Happy and Safe (Driving!) T-Day

Whether you celebrate or not, Thanksgiving remains one of the largest travel days out there. We’ve decided to stay put – for a multitude of reasons, traffic notwithstanding, but if you are going to travel…please be safe.

It amazes me – I might actually say *frightens* – how many people don’t recognize the responsibility of operating a vehicle. On heavily traffic weekends especially, accidents are way, WAY too common…

A long road trip may be a fun time, especially when you have company you love, and some good tunes. But. . .

But…driving safely (not tired, not intoxicated, not distracted, not angry etc) is not only for you…but for whomever is with you, and whoever else is out on the road. It isn’t just about us alone – we are driving machines capable of more than getting us to point A and B if we aren’t paying attention. 

I know it feels like a damper but. . .if you’re headed somewhere during the holidays (frankly when we are headed anywhere)  just be extra mindful so you and your loved ones stay safe. 



Traveling Nutrition IV

I’m always amazed – and sincerely touched – by the support of social networks from like-minded but total strangers.  We all have different goals, needs, and circumstances…but it’s neat to see the general camaraderie surrounding the broader aim to stay healthy, and make good choices for ourselves.  I posted a few photos from a recent trip and was touched by how many folks even cared.

I’ve enumerated at length how utterly terrifying traveling used to be for me – the eating disorders that accompanied my PTSD made leaving my parents’ home, at the time, nigh impossible – forget getting in a car for hours, or – god forbid – getting on a plane.

I worried about what I would eat, if I could eat, who would be eating what types a foods around me. . . The prospect was enough to launch a generally debilitating panic attack, so to be able to travel at all now…and with some ease…is a gift I never take for granted.

What makes it a TON easier is to have the support of those closest to me – I’m not sure where I’d be without it, to be honest.


The most recent – a rather last-minute – trip was to a car show out in California.  Long flight, several hours in the car on both sides, and lots of fast food (that my stomach couldn’t handle if I wanted it to!) When I travel I always pack a plethora of snacks, but in this case, I brought extra.

The great news beyond that, though, is that SO many places have options – they may not be main menu options, but they do exist, you need only ask. Yes, even on the plane!

Protein can be a little tricky to travel with but there are packaged options that don’t need a refrigerator, such as turkey and chicken jerky, nuts, and tuna, chicken, or salmon packs. I get a few looks sometimes but I feel my best when I eat as close to my “usual” as possible so it’s all good. 🙂 

Whole fruits like apples and freeze dried version are a sweet option to tote along, as are pre-portioned snacks like peanut butter crackers. When out to dinner, fish and chicken prepared as simply as possible are great choices, along with veggies to fill you up.  One of the restaurants had a “salsa” as cocktail sauce with their shrimp and I actually used it as a salad dressing because it was so good, and had very little in it (versus a heavier dressing whose ingredients I’d be unable to decipher.) 


As for airports there are lots of options hiding out – turkey slices or chicken breasts are generally available where sandwiches are made, salads are always available, fruit cups are offered at coffee bars and meal establishments…even boiled eggs can be found in some places as well (sometimes they are even in pre-packaged salads too!) It may be a mix and match but you can definitely find options that work.


So don’t lose heart if you have to be on the road or away from your usual meals at home.  It is definitely doable to eat clean and to be satisfied – a few snacks in your bag can help when cravings hit, and most of the time a restaurant is MORE than happy to prepare something more simple.  Don’t be afraid to ask!

More Deliciousness

Good Vibes

My vehicle is pretty simple – I don’t adorn the outside with much, because I feel like the screaming red paint is enough.  I did, however, take the liberty of giving her a tattoo on her upper rear. . . It’s a black bat, of course.  Because GOTHIC HEART! ❤  


Aside from the witchy ink, though, I’m not particularly exciting.

This car, however, is having a blast!


If you’re going to plaster your car with opinion’ed (positive) paraphernalia,  you may as well be as loud-and-proud as you can – proclaim that happiness at the top of your lungs (or as large as you can make it on your tire cover!) Because you never know who you might infect with a jolt of joy on a day someone needed it most.



