Wednesday, June 30, 2010

All The Live-long Day

I've been working on the railroad
All the live-long day.
I've been working on the railroad
Just to pass the time away.
Don't you hear the whistle blowing,
Rise up so early in the morn;
Don't you hear the captain shouting,
"Dinah, blow your horn!"

Over the years, Ed and I have delivered a lot of stuff to railroad yards. And every time we go, I'm reminded of why they had to work on the railroad all the live-long day.

Because they are SO FREAKIN' SLOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

It takes them forever to do anything. Today we didn't get unloaded because our second stop took so long to unload, we couldn't make it to our final stop before they left. Do you remember on The Flintstones, how when the whistle would blow at the rock quarry and everyone would stop what they were doing and just file out? That's what it's like at the rail yards. They work only the exact amount of time in their shift and not a second more. You can set your watch by the time they leave the building.

And we have often done that; watched them leave the building.
At 2:59 pm, they file out; all looking the same in their jeans, flannel shirts, down vests, Carhartt jackets, work boots, hard hats sometimes still on their heads and lunch boxes in their hand.

We've nicknamed them "the turtles". So anytime we see a line of people moving slowly anywhere (and especially at the train yards), we just look at each other, nod and say, "Turtles".
Moseying along....all the live-long day.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
What Every Child Leaves Behind
2 YEARS AGO:
What Happened To Being Human?
3 YEARS AGO:
I’ve Been Everywhere, Man
4 YEARS AGO:
W. The Thief.
5 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post on this day.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Who Knew There Were Things To Do Other Than Eating Pie?

In January, I was contacted by Melissa Troyer, an author from Indiana. She had been reading my blog, enjoying all my posts about Shipshewana, and told me that she was writing a book titled 101 Things To Do In Shipshewana, which was to be an insider's guide to the area, pointing people towards the things only a local would know.

She wanted to know if she could use the picture I took, which she had seen
in this post, in her book. Of course I said yes. She recently contacted me again to tell me the book was done and wanted my address to send me a copy.

So this week when we stopped at home and picked up my (HUGE) stack of mail, there among the free offers for credit cards I don't want and coupons I can't use (expired, since I'm never home to use them) was the book she sent.

And MY PHOTO WAS IN IT!!! A full page photo right next to "Thing To Do Number 66".

She even included a little note to me on the inside cover that reads:

To Salena,
Probably the most adventurous chick to grace the streets of Shipshewana!
Thanks for the use of the beautiful photo.
Melissa

I couldn't be more excited!! Not only is the first photo of mine ever published in a book in the most gorgeous little book, but it's in a book about a town I LOVE! Frankly, I didn't think there were 101 things to do in Shipshe (as the locals call it) but after flipping through the book, I've learned about a few places I've yet to see and I can't wait to get back there.

Come to think of it, there's really one more thing to do in regards to Shipshewana...

Buy a copy of the book!!

If you aren't able to be part of the million visitors a year that Shipshewana gets, you can purchase your very own copy of the book by clicking
HERE, and then just dream of the day you'll be able to visit. It's definitely something to look forward to.

Many thanks to Melissa for sharing her knowledge by writing this book (promoting this beautiful area of our country, which according to her book is "home to the third-largest Amish community in the United States"), sending me a copy of it and best of all, including my photo! I wish you the best of luck in the promotion and sale of it and I hope a good portion of those million visitors picks up a copy.


See you in Shipshe!!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
157 Years Of Light
2 YEARS AGO:
Call Me. We Have Telephones In Nebraska Now.
3 YEARS AGO:
Reach For The Sky
4 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post on this day.

5 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post on this day.

Monday, June 28, 2010

When You Own, You Owe

My friend Marlaina recently uttered those words. It came in the course of a conversation we were having about being a couple who spends most of their time on the road; she and her husband also do what we do, drive as a team. I completely agree with her.

Shortly after that conversation, I read an article about a couple who started hauling expedited freight and a year later, sold their house, their cars and almost all of their worldly possessions to live on the road. And their story is very similar to ours, minus the selling of the house, cars and worldly possessions. Oh, and the expedited part. Ugh - I would SO not want to be places on a crazy time clock like the expediters do.

We didn't have a house to sell, but we did put all of our possessions in storage and I got rid of my car. We did go house hunting a few years ago but the deal fell through due to our not countering the seller's last offer - he didn't want to fix some of the things we requested, so we decided not to buy the house. After that, Ed and I discussed it and we were actually glad we didn't buy the house. Why pay a $3,000.00 a month for a house we'd never be in? We decided instead to keep our things in storage and rent a room in a family member's home, which works out much better when you're on the road 300 days a year.

Our truck, as many of you know, is like an RV and we have everything we could possibly need inside its "four walls". But sometimes people who have a house take a tone when they say things like, "Don't you wish you had a house?" or "You like being on the road so much?" Hell yeah, we like it. Have you read this blog?? Have you seen all the places we've been?


I hear as much disdain in their voice for our situation as I probably feel for theirs. What I'd like to know is how they can stand being in one place all the time? How they can go to the same job, day after day, commuting sometimes an hour each way, only to wind up with a paycheck that leaves them no extra money to go, do and buy. How they can't even take time off work when they feel like it because they have to "request" it or "put in for" vacation days.

