Monday, November 24, 2008


as defined by wikipedia, "Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk someone. It has been defined as the use of information and communications technology, particularly the Internet, by an individual or group of individuals, to harass another individual, group of individuals, or organization. The behavior includes false accusations, monitoring, the transmission of threats, identity theft, damage to data or equipment, the solicitation of minors for sexual purposes, and gathering information for harassment purposes."

this blog is for family and friends, only. period. if you fall into one or--even better--both categories, then the allen family bermuda triangle blog of albuquerque, new mexico is for you. if not, then this blog is not for you. LEAVE IMMEDIATELY after you have read the above definition very, very carefully. FYI: the albuquerque police department has a cyberstalking unit.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

further proof that pandas are evil

i see you sucka


given, the student was clearly a dumbass. yeah they look cute and cuddly but did you not notice those claws? and the fact that they weigh a quarter ton? scaling a fence to hug a panda is a wicked bad idea, which is why recreational drug usage and zoo visitation do not mix...

so why the panda-bashing this morning? well...gus has a touch of the PANDAS, again. it has been almost two years since the last big flare up, but it is back. he is in treatment; it seems to be working. but until all those antibodies die off (and that can take 4 to 6 weeks), we have a bit of a different gus at the moment. it isn't nearly as bad as last time--we caught it much earlier--but it is there. he's not contagious, so if you see him don't worry about that, he's just a little preoccupied with processes and routine. please cut him (and us) some slack...he's getting better every day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

funny ha-ha.

definition of "the triangle" from

The Triangle
The Triangle is a woman's pubic hair, shaved in the shape of a triangle. It's mysterious and seductive. Many good single men have become confused and lost in the triangle.

"I haven't seen him for months. He has a new girlfriend. I think he's lost in the triangle..."

after gus' comment about clare, i'm sure you're suspicious...

Monday, November 17, 2008

yummyfun kooking!

aaaah! scary food!

my friend clare, who is one of the most creative people i have ever met in my life, has started producing (and writing and directing and acting...) a series in L.A. called "yummyfun kooking." she has long been a fan of being kooky creative in the kitchen and now her alter ego, yummyclare, is the star of a fantastic show promoting just that. first of all, the dvds are wonderful--i highly recommend them for any silly kid on your gift list (click here for info). she has also written two cookbooks you should take a look at. second of all, the recipes are wonderful--this was dinner last night:

i see you...

sophie got the cyclops

gus devouring his dinner; sophie looks suspicious...

gus spent all day yesterday, first with his friend randy then again on his own, watching the entire series back-to-back. he adores yummyclare. i think he might actually be her biggest fan. and last night, while making eyeball spaghetti, he asked if he could go visit clare and i was like no, honey, she lives in los angeles but if we ever go there we'll see her and say hi. then he said, and this is what actually came out of his mouth, "if you two were lesbians and you were both my mom, that'd be awesome."


Friday, November 14, 2008

paige is the best

my friend paige is the best. she truly is. today she took me away from the challenges of the triangle for several hours by treating me to a morning at betty's blissful bath and day spa. i am soooo relaxed now. it was wonderfully escapist and peaceful. my poor massage therapist was frustrated by the tension in my back, but she got through some of it. it hurt quite a bit...but then we saunaed and hot tubbed and went to a fantastic lunch with our friend, gail, at the grove. oh my god it was lovely. but then it was back to reality: i was a little late picking up sophie (but she didn't notice--sadly, her teachers did and i felt bad about that); i had to pick up gus early from school with a sore throat, which of course equalled a strep test. we'll find out the results tomorrow.

but for a few hours i got to forget about all this stress and just enjoy being. it was fantabulous.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

i pull up in my driveway...

...and a giant ringnecked pheasant runs in front of my car! i have never seen a pheasant so close to my house--they usually stick to the fields around here. and i don't have my camera anymore, damnit! i tried to take a picture of it with my phone, but i ended up scaring it off. it was cool while it lasted.

filing a proper insurance claim takes a remarkably long time. basically i've spent the last several days just trying to organize my paperwork. i'm still trying not to get too freaked out, because in the end it is just stuff, but i've gotta say i'd rather not go through this again. my claim, with supporting documents, is 28 pages long. and i managed to figure out 36 items specifically that were taken and actually found receipts or photos of almost all of them. yay me...i think.

since one of the things he/she/they took was my digital camera, i have no new pictures to post. instead, i'm posting images i should have posted months ago. i really miss my camera...hopefully i'll have a new one tomorrow. enjoy!

rich, sophie and gus off to go apple picking

this is dixon's apple orchard in new mexico--very different from iowa apple orchards (i'm still wondering who looked at this arid, rocky valley and decided it would be a great place to grow apples)

rich and sophie--not sure where gus is

sophie looks so much like rich in this picture

this stream waters the entire orchard...and it is less than mighty

sophie playing in the stream

sophie playing in the stream

gus trying to convince sophie she can't cross the stream

sophie and her daddy

sophie burnin' rubber in the playroom

gus and paco taking a nap

random thing in the backyard: toad

random thing in the backyard: paco

paco is adjusting beautifully to living here

Saturday, November 8, 2008


today would have been gammy's 100th birthday! helen alford sellards hemphill, born november 8, 1908, was (as most of you know) my most beloved grandmother. she passed away shortly after gus was born, in january 2001. she lived a long, eventful, exciting, and i think happy life. she was married to my grandfather for 52 years until he passed; she had three children, nine grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren (now nine, with sophie) that she lived to see. i miss her terribly and carry her with me always.

