Friday, February 28, 2014

I Like Big Boteros And I Cannot Lie

A Botero sculpture at the Gary Nader Gallery in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami, Florida.
As soon as I saw the sculptures out front, I shouted "A Botero!"

Ed said, "A what?"

"A Botero.  The sculptor who did that piece - his name is Botero."

It's probably the only sculpture I can look at and identify the artist.  The other is Jeffrey Koons, but I don't like his stuff, I was much happier seeing a Botero.

Fernando Botero has been called "one of the most successful artists alive" - successful painting and sculpting fat people.  Maybe that's why I like him.

When asked why he paints fat people he said, "I fatten my characters to give them sensuality. I’m not interested in fat people for the sake of fat people."  That's okay with me.  He still puts fat people - really round, really fat, really plush people - on display for the whole world to see.  And the world loves it.

You can read a little more about the artist and see more of his work in this blog post I found, written by a 14-year-old who travels the world with his mom.  Pretty cool stuff.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: The Young Never Have Trouble Screwing
2012: Making Tracks Across The Country
2011: Eddie Is The King Of The Dome
2010: Do It For Half An Hour A Day
2009: Sipping In Nyack
2008: The Tink Tink Tinkle Of Recycling
2007: Ralph’s Service Station
2006: The Isle Of Capri
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Some Links Are Sexier Than Others

Another great collection of links from FlipBoard.  Have a gander...

How many of these places have you been to?

I sent this recipe to my best friend, she made it, and she confirmed its deliciousness.  She's making this one next.  

I'm all about being lazy, but this is taking it a bit too far.  Why rent a bike?  Why not just get a cab?

Even I don't have time to look up this much shit.  And I've got a lot of time.


Ever wonder what goes on in a pig pen when you're not around?  

Holy mother of God.  Can Beyonce be any sexier?  I think right about now I'd crown her the sexiest thing on earth.  

I have friends who've actually been here.  Not above the clouds, but still.  

Lego photographers?  When I was a kid, Legos were just blocks, not people.  

I know my "slope hitting" has only consisted of snow tubing - and I even got hurt doing that - but I don't need to ski to stay in one of these places.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Who Says I'm Spoiled?

2012: So That’s How It’s Done
2011: Sunny Bright Yellow Moments Ahead
2010: Loaded
2009: C’mon, Just Do It Already!
2008: Counterproductive
2007: If You Need A Reason To Cook More Often, I Think I Have One
2006: Warning: May Contain Traces Of Nuts
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Higher The Hair, The Closer To God

I saw this lady in the Little Havana section of Miami, walking across a parking lot.  I nudged Ed and said, "Hurry up, I want to catch up with her and get a picture."

We were on the way to a shop Ed wanted to look at and she was headed in the same direction - so I could snap a few pictures of her as we turned the corner.  I loved that everything she had on was chartreuse - shoes, purse, pants, blouse - topped with HUGE blond hair.  And she was walking fast, with purpose.

And then, just before we got to the store Ed wanted to check out, she ducked into a beauty parlor.

I suspect she was going to have her huge hair made even bigger.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: My Two Cents On Oscar Fashion

2012: A Little Nip Of A Love Affair
2011: It’s A Serious Addiction
2010: Why Play Fantasy Football When You Can Spend Your Time Making Lists For The Halle Experiment?
2009: I Hope There Isn’t Going To Be A Quiz
2008: Sunglasses Required
2007: Golden Eye
2006: Making A List And Checking It Twice
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dinner And A Show

After we delivered in Miami last week, we spent two days getting the radiator on the truck replaced.  They finished on Friday - I was shocked, counting on Monday instead - so we headed a few hours up the coast to visit with our best trucking buds for the weekend.

In exchange for doing three loads of laundry at their place, I cooked dinner.  I would have cooked a feast if it meant I didn't have to spend two hours in a hot laundromat in Miami.  It was quite the deal for me.  And the key lime pie Marlaina got for dessert topped off the night.

Last night we all went out for dinner - there were five of us since Marlaina's longtime friend was also coming - at a place named Jetty's, a waterfront restaurant situated on the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter, Florida.  The outside dining area had a view of pelicans, passing boats, and the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.  