S
omeday we might buy something when we feel like settling down, but when we do, it won't be anything extravagant. We've been looking at stuff like this and we love it. Being on the road definitely shows you that you don't need much of anything to enjoy life and I've gotten to visit my family and friends much more than I ever did when I had a "regular" job. But I still get the impression from people's comments that they think somehow we are less because we have less. As if their possessions (most of them not even owned outright) define them; that we couldn't possibly enjoy doing this and not having a house like they do.

One line I really liked in the article said, "When you own almost nothing, you can afford the best." That's how I feel. Because we're not funneling my money into a house that we would never be at anyway, we have thousands of dollars a month (but more importantly, we have time) to do with as we wish, and as the article pointed out, "there will always be people who have more than you. If you spend money believing you are what you own, you'll always be less than those who have more."

Possessions really don't mean much to me. I have a few things that I will likely keep for the rest of my life, but on a daily basis, everything I need sits right behind me as I travel down the road. Not that I don't have "wish lists" of things I want, but when I think about most of it, it's usually not stuff I absolutely must have.

Right now I've got Ed by my side, money in my pocket and time on my hands. That'll work for now.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
It’s Not The Nina, Pinta And Santa Maria
2 YEARS AGO:
One Word At A Time
3 YEARS AGO:
The Only Way It Could Have Been Better Would Be If It Came With A Side Of Fried Rice
4 YEARS AGO:
Wanna Sip Of My Jagermeister?
5 YEARS AGO:
Playing Favorites

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Key To Being Funny


Ed and I were walking back to the truck after having spent a few hours at Barnes & Noble and going to dinner. Ed was carrying his laptop with two hands, a doggie-bag from the restaurant perched on top.

As we approached the truck, I reached into his pocket to get his keys since I didn't want to dig around in the bottom of my purse for mine.

As I withdrew my hand from his pocket, he said "Why do you always do that??"

"What? I was just getting your keys." I said.

"You always go into my left pocket. I don't keep my keys in that pocket. Geez. For thirty years I've kept my keys in my RIGHT pocket - you think you'd know that by now."

"Thirty years?" I said.

"Yeah."

"So you're telling me that since you were five, you've kept your keys in your right hand pocket?"

"That's right." he said.

"What could you have possibly had keys to when you were five years old?? Your toybox? Your car? Maybe your apartment? Oh, I know...your locker at work." I said.

At that point, we both laughed. And that's why I love my Eddie; he always puts a smile on my face.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Wishes Really Do Come True
2 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Plays It Safe Friday
3 YEARS AGO:
What Road?
4 YEARS AGO:
I’m STILL Looking To Get Me Some Good BBQ
5 YEARS AGO:
Say Cheese!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

It Was Clear The Moment You Opened Your Mouth

Ed was standng in line at a Pilot the other day, which he said was long enough to give him plenty of time too look at everyone else who was waiting.

Although normally not one to take note of how someone is dressed, Ed said he noticed a woman in front of him who wasn't particularly womanly. She had super short hair, one of those faces that could go either way (boy or girl), not very busty, t-shirt, khaki's and sandals.


When she reached the counter, merchandise in hand, the clerk looked at her and said, "How may I help you sir?"

She yelled, "Sir??? I'm a god-damned woman. Fuck you!!"

And with that, she threw her merchandise on the counter and walked out. Ed said everyone just sort of looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders and moved forward in line.

And I'm sure after that "Fuck You!!", there wasn't a doubt in anyone's mind that she was a lady.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Eddie Captures A Sunset Friday
2 YEARS AGO:
Pelicans Enjoying Their Rule Of The Lake
3 YEARS AGO:
Bigfoot
4 YEARS AGO:
There Is A Reason People Try To Repress Certain Childhood Memories
5 YEARS AGO:
Painted Ladies

Friday, June 25, 2010

3000 Miles To Squidland

Well, the trip for the control freak agent is finally done; three thousand and thirty miles in 48 hours. Thank God it's over, because I don't think I could have taken another call from her. She called so often, it felt as if she were on the trip with us. She probably should have come with us but I doubt she'd be able to hack it.

And that's the thing. People who don't know anything about the actual job are often the ones sitting in their office cracking a whip. I've seen it happen in a lot of jobs I've had; for instance, when I was in the hotel business, it was the general manager telling the bellman how to carry luggage. Not that the GM hadn't ever been a bellman at one time, but if he was, he'd forgotten what it was like and was now making unreasonable demands of his employee.

Thing is, I'm not this woman's employee. I don't work for her. Eddie and I are self-employed and really, whatever she says has no bearing on what we actually do for the good of our business. I'm not trying to sound like a big-shot, but her calling us doesn't make us drive any faster. And bothering me while I'm trying to do my job only annoys me.

I get her being concerned about the freight. We were delivering a Rolls-Royce propeller to the Navy for one of the ships coming into the port. They needed it right away and there were people waiting on it. I get it.

But I TOLD her I would call her when we unloaded. Calling me to find out if I unloaded yet aggravates me. If you haven't heard from me, I haven't unloaded yet. Didn't I make that clear when I said, I'LL. CALL. YOU. WHEN. WE'RE. UNLOADED. Seems pretty clear to me.

In fact, the last time she called was at the exact moment I was trying to find the street where were delivering. I was looking at signs, consulting the GPS, navigating traffic. I don't have time to answer your call in the middle of that to be distracted by your bullshit questions. You can wait for my call.


So I made her wait.

