Thursday, June 4, 2020

September 15, 2012- The Turtleback Zoo- Part 2

   I should have gone back to the swans. I don’t think that the 3 photos that I took of them came out that great. I also took a few of the animal shaped shrubs but not of the elephant one which I really regret.

   We took some pictures of the signs too. I had suggested this. I did forget a few though, like the turtles. I should have taken more than 3 of the 2 kinds of these

   I’m not sure how many photos I ended up taking. I went kind of bonkers with the sheep and horses. I probably will put them onto the computer on Monday. I can’t wait to tell Sharon about the zoo. She likes going to zoos also. I wish that she could have been with us today.

   The horse in the stable was another photo that I didn’t take. I was going to do so after seeing the goat but my stupid side said that I didn’t need that shot for I had taken 2 of it when it was outside. But I really wanted this; it was the prettiest horse there.

   Mike bought his lunch at a cafĂ© type place. He got the burger and fries. I had packed a sandwich and a multi-grain bar so I just had to buy a soda. The grilled chicken did look good; maybe I’ll get that next time, which probably will be late April. That seems so far away.

   There were a lot of nice postcards in the gift shop; it was hard choosing just a few. I got the wolf for mom, a red panda for me and a fox for Sharon. I should have gotten one for Mommie 2. Mike said that we should get Dad the eagle which we did.

    Dad collects eagle stuff. I used to collect raccoons. Mom is a cardinal, cow and tiger collector; she used to be a koala one. We both get cocker spaniels too. Mike has a collection of the Star Wars and Star Trek pewter figures.

   I wish that I had bought myself the snow leopard and prairie dog postcards too. I really wanted to but my brother said that I should only get 4 of them like he was doing. I shouldn't have listened to him.

   As much as I would love to go back to this zoo, I really don’t think that I can handle driving there again. I wonder if there is a bus stop nearby. I will have to look into this. I sure hope that there is.


Our Collectibles



Wednesday, June 3, 2020

September 15, 2012- Turtleback Zoo- Part 1

I survived the Garden State Parkway. This is the first time that I have been on it in 7 years. Getting to the zoo wasn’t as bad as coming home; it was pretty confusing and scary then.

   We had such a good time there. My brother seemed happy esp. when we were at the otter and penguin exhibits which were our favorite. We liked the sheep a lot too; we got to pet them.

   The groundhog never came out though which was disappointing. My brother was telling a lady how he had saved a baby one that was in the middle of the street. We kept it overnight and bought it to the vets the next morning.

   Hopefully we will get to see the groundhog and a couple of the other animals that weren’t out when we go there in the spring. They are putting a new exhibit there, Sea Lions.

   The river otter wasn’t out at first so we went back there later. It was so much fun watching it swim. It was doing flips in the water and coming up to the glass. I tried getting good pictures of it in and out of the water but this was hard. I think that some came out nice.

   We both bought stuffed otters at the gift shop. I still have the 2 otters from my childhood- Seamore and Mrs. Otter. I loved playing with stuffed animals when I was a kid and totally regret getting rid of many of them in the late 1980s. They were like friends to me.

   I was feeling more joy watching that otter today than I’ve ever felt at any concert – how silly is that? They really should have a friend there for that otter; it must be pretty lonely. Other zoos have exhibits with two or more. I felt like talking to an employee there about this but was too afraid to do so.

   Part of me hates that these zoo animals can’t roam around freely in the wild, which causes me inner conflict about how I feel regarding zoos. I do enjoy seeing the animals there. I heard a young boy saying that the cougar was looking kind of sad. I was agreeing with him, thinking that maybe it is.

    Wasn’t there a” Twilight Zone” episode in which aliens held some humans in captivity like animals in a zoo on their planet?  I wonder how the animals in such places really feel.

   They had white and black wolves in addition to the gray ones. This was interesting and nice to see. I liked the big cat and farm animal exhibits also.

