Sunday, September 27, 2009

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was 9/27/09

It's Sunday morning, time to take an off topic look back at the week gone by in images and words. As I go about my day, I always have my camera with me. You never know when that Pulitzer moment might come up, right?

My week started off on a great note -- a walk downtown to the second day of the First Annual Central American Independence Festival (celebrating the independence of Central America from Mexico) in Plainfield (NJ). The day was gorgeous, the food was tasty, and the atmosphere of the crowd made me smile.

Then, with a return to work after my staycation, things went downhill. Monday morning I had that tickle in the back of my throat warning me a cold was coming. My allergies decided to kick in full force along with the Killer Cold. A lot of things had to get done at work -- things left for me while I was on vacation, a new trainee to train, and bizarre happenings. I went in before the dawn most mornings this week returning home twelve hours later. Blech. I ended up awake during the nights because of congestion. Woe is me!

That's why I was a bit quiet this week. I was a coughing, sniffling zombie. Last night and today I'm super-medicating -- Dayquil, Nightquil,cough drops, tissues, and an extended nap! After all, I have to be on my toes (or at least alert) for the two-hour season premiere of The Amazing Race!

On the home front, Vincent is doing well. He's playing a bit more and really enjoys sitting in the window. Wait until the leaves are off the tree and he can see the squirrels chase each other on the branches. He's going to love that. He's definitely a love-bug kind of cat. If he had his way, he'd be somehow attached to me at all times. I told him they haven't declared a "take your cat to work" day yet.

Due to an over abundance of work and an under abundance of good health this week, I really didn't do much other than work and sleep (with the exception of the festival last Sunday). However, something happened on the train that I know you guys will appreciate --

Thursday as I headed home from work I noticed there were many more women than usual getting on the train. My ride home goes to Newark, New York City. Usually I can tell what the crowds are heading towards the city in the evening -- Devils game people with their make-up, Giants, Jets, Yankees, Mets, Rangers ... you name it fans ... with their jerseys on, rock concert attendees. It's usually easy to figure out the crowds.

But every stop, more women. The ages ranged from late twenties to sixties. Women all over the train. A plethora of women. And, they were all going to Newark. Huh? What's up with that? Thankfully, it wasn't just me noticing the influx. The conductor finally asked the women seated across the aisle from me, "What's going on in Newark tonight?"

It was the So You Think You Can Dance tour. The male conductor was clueless. But I joined in on talk about the show with some of the influx. I could actually imagine some of them might be readers of the blog. But I didn't mention it. We talked about Evan and his brother, as well as this week's audition show.

Onto this week's photographs I've taken ... clicking on an image will open it larger in its own window.

El Primer Festival Centro Americano

Sunday in Plainfield, New Jersey. This was a lot of fun and I believe it had to be a huge success as far as events in the city. Great food, a live band, a mechanical bull, bouncy castles for the kids, beer for the adults, and goods of all kinds. This city has an ever-growing population of Hispanics from more countries than I can name. While at times I find the language a barrier to getting to know some of the folks, most I speak to or greet on the sidewalks are friendly and pleasant people.

Cowboy Boots Flourish in New Jersey

I swear I see more cowboy boots in town than I did when I lived in Southern California. Cowboy boots, cowboy hats, and those humongous shiny belt buckles. Plainfield, NJ. Who woulda thunk it? These boots were on sale at the festival. I made the background black and white to bring out the color in the boots.

The Smiles of Children

What a great day for the kids! I was surprised that more folks outside of the Latino culture didn't attend in droves. Black and Latino folks make up most of the population here. As a white middle-aged woman, I'm probably low on the demographics chart. Hey, I went and had a good time. You didn't have to be a Latino to enjoy the food and the day.

The Bull Claims a Victim

This mechanical bull was much more safe than ones I've seen in bars. It was mounted on and surrounded by a huge bouncy castle. I'm sure they adjusted its speed and bucking to mild for the kids. They all had a good time on it.

Laughing at Defeat

It doesn't matter that the bull threw him on his head.

Fantasy Furniture Warehouse

This was early in the day before the crowds arrived. This company doesn't exist anymore, nor has it been around since I've been in the area. But, apparently once it was "as seen on TV."

The Corn Man

Mmm ... roasted corn. I bought some of that and pollo on a stick. Er, chicken on a stick.

Food, Food, Glorious Food

Thankfully my cold hadn't kicked in and I could still taste food on Sunday. The rest of the week it was all cardboard to me.


Why don't we date our buildings these days? Are we thinking planned obsolescence? Do we think they won't last into the next century? This is a building on East Front Street in Plainfield.

We Should Do This More Often, Too

Where have all the gargoyles gone? I like ornate doohickeys on buildings. When did they stop doing that? I want them back! Another East Front Street building in Plainfield.

