Thursday, October 31, 2013

It's That Time Of Year

And of course, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the day after, Christmas.

Well, if the displays next to the Halloween candy are any indication.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Happy All Hallows' Even
2011: What You’ll Find In The Hills And Hollers Of Tennessee
2010: Three Coins In A Fountain
2009: Truck Or Treat
2008: Spooktacular
2007: Isn’t He Comcastic?
2006: Trick Or Treating With All Ten Toes
2005: Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

1960s First Aid

Last week when we were home my mother fell while carrying a fish tank (don't ask).  The tank shattered into thousands of pieces and she banged up her knees and her elbows. 

We were out shopping when it happened, and when we got back to the house she came out with orange elbows and knees.  Mercurochrome, of course. 

If you're very young, you've probably never even heard of this antiseptic.  I grew up with it.  My brother and I, and most of my cousins, went through our childhood with red-orange dots in various spots on our bodies.

Ed said, "What's on her knees?"

"Mercurochrome." I said.

"What's mercurochrome?" he said.


The thing is, as far as I know, they don't even sell this in the United States anymore, and when I did a little digging, found out the FDA declared it "not generally recognized as safe and effective" and forbade the sale of it. 

In 1998.

It probably doesn't need to be said, but I'm going to anyway.

You do not want to get hurt at my mother's house.

Well, unless you don't mind fifteen-year-old mercurochrome seeping into your wound while she nurtures you with a hot cup of tea. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Far From The Soaking Of The East
2010: Lucky To Be A Woman
2009: I Feel Like A Thief
2008: Emulating The Brazilian Bombshell
2007: HMMWVs
2006: She’s Still Learning
2005: Woof

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

They Never Talk About These In The Brochure

When people talk about Tucson, Arizona, you tend to hear things like:

"The weather is great."

"It's always sunny."

"Great hiking."

"Friendly people."

"Good basketball team."

What they don't tell you about are these disgusting little fuckers.  Easily one of the most disturbing creatures I've ever seen.
They are worse than the all the javelina.

Worse than the bobcat.

Worse even than scorpions.  OK, scorpions and tarantulas are really tied in their horror factor.

Worse than the rattlesnakes (we've had several in our yard).

This guy was walking around like he knew Halloween was coming.

Ed picked him up (no, not with his hands!) and flung him into the neighbor's yard.

Trick or treat.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: A Day On The Giant Sleeping Frog
Off The Board And In The Air
2010: Evening Fruits And Vegetables
2009: He Parks Like A Girl
2008: Out Cattin’ On Halloween
2007: The Bridges And A Cowboy
2006: What Happens When Time Falls Into The Wrong Hands
2005: Me

Monday, October 28, 2013

What A Caricature!

Through my blog I made a female friend in the UK who was leaving her job at ITV (the network that produces Downton Abbey!) to start a career as a truck driver.  We started corresponding about Downton and truck driving and I've been keeping up with the steps she's taking to get her C & E.

She's been incredible to me - sent me two beautiful hard cover coffee table books on Downton Abbey - and has also been sending me the travel section of The Guardian where
my articles appear.

Here's the latest one I received - my piece is on the right side of the page.
What's super awesome about the print version - and which doesn't appear in the online version - is that I've been immortalized in a caricature!  They've got the short hair right, my hoop earrings, even my eyebrows.  I think it looks like me (well, slightly thinner) and you know what?  I'm kinda cute. 
She has sent me every article so far and her last package even had a few extras.  I just love that I have the print version to keep for the future and I love that this job - both the trucking part and the writing part - has afforded me the opportunity to meet people as wonderful as this.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Shopping Among The Farmers
Tango Hotel Alpha November Kilo Sierra, Charlie Company!
2010: It Always Pays To Take The Full Coverage Insurance Option On Your Rental Vehicle
It’s Here! It’s Here!
U.S. Route 287
Room 328
This Could Be The Day You Have A Date With Destiny
Go See It

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Some Mothers Find Time To REALLY Play With Their Kids

More Flipboard finds...

The Beautiful Death:  If I can pull this off, I'm totally doing it for Halloween.

This is why I'm a big advocate of makeup.  Even just a little helps.

Just in case you need help deciding whether you really need whatever it is you were planning on buying

This should be common sense, but it's not.  I haven't died yet, but to think all these years I've been rinsing chicken in the sink.  I must have anti-bacterial blood running through my veins.

