Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Jump Jive

Found this video of Cab Calloway on Sesame Street on a friend's web site:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Old Graffiti

Last Thursday was the last night this summer for Midsummer Night Swing at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in NYC. I had never been to this event before, even though we've been in NJ for nearly three years now, and the event has been happening each summer for the last twenty. So when shoechanger friend Joe Bopp said he was going into the city on Thursday, I jumped at the chance to carpool.

In addition to going to Lincoln Center, Joe planned to stop in at the Ellen Christine Millinery on 18th Street to pick up a boater hat to top off the seersucker suit he recently purchased. So instead of heading in after work, Joe planned to take the day off and hit the millinery sometime after lunch, then stop in at the Met for an hour to two and then go to Midsummer Night Swing. Fortunately I was able to rearrange my work schedule to accommodate all of this, and it was a good time.

I was fascinated by the Egyptian Temple of Dendur, which has been on display at the Met since 1978. Sadly what I found most captivating about the exhibit was how it had been defaced with graffiti dating back to the early 1800's:

I guess people have always wanted to leave their mark no matter how small and insignificant. I don't know why it never occurred to me before that graffiti isn't just a phenomenon of the 20th Century. Well, I suppose drawings on the walls of cave dwellings, petroglyphs and the like are sort of graffiti, but somehow they don't seem quite the same as carving your name and date into a wall or a tree.

Fan Fest!

Yah, I know these events are not in chronological order, but I have been neglecting my blog lately and don't wish to spend the time putting them in sequence. :)

The other weekend ago (July 12) Kenji, Tiffknee and I took the train into NYC for the All Star Game Fan Fest at the Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center. It was fun to look at all the baseball memorabilia, and Fred Lynn was there signing autographs. Not that we lined up for 800 years like many people did to get his autograph... I just like him because he played for the Red Sox in 1978, back when I cared enough about baseball to actually know all the players' names. :)

Because we're in Yankees territory, I let Tiffknee be in the picture with the World Series trophy. Last time Kenji and I went to the All Star Fan Fest was in 2001 when the All Star Game was in Seattle at Safeco Field. That time I got to be in the picture.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Earlier this year I joined Facebook, and as a result of that I reconnected with my friend Karen, whom I met during my freshman year of college. Karen transferred to another school after our freshman year was over, and after that summer I never saw her again... that is, until last Saturday. :)

Karen now lives in northern California, and had a baby girl, Sasha, on my birthday (and the day after Karen's) back in January of this year. Last week, Karen brought Sasha out to upstate New York to visit Gramma and Grampa. So Kenji and I made the trip up there last weekend to see Karen and meet Sasha. As we were driving up there, it ocurred to me that the last time Karen and I saw each other, it was half our lives ago!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

High Tech Stuff

Last Tuesday afternoon Joe and I went letterboxing, and found the box hidden along the West Essex Trail in Cedar Grove. Afterwords, we ate supper at the Pilgrim Diner on Route 23. The food was nothing special, but I got a kick out of it when we went to the counter to pay, and Joe said I should check out the graphics on the diner's computer monitor...

Very, very high tech. ;)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Battlecat Rebekkaka Comes to Visit

Or came to visit - I am woefully behind in blog-updating department. A few weeks ago our friend Rebecca, who lived in the building next to ours in Salt Lake, and who we stay with when we visit Hawaii, came to NJ to visit us. She was on the east coast for not quite a week, and two of those days she spent in Delaware with her family, and we still managed to do a whole bunch of stuff. Oh, and that fish picture was from one of the NYC subway stations.

Without doing a complete play-by-play, we had a lot of fun. The first two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) Rebecca and I took the train into NYC and visited with another of her friends who also used to live in Hawaii, Erin. I think Rebecca's favorite activity of those two days was giving away coupons from our Entertainment Books to random people on the street. While in the city we also visited the International Center of Photography Museum, had lunch twice at two different locations of Havana Central (we had coupons), had egg creams at Katz's deli, walked Erin's dogs along the promenade in Brooklyn, spent an afternoon in a lesbian bar (which didn't seem to have any lesbians in it), ate Thai food (no coupons), ate ice cream (coupons), and gave away some more coupons.

Thursday we spent in NJ since we planned to drive down to Atlantic City in the evening. Rebecca loves to discount shop, and in Hawaii her favorite favorite favorite store to go to is Ross Dress for Less. We don't have a Ross near us, so I took Rebecca on a tour of other discount stores in the area like Marshall's, TJ Maxx, Daffy's, Loehmann's, Annie Sez, and I forget where else.

We finished shopping, Kenji came home from work, and we all packed for the weekend, hopped in the car and headed for the Tropicana hotel in Atlantic City. The reason we went there was that it just so happened that Rebecca's good friend from Germany, Stephan, was in Atlantic City on business. So we had a nice meal with him on Thursday night and we had lunch together on Friday.

During dinner on Thursday we learned from our waiter that there's a Ross near Atlantic City. So guess what we did on Friday while we were on our way to drop Rebecca off at her brother's in Delaware? I bet you can't guess. ;)

While Rebecca spent time with her folks in Delaware, Kenji and I continued on to go stay in Chesapeake City. This time we tried staying at the Blue Max Inn. It was quite nice - the room was larger than the one we stayed in the last two times at the Inn at the Canal. Breakfast was quite yummy, and they have a pirate guy hanging up from the second floor out in front.

On Saturday Kenji and I spent the afternoon in Annapolis, MD, mostly hunting for letterboxes. There was a series of boxes we hunted for in a park - we found four of the seven we were after. One box we found the location of but didn't manage to spot the box, and there were two more that we likely would have gotten but there were too many people around watching us, and we didn't want to risk giving away the location of the boxes. Along the way we found a basketball next to an empty basketball court, so we tried shooting some baskets.

When we were done with Annapolis, we drove to a Metro station on the Beltway and hopped on a train that took us to the new Nationals baseball stadium to see them play against the Texas Rangers. We rooted for the red team (the Nationals) but they pretty much got creamed by the Rangers. Oh well I guess we're pretty much used to that - that is, rooting for the losing team.

On Sunday, Rebecca and her brother, sister-in-law and parents all came down to Chesapeake City so we all walked around for a couple hours before heading back up to NJ. It was a really hot day so when we weren't ducking into shops for the air conditioning, we were sitting in the shade out of the sun. While we were sitting in the shade, we spotted a guy riding around on a really old-time bicycle. I don't know how he gets up on that thing, but he rode past us a couple of times anyway. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera or phone immediately handy, so this was the best picture I was able to get of him.

Rebecca took this picture of us with the Cheseapeake City bridge in the background. All the nice quality picutres in this post of course came from her camera. :)

So you'd think we had enough fun already but after driving the 120 or so miles home, Rebecca and I had one more adventure to partake in. One of my swing dancing friends, Denise, had her 40th birthday in June. So her mom threw a party for her at a restaurant only about a mile away from our house. She hired the Gas House Gorillas to play, and pretty much all of my NJ swing dancing friends were there. I think Rebecca had the most fun making up stories about me and her to all my friends. Something about the two of us being sisters born in Massachusetts and that she was naughty so our parents sent her away to boarding school in Wisconsin and who knows what else.