Monday, June 30, 2008

What Happened To Being Human?

I cannot tell you how many stranded people I see out there on the road while driving around this country. And how many of those people no one helps.

I would pull this rig over on the side of the road to help every person I see. It's just not really possible for me to do because not only is it dangerous, but I can rarely react quickly enough to be of any help to someone. Besides, Ed would yell at me if I stopped on the side of the road like that, and I understand why. What I don't understand, is why other motorists, who have the ability to stop, do not.

Once, about six years ago, I was living in Alexandria, Virginia and on my way home from work. I was on I-495, the loop that goes around Washington, DC. If you've ever been there, you know the number of cars that travel on that Interstate at any given moment. If you haven't ever been there, just imagine the biggest traffic jam you've ever seen in your life (even on TV) slowly moving around a city. It's a nightmare almost any time of day but it's especially hellish during rush hour.

I had a problem with the car and had to pull over to the shoulder. I got out of car to look under the hood (like I knew what I was looking for, but totally didn't) and left the hood raised (to signal distress) before I got back in. I'm sure at least 952 cars passed me in the ten minutes I stood out there looking under the hood and then looking around in despair before I got back in the car to call my boyfriend to come get me, yet not one of them stopped.

I was dressed in a skirt and heels, looking very professional and very female. You'd think the female part would have prompted someone to help since everyone can recognize the modern day equivalent of a damsel in distress. But no, not one person stopped. NOT ONE. Not even to see if I were okay, if I had called for help or if I needed a lift. Disgusting.

To top it off, my phone battery was dying and since I was using our old car, couldn't plug it in to recharge it since the cigarette lighter didn't work. So I called my boyfriend, gave him all the information like an auctioneer and then sat there and read magazines until he showed up. It took him almost an hour to come get me, between the traffic and missing the exit twice in an effort to get on the right side of the road and still, in that entire time, no one stopped to help.

I guess it's the day we live in. Maybe people are afraid of being shot or robbed or whatever. And I know there have been stories of a female luring someone to their vehicle so a male hidden in the back seat or the bushes, could do them harm. And that is too bad. It's really a shame that we even have to think like that.

But what of the car full of old ladies, or the skinny old man trying to change his own tire? Or the young girl sitting on the guard rail waiting for someone to help? Those are people who I'm pretty sure aren't going to take you down if you offer your help. I do it as often as I can, even if it means calling the local police to let them know someone is stranded on a barren stretch of highway or, like in one instance, broken down in the travel lane of a hill I was climbing.

It only takes a moment to be human. More people need to try it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

One Word At A Time

I stole this meme from another blog and it seems the challenge is to give one word answers only. Using one word is certainly going to be a challenge for me, considering how wordy I am. Here we go...

If you get something out of a vending machine, it's most likely the: Cookies

A word you sometimes catch yourself misspelling: Cincinnati

You least want people to see you as: Incompetent

You're a little scared of: Aging

The least attractive thing you do in your sleep: Drool

The number of contacts in your cell phone: 329

How many of them are restaurants: 5

You lose your cool when someone: Discriminates

When you go to the drugstore, you often can't leave without buying: Cosmetics

Your dance moves can best be described as: Sitting

The majority of your underwear is: Black

Something you eat even though you hate how bad it is for you: Donuts

You think you're really not a great: Student

How much cash is in your wallet right now: $ 222.34

The majority of your shoes are this color: Black

You don't think you'll ever be able to get rid of your: Backfat

If your breath is bad, it's most likely because you had:

You feel embarrassed when you: Queef

The last public place where you used the restroom: Pilot

Something you don't like to debate in mixed company: Sex

You don't think you can pull off wearing: Halters

Something you own entirely too much of: Makeup

Someone you would love to see in concert who might bring down your street cred: Manilow

The last thing that you spilled on yourself: Dressing

If you were on a reality show, the producers would likely portray/characterize you as the: Bitch

And these few came from a recent e-mail from my cousin, so since they fit the them, I'm adding them:

Where is your cell phone: Purse

What are you wearing right now: Capris

Your hair: Brown

Your mother: Talking

Your father: Dead

Your favorite hobby: Reading

Your dream last night: None

Your favorite drink: Mudslide

Your dream/goal: Travel

The room you're in: Truck

Fear: Drowning

Where do you want to be in 6 years: Retired

Where were you last night: New York

What you're not: Skinny

Muffins: Banananut (yes, I made that one word)

One of your wish list items: Europe

Where you grew up: Monticello

The last thing you did: Shop

What are you going to do this weekend: Relaxing

Your TV: None

Your pets: None

Your computer: Toshiba

Your life: Great

Your Mood: Restless

Missing someone: Always

Your car: Freightliner

Something you are not wearing: Watch

Favorite Store: Target

Your summer: Fun

Your favorite color: Black

When is the last time you laughed: Today

Last time you cried: Saturday

Friday, June 27, 2008

Eddie Plays It Safe Friday

You can't see them, but he's also wearing BRIGHT YELLOW earplugs!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pelicans Enjoying Their Rule Of The Lake

Two Lone American White Pelicans swim in the foreground of this photo taken at Walker Lake in Hawthorne, Nevada. This is another photo captured by Eddie during his National Geographic Photo Outing.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How To Ace A Job Interview

My friend recently sent me a restaurant review of a local place that I hadn't been to in years. What I remembered most about the place was the great food and being asked out on a date by the owner. Let's just say the food was more interesting than he was.