   Mike said that there were 8 penguins the last time that he was there. We only saw four of them. The one was swimming a lot so it was hard getting good pictures of it. I think that I got a few.

 He’s been to this zoo 4 times over the past few years. This was only my 2nd time; the first was like 40 years ago- either 1974 or 1975. I have a few pictures of me from then. I’m on a pony in one and in another I’m petting a deer. Next year is the zoo’s 50th anniversary.

   We only saw 4 prairie dogs. Mike saw 12 of them once. I’m just glad that they finally came out of their burrows- is that the right word? I was going to say holes.



Prairie Dogs

Mrs. Otter and Seamore

Otter and Prairie Dog Souvenirs


Sunday, May 31, 2020

June 18, 2012- Duran Duran Day

I arrived at the “GMA” studios in Times Square really early. It was still dark. No one else was even standing outside of it yet. I sat at a table nearby it for a while until a few other people turned up.

   We watched DD doing their sound check. Nick and Simon had waved at us. I wasn’t even afraid to wave back. Roger was smiling at us. I can’t remember if he waved or not. He probably did.

   Our view was of the back of them. Nick was basically blocking Simon. Roger was facing towards the side so we saw him the best.

   It felt kind of strange looking at them through the window like this. It was as if I were observing the animals at an exhibit in a zoo.

   Hopefully, my brother and I will be going to the Turtleback Zoo this summer. I am really looking forward to seeing the otter there. Otters are so adorable.

   One of the studio employees had come outside at one point and was asking if anyone was in the fan club then writing their names down. How did these girls prove that they were in it? Did they have a special pass or ticket?

    They were allowed in the studio to see DD’s performance. I was wishing that I had rejoined that fan club. I had only been in it for two years starting at the end of 2008.

   I saw the girl who I had hung out with during the Central Park show in 2008. I had seen her at the Wellmont Theatre too. She had mistakenly gone to that park thinking that they were performing there.

   A girl had a Nick doll. It was handmade and she paid a lot for it. She told me that she has been to 110 concerts. Damn, that is a lot.

   She showed me photos of her dressed up as River Song from “Doctor Who’” at Comic Con.

   They did the interview outside in the area that I had originally been standing in. I was sort of wishing that I had stayed there but then maybe I wouldn’t have been able to see them when they were performing.

   I am not sure if you could see them from there. I had noticed that the screen that Sam does the weather at was blocking my view of the inside when I did look in from that angle but maybe they moved it when DD did their songs.

   I better not think that much about this; I don’t need another thing to beat myself up about. I was already mad at myself for not looking at the TV screen inside sometimes to get a front view of DD during their performance.

   I did briefly try to get closer to them when they were outside so that I could take photos. These came out pretty shitty. I did get some okay shots of them through the window.

   They did “Sunrise” and “Girl Panic”. After the show, they did “All You Need is Now”. They must have been filming this for something else- maybe the internet.

   I was hanging out with a nice girl, Tammy. She lives in CA now but is originally from NJ. We waited outside of the studio afterwards with hopes of catching a glimpse of the DD guys.

   Our view wasn’t great. Pro photographers were doing a lot of the blocking. Dom and Anna came out first but we didn’t really see them that clearly.

   Tammy went across the street so I followed her. I am so glad that we did this. We got to see John, Nick, Roger, and Simon pretty well from there.

   I took photos then as well but the one of Simon wasn’t that great. He was getting into a vehicle so it is more like a side angle.

    I also took photos of the show’s hosts. Sam walked by us when we were waiting for DD. I had seen him in person like in 1986 when he was weather guy at “Eyewitness News”. That was when we were waiting to get in the studio to see Regis and Kathie Lee.

    Tammy and I were both going to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. We ate at a place there. We were talking about DD a lot, of course. She mentioned that she had seen them in 2004 (or was it 2005?) when they performed in Times Square. She was in the second row; lucky her.

   I hadn’t been totally into them as of then. That didn’t happen until after my first concert at MSG in April of 2005. I am sure that if I had been, I would have tried to attend that event.

