Thursday, September 30, 2010

It All Started With Betty

Yesterday, while Ed was driving and I was cruising Facebook, we were listening to talk radio when a woman's voice came on the air (some "contributor" or "commentator" or "analyst"...whatever the hell she was) and my first thought was, I hate the sound of her voice.

I find that happens a lot with me; I just find the women so hard to listen to. When I am driving, I actually have to limit my listening of talk radio if a woman is doing the talking. I find them to be very hyper and peppy, their voices too girlie and way too many octaves over normal. And sometimes, they even giggle. That one sound, the "giggle", destroys any credibility they might have had up that point.

Frankly, these are the types of women I hate to listen to in real life too; I once quit a job on the second day because the girl who sat next to me had such an annoying voice, I couldn't stand listening to her alternating breathiness and giggling. It made my head hurt. If that kind of voice prompts me to quit a job, you can imagine how quickly my fingers reach for the radio dial to change it to someone hopefully more normal; someone who doesn't sound like a Disney character.

I'd rather listen to someone like Christiane Amanpour, Ashleigh Banfield, Diane Sawyer or Maria Bartiromo; women who not only are intelligent, but sound it. So after listening to one of the women with the voice of a six year old, I made a comment on Facebook stating how much I can't stand listening to the voices of women newscasters. That prompted a friend to ask, "What about women sportscasters in men's locker rooms? Should they be allowed?"

My response to that was, "Ya know...I really don't think so."

I went on to say that not only do I think women shouldn't be reporting in men's locker rooms, but I also don't think they should be police officers, fire fighters or soldiers. I know it's archaic, but it that sense, I'm very traditional. Those are men's jobs. Let the men fight for the country, get shot by criminals and die in burning buildings.

But in the same breath, I had to say, "I'm sure there are a lot of old time truckers that don't think women should be truck drivers either." And I don't know what to say to that. I guess to me, this doesn't seem like a man's job. It's like driving a big car.

I've given this some thought over the years (the women in a man's job thing) and always come back to the same question, "WHY do you want to do that job?" I mean, WHY do you want to stand around a locker room that smells like feet and ass sweat just to talk about a game? WHY do you want to put your life on the line chasing down losers and crackheads? WHY do you want to walk into a building that's on fire, knowing you may never come out? That's what MEN are for. They are supposed to do those things. They are supposed to do the tough jobs. The dirty jobs. The dangerous jobs.

I guess it's the way I grew up. No man in my family would even think of letting their wife, sister or daughter do a job a man was supposed to do. They wouldn't even let us pump our own gas or take out the garbage. (Oh how I loved those days.) Even when I repeatedly asked my uncles for jobs on their construction sites, they told me no. Not a chance. I don't know what they expected me to be when I grew up, but I know for sure I never thought I'd be a truck driver. Although at 43, this isn't really a "lifetime" career for me since my life is half over.

I think I'll do a post sometime about gender roles and how they've changed over the years, but I'm pretty sure I'm still going to lean toward the traditional side. I like when men were manly (and the ones delivering our news, not feeding the baby and changing their diapers) and women were pursuing other options (like nursing and teaching) and looking pretty while doing so.

I suppose I should be glad things changed though, huh? If it hadn't, I wouldn't be typing this from the cab of my 18-wheeler.

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Traffic Stopping Skyline
When You Are Proud To Be Told Your Roots Are Showing
Engulfed In Color
Fish And Loaves Of Bread Are Not The Only Things He Is Generous With
23 Things

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Primm Landscape

Interstate 15 from Primm, Nevada to the California state line.

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I Am A Kandee Addict
The Tiny Intersection Where The Colors Collide
Loved Shack
Holy Mother Of Pearl
The Starfish Effect

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Breakfast Of Champions (And Truck Drivers)

You really didn't think I was going to write about what I eat for breakfast, did you? Well, that's what you get when a certain truck driver (me) has been driving non-stop for a week and hasn't had anything really interesting to write about.

First I'd like to say that since I have a weird schedule, meaning I could get up at four in the morning, ten in the morning or two in the afternoon, breakfast falls at different times for me. No matter what time I wake up, I do not like to eat immediately. Ed, on the other hand, likes to have an bacon, egg and cheese sandwich in his hand before his feet even hit the floor; I need at least thirty minutes, if not an hour, to get "in the mood" for food. And whenever I wake up, that to me, is my breakfast time.

So here are my Top Ten Favorite Breakfast Foods, in no particular order:

1. A Plain Bagel: Toasted or not, depends on my mood, with real butter. My second bagel choice, if they have it, is a Jalapeno Bagel with Berry (strawberry, blueberry, mixed berry) cream cheese. I know it sounds weird, but it's amaaaaazing. Accompanied by orange juice, tea or if at Dunkin' Donuts, an iced latte.

