I hate to be that person

I really do, but apparently the only way we get results now a days is by complaining about it on the internet. So here I go.

As everyone is painfully aware, tomorrow is the presidential election.

The first one I am able to vote in (what timing huh). So I was the responsible US citizen and sent out for my absentee ballot months ago.

I received it in late September, and cast my vote my marking a dot while laying on my bed (anticlimactic isn’t it?).

I did my American duty and sent it out. Around the beginning of October.

Imagine my surprise when my roommate walked in from the mailbox holding, you guessed it, my absentee ballot.

So I called my local election office and the only way it will count is if I bring it in before polls close at 8pm tomorrow. IN NEW JERSEY.

My only option at this point was overnighting it. (Mind you it was already 4:30).

Cue grabbing keys and running out the door like a madwoman.

I get to the post office and thank god I’m annoying because the window was already closed and I kept calling out “hello” until the pair of hands I saw opened raised the window blinds.

Turns out, the wrong addressed was scanned (Oh I love technology) and somehow my ballot was floating around in the great beyond that is our postal system for a MONTH and was dropped back in my lap the DAY BEFORE the election.

As any good American would, I overnighted my ballot to make sure my vote counted. That was a pretty penny out of my bank account.

Once was all said and done, I called customer service to see if my claim would hold any merit and bring those numbers in my back account back up.

Alas, I only found more disappointment.

Since I sent the ballot out in the REGULAR mail a MONTH before the election, I have no grounds because there was no initial receipt. Unless my ballot gets there tomorrow later than the appointed time, I fall fault to the technology of the postal system.

Now I understand mistakes happen, I do. I make them constantly. But there is no reason that my ballot should have been floating around for a MONTH let alone having been scanned incorrectly in the first place (and no it was not miss-addressed because a mail-in ballot is a pre-printed envelope). And if it wasn’t a presidential election (and my first one) I probably would have been a little more understanding today. But it’s Monday and understanding went out the window hours ago.

I’m writing this in hopes that someone who knows someone tells someone who works at the postal service. I appreciate the postal service and they’re great. But I think with all of the technology and such that we have today, mis-read addresses, especially something that says “Board of Elections,” is ridiculous. Especially if it says “Board of Elections” the day before THE election.

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21 already?

Let me start off with saying Happy 21st Birthday Veronika!

I know you’re probably still sleeping out there in Cali so at least you’ll have this to wake up to.

You have no idea how much I wish I could be there or be home next week to celebrate with you. I hope you have a relaxing day and a night you have trouble remembering. We’ve been through a lot and I can’t wait to see the rest of the adventures we have after college (hopefully I’ll make it out to LA and you can come down to Georgia).

Here’s just a few reminders of all of the adventures we’ve had over the years (if I posted them all I think my server would crash).

I love you Vee! Happy 21st!!

Step Back

My Mom always said I was born with an Old Soul. I tend to think that’s because I think I was born too late (granted I was two weeks late but that’s not the point I’m trying to make).

I love my life and the people in it, but I think I was born at a time when the world is too fast.

We’re constantly checking our phones, hitting refresh, and are sometimes too connected for my liking (I’m sorry if I don’t respond to your message right away. I am doing something besides staring at a backlit screen. I’ll get to it when I can).

Maybe I feel like this because I like things most people consider to be “old fashioned.”

I like long drives to no where in particular.

I like driving with the windows down because who needs A/C when you have the wind.

I prefer handwriting everything and making lists as opposed to typing them up and using reminders (I just got a new notebook and I’m more excited than most would be).

I worry that my kids will have better typing skills than penmanship because supposedly script isn’t being taught in some schools anymore (I mean, writing a thank-you note has almost become a lost art).

I’d rather have a long phone call with someone than text on and off during the day (because I hate texting. If it wasn’t so convenient I wouldn’t use it).

I hate it when boys (or anyone really) send a text saying “here” instead of coming up and knocking on the door.

I can’t stand that the concept of dating now revolves around “likes,” texts back, and mind games. What happened to dinner and a movie? And no I don’t mean “Netflix and Chill.”

I also seem to remember a time during which when people went out, they wore actual clothes. Not oversized shirts and gym shorts/pants.

I’d rather carry around four books in my bag than a tablet with 100 on them because I like to flip the pages and see how much longer I have to go.

I like photo albums I can hold in my hand, not ones I flip through on a screen.

I’m one of the few people I know who listen to talk radio in the mornings.

Honestly, the only kind of satellite radio I like is “Radio Classics” where they play old shows from my grandparents time.

I’ve always liked Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis, Johnny Cash, and similar music from that time. A time I was never remotely a part of.

I guess the best way to describe how I think I see myself is a mix of Automatic and Noise.

That’s not to say that I don’t love my life or the people in it. I just think in the midst of everything we’ve lost how to be us. We’re glued to backlit screens and while trying to stay on top of every single little thing, we miss what is passing in front of our faces.

