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June 29, 2007


As mentioned yesterday, my quest for "feel good" stories continues on, unencumbered.

When I read the headline of this ABQjournal article "Recent Widow Gets Back Her Stolen Car", I thought it was right up my alley, and it was, in a way.

But I found a lump in my throat by the end.

Alia Dahl, a very pregnant Alia Dahl, is having a pretty rough month.

Her husband, Joel, stationed in Iraq, was due to be home in about a week. July 9, actually. He would have missed the birth of his son, but he would have been home.

I say "would" because Joel became yet another sad victim of the war on June 23.

The week after the death of her husband, her car was stolen.

Leaving her about a week away from having her labor induced and without her husband, car, or her packed overnight bag to go to the hospital.

I think Alia must be a stronger person than I am, because I'm not quite sure how I would have managed to stay upright and deal with all of that.

But here's the part to feel good about. I'm not the only one who felt this nice lady got a real bad deal.

People starting taking up donations, pitching in, and in 24 hours $18,000 was raised to get Alia a new car.

The police also got pretty tenacious on the search for the lost car.

And you know what? They found it.

So Alia and her mom went to pick it up on Thursday. Alia was in good spirits, happily talking to reporters and answering questions.

When her water broke. She delivered a baby boy. Mom and son are healthy, happy, and they endure.

She even had the strength to make a joke, a joke referencing her husband:

"'Just like his father, he has to be the center of attention,' she said, laughing and holding her abdomen."


Here's to the abundance of everlasting human spirit found in Alia. Here's hoping she can rebuild her life and carry on, for her herself, for her husband, for their son.


For some reason this story has really got me by the heart.

My past week has been a flurry of ferocity in the run up to the release of an over-hyped product. I keep feeling like I've lost perspective.

This article, this story, helped, a little.........

Happy Friday to all.

June 27, 2007

Why I love New Mexico so much, continues....

As chronicled here in the past weeks, I'm *over* the hype around Paris and prison and the iFrapping phone-that-costs-too-much, and I'm weary of sad news from the world of over-hyped media.

I've been making it a point to look for odd, quirky and feel good stories.

And boy, have I got one today.

Shockingly, it comes to us from my old source of snarkiness, ABQjournal columnist Polly Summar. She's been minding her manners lately and writing some pretty good lifestyle pieces. I give it up for Polly, she's got a good sort of Midwestern sensibility about the quirkiness she encounters in Santa Fe. Go Polly!

Today she brings to us a piece about Forrest "Rusty" Rutherford. Not being from Santa Fe myself, I'd not heard of the so called "Sombrero Man".

It is guys like this that make a town great. San Francisco has it's "Bush Man" (among others), Chicago has Woo-Woo Man, New York has the guitar playing guy in his underbritches. It's the kind of stuff of legendary tourist lore. It's something that can bind people together, make a visitor feel like they are "in on the joke".

Santa Fe has Sombrero Man (among others). Seems that Sombrero Man has been collecting sombreros and related gear and gadgets for several years. He's built up quite a collection and is often seen about town wearing 'em. Sombrero Man has a regular everyday job (but that's boring, please, let's talk about who the man *really* is!), but spends his time and resources donning sombreros and making people smile.

And as I struggle with my own cosmic agony, fighting against my silly office job that is causing me to hover on the edge of utter breakdown, crying out into the dark night that "this is not who I AM! THIS IS NOT WHAT I WAS MEANT TO BE!!" I am heartened to see someone "doing it".

Go on Sombrero Man! You wear your stuff with pride! You show the world who you are! Live your dream!

For those in the area, Sombrero Man makes his first "official" appearance of the season at the Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast on the Plaza. If you see him, tell him that a little gal in California thinks he rocks.

June 26, 2007

State Approved Yummies

This past weekend I had a hankering. I'm a bit depressed and no small amount of stressed out and I was in need of some comfort food. You know, the something like mom used to make.