2. Cottage Cheese and Fruit: My favorite cottage cheese (and I go out of my way to buy it) is Michigan Brand. If I can't find that, I'll settle for a small curd, on the dryish side cottage cheese. My fruit of choice is usually pineapple chunks, but I also LOVE cantaloupe and will often do canned pears - Del Monte brand only.

3. Sausage, Egg & Cheese McMuffin or Biscuit: If I eat at McDonald's, this is my choice. BUT...I always ask for the "folded egg" which is the one that normally comes on the biscuit. They will put it on the english muffin if you ask. You don't even have to ask nicely, but I usually do.

4. Oatmeal: Oh, I love oatmeal. Thick, gloppy and HOT. I do either plain or maple and brown sugar. Then I decorate it with pecans and pieces of apples.

5. Cold Cereal: There are too many to choose from, but some of my favorites are Cheerios, Wheat Chex, Rice Krispies, Kashi and Frosted Mini-Wheats. If I'm in the mood for a sugary breakfast cereal, my staple is Cocoa Puffs but I have been known to dabble in Fruit Loops, Applejacks and Corn Pops.

6. Yogurt: My favorite is Fage Greek Yogurt; I will eat no other kind of greek yogurt. I've tried Yoplait, Beblos, Oink and they all suck. As Fage's website says...theirs is "ridiculously thick." I either buy the pre-portioned ones (love the blueberry best!) or buy the big tub and mix in my own fruit; blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are on the top of my list.

If I don't buy Fage, then I get Yoplait; blueberry, strawberry, peach or plain. Or, the THICK vanilla. "Light" is disgusting and the "whipped" is just YAK. It's like eating foam. Don't do it.

7. Waffles: Honestly, I love frozen waffles. Plain, buttermilk, homestyle, blueberry; I'll even do whole grain. Add butter and maple syrup and I'm set. If I'm at a restaurant, I might go for the Belgian waffle, but plain, no fruit or whipped cream crap on top. Plain, with butter and syrup. If I had to choose (and I know this sounds crazy), I'd choose frozen. I know. It's wrong.

8. French Toast: Anytime, anywhere. I don't think I've ever had a bad piece of french toast. I love when they make it with thick Texas Toast, but honestly, I think you could probably dip a piece of cardboard in egg, cook it up nice and golden brown, sprinkle it with cinnamon and a touch of powdered sugar, and I might not even know the difference.

9. Cold Pizza or Pasta: Oh, cold pizza. I sometimes will buy a whole pie even if Ed and I only have a few slices, just so I'll have leftover. It's great for a midnight snack, but I love it even better for breakfast. As for pasta, I'll eat almost any kind of pasta (in red sauces only) leftover, but my absolute favorite is ravioli. They are the devil.

10. Cold Chinese Food: This one is rare, since we only do Chinese maybe once a month or once every other month. But cold leftover Chinese food knows my name and calls it loudly when it's been stuck in the fridge overnight. The best when I'm on the road is P.F. Cheng's because they use quality ingredients an d they're consistent. But I would drive out of my way for a crab rangoon from #1 Chinese in Hermitage, TN. I hoard them.

What are some of your breakfast choices? And what is your absolute favorite?

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Vegetarianism Brings On Extinction
Its Beauty Is Just The Beginning
Eddie Relaxes In Style Friday
How To Tell Your Parents You Don’t Have A Roommate
Mangia! and, a second post on this day: You Just Know When You’ve Met “The One”

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Skies Were So Dark, Even GE Couldn't Brighten Things Up

Whew! We made it through my first oversized load trip and delivered our load safe and sound to General Electric, which was founded in 1878, in Schenectady, New York:

The driving part was easy, since we only had to drive 11-12 hours per day depending on where we were. We got permits for every state, found our places to stop for the night ahead of time (which we usually don't do) and checked the internet for the sunrise and sunset times each day. We had to re-route around a couple of areas, one of them didn't make much sense to me though. They took us off the interstate to route us through this tiny, winding country road:
Not really the place you want to be in a truck, let alone a truck hauling an oversized load. As you can see, there wasn't much wiggle room. No shoulder on either side. Where does one go if they come upon another oversized load? And what are the chances of that, I wonder?

The rain followed us all the way from California to New York. Every night we'd go to sleep after a fairly nice day and when we awoke, the rain had begun. It wasn't torrential and it wasn't a hinderance, but it was a constant. I'm actually kinda glad it rained so much because it prompted Ed to buy new windsheild wiper blades. The old ones were on their way out and there was a big swath of area that the blade completely missed. These new ones cut through the water like a knife through hot buttah.

It's hard to see with the dreary weather and the distance, but here's a picture of an even W-I-D-E-R load up ahead of us - they had THREE pilot cars a New York State Trooper guiding their way!

We're going to try to squeeze in a few more loads before we leave for Italy. I think we'll head out to California one last time and then get something coming back to New York. It's a lot easier to do the long haul, unloading and loading just once on each end, rather than doing a bunch of little loads in one area.

Well, that's about it for now folks. Not much to report. And even though it was dreary out, I did get to see some fall color:
Maybe tomorrow I'll tell you about what I eat for breakfast.

Oooooh, exciting!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Not So Deep Impact
My America. Your America. OUR America.
Frozen In Time
Ohhh, Paaablo
Apparently, Aliens Tell Time With Their Ass

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Always Merry When Around My Brother

Today is my brother's birthday and I thought I'd celebrate by posting this picture of us on a merry-go-round in our Bronx neighborhood. Oooooh, he's going to be so embarrassed!

I was four, he was three. Brown was apparently a big color in the seventies. I love those pants I'm wearing! Hey, wait a minute...this picture is supposed to be embarrassing to him.

This year has flown by and I haven't seen my brother nearly as much as I would have liked, but I was able to squeeze in a few visits. And I'm always thrilled when I do. I don't really have any good stories to tell this year, but I do have one question...

Why are we riding a skunk?

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Living Outside The Touch Of Time
Girls And Their Boys
Living History
Company On The Prairie
Rack Eyes

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Universal AND Contagious

I read about this on AOL news - the Swiss finance minister who can't contain his giggling. I have no idea what he's saying, but he had me giggling right along with him, proving laughter truly is universal.

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Ed Smiles With The Pasties Girl Friday
Who Needs A Man When You Have A Kindle??
Phone Calls And Fellatio
Color Ring
We Go All Out!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Haulin' Big Sunrise To Sunset

This week, I hauled my first oversized load. Ten feet, six inches wide. I am now classified as an "F3" with the company we're leased on to; a "Flatbed 3".

We have one piece, not very tall (about four feet high) and not very long (twenty-two feet), but wider than our eight foot, six inch trailer. So it's considered "oversized" or OD, "over-dimensional".

It's not really any different to drive than other loads we've had since it only hangs over twelve inches on each side. We can still park in one parking space, but to move the freight across the country, we have to have permits for each state and can only run during certain hours.

We picked up in California and we're going to New York. Every state we've gone through, we've only been allowed to run during the daylight hours; either a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset or, a half-hour after sunrise to a half-hour before sunset.

The pay is great and I really enjoy the short work day. And this week, being stopped at sunset every night gave us a chance to sit and have dinner at a normal hour and watch all the new fall shows. The only thing I don't like, is that we cannot deviate from the route we've been given. That means no stopping at Barnes & Noble, no taking alternate routes and no time to goof around during the driving hours.

I don't know if I want to be hauling around windmill blades, but this oversized stuff is a nice change of pace. I wouldn't mind hauling a few of these every once in a while.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
When Continuing South Isn’t Possible, Here Are Some Other Choices
Neat, Trim, Appealing And Sophisticated. In A Word: SMART
I Know She’s Topless, But Is That A Castanet In Her Hand??
A Wicked Good Time
All The Boring Details

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Why The Crying?

Thanksgiving, 1968.

Me (14 months old), my father, my mother and the twenty pound Thanksgiving turkey. Uhh, I mean my brother (2 months old). He is deliciously chubby though, isn't he??

But why am I crying? It can't be my dress, because it's fabulous. And it's certainly not my shoes; I mean, look at that shiny patent leather. Maybe I have a sore tooth and that's why my finger is in my mouth? Or maybe....

Maybe it's because I knew someday (today!) I'd be turning forty-three years old! And the best part? I still have all my teeth; I think even the one I have that finger on. If not, I'm sure my mother has it in a box somewhere.

And that is comforting.

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From Swings To Eighteen Wheels
Fishing Expedition
Eggs Of Wisdom Apparently Start Hatching At Forty
The Birthday Wagon Train Takes Off Today
38 Special

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In My Dictionary, Team Is Always Spelled Without An I

I’ve worked in so many places that have the lame saying, “There is no “I” in TEAM” emblazoned somewhere in the room; on a poster, a plaque or a desk blotter. I'm glad there's no "I" in team because I don't want to be part of a team.

