Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Body Temperature Of 98.6 - The Only Requirement To Work At McDonald's

This morning, while on Prince Edward Island, Ed went to McDonald's for breakfast. As most people know, you don't have to go far to find a McDonald's - even in other countries. Although, up here in the Maritime Provinces of Canada, you'll find McLobster on the menu.

I kid you not.

Anyhoo, since it was breakfast, Ed was ordering a sausage, egg and cheese McMuffin; but instead of an English Muffin, he wanted it on a bagel. No problem you'd think since they also serve another breakfast sandwich on a bagel, but the girl at the counter, when asked if they could put it on a bagel, said no.

"No? Why not?" he asked.

"Because we don't have the right egg for that bagel."

Ed and I looked at each other, sure that we didn't hear her correctly.

"The right egg?" I said.

"Yeah. We don't have the right egg for that bagel." she repeated.

It was clear that our confused I-can't-even-believe-you-said-that-with-a-straight-face look wasn't going to sway her and it was also clear that she wasn't going to accomodate him, even though they had another breakfast sandwich that was served on a bagel. So, we paid for our order, got our food, and left.

I guess she just couldn't make the jump to figuring out how to use one piece of bread in place of another.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Eddie On The Rocks Friday

Eddie roaming the rocks and taking in the scenery of the North Atlantic in Nova Scotia.

(If you click to enlarge the picture, you can see him on the very edge, to the left of the sun's reflection on the water)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

No Wonder Sailors Came Up With A Special Knot

What else are you supposed to do with all of these ropes??

Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

He Fought The Ed And The Ed Won

His menacing look didn't stop Ed from devouring this tasty little crustacean and then licking the drawn butter from his fingers.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Going To Market

Saint John's City Market is the oldest continuing farmer's market in Canada. It is located on the Bay of Fundy in Saint John, New Brunswick. I only wish I were able to cart home some of the delicious fresh! goodies.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My Kind Of Festival

While in the Maritime Provinces, in addition to going to Cape Breton Island to drive the Cabot Trailer, we hope to get to Lobsterpalooza to find a little critter to dip in butter.

I know I'll be eating some Digby Scallops on Nova Scotia, and on Prince Edward Island, lobster is fished in May and June and from mid-August to October, so we'll be there just in time for a tasty delicacy from the sea!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Fiddleheads Of Maine

Due to our impeccable timing, we were able to try this delicacy of Maine, right in the height of the season; in the early spring during April and May.

Fiddleheads are the young coiled fern leaves of the ostrich fern. Nearly all ferns have fiddleheads, but those of the ostrich fern are unlike any other.

You can read more Fiddlehead Facts
here. Thanks to Eddie's fabulous cell phone skill, we were able to capture the Fiddleheads in all their steamed glory, just before being doused in butter and eaten like the creepy little veggies they are.

They are often compared to asparagus, but I found their flavor to be very unique. Not unpleasant, but not really identifiable either. So I guess that's why people say they taste like asparagus. The coiled part of the leaf was a little strange, sort of like eating a worm, but the stem had a nice crunch to it.

If I were to make them, I'd have to saute them in garlic and olive oil. You can't go wrong with that preparation!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Flame Sandwich

I bring you another Original Palm Sketch by Salena to celebrate Eddie's incredibly hot body.

That can be taken so many ways, can't it? But it's not what you think. Primarily, I'm talking about the fact that he's a human furnace.

The above sketch depicts what it's like to sleep in the truck with Ed; he throws off so much heat, I'm surprised he doesn't melt the fiberglass on the wall next to him. And when the enging is running, which is all the time since I need to have the air conditioning on, even in the winter, the heat coming off of those 475 horses is enough to make me think about how pleasant it would be to work at a glue factory, sending all 475 of them to the Elmer's bottle. I'm surprised I actually make it through the night without dumping a cup of ice down his boxers. The shrinkage would be wholly deserved.

