Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More Self-Indugent Memism

Accent: Texas Drawl. Oh, lordy, its horrible. Gettin' worse by the year. If I put my mind to it, I can sound somewhat presentable and intelligent, but mostly I just say things like dawg (dog) and awl (as in 'ain't thay-ut uh big ol' smelly awlwell', or 'chainge thuh awl in thuh ca-ar'.)
Booze: Margarita-ville.
Chore I hate: I don't mind chores as long as I feel like its my choice whether or not I do them. If I HAVE TO DO them, I hate 'em.
Dog or cat: Dobermans. Until I tried cats. Cats are so cool! I don't know if I will ever go back to dogs. Unless I adopt a greyhound...
Essential electronics: I loves me some internet, yessirreebob.
Favorite cologne(s): Estee Lauder's Knowing!!! (I like how Clinique's Happy smells on other people. On me it smells just like the citrus air-freshener my grandmother used to keep in her bathroom.)
Gold or silver: Silver. But gold works a lot better with my coloring. Unfortunately it doesn't work nearly so well with my bank account.
Hometown: Born in Fake Cow County, actually. Never really lived here until college. Lived all around West Texas while I was growin' up with a short stint in Montana. (Do you know they have high school football games on Saturday afternoons in Montana? Whut thuh Hel-yul?! Its like livin' in a whole state full of Seventh Day Adventists or somthing.)
Insomnia: Occasionally. I almost never have trouble going to sleep, its staying asleep after 2:00 a.m. that is sometimes hard.
Job title: Community Supervision Officer, Supervisor, Training Officer, Officer of the Day, for a while it was Interim Director, and a few others that shall remain nameless here.
Kids: One soon to be 10-year-old step-daughter who recently became a full-time resident.
Living arrangements: A huge double-wide a couple miles out of town that we laughingly refer to as the Spooky R Ranch.
Most admirable trait: I never take anything seriously. Whatever happens, it ain't gonna be permanent, so why worry?
Number of sexual partners: Nunyabidness.
Overnight hospital stays: Well, if you count all the times I stayed overnight with Jackson, it is a freakin' lot. Other than that, the only time I've been in the hospital, since my birth, was for 15 minutes when I had to be admitted to the hospital so I could take a radioactive pill to kill my thyroid. I went to the admissions office, signed a form, rode an elevator down to the basement where the nurse handed me a lead vial and said "Don't touch that pill, just swallow it." I did, then rode back upstairs, got in the car and went home. Didn't get any flowers or cards or anything. What a rip-off!
Phobias: I don't know if it counts as a phobia, but I hate certain words. (Dollop and tarpaulin, for example.) Bleh. I dunno why, but I just can't stand 'em.
Quote: Oh man, I love quotes! Tons of quotes! And right now I can't think of a single one.
Religion: Christian. I'd also like to be buddist and pagan. Although not all at once. I just want to be a monk on top of a mountain somewhere for a while and/or run around in the woods at night, worshipping the moon. (I tend towards shallow religious commitment that way.)
Siblings: One brother. Adopted. Our parents sent him to a plastic surgeon early on and had some work done so he would look exactly like me. It worked so well, we look like twins. Except we're not. And he's adopted.
Time I wake up: weekdays? 5:40. Weekends around 7:00. I would really like to sleep later, but I can't. If I sleep past 8:00 a.m. I always have an incredible headache the rest of the day. Its like having a hangover, but with nothing to show for it.
Unusual talent or skill: I have lots of talents, but none of them particularly unusual.
Vegetable I refuse to eat: any part of three bean salad. Retch!
Worst habit: Pshaw. Like I have any bad habits! heh, heh.
X-rays: teeth, throat, arm, head, chest
Yummy foods I make: Why is there always a cooking question?
Zodiac sign: Capricorn. I think it means I am supposed to be somewhat anti-social. I somewhat am. Sometimes.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Splish, Splash

I ruined my favorite T-shirt yesterday.