I am not a team player. Never have been, probably never will be. That’s not to say that if I were to work on a project with you, I wouldn’t be completely competent and worth my weight in gold, but if I had my druthers, I wouldn’t choose to be on a team.

Any time I’ve ever been on a team which was required to do anything significant, I found myself doing a lion’s share of the work. I'm not too thrilled doing most of the work and only getting a portion of the credit. Unless you're on a team where everyone’s goals are aligned , there's always a divide between the workers and the slackers. Let me give you just a few examples...

I've worked at several restaurants. And at many of them, the wait staff had to pool tips. I hate pooling tips. The basic concept behind this system is that all waiters and waitresses will work equally, because they're all getting an equal share of the pay. Customers will be happy because everyone on the waitstaff, not just one person, will be tending to them. In theory, they're supposed to get better service.

I can tell you right now, that doesn't work. I grew up in a family owned restaurant and I was an excellent waitress. I was able to handle a heavy customer load and no matter what task I did, I kicked ass (okay, except cleaning the restrooms - I always traded that job with someone else). And people liked me. So WHY would I want to work my ass off so someone less capable can get a portion of my tips? And if someone specifically requested me, why should someone else wait on my customers?

I wasn't the only good waitress. There were people even better than me, if you can believe that. One girl, who had been there for years, kicked all our asses. People would come there just to sit in her section. She was so skilled, so personable, so good. It's not fair for any other person to have the tips she worked so hard to get. The only people who pooling tips benefits, are the ones who know how to artfully slack. And when they do, the boss is never around to see it happening. Not a team I'm interested in being part of.

Another example is office work. We'd inevitably get a "project" that required several people's input. And I was always on the "team" with the one person who had kids (so they'd be late because they had to drop them off at school) or the person who had low resistance (so they'd call in sick because they had a "sniffle") or the person who just didn't understand the concept, so they just got in the way. Their "help" turned into a hinderance. Again, not a team I want to be on.

The last example is school. I hated being on teams in school. I think this is where it all started. I don't know what happened once I got to high school, but when I was in grade school and middle school, I was a pretty smart kid. I was always ahead of everyone; be it reading assignments, spelling tests, or home ec projects. We'd be asked to read a paragraph and answer questions and I'd be done while everyone else was still reading. I hated being part of a team who had to correct papers...someone would always wind up reading EVERY question, all the multiple choice answers and then finally the actual answer. My preferred correcting procedure would be "1 is a, 2 is d, 3 is c, 4 is b, 5 is e..." and so on. Quick, precise and over without giving me an aneurysm.

For the life of me, I don't know why this team driving thing is working...

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The Italian Energy Drink*
Looks Fairly Serene To Me
Taste, Smell And Hear The Memories
Eddie’s New Ride

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Feren Films Y'all Shouldn't Miss

About two weeks ago, Michelle at Bleeding Espresso wrote a post about the five films that summed up Italy for her. It got me thinking about foreign films. I haven't watched many foreign films, but of the ones I've seen over the years (subtitles and all), these are some of my favorites:

I loved this film. Audrey Tautou is absolutely charming. The film is a whimsical depiction of contemporary Parisian life, set in Montmartre. It tells the story of a shy waitress, played by Tautou, who decides to change the lives of those around her for the better, while struggling with her own isolation. It's impossible to not walk away with a smile on your face.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically-skilled, teenage nobleman's daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life.

Shall We Dance?
I saw the original Japanese version of this movie long before Richard Gere took dancing lessons from Jennifer Lopez. And I loved it! A successful but unhappy Japanese accountant finds the missing passion in his life when he begins to secretly take ballroom dance lessons. Just a gorgeous film.

An intimate portrait and an epic story of the courage we discover, the innocence we surrender, and the memories we cherish.....forever. Since then, I've not been able to forget Monica Bellucci, a name I'd never heard before this flick. She's seriously one of the sexiest things on the face of the earth.

The Motorcycle Diaries
This movie is based on the journals of Che Guevara, leader of the Cuban Revolution. In his memoirs, Guevara recounts adventures he and best friend, Alberto Granado, had while crossing South America by motorcycle in the early 1950s. The trip brought them to what would eventually be their life's calling.

Monsoon Wedding
Monsoon Wedding is a beautiful tapestry of several stories running in parallel during a wedding gathering of a large family in Delhi. The colors of the tapestry being the true and real colors of today's india - the good, the bad, the ugly colors and not to mention the color of loving and living life despite all odds. The context of wedding happens to be perfect for picturising the celebration of all those colors. A family wedding anyone would love to be part of!

