Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Actually, it's more than a pet peeve; it's enough to make me want to end a friendship, disown a family member or not patronize a business.
Why? Because there IS NO EXCUSE. Not ONE.
Well, unless when I called, you were bleeding from a massive head wound and couldn't get to the phone because the blood was steadily flowing into your eyes, causing temporary blindness. That's almost the only good reason. And even then, I would expect you to call me back once you got your head bandaged.
I don't think I can express how much this irritates me. People use shit ass excuses; busy with work, family, life, etc. Well, that's just crap. I work. I have a family. I have a life. AND often, I am in more than one time zone in a day and I make time to call.
There is just nothing you can be doing that doesn't afford a break to make a phone call. I can understand if you were an astronaut and you were in space, but you're not. If you work outside of the home, you have a lunch hour or drive to/from work - call then. If you're a stay at home mom, then you're home. If you're doing chores, call after the spin cycle. If you have kids, they most likely have school, right? They have to sleep, don't they? Call then.
Here are some of the excuses I've heard for not calling back:
I've been out all day running errands. (You have a cell phone, right?? Call while you're driving.)
I've been so busy, I haven't had a chance to call. (Busy doing what? You don't even have a job.)
I didn't hear the phone. (But you did eventually reunite with your phone and look at it, didn't you? I know you can see I called.)
I guess there is something wrong with my voicemail. I didn't get your message. (But again, you can see I called, right?)
The kids had to go to basketball or soccer or dance or swimming or whatever. (Okaaaaay....and how does that hinder your ability to use a phone?)
Um, I DO have a job you know. (This is intended to imply that I don't really have a job because my job isn't like their job. Since my job affords me more freedom, I should understand that their job somehow prevents them from calling. Which of course is pure bullshit because I, too, once had a job like that and I still made time to call people back.)
Most of the above examples are from friends or family. People who are supposed to want to talk to me; or at least they want to when they need something. Then they know how to call.
As for businesses that don't return phone calls? Well, they don't get my business. If I call a business to ask a question about a product or service and they don't call me back, either at all or within a reasonable time frame, I'll go somewhere else. Period. There are too many options out there to be waiting on anyone to call me back.
Perhaps I should employ that same tactic with friends and family. You don't call me, I don't call you. I really don't need your friendship if you don't feel it's important enough to maintain it. The people who have been in my life the longest maintain contact with me, whether by email or with phone calls. On Sunday, I got birthday phone calls/messages from two people who I haven't physically seen for over five years; yet they remembered my birthday. They also call, email or text on a regular basis. And they both have jobs, children and lives. Gee, how ever do they fit it in??
When someone tells me they "didn't have time to call," I usually tell them this: If the President of the United States found time for a blow-job, YOU can find time to return a phone call.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
"At 40, you are at the pinnacle of a turning point in your life. Poppy used to tell me, "by 40 you've usually lost one parent, you are aware that your marriage isn't everything you dreamed it to be, and you learn a harsh reality of being responsible for your own happiness and well-being". I kinda thought he was a bore when he repeatedly repeated this to me during our visits, lol. Little did I know the depth and breadth of those words of wisdom. Since they came from your grandfather, I pass them on to you."
Great. Thanks, Mom.
She dispensed with this wisdom just days before my birthday; today, my friends, I turned 40. And as my grandfather stated, I've lost one parent, I'm not married, but in a long term relationship that has moments where Ed narrowly escapes death when it's not everything I dreamt it to be, and although I don't have a life full of your average responsibilities (kids, mortage payments, getting to work on time to face a boss you despise...) I'm still responsible for my own happiness.
Shit. What the hell does that mean?? I really hope it doesn't mean I have to grow up because I'm so not ready to do that. Pfffttt. How boring would that be? Look, I have a boyfriend in his early thirties, a best friend who acts like she's twelve and my dear friend Alan who, although older than me, you'd swear was Dick Clark's brother! He hasn't aged since the day I met him over fifteen years ago; plus, he has a laugh that would make a room full of first graders giggle! So why do I have to be the one to grow up?
And what exactly is supposed to happen at forty? Is this the top of the hill or am I over the hill? And if I'm over the hill, fuck it, I'm going to do just what I'd do in my 18-wheeler; flip on the Jake Brake and ride the hill slowly and steadily, chugging all the way down to the bottom. I don't care who or what is behind me. They'll just have to wait. This is MY ride.
I will admit though, that since my father died, I have been thinking a lot about my own mortality and even death in general. Sometimes when I am driving late at night, I am convinced that any and every pain I have is most likely a heart attack; and since Ed sleeps like a corpse, I'm going to take my last breath on the side of some barren interstate, listening to the voice of Nancy Grace, while he sleeps through the entire thing.
Or...I think about how, although I know my brother fears losing me, I hope I go first because I know I wouldn't be able to live another day if he died before me.
Or...I wonder how I'm going to survive my mother not being here someday, as much as her American Idol voting style irritates me.
Or...I wonder what would happen if a moose jumped out in front of the truck; would I swerve and careen off the road into a ditch, possibly to my death or would I hit the moose and risk the antlers coming through the windshield, impaling me, and ultimately still causing my death?
Clearly, driving at night with nothing to distract me, is not the best time to do deep thinking.
On a lighter note, I usually never worry about the things most women obsess over as they age: I have almost no gray hair, on most days I would rather plan my next yummy meal than worry about my weight, and I believe because of those many extra pounds, I barely have a wrinkle on my face. Ah-ha! I think I may have just found the one benefit of being fat; plump and juicy skin. Oh wait, there's another one. Since I've been "full figured" most of my life, I won't be stressing over why I can't weigh what I did in high school or if I'll ever be able to fit into my "skinny" jeans again. Who gives a shit? There is SO much more to life than skinny jeans.
That being said, there are some things I will be giving more attention as I age. My health is the first of them. At this time, I am as healthy as a horse, but that doesn't mean I want to weigh as much as one. I know extra weight puts a strain on my body and although I've been lucky up until now, I plan on eating better and maybe even incorporating the "E" word into my day; and I don't mean eclairs. I dread the "E" word. But, I am going to work on staying healthy; after all, I have people who would miss me if I were gone. Right? Hello?? Right???
The second thing I want to work on has more to do with following dreams; writing, photography, inventions, business opportunities, etc. I have a list of things and have begun outlines for all of them and Eddie and and I have already discussed taking time off to dedicate to these pursuits. I told him we needed a month or two in a hotel, uninterrupted, to map everything out; I really want to get going on the things we've already discussed. I also have two projects in the works with my best friend and I've decided to dedicate more time to that. I've just had so many signs lately telling me I need to venture in a forward direction. I'm tired of saying, "I can do that!" when I see other people's ideas come to fruition. I have time, money and a great support system. There is no reason to not move forward with MY things.
Third is travel; designated spots in the United States and eventually, Europe. Ed and I have already started to map out our jaunt and so far we've got seventeen countries and a two month plan. My passport is seriously starting to burn a hole in my carry-on bag and cruising around Canada just isn't going to cut it. I want stamps dammit! From real foreign countries, not just our pleasant neighbors to the north!
In fact, I've already made a friend via the internet who has graciously offered to show me around her family's ancestral village when I'm in Italy. I will most definitely be taking her up on it. What she doesn't know (well, up until now) is that my sole reason for visiting is to try and pressure her into cooking me something from her What's Cooking Wednesday series. Since most of her meals are based on what's in season, I might just have to plan my whole trip around the time eggplant is plentiful. And thank God there isn't a season for veal.
Finally, I'd like to work on documenting family history for the future generation. I have three nephews, who by the very nature of being boys, will probably not be interested in learning about their heritage and family history until everyone who knows anything is six feet under. How I'm going to do this isn't clear yet, but since I have so much on my "To Do" list, I better figure something out quickly.
The other day when I mentioned I was feeling as if forty was old, my friend said that forty is the new thirty. I guess that was supposed to make me feel better. Then I remembered the George Bernard Shaw quote, "Youth is waste on the young." In part, I agree with him. Ed and I have often talk about how people should live their lives backward - starting with the time and money age usually affords someone so you can do everything you desire to do.
But, I'm not "old old" yet. I don't have blue hair, I don't need a walker, I still have all of my teeth and I've yet to have a hot flash. Oh dear God, please don't let me have a hot flash, you must know how much I despise the heat...
So, at 10:49 a.m. eastern time, I will officially be The Big Four Oh.
Watch out people, eggs are a hatching everywhere!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
The list probably would have been longer, but since my memory is shot (Goldfish, remember?) I will list the first five that came to mind:
THE BILTMORE ESTATE in Asheville, North Carolina.
This one I'll be visiting this weekend and I know from just reading the website (more than once!) that I'll be going back; I'm already thinking of planning my next trip to catch the Christmas celebration.
The WICKANINNISH INN located in Tofino, British Columbia, Canada.
My last visit to Victoria Island was in January of 2006 and it was a beautiful place. This Inn, overlooking the jagged cliffs on the coast of Canada might just be a perfect place to celebrate Eddie's birthday in the new year; you know, since it's all rugged and remote and stuff. Very manly.
THE GRAND HOTEL on Mackinac Island in Michigan.
Ever since seeing the movie, Somewhere In Time, I've wanted to visit this place. I have a friend who recently visited the island and said it was beautiful, but I want to sit on that 660 foot porch and see for myself! Beyond fantasy. Beyond obsession. Beyond time itself... he will find her.
THE FAIRMONT BANFF SPRINGS HOTEL in Banff, Alberta, Canada.
Banff is beautiful; especially in the winter. I don't ski, but I can certainly sip a Hot Toddy while drinking in the splendor of the snow capped mountains of the Canadian Rockies.
BOLDT CASTLE on Heart Island in Alexandria Bay, New York.
A castle on a Heart shaped island? How can any woman not want to visit this one??
My plan is to visit all of these within the next year. I will certainly be adding others to the list and as I visit each of them, you will hear about it here. Come back next week to read about the Biltmore Estate!
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Do they really need to be told?
And how does the management enforce it? Do they ask to see your hands or smell them to check for soap smell like your mother used to do when you were a kid? How stupid are people that don't know they need to wash their hands after they use the bathroom???
Honestly, I am not at all surprised by the level of stupid in this country; I listen to a lot of talk radio and if the people who call in are any indication of what's out there, we are in some serious trouble. I often wonder if they only allow the stupid ones on the air.
Hmmm....on second thought...maybe the ones who call radio shows are the same ones who don't wash thier hands.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Seriously though, it's over. We've been doing a lot of running back and forth, traveling the same route and I don't really feel like it's been all that interesting.
I'll try to come up with something else, but for now.....Sayonara!
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Terrorists are everywhere. (They might be sitting right next to you. Boo!)
We must fight them there so they don't come here. (There's a new Bin Laden tape - didja hear?)
The long, expensive, useless fence we must build to keep "them" out. (You know, the Mexicans.)
The surge is working. (Can anyone with half a brain do the math on this?)
All these lies instill fear in our citizens; who, when not given the facts or who unfortunately don't have the intelligence to research for themselves, believe what the talking heads in the idiot box (and specifically the Rose Garden) tell them. And it's pitiful.
Along with so many of the other unworthy Republican candidates, touting their bullshit to support the organizations and corporations that already line their pockets, this one really needs to stop pimping September 11th as part of his repetoire. How many years does the public have to be subject to the circus that surrounds the anniversary of this date?
Enough, already. Stop USING this event to make a point or stir up fear and hatred.
Just remember, acknowledge and move on.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
She agreed, telling him to throw a coin in the fountain and wish for something he really wanted. He happily tossed his coin and said, "I wish Nana would come home."
His wish was in reference to my mother recently going to the hospital for a few tests, but since she was already back home, my sister-in-law said, "Nana is already home. Why don't you make another wish." So he threw another penny in and said, "OK. Then my wish is for Nana to feel better."
"Well, now that's a nice wish." she said. Then he asked, "Can I make another one?? A wish just for me?"
