Adventure Tales

I'm going rogue and sort-of recapping my holiday weekend on a Tuesday. I know, I know, I'm living right on the edge. It's not so much a weekend recap as it is a commentary on a handful of experiences that have happened over the last few days. They don't really paint a complete picture, but I find them noteworthy. However, neither one on its own is worthy of a post all on its own. Know what I'm saying? Of course you do, because I'm being exceptionally wordy in this post "introduction" and about as subtle as a brick. So without further ramblings, here are a few things that happened since last Wednesday.

The Tale of the E-Z Pass Idiots
So there I was, exiting off the Garden State Parkway, mere minutes from my apartment after spending a peaceful Thanksgiving and Black Friday down the shore with my mom. On this particular exit there is only one lane dedicated completely to the E-Z Pass — lane 4 — so toward it I went. The Range Rover two cars ahead of me went into the lane and... stopped. I can only imagine that what happened is this genius realized at that moment that he didn't have an E-Z Pass, because he threw the car in reverse and started backing up into the Prius behind him, which started backing up into ME. Mind, I now had a trail of cars on my tail too, and reversing anywhere simply wasn't going to happen.
So here I am tossing out a beep every now and then, yelling into my windshield, as this goes on for a good few minutes. Um, sir? JUST GO THROUGH THE TOLL AND CALL E-Z PASS CUSTOMER SERVICE WHEN YOU GET HOME! Meanwhile, I have to say a huge thanks to the toll booth attendant who literally stood right next to where all this was going down and did not turn around to tell the Range Rover driver to continue through the lane and stop blocking traffic.

No, the person who DID decide to speak up? The lady in the Prius in front of me who got out of her car and started waving at me to back up. Because that was safe and possible with the line of cars sitting behind me and the rest of the traffic flying off the parkway at parkway speeds. OK. Meanwhile I'm yelling back that homeboy in the Range needs to M.O.V.E., when FINALLY an attendant comes flying onto the scene from absolutely nowhere, yells at Prius lady to get back in her car, and then has to tell the guy in the Range at least 10 times that SIR YOU NEED TO MOVE YOUR CAR HOLY @#*&$#! IS THIS REAL?! Holiday drivers, you are the worst. Welcome to my state, now get out of my way.

The Adventures of a South African Entrepreneur
My mom and I have a little tradition of hitting up Target (and occasionally Kohls because moms love Kohls) on Black Friday, around midnight, then coming home and watching a movie and falling asleep on the couch. The last part isn't usually intended, but it always happens. This year, after making some scores at Big Red (and it's never crowded, which is why we keep going back. It's glorious), after fixing myself a hot toddy, and after pressing "play" on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I, I got an email from American Express. Indicating that there was fraudulent activity detected. At 1:30 a.m. And then I got another, informing me of a purchase made in a foreign currency. After my eyes bulged at the $235 and $180 purchases I got myself right on the phone with the AmEx fraud protection department, during which wait time and call I received two more emails about foreign purchases in amounts of $139.99 and $179.99. OH AND meanwhile, I'm checking my account online — none of the foreign purchases posted to my account, thank god, but a car rental charge in NY state and some other charge in Kansas appear on my "pending charges" account.
So Joan and Ravi with AmEx Customer Support help me to report the charges fraudulent and cancel my card, verify that I'm me, issue me a new card, and inform me that all of my American Express cardmember information was stolen and duplicated by a card counterfeiter in South Africa.

All said and done, I ended the call giving thanks for AmEx's annoying emails and Joan and Ravi.

The New York Football Giants: A Tragedy
On Sunday, I sort of made no effort to watch the Giants game. I cut cable, so for me to watch, I have to go to a friend's house (which I usually do) or a bar, or I'll tune in online and on the radio. But after last week's disaster of a game, I just wasn't up for trying to watch. The team is bad. It hurts my heart to watch them. Why spoil a great weekend on a crappy game? But then I get a notification that the Giants are up 14-0 at the half! Granted, we're playing Jacksonville; we should be up by that much or more. My buddy calls me and asks me over for the game; I make it there in the middle of the second quarter: 21-3 Giants. Me: "Of course, the one week I give up on watching them, they come out like this."

I think that's all the pain I can handle, so I'm not going to reiterate how the Giants completely blew the lead in the second half and then blew it again in the last minute of the game. Not gonna talk about it. Just gonna cry about it. New York Giants, I love you, but I give up.

