Jenster's Musings

Monday, May 25, 2009

New York, New York

I have created a picture history of my day yesterday. I wasn't comfortable taking Precious with me and I don't have a small, pocket camera so I got all these pictures on-line.

First Katie and I had to drive through You-Know-Where. For some reason the car won't make the trek without a Venti White Chocolate Mocha of some kind. Weird, isn't it? I chose the iced version due to the blechy heat.

Jill (the GPS) and I had a failure to communicate and she took us some crazy way to Weehawken, but we got there in a decent amount of time so I'm not holding any hard feelings against her. Besides, Saturday I made a "Chick's Road Trip" playlist and we weren't in a huge rush so it was all good.

Finally we pulled into a parking spot at Port Imperial where we boarded a ferry for the eight minute ride across the Hudson.

This is what we saw when we got off the ferry.

No, not "On The Town". Wrong play. It was Fleet Week in New York City and there were Navy persons everywhere.

We hopped on the free bus to 8th Avenue and 42nd street and found our way to a hole in the wall deli for a light lunch of chicken noodle soup and a salad. From there we scoped out the theater, but with more than an hour to kill it was decided ice cream was a necessity. The streets were insanely crowded, but we would not be daunted. Pushing and winding our way through the masses of Times Square, an ice cream shop was located where we refreshed and fortified ourselves for the push and wind back to the theater.

The reason for a trip into Manhattan was to see "Guys and Dolls" on Broadway.

Sky Masterson was played by Craig Bierko, an actor you've probably seen around. For what it's worth, I enjoyed him much more than Marlon Brando in the movie.

Nathan Detroit was played by Oliver Platt who was Porthos in one of my favorite movies - The Three Musketeers (1993).

But the highlight for Katie and me was the part of Adelaide played by Lauren Graham, otherwise known as Lorelei Gilmore on The Gilmore Girls.

The play was delightful and Katie and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I do wish there was a Theater Etiquette Exam people had to pass before they were allowed inside, though. For example, if you resemble a door and you sit in front of a much less door-like person, please don't keep leaning this way and that. And if you are married to a door-like person, please don't rest your head on his shoulder and kiss him during the play when there is a person sitting behind you who is infinitely more interested in the action on the stage. Just sayin'.

Every time we go to Time Square Katie wants to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe. So can you guess where we went after leaving the theater?

Because food is such a large part of our New York City experience we decided to split an appetizer of potato skins and Katie's favorite HRC dish, Twisted Macaroni and Cheese and Roasted Chicken. "Why did you split the meal?", you may be asking. Why, so we would still have room to split a piece of cheesecake from Maxie's, of course.

To decide on a piece of cheesecake I had Katie pick three and she chose Chocolate Marble, Oreo and Cookies & Cream. Next I chose two of the three - Oreo and Cookies & Cream. So Katie got to make the final pick. She chose Chocolate Marble. As usual, I forgot to take the picture with my phone until after we'd each gotten a taste.

I don't think she truly got the gist of the game, but whatever. We weren't able to finish the cold, creamy, chocolaty deliciousness, but we made a valiant effort.

Alas, the theater had been attended, Hard Rock Cafe had been frequented and Maxie's cheesecake had been consumed. We had accomplished everything we'd set out to so we headed back for home. By the time we got to the car it was nearly 9:00. There had been storms between our house and New York and we could see lightening in the distance. Thankfully we skirted the storms, but we did drive through a lot of patchy fog which slowed us down a little.

You may know that I love old cemeteries. There are some around here with tombstones dating back to the 1600's and I find them fascinating. During the day. Driving by dark and foggy cemeteries on a deserted country road, however? Not so much. This is the creepiest foggy cemetery picture I could find on-line, but it doesn't do the true creepiness factor justice.

We finally pulled into the garage around 11:00 last night. Now we can't wait to go back!

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Mused by Jenster :: 9:51 AM :: 13 People musing:

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What's The Haps?

Hello Friends. How's it with you? Things are going well around here. I'm just chillin', watching American Idol (I don't care who wins - I like both Kris and Adam and think they're both going to go far regardless of tonight's outcome) and I can't believe it's been two weeks since I posted. I have become so delinquent in my blogging. And it's not like I don't have anything to blog about. I've just changed up my priorities a little and for some reason blogging has fallen a few notches. And Trippin' Through The Bible is on hold for a short period of time while we do a little switcheroo on the CLEAR site. I'm having a ball with that, though!

So what's been going on. Well, Taylor and Kristen went to Prom last Saturday. The dance was in the ballroom of a Valley Forge hotel and afterwards the high school had a post prom party from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM. Taylor got home about 5:15 Sunday morning. What a great thing for the kids, though! It's a well supervised all night party with movies and games and inflatables and raffles - Taylor won four movie tickets and Kristen won a $50.00 Wawa giftcard. And mom and dad don't have to worry about where their kid is. The chaperones even call the parents if the kids don't show up when they're supposed to or if they leave early. Good times.