When my friend read the article, he said the picture of the guy I went on the date with looked familiar but he's not so good with names and wasn't sure if it was him. The whole not-being-good-with-names conversation
reminded him of a story. This is an excerpt from his email:

...I applied at a Geico for a new job. The next day I got a phone call from them for a short phone interview. The entire time over the phone with the guy, my gaydar (which is VERY good) was going off.

At the end he said they wanted me to come in and take some assessment tests and said he would email me the location. When I got the email, I recognized the name Jerry Smith (names have been changed to protect the guilty) and realized it was someone I slept with about 15 years ago.

While waiting in the lobby at Geico, Jerry came through the reception area, saw me and came over to say hello. He was the human resource person that was going to administer the test to me. We both laughed that we had not known each other over the phone but seriously 15 years is a long time.

There was one other person being tested with me, a nice looking Mexican guy. We go into the room to take the test.

Jerry instructs us what we have to do and leaves.

After taking the test for a while, the Mexican guy says to me “You look very familiar, where do you work?”

I replied “I worked at Mountain Day Spa and The Villas at Gold Canyon, what is your name?”

He replied “Jesus Smith Jones” not a very common Mexican name.

I then realized ……

I said “Didn’t you use to work at the Barnes and Noble on Wheaton Avenue?”

He said “Yes.”

I then told him what I had realized. “We dated (slept together) about 10 years ago”.

We both broke out laughing. Jerry heard us laugh and came back into the room to see if everything was okay. We assured him it was and just said we had a funny moment.

I can be interviewing for a new job and have slept with the both of the men in the room! Just call me Puta De Arizona.

Guess who got the job?

No wonder his interviews were always more successful than mine!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What He Does When I'm Sleeping

When he pulls over, I usually assume it's for fuel, food or a bathroom break. Lately, Eddie seems to have turned into a National Geographic photographer.

When I woke up today, this is what I found on my camera:

And this (two American White Pelicans):
And, ewww, this:

Monday, June 23, 2008

Don't Give Up Hope If You Just Don't Know What You Want To Be When You Grow Up. You Have Choices.

The middle of nowhere takes on new meaning when you're in the Nevada desert. It's a close second to the middle of nowhere in West Texas, and the middle of nowhere in Southeastern California, but it's special in that in brings on the panic of desperation. All of a sudden you find yourself thinking of the worst "what if" scenario you can muster.

The mind conjures up old westerns, age old Road Runner cartoons and the grisly scene in Casino where they take Joe Pesci's character out to the desert and beat him and his brother to a bloody pulp with a baseball bat and then bury them alive. (Technically, this took place in a cornfield, but in my mind, I see it taking place in the desert.)

In case you need help with the visualization exercise, you can enlarge this picture to get an idea of what I'm talking about. Buzzards would find you before people would, were you to get stranded out here:

This picture was taken near Beatty, Nevada, about an hour from Death Valley, California (another lovely place) and about 150 miles northwest of Las Vegas. There is literally nothing for miles and miles and miles. Hours without a change of landscape.

Surprisingly though, the one thing you will find out here are brothels. I wish I had gotten a picture of some of them, especially the Shady Lady Ranch, voted the best small brothel five years in a row.

ut since I didn't, I can give you an idea of what it looks like. Imagine a double wide trailer. The kind you see in the poorest part of any town, where the wood is weathered by the elements and the roof is sagging. The one that has the car propped up on blocks outside, the rusty swing set, and perhaps a garden globe or an algae ridden fountain on the front lawn. Essentially, imagine a piece of shit hellhole where you wouldn't let your dog live.

Then, paint it the most garish shade of yellow you can find. And plant plastic flowers out front. Once you have that picture in your mind, plant that image squarely in the center of the picture above. Waaaay back in that picture, beyond the road that you see out front...further....back juuust a bit more. Perfect. Now carve out a long driveway to said trailer. Excellent.

You now have the Shady Lady Ranch. Thanks to the internet, you don't actually have to drive to the middle of nowhere to take a tour of the ranch. While on the virtual tour, be sure to check out the "parlor", decorated in French Provincial (wow, you can't even tell it's a trailer). Oh, and don't forget to look at the "Asian Room" (wow, you can't even tell it's still a trailer) and let's not forget the bed fit for a King and a Geisha (wow, you can't even tell that bed is in a trailer).

