Friday, October 31, 2008

happy halloween and HAPPY BIRTHDAY CINDY!

happy, happy birthday cindy! how fun it must be to have your birthday actually on halloween--as a kid that must have been golden. maybe by next year i can figure out an edible recipe for a black cake that doesn't stain your mouth. we love you very much and are so glad you are near again! enjoy what you would/should/could have been jammin' to in the 80s.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

pinky is hungry!

sophie can't quite say "panda;" she calls them "pinky" instead. and, irony being what irony is, her favorite animal is gus' arch nemesis. it is both rewarding and relieving to see her take care of something--she is concerned that he is hungry, that he needs to tinkle, that he is cold, etc. before this she usually snuggled with a ball or a book. gus was the polar opposite--he snuggled with stuffed animals immediately and had way more compassion for those stuffed balls of polyester than most adults have for their fellow man. and he still loves them all...maybe he'll be a veterinarian. or mortified that i wrote this.

Monday, October 27, 2008

it was a big weekend

el (la?) kookooee and dancers

this weekend was crazy busy. it started on friday night, when i thought i had a party to go to...but it was actually on saturday night so i got ready for it twice. the only problem with that was that the obama rally was saturday night and as sophie didn't see fit to nap, i had to stay home with her and miss it...but at least i got some drinks on gus' school (and they owe me that much). saturday during the day was goblins in the garden--sophie's school halloween party--and that was just too cute for words. but sunday was the highlight of the fall, one of the reasons i love living in albuquerque...el kookooee! she burned brightly.

and now, pictures!

at first sophie was going to be a butterfly...

...and she flew around the house...

...and was a big purple blur...

...then she tried another butterfly outfit...

...but settled on elmo for the big day itself!

sophie spies spiders

and got painted for handprint spiders

and played a challenging game of froggie bean bag toss

later that night, gus and rich got to go to the obama rally...(i missed it, and i didn't shoot these)

...with 45,000 other albuquerqueans!

but the next night, gus and i got to see el kookooee and south valley dancers

she had a bowl of fears labeled countrywide, citi card, paulson, george 1 and 2, and so on

gus putting his fears in the bag to burn

she's starting to smoke...

and burn...

and burn more...

burn, el kookooee, burn!

all those bad thoughts and fears going up into nothingness

the tail end of kookooee

gus enjoying the spectacle with a wonderful picker in the background

Saturday, October 25, 2008

the f word

my friend valerie sent me an email saying her precious daughter just learned the f word at school. she's bummed. but the way she wrote it was hilarious so i was laughing at it; rich wanted to know what was so funny so i said, "juliet just learned a word that valerie doesn't like, i'll spell it backwards for you: K C U..." and gus pipes up from the other room and says, "she JUST learned the f word? man."

that's funny. i know he didn't learn it from me...

Friday, October 24, 2008

sarah silverman makes me want to be jewish

The Great Schlep.
this is possibly the funniest pro-voting video i have ever seen. ever. schlep the vote!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

why hispanics think white women are crazy

late last night, at the giant, i am buying beer. a 50+ bleached blonde anglo woman and her daughter are in front of me in line, also buying beer, and are full-on yelling at the pregnant 20-year old clerk. "you should treat your goddamned customers like customers, not like goddamned pains in the ass!" the pregnant 20-year old just gives her a blank, dispassionate, i-would-so-kick-your-ass-if-i-weren't-pregnant-and-needed-this-job look as only a pregnant 20-year old can do in reply. pissed-off 50+ bleached blonde anglo woman and daughter leave noisily with their beer. i go up to check out and say, "well, if she wasn't acting like a pain in the ass maybe she wouldn't get treated like one?" pregnant clerk replies, "(heavy sigh) for reals, huh?"

for reals, indeed, mamacita.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

oh hell.

teacher-speak for "your son is a talkative bastard who won't shut the fuck up when i want him to."

this woman is making me crazy. this is from the same teacher that made gus stare at a blank wall for 45 minutes. rich and i talked to her and, granted she hasn't done the staring-at-a-blank-wall thing again, she has berated him every single class for being "self-centered," "rude," "selfish," etc. if you know gus you know that he is none of those things and in fact worries quite a lot about everyone else. today she made him explain all the ways he was (not acted, was) "self-centered" during class. bitch. anyway, gus has her three times a week and will have her at least that much for the next three years...i think we're done. and we're demanding a refund for her classes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

how (not necessarily for whom) have you voted?

i was thinking about all the different ways one can vote and i realized, when it comes to voting for president, i may have experienced them all. i was born in 1968 so the first year i could vote was in 1986; the first presidential election i could vote in was in 1988. i'm including who i voted for mainly because i have always been open about it--rich is the polar opposite of me in this regard (in fact, i have no idea who he is voting for this election). i know he voted for ross perot twice in the 90s. anyway, little known personal fact: i was initially registered as a republican...

1988: i voted absentee, while living in rome, via mail-in ballot. i voted for ron paul and andré marrou, the libertarian presidential and vice presidential candidates, but i'm guessing it didn't matter much...

1992: i voted in person at st. michael's church in houston, using a punch card. and i voted for ross perot (i think--i was going back and forth between him and andré marrou, and i think i settled on perot).

