Thursday, March 31, 2011

Flippin' Swag

Last night I told you about Ed and I attending the International Truck's VIP Press Event. If you're interested in some of the details and a few pictures, you can check at my post over Life On The Road.

The purpose of this post is to tell you about food and the swag, baby!

First of all, I had no idea what to expect when I showed up. All I knew was that the dress was business casual and I was going to be taking pictures and writing a bit about what I saw while cruising the show floor. When we got there and checked in, the cocktail hour was already in full swing; open bar and h'ordeuvres.

Tiny little food on tiny little plates: Grilled Baby Lamb Chops, a Medallion of Pork Loin served on a Polenta square, Chicken Cordon Bleu bites, Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce speared with a sprig of rosemary:

During the cocktail hour, Ed and I located Dan, the guy I was supposed to meet, who was in charge of the media stuff for the event. He handed me a Flip camera and told me what they wanted me to cover, gave me an idea of the kind of video they were looking for, things I can take pictures of and just sort of outlined how he's like to see the show documented for the LOTR blog and the Facebook page. The flip camera is cool, isn't it?


Know what makes it even cooler?? It's MINE!! Hell, yeah!! He gave me a brand new Flip camera! To keep. All for me! Isn't that freakin' awesome? I'm kinda thinkin' Dan is The Man.

With that, Dan ushered us into the event and introduced us to a few people before directing us to the girls who seated us. We were sitting in the "VIP" section, with all of the other press people. Fun side note: As I was walking to my seat, someone called my name. My first thought is always, "Shit. Who can possibly know me here??" I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was Tom Kelley, the writer who
wrote the articles about Ed and I and Kendall and Michelle for Student Driver Placement Magazine. He saw the name on my nametag as I was passing by. Pretty observant.

After the main event (which again, you can see a few pictures of over on Life on The Road), they served food to the crowd. Again, everything was tiny, like Tapas. Here's a picture of a few of the things we had. You can click to enlarge it if you want to drool.

On the plates, from left to right, top to bottom: 1. Chicken Satay wrapped with Prosciutto, served on a bed of couscous. 2. Crabcake with slaw, served atop a delicious Remoulade. 3. Pork loin wrapped in peppered bacon, served with a cranberry chutney. 4. Macaroni and cheese served in a cone (not edible) with a chunk of lobster and a side of saffron risotto with a mushroom sauce. (can't see in this picture) 5. Salmon Roulade with a side of Pasta tossed with shaved parmesan and crispy garlic slices. 6. Sliced tenderloin sprinkled with crispy onion straws and a dollop of bourbon BBQ sauce.

After dinner, we hit the dessert table; Bread pudding with a Maker's Mark bourbon sauce, a red velvet cupcake with frosting and a Bourbon Ball - dense chocolate cake with a bourbon infused ganache center. The bread pudding was my favorite. After dinner, we milled around and checked out the International booth, and also walked around the show floor a little bit. People were still setting up their booth, and it looked as if some of them were going to be working until the wee hours of the morning.

When the evening was over, we were instructed to hit the "Media" booth to pick up our parting gift. I love gifts, so I was all over it. Both of us were issued a voucher for gifts; Ed after all, was my translator for the event. The girls at the booth handed each of us a black neoprene laptop bag. Our goodies were inside.

When we got back to the truck, we started to go through our bag; press kit, memory stick, wristwatch. Wristwatch??
It's a little Mission Impossible looking....and it took Ed a minute to figure out what it was. But once he turned it on, he realized that it's not a wristwatch at all. It's an iPod Nano!!! Again...how awesome is that???

So in addition to being part of a great press meeting, being in on the first information available to the media on what they were going to be displaying at the show, we also got a fantastic meal, YUM desserts, a rockin' Flip Cam and TWO iPod Nano's!! I am so thrilled to have been part of this, I would do it again in a heartbeat. And if this is the kind of perks "press" people get...I'm so all over it.

I'm going to have to get a fedora with PRESS tucked into the hatband.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: Do You Think Raquel Owns A Dog And Gets Enough Potassium?
2 YEARS AGO: I’ll Get You My Pretty
3 YEARS AGO:
The Kind Of Misunderstanding That Can Never Fully Be Explained
4 YEARS AGO:
Let The Adventure Begin
5 YEARS AGO:
Coming Soon

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Does Anyone Notice The Shoes Of A "Very Important Person"?

We finally made it to Louisville.

Tonight is the International Trucks VIP Media Event. I have been invited to attend on behalf of the Life On The Road blog, where I am one of the contributing writers. I'm even allowed to take Ed, who I'm going to need as a translator once they start talking about engine torque and horsepower!

I am very excited, as this will be the first time at an event like this and the first time I'll be seeing the Kentucky Exposition Center without the hordes of people who attend. I'm expecting the Navistar International booth to be spectacular and can't wait to see what they have in store for us. I will be writing several posts about the show over at Life On The Road and of course, my personal version of events here at The Daily Rant.

