Sunday, May 23, 2010


If you've been stopping by here recently, it's obvious that I've not been posting on any regular basis. It's not that I don't have things I want to write about; most mornings, while I'm putting on my make-up and driving to work, I'm usually composing a post in my head. But it rarely makes it into print. So, I've had a heart-to-heart with myself and have decided to go on sabbatical, so to speak.
I'm currently going through a medical mystery. No one has been able to definitely say why, but the general consensus is that I have some sort of auto-immune thing going on that is attacking my nerves and possibly muscles. The result is I'm in some degree of pain at all times and suffer intermittent weakness in my legs and arms. I haven't been able to get much help from "traditional" doctors, so I'm going to a doctor who has had some success with some alternative therapy. I call him my "Voodoo Doctor." It's costing us a bundle, as insurance doesn't cover most of it. That's a subject for a post: how our health care system allows the insurance companies to decide what treatments we need, no matter what a doctor says.

So, I want to thank those of you who have taken the time to stop by to see what Jersey Girl had to say. Although I won't be posting, I'm still going to be checking out what you guys are up to. And who knows? You may see Jersey Girl return, in the not too distant future, with a new look and a renewed energy.

Until then, peace.

Jersey Girl

Saturday, May 15, 2010

In The Beginning

Many of the things we take for granted, I was around when they were first introduced. I thought about this after spending time with some kids who couldn't believe, at one time, you actually had to GET UP to change the tv channel.

  • Videos/DVDs - The very first movie I rented was "Gone With The Wind." I remember driving home and looking at the little plastic box sitting next to me and not quite believing that I actually had a movie, let alone GWTW, in my possession.

My GWTW Story
I first saw GWTW when I was a junior in high school and my English teacher, Miss Puma (yes, Puma, like the cat), took the class to NY to see it at Radio City. Being shallow, immature 16 year olds, none of us really wanted to see it, especially when she told us it was so long, it actually had an intermission. (Anyone remember those?) We were just happy to be getting out of classes for the day. But, from the moment I heard Vivian Leigh utter the first words "Fiddle dee-dee", I was swept away to the Old South at the beginning of the Civil War. Thank you, Miss Puma, for introducing this film to me (and for getting us out of school for the day).

  • Cable TV - I don't remember what movie it was, but when I heard my first "fuck" come from my tv, I was shocked. Not because I never said myself before, but I was just unprepared for it.
  • Nail Salons - When I was a kid, the only people who got manicures were the wealthy. They would be located in upscale beauty parlors and spas (which was another place where only the "ladies who lunch" would get pampered, while their very important husbands made the money and screwed their secretaries, ala Mad Men). When I saw my first storefront dedicated exclusively to manis/pedis, open in my neighborhood, I thought "Yeah, right. That'll never last." Just proves that I don't know jack. (Actually I do, he's my brother. But you know what I mean).
  • 8 Track Tapes = My GF, Peggy, was the first in my crowd to get one of these installed in her car. I have memories of all of us packed in her '67 Mustang, heading down the shore (we lived in North Jersey then), singing along to Neil Diamond and Carole King's "Tapestry" album which, btw, is one of the best albums ever recorded.
  • Yogurt - Yes, yogurt. I'm sure yogurt had been around for 100's of years, but only weird, health food lunatics ate it. I think Dannon was the first to sell it's famous "fruit on the bottom" product in supermarkets, turning yogurt into the mainstream product it is today.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Taking Up A Collection For My Doctor

I got a call today from a collection agency. This is not the norm in Jersey Girl's household. The LSH & I aren't millionaires but, thank God, we can still pay our bills. They were calling to tell me that my account with a doctor (who I still see on a monthly basis) had been sent to them to try to get this outstanding balance paid. I had no idea I owed him anything; no one has mentioned it at my monthly appointments and I've never received a bill. And how much do I owe, you ask?


You can imagine my reaction. Well, maybe you can't, but I was beyond dumbfounded. I called the billing office who claimed they had been sending me bills monthly since September. I asked her to tell me the address they were mailing to and, guess what? It wasn't mine. Doesn't the post office return undeliverable mail to the sender? She said she didn't know anything about that. I said "Well, you have my phone number. Why didn't someone call?" Oh, it's not their policy. So, you send it to a collection agency? What percentage of the payment does the collection agency take? 3%?5%? I don't know, but they felt their return on investment was worth sending t to collections. I know many doctors aren't making the money they used to, but this was absurd.

I don't necessarily blame the doctor. I doubt he's very involved when it comes to billing. But, you can bet he'll be hearing an earful from me at my next appointment.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Exit 117

If you live in what is known in this region as the Tri-State area, I'm positive you have asked this question. You meet someone; they say they're from Jersey; the next question inevitably is "What exit?" I assume that's because to get just about anywhere in this state, you will travel on the NJ Turnpike and/or the Garden State Parkway.

Sunday's edition of the Asbury Park Press asked an interesting question: Does NJ need an image makeover? NJ has always been picked on by late-night hosts and comedians. I assume it has something to do with NOT being New York. Surprisingly, a recent Fairleigh-Dickensen poll showed that 60% of viewers of the show "Jersey Shore" had a positive image of the state versus 44% of non-viewers.

I think the ability to laugh at oneself is a great quality and that's one thing we Jerseyans have. Of course, there's always a few fuddy-duds who have NO sense of humor at all and get their pants all in a twist about the"image" being portrayed of our state on TV. When the Sopranos was on, we had the Italian-Americans up in arms because it portrayed NJ Italians as members of the Mafia. Well, let's face it. Some of them are. I've known a few in my day.

I used to own a travel agency in a town heavily populated by Italians. Every year this group of 4 men would come in to book their annual golf outing. One of them was part owner of a popular Italian restaurant known to be a mob hang-out. He always brought us veal parmigiana sandwiches. And, I admit, they sounded a lot like Tony Soprano's guys. They were very nice and extremely funny. One year, they came in, but were missing one of the guys. Naturally, I asked where he was. Without hesitation, they said he was in prison and wouldn't be able to make it this year. But they had just visited him and he was doing fine. And, sure enough, the following year, the foursome was back. BTW, I never asked why he was in jail. I figured, the less I knew, the better.

I have never seen "Jersey Shore" or the newest addition to reality in NJ, "Jerseylicious." I did catch one of the NJ Housewives episodes and, from what I've been told, it was the best. The one where they're all out to dinner with their spouses and the discussion got heated and one of the wives picks up the table and throws it over. I would like to think that most viewers of any of these reality shows are bright enough to realize that the people on them have to be outrageous. Isn't that why we watch? Honestly, how many people would watch a show about a group of young people who rented a shore house and spent the day reading the Bible and watching "Little House On The Prairie" repeats?

So, all in all, I think we Garden Staters should embrace these images being portrayed today on tv. I agree with an interviewee mentioned in the article. Instead of fighting it, maybe even promoting the images as the land of interesting and different people: "Come to Jersey. You have to see it to believe it!" Fughetaboutit!

BTW, if you're interested in seeing a bit of real NJ, check out this post from last year