Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy, happy to all my blog homies!
I hope 2012 brings you nothing but joy and prosperity.

(And I'll save my rant about DWI entrapments,
I mean blitzes, for another day.
Hmm . . . I suppose I could resolve to rant less in 2012 . . . nah.)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

TV Glotzer

Only 21 days, 18 hours, and some odd seconds until the best-looking man, um, show . . . uh . . . sorry . . . what was I saying? Yeah, that's it: the best show on television returns.

Are you watching it?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Haiku Monday: SWEET

* * *

Tongue sucked numb, blood rushed,
tummy tied in candied knots.
Sweet thing’s overdosed.

* * *

Last week's winner, Curmudgeon, is hosting this week's post-Christmas Haiku Monday with the theme of SWEET. Apropos for the season, don't you think. Or is that just me?

Friday, December 23, 2011

I'm Dreaming of. . . Christmas in Acapulco

This was this past Wednesday morning, after a 9-inch dump of snow.

This was taken a few minutes ago, illustrating our total accumulation over the past week, give or take a few inches that may have evaporated during the 2.5 seconds the sun actually came out late Wednesday.

Almost three feet and counting, y'all. I'm about done. Cooked. Sliced and diced. Thankfully, S.B. made it home under the wire yesterday and can take over snow blowing duties, because my biceps are wet noodles and my mind is dark with thoughts of packing an overnight bag and taking the next flight out to somewhere with a beach and an umbrella drink.

To top it all off, every single client of mine—every. single. one.—has decided that the one working day left before the holiday is the exact right time to clear everything off their desk and dump it on mine. Sweet!

So let this stand as my official Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All My Beloved Blog Homies post. Enjoy a wonderful holiday season!

Mucho smooches,

It's a Junco Party.
Who could ask for more?
I'd decorate their birdhouse,
But I can't get out my door.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

For Eggy: Elk Tenderloin

Remember this gent? My beloved spousal unit? Who in 2010 drew, along with a buddy, one of the top spots in the universe to hunt elk and after five days came back empty handed? That's okay. Elk hunting with a bow and arrow is difficult under the best circumstances. Doubly so when you're dealing with New Mexico elk. Hunters who are successful have been doing it for years, decades even. They know all the secrets. Because New Mexico elk are as wily as an animal can get. They know their heads, hides, and meat are in high demand and they pass along evasion skills through their DNA. That call you spent all weekend working on until the dogs dug themselves a permanent hole in a far corner of the property isn't fooling anyone, least of all an elk. These are not stupid animals.

Fortunately, we did not go empty handed this year thanks to a most generous Christmas gift from a friend. Four whole elk tenderloins sent to us courtesy Allen Brothers Meats. You can bet I was on the internet in a flash, looking for a recipe and finally settling on this one.

I was a little worried about all that rosemary . . .

Prepared the marinade about 9:00 that morning, coated the tenderloins (there are two here, stuck together, which we didn't realize until after they were finished cooking—d'oh!), and placed in the fridge.

About an hour before I wanted to serve, I took the elk out of the fridge to come up to room temperature. Twenty minutes later, pre-heated the oven and started the sauce. Popped elk in oven. At the 35-minute mark, checked it with my thermometer, which read a perfect 138 degrees F, pulled it from the oven, covered it, and set it aside to rest for 8-10 minutes while I made the rest of the meal: couscous with garlic and parsley, and collard greens and Swiss chard braised in bacon grease with bits of bacon and toasted almond slices.

Here's the final plating. And, yes, elk should be cooked to rare. Anything more is uncivilized.

I was right about the rosemary. Too over-powering. As was the orange. But once we scraped the marinade off the tenderloin, we could enjoy the most melt-in-your-mouth tender and delicious meat I've ever tasted in my life. Hands down, elk's got it head and shoulder above pork and beef in my book.

So, S.B., start practicing your calls . . .

Monday, December 19, 2011

Haiku Monday: SPIN

My '80s romance:
Sequins, sweat, and Rush. Baby,
you spun me right round.

* * *

Haiku Monday is being hosted this week at
la casa la bonita señorita Fleur.
Drop by and say buenos dias, why don't you?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Be Like the Dog, Girl

We're getting a lot of snow these days. A lot. So much, that I'm beginning to fear for my spring race training. As soon as the sun peeks out for a day or two to de-ice the roads, it snows. And my trails in the mountains and hills are only passable with snowshoes. Which I guess is okay, because I read somewhere that for every mile you run in snowshoes, it's like doing three on dry land. Except I don't really run. I slog. I participated in a 5K snowshoe trail run at the top of the Sandia's last year. It took me an hour. The top runners finished in something like 32 minutes and 3 seconds. The only thing that made me feel better is that half the participants were also slower than I was.

But I need to bust through some kind of wall if I'm going to finish the Cedro Peak Ultra in April. I reach a certain high point—"hey! where did that muscle come from?"—and then I get smacked back down—"No way—huff, puff—am I going to be able—huff, puff—to make it back home—gag, spit, hurl." Somehow, though, I do. Mainly because I live in fear of having the mountain rescue team called out on me. Hyperventilating while sweating buckets at 10,000 feet is not my best look.

So I'm trying to take inspiration from Maddie, who has become my primary motivator to get out regardless of the weather or my slacker ass. She stands 18 inches and some change off the ground. Weighs 35 pounds, and is about my age in dog years. And she never stops. If she's not on the move, she is sitting at my feet and staring at me, waiting until we move. Rarely does she ever relax and just fall asleep. You drop a pin, that dog is UP.

I took her on two long treks last weekend, a straight up the mountain snowshoe slog at 10 percent grade to 10,500 feet on Saturday and another in cleats along the trails in the hills behind our house, and she never flagged. The only thing that happened was the higher we got up the mountain the first day, the deeper the snow and I was afraid I'd lose her altogether (and I was approaching the hurl stage). So I turned us around. Otherwise, she was fine. And the next day, she could easily have done double what we did. As soon as we got home, all I wanted to do was stand under a hot stream of water for the rest of the day while S.B. fed me slices of pizza. Maddie wanted to play ball.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Haiku Monday: SILVER

Sexy on the gents,

dowdy on the gals? Flip that.

Silver’s the new blond.

* * *

Fishy, aided by her partner in life and love, Blowfish, have come up with this week's Haiku Monday theme of SILVER. If you'd like to play, or just see who is (the entries, as usual, are terrific), head on over to The Pond before midnight tonight.

Friday, December 9, 2011

For Chickory

For some reason, we are enjoying an embarrassment of riches when it comes to Northern Flickers this year. Most years, I see one or two, and usually just in passing. Never at the feeders. But these dudes are hanging around in greater numbers than I've ever experienced and they're hungry. Which on the one hand is awesome—the are a beautiful and fascinating bird. On the other, they are little piglets. My Shoe Fund has suddenly become the Sunflower Chip Fund.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What's in a Name

pity this busy monster, manunkind,

not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness
--electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.
A world of made
is not a world of born--pity poor flesh

and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence. We doctors know

a hopeless case if--listen: there's a hell
of a good universe next door; let's go

E. E. Cummings

* * *

Seriously, though?
Planet Kepler-22b?
Come on, Party People, we can think up a better name than that.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Haiku Monday: TIME

* * *

Planet's birth record?
No need to time travel. Check
Canyon's grand design.

* * *

This week's Haiku Monday is once again being brought to us by "the most interesting man in the world," with a theme of TIME.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind

I can handle just about any kind of weather: heat, freezing cold, ice, snow, rain, and hail. Anything but wind. Wind makes me crazy. And my life miserable.

I ran into town around noon today to deposit a check and gas the Jeep in prep for the 12" of snow we're supposed to get starting late tomorrow. The winds were so strong, I couldn't open the door at the pump. On the way home along I-40 through Tijeras Canyon, I hit a headwind with the tenacity of a brick wall that nearly stalled the Jeep in its tracks. In front of me an 18-wheeler started to shake, rattle, and roll, and someone's lawn chair (?!?) missed me by feet on its merry skip across four lanes of traffic. I jumped off the nearest exit to finish my journey along the relative safety of Route 66 and stuttered along behind a line of fifty gazillion other high-profile vehicled chumps with V-8s smacked down by Mother Nature.

Right now, I'm watching entire mature pine trees bend themselves like yoga freaks right outside my office window. The birds have all disappeared from my feeders, although the ravens are diggin' the thermal ride high up in the still-blue sky. Ravens are never scared.

If I look outside the window next to my front door (because if I actually go outside, I'll be pelted with flying leaves and small rocks) beyond the frenetically swinging porch swing and across my driveway and down, down, down and out, all the way to where the woods end about three miles from here and the American Short Grass Plains begin their relentless march toward Oklahoma, all I can see is a curtain of dun-colored dust obscuring what is normally a fifty-mile view. And what I think are a few small animals and maybe a toddler or two spinning around in the whirlwind.

And the sound. Like a million freight trains screaming. Like ghosts not yet retired. Like zombies moaning for brains. I suspect this sound must be very similar to what mass murderers hear ringing in their ears for years before they finally snap and take down a post office, school yard, or lunchroom.

If you don't hear back from me in a couple days, it means I was blown away like the rest of my world, Dorothy-ied up into the sky and into some bizarre Oz-ian universe where at least I hope I'll get a pair of ruby slippers for my troubles.

Until then, I think I'll go run a vacuum. It buries the sound.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Haiku Monday: ENERGY

gaseous cloud goes nuclear.
Suntans, everyone.

* * *

This week's Haiku Monday contest is being hosted by
Serendipity with the electrifying theme of ENERGY.

Hey, Hey, Hey . . . Somebody Has a Birthday Today

Da coolest dawg in da 'hood!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Haiku Monday: EXPRESSION

"Duck—here come her hands!"
Sorry! Mute without them. Blame
Latin genetics.

* * *

Have something to say on the topic of expression? And can you do it in 17 succinct syllables? Then head on over to Karl's Place and post your haiku in his comments section. He's this week's host of what some folks have called the best literary meme on the innerness. Ever. And if you don't believe me, take it up with Karl.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I recently read somewhere that the emotions we feel as teenagers are some of the strongest we'll ever feel in our lives. Anger, love, hate, jealousy, doesn't matter: between the ages of around 12-18 we're little more than walking, talking, junk-food stuffing bundles of raw nerves. It's an evolutionary imperative—eventually we outgrow it, but we've all got to go through it.

And one of the most common outlets for this heightened emotional state, at least for teenage girls, is the crush. You remember yours, right? I remember mine—they ranged from my best friend's boyfriend to rock stars to movie stars to characters played by movie stars to literary heroes to the high school wrestling coach. And while each and every one of them were unattainable, at least they were, for all intents and purposes, alive.

Which is more than I can say for these stupid Twilight book and film characters. Little girls, teenage girls, and even worse GROWN WOMEN MY OWN FREAKIN' AGE (ew!), all spinning themselves into fits of hair-rending, mascara-smearing love/lust over characters that are, for all intents and purposes, dead. Not to mention, underage.

And this time around, with movie number three, the Ew Factor is ramped up to eleventy-million, as Edward the Brooding Vampire with the Tragically Hip Haircut finally marries Now of Age Bella the Mumbling Slouch Who Can't Dress. Which means they can also finally have sex (apparently, these are Conservative Republican vampires). Which means Bella ends up, yes, PREGNANT (ew! ew!).

But let's put aside for a moment just how f - - - ed up it is for real live women to rally behind this bizarro union of the undead and their half human/half vampire freakazoid offspring and ponder the logistics of how it could have happened in the first place.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the bodily fluid most responsible for making happen the thing that needs to happen to a dude's you-know, so that he can, you-know, whether in the service of getting his partner knocked up or, you-know, just having a good time, is . . . blood. Right? Which a vampire does not have, because, correct me if I'm wrong again, vampires are dead. Which means that even if it were possible for Edward to get a (you-know), he wouldn't have the lil' swimmers capable of storming the defenses because, well, those lil' swimmers would have to be alive to do so. Right?


Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Okey dokey, y'all, I have made my decision. It wasn't easy and if I don't mention your haiku specifically, it's simply because of lack of time, not admiration. Each and every one of these had something to recommend them, but as with most things in life, there can only be one winner.

I copied, pasted, printed, and read and re-read—silently and aloud—all your haikus several times. I read them to myself, I read them to the dogs, I read them in the car while waiting at red lights. I read them at lunch over salad and creme soda, but then I got distracted because I thought to myself, self? Why doesn't creme soda get the recognition it deserves? That damn root beer, it hogs all the limelight.

