Archive for August, 2004

Hey folks, it’s time for another Crazy Amanda Dream©!

Friday, August 13th, 2004

I am on one of the March of Dimes Charity Fan Trips, except instead of subway cars, it’s buses. Painted to look like the IRT subway cars. We were the lunch break when I decided I have to go to the bathroom. My mom was with me, and she told me to hurry up because the break would be over soon and the buses were going to leave.

I walk across the street to an old church and find their bathrooms. However, the signs on the restroom doors are German, so I don’t know which is the women’s room. I walk into this really nice, clean restroom, but then men started coming in so I went into the other restroom. However, the women’s room is not like the men’s; it is dark, dirty, and the toilets are made of wood. There are DVD box sets of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” strewn all over the floor.

I decide the restroom is too dirty and that I am not going to use it. I ran outside, but didn’t see the buses at first. I then realized they were parked down the street, at Central Park.

I got onto the bus and it took me back to Islip. It stopped in front of Teller’s Restaurant, where there was a huge crowd forming, and someone tells me that it is 1984. I asked my mom what everyone was crowding around for, and she said it was to protest the MTA getting rid of some classic buses, and she points to a bus that looks like an Orion 7-R40 hybrid. Yes, a bus with the slanted nose of a subway car. An MTA spokeswoman tells the crowd they are getting rid of the buses to meet ADA standards. I told my mom that they were getting kneeling buses instead, and the woman asks me how I knew that. I told her I was from 2004 and that’s what we have in Suffolk County.

Suddenly, my cell phone rings and it’s Steve. He tells me to go home because there is a bad storm coming, so I look up and the skies are turning grey. I bump into Carlton and Chris (). Carl grabs my hand and starts dragging me towards home, and I tell him we had to wait for Chris, who was running behind us, yelling at us to stop. Suddendly, Carl disappears and there is a girl in a short skirt in front of me and Chris, crying. I ask Chris why she is crying and he says, “She’s upset because her thighs are fat and she doesn’t look good in that skirt.” The girl then runs behind a bush to change her clothes.

Suddenly, the streetlights go out and I’m standing in front of my house, all alone, with a cigar hanging out of my mouth. I am trying to light the cigar, with no luck, and then I realize that I don’t know how to smoke. Anita appears out of nowhere and shows me how to smoke the cigar. It is really disgusting tasting, but I finish smoking it anyways

I walk up the sidewalk and notice that Tree of Life, the distributor for the health food store, left a delivery on my front steps, and I get mad because I told them to leave it in the backyard. I remove the totes off the front steps and open the door to see if anyone was home. I yell “Hello?” and Alyse runs from the bathroom to the basement, not looking at me. I go into the bathroom to see all the pillows from my bed piled on top of the toilet and bathtub.

Suddenly, Grandma grabs my hand and tells me we have to evacuate and go to Andra’s house before the storm hits. We get into a green Ford Bronco, and we’re suddenly on Sunrise Highway, where Grandma is driving 80 mph in the rain. I tell her to slow down as we pass the exit to Andra’s house. We then find ourselves on the Cross Island Parkway, and we stop under an overpass, where people were getting out of their car and running. I asked a man why everyone was running and he said that we had reached the end of Sunrise Highway and there was nowhere else to go.

Haha, it’s torture time!

Friday, August 6th, 2004

I haven’t updated in quite a while, to to spare you the agony of reading a super-long entry, I’m going to break it down into chapters. Melissa () should be quite proud of me.

CHAPTER I: The LIRR trip to the city, Pat’s Diner, Journey Concert

The Journey concert was July 19 at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, NJ. The plan was to meet Steve at 207th Yard after he got off of work, then drive to the concert. So, of course, I had to take the LIRR to get to the city. I switched from a bi-level C3 to an M7 train at Babylon. The announcements were all jumbled, so I couldn’t tell whether I was supposed to get on the first train
or the following train (which both would have gone to Penn Station, but one was local and one was express). By the time I figured out which train I was supposed to be on, all the two-seaters were taken, which means I had to sit on the three-seater side, and it possible meant someone sitting in my row, with a empty
seat in between. As I sat down, I saw a couple coming straight for the two empty seats next to me, so I got up and was going to move to the three-seater in front of me so there could be an empty seat between me and the other person sitting there (I guess it’s a New Yorker-personal space thing). However, as I’m trying to leave the seat, they sit down, forcing me to back up and sit back down in the seat I was originally trying to leave. “Don’t worry, we won’t squish you,” said the woman, laughing. Whatever. I leaned my head against the window and closed my
eyes.

