Tuesday, January 27, 2009

welcome year of the ox!

yesterday was day one of the chinese new year 4707, the year of the ox. year of the rat, a.k.a. year of the bully (thanks again, dawn), didn't go over well in the triangle; here's hoping the ox brings a better year or at least a less stressful one. we've still got a few rat-borne issues here that are slowly getting resolved. as my friend julia told me yesterday, "unfortunately in life you don't get to fix one thing before you get another one, so just get over it and fix them." yes ma'am.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

my neighbor's girlfriend is so screwed

i've never been exactly sure just what is going on at my neighbor's house. to be perfectly honest, everyone over there kind of scares me so i just steer clear of them. their house is on the corner of our street and has a huge circle drive in front that is perpetually filled with ever-changing exotic cars, but one visits on a regular basis: a silver saturn sky driven by his much, much younger girlfriend.

this morning rich got up early to take gus to cello. when they got back, around 9:30, they were both asking me if i had seen the car next door yet; i hadn't. apparently girlfriend spent the night and at some point overnight someone came and spray painted in 2-foot high orange letters "DOES HE EVEN KNOW ABOUT ME?" all the way around that lovely silver saturn sky.

oh my.

(i initially withstood the urge to run out and take pictures of it--would that be the action of a bad neighbor? but then they moved it into the garage by the time i worked up the nerve to do so...damnit.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

must. break. the. addiction.

i'm embarassed. i am a 40-year old woman reading goddamned vampire novels. i thought i was over it--i truly did--i started reading art historical texts and even a biography of the widow clicquot...but CINDY (a 49-year old woman reading goddamned vampire novels) maliciously and evilly put a copy of "eclipse" in my hands 36 hours ago. i finished it last night.

(heavy sigh.)

so i guess i'm on the hook now for book four ("breaking dawn"), and thankfully it is the finale. i was perfectly happy thinking this was over; i even sought out fan fiction about "twilight," which i have never done before just to give myself some closure in an alternate universe...but no. i got sucked back in. even rich is threatening to read the series, although it is probably more to check on my sanity rather than the compelling storyline...he'll get frustrated after the first book when they don't have sex and give it up, anyway.

if you are interested there really is some wonderful fan fiction out there: "seducing ms. swan" is my favorite one and, amazingly, i think the author is all of 16. but beware as it is a work in progress...you'll get just as sucked in here as with the others...

oh my how the mighty have fallen. was i mighty before? i can't remember.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


what a tremendous day. we witnessed the peaceful transfer of power from one leader to another and it was brilliant. and i obamamamed beautifully: gus' school wasn't going to watch the inauguration (i have theories about this...such as not wanting to piss off republican donors to the school who might not see today so much as a coming together of all americans, as i and most people saw it, but rather as democratic party indoctrination that, if watched, might force them to withhold that future fat check to the school. in fairness, i found out later the fifth grade watched it and a couple of other teachers here and there had their classes see some of it...but it definitely wasn't celebrated or viewed or discussed otherwise.) so i kept him home this morning. we talked about everything that was happening and, i hope, he learned a bit about government, civil rights, and why today was so important. it was a thrilling and powerful morning of hope here in the triangle.

but as wonderful as obama's words and presence were, they were initially overshadowed by the surreality of dick cheney in a wheelchair:

the story is that he strained his back while moving. why is it that someone whose heart is as weak as an anemic kitten's is lifting boxes? what the hell is he trying to move by himself that couldn't be handled by vetted movers? that in itself is troubling. anyway, of course tom brokaw has already pointed out the obvious yet apt similarity to dr. strangelove:

and others have noted his likeness to mr. lebowski from "the big lebowski":

and, of course, mr. potter from "it's a wonderful life":

however in my mind, nothing beats jon lovitz's reprisal of mr. potter in the SNL "it's a wonderful life" lost ending:

Saturday, January 17, 2009

my stalker (the one i like) had her baby!

meet lucy catherine--10 on the apgar, for sure

erin finally had her baby (at 40+ weeks no less), and she is lovely. lucy weighed 9 pounds 12 ounces and was 22 inches long--and lucky for erin, she was a c-section baby. i cannot wait to meet her! god help me, i think i want another one now...yep, i'm fairly certain i do...lord i thought baby lust was over. does it ever end?

she's an angel--look at those chubby cheeks and arms!

