Saturday, July 31, 2010

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Eddie Acts Like A Monkey Friday
2 YEARS AGO:
I Might Like It If There Is Some Balling Involved
3 YEARS AGO:
Very Large Cheek Pouches Come In Handy When Traveling
4 YEARS AGO:
The French Are So Romance Savvy
5 YEARS AGO:
Wyoming Clean Air Act

Friday, July 30, 2010

Dear Arizona,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Cities with high numbers of immigrants are actually safer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Less Is Not More In All Cases

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

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


10 Practical Dressing Tips For Fat Chicks

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

And last but not least...

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

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


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Grain Gone By
2 YEARS AGO:
The Absolute Beauty Of It
3 YEARS AGO:
Not Only Did He Pray, He Posed
4 YEARS AGO:
Camera Phone Coolness
5 YEARS AGO:
Life Is A Salt Shaker

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Liquid Crack

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

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

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

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

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


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
For All The World To See
2 YEARS AGO:
Studio Blue
3 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Tests His Spine Friday
4 YEARS AGO:
Almost Twenty
5 YEARS AGO:
Thinking

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rockin' Rockaholic Haul

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

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

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

Among the sample packs of products are:

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

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


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

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Listen, Learn And Laugh

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

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

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

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

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


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Where Is Robin Hood When You Need Him?
2 YEARS AGO:
All American Eddie Friday
3 YEARS AGO:
A Hippie Dippie Woo Woo Town Sporting Lots Of Leg Hair
4 YEARS AGO:
Flowering Rocks
5 YEARS AGO:
The Cool Mom

Saturday, July 24, 2010

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

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


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Eddie Enters A Copper Mine Friday
2 YEARS AGO:
Oshkosh B’Gosh!
3 YEARS AGO:
Queen Of The 21st Century
4 YEARS AGO:
Sketchbook
5 YEARS AGO:
A Queen’s Life

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bridge Over Troubled Roadway

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

Look hard. Study it.

See it yet?

One more time. Scan sloooowly. See it now?

OK, I'll tell you.

TRUCK ROUTE. 12' 10" CLEARANCE.

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

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

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

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


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
If Only The Streets Were Truly Paved With Gold
2 YEARS AGO:
She Reigns Supreme
3 YEARS AGO:
A Match Made In Heaven
4 YEARS AGO:
Proof
5 YEARS AGO:
Caped Crusaders

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Paneful Outlook

Shading the sun or drying the towel...

Creative use of silouhettes...

Fading Puerto Rican pride...

Windows in the South Bronx, NY.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Gray County Silhouette
2 YEARS AGO:
This Little Piggy Went To Market
3 YEARS AGO:
I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday
4 YEARS AGO:
The Heat Bog
5 YEARS AGO:
Five

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

His Charm And Understated Humor Is Totally Contagious

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

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

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


"Well, meet The Epidemic."

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


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
The Creature Comforts Of Home
2 YEARS AGO:
Checklist
3 YEARS AGO:
Happy As A Clam
4 YEARS AGO:
Two Things
5 YEARS AGO:
Good For Licking

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Real Truck Driver Meets A Real Housewife

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

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

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

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

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

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



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Stars Glowing, Wine Flowing, Sax Blowin
2 YEARS AGO:
Western Ed Friday
3 YEARS AGO:
Salena Kandinsky
4 YEARS AGO:
Bam! Traumatized.
5 YEARS AGO:
Swing Low Sweet Chariot

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Putting Death On Hold

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

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


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

"Hospice?" Ed said.

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

"Hospice?" Ed repeated to his Dad.

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


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

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

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

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


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

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Eddie Brings A Guest Friday
2 YEARS AGO:
The Things We Do For Love
3 YEARS AGO:
A Million Comedians Out Of Work And I’m Lucky Enough To Live With One
4 YEARS AGO:
Ah, The Primitive Beauty Of The Desert
5 YEARS AGO:
The Perfect Storm

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Natural Light in Waterloo

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


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It Never Ends


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


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
275 Square Miles Of Brilliance
2 YEARS AGO:
Four Standards, One Newbie
3 YEARS AGO:
Semantics
4 YEARS AGO:
36 Hours Of Hell On Earth
5 YEARS AGO:
11:11:11

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Social NOTworking

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

WTF??

