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November 30, 2009

Returning to the old ways

Back in college, I took my studying rather seriously.

More seriously than my various roommates, my suitemates and pretty much everyone in the dorms where I lived.

I might have been a dork. Not sure....

Anyhow, when I was a kid, I had been lucky enough to have my own room, so I could study in there, door closed, and be most effective.

College was a whole crazy world of living with strangers. After lamenting my issues to my mom, she suggested I try the library on campus.

This sounded awful. I like being in my own space to study. To have my own comforts around.

But desperate for a solution, I packed up a backpack full of books and things, and walked over to the imposing building.

I was just a lowly freshman, and that library was intimidating!

But, as I looked around for a place that might work for good solid studying, I discovered this fabulous feature called a study carrel.

Oh yes.

I could sit in one of these bad boys with the high walls and block out the rest of the world. I could unload my backpack of all my things, set them around me, and create a personal space where I didn't have to see or hear anyone.

In fact, over waaaay in the back, by the microfiche readers, where it was kind of dark, there was one lowly study carrel that was *mine*.

No one else liked it and hardly anyone came over that way. If they did, it was only briefly to read something on microfilm or microfiche, so it was blissfully quiet and I was mostly alone.

I got some really, really good studying done there. I spent HOURS in that carrel...while my friends, uh, had, you know...fun.

Good times, yes.

So, here it was, this past Saturday. The date was the 28th and I was still 5,000 words from the end of this year's National Novel Writing Month challenge of 50,000 words.

The Good Man had to work on Saturday and so I was alone with my imposing battle.

I was really at a standstill on the writing. I hadn't written a word in three days, and it looked like I was not going to make it to the finish line this year.

So, in a bid to change my scenery and thus get the ol' Muse working again, I decided to go to the local library. The went to the one near where The Good Man works so we could meet later for a break.

In I go and I stalked around the place, looking for a good spot. It is a pretty ancient library, so not every table space has a power supply.

My antique Mac needs constant power feed.

So I trudged up to the third floor. I liked it because that floor was behind a closed door. That keeps it nice and quiet.

And lo and behold! They had study carrels. WITH POWER!

Ok! I'm in.

I even found one waaaaay toward the back, where no one else would go, plugged in my power supply, dipped my head behind the walls and got to work.

And who knew, all these many years later, the study carrel still works?

I banged out 4,000 words in about three hours, and would have finished to the end, but had to go meet the in-laws for dinner.

Later that night, after a margarita and some soothing Mexican food, I wrote the final 1,000 words and crossed the finish line of my fifth NaNoWriMo event.

I owe it all to that beautiful, wonderful, magical study carrel!

(terrible iPhone photo, but you can see how sunny and nice it is. I may go there again just because!)

November 28, 2009

Whoo hooo!

Mama, I'm going to Disneyland!

Oh, ok, not really. I'm actually going to...uh, sleep.

But still, I pulled a rabbit out of my arse hat for the fifth time and completed a 50,000 word novel in less than thirty days!

Thanks to the amazing people at National Novel Writing Month for making it so much fun to rise to the challenge every year!

November 26, 2009

Still life with punkin

If that photo doesn't make your mouth water than you've probably never made a pumpkin pie from scratch.

Mix all that together, pour in a pie shell and bake.

15 at 450 then 40 at 350. An hour later you have The Delicious!

Happy Thanksgiving, wherever in the world you are today!

November 25, 2009

More from photography class

So a little over a week ago, I posted a few photos I'd taken from my photography class. We'd been on a day field trip to the cactus garden.

Over the weekend, we again had a field trip. This time it was an evening into night shoot in a town called Redwood City. We started at the CalTrain station and worked our way through downtown.

Hooo boy did I struggle with this field trip. But the good kind of struggle. When the light is changing that fast, you have a lot of technical things to keep in mind. Since I'm just learning the technical things, I'm still pretty slow, so many of the photos didn't come out worth a dang.

But I learned A LOT, and that's the point.

Anyhoo, I put up another gallery of my favorite photos from the night, there are just 27 in this collection.

Here's a few to get you started. Click any of the images to see a bigger size.

Assignment here was to play with the light of sunset as it bounces off objects and buildings.

Assignment was slow shutter speed, I *love* the ping effect of the droplets! Look at the big size to really see it!!

