Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Very Large Cheek Pouches Come In Handy When Traveling

Michael, my newest and most ardent fan, asked his mother today where in the country I was.

She answered, "New Hampshire."

Mina, his beauty queen of a sister screams, "New Hampster? Where is THAT??"

It's where the cuter members of the rodent family go on vacation, that's where.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Meat. The Old Fashioned Way.

While in Rhinebeck, New York last week, we visited Fleisher's, a butcher shop that offers only meats that are organic or have been pasture-raised.

Meaning, they eat grass; like they're supposed to.

Wow, what a fresh concept.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I've Been Everywhere Sunday

This week, we haven't been ANYWHERE. While off duty in New York, these are the following places we have visited:

Goshen, NY
Rhinebeck, NY
Newburgh, NY
Hyde Park, NY
New Paltz, NY

The Hudson Valley is one of the most beautiful areas in New York State. I grew up in this area and every time I come back, I feel nostalgic and can't wait to drive around to drink in the beauty. So although we didn't work this week, or travel all over the country as we usually do, I was so pleased to spend time in this area.

It was the perfect place to do nothing.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Not Only Did He Pray, He Posed

If you click on the picture, you will see how this little creature actually turned toward me to pose for the photo. I'm just so lucky to find such accomodating models, aren't I?

Photo taken in the personal gardens of Franklin D. Roosevelt at his Springwood Estate in Hyde Park, New York.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Eddie Tests His Spine Friday

This is Eddie's favorite position when we shack up in a hotel room for a night. Or seven.

"It is in his pleasure that a man really lives; it is from his leisure that he constructs the true fabric of self." ~ Agnes Repplier

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Posthumously Famous In The World Of Cheap Lodging

We've been in a hotel for a week; no reason, not work related, but just because we feel like it.

Originally in New York to visit my Uncle who had a heart attack, our weekend visit has turned into a week long visit. We haven't been doing much of anything; updating our new computers, catching up on paperwork and sleep, shopping for things I don't need and dining out, as usual.

We found an inexpensive Super 8 hotel to stay in and today, while talking about getting out of the room and into the fresh beautiful air, Ed wanted to know WHY we had to go out. Now I don't mind being lazy and I enjoy laying around reading magazines and watching TV as much as the next sloth, but I wanted to SEE something. DO something. Being in the room is sort of blah and depressing. I mean, it's not like we're staying at a Westin resort; it's a Super 8.

"What's wrong with it?" Ed wanted to know.

"There's nothing wrong with it" I answered, "it's just...I don't know...it's kinda old and sort of run down, that's all. Depressing."

"What do you mean, depressing??"

"It's the kind of room comedians commit suicide in," I said. "In fact, we should call these kind of hotels 'Mitch Hedberg' hotels and next time we plan to stay overnight somewhere, I'll ask, 'Where do you want to stay, at the Westin/Ramada/Hilton/Doubletree or at a Mitch Hedberg?' Then you'll know what your choices are."

"A Mitch Hedberg?"

"Yeah. I mean, how many stories have we heard about comedians who have committed suicide in hotel rooms? John Belushi back in the 80's, Richard Jeni just this year, Mitch Hedberg a couple of years ago. I mean, some of them stay in nice hotels, but the majority of them always seem to pick the most isolated, dreadful places to end their lives; seedy hotel rooms. But then again, I guess that's the whole point; they think they lead a dreadful life, so they end it in a dreadful death."

Ed responded with, "I guess."

"OK, great. So let's take a little tour of the town and have some lunch before we head back to the comedian's coffin."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Hippie Dippie Woo Woo Town Sporting Lots Of Leg Hair

While lounging around New York this week, Eddie and I took a trip up to New Paltz for a little shopping and, since Ed has a very specific feeding schedule, lunch at P & G's.

New Paltz, home to SUNY New Paltz, a state university, is a very hippie/granola/college town where you'll find people walking the streets who are tatooed, pierced, dressed in tie-dye, wearing birkenstocks with prairie skirts, or all of the above.

There are several shops and restaurants that line the main drag and even a Starbucks on the corner for those corporate types who can't go without their daily brew. One of my favorite stores is The Groovy Blueberry; mostly for the name, but also for the unique jewelry that is found inside the shop, heavily laden with the smell of Patchouli and incense.

Everytime I visit this town and this shop, I have an overwhelming desire to never shave my armpits again.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Queen Of The 21st Century

I am officially crowning my mother the Queen Of The 21st Century.

I bought her a cell phone for her upcoming birthday and she has shocked me to the core.

She figured out how to text message. On. Her. Own.

Mom, please come get your crown.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Match Made In Heaven

This is my little fan. The last time I was in Nashville, we shared a slice. Isn't he just perfect?? A guy who likes pizza AND truck driving? He can be on my team any day of the week!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I've Been Everywhere Sunday

Another week, another list of places. We're thinking about moving into larger living quarters, so we traveled to Wisconsin to look at a new truck:

(as usual, click to enlarge)

It's four and a half times larger than the sleeper we're in now. I can't even imagine the possibilities!!! It's certainly going to make traveling cross country a lot more comfortable! But for now, we've gotten by with what we have, and this week, his the following places:

Allamuchy, PA
Beloit, WI
Downers Grove, IL
Freedom, OH
Girard, OH
Lovelock, NV
Sacramento, CA
Snow Shoe, PA
Soda Springs, NV
Waukesha, WI

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Happy As A Clam

Over the weekend, we were invited to my cousin's house for dinner and this is the meal his beautiful wife created. Linguine with white clam sauce; fresh clams, garlic, parsley....as fragrant as it was beautiful!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tipping Point

The last time I went through Nashville, I was behind the wheel instead of Ed. I called Vicki to ask her a question and mentioned I was cruisin' through town. I hadn't called her to tell her I was going to be there because I knew I couldn't stop to visit; and why torture myself if I couldn't stay and enjoy my friends?

"Where are you??" she wanted to know. I gave her my whereabouts and she immediately said, "I'll be right there!"

Before I knew it, she came cruising up beside the truck, leaning on her horn. The kids had their heads hanging out the windows screaming "Miss Salena!!!" and waving. I was on my way to Memphis and the kids wanted her to follow me there. Her son Michael told her to "just call Daddy and tell him we're going with Miss Salena and we'll see him later. You know, so he won't be worried."

Perfectly acceptable logic for an eight year old; an eight year old who is apparently my new biggest fan.

Later in the week when Vicki and I talked, she told me how Michael would not shut up about me. How everything he talked about had to do with trucking; the color of his truck, the size of it, the routes he was going to drive, who was going with him on each trip and how he wanted to do "exactly what Miss Salena does".

We believe the day he saw me actually behind the wheel, was his tipping point. That was confirmed when he told Vicki, "Man MOMMMY!!!! Miss Salena is REALLY driving!!!"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Star Gazing

Yesterday, my friend Vicki was telling me that while at a job site this week, her husband saw Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman hanging out in the backyard of their home in Nashville. Just hangin'. Like normal people!

That sighting got us to talking about the celebrities we've seen in our lives; of which she claims to have never seen any at all. Well, except for George Jones, the country singer; and that only happened because I dragged her to stake out a songwriters funeral in Nashville hoping to get pictures of some of the big stars as they exited the building after paying their respects. Yes, I know, I am now official paparazzo scum.

I then started to rattle off all the people I've come across over the years and realized that I had an actual list. The more I thought about, the more names that came to me. I have to say, I always have been a bit of a celebrity hound. I wouldn't say I get star struck necessarily, just mostly think it's cool to run into or talk to a celebrity that I wouldn't normally have the opportunity to, in a place I don't expect them to be; which is really anywhere I happen to be.

When I was younger, I worked at our
family restaurant in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Over the years, many famous people ate there when they were in the area performing at the local resorts. Most of those celebrities were before my time, but the ones I did meet when they stopped in for a good steak were:
* Michael Spinks, a
light heavyweight/heavyweight boxer who went to school with my step-brother.
* Frankie Laine, of the song
"Rawhide" fame.
* Alan King, a Brooklyn born
comedian who entertained predominately Jewish crowds with humor about everyday life and Pat Cooper, who kept the vacationers in the Catskills laughing with his politically incorrect humor, delivered with the accent of a typical New York Italian.