At any rate, I would like to spotlight a few things that struck me:

TROLL: For "Smokey mountain maze," a most excellent and beautifully evocative phrase. Also, "Sucking up to Judge 101" is clever, clever, clever ("Not this year pilgrim!" bwahahahahaha!) and yes, I can be sucked up to. It's spelled: C-H-A-N-E-L. But since ain't none of us has that kind of cash, don't worry. This contest remains, for the moment, honest.

ANONYMOUS: What's this? A love haiku? Doth someone lurk amongst us who is crushing on Mr. Troll? Come on, don't be shy. Inquiring, nosy-ass minds want to know. And this is a most awesome haiku, elegantly entendre-ed.

FLEUR: For Fleur, our resident Kate Bush of Haiku in High Heels, love is a battlefield. A stranger in an open car. A gas. An eventual pain in the ass. And boy, don't Pat Benetar and Debbie Harry wish they'd written "primal shrieks and steamed silence?" I know I do.

CZAR: Our resident Mash Up Artiste manages in only 17 quick syllables to summarize the entire history of mankind from unformed universe to the space race. It's pretty breathtaking, what he does here.

K9: Today's so-called extreme adventurers lack a certain something. I'm not sure what it is. Heart, maybe? Soul? At any rate, K9 nailed it.

SERENDIPITY: A relative newcomer to these here games, Serendipity's "Snow Mistake," reminds us that for every thrill we chase, there's danger, even death, ready to stick its foot out to trip us up.

COREY JO: Wrote a lovely homage to armchair adventurers everywhere who seek their thrills in the pages of books. What I like most about it, is the reiteration of the word bound, which works here because of the contrast it sets up: by virtue of the fact that they are literally bound, books allow us unlimited imaginative movement. Nicely done.

But two haiku stood out for me: Foam's and Karl's second ones, both of which put us in media res of an actual adventure. One of those adventures starts off pitch perfect and then, thanks to the arbitrary nature of Mother Nature, ends up being something else entirely. The other, which was never pitch perfect to begin with; in fact, it was one for which Ms. Foam was most likely extremely ill-prepared. But she did it anyway. As a result, both our intrepid writers ended up not with cracked skulls (thank goodness), but with bruised "bums." And egos. Well, well done.

But the one that won out was Karl's. By a nose and a smidgeon more of cinematic phrasing.

High exit, crisp, calm.
Freefall frolic. Winds change, blow.
Backward bean field ride.

Congrats, Karl! I have no prezzies to bestow this time around. But then again, when you want presents, they just mail themselves to your door.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Haiku Monday: ADVENTURE

A lot of our bloggers have had them recently. Fishy and Aunty just got back from forays to France, Pam from a jaunt around jolly ol' England and Wales, and Chickory inadvertently courted one in the mountains of her own backyard. So I thought ADVENTURE would be a fitting topic for this week's Haiku Contest.

I'd like you to tell me: Do you thirst for it or shrink from it? Enjoy it from the safety of your sofa or out in the great outdoors? From the end of a bungee or dangling from a parachute? Atop a mountain or at the bottom of the ocean? Or is your interpretation something more ethereal or elusive, a feeling or way of life rather than an actual action?

The rules are simple:

• 5-7-5 format
• The word adventure does NOT have to appear in the haiku or the title, but if you can incorporate it, awesome
• Submit no more than two
• Visuals always fun but not necessary and won't affect the judging
• Post here by midnight EST, Monday, November 14
• I'll announce the winner by end of the day Tuesday, November 15

Good luck!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blood Sweat and Tears

From my trainer, a woman with the tenacity of a badger and the muscles of a ballerina, the kind of person who, upon hearing that you simply cannot go on, that you are about to hurl on your shoes, that please, can we just forget this whole thing and go gossip over donuts and coffee, purses her lips, hands you a towel, and says: "Don't care. Two more sets.":

"It's not the heaviness of the weight that matters most, but the intention with which you lift it."

