Saturday, July 29, 2006

Friday night at Tidal Wave!

With Colleen being home from Stockton this weekend, the original plan was for us to meet up at Fridays. However, when Colleen's sister Angela opted to go somewhere with a little more dancing action, we all agreed to hit up Tidal Wave in Mt. Arlington.

I met up with Colleen and Angela at the parking lot of Fridays, and then hopped into the car with them to head for Tidal Wave. Once we got there, we bought some drinks from the bar and hung out for a bit while waiting for Andrew (Angela's boyfriend) and his friend Pete to arrive. As Colleen, Angela, and myself were sitting against the wall and enjoying our drinks, this one guy comes up and dims the lights around us, stating, "let me make this more romantic for you!" LOL!!! Yeah, sure. For a romantic time, we're going to attend a hick bar with Nickleback blasting throughout the bar. Romance Central. NOT!

After the arrival of Andrew and Pete, we all proceeded to the dance floor. So many old people at this place. This place was rather nice; it was quite comfy, but way to hot inside. There was also an outdoor section, which is definitely a plus for me.

Holy mother of God! Moms were out... grannies were out! Old guys, with their shirts unbuttoned at the top exposing their ridiculous chest hair, were trying to dance with these broads. Can you picture 40 year old hicks dancing to Promiscuous Girl with Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland???? It is truly the funniest shit ever! I came to dance myself, but after scoping out the territory and the quality of the turf, I made a decision to stand to the side, lay low, and drink some beers.

Onto next week, when Colleen, Frank, Angela, Andrew, and myself hit up Bamboo at Seaside. It is sure to be one hell of an occasion. With the music that these bars/clubs play, I'll be sure to study my share of B.E.T. (Black Entertainment Television) music videos. LOL.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Looking for the next chapter... hoping it comes with a bright light!

I sit here at home, watching the taped replay of the Gatti vs Baldomir fight that took place live in Atlantic City, NJ this past Saturday, and I try to free myself and relax my mind from daily stresses and sometimes hurtful thoughts. Longing for some type of change in life, along with the recent change in employment, I look towards the speculated move with Colleen and Mike in January.

Our location of residence could be anywhere in Monmouth or Ocean County. Colleen has recently applied for graduate school at Monmouth University, and plans on attending the university to further her education at the graduate level upon acceptance. I would love to move to that area and just have a fresh start; something pleasant and fun, perhaps even exciting, to start a new chapter in my life, which has had twists and turns - and even a great deal of bad luck!

Sitting in a reasonably large-sized cubicle at work, and perhaps earning some really easy money, I have so much idol time to think about the most random shit. I suppose that is why some people claim that I overanalyze things to such a high degree. Too overanalytical. Having so much time to think about different things is probably the reason why I have such a title placed upon me.

Being at the shore eases my mind so much. Walking on the boardwalk, and knowing that the ocean is right next to me as I take each step, is such a relief and it helps me relax. I need the shore in my life. Fun is also a requirement. I really want to have some fun; I have been working so very much that I do not get out to enjoy myself as often as I should. As I talked to one of my former co-workers from the OG earlier tonight, I told her that I have not made it down the shore as much I should have this summer.

Last summer, when I lived at an apartment in Smithville, I practically lived at the shore. I would go to the beaches (mostly Ocean City) rather frequently. My apartment at the time was about ten to 15 minutes away from Brigantine. How marvelous that was, until I had my legal problems and was forced to return home to D-town. However, one year later, I am once again ready, after recouping from the arrest last and gathering myself financially and mentally, to spread my wings and move back down to the shore where I appear to be at ease.

What I am trying to suggest here, is that I am looking for something new, and for the first time in a long time, something pleasant in my life. Living somewhere that puts me at ease, meeting new people, getting out to enjoy myself more, and continuing to make money are objectives that I constantly look to fulfill. My life can not possibly carry a stigma of damnation forever. I can not possibly feel, forever, that people are turning on me and deserting me, a great man and a terrific person, for everything else in their lives. No, this can not happen forever.

I do not look to desert certain people in my life at this current state, but I do anticipate leaving behind all of the drama and ill negative vibes that currently taint my day to day life and emotions. Hopefully in January, perhaps even sooner, I look for that next great chapter in my life. Maybe the greatest chapter of all, up to this point.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Evening with Jeremy and company!