"I'm blind, in space, holding a drill.  Houston, I have a problem."  I'd say.

I'm not sure I've ever heard of any mother who has this much time on her hands.  This lady puts all mothers to shame. 

This is exactly why so many Christians are labeled as hateful, racist and discriminatory.  Because they do shit like this.  These people didn't have to tip if they didn't want to - their choice - but writing a hateful note to this 20-year-old kid on the back of their check, just makes them COLOSSAL assholes. 
I think I'm going to have to consider train travel for one of our future vacations.  It's got to be a million times better than being crammed into a coach seat on an airplane.   

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Even At 9,000 Feet Above Sea Level, He's Still A Handsome Devil!
Perfecting The Paillard
2010: This Beautiful Place
2009: If I Had A Horn, I’d Toot It. I Do Have A Blog Though.
2008: We Are THAT Good
2007: Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures
2006: Alabama’s Greatest Showplace
2005: Half Nekkid Thursday Virgin

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Oh, How We Love Our La-Z-Boys

Usually we sit in matching La-Z-Boys, but we did a little rearranging.  That doesn't bother Ed any, as long as he has a chair.  He usually takes the one by the window because I'm up and down when we're home - doing laundry, making coffee, getting snacks. 

I'm sitting at the desk, where I can spread everything out.  I don't like to compute on my lap. 

We just got home today and other than laundry, really had nothing to do. 

But we have plans.  Since we'll be around home for a while, Ed wants to do the sightseeing thing. 

First on our list?  The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Ed has no idea what I have up my little tour guide sleeve.

For you folks?  Expect pictures.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Road To Luminosity
Old School Meets New School
2010: There For The Climbing…If You’re So Inclined
2009: I Need A Thing That Ain’t No Big Thing
2008: Race To The Head
2007: Eddie Fresh From A Nap Friday
2006: Forever Yours
2005: Blur

Friday, October 25, 2013

When The Awkward Silence Comes BEFORE The Conversation

"I've tried that number several times, Ma'am.  There doesn't seem to be anyone on the other end of the line."

My mother takes "awkward silence" on the phone to a whole new level.

She's got this new thing she's doing when I call (and when others call too).

When she answers the phone, she just stays silent.  Doesn't say a word.  Just picks up the handset and waits.


I hear the phone being picked up, then nothing.  Well, except her breathing. 

And the TV.

And the bells and dings and whistles coming from the Pogo game she's playing on her iPad, which I know is perched on her lap. 

So I wait.






Then I can't take it anymore. 

"Ma!!"  I'm annoyed and the conversation hasn't even begun.

"Yes?" she said.

"WHAT are you doing??  Why don't you say hello when you answer the phone?"  I said.

"Why didn't you say hello?" she said.

"Because I called YOU and when you pick up the phone, you're supposed to say hello.  Or at least say something.  Grunt, even." I said.

"Well, you could have said hello." she said.  I'm getting more aggravated by the minute.

"That's not how it works," I said.  "The person answering the phone is supposed to answer it with a greeting of some sort.  Usually, it's hello."

She has no good reason for doing this.  I think she assumes the person calling will just hang up.  It's her way of not having her slew of evening TV shows interrupted. 

It's beyond frustrating.

The other thing she does is answer the phone like a feeble, crotchety, wobbly-voiced old lady.

"Huuuullllloooo?" she says, sounding small and frail.

"Ma!  What the hell??  Why are you answering like you're dying??"


"No, seriously.  WHAT are you doing?  Why are you answering the phone like that??" I said.

"I figure if someone thinks I'm old, they won't bother me." she said.

"First, you are old.  Second, do you really think acting like a frail old lady, who can barely hold the phone in her tiny gnarled hand, and who doesn't have enough air in her lungs to even say hello, is a good thing to project?  Why don't you just give them your address and tell them to come rob you because you can't fight back, you're so feeble??"

"They don't know how old I am." she counters.

"No, they don't.  But when you make it sound like you're a fucking hundred years old, hobbling around your house on a walker, dragging your bad leg behind you, you're sending a message that's not accurate.  You should answer the phone like you're a 300 pound lumberjack, getting ready to take down a forest with the cord of your phone."  I said.




"Ma?!  Are you there?"


Oh, dear God.  And she's not even old old yet.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Relax And Enjoy The Ride
Goats Make Good Pizza…And You Don’t Even Get Onion Breath From It
2010: When Medieval Equals Pretty
2009: A Great Celebration Of Abundance
2008: Dormers Of Sweetgrass
2007: Old Power
2006: At Your Service
2005: Clothing Identification 101

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Not Even Good Enough To Make My Top 100 Pictures Of Fall List

The lamest display of Fall I've ever seen.  Unfortunately, I think this is all I'm going to get.  I took this shot in Maryland, sitting at a shipper, waiting to get loaded.  There's some color, but not anything worth talking about, let alone photographing.  But I needed something to prove I saw a red leaf.  I did see more later in the day I was driving - some really vibrant oranges and reds - but I was driving, so I couldn't take a picture.

We're heading out west, so I suspect by the time we get back to the east coast, the color will be gone and I'll have to wait until next year.  I hate when I don't get enough time with the leaves.

There was a small treat that came with this photo though - a deer munching on some grass, on the other side of the pond.

By the time I swung around to get a picture, he was gone.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
A Little Grease More Often Is Better
2010: Scenes From Florence
2009: Eddie Palm Sketch Friday
2008: Moabulous
2007: Ready To Draw The Future
2006: Red Fish, Blue Fish, One Fish, Two Fish.
2005: Beautiful Enough To Lick

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Tune Makes The Show

Ed and I were talking about music the other night while we were watching TV and I said, "See?  You do like show tunes."

"Soundtracks," he said.  "Not show tunes."

Yeah, yeah.  Whatever.

I, unabashedly, love show tunes.  Here are my top five favorites:

"Maybe This Time" from Cabaret. 
I happen to love the version sung by Kristen Chenoweth that she sung on Glee. 

Click here if you actually want to see her singing it on the episode - it's a crappy video that someone taped from the TV, but she's still great to look at and her voice is phenomenal.

"Being Alive" from Company. 
I love my Barbra Streisand version on it on her "The Broadway Album" CD, but Bernadette Peters isn't too shabby. 

"As If We Never Said Goodbye" from Sunset Boulevard. 
Chris Colfer did a fantastic version of this on Glee (yes, Glee is rockin' the show tunes!) but Barbra can't be beat.  She's really my favorite.

"Putting It Together" from Sunday in the Park with George.

Another thrilling song from brilliant composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim.  Sung by the equally brilliant Barbra Streisand.

I know all the words to this song - and you should hear me belting it out in the middle of the night as I float down the interstate on a show tune high.

"Defying Gravity" from Wicked.
Now I saw Wicked in NYC and I wasn't thrilled with the musical as a whole, but I LOVE this song.  And these two voices singing it - Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, the original cast - are the best way to hear it.  You'll have to click here to watch the video because they disabled the embedding feature on it.  Now go!

OK, I have one more. 

"Seasons Of Love" from Rent.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Monday, October 21, 2013

Own The Day

Some people have it out for Monday.  I've never felt that way.  Maybe because for the majority of my life I've had jobs that weren't just Monday through Friday, so Monday didn't create any angst for me.

So I don't hate Mondays.  Never have.

This is for all the people who do. 

Maybe if you own the day, you'll enjoy it more.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Barrio Viejo 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Night Fright

I have never seen...

Any movie in the Friday the 13th franchise.

Any of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies.

Any of the Halloween movies.

Child's Play with that Chucky doll - or any of the movies associated with it.

Any of the Saw movies.

The Exorcist.

Any Scream flicks.

The Blair Witch Project.

Any movies that contain zombies.

Any flick where someone was or is considered the Evil Dead.

No Cujo, no Christine, no Carrie, no Children of the Corn, no Needful Things.  The only Stephen King movie I can admit to seeing and liking is The Shawshank Redemption.  Can't get much better than that.

I'm not a fan of horror.  Ed can't believe I haven't seen any of these movies. 

"You've never seen Friday the 13th??"




It's not my genre.  Give me drama, comedy, romance, even action.  But horror?  Not interested.  Walls don't bleed, dogs don't open car doors, people don't call you from inside your house. 

The guys in the movies are stupid.  The girls are even more stupid.  And always seem to wind up exposing their tits when running from killers. 

Since the Halloween holiday is almost upon us, AMC is running a
Fear Fest showing a lot of these movies.  I've been occupying myself with other stuff - catching up on Downton Abbey and watching movies on my Amazon Watch List.

