Monday, July 27, 2009

The Office

The massacre has begun, as promised. My company started the lay-offs today. I have never been through anything like this. The offices are so quiet, everyone just waiting to see who's next. It started before 8AM and the last person I saw being escorted from the building, in tears, was around 430PM. And just when I think I can't be anymore shocked, I get word of another person who was let go and my mouth drops even more. People who've been with the company over 20 years, a woman with kids whose husband lost his job earlier this year and right after, was diagnosed with cancer (he's 38 years old) and is in the middle of his chemo treatments. And once they give you the news, they escort you to your cube to retrieve your purse or keys and then out the door. No good-byes, no packing up your personal effects. They say that someone will pack up your things for you and you'll get a call to let you know when you can stop by to pick them up.
And the severance pay?? One week's pay for every year you've been there. How generous! If I find myself out the door, I'll get 5 WEEKS pay. That will get me far.
My department hasn't lost anyone yet. Rumor has it that it will probably start in my department tomorrow; HR has booked one of our conference rooms for 1/2 the day. For me, the worse case scenario is, of course, losing my job. We are already aware that the powers that be think my department is top heavy in management, so we know that that's where the changes are going to come from. If I manage to survive, the next worst thing would be if they fired my supervisor and kept the other. I've already had big issues with the other supervisor and I don't even report to her. I can't imagine reporting directly to her.
One of my friends didn't wear any eye make-up today because she knew, if she got let go, she would be hysterical and didn't want to have raccoon eyes. I think I'm going to join her tomorrow with naked eyes.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Alexis Cohen

I haven't watched American Idol this past year, but if you watched Season 7, you probably will remember Alexis Cohen. Her video from AI is below. The reason I'm mentioning her is that she was found dead early yesterday morning in Seaside Heights. Her body was found around 4AM, lying on the side of a road. The police are calling it a homicide.

Did Ja Miss Me???

Jersey Girl was on a brief, unplanned hiatus this week from blogging. Life just got in the way, keeping me from doing the things that I want to do.
I love Sunday mornings. This time of year, I take my Mets mug of coffee out to the deck to leisurely peruse the Sunday paper. I started reading the paper when I was quite young, first, just the comics. From there, I added the Entertainment section to my daily reading. Eventually, I graduated to the whole paper, including the obituaries. My mother used to tease me about that; I think she also thought it was a bit strange. I really don't know why I read it. Occasionally, I would recognize a name, perhaps a schoolmate's parent.
During college, I worked one summer in a local bank. One of my jobs was to read the obits in all the local papers and check to see if they had an account with the bank and flag it. This was to stop anyone from withdrawing money from the account. Morbid, but right up my alley.
Speaking of morbid, when my mother passed away, my ever-frugal father, had his name and date of birth carved on the tombstone. My father outlived my mother over 20 years; it had to be strange for him to see his name on a tombstone with this blank area where the date of the day he would die, was waiting to be filled in.
Having his name put on the tombstone prematurely caused all other complications later on, considering he started having an affair with the married nurse he hired to take care of my mom at home during the day after I left for college. Even after my mom died, my father didn't want this woman to get divorced. And she didn't. Instead, her husband killed himself. Her son found him on the kitchen floor with a bullet in his head. Nice, huh? So my father did the honorable thing (she says, tongue firmly planted in cheek) and eventually married her. My father is now buried with my mother and the second wife is buried with her first husband. Isn't that special?? As you might be able to figure out, no one ever mistook my family for the Anderson family on "Father Knows Best."
Anyway, obituaries have changed over time. They're much more interesting. Just today, I learned:

MB, age 77, loved crafts and was quite talented,
CC, age 57, was a "big, fun-loving truck driver,"
BD, age 70, was known as "The Queen of the Apple Pie,"
MD, age 93, "loved to drive and would pick up and visit anyone for any reason anywhere in the country, often by herself." (And no, she did not die in a car accident),
MW, age 94, left instructions in her journal, that her funeral was to be "simple, simple, simple" and there was to be no sadness.
BW, age 16 (these are the tough ones, I always wonder how someone so young died. Sometimes you can tell whe the family requests donations to some charity.) She loved the Jonas Brothers and her 2 cats, Niki and Oreo.
LC, no age given, made a mean cheesecake,
MD, age 71, was an avid Mets fan and went to Spring Training every year. (Uh-oh, the Mets can't afford to lose another fan, with the record they have. I'd figure I'd get that joke in before Otin did).

