Monday, March 31, 2008

The Kind Of Misunderstanding That Can Never Fully Be Explained

Vicki and I were sitting at the computer desk in her living room, going over some things on the computer. While talking about haircuts and hair care products, she insisted I try the texturizing goop she got from Brian, the Adonis who cuts her hair. He is so handsome, that I will wait until I'm unruly and sporting barrettes just so I can stop in Nashville to see him. He's so worth the trip.

As usual, Mina was at my elbow, taking in every beauty tip and trick that I have up my sleeve. It was unusual for Vicki to be giving me tips on styling products, but since her hair is short and always looks great, I wanted to give her styling product a whirl.

Vicki turned to Mina and said, "Go bring Mommy the bottle that I use every morning "OK" she said, skipping from the room to go retreive the tube of styling creme.

A few minutes later she returned. Vicki turned toward her with an outstretched hand to get the tube of gel and what does Mina hand her?

A bottle of wine!!!

All I can say is that I'm glad she wasn't discussing hair care products with her Pastor's wife.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Beautifully Retro

The newest truck by International is the LoneStar. It was the talk of the truck show!

Read the
story about where International got its inspiration for the newest big rig design on the road today.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sweet Suite Sugarland

We made it to the Kentucky Exposition Center. Not as early as I would have liked, but we were there. And since we rented a car, we didn't have to park in the lot with the big rigs and be shuttled over. Well, that was one blessing so far.

The first order of the day was to pick up our concert tickets. Every year, Kenworth sponsors a free concert for the truckers. It's always a country music act and usually always a big name (Alabama, Ronnie Milsap, Jake Owen, Big & Rich, Brooks and Dunn, etc.) Anyone holding a CDL is entitled to two tickets each for the concert. This year, it was
Sugarland, one of my favorites; and one of the reasons my friend Vicki was coming up from Nashville with the kids to meet us for the show. Her son LOVES all things trucking, so he was going to enjoy seeing everything else on display, but Vicki, Mina and I wanted to sing along with Jennifer Nettles and be part of her Everyday America.

We were a little late getting on line for the tickets, but they had plenty available and once I had them in my hot little hands, we entered the convention center floor. Things were looking up.

We spent the whole day at the show, but the entire time I was worried about our hotel rooms. I called once and was assured that our reservations were there and the rooms would be ready when we got there, but I didn't believe the girl I spoke to, so I called back a few hours later. The second girl couldn't even find our reservation. Please tell me I didn't hear her right. No reservation. She put me on hold. A few minutes later she came back on the phone and told me they made a mistake, the reservation was there and in fact, they had upgraded us. How nice, I told her, asking if the rooms would be next to each other. She told me they were and again said they would be ready when we got there. This girl sounded confident and I believed her. Whew - one less thing to worry about. Now it was time for the concert. I'm trying to make this story short here, but it's really impossible, so bear with me.

We enter the arena, hand our tickets to the ticket taker and head up to find our seats. We get to our section and are told by the usher that it has been closed and we have to go downstairs to customer service to get another seating assignment, if anything is even available. Whaaaaaattt???? This can't be happening. But, we all head downstairs and join the long line of others in the same predicament. I send Vicki to the head of the line to try to work some magic, while Ed goes for ice cream and I stand there with the kids. When Vicki gets back, her face tells me she had no luck. So we wait.

A few minutes later, I'm approached by an older man asking if we need tickets. I explained our situation to him, asking him where his seats are located. He turns around and points to the ramp right behind him and says, "Right up there. You wanna go look?" I said, "Sure" and followed him up the ramp. The seats were perfect. Center stage, two tiers up from the floor seats, with a great view of the stage and video monitors. They weren't close, but they were perfectly centered and closer and better than what we had in the first place.

I said, "These seats are great. Are you sure you don't need the tickets?" He explained he got the tickets from a friend and since his party was already seated, he thought he'd find someone to give the extras to. I said, "Well, that's really nice of you. Thank you so much." He said, "Well, to be honest, I chose you because I thought you were beautiful. If only I were forty years younger..."