When I finally did call, I gave her the basic information about the load and said goodbye. Normally I'd be more chatty but I didn't appreciate the stalking and although I considered giving her a piece of my mind, I figured if she couldn't follow our simple request of "don't call us, we'll call you", I'd be wasting my breath telling her that her actions were more helicopter parent than professional freight agent.

She's now on The List.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
It Could Be Africa If It Weren’t For The Schlitterbahn
2 YEARS AGO:
How To Ace A Job Interview
3 YEARS AGO:
Diver Down
4 YEARS AGO:
Day Tripping
5 YEARS AGO:
Nipple Rock

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Joining The Ranks

Well, they've done it!

Michelle, a.k.a. the Plum Trucker...

and her fiance Kendall...

are officially truck drivers!! They have joined the ranks of the rest of us and will soon be traveling right along side us, perhaps even in the other lane! They start their official company training soon which begin with their orientation in Missouri on July 6th.

Talk about a great way to celebrate Independence Day!! Go on over to her blog and offer your congratulations (if you haven't already) and keep them in your thoughts as they take to the highways and bi-ways of our beautiful country. They are in for a fantastic adventure!

I wish them the best and want them to know that the brotherhood (and sisterhood) of truckers are here for them in any way we can be and we embrace them with open arms.

Welcome Friends!!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
The Daily Rant Goes Farther East Than Ever Before
2 YEARS AGO:
What He Does When I’m Sleeping
3 YEARS AGO:
Now You Don’t Have To Go To The Ghetto To Get Crack
4 YEARS AGO:
Satchel Pitches A Great Question
5 YEARS AGO:
A Night In Yakima

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Even God Can't Help Men

A trucker was traveling through the beautiful rolling hills of West Virginia when suddenly the sky clouded above his head. In a booming voice, the Lord said, "Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish."

The trucker pulled over and said, "I've been all over this great country of ours. Traveled the interstates from coast to coast. I've seen the beautiful Atlantic coast and have been to the beaches of the sunny Pacific coast. I've been from the deltas of the south to the mountains of the Northwest. I've even drivin to the last frontier, Alaska. In addition to every one of our beautiful states, I've been through almost every Province and Territory of Canada, enjoying the country of our friendly northern neighbors. But what I'd really like, my one wish, would be a bridge to Hawaii so I can travel there anytime I want."

The Lord said, "Your request is materialistic. Think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking; the supports required to reach the bottom of the Pacific and the concrete and steel it would take! I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of something that could possibly help mankind."

The trucker thought about it for a long time.

Finally he said, "Lord, I wish that I, and all men, could understand our wives. I want to know how she feels inside, what she's thinking, why she cries, what she means when she says nothing is wrong. I want to know how I can make a woman truly happy."

The Lord replied, "You want two lanes on that bridge or four?"


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
My President’s House
2 YEARS AGO:
Don’t Give Up Hope If You Just Don’t Know What You Want To Be When You Grow Up. You Have Choices.
3 YEARS AGO:
Alright, Mr. DeMille, I’m Ready For My Close-Up
4 YEARS AGO:
Stone Magnolia
5 YEARS AGO:
Fitty Nine!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

La Vita è Bella

The research for Italy has been a bit overwhelming. I like to look at everything. I don't want to miss a deal or an exhibit or a village just because I didn't do my homework. I want to cover as much inforation and I can and be prepared when I get there.

I think the biggest challenge has been finding lodging. We really wanted to do a villa in Tuscany because well, that's what you're supposed to do. We have seven people going and we felt it would be not only more economical than getting several rooms, but it would be more fun to have a base camp to explore from.

We are hitting several regions; Tuscany, Umbria, Le Marche Lazio, Campania and possibly Liguria (if we go to the Cinque Terre). We want a place to stay in Tuscany, one in Le Marche and one in Campania. This is what I've come up with so far:

For our stay in Le Marche, which I think will be two days, I'm looking at
La Tavola Marche:


From their website: La Tavola Marche is hosted by American couple Ashley and Jason Bartner. They live in Italy year round and are proud residents of Sant'Angelo in Vado, Italy. La Tavola Marche is a unique culinary experience where you actively participate in Italian culture through seasonal activities paired with local artisan bakers, farmers, and wine makers while staying in a 300 year-old farmhouse agriturismo.

Then, for the next eight days and the bulk of our stay,
Borgo Iesolana seems to be the villa of choice. We have friends who have stayed there and it comes highly recommended:


Located in Tuscany, just outside of Arezzo, in the village of Bucine, it seems centrally located for all the touring we want to do. We'll be renting a van so we can be out an about early each day for cappuccino, picture taking and ancient Estruscan church viewing. I'm getting more excited by the moment.

After Tuscany, we'll be staying in Sorrento (in the region of Campania) for five days and from there will venture to Naples, Pompeii, Capri and the world renowned Amalfi Coast. For our stay there, I've chosen
Il Nido.

Located on a hilltop in Sorrento, it has views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius in the distance. It's relatively inexpensive and looks nice, plus it has over five hundred positive reviews. They also have a free shuttle to take you into town for shopping. My cousin, the ultimate shopaholic, is going to love that!

I'm still researching just in case I come up with something that tops this (within our price range,of course, since I've seen MANY villas I'd die to stay in) but I think I'm winding down on the accomodation part and can concentrate more now on the actual itinerary part. Any suggestions from anyone will be more than appreciated.

Ahhh, life is beautiful.