The Namesake
American-born Gogol, the son of Indian immigrants, wants to fit in among his fellow New Yorkers, despite his family's unwillingness to let go of their traditional ways. An incredibly touching depiction of a father and son's relationship and how what's important eventually comes to light.

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This Guy Sucks
Shine And Shine
Eddie Hoots It Up Friday
Eddie The Bird Whisperer

Monday, September 20, 2010

Crafting A Way To Fill A Need

I miss doing crafts. I miss sewing. I miss being creative with fabric.

I saw this shirt while I was shopping for the Italy trip. It was a western style shirt, very lightweight material and I really liked the little embellishments on the collar and top of the shirt. But I just couldn't pay the price they wanted.

For several reasons:

1. It was 100% cotton, so I knew the minute I washed it, it would no longer fit and I'd essentially be buying my mother another cute shirt.

2. It had long sleeves. I know western shirts aren't typically short sleeved, but long sleeves always give me pause; I have to consider the "hot" factor. Not the "Will I look hot in this shirt with my cleavage peeking out from the top two buttons?" kind of hot, but the "Can I actually wear a long sleeved shirt without passing out from the fact that no cool air will be able to reach me if I'm buttoned up from neck to wrist?" kind. Can I roll them up a bit and still stay cool? Should I buy it and use it as an "overshirt" with a skinny tank underneath? Will the sleeves shrink too, once it's washed?

3. I can make this shirt. OK, maybe not make it make it, but I can certainly add those embellishments on the yoke, the stitching on the collar and the zigzag detail on the seams. And I could do it for less. And make it look better.

Those thoughts resulted in my not even trying it on but leaving it on the hanger and walking away from it. Which brings me back to my missing crafting. I need to do something creative while in the truck and it's going to have to be something small since I don't have a craft room and won't have much storage for materials.

I made a
few pairs of earrings a while back, which was a lot of fun but really, how many earrings can I possibly wear? I've considered knitting, but I can't see really sticking with that. Quilting is out, because I don't have any room for loads of fat quarters and sewing just can't be done because I don't have room for my machine.

I need a creative outlet that I can pull out once in a while and tuck away when I'm done.

Any ideas?

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The Other White Meat: Tropical Style
Night Falls On The Fuel Island
Wanderlust Checklist
What Are Records??
Hello, America!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Doctor Recommended For Sure Death

This advertisement (click on image to enlarge) ran in Good Housekeeping magazine in 1946. It states, "according to a recent Nationwide survey: More Doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette!"

Is that not amazing?? R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company has been killing people for over 64 years. And they're still at it. It's amazing to me that these companies are even allowed to operate, selling a product that does nothing but harm the health of anyone who uses it, let alone the health of those around them. They're a business who has plied their death trade for years and are apparently pretty good at sales and marketing.

But what's even more amazing to me. What I really don't understand? Is how people today think it's a good idea to smoke. That they still buy cigarettes. And suck that disgusting, toxic smoke into their body. Frankly, I don't care that it's an "addiction". It's KILLING YOU. I mean, seriously, is that worth it? Why don't you just step in front of a bus?

New York City is considering a ban on smoking in outdoor public places, like parks, beaches and Times Square. Frankly, I hope it goes through. I hate being next to a smoker. I hate even more that I can't even go outside to get away from them. That I can't enjoy a public outdoor facility because someone's smoke is wafting into my nostrils. It should be banned and I hope it starts a nationwide trend.

If not, we'll have to move to the Arctic Circle to find pure, fresh air. I like the cold but I'm not willing to go that far.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Wardrobe Malfunction: Intentional And Uncensored
Eddie Friday: Outlined
Modern, Yet Not So Much
Why Higher Education Is Desperately Needed
Does A Bear Shit In The Woods?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sweating Profusely From The Head Is Clearly A Sign Of A Highly Intelligent Individual

The one thing stopping home usually does for me is solidify my resolve to never be in Arizona between February 1st and November 30th. The only bearable months are December and January.

The reason? I can't handle the heat. CAN. NOT. I sweat like a middle aged horse going through menopause while sitting in a sauna. (Horses sweat the most of all mammals, after humans...I Googled it.) I can wring out my hair. And fill cups. No hairstyle is safe on my head when it's hot out.

Well, apparently my youngest nephew takes pride in the fact that he's also a head sweater. That doesn't look right, does it? Head sweater?

Anyway...this week at one of the kids' baseball games, my mother said that Little J came up to her, after scootering around the park with his helmet on, to show her how much he was sweating.

"Nana, look at my head!" he said, as he ran his hand through his hair, then showed it to her to demonstrate how wet it was. "It's soaking wet."