I've been walking. And walking. And walking some more. Sookie's loving it! Sunday afternoon she and I walked for about an hour at Valley Forge. Oh my goodness. It was so beautiful and the walk was extremely pleasant. I could have kept walking, but I had to get the car back home for the kids to go to youth group. I should probably be walking right this very minute, but I'm not. Oh well.

Do you have any plans for the long weekend?? I do and I'm excited! Friday and Saturday Todd and I will be going on more long walks - either on one of our awesome trails around here or back at Valley Forge. Our friends, Stan and Betsy, are coming for some grilled burgers Friday night so that will be fun. The kids have plans on Saturday so I've talked Toddy into taking me to see a movie. We haven't been to a movie in ages - it's going to be like a date or something! Sunday Katie and I are going to NYC to see Guys and Dolls on Broadway, including lunch at Hard Rock Cafe (her favorite) and then down to SoHo for a light dinner before coming home. Monday will be another long walk somewhere pretty. Right now I'm thinking it's good to be me!!

I started Weight Watchers AGAIN a few weeks ago. It seems to be doing a little something. Even my Wee Fit Mii shrunk a little. Not enough, mind you. But a little. I had a "come to Jesus" with the clothes in my closet the other day. If you've been around for a while you may remember this example for illustration purposes. Let's say I'm currently a size 4. I have several size 2 clothes and even some size 0 clothes in my closet. So I started telling the size 2s that I'll be wearing them this summer and that by fall I'll be wearing the size 0s. That's my plan, anyway.

Can I talk about TV for a minute? (That was a rhetorical question because yes, I CAN talk about TV for a minute. In fact, this is my blog and I can talk about anything I want to and I want to talk about TV.) There are a couple of shows that I have come to adore. First there's Chuck. We love Chuck. We were a little worried it was going to get cancelled, but the powers that be have decreed it shall continue next season. Next there's Castle. Have you seen this show? It's so much fun!! Seriously - it's kind of like a charming version of CSI. Thankfully it has been renewed for next season, too!! And finally, Glee. Last night was the Preview Episode and it sucked Katie and I right in. Sadly we have to wait until the fall to watch the series.

Okay. A person can only handle so much random in one night. I'm signing off, now. By the way - I'm thoroughly enjoying American Idol tonight. Lot's of great performers and performances. I'm glad it's going to be over, though. Because not only can a person only handle so much random, a person can only handle so much Paula.

So until the next time - stay cool!!


Mused by Jenster :: 8:29 PM :: 6 People musing:

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

My Rock Star

Sunday night Katie sang lead on one of the songs at Youth Group. One of the tech guys (Thanks Flitter!!) graciously taped it for us on his own camera and made a YouTube video for us. The sound isn't premium, but it's not horrible. Sadly, Taylor is playing guitar stage left but he's not in the video. That will have to wait for another time.

So now, without further ado, I give you Katie, singing "Mighty To Save"

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Mused by Jenster :: 8:03 AM :: 11 People musing:

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Tales (Or Tails) of a Suburban Dog

A week or so ago Todd was cutting Sookie's nails when she jerked her left front paw and he clipped her dewclaw. It bled quite a bit, but he was able to get it staunched. Pretty soon she went outside to play, running around and just being her usual puppyish self. Unfortunately she started bleeding again and this time we couldn't get it stopped. So we took her to the vet and made it with just minutes to spare before after hours emergency fees. They took her in the back and she came out with her pretty little green-wrapped foot.

When we brought her home Todd sprayed the wrapping with bitter apple spray so she wouldn't chew on it. She loathes that stuff and does a little hyper freak out when she smells it, but she doesn't chew on whatever is sprayed.

The next morning when we took it off she was as good as new AND she had forgiven Todd!


Do you know what this is?

Or this?

I'll tell you what it is. It's tiger slipper guts! Poor little tiger slipper was totally eviscerated by our vicious, stuffing-hungry hound.

That's what Taylor gets for leaving his door open.


Last year we had a cute little brown bunny living under our shed. This year that cute little brown bunny is a cute big brown bunny and it likes to taunt Sookie. She goes absolutely nuts because she can see the bunny sitting in front of the shed but she can't get to it. The way she barks and carries on with her hackles raised to attention you'd think it's the killer rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. (Run away! Run away!) Or maybe a rogue cottontail from Night of the Lepus.


Mused by Jenster :: 8:00 PM :: 5 People musing:

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

TTTB - Genesis 2 - 3

Got the next one up --


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Mused by Jenster :: 8:18 AM :: 0 People musing:

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Happy Cancerversary To Me

I posted this over at Mothers With Cancer and I figured, "Hey! Why not post it here, too?"

Today marks the four year anniversary of my survivorship. Everybody seems to have differing ideas of when that starts, but my family has always considered the day I had the cancer removed from my body as the day I became a survivor. So I awoke to eight red and four pink roses.

I still have times when I mourn what I've lost or get angry at how my body has aged with stiffness and arthritis, but those emotions come less and less. The events of four years ago seem surreal, almost no big deal at times. Funny how my husband never sees it that way.

But while my body has healed and my life has moved past the crisis, my head hit a little glitch. I found myself in a perpetual funk that I couldn't seem to shake. I'd never dealt with clinical depression and had always been able to pull myself out of the pit we all find ourselves in from time to time. But this time there was no escaping. I finally accepted that I was probably depressed.

