Saturday, June 30, 2007

I've Been Everywhere, Man

Just like Johnny Cash sang in his song, I'm beginning to feel as if I've been everywhere too. I still have a lot of territory to cover, but having been to every state now and seven Canadian provinces, I'm making tracks.

'm going to start a list naming ten towns I've been to in the past week. I'll post a new list every Sunday. If I feel ambitious, I might even create a link for each town; I haven't decided on that one yet. The towns will be in no particular order, no rhyme or reason and it won't mean that we even stopped there for anything - but they will be towns we actually drove through to get where we had to go.

Enjoy traveling with us!!

This week, we've covered:

Russellville, AR
Flagstaff, AZ
Milpitas, CA
Bloomsbury, NJ
Santa Rosa, NM
Checotah, OK
Nashville, TN
Groom, TX
Bristol, VA
Falling Waters, WV

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Only Way It Could Have Been Better Would Be If It Came With A Side Of Fried Rice

The other day Ed asked me what I would do once I had all my bills paid off and was making a lot of money. He wanted to know how I'd spend my time.

I said, "I'd go hang out at Vicki's house."

"That's what you'd do? Hang out with Vicki??" he said in disbelief.

"Yeah, why?"

"Well, I can't believe that if you had no bills and money to spend, that the only thing you could think of would be to go hang out with Vicki."

"Well, I don't know. I like doing that. I suppose if I gave it more thought, I could come up with something else."

And then we went for foot massages.

Thirty minutes of massage; fifteen on each foot. Do you know how long fifteen minutes is when someone is massaging your foot?? It was like I took the extended tour of Heaven, the one with the "behind the scenes" special tour thrown in for free.

But they didn't call it the Tour of Heaven at this place; they called it Reflexology, which is what it really is. And Chinese people did it; real Chinese people. From China.

So now I have one thing on my list of things to do when I have loads of time and equal loads of money; I'm going to have people massage me. I don't care what they call it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I wear a size eleven shoe; sometimes even a twelve.

Whenver someone asks what size shoe I wear, I always say "An eleven or a twelve; it depends on the shoe." And to that, I get one of two responses:



"Really?? Your foot doesn't look that big."

I don't know what they're expecting; some ridiculously long clown shoe sticking out of the bottom of my pants? Or maybe something ala Minnie Mouse, where my stick-like leg is swimming in a shoe the size of an inflatable raft.

Sorry to disappoint them, but m
y foot is in proportion to the rest of my body; I'm not some five foot tall, hundred and fourteen pound Nicole Richiesque chick sporting a foot the size of Shaq's.

But because of my enormous feet, I've always had trouble finding shoes, and when I was younger, my brother would compound my despair by telling me I should just wear the boxes and throw away the shoes. I might as well have done that, since everything in my size looked as if it were made for the orthopaedic prom anyway; ugly and at least thirty years past its stylish heyday.

So in my teens, when we couldn't find anything appropriate for my age in our town, we'd make a pilgrimage to Globe Shoes in Paramus, New Jersey. It was such a big deal, that we made it a family affair - I'd go for my big foot and my grandmother would tag along to pick up a little something for herself in triple wide. After we completed our shoe shopping, we'd hit the malls (no sales tax in New Jersey!) and do lunch.

These days it's not so hard for me to find shoes, especially since my daily shoe wear consists primarily of flip-flops and sneakers. When I used to work in a dressier environment, Nordstrom's half-yearly sale is where I'd stock up on most of my heels, slingbacks and dressy sandals; you know, the good stuff. But for all other occassions, I've found Payless to have the best selection of cheap, trendy shoes in my size.

I'm now happy to be able to cover my monster feet with appropriately stylish footwear, but I still feel bad for the girls who have to give me a pedicure. They work so much harder and longer on me than on the average customer, and if they were smart, they'd try to get more money from people like me.

Perhaps they should charge by the foot.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Diver Down

Photo taken at the Woods Hole Oceanagraphic Institute in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Now You Don't Have To Go To The Ghetto To Get Crack

It's available at McDonald's. In the form of iced coffee.

Visit your neighborhood dealer today and then come back here and let me know when we should start the support group.

The first step is to admit you are powerless over coffee and that your life has become unmanageable.

Hi, my name is Salena and I'm an iced coffee addict.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Alright, Mr. DeMille, I'm Ready For My Close-Up

Today I got my makeup done at the M.A.C. counter somewhere in the Los Angeles vicinity. I left there feeling like a movie star.

