Archive for April, 2012

Just Another Manic Thursday

April 19, 2012

Before I go any further, I gotta send cyber condolences to Dick Clark’s family. How sad is that, that he’s gone? The World’s Oldest Teenager. I think the turning of 2012 was the first time in I don’t know how long I didn’t see him bring in the New Year; we were dancing the night away in a Philadelphia club that this year had no TV monitors as they had in the past. So, thank you, Dick Clark for the years of just always being a part of our existence.

This just in: another passing from the world of celebrity. Jonathan Frid, who played charismatic 200 year old vampire Barnabas Collins on TV’s Dark Shadows has gone to that great Collins crypt in the sky. Let’s just hope he doesn’t forget his fangs for this engagement. He was scheduled to appear at the forthcoming annual Dark Shadows extravaganza held at Lyndhurst, in Tarrytown, NY, where two films based on the TV series were filmed and he is also appearing in Tim Burton’s much-anticipated theatrical remake of Dark Shadows starring Johnny Depp as the famed vampire.

Things happen in three’s, they say. Stay tuned…

So you know how I hate to complain, right? (Crickets chirpping)

The Indiana Department of Education has a new way to spend $7 million of private money in nine high schools throughout the state. Students who score high enough on advanced placement math and science courses to earn college credit will be awarded with $100 in cash. AND, teachers can earn that same amount for each of their high-scoring students. The assistant principal at one of the high schools participating in this nonsense says that this will break the barrier of those students who would otherwise never consider taking these courses and that responsibility of deciding who should or shouldn’t take an AP class now falls from the teacher. Hmm, I don’t know, why have teachers, then? Is this the best they could think of to do with seven million dollars? How about invest it in the teaching of those students who really might not otherwise have a shot at taking an advanced placement course? Just sayin’.

To tax or not to tax, that is the conundrum. Apparently, Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer, wants to re-establish a once repealed bill of taxing commuters. This time around, if Stringer has his way, those who work in NYC but live in any of the other four boroughs, Connecticut or New Jersey (or anywhere from where they must commute) would get socked with a .45 percent tax on earned income. That breaks down to about $350/year for those earning $75,000 and about $450 for a yearly income of $100,000. Governor Andrew Cuomo is not in favor of this tax, though he realized the need to fund mass transit projects. NJ Governor, Chris Christie also is not happy with this proposed tax, most likely because it wouldn’t benefit New Jersey, unlike the recall of unused gift cards which he now says the state can absorb to help pay for whatever it is the suits want to use it for, such as gas for their cars or furnishing their beach condos. Just sayin’.

You know those QR codes, those maze-like looking black and white squares found in magazines and other advertizing media that allows those who can scan them with their cell phones to access even more information on a particular thing? Well, now, a Seattle-based company is considering adding them to the most unexpected of places; on headstones of the deceased bringing to smartphones everywhere, with a click of a button, in depth information, photos and possibly video, whatever is embedded in that little coded square. At first I thought, hmm, it’s kind of ghoulish, but then when you think of the visitors to say, the Vietnam Memorial, who sometimes can only come away with a rubbing of a fallen loved one’s name, you could have the world of your dearly departed at your fingertips. Thoughts?

Well, I could go on, but that would leave me with nothing for tomorrow. So on that note, Brian…OUT!

An Amazing Blog Post

April 18, 2012

That’s enough hair to help a whole lot of people out. That’s amazing. (Ellen)

He has an amazing team of people…(Colin Ferrell about his son James who has Angelman’s Syndrome)

That’s amazing. That’s amazing. (Colin Ferrell to Ellen about a yoga mat she gave him with her picture on it.

This is absolutely probably one of the most amazing surprises to me because….(Lionel Richie on his new album, Tuskegee).

Milo’s Kitchen (dog treats) has this amazing line up… (commercial).

How many people here saw the big game last night? Did you watch? It was so exciting, all those amazing athletes battling it out until only one survived. (Ellen)

Tony, did you enjoy the present I gave you? How could I not. It was amazing, thank you very much.

The red carpet just finished. The show’s about to start. I’ve met the most amazing people (Ellen’s guest turned red carpet correspondent at the ACM awards.)

So nice to meet you. That looks amazing. That movie looks incredible (Ellen to Andrew Garfield, star of the new movie The Amazing Spiderman).

Is that all the time we have for that? That’s a shame, ‘cause we have an amazing show. (Ellen)

And right now I’m gonna show you some web videos. This is just amazing to me.

That’s an iguana and of courses that’s a black and white cat. I always say there’s something about a black and white cat. Isn’t that amazing? (About a cat and iguana snuggling on the window sill–video)

Degeneres, there’s not too many of us around here. He’s hilarious, isn’t he? He’s amazing (Emma Stone answering Ellen about her brother, who Emma has worked with)

You seem so real and down to earth..how old are you? [twenty-three], that’s amazing to be that grounded (to Emma Stone)

Cascade, Iowa, is that a small town? (To a game contestant) Yes, population about 2,500. Wow, that’s amazing, like you have one stop light type of thing?

