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Category: Observation

Let’s walk 8 miles … for a haircut!

Let’s walk 8 miles … for a haircut!

When Chris and I are old (many, many years from now), we will tell our great-grandnieces/great-grandnephews about how we, as young adults (a stunning, beautiful woman in her late thirties and a handsome, dashing man in his almost-mid-forties) walked eight miles across the George Washington Bridge into a completely different state for … a couple of haircuts.

Always up for a bit of fun, we are!

I thought it would be nice to walk to Fort Lee, NJ to have breakfast at the Original Pancake House (which we didn’t – too crowded) and get our hair cut at Supercuts (which we did). Our hair was getting a little unruly:

Chris's untamed hair


Not so bad, really. Mine was a little more scraggly:

Kim's scraggly hair


Sad. Before you ask me why I’m smiling a little odd, I’ll tell you. I’m trying not to show my teeth so much because when I do, I see them as weird:

Kim's teeth


Oh, no Kim. You can hardly see the tooth on the left side of your screen sticking out and starting to cross over the other one. So much for braces, huh? Actually, I think this started happening only in the last couple of years or so and Chris feels it has to do more with the way the light shines on it. Hmmm. Well, I see the dentist this week …

Enough about me and my snaggletooth! The point of walking 8 miles was about the haircut and the exercise! We would get a good workout in as well as running some errands, so … off we went!

The Big Walk map


‘A’ is where we started. ‘B’ is where we stopped at Rite Aid Pharmacy. ‘C’ is where we got our hair cut at Supercuts. I think ‘D’ (not shown) is where we stopped to look at our old apartment. ‘E’ is where we stopped to eat at 5 Guys for burgers and fries and peanuts (look at the menu – they serve peanuts).

George Washington Bridge


Bicyclists on the bridge


The view from the bridge


Not to be confused with A View from the Bridge which is a play by Arthur Miller and has nothing to do with getting a haircut. Not to mention, that play talks about the Brooklyn Bridge which is not at all close to where we are.


Tennis courts, trees, highway, and railroad tracks


Bridge towering over us


Isn’t that intimidating?

Hudson River with Manhattan on the left and New Jersey on the right




Interesting shot of the bridge and Palisades State Park in Jersey


I really liked how that shot looked. Awesome job, Chris!

Speaking of:

The photographer we know and love


Kim and Chris in a mirror


With the bikes riding on the same path as the pedestrians, there are mirrors stationed in areas where visibility is low to prevent accidents. Just in case you were wondering where this mirror came from. Now you know.

How far we've traveled at this point


I don’t know if you can see it, but there are cars driving beneath the bridge as well as on top.

Almost there


Our destination


Finally! I’ll not bore you with shots of the Supercuts or Five Guys. Instead, I’ll put you sleep with a picture of our old apartment:

Our old apartment


Apartment unit


Top floor in the corner – pretty sweet! We could have stayed, but we really missed living in Manhattan. We moved into this apartment as an easier transition from Chicago to New York. Sort of like … I wanted to say halfway house, but that has kind of a negative connotation. Still – I think you get the gist.

Okay – wake up, wake up! We are finally at the end of this whole wordy story. The haircuts!

Chris's haircut


Kim's haircut


Huh. Looks like I don’t have a snaggletooth after all. Maybe it IS the lighting.

And thus ends the tale of a walk and a haircut … two bits!! 😉









How the train got to where it is now

How the train got to where it is now

As you saw in the last post, the train has a prominent place in the dining room. There was quite a process to get it there, all starting with a bright idea of mine.

Yes – I was the cause of the three weekends being overtaken by moving tons of furniture around this apartment. Since we’ve had a LOT of experience moving over the last 6-7 years, the internal move was pretty much a breeze.


Well, it began with Chris telling me about one of many play or movie ideas he has spinning around in his head constantly. I said, “You know, honey, you really should have your very own creative space to work out these ideas and write them down and not get distracted by me sitting at a desk right behind you. We should move the train to where my desk is now, and my desk into the bedroom where the train is!”

Silly girl. Who did I think was going to help him move the behemoth out of the bedroom? Not only that, but the rest of the furniture? No matter. I wanted to make this happen for the most creative love of my life. 🙂

Here we go:

Living Room before with my desk on the left


Bedroom before with the train in the back


In the midst of moving things around


Out of the bedroom


It’s pretty amazing that we got it out of the bedroom at all, since the doorway is 6′ 1/2″ x 2′ 1/2″ and the train is 8′ x 3′ and it doesn’t bend. At all. Chris almost sawed it in half, but we made it work in one piece.


Another view of the leaning train as seen from the bathroom


Tree casualties


That was it for the damage! Not a problem to fix – they were able to be glued back on.


Peeking out of the doorway


Or maybe the train was peeking in, wanting to get back inside. We’ll never really know.


Bedroom in the midst of the move


Measuring the width of the hallway


We thought it would easily make it through the 3′ wide hallway. We didn’t take into consideration the molding which took up about an inch of space. SO CLOSE! Still, it wasn’t going back into the bedroom, so we crossed our fingers (mentally – we were kind of busy with the table) and SOMEHOW … we got it through!

I should mention that we had to take the legs off the table – all six of them – so that we could get it through the door. Once we were in the living room, they had to be put back on. We couldn’t set the train down on anything, really, because there is a crazy tangle of wires underneath for the lights. So …


Kim holding end of train table


I held one end while the other end (no wires in the way) sort of balanced on a table until Chris could come around and screw on the legs. I asked him to take this picture, so don’t think he was off taking a nap while I built up my biceps.

