Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fish And Loaves Of Bread Are Not The Only Things He Is Generous With

I saw this painted on the side of a truck. I didn't realize that Jesus loaned things to swingers. Did I miss that in the Bible??

Friday, September 29, 2006

Holy Mother Of Pearl

I saw this at Target and I want it. It's a large, beautiful, faux mother-of-pearl disc thingy; if only I had a place to put it. Beware - someone might just be getting this for a gift this year.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

How To Tell Your Parents You Don't Have A Roommate

This is an IM conversation I had with a friend of mine recently. After getting out of a nine year relationship, she has begun to date again. We were discussing the new girl coming up for the weekend and then coming back to meet her parents. You'd think after nine years, her parents would be on to her.

MY FRIEND: she's here today and tomorrow

ME: oh reeeaaaaallly? she's coming up again?

MY FRIEND: yes, and then she's comin' back next Tuesday and Wednesday

ME: wow wow wow, nice!

MY FRIEND: to meet the parental units

ME: WHAT???????

MY FRIEND: so we'll see...don't want to wear her out

ME: She's meeting your parents??? Shut UP.

MY FRIEND: yes, she's meeting the parents. lol I told you I liked her

ME: ok - what do they know? that she's a girlfriend?


ME: or are you, at FORTY, playing the "a friend" game?

MY FRIEND: just a friend so far...

ME: because that is LAME


ME: oh, c'mon, serious?

MY FRIEND: Gram is not ready, and I'm a LESBIAN

ME: do you think your parents fell off the turnip truck yesterday??

MY FRIEND: yes, I hope they did

ME: Don't they KNOW you're a lesbian???? Maybe it's time you tell them.

MY FRIEND: yes, they do know

ME: break the news to 'em

MY FRIEND: they've known forever

ME: I know, but you're acting like the don't KNOW

MY FRIEND: lol. so yeah, good point

ME: criminy!

MY FRIEND: okay, I guess I need to tell them that I'm dating her

ME: What are you going to tell them next? She's my "friend" and we might be "roommates" someday...


MY FRIEND: asshole!!!!

ME: ...but we only have one bed.

ME: WTF?????

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ohhh, Paaablo

"I don't love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz or arrow of carnations that propagate fire: I love you as one loves certain dark things, secretly, between the shadow and the soul." ~ Pablo Neruda

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Company On The Prairie

Since it's obvious that my brother was with me on that fateful wagon train ride into the wild west, I thought I'd use his photo from that day to mark his birthday.

Wide eyed, with a smart crew cut to streamline his head, he clearly took the casual route to dressing back then. Not that it's much different now; he still favors casual. On any given day, you'll find him garbed in clothing emblazoned with his company logo. Well excuuuuuuse me, Mr. Picture of Success! Who woulda thunk way back on the wagon train.

Well, actually, most of us did. If you needed something, Michael was the one to do it. Wagon wheel broken? Not to worry, he'll fix it. Need firewood? Done. Horses need shoeing? He'd forge new ones out of whatever steel was handy. And our wagon? Oh, it was the envy of the colony; tricked out with anything fancy that bartering could buy. We were the only ones to have "custom" wheels on our wagon. And I'll tell you what, they were not easy to come by; unless of course, you had a friend who worked at WagonWorld.

I am blessed to have been able to take this journey through life with my baby (although more responsible) brother by my side. There is never a day that I don't think about him or wish to hear his voice. All of my best memories were ones that included him; even if it did take a bribe of Bubble Yum and Sweet Tarts.

