Sunday, April 29, 2007

I want to eat Shruti's trash

Today I had a little private showing of West Side Story in my front yard.

This morning I heard all these seagulls outside my house at around 7:30 a.m. I looked out the window and it was all these black-headed seagulls screeching at white seagulls. A turf war! I couldn't see if they had anything or were fighting over something.

But when I stepped outside, I realized what happened. Last night I had guests for a grill party on my awesome deck. That translated to a lot of trash in my garbage bin. My friend kindly took out the trash for me, but forgot to put the lid back on the trash can.

So the seagulls picked, pecked, clawed, whatever it is that seagulls do, through the garbage bag, scattering paper plates, empty bags and leftover, squishy, grilled tomatos (which are really good basted with olive oil and garlic, trust me).

Note to self: never forget to put the lid on the garbage can again.

(P.S. sorry its been a week, I had some bad news Monday and it took up the rest of my week. Plus I didn't feel like writing.)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Lies I told

I totally lied to you guys because I promised to tell you what potachos were on Friday, and here it is Monday and you STILL don't know.

Like all good liars, I have an excuse. This weekend was GOR-GE-OUS and any time spent in front of a computer was a total waste of time (aka work on Sunday.)

So what are potachos?
Like nachos, thick potato chips, covered with cheddar, bacon, tomatoes, onions, ketchip and chives with sour cream. In other words, perfection. They were just as delicious as anything with bacon can and should be. Forget how strange they sound and fly/drive to New Brunswick and eat them!

So let's get back to this past weekend thing. What a taste of life to come. Though, life to come will probably be considerably warmer than this, the idea of eating lunch in a sunspot on my back porch, grilling dinner, having a beer on my front porch and leaving all the windows open is definitely part of my future.

Of course, its only a taste as its going to rain the rest of the week, but I do plan on grilling again on Saturday (and tonight for that matter), so I hope it stops raining.

In more other news, this was one of those weekends where I loved my job. First I went to the top of Forked River "mountain" (its more like a tall hill), which is a private area. It was beautiful. Then I went in a rescue boat in a lagoon for a water drill.

Here are a few views from this weekend:

Thursday, April 19, 2007


This weekend I am heading to New Brunswick for my book club meeting and then to the city to meet with some friends. Since Friday is my day off and I'll already be in Central/North Jersey, I think I'm going to drop by Edison, N.J.

People here always recommend Edison to me as an Indian spot and seem surprised that I already know about it. Are you kidding? Growing up in Minnesota, I knew all about Edison and Jackson Heights (and Devon Ave. in Chicago, but that was closer to home) and all these other "mini-Indias." It seemed mythical and awesome to me at the same time. New Jersey! Crawling with desis! Indian publications in mainstream media! Indian advertisements in train stations!

What I never realized is how big of a state this small state is. I wrote earlier about the subsections of New Jersey and how distinct they are from one another. Part of that is that the majority of this huge Indian population is clustered around major metropolitan areas, like North/Central Jersey (aka NYC) or Cherry Hill (aka Philadelphia). In a sense, I am even more cut-off from the Indian population than I was in Minnesota.

I've always been a little behind on movies/music/styles from Indian, especially compared to my East Coast cousins, but without occasionally overhearing the Hindi satellite my grandpa watches at home or going to Desi parties where they are spinning the latest music and someone just came back from the "motherland," I am REALLY behind on things.

All of this is because I watched a movie yesterday which, up until a few weeks ago, i thought was fairly new. When I mentioned it to my (Dobbs Ferry-dwelling) aunt, she was like "oh that's not new, we saw it in the theater months ago."


I might try to do a better job of keeping up, but I also don't necessarily care that much about the music/movie/style aspect. I guess that is the only aspect that is lacking because I am keeping up on the more pertinent (and intellectual) issues via blogs that I frequently read.

But damn, I love me some Bollywood music.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Flooding, the end

The flooding is pretty much gone except for some reason when I came home tonight at midnight it was slightly flooded again.

