Helping The Community

Certain social media sites are so lame with their overreaching analytics. A suggestion popped up on my feed last week, noting I had checked in at the Indiana State Line on December 26, 2014. I did. Mostly just to let interested friends and family members know of our progress as we traveled home from Pennsylvania on a Christmas road trip. Facebook wants me to “Help the Community by Writing a Review.”

A review of my trip to (it was more like over) the Indiana State Line? Seriously. I noticed there are no current reviews of the Indiana State Line, and actually only 6 other people have even checked in. What would that review even look like? I wonder…

Rhoda T.

Sad to say that the Indiana State Line just doesn’t measure up to the other State Lines in the area. The trees were way less scenic than in Pennsylvania. The roads barely felt paved.

Zena H.
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Ended up here because the queue at the Michigan State Line was ridiculously long. Indiana has the same rating yet there was no queue. We were sceptical at first but it was not bad. Pleasant overpasses. Signage there when needed but not overwhelming. You pay about 10 dollars more in tolls for Ohio, so this was overall a decent place with pleasant experience.

Vincent L.
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If you have a predilection for Midwestern State Lines like me, look no further than the Indiana State Line. I come here weekly on business and only really ever stay on the Interstate – comprised of a fine gray Valero asphalt, sometimes topped with a delicate dusting of snowfall, four lanes for just the right amount of comoditá (comfort). So wonderful! There’s nothing quite like rolling into the Petro in Richmond after you’ve finished your amazing crossing. I haven’t been stopped yet, but the speed limit will be the death of me.

My only gripe would be that it is an expensive State Line. Current tolls are over $12.

Kalee J.
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Where do I begin? Shall I start with the bumper to bumper traffic because of a trooper pulling over a pick-up on the side of the road? Or maybe the painfully awkward billboards advertising Tom Raper RV? Um, hello? Trigger warnings please. There are a lot of people that that could effect them very much seeing that. There is no craft or thought put into this State Line. Extremely mediocre for the prices, they don’t even have a median, just a slab of cement so youd be better off going to the gross county line a few miles away.

My main issue here is that they’re sign out front is extremely misleading. It led my party to believe that Indiana was the “Crossroads of America,” which was the main reason we decided to go here in the first place. Turns out when we got into Indiana there were no other American states at all, just Indiana. Not what we expected. UMMMMM… try again.

The manager at the visitor center was extremely rude and uncooperative when we raised our concern. It was clearly a miscommunication on both of our parts. The advertisement/sign was so unclear, but we could have asked more questions to clarify. However, she wasn’t about to budge on the toll. Until we made it perfectly clear that we weren’t about to pay for something we didn’t sign up for, at which point she gave us some coupons for free coffee. Atta girl. She didn’t want us getting ratchet up in her state. And believe me, we were on the verge. Her sarcastic and condesending mannerisms were completely off-putting.

PLEASE SAVE YOURSELF FROM THIS DEVASTATING ATROCITY.

Kevin L.

so disappointed as a resident of evansville. two bad state lines on both sides, and i dont know which is worse, kentucky or indiana. at least indiana has good gas stations but theyre not very close to the interstate! thats THE ONLY good thing about indiana.. is the gas stations… lets move on from there…

the scenery was some of the worst I have ever seen… the place was DIRTY…I.E. your first clue… you dont want to know whats going on back off the road. the litter, roadkill, piled up snow, fencing… all dirty …

went for a “road trip” i suppose… they give you this idea that its some kind of destination.. oh my god, one look and we all turned around.. and went back.. didn’t even want to be in the state.. raining the whole time … wow.. this was beyond BAD…

a friend got the map which was DROWNING in red stateness, couldn’t even finish looking at it.

and the whole time all we wanted was to look around, and we couldn’t even see anything until we were almost done and ready to leave… the visibility was INCREDIBLY bad…

NEVER go here. save your time and money.

it’s awful, there’s no good state lines to go to around evansville 😦 if someone can prove me wrong, please do. but in the mean time, someone needs to save evansville from bad trips.

Jessalyn R.
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My boyfriend took me here for my birthday, and I was very impressed. I rode in the passenger side, and it was soooo good! I got to see the viaduct and the welcome signs! Their “visitor information center” is wonderful as well!

Ada K.
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This place was recommended to me by 2 of my friends from Baltimore, where we are from.

I haven’t been to Indiana in awhile, so it was nice to have a place that was given the thumbs up in advance, as well as all of the wonderful reviews on social media.

I have now been twice to the Indiana State Line, and each time was fantastic. The first trip, for a Black Crowes concert. Perfection! The second trip, to see a specialist in Indianapolis for my strabismus. Awesome! My husband drove both times as I couldn’t resist seeing everything again. It wasn’t too crowded, so you could probably end up driving in at 7pm on a Saturday night with no problem, but we always check the GPS just in case. We will be back!

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2015

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NapDads

Channeling fashion bloggers, some snarky genius on Instagram started a new account called @FashionDads. Do yourself a favor and check it out. The write-ups are satire, but I think the photos are real. Because other than JLo, no one other than dads show that much leg. Or wear that much denim. Or mustard. Or Hawaiian print.

