Thursday, June 30, 2011

Big Brother 13 Cast Part 1

Okay, they're up on the CBS website. Off the topic of this post for a moment -- I can't get the Julie Chen house tour video to stop autoplaying. If it plays and annoys you, just pause it please. My apologies. I hate autoplaying videos and ads.

Up first is Porsche Briggs --

Porsche Briggs, age 23, is a VIP cocktail waitress (where have we heard that before?) from Fort Lauderdale, but now living in Miami Beach. Yes, she's pretty and seems way typical of BB gal hamsters. In her bio, she claims that Natalie Martinez was her favorite player. Oh, no! Jessie's Natalie! Now I have a bad taste in my mouth. Patoouie! She says she lives in a bikini. Yuch.

Shelly Moore--

Shelly Moore, age 41, is an outdoors industry executive (whatever!) from Centerville OH, currently living in Prairieville, LA. There are things I really like about her but there's something about her I'm not so keen on. I like that she's not going to be a slutty showmance gal or exhibitionist. That I'm totally on board with! I even like that she likes Jeff and Jordan. But I can't help but wonder if she might end up going on a kitchen/cleaning martyr trip or something. I just can't nail it down, but there's something not so likable about her (for me, at least). How about you?

Lawon Exum --

Lawon Exum is 39, from Urbana (Il.), but living in Inglewood, CA. He's a legal file clerk (with obvious delusions of glamour). He seems to think he's all that, but I think the house will knock him down pretty quickly. He doesn't seem to have a real strategy other than he thinks he's all that. The only thing going for him is that he likes Dr. Will.

Keith Henderson --

Keith Henderson is 32, a human resources manager from Bolingbrook, Il. Hmm ... so far he does seem to be the only one of this groups with an actual strategy. We'll have to see if the "Angels" come around. I find it interesting that he has an identical twin brother -- can't help but wonder if we might see some switcheroo at some point! For an HR manager, he's coming across as quite sexist. But we'll see how that goes! He wants to be an actor. Yeah, past hamsters have been so successful at that, eh? Jen from BB8 was his favorite. Will be interesting if Dick gets on the show ...

Part 2 will be posted later today! Stop back!

Big Brother 13 Returning Duos

Gah. The new cast list is up on the CBS website ... all eight of them. Six of the hamsters this season are returning duos and CBS ain't talkin'.

They have a guess who bit with these duos mentioned:

Jessie and Natalie
Evel Dick and Daniele
Hayden and Enzo
Dr. Will and Mike Boogie
Jeff and Jordan
Brendan and Rachel

GAH! I wouldn't mind seeing Will again, maybe Jeff and Jordan, perhaps early mornings with Evel Dick would be okay ... but I'm not happy with this. Are you?

Do you want to see any of them return?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kitchen Nightmares setting up for local episode

The Kitchen Nightmares filming crew is setting up at Blackberry's Restaurant, a place where I invited one of the blog friends from here visiting from Trinidad/Tobago.

Here's the photo gallery from the local newspaper.

I like Blackberry's -- a mix of soul food with West Indies, a friendly staff and reasonable prices. I hope Gordon Ramsay doesn't scare them to death! If my knee were better, I'd go lurk around.

Big Brother: Dynamic Duos? (video)

Hmm ... dynamic duos from the past? I'm still waiting on cast announcements.

CBS has more house photos up

The CBS site has more photos up including some of the yard. A graffiti mural? Well, that's different!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Big Brother: Old News, but Interesting

jackie's tv blog, Big Brother, BB9

In poking around for new news, I came across a bit of old news. Now, we all knew Adam and Matty from BB9 got busted for peddling prescription pills. Well, Matt has been sentenced to and is currently serving 36 months in a federal prison. Not surprising these days, he has access to a computer and has set up a blog.

It sounds like he has finally gotten his head screwed back on straight although I'm not all that keen on his thoughts of those who cooperated with the investigation and testified against him as "rats." Perhaps if I were the one in prison, I'd feel the same way. But I wouldn't be peddling drugs to begin with -- the amount of money, no matter how great, is not worth the ultimate hassles!

