Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I'm Sleeping With Someone New

Since Eddie dropped me at my mother's house and took off for parts unknown, I have let a new male into my bed. That's right...take a good look. He's got beautiful eyes (like Eddie), is extremely cuddly (like Eddie) and he even wears a bell so I know where he is or when he jumps out of bed to go play with string (like Eddie). OK, so Eddie doesn't have a bell, but I kinda like the idea. I might have to get one for him.

I do miss Eddie's muscular arms, tight buns bumping me in the night and the constant contact he keeps with my body...whether it's an arm slung across my waist or his foot gently nudging mine.

Last night, this little guy slept curled up in the crook of my neck. He was so close, with his whiskers just inches from my cheek, that every time he took a breath they brushed my skin. At first, I thought it was a little annoying, then I heard his purr and knew he was probably dreaming of catnip since he seemed so relaxed and content.

I can think of only one plus to letting him share my bed over Eddie...

He doesn't take up as much room.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

And It Begins...

My mother got a new computer. She will not let anyone near it. Today, I had the honor of getting to sit in the new chair and letting my fingers glide over the sleek keyboard. I embraced the flat panel screen with my eyes and listened to the barely discernable hum of the CPU. It was beautiful.

Having a computer of this caliber for my mother is like giving a Formula One race car to a kid who just got his learner's permit.

As I was allowed to browse a few websites to see the sheer rocket power of the machine, my mother stood over me like a Nazi. I wasn't allowed to go anywhere she didn't approve of. I was being watched like a hawk.


I was showing her how Word Verification for blog commenting worked, typing in the letters of the random word, when she suddenly said "NOOOO. DON'T TYPE THAT!!". My fingers weren't fast enough and continued to finish the word. What a mistake that was.

I looked up to see the vein in her head bulging and her jaw clenched just like when I was a kid and I knew that I was in SO. MUCH. TROUBLE. Before the fire spewed out of her eyes and black crows flew from her esophagus, she told me that I would never be allowed to even put as much as the shadow of a finger near her computer again.

Only later did I learn that the reason she was so concerned about Word Verification is because she thought it was the way "they" could get into her computer and see what she was typing, in addition to stealing all of her pertinent information.

See what I mean? Formula One. Learner's permit.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Firestarter

I created this poster with a picture of my mother because she once, entirely unintentionally, almost burned my brother's house down while trying to cook him a meal. You'd really have to have him tell the story, it will have you in tears. Let's just say she's easily distracted. She likes shiny things.
I will be staying with her for the next week or so, which means I will most likely have some stories for the blog. She's always good material to fill a day or so.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Eye Of The Beholder

It is early Sunday morning and I am posting this picture because eye am tired and eye don't have a thing to write.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Spaghetti Thanks You

Yesterday I was talking to Ed's neice and she was asking me if I knew any Italian words.

I said, "A few."

She said, "Do you know how to say 'you're welcome' in Italian?"

I thought a minute, knowing it was "Prego" but all of a sudden, I felt like I didn't know but said anyway, "I think it's 'Prego'."

She laughed and said, "I thought so. I was talking to one of my friends and I couldn't remember what it was but I knew it was the name of some spaghetti sauce. I thought it was 'Ragu."

That made me laugh and I thought to myself, the next time someone says "Grazie", I'm going to say "Ragu!"

Friday, November 25, 2005

Trying To Mask The Boredom

This is what I did Thanksgiving Eve in my hotel room in Dallas. Just me and my Mint Julep Mask.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Cold Turkey

I've realized that the only pictures I have that are really worthy of Half Nekkid Thursday are those of leg or cleavage. Since Eddie won't pose for me and allow me to post anything Half Nekkid on his body and I don't really encounter many other people on the road to take Half Nekkid pictures of, I have decided to quit. Cold Turkey. So this will be the last HNT photo you see.

In honor of Thanksgiving, I would like to send holiday wishes to our military members that are fighting for our country by giving their time and their lives. I do not support this war, but I do support the men and women who have chosen to be part of our military and protect the place in which I live. This picture is my version of Military Support. OK, maybe the men in the military might like it more than the women, but you never know. ;)

Happy HNT and Happy Half Nekkid Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Is It Really A Sandwich?

