Sunday, May 08, 2011

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - May 8, 2011

It's Sunday morning, Mother's Day! So, if you're a mother, I hope you're being pampered by family today (as you should be every day, but that should go without saying). It's also time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photos I've taken. I warn you -- it's going to be active in both arenas today. You might want to grab a cup of coffee.

The biggest news week was the death of Osama Bin Laden. While I'm not going to jump up cheerleading, I must say it's about time and best for the world on the whole. Great job, Navy Seals! What would be better would be if we could turn time back and he never rose to such a power for evil. Alas, that can't be done and our lives are forever changed.

It came to my mind last Sunday night that his followers would be angry and we're always going to have to worry about terrorism. Then I heard an explosion outside. Huh? Already? Targeting my little New Jersey 'hood?

Nope. Yet another drunk driver plowed into parked cars on the street in front of my building. This time I didn't go out to take photos. It was late Sunday night, I was ready for bed and was just waiting for the President to come on television to talk about Bin Laden's demise.

Then there was the talk that trains were planning to be targeted. Okay, I take NJ Transit trains all the time. I, when my knee is feeling up to it or I have something I want to do, am in and out of Manhattan ... via train. There's no way they can screen train (or bus) passengers like they do at airports. Society around this area (Greater NYC Metropolitan) would come to a standstill.

I'm not really concerned on my regular line for my work commute. I suppose we could be tipped over because it's only double-decker trains on the line and they seem a bit top-heavy anyway. But I ride off peak direction -- away from NYC in the morning, towards it in the evening. We'd be a boring target.

In other news, I met my classic rock playing new(ish) neighbor. My curiosity was a bit piqued because I'm probably the only one in my building of 40 (or so) apartments who plays classic rock. He was coming out of his apartment and I introduced myself. I mentioned the classic rock and, lo and behold ... this is good neighbor material ... his first words about that were, "I'm sorry. Did it bother you? If my noise ever bothers you, just knock on the wall and I'll understand."

:::thunk::: A considerate neighbor in that apartment where the Greta Garbo Home for Wayward Boys and Girls existed before?

I explained to him that I LIKE classic rock, just haven't heard anyone other than me playing it here. Plus, just because I can hear something doesn't mean it really bothers me. Fighting bothers me. Music cranked so loud that my walls and floor vibrates bothers me. Even slightly less louder music extremely late at night or early in the morning bothers me. But his classic rock in the afternoon or early evening, just loud enough for me to discern the song, isn't an issue.

He reminds me of Pat Morita in looks (Happy Days and original Karate Kid movie). But he's actually a mix of Chinese and Costa Rican named Carlos. He's in his fifties, lives with his wife and they're taking care of his mother-in-law. That's a two-bedroom apartment as opposed to my one-bedroom. So much better than the last tenants! He told me he hasn't heard me at all. I should be louder, I guess. Yay, good neighbors in that apartment finally!

In yet other news (I warned you this would be long), I went to my orthopedic surgeon's office to sign all the papers for my June 16 knee replacement. Ack. Since the hospital became some sort of top ten in the nation in joint replacement, they've instituted a whole new approach to knee replacement.

I'm not really all that keen on a lot of what they're doing. You see, I'm not great with strangers. I'm a bit of a lone wolf. So, what do they do? They went and started this huge huggy-feely group support stuff.

They want me to have a coach. I'm not going to have a coach. I'm not a pregnant woman with a husband at my side coaching me to breathe right during contractions. I'm not having a mutual interest love child. I'm having a knee replacement meant solely for me. I'm not going to have a friend miss work to go to courses and therapy sessions in the hospital with me. I don't need it. I've had one already.

I know what I'm getting into. I'm grouchy when people hover over me. It's bad enough that the hospital expects me to get into all these group related things (meals with the group, therapy with the group). It's also bad enough that I MUST attend a course prior to my surgery (with the group). They even gave me a huge binder of material to study. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if they decided to give me a pop quiz as I'm coming out of anesthesia!

The good thing is that they are pushing going home after three days and not into rehab. I went home after seven days before due to the blood clot. I was supposed to go to rehab, but didn't as I was doing well at getting around once they let me out of bed. Hopefully I'll be out in three days this time. I know I'll need to get away from all the group hugs from strangers. That will be good until the reunions start. (Yes, they have group reunions, too. ACCCCCCCCKKKKK!)

Onto the photos for the week. I hope you like flowers. Clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window, then hit your browser's back button to return to the blog.

Don't do it! Don't do it!

I watched this tall truck approach the low bridge on Watchung Avenue near the police station last night. He realized it and started creeping under it. Thunk. Oops. So then he decided to back up in traffic. The traffic was about as smart as he was -- getting right in his blind spot as he was backing up! Sheesh!

Here she is to save the day!

A Plainfield police officer happened to be passing by, blocked the intersection of Watchung and East Fourth Streets and got him backed out of there. But the real question is why is Plainfield pink?

This is why

Red skies at night, sailor's delight. The sky over the intersection of the truck incident. Well, it was kind of orange-ish, but there were also pinks and reds.