Best of all, you can check out the girls you have to choose from. I don't know what these girls do with all the cash they pull in because believe me when I tell you, there is nothing to spend your money on out here. No mall, no Wal-Mart, no Starbucks; not even a Dollar General. If you have a desire to send a lot of mail, the Post Office is only thirty miles away, but for all else, you'd need to take the 150 mile hike to Las Vegas. That must be where they go to buy all their leopard print garb.

If all of this intrigues you, and you are between 21 and 40, have a good work ethic, are service oriented, have a willingness to please (a must) and possess a good attitude, you can apply to be a Shady Lady.

Won't your mother be proud? You can always tell her you're in "telemarketing" like someone I know did.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

One Of The Few Places In Iowa NOT Under Water

Every time we travel through Iowa, we stop at the Iowa 80, the World's Largest Truckstop. This past week, a portion of Interstate 80 was closed due to the flooding in Iowa City - and boy, was there flooding! But Iowa 80 was a safe haven for us truckers. Yay!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Who The Hell Left The Pool Float In The Sea Of Tranquility??

Today while eating lunch, Ed said, "I'd really like to see more women on the moon. And maybe Mars."

"Why?" I said.

"Because then, when the have a Miss Universe contest, it will truly contain the most beautiful women in the Universe, not just the Earth."

I'm serious. He actually thinks of things like this.

So then I said, "Well, we should send women to the moon."

"Why? What do you mean?" he said.

"Well, if we sent women to the moon, I'm sure they'd find all sorts of shit that men never even saw. They'd be all 'What the hell is this doing here?' and some scientist will look at what they found and discover that it's like a billion year old rock or something. You see, women are more observant; men have a tendency not to see anything that might remotely veer outside of their line of vision. That's why they can't see the socks they leave on the floor."

Ed is laughing.

"Yup," I said, "That's a great idea. Women on the moon. Think of the advances in space exploration; we'd be true pioneers. And the moon would be really neat and organized."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What My Thoughts Sound Like When Left Uncensored And Ultimately, Formed Into Words

Earlier this year, I wrote a post about the mysterious feet washing up on the shores of British Columbia.

Yesterday, Ed and I were listening to the news and they were talking about finding yet another foot that had washed ashore. Here's our conversation after listening to the news story:

ME: Imagine if it were penises instead of feet?

ED: At least they would know the dead people were men.

ME: They don't have to be dead, they could still be alive, they just don't have a penis.

ED: Yeah, they could've all been castrated.

ME: Eww.

ED: Maybe there is an island somewhere with a bunch of penis-less men.

ME: Well, that would be a useless place.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Jane's Anatomy

My friend Janey texted me the other day asking if I had called her at two that morning.

No. Why? I texted back.

Well, the call came in as 'restricted' and I know that happens when you're in a weird area. I thought it might be you.

Nope, not me. I responded. I was deep in the land of slumber at that time. Two in the morning your time would be four where I am.

Then, I got a frantic text with too many exclamation points that said, OMG!!!!! We've been had by Brian's
friend!!!!! Brian is her son. I thought she was trying to tell me that her son's friend prank called them at two in the morning but at the same time was thinking, He's nine. What is he doing up at two in the morning?? I was confused.

She couldn't text it all to me, so called to tell the rest of the story; a story that I must say, took me utterly by surprise and rendered me speechless. Speechless. Did you get that? In all the years I've been friends with her, I have never been at a loss for words. After hearing what she had to say, all that came out of my mouth was nervous laughter, a breath of disbelief and then a slow, guttural "noooooooooooooooooooooo."

Here's the scoop:

My friend's birthday was coming up and her husband decided to throw her a surprise party, which took place that weekend. She had an amazing time with the friends she didn't expect to see (I couldn't go since I wasn't in the area), the food was great (she didn't have to prepare it) and the fun, conversation and wine were abundant (flowing freely from what I understand). When they got home, she tucked her kids into bed, which on this night happened to include a friend of her son's who was there for a sleepover. It was around nine o'clock.

She and her husband went to bed, talked about the evening and watched some TV. After lounging in bed for a while, her husband decided to get a little randy. Janey, not one to ever refuse a romp in the hay, reciprocated with full-on enthusiasm. After things wrapped up, her husband decided to take his post-coital walk to the kitchen for his usual beverage; milk, juice, soda...whatever was handy to quench his macho thirst. He worked hard after all, and needed some hydration.

The only difference this time, and probably the ONLY time in the twenty years they've been together, was that she decided to go with him. A little parched from the evening's festivities (at and after the party) a little whistle wetting sounded good. Looking back, that probably wasn't the best choice she could have made.

They bounced down the hallway, past the kid's rooms and into the kitchen; Jane in the buff and her husband with his manhood swinging in the wind. They were laughing and cutting up, checking out the contents of the fridge and swatting each other on the ass in the process.

