Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Symphony Of A Thousand Saws

It must be the hours we're keeping; the midnight Scrabble games, staying up late watching movies and visiting friends and family sometimes until two and three in the morning.

This can be the only explanation for the man who morphs into Darth Vader as soon as he slips beneath the sheets. Not enough shut eye. Sheer exhuastion. For all of you who think Eddie is the sweetest thing this side of the Mississippi, you don't know the sheer hell of it all.

This has been our conversation almost every night for the past week:

"Babe!" (loud stage whisper) "Turn over. You're snoring."

No movement.



"You're snoring."

"No I'm not."

"Yes you are."

He then turns over to get into another position, taking every slip of bedding with him as he makes his turn, and promptly starts snoring again.


"What??" he says, as if I'm keeping him awake.

"You're snoring again."

"I am not. I haven't even fallen asleep yet."

"OK, fine, so you're wide awake; but you're STILL FUCKING SNORING."

"YeahokaywhateverI'mnotevenasleepyetIcan'tbesnoring" he mumbles.

He thinks I'm kidding. We actually discuss it during the day, when the snore isn't happening. And he maintains that he's not snoring. Like I'm making it up. As if I get up in the middle of the night, just to wake him and sit there while he argues that he's not snoring. I have even recorded him. AND played it back to him. Yet he still thinks he doesn't snore.

Obviously, his sweet nature also gets the best of me, because even after sitting up in bed in the middle of the night trying to convince him that he sounds like Luke's father, I don't ever send him to the couch.

Not even when he rolls over in my direction, nestles his face in the crook of my neck and bathes my ear with the sound of a thousand saws cutting enough wood to build the next Taj Majal.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Only Way I Can Tolerate Arizona

I've posted this thermometer before; only that time, the temperature was in the three digit range. These numbers are more my cup of tea:

It was so cold today, there was even SNOW on the mountain. Yay!! Here is the view from my brother's backyard.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Dead Ant, Dead Ant, Dead Ant, Dead Ant, Dead Ant, Dead Ant, Dead Ant....

(Picture courtesy of Discovery Channel Store)

I got my nephew an "ant gel habitat" for his birthday; we use to call them ant farms. He seemed to think it was very cool. My sister-in-law is another story. I think she envisioned ants marching through the house at night.

I mean, they do have three boys; do you really think the boys are going to let the ants stay in their own little house when they can set them free and have 5,000 square feet to roam in? Doubtful.

I didn't purchase ants for the habitat because I thought it would add to the fun of the gift if my nephew went into the yard and got his own ants; because who freakin' buys ants when they are free all over the damn place??

That idea didn't go over as well as I had thought it would. Seems the ants in the yard aren't "good enough." After several phone calls to local pet stores and the University of Arizona entomology department (oh, and one pest control place thinking they might be able to tell us where to find the good ants) we surprisingly came up with nothing.

So it looks like I'll be purchasing ants from Ants Alive and having them mailed to the house.

Let's just hope they're still actually still alive when they get there.

Dead Ant, Dead Ant...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Only Visible Flames Came From The Candles On The Altar

Today I joined friends and family at a local church to be present at the baptism of the third child of my brother's best friend.

Through all the sitting, standing, singing, peace be with you's, hand shaking, sitting, standing, more singing, and a bit more standing, the hour and a half service that felt like three days was finally over and a beautiful (and surprisingly quiet) infant was baptized.

Remembering my days in church as a child, I realized the receiving of the host and the sip of wine is still my favorite part.

And, I'm happy to report that the building did not burst into flames upon my entrance; contrary to a widely held belief.

Now if my friend Greg were there...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's The Real Thing!

Me (age 7), my brother (age 6) and my cousin (age 6) hopefully playing a game of dress up. I absolutely LOVED those Coca-Cola pants. And paired with that halter? Man!

We are SO ready for an episode of "What Not To Wear"; my brother the cowboy and my cousin, the wayward debutante. Doesn't she know you're not supposed to wear a casual floppy hat with a satin ball skirt??

Thursday, December 21, 2006

If You Have A Note, Then It's Perfectly Okay To Commit Credit Card Fraud

Just as I was getting ready to leave the house today to go Christmas shopping, my mother stopped me and asked if I would mind picking up a few gift cards for her.

"Sure," I said.

She told me what she wanted, how much for each one and then handed me her Visa card.

"Don't you have cash?"

"Not on me." she said, "Why? Can't you just use the card?"

"Well, I'm afraid they won't accept the card from me."

"Why not?" she asked.

"Because it has your picture on the front of it."

"Well," she pauses, as if thinking. "What if I give you a note?"

"A note?? What am I in sixth grade?? And what are you going to write?"

To Whom It May Concern: Please allow my daughter Salena to purchase a gift card in the amount of $50.00 with my credit card. Sincerely, Her Mother

"No ma, I don't think that's going to work."

She sighs.

"OK, OK. I'll try it."

So I did.

