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October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Creepy wishes from my happy scary pumpkin!

Even spookier in the dark!


Happy Halloween!!!!

October 30, 2009

What is wrong with this picture!!!?!??!

Ok, I recognize this is a terribly blurry iPhone photo, but take a look at this.

What you may not be able to tell from that photo is the label on my avocado, purchased at my just down the street local supermarket, says "New Zealand Hass".

What. The. Eff?

I live in CALIFORNIA for crissakes!

We make very fine Hass avocados RIGHT HERE. For the love of pete, people grow them in their backyards!

Why I gotta eat something grown halfway 'round the world?

I didn't even think to look, I saw Hass avocados, and I grabbed two soft ones off the top. I naturally assumed that since these babies are so plentiful locally that California grown would be on the shelves.

But noooooo!

And I'll tell you this...it's a terrible avocado too. Stringy and bland.

I am ticked.

The only redeeming value for that grocery is that they also carry this:

It is to weep.

That may be the only item I procure from those folks from now on.

(Apologies to Avelino and Meredith, fellow ex-pats. I'm guessing DC grocers don't sell the good stuff. I tip a loaded chip to you both!)

It is assault, I tell you!

I have this neighbor. Well, ok, I have a lot of neighbors, but there is one in particular...

Who, let's be frank, has no taste.

How do I know this?

Well, the neighbor *loves* to crank up their stereo. Yup. They crank up their tinny sounding piece of eeeelectronic equipment loud enough so the whole neighborhood can take part in their musical selections.

A sociologist postulated that when male humans crank their stereos super loud, they are essentially marking their territory. They are forcing people to look at them and forcing all around to succumb to their musical selection.

If so, then my neighbor is a marking fool. He may as well pee on a mile radius.

This fellow (I assume it's a guy, I'm not sure, actually) likes to boot up his sound gear at about 8:00am on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Just in time to wake me up from a nice weekend doze.

So, what sort of music does this fellow play? Do you have guesses?

Gangsta rap? Screetching metal? Blazing punk?


Sixties oldies? Big Band? Yanni?

No, but getting closer.

The music this fellow cranks out across my air space is smooth jazz. Not the good jazz, say Theonius Monk, Charlie Parker or Miles Davis.

Nope. The smooth kind. Plinky plunky. Music that reminds you of sitting in the waiting room at the dentist's office.

Cranked up loud. Bouncing off the hills and homes in our fair town.

This has been going on for a while now. And the gent has recently taken to cranking his crazy beats around 5:30 in the evening, so that all coming home from work can enjoy his pee-tinged music.

Today, I cracked. Today, I lost it.

Today, he was playing the theme from "Moonlighting" by Al Jarreau at full volume.

Now look, I like Al. He has some fine songs. I don't resent anyone enjoying the mellow ways of Mr. Jarreau. However...I don't need this blared out into my world, uninvited.

The acoustics in my neighborhood are funny, but The Good Man and I are pretty sure it's the landlord of the triplex one lot over, but we can't be sure.

When I DO find the offender, I am going to deliver a collection of BB King recordings with a note that says, "GET SOME SOUL, mother eff word!"

October 29, 2009

An Open Letter to my Head Cold

Dear Insidious Little Pinche Bug that has chosen to infest my body:

So, I see you've decided to set up camp in my head.

My, how kind of you.

Oh, and you came with your usual matching set of baggage. Stuffed up nose. Sore throat. Plugged ears. And that hacking cough.

How fun it is when you give me a housewarming present as I hack up a yellow globule from my lungs. Such a lovely color!

And the body aches! Oh the body aches, I think those are my favorite! Knees, hips, shoulders, neck. Ow. Makes it almost impossible to sleep!

But you like that, eh? I mean, sleep only strengthens my immune system and THAT's not what you are about, are you little evil cold germs?

Nope. You like to keep me up late at night, not sleeping, heck, not even breathing!

You know those two funny tubes they call nostrils? Yeah? Those are so I can breathe! When you plug BOTH of them, well, sure, I can result to mouth breathing.

But I sort of resemble a punch-drunk boxer when I do.

Makes my husband that much more enamored of me!

Not that I'm a shining star anyway, with my puffy face and red-rimmed nose.

What I most want to know, Dear Cold Bug, is how in the hell do you get my hair to look like that? I mean, ostensibly, your reach only extends to my upper respiratory system, and yet my hair responds to your brand of illness by standing up at odd angles?

I never knew you were a hairstylist too!

And now, my ears are throbbing. How fun! Since childhood I've been prone to ear infections.

But you probably knew that already, didn't you?

I've tried to be nice to you, but nice doesn't register in your little cell dividing nucleus, does it?

You know what I did this morning? I drank a biiiig glass of orange juice. Oh yes, a blast of vitamin C. As I drank, I imagined thousands of tiny "noooooo's!" in chorus as many of your offspring were attacked by my newly strengthened white blood cells.

Then you know what I did when I was done with that glass?

I poured another.

I'm done with you.

No, seriously.

You can go now.

And by go, I don't mean hop from me to The Good Man. He doesn't need any of your shenanigans either!