What's the deal with the open-faced sandwich?

I had an "open-faced" roast beef sandwich last night for dinner. It was quite delish....thinly shaved roast beef, over sourdough bread with a side of mashed potatoes, all covered in brown gravy.

I did a little search in my dictionary and one of the definitions of sandwich is "one slice of bread covered with a filling."

But is it really a sandwich when the main ingredient isn't between the two slices of bread?

OK, I know this may be a bit of a lame post, but I poked myself in the eye with the edge of an envelope and I can't see a damn thing right now. I am typing with one eye barely open.

I think I may have sliced my cornea. OK, that's a little drastic, but if you could see me, you'd think that my left eye was one big tear duct, since that's all it is doing...in addition to blurring my vision.

Eddie thinks I'll look sexy with an eye patch but I think he just wants me to say "Argggh!". Well, that is not gonna happen. He's just going to have to play pirate with someone else because I'm donning my eye patch and going to bed.

Shiver me timbers! Argggghhh.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Borscht Belt

Today while writing an email, I rekindled some old memories,some of them not even mine. Memories of a place I grew up, from stories told to me that made me feel as if I had been there. Stories about places I drove by,weathered billboards I would read every day and hotels that now sat empty, the days of laughter and fun as much of a memory for the buildings as they were for me. I was writing about my family restaurant, The Dodge Inn, the Catskill Mountains and all the people that my step-father had seen in his years of owning it.

Taken from the menu celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Dodge Inn:

"Fifty years doesn't seem like a long time as America celebrates its Bicentennial Year. But in fifty years the Dodge Inn has compiled a colorful history while delighting thousands of guests at its tables.

Originally a country road house, old Dodge Inn began its life as a summer boarding inn. For twenty-one dollars a week, guests were treated to an abundance of fresh air, home cooked meals and nightly entertainment with a Victrola record player.

During the late 1920's, a young Italian immigrant named Charlie Porpora, took his life savings and his Irish bride and bought the Dodge Inn. In short time, "Uncle Charlie" and "Aunt Margie" traded the Dodge's reputation for good lodging and built a new one for great food.

Like many of America's early inns, the Dodge Inn was simple in its decor and the menu was basic. In face, for the first forty-seven years, no printed menu existed. Yet the Dodge Inn became the favorite dining spot for all celebrities who entertained the Catskill's visitors.

Uncle Charlie's basic menu of family style steak, giant potatoes, chef's salad, and luscious onions kept a whole regalia of nephews, nieces, and cousins busy on summer vacations...and it still does! In fact little changed over the years, until 1968 when a fire destroyed the original inn.

The new Dodge Inn promises its guests the same tradition and family style hospitality that has kept it alive and growing for three generations.

We know Uncle Charlie was very proud to be an American, in a land where opportunity and freedom still abound. And we think he would be just as proud of the Dodge Inn as we are, as we continue a fifty year family tradition."

During his years at the restaurant, my step-father has the great pleasure of having many celebrites dine among his regulars. Several of them came back again and again, whenever in the area. Among those famous people were Marlena Dietrich, Lee J. Cobb, Frankie Lane, Red Buttons, legendary comedian Pat Cooper...
My step-father Frank Porpora with his first wife, Pam Porpora, and comedian Pat Cooper.
...Milton Berle, Alan King, Perry Como, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Don Rickles, boxers Rocky Marciano, Rocky Graziano and Michael Spinks, Tony Bennett, Buddy Hackett and singer Billy Eckstein. In fact, one time when my parents were in a Las Vegas audience to see Don Rickles, he told the audience that our restaurant was one of the best in the "mountains" for a good steak. What better endorsement can you get than that of Don Rickles??


In this picture you will see comedians Milton Berle on the left, Phil Silvers (in the glasses) and way in the back on the right, Red Buttons.


We had pictures of all of the people who came in,on the walls in the lobby of the restaurant, some of the pictures taken right at the table while they were enjoying dinner! My step-father even had a familiar name for Al Capone, another very famous person who frequented the restaurant; he used to call him “Uncle Al”.

