Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Christmas 1980

I was in Home Depot on Saturday and they already have Christmas decorations there. Our cashier at Shop Rite said that they have them at K Mart too. This is just so ridiculous. It's getting earlier every year. I love this holiday but whatever happened to waiting until at least closer to Thanksgiving to put Christmas stuff in stores?

I was thinking about Christmas 1980 when I saw all that. The top 4 pictures are of my family and 2 friends Suzy and Jenny. We were singing Christmas songs for our families. I'm wearing one of my fav dresses. Grandma next door , Uncle Mike, Mom and my brother are in these photos.

The bottom 4 photos are at my Aunt Al and Uncle Gene's house in Bordentown. We had our second Christmas there during that week before New Year's Day. My cousin Mary, Mark and I were singing songs for our family. I'm wearing my favourite sweater that mom knit for me. I love Janet's overalls. Gene David, Ellen and her boyfriend Bruce are also there.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

3 Concerts - 1991

I didn't go to my first concert until August 1991. My brother paid for my ticket to a Styx concert because I drove him there. It was at the Garden State Arts center. Tommy Shaw was not a part of the group at the time and they did not perform Mr. Roboto which was disappointing. We went to see John Denver there a week later. Lawn seats then. He did a song called Home Grown Tomatoes and dedicated it to our state. My brother went off on his own. About a month later we went to the Brendan Byrne Arena and saw Rod Stewart. He wandered off during that a few times. Rod said "Hello NY " or something like that and I was thinking we are in NJ, Rod, not NY. I didn't go to another concert until 2000. Well, there was an Oak Ridge Boys one at Great Adventure in 1992 that I was at.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Guilty Pleasure #1 - John Denver

This week is pledging on our PBS station which usually means there are music type programmes on instead of the regular stuff. I found this out when I went to watch Mystery and there was a John Denver special on. I only caught the last 10 minutes or so but kind of wish that I had seen the whole thing. I used to be ashamed to admit that I like his music but I don't care what people think anymore. I hadn't listened to anything of his in a very long time until 2 nights ago when I put this live cd into my discman.

I actually have a tape of it that my Aunt Al dubbed for me in 1980. It was the first tape that I ever really owned. She let me look through her albums and pick out whichever one that I wanted. She had his greatest hits 1 and 2 and I thought about choosing those but I went with An Evening with John Denver instead. About 2 years later I decided that I hate live albums and dubbed my own tape of it trying to leave out as much of the talking parts and clapping as I could. I got the cd version of it for free only to discover that a few of the songs that I like aren't on it which was disappointing.

I do have a special 2 CD box set that mom got me which I haven't listened to in a long time either. I should get that out of my storage container soon. I was laughing a little when I was listening to the live cd and heard him say "Far out!" It is hard to read the little print on the booklet included with this. I miss albums. The 4 songs that I was really getting into was Rocky Mountain High, Rocky Mountain Suite, The Eagle and the Hawk and Take Me Home, Country Roads. I think that one of the songs left off of it is Boy From the Country.

I was thinking about when he was on the Muppets and did Grandma's Feather Bed and the Garden Song. I loved the Christmas special that he did with them too. I used to have the 8-track of that.

My John Denver and Nat King Cole tapes used to be the go-to music for when I was feeling sad and anxious in the 80's and early 90's. Some people may say that his music is super corny and I do agree that it is a bit cheesetastic but I like it anyway.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Halloween 1976

I was looking at the sales flyers last Thursday and saw Halloween candy in them already. It might've even been in the ones from the week before. Does it seem like the Halloween stuff is out even earlier this year than last year? When I was a kid I liked this holiday but I haven't really enjoyed it in a very long time. My brother still does. He likes giving out the candy. I'm just glad when the day is over so I don't have to hear all the knocking at the door. That sounds so mean.

Our favourite Halloween was 1976. Mark was dressed up as a fireman. He had on his Emergency! helmet. That was one of our favourite 70's shows. I was an angel. This was my costume of choice three times. In the pictures we are trick or treating at our grandmother next door's house and also our neighbours Sandy and Rob. She used to help me with my math homework- fractions and percentages.

Monday, September 20, 2010

2 Favourites 80's TV shows

My brother and I loved the CBS thursday night line up of Magnum, P.I. and Simon & Simon. Knot's Landing was on afterwards but we only watched that for 2 or 3 years. I saw some reruns of Magnum a few years ago and it was okay but not as good as when we first watched them. I find that to be true of many of my old favourites. I'm not sure why.

I thouught of Magnum today as I was reading the review for the new Hawaii Five - O in the paper. The critics seem to like it. My brother enjoyed the original. He'd watch it sometimes. I probably saw a few episodes but I don't really remember it. My memories are of Magnum's Hawaii. There was once a crossover episode of this and Simon & Simon.

My cousin Janet was in the Navy and was stationed out there. My aunt bought me a Hawaiian shirt as a souvenier. I wish that I had kept it. I still have the bookmark that Janet got me though. Hawaii is definitely on my list of U.S. destinations that I'd love to travel to.

