guest post #3: driving on the boardwalk at the beach

this guest post is from my favorite sister, jenna! and i stole the photo from another website - please don't sue me, people. also, check out jenna's blog, observations from a wallflower, at jennamissboyd.blogspot.com. 

This Saturday night, I went with Cara, Mikey, and Chase to look at the holiday lights on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. They actually close down the boardwalk at the beach in order for cars to drive on it, which, I'll admit, is a pretty cool concept. When we got there, we saw signs that read, "Holiday Lights <---," but those just led to empty parking lots and buildings. We used our problem-solving skills and decided to follow the cars in front of us instead. This worked well at first and even got us to the line of cars that was ready to go onto the boardwalk. However, there was a guy who was directing traffic with one of those light sticks and he waved the car in front of us forward, instead of having them turn right as everyone else was doing. He kept waving us in the same direction, so I continued following the car in front of us and this caused us to lose our place in line. We were all pretty saddened by his lack of ability to wave a glow stick, but decided to persevere and return to the line. We waited another 5-10 minutes, I told everyone that I was going to turn right, no matter what direction he waved, and we made it successfully to the ticket booth. Once there, Mikey and Cara pooled their money to give the girl $5 to get onto the boardwalk ($10 cheaper than usual because it's opening weekend). We were handed a coupon book and a CD to listen to during our holiday light experience.

The lights were divided into various themes and the first theme was dinosaurs. I think we came to the consensus that they must have gone to a bargain discount store for them. That was the only way to make sense of a half-mile of dinosaur lights during the holidays. The next theme was sea animals, which made a lot more sense because it's the oceanfront and they like to shamelessly plug the Virginia Beach Aquarium down the street. Then there were random things to represent various holidays such as, Santa stuck in the chimney, maybe a manger scene, and, my personal favorite, the Grim Reaper hanging out the window of a Monster Truck. My favorite quote of the night was Cara saying, "Look! A ladle!" None of us knew why she cared about seeing a large spoon until we saw the "dreidel" and laughed at her.

The last theme was the "12 Days of Christmas," so we turned down the "McDonald's Holiday Lights at the Beach, Presented by nTelos Wireless" CD and sang the song at the top of our lungs as we passed each one. My favorite for that one was "10 Lords-A-Leaping" because they really had 1 Lord-A-Leaping, but they had him hop to 10 different places. I guess they wanted to save on electricity.

Overall, I thought it was pretty cool to drive on the boardwalk and we saw Christmas lights, so there's not much more to ask for.


#34 getting a speeding ticket

today i had to come to new jersey on a recruiting trip for regent university, which is where i work. i wasn't thrilled about the trip in the first place because i don't like leaving my husband, i don't like leaving my buster, and i don't like going places all by myself. despite all that, i decided i would try to make the best of it. i brought fun cds, the rental car was nicer than my car (sorry, attila), and i've always thought of road trips as an excellent excuse to eat lots of snacks.

i was having an okay time for the first hour or so, pumping the never been kissed soundtrack, which is totally my jam and munching on a lovely chocolate chip muffin from wawa. i was being careful not to go too far over the speed limit - in not california, i firmly stay within 10 mph over the speed limit. i drove through a bunch of podunk towns: tomtom wasn't getting a signalsignal (hi, chad!), but i had printed out directions from google, and all was going fine.

i noticed that there was a traffic light coming up at one point, so i slowed a bit. then i noticed a police officer step into the road wearing a reflector jacket and holding a stop sign. he proceeded to stand in front of my lane. i honestly had no idea i was in any kind of trouble. i stopped in front of him and thought he was going to wave me on or something, but then he motioned for me to pull forward and roll down my window. he then informed me that i was going 64 (which i knew) in a 45 zone (which i did not know). i said a very demure "oh, my!" and he asked for my license and registration. he had me pull onto the next street, where he and his partner had cones set up so they could direct suckers like me to wait for their tickets.

things that made me mad:
1. i wasn't asleep at the wheel, people. i was alert. and i saw no 45 mph signs. i'm certain there was one. there must have been one. but i'm guessing there was just one, and i'm thinking about going back and stealing it because it's going to cost me about $175, and i should get something out of the deal.
2. i am on a work trip. i did not choose to drive through that speed trap. i will now basically be working for two and a half days straight without pay, once you deduct that ticket from my expenses.
3. i've never had a ticket before. i've never had a warning before. i would have thoroughly enjoyed some mercy. 
4. the officer took his sweet time writing up the ticket. i seriously thought he forgot about me for a few minutes. rude.
5. virginia. it happened in virginia. freaking virginia.

