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September 30, 2008

A note of thanks.

I was a bit fried by the end of last week and used my blog as a venting place.

Which is, as it should be, no? If you can't freak out on your own damn blog, where CAN you release pent up frustrations?

I was really touched how many people contacted me to say hi or lend a supportive word.

Thanks, all. Both for listening to me whine and for being a part of my life.

I am truly blessed.

Strange days indeed…

Most peculiar, Mama*

If you, like me, sometimes struggle with change…well, then this is NOT our year.

I mean. Let's start with the election. Both an African American Man and a woman on the main stage. Whoa Nellie!

The economy. Jeebus, I need a seatbelt to stay on this crazy ride!

There's even a new profession I only just heard of in an article about this economy. A "neuroeconomist", who studies the biology of economic behavior. Some guy from Emory University is saying we're all acting like a bunch of scared sheep.

Not sure I disagree.

Several friends have been laid off from jobs and have had a lot of trouble finding a new gig.

Fannie Mae now (unwillingly) owns some 54,000 homes.

Some meaningful people both personally and in society have passed away.

A couple people very dear to me are seriously ill.

My 43-year old friend is preggers (naturally) for the first time.

My big brother is moving to Malaysia…This just after he and his family came through freaking Hurricane Ike.

Gas prices are through the roof. Prices unheard of thus far in our country.

Oh yeah, and for me personally I got married and am potentially changing jobs after almost a decade at one company.

2008 is not for sissies!

And we're only nine months into this thing!

Holy crap!

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to retire to the underside of my bed with a tubful of Cherry Garcia, a canister of Valium and my cat.

Call me when things have settled, hey?

*Borrowed liberally from John Lennon. Thanks John!

September 27, 2008

S'long Butch Cassidy

You were a gentleman and a humanitarian.

Paul Newman dead at 83

September 26, 2008

Now would be a good time…

You would think that after hitting an all time low point yesterday here at my own little blog (*grin*), that now would be a GREAT time to follow on with something witty, wise or profound to redeem my reputation.

Yeah, it *would* be a great idea, but I guess I don't have it in me today.

See, someone out in the world was really, really mean to me today. So much so that later, away from that person, in the dressing room of a local discount department store I broke down and cried.

Add to this that I've had some good successes lately, but don't feel able to share them and celebrate them with others because it isn't appropriate.

On Monday I have a second round job interview with a company I *really* want to work for. But I can't really jump up and down and talk about this because due to this crappy economy, several of my friends and family are without work (for various reason) and having a devil of a time finding a new spot. Me waxing rhapsodic about the potential to work for a well-known company AND get a promotion out of the deal goes over about as well as a cockroach in the ceviche.

So I keep it to myself.

I've also just had a small success related to my writing. It's the first time I've had any sort of recognition at all for my creative work (outside of the kind words from friends and family). My work was judged in competition with other people and ranked well. I am beside myself, I'm so pleased.

But I can't jump for joy because there are people in my life who are having a really, really hard time of it lately (health, finances, marriage troubles, etc), and to express my glee seems rude.

So I keep it to myself.

And while I'm so busy thinking about other's feelings and being considerate, I'm out in the world minding my own business when this (oh I'd love to drop an insulting adjective here) woman has the audacity to vent her insecurities on me. It hurt deeply. It hurt because her highly vocal prejudice about my physical appearance struck a deep, dark chord within me that I won't recover from soon…

And so right now, I'm mostly mad. And when the being mad is done, I might have some crying left to do.

Thank goodness it's the weekend.

September 25, 2008

Uh oh.

I may be going to jail soon.

That is...if my new husband decides to press charges.

Maybe he won't read this article.

Best line of the day:

"A West Virginia man who police said passed gas and fanned it toward a patrolman has been charged with battery..."

Sorry for the, uh, spousal abuse.

Change is good

Being of the Taurean persuasion, change doesn't come easily to me.

It takes a lot of work to bomb me out of my ways.

That said, I've been tired of my old blogger template for quite some time. I've also seen FAR too many blogs with that same template.

One thing about Blogger...they don't offer you just a ton of template choices.