You’ve sold almost a million tickets. That’s amazing. Go see them, they’re amazing live (about Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney going on tour)

Jennifer Love Hewitt: I just read two days ago the Adam Levine is single again. (Ellen picks up the phone, pretending that she’ll call him for Jennifer after which Jennifer laughs and says…) No way..oh, that would have been amazing. (More about Adam Levine) He’s just a hot guy. He does yoga and his body is amazing.

Jordan [Sparks], sit down. Listening to your album. Sounds amazing on my new beatbox. (Beatbox commercial)

I saw this on Yahoo home page, saw this story and right away called and said I gotta have him on the show. You’re an amazing man. (Captain Dave Anderson, who saved a whale trapped in a net).

The whale came back and thanked you. Dave: It was so amazing.

  

American Idol: [Episode from April 4 and 5 (just totals between the two nights, by person.)]

Steven Tyler: 0

Jennifer Lopez: 11

Randy Jackson: 6

Ryan Seacrest: 0

Contestant / other: 5

What’s amazing about this is Naomi Kutin is only 10 years old and she can lift more than 200 lbs. (News12 story about a weightlifter girl)

It’s just amazing how much the cosmetics business and the dieting industry is how much money they crank out (CNN HLN)

TENA pads are so absorbent they stand up to the twist. Amazing, right?

I went out and bought a little spaghetti strap dress and it was a really amazing feeling (Pro-Active commercial)

Women who shop to win, shop at Kohls, where you’ll always find great brands and great styles, at amazing prices.

New Dunkin Donuts artisan bagels are more… Authentic? Well… Delicious? Amazing?

Nutritionists know that blueberries have amazing antioxidant properties.

The most amazing thing about Sheer Cover to me is how light it is.

Jason Biggs:  I love being married. Jenny’s amazing

All season long we’ve been highlighting teachers and principals who are not just making a difference at their schools but in their communities as well We heard about an amazing principal from San Diego who is doing just that.

Principal Joel Garcia , while talking about the facilities the school provides for the homeless students…amazing, amazing. A lot of it comes from … private donations, different groups, … it’s amazing. (After the break): we’re back with Joel Garcia, an amazing principal.

On the Ford Focus: ….what about fuel efficiency? Amazing.

Total amazing tally, if you add in this one and the one in the title and the tally from American Idol: 63.

THIS BLOG WAS POSTPONED FROM WHEN I ORIGINALLY WANTED TO POST IT. I WANTED TO POST IT ON MONDAY, AFTER A WEEK OF COUNTING “AMAZING’S” (there’s 64). As you can see, Ellen, who I love, is a major contributor, and the week I did this, she had just come back after vacation and her usage of the word was at a dismal, almost purposeful low, as if she knew I’d be keeping track.

#justmakingapoint

A thesaurus is a wonderful tool!

Another Dreamy Weekend

April 17, 2012

Obviously yesterday’s blog was about a dream I had just before I woke up. And in keeping with that line of thinking, today’s is also going to be about another dream I had this past weekend, except this time I’m being up front about it. And I may have to explain one little detail at the end.

I, actually, the both of us, were away at some resort, which is really the only way I can describe it. It kind of gave an entire new meaning to all-inclusive. There were shops, restaurants, at least one swimming pool, several bars and clubs, one of which was on the deck of said swimming pool with a diving board overhead.

The place was teeming with people, from total strangers to celebrities to friends and acquaintances and some who just plain looked familiar. The one crazy thing about this resort it was completely enclosed, maybe like a casino, but I don’t remember any gambling areas, unless I never made it that far.

Well, like in all dreams, you see that one person who you know you know, but can’t place him or replace that person as someone you do know and there was one person I was trying to get to because I “knew” who it was, only I really didn’t. I know it was somebody I went to school with, only he didn’t look anything like what I remembered from way back then. Well, my attention got diverted by a barrage of divers on diving board over the bar and then a gang of celebs in whose path I just had to throw myself, but then my phone started to ring. It was Ariel calling to say to meet him at such and such a restaurant for dinner and I said I’d be there just as soon as I could fight my way through the crowd.

I made my way to a corridor and suddenly I was nearly all alone, except for a few stragglers, probably just on their way to that pool party or lost. I wasn’t sure exactly where I was going, but then suddenly I had an escort. It was current American Idol contestant Hollie Cavanaugh–in ridiculously high high heels like she wears on the show–and she said she would walk with me, even though I couldn’t see her. I just knew she was there.

We kept on walking and came to a restaurant with a railroad theme with “outdoor” seating, which was really in the corridor. Though the furnishings seemed nondescript, I could tell it was authentic old fashioned wooden train car furniture. A double door opened into the actual restaurant, but like the corridor, the interior of the eatery was desolate. Obviously that’s not where I meeting Ariel for dinner.

Hollie and I kept walking, speaking without saying words, and soon we came to a fork in the hallway. Curving to the right with a slight slope downward, was evidently a custodial area, but straight ahead we could make out a set of doors, like an emergency exit. That’s the way we headed by the time I got to the door, I was alone, Hollie had disappeared. I took a deep breath and opened the door and was outside in the fresh air.