Now I have to go dig my pointy-toed slingbacks out of the side box. Dress is "business casual". My flip-flops just aren't gonna cut it this time.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
The Final Count
2 YEARS AGO:
No Need To Do Anything Drastic; There Will Always Be Re-Runs
3 YEARS AGO:
Beautifully Retro
4 YEARS AGO:
Ready, Set, Go!!
5 YEARS AGO:
Giving New Meaning To An Ambulance Chaser

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Three Musketeers Make Dinner Plans


Back in January, I wrote about Mark, another driver who's leased to the same company as we are, that we met when picking up a load at the same place. Once loaded, we all ran together over the next couple of days.

Well, this week, we were all in Dallas together, taking our required classes. For the two days, we lunched together between classes and on Monday night, went out for some delicious Italian.

Yesterday, after the boys went to deliver the loads in the morning while I was in class, we sat around talking about what we planned on doing. Mark wound up getting a load and Ed and I decided we were going to deadhead (drive empty) from Dallas to Louisville, since we had to get to there for this VIP event on Wednesday night we had been invited to.

We stopped in Texarkana, Arkansas for dinner. Just as we got parked, Mark called.

"Where are you?" he asked.

"Texarkana." Ed said. "Where are you?"

"Texarkana."

We wound up at the same truck stop at the same time; dinner time! So we naturally did what anyone would do; have another meal together before getting back on the road.

After dinner, I was trying to get a picture of the three of us when a trucker passing by asked if he could help. The picture up there is the one he took with my iPhone. I don't know what that look on Ed's face is - I think he was still talking when the picture was taken!

We had a great dinner and great conversation, as usual. Mark is a helluva lot of fun and has so many great stories and great information about trucking. And he's so willing to share it with us!

Can't wait for our next rendevous!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Try Finding A Parking Space For This
2 YEARS AGO:
If The Life Expectancy Of A White Male Is Over Seventy Five Years, You Have Plenty Of Time When You’re Ten
3 YEARS AGO:
Sweet Suite Sugarland
4 YEARS AGO:
The Superbowl Of Moving
5 YEARS AGO:
Catching Flies

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Aftermath

We arrived pretty late at the orientation center last night, after being delayed by the accident I saw that routed us in another direction, so I went right to sleep as soon as the truck stopped moving. This morning, I woke Ed up so he'd have time for a little breakfast before spending the rest of the morning in his class. I was still tired, so I decided to stay in bed a few hours more.

When I woke up, the first thing I did was check the news online for information on the accident. This is what I found, including the photos below.
The tragedy is that Alejandro Raya, the driver of the tanker, died. He was 45 years old with three children, ages 21, 14 and 12. The driver of the car that killed him, a 23 year old who had ten beers before heading home from the bar, lived. How's that for complete cosmic bullshit? It ALWAYS seems to be the case that the person who caused the accident is the person who survived the accident. And in cases of crashes between cars and big trucks, statistics show that 75% of the time, the accident is the fault of the passenger car, NOT the truck.

Mr. Raya was just doing his job that night, likely not far from home since he lived in Fort Worth. And because someone decided to drink too much and take to the highway, he lost his life. Personally, I don't know HOW you get on an interstate going the wrong way, drunk or not. And I'm sure that 23 year old's life is going to suck from this point forward. But at least he has his life.


Here's a picture of the firefighters tackling the burning truck. As you can see, the tires have burned off and all that's left of the trailer portion is the ladder that allows the driver to climb up to the top of the tanker:
More pictures from the scene can be found here.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
More Than Halfway To A World Record
2 YEARS AGO:
When You Need Your Hump Fixed, This Is The Place
3 YEARS AGO:
The Flight, The Hotel, The Walk And The Sleep Deprivation
4 YEARS AGO:
A Lot Of Beauty, A Little Citrus And A Mini Moo
5 YEARS AGO:
Shorn

Sunday, March 27, 2011

In The Still Of The Night

As I drove into Dallas in the wee hours of the morning, traveling the interstate with one or two other drivers, I came upon an electronic reader board telling me that just ahead, all four lanes of Interstate-30 were closed due to an accident.

All lanes being closed is never a good thing, but since I didn't know exactly where it was and only had a few miles to go, I kept approaching thinking I'd be able to get off before I reached the traffic backup.

Well, of course that didn't happen. All of a sudden, I crested a hill and on the other side saw the bright red glow of hundreds of taillights. I immediately turned on the CB to see what was going on and heard other drivers surmising who and what had caused the backup. The thing I kept hearing was that a tanker truck was involved. I'm always concerned when I hear of a tanker accident; it's never the tankers that are carrying milk. And based on what I was hearing on the CB, and the amount of emergency vehicles present at the scene, I was pretty sure they weren't mopping up dairy. Something serious had spilled and according to the amateur reporters on the radio, something was also seriously burning.

I waited patiently as the traffic crept along. I was far enough back that I couldn't see the actual collission, but knew it had to have been bad to close the entire interstate. It wasn't as if they were even routing us around it, in the lane furthest away, like they usually do.

