Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
We were standing around waiting for the winner of a $1500 giveaway to be announced. Sadly, it was not us who won, it was this odd looking woman standing in front of us. I turned to Ed and said, "Good, now she can get her teeth fixed." He didn't laugh.
She was with her son, a big oafish looking guy, with blond hair and a mild case of acne. His was about six feet tall with a body that was shaped like a big, mushy pear. I saw him about an hour later at the second drawing for the brand new pick up truck and when he caught my eye I said, "Oh, coming back to win more?" and he just laughed and said "My mother won the first drawing" to which I answered, "I know, I saw her". I didn't mention the dental work I thought she needed.
After dinner, Ed had to go get his player's card, so I was waiting for him by the cash register outside of the restaurant. I look up and I see the Oaf walking towards me. Beeline. Stops right in front of me. And then, he speaks.
"How you doing?"
"Good" (he smiles)
"I saw you over by the drawing, did you guys win the car?"
"Oh. Maybe next time."
"Yeah. My name is Andrew." (right into the introduction, not wasting any time)
"Nice to meet you Andrew. Do you guys come here often?"
"Yeah. Me and my mom."
"Do you live around here?"
"Yeah, in Campo."
"Oh, cool." (I'm wondering why Ed is taking so long)
"How old are you?"
"How old do you think I am?" (I laugh)
"20?? Wow, thanks. No, I'm not 20. I'm 37"
"Really? You don't look it."
"Well...I have no makeup on and I look like crap."
"No you don't." (he looks away shyly and sort of shuffles his feet)
"Well, thanks anyway."
"I'm sorry to say, but you don't look 37."
"Well, don't be sorry!" (laugh) "I think I love you." (I say jokingly)
"I think I love you too." (um, HE was serious)
"How old are you?"
"18?? And they let you in here to gamble?"
"Yeah, all the time."
"Well, this is only the second time we've been here." (still wondering where the other half of WE is)
"My boyfriend and I"
"Oh." (long pause) "Well, if he ever breaks up with you, you should go out with me."
"OK, Andrew, I'll look you up." (trying to be nice and gently joking with him)
"Seriously, if you guys break up, call me."
Just as he finished his sentence, Ed came back. Andrew introduces himself to Ed, shaking his hand. Ed looks confused. Who is this guy? We decide to leave for the night and as we walk away, I turn back to Andrew.
"Well, nice meeting you Andrew. Have a good night."
"You too. And remember...if he breaks up with you, go out with me."
As I walk away laughing, trying to get away from my stalker, I am thinking an 18 year old just HIT ON ME! OK, so he was a big pear, but that's okay, he was still 18. Ed didn't find it very amusing. He was baffled by the whole interaction and thought I was being silly mentioning it.
But my point to him was this: It takes a LOT for a guy to approach any girl they find attractive. I give Andrew a lot of credit, at 18 years old, for doing that. Yes, we know that most 18 year old boys are very bold and have no fear, but this kid most likely wasn't. He just looked like the kind of kid that was shy, not really "cool", not very handsome....yet he still went for it. And I was flattered.
Regardless of my best friend when I told her the story saying, "Twenty???? C'mon. You may look young, but twenty???", I will still re-play his words in my head. "You don't look 37, you look 20" (ahhhh) "You don't look 37, you look 20" (tell me again, Andrew) "You don't look 37, you look 20." (oh yeah, that's right) "You don't look 37, you look 20." (come to Mama) OK, so that's not verbatim, but you get the point.
I'm going out to buy the new Hillary Duff album tomorrow.
Monday, August 29, 2005
Sunday, August 28, 2005
In the past, we've had Charley, Frances, Hugo and Andrew. Why don't we have any really ethnic hurricane names? I'd like see these in the future:
How about a hurricane named after our African brothers and sisters? Hurricane Shanequa, Hurricane Tyrone, Hurricane Khadija.
Or a little Jewish wind and rain? Hurricane Moishe, Hurricane Menachem, Hurricane Miriam.
And where are the Italian hurricanes? Hurricane Guido, Hurricane Annunziata, Hurricane Angelo.
Maybe a little Latin flavor? Hurricane Julio, Hurricane Javier, Hurricane Juanita.
French? Hurricane Amelie, Hurricane Pierre, Hurricane Coco Chanel?