The sun was shining and leaves were rustling above and traffic was whooshing by. I turned and looked and there was no doorway, even though, seconds earlier I had just entered the outside through a set of doors. I looked around and the area looked so familiar to me and after a moment of confusion, realized I was standing on Rt 27 near the corner of Main Street in Metuchen.

Metuchen, in case it matters to those of you who don’t know, is the hole in the donut knows as Edison, my hometown, but that still doesn’t explain what the hell that dream was about. Unless maybe I partied maybe one beer to heartily over the weekend.

I’ll Just Make My Own Damn Sandwich

April 16, 2012

Ariel and I were out for a walk. It was early in the morning. Boy, it was good to be back out on the road during the cool quiet hours of the morning, before the sun even crested the horizon. We walked along the tow path, between the river and canal behind the house and were heading north, toward where the old men gather to fish. They were already there and we waved, wished them luck with their catch and kept on walking.

We came to the place we’d recently heard about, and it was just around the bend from where we were standing in the right hand fork of the path. The walking path continued down a small slope toward the clearing closer to the canar, but we needed a break and decided to check out the rest area.

As we rounded the corner and ascended the cobble steps, the view was breathtaking, similar to that which we’d seen the time we visited a friend who recently relocated to Brooklyn. Except it wasn’t the Manhattan skyline we saw across the river, but a wonderful panoramic of an area practically right in our own backyard. A soft breeze blew off the water, cooling our sweaty faces and we decided to enter the building, the back exterior wall of which was reminiscent of an old castle.

Inside was the hustle and bustle like any rest stop one might find on the road when traveling cross country except this was for hikers, joggers, bicyclists…you get the idea.  There were, of course, rest rooms and several food stands, from coffee to snacks to elaborate sandwiches. I don’t recall seeing any seating, but I had zeroed in on a sandwich place and made my way over there while Ariel used the rest room.

I waited my turn while the young woman ahead of me was finished with her order, an American Cheese and tomato on rye. The clerk behind the counter even let the bicyclist customer pick out her own tomato slices from the tray. How thoughtful. How friendly. And I thought this would be a nice incentive to get out walking again and make this the halfway point, maybe even start a bit earlier to allow coming in for a quick drink before heading back home.

Then it was my turn and as soon as I opened my mouth to place my order, someone came running up, holding out an order on a piece of paper. “Quick, gotta get this done, she’s picking it up in 5 minutes”. As that was being negotiated, another woman with a tray of pastries came by, asking if “these” were okay and struck up a conversation with the sandwich maker lady. Then a group of people came and virtually surrounded the counter (apparently they belonged to a marathon bike team) shouting rushed orders so they could get back on the trail.

Meanwhile, Ariel was finished in the powder room and found me amid a fury of people, still not having placed my order and it was time to get heading back for home.

The next thing I heard was “It’s 5:48, time for fast traffic” on the radio. My dream was over and there I was, snuggled up to my neck in my covers and I was pissed that I never got my sandwich.  Even my dreams are mean to me.  Fine, I’ll just make my own damn sandwich.

We Need A New Jersey

April 4, 2012

Remember the iPod snafu I ran into a few weeks ago, when I had to reload all my music so I could reattach the album art that got lost when I upgraded the iPod to IOS5? Well now comes another situation I need to tackle. The iPod is now full. 10,000 songs my foot. I have just over 5,000. Now I have to figure which of my coveted collection to delete so I can put on new coveted music. I guess I could live without The Best Of Trini Lopez so maybe that will save me some space.

My county ranked third in the healthiest in all of New Jersey. That’s because we drink coffee and eat chocolate here. Hunterdon and Morris counties were number 1 and 2 respectively.

Speaking of New Jersey, our illustrious governor signed into law that after two years, the state to recoup the value of unused gift cards. Actually this was done fairly early in his governing tenure. They’re (you know who they are, they’re everywhere and do everything) trying to have this measure stopped, but once it gets to Christie’s desk, you know he’ll veto it, since the original idea of grabbing this money that doesn’t belong to the government was his idea in the first place.

New Jersey will soon be required to obtain zip codes from gift card buyers so that the cards can be tracked and zapped when the two years is up. So far, American Express withdrew its gift cards from store shelves so they don’t have to put up with that nonsense.

This is a heartwarming story. Last week, the letter Dick Hauck wrote to his beloved Arlene in which he formally proposed marriage. It was 1952, when Dick was in the Army and he and Arlene traded letters on a nearly daily basis. But this one never reached its destination. However, while contract workers were doing renovations on Arlene’s childhood home, they uncovered the letter and delivered it to the couple, who have been married nearly 60 years. In the letter which was never received he wrote about the ring he had just bought for her: I got your ring today, I sure hope you will like it. I wish I could have gotten it long ago, darling. A few weeks after the letter was sent, Dick returned home with the ring in his pocket and delivered to his surprised bride-to-be.