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

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

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

OK...so she's on there and she's made connections, fake name and all. And I have been inundated with questions from her, most of which I cannot seem to sufficiently answer.

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

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

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

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

"Why?"

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

"Well, some people play games..."


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

"Some people post political stuff..."

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Well...yeah...kind of...no, not really...well, some of them I know-know and other people I just like, know. You know?" She does not know.

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

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

I just pray she doesn't discover Farmville.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Scattegories
2 YEARS AGO:
Time Isn’t The Only Thing That Flies When You’re Having Fun
3 YEARS AGO:
Anything I Want
4 YEARS AGO:
Burglar And Idiot Proof
5 YEARS AGO:
Virginia Is For Lovers

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bakin' It The Fake Way

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
The Elegant Gathering Of A Life
2 YEARS AGO:
My, What A Nice Berg You Have
3 YEARS AGO:
The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Grapes Being Crushed Into Wine
4 YEARS AGO:
There Are No Words To Explain The Misery Of A Three Digit Temperature
5 YEARS AGO:
New York State Of Mind

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Los Links!!


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

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

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









~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Here Kitty Kitty Kitty
2 YEARS AGO:
Intense Eddie Friday
3 YEARS AGO:
It’s An iPod, Not A wePod
4 YEARS AGO:
Doing The Wade
5 YEARS AGO:
It’s A Numbers Game

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Stop The Presses!

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

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

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

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

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

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


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Fiesta Ed Friday
2 YEARS AGO:
Crotchety Old Woman
3 YEARS AGO:
One Side Of A Coin
4 YEARS AGO:
Why Oh Why
5 YEARS AGO:
Sign Of The Times

Thursday, July 08, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Taking The Express To The Heartland
2 YEARS AGO:
TIT-illating Sights On The Road
3 YEARS AGO:
I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday
4 YEARS AGO:
Embracing Your Inner Bike Riding Hussy
5 YEARS AGO:
It Takes A Village To Wake A Child

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Amid The Corn

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


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
I’m Going To Be A Millionaire!!!
2 YEARS AGO:
How I Do Love A Colorful Lunch Plate
3 YEARS AGO:
Lucky Sevens
4 YEARS AGO:
My Head Has Been In The Clouds For Weeks
5 YEARS AGO:
Chunky Cheese

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Progressively Yours,

I recently received an email from my Aunt V. which contained the following (I haven't changed any of the text or spacing, but when I copied it here the colors and size of the text didn't transfer). The first line was in big red letters and the rest was written in eye catching colors, some of it highlighted in bright yellow; you know, so you can see the "important" stuff.

THE MUSLIM ON CAPITOL HILL...This is chilling...
=============================================
In 1952 President Truman established one day a year as a "National Day of Prayer."

In 1988 President Reagan designated the First Thursday in May of each year as the National Day of Prayer.

In June 2007 (then) Presidential Candidate Barack Obama declared that the USA Was no longer a Christian nation.

This year President Obama canceled the 21st annual National Day of Prayer ceremony at the White House under the ruse Of "not wanting to offend anyone"

On September 25, 2009 from 4 am until 7 pm, a National Day of Prayer for the Muslim religion was Held on Capitol Hill, Beside the White House. There were over 50,000 Muslims that Day in D.C.

HE PRAYS WITH THE MUSLIMS!

I guess it Doesn't matter if "Christians" Are offended by this event - We obviously Don't count as "anyone" Anymore.

The direction this country is headed should strike fear in the heart of every Christian, especially knowing that the Muslim religion believes that if Christians cannot be converted, they should be annihilated.

