Saturday, July 31, 2010

Captain Of The Most Expensive Fried Seafood This Side Of Arthur Treacher's

Tonight Ed chose the place for dinner. When I asked for a clue where we were going, he told me "It has the word "Captain" in the name." That's not a whole lot of help when you're in a coastal community like Virginia Beach; every other restaurant has the word Captain in its name.

We drove and drove until we came to a teeny-tiny road. Definitely not one that looked truck friendly. In fact, if I had suggested this place, when Ed came upon this particular road, he would have said, "No. No way. We're not going there." and we would have turned around. But he was feeling bold, so we forged on.

The only thing that makes me secure in his decision is that I know Ed could back his way out of a thimble, so were we to get in a tight spot, there'd be no problem. And it turned out we did come upon a thimble of sorts; a road with no out. But Eddie did it of course and we continued on our quest. We found the restaurant (they don't call it a hide-a-way for nothing) and parked nearby. We started to walk until we saw this sign:

We followed the arrow down a tiny lane until we found the restaurant. May I present Captain Chuck-A-Muck’s:The restaurant was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives back in August of 2008. Among the pictures on the wall were pictures of Guy Fieri and the owner.

There was a line out the door of people waiting and we were told it would be 45 minutes (which we didn't want to wait) so we asked if we could sit at the bar. This was our view:
The bartender was a sweet girl who took care of us right away. We ordered a Diet Coke and an Iced Tea along with a basket of onion rings to munch on while we perused the menu.

My first thought was, HolyShit, this place is expensive. And I only point that out because I RARELY, if ever, care what the price on a menu is. But most of the stuff on the menu (fish-wise) was fried and when I see fried seafood, I think more Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips - not something that's $21.95. I really wanted scallops (or shrimp), but I wanted them broiled, so I was having a hard time deciding. Ed was eyeing the Seafood Feast and when I found out it came with shrimp and scallops, I agreed. This is the feast that we shared:
It consisted of 1 deviled crab, 3 fried oysters (which looked like fried calf testicles), 4 fried scallops, 4 fried shrimp, 1 crabcake, 1 piece of fried Mahi-Mahi, 2 hush puppies, a scoop of coleslaw and a handful of fries. Served on a plastic platter with a foam plate and plastic utensils. I was not impressed.

I tried everything except the oysters. Ed tried half of one and said they were extremely pungent and fishy. I hate fishy. The Mahi-Mahi was pretty good and I liked the scallops and shrimp, but nothing on the plate stood out. The deviled crab was fishy and the crabcake just so-so. The fries weren't super hot and the coleslaw was commercial. We shared a piece of Key Lime pie for dessert which I loved, but it looked as if it came out of a Sysco box. Again, not homemade.

I'm sure this place is great for the locals and it's a nice place to be able to ride up to in your boat, but it's not a place I'd ever go to again. The worst thing? I'm starting to question Guy Fieri's judgment.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Eddie Acts Like A Monkey Friday
I Might Like It If There Is Some Balling Involved
Very Large Cheek Pouches Come In Handy When Traveling
The French Are So Romance Savvy
Wyoming Clean Air Act

Friday, July 30, 2010

Dear Arizona,

Rooftop in the South Bronx, New York City.
It's a complicated issue no doubt, but what I always come back to regarding people in our country illegally is this: Are we really treating these people fairly and humanely? Since most people seem to think the only illegals in our country are Hispanic (which of course, isn't true), I'm going to to assume that's the case for the sake of this post.

We make money
on their backs, we rip apart their families without concern about what happens to those left behind, and we blame them for crime, which in Arizona, is actually down. Even in reference to the kidnappings in Arizona’s capital city, Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said, “I have no fear that my kids or grandkids will be victims.” The real fact about crime is, according to Stephen H. Legomsky who wrote a piece for the Southern Illinois University Law Journal, is that immigrants are neither more nor less law-abiding than the native-born U.S. population.

Figures from the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the FBI actually show that violent crime rates in the state — as well as along the entire Southwest border — have been dropping for some time. According to those two agencies, here are crime facts for Arizona and the border states:

* Violent crimes in Arizona — murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault — are down by 15 percent since 2006, and have been dropping every year.

* Per-capita violent crime rate in Arizona dropped 22 percent in that same time period.

