Friday, November 29, 2013

The Lady In 7A

Photo courtesy of Elan Gale
The best thing to happen yesterday other than my turkey turning out utterly delicious, is THIS.

Some people will look at this and think Elan (the guy in the story) was out of line because of what he did.  Or, they won't like his language.  I think he could have done with out the dick part, but everything else I agree with.

This woman was reaming out a flight attendant because she wanted to get home for Thanksgiving.  Personally, if it were so important to her to be where she was going, perhaps she shouldn't have traveled ON Thanksgiving. 

And more people need to call people like Diane out on their bullshit.  I'm extremely intolerant, and very opinionated, but when it comes to service people in positions like this - they don't fly the friggin' plane, people - you need to shut your mouth.  And if you can't or don't shut your mouth, someone needs to tell you to do so.  This woman wasn't the only one on that plane.

See Elan's follow-up to the situation
on his blog.

Follow Elan Gale on

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2012: No, Not Harry Potter. GRACE Potter.
UPSide Down
2010: Gucci, Gucci, Gu
2009: Big Trucks + TV = Big Truck TV
2008: Insane In The Holiday Brain
2007: Umbrella-ella-ella-ella
2006: Dress Code
2005: And It Begins…

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I'm Sure He Was Delicious

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers - old and new!  I hope you're enjoying Thanksgiving somewhere fabulous, whether on the road or at home. 

And to all my foreign readers...hope you're having a wonderful regular day!  I'll have an extra slice of turkey for you! 

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2012: Drowning My Sorrows In Mountain Dew
Red Hair At Night, Truckers Delight. Red Hair At Morning, Truckers Warning.
2010: Rok New York
2009: South Dakota Sky
2008: Nutty Friday
2007: It’s Not So Much Fun To Roll Out Your Best Sales Schpiel On A Mute
2006: Forced Happiness
2005: Firestarter

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Football Eyes In A Pear Head

Yesterday I went for my first ever eye exam.  Real eye exam.  With dilated pupils and everything. 

I get a basic eyechart test every two years as part of my DOT physical, but this exam was to see if I needed to do more to see better.  More, as in, glasses.

Turns out I have an astigmatism.  Football shaped corneas, someone told me. 

It's a weird word. Astigmatism.  Not a stigmatism.  An astigmatism.  Not that I can really comprehend what either of those words truly mean.  All I know is that my vision has been slightly blurry lately.  So slight that I think to myself, is that blurry? when I'm reading something, then it suddenly clears up, then it's then oddly off again.

Since I've never had any vision issues, this is all new to me.  The last DOT eye test I had, my vision was 20/15.  I was told that's good.  But now I may need glasses to read small stuff. 

Like this.

So I guess I now have to go shopping for frames for glasses that'll look good on my face.  The face that I've been told is pear shaped. 

Great.  That should be a fun task.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Snack Attack
2011: Last Full Day Of Freedom
2010: Keyed Up
2009: The Ultimate Mrs.
2008: Happy Thanksgiving
2007: The Kind Of Contraction That Produces A Laugh, Not A Baby
2006: Wanderlust Officially Approved
2005: The Eye Of The Beholder

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I Desire A Snack Eaten Off An Owl Plate

It all started when I bought my owl mug

All of a sudden, I started seeing owls everywhere.  Like it was a trend.  I hate trends.  And I never buy something because of it.  And since I had my owl mug before I noticed them everywhere - and bought it in Ross, which is where trends go to die - I can't say I was influenced.
But I kinda fell in love with the little guys.  I wanted more and I had no problem finding it.

These Owl Plates from VivaTerra.
And Owl Mugs from the same place.

A website dedicated to owl lovers.

A Betsey Johnson blinged out
owl watch.

These cute
coin purses

A silvery metallic leather owl keychain.

all sorts of owl stuff on Pinterest!