Our restaurant was an old boarding house that used to be owned by an aging woman who drove a Dodge before it changed hands to my step-father's Aunt and Uncle as told above in the excerpt from the menu. They eventually passed it down to him. The restaurant was in the heart of Catskills, an area nicknamed The Borscht Belt and The Jewish Alps.

In the photo above, on the left is Jimmy Demaret, the first three time winner of the Masters Golf Tournament and on the right, comic actor and writer, Sid Caesar.

The Catskills were a haven for people to get away from the city and enjoy the summer with their families. People mostly from Brooklyn, many from the Bronx, and some from Queens would retreat to the bungalows or hotel rooms of the mountains. A New York Times article said that the hotels and bungalow colonies in this area became the summer world of over a million Jewish New Yorkers in the 1950's and 60's. Imagine that?

Of the many of the hotels these people stayed at, the following are some of the most well known.


The Concord was one of the big ones. At the time, it was owned by Ray Parker and family, but is sadly now closed and in a state of desperate repair. I was recently up there and driving around the place, seeing curtains waving through broken windows was a little eerie, almost ghost like. Plans to re-open the hotel have been in the works for years. At one time, Westin Hotels was looking at making it a golf resort but the plans for gaming in the area haven't been approved yet, so everyone is hesitant to sink the money in. My step-father was a personal friend of the Parker family and they would come into our restaurant quite often to eat. They were the ones who brought all the celebrities to the restaurant...the ones that used to play the showrooms.

Kutsher’s, which was owned by Milton and Helen Kutsher, was a fixture in the early years of the hotels in the area, just as Milt and Helen were fixtures in the hotel. I remember seeing at least one of them almost every day, strolling through the lobby or dining room areas, during the time I worked there.

I also remember going to
The Raleigh, dancing with the young people up from the city. I had a friend who worked there and he would sneak us in the back door. I also once worked at The Pines in South Fallsburg, which seemed just as old twenty years ago when I worked there as it is today.  I remember it had a beautiful lobby area, with an imposing staircase.

The Nevele, located in Ellenville, was owned by the Slutsky family, who were also very close personal friends of my step-father. Not only were they personal friends, they were also very good customers. They would come to the restaurant religiously (at least once a week) for a good steak. Back in that day, our steaks were unlimited and came with family style servings of salad, bread, potatoes and stewed onions. The Nevele, the word 'eleven' spelled backwards, has been rumored to have gotten its name because there were eleven original members of the family when the place was founded, but who knows if there is really any truth to that. What I do know, is that the family were always wonderful when they came to our restaurant.  The Nevele is the most unique-shaped resort in the Catskills area, and operated for 106 years before closing in 2009.

And then we have Brown's hotel in Loch Sheldrake, which was owned by Charles and Lillian Brown. Phil Brown, a member of the Brown's Hotel family and Professor of Sociology at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, has founded
The Catskill Institute which, according to their website is "an organization promoting research and education on the significance of the Catskill Mountains in American Jewish life." The information on this site is fascinating and has brought back so many memories about places that I had forgotten even existed. While searching this site, I came across this page of books filled with stories of the Catskills, Sullivan County and the hotels and bungalow colonies that made this place what it was.

For those of you not familiar with the area, you have to only look to movies like
Dirty Dancing, famous for its depiction of the Catskill Mountain area at that time. The story, written by Eleanor Bergstein, is based on her experience at Grossinger’s, the resort she used to spend summers at when she was a young girl.

Another movie that came out about six years ago named
A Walk On The Moon, also set in the Catskills. Diane Lane and Viggo Mortensen really gave life to a time where the women stayed at the bungalow colony for the week with the kids and the husband would come up during the weekends, showing what it was like spending the summers with the people they came to know as an extension of their families. I wasn't alive back then, but it made me feel as I felt over 20 years ago, just seeing the hotels and bungalow colonies that are still in existence in some areas and also the hotels that had not closed yet. As a side note, Viggo is totally hot in this movie.