Makes me think what would be in my obit. Let's see, avid Mets fan, dog lover, Jersey Girl, took her 3 tries to get marriage right (or you could just say "slow learner"), survived her childhood (and cancer twice), hopefully good friend and sister, quick with a joke (sometimes too quick, which translated means "my foot spent more time in my mouth than the average person." I don't know, it doesn't sound like much. Maybe I haven't peaked yet! What about you? What would be the highlights in your obit?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Never Too Old To Rock

At least, that's what I tell myself. I just have to convince my body.
As I mentioned in my last post, we didn't get home until 3AM yesterday. I admit, I can't remember the last time we were out that late. Yes, during the concert , I was on my feet a bit, dancing to the tunes of my youth, enjoying myself thoroughly. Now, the trip home was less fun. We got the 12:06AM train to Penn Station and then, had to hang out for the 1:18AM NJ Coastline Train which pulled into Middletown at around 2:30AM. BTW, Penn Station at 1AM is interesting people-watching, to say the least. Finally, they announced our train would be departing from Track 2. We make our way down, only to find a completely deserted train, doors shut tight, all lights off. Then an announcement that, oops, we meant Track 3. Back up the stairs and over to Track 3. By this time, my body is starting to let me know that it's way past my bedtime.
Alright, I admit, I didn't get out of bed yesterday until 3PM, and that was only because the dog woke me up. I tried to stand and I couldn't believe how much my body ached. My legs felt like I had WALKED home from NY and my arms felt like I had carried a 10 pound sack of potatoes while doing it. Now, up until a few years ago, I exercised regularly. So, it's a bit disappointing to have my body let me down this way.
Well, I've got the Springsteen show coming up early October; i better start working out now.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Exhausted But Happy

Exhausted because we didn't walk in the door until 3AM and got a real chewing out from Bailey for leaving him alone for so long. But very happy because the concert was everything I hoped and more. I'm not going to go through the play-by-play; I'll let USAToday give you the highlights.
It was amazing the age mix of the crowd. Of course, there were those young kids who were forced to go with their parents. But what I loved was the older tweens and 20 somethings who were there. There were a group of them in front of us and they knew all the words and got super excited when a song would start that was an unexpected surprise, like "Baby, You Can Drive My Car," which opened the show or "Paperback Rider." There was a little girl, about 10 years old with her dad, sitting next to the LSH. He asked her if she knew who Paul was. She smiled and said she did, he was one of the men in her father's favorite band. Sitting on my side were 2 couples in my age group who were lots of fun and I could be goofy with. We all were sharing our memories of those days and how much the Beatles were part of our lives. Are there any other performers since then that actually changed lives? We were on our feet for many of the songs, singing and swaying, waving the peace sign during songs like "Give Peace A Chance." We noted that, as much as that song means to us, it's a shame that it's still relevant today. In many ways, we haven't come so far.
I do have one question (actually 2) - How could Paul McCartney be 67 years old and can a 67 year old male be described as "cute?"
Well, I've changed a lot since the first time I heard my first Beatle song, but one thing hasn't, I still love you, Paul.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fingers Crossed

Don't have much to say, except please say a prayer, keep your fingers crossed, throw salt over your shoulder, wish on a star, knock on wood, I think you get the point. And what is it you're hoping???? That it won't rain over Citifield tomorrow night. Tomorrow is the McCartney concert and, although they say the show will go on rain or shine, I don't want to be rained on, thank you very much. so, let's see the power of all you bloggers out there. NO RAIN TOMORROW NIGHT!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All-Star Break