The place was pretty popular and even though we were there early, the wait for a table was an hour.  Usually, I dislike waiting more than 10-15 minutes for a table in any restaurant, but the time flew by as we sat with drinks, chatting away and watching the snowy egrets plunge their thin orange beaks into the water to catch their meals.  It gave me time to think about what I was going to eat for mine.
We were seated at a table on the outside patio which was really nice and not at all hot or humid, a big plus for me.  Everyone seemed to enjoy their meals, I know I liked mine - a broiled seafood platter with stuffed shrimp, scallops, and an incredibly delicious lobster tail.  I haven't had one that good in a while.
Today we got the truck washed and was planning to have an error code on the generator looked at, but a juicy load popped up and Ed jumped on it.

So the fun is over for a few days while we get back to work.  After a quick stop at home at the end of the week, we'll be heading back to the east coast.

I hope they save some snow for me.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013:  Everything You Need To Live A Bountiful Life Is Inside Of You
2012: From A Bodyguard, To Men Of Honor, To Good Deeds
2011: Just What I Need
2010: Waterfront Dining
2009: The Best Is Yet To Come
2008: It’s Not Just A Medicinal Oil After All
2007: Tracy Hilltop
2006: Calming The Flatulent Tiger
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

La Ventanita

Billed as "the world's most famous Cuban Restaurant", Versailles has been serving locals and tourists for over 40 years.  La Ventanita - the little window - is where most of the action is, as with many of the Cuban food places in Miami.  It reminded me of the coffee bars in Italy.  They seem to be the only place you'll find a group of men comfortable sipping from a delicate demitasse cup.

Their website states that after opening, it quickly became the gathering place for Miami's Cuban exiles.  The restaurant has seen the likes of everyone from celebrities to Presidential candidates.  And the media considers the place to be so important, that the major networks have already secured a spot to report from when Castro dies (if, as my friends pointed out, he isn't already secretly dead).  

We each had a Cuban Sampler platter.  Ed had The Classic - White rice, Black beans, "Picadillo" Ground Beef, Roast Pork, Sweet Plantains, Ham Croquette, Cuban Tamale, and Cassava with Cuban Mojo.  I had The Criollo - Yellow Rice, Black Beans, "Ropa Vieja" Shredded Beef in Tomato Sauce, Fried Pork Chunks, Ham Croquette, Sweet Plantains, Cuban Tamale, and Cassava with Cuban Mojo.  The food was okay, but not as good as Little Havana.

We completed our meal with cortadito which was deeeeeelicious (and very tiny), and brought home a few pastries from the bakery.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Big Fat Proof Of Your Weight
2012: This Could Be Very Confusing For Men
2011: The King Of Thrift
2010: Dances With Sheepskin
2009: The Seat You Offer Your Arch Enemy
2008: The Man With The Silver Handbag
2007: Silver Snowscape
2006: Let Go Let Flow
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

Puttin' On The Fritz

Last night we stayed at The Fritz Hotel in Miami's South Beach.  Our room was on the top floor overlooking the ocean.  The four windows on the top left, and the sliding door next to it that opens on to the little balcony belonged to our room.
Driving up and down Ocean Drive, all the hotels pretty much have the same look - colorful Art Deco designs with a restaurant, bar or cafe in front.  We sat at one of those cafes looking at hotels on the iPad, trying to decide where to stay.  All the pictures looked great, but it was late and we were undecided so we headed back to the car.

When we got to the car, we realized it was parked right in front of this hotel.  Ed went in to see if they had any availability while I stayed in the car and tortured myself by reading online reviews.  Turns out, some of the reviews were right.  The suites were huge - like a large apartment with a spacious living room, roomy kitchen, huge bedroom and walk-in closet, big bathroom, and a balcony facing the beach - but they were showing their age.

It was kind of cool to stay right in South Beach at a hotel on the famous Ocean Drive, but it wasn't really the best hotel I've ever been in and I wouldn't stay here again.  I think it would suit young people who don't care where they are staying, who just want to be near the beach and the beer, and who often have several people in one room anyway.  It just wasn't up to our standards.  

Being on the top floor and having a little balcony, which faced directly east, did afford use a nice view of the Atlantic Ocean over the tops of the palm trees.  It was a nice vista to wake up to.  Ed took his coffee on the balcony.  
This view is also from the balcony, looking north up Ocean Drive.  The construction site ruins this view a little bit, but I chose to overlook it.  And you probably would have too if I didn't just point it out.  
I do have to say, South Beach is pretty with all the colorful buildings and store fronts, palm trees and luxury cars.  And I didn't see Justin Bieber or any of the Kardashians.