This is not a Rumor Go to the website To confirm this info: (
http://www.islamoncapitolhill.com/ )

Pay particular attention to the very bottom of the page: "OUR TIME HAS COME"
I hope that this information will stir your spirit.

The words of 2 Chronicles 7:14
"If my people, Who are called by my Name,
Will humble themselves And pray,
And seek my face, and Turn from their Wicked ways,
Then will I hear from Heaven
And will forgive their Sin and will heal Their land."

We must pray for Our nation, our communities, Our families, and especially our children. They are the ones who are going to suffer the most.
.
If we don't PRAY May God have Mercy. IN GOD WE TRUST.

Please pass this on Maybe someone, somehow can figure out a way to put America back on the map as it was when we were growing up, a safe place to live, and by The Ten Commandments and Pledge of Allegiance. For Obama to continue as our president is an INSULT TO OUR FOUNDING FATHERS


This kind of email just flat out pisses me off. Yes, I could just delete it and not read it but I usually don't delete without opening if it's from a family member or friend. I DO delete without reading it once I see ONE WORD that implies it's going to be one of "those" emails. Although in this most recent case, I decided to hit "Reply To All", and wrote the following:
First, this is offensive. Our President is not Muslim (not that it would matter if he was) and he did NOT cancel the day of prayer, rather he issued a proclamation to all those wishing to pray.

If you want to see the actual information concerning this false email and the actual source of the photo depicting Barack Obama taking off his shoes, review this link from Snopes.com:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/prayerday.asp

And if that doesn't do it for you, we can go straight to the Bible. Let's not forget these basic little gems:

"Love your neighbor as yourself" - James 2:8

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." - John 13:34

Perhaps these should come to mind before you forward emails that perpetuate fear and spread hate. Last time I checked, it was not very CHRISTIAN to be doing either of those things. It's pretty ironic that a group of Christians, who so publicly proclaim absolute love as its basis should spread such hate for another person. Being a Christian means to be Christ-like.

Try it.

Well, I then received a reply from
Joseph “Joe” Pierro who goes by the email of BigBand17@aol.com. This is what he had to say:

Your response to V. should not have been sent to everyone. I find YOUR comments offensive to say the least. OUR president as you describe him no Christian. If you are going to throw scriptural passages at people, try looking up the one where the Lord suffers no fools. Or how about millstone around the neck. "YOUR" president supported partial birth abortion and abortion survival. Get with the program and apologize to V.

Yeah, okay. 'Cause that's ever gonna happen. Of course, I was compelled to reply. Here's my next email to BigBand17:

BigBand17,

I offer no apology. I understand your desire to defend my Aunt V. but I am tired of getting emails from people (friends and family alike) which malign my President by propagating hate. It is MY policy to respond to those emails, TO EVERYONE, in an effort to provide CORRECT information and to STOP the constant flow of hate that so many seem to have towards religious or ethnic groups that they do not "like".

My use of those two scriptures were to illustrate if you ARE a believer, you are not even following the most BASIC of tenets by sending out an email like this. That said, even a NON-believer knows that "love your neighbor as yourself" should be applied to the way you treat humans IN GENERAL. You really shouldn't need a scripture to know that. It's not brain surgery.

An email that begins with "THE MUSLIM ON CAPITOL HILL...This is chilling..." is not only misleading, it's inaccurate. And to include a photo with a caption that reads "Obama prays to Allah" is also misleading and inaccurate. It's divisive by pitting those in one religious group against another. There should be no CHRISTIAN National Day of Prayer at all in my opinion. That said, the President was in favor of keeping the day as one of observance by "acknowledging the role of religion in American life."

I don't care what Aunt V. believes or what you believe but you can damn well be certain that you won't be getting an email from me, forwarded to ALL my friends, without being fact-checked before I send it...ESPECIALLY if I didn't know what your political/religious belief was. To me, people who send out those kinds of emails are the ones who should be offering an apology - for offending ME with unsolicited hate mail.

And of course, as any self-respecting Republican would do, he was incensed by being challenged, so he wrote back again. Oooh, lucky me.

