Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Symphony Of A Thousand Saws

It must be the hours we're keeping; the midnight Scrabble games, staying up late watching movies and visiting friends and family sometimes until two and three in the morning.

This can be the only explanation for the man who morphs into Darth Vader as soon as he slips beneath the sheets. Not enough shut eye. Sheer exhuastion. For all of you who think Eddie is the sweetest thing this side of the Mississippi, you don't know the sheer hell of it all.

This has been our conversation almost every night for the past week:

"Babe!" (loud stage whisper) "Turn over. You're snoring."

No movement.

"Babe!"

"Huh?"

"You're snoring."

"No I'm not."

"Yes you are."

He then turns over to get into another position, taking every slip of bedding with him as he makes his turn, and promptly starts snoring again.

"Babe!"

"What??" he says, as if I'm keeping him awake.

"You're snoring again."

"I am not. I haven't even fallen asleep yet."

"OK, fine, so you're wide awake; but you're STILL FUCKING SNORING."

"YeahokaywhateverI'mnotevenasleepyetIcan'tbesnoring" he mumbles.

He thinks I'm kidding. We actually discuss it during the day, when the snore isn't happening. And he maintains that he's not snoring. Like I'm making it up. As if I get up in the middle of the night, just to wake him and sit there while he argues that he's not snoring. I have even recorded him. AND played it back to him. Yet he still thinks he doesn't snore.

Obviously, his sweet nature also gets the best of me, because even after sitting up in bed in the middle of the night trying to convince him that he sounds like Luke's father, I don't ever send him to the couch.

Not even when he rolls over in my direction, nestles his face in the crook of my neck and bathes my ear with the sound of a thousand saws cutting enough wood to build the next Taj Majal.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Only Way I Can Tolerate Arizona

I've posted this thermometer before; only that time, the temperature was in the three digit range. These numbers are more my cup of tea:

It was so cold today, there was even SNOW on the mountain. Yay!! Here is the view from my brother's backyard.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Dead Ant, Dead Ant, Dead Ant, Dead Ant, Dead Ant, Dead Ant, Dead Ant....

(Picture courtesy of Discovery Channel Store)
I got my nephew an ant gel habitat for his birthday; we use to call them ant farms. He seemed to think it was very cool. My sister-in-law is another story. I think she envisioned ants marching through the house at night.
I mean, they do have three boys; do you really think the boys are going to let the ants stay in their own little house when they can set them free and have 5,000 square feet to roam in? Doubtful.
I didn't purchase ants for the habitat because I thought it would ad to the fun of the gift if my nephew went into the yard and got his own ants; because who freakin' buys ants when they are free all over the damn place??
That idea didn't go over as well as I had thought it would. Seems the ants in the yard aren't "good enough." After several phone calls to local pet stores and the University of Arizona entomolgy department (oh, and one pest control place thinking they might be able to tell us where to find the good ants) we surprisingly came up with nothing.

So it looks like I'll be purchasing ants from Ants Alive and having them mailed to the house.

Let's just hope they're still actually still alive when they get there.
Dead Ant, Dead Ant...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Only Visible Flames Came From The Candles On The Altar

Today I joined friends and family at a local church to be present at the baptism of the third child of my brother's best friend.

Through all the sitting, standing, singing, peace be with you's, hand shaking, sitting, standing, more singing, and a bit more standing, the hour and a half service that felt like three days was finally over and a beautiful (and surprisingly quiet) infant was baptized.

Remembering my days in church as a child, I realized the receiving of the host and the sip of wine is still my favorite part.

And, I'm happy to report that the building did not burst into flames upon my entrance; contrary to a widely held belief.

Now if my friend Greg were there...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's The Real Thing!

Me (age 7), my brother (age 6) and my cousin (age 6) hopefully playing a game of dress up. I absolutely LOVED those Coca-Cola pants. And paired with that halter? Man!