*hee hee*

Goodness from the Shoebox blog:

"San Francisco drivers face a second day of tough commutes as crews perform emergency repairs on the Bay Bridge. Does this mean they can’t just hop a picturesque streetcar while enjoying a bowl of mouth-watering Rice-a-Roni and watching Karl Malden and Michael Douglas solve crimes? Could TV have lied to us?"

October 28, 2009

What it takes to rock my world

Last night during rush hour commute, a cable assembly on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge snapped, sending a 5,000 lb chunk of metal careening to the upper deck of the bridge.

A couple vehicles sustained some damage, and luckily, only one person was hurt. No fatalities.

This bit that broke off was part of a "fix" done over the Labor Day weekend. This is the famed S-curve I spoke of here.

As of today, Cal Trans is saying the bridge is closed "indefinitely". Due to high winds, it may take several days for the welders to get the new piece in place.

Ugh. Since approximately 280,000 cars traverse that bridge every day, this is not a small matter.

This is, in fact, a very huge matter.

Thankfully, neither The Good Man nor I have to cross that bridge to get to work and back, so for us, you'd think, this is no big deal.

But you'd be wrong.

A major traffic hindrance like this changes the whole traffic pattern of the area. Since we live near the next bridge to the south, the San Mateo Bridge, that means much traffic will now be diverted our way so that folks can get back and forth across the Bay.

It will also affect the rest of the bridges and highways in the area. You'd be amazed the distance the ripple effect will have.

Which got me pondering how much we tend to rely on infrastructure, now, as a human race.

I mean hell, just go one day without electricity, and you remember all the little things you take for granted.

The Good Man recently had some major car troubles and was without his ride for about a week. Whoa, that really threw a kink into our lives.

Sometimes, you know...I think to myself, maybe a shotgun shack in the middle of the woods somewhere with a hole in the ground for sewer and a roaring fire, and my manual Underwood typewriter for jotting down my manifesto might not be such a bad idea.

Then I surf over to Zappos.com to look at adorable shoes and use my credit card to pay and have the UPS man put that box right in my hands and I think...



October 27, 2009

I'm a giver!

Yep, sorry things were so quiet around here yesterday, but The Good Man had a day off from work, so we had a nice Monday together.

And what did we do with that Monday off?

Well. We went to the San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation.

Cool, right?

They chronicle the history of the rise of technology. Especially fitting here in the Bay Area where so much technology got its start.

Oh, and they have an awesome hands on display that shows you how earthquakes work and how the ground liquefies. That display has done a lot to help me understand the phenomenon so well.

But that's not why we went...


We went to see Star Trek - The Exhibition.

Complete with a replica of the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.

I sat in the captain's chair.

Because *I* am a good partner to my sci-fi lovin' husband.

I even leaped through the gateway to the City at the Edge of Forever (the, uh, Guardian of Forever). Oh yes I did.

Because I knew it would make him happy.

Look, I'm not a Star Trek fan. Nor am I a hater.

Ok, fine, I'd watch a few episodes in the early days when I was hanging out with my big brother. I've seen a few of the movies and none of the more recent series (which were heavily represented at the exhibit).

But this day was not about me. It was about The Good Man. And heck, to spend time with him, I'd endure much geekier than a bunch of costumes and gadgets!

Did I ever tell you that in the early days of dating, he took me to a Bela Lugosi film festival?

And I had a great time, too. Because when The Good Man is happy, I'm happy too.

I made him go see The Crafty Chica when she was in town, so really, fair's fair.

October 23, 2009

Ah Soupy...

Rest easy, old friend.

Like a good little housewife would

Last weekend, The Good Man and I were putting a clean to our home. We'd let it go for a couple weeks since I'd been traveling and he's working a lot of extra hours.

We'd let it go too long and it was time to be grown ups and get to work. I started on the bathroom while he worked on the living room.

We generally attempt to be fairly conscious residents of the planet. We recycle, we keep our cars running right, and we try to use environment friendly housecleaners.

I say "try" because, well, dammit, we don't always succeed.

There I was in the bathroom, cleaning the mirror over the sink. There were a few weeks of soap splashes and toothpaste flecks on the glass that needed tending to. I had an ammonia-free cleaner that promised "no streaks!" in one hand, and a wad of paper towels in the other.

Well, that label on that bottle lied. There were plenty of streaks. PLENTY.

I got fresh paper towels and rubbed at the glass harder. Just smeared everything around. I really put some elbow grease into it. It only slightly improved.

So, without much remorse, I dug around in the cabinet where we keep cleaners and extracted the good old ammonia based glass cleaner.

*spray spray, wipe, rub*



No sore arms, no troubles, no streaks.

Clean mirror gleaming, I turned to the bathtub and the soap scummy mess waiting there.

Do you think I picked up the "safe and gentle" cleanser?

Nope! I grabbed the scrub with bleach and squired with reckless abandon!

Ok, yes, I do have at least a little remorse.

There has got to be a solvent/cleanser/scrub out there in the world that actually WORKS and is also earth friendly.

Doesn't there?

And then I ask myself why I'm getting all bundled up over household cleansers.

It's so...1950's of me.

October 22, 2009

If only The Feline had email

Look, I've managed people as part of my job for quite some time now. It's a rollercoaster experience every day.

And yes, I've resorted to that weenie method of managing the hard conversations...email.