Here's Matty's blog -- give it a look-see!

A Look Inside the Big Brother 13 House

Yep, it's coming up on us soon! July 7, to be precise.

Last week there was a press day in the house and now there are photos floating around the web. Since I obviously didn't go, I'm linking to photos I've found.

The Jokers Updates site has images of the whole house. Since it's kind of sleazy to copy all the photos and share them here, I'm advising you check out the whole house at the link above and I'm just putting a few in here.

The Kitchen

Note there are fourteen places at the table and on the memory wall. It's going to be a full house this season! The overall tone to the main section of the house is a more mellow earth tones look than in some previous seasons.


Only two bedrooms were accessed on Press Day and one is just a bit odd. Could the second one above be some sort of Have/Have Not scenario?

Check out the rest of the photos on the Jokers site and stop back here to let me know what you think!

My thoughts:

I'm not sure why there are two bicycles in one shot. The yard isn't that big! Where will they use them? The "tattered" bedroom is interesting. If it's Have/Have Not, it's certainly not as brutal as last season.

Still waiting on casting announcements. I fear it will be a bunch of pretty model wannabe bartenders with the partying theme of the promos. I'd really like to see a good mix of ages!

Update: Another site with an additional bedroom/bathroom shot is Quirkydude's site.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A quick update

I'm not posting the usual Sunday morning off topic "That Was the Week It Was" post. My apologies. I don't really have many photos I could post even if I were to post.

In TV news: I'm expecting announcements regarding the new BB house on Tuesday and I think we'll get the casting updates then, too. I'll post what I know when I know it here. I've also created a Facebook page specifically for this blog and BB. The main content of the show coverage will still be right here. However, I'll be tweeting links to the posts here on Twitter as well as linking on the Facebook page. I won't be linking each and every BB13 update on my own personal Facebook page as many of my friends don't follow the show and it tends to clog things up.

In knee news: I'm doing well. This knee makes me realize how horrible my last knee recovery actually was. I can bend it just shy of 100 degrees and I can totally straighten it out. I'm getting around at home without any walking aids (walker, crutches, cane). Thanks to the new program at the hospital (the one with coaches and all), I'm not being left alone a day for two weeks. I'm so not happy with that.

Each day a physical therapist is coming to my home, including yesterday and today. A nurse came Monday and will come tomorrow. Friday I have no one coming, but I have to go for my post-op staples removal x-rays surgeon visit. On Saturday I'll finally have a blessed day to myself.

While the knee is doing tremendously well, this was still a major surgery and I have issues like being unable to sleep for more than a few hours at a time, lack of concentration and stuff. But it's heaven so far compared to my last knee replacement recovery. Now if medical people would just stop coming ...!

It's a different therapist today and he hasn't even called to let me know when he's coming. I suppose I could get dressed, then try to nap. Grr.

Also -- Vincent is no help at all. He likes the one PT who's been coming all week and tries to jump on her shoulder. He also likes to get underfoot. I love him dearly but he's not the best cat to be around while trying to recover. It's a good thing I'm in better shape this time around! I've been stuffing him with cat treats and catnip. That works! He does nap well every time I try to nap!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Really Off Topic Long Update

I've given brief updates both here and on Facebook, but now it's time to tell the whole story! It's early Tuesday evening as I write this, not yet a week after my surgery. With the last knee I was still at the hospital at this time. I came home Sunday afternoon.

Where to start? Where to start? Oh! The photos above! There I was checking Vincent into Best Friends in North Plainfield last Wednesday when I happened to notice the video screen above the reception desk had these photos rotating! How cool is that? I love this place for boarding. Every single worker I've talked to there seem to love their work.It's clean, roomy, the dogs are away from the cats and they send photos of your pet via email while it's in boarding.

They are as reasonably priced as any boarding place I've ever used and Vincent was in good hands in a comfortable 3-story cat condo. In addition to the photos, they give you a report card when you pick your pet up. Vincent was "a regular guy," as well as being on his best behavior and I should be proud of him (I am). He did gift them two hairballs, though. Oops.

Onto the meat of the skinny ...