While we were snarfing around in Hobby Lobby on Saturday, Jackson saw an abstract print that he thought would look great in our bedroom. We started to buy it - then had a better idea. Its just some big blocks of color - how hard could it be to paint it myself?

Turns out it was a little more difficult than I thought, what with painting straight lines and all that. But I tweaked the colors a bit so my version of the painting would match our decor better and it was all good.


I know not to wear good clothes when I paint. I know that. We all learned about smocks back in kindergarten, right? Right. I also know to come to a full and complete stop at the stop sign and that I should floss everyday for optiumum oral health. Right.

I dropped my paintbrush, fully loaded with a deep dark purple paint. Dropped it right down the front of my shirt where it bounced all over the topography. Boing, boing, plop.

Oh well, at least I can replace the shirt.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Alas Poor Bob,

I knew ya well.

Bob and I had been together for nine years. Nine years of travel. Sometimes we traveled to the mountains. Sometimes across the plains. And sometimes we traveled to the library, across the street from the Christian Science Reading Room.

Bob was getting older. He had asthma, lumbago and a touch of leprosy around the front fender. He was 135,000 miles old. I don't know what that is in dog or people years, but it was time to let him retire. However, instead of letting him move into an assisted driving facility with mechanics on duty, the used car manager at the dealership put him on a block of ice and set him adrift in the sea. The last time I saw him, he was floating off towards the Albuquerque Auto Auction.

Bob had a couple of bumps and bruises. The leprosy on the front fender resulted after I dropped my motorcycle on him. Bob caught the bike and probably saved me a costly repair bill. But he got a couple of dimples and some scratched paint out of the deal.

There was a really interesting cross-hatched pattern that was scratched into the paint right in the middle of the driver's side door. It was about two inches square. The scratches showed up one day after I 'd been at work and the probationers were doing community service at a thrift store next door. Bob was sort of proud of it - like a scar that makes a good barroom conversation starter.

Bob liked to travel the back roads and the dirt roads. He liked to take the "long-cut" from our house to Big Flat City. It took longer, but you could get half-way there before getting on the interstate. If the roads were dry, that is.

Bob has been a good friend and a trusted part of the family. Bob only
broke down and left me stranded one time in all the years we were together. But, Bob is a two-person truck. That wasn't a big deal when Katie was a little kid and only rode in Bob on rare weekend occasions. But things have changed and none of us is getting any smaller. When the three of us pry our way out of Bob's front seat, we resemble the start of the clown act at Ringling Brothers.

So, we had a long talk and I explained it was time we parted ways. I was more sad than you know. Bob will always have a place under the carport.

But now there's Earl.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

How to be a Butt-Hole:

Lesson 1.

As you walk down the hall behind your probation officer, say, in your most passive-agressive tone of voice: "I didn't see you at mass on Sunday."

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Long time - No see.

M2 - Did you just have someone arrested?

Me - Yes.

She - What happened?

Me - Well, this guy got probation on December 12th. I saw him on December 16th. He didn’t come back until 10 minutes ago when he walked in the door and told the secretary he was here to turn himself in.

M2 - Oh, so he wasn’t surprised.

Me - No, but I was.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Some stuff, that's all.

I'm in the mood to write and I have nothing to say. Notice how that doesn't stop me? Be fore warned that the following has no redeeming social value and nothing resembling a denouement.

It is already hot here! Temperatures are in the 90's and it isn't even Easter yet. There is no rain, my yard has been clear cut by grubs and the wind destroyed my early blooming tulips. Its going to be a long summer.

I bought some grub killer. It is more complicated than a fertility schedule. I'm thinking poison shouldn't be that complicated. Wonder if there is a natural remedy?

Hard boiled eggs are nasty things. Coloring them pink and other noxious pastels doesn't help matters any.

Pastels are the weenies of the color spectrum. Pick a color and go with it - don't waffle around! Pastels are for the bland! Bah!

A friend loaned me "A Light in the Window" by Jan Karon. It is the most god-awful boring book I have ever thoroughly enjoyed. We'd been discussing books that chronicle on-going characters. Next she's going to have to read some of my Martha Grimes collection.