Hey, oftentimes, it actually works. You can disseminate the issue to a large audience with the click of a button. You don't actually have to, you know, talk to anyone.

Plus, it gives you a trail. Proof that you told people something!

Anyhow, I've been wrestling with The Feline lately. Damn employee of the household has a mind of her own! Feh!

Herewith, the email I'd write to that damn cat if only she had opposable thumbs...and the ability to get online.


From: TheGirlHuman@thisoldhouse.net
Subject: Recent Issues for discussion
Date: October 22, 2009 8:35 AM PDT
To: CrankyCat@meow.net

Feline - As you and I have been sharing domicile for some time now, I feel we've both settled into our routines and know what we're about.

Things have been slipping a bit lately, and we have some issues we need to discuss. Please bring a copy of this email to our next one-on-one (aka the next time you are standing on my head, sniffing my dinner while I try to eat). We'll sort out a corrective action plan at that time.

First things first, as you know, you are fed at 8am, 5pm (snack) and 10pm. This has been in effect for some time. You were notified of these changes before they took effect.

Yes, we are giving you diet food. Remember when the vet explained why, Ms Fourteen Pounder?

As such, the yowling for feeding well in advance of any of the set times is unacceptable and this behavior must be curtailed.

This is especially true of the 4am yowlings. This only causes the boy human to throw pillows at you, and usually leads to your banishment from the room, which then produces hurt feelings and sad looks on your part for an entire day.

Please implement these process improvements immediately.

While on the topic of the sleeping situation, we must also address a space issue. As you know, the Boy Human and the Girl Human are soft hearted and allow you to sleep in the bed.

It's also agreeable that you take certain liberties, like sleeping up ON me while I snooze. Fine.

Here's the issue. Being as that I was graced with a bladder the size of a small walnut, it's inevitable that I must rise at least once a night to use the human version of the litter box.

When nature calls, I carefully extract from around you so as not to disturb your slumber. Then when I return, I find you have streeeetched out to fill up the space allotted me in the bed. Sometimes, you even have a proprietary paw placed on the Boy Human.

I then have to push and shove you so I can get back into the bed and next to the boy. You respond by meowing testily at me.

This is uncool, cat. Way uncool.

Finally, while on the topic of usage of the litter box, human or otherwise, I'd like to mention that I can and am able to use the human litter box on my own.

I don't need your company.

When you use YOUR box, do I run in there to stare at you and then get on the counter and sniff at your head and face while you do your business?

No, I do not.

Please cease and desist.


That said, your work in the sitting on the lap department has improved dramatically lately (coinciding, I'm sure, with the turn toward the cold the weather has taken, but fine).

Also, since you've been able to lose some weight, your playful kittenish-ness is rather enjoyable.

Keep it up!

Thanks in advance for your attention to these matters.

Best regards,

The Girl Human

(Execu-Kitty ignores your emails)

October 21, 2009

Sometimes I forget

That there is the Pacific Ocean. Photo taken yesterday afternoon during a bout of playing hooky from my responsibilities.

Sometimes, I forget the ocean is right nearby. I mean, I live within about twenty minutes of those rough rolling waves.

How can I forget that?

Sure, I know the fog that creeps over the hill is there because of the ocean. But daily ensconced in my suburban life, doing what I do, I forget that I live so damn close to the gorgeous and perplexing Pacific Ocean.

Needing to clear my mind, I took a drive on a sunny day to listen to the waves and do some real hard thinking.

Due to all the storms we've had this week and last, the water was very high and the waves were crashing. There wasn't even room to walk on the beach, the water level was so high.

So I had to content myself with this little discovery. Someone, I'm guessing a child, put together a lovely little collection of shells.

I inspected every shell in the collection, some nice finds, but left the group where it was. The collector would want it that way.

So, disappointed with my inability to walk and think on the sandy beach, I turned my attention elsewhere.

Half Moon Bay, where I took my jaunt, is a prime grower of pumpkins. So this is high season in HMB.

Man, when I pulled off the road to the pumpkin patch, the light was just perfect. A photographer's dream. I didn't get to shoot any of the pretty little starfish that grow down by the sea, but I was content to shoot bright orange punkins grown large by that healthy sea air.

They had big punkins, medium, punkins, some round, some flat, some tall, some squat.

They had a box of little bitty punkins too. And the sun was so beautiful.

Man, that orange is the color of Autumn.

Well, looking at all that fleshy punkin glory, you know I had to buy one!

This guy will become our jack-o-lantern about three days before Halloween.

I don't often admit it, but I kind of love Autumn. At least while it's still warm and we're still on daylight savings.

My tune may change in November.

Today I've got that "been to the coast" mellow meditative vibe going.

Much needed.

All photos by Karen Fayeth

October 20, 2009

Oooh, that's troubling

Last evening, I was heating up some soup on my electric stove. I managed to drop a bit right in that space between burner coil and the stovetop.

So, stupidly, I stuck my finger down in there to wipe it out. I was thinking, at the time, I don't want that bit of soup to burn and smoke up the place.

Predictably, my finger accidentally touched the now hot burner coil, and instead of burning soup, I burned my skin.

I leapt back then turned quickly to the sink to run the burn under cold water.

As I rinsed the burn, I thought, "hmm, my food sure smells good!"

