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.


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!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Amorous Ambassador - I'm Acting Again

Before the BIG storm hit us on Monday evening, I headed out to audition for The Amorous Ambassador, a playing being produced by the Village Playbox. (Side note: If you visit the website, you can see pictures of me from previous plays.) I've done a few shows with this group, including playing Giles in The Mousetrap. The director, Wendy, asked me to audition as she had a specific role in mind for me to play, that of Captain South. Wendy is such a sweet heart. I have loved working with her in the past so how could I possibly resist such a request?

So what is the show about? Well, when Harry Douglas, the new American Ambassador to Great Britain, tells his family he is going to Scotland to play golf, his wife Lois and daughter Debbie announce plans of their own. Their newly hired butler, Perkins, watches stoically as each leaves and secretly returns for a romantic rendezvous in the empty house. In the wake of a bomb threat, the Embassy is sealed off - with hilarious results. (Yes, I copied that directly from a website.)

And what about Captain South. His description in my script is as follows: The Marine Corps officer in charge of embassy security. He is a total incompetent, who spends his time searching for a non-existent "mad bomber", when he is not being knocked out or hit by doors. I love doing comedy so this character should be right up my alley.

Now don't worry boys and girls, I won't be abandoning my blog just because I am doing a new show. I promise to maintain regular posts (and not just boring banter but fun stuff too) on a regular basis. You can't get rid of me that easily. [insert evil laugh]

Monday, March 2, 2009

Awards, Contests, Prizes and Cucumbers

Well I hate to admit it, but I have been rather lax in the area of acknowledging awards I've been given and prizes I've received. Things just got a little out of hand and before I knew it, I had more crap piled up waiting for my blog than I had crap piling up in my house, if that is even possible. Well instead of tackling that job, I've decided to slap out a contest announcement and some "thank yous" for prizes and awards received.

First I want to start with a shout out to the sexiest darth vader mask-wearing, blogging, foul-mouthed hotty this side of the pecos mountains, Tattooed Minivan Mom (TMM). Anyone who takes pictures of herself and her kids hiding behind halloween masks but proudly displays unaltered pictures of her macho, bike riding, tough as nails but soft as tissues when you need him to be, old man on her blog is a woman after my own heart. And boy does she have a constest going.

TMM is giving away a bottle of Sensual Massage Oil by Kama Sutra. That's right kids. She's not giving away some mamby-pamby baby wash cloths twisted into the shape of a bunny or some lame cucumber scented dollar store bath oil. Oh no, that's way too tame. She wants you all greased up and ready to go. [Insert your fantasy here.] And she's throwing in a $50 gift code from Eden Fantasies so no cucumbers needed. Period. Go check out her contest here--you know you want to.

I wanna thank Joelle over at The A-Priori Mommy for randomly picking me as the winner in her 200th Blog Give-a-way. This weekend I received a lovely lavender scented sachet and a gift card to Starbucks coffee. Joelle, don't hate me but I'm going to give the prize to Linda. She adores girly things like the sachet and absolutely LOVES Starbucks coffee. She hasn't found a job yet and is only working part-time at Barnes & Nobles. Her money is running out and I am seriously worried about her. I know this would perk her up and she sure could use some perking up.

I never properly thanked Kim over at A World of Progress Teamzine for the absolutely coolest t-shirt I have ever received. Don't ask me what the contest was, but I entered and won. The t-shirt has Kim's peace-sign inspired logo and my favorite saying, which is located on my blog so I am not telling you what it is. Kim asked for a picture of me wearing the shirt, but I ordered a medium on the intention of losing 20 lbs. Kim, when I lose the 2o lbs., I promise you'll get a pic. If you folks are not reading Kim's blog, you are missing out on one of the better political blogs out there.

There's a lot of other stuff I missed and some stuff I won and I deleted my emails and now I don't remember who gave them to me and I am embarassed and ashamed and am using run-on sentences to confuse you and deflect the guilt I feel for not acknowledging them. But here's what I do remember:

Thanks to NJDecorator from A Devonshire Design for giving me the triple award that her sister gave her. Thank you. (I'm so blushing.)

Thanks to the Brian and Steven over at Green Dads and Book Dads for awarding me with the Men With Balls book by Drew Magary. Even though it turned out to be a book about sports and there were no pictures relating to the book's title (damn I'm desperate), it was very funny and an awesome prize.

I also won some really nice hand-help choppers that sort of look like cookie cutters. Being the lame jerk-weed I am, I don't remember who I won these from but they are really cool. If you are the one who awarded me these neat-o kitchen utensils, please leave a comment and I promise I'll post a link.


Lastly, I'd like to direct you to a really cool blog, Meghan's Mindless Mutterings. Meghan works with me and yet had no idea I was a SITS member. But she knows now. And so do you so run on over to Meghan's blog and send her some comment love.