* Crime has gone down nationally, but Arizona’s drop in violent crime was actually twice as big as the national average.

* Border cities are among the nation’s safest. Yes, that includes Phoenix, where kidnappings of human smugglers and their associates have spiked. In other words, unless you’re a smuggler of humans into the United States, you’re safer in Phoenix than in say, Charlotte, NC.

* Counties along the Southwest border have some of the lowest rates of violent crime per capita in the nation, with rates dropping by more than 30 percent since the 1990s.

* There is no evidence of “spillover” of violence from Mexico. Example: El Paso is next to Juarez, Mexico, which has seen brutal drug wars take thousands of lives. El Paso, by contrast, had 12 murders last year, down from 17 in 2008. And finally, the stats that would drive the bigots nuts, if they were able to admit they’re wrong:

* Cities with high numbers of immigrants are actually safer.

Here is the actual report if you don't want to take my word for it.

So what really, is the problem? I have heard, just in my personal interaction with people around the country, remarks that lead me to believe it's largely driven by the fact that these people are Hispanic. I've never heard anyone, anywhere, at anytime make a remark about a Canadian, the stripper with the Australian accent they met at the bar the other night or the bellman with the English accent who took their bags to their resort hotel room. (I use that last example because I actually worked at a resort with a guy from England who no one ever questioned).

Just recently, when I was stopped on the Interstate while a car on the shoulder was burning, a guy came up to my driver side window to find out what happened (since I had the CB and all). In the course of our conversation, he made a comment about "them Mexican illegals who need to go back where they belong." Racist, much?
This recent article points out some of the challenges that have been faced by both Obama and before him, Bush. Reagan, whom many regard as one of the best Republican Presidents of our time, signed a bill that granted amnesty to three million immigrants. A former speech writer for Ronald Reagan said, "It was in Ronald Reagan's bones -- it was part of his understanding of America -- that the country was fundamentally open to those who wanted to join us here."

In fact, what Reagan actually said was, "I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind, it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here."

I feel the same way. People who have the will and heart to come here to make a better life for themselves and their families should have the chance. I've known MANY "illegals" in my life; I've had a few as friends, and I've even had one in my own family. And they were as hard working, or harder working than the people I know who spout off at the mouth about them being here.

We have millions of acres of vacant land in this country. I don't see why we can't embrace people coming here to make a better life for themsevles and find a solution that doesn't demonize or exploit them. It was noted in the course of this article, that immigration is a fundamental aspect of American history.

As the product of immigrant ancestors, I still believe immigration is fundamental to our country.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: Come Sit In Our Cab For A Spell And Let us Take You On The Road!
2 YEARS AGO: How Well Do You Know Your Stringed Instruments?
3 YEARS AGO: Meat. The Old Fashioned Way.
4 YEARS AGO: Kicking The Hell Out Of Texas
5 YEARS AGO: Look, Mary!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Less Is Not More In All Cases

As a plus size, full figured, heavy-set, plump, overweight, chubby, fat, or as my grandfather used to say, "big boned" woman (although I don't think bones are really classified as skinny or fat...thanks Poppy), there are things that I don't think some of us should wear. Things that give us all a bad name.

Believe me, the corpulent women of this country aren't found in only one area anymore. Some cities may have the dubious distinction of being "America's Fattest City" but I can tell you with certainty, no city has cornered the market on big chicks. That said, I bring you my list of dressing tips for the girl blessed with more.

10 Practical Dressing Tips For Fat Chicks

1. If the words mini, demi or cropped (unless we are talking about pants) are in the description, you probably shouldn't wear it.

2. Rolls are for bakeries. I shouldn't be able to see the one (or three) you have because your shirt doesn't reach your waistband.

3. Speaking of waistbands...they should be around your waist. The low-rise trend is NOT for you.

4. If I can see your ass cheeks, your dress/skirt/shorts are too freakin' short. Even if your name IS Daisy Duke.

5. You probably shouldn't be sporting any words across the ass of your clothing. If you're wearing a pair of sweatpants that say Notre Dame University Alumni, and I can see every single letter clearly...your ass is too wide.

6. Sleeveless is not for everyone. Bra straps, underarm fat or bat wings should be concealed. If it's not flattering, consider an alternative.