I consider myself lucky.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Proof That A Snowball Does Have A Chance In Hell
2012: I Just Want Tiny Little Elephants To Massage My Earlobes
2011: App-solutely Crazy
2010: NCIS Investigates The Kitchen Aftermath
2009: Sometimes There Are FOUR Sides To A Story
2008: Made With Pride
2007: Coke Crushes The Competition
2006: Tired And Mute
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Art Deco Color

The Art Deco District on Ocean Drive in Miami's colorful South Beach.  The Colony Hotel has been around since 1935 and is considered an Art Deco treasure.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Formed Around A Grain Of Sand
2012: Pinwheels, Cartwheels, What’s The Difference?
2011: Maybe You Left It On Mars
2010: The Art Of A French Cooking Friend
2009: Eddie Supervises Friday
2008: Squeaky Clean
2007: Rushing No More
2006: My Constant Gardner
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Seek And Ye Shall Find

We found our Cuban food by way of a nice little Cuban mechanic at Freightliner.  We brought the truck in to have the radiator replaced - small leak - and while waiting in the shop, Ed inquired about a good place to get Cuban food.  We were sent to the Little Havana Restaurant.  
Ed had the Roast Pork which had a crispy piece of pork skin with it, and I had a classic Cuban dish, Vaca Frita in Mojo Sauce, which is pan-fried shredded beef.  Both dishes came with rice, black beans, and fried plantains.  The serving was ample and everything was insanely flavorful.  It's not a location one could get to in a truck - we have a rental car - but it's definitely a place we'd make an effort to return to.
There are very few places in the country we've found Cuban food, let alone good Cuban food.  We came across a place in Key West and we had a pretty good Dominican meal in New York that was similar in to Cuban, but Miami does it best for us.

Vive la Cuba!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Frantically Trying To Get Back To Indonesia
2012: I’d Like Some Snow For Dessert
2011: Getting A Little Carried Away
2010: On A Need To Know Basis
2009: Something Has Gone Terribly Wrong
2008: Flying Into The Sun
2007: Riding The Rails
2006: Keeping Me Quiet With A Chocolate Snap
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What A Difference A Day Makes

Yesterday we were here:
 Today we are here:
We chose a hot load, that had to get from Watertown, New York to Miami, Florida as soon as humanly possible.  And we did it.

1,523 miles in 26 hours.  We even kicked up our speed from our usual 58 mph to 65 mph.  We rarely do that.

We arrived at 6:15 pm and the freight we were hauling had to be on a plane leaving at 8:00 pm.  The freight forwarders didn't have much time to dismantle the pallets and get it to the airport, but that's wasn't our problem.  We fulfilled our part of the deal, so once we unloaded, we waved goodbye and headed out to find dinner.

Ed is happy to be back in warm weather, I could have used a few more days in four feet of snow.

Tomorrow we hunt for Cuban food.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: The Inner Path To The Outer Banks
2012: The Greatest Love Of All
2011: Step It Up
2010: It May Not Be EVERY Day You Learn Something New, But It’s Certainly True Of THIS Day
2009: Dreams Of Do-It-Yourself Dolloping Come True
2008: Rest In Peace Sweet Green Eyed Beauty
2007: George And Ira
2006: Zip It Up!
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Who Needs Sochi? We've Got Watertown.

Ed's first snow tubing experience goes down in New York history. Well, at least in Daily Rant history. Watch his first interview here:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Pit Stop At Home
2012: Adding A Few More Wheels To The Big Rig
2011: Again And Again And Again
2010: Hood Ornament
2009: Eddie Out Of Control Friday
2008: My Boyfriend Simon Is Back In Town
2007: A Little Taste Of Miami Beach
2006: Ooooohhhhhh, Jabra!
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Most Awkward Descent Down A Snow Covered Hill. Ever.

Today we went snow tubing at Dry Hill Ski Area in Watertown, New York.  I've never been snow tubing in my life, even though I grew up with snow.  I've been sledding on an old-fashioned wood sleigh with rails.  I've gone down the hill on a plastic roll up sled.  I've even made the trip on a flying saucer.  But never, ever on a tube.

And Ed?  Well, he's never done anything in snow period.  He grew up in Texas, where they don't get snow like we do in New York.  So for $15 each, we got our tickets for our first snow sport adventure.

We started at the bottom of the hill, lining up with all the other tubers - mostly children, but several parents and other adults too.  I didn't really feel as out of place as I thought I would.  I imagined a Saturday morning with a million kids running around.  And although the kids outnumbered the adults, they were having such fun - in the non-maniacal-hyped-on-sugar-Chuck-e-Cheese way - that they were actually kinda enjoyable to be around.  Don't tell anyone I said that.  
Once you get to the front of the line, your tube is hooked to a pulley, like a snow tube ski-lift, that takes you to the top of the hill.  Here's Ed lounging on his tube as he's pulled up the hill.  
When you get to the top of the hill, you roll off your tube, stand up, and retrieve your tube from the attendant.  Rolling off the tube is where my first injury occurred.  I don't know how it happened, but I tweaked my right thumb.  Hard.   