I'd welcome any one of those, but I can do without ever seeing Hurricane Hitler, Sadam or Osama.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Out of over 300 entries, the sponsors, Castrol and BP Lubricants narrowed the finalists down to three. Those three finalists are: Jeff Fields from upstate New York, Ed Godfrey (My Eddie!) from Dallas, TX and Robert Jones from Atlanta, Georgia. The other two guys came to the show with their wives and seemed very excited to be in the contest. Well, as excited as a truck driver can be, I guess! We talked a little with each of them and decided they were all very nice people and we would be happy with whatever the outcome of the contest was.
When the winners were announced, the crowd went wild! Jeff Fields won the Grand Prize $50,000 truck makeover and Robert Jones won a trip for two to Las Vegas for the ACDelco NHRA Nationals (ugh, race cars) but we made off with a portable CD/DVD/MP3 Player and a $100 gift certificate to use towards the purchase of DVD's!! Now you know we'll be using that prize since we are such movie hounds!
We had a great time at the show and were thrilled to be part of the contest. The people from BP Lubricants and Castrol were just wonderful with us. They supplied us with t-shirts and baseball caps, an abundant supply of their new Castrol Tection Extra oil, and a great DVD player that will surely be worn out by the end of the year. Ed will also be featured along with the other two winners in upcoming trucking industry magazines. We will let you know when the articles are out!
As a result of our win, Eddie and I decided we are going to enter more contests since we seem to be having a streak of luck lately. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some DVD's to watch.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
But, something good did come out of it. I discovered Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List on Bravo. What a find! She's beautiful, funny and so down to earth.
You know how hard it is for me to get TV on the road, let alone Bravo, but I will be looking for her show and watching it at EVERY opportunity. I know some people think these reality/following a celebrity's life type of shows are crap, but I happen to like this one. She makes me laugh and that's the most important thing.
Of course, I've seen Kathy in the past but she doesn't seem to be on TV as often as she should be. I am so glad I rediscovered her. I'm now a fan. Die hard, even.
Bravo! Kathy Griffin and Bravo! Bravo.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Monday, August 22, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Friday, August 19, 2005
Let's see. This semester, I'll be taking:
Gang Member Ethics
The Art of The Drug Deal
And for extra credit, I'll be participating in a project called Fo Shizzle My Nizzle; The Lyrical History of Gangster Rap.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Hard work, grit and determination: that's what this country was built on. The same characteristics possessed by the millions of American truckers who travel our highways and roads every day.
A trucker's life isn't an easy one. There's no doubt about that. They work long hours. Drive incredible distances. And spend weeks, sometimes months, away from home and loved ones. Missing birthdays, graduations and all the simple things most of us non-truckers take for granted. They battle boredom, loneliness, and fatigue every day to transport billions of tons of goods and materials every year: From the clothing we wear to the food we eat to the building materials that make up practically everything around us. Sometimes even transporting hazardous materials to remote places so they don't harm us. Without these hard working heroes of the highway, the country could not survive or prosper.
They move the economy forward. Literally. Making America a better place for all of us.
For nearly 35 years, we, at the TravelCenters of America, have had the distinct pleasure and privilege to get to know millions of these drivers. They come from big cities and small towns. They have different backgrounds. And beliefs. But all of them share a common bond: that of fiercely independent, hardworking Americans. To show our gratitude for everything they do, we'll be celebrating National Truck Driver Appreciation Days at our 160 sites from August 21 to August 27. But we wanted everyone in America to know. If you are in one of our sites or even one of our competitors, take the time and thank those truckers for making your life a better one. They have earned and deserve our thanks and respect.
With much appreciation,
CEO & President
TravelCenters of America
Westlake, Ohio 44145
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
As the sun was going down over the hill, the gas station and the little "all mart" were bathed in pink light. These pictures really don't do it justice, as it was just magnificent in person.
Seeing this, I gathered that the Road to Sin City is paved more than just hope for all the folks heading out to try their luck in Las Vegas.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
I am not much of a gambler. I hate to waste money on that kind of thing and can walk through the casino the same way I would walk through the winners circle at a NASCAR event...without even stopping to look. I really have no interest in either. Now Eddie..Eddie is another story. He likes to stop at the Blackjack table and play "just $20"...which usually translates into $100 plus.