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Pulpy Plumes
Saturday Slow Down
2010: Let The Crazy Begin
2009: For Everything Thy Goodness Sends
2008: A Look On The Inside
2007: Free! Gratuito! Gratis! Ummm…No Charge!
2006: Life Giver vs. Indian Giver
2005: The Spaghetti Thanks You

Monday, November 25, 2013

One Woman, Ten Looks

I have so many time wasting activities, they're too numerous to list.  And clearly being home for several days has caused me to spend a whole lot of time engaged in one of them - playing with makeover software (which I've posted about in the past).  I love seeing what I'd look like with different hair styles and colors, makeup changes, and even rhinestone-studded crowns. 

Taaz website is completely free and all you have to do is upload a picture and start playing around.  I've done several family members and friends and it's a total hoot seeing what they look like with the changes.  But if you're not interested in seeing multiple photos of me, skip this post.  Or you'll be all like, "Ugh.  Another one of her?" by the end.

This first one is a preset hairstyle that comes with the crown.  Add a nice red lip, and I'm ready for the national stage.  Oh, and in my imaginary "Miss Whoever" beauty pageant, there is no bathing suit competition.  Oh, yeah!
I really kind of like this one.  Long hair (which Ed would love) and great highlights (which I would love).  I feel a little Khloe Kardashian-ish in this picture.

In this one, I gave myself a severe bob and changed my eye color to blue.  It's super cool.  I bought blue contacts once in my twenties and wore them maybe twice  because they felt weird in my eyes.  I really like the way this looks though, so I might just consider trying it again.
I LOVE this haircut and color.  I'm on my way to this length now, so it may be a future option.  And I just had my hair highlighted at the beginning of the month with lots of light, coppery and blondish stuff. Now think I should have gone this color route instead.  Next time.
In this shot, I tried on the Madonna bob.  Very severe, but I really dig the dark color.
These next few are from the Halloween looks section, which have preset templates that already include hair, makeup, accessories.  This first one is call Disco.  I totally love a headscarf - reminds me of my Aunt J, circa 1975.
This one is called Moulin Rouge.  I am lovin' the little top hat.  But more than that, I LOVE the haircolor, LOVE the lip color, and LOVE the eye makeup and lashes.  Please tell me I can get away with this in the truck.
This one is called 60s.  Spiky lashes, messy hair, frosty lip.  Not my favorite, but certainly different.
And this is the Sexy Pirate.  I'm not sure I've ever seen a pirate wearing so much makeup, but if that's how they're doing things on the high seas these days, so be it.
This last one is not a Halloween look, but probably should be.  This is actually a Katy Perry look, crown and all.  I should probably wear a crown just to cement the fact that I'm the Queen of Everything.  Or at least everything in the truck. 
Ed probably knows that already, so I'll just sort of wear it around.  You know, at the fuel island, or in Target....crowns can really go anywhere. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Came For The Dog, Wound Up With A Beefy Italian
2011: The Master Carver
2010: Waiting For The Good Stuff
2009: Getting Some Bird A Day Ahead Of The Crowd
2008: The Only Reason Men Do Things Is Because Their Wives MAKE Them
2007: Here’s Looking At You
2006: Just Outside The Door
2005: Trying To Mask The Boredom

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Railfan Mecca

My maternal grandfather, who first exposed my brother and I to model trains - he had the most amazing setup in his basement in the Bronx and worked on his train board his entire life, the last time being the night before he died - would have loved this post.

Thanks to my fellow driver and friend, Gary Goulette, who provided the text and photos that follow, we have another interesting guest post!

DEFINITION VIA WIKIPEDIA:  A railfanrail buff or train buff (American English), railway enthusiast or railway buff (Australian/British English), or (often with a more specialized meaning, described belowtrainspotter or gricer (British English), is a person interested in  a recreational capacity in rail transportRailfans of many ages can be found worldwide.

I'm not a rabid railfan by any means. My enjoyment of trains are twofold - I love the sound of a train horn blaring in the distance (in the same way I enjoy hearing Lake freighter boats giving horn blast signals near my home in Michigan), and I enjoy traveling by rail because no effort is made by me other than purchasing the ticket. 

