny.
  • Chris Bonno isn’t very funny. The local guy who opened/hosted was way funnier.
  • $4 is highway robbery for Michelob Ultra.

Papa John’s whole wheat pizza crust is delicious. Especially after two drinks at T.A. Flannery.

Brought to you by the letter ZZ

I’m off for a night on the town and to see Hal Sparks, who I’m sure will dazzle. I plan to indulge in a fizzy drink or two, perhaps one with a swizzle stick. I hope our seats aren’t on the mezzanine, but really, it’s a comedy club in Philly… doubt there is such a thing. Either way, I’m going to put a little pizaazz in the city of brotherly love with my littlest sister.

(This post is for you, Slice of Pink.)

Irony in Motion

As I participated in the Dash for Organ Donor Awareness yesterday, my observant olfactory glands caught a whif of unpleasant second-hand smoke. Thanks for poisoning my lungs at a transplant fund-raiser, jackhole.

Before the 5K kicked off, the announcer wished a happy 21st birthday to a liver transplant recipient who’s had the liver for 19 years. I turned to my friend M and asked if liver transplant recipients celebrate that birthday in the traditional way.

PS-The “dash” was more likeĀ a crawl. It took me twice as long to complete the 3K walk as it did to run the 5K earlier that morning. But it was fun, and for a good cause.

New to Me

I would love to say it was because I was recuperating from the crazy awesome weekend I had that it took me so long to write a blog entry about it, but that would be a lie. I’ve just been kind of lazy. After the tumultuous previous weekend, I was due a little stress-free me time.

I had a fabulous weekend packed with new adventures that made me fall more in love with Philadelphia.

First up, a four mile run on Saturday along Kelly Drive on the banks of the Schuylkill River. As the wind blew threw my hair, I passed crew teams, babes in strollers (and in shorts, ba-dum-ching), dogs straining again their leashes, couples strolling hand-in-hand and groups of awkward high school track stars. The cherry trees are in full bloom and the sun kept slipping behind fluffy white clouds.

As a lifelong Presbyterian, I’ve been looking for a church near my burg that meets my needs: an atmosphere I like and social actives for people my age. That’s a tall order to fill among Presbyterian churches near me, I guess. One church I visited had at most 15 people filling the pews. I don’t think any was younger than 65. I ride past the First Presbyterian Church everyday and finally broke down and went downtown for a service and it was totally worth it! It’s a gorgeous building, complete with Tiffany windows, and there’s even a young adults group and coffee hour after with food!

I love a good museum so I finally headed to the Franklin Institute and did something new: I became a member. I’m looking forward to the promised young professional events and special member privileges. Plus I got to ride the skybike for free! I don’t think I got the full experience. There’s a Star Wars exhibit, complete with costumed characters on select days. Guess which day was selected? It was packed… good thing I can go back!

Then it was on to hear the utterly charming Jennifer Weiner appeared at the nearby library. She’s so witty and I can’t wait to read her new book.

A brand new Desperate Housewives rounded out my pleasure-filled weekend.

How was your weekend? Hope this one’s great!

Philly Findings

Overheard on the bus this morning:

“I just started wearing a girdle.”

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I told my family over Easter about Mayor Nutter’s plan to clean up the city. I must have phrased the plan in a way that made it seem like I was working directly with the Mayor on this project, so some minor teasing ensued.

Because I’m not going to be in town this weekend, I just cleaned up all the crap that blew into my postage stamp-sized back yard. It’s amazing how much junk accumulated in that corner, by the back door and chain link fence. There were empty cans of cat food, soda cans, paper towels, fast food cups, cardboard boxes, pieces of metal and tons of paper.

One piece of paper contained someone’s to-do list. Amongst the diapers to pick up and litter box to clean was a note about Bitter is the New Black by one of my favorite bloggers.
If you’re in Philadelphia this Saturday, help the Mayor and me clean it up! If you’re not in Philly this weekend, make your current location a little more beautiful by picking up litter. You never know where you’ll find reference to your blog.

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