There were a lot of changes at the hospital in addition to the group therapy coach, etc. stuff. A nurse went through a lot of trouble hooking a fancy-schmancy IV into my left forearm. Last time it was the back of the hand. She told me she was particular about the placing. And, she must have been, because everyone using it down the line complimented it.

Instead of a huge electronic IV thing and monitors, I had a gazillion electrode doohickeys attached all over my chest and stomach and a finger thing. All of the wires were hooked into a heavy but small box and they could monitor me wherever I went. I found that I could fit the box in my pocket, but it was very annoying.

This time they wanted to use a spinal with a femoral block for anesthesia. The last time I was told I had to have general. Although I'm not keen on spinal taps, I prefer this to a general. I think the general anesthesia was part of my really sick problems last time around. They gave me happy juice before messing around with my spine. This time I actually remember the recovery room, the last time I knew nothing until I woke up in my room. Except for the bottom half of my body being numb, my mind and tummy were fine.

My doctor came to me in recovery and told me the operation went well but was longer and harder than my other knee was. He said there was an incredible amount of damage within the knee and, had he not known I was walking prior to the surgery, he would have thought I wasn't mobile.

Thankfully no catheter this time, nor was I really bed-bound per se. I was supposed to call for the nurse any time I wanted to get out of bed. Again, no offense to nurses, but I don't really care for them so much. I don't like people coddling or hovering around me in fear that I'll hurt myself. I prefer my own orthopedic surgeon and the therapists whose reaction is, "Cool! You can do that? Great!"

I had one male nurse I enjoyed and I think he was the same one I liked the last time. Supposedly with this new program, every employee in the Joint Surgery Institute is hand-picked. Thankfully that means that the old head of physical therapy who acted like I had a blood clot just to mess his day up is gone.

I actually enjoyed the group physical therapy sessions and meals. Only ONE person out of the six joint replacement patients had a coach! Heh! I wasn't the youngest, but the patients were definitely older for the most part. One woman (hip) seemed like a nasty curmudgeon but I immediately figured out it was her sense of humor. So I would get up on my walker and invite her to "twist like we did last summer" and such.

One guy, younger than me (also hip), voiced some of my own sentiments and I loved him for it. They made such a big deal about how we're not sick so we can wear our own clothes and all ... yet the nurses acted like we were total invalids!

I was hauled off for a Doppler test to check for blood clots one morning. NO blood clot! Woohoo! Since she had my previous record with her, she told me she liked the challenge of looking for the old one. Most of the time blood clots don't go all the way away and just lodge solidly along a vein wall. Nope. My old one totally dissipated.

At the hospital, before leaving, my ROM (Range of Motion) was 83 degrees. When I left the hospital the last time, it was 61. 90 is considered successful with 120 being the ultimate goal. My first knee is all the way up past 150 now amazing my doctor, the physical therapy people at the hospital and home PT this week. None of them have ever seen such a great bend.

I'd be amiss if I didn't throw in thanks to my friend Barbara for once again being my transport, my steady visitor, my bringer of the bag and more. She's a godsend. Work sent me flowers with a Get Well balloon attached. Said balloon is stuck drifting across my ceiling now as Vincent promptly attacked the ribbon and set it free on Sunday evening.

What really surprised me is that a woman I hired last fall and trained showed up every day, called, brought me two homemade Chinese dinners (I'll never be able to eat Chinese delivery again and like it as much!) and fruit. She has always been so grateful to be hired and had been unemployed for a while. She speaks English fluently with a heavy Mandarin accent and apparently that was a stumbling block for employment. But she learns well and has definitely been a good hire. I know that she has always appreciated the time I spent training her and such, but she went above and beyond!

Okay, so now I'm home. The last time my insurance allowed two weeks of visiting nurse and home physical therapy. Since I had blood draws due to the blood clot, the nurse was a definite need! But I had the nurse twice a week and PT twice a week.

So there's another change with this. With the new program, I'm considered a "Gold Standard" client. I still have the two weeks. The nurse came yesterday and will come next Monday. PT is five days straight this week, three times next week. After that, I'll go to out patient PT. They bill the insurance company directly, so I won't know for a while what this might cost me on this end.

