Wednesday, July 30, 2008


i hope you have a wonderful day and a fabulous decade! we love you! enjoy the yurt!

Monday, July 28, 2008

bullet points

i wrote an oblique blog entry yesterday on an albuquerque web site (which i have since removed) trying to get feedback from a cross-section of new mexicans on the sisyphean task of getting rich out of his contract and into a better practice. i took the post down because it was obvious there was no love for physicians in this particular forum and i thought i'd stem the rising tide of anger towards me for bitching about our situation. anyway, the end result seems to be that a) people are not terribly worried about physicians being forced out of practice; b) the only thing people hate more than academic medicine is corporate medicine, and c) no one really gives a shit because they've never been either in medicine or ill enough to need a super-subspecialist (i love that term).

the following are the first sentences (only) of each paragraph in my now-deleted tome:

how can albuquerque keep its doctors?

i love albuquerque...

my husband came here to practice a super-subspecialty, meaning that he is the only guy in the state doing his type of work...

and it didn't have to be this way--hiring a partner would have solved many of these problems...

so now we find ourselves in the unenviable position of trying to change from one type of practice to another....

of course he could leave and practice in texas or any other state tomorrow (like a close friend of ours who was also a super-subspecialist and was ultimately forced to leave the state for trying to change practices)...

why is there no legislation to address this attrition of physicians from a state that so desperately needs them--is it really in the public's best interest to lose a sole practitioner of an area of medicine because of a contract clause...

so, now what do we do--say screw this and have him practice anyway or hide out for a year to prevent litigation?

the end.

and i really would love to know what y'all think we should do...doesn't mean we're gonna do it, tho...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

the valleys

there will be hills and valleys...

is this a bible quote? is this something i remember from my wedding vows? possibly, and it is so very true. we would be in the valleys at the moment. rich and i had been working as team missy + rich as much as possible, but have now been completely taxed to the utmost by his job situation. we have learned many things; we will hopefully take them as life lessons in the near future. right now it sucks.

rich doesn't like conflict. period. that will be the biggest life lesson of them all; one that has jeopardized his family and put him in a position to get majorly sued. i am not of this persuasion--i am on intimate terms with casa de conflicto, after all. although rich, while afraid of things becoming "contentious" at work, has instead opted for such at home i guess believing that i am more forgiving than his employers. not a good move.

he still has nothing worked out for a job after august 14th and he may very well be home for a bit. he may be home for longer than a bit, in fact, and that would be perfectly fine with me--his conflict aversion makes a home life mighty easy (in theory, and no it doesn't really--sarcasm doesn't play well in print). basically he signed a contract with a corporation that has pretty much chewed him up and spit him out and is now trying to see what else they can digest before they are through with him. and i am working like a dog to get him out of it--i don't think they will allow it to be done non-contentiously.

there are times when i so miss my grandmother...i know she would have had the answer to all this! and she would have made me cookies.

Friday, July 25, 2008

and i thought my backyard was cool

a friend of a friend recently bought about 10 acres of land near me. her husband is a developer, and they are going to build their dream house on the site. they go to dig their foundation, and they uncover a bunch of pottery shards. they keep digging, and they uncover an entire pot. they stop digging by machine, clear the site by hand instead, and near the pot they find a skull. then another pot and another skull. then they called an archaeologist, who called several more archaeologists.

they are literally building their dream house on an ancient indian burial ground.

this area along the rio grande is known to have been habited for many hundreds of years; this particular site dates from around 1200-1250. in a previous incarnation (like 13 years ago), i worked for an anthropology museum where i helped the curators catalog and ultimately repatriate skulls and associated burial artifacts under the federal act, NAGPRA. it was a remarkable experience, to say the least. but NAGPRA doesn't apply here--this is private property upon which was inadvertently discovered a burial site. since no federal monies are involved here, they can do whatever they want with the items. ironically, if they donated them (the skulls and pots) to a museum, then NAGPRA would kick in and neither they nor the institution would be able to keep the items. my friend's friend says she is going to rebury the skulls and artifacts and continue building.

what's under your foundation?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

the coolest thing i have seen in my backyard, ever.

