Monday, July 28, 2008

Jersey Shore Artists: Kate Leigh Cutler's New Show, "The Maritime History of the Barnegat Coast" Now Through Labor Day at the NJ Museum of Boating

This past weekend, Rex and the girls and I had the pleasure of attending a reception for our neighboring artist, Kate Leigh Cutler at the NJ Museum of Boating. Kate's show, The Maritime History of the Barnegat Coast, opened with the reception on Sunday, July 27th, and runs through Labor Day Weekend 2008. I've said it before, but now that I've seen all of the paintings in the show, I'll repeat that this study really breaks new ground (or water) for her...most of the new paintings are dark and ominous, tales of storms and shipwrecks.

I purchased the painting shown above for Rex's birthday, but there are lots of other moody Kate Leigh Cutler paintings left for you, and you'll have the rest of the summer to check it out...the show runs through September 1, 2008, at the New Jersey Museum of Boating (at Johnson Brother's Boat Works) in Bay Head, NJ.

Roxy and the Magic Checks

Have you ever gotten yourself into a financial jam? While Rex and I have never had to think about filing for bankruptcy, I can certainly understand how a few innocent mis-steps can create a downward spiral into a financial nightmare.

I typically use online banking to pay off my credit cards on their due date and never carry a high interest rate balance. However, I have been known to take advantage of low interest "magic checks" that come in the mail from our various credit card lenders. When I pick up the mail, I usually find several different opportunities to borrow up to our credit limit at a rate of less than 4.99% until the balance is paid in full, a very attractive way to free up money for a vacation, medical bills, or other large expenses. If you're a risk-oriented day trader (I'm not), borrowing at 4.99% and investing in the stock market looks like a great way to make a quick profit.

The key, unfortunately, is staying on top of the monthly payments, because if you make a payment on a "magic check" balance just one day late, the interest rate rises immediately to the highest legal rate (usually around 30%!!) and all sorts of finance charges hit your account. I know from experience. My loyal readers may know that, even on a good day, Roxy is not well organized when it comes to keeping up with paperwork. Throw a monkey wrench into the works -- like when Rex had his knee surgery back in April -- and you've got one of those innocent mis-steps I mentioned. I missed the payments on three of my "magic check" accounts by just a few days and found myself in a financial nightmare, needing to pay off all of the balances to avoid paying ridiculous interest rates. Of course, when you need another "magic check" for this type of situation, you return from the mailbox empty-handed....

After all, there are no fairy godmothers to wave a magic wand over your stack of bills. However, there's a web site, BillsIQ, that people like you and I can use to gain a better understanding of our overall financial health and learn about ways to improve your financial score. Go ahead, take the test...

P.S. -- The good news is, I've recovered from April's financial setback and I'm back in the "magic check" business!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Jersey Shore Artists: Wendy McCarthy... Mermoments Is More Than Just A Trilogy!

As I posted earlier in the week, our lovely Mermaid Swim Team has been on vacation, back at the Anchor & Palette Gallery on Mount Street in Bay Head, NJ, for local Wall, NJ, artist Wendy McCarthy's Mermoments show. Tonight, Rex, Maddie, London and I attended the opening reception and learned that Mermoments is much more than a trilogy....the ambitious artist painted three more in the series for this week's show, and has a total of twelve in the works for a Mermonths calendar!

I snapped a photo of the amazing Mermaid Cocktail Party (above). Wendy uses her entire family as mermodels...that's her daughter with the polka dot bikini! While we don't have a space in either of our homes that is grand enough to hang the original painting, I know that our family will have to own a giclee (print). The Mermaid Swim Team for the girls, the Mermaid Cocktail Party for the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives!

Mermoments opened with tonight's reception at the Anchor & Palette and runs through August 4th on Mount Street in Bay Head, NJ.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Mermaid Swim Team Takes A Vacation from Our Bay Head Beach House...Wendy McCarthy's Show at the Anchor & Palette Opens Friday Night, July 25th!

Almost two months ago, Rex and I wandered into the Anchor & Palette Gallery on Mount Street in Bay Head, NJ, and walked out with the Mermaid Swim Team by local Wall, NJ, artist Wendy McCarthy.

Since then, Maddie and London have been waking up on weekends with a smile to greet the lovely Mermaid Swim Team in their "Rainbow Room" in our Bay Head beach house.