The only thing I hate about the whole thing is that I didn’t think of it myself.

While giving full credit to the mind behind FashionDads, and to my brother-in-law for starting the trend of sniping these photos, I can’t resist a borrowing the idea for a little fun with some personal photos. These would more accurately fall into the category of NapDads. Sorry Dad. Mom says you guys are spending our inheritance anyway so it won’t matter if I’m written out of the will.

Baby

Rosie

Leopard

Hat

Passed

Sitting

Car

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2015

 

 

 

 

‘Joe And The Bikers’ Is NOT An Onion Article

Many of my more frequent readers know that I’m a sucker for well-done satire. And on more than one occasion I’ve come forward with my undying love and loyalty for The Onion. I must say, they are firing on all cylinders with some of their election stories. And what I’ve enjoyed the most, is their retooled party animal persona of Vice President Joe Biden over the last four years. To the point where just a headline sends me into quivering giggles.

And it’s nothing political. Vice presidents have long been comic fodder for late-night talk show hosts and comedians. I’ve laughed at them all, from Dana Carvey’s pseudo George H.W. Bush tucking Dan Quayle (“Still. Gaining. Acceptance.”) into bed with his blankie on Saturday Night Live to Al Gore making out with his wife at the DNC to Dick Cheney unloading a round of buckshot into a guy’s face.

It’s just that it is so damn brilliant. The latest piece, Biden Says Life Better Than It Was 4 Years Ago But Nothing Can Touch Summer Of ’87, describes him then as “a carefree 44-year-old senator cruising the Delaware boardwalk in acid-washed Jordache jeans and his pink Sonny Crockett blazer.”

This follows up a fantastic running bit from last week, Joe Biden Hitchhikes To Democratic National Convention, where The Onion’s Twitter followers were encouraged to provide updates if any of them had picked him up. Seems he was being a little choosy with rides, turning down offers if the car didn’t have a tape deck to play his Foreigner cassettes.

Maybe not everyone will appreciate it as much as I do, but pick a couple of these links to read if you’re waiting for an appointment or need to kill some time. It’s grade A stuff.

Bounced Joe Biden Check Still Taped Up In Delaware Liquor Store
Shirtless Biden Washes Trans Am In White House Driveway
Biden Receives Lifetime Ban From Dave & Buster’s
Biden Asks White House Visitor If He Wants To Check Out Roof
Biden Invokes Freedom Of Information Act To Find Out When Woman Gets Off Work
Walletless Biden Found Handcuffed To Bedpost
White House Infested With Bedbugs After Biden Brings In Recliner Off The Curb
Joe Biden Shows Up To Inauguration With Ponytail

And then this article (and picture), Joe Biden and the bikers, was posted tonight on Politico. An Associated Press wire story from Seaman, Ohio. Yeah, that’s right, SEAMAN, Ohio. The Onion doesn’t even write stuff THIS obvious! Is it life imitating art or vice versa? Whatever, it doesn’t matter because it’s bitchen’.

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2012

50 Shades Of Grey

  1. charcoal
  2. slate
  3. silver
  4. aardvark
  5. granite
  6. pearl
  7. smoky
  8. dove
  9. gotham
  10. heather
  11. steel
  12. squirrel
  13. sterling
  14. overcast
  15. flint
  16. cadet
  17. graphite
  18. elephant
  19. earl
  20. concrete
  21. platinum
  22. taupe
  23. pewter
  24. french
  25. galena
  26. greige
  27. mercury
  28. foggy
  29. caviar
  30. colonial
  31. misty
  32. stormy
  33. boulder
  34. nightfall
  35. sealskin
  36. stone
  37. nickel
  38. timberwolf
  39. mirror
  40. marine
  41. rhino
  42. tornado
  43. ash
  44. driftwood
  45. rainy
  46. seagull
  47. iceberg
  48. gunmetal
  49. aluminum
  50. albatross

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2012

Kein Krieg Im Golf!

This Occupy Wall Street business is interesting. What I enjoy most are the signs. The ones I’ve seen are half-assed and misspelled messes with some rambling thought scrawled with a Sharpie on a piece of cardboard.

The Soviet-inspired architecture of the Studentenwohnungen of the Munich Olympiazentrum.

For some reason it reminds me of when I studied in Munich, Germany. The building I lived in backed up to a retail area, and to get there you’d go under kind of an alleyway between buildings. Every time I went to the shitty little grocery store back there, I’d pass a support beam with some graffiti on it.

“KEIN KRIEG IM GOLF!”

That translates to “No war in the Gulf.” Just below it, written in pencil (undoubtedly by some smartass American or cheeky Brit), was:

“What about the Ryder Cup?”

For some reason I chuckled every time I passed it. Even now it makes me grin. Something about the righteous seriousness juxtaposed against the light-hearted silliness is funny.

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011

America’s Finest News Source

If you are a regular reader, you know how much I “heart” The Onion. Sometimes I don’t even have to read the articles and I still find myself chuckling over just a headline for a day. Here are a few that are making me laugh.