Ed immediately made fun of me, "You have a snow tube injury??  Already?  You haven't even gone down the hill yet."

"I think it happened when I fell off the tube," I said.  "I pulled it back or something." 

"Fell off the tube??  You rolled off the tube.  A tube that's six inches off the snow."

Well, whatever.  Over the course of the day it got worse - I couldn't pull my gloves on (try that without a thumb) - and by the end of the day it was bruised and swollen.  I couldn't even text. Tragic. 

Anyway, once we got to the top we had a choice of five lanes to tube down.  We chose the middle lane.  Here's Ed waiting his turn.
We did this several times, down and then back up the hill, using the third lane each time.  Then they closed that lane to shovel some snow that had accumulated in the path.

For the next run, I wanted to use the lanes to the right because they looked smaller, like baby lanes.  Ed suggested to use one of the lanes to the left because he thought it'd make a better photo op.  So I chose the fourth lane, positioning my tube at the top of the hill and preparing for takeoff.  

Here I am starting my descent.  I quickly wound up in the backwards position, as it's apparently impossible to keep a circle from turning, and there's really no way to steer or direct yourself.  I was backwards on all the other runs down too.  I didn't like it but it was unavoidable.  
Halfway down is when my spectacular wipeout took place.  I don't know how it happened, but I do know I felt as if I were tumbling in the undertow of a giant wave.  My face was in the snow and I rolled several times before coming to a stop.  Notice you can see my tube here, but I'm obscured by the poof of snow.
I came to a stop right in the middle of lane four.  Like a harp seal.  Belly down, face in the snow, tube turned over, me taking a moment to quickly assess whether I broke anything before standing up.
After I righted myself - all the layers I was wearing made me feel not just like a regular seal but a pregnant one, making me way fluffier than usual - I got up, walked to the end of the lane, and waited for Ed.  

I lost my sunglasses, and when Ed gave me the once over, dusting the snow off my clothes, he noticed I also lost an earring.  I knew I should have taken them off, but since the first few runs went pretty well, I figured I was safe.  

Here's a close-up of my beached seal pose.  I laugh every time I look at it.  And if you look at the snowbank on the right, close to the bottom of the photo, you can see my sunglasses.  The guy shoveling found them.  
Standing there recovering from my tumble, taking a breath, my hair wet with snow and most definitely a wreck (I could hear it screaming for a comb), I saw Ed staring at me.

"What?" I said.

"Uh, nothing." he said.  

"No, what is it?"

"I've just never seen you look like this in public before," he said. "Actually, I've never seen you look like this anywhere.  Ever."

I forbid him to take a picture.  But I did get one of him, after he made a snow landing at the end of his next run.
To be honest, even with crooked glasses and one eye full of snow, he looks ten times better than I did.

Which is why you will never see that photo of me.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013:  At The Top Of My Favorite Cities List
2012: Not Looking Anymore
2011: There Is Hope
2010: Where The Bunnies Of The Desert Hang Out
2009: The Marion County Shirt Factory Incident
2008: Eddie Roams The Mayan Ruins Friday
2007: Self Service Antiques
2006: Begin At Once
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Winter Is A Table Set With Ice And Starlight

Photo courtesy of Google
Happy Valentine's Day!!  I hope you're out there giving and receiving love today.  I'm still in New York - my favorite state of all, my home, my heart - and I am ready to face this day with a heart full of love.  And the best part is that I get to do it in the snow!

To celebrate winter, I want to share a poem I saw on a friend's Facebook page.  I thought it was perfect for a snowy Valentine's Day.

by Greta Crosby

Let us not wish away the winter.  It is a season unto itself, not simply the way to spring.

When trees rest, growing no leaves, gathering no light, they let in sky and trace themselves delicately against dawns and sunsets.

The clarity and brilliance of the winter sky delight.

The look of fog softens edges, lulls the eyes and ears of the quiet, awakens by risk the unquiet.  A low dark sky can snow, emblem of individuality, liberality, and aggregate power.  Snow invites to contemplation and to sport.

Winter is a table set with ice and starlight.