Tonight we decided just to play the slot machines. I like to play the $1 slots cause the payoff is so much greater when you DO win. Eddie started me off with a $20 and in 7 minutes, it was gone. With such a quick loss, I was ready to call it a night. Since Ed was still playing, he gave me another $20 to keep me busy until he finished. I sat down at a nearby machine and started playing, promising that I'd be done for the night once my $20 was gone. Before I knew, I was up to $220 in winnings. I couldn't stop now, right? So I put my $200 aside and continued to play with the original $20.
I like to play the maximum number of coins because I know I'd kick myself in the ass if I won big and only put in $1 instead of $3. Because it was hard to see $3 at a clip just disappear, I alternated between playing $2 and $3 at a time. And I kept winning! $60 here, $120 there, $30 here, another $60. I was on one of those machines where the wheels stop spinning and then the diamond logo clicks back one notch to land on the payline. I love that. It's my favorite kind of machine. You think you're not going to win anything and then it clicks up or down and you're a winner once again. Coins clanging everywhere!
I was down to my last few coins thinking to myself "Well, at least I am leaving with $200 more than I sat down with" when I saw the symbols lining up. As the wheels stopped turning I saw one double diamond stop, then a second double diamond stop and then the third double diamond stop. The machine didn't make any noise at all. I saw the lights on the top of the machine blinking and I looked over to the digital display and saw the numbers 2 5 0 0. I was confused. Did I win? Where are my clanking dollars? I turned around and calmly said to Ed, "Baby, can you come over here for a minute?"
He walked over, looked at the machine and then looked at me. "Baby, you won!" he said. I had just won TWENTY FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!!
The manager came over, did his thing and then walked away for a while before coming back with my parting gifts and cashola. He brought me a t-shirt, a socket wrench set (???) and a pretty wad of bills. He placed the $100 bills in my palm, one at a time, making me feel as if I were on Price Is Right. As I watched Ben Franklin's face being placed into my hand one by one, all I could think of was...It's all about the Benjamins, baby.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Today is my father's birthday and I can't ever remember a time when I didn't want to be like him. In many ways, I am. And I love it.
Before I was born, my father decorated my room. He didn't know I was going to be a girl (because in those days you just didn't know) yet he swathed my room in pink and made a silver stork out of tin foil to hang over the crib. He was thrilled that I turned out to be a baby girl and I became his Princess that very instant.
He bought me my first fur coat, my first Easter bonnet, my first pair of patent leather shoes and my first dress. He always bought me flowers and a heart shaped box of chocolates on Valentine's Day. He was there for my first school play and my first Holy Communion. He was devastatingly handsome and always made me feel like the most special girl in the world.
He taught me how to stand up for myself in school. He explained the tactics of a Kamikaze. He taught me, unintentionally, how to lie to get out of going to work when you had something more fun to do (a fractured eyelash is hard to argue with). He taught me how to cook. He taught me how to play horseshoes and ring toss. He told me you can always judge a man by his shoes and he told me to listen to my mother (which he still tells me).
Our house was always warm and loving and welcoming. My parents entertained quite a bit. As my mother "worked the room", my father cooked, told jokes, made Johnny Mathis a little louder and smacked my mother on the ass as she walked by. He had the best looking woman in the room and he wanted to make it known. A little Neanderthal, I guess, but that was the 70's. He is a Leo and he personified it in every way.
Daddy was not always the best with words, but he always made himself heard. I would say "I love you" to him and he would say "me to you" back. Even without the actual words, I knew he loved me. I still do. He would frequently ask about the oil in my car (did I change it?), my tires (are they bald yet?), my boyfriends (is he treating you right? Cause if he isn't, I'll kill him), my jobs (if you just applied yourself...), my money situation (here's a twenty) and my diet (just eat salad, chicken and water - it's easy).
We have become closer in the last few years and I have been able to spend much more time with him than I used to. I've always made time for him in my life and I am constantly in contact with him, but this time it's different. I feel like I'm getting to know him a little better and I know that he loves my presence in his life. I can feel it when I'm with him. I can see the love in his eyes. He chokes up sometimes when he talks and thinks I don't notice. He will sniff, then wipe his eye, pretending he has something in it. And he hugs me a little harder and a lot longer when I leave.
I can probably make a cloth of love now, but I want to know deeper who he is. I want more years with him and I want more of his words.