as the officer handed me my ticket, i was calm, cordial, totally sane. and then, after he walked away, i lost it. it wasn't a dmv-worthy temper tantrum - instead, it was like someone had died. there were many tears, lots of snot, some body-racking sobs - i yelled "why?" at one point and "emily, it's not even a big deal" at several points. i think i was mourning the loss of my perfect record. or i was just super tired. either way, it wasn't pretty. i could not stop weeping, so poor husband had to talk me down over the phone. he's good at that. 

in the end, i pulled myself together and drove the final five hours and made it to new jersey relatively unscathed. of course, i thought of a million things i wish i would have said to the officer as soon as i drove away, namely, "nice costume. are you a crossing guard on the side?" but i guess i'm glad i didn't. the guy was just doing his job.

in related news, the car rental place wrote down my name as "emily sazacherly," so if i had driven off and fled the scene, do you think they would have traced the rental back to me? also, if i had signed "minnie mouse" on the ticket, would i still be responsible for it? these are the things i'll be thinking about tonight, folks. 


guest post #2 falling down stairs and getting trapped in an elevator all within five minutes

this post was written and experienced by the lovely angelique gordon. she and i would both like you to imagine it as a modern day silent film. i suggest listening to olde-tyme piano to properly get yourself in the mood.

So I was going down the stairs because I had to pick up a key from the administration building. I was in a hurry, so I was running down the stairs in heels, which is a norm, but this time it was not so normal:

I went down 1/2 a flight of stairs with no problem.
I was about 1/2 way down another flight when all of a sudden I saw a coffee spill but thought it wouldn't bother me.
About that time, with only five stairs to go, I slipped on said coffee and fell down said five stairs.
To add insult to injury, someone saw me. My shoe was still on the last stair my foot touched, and this gentleman was running to my rescue, and when I tried to convince him that I only slipped on one stair he said, "But I saw you roll down." I grabbed my shoe, and continued down the final flight of stairs to get to my destination.

A couple of minutes later, I was back upstairs and realized that I had to pick something up from downstairs again. Rather than attempting the stairs again, I decided to take the elevator. Seemed safer.
I went into said elevator and went down one flight successfully, but as I was passing the second floor the power went out. No light. No functioning hey-I'm-stuck-in-an-elevator button. And no working phone -  not in the elevator and not in my pocket.
About the time my biggest fear of "I'm going to die in an elevator and nobody knows I'm here" started to kick in, the light turned on. I felt a temporary hope, but then the elevator was still not moving. Panic started to sink in, so I did what any rational person would do and went into the corner and started to freak out. Then I started to jump, thinking the elevator would start to move. Finally, I pulled myself together and simply pressed the first floor button again and finally reached my destination of the first floor. 

I ran out of the elevator like I had my hair on fire.

The end

a note: the photo above is a pre-enactment. as in, it's not actually from today (angelique said it's from a rough day at disney world, which didn't surprise me - you would never see this pose at disneyland), but it does accurately depict how ang felt after this debacle. 


#33 watching my sister dance with a complete stranger at a bar

if you had told four years ago emily that on november 6, 2010 i would be at a crappy line dancing bar in virginia with my husband, my sister, a bunch of actors, and a guy named morris sheppard iii, i would have laughed at you. but it happened. it really did. 

for jenna's birthday this year, she requested a meal at my place followed by "somewhere random like karaoke, a pool place, or a dive bar." so i researched a whole lot, and came up with the banque in norfolk.

oh, but first we had a pot roast dinner, and that was also a first, but it doesn't quite seem notable since all i had to do was brown the meat and put it in my crock pot in the morning with some broth and a few other ingredients. it did end up delicious, but i didn't purchase nearly enough for the eight people we had over. oh well, we all lived.

after dinner, we headed over to the banque. wow. it was majestic. my top five people:
1. the rather large woman who was wearing a tiny camisole and short skirt. it wasn't flattering, but it was fun watching her dance because she was so freaking confident. 
2. the older lady in the bright pink cowboy shirt with the bedazzled jeans and tiny tiny tiny tiara hair clip.
3. the older man who was with that lady, wearing a matching bright pink cowboy shirt and a hawaiian lei (i think it was his birthday)!
4. the guy with the giant black cowboy hat and the motivational shirt (teamwork!) who helped our group when we attempted a line dance.
5. the guy with the green striped shirt who was tearing up the dance floor, adding extra pizazz and general hoppingness to the line dances.

since it was jenna's birthday, her amazing roommate, cara, wanted jenna to have a knowledgeable dance partner. she brazenly approached a guy in a flannel shirt (who received a rather rude nickname from us by the end of the night) and he said he'd ask jenna to dance in the next slow song. we soon saw him dancing with some other chick who wasn't even cute. (later in the evening, i saw him line dancing full force in the wrong direction, so karma did its job, if you believe in that hooey.) cara next approached person #5 listed above, and he danced with jenna not once, but TWICE. amazing. this was certainly my first time seeing her dance with a complete stranger at a bar, and i hope it's not my last. unless, of course, she gets married soon and bears me a blood-related niece or nephew.

the end.

p.s. sorry for the blurriness, but wanted you to know that we were oh so daring. 