I said, "Well, I don't know about forty years younger, but I'll tell you what...if you wanna ditch your wife, I'll ditch my boyfriend and we'll enjoy the concert together!" He laughed, took my arm and walked me back down the ramp to where Vicki and the kids were standing. They took the seats and the man and I stood there talking about trucking until Ed came back from the concession stand. I didn't even get his name and the old man could have been blind as a bat, but I'm glad he thought my beauty was worthy of some really good concert tickets. Another blessing. Although, I'm thinking it was the contraband lipgloss the lured him to me.

The concert was great, but the pièce de résistance of the entire trip turned out to be our hotel room. The suite they upgraded us to? It was as big as a house!! A 1200 SF house, but a house nonetheless. It had a huge living room, a dining room with a table that sat six, a kitchen, a bar, king bedroom on one side and double bedroom on the other, clock radios with iPod slots, a little cappuccino machine and get this - a bidet!!! It was on the fifteenth floor with a view of the city and within walking distance of clubs, restaurants, shopping and the Louisville Slugger museum. The place was a palace in our eyes. The kids were thrilled. We were thrilled. It was a perfect way to make up for the missed flight, the first night at another hotel, the running Ed did in the airport and the southern sandwich I was part of.

We were able to enjoy room service for breakfast, Chinese takeout for dinner and even a rousing game of Scrabble with friends we invited in on the second night we were there. This is certainly the way to travel and I'm happy the universe righted itself by fixing what had started out as a weekend on a downhill slope.

Now there was just the little problem of the flight back home...

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Flight, The Hotel, The Walk And The Sleep Deprivation

When we finally got on the plane, we were seperated due to the limited seating available when we were re-booked. I was fine with that, but the two gentleman sitting in my row didn't look too thrilled when they realized the middle seat where they had stashed their sportscoats was going to be occupied by a stranger. And I wasn't too thrilled to have to be seating between two people, who as I sat down, were finishing their Burger King burgers. It wasn't the food that bothered me, but the smell. I offered them baby-wipes for their hands when they were done and they were both very grateful. As was I, since the scent dissipated a bit.

I found out they were both from Greensboro, North Carolina. I was in a Southern Sandwich, I thought to myself. Both of them were older and spoke slow and syrupy. They were polite and polished; one retired, another in a business founded over one hundred years ago. We talked a little about trucking as I answered questions they had pertaining to the business and even showed one of the gentleman the pictures on my iTouch that I had taken during my travels. Then I read.

And by read, I mean held my book six inches from my face because I couldn't move my arms to the side to get in a more comfortable position, and the guy in front of me decided he needed to recline that extra inch and a half you get on the plane seats (I'm sure he was so much more comfortable in that position) so I was left with holding my book in the air, my right elbow cupped by my left hand, fingers splayed across the back so I could spread the pages open.

Ed in the meantime, was enjoying the extra foot and a half of room he had in the exit row he was seated in, while chatting with his two seatmates. I think he looked back once to see if I were still alive, but other than that, we didn't communicate the entire flight. I did pass him a note though, telling him the NIGHTMARE I thought the flight was.

I can't even explain the discomfort of my seat. I don't think I've ever experienced anything like it. Yes, I'm a big girl, but not the biggest on the plane for sure, and I could NOT slide my finger between my hip and the arm of the seat. I couldn't even plug in my headset for the in-flight movie for fear of puncturing a hole in my skin or breaking off the tip of the headset plug. I was miserable. Miserable and mentally cursing the Wright Brothers.

We made it to Charlotte at the scheduled time and Ed pushed his way out of the plane and I'm assuming, began to run. He made it to the gate only to find out our connecting flight was delayed. It wasn't leaving until 10:35 pm, which gave us a whole half hour. I was glad for that since my running only got me halfway to the departure gate. I stopped for a minute between moving walkways and an angel in an airport cart was sitting there in a heavenly glow when I looked up to take a breath. She gave me a ride the rest of the way.