A girl can never have enough gold.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Friday, August 12, 2005
Thursday, August 11, 2005
1. Pretzel Rods
2. Oreo Crisps
4. Devil Dogs
5 Bands/Artists That I Know the Lyrics to Most of Their Songs:
1. Julie Roberts
2. Kelly Clarkson (yeah, I know!)
3. Counting Crows
4. Barbara Streisand
5. Frank Sinatra.
5 Things I Would Do with a $100,000,000:
1. Buy a house, car and RV.
2. Put money away for my nephew’s education.
3. Pay my brothers mortgage.
5. Help family members out in any way financially needed.
5 Locations I Would Like to Run Away to:
2. Martha’s Vineyard (now that I’ve been there)
3. Anguilla (after seeing my cousin’s honeymoon pictures)
4. Eastern Europe
5 Bad Habits I Have:
2. Talking loudly
3. Correcting spelling and word pronunciation
5. Not looking before I move in any direction
5 Things I Like Doing:
1. Sitting at the kitchen table talking to my friend Vicki
2. Going to movies
3. Lounging at the bookstore with a latte and a magazine
5. Spending time on the computer.
5 Things I would Never Wear:
1. Low slung pants
2. Leg warmers
3. Body jewelry/piercings
4. Sweatpants with anything written across the ass
5. White lipstick.
5 TV Shows I Like:
2. Will & Grace
3. Boston Legal
4. The Apprentice
5. America’s Next Top Model
5 Movies I Like:
1. Dirty Dancing
2. The Shawshank Redemption
4. Love Actually
5 Famous People I would Like to Meet:
2. Jennifer Aniston
3. Ben Affleck
4. Brad Pitt
5. Martha Stewart.
5 Biggest Joys at the Moment:
1. My new laptop
2. My digital camera
3. My red leather purse from Italy
4. Iced Lattes
5. My blog
5 Favorite Restaurants:
2. La Parilla Suiza
3. Johnny Carino’s
4. My dad’s hot dog wagon
5. Any good pizza joint
When the passions have relaxed their hold,
you may have escaped, not from one master but from many. ~ Plato
Today is my mother's birthday, and as she is entering old age (not really old age, she'd kill me), she seems to have mastered escaping the things that used to master her. I guess life is just kind of like that, where you sometimes have to dance to someone else's tune. Early in life, it's usually parents, teachers or the first boy you think you really love - this time. Middle years, it becomes bosses, society, children and husbands. Later in life, it may be life long friends, STILL husbands and perhaps family ties that are too hard to break free from. But as you advance in years, they no longer have to master any part of your life.
I battle my mother sometimes on her choices, but I do have to admire her for doing what she wants. As Plato said, she has a great sense of calm and freedom. I guess that might come from getting older and knowing what she wants. Or from having made poor choices in the past, leaving her feeling frustrated or angry at herself for not following her instinct. Or maybe, it just came from dealing with so much shit in so many areas, she just chose not to take it anymore. Either way, she has freedom.
And I wouldn't necessarily say her passions have relaxed their hold. I would say they have taken another form. Instead of spreading herself out over many who don't matter, she concentrates on the few who do. Her husband, her children, her steadfast friends and her three grandsons. These people fill her life. These people are her passion. They are what she cares about most. (Well...them, and some good linguine on Sunday.)
They are also the ones who get to bask in all that is wonderful about her. Her loyalty, love, laughter and kindness. Her phenomenal ability to listen and make you feel special. Her insight and wisdom that comes from years of experience and pages of reading material. Her willingness to ALWAYS be there when you need her, even when sometimes you (me) haven't always been so nice.
Today is my mother's birthday. I wish her many more years of reveling in all that she has become and all that she is every day to each of us who know her and love her.
Happy Birthday, Mommy.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
She will no doubt enhance not only her own knowledge, but the experience of others while in school since she is a RAY of sunshine that can't be shut out by even the darkest cloud. I can't wait to hear about her experience, as I know it will be told in squeals of laughter and gasps of "guess what?".