Just when I thought I'd be heading back to D-town on Sunday afternoon after spending the weekend in South Jerz celebrating Mel's birthday, I decided to give my former on-campus roommate Jeremy a call. There was no answer, but before I even made it to the Parkway to head back home, he returned my call.

I asked him what he was doing. He informed me that he was at his apartment off campus and he was going to the grocery store with Keeley and "The Hondawg" Aaron Honaker (my very first college roommate). At that point, I asked him to wait a second so I could join them and go along with them to the store while they did their shopping. After all, I had not seen that gang in quite some time, so I felt like hanging out with them. Meeting them in front of Jeremy's apartment at Club III, we all left for the grocery store.

Jeremy was courteous enough to have Aaron and I over for dinner, so we pitched in money wise for the groceries. I bought a few bottles of soda (Shoprite Coke, Gingerale, and Cherry Coke). We also went to the liquor store to buy some boos. Jeremy did not fuck around, as he bought a bottle of Sky Vodka for mixed drinks. As soon as we returned to Jeremy's apartment, which I jokingly referred to as "The Martinsen Manor," Keeley and Jeremy began to prepare dinner as well as a sampler tray of light appetizers that included crackers, pieces of salami, pepperoni, and cheese.

As Keeley and Jeremy prepared dinner, I sat down on the couch, put HBO2 on, and watched the replay of the Baldomir/Gatti fight, which had happened live the previous evening in Atlantic City. We all watched the fight, in which defending Welterweight Champion Carlos Baldomir knocked out blood and guts warrior Arturo "Thunder" Gatti inside nine punishing rounds. Keeley's friend and co-worker, Krystal, also joined us.

My first two days spent in South Jerz were of a dry nature. No alcohol whatsoever. Sunday, however, was the total opposite. I got pretty damn drunk. So long for driving home Sunday night so that I may be back for work on Monday morning. I did make it back to D-town for work on Monday morning.... at 6:20 am. LOL. That's right. I did not leave Jeremy's apartment until about 3:55 am!

After getting wasted and passing out on Jeremy's floor, I had to sleep for a bit before leaving to head home. I was really surprised at how awake I was for the drive. Even better, how the hell did I make it through an eight hour work day after that experience??? Not quite sure how I did it, but I would do it all over again.

I had a great night at Jeremy's and I am happy that I stayed the extra hours so I could hang out with Jeremy, The Hondawg, and Keeley. Old friends, good times! Hopefully, there are more to come in the near future. This past weekend, from Melissa's surprise birthday party, to our Seaside trip, to hanging out at Jeremy's on Sunday evening, was yet another fabulous getaway that I did not want to come back from.

If there was anything wrong with this weekend, besides the rain which I really couldn't bring myself to complain about, it's that my time there with great friends did not last nearly long enough.

Melissa's birthday party aftermath! Part II

Apparently, Ray had called my cellphone while I was in the computer lab. Once I exited the lab, and was headed back to Colleen's apt, I had received Ray's voicemail asking if Colleen and I would care to meet up with them at Johnny Carinos for some drinks. Colleen did not care to drive, citing that her car was a "death trap." Therefore, I offered to drive us and we headed over to Carinos.

Once we arrived at the restaurant, we did not see Ray's car in the parking lot. As a result, I called Ray's cellphone to ask him where he was. He informed me that he was heading back to campus with Mel and Greg and that he had once again tried to contact me. Colleen suggested that we all meet up at the Galloway Diner, where we had eaten breakfast earlier that morning. We all agreed on the idea and met up at the diner for late night meals.

After eating at the diner, we headed back to campus. There were some people outside of the building across from Colleen's apartment. Noticing the sprinkler that was watering the grass on the campus grounds, almost all of us took turns running through the sprinkler. I even stood there in front of the sprinkler for as long as 15 seconds and allowed it to drench me. LOL. A bunch of us then stood in a circle, allowing the sprinkler to rotate in a slow gradual circle, and wet each and every one of us.