Imagine Ed's surprise, as he turned, himself red faced and out of breath, to look down the hallway at the very moment I rode up on my cart. He claims I waved and cheerily said to the women I was seated with, "Nice talking to you! Have a nice night ladies!" before I stepped off the cart. He was still catching his breath.

We got on the plane, took our seats and counted the minutes till we landed.
I won't tell you how this flight was even more horrible than the first, but we did make it to Louisville on time and were looking forward to a bite to eat and our hotel bed. We got our rental car, took a quick trip to Denny's for a grilled cheese sandwich, stopped at Walgreen's for a few essentials, and headed downton to the Hyatt Regency. I couldn't wait to get to our room. But it seems I was going to have to wait.

There is a term in the hotel business called "walking." When you "walk" a guest, it means you don't have the room they reserved and paid for, so you send them to another hotel and pick up the expenses, including the transportation over there and back. Most people do not like being walked, as you might imagine. Even if it's to a nicer hotel. In my experience as a front desk agent at a luxury resort, it's never pleasant. The guest will argue, threaten to sue, insist you have to give them a room, insist you throw someone out of the hotel to give them that room and often have a meltdown right there in front of you. Meltdowns never work. If a hotel walks you, they do NOT have a room. Period.

So here it was two o'clock in the morning and we were being walked. Normally, I would argue. But I knew better. I knew there wasn't a room and I just accepted our fate. A perfect ending to a perfectly fucked up day. We got to our other hotel, crawled into bed and slept four hours before getting up and heading out to the Mid-America Trucking Show; the whole reason we flew to Louisville in the first place.

It had to get better, right?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Delayed By Lipgloss During A Period Of Elevated Security: A Travel Debacle Ensues

We were hours early. In fact, we slept in the airport parking lot the night before. We checked in for our flight, received our boarding passes, had lunch and then shopped and relaxed in the airport, or what I like to call the mallport since they are indistinguishable these days, until our flight was scheduled to leave at 1:35 pm.

At one o'clock, we headed to the gate. As we rounded the corner and approached the security checkpoint, we saw the line; the long, snaking, slow moving line. And we freaked out. Along with everyone else in line who was complaining and talking about how they were never going to make their flight. The line started moving and I felt a little better about the short amount of time we had before boarding the plane. Then it happened.

I got called to the side to have my bag searched. They saw something. The very cranky TSA agent took me aside, weaving me through a few exam tables until he found one that we could use for the search. I stood on one side of the table, he on the other. I found myself wandering around the corner of the table, looking into the bag he was searching, trying to help him find what he was looking for. He kept saying, "Could you please step back Miss", as if the four inches I moved forward was a threat to national security.

He said it was a mascara or lipstick. I was certain it wasn't, since I had put all my items in the required clear one quart bag. He took things out, put them back in, looked at my camera, my camcorder and a little oddly at my bag of Blow-Pops and when I tried to explain that I was sure I didn't have any other lipsticks or mascaras in there, he insisted I pipe down. Then, out of the belly of my carry-on, his rubber encased hand came up and produced two brand new packages of lip gloss. He looked as if he had just captured Bin Laden.

"Ohhhhhhhhhhh! I had forgotten about those!!" I said. I had tossed them in just before heading to the airport; I bought them for Vicki and Mina and figured if they were on my person, I wouldn't forget to give it to them.

The TSA agent said, "Do you know why we perform this search?"

I said, "I don't really care why, but feel free to dump the rest of the contents of my bag and look at anything you like."

He scolded me with a "Well, you should care" comment. I still really don't. As a truck driver, I see up close and personal the farce Homeland Security is. And personally, I think airport security is the most lax, as evidenced by the fact that my very close friend just recently made it through two security checkpoints and got on a flight with a wine corkscrew.

