Sunday, April 10, 2011

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - April 10, 2011

It's Sunday morning, a bit later than I usually do this, but ... it's time for my weekly off television topic look back on the week gone by in both words and photos I've taken. Although it felt good, I conked out early last night and slept in this morning. Thus, this is going up later than usual. I tell you -- eleven hours of sleep is indeed refreshing! I rarely do that.

It was a hectic week for me with tons o' stuff still going on in my regular job. I believe I've mentioned in the past that I do not like chaos and running around to put out fires. I'm more of a "do something right the first time, then move onto the next thing" kind of person. I swear I work with "let's do stuff fast and then have to redo them because we didn't do a good job" kind of people. Ack. My only saving grace is that I know, although it has its own stress, I'll be having time off this summer with my upcoming right knee replacement.

On my day off from my day job, I got fired from my main paying writing job. No, I did nothing wrong. I was amongst almost all of the freelancers fired from writing on contract at AOL due to Arianna Huffington's "vision." Getting fired via a
non-personalized form email is very irking. I posted more about it on Wednesday here. It's nothing earth-shattering, although I'll miss being a part of it. But it's not like in my heyday when I was earning enough to pay my rent just from that site.

The folks who permalanced there and were dependent on the income are the ones really hurt in the wallet. For me, freelance has always been just that -- I have my day job. My eggs aren't in any particular writing basket. But, as I would like to continue freelancing, now I have to go through all of the connections hassles to see if I can find a paying home for my Big Brother live feeds reports for the summer. Not to worry, they'll always have a home right here on this blog too even if I do pick up a gig. I do know that I won't be posting them anywhere else for "free." There is an income stream from this blog although it's hardly a get rich quick scheme.

I wish the folks remaining at AOL the best of luck. But I'd advise them to have their resumes ready. I was looking at the HuffPo and, although other AOL weblogs blogs are incorporated into it, TV Squad is not (at least at this point). I believe it's going to definitely be a case of job insecurity.

I'll miss my private jet and comfy corner office with the windows I enjoyed at TV Squad. Um ... okay, I lie. There is no comfy corner office and AOL didn't even give me a used bike to get around on! One thing I won't miss is that, on a night like tonight when it's expected that The Amazing Race will be delayed by sports, I won't have to stay up late to write good copy on it and then get up at 5 AM on Monday for my most hectic day of work on my day job! Plus, I'll be able to record other shows I like while watching TAR and I'm not obligated to record TAR to double-check my facts as I write. Nor do I have to sit there and take notes during the show! It's fun to say you get paid to watch television. But in actuality it makes the watching far less enjoyable.

That's not to say I won't take more paying gigs reviewing shows, mind you.

Work (day job) and no work (AOL) issues dominated my week. However, we had a taste of spring with temperatures warming up a bit this week. Although we were off to a cold start and had more than our share of (cold) April showers, yesterday and today are actually spring-like. Tomorrow will be summer-like. Oh come on ... I want SPRING not SUMMER. Sheesh!

Onto this week's photos -- clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window, then hit your back button on your browser to get back to the blog --

I'd like to propose a toast.

This was on the sidewalk in Bridgewater. It brought to mind the midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show back in the late 70s. I was tempted to get a squirt gun, some rice and a newspaper to go with it.

In other odd sidewalk food sightings, there's a trail of wrapped hard candies leading from 520 East Front Street to downtown.

The daffodils are finally looking healthy.

Plainfield Train Station just after sunset.

This was last night as I got off the train. Gorgeous!

Red sky at night.

Last night looking towards the Plainfield Train Station from East Fourth Street.

Coming to life.

In a few months I'll be photographing the bees who frequent the blossoms on these bushes. No, don't ask me what they are. I'm rather flora-ignorant except for the basics.

Man vs. Nature

Nature will win this one. Abandoned railroad tracks outside of Bound Brook, NJ. Our train had to stop and sit yesterday morning as an eastbound train went by. We were down to one track due to track work. But, not on this track!

Man vs. Nature Part Deux

The forsythia is so much more magnificent than the chain link fence. Bridgewater, NJ.

Walk This Way

I edited this one to leave only the pigeon in color. And, I still have "Walk This Way" stuck in my mind from last week's CMA show with Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood performing it. So, there you go. Taken at the Plainfield Train Station.

Only the yellow.

The forsythia on East Second Street in Plainfield seems to be the only color outside of brake lights.