I was wearing falsies.

Lashes, that is.

Which, if you know anything about anything, is the true secret to all eyes that are dazzlingly Hollywood. Don't believe the hype of any of those mascara ads. They lie. It has nothing to do with the mascara and everything to do with the lashes.

Back in my mother's day, they were as much a part of getting dressed as putting on undergarments. Eyes were naked without them. Years ago, I had wanted to wear them on a daily basis, but no one I knew did. In fact, I don't know anyone now who wears them either. All of my friends, with the exception of Miss Lynn, view makeup so apathetically, that it almost makes me want to cry. For them, that is.

So I believe being false is the new truth; for me, anyway. Fabulously fringed peepers are going to be my reality; a wardrobe staple. They are like the Wonder Bra for eyes, and I will bet this week's paycheck that I'm the only trucker out here wearing them.

Let people snicker, if they dare. I plan to change the face of the trucking industry one coy glance at a time; batting those babies until they feel the breeze.

Friday, June 22, 2007

We Need A Manager On Register Three Please!

On days when Ed and I are trying to eat better, we often do McDonald's because I like their new Southwest Chicken Salad, because really, what other reason would there be for going to McDonald's when you're trying to diet?

Yesterday, Ed got our lunch and brought it back out to the truck. We started eating when I commented on something I noticed he'd been doing lately; getting a salad instead of fries.

"Oh, you got a salad."

"Yeah," he said. "and everytime I ask for a side salad instead of fries, the cashier is like 'a salad? You mean instead of fries??' and then they have to call over a manager to see if it's okay."

Is that what they teach their staff at Hamburger University; to consult with a manager before making those big decisions?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cozy Dining

Last night at dinner, we saw a couple at the next table who were both sitting on the same side of the table.

What is that??

I have never been that enamored of any guy I was dating to sit on the same side of the table with him so he could crowd me while I eat.

There will be plenty of time for snuggling later on; but bumping my elbow every time I lift my fork is not the best way to make it happen.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Plus People Are Here To Stay

This week we stopped in Nashville to have lunch with Vicki and her kids. While at the table, inhaling pizza from the newest place in town (that claimed to have NY style pizza and actually did, in Nashville, if you can believe that!) we were talking about dieting; big surprise.

I was relaying how lately I just can't wrap my head around the whole "eating better" thing, and that this week I was feeling totally fat. Vicki joked about not using the "F" word in front of the kids, as Mina, Vicki's daughter, was hanging on our every word, as she usually does. Also as usual, she was mesmerized by everything about me. She always sits so close to me, we touch from her shoulders to her knees and she gazes up at me, taking everything in; my eyelashes, my hairstyle, my earrings, my sunglasses, my lipgloss, my jewelry, my purse, my nail polish; anything and everything that at some point, we know she is going to emulate. At six years old, she is truly my biggest fan.

At the utterance of the word "fat," Vicki took the opportunity to quiz Mina on her manners and what she's been taught over the years. "Now what is it that we call someone who might be a little larger than the average person?"

Mina blinked and looked back, searching for the word because she knows she's not supposed to say the "F" word when decribing a person of size.

"You know what it is, Mina. What is it that we say a person is when they are heavier?"

Mina's eyes were huge, looking intently at me and Vicki, trying to rack her brain for the word she's supposed to remember.

Vicki helped her along by saying, "Pluhhhhh"

"Pluhhhhh," Mina repeated.

"Pluhhhhssss...." said Vicki, trying to clue her in to the word.

"Plus Person!" Mina shouts out enthusiastically, thrilled that she remembered.

"Well, plus sized," Vicki corrected. "If a lady is a little bigger, we call her plus sized."

"Right. Plus SIZED." Mina enunciated, proud of herself.

The next day Vicki called me to say that they were out shopping and Mina came up to her and said in a voice of amazemet, "You know what Mommy? You were right."

"Right about what, baby?" Vicki said.

"There are plus men too."

That's right, Mina Bean. We're everywhere.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Ready For Nautical Knots

Photo taken on a dock in Woods Hole, MA while we were waiting to pick up a mini-submarine from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; a place that is teeming with a bunch of very nice, very smart people.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Can You Hear Me Stereotyping Now?

I was on the phone last night with my mother when I went through an area with a weak cell phone signal. She was cutting in and out, so when I finally heard her voice come through strong again, I told her I had to call her back.

