Category Archives: New Jersey


Kevin Smith… a walk on the beach… and the Corleone family…

Last night we went to see Kevin Smith and Clerks in the park in Red Bank. Lee and I were sent to get food while Morgan and Devon reserved a space in the park. We ended up parking at home and walking from our house, heavily laden down with Cluck-U chicken, because over 2000 people showed up. tee hee. So when we finally arrived, Kevin Smith was just about to start the pre-presentation Q&A. It was pretty funny. He took questions for about an hour, was generally humorous, humorously rude, and kind. Then they showed the movie. It was about the experience you can expect from watching a film on a giant inflatable screen, in a windy park, on a blanket, on the hard ground, pregnant. But, it was fun, and Lee would occasionally kiss my shoulder, and I had chicken. My favorite part was definately the Q&A.

Today Ellen and I took the kids to the beach. After being stuck in traffic on the Garden State Parkway for about an hour and a half, we found this wonderful place in Manasquan. The ocean was only about a foot to a foot and a half deep for about 50 feet out. The water was warm. The kids were able to splash and run around and play. This was a huge step up from Monkey’s and my last few beach visits. Usually she and I cling to each other desperately as the cold waves try to suck us out to sea. We played for about an hour and a half. Seth (who is 6 months old) even liked the beach.

The odd thing was the Jellyfish. They were ALL over the place but no one was bothered by them. They didn’t sting. I had them constantly hitting against my body as we were walking in the water, but didn’t have anything painful occur. (Although it was creepy to have them touching me.) The kids were even catching them and playing with them. I thought they looked, and felt, like silicon breast implants. It was weird.

Afterwards we stopped by this little beach-side cafe and I ran inside to quickly order a snack for the three hungry, and now tired, children. I ordered 2 sides of fries and a small coffee. The woman behind the counter proceeded to plod over to the fryer, toss in the fries, plod over to the coffee maker, brew a pot. I decided to add some hot dogs to my order since it was obviously going to take a while. While I waited for the food, her mother got a phone call. I swear that these people were connected to the Corleone family. She kept saying “Haven’t I been nice to you Michael?” ” I am always doing favors for you and you disrespect me” etc. She even had the New Jersey italian accent and the accompanying gestures. Finally, her sloth-like daughter brought me the food in a large box (like the ones you load your groceries into at a Cost-co) and I fled before a rival family came in to shoot up the place.

After we got back I made my first Chicken Parmagiana. It was yummy. It was one of those cooking experiences I love. I actually had to substitute all or part of each ingredient except the chicken. I needed 2 cups of bread crumbs and some flour, but only had 1/2 a cup of bread crumbs and some corn meal. I needed a full can of spaghetti sauce, but only had 1/2 a can and a can of fire roasted dices tomatos. The recipe called for mozarella cheese, I only have mini-babel cheeses and cheddar. However, it worked out well, and I am looking forward to actually being able to cook it according to recipe in the future.

Well, your Denver girl is signing off, I get sooooo tired soooo early these days!!

Love you all, save a little mountain for me.

Shelf paper and temper tantrums….

Regardless of how “easy to apply” shelf paper may claim to be, I have yet to come across any that actually is easy to apply. If it doesn’t stick to itself, it doesn’t stick to the object to which it is applied. We are re-papering our kitchen cabinets, as the person before us felt that white plastic and packing tape were appropriate tools for shelf covering. The shelves themselves are a dark and forbidding particle board. Ick. Not that the re-papered shelves look much better than particle board, but at least you can see when they are dirty!!

Today was a hard day, continued resistance from the Monkey front occurred all afternoon. I tried to get her to take a nap, mainly because she wouldn’t entertain herself long enough to let me finish any work, and that did not go over well. It began with the normal resistance; “I’m not tired”, “Can I just rest?”, “If I can’t sleep can I play?” and then became a full fledged attack! “I am going back to Colorado without you!!”, “I hate it here!!”, “I don’t want to live here with you!” etc. I maintained robot mom status, calmly informed her she wasn’t leaving the state without us, and then told her her choices were nap, or grounded in her room until it was time to get her father. An hour later she was asleep. (Thankfully)

Still, a hard day. with many tears on her part and a dull headache on mine. So when she woke up we went and got Pizza Hut to try and restore good humor. Luckily it worked. She and I were happily singing away in the car and giggling all the way to get Lee.

Well, it is getting more real. This whole “Crap! I live here now!!” feeling. I keep expecting to get on the plane home, but each day, there is less of that, and more of a sense of permanency. Not a sense of home, but a sense of permanency.

Oh! Last night we were getting Monkey to bed when she started yelling ” a firefly mama! A firefly!” AND THERE THEY WERE!! All these little bugs with light up bottoms flying around my front yard. Neither she nor I had ever seen one before, so we got to share that experience together. Which was very, very special. After it got really dark, I got her out of bed to look for more, but alas, they were finished with thier light show for the night. I will have to try and catch some on film.

Missing you all…

Your Denver girl, signing out on the east coast.

The Garden State

Why would anyone name a state “The Garden State”? Did these people stop to think about what is usually present in a garden? Yes, you can have lovely flowers, and veggies, and if you are lucky, butterflies and hummingbirds. (Lucky, or extremely skillfull like Tracy!!) However, there are also bugs, millions of bugs. Bugs abound in gardens, and a whole garden-esque state provides flora for more bugs than you can imagine. Creepy crawly monster creatures all over this state. And FLEAS!!! I have to get my dogs flea collars!! Argh! So…. Welcome to the creepy crawly state.

Sigh. Also, it is hotter than satan’s sauna here. It reminds me of the time I did Bikram Yoga at the little place on about 4th and Broadway. I went in thinking, well, I enjoy hot weather, and I enjoy Yoga, I bet the two together are an amazing exeprience. I wasn’t entirely wrong. Amazing is defined as: causing great surprise or wonder. And I was greatly surprised at how hot a single room could be. Half the poses I couldn’t do because the sweat prevented me from holding my body in any of the positions!! I wondered how people can stand to do this all the time. My first Bikram experience was my last. Until I moved here, of course. Since it is impossible to leave my house at anytime of day or night and have it be cool outside, Marlena and I have taken to dashing between air conditioned locations. Leave house, dash to car, leave car, dash to mall, leave mall, dash to car, etc.

On the upside, the dogs are well behaved on their walks! They are too hot to do anything but balefully gaxe back at me and eat some grass from time to time. They don’t pull on thier leashes at all and they don’t go after other dogs anymore. They just pant, drink a lot of water, and pee as qjuickly as possible.

The cat is still traumatized, she was locked in the bathroom all night with a cat box so she could remember how to use one. She is now glaring at me from her perch on the arm of the chair, her earlier remonstrations having secured her (temporary) freedom.

Slowly we are getting it all together. I miss you all, I miss my lovely house and my lovely city, I miss air!!