Throughout all of this, I was still sporting the bling that Mike had won for me at Seaside. The bling was goofy, yet it had it's own outstanding comical effect. After the sprinkler extravaganza. we made our way back into Colleen's apt and watched some more Donald Duck cartoons, after each of us took individual showers (no, we didn't shower together!). It's been a while since I watched Donald Duck, but there was a certain innocence about the cartoon... an innocence that indicated to me that I could just sit back, relax, and enjoy the cartoon with absolutely no worries... that made it such a relaxing activity. Eventually, we finally called it a day and went to bed.

On Sunday morning, everyone was trying to decide on whether to go get breakfast at Dunkin Donuts or just to wait for lunchtime and go to the food court at the Hamilton Mall. We had originally planned to go to Ocean City for a nice beach day, after Saturday at Seaside was rainy for the most part, but the forecast was predicting more rain and thunderstorms for Sunday as well, so we skipped the trip to Ocean City. We proceeded to go to the food court at the Hamilton Mill and have some lunch.

After looking around in around in some of the stores, and playing Ray at the Fight Night Round 3 demo at EB Games, we went back to campus and watched a few more Donald Duck episodes before everyone eventually went home. Before everybody left, we took a few group pictures outside of Colleen's apartment. The end of a terrific weekend had shown its face, but that certainly will not be the last great weekend we have at Stockton, Atlantic County, Seaside, or any other locations in the better side of Jerz.

This marked the end of a terrific weekend, or DIDN'T IT???? ;)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Melissa's birthday party aftermath! Part I

Moments away from making the trek back home to D-town, preparing to start another work week, I can honestly and proudly say that I have experienced an extraordinary weekend down here in South Jersey, the better half of Jerz, with many of my old friends from school.

Following Melissa's birthday party, which took place on Friday night, everyone seemed to wake up to loud cracks of thunder which appeared to shake both the computer lab (where I typed yesterday's post) and Colleen's apartment. That was so LOUD THUNDER. The storm front, running from Boston to North Carolina, was no joke. We all left Colleen's apartment pretty early on Saturday morning to get some breakfast at the Galloway Diner. After enjoying a healthy yet filling breakfast, we all took a nice little trip to Seaside, where we spent much of our Saturday afternoon.

The drive up the Parkway to Seaside was rainy and traffic-filled, but we had our share of fun once we arrived at Seaside. Mike drove Greg and myself, while Ray brought Melissa and Colleen with him in his car. Upon our arrival at Seaside, we all walked around on the boardwalk, going from store to store to do some window shopping and win some prizes. At the arcade Colleen played Crazy Mike, Ray, and myself at air hockey and kicked each one of our asses. Crazy Mike managed to win me a Superman bling. Quite a nice gesture on his part.

This whole entire experience was such a getaway, from my latest routine of getting out of bed at 7:45 am and going to work every day from Monday to Friday. Breathing in the sea breeze on the boardwalk was thoroughly refreshing and therapeutic. As Colleen, Mike, Ray, Greg, and Melissa continued to look around in the stores, I actually went out to one of the benches at one point to sit down and actually admire to view of the sea. Admire the fresh sea air. Admire the fact that, in the later stages of July, I am finally making it down the shore on a rather consistent basis.

Sitting there on the bench, looking out at the ocean aimlessly, and allowing myself to free my mind and enjoy that time capsule moment, somewhat symbolized that I was back at the shore once again in 2006. This was my glorious return to a peaceful mind at ease. My first weekend off from work in many months; so enjoyable and so relaxing. Yes, at that particular moment, I was covered from my ass to my cranium in euphoria. No stresses. No work. No boredom. No working at the restaurant and having to deal with rude guests who believe the whole entire world should not only be serving them food and beverages, but should also be happily wiping their asses with gold toilet paper. No, none of that was the case this weekend. It was just a chill and relaxing occasion, during which I had nothing to worry about. Lovely!

Even though the sun failed to come out from the gray clouds, it was a genuine thrill to once again be at the shore and to see the ocean water from the boardwalk. Taking into account the absence of the sun, there was still quite a crowd present on the boardwalk, getting out there and walking around to admire all of the shops and attractions as well as the ocean itself. The waves, which were rather high, were crashing at a high intensity due to the storm front. Mike had to go to work at 4:30, so he parted ways with the rest of us as we made our way back to Ray's car for the drive back to P-town. As we were leaving Seaside for the day, that is when the sun started to come out. How ironic. Still, I had absolutely no complaints. Afterall, I still had an amusing time and I will return soon!