When I explained my lack of interest and blase' attitude to my doctor she acknowledged what I had already figured out. Not a bad depression - it wasn't affecting my relationships (much) or my work - but a depression nonetheless. I told her how ridiculous it is when everything is so much better than it was just a couple of years ago. I wasn't depressed then, why should I be depressed now? Easy, she said. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was in survival mode for so long, doing what I had to do, that now I have the time to be depressed (Greatly paraphrased here.)

I'm now on the very mildest of antidepressants and it seems to be doing the trick. I've started slowly shedding the pounds I gained with treatment and the following medical issues I had. My life is about all sorts of things other than cancer and my husband and I are training to do the Philadelphia 3Day in October.

I finally feel more like a thriver and not just a survivor!

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Mused by Jenster :: 9:43 AM :: 16 People musing:

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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Taylor is Driving (me crazy)

Since Thursday was his birthday I didn't figure it would be very nice to tell on him. But now that we've moved passed the special day I can give you the scoop as it relates to him driving.

In March he went to take his driving test. The first thing he had to do was parallel park. He failed the test as soon as his tire hit the curb. So about two weeks later we tried it again.

That time his parallel parking was spot on so he continued on with the exam. Across the parking lot, right turn onto the side street, right turn at the light onto the main road, right turn into the parking lot, and pull into a space. But as he was turning right onto the main road he followed the drivers in front of him into the left hand lane and he failed.

Two weeks later we tried it again. Third time's a charm, right?? Wrong! This time his parallel parking was a thing of beauty. But supposedly when the instructor told him to pull out he backed up and hit the back barrel. Taylor swears he didn't and as many times as he'd practiced the maneuver I'm a little skeptical myself. But whatever. Whether he did or didn't wasn't the point. The point was the instructor said he did and that's all that counts. So once again - failed before he ever left the parking lot.

A week ago yesterday (Friday) we went back for his fourth try. I drove to the license center and pulled up to the familiar waiting area. As I was pulling up Taylor got all the paperwork ready, including getting my driver's license out of my wallet. We switched places and the Hippy Instructor Guy (HIG)came walking up, requesting registration, insurance, Taylor's permit and my license. Taylor handed him the registration, the insurance, his permit and -- oh wait! He no longer had possession of my license. So we both get out of the car to look for it and HIG is looking on the ground; meanwhile cars start pulling up behind us for their tests. Finally I asked if we should just pull over and look for it so he can get on with the business of testing.

It was honestly ridiculous. Taylor had just had my license so we knew it had to be somewhere in the car. I started thinking I was going to have to replace my license when I eventually felt it way under the passenger seat. So we got back into line, bummed out that we were no longer the first but the fourth.

Finally the guy walks up, pleased we found my license, I go into the building and they go off to test. I couldn't see where they test the parallel parking, but I watched them drive down the hill and through the parking lot instead of parking. Whew! He passed the parallel parking.

Ten minutes later or so they come walking in, both faces unreadable. This is the conversation:

HIG: How many times have you practiced parallel parking?

Taylor: More times than I can count.

HIG: Then why didn't you use the turn signal when you were pulling in or out?

Taylor: (Face falling while my heart is sinking) I know I turned it on to park. I may have forgotten it when I pulled out though. (I think he should get props for being honest.)

HIG: You may have put the signal on to park and it clicked off when you turned the wheel, but you should have turned it back on.

Taylor: (Looking more and more dejected while I just wanted to cry) Maybe that's what happened.

HIG: You did fine with the actual parking and you were good about using your signals while you were driving, but you really have to be diligent about using them when you're parking.

Taylor: Yes, sir.

HIG: (To me) You do know what this means, Young Lady? (Okay. So I kind of liked that he called me young lady.)

Me: (Blank look.)

HIG: Your insurance is about to go up.

Me: (To Taylor while breaking into a huge grin) Do you get it?

Taylor: (Suddenly smiling) Yes.

HIG: Congratulations, son. You did a fine job. Just remember to use your signals all the time.

Taylor: Okay.

Whew! We were both so relieved. I honestly don't know what either one of us would have done if he'd failed a fourth time. It doesn't even bear thinking on!

Wednesday night he took the car to Student Leadership and then from there he drove to the church for band practice. I told him the tank was fairly low, gave him my gas card and told him to fill up. Todd drove Katie over to the church for band practice and then Taylor drove them both home.

Thursday morning I wrote the somewhat mushy post to commemorate his birthday, filled with warm fuzzies and nostalgia and all that tripe. Then I left for work in a car with NO GAS. No more warm fuzzies. No more nostalgia. Only tripe! I was seriously worried I wouldn't make it to the gas station. Lucky for him: A)I made it to the station; B) it was his birthday; and C) he was at school and I couldn't call him up for a butt chewing. So I guess he gets a mulligan.

For the most part I like this driving thing. My taxi schedule has been cut significantly and I am definitely okay with that. I just wish my taxi would come back washed and filled.

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Mused by Jenster :: 4:17 PM :: 11 People musing:

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