Also a long exposure, I was trying to catch the purple light on the tables and also got some passing tailights on long exposure. I liked the effect!

I have learned so much from actually being hands on out in the field. My assignment now is to keep practicing!

November 24, 2009


Here is a transcript of my day:

10:45 arrive at my friend's house, she gives me the details and directions

11:15 da mama leaves, and I'm there alone with the most adorable tiny sleeping baby

11:20 I freak out a little bit. Oh the responsibility!

11:21 I calm down and settle onto the couch to surf the internets

12:00 The baby wakes and begins crying loudly

12:05 I find a bottle with formula and plug it in to the appropriate outlet.

12.06 Crying stops.

12:20 Bottle is done, I lift baby to my shoulder and pat

12:21 Six pound child emits a long deep burp that would make a frat boy proud

12:30 Child is asleep again

2:00 Da mama comes home, child is still asleep

Damn. I'm *good* at this babysitting thing! For three whole hours I rooock!

Uphill challenge of the week



*Limber up*

I have a challenge ahead of me today.

A challenge that is not for the weak at heart, mind or body.

I must prepare my body with deep warming up exercises.

I must focus and prepare my mind for the calm.


Yes. I must be steady. Balanced. Yet, with catlike reflexes.

This will be my greatest challenge in some time.

Later today...for three hours, I am babysitting a one-month-old baby.

: Cue scary music! :

One of my dearest friends, who is very grateful to have finally given birth to that watermelon sitting on her bladder, has been able to quickly get her little one onto a nice schedule.

And so da mama is going to get her hair cut and colored today. Yes, she's *ever* so happy to be able to color her hair again (as you know, you're not supposed to do that when pregnant).

So I was all too happy to say yes when asked to come sit with the tiny princess.

But I'm no stranger to this game. I've got godkids and twin nephews and lots and lots of friends with kids.

I know what deep waters I'm wading into.

While I’m confident I know what to do...I'm also pretty sure I can't plop kibble in the bowl then walk away to go read a book like I do with The Feline.

And so...wish me godspeed on this very dangerous yet important mission!

November 23, 2009

Join Me at The Center of the Bell Curve

Over the weekend, I was playing a new online jigsaw puzzle game I found. Fun!

At the beginning, you are presented options, Easy, Medium or Hard.

I picked Medium.

When I buy salsa: mild, medium or hot?

I pick medium.

There is a really fabulous coffee place here in the Bay Area where they will add cream and sweeten your beverage to perfection.

When they ask me "how sweet would you like it?"

I reply "medium sweet."

My shoe size, 8½ is neither very large nor very small. It's somewhere in the middle. (and always sold out of the good styles)

My dress size is the same as that of the "Average American Woman"

I have medium brown hair. Neither light brown nor dark brown. Just there in the middle of the brown range (thanks to my hairdresser, it's also more brown than gray).

I live "mid-Peninsula."

We live a middle-income existence.

When they took my blood pressure on Friday, it was average. As was my temperature.

I'm even starting to take a look at being middle aged.

My god, why am I so blastingly AVERAGE?!

I wondered, while I did my medium hard jigsaw puzzle, who picks "hard" on this game, HOT for salsa, really sweet for their coffee and lives on those wispy ends of the bell curve of life?

Probably someone like Richard Branson, eh? Or that Steve Irwin guy before he passed. He probably could solve the "hard" puzzles.

Ah well. Actually, sometimes life's not so bad from the fat part of the Bell Curve.

At least I'm in good company.

November 20, 2009


So I was reading my mom-in-law's blog, Musing by Moonlight, and her touching post about the March of Dimes and the fight for preemie babies.

Since my own beautiful twin nephews were preemies, I chimed in the comments about how one of the best ways to help preemies is to donate platelets, also called apheresis.

So, it's been a while since I have donated, and since I like to practice what I preach, I called to make an appointment at my local blood center.

They said "YES! Can you come in today!?!?!"

The holidays are a tough time for both blood and platelet needs.

Here is my public service message:

Please, please, donate blood or platelets if you are able!

Here's my "I'm just a big candy ass" message:

Today?!?!?!? YIPE!

While I'm always glad to donate platelets, it never stops me from being very, very skeered!

However, whenever I give platelets, as they flow out of my veins, I always imagine that the person who receives my pretty little red blood cells will wake up, healthy and strong and craving the hell out of green chile chicken enchiladas.

My donation to mankind.

November 19, 2009

Name your favorite kitchen gadget

Last weekend, I went to a book signing by Wona Miniati who is a coauthor of The Trader Joe's Companion, a fun cookbook with easy recipes.

Wona made a couple items for the audience so we could see some of the recipes in action.

As she was squeezing a lemon, she began to wax rhapsodic about the citrus juicer she was using, like this one:

She told us that it was her absolutely favorite ever kitchen gadget. She made it sound so enticing, it makes me want one!

And it got me to thinking...what is my favorite kitchen gadget?

Well, besides my Moka Pot for coffee (oh sweet love):

And my juicer (I was just singing to you this morning):

Which aren't really cooking gadgets, they are more for making The Delicious.

I'd have to say my absolute favorite kitchen gadget, the one I use for cooking all the time, never lets me down, always on my side, my god how did I ever live without it is...my garlic press (this one is exactly like mine):

Oh man, do I love that thing. *Squirt* and there's tasty garlic ready to rock and roll.

I have deep emotional ties to garlic.

It might be my favorite seasoning.

Although...it's a pretty close battle with:

Cumin is the wonder spice. Don't let anyone tell you different.

I believe if stranded on a deserted island with a head of garlic and a bottle of cumin, I could make knockout food to sustain. I really do!

Do you have a favorite gadget or spice? Let me know, I might end up with kitchen lust!

November 18, 2009

It's getting to be that time of year

This morning, I heard my talking combo smoke and carbon monoxide detector talking to me.

Which caused both me and the cat to jump a mile high.

And then I yelled at it, "WHAT DID YOU SAY!?!?"

The lady inside the detector was kind enough to repeat herself.

"Battery low!"

Ah, whew. Ok. Easily fixed.

But my talking smoke/carbon monoxide detector reminded me of a post from January of this year.

I believe it's time for me to pull a rerun.

Here's a link to the original post.

Here are the contents repeated in full. Thanks for (re)reading!

Near and Dear to my Heart

Sit back, I'm about to go on a bit of a rant, inspired by a story I read today in the SFGate.

About six or eight years ago, I was living in a small apartment in the South Bay, in a small eight unit building. The building dated back to at least the 1930's, if not earlier, and featured this breathing dragon of a wall heater as its only source to take the chill of cold rainy evenings.

I had gone home to New Mexico for Christmas, and my mom, ever the practical one, had given me a carbon monoxide alarm as a gift.

Fine. Whatever. I took it back to California with me where it sat, unused, in the box for quite a while. A year or more, if truth be told.

One day, I was cleaning up the place when I found that thing and figured, "oh well". I put in the batteries and hung it from my ceiling. Fine. Look at me. Miss Practical.

A couple months later, the damn thing started going off.

I was frustrated. Surely this was defective. Busted. Whatever.

I unscrewed it from the ceiling and moved it farther back.

And the damn thing kept going off.


Fine. So after dealing with the piercing noise for, again, if I’m telling the truth here, several months, I finally called PG&E. I knew it would take them *forever* to fit me in, but whatever.

I told them that my carbon monoxide alarm kept going off and could I get an appointment for someone to come out check.

Anticipating at least 30 days before I got an appointment, I was surprised when, instead, the call dispatcher said, "someone will be there immediately" and further, "open all the doors and windows until someone arrives."

Uh. Ok. Much ado about nothing, right? But at least I'd get quick attention.

Good for their word, a guy showed up within about ten minutes.

He took a reading in the center of the room and said, "I'm going to cap off your gas, you have fatal levels of carbon monoxide in here."

Well blow me over.

Turns out there was a center tube of metal inside the heater that had slid down when the house settled or from age, and it left a crack about an inch wide that was venting the heater right into my apartment.

The next day, I absentmindedly told this story to a friend at work, and she started crying. One of her dearest friends had died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Her life could have been saved with the simple installation of a carbon monoxide alarm, but it was, instead, lost.

When The Good Man moved into our place, I told him this story and said I will never live in a place that does not have a working carbon monoxide alarm.