7. Fit is paramount. Clothing too tight or alternatively, too big will make you look bigger than you probably are. I shouldn't be able to see every dimple of cellulite on your thighs, nor should I wonder if you're pregnant. Work with your body, not against it.

8. Tube tops, halter tops or anything backless. If you can't contain the girls and they wind up looking like two flounders underneath your top, it's not for you. And do I really need to defend backfat?

9. T-shirts, sweatshirts or sweaters with Disney characters, Betty Boop or lots of childlike embellishments. You don't want to look like a circus clown or its tent. It's bad enough big chicks have to deal with criticism from others, you don't want them pointing and laughing too.

And last but not least...

10. Just because they make it in your size, doesn't mean you should wear it.

I just want everyone to know that I am by NO MEANS anti-fat. If you are comfortable being a plus-size, or your boyfriend or husband likes his women with meat (a little OR a lot), that's just fine. I'm just saying that there are ways to dress in a more flattering manner. Take some time and think about your appearance. Sloppy is NEVER acceptable. And you don't want to wind up in the "People of Walmart" emails.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Grain Gone By
The Absolute Beauty Of It
Not Only Did He Pray, He Posed
Camera Phone Coolness
Life Is A Salt Shaker

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Liquid Crack

We drink a lot of things in our truck; coffee, tea, iced tea, cappuccino, water, milk, juice, Diet Coke, Iced Lattes....but there is nothing we drink as much as Crystal Light Fruit Punch flavored drink mix. We always have a two-gallon container of it, icy cold and ready to go in the fridge.

The other day Ed said to me, "Want some crack juice?"

I knew exactly what he meant...Crystal Light Fruit Punch.

I've tried other flavors. Don't get me wrong, I like the other flavors, but I LOVE the fruit punch flavor. I mean, LOVE. It's refreshing and sweet and calorie free! Of course, I'll probably be a lab experiment someday with all the Splenda I'm ingesting, but I kinda don't care.

I need to get juiced. And I need it now.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
For All The World To See
Studio Blue
Eddie Tests His Spine Friday
Almost Twenty

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rockin' Rockaholic Haul

This week we thought we had a fuel injector issue, so on our way to California we stopped in Tucson at the one shop we've found that knows what they hell they're doing and had them take a look at it. Turns out, after a quick diagnostic test, that it was nothing.

While we were there, Ed ran into a guy who was driving the
TIGI Bedhead Rockaholic Tour Bus:Since I had driven the night before, I was still sleeping and didn't get to see the bus or talk to the driver but Ed spent quite a bit of time chit-chatting while they were both waiting for the shop to get to them.

When the guy was ready to leave, he gave Ed a mini-tour of the inside of the bus and then handed him a backpack full of goodies for me. Look at the haul:

Among the sample packs of products are:

Rockaholic Livin’ The Dream Shampoo & Conditioner, Bed Head Some Like It Hot Shampoo & Conditioner, Rockaholic Way Out Super Hair Glue, Bed Head Urban Anitdotes Resurrection Shampoo & Conditioner, Re-Energize Shampoo and Conditioner and Recovery Shampoo & Conditioner.

With all this stuff, I better have one rockin' head of hair!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Just Don’t Call Me Late For Dinner
In This Case, R & R Means Recumbent And Recuperation
Posthumously Famous In The World Of Cheap Lodging
What Better Reason To Dine Out?
Hudson Valley Summer

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Listen, Learn And Laugh

I listen to a lot of radio when I’m driving and I find some of it to be quite educational, others enjoyable enough to pass time with and some full of side-splitting humor. Which could be dangerous when driving. Here are some of my top favorites:

Doctor Radio
Powered by the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, the doctor hosts of
the shows on this station are super informative and they answer a LOT of phone calls. Not only do I get to learn about all sorts of ailments, diseases and cures but I hear a good bit of what’s wrong with a little slice of America (and sometimes, Canada). My two favorite shows are Dermatology and Cardiology. Not sure why, they’re just incredibly interesting.

Car Talk
I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE
these guys. Brothers from “Our Fair City” (Cambridge, MA) who are both MIT graduates, talk primarily about cars but in such a way that I listen so intently I can probably tell you what’s wrong with YOUR car if you tell me what kind of noise it’s making. Their laughs are infectious and their humor one of higher intelligence. I never miss a show.