I woke up Sunday morning with a strong hankering for Biscochitos. So I gazed over the recipe, decided on Crisco over traditional lard, looked in my liquor cabinet to see if had the requisite brandy (I didn't) and set off to the grocer for all the goods. I already had anise seed so I was ahead of the game......

You have to understand, this was a rare bit of homemakering that I’m not used to. Neither is my long suffering, but very patient partner. But he knows he gets to enjoy the fruits of my nesting, so he's all good.

I mixed and blended, whipped the eggs, poured the brandy (as a kid when I made them I always found a way to sample the brandy as it went in, just a small teaspoon full for me, and it always made me go "bleah! Why would anyone drink this?" As a grown up, just the smell made me "ew", so no sampling this time.....)

Soon I had a stiff dough to work with and I cursed while rolling it out and cutting the individual cookies. As is tradition, I burned one batch (I *always* burn at least one batch while making ANY kind of cookie). But soon I'd turned out a pile of the sweet, but not too sweet, treats. I shared some with the neighbors. I ate my fill until I was sick, and then came the litmus test. My Brooklyn boyfriend gave them a nibble and declared them as addictive as I know them to be (he rocks, by the way).

So I was all up in my Biscochito bliss when I read this article in the Las Cruces Sun News.

The ice cream mix, pecans and Biscochitos, sounds divine. But what caught my eye is that I guess I somehow missed that in 1989 the New Mexico State Legislature made the Biscochito the "official state cookie".

I *had* heard that the current plump Governor loves these same anise treats turned out by the chef at the Governor's mansion. Wouldn't that be great? To have someone turn out a batch of delicious just like that, whenever you want? Wow. I'd be a plump Governor too....

So not only did I make comfort food, I made NM State approved comfort food. Go me!

By the way, the recipe I use comes from the "Cocinas de New Mexico" cookbook put out by PNM. The recipe is online here. That "Cocinas de New Mexico" cookbook is a dandy if you don't already have one. I have always used the quite old version my mom has but I will probably order one of my own.


Artist Diana Bryer's "Making Biscochitos"

June 25, 2007

A moment of silence

A lot of really great players have passed through the San Francisco Giants clubhouse. A lot of warriors and plenty of freaks and some a little bit of both.

I was saddened this weekend at the surprise and as-yet-unexplained untimely passing of Rod Beck, who wore the Giants uni from '91-'97. He was just 38.

He was a steely-eyed closer, something the Giants have been sorely lacking since the retirement of Robb Nen. (Hell, I can have a moment of silence just for Nen's arm post 2002 World Series).

Beck was a hell of a pitcher and by all accounts a hell of a good man, giving back to the community and all about his family. He looked crazy, that was part of his appeal, but his stuff was wicked and he's both fondly remembered and sorely missed.

Sorry it had to go this way, Shooter.

June 22, 2007

Ok, now that's kind of cool

I weary of all the death, terror and destruction in the news these days. In fact, I don't really read newspapers. I glance at them online, skip the bad stuff and look for interesting opinion pieces, celeb trash or "feel good" stories.

Today's San Francisco Chronicle has one of them thar "feel good" stories today.

Let me break it down.

It's 1976. Palo Alto, California. A guy named Ronald Leung owns a car repair business. And he owns a sweet 1956 Ford Thunderbird with just 24,979 on the odometer.

Some yo-yo steals it. He files the report. No luck, it's gone.

In the time since it's been stolen, he's had a couple kids, worked a job, retired and often thought about his car.

Fast forward to this week. Ronald gets a call yesterday. They found his car. And he gets to have it back!


Long story short, a lady in Ventura bought it on eBay and when she tried to register it, they found the true VIN and linked it back to Ronald, a car enthusiast, who filed all the right reports some 31 years ago.

Dude gets to go to So. Cal this weekend to get it. And it's been fully restored and is in *cherry* condition.

What a fine drive home that's going to be!