We are SO ready for an episode of "What Not To Wear"; my brother the cowboy and my cousin, the wayward debutante. Doesn't she know you're not supposed to wear a casual floppy hat with a satin ball skirt??

Thursday, December 21, 2006

If You Have A Note, Then It's Perfectly Okay To Commit Credit Card Fraud

Just as I was getting ready to leave the house today to go Christmas shopping, my mother stopped me and asked if I would mind picking up a few gift cards for her.

"Sure," I said.

She told me what she wanted, how much for each one and then handed me her Visa card.

"Don't you have cash?"

"Not on me." she said, "Why? Can't you just use the card?"

"Well, I'm afraid they won't accept the card from me."

"Why not?" she asked.

"Because it has your picture on the front of it."

"Well," she pauses, as if thinking. "What if I give you a note?"

"A note?? What am I in sixth grade?? And what are you going to write?"

To Whom It May Concern: Please allow my daughter Salena to purchase a gift card in the amount of $50.00 with my credit card. Sincerely, Her Mother

"No ma, I don't think that's going to work."

She sighs.

"OK, OK. I'll try it."

So I did.

And no one noticed.

And I didn't need a note.

OH. MY. GOD. That can only mean one thing.

They thought I was my MOTHER!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ghostly Landmark

Ghost Ranch Lodge. Tucson, Arizona.

From the Arizona Daily Star:

"For more than 60 years, Ghost Ranch Lodge's red-tiled roofs, manicured lawns and cow-skull sign — the latter designed by famed artist Georgia O'Keeffe — welcomed travelers to the once-thriving tourist strip known as West Miracle Mile.

Arthur Pack, owner of the Ghost Ranch in New Mexico — a favorite spot of O'Keeffe's — came to Tucson with his wife, Phoebe, in 1941 to build the lodge. In front of it, the Packs installed the skull logo, a wedding gift from O'Keeffe."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Lesser Known King Of Romance

Tonight while watching TV, we saw a commercial that featured Englebert Humperdinck, which sparked Ed to ask my mother what she thought of Engelbert. Big mistake.

My mother went on to say how when she was younger, she knew some other people who were sooo into him, went to his concerts, bought the records, even my sisters liked him and oh, Tom Jones too because all the girls thought he was so sexy and tried to get tickets to his concerts but no, she never was a big fan of Engelbert.

Then, as usual, she goes off track completely and tells Ed, "Although, my mother loved to say his name; Engelbert. Engelbert Humperdinck. And she, oh she was a big fan of Jewelio....no, Hoo... Hoo..... Ummm.... What is that guy's name?? Oh, now I remember! Oolio. She really loved the music of Oolio Ahnglaze. And he was soooo handsome."

I said, "Oolio??"

"Yes, Oolio. Ahn... Ahh... Oolio ENglaze." So proud of herself for thinking she got the pronunciation right this time.

Ed says, "Ohhhh, Oolio! Yes, yes, I know him. He's the distant cousin of Julio Iglesias."

(pause)

"He's the one that didn't make it big."

My mother looked at both of us like we were cracked, because she's absolutely sure that his name is Oolio. Emphasis on the "Oooo" part.

When we explained that his name was Julio Iglesias and told her the correct pronunciation, she got such a kick out of herself and started giggling, that I thought she was going to get up and play his CD.

Thank God she didn't, because I was really in the mood to hear Oolio.

You know; the lesser known cousin.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Untitled

I thought I felt your breath tonight.

A warm expulsion of air just over my left shoulder, gently caressing my neck.


I turned toward the heat of it, only to find nothing there.


I was sure I sensed something; a penetrating gaze, a lingering stare.


I turned toward the heat of it, only to find nothing there.


I thought I felt your touch tonight, resting gently on my thigh.


I turned toward the heat of it, only to find nothing there.


Your spirit surrounds me; I'm sure of it.


There is an uneasy stir in the air.


I turned toward the heat of it, only to find nothing there.