::tap, tap::
::I wake up::

Woman: So where are you from?
Me: Long Island.
W: Where on Long Island?
M: Islip.
W: Oh, I don’t know where that is. We’re from Newfoundland.

No wonder. They’re Canadians. I decided now, since I was awake, I was going to put in my earring that I didn’t get a chance to put in that morning because I was running late. And any of you who know me knows that I have 11 holes in my ears. The Canadian woman watched me curiously as I snapped all the hoops into my
ears.

W: That’s a lot of earrings. Why do you have so many?
M: It was a high school thing.
W: Why do you take them out?
M: Because I had to take them out for a wedding.
W: Oh! Who got married?
M: My sister.
W: Wonderful! Where was the wedding?
M: On the North Shore.
W: Oh, I don’t know where that is. My second-cousin got married this year.

::silence, so I closed my eyes again::
::tap, tap::
::I wake up::

W: How’s the ride to the city, usually?
M: Quiet and fast.
W: Oh, this is a nice train. Does it run often?
M: Yes, it’s one of the busiest commuter railroads in the world.
::she turns to her husband::
W: Harry, did you hear that, we’re on the busiest railroad in the world!
H: Mhmm.
::she turns back to me::
W: Have you seen Mamma Mia yet?
M: No.
W: We’re going to see it. We love ABBA! Did you go to the World Trade Center yet?
M: Yes.
W. Oh, is it wonderful?
M: It’s actually sort of sad.
W: We’re going to see Mamma Mia, the World Trade Center, then up to New Hampshire for NASCAR.
M: Have fun.
W: Oh, we can’t wait. We’re driving all the way up there. Oh, is the soobway dangerous?
M: No, just be aware of what’s around you.
H: But there was an explosion in Times Square this morning. What if someone has a bomb on our train?
M: It’s a rare occurrence.
W: Is the soobway fast?
M: Faster than a taxi, and cheaper.
W: Oooooh.
H: We’ll take a taxi

From that point on, they left me alone. How nice of them. The woman shook my hand as she got up to disembark at Penn Station. Tourists. Psht.

I met Steve at 207th Yard, then we drove down to Trenton. By the time we got to Trenton, it was 4:00, and we still had three hours to kill. Steve suggested we go to the Arena and check out the parking. So as we were checking out the parking, we watched Journey’s tour buses come in and we got a few pictures of them. Since we had an hour and a half before the parking lot opened, we decided to grab a bite to eat. We drove up the main drag of Trenton trying to find a place to eat, but it was difficult finding a non-rundown place or something that
wouldn’t give us GMD (Gasses of Mass Destruction). So we finally decided on a little diner on the side of the road called Pat’s Diner. We figured, hey, there were people eating in there, so it couldn’t be half-bad. And it wasn’t!
The food was delicious and CHEAP (anyone from Long Island knows there is no such thing as a cheap diner). I mean, McDonald’s cheap. It was great. So, if you ever go to Trenton, go to Pat’s Diner. You will not be disappointed, broke, and/or hungry.

Afterwards, we parked the car at the Arena and met Maureen, Greg, Mary, Buddy, Ken, and Rochelle pre-show. Then I had to go to the will-call window to pick up my tickets because I was an idiot and lost my tickets two days before the concert and had to call Ticketmaster and get new tickets. Thank God I didn’t lose my fifth-row seats or not get tickets at all, because I would have cried. This was my one and only Journey show of the year, and Steve’s first Journey show. I was amazed at the amount of people my age at the show. They must have all been Princeton students.