Happy Birthday Scobble Head! I look forward to the next journey. And yes, I have plenty of Bubble Yum.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Wicked Good Time

Last night, Eddie and I went into New York City for dinner and to see a Broadway play. We took the train into Grand Central Terminal and then walked to Rockefeller Center for dinner at the Rock Center Cafe. We had a nice view of the famous Rockefeller Center ice skating rink and golden Prometheus statue. After dinner, we walked a few blocks to The Gershwin Theater to see Wicked: The Untold Story of The Witches Of OZ. The show was very interesting, a movie come to life. I was especially impressed by the performers voices and the costumes. I'm amazed that these people do this as their job and then go home every night and probably eat a bowl of cereal while watching re-runs of Friends just like I do. Amazing. Even though no recording devices were allowed in the theater, I managed to snap a quick, blurry picture during the finale of the show.
Eddie slept during the train ride back, waking just in time to take in a late night grilled cheese at the local diner. We went right to bed after that since we would need our sleep to spend today at my Aunt's house in what turned out to be a little surprise birthday party for me. My Aunt Joya and Aunt Michele decided that my last year in this decade should be celebrated with actual people as witnesses. So, Aunt Joya cooked up a storm, serving us a mini-feast and Aunt Michele shined with her fantastic baking skills, as usual. And a party was had by all.
Now it's time to get serious (yeah, like that will ever happen) and gear up for a whole new year! So, here's to thirty-nine; the age I will now be, whenever asked, for the rest of my days.

The Birthday Wagon Train Takes Off Today

“The age of a woman doesn't mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today is my birthday and I chose this picture to commemorate it, since to me, it has a very nomadic feel. I look as if I just stepped off a wagon train after traversing across the wild, wild west for months on end with my family, who of course, were heading to California during the gold rush, hoping to get rich and make a better life for the family. With my dark eyes and hair, I could even be the little Indian girl they picked up along the way and tried to civilize by putting me in a "modern" dress.

If I were traveling cross country in a covered wagon, you must know that I would have argued, bitched and complained about not wanting to go because it would have been hot, dusty and bumpy. And most likely, I only went because my mother promised me a new dress for my birthday; I wouldn't have wanted to be the laughingstock of the wagon train wearing the Laura Ingalls contraption I have on in this picture.

In the real world of my childhood, we never made it too far out of the Bronx and here I am, thirty-nine years later still waiting for that damn new dress and ironically, still on a wagon train of sorts, traversing the country.

This is the last year in my thirties. I have one year until I turn forty and dammit, I plan on making it a good one. I have done a lot in the past two years; more traveling than I've ever done in my life, experiencing things that some people don't get to do in a lifetime and I am truly blessed to have had such fortune.

But now, with forty looming on the horizon, I have to be more focused on making the last year in my thirties a memorable one. Come forty, I'll have to be all grown up and shit. So, I'll be going into my thirty-ninth year behind the wheel of a truck, driving across the country, steering myself where I want. Freedom is something I've always enjoyed but now, I have the tools to take that freedom to another level.

I can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing right now (well, okay, except sitting on a beach somewhere counting my millions, in increments of $100 bills), but I feel like I should have a plan. So, I have concocted a loose plan of sorts which involves lots of traveling, making of money and memories and very little of settling - down or otherwise.

I will be doing less of what I don't want and more of what I do. I will be spending time with the people who mean the most to me with those I like and love being my top priority; my family, my closest and dearest friends and My Eddie.

This year is going to start off on a Wicked note and I'm very much looking forward to being on the wagon train that is taking me there. See you all on the prairie!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Taste, Smell And Hear The Memories

I love when something I eat, smell or hear flashes me back to a moment in the past. A memory that is SO clear, it's like I am there again. Just a few of the things that do that for me are:

Bubble Yum, Original Flavor: It reminds me of when my brother and I would shove 2-3 pieces in our mouths and see who could blow the biggest bubble.

Finesse Shampoo and Conditioner: My Aunt Ronni always used this when I was a teen and it reminds me of a guy in her neighborhood that I had a huge crush on. He was older than I was and it brings me back to the night him and I were laying on the grass across from her house, looking up at the sky and talking. To this day, I'm convinced it was the smell of Finesse in my hair that made him swoon.

The sound of a Diesel truck: Always reminds me of an old boyfriend who used to drive a Dodge Ram pick-up. I used to hear him coming down the street and knew he was home before he even pulled in the driveway.