Friday, January 16, 2009


...should be reconsidered by obama! thank god--it is a bad act. it ranked #6 in the final tally, which is plenty high for it to be reviewed (the top 10 at change.org are to be addressed). OOPS! spoke too soon...it will only be presented to the transition team to potentially be considered. bummer--there are a lot of qualifiers in that statement. read here for the change.org press release that lists the top 10 issues to possibly be reviewed...more qualifiers.

thank you so much to everyone who took the time to register and vote--it was enormously helpful, i think and hope. i have read that resale stores have already been exempted from this act, which is very good news. hopefully, libraries will be written out of it as well. then crafters, handmade artisans, grandmas making baby booties...and so forth.

thank you again for helping!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

my big boy gus

i am just so proud of my gus. i really am. he has had some major challenges over the past few months and has faced them gracefully and with strength and i just can't help but be awed by him. i know he will have a happy life--i am certain of it--because of who he is and how he approaches life.

i know i'm biased, too, so don't bother emailing me to tell me so.

Friday, January 9, 2009

please vote to rewrite CPSIA

last year new legislation was written in the form of CPSIA--consumer product safety improvement act--intended to protect children, specifically, from unsafe products (toys with lead paint, phthalates in stuffed animals, etc.). it was well-meaning legislation but, unfortunately, as it is written it is far too broad. some of the many unintended consequences of being too broad are the following:

1. used children's clothing, toys, furniture, accessories and books will be illegal;
2. small producers of handmade children's toys and clothes will be forced out of business because the mandated testing is extremely cost prohibitive;
3. larger companies such as mattel, disney, hasbro, etc. will dominate the children's toy market (even more than they already do) as they will be able to afford the testing, making it much more difficult to buy unbranded toys;
4. crafters and artists on sites such as etsy and craftsbury kids will no longer be allowed to legally offer anything intended for children that hasn't met CPSIA's stringent and expensive criteria;
5. ebay will no longer be able to offer used children's anything without proof from the seller that the item has passed testing;
6. many, many families will be adversely affected financially by being forced to buy retail rather than resale;
7. resale stores that focus on children's goods will go out of business;
and on and on and on.

it will also be illegal to donate these items to charity. let me repeat: goodwill will not accept your perfectly good used or new children's goods, and in fact ITEMS THAT ARE NOT CERTIFIED, AS OF FEBRUARY 10, 2009, ARE IN FACT REQUIRED TO BE DESTROYED.

therefore, if you believe not criminalizing children's toys purchased at say a church bazaar is the right thing to do, please take the time and VOTE to rewrite this law. it isn't a vote to repeal the act, just to rewrite it to include some exceptions. votes will be tallied january 16 and the top ten will be reconsidered by the obama administration. it just takes a moment to register and vote...and you will be doing much good for the future children's creative play. thank you!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

the pity party is over!

just thought y'all should know...and thank you for indulging me.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

it bites to get rejected

astrid, 2006

i'm having a little pity party here. i really wanted to be in this group show, curated by my friend melanie, but my work didn't make the cut (in her defense, it is difficult to curate a show and maintain the specific "look" that you are going for without letting emotions cloud the aesthetics). the topic was "the dress" and i thought this would be a good contribution to the exhibition, mainly because sophie looks so surreal and doll-like, but it was rejected, damnit. so i'm exhibiting it here instead. i'm not a hot shot either, but in light of what was chosen i'm not surprised by that. i foresee a very rough year for photography...

