Monday, July 27, 2009

The Aftermath of a Random, Very Severe Thunderstorm of Doom

Massive Thunder, incredible lightning, high winds, hail, and a flood. Welcome to my Sunday evening.

Around 7:45, a huge cell passed over ye Olde Bordentown, and hot dang was it a crazy hour...our power flickered once, then came right back on, then about 10 minutes later it went out again. And didn't come back on until 12 hours later. 12. Hours. Later. HUH?!?!?!?! Also, it rained so much that our storm drain backed up (likely with the help of the flooded nearby creek and our position in a valley amidst hills), and so we had a rather bad flood happening in our parking lot. It was so bad that the dumpsters that usually sit flush with the curb actually floated a foot or two away and toward our cars. The car parked closest to the drain would have been in serious danger of being mejorly submerged, but thankfully the water started to retreat on its own within about half an hour. The water flooded about half way up our lawn, and when idiot drivers decided to try their luck and drive through the madness, they actually created a pretty substantial wake!
A tree down the way from us looks like it split and broke almost in half. We saw a big group of people in the road down there but it was too dark to see what was going on until we went out this morning and saw branches and limbs all over the place.
In the end, nothing was ruined, no one was hurt, and the only casualties were a few items in the refrigerators that couldn't last 12 hours without coldness. So below, please enjoy the few photos I was able to snap when I got home from work today. Let's not repeat this kind of thing for a long, long while, huh?

Uhm...these wandered a little too far away for my comfort....

If you look closely, you can see the water line just under this guy's bumper. Thankfully my car and John's car were uphill far enough to escape this. The water reached barely halfway up our tires.

Debris lines from where leaves, etc. got washed up onto the lawn.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Exhausting but Fun Weekend, and Some Musings if I Have Energy

Last weekend was A) the opening of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (which I just saw for the second time today), and B) Rachel's Bday Campout. The movie is just freaking amazing, and even though I disagreed with some pf the license the director took, I trust him wholeheartedly with finishing out the series (David Yates directed 5 and 6, and will finish the two-part installment of the final book), so I just rolled with it in the hopes it'll all come together in the end.

And I have to say John and I didn't Camp for real, we "camped"--aka hung out until we missed flushing toilets, running water, and our own bed under the sweet cover of a solid roof. That said, we would like to give Camping a try, perhaps in the fall when it's cooler out and I'll feel less scuzzy having not showered. But we'll see. John's been bitten by the camping bug big time and is just about ready to go out and buy a tent, an air mattress, and an extra sleeping bag. I'm a little more reserved in my eagerness to make such investments, but we'll see how things pan out. I'm always up for new things, and I do want to push the boundaries of my comfort levels. I did canoe for the first time last weekend, which was really fun! We didn't wander very far because we had kids with us who were hungry, tired, and bored with un-plugged-in life, but hopefully we can have a big-people trip where we get in some good time on the water. : )

After baking in the sun at Atsion Lake and then nursing the bad bad bad sunburn that followed--let me just say my legs and feet are STILL red, but my back just looks toasty--John and I met my parents and brother for a Trenton Thunder game on Sunday. I've been to a lot of minor league games, but I've never actually gotten anything except for a free hat at the now-defunct AC Surf. At this game, though, it seemed like they gave everyone something every inning. It was hot as anything and sunny to boot, too, so the mascots were walking around with big water guns hosing us off to lessen the mass heat stroke I'm sure wasn't far away. Not to mention the players....I didn't want to MOVE let alone imagine playing 9 innings out there. No thanks.

In between the fun of last weekend and the fun of this weekend, I did a lot of soul searching and self-evaluating at work this week. I've been writing a lot, mostly in the afternoons when my mind starts to wander away from the databases, and I can't help but feel trapped. I mean, I take inventory of all things I'm good at (or think I'm good at), and I feel like I'll never be able to do any of them for a living barring a huge karmic pat on the back or act of divine intervention. I'm a planner, so I can't just be one of those people who quits her steady job to go Tahiti to paint for a year and the see where the wind blows her, but at the same time, part of me wishes very much that I was like that. That I could just walk out, go to wherever feels right and do all the creative things you can't on the canvas of corporate America. I mean, I can think of the careers I could have if I were ballsy enough to pursue them: full-time poet, photographer, interior decorator, professional organizer, party planner...boy what a useful bunch of talents I've drummed up. haha Not to say they are not lucrative, I'm just saying HGTV hasn't exactly knocked on my door with a sweet deal yet. But I guess as long as I can utilize these creative genes in some capacity, whether it's decorating friends' cubes at work with my poems and sketches, or changing up the apartment every now and then, it makes the 9-to-5 doldrums a little more bearable. Or maybe I just tell myself that to make it all seem wrothwhile. Who knows? I'm 23, and somwhere out there is the perfect opportunity for me. We just need to meet at the right time.

