Just a typical boring Saturday for me: cleaning the bathroom, a trip to the car wash, and, as usual, two women in evening gowns, standing on opposing ends of a bar counter, furiously playing Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir on hot pink electric violins. I’m thinking of hiring them to accompany me and herald my arrival every time I walk into a bar.
Todays entries are sponsored by this paving company. There is nothing funny about the services they provide. Nothing at all.
So please give them your patronage, and get ready for the most satisfying hot rubber crack filling that your driveway ramp is willing to endure.
On the west side of the lower Hudson River lies a line of steep cliffs called the Palisades. They form the scenic backdrop for every trip taken across the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey. I’ve thought about walking their trails for a long time. This Saturday I finally did. I hope you enjoy this photoessay of my walk through the Palisades Interstate Park.
This is a cup of iced coffee at the start of the trip. My instructions were simple: “Put whatever you want in it, as long as it looks like the clouds of Jupiter.”
The trail began in Fort Lee, New Jersey. There’s a lot of nature in Fort Lee, as you can see by the location of the trailblazes.
On the pedestrian overpass, toward the more scenic part of the trail.
The first full view of the George Washington Bridge.
Things got more rustic at this point. You better get used to pictures of leaves, ‘cause I got a whole boat-load of ‘em.
Not far from the start of the trail, we stopped at the home of Bilbo Baggins.
You want leaf pics? I got em right here.
And mushroom pics.
And a picture of this pole that someone named Nancy.
Here’s a gate. If anyone knows its name let me know.
What’s that, you say? More leaf pictures? All you had to do was ask.
The nicest part of the whole experience was how far removed we felt from the rest of civilization.
Did somebody say leaves? I got your leaf pics right here!
This was a broken window pane from a park bathroom. A bit of beauty in urban decay.*
This was a feminine hygiene dispenser in the same bathroom. It was last used by Martha Washington.*
A view of the bridge on the return trail.
Graffiti on a park bench.
The bridge near a pylon.
As we got ready to leave, we wished the bridge good luck on its upcoming audition for the role of Dinobot in the next Transformers movie. *
In case you missed them the first time around - leaves.
I hope you enjoyed the scenery.
*Photo courtesy of @pathologicalartist.
A lumbersexual is a metrosexual who has adopted a rugged fashion style, with elements often borrowed from a lumberjack such as a well-groomed beard, flannel shirt and outdoor accessories. I didn’t coin this term, but I sure wish I did.
At first, when I told my friend at work I thought he was a lumbersexual, he was in denial. But he quickly came around. In fact, now he’s intensely proud of his lumbersexuality. In the days which followed his awakening, his girlfriend captured the essence of his being in a series of photographs, all of which I will now make fun of:
In this photo he reveals a stoic determination, despite his functional alcoholism. Alternatively, looks a lot like a liquor ad from the back of a SkyMall Magazine.
Remind me again why you need an axe? You live in northern New Jersey. Last I checked there were 43 trees left in the entire state. In all likelihood the background was photoshopped from a 1983 Sears studio portrait. By the way, do you even have a fireplace?
Oh, there he goes, brooding all over the place.
You know the trees are behind you, right?
A big thanks to my lumbersexual friend and his girlfriend, two great people who are very good sports.
I’ll see you at the next beard-sculpting, with a glass of bourbon in my hand.
The other day, this was a lunch item in the cafeteria:
Naturally, I assumed that the caterers got a kickback every time they use a word that starts with B. This would most neatly explain the dessert item it was paired with:
I ordered it, of course. It sounded so tasty. Not bad, a little dry perhaps. But frankly, I didn’t understand the need for all that violence. Did you know you’re that not allowed to bring food into the trauma bay? Life’s little lessons.
For the record:
A) It was actually in front of a Panera’s but I thought QuickCheck sounded better.
B) I had a whole elaborate story set for this picture which had little or nothing to do with poorly hidden drugs, but at the end of the day I was tired, and coke won.
C) Yes, I know it doesn’t look exactly like coke, but hiding rock salt just wasn’t as funny. I could be wrong, though.
The morning started off like so many others before it - the sun harassing me through dirty half-open venetian blinds, an empty bottle of cheap hooch on the nightstand; the kinda morning that makes you wish you could just skip to the next night.
I was just about to roll out of bed to face the day when I spotted it on the carpet in front of the doorway - cut up like the roof of your mouth after eating Captain Crunch cereal. I didn’t know how long it had been there. All I knew was, the toilet paper roll was dead and anyone could’ve done it:
Who did this? And why? Would they be back? Every question only made three more. It was time to start looking for clues.
A day’s worth of investigating led to an important break. Apparently, it started with a kidnapping:
After two more sleepless nights, I finally found the scene of the murder - in the hallway right around the corner. It was more grizzly than the steak sandwich I ordered at Appleby’s for dinner that night:
But I was still no closer to finding my killer, and I was getting desperate. I wanted answers and I wanted them now. I shook down the plant in the hallway, but the only dirt he spilled was potting soil:
Two days of grueling field-work, a few more empty bottles of booze, a mutilated roll of Sharman toilet paper and a traumatized houseplant. I had no killer and I had lost hope of ever finding him. It was enough to make a grown man cry.
Maybe I’m out of my mind, but sometimes I could swear he was watching me, waiting for me to make my next move. Like I said, maybe I’m out of mind.
But at the end of the day, at least I had my trustworthy cat by my side.
I’d like to take this opportunity to update you on a few of my favorite website entries over the past month:
From ‘One Man’s Junk Is Another Man’s Art’
Who can forget that charming owl sculpture which helped launch my website so many moons ago. You’ll be excited to learn that the artist’s friend, also in elementary school, was non too keen on being left out of the spotlight. Here is her original drawing, of either a person holding up two turkey legs over a little christmas tree, or the tanned, unshaven legs of an insane person, whose anus dangles precariously over a writhing, malformed artichoke. You decide which. I already have.
I would like to thank last month’s rotating students for leaving a bag of bagels for us on the last day of their rotation, as a token of appreciation. They were delicious. In the future, however, might I recommend using a different phrase to encourage us to help ourselves?
In honor of my recent birthday, one my relatives, who will remain nameless, baked me a cake. Recalling my love for dinosaurs as a child, she decided to bake it in the shape of a dinosaur. It was a truly delicious cake. Mind you, a better one than I could ever bake. The cake design was based on one available from bettycrocker.com, as seen in this image from their website: