Tuesday, September 30, 2008

When You Are Proud To Be Told Your Roots Are Showing

I got this idea from Michelle at Bleeding Espresso where she did her version of George Ella Lyon's poem. Here is mine:


Where I'm From

(my maternal grandmother at Bronx Beach, June 1946)

I am from neighborhoods with a front stoop, gold Cadillacs and singing ice cream trucks; Locatelli cheese and The Feast of San Gennaro.

I am from a beautiful two-story white house on a hill, surrounded by forsythia and lilac bushes, overlooking the lush landscape of New York State; a house filled with the sounds of Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis, the taste of Italian pastries from
DeFilippis Bakery after church on Sunday and the smells of sauteed garlic.

I am from the Muscadine grape arbor in our Bronx backyard, filled with grapes so fragrant, you would smell them before seeing the vines, the rock wall at my home in the country that my grandfather built with strong hands, placed stone by stone, and the fresh cut grass that clung to the mower blades as we rode across the vast expanse of green; the lawn our parents always wanted us to have.

I am from gravy on Sunday, women in the kitchen and men in the living room, talking loud and stealing freshly fried meatballs made by Aunt Jennie. I am from Michael James, Saverio Lorenzo and Marie Antoinette.

I am from those who gave more than they had and others who embraced after too many years had passed without seeing your face. I am from "Oooooh, you put on some weight." and "Eat something, you look so skinny." From "talk lower and slower" and "don't cry, it will grow back" (my grandfather was a barber).

I am from the
Bishop of Rome, the Eucharist and the Hail Mary's full of Grace to attendance now only for weddings and funerals. I am from tenets I don't remember to the Virgin Mary who looms everywhere. I remember the basics, but have generally eschewed the specifics. I believe in many religious pursuits and the freedom for those to practice them at will.

I’m from the Bronx and from across the Atlantic. From two opposing shores: one in Bari, in the heel of the boot and the other, directly across, in the city of Naples. I am from Gnocchi, "water mozzarella" (
Mozzarella di Bufala) and finocchio.

From the grandfather who wielded silver scissors at his very own shop on Tremont Avenue in the Bronx, cutting the hair of grandson and granddaughter alike, from my Poppy who played the guitar with callused fingers that glided smoothly across the strings, but who also worked as a welder for the City of New York, his heavy welding helmet making his neck muscles thicker as the years went on, and from the aunt who made trees out of money and licorice, creating gifts never to be found in any store no matter how hard you looked.

I am from the bevy of albums collecting too much dust, the 8mm film of the home movies that hold my family in silent moving images, the photographs developed by the hand of my grandfather and the paintings done with the stroke of a brush by my mother. The blanket crocheted by my mother's hand, the magnifying glass wrapped by my Poppy with the blue electrical tape from his toolbox, the guitar picks belonging to my father, the race car picture drawn by my brother, the Madame Alexander doll given to me by my Godmother and the sewing machine belonging to my Nanny.

There is not one of these items that do not flood my mind with memories. I am often back in those moments, in that very day. It is so clear to me, so vivid and so present. Lately, I feel a strong need for re-creation. To make sure they do not fade; are not lost.

I am from these people and those days that will never live again, but I am also from a strong memory and desire to keep them alive. This is who I am. This is where I'm from.

These are the roots of my tree.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Tiny Intersection Where The Colors Collide

I got a message this week from someone who knew me in high school. She said, "...I remembered you, did a search, saw your pic and said, damn Salena is still as hot as she was in H.S!"

Now she could have totally been lying (although I don't see what the motive would be), and honestly I guess I don't care if she were. She said I was hot in high school! I'm totally flattered and I'm not asking questions or delving any further. The words will remain just as they were said - forever etched in my mind.

Nonetheless, here is a picture of me when I was seventeen; in the height of high school. Now I obviously thought I was smokin' hot in high school too; how else could you explain this stylish caftan? It was my mother's and I must have thought it was fabulous because I remember borrowing it often. Perhaps I was trying to emulate a stylish lady of leisure who flitted around the house, caftan bellowing behind her. No wonder I always had older guys vying to be by my side but nary a high school quarterback (or geek, for that matter) in the bunch! But let's not look at that fashion faux pas...

Let's concentrate on what might be the SMALLEST WAIST in my recent memory!

To my delight, this comment and photo come at a perfect time since Vicki has got me on a grueling program that although there has been some minor slippage, has been going surprisingly well. I will never get to her teeny tiny wisp of a middle, and you won't be seeing me in a flowing caftan out here on the asphalt, but I do plan on seeing that damn waist again in the near future.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My America. Your America. OUR America.

Not just white. Not just rich. Not just corporate.

It's time for a change.

You. Me. US.

We can change the world.

He speaks our language.

C'mon, say it with me...

Obama. Obama. Obama. Obama. Obama.

We can put him there.

Yes, We Can.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Girls And Their Boys

I don’t mean boyfriend-boys. I mean brother-boys.

I am an older sister. Not by much though; only a year and three days separates me from my brother. My mother always threw us the “dual” birthday party. I swear I don’t think I had a solo birthday party until I was in my twenties! But hey, that’s okay, I never minded sharing my friends or my cake with him.

Recently, I was talking to my cousin who also has a younger brother. We got into a whole conversation about what our brothers mean to us and how our relationships have changed over the years. Both of us see our brothers similarly; handsome, successful, capable, smart, hardworking, gentle. Perfect sons, good fathers and even better husbands. The ideal man (yeah, yeah, I know – if there were an ideal man.)

In our dating years, we always hoped to find men like our brothers. We’ve been known to say things like, “If only he was like (insert respective brothers name), I can actually see this going somewhere.”

At a very young age I would translate what my brother said so my mother could understand. Everything from “He wants a cookie, Ma.” to “He doesn’t like those pants. He said they’re itchy.” Often, to this day, I’ll tell him what I think he should do. Not so much in the way that I really think he doesn’t know what to do, it’s that I want, just a little bit, for life to be like when we were little. When he listened to me more. When I could easily bribe him with gum.

He has always been the responsible, practical one. He saved his money; I bought gum and magazines. He bought his own car; I got the family hand me down. He did actual work at our family restaurant; I hung out and flirted with boys.

My brother has had his own company now for over twenty years. He’s prosperous, published and respected in his industry. He has many people who go to him with questions that need answers, blueprints that need reviewing, problems that need to be solved. I conclude many of my conversations with “Well, let me see what Michael thinks," knowing I need to talk to him before moving forward with anything important. He’s very good with straight-up guidance. Don’t expect him to sugarcoat anything though – if you’re making a bad business move or wasting your time, he’ll let you know.

Yet no matter how capable, successful or old our brothers get, we still worry about them. We still watch over them. Still want the best for them. Sometimes, we even think we can speak for them because we know them so well. I don’t think they’re too fond of that part, but we don’t care. We’re older. I probably don’t know my brother as well now as I did when we were kids, but I guess thinking I know what’s best is a habit that I find hard to break.

We’re older now and our lives have taken different paths. He has a wife and three kids, I have Ed (which is a little like having three kids). He has a house with a pool, I have a truck with a clutch that vibrates. He has roots in a community, I’m like a fart in a high wind. He has…okay, I think you get the point.

Recently I had a glimpse of what it would be like to be without him and I didn’t like it one bit. I couldn’t sleep (unfortunately, I was still able to eat) thinking about the possibility of him not being in my life.

I don’t have anything more important in my life than my brother. I think of him every single day. Sometimes I call to tell him useless stuff like, “I just saw a Moose!” or “Guess what me and Eddie just had for lunch?” I like to share these things with him. He’s usually not too interested in the lunch menu, but I can sometimes grab his attention with wildlife (or
breast) sightings. Really, I just like to hear his voice. He doesn’t know (but will after reading this), that whenever he leaves me a voicemail, I save it so I can listen to it at a later date.

So even though I am on the road and don’t see him as often as I’d like, I have a picture of him (and my nephews) which hangs prominently within my view so I can see it every day. And whenever I hear something funny or have a memory, I store it in my pea brain to mention to him next time we talk.

Today he turns forty. Wow. My little brother is the big four-oh. And you know what that means, right? Acckkk! That means I’m a year and three days older than that. Shit. Shit. Shit. See?? This is where that being-an-older-sister-thing is not so fun anymore.

But even though he’s forty, I still see his racing car sheets and Mr. Chickpea puppet; the cheesy mustache he tried to grow in high school and his skinny chicken legs; and his shiny black hair on the top of his head whenever I was watching his back.

And just like in the picture at the beginning of this post, I will always look at him with love and admiration in my eyes.

...and a wry smile on my lips knowing that not only did I translate his gobbledygook to get him a cookie, but I clearly influenced his hip fashion sense.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Who Needs A Man When You Have A Kindle??

I hadn't made a list for my birthday, so when Ed told me he bought me a present, I was a bit skeptical. I mean, he hadn't even left the house. I was by his side all day. All week, for that matter.

For the life of me, I couldn't imagine what he bought because we hadn't discussed birthday presents. He always gets me a gift, but normally, we do something for my birthday. Last year it was The Biltmore Estate, the year before, Wicked on Broadway.

So I bugged him all day. "What is it? Can I have a hint? Did I want one? Will I like it? It's not another camera, is it? Is it micro-dermabrasion?? Where did you get it? What color is it? Give me a hint. Is it bigger than a breadbox? Am I gonna have to take it back? C'mon! Tell me."

He wouldn't budge. He just kept telling me that it would be at the house when we got back from picking up our load. He was tracking it via UPS and knew it was en-route. When we got home I forgot to even look to see if it arrived; I had to pee. So I darted to the bathroom and when I got back to the TV room, he was grinning like a half-wit.

Then he handed me a box. I saw the yellow Amazon swoosh and my heart skipped a beat. Could it be? Nooooo. How did he know? I hadn't even mentioned it. OK, well maybe I did mention it one (or a hundred) times. But who knew he listened to me? I mean, half the time when I ask him what I just said, he tells me he doesn't know. "How could you not know??" I ask. "Well, you say so much. I can't remember everything." is his pat response.

I'd been wanting an e-reader for a long time, but just kept putting it off. Then I started reading Highway Hags and realized every time Stace mentioned her Kindle, I got a stabbing pain in my side. She loved her Kindle; so much so, that she wished she could hold its hand and take it for long walks on the beach.

I had Kindle envy.

Well I covet no more. Because now I have one too (sticking tongue out); my Eddie bought me a Kindle for my birthday!!

Little does he know he might have just lost his beachcombing partner.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Neat, Trim, Appealing And Sophisticated. In A Word: SMART

Earlier this year, Ed and I went to check out the Smart Car, made a reservation and placed our order - white with the silver frame thingy (not the official name of the silver thingy). Isn't it freakin' adorable??

Well, yesterday we got to test drive one!! I found it amusing when the Stick Figure who went with me on the test drive tried to explain how difficult it was for her to get used to shifting, despite the fact that it has no actual clutch and only five gears which can be operated by the paddle shifters on the steering wheel; she assured me I'd have it down in no time at all. Ya think?

When I told her I drive an 18-wheeler (well, how could she have known?) and didn't think I'd have any trouble with the shifting, she looked at me like I told her I just flew in from Mars.

"Really??" she squealed, "that's so cool! You mean, like, one of those big trucks??"

"Yep, like one of those big trucks. I'll show it to you when we take the car back to the dealership." I said.

"OK, cool!" she said. I thought she was going to pee her pants the way she was twittering. And pee in this small a space would not have been a pleasant thing.

Stick Figure didn't know much about the car, other than the pretty colors it comes in, but I didn't really ask too many technical questions; that's Ed's department. Although, I did find it amusing that one of the upgrades is a backing camera.

I'm thinking, if you can't back up a car whose exterior you can reach out and caress on all four sides without moving from your seat, then maybe you shouldn't be driving anything at all. I think stick figure probably needs one of those backup cameras. Me? I'll just turn my head a few inches.

Despite its size, the car felt surprisingly solid on the road and was quite roomy. It feels just like a regular small car, but the zippiness of it makes you acutely aware that it's much smaller. This is exactly the reason we want one; our plan is to take it with us everywhere we go (on our trailer) so we'll always have a car at our disposal.

here to check out their web site and drool at their cuteness. And maybe even order one for yourself!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fishing Expedition

I was recently talking to a blogging buddy about people who fish for sympathy or compliments; some people do this more often than others and most of the time it's a woman. All of us know women who fish, and as I've said in the past, I'm not a big fan of it. It smacks of insecurity and low self-esteem.

But today I am going on a fishing expedition myself. Why, you ask?

Because although my sweet Eddie woke me this morning with a pleasant Happy Birthday greeting and song, and is having my gift delivered to me sometime later today, he also said this:

"Hey! You know what? In only nine years you'll be fifty!!"

Add to that the comment of my 86 year old stepfather, who wished me 41 more years of birthdays. Acccckkkk!

The fishing trip has nothing to do with how big my ass is or if a certain pair of pants looks good on me. I don't think anyone who knows me would say I am insecure or have a low self-esteem. Shit, half the time I'm all, "Aren't I totally cute?" and "How could you not love this hair/outfit/lipstick?" Or, I'm so overly confident and "take charge" that people keep telling me I can't possibly be right about everything. What?? Why not? This is news to me. I'm awesome! What can you possibly be talking about?

For some reason though, the fifty thing got to me. I mean, FIFTY. Wow. That's half a century. That's like a third of the way to how old John McCain is. So how about some birthday greetings people??? Let's take the sting out. C'mon! Ratchet up the compliments.....

"Forty is the new twenty" or "Fifty will be the new thirty" or how about "These are the best days of your life..." Any wisdom, suggestions or birthday greetings will be appreciated!!!

I will NOT end this day without a good catch!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Shine And Shine

Yesterday, I attended the 1st Annual Oro Valley Classic Car, BBQ & Blues Show in Oro Valley, Arizona. Their flyer said the event would go on "rain or shine". Rain or shine?? Not only was there enough shine, but it was a million degrees; yes, Hedon, it was actually a million degrees and I wish you were there with me because everyone else thought it was "nice" out.

If you're a reader of any amount of time at all, you probably know how I try to avoid sunlight and abhor the heat, so that alone should tell you I had a really good reason for being there; that reason was my brother. He was showing a car that he modified and since I was in town, I wanted to be there for him. Also, at his request, I photographed every car in the show (over 100 of them). Yeah, I like him that much.

The only way the day could have been more ideal were if there were not a drop of sunshine, the temperature was hovering around 65 degrees, the classic cars were replaced with booths displaying top of the line cosmetics and Brad Pitt were were serving steaming hot lattes to warm my hands.

Even though I was only there for a few hours, I took some great pictures and got to spend a little time with my brother, so I guess it it was worth a sweat soaked bra and a second shower in less than six hours.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's Probably Best To Not Piss Off The Devil

Last month I told you about Cletus, the leader of the Hillbilly Trio who were working on our truck. Well, today I was told he had been trying to get in touch with us to "settle up".

I guess he didn't understand when Ed told them he wasn't getting another dime of our money. When we left his shop, our truck was still not fixed properly and the money he was asking for is for work that was never authorized.

Ooops, sorry. I can understand how it might take a few more times before it sinks in, but if you weren't told to do it, don't take it upon yourself to install another part and then expect to be paid for it. Especially when said part does NOT fix the problem.

When I talked to him today, he cried poverty and told me that the check he wrote for the parts he bought bounced (as if it's my fault he wrote a bad check), screwed up his whole checking account, and that he really needed that extra money and his wife is going to have to sell her Jeep to cover his bank charges.

We had a little back and forth when I finally had to clear things up for him.

First of all, you are not getting any more of our money. Period. So stop telling me your bank account is all done messed up; it's not my fault you wrote a bad check.

Second, if a few thousand dollars is going to make your business go belly up, then you probably are as good a businessman as you are a mechanic. Which as we've noted, isn't all that good.

And third, it's unfortunate that your wife has to sell her Jeep, but quite honestly? I really don't care. You could tell me you have to sell your house to cover the insufficient funds fees and I still won't care.

Here's the tough lesson you had to learn: Don't write bad checks. Isn't that some sort of felony anyway?

Well. That's when he said this to me:

"I shoulda took you for the devil you are. I knew you were evil when I first laid eyes on you."

Well bless his heart. For a minute there, I thought he didn't like me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Razz Ma Taaz Me!

I'm totally into the makeovers and after having received makeover software as a gift, one put out by Cosmopolitan Magazine. all it took was a couple of tries and I was hooked! I played with it for hours.

Now I've found
Taaz. It's online. It's free. It's easy. And the thing that's different about this software, which none I've used before has ever had, is that you can also customize the makeup. Eyeshadow, eyeliner, eyelashes, lipstick, lipgloss, blush; even foundation and concealer! But my favorite option is the ability to change eye color! Wow. WHAT fun!

So not that any of you are all that interested in seeing more photos of me in various hairstyles, etc. but I had so much fun tacking on false eyelashes, changing eyeshadows and lipgloss to match my mood, and seeing how I look from a brassy blond to a raging redhead that I had to post them.

I used the same photo I used to do the
yearbook photos and what I've realized after this lengthy makeover session is that I look best with brunette or auburn hair (something I've always agreed with) and that bangs look pretty good. Check me out.

I've never had any desire ever to be blond, but here I am in blond bangs for my first look:

With this one, I really love the hair color and I'm sorta diggin' the highlights. I also like the side part:
Here is another blond look, a little lighter but I think the long hair in my face would drive me crazy:A a silent nod to Louise Brooks. I added a darker eyeshadow on this one and a red lip. It totally works with the dark hair:
And finally, I'm loving this one. The hair, the eyeshadow, the blue eye; and I am totally rockin' the glossy lip!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We've Got Onions, Cream Cheese And Choppers!

I love coming across little facts and figures, especially when it has to do with a place I'm very familiar with. The following is all about Orange County New York, the county which I grew up in:

The oldest carbon dated human settlement in North America (12,500 years old) is found here. More Mastodon skeletons have been unearthed here than any other place on earth.

The "Onion Capitol of the World" is the black dirt region of Pine Island, NY. (My father worked for years in Pine Island, at Ye Jolly Onion Inn.)

Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese was invented in Chester, NY (1872). (And you thought it was Phildelphia, didn't you??)

Velveeta cheese spread (1923) and Liederkranz cheese (1882) were invented in Monroe, NY. (My step-brother had a resturant on Lake Street in Monroe for years and I still have family living there.)

The first butter factory in America was in Campbell Hall, NY (1859).

The Brotherhood Winery is the oldest (1839) continuously operating winery in the United States and you can find it in Washingtonville, NY. (The majority of the years my father worked for the United States Post Office took place at the teeny post office right in the center of Washingtonville.)

The Tuxedo dinner jacket originated in Tuxedo Park, an enclosed community developed by Pierre Lorillard, an Old Gold tobacco magnate.

The daughter of Bruce Price, the designer of Tuxedo Park NY (1880), and also a resident, was Emily Post.

The Order of the Purple Heart was established by George Washington in Newburgh, NY (1782) which is now home to the Purple Heart Museum.

The first Registered National Historic Landmark (1850) is Washington's Headquarters in Newburgh, NY. (Been there, took pictures!)

The largest number (220+) of discount designer outlets in the United States is at Woodbury Commons in Central Valley, NY and they get 12 million visitors per year!

The world’s first, and still used, trotting track is in Goshen, NY. The Goshen Historic Track was established in 1838.

Nearly all trotters and pacers in the United States can trace their pedigree to the stallion named Hambletonian of Chester, NY (1849).

The largest living history museum in New York State is Museum Village in Monroe, NY. (Every student in Orange County has probably been here at least once on a school field trip!)

Bear Mountain State Park has more visitors annually than does Yellowstone National Park.

The main runway at Stewart International Airport (formerly Stewart Air Force base) is over two miles long (11, 818 feet) and is an alternate landing site for the Space Shuttle. It's located in New Windsor, NY.

The United States Military Academy, established in 1778, can be found in West Point, NY. (My brother got married here fifteen years ago at The Thayer Hotel. Situated right on the banks of the Hudson River, it was a spectacular affair!)

The largest Church Organ in the world is at the West Point United States Military Academy.

Stephen Crane wrote his most popular novel The Red Badge of Courage in Port Jervis, NY.

The Intersection of I-87 and I-84 in Newburgh, NY is known as the "Gateway of the Northeast".
The largest sculpture park in the United States is the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, NY, featuring works from artists around the world.

The oldest (1919) continuously operating automobile racing dirt track in the United States is the Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, NY.

'American Chopper' on the Discovery Channel, is filmed at ' Orange County Choppers' in Rock Tavern, NY. (A stone's throw from where my family lives. I've even been to their shop!)

The Hudson River, the first explored and most beautiful river in the United States, passing through this area is called 'The Rhine of the Americas'. (Many beautiful mansions dot the banks of the Hudson River; take a look at picture I took at FDR's estate in Hyde Park, NY)

In 1683, the County of Orange, named for William of Orange (King William III, 1650-1702), was formed. In 1799, the residents of the southern part of Orange County petitioned the state and broke off to become Rockland County.

Orange County today is almost a half million acres in size and is dotted with dairy and produce farms, orchards, vineyards, horse ranches and bucolic villages set amongst vast areas of woodlands, rolling hills and glacier carved valleys. There are three cities within the county's borders: Newburgh, on the Hudson River; Port Jervis, on the Delaware River; and Middletown, halfway between the other two.

The County seat of Orange County, NY, is the Village of Goshen. (Where my Dad used to live and where many family members currently reside.)

Of the 10 Counties named Orange in the United States, Orange County NY is the oldest (1683).

It is 206 years older than Orange County California (1889).

169 years older than Orange County Texas (1852).

162 years older than Orange County Florida (1824).

133 years older than Orange County Indiana (1816).

98 years older than Orange County Vermont (1781)

69 years older than Orange County North Carolina (1752) and

51 years older than Orange County Virginia (1734).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Texas Love Bugs And Hurricanes

This is a picture of Eddie's windshield, full of weird little Love Bugs which hit us as we were traveling through Texas on our way to deliver our load; but that's not the only thing that's going to his us in South Texas since Hurricane Ike is on its way! This is the second hurricane in thirty days that we're going to have to evacuate from.

We picked up a load in Arkansas and arrived in Texas early in the afternoon. When we got to the plant, we discovered the place to be empty. Closed. Not a soul around except for the security guard at their gate. Apparently the entire plant had evacuated at ten that morning, fleeing for their safety. What didn't happen though, was a phone call to us.

Are you telling me that NOT ONE PERSON thought it might be a good idea to call and tell the drivers who were hauling the load THEY ordered that they weren't giong to be there?? I was, as they say, rippin' mad!

As you may all know by now, Ed is the nice one. So after he made several phone calls to the agent, customer service, compliance and a few other people he thought might be able to help, we were at a standstill. It was time for me to take matters into my own hands.

I made a few phonecalls to the company we were delivering to (they had other locations that were not in the path of the storm, so I contacted them) and got hooked up with the "3rd in command" at the facility, according to the man who took my initial call. Well. Things moved pretty quickly after that. I asked if we could deliver to one of their other locations so we didn't have to ride around with their load on our truck till who knows when, and would be able to get out of town before the hurricane hit. The guy I talked to agreed and we wrapped up the call within twenty minutes.

So although the change added an additional 300 miles to our trip, we don't have to sit in our truck keeping an eye out for Ike's eye.
The only thing left for me to do now is to get paid on those extra miles, and since I'm sure I can make it pretty damn clear that we don't work for free, that's going to be an easy one to take care of.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Vicki Goes Hollywood

Or did Minnie go Nashville?

I thought the Vicki postings were over for the week until my mother called me yesterday from her babysitting job over at my brother's house.

She got on the phone and said, "I forgot to tell you!"

"What?" I said.

"Well, I'm over here babysitting and while the kids were sleeping, I was reading People magazine." she said.


"Well, I'm reading about Minnie Driver and how she just had a baby, but they haven't named the father and all that and then I see the picture of her and..."

"Yeah, I know..." I said.

"And she has on the SAME EXACT BATHING SUIT TOP that Vicki has!"

"I know! Isn't that funny?? When I saw it, I had to send it to Vicki. I emailed her the pictures yesterday." I said.

"Isn't that something?? I mean, a Hollywood person and Vicki wearing the same bathing suit?" she said.

"I know. I said the same thing to Vicki! I just cracked up when I saw the picture. Couldn't believe it." I said.

So either Vicki's newfound girliness has turned her onto the fashion tastes of the stars or Minnie Driver has been hitting Old Navy. See for yourself:

Minnie Driver in all her pregnant glory:

And Vicki:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Black, White And Tan

This is what 43 looks like:

Well, on my best friend anyway. And this is after her summer tan:

Oh, and did I mention she also has two kids? That she gave birth to?

If I keep it up, I might be able to make it to this point by the time I'm 43.

I do have two years, you know.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

And This Is Why She Will Always Be A Maid At A Hotel

When I've been jolted out of sleep by the inconsiderate, incomprehensible level of noise caused by the in and out, in and out, in and out, in and holy shit out again...

As you clean the room next to me, across the hall from me and oh, I don't know, two doors down from me...