But starting this past Sunday, our Mermaid Swim Team has been on vacation! The Mermaid Swim team is part of the Mermoments trilogy that Wendy McCarthy created for her show at the Anchor & Palette gallery. Mermoments opens with a reception at the Anchor & Palette this Friday night, July 25th, and runs through August 4th on Mount Street in Bay Head, NJ. We met artist Wendy McCarthy, who happened to be at the Anchor & Palette on the day we discovered the Mermaid Swim Team...she was so pleased to be there when the first of her beautiful Mermoments paintings was sold. Wendy put a lot of love into the painting, but she could see we would give it a good home.

Rex, London, Maddie & I will be at the opening reception on Friday night...hope to see you there!

Debt Relief Haiku

Here's a new take on the haiku I used to write in all of my favorite Jersey Shore Bars...maybe it is a sign that Roxy's gettin' older, but this one's not about surfers, love or loneliness. Instead, it is dedicated to Debt Relief.

Beach house foreclosures
All around the neighborhood
Need some Debt relief

Don't let my poem fool you...Bay Head, New Jersey, is probably one of the few areas where housing prices remain stable, thanks to the laws of supply and demand. There's a limited supply of homes in our beautiful beach town, and who doesn't want a house at the beach? While everyone I know can use a little Debt help, our solid Bay Head beach home values enable beach homeowners to take advantage of our home equity for Debt consolidation instead of paying high rates on credit card debt. I took a little quiz over at BillsIQ and learned a great deal about our family's overall financial health and methods for improving my financial score. Check it out!


Sponsored by

Jersey Shore Artists: Kate Leigh Cutler's New Show, "The Maritime History of the Barnegat Coast" Opens This Weekend at the NJ Museum of Boating

Our neighboring artist, Kate Leigh Cutler, has a new show opening on Sunday, July 27th, that really breaks new ground (or water) for her: The Maritime History of the Barnegat Coast. At least in the peek I've seen, her new paintings are dark and ominous, tales of storms and shipwrecks.

I purchased the painting shown above for Rex's birthday, but there are lots of other moody Kate Leigh Cutler paintings left for you. Rex, London, Maddie and I are planning to attend the opening reception on Sunday, July 27th from 5-8pm. If you can't make it to the opening on Sunday night, the show runs through September 1, 2008, at the New Jersey Museum of Boating (at Johnson Brother's Boat Works) in Bay Head, NJ.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Inventing Memory: Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk

If you asked me whether there was something in life, other than my husband and my children, that I couldn't bear to lose, it would be my memory. In fact, losing one's memory really does represent losing one's family, as it is impossible to cherish your loved ones without remembering who they are.

I read a lot, I write a lot, I live a lot and I take a tremendous number of photos...I guess these are the ways I choose to create and preserve memories. Although I don't have a family history of Alzheimer's, it is probably the one disease I fear the most. Alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, but it strikes me as the worst way to go. It destroys brain cells and causes memory changes, erratic behaviors and loss of body functions. It slowly and painfully takes away your identity, ability to connect with others, think, eat, talk, walk and find your way home.

The Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk® is the nation's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research – and it calls on volunteers of all ages to become champions in the fight against Alzheimer's. There are walks in more than 600 communities throughout the United States. A typical Alzheimer's Memory Walk is a 2-3 mile walk held on a weekend morning in the fall.

By teaming up with the Alzheimer's Association, you can walk with a purpose – and move us closer to a world without Alzheimer's. Together, we can MOVE a nation.

Sponsored by Alzheimer's Walk

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Another Tequila Night with Jango and Dorothy Parker

Movin' a little slow here at the beach in Bay Head, New Jersey, after another tequila night with our across-the-street neighbors, Jango and Dorothy Parker. At some point in every evening with Jango and Dot, once the tequila's got my tongue, I am having such a good time that I compare their gatherings on the porch with "that drunk lady and her table at that hotel." For the first time here, in the light of the morning when I'm able to think clearly, I'd like to elaborate:

The real/original Dorothy Parker was an American writer and poet, best known for her caustic wit, wisecracks, and sharp eye for 20th Century human foibles. From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in such venues as The New Yorker and as a founding member in 1919 of the Algonquin Round Table, an informal gathering of writers who lunched at the Algonquin Hotel, a group she would later disdain. The "Vicious Circle" included Robert Benchley, Harpo Marx, George S Kaufman, and Edna Ferber, and was known for its scathing wit and intellectual commentary. Following the breakup of that circle, Parker traveled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting. Her successes there, including two Academy Award nominations, would eventually be curtailed, as her involvement in left-wing politics would lead to a place on the infamous Hollywood blacklist. Parker survived three marriages (two to the same man) and several suicide attempts, but grew increasingly dependent on alcohol. Although she would come to dismiss her own talents and deplore her reputation as a "wisecracker," her literary output and her sparkling wit have endured long past her death.