In my teens, I was addicted to "As The World Turns" and was beside myself when I ran into the following soap stars in New York City:
Justin Deas and Margaret Colin, who are married in real life, and who my cousin Ro and I sat next to in a restaurant named Ernie's. We tried to act normal, but it was so hard not to keep looking over at the people we saw on TV everyday. And another time, with the same cousin, out at a NYC nightclub, we ran into James Wlcek who played Lincoln "Linc" Lafferty, the resident hottie in Oakdale. I touched him on the arm and told him I thought he was a great actor. Great actor??? He played a steamy soap hunk. I didn't know what else to say. But I did get to touch his bulging bicep!

Working at high end resorts also allows for lots of star sightings. When I worked at the Westin La Paloma in Arizona, I had several brushes with celebrity. The following celebrities I spoke to only on the phone, but it was kinda cool nonetheless:
* Kris Kristofferson
* Anne Margaret
* Andrew "Dice" Clay, who I spoke to and also got a sweatshirt from
* Mary McDonnell, the woman who played "Stands With A Fist" in one of my favorite movies, Dances with Wolves

Another little phone brush with celebrity happened while I was working at American Airlines; I got to speak to Joaquin Phoenix when he made reservations for him and Liv Tyler, who he was dating at the time.

Others, I actually dealt with in person, which although I couldn't show it, had me all excited by the fact that if I reached out my hand a mere foot, I could touch them! Those few are listed here:
* Tom Selleck
Operatic Diva, Renee Fleming: She needed my assistance in mailing a package to Italian fashion designer Gianfranco Ferre. I remember asking her, "The Gianfranco Ferre??" and she answered in a such a way, I got the impression she thought everyone was close personal friends with him.
* Jamie Gertz: Square Pegs, The Lost Boys, Less Than Zero!
* Emilio Estevez
* Martin Sheen
* Dr. Ruth: Who is SO tiny, her head barely came to the top of the front desk counter
* Rita Rudner: Comedienne
* James Avery: He played Philip Banks, the father on Fresh Prince of BelAir
* Carroll O'Connor: The unforgettable Archie Bunker and then later in life, the Sheriff on In The Heat of the Night
* Betty White: The ditziest of the Golden Girls
* Daniel Baldwin: The chubbier, very blue eyed Baldwin brother
* Josh Brolin: Who used to film Young Riders just 20 minutes from my house

And finally, random sightings up close with celebrities:

* Halle Berry, shopping for shoes RIGHT NEXT TO ME at Century City Shopping Plaza on Santa Monica Boulevard in California.
* Trick Pony, the
country music trio, when Heidi Newfield was the lead singer, who happened to walk in and sit down RIGHT NEXT TO ME in an airport restaurant. I didn't believe my eyes at first because they looked like they just stepped off the album cover. It was very odd.
* Brigitte Neilsen (before she was weird) and Mark Gastineau (before he quit the NY Jets for fear of getting caught using steroids) towering over the crowd at New York City's San Gennaro Feast in Litle Italy, like two beautiful giants.
* George Jones (as already mentioned)
* The beautiful
Diahann Carroll with her husband, Vic Damone , in Atlantic City, dining out with their posse at the table RIGHT NEXT TO ME.
* Alec Baldwin and a lady friend, as he was coming out of a restaurant we were standing in front of, then wound up going to a pizzaria that we were already on or way to. He took the table RIGHT NEXT TO ME and even spoke to my friend Alan.

I can't think of any others at the moment, and I'm sure my list isn't as extensive as people who live in NY or LA, but for me, I get a little rush each time I see someone famous.

I'm still waiting for Brad Pitt or George Clooney to appear before me; although, I think I would hyperventilate and make a total fool of myself. And I just know my fingers would cramp up or something stupid like that and be unable to work the camcorder, the cell phone or my camera.