Yeah! That ROCKS! Getting to drive a machine like that makes even the nasty Grapevine seem like a lot of fun.

Enjoy the ride, Ronald!

To everyone else, have a great weekend!

(it's a beaut)

June 21, 2007

Happy Summer Solstice

It is with melancholy that I greet the longest day of the year.

I know for lots of folks, this is a day of celebration. Like the folks mentioned in the article in today's Las Cruces Sun News.

Beating a drum and greeting the sun actually sounds like a nicer way to spend the day than beating the keyboard and greeting the boss.

You have to know this about me: I love the summer. I mean LOVE. I mean obsessively love and I stingily count the days because I know soon enough it will be again be cold, and dark and I'll leave work at 5:30 in pitch black wearing shoes that cover my liberated feet and *gasp* the socks come out of the drawer.

But today I'll frolic like I'm at Stonehenge because today it's warm, and beautiful. Flip flops adorn my feet. A summer dress swings about my fairly tanned rig. Today I'll enjoy the light and not think about the dark that presses at the edges. In the next months I'll gape at the heat and lament my lack of air conditioning and worry about how my furry cat and less furry man will endure this season's heat.

Today, we rejoice!

(painting by Alison Pebworth, titled "Summer Solstice, Once Removed")

June 20, 2007

I *told* you so!

I did so tell you so!

(what a little snot I am...hee!)

From this article in the Albququerque Tribune:

"Warning to you outdoorsy New Mexicans: Please don't pet the bunnies."

Or the squirrels. Or the rats. Or the other fluffy-but-not-cute plague and Hantavirus and now something called Tularemia ridden creatures.

In all seriousness, if you live in NM, read that article. It's kind of scary. Rabbits are dying off left and right.

Is this one of those "what's happening to the bees?" kind of things because folks, I'm getting concerned........

June 19, 2007

Man, this is why I love New Mexico so much....

Because of things like this article which made its way into the somewhat respectable ABQjournal.

Titled "Courthouse Camera Catches Curious Image", there is speculation that an errant image seen on security tapes might be a ghost. Furthermore, they think they know who the ghost might be.

And to the good folks of New Mexico it's *totally plausible*....AND it made the newspaper!

I love that! I’m totally bought in! I'm the girl who thinks I could see a woodbending Jesus at Loretto. The one who has deeply inspected the chairs and the dark corners of the Double Eagle in Mesilla and who goes into the store (also in Mesilla) that once was the courthouse and tries to squint to see the ghosts of criminals who swung from the trees in the plaza.

I'm in! And now that I've seen the video, I'm even MORE bought in! Weird!!!!

(heck, this story even made the San Francisco Chronicle!)

Video here:

June 18, 2007


Going to borrow a page from Natalie over at Petroglyph Paradox and mull over the implications of Father's Day a little bit. Though I'm a day late (and a dollar short), as the old saying goes.

My dad was an odd fellow. Odd in all sorts of ways. My sister who is mother to a couple boys with as yet undiagnosed problems has been forced to read up on the markers for autism. My sister has said that had my father been born in a different time, he probably would have been tapped as a high functioning autistic.

He was smart as hell and obsessive about numbers. He worked hard but had a nasty temper. I chalk up the temper to being of fiery Irish and German descendentcy. His full-blooded Irish mother is the only person I ever knew who could yell at HIM. And boy did she.

He was bitterly type A. He put in a hell of a career at Sandia Labs, was an engineer to the core, and probably was a better man that I ever gave him credit for.

I could talk a lot about all the bad things he did to me personally, or the bad things I saw him do to my siblings and mother. But at the end of the day, there wasn't any sort of physical abuse, no. I don't want to mislead. He never laid a hand on us. He just had a cruel mind and would say hateful things in a fit of fury. And words can hurt too.

So I won't talk about the fact that he was a bitterly mean and insecure man who lashed out at his family because he could.