In the event that Eddie and I sleep in a limited amount of clothing (which for me is almost always, since I hate to be hot) the chance of our skin fusing together if it should touch, is very high. Sometimes in my sleep, I will snuggle up against him and then wake violently in the night to realize that the entire right side of my body is stuck to his, from shoulder to hip.

I typically have to create a wall of sheets between his skin and mine to prevent this from happening.
Usually it's such a problem, and I do feel bad not wanting to be all lovey-dovey and touchy every minute, but I can't think of any other way to make it through the night. I mean, he'd come in handy if we slept in, I don't know, an Igloo. But we don't. that I think of it, we are heading up to Canada* this weekend and they've yet to see warm weather, so maybe he'll come in handy.
* If I don't post for a week or so, it will be either because I can't get on the internet where we'll be, I don't want to pay roaming internet rates on my air card, or I'm just plain lazy. I guess you'll find out more when I return. I hope you'll still be here.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Help Me Understand

Why is it that food service workers wear those plastic/rubber gloves, in an attempt to appear sanitary, but then they do absolutely everything else with them on.

Including handling the filthy money when they give you change.

Makes me want to call the Health Department on the spot and report them by name.

Although, I might be too tempted to use the name MORON.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I Might Have To Be Put In Restraints For Our Next Conversation

Ed and I have a communication problem.

Which, really is no surprise considering one of us is male.

And, uh, it's not me.

Every time I ask Ed a question, I get a story. I guess it has something to do with the Texas c'mon-over-and-have-a-swait-tea-while-we-set-on-the-porch-and-catch-up mentality.

Look, I don't have the patience for that. I don't want to sit on your effing porch, catch up, shoot the breeze or find out how yer mama is. I just want the answer to my question. But I never get that. What I get is this:

ME: "Is that sign yellow?"

ED: "It's a triangle directional sign that's predominately yellow, with black lettering and it says Caution, bridge may ice over in winter."

Did you hear me ask what the sign said??? I asked you if it was yellow. Hence, the correct answer would have been "YES".

And I also get this:

ME: "Did your Dad ever play baseball with you as a kid?"

ED: "Well, when my father was little, he used to live on a farm in Oklahoma. Out there, they had these open fields, with lots of hay and stuff in them, and often when he'd get out of school, him and his friends would have to work the fields with the rest of their family, especially during the harvest season. When they didn't do that, they would go down to the local hamburger place and hang out comparing cars and talking to girls. I think in middle school he wanted to play football, but they didn't have enough guys in his class who were interested in starting a team. You know, now that I think about it, there weren't that many guys in my high school class to make up a football team either, but then again, my school was primarily focused on academics, not sports, so I can understand why that would happen. But whenever we had the chance, my Dad and I would toss around the football a little bit in our backyard, but our yard was small, so we didn't do that very often..."

Oh. My. Sweet. Mother. Of Jesus. My ears are bleeding at this point and I'm working myself into a mental frenzy because the neurotransmitters in my brain are about to explode into some kind of neuro-electrical-circuitry type fire. It takes all I have to not strangle the answer out of him just so my brain can relax. So, what should his answer have been? Well, "YES" would have been the appropriate response, and if he hadn't launched into a long-winded fable, he would have gotten there sooner than he eventually did.

And I wouldn't have needed an MRI.

When I ask him why he just can't just answer the question, he says he wants to give me all the necessary information. Well, that's nice and all, but I'm not a moron; if I needed the extra information, I would have asked. What I really want is just the answer to the QUESTION I ASKED.

It's one thing if
we're having a mutual conversation, going back and forth, sharing thoughts and ideas; then it might be an acceptable for him to expound, but when I ask a direct question, I usually want a direct answer. Not any extra fluff.

From now on, I will have to conduct my question and answer sessions with Ed like I'm in a court of law. I imagine it to go something like this...

ME: "Please state your name for the court."

"Mr. Eddie Pisghetti"

"Mr. Pisghetti, I will need you to answer the following questions in the form of a YES or a NO. Do you understand?"

"Yes, I understand."

"OK, great. Mr. Pisghetti, do you have the ability to answer a yes or no question?"

"Well, it depends on what the question is, I mean, sometimes a question has certain parts to it that..."

"Mr. Pisghetti..."

"need more explanation than I'm given and if I..."

"Mr. Pisghetti!"

"have that information, then I can give the person asking the..."

"Mr. Pisghetti! Please answer the question wtih a YES or NO. Thank you."

"question a more precise answer. I'm sorry, what did you say?"

"Are. You. Able. To. Answer. A. Yes. Or. No. Question??"

"Well....I guess..."

And then, the trucker sitting in the booth next to us at the Wendy's, who was unknowingly appointed as the court Bailiff, will have to be summoned to remove me because I'll be foaming at the mouth and my eyes will be bleeding and I'm sure there will some convulsing involved.

Maybe I should just send him a note like I used to do with the boys I liked in 5th grade:

Do you like me? Yes or No. Circle One.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wild In Tennessee

A wildflower brightens the day just outside of Memphis, Tennessee. Love the vibrant color!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sighting The American Idiots

While parked in the fuel island at a Pilot truck stop in Arkansas, two million-dollar Prevost buses pull up next to our truck. I looked over when I saw the first one, but didn't pay much attention to the second.

Ed came out a few minutes later and said, "I think that's
Green Day."

I know their songs, but I'm not a fan.

Ed recognized them in the truckstop and asked one of the band members if they were a band. The guy answered, "No, we're traveling poker players." I guess he thought he was funny. What I thought was funny is that he bought an Arkansas ashtray.

I saw a brief glimpse of each of the band members as they got back into the buses, but didn't care to get any pictures, since I don't really give a crap about who they are.

But, for some odd reason, I thought one of my tens of fans would.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

What Happens When You Have Too Much Time To Think

"So if you could buy an extra arm for $500.00, would you have one sewn on?"

After long periods of silence, these are the kind of burning questions that come out of Ed's mouth.

Help meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Anne's Land And Beyond

Next week, we'll be heading up the the easternmost point in Canada. You can view our route in the photo above (click to enlarge).

We will be picking up our load in Tyler, Texas and our trip will final out in Gander, New Foundland, 2,907 miles later. Certainly not the longest trip we've taken, but one that I'm looking very forward to as I haven't been to this part of Canada.

There are ten Canadian Provinces and three Territories; the main difference between a Canadian territory and a province is that a Canadian province derives its powers directly from the Crown, according to the Constitution Act of 1867. Territories get their powers from the Canadian federal government.

As of this writing, I've been to six provinces (Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia) and one territory (Yukon Territory). On this trip, I'll be adding the following four provinces:

New Brunswick, home to some of the most spectacular natural wonders in the Maritimes.

Prince Edward Island, which, this year, is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables, a story inspired by the land of Prince Edward Island.

Nova Scotia, the gateway to Canada, which has 4,750 miles of coastline. (Boy, Ed is gonna LOVE this place!)

Newfoundland and Labrador, known as the accidental place by the sea.
We were up in northern Maine last week and although the scenery was beautiful, the weather was a little overcast. Wish me some nice weather so I can get some good pictures while up in the Atlantic Provinces.

Maybe even get a close-up of a Moose!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Maybe She Should Hold Off On The Pet Ownership

At breakfast this morning, Ed asked my mother if she was going to get another cat. My youngest nephew, who was listening in on the conversation, said "Get a dog, Nana. Not a cat."

Ed said, "Oh, so you think you might get a dog instead?"

"Well," my mother said, "a friend of mine has a Russell Stover and I was thinking about maybe getting one of those."

Ed and I looked at each other, then back at her, and Ed said, "A Russell Stover?"

I said, "I think you mean a Jack Russell, Mom."

She looked confused for a moment, which is an expression Ed and I are used to seeing on her face, and then said, "Who is Jack Russell?"

"They're called Jack Russell Terriers," explained Ed, "besides, you really don't want to get a Russell Stover dog; they've been known to melt."

She quickly laughed at this, but I know it took her a full five minutes to figure out what he meant.