Friday, January 2, 2009

geography lessons

more information about one of my personal vampires, rich, who of course i love and adore--he is something of a compulsive princess:
  • he HAS to have specific princess-y water (only italian, only lightly carbonated)
  • he HAS to have a specific type of tire pump for each and every bike (and only a handful of them can be shared with my, gus or sophie's bikes)
  • he HAS to have illy espresso made specifically in his rancillio machine (that he calls "miss silvia")
  • all of his socks HAVE to be exactly the same (so he doesn't have to decide between them) 
  • and he HAS to take every single vitamin and every single supplement every single day in exactly the same order and quantity or he might actually die. really. 
he also has a coterie of women who completely manage his life in every respect (me, nicole, audrey, pearl, other nicole...among others; in iowa it was me, teresa, sherrie, liz...among others). so it wasn't much of a surprise when he told me, last night, that he would be driving to el paso at 6:00 a.m. this morning to buy himself some boots. he HAS to wear lucchese boots or he can't function properly at work. granted, they are nice boots, but he has four pairs of them already in excellent condition lined up perfectly in his closet. whatever. fine. i know him well enough to know that if this is what he has decided to do, then it isn't worth arguing.

so this morning, as planned, off he went to el paso to buy some boots. he wanted to be back in albuquerque for a late lunch. el paso isn't very big, so i didn't worry about him too much--i usually drive him/us everywhere, but i figured he could handle just going south on I-25 until it ended into I-10, and then he could follow the signs to the lucchese store, which is even conveniently located on I-10. piece of cake. what i didn't anticipate was his not being able to find his way home.

at 2:00, about the time i expected him to walk through the door, i get this phone call, "hey, missy? i'm coming up on this town called 'separ' and i totally don't remember it. there's all this ocotillo all over the place. i crossed the continental divide a while ago. i think i might be on the wrong road..." and i'm like yeah, pull the other one. i figured he was coming in the driveway and calling me from the front. "could you look at a map online for me and tell me where i am?" he was actually serious. he was just shy of the arizona border. my brilliant, semi-idiot savant husband had driven over 100 miles off course and it took him that long to figure it out.

so, i'm annoyed for several reasons now: first, he didn't bring a map. second, he was going to be at least three hours later than he thought and i needed to go to the grocery store without the kids. third, did he not realize the continental divide runs north-south, so he had to be traveling east to cross it? fourth, ocotillo is my favorite goddamned cactus in the world and i can't even tell you how many times i have explained to him that as much as i want to plant it here it only thrives in the chihuahuan desert (far southwest texas, southern new mexico and southern arizona). so, he knew enough to recognize the plant but not to know that if he was seeing it, he's probably not headed north. without trying to sound too judgmental (unlike here), i told him to tuuuuurn around, go the other direction back towards el paso, and find I-25. it is not bloody inconspicuous. but it was over 100 miles away.

long story short: he found his way home. and he remembered to bring the boots home with him rather than leaving them behind in the store (also a possibility). the end.

can you believe this man has so many letters after his name?

(if you look in the far lower left-hand corner, you can see separ)

UPDATE: i received this comment about my post, and i thought it would be better served in the main section instead. i'm fairly certain you can guess the author before you get to the end...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "geography lessons":

"OK, first of all, just because I have a refined taste, does not mean that I am a princess. With respect to driving off course, I think it was easier to do than you are giving me credit for. It is the desert, and the desert is known to be disorienting. I was deep in thought during the drive and just going what I thought was straight ahead. I did get up at 5:30 am, so I was probably not quite as aware as I should have been. On top of that, there was a helicopter over-head around Las Cruces, and I distinctly remember looking up at it at the time of an intersection.

"As I plodded along, to get home to my loving family, I thought that the geography looked a bit different, but I thought that it was due to my driving early in the morning and then later in the afternoon. As I crossed the continental divide, I began to suspect something was not quite right. Then I noticed that the mileage signs were listing towns in Arizona, which again gave me pause. Then, I finally noticed a interstate sign with a big "10" on it, rather than a "25".

"Having never lost my way previously, I thought there must be some mistake. I then called my caring wife to check a map, since she doesn't seem to believe she should keep one in her car. She gave me directions to get back on course, which I did with haste.