I refuse.

I was reminded about all of this today when I saw the headline in the local paper say:

Two Bay Area families survive carbon monoxide poisoning

"The mother said the family started feeling sick around midnight...When their symptoms failed to improve in the morning, they headed for the emergency room."

That woman's good thinking saved her family, her kids, her own life.

It scares the crap out of me. Apartments are required to have a smoke alarm, but not a carbon monoxide alarm. They even make dual alarms these days, both fire and carbon monoxide. Easy peasy!

So please, anyone who is reading this, don't hesitate, don't call it "some remote possibility". Don't put it off.

Get thee to a Wal-Mart or a Target or a Home Depot and BUY a carbon monoxide alarm and install it where you will spend most of your time.

Buy two, one for the living room and one for your bedroom. Just do it, okay?

Thanks. Your life matters to me.

November 17, 2009

Karen go *bonk*

I have this nasty little problem.

I fall down.

I'm a faller.

'Tis true. I don't know why this is, I just seem to have a propensity for one moment standing, next moment I'm a tornado of arms and legs and I'm startled to be laying on the ground.

I've had times in my life when it was really, really bad. Especially right after I'd first moved to California.

I am a sensitive kid, and I do tend to get a little sensory overloaded. Moving to California all by my little lonesome could quite handily be filed under "a skosh overwhelming".

In the first six months I lived here, almost daily I either locked my keys in the car or fell down, or both.

It usually happens when I’m a little too much up in my head, not feeling grounded, not paying attention.

The last big fall I took was last December. So see, I'm doing pretty good! I mean, I hardly ever fall down anymore.

I had a really smokin' No Fall streak going...until Saturday.

There I was at the day field trip for my photography class. I was feeling *so* great because I was getting some amazing shots, feeling all artistic, and yes, I'll say it, a little smug and self-satisfied with myself.

And so as I was leaving the Rodin Sculpture garden to scale the concrete steps leading into the Cantor Arts Center, I was smiling to myself, feeling happy, folding up my tripod, bopping along and then, as fate will do, I missed the top step, bobbled, and fell.

My tripod went clattering. My knee hit first, then my elbow, then my chin (oooh, took it on the chin!).

Then, somehow, gravity took over from its old friend momentum, and my legs were then flung askew and above me.

As The Good Man says, "When you can see the sky between your shoes, it's not going to be a good day."

I had the definite sensation that I was going to go clank-clanking down all the stairs. And I knew that would be a bad thing.

So I'm not sure what I did, but I was able to clench, or grab or lean or something, but I stopped my downward thunking progression.


I got myself upright again, and sat on that step, midway down the approximately fifteen-stair set of steps, and just...stopped.

I gazed out on the Rodin Sculpture Garden and shook my head.

And sighed.

My tripod was several feet away, my backpack was laying in the opposite direction, and the camera around my neck was still there, but the telephoto part of my very nice lens was stuck at an odd angle.

If I were skiing, they refer to that as a "yard sale."

Thankfully, only my pride was seriously hurt.

Sorry for the angle up the ol' double cannons there. At least I don’t have crazy nose hair!

November 16, 2009

As Promised

A couple days ago, I alluded to a scouting trip to the Arizona Cactus Garden at Stanford University.

I am taking a photography class and Saturday morning, we had a day field trip that included the Cactus Garden, the mausoleum where Leland Stanford, his wife and child are laid, the Rodin Sculpture Garden at the Cantor Arts Center (I *love* Rodin scupltures!), and the New Guinea Sculpture Garden.

It was an unbelievable day of shooting, getting one-on-one instruction from my wonderful teacher, Marty Springer, and trading ideas and stories with fellow classmates.

For the photography buffs, we were working on both depth of field and exposure compensation all day. For some of the subjects, I took photo after photo trying to find an f-stop that suited me. Oh and the exposure compensation too! A whole new world of better photos has hit me square on!

Next weekend, we do a night shoot where we'll learn about working with light.

Anyhow, below are a couple shots. I took about 350 photos that day. Whew! I put up an online gallery of about 48 of the better shots so my mom, mom-in-law and husband could see what I was up to. You are welcome to take a look as well.