Noticing my neice's cool as heck blog and following her advice, I'd tried quite a few sites offering free code and flashy templates. But I have had no success getting them to load and work.

I ventured out into the fray again today and found a LOT of really ugly templates. REALLY REALLY UGLY.

Then I stumbled on this one...so far so good. It loaded. I had to go in and change the html because all the buttons and labels were in Spanish. But ok, that wasn't hard.

So far it seems easy on the eyes. Muted colors. Still working out the kinks and getting used to my new space, but so far, so good!

September 24, 2008

Is it the air up there?

Today one of my employees stopped by my desk, and she was fuming. To be fair, she's a black cloud kind of a gal, so I take her fuming quite lightly.

"Did you see what happened over there!?!?" she said, pointing in the direction of the corner where the "big boss" sits.

"Yes, I saw," I replied calmly.

She sputtered. "But…but!"

See…there is some retrofit work being done in the building where Big Boss used to sit. And on an emergency basis, they've moved their operations over to our building.

Needless to say, Mr. Big Boss is going to make his space as comfortable as he wants it…even thought he will only be here for three months, tops.

My employee sputtered on, "Did you see that he had all the cubicles rearranged and then booted (her friend) out of their window cube so that his admin could sit there?!?!?"

"Yes, I saw," I replied.

"But…doesn't that make you mad!?!?" she howled.

"No, actually…in the scheme of all the crazy things execs have done at this company, this is mild."

"Yeah, I guess you're right," she said, sullenly walking away, "It's still not fair, though."

So that got me thinking…at what point in the escalation of your career path do you flip over from "wow, thanks for doing that for me" to "WHERE IS MY ROOM TEMPERATURE WATER!?!?!?!"

When do you get a hall pass for acting like a turd? How high does the title have to be?

I'm firmly lower middle management, and *clearly* it's not that level.

I guess the real question is…how hard do I gotta work so I can get to the level where I don't gotta work much at all?

For now, I can only gaze UP at the ivory tower.

Best Line of the Day*

"It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency."

And that is what scares the beejeebus out of me about this year's election.

Source: Op-Ed article "McCain Loses His Head" by George Will for the Washington Post.

*will all due deference to NewMexiKen

September 23, 2008

Let's see…

Since I dropped out of the world yesterday (see post below), let's see what's going on in my little world today so I can get caught up. Yep, let's go to the news.

Stock are down…blah, blah, blah

Government bail out…blah blah

Obama struggling to maintain lead in key states. Sure, yeah, ok.

Palin ain't talking to the press. boooring

Tainted milk in China. : brr : scary.

David Blaine hanging upside down for a real long time. Yawn. My feelings on that yo-yo are already documented.

Every state has a personality. Hmm. Mildly interesting.

A crappy rendition of the National Anthem. Nothing new. Ya never know what yer gonna get when you go to the yard.

Meg Ryan talks about her divorce. From, uh, 2000?

Wow, ok, well, in one day, not much changed.

And in that same day…people were rude on the CalTrain. My boss pooped on one of my performance reviews. The shuttle to the train broke down. There was a major accident a block from my house. And I ended the day with a deep headache and a really bad mood…that I brought home to The Good Man...just so he could experience the special joy his wife had to bring to the table.


Make up work

Karen has some make up work to do.

Karen has been delinquent in her duties.

Karen missed a day of blogging yesterday.

Karen has no good excuse other than she spent all day yesterday off-line, head down, writing performance reviews (they are DONE for another year, YES!).

Karen is terribly sorry.

I will not skip blogging days.

I will not skip blogging days.

I will not skip blogging days.

Only 97 more to go.

Please don't tell my mom, ok? She'll be awful mad……

September 19, 2008

A quiet place to rest

Yesterday at work I had a meeting in a nearby building. I decided to be all eco-friendly and stuff and walk over.

As I toodled along, I was surprised to come across this:

I found it…peculiar.

It's a nice cement bench with detailed Fish and Wildlife stuff about the "creek" that lay there in view of the bench (behind the, uh, chain link fence).

Here's an unobstructed view of the "creek" from a small bridge.