Ciao!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
He Looks Much Better Here Than On The Penny
2 YEARS AGO:
One Of The Few Places In Iowa NOT Under Water
3 YEARS AGO:
We Need A Manager On Register Three Please!
4 YEARS AGO:
Mobile Misses
5 YEARS AGO:
Idaho?? YOU Da Ho!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Maybe You Can Learn A Little Something From A Few Truck Drivers

I'll be the first to admit I'm easily annoyed, but it's usually with good reason. Let me give you an example.

So, we get this hot load going from coast to coast. They need it there yesterday. The agent is chomping at the bit and keeps asking if we're sure we can get it there when they requested. We have two days. We assure her we can do it.

Then she tells us she wants a check call. I hate check calls.

My theory is this - we are leased to a company that is known for their excellent safety record and reliable drivers. We do a lot of sensitive freight. We haul tons of military stuff. We've even had a $4.7 million dollar jet engine on our truck. We're not fuckups.


So when they want a check call to find out where we are and when we'll be there - like I can predict what's going to happen between Massachusetts and California, over 3,000 miles away - it makes me feel like I'm five years old. And what's worse is when they request a certain thing and then can't seem to manage their end with competence.

We were told to call when we had the freight picked up and then to call again the next morning at six a.m. So we called when we picked up the freight and the next morning when I was driving, I called to check in.

At 5:59 a.m.

I got their answering machine. So I left my name, the time and the town I was in. I was annoyed the minute I got the answering machine because the message said they weren't in until six-thirty. Six-thirty? So why ask me to call at six?? Strike one.


THEN...about an hour later Ed comes up front, all groggy with drool hanging off his lip, asking me where we are. When I asked him why, he told me the agent was on the phone and wants a check call. Strike two.

WHAT??!!! I told him (likely loud enough for her to hear) that I had called at six a.m., WHEN THEY REQUESTED I CALL and that I had left a message. I was then told that she "didn't check the messages". Strike three.

Seriously? This is how you run a business? Anyone who has an answering machine or service knows the FIRST thing you do when you get into the office is check the messages. If for nothing else, then to simply avoid something like this.

It's not so much that it's a huge deal, but it's just one more example of incompetence and irresponsibility. I was responsible. I called when asked. I left a message with all the pertinent information. And I am driving your freight three thousand God-damned miles.

So not only did you annoy me, you also woke up my team driver who needs his sleep so he can then drive when it's his turn again. To get your freight the rest of the three thousand miles. Capiche?

WE are professionals. It'd be nice if a little of that would rub off on some other people.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
The Fathers In Our Lives, Our Fathers Who Are In Heaven And The Father Of Our Country
2 YEARS AGO:
Who The Hell Left The Pool Float In The Sea Of Tranquility??
3 YEARS AGO:
Lure Me In
4 YEARS AGO:
Sometimes The Reasons NOT To Have Children Are So Very Clear
5 YEARS AGO:
U-Ta-Dah!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Time Suck

Looking to kill some time? Try out some of the following websites:

One Sentence
One Sentence is an experiment in brevity. Most of the best stories that we tell from our lives have one really, really good part that make the rest of the boring story worth it. This is about that one line. This is about telling the most interesting or poignant story possible in the fewest number of words. This is about small bite-sized pieces of extraordinary lives and ordinary lives alike... the happy, the sad, the funny, the depressing. Go ahead, try it.

One Word
This site is great for when you’re stuck for an idea or you need inspiration. They give you one word on the screen and you have sixty seconds to write about it. They say, “Don’t think. Just write.” Sometimes, that’s the best way.

The Speech Accent Archive
I’ve come across this site before and thought it was pretty cool. You can search for accents from all over the world. Want to really hear how someone from Minnesoooota sounds? Search for it. Want to impress your friends with your best Romanian gypsy accent? Find it on this site. Warning: You will be sucked in for more time than you anticipated spending here.

Make A Flake
Wishing for snow in June? Get close on this site by making a your own snowflake here. Just like when we were kids!

Sporcle
Billed as “mentally stimulating diversions”. Ohhh yeah.

Our Favorites Websites
A conglomeration of lots of stuff. Check it out.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
The Spirit Of Sharing
2 YEARS AGO:
Sailor Boy Friday
3 YEARS AGO:
Cozy Dining
4 YEARS AGO:
It’s All About Me
5 YEARS AGO:
Alien Land

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Crafty Little Bugger

Today, since I seem to have so much time on my hands, I decided to make some jewelry. I have a favorite pair of earrings that I bought at a rest area in New Mexico and I wanted to create something similar.

They have a tiny southwestern flair (not too much, because I'm generally not a fan of Southwester-Indian-Cowboy-Turquoise-y jewelry. Mine are about an inch and a half long, made from a group of beads in different shapes that dangle from my lobes in a straight, silver line. The guy I bought them from had a table set up at the rest area, selling everything from necklaces to ankle bracelets. If I remember correctly, his mother was the one making them. She was sitting off to the side creating new ones as fast as he could sell them.

I wanted a similar pair that had a little more shimmer, so I decided to make my own. I wear a lot of silver, so I bought silver earring hooks at silver pins to thread the beads onto. This is the first pair I created:


The small center beads are a cloudy pink and the bigger beads are clear, with a pink tint. I love the way they catch the light.
This is the second pair I made; metal beads with several different colors running through them; copper, silver, bronze.
I like both pairs but I think I'm partial to the pink ones. I have green beads that are similar to the pink ones and that'll be my next project. Those look like peridot and that's one of my faaavvorite gems.
It looks like I've added another way to fill my day. I already complain of having no time to do everything I have to do (partially due to flitting from joyful distraction to joyful distraction); how will I now add a craft??