Maybe getting a cat isn't such a bad idea.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Not Exactly The Best Way To Reach Out To Your Community

This is SO not a joke. My nephew is going to a three day baseball camp event and this is the name of the organization. Was anyone thinking when they named this?? I'm by NO means conservative, but seriously, who thought this was a good idea?

Now I'm not a big baseball fan, youth or otherwise, so maybe this organization has been around for a while. From what I understand, it's a community outreach program that uses the philosophy of "Every Child Plays."

That's wonderful and very noble. Just don't touch 'em all.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

When You Don't Have Time To Make More Than One Trip

I can't decide if I think this is really amazing or incredibly stupid. My first thought is, what a moron, but then I figured he must have some talent to stack so much stuff into the bed of his truck and then strap it down so it wouldn't move; well, I was hoping it wouldn't move since we were right behind him.

I'd like to see what the DOT would say if we piled freight on our trailer this way. I'd venture to say this probably isn't very safe, as his pile of crap rose at least ten feet off the bed of the truck, although he might have a career teaching load securement classes at a trucking company.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Greatest Spectacle In Racing

I was listening to the radio the other night and heard one of the talking heads say that there was some concern that the Indianapolis 500, which is taking place at the end of the month, might be a target for Al-Qaeda because of how many people attend the event.

Those darn Al-Qaeda's - boy, they're just everywhere, aren't they? Lurking around the corner. Waiting to pounce. What threat level are we at this week anyway, orange? I'm sure Al-Qaeda has better things to do than attend the Indy 500, but you gotta give the media a little credit for keeping up the fear mantra.

NASCAR would be a much better choice though; I can't think of any other events where one could find a larger gathering of rednecks.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Putting The Friendly Back In The Skies

My Aunt J has been taking some cognitive behaviour therapy classes which use different techniques to help people overcome fears and anxieties; claustrophobia, agoraphobia, panic attacks, phobias, fear of driving, post traumatic stress disorder, anticipation of a range of catastrophes, as well as stressful activities such as giving presentations and interviewing.

In her life, she has had some anxiety dealing with traveling; specifically flying. After months of completing small assignments such as taking the subway into New York City alone, or traversing long, panic inducing suspension bridges, the class has moved onto the larger task of taking a flight. Yes, on an airplane.

The trip would consist of a round-trip flight from New York to Boston. Total time in the air is something like thirty-four minutes. I e-mailed her before the flight to let her know I was thinking about her and then called today to find out how it went. Listening to her talk about the experience had me both proud of her for going but also in stitches visualizing all she was describing.

For a thirty minute flight, people armed themselves with magazines, DVD's, books, knitting, snacks, iPods, water, sleep-masks and the like. You'd think they were flying to Europe the way their carry-ons were packed. The group met at the airport before the flight. My aunt said that some people in her class didn't show up and one of the men she saw initially at the airport, never appeared the rest of the day. It's suspected that he never got on the plane.

They filed on the plane, looking for their seats and getting comfortable with their surroundings. They were even given a tour of the cockpit like eighth graders on a school trip. She said the other passengers on the plane appeared to be rolling their eyes thinking, "Great. Is this little field trip going to delay our flight??" Amid all the activity, decisions were being made. Who wanted to sit near their counselor. Who didn't want to sit next to the window. Who had to have an aisle seat in case they needed to make a mad dash to the bathroom, etc.

At one point, one of the stewardesses grabbed my aunt's hand and said, "I'm so proud of all of you for what you're doing. I understand how difficult this is for you. I have anxieties myself."

"Oh?" my aunt said, trying to be sympathetic.

To which the stewardess replied, "Oh yeah. I'm terrified of heights." Great. A stewardess afraid of heights. At the raising of my aunt's brow, she said, "Oh, no, not in the plane. Once I'm inside, I feel very secure. It's more like tall buildings or walking across a pedestrian skyway, that kind of thing. I even have panic attacks."

"You don't plan on having one today, do you?" my aunt replied. I'm thinking this just isn't something to tell a group of people who are anxious to begin with. The stewardess is supposed to be there for their safety, not to give them more things to stress over. She assured my aunt that there was nothing to worry about, as it was a short flight and they would all do just fine.