I also won't raise him up as the model of a father, then join hands and sing the praises of dad.

What's it's taken me most of my life to learn is that he was an incredibly imperfect person. Fraught with fears about boogeymen around every corner and demands for us to be better, he actually did try very hard to run his family.

Out of three kids, we all turned out with our fair share of "issues", but we also turned out to be three decent people, all contributing members of society. In the case of both of my siblings, marriages and kids of their own. So I guess to raise three more or less well adjusted kids, he must have done a few things right, in the end.

And so I'll give him credit for that.

On this Father's Day, some two years after his passing, I didn't exactly miss him. He never liked celebrations of holidays and such. I was sort of relieved that I didn't have to find some meaningless gift and card to send. It's nice to be "off the hook". Instead of mourning my Dad, I spent the day with my partner's Dad who is chock full of his own set of insecurities and missteps, but is a hell of a good man.

And it doesn't pass my notice that he reminds me in many ways of my own father.

But the one thing that the father of my love remembered to do that my own forgot was to love his child unconditionally.

I'll take that as the lesson for Father's Day...and Mother's Day...and every day.

June 15, 2007


Baked into my childhood is a certain deep-seated fear. It's a fear baked into every young kid in most parts of New Mexico, parts of Texas and Arizona, and plenty of Mexico. Any kid raised in the Hispanic culture.

The deep fear was brought to me by my APS teachers, of all people. Every fall, around Halloween time, actually, they would darken the classroom, crack open a book, and regale us with the tale of....

La Llorona.


Scares the you know what out of me every time.

It seems that some folks have been trying to portray the weeping woman in a better light lately. There was that commercial seen only in California that had her weeping over an empty milk container. Every time it came on, I either turned my head away or turned the channel. : shudder :

And whatever creepy feelings I have, for some people, it's even way worse. The mother of my ex was born and raised in Mexico. She was a traditionalist and you couldn't say "La Llorona" around her or she would start praying and crossing herself and yelling at you for saying that out loud. She thought saying her name brought her near.

There is a restaurant in San Francisco's East Bay that serves all manner of margaritas, one of them called, you guessed it, La Llorona. Now why would I take a nice activity like drinking a marg and use it to scare the crap out of myself? Huh? : shudder :

For a while in the early 90's, in a bid to increase awareness about safety around arroyos, the City had a campaign featuring the "Ditch Witch", ostensibly to scare us back.

And boy, did La Llorona scare me off of rivers and streams and such. Tho not enough that I didn't ride my bike and skateboard through the dry concrete arroyos near my childhood home. I did always keep an eye on the sky, especially over the mountains, and if it got one bit ominous, I was OUTTA there.

By the way, in case you don't know the legend of La Llorona, here it is, in a nutshell (or at least the way it was told to me....other versions vary widely):

"Many of the legends portray a woman who is abandoned by her husband or lover and who then drowns her young children in despair, because she cannot support them, or for revenge...she is stricken with deep remorse, doomed to eternally wander near the Rio Grande or other bodies of water, looking for her lost children." The story I heard went further. Not only was she looking for her lost children, she would abduct and in some cases drown any OTHER little children she found wandering on the ditch banks. : shudder:

I cut and paste that story from an article in today's Las Cruces Sun News titled La Llorona's stories to be told at Saturday festival

In regards to attending such a festival, I just have this to say: Oh hell no.

Actually, it sounds like a fun festival and I love the folklore of passing down stories from one generation to the next. But I think the "Honk if you've seen La Llorona" bumper stickers are going a *bit* too far.

: shudder :

June 14, 2007

Thoughts from the "Active Senior" community

So this is day four of round two of being "care giver" to my mom. I'm happy to report she's doing a lot better. We got good reports from the doctor yesterday and she seems strong enough now to care for herself with a little help from my aunt and uncle. So yay. I get to go home tomorrow.

