Thursday, May 31, 2007

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

Listening to satellite radio in the truck gives us the opportunity to laugh for hours on end with back to back performances by some of our favorite comedians. Often, they'll only play a short clip from a show but sometimes we get treated to a whole hour. It most certainly passes the time.

The following comedians are my very favorites. Click on a name to be taken to their personal websites. Many of them have recorded bits of their material. Try one out!

Lewis Black

Kathleen Madigan

Doug Stanhope

Jim Gaffigan

Dane Cook

Ron White

Mitch Fatel

Mitch Hedberg

George Carlin

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Unintentional Beating Of A Red State Child

The incident took place this morning, at a SuperTarget somewhere in the middle of Iowa.

Upon entering the store, Eddie got a cart and we started to meander through the aisles looking for the items on my list. We began walking down the main grocery aisle, chatting about this and that, when I noticed a woman rounding the corner at the end of the next row. Not far behind her were two kids, obviously belonging to her, hauling ass as they chased each other around the bend.

Before my brain told my body to move out of the way, the first one came barreling towards me, head down like a battering ram, clearly not paying attention to where he was going, and BAM! smacked head first into the front of my cart. HARD.

Now I'm not a small person, so him hitting my cart with me standing behind it, preventing it from moving even an inch, was akin to him hitting a solid brick wall. With his head. HARD. And since his head was about the same height as the cart, he caught it right on the edge, where the hard plastic covers the metal framework. I thought for sure he was going to leave a chunk of forehead in my shopping cart; not exactly what I went to Target for.

This kid hit the floor exactly the way they do in cartoons; staggering backwards in a woozy daze, disoriented and confused, reeling from the impact of having just run head-on into a wall, only in this case, it was my Target shopping cart that beat the hell out of him. It all happened so quickly, yet seemingly in slow motion. It took a minute for him to realize what happened before he started to cry and rub his forehead, which was about the same time his mother reached his side.

Being a person without children, I am usually always annoyed when I am inconvenienced by other people's children (and animals, and people who still write checks, and certain slow individuals), so my first thought was, serves you right; that's what you get for running through a grocery store and not paying attention. But, since I can't actually say that, I had to feign interest by asking the mother if he was okay.

Ed stood there looking at me, mumbling something about the kids going fast or not paying attention and I was thinking, OK, so how long do I freaking have to stand here before I finish my shopping?? Can I walk away now? Am I supposed to crouch down and soothe the little rug rat? Do I have to look around for an ice pack? What??

Ed looked to me for guidance on our next move and I just shrugged my shoulders to indicate there wasn't really anything we could do, while at the same time steering my cart around the kid wreckage to continue with my shopping. I mumbled something lame like "I'm sorry" or "Hope he's okay" and scooted away to head down the next aisle.

Clearly, consoling stranger's kids is not my thing. I realized later on when I thought about it, that I really didn't give a crap; that I don't have one bone in my body which reacted in what could be construed as a "maternal" manner. Obviously, if the kid was bleeding or something, I might have offered a tissue and a kind word, but I also would be thinking that they shouldn't be running down the aisles of a public facility if they don't want to get hurt. Hard way to learn a lesson, I guess.

Now if my friend Vicki were there with me, I would have come out, by sheer association, looking like Mother Theresa. She would have been all over that kid, cooing and ooohing and consoling and hugging and patting and probably even lifting him to her cart to carry him in stretcher like fashion to the front of the store to have a little calming session. And since I was by her side, I would have looked equally as concerned, even though inside I would have been thinking, OK, that's enough. He has a mother. Let's go. You're not a nurse. Put the kid down, we have shopping to do.

But me alone? I just couldn't wait to get away from the scene of the accident and disappear down another aisle away from this woman and her rowdy children; and if Ed weren't with me, I would have been able to make an even quicker escape.

Later in the truck, almost as if he just had an epiphany, Ed said, "So I guess you don't want kids, huh?"

Is it that obvious?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bridge To The Gate Of Heaven

Photo taken at the Gate of Heaven cemetery in Hawthorne, New York.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Envisioning A Huge BLT Sandwich

This morning, with my morning coffee and bagel, I saw this in the local New Jersey paper and then later found the story online.

(photo courtesy of the internet)

I don't know which disturbs me more; the freakishly large pig or an eleven year old with a gun.