I go back to New York quite often and when I do, I love to visit this area. My family still has ties there. My cousin owns a jewelry store in Monticello and a pizzaria in Rock Hill. Our summer home is in Masten Lake, just minutes from the hub of Monticello. I have friends from Ellenville, family living in the area and memories that flash before my eyes whenever I get close to that neck of the woods. Driving up the Wurtsboro mountain, stopping at
The Canal Towne Emporium for some Atomic Fireballs, swinging by Masten Lake to see the sandy beach area that my family owned, where I used to swim and make friends with the camp kids, and driving by Fialkoff's bakery in Monticello make me feel like I'm 16 years old again.

Now they want to bring people back into that area by building resorts and casinos. I love the idea of people experiencing the Catskills once again, but it can never be the same as in the days when it was known at The Borscht Belt. I have felt such joy writing this post and I am going to make an effort to preserve whatever I know about my time there and dig some more stories out of my step-father. The history will always be there, we just have to uncover it.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Stealth Monday

Boy, Monday just sneaks up on you, doesn't it?

You know what that means for me...another week of leisurely touring the country. Anyone want to join me??

Photo taken at J. Percy Priest Lake in Mt. Juliet, TN.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Ooo Rah Johnny Cash!

Went to see Jarhead and Walk The Line today, back to back.

Seeing the Marine movie made me wonder why anyone even wants to join the military. Outside of the actual war activity, the time those boys spend in the desert has got to be horrendous. There is not a thing to do out there and it's ungodly HOT. And you know how I hate the heat. I wouldn't last an hour, let alone years out there. Overall, I thought the movie was pretty good for a military flick.

Walk The Line, the story about Johnny Cash was pretty good too. I thought Joaquin Pheonix and Reese Witherspoon did a fantastic job. I read they did all of their own singing, and I must say, they did a fine job. Someone is definitely going to get an Oscar out of this, no doubt.

As a side note, I'm this close to pitchin' a fit about these damn roads in Loooosiana. They are definitely the worst in the nation. You couldn't find a smooth patch of road if you tried. It's like driving over corrugated carbdboard and I tell you, I'm about ready to throw up.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Be The Player

Avoid the crowd. Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece. ~ Ralph CharellPhoto taken at Eton Chagrin Boulevard in Woodmere, Ohio.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Miss Singular

A while back, I was having a relationship conversation with Ed. In the course of the conversation, I said that maybe I’d just be better off being alone.

After an extremely long pause, that I could only imagine was him thinking, he said, “No. You can’t be alone.”

“Why not?” I said, indignant at the thought that he was going to tell me what to do when I had already decided on my solo status.

“Well, then you’ll be just like my brother Bill. Getting up at noon. Walking in the backyard naked, with a piece of lettuce on your head, talking to yourself and dancing around in your own feces. Or putting your grandma’s panties on your head and doing the hokey pokey in the mirror. That's what is in store for you, Miss Singular.”

Thursday, November 17, 2005

From Earth To Heaven

A man once told me that my legs reached from earth to heaven. At the time, I guess I was too naive to really understand what he meant. Now I soooo get it. If only he could see them now - Half Nekkid!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Home Away From Home

He finally made it!

Eddie picked me up last night, in the pouring rain, tornadoes looming to the West. He showed up at the house, scooped me up and planted a big kiss on me before loading my bags in the truck. I couldn't stop grinning, I felt like an idiot. But a happy idiot. He looked so cute and I was so very happy to see him.

So I'm back on the road for a while, in my home away from home, heading North. I'm looking forward to the cold. I'm so damn tired of this warm Southern weather!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I Miss You Already

I've only been gone for 3 hours, but I miss you both! See you very soon. Love you!

Monday, November 14, 2005

84

Today is my step-father's 84th birthday. He has done so much and been so intricately weaved into every part of my life, that I thought I'd make a little list of all the things that remind me of who he is and why I love him. 84 things to be exact.

1. He is fiercely loyal and protective.

2. He has taken care of me, my brother and my mother for over 25 years.

3. He taught me how to water-ski.

4. He gave me my first job, in his restaurant.

5. He taught me how to food shop "frugally" by comparing prices, amount of contents and brands.

6. He is generous and always gives to whoever needs it most.

7. He took us to our first Broadway play - Annie.

8. He also took us to Vegas for the first time, taking us to shows that included Gallagher and Robert Goulet. Who needed to know about Robert Goulet at such a young age??