The backup moved pretty quickly as the police routed everyone off the interstate and onto side roads. I wasn't familiar with the re-route, so I had to follow my GPS until I got to a road I knew. I finally made it to our destination without a hitch but knew I'd have to wait until morning to hear the details of the accident.

I was sure the news wasn't going to be good.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Wake Up In The Morning, Put Your Hand On Something Useful, And Take Care Of Yourself And Your Family*
2 YEARS AGO:
Eddie My Little Ex-Marine Friday
3 YEARS AGO:
Delayed By Lipgloss During A Period Of Elevated Security: A Travel Debacle Ensues
4 YEARS AGO:
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
5 YEARS AGO:
Your Cat Is In My Garden

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Home At Last

After a good night's sleep, we got up this morning and sat around the breakfast table deciding what things we'd be cramming into our one day at home. We didn't have to leave until later tonight, so we knew we'd have a full day. My first task was going to be laundry. I only had two loads, which is not the norm, but I was glad to not have to spend too much time on it.

I hung our down comforter on the line, to get some sun and air, knowing that it wasn't going to rain. You can pretty much count on it never raining in Tucson. If and when it does, you're well aware that it's coming.


Ed had a few things to put in storage, so he tackled that right after breakfast. While I did laundry and took a shower, Ed went to the bank and got his hair cut. By the time he got back, I was ready to go run a few errands.


We hit Starbucks first, for coffee and a bagel; well, coffee from Starbucks, I'd never eat a bagel from there. Conveniently though, the Starbucks by our house shares a building with the bagel place. After that, we hit the post office to drop off a few packages. The last thing on the list was the grocery store to stock the truck and then back home.


I usually see my friend Kim when I'm home, even if it's just for a coffee visit, but since I knew I had no time I didn't even call. I hate to disappoint her and figured if she didn't know, she wouldn't feel like I didn't make time for her. I just didn't have any time this visit.

I do always try to see my brother and nephews if I can, but when I called and talked to my sister-in-law, she said they were all out at baseball games and practices and later in the evening they were going to a friends house to visit. I told her I stopped by the house and no one was there, and she said to swing by on the way back if I had time. I didn't. She called again later to invite us to go by their friends house (the kids of her friend have been wanting to see the truck), but it really wasn't a good time since I knew we'd be leaving late.


I miss not seeing my brother, but I'm glad I spent some time with my mother and step-father, since he hadn't been feeling well. He's always happy to see me, but he's over the moon when he gets to see Ed. He goes from curmudgeon to Mr. Sunshine in a matter of seconds when Ed shows up. WTF??

Overall, a very successful visit, getting everything on our list taken care of. Now it's off to Dallas. See you in the Big D!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: Wake Up In The Morning, Put Your Hand On Something Useful, And Take Care Of Yourself And Your Family*
2 YEARS AGO:
Copter
3 YEARS AGO:
Atchafalaya Whaaaaat??
4 YEARS AGO: There's A Skirt On The Door For A Reason
5 YEARS AGO:
South Of The Beijing Border

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pit Stop

Today after we loaded, we decided to stop at home before we head on to Dallas. We don't have to be there until Monday, so we figured we'd be able to spend at least a day and a half at the house, doing laundry, getting some stuff out of the truck to put into storage, picking up our mail and then visiting my Mom and step-father.

My step-father is out of the hospital now and I have to say that I thought he looked pretty good. He's still not feeling 100%, but he looks much better than he did. Eddie went out and got pizza from
Mama’s for our dinner, which made everyone happy, and then we all retired pretty early. We had been working and driving all day, and we wanted to get up early on Saturday to run around and get a bunch of errands done.

So that's about it....doesn't get any more boring that that, folks. Thanks for stopping by. Here's hoping next week will be a little more exciting!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: Sorry, no post on this day.
2 YEARS AGO:
A Peek Behind The Sacred Pantry Door
3 YEARS AGO:
Thistle Or Thatle
4 YEARS AGO:
Big, Rich And Free
5 YEARS AGO:
Look, Honey! A Grist Mill

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sweets For The Sweet

Tomorrow we pick up a load in California that will take us to Dallas. Ed has a class to take on Monday, and this load goes directly there. We're trying to make our way across the country to get to the truck show by Wednesday. There's not much to write, because we haven't really been doing anything. I leave you with this, taken on a recent trip to a local mall...the Sweet Factory: We left with chocolate covered espresso beans, shoelace licorice, atomic fireballs, boston baked beans, giant gumballs, a few chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered almonds and a Chunky bar. They will make their way to the snack drawer and sustain future cravings until the next time we come across such a colorful place to spend money. I love looking at all they have to offer. I truly feel like a kid in a candy store when I'm there!