since we have lived here, we have had all kinds of critters come into our yard. some tried to live here permanently (skunks, rabbits, paco), some just came here to hunt (roadrunners, hawks, owls) and others were just passing through (guinea hens, random dogs, sandhill cranes, monarch butterflies). but the one that tops them all on the fascination and coolness charts has got to be this hummingbird nest we discovered a couple of weeks ago:

the hummingbird nest

first, rich thought it was a giant spider's egg sac and was going to smush it; he poked it and something squeaked at him and, thankfully, he left it alone. we got a giant ladder, climbed up, and found the hummingbird babies:

july 4--two little scraggly babies, and we had no idea what they were at first

it looks like the mother gathered a bunch of cotton from our cottonwood trees, made a nest out of that, then wrapped it with spiderwebs. then, she either stuck stuff to the outside or just let stuff get stuck to the outside to camouflage the nest. she built the nest about 9 feet up, on a bicycle hook attached to the ceiling of our portico. these babies must be less than a week old--we were in washington when this was being built, so i'm not really sure. they are definitely new to the world. and they are TINY.

so every day (except two) for the next two weeks i climbed up the ladder and took pictures of them. it was remarkable. i let gus and all his friends go up and look at them; i put sophie on the ladder for her to see them as well. they are incredible and i feel so honored that a hummingbird picked our house to make its nest. the really amazing thing is that this is the only time in their lives when they will hold still from now on. very cool. enjoy!

july 5--they've moved

july 6--whenever i got too close to them, they'd open their beaks for food

july 7--just hanging out and growing

july 8--still hanging out and growing

july 9--they moved, again

july 9--pictured from below, all we can see is their little beaks sticking out of the nest

july 11--they really start to look like viable birds at this point

july 13--synchronized nesting

july 14--getting vocal

july 14--some perspective on just how little these guys are (that is gus' bike behind them)

july 15--the little male is just about to leave the nest

july 15--and a few hours later, he does! he is right in the center of this image, and he is even smaller than the cottonwood leaves

july 15--here is a blurry close up of the little male

july 16--amazingly, even though he flew away the evening before, he came back for his sister the next day

july 17--the inside of the empty nest!

Friday, July 18, 2008

is it true?

is my stalker expecting? i am so happy for you! what a lucky baby he/she will be with such wonderful parents. yay you and f and please let me know how you are doing!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


thank you for sharing your birthday breakfast with me! have a beautiful year!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

let the depressurization commence!

birthday girl!

the past 10 days have been crazy, worrisome, promising, unbearably stressful, and filled with family members that i adore. it has been overwhelming, to say the least. the lead up to rich giving his notice on friday was phenomenally stressful, mostly because rich has just totally dissociated himself from the process. that means it is now up to me to find and negotiate with what is, at last count, 4 attorneys that are helping us out. i'm not totally sure he knows what is going on in his life at all. i think we're in good hands, so i'm going to choose to trust them all. rich is gifted at the process of compartmentalizing unpleasant things (hence his job).

but in the middle of all this i turned 40 and had this wonderful party and had stellar houseguests--my sister lindsay and her new husband jake. friday, the day of the 40 and the day of the party, rich and i went to see two of our attorneys and left enlightened and hopeful yet fried and exhausted. so basically jake and lindsay totally carried the party prep from that moment on. they were fabulous, as always, and i was ecstatic to have them here. they made sure everything got out and stuff was picked up or decorated and kept the party moving and all that good stuff. they rock. and the party was fun, even with the rain. i have awesome friends. and relatives. and i have two tons of gifted alcohol to prove it.

the next day lindsay and i went to ten thousand waves, the most peaceful place on earth. and we were hot rocked and shiatsued and yasuragi hair massaged and just totally blissed out. and it was gooooood. i so love that place. and for a time i was relaxed and not worried about anything, and that was a gift in itself.

jake needed something cut out of his lower lid on sunday, so rich did that then he (jake) and lindsay had to return to houston. gus cried all afternoon. i'm trying so hard to convince them that this is a great place to live, but i think they remain unmoved. we miss them muchly.

after getting back to reality, i realized we had more legal stuff to attend to, there is a job i want/need to apply for, and then sophie decided to get sick. she and i spent yesterday in the pediatric urgent care, which was a total waste of time. we drew possibly the worst doctor i have ever had the misfortune of seeing, and thankfully she is doing better today (no thanks to dr. lethargic). he was a prick and i'm fairly sure i could have done a better job medically than he did. my ph.d. snobbiness came out in full force when i started thinking a monkey could do his job at least as well as he was doing it.