9. He took us on a plane for the first time.

10. He taught us the words to the
Three Little Fishies and Mairzy Dotes songs. Two songs I recently taught to my best friend's four year old.

11. He took us out West for the first time, proving that it was no longer wild and it was also no longer crawling with Apaches.

12. He took my advice on business matters...when I was 13 years old!

13. He included my family in everything he did, from family reunions to outings at the lake.

14. When we would come home from the restaurant, after a busy night, he would let my brother and I "help" sort the money for the Monday deposit, which meant putting the bills all in the same direction and taking the little dog ears off the corners. We'd have stacks of cash on the kitchen table in the middle of the night! Counting, of course.

15. He taught me how to do laundry on an old fashioned wringer washing machine. We would wash aprons and rags and HUNDREDS of napkins and tablecloths for the restaurant and then we'd hang them all on the clothesline! Sometimes in the dark.

16. He would take us to the movies in South Fallsburg, at this little old movie theatre that was probably the biggest deal in town back in the heyday of the Catskill Mountains.

17. He has yet to kill my mother. Which only proves he is a man capable of great patience, understanding and love.

18. His passionate love of oatmeal raisin cookies.

19. His insistence on making a card for his birthday, not paying the "God Damn $2.95 for a card??" price.

20. His support in everything I've ever done...even when it was clearly not a good career move.

21. Making the rounds at the garage sales and being excited to have bought a recliner for a dollar and then finding seventy five cents in the cushions, making it probably the best bargain of his adult life.

22. His neverending energy, even though he was often 20-40 years older than those around him. We'd beg him to slow down while sightseeing and give us a chance to catch our breath.

23. The fact that he actually went sightseeing.

24. His pet names for me, everything from Baby to Lasena. No, I'm not a black girl. It's just the letters of my name mixed up a little!

25. Always lending me money and never bringing up that I still owe him.

26. Taking my brother and I to the wholesale candy store and letting us pick out a case of whatever we wanted.

27. Taking my mother and I to his brother's jewelry store and letting us pick out whatever we wanted.

28. His Kangol.

29. Letting me drive before I had a license. And not telling my mother.

30. Taking us to Action Park in New Jersey every summer and going on all the rides with us. Even the log flume, huge six lane slides and the Tarzan rope swing that landed you in waters icy enough to be arctic!

31. Helping me pack my house in NY into a U-Haul and then sharing the 2,500 mile drive with me. By sharing, I mean him doing most of the driving, of course.

32. It could be 400 degrees out but you'd never catch him in a pair of shorts.

33. Oreo's might as well be filled with sand, as he always dismantles them and discards the innards in favor of the cookie.

34. Three day old bread? Not a problem here. If its hard enough to dunk into coffee, Frank is all over it.

35. Need a plane ticket but short on cash? Frank to the rescue!

36. The old adage, "His bark is worse than his bite." fits Frank to a tee. Shhh...don't tell him that we know about the marshmallow heart - it would ruin the fun he has making everyone think he's a curmudgeon.

37. He could go from waterskiing at the lake in a two piece wetsuit to "working" the dining room in a three piece business suit and by looking at him in either outfit, you'd never know the other side of him existed.

38. He could add up the cost of your entire grocery cart, the guest checks from a busy night at the D.I.S.H. (our restaurant) or balance your checkbook all in his head and have the correct answer.

39. He's the master of shopping at midnight to avoid the seasonal summer crowd and be able to stock up on Shop-RIte Chocolate Ice Cream. The BEST!

40. Ask him to name every state and it's capital and he will do it in record time and in alphabetical order.

41. The only time you don't know Frank is in the house is when he's eating. Taught from childhood not to talk while eating, he devours most of his meals in complete silence, save a little lip smacking.

42. He will use half a Splenda packet, saving the other half for later.

43. He never misses a sale. We have enough food to stock a bunker should we become involved in World War III.

44. If you need pasta or toilet paper, you know where to go.

45. If you're lucky, you'll also get a Kit-Kat, which he is always armed with since he now has three Grandsons that always sneak a peek to see what Papa is packin'.

