Friday, July 31, 2009


This makes me miss our bowling alley. Bowling is the perfect distraction in winter on a Tuesday night when you've got nothing else to do, no where else to go during a desolate beach-town winter. We used to go often when we first started dating, the Man and I. Have a few beers. Make fun of each other's "skills." Unfortunately all that is left of bowling locally for us is memories since our bowling alley is now townhouses. In February 2003 there was a blizzard. A real one. Where the whole state was shut down. And not just my state that doesn't know what to do with snow - the New Jersey Turnpike was closed too. Yes, the whole Turnpike. I remember this storm so vividly because it was also the weekend the Man and I drove four hours from our new apartment to my parents' house where all of the furniture, stuff, and things that were intended to fill up the apartment were stored. We left the day before the storm hit. We were stranded at my parents' house for two extra days because of the storm. And when we returned to our apartment we learned that one of the casualties of the storm was the bowling alley. The snow was so heavy that the roof caved in. There were outgoing messages on the bowling alley number for months that the bowling alley would be re-opening soon! Hooray! Then the building was raised and construction began on just what we needed - note sarcastic tone - more townhouses! Even if we don't have the bowling alley anymore, at least we can look back fondly at that early part of our relationship and still tease each other mercilessly about our bowling prowess. The Man still kicks my butt every time we bowl - on the Wii!
Photo credit: justephens on Flickr

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chocolatey Goodness

So sometimes cruising around the internets leads to strange coincidences. Maybe not earth shattering stuff that keeps you up at night but the kind of stuff you notice enough to say, "Hey, that is kind of weird." That is what happened with today's picture.
This is a photo of a band from Venezuela called Desorden Público playing at an outdoor music festival called Im Fluss in Basel, Switzerland*. It seems like a pretty cool festival - a big barge is moored in the Rhine and bands play out there for two weeks.
The band plays ska/reggae/rock (click here for a live stream of their music). They have been around since 1985 (that is a pretty long time for any band, right?). And like I said, they are from Venezuela.
Now for the kind of weird interconnectedness part of the web. Remember - I warned you that it wasn't an earth shaking thing - just a little weird. One of the articles that popped up in my reader today had to do with growing cacao beans in . . . Venezuela. Hey - I warned you!
But the thing is that when it first arrived in my in-box, I just skimmed the article - and even thought about not going to the full text after reading the scrib on the reader. But after I looked up the information about the band in the photo, I became more interested in the article. And I learned some stuff - cacao in Venezuela is mostly grown on plantations owned by non-Venezuelans but farmed by local (read: cheap) labor. Venezuelan cacao is known for making some of the most coveted chocolate in the world which is what keeps growers motivated to keep growing in an otherwise politically hostile environment - activists do sit-ins in fields (with machine guns), the government requires permitting and inspections out the wazoo (all for big time fees). Venezuelan cacao accounts for only 1% of the cacao grown in the world - and the output of the nation has remained constant for the past 300 years. And there is more.
So maybe I haven't found a new calling in life and my mind wasn't blown but I never would have known that stuff if I hadn't come across this random photo on Flickr. And now I am really curious about chocolate made from cacao beans grown in Venezuela! Me want to taste some!
* Thanks for the correction, knickinoptik - Basel, Switzerland not Bassel, Germany.
Photo credit: knickinoptik on Flickr

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Isn't this the kind of scene you want to jump into and run around in Mary-Poppins-style? And funny enough it brings to mind another Julie Andrews' classic - the Sound of Music. OK, so maybe that isn't exactly the Alps in the background but wouldn't it still be fun to be there to spinning around in a dirndl singing "The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music" at the top of your lungs?
Photo credit: bcran on Flickr

Friday, July 24, 2009

So Where Was This A Few Hours Ago?