After leaving the "secured" area, we headed to our departure gate only to find out that our plane had already departed. Without us. Oh. My. God. I knew at that moment that I would never hear the end of this from Ed, since he is always the one who is late and I am always the one on time. And because of my miscalculation of time needed to get through security, along with my errant lip gloss, I was clearly the reason we were late. (Even though I maintain it was the TSA agent who delayed us by taking his damn sweet time looking through everything. Instead of refusing my help when I insisted I knew what he was looking for, he could have sped up the process by just looking where I was pointing.)

I have never missed a flight in my life. Never. So Ed with his loud sighing and me with my contraband lip gloss, made our way to the customer service desk to be re-booked on the next flight. The good news is, they were able to book us on the 3:15 pm flight. The bad news is that the flight would be getting into Charlotte at 9:59 pm. Why is that bad, you ask? Because our connecting flight to Louisville was scheduled to leave at 10:15 pm. Since they close the jetway door ten minutes before the flight leaves, that would give us six minutes to land, deplane and run from Gate D11 to Gate C9 - which, of course, is in another terminal.

I am not a runner. Not even when I have to. If I were being chased by a theif, I would stop, offer to buy him a latte if he promised not to make me run anymore and then hand him my purse. So Ed was the chosen runner for this airport marathon.

Our only hope was for him to make it to the gate before the flight took off, but we had to get there first...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Atchafalaya Whaaaaat??

This picture was taken from Interstate 10, while on the eighteen mile long bridge that crosses the Atchafalaya Basin located in Louisiana.

The Atchafalaya Basin is the largest swamp in the United States.
During the day, much of it looks like what you see in the picture; trees and grass poking through murky water. Snowy white egrets dot the landscape and occassionally, you can spy an abandoned boat, rickety dock or dilapidated shack.

Crossing it feels like you've been sucked into inbred heaven. At any moment, you expect to see someone in overalls, with no teeth and crazy eyes staring at you from one of the many swamp boats that snake through the inlets.

It's even creepier at night. The night I drove through, the moon was bright, illuminating the water, which seemed to be lapping right at the highway's edge. One unexpected creature in the road could cause me to swerve, jump the levee and be in the swamp. This is all I think about as I drive across the bridge.

I-10 in Louisiana is one of the worst roads in the country and driving across the corrugated asphalt feels as if the entire length of it had been, at one point, buckled into pieces by a shift in tectonic plates and then just shoved back together and stomped into place like you do with divots on a polo field.

Except you're not on a polo field, with pretty horses and colorful hats. You're in a swamp named Atchafalaya. The only thing fun about it is the way the name rolls off your tongue.

Monday, March 24, 2008

How Much Happy Can A Dollar Buy?

When we were kids, my mother used to buy us gifts for no reason at all. She'd call them a "Happy Day Gift". This morning, I woke to a Happy Day Gift from Ed.

As I peered over the fluffy down comforter, hair askew, he said "Good Morning, Sexy."

"What?" I mumbled.

"40 and Sexy. Thats' you." he said.

I was flattered, but confused. He had a grin on his face like he'd done something. I just didn't know what.

Then, after we got showered and ready for work, he said, "Where are your keys?"

"In my purse, why?"

"Well, get them." he said.

So as I reached for my keys, I found the "40 and Sexy" key ring attached and smiled back at him.

It's amazing how a one dollar key chain can make a person feel like a million bucks.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

California Moon

Fledgling crops being watched over by the early evening California moon.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

What It's Like To Bee Watched By More Than Twelve Million Eyes

This weekend, we will be hauling two million five hundred twenty thousand bees!!
We are taking them from an almond grove in California to an orange grove in Florida, and in the process, I learned something new; all kinds of crops rely on honey bees for pollination; almonds, apples, avocados, blueberries, cantaloupes, cucumbers, sunflowers, watermelon and many others.