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Beauty For A Buck
2 YEARS AGO:
What My Thoughts Sound Like When Left Uncensored And Ultimately, Formed Into Words
3 YEARS AGO:
New York Style
4 YEARS AGO:
I.H.O.P.G.
5 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post on this day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

This Should Be The Next "New Parent" Handbook

A few days ago I purchased this book on my Kindle. I laughed my entire way through it. When I was reading it late at night while lying in bed, Ed yelled at me several times because I was laughing too loudly.

If you're familiar with Justin Halpern, the guy who became wildly famous when he started tweeting his father's priceless quips on Twitter, you'll love this book. And if you don't know who Justin is, I think you'll find it impossible to not fall in love with his dad, Sam Halpern, who is the subject of the book.

Here are just some of the nuggets Sam dispenses:

On Chivalry
"Give your mother the front seat...I don't give a shit if she said you could have it, that's what she's supposed to do, and you're supposed to say, 'No, I insist.' You think Im' gonna drive around with my wife in the backseat and a nine-year-old in the front? You're a crazy son of a bitch."

On Making a Christmas List
"You ranked the twenty-five presents you want, in order of how much you want them? Are you insane? I said tell me what you want for Christmas, not make a fucking college football poll."

School
"Your friends' parents drive like assholes. Tell them it's an elementary school parking lot, not downtown fucking Manhattan."

On Getting a Dog
"Who's going to take care of it? You?...Son, you came in the house yesterday with shit on your hands. Human shit. I don't know how that happened, but if someone has shit on their hands, it's an indicator that maybe the whole responsibility thing isn't for them."

On Sharing
"I'm sorry, but if your brother doesn't want you to play with his shit, then you can't play with it. It's his shit. If he wants to be an asshole and not share, then that's his right. You always have the right to be an asshole - you just shouldn't use that right very often."

On Choosing One's Occupation
"You have to do something you love... Bullshit, you clearly have not heard this speech before, because you're working at Mervyn's."

On Yard Work
"What are you doing with that rake?...No, that is not raking...What? Different styles of raking? No, there's one style, and then there's bullshit. Guess which one you're doing."

I love a parent like this. They love you to death and tell it like it is. They don't let you go out into the world thinking it's going to be easy or that people are going to line up to do you favors. You have to cut through the bullshit and not be an asshole. Not everything is going to go your way. Deal with it.

I know Father's Day is right around the corner and this would be a great gift. There's still time. Perfect for new fathers; maybe it'll give them some insight on how to raise kids that aren't losers. Or even great for old timers; it'll give them the best laugh they've had in a long time.

Now go out and give Justin Halpern some of your money. I could be next you know, with
Shit My Mom Says and I'd hope people would do the same for me!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Would You Like A Little Screech To Go With Your Whine?
2 YEARS AGO:
Jane’s Anatomy
3 YEARS AGO:
Plus People Are Here To Stay
4 YEARS AGO:
Baiting The Hook
5 YEARS AGO:
Purgatory

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Are You Ready For Some Football?!


While hanging out in the hotel room this week, I got to see the movie The Express. It's a story based on the life of Syracuse University football player Ernie Davis, the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy. It was GREAT.

What's funny about this kind of movie is that althought I despise sports of any kind, especially football, I actually really love football movies. Below are my favorite movies involving football. And since most of them aren't really about football (at the core), I suspect that's the reason I like them.

OK, so here are the other football movies on my list, in no particular order:

Brian’s Song
Legendary actors James Caan and Billy Dee Williams give amazing performances inspired by real-life athletes in Brian’s Song. When cancer strikes an unlikely friendship, a bond is formed that surpasses football, race, and adversity. This unforgettable classic makes a positive impact on almost everyone who watches it. Cry fest.

We Are Marshall
Inspired by a true story, this film follows the fatal plane crash which killed members of the Marshall University football game and the aftermath of starting over. Matthew McConaughey stars as new Coach Jack Lengyel who struggles to rebuild the team and honor the memory of the fallen players. Even in those dorky clothes, McConaughey is a hottie.

Remember The Titans
Set in 1971, Coach Herman Boone, played by Denzel Washington, is hired as head coach over a newly integrated high school football team. The struggle to build a successful team is intensified by the struggle to surpass racial tensions. The team unifies when the players realize they share a common goal and realize attitude is what separates people and not race. We are all one race; the human race.

Invincible
Coach Vince Papale’s climb from the stands to the football field provides the perfect backdrop for an inspiring story of persistence, passion, and perseverance. Inspired by a true story, this hometown tale of a substitute teacher’s rise to the pros teaches a valuable lesson about what’s important on and off the field. I just love true stories!


The Replacements
When pro football salary negotiations produce a strike, a team of replacement players are given a second chance to play the game they love and earn the respect they’ve sought. Gene Hackman and Keanu Reeves give excellent performances along with the entire cast. The story reminds movie fans and football fans that it’s the heart of the team that brings championships. How cute is Keanu?

Radio
Set in Greenville, South Carolina, this true story of a coach’s commitment to helping an underprivileged, mentally-challenged, young boy enjoy life and realize his potential is simply unforgettable. Radio made his way into the hearts of the football players, the school, and the town and formed an unbreakable bond. The relationship proved the heart of a person is more important than aptitude, intellect, or athletic ability. Unforgettable.