I thought I heard you breathe tonight, whispering my name.


I turned toward the heat of it, only to find nothing there.


I thought I had love in my heart tonight, but when I turned toward the heat of it,


I found nothing there.




* I was going through some boxes of stuff at my Mom's recently and found this written on a slip of paper, tucked into a book in one of the boxes. It was written by me and dated September 9, 1999. Hmmm.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

In The Desert, The Clouds Look Like Cotton Candy



While cruising around Arizona, Eddie and I took a little stroll through the cotton fields. I like how the first picture looks like actual cotton balls, the second looks like clouds and the third up close, a puffy white flower.

The History of Cotton is just amazing. Who ever thinks about where it comes from when we pull that 100% cotton t-shirt over our head!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Companionship Is Just A Phone Call Away. Beauty Is Another Story

If you have ever been to Las Vegas, you are familiar with these cards. If not, I will tell you one thing: You can get them EVERYWHERE. The streets are lined with hispanic workers handing out these cards while wearing t-shirts that say "Direct To You In 20 Minutes." To get your attention, they slap the cards loudly against their hands just before shoving two or three of them into yours.

Plenty of people must call these places, otherwise they wouldn't be able to hire the calling card pushers, but I have wondered who will show up for $35. Do you really get girls that look like the ones on the cards or are they all mysteriously "booked" when you call? I can hear the conversation now.

"Good Evening, Girls Direct To You."

"Uh yes, I would like to book Jess for this evening."

"Jess is already out on a call."

"Oh, okay. Well then how about Gigi?"

"Oh, sorry....Gigi called in sick."

"Hmmm, sick huh? Well how about Jessica? I understand she's full service."

"Geez, wow. Wish I could help you, but Jessica quit a month ago. We haven't had a chance to print up new cards. But I tell you what, we can send you Agatha for the same price."

"Agatha? I didn't see her card."

"Oh, yeah, uh, well Agatha is a new girl and uh, I can knock the price down to $45 if you want. You can't get a better deal than that and we can have her at your room in 20 minutes."

"Uh, thanks, but I think I'll pass on Agatha. Maybe next time."

And you know that guy is thinking, Whada they think, I'm friggin' stupid? Agatha. Pffft. Who'd freakin' buy a girl named AGATHA?? I do have standards, you know.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

'Tis The Season To Be Tweety

Proof that I was actually involved in some sort of Christmas decorating this year, I photographed some of the ornaments from my brother's christmas tree.

I was only allowed to take pictures after I hung my quota of ornaments; I think my portion amounted to 56 ornaments and two crocheted snowflakes. Whew, I'm exhuasted!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dangerous Beauty




This is the vegetation that dots the landscape in Southern Arizona. Kinda makes you want to take a walk in the desert, doesn't it?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"O" My God

Last week, we went to see the production of "O" at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, performed by Cirque du Soleil.

The stage, the costumes, the precision, the music, the water; I don't think I've ever been as in awe of anything as I was of this show. The skill, grace and artistry involved was beyond anything I had imagined it would be. There is a trailer on the Cirque du Soleil website you can watch to get just a little glimpse.


I could not take my eyes off the stage the entire time. Performed in a 26 foot deep pool, containing 1.5 million gallons of water, the stage platforms appear and disappear with such stealth, that you can't tell what is water and what is solid ground until the act is complete.

The music for the show was provided by a live orchestra, accompanied by singers with haunting voices, contained in glass booths on either side of the stage. No dialogue was ever spoken by any of the performers, save for the incoherent mumbling of the clowns that entertained between acts.

The obvious athleticism required to be part of this troupe is clearly evident in the performers, who are either clothed in skintight costumes, showing every sinewy part of their body or displayed in the bare chested divers and acrobats; most of them eliciting gasps from the crowd. The strength needed for several of the feats performed was beyond comprehension and the flexibility of the contortionists put my very best bedroom acrobatics to utter shame!