In fact, some farmers rent colonies of bees to pollinate their crops and just as with this shipment, bees are often transported to different locations around the country to do their thing. I learned from the internet that without the pollination from honey bees, there would be one-third fewer crops in the world than there are now! Pretty interesting.

We've never hauled "live" freight before and apparently, bees are a bit high maintenance while traveling. They don't like to be hot, they are happiest when traveling at night, they don't like to stop for more than thirty minutes at a time and they get agitated very easily.

We have been told that they like to be kept cool, which is why the truck has to keep moving during the daylight hours. They generate a lot of heat and when left sitting without any air flow, they can die. We were also instructed that if it gets too hot, we should hose them down. Completely soak them. The shipper told us, "you can't drown 'em, so don't worry that you're watering them too much". Okaaay.

They are kind of wild during the day, swarming around their hives, squeezing through the protective netting and following the truck when it starts moving. When you get close to the truck, you can hear a weird drone, sort of an eerie killer bee movie sort of hum. At night, they become docile and don't move a whole lot. Hundreds of them are bunched up on the netting and from far away it just looks like a blotch of something, until you get closer and have that "Oh shit! Those are bees!" reaction.

I wanted to bee informed about my cargo, so when I did a little Googling, I came up with these interesting facts. Check 'em out:

Bees have 5 eyes.

Bees fly about 20 mph.

Bees are insects, so they have 6 legs.

Male bees in the hive are called drones.

Female bees in the hive (except the queen) are called worker bees.

Losing its stinger will cause a bee to die.

Bees have been here around 30 million years!

Bees carry pollen on their hind legs called a pollen basket or corbicula.

An average beehive can hold around 50,000 bees.

Foragers must collect nectar from about 2 million flowers to make 1 pound of honey.

The average forager makes about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.

Average per capita honey consumption in the US is 1.3 pounds.

Bees have 2 pairs of wings.

The principal form of communication among honey bees is through chemicals called pheromones.

Bees are important because they pollinate approximately 130 agricultural crops in the US including fruit, fiber, nut, and vegetable crops. Bee pollination adds approximately 14 billion dollars annually to improved crop yield and quality.

And finally, the question that I know must be on all of your minds… honeybee one word or two?

Well, many people notice that dictionaries list "honeybee" as one word. However, entomologists use the two-word naming convention "honey bee." Both are correct!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Eddie Calculates Everything Friday

In honor of Eddie Friday, I bring you another Original Palm Sketch by Salena.

I drew this one because Ed has the calculator in the palm of his hand so often, figuring everything from business expenses to what RV or boat payments would be, that I have taken to calling him "Calcutron".

He's kinda like those Transformer action figures, the ones that change from a warrior into a spaceship, sports car or motorcycle, except my Eddie changes from a regular truck drivin' kind of guy into this Super Nerd on crack. If he had his way, he'd probably have the calculator surgically implanted in the palm of his hand, hidden from the view of mere mortals, to use whenever the mood strikes.

He's really a kind of accounting superhero, if you will, the kind of Super Nerd that never gets the props they deserve. Hence, the homage to him and his hand.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Light Sweet Crude

Last week, I did a post on the high fuel prices and got the following comment by an anonymous person who sounded a wee bit snippy. They wrote:

“Which will in turn increase all the prices charged for items (groceries, clothes, ect). Trickle down, indeed. Those of us who do not get an increase in pay for the increasing cost of living do care. I am glad that you do not have to worry about it, though.”

It appeared as if the person was annoyed that Ed and I have the ability to adjust our income to compensate for the increases, as if it’s our fault fuel prices are so high. Even the closing line, in an attempt to sound happy for our good fortune, comes across in a sarcastic “oh, aren’t you so lucky” sort of way.

First of all, we buy clothes and food too, so in that respect the high prices trickling down affect us also.