Jerry Maguire
This Tom Cruise / Cuba Gooding, Jr. classic takes a close look at the corporate side of professional football. Personal goals, family, health, and well-being take a backseat to the lucrative opportunities available to professional athletes. Rod Tidwell wants every penny he can make, and it’s Jerry Maguire’s job to get it for him. Show me the what??

Varsity Blues
When a player’s injury brings a halt to a coach’s 23 year championship stint, it’s time for a new coach and a new school of thought. Winning at all costs is replaced with doing your best and enjoying the game. The results are pretty dramatic. Paul Walker looks good in anything...even if he had no lines.

Two For The Money
Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey give strong performances in this movie which takes a look a gambling side of football. When a high-stakes gambling tycoon takes a former athlete with keen instinct under his wing, lots of money is sure to be made. Making money at all costs proves to be a difficult game to play. OK, so it's not actually about the game of football - but Matthew McConaughey has no clothes on. Who needs actual football?

All The Right Moves
This Tom Cruise classic illustrates one of the many reasons he became a movie super star. A small town story about young kids with big dreams is brought to life through heartfelt performance from Lea Thompson, Craig T. Nelson, and Tom Cruise. The struggle to bring dreams to life is well portrayed in this football classic. What girl didn't want to be Lea Thompson?

The Blind Side
Based on the true story of Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy who take in a homeless teenage African-American, Michael "Big Mike" Oher. Leigh Anne soon takes charge however, as is her nature, ensuring that the young man has every opportunity to succeed. When he expresses an interest in football, she goes all out to help him. They not only provide him with a loving home, but hire a tutor to help him improve his grades to the point where he would qualify for an NCAA Division I athletic scholarship. Michael Oher was the first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 NFL draft. Sandra Bullock = Charming.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Hangin’ In The Sea Cave
2 YEARS AGO:
Weekend In Wyoming
3 YEARS AGO:
Ready For Nautical Knots
4 YEARS AGO:
Australia Isn’t Far Enough Away For These Bitches To Hide
5 YEARS AGO:
Texas Suicide

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Great American Shoe Hunt

I'm still on the endless shoe quest. The best part about blogging about it and telling anyone who will listen, is that I get all sorts of recommendations. The latest one came from my friend Marlaina.

She said she was recently in New York City and saw many people wearing Alparagatas; apparently, they're all the rage in Manhattan. Alparagatas can only be found at
TOMS. And they come in all different colors, including silver!

The company was founded on a very basic premise;
One For One. For every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair to a child in need. Can't beat that deal. You get comfy shoes and you're a humanitarian.

I don't think they'd go with any of the outfits I'm planning for Italy, but I'm seriously considering the burlap ones in the picture.

They're so Argentinian-farmer-chic.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
The First Glimpse Of The People’s Coast
2 YEARS AGO:
Ohhhh, So This Is How It Works
3 YEARS AGO:
Can You Hear Me Stereotyping Now?
4 YEARS AGO:
In The Kitchen With Eddie
5 YEARS AGO:
Top Ten

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Very Thoughtful Man

Some conversations with Ed never end; you think they're over, but three days later, he inevitably brings up something from the conversation.

"Remember the other day when you said 'all guys are jerks'? Well, did you mean a certain guy you know, me or just all guys in general?"

"I don't know. What were we talking about?" I said.

"Guys. And how they act. And you said that they're all jerks." he said.

"Well, sometimes they are. But I can't possibly mean ALL guys because I don't know all guys. But like, for instance, remember Tina's boyfriend and how I told you he left her after she found out she was pregnant? Well he's a jerk."

"Oh." he said. That's it. Oh.

Then three days later, the conversation is re-visited. "Remember the other day when you said that Tina's boyfriend was a jerk because he left her? Well maybe he left her for some other reason. How do you know it's because she was pregnant?" he said.

"Well I don't know if being pregnant was the only reason, but it was kind of a shitty thing to do, don't you think?" I said.

"Maybe he had a good reason." he said.

"What could possibly be a good reason?" I said.

"I don't know..."

"Well, neither do I," I said. "And why are we still talking about this?"

Three days later....

"You know, you don't even really know Tina's boyfriend all that well. Maybe he had a medical problem or something. He could really be having problems." he said.

"Who gives a shit why he left? He just did. And sinse she's my friend and she's upset, I think he's a jerk. Plus now she's pregnant with that asshole's kid."

"True." he said.

"And it's like a week later and you're still talking about this very unimportant guy whose name I don't even friggin' know." I said.

"Probably." he laughs.

This happens all the time. I think the conversation is shelved, done with and put away and then Ed brings up some little aspect that I don't even think was relevant, let alone worth remembering. I sometimes wonder if it rolls around in his head and just comes out as something to talk about. I can't imagine that he gives a crap about some guy whose name even I can't even remember.

I'd rather he remember to put down the toilet seat. Now that's relevant.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
SPAM: Not The E-mail Kind
2 YEARS AGO:
How Casting A Memory Begins With A Fish
3 YEARS AGO:
A Weekend At The End Of The Rainbow
4 YEARS AGO:
If I Were In People Magazine…
5 YEARS AGO:
Free Mudflap

Monday, June 14, 2010

Kansas Needs A Few Other Representatives

He better be real with all the twisters that hit this area. Perhaps they need to appoint a Patron Saint of mobile homes.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Something’s Afoot
2 YEARS AGO:
The Color Of Aging
3 YEARS AGO:
Ahhhhhntipasto
4 YEARS AGO:
The Great Equalizer
5 YEARS AGO:
Almost My Town

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Dinosaur Rears Its Ugly Head

I've written before about my brother, The Caveman.