This will be my most highly recommended "to do" from my past year of traveling. If you have a chance to see any of the Cirque du Soleil performances, I urge you to do so. They are well worth the money, no matter what the asking price.

Just stay away from the snack bar; that's where you'll get nailed for the ten dollar Diet Coke like I did.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Forty Dollars A Gallon

Everyone knows Las Vegas is expensive. All you have to do is walk through The Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace, The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian or The Wynn Esplanade at Vegas' newest resort, Wynn Las Vegas.

All of the shops are an absolute delight for the eye, but not so delightful on the pocketbook; unless of course you are Steve Wynn.

All this considered, my recent experience buying a beverage still left me flabbergasted. No doubt I expected to pay a little more, but I didn't think I'd have to go to the ATM to complete the transaction.

Standing undecided at the concession counter before the show, I was thinking Eh, I'll just get some Fiji water. I love the square bottle, I've had enough soda for the day and it's only four bucks. Good deal.

But then the person ahead of me ordered a tall, icy cold soda and I said to myself, Well, maybe I'll have a Diet Coke. It looks refreshing. Who says "refreshing" in their thoughts?? Me, that's who.

So I slide up to the counter, point to the last guys drink and and say to Alex behind the counter, "I'll have one of those. Diet, please."

He pours my Diet Coke and says "$10.61, please."

"What??"

"$10.61"

"For Diet Coke??"

Smiling, he answers, "Yes."

"Are you people crazy?? Ten dollars? Holy crap." I say jokingly, knowing that it's not Alex setting the ridiculous prices. Since he probably makes seven dollars an hour, he's feeling my pain albeit I'm sure a tad amused that I'm actually forking over ten dollars for a 32 ounce cup of soda.

"You get free refills anywhere in the casino." he tells me.

"Free refills, huh? Well, I'm coming back after the show and I'm taking all of you around the casino so we can make use of the huge cup and the refills." He chuckles and slides my cup towards me.

"Can I have a lid please?" I ask.

"We don't have any lids."

"You're kidding, right? Ten dollars and you don't have any lids?"

"Nope, sorry."

"Ten. Dollars." I say again, in disbelief.

Trying to soothe me, he says brightly, "It's a collector's edition cup."

"It's plastic." I retort.

"Yeah, but it says Bellagio on it."

We laugh together as I walk off, both of us knowing that the cup could be signed in blood by Jesus freakin' Christ and it wouldn't be worth TEN dollars.

That's forty dollars a gallon for all you mathmeticians out there.

These people are making more money on sugar water than OPEC makes on oil.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sexier Than The Rockettes

Last night, we went to see La Femme at the MGM Grand. Twelve gorgeous women, bathed in a fantastic light show, displaying themselves as flawless pieces of nude Parisian art.

All of the dancers performed with the Crazy Horse dance troupe in Paris. This showroom is a small theater modeled exactly after the original, making you feel as if you were watching the show right there in the City of Light. Picture taking wasn't allowed but when have you ever known me to follow rules? That's my attempt at secret photography up there. I was stealth; they never saw a thing.

After seeing the show, Eddie decided we were adding Paris to our European tour; gee, I wonder if the nude dancers had anything to do with his decision?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006

If You Can't Make It To France

Consider Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas; its a teeny tiny replica smack in the middle of the Strip. Tres gauche.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dress Code

Today we went to buy our tickets to go see "O" tomorrow night, the spectacular Cirque du Soleil production at the Bellagio.

While at the ticket counter, I inquired about the dress code for the showroom. Knowing that Las Vegas isn't what it used to be and that you no longer have to be super dressed up to do anything, I just wanted to make sure that my jeans and blazer ensemble would be appropriate.

The girl at the desk said, "Dressy casual. No swimsuits. No lingerie."