And, in tribute to the original Dorothy Parker, I've given the good doctor across the street her name as a pseudonym. Last night, the margaritas were on the rocks and, as usual, the conversation and tequila were free-flowing. The kids watched Night at the Museum and the grown-ups hung out with our pitcher on the porch.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Take That, Comcastic Jokers! Charter is Offering High Speed Internet Service for $14.99/Month

My loyal readers here at the Bay Head Blog as well as over on Roxiticus Desperate Housewives know that I've had nothing but trouble with the jokers over at Comcast Cable.

Well, as you can see from the picture, Roxy is ready to have the last laugh, thanks to Charter Internet. Charter is offering high speed, reliable Internet service, with speeds as fast as 5Mbps, for $14.99 per month. This record low price also comes with a 30 day risk free trial and a $25 Shell gift card with online orders placed through the links on this post. Charter promises reliable service with no long-term contracts required. Charter High-Speed Security Suite is included in your Internet package, so you'll get automatic protection from viruses, hackers and spam. 10 e-mail accounts plus 20MB of web space is enough for the whole might even start a blog!

This limited time offer expires on July 31.

Sponsored by Charter

Jersey Shore Bars (It's Been A Long Time)

We lived in a time and a world of our own
Making up the rules as we went along
Just one coat between us and we never felt cold
We were never gonna get old

Playing cards 'till the sun came up, rollin' dice
Down to the club and listen to the blues all night
Girls out on the corner get lonely now and then
We'd never be that free again

It's been a long time since we laughed together
It's been a long time since we cried
Raise your glass for the comrades we've lost
My friend it's been a long, long time

Workin' just enough to pay the rent
Money got made, baby, money got spent
Sleeping when we had nothin' left to do
Under the boardwalk and up on the roof

We never quite fit, baby, we never played the game
Came out explodin' like a runaway train
Up all night talkin' about dreams of better days
Ain't it funny how some things don't change?

It's been a long time since we laughed together
It's been a long time since we cried
Raise your glass for the comrades we've lost
My friend it's been a long, long time

We lived in a time and a world of our own
Making up the rules as we went along
Just one coat between us and we never felt cold
We were never gonna get old

It's been a long time since we laughed together
It's been a long time since we cried
Raise your glass for the comrades we've lost
My friend it's been a long, long time

-- Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes: "It's Been A Long Time"

I've raised many a glass in Jersey Shore bars, and over the next few weeks of summer I'm going to profile them here on the Bay Head Blog, including:
  • Cheers in Long Branch
  • Donovan's Reef in Sea Bright
  • Martell's Tiki Bar in Pt. Pleasant Beach
  • The Stone Pony in Asbury Park

In the meantime, please comment here...remind me which ones I've missed, your favorite(s), and why (start with "Once upon a time...")

Go Get Yourself Some Cheap Sunglasses

When you wake up in the morning and the light is hurt your head
The first thing you do when you get up out of bed
Is hit that streets a-runnin' and try to beat the masses
And go get yourself some cheap sunglasses
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah

Spied a little thing and I followed her all night
In a funky fine levis and her sweater's kind of tight
She had a west coast strut that was as sweet as molasses
But what really knocked me out was her cheap sunglasses
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah

Now go out and get yourself some big black frames
With the glass so dark thay won't even know your name
And the choice is up to you cause they come in two classes:
Rhinestone shades or cheap sunglasses
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah

-- "Cheap Sunglasses" ZZ Top sells cheap prescription sunglasses, as well as stylish prescription glasses, online. Now, men don't make passes at girls who wear glasses, so Roxy and the girls don't wear them, but Rex does...I guess guys wearing glasses make plenty of passes. And at Zenni's low prices, it pays to have an extra pair on hand for Rex at the beach. The secret to Zenni’s low prices is that they sell only their own manufactured frames direct to the customer, with no middlemen and virtually no advertising budget. Check out Zenni's huge selection of frames, with single vision lenses, sunsensor (photochromic) lenses, tinted suglasses lenses, bifocal lenses and progressive lenses.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fourth of July Weekend 2008: Another Great Dinner at Dennis Foy’s Bay Point Prime Restaurant on the Jersey Shore

We had quite a crowd on Saturday night after the Fourth of July at our beach house in Bay Head, New Jersey and all sorts of reasons to celebrate, including Rex's birthday. PostBoy and MathGirl came for the fireworks on the beach and stayed for the weekend, and TallBoy showed up in time for dinner after a round of golf with a friend from college. I had booked a table of seven at 7pm, so as soon as the crazy downpour ended we headed over to Dennis Foy's Bay Point Prime for another spectacular meal. We had the same waitress as last time, Lindsay, who made sure everyone got what they wanted…with one not-so-minor exception that she really had no control over.

Over Father's Day weekend, London had ordered the Cherry Hill Farms Roasted Rack of Lamb with Ratatouille ($42). It was so beautiful I wish I had taken a picture, and Rex stole one bite and declared it the single best bite of lamb he'd had in his life. So I was ready for Rack of Lamb on Saturday night, and brought my appetite. Uh oh…it wasn't on the menu…but no problem, Lindsay announces that one of the entrée specials is a Rack of Lamb. Lindsay also recommends the Sautéed Wild Atlantic Salmon, with Grilled Fennel and Spring Pea Ginger Emulsion ($31) for Rex, but warns that Dennis is running out of salmon, so Rex puts in his order ahead of the rest of us. But when Lindsay returns to our table to take our order, she's got some bad, bad news: while eyeing a blonde beach couple making out on a nearby banquette, oblivious to the appetizers on their table, Lindsay says she just gave away the last two orders of Rack of Lamb. "Can't you tell them that you only have one order left, and let them share? He's really only interested in another kind of rack…" But it's too late…my Rack of Lamb is being served to someone else. So I start with the appetizer special, a Jersey Tomato Salad (which turns out to be tasty, even though it's really too early in the season for real Jersey tomatoes), and order the appetizer size of six Classic Shrimp in a Basket ($15), new to the Bay Point Prime menu this year, as my main course. The girls each start with an order of French Fries ($6), then share the Prime Aged Sirloin with more Steak Frites ($34).

TallBoy wisely chooses Dennis Foy's signature Sautéed Tian of Crab ($19) -- the word crabcake doesn't even begin to do it justice -- and also orders the steak. Rex starts with the Warm Confit Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart with Chive Oil ($15) and, as always, is surprised when it is warm, not cold. PostBoy starts with the shrimp appetizer and has the Veal Bolognese with HomeMade Fettucine ($26), so hearty I frequently get my leftovers wrapped to go and then tragically forget them on the roof of our SUV. MathGirl enjoys the Ten Spice Cajun Chicken with French Fries and Salad Verte ($25). Everyone at our table thought that their meal was the most delicious, with very little sharing allowed.

Of course, we all had our eye on the couple with the rack, and before we even finished our appetizers, they packed up to go, leaving one full rack and most of the other chops completely untouched. I guess I've got my excuse for an imminent return to Dennis Foy's Bay Point Prime. The menu changes daily, so I'll plan to call ahead (732-295-5400) to reserve my table and my Rack of Lamb! I see that the Bay Point Prime team (and menu) is also available for off premise catering, and my attentive readers may remember that we've got a Bay Head Family Reunion coming up in August!

Dennis Foy's Bay Point Prime; Phone (732) 295-5400

Also available for off premise catering; please contact Estella Quinones at (732) 295-5400. You can visit their Manhattan restaurant Dennis Foy in Tribeca (Phone 212-625-1007 for reservations). Web site: (the web site is only for Dennis Foy's Manhattan restaurant, menus and wine....everything looks yummy but we haven't been there yet)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Ooh, I've Got the Magic Lamp of Luck from the Genies!