The perfect innocuous photo. Nondescript grass. Could be a beach or a dessert. The photo stream owner has the perfect name for what I am writing about lately: Banalities. The photo title "Formentera" did peak my interest though so a-googling I a-went.
This place is GORGEOUS! This dour photo over here on the right doesn't even begin . . . .
One of the websites I found says Formentera is, "one of the last outposts of paradise in the Mediterranean." According to Wikipedia, Formentera "It is known for its many pristine beaches and the fact that nude sunbathing is allowed on most of its beaches. Also, Formentera hosted the 2007 Techno 293 OD World Championships in windsurfing for juniors under 15 and youths under 17.
Fascinating. It sounds wonderful. Once again, I drool at vacations lost!
Photo credit: Banalities on Flickr

No Photo Day

Everytime I have tried to get a photo for today's post Flickr has presented me with a shot of someone's wedding or someone's kid. For some reason it does not seem appropriate to me to write about such intimate things when I have no context for the subject of the photo. I am not saying I will always "reject" a photo that has an intimate or personal subject, but somedays it just doesn't feel right. So this is just a rambling post that once again touches on the oh-so-boring subject I always seem to return to (yet have no expertise or authority in): what is proper to blog about. Yawn.

I just felt like writing today despite the fact that I have nothing in particular to write about. There is some craziness going on with my family today (which I will not write about here) so maybe that is why I feel like I need an outlet of some kind? Also, I do not feel like working (not that that is particular to *today* especially!). Too bad I couldn't wait for a picture that I felt was "safe" to write about. Maybe I will try again later if I still feel like writing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


This post has no relevance to today's picture. Frankly, it didn't really matter what popped up on Flickr today because I need to let it out to the world that I am obsessed with the show Entourage on HBO. We didn't always have HBO so by the time we did get it many of the highly acclaimed* series on that station were so deep into their runs that we never watched them on television but rather only on DVD (hooray for Netflix!). So we watched Entourage on DVD through the fourth season. And I pushed my dear Man-o-mine to watch, watch, watch as much as he could stand because I couldn't get enough of the show. I don't even know what it is. I don't have a crush on any of the characters. I have not been particularly engrossed in any of the plot lines, relationships of the characters. It is, I think, the whole package. It is a thirty minute escape into someone else's (albeit rather fancy schmancy) mundane world. Because really - how many times have I seen these guys sitting down to breakfast, a post hook-up debriefing, looking for work, looking for love. Is it that different from what most people do other than the setting? No. But I am compelled to watch. The new season started Monday and I set up the DVR to record. We didn't get to watch until last night. It wasn't a great episode. Not much happened to establish move any story line along. No major players seem to have been introduced that we haven't met before. But I watched it twice. I think about the show when I have trouble falling asleep. I think about the show when I am driving home from work. When I am bored my mind wanders to the show. I wonder what this is all about? Only five days until the next new episode . . . .
*I don't know if Entourage was highly acclaimed or not but it always looked like a good time when I would see previews.
Photo credit: Михал Орела on Flickr

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Fine Mess You've Gotten Us Into

Every camp mess hall must look exactly the same. I was convinced when I first glimpsed this photo that it HAD to be my old camp. The big mob of campers on the right. The bug juice on the end of the table. The delicious looking food on display. Mess halls have a . . . distinctive smell: old dishwater, over scrubbed stainless steel, bug juice (yes - the bug juice is a recurring theme!), fryer oil due for a change. Kind of yucky - yes. Worth all the other great parts of camp - yes. My first sleep away camp had such a questionable mess hall that it was the reason I became a vegetarian for twelve years. Two surprise health inspector visits. Two cancellations of taco night. One camper who decided she could survive on cereal, salad, and PB&J for the rest of the summer! I know I am abusing the exclamation point in this post but I loved camp - weired smells and risky food all the same.
Photo credit: fujimatt on Flickr

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ugly Duckling

I always loved the story of the Ugly Duckling. I think I identified with the poor little thing. I don't think I was an ugly kid but I think I was something of an outsider. The poor little cygnet. Trying so hard to fit in but never really succeeding. Sometimes I still feel like I am waiting for the day of the transformation - when I will figure out that I have been in the wrong place, doing the wrong things, all this time. And other times I feel gorgeous and glorious - floating across the water with my head held high.
Photo credit: Anyaka on Flickr