Model trains circling the ceiling at the Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center
I also remember being fascinated with a story my dad told me when I was younger, about a "dead man's switch" that the locomotive engineer stood on while operating the engine - if he died and fell off the switch that he stood on, the train would automatically brake, and come to a stop! Maybe that's total railroad folklore, but it was soooo vivid to me I could picture the actual switch when I thought about that story.  (Salena says:  Not folklore, Gary!)

Some people who are true railfans, spend their leisure time photographing, notating, and journaling the operations of railroads worldwide. I've seen a few of these folks near rail crossings, usually with a camera on a tripod, and a two-way radio scanner nearby, listening to the rail operations frequencies. I have to wonder what railroad workers think of these people?   Are they proud to operating those trains across the country, or are they jaded workers who think these railfan people are idiots?
I hate driving across Nebraska (especially at night) because to me it's a visually boring state. Hours of interstate, flat cornfields, and more interstate. Located in the Western part of the state is North Platte, a city known as a "railroad town" and also the location of a well known "canteen stop" for troop trains during World War II, where thousands of local citizen volunteers met the troop trains with coffee, food, and hospitality. 

The Bailey Yard in North Platte, Nebraska
Union Pacific Railroad operates the Bailey yard in North Platte, the world's largest railroad yard. Located just outside Union Pacific property is the Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center.

My co-driver and I stopped there on a cross country trip that afforded us a somewhat leisurely pace. It was early when we arrived and the center wasn't open, so as usual I poked around, looking through the windows. A custodian inside saw me, and motioned for me to come inside.  Once we were inside he offered us coffee and use of the restroom! To a truck driver, this is like being handed the keys to the city!

The center itself is smallish with various photographs and items displayed depicting railroading. A small model train circles around the center, near the ceiling. A gift shop sells railroad items (t-shirts, hats, books, and  videos). We were not allowed to go up into the tower (it had not opened for the day yet) and there was a nominal fee to do so.

I walked around the center shooting a few iPhone photos, while my co-driver chatted up the custodian with subjects I'm not conversant in (sports and hunting).  I was glad my co-driver was there because I'm not sure the friendly custodian wanted to talk railroads.
Train-related gift shop goodies
I can think of worse ways to spend time in North Platte.  I think younger kids would really like the observation tower, but surely, jaded teens might hate it. I'm glad I stopped.  Now when I pass the North Platte exit in Nebraska, I'll remember the hospitable janitor, the observation tower, and the free coffee.

All of which will take my mind off of the boring scenery which is Nebraska.

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2012: When I Was A Kid

2011: Nuts About Thanksgiving
2010: On The Way To Turkey Day
2009: Winding Down For The Big Holiday
2008: Pssst! The Fish Are In The Water. Check The Water.
2007: Elphaba’s Long Lost Sister?
2006: What Boys (And One Girl) Do On Thanksgiving
2005: Cold Turkey

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Quickly Losing Count

If television repeats had a queen, my mother would wear the crown.  She can watch the same TV show, the same movie, hundreds of times, sometimes even just days apart.  She has an extremely long list of those she calls her "favorites".  The number very well may be in the hundreds.

I watch TV shows and movies more than once also, but I'm selective and the list isn't as long.  I can probably come up with at least twenty, new and old, off the top of my head that I can easily watch over and over again.


1.  Friends

2.  King of Queens

3.  Monk

4.  Everybody Loves Raymond

5.  Modern Family

6.  My So-Called Life

7.  Will & Grace

8.  NCIS

9.  CSI: Miami

10.  The Mentalist


1.  The Shawshank Redemption

2.  A Few Good Men

3.  Dirty Dancing

4.  Blood Diamond (Leonardo DiCaprio!)

5.  The Departed (Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon)

6.  Closer

7.  If Lucy Fell

8.  Serendipity

9.  The Intouchables

10.  A Star Is Born (Streisand, Kristofferson)

11.  A Walk On The Moon (Viggo!)

12.  The Notebook

13.  Unfaithful

14.  Pretty Woman

15.  Primal Fear

16.  Something's Gotta Give

17.  Sweet Home Alabama

18.  Hope Floats

19.  The Family Stone

20.  The Piano

21.  Amélie

22.  Beautiful Girls

Oh my God!  Make me stop!!  I'm already at thirty plus shows and movies.  And I'm not even done yet.  I can't keep track!