The Fabulous Thunderbirds went on around 7:30 and played for an hour. Their lead singer looks exactly like my brother RJ. Then Journey went on and played an amazing set, including “Just the Same Way,” “Rubicon,” and “Kiss Me Softly,” which I’ve never heard in concert before. And it was quite nice to have Steve enjoy the concert with me 🙂

The only thing I didn’t like was the amount of alcohol and smoking at the show. This has only been the second venue I’ve been to that has allowed drinking, and the drunk people were a bit annoying, especially the woman next to Steve, who was piss-drunk:

::she grabs my arm::
Woman: What’s your name?
::she giggles::
Me: Amanda
::she turns to Steve::
W: What’s your name?
Steve: Steve
W: Oh my God, that’s my husband’s name!
::she laughs hysterically::
::Steve turns to me and whispers::
S: Holy shit.

She spent the rest of the night sitting down with her head between her legs because she couldn’t stand. Why spend $65 for a concert that you can’t even enjoy because you’re drunk? Idiot.

The concert was fabulous, as usual. I got my needed fix for the year! After the show, the aforementioned pre-show group of us went to find the bands busses. We got these free posters from the local radio station and wanted to get them signed. We waited and yelled to Journey’s drummer Deen, who waved back at us, but the security guard made us go away. Pooh. We then went back to Pat’s Diner
for a bite to eat.

Afterwards, Steve and I went back to his house and I spent the night there because it was too late to go back to Long Island. The nice thing was that neither of us had work the next day so we slept really late. We ate at this Chinese buffet place, where we were the only customers (is that a good sign?), then went to go visit his landlady and her sister at her luncheonette, where I got my first taste of Keansburg water. Blech! Steve then drove me home.

The busses are coming, the busses are coming!
Pre-show shot of the group
Marquee in front of Sovereign Bank Arena
Journey’s on fire
Journey bowing at the end of the show

CHAPTER II: The MOD Trip and the Coney Island Carousel

Mom went to Vegas and I was supposed to stay home all weekend cleaning. But the BU cars mentioned in my last post were making a visit to the Sea Beach line, which I’ve never been on before, and Steve was working the trip, so I decided to go on the trip Sunday anyways.

It was cold and damp that morning, and I wore a sweatshirt and jeans because I didn’t want to get cold or wet. I was running late, then got to the Islip train station right before the train came and the person in front of me was having trouble with the ticket vending machine, so I was unable to get my ticket ahead of time. Blah, that meant I had to pay $3 more for my ticket on the train, which sucked. Then, when I got to Penn Station, I realized I also forgot my MetroCard at home. All I had were $20 bills on me, so I had to break one one of them so I could buy a $4 MetroCard. I killed time in Penn before I went to 59th St-Columbus Circle to catch the train, but was still early and had to stand amongst the foamers (for all you non-rail buffs, those are the people that foam at the sight of a train). One was so foamer-ish that he had a prosthetic leg with a subway map design on it. Eeek! And the creepy guy who always stares at me was there again, but I was able to avoid him. The usual group was there, but, in a shock of all shocks, Jarid () showed up! (Yes, it was so amazing that he deserved a LiveJournal shoutout.)

The trip was fun, taking the BUs and R9s up and down the Brighton, Culver, and Sea Beach lines. The best part of the day was the race, where the BUs and R9s raced up and down the express tracks. I was in the R9s with Steve, who was operating the train for both races. I got some nice video of it.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and I was mad I didn’t dress the part. During the lunch break, Steve and I ate at this little dive which had a hamburger meal for $2. Yay for cheap food (the anthem of a college student), then got some pineapple from a fruit stand. After that, we went for a spin on the carousel at Coney Island, which was super fun (and super fast!). It’s an awesome little place, because it still has the real pipe-organ carousel music. We took some pics, then got a nice shot of a train, train (which was running on the Culver that day), and train passing each other on the el structure.