It's hard for me to identify with fears of almost any kind, because I don't really have any, and fear of traveling is just never something I've had to contend with. I'm actually a bit surprised I didn't inherit that gene, since my mother (and all of her sisters, this one included) seem to have anxiety about traveling or going out of their comfort zone. In talking with my aunt, I'm learning more and have been trying to relate on a level that helps me understand what these people are going through. Knowing Aunt J's history, I can't begin to even express to her how monumental I know this event had to be for her.

So when I called her today to wish her a happy mother's day, I immediately asked about her trip. She said, "Well, it was fine. I'm feeling a little jet-lagged though, so I'm just relaxing today."

Jet-lagged??? I almost fell out of my seat!!!

"What?" she asked, at my laughter.

"Aunt J...You cannot be jet-legged on a flight that not only took place in the same time-zone, but that was only in the air for thirty-four minutes!!"

She laughed at this and went on to tell me about the rest of her adventure. I'm thrilled at her baby-steps and asked her when her next flight was going to be. I even offered to buy her an all expense paid trip with ME as her guide, just to get her on a plane again soon, as you gotta keep riding that horse.

She said she'd think about it and get back to me. I hope she picks someplace further than thirty minutes away; I want to at least get through a Diet Coke and a bag of peanuts!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Who Is He Kidding?

This morning, Ed got back in the truck and informed me that the girl who waited on him at the Burger King had one ear.

When he placed his order, she said something to him about hashbrowns, but he didn't hear her because he wasn't paying attention and was about to say, "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you." but he thought that might be rude since she only had one ear, so he just said, "Sure, that's fine." She handed him his breakfast and he left. Who knows what she said to him, but he got what he ordered, so I guess there was no communication problem.

This prompted Ed to wonder out loud who was better off without ears, men or women. He thinks a woman with no ears wouldn't be too bad off since they do more talking than listening anyway and a guy without ears would be completely blessed because then all they'd have to do is nod their head every time someone's mouth moved; they wouldn't have to actually listen.

Right. As if they do anyway.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

It's Obvious Where My Sense Of Style Comes From

Me, at eleven months old, with my father, walking down the driveway of my grandparents house in the Bronx. I believe this is the only picture that will ever surface of me in a bikini. And I have to say, I am workin' that ruffled bottom!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Look At Me, I'm Three!!

Today is the third birthday of this blog. And it's right where a three year old should be. According to some information I found online, "The 3-year-old is full of wonder and spends a lot of time watching, observing, and imitating. Their days are filled with busy exploration of their world."

What a perfect description for this blog.

Some other developmental stages of 3-year-olds I read about are as follows:

~ Enjoys singing and can carry a simple tune. (I can even play air guitar!)

~ Asks who, what, where and why questions. (I’ve never stopped doing this one.)

~ Talks in complete sentences of 3-5 words. (Brevity is underrated.)

~ Needs approximately 1,300 calories daily (They put three year olds on Weight Watchers??)

~ Sleeps 10-12 hours a night (Oh yeah! Lovin’ the sleep.)

~ Can use the toilet independently. (Self-explanatory.)

~ Can hop on one foot. (I only do this on special occasions.)

~ Can make simple choices between two things. (Caramel Macchiato or Hazelnut Latte?)

~ Enjoys hearing stories about self. (Tell me more about me…)

I look forward to the coming year of wonder and exploration, but right now I'm going to look into how the "develops a taller, thinner, adult-like appearance" stage got screwed up.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Fine Line Between Compliments And Creepiness

Ed and I were in a Panera Bread this past weekend, having lunch. The girl at the counter who took our order was peaches and cream cute. She had long, dark, hair, blue eyes, rosy cheeks and sparkling white teeth. She was extremely pleasant, made good eye contact and was a bit giggly. In that high school sort of way.

She was just charming. I said to Ed, of course knowing she would hear me since we were standing right there, "She's so cute." She smiled at the indirect compliment and Ed gave me his I guess shoulder shrug. "You know, cute in the way where you just want to scoop her up and put her in your pocket." I said.