46. Frank could easily be smothered in his sleep since the pillow is always covering his head to block out light and sound.

47. His sneeze could blow the windows out of a house. They are forceful, bold and loud.

48. He always wears shirts with a pocket on the chest. He is a closet geek and needs it for his pen collection.

49. He has a Playboy magazine collection dating back to the 60's that would make Hugh Hefner proud. Who remembers Barbie Benton?

50. His friends had names like Louie, Carmine, Nicky, Tony and Frankie Bananas. Scared yet?

51. He once personally escorted Ingrid Bergman during World War II when his platoon was responsible for her safety.

52. Thanks to him, I know all the words to Frank Sinatra's French Foreign Legion as the 8 Track tapes were on a continuous loop in the restaurant dining room, creating "mood" music for our customers.

53. He taught me how to quickly peel 500 lbs. of potatoes to get ready for a busy Saturday night. My hands would sometimes stay in the "peeler" position for days after that.

54. The restaurant burned down twice and was rebuilt both times with the help of family and friends. Both times, he had no insurance!

55. He will eat anything put in front of him and most likely, tell you it was good.

56. He has been known to utter "Who gives someone a fucking fish for their birthday? Who?" or "Who the fuck puts ketchup on steak??" and his trademark, "Jesus Fucking Christ!"

57. His favorite word very well may be fuck.

58. He talks and often yells at the TV regularly.

59. He still smells faintly of filet mignon, onions and potatoes. Just like the old restaurant days.

60. He taught me to shower in 3.7 minutes, using my washcloth as a preliminary towel and how to soap up, rinse off, soap up, rinse off all in an effort to save water. Don't tell him I don't do this anymore.

61. He served our country in World War II as a young man with a passionate desire to protect his country and perform the duties he was called to do. At any price. OK, so the French girls made it a little more bearable.

62. He is the oldest of five boys and one of the only two left surviving.

63. He once made it from New York to Arizona in 34 hours.

64. He loves to play craps. In Vegas, we get "signing privileges" because he is the master of the dice.

65. He can give Fred Astaire a run for his money. To this day.

66. Soda, Juice and Milk were always a little too strong for Frank, so he would cut them with water. He used to try to trick us into drinking it the same way.

67. And I think he succeeded at tricking us. He used to make a concoction called "Bug Juice", which was really watered down Kool-Aid, but we never had a clue!

68. He taught me never to cut lettuce because it turns it brown. Always break it.

69. He taught me to always do the right thing, no matter what.

70. He has liked every boyfriend I've ever had, with the exception of Jorge. Gee, I wonder why?

71. He watches TV so loud, you can hear it outside the house.

72. He survived a quadruple bypass surgery and refused to be told he wouldn't walk out of that hospital. He walked out.

73. He ran interference with every guy I've ever liked at our restaurant. It took me a while to figure out why the guys would scatter when Frank came around. Little did they know there was a bounty on their heads.

74. He pointed out the first Hasidic Jew I'd ever seen, sparking my interest in their culture and people. Where do all those strings come from??

75. I don't believe he has ever come to a full stop. Half the time I'm not sure if he even looked when he rolls through a stop sign.

76. My nephews, his Grandchildren, can bring tears to his eyes because he can't believe he could ever love that much.

77. For telling me I was beautiful, that I had great legs and that no man is good enough for me.

78. He told me that someone may get me the job, but it was my responsibility to keep the job.

79. He is excellent at keeping a confidence. He is one you can really trust to take your secret to the grave.

80. As much as he bitches and says he doesn't, he really does like cats.

81. He has made it habit for me to flick off the lights whenever I leave a room, yet he always catches me the one time I don't do it!

82. He is the king of crossword puzzles and American History. If you need a word or a historical reference, he's the man.

83. He loves tea with honey. But it must be in a mug the size of a small child's head.

84. And last but not least, I love Frank because he loves me. Our soft spot for each other will never change. He is my father in so many ways and I have always been proud to be called his daughter.

Happy Birthday Franchi!


Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Blond Moment

If you choose to be blond, when naturally you're not, please make sure you have the time and the money to keep up with it.