(click image to view full size)

November 14, 2009

I took the plunge

Yup. I waited and waited and finally the persimmon I'd picked and brought inside became ripe. "Like a soft tomato" I'd read was the desired state.

I sliced it open, and gave 'er a shot.

It tastes something like a creamy melon. Normally, "melon" wouldn't be a flavor I like.

But in this case, I found it to be delicious! Still a bit of tannin, but not uncomfortably so.


And *then* I read that eating too much persimmon can cause something really fun called a bezoar! Hooray!

November 13, 2009

Life is like that sometimes

Well now, isn't she a pretty little flower, blushing in the sun?

(click to see full size)

Who would have figured she would be hanging around with a prickly fellow like this?

(click to see full size)

Life is just like that, I suppose! :)

Photos taken by Karen Fayeth (with my iPhone) at the Arizona Cactus Garden at Stanford University.

This was a scouting trip. Stay tuned, there may be more photos taken with a better camera on the way!

Biscuit Monster

So, now that we've gone and cancelled our cable, we live at the whims of what's available on the public airwaves.

This means that I've been watching a lot more PBS lately. There's some really fascinating stuff on there!

So I watched, with moist salivary glands, a show called "Everyday Baking."

Host John Barricelli makes some naughty baked things on that show, and the recipes seem pretty easy.

I told The Good Man that I'd watched the show and was going to try my hand at making homemade biscuits.

That grown man, in a full Cookie Monster voice, said "biscuits?"

This morning, I printed out the recipe and placed it on the counter. I will make them later today to be ready for weekend breakfasts.

Every time The Good Man walked by the counter while getting ready for work and spotted the recipe, I heard "biscuits?!?"

He opened the fridge, "hon, why is there a bunch of cut up butter in here?"

"That's for the biscuits, they said the butter needs to be cold and in small chunks."


As he kissed me goodbye for the day, he bounced on the balls of his feet and uttered one last, "biscuits!?!?"

Oh man, with such Cookie Monster passion about these biscuits, now I'm sort of scared. What if they turn out like flour-y hockey pucks?


Then again, I bought sausage to make sausage gravy. Just about anything tastes ok covered in sausage gravy.

November 12, 2009

Massive Sinkhole in Carlsbad

To quote Avelino on Twitter, my source for the link, "Oh crap"

Oil industry sinkhole threatens to swallow city

Having lived in Carlsbad for a while, I could make some flippant joke, but I won't. This is a pretty freaking serious problem.

Carlsbad and the surrounding areas have been pretty well mangled due to oil and potash mining. I believe it was only a matter of time that something like this happened.

Sometimes it takes something huge to create a wake up call.

Got the good town of Carlsbad on my mind today!

November 11, 2009

A different idea for a Fall decoration

It was long strange series of clicks that landed me on a particular page, written in Russian, but with a really wonderful series of how-to photos on making roses from maple leaves.

Maple leaves?


I was sort of suspicious at first. Was this going to be hard?

And to make it worse, I don't have a Maple tree anywhere nearby. By looking at the photos, it was clear that for this project, you'd need big leaves.

As I gazed out my window, pondering, my eyes landed on the changing leaves of my fig tree.

And so...I carefully collected flexible leaves, brought them inside, followed the photographs...and produced:

Pretty cool, huh?

The fig leaves sort of ooze a fluid when they break, so they may not be the best choice, but they worked!

Oh, and as an afterthought, I tried Google translation...heh a TOTAL afterthought.

Here's the page again, in English.

But honestly, the crafter has done such a fabulous job of step by step photos, who needs words!

Oh Sammy. Why?


Corked bats.


And now this?

Sammy Sosa says skin rejuvenation process reason his skin appears lighter

This is the awesome

Oh, I know, as a seller on Etsy, I should be offended.

But I'm not.

I'm laughing my butt off.


November 10, 2009

While you were toiling away...

...answering emails, suffering the slings and arrows and the whims of management, teaching kids, making deals, working hard, feeling stressed, wondering what it is all about....

This seagull was eating a starfish.

Just thought you'd want to know.

(click image to enlarge, you'll be glad you did. You'll be able to see that he's noshing with his eyes closed. Like this is a super tasty treat. You know how you close your eyes and mmmmm when something is especially tasty. Think of that when you look at this photo)

Image by Karen Fayeth

November 8, 2009

She's here, She's Here!!