Maybe that’s why I tend to day dream about the past, and sometimes wish I could step back into it.

So maybe instead of texting someone, I’ll write a letter. Because that’s just the way I am.

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Happy birthday Alex!

19 years ago I was standing around in the hospital wearing a Rugrats shirt that said “I’m the Big sister.” (who would have thought you would end up taller than me after all those years)

It was right around now that you were finally born.

I can’t believe you’re done with your first year of college and entering your final teen years. It seems like yesterday I was just in your shoes.

You’ve come a long way from pigtails with a fuzzy pink guitar but you’ll always be my little sister.

No matter how much we fight or how much it annoys me that you take my clothes, I’ll always love you regardless of your mood in the morning.

I hope you have a a day filled with coffee, sushi, and your own personal cheesecake.

Sorry I can’t be there (again) but, hey, at least I’m not graduating on your birthday again.

Olive you,

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This is no national park

This is the view from someone’s once backyard. 

It’s the view from the Loggia of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. And let me tell you it’s even more breath taking in person. 

It’s the largest house in the whole country, has 250 bed rooms, an indoor pool and bowling alley, a vineyard and two hotels on the property. And that’s not even all of it. 

It took us longer to drive up the drive way (after taking a shuttle) to the house than it did to drive from our hotel. 

The reason I’m even here is because I missed Mother’s Day and on our drive back to Jersey, Mom and I decided to break up the trip and take a day to ourselves. 

So after coaching my last soccer game for the season we drove into North Carolina and spent the day exploring the grounds and the house that is The Biltmore. 

The house is stunning just on the outside and the inside is even more jaw dropping. 

One rooms walls were entirely stamped leather. The walls of George Biltmore’s room were GILDED. 

They have tapestries from the 1500s and one of them is the only one in the world. 

There are rooms that have architecture that is so intricate it’s a skill that is lost on today’s world. 

My Mom and I spent over two hours touring the house and we both feel we didn’t see even half of it (my inner history nerd was so happy). 

But we had some non-educational fun. With our ticket we recieved a complimentary wine tasting and let me tell you some of those were delicious. Of course we had to buy a few bottles to take back home with us. 

So now we can cross that one off of our to-do list but the Biltmore at Christmas is an entire different story. Therefore, we have an excuse to go back. 

Happy Mother’s Day

Mom… Mother…Ma…Amy… Amy Shay!

 

Well now that I have your attention I can start.

 

For one I want to apologize that I’m not there with you today. I’m sorry my finals schedule sucks. BUT I promise I will make it up to you next week when we’re at the Biltmore.

 

We’re not going four or so months without seeing each other again. It has been too long and I don’t like it.

 

I don’t even know where to begin.

 

I could thank you.

 

I could say how much you inspire me to do better.

 

I could say how you’re able to pick me up from hundreds of miles away.

 

I could say how much I love that we can spend all day on the beach doing nothing.

 

I could say how grateful I am that we have such a good relationship because I know some of my friends don’t.

 

I could say how much I can’t wait to spend the better part of three weeks with you.

 

But even all that wouldn’t do you justice.

 

I hope you know all that you have done for me, which I wouldn’t have enough lifetimes to make up for. I can only hope I can be as good of a mom as you are to the kids I have one day.

 

I hope you Alex, Dad, and Rosie have a lovely relaxing day because you deserve that and so much more.

 

I love you mom and I can’t wait to see you in FIVE DAYS!

 

Love,

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#Bruxelles

I thought I was having a rough morning when my favorite water bottle broke this morning.

Then I checked the news.

People, who were carrying out their every day routine taking the metro to work or in the airport possibly going to visit a loved one, they had a rough morning.

Whenever I hear news like this I am shocked.

I was shocked when I was 5 and lived through 9/11.

I was shocked back in November when Paris suffered a similar experience.

I think I’m mostly shocked because I don’t understand it.

I don’t understand why people want to hurt other people.

I will be the first to say that I do not agree with a lot of things my friends do. Sometimes it’s personal, sometimes it’s politics, and sometimes it’s religion. I may not agree with them but I would never try to force my view upon them (unless it’s Star Wars) nor would I harm them in anyway because of it.

For example some of my friends who are not Catholic don’t understand why we pray to the Virgin Mary, or why we believe that Jesus was the messiah we were all waiting for. And that’s okay.

It’s okay to have different thoughts and opinions about different things. That’s what makes us all interesting and unique.

I don’t believe it’s okay to harm someone, mentally or physically, because their views differ from yours.

Maybe that’s because I was told growing up never to “hate” anything but to “dislike” it.

Regardless, my heart goes out to people I’ve never met today.

They’re living in a state of panic for who knows how much longer and my biggest worry for the day is whether what is due for my PR research class next Tuesday.

When something like this happens it puts your view into perspective.

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