Tuesday, May 27, 2008

memorial day project

as i'm writing this, bush menor is AGAIN invading our little piece of heaven in new mexico. he is AGAIN at our faux-independent mayor's house and AGAIN is here to lunch with the faithful at $1000 a pop (or $5000 for a photo op, just like last time). it is to raise money for darren white's congressional bid. all i know is i can't drive around my neighborhood for all the secret service. bastards. i hope he's not considering making this a second home or anything--that would suck. my parents live across the way from the older bushes, which really doesn't add anything to this discussion at all. anyway, hopefully no one will die during this visit, unlike last time.

on to more productive things...
since our grill died right smack in the middle of our end-of-the-year party for gus' class, my and rich's project for this memorial day was to completely disassemble the thing and figure out what was going on. rich was the one who garnered up the courage to actually pull the thing out of the stucco housing and take it apart; i fixed it up and put it back together. and it was no easy task--the grill itself is about 50 years old, and the company that made it hasn't manufactured parts for it for about 25 years now. the business (charmglow) was purchased by home depot, then by someone else, but the grills they make now bear no resemblance whatsoever to what we have. enter the internet! it is amazing what you can find online. i ordered replacement parts for almost the entire thing--can't get the cute little control panel box anymore--and we even got it working for now. very satisfying work!

poor, yucky, dead grill

this is the cute control panel that hasn't been made for a quarter century

this is the gas line--kinda scary looking and note that perpetual wet spot behind the pipes

i cleaned up the line and poured a graded layer of concrete so the water would finally flow away from the gas pipes...

...and voilà! can i tell you how much i love rustoleum high heat spray paint? (i still need to repair the stucco.)

Monday, May 26, 2008

who in this photo just got married?

my new brother-in-law jake.

i wonder what was going through his mind? i'm hoping it isn't "kill me now. kill me now. kill me now." this is a fabulous image for a caption contest--add yours in the comments.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

stupid pandas

look at them--chewing their bamboo, thinking they are cool

i frickin' hate pandas. and they are all over the news since the earthquake in china. people are more worried about the three missing pandas than the 60,000 dead chinese. it is disgraceful. but i digress...

we had a break from PANDAS this school year but i know it's coming eventually. every now and then gus goes through a period of asking us weird questions over and over, and it makes us worry. damnit. i hate pandas.

like the earthquake didn't freak them out enough--now they're being moved to beijing (like i care)

and this can't be good for their psyche (stupid bears)

this would certainly make me anxious (damn pandas)

and this stupid panda got a hummingbird up his nose or something (idiot)

stupid pandas (they are evil incarnate)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

another reason to no longer fear hell...

...although you have to admit that this looks quite demonic

as if this weren't reason enough, i now have yet another reason to no longer fear hell: i was forced, by the weather, to have 18 way overstimulated 2nd graders and their parents in my house for a 4 hour end of the year party. it was SUPPOSED to be an outdoor party--got the grill goin', rented a bouncy house, had a slip-n-slide, etc.--yet when i woke up this morning it was black and cold and windy. and i was frightened. come on, this is albuquerque--we have 320 sunny days a year! it was like 94 degrees outside two days ago! however today was not as such. and i had to accept that i can control many things in life, but not the weather. or my children. maybe i'm not trying hard enough?

anyway, below is a quick visual guide to the horrors of the day:

these girls are trying so hard to ignore the wind and cold, but it didn't last

eventually, everyone ended up inside (and this is only a random sampling of folks)

then it cleared up for a bit and disaster number two struck: my built-in gas grill died. i mean really died.

so poor dean had to run home and grab his to save the day (and feed the starving kiddos)

sophie seemed to have fun in lucifer's bouncy house

(yet right after i shot that picture it started HAILING, then later the bouncy house rental guy got mad at me on for not grabbing the 1/2 ton air pump and dragging it undercover. jerk. freaky weather today, though.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

sophie's grand 2nd fiesta!

sophie's party was wonderful--it was a beautiful day, the food turned out great, the margaritas were delicious and not so potent as to render us all incoherent, and all the kids ran around and had fun. i think she knew all the festivities were for her. we had a bubble machine going the whole time (in case you were wondering about the random floating bubbles in the picture) that sophie was crazy about. i ended up being so busy in the kitchen that i barely got a chance to take any pictures, and the ones i did shoot aren't very good so i'm just going with this one of the four of us.

sophie got so many girly presents! she now has a fairy princess mushroom house (complete with three fairy princesses, but three can be a hard number with girls, you know?), a new purse, a magnetic wooden nina ballerina whose outfits you can change, a camper with two girly girls in it, a crochet tea set that she can actually play with, and a couple of wonderful new stuffed animals (tiggy tiger and a giraffe). she is ecstatic. so many new things to play with!

sophie also got a new bubble machine...

...which makes her mighty happy

Sunday, May 18, 2008



we are having a big celebration with lots of friends tonight--will post pictures tomorrow.