Paste: The kind we used in grade school, the one that was white and thick and gloppy and smelled sort of sweet and glue-ish. It had a brush on the lid. I can smell it right now. I feel like I'm in art class. Remember?

Freshly cut grass: Running around the yard, my father driving the ride on mower and my brother and I climbing trees or swimming in the pool. It always reminds me of summer.

Perfume: My sister-in-law used to wear Charlie in high school and for quite a few years after. It always reminds me of her and I just smelled it on someone the other day, bringing those years back. Old Spice was my father's scent, Shalimar was my mother's and Chanel No. 5 belonged to my Aunt Ronni, who still wears it to this day. Even though my mother has changed scents since I was a kid, Shalimar will always be her signature scent.

Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis: I grew up listening to these artists and no matter when I hear them, I think of my parents, sitting in our living room on the gold velvet couch in front of the round glass and gold leaf coffee table.

WNEW: A radio station in New York that used to have a show called The Make-Believe Ballroom that featured Big Bands music. I love Big Band music and when I hear it, it brings me back to sitting in my grandparents living room listening to The Make-Believe Ballroom on the radio, with our feet up and drinking ginger ale.

Garlic: This and most other cooking scents primarily remind me of my father; but as far as he was concerned, there was never enough garlic in any dish.

These are just a few smells, tastes and sounds that take me back to another time. When my senses make me happy in this manner, I silently thank God for providing me with the ability to use all of them, making it clear that I know how very fortunate I am.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Eddie The Bird Whisperer

This is how we get rid of the stale cereal, crackers and bread that we don't get around to eating; we feed it to the birds.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What Are Records??

This sign, hanging above an abandoned store in Providence, Rhode Island, caught my eye this week.
It had to have been two guys who got together one afternoon after downing a forty and had this conversation:
"Yo. You know what we need in this hood? A record store."
"No shit, brother. And we could use a beauty salon, too."
"Yo!  You know what we should do??"


"Yo, check out this shit," spreading his hands in a sweeping motion towards the sky, as if envisioning what the sign might look like. "We should put them together. In one place. We can call it Kauzin Rukiz: Records and Beauty Salon."

"Man, that is such a dope idea."

"I know. There ain't anything like that around. I sho' know I ain't ever seen it!"

"Yeah, and we should put like, a brother in cool braids on the sign, checkin' out a fly sista."

"Oh man, you got it goin' on. Then the dudes'll come in for the latest jams while the ladies are gettin' their hair done. It'd be a slick way of getting them both together."

"Let's do it!"

Do you think the record store went out of business first or was it the beauty salon that brought the whole thing crashing down around them?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Why Higher Education Is Desperately Needed

Tonight Ed and I stopped at a Starbucks located inside a New Jersey travel plaza.

While making our coffee, the girl behind the counter was asking Ed some questions about being a truck driver.

I’m standing nearby waiting for my order when I hear this conversation between them:

Starbucks Chick: "So, you and your wife drive together in the truck?" (you'll understand later why it wasn't even worth explaining that I'm not his wife...)

Ed: "Yeah, she drives with me."

Starbucks Girl: "Does she have her CDL?"

Ed: "Yep."

Starbucks Girl: "Man, that’s cool. I don’t think I could drive one of those trucks."

Ed: "Well, there are lots of truck drivers out there that would love to have someone learn and ride along with them."

Starbucks Girl: "Oh, I don’t know about that. I couldn’t be drivin’ one of them but (as she does her ghetto neck roll and a little “tsk” sound), I hope I get hit by one of them one day. I’m gonna get paaiiiid."