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Silver Shoes, Cliff Clavin And A Guinness World Record
2 YEARS AGO:
A Bevy Of Pavo Cristatus
3 YEARS AGO:
How Much Happy Can A Dollar Buy?
4 YEARS AGO:
The Heat Is On
5 YEARS AGO:
The New York Catch And Release Program

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nappy Time

We've had another busy week; lots of driving, eating and sleeping. I've mentioned before how I don't like busy weeks like this one. My friend Marlaina, who runs air freight with her husband, teases me when I complain about all the miles. With them, it's a regular thing. As she said in my last post on this subject, "Oh you poor kids, 6,500 miles. In air freight, we do 6,500 miles before lunch."

Yeah. Us, not so much. I cry if we have to do 6,500 miles in two weeks. One of my trucker friends says I'm spoiled. Well, duh. My motto is "Do less. Make more."

Which, in my opinion, is the way to work. Why would I want to work harder, longer, and more if I don't have to? Isn't it better to work less to make the same amount of money? Or more money?

The crazy week is over and we have a few days off before we pick up our next load on Friday. Then we make a quick stop in Dallas to take a class, and after that we head to Louisville.

Now that's the kind of pace I like...where there's plenty of time for naps. Excuse me now while I go take one.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Dick. Not A Dick. Which One Are You?
2 YEARS AGO:
First The Poultry, Now This
3 YEARS AGO:
California Moon
4 YEARS AGO:
Ryno And Rob
5 YEARS AGO:
Living The Dream

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Food. Essential.

I just finished reading this book and really loved it. I don't do book reviews (maybe someday), but you can read a little blurb about it here, on the author's website.

I finished it in a day, if that tells you anything. Now I'm sending it to my best friend, who lives for the sheer purpose of food and cooking.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Sometimes It Takes A Libra Two Weeks To Make A Decision
2 YEARS AGO:
What The Hell Is This?
3 YEARS AGO:
What It’s Like To Bee Watched By More Than Twelve Million Eyes
4 YEARS AGO:
My Man Is Ripped!
5 YEARS AGO:
Take Two Caramel Lattes And Call Me In The Morning

Monday, March 21, 2011

Trucks, Friends, Life On The Road And A New Throne For My Queen Sized Ass

Next week is the 40th Annual Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky.

We have been going to the show for the past six years; I think we might have missed one of the shows, maybe the year they scaled down due to the economy, but I can't remember. We always enjoy the show, but this year is going to be one of the best because not only are we meeting friends that we've made through my blog, but I'm also going to be "covering" the show for
Life On The Road, one of the other blogs I write for.

Life On The Road is funded by
Navistar International, the company that makes that truck up there in the photo. I've already been invited to attend a "press" event (which I hope I can make!) and there are a few other things that I've been told we're going to be part of....but I haven't been told all the details yet. I'm kind of excited!

We typically look for new stuff at the truck show and this year, we're looking for seats. I want THESE:I think I almost have Ed convinced. He's slowly seeing the light, but at $6,000 a seat, the light isn't all that bright yet. Although, just the other day he made me watch a video showing how the seats work and how they react to the road completely different than conventional seats. Maybe the light is getting brighter.

Personally, I think when you spend 300 days of the year in the seat of a truck, it's essential to be comfortable and happy; no matter the cost. And really, when you break the cost down, it only comes to twenty bucks a day; which is the cost of us going out to lunch.

I'd gladly give up one meal a day to have my ass in that cushy seat while traveling the country. Hey, it might even be good for my ass. Less meals, less ass.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Changing It Up
2 YEARS AGO:
They Gots Lots Of Soul
3 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Calculates Everything Friday
4 YEARS AGO:
Working On It
5 YEARS AGO:
The Bird On The Hill

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fifty-Five Years And Counting

My step-father was in the hospital last week...an unexpected episode involving his heart and a case of pneumonia; neither scenario good for an 89-year-old man. He's home now, and doing better. While he was in the hospital, his friend of 55 years, stopped by to see him every day. On one of those days, he helped shave my step-father. My mother caught this picture with her camera phone.My eyes welled up when I saw the photo; emotions flooding through me. First, this was probably one of the only times my step-father looked really old to me. Second, I felt a strong tug of sadness seeing that he needed help shaving; even though it's likely he didn't request it. And last, I was extremely touched seeing the gentleness of the act; which came through very clearly to me, in the picture.

They didn't know they were being photographed, and even though it's a cell phone picture, there's just something so wonderful about it. The light coming in above their heads. The shades of blue in Billy's shirt, Frank's hospital robe and the curtains on the window. The silver and white of their hair. The blur of my mother's thumb in the foreground. Kidding on that last part.

Seriously though, I think it's one of the finest examples of friendship I've ever seen. And to me, this photo says what a thousand words cannot.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Humor That Needs A Humidifier
2 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Is He Wearing Trousers?? Friday
3 YEARS AGO:
Soon To Be Yummy Snack Food
4 YEARS AGO:
This Is What I’ve Been Doing Lately
5 YEARS AGO:
1-800-PRODUCT SATISFACTION

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Under A Rock


Apparently, I've been living under a rock for years. Why, you ask? Because I knew nothing of Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and most of all, Karl Pilkington. They are the trio who create the magic on The Ricky Gervais Show; the most downloaded podcasts of all time. The Ricky Gervais Show has been downloaded over two hundred-fifty MILLION times. The video here is an introduction to Karl Pilkington.