At 8:15 in the morning...

And I have to get out of bed...

And put on my clothes...

To come out into the hallway to ask,

"Can you please stop slamming the door?"

The appropriate response is NOT:

"Are you checking out today?"

Monday, September 08, 2008

We Escaped With Our Teeth Intact

Sweet Jesus and Sweet Home Alabama! Finally, our truck is done!! After five weeks of laying on comfy beds covered in crisp white sheets and fluffy duvet covers, heads on pillows full of down, watching TV and eating takeout, we have finally been sprung!

The departure is bittersweet since I love nothing more than watching movies, reading books, flipping through magazines, napping in the middle of the day, taking pictures, eating takeout and generally doing diddly-squat, but now it's time to get back to work.

Granted, I wouldn't have chosen to take a five week vacation in Louisiana where the most exciting thing that happened was the impending hurricane or talking about the Saints and if they were going to win on game day. And although the evacuation was inconvenient, time consuming and costly, I was happy that we wound up in a town that actually had people with teeth. I am NOT kidding about this. I know it all sounds oh-so-unbelievable and all, but the people who worked on our truck were seriously lacking a full set of teeth between them; and there were four people involved not counting the wife who also didn't have teeth or the good sense to wear a bra (even though she seriously needed both).

Tomorrow we get back on the road. Not sure where we are going or even what we'll be hauling since we don't currently have a trailer, but I can tell you one thing, the Big Easy has even less appeal to me now than it did before.

Although Brad Pitt still does live there...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Fred's Plan Appears To Have Backfired

Seen in New Orleans, Louisiana. Seems Fred isn't very popular down there, even though his initial "mission" seemed noble.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

From The Confines Of The Hampton Inn

Since I'm still in a hotel room (going on week FIVE) waiting on truck repair, I present you with a Meme:

MAYBE I SHOULD...start an exercise program. (don't get all excited. I said maybe.)

I LOVE THE SMELL OF...coffee. Even though I'm not fond of the taste of it.

PEOPLE WOULD SAY THAT I'M...probably a little too opinionated and outspoken.

I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY...parents drive their kids to school when there is a SCHOOL BUS.

WHEN I WAKE UP IN THE MORNING...I am always in a good mood, but NEVER hungry.

I LOST...a one carat diamond ring years ago and still agonize over it.

LIFE IS FULL OF...opportunities.

MY PAST IS...(was) more fun than my present.

PARTIES ARE...a good place to meet drunk people.

I WISH...I had a week vacation alone with my best friend.

DOGS...are a bit icky and too licky.

CATS...never drool, always smell good and don't need to be taken for a walk.

TOMORROW...is a day of rest.

I HAVE LOW TOLERANCE FOR...incompetence and stupidity - often combined in the same person.

I'M TOTALLY TERRIFIED OF...losing my brother.

I WONDER WHY...some people don't leave a job they hate.

NEVER IN MY LIFE HAVE I...wanted to get a tattoo or dye my hair blond.

HIGH SCHOOL...has been brought back to mind by the recent emails I've gotten from past classmates who have found me.

WHEN I'M NERVOUS...I can't think of anything that makes me nervous.

ONE TIME AT A FAMILY GATHERING...my cousin made out with my other cousin's date.

TAKE MY ADVICE...people never listen to advice.

MAKING MY BED...is a pain in the ass, but if I don't do it, it doesn't get done.

I ALMOST ALWAYS...wind up squandering too much of my free time. And I have a LOT of it!!

I'M ADDICTED TO...magazines. Can't ever get out of a store without buying one.

I WANT SOMEONE TO...help me exercise by busting my ass drill instructor style!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Eddie Tourist Friday

Eddie checking his photos after playing tourist in the French Quarter.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Jazz Funeral On Decatur

One of the many souvenir shops in the French Quarter; you can buy anything from postcards and beads to t-shirts and voodoo dolls.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

When You're Smiling

A view of the street from Cafe du Monde. The guy playing the trumpet was part of a duo - the guy on the drums was on his left and they were entertaining the crowd. When I took this picture, he was playing the Louis Armstrong favorite, "When You're Smiling".

When you're smiling.....when you're smiling....the whole world smiles with you.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Barracks And Decatur

This corner, in the French Quarter, sits approximately 1,000 feet from the water. I wonder what it will look like next week?