My Blog Has Moved

Well folks, I've finally done it. I've switched to WordPress and my blog is now on my own domain. So say good-bye to Blogger and good-bye to the bling. But don't be sad. Life is full of change. Change is a good thing. It keeps us on our toes. It challanges us and makes us stronger. And as your next President... oops, I got a little speechy there, didn't I?

Anyway, check me out at:

http://www.meandtheblueskies.com/

I'll look for you there.


Friday, May 8, 2009

I've Moved to Meandtheblueskies.com


This is just a reminder post that I have moved my blog to www.meandtheblueskies.com. If you are following my blog, you need to go to my new blog and click on the RSS feed link so you can follow my new blog. So if you have been wondering why you haven't seen any new posts from me, now you know. So please, go check out the new blog and leave me a comment telling me what you think. And if you have a link to my blog on your blog, make sure you change it from the blogspot adress to the meandtheblueskies.com address. And don't forget to follow the new blog. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Leisurely Brunching at The Painted Cottage Cafe in Collingswood

I realize that my last post was partially about a brunch in Collingswood, but I had a fabulous brunch at a different restaurant in Collingswood and I needed to blog about that as well. The Painted Cottage Cafe is located in the heart of Collingswood on Haddon Avenue sharing the old Woolworth’s building with it’s sister stores, The Painted Cottage and the Painted Cottage Studio. I love that they have kept the original Woolworth’s facade dating back to the early ’60’s. It adds to the charm of the place.

They have been advertising an all-you-can-eat brunch on Sundays for only $14.95 per person. Since I love brunch and I love buffets, this sounded right up my alley. Instead of parking on Haddon Avenue, I parked in the back and walked up to the back entrance. A covered porch sits outside the back which provides ample outdoor dining in good weather. I would have requested a seat on the porch but it appeared to be occupied by a party group.

Outdoor dining on a beautiful day.

Whether you enter from the back or front, in order to get to the hostess stand, you have to walk down a narrow hall that also occupies the buffet line. Once you reach the dining room, the ceilings are high and the space is open and generous. The walls are adorned with murals and a mock restaurant front with a real awning. The whole resaurant has a shabby-chic appearance. I really felt like I was in a cafe in Paris or New Orleans.

The counter is lined with teapots and two-tiered servers laden with pastries. How cool is that?

I was quickly seated and handed a menu. The Painted Cottage only serves breakfast and lunch and the regular menu is available on Sundays in addition to the all-you-can-eat brunch buffet. The menu is extensive and the prices are very reasonable offering items like Home-made Biscuits and Gravy ($7.95), Eggs Benedict ($7.85), and Old Thyme Chicken Salad Sandwich ($7.45). However, I had already decided that the buffet was for me.

A cafe inside a cafe!

The wait staff is dressed in casual khakis and white shirts. My waiter (I want to say Chris but I can’t remember for sure) sauntered over to the table to see if I wanted coffee and was ready to order. I did and ordered the buffet. Although friendly, he never asked if it was my first time or offered any explanation as to how the buffet worked.

How shabby-chic is this?

I strolled over to the buffet station and quickly figured out where it started. I was first greeted by a really cool, shabby-chic tea cart piled high with an eclectic selection of mis-matched china plates. I grabbed a pretty piece of Noritake and moved on down the line. The buffet features eggs benedict, cottage potatoes, pancakes, bacon, sausage, biscuits, and sausage gravy. I was looking forward to the biscuits and gravy and was taken back, at first, by the yellow-ish tint and creamy texture of the sausage gravy. I decided to try it anyway.

Prime Rib, Eggs, or Waffles

A cook stands behind the line and performs several tasks: Carve a piece of prime rib, make scrambled eggs or omelets, or make you a belgium waffle. He gave me a nice slab of prime rib and even offered to saute it for a minute if it was too rare for me. I chuckled. (There is no such thing as too rare.) He quickly scrambled me some eggs and I returned to my seat.

Everything on the plate was fantastic. The Prime Rib was cooked perfectly and not overly fatty. My eggs were scrambled just right without being runny or overcooked. But the best thing was the Biscuits and Gravy. I’m used to the white, chunky gravy that most restaurants down South sell. This gravy was silky smooth with a slight buttery taste that transformed this traditional mainstream Southern dish from everyday to gourmet. Yum.

Bisquits and sausage gravy to die for.

As I finished my plate, I noticed two woman who had been seated near me as they chatted to each other. One of them gestured to a server and I heard her complain that no one had offered them a menu yet. Now these gals were seated when I came in and I had been seated, gotten a plate of food, and eaten the plate and no one had been to their table during that whole time. A small pow-wow ensued in the corner with several servers as they decided who was supposed to take care of the table. A server went to the table, apologized, and took their order. To the restaurant’s credit, two huge salads were delivered to the table less than five minutes after they placed their order. They seemed pleased.