Now of course, I know who Ricky Gervais is; I'm aware of his show "The Office" and I also am aware of his hosting of the Golden Globes, which quite frankly, I thought was brilliant. But the podcasts, the YouTube videos, the audio-books and Karl...the sweet, round headed buffoon, who in my opinion, is the true star of the show, I really didn't know about.

I've downloaded absolutely every free podcast I could get my hands on, and I even bought the first season of his show on iTunes. I can't wait to get the rest of the seasons - they keep me laughing and completely entertained while I'm behind the wheel.

If you want more of Karl, be sure to check out An Idiot Abroad. He's absolutely priceless.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Friday, March 18, 2011

When The Feelings Get Too Strong For Words

If the last post didn't convince you that I'm a fan of the musical movie/TV genre, here's another clip to help you realize that it is as essential to my life as breathing. This clip is from the 1989 movie, Sing. Love the story, love the movie, love the characters, LOVE Peter Dobson. (The clip starts with the end of the song before the song that's the finale of the show...be patient, it gets better.)

You can watch the movie HERE; this YouTube user copied the entire movie and posted it in fifteen parts.


How can you not love a movie that starts with a song (and dance) like this? It's absolutely one of my all-time favorite eighties movies and I can watch it over and over again. And that's just what I'm gonna do...watch it.


One more time.




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: Looking For Loads In All The Wrong Places
2 YEARS AGO:
CTRL Freak
3 YEARS AGO:
1. Cut String 2. Walk
4 YEARS AGO:
Amish Down The Lane
5 YEARS AGO:
The Competition Is Stiff

Thursday, March 17, 2011

If This Is What Being A Loser Means, Count Me In

This week Glee did original songs; they were supposed to be written by the cast (of course, songwriters did this work, but no biggie), who were told to use their own feelings and experiences to create songs that had meaning; it made for a great episode. The first one is by Rachel (Lea Michele) singing "Get It Right". If you're a Glee watcher, you know she's singing to Finn, because she just keeps trying to make things right between them and no matter what she does, she can't quite hit the nail on the head. Love her voice.

The second one, which is SO catchy that I've been singing it since I heard it and put it on my iPod, is called "Loser Like Me". This one deals with the Glee kids, who are always dogged on in school for being "losers" because they're in Glee. They turn what the haters say and do to them (being pushed into lockers, being called names, having Slushies thrown in their faces), into an awesome song. Yeah, I know, I'm seventeen years old inside. Here are the lyrics so you can follow along:

Yeah, you may think that I'm a zero
But, hey, everyone you wanna be
Probably started off like me
You may say that I'm a freakshow (I don't care)
But, hey, give it just a little time
I bet you're gonna change your mind

All of the dirt you've been throwin' my way
It ain't so hard to take, that's right
'Cause I know one day you'll be screamin' my name
And I'll just look away, that's right

Just go ahead and hate on me and run your mouth
So everyone can hear
Hit me with the words you got and knock me down
Baby, I don't care
Keep it up, I'm tunin' up to fade you out
You wanna be, You wanna be
A loser like me, A loser like me

Push me up against the locker
And hey, all I do is shake it off
I'll get you back when I'm your boss
I'm not thinkin' 'bout you haters
'Cause hey, I could be a superstar
I'll see you when you wash my car

All of the dirt you've been throwin' my way
It ain't so hard to take, that's right
'Cause I know one day you'll be screamin' my name
And I'll just look away, that's right

Just go ahead and hate on me and run your mouth
So everyone can hear
Hit me with the words you got and knock me down
Baby, I don't care
Keep it up, I'm tunin' up to fade you out
You wanna be, You wanna be
A loser like me, A loser like me, A loser like me

Hey, you, over there
Keep the L up-up in the air
Hey, you, over there
Keep the L up, 'cause I don't care
You can throw your sticks, and you can throw your stones
Like a rocket, just watch me go
Yeah, l-o-s-e-r
I can only be who I are

Just go ahead and hate on me and run your mouth
So everyone can hear
Hit me with the words you got and knock me down
Baby, I don't care
Keep it up, I'm tunin' up to fade you out
You wanna be, You wanna be
A loser like me, A loser like me

Just go ahead and hate on me and run your mouth
So everyone can hear
Hit me with the words you got and knock me down
Baby, I don't care
Keep it up, I'm tunin' up to fade you out
You wanna be, You wanna be
A loser like me (A loser like me), A loser like me (A loser like me)
A loser like me, A loser like me, A loser like me!