(yes, the quotes around "creek" are on purpose)

Folks, where I come from, we call that an arroyo.

And we don't sit by it and watch the weeds grow. We just don't.

Is this like the LA river, where, to quote Wikipedia: "For most of its length, it flows through a narrow concrete channel?"

Does something that flows through a concrete channel really qualify as a river (or creek)?

I found it strange, on this walk, to find one random bench with a view of…a weed filled arroyo.

Truth really is stranger than fiction.

Photos by Karen Fayeth and her trusty iPhone

September 18, 2008

Hello Blogtastic Friends!

Hey, I found this by way of The Crafty Chica

Seems Ms. Martha Stewart is having herself a blogging contest.

Details here: The Martha Blog

She did a whole show on blogging, tips, tricks etc. The deal is, leave a comment on her blog, link back on your blog and she'll choose a few to feature.

There you have it!

Y-y-y-y-y-ou w-w-w-wanna k-k-k-know w-w-what's e-e-e-vil?

This. This is what is evil:

That there is one each vanilla flavored iced coffee from McDonald's.

So, you know, I'm really not a McD's fan. I won't eat their food. Blech!

But recently SOMEONE, who shall remain nameless (and has the initials TGM) got me hooked on McD's sweet tea.

Damn, that stuff is good. Addictive too. Crack tea, we call it.

So this morning, in need of a "little something" to get the day started, I rolled through the drive through and decided to try an iced coffee.

I ordered a "large" thinking in Starbuck's sizes, and was SHOCKED when they handed this bucket of liquid out the window to me. It takes two hands to keep it steady!

So as I drove to work, I began sipping away at this beast.

You can see how much I had. Less than a third of the cup and suddenly the jitters set in.

I'll admit that I'm more sensitive than most to caffeine, but DAMN.

I had to put this into the fridge at work. If I drank the whole thing they'd have to hospitalize me!

It's tasty, I'll give 'em that, but not as addictive as the tea.

Fair enough, I tried the c-c-c-c-c-coffee. It should come with a prescription and a warning label!

: jitter :

September 17, 2008

Positively Tarty!

Sometimes, the good guys can get ahead. But only sometimes.

Last week, I had occasion to work with someone at my company who I have a lot of respect and admiration for.

Long story short, my friend needed help. He'd gone and done something that is not *quite* in line with all the fun policies and procedures we have, and he knew it.

So he came to me. The Fixer.

And I did. Fix it, that is. I fixed it by taking a rash of sh-- from a variety of Director-types. I knew the level and intensity of the sh-- I'd receive, and was willing to take it. I pled the case and won.

But that's really only backstory…

Turns out my friend is classier than I ever gave him credit for (he IS an engineer, afterall), and so Tuesday morning, this arrived on my desk.

Pretty, huh? I think so. I like the vase a LOT.

So upon receipt, I quickly scooped the flowers off my desk and ran to my boss' office to show her the *gratitude* I'd received from a client team. I got proper ooh's and ahh's in return.

I also ran into my Director in the hallway who said, "Oh, are those from The Good Man?"

"Nope!" I replied quickly and explained the gift. She was also *very* impressed.


But that's still not the point.

You'll note in the photo that this arrangement has several large lilies.

I do love lilies.

They smell divine, they really do.

But now, here we get to the point of this rambling blog post.

I recently read a book by a lady named Cathryn Michon. The book was a mostly autobiographical telling of the horrors of her recent love life. It was a mostly throwaway book, but had a few good laughs.

One part, appropo of nothing, she was talking about being in a high level meeting and noticing a flower arrangement. She made a comment along the lines of how flowers are basically natures little oversexed organisms, what with all the throbbing pistols and yearning stamens.

I had a pretty good laugh at that when I read it. Tis true.

This was brought to mind again with these flowers sitting here on my desk.

The part that makes them smell so heavenly is the, ahem, rigid glistening stamen.

I mean, look at this thing!

SCANDALOUS! Right here at *work* even!

I have an austere Russian friend who once I witnessed going into a huge bouquet of Stargazer Lillies and unceremoniously ripping the pollen caked centers out of all of them. I think I actually winced.