Read Martha Grimes Richard Jury mysteries. Start from the beginning when the books are more concerned with the crime and a whole sort of P.D. James nuance. Then continue on to the later books where the mystery is still superb, but the wack-o characters really come into their own.

All the windows are open. I can hear the grackles or crows or whatever those big birds are debating in the thick of the evergreen tree. They seem to be pretty polarized over the issues. Quite a lot of mudslinging. Very little substantive discussion.

I was reminded of Carl Sandburg's "Fog" today. Thanks to Rachel. It is one of my all-time favorite poems.

Wouldn't you love to live where there is fog? I would. For a while, at least.

I'm teaching a DWI intervention course with Mindy. It is exciting to watch people in this class. Some people really understand what is going on in their lives. I don't know if they will do anything about it, but the light has at last dawned. Others keep building up their walls, higher and higher. Denial is a nasty business.

One bad thing about the course - I've had a terrible tendency towards thoroughly unintentional double entendre. And while these guys may be slow on the uptake in some areas, they are real pros with this stuff. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more* I take a very small comfort in the fact that I was not the instructor who used an analogy about licking cats early on in the class. Eh, Mindy?


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Ladies Who Lunch. At the Wal-Mart Cafeteria.

A friend of mine has a real knack for finding interesting magazines. She's always coming up with something new that's full of interesting ideas. Not necessarily do-able, or practical, but always interesting ideas. She recently loaned me a mag on paper art.

Paper Art: Schnazzy euphemism for scrapbooking.

If scrapbooking weren't so goll-durned hoity-toity, I could totally get into it. It combines two of my favorite things: photos and cutting stuff. How could you go wrong with that? Well, if you have ever watched one of those scrapbooking how-to shows, you'll learn real quick what the hell can go wrong with that!

Anyway, the "paper art" book had some pretty cool ideas, one of which involved aluminum duct tape. Who doesn't love aluminum duct tape? I continued to flip through a few more pages and came upon an interview with some sort of scrapbooking guru. The scrapo-journalist asked her a few fluffy questions about such things as her favorite glue and how she handles scrapbooking with her kids. They waited until the end to get to down to the hard stuff. The first questions were strictly Barbara Walters. The last was all Hugh Downs.

"After a hard day of scrapbooking, what do you like to make for dinner?"

God save us from Barbie Crocker!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Meme I stole from my brother. I'm trying for his wallet next time!