Here's to the ladies who lunch...

In addition to the two ladies lunching, the restaurant was full with seniors dressed for church, young couples in jeans and flip flops, gay couples, and khaki clad yuppy families. I loved the mix of patrons as well as the casual atmosphere of this place. It is set up to give you the feeling of a leisurely breakfast or lunch dining experience and it works. The wait staff carries this “air” of casual dining with them and move at two speeds: Saunter and Mosey. Now don’t get me wrong. They are casually attentive and never appear to be disinterested or intentionally slow.

Pretty in Pink

I returned again to the buffet line to check out the other side which included mashed potatoes, a hot vegetable, a pasta salad, fruit, yogurt, granola, bagels, and pastries. I picked up a totally cool Eames era (1950’s/60’s) pink plate and made my selections. See how pretty the food looks on the pink plate. (I am so gay but plating does make a difference, even at a buffet.)

The waiter returned after I had finished to see if I needed anything else. I said no and he dropped of the check with no explanation. I had to stop him to find out if I paid him or at the hostess stand. In addition, he never cleared away my old plate when I finished with it, which is a big pet peeve of mine at buffets. The hostess, after passing my table several times, finally decided to clear it away for me.

Overall, I have to give The Painted Cottage Cafe a high rating for a wonderful atmosphere and excellent food, far above what one would normally expect from a buffet. As far as the ala carte meals are concerned, the ones I saw delivered to the tables around me looked awesome and whetted my desire to return and sample some of them. So, if you want shabby-chic cafe experience with an eclectic menu of tasty food, The Painted Cottage Cafe is the place to go, just plan to take your time.

The Painted Cottage Cafe is located at 712 Haddon Avenue in Collingswood.  They are open 7 days a week, 7 am - 4 pm.  Visit them at http://www.paintedcottage.biz/ or call them at 856-854-8060.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Tortilla Press in Collingswood, NJ - Oustanding Brunch and Dinner

For those of you who don't live in my area, Collingswood has become THE town to go to when you want to dine out in South Jersey. A dozen amazing restaurants have popped up in this quaint, dry town and the Tortilla Press (TP) was one of the original restaurants that helped pave that road.

I've been to the Tortilla Press several times and even blogged about their wonderful brunch so I was pleasantly surprised when the contacted me to tell me that they really enjoyed and appreciated my last review. They also offered me a coupon for a free meal if I would come in and try out their "steak night" on Wednesday. Since I am one to never refuse a free meal, I happily accepted.

Now before I start in about the meal, let me tell you that I decided that the free meal would in no way impact my review. Whatever I ate, I would review it based on how I (or my guests) enjoyed the meal.

Amazing $5.00 Brunch

Every Saturday and Sunday, the TP offers a special $5.00 brunch menu from 10am - 12 noon. With offerings like Cheese Chiliquiles Verde & Scrambled Eggs, Pan Perdidas (Mexican French Toast), and Breakfast Enchiladas, this is no watered-down menu.

This past Sunday, my friend Scotty called me and wanted to know if I wanted to go to the mall with him. After I picked him up, I suggested we stop at the TP for the $5.00 brunch. It was 11:30 and we had just enough time. They start you off with a complimentary bowl of sugar and cinnamon tortilla chips accompanied with a cinnamon and honey infused yogurt dipping sauce. An amazingly delicious combination and what was even more amazing was that it was still complimentary, even with the $5.00 brunch menu.


I ordered the Huevos Rancheros which is my favorite. TP's version is two eggs sunny side up served with a tomato cilantro sauce over corn tortillas, then topped with crumbled queso fresco, rajas poblano and tortilla strips. It also comes with rice and black beans. I am pleased to say that the plate looked as pretty as a picture and tasted just as good. And such a huge platter for five bucks.


Scott ordered the Spinache & Bacon quiche which was filled with a creamy chihuahua cheese, then topped with a home made hollandaise sauce. It is also served with a side fruit cup. Scott raved over the quiche and said the sauce was so good he wished they would bottle it. But don't take my word for it, take a look at the picture I took of him after the first bite.