The sad part is easy too. My best friend Vicki, her mother, left alone for the first time in 4.5 years without Mina by her side. There were tears. Several times. And when Mina told Vicki that she was allowed to walk her to the door of school but NOT down the hallway to her classroom, I can hear the shards of Vicki's heart hitting the floor. Of course, that sound would have most definitely been covered by the laughter that I KNOW came out of Vicki's mouth with Mina just saying something so......so.....grown up. LOL
In just 6 days, Vicki will have the entire MORNING to herself. Both kids will be in school. She will be alone, really alone, for the first time in 6.5 years. She needs me. I better head South. Quick. But first, I have to stop off and get some Diet Coke, Oreos, Nutty Buddy ice cream, Chinky, some chick flicks and.....? It's going to be like old times. Just me and Vick.
Things just have a way of coming back around, don't they?
Monday, August 08, 2005
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Saturday, August 06, 2005
The five things I am wishing for today:
1. That the sun will leave the sky and never show its rays again.
2. That the world would end this instant after being flash frozen by a fictional evil doer.
3. That winter would come and never turn back into summer.
4. That I had a personal assistant to sit by my side and fan me all day, while handing me sips of ice water in between.
5. That I would be able to strap a 10,000 BTU air conditioner to the top of the truck and run it on high cool until December.
If you haven't gathered by now that I am hot, I will be more clear. When the fuck is this heat going to end??
I can't take it anymore. I just can't take it. It makes me want to throw up. I look at people smiling in the sun and think they must be on drugs. I do not shop in stores that are hot. I can't stand walking from the truck to anywhere more than 100 feet if it's hot out. My retinas are seared from the blinding light of the sun. My scalp is on fire from the heat beating down upon it. I am cranky (duh). The feeling of any amount of fabric on my body is making me crazy. I wish I had AA tits so I could go braless. I think I'm going to buy a muu-muu at the next place we stop so I can wander around with no underwear on underneath like the old Italian women do on a hot day in the city.
My skin is on fire. I just can't get cool. I have no more moisture left in my eyes because I am staring straight into the air conditioner vents. I am on my second litre of water for the day and I am thinking of buying a box of Depends so I don't have to go out in the heat when I have to pee.
It's only August 6, which means I probably have at least 3 months more of heat that I can't stand. The only thing that is going to save me today is the fact that we are heading back to the Northwest. Dear, sweet Oregon, here I come.
(Photos courtesy of the internet)
Friday, August 05, 2005
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Bi-Coastal, that is. And you know what? We like it!
Last weekend, we were in Martha's Vineyard looking out upon the Atlantic Ocean. Today, we are in San Luis Obispo, looking at the Pacific Ocean.
In some ways, bi is good. As in bi-lingual, bi-racial, bi-coastal and for some people, bi-sexual - cause then they can have both Brad and Jen.
Other good bi stuff: the bi-centennial, having bi-annual functions, subscribing to bi-monthly magazines, getting paid bi-weekly and having a bi-carbonate when you need one.
Bi-Polar? Not so good.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
True, but I still don't like it
It's not so much that as it is the "tude"
Barbie was dressed all sexy in the store and instead of saying THAT, I said Sassy
I know "m"
I just told Ant, he's freakin' flippin' excited...lol
LOL...I am glad it was good for you
I'm a virgin no more...you're my first
OMG. I JUST FOUND THIS I AM SO OUT OF THE LOOP
Monday, August 01, 2005
And viewing the ruins of what might have been a stopping point on the trek towards the Cascade Mountains,
my Eddie received a phonecall. He was very happy, smiling and must have said "wow" about 27 times in 7 minutes.
When the call ended, I found out that he was talking to the marketing representative from Castrol. We had submitted an entry for the $50,000 Big Honkin' Truck Makeover contest (sponsored by Castrol and BP Lubricants) a few weeks ago. The representative was calling to inform us that our entry was chosen as one of the three finalists!!
The final judging is now left in the hands of the attendees of the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas this August 25-27. Keep your fingers crossed. Pray, place bets (on us as a winner), put it on your wish list or in your God box but make sure you will us to win! The winners are announced August 27, 2005...I will keep you posted!! I think being up here in this beautiful country has been lucky for us!
Alis Volat Propiis is the state motto for Oregon. It's latin for She Flies With Her Own Wings. The creators of this state motto felt that it reflected Oregon's tradition of independence and innovation.
While driving through the scenic majestic pines, viewing the landscape in the mirrors of the lakes and rivers and breathing in the fresh, clean air, it makes you feel that the meaning of independence can only be freedom, privilege, liberty and supreme sovereignty.