This has left me, once again, thoughtful. My mom will be back up on her feet and taking her water aerobic class and walking the indoor track and going to lunch and being a very "active senior" in no time. But I know that the time where she'll be "down" for good is coming. I've not wanted to think about it a whole lot, really. Probably burying my head in the sand.

It made all of my siblings and I happy when she moved to this community. It gave her freedom, independence, but some security she didn't have living in rural New Mexico. She was doing so great until she took ill. This has sure been a bad bout. She's still fairly young, just 72, health is great and strong despite my dad's passing two years ago.

But I know time is the big enemy. You can't stop it. Can't fight it, it just...happens.

Meanwhile, I think living here among the viejos for a couple weeks has had an effect on my own mind. It sure is a different way of life here. Obviously there are old folks with some money to be able to live here. My mom lucked out, was able to sell the house in New Mexico and roll that into a small condo apartment. But there are these huge fabulous houses on the golf course. Active seniors whipping up and down the road in golf carts. Slow moving Caddy's up and down the parking lots. People talking about their other home in Michigan or Minnesota or wherever it's cold and then their third home over by their kids. My little mom has her one home, this small but nicely made place.

And everyone knows what everyone is doing. It is like a damn college dorm here. Hell, even *I* know that X lady recently died, suddenly, and Y gentleman sold his small home for a big one because he moved in with his lady friend, but they broke up now he wants to buy his old house back but the market is soft right now, and oh by the way he paid < insert dollar amount to the dollar > for that place on the golf course, and so on.

Gotta give it up to these folks. The dating scene is rampant. Word to the gentlemen reading this: Take good care of yourself. Single older men are a *hot* property around here. You'll be up to your eyeballs in lady attention if you can just manage to stay alive. I'd say the men to woman ratio is at least 2 to 1 if not higher.

There is a different in the pace of life here. All the active seniors look in askance at me as I spend my days on my computer...working. That was the deal I struck with my boss. I could have the time but I had to stay connected. They keep going "why don't you come over here and talk with us". For these folks, the biggest thing they have to do today is get some lunch. Then maybe a trip to the pool. Late afternoon happy hour then some dinner.

Hell, they've earned it. More power to them that they can make it work. Including my modest little mom.

Today I pretty much hate my job. But maybe this is my penance so one day I, too, can live in a modern community and plan my days around the Scrabble competitions, the Mah Jong classes, and meeting friends to walk on the indoor track to catch up on the latest gossip.

Maybe if I'm smart, and a bit of a spendthrift, I might one day live the "active senior" lifestyle.

But that is a LOT of years, a lot of work emails, a lot of conference calls via a crappy cell phone, and a lot of reports to my boss away.

For today, back to it. I am an "active thirtysomething" which means I still gotta pull a paycheck.


June 13, 2007


Oh sure, sure, it's all "retro" and everything...but it's not what I recall from MY childhood. Banana flavor seems....wrong....

Twinkies come in banana flavor

"NEW YORK — Twinkie lovers, get ready to go bananas.

Hostess - owned by Kansas City, Mo., company Interstate Bakeries Corp. - began selling the banana-creme snack cakes last week at retail stores nationwide, returning to its 70-year-old roots. From 1930, when the Twinkie was first invented, to the 1940s, Twinkies were filled solely with banana creme. But a banana shortage during WWII forced Hostess to replace it with the vanilla flavor."

And by the way, may I just say "ew!" Artificial banana flavored ANYTHING makes me gag, and : shudder :

June 12, 2007

People who are not like us...

So, where I live, we have a lot of squirrels. Now when I say "a lot of squirrels" I don't mean "oh my, there's quite a few out there". I mean a whole horde, an army, a remuda, of squirrels.

They run around everywhere, up and down power lines, around trees, hither and yon. When I go for a walk at noontime from work, I walk down this one street and they scatter in all directions like a squirrely sea of doom.