AC360 with Anderson Cooper
If I weren’t driving, I’d be plotzed in front of the television ogling
Anderson in his tight t-shirts. But if I’m driving at night, he’s usually there with me. I just like his voice.

The Joy Behar Show
Born Josephina Victoria Occhiuto, this Brooklyn-born broad (who has Calabrian roots) just makes me laugh. I love her sense of humor although I’m not sure if it works in her own
talk show; sometimes I find her sounding awkward when she’s in the middle of an interview. It's kind of like she's a newbie instead of the seasoned comedienne and current talk show personality she already is. Whatever it is doesn’t keep me away though, because I love most of the guests she has on and my absolute favorite part of the show is the fact that her crew laughs out loud in the background and she often talks to them off-screen (well, what I would imagine is off-screen since I’m only listening).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Where Is Robin Hood When You Need Him?
All American Eddie Friday
A Hippie Dippie Woo Woo Town Sporting Lots Of Leg Hair
Flowering Rocks
The Cool Mom

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Back And Forth, Back And Forth, Back And Forth...

Here's the main reason I'm behind on my blog this week: 80 towns in 33 weeks. And it feels like most of it has happened in the past seven days. I'm catching up now. Bear with me.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Eddie Enters A Copper Mine Friday
Oshkosh B’Gosh!
Queen Of The 21st Century
A Queen’s Life

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bridge Over Troubled Roadway

The average driver would never notice the contradiction present in this photo.

Look hard. Study it.

See it yet?

One more time. Scan sloooowly. See it now?

OK, I'll tell you.


First I have to say that prior to becoming a truck driver, I wouldn't have noticed anything wrong with this underpass. But since I've started driving, one of the first things my instructor mentioned when we went "on the road" for training was that most tractor-trailers have a height of 13' 6" and that you should always look at the signs.

I also had the good fortune to be under the fine tutelage of my Eddie and during my time in our rolling classroom, I have learned many things; one of them being that most of the bridges in New York are usually incorrectly marked. Most of the times, you can fit under them.

BUT..unless you've been there before or you see another truck going under it, you should heed the warnings. It's never wise to ignore the clearance signs.

We've all seen the
pictures of what happens when you do.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
If Only The Streets Were Truly Paved With Gold
She Reigns Supreme
A Match Made In Heaven
Caped Crusaders

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Paneful Outlook

Shading the sun or drying the towel...

Creative use of silouhettes...

Fading Puerto Rican pride...

Windows in the South Bronx, NY.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Gray County Silhouette
This Little Piggy Went To Market
I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday
The Heat Bog

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

His Charm And Understated Humor Is Totally Contagious

When we were in New Jersey this past weekend, Ed said he had a thought while he was standing in line at the Dunkin' Donuts.

He said, "I was thinking...what if I just went up to one of these girls behind the counter and said, 'Hey, you guys are from Jersey. You must know 'The Situation' from Jersey Shore, right?'"

And when they confirm that they do, in fact, know who The Situation is, he was going to say...

"Well, meet The Epidemic."

This is what I live with, people. And no, I've never seen the show.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Creature Comforts Of Home
Happy As A Clam
Two Things
Good For Licking

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Live Longer. Live Better. And Be Sure To Have A Devil Dog Once In A While.

Guess what?? This month, my first published article can be found in DriverHEALTH magazine!!
Yep, that's right, an article written by me for a trucking industry print magazine. I'm super-excited! And yes, I completely see the irony of a fat chick who loves Dunkin' Donuts writing for a magazine that touts driver health. I even said that to the guy who asked me to write for the magazine. I asked, are you sure?? Yep - he was sure.

Thing is, although I love Dunkin' Donuts iced lattes and would stow away in a Drake's Cakes truck just to get close to Devil Dogs, I do eat good food. Very often, it's just too much good food! I grew up eating food that my parents and grandparents made from scratch. We never had jarred spaghetti sauce, I never saw canned soup in my house, I didn't know what a Twinkie was (since I never had one in my lunchbox) and when we asked to go to McDonald's, my father would tell us he could make a better Big Mac at home, special sauce and all. Every time I think of my father doing that, it reminds me of that old Eddie Murphy skit.