1) Who is the last person you high-fived? Rose, after she made a really biting, evil, and wickedly funny comment about a situation we are all stuck in.
2) If you were drafted into a war, would you survive? War? probably. Prison? no.
3) Do you sleep with the TV on? No way! Its not the noise, but the light that bugs me.
4) Have you ever drunk milk straight out of the carton? Geeze, not even in all the years I lived alone. Wow. How boring is that?
5) Have you ever won a spelling bee? Um, no. In fact the only time I was in a spelling bee I misspelled the first word. Which was "adverb".
6) Have you ever been stung by a bee? Yep. Or maybe it was a wasp. Right in the face. Ouch!
7) How fast can you type? I haven't been tested since high school, but I type constantly and imagine I can do 50-60 words a minute, as long as there are no numbers in the copy.
8) Are you afraid of the dark? No way. When I come home to an empty house, I play a game with myself where I try to see how long I can go without having to turn on a light. Sometimes I can hit 20 minutes or so.
9) Eye color – Sometimes blueish, sometimes greenish.
10 ) Have you ever made out at a drive-in? Yes. It was an abandoned drive-in. Does that count?
11) When is the last time you chose a bath over a shower? Very rarely, although Jackson convinced me to try a hot bath after killing myself redoing the bedroom walls a couple of weeks ago. It worked!
12) Do you knock on wood? All the time.
13) Do you floss daily? Um, of course. Sure. Uh-huh. Heh, heh, heh.
14) Who needs question 14?
15) Can you hula hoop? Lord no. I used to be able to as a kid. Don't really know when I lost the ability, but it is gone for good.
16) Are you good at keeping secrets? Absolutely.
17) What do you want for Christmas? I have no idea. Geeze! Its only April!
18) Do you know the Muffin Man? No, but I do know the girl at the Frisco Bakery.
19) Do you talk in your sleep? No, but I occassionally walk in my sleep.
20) Who wrote the book of love? Don't know, don't care.
21) Have you ever flown a kite? In West Texas, you don’t fly kites … you kind of throw one up there and hang on for the ride. (stole this answer from Opie Capone.)
22) Do you wish on your fallen lashes? Whut the hell?! I never heard of that before!
23) Do you consider yourself successful? As successful as I am willing to be, yes. I have a whole blog post on that subject that I intend to write someday. Soon as I polish up my soap box.
24) How many people are on your contact list of your cell? Oh, that's so boring I'm not even going to look. Sadly it is many more than it used to be and as a result I know no one's phone number. Not even my own.
25) Have you ever asked for a pony? Not that I remember.
26) Plans for tomorrow? Absolutely none. Which is good. See answer to #23.
27) Can you juggle? Nope. I have tried to learn, but have no patience for it.
28) Missing someone now? Yes. The dozen or so people who are on my list of absconders/fugitives.
29) When was the last time you told someone I Love You? This morning.
30) And truly meant it? This morning.
31) How often do you drink? Whenever there is a chance for a really good margarita.
32) How are you feeling today? Stressed. But less troubled about it than in March. We are facing a few layoffs and our once or twice a decade state audit. I cannot change it, but I have the serenity to say "Screw It!" and not worry.
33) What do you say too much? I probably cuss too much. But I try to be creative about it!
34) Have you ever been suspended or expelled from school? Nope.
35) What are you looking forward to? Picking up the RacheLounge on Saturday. Jackson has decided there is no way he will ever pronounce Chaise correctly, so it has been christened the RacheLounge.
36) Have you ever crawled through a window? Yes. And if I can ever get my hands on a full size mannequin while Mindy is out of town, I will do it again.
37) Have you ever eaten dog food? Yes. Gravy Train. The gravy part wasn't that bad. (I was just curious, ok? Wanted to make sure my puppy-dog was getting something good to eat, alright? You'd have done the same!)
38) Can you handle the truth? Yes, as long as I can manipulate it to meet my nefarious schemes.
39) Do you like green eggs and ham? Green ham, maybe.
40) Any cool scars? I have a scar on my left index finger from slamming it in a car door when I was in the 4th grade. It never broke the skin and there were was no scab, but it still left a little white scar.

El Santuario de Chimayo, the Lourdes of America

This chapel is located on the road north of Santa Fe towards Taos. Due to the miraculous appearance of a crucifix found in the dirt on the church's location - and the supposed inability of parishoners to move the crucifix from said dirt without having it end up back there a few days later - the magic dirt in the church is supposed to have supernatural healing powers.
Eh, whatever.
Regardless, the church was another interesting place to visit.

This is the doorway leading to the courtyard of the Chapel.

The altar decor:

Out behind the church, on one side of a moutain stream, is a chain link fence. The fence is covered with handmade crosses, left over from several years of ceremony and prayer held at an outdoor altar.

Inside and underneath the church is the shrine covering a small hole in the ground where the crucifix appeared again and again. The walls are covered in crutches, canes and depictions of Jesus and Mary. The hole itself is in the middle of the floor, about 12 inches across, and outfitted with a red plastic toy scoop. Probably my favorite part of the whole trip was this sign:

Monday, April 03, 2006

I'm Ready! I'm Ready!

Yesterday was time-change-Sunday. Again. I was late for church yesterday. Not because I forgot to change the clocks. Not because I wasn't dressed. Katie was in Big Flat City with her grandparents, so not even because of her.


I was dressed and ready to go with about 20 minutes to spare. (Don't be too impressed - church wear for me consists of jeans, Converse tennis shoes and a clean shirt.) I flipped on the television and Lo and Behold, Spongebob Squarepants was on. And wonder of wonders - it was an episode I'd never seen before!

I was late for church.