Saturday, August 27, 2005

Libraries are good

We still have no internet yet, at least not at the house. But the other day we signed up for library cards, and now we are able to use the 'net for one hour a day. :) And the library is a nice ten minute walk away from the house. I like living in a place where I can walk to lots of different things to do. Wheee!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Beware of cardboard wolves!

Today was Russ's first day of work, and therefore the first day I have on my own here in the Land of Blue Spaghetti. Right now we only have one car between the two of us, so I was up and at it early to drop Russ off at the office, or at least what we thought was his office. Turns out his real office was a block or two away. Oh well, just goes to show that you can't always trust the address an employer provides on it's web site to be the right one.

Considering I am among the ranks of the unemployed, I managed to do quite a lot today. Actually, quite a lot of it was related to my old job, as my sucessor, Mary Ann, has many questions about how to do all the things I did - which is fine, since I expected this would be the case. She's sort of starting off in this position the way I did, which was having an interst in doing the job, but not really having a lot of the knowledge to do it. Only difference is that when I started, no one else was really doing my job before me, so I had much lower standards to live up to. So I probably spent an hour answering some of her email messages this morning, and this afternoon we talked for a couple of hours on the phone, just walking her through various and sundry things like composing the weekly newsletters and how to approve companies that want to be listed in the business directory and jobs web site. Mary Ann's a smart lady, so even though she might not know too much what she's doing now regarding building web sites, I know she'll get the hang of it pretty quickly.

In between the emails this morning and the phone calls this afternoon, I made it my task to do some directed exploration of the area where we'll be living. First I made a trip out to Bloomfield to visit the One-Stop Career Center to pick up some information about starting a business in New Jersey, as well as get some information about entrepreneurship seminars in the area. I met a nice lady named Danielle, whom I spoke with earlier on the phone. I think she's pretty much the first non-sales person I've interacted with since we arrived here on Thursday.

Because I found a great (read: FREE) parking space while visiting the center, I decided to explore Bloomfield on foot for a little while. Not too much of interest over there, but I did have a nice lunch at Quizno's. Turkey and Swiss with some iced tea and a cookie. I would have eaten someplace that was not a chain, but it turned out the only other place that looked interesting was not serving half of their menu, and the other half seemed to only have several different versions of fried pork, and for a price that was $2-3 higher than I was willing to spend on lunch.

Another task I set for today was to find Russ a birthday present and card. The other day, while we were in Montclair, he saw a nice blue charcoal grill on display at the hardware store, and said, "I want that grill!" I know how to take a hint. :) Before I left this morning, I did do some research on the grill, and found it on for $20 less than the hardware store's price. With that information, I was able to bargain a little with the store owner, and he agreed to sell it to me for the same price as well not exactly the same price, since I could have avoided about $7 in tax if I'd ordered online. But I don't mind supporting a local business if they are willing to budge on price for me. :)

On my way back to the Land of Blue Spaghetti, I also made sure to stop at the pretty park in Montclair that has the pond with the fountain of water in the center of it. There are a few small islands in the center of the pond, and it seems that at least one of them is inhabited by several cardboard wolves. Good thing they were on the island, otherwise I would have been scared, and run away screaming like a girl.

Toll-Free in the Land of Blue Spaghetti

I hereby declare the mass of on-ramps, off-ramps, and round-and-round-and-round ramps that connect the New Jersey Turnpike to Routes 1, 9, 21, 22 and I-78 to be the Land of Blue Spaghetti! And I cannot wait to escape from its clutches on Tuesday!!!

Twice already we have gone to visit Ikea, just south of the airport, and twice we have not been able to find our way back to our hotel without being turned around and around and spun off in a whole 'nother direction for several miles.

Well... we COULD have found our way just fine, if we'd only taken the Turnpike, but we were determined to avoid the tolls. So whatever we saved in tolls, I'm sure we spent it in gasoline... and then some!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Quote of the day...

"Hey on a king size bed you can sleep sideways!" -- Russ

Friday, August 19, 2005

Best Buy - here we come! Or not...

After a good night's sleep in a Maryland Ramada Inn, Russ and I finished our drive up to Newark, New Jersey. The drive went by pretty quickly, as I spent an hour and a half of it on the phone, setting up the utilities for our first home. Tuesday is closing day, so we have a few days to look around for things like a bed, refrigerator, and washer and dryer.

Well, we don't really expect to have all those in place on moving day, but what else are we going to do with our time between now and Tuesday?!?

So anyway, at around 3:00pm we settled into our current home for the next several days, a nice Howard Johnson's by the airport. Beleive it or not, this Ho-Jo's is quite a bit nicer than the Hilton we stayed at last time we were in Newark for house-hunting. And internet access is free! :D

After moving all our boxes and bags into the room, followed by a little rest and something to eat, we were all set to make a trip to Best Buy in Union, New Jersey to check out appliances. We got in the car... we were on our way... then we discovered that the map we had wasn't really all that helpful to us because there are so many damn roads right here in this area that they all kind of look like a drawing of blue spaghetti. Which way to go? Left or right? Well, we chose left. And we quickly found out that left was not right. Before we knew it, we were on a fast track to Hoboken (the complete opposite direction we intended to go) with little chance for escape!

Anyway, instead of going to Best Buy, we ended up at the Newport Mall (no not in Rhode Island, we are not that directionally challenged!). We did get a chance to check out Sears and Macy's for appliances and mattresses, so the trip wasn't all for naught. Tomorrow we'll try again to visit Best Buy, but this time we will try turning right instead. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Bye-bye Hawaii... Hello east coast!

Yesterday we moved away from Hawaii, where I've lived for the last five years and 14 days. My husband has a new job in New Jersey, so we're en route, staying the night in a hotel just off I-95 in Maryland.

Why are we staying in Maryland if we are moving from Hawaii to New Jersey? Well, that's because our car was staying at Dulles International Airport of course!

And to make things more interesting, our car happened to run out of gas as my husband backed it half way out of the parking space it inhabited during the last six days. Oh well, that hurdle cost only a couple hours of our time and a rental car to sort things out.

I miss Hawaii very much, of course. The year-round beautiful weather, the view from our lanai of the big pink hospital nestled at the foot of the Ko'olaus, and fun adventures with all of our friends. I can't wait till we can go back and visit!