Not Weird, I'm Eccentric - A Jackie Blog

I'm not weird. No, really. I'm just eccentric. All photos on this blog are ©2005 JackieS and are not to be used without permission.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Life Goes On -or- Is It All Homemade Bologna?

James Brown and President Ford both gone within a few days, but life goes on. Both men played a bit of a role in my own life, James Brown probably more than Gerald Ford. As a small white girl with red hair, I used to try to mimic James Brown's dance steps (probably cute at the time, but so not as good as he was) and his music was a part of my growing up days. As for Ford, to me he was a welcome respite from Nixon as I was in my huge activist days o' life when he took over the presidency.

But life goes on and, for all I know, it could all be homemade bologna.

The Jesus Ladies in their church hats, woolen coats, support stockings and sensible shoes still arrive each morning at the train station to spread the Word. Yes, you too can be saved, just read the Watchtower.

A street drunk named Willie insisted on reading a passage from the Bible to me. I couldn't help but note that his bookmark was an Union County Jail release stub. Ah, but Willie is basically okay; he's only harmful to himself and alcohol is his demon, not Satan.

New Jersey is the Garden State and, while some areas are really beautiful country, where I live is part of why the state is the most densely populated state in the country. Urban living in the 'burbs, so to speak. Living in a rather rough small city with big city crime woes hasn't been challenging for me. The gangbangers shoot each other up on a nightly basis as of late, but they just nod and say "How ya doin'" or "hola" as I walk by. I don't interest them. I don't look wealthy enough to rob and I'm so out of their element that they don't know what else to do but nod and say hi.

There I was standing awaiting a taxi near the train station one rainy night last week. All of a sudden, men with badges on chains and guns scoot by me from somewhere and arrest the barber from the hair shop next door. Um, okay. I've seen what I thought was him dealing drugs on the corner before but dismissed it as my own imagination as no one would be so foolish to deal on such a well-traveled public street corner. Right? I've even exchanged "how ya doin" with the guy and talked about the weather. We've even shared a cab. He never offered me drugs. I'm not sure if I should be offended at being dismissed or happy. I fear I must be getting old or something. Years back, street dealers offered me drugs. Not that I took them up on their offers, mind you. But, sheesh, at least they asked.

I overheard a New Jersey urban variation on the Verizon "can you hear me now" cell phone bit the other day. A man was yelling into his phone, "Can you hear me?" "Hey, do you hear me?" "Dammit, if you hear me, speak up!" "Well, if you're hearin' me, why the #%$ don't you just say somethin' an' let me know so I don't go on like a ^#$@in idiot!" I guess Verizon wouldn't want to use that in their ad campaign.

The homemade bologna just keeps keepin' on.

My exciting news from a while ago has turned pretty much to dust. I should know after all these years not to count on something before it's a done deal. But I'll keep makin' the bologna and exploring my wasted potential. I'll keep watching both the Jesus Ladies and the gangbangers with a watchful eye from the outside as I look inward.

Monday, December 25, 2006

So, This is Christmas...


A homeless man sleeps by one of the lions at the NYC Public Library.

I may have posted this photo before - I took it a few years back. However, I've been in one of those reflective moods today. The holidays are a bittersweet time for me as the last time my family was intact and had a "normal" holiday was over 30 years ago. Yes, I have good memories, but I can't help but wonder what it would be like to know my parents on an adult level. My brothers and I are spread throughout the country and spend the holidays apart for the most part. When we do get together, we realize how little time we've actually spent together in the larger scheme of life. I have one brother I haven't seen in about 30 years. No, we're not estranged, per se. We lost touch for a few decades, then talked on the phone and corresponded a bit, then he dropped out again.

Ah, well... So, this is Christmas...

"They said there'll be snow for Christmas, they said there'll be peace on Earth, but it just kept on raining, a veil of tears for the Virgin Birth..." - ELP

Sunday, December 03, 2006

IM n UR Mind... and I won't stop singing.