Although, on second thought, this did take place in Alabama.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Day traffic on the George Washington bridge. Oh, the memories.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fifteen Dollar. We Make Nail Nice. No Probrem.

Getting my nails done on the road is always a challenge; not so much in finding a place to have them done, since nail salons are like air, but in finding a place that does decent work. At least when you're in your hometown, you can become a regular at a shop, and if you're lucky, you can even get the same person to do them each time you go in.

Once I do find a place, I have a problem deciding between cost and quality. I have had my nails done at both expensive and cheap places, and price doesn't always guarantee a good job. On the other hand, I do often go to the predominately Asian owned salons and find they don't always produce quality work. Of course there are people who will disagree vehemently, and I would agree in part, since I have had my nails done in these shops over the years and walked away ecstatic.

What the problem becomes for me is telling the nail tech how I want the job done. One of my many jobs in my life has been one of a nail tech, and I was good; but trying to communicate with these people is near impossible. They nod furiously, saying "uh huh. uh huh. uh huh. yes. yes. okay. no plobrem" and then I don't get what I asked for anyway. It's bad enough you get the bums rush when you're there, as customer turnover is incredibly profitable for them, but then you are shooed out with nails that are less than perfect.

Every time I walk out of a salon, Ed says, "How'd they do?" I always respond with, "Eh" and wind up fixing them myself the next day.

If I didn't also have the "eh" experience at expensive salons, I might walk away from these discount nail places saying "you get what you pay for," but instead, I just add the experience to the Poor Customer Service file I store in my head. It bothers me that I always pay for something I don't like the result of, but I don't see any alternative because I don't like to do my own nails.

So I guess I will just fork out my fifteen dollar and have them make nice nail.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


A vegetarian combo with your smoke?  Find both at Liquid Sushi Lounge in Mobile, Alabama.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Take Two Lattes And Call Me In The Morning

When I was a kid and couldn't fall asleep, my mother would make warm milk. It always tasted like crap, but she claimed it helped "soothe and settle" me so I'd be able to sleep. Who was I to dispute an old wives tale that was probably handed down from her mother?

Also, when I was a kid, I'd hear adults talk about drinking coffee to stay awake. My parents would often say how the "black" coffee (which is the way they distinguished espresso from regular "brown" coffee) kept them up the night before, or they drank too much they were jittery, etc.

Fast forward to today, when I'm pulling the late shift driving and stop for a latte thinking the coffee part of it will give me that little extra "boost" that I've always heard people talk about as a result of drinking it, especially at such a late hour. But I never get that boost. Ever.

As for the warm milk part; well, I think it performs its job very nicely, because every time I stop for a late night latte, it doesn't take long for me to realize that I also inadvertently got a side order of "nap" to go along with it.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Isn't There A Third Evil?

Recently, we went to visit Ed's parents in New Mexico. As a bonus, his sister was also going to be there visiting, so we'd be able to kill a few birds if you know what I'm saying.

Not really wanting to traipse around the God awful town they live in, shopping at malls that aren't really even malls at all, they're just strip centers with walls built around them, Ed gave me two choices.

"Well, you can come golfing with me and my Dad or you can hang out with my mother and my sister and go shopping."

I'm supposed to choose one of those??

I said, "Why don't you just say, 'Do you want me to set you on fire or would you prefer if I poked holes in your skull with a sharp stick?' because that's the same as the two choices you just gave me."

Obviously this man of mine has not caught on to the fact that driving around a town where dirt is the prettiest and most colorful thing to look at, is not my cup of tea. Especially if it's hot and especially since I've already seen the two stores they have - one of which is WalMart.

Turns out we got there later than we anticipated and although I stayed home with the girls while the boys went out, we didn't have to go to the mall. His sister and I lounged on the back porch drinking wine and smoking cigarettes (not me) while catching up on each other's lives while his Mom stayed busy in the kitchen, concocting what turned out to be the best meal I had eaten all week.

And the only thing I had to shop for was the Key Lime Pie we brought for dessert.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Orbiting Out Of Control

I found this in the USA Today yesterday. You just can't make this stuff up, people.

First, let me say, I have a friend who is a doctor. An attractive doctor. A surgeon, even. And she's beautiful. Great body, great job, great mind. Yet on occassion, she uses internet dating sites to find a nice young fella to have dinner or drinks with. You wouldn't think she'd have to go online to find a date, but she does. She's busy. She tries to weed out the losers in the pre-screen that everyone gets these days. So one can believe that certain professions go online to find love.