Free love for flowers!
(editors note: yes, I know, any writing instructor would advise students to HAVE A POINT when they write something. Much like fixing my friend's breach of the rules, I'm willing to take the grief for breaking the rules for good writing. The joys of blogdom…)

September 16, 2008

Sunday with Frida

The Good Man and I had a chance to be up in San Francisco this weekend. The occasion was a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Since June they have had an exhibition of Frida Kahlo's art.

I have been a fan of Frida for a while now. Her work so heavily influences any female artist, especially anyone interested in Latino art, and so for me, it was vital I attend this show.

I came in, as we all do, with one set of expectations, that I'm not sure for were met.

But I'll be thinking about this exhibition for a while.

While at the library the day before we went to the show, I saw a book on the "new fiction" shelf called "Frida's Bed." It is one author's fictional account of Frida's last thoughts before she died.

So that's also coloring my view, I suppose.

About the exhibit, however… First and foremost, it was CROWDED. We're into the waning weeks of the show and I think I'd hoped it wouldn't be so packed, but I was wrong.

At more than fifty years after her death, Frida is as popular as ever. Moreso, it would seem.

The people were stacked up to see her work, which was both heartening and annoying.

Heartening because many young women were there, and seeing that it's ok to express your pain, your rage, your upset is important. It doesn't make you less of a woman. Frida gave good pain, I'll say that. Sometimes it's hard to look at her work, it's emotional and physical pain is so plainly laid OUT there. I admire that, to be honest.

The show was equally annoying because it was damn near impossible to spend any time with the paintings. The queues were insane, and the best you could do was a Chevy Chase "Vacation" style nod at the Grand Canyon, then move on.

This frustrated the heck out of me, because what's fascinating about Frida's paintings isn't what's apparently obvious, it's what she's hidden in the small spaces.

She has secret jokes, or darker images, that she places in her work. Sort of passive aggressive, actually. Both TGM and I had trouble spending the time we needed with each piece, instead shuttled through quickly as the crowd surged behind us.

Many of the paintings were much smaller than I'd imagined them to be. Then again, the famous "Two Fridas" was MUCH larger than I expected, taking up most of one wall.

I took all of it in, thinking I would come out massively inspired to go and paint and release my inner demons. Instead, the story told in all those frames reminded me of a difficult time in my life and a difficult relationship. To say I find parallels between the troubled relationship between Frida and Diego Rivera is to undersell it a bit, but that's close enough for explanation's sake, I suppose.

And being far less brave than Frida, I'm unwilling to dissect it here, publicly.

That said, as we came to the end of the exhibit, I ended up in a bit of a dark mood. That was from the remembering. Ultimately, I was also happier and held the hand of TGM a bit tighter. He is a life raft, a parachute, water wings and all other really good metaphors I can't think of right now for someone who rescued me from the abyss, and gave my life meaning again.

With that in mind, I brought up the question to TGM over lunch…does "art" always have to be sad?

Can I paint a canvas that expresses my joy, the peace in my life now, the exquisite love I have and still be taken seriously as an artist?

I've never bought into the fact that misery was a pre-requisite.

Maybe art really is what you say it is…

Anyhow, one way or another, Frida's work moved me greatly. It will be with me for a long time.

September 15, 2008

New Mexico! Saaaalute!

Guess who hit the big time?

Our Fair New Mexico, that's who.

It's a sure sign we're mooooving on up when New Mexico gets name checked in a list of "America's Favorite Cities" published by Travel & Leisure magazine.

So what'd category did we get?

Most good looking?

Nope. Miami.

Okay, okay…fair enough. Best City for a Wild Weekend?

Oh hell no. Las Vegas (the OTHER one) and New Orleans got that.

Friendly? Surely we're ALL OVER this category?

No. Charleston.


No. Seattle.

Oh COME ON! What'd we win!?!?!

"…peace and quiet is easiest found in Santa Fe, New Mexico…"

Oh. Well, okay. At *least* we got a mention.

"…Santa Fe, New Mexico, which also came in last in all nightlife categories."