So because I was raised with real, fresh food and learned to cook that way, the food I usually make in the truck is typically always from scratch. Don't get me wrong, I'm no stranger to the McDonald's Big Mac, but I've been trying to eat less crap and more non-crap. The non-crap is a large percentage of the food I cook because I like making great meals. And I always have good snacks on hand, even if they occupy the same pantry shelves as my Devil Dogs on.

We all know what we should do. The more you try to eat well, the more your body appreciates it. That's the subject I chose for my first article in DriverHEALTH; making good choices and eating things that our grandmothers can pronounce. (I got that line from Michael Pollan's book, Food Rules.)

To read my article in DriverHEALTH Magazine, click
HERE. That'll take you to a PDF document, where you'll just have to click the arrows on the right hand side of the page until you come to Page 50. That's where you'll find my smiling face and my article! Be sure to let me know what you think.

My second article, titled "Oh, The Pastabilities!" will be out in the August issue. Look for it in truckstops nationwide!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
How Can You No Be In Love With The Man Who Invented Kisses?
And We Wonder Why We’re The Fattest Nation On Earth
Star Gazing
Only A Southerner
Do You Take Wolfgang Winkelmeyer To Be Your Lawful Wedded Husband?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Real Truck Driver Meets A Real Housewife

Today Eddie and I went to the Barnes & Noble in Hamilton, NJ. We've been here several times before, most often when we're stuck at the Petro in Bordentown since it's only a few miles away.

We parked the truck across the street and walked over to the store and as Ed was holding the door open for us, three people walked out. The first guy caught my eye, the second person was a woman and I just thought to myself, she's so Jersey with all her Italian-ness, nice outfit and jewelry and then there was a third guy. It wasn't until I was in the store that I was like, heeeey, waaiit a minute... realizing that it was Teresa from The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

So I whipped back around, went out side and called out, "Teresa!" She turned around and I babbled about how I've seen the show a few times but my mother was a fan and can I get an autograph and a picture. Apparently, she was there to promote her new cookbook (which I didn't know at the time) and she was just leaving after the event. Ed was nowhere to be found, so I asked one of the guys she was with to take the picture. It's not the best shot (of me!) but here it is:

I don't watch the show but when I did see a few episodes with my mother. I happened to catch one of the better known episodes where Teresa flips the table over during an argument. Classic.

Anyway, I don't know if it was a matter of being starstruck per se, because I don't consider her a "star" but it was just surreal seeing a person on TV coming out of the Barnes and Noble where I was planning to go in to suck down a latte and read magazines for a few hours.

And for anyone wondering...she looks EXACTLY the same in person as she does on TV or in any magazine I've ever seen her in. Now go flip some tables, people!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Stars Glowing, Wine Flowing, Sax Blowin
Western Ed Friday
Salena Kandinsky
Bam! Traumatized.
Swing Low Sweet Chariot

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Putting Death On Hold

Ed's Mom recently had a scare when she wound up in the hospital because she was having trouble breathing after having been extremely fatigued for quite some time. She had some blood testing done and they found she had a pulmonary embolism.

Well of course, we were worried because she's alone a lot of the time and it's definitely not a good thing to have. After she was seen at the hospital, she was given some medication and sent home.

When Ed called his father today to find out how she was doing his father said, "Well, hospice is coming this afternoon."

"Hospice?" Ed said.

"Hospice???" I whispered in the background. "I don't think he means hospice."

"Hospice?" Ed repeated to his Dad.

"Yeah, they're coming to give her a shot or something." his Dad said.

"Dad, I don't think you mean hospice. Maybe it's a home nurse or health aide?" Ed said.

"Well, whatever. Hell, I don't know the names of these things. Some nurse is comin' to the house to give her a shot."

Ed and I breathed a sigh of relief. When Ed got off the phone, he said to me "Next thing I know, he'll be telling me the coroner is there....."

"And then I'll find out it's his new golfing buddy."

