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October 29, 2010

Never Underestimate

Here in my home, I have this cat that I managed to acquire by marriage, and is now part of my family. I'd had cats before so I knew what to expect going in.

But this cat is something different. Something special. Something about half a bubble off plumb.

Despite rightly being called a "special needs" cat, owing to suffering an especially high fever during her kittenhood, sometimes the wisdom of this not-always-so-smart pet just blows me away.

This cat has no patience for anyone. She wants to sit on your lap, but you're not allowed to actually touch her. Give her a skritching and you'll face the grip of her steely jaws.

Food must be delivered on time, or preferably early, or a string of thuggish behavior will ensue that begins with knocking things over and culminates in all out attacks on appendages.

She likes to fight before settling down for sleep at night, often leaving The Good Man with red marks on his arms.

She's rasty, moody and rather obsessive compulsive.

And, may I mention again, she has no patience for anyone. Or really...anyone who lives in the same house with her.

Guests? Oh, guests are great. She mews coquettishly and rubs legs and climbs up in laps and accepts chin scratches with chirrups and purrs and loving eyes.

In short, the cat is a tart. She'll give it away to anyone who visits, but for the folks at home...nothing. But here's where my heart grows soft. This silly, rasty, bitey cat is especially kind to kids.

Yesterday evening, a dear friend brought her eighteen-month-old daughter over to my place to watch Game 2 of the World Series. Her husband is on business travel and she wanted company.

Many cats I know will run hide under the bed when a toddler enters the room.

Not this cat. She adores children. The moment that toddler's toes hit the ground, we heard "kitty!" and it was off to the races.

The toddler pulled The Feline's tail, poked her ears and repeatedly hugged the kitty rather roughly. Did the cat run, bite or get nasty?

Nope. She went right back in for more, letting the child maul her while she head butted and purred.

Later, the cat was asleep up on top of her favorite perch, a stack of blankets on an old steamer truck. The toddler noticed the cat again, as though she'd never seen her before, squealed "kitty!" and went racing over.

I kept a close eye on things as I feared The Feline's patience was running thin. Toddler got a hold of tail and pulled hard. "No, no," I said, "We don't pull the kitty's tail." The toddler looked at me like I'd lost my mind, but let go.

At that moment, The Feline extended her paw out and I thought, "uh oh."

Then my rasty, tacky, bitey cat laid her paw (claws very much retracted) very gently on the baby's forehead. It was sort of like a "that's ok kid, you can pull my tail. We're all good."

And the baby giggled.

It was one of the most gentle and sweet gestures I've ever seen between two beings. They found a simpatico.

Again I'm amazed at the...well, I'd use the word humanity, but that wouldn't apply to a cat...the felinity?...that this little animal displayed.

I'm not much of an animal rights activist type person, but I will say this...never underestimate the soul of an animal. There is personality and spirit that is much to be respected.

Even a wacky, not quite right, bites my toes when I sleep kind of animal like mine.

Taken with my iPhone 4 using the Hipstamatic iPhone app

October 28, 2010

The Power of a Good PR Rep

Here in the Halloween season, it's hard not to have one's mind turn to thoughts of monsters.

Goolish, creepy, scary monsters.

We all have the cast of characters from our childhood (or even adulthood) that can still send a chill down the ol' spine.

For me, it's La Llorona. Just saying her name aloud creeps me out.

But didja ever stop and think a bit about the positive characters in our folklore that are more than a little creepy?

Maybe our beloved heroes are really the biggest monsters.

Think about it.

Let me give you an example, without the positive PR spin.

Kids, guess what!? There is this lady, see? She's something called a fairy and that means she's pretty tiny and probably has wings on her back.

Do you know what this lady likes (and by like I mean is obsessed with)?

Your teeth.

Yes, she loves little kids teeth SO much she will even pay for them!

Be careful when you go to sleep at night because this wacked out winged lady is going to break into your house and steal your teeth! Sure, she might leave you a quarter or for lucky kids, a dollar.

Keep your mouth closed while you sleep, kids! She may steal the rest right out of your maw while you sleep!

Or, try this one on:

How does Santa Claus look to a kid growing up in Brazil?

So, December 25th is the dead of summer to you. You're wearing shorts and tank tops and hoping for a break in the heat.

On that one special night, some fat Nordic man in a snowsuit (you gotta be crazy to wear a snow suit in summer!) is going to show up, break into your house, and leave you toys. All your favorite toys.

Wait? How does Kris The Fat Man know exactly what toys you wanted?

Because he sees you when you are sleeping. He knows when you are awake.

The fat Nordic man is a stalker, kids. Can you say stalker?

I suggest you take out a restraining order now.

Ok, are you starting to see what I'm saying here?

Wanna try one more?

There is this rabbit, see? And in April, as a way to celebrate Spring, the rabbit will come to your house and leave you eggs.

But kids, you learned in your science class that a rabbit is something called a mammal, and mammals don't lay eggs!

Whoops! Where does this strange bunny get all these eggs and why does he hide them?

And...bunnies don’t have opposable thumbs, so how is he getting these eggs dyed in bright colors?

And why is he trying to lure all the little kids outside with promises of jellybeans and chocolate? Didn't your parents tell you not to take candy from strangers?

What kid of sick, twisted, walks on two feet kind of rabbit is this?

Though in this horror story, the kids get the final revenge.

They are presented with a chocolate effigy of the offending monster and are encouraged to bite the head off.

So wait a minute.

Maybe that means....just maybe...we are all the monster.


October 27, 2010

New Mexico - In the World Series!

As if I needed more to cheer about when my San Francisco Giants take the field tonight vs the Texas Rangers:

Ya'll know Cody Ross, the NLCS MVP winner, hot hitter, Ross the Boss, solid outfielder picked up on wavers when Florida dumped salary. Solid, right?

Guess what?

He's a New Mexico boy. Born in Portales. Raised in Carlsbad.


Here's a great article from the Carlsbad Current Argus

Cheers to The Good Man for the tip off on this bit of knowledge!

Hmm, What is There To Talk About?

Gosh. Slow day. What possibly is there to discuss?

Can't quite figure it out.

There has to be *something* we can chat about here on my little ol' blog.

Let me look at the local newspaper.

Upcoming elections. Sure. Whitman and Brown, running waddled neck to waddled neck.

Not much to add to that.

Volcano, earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia. Yikes. A lot of people hurt and killed. Tragic. What more can I say? My thoughts are with the people of Indonesia as they try to get their normal lives back.

Charlie Sheen trashed a hotel room while buck naked. Wish I could say that Sheen could get a normal life back, but I'm not sure he knows what that is. Can't really get any energy to discuss that Hollywood oddity today.

Stock market is down a bit. Dollar is down a bit. Gold is up.

There is something nibbling at the edge of my mind, something I should talk about today.

Why can't I quite put my finger on it?



I know.

The World Series starts tonight. Game 1. San Francisco Giants vs the Texas Rangers.



A reward for long suffering fans like...oh...me.

Humm baby!

Click here for Expert predictions. Here's a sneak preview...most aren't picking the Giants to win.

October 26, 2010

I'll Use My Powers for Good and Not Evil

For reasons I could explain, but are banal and long winded, I'll just cut to the chase and tell you that I've been thinking a lot about superheroes lately.

Good superheroes. Dark superheroes. Flawed superheroes. Just...superheroes and their super powers.

Which got me to thinking today, as I waited in the lunch line, what sort of superpowers would I like to have if I got to choose?

I think things like seeing through buildings, swinging from webs or having adamantium claws are all well and good, but realistically, are they useful?

Flashy yes, but wouldn't something a little more down to earth be more desirable?

Here are a couple ideas on the sorts of superpowers I'd lean toward:

The ability to eat whatever I want and not gain weight

Imagine it! I could save the world from illness and obesity by eating up all the snack foods!

Mayors could simply project a cookie in the sky and I'd come a'runnin'!

"Step aside small child, let me save you from that cotton candy."

Or how about...

The ability to sleep for only two hours but feels like I slept eight

Can you *imagine* all the good I could do for the world if I only slept a few hours but felt fully rested! I could move mountains! I could persuade world leaders! I could travel long distances and not feel sleepy!


Ok, maybe that's a lame one.

So let's try:

The ability to read small print without squinting

Zap! Pow! Ka-zam!

I shall help out senior centers by announcing, "Bring me that medicine bottle! I will read every ingredient printed in a half-point font!"

Menus will hold no sway over me!

My Kindle can be set to the smallest font available!

My browser window can be reduced back to normal size!

I can save the world, or just myself, really, from the scourge of crow's feet!

Oh, no, ok, I got it!

The ability to endure small people with a single sigh

It's the key to world peace, truly.

(and I don't mean short people....)

Now...I need a cape! Time to shop!

October 25, 2010

Round and Round

The past couple weeks I've participated in the Theme Thursday challenge. A fresh topic is presented each Thursday and over the next week, bloggers interpret the theme.

Cool, right? I sure think so.

The first couple weeks were pretty easy. The words were game and knot and I happily interpreted them in my own way.

This week, the theme word is wheel.

It's one of those deceptive words. It seems so easy. Simple. Complete. Because it's so simple and ubiquitous, it actually becomes hard to narrow down a single interpretation of the word wheel and go with that.