"Wow," my mother said, "Now you are sweating just like Aunt Salena. Her hair gets all wet like that when she comes to Tucson."

"I know. Isn't it awesome??" he said. And then he jumped on his scooter and sailed away.

I wish I could be that casual. Instead, my head is boiling and looks like a baseball teetering on top of my body; it's small because my hair is plastered to the sides of it. I'm unbalanced. I can't have that. I am a woman who needs height and body in my 'do. Modern bouffantiness, if you will.

Can I just say how joyful I am that winter is just around the corner. You don't even KNOW.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: Eddie Watching Boats And Waiting For Brisket Friday
2 YEARS AGO: It’s Probably Best Not To Piss Off The Devil
3 YEARS AGO: Reminders For Morons
4 YEARS AGO: Feasting With Saints And Sinners
5 YEARS AGO: We Live In The Signpost Forest

Friday, September 17, 2010

An Amazon Sized Beverage Supply

I've written in the past about my addiction to General Foods International Italian Cappuccino coffee drink mix. Thing is, I can't always find it.

I used to be able to find it in Walmart, Target or grocery stores, but I've been searching for weeks and haven't come across it. They seem to have every flavor but the one I drink. Which was frustrating to me because I was out and in total crave mode. Then I remembered when I used to work at Westin and made a deal with our coffee guy, who delivered the coffee and tea to the hotel, and he used to sell it to me by the case.

So I went to my trusty laptop and combed the internet, landing on wonderful and their vast selection of everything. And that is where I found and ordered, a case of my addictive coffee drink.

You see it there in the picture - five bags, two pounds each and the container that I emptied the sixth bag into. So now I have twelve pounds of coffee drink mix to keep me happy whenever I have the urge for a hot beverage. Fall is here, winter is right around the corner and the one fact that puts my mind at ease? is just a click away.

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He Wasn’t Hiding His Face Once The Camera Started Rolling
Waiting To Be Served
The Men In Mexico Are Snappy Dressers
A Mysticly Beautiful Day
Rock It!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

If No One Hears You Talking To Yourself, Are You Still Considered Crazy?

Ed was driving and I was in the passenger seat, looking out the window. I guess I must have said something out loud because Ed said, "Can you stop talking to yourself??"

I just looked at him with that what are you talking about? look on my face.

"I might talk to myself," he said. "but I don't do it out loud."

"Well, then that's not talking to yourself." I said.

"That's called thinking."

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It’s A Shame He’s Such A Crab
I’m A Big Fan
I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday Coming To An End
And Everyone Thought It Was Dick Cheney
But They’re Hard To Find!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

High Class High

This is my grandmother's high school senior portrait from Evander Childs High School in the Bronx, 1938. Boy, the high school seniors were so elegant back then, weren't they? I think she's just gorgeous!

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Not Such A Bad Idea, This Man In Chains Thing
Razz Ma Taaz Me!
Casa De Cambio
Eddie Birthday Suit Friday
Goodbye Alaska

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Food, Family, Fun And Poker Winnings

Ed and I spent the entire weekend (and Monday!) at the annual family reunion of my step-father's family. We haven't been in four years and it was the first time anyone had seen our new truck. It was a HUGE hit! Everyone loved it, wanted to know where they could sign up to become truck drivers and were probably the liveliest crowd we've ever had. At one point, we had twelve people in it!

The best part of the reunion though, truly is seeing all the family. Some of these people I haven't seen for years and for many of them, this is the only time they do see each other. There is enough food to feed a small country and the selection is endless; eggplant parmigiana (the best I've ever had!), baked ziti, lasagna, meatballs, pasta salad, burgers, hot dogs, chicken, mexican rice, filet mignon, shrimp scampi, fresh rolls from the local bakery, coffee, tea, wine, water, sodas of every kind...all of the food is provided by my cousin Anthony, cooked in his restaurant, Pizza The Rock, located in Rock Hill, NY.

Then there is the desert table....carrot cake, chocolate cake, Italian cookies, fruit salad, brownies, blondies, cookies, my cousin Geralyn's coffee cake (recipe above - who she obviously got from someone else - email me if you want it in PDF form for printing) which is the best I've ever had anywhere on EARTH, cheesecake, cannoli's. Oh. My. God. We didn't stop eating for days.

Every morning there was breakfast also; bagels, eggs, pancakes, sausage, bacon, more coffee cake, coffee, tea, etc. One thing that everyone takes away from the reunion is a few extra pounds.