The soup was still on the burner, beginning to warm up.

Only problem was, the soup was tomato, and the smell I was savoring had a more meaty tone.

I turned to look, and saw a little smoke rising from the burner from under the pan. It was then I realized that the little bit of skin I'd left behind from the burn was now cooking, a little tomato soup on top for seasoning.

Let me say that again. What I thought, "ooh that smells tasty" about was my OWN SKIN cooking.

I'm now a little skeeved out at myself.

It's like meeting a really great guy at the party, only to find out he's your first cousin.

It's how Luke Skywalker felt when he found out that the woman he'd been perving out about was his twin sister.

The Good Man does, occasionally, refer to me as his "tasty little morsel."

I just never knew that was also true pan-fried and served with a side of rice.

And a nice chianti.

: shudder :

October 19, 2009

Life lessons from my craft table

I spent much of Sunday afternoon working on various art and crafting projects. (Check out my Etsy store if you haven't already!)

So while I applied Mod Podge to glass ornaments and shook out glitter and painted and spilled and generally had a heck of a time, I got to pondering.

I'm a ponderer, donchaknow?

"Iiiii'm the kind of gal who likes to think around, oh I'm the ponderer, oh I'm the pondereeeer!"

Sorry. Ahem, random bit of silliness.

Anyhow, while waiting for glue to dry, I thought about the lessons for a better life that I have learned during the art of crafting.

Here's a few I quickly jotted down:

  • Angry crafting is not good crafting

  • Oh yeah. I've sat down at the table, madder than hell about something, and stabbed paint on things, smashed glue into corners and hastily applied decorations.

    End result? Unpretty.

    To me, creating requires a certain letting go in the mind. Almost a meditation. Not to get all Buddhist or anything, but you have to be in the moment with the paint or glue or papier-mâché or whatever medium you are elbows deep into.

  • Sad crafting can sometimes rock.

  • So very stereotypical to say that you have to be sad and depressed to really create. In fact, I pretty much hate that this concept has become so ubiquitous.

    But, I do have to admit, sometimes, when I'm really down, and tired of feeling down, exhausted from the sad, I turn off my brain and let the paintbrush take over (or the keyboard if I'm writing) and I find that in that non-thinking space, I make some of the best stuff.

    Then again, I can be crazy-ass happy like a chimpanzee and make cool stuff too.

    It all comes back to where your mind is at. Not to put too fine a point on it.

  • Tipsy crafting is a no.

  • Yeah. Worse than angry crafting. You *think* you are doing a great job, but then you wake up the next day and see big gaps you missed, stuff is crooked, left the glue pot open, etc.

    Not that drunk crafting isn't fun, it just isn't advisable.

    There's letting go the mind and there is letting go of your faculties. Know when to put the glue gun down!

    This was a hard lesson learned after sharing a small pitcher of margaritas with The Good Man over homemade enchiladas. Yum!

    Should have chosen singing out loud or playing the guitar instead. Will still come out crappy, but no lasting effects to remind!

  • A rhinestone or other well placed embellishment can cover a multitude of sins.

  • When I was learning to drive, my mom always said, "If you miss your turn, just turn around and try again." And you know what? She's always been right. Flat right. Don't panic. Don't freak out. Don't give up on the whole thing.

    Just, be calm, and fix it.

    Look, they say what makes a book great isn't the initial writing, it is the editing. I think what makes art great isn't that you make something perfectly the first time, but it's about all those "happy accidents." Those goofs you didn't expect but show you something more profound or deeper or more meaningful than you first imagined.

    Then sometimes there are just those "oops, my freaking thumb got in the way and now I have a huge ass smudge." That's when you slap a big rhinestone or a button, a milagro or SOMETHING fun over it and smile, because then only YOU know there is a mistake under there.

    Everyone else thinks you meant it that way.

    Crafting has made me give up on trying to be pefect and learn to welcome those "hey what the!?!? Oh, heeeeeey....." moments.

  • And finally, as much as you may love your pets, and believe me, I LOVE my pet a lot, don't craft with your pets nearby.

  • Let's just say this...I was covering a wooden item in glitter. Glue went on, glitter covered the item in a big pile.

    I got up to wash off my glue brush. As I stood, the Feline was fast asleep nearby (on the table actually).

    I walked from the room, turned to check, yep, still asleep.

    Returned in about two minutes. I find my Feline with glitter ALL over her face and the glitter spread *everywhere*.

    Seems she'd taken a sniff, inhaled a bit o' the Crafty Chica Nova Blue, and sneezed.


    Also, I got weary of constantly picking cat hair out of my paint and glue and did I mention she likes to sleep on my paint rag?

    Feline doesn't get to sleep on the craft table anymore.

    So, just exile your pets from your art space. Believe me, this will save many headaches.

    Unless pet hair is your medium, then knock yourself out!

All right, enough pondering. Time to get back into my Zen space, pick up my purple acrylic paint, and get back to crafting.

(not my craft table, but might as well be!)

October 17, 2009

Oh my...how utterly delicious!

Found on the internets, beatiful, stunning, precious and semi-precious stone Dia de los Muertos rings and pendants...from....

You'll never believe this....