Then she turned and froze in her tracks. Noticing the absence of giddiness, her husband turned to see where the mirth had gone. And when he did, he also turned to stone. They both didn't move. Couldn't move. Didn't utter a word. They just looked. Eyes wide with horror.

There on the couch in the sitting room off the kitchen, was her son's little friend.

Was he sleeping?? They couldn't tell. Within seconds, Janey FLEW down the hall to her bedroom to throw on some clothes. Her husband wasn't far behind, donning a dish towel to cover his man bits, passing her in the hallway as she raced back to the little love seat the young boy lay sleeping on. He appeared to be asleep, but when she roused him a bit and asked him what he was doing on the couch, he mumbled something about hearing a noise in the room, not being able to sleep and coming out the the couch to get some rest.

This is where the trauma began. Did he see anything?? Was he awake as they came down the hall? They couldn't remember their exact actions or how long they'd been in the kitchen, but one thing was for sure; they were naked the entire time.

She called me freaking out. What do I do? Should I talk to him? Do I tell the mom? Do I let it go? Do I ask if he saw anything? This is role reversal in its highest form. Usually I'm the one calling her asking what to do. She's always been my go to girl. I don't think a thing has happened in my life in the last twenty years that she doesn't know about and weighed in on. I can't tell you how many situations have been discussed and how many problems have been solved sitting right there at her kitchen table. And now she was calling me to ask what to do. Obviously, her thinking had been impaired.

I had to stop laughing before I said anything, trying to give advice which really wasn't very helpful anyway, since my first thought was, what the hell are you doing walking around your house naked when people are sleeping over???? Which is exactly what I told her.

She hissed, "You. Are not helping."

"No shit." I said.

The thing I do know, the very thing I would assert in the highest court in the land and maybe even give a pinky to prove how much I believe it, is that Janey is hands down, the best mother I know. She is responsible, trustworthy, generous, loving, fun, reliable and liked. She volunteers at her children's school and is loved by the principal and teachers alike. She teaches vacation bible school for her church. She accomodates other parents by giving her time to cart their children to an event of pick them up after school if they are unavailable to do so. She is highly respected by her peers. And the best testament of all to her mothering is the behavoir of her children. They are polite, respectful, charming and pure. They know when to say "yes, Ma'am" and "No, Sir", they know when to say "please" and "thank you", they know to excuse themselves when they would like to enter a conversation and they know to ask to be excused from the dinner table when they are done eating. They are extrememly well behaved, with just the right mix of being a child and having fun, yet listening when spoken to. They directly reflect her exemplary parenting skills.

So her distress over this situation was very real. And her concern for her son's young friend was equally substantial. She would never, ever, ever do anything to intentionally put someone in harm's way or put them in an uncomfortable situation. She always takes the high road and always does the right thing.

BUT...she also has me as a friend. And although I knew she was distressed, I couldn't let the opportunity pass to bust her chops. After much discussion, role playing several scenarios, fielding numerous interruptions by her husband calling to ask "What are you going to do?" we came to no conclusion. When the kids got up, they seemed fine. Her son's friend was not acting odd or looking at her funny. We thought perhaps she should just wait and see what happened. Why open Pandora's Box by probing? We can't be sure what he saw, if anything.

I told her I didn't think she had anything to worry about. Until she called me back. The boy? The one we were all worried was traumatized by seeing a naked forty-something woman and her equally naked husband?

He asked his Mom if he could sleep over again the next night. For that situation, I had advice:

Buy Pajamas.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Weekend In Wyoming

Eddie snapped this shop of me earlier this month at the Little America hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ohhhh, So This Is How It Works

Eavesdropping as usual, I had the pleasure of overhearing this little gem:

MAN: I hope you're enjoying yourself.

WOMAN: I am. This is so wonderful. And thank you for my beautiful gift.

MAN: No problem. Thanks for the BJ.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

How Casting A Memory Begins With A Fish

Last week I was watching a movie in which the main character was fishing. As I watched him bait his hook, cast his line and reel in fish after fish, I was hit with a bit of nostalgia.

Fishing is one of the first things I remember doing with my father. When we were kids, he would take my brother and I fishing all the time. The first place I ever remember going was Jay's Lake, just down the road from our childhood home. We could grab a few poles, a can of bait and be there in less than ten minutes. My father had a bevy of fishing rods; freshwater and saltwater rods, long and short, cheap and expensive. Surf rods, fly rods, spin rods and sea rods. He had them all, but mostly we used the spinning rods.

(My father taking a peaceful moment alone with the fish. I think he was luring them with Prosciutto.)

I loved using the spinning rods but was rarely allowed, even though I had learned exactly how to cast. My father taught me to hold the fishing line with one finger against the rod, then as I threw the rod back and just as I was whipping it forward again, as it sliced through the air, I would have to let up on the line so it could be pulled forward by the weight of the baited hook. It was only then that I would watch my bait flying overhead, the line flowing freely behind it, as it sailed across the water and hopefully into the center of a school of fish.