Oh my. Well ok.

They CLEARLY have not been to The Bull Ring when the legislature is in session! That's all I'm going to say about THAT!





Quiet is good…right?


September 13, 2008

What's Next!?!?

Seems the New Mexico State Fair Expo New Mexico has gone and gotten a little Puritanical this year.

Sure, you can still getcher corn dogs and gaze at prizewinning rabbits.

But you *cannot* get a peep at The World's Smallest Woman OR Angel Snake Girl.

Nope, Fair Expo management shut down those two attractions, saying "We don't really condone that kind of thing at the fair."

I'm sure they were concerned that your average everyday Fair Expo freaks on the Midway would feel the heat of competition. Cuz the regular ol' normal people freaks on the Midway are where the real oddities begin…

Source: ABQjournal

September 12, 2008

Welcome to my hell

From Wednesday's ABQjournal:

"LOS LUNAS — Thieves ripped off a 300-foot section of copper phone line in Valencia County, knocking out service to more than 500 Qwest customers.

The Valencia County Sheriff's Department says the line, worth $75,000, was stolen late Monday night.

Qwest workers spent the next day restoring service to the customers.

Deputies say the thieves likely stole the copper to support drug habits.

The wholesale price of copper is about $3 a pound."

You should see what they are getting for stolen fiber. The theft of both copper and fiber has been a pain in the tookus for those of us who work with, near, around, kinda close to, the telecom industry.

Especially if...oh say, you have a c-level executive who wants fast network at his house and you and your IT team move heaven and earth to get the fiber to the properly line..and while waiting for said c-level guy to get a trench dug to his house...the fiber is stolen...all hypothetically, *of course*...

A local assemblywoman has decided she's going to clear this up by passing a bill to put stern limits on recycling.

Scratch yer head a minute on that one, whydoncha.

Ok, my head hurts. It's been a long week. Happy Weekending everyone!

September 11, 2008

September 11th - A moment of reflection

The passing of seven years has maybe lessened the immediacy of the pain, the wrenching in the heart.

But it's still there. The hurt. The memories.

I had a chance to visit ground zero a couple years ago. What was most amazing was the nothing. The huge empty space in a booming metropolitan town.

I remember that day seven years ago in vivid detail. I remember where I was, what I was doing.

I'm amazed at how far I've come since then. How much personal loss I had in the wake of the national loss. How much I've grown. How much stronger I've become.

And on today, I mourn not only for those who lost their loved ones on that historic day, I mourn for who I was then…and take strength in the enduring power of human spirit.

September 10, 2008

This one goes out…

…To the one I love.

A special post today dedicated to The Good Man.

Happy One Month Anniversary, love!

And they said it wouldn't last…hee!

I can hardly wait to get home tonight.

Oh, to see my handsome husband, sure…

But mainly for:


Tonight we get to eat the top layer of that galldamn delicious and oh so heavenly wedding cake that neither one of us got to eat much of just one short month ago.

No having to beat the crush of our wedding guests. No fighting the servers to get a big slice of heaven.


You. Me. Eight-inch diameter crème filled cake. Naughty!

Remember how pretty it was:

I personally think we should just cut that top layer down the middle, put half on one plate and half on the other and let the feeding frenzy BEGIN!


Is is wrong I'm this excited about cake?

Well if it's wrong, I don't wanna be right.

Happy Anniversary Good Man!

I believe one month is the cake anniversary…right?

September 9, 2008

Oh yeah, raisin' 'em right!

From today's ABQjournal:

"When Christopher Lucero was stopped by State Police for weaving in and out of traffic on Interstate 40, authorities say he had an excuse: His passenger spilled his beer, he told the officer."

Yeah, man! It's not MY fault I zigged across four lanes of traffic! My buddy spilled his beer!

One of four open containers found in the car.

Needless to say, APD doesn't have a sense of humor about such things.

Oh Fair New Mexico…we gotta do something about the drunk driving in our state. Because whatever we're doing now isn't working…

edit...faboo, this little tidbit made Yahoo's "Odd News". Good times.

September 8, 2008

Monday, Monday

Can't trust that day.