And this last one is sung by Blaine (Darren Criss); he does "Misery" (not an original song - it was first done by Maroon 5). I love this guy. He's cute, he's talented and he could be singing the phone book and I'd swoon. I like him so much, I've even downloaded his mini-album from iTunes. LOVE his voice.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: The Only Thing It Extends Is The Humiliation Of Having A Small Johnson
2 YEARS AGO:
Wishing You All A Happy Lá Fhéile Pádraig
3 YEARS AGO:
I Suppose There Should Be Some Sort Of Award For This
4 YEARS AGO:
Table Talk
5 YEARS AGO:
Cats And Grandchildren Make Great Indentured Servants

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

You first met them here. Then you became a fan over there. Now, they've conquered the print world. That's right my friends, Plum Trucker (my little protégée) and her handsome sidekick are the featured truckers in the Semi-Social section of this month's issue of Student Driver Placement magazine!

I had my shot back in November, and I was just as excited as they are; it was even more exciting when I had the physical copy of the publication in my hand. Very cool. So when asked by the writer for the magazine if I knew anyone else for him to profile, Plum Trucker was my first choice! Apparently, I've now been dubbed her "Blogmother", which suits my Italian heritage just fine.

If you want to read about Michelle (The Plum Trucker) and Kendall (her handsome sidekick), head on over to see them in the spotlight by clicking
HERE. Then bookmark her blog to be sure you don't miss a minute of their experiences on the road!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Yeah, Cause Heidi Klum Is So Easy To NOT Notice
2 YEARS AGO:
Busy Week
3 YEARS AGO:
Small, Yet Mighty
4 YEARS AGO:
Zen
5 YEARS AGO:
Riding The Rusty Rails

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Does A Bear Have A Diner In The Woods?

I can't tell you how many times I've passed a Black Bear Diner in California and wanted to stop. There's just something appealing about it. Then today, we saw one in Las Vegas. We had to try it. The place was very bear-y homey, with a case of homemade miniature pies staring you right in the face the minute you walked in...Bears lined a shelf that went around the top of the entire room...
Bear motif was everywhere; from the menu holders on the tables, to the individual sugar packets, to the hot sauce bottle, to the napkins, to the bears climing the pole in the middle of the room...Even the sandwiches and plates had been touched by a bear. Ed had the tuna...
I had the beef tri-tip. The tuna was good, the trip-tip, just "eh". But the fries were delicious and abundant. Neither of us finished them, there were so many. See the little bear paw prints on my plate?
Oh! I almost forgot the little corn muffin we had while waiting for our sandwiches....DELICIOUS. Hot, cakey, served with butter. Soooo good. Overall, I was very pleased with the food and I'd definitely go back. There were so many things on the menu to choose from, that I know we'll have to hit them up a few more times.

On the placemats that graced our table, was the story of the Black Bear Diner, along with their philosophy: they are "committed to provide guests hearty portions of delicious home-style cooking, delivered with friendly service that consistently exceeds expectations". But they don’t only have a philosophy, they have a Credo. And on that placemat, it said all of the Black Bear Diners live by the following Credos:

Credo #1: We will make Black Bear Diner a place where you can feel comfortable and relaxed. We offer you great food and an experience reminiscent of a time when a small-town restaurant was the place to go for talk, friendship and atmosphere.

Credo #2: We are dedicated to serving freshly prepared home cooking. From scratch sausages and biscuits to our legendary Black Beary Cobbler, everyone at Black Bear Diner goes the extra mile to provide you with the best in good old fashioned family food, prepared fresh every day.

Credo #3: We deliver each meal just the way you order it. We welcome your special requests because, let’s face it, not everyone likes the same foods – tell us exactly how you want your meal, and we will do our best to make it right for you.

Credo #4: We believe in value – hearty portions of good food. We buy huge platters and we fill them, so don’t be afraid to take leftovers home!

Credo #5: We feature healthy options because we care about our customers. Your well-being is important to us, so we added Low-Carb, Vegetarian options and our smaller Little Less menu for those with a lighter appetite.

Credo #6: If you have comments that bear repeating, please tell us. If you have extraordinary service, or have something to growl about, we want to hear from you. Please visit our website to let us know how we are doing.

And although we didn't have dessert (no room!), the choices were mouthwatering. They even have the obligatory Bear Claw.

Check 'em out sometime!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Would You Rather Sit On Your Ass Al Day Eating Cheetos And Watching TV, Or Would You Rather See?
2 YEARS AGO:
The First Bit Of Spring
3 YEARS AGO:
Pop Secret
4 YEARS AGO:
The Kind Of Shopping That Makes Me Want To Commit Suicide, Right There In The Middle Of Macy’s
5 YEARS AGO:
The Benefits Of Memory Loss

Monday, March 14, 2011

Food With Integrity That Fuels Creativity

After we dropped of our load, hit Big Lots, then Target, we needed a little nourishment. We had received a buy-on-get-one-free coupon for Chipotle, so we set off to find one. Not easy in Las Vegas, towing a trailer. We hit one of the hotels off the strip and dropped our trailer in their lot; we even talked to the security guard who gave us the thumbs up. I told him we needed to run some errands and get some lunch, and with a big smile, he said "No problem."