   Even though I was feeling a bit anxious about socializing with her and others at this event too, it felt sort of nice being around other people who have the same interest as me  

   My tickets for their Atlantic City concert came in the mail today. I was pretty happy to see this. I can’t wait until this event. I haven’t been there in 20 years.




Thursday, May 28, 2020


August 27, 2016- Alien Attack

I was in a department store that was Target-like but a bit bigger. My friend Joe was with me. He looked like John Taylor. Our appearances were younger though, like circa 1992.

   We first looked in the electronics department. There were many types of stereos from the 80s- present day. After this, we decided to split up for a little while. He went to the men’s department to look at shirts and I was going to look for a pair of jeans for myself.

    I saw about 30 people gathered by the housewares department. I was curious about this so I went over there to find out what was going on.

   I had thought that perhaps some sort of demonstration was occurring. I saw a keyboard set up there and standing next to it was Howard Jones. What the heck was he doing here?

  A girl was asking him a question. After he answered this, a man told the small crowd that Mr. Jones would return in about 15 minutes to perform a couple of songs.

    I wondered if these would be “Things Can Only Get Better” and “No One is to Blame” like he did at the “Today” show mini concert in June. I am glad that I hadn’t backed out of going to that.

   I found out that he had been doing a question and answer session for around 25 minutes. I wish that I had been there for this. I decided that I would find Joe because I knew that he would like to see this performance.

  As I was walking towards Menswear, I saw my cousin Missy. We talked for just a couple of minutes. She was heading towards the fitting room to try on a couple of outfits.

   Before I got to that department, I saw something very unusual. A small orb shaped object was flying nearby me. It was about the size of a soccer ball. I saw it get close to a guy and then bump into his arm.

   The man immediately fell to the ground. He was in a frozen, statue-like state. I became really scared, started running, and looked for Joe. I was worried that the same thing might have happened to him.

   He was looking at ties. I told him what I had witnessed. We heard a woman screaming a few seconds later. We saw that two more people had been attacked in a similar manner.

   Was this some sort of alien technology and were there more than one of them in the store and/or perhaps elsewhere too?

   I prayed that my cousin had not been harmed by this sinister object but when I went into the fitting room I saw that she had been.

   Joe and I began running towards the front of the store so that we could escape this attack. Before we could get there, however, we saw the orb coming towards us.

   We were near the electronics department. A stereo on the endcap was turned on. A Barry Manilow song,” Mandy” was playing. I noticed that the orb had slowed down and some sparks were coming out of it.

   I wondered if the music was causing what appeared to be a malfunction. I turned the volume up really loud. Even more sparks were shooting out of it now. It then fell to the ground. It seemed to be totally damaged which was a relief.

   Luckily, shortly afterwards the people who had been attacked were no longer in a statue-like state. I am not sure how destroying this weapon had reversed the effects of it though.

  Joe said something like “Barry Manilow music saved us” and we laughed. Would any music have caused this to happen or just a specific kind?

    I was no longer in this storyline right after this so I never did find out if other such alien weapons were around. If there hadn’t been, would Howard Jones still have performed for us after such a terrifying incident?


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

September 3, 2016- Howard Jones Concert- Part 2

   I hadn’t really wanted to talk to anybody but wound up doing so a little with the couple who was sitting next to me in the theater. They had wanted to know if I had seen Howard Jones in concert before. I told them only for the “Today” mini concert. They had seen him twice in the 1990s.

   I forget which song the guy had asked me if I liked when it was just beginning- maybe “Life in One Day”.

   I asked a guy at the station if he knew when the next train was coming. That was the start of a long conversation which is very unusual for me. We were talking so much that he nearly missed his stop.

   He likes jazz music. I mentioned how I liked listening to my Mom’s Nat King Cole albums. I said that it would be cool if our spirits could travel back in time and see him in concert. I was afraid that he would think that this was kind of crazy but he liked that notion.

