Monday, August 15, 2011

Endless Vacation: Jersey Shore

[Endless Vacation is a travel log. It pretty much peaked when I visited Europe in the fall of 2010.]

Left a little late on the one year anniversary of my cousin’s death. What can I say, the Pelones know how to make a vacation emotionally draining. After a three hour drive, Michelle and I stopped at Green Cuisine in Stone Harbor for lunch. Green Cuisine remains one of my favorite restaurants, even if it is 100 miles away from home. The folks there just know how to make a really good vegetarian sammich, ya dig? The smoothies are pretty great too. Then we hit the beach. Day #1 yields minimal sunburn. Let’s hope the rest of the week plays out similarly.

While I mocked her at the time, Michelle’s decision to bring some of her produce with us paid off well for dinner. She was concerned that her veggies wouldn’t keep while she was away for a week, and as it turns out we almost had everything needed to make some quesadillas. After a quick stop at the local market, I settled on cooking us peach quesadillas, supplemented with German Riesling and chips and guacamole. Everything was good, save the dip. I think I have a new favorite recipe. Thanks, peaches. Then I got fitshaced.

Felt a little rough the morning after, but I drank lots of water, so it could have been worse. While Michelle got ready, I went out on the deck and knocked out Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol while listening to Jesu. Anya’s Ghost is about a Russian-American girl who falls down a well and meets a ghost. It’s pretty good. The art is beautiful and it moves along nicely, and the story is detailed enough to keep adults invested while still maintaining a clear linear plot that younger readers will be able to keep up with. It would be a great animated movie. What’s Henry Selick doing?

We met up with the newly engaged Eric and Erin in Atlantic City Sunday. While I’ve been to nearby Ventor and Brigantine, neither have us has been to Atlantic City proper. In fact, almost everything I knew about the town came from Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraksa.

But the casinos are actually really nice. We spent hours walking around Caesar’s. Had some good vegetarian food. Did a lot of people watching. We gambled a little – Eric gave me $5 to play Kitty Glitter since I paid for lunch – but sadly my ability to match kitties with their desired glitter did not pay off huge dividends. The shops are neat, though, and I realized that AC isn’t as far away as I thought. During the off-season, I can get here in probably 45 minutes, which is about what it takes for me to get to Philadelphia anyway, so I might come out for a show or two in the future.

For dinner, we drove out to Stone Harbor for Green Cuisine again. My plan is to eat there every day. Afterwards, we explored the local shops. With our impending move to a house next month, we opted to check out some art for sale. We settled on a picture of a couple holding each other in a park with an urban landscape in the background. It’s a vitreograph, a series of paintings on glass layered over each other to create a 3D effect, by the French artist Jean-Pierre Weill. My mom actually owns one of his works, and while I would like to own one of his larger creations, we just don’t have the money now. Still, it’s created a goal for us. As our new family prospers, hopefully we’ll be able to pick up a few more of his creations, as they’re quite beautiful.

Went back to the beach on Tuesday. We both got burned, but it was worth it to play in the ocean together. Michelle never goes in the water. Also I listened to The Clash’s London Calling all the way through. Question: Great album, or greatest album?

Afterward we drove out to Ocean City with the intention of vinyl hunting, but Michelle had an allergic reaction of some sort. We stopped at CVS and then a clinic for assistance.

“Go to the record store,” Michelle told me.

“I can’t leave you,” I said.

“Go!” she said. “I want you to live.”

“I’ll come back for you,” I proclaimed to her, and to the fates.

And I did too, with a Tori Amos seven-inch in tow for my poor, sick baby girl. I also picked up…

-The Dismemberment Plan – Is Terrified (CD)
-Wings – Venus and Mars (Black vinyl, with two posters of Paul and Linda McCartney being obnoxiously adorable together)
-New York Dolls – Too Much Too Soon (black)
-Torche – Healer/Across the Shield (white, with a DVD)

Thanks Shore Things. Later that night we made Mexican food and read books.


Went to the Wetlands Institute, which promised an aquarium and a nature walk. The trail was littered with beer cans. As for the aquarium, let’s just say it had some interesting exhibits, including a display on horseshoe crab orgies. Another dealt with turtles getting killed by cars. Later, we watched Spy Game, about sexxxy man-spies who play games… WITH THE LAW. Michelle and I attempted a double date-y round of mini-golf with Maria and Dan. There was a 45-minute wait, so we went to a bar instead. Forty-five minutes later, poof, no line. Then it started raining after the third hole…

On Thursday, my cousins/aunt/uncle came to visit. Hit up the beach, watched some seagulls fight. Burns were spread all around. Then we got shore pizza, as it was meant to be. We decimated a 25” pie. Michelle and I went for a walk around the island. We played skeeball! Skeeball is awesome. We also played a Terminator shooter. The guns were huge/awesome. Then we got frozen yogurt, which is healthier than ice cream. We are responsible adults.

Then we got drunk and proceeded to do drunk things like play Scattergories with my sister and her friends and watch Damages.

On the last day, Michelle and I took one last walk on the beach before departing for Philadelphia and Blackbird’s vegan cheesesteaks. Then we hit up our beloved Repo Records. I purchased…

-Braid – Closer to Closed (CD)
-Galaxie 500 – On Fire (black vinyl)
-The Horrors – Skying (CD)

This was a good vacation.


-PJ Harvey – A Man A Woman Walked By
-PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
-Maritime – Human Hearts
-Cheap Girls – Give Me a Beer Home
-Jay-Z – Greatest Hits
-Juliana Hatfield Three – Become What You Are
-The Heat Tape – Raccoon Valley Recordings
-Tombs – Tombs
-Jesu – Ascension
-Mitch Hedberg – Mitch All Together
-Mitch Hedberg – Do You Believe in Gosh?
-Richard Hell and The Voidoids – Blank Generation
-Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More
-The Raveonettes – Raven to the Grave
-The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced?
-The Clash – London Calling
-The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Axis: As Bold As Love
-The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland
-David Bowie – Station to Station
-The Breeders – Pod
-Various Artists – Here We Go
-High on Fire – Death is This Communion
-Vermont – Living Together
-High on Fire – Snakes for the Divine
-The Promise Ring – Very Emergency
-Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros – Global A Go-Go
-High Places – High Places
-Tim Armstrong – A Poet’s Life
-Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
-The Clash – Combat Rock
-Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros - Streetcore
-The Himalayans – She Likes the Weather
-The Promise Ring – Boys + Girls

Books read:

-Vera Brosgol – Anya’s Ghost
-Various – America Lost and Found: The BBS Story
-Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and some other dudes – The X-Men Omnibus Volume 1

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