Anyway. Last night, John and I had a Christmas in July party, which was freaking fantastic...we have so much food and booze left we're set for quite a while. haha I made lasagna and lingonberry cookies, we bought a mushroom focaccia to heat up, Donna brought beer bread, Tara brough cranberry-orange muffins, Lisa brought brownies...boy it was a feast! A feast which will make delicious lunches this week. Nom nom nom. I even busted out some decorations to add to the festivities in addition to rotating classic holiday movies on the ol' DVD player. Good times. So who will host 4th of July in December? Anyone, anyone?

Lastly, our dining room table pretty much bit the sawdust after the party, but Mom and Dad gave us their old one, so we have that all assembled in the dining room and since it's a little smaller the space feels more open and has a little more comfortable flow to it. At least we can pull it away from the wall when we need and seat 4 people around it, which we couldn't do with the other one.

So till next time, friends...adios!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Grounds for Sculpture

Today John and I spent about 3 hours walking the 35 acres of Hamilton Twp.'s Grounds for Sculpture. For lack of a more sophisticated response, it was AWESOME.

We first watched a short movie in the visitor's center about the history and evolution of the Grounds, which has expanded on the original site of the NJ state Fairgrounds. They have a really diverse collection of permanent sculpture in the outdoors grounds, and two seasonal featured artsists in two of the buildings. What was most interesting to me, aside from the art obviously, was what pieces John was drawn to versus what I was drawn to.

John and some big rocks.

I love the framing of the tree in the middle of this huge rock wall.

The lady on the hill. Reminds me of Mary Poppins.

A running theme at the park was realistic sculptures of Victorian people who were equal parts eerie and intriguing.

Probably my favorite sculpture we saw all day. Not just because it's from Shakespeare--give you one guess--but because it is just absolutely beautiful and full of emotion. Love. It.

If you've got $10, really comfy sneakers, and a few hours, I definitely recommend this as a local staycation. There are three dining options, ranging from cheap noshes at The Gazebo, moderate lunches at the Peacock Cafe, and fine dining at Rat's.
Speaking of, why is it called Peacock Cafe? Well...
The place was busting with peacocks, including ths family. I had never seen a baby one before! So cute!

Till next time and the next adventure, ciao!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Half Blood Prince and IMAX as a Reminder Society Has Us by the Balls

Listen. Most of you know I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. Well, I was mad when Half Blood Prince was scheduled to be released in the fall, but then Warner Brothers pushed back the date to make it a summer blockbuster. Strike one, WB. So here we are, mere days before it will be released for REAL, and I finally live close to an IMAX theater...insert realization of a dream here: seeing Harry Potter, opening day, in IMAX. Insert here the realization that the only IMAX theaters showing it are in the big "real" cities like NY and basically the state of CA. Strike two, WB and strike one IMAX. ::sigh::

Also, I had some guy back into me last month (one of the stupidest things ever, of those things where all you can do is watch cuz you have nowhere to run and no time to react even though it was happening in slow motion as far as I was concerned). So yes, there was no body damage and just a section of paint was peeled back where the guy's hitch hit me. So I finally took it to the dealer's body shop to see if they could just touch it up, which they could. A short conversation:

Dealer Guy: Okay, the paint's all touched up, and here's the bottle in case you ever need it.
Me: Thanks, it looks much better.
DG: And here's an estimate for getting it actually repaird.
Me: Wait...what's "actually repaird?"
DG: Well, we'd basically give you a new bumper.
Me: For a scratch in the paint? There's no body damage.

So I thanked him, took the estimate, and walked away planning to opt against the new bumper. Sheesh. Is that normal?

What else? I think that's all I'm angry about at the moment. Just needed to vent.

Pics and vids coming soon. I'm just too lazy to upload and post them.

Till next time...