My PT is amazed at how well I'm doing. I'm not a week out yet, mind you. My building's intercom is broken, so I told them to call when they get here and I'll take the elevator down and let them in. "You can do that already?" "Sure."

So today the PT (a different one from yesterday but the one I'll be having the rest of the week) called. I got my walker and went to the elevator, pushed the button. thing. ACK! I walked my walker to the top of the stairs, couldn't figure how to get it and me down the stairs, so abandoned it there. I really didn't have a problem with the stairs. Sure, it was bad foot down first and one step at a time while holding the railing, but no problem.

Then I realized I didn't have my walker and had to walk about 60 feet to the door. I did it. She was shocked! She could see the elevator door open on the first floor through the door so she knew I couldn't be taking it. She thought I was trying to get someone else to go let her in. It turned out someone had used the emergency stop button (which I use with groceries and such) and hadn't flipped it back. So we took the elevator back up and she retrieved the walker for me.

The therapists both today and yesterday both said that I'm doing fantastically well, probably the best they've seen. I feel good (well, except for the knee pain which is expected). While I measured 90 degrees today, there's no guarantee that that I'll have anywhere near the flexion I have on the other knee. But I'm very optimistic and thrilled that I see improvement each day and I'm already more mobile and alert than I was for more than a month the last time. As a matter of fact, the last time it took me over two months to get a 90 degree bend. I can do leg lifts, too. I couldn't do them for weeks before.

My appetite is still a bit off. Friends brought me some watermelon today. That appeals to me. I finished off the last of the homemade Chinese food earlier today. I'm also sleeping weird, but that's expected. Getting dressed takes me nearly a half hour but I can do it. Like before, I get exhausted really easily yet can't sleep an entire night. Yet again I fall asleep unexpectedly!

I feel good, though. I want to thank everyone for the kind words!

Gross photos ahead, skip over if you want!

My fancy-schmancy IV and finger doohickey

The yellow band next to the standard hospital band declares FALL RISK! I suggest we get them for the druggies and street drunks in town! I had matching yellow hospital socks also declaring me a FALL RISK!

Da knee

Look at all the pretty colors! Yes, it's very swollen and yeah, it hurts a lot. The PT measured the incision ... only 7 1/2 inches. I counted the staples, but forgot how many. It's around thirty.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Vincent at his boarding place - Best Friends in North Plainfield. They email photos of your pets during their stay.

I'm very thankful for Russ (my brother), Laurie and Sydney for keeping things updated.

I'm home.


My orthopedic surgeon said at his end, this was a much more difficult surgery than the other knee. It had a lot more damage done to it. But on MY end, I feel so far that this one is so much better. While I have bruising, it's nothing which makes people gasp. Today before I left, it had 83 degrees of bend. The last one, after a whole week in the hospital, had 61. It has a few degrees to go to be perfectly straight, but nothing not achievable.

I was hauled off first thing this morning for a doppler test -- no blood clot! YES! Exactly what I wanted to hear!

All things considered, I'm feeling pretty decent -- much better than the previous knee 4 days post op. But I am so tired. I thank everyone for their kindnesses and thoughts and will post more soon.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Well, that's a little dramatic.

And more accurately I should say, she talks. Because Jackie called Laurie, and I will just post Laurie's note here. It all sounds like good news:

Jackie just called to give her own update for everyone. She had just finished her second therapy of the day and had also been visited by her doctor. The larger bandage has been removed and she said the wound is much less traumatic than the previous one was. No blood clot!! No coumadin!! Everything looks very good.

She is walking with the walker and can take a couple steps without it. Even with the pain drugs, it still hurts a lot. Local friends have brought flowers and balloons and one friend has been bringing her food. She doesn't have much of an appetite and doesn't eat much but she appreciates the thought. She said she dozes off quite a bit but isn't sleeping well, as usually happens in a hospital setting. All those strange noises and such are not good for sleeping!