   The girl who had been sitting behind me was also on the train. She is Japanese and doesn’t speak much English. She showed us pictures of the CD that Howard had signed for her that day. She mentioned some other music stars that she likes- Phil Collins/Genesis and Tears for Fears included.

   Most people wouldn’t really understand what a struggle it is for me to socialize. A big part of me would rather not say much if anything at all but there is a little of me that wishes that I could be better at this, including not feeling so uncomfortable.

   I am glad that I didn’t back out of going to this concert. I feel bad that I was thinking about Duran Duran a few times during it though, including my screw ups during this tour. I need not rehash all of that.

  Sorry, Mr. Jones- I couldn’t help that my brain was distracted by that group, my anxieties, my depression, and other things during your performance.

   I didn’t really get any sleep last night. I had tried going to bed like 5 minutes after I got home. Sometimes when I am overly tired like that, I have strange images running around in my head. This time it was unicorns, rainbows, and My Little Pony.

Note- The 2 My Little Pony photos are from the internet

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

September 3, 2016- Howard Jones Concert- September 2-Part 1

I decided to walk to the Paramount Theatre so I wouldn’t have the anxiety of calling for a cab then. I was worrying about having to do so for later throughout the day though, even during the show. It turned out to be a longer trek than the one mile that I thought that it would be. It was more like 2.

   I had a lot of time to kill so I looked in some stores. I went into Walgreens and bought an unsweetened iced tea. A girl outside of here thought that I was one of her former teachers at first. In a shopping plaza, I went to K-Mart, Marshalls and Old Navy.

   I passed by a cemetery too which was freaky because I was walking through one in my nightmare of a few days ago.

    Normally, I don’t mind being on such adventures by myself but for the first time I was feeling really lonely. I was wishing that Sharon could have been a part of this one.

    I was pretty close to the stage- row 4, seat 3. I had mistakenly thought that I was in row 3, seat 4. I had a perfect view. I feel awful for wishing that this was a Duran Duran show instead; I would be right in front of John.

   I hate that I was thinking about DD a lot yesterday. In the morning, I had actually seen a picture of John with Howard on Tumblr.

   The concert was good. I forget parts of it already, like which song was first. I was so happy that he did one of my favorites “The Prisoner”. I was hoping that he’d perform “Lift Me Up” but he didn’t. The songs of his that I’ve been listening to the most lately are these and “Everlasting Love” which was also a part of the set list.

    I am pretty sure that the last song was “Things Can Only Get Better”. ? I was feeling kind of depressed and thinking “No, nothing is going to get better for me”. Was “New Song” included in this encore too or had that been done earlier? 

   Luckily, a cab was waiting outside of the theater already so I didn’t have to call for one. He waited to see if he could get another passenger (because his boss tells him to do so) but no one else needed a ride.

  Thanks to the LIIR, I missed the last train out of NYC by about 7 minutes. This wouldn’t have happened if they had just let passengers on the train sooner instead of just having the train sit there for like 15 minutes first.

   That 3 hours and 40 minutes in Penn Station seemed to last forever. The time of the first morning train on the weekend is 50 minutes later which made it even worse. I was too exhausted in every way to focus on my book. I was only able to read a couple of pages and even that was difficult.

   My brother was sitting outside waiting for Tony. His merchandise for the flea market was there too. They usually load up the truck on Friday night. He thought that I had been in Manhattan. I hadn’t wanted to tell him that this show was in Huntington for fear that he would tease me for wanting to go out that far for it.


Sunday, May 24, 2020

Figure Skating Show 1991

My mother, brother, and I went to this show at Madison Square Garden. I wish that I had been keeping a journal back then so I would have the details about it now. I did write on the back of one photo that Underhill and Martini did their routine to "Unchained Melody". I forgot to write the names of the skaters on some of them and don't recall who they are. I do know that I had a very good time at this event.

Brian Boitano and Katarina Witt-

                                               Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini-



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