Oh sweet pretties, from the "Coffret de Victoire" collection available on the Dior Joaillerie website.

I note the site doesn't list prices. Er, sure.

But you know, if anyone has any piles of cash laying around they'd like to blow, I'd sure love this first ring (skull crafted in coral) :

Or, you know, I'd sure take this ring (skull crafted in turquoise) :

Sure wouldn't refuse this ring either (skull crafted in mother of pearl) :

Or how about a stunning pendant? Again, in coral.

But gee, I sure wouldn't like to have this one.

Yeah, not really. Just trying to be modest. This pendant is *gorgeous*!

I'll be looking for all five of these baubles to show up under my Christmas tree this year....

In, uh, Karen-Fantasy-Christmas-World!

A girl can dream, can't she?

October 16, 2009

Rock on, APD!

Today, in need of wasting a little time, I found myself surfing the Fail Blog.

This is a blog, brought to us by the same good folks who publish I Can Haz Cheeseburger, with the same sense of humor.

It is a freaking hilarious blog. They post photos and videos of, well, the big and little failures that occur in the world.

So as I was catching up on what I've missed over the past several weeks, I was ever so proud to see that my ol' hometown has shown up strong.

Congratulations, APD, on an epic police fail.

Good stuff!


Civility is not dead, merely on life support

I believe I've had occasion to rant here regarding my feelings toward airplane travel.

In as few words as I can muster, I believe that flying brings out the worst in people.

Especially on those "open seating" type of airlines. Ya'll know which one I'm talking about. People will knock over little old ladies and run their too large roller bag over toddlers in order to get to that perfect aisle/window seat.

Very rude.

And then the folks who are unable to entertain themselves for the time they will spend on the plane require YOU to entertain them.

"So, you going to Albuquerque? You from there? What's it like? Have you ever been to Santa Fe? Is it anything like Phoenix? How come I can't fly into Santa Fe? What's that you are reading? Why are you ordering tomato juice?"

You know the type.

When I fly, I usually bring a book, wait patiently, take the first acceptable seat and crack that book open right away. Then I hunker down for the duration, and hope for the best.

So imagine the the peace I found on the final leg of my trip home from New Mexico.

Everyone seemed on their best behavior. "Oh, it looks like your boarding pass number is ahead of mine. I'll just slip behind you."

And "Excuse me, I'd like to sit there" and "Oh sure, let me hop up for you"

In my own row, I found a good spot, had a brief interaction with the guy on the aisle, and took my window seat. Soon a very polite lady arrived and said, "Do you mind if I sit there in the middle" and we made room.

She got settled quickly and pulled out a magazine. The guy on the aisle pulled out a book. I was already immersed in mine.

The duration of the flight from LAX to SFO was quite calm and really very civil.

Upon landing and when at the gate, the guy on the aisle stood up and said, in a jokey way "Well, I hope I wasn't too much trouble on this flight."

The lady in the middle said (to both the guy on the aisle, and to me), "You know, I'd just like to say thank you, this was one of the nicest flights I've been on in a while. This was a great row to sit in."

And I smiled and agreed, "Thank you" I said to both of my fellow travelers.

Wow. People do still know how to be considerate. And polite!

Those sort of folks sure are getting harder to find!

Do ya'll remember Goofus and Gallant from the Highlights magazines for kids? I *loved* Highlights magazine! My mom was cool enough to get me a subscription!

October 15, 2009

Geez! Well finally!

Yes, yes your intrepid blogger returned from her road trip and got immersed in catching up.

It's taken me a week to sort through the over 300 photos I took at the 38th Annual Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.

But sort through I have, and if you click here you can see about 60 of them.

I've not done any retouching, Photoshopping, or editing of any kind. These are straight off the camera, complete with the smudge on my lens, visible in the upper right corner of many of the shots.

I'm a real pro at this! Yay. Thankfully in most shots the smudge can be easily edited out.


Here's a few to whet your appetite!! (click image for bigger size)

October 14, 2009

*sigh* It just ain't the same

While visiting with my godkids last week, I had occasion to lament how fast they are growing up.

The oldest of the two is soon to be ten. TEN! Wow. I remember when she was just a little preemie baby, yowling when the wind blew across her little face. She was adorable, tiny and rather sour of disposition.

Now she's a bright, effusive ten year old, full of life and energy and fun.

She's been facing some rather grown up issues at school, which breaks a Nina's heart. I'd like to go to that school and give some folks the what-for.

Seeing my little girl growing up so quick made me think about a lot of things that change, drastically, as you age.

For example, I recall when goddaughter #1 was going through potty training. Her folks worked with her quite a bit to get that going. (pun sort of intended)

One evening, there were several friends visiting at the house, and goddaughter #1 came racing out of the bathroom right to the middle of the crowd. She had not a stitch of clothing on, threw her arms in the air and yelled, "I pooped in the potty!"

Well, we all applauded and congratulated and hugged her. It was a very proud group of adults.

This doesn't happen when you are 40.

If I came racing out of the john naked, right into a dinner party exclaiming my poopy prowess, well...for sure I'd not be invited back to the party. They might even see about having me talk to a "special" doctor.

Ya get no applause for bodily functions when you get past the age of, oh say, five.