Last night, after returning to campus and having some time to relax and watch some Donald Duck cartoons, Ray, Melissa, and Greg decided that they wanted to go to the Hamilton Mall. Colleen and I let them go, as we were not up for going to the mall at that moment. I took a nap in Colleen's livingroom, while Colleen proceeded to clean up the apartment and go to her room to surf the web. After a brief nap, I walked over to the computer lab for a bit to go online.

Apparently, while I was in the computer lab, Ray had left me a voicemail asking if Colleen and I would like to meet them at Johnny Carinos (which is minutes away from the mall) for a drink and to see Kristen (who is a waitress there). I did not get the voicemail until I exited the computer lab because my cellphone never gets service inside the lab.

To be continued in a later post. Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Melissa's suprise party at Stockton!

Happy to be back in the 609, my glorious home away from home!

I would like to begin this post by saying, "Happy Birthday Melissa!" In my previous post, you may recall that I mentioned something about working a double shift on Sunday to make extra money because I was planning on going away to NYC. Only half of that statement was accurate. I worked a double shift last Sunday at the OG so that I may earn extra cash to go away the following weekend. However, it was to Stockton in South Jersey rather than NYC. We threw a suprise birthday party last night for Melissa (Ray's girlfriend) at Colleen's apartment on campus. Colleen is residing on campus for free because she accepted a job with the housing administration at the beginning of the summer.

Driving down here last night was a total bitch, due to a messy combination of the periodic thunder and rain storms and the bumper to bumper traffic (also a result of the people traveling to the shore points for the weekend) that went with it. A couple days ago, Ray left me a voicemail advising me to get to Colleen's apartment by 8pm so that we could all be there to suprise Mel when Ray and Mel finally arrived. Judging from the traffic and the weather conditions, I called Colleen and told her I didn't I'd be making it there until 8:30 or even 9pm. Fortunately, the traffic and the weather were not nearly as bad once I got past Toms River. I began to speed like it was nobody's business and luckily made it to the campus by about five after eight.

Once I got to the campus, I went to Dominos with Colleen to pick up the pizzas for the party. After doing that, we went back to her apartment, where Crazy Mike and Greg Root were decorating the apartment for the birthday celebration.

The very first thing I noticed when I got here was how different the campus looked. How exactly did it look different? Most of the trees are gone!!! I saw trees that were chopped down and just laying around in what used to be pine barren terrain. I asked Colleen about that, and as I suspected, she told me that the administration had the trees taken down to make room for the construction of additional residential apartments, which should be completed and ready for student residence in 2008.

As soon as Ray informed us that they were on the campus, we all hid in different areas of the apartment. I took Colleen's camera so I could take pictures once Ray and Melissa entered the apartment. As soon as Colleen opened the door and let Ray and Melissa enter, everyone was still hidden. I finally got up from under the counter, momentarily suspecting that it was too soon for me to do so, and said Happy Birthday. Mel did not know what to make of the situation. She just looked around the apartment, wondering what was going on. Immediately following my greeting from under the counter, everyone came out and said Happy Birthday. LOL. As soon as Greg came out of his hiding spot, that is when Mel responded with an "Oh wow." A little bit of a delayed reaction there on her part.

Good times last night. There was so much food, so many snacks, and so much to drink. No alcohol at this party, as Colleen chose to keep this a dry party due to the fact that she works for housing and did not want to lose her job. Ray brought some chicken wings (mild and THERMO-NUCLEAR) from the Cluck-U by his house. As soon as I tried one of the thermo-nuclears, what seemed to be a raging inferno blossomed inside my mouth. I thought my fucking mouth was going to burn out of my skull. I responded with a loud, "OH WOW!!!" That was pretty spicey; I was not quite ready for that. Here I was, thinking that I was capable of handling spicey foods. Afterall, I had eaten my share of spicey Chinese dishes. However, nothing quite compared to the degree of spice that was in these wings.