Humor – Black Label and Bubblegum

Bubblegum (sugar-free, of course) happens to be a real saving grace for me. Yes, I know the majority of ingredients are alarmingly unpronounceable.  And I am perfectly well aware that increasing the rate and intensity at which I chew may well land me in TMJ (temporomandibular joint) jail – I’ve induced the condition in the past – vehemently chomping through stress – so no need to preach to me about that!

Bazooka Gum comic

Bazooka Gum comic

Still. . .bubblegum – Bubblemint, to be clear – has prevented me from many an unsavory situation.  Perhaps it is the sweet, non-sugared (though, thanks to fancy-pants, long-winded chemicals) “candied,” pink piquancy that accounts for the of super, ass-kicking power it bestows upon the chewer?  I wish I could have asked Roddy Piper. . .

Roddy Piper from They Live

Roddy Piper from They Live

Let’s take the recent crane crash on the Tappan Zee bridge… How fun was it to get that news, while already driving back home at the WORST time of day?!  

The reroute of traffic (through every neighboring town, city, suburb, what have you) to the GWB (that’s George Washington Bridge, for those fortunate not to know it) caused a massive hazarai.  New Yorkers are naturally aggressive on the road – add to that proclivity the threat. . .er, promise. . .of substantial delays, and you are a minnow maneuvering in a shark tank.  Yikes.

One lady literally drove her car towards mine, only a hair shy of indentation.  Normally I might say a few disgruntled words to myself…but her singing and snide, deliberately obnoxious (feigned, I dare add) “smiley” attitude rubbed me so the wrong way that I thought I was about to get out of the car – Black Label hoodie, four-eyed and all.  It was like a wave of precursory “road rage” that broadsided me.  As a martial artist I always have that voice that kicks in saying “you never know who you are dealing with” in the back of my head.  Well, that angel’s voice took its quick cue, thankfully. . .but it wasn’t until I had some bubblegum that the devil was quelled.

All hail the mighty Bubble(mint)!


Yes…three, simulated-saccharine pieces and all was okay with the world.  (Alright, my knee was uptight and I wanted out, but it was better.)

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As Waze and Google simultaneously – and resolutely! – labored to find the fastest route (I was on it but one can hope), I took a deep breath, turned up my Octane, and enjoyed the familiar swell of sweetness. 


Cruisin’ In Style

I don’t hear enough people say these words as much as they should (or, if not the words specifically, I’m not hearing enough people express the sentiment(s) behind them!)…

My parents are awesome. Flat. Out. AWESOME.  

I like to tease my father that he’s a “nerd” – he’s incredibly bright, meticulous, seems to be good at anything he puts his mind to.  He is my idol in so many ways, and has taught me so much.  So even though I tease him (isn’t that my purpose!?), the truth of it is…he’s a smartypants with sick STYLE.  

Forget that he wears a badass biker chain attached to his heavy-weight, embossed leather wallet… And forget the crazy rad denim he wears… He also has a real “thing” for hot rods.  

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My father started fiddling around with engines around the tender age of eleven or twelve – he and my uncle would help neighbors and friends with various and sundry “car projects,” and fixes…so it’s fair to say he had “the bug,” and the drive to learn, early on.

In 2002, he extended his passion into a non profit, the American Hot Rod Foundation, with which I have had the pleasure of working for some years.  Over that time, we’ve gone to countless shows, met incredible people…and seen a TON of g o r g e o u s vehicles.  We are going out to Bowling Green in June or so, and since I haven’t been before, I am sure I will be snapping photos like mad.

AHRF at GNRS in Pamona 2015

AHRF at GNRS in Pamona 2015

We don’t really get to see a lot of hot rods around us – in part, the North Eastern weather patterns cut “daily driver” time down (rain and snow really aren’t ideal, much that the drivers protest!)  So when he takes his out, they inevitably cause a stir.  “What IS it?” some people actually ask…  

They sound uh-mazing!

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They LOOK badass… Pinstriped louvers, moon tank, chopped, channeled, white wall tires… whatever!

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They even smell great!

Spring has finally graced us with her beauty, so the warmer weather means more bonding time with Daddy-O!  Driving downtown to run errands is a BLAST in these babies (he favors 1932 Fords.)  It’s an incredible treat, not only to ride around in one…but to have that time with my father, who is an amazing man…in SO many ways.  And boy oh boy, does he have STYLE!