So I won't.

Here's a real time brainstorming session. All the ways wheel speaks to me:

Ferris wheel. Uncle Cliff's in Albuquerque. I'm kid, waiting in line. That incredible view of the lights of the city when I'm up there at the top and it pauses a moment just to let you sit. Yeah. The smell of cotton candy and corn dogs wafting up. That's summer.

The Wheel of Fortune Tarot card. Round and round.

The Wheel of Fortune television show. Vanna, pick me a letter.

The wheels on a car. Man are tires expensive. Yesterday it rained like it meant it here in the Bay Area. The first big rain of the season. We drove up to San Francisco, and it became very clear that The Good Man's car needs tires soon.

The steering wheel. Remembering gripping that big wheel when I learned to drive in my dad's 1972 Chevy Blazer. Blue. Four wheel drive. I loved that truck.

"Wheel in the sky keeps on turning..." Who did that song? Gonna have to Google it. Oh yeah. Journey. Weirdly, Steve Perry has been in the ballpark during the San Francisco Giants baseball playoffs. The park has been playing "Don't Stop Believing" and Perry has been leading the singalong. Hell, if Steve Perry is the Lucky Stuff that got us to the World Series, I'll take it.

Wheels, as used in baseball. Referring to the feet, especially of a fast runner. "Man, that Andres Torres has some wheels! Did you see how fast he got to first base?"

If you say the word wheel to yourself long enough, it starts to sound weird. Wheeeel. Wheeeeeeeeel. Have you seen that Geico commercial with the little piggy going wheee wheee wheee all the way home?

Asleep At The Wheel, what a great band. Saw 'em play live at the Pan Am Center in Las Cruces. Danced my booty off. Fun!

Business lingo: "Let's not reinvent the wheel." Though lately that's been replaced by the equally lame phrase, "Let's not try to boil the ocean." Argh! Take your low hanging, wheel inventing, consensus building, suit wearing phrases and stick them in your.... *curse words redacted* for the sake of my mom, who reads my blog.

Ok, I think that's enough. There's more where that came from, but ten interpretations of the word wheel is plenty.

And there you have it.

Photo by Tamás Schauermann and provided royalty free via stock.xchng

October 22, 2010

Keep Yer Politics Out of My Baseball

I have spent the past seven months watching my favorite baseball team, the San Francisco Giants, play incredibly imperfect (some say torturous) baseball.

I've experienced agony, ecstasy, and near ulcers but still I have watched because I'm a longtime fan. I've been there at Candlestick Park. I've been there at PacBell, SBC, AT&T Park. Heck, I've been there at Scottsdale Stadium.

Oh, I've been there.

I knew Tim Lincecum and Pablo Sandoval when they were playing for the farm team San Jose Giants.

Because I've been there, too.

And now...oh NOW that the team is getting coverage for making it to the National League Championship Series (NLCS) do all the politics and politicians come out in their shiny suits and gelled up hair to act like they've been there all along.

Our playoffs are their political opportunity.


Baseball is not politics! Politics are not baseball!

The two don't mix because baseball has its own politics, thank you VERY much.

We don't need your stupid campaigning faces jack o' lantern grinning out of the stands, Ms. Boxer, Ms. Fiorina and Mr. Newsom.

I shall not vote for the lot of you!

And then....

There is the whole ongoing kefuffle regarding the BART policeman who shot an allegedly rambunctious BART rider in the back.

The case and the video footage from that day are a highly sensitive and a very concerning issue for the Bay Area for a lot of reasons.

The case went to trial. The jury made a decision. The case is pending sentencing.

So now both sides have decided to take their personal issues to the baseball game by painting banners, attaching them to sailboats and setting sail for McCovey Cove.

You know, McCovey Cove, famous for all the boats, pontoons and kayacks sailing about when Barry Bonds played for the Giants and regularly dunked homeruns in the water?

McCovey Cove, famous for Friday "Beer Can Regatta" sailboat races.

McCovey Cove, that beautiful body of water that sits next to my beautiful ballpark and helps make it one of the most unique sporting locations in the world.

As the Fox Sports cameras seek out something to focus on as we cut to commercial, the cove is always a favored spot, owing to the beautiful views.

But this week, the cameras take in the "Free Mehserle" or "Justice for Oscar Grant" signs, and our own problems here in the Bay Area take precedence over the baseball game.

It's a game. Just a game. It's supposed to be fun.

How about I think about politics and other difficult issues when the season is over, ok?

(McCovey seen to the right in this photo of AT&T Park)

Photo From 22Gigantes

October 21, 2010

The Big Blue Chill

Ok, I'm bouncing back from complete blogger lock up yesterday with the assistance of the idea generator.**

Today's topic: Name five things in your freezer

So without further ado, here are the first five things that came to mind while sitting at my desk at work:

1. Green chile

Only a small amount, but those few bags of the good stuff make me ridiculously happy.

Roasted it myself!

2.A bag of really, really good coffee

French roast. Ground for a melitta. Just. Yum.

Honestly, I'm not really supposed to drink coffee. It doesn’t agree with me or my tummy (or my esophagus, actually).

So when I indulge, it better be the ding-dang good stuff.

And this is it.

Served with real half and half and brown sugar, if you please.

3. A bottle of Siberian vodka

Hand carried to The Good Man by our friend who grew up in Siberia and made a visit home to see family. We coddle this one bottle of the good stuff like a colicky baby. It's deeeelicious. Smooth. Perfect.

Best when sipped straight from the freezer.

4. Frozen fruit

I'm a little bit obsessed with making smoothies. Fruit juice, almond butter, a little egg white powder for protein, and a bunch of frozen fruit.


Totally addicted. Now...there is a LOT of sugar in there, so I have to limit it to only one or two a week. I could have a smoothie three or four times a day if I'd let myself.


I get twitchy when we are out of frozen fruit. There is a Northwest Triple Berry Mix you can get at Costco that rocks the house. Marion berries, raspberries and blueberries.

Yes, please.

5. Several of those blue freezer thingies that you put in an ice chest.

What the hell is that blue stuff made of anyway?

Seriously. I've never had one break on me, but I always wonder what sort of biochemical hazard would occur if one of those bad boys was leaked out upon the world.

Hmm...maybe that's the basis for my new blockbuster screenplay. A truck carrying a load of those blue packs overturns. Through a series of unfortunate events, thousands of the blue packs are burst open.

The blue stuff takes on the world! Freezing things on contact. Sort of "The Blob" meets Medusa meets Outer Limits.

I like it!

**The idea generator has been pretty maudlin of late. Questions of death and dying, faith, etc. It just wasn't working for me. I need fun, silly and weird to get The Muse off the couch.

October 20, 2010

Blog Post Title

Opening sentence that is witty, sets the tone, or is outlandish. This first paragraph should get the reader's attention and make them want to read more.

Second paragraph. This one explains about the topic at hand. In most cases this will tell a story, give some background, or provide some research. A wild and wacky childhood story is always useful to make a point.

Third paragraph. This is the life lesson. The what I learned. The what this means to me. The how this should make you feel. Or a shared moment of awe, laughter or a call to action.

Fourth paragraph. Sum it up. Bring it all to a conclusion. Tie up the threads. Make it all make sense.

End with a quote, something profound, or just be silly.

(fun .jpg that visually represents the blog post)

**Today's blog post brought to you by the museless writer known as Karen Fayeth

***For something kick ass, check out the National Geographic Photo of the Day titled, West Texas Cowboy.

October 19, 2010

Gimme Air! *gasp*

Someone explain to me why, exactly, these beautiful large windows in my office don't open?

When I look outside I see a warm fall breeze rustling the trees that grow near the building. I'm only a few floors up, at a perfect height to take FULL advantage of a lovely breeze off the nearby water.

But like some Bubble Boy, I can only look. And yearn.

Recently, the Facilities team made the decision to switch the HVAC system over to heat. This decision was made despite the fact that this "crisp" October day is currently a balmy 65 degrees outside.

So today it's stuffy in here. Very, very stuffy.

To me, this is a perfect day to turn off all heating and cooling devices, throw open the windows and invite Indian Summer to come inside. We can have a glass of iced tea and talk over the affairs of the world in slow and languid tones.

But noooo. I have super double thick unbreakable can't get through 'em even if you throw a chair at them bird-poop-covered glass windows.

I mean...I'm glad that at least I get to see the outside. I could be in the center of the building with no view to the outside world.

But still. I yearn.

After lunch, when I was a bit hotted up after taking a walk, I switched on the fan in my office. It's under my desk.

I'm not going to lie to ya, the way that fan is pointed? It's blowing up my skirt.

Rather refreshing, but it's no substitute for a nice Fall breeze coming through an open window.

Photo by Lea Csontos from Stock Xchng free stock photo site.

October 18, 2010

He Spoke to Me

Do you have any idea how powerful it was when I read the following poem, written by Shel Silverstein as part of his book "Where the Sidewalk Ends?"

Listen to the mustn'ts, child.
Listen to the don'ts.
Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts.
Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me...
Anything can happen, child.
Anything can be.

I don't know how old I was, ten or twelve maybe? But to have an adult, especially such a surly looking adult, say something like that to me!


This past weekend, I pulled "Where the Sidewalk Ends" off my shelf and gave it a new read. It had been years. Maybe even decades.

And that poem, it still stopped me in my tracks.

I just finished a biography of Shel Silverstein called "A Boy Named Shel" that I found, of all places, at the Dollar Store.

I'm not going to lie to ya, the biography is not the greatest writing I've ever encountered. In fact, it's pretty bad, worthy of the venue in which it was purchased. That said it did give me some (hopefully true) insight into the life of the very prolific writer, cartoonist, songwriter and playwright.

I learned from this biography that Silverstein's mind was constantly in motion, constantly creating without restrictions.

I only know of a few creative people in my life that are *constantly* channeling The Muse. One of them might even be related to me.

I'm pretty creative and am usually chock full of ideas, but I also go through extended periods of time of writer's or crafter's block. Perhaps for me, these are quiet periods that are essential to my own creative process, because as frustrating is to be creatively constipated, I usually come through it stronger.

I have learned that The Muse will return if I just relax and let her go. She always comes back.

It's funny, sometimes seeing art or meeting a creative person will touch off a creative spark inside of me, thus breaking through the blockades. Through the words of his poems, Shel Silverstein did that for me this weekend. I started a new art project and I did photography and I felt the creatives begin to whisper in my ear, which always gives me such satisfaction.

I understand that Silverstein was a mentor to many of his friends. He would push them to create more, to push the bounds of their art and to be better artists.

Silverstein died in 1999, but his words remain powerful. They speak to me as loudly today as they did when I was young.

Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.

Photo From BigHeartDesign.com

October 15, 2010

Growing Into My Opinions

A knot of anxiety, excitement and trepidation tangled up in my gut as I approached the table and handed my driver's license to the severe looking woman with a ruler in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.

I was a trembling 19 year old, and it was time to vote in my first presidential election. She would be the first poll worker I'd encounter in my young life, but not the last.

I'd been raised in a very conservative home and since dear ol' dad was a staunch Republican, he had let me know pretty clear who he thought should be the choice. But mostly he was just very clear that I should vote.

On polling day, I knew I had the right to make my own choices, so I thought a lot about both candidates and what they promised. With my mind made up, nervous but ready, I went into the polling booth and cast my vote.

There was a very satisfying tactile response from the voting machine. Click, click, click, then yank the lever. The curtains pop open like a low budget talent show, aaaaand you're done.

I've voted in every presidential election since my first in 1988. My choices have ranged over the years from conservative to liberal, up down, back and forth, east and west. I always vote after doing some research and doing a gut check to see what I think is right.

My choices have not always been the victor or even popular, but that's ok. My vote was cast.

Over the years, I didn't usually vote in the minor elections or even the mid-terms, but since moving to California, I've been better about that. I've voted in almost all the elections that have passed through, including the elections where there wasn't much to vote about.

And so here in mid-October, it's time to start thinking about voting again. November 2nd looms large on the horizon.

For the State of California, this is a big election. We choose a new governor from two really poor choices (I don't want to vote for either one, but I guess I'll have to pick). This is also a big election for the country as many Congressional seats are up for election.

Even if you think your vote doesn't matter, please, I'm asking you nicely, get out and vote.

Many candidates and pundits are not only expecting that people won't vote, in some cases, they are counting on the fact that certain demographics won't vote.

Prove 'em wrong. Vote anyway. Vote just because you can. Vote because it's the one of the few times you feel like you get to make your voice heard.

I'm not here to lobby one side against the other.

I'm not here to back any candidate.

I'm not here to back any party's agenda...

I'm just saying...vote, ok?

As a final thought...

A few years ago I signed up to vote by mail. It makes things very easy, and I'm more likely to cast my vote in any given election because of this simple process.

But sometimes I do miss that nervous knot I still get in my gut when walking into a polling place. It's so official, almost ceremonial. There is a reverence for voting that you can only get at an official polling place.

The word knot is the subject of this week's Theme Thursday

October 13, 2010

An Open Letter on Behalf of Mankind

Dear engineer-type gentleman I just passed on the way into the cafeteria:

I appreciate that today is pretty warm day. The weatherman predicts temps as high at 95 degrees where we are.

I also appreciate that when the weather heats up, it's always nice to release your legs from the tyranny of pants.

Fair enough.

Given that our employer favors a "business casual" environment, shorts are, for the most part ok.

What I take issue with, sir, is not that you are wearing shorts, but rather the shorts you chose to wear. That garment was obviously bought in or around the year of 1985 when both you and Larry Bird had the legs to pull off a pair of uncomfortably short shorts.