How about birthdays? When you are five, you get a pile of fun presents to unwrap, your friends come have a sleep over and when they put the cake in front of you, first you blow out the candles and then everyone giggles when you put your face right down into your cake.

RIGHT down into the frosting!

Nobody thinks it is funny when you have cake all over your face when you are a grown up. People just look at you like you've lost your marbles.

It isn't fair.

Oh! And how about naps? When you are a kid, naps are required! Oh yes, much enforced! Must nap, do it now! Here is your special blanket and stuffed friend and a kiss on the forehead.

Today? A nap is a luxury. Stolen moments. Time I could have used to do something more productive.

The ubiquitous "they" say that being a grown up is a good thing.

Generally I might agree, but sometimes...........

October 13, 2009

Cost Savings Euphoria!

So despite the media chirruping that the "economic crisis is OVER", really, folks, it's not over. Not by a long shot. Recovery is a long and arduous process.

Like, you know, gaining weight is easy, losing the weight takes work.

And so, as we continue to deal with life, and money and everything that entails, The Good Man and I have been taking a look at expenses.

How freaking grown up of us. *sigh*

The first focus of our ire is Comcast. We have only the most basic of analog packages. It's been fine. Cable goes right into the back of the TV and there you go. But recently, Comcast required us to get a box so we can receive digital channels. (they keep deleting analog channels as a way to force us over)

Trouble is, the box screws up the signal. It pops and pixilates and blacks out. If we unplug the box and plug back into the TV, no issue. The box is a piece of #$%^.

And really, we don’t watch that much regular TV anyway, other than baseball games, and the SF Giants season is ovah.


We ordered a digital converter for regular rabbit eared signal, and we are cancelling Comcast.

Oooh man, I can hardly wait to make that call.

As a primer, I called AT&T yesterday. I have a long and colorful history with AT&T. (work related...long story)

We hardly use our landline phone anymore, so I whacked all extra services, left just local on our line (for 911 calls or emergency use, we can still get incoming calls) and also got assurances they'll keep our DSL rates flat.

I cut $53 a month from the bill! That is more than HALF of what we were paying!

Woooooo! Really, it was heady, adrenaline rushing fun!

Now I'm looking at everything trying to figure out how we can save.

Can we use a smaller trashcan? That would cut the trash bill.

Can we wear extra layers and set the heater at a lower temp?

Can we reduce water use?

Should be buy a generator and go off the grid?

Should we live in a shack with no running water and an outhouse and I'll wear a hooded sweatshirt and write my manifesto?

Wait. Back the truck up.

Let's not get carried away.

Update: I called up Sirius radio, I love my Sirius radio, and got them to knock over $70 off my annual renewal. Amazing what "I'd like to cancel" caused them to do! Yay!

That's very punny!

Halloween *groan* jokes. Found at My Loonyverse blog.

You might be a redneck if the jack-o-lantern on your front porch has more teeth than your spouse.

Why did the vampire buy Nyquil? To stop his coffin.

Why didn't the skeleton cross the road? He didn't have the guts.

What do you call a witch who lives at the beach? A sand-witch

What kind of music do mummies listen to? Rap. (get it? Wrap?)

Where does the ghost take his family on vacation? Mali-boo.

What do you call someone who puts poison in the Cheerios? A cereal killer.

What is the witch's favorite subject? Spelling.

Why don't mummies go on vacation? They are afraid they'll relax and unwind.

Where do ghosts get their nails done? The boo-ty parlor.

What is a vampires biggest fear? Tooth decay.

What do you get when you cross a black cat with a lemon? A sour-puss.

Why aren't there any famous skeletons? They're a bunch of nobodies.

What do you get when you divide the diameter of a jack-o-lantern by its circumference? Pumpkin pi.

How do you get the jack-o-lantern to stop smoking? Give him a pumpkin patch.

What is the zombie's favorite dessert? Ladyfingers.

(I think pumpkin pi is my fave!)

October 12, 2009

Use 'em or lose 'em

Everyone has certain skills that exist within them like muscle memory. You know how to do a thing like the back of your hand, or more appropriately, like riding a bike.

You know, executed perfectly, without thinking.

And then there are some skills that you gotta keep using or your abilities will diminish.

Last week in New Mexico, I was faced with this problem.

Yes, I was disheartened to see my dexterity and skill in one particular area has deteriorated.

Here's the story:

I had occasion to be down in Las Cruces to visit my best friend and my two goddaughters (and goddog and godcat too...I love those fuzzies!).

So Friday, we decided to go stay at the home of my best friend's parents in El Paso. They are my adopted folks, and I love them like crazy, so I was thrilled to get to spend some time.

I had a rental car, and my best friend loaded her own car with her two kids and we caravanned along I-25 to I-10 and then, because it's so much easier and quicker, we took the Anthony Gap to get over into El Paso.

Sure, easy peasy. Taken it a bunch of times. No problem. So off I went, following my best friend off the interstate and onto two-lane state road.

Two lanes. Just two. Yes.

Living in New Mexico, it's not terribly hard to find two-lane roads. And on two lane roads, it's not terribly hard to find someone driving slower than you'd like to go.

Which means you gotta either give up, or you gotta zip over into the oncoming lane and pass that other car.

And this is where I met my Californian laziness square in the eye.