At this rate, I can easily find myself close to the hundred mark. 

I am turning into my mother.

Time to start shopping for my very own La-Z-Boy.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Opposites Don't Always Attract

2011: Shit Eating Grins. And Giggles. And Shits And Giggles.
2010: Waiting It Out
2009: My Life According To Sugarland
2008: EPCOT On Fire
2007: Eddie Full Of Turkey Friday
2006: Crouching Poultry, Hidden Turkey
2005: Is It Really A Sandwich?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Making Mud For The Two Wheelers

It's been raining all day.  Constant and sometimes torrential.  And it's cold.  In the fifties.  The ever-present dirt is turning to mud and it's messy.

I actually like when it's cold and rainy here since it's such a departure from the constant, relentless sun and warmth.  And I like how it feels when you're holed up in the house.  It feels right to stay in when it's cold and rainy. 

The local news was worried about the rain negatively affecting the annual
El Tour de Tucson ride.  It takes place tomorrow and attracts over 9,000 cyclists.  Because much of the dirt is hard-packed and not used to all that much rain, when we get a lot of it, the roads and washes (dry river beds) start flooding.  Many of our roadways have significant dips in them that fill up with water and can go from innocuous thoroughfares to dangerous roadways in a very short time.  Not a place you want to be, especially on a bike.

I've always seen this event as a bit of a nuisance, with thousands of cyclists descending upon the town, clogging up the streets.  As if traffic isn't bad enough in the Old Pueblo.  But now that I actually own a bike and ride it, I should probably be a bit more pleasant when it comes to my fellow cyclists.  Hah!  Fellow cyclists. 

the route if you're interested.  I'm sure this time next year, Ed will have me in bike shorts and a numbered bib circumventing the city.

Oh, dear Lord.

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Have A Delicious Thanksgiving!
2011: The Boneyard Of The 309th
2010: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things
2009: I’m Only Interested In Breasts
2008: What Price Fun?
2007: True Blue
2006: Hitchcockesque
2005: The Borscht Belt

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Best Kind Of Mob

Banco Sabadell, founded in 1881 in Sabadell (Province of Barcelona), Spain, put this together to celebrate their anniversary.  The statement they released with the video was, "On the 130th anniversary of the founding of Banco Sabadell we wanted to pay homage to our city by means of the campaign "Som Sabadell" (We are Sabadell) . This is the flashmob that we arranged as a final culmination with the participation of 100 people from the Vallès Symphony Orchestra, the Lieder, Amics de l'Òpera and Coral Belles Arts choirs."

I wish my bank were this awesome.  We need more of these moments popping up in our everyday lives.

Like this train performance.

And the sun coming out at the unemployment office

Or the smiles this mob drummed up at the airport.

Or the Lindy hoppin' that broke out in Denver.

If you're going to get mobbed, I'd say these are the best ways for it to happen. 

And even when they don't move, they're still great.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Loving What's On The Inside

Another evening lounging around reading article collected via Flipboard.  Here are the ones I feel are worth sharing:

As if I didn't love
him enough already.

I think $4,000 is a small price to pay for
seats that massage you.  Too bad they don't make them for a Freightliner. 

The hair on the redheaded model is actually more amazing than the photographs.  But I do love the one with the gold crown. 

There may be many instances where saying, "I don't know." is the perfect answer.  George Clooney inviting me to his villa for the weekend isn't one of them.

Just in case you need to be reminded, it really is what's on the inside that counts.