I have to maintain my 46-year record of not having seen any of these movies.  I can't break it now by watching even one.

Pan's Labyrinth was bad enough. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Ten Things For October
Jane’s Addiction
2010: Isolated Iesolana
2009: WWJD?
2008: Where The Angels Arrive And Depart
2007: Diamonds In The Deep Blue
2006: Everyone Is Doing It
2005: En-Gulfed Coast

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Negotiation

I think at some point, my brother and I will be having this conversation in my car.

But neither of us plays golf, so who knows how we'll come to a decision.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2012: Going Au Naturel
2011: A Great Idea
The Real Deal
This Should Keep You Buy For A While
Plenty Of Room For The Ladies
2007: It All Began With The Cheese
Zig Zag Wisconsin Color
2005: Made In China

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

If You're Looking To Flip A House For Money....Don't

I've finally had a chance to catch up on a little reading on Flipboard.  Here are my latest finds.

Since Halloween is coming,
this one is timely.  I think my favorite is the Troll.  Maybe Ed and I will be his and her trolls this year.  Ed's hair already stands up like that in the morning - I'll just have to spray paint it turquoise. 

We've been through here several times and
seen the signs for PhinDeli Town.  Have you?

My brain is
cleaning itself at night.  Is yours?

I wonder how many of
these places I can hit in the next week?

this will convince Ed that Project Runway really is important.
Some new music.  I love anything with an R&B vibe.  And she's purty, too.

"We think housing is a great investment."  Economist Robert Schiller
doesn't necessarily agree

Flying around looking at beautiful thingsHouses never looked so good.

I grew up in the Boogie Down Bronx.  But I never went to a beach 
like this

And a picture of Kim Kardashian's

Because we need to see that at least once a week. 


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: A Sad Day For The Piggies
A Warrior Waging A Noble Fight, Fueled By Chocolate Ice Cream
2010: Ragazzo dell’Ombrello
2009: Eddie It’s Not Even Halloween Yet Friday
2008: Not So Different, Are We?
2007: Quite Uneducated, If You Ask Me
2006: Sometimes Identity Theft Can SAVE You Money
2005: Mina In Fifty Years

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Something To Look Forward To

I moved to Southern Arizona thirty years ago and have lived there off-and-on since then.  I did a few years of high school there, then graduated in New York and lived there into my twenties, and moved to Seattle and Nashville and California and Kentucky in between.

I've never liked Arizona.  Ever.  People said, "you'll get used to it" and "it'll grow on you".  I didn't and it hasn't. 

It's hot and brown and barren and dirty and there's dust everywhere.  No real trees, no grass, no fall foliage, no water.  The greens of the trees, bushes, and leaves have browns and grays in them - sage and slate and olive and kale - and the dirt and sand is well, dirt and sand colored.  It's not a joyful palette. 

I try to enjoy it because it's where my immediate family is.  But I just can't.  It's dismal.  Driving from my mother's house to my brother's house to my friend's house to the mall all looks like the photo above.  I deflate just looking at it.

Every time I'm home I think of things to do so I'll have something to blog about.  I come up with nothing.  I can't think of a thing I want to photograph.  Another cactus?  Another picture of a mountain?  Another sunset?

I want to look at it with fresh eyes and go see something I've seen a hundred times.  Take pictures, talk about it, make it sound intriguing.  I might try that next time I'm there.

Really, I'm happiest when I leave.  I know I'll be back, but I always need a break from the blah landscape.  And it doesn't take long to reach that point.  I just wish I could take everyone with me because I do miss them when I'm gone. 
We're heading east and I'm happy just thinking about it.  I physically feel my mood lift once we leave Texas.  I'm an aesthetically driven person and need my eyes to be filled with beauty.    

I'm looking forward to seeing fall foliage.  There's still time.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Two More For You, Mr. President!
A Thing About Things
2010: Americans Among Us
2009: Next Time I’m Buying Him Carbon Paper And White Out. And A Roll Of Stamps. And Maybe A VHS Player.
2008: Flash Flood
2007: Consider The Source When Getting Advice
2006: Perfectly Apropos For Bush’s Home State
2005: Soul 2 Soul

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Pumpkin Master

My youngest nephew is a pisser.  He had the biggest pumpkin to carve and he used every tool available to him - a big serving spoon to scrape the interior, rubber gloves to scoop out the guts, various knives and carving tools, my brother's giant jar of nails (?!) and the Dremel that Ed brought.