So you'd just have to believe me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Salena Kandinsky

Last night, I was was playing around in my photo editing program and started to randomly put colors on the screen; this is the result.

When I looked at it again, I thought Wow. That looks like a Kandinsky. See more of his work here.

Yes, I really am that good.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Million Comedians Out Of Work And I'm Lucky Enough To Live With One

The last few days, I've been unusually sluggish. Personally, I think it's the heat. I don't function very well in temperatures over sixty-five degrees and lately everywhere we go, it's been hovering around or over one hundred. ONE HUNDRED DEGREES!! There is something very wrong with that.

That said, I turned on my computer this morning and came across a picture file named "Salena." When I opened it, I saw this:

I knew immediately who the culprit was and asked Ed, "What's this???"

"Oh," he said, "That's a picture I took of you earlier today."

Isn't he charming?

And for all you women out there about to ask the question....

No, you cannot have his phone number.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Freakin' Ewww!

The creepiest thing? You can see his beady little eye.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I've Been Everywhere Sunday

Once again, I bring to you "I've Been Everywhere Sunday," as promised in my first ever post about it. So, I'm providing another list of places that Eddie and I have traveled through in the last week. Some of these have links taking you to the town website if you're interested in further information:

Citrus Heights, CA
Napa, CA (The Napa Valley is a gorgeous treat for the eyes!)
Sebastopol, CA
Des Moines, IA
Lincoln, NE
Newark, NJ
Wendover, NV
Du Bois, PA
Tobyhanna, PA (We picked up our load at the Tobyhanna Army Depot)
Fort Bridger, WY

This week was heavy on wine country, but not heavy on the wine! If you ever have the chance to visit this area of California, be sure to include time in your travel plans to snake through the gorgeous vineyard lined roads of the Napa Valley.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


This place could take on a whole new meaning if you put the emphasis on the wrong word.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Anything I Want

Late last night, I bribed Ed to go into the truckstop to get me a big cup of ice and a diet orange soda. After some negotiation, he relented and trudged off.

When he came back, he told me that as he was walking around the store getting my items, he heard "You Got It" by Roy Orbison playing on the radio.

Anything you want, you got it.
Anything you need, you got it.
Anything at all, you got it.

He laughed to himself, finished his shopping and brought me my goodies.

Man, he's the best; I always get anything I want.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It's An iPod, Not A wePod

My cousin was telling me a story the other day about a guy on the train who was listening to his iPod so loudly, that she was unwillingly subjected to also have to listen to it for the duration of her ride. Oh, I suppose she could have moved her seat, but that's not the point, so she just sat there annoyed, as you can imagine she might have been in that situation.

I've been in the same spot; being on a plane, at the gym (ok, that's a rarity) or even sitting in a waiting room and having to hear someone else's music because they have it playing so loud. Even if you liked the song, you can't hear the words, so you're usually listening to the din of whoever they chose to take with them that day.

You almost want to ask them what the point of wearing a headset is on a personal audio device if others can hear their music?? The whole concept of a headphone is so the music stays their ears only; otherwise, they might as well have just brought a boombox and set it up next to their seat if they were going to be so hell bent on subjecting the general public to the soundtrack of their life.

It's disturbing to me and it tells me they have no concern for those around them since they aren't even aware of how loud the music is. If I wanted to hear Linkin Park, I'd buy the damn CD myself. I don't need to hear the screams of the lead singer through their ears.

Another thing my cousin noted was, how loud is it in their ears if she can hear it in hers?? It's bad enough the presence of a headset sends a clear message to the rest of the world that they aren't interested in being social; that they'd rather not be bothered and have better things to do in life than talk to strangers on the train.

So maybe you they should just re-apply their black lipstick, hike up their draggy droopy hig hop pants for the fifteenth time and figure out how they're going to beat the old lady to the door so they don't have to hold it open for her. But in the meantime, they need to turn down the noise they are listening to.

It's called an "i" pod for a reason.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

One Side Of A Coin

Lying in bed last night, me on my side, Eddie on his back, we were talking about our day.