At this point she expects to return home tomorrow (Sunday) and will have the same visiting nurse she had before for daily (?) visits. Also when she starts PT, she will have the same therapist and she feels good about that. She does know her brother is keeping us updated, too, but she wanted me to be sure and let you know that I have heard her voice and she is alive and well.

Please keep those prayers and positive thoughts going her way. They are working!

Thank you Laurie!!

I guess all the Team Jackie t-shirt wearing and all the good thoughts you all have been sending worked!! I know Jackie really appreciates it!

* I'm keeping my tee shirt on for good measure till she's home though, to prevent any need for that coumadin arising between now and then. *

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jackie Update, Friday Afternoon

Jackie's brother has been in touch with Jackie. I'm glad he has called these last few days. Not being family, you never really know when to call when someone is in those first few days after surgery. If the patient wants to be cranky or cry, they can probably feel a little more comfortable doing that with family. Thank you Jackie's bro!

Here are his words:

I just spoke with Jackie, she had a rough day of therapy, is somewhat drugged, extremely tired and feels that they are pushing her much too hard. She feels at this point that it will be at least Sunday before she is released. I will be calling her at about the same time tomorrow.

Poor thing. I am always amazed that they don't give you at least just one day to rest and recover after being under anesthesia and being cut into, before they try to start ripping your leg off with PT. But, I think you feel exponentially better with each 24 hours that passes. Let's hope Jackie will.

Keep sending those good thoughts her way please! I'm sure Jackie would want me to thank you ALL for your prayers and tee shirt wearing!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jackie's Out of Surgery!

Many thanks to Jackie's brother, who has spoken to Jackie and said the surgery went fine, and as expected, Jackie was tired. When my husband had this done, he was completely out of it for 48 hours -- groggy from the anesthesia and then from some kind of meds after they took out his nerve block. They do get you up and stand yo on your feet the same day. And apparently Jackie will be in therapy immediately tomorrow, so her bro won't be talking to her until then.

So the great news is, it's over and she made it through. Let the healing begin!

PS: Let's all send a little extra positive vibes toward her not having to be on that coumadin that she was on for so long before. Maybe we can wear "Team Jackie" tee shirts so the blood thinning gods can know these intentions loud and clear. Perhaps we might go so far as to chant, universally, until the energy surrounding the bands of the earth shift to prevent it.

I know this suggestion will not be seen as preposterous in Jackie's eyes. Do you remember when she was on that stuff? 'Twas was a great day when she got off of it.

Jackie Watch

Good Morning Jackie Fans!

It's Sydney, your somewhat MIA fellow commenter (as of the last few seasons of TV at least--my new work keeps me really busy). Last time Jackie got her knee operated on, we all wanted to know how she was. Jackie has a desktop computer and it was going to be awhile after the surgery before she could get back to a sitting position at an apartment desk so I was able to pitch in on the blog from where I am in Houston to keep us all in the know.

The time has come for her to do the other knee and I will be writing a few posts to keep you updated until she can sprint, bend, run, to the desk herself (maybe even adding a little leap over Vincent). Commenter Laurie is going to be in touch with Jackie via phone, and will be letting me know how Jackie is doing so I can let you know. Jackie said she may e-mail or text us too, depending on how she's feeling.

Speaking of Vincent, he's off to kitty camp this morning, so Jackie can get to the hospital after what I imagine was a hectic Wednesday of preparations for her stay, as well as stocking the cupboards and tidying up, getting pillows on the couch and having books and the remote close by for ease when she returns.

Jackie needs to be to Somerset Medical Center by 9:30 AM to get checked in and be prepped. The surgery will happen at noon, and if you've been following along here, she's mentioned she's doing this with the same doc who operated on her other knee a few years ago. If you will please keep her, the docs and nurses in your thoughts and prayers, especially from noon-4 or 5 EDT, it would be much appreciated by Jackie, I'm sure.

She hopes to be there for a short time, probably returning home later Saturday or on Sunday, so sending cards to the hospital may not be a good idea unless you live locally and send them as soon as you finish your coffee this morning. But there is a link on the website to the hospital gift shop if you 'd like to send something to her room from there -- and you can leave all the notes you'd like here for her, as she will eventually be able to get back to her computer to see them.