Clearly, the option of getting hit by an 80,000 pound vehicle is more appealing to her than having to work for a living. That kind of mentality is most likely the reason she’s working at Starbucks in a travel plaza on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Feasting With Saints And Sinners

Yesterday was spent in the Little Italy section of New York City, feasting on homemade Gnocchi, Zeppole, Cannoli, Tiramisu and other delectables offered by the vendors that line the streets during The 79th Annual Feast of San Gennaro. The following information was found on the official San Genarro website:

The beloved Feast of San Gennaro is an annual celebration of the Patron Saint of Naples. The first Feast in New York City took place on September 19, 1926 when newly arrived immigrants from Naples settled along Mulberry Street in the Little Italy section of New York City and decided to continue the tradition they had followed in Italy to celebrate the day in 305 A.D. when Saint Gennaro was martyred for the faith.

Since then, the Feast has grown from a one-day street party to a gala 11-day event. On September 19 during each Feast, a Religious Procession, including the Statue of San Gennaro, winds along the length of Mulberry and Mott Streets, between Canal and Houston Streets. The procession begins immediately following a Celebratory Mass held at the Most Precious Blood Church on Mulberry Street, the National Shrine of San Gennaro.

"Although there is a party atmosphere that permeates the Feast, this is really a religious celebration that has become a proud tradition handed down from our grandparents," a Figli di San Gennaro, Inc. and longtime neighborhood resident says. "For 11 days and nights the streets of Little Italy are filled with happy people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds eating fabulous Italian cuisine, listening to great live entertainment and just having a wonderful time. But there is a religious purpose behind it which is never forgotten, and that becomes evident on September 19th, the Saint's Day."

* Picture of Saint Januarius (San Gennaro) was taken by me. The picture of the sinner was taken by my cousin Rosaria.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Saturday, September 16, 2006

And Everyone Thought It Was Dick Cheney

Today Ed and I spent the day in Mystic, CT with my cousin Ro and her boyfriend Brian. After a little shopping, we came across a cute little coffee shop and popped in for a latte. In the shop there were photographs lining the walls, all for sale. Ro, having a lifelong interest in photography, had just come back to the table after viewing the collection.

Brian and I were deep in conversation about their trip to Italy and Ro, knowing that Ed also likes photography, pointed out a few pictures for him to go look at. He got up and followed her instruction while Brian and I continued our conversation

A few moments later, Ed comes back to the table and says, "See that guy over there?"

"Yeah" we all say in unison.

"Well, I'm looking at the pictures and I hear him say something to me. I'm like, 'what?' and the guy mumbles again. So I move a little closer to him and again I say, 'what?'. He is still mumbling, so I move a little closer still, until I finally hear what he's saying."

The guy was sort of strange looking, eyes darting around as he moved from chair to chair, up and down, pacing as if he was waiting for a coffee or something. We later find out that the guy also tried to talk to Ro, but she ignored him and finally just walked away. She's a New Yorker, so she knows to ignore weirdos. Ed is from Texas and you know how those Suthun' people are just plain neighborly to everyone; which is precisely why he got sucked into this crazy exchange:

Crazy Guy: "I control the President."

Eddie: "What?"

Crazy Guy: "I control the President."

Eddie: "Which President?"

Crazy Guy: "President Bush."

Eddie: "How do you control the President?"

Crazy Guy: "I'm the Holy Spirit. I tell him what to do."

At this point, Ed has realized that he's made a dastardly mistake trying to carry on a conversation with a crazy person. He looks over at us to plan his escape, saying "What??" in our direction, acting as if we had beckoned him, and comes scurrying back over to the land of sanity.

We all cracked up at his telling of the story because all three of us said, "WHY did you even TALK to him???"

Ed responded, sort of flustered yet trying to defend himself, "I don't know. I didn't know. He looked normal."

In reality, I think we were all surprised that Ed didn't just say, "Ohhh, no wonder the country is so fucked up. You're the one."