After filling our bellies with delicious Barbacoa Beef Burrito Bowls and an icy cold beverages, Ed and I kicked back and discussed what the plan was for the rest of the day. While Ed was ticking off all the things he wanted to do on the truck, I created this masterpiece with my keychain Swiss Army knife...

Ed's contribution to the creative process was a little less involved...

Never underestimate simple, understated humor.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
If Only It Were Dollars Instead Of Miles
2 YEARS AGO:
The Last Bit Of Winter
3 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Fr-eye-day
4 YEARS AGO:
Authorized Personnel
5 YEARS AGO:
Stolen Zillow

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Coast To Coast


This week has been a real bear for us. We've done almost 6,500 miles, back and forth across the country, which is very unusual for us; we typically never drive this much in one week. I'm a little cranky, because I get behind on emails, reading, blog posting, etc. I've missed all my shows this week and will have to catch whichever ones weren't re-runs online.

The laundry bag is the size of a full grown man and weighing about as much. I'm having trouble finding places to put it so it's not in the way. I know once we deliver tomorrow, I'll have to find a laundromat somewhere but I'm not looking forward to it. Ed promised to help this time, which will be greatly appreciated.

Now it's time to sleep. I have a big day ahead of me in Sin City tomorrow.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
The Joke’s On Us
2 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Monsignor Starbucks Friday
3 YEARS AGO:
All The Better To Smell You With, My Dear
4 YEARS AGO:
Neon Railroad
5 YEARS AGO:
I Left My Heart…

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fire Up The Grill

This week, on our way out to Las Vegas, we had a little extra time to stop for lunch. We spent the night at the Iowa 80 truckstop, did a little shopping in the morning after breakfast, wasted more time goofing off in the truck, and then mid-afternoon, finally got out on the road.

We didn't make it very far before Ed decided he was hungry. And he wanted steak. For years, we've been hearing about a steakhouse in
Grinnell, where you can cook your own meat. There are actually two in the immediate area, but this one is just off the interstate, at Exit 182.
On one hand, I guess I understand the novelty of grilling your own steak; on the other hand, I don't get why people go out to eat to cook their own food. There's also a salad bar, which means you have to get your own salad. I mean, what's the point of going out to dinner if you have to do everything yourself?

We were there for lunch, and the grill-it-yourself is only during dinner hour, so the kitchen cooked our meal (for an extra $3.00 per person). We both ordered the Petite Filet Mignon, which came with home fries and Texas toast. It was delicious:

They have a second grill, off the bar area. From what we were told, it seems they get pretty busy. I can only imagine the pushing and shoving around the grill. I don't even like to cook in my kitchen when Ed is standing next to me, I can't imagine having to grill my steaks with strangers bumping my elbows.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
The Voice Of Tucson Speaks
2 YEARS AGO:
Crossing Over To The White Side
3 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Voyager Of The Seas Friday
4 YEARS AGO:
Indiscriminate Discrimination
5 YEARS AGO:
Dancing Queen

Friday, March 11, 2011

Crab Rangoon Makes Me Swoon

It seems all we've done this week is go out to eat. We hit the P.F. Chang's at the Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. We had such a hankerin' for Chinese, that when we saw this restaurant in the mall as we passed by, Ed did some quick maneuvering to get us parked among the snowbanks. We made a mad dash for the door of the "China Bistro".

Then we dug into the crab rangoons like it was our last meal on earth. And that was only the beginning.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Bonnie And Clyde Meet Toni And Frank
2 YEARS AGO:
Finally…A Bib That Is Both Functional And Accurate
3 YEARS AGO:
Trickling Down
4 YEARS AGO:
Anonymously Yours,
5 YEARS AGO:
Over 7,000 Feet Of Pristine Beauty

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Betty's Got It Going On

This photo is courtesy of my cousin Ro. She was looking for a place to eat while down in Florida. She called me (who was no where near Florida) to look up a place on the internet for them. She was driving north from Daytona, up A1A to Palm Coast.

I turned to Urban Spoon and found this place; Betty's A1A Cafe. I read her a few of the reviews and she seemed to think they sounded pretty good; so it was settled, that's where they were going. When she got there, she said there was a line out the door which she took as a good sign.

The report I got after dinner was glowing! Everyone loved their meals. And since my cousin happens to be a picky eater, this was definitely a plus. I don't know if they have truck parking, but this will certainly be a place we check out when we're down in the area.