Here's the display of the new Crafty Chica products from my very own local store!

And yes, I did procure several items, I couldn't help myself!

Check this list from The Crafty Chica blog to find a store near you!!

And so...what exactly is this creature?

There is a whole tree of these encroaching on my back yard. The tree isn't *in* my yard, it has roots next door, but seems to favor drooping its heavy laden boughs over our fence and dropping its hard skinned orangey fruits on our ground to rot.

I'm told these bad boys are persimmons. Okay, I wasn't told. I eavesdropped on a conversation my neighbor had with a guest. The guest said "Oh! You have persimmons!"

So. There you go.

I have no idea what a persimmon is. Or what to DO with a persimmon. Or what might be good about having a persimmon tree.

I was overwhelmed with joy at the summertime bounty from the apricot tree in our side yard.

But this...this Fall persimmony crop leaves me...unsure.

They sure do make purty pictures tho!

I'm taking a photography class, so be prepared, blog readers. You may have to look at some stuff.

In other news, may the bird of paradise fly up your nose.

That is all from my Sunday backyard wanderings.

November 7, 2009

My (new) People!

My personal genetic heritage is what The Good Man calls "your typical Heinz 57 pan-European".

I'm German-Irish-Scottish-French.

And raised in New Mexico, so I have Hispanic roots, too.

The Good Man is Italian-English-Turkish-Lebanese.

Also a Heinz 57, but much different from my own. These are not all cultures I have a lot of background with, so I'm having a ball learning about my new family heritage.

My rock star Mom-in-Law (the Turkish/Lebanese side) has taught me much about delicious Mediterranean food. (I thought I'd had falafel before. I had not. I'd had a poor imitation. There is a HUGE difference).

Man, I can't believe how long I've been missing out on the good stuff!

And of course, I've always loved Italian food, but oh I had lots to learn.

Like coffee. Now, I like coffee. Ok, I love coffee. It doesn’t always love me back (acidy!). I try to cut back, but can't. And it's not even the caffeine that's a problem! I drink decaf!

I was holding strong, but then my Mom-in-Law gave us a peculiar little device called a Moka Pot. Ok, she gave it to us a while ago, but I've suddenly grown an unnatural attachment to it.

It looks like this.

Big deal, right? Just another way to make coffee?


Oh no, no, no.

It's just another way to make THE MOST DELICIOUS COFFEE EVER!

It's way easy to use. Kind of fun, actually, and makes coffee super fast and delicious!

You don't need some fancy high dollar espresso machine! You need this little pot and a burner. And some coffee to go in there.

Details on how to use it from my Mom-in-Law's blog, Musing By Moonlight (used with permission).


What is more delightful than an espresso (that's eSpresso, not eXpresso) to help move through the day or a caffè correto to end a good dinner and aid digestion? This is an easy-to-learn process using a Bialleti Moka Express, an aluminum stove-top espresso maker. It's well worth the negligible effort. I prefer the moka pot to a machine because I feel more connected to the process and the product, it takes up less real estate in the kitchen, and it's budget wise.

Always, we start with the freshest ingredients: water - clear, cold, and filtered - and freshly ground dark-roasted coffee. My coffee of choice is Peet's Espresso Forte® . Have it ground on #3. Buy it when you know you will use it right away, even if you purchase beans and grind them at home.

The Bialetti Moke Express comes in three parts: the reservoir for water, a coffee filter with funnel for the grounds, and a top piece to capture the espresso as it bubbles up from the bottom. This coffee pot comes in various sizes to make coffee for just two or for up to twelve.

(This is Karen, here's a photo:



Fill the reservoir with water to just below the steam valve. Put the coffee filter in place and fill it with grounds, tamping them lightly with the back of the spoon. Screw the top piece in place.

Put the Moka Express on the highest heat. Watch it because it is quickly done. The espresso will gather in the top chamber. Serve immediately. Sweeten if you like. If you care to, you might add either a lemon peel or, for a caffè correto(corrected), a little grappa.

Caffè latte: One shot fresh, hot espresso for each six ounces of steamed dairy, nut, soy or hemp milk, your choice.

Oh coffee heaven! I like mine with half and half and brown sugar.

I'm starting to like my new genetic heritage! A lot.