For bait, we used worms or lures. I was never allowed to use the expensive lures because my line would always get tangled in trees, underwater obstructions or other people's lines. But the worms came from our backyard. And they were free. My father would take us out late at night, especially after a rain, to look for nightcrawlers. We'd pull fat, long earthworms from the ground and store them in coffee cans. Whenever Daddy told us we were going to look for worms, we knew we'd be going fishing the next day.

(My brother and I fishing in the lake.)

I loved baiting the hook myself. It was only when I got older that I didn't like to touch the worms. But when I was young, I would thread the smaller worms right onto the hook whole, a little piece dangling off the end for movement. With the bigger worms, my father would cut them in half and then we'd do the same thing. I liked using the worms better than lures anyway, since I always felt the the fish would be more likely to go after something they thought was a real live meal; thick and meaty instead of a fake, shiny, metal flippy thing.

I always wanted to use the "good" fishing rod. The "good" rod was whichever one the person catching the most fish at the moment was using. My brother always seemed to have the good rod. No matter what he used, he caught fish. He could have hung a string from his finger and come back with something on the end of it.

I remember this one fishing rod my father had, which wasn't really even a fishing rod at all in my eyes since it had no reel, no eye loops to guide the line through and no spinning apparatus of any kind. It was just a pole. A bamboo pole. I never wanted to use it because it was essentially a stick with string tied to it. And who can catch fish with a stick? Right. My brother.

One time, I had whined about not wanting to use it, so my father gave me another rod and gave the bamboo pole to my brother. No sooner did he put it in the water did he get a bite. It was such a big fish that the pole arced in his hands. When he pulled the line out of the water, with my father's help, there was a HUGE grayish-black catfish on the other end. I still remember its shiny skin and those long, creepy, twitchy whiskers. It was ugly as hell, but it was the biggest fish anyone had caught all day and after that, the bamboo pole was magic to me.

As you can see from this picture, I'm not using the bamboo pole, but it's obvious that whoever is standing NEXT to me is!!

Most likely, they caught a big 'ol fish with the bamboo pole and mine were just scared away by the pants I was wearing. Conceivably, I can blame my mother for my lack of fishing prowess that afteroon. I mean, look at the way she dressed me. Plaid???

My father is no longer around, but I have hundreds of memories that are, and they don't come to mind only on Father's Day, but they come to me often whenever I'm doing something that reminds me of him. Without him, I would have never learned how to fish or cook or play Bocce (although knowing how to play Bocce rarely comes in handy). And I would not have been the kind of person, who when fishing, brings along a pot of espresso, eggplant parmigiana sandwiches and Italian pastries including biscotti and cannoli for dessert!

It's been a while, but I think this year I might pick up a fishing pole again and remember how it used to be. Although this time, I'll be wearing different pants.

To all the men I know (and don't), Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Color Of Aging

As I was polishing my nails yesterday with the new color I picked up, Chocolate Moose, I realized that I am on the brink of old.

How do I know this?

Because Chocolate Moose is the OPI equivalent of BROWN.

And BROWN nail polish?

It was my grandmother's signature color.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Eddie Friday On Ice

Eddie grabs a piece of ice from the icebergs we saw in Twillingate, Newfoundland (I'll do a seperate post on the icebergs soon!). He fished a small piece from the water, crushed it up and used it in our drinks. It was deeee-licious!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Big Gay Case Of Mistaken Identity

This past Sunday, my friend Vicki was approached by a church member, who touched her arm and in a tone as serious as a heart attack, said, "Miss Vicki? I have to ask you sumthin'..."

"Sure, Miss Patty, what is it?" In the South, everyone is addressed as Miss This and Mr. That.

(The following to be read with a sloooow suthun' accent...)

"Wayell," she said in the hushed voice of one spilling secrets, "Was that yaw huzzband I saw in migh water aerobics clayess at the Y yestahday mawnin?"

Vicki spun her head around to make sure that Miss Patty wasn't talking to anyone else, looked back at her, looked over at her husband and said, "MY husband???"

"Yayes, your husband." said Miss Patty.

"My husband? That man standing right over there?" Vicki asked again, pointing at her husband.

"Yayes. He was riiite thayer in the pool with awl the other ladies. I could swayer it was him. If not, it was someone who looked a right bit like him."

Vicki was stunned. Either Anthony was sneaking in visits to the Y without her knowledge or there was another bald man with a thick Bronx accent running around town.

She said, "Miss Patty, I can assure you that my husband was nowhere near the Y on any morning."

"Well, if he does want to join us, let him know that he's maw than welcome any day." Miss Patty said on her way out the church door.

"Thanks. I'll be sure to let him know." Vicki said as she waved goodbye.