Once the train was assembled, we moved everything into position:


Bedroom with Kim's desk


Living room with train in it


Doesn’t that look nice?

It does (DID), but the train was kind of overtaking the space. We had to move a bookshelf next to Chris’s desk (upper right in the picture) to make room, and the red chair on the left (Matilda’s chair, for all intents and purposes) was forced too far into the living room. So … time to make another change.

Oh boy.

I was just starting to heal from my last encounter with the train:




Isn’t that a beaut? Such a pretty color …

Anyway, the Feng Shui of the apartment was suffering – especially with my computer in the bedroom. Plus, if I were sitting in bed against the wall reading a magazine or book and Chris was playing music through his computer against the opposite side of the wall where my head was (not loud but still audible) … it just wasn’t going to work. A simple fix like wearing headphones wasn’t going to do, either. No. I had ANOTHER brilliant and exhausting idea.

Kim: Hey, hon. Let’s move the bed to the opposite side of the wall like we talked about last week when I said we should wait a while so your back could have a chance to heal. Then, let’s move my desk out into the dining room and move the Victrolas into the bedroom along with the brown dresser? Doesn’t that sound like a good idea?

Chris: OKAY!!

I didn’t think he’d be that excited about it, but he was. So it began again:


This is how the dining room looked before


Wasn’t that pretty?


Moving the desk components to the living room


Piano on its way to the dining room


Kim's desk and piano in the dining room


Finished, right? No. After that exhausting move, we collapsed on the couch (me) and chair (Chris) and sort of quietly stared at my desk. We didn’t speak, but we knew. We knew my desk and piano could not live there. No, sir. The area went from looking beautiful to looking all cluttered and junky. There was no way we could live with that. The feng shui was all messed up. We weren’t any better than when we started. We tore ourselves off of the couch and chair and proceeded to move things around … AGAIN.

We put my desk back to where it began in the first place weeks ago and moved the train to the area where my desk was sitting in the dining room, and … voila!

Dining room with train


Living room now


Bedroom now - looking in


Bedroom now - looking out



There is nothing else to move and we just signed our lease renewal so … there! This configuration will stay!










Creepy and fascinating – I can’t stop watching!

Creepy and fascinating – I can’t stop watching!

I’m talking about the Surinam Toad (also known as Pipa Pipa). Creepy because of the way the little babies are born, and fascinating because of the way the little babies are born.

Ewww – I had to shake all the shivers out of my body before embarking on this post.

Okay. I think I’m ready.

While watching Nature on PBS (Born Wild: The First Day of Life which you can watch online until May 9th), we saw the most amazing creature in the Surinam Toad. This toad from South America is flat and hatches it’s eggs on her back.


The eggs are released from the toad and fertilized by the male who then embeds the eggs into the female’s skin. It takes about 10 days to embed into the skin fully where they stay and grow into tadpoles and emerge as fully formed toads after about 12-20 weeks.

I found the Honolulu Zoo website to have some nice information and pictures, plus you have your Wikipedia, of course.

Surinam Toad (aka Pipa Pipa) (picture courtesy of Wikipedia)


Surinam Toad eggs (picture courtesy of Honolulu Zoo)


Surinam Toad eggs starting to hatch (picture courtesy of Honolulu Zoo)


Surinam Toad (picture courtesy of Wikipedia)


Surinam Toad hatching (picture courtesy of Honolulu Zoo)


Isn’t that wild? The BBC has basically the same video (only cleaner and nicer), but I’ll show you the video I found on YouTube from the PBS program which I saw on TV:


And kinda gross.



Spam – it’s NOT what’s for dinner

Spam – it’s NOT what’s for dinner

I’m not talking about SPAM, which IS for dinner,



or BEEF, which is ALSO for dinner …

I’m talking about Spam in your email. Specifically in MY email which I’m able to block with an email … blocker thingy. That’s really great, but it still bugs me how many spam emails I get in a day. It fluctuates a lot, and Chris has the same issues with his email. I’m just not sure how we got on the “Spam List of the Year”:

Daily Report


April 17th - 3

3 messages. Not bad!

April 29th - 24

24 messages. Okay.

April 30th - 32

32 messages. Sill manageable.

May 1st - 72

72 messages? Really?

May 2nd - 80

Now, wait a minute here …

May 3rd - 107

Hey … this is starting to get out of hand …

May 4th - 116

Ahhhhhhh!!!! Avalanche!! 116 new messages!

May 5th - 22

22? Is this some kind of a sick joke?


What’s in store for me tomorrow? Zero?

I’ll be on my guard …


Mahjong message

Mahjong message

I don’t have many games on my iPhone, but one game that I do have is Mahjong. Not JUST Mahjong, but Shanghai Mahjong Lite.

Take your time …

I am in my 30s, not my 90s, but sometimes I just want something simple and calming. This game is that to the extreme.

Did you like how I tried to make it sound more exciting than it is? You gotta give me points for THAT.


iPhone Mahjong


The actual way to play the game is a lot more complicated than this iPhone version. The way to play on the phone (or some other computer versions) is to simply match tiles to make them disappear. The tiles can’t be touching on more than one side – they have to be free and clear to disappear.

Ha ha. I’m such a clever wordsmith.

ANYWAY – the whole point of this post was to talk about the weird little fortune cookie message that showed up when I completed the game:

MSG Message


Really? Really. They couldn’t give me a “Positive thoughts bring about positive change” or “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”? Perhaps something a bit more useful than “Everything’s better with a salty flavor enhancer that can cause headaches, flushing, numbness, sweating, and chest pain“.

Come on.

Maybe I’ll just go back to playing Angry Birds.