As we approached a slow moving work truck, my friend, just ahead of me, drifted over slightly, assessed the scene, changed lanes, hit the gas and passed with ease.

You know, back in the day, I was *really* good at passing on two-lane roads. It was like an art and a challenge to me. I LOVED it because I was so g'darn good at it.

But on Friday...I balked. Yes, it's true. I hesitated.

And then, mad at my hesitation, I just went for it, clumsily changing lanes, not stepping on the gas smoothly enough. The automatic transmission in my rental car scrambled to find an appropriate gear. It finally kicked in, gave me some speed and I made it, but not before I was staring down the headlights on an oncoming vehicle, trying to calculate how long until impact.

Ok, fine I made it safely, but passing didn't feel as smooth and easy as it used to. I overthought it. I felt like a scaredy cat.

This is not me! I'm the girl who would careen down the two-lane road between El Paso and Carlsbad in a beat up '79 Bobcat, passing people like they were standing still!

Ok, to be fair, the manual transmission in the Bobcat did help in that whole passing thang, but still.

Is it that I've been living in the Bay Area too long? Or that I'm getting old and tentative?

I don't know. But it makes me wanna take the Jeep out on Highway 1 and pass every car I see, just because I can!

October 10, 2009

Musings from airport security

Do you ever wonder, as you stand in your socks or bare feet with your jacket off and your personal toiletries in a baggie, that the terrorists might just have won a little?

Also, matter how many times I fly through the El Paso airport (about twice a year) I am still unnerved by the intense scrutiny every person receives from Border Patrol.

They don't just look at you. They scan you like they know you got something and they damn sure are going to find it.

Gotta be tough work, I imagine, looking that close at every traveller....


My New Mexico visit has been great!! Now I am ready to go home. I get to sleep in my own bed tonight!!! Yay!!

October 9, 2009


A nice way to begin the day. Sloppy greetings from my goddog.

Sometimes, you know you must be an ok sort of person if a dog thinks you rock.

My god cat was less sure about the necessity of my existence this morning.

It's a gorgeous day in Southern New Mexico. I head back home tomorrow, happy from a great trip back to NM, and very happy to get back to The Good Man. I miss him so much it aches.

October 8, 2009

Second time's the charm

Woo hooo! Ok, today's Balloon Fiesta was *awesome*! So worth using that crowbar to get my butt out of bed this morning.

Special Shapes Rodeo, yeah baby!

This will be a quick post because I have to pack up all my schtuff and check out of the hotel. Today I'm headed out of the 'Burque and southbound to Las Cruces.

I can't wait to hug my two beautiful goddaughters! What a great way to wrap up my trip.

Note to NewMexiKen: The Albuquerque Box was not in effect today. No surprise, eh?

Here's just a couple photos for Sin Pantalones (I believe you said in comments on Ken's blog that these are a couple of your faves). I have to sort through the rest to see if there's anything good in there.


(Click photo for full size image)

Take 2

Dawn Patrol is up and so am I.

I must be crazy.

However, today is special shapes! I feel like a kid at Cutter Field again. W00t!

Yanno, that cloud cover yesterday made things feel a bit warmer. Today is just nice and frosty cold. Yeow!

Photos to come if I can score 'em.

Woo. I am *tired*! And delerious. I am dangerous when I am delerious.

October 7, 2009

Things they don't sell at my grocery store!

Found at Whole Foods. Pretty!

Would love to take one home.


Best laid plans of mice and men and sleepy bloggers.

Made it to the Balloon Park at about 5:30 in the morning, did the waiting around thing. Shopped the vendors, bought the pin, ate the burrito and at about quarter to 7:00 they announced that due to the rain, none of the balloons would be taking off.


So no, I don't have any photos to share. Ah well.

I decided to use an early morning with time on my hands to head up to the National Cemetery in Santa Fe to pay a visit to dear ol' dad.

The pounding rain was a bit more fitting for that scenario.

Now I'm exhausted and melancholy and I believe I'll take a little nap.

I'll share with you this year's Balloon Fiesta poster. I almost bought it, but held off. It's really beautiful in person, and would be lovely framed.

Still pondering if I'll try the fiesta again tomorrow.

Double the thanks!

Well hey! This little ol' blog topped a hundred visitors for two days in a row! Thanks to all 117 who stopped by yesterday!

Yes, I am posting at 4:00 in the morning. No, I don't know why.

Juuuust kidding, on my way to see the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

I hope to make some decent photos this morning. Here's hoping the weather holds.

More to come today!


October 6, 2009

So. 4:30 a.m. huh? Really?

Balloon Fiesta gates open, at, ahem, 4:30 in the morning.

What the $%#& am I thinking?

And to make it more fun, it is supposed to rain tomorrow. Oh yay.

Wonder how many of the seven dwarves I can be tomorrow? Cranky and snarky are part of the crew right?

Let's see, there's sleepy, cranky, snarky, PMSy, drunkey, slap happy, and Bob.



Squeaky Sphincter

Yeah, ok, I get uptight about stuff. I try, oh I try to "live and let live"...and in a lot of ways, I do.

One of my employees recently said she admired my, "Zenlike attitude about everything" which I took as a huge compliment.

