Archive for the ‘Modern Rituals’ Category

Early Excitable: St. Paddy’s Day Parade

March 8, 2007

More on this tomorrow but JerseyCool will be in attendance at this weekend’s Seaside Heights St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It’s been awhile since we’ve attended but the parade is one of the more, ahem, colorful in the Garden St.

Nothing like the shore at the end of winter to get things going. Thankfully the weather looks to be good with temperatures kissing the 50s. Not nearly as cold as this clip of the Seaside Heights Polar Bear plunge a couple weeks back.

We’ll do our best to get more videos of insane people in Seaside this weekend.



Christmas in the Path Tunnel

December 18, 2006

JerseyCool took a break from the roads last week and rode the train into work on Friday. The fear of a fog induced pile up on I280 was just too great.

But this is not about New Jersey traffic. This post is about New Jersey Christmas. Now, Rockefeller center has it’s Christmas tree but here in New Jersey we have our own tradition. If you ride the Path train into Jersey City or Manhattan you’ve seen it. Like a beacon of Christmas spirit it pops up literally out of the smoldering darkness of the Path tunnel. Yep, it’s the Port Authority Christmas tree.

Those not familiar with the Path will be hard pressed to imagine this, but every year the Port Authority erects a Christmas tree in the bowls of the train tunnels. I don’t think its a real tree but its clear to every rider looking out a window that it indeed is a Christmas tree — decorations and all. It’s often overlooked. Occasionally, a child will point because it is admittedly an odd thing in an odd place. Yet, it’s a small token of what the season is about and during the often cold, inhumane daily grind, it’s a tiny reminder of humanity.


No Ho Hos for Blow Up Christmas Globes

December 5, 2006

Christmas GlobeWe got our Christmas ornaments out of storage yesterday and C has started pestering me about getting a tree. Not one of my favorite chores mind you since I’m sweeping out pine needles from the car for three months.

Now, before you all start bombarding me with “Dear Ebeneezer” letters, I am as filled with the Christmas spirit as any other guy. I’ve been know to sip eggnog, I wrap my own gifts (poorly, I’d like to add) and I’ll crank up the Christmas tunes just like everyone else. But JerseyCool has stumbled upon a disturbing new trend this holiday season: the blow up lawn ornament.

Yes, what normally was once reserved for windowless, adult toy stores along Route 1 has been Christmasized and moved to your neighbors lawn. You know what I’m talking about and you’ve probably hit the breaks as you’ve driven past these monstrosities dotting the suburban landscape.

Inflatable Christmas characters, sometimes by themselves, sometimes encased in a giant inflatable snow glob have become the annoying lawn decoration of choice. And these things aren’t tiny. No, they’re anywhere from 6-10 feet tall.

I’ve got nothing against Christmas decorations. We get a tree every year, we throw some holiday lights on the terrace and C likes to get tinsel everywhere. I even like driving by the houses that have covered every inch of their property with a bizillion lights. Those decorations are somewhat creative, but I am not particularly impressed with someone laying down a few hundred bucks at Home Depot for an inflatable piece of lawn crap.

Yeah, these things run into the hundreds of dollars. Funds that could be used to, oh I don’t know, give to charity, maybe.

Usually the crassness of this season doesn’t get to me too much. I’ve gotten used to seeing Christmas decorations on and around Labor Day, I’ve gotten used to seeing people stampede stores on Black Friday. We live in a consumer age and you have to live in your age, but can we at least draw the line at tacky ornaments that will, in all likelihood, stay on the neighbor’s lawn until March.

Suppose this latest fad takes off. Suppose in a couple months people start hoisting giant Valentine’s Day hearts, Easter Bunnies and on Memorial Day you know there will be a pissing contest over who has the biggest inflatable flag.

If you’re thinking of going to the stores this weekend and dropping some currency on one of these things JerseyCool has a suggestion. Below are links to several charities we like around here. These are just suggestions. JC doesn’t like to tell people what to do with their cash, much less where to give it. But, I’d rather see you people give moneyto a bum who’se gonna blow the wad on some Jack Daniels and Rumplemintz.

In our humble opinion that would be more in line with the supposed spirit of the season.

Instead of Buying an Inflatable Piece of Lawn Crap

Community Foodbank of NJ

USO Cares

American Diabetes Association

That iPod is Sooo Cute and Sexy?

November 9, 2006

I know. I’m off topic again but this is too good to be true.

Read on

 Props to Regina Lynn over at Wired for this one.


Dum, Dum, De, Dum (Part Deux)

November 7, 2006

Wedding bells, pigs in a blanket, ice sculptures, drunken DJ’s, uncomfortable moments with children, yep it was all there in the spectacle of public humiliation I like to call a wedding.
We traveled to beautiful Edison for the union of our friends and despite some traffic on Route Mall I mean Route 1 we made it on time to wait a half hour for the ceremony to start.

Here’s the thing about weddings. There are few times in life when you get to stand up in front of a crowded room, dress like it’s the 1950s and recite dialog cheesier than anything George Lucas could write. It is a singular moment of terror and embarrassment. Yeah, yeah, yeah there’s all this crying, mainly by the parents, flowers and other hokey-dokey-lovey stuff but primarily this is a chance for your friends to poke fun at you.

Now, I don’t want to rain on my friends parade. A lovely time was had by all. The free hooch almost assures that so here are just some general wedding thoughts and we’ll just leave it open as to where they came from.

  • White people can’t do the electric slide anymore. I’ll let you get away with the chicken dance because you’re supposed to look stupid when you do the chicken dance and beside I need a few songs to go have a pee. If black folk want to keep doing the electric slide, fine. But white people need to knock this off. I’m not picking on white folk. Heck, you Asian people should probably hit the bar too when that song comes on. 
  •  Another barbaric ritual that needs to go “bye, bye” is the whole garter throwing followed by a mini-porn show. Hey, let me think about this. The last time I watched porn with my family was…..hmmm…Never! Why exactly must we all be put into this uncomfotble situation at a family function. Oh, yeah and it’s really great when a little girl catches the bouquet and a little boy grabs the garter. Yeah, that’s a comfortable to watch. Hey I got an idea. Let me just jab this salad fork under my nail. It’s gotta be less painful. It’s even better when grandma and grandpa get in on the action. OK, I’ll let bridzilla throw the flowers because I know to pick and choose my battles but let’s skip the rest, cut the cake and go home.
  • If you must hire a DJ make sure he stays sober. Actually, I think we’ve reached the point where it’s not necessary to have a DJ anymore. I mean, can’t you find a wedding playlist on iTunes by now. If you can’t hire a living breathing band and, I understand it’s expensive, at least keep the DJ out of the sauce. Yeah, we saw it happen. It wasn’t pretty.
  • While we’re on bands. This whole paying for them to eat thing has got to go. When me and C hired our band. It was actually in the contract that we had to feed them dinner. An extra $40 a head at that time. The band leader explained to me that “We work an 8 hour night and you wouldn’t feel to good if you didn’t eat during work.” Yeah buddy but my boss doesn’t buy the pizza every day. Here’s my suggestion: bring a sack lunch.
  • Buffet dessert. Do fat Americans really need dessert stations, chocolate fountains, a pastries tray. When they opened the dessert bar last weekend there was a mini-stampede. It was like they were giving away free booze or something. Hey, wait a minute…
  • Has anyone else noticed they don’t let you object anymore. Lord, I haven’t heard that in a wedding since I don’t know when. Now, I’m sure this avoids a lot of awkward moments, but if I’m spending my Saturday afternoon off at a banquet hall and shelling out good money on a gift I want the right to object. It might just be me but I do have principles.