In a crosswalk, but no markings

They painted the curbs yellow, but this intersection at Roosevelt and East Front in Plainfield has absolutely NO markings for the crosswalk. Thankfully there is a traffic light there. I cannot fathom why painting the curbs was important but the crosswalks are ignored.

Gone to Seed

Nature's beauty in a weed. Achoo.

Honeybee on Spotted Knapweed

I've seen more honeybees this week than I have all summer. I had to look up the plant. Spotted knapweed, it's all over the place and it's an "invasive" plant which is taking over the terrain. For me, this was my shot of the week. That bee is probably less than a half-inch long and he came out looking fine and detailed. That is, if I do say so myself.

I Can't Do This

I can never sleep in public places. I just can't. But so many do it on the train. It's their own fault they end up in blogs like this. NJ Transit train, Raritan Valley Line.

Sunrise Through the Trees

This is the Plainfield Train Station just as the sun was rising.

Man Versus Nature

A flower struggles to escape its fence on East Second Street in Plainfield.

Sunrise on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield

As I approached the train station one morning.

No Bicycles on Sidewalk

As a pedestrian, I'm really getting irked at all the adult men riding bicycles on the sidewalks in Plainfield. Not women, not even children (the kids on sidewalks are more understandable) ... I'm talking the men who use bikes as their means of transport. They are supposed to follow the same rules of the road (and be ON the road) as cars. They don't belong on the sidewalk. Well, unless they're parked, of course.

Vincent in Black and White

A white with a touch of grey cat in black and white. Yeah, we had a photo session.

You Are SO Not Putting That on the Blog

Well, I did.

Really Settled In

I can't imagine what this cat has gone through which left him a stray on the streets of New York City. His nightmares are behind him and he seems to be very contented and comfortable here.


RJM in SC said...

thanks for your week in pictures Jackie, sorry you did not feel well and had to work so hard. Hope this is a better week for you.

Becky said...

Ah, it's Sunday, and I had to rush to my favorite part of the blog.

I am so happy you included pictures of Vincent in you collection this week.

I had wondered why not many posts from you last week -- now I see why. Killer work hours and a killer cold. Kick back and sleep all day!

I bet poor Vincent wondered what he did wrong. You were with him all the week before and then were gone from pre-daylight to dark this week.

See you tonight for the kick off of TAR.

Delee said...

Wish I lived near that festival...I would have stuffed myself on the food.

Sorry to hear that a bug got to you, hope you are feeling better now.

That was a pretty sunset thanks for sharing it with us. I can see the sunrise from my house but have to work at it to see the sunsets. When we lived in CO we looked out on Pikes Peak (west) and witnessed glorious sunsets.

I had to laugh at the Vincent pic that you captioned "do not use this pic". I would not want that one used either if I was a kitty!!!

Sad you could not join the women heading to SYTUCD, I know you would have enjoyed that!

Finally AR can not wait!!!

Donna in AL said...

Hi Jackie, so sorry you are under the weather!
I would have ate myself silly at that festival!
Vincent looks regal in black and white and stoned on catnip or your cold medicine in the other one. I cannot believe he was a stray, sounds like he is so an inside kitty!
See you tonight for TAR and rest today!

Margo said...

Hey Miss Jackie-

I hope you get well soon. I Love Love Love your picture of the dandelion. I stole it as a possible future avatar. If that is not ok I will delete it. But I love love love it. I also likes the bee picture. You sure do have an eye for a beautiful picture.

I'm looking forward to TAR tonight.
I stole your idea Becky. Go poker chicks!

Laurie said...

Good morning Jackie. I hope you are on the mend and feel better by tonight. Love the bee picture and the dandelion. I'm glad to read you are seeing more bees because they were getting scarce. We have a lot, too, since my garden is geared towards attracting bees, butterflies and birds. I love seeing them hanging around!

See you tonight for TAR. I'm so excited to see the premier and get this trip going. I think it's my favorite reality show ever!

Please give Vincent a snuggle for me and enjoy your Sunday hanging out with him!

Lisanne said...

Sorry to hear you are under the weather.

Lets hope the games don't delay A/R too late here on the east coast for those of us who have to get up early tomorrow (and aren't used to staying up extremely late)

SueGee said...

Ready to Rumble!!!! TAR tonight goody goody!!

Sorry to hear you have a nasty cold Jackie. Self medicating can work and I hope you are feeling better by the time the show is on tonight.

Vincent sure looks the definition of contentment. He must be liking his own box and food and not having to share or fight for it all! Rescue kitties do pay us back, don't they? Lucy is finally learning that I have days off and she doesn't have to try and wake me up those days..


Bet said...

Thanks for your week in pictures,Jackie. I love your pictures but especially Vincent. I cannot imagine why he wouldn't want you to use the chubby cheeks pic...LOL. I am so happy for you both.

RyzandShyn said...