Here's the Beef Wednesday Night Special

So when I decided to go for dinner on Wednesday night to take advantage of the free meal and their "Here's the Beef" Wednesday special, I was worried that TP would have a difficult topping such an amazing brunch. But boy were my worries missplaced.
I invied Amy to join me and Sean and Scott wanted to come along as well. We arrived at 5:30 and were promptly seated even though the restaurant was already fairly full. Our waitress, Cait, (and I am spelling it correctly) was friendly, efficient and just plain nice. She definitely added to our dining experience. If you go for dinner, make sure you ask for her.
They start you out with chips, salsa, and a bean mixture. The offering is a little sparse for 4 people, but the bean mixture added a delightful taste and texture to what would be basic chips and salsa. We then ordered the Blue Corn Calamari with fried jalapeno for $8. The blue-green tinted calamari and jalapenos arrived on a plate of greens with a wonderful creamy mexican tartar sauce. We housed it.
Scotty decided to order the Wednesday special ($15.95), which included an 8 oz. filet, chipotle mashed or au-gratin potatoes, a spicy sauce or a bernaise sauce, vegetable, and a salad. Scott chose the au-gratin potatoes and the bernaise sauce. The filet was cooked perfectly and Scott savored every bite. The potatoes were creamy with a nice crisp topping and the green beans were crisp and fresh. I heard another patron at a different table comment on the generous size of the steak.

I ordered the shrimp fajitas for $18. TP does fajitas a little different as there is no greasy, sizzling skillet. The shrimp, onions, and peppers were pre-grilled in a sweet and spicy mexican bbq sauce and served on a plate with the beans and rice. Served with soft tortillas, salsa, guacamole, and mexican creme. I was a little surprised by the different presentation but the bbq sauce added a wonderful flavor and I appreciated the lack of splattering grease. The shrimp were big and meaty and everything was supplied in ample portions except for the salsa which I practically used all of on my first tortilla. Otherwise, this was the tastiest fajita this man has had in a long time and considering that I worked part-time at Chi Chi's for almost 8 years, that is saying something.


Sean ordered the Coconut Habanero Shrimp for $20. This delectably sweet and spicy dish included the same large and meaty shrimp fire grilled in a sweet, spicy coconut & pepper confetti salsa. Served with chipotle mashed potatoes, grilled pineapple & fresh green beans. Sean is afraid of the heat and he found the sweatness of the coconut milk counted nicely with the slight heat of the dish. He also enjoyed the subtle smokey flavor of the chipotle mashed potatoes and insisted we all have a taste.

Lastly, Amy ordered the Rainbow Shrimp for $20. (We all wanted shrimp--what can I say.) This meal included the same meaty shrimp sautéed with peppers, onions and mushrooms in a garlic chile butter sauce. Served with poblano spinach rice and fresh vegetable medley. Amy said the chile butter sauce added the right touch of heat without being overwhelming. The veggies were fresh and crisp. I forgot to ask her about the rice but she ate it all, just like the rest of us, so she must have enjoyed it.
The deserts look similar but they were very different. Scott, Sean, and Amy ordered the desert special, chimi fried cheesecake. The dish was NY style cheesecake and blackberries wrapped into a tortilla and fired crispy. Served coverd with powedered sugar, more blackberries and a dollop of cajeta. (mexican whipped creme I am guessing.) They all were in heaven. I had a small taste of Sean's and this is one treat that they should keep on the menu.
I had a similiar dish called the Banana Buritto. The Banana Buritto is made of Ripe Banana and sliced strawberries drizzled with chocolate and cajeta, then rolled in a flour tortilla and lightly fried. Served with a scoop of ice cream, more chocolate sauce and cajeta. I had a choice of ice cream so I went with cinnamon. This dish is amazing. The flavor of the bananas and strawberries with the crispy tortilla and the spicy cinnamon ice cream dance all over my taste buds.

After we finished eating, Sean turned to me and said, "This is now my favorite restaurant." Considering that his is one picky fellow, I'd have to say that was some accomplishment. I've eaten at the TP many times and I would be hard-pressed to say anything negative about it. Chef Owner, Mark Smith, has a real gem here in Collingswood and he truly is making an effort to keep dining out in SJ affordable. In addition to the $5 brunch and the Wednesday filet special, the also offer a 3 course twilight menu Sun - Thurs, 4:00 - 6:30 for only $16.50 pp.

The Tortilla Press is located at 703 Haddon Avenue in Collingswood, NJ. Visit them at http://www.tortillapress.com/. Walk-ins are ok but I recommend calling 856-869-3345 to make a reservation. And tell em Mr Blueskies sent you.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Coming Soon: Meandtheblueskies.com

Yup, that's right kids. I went ahead and purchased my domain name at GoDaddy.com.  I am now the proud owner of meandtheblueskies.com.  Oh, it's not set up yet or anything like that.  And yes, I don't know what I am doing but for less than $15.00, I now own that domain for the next two years.

I still haven't decided to switch over yet from Blogger to WordPress but I am leaning heavily towards WordPress.  I just have fears of BIG separation anxiety if I leave Blogger.  But I want something new--something fresh--something different.  And I want that damn "read more" feature without having to add a code into every post I make.

So, I will continue to post here and copy the post to my WordPress blog until I have decided what I am going to do.  I would love to have everyone come to my blog via my domain name.  And I want a blog that's smoother, cleaner, and a little bit more professional looking.  Is that such a bad thing?

So watch out world, I just may create my own logo and open my own website with my own little blog. As soon as I figure out what the hell I am doing...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blogspot or WordPress: What's Your Opinion?

I am seriously considering switching my blog from Blogspot to WordPress. Now the reason I originally used blogger was because it is easy to use and has tons of templates that are very easily modified. WordPress requires knowledge of CSS code to modify their templates.  Since I am not a code expert, I choose Blogspot for my blog.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not necessarily unhappy with Blogspot. And I do love the blingy look of my blog and my Me and the Blue Skies header. I ADORE my header. But I hate that I blogger does not have a read more post feature where you show only a little bit of the post and thenclick the read more button if you want to read more and leave a comment. I think this makes blogs look much cleaner and certainly easier to navigate. So I exported my blog to WordPress and came up with a cool template that I really like.

Unfortunately, the template I finally decided to use does not have a custom header feature so I lose my Blue Skies header. Of course, if I want to customize my CSS code and add a header, I need to pay WordPress $15/year. Not really a bad price to pay. And WordPress does have some templates with customizable headers but I just love the clean, three column look of this template.

Anyway, the whole point of this is to get YOUR opinon. That's right! I want to know what you, the Me and the Blue Skies reader, thinks about both blogs. Tell me which one you like better. (My "About" page is a mess right now. I'll fix it up later.) Tell me why you use Blogger or WordPress. I wanna know. To go to my blog in WordPress, just click here. You can leave a comment there or come back here and leave your comment. I'll be checking both blogs. And thanks, in advance, for your advice and opinions.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Texas May Be "Gone With The Wind"


It seems that Texas Governor Rick Perry is so fed up with Obama and the Democrats in power that he feels that Texas' secession from the Union may be a viable option.  As reported on CNN Politics.com, these words were said at one of the dozens of Republican sponsored "tea parties" throughout the country.  Calling his supporters "partriots" Perry exclaimed,

"We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot." 

He went on to incorrectly state that "when Texas entered the union in 1845 it was with the understanding it could pull out."

Hmm...so it took Texas 164 years to decide it doesn't want to be part of this great nation?  If these words aren't treasonous, they sure do spit in the faces of not only our forefathers who fought and died to make America free but also in the faces of the men and women who continue to fight and die so we can still enjoy those freedoms today.
And he said all that during a "tea party" designed to evoke patriotic memories of American opposition to British control.  But that fight was about taxation without representation NOT because we're mad that we're not the party in control anymore.  And the cries of Socialism that I hear are designed to scare the masses and smack of McCarthyism.  Even Joe the Plumber has gotten into the tea party act. What do you think that does for credibility? (At least his agent is finally earning his keep.)

So what do I say about Governor Perry's thoughts about a possible Texas Secession?  Well if Texas did secede, we'd lose a big chunk of staunch, NRA supporting Republicans.  And Texas is anti-abortion while being number 1 in state executions.  AND it gave us arguably the worst President ever to sit in the oval office, George W. Bush.  So I guess I'd say to Governor Perry, "Frankly, Rick, I don't give a damn!"

Editor's note:  One small consequence could be the removal of the Dallas Cowboys from the NFL.  Not that I am a Cowboys fan--I'd just miss those great rivalry games between the Cowboys and the Eagles.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I've Turned My Dog Into a Cream Cheese Whore

I bet that is is headline you don't see every day, huh?  But it's true.  My dog is now a maniac for cream cheese and it's all my fault!  It all started when Dave, my older dalmatian, started having bladder issues.  He was always thirsty and had to be let out to pee every two hours or he'd have an accident.  You could tell that he couldn't help himself and there was no reason in getting mad at the dog, but something had to be done.

So what does this have to do with cream cheese?  Don't worry. I'm getting there. Anyway, I took him to the vets and it seems he had a bladder infection.  The vet perscribed some antibiotics that Dave needed to take for a whole month.  Now Dave is one of those dogs that will eat practically anything, anything unless you want him to eat it.  Trying to get him to take the a pill was damn near impossible.