#32 competing in a tricycle derby

when i learned that regent, the university where i work, was having a tricycle derby, i knew i was going to compete. i mean, tricycles are in my blood. i've been told that two of my great-grandmothers, one which i am named for, used to race trikes at the park. 

i assembled an amazing team - me and four guys from the office. we secured a lovely group of cheerleaders. we even had one guy on standby as pit crew. we decided to call ourselves "tri-ceratops." clever, right? regent even provided green shirts to go with the dinosaur theme. they didn't have scales on them, but they had our name and they were free. 

there were only two other teams competing - team awesome and rollin' in the money (or something like that). the course was short, and we were to go around twice. it looked easy.

gary had the first leg of the race, and he quickly gave us a solid lead. and then i got on. brace yourself for some excuses, people:
1. i am out of shape. i did not think this would matter in a freaking tricycle race.
2. the tricycle has tiny, tiny wheels, which means approximately 153 rotations per meter. 
3. if you pedal too fast, your feet fly off the pedals. this could be deadly.
4. gary had the red tricycle, but some guy from team NOT awesome took it from him right before the start.
5. i'm really, really out of shape. aerobically speaking.

so i hopped on and pedaled with all my might and flailed about each time my feet went faster than the pedals. and the guy from team NOT awesome passed me. i was only a couple meters behind him when i reached kal, who was at the next stop.
by the time gary reached me in the second lap, i was still out of breath from lap one and our team was slightly more behind. by the time i reached kal the second time, we were WAY behind. luckily this failure happened in a place where spectators couldn't see, so not many knew i was the main reason that we lost.

in related news, i'd like to thank kledia, from team rollin' in the money, who could not operate her tricycle. i dedicate our second place win to you!


#31 attending a (political?) rally

i am politically apathetic. i'm not proud of it, and sometimes i am pretty darn ignorant, but it just has never interested me. before you get all huffy and lecture me about how important all that is, let me tell you that i know it's important. i really do. i just choose to find other things more important. sorry.

anyway, since i'm politically apathetic, i've never attended any kind of political rally. so when the opportunity to attend a non-political political party arose, i knew i had to seize it. comedy central's jon stewart and stephen colbert put on the rally to restore sanity and the march to keep fear alive this saturday in d.c. and jeff and i went along with some friends. if i attempted to write out every thought from that day, your eyes would fall out of your face, so here are some highlights:

1. when we arrived at the metro, the line was approximately 1.5 hours long. don't worry, jeff and shep cut. luckily, arabella and i did not know they were cutting at the time, as we would have disapproved and thus been stuck there forever. 
2. the trains were all packed, so squeezing on was like giving birth to a baby. i only say that because the crowd was chanting "push! push! push!"
3. once on the train, i felt rather certain that i might die there. arabella's face was smashed against my chest, my left arm was pinned to my side, my right arm stuck in the air. it was terrifying, but i lived.
4. there were so many people at the rally that we could not get close enough to hear anything. one line i did hear sung, though, was "this is for gay men who watch football and straight men who watch glee," and that made me happy.
5. i wish we had just picked a spot on the sidelines and people watched all day. i saw bert and ernie, a devil, a super hero from kick-ass, a werewolf (who scared me and arab), a whole group of people in scream costumes, a clown, ben stiller's royal tennenbaums character, david bowie in the labyrinth, and at least five waldo's. and those are just off the top of my head.
6. people were perched everywhere: on light poles, atop port-a-potties, in trees. one group of trees had so many people danging from them that it looked like the von trapp family in sound of music. or maybe they looked like monkeys. either way - amusing.
7. the signs were amazing. some were definitely political, but the ones i really appreciated were just witty. top five: "MEH." "dumbledore's army for sanity." "bring back crystal pepsi." "God hates times new roman." and "if you keep shouting like that you'll get big muscles all over your face." amazing.

colbert estimates that approximately 6 billion people attended the rally, and i believe it. so all in all, i'm really just grateful to still be alive. next time we'll just stay home and watch it on tv.