But how stupid (and desperate) of a woman do you have to be to believe that an astronaut is trolling for women on I can just see the IM conversation now:

SweetVixen73: So, what do you do for a living?

SpaceDog: Well, I work in the space industry.

SweetVixen73: The space industry? Wow. That sounds exciting! Are you involved in all that space shuttle stuff or are you an engineer of some sort?

SpaceDog: You can say I am involved in the execution of projectiles departing the earth.

SweetVixen73: (because she can't just be happy with that explanation, she has to delve further) Departing the earth? You mean, like, leaving the earth??

SpaceDog: (getting both annoyed that she can't grasp the concept, but excited that he found someone stupid enough to buy his story) Yes, leaving the earth; as in, traveling into space.

SweetVixen73: Ohhhhh (thinking she's got it), so you take care of things that go into space?

SpaceDog: Well, I actually take the things up there.

SweetVixen73: Up there? Into space?? Um. you mean? What do you mean by "take into space?" Like you go with them? In a...

SpaceDog: Space Shuttle?

SweetVixen73: A space shuttle???? You mean you're an...

SpaceDog: Astronaut. Yes.

SweetVixen73: Oh my God. So you're like, an astronaut?? Wow. That's really amazing.

SpaceDog: Well, it has its good and its bad days. Like any job.

SweetVixen73: Still, it must be so exciting. I'd love to hear more about it.

SpaceDog: Well, maybe we can get together sometime and I can fill you in on the boring details of my job.

SweetVixen73: Oh, that would be really great. What about this weekend?

SpaceDog: Oh, I'd love to babe, but I'm in orbit right now and this weekend I'll be re-entering the earth's atmosphere so I'm afraid I'll be a little busy.

SweetVixen73: (giggling) Oh, I understand. Well, then shoot me an email or give me a call whenever you have a chance. I'm really excited to meet.

SpaceDog: Sure thing. Check ya later!

I know online dating works for a lot of people; and the reason I know is because I have done it myself. And everyone knows someone who has found a date, a mate or even a booty call online. I have dated a restaurateur, an entrepreneur, a lawyer, a construction worker, a weather man, a millionaire and and even a college student (what?? Don't look at me like that. He was hot. And young).

I've meet people with professions that you think wouldn't have to look online for a date, but they do. But I can tell you right now if some guy told me he was an astronaut or a spy, I would have not only not gone out with him, but I probably would have changed my screen name just to be sure I'd never be bothered by the crackpot again.

Guys - just so you know, you can only stretch things so far. Saying you're six feet one inch tall when you're really only five foot nine is a lie we're used to. Even that's a little risky considering I'm five foot eight and would certainly notice whether a guy was one inch taller than me or five inches taller; but it's a lie we might be willing to overlook.

But saying you're an astronaut?? Please.

Dude, if you really want to get lucky with the ladies or even have a slim chance of getting laid, pick a reasonable profession. Something like oh, I don't know, maybe a truck driver??

And women? Please stop being so stupid. You're really making me look bad.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Eddie Rides A Polar Bear Friday

I've been remiss in taking pictures of Eddie lately, so I'm sharing this spur of the moment "moment" with my Eddie that I captured with my camera phone. I know it's blurry, but yes, he is riding a polar bear.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Butter Me Up

Taken at Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant, on the strip in Las Vegas.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The ABC's Of Me

An alphabet meme:

A - Attached or Single? Attached; practically at the freakin’ hip!
B - Best Friend: Vicki – one can’t ask for a better BFF
C - Cake or Pie: Cake, no frosting.
D - Drink of Choice: Caffeine Free Diet Coke
E - Essential Item: Laptop
F - Favorite Color: Black (and don’t tell me how black isn’t a color)
G - Gummi Bears or Worms? Don’t like anything in Gummi form
H - Hometown: Bronx, New York
I - Indulgence: Sephora, Barnes and Noble
J - January or February: I love both because they’re cold, but I’d choose February because of Valentine’s Day
K - Kids: None, thank God.
L - Life is incomplete without: Family, Friends, Laughter and Gnocchi
M - Marriage Date: Not married
N - Number of Siblings: One biological brother, three step-siblings
O - Oranges or Apples? Oranges
P - Phobias/Fears: No phobias, but I fear losing my other parent.
Q - Favorite Quote:
It ever has been since time began,
And ever will be, till time lose breath,
That love is a mood--no more--to man,
And love to a woman is life or death.
~ Ella Wheeler-Wilcox
R - Reasons to smile: Having a great life
S - Season: Fall
T - Tag: No one
U - Unknown Fact About Me: I swallowed a ring when I was a kid that got hung up on one of my ribs – it even showed up in x-rays!
V - Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals? I’ll eat any animal that can be made into a tasty treat.
W - Worst Habit: Interrupting when someone else is talking
X - X-rays or Ultrasounds? I’ve had ‘em all.
Y - Your Favorite Food: How much time do you have? OK, if I had to pick just one. Well, let’s say three; I’d say Italian, Mexican and Chinese. Well, and good pulled pork. Ooooo, and pizza – did I mention pizza? And then there’s….
Z - Zodiac: Libra

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It Must Be A Sign

(photo taken in Macon, GA)
At least once a month I get someone asking me how I "know where to go" when I'm driving.

For instance, just the other day I was talking to a family member who marveled at my navigation abilities. She said, "I passed a truck the other day when I was driving and as I always do now, I thought to myself, I can't believe Salena does this. The fact that you drive all over like that guy was doing just amazes me. What I want to know is, how do you know where to go??"

I paused a minute and then said, "Wellllll, you do know that there are signs on the roads, right?"

Monday, May 14, 2007

Carny At The Junction

Taken at a carnival set up in a mall parking lot in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Mother Of A Mother

I'm guessing my brother isn't too happy being squeezed into one of those little photo booths with my mother and I. But take a look at how both my mother and I have such a grip on him; I have one hand around my mother's neck and one hand on my brother's chubby little belly. I still grip them both the same way today, even if most of the time it's only in my thoughts.

My childhood years were the best years OF. MY. LIFE. I would go back to that time in a heartbeat. My mother made every day an adventure; whether we were going to the playground down the block from my grandparents house, sitting on the front stoop waiting for the ice cream man, making macaroni necklaces at the kitchen table or riding behind her on the John Deere as she mowed our lawn. Everything she did was for the benefit of us and our home was always a place filled with music, laughter, family, food, fun and tons of love.

There are several people I've come across in my life that don't know that kind of love and it just boggles my mind. I just think, how can that be?? I don't know how all mothers aren't like that. I mean, it's their JOB. With my mother, it wasn't as much a job as it was a natural talent. She just knew. Knew how to effortlessly be everything she was and she did it flawlessly. If she made any mistakes, we never noticed. And if she was ever in doubt of her ability, we never suspected. If I went back in time right now, I wouldn't change a thing. OK, well, maybe one thing; I'd make sure she knew how to swim. That was always a nightmare, the whole making-sure-Mommy-doesn't-drown bit. But other than that, I wouldn't have had it any other way.

So, Happy Mother's Day to my sparklingly beautiful, charmingly eccentric, accidentally funny, snuggly "shawft" Mommy!!

A funny side note:

This morning when I called to bestow Mother's Day greetings on her, my stepfather answered the phone with a booming "Happy Mother's Day!"

I laughed and said, "You're not a mother."

"Hey," he said, "where I come from in the Bronx, that's half a word."

Clearly, I forgot to add tolerant to the list of my mother's attributes.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Jalapenos Basking In The California Sunshine

Just a sampling of the thousands of jalapenos, filling the air with their distinct fragrance, that were piled high in wooden bins after just being picked from the fields in Santa Clara County, California.

Friday, May 11, 2007

White Squall

Yesterday I went sailing in the Pacific. Yes, that Pacific. As in, ocean. It was a beautiful day and Ed decided that after we delivered our load that morning, we would spend the rest of the day sailing.

I was excited as I had never been on a sailboat before; a powerboat, yes, but not a sailboat. Prior to our arrival at the marina, Ed was plying me with "It'll be a lot of fun." and "You'll love it." and "I'll do all the work, don't worry about a thing."

Well, he'd been sailing before, so I wasn't worried about a thing. I was just thinking, Great. I can read my magazines, get a suntan and drink a Diet Coke while floating in the ocean on a sailboat. What a fabulous way to spend the day.