Greg also summoned up the courage to try a thermo, and quickly erupted into a panicked state of searching for milk to put out the fire that was blazing inside his mouth. He shouted, "QUICK, WHERE'S THE MILK???? MILK!?!?" LMAO! The poor guy did not even wait for Colleen to pour him a glass... he talks the entire gallon of milk and starts chugging it down from the container. LOL. What a scene!

Previously, there had been a greater level of spicey chicken at Cluck-U which went by the name of 911. These wings were so spicey that guests were required to sign a waiver before being allowed to consume them. The 911 wings, however, are no longer on the market. Cluck-U could no longer afford to make those wings, as a result of the spicy sauce costing $125 to prepare.

Many of us, who were unfamilar with the taste of a thermo-nuclear Cluck-U wing tried them. Colleen tried one and produced a priceless face that was prime for a classic photoshot. Mike did not go as far to try one of wings, opting to wipe up the empty container and eat the left over sauce instead. Mike's tolerance of the spicy sauce was pretty high, but I suppose he would have had to try an entire wing to get the full effect. Overall, it was a pretty damn good evening.

We wanted to go to Johnny Carinos to see Kristen, but we all believed that the restaurant was already closed and that we would not able to see Kristen. Therefore, we went to bowling alley to try to squeeze in one game of bowling, but the alley was also closed. What did we do in that case? Went back to Colleen's apartment and hit the hay!!

Here I am this morning, typing this entry, and it is POURING outside!!! So far, this has been quite the rainy weekend. The thunder was ridiculously loud. I swear, it felt like the thunder just shook the computer lab. Today we are in red, according to Colleen, which means strong thunderstorms. Everywhere, from North Carolina to Boston, is in red.

We had all planned to hit up Seaside today for some boardwalk fun and perhaps some beach time, but it is so wet outside that I am not quite sure what exactly we are going to do. As soon as everyone wakes up, it is a certainty that we are going to the Galloway Diner for breakfast. I can not wait for that, both for the breakfast and for Mike's latest story telling session. LOL.

You just never know what is going to come out of that kid's mouth at any random moment. Especially when we are at the Galloway Diner, there are no limits to what this dude says. Now that is safe for me to make my way back to Colleen's apartment from the computer lab, I will do so. Should be quite an interesting breakfast at the Galloway Diner!

Monday, July 17, 2006

From a Sunday return to OG, right back to corporate America for a new work week!

Today I returned to the Olive Garden for one of my rare work days, to work a double shift. I picked up two shifts on Sunday, for the purpose of making some fast cash to get me by until I receive my first paycheck from Randstad this week.

So many people at the OG approached me with love and asked, "Didn't you quit???" LOL. No, I did not necessarily quit! Management kept me in the system, so that I may come back occasionally on weekends to pick up shifts whenever I see fit or need fast cash. Knowing that I have the opportunity to do this, I see it as a major advantage to me. Going away to NYC next weekend, I knew it could only benefit me to make the extra spending money. It's all good baby!

I actually enjoyed my day at the Olive Garden, due to the fact that I had the chance to see my OG crew once again. Some really great people work there, and I was delighted to crack some inside jokes with them once again. Working a double shift, I walked out with about $115, which is not great, but the lunch shift was so dead that it was difficult for me to really make a high amount of money. Either way, I wanted to make atleast $100 today, and I beat that quota, so I guess I'm somewhat satisfied.

In the window, nearing the end of the dinner shift, I noticed there was a dead Tuscan Garlic Chicken (which is one of the restaurant's new core menu dishes). The expo, who stated that it was no longer acceptable for sale to the guest, told me to take it somewhere. I took it somewhere alright; right to my empty stomach! That shit was SLAMMMIN!!! It certainly was not dead to me. Shit, I revived that fucking bird and brought it back to life for consumption in the blink of an eye! And to think I was almost going to buy an employee meal today. HAHAHA.

Overall, a pretty damn good day. I can't complain. Perhaps I will return for a couple more shifts a few weekends down the road. Not really sure of the exact time at this point, but a return is certainly inevitable. Sometimes, the quick cash really helps!