Four inch roots are really unattractive.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Friday, November 11, 2005

Missing Me?


Eddie is still stuck in Dallas getting the truck repaired. Since he had a little time on his hands, he went downtown to walk around and shoot some pictures. Here are two out of the bunch that he sent me.

I know he misses me, but do you think he's trying to tell me something with these photos? I mean, they're a little, um.....well, sort of.....uh, a bit phallic, don't you think?

Am I the only one seeing this? Wow. Maybe it's ME who is missing HIM a little too much.

My Sweet Spot

Yup...right there....that's it.....my sweet spot. Boy, I miss my baby. I think we're going on three weeks apart and I don't like it ONE little bit. Here he is in all his Half Nekkid Glory. Shhh, don't tell him - he doesn't know he's the guest star this week.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

How You Doin'?

Anyone who has seen Friends knows that everyone looks out for Joey.

Chandler, his roommate, always makes sure that he has enough money and frequently covers Joey's half of the rent. At one point, Joey was too proud to accept Chandler's money, so Chandler made up a game called "Cups" so he could trick Joey into taking the money by making Joey think he "won" the game. Monica cooks for him and makes sure he's fed, Ross got him a job as a docent at the museum, Rachel defends his "man purse" after he discovered the trend at the Bloomingdales she works at and Phoebe pretends to be his agent on the phone, getting him auditions because he thought he wasn't a good actor anymore.

After Chandler and Monica start dating, Joey is their third wheel - often by their choice. Then when they get married, Joey is like their child. When they decide to move out of the city, to the country, Joey is upset that they won't be close by. Chandler says to him, "Come with us. You'll see how close it is to the city." to which Joey responds, "No, it's not close! You said it was in Escrow? I couldn't even find that on the map!" Classic Joey.

I tell you these tidbits to refresh your memory of past episodes, and if you aren't a fan, I hope you can see how Joey is always PART of the family. Most often, it is Chandler and Monica who make sure he stays part of the family.

The other day, Vicki said to me "You're our Joey." I laughed because I knew exactly what she was talking about. We are die hard Friends fans and those three words said it all.

I am Joey.

Vicki and her husband treat me as part of their family. I am their Joey. I am always considered no matter what they are doing. When they have talked about moving, her husband pipes in with, "Where are we going to put Salena?" When they plan holidays, they always ask if I'll be there. Or they just say, "You're coming with us." When I am here, they feed me, house me and buy me stuff. At 38 years old, I've become their third child. The kids want to know when I'm coming back before I even get my foot out the door!

I am very lucky to have another family who considers me one of their own. It's the best feeling in the world. We have history. Memories. Stories. Years of laughter. Everyone should be someone's Joey.

How You Doin?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Marriage Criteria

I was talking to Mina last night (yes, I photoshopped her face into this picture) about my nephew and how I would love for her to marry him someday. Next month, she will be five and he will be seven, which is a perfect age gap, dontcha think? I showed her all the pictures I have of him, stored on my laptop. She looked at them all with intense interest, asking questions about each one.

I told her it would be SO great if they got married. Then we could all be together, ALL the time. She said, "okay" with a shrug of her shoulders, as if the deal was done. As we clicked through the pictures, we talked.

Me: Isn't he handsome?

Mina: Yes, he is. Is he smart?

Me: Oh yeah. He knows lots of things.

Mina: Like what things??

Me: Well, he can read stories and he rides a mini-bike and he is good at video games and he can color and he's a good swimmer.

Mina: Is he funny?

Me: Sure. He tells jokes and he likes funny movies!

Mina: Is he a good finder?

Me: A what?

Mina: A good finder.

Me: What do you mean, a good finder?

Mina: You know, when you play hide and seek? Does he find people first?

Me: Ohhhhh. Yeah. He's a GREAT finder.

Mina: OK.

Well, that was easy. Apparently, the only criterion for marriage to an almost five year old is that he be handsome, smart, funny and a good finder.

Gee....that's kinda what I look for in a man too. I guess it sometimes takes a five year old to make you realize that simplicity really is the best way to go.