Second, it is unfortunate that you aren’t able to adjust your income to compensate for the higher fuel prices, but perhaps you can look into a few things to assist you in that area. Such as using public transportation, driving a more fuel efficient vehicle, not buying more home than you can afford, cutting back on your beer consumption, giving up your cigarette habit, getting a job that pays more than minimum wage or better yet, getting an education so you can get a job that pays more than minimum wage. I’m sure there are hundreds more money saving tips, but I think you get the idea.

Third, you might want to consider using your voice to elect lawmakers who will research and implement ways to be less dependent on foreign oil, instead of complaining that other people have advantages you do not.

The reason you are paying more for a head of lettuce is not because we have raised our shipping rates, but because some politician in Washington is lining his pockets with profits gained from his affiliations with oil producing countries and big corporations. By promising all sorts of legislative magic and doing their bidding in return for compensation, they make more money, yet you still pay the price.

Last year, we spent over $73,000.00 on fuel. Seventy Three Thousand Dollars. For just one truck. That figure doesn’t include oil changes, maintenance, repairs, tires, communications, tolls and all other expenses vital to the operation of the average truck traveling the highways today. That figure represents fuel alone, the bare bones element needed to get that truck around the country.

In case you're wondering, the average truck gets 5.5 miles per gallon. We travel approximately 150,000 miles a year. Even someone with high school math can do the calculation on that one. And with the fluctuating fuel prices, it is absolutely vital to have the ability to increase our rates to compensate for those fluctuations.

It really doesn’t have anything to do with us being “lucky” although it is advantageous that we can make income adjustments. It really has more to do with greedy politicians and the corporations who pull their strings. Perhaps if our government passed laws putting a cap on fuel prices for the trucking industry (the very industry which delivers goods necessary to the infrastructure of this country) the prices for the items you consume, which are needed for your mere existence, would stay at a reasonable rate and you would not be absorbing the cost to make those deliveries.

Good thing to keep in mind at the voting booth this year, dontcha think?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

1. Cut String 2. Walk

My mother called me today to tell me what happened to her while shoe shopping this past weekend.

It seems she saw
a pair she liked, took them down from the shelf and tried them on. She slipped one foot into the left shoe and the other foot into the right. As she slid her foot in, the shoe moved. So she pushed her foot in further, while at the same time moving the shoe forward to break the string that tied them together.

But the string didn't break. It stopped her dead in her tracks and she fell. Face down.

She said a little Asian woman rushed over and said to her, "Are you okay? How emballassing. Would you rike me to help you get up?" My mother said the woman was so tiny, she was afraid if she took her hand, the woman would wind up on the floor next to her, so she declined. She told the woman she was fine and that she just needed a minute.

At that moment, the friend my mother was shopping with came around the corner of the shoe aisle and asked her what the hell she was doing; obviously, she couldn't tell from my mother's position on the floor that she was trying on shoes. Duh.

My mother was laughing so much telling this story and how she just couldn't get up. Not even to a sitting position. So she just lay on her side. She hurt her wrist a bit in the fall, but the problem wasn't her wrist. She said her feet just weren't working.

Until it hit her. She still had the shoes on and her feet were tied together.

I'm glad my mother is okay, but more importantly, I am so thrilled I didn't inherit that gene.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I Suppose There Should Be Some Sort Of Award For This

My step-father is my oldest nephews biggest fan. This weekend, they attended a birthday party of a family friend.

While sitting at the bouncing castle facility, my step-father was eyeing up all the kids, measuring their sheer physical prowess and looks against my nephew. He voiced numerous comments to my mother about how my nephew was the best looking kid there. (Do you hear any bias here??)

"Look at that one over there; his ears are huge." My mother had to shush him several times, since he thought he was whispering but since he's deaf, he clearly was not.

"And that one there. His red hair makes him look like Bozo." Again, my mother had to ask him to lower his voice.

"Well, I don't care what you say, my grandson is the fucking best looking of them all." My step-father, a Bronx native, has such an eloquent command of the language.

"Yes," my mother said, "He is quite a nice looking young boy."