I know it's a bit outdated by now, but John Scalzi and Editor Jeff from AOL had this l33t bit a'goin' on a while ago. And, I was waiting for my cat to stay on my sneaker long enough to snag a shot. Why she does that, I don't know. But the second I take shoes off, especially sneakers, she's on 'em.

Thank you for visiting Bill, Charles and Beth (and whomever else may have been by). I hope you all have good holidays ahead!

I've been in a waxing nostalgic mood the last few hours and I know who's to blame. This morning, as per my Sunday morning habit, I watched Sunday Morning on CBS. One of the segments had to do with Yusuf Islam, or as I knew him in a previous life, Cat Stevens.

I was enamored with his music when I was a teenager and into my college days, then he vanished off the music scene when he converted to Islam. He's recently picked up the guitar once again and I have yet to check out his latest efforts. But, as Cat Stevens, he was magical and mystical. In breaking up with my first "serious" boyfriend, "It's a Wild World" played in my mind whenever I thought of him. "On the Road to Find Out" touched upon my own journey finding out about myself. And on and on. Even to this day, my cat (not the one pictured) is named Teaser and that's quasi-due to Teaser and the Firecat.

So, I couldn't take anymore. A few hours ago, I hit up my vinyl. Now, after listening to some of the music of my teen years, I've gone all nostalgic and dreamy. Stevie Wonder's Talking Book album, Moody Blues On the Threshold of a Dream, all of my Cat Stevens collection. Dang if the music doesn't take me to the same place it did all those decades ago. I'm glad I still have some turntables and my vinyl collection.

Of course, I could update a bit of the music for the current state of the Internet. For example, "In the Beginning" (Graeme Edge) of On the Threshold of a Dream, could be:

First Man: I think, I think I am, I think.
Establishment: Of course you are my bright little star.
I've miles
And miles
Of files
Pretty files of your forefather's fruit
And now to suit our
Great computer
You're magnetic ink.
First Man: I'm more than that, I know I am, at least, I think I must be.
Inner Man: There you go, man, keep as cool as you can.
Face piles
And piles
Of trials
With smiles
It riles them to believe
That you perceive
The web 2.0 they weave
And keep on thinking free.

There. How easy was that?

Tonight I'll be blogging The Amazing Race 10 on my TV Blog, but right I'm just a Hard-Headed Woman waiting for Longer Boats comin' to win us. Stop me before I break out my James Taylor, Jim Croce, Simon & Garfunkel, and Gordon Lightfoot stuff.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Has It Been Since May?

Yesterday, Blue Skies

Yikes! This shot was taken yesterday and I didn't touch that blue sky up at all. And, even more interesting, it's New Jersey!

I apologize that it's been since May between posts here. I've been concentrating on the television blogging hoping for professional and freelance work in the field. A few things have worked out with that - folks at Turner Broadcasting are sending me press kits (which are way cool), I've become the TV Section Editor for, earned some actual money over the summer with my TV blog, and have extended my reach in the field. I also have something in the works for a few months down the road, but I can't go into that right now. It's not set in stone and I don't want to jinx it.

In other news, my knee is growing increasingly worse. I haven't been able to go photo stomping as I used to do and settle for just getting back and forth between work and home. I'm putting off a knee replacement as it would involve a longer hospital (or rehab hospital) than I can be away from home. With the other surgeries, I led them to believe that I had someone here to help. With this one, it will be tougher. I'm not so worried about myself. If I can get around on crutches in the apartment, I'm fine. It's not a huge place and there are no stairs. But, still, they're talking a few weeks minimum in a hospital. My two cats are too old to be boarded - they'd freak out. And, the only friend around here I'd trust with a key recently moved to California.

Oh, well. I'll keep putting it off.

How are you?

Monday, May 15, 2006

It's Leaflets Three, Let Them Be Season

Yep, poison ivy! It's one of my favorite plants to photograph, but don't ask me why. Right now it's in the stage here where some leaves are lush and full while new leaves are showing their colors. As far as I know, I'm still not allergic to its toxin, but I don't test it. I took this shot at the Bridgewater NJ Transit rail station. They cut down most of the vines last summer, but it's hard to keep poison ivy down for long.