Friday, September 15, 2006

Eddie Birthday Suit Friday

I haven't posted an Eddie Friday in a while, so here he is in all his glory wearing nothing but bubbles. This is precisely the reason he doesn't let me shower with him; unless, of course, he pats me down to make sure I don't have a camera.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Anything But Itty Bitty Co-Op City

When up in New York, traveling on I-95, we always pass this massive high rise community; each time we do, I stare up at the thousands of windows and balconies you can see from the interstate and I think, who lives there?? The buildings are so close to the road, you can see people walking around inside their homes or sitting on their balconies smoking.

This is Co-Op City.

Here is a snippet of information I found online about this community:

Co-op City is a cooperative housing development located in the Baychester section of the Northeastern portion of the Borough of the Bronx in New York City, located at the intersection of Interstate 95 and the Hutchinson River Parkway. The community is part of Bronx Community Board 10.

Co-op City opened in 1969 and was completed in 1971. Its 15,372 residential units, in thirty-five high rise buildings and seven clusters of townhouses, make it the largest single residential development in the United States. Co-op City also has eight parking structures, three shopping centers, an educational park, and a firehouse. The adjacent Bay Plaza shopping area has movies, department stores, and a supermarket. The apartment towers, referred to by number, range from 24 floors to as high as 33.

Co-op City is on the site of Freedomland, a former amusement park. Prior to its use as a theme park and residential apartments, a small municipal airport was established there. When traveling into the city southbound from I-95, it is one of the first sights that a traveler sees and the first vivid example of New York's urban immensity.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Demographics Of A Lifetime

One night at my best friend Vicki's house, I was talking with her and her husband about movies. All of a sudden, her husband pipes up about some great TV movie he recently saw. You'd think he directed the freakin' flick, he knew so much about it.

He couldn't stop gushing about how good it was, going on and on about how much he loved it, but couldn't remember the name.

Vicki said, "Do you remember what channel was it on?"

"I don't know, some movie channel....I think it was Lifetime."

Vicki and I looked at each other and started laughing.

"Yeah yeah, I know," he said, defending himself "it's a yinty channel, but the movie was goood."

"But isn't Lifetime 'the movie channel for women'??" I said.

Then paused before I added,

"and big gay men...."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Now Where The Hell Did She Park My Truck???

Ever since I've been driving, Eddie is very careful not to leave me alone too long with the truck; he's afraid I'll leave him behind somewhere and he'll have to hitch a ride.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Draped In Sarcasm

Lounging on the couch, draped in the t-shirt my cousin picked up for me while on her last vacation. She said it "fit" me perfectly. The shirt says, Sarcasm is one of the services I offer.

Me? Sarcastic?? She's kidding, right?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Family Reunion Rules

This weekend, I attended a family reunion in New York. These are the kinds of rules we have to abide by:Can you tell who rules the reunion roost? This chair belongs to my step-father; as one of the two oldest living family members, I guess the least we can do is reserve a chair for him.

Great food (Hello??? It's an Italian family reunion) and laughter were the highlights of the weekend. Well, that and the Texas Hold 'Em game that the boys had going at the kitchen table!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Drive Time Champion

Behold my new "driving" shoes!

Since I can't drive the truck in flip-flops (rats!) without having them fly off my feet every time I shift, I decided I needed something a little more sturdy to quickly slip into. I have sneakers, but that means putting on socks and spending five minutes lacing up each sneaker while crouching behind the steering wheel or trying to maneuver around the gear shift; and we all know I don't have five minutes to spare if it means doing any kind of manual labor.

So, I bought these. They were not really my first choice for color, but seeing as how I'm only wearing them in the truck and they were only ten dollars (in Delaware, where there is no sales tax...yay!) I thought they were just perfect.

The velcro makes me feel like I'm five years old; or sixty-five, since they make shoes for both age groups with velcro, therefore, eliminating the need to tie laces. The sporty color and sleek style makes me feel as if my feet are exercising against my body's will, which is always a good thing. They just look athletic - in the Yoga-ish way, dontcha think?

As for the function? Es perfecto! They are extremely comfortable and so light, I feel like I'm shifting in bare feet! Plus, they are my bargain of the week.