Moments later she was dialing my number. She didn't even say hello before she launched into the story, hysterical with laughter, explaining that she couldn't wait to call me to let me know that not only was her big gay husband watching Lifetime, but apparently, he was also doing water aerobics behind her back!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dog Day Afternoon

I know it's not a great shot, as I was across the street in a Starbuck's parking lot and took the picture out of the window while we were moving, but yes, that is a dog sleeping on the roof.

Talk about lazy, hazy, crazy, dog days of summer.

Monday, June 09, 2008

It's Time For One Of These Again

I haven't done one of these in a while, but I totally stole this one from Dawn. Shhhh....she doesn't know it yet!

1. Name something you have in common with all of your siblings?
I only have one sibling and we have the same birth month. I was going to also say "eyes" because they are both brown, but his are very dark (almost black) and mine are as golden as the glow of a summer sky....uh, I mean, light.

2. Do you fold your underwear?
Yes, but it rarely stays folded.

3. Do you like to drink the juice out of freeze pops?
Probably when I was a kid, but now I find it WAY too freakin' sweet.

4. Who is the last person you wrote a letter to on paper?
Well, I recently typed a letter on paper to someone and snail mailed it - does that count? I think that's about as close as I come to writing a letter. Although, I do still write out cards - oh, and very often, post cards.

5. What was your first real job?
Working at my parent's restaurant - I was too young to "officially" be working, but I did get paid. My first real job outside of the restaurant was at JCPenney in the hosiery/accessories department.

6. Aside from Driver's Ed, who really taught you how to drive?
My brother taught me how to drive a car, this guy and my Eddie taught me how to drive a truck.

7. Wanna taste?
Not usually, unless I know what it is or the person handing it to me is someone who knows my preferences.

8. What's the one thing you love/miss about your Grandma's cooking?
My paternal grandmother made THE BEST MEATBALLS in the world and also, PHENOMENAL Braciole! This is not THE recipe, but it's close to it. My maternal grandmother made the best chicken soup and stew I've ever had - I still make it the way she did!

9. What color is your favorite hoodie?
I no longer wear my favorite hoodie since it's been eaten by all the bleach I washed it in - but it was a thick, white cotton one that I still love!

10. Who was like your second Mom or second Dad?
My Aunt Ronni was like a second mother to me.

11. Name a sound that disturbs you?
The scraping noise made by people who pull their food off their forks with their teeth and the sound of a metal spoon against the bottom of a metal pot.

12. What's your typical ice cream order at Dairy Queen?
Large vanilla cone with sprinkles (or chocolate dip).

13. What comes to mind when I say cabbage?
Cole Slaw.

14. What did you do today?
Drove across Wyoming, Utah and Nevada. Read magazines, the newspaper and part of my new book, The Birth House. Checked my e-mail. Talked on the phone. Updated my blog. Went to sleep in Sparks, Nevada.

15. Are you emotional?
Not usually.

16. Have you ever had the same dream more than once?
Yes - but I can't write about it here.

17. Name a song that makes you happy?
"Speed Of Life" by Sugarland

18. Do you use chap stick?
Nope. But I'm never without lipgloss.

19. If you were in an emergency situation and you had to deliver a baby, could you?

20. What was the most recent thing you bought?
A book and gifts for my family/friends while up in Canada.

21. What is on your refrigerator door?
I don't have a refrigerator.

22. Name something you have to do tomorrow?
Drive to San Jose, California to deliver our load and then look for another one going who knows where!

23. What was the last movie you watched?


24. Do any of your friends have children?
Yes, most of them do.

25. Do you prefer regular or chocolate milk?
Ice cold chocolate milk!

26. When was the last time you had Starbucks?

27. Can you whistle?
Can I whistle??? I can whistle whole songs!!

28. Do you have a trampoline at your house?
Uh, noooo. What kind of person has a trampoline at their house?

29. What movie do you know every line to?
Dirty Dancing. (and maybe Pretty Woman)

30. Would you ever want to swim with the sharks?
No desire to swim with sharks, nope.

31. Do you know how to do a cart-wheel?
Yes, I do know how to do a cart-wheel. The question should be can I still do a cart-wheel?

32. Do you maintain any friendships originating from elementary school?
I am not friend with anyone from elementary school.

33. What're you wearing?
Beige/white short-sleeve baby-dollish top, jeans and flip-flops.

34. What was the last thing you ate?
A Hershey's Kiss.

35. When was the last time you did the dishes?
I don't do dishes - we eat out ALL the time.

36. Do you own any band t-shirts?

37. Last song you sang out loud?
"No Air" by Jordin Sparks

38. When was the last time you slept on the floor?
2006, at my friend Vicki's house.

40. Would you chew gum that's already been chewed?
Only if it came out of the mouth of one of my little nephews.

41. Who have you talked to today?
My mother, my brother, my best friend Vicki, Vicki's husband Anthony and my cousin Ro.

42. What comes to your mind when I say pumpkins?
Pumpkin bread.

43. How old are you?

44. What is your background on your computer?
Yesterday's photo of the "Post-Tornado Sky" - it makes great wallpaper!

45. Do you wish on 11:11 PM
I don't wish, but I LOVE seeing that time on the clock and always exclaim, "It's eleven eleven!"

