Sunday, April 07, 2013

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - April 7, 2013

It's Sunday morning. Wake UP! Er ... you can sleep in if you want, I guess. But, since it is Sunday morning, it's time for my weekly off television topic post reflecting on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way.

Just a quick programming reminder -- due to a country music awards show, The Amazing Race won't be airing tonight. Therefore and thusly, there will be no blog pool party tonight. 

So, how was my week? Well, it's not going to go down in the annals as the best week in my life, but it was a lifetime away from my worst weeks. I can't really complain. I caught some kind of stomach bug early in the week and called out of work. Unfortunately, there were some kind of computer woes they couldn't figure out and after an extended phone call to my sick bed, I ended up working on my day off to fix things. Sigh. The bright side is that I didn't waste any of my paid sick time being sick. 

It's been chilly and windy most of the week with temperatures dipping down around freezing just about every evening. Sure, it's often been PRETTY this past week, but COLD and windy. Grr. I swear, ever since Hurricane Sandy (make that "Superstorm Sandy"), it's been windy more often than not around here. Of course, nowhere near as windy as that night, but ...!

I still haven't seen or met my new upstairs neighbor. But the folks who moved into the first floor front wing at about the same time as he moved upstairs are a real nightmare. I told you about the party with the three police cars called and how I couldn't hear it from my apartment. Then I told you about the screaming on the cell phone woman early one Sunday morning as I went to get my newspaper. After she entered the building she was pounding on that door demanding her stuff.

Well, this morning I went down to get my newspaper at about 5:30am. Getting off the elevator, I could hear partyers. After finding my paper wasn't there yet, a group of loud party people, two with clown wigs, were by the elevator. Sigh. One did say "excuse me" as he accidentally brushed me while passing by.  I'll give them that much.

At 6:30am when I went to check on the paper again, they were all in that front apartment near the building entrance, music playing, shouting and loud partying going full force. They also park not one, but two, baby carriages on either side of their door all the time. They also tend to sit their trash bags out in the hallway by their apartment door. It's a one bedroom apartment, mind you. Obstructing the hallway is a big no-no. Trash set in the hallway is just lowlife, scummy and disgusting.

I could hear the party from the elevator area which is about forty or fifty feet and around the corner from their apartment. I could also hear it through the windows outside as I got my newspaper. I'm SO grateful that they moved to the front riff-raff wing of the building and not my wing. If they had moved upstairs into that apartment, I'd be on the phone with the landlord and police 24/7 until they were gone. I don't really see them lasting, but still it's horrible for anyone around them even if they're riff-raff in their own right.

Bless my new upstairs neighbor. Although I still haven't met him, he's a definite keeper! He's still quiet for the most part although I hear music now and then. He doesn't stomp on the hardwood floors. He hasn't flooded my bathroom. He doesn't throw wild parties. Yay!

Onto the photos from this week ...

Daffodil photo IMG_5751a_zps6c1e7041.jpg
Da daffodil is awake!

Finally they daffodils along a hedge on Berckman Street in Plainfield bloomed. They aren't faring real well in the cold. We need nighttime temperatures at least up in the 40s, PLEASE!

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Rain on the crocuses

I took this with the flash early Monday morning after the Sunday night rain. Plainfield YWCA.

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Aren't they ADORABLE?

These itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny blue flowers are growing amongst the often dead grass in Bridgewater by the Target store. They can't be more than 1/4 inch, but they're so darn cute!


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Sunset over NJ Transit

It was a pretty sunset yesterday evening as I waited for the train to take me home from my later day at work. Bridgewater, NJ

Sunset trains photo IMG_5880a_zps5e5a2a7f.jpg
Like two trains passing in the sunset

Oh. Wait. The saying was about ships passing in the night. Never mind. That's my train heading towards me. Yes, all MINE! I claim dibs! After a week of "tourists" on the train, it was nice to take a quiet train home just chatting with the conductor last night.

In God photo IMG_5873a_zps2982a591.jpg
Yes, it DOES say it!

One of the recurring indignant memes going around on the Internet and Facebook is the outrage that the "gold" dollar coins don't say "In God we trust." They do. Those that don't have it on the face of the coin have it engraved along the edge. Sheesh. In my opinion, even if they didn't have it ... so what? What real difference would it make? Sometimes in life you really need to analyze the battles you pick and what gets your dander up.

Crocus photo IMG_5846a_zps0486d5b5.jpg
A shy crocus

"But I don't WANNA come out to play! It's too cold!"

Crocuses photo IMG_5841a_zpsf9ef609e.jpg
Will the crocuses croak?

