Sunday, April 11, 2010

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - 04/11/10

It's Sunday morning, time to reflect back on the past week in words and photographs I've taken. We're in the full-tilt spring phase here as each day brings new blossoms on trees only to have them gone the next. We started out the week here in the New Jersey area with record high temperatures. Yes, over 90 degrees in early April should be illegal. But the last few days brought about more actual spring temps with very cool overnights. Ah, that's how I like it!

I mentioned in a Facebook update that a note was shoved under my door after 11 PM one night warning me that "We will be having a party Saturday night in 3_. If our noise bothers you, please feel free to knock on the door. Thank you." Now, of course, the proper etiquette would be to invite me. But that aside, all I could think of was that it's a different floor and a different wing way away from my apartment and that it must be quite the party planned if they're warning the entire building.

In talking with another person from that floor, I found out the "why" behind the note. It seems that the people in that apartment are a couple of young women who, when they first moved in, were partying every night. The neighbors surrounding them resorted to calling the police because the landlord does nothing about noise or disturbance issues. Huh. And here I thought there were new considerate folks living here. By the way, I heard no noise or even foot traffic in the hallway from their party.

Nothing truly interesting has happened here this week. I'm getting tired of the "news" being all about celebrities cheating, who is gay, etc. Am I the only one in America who really doesn't care if someone I don't personally know is cheating? Is gay even news these days? Maybe I'm just jaded or something. Sure, I'd want to know if a romantic interest of my own or a close friend's spouse was out there with a dozen others, but someone who's never been a real part of my life? Sheesh, enough already.

As for the gay matter, what's the big deal? Many people are gay, it happens. I don't think I've been surprised since about the time Rock Hudson came out of the closet, or on a personal level with friends, since I was about 14. Why are they wasting space on the news about this? I could be learning things from the news (which I do occasionally), instead I hear on and on about Tiger Woods, Jessie James, and Ricky Martin. I really don't care. I'd rather find out that they're trying to do something to stop the fungus that's killing 90% of the bats in the northeast. I'd rather learn about cultural dances from other countries. I guess anything outside of celebrity gossip ... which is weird coming from a TV blogger. But the news is getting usurped with all this celebrity stuff. /soapbox

Now that my rant is over, what else is on my mind? Oh. I know. I'm in countdown to vacation. I'm only working three days this coming week. On Friday, I have to take Vincent to be boarded (shh, don't tell him) and on Saturday, I'm flying out to Texas to meet up with some fine folks to spend about five days in the lap of luxury. Yay! Of course, the three workdays will last an eternity, but ...!

Onto this week's photos -- if you click on an image, it will open larger in a new window.

Plainfield Train Station at Dusk

Now when I get home after work on Saturday evening, the sun has just set.

Fresh and new poison ivy!

Ain't it cute? Bridgewater, NJ.

Darwin's Theory?

This is just plain foolishness. In Newark, I once saw a drunk sitting on the platform. When the train came in, he lost his legs from the knees down. You do NOT balance on the edge of the platform, especially as a train is coming in! Lose your balance, you're dead. Don't move quick enough, you're hit or dragged. Or, at the very least, they won't let you board the train because you're being an idiot. That does happen -- I've seen them refuse to board people who cross the tracks instead of using the tunnels (which you can't do in Plainfield because it's a raised platform). This particular man backed up in time, but he's an idiot anyway.

Plainfield Train Station in sepia

Along with the inevitable Omar. He's not like the Omar in The Wire. I'm not sure if he has a home or lives at the station. I know he's there just about any time I board or leave a train, no matter what hour of the day. I've never seen him board a train, yet he's there. He helps people with the ticket machine and lets people know if the train is delayed or boarding on the other track (which they do have official announcements for). I'm sure he hopes for money, but he's never asked me for a thing. He obviously has some issues, but he's harmless. And, as odd as it is to say, I think that if someone did bother me, he'd probably help me.

Every city and town I've lived in has had some street characters in 'em. Up in Connecticut, I had Al Gibbs -- he would get drunk, stand in the street and direct traffic, and offer to go to the bootlegger for people. Connecticut has strict alcohol laws -- no beer or liquor sold after 8 PM except for inside of bars and restaurants (no carryout) and none at all on Sundays. I never was all that into alcohol, so no bootlegger bottles for me. But I bet Omar wasn't a Navy SEAL like Al was in his much younger days!

Aw, pretty!

This is one of the trees on the north side of the Plainfield Train Station. Soon it will just be green leaves.

Another tree in bloom

This one is by the Bridgewater Train Station

Yet another!

I took this shot mid-week. The blossoms were all shriveled and gone by Saturday.

More baby poison ivy leaves

I edited this photo to leave the poison ivy in color, the background black and white. Bridgewater Train Station.

