Sunday, July 04, 2010

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July! With the holiday falling on a Sunday, no one quite knows when to celebrate. Here in Plainfield (NJ), the fireworks were Friday night while the parade was Saturday. The official state observance is tomorrow. As far as I'm concerned, TODAY is the holiday. I had to work both yesterday and tomorrow, so this is my Independence Day.

It's also Sunday, so it's time for me to reflect on the week gone by in words and photographs I've taken. I took the photo of the flag above and then messed with it. I had to work yesterday, so I took pre-parade photos. Otherwise, they're just things which caught my eye as I traveled about heading to work and returning home.

We had a brief respite between heat waves -- three or four days with decent temperatures. But we're heading into a long stretch of above 90 degree temps here as I write this. Since the city (NYC) hit 89 yesterday, we might have started here already. It's usually warmer in inland NJ than along the shore. The humidity wasn't bad, though. That's what does me in during heat waves. Blech!

My week in real life has been quiet. But since the Big Brother 12 cast news came out, I've had plenty to do! Earlier this week my take on the cast, twist and house went up over on TV Squad. And, I'm catching up here on the blog with the videos. The show premieres Thursday with the live feeds going live later that evening.

My apartment building was remarkably quiet when I returned home from work last night. Huh. Did everyone go camping or something? Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I like quiet. But it's odd on a Saturday evening to not hear anything passing through the halls.

Maybe everyone was out partying at the big Hispanic festival downtown which lasted until 10 PM. That's on again today and, while I'm tempted -- I went last year and enjoyed myself -- I'll probably skip it due to the heat. I saw the results of beer and partying last night when I got into town.

A Plainfield cop was trying to prop a drunk upright and tell him he was going to call him a cab when there was a definite alcohol and language barrier. I was tempted to go by, yell "You're a cab!" at the man, but restrained myself. I'll admit to enjoying a frosty-cold beer on a hot day myself. However, I wouldn't enjoy having a dozen of them! I don't like the feeling of being drunk. With beer being sold at the festival, I'm sure many imbibed all day and will do it again today. The food is great. But I'm probably just going to hide from the weather while I can.

Onto this week's photos ... clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window.

I met a clown

This was yesterday among the throngs of locals all ready for the parade as I headed to work. I got a nifty pen and washcloth with handcuffs and bail bond advertising on it. I really don't foresee me ever having to use a bail bond service, but I used the pen all day at work yesterday! I messed a bit with the editing of the photo to make it appear a bit more like an illustration. Watchung Avenue, Plainfield.

Patriotism (and commercialism) abounds

I want a hat like that dude's! Also on Watchung Avenue pre-parade yesterday. I believe the jail-outfitted person was with the bail bonds clown.

Staking out shady seats

I realized yesterday that I'm spoiled. The parade passes right by my apartment each year. If it's too hot, I can sit in my recliner chair with the AC on and watch it go by. The start point is about four blocks from my building. If I want to be there, all I have to do is go outside when I hear the noise coming.

I took this shot probably an hour to ninety minutes before the parade was even expected to pass through this section of downtown (Watchung Avenue and East Front Street). I couldn't believe all the people set up so early! I've never seen the parade as it went through downtown before as it's so easy just to watch from home. Of course, I didn't see it yesterday as I had to work. But I know local blogger Dan Damon was out there with his camera as I bumped into him the evening before.

The judging stand

Oh, cool! They actually had the flags from all fifty states flying! The main judging stand was set up in front of the YWCA on East Front Street.

What? No SpongeBob SquarePants?

I see Dora, Tweety and Spider-Man! East Front Street, Plainfield.

Mr. Lee not in his pimp suit

My downstairs neighbor was hanging out in front of the Monarch/Senior Citizen Center on East Front Street. Since my last shot of him featured his bright blue (with lavender shirt) "pimp suit," I figured I'd show he can be "normal." Well, that was until he showed me pictures of himself in drag performing Aretha Franklin's "RESPECT" at a recent talent show in the Senior Citizen Center. I don't think he realizes real drag queens shave off their facial hair!

In the spirit of the day

I edited this shot to leave only the woman in color. Also on East Front Street.

Hey, dude ... you can't be tired already!

At the corner of East Front and Richmond long before the parade started.

I wonder if these are blowflies?

You know the kind -- the ones on CSI which can determine when a body died! They were definitely more colorful than your average housefly. Obviously, they were outside, not in a house.