As you might know, I'm a big baseball fan and right now, we're in the middle of the All-Star break. Over the last few years, a lot of attention has been given to the cheaters in baseball, the players who thought the rules didn't apply to them. But, there are many players who use their fame and popularity to do good, from raising money for needy causes to just being available to put a smile on a young fan's face.
Below is a video of a great example. Of course, it features my boy, David Wright, making a little boy's wish come true. The little boy is adorable (the big boy isn't too bad either!)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Shoes

I understand that this was the original title when Cyndi Lauper wrote this song, but one of the record execs Said she had to change it because he didn't think enough girls would be able to relate. Had to be a man.
I went shoe shopping last week. I was looking for a pair of red, strappy sandals with a heel no higher than 2 inches. I don't know how anyone can walk in those 3 and 4 inch stilettos that are so popular. For me, it would be a broken ankle just waiting to happen. And actually, it seems to me that most women DON'T know how to walk in them. Have you ever really watched someone wearing them? They walk with their hands out on their sides, like they're walking on a tightrope or they're bent forward or backward, trying to balance themselves (if they're not holding onto the walls for dear life.
Anyway, I didn't really have much hope in finding what I was looking for because, as sad as this sounds, it's really the end of the season for summer shoes and most stores won't be getting in anymore. I was able to find a pair though, not as strappy as I was hoping for, but still cute. I also happened to find 3 other pairs of shoes that I loved. I wasn't planning to buy four pairs of shoes, so I made this deal with myself - If they have them in my size, 6 1/2, then I was meant to have them. C'mon girls, don't tell me I'm the only one who has used this rationalization before. Well, I guess it was meant to be because they had all 3 in my size. So, off to the register I went, picking up a cute, Tommy Hilfiger tote along the way:

Now, I wore one of my new pair of shoes the other day to work, expecting to hear all kinds of compliments like "I LOVE those shoes" or "those shoes are SO cute!", but no one, I mean, NO ONE said anything, Is my taste really terrible? I thought they were adorable. They're Etienne Aigners and not that that automatically makes them great, but c'mon now. Are these that awful?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Web Site Story

Thought this was very clever and something all you bloggers might relate to:

Web Site Story. | Funniest Video of the Day

Shared via AddThis

Monday, July 6, 2009

New Jersey - Lesson 2

In my continuing effort to educate the world about the real New Jersey, I decided to use my hometown as Lesson 2.
Middletown is quite large in area and made up of differently named sections. Many times, when speaking about where in MT one lives with another MT resident, the question that inevitably comes up is "Dry side or wet side?" Rt 36 divides part of the town, with one side on the bay and the other, guess what? not. Dry side, wet side - get it???
I live in the section known as Navesink (pronounced NAY-ve-sink). And believe me, if you don't pronounce it with that long A around some of the old-timers that hang out at the Little Red Store every morning, they'll be sure to correct you.
So, the other day, I & my trusty camera went on an expedition to showcase the area. I have to admit, if you've never gone around your area to take pictures, I highly recommend it. When we go away, we always make sure to get pictures of the sights that we visit, but never think of it when we're home. It gave me a new appreciation of where I live. All these photos were taken within 3 miles of my home:

Okay, this is the harbor in Atlantic Highlands, a very nice little town on its own (I bought my very first house there). But, as you travel down Rt 36 on your way to Sandy Hook, you'll go through Middletown, then a couple of miles through AH & then you're back in Middletown again, so I feel ok including it here.

The aforementioned Little Red Store:

This area was settled during the Revolutionary War. Here are some homes here that were built during that time:

The Old Stone Church:

And no photo tour of a true Jersey town would be complete without one of the biggest things we're famous for:

Coming soon, the final chapter: Middletown and 9/11

4th Of July Jersey Shore

This was the scene at the end of our block on 4th of July at around 11AM. I'm sorry I can't provide the sound effects, like horns blowing, radios blasting and people yelling. The traffic actually started around 7AM. By the time this picture was taken, Sandy Hook was full & closed, so now these people (New Yawkers) have no idea where to go or what to do. Notice the cars who pulled off the highway to start their July 4th celebration right here. The cops showed up and moved this group along. Later on, I ventured out to go to the CVS and took this pic while stopped at the traffic light:

And that's the way it was on 7/4/2009 here at the beautiful Jersey Shore.