In spite of the fact that I spend most of my time flipping her off behind her back, I have decided that these are wise words indeed and I just might want to adopt them as my mantra to get me through these next few months as I navigate the holidays, a full workload, and swat away doubts about the wisdom of signing up for my next trail race. (Which brings to mind another of my life's mottos: "Interesting, but stupid.")

So, what about you all? Has there ever been anything you've done for which you were totally ill-prepared but you just went ahead and did it anyway and surprise, surprise, no one died, sued you, or made you go home?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Haiku Monday: DEATH

Move towards the light:
Sun, surf, sand, and drink. You die.
But then life’s a beach.

* * *

Haiku Monday is back in the hands of Señor Troll this week
with the seemingly somber topic of DEATH. Which is sure to bring out
some heavy-hitting haiku talent.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Until Death Do Us Part

Oh my God, I left my brain on the bus!

Here's what I have learned so far this week:

1. As usual, my math is off: For the past seventeen years, I've operated under the assumption that S.B. and I first met on Sunday, November 1, 1994, the day after Halloween. When in actuality, that Sunday was the day after a Halloween PARTY, held Saturday, October 29th, a two full days before the date I've always held in my head.

2. Not that it really matters. I'm jinx-ey about celebrating anniversaries, and S.B. tends to forget stuff unless I Sticky Note it. Birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's, bring it. But I've always tiptoed around the whole until death do us part concept for one thing (what if one of us turns into a serial killer? a wearer of Crocs? a democrat?) and I'm a skeptic about anything institutionalized for another. I figure if I don't look it straight in the eyes, it won't be tempted to attack. So far, it seems to be working.

3. I think that I am actually beginning to hate a show about zombies. And I'll watch zombie anything, but Walking Dead is turning out to be such a clunker, not even a busload of meth addicts could revive it at this point. Speaking of which, anyone see the season finale of Breaking Bad? That was awesome. Also: Homeland. If you haven't seen this, it's worth watching the past episodes online to catch up. Very tense stuff. Also, also: American Horror Story. Scary and funny and sexy (Dylan McDermott is FIFTY? Holy moly. Even S.B. had to comment on that one.).

4. I watch way too much television.

5. I actually made my way through an entire fantasy novel this month, Terry Pratchett's Small Gods (at Troll's rec), and didn't want to throw it against the wall. Au contraire, it was very food for thought-ey, and I loved the whole desert-as-metaphor-for-enlightened-thought bit and also the desert as the purgatory across which the newly dead must make their way to the final place of judgment. When I die, I want to be laid (lain?) out on a flat rock in the New Mexico badlands somewhere, left as food for the coyotes and the vultures. Let that sun soak my bones until they're bleached and scattered. This sends S.B. into a mini conniption fit every time I mention it because most likely he'll be the one who has to carry out my final wishes and most likely this is illegal.

That's all I got. You?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Haiku Monday: JOY

Nose to wrist inhales
spring’s symphonic scent. My skin
blossoms, Eau de Joy.

* * *

Fishy is hosting Haiku Monday this week, with a theme guaranteed
to put a spring in your step. Even though it's fall.
Pop on over and join the fun.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Haiku Monday: GHOST

Lo, what spectral smudge
at midnight haunts my room? Phew!
‘tis only the dog.

For more haunting haiku, drop by here as Aunty's hosts this week.

* * *

P.S. This week's Walking Dead summary comes to you courtesy S.B.:
"This show is like a motorcycle revving it's engine in the driveway, waiting to take off."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fuel for Fire

Want. Want, want want, want want.

Yes, it's out of my price range, but if I start saving now . . . And you know what? Shhhhhhhh . . . it's a hybrid. I know, right?!? The Fisker Karma, the world's first hybrid high performance luxury sports car. Made by a private joint venture out of Anaheim, CA, and manufactured in Finland. Even better looking, in my humble opinion, than the Jaguar, which to me is the ne plus ultra of beautiful car design.

From the website:

Finally, sustainable design without compromise. Introducing the Fisker Karma, the first true electric luxury vehicle with extended range and the freedom to plug in or fill up. With the ability to toggle between the all-electric Stealth Mode or fuel assisted Sport Mode with the simple shift of the paddle, the Karma delivers high impact performance while maintaining a low impact on the environment. The Fisker Karma -- a bold expression of uncompromised responsible luxury.