I dialed her number a few minutes later and when she answered, I explained the reason I had to get off the phone was because we were in a bad area.

"A bad area?"

"Yeah. I had to hang up; it was a bad area."

"Ohhhh. You're in a black neighborhood?" she asked.

"No, ma, we aren't in a "black" neighborhood. We're in Texas."

"Oh, so it was a Mexican area?"

"MOM." I said emphatically, to get her attention. "It wasn't a bad neighborhood," I explained, "We were in a bad area for the cell phone. I didn't have a signal. I couldn't hear you."

"Oh." Then silence.

All of a sudden my reception was so good, I could have heard a pin drop.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Weekend At The End Of The Rainbow

Photo courtesy of my brother and his camera phone. This was actually a double rainbow, with both ends visible, but he couldn't get it all in the shot.

It's a phone, people. A phone with a camera. Sheesh. Let's try not to expect so much all the time.

Chase the rainbow.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Another great shot by my best friend Vicki; this time of a fabulous summer antipasto. Those cookbooks are going to be flying off the shelves, girl!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Having Influence Where It Matters

My mother had all three of my nephews (her grandsons) at the house this week, working on gifts for Father's Day. She called to tell me about the following conversation she had with the middle one (who is 6 years old) about his report card grades.

...and I got an A+ in art! he told her.

My mother said she showed enthusiastic interest, asking Oh really, and why is that??

He said, I told my teacher that the reason I do so good in art is because of my Nana's "art room".

"Isn't that great?" she said to me, proud that her interest in art has been passed on to her grandchildren.

"Yeah, it is," I replied. "It's a good thing Nana doesn't have a pot smoking room."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Gilding The Shopping Lily

What is 5.3 million square feet, the equivalent of 115 football fields, with over 325,000 light fixtures, 58 entrances, parking for over 20,000 vehicles and cost over a billion dollars to build?

The West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, that's what! Touted as "the world's largest shopping and entertainment center" boasting over 800 stores and 100 dining establishments, it became the one thing for us to do once we hit Edmonton. I knew I had to go; if for no other reason but to make my cousin Ro jealous since she is the consummate shopper. I left her a voicemail message as a kind of "verbal postcard" to tell her exactly where I was and how I wished she were there. Jab. Jab.

It was an overall great experience; we shopped, dined and watched a movie, but the thing that perplexed us the most, was the display of Christmas decorations. In June. We figured either the mall is so big they had to put them up six months in advance, or it's so big that they are still taking them down.

There is just something wrong with e
ither scenario.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A Prayer For Alberta

There is a large Ukrainian population in the area northeast of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This is a drive by depiction of one of the many domed churches of the Eastern Orthodox religions that can be found there.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Summer Lovin'

This picture, of these GORGEOUS berries, drizzled with sweet balsamic vinegar, was taken by my best friend Vicki. Not only should she get accolades for taking the picture, but she should also be required to whip up a batch for me when I get to town. Don't you agree?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

They Called My Name And Clutched The Collar Of My Shirt With Their Evil Cheese Stuffed Fingers

In addition to the countless construction workers out there who pop into convenience stores across the nation to buy their 2 for $2 hot dog lunches, there are also thousands of truck drivers who consume these meat packed skins every day; some of which are stuffed with tasty little bits like jalapenos and cheese.

They roll for hours over heated steel rods, cooked to perfection if you get them at the right time; if not, what you'll see are shriveled tubes of processed pork waste that look like the waterlogged finger of a corpse just dredged up from a remote Appalachian lake.

I am almost forty years old. In those forty years, I have never eaten a hot dog cooked on a roller. Never. But this week, in the wee hours of the morning, after driving for eight hours straight, I fell pray to my hunger and the rolling tube steak. I forked over two dollars to the automaton behind the counter and walked off with my cylindrical sodium packed meal.

Thank God my father isn't alive; after spending the better part of the last sixteen years of his life hawking Sabrett hot dogs, the famous ones, the ones that every New Yorker knows about from the time of birth, he would want to know, how could I? After years of perfecting the secret "water" he cooked his dogs in, while concocting homemade relishes, spreadable hot peppers and his famous three dog hero sandwich, I know the disappointment in his eyes would be more than I could handle.