Friday, May 16, 2008

i am soooooooo boring.

it's true--i am. i thought it would be a full calendar year before i could get my next dream car (a prius--my 4runner is actually my dream car but since it now costs me $70 a tank to fill up the dream has died), but rich earned some extra scratch via travel reimbursements. so we actually had the latitude to trade my baby in...then i got the bright idea of replacing all the windows in our house with double-paned glass. and that won. so, to recap, my choices were a new prius (which in itself is pretty unsexy and boring) or windows with tempered, lowE, double-paned glass (totally unsexy and boring). and the windows won.

i am embarrassed by the depth of my boringness.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

bad day for someone at whole foods

it has been way too long since i have gone to the grocery store for a big haul. so, after i picked up gus from school, we went to a new whole foods (actually, it is an old, crappy building that used to be an old, crappy wild oats). gus was grumpy and hungry; sophie is full-on two and just yelling for no good reason. her favorite thing to scream (aside from "MOM! MOM! MOM!") is "nnnnNNNNOOOOoooo!!!" in a lovely little crescendo/decrescendo thing. i battled these two for almost an hour to get most of what we needed, all the while trying to keep sophie away from the shelves because she looooves to throw things on the ground. i finally dragged my exhausted ass to the check-out line. on the way there i almost got knocked over by this little troll determined to get in line ahead of us. whatever.

there were only three registers going and they all had massive lines so i pulled in to the middle one, right behind the troll. sophie started her "nnnNNNOOOooo"s again, not quite as loud as before. the troll turned around and glared at her, then at me, then started complaining to the customer in line in front of her about what horrible children i have. gus was confused--what the hell had he done?--and sophie just continued with the "nnnNNNOOOooo" thing. i was initially upset--this bitch is impugning my parenting skills!--then got the joke (namely, that it was on her). then sophie must have startled her or something because she no'ed kinda loud and the troll just about jumped out of her skin and yelled, "oh my GOD! SCOLD YOUR CHILDREN! GOD!" and then left the line. when in the new line, she continued to blaspheme and fume. it was absolutely hilarious. gus started laughing, i started laughing--even sophie started laughing. this woman swore and waved her arms all the way out of the store.

maybe it was her first day off her meds? stopped smoking/drinking? i don't know. the really funny part was that i was trying to explain to gus why she might have gotten so upset and i said the she had probably never had children of her own or been around them and he was incredulous because, as he said, "but she's old." indeed.

yeah, sophie's a pill, but it did get us through the line quicker.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

el coche de rich es demasiado para me

i think if one were to compare our cars, rich's car would appear less-than-manly next to mine. my car is, undoubtedly, mas macho. the 27" wheels have something to do with it, as does the utter lack of environmentally-friendly emissions coming from its tailpipe. those emissions, however, are largely responsible for my unwillingness to speed in the car--it just burns way too much gas to do so. conversely, rich's car is a hybrid so i feel considerably less bad driving with a lead foot (and lead-footed driving is something of a specialty of mine, as i took defensive driving eight times during my first twelve years of driving to get out of speeding tickets). as such, since i have found myself driving his car here and there for certain things--namely GETTING HIS FUCKING OIL CHANGED AND HIS SCHEDULED MAINTENANCES DONE--i seem to be having a speed problem. it wouldn't be a problem if albuquerque had not installed red light cameras all over the city that in addition to catching people running/jumping lights also catch speeders. well. very well.

the past two times i have taken rich's car in, BECAUSE HE IS TOO EFFIN' BUSY AND/OR IMPORTANT TO DO IT HIMSELF, i have received a gift from the motor vehicle division of the state of new mexico in the form of a lovely picture of me driving rich's less-than-manly (i would so say girly if i didn't think that was taking it too far) car very, very fast. and i can appreciate that that is wrong, but i have a problem with it being rich's car and the fact that there wasn't actually a cop there to pull me over. if it is so dangerous, then why not increase traffic cops? or at least put up giant flashing lights to go off when one is caught to slow us down? anyway, i've now spent $317, in addition to the FORTUNE SPENT MAINTAINING RICH'S CAR, in traffic fines. and, of course, rich is perfect and has never received a ticket in it, which by his logic means that he has never broken the law. not buying it. i must say hybrids are, among many things, spectacularly speedy.

the moneymoon (look it up) is so over for me with this car, and yet we're still paying on it...