Sorry about your cold and the overabundance of work. Funny how often it seems that as soon as we relax we get zapped.
Fun about the ladies you encountered. My daughter had a similar experience with her friends on the way to American Idol tour show...all ladies, all ages, lots of talk about the season.
You had me laughing like a loon at your TV Squad Survivor post. Evil Russell and mean eye-candy-gone-wrong Ben. Too funny because it's true. Yasmean was too much to watch, I was embarrassed for her because she had no clue, so I covered my head with my TV blanket.

PDX Granny said...

Ah, The Week that Was. My Sunday is now complete.

I'm sorry you've been under the weather, Jackie. Hopefully the worst is behind you now.

Goodie said...

You are a worker bee and probably work so hard you get sick!! Sorry about that.

I would be so sad if I were on a train or subway...whatever...and there you were chatting and never knowing it was the famous Jackie who provides so much joy for so many people! Sigh!!

Margo said...

I'm gonna be late to the party so I wanted to put this out there if someone wants to move it to the show party.


Swimming Suits are NOT optional
NO Running (suspended for TAR Pool)
NO Roughhousing
NO Horseplay
NO Name Calling (of fellow posters)
NO Swearing
NO Glass containers
NO Spitting
NO candy bars in the pool
NO public displays of affection in the pool

We are only here to have fun so everyone please PLAY NICE.

Which ever team wins the Pool gets bragging rites until the next season starts.

The Teams are:

Meghan & Cheyne - DKNYNC, ChicMc, Joanie
Maria & Tiffany - Margo, Becky, Donna in FL
Marcy & Ronald - Meb, Laurie, Monty924
Gary & Matt - Delee, Lisanne, Brent McKee
Ericka & Brian - jennasmom, Caroline, Zoetawny
Eric & Lisa - Lynn1, Jackie, Joe in NY
Lance & Keri - Dusty, Donna in AL, Petals
Herbert & Nathaniel - EileenM, Sizzie,
Garrett & Jessica - Rbennie, Tessa,
Dan & Sam - Sydney, PDXGranny
Zev & Justin - Nana in NW, Karen in CA,
Mika & Canaan - SueGee, ML

Good Luck to all participants.


Margo aka The Lifeguard

monty924 said...

So nice to come home from a weekend away from the computer to read your 'week that was' post. Vincent is absolutely gorgeous in B/W. Sorry you've been under the weather this week. I hope you've been taking it easy today and just cuddling up with your new snuggle buddy.

I'm excited to get TAR underway tonight. Football is running late here, so... I'm sure the blog party will be starting late tonight. Sigh!

See everyone later for the P-A-R-T-Y!!

sizzie said...

Jackie, it took me all day to get over here, but I knew I had to find time to look in before TAR post goes up. I look forward to your week in and words. All the photos, esp Vincent are wonderful, I love the Sunrise through the trees, and you are right, I can see the layers on the bee...Good Work !

Jennasmom said...

More great photos, Jackie! Loved the bee one - you should send that into one of those wildlife photo contests National Wildlife Federation has several times a year. Great shot. Vincent looks well & happy. Hope you are feeling better soon. Take it easy, girl!

Sally said...

Seeing that glorious sunrise almost makes it worhtwhile to have to get up and out that early in the morning. And I agree about the gargoyles and other decorative touches to buildings--they added character and a touch of pride that's lacking in the nondescipt concrete boxes being built these days.

Love the photos of Vincent. No wonder he's contented when his new home provides everything he lacked as a stray: a steady supply of food and clean water, no menacing people or animals, safe and comfortable places to sleep, shelter from the weather and most important, a loving human companion who always comes back home and pets him.

Hope you're feeling much better this week!

Sydney said...

I can't believe you loaded all those pics and wrote such a great entry feeling like drek. But I guess you got through the whole week with far more to do and did that. I truly hope you are feeling better Jackie, that all sounded miserable.

I of course love the pics of Vincent. The last one.. I just want to pet his nose with one finger like my cat liked me to do... it looks so soft! I LOVED the middle pic of him the "you're so not going to post this one" one. And I think my faves of the others were the cowboy boots and man vs nature. Nature was not doing too badly there. The flower is full and blooming.

Sydney said...


Watched my Tivoed GOod Wife last night. liked it but also thought, sigh I have no more room unless TV is EXCELLENT or really interesting, like Dexter...

I thought the good wife was a little formulaic, in that you can see just what will happen, the set ups of character conflicts are common, and you know how each ep will end... even though I really like the cast. If anyone else watched, what did you think?

Did anyone see Geena Davis in the series where she played the first female president? That was pretty out of the box -- opposite of above, imo

meb said...

Really late getting over here Jackie.

Loved Vincent's pix...gorgeous. Also enjoyed the nature pix especially the yellow jacket. They are finally coming back. Hardly saw any this summer.

Sydney, I have The Good Wife taped (2 so far) but haven't watched it. Not sure I want to watch the poor wife being miserable. Not sure I consider that entertainment.

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