I just received The Friendship Award from Maureen at Island Roar. Although I received it once before (from the ever-knowing Wizard of Otin), I'm thrilled to receive it again. One can never have too many friends, can they? So, thank you for thinking of me, Maureen. I'm very happy to be considered your friend.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bad Mac

My Mac is having issues. There's a pad on the keyboard that acts as a mouse and it's not working, so I have to bite the bullet and take it to the Apple store to be checked out. (I'm writing this from the LSH's ancient laptop (it may be old, but it IS working). The closest Apple store is about 25 miles away (one way). And, although it's a beautiful day here at the Jersey shore (plus Santana is pitching an afternoon game, I got to get this repaired. I downloaded a lot of pix that I've taken this weekend into it, so I'm hoping the laptop isn't out of commission for long.
Until then, I probably won't be blogging much, if at all, but I'll still be lurking around, checking up on you guys. Until then....please wish my Mac a speedy recovery.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Good Morning NJ (& The Rest of The World)

Ah, the start of a 4 day weekend (I took Monday off too). In the summer, no less. The weather gods have finally realized it IS summer in NJ too and have brought us some beautiful weather.
A chance to sleep in on a Friday. Except we forgot to tell Bailey, our OLD Old English Sheepdog:

Exactly at 5:30AM, our normal M-F rising time, he started barking. With pillow over my ears, I try to explain to him we didn't need to get up (anyone with a dog will understand that speaking to your dog like he's human and expecting him to understand is quite normal; those of you who have never been lucky enough to have a close relationship with a canine, will just have to take my word for it). I finally managed to convince him to go back to sleep. Two hours later, he started again and I decided that this would be a reasonable time to rise. The LSH is still sleeping; he works for Middletown and last night was the first free Concert In The Park that the town holds in one of Middletown's 48 parks,every other Thursday during the summer, so he was there working, helping to make sure everything went smoothly, and it did.
I decided to take my morning ritual, having my 2 cups of coffee (with Coffee-Mate Sugar-Free French Vanilla Creamer) & leisurely reading the Asbury Park Press, out on the deck. The photo above is a pic I took from the deck back in the spring. (I wish NJ would start burying all the wires underground. They really are ugly).
Reading the paper was followed up by bringing my laptop out here, checking my mail, stopping by a few of my favorite websites, and writing this blog.
So that's where I'm at right now. Sounds like there are signs of life coming from inside the house which must mean the LSH has arisen (either that, or we're being robbed). I do have to do some mundane tasks today, like grocery shopping (I HATE IT!), but I just might stop by my favorite local shoe boutique; I'm looking for a pair of red, strappy sandals with a small heel. Kate Spade Online has been having a great clearance sale this week and did have a pair of red sandals I loved, but didn't have a heel.
So, if I don't "see" you anymore this weekend, let me wish you a wonderful & safe 4th of July, 2009!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

In keeping with my promotion of the Garden State, here are 13 things you might not know about New Jersey:

1. Highlands, New Jersey has the highest elevation along the entire eastern seaboard, from Maine to Florida.

2. New Jersey has more race horses than Kentucky.

3. New Jersey has the most diners in the world and is sometimes referred to as the Diner Capital of the World.

4. New Jersey is home to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. (No, they are NOT in New York!)

5. New Jersey is the world leader in blueberry and cranberry production.

6. The light bulb, phonograph, and motion picture projector, were invented by Thomas Edison in his Menlo Park, NJ laboratory. (My husband's great-grandfather worked for Thomas Edison).

7. The first baseball game was played in Hoboken, NJ, which is also the birthplace of Frank Sinatra.

8. The first intercollegiate football game was played in New Brunswick in 1889. (Rutgers College played Princeton.)

9. New Jersey is home to both of "NEW YORK'S " ProFootball Teams.

10. The first Indian reservation was in New Jersey.

11. Atlantic City has the longest boardwalk in the world.

12. The first Drive-in Movie theater was opened in Camden, NJ, (but they're all gone now.)

And my favorite:

13. North Jersey has the most shopping malls in one area in the world, with seven major shopping malls in a 25 square mile radius.