Because I gravitate toward all things insanely opulent, I'm pretty sure I was switched at birth.  I just know I should have been raised among the likes of the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers and Astors.  I need a mansion.   

When you can make Nutella Hot Chocolate, why on earth would anyone drink a Pumpkin Spiced Latte??  Put down the pumkin-flavored whatever and check out these recipes for something truly delicious.

I'm all for a semi-nomadic lifestyle, but I don't know if I could go
full-fledged gypsy.  I don't have a tophat or medieval clothing, which seems to be a pre-requisite.  They do have modern technology though, so....

And then this one sent to me by my friend Gary - Gothan West Market - the new food mart in Hell's Kitchen, New York City.  I'm so there!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: When You Walk Like That, Talk Like That, Look Like That...
2011: Like And Loathing In Las Vegas
2010: Get Fresh With Me…Please!
2009: In The Blink Of An Eye
2008: Duck, Duck, Drake
2007: The Lady And Sons
2006: The Department Of Mindless Vegetables
2005: Ooo Rah Johnny Cash!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The White Dove Of The Desert

Mission San Xavier del Bac is located south of downtown Tucson, on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation.  And today it was part of Ed's Tour of Tucson. 

I visited the Mission thirty years ago when we first came to Tucson - that seems to be the theme lately, me visiting attractions I haven't seen in decades - but I haven't been to it since they did the big interior
The Mission was founded in 1692 by Jesuit missionary, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino.  He documented that he was the first non-Indian to visit the village of Wa:k, or "Bac".  This building was built between  1783 and 1797 and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960.
It is still actively served by Franciscans and holds services for the Native community and anyone else wishing to attend.  This is a partial photo of the altar and ceiling above. 
The artwork inside the church was painted by at least three different artists and is considered to be the finest example of Spanish mission architecture in the United States. 

The Mission underwent an extensive interior restoration between 1992 and 1997.  They brought Italians over from Italy.  Of course they did.  Look at the ornate artwork and the vibrant colors.
Oh, and this thing.  On the altar.  A little creepy.
Another look at the interior décor.  The walls are white plaster and the painting is done directly on them.  There are examples of Spanish and Native American motifs in the artwork.
This is looking down the center of the church from the altar, toward the front door.  When it's really hot (which is always to me), coming through that door literally takes you into a sanctuary, providing a delightful respite from the oppressive desert heat. 
Below is a wooden statue of Saint Francis, and it's extremely important to the Mission and the pilgrims who visit it.  Pinned to his robe are what's called milagros (miracles, in Spanish) - small tokens in the shape of hearts, arms, legs, eyes, and other body parts, in addition to photos of people, notes - representing what needs to be prayed for. 

In the museum display area of the Mission, milagros are described as “symbols of physical and mental pain and joy placed with images of saints to relay messages to God.”

If you can't make it to the Mission to leave your own milagro, the power of the internet allows you to have a prayer request placed with the Saint.  Fill it out 
Thousands of pilgrims visit the mission each year.  It's a place of importance to many people's beliefs and faith. 

While sitting in the church I said to Ed that I can see how people weary from the heat, the dust, their journey, would come upon this pristine white vision in the middle of the desert and know that inside, they'd find kind and loving people who would offer whatever help they may need.
It's exactly what a place like this should represent - a safe haven. 

Revisiting the Mission was nice and I'm glad we made time for it.  We even took time to watch a video narrated by Tucson native, Linda Ronstadt, which provided more detail on the Mission's restoration.

You can see the Mission in the distance from Interstate-19, on the way from Tucson heading south to Mexico.  If you have a chance, make a quick stop.  It really is quite a sight.

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A Beautiful Listen
2011: The Music Of The Night
2010: There’s No Better Place On Earth
2009: Getting Tanked In Al-Nahar
2008: Bracing For A World Of Mouse Ears
2007: At Least He’s Up Front About It
2006: Aten HUT!!
2005: Be The Player