I'm sorry. I just had to say it. Why? Because it seems 98% of the time, it's true. I'm sure there are a lot of Pennsylvanians out there who don't drive like total morons, but there sure as hell are a lot that do. In my 13ish years of living in Illinois, I've encountered a decent amount of idiot drivers, some with a few memorable moments, and then have had one accident that was due to some thick fog.

Within my near 4 months of living here, I've almost been hit (both in my car and when riding with someone else) at least 4 or 5 times. I wish Pennsylvania would pass a "Don't drive while talking on your cell phone you fucking douchebag" law because I swear to God, so many people turn into inept losers when they talk on their cell phones and drive. And there are plenty of them out here. And for the record, I don't talk on my cell phone when I drive. Personally I find it too distracting, so if you call me when I'm driving, you won't get an answer. There are some people that are handy enough that they can drive and cell phone at the same time, but so far I haven't encountered any of them here.

When it comes to simple driving, cell phones or not, people tend to back up without looking, make left turns right in front of you because they figure you're far enough away that they can go for it, stop short, change lanes with NO consideration/courtesy whatsoever (and many times without even so much as a signal), and I swear, no one knows how to remotely use speed limit signs. I'm not saying everyone has to go the speed limit, no ifs ands or buts, and I also think one of the problems is Pennsylvania's road sign problem. 35 for this turn, 45 for this straight section, 25 for this curve, all of which are in like a fucking mile of one another - it's ridiculous. Not to mention just road signs in general; buckle up, don't tailgate, center lane for turning only (no shit Sherlock), keep cars at least two dots apart (yeah, there are spots painted on the road, wtf is that?), beware aggressive drivers (what?), this area targeted for enforcement, and the list goes on. I read a study once that the less signs there are, the more people tend to pay attention to their driving and stop driving like psychos. But I digress. The thing that drives me insane is that while driving down a 35 mph street, people will drive 30 or even 25. A stark change when they were driving 45 in a 35 mph zone not 2 minutes earlier around the block. Not to mention cranking it up to 50 when in another 35 mph zone (which was previously 45 not even close to a mile away). While I can handle speeding (as people tend to do that all the time), I cannot stand it when people don't even drive the speed limit.

I mean, I left 30 minutes before the time I had to be at work when I was in Rantoul and on average, I would make it there with 5 or more minutes to spare. Kohl's was about 15 miles away. Now, Barnes and Noble (I'll get to that in a minute as I realize I've not updated you guys) is a mere 5 or so miles away and should take about 10 minutes on a good day. Not so. I understand that stop lights (as there are plenty of them in my way) can take up time. But there have been times when it takes 5 or more minutes to get out of my driveway, and then deal with the idiots who just cram the roads driving at speeds that somehow tend to be lower than the speed limit (at least one a few selected roads for some reason). I often leave 20 to 25 minutes before my allotted work time in order to get there. And still there have been times when I end up late. Sometimes it's 2 minutes, but I've been as much as 10 minutes late and it pisses me off. I shouldn't have to leave half an hour early just to make it on time to a workplace that is 5 goddamn miles away just because no one understands the basic concepts of operating a vehicle. Heck, just the other day I swear someone parked at the side of the road waiting to go out honked at me. I wasn't close to them. It wasn't a situation where you let them get out in front of you. I don't know you. Ytf are you honking at me? Ugh. Freakos.

And have I mentioned Pennsylvania is the cone capital of the world? It is. Everyone, even Pennsylvanians, agree. And the roads aren't even all that awesome some of the time so I don't know wtf all these guys are doing when it comes to road construction. It's ridiculous.

Anyway, yes, Nicole has a job. Again. In retail. Again. I applied to a lot of places. Several were desk jobs, data entry and secretarial stuff and so forth, one was for the PSPCA, and I figured "Why the hell not?" and applied to Barnes and Noble. Some places never replied. I did a 3 hours trial at the PSPCA and never got a call back (even to say "No, you're not hired"). Ironically, B&N called back maybe a week (if that) after I dropped off my app and resume, and then two days after my interview, I was hired. Cool. Hey, it's a job. *shrug* And anyway, it's a lot more relaxed than other retail places. Well, in some ways. I'm not a big fan of dealing with people, as you all know, and the irony of this is that B&N is all about customer service. I was hoping to be in a position of either putting books away and mulling about the shelves all day or even in the back sorting through titles, buuuut as with most retail places now, everyone pretty much knows how to do everything (except work in the cafe, that's separate and I'm not ever doing that). I only get stressed when I'm at the information desk because I'm still working on logging all the book areas away in my brain (as in, where they are). I like being in the Children's area better because it's smaller, makes it easier to find things, and there are less people to deal with. Most of the time parents just bring their kids in to putz around or already know the book they're looking for.

I used to say I'd never cashier. Well that went out the window when I worked at Kohl's and had to learn to get my shit together pretty fast. Once again, I find myself cashiering, however, this is a lot nicer. Even though I can get a bit bored from time to time, it is a lot easier to ring up books than it is clothes and accessories and other wacky shit where you have to hunt for the damn barcode and sometimes it'll be missing, or people will bitch about the price, "It was 60% off! Wah wah wah," but here, all the books have barcodes stamped on them or they're stickered, end of story. Very little hunting. Sure, things aren't perfect, but nothing is ever perfect is it? And the clientele is much better; readers who are more mellowed and more at ease. I think the store's atmosphere helps.

The problem with working there? Same as Kohl's: I want to buy crap. Haha. I do get some not-so-bad discounts, but I did some price comparing and find that notwithstanding shipping charges, Amazon is still cheaper. Haha. I'm thinking of contacting the higher ups (since we can) and saying something. Despite that, I literally have no shelf space available. It is possible for me to rearrange a few things, but not many. Sad. I can't even really put up any shelves because um, I don't really have anywhere to put them. I have little wall space since my room is essentially shaped like this (only bigger - if it was that size it's very likely I would have said "Screw that noise" and looked for an apartment somewhere. Oh, and no skylights either, just a window at the end). I think if I was really motivated I could finagle some shelves but I don't know if I'd want to bother since I won't be here all that long. Plus I don't want to do anything that could potentially add to the value of this house becuase the fucker that owns it doesn't deserve it simply for being a complete fucking dumbass. (Yeah, I have no respect for the man. Have I mentioned small maple trees are growing out of our gutter?)

That's the latest update. Hmm. I sound bitter again. Whatever happened to happy blogs? I think it's because most of the time when I use my blog as a Pensieve, I use it as a way to bitch that way I don't keep rehashing it elsewhere. Ok, well here's a happy thought for you; fall is coming and fall is awesome and today is a gorgeous day and tomorrow I get to go fly fishing. Yep, Nicole fly fishes now. Whee!

Have I also mentioned that there's a prison not too far from here?