Tonight I worked on election results. I find it so odd that voters vote on budgets, only because I am not used to it. In Minnesota school funding is mostly through a per pupil formula that is a combination of state and local monies. Voters don't vote on their local tax impact because its all combined in that per pupil formula...but this means enrollment is really important to schools!
What is voted upon by voters are operating referendums for when districts want more money for teachers, staff, programs and bond referendums for facilities like new wings or such.

I have no idea how NJ finance works.

inothernews, here is something funny. I am watching the songs for a Hindi movie and one of the songs says "Wanna dance all night," but they mixed the Hindi and the English and just put the word for dance in Hindi. Well that word is naach so it sounds like they are saying "Wanna nacho night" when they sing it. Why yes, I do want a nacho night.

But what is a potacho? Check here Saturday to find out!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Flooded in!

UPDATE2: I waded out of my house! Its a good thing I moved my car when I did or I would have definitely had to stay in my house til the water subsided (maybe that wouldn't be a bad thing, it would be like another day off. I came in to finish a story that was supposed to run tomorrow, but now its being held a week, so I could've done cop checks and weather reports from home!) Anyway, the water was almost to the top of my bottom step, along with some gross sticks and litter like cigarette packets. I hiked down the street through my neighbors' yards but when I got to the end of the road, I had to wade through calf-deep water to get to my car. I might go to the car wash today just to spray underneath my car, make sure there is no salt left in there to muck with my car. I will update soon with more pics!

UPDATE: I was listening to the news reports and they were talking about how flooding shouldn't be as bad on the Jersey Shore because the wind down here is coming from the West blowing East--so against the ocean. Um yeah, unless you live on an island! I live on the bayside (west end) of Long Beach Island, so the water is coming in from the bay.
The water is getting higher and higher. I moved my car out of the backyard so I can have the option of going to work if necessary because the water went up several inches within a half hour.

I can't get out of my driveway because the flood waters have come in past my house and are up to the next house up the street. I think they should subside soon, but if they don't do I get a "flood day" at work? hmmmm.

This is looking down my street towards the bay. You can see the edge of my sidewalk to the right of the picture. I can't tell how deep the water is in front of my house, but its definitely deeper as we go towards the bay. I also do not want to drive in this!

My car is hiding in the backyard!

This flooding is definitely worse than the last time, plus the weather is nastier. Also, that day I didn't have to go anywhere until after the flooding was over, since I hadn't started work yet (of course, it was my moving weekend!)

This is a pic from my moving weekend:

Hmmm, now that I reread my last entry, I said the waters receded around 5 p.m. I hope these waters recede sooner than that!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Storms a'comin

The storms that caused tornadoes in Texas and snow in Kansas has hit the Jersey Shore. Besides high winds and lots of rain, it is also a new moon, which affects how high the tide is. I cannot claim to have any actual understanding of tides and moons and rains and Nor'easters and how they work, I'm just going to repeat what I've (sort of) learned.

Apparently this combination of the new moon and several inches of rain is what causes coastal flooding such as what happened when I first moved here. My newspaper had me stay on the island this morning and drive up and down to report what I saw--and take a few photos.

The wind on the beach was terrific! It blew straight back from the ocean and seemed as if it was trying to push me back through the beach access point. I've never felt such a straight wind* before, usually its all swirly and going several directions at once. (*note this may not be the technical definition of a straight wind, just descriptive.)

Since the beaches in Surf City are still closed, I was unable to see the effects on my beach, but I went down to Ship Bottom, Long Beach Township and Beach Haven to see what was happening down there.

Here is what I saw (some also will probably be in tomorrow's Asbury Park Press):

Home near Merivale Blvd. in Long Beach Township. This area did not get beach replenishment, which is why the ocean is literally at their back door!

Foam on the beach near Merivale Avenue. It was sort of gross-looking and pretty at the same time. I definitely stepped in some.

Ship Bottom beach

This notorious local nightspot decided to turn storms into drinking. I wouldn't want to be the person who had to climb up there and put that up this morning!