"As I was driving back toward my original course, I was pulled over for going 78 mph in a 65 mph zone. The crazy part was that I had the cruise control set at 72. I told the officer that his machine must not be calibrated correctly, since my fine Japanese machine is engineered to perfection. He told me I was still speeding at 72. I told him that I agreed with that statement. I gave him my license and insurance, but again my wife does not believe in carrying her registration in the car (see "map" above). Amazingly, he let me off with a written warning for the whole thing. This is the second time I have gotten off with a warning for speeding in the last couple of months. It is either related to my honest face or the fact that I still have a Texas license (I haven't lived in Texas since 2002). That license doesn't expire until my birthday in 2010, and don't think that I'm going to change it before then.

"Anyway, to get back to the issue at hand. I eventually made it home about 4 hours later than originally planned. I have 2 new pairs of boots (Lucchese, of course). I had an interesting little side trip, and have the satisfaction of avoiding another ticket.

"They say that Einstein used to get lost on his home as well ...

"CV available upon request."

Thursday, January 1, 2009

my own personal vampire(s)

happy 2009! i am so overwhelmingly thrilled to have survived 2008 relatively intact (physically, at least). i have worked like a dog to get to try and get all of the crap that befell us in 2008 left behind where it should be. i resolved the last of the insurance issues yesterday with the burglary claim--we settled for enough to pay for the new iron gates and a really nice pair of emerald earrings but less than we probably should have gotten; rich is now officially 50/50 between the Corporation and the University (and we are no longer keeping a stable of attorneys at close hand); i cut off all my hair to facilitate...many things. the kids are healthy-ish (gus is still having some issues) and i have only to hope that our personal 'year of the bully' (thank you, dawn!) is now behind us. or at least will be soon.

however, i'm not sleeping. that in itself isn't too unusual, but it is definitely more common than not for me to be awake now. usually i try and read to distract or bore myself into slumber, but i recently gave up on a book (and i almost never do that--i will read books that i almost can't stand both out of respect to the author for writing it and because i am stubborn that way) because it was too convoluted for my sleep-deprived mind to follow (it was dumas' "the last cavalier"). and i picked up something i would have normally never chosen...stephenie meyer's "twilight."

first of all, if you haven't read the series, don't. it isn't healthy. seriously. the only reason i picked it up in the first place was because gus asked if he could see the movie with a 6th grader down the street--i haven't seen the movie so i have no idea what it is like. i'm talking about the book here. and i am definitely saying no to him seeing the movie--all i need is for my son to think that the only way to get a girl is to stalk her and be a perpetual white knight. anyway, i bought the book knowing it would be my junk food type read, and it is very much that, but i actually found myself thinking i would have made a great vampire (they never sleep). then i started thinking i wanted my own personal vampire to talk to me while i was awake all night and save me from mortal peril and why the hell wasn't rich doing that because he clearly doesn't love me if he wasn't obsessing over my every mood and reaction...and. then. i. actually. said. some. of. that. out. loud. to. rich. and then i knew i was crazy and it was that goddamned book's fault.

why? aside from the obvious, being that i have already had some experience with stalkers (spoiler alert: that will be another post soon) and that having someone make all my decisions for me regardless of what i thought or felt is pretty much the definition of an unhealthy relationship, it is because i already have my own personal vampire.

yep, that's right, it's sophie.

and she doesn't get the prominent canines from me...

...it's from rich...and you should see the size of his brother tom's eye teeth--he's totally hiding them here for some unknown reason...

yeah, it's totally from rich--how else can i explain his decision to just wake up and run a half marathon without training?

and not only do i have my own personal edward cullen and, i guess, alice cullen--i have my own jacob black in the form of paco

for pre-teen and teenage girls, edward cullen is totally my generation's jake ryan. i can't even imagine how many relationships were ruined in the mid-80s because of him. granted, jake ryan was actually supposed to be human and had some positive personality traits that didn't involve stalking...regardless, HA to you, bella swan--i not only married the vampire but bred one of my own!

i am sooooo easily deluded when i am tired...