He called me this week for some computer assistance and while we were on the phone, he relayed the following story to me. Some of you may know that he
owns his own company and has been at it for over twenty years. I think he still has his original company letterhead; a marble tablet that he chisled himself. It's real nice.

Anyway, when my brother does an estimate for a job, he of course visits the client personally. He doesn't send a salesman, he doesn't send one of his guys, he goes himself. He's so down to earth and unassuming, that often someone will say to him in the course of talking to him, "Well, just tell your boss...." and he replies, "I am the boss." I think people are suprised that the actual boss, the owner of the company, is standing in their living room.

So on this particular day, he went to the client's house to do an estimate. After walking the area with the guy, taking some measurments and discussing exactly what the client wanted, he said "OK, well I'll send you the estimate when I'm done with it." Then he shook the guy's hand and proceeded toward the door.

"Uh, wait a sec...don't you need my email?" the client said.

"What for?" my brother answered.

"To send the estimate." he said.

"No. I don't do email." my brother said.

"Well then how are you going to get me the estimate?" the client asked.

"I'm going to mail it to you." my brother responded.

"Mail it??" he said.

"Yeah."

"Through the mail?" the guy was beyond confused.

"Yes. In the mail." my brother said, as if it was the most natural thing.

"You do this all the time?" the guy asked.

"Yeah. In fact, what I'm going to do when I leave here is go home, look over the measurements I took, figure out what materials I need, then I'm going to call my suppliers and get prices from them and then I'll hand write your estimate, fold it up, put it in an envelope, lick it, stamp it and mail it to you. You should have it in a few days." my brother proudly announced, as if he were sending it Dinosaur Express.

"Wow. That's unheard of. I have to shake your hand." the client said.

"Yep. I'm old school." my brother said, laughing.

Then he told his client the story about how he made Ed and I take back
the printer we bought him. The guy looked at him like he was crazy. Eyes big as saucers.

And at that, my brother laughed, waved goodbye and got on his horse and rode home.


(kidding about the horse...but kinda not really)


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Kidnapping Is Obviously Not Their Forte
2 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Friday On Ice
3 YEARS AGO:
Having Influence Where It Matters
4 YEARS AGO:
MacGyver To The Rescue
5 YEARS AGO:
The Weekend

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Few Pictures And Less Than A Thousand Words

I found this one on Spicy Amber’s blog and decided to do it here. Reason? I'm stuck in Fallon, NV and there is noooooooooooothing going on here. Unless you think laundry and dusty pick-up trucks are exciting.

1. Your Favorite Beverage...Chocolate Milk.
2. Your Hometown...Bronx, NY
3. Your Favorite TV Show...Nothing other than Glee!!
4. Your Occupation...A truck driver!

5. Your First Car...A 1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Mine was brown.

6. Your Favorite Dish...Potato Gnocchi!!!

7. Celebrity You've Been Told You Resemble...Almost always, someone will say Kathy Najimy. Not so much now that my hair is shorter though. Also, once when I was checking into a hotel in L.A. I was mistaken for Ricki Lake (the fatter Ricki Lake):
8. Celebrity On Your "To Do" List...Oh, sweet Vince D'Onofrio. I can't put my finger on it, but I want to.
9. Favorite Childhood Toy...The Panasonic Toot-A-Loop Radio.

...in yellow!!

10. Any Random Picture...It IS in everything, you know.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Explosions Of Color And Flavor
2 YEARS AGO:
A Big Gay Case Of Mistaken Identity
3 YEARS AGO:
Gilding The Shopping Lily
4 YEARS AGO:
Dog Day Afternoon
5 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post on this day.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Beauty Vs. Practicality

I started shoe shopping for Italy; so far, these are the only ones I've seen that I like. Aren't they just gorgeous?? They made my giant feet look dainty.

If only champagne satin heels with delicate ruffles across the toe were practical. For anything, really.

I guess I still have some searching to do. There has to be an attractive walking flat somewhere. If not, I might just have to master walking on cobblestone streets in high heels.

And after wearing flip-flops for the better part of the last six years, I don't really think I'm going to love that too much.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
No Mussels Kneaded When Eating Homemade Bread
2 YEARS AGO:
Dog Day Afternoon
3 YEARS AGO:
A Prayer For Alberta
4 YEARS AGO:
Tassimo Time
5 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post on this day.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fellagiarism: Stealing Fellatio Techniques

The material never stops coming...

I was talking to my mother again about writing; for my blog, for the other websites I write for and for a print publication that asked me to do an article for them. I was telling her that I'm always thinking at night about things to write and how when I'm at a loss for ideas, I scan just about any magaizine I can get my hands on. Sometimes the articles I read about can work in relation to the trucking industry also and it gives me a starting point for research.

She said, "Isn't that fellagiarism?"


"Fellagiarism?? I think you mean plagiarism. And no, it's not plagiarism. Plaigiarism is when you steal other peoples original works or ideas and present them as your own. I'm not doing that."

"Oh,that's true." she laughs. "Well, plagiarism, fellagiarism....I always get that mixed up. I guess I was thinking fellatio, so I said fellaigiarism."

"Fellatio???"

"Well, it sounds the same." she said.