(By the by, while I prefer to use Peet's coffee too, since I've been cutting back on expenditures, I'm trying a decaf Italian (water processed) I found at Trader Joe's. Delicious!)

November 6, 2009

Best Line of the World Series

Heard on my local radio sports talk show.

"So the Yankees had their World Series celebration today. I understand that team manager Joe Girardi spoke. Yeah, he got about half way through the speech, then called Mariano Rivera in to finish for him."

: rim shot :

(if you watched any of the American League Post Season, you'll find this not so much funny as shake your head true)

The lovely, genteel, delicate flowers of New Mexico

Hamburger NOT with the ladies who play soccer!

An instructional video for the husbands and boyfriends, maybe?

November 5, 2009

Oh Bliss!

Crafty Chica products returning to Michaels Stores!

Love, love, love all of The Crafty Chica products. When her fabulous items were in stores last year, I made my husband pull off the road to the store in Gilroy (hello, Gilroy? Sooo far away) so I could see if they had the charms, as all three of the stores closer to me were out.

Did I mention...this was on our *honeymoon*? Yup.

That's what The Crafty Chica product line means to me!! (check out my Etsy store, as I use Crafty Chica glitters in much of my work!)

Click the link above for details on which stores will carry the products!

Tomorrow The Crafty Chica unveils the new products on her blog.

I can't wait. : happy jig :

November 4, 2009

Management...hamburger style

Currently, at the building across the way, there are some gentlemen hard at work putting a new roof on the two-story structure.

Roofing has got to be some grueling, backbreaking work, and they've been toiling at this for a few days now.

About an hour ago, all work went quiet over there. I thought maybe they were on a break. They weren't on a break.

It appears they were having a little conference. What they'd call in the corporate world, a "root cause analysis".

I suspect they discovered what, or rather, whom was at the center of the mistake, because I could then hear the supervisor of this project having a one-on-one mentoring conversation, loudly, with his employee.

Let's keep this a family friendly post...for all the instances of the eff word, I will substitute a more appropriate word.

Oh let's have fun with it, let's use the word "hamburger."

Here we go, a faithful recounting of this clearly very hands on and empathetic manager as he guides his employee through a big error.

Remember: hamburger = eff word

"You hamburgered up. You hamburgered this whole thing up. I didn't hamburger up. All the rest of these hamburgering guys didn't hamburger this thing up. What in the hamburgering hell were you thinking? You weren't thinking and you hamburgered this hamburgering thing all to hell. What the hamburger, man?! What the hamburger happened?"

: sound of employee mumbling, trying to explain his reason for hamburgering everything up :

"You what? You what? Who the hamburger told you to do that? I sure as hell didn't hamburgering tell you to do that! Now this whole hamburgering project is running behind and that costs hamburgering money? Do you get that? Do get that you’ve cost every hamburgering one of us some hamburgering time and some hamburgering money?"

: more mumbling :

"Aw man, what the hamburger. Get back to work!"

And with that, all the machines started up again, the smell of tar once again filled the air, and the team of folks got back to roofing.

This, among the many reasons why I feel so fortunate to be able to work a white collar gig. I'm pretty hamburgering sure that if my boss ever talked to me that way, I'd have a pretty good hamburgering lawsuit I'd think about.

Have you ever had a *really* bad day at work?

Betcha it was no where near the bad day this guy had. Whoa!

November 3, 2009

Every once in a while...

You know, my move to California, lo these many years ago, was really a life changing event for me.

Both a mind blower and a mind stretcher, to be sure.

I never really realized how small my world was until I expanded the reach.

In the first several years I lived here, I explored a lot, and I learned to perfect the face that was outwardly calm, while inside my mind was shouting "HOLY EVER LOVING CRAP, DID YOU **SEE** THAT!?!?!?"

I didn't want people think I was a rube, so I learned to keep my shock and awe to myself, as much as possible. Though many times, my natural exuberance took over and it all burbled out.

I mean, in my time here in the big ol' Bay Area, I've seen some pretty wild things.

Ok, by way of example in the first six months living here, I saw my first true campy transvestite. At well over 6'5", she was dressed as Diana Ross. And spectacularly beautiful. And very sweet too, she was lovely to me.

