Saturday, April 28, 2012

The 10 best New Jersey town names

1. Ho-Ho-Kus. Of course this tops the list. The hyphens really make it. If you're interested in the derivation, go here. (Spoiler alert: NOBODY KNOWS.)

2. Moonachie. I have no idea how to pronounce this and I refuse to look it up.

3. Carteret. A small Carter.

4. Hazlet. A mini-hazard. 

5. Cinnaminson.This appears to be misspelled. I enjoy that.
6. Colts Neck. More towns should be named after parts of baby animals. Me, I'd like to live in Kittens Head.

7. Mahwah. Wait, what's the name of your town? I can't understand you. Mumbler! (Here, somewhat gratuitously, is one of my favorite scenes from the excellent film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.)

8. Peapack. Try to say that aloud without smiling.

9. Elizabeth. Not Elizabethtown, not Elizabethville, just Elizabeth. I wonder why they didn't go with Jessica or Diane.

10. Sea Girt. Girt: it's a word you just don't hear every day. Unless, perhaps, you are the mayor of Sea Girt.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Things for which I routinely overpay

1. Taxis. Let's just say I have an interesting relationship with math, especially in such high-pressure situations as paying a cabbie. Sure, I could take a minute to calculate a 15% tip (there's an app for that), but generally I just guess. I hope the drivers enjoy the extra fiver I give them on a $7.90 fare.

2. Lunch. Leftover chili, made at home: $2.50 a serving. Mediocre veggie sushi with side salad, bought at a midtown deli: $10.

3. Races. Several times a year I shell out $23 or so to participate in a New York Road Runners race. Why exactly do I pay for the privilege of running four miles? Well, there is the "free" T-shirt.

4. Cat food. My first cat, Otis, dined exclusively on Meow Mix. When he died at age 14 of pretty much every ailment a feline can get, signs pointed to his crappy diet. Thus, the new kittens are livin' large on Merrick's Five-Star Entrees, including such varieties as Cowboy Cookout and Grammy's Pot Pie. Total retail value? About $42 a week. These guys damn well better live forever.

5. Netflix. On the face of it, eight bucks a month for unlimited DVDs seems like a pretty good deal. When you consider, however, that I hang on to movies such as The Wackness for five weeks before watching them, it's a little, uh, wack. (For what it's worth, I gave the film three out of five stars.)

6. Greeting cards. No joke: I just spent $6.48 (including tax) on a wedding card. And it wasn't even musical.