The crocuses bloomed

Finally the YWCA crocuses on East Front Street bloomed earlier this past week. But they were all awkward and ungainly. Now they're already past.

Some looked "normal."


"Don't tell no lies. Dandelion will make you wise." - The Rolling Stones

Watch out worms!

Robin is heading your way! Until I got into photography I didn't realize robins had that white/black marking around their eyes. Odd.

Bunny in da 'hood

East Front Street, next to next door to my apartment building. Plainfield, NJ.

Boys in da 'hood

I've known these two since they were babies. They tell me they're big boys now. They're definitely more streetwise than I was at their ages -- six and seven. I don't know how I attract kids. I seem to be some sort of child magnet. When these two were younger I had to keep telling them they couldn't follow me home.


For those who blog party on Wednesday nights, would this count as SAM? I know it's SPECIAL Agent Man instead of SECRET Agent Man, but ...! Drink up!

This was Tuesday late afternoon near the Plainfield Police Station. A bunch of strange cops were about the area going in and out of where the narcotics team offices are located. It seemed to be visiting police, mostly not in uniforms but with badges and guns. Perhaps they were touring the narcotics team's lovely digs?


Y'know ... I DO see you!

This chipmunk thinks he's hiding behind the fence. It was hard to get my camera to focus on him -- it kept wanting to make the fence clear and the chipmunk fuzzy! Bridgewater, NJ.

Breakfast of Champions

I shouldn't say anything. My legs NEVER looked that good! North Street and Gavett Place in Plainfield.

Now all I need is ...

... opposable thumbs. Yep, I can walk on two feet. Give me those thumbs and I'll take over the world. Plainfield Train Station.

Forsythia against grey skies.

Plainfield Train Station.

Coming along.

The buds are really getting big on the Church Street trees. Soon it will be a spring wonderland of blossoms.

Vincent, you silly cat.

"I'm a cat. I can't be silly. You're the human running around taking pictures of me. Who's the silly one?"

My condolences to DonnaInAL on the loss of her beloved cat Fluffy. I know how much the loss hurts.

How was your week, folks?


RJM in SC said...

So sorry to hear about the job loss. Thanks goodness we still have you for us with Big Brother. Heres hoping you get more paying TV jobs. great pictures as always/

SueGee said...

Red sky at night - sailors' delight! Red sky in the morning - sailors take warning! I'm guessing you have a gorgeous day in there somewhere!

Sue on the left coast

Margo said...

great pics as always. I know you are going to find a home for BB updates. I hope the Masters end on time and we get to watch TAR on time after missing last week.

Sally said...

"Walk this Way" is the perfect caption for that photo of the pigeon! And those boys in da 'hood certainly have winning smiles.

It's great to see the green grass and flowers blooming. We're not too far behind--I opened the windows for the first time this morning.

My sympathies to DonnainAL on the loss of Fluffy. Losing a pet is so difficult.

joey said...


Anonymous said...

The chipmunk is normally fuzzy and the fence, clearly defined anyway, don't fight it!

monty924 said...

Another week of amazing photos, Jackie. Donna so sorry about Fluffy!! BIG HUGS

I have banquet tonight so I will likely miss the show, but have it DVR'd. Enjoy the blog party everyone, and GO TROTTERS!

Becky said...

Jackie, another wonderful week of pictures.

The two smiling boys were adorable. But, alas, Vincent was the best picture of the bunch.

RiseandShine said...

Good Monday Morning!
Sorry to hear about the loss of your writing gig. The e-mail sounds very cold, especially since you've been there so long. If memory serves me correct, I first read you on the AOL message boards for Big Brother. Geez, hard to believe BB2000 was amost 11 years ago now.
I have a similar work style. When someone tries to rush me, I have always repeated the immortal words of Major Charles Emerson Winchester III, "I do one thing at a time. I do it very well. And then I move on."
My week was good. All's well on the work and home fronts. Love the happy mugging of your hood boys and Vincent :)

Donna in AL said...

So sorry about your AOL gig. Maybe you can catch up on sleep for when BB starts up in July.

I never knew what the correct name was for Forsythia until reading your blog. We call them Yellow Bells here, nor did I know the Dandelion was the flower to the seedy part that, as a kid, we pick and blew into the wind.

Thank you for the condolences, they are appreciated. Fluffy is missed so much. He was the best cat or animal I have ever had.