Only, I'm not exactly Zenlike about *everything*. No, there are a few things that get my knickers in a bunch, falling squarely into Dr. Freud's line of studies.

Oh I'm anal, baby, but really only about certain things.

So, what's got my chones in a gather today?

Well, because I'm traveling on a plane, I made sure I went to the library and stocked up on good reading materials. Stuff to keep me engaged as the Sierra Nevadas, the desert floor of Arizona and, finally, the Sandias pass underfoot.

This is a fairly new book, copyrighted last year. It appears by the librarian's diligent date mark on the front page that it was put onto my local shelves about a year ago. A year. And I'll be damned if this thing isn't already dog-eared.


I believe there is a special level of hell for someone who folds the corners of a library book.

Look, if it is your book, you own it, bought and paid for, fine. Live and let live. C'est la vie. Vaya con Dios and go for it. Fold those pages with reckless abandon! Crack the binding and drop a forkful of lasagna on the denouement. Smudge the ink with your greasy thumbs and have yourself a careless ol' time.

But if it's a book that belongs to the local library, meaning people OTHER THAN YOU will be borrowing and reading it, do us all a favor, and try to keep it nice, ok?

Also, look, I'm sure that smoking and reading is a real pleasure. At heart, I don't really care if you smoke, when you smoke, how much you smoke. That's your deal. If you are reading your own book, blow the smoke deep into all the pages. It's your book, knock yourself out.

But it's really not all that fun to open a library book and get blasted with your odor. There is no airing those things out, you know.

And finally...if you have the temerity to MARK in a library book with a pencil or heaven freaking forbid, a ballpoint PEN, I will hold a deep and abiding grudge against you for life. It doesn't matter that I'll never know it was you who did it...I'll hold a grudge anyway.

I'm sure you'll be quite busy being the greeting committee in hell for all those page folders.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to pull my pantalones out of my behind, smooth and straighten my clothes, and walk down to my gate. It appears my flight is boarding.

Don't EVEN get me started on people who use their roller bags to block my egress while in line to get on the plane. These "open seating" flights bring out the very worst in people........

Well isn't that peculiar?

So, in Albuquerque they gave me a rental car with Texas plates.

Let me get this straight...I am a New Mexican who lives in California driving a car with Texas plates?

There is a joke in there somewhere. I'll need another margarita to figure it out.

Oh. I. Don't. *Think* So.

Seen at a giftshop at LAX.

The "promised land"??

Bah! I say....BAH!!

LA vs St Louis in first round.

Go Cardinals!

A real nice day to fly

Despite the LA haze, it is still a beautiful day fer flyin'!!

Woo! Thank you!

Hit 115 visitors yesterday, a new record for my little blog that could!

Thanks to all the eyeballs that (who?) dropped on by! Much appreciated!

Today I embark on a journey back to New Mexico. We'll see what sort of trouble I can get myself into!

And oh yes, there will be good eats. Of that there is NO doubt!

October 5, 2009


So, while drifting about the internets recently, I came across a blogger who dedicated an entire post to the fact that she *never* gives people gifts off their wedding/baby gift registry.

She said "never" and she meant it.

She said that she wanted to give people a gift that was "more thoughtful" (her words).

Uh. Ok, I may be weird, but not giving people something that they want and giving them instead something that YOU want...doesn't seem very thoughtful to me.

It seems very...uh...well very selfish, actually.

I suppose my knickers may be laced a little too tight on this one, but having recently been through the whole experience of choosing items for a gift registry (a harder job that I'd expected it would be) I can recognize how much folks appreciate getting what they planned for and asked for.

Because, let's be honest, all those super duper off-the-list "thoughtful" gifts people give? Well, they get returned at the earliest convenience. I'm certain of that.

Unless you get wedding gifts much like my best friend did. Hand made items. I swear to goodness they must have gotten like six different hand-hewn cheese cutters. They were all beautiful, hand crafted, beautiful wood, truly almost art objects.

But in the end, who needs that many cheese cutters? Unfortunately, the handmade cheese cutters don't go back to Target so easily!

And we won't even speak about the handpainted saw blade they also received. To be fair, it was really well done, again, truly an art object. But not really off the ol' list.

The exception to this could be a side deal that you cut with the recipients. For example, my mom wanted to give us a really special wedding gift, and plates and cake pans weren't lighting her up. So she checked in on this, and I appreciated her asking.

Together we figured out a really special, meaningful something that I cherish and always will.

Asking first, fine. Just dropping a hand bent roofing nail crafted surprise...well...may or may not be cool. At least not at a "big" event like a wedding or baby. Surprise birthday gift? Yes! White elephant holiday present? Sure!

There is a time and a place, you know?

Any bride and groom with good sense and class will be honestly grateful for any present you bring, but really, being thoughtful means giving up what YOU want, and considering what someone else wants instead.

Harder to do than it sounds, apparently.

(C'mon, any of ya'll from the country have either given, received, or know someone who has received a soldered nail windmill. Am I right?)

October 2, 2009

Pointed Art

Seen around the interwebs, a sculpture by Chinese artist Chen Wenling depicts, roughly, a gaseous Wall Street bull pinning Bernie Madoff against a wall.

Not sure what it all means. But, strangely, I like it.

Source: BBC link with a larger photo.

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.