Monday, November 07, 2005

This Is What Fall Looks Like

The sun shinging through a blanket of orange leaves... A lodge on a ridge... With a view that makes you want to jump into it... A lane for walking, where even the dogs stop to rub their noses in the beauty... Flames outside of my window... And a path down to the cliff overlooking the gorge... A tattered flag flying high, waving its colors at the colors of the trees... A ride to the nearby Mennonite Community of Muddy Pond, to watch Sorghum being made by hand... A tree on fire, blazing in the sun... An open gate, inviting you to take either path at the fork in the road... A grasshopper/locust/some sort of flourescent bug, basking in the sun...The sun breaking through the clouds... A pine cone waiting to be picked off the tree and thrown into a holiday display... And a lone leaf, hanging on till the breeze blows it to the ground, joining the others... This is what Fall looks like.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Lazy Sunday

Today was spent walking through the leaves, taking pictures and going for a drive through gorgeous Tennessee, resplendent in fall color. We had lunch, drove leisurely and even stopped by an old cemetary to read the head stones. It was the perfect way to spend the day before going home. Tomorrow I will post pictures from the weekend.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Weekend In Nature


I am posting early because I will be spending this weekend at
Pointe View Lodge with a few of my friends and will be sans computer. I have been invited to enjoy the beauty that surrounds this lodge, which lies on top of a mountain overlooking a scenic gorge.

It is located near Pickett State Park and Big South Fork National Park in Jamestown, Tennessee. Truly one of the prettiest states I've been to, Tennessee has so much to offer, especially for a nature enthusiast. Of course, I am not that nature enthusiast, but I will enjoy being there for the scenery and hopefully fabulous picture taking!

Have a good weekend! See you on Monday!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Eddie Blurred By NyQuil Friday

I miss my Eddie. He dropped me off over a week ago at my friend's house so I could hang out and do the doggie Fall Festival. He's working, but currently stranded in Dallas waiting for the truck to be repaired. I've talked to him many times today. His voice soothed my missing him. It'll be at least another week before I see him. :(

I also don't feel so great today, so I just swigged two shots of NyQuil and I'm hittin' the hay. I'll be dreaming of my Eddie and the day I get to see him again! Sweet Dreams.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Black and White

A man's white shirt can make anyone look good on Half Nekkid Thursday. Well, it'll make you look good any day of the week. Me, circa 1996.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Nuts

A man walked into a psychiatrist's office wearing only underwear made of Saran Wrap.

The psychiatrist said, "Well......I can clearly see your nuts."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Find Your Spot

Find Your Spot is one of my favorite websites. You take their quiz, they tell you the best places for you to live.

From their website, "Find Your Spot is the best way to discover your perfect hometown... just tell us your ideal and we’ll find the best candidates for you. We don’t have the bias of your Aunt LuLu, we don’t have mounds of useless data for you to sort through, and we don’t have the gall of "best places" lists that tell you what your priorities are. What we do have is the most accurate automated recommendation system and the most pertinent information on the places we recommend. It’s simple, it’s fun, and it works."

Find Your Spot has compiled this list as my Top 25 Place to live:

1. Duluth, Minnesota
2. Altoona, Pennsylvania
3. Erie, Pennsylvania
4. Mansfield, Ohio
5. Syracuse, New York
6. Anchorage, Alaska
7. Lansing, Michigan
8. Rochester, New York
9. Buffalo, New York
10. St. Cloud, Minnesota
11. Grand Rapids, Michigan
12. Rochester, Minnesota
13. Nashua, New Hampshire
14. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
15. Portland, Maine
16. Manchester, New Hampshire
17. Fort Wayne, Indiana
18. Battle Creek, Michigan
19. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
20. Fargo, North Dakota
21. Moorehead, Minnesota
22. Bismarck, North Dakota
23. Spokane, Washington
24. Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana
25. Terre Haute, Indiana

I have been to all of these towns and I have to say, Find Your Spot is pretty accurate. I can see myself living in any one of these places. Goshen, Indiana is GORGEOUS and Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Maine are all good choices. And of course, New York, my birthplace! This test hits the nail right on the head, showing me what I want and where I can get it.

Take your own test at Find Your Spot and see where you can wind up!