To read about someone who really put death on hold, check out Art Buchwald's enjoying every minute of his hospice experience by clicking HERE.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Eddie Brings A Guest Friday
The Things We Do For Love
A Million Comedians Out Of Work And I’m Lucky Enough To Live With One
Ah, The Primitive Beauty Of The Desert
The Perfect Storm

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Natural Light in Waterloo

Taken in natural light from the window and then one click of the "colored pencil" tool in PhotoShop and this is what you get. I love it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It Never Ends

I don't know where the clothes come from, but they seem to be breeding and creating very large families. If this keeps up, I'm going to need to install a washing machine in the truck.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
275 Square Miles Of Brilliance
Four Standards, One Newbie
36 Hours Of Hell On Earth

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Social NOTworking

I just wrote a post about my 88-year-old step-father getting a cellphone. Now my mother is on Facebook.


OK, truth be told, I have been urging my mother to get on Facebook for a long time. I know everyone says they're not doing it, they hate it, they have no need (like me) but then once you're on there, it seems to open up a whole new world of connections. Or past connections, in some cases.

With my mother, it's like the same thing that happened with American Idol. I'd been telling her from the very beginning to watch American Idol, that she'd really like it and that it's super-entertaining. She refused. I don't know if she thought there wouldn't be any talent or if it was too "tween" for her, but she finally got on the boat. And now if I call when American Idol is on, she's abrupt and distracted and tells me she'll have to get back to me. She also votes like she's the one person their future career is hinging on and has even learned how to use re-dial on the phone to get through in a more speedy fashion.

But back to the Facebook thing. First, because she's a scaredy cat, she has joined with a fake name. I did that too intially but realized that no one was going to "friend" someone they didn't know and it was impossible for anyone to find me if they were looking. So I caved in and put my real name. As it is, my name seems to be all over the web. My brother called me one day to tell me he Googled me and he said, "Do you know the first five pages of Google are about you??" Yeah, I know. There's nowhere to hide now. she's on there and she's made connections, fake name and all. And I have been inundated with questions from her, most of which I cannot seem to sufficiently answer.

"So what do I put in the "status update" box?" she asks.

"Whatever your status is. Like, "Washing dishes again - my life would be easier with paper plates!" or "Just got back from the pool. Loving water aerobics." or "Best Law & Order ever. I heart Chris Meloni."

"Why does someone need to know I love Chris Meloni?" she said.

"Well, they don't need to know. It's just what you do on Facebook." I said.


"I don't know. Maybe there's someone in your friend list who also loves Chris Meloni and then you can talk about it." I said.

"Why do I care if someone else likes Chris Meloni?" she asks.

"I don't know, Ma. People want to know. Sometimes, people will just "like" it...then you don't have to talk about anything. You'll see on your comment that they chose "like" with a thumbs up." I said.

"So these people talk to me? But without talking to me? They just "like" things?

"Uh, sort of. And they like to look at pictures of people." I said.

"But I don't have any pictures." she said.

"Yet. We'll get a nice one of you and set you up with a profile picture."

"OK, so what else do you do on this Facebook thing?" she asked.

"Well, some people play games..."

"I do Pogo. Why would I play games on Facebook?"

"Some people post political stuff..."

"I don't talk about politics. My father always said never to talk about politics or religion."

"Okaaay. Well, some people just like to be able to pop on and see what everyone is up to. Who just got back from the mall, who just had a baby, who is tired of their boss and wants to scream at them..." I said.

"But if I wanted to talk to all these people, wouldn't I just email them? And I don't know why people want to tell me about their day at the mall or how work was. I just don't get it."

Oh. My. God. I'm starting to think I don't get it either. I can't even explain why the hell I'M on Facebook. I have no good reasons. I'm doing a really shitty job of selling this social networking thing here.

"Just try it and then let me know what you think." I said.

"Fine. But I don't even know what I'm trying. And how is it some people have over 300 friends? You have 300 friends. You know 300 people??" she said.

"Well...yeah...kind, not really...well, some of them I know-know and other people I just like, know. You know?" She does not know.

This has been going on for the past week and I've made some headway and now she's actually kinda liking it. I think. She's been found, even with the fake name (because of the real email address) and friends are adding her left and right. And each time someone does, she calls or texts, "I have another friend!" It's like she just crawled out from under a rock.

I plan on watching her very closely and monitoring her usage. I don't need her to make a Joe Bidenesque gaffe on her wall in front of everyone. She doesn't quite know all the ins and outs yet and she's not aware that the mic on her wall is always "on".

