Walden Pond versus the Jersey Shore. Absurdities and extremities.

a blog from monmouth county by calvin schwartz

Back to traditional format. Sort of. Oscillating as I write. So I wrote a first novel (Vichy Water) and I blog around and started novel two. I’d love nothing more than to look in a full length mirror (remember I’m 6′ 5 1/2″) and say, “hey dude, you’re finally a writer.” A contemporary cousin with a few advanced degrees addressed me as ‘dude’ in a recent email (literary license?).   Recently there was interesting piece on winter rental deals here at Jersey Shore Vacations.

A lot of Jersey Shore summer homes are also available for the winter as off-season rentals. And of course the prices are greatly discounted from the summer season. You can either rent monthly, if you’re looking to spend your winter at the shore, or by the weekend for a quick relaxing getaway. Here are a few special deals:

winter rental; 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, living room kitchen and laundry room. Fully furnished, utilities included. $1200 per month (at Bradley Beach, New Jersey).

I love light bulbs. Bright. Incandescent. I don’t like dim bulbs. A bulb (almost a nova, when it’s brightest before bad news and cursing) went off cerebrally. Wouldn’t it be loverly if I could rent that Bradley Beach house? A month would be perfect. January at Jersey shore. Swirling thoughts of solitude, solemnity and substance. Pure ocean and snowy sand, near my lonely Belmar jetty. I could write, meditate, ponder spirit which also swirls and stare at the majesty of the mid-winter Atlantic just across the street. Utilities included! It might be cheaper to be there than here. Why spend money birding to Florida when I can bike ride to Bradley?  Another bright bulb. Henry David Thoreau spent two years at Walden Pond. And no I’m not him. On the other hand; introspection, examination and wonderment. I keep staring at the picture of Thoreau’s cabin and the Jersey shore house. Henry’s (I feel a bonding) cabin wasn’t in the wilderness but at the edge of town; same as my Bradley Beach house, perhaps eight blocks from Main Street and Vic’s Pizza. Henry believed in the spiritual benefits of a simplified lifestyle. So do I. Ain’t nothing quite like hanging around Sedona’s red rocks, blue sky and green forests for a week. I wouldn’t farm, clear land or chop wood like Henry did but I would walk on a wooden boardwalk and brave the cold sand barefoot to make a point about my virility. We know his writing at Walden was his most productive. Give me wifi and a Bradley beach house and I’ll produce; great words for an agent. I’d even read classics (The Illiad) at night, forgoing CNN, Larry and Anderson and Jon on Comedy. Of course my family would visit on weekends, maybe with a fresh Caesar salad. Thoreau was able to hear a train whistle from his cabin which interrupted his pastoral life. The joys of my rented Bradley Beach house: If I opened a rear window (Hitchcock?), I’d be able to hear a NJ Transit train as well, lumbering into the station eight blocks away. Am I dreaming? Am I in bizarro world with Henry Thoreau?  Sounds do interrupt. I’ve got ocean on wintry shore across the street. Henry had owls and frogs. I might be able to hear the bridge over the Shark River sounding a rising and lowering. Thoreau was once arrested for failure to pay taxes. I don’t mess with IRS; besides I’m a starving author. Speaking of starving; Thoreau talked about the animal instinct in man which makes us eat meat. So a person who refrains from meat eating might truly be answering to a higher authority. Thoreau was a vegetarian (he thought it the highest form of self restraint) (I haven’t had any red meat since 1975 for self restraint as well and 111 cholesterol). More similar bizarro world. He liked tea (I take green tea capsules daily) and he didn’t drink. Me too. His cabin solitude helped examine Industrial Revolution consumerism and materialism; a pretty ‘with it guy’ for the mid 1800’s. I think about Western living (not Texas) as well. A month in Bradley Beach; I could nail novel three. And I now revere Henry David Thoreau.

To conclude on a lighter(?) note. Absurdities noticed in passing before I get to winter and Bradley Beach. The Dallas Cowboys website was down for a few days (on the heels of firing their coach.) Reason: the owner forgot to renew their domain name. The feds now endorse eating cheese in one bad breath and in the other talk about American obesity. Speaking of feds. There’s a new proposal for cigarette packaging to have the following warnings with extremely graphic pictures taking up 50% of the space on each packs of cigarettes.

WARNING:  Cigarettes are addictive.
WARNING:  Tobacco smoke can harm your children.
WARNING:  Cigarettes cause fatal lung disease.
WARNING:  Cigarettes cause cancer.
WARNING:  Cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease.
WARNING:  Smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby.
WARNING:  Smoking can kill you.
WARNING:  Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers.
WARNING:  Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health

I wonder how they fit all this on a pack of cigarettes. I actually wonder about the word absurdity.

I read somewhere twitter mood predicts the stock market. Tweets can be used to predict stock market movements up to 6 days in advance. One algorithm called the Google-Profile of Mood States (GPOMS) records the level of six states: happiness, kindness, alertness, sureness, vitality, and calmness. I’m calm. Researchers found that there is a correlation between Dow Jones Industrial Average and one of the GPOMS indices: calmness.

One last comment: Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG is developing a pill containing an embedded microchip, which it hopes to submit for regulatory approval in Europe within 18 months. The chip is activated by stomach acid and transmits information to a patch attached to the patient’s skin, which then sends it on to a doctor via the Internet or a smartphone. One of my favorite movies and books. “1984”

So much to say. So many miles to go before I sleep. Wish I could go to grandmother’s house this Thanksgiving. I wish I had remembered to remember to remember that one day I’d remember thinking about grandmothers and grandfathers and spending more time with them and asking them more questions. The fact that I didn’t remember is the most hurtful absurdity that I’ll remember.

Pictures are included at bottom; show and tell. Proposed Bradley Beach House and Henry David Thoreau’s cabin. Draw your comparisons.

And yes, have a Happy Healthy Thanksgiving holiday.

Oh if you’ve got 65 seconds please visit Youtube for the novel’s book trailer (and the website vichywater.net for book gift suggestions for the holidays)

Bradley Beach Winter RentalHenry Thoreau On Walden Pond

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