I'll report back as soon as I hear something.

Off to see the Wizard

Or, perhaps it's the orthopedic surgeon! The surgery is at noon. I hope to at least briefly text over on my Facebook wall. I can't get to the blog with my phone. (Yes, I have a dumb phone.) Sydney will post an update when she hears.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - June 12, 2011

Okay, it's Sunday once again. You know what that means! It's time for my off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photos I've taken. Of course, I haven't had any ON TV topic posts this week, but that's beside the point. It was my last work week before my surgery, most of the week was enveloped in heat and humidity and, while I did watch some shows, I really wasn't up to posting.

Gah. What a week it's been! I still feel like my head is spinning trying to wrap up everything for a lengthy stay away from my workplace. We have a couple of major changes which affect my job and, not only did I have to learn a bunch of new stuff, I had to prepare the person filling in for me. Plus, filing swamped me each day this week and I had to get all of that caught up. Gah. Oh, wait. I already "gah'd." Well, it's worth a double gah. So there.

On the 100 degree day, not to be confused with the 102 degree day, I had my last pre-op appointment with my orthopedic surgeon. Since I walk and use public transportation, that meant extended time in the heat and humidity. I think the trip could have been in lieu for a stress test not taken in prep for the surgery. (My EKG was excellent, no need for a stress test -- thankfully!) But if the time spent walking in the heat and waiting in the heat didn't kill me, no surgery ever will!

Have I ever mentioned I HATE to sweat? This week's weather was of the kind that my forehead starts sweating while I'm just standing there doing nothing. Grr.

The doctor's visit really wasn't much. Perhaps it's the last chance to back out! He told me all the medical tests were fine, gave my knee one last look-see and answered a few of my questions. He told me he can't guarantee that I'll have the same 150+ degree bend in the right knee that I have now in the left one he replaced three years ago. He feels he might have set the bar a bit high as I'm the most flexible knee replacement patient he's ever operated on.

I will be having the same exact knee as the previous one -- a Smith & Nephew Genesis II, cemented. I understand the results might differ. But if I don't have constant pain and stabbing pain when bending the knee more than it wants to be bent, I'll be fine. I'm ready. It's too bad my apartment stuff and lots of loose ends still need to be done!

Now that I've bored everyone with the knee stuff, it's onto the photographs I've taken this week! Clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window, then hit your back button on your browser to return to the blog.

This is not a photo I took!

This is a copy of the flyer for the Plainfield Public Library Photo Exhibition. When we were discussing the date for the opening, I had been thinking my operation would be scheduled mid-May instead of mid-June. Oops. But I'll be four weeks into things, so I'll probably be using my crutches, but I'll be there!


It's a camera, silly squirrel. East Front Street, Plainfield.

Already a name change?

Goody, goody (in my best Hannibal Lechter voice). They just rehabbed and opened this restaurant within the last year. Now it seems to have a new name and is touting that it's a "Spanish and Chinese restaurant." Huh? ALL of the Chinese restaurants around here have Spanish dishes! I always wonder if they make as many typos in Spanish as they do in English on the menus.

If one really wants any kind of Hispanic related foods, I'd recommend they just look around at any of the many restaurants from every Latino-related country in the world ... right here in Plainfield. This Chinese "Spanish" restaurant is on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield.

I don't know what it is, but I like it.

I'm talking the green car, of course. The other car is too much like the cars I grew up around as a teenager. Bridgewater, NJ.

Feet off the seats, fool!

Hogging up one of the four four-seaters on the upper level of the train, sitting on the aisle seat with her nasty feet up on the seat blocking anyone else from sitting there. Now, who would want to when she had her feet all over the seat? I'm having a knee replacement this week. I can't take my Advil leading into the surgery. If anyone ever needed to elevate her feet, it would be me! Do I? NO. I wouldn't want my shoes which have gone through who knows what on the seat!

The chicory is back.

Plainfield Train Station.

Outdoor ant

He stopped running around long enough to get one clear shot out of about ten! He's bigger than those tiny ants, but smaller than a carpenter ant. Bridgewater, NJ.