I just didn't really get to see stuff like that where I grew up.

Over the years, a fantastically beautiful transvestite has become but one of an ever growing list things that has blown my mind.

So, this weekend, I had another occasion to have my mind stretched a bit, again.

On Sunday, I went to an event at a local spiritual bookshop. It was a presentation to be given by a Tibetan Monk.

(Yes, yes, I know transvestite to Tibetan Monk is a wild, weird shift in just the course of the first 280 words of this post. Stick with me.)

Ok, yes, so ok. You went to see a Tibetan Monk, blah, blah, blah, how very new age of you. So what, right?

Well, here's the thing. It was a very small event. And by a series of fortunate circumstances, I was given a seat in the front row.

For three hours I sat there less than five feet away from a genuine Tibetan Monk wearing red robes and speaking the Tibetan language.

I heard him speak of his personal experience of being imprisoned by the Chinese and brutally tortured for teaching Buddhism.

You can hear and read stories of torture. You can have a generalized knowledge that these things happen in the world.

But then when a real human being sits there before you and generously tells their story and shares their pain...well, ok, *pop* goes my brain pan.

I am not a practitioner of Buddhism, nor am I here to advocate any sort of political or religious agenda.

I'm actually more just talking from the mind of a little girl who grew up in New Mexico.

I was very touched and very moved by the talk given by this man. I also envied his inner peace and vowed to try to find but a molecule of that within myself.

I've faced some bumpy roads over the past year of my life. Been holding some anger for some people who have been less than kind to me.

When Phagyab Rinpoche said that compassion is the antidote to anger, I listened.

I don't have answers, but I do believe that your life is changed by all the people you meet on the road we call life.

That red robed Tibetan monk got me thinking. And thinking is good. Thinking can lead to healing.

I could use some healing.

November 2, 2009

Spring forward? Yes, please! Fall back? Bah!

Have I ever mentioned that I *love* daylight savings time? Love it. Looooove it.

I can hardly wait each year for the time to change, for the days to grow longer, for it to be warm and sunny and I get to wear cute sandals and short dresses and the feeling of optimism pervades.

Every year, I dread with equal force when time changes back. It's a concession to fall-turns-into-winter. The days grow shorter. I have to wear a freaking jacket. In the Bay Area it's probably raining and pessimism, Seasonal Affective Disorder and endless gray skies pervade.

Last night, at ten minutes to six in the evening, it was pitch-black dark outside.

It won't be long before it's pitch-black dark outside by 5:30.


Everyone chirrups about how "we get that hour back!" and "it's an extra hour of sleep!"

Yeah, even the promise of more sleep can't warm me up to this time change.

At all.

I may be a human, but I'm basically just an animal. The Feline can't tell time. She doesn't really understand why the kibble isn't dropping into the blue bowl at the same time it did two days ago. I mean, she *really* can't understand.

She's yowling at me as I write this. She'd like you to call Kitty Protective Services and report an abuse. Indignant is the adjective that best describes her demeanor.

And really, I can't blame her! I'm hungry too! My internal clock is all off. Sleep isn't happening right. Food is out of whack.

All of my external clocks are a mess too! Some of them fix themselves automatically. Some of them fix automatically, but we wired to make the change a couple weeks ago. Some I have to manually adjust.

What the $%#@ time is it anymore? I need a little precision, people!

Don't even get me started on the people who will lecture that time is but an illusion, a made up method of marking events. Bah! That makes it worse. We made up this measurement device, and then we fiddle with it.

The Feline has it right, I think. She wakes up, she's hungry. Bam. Done. Why we gotta make it harder than that?

While we're on the topic, I'd like to ban alarm clocks. I think it's unnatural to wake your body out of a perfectly nice sleep with a jangling device. I think we should all get to sleep until we're done sleeping, and then get up and face the world.

It would be a much more civilized place if we did.

November 1, 2009

Hometown Goodness!

"New Mexico State University graduate and Aztec, N.M., native Mike Everitt will be behind home plate tonight as the chief umpire when the Philadelphia Phillies play host to the New York Yankees at 6:20 p.m. (MST) in Game 4 of the World Series."

And here, telling Jorge Posada that despite his whining, he's OuuuuuuuT!

Source: Las Cruces Sun News

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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.