If you plan on going, here's the address:

1900 Ocean Shore Boulevard
Ormond Beach, FL 32176-3117
386.441.8131

And make sure you come back and tell me how it was!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Don’t Miss The Latest On TDR. Today At Eight, Noon, Six And Midnight!
2 YEARS AGO:
No Hothouse In Sight
3 YEARS AGO:
Till The Cows Come Home
4 YEARS AGO:
Salt Lake City Special
5 YEARS AGO:
It’s More Expensive To Say No

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Then Someone Lit The Flame And Plain Rode Away On Lion's Mane



This is the yogurt I eat; my favorite is blueberry. It's creamy, thick and delicious. And this has got to be the most brilliant, most poetic, most beautiful commercial I've ever seen.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
It Once Had A Life
2 YEARS AGO:
Life’s A Planet Beach
3 YEARS AGO:
I Wasn’t Even Fishing, But I Certainly Got A Great Catch
4 YEARS AGO:
Royal Air Force Typhoon Blows Into Nellis
5 YEARS AGO:
This Dandelion Needs Rogaine

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Container Port, You Are No Friend Of Mine


I wrote on this subject last year, and probably talked about it in the years prior to that. Surprisingly, the bitching I've done to the internet and anyone else who would listen, hasn't changed a thing. Yes, it's another story about the port. NEVER, and I mean NEVER, have we been to a container port without a hassle. This time was no exception.

I seriously don't know how they move the volume of container freight they do with the incompetence level where it's at. The containers have numbers, the rows have numbers, the bills of lading that accompany the containers have numbers. You'd think it would be easy to match up all of these numbers and find the right container. You wouldn't think it would take five hours.

Yet it does, almost every time. This is one of the reasons we rarely do container freight, but unfortunately, in order to get out of California, that's the only deal. It pays well for us, but every time we do it (it's almost like we forget the last experience), we look at each other and say, "Is it really worth the hassle?" That answer is always "No. Not even a little bit."

But it's like having a fight with a friend, who you think might have changed, so you give them another chance. And then they once again disappoint you. I have finally decided that container ports are not my friend. They're easy, non-backbreaking freight to haul, but I am not giving them another chance.

Today we got a juicy tidbit of information. We have previously, and repeatedly, been told that the reason they only allow one driver in the port at a time, is because of some Homeland Security bullshit. Even if you're a team, driving for the same company, on a load that REQUIRES a team to move it, only one person is allowed in the truck when it goes into the port. I guess the "terrorists" are being snuck in in the bunks of trucks. Whatever, freaks.

Today though, one of the forklift operators told Ed that is has nothing to do with security, it's really because the cranes. Apparently, with their limited line of vision, and the angle at which they pick up the containers and place them on the truck, they sometimes drop the containers on the cab of the truck. Now that's a big friggin' deal. So I guess it's okay for the person who is sitting in the driver's seat waiting to get loaded to get creamed, they just don't want to have two fatalities on their hands. Lovely. Of course, this information did come from a forklift operator, which automatically raises the "this is bullshit" flag.

I wonder how many times that has really happened though, if at all. I'll tell you what, I have no desire to give them a second chance to kill me. Apparently, we have now been warned.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Encased In Plastic
2 YEARS AGO:
No Lifeguard On Duty
3 YEARS AGO:
Palm Sketches
4 YEARS AGO:
You Know Who You Are
5 YEARS AGO:
I Fear The Family

Monday, March 07, 2011

Shopping To The Maxx

We dropped our load in Avila Beach and headed up to San Luis Obispo. We found a nice, out of the way spot in the Home Depot parking lot and sat around for the rest of the day.

At first, I wasn't planning to get out of the truck, since I really didn't have any reason to, but then I spied the TJ Maxx, about 500 feet away. How could I pass that up? The store was one of the nicest TJ Maxx's I've ever been in; and big, too.

As I got closer, I think this gorgeous purse was calling my name. "Salena.....Salena.....psst! over here...." It was baby pink leather, smelled delicious and felt like butter. Made in Spain. $150.00. Well worth it, but not really practical for the trucking life.
I saw this for my best friend and contemplated buying it just to bust her chops; she hates this phrase:And then I came across this, which I was going to buy for myself, but instead settled on the Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Spain. TJ Maxx has some of the best deals around. There was a lot that I wanted (but don't have room for in the truck) and will just have to hit a store when I get home so I can haul stuff back to the house and not have to ride around with it in the truck until I get home. I did buy a new shirt, socks for Ed, the olive oil and a new case for my iPod.

When I came across all the iPod/iPhone stuff, I just kicked myself. Had I not so hastily purchased my case at Verizon when I bought my phone, I could have saved myself a bundle! They had all kinds of cool cases for the new iPhone I have. I will have to remember that for the future.

I didn't exactly "shop to the Maxx", but I did enjoy my time in the store and the few things I came away with. I was gone so long, Ed texted me three times to find out where I was.

"still shopping" was the response he got back each time. I think that got him a little nervous.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Ed Unloads An Oil Platform
2 YEARS AGO:
You Never Know When You Might Need It
3 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Climbs A Wall Friday
4 YEARS AGO:
What Showing Off For Your Kids Looks Like
5 YEARS AGO:
What’s It All About?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Cooled By The Ocean

This is the place we delivered our last load - the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. What an interesting place for a nuclear plant - high up on a hill, with an outrageous view of the Pacific ocean. The ride from the gate to the facility was along seven miles of coastline. Amazing.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Oh, Mother!
2 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Adds Culture To His Day Friday
3 YEARS AGO:
One Armed Bandit
4 YEARS AGO:
614
5 YEARS AGO:
Having A Good Reason