You will not believe my good fortune! Upon escaping the clutches of their Evil Master after being held captive for 1000 years, the magical genies have been busy flying on their Magical Flying Carpet, granting wishes and spreading love throughout the blogosphere. And now, right here at the Bay Head Blog, protected by the cover of darkness, at least in their home country (the magical land of Faraway), the mighty Genie King and the beautiful Genie Princess rode in on their magic carpets and bestowed the Magic Lamp of Luck upon this blog. With this magic lamp, my blog will enjoy much good luck and fortune, warding off all things evil lurking around in the blogosphere.

The genies have shared this magic lamp with me in the hopes that I can pass on the Magic Lamp of Luck to those in need of some good luck. I hereby pass along the Magic Lamp of Luck to Roxiticus Desperate Housewives, Henson, and SpicyBug, for starters. Remember, do not be greedy or unkind, evil or vengeful and good luck & fortune will always be with you! Join us on another exciting magical adventure as we spread goodwill and good luck to one and all!

* Start Copy Here*

1. Add your site(s) to the list once you have received the Magic Lamp of Luck.

2. Pass on the Magic Lamp of Luck to as many people as you like. After all, everyone needs some good luck!

3. Leave a comment HERE once you’ve passed on the Magic Lamp of Luck. Once the Genie King and Genie Princess have visited your site to make sure your links are complete and proper, you will then be added to the Master List.

4. To ensure everyone receives equal link benefit, please UPDATE your list regularly!

*1-Mariuca 2-First Time Dad 3-Mariuca's Perfume Gallery 4-Emila's Illustrated Blog 5-The Other Side of Emila 6-My Sweet Escape 7-Bay Head Blog 8-Roxiticus Desperate Housewives 9-LadyJava's Lounge 10-Petty Ramblings of a Petty Queen 11-The Real Deal 12-Pinay Mommy Online 13-Perpustakaan 14-LadyJava Life's Pages 15-Make Money Online 16-Cat Tales 17-LadyJava's Food Paradise 18-Being Woman 19-Spicybug 20-Biz-N-Honey 21-Aeirin's Collections 22-Sasha Says 23-Project Heavy Traffic 24-Picture Clusters 25-My Wanderings 26-Maiylah's Snippets 27-Moments of Colours 28-Life Quest 29-BigMoneyList 30-The Best Parts 31-Morphed 32-Buhay Pinoy 33-Galatayo 34-Blogging Tips 35-Apples Of The Eyes 36-My Own Utopia 37-Sasha's Corner 38-Under One Roof 39-Say Cheese 40-A Great Pleasure 41-A Life in Bloom 42-Because Life is a Blessing 43-Digiscraptology 44-Xixi 45-Ode to Adrienne 46-CrankyDave 47-Simple Life 48-Dew Drops 49-The Journey 50-Mastering Your PC 51-Day Break 52-A Little Girl Talk 53-Mom Knows Everything 54-Day to Day 55-1 of a Kind Wis 56-It's a woman's world! 57-Breather 58-Photo Hook 59-Letterbox 60-Asian Mutt International 61-Dream Doe Philosophy 62-MommyAlehs Up-Close And Personal 63-Livin' the Life! 64-Restnrileks 65-English Corner 66-English Grammar 67-Bodybuilding & Fitness 68-Everything you need 69-One Stop Games 70-Blockbluster Movie Trailers 71-Bodybuilding & Human Growth Hormone 72-World of Tennis 73-Men's Health & Tips 74-Internet Marketing Strategy & Tips 75-Latest Technology 76-Tentang Binaraga 77-Berita Seputar Selebriti 78-Panduan Kesehatan 79-Insurance For You 80-Crissy's Zone 81-Crissy's Library 82-Crissy's Haven 83-sHeNzEe's wOrLd 84-Voice Of The Spirit 85-Best Cuisine Recipes 86-Stand My Ground 87-SeeNRead 88-This Is A Miracle 89-I AM KCAT 90-Traipsey Turvey 91-GBeX & DOm 92-Spun By A Seanachie 93-ISL Family 94-D' Cooking Mudra 95-'Story' the Great 96-UmmiRosma 97-Munirah Abd 98-Atie 99-Hit-or-Miss 100-Twisted Sister 101-Laketrees Artist 102-Blessed Sanctuary 103-Comedy Plus 104-Blogging By Sandee 105-Living Life to the Fullest 106-Speech-Less 107-Happy Life 108-My Discoveries 109-Strangely Out Of Place 110-Rooms of My Heart 111-The Paper Vision 112-Luxurious Retreats 113-Reef 114-Weekend Snapshot 115-Blessie's Finds 116-Confessions of An Army Wife 117-My Pooch Life 118-Five Martini Lunch 119-TIPS FROM THE TRAILER 120-PoeARTica 121-STAY AT HOME MOM 122-Rantings of a Woman 123-Sjtl's Weblog 124-Turn-u-Off 125-My World in My Own Word 126-Shawie 127-A New Saga 128-Janeth Vicy's Life Journey 129-Simple Reveries 130-Berry Blog 131-Touts4u 132-My So Called Life 133-La Vida es Hermosa 134-Speedcat Hollydale Page 135-mangosteenskin 136-Choc Mint Girl 137-Of Colors And Styles 138-Pinaymama's Diary 139-My Life's Rollercoaster Ride 140-My Life...My Journey! 141-Bonoriau 142-Jenny and Belle 143-Read My Mind 144-A Sweet Taste Of Life 145-Shopping Blog 146-Precious Moments 147-Feydakin 148-Hot Shit Form Here 149-A Mother's Simple Thoughts 150-Daily Ramblings Rendezvous 151-Miss Moneypenny's Comical Posts Undercover 152-My Precious Niche 153-FunFierceFabulous 154-Colorful World of Shiela 155-Me,myself+2 156-Ozzy's Mom 157-Let's talk about MJ 158-Great people make us feel we can become great 159-A Family Man 160-Just the way it is... 161-In Depth 162-Attitude, the ULTIMATE POWER 163-Are You Grateful? 164-Complain Complain Complain 165-My Little Black Pot 166-Notes By Marvic 167-Aku Pelukis 168-Jiwasintetik 169-Foster Me Up 170-Life: Thoughts & Inspirations 171-The Callalily Space 172-Mommyhood and Me 173- Bits and Pieces 174- YOU Next!