I tried putting it in his dog food and he'd eat around it.  I put it in a piece of meat and he'd spit the pill out. I wrapped it in peanut butter and with one sniff he'd turn his head up to it.  I felt like shoving it up his I didn't know what to do. I was forced to stick a peanut butter wrapped pill halfway down his throat through tightly gritted teeth and several snarls.  The peanut butter stuck to his tongue and he was forced to eat it.

But that ordeal was just that, an ordeal.  I needed a better way to get him to take his meds, one that was less stressful for both of us.  The epiphany came while I was making a bagel with cream cheese.  A small dollop of cream cheese fell from my knife to the kitchen floor and Dave flew in from the dining room like a bat out of hell.  Within a milisecond, the dollop was gone and Dave was staring at me with his "I'll Die If You Don't Feed Me Something" look on his face.

I took my coffee and the cream cheese laden bagel into the living room, turned on the tv, and plopped down on the sofa.  As I flipped through the boring Saturday morning cable line up, Dave was sitting right next to me in a rigid "I'm Ready For the Next Glob To Fall" position, with big globs of drool sliding down his jowels. And it hit me.

No, not Dave or the cream cheese or the bagel.  The answer to all my problems was smeared all over my toasty, Thomas' onion bagel.  I'd wrap the pill in cream cheese!  I was so excited I almost ran into the kitchen to give the little bastard sweetheart a second pill.  But I held off until his evening dose.

When 7:00 arrived, I carefully wrapped the pill in a nice glob of cream cheese and called Dave over to me.  He knew it was pill time and was slyly watching me in the kitchen from the dining room.  He started to move away but caught a glimpse of the gleeming white ball of goodness on my finger tip.  He hesitated and then with one fell swoop, I almost lost my finger.

Now giving him his pill has been no problem at all.  Twice a day, he perks up because he's getting his cream cheese.  It's pretty amazing. In fact, Heather was making some cream cheese and celery pieces to have before our Easter dinner and Dave was up her butt the whole time, whining and staring and slathering big globs of droll all over the kitchen.  After she finished, she sat down in disgust and exclaimed, "Dave's addicted to cream cheese and it's all your fault!"

Yup, it sure is.  I just don't know what I'm going to do when I run out of medicine.  Does anyone know where there's a cream cheese withdrawl clinic for dogs?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Top Ten Failed Urinal Screen Scents

For some reason at work today, we were talking about the urinal screens we sell and the weird scents that they are available in, like Cherry, Green Apple, and Bubble Gum.  Yes, I said "Bubble Gum." (For those gals who do not know what a urinal is, it's like a wall mounted toilette that gays pee into.)

Well this got us thinking about other weird scents for urinal screens and with a little help from a couple of my coworkers, I've come up with:

Top Ten Urinal Screen Scents That Didn't Quite Make It

10.  Port-o-potty
9.  Monkey Cage
8.  Frat Party
7.  Cigarette Butt
6.  Back Alley
5.  Homeless Man
4.  Sports Arena Parking Lot
3.  Subway Stair Well
2.  Coors Lite

And the number 1 failed urinal screen scent is:
1.  Brussel Sprouts
There you have the top ten failed scents.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Max's Seafood Cafe, Gloucester - Great Seafood at Modest Prices

Saturday night I took Amy to dinner for her birthday to Max's Seafood Cafe in Gloucester.  I wanted to take pictures and blog about it, but like the big goof I am, I forgot my camera.  But the meal was so good I decided to blog about it anyway. 
Max's is located in a residential area of Gloucester on the corner of a stretch of rowhomes on a one-way street.  It has the feel of "old Philadelphia" with the insides being deep instead of wide, exposed brick walls, and a big wooden bar dating back to the 30's. 


When we entered, we were greeted by (who we believe to be) the owner who led us over to the hostess stand.  They found our reservation and sat us at a table next to the window overlooking the street.  The owner commented that Preston was an unusal name and it reminded him of the movie Arthur. (Liza Manelli crashes a party in the movie and pretends that one of the guests, named Preston, is her date.)

Owner Tom Monohan, who really gets
a kick out of the movie Arthur.

I ordered a dirty, Ketel one martini and Amy requested a cosmo.  The drinks came quickly and were very good.  We decided to start with the Max's Seafood Sampler which was three bacon wrapped scallops, three clams casinos, and two fried oyesters for $11.85.  They were served with two sides, a standard cocktail sauce and a tangy, stone ground mustard tartar sauce, which was a nice switch from the standard mayonaissey tartar sauce that is usually served with fried seafood.  All three items were cooked perfectly.  I am not a big fan of clams casino but these were tasty and not overly breaded as some can be.  Amy raved over them.