Another Monday in the life after a quick yet faboo weekend. It's always hard to come back to work after a short two days away from work.

Hard to find my groove again.

The oppressive heat isn't helping with the whole "groove" thang either. It's hot here. Really, gaggingly hot.

And for my New Mexico readers who say, "Ah c'mon, you are a desert girl. It's not THAT hot!" may I remind you that…I have NO AIR CONDITIONING.





The jokesters here in the Bay Area are all like "ooooh, there's foooog. It's 'nature's air conditioning' you don’t need anything else."

To them I sah "bah!"

At least my car has working a/c and my office…well, my office is *too* well air-conditioned. There are icicles hanging off my cubicle walls.

I wear a sweater all day only to come home to a sweat box (I swear, The Good Man, the Feline and I all could go on a Native American spiritual journey in there). That can't be healthy.

I actually prefer to be hot. But right now my freezing hands are wrapped around a cup of hot tea while I wear a thick sweater.

And I'm *sure* keeping a two story office building at meat locker temperature isn't wasting energy at ALL!

Can't we just clack the movie marker and start this one again?

Ready? Action!

September 4, 2008

I'm so depressed

At work today I made a joke that referenced Land Shark.

This was told in front of a group of about eight coworkers.

Only two laughed.

The other six didn't get it.

And I sprouted a brand new gray hair.

September 3, 2008

Wow, a lot to be sad about these days

In short order, we've lot a lot of great voices.

As noted yesterday, Jerry Reed passed.

Also over the long weekend, Don LaFontaine passed away at the age of 68. LaFontaine was that great deep voice you'd hear in most movie trailers, "In a world…"

He was also featured in a Geico ad recently, which always gave me a chuckle.

And now today's ABQjournal reports that Harold Gans has died at the age of 85. Gans was the moaning, groaning voice of Zozobra for over forty years (retiring from the gig in '94), missing his turn at the mike only once, due to a heart attack in '82.

This year's burning of Zozobra will honor him.

That's a lot of feeling speechless in just a few days.

I'll keep my keening about the fact that Zozobra is already right around the corner to myself. : whimper :

September 2, 2008

Aw damn.

Musician Jerry Reed died today at the all too young age of 71.

Ol' Jerry was one of the first concerts I ever took in. I was with my mom, the venue was Tingley Coliseum. The event was the rodeo at the New Mexico State Fair. Yes, I know it's Expo New Mexico now. I grew up there. I call it like it was. :)

I don't remember how old I was....less than 10 I think? Yeah, it was firmly in the 70's.

I've always had a soft spot for Jer. Through all the Smokey and the Bandit movies. Through all his ridiculous and funny songs.

He was a talented man.

He will be missed. At least by me.

He lives on in my memories.

Really? No, can't be. But it is.

Labor Day. A nice three-day weekend. A day off that signifies the end of summer.

WHY GOD WHY!?!?!?!?!?

I know I can't regulate the passage of time, (cuz if I could I'd have a lot fewer birthdays I'll tell you that much…) but COME ON! How did the summer slip away so fast?

Here we are again. September.

Heck, the frappin' New Mexico State Fair (Oh, excuse me, Expo New Mexico) is just around the corner…like…starting on Friday.

The days are noticeably shortening.

Before you know it, Halloween will arrive with the chill it brings in the evening breeze. (the stores already have Halloween candy on the shelves!)

Pretty soon it will be five freaking thirty in the evening and pitch black outside...while I toil away at work.

Then the time changes.


The Good Man spent some time last night explaining to me, again, how September and October are the *best* months in the Bay Area and I should be happy for Indian Summer. I am not.

I need sunlight! I’m a wilting flower in the hazy, cloudy skies!

(she says, whimperingly, while it's planned to be 90 degrees here today…)


Seasons change. People change.

Basically, if I could go back to the week of my honeymoon in the heart of summer, sitting under an umbrella by the beach, happy hour at sunset…THAT would be great.

Instead I stare mournfully out my window…at work.

Maybe this is less about the seasons on the calendar and more about the seasons of my life, eh?

Creative Commons License

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