 

  • Nation’s Dogs Dangerously Underpetted, Say Dogs
  • Smooth Jazz Musician Forced To Listen To His Own Song Over And Over While On Hold With Time Warner Cable 
  • Shirtless Biden Washes Trans Am In White House Driveway
  • Last Male Heir To Bloodline Watches Movie Alone On Laptop
  • Nation’s Optometrists Finally Starting To Recover After Raucous Optic Disc Expo 2011
  • Father Who Messed Up Visitation Schedule Consumes Entire Dora The Explorer Birthday Cake
  • Goofy Guy Named Gary Enlivens Otherwise Intolerable Wedding Reception
  • Search For ‘Kick-Ass Shelves’ Continues
  • Bitch Be Gettin’ All That Way
  • Syracuse Leaves Big East For Woman Named ‘Misti’

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011

 

If I Were Just An Acting Coach And This Was One Scene…

David and Cameron’s Fight Director’s Notes – July 12, 2011 (PM)

So we open in limited release in just a few weeks, and here’s what I’m seeing.

The David character is becoming, to use a cliché, cliché. Just beating up on Cameron for no reason is just tiresome to the audience at this point. You need to think more about the character’s motivation. Is there an internal monologue going on? Is this more about performance or sticking to the text? Because when the “either you’re lazy or you’re weak” line was delivered after Cameron refused to go outside with you, I wasn’t feeling it at all. There seems to be a distance between the actor and the character and this limits the relationship that the audience is able to have with the character. As the actor, you execute the physical universe for the journey, and it’s your responsibility to make others want to come along for the ride.

Conversely, the Cameron character’s role is becoming overblown. His emotive reactions conflict with David’s dry, implausible stage presence. Peter Brook says, “Art is a spinning wheel, rotating around a still centre which we can neither grasp nor define.” Cameron needs to rein in the, for lack of a better word, drama, in the scenes where David tries to antagonize him. By displaying such hysteria, the Cameron character becomes less and less sympathetic, and by default, the David character becomes a type of anti-hero that audiences root for, despite the playwright’s obvious intention that he be the antagonist.

It’s possible that Cameron became caught up in the momentum of the production, and that David, as this is certainly not the first time he’s performed this piece, has just become blasé about the role, either way, you both need to become more honest and authentic about your performances and add in a touch of mystery and newness or you risk alienating your audience altogether.

Thanks for being open-minded about the process. We’ll meet again tomorrow to rework the scene. Hopefully it will pop. In some ways I feel like I’m too close to the material to be objective, but I think that’s okay. I look forward to having others watch and share their perspectives. Good night.

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011

Mommy And Daddy Are Splitting Up Because Of You

This is going to piss some people off, even though it’s meant to be tongue-in-cheek, so don’t go writing comments about how my kids would behave if I were a better parent to them, blah, blah, blah. Just shut up and let me vent.

You know how counselors and parents of kids from broken homes relentlessly pound into their heads that it’s not their fault? Bullshit. In many cases they are at least partly to blame.

Case in point. Every single night I put Justin and Alex to bed. Every. Single. Night. It’s exhausting. Barry, though he does a lot around the house, including cleaning bathrooms, gets to go downstairs and watch TV with David and Cameron, and maybe fold some laundry. I’d take that gig.

Tonight Justin and Alex are acting like wild monkeys. They’ve tormented the dog, tormented each other, tormented me, and when that wasn’t enough, they started running back and forth downstairs to torment their dad, who was already hopping mad because David wouldn’t let the dog out and she had an accident.

My threats and other tactics had made no impact thus far. And the third time they ran downstairs, my husband yells up, “Jennifer! Come put them to bed!”

I answered, “What do you think I’ve been trying to do?”

He replied with a huff, “Nothing!”

So, ready to blow a gasket, and not wanting to hear another word out of him, I am the one who ends up being the bad guy and going in with guns blazing to settle those two little monsters down.

So on the divorce papers when I cite “irreconcilable differences,” it’s going to be code for “My kids are out of control and my husband doesn’t have the fortitude to stand up to them and makes me do all the parenting that goes beyond the easy to medium level of difficulty.” So yeah, some of it’s on them. Totally.

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011

My Life Is Just Like Top Gun. Only Not As Exciting. Or Cool. And Without F-14s. Or Tom Cruise.

So as promised in an earlier post (Drop And Give Me Twenty), I’ve enlisted David and Cameron in a massive de-cluttering, deep cleaning project that will be a weekly event until school starts up again in September. Today we (I use “we” in the sense of “pretty much mostly me”) tackled Justin and Alex’s bedroom.

I’m happy to report that every headless, wingless, or big punching handless action figure, every doll who looks like she needs an appointment with the prosthetics lab, every book with missing pages, and almost every toy that once shared its living quarters with french fries now has a one-way ticket to the landfill.

And multiple bags of age 3 and under toys and clothes went to P.R.O.P. and will hopefully live to see another day. It’s just like Toy Story 3, only not funny and cute. Or heartwarming. And it doesn’t have Tom Hanks. Or John Ratzenberger. Or a metrosexual Michael Keaton Ken doll. Other than that, it’s exactly the same.

Next stop will be Cameron’s room. That will be exactly like Scream. Only scarier.

Gonna take it right into the danger zone.

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011