When we sat down to eat, we talked about the fine line between being complimentary and being creepy. Women can get away with giving compliments to other women, especially if the compliment giver is older. I was at least twenty years older than this girl, so my saying she was "so cute" was acceptable. If a man my age were to do the same thing, it would come off as being a little inappropriate, like he was hitting on her.

And had Ed piped in and said that he also thought she was cute, it might have looked like we were combing the countryside for cute little girls to abduct and take on a journey in the truck with us. You have to be careful there, too. You don't want to look like the main character in a Dean Koontz novel.

Women have it pretty easy, as we never seem to come off as creepy. There are some that come off as crazy, but not typically creepy. Granted, some get sucked into abduction schemes and are used as bait to lure people into their evil web, but again, those women when caught, will always be walking out of the double-wide trailer they've been holed up in with eyes glazed over, wearing a dirty housedress, no bra and their greasy hair in a tornado of activity on top of their head. Not so much creepy, but very much so crazy.

Men, on the other hand, don't have far to go before they cross the creep line. Just one wrong word or a slightly "off" tone can raise eyebrows. Some men can carry it off, they just have a "way" about delivering a good compliment, but if you're not one of those men, in today's social climate, it's best if you just get your lunch and keep your mouth shut.

Save your compliments for your wife or girlfriend.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Road To Bangor

Traveling south to Bangor, Maine. The skies were overcast and the sun was setting, so the picture is a little dark and not very clear, but I liked how the line of trees created a seemingly infinite path to the sky.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Sorriest Team Drivers You've Ever Seen

Last month, Ed and I went to take our DOT Physicals; a Department of Transportation physical examination required by federal law, given every two years, in order for us to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

When Ed called the compliance department to find out if they got the forms we faxed in, the girl he was speaking to said, "Yes, we did. But you both failed."

Shocked, Ed said "What??"


"Why are you shouting?" Ed asked.

"Because the doctor who filled out your form stated on it that you are deaf." she answered.

"That's ridiculous. I'm not deaf." Ed replied. "It says that on the form?? I don't know how we didn't see that."

"Well, probably because your girlfriend is blind." Bah-dum-bump.

Great. A comedian.

Apparently, from what the form stated, I had one good eye and Ed couldn't hear. As you might imagine, this would disqualify us from operating a forty ton vehicle on the scenic highways and byways of North America.

After some review, we realized the form contained several errors, resulting in us having to take new exams. It seems the clinic that did our physicals doesn't perform the task very often and didn't know what they were doing; another fine example of gross incompetence in our nation's work force.

As for the screw up...don't even get me started. If you want to suck at your job and it only impacts you, fine. But when your lack of competence affects me, I have a problem. These errors not only caused us a delay, since we had to immediately interrupt our route in order to find a place to give us the once over before we could continue driving, but the error also could have lost us money if we weren't able to drive to our destination. A failed physical is not tolerated by the DOT. No way, no how.

But now that we've got the DOT seal of approval and clean bills of health, we're ready to hit the road once again. I'll be paying close attention to horns, sirens and bells at railroad crossings while Ed keeps an eye out for deer and road hazards.

Sorry team, my eye.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Eddie's Bedtime Snack Friday

This is one of Ed's favorite late night snacks; a carton of milk and one of those Slim-Jim-Beef-Jerky-Dried-Meat-From-A-Woodland-Animal type of culinary treats, depicted in another Original Palm Sketch by Salena.

I don't know how he could sleep after eating this; the only thing I'd be able to think about is throwing up.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

What A Doll!

I recently came across this picture in my photo archives. The photo isn't that great - it was taken before I had a good camera.  I made it several years ago. I got the pattern from a friend of mine and made several of them to give to friends and family. At one point, I even had orders from people I worked with - everyone seemed to want one for the little girl in their life.

This was called the ABC Doll because her petals and skirt had little letters of the alphabet all over it. Very cute!

 I might just have to start sewing again.