*End Copy Here*

Saturday, July 5, 2008

She Sells Sea Shells Down by the Seashore: Kate Leigh Cutler's Amazing Portrait of My Girls in Bay Head, New Jersey

Keep Your Dangerous Amateur 4th of July Fireworks Off the Beach!

One of our favorite 4th of July traditions in Bay Head, New Jersey, is to head up to the beach and watch the Jenkinson's professional fireworks display fired off from the Pt. Pleasant Beach Boardwalk, about a mile to the north of us.

Unfortunately, a favorite 4th of July tradition of the Bay Head Chapter of the Idiots of America Club is to fire off amateur fireworks (illegal in the State of New Jersey) -- firecrackers and bottle rockets -- right in the faces of the crowds out there on our beach, an experience that wouldn't be complete without encouraging their children to get so close to the explosives that I start to wish the National Guard were patrolling our beach in their 5.11 Tactical Pants. Last year, there was a dad out there firing off serious firecrackers, his toddler daughter with 1800-degree-Fahrenheit sparklers in hand. Thankfully, before the little toddler daughter came to any harm, the guy let out a hideous bellow, having burned his arm so badly he most likely ended up in the hospital. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. This year, his brother Earle was back with a fifth grade boy in charge of the artillery. As a group of five of them danced around the bottle rockets in the dark, laughing and calling out "I think I know how to do it," I packed up my family and left the fireworks celebration early. We watched the Jenkinsons display from the relative safety of the crowd huddled together on the steps off the beach, away from the amateurs who were firing upon us.

These things are dangerous, people! According to the experts (not just mean old lady Van de Kamp), fireworks are only truly safe when a trained professional, preferably miles from you, is setting them off. Fireworks caused an estimated 9,200 injuries that required treatment in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2006, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Seven out of 10 of those injuries -- approximately 6,400 -- occurred during the one-month period surrounding the Fourth of July. The damage isn't limited to life and limb, either. In 2004, fireworks started an estimated 1,600 structure fires and 600 vehicle fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association, resulting in 20 injuries and $21 million in direct property damage. Groups like Prevent Blindness America and the National Fire Protection Association take a hard line on fireworks, telling people there's no safe way to use them yourself. Small firecrackers, bottle rockets and sparklers lead to more than 70 percent of fireworks injuries in the United States each year. Sparklers burn at 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 9x the boiling point of water). Would you give your toddler a pot of boiling water as a playtoy? Then why would you put something 9 times as hot in her hand, or leave it behind on the beach for my kids to step on as they make their way home in the dark? In 2006, sparklers caused 1,000 injuries. For children under 5, they accounted for the largest number of estimated injuries, about one-third of all injuries for that age group, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Hands are the part of the body most often injured by fireworks, followed by the eyes. About half the bottle rocket injuries involve the eyes, and almost 30 percent involve the head, face or ear. While hands usually suffer burns, the eyes can be injured in one of three ways by fireworks:

  1. They can be burned, of course.
  2. But eyes also can be harmed merely by the concussion from a firework. When a firework explodes close to the eye, the shock wave causes damage. It can cause the lens to dislocate. You don't have anything go in the eye, but the percussive force causes damage.
  3. Eyes also can be injured by penetrating debris from a fireworks explosion, or by a flying firework like a bottle rocket.

Update: If you're still having any doubts, see PantherGirl's comment on this post.

So I've said my piece, but I'm afraid that the perpetrators are not likely to be reading or listening. Maybe next year I'll put in an advance request with Bay Head's finest that, instead of wasting their time on parking tickets for a two hour period, they get out on the beach and make some illegal fireworks arrests.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Music Rambles

Lynette, Tom and the Scavo twins are here for an overnight visit, we're drinkin' Blue Moon Honey Moon seasonal ale and the Roxiticus Desperate iPod is doing the five star shuffle out on the porch here at our beach house in Bay Head, New Jersey. I'm always impressed with the segues the iPod comes up with on its own...this evening, I just heard "The Dance" by Garth Brooks, followed by Kiss singin' "Hard Luck Woman."

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared beneath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known you'd ever say goodbye
And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance
Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn't I the king
But if I'd only known how the king would fall
Hey who's to say you know I might have changed it all
And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance
Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the dance

If never I met you
Id never have seen you cry
If not for our first hello
Wed never have to say goodbye
If never I held you
My feelins would never show
Its time I start walkin
But theres so much youll never know

I keep telling you hard luck woman
You aint a hard luck woman

Rags, the sailors only daughter
A child of the water
Too proud to be a queen

Rags, I really love you
I cant forget about you
Youll be a hard luck woman
Baby, till you find your man

Before I go let me kiss you
And wipe the tears from your eyes
I dont wanna hurt you, girl
You know I could never lie

I keep telling you hard luck woman
You aint a hard luck woman
Youll be a hard luck woman
Baby, till you find your man

Rags, the sailors only daughter
A child of the water
Too proud to be a queen

Rags, I really love you
I cant forget about you
Youll be a hard luck woman
Baby, till you find your man
Youll be a hard luck woman
Baby, till you find your man

Oh yeah, bye bye, so long, dont cry
Im just packin my bags, whoo, leavin you
Bye bye, bye bye, bye bye, baby, dont cry
I gotta keep on movin, yeah movin
Bye, bye my baby
Ooh, dont cry, lady, oh

And, just for fun, the iPod threw in Gretchen Wilson's "Redneck Woman," followed by Springsteen singing "Hungry Heart." I got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Celebrating Rex's Birthday at one of the Best Restaurants of the Jersey Shore: Mahogany Grille in Manasquan, NJ

As noted in my earlier post, Theresa's South in Bay Head, New Jersey, let us down on the night of Rex's birthday celebration here at the Jersey Shore by turning out their lights and locking their doors with nary a note of explanation. Tonight, Theresa's South has re-opened for dinner to further raves from the neighbors... but for us, they've missed their chance, at least until we're down here for the month of August. There are just too many spectacular restaurants at the Jersey Shore which, combined with Rex's great cooking with fresh seafood from the Crab Shack, will prevent us from giving Theresa's South a second chance over the next month or so.

Meanwhile, we turned a potential birthday dinner disaster into a super-celebration by driving to the Mahogany Grille in Manasquan. While we can't walk there, the Mahogany Grille is worth the drive for a special occasion like Rex's birthday or, as Zagat's expresses it "when cost doesn't matter."