Each evening ended with a Texas Hold 'Em poker game which Eddie came out of as the biggest winner of the weekend - yes, they play for real money! It was a great time and next year I will make sure to fit it into my schedule - there is no way I'm letting four years pass again without seeing my great, GREAT family.

Many thanks to Anthony, Dora, Geralyn and the rest of the crew for hosting such a great event. See you next year!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ring Of Moving Fire
Everything Is Weathered In Weatherford
Eddie The Professional Tourist Friday
East Coast Tag
Float And Set

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ghost Rider

As most of you know, Eddie and I are team drivers but some people we've come across in the industry have a hard time believing it. They think Ed is a solo because they rarely ever see me. Even when he tells people I exist.

We do work as a team, but to be honest, our duties are not always equally distributed.
I was reminded of this recently when Ed met up with another team at a place we were both picking up freight. They were both outside of their truck, decked out in coveralls, ready to work. I was inside, watching TV. I guess they wanted to know where I was, so Ed came in and said, "You should come out and talk to this team; they're really nice."

Well, as I was in the middle of telling him that I wasn't interested in meeting any new people, I can see the woman through the crack of the door making a beeline for the truck. Too late. I'd been spotted.

Apparently, Ed told her that all I do is look pretty and drive. As accurate as that may be...that's not all I do. No, I don't do much of the tarping and untarping that's required on many of our loads, but I have helped when Ed needs me. But he never needs me. In fact, he often turns down my offers of help. The other team was slinging chains and throwing tarps and Ed bet them that he'd be done tarping his load before the BOTH of them could finish theirs. Of course, they didn't believe him, but as usual he was finished first and even went over and offered them his help.

All the while, I stayed cool, dry and clean in the truck awaiting his return. When we got to the drop-off location, it was the same thing. There was the other team, sporting their overalls and while making my cup of coffee, I looked out the kitchen window and spied the woman half of the team SITTING ON THE GROUND untangling bungees. Uh yeah, that's not my thing. I will drive until my eyeballs fall out, but there is no way I'm sitting in the dirt to untangle equipment.

Ed and I have a good system going here. It works, we get things done, it's cohesive and if I'm asked to do more, I always do. Ed's system is a fine art and I'm not messing with it.

I don't mind being a ghost rider.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I Only Think I Know A Lot Of Things…Here Are Ten Of Them
Texas Love Bugs And Hurricanes
Pimping For Presidency
Demographics Of A Lifetime
Glacial Impact

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Still Standing

A picture of the Colosseum in Rome taken by my step-father during World War II. What's amazing to me is that in just a few weeks, I'll be standing in this very spot and looking at the very same thing my step-father saw in the early 1940s.

During our family reunion this weekend, I was lucky enough to see so many pictures like this and scanned many of them. Plan on seeing more!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Eddie Dumps It Friday
Vicki Goes Hollywood
Market Flora
Now Where The Hell Did She Park My Truck???
Channeling Angelina Jolie

Friday, September 10, 2010


Some of you may have already seen this because I posted it on Facebook, but I wanted to share it here so the rest of my "world" would have a chance to see it.

This is a picture of my mother when she was thirty-eight years old. It's one of my very favorite shots!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Three Men, Two Generations, One Passion

My step-father Frank on the left, my step-brother Anthony in the window and my step-brother Frankie on the right, posing in front of Anthony's hot dog cart. All three have been in the restaurant business for most of their lives.

Frank started it all when he took over his Uncle Charlie's restaurant, the
Dodge Inn, often called the steakhouse of the stars. Both of Frank's sons, his daughter, his wives, his friends, my brother and I, my cousins, my friends and almost anyone who knew him and was a close part of his life worked at the Dodge Inn at some point. There was always something to be done and we all pitched in.

At the same time the Dodge Inn was in operation, Frankie owned two different pizzerias; Armando's and Mercury Pizza and when Anthony left to go on his own, he opened The Clubhouse in the town he lived in. All were successful in their own right.

But none of the offshoots, personal endeavors or hot dog trucks will EVER take the place of the original Dodge Inn. It's success has never been duplicated or surpassed and the recipes can never and have never been replicated in exactly the same manner. It's a Catskill Mountain icon, part of the lives of thousands of people, and will live in the memories of those who were fortunate enough to have been part of it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Miss Tooth Reigns Supreme
And This Is Why She Will Always Be A Maid At A Hotel
I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday
Family Reunion Rules
Chillin’ In Anchorage

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

UGG, What A Surprise!

At this point, a majority of the free world should know I'm on a shoe hunt. Oh, you haven't heard? Scroll back a few days, months and years and you'll hear plenty on the subject.