And no one noticed.

And I didn't need a note.

OH. MY. GOD. That can only mean one thing.

They thought I was my MOTHER!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ghostly Landmark

Ghost Ranch Lodge. Tucson, Arizona.

From the Arizona Daily Star:

"For more than 60 years, Ghost Ranch Lodge's red-tiled roofs, manicured lawns and cow-skull sign — the latter designed by famed artist Georgia O'Keeffe — welcomed travelers to the once-thriving tourist strip known as West Miracle Mile.

Arthur Pack, owner of the Ghost Ranch in New Mexico — a favorite spot of O'Keeffe's — came to Tucson with his wife, Phoebe, in 1941 to build the lodge. In front of it, the Packs installed the skull logo, a wedding gift from O'Keeffe."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Lesser Known King Of Romance

Tonight while watching TV, we saw a commercial that featured Englebert Humperdinck, which sparked Ed to ask my mother what she thought of Engelbert. Big mistake.

My mother went on to say how when she was younger, she knew some other people who were sooo into him, went to his concerts, bought the records, even my sisters liked him and oh, Tom Jones too because all the girls thought he was so sexy and tried to get tickets to his concerts but no, she never was a big fan of Engelbert.

Then, as usual, she goes off track completely and tells Ed, "Although, my mother loved to say his name; Engelbert. Engelbert Humperdinck. And she, oh she was a big fan of, Hoo... Hoo..... Ummm.... What is that guy's name?? Oh, now I remember! Oolio. She really loved the music of Oolio Ahnglaze. And he was soooo handsome."

I said, "Oolio??"

"Yes, Oolio. Ahn... Ahh... Oolio ENglaze." So proud of herself for thinking she got the pronunciation right this time.

Ed says, "Ohhhh, Oolio! Yes, yes, I know him. He's the distant cousin of Julio Iglesias."


"He's the one that didn't make it big."

My mother looked at both of us like we were cracked, because she's absolutely sure that his name is Oolio. Emphasis on the "Oooo" part.

When we explained that his name was Julio Iglesias and told her the correct pronunciation, she got such a kick out of herself and started giggling, that I thought she was going to get up and play his CD.

Thank God she didn't, because I was really in the mood to hear Oolio.

You know; the lesser known cousin.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I thought I felt your breath tonight.

A warm expulsion of air just over my left shoulder, gently caressing my neck.

I turned toward the heat of it, only to find nothing there.

I was sure I sensed something; a penetrating gaze, a lingering stare.

I turned toward the heat of it, only to find nothing there.

I thought I felt your touch tonight, resting gently on my thigh.

I turned toward the heat of it, only to find nothing there.

Your spirit surrounds me; I'm sure of it.

There is an uneasy stir in the air.

I turned toward the heat of it, only to find nothing there.

I thought I heard you breathe tonight, whispering my name.

I turned toward the heat of it, only to find nothing there.

I thought I had love in my heart tonight, but when I turned toward the heat of it,

I found nothing there.

* I was going through some boxes of stuff at my Mom's recently and found this written on a slip of paper, tucked into a book in one of the boxes. It was written by me and dated September 9, 1999. Hmmm.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

In The Desert, The Clouds Look Like Cotton Candy

While cruising around Arizona, Eddie and I took a little stroll through the cotton fields. I like how the first picture looks like actual cotton balls, the second looks like clouds and the third up close, a puffy white flower.

The History of Cotton is just amazing. Who ever thinks about where it comes from when we pull that 100% cotton t-shirt over our head!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Companionship Is Just A Phone Call Away. Beauty Is Another Story

If you have ever been to Las Vegas, you are familiar with these cards. If not, I will tell you one thing: You can get them EVERYWHERE. The streets are lined with hispanic workers handing out these cards while wearing t-shirts that say "Direct To You In 20 Minutes." To get your attention, they slap the cards loudly against their hands just before shoving two or three of them into yours.

Plenty of people must call these places, otherwise they wouldn't be able to hire the calling card pushers, but I have wondered who will show up for $35. Do you really get girls that look like the ones on the cards or are they all mysteriously "booked" when you call? I can hear the conversation now.

"Good Evening, Girls Direct To You."

"Uh yes, I would like to book Jess for this evening."

"Jess is already out on a call."

"Oh, okay. Well then how about Gigi?"

"Oh, sorry....Gigi called in sick."

"Hmmm, sick huh? Well how about Jessica? I understand she's full service."

"Geez, wow. Wish I could help you, but Jessica quit a month ago. We haven't had a chance to print up new cards. But I tell you what, we can send you Agatha for the same price."

"Agatha? I didn't see her card."

"Oh, yeah, uh, well Agatha is a new girl and uh, I can knock the price down to $45 if you want. You can't get a better deal than that and we can have her at your room in 20 minutes."

"Uh, thanks, but I think I'll pass on Agatha. Maybe next time."