Can you imagine thinking about going to the beach today? Apparently Long Beach Township thinks some people might, and opened their beach badge office on time.

Cars splash through water on the road near St. Francis of Assisi Church and Community Center in the Brant Beach section of Long Beach Township.

Sign near Long Beach Township municipal offices. It also reminded people to move their cars to high grounds.

Cars from my neighborhood park on the median of Barnegat Blvd. It doesn't appear our street is going to flood, but you never know!

By the way, today is the 10-year anniversary of the Red River Valley floods in Northwest Minnesota, that flooded Grand Forks and then caused fires. A lot of my college friends were high schoolers at that time and told me stories I couldn't believe. I heard a few nice pieces on NPR this morning, one of which was about a woman from Grand Forks who went to help Katrina victims because she understood what they were going through.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Today may be a bad day to blog about biking, as it is pouring rain and I am not feeling so hot myself, but I've been trolling craigslist to find myself a few good secondhand bikes. It is getting warmer so its time to think about what happens to this island when summer folk flood it--bumper to bumper traffic.

I've been informed that it is not uncommon to hear of people biking to and from bars. Therefore, it is not uncommon to hear of people getting tickets for biking drunk. There is a ticket for that??

I live less than 10 miles from work, so I'd love to bike to work. Unfortunately the bridge from Long Beach Island doesn't have the nice sign the bridge to Seaside Heights has on its bridge. I get the feeling that drivers here view bikers as an annoyance--like people who bike only do so because they can't afford a car.

Right now its sort of a moot point because my bike was stolen from my front porch when I lived in St. Paul (it was a gentrified area that was only two blocks from a not-so-gentrified area. Someone actually sawed the porch railing to get the bike off!)

It's been tough to find a good secondhand bike that isn't really expensive. I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a bike right now (save that money for my surfing fund!) but I do want something that can get me to the library and grocery store when my car will seem ridiculous to try and use.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Picture this!

Something different for my blog: A picture post! I had a really nice Friday when my friend Kristen visited my island. We started Friday at breakfast at ScoJos...and I tried Pork Roll for the first time! It tastes like Bacon but looks like Canadian bacon. I think I like regular bacon better for eating, but I think Pork Roll on a breakfast sandwich would be perfect. Then we went up to the Barnegat Lighthouse and actually walked to the very end of the stone jetty at its base. It took us about 2 hours roundtrip...I wonder how long it actually is! The concrete portion is only about .1 miles, but I bet the stone part is much more.

Here is some of what we saw:

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Not so buggy

A quick update on the bugs: they are gone. I didn't take a picture of them because I assumed they were some type of summer staple, but they flew away the next day.

I told my landlord about them and he guessed it was a termite swarm!

When I heard the phrase termite swarm prior to this, I imagined a huge black cloud of tiny bugs with big jaws blotting out the sun, probably to the tune of Wagner's Ride of the Vylkries. (Trust me, you know this song).

But they just turned out to look like tiny ants with silvery wings. I guess some of them got left behind because today I found one in my car and when I rolled down the window to let it fly away, it was squished by the window and flap part.

Two parts delicate, one part stupid: doesn't sound like that much of a threat to me.

Monday, April 2, 2007


I am excited for the baseball season starting! I know that going to Phillies games will be easiest, but I've already arranged to go see my Twins play in Baltimore in August. (I am in California during the time when they play the Yankees boo)

In terms of being the greatest sport, I honestly think hockey and soccer rank above baseball. But in terms of being great sports to be a fan of? I think baseball is best. There is no other sport that rewards fans quite as much--from low tickets prices, to excellent atmosphere, to low drama players, to lots of field gimmicks.

Of course, some of that is because (as a friend pointed out) because baseball has about 80 home games a season, while sports like football only have 8 (hence low ticket prices), but I love baseball for being a sport that rewards its fans. Truly All-American.

Anyway, the above picture is from a local Little League game...I'm not such a fan of sports parents, but I do love how into the sport Little Leaguers are. My friend lives a few blocks away from a Little League field in Philadelphia's Center City and we have decided to go watch a few games there.