The year is now 2010 and neither you nor Mr. Bird should put people through this. It's a lot to deal with while strolling the campus of this very conservative and well-respected multi-national corporation.

I fear for your manhood when you sit, good sir, because there is not enough cloth available, given the dimensions of your now engineer-like body, to cover all that needs to be covered.

No. Don't bend over. Please. I'm begging you.

Just take your cheeseburger and fries and head back to whatever research lab you emerged from.

I shall go cleanse my eyes with a Brillo pad.

Let's not have this chat again, eh?

Warm regards,


The Final Tally

Yesterday, while in the course of doing my job, I had occasion to personally speak with:

1 Romanian
1 Swede
2 Spaniards
3 Brits
1 Australian
1 Italian
Numerous Americans
And 1 former NFL football player (Packers and Redskins)

All of this happened before lunchtime.

Gee. This job is kind of fun!

(The long distance bill from my desk phone will be quite something to behold)

October 11, 2010

San Francisco Giants!

With a win over Atlanta, my boys are headed to the National League Championship Series! They don't win pretty, but they manage to win.

Hand me a glass of champagne and two Prilosec! My tummy isn't ready to face Philly!

Listless In San Francisco

In searching for something to entice The Muse to put down her bons bons and get off her settee, I like to search around for pages offering help to flagging bloggers.

Just about every page I visit suggests creating posts with lists.

I see it all over: "list posts are very popular!"

  1. Really? With who?

  2. Perhaps the who doesn't matter as much as the what

  3. I'm not sure lists are my thing

  4. Maybe on this one I should go against my own grain

  5. And make a list

  6. A list for the listless

  7. (Yes, I went there)

  8. How about a blog post where the contents ARE the list

  9. No well thought out collection of ideas

  10. No useful reference guide

  11. Just random thoughts

  12. listlitized

  13. Which is so not a word but I don't care

  14. I mean, does it count as a list if it's not

  15. a clean, well organized list?

  16. I think it does

  17. In fact, I think it makes it better

  18. Maybe people will even want to

  19. read to the end

  20. instead of scanning down the list

  21. Which I am totally guilty of doing

  22. Maybe

  23. I should leave

  24. Some blank list items

  25. Just to make it confusing

  26. Or maybe

  27. Lists

  28. Are just too darn orderly for my disordered mind

October 8, 2010

Smell Like A Monster!

Grover in just a towel is super hawt! And a little furry.

A Sesame Street take on the Old Spice commercials:

Game 1 - Game On!

It may be time for Primal Scream therapy.

As a long-suffering San Francisco Giants fan, it's hard to wrap my tiny mind around my Giants being back in the post season.

The last time I watched my team in the post season, it was 2003 and Pudge Rodriguez (then with the Marlins) was counting coup over the body of JT Snow, laid flat across home plate, the last out of the fifth game of the first round.

It aches.

The year before that, in 2002, I watched my team go to the seventh game of the World Series...and lose.

That's more of a soul searing pain.

So while I'm very happy my lowly Giants have made it to the postseason once more, it's not without some trepidation on my part.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Fool me three times? Welcome to Giants fandom. Here's your orange gear and your Costco pack of Prilosec.

This one is going to burn.

Last night was Game 1 against the Atlanta Braves, our old nemesis. The Giants history with the Braves is deep. Bobby Cox, in his retirement year, still has plenty in the tank and a good bullpen. Even plagued by injuries, the Braves are a team to be taken seriously.

At 6:37pm, The Good Man and I turned on the radio, dug into our positions on the couch, and held on for dear life while Tim Lincecum (nicknamed The Freak) blithely struck out 14 hitters and the Giants won the game 1-0.


Whew. Good. Ok. Got that pent up energy out.

Now. On to Game 2.

May this delicious agony last a very long time.

AP Photo by Ben Margot, from ESPN.com

This post is not only about fandom, it also fulfills a Theme Thursday challenge.

October 7, 2010


Not gonna explain why.

Just going to say this photograph made me well up.

Miss you, my Fair New Mexico

(Photo by Dean Hanson of the Albuquerque Journal)

Photo source: Albuquerque Journal

The Well Went Dry

I guess my insightful marbles and rubber chicken post yesterday tapped out The Muse.

I'm at another lean spell on blog topics. So you know what that means!

Imagination Prompt roulette!

A spin of the wheel and away we go!!

Your present job makes you...

Able to pay the rent and buy groceries and every once in a while, a stupidly expensive bauble.

One food you would never give up is...

What?!? Give up a food?!? : looks around suspiciously :

Never! You can't take me and my twinkies alive!

Nothing matters...

You're telling me.