If V. is in fact your aunt, then you should know she meant no harm to anyone. I am quite familiar with this email she sent as I have received it several times. She may not have known to check it on SNOPES; V. only learned to send pictures on the Internet, so perhaps you could cut her some slack there. As for me, I don't think I know you. But that is not important.
I have studied Christian Dogma and Theology over 50 years and have well over 300 credits. I am still learning, but I find Mr Obama totally opposite anything that has value.But I do agree, that he did NOT cancel the prayer day. He has done enough repulsive things without having to make up any fabrications to add to the pile. In any event, don't write back, as it will be deleted without reading. Go make your peace with V., she is worth 1000 Obamas.
BB17

OK, I'll give him that...Aunt V. is a loving, kind person and it's not my intention to hurt her in any way, but I'm not apologizing for what I believe in. Also, I don't care if she just learned how to send photos on the internet, she's old enough to know how to read. And people who know how to READ should review the email before hitting send; take a minute to think about whether or not the people you're sending the email to agree with you. If you don't know, leave them off the list.

As for Joe Pierro, I'd say 50 years of studying Christian Dogma and Theology isn't quite enough. It apparently hasn't taught him a thing because he's clearly not an example of "leading the flock". And since he preaches hate and dissention, having "well over 300 credits" seems pretty useless.

This is EXACTLY why I dislike people who claim to be Christians. He couldn't even be CHRIST-LIKE in his email. He had the perfect opportunity to show himself as one and he didn't. The perfect opportunity to turn the other cheek. The perfect opportunity to do everything he probably preaches (but doesn't practice).

These people stir up and propogate hate. They keep division among people alive. They polarize the country. And they certainly DO NOT live how their God and their Bible requests of them to live. This email from this church-goer/student of religion is a shining example.

He stated Obama is totally opposite anything that has value. I recently read a quote that said, “When we talk about values, I think of rationality in solving problems. That’s something I value. Fairness, kindness, generosity, tolerance. When they (the Republicans, Conservatives, and Christian Right) talk about values, they’re talking about things like going to church, voting for Bush, being loyal to Jesus, praying. These are not values.”

I agree; you don't have to be a Christian and you don't have to even be a believer to be fair, kind, generous, tolerant, honest, faithful, devoted, trustworthy, lovable, noble, loyal, family oriented and any other "valuable" characteristic you can think of. Going to church doesn't make you any of these things. Neither does claiming to be a Christian.

In my opinion, if you DO claim to be a devout church-goer and/or a Christian, you should certainly be held to a higher standard. Yes, everyone is human and makes mistakes, but it's not a mistake when you make a concious decision to send an email or pass on something that keeps hate alive. If some of the Christians in this country would start ACTING like Christians, we'd probably be better off.

As for the Christian nation thing, during his studies, he probably missed
Article 11 in the Treaty of Tripoli. The one that clearly states, "...the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..." He should probably brush up on a few things.

Since he's likely at an advanced age, he'll never see this country become the melting-pot of religion that it's already on its way to being. He probably won't even live to see the day that whites and/or Christians are in the minority. But I will.

So in case you don't get the point of this rant...

DO NOT send me anything that maligns my President.
DO NOT send me anything that is anti-Obama; Barack, Michelle or the girls.
DO NOT send me anything that is anti-Black/African-American
DO NOT send me anything that is anti-Muslim.
DO NOT send me anything that is anti-Mexican.
DO NOT send me anything that is anti-Immigrant.
DO NOT send me anything that is anti-ANY religion, ethnicity or nationality.

I do not find it funny and I will not agree with you. EVER.

For all the people like him and the Tea Baggers who want to "take our country back"...

I'd rather side with the words of a wise man who said, "I want to take our country forward."


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Spill It
2 YEARS AGO:
I’ve NEVER Colored Inside The Lines. Why The Surprise?
3 YEARS AGO:
I Didn’t Make It, But I Ate It
4 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post for this day.
5 YEARS AGO:
Slim Or None? I’ll Take None.