Little did I know I was going to be working the sailboat with him. My first clue came when the guy renting us the boat said, "You know this is a two person operation, right?" I glared at Ed through narrowed eyes as he answered, "Absolutely." After being given malocchio, I think he was fully aware that I was not too thrilled to be giving up my magazine reading time.

After a few adjustments, a brief explanation of what all the ropes were for and how to operate them (which I promptly forgot) we made our way down the channel and into the ocean. The OCEAN. On my first sailing trip. I don't know what the hell I was thinking.

As it turns out, I was quickly made aware that once the sails catch the wind, you have to actually maneuver the boat to go where you want it to go. Holy freakin' crap. You know how you see people sailing on TV and they jump from one side of the boat to the other, and the boat is tipped with one side high in the air and the other side skimming the white capped waters? That was us.

Ed wanted to sail to Catalina Island but I wasn't too keen on that idea since it was so far away. As it was, I saw dolphins, oil rigs and yachts that were a little to close for comfort. It turns out that not going to Catalina Island was a great idea, considering the island was on fire as of this morning. We just tooled around the ocean for a little bit, fighting the high winds (good for sailing, of course, but not so good for a beginner like me) and trying to take pictures of the experience (see above) which was hard to do since I had to have the ropes for the sails in one hand and the rutter thingy in the other.

All in all, it was an interesting experience; after all, I did get to see a dolphin, but little did I know I was going to be a crew member. Next time I "sail" I'll make sure I do not have to do any of the work, that there is plenty of room for me to sit on the bow without worrying about falling into the water and that I don't have to read my magazine with one hand while navigating with the other.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Go Bananas!!

Taken at a roadside produce stand in Hollister, California.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Trucking Style Birthday Celebration

Today is not only the second blogiversary of The Day The Blog Began, but it's also my cousin Seven's birthday.

I came across this truck in my travels, so I am posting it in his honor.

Happy Birthday to Us!!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Antenna Ball Beneath My Wings

Some of you may remember the first time Antenna Ball showed up on my blog, with his maiden voyage starting on Victoria island in British Columbia: I Should Have Never Had That Last Drink

Then we took him across the border (no, he doesn't have a passport) and back to the states. Unfortunately, one of his first lengthy trips took him to New Mexico:
Lucky One Eye

I made it up to him when I took him back to beautiful Canada, where the only thing he uttered for hours on end, was Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

He hung in for about a year, but now resides next to a pair of fuel gloves in the greasy pit under Ed's seat.

I recently found a replacement and have customized him to fit the mirror, in the same spot his predecessor sat:

Maybe this one will have a little better luck hanging in there, since it has wings for stability and that halo for good luck.

I had a "Little Devil" antenna ball too, but I sent it to someone it was much better suited for; my friend Greggie.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Horton Hatches A Plaza

Horton Plaza in San Diego, California. It actually looks like something Dr. Seuss might have concocted.

** Greggie, do you remember this place?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ooooooo, A Contest!

I entered a contest over at This Eclectic Life to determine whether the three following posts might just be funny enough to blow someone's dress up.

Fight The Moth
The Man Filter
If You Need A Reason To Cook More Often, I Think I Have One

The contest had a deadline to meet - midnight tonight. Since I travel and am not in the same time zone as this chickie, I'm wondering if she will include my entry.

I guess we'll find out on May 8th when she announces the winner. Keep your fingers crossed; I could use another latte.

** UPDATE **
Since I wrote this post late last night, I was thinking I had to have it in by midnight and was dangerously close to the witching hour, so shot off an email with my chosen posts. Today, as I re-read this, I realized that the deadline was TONIGHT at midnight. Ugh, what a pineapple I am. In any case, the blog mistress over at This Eclectic Life graciously accepted my entries. The entry period is now officialy closed. Now, my dear readers, we wait.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Activities I Need To Participate In

I found a new calculator online that determines how many calories you can burn based on your weight and length of activity.

I discovered that in just thirty minutes, I can burn 113 calories by doing exactly what I'm doing right now; typing on my computer.

Sleeping burns 68 calories and synchronized swimming will burn 600.

And if I took up boxing, I could burn NINE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY FIVE calories in a mere thirty minutes!

Do you know how many lattes that is?

I'm clearly not spending my time in an efficient manner.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Day Two In The Desert

Once again, the Prickly Pear Cactus shows its beautiful vibrant color and the reason the word "prickly" is in its name.

For something so fierce looking, it certainly lends itself to some yummy sweet treats!