Of course, there are prettier plants out and about such as the orchid below. But they don't last as long as the poison ivy! The shot below was taken in my NJ 'hood. The woman living in the house is a flower fanatic, but keeps it safe with a high chainlink fence. I took the shot between the links. Can't keep me out!

In other news, I read up on how to keep an alligator from attacking you. Yes, I know the chances of an alligator attacking me here in New Jersey are probably slim to nothing, but one can never prepare enough! Or not.

In yet other news, AOL members reading this might be interested in this article I posted on Blogcritics.

Um. I have no more news! Later, alligator! (See...I knew they were around!)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Through the Cracks...

Yes, once again... I LIVE! I'm alive! This photo was taken in Plainfield, New Jersey - a flower growing through the crack of a wooden fence.

Thank you to those who've left comments. I've been working on the TV blog, writing and now editing for Blogcritics and working for a living (sigh to the last). My knee is still creating problems, so I haven't been photo-stomping much. But, I do live. And eat. Of course, I eat.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I Live, I am Alive, I Really Am

This is what happens when I find a dirty little snowman on a stick near a nasty snowbank. Instant celebrity.

Yes, I'm alive. Thank you Charles and Beth for asking. I'm in a bit of a doldrums sort of state. My knee's been bugging me; work at my job has been busy and just blahs have set in a bit. Beth, your blog looks fine -- I didn't get notice of your question until today while I got the notice from the one you made inquiring about me a day or two ago.

I've also been putting a lot of effort trying to get my The (TV) Show Must Go On... to a bit of a pro kind of status. Probably delusions of grandeur or something, but I'd actually like it to really take off like my 'Big Brother' blog did last summer. Ah, but with possible financial gain. Today I posted my first entry at (a sinister cabal of superior bloggers, blah, blah...) and hopefully that will get some more attention for the blog. American Idol - Girls' Night Up is the entry.

Other than that, my personal life has been sort of um... boring. Yeah, that's it!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cat Juggling For Fun and Profit

I took this shot in the illustrator mode of my digital camera. It seemed fitting. It's the view from the Plainfield, NJ Train Station. At one time, the fronts of these buildings were rehabbed. Alas, the backs of some are nasty and one is now bearing the red/orange condemned markings (the one in the middle). It looks like they sure were something in their heyday.

In other stuff:
Don't juggle cats. They don't like it and they have claws.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Charles Done Did It. He Tagged Me!

So, why do I have a blue man with ear buds on the train pictured here? It's all because of Charles! He was tagged by Chris and then tagged me! I'm not sure who I'll tag... most of the folks I would tag have already been tagged. Hmmm...

I fear some of this will show my age. Um... I don't have an IPod or MP3 Player. I do burn CDs from playlists, so that's what I'll use.

Why the Blue Man? Because. Oh. I go for a rather unusual mix. You've been warned.

My playlist (or tracks) from my homemade CD in my player:

  • Blue Man Group - from 'The Complex': Sing Along (w/Dave Matthews)
  • The Dave Brubeck Quartet: Take Five
  • Arrested Development: Tennessee
  • Percy Mayfield: TV Mama
  • The Doors: When The Music is Over
  • Muddy Waters: Got My Mojo Workin'
  • Big Mama Thornton: Little Red Rooster
  • Dave Matthews Band: So Much to Say
  • Dirty Vegas: Days Go By
  • War: Low Rider
  • Ween: Voodoo Lady
  • Leonard Cohen: Tower of Song
  • Smashmouth: Walking on the Sun
  • Harry Nilsson: I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City
  • Moxy Fruvous: Spider-Man
  • Rolling Stones: Sympathy for the Devil
  • Beatles: Instant Karma

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I'll Tumble For Ya...

Two boys from the 'hood show off their gymnastic skillz.

Actually, they're pretty good. They're perhaps nine years old. The one in the white shirt (his mom must love him tumbling in mud) can do at least 7 backflips in a row. Perhaps I could have bent like this when I was nine, but I couldn't do backflips without a prop like a diving board or skis.