Time to get some sleep now, because it is back to corporate America for me tomorrow at 9am. Back to Wachovia Mortgage. Here's to the start of a new work week.

Goodnight and ciao for now.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Surviving the first week at Wachovia!

My first week of work at Wachovia Mortgage Corporation is over. Through some patchy moments and hours of steady boredom, I survived the first week.

When I arrived at the Northern NJ Wachovia Headquarters for my first day of work last Monday at 9am, I discovered that my computer was not yet set up. It took approximately two days for maintenance and computer services to even hook up the computer and get me logged into the system. A couple days... that is all fine and good.

Once the computer was finally up and running a couple days later, there was further difficulty in retrieving the templates for ACT, the software I am to be using to store relevant information for the clients of the mortgage company. Throughout the first week, I did absolutely no computer work. For the most part, I faxed loan information to clients, co-workers, and did photo copies of critical documentation for the mortgage consultant I work for.

The consultant whom I work for is OK. He carries a very professional demeanor, and works really hard to get things done at every moment. One might say he is a workaholic, but he has been very successful and he is at the top of the food chain in this mortgage corporation as a result of his work ethic. His personality is kind of dry, and he really does not care to joke around all that much, but he takes insurmountable pride in his job and success. Overall, I suppose I could say that he is not a bad guy.

In terms of the work I did this week, it basically consisted of filling out registration summary paperwork, filing, faxing, photo copying, etc. This took up about 1/5 of my week, if that much. The rest of the time, I sat in front of an inoperative computer, stared out the window, nodded off into momentary patterns of sleep, due to the boredom. I suppose it was the easiest money one could ever make, but I just could not stop nodding off!

Both my checking account and my wallet took a huge nose dive this week, due to the fact that I had various bills to pay and I was not going home everyday with cash in my hand. Transferring from a serving position at a restaurant, where one works primary for tips on a daily basis, to an administrative job at a corporation, where one works on salary and waits for paychecks, one's finances are bound to take a bit a temporary downfall. I am so used to going home with cash everyday, yet I have not for the past week or so.

As a result of the money shortage, I picked up a double at the Olive Garden for Sunday, so I can make some cash to get me by in the meantime while waiting for my first paycheck from Randstad. Right now, one could say I am poor. PISS poor, baby. That is by no means anything to be proud of of brag about, but it is all part of the transformation from one job to another. In fact, it is rather frustrating.

Bill Dyer actually invited me to go out to a club with him and some folks on Thursday night, and last night he invited me to go see Superman Returns with him, but I had to turn him down on both instances because I just do not have any money at the moment. I want to see Superman Returns, and I would have LOVED to go clubbing, but unfortunately there is nothing I can do at the moment.

Between getting those paychecks, and picking up shifts at the OG every once in a while on the weekends, I will improve the money situation. It just takes time I guess.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

NJ Casinos re-opened!!!

Atlantic City comes back to life, with signing of Corzine's budget plan!

After both houses of the state legislature approved of the NJ budget plan, which took eight days for a compromise to be reached upon by law makers, Governor Corzine signed an executive order allowing the state-wide beaches to re-open and for the casinos in Atlantic City to resume their operations.

Since last Wednesday, July 5, all of the casinos had been closed due to a $31 billion budget plan that had yet to be approved by the state legislature. The goverment's closing the casinos and legal gambling activity in NJ had been the very first closing in 28 years. Ranging from servers, to slot machine attendants, to cocktail waitresses, an estimated 36,000 employees were forced out of jobs with the goverment-induced closing back on July 1. The state lottery, as well as state-wide beaches, were shut down as well.

The fact that casinos, beaches, and the state lottery are once again fully functional and operative is terrific news! When I travel down to South Jersey, where I attended college and resided for the past few years, and go with friends of mine to Atlantic City, where I worked during my final year of college, I enjoy the leisure time I have with friends at the casinos in the city.

Although I am not much of a gambler, sometimes it can be fun just to walk through the casinos and play a part in the night life that comprises the atmosphere in those casinos.

Friday, July 07, 2006

A very Point Pleasant day!

BREAKING NEWS: My first work day at Wachovia officially falls on Monday, July 10!!!