Seeing these amidst the grass makes me smile.

Bridgewater Train Station.

Absolutely no clue

I've never seen this plant before and it's in a place in Bridgewater I've walked by for at least seven years. They're very tiny and, as you can see, even the stems and such are brilliant royal blue. When I first saw it, I thought it was fake. A brief tug proved otherwise. There are about five of them growing in a patch of "lawn" alongside the Bridgewater Train Station parking lot.

Pink beauty

Growing in my neighbor's lawn.

Again, no clue.

Well, it's not a plant! It's very tiny, less than a quarter-inch long. Bridgewater Train Station.

Bound Brook flowers.

I feel I should know what these are, but I'm very flower-ignorant. They were growing by the Presbyterian Church on Union Avenue in Bound Brook.

Knee action figures!

This is what happens when you leave me alone in an examination room at the doctor's office. I shoot knees. Bound Brook, NJ.

Intertwining vines on a guy wire.

They've definitely taken it over! Maple Avenue, Bound Brook.


Although it was SO hot and there didn't seem to be any shade in Plainfield, my walk from the bus to the doctor's office in Bound Brook was shady. That's the office on the right. Maple Avenue, Bound Brook.


That cool big tree has a historical plaque -- George Washington slept there or something. Maple Avenue, Bound Brook. (Actually the plaque states the tree was there before George Washington -- it's over 300 years old.)

Another unknown flower in Bound Brook

Cool blue/purplish flowers

East Front Street, Plainfield.

NOT a new shot of Vincent

This is where he'll be staying while I'm in the hospital. He'll have his own three level cat condo with a litter box in the "basement." They'll let him out daily to roam the cat room and check on the view from the windows. Although they have dogs there, the cats are all in this room where they can't even hear barking. I used them (Best Friends in North Plainfield) when I went on vacation last year and was very pleased. They even email a photo daily to the owner! (Which won't do me much good as I'll just have my dumb phone with me -- it can go on the Internet, but isn't good about it.)

So, that's just about it. I swear once this operation is done and over with, I'll be back to posting more about television shows ... especially Big Brother. How was your week?

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - June 5, 2011

It's Sunday morning, time for my weekly off television topic look back at the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken. My television heavy season isn't too far down the road, so TV fans be patient! If you're watching So You Think You Can Dance, I've been posting on that and I'd love to get your opinions. I watched (but did not post about) America's Got Talent this week and I'm happy to hear that The Glades is returning.

I've just had a lot on my plate and stressful stuff going on leading into the surgery. Stress on my job hasn't eased and throw in getting my apartment prepped, medical stuff, insurance stuff, financial stuff ... I might need a brain replacement next! Plus, the knee must be realizing it's on its last days and has been more painful than ever. Gah! But once I'm back home from the hospital, I anticipate lots of television watching! After all, it's not like I'll be able to go out jogging.

Mind you, I never liked the idea of jogging anyway. But that's beside the point!

This past Monday was Memorial Day. My father and grandfather were both veterans, but ones who made it home okay. We know not all do that. I salute all of our military men and women. I personally don't believe wars solve the problems of society these days, but I respect and thank those who serve our country.

I had my PAT on Tuesday. That would be Pre-Admission Testing at the hospital. I was poked, prodded and had all sorts of tests to make sure I'd neither die on the table or kill those around me with disease. My blood alcohol level is 99! Er, wait ... that would be blood oxygen level. There's a difference. That level is perfect and shows my heart and lungs are working well together. My blood pressure is perfectly normal. I guess the EKG, MRSA tests and all went well as I haven't had any phone calls from them.

This Wednesday I have my pre-op appointment with my orthopedic surgeon. That doesn't worry me at all -- we both know my knee is shot! I always worry about the other medical tests as there is diabetes in the family, early deaths on record, etc. I should take better care of myself than I do. But I seem to keep on kickin'! Except for the knees, of course.

After an extremely hot and humid earlier part of the week, we've had springtime glee for a few days now. I so love days in the 70s with no humidity! Yesterday was cloudy all day, a sprinkle here and there, but the 70s made it all worthwhile.