I guess since you're bound to see anything in Las Vegas, from drag queens to beauty queens, it is best to be specific; saying "Appropriate Dress" could leave too much room for interpretation.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Forced Happiness

The best way to keep a smile on your face. Carved totems, Wickenburg, Arizona

Monday, November 27, 2006

Wanderlust Officially Approved

I've been working on getting my passport for over a year now. The delay? Taking a decent picture. I mean, who wants to be stuck with a horrible picture for ten years? Not moi, thank you very much.

In Ed's opinion, anytime is a good time to take a picture. I can't tell you how many time he has said, "Let's go take it right now."

"No."

"But you look beautiful."

Great. I'm thrilled that he thinks I look great with bad hair, or a zit on my cheek, or in an old t-shirt, when my lipgloss is on its last leg, or God forbid, on a "fat day." Yeah, yeah, I'm blessed to have a guy who thinks I'm gorgeous no matter what. Blah, blah, blah.

But women know better. We know when a picture is gorgeous, we know when it's decent and we know when it's a picture that will go into the "eh, no one will see it" category.

I'm not going with gorgeous and I'm not going with the "eh" category, but I think this one is decent enough to grace my passport:

Virtually untouched with the exception of a change to the background color and a little doctoring of the "do," the most amazing thing about this picture is that it's from my driver's license. Oh, how the magic of Photoshop made it possible for me to travel the globe.

Bon Voyage!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Life Giver vs. Indian Giver

I was in my mother's office this morning putting on my makeup, getting ready to go out. Ed was on the computer just behind me and my mother was floating in and out of the room, adding her two cents when the mood struck her.

As I was going through her makeup to see if there was anything I wanted to try, I found a few things I liked; which wasn't a surprise since I realized she was using makeup I had given her.

"Ma, do you use this?" I asked, using some of the tinted moisturizer I found in her makeup drawer.

"Sometimes, why?" she said.

"Because I like it and think I want it back."

"You didn't give me that."

"Yes I did."

"No you didn't."

"Yeah, I did, Mom. This is the stuff I used to use."

"No. I'm sure I bought that when I was shopping with Joan; it's the same kind she uses."

"Well, I gave you this," I said, picking up an elegant eyeshadow brush.

"And this," fingering some cream blush.

"Oh, and this." spying some lavender eyeshadow.

"Yeah? Well, I gave you life." she said.

"Can't top that, Salena." Ed pipes in.

OK, well that may be true; but I still want that creamy tinted moisturizer.

Friday, November 24, 2006

What Boys (And One Girl) Do On Thanksgiving

In an effort to work up a respectable appetite, the boys took to the dirt track in my brother's yard. My brother, my three nephews, Eddie (of course)...

and the one girl rider of the bunch, my cousin Deana:

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Crouching Poultry, Hidden Turkey

Creation courtesy of Mina.

The object was to "disguise" the Turkey so it would not be found and wind up on the dining table. Notice the strategic placement of the Hawaiin grass skirt, M&M bra and fancy dangle earrings!

There's no way this one will be lying next to the cranberry jelly. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

When You Can't See The View Because The Hooters Are In The Way

Today I saw a billboard on I-635 in Garland, TX for a new restaurant called Twin Peaks.

Please tell me they're kidding.

The tag line is "Eats. Drinks. Scenic Views."

Since Texas, being a relatively flat state, has no peaks to speak of, we know the "eats and drinks" aren't the draw here. The concept is about as pathetic as a guy trying to tell you with a straight face that he goes to Hooter's for the wings. Uh huh.

On second hand, maybe I should get in on this dining establishment phenomenon; except mine will have a twist.

I'm going to call it Johnson's. "The place to go for great food, cold drinks and a HARD time."

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Department Of Mindless Vegetables

Is there a federal mandate that requires The Department of Motor Vehicle to staff their offices with lifeless, rude, incompetent people?