My pictures and videos from the MOD trip are here

CHAPTER III: A new feline

Pippin now has a buddy, Merry. Andra got this feral kitten for Alyse last week. He’s the cutest little thing: big ears and eyes, butterscotch and white fur, and purrs like a motorboat. He hides under my basement staircase all day, then only come out at night to eat, then hides underneath the kitchen table until midnight, when he goes back under the stairs.

There must be something he’s hiding from us. Think about it:

1) He only comes out at night
2) He goes back to under the staircase at midnight.

Perhaps he changes form or something. Maybe I should sleep with one eye open. He is cute, though. But looks can be deceiving….

Pictures forthcoming.

CHAPTER IV: I went to FU, but nobody was home

Like an idiot, I assumed that Fordham would be open on a Friday because Res Life told me I could come drop off the list of Ram editors moving in early. I took the LIRR in, then the train up to Fordham Road, then the Bx12 bus to Fordham Plaza. I went to Res Life, but was told by a custodial worker that the university was closed for the day. Argh! That meant Student Activities and the Communication and Media Studies department was closed, too, so nothing I wanted to get done was accomplished. I needed to get in the Ram office, so I went to Security to get the Ram keys. The girl at the desk was like, “I don’t know which keys are to the office, so just take these keys,” and she proceeded to hand me the entire set of keys to the McGinley center. What an idiot. I could have broken in to every office if I wanted to! I asked her if she wanted my ID and she said, “Nah, I don’t need it.” Some faith I have in Fordham’s Security.

So I walked over to the McGinley Center and tried every key. Didn’t work. Walked back to the Security building, and she said she would send a supervisor over to the office to open the door for me. I waited for about half an hour in the Club Suite hallway, then called Security and asked why no one opened the door for me. She said she forgot then finally sent someone to open the door for me. Idiots.

So I wasted time in the Ram office until Steve picked me up.
Unfortunately (and not surprisingly) the Internet was down in the office, so I killed an hour and a half by playing Snood and listening to Winger. Fun stuff.

Steve picked me up, then we accidentally turned the wrong way on Webster Avenue, couldn’t find a way to get on to the Cross Bronx Expressway, turned on to Jerome Avenue, got stuck in the slow train station rehabilitation mess, then made a full circle back to Fordham Road. That added about half an hour more to our travel time, and he wasn’t too happy. We finally got home, grabbed some food, went to the beach and swung on the playground swing set, then went to my cousin’s house for her birthday.

So, at least the day didn’t turn in to a total waste.

CHAPTER IV: The final days of summer at Country Health

Only four more days to go. I really need this break. The Internet sales have tripled and I’ve been working a lot trying to get things ordered and packed up for shipments. Then, after packing about 17 packages, UPS doesn’t pick up our packages because of a misunderstanding. Argh, that just totally killed me. Of course, there’s always the interesting customers to amuse me, especially one of
the old timers, Mary, who said, “Instead of calling you Amanda, I am going to call you Samantha, because I’ve always loved that name and it’s my best friend’s niece’s name. Have a good day, Samantha!” All right, my name is now Samantha…

Oh, and there was also the stupid owner of a diet-tea company that I had to speak to about placing a link to our website on his website, because we sell his products. The conversation went like this:

Me: We’d like you to place a link on your website, and in return, we will feature your product prominently on our website.
Owner: I’m not paying anyone to do it. If you want a link on my website, you put it up yourself. Just don’t ruin my website.
M: OK, but in order to do that, I need a password to get into your site.
O: I don’t know the password. Why would I need a password?
M: To edit the site.
O: The website was created five years ago and I’m leaving it just the way it is.
M: Well, the webmaster would know the password.
O: My webmaster died in a car crash four years ago.
M: I’m sorry to hear that.
O: So you do what you want.
M: But I need a password.
O: I don’t have a password.
M: Forget it, we’ll leave it just like it is, then.
O: But you can change it!
M: Not without a password.
O: I don’t have a password.

I guess this guy is a few fries short of a Happy Meal©. I checked his WHOIS information, and the website was only created two years ago. So either he’s a liar or an idiot. I’m going for thelatter.