I did have a crush on Tom Selleck back then. I kind of had a little crush on both Jameson Parker and Gerald McRaney. I still have the two Selleck posters somewhere in my basement. I got this 8x10 sometime in the 90's and also still have my 80's Selleck scrapbook stuff. I only kept a couple of Simon & Simon things in it like this photo from a magazine though. I wish that I hadn't gotten rid of the rest of it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Semi - Fascination with Tennis Guy

I know that I've been going on and on about this event lately and I should've taken a break from posting about it but I can't seem to get it off of my mind. This will be the last chapter of it for now, I promise. Well, here are 2 totally crappy photos of the one guy that I was hoping to get good close up shots of after the matches. I did great with everyone else besides Melzer. It's kind of funny, I suppose. Not really. I didn't take the camera off of full zoom nor did I quickly check the shot to see how it came out. I wasn't thinking that clearly then, maybe because part of me was too excited about seeing him - how embarrassing. Worse yet, I actually was walking very quickly to get to him when he was standing with a group of people to try to get another photo. I felt as if I was stalking him. Sorry, Mr Melzer.

My brother actually got me his autograph after his first round match. He also got his opponent, Tursonov. That was nice of him. I am not really into getting autographs myself because I'm shy and wouldn't feel right about doing so but I am glad that my brother did this for me. Last year he got me Davydenko and this year also Ferrer. I forget which girls that he got for himself. He did get Tommy Robredo and I am a bit jealous about that.

I had not remembered that after the Melzer/Petzschner doubles match that I actually ran to the other side of the court to the gate where they were coming out to try to get pictures of both of them. Further shame. This is so unlike me. I wasn't able to catch them in time. I saw Petzschner already pass by me before I could use my brother's camera and then Melzer was walking pretty fast and I don't think that I got him either - I have to wait and look at my brother's photos. I was wishing that I had been sitting on the bleachers on that side of the court. I only missed 3 games of that match. I had to sacrafice the 3rd set of the Fish/Knowles doubles match for it.

When I saw the schedule for Day 6 at the Open I was feeling torn and confused and disappointed. I was hoping that the Melzer v. Ferrero match would be at Grandstand first then I would watch that and afterwards try to get into Armstrong for some of Wozniacki and then Mr. Fish. I had to make the decision to stick with Fish or bail out on him and head over the Mr. Melzer. This was a tough one. I was kind of semi- obsessing about this during the match. I was praying that Fish would finish off Clement in 3 or 4 sets then I wouldn't miss any of Melzer but unfortunately it was a 5 setter. I wanted so badly to see a happy Fish so I stayed there and luckily he won.

We needed to use the bathrooms before heading over to Grandstand. We went up top and used those. I first looked down to check out Melzer and the scoreboard. It was 4- 3, I think. That's what Mark said. Between waiting in line for the bathrooms and then a line to get into the grandstand, we only got to see 2 games of the first set. It seemed like a more competitive set than the remaining 2. I should just be glad that I got to see any of this match. If the girl's match before it hadn't been so long and also the Monfils match had a couple of tie break sets, I think, then I might not have gotten to see any of it at all. My dummy side didn't let me take that many pictures that night, saying don't you have enough of this guy already. But this was different, it was a third round match and nightime. It was nice seeing a happy Melzer. I like Ferrero too but I was rooting more for Melzer.

Okay, so I think I've covered just about everything - maybe I've said too much. I just started rooting for Melzer like during the French Open this year. I saw about 15 sets between 5 matches of him and 14 of Fish. So this was like the Melzer/Fish Open 2010 for me.

Friday, September 17, 2010

US Open 2010 Part 2

These are some of the other players that I saw at this event. Top - Bottom - Russia's Youzhny, Spain's Tommy Robredo, Sweden's Robin Soderling and also from Spain, Juan Carlos Ferrero.
I did some match hopping for certain players but stayed at whole matches for others. Last year I did not do the former. There are too many players that I like now so it's impossible to see their whole matches or even any of them. I had to sacrafice a few so I could see all of Melzer and Fish.

Food is pretty expensive at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center. My brother and I wound up splitting the burgers (8.50) and chicken sandwiches(9.75). We alternated nights. He also got the waffle fries(4.50). The Snapple Peach ice tea was 4.75 a bottle. We got one a piece each day.
A few of our dinners were eaten during matches. I packed a lunch of a peanut butter sandwich and Nutrigrain bar. We had grapes and water for a snack before we got on the line.

Our am routine was up at 4:30 to catch the 5:59 train. It was half hour late one day. We got into the city by 6:45. My brother had a donut and milk at Zaros then we walked to Times Square from Penn Station 2 mornings and the other days just took the subway - 1 - to get to the 7 that goes right to the tennis center in Queens. After the hour and 15 minutes in line before the gates opened we'd buy the daily schedule, go to the bathroom and look around at the courts to see some of the players practice. Then we would go our seperate ways, except for on Saturday when we both spent all day at Armstrong to see 3 matches - Soderling, Wozniacki and Fish.