We ordered another set of drinks and dinner.  Amy went for one of the specials which was a beautiful fiet topped with crab and cheese mixture, garlic mashed potatoes, and asparagus ($26.95), while I went for the fried seafood platter.  It consisted of a huge flounder filet, two large shrimp, two large scallops, two oysters, cole slaw, old bay fries, and the same sauces that came with the appetizer.  ($19.95)

The filet was cooked perfectly with a creamy, mild-cheese crab topping that really complimented the meat.  Amy oohed and ahhed her way through it.  My meal was fried perfectly.  Max's uses a slightly thicker breading that sticks to the food but doesn't overwhelm it with a bready taste.  The old bay fries were hot and cripsy with just the right amount of seasoning. I was in heaven. 

For desert, I ordered coffe with kahlua and the creme brulee and Amy had an Irish coffee and key lime pie.  Both deserts were huge and we could barley finish them.  The only disappointment was the coffee as neither was served with a whipped creme topping and I had to request creamer for mine.

The bill came to $112 before tip for four martinis, a large appetizer, two meals, two deserts, and two coffee drinks.  I think it was a great deal.  Both of us had some dinner left over, which the waitress kindly wrapped up for us.  On the way out, the owner asked us how we enjoyed our meal.  We told him it was great and it made Amy's birthday.  He was real pleased so he bought us each a drink to celebrate her birthday.

The owner is a really nice guy, who grew up in the area.  We enjoyed chatting with him about the restaurant and the changes our community has gone through the years.  Even without the free drinks and the friendly conversation, we had already decided we would definitely go back again.  If you live in the area or plan to travel here and love seafood, this is one spot you will definitely not want to miss.  Maybe we'll see you there.

Max's Seafood Cafe is located at 34 N. Burlington Street in Gloucester.  For more information, visit their website at http://www.maxsseafoodcafe.com/.  For reservations, call 856-456-9774 or visit http://www.opentable.com/.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

An Open Letter to the NJ State Policeman Who Rode My Butt Halfway to Work Today


Before I get started, I just want to say that I am not anti-police. I was brought up to respect police and I believe they are public servants here to protect us and keep our community safe.  My friend, Bobby, recently became a police officer and you'd be hard pressed to find a more honest, dedicated, hard-working individual anywhere. 

However, police officers are people and they are all different which leads me to my story.  I live on a corner of a street that runs parallel to Route 30, which is the road I take to get to I295 on my way to work.  Instead of taking Route 30, I take the back road because it has less traffic and no traffic lights.  The only downside is that the speed limit is 25 mph. 

This morning I am chugging along at approximately 30 mph when you come flying up behind me in a big, white SUV me and start riding my butt.  There's no one behind you and no on in front of me.  It's a pretty straight road and most of it allows passing but you continue to just ride my butt.  I hate that and am starting to get aggravated at you, but I don't want to speed up because we are about to pass a grade school and I am not sure that you are aware that it is there because it is partially hidden by an overpass.

After I pass the school I come to a stop sign and take a good look in my rear view mirror.  It turns out you are driving a NJ State Police SUV.  I cross through the intersection but you are delayed before you cross; however, that does not stop you from zooming up again to ride my butt.  Now I am starting to feel a little panicky.  Am I going too fast? Should I slow down?  Maybe I'm going to slow and you want me to speed up.  Is there something wrong with my vehicle? Have I inadvertently done something wrong?

I finally get to I 295 which is three lanes.  As I merge you zoom up to pass me.  I look to my left and I see you as you pass.  You are looking forward as if you were not interested in me at all AND you looked as if you were barely 20 years old.  Obviously you weren't interested in me and just wanted to get to 295 faster than I was going.

If you had seen anyone else driving like that, I would expect that you would give them a ticket.  Why then do you think it is appropriate for you to drive in such a dangerous manner? Is it because you are a policeman?  If you needed to pass me, you could have simply passed me or flashed your lights and I would have pulled over to the right to let you pass.  Do you realize how intimidating it is to have a police officer behind you, let alone one that is riding your butt through a school zone?

I know you put your life on the line for me and everyone else every single day and I respect that.  But please don't use your badge and your big SUV to intimidate me unnecessarily.  If I am going too fast, pull me over and give me a ticket.  If you need to pass me, then let me know and I'll let you pass.  Please remember that when I am driving, my focus is supposed to be on the road AND NOT the big, white NJ State Police SUV that is riding my butt.  If you promise not to ride my butt, I promise to be a good driver. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I've Been Sick

No folks, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I've just been sick for the past 4 days.  I hate being sick, but then, who doesn't?  I was actually feeling a little better today so I washed some dishes that have been sitting in the sink for centuries. The one problem (one? there's plenty more than one) with being sick is that you don't feel like doing anything--cooking, cleaning, laundry, walking the dogs, working, whatever... Anyway, off all the things that I didn't feel like doing while I was sick, laundry was on the low end. Why? Because I throw it in the washer, then I throw it in the dryer, then I fold it. Not really a tough thing to do, even if you are sick as a dog.