gammy told me many stories throughout my life, and this is a recap of one of my favorites--it is how she met my grandfather:

gammy left monticello college in illinois and accepted a teaching position in vero beach, florida sometime around 1926 when she was all of 18 years old. she was independent, on her own, working as a teacher and making friends. one of those friends was katherine hemphill, who was a fellow teacher and who years later would be inducted into the LPGA hall of fame for her considerable golfing talent. one day, while walking along the beach with her friend, she looked up and saw a man flailing his arms and screaming for help because his granddaughter was drowning. a beautiful, muscular man ran right in front of her, jumped in the water, and saved the drowning girl. gammy asked her friend who the lifeguard was and she replied, "that's my brother, herbert!" they were married like four months later. my uncle bert was born in october of 1927; my mom was a later-in-life surprise 20 years later.

and that is, in part, why i am here today. happy birthday gammy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

recent events

okay, i'll admit it: it has been a crap year in the triangle. first, the lawsuit with delta (we won; at least i'm saying we won because they settled). then, the root canal/crown hell. mom moved and freaked out; gus and i got a month-long stomach virus. sophie got shingles. (***bright spot: lindsay and jake's wedding!***) rich's job took up the spring and the summer, as did a multitude of conversations with attorneys trying to help us keep our house, our sanity, our marriage. fast-forward a bit and i think it is fair to say that right now gus' road is a bit rocky, and that poor boy hates nuts (especially in his ice cream). then, the icing on the cake, the cherry on top, but hopefully not the straw that broke the camel's back: i came home yesterday to find my front door had been kicked in.

that's right, we were mightily burgled. or perhaps i should say i was mightily burgled--with the exception of some power tools (and one of those only i used) almost all that was taken was mine. most of my jewelry is now gone (all but four pieces of jewelry that rich ever gave me was stolen), a portable DVD player with a disc inside (but they forgot the power cord...dumbasses), many of gammy's things (why?), my digital camera, and to top it off they stole my marimekko pillowcase and stuffed everything in there. they fucked up my bedroom set! could they have picked a more conspicuous pillow case if they tried? rich's pillowcase is white, for pete's sake--he won't even sleep on those sissy blue flowers! assholes. i loved those sheets.

so, yesterday, i spent the day driving from gold and silver exchange to gold and silver exchange, then from pawn shop to pawn shop, handing out my list of stolen booty. it was depressing. i don't know how much time you have spent in pawn shops, but they range from a low-end jewelry store to an end-of-the-world vibe within. it isn't pleasant, on the whole. my list is three pages long and i have little faith i will ever see any of it again. oddly, the scariest, darkest and seediest pawn shops were the ones that tried to help me the most--the nicer the shop, the more stand-offish they are. odd.

anyway, the crackheads/meth addicts/junkies/greedy bastards took this beautiful turquoise necklace that rich just got me for a) surviving this summer with him and b) for my 40th birthday...and now it is gone. i think i miss that the most--and i can't find a single photo of me wearing it. they also took emerald earrings rich got me when sophie was born (emerald is her birthstone) and the matching aquamarine ones for gus. and they got seven huge navajo cuff bracelets that i wore all the time. and a whole lot more.

the deputies were asking me, "can you think of anyone you've pissed off recently?" (and that is an exact quote) and i was like, "ummmm...." i think it'd be a long list right now (but there is a shorter version if we're talking like right now). can you believe the year we've had?

bring on 2009!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

make mine barack, baby!

wow. that's all i can say. what an election. onwards!

(image by sidedown)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

halloween parade pictures!

blehhh to you, dr. vader!

yesterday, following a scrumptious birthday breakfast with cindy, gus' school had their annual halloween parade, and it was darling as always. gus was like the best big brother in the world to sophie--he let her march with him in the parade! he rocks. he said his favorite parade is still the one he did in kindergarten, when we lived in iowa, and the whole school marched around the block right in front of our house. i did the cannibalistic pumpkin that year and lit it with road flares--gus was mighty proud of a pumpkin one could see from a mile away.

last night, after school was out, we were invited to a super-spooky halloween party at john and julia's house--she did such a good job decorating the house that sophie could barely function from fright. dave and christie brought their tractor and gave all the kids a trick-or-treating hayride from house to house, and it was mighty fun. i had great conversation with julia's parents and sister, which always makes me happy. they are a phenomenal family who have been so kind to me. i have wonderful friends.

i hope your halloween was happy--send me pictures!

vader, dr. darth vader

fairy princess sophie

dr. spelling (or was it dr. grammar?), a.k.a. gus' awesome teacher

dr. vader tickling the fairy princess

sweet taylor (gus' little buddy) looks so pretty

aaron (alien), gus and randy (death) being 8

dr. vader!

debbie and the kids, just before the march

and there they go!

gus and the fairy princess, after the parade

sophie go round in a circle...gonna fly high like a bird up in the sky...

dr. darth vader unmasked (almost)

cole and gus

cole's brother, rory, who went as malcolm mcdowell's character from "a clockwork orange" (no, he didn't get expelled)