"Nice looking??" my step-father said. "He's the fucking George Clooney of the whole God damned group!"

Ah yes, the George Clooney of the nine year olds. What an honor.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Small, Yet Mighty

Today we had the pleasure of visiting what has been touted as "The Smallest Church In America" located in South Newport, Georgia. Just under two hundred square feet, with enough room for about thirteen worshipers, the building is open twenty-four hours a day and is non-denominational.

Just the place to say a "little" prayer.

** Side Note: Since I am the one who took this picture, I am not the girl in the picture. Although, it took some convincing to get my mother to believe it. "First," I told her, "I may be a big girl, but my ass is not as TREE-mendous as this woman's. And second, you might have noticed that she is black."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pop Secret

Two tablespoons of unpopped popcorn makes one cup of popped popcorn.

How is is that those two tablespoons of kernels are 160 calories, yet the one cup of popped corn is only 30 calories?

Hellooooooooooooooo? Where has THIS secret been hiding??

I'm going to start popping all my food if the process removes more than three-quarters of the calories!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Eddie Fr-eye-day

You don't even want to know how I got him to pose for this picture.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

All The Better To Smell You With, My Dear

"You know, you're lucky you have a big nose." Ed says.

"Oh yeah? Why is that?" I answered.

"Well, because I always have problems with my little nose."

"Problems like what? Breathing and stuff?" I said.

"Yeah, sense of smell, which is not very good...and hearing." he said.

"What does your hearing have to do with your nose?" I'm confused.

"I'm just talking about senses in general, you know, smell....hearing..." he said.

"So are you saying I have big ears too?" I'm thinking I should be insulted here.

"Well, no, because you have poor hearing but you listen very well. And because you have a big nose, you smell things really good. I think that adds to your sense of taste too, so you probably taste more flavors when you eat than I do and I think that has to do with your good smelling ability."

I couldn't resist and just had to say, "Well, you know what they say about people with big noses."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Trickling Down

Fuel price in Ashtabula, Ohio.

Fuel can go to $12.00 a gallon for all I care, because the more they ask for fuel, the more we have to get paid to haul it.

Yes, it's the lovely trickle down effect.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I Wasn't Even Fishing, But I Certainly Got A Great Catch

Women who fish annoy me. And when annoyed by these trawlers, I am typically inclined to deliberately avoid saying anything at all in response to the "hook" that is thrown out.

I used to work with someone who fished for sympathy. She'd come in to work and let out a huge sigh. HUGE, like the weight of the world rested on her petite little shoulders. Me and my linebacker shoulders would continue whatever it was I was doing, ignoring her. Sometimes
I'd hear a tiny groan and witness a rubbing of the ankle, or stomach, or arm or whatever it was I was supposed to ask about that day. I never did. It might have been a yawn, a sigh, a forced cough or slight sneeze, all in hopes of getting a sympathetic ear to invade. That ear wasn't going to be mine.

Everyone knows someone who fishes; usually, it's a woman and she's looking for a compliment. It's never subtle, although the one uttering the words may think it is. Words rolling off their tongue, intending to sound casual and off the cuff. But uttering, "Ugh, these pants make me look so fat." can only mean one thing; they are looking for a particular response, and the only suitable one is something to the effect of, "No they don't! You look great. Seriously."

And what's with having to constantly be told that you don't look fat? If you can stand to lose a few pounds or sixty, you definitely know it, you don't have to ask. Look, I've been a big girl all my life. ALL of it. But I believe any family member, friend or boyfriend who knows me through and through, can honestly say I've never asked the question, "Do I look fat in this?"

Yet, I hear skinny girls asking this question all the time, as if they have to worry about any extra padding. Sometimes it's kinda fun to say, "Well, I wasn't going to say anything, but since you've brought it up, I don't think those camouflage cargo pants are really hiding anything." If you can keep a straight face after you say it, watching them squirm a bit is sort of delicious. And if you feel bad, you can always recant.