anyway, gus' best friend, george, moved back to england this past weekend so between that and jake and lindsay's leaving it was just a sucky time for him. it is so hard to leave, but even harder to be left. gus is really feeling everyone's absence acutely. gus' camp-o-rama forges on with a cool one this week--eco adventures at the museum of natural history--so he is happier.

so that's where we are. and hopefully we will all depressurize fully in the very near future.

lindsay and jake

valerie and erika

valerie shading her eyes from the glare off my many teeth

birthday girls! from left to right, the first three of us turned 40 within an 8 day period; lindsay turned 30 a couple of months ago

lindsay carrying my flaming german chocolate cake

i needed rich's help to blow out the candles. sad.

gus' camp-o-rama continued last weekend--a baseball clinic with...

...the albuquerque isotopes!

my boy is stretchin' (#12 in royal blue)

aunt lindsay and gus

aunt lindsay and uncle jake at breakfast, right before they had to go home

Friday, July 11, 2008

oh my god...I'M 40!!!

it is officially here--my 40th birthday! i feel great, happy, ecstatic, optimistic, and all that crap. the best birthday present i got this year:


i'm so fucking happy i could scream. i have hated his job almost since the beginning and now it is all going to end. or change. or we'll get sued and lose our, that won't happen but we are probably looking at some litigation/arbitration and we are just fine with that.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008


happy birthday my birthday buddy! (valerie and i were born less than 48 hours apart.) i hope you have a wonderful day today, and i can't wait to drink some mojitos with you on friday! remember: 40 is the new 20 (or 17, in doug's eyes) and you rock most mightily.

Monday, July 7, 2008

I ♥ photos from DC!

FINALLY, the long-awaited photos of our trip to DC:

happy sophie on the plane to washington DC

the classic family vacation shot

sophie's sweet ride

gus at the iowa station in the WWII memorial

gus wanted one of me in front of texas; sophie joined in

sophie resting under the gettysburg address in the lincoln monument

ready to make the long trek back to the other side of the mall

studly sophie

studly gus

sophie's like, "feh. zebras. they're striped."

stupid panda.

sophie looking at the stupid panda.

sophie disrespecting a bronze stupid panda...

...but then worrying that she hurt it; gus is safely away from the beast

gus' favorite exhibit: the komodo dragon!

hot and sweaty kiddos are all zooed out

gus, trying to get a glimpse at the hope diamond, then he was like, "feh. hope diamond. it's blue."

nice crystal structure diagram

the fam just before the ill-fated trip to mount vernon, and i so love how gus is wearing a clip-on calculator like his daddy's pager

"huh huh huh huh petrified wood huh huh huh huh"

lovely alexander calder at the national gallery (calder, who i do enjoy, is a little overrepresented in the city)

tony smith's "die"--and believe it or not, this was something of a highlight for me. (how sad.)

this is the lone donald judd on display in the entire city!

sophie is completely overwhelmed by modern art... much so that she attacks her brother...

...and threatens to deafen us all with ecstatic, high-pitched squealing...

...yet gus remains unmoved by Art.

gus is thinking, "if i jump from up here, i bet i won't ever have to come back and look at any of this stuff again."

he wasn't even cheered by snacktime!

beautiful, sputnik-inspired sculpture outside the air and space museum

sophie, bored to tears, and we haven't even made it inside yet

i love the rockin' 70's dos on the astronauts in skylab!

it is disconcerting to see your child walking amidst ICBM missiles, even if they are deactivated (at least i hope they are)

i am mighty

these explain a good deal of UFO sightings

i failed every criteria (age, height, weight, education--i had too much, marital status, etc.) for being a stewardess in the 1950s except for being female and caucasian


the lovely architecture of the hirshhorn collection

another highlight of obscure minimalism--larry bell's box

gus and sophie could not be less excited about the hirshhorn

but at least i got to go to the phillips collection ALONE, which is just about as near to perfect as any museum could be. and they are looking for a modern/contemporary art curator right now. damn.

gus and...

...sophie fell asleep on the plane ride home.