Yeah, buddy. Well, except for that last statement. The copy was fine until "responsible luxury." That's just kind of dumb.

What say you? Yay or nay?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dead Men Walking

No one loves a good zombie saga more than I do, but is it just me or did last night's season two premier of Walking Dead seem just a bit flogged? Those "intense moments of sociological sparring" in between zombie threat and gag-me-with-a-spoon gross-out that have so many critics applauding just had me yawning and wishing I wasn't on hiatus from alcohol.

And when I get bored, I start watching for holes in the plot. Any little thing will do, but last night I didn't have to look too closely.

1. I realize the merry band of survivors have to hit the road in search of a safer place to try and reconstruct some semblance of normalcy, but who on earth allowed Daryl to do it on a chopper the size of a small jet engine that sounds just like one, too? Seriously. If stealth is a concern, then someone should have ixnayed his zombie-brained choice from the get-go. And, besides, who on earth can keep their arms up for that long? A chopper is a conceit, not a long term method of transport.

2. Yeah, yeah, we're supposed to believe for one second that the little girl purposefully left the spot under the riverbank where Rick hid her. Thus, sending the merry band on a sidetracked quest to find her, leading to all kinds of the aforementioned tense sociological drama, i.e., should we continue looking for her or save our own asses, i.e.e., are the needs of the many more important than the needs of the few? And do we beat the tar out of the little tyke once we find her for causing us such trouble? As far as I'm concerned? There's no room for children in the zombie apocalypse. Maybe the producers think so too, by the looks of the ending.

3. When trying to figure out if said tyke is still alive, Rick and Shane bean the brains of a walker, then cut open his gut sack to see if he'd recently munched on eight year old girl flesh. Ridiculous! What on earth would they have found to distinguish her from anyone else? My Little Pony? Barbie? I wanted to bitch slap those two but hard.

4. And if I watch one more program in which any character starts in with the why-me-Lording to a battered statues of Jesus in a bombed out church, I'm going to hurl.

The good news is, the previews for the upcoming season look like we're finally going to get to the meat of something interesting: A convergence with other survivors, evidence that a centralized form of control still exists, Rick finding out about Shane and Lori's stepping out. Anything to take us from the hermetically sealed world of Survivor Zombie Style into a broader, truly sociological examination of the only thing that really matters in such a tale: how thin and fragile is that veil between so-called polite society, order, and justice, and total anarchy? And which works out best for the human race in the long run?

* * *

Where's Haiku Monday? Over at Rafe's. Guaranteed to be zombie free.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Don't Shoot Me, I'm Just the Copy Editor

No, that's not me. But I did covet that hat and nearly talked her out of it. Then she emerged from her fog (alcohol? wacky weed? life?) and realized, "D'oh! I make these for a living, girl! BUY one from me!"

I dig the dress, too. She hand knit it herself and it fell all the way to the ground, ending in a spectacular fall of ruffles.

I also dug the party's venue: a resort high up in the hills above Santa Fe with the kind of million dollar views that make bazillionaire East Coasters leave their Manhattan spreads for bazillion-dollar dirt-built mansions off roads that the county resolutely refuses to plow come winter. It's kind of like Mulholland Drive or Lauren Canyon, only dustier.

The food, unfortunately, was uninspired. Lots of things like carpaccio wrapped around wasabi something-something and tuna tartar stuffed in mini cucumber cups and something-something hummus on radicchio, served by kohl-eyed and tattooed twenty-somethings who otherwise play in a band or really just want to write. But there was only one bartender. Eye candy bartender to be sure, but seriously there were hundreds of people at this shindig and only one of him. And once the sun went down, it got really cold outside and I was worried for him because he had a shaved head.

Me, I never drink at these things. Not only because of the drive, but because there's enough bullshit being spewed that I don't have to add to it. Besides, one of life's greatest pleasures is being stone cold sober while trying to figure out what, exactly, a drunk stranger in a deerskin jacket that looks like it was cribbed from Denis Hopper circa 1967 is trying to tell you. And not necessarily because they're slurring their words. There's nothing quite like alcohol to subvert logic and discretion and unlock the part of the brain where all a person's whack-on-crack impulses are toe-tapping themselves to be let loose upon the world.

Mine were reaching their hands through the bars with such desperation