46. Good advice if you ever go camping?
I have never been camping, so I don't have advice. But I do have a question.....why??

47. Besides your mouth, where is your favorite spot to get kissed?
Ummm, there are some places. And the only person who needs to know is Eddie. And he KNOWS.

48. Were you happy when you woke up today?

49. How about now?
Yeah, I'm still happy - but tired.

50. Would you rather have chicken or steak?
Most of the time, chicken.

51. How many of your friends have seen you naked?
Two or three.

52. What were you doing at 10 am?

53. Are you different now than you were six months ago?
Not really.

54. What was the last beverage you spilled on yourself?
Diet Coke.

55. Who was the last person to text you?

56. Who was the last person to call you?
My cousin Ro.

57. What month is your birthday in?

58. Can you live a day without tv?
I live every day without TV.

59. When was the last time you saw your dad?
December 2005. He died in February 2006.

60. How many houses have you lived in?

61. How many city/towns have you lived in?

62. Do you prefer shoes, socks, or bare feet?

63. What is your favorite color?

64. What are you doing for your next birthday?
Not sure yet.

65. What are you thinking about right now?
Whether or not I want to walk into the truckstop to get a cup of tea.

66. Any plans for the weekend?
It's only Monday - I can't plan that far ahead.

67. What were you doing at 12 last night?

68. Do you smile a lot?
Not usually.

69. Have you ever had a life-threatening injury?

70. Do you like flying or driving?
I'd rather drive than fly.

71. Do you know how to drive a stick shift?
Yes - I drive an 18-wheeler, remember?

72. Do you wear any jewelry daily?
I wear earrings daily - usually silver hoops. On occassion, I'll wear rings, but not as often as I used to.

73. What is your ringtone?
I have several - different ones for different people.

74. Skim, 1%, 2%, or whole milk?
Usually 2%.

75. What time did you go to sleep last night?
Early - maybe around 9 pm.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Post-Tornado Sky

This picture was taken a day after tornados ripped through Nebraska. We saw a few overturned pieces of farm equipment, broken billboards and several uprooted trees.

Other than that, the grass was green, the clouds were snowy white and the sky a brilliant blue; mocking the fury of the sky that took place less than twelve hours before.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I'm Glad The Great Spirit Was A Dirt Thief

The Wood Islands Lighthouse is the first thing you see when you approach Prince Edward Island on the ferry coming from Nova Scotia.

You'll notice the soil is red, as is all the dirt on the island. You'll even find shirts in several local shops that have been dyed with the dirt; they call them the
P.E.I Dirt Shirt.

The P.E.I Dirt Shirt web site offers the following explanation for the red dirt:

"Native legends of old tell of a Great Spirit that, during the creation of the earth, reserved a small amount of red dirt. This red dirt was used to form "the fairest of all earthly places", Prince Edward Island. Today we now know that the dirt's rich red hue is due to its naturally occurring high iron oxide content."

I think I'd have to agree with the Great Spirit; Prince Edward Island is the fairest of all earthly places.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Eddie Kinda In Berlin Friday

Eddie stands next to six actual sections of the Berlin Wall in Truro, Nova Scotia. A local resident bought them on a trip to Germany and presented them to the city to put on display.

They sit in an unmarked, drab little lot in the center of town, but once you find them, viewing them up close is pretty interesting. Not because they are slabs of concrete, but because they are slabs of concrete that divided a city and are such a recognizable piece of history.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Before The Locusts Come

Yesterday, we had what people call "one of those days."

The day started with Ed spending a good part of the morning tarping our load. We had begun the day fairly early as we were hauling an oversized load and were only allowed to drive during daylight hours. Time was of the essence.

As he was tarping, he noticed a hissing sound coming from one of our tires, which is not a good sound to hear when you're standing still and not letting the air out intentionally. Upon closer inspection, he noticed a bolt sticking out the tread, similar to how a nail pierces a car tire. Well, off to find a repair shop...

After sitting at the repair shop for thirty minutes, he resumed his tarping task. When done, he finally drug his sweaty, dirty self back to the truck to begin our cross country journey. We stopped about an hour into the trip to check our load and tighten the straps securing everything to the truck; it's standard procedure for us to periodically check our cargo to make sure everything is where we left it and nothing has loosened up along the way. We usually do it every time we stop, which if you know us, is often. Coffee, peeing, lunch, Starbucks break, etc.