She agreed, handed him another coin, and with a powerful stroke, he threw his coin into the fountain and declared, "I wish my farts came out faster!"
"What did you say??" my sister-in-law asked, whipping her head around, not sure if she heard him right.
"I want my farts to come out faster."
"What??" she repeated, still stunned.
"I said," he explained slowly, "I want my farts to come. out. faster."
Looking around to see if anyone overhead, she inquired, "Where did you come up with that??"
"I don't know." he quickly shrugged. "But that's the wish I want."
Don't we all?
Sunday, September 09, 2007
It's such a treat to get to see so much of the country and spend the weekend in places like Hilton Head and Savannah. I'll definitely be going back to those areas!
Charleston, SC (Where history lives.)
Las Cruces, NM
Savannah, GA (The undisputed Jewel of the South.)
Van Horn, TX (A place so full of nothingness, I can't even believe they have a website!)
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Michael, my original fan, calls me several times a week to see where I am, wants to know when he can come on the road with me and foamed at the mouth when I gave him the old spot mirrors off our truck. He just can't get enough.
It seems a lot of other kids have the same reaction; whether they are the little strangers we pass on the street, pumping their arms to get us to blow the horn or my crazy nephews wanting to get up in the cab to bob up and down on the air ride seats, they all have an interest. Even the girls.
This became more evident last week when Vicki called to tell me Mina was having second thoughts about her career choice. We had recently stopped to have lunch with Vicki and the kids and over a slice of pizza, Mina was telling me that since she loves animals, she decided she wants to become a vegetarian so she can help them. I told her that being a vegetarian would certainly help the animals, knowing full well she meant veterinarian.
But after I left, she was apparently distraught. She told Vicki she made a "terrible mistake" at school that day and didn't know what to do. Vicki asked her what the problem was.
"Well, I wrote in my journal that I wanted to become a vegetarian, but now I think I want to be a truck driver!" she explained in distress. "Do you think it's too late to change it???"
Vicki said she was on the verge of tears. Trying not to laugh, she said, "Mina. You're six years old. You have plenty of time to decide on your career and even change your mind a few times in the process. Besides, I'm sure your teacher will let you change your journal. Don't worry about it."
Her shoulders relaxed like the weight of world was lifted from them and her tiny little face broke into a smile as she let out a sigh; obviously thrilled that her days as a truck driver had not been quashed by her errant pen.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Trying to get either one of them to stand still for any length of time was a challenge. I have several frames of Mischa licking my camera lens but none that were clear enough to post. Hmmm, maybe it was the slobber?
Anyway, this is Trudy's cohort and the one who sets the pace (and rules) for the household. I know one thing I can warn Eddie's mother of - if either one of these mini pooches are missing, the first place she should probably look is in our truck!
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
She is an excellent passenger; doesn't complain, doesn't eat much and wasn't at all demanding. Ed must have been thinking about taking her on the road, because truth be told, she is the absolute opposite of me. She really seemed to be enjoying herself and was drinking in the whole experience as you would expect a curious traveler to do.
Personally, I think the thing that kept her so satisfied was the constant ambient temperature of the truck, which I like to keep right around 65 degrees. Perfect for traveling through the desert during the summer.
As we approached the California state line, we came upon a border patrol checkpoint. There was a long, snaking line of tractor trailers and passenger cars, which eventually slowed to a stop, causing my mother to look up from her book.
She glanced out the window and said, "Are all of these people stopping at this hot dog stand?"
"Hot dog stand?? Mom, this is a border patrol checkpoint."
"Ohhhhh," she said. "Well, I saw the umbrella and thought they were selling hot dogs."
We both laughed at her mistake, but honestly, they may as well have been selling hotdogs. For all the money that goes towards the farce of "homeland security," I'd be more satisfied if my tax dollars went toward a weenie with all the fixings rather than one in a uniform.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Sunday, September 02, 2007
This week's picks:
Saturday, September 01, 2007
When we recently passed the sign, I said to Ed, "I love Dickson, Tennessee."
"Well, I prefer the va-jay-jays in Tennessee. I don't much go for the dicks."
And this, people, is what I live with everyday.