Tuesday, March 18, 2008

trying something new at argus gallery

i have been trying to update the look of my photography site, argusgallery.com, and i would love some feedback. i designed the site five years ago, and it was great for five years ago, but now i feel like i should clean it up a little. anyway, if you get a chance, check out this link:

possible new venice 1999

and the old site for the same exhibition:

old venice 1999

what do you think--old or new?

Monday, March 17, 2008

my domestic disconnect

if i had married to be a classic doctor's wife, i would be alright. if i could be contented to shop for a living and spend guiltlessly on myself and my kids, i would be fine. if i could just go get a fucking mani/pedi/waxing/massage every week things would be great. but i'm not that person. i actually want a partner i can grow old with.

maybe i should get a dog.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


dazed birthday boy with friend eagerly eyeballing his chocolate chip pie

today is gus' 8th birthday! we have had an extraordinarily noisy and busy weekend to celebrate it. and the fun isn't even over yet--i'm bringing 2 dozen triple-chocolate brownies to gus' class tomorrow (in an act of sheer passive-aggression against his school). actually, i'm just mean that way--i really do love his school.

ANYWAY, on a side note, i no longer fear hell because i've experienced an 8-year old's sleepover party. we had NINE very active, very noisy, occasionally destructive friends spend the night on friday. my ears are still ringing. the noise level was impressive--and much of it came from gus. we only had one meltdown (by a kid, not by us), one or two mild incidents of physicality, and one broken window. no one threw up, which was a total bonus, and no one wanted to go home. i think the kids had fun overall--the only problems arose when it was getting late (like 11:00) and some of the kids were getting really tired while others were really wound up. we made them all sleep in the playroom together (except the one who had the meltdown--he got to sleep in gus' bed) and as a result they didn't get to sleep until close to 2:00 a.m. it made for a fairly low-key morning, though. of course the main reason for sleeping in the playroom is because we can close the door and have them sealed off from the rest of the house.

sadly, it didn't dampen gus' enthusiasm to do this again next year.

happy birthday to gus!

the night of madness...

...and the morning after (that playroom is a godsend)

Friday, March 14, 2008

the el vado motel is saved (for good!)

this sentence alone bears offsetting and italics:

the city of albuquerque did the right thing.

period. and i have to say, i am surprised. i don't have a ton of faith in government acting in the best interest of the population, especially in cases like this where there is a historic issue at stake (and a lot of money to be made from taxes on expensive condos), but this time they absolutely came through for the city. after years of negotiations, the city of albuquerque finally condemned the el vado motel and seized it. prior to this the city had made the owner a perfectly legitimate and reasonable offer for the property, which he not only refused but added that he would never sell it to the city on principal. former owner ("developer" richard gonzales) is no doubt stewing over this latest chapter in the el vado saga. he will, however, be compensated appropriately in the end--a judge is to determine actual value of the site soon in order to finalize this deal.

i, and many others, have been fighting via email, city council meetings, and however else we could be heard to have this structure saved from demolition. i wrote about the plight of the el vado here; ron at route66.com wrote about the most recent developments here. yay for preservation!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

happy birthday mom!

my mom's birthday was yesterday and i thought i would help her celebrate by posting an online exhibition of my favorite artist's work. happy (now belated) birthday!

Friday, March 7, 2008

trying to stay positive in a medical marriage...

...without devolving into this.

(yes, i'm aware that these are two males; no, i don't have a penis.)

Monday, March 3, 2008

dr. n's shed

the owl can't believe what he is seeing

dr. n's shed is no more. amazingly, it wasn't destroyed (as rich and i thought it likely would be) but rather was moved by some seriously creative and adept electricians. they were armed with two house jacks (although one didn't work), a 24 by 8 foot mobile home base that had been semi-converted to a trailer, a toyota land cruiser that was about as old as i am, a winch on said cruiser (of the same vintage as the truck itself), lots of boards of wood and a couple of long steel pipes. there were three guys--J.W., who is pushing retirement age and weighs almost nothing, jeff who is my age and also weighs almost nothing, and rob who weighs a bit more but who has MS and is a physician of oriental medicine in addition to his electrician skills. it was a motley crew with a remarkably odd assortment of implements.