Speaking of dogs, (nice segue,eh?) Dave and Sissy have been pretty good through my sickness.  I think animals can tell when you're sick or sad or upset.  And I've been walking them as much as I can since I am home instead of work.  But alas, I must drag my butt to work tomorrow as I really can't miss another day.  Plus, I am starting to feel somewhat better.  Well I know this is a boring post but it's all I've got in me. Make sure you take the time to say some prayers for Andrew. Thanks.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Say a Prayer for Andrew

When I got home from work today, I had an email from my good buddy, Steve, asking me for a favor.  I was fairy surprised because Steve rarely asks for any favors.  Steve's a wonderful guy--honest, caring, and very giving. He's a really good person and a great friend, so when he asks for something, I listen.  Well, his favor was a request for me to pray for his grandson, Andrew. Now I'm not a very religious person so if Steve is asking for my prayers, he must really need them.  Rather than explain what is going on with his grandson, I am going to copy part of his email here:
My youngest grandson, Andrew is in Children's hospital in Philly, he has cancer. He has a tumor in his left cheek area that has caused his sinus cavity to become crushed, and thrown his teeth out of line. Andy is only 8 years old, he does not deserve this kind of suffering. Would you please add him to your prayers? He is going to have to have radiation treatments for a year to shrink the tumor. He already has a well installed in his little chest, and he will have a feeding tube in him soon too, as the radiation will burn his mouth and throat, and he will not be able to eat. Please pray for him, he needs it so bad right now. His name is Andrew Edmond Cordrey.
So I am asking all of you, whatever your religion or religious beliefs, to please add little Andrew to your prayers. It's a gift that costs nothing but means so much to the recipients.  And if you would like to email Steve any words of encouragement, let me know in your comment and I will give you his email address.  Thank you so very much.

A Brother In The Sauce (BITS) Says "Thank You!"

Yesterday I was the featured blogger over at The Secret is in the Sauce and can proudly display the "I'm Saucy" widget in my sidebar.  I want to say "Thank you" to all the wonderful SITStas who stopped by my blog to send me some comment lovin'.  I was overwhelmed by not only the number of comments but by the many kind and caring remarks that so many people left for me.  I am truly humbled.

I spent most of the day sneaking into my personal email and reading each and every one of the comments left on my blog. I loved every minute of it and it was so much fun to see the different reactions to my posts. Many of you left comments on posts that weren't even feature on the SITS post about my blog. I am especially glad that I was able to provide most of you with some good laughs and I hope I will be able to continue to do so in the future.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to give a BIG SHOUT OUT to Tiffany and Heather, the bestest SISTas in the whole world who created and run The Secret is in the Sauce.  I can barely keep up with my own blog so I have no idea how they do theirs and run SITS at the same time. It's truly amazing.

Ok, I know I sound like a big suck up but I just can't help myself.  This really was a treat and I promise to visit each and every one of my commenter's blogs.  It may take me a little time because I have rehearsals for my play on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays but I will do it. Now, does anyone know how to treat featured blogger withdrawl?

Monday, March 16, 2009

And the Disneymania SITS Spring Fling Contest Winner Is...


And the winner is...Beauty and the Beast. That's right kids, the most popular Disney movie as chosen by you, the Me and the Blue Skies reader, is Beauty and the Beast. It was a close race, folks, and here are the top 5:

1. Beauty and the Beast
2. Cinderella
3. The Little Mermaid
4. 101 Dalmatians
5. Sleeping Beauty

There were 109 comments resulting in a total of 157 possible entries. Thirty-three different movies were nominated as your favorites. That sure is a tribute to Disney. In fact, many of you lamented at how hard it was just to pick one favorite. It was also a fun trip down memory lane. Who can forget movies like Old Yeller, the Apple Dumpling Gang, or Heavy Weights? Heavy Weights? Yea, I had to google it but it sure is a Disney movie.

It seems that everyone seemed to enjoy my contest and many of you took advantage of the bonus entries by listing your favorite other SITS Spring Fling contests. I even won one of those contests, a $20 Target Gift Card from Brandy over at I'm Not Your Average Soccer Mom. So I guess that wraps up this contest.

Wait a minute! I haven't mentioned who actually won the contest, have I? Silly me. Well, I always believe in saving the best for last so I didn't even pick a winner until I reached this point in writing this post. I am now heading over to Random.org to pick the winning number. And the winner is [drumroll puhleeze]:


Koopermom (Hollie) from Just a Little Something...