Well, to my surprise, this week when I saw my cousin (the same one who seems to think I'm bossy), she had another surprise for me. These gorgeous silver loafers by

The tag stated they were $120.00 although my cousin said she got them on sale. Either way, the most important thing is that they FIT! And they're really kinda snazzy. They might not look so fetching in the photo, but on my feet, they're delightful.

The are stamped with the UGG Australia on the side of each shoe and on the back of the heel. I love the heel - just like a driving moccassin. Not only are they super-comfortable, but...
They have the cushy UGG interior! AND they're not as UGGly as their boots...including the new limited edition Jimmy Choo ones!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

So What's Wrong With A Good Idea?

My cousin gave me this when I saw her this week; she knows me too well. I wonder if Eddie will let me display it in the truck?

Monday, September 06, 2010

The King And Queen Of Sun And Sand

My mother and my step-father when they first met back in the early eighties.

They are sitting on a bench overlooking the beach on Masten Lake in New York, where my step-father owned lakefront property. Most of our days were spent lounging in the sun and drinking cheap soda from Shop-Rite.

Ahhh....those were the days!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: Popeye Would Love This Stuff
2 YEARS AGO: From The Confines Of The Hampton Inn
3 YEARS AGO: When I Grow Up, I Want To Be…
4 YEARS AGO: Fire Water
5 YEARS AGO: Ed Having Fun With Photoshop

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Long Beach Lights

A view of Long Beach, California from the deck of the Queen Mary.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: 4423 Humboldt Avenue
2 YEARS AGO: Eddie Tourist Friday
3 YEARS AGO: Ripe For A Dognapping
4 YEARS AGO: What Lies Beneath
5 YEARS AGO: Big Sky Country

Saturday, September 04, 2010

The Queen Of High Society

While we were in Long Beach, California this weekend, among the many things we did, taking a stroll on the Queen Mary was one of them.

Their website says, "The Majestic Queen Mary offers you the chance to step back in time aboard one of the most famous ocean liners in history. Going back to the days where steamships were the quickest and most elegant way to travel, the Queen Mary was the first choice for the elite of high society.”

It's quite an impressive ship and the Art Deco Society party that was taking place on board, with the attendees roaming around in 1930's garb, really made the experience feel so much more authentic.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
An Icy Glare For The Heat Miser
Jazz Funeral On Decatur
Keeping The Homeland Secure One Dog At A Time
Reputation Is Everything

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Star Of The Spinning Centerpiece

I was the first grandchild in the the family on my mother's side and the first granddaughter in the family on my father's side. Needless to say, I was a star! (and clearly never taught how to be modest)

My Nanny (in the photo above) and Poppy loved when we'd stop by their house in the Bronx for a visit. From what I've been told, I was the light of their lives. In fact, my mother has always told the story of how when at her parent's house, they would put me on a Lazy Susan in the middle of the kitchen table and spin me around so they all had a chance to be enchanted by me.

Here's the proof:
Me, at ten months old, clearly having the time of my life among my most ardent admirers - my mother to my right and my Aunt Ronni (my godmother) to my left. My mother was the oldest of four girls and they fawned over me every minute I was around. Is it any wonder how I got this way? I'm guessing this will answer a lot of questions for those who know me.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
My Nizzl Fa Shizzl
When You’re Smiling
I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday
Decision Dilemma
Alaska Later

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Foreign Invasion

Ed and I shop a lot. I rarely need or buy much, but when I go to new places, especially places that have boutiques, little shops or unique stores, I like to check them out. I don't always buy, but I do look.

But as I go through the stores, from little boutiques to big department stores, three little words always ruin my experience:


I am SO sick of seeing those three words on everything. Seriously, EVERY. SINGLE. THING. And there is really no avoiding it. Oh, I'd love to say "I'm never buying another thing made in China" (or Sri Lanka, or the Phillipines, or Malaysia, or Bangladesh), but it's nearly impossible. I'd like to, but I can't. I'd have to do without almost everything I buy.

I know this is a really pathetic post after I just did so much shopping, but with the Italy trip coming up, I've been buying more than usual and still have some items left on my list. It just annoys me that everything my hands touched, from Target to Nordstrom, had a tag on it indicating the item was made in another country.

On top of that, there's the same crap everywhere, just at different price points. A white tee in Nordstrom will set you back almost six times as much than a white tee in Target. And really, who is looking at your tag? I am so disgusted with the clothing selections, prices and manufacturing locations that I think I might take up sewing. Although, the fabric is probably made in China too.

So, tell me...what do you do?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Downtown Detroit: Occupied And Vacant
Barracks And Decatur
Dicks In Tennessee
Canoe The Blue