And you know that guy is thinking, Whada they think, I'm friggin' stupid? Agatha. Pffft. Who'd freakin' buy a girl named AGATHA?? I do have standards, you know.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

'Tis The Season To Be Tweety

Proof that I was actually involved in some sort of Christmas decorating this year, I photographed some of the ornaments from my brother's christmas tree.

I was only allowed to take pictures after I hung my quota of ornaments; I think my portion amounted to 56 ornaments and two crocheted snowflakes. Whew, I'm exhuasted!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dangerous Beauty

This is the vegetation that dots the landscape in Southern Arizona. Kinda makes you want to take a walk in the desert, doesn't it?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"O" My God

Last week, we went to see the production of "O" at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, performed by Cirque du Soleil.

The stage, the costumes, the precision, the music, the water; I don't think I've ever been as in awe of anything as I was of this show. The skill, grace and artistry involved was beyond anything I had imagined it would be. There is a trailer on the Cirque du Soleil website you can watch to get just a little glimpse.

I could not take my eyes off the stage the entire time. Performed in a 26 foot deep pool, containing 1.5 million gallons of water, the stage platforms appear and disappear with such stealth, that you can't tell what is water and what is solid ground until the act is complete.

The music for the show was provided by a live orchestra, accompanied by singers with haunting voices, contained in glass booths on either side of the stage. No dialogue was ever spoken by any of the performers, save for the incoherent mumbling of the clowns that entertained between acts.

The obvious athleticism required to be part of this troupe is clearly evident in the performers, who are either clothed in skintight costumes, showing every sinewy part of their body or displayed in the bare chested divers and acrobats; most of them eliciting gasps from the crowd. The strength needed for several of the feats performed was beyond comprehension and the flexibility of the contortionists put my very best bedroom acrobatics to utter shame!

This will be my most highly recommended "to do" from my past year of traveling. If you have a chance to see any of the Cirque du Soleil performances, I urge you to do so. They are well worth the money, no matter what the asking price.

Just stay away from the snack bar; that's where you'll get nailed for the ten dollar Diet Coke like I did.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Forty Dollars A Gallon

Everyone knows Las Vegas is expensive. All you have to do is walk through The Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace, The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian or The Wynn Esplanade at Vegas' newest resort, Wynn Las Vegas.

All of the shops are an absolute delight for the eye, but not so delightful on the pocketbook; unless of course you are Steve Wynn.

All this considered, my recent experience buying a beverage still left me flabbergasted. No doubt I expected to pay a little more, but I didn't think I'd have to go to the ATM to complete the transaction.

Standing undecided at the concession counter before the show, I was thinking Eh, I'll just get some Fiji water. I love the square bottle, I've had enough soda for the day and it's only four bucks. Good deal.

But then the person ahead of me ordered a tall, icy cold soda and I said to myself, Well, maybe I'll have a Diet Coke. It looks refreshing. Who says "refreshing" in their thoughts?? Me, that's who.

So I slide up to the counter, point to the last guys drink and and say to Alex behind the counter, "I'll have one of those. Diet, please."

He pours my Diet Coke and says "$10.61, please."



"For Diet Coke??"

Smiling, he answers, "Yes."

"Are you people crazy?? Ten dollars? Holy crap." I say jokingly, knowing that it's not Alex setting the ridiculous prices. Since he probably makes seven dollars an hour, he's feeling my pain albeit I'm sure a tad amused that I'm actually forking over ten dollars for a 32 ounce cup of soda.

"You get free refills anywhere in the casino." he tells me.

"Free refills, huh? Well, I'm coming back after the show and I'm taking all of you around the casino so we can make use of the huge cup and the refills." He chuckles and slides my cup towards me.

"Can I have a lid please?" I ask.

"We don't have any lids."

"You're kidding, right? Ten dollars and you don't have any lids?"

"Nope, sorry."

"Ten. Dollars." I say again, in disbelief.

Trying to soothe me, he says brightly, "It's a collector's edition cup."

"It's plastic." I retort.

"Yeah, but it says Bellagio on it."

We laugh together as I walk off, both of us knowing that the cup could be signed in blood by Jesus freakin' Christ and it wouldn't be worth TEN dollars.

That's forty dollars a gallon for all you mathmeticians out there.

These people are making more money on sugar water than OPEC makes on oil.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sexier Than The Rockettes

Last night, we went to see La Femme at the MGM Grand. Twelve gorgeous women, bathed in a fantastic light show, displaying themselves as flawless pieces of nude Parisian art.

All of the dancers performed with the Crazy Horse dance troupe in Paris. This showroom is a small theater modeled exactly after the original, making you feel as if you were watching the show right there in the City of Light. Picture taking wasn't allowed but when have you ever known me to follow rules? That's my attempt at secret photography up there. I was stealth; they never saw a thing.

After seeing the show, Eddie decided we were adding Paris to our European tour; gee, I wonder if the nude dancers had anything to do with his decision?

Friday, December 01, 2006