Apparently, Wachovia would like me to start as soon as possible, so they pushed my first day of work ahead by a couple days. As a result, I will have to give away any O.G. shifts of mine scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of next week. I am sure as HELL not letting this opportunity slip through my fingers just because they want me to start a couple days early. That would be INSANELY IDIOTIC of me!

After working so many consecutive days, and finally getting two days off in a row (Wednesday and Thursday), I made a decision to get away for a little day trip. Yes, it is the heart of the summer. Prior to Thursday, I had not been able to make it to the shore.

Feeling the urgency of the months progressing onward in 2006, and seeing the gorgeous summer days pass me by, it was incumbent on me to make a trip to the shore. Today marked my first trip to the shore in summer 2006, but it certainly will not be my last! I may have gotten off to a late start this year, but the shore fun has just begun!

At about 1:15, I arrived at the Barnes and Noble in Howell and decided to buy myself a Caramel Frappucino to drink while looking at some boxing magazines. I made a pretty nice afternoon out of it. Jaime and I had been hinting at hanging out today for the past two weeks now. She called me around 2:30, right after being released from work, and asked me where I was. I told her that I was at the Barnes and Noble in Howell, and she responded by saying that she'd meet up with me.

She did come to see me and we spent about an hour in the Barnes and Noble talking and catching up on lost time. It was a terrific opportunity to bury the hatchet and clean the slate of some disturbing incidents from earlier this year. We did have a really good time, perhaps better than we had originally anticipated. After hanging out Barnes and Noble, and going to Target, we went to Chilis for a delicious and satisfying dinner.

Later in the evening, we finally went to Point Pleasant together. In lieu of Governor Corzine's recent decision to shut down NJ state beaches, it was a relief to discover that Point Pleasant is still up and running - and perhaps running better than ever! The Tiki Bar branching off the boardwalk and out onto the shore really intrigued me. We never actually entered the bar, but I would be delighted to return to Point Pleasant again really soon so I could check out the Tiki Bar and have some drinks! There was a $5 cover charge for the bar, but that will not stop me from entering the next time around.

Walking up and down the boardwalk, which was packed with people, and admiring the scenery of the shore with Jaime and breathing in the fresh ocean breeze, was quite therapeutic. It felt amazing. As we sat down on one of the benches at the end of the boardwalk and watched the boats sail out into the sea, the sky was absolutely beautiful. It had an amazing blend of colors, ranging from purple to pink to blue. Talking to Jaime, hanging out for the day, and having the opportunity to settle some loose ends was truly a blessing. Absolutely gratifying! I am thrilled that all of this happened.

There was even a special grand finale to cap off our delightful evening before I eventually made the trek back to D-town. HAHAHA.

Time for bed. I open the restaurant at 10am. EEEEKKKK!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Atlantic City casinos and state-wide beaches forced to close!

News sources have indicated that the head of the Casino Control Commission (C.C.C.) has ordered to bring a close to casino gambling in Atlantic City, beginning on Wednesday, July 5 at 8am.

Atlantic City's casinos were ordered to close Wednesday, the latest casualty of a state government shutdown that entered its second day Sunday after the Legislature failed to adopt a budget by its July 1 deadline.

-Associated Press; Forbes.com

The reason behind this decision is due to a budget plan that was supposed to be made by July 1 to over come a $4.5 billion budget deficit. This is all because Governor Jon S. Corzine has proposed a sales tax increase from six to seven percent. There have been heated discussions of tax increases throughout the year.

Gov. Jon S. Corzine said Sunday there was "no immediate prospect of a budget." State parks, beaches and historic sites also were expected to shut down Wednesday.

-Associated Press; Forbes.com

It is a fact that the beaches, state wide, are being shut down. Tourists will still be permitted to enter the beach, but there will be no lifeguards or anyone monitoring the safety of those who go swimming in the water and put their own lives at risk. Furthermore, those who choose to enter the beach for sun bathing may do so free of charge. I suppose that is one good thing about all of this.

Ultimately, the people who suffer are the casino gamers of our state. For further details related to this story, read the Associated Press article in its entirety on Forbes.com.

No more walking through the casinos, gambling, and drinking Tanguray until the sun comes up. :(