so, these three necessity-is-the-mother-of-invention masters decided they were going to put our one ton shed up on this homemade trailer. several problems presented themselves: first, we couldn't get a crane in the backyard because the power lines were too low. and we couldn't get a crane in the front because the driveway was too narrow for the stabilizing arms. our neighbors, who have both a very wide driveway and a sand backyard said absolutely not when asked if we could put it there, so that was out. and, the shed was built in situ so it couldn't be disassembled without turning it into a pile of rubbish. so it had to be lifted but it had to be lifted another way--house jacks.

second, we couldn't get the trailer that the shed was to go on actually in the backyard because J.W. drives a converted 1970 tom's peanut truck/snack wagon for his transportation and the length of it combined with the length of the trailer meant that he would most certainly end up in the ditch that runs behind our house. so he cut the fence down and spent about an hour slowly angling it into place. although then we had no fence. and, after the trailer was in place he realized it was about 6 feet too far over from where it needed to be to get the shed on it.

thus problem #3--how to move the shed? solution--they jacked up one short side of the one ton shed (i might be exaggerating the weight, but that sucker was heavy and solid!) as far as they could then pushed it over--BAM!--so it fell on a slight diagonal from its original position. then they went to the other short side and did it again. they walked the shed the whole distance by doing this over and over, one side then the other, about 5 or 6 feet. and that thing totally held together! there was one slight crack between two adjoining pieces of wood, but it held. impressive.

after they got the shed moved to position they jacked it up one last time, as far as they could, backed the trailer up as far as it could go and realized there was about a 6 inch gap because of the trailer bumper. couldn't get the bumper off, so they got behind the shed and these guys PUSHED as hard as they could. it cleared the gap and caught on the trailer. amazingly, the trailer didn't flip over (it was being weighed down by the toyota).

now, how to get it on the trailer? they wrapped the shed with an extra-long piece of nylon mesh rope, which promptly snapped the first time they tried to winch the shed and thankfully didn't hurt anyone. so, they tied random bits of rope and what was left of the mesh together and tried to winch again. ultimately, it all worked.

gus takes a break from foremanning

when we first moved into the house, we had a lot of electrical work done and J.W. (who did all the work) told me that if we ever wanted to get rid of the shed he wanted it for his property in the mountains. he is a committed activist and has been pushing for light rail in albuquerque for years; he will certainly be in this shed/cabin writing his rails manifesto for years to come. rich and i have wanted a basketball court back there where the shed was, and the neighbors (the ones who wouldn't let us use their yard...) were complaining that squirrels were living under it and infesting their ductwork, so we figured it was time to let it go. we are getting one half that size and placing it in a totally different place--dr. n (the previous owner) liked to keep lots of handy things in the shed, but we are not so resourceful. thus dr. n's shed is no more. (and, FYI, there wasn't a single squirrel or squirrel dropping or anything anywhere--perhaps they just like my neighbor's ductwork?) look for pictures of the basketball court to come!

i'm putting two movies up of some of the action--enjoy!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

is he insensitive or one burger short of a happy meal?

pop quiz: your husband accepts a request from a neighbor (one you are not particularly close to and have multiple requests of this sort from) to babysit their son from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. for the following day (today) without asking you. and then he forgets to tell you. and then for said day (again, today) he happens to be on call and off checking on inpatients and emergency clinic visits for most of the day so you are on your own. and you've been stuck in the house for almost a month with your two sick kids and haven't even gone to the grocery store for forever. and you're more than a little pissed.

so what is the verdict--insensitive or lacking the burger? or both (that is a possibility...)?

i feel like i need to make a public proclamation that i am not the neighborhood babysitter! this particular family is a two-physician family with crazy work schedules and i swear i think they think (and rich thinks, apparently) that i have nothing else to do with my time so why not take care of their kid. and the kid is fine--he's not terribly intrusive or anything like that. but shit, am i not even worthy of being consulted anymore? is it because i've gained weight since we got married or stopped working and am not bringing home a paycheck or what? rich worked from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on friday, 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. yesterday and is at it again today. he is not terribly involved in our life here at the moment and i'm so glad he has decided to determine my time for me. in any event, you'd think two physicians could get it together enough to hire a full-time nanny.