Starting the day

This was early in the morning on North Avenue across from the Plainfield Train Station. One man leaves his apartment, the other gets his coffee. Me? I'm over at the train station looking for photo fodder! I edited this a bit for illustration value.

Here comes the sun ... flowers!

Yes, the sunflowers have bloomed on East Front Street! Unfortunately, the plants are WAY taller than I am and I can't get a decent shot from the front without going up on the porch of this house. I don't think they want me doing that. Eventually, some sunflowers will be more in reach. The early morning sun lighted these up nicely.

A hazy shade of summer

Yeah, I know the song is supposed to be winter, but ...! I took this shot early in the morning the last day of our previous heatwave. That would be Monday morning. This was taken from the corner of Watchung Avenue and East Second Street with the back of the post office silhouetted on the right.

Y oh Y?

Here's more on the disrepair going on at the YWCA on East Front Street. Seriously, it wouldn't take much to chip off that old paint and slap up fresh, as well as to fix minor things like that frame piece. So many people take advantage of the YWCA's programs. Why can't they give a little back and treat this cool historical building to a very minor (and cheap) facelift on the windows?

A damselfly poses for me

He was pretty cooperative. Since the "needle" part can't be more than a sixteenth of an inch wide, I managed to get pretty close. This shot is one which might be best viewed by clicking on it to open it larger in a new window. Hmm ... maybe since it's a "damselfly," it's a she. I have no clue how to tell. I should be satisfied that I know it's a damselfly.

"On the first part of the journey

I was looking at all the life
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz"

And the sky with no clouds

The heat was hot and the ground was dry
But the air was full of sound -- "Horse With No Name" by America

I remember analyzing that song in a philosophy class back in high school. It really makes no more sense to me today than it did back then. Sometimes I feel I've spent my whole life in a desert on a horse with no name. But, then again, "in the desert you can remember your name 'cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain." Oh, such slaughter of the English language!

I took this shot of the Strawberry Moon over East Front Street in Plainfield early Monday morning.

Another damselfly

I so wanted to get a decent shot of one of the blue ones! They just wouldn't stay still for me. Then, when I got the shot, he blends in a bit with the leaf. His abdomen (?) was even thinner than the previous damselfly. The sunshine diluted the blue color which was actually quite vivid.

I see dead people

On the New Jersey Transit train heading to work. I'm probably a bit old-fashioned, but that neck tattoo combined with the plain white dress shirt, tie, and cheap-looking suit ... well, it reminded me of stories I've read about prisoners being released from jails with a fresh suit and a couple of bucks as they complete their sentence. I don't think they do that anymore. I'm thinking of stories I read back in the 60s.

Eating like a bird

Mmm ... pizza for the chickadee! This is one bird who's forgotten that birds will take over the world and is thanking mankind for pizza crust.

Busy Bumbler

The bushes are still alive with bumblebees in Bridgewater. Those bees are generally accepting of both my camera and me, but don't really stay still for long except when their butts are sticking out of a blossom. And that, of course, kind of blows the shot! I'm allergic, but I don't really fear bumblebees at all. They're a good-natured kind of bee (if such a thing exists).

I'm up! Where's my food?

Poor Vincent had to deal with the noise from the parade yesterday all on his own. He's not easily frightened and didn't seem any worse for wear when I got home. But I think he probably didn't like the loud music and fire engine sirens. He might have liked the horses.

How was your week?


RyzandShyn said...

Well, good morning, hello, and long time no see (my fault, not yours).
I figured I'd better come get the skinny on that BB house of strangers before the shindig begins.
The week had some beautiful days for sure. I remember one day in particular featured a late August feel with 9/11 blue skies.
I'm glad to see Vincent looking so handsome. You should have a nice 1 year anniversary party with him.
Also glad to see you out and about taking photos and having fun with them. I trust all body parts are in (at least) working order. That's a good thing.
Ready for the fun. Good to read you.

Anonymous said...

Love all the photos. Nut realllly LOVE the pic of Vincent! Happy July 4th!

SueGee said...

Happy Birthday America!

No parades here, and no sponsored fireworks, but I'm sure our neighbors will do their usual thing and keep us jumping tonight! I do have a 3-day weekend off from work to enjoy tho! And in two weeks I actually have a whole week off!!

Great pics as usual Jackie! And its "game on" for BB now!!

Sue on the left coast

monty924 said...


Love your photos as always, Jackie.

joy n said...

Great pix, as usual! Your "Closer Look" piece is also up over on AOL.

We're getting that week of 90's and the humidity here too. God bless whoever invented AC.