Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hiding the Salami

I did some traveling earlier this week, and I often times get "pulled over" in airports. This is my term for the quality one-on-one time I rack up with the TSA crews across the country.

In Boston's Logan International we did a full take apart of my suitcase and dusted my book and shoes with special swipes to detect something super dangerous. Cleveland Ohio was another fun time when I got pulled from the boarding line, wanded in full jumping jack position and then felt up. You read correctly -- felt up people! The woman doing all of this apologizes as she drops the wand and goes in for full feel. Why? I was told it was because I was wearing an underwire bra. Those commercials do always talk about how dynamic and empowered you will be....who knew it was all in the underwire?!

Anyway, my latest adventure was notable as well. I was flying from San Jose, California to Vive Las Vegas baby! I am meeting one of my favorite cousins there and I have been looking forward to this trip for a while. I can't wait to get on that plane!

I am putting my shoes back on at the end of the security checkpoint, and getting ready to head to my gate when I hear, "Please step over here Ma'am" Here we go. Damnit!

My suitcase is now completely unzipped and this small, 50ish looking soft spoken man is going through every little thing I have packed. This is always very fun for me. Pretty soon he pulls out a 16inch or so cylindrical item that is gift wrapped in tissue paper, with ribbons on the end. He takes it from my bag and holds it with a pretty firm grip as he exchanges a glance with one of his coworkers. He then turns back to me, shakes the gift in a rigorous arm arcing away from the body motion (you know what it looked like given the shape of what he was holding) and simply asks, "Salami?"

Good guess! Yes it is indeed a highly seasoned sausage of pork and beef (Merriam Webster Dictionary definition for you there -- just so we are all clear on what exactly I was packing!)

I affirm his guess and then nervously start to chatter. Who knows why I do this. I mean, how much information does this guy really need?

Well, I can tell you he got more than he needed. The "Salami?" inquiry elicits all sorts of useless commentary, like: "Yes it is a salami. I am Italian and I am meeting a cousin in Las Vegas. The salami is a gift for her; sort of a family tradition"

The gentleman just deadpans while waiting for me to finish yammering away.

I do and eventually my bag is put back together. I am on my way.

He gave me back the salami, by the way. My cousin seemed pretty happy to hear that it came with a complimentary Daniella Is A Giant Nerd story. Good times.

Vive Las Vegas, cured meats, useless diatribe and support for our troops!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Shut Up and Drive!........Whatever

Have you ever seen bumper stickers like that? The anti-cell phone ones that tell you to "Shut Up And Drive"? How rude! You aren't supposed to tell people to shut up. And what makes these people think I cannot do both?

On the 1st of this month, California joined a few other states in banning the use of hand held cell phones while driving. I know many see this as a total legislation victory. I don’t. I feel lumped in and a little civilly violated to tell you the truth.

Here’s the deal: I am not a moron. I’m an excellent driver, (I know – go Rain man* with it – it’s okay) and a multitasker

I can hold my phone and drive. It’s as simple as that. I still watch the road, I still use my turn signals, and I haven’t hit anything. I can go forward, backward, park, and if I had to, I could pull of a brake-stand as well. Actually, I have hit some stuff, but it happened when I WASN’T on the phone. Add that to the study stats people!

So now I am reduced to using speakerphone while driving because I refuse to put all that crap in my ear. It’s not my problem or my fault that others are terrible drivers. I refuse to be punished for something that doesn’t apply to me!

Are we all good break dancers? Are we all great chemists? Are we all going to excel at blowing up bridges? No. Some of us are going to shine and most of us are going to be mediocre to craptacular. That’s just the way it goes. It’s the same with driving. In this country almost all of us are out zooming around on the roads when the reality is that the majority of us are not going to be very good drivers.

So I want a bumper sticker. I want a big M (for multitasker) for the back of my car. This way the police will be able to easily recognize me for the skilled vehicular pilot that I am, and move on to all of the true road menaces.

Until then, I will get behind the wheel, set the celly to speaker, and scream into it like a stereotypical Italian (I'm Italian so no nasty emails about how mean I am), torturing everyone with the accompanying feedback.

It's not my fault. Get me the sticker, and we can all go back to the good ole days when I got to be a big girl and make my own decisions while driving my own damn car! Thank you.

*Sidenote: Other things I have in common with Rain man

I panic when I burn toast

I repeat myself a lot

Sometimes my brother is a jerk to me

I have brown hair

Remember when they go into the casino dressed alike? My parents did that – dressed me up like my brother when we were little. Good times.

I require a lot of supervision

I like Wheel of Fortune


Of course, I’m an excellent driver! : )

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Man Wall

There is nothing to say. Simply soak in all the man lusciousness.......really sit with it and let your soul be fed.