People here think they are cute. Find them amusing. The fluffy tails make them laugh. People here FEED THEM. Yes, they put out food for the little b*stards.

They don't understand my revulsion, my utter HORROR that these vermin are allowed to roam free in a civilized society.

They don't understand because I am a New Mexican. And one of the bonus features of being raised in New Mexico is, da da dummmmmm, bubonic plague.

In fact, according to this article in the ABQjournal, there have already been four cases this year, including a boy who died.

To quote the article, "Plague, a bacterial disease, is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas but can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, such as rodents, wildlife and pets."

Unh huh, no wonder every little rat with a fluffy tail gets the suspicious eye from me. Early on in life my mom would yell at all us kids to stay back from any wild creature, especially the small rodenty kind.

I will not draw one of those beady-eyed plague-carrying varmints closer to me or my home! I live in a duplex and for a while my next door neighbor put out bird seed with no cover or protection from the squirrels. I would stare horrified out my living room window to see a swarm of the things eating with reckless abandon in my back yard.


In my old place, a couple of squirrely warriors had an epic territory battle on the roof right over my apartment. Not only did I have to hear the squeals and the death call of the loser, I *freaked out* about the dead rodent right there over my doorway. As you know, fleas leave the dead rodent searching for a new home.

I shall print out the referenced article and keep copies handy for the next person who looks me and says "how can you not like squirrels, they are sooooo *cute*!!"

I'm keeping an eye on you, you plaugey b*stard!!!!

June 11, 2007

Second verse, same as the first....

Back on the road. Mom's better but not up and around. My brother was here for a week so I'm the "changing of the guard". Brought my PowerBook this time and am working and keeping up with stuff.

So. Bah.

On to today's rant.

File this under: I don't get it. (There is a lot I don't get, shall I make a list?)

1) The iPhone. Mein gott the press on this thing. And the ads. And the articles. And the blogs.

For a phone.

I know, I know, it is a phone that does *cool things*....but...in the end...it's a phone.

I've actually seen the thing up close (albeit through glass) at MacWorld. It is, truly, lickably well designed, but still.

It's a phone. For $500.

They are speculating people will line up around the block to get their hands on one....

: shrug :

2) Paris Hilton. What exactly has she done to be famous? Oh yeah, she's rich and skinny and beautiful? Good lard, the woman got a DUI then got another one while on a suspended license. Go to jail already you spoiled brat!

You know, I read how when the judge decided to send her back to jail, she cried and called out "Mom!"

You know what my mom would have done? Thumped my head with a wooden spoon and told me to suck it up and do my jail time.

Why is this woman and her problems in the headlines of magazines and newspapers across the country?

So much so that even the ABQjournal's venerable Jim Belshaw name checks her in his June 10th column.

: shrug :

3) Fred Thompson's alleged thoughts of running for President. Dude, do or do not, there is no trying an exploratory committee.

I like the guy...as an actor.

Is the race so lacking a good candidate from either party that ANY person who even "thinks about" running is suddenly big news?

Oh, yeah, I guess that's true. Sorry Bill.

: shrug :

4) The need people have to be assh*les at the airport. Ok, sure, this isn't "national" news, but damn people, when a nice girl such as me *politely* asks "Is this the A line" it is COMMON $%#@ing courtesy to 1) acknowledge that person actually exists, and 2) answer the question....a simple NOD OR SHAKE OF THE HEAD WILL DO!

Oh, and I won't EVEN get started on the chippy who, yes literally, ROLLED HER EYES when I ordered my coffee beverage. Yes, I want it decaf...and soy....and sugar free vanilla. I don't think this is a big deal. You are a coffee peddler for $%#@'s sake! Just take my money and make my beverage and DON'T GIVE ME ATTITUDE!

I was actually happy to enter the old folks community where my mom lives. A nod and a wave from an elderly person is *quite* appreciated on this crap day.

Ok, now I'm all fired up again. Going to go make a cool beverage and think about happier things......