In the photo he's wearing the 3D glasses we got from when we went to see Gravity earlier this week (save your money - get it at RedBox) so the pumpkin debris wouldn't fly into his eyes. 

His eyes were fine but he had a layer of pumpkin spray on his forehead and the entire length of his hairline.  Look how intense he is while working - he probably didn't even feel his head being pelted with pumpkin bits.

And his pumpkin came out great, so he might just be on to something.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Prime Viewing
2011: Still Flowering
Wishing I Could Trade My Feet For Wheels
And The Winner Is…
Palm In The Dirty South
Ed Makes Out With Fair Fluff Friday
Blue Light Special
Blue Collar

Friday, October 11, 2013

British Invasion

Well, Downton Abbey is back.  In the UK, that is.  And by way of tips found on the internet for viewing it in the US, I've already been watching it.  Months before it hits PBS.  And it's so good.

In light of the pleasant invasion of Brits in my life - via Downton, British celebrities, and real live people I've met via my blog (Hi Linda!  Hi Mick!) - I've not only moved a trip to the UK to the top of my list, but I'm also listing the Top 10 things British things I already like.  I'm sure I'll discover more once I visit!   

Simon Cowell:  I don't care what anyone says.  I love this guy.  He's kinda cute, and when it comes to music and those who can sing, he's right on the money.  Well, except for when he dogged on Jennifer Hudson.  I've forgiven him for that.

Brendan Coyle:  I first fell in love with him when I saw him on Downton Abbey.  As John Bates, his strong, silent, gentlemanly character makes you wish you were Anna.  And because I loved him so much in Downton, I watched North and South because he was in it, and plan on watching all of Lark Rise to Candleford too. 

Princess Diana:  I'll never forget the day Diana died.  I was standing in my mother's kitchen when I heard the news on TV.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  It was like the room swirled around me.  I actually thought the people reporting it were kidding.  I watched her entire wedding, kept up on what she was involved with over the years, and then watched her entire funeral.  I sobbed when I saw the card on her casket, the one placed there by Prince Harry with the word "Mummy" on it.  Heartbreaking.  There was just something about her.  And she's still with us. 

Will and Kate:  No particular reason I'm fond of them.  They just seem to get on well and I like them as a couple.   

Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington:  No one in my entire 46 years of life has made me laugh as hard as these three.  Separately they are each spectacular in their own right, together they are a national treasure.  I cannot get enough.

Downton Abbey:  Just watch it.  Catch up on Seasons 1 through 3 now so you'll be ready when Season 4 airs in January.  Get in on the international sensation!  It's truly a masterpiece.

The Cotswolds:  When I first heard the word "Cotswold" I had no idea what it was, but based on what I think I must have heard on TV or read in books, I always associated the image of a cottage in the English countryside with it.  And I was kind of right since it's an area of lush rolling hills.  In fact, it's so beautiful, it's been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  It's on the top of my list. 

Ralph Cosham:  He's the voice of Louise Penny's books - and I've listened to every one of them.  In my mind, he is Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, head of the homicide department of the Sûreté du Québec.  Even though Gamache is Québécois through and through, Ralph Cosham nails his character.  I love his's got depth and intelligence and makes you feel as if you're part of a real production. 

Scones:  I can eat one every day.  I've never had a proper English scone, but I do like the ones I've had at Starbucks and other bakeries here in the states.  But if I'm going to be drinking tea all day long (and the Brits know their tea), I'm going to have to brush up on what goes with it.  Scones, crumpets, biscuits?  All great choices. 

The Mini:  It was cute then, and it's cute now.  I don't know that I'd want to tour The Cotswolds in a Mini though - I think it might be a tad too cramped for me. 

Oh - and I'm learning all the slang I can before I head over there. 

Though I don't think anything will beat "butter my arse" - a comment left on one of my Guardian pieces. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Splendid Fantasy Road Trip
2011: Hard To Get Close To
2010: Lunch In Fossombrone
2009: Taking Carving To A Whole New Level
2008: Is There Enough Yellow In THIS One For Ya?
2007: I Didn’t Realize Railway Workers Were So Frisky
2006: Individuality
2005: Text Me