This weekend though, I was prancing around our hotel room in my new (and amazingly bargain priced) fuschia velour sweatpants and black, stretchy, spaghetti strapped tank. I was twirling in the mirror, checking myself out and grabbing at various fat rolls, squishing them into areas where I thought they may be a bit less noticeable.

Ed saw me and asked what I was doing. I explained that I was checking out my fat. He laughed, walked over, scooped me up in a big embrace and said, "Well, I wouldn't worry if I were you. Some women have fat in all the right places."

I do believe I got a great catch. No fishing involved.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Palm Sketches

As you know, Ed is the King of gadgets, and one of those gadgets is a Palm Pilot. We use the Palm for our GPS, as a calculator, to play solitaire and best of all, for me to sketch!

I sketch something every once in a while and to date, have about forty sketches. I'm going to start posting a few of them here and there mostly for laughs, but more importantly, to allow you to witness my sheer artistic genius.

There is a story behind each sketch, a reason I felt the urge to put stylus to screen, if you will. The first time I ever drew, I was experiencing an extreme amount of eye pain. I don't know what happened, either I poked myself in the eye (which would have been dumb) or I got something in it (which sounds more reasonable). It hurt so bad, was watering and I was forced to keep it closed. It felt like someone was poking me in the eye with a knife; so with my one eye closed, I drew my first sketch.

Which brings me to the unveiling of the first of many Original Palm Sketches by Salena...

Friday, March 07, 2008

Eddie Climbs A Wall Friday

Eddie did freakin' everything on the cruise ship; if there was an activity, he was doing it. One that he tried and liked, was the rock climbing wall, and here he is tackling the dizzying heights high above the rollicking ocean waves. He made it all the way to the top and rang the bell. What can possibly be next for this multi-faceted man???

Thursday, March 06, 2008

One Armed Bandit

This week, while gambling at the Rainbow Casino, I saw a man with one arm hovering around the slot machines.

I wonder if he was aware of the irony.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I'm Just A Goy In Love With A Boy

I am in love with Rabbi Shmuley. That's right, you heard me; Rabbi Shmuley.

I have been listening to him on Oprah's XM radio program when I am driving in the wee hours of the night. His voice is amazing. Sexy, if you can believe it. And he's so damn likeable; down to earth, funny, charming, smart and just plain fabulous. If he weren't a self-described five foot five hairy Rabbi, I might be inclined to hunt him down and lure him away from his wife and eight kids. What? You think I can't? I can learn how to make a mean Matzoh ball soup, you know.

OK, I'll be serious. I have written about him in the past and think he has such a great outlook on relationships, family and raising children. His relationship advice alone is worth a look from anyone trying to find someone to those who think they might be losing someone. He outlines such logical, positive, constructive ways to go about finding love and repairing relationships. He even offers FREE couples counseling if needed!

So if you have XM and you have the time, try to catch Shmuley on the radio. You might love him as much as I do!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Don't Three Feet Equal One Yard?

My friend Greg emailed me this article from the NY Times about bodyless feet that were washing ashore in Canada.

I read the article to Ed and got a typical Ed response.

He said, "Hmmm. It seems as if a mystery is afoot."

I live with this every day, people. And Greg even coined a word for it; Edism.

So there you have it, another Edism.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Writing Is On The Wall

I've always suspected those who wrote on bathroom walls weren't too bright.

The intelligence of the one who left this scrawl is abudantly clear; t
hey didn't include a phone number.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

One Thing At A Time

My brother recently had eye surgery. Apparently, it has left him with the vision of an eagle.

I called the house today to talk to him and my sister-in-law answered. It was unusually noisy in the background, so I immediately said, "What is all that noise??"

"Your brother. He's watching some western movies on TV." she said.

"Oh. Well, I just called to see how he his eyes were and how he's feeling. I thought maybe you had company or something. I never hear the TV on that loud."

"No, no company. Just him." she said, "He can see, but he still can't hear."