Although they're there and want to bloom, the crocuses are in rough shape this year at the YWCA on East Front Street in Plainfield. The overnight lows have many of them shriveled before they could show their beauty.

Squirrel photo IMG_5853a_zpsef64ff08.jpg
Defying gravity

This nifty squirrel near the Plainfield Train Station showed his death-defying, gravity-defying talents for me. Isn't his tail gorgeous?

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Hanging in there

Despite the often below freezing temperatures in the overnight hours, these planted flowers are hanging in. They're a bit droopy in the mornings, but revitalize as the days go on. They say the local farmers markets Jersey Fresh produce might have a delayed start this year due to the cold spring.

Gangs photo IMG_5795a_zpsd5765f1b.jpg
Gang problems

Okay, 18th Street gang graffiti has been crossed out by the MS-13 gang. I have no clue what the "PLS" means. In my mind, that would be "please." But I doubt that's the case. Both of these national Latino gangs have little outposts in town. I believe both originated in the Los Angeles area. Let me Google. Yes, yes they did -- 18th Street gang, MS-13. They can go back away. We already have other issues with various local sects of the Bloods and Crips (mainly black gangs, also originating in the Los Angeles area). Plus there's these little local street gangs defending their turf.

Enough already. It's foolishness. While they mainly do harm to each other, innocent folks might be caught in crossfire. Plus, I'd imagine the amount of drugs in town, as well as the majority of violence, would be practically nil if they were sent to Siberia, maybe Antarctica -- you know, somewhere really cold and uninviting.

I took the shot on East Third Street near the Union County College campus in Plainfield.    

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Early morning 'hood

It's getting lighter earlier once again. I'm still leaving my apartment before sunrise, but the daylight isn't far away. The sun has been rising while I've been on the train. I'm thinking the sun should be rising as I walk to the station in the mornings next week.

Buds photo IMG_5786a_zps5b9da2ec.jpg
Spring is in the trees!

While we have had only teases of the season, the trees know it's spring. They're all getting new buds. Soon this tree, at the Bridgewater Train Station, will be a cacophony of color with deep red and white blossoms.

Perth Amboy photo IMG_5771a_zpsa2bbd90f.jpg
Alien taxi

Parked nearby the Plainfield Yellow Cab company on North Avenue in Plainfield early in the morning, this cab looked to be almost a shiny primer grey from a distance. Huh? Now, I've seen yellow, orange, red, blue, white, (at one time) neon green and even the occasional purple taxi cab here in town. On closer inspection, this cab seems related to our blue United Taxi cabs, albeit from Perth Amboy. That's about 25 miles away or so. I don't want to know what taking a cab costs from there to here.

Train Station photo IMG_5768a_zps01b0e37b.jpg
Early morning

The sun was just about to come up as I took this shot at the Plainfield Train Station. Although the angle of the shot makes it appear quite light, it wasn't. The train station lights work on sensors and the westbound platform usually shuts off first.

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A daffodil of another color

Also on Berckman Street in Plainfield.

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Hello! Hello!

Yes, even though we've had relatively little actual spring weather, the Demon Hello! Hello! Ice Cream Truck is wandering the streets searching for prey. One day I was downtown and forced to suffer the "Hello! Hello!" while also enduring the loud NJ Transit bus turning announcement -- "Caution, the bus is turning! Cuidado, l'autobus es saldiago!" (Ignore the phonetically spelled Spanish part. I don't know the correct spelling.)

On a side note, the woman's announcer voice for NJ Transit alerts those inside the local buses as to each stop, as well as each intersection. She pronounces Terrill Road incorrectly with an emphasis on the second syllable. The same voice is on the trains. One of the now retired conductors used to call her Maybelline and said it was because she could never be true.

Vincent photo IMG_5759a_zps5f7f3f12.jpg
The Vincent, a legend in his own mind

Vincent would not like the party people from the first floor if we could hear them from here. As the apartment upstairs had been empty since Hurricane Sandy struck (yes, their lease ended in the dark period with no elevator), Vincent (and I) got used to total quiet from up there. Vincent still looks with suspicion when the new upstairs neighbor opens or closes his apartment door, footsteps and the occasional thump -- everyday living stuff, nothing out of bounds.

How was you week?


Anonymous said...

The stomach bug is going around in the southern part of the state as well. It hit my house this week too, thank goodness it was the 24 hour variety.


Sally said...

Spring flowers in bloom! Yea!

Those tiny blue flowers look like Siberian squill, with their straight, narrow leaves. You'll likely see more of them next year, as they self-seed and spread easily. My squill blew over from next door.

Those neighbors sound dreadful! I'm glad they're not close enough to bother you and Vincent.