Monday, May 12, 2008

a mother's day miracle!

my mother's day weekend was freakin' spectacular this year. the fam totally outdid themselves and oh my god--it was awesome. it started on saturday morning: sophie kindly woke me up by screaming as though she were on fire at 6 a.m. (and i was actually asleep before that, damnit!). apparently she knew i was leaving and wanted to make sure we spent as much time together as possible. anyway, after much sophie time i got gus to and from an early-ish birthday party, downloaded a bunch of new songs, and took off BY MYSELF for santa fe.

i had some work to do at photo-eye and center for contemporary art, then spent the rest of the day at ten thousand waves. i loooove ten thousand waves. it is perhaps the most relaxing place in the world--the whole place smells like hinoki wood and you hear waterfalls everywhere. that and you get to wear a really cool kimono (i bought one i loved it so much). i did this and this and this, and yes it cost a fortune but i don't think i have ever been so blissed out in my life. i spent like 6 hours there.

after that i left and checked in at the st. francis hotel and slept the sleep of the chill and relaxed. actually, i hit whole foods in santa fe just before that--did you know you can drink a beer in the dining area there?

this morning, i got up LATE and went to cafe pasqual's for breakfast. it was superb--a breakfast quesadilla with applewood smoked bacon, fresh guacamole and a ton of fresh pico de gallo. my pasqual levels are so set for the year after that. i very slowly ate, read the sunday new york times, and then headed back for albuquerque. and i was so pleased to see that the family survived! rich did, however, feed them two meals of take-out pizza in my absence. oh well. i spent the day pulling weeds in the front beds (by choice--i actually enjoy doing that) and watering some struggling trees.

altogether a mighty sweet mother's day, i must say.

Friday, May 9, 2008

taking it easy today

sweet sophie bunny

it has been a rough week in the triangle. i am a bit emotionally and physically drained so i am going to take it easy and post some eye candy--recent pictures of the bunny!

have a very happy weekend and remember to call your mom.

sophie's usual morning pose (since we have to step over her, she knows we'll pay attention to her)

sophie at one of gus' baseball game

sophie and daddy

sophie trying to escape (as usual)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

cliff's sunday, 2008

a couple of weekends ago, gus' school had their annual spring fiesta at cliff's amusement park here in town. just gus and i went--rich had worked over 70 hours the week before and wanted to stay home with sophie (kinda hard to argue with that). gus had so much fun--he rode everything he rode last year except the big rollercoaster. i think he did the scrambler 7 or 8 times total--impressive! enjoy.

gus and george on the scrambler

scrambled boys--they rode this ride four times in a row before both of them decided they might get sick if they pushed for a fifth


randy, gus and tammie at the super-fast spinning thing

just prior to take off--i have the full 5-minute video of this ride, if anyone is interested (will send with airsickness bag)

gus takes it easy in a bumper car after the spinning thing (although he is driving very seriously)

creepy sad clown that gus tries to make happy...

...by feeding it some of his dippin' dots

cliffed-out boy!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


major changes afoot for mr. gus. and ALL of it was instigated by him. witness the first image of my beautiful boy with the viking hair going on:
this is gus running out onto the field at the beginning of an isotopes game about two weeks ago

and running back

and this past sunday, gus playing with a hot wheels thing that i have four times previous stuck in the goodwill bag, just to have him find it yet again...

and then the unthinkable happened: he asked me to cut his hair.

i cut about three inches off and he wore it like that for a few hours, then he decided he wanted more taken off. so i did that, and he wanted even more...this is the end result:

my boy gus!

we have had such a struggle every morning to get his hair brushed and relatively ordered, which i know was driving him crazy, but he was the one who decided enough was enough. recently he has been having a lot more people mistake him for a girl--especially while playing baseball--and that just isn't sitting well with him anymore. he had always been good at having kind of a "screw you" attitude to that, but he said he was just sick of the whole thing and wanted to cut it all off. honestly, it made me a little sad--i loved his long hair! he looks beautiful with short hair as well as you can actually see his pretty face. (his pretty face is what i think threw some people off with the long hair and thinking he was a girl thing.)

if you see him, let him know what you think about his big change!

Monday, May 5, 2008

shame, the great motivator


plus this

equals this:

shame, the great motivator. i called the city/county at least 10 times over the course of a week to get this cleaned up with no response. i got routed through the most labyrinthine channels imaginable in municipal bureaucratic hell, as no one wanted to deal with this not-so-big dumpsite next to gus' little league field. i posted my adventures on duke city fix and was contacted by a local TV reporter. so together we shamed the city into action. i almost wish i had picked a bigger target--if public humiliation is all it takes to make the city do something, then i should have asked for something more! regardless, the dumpsite is now gone.

and i look like a cow on that video as my goddamned baby weight just isn't going away on its own...is it still baby weight after two years? sadly, i think it's weight weight now. again, shame, the great motivator.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


i guess i'll have to stop editing myself:

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Friday, May 2, 2008

more argus gallery changes

i am still trying to redesign argusgallery.com--i think the following three exhibitions are finished:

gus' world

rome, 2003

bed pictures, 1995-1999

these three join:

venice, 1999.

pretty soon they should be linked to the actual site itself--right now if you go to argus gallery you still get the old versions.

if you get a chance, please take a look and let me know what you think--all types of comments (good, bad, ugly, etc.) help so speak up! you can post anonymously if you really think i'll unspool over your opinion...


Thursday, May 1, 2008

your day could be worse...

...you could be a male living in congo worrying about this.