I seriously thought about buying FiveFingers, but it seems the demand for them has far exceeded the company's expectations, so they're sold out. Dammit! Why didn't I think of making gloves for your feet?? I guess the ones I bought will just have to do.

In closing, you can see from the marking on the strap of these little beauties, that they are manufactured by Champion. Clearly these shoes were made for me; after all, they have my name right ON them.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Don't Worry, Be Happy

“One must never look for happiness: one meets it by the way.” ~ Isabelle Eberhardt

“There is no happiness; there are only moments of happiness” ~ Spanish Proverb

"Before we set our hearts too much upon anything, let us examine how happy they are, who already possess it." ~ François Duc de La Rochefoucauld

"I am happy and content because I think I am." ~ Alain-René Lesage

"Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks." ~ Samuel Johnson

“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.” ~ William Butler Yeats

"You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life." ~ Albert Camus

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Fire Water

Fountain located at the Brandywine Town Center in Wilmington, Delaware.*

* (since Greggie must know EVERYTHING!)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Monday, September 04, 2006

Reputation Is Everything

I received this email from a friend of mine today:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My friend Casey moved to Bisbee about two months ago. Today Casey told me he's met about 5 people in Bisbee that know me.

I said, "Really?" (as I have spent very little time in Bisbee)

He said "Yeah, and they all said, 'oh, I know Greg. He has a big dick.'"

How nice....

Can you say Puta del Bisbee?


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It's always nice to have a good reputation, isn't it?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Less Is More

Coco Chanel once said, "When you're done dressing, you should look in the mirror and take one thing off before you leave the house..." Doing this is a way to be sure that you haven't over accessorized.

It seems as if Eddie hasn't learned the "less is more" concept yet.

This is what I get for taking him jewelry shopping with me.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Decision Dilemma

After Eddie and I finished working today, we were driving along deciding on what we wanted for dinner.

I said to Ed, "Sometimes I hate that we eat out all the time. I feel like there's nothing really left to eat."

He said, "Whadya mean?"

"I don't know. I mean, I love eating out, but then I have no real desire for a particular type of food because we have it anytime we want; and often."

He sarcastically replied, "Yeah, it's got to really suck to decide between filet mignon or seafood or chicken parm..."

"No, it doesn't suck" I said, "I'm just trying to think of what I'm in the mood for. I go through the places in my mind; Bertucci's? Nah. Outback? Nah. Macaroni Grill? Nope. Had that last night. Chinese? Eh. Wendy's? Not again. You know what I mean? It's just all the same after a while."

"Well, what about that place?" he said as we passed a German restaurant called Heidelberg's. "At least we'd be able to get Wienerschnitzel or Spaetzle there. That's different."

"True. But I'm not in the mood for that."

He said, "You sound like rich people who complain; like that comic I saw in your Vanity Fair magazine."

"Oh right. The one where the man and the woman were saying things like "The boat's always leased out when we want to use it." or "It's so much work breaking in a new housekeeper" or "Whenever we go to the country club, our car is always the last one the valet brings out."

"Exactly. Except with you, it's Should I eat at Outback or Macaroni Grill? Oh, real tough decision."

"True." I said.

On any given day, these are usually my most difficult decisions:

1. Barnes and Noble or Border's for my latte and magazine reading?
2. Nap or watch TV?
3. Read my book or do my blog?
4. Call my mother or my best friend to bullshit for a while?
5. WalMart or Target?

As Eddie said, we have it pretty good, and I really am aware of that.

But that still doesn't help me decide on what I want for dinner!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Canoe The Blue

I call this picture "Steps To Nowhere". I took it while I was canoeing the Blue River in Marengo, Indiana.

And by canoeing, I mean me sitting in the back of the canoe taking pictures while enjoying the scenery and snacks while my boyfriend did all of the paddling.

I never thought I'd find myself in a canoe, but with those cushy conditions, I didn't mind it one bit. See you on the river!