Ind e-Pen III

The Ind e-Pen


I just got back from a trip here in Indiana, PA. Basically, we went to the mall, the hospital, then out to eat. You know, the classical college pastime. Eating, I mean. But there was something special about this case. It was my first time eating at a place called Eat n Park (or was it Peat n ark?). I’d never heard of it before, but apparently it’s really popular in Pennsylvania. How New Mexican of me to not know that… And that’s not the first time I’ve shown my blond roots (because us New Mexicans are known for our roots you know… our cactus roots… which still aren’t blond, but still). While I’ve been up here– or technically, over here– I’ve shown my being new at everything almost every day. But how could things be so different over just 2000 miles? And are things really that different? You be the judge.

New Mexico:

I’ve lived in New Mexico for the vast majority of my adult life (May to December 2003), so you could say that I’m a little knowlejabel about it. I’ve also gone to college there for well over the lifespan of most mature fruit flies, so you can say that I’m a sort of like a resident expert in New Mexican life. I mean how much is there to know? I know all about how much it bites to get up at four in the morning to go rassle cattle. And I know how awful it is when all of your cattle get either hunted down by Injuns or stolen by banditos. So then you have to stay up till midnight to steal some more of ol’ man Peabody’s livestock for tomorrow… ha ha, oh, memories… of New Mexico. Right?

Maybe I’m thinking of Kansas. I’ve driven by Kansas before, I know what I’m talking about. Obviously.

Anyway, what do I know about New Mexico? That it gets awfully warm there sometimes. But it’s not always warm, it gets pretty cold in the winter, too. I mean, I’ve seen it get down all the way to the mid 70s. In temperatures like that you can’t just wear a tank top anymore. You have to bundle all the way up and take a warm t-shirt. It might even have to be cotton!

Living in New Mexico has taught me all about driving in the dirt. At some point, probably a visit to Texas, I learned to drive on pavement, too. Perhaps some day I’ll learn to drive on asphalt. But when would anyone ever need that?

The interstates in New Mexico are pretty cool (all three of them), it’s almost as if they want to make them drive smoothly enough so as to make visitors remember only one set of beautiful mountain scenery. Theoretically, people would be so captivated by the beauty of the sky and the lovely temperature of their car’s air conditioner that they’d forget to look sideways at all of the dirt, cacti, and illegal aliens (“hola”).

That’s New Mexico in a nutshell. All of the non-collegiate parts, at least. It’s like a different country once you get on my college campus (specifically, the United States).

What’s New Mexico State University like, you ask? Well, it’s big. It’s 6,250 acres to be exact. There’s well-watered grass there, which is more than you can say for anywhere else I’ve been in my life. The student union building is cool and the libraries are big and probably very informative.

What else is good about my college? I like the people. The ones that don’t ignore you or avoid you are usually very nice… to your face.

My college is located in a town called Las Cruces. What can I say about Cruces? Well, it’s big enough to have two Wal-Marts, 2.25 movie theaters, and also a mall (pfft!). Other than those three things (which get tired pretty quickly), there’s really not much else to do in Cruces except for retiring.


And now, a Word from our sponsors:


They’re not very good sponsors…



A little known fact about the Amish: it’s not that they’re overly religious, it’s just that they’re backwards. Really, I think that they were just too proud to ask how the railroad worked and ended up living in the mountains as a result (it happens more often than you think, just look at Canada).

Actually I haven’t been to Amish country yet. Although I figure I’m less than an hour away from them so that makes me as much an authority on Amish life as I am on anything else.

Speaking of anything else, what’s Pennsylvania like? I mean really. All I see is snow right now. I’m hoping that when the snow starts to thaw, I’ll see some colonists that are still angry at King George for the Stamp Act. Then again, it’s not like I can wait until global warming starts to set in. I don’t have 20 years to spare (or four if we keep electing Republicans).

Driving in Pennsylvania bites, by the way. I don’t know if I just need to drive in better roads, but what’s the deal with 60 mile per hour speed limits? And who had the bright idea to build a highway that goes straight through a town that seems to be composed entirely of one road? And the road is congested… And it’s one-way the whole way…

But enough of driving in the snow-covered roads (or sidewalks, whatever. Hey, how am I supposed to know? They’re snow-covered!), what about the people of Western Pennsylvania? What are they like?

First off, let me say that Pennsylvania is just as diverse as New Mexico. The only difference is that New Mexico is has mostly white and latino people, where as here you go all the way from the milk-white and blond stereotype to the eggshell-white and dirty blond extreme! Yes siree, they’re a diverse group here. Add in about 50 black and asian people and you get the gist of Indiana, Pennsylvania.

Actually, that’s probably not fair. Indiana is actually very representative of all of the major races in the world. Provided that those races are white.

And how does the college here (the Indiana University of Pennsylvania) match up to NMSU? Well, the name is much cooler for one. Also, the dorms are way better, although the meal plans suck. Not nearly as much as the parking situation, though.

The people in the campus are cool too. They smoke like James Dean on a nicotine trip. It’s funny, really. There’s like a 2000% increase in smoking up here (although coffee consumption is about the same). Perhaps I shall do a study on that later. Or a series of pranks. It’s all really the same thing.

What about the town, you ask? Well, there’s a Wal-Mart, a movie theater, and a mall that has a sub shop that gave my neighbor a hideous allergic reaction. That’s actually why we went to the hospital in the introduction. I’m glad you cared enough to ask, by the way…

One last thing:

Special thanks to Jessy Salinas who was the longest-winded and most eloquent of the 400, million, billion, gajillion responders that I had to last week’s question. Because she settled my query, she gets an honorable mention here (as opposed to being dishonored by being earlier on) and a free Pix Capacitor soon. Here is her answer in its entirety:

“Missouri was a slave states that stayed in the Union. So they were still considered part of the north. 😀 ”

Now I’m wondering whether I should ask a question every week. Would that be fun? I don’t know… I’ll get back to you on that.


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    Love you,

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