1996: i voted absentee at the american embassy in spain, where rich and i were trying to establish rich's identity (a running theme for him) so he could get a new passport (he was robbed in madrid). i gladly voted for slick willie, but i doubt it was counted as i think the domestic margin outweighed the pending absentee ballots.

2000: i voted in person at some church down the street from my house in houston, using a punch card. i distinctly remember checking and rechecking the card to make sure it was aligned properly. and i voted for nader. this is the one and only time, so far, that i have ever regretted a vote.

2004: i voted in person at gus' kindergarten, lincoln elementary in iowa city, via scantron circles. i voted for john kerry, who i believed in fervently until the swift boat book came out. the reason it gave me pause is because the o'neill family had been our family friends for years and i knew john o'neill (the primary author of the book) to be a rational, fair man. i still voted for kerry.

2008: i voted saturday, early voting, at a polling center in los ranchos de albuquerque via scantron circles. i voted for obama and many increases in funding for UNMH (rich's soon-to-be-full-time employer). i am very much aligned with obama (i'm not crazy about the idea of war with afghanistan, but that might happen regardless of who wins) and just mostly aligned with biden. i would have been totally aligned with obama/bill richardson.

the point of all this is such: go vote. do it however you can. i think colin powell said yesterday that this is the most important election since reconstruction, and he's right. whichever way you wish to see your country go, you must use your constitutionally amended voice to speak for it. this election goes beyond the usual "if you don't vote, you can't complain" sentiment--everyone matters this time. please don't let this opportunity to determine the direction of our nation slip by.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

go, go rich!

yesterday afternoon i came home from plant shopping to a bit of a surprise: rich announced he was going to run the half marathon portion of the duke city marathon. i'm thinking, "great--knock yourself out. is there anything i can do to help?" and rich said, "yes, you can drive me to the convention center before 6:00 p.m. so i can register, then make a big pasta dinner tonight and drive me downtown to the starting line tomorrow."

the marathon was to happen about 15 hours from when he made his announcement.

SO, this morning, sophie and i got up early and drove him downtown and off he went--and two hours and seventeen minutes later, he was across the finish line!

here he comes (in the white shirt)

there he goes

13 miles and he's still smiling!

sophie and gus missed him; gus wanted to run with him

and he's already thinking about next year...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

palin as president...


(make sure you hover and click around the image.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

poverty--a blog action day post

today is blog action day--blog action day encourages discussion about global issues that affect us all, in this case it is poverty. the question i have for you is two-fold: first, what do you think of when you think of poverty? and second, what, if anything, are you doing to assist those most in need? when i think of poverty, i think of it on a more local level--i think of my lovely state, new mexico. we are one of the poorest states in america; albuquerque has one of the highest poverty levels in an urban setting in the US. 13.5% of albuquerqueans live below the national poverty level; the rate for all of new mexico is almost 20%. we try and help in several ways: rich works in public medicine, we shop locally and buy directly from the producer whenever possible, we contribute to many charities, we pay our taxes in full and on time, and we do not patronize any business or purchase any products that use exploitative means. i hope to do better in the future, but to do more i have to know more so please put your ideas in the comments.

please click on the image below for further information about blog action day.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

casa coniglio blog

orange grove next to santa sabina, rome, 2003

i am in love with casa coniglio blog--and yes i was totally sucked in by the italian title. it was a happy coincidence that the author turned out to be a master's student at UNM in landscape architecture; she (i think it is she) has just completed a series on mediterranean gardens in the high desert. check it out...

Friday, October 10, 2008

after the take down, the glow(eth)

thursday night, after gus took down vader, we went to the glowdeo, which is a nighttime burn of all the special shapes balloons at balloon fiesta. of course, the highlight once again was the dark lord...and he glowethed most mightily. we ran into randy and übermom tammie while gawking at vader; the boys thus proceeded to try and skewer each other with their light sabers for the next hour. it was a fabulous glow!

you cannot get within 100 feet of the vader balloon at balloon fiesta, as he is heavily guarded by storm troopers

burn, vader, burn!

there were other balloons at the glow

i kinda liked the pig

and the dragons

sophie, who had to stay home with daddy, missed what would have been the end-all be-all of her existence: a pinky (panda) balloon!

even from a distance, and even though it is totally black, you gotta love the vader balloon

gus and randy, being gus and randy

the night ended with a fireworks display

but this morning...
on a very, very sad note, the triangular balloon on the right side of this picture went down this morning, killing the pilot and critically injuring the passenger. ballooning is so peaceful and relaxing and so wonderful to experience, yet it can go terribly, terribly wrong. tragic.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

gus taketh down the dark lord

Darth Vaders Theme - John Williams
(play me first!)

albuquerque in the fall=balloon fiesta. and this year's balloon fiesta has been beautiful, as always, with only one day of cancellations. today, however, will undoubtedly be the highlight of all balloon fiestas to come as gus. took. down. the. darth. vader. balloon.

it was spectacular.

early thursday morning, gus, sophie and i spotted the dark lord rising high above albuquerque (and the creamland dairy cow balloon)...

then darth vader fleweth in front of my car...

and roseth over a rooftop...

and then he landeth in a dirt-packed field

he is quite menacing in person

but he was no match for the take-down crew...

...which included gus...

...and sophie...

...and gus really started getting into it by rolling around on him, pressing all the air out of the envelope

vader was stuffed into his carrying bag

and the crew put gus and sophie on top of the dark lord to seal his the bag...