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

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Google This

A few months ago, I posted about how amazed I was to find the diverse locations around the world that some of my readers are from. Now I've been checking out HOW some people find my blog, usually when they google something. Some of them make sense:

Tiffany Blue - This seems to be the most googled phrase that brings folks here, but I'm really not sure why. I googled it and went through at least 6 pages and didn't find any reference to this blog.

Here's To The Ladies Who Lunch - Very surprising how often this phrase is googled. It seems the majority of people who find me through this phrase are from Great Britain. Do "ladies"do lunch there more than here?

California Cows - This subject is a close second, the majority of searches for this are from California (surprise). But like the previous two, I couldn't find a link to my blog when I googled it.

I understand why the above searches link to my blog. But there were a few that not only make much sense, but also, make me ask "WTF were they really looking for?"

Svetlana Stalin Svetlana's Breath perfume buy - Google this and my post titled "Common
Scents" is referenced third. Ok, scents/perfume. I get the connection. But what was this
person looking for, a perfume that smells like Svetlana Stalin's breath?

movie pageant girl sunflowers falls in love with mortician - Google this and the first link that
appears is my post "Guilty Pleasure". I assume the person was looking for the Lifetime
movie "Elvis and Anabel", which this google, for all intents and purposes, is the movie's plot.
Except I don't know what the sunflowers reference is from.

george kurdahl his study - This one had me stumped. Google this and my "Common
Scents" post comes up third. According to Wikipedia, Mr. Kurdahi is the host of the Arab version
of Regis Philbin, hosting "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" on Arab TV.
Then I learned he had his own perfume called "GK." Does Regis know about this?

PS - I have no idea why the color of my font changed in the middle of this post and why it formatted
so weird. The Blogspot Boogie Man is on the loose again.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Random Tuesday

It's been a LONG time since I've participated in Random Tuesdays, but, as I don't have anything specific to blog about, it seems like a good time to jump back in.

I'm out on disability for a few weeks (nothing major, just a little repair & maintenance; seems as this old body ages, it's requiring more outside assistance to keep operating). But, going on disability has required me to interact with the great state of NJ in order to receive some compensation, which I have been paying into weekly for years. As I knew in advance I'd be out, my HR department worked with me to get the proper paperwork, my doctor completed his part, so everything was able to be submitted in plenty of time. Last week, I receive a letter from said department and, thinking it was a check, I remarked that this didn't take that long. But, no, there was no check. It was yet another form they wanted completed by the doctor, asking the same questions that had been submitted weeks ago. It was so absurd. On one hand, it asked what was the initial start date when, right on the top of that same form, it said "Initial Start Date: 4/7/2010." Why is government so damn inefficient??

I love to start the day reading the paper. The real paper. Not online. Being off from work has been great in that respect. I get to relax, sip my coffee, and peruse. Over the past week or so, I've seen some strange stories that have either made me smile or shake my head.

Have you heard that the Catholic Church has decided to forgive The Beatles for their evil ways all those years ago? What arrogance when you consider the scandalous behavior of so many priests that they've tried to bury for so many years.

George Washington may have not ever told a lie,but It seems he's been racking up 220 years of late fees for two books he never returned. They were due back November 2, 1789.

Did you hear about this creep who was scheduled to be executed for rape and murder? His lawyers tried to stop the execution, claiming he was allergic to the drugs the state would be using to kill him. HUH?? So he dies with a rash. BFD!!! Thank God, some judge had the sense to tell those lawyers to take a hike.

I've been cutting back on the blogging lately and I'll probably continue. There's just so many hours in a day and blogging started feeling like something I HAD to do, rather than wanted to. So, I'll continue to post, but not on a daily basis, although I'll continue to check out my fave bloggers.

One last thing. As summer nears and the roads and beaches here at the Jersey Shore fill with traffic and folks looking for their day in the sun, I have to ask: "If it's called 'tourist season,' why aren't we allowed to shoot them?" (I think you may have to live in a tourism area to really appreciate that question.)

Check out other posts at The Unmom.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Guilty Pleasure

Okay. It's time for me to come clean. I'm addicted to the Lifetime channels. And lately I've had more spare time than usual to feed my guilty pleasure. Oy! The drama. Tales of infidelity, manipulation, lying, paranoia. In a lot of these flicks, there's usually a character who seems like the nicest person, but is really some psycho who is bent on stealing your husband, your family, your life. I dare you to spend a day watching these movies and not come away able to look at your best friend without thinking that she's out to steal your spouse, your kid or, at the very least, that cheesecake recipe you refuse to share because it's the one thing you do better than anyone else and gets you invited to some parties that maybe you wouldn't be invited to, as long as you bring that cheesecake.

I used to work for Continental Airlines at Newark Airport. Every tv in every breakroom in Terminal C was always tuned to Lifetime. And, although the guys would initially complain, saying "WTF??? Why is this chick channel always on?", it didn't take more than 5 minutes before they were sucked into whatever melodrama was unfolding. The FAA issues reports regularly regarding on-time performance, for both departures and arrivals, normally citing weather and/or sheer volume as the causes. But, if they investigated a little further, they would find that many departure delays are really due to the Lifetime channel. The next time you're at your departure gate, wondering where the agents assigned to work your flight are, look no further than the nearest breakroom. You can bet the Lifetime channel is on.

There are so many classic LT movies, I can't pick a fave, but here are just a few (beware of spoilers):

Crimes of Passion: She Woke Up Pregnant - Faithful wife finds out she's preggers with another man's child. Seems her dentist would drug her and do the dirty with her during her dental appointments. Silly me. Every time the dentist asks me to open wide, I thought he was referring to my mouth.

Elvis & Anabelle - Anabelle is a shoo-in to win the Miss Texas Rose pageant until she tragically dies during the pageant. She winds up on the embalming table of Elvis, an embittered guy stuck working in the family mortuary business instead of realizing his dreams. Anabelle mysteriously returns to life before Elvis begins the embalming. Their eyes meet and , lo and behold, they fall in love. Now, that's one girl who really WAS dying to meet a guy.

My Stepson, My Lover - Need I say more?

Mother, May I Sleep With Danger - The title alone should be enough to draw you in AND the fact that it stars that fabulous actress, Tori Spelling. what more could you wish for? Probably the campiest flick of all.

BTW, the group of ladies pictured above are the "Army Wives." I was watching last night when the LSH sat down on the couch. A bit later, The B, our lovable old dog, let him know he was ready to go out and I hear the LSH say "B, just wait for the commercial." AHA! Another innocent viewer sucked into the melodrama known as Lifetime. He denies, but I was there. He's hooked.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Return From The Not Quite Dead

The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated, to quote Mark Twain, if I may. Yes, it's been a tough few weeks but, I'm still standing, along with Sir Elton.

Now, when I signed on to post, I really didn't have particular topic in mind. But, while I was searching for the Poltergeist reference, I came upon some videos that are going to help me tremendously the next time I need to initiate small talk at some gathering where I don't know (like) most of the folks. I notice people sometimes say, as an ice breaker "have you seen (insert name of the latest over-hyped film at that moment). Because, for me, the answer will be invariably, no. Not that I don't enjoy movies and going to them (hell, I once took film courses offered at a local university). I just prefer watching films without all the annoying people who always decide to sit all around me, even if there are plenty of seats available around the theater.

Anyway, my thanks to "The Guy With Glasses" and all those who were inspired by him. You have done a great service for those of us who don't get out much. Get the popcorn and enjoy.

Saturday, April 3, 2010