I sleep on his left, so I was facing him, my arm underneath my head, elevating me a bit. Ed was on his back, but kept looking over at me as we spoke. I was getting annoyed just looking at his one eye.

"Can't you turn and face me?" I said.

"Why?" he wanted to know.

"Because I can only see your profile and your left eye."

"So? What's the problem?" he answered.

"Well, it's just weird." I said, looking at his one eye. "I feel like I'm talking to a coin."

Monday, July 09, 2007

Experimenting With Scrotum

Take a look at the town the red arrow is pointing to. Quick! What's the name of it??
Did you see Scrotum? 'Cause I did. Like fifteen times; which is about how many signs I passed as I approached the town, and after reading each one, I still thought they said "Scrotum."

I did a double take each time to make sure I was reading it right and although my eyes saw "Scotrun," my brain processed "Scrotum."

Blue Ball, Intercourse, Climax, Balltown, Virginville, Experiment, Gobbler Knob...who named these Pennsylvania towns?? A bunch of seriously oversexed settlers is what I think.

I also think I'm moving to Experiment.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I've Been Everywhere Sunday

As promised in my last post about being "everywhere," I'm providing another list of places we've happened upon in the last week. The list for this week's "I've Been Everywhere Sunday" is:

Walcott, IA
Joliet, IL
Gary, IN
Omaha, NE
Netcong, NJ
Reno, NV
Elyria, OH
Lime Ridge, PA
Salt Lake City, UT
Cheyenne, WY

We always love going through Walcott, IA because the
Iowa 80 is there. It's a huge truckstop, with a gift shop, accessories and more chrome than a man could want.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Lucky Sevens

Eddie got lucky in Nevada with three sevens on his slot machine. Just in time for seven, seven, oh seven.

Friday, July 06, 2007

I Didn't Make It, But I Ate It

What a colorful, tasty dish! Called, "Grilled Chicken Tuscan Style," it was made with a sauce of sauteed garlic, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, squash & sun dried tomatoes. Accompanied by mashed potatoes, it was comfort food at its best!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Just A Train And A Tree

There is literally NOTHING out here on the Bonneville Salt Flats to photograph, but I managed to catch this lonely train trudging its way across the Utah desert. And of course, there is also the Salt Flats Metaphor Tree which I've written about in the past.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Miss Independent

I just bought Kelly Clarkson's new CD, My December, and this is my new favorite song:

What an amazing talent. Her voice astounds me. The rest of the CD is growing on me after listening to it a few times and I'm thrilled she fights for what she wants, as it turned out very well.

Fight for freedom; in all areas of life.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

My New Motto

This photo was taken by my cousin Ro, at a fabulous little hideaway called Rice To Riches; a rice pudding restaurant in Nolita, the neighborhood north of Little Italy, in New York City.

They have an incredible array of flavors to choose from with catchy names like Take Me To Tiramisu, Sex Drugs And Rocky Road and even one that offers a humorous nod to the head of the Vatican, the one person that most Little Italy inhabitants hold in high regard, by naming a flavor Pope Pina Colada II.

Back in 2005, its owner, Peter Moceo Jr. and nineteen other men, including his father, had been arrested on charges of using the restaurant to run $22-million-dollar-a-year gambling ring in the New York area.
That's a lot of papal rice!

Monday, July 02, 2007


I am currently reading a book in which one of the lead characters tells a story to his dinner companion about how his mother thought everything he did was wonderful, even saying "You are such a fantastic parker" when he maneuvered his car into a relatively easy parking spot. His dinner companion responded with, "She loves you, that's all. And they say a boy can never be loved too much by his mother. It's empowering,"

He explained to her that he did therapy for a few months after his dad died and the therapist told him, "If you feel you are being loved for something that you know to be unjustified or false, in other words, if you know you are actually not the superhero the other person thinks you are, then it doesn't count. That kind of love doesn't empower you, it just makes you feel like an impostor."

Hmmm. Interesting.

Sunday, July 01, 2007