Tall and tanned and young and lovely ...

... the Girl From Ipanema goes walking to Latino Heat on Watchung Avenue. Obviously, I'm not the only one noticing. I watched the elderly man peek his head around the corner then duck back a good half-dozen times.

Time for bugs ...

Ant on a leaf

Not sure what kind of bug on a leaf

Maybe a baby wasp? It was very small.

Beetle on a leaf

No bugs

These bushes turn bright red in the fall. But, if not for my photography addiction, I never would have noticed these teensy doohickies growing within the bush in the spring. Nature is always amazing!

The pink blossoms at the Plainfield Train Station

History this week, but they went out with a flurry of pink!

A littered ledge

A lot better than beer bottles and Chinese food containers usually resting on it. North Avenue by the Plainfield Train Station.

We're talkin' FULL gospel.

No half-gospel, no almost full. We're talkin' FULL. East Front Street.

Supremo's remodel

The grocery store a few blocks from me, Supremo's, is still undergoing a massive remodel. They have new aisle signs (amongst a lot of other changes). Since this town has so many folks from so many places, many countries get their own aisles. Another aisle has West Indies, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc. Although I'm really a very tame eater, I've found some foods I really enjoy that I never saw in Wegmans or Pathmark!

One thing to note, though. When reading down the list on the right (for example), "galettas" doesn't belong in a list of countries. Galettas are cookies, crackers and biscuits dependent on what type of galetta it is. Even with the new remodel, checking expiration dates is definitely a needed practice at Supremo's. But it's close to my apartment. I can deal with that. Their produce is fantastic and there are butchers right there to serve you. Oh ... and they sell Mexican Coca-Cola in classic glass bottles with sugar in it for sweetener.

Back to spring ...

Now appearing at the Plainfield Train Station

Dogwood on East Third Street in Plainfield

A stunning baseball blossom! What a find!

Er, this is at the TD Ball Park where the Somerset Patriots play near my workplace in Bridgewater. The season has opened. I often pick up the new-looking balls and give them to Vincent or local children. This one didn't come home with me.
Here come the flowers! When I walked from the Bound Brook Train Station to my doctor's office on Friday, the entire neighborhood was flower heaven. Here's a bit of what I saw ...

Snap back to reality ...

I'm always drawn to this sign

This is at the Bridgewater Train Station. Different places where parking lots and roads used to be for the old Calco plant still have signing although the plant has been gone for decades. The poison ivy is also drawn to the sign.

'shrooms again

This bit o' land at the Bridgewater Train Station is odd. One day last year, tons of mushrooms. Gone the next day. Last week, tons of mushrooms. Gone in two days with rain. Now they're back and almost gone again.

NJ Transit sandwich

Yes, the bus fits under the bridge. New Jersey Transit - "It's the way to go!" That's the 114 bus heading to Bridgewater from Manhattan. The train is heading to Newark with a transfer to Manhattan. I wasn't heading to Manhattan. I was, however, heading to Bridgewater. But not on the bus.

Guarding the Plainfield Train Station

Attack birds. They taught angry birds what it's all about!

The winter wonderland house in spring glory

The woman who lives at this house at Richmond and East Front has caught me taking photos of her flowers. She's happy about it. Her lawn makes me smile, no matter the season.

Lots of things to come

Oh my

I don't know if this is a robin egg hatched or one stolen by another bird or even blown out of its nest. I didn't see a nest around, nor have I heard the baby birds in the underpass (Bridgewater Train Station) yet this season. The parent birds are very busy building in the eaves of the underpass. Soon it will be a cacophony.

Last flower ... for now

Vincent sound asleep

He has no issues with insomnia. As a matter of fact, he's the most solid sleeping cat I've ever known. I can poke him and he often won't wake up easily. Especially when he's on me. Maybe he's just pretending to be asleep, eh?

How was your week?


Delee said...

I wholeheartly agree about the support group garbage. I would say "No thank you"! Ewww, it makes me shiver to even think about it. Considering this is your 2nd time, you basically know the ins and outs!

The spring flower pictures brighten my day. Amanda had ordered me some flowers which never showed, she is going to cancel the order. I told her that was ok as I can go out get lilacs to enjoy and they are free!

I hope all stay safe across our nation with the threats made after UBL met his demise. I can not believe some dislike us so much to want everyone to feel fear. I know I have never did a thing to them!

See you tonight for AR and hope it starts on time since 2 hours!


Sally said...

Lots of topics, and lovely photos, in your post this week. Your new neighbor sounds great. Vincent must feel completely, totally secure in his home to sleep that soundly. And our Navy Seals really are a fearless and skilled stealth group.

I hope that the hospital's support group isn't mandatory! Not everyone, including me, would welcome/need/tolerate that type of structured concern.

Margo said...

Oh your new mandatory group sounds like sooooo much fun.....NOT. I don't see why they are making you participate. Maybe they want your expertise to help the other patients with their anxiety about having surgery. : )

Great pictures as always!!