Oh. My. God. Where does she get this stuff??


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Deception Is The Only Thing Between Fidalgo And Whidbey
2 YEARS AGO:
Highway 333 Fishing Shack
3 YEARS AGO:
Summer Lovin’
4 YEARS AGO:
Clowning Around
5 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post on this day.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Even Prisoners Get Bread And Water

Last week my mother ran an errand at home for me and Ed. While at the place waiting on line, she met another woman she started talking to. They struck up a conversation and made plans to get together this week.

My mother said, "We could meet at Andy's Grill for lunch."

The woman waved her hand and said, "Oh no, not at all. Just come to our house."

"As long as you promise you won't fuss," my mother said.

"I won't." she answered. Boy, if only they knew how true those words would turn out to be.

So my mother and Frank made plans to go to this woman's house to spend some time with her and her husband. They arrived with a bouquet of sunny yellow flowers, excited to be meeting possible new friends.

Well, they had a nice enough time but SHOCKINGLY the woman did not serve lunch. She didn't even have any snacks or munchies. Now since lunch wasn't expressly discussed, I suppose she could get a pass, but the exchange above in MY MIND implies lunch. They sat in the living room and talked. The husband did offer my step-father a glass of wine, but since he doesn't drink he declined. At some point after that the woman got up to get herself a bottle of water but didn't offer anything to my parents. WTF is wrong with people??

I don't know if it's an Arizona thing or if it's a cultural thing or if it's a 2010 thing, but how do you invite someone to your house and not only not give them a tour of your home, but not serve ANYTHING in the way of food?

If people came to my house, whether lunch was discussed or not, there would be more food than you could imagine. Appetizers and finger foods, a lunch prepared just in case anyone got hungry, a gamut of beverages and of course, coffee and cake (or some sort of dessert).

I am SHOCKED when I hear that someone has gone to someone else's house and was not even offered a glass of water. This has happened too many times in my life for it to be ignored. It's your duty to at least offer a beverage to your guest. I don't care if they're family or strangers.

If it's family, you still offer. If you don't want to "wait on them" then just say, "Make yourself at home." and let them get what they want. But you OFFER. If it's a stranger, you absolutely offer. And if they're the kind of person that you get a comfortable vibe from and feel they'd be receptive, just say "Glasses are up there, Diet Coke or water in the fridge - help yourself."

So I don't know if they'll ever see these people again, but if there is a next time, I hope those people get their act together and buy a bag of pretzels or something.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
The View From Cap Sante
2 YEARS AGO:
It’s Time For One Of These Again
3 YEARS AGO:
They Called My Name And Clutched The Collar Of My Shirt With Their Evil Cheese Stuffed Fingers
4 YEARS AGO:
Marlin Perkins Must Live In The Neighborhood
5 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post on this day.

Black Magic On A Cracker

My mother has been making this dish for over thirty years; she first got the recipe from a woman named Margarite who she met at a watercolor class she took in 1978.

Eggplant Caponata has always a big favorite in my family. Even my friends love it; my friend Greg, upon finding out she was making it, would always ask for a jar. Today, I made some for myself. Ed and I have been trying to eat better and I thought it would be a great vegetable concoction to spread on toasted baguettes or crackers. Today I used the new
Wheat Thins Flatbread. It was delish!



Eggplant Caponata

(This will make about 5 cups of finished product)


THE INGREDIENTS

First half:

1 large Eggplant, cubed (You can leave the skins on if you'd like. I peeled mine.)
1 bell pepper, chopped (any color pepper is fine.)
1 large onion, minced
1/2 lb. mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced (I used 5 cloves because I loooove garlic)
1/2 cup Olive Oil

Second half:
1 small can of tomato paste
1/4 cup of water (if needed)
2 Tbs. Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbs. Red Wine (I used 1/4 cup Cooking Cream Sherry and 1/4 cup Marsala Cooking Wine)
1/2 Tbs. Oregano
2 Tbs. Sugar

1/4 cup black or green olives, chopped (I didn't have any, so did without)

Dash of nutmeg (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Capers (I didn't use these either, but if you do, add them in the last ten minutes)

THE PROCESS
This is an easy one, as there are really only two steps.
You'll need a big frying pan for all of this, but you can fill it to the top because it's going to cook down a lot.

1. Put the first half of the ingredients in your pan and cook on low for about 10-15 minutes. It'll look nice and fresh when you mix everything together, like in this photo. By the end of the 15 minutes, you'll notice it getting mushier and the eggplant will start to change color a little.
2. Next, add the second half of the ingredients. Stir everything together. Cover and cook for another 30 minutes. You can keep it covered and add water if you need to, but at some point in the 30 minutes, you'll want to cook it uncovered so it'll get thick. It should look like this:

That's it! Be prepared to be amazed if you've never had this before. And if you like eggplant, you'll love this. It's even better the next day. You can eat it cold or at room temperature. I even put it on sandwiches with cold cuts or even alone. It makes a great sandwich all by itself.

There are many recipes out there for Caponata and any one will really do. There are even some that include both cocoa powder and cinnamon. Who knew? If you love eggplant as much as I do, you're bound to find something to your liking.

But you have this recipe in front of you right now, so why go elsewhere? Click HERE to print a copy.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Hidden Fluff
2 YEARS AGO:
Post-Tornado Sky
3 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Ooh Rah Friday
4 YEARS AGO:
The Human Jeweler
5 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post on this day.