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

Don't fence me in!

Some plant or another, usually weeds, grow in the crevices between the chain link fence and the wall at the Bridgewater Train Station each year. This year, it's this.

We need scratch and sniff!

I realize this is no work of art. But if you could smell it, you'd realize it's nature's artwork! I came upon this confederate jasmine hedge near the Somerset Medical Center on Tuesday. I was in heaven!

Sweet days of summer
the jasmine's in bloom...
-- Seals and Crofts, "Summer Breeze"

General Anesthesia?

Just outside the main entrance to the Somerset Medical Center I made note of this empty liquor bottle. My gosh, I hope they're not using that to cut costs!

I'll be in good hands.

Of course, they're the same hands I was in with the other knee, but now they have AWARDS. I'm still not keen on the coach (no, I don't have one) and group things. But one thing I learned the other day at my joint replacement class (I have a guide book, too!) is that all joint replacement patients get PRIVATE ROOMS at no extra cost! YAY! My health insurance doesn't cover private rooms, but this is indeed covered as they no longer have semi-private in the "Joint Surgery Institute." They say it's to cut down on the possibility of infection.

I say, "Well, then. Why do I have to eat my meals with the other patients and have group physical therapy?"

Pretty flowers of some kind.


A bird checks me out as I wait for the train at the Plainfield Train Station.

Another pretty flower.

Through the cracks

I took this one on West Union Street in Somerville, NJ near the hospital. It's like another world on the other side of the fence.

Plainfield early morning

The corner of Watchung and East Front Street early on Tuesday morning. I really wish the billboards would sport both Spanish and English, though. I can figure it out, but prefer to have translations. How am I going to learn Spanish by guessing what the billboards say? Not everyone in town speaks Spanish, Wells Fargo and T Mobile. I understand reaching out to those who do speak Spanish, but they could more easily learn some English just like I could more easily learn some Spanish if the signs were in both languages!

Gang truce?

The big news a week or two back was a gang truce in Plainfield. Now I see birds not of a feather flocking together. This could signal trouble for humans. We already know they've been conspiring against us! Bridgewater, NJ.

First stinkhorn sighting of the season!

Ah, those stinkhorn mushrooms are making their return to Bridgewater, NJ.

The next bunch of photos could be called ...

Bugging Out!

Color coordinated fly

Or, is it camouflage? East Third Street, Plainfield.

Bug on a flower in Somerville, NJ

Black wasp (?) in Bridgewater, NJ


Plainfield Train Station

Oh my.

Bridgewater Train Station

That gold shiny beetle.

Still about the size of a ladybug, still looks shiny metallic gold to the naked eye. But this is what it looks like close up and "magnified." It still has the clear force field around it, too. Bridgewater Train Station.

First damselfly sighting of the season

And he was kind enough to pose. I can't get a shot of these flying as they're really small (about the size of three bundled sewing needles) and they dart around. But once they grasp something, it's easy to move in for the shot. Bridgewater Train Station.

Are there any weeds/flowers without bugs on them?

This one looks almost like some kind of tick. I don't know.

Oh great

I sit on the bench and it's infested with a gazillion of these orange/black/grey creepy crawlers. Bridgewater, NJ.


No more bugs! For now, that is ...

New convenience store on North Avenue

Located in the old billiards parlor, this new store seems to have appropriated the neon from the closed XPress Mart a few doors down. It's been closed when I've gone by for the most part. One day I was laden down with packages and, sure enough, it was open then when I really couldn't stop! I've peeked in. It's big. It looks like the registers are behind bulletproof glass bringing to mind stores I've stopped in in South Philly.

I will have to pay it a visit. Maybe some ice cream after getting off the train on a hot day!

The fungus on the stump

This way cool fungus was growing on the tree stump in the edge of the cemetery behind the Friends Meeting House (Church and East Third, Plainfield). By the end of the week it darkened and shriveled.

Excuse me, Vincent ...

... do you think you could take up any MORE room? I don't think he's the biggest cat I've ever had. But when he stretches out like this, he could very well be the longest cat from toe to toe that I've had.

How was your week?