I imagine the hiring process to be one where applicants are given a series of tasks to complete and the one who finishes last and with the most errors, gets the job. Oh, and if they have an expression of disgust on their face the whole time, they get extra pay or something. The key is to show the interviewer how they are able to appear as if they are so absolutely horrified should a customer actually expect them to do their job; and if their body language indicates that they have better things to do than their job and that you are a mere interruption keeping them from taking their lunch break, I am sure that particular person will be hired on right away; probably as a supervisor.

This details my most recent experience with DMV:

After waiting two hours for my test and paperwork to be processed, I was told that the photo processing machine wasn't working and I would have to either wait, come back or go to another office, just ten miles away, to have them print my license. OK, a little inconvenient, but not horrible.

When I got to the other office, their first response was "Sorry, we can't do that here." I had the absolute balls to question the woman who gave me that response. And when I asked why, she told me "Cause my supervisor said so." (neck roll) OK, great. Let me speak to your Supervisor. (eye roll and big sigh)

Well, when they realized they actually could do it; (but really didn't want to), I was told I would have to take a number, fill out another form (identical to the one I was holding in my hand) and wait. Possibly another two hours. "Sorry, that's policy." she said, with a bwah ha ha ha ha, I hold all the power tone.

Being told that I had to wait again to have them push the "print" button was like being told you can't get breakfast at McDonald's because it's 11:02 am and they stop serving breakfast at 11. I stood at the counter watching the woman print out everyone else's license knowing she could do the same with mine. The information was in the computer, she just had to bring my face up on the screen and print it. But noooooo. I needed a number for that.

The rude supervisor, who I was apparently inconveniencing, contacted the first office telling them, "I doan know whah y'all be sending dem people over here, we done got enough people waitin' here, linin' the walls and sitting everywhere up in here already." as if I wasn't even standing there. I guess I should have felt bad for her that after having waited two hours at the other office, I had the absolute nerve to come over to her office and bother her to do her job.

She learned during her phone call that the original office had their machine up and running, so I went back there to have them print out my license. Good God. By now, my ordeal was going into its fourth hour. FOUR. Although I have never in my life been to a motor vehicle office that was both friendly and efficient, these two offices in Memphis, TN had to be the worst by far.

I think comparing them to vegetables might be insulting.

To the vegetable, of course.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Aten HUT!!

Someone is very good at their job. Aligning garbage pails like this is surely evidence that said person must have been in the military; I'm sure you could bounce a quarter off their sheets, too. Hoo-rah!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Don't We All?

* Picture of Happy Bunny backpack taken at the Five Below store in Wilmington, DE with my trusty little camera phone.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Text Me

Text messages I have sent and received:

Can you fall in love with someone you never met?

Undernourished camels do not have humps.

No. Bring me some toilet paper so I can make a turban and some hand towels with red lipstick smeared all over them so I can make my Osama costume.

Sex offenders not allowed costumes, no candy giving, no yard displays.

Yeah, but the ambassador to the restroom construction/remodel told me that the woman’s is being re-done. Whew! I can die now!

OK you loon, when you get here.

This room has lots of table space and a circular desk.

It really struck me how much I miss chatting every other hour.

Bitch ola.

That was fast! Your check is filled out and ready to go.

I was. Now I am done. They don’t have any Hostess products.

Why don’t you come in here when you get up after you greet the day.

Dork!

Pahtootie!! What are you doing?

Ewwww – Assmunchausen syndrome.

Dance you fool!!

Meet me at the showers.

Is she Kuntry?

I hate when the door crack is so big people can see in.

Maybe. I will loon when I get there.

Two grape sodas with a big cup of ice please!

No, dork. But I knew this guy who always blamed Sprites.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Not Falling For Winter Yet

There are still some brave ones out there, hanging on till the very last minute.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Fine Cargo Of Experiences And Memories

"A man's age is something impressive, it sums up his life: maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves. A man's age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Wartime Writings 1939-1944, translated from French by Norah Purcell)

Today my step-father turned eighty-five. Happy 85th Franchi!