(I don't make these up...they come straight off the prompt)

I remember when...

...my dad used to start a sentence with "I remember when..." and then I'd turn up the television just a little bit louder.

Why do you feel like you do right now?

A carefully managed concoction of sugar, fat, salt, and vodka. Lots and lots of vodka.

What's the coolest piece of technology you work or play with?

I work for the most austere tech company in the world. We don't make cool. We make reliable.

So that lets out the work part of the question.

Play with? Well, the husband has an iPad which is VERY cool. When he got that, I got his MacBook Air. I know the technology is a couple years old but I'm deeply enamored of this little thin machine. It's beautiful and reliable and it makes the PC on my workdesk look like a hunchback.

What's the last piece of art you made?

Ok, now we're in my wheelhouse!

I think it was the three small canvases that I turned in for the Brooklyn Art House Co-Op project. I mailed those out on Sept 1.

That's a LOOONG dry spell of not creating any art.

I'd better get on that.

High school reminds you of...

Horrible dark things I shant share here.

I generalize about _____ because...

... _____ is so specific.

Why now?
Because I'm booked later.

Could you stay in bed all day and think?

Yes. I could also stay in bed all day and not think if anyone is looking for that talent.

Today when I put on my pants, I...

Double checked I'd zipped my fly. Otherwise it's too drafty.

Money is _____ and here's why

Wait. I thought _____ was specific. Now it's specifically money?

I have the golden touch!

Woo hoo!

I'm off to go spend my _____ all around town.

And there we have it.

Thanks for tuning in through the latest edition of Writer's Block!

October 6, 2010

I've Lost My Marbles!


There they are! In my hand!

Oooh how I love marbles. I was in a Diddams party store today and I generally revert to about ten years old when I get in that store.

Sensory overload!

It was the bin of marbles that really did me in. That's grade school, baybee! We used to have mad marble competitions on the playground.

Damnit, I sucked at sports but I was GOOD at marbles.

I remember winning a very big and very pretty shooting marble from a bully of a boy. He was SO ticked off at me.

What did I do? I giggled, dropped the marble in my pocket, and walked away.

That's how I roll (pun TOTALLY intended!).

Ain't nothing better than a big bin of marbles.

Unless, of course, it's a big bin of rubber chickens!

(All photos taken with my iPhone)

October 5, 2010

Continuing a Theme

Yesterday I talked about being nice to yourself by packing a good lunch, if packing a lunch for work is the kind of thing you do.

Today I thought I'd take it a step further and talk about a guy where I work who has taken this self-care thing to a whole new level.

I've encountered this gentleman, an older fellow, small, slight, and very nice, several times in the hallways and break room. What's unique about this man is that every week he brings a half gallon of ice cream to work.

Not just any sort of ice cream, but a half gallon of Baskin Robbins. The good stuff.

He brings in a variety of flavors. One week it was mint chip, another it was strawberry. There has been rocky road, plain ol' chocolate, and a cherry concoction that looked yummy.

Every afternoon around 3:00, you'll find him in the break room scooping out a small bowl of ice cream. He has a ceramic bowl and a real spoon and he serves up a nice treat for himself. I can tell he really enjoys it.

There is almost a ritualistic quality to this process of scooping out, consuming and later cleaning the dishes.

I gotta say, I have mad respect for the guy.

Personally, all will power goes out the door for me when in the presence of ice cream, so I couldn't make a half gallon last all week. I'd be eating the entire container on Monday and crying my eyes out feeling fat Tuesday through Friday.

But I respect that he can limit himself to a small bowl and can *really* enjoy that bowl once a day.

There's something so right about living that way.

October 4, 2010

A Little Bit of Kindness at the Office

Last night, before going to bed, I took some extra time to prepare a batch of my delicious chicken salad.

I took care to make it a good batch, filled with perfectly grilled chicken, not too much mayo and my secret ingredients that make it, in my opinion, the best chicken salad ever.

Then, when the batch was made, taste tested and found to be perfect, I loaded it up into a container.

I packed that container along with an already packed container of soup, a bag of my favorite chips, and a bit of cough syrup into a small shopping bag.

This little bag of goodness was meant to go to work with me Monday morning.

I'm not trying to save money, although packing my lunch meets that goal.

What I AM trying to do is take good care of myself.

How many people think they *should* take their lunch to work, then pack a dried up lunch meat sandwich, a mealy apple and a bag of pretzels?

Or, even worse, they toss a Healthy Choice frozen entrée into their work bag and think that will satisfy them for the afternoon.


I approach packing my lunch with all the care a doting mother would shower upon her cherished child.

It's like a love letter from Sunday Night Me to Monday Morning Me. A gift. A bit of home to remind me that even though I must work in a standard gray cubicle farm, I'm still an individual. I’m different.