The Holiday Shopper Adventures
All I want to share is that as of November 30, 2014, I was 75% through with my Christmas shopping AND — wait for it — only 63% through my Christmas shopping budget. #takesabow

The Tale of the Faraway Thanksgiving Wishes
One of the best parts of last Thursday was brought to me by, believe it or not, Facebook. There are pretty much only two reasons I don't delete my Facebook, seeing as I never use it to post or share anything and I hate my entire news feed, 100% of the time. One reason is that it's a big communication tool for us Feather Girls. And the other is that thanks to Facebook Messenger, I was able to wish a happy holiday and extend my thanks to two of my favorite people in the whole world.

Two people I love very much, who mean more to me than most people I communicate with daily, who I have not seen in months and will not see for another six, at least: my ex-something and current dear friend, a Marine, who passes his time in Okinawa these days, and one of my very first friends from college, the Army Lieutenant, who I worry over until I'm sick on a weekly basis as he traipses through the Middle East but can't give me any more info about where he is. I got to chat with them both for a little while, let them know I miss them and am thankful beyond words for what they do, and feel a little bit of comfort knowing they're okay today.

The Adventures of Alyssa vs. the Magician
A lot of you guys had one big concern (that frankly, surprised me) after reading this post, so this one is for you. The sweet, funny, and beautiful Melissa asked me to be a part of her third Relationship Week series on her blog, Making Melissa. Now, seeing as I'm as single as the day is long (Nah, that was just a flash in the pan — I'm sorry for punning), I wasn't sure what I could really contribute, until Melissa persuaded me to give the people what they want. Go on over the her place to read about that time I dated a magician.


  1. Ahhh, the adventures of the Garden State never fails to provide entertainment from non-NJ drivers! Glad you (finally!) got out of that mess!

  2. I'm glad you had such a great holiday. I was thinking about you because of the family drama that usually ensues but I'm happy all was calm and smooth. It's sad when people don't even know how to use a toll booth....but I've seen it happen too.

  3. We just got tolls on 2 of our tunnels (EZ-pass only) about a year ago and everyone promptly freaked the fuck out. I am honestly shocked I haven't witnessed or been involved in a shitshow like that. People are so stupid though, it's probably just a matter of time.

  4. Dear Lord... I dont even know where to start with this. You had an eventful few days girl! Range Rover dude would have pissed me off but not as much as that Visa fraud crap ... my word. I have been fraudulently charged before and thankfully it was quick and easy to fix but Im so paranoid of that ish happening again.

    Thank God for Fb having some good use. I hate it and want to delete it every day ... but when I hear of good things like this happening I see why its useful! Have a great day lovely!

  5. Ahh, I remember my first time driving through a toll booth years ago! I don't think I would've done what that guy did, but you would've been cussing me for sure. I was clueless!
    I can't believe you're almost done with your shopping! I am totally a last minute shopper. It keeps things exciting! :)

  6. OMG your ez pass story is just too much!! Holiday drivers are the worst!!!

  7. A magician, huh? I'm intrigued.

    And seriously, those toll booths are death traps! I hope the Range Rover driver didn't get seconds of mashed potatoes.

  8. People are ridiculous on the roads. aren't the only one mess up deal with just KEEP MOVING! Yikes!!!

    My mom and I ran in to no crowds on Thursday night or Friday. It was glorious!

    Going to read your magician story now....

  9. I am so horrible, I totally forgot about the flash! rude.
    ugh the ez pass thing seriously that happened all the time at home and i just don't understand stupid people sometimes.
    omg so scary about amex, thank goodness it worked out.
    and yay for christmas shopping and budget, you go girlfran! i am all done except for 2 bottles of wine and some gift cards, which i'm not worried about.
    yay for talking to people via FB. the internet is a beautiful thing for people separated :)

  10. this might be the first time i appreciate someone who drives a prius....

  11. OMG, didn't that guy see all the signs that say "DON'T BACK UP"? I mean, who just stops like that? Was he waiting for everyone to back up so he could go to a different lane? Crazy! Sooo annoying about your card-- was it from Target? Or it just happened after you guys had been out shopping? Glad you got it all figured out though. Going to check out your other post now!

  12. I love how often you echo my thoughts on the perils and annoyances of driving. No sarcasm. Please keep complaining about stupid drivers and frustrating roadtime adventures; it makes me feel less bad for my own terrible tendency to hate the human species when I'm behind the wheel of any car ever.

  13. I love hearing about your driving insanity. I wish you could live down here with me so I had someone to share my yelling and screaming and "Are you fucking serious ?!" moments with. Hashtag hate people.


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