Going into a convenience store and eating a hot dog, one that has been there for God only knows how long, made me feel like an addict who slipped off the wagon. I was propelled by a force I couldn't control. A voice, if you will. An "eat those dogs or someone will harm your family" kind of voice. And I did it. I caved. It was worse than the feeling one gets when they cheat on their diet. I don't know how it happened. But what I do know, is that it will be another forty years before I eat one of these again.

I just can't handle the guilt.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Eddie Ooh Rah Friday

This is a picture of my Eddie five years ago, taken from his ID card when he was a military reserve member.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Polishing My Listening Skills

I've been told on more than one occassion, that I don't listen. Oh, pashaw!

I actually think I'm a good listener. I interrupt a lot, which many people think means I'm not listening, but really I'm just gathering more information as the conversation goes along and because I'm a
goldfish, if I don't ask a question as it occurs to me, I will forget to do so at the end of their schpiel.

The last few nights as I drive, I've been listening to a book on CD. Well, I guess I should say, I've been thinking about my life, my job, my newest project, my relationship, my family, the squirrel that just ran in front of the truck, the guy reading the paper while he's driving (yes, that is true) and the beautiful moon that is casting a silvery glow upon the highway while the lady on the CD reads the story. She has a beautiful, lilting voice that provides the perfect background for my thoughts. Too bad I'm not hearing a word she says.

The thing is, my mind wanders; I can't focus on the story. And because of that, I have no fucking idea what it's about. Not only can I not listen to a woman read the story I paid money to hear, but because I wasn't paying attention, I will now have to spend even more money to go out and buy the book the damn book and read it myself anyway.

So much for my great listening skills.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

How To Get Blown Three Times In Four Days

Here is the first of our three blown tires this week. The first one happened while Eddie was driving, the other two when I was behind the wheel.

I have always wondered what it would be like to blow a tire, since it has never happened to me. After hearing so many horror stories from people it had happened to, I was always very happy to have not had that experience; who would have thought my first time would be while I was driving an 18-wheeler?

Maybe that's a good thing though, being in the truck when it happened. After all, if you blow one tire, you still have seventeen more to keep you going. Overall, the experience wasn't as bad as I imagined it would be, the real hassle came with the time it took to get it fixed.

I think this whole tire thing gave Eddie some ideas; all of a sudden he wants me to call him Bridgestone.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


(Sorry for the crappy picture - I was not the photographer on this one.)

Over ten years Eddie has been on the road and he's never had anyone vandalize his truck; but one night in New York (in a really nice part of Westchester County, no less) and he gets tagged.

They were obviously wanna be hoodlums since they used a magic marker for their graffiti; I should thank them for that though, as it was easily removed.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Crazy. Yinty. Cool.

Today my best friend celebrates another year of her life. She's a couple of years older than me, but acts decades younger, so I feel like I regress every time I talk to her. This picture was taken about two years ago, but it SO personifies her personality! Happy Birthday, Yinty.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

(You will have to click on this picture to make it big enough to read)

Let's go over that last line one more time:

"If you are sight impaired and would like help using this page please call (480) 505-8877"

If a person were sight impaired, Bob, so much so that they couldn't enter the code in your little box, do you really think this last line is going to really help them?

I can't believe no one at this guy's company approach him with,
"Uh, Bob...about that sight impaired thing..."

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Worth Every Penny

We spent last weekend in New York, with my cousin and her boyfriend. On Sunday night, we drove around for a bit trying to find a place to eat; since none of us were really in the mood for anything in particular, we had no direction.

fter doing a bit of shopping in Mt. Kisco, they suggested a nearby place called Lexington Square Cafe, finishing their sentence in unison by saying, "but it's expensive." Ed and I looked at each other, shrugged and said, "So? Let's go," as no price is too high to pay for good food as far as we're concerned. Of course, if my step-father finds out we paid $27.00 for pasta, he's sure to go straight into full blown cardiac arrest; even if did tell him it had lobster in it.
I can't decide on the best part of the meal though - appetizer, entree or desert; although with desert, we had a sampler plate. OMG, what a great idea! I wish I could have done that with all the wonderful entree selections they had, but alas, we all chose only one. Here's our damage:Unbeknownst to me, Eddie decided to foot the entire bill, adding a generous tip as he's been trained to do under my tutelage (since I have waited on many tables in my life and it's my turn to give a little back to the service industry.) My cousin and her boyfriend are so good to us every time we're at their house, and there really is no way to ever re-pay their generosity, but good food is a good start in my book!
Where are we going next, is what I want to know?!