I just pray she doesn't discover Farmville.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Time Isn’t The Only Thing That Flies When You’re Having Fun
Anything I Want
Burglar And Idiot Proof
Virginia Is For Lovers

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bakin' It The Fake Way

I need a tan. Not so much want. NEED.

Thing is, I hate heat and I hate the sun. I'm more inclined to spend time in Alaska during that time of year when their days are mostly nights but since I'm not an Ice Road Trucker and I don't really want to be sitting on the top of the world by myself, I often ponder how I'm going to go about getting that golden glow of summer.

We haven't really been anywhere this summer where we've had time at a beach or pool. I'm not a huge fan of the beach anyway (sand, ick), but I don't mind doing the pool every now and again. Problem is, I'd need to be there on a regular basis to build a tan. And ideally, I'd like a little bit of a tan to even make a public appearance in a bathing suit (as my Aunt Ronni used to say, "Tan fat is more attractive than white fat") but I don't see how I'm going to make that happen either.

I really don't do the "laying out" thing like girls used to do in high school; setting up your folding chair in the backyard, slathering yourself with Hawaiian Tropic and sitting there for hours talking about boys. I didn't do it then and I don't do it now.

But, I need this damn tan. I'm feeling very pasty and my bronzer is just not cutting it. I really have no inclination to put my ass in a lounge chair under anything that resembles daylight with heat, so I think I might have to resort to a) spray tan, b) tanning booth or c) self-tanner.

I've had a spray tan before and the results were just "eh"; it wasn't quite dark enough for me. The tanning booth is okay and it's quick, but I'd have to find one with truck parking, which might be a possibility if I scope out a place at a strip-mall (or regular mall). And the self-tanner thing is just out; besides not wanting to have orange cuticles for three weeks, I cannot rely on Ed's help for this at all. There is just no way he'd be interested in meticulously applying self-tanner to every inch of my body no matter how much he loves me. And I'd just be a Nazi telling him how to do it; where to put it, how much to use, how to apply it to reduce streaking, how not to get it on his clothes. And no matter how hard he'd try, I'd likely go all control freak and tell him how he's doing it all wrong anyway. There's no way it would be as sexy an experience as Cosmo leads us to believe it would be.

Since I have to chose the lesser of those three evils (four, if you count the actual sun), I guess the quickest and easiest way for me to get color is going to have to be the tanning bed. And I'll have to do it soon because summer is halfway over as it is.

Unless there's some miraculous way I don't know about. Any suggestions??

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The Elegant Gathering Of A Life
My, What A Nice Berg You Have
The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Grapes Being Crushed Into Wine
There Are No Words To Explain The Misery Of A Three Digit Temperature
New York State Of Mind

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Los Links!!

Have you ever seen that Bing commercial where Juan Carlo screams out, "Los Links!!" as Filomena is taken away by the mysterious stranger on horseback?

Well, that's what I thought of when I took this picture. I need to stop watching so much TV.

Here's another picture of the truck. The chain was part of it and it was used to turn the concrete drum on the back. Really cool.

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Here Kitty Kitty Kitty
Intense Eddie Friday
It’s An iPod, Not A wePod
Doing The Wade
It’s A Numbers Game

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Stop The Presses!

I have news! I never thought the day would come that I would hear what I heard this week. After eschewing call waiting, caller ID, call forwarding, cell phones, special ring tones, text messaging and almost all things modern...

My 88-year-old stepfather got his very own cell phone!!

And he's on it CONSTANTLY! Who the hell is he calling?? He usually uses my mother's or mine (when I'm around) but apparently he's got a very active telephone social life none of us were aware of. I don't think he's texting yet but I suspect that's not too far off.

Although he poo-poos most of the modern technology we use today, he's still fascinated by it. He's amazed that we can do practically everything via computer while we're on the road. Although, he still seems to have a hard time with the digital camera thing; every time he sees me taking hundreds of photos, he's in the background mumbling to my mother, "Jesus Christ! Why is she wasting all that film??"

But now that he has a phone, he's catching up with me and I think I might be a little scared.

Next thing I know, he'll be pissing away the family fortune in an online poker game!!