Congratulations Koopermom! I will be sending along your way the two Disney Little Mermaid DVDs and the Disney 2nd edition Scene-it Game. And what was Koopermom's favorite Disney movie? Beauty and the Beast, of course!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Subtle Butt - The Farter's Dream Come True

We've all heard of hot pads, knee pads, and bachelor pads, but farting pads? Well get ready for the hippest new pad since Austin Powers was defrosted--the Subtle Butt. The Subtle Butt is a 3.5" square soft fiber fabric with an antimicrobal treatment on one side and impregnated with activated carbon on the other side. Simply place inside your undies or pants and fart away with confidence.

Moderately priced at $9.95 for a package of 5, the Subtle Butt is perfect for your bean loving, brussels sprouts eating, chili chowing farting boyfriend/husband/co-worker. Each pad comes with two "strategically placed" adhesive strips making installing them a breeze. The strips not only secure the product to your clothing, but also tell you which side should be against your skin.
So pick up a pack or two today at guarmentguard.com and don't let flatualence blow you or your friends away.  Warning:  Best used against SBDs. Subtle Butt makes no claims to muffle the sounds that accompany farting so although your friends won't smell that you farted, they may still hear it.  Now, if they only made a Subtle Butt for dogs, my life would be complete!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

I had my first rehearsal tonight for the Amorous Ambassdor.  I've never heard of the play before and I have to admit that I was too lazy busy to read any of it until I got to rehearsal tonight. (I know, I'm bad.)  Well it turns out the play is absolutely hysterical.

There's lots of physical comedy and clever matching dialogue to go along with it.  My character is a bumbling Marine who gets hit in the head several times with a door and gets knocked out each time.  After each blow, he gets whackier and whackier.  The butler gets his hand superglued to the secretary's butt and later gets his tie caught in the Ambassador's daughter's shirt's zipper.  (Wow, that is a mouthful.)  You know a show is going to be funny when everyone is laughing during the first rehearsal.

I've previously done shows with the director and many of the cast members. I am so happy to be working with them again.  The Village Playbox is a really good small theater group that truly believes in putting on quality shows but having fun while they do it.  Which is exactly where I want to be. I'll keep you all posted as rehearsals progress.

Monday, March 9, 2009

My SITS Spring Fling Contest - Disneymania!

Update: I've ended the contest a tad early. I don't know what I was thinking when I said I would end it at midnight.

That's right, folks. As a SITS member, I am participating in their Spring Fling. I've got some great prizes in store for one lucky reader but before you jump down to the bottom to leave a comment, please read ALL the instructions first. If you don't follow the instructions, you will be disqualifed. (I promise not to make you jump through hoops.)



Anyway, I'm giving away the dvd game, Scene It? Disney 2nd Edition. If you've never played Scene It, you're in for a treat. It's a trvia game that you play on your tv and it incorporates images and scenes from movies. It's a lot of fun and this Disney version is a great family game that people of all ages can enjoy.


But that's not all. I am also including two Disney dvd's, The Little Mermaid II and The Little Mermaid Ariel's Beginning. These movies are brand new and never opened. Everyone knows the Little Mermaid and these tell two new stories about this princess of the sea.


Now I know that there are a lot of you mommy bloggers out there who would just love to get your hands on these goodies. So how do you enter my contest? Here are the rules:


1. For 1 entry, leave a comment below telling me what your favorite Disney movie is and why. (Don't skimp. You must include the name of the movie and your reasons for loving it in order for this entry to count!)


2. For 2 more entries, blog about this contest and leave a separate comment here with a link to your post about this contest.


3. For 3 more entries, leave another separate comment here telling me what other SITS member Spring Fling contest you like and leave a link to that contest in your comment.


Contest ends Monday, March 16th at 12 pm ET. Winner will be announced sometime Tuesday, March 17th. (Probably after 6pm ET) Make sure you have a valid email address for me to contact you. If I can't reach you and/or you don't respond to my email or the announcement on my blog, a new winner will be selected on Saturday, March 20th.


That's it folks. It's your choice. You can have as little as one entry or as many as 6. I'm a BIG Disney fan so I am looking forward to reading all about what Disney movie you love best. (live action or animated) And to get the ball rolling, I'll tell you what Disney movie I love best. It was a toss up between Sleeping Beauty and The Sword in the Stone but I have to go with The Sword in the Stone. Somehow I related with Wart and I absolutely loved not only the Wizard's duel scene but the scene's where Wart became a fish, a squirrel, and a bird. Only Disney can take you on a journey like that. Good luck!