We started off the festivities with cranberry & seltzer for the girls, and adorable little bottles of "Pommery Pop Champagne" for Rex and me. The girls both had skinny little "pommes frite" french fries for appetizers...Rex chose a salad and I started with the soup du jour, Manhattan Clam Chowder, as well as the Yuzu-Soy Injected, Cucumber Wrapped Tuna Sashimi, Tobiko ($13)...Tobiko is Japanese for flying fish roe, aka fish eggs, so I flicked them off onto Rex's bread plate. Rex enjoyed the Rocket Salad: Baby Arugula, Peppered Salami, Roasted Red Peppers, Point Reyes Blue Cheese, Fried (yes, fried!) Onions, Pignoli Nuts, Balsamic Vinaigrette ($10).

For our main course, I chose an absolutely huge and absolutely delicious appetizer size portion of the Seasonal Risotto ($15): Bay Scallops, Asparagus, and Pecorino Romano, sans the listed Roasted Red Peppers. Leaving off the roasted red peppers left the dish a bit bland, but a dash of salt brought out the flavor of the bay scallops and fresh ground pepper livened it up a bit. To emphasize the generous size of the appetizer portion, I ended up taking about half of it home to enjoy for lunch during our week at the beach. Rex chose scallops as his entree as well, though his were Seared Dayboat Scallops, with Snow Peas, Parmesan Mashed Potatoes, and Pistachio Brown Butter ($29)...and naturally, he gobbled up everything on his plate. London and Maddie shared a beautiful Rack of Lamb, with not even a bite left over for the birthday boy, other than the Red Bliss Mashed Potatoes, Haricot Verts, and Whole Grain Mustard Demi-Glace ($34 plus a $7 sharing charge).

Ordinarily, I'd be happy to regale you with the Mahogany Grille dessert menu, but Rex was in the mood for Hoffman's Ice Cream in Pt. Pleasant Beach, so off we went.

The Mahogany Grille is located at 142 Main Street (at Parker Avenue) in Manasquan, NJ. Call (732) 292-1300 for reservations.

Theresa's South Blew It on Rex's Birthday...Mahogany Grill to the Rescue!

As soon as we arrived at our beach house in Bay Head last Friday, we checked on our new restauranteur neighbors at Theresa's South, and found they were open for business as of the night before (Thursday, June 26th). A couple of our neighbors gave the new restaurant raves, but on Saturday night, we saw a stream of rejected diners marching back down Mount Street with their BYOBs tucked under their arms because Theresa's South was too busy to feed them! Not what you'd expect from the experienced owners of not one or two but three other restaurants (Theresa's, Mojave Grill, and Isabella's, all in Westfield, New Jersey)... Well, it turns out we should have taken the not so subtle hint and made other plans for Rex's birthday last night.

Theresa's South won't take reservations (big mistake...huge), but they assured me that the restaurant was open 7 nights for dinner, and we should just call 732-892-1555 and ask to be added to their waiting list 45 minutes before we wished to enjoy Rex's birthday celebration dinner. Instead, the girls and I walked over just before 7:00pm and found that Theresa's South was dark and locked up tight, with nary a note of explanation. One of their neighbors suggested that "there was some trouble in the kitchen." We gave Rex the bad news but turned it into a good excuse to return to Mahogany Grille in Manasquan for a guaranteed perfect of our terrific evening to follow!

I guess it's more Theresa's South's loss than ours...with so many excellent restaurants at the Jersey Shore, we don't have time for a "make up" for the next month or so. If you're still interested, Theresa's South is located at 530 Main Avenue (Route 35) at the corner of Mount Street in Bay Head, NJ. Phone (732) 892-1555.

Bay Head Summer Recreation is Back, Starting July 7th

Rex and the girls and I are never down here at the beach in Bay Head, NJ, for enough of July to really take advantage of the terrific Bay Head Summer Recreation program here, but last year both London and Maddie were eligible for the first time and they had a blast.

When: Monday, July 7th through Friday, August 8th
When, Part II: A half day program on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9:00am - 12:00pm

Where: Bay Head Firehouse, 81 Bridge Avenue

Who: Children of Bay Head Residents and Renters
Who, Part II: Children Ages 5 through 12. Birth Certificate required at sign-up.

How (much): $30.00. For the whole summer. Not per day, not per week. For the whole summer.

Now, for that price, the nice teenagers who supervise your children at the Bay Head Firehouse are NOT going to teach them to swim, sail, or scuba dive. But your kids will come home with lots of cool arts and crafts and play outside at Centennial Park when the weather is nice. We're definitely signing up, and London and Maddie will most likely be there on Monday, August 4th; Wednesday, August 6th; and Friday, August 8th.