Like horses, and cute boys, and boat drinks.....

June 8, 2007

Max Evans

If you don't know who Max Evans (the writer, not the "Roswell" character) is, you should.

If you are a New Mexican and you don't know who Max Evans is...for *shame*.

Max is truly one of ours and in behind the deeply furrowed face of that crazy man beats the heart of New Mexico.

If you don't know about him, get thee to the nearest receptacle of books, be it library or retailer and take a look. He's a writer of cowboy stories. He's an artist. He's a funnyman and a raconteur extraordinaire. No one puts a spin on a story like ol' Max.

And so I was happy to read this interview with him in the Albuquerque Tribune.

He's got a new book out, "For The Love of A Horse" that I will probably burst into flames moving so fast to acquire. (Amazon reports only two in stock so this may be harder to come by than I first imagined....)

I, too, have been influenced by the horses I've known in my life. I remember them better than I do most former boyfriends. And I remember them more fondly too.

I'm fired up to read his stories. I expect alternating pangs of homesickness and heartbroke over the steeds that have come and gone. Should be awesome!

By the by, as an update to my last post, my mom is improved, but not out of the woods. My brother is there with her now and we are waiting on some test results. I may have to head back out there next week and am NOT looking forward to it. Work is insane and family life is insane and I want to escape into the relatively un-insane home I share with my incredibly sane man and hide...for a long time....

Day at a time.

June 3, 2007

Life turns on a dime

There comes a day in every adult's life when they have to face the mortality of their own parents. Nothing you do in your life prepares you for the moment when you realize the person who was once so big, so tall, occasionally scary, usually loving, the one who knew all the answers has now become the child and you, the child, are now the one with the money and the answers and have to be in charge.

It is a dark day.

Mine came in December of 2003. I knew my dad had an incurable lung disease and I knew it was only a matter of time. I'd been out shopping that day, getting ready for Christmas when I came home and got "that call" on my answering machine. "We took dad to the hospital..."

He survived that round (barely) and lived just over another year. I spent that year flying back and forth to New Mexico and learned how to drop everything and go. Don't think, just buy a one way plane ticket and go.

My dad passed in 2005 and so at two years out I was starting to feel a bit more relaxed. I will always fear the sound of the ringing phone, especially at night, but it has lessened some. My mother struggled for a while after my dad's passing but had taken control of her life and moved into a community of active elderly people. Her health is good and she has my aunt and uncle to check in on her.

So this past week when my sister called and told me "mom doesn't sound so good" and that she had been sick for two weeks, I was nervous, but not too upset. My mom is prone to flu and I was sure that was the case.

I put off calling her until Saturday. Talking to my mom is not to be taken lightly and must be done with a strength of ego and confidence because she will break them both down in an hour conversation.

Saturday I woke late, lazed in bed, then decided to call my mom and get it over with.

Only to find out my aunt was taking her to the hospital that day. She was convinced she had "Valley Fever" since they are doing construction next door to her apartment. The blood tests earlier this week said no. She's had problems with ear tumors in the past, maybe it was that. It also shows all the signs of meningitis.....

So my sister and I geared up for the all too familiar. We both paid whatever insane fare the plane people wanted and flew out immediately.

The hospital sent her home with anti-nausea drugs and some incredibly powerful pain meds and set up a doctor appointment for tuesday. I'm going out of my mind because this could be anything from a really bad case of the flu to a really bad relapse of the tumors.

And I've spent the past two days tending to, arguing with, and caring for my elderly mother as though she were a child. Her snippy demand that my sister NOT take her temperature will go down in the annals of family lore......

With some pain meds, forcing liquids, getting her to eat and cleaning up her place, she seems to be back on her feet, wobbly, but upright. Don't know if we are out of the woods. I do know that I don't like being in this all too familiar place. And I'm sort of rebellious that I missed what looked to be a fine weekend.