Winter dark tends to warm light:  fire and candle; winter cold to hugs and huddles; winter want to gifts and sharing; winter danger to visions, plans, and common endeavoring--and the zest of narrow escapes; winter tedium to merry-making.

Let us therefore praise winter, rich in beauty, challenge, and pregnant negatives.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: The Romance Of The Road

2012: Celebrate With A Wild Desire
2011: Powerful Stuff
2010: Falling In Love With Ugly
2009: A Love Like This Can Know No Death
2008: Peace To This House
2007: The Sultan Of Love
2006: It’s Even Better Than Arbor Day
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Flakes Got Up Early And Stayed All Day

Last night I stayed up late watching "This is 40", shaking the bed with laughter while Ed slept.  I was also waiting for the snow.  It was supposed to start late, but the real stuff was coming early morning.

1am, nothing.  2 am, nothing.  3 am, nada.  And at 4am when I went to sleep, not a flake had fallen.  I kept looking out the kitchen window of the sleeper, hoping to see something happening.  I finally had to go to bed because I had to get up in three and a half hours.

At 7:30am when I got out of bed, the first thing I did was look out the window.  The snow had come.  Ed said I was so excited looking out the window, like a kid waiting for Santa.

The snow wasn't letting up, but when we first headed out, the roads weren't too bad.
But they did get progressively worse.  Not icy, just snowy.  Visibility was so bad, it was hard to see cars in front of us, so many of them ignoring the headlight law in New York.  It was even difficult to see the snowplow right in front of us, despite their flashing lights.
The snow kept coming and although we were heading north and would eventually be getting out of the worst of it, it was hours before we hit clear-ish roads again.  There was hardly anyone out - us Yankees are smart like that, we stay home in shitty weather - and the ones who were driving were handling the weather just fine.

I grew up in this area and have been driving in snow since high school.  I'm very confident when behind the wheel.  Thankfully, today I didn't have to do the driving, I got to be a passenger.  
It looks like we'll be here for the weekend and Ed had the idea to rent a snowmobile.  I might just be into that.  Of course, I don't think I have the proper snowmobiling clothes, but I do have enough stuff to layer.  Which will probably make me look like the Michelin Man wearing a red scarf and gloves.

It's still snowing and we're expecting more tonight and into tomorrow afternoon.

This might just turn out to be the best Valentine's Day ever.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Headed For A Slow Boat To China

2012: A Roaring Forties Tasmanian Devil Of A Blue
2011: Waiter! There’s A Beer In My Soup!
2010: Id’ Rather Go Naked Than Wear Wolf
2009: Eddie Getting His Licks Friday
2008: The Place Is In Ruins
2007: Winter Shadows
2006: The Angels Of The New York D.O.T.
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Still Before The Storm

I've been dying to see snow and I finally got a real dose of it.  We left South Carolina just before their ice storm hit and made it to the part of New York where I grew up, thirteen hours later.  The storm that dumped ice on the South is headed our way tonight and I, unlike so many other people, have my fingers crossed that we'll get dumped on and I'll be smack in the middle of all the snowfall.

This field, with the four trees and the three lonely benches, was across the street from the place we picked up our load.  The snow was untouched and the sky was overcast.  The air was still.  New snow is on the way.

This is my New York in black and white.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013:  Sizzle, Drizzle, And Pour

2012: Dreams Explored Over Dinner
2011: I’m In Love And It’s Not Even Valentine’s Day Yet
2010: Eddie As Fisherman Friday
2009: Birds And Barbells On Muscle Beach
2008: A Girl On The Shores Of Cozumel
2007: I’m Not Exactly Sure What You’re Proposing Here
2006: The Blizzard Of 2006
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

In The Nick Of Time

We sat in the truck stop watching the power company trucks trickle in.  By the time we left this morning, there were ten of them.  Waiting for the Storm of the Century to unfold.  Well, if you don't count the storm of the century that hit them two weeks ago.

This is what it looked like when we left South Carolina early this afternoon.  We were getting out just in the nick of time.

We're heading to the Northeast, where snow is expected, but also where they are not only prepared for it, but know how to drive in it.  I suspect we'll be enjoying several inches of snow - somewhere between six and fifteen if the forecast is right - for Valentine's Day.  
I can't think of a better way to celebrate the love.

Later, Dixie!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013:  This Business Means Business

2012: A Nodding Donkey On The Hill
2011: What A Croc
2010: Flash Of Pole
2009: They Hire ‘Em Young These Days
2008: Setting Sail At Sunset
2007: Happy Bee
2006: It’s Not Unusual
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!