More Plainfield Train Station blossoms

Friend or F.O.E.?

The view down the sidewalk on Church Street all decked for the season. By the way, where you see the greenery on the right, there's also poison ivy mixed in there around the fence by the cemetery, but I haven't seen it awaken yet this season.

Obviously, F.O.E.

This is no longer the Eagle Club, though. It's the Heard One Complex with banquet rooms for parties, weddings, and such. Just as well ... you know those birds are conspiring to take over the world. I'd be leery of Eagle Clubs.


North Street in Plainfield. I edited the shot to make it more drawing/painting-like. They're doing a lot of digging, but some of the bricks in the party wall on the right look real precarious. I can see this dragging out for months at the expense of city taxpayers.

More spring!

The trees on Church Street have already peaked and now are delivering their debris all over the place. Achoo!

Church Street (again)

Last time, I promise. I think this little street is so pretty in the spring ... so peaceful, almost bucolic.

Pretty in pink

Another shot I edited to highlight the pink blooming tree. This is the Scott Way Townhome complex off of East Front Street in Plainfield.

Jersey Boys

Many of the local schools were on spring break this past week. These trendsetters (notice the socks on the boy on the right) were hanging out at the Bound Brook Train Station. When the train left, they tried to outrun it. Um, yeah, boys. Edited to leave only the boys in their original state.

East Front Street (Plainfield) just before sunrise

On my early days for work, the sun rises on my journey now.

The last Church Street photo ... really!

A Cacophony of Color

This is by the edge of the Field of Geese at the Bridgewater Train Station.

Plainfield Municipal Court

Edited, obviously. I was going for the pen and ink effect and not quite making it. Hmmm ... wonder if my knee would set off the metal detector? I'll find out Saturday if it sets off the ones at the airport.

'shrooms, dude!

I messed with the editing on this one, too. But, with this one, I'm pleased with the results. The mushrooms were all black and shriveled by the next day.


Sigh, I feel bad about having him boarded. He'll be in a much better place than he was at the shelter -- no dogs barking and relatively quiet. He'll have his own cat condo, toys, food, litter box, sleeping mat, etc. But he's so "I want to be on you or near you all the time" that it's not going to be easy for him. However, once he's back home, I'm sure he'll be happy once again. I'll have to warn them that he likes to jump on and drape over shoulders.

How was your week?


Donna in AL said...

Spring has finally sprung! Beautiful pictures as per your usual... See you tonight for TAR but I may just be lurking as is my norm.

Margo said...

I love all the flowering trees. And Yea we made it another week. Texas is going to be so much fun. You deserve a fun vacation.

joy n said...

I love, love, love your photos this week! The flowers, the trees, the scenes. I love spring most of all. It's like everything is awakening again. July and August around here can be just as uncomfortable as winter most years.

Glad to hear that party turned into a non-event for you.

Hope your trip is wonderful and fun. Sounds like Vincent will have all he needs to hold his attention until you get back. Think about what you'll wear when you pick him up to bring him home, tho. Maybe some padded shoulders. LOL!

Rochelle said...

WOW -- all those flowering tree pictures, especially the close ups, are award winners. Ditto the mushrooms. I really think the East something street picture just before sunrise of the blue-predawn sky and the streetlamp lighting up the under branches of the flowering tree is amazing. It should be in a gallery and on people's walls, framed and matted!!

And ITA about the news. No soapbox there... but now that we have ten zillion channels going 24/7 they all need content...............

Sally said...

I love your photos and photo editing, and I'm also enjoying your tales of interesting characters like Omar and Al Gibbs. You seem to be unusually aware of your surroundings (people, nature, architecture, city life), and have a great ability to appreciate the idiosyncrasies.

Hope your vacation in Texas is wonderful. The shelter sounds like a nice place, and I'm sure Vincent will do well. Maybe leave something with him that smells like home and you--like a pillowcae or shirt. (Wish I lived close enough to stop by to feed Vincent.)

I share your frustration with the "non-news" that is presented as news these days. There are enough web sites and syndicated shows that deal exclusively with celebrity gossip and drivel--I'd think the "legitimate" cable and broadcast news operations could devote their resources to things that actually matter.

Laurie said...

Love, love, love the blossoming trees. Thank you for sharing those with the rest of us. Spring is definitely arriving in a blaze of glory!

I agree on the faux news, too. Don't care about any of that stuff once, and I really don't care to hear it over and over and over again.

Hope you have a great time in Texas. Vincent will miss you but I'll bet he gets to snuggle with one of the caretakers. I know I'd snuggle if I was around!

Looking forward to tonight's TAR.

Jennasmom said...

Beautiful photos, Jackie! I'm looking forward to seeing my area of Texas through your eyes. Don't forget to take that camera on vacation! Hope you have a safe, fun trip!