I matter enough to have Sunday Night Me go to the effort to make something nice and not just something slapped together.

I actually look forward to my lunch today. I'm not looking for ways to get out of eating what's in the office fridge. Nope, I can hardly wait until noon.

And I'll eat my meal prepared with love and I will feel loved and I will know that I did a very good thing for myself.

Heck, caught up in the swell, I almost want to write myself a note to surprise me at the bottom of the lunch bag.

"Have a good day, dear. Someone at home loves you."

October 3, 2010

Another for my NM Home Crew

From the Blog of Unnecessary Quotes

All the more funny because all my New Mexico folks know that Clines Corners is definitely NOT worth stopping for.

Unless you have to pee


you've been driving that vast wasteland up highway 285 from Roswell and you just HAVE to see another human being to assure yourself that other humans still exist in the world.

But other than that.....

October 2, 2010

It's been a while

It's been a while since I had a fabulous news story about another Notable New Mexican.

From The Smoking Gun:

"The New Mexico man who earlier this year mistakenly defecated in a stranger’s car--believing it was his girlfriend’s vehicle--has cut a plea deal sparing him jail time."

This after he threw a cinder block through the glass door where she works.


The article goes on to state that this charming gent has since enlisted in the Army.

Curse you PowerPoint!

Oh how you vex me.

Sure, so the boss of my boss says...."Karen, put together a couple slides on [insert name of project here]."

And because I am that kind of employee, I say, "Yes boss!"

Then I when the boss is out of earshot, I sigh. Deeply. Loudly.

Then I make motions not unlike a cat would when being shoved into a mailbox.

Then I open up a blank PowerPoint screen with the company approved slide template.

And I sigh again.

It mocks me. The blank slide mocks me.

The company approved slide template has a graphic and logo running down the left side and the bottom of each page.

This takes up valuable real estate on every slide.

In this already limited space further limited by the corporate branding, I've been asked, essentially, to describe the d'être for my department.

My powerful team and successful program that was a decade in the making by my very talented predecessor.

I'm to boil that down to a few salient bullet points, format them in the corporate way and in corporate colors.

I have to make all the bullet symbols line up. And the font on every page should match in typeface and size. If I put in a table of numbers, all the numbers should line up like obedient school children.

I haven't even BEGUN to discuss "transitions" where you have your text come swooping in or looping out or emerging from thin air. I hate transitions. I really, really hate them.

I'm not *good* at PowerPoint. There are some people in this world who can make magic happen with the PowerPoint software. Unfortunately I am not one of these people.

One would think with my creative mind that I'd be all up and over PowerPoint. Nope. See, the times when I've gotten clever in the ol' PowerPoint, I've received dismissive looks and suggestions for edits. My sense of humor doesn't really translate to the rigid slide format produced by the PowerPoint software.

No. Must maintain a professional attitude. Must use a tool with SO many moving parts it could make the Pope cuss (you suppose they use PowerPoint at the Vatican?).

Must do a good job on this as I'm only sixty days into this new job. Must help them continue to think I was worth hiring.

Must make PowerPoint magic.

Oh and did I mention...this all must be done by Monday?

October 1, 2010

Goodbye to a Mentor

I was shocked earlier today to hear the news that Stephen J. Cannell, prolific television series creator and author, has passed away from cancer.

Last year I had the chance to meet Mr. Cannell at book signing for his Shane Scully novel, "On The Grind".

That day at my local library, I was feeling especially low about my prospects as a writer.

After a fantastic talk with details about his journey from being a dyslexic child to creator of such shows as The Rockford Files, 21 Jump Street, and The A-Team, I wanted to ask Mr. Cannell if he had any suggestions for a better way to query agents with my own writing.

I waited until the entire line had gotten their autographs and no one waited to distract, then I walked up to Mr. Cannell, a Hollywood legend by anyone's standards, and I boldly asked him my question.

What followed was not just an answer, but an almost thirty minute long conversation in which Mr. Cannell was supportive, asked questions, gave advice, mentored, guided and encouraged me.

At the end of the conversation, when his handlers were pushing him out the door, he took out a piece of paper and wrote down a phone number. He told me to call his office to schedule a continuation to the conversation.

I was beyond geeked out that he would be so generous. I tried calling and spoke with his admin several times, but given Mr. Cannell's crazy hectic schedule, I was never able to speak with him again. No matter, the thirty minutes he spent with me will resonate forever.

Today I'm a bit saddened as I say goodbye to an intensely creative and prolific man who is, in many ways, both hero and mentor to me.

The best way I can honor him is to just keep writing.

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.