But that's my job as one of her three kids. I can't abandon her, I can't turn the other way. It's the circle of life, right? Painful tho it may be.

In a few days I'll go back to work and everything will be fine. But every time I have to drop everything and catch a plane to tend to a sick parent some part of me, some childhood wonder and joy goes dark.

The darkness of losing a parent is unlike anything I can describe. You simply, endure.

I don't think I have to look at that yet. My mom will be kicking for a lot more years...but I wonder how many more times in the coming years I'll be asked to hop a plane and "don't think, just fly".

For now, I'm ok. She's ok. We're...calm.

But it's left me......


June 1, 2007

Signs of the Apocalypse

(You must know going into to reading this post that I'm something of an obsessively fanatical baseball fan.....)

Yes. It is end of days. Here is proof.

1) I am about to quote from and *agree with* something printed in the Los Angeles Times. : shudder :

2) I am about to defend Yankees player Alex Rodriguez : shudder shudder shudder :

In reading ABQjournal columnist Jim Belshaw's blog, he pointed to this article.

LA Times columnist Bill Plaschke opines about the state of "baseball etiquette" these days.

He points to a recent incident. I'll quote this article from the New York times for the details.

"The Yankees were leading the Toronto Blue Jays by two runs in an eventual 10-5 victory when Jorge Posada lifted a lazy fly ball to third base with two outs in the top of the ninth inning. Third baseman Howie Clark camped under it, but he backed off just after Rodriguez ran slowly past him.

Rodriguez said he shouted “Ha” as he passed Clark, who was fooled into thinking that the shortstop, John McDonald, had called for the ball. When Clark backed away, the ball dropped safely onto the turf for a run-scoring single."

The Blue Jays are ALL KINDS of fired up. Saying Alex is a poor sport (and worse). Saying what he did is "bush league".

To quote the venerable Mike Krukow, well known announcer and former pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, "any pitch that makes it across the plate for a strike is a good pitch". Which is sort of a variation on "it's better to be lucky than to be good" which is what I think happened here with ARod. It was buffoonish, yes.

But it worked.

It was FAR FAR more acceptable and less against the rules than the "bitch slap heard 'round the world" from the 2004 ALCS when Alex tried to strip the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove.

Ok, so he employed a little leaguer tactic.

But it worked.

And worked well. Giambi came up next and got two more runs in. And the ailing Yankees won a game after a five game slide.

It worked. It's not against the rules. So there.

Meanwhile the Blue Jays continue to cry like little girls. If I was a Blue Jays fan I would probably be freaking OUTRAGED and calling for ARod's head and generally crying like a little girl.

But I have to agree with all of this quote from Bill Plaschke:

"I feel major league baseball has become a league of extraordinary babies.

It's rude to pitch inside. It's impolite to jog slowly around the bases after a home run. It's unseemly to steal second with a four-run lead. Don't you dare bunt in the eighth inning of a potential no-hitter.

And, apparently, never try to distract a player trying to catch a fly ball."

Yep. There are a lot of unwritten rules in the game. But I agree that sometimes this stuff gets out of hand. Some of these "unwritten rules" are what make the game great. But some of them are also starting to tear it down.

Maybe it's time to hearken back to little league games where you hear "heeeey batta batta" from the outfield. Maybe these guys making multi-kabillions of dollars need to lighten up and have a little fun again. I know it's their jobs, but it's also the national pastime.

Meanwhile, the Yanks are still 13.5 games out of first. The Blue Jays are ahead of them in the race and the Blue Jays took the series 2-1. So what do they have to carp about?

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying watching the fall of the mighty Yankee empire......if my team has to suck, they can too......

By the way, for the record, I agree with everything in Bill Plaschke's column except for anything said by Tommy Lasorda....I can't condone anything out of that piece of...........

Happy Friday, folks!

"But teacher! He was *mean*!"

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Creative Commons License
All content of Oh Fair New Mexico by Karen Fayeth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.