PM- we would get home between 9:30 and 10:40, that was the last night. We had to recharge our camera batteries, shower, put the tickets and money in my purse, make up a list of matches of interest on 2 index cards so we'd know where each other would be. We don't have cell phones.I had the tennis on tv but we were too busy to focus on this. We would get only between 4 and a half and 5 hours of sleep each night. Very long days but well worth it despite getting very sick.

I forgot to mention the nice girl from Trinidad yesterday. I feel bad that I didn't ask her name. She was on line with us for 3 of the days. She took our picture.

My memory card ran out of space on Friday morning. I had no idea that I had taken so many pictures. I sat there and deleted photos of the grounds and stuff that I had taken pictures of for my blog to make room. The Robredo match ended during the start of a 2nd set tiebreak because Benneteau had a wrist injury. This was disappointing. I wouldn't have been able to take more pictures during it because I could only fit 22 more on that card. Luckily the Olympus store there had the right card. I had to pay $5.00 more for it here than at Walmart.

Some other players that I saw were Italy's Seppi(2 sets), David Ferrer, Marcos Baghdatis(only 1 set), Davydenko(1 set and 2 games), Stakhovsky and Querry(1 set) and parts of a few women's matches mostly because they were on the court that my guys were going to be next. Mark was mostly at his girls matches but he did watch some Melzer with me and saw John Isner. I would've liked to have seen him too but I was at Youzhny. I sacraficed some Ferrer and Lopez for him too.

I did quiet a few stupid things there but I'm trying not to dwell on it. At a few of the matches I could've moved to better and closer seats but I did not. I am not sure why. My view would've been better and I would've gotten better pictures. I also deleted a few photos that I shouldn't have and didn't take enough at a few matches like the Melzer v. Ferrero 3rd round one. By Saturday night I was feeling so tired and a bit sick so maybe that's why I wasn't thinking clearly then.

We bought some souveniers - 4.00 for 5 postcards, an 8.00 pin and the 17.00 book. Mark wanted the magnet but they were out of that so he got the pin. We didn't think until later that we probably could've ordered that from the US open site. They gave out pens, cookies and yougurt there. No beanie baby like last year. I was hoping to add this to my collection.

I hope that we are able to go to this event next year. I just finished going through my photos yesterday. Many of them didn't come out that great. I can't believe that I took so darn many at the Melzer/Petzschner doubles match. I swore that I wouldn't go so bonkers with the camera like I did last year but I was even worse this year. Mark regrets not taking more photos.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My 2 Tennis Guys/2010 US Open

My brother and I were at the US Open for the first 6 days this year. Last year was the first time that we ever went and it was for 4 days. I haven't been following the tennis for that long - 2006 US Open. I was depressed that my mom was in the hospital and wanted to watch The Price Is Right but tennis was on which at first I was mad about and was thinking so boring but the 2 guys were kind of cute - Haas and Ginepri - so I kept it on. If they hadn't been cute, would I have changed the station? I was so stupid that I didn't think that there would be any more tennis until late spring of the next year so I missed out on the Australian Open and other events.

Anyhow, getting back to the present, my brother and I didn't add the 6th day until a week before this event. Last year it was only a few days before it that I printed out the tickets on my computer because it wasn't until then that I had overcome my fear of going there. I wish that I had been able to in 2007 and 2008. This time I ordered the tickets the very day that they went on sale.

Haas and a couple of my other guys were out injured but I had plenty of other guys to see, including the 2 pictured above. The top one is American Mardy Fish and the bottom photo is of Austria's Jurgen Melzer. I was at 2 full 5 set matches for both of them plus one set of Fish's 2nd round match, 2 sets of Melzer's third round match and nearly all 3 of his doubles match and a total of 3 sets for 2 of Fish's doubles. I wish that I could have been at all of Melzer's third round but it was going on at the same time as Fish and I made the decision to stick with that until the end.

The weather was very, very hot the first 4 days and still kind of hot on the 5th. Last year we didn't apply sunscreen much and got burned. In fact, the first day I totally forgot the sunscreen and got a painful burn. This year I did a better job of sunscreen application, although I still did get a bit burned.

I met some really nice people at this event like Bob and Jim who let me hang out with them at the one Fish match and afterwards. There was Igor at the Youzhny match. That day there was a 30 minute rain delay. We were lucky that this is all the rain that occured during our time there. Brian and Kathy from Canada and a few others also were nice. I'm usually very shy and not good at socializing but I seemed to do okay at this event.

Our day was very long - up at 4:30, catch the 5:59 train and get there by 8:00. I have the whole schedule of am and pm routines in my journal. I might include this in a part 2 of this topic. Right now I am feeling very tired because I am still feeling sick. My brother and I both got sick from these long, hot days at the US Open. This is the sickest that I've been in a very long time. It started 11 days ago. Even though we are suffering this illness because of that, I still can say that I had a good time being at this event and hope that my financial situation will allow me to go again next year. I'm not too positive about this though.

I've really missed being here and reading everyone's posts. I will try to slowly catch up on this. I have alot of stuff to do that I had to put off for the past 2 weeks like laundry and sorting through the many photos that I took at this event and need to send them to the Walgreens site for printing out. I took too many at some matches and not enought at others. Many of them didn't turn out that great.
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