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Fiesta Ed Friday
Crotchety Old Woman
One Side Of A Coin
Why Oh Why
Sign Of The Times

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Two Truck Drivers, A Writer And A Photographer Walk Into A Bar

Today Ed and I attended the Trucker's Jamboree which is held every year at the Iowa-80 truckstop in Walcott, Iowa. As I've mentioned, we've been here before, but never at the time the Jamboree was being held.
It was nice to see all the show trucks and old trucks (the biggest collection we've ever seen) but the real reason we are here is to meet with two women, one an author and one a photographer, to have photos of us and our truck taken for a book. Here they are, in our truck, taking pictures and making notes for the project (I don't think I have to tell you which is the photographer and which is the writer.) The author, Linda Sands, is writing a book titled "We brought it. You bought it." which is to be a unique photo essay book which goes on the road and behind the scenes with 50 modern truck drivers. How cool is that??

Linda is the founder and editor of Scratch, a short fiction writing contest; a writer who, in addition to having completed three books, has also written articles and short stories for a long list of publications; and the winner of a FULL scholarship to attend a writer's workshop in Southhampton, NY where she got to study with prestigious writer, Amy Hempel (a name I did not know prior to meeting Linda, but now one that I can drop into literary conversations to sound like I know what the hell I'm talking about).

All that impressive stuff aside, Linda was down-to-earth GREAT. We were in contact with her along our route to let her know when we'd be here and got in touch with her this morning to let her know we just needed a little time to spiff up the truck and get ourselves ready. We had already taken showers (gotta smell good!) and had the truck washed, but I wanted to make the inside presentable since we'd be taking pictures of it.

When we were ready we pulled around, picked them up in the truck and then found a spot to take pictures and do our interview. The thing I liked immediately about Linda was that she was a hugger. I extended my hand to greet her and she waved it away requesting a hug instead. You gotta love a hugger.

While we were talking to Linda, the photographer Avital Aronowitz, was busy snapping away. She got shots of my gorgeous red bell peppers on the counter in the kitchen, numerous shots of the cab area, a snap of my pantry and even one of the bathroom! I couldn't even keep up with all the stuff she was looking at and photographing but I did really well and contained my bossiness. Well, except once in the very beginning when I told her I had an idea for a shot...

I really liked Avital and thought she was beautiful; she reminded me of Natalie Portman. But I was so interested in her job and her photography background (she had six years of schooling for it, four of them at the School of Visual Arts in NYC) and her equipment and her experiences behind the lens and her desire to learn about life on the road, and and and...

OK, I'll admit it. I have a girl-crush on her.

She did tell us that her initial plan was to become a truck driver to travel the country and take photographs as she did it, but there were a few obstacles along the way which prevented her from pursuing that and then she got so darned busy in New York with her photo assignments, her photography work became her primary focus. The trucker plan sort of fell to the wayside. Which doesn't seem to be such a bad thing since she's done work for TV Guide magazine,, TIME and Conde Nast.

But if she does decide she ever wants to "try it out", I offered for her to do a ride-along with us where she could come on the road for a short haul and really experience life "behind the wheel". Well, kind of. We couldn't let her drive of course. I mean, Ed barely lets me drive.

I have to say, being photographed in so many situations and so many positions was harder than I thought. I was hoping she had a "skinny" lens for her camera but apparently they don't make those. WTF? All I know is that I was doing a lot of talking and she was doing a lot of photographing. I don't know how she'll find one picture in the group where you won't see my tonsils. Ed held his own too - he was super-chatty and very accomodating with all the posing he had to do.

He even admitted to watching Project Runway when Avital told us that she and her mother had been on the show! Read more about Avital's Project Runway experience here, here and here

Overall, we had a great time with them - they spent hours with us and really showed a genuine interest in our lives and the lives of drivers in general. I feel this book is going to be a great way to show what this profession is all about and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.

And although the title of this post may indicate otherwise, that is not a joke.

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Taking The Express To The Heartland
TIT-illating Sights On The Road
I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday
Embracing Your Inner Bike Riding Hussy
It Takes A Village To Wake A Child

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Amid The Corn

A truck at the Trucker’s Jamboree in Walcott, Iowa. Although we've been to the Iowa 80 numerous times, this will be our first time at the Jamboree and we're looking forward to exploring more of it tomorrow.

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I’m Going To Be A Millionaire!!!
How I Do Love A Colorful Lunch Plate
Lucky Sevens
My Head Has Been In The Clouds For Weeks
Chunky Cheese