When we made our first stop, Ed did a walk around and in the process, noticed a huge rip in our tarp. Our $600 dollar tarp! I suggested getting my heavy duty needle and thread out, but he was so convinced that wasn't going to work (as if men know anything about sewing) so rather than arguing with him in the hot sun, we moved onto Plan B. Plan B didn't involve any arguing in the hot sun but rather, patching the tarp in the hot sun. Oh, how I loved this idea.

We spread the tarp on the ground and started to brush rubber cement on the patching material. The patch was too large and it was clear the one inch brush was going to take all day, and the clock was ticking, so I just dipped my hand into the glue can and started spreading it on with my bare mitts.

Great idea, as it shortened my time in the sun. Bad idea if you consider how much time it took to peel the glue off my hands. Once I got it all peeled off though, I waited in the air-contioned truck while Ed re-tarped the load. We were off to a great start. A late, great start.

We left the rest area, me now behind the wheel, but it wasn't long before we heard the honking of horns and saw the hand signals of other drivers. Almost at that very same moment, we turned to each other and said, "Do you smell that??" It was the acrid smell of burning rubber. And it was OUR rubber.

We never keep the CB on, but when I flipped it on, other truckers were politely alerting me to the fact that I was burning up our trailer brakes. I quickly pulled over on the side of the road and flipped on my flashers as Ed jumped out to investigate. Apparently, our brake valve got stuck, which causes the brakes to slightly engage, resulting in smoke emitting from the brake drums. Thank God we caught it in time, as there was no damage, but we did have to sit there and let them cool off for a few minutes (more lost time) and as we sat, I reminisced about that summer day in my teenage years when I drove our station wagon two miles to our family restaurant with the emergency brake on. That story still follows me - almost twenty-three years later.

We didn't think the day could get any worse until we pulled into our hotel for the evening; a lovely little cottage type establishment with plenty of truck parking, which was unusual. Ed checked in, got our room key and we began the long trek to our room. No way. This is SO not gonna work, I was thinking. When we got there, we had to step over a group of six guys who spilled out of the room next door, smoking and drinking as they sat on the little front porch. I promptly called the front desk and told her I wanted another room, as close as possible to where I parked my eighteen wheeler. She probably heard the annoyance in my voice and quickly obliged.

Ed met me at the room, where we unloaded our bags. The first thing I did was run to the bathroom and pee; Ed took care of the same task moments later. After the flush, I heard him say, "Oh no." That's right. The toilet overflowed. Just pee and toilet paper, so it must have been the bad luck of the day. HOW is this possibly happening?

After that was all cleaned up, we took showers and settled into bed. There were two beds in the room, so we decided to each claim our own and spread out; something we don't do in the truck when we are sleeping curled into each other like sardines. Ahhhh, for once, I didn't have to be part of a
flame sandwich.

I settled in with my book and just as I was getting into the second paragraph, I heard a crash. I looked over and saw Ed, leaning up against the headboard, except the headboard was no longer on the wall. It had fallen off the wall, bolts and all and slid behind his pillow to the floor.

After I helped him move the headboard and got back into bed, I said, "What did you say our room number was?"

"Thirteen." he answered, "Why?"

"Well, it just sums up our whole day. The bolt in the tire, the late start, the ripped tarp, the burned up brakes, the shitty hotel room, the overflowed toilet, the near decapitation by a headboard and the unlucky thirteen as our room number. What's next, locusts?? Tomorrow has got to be better."

Tomorrow came just four hours later...and so far, has been smooth sailing. We'll see what happens at nightfall.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Show Her A Big One!

While on the wharf in Nova Scotia, I had the opportunity to chat with some of the lobster fisherman who had just come back from their day on the water. They were transferring their daily catch from the boats to crates, packing them with ice and getting them ready to send to their vendors. When I asked if I could take a picture, the one guy yelled to the other "Show her a big one!"

That's when the guy nearest to me pulled out his...

Lobster, people, his lobster and showed it to me. He took him out of the trap and dumped him on the wood decking for a picture.
I didn't want to be picky and ask if he could get him out of the shadows for a better shot, since he seemed busy with the thousands of other crustaceans he was icing down, so I just took my picture, said my thanks and scooted off the fishy wharf.

This guy was SIX POUNDS. Look at that lucious tail and those massive claws! The day before, the fisherman told me, they caught one that was THIRTEEN pounds. Holy freakin' Surf & Turf!

I also learned that lobsters come in a variety of colors including blue, white, orange, green, purple, yellow, and magenta!

ut my favorite color of all? BRIGHT RED. That's when I know they are cooked and ready for eatin'!! Bring on the four sticks of melted butter, please!!


"Our primary season has finally come to an end...I will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States of America.
America, this is our moment! This is our time!"
---Barack Obama, June 3, 2008

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

'Tis The Season To Be Lazy

I do not understand why people leave their Christmas lights up on their house all year long.

It's the third day of June and I can't even count how many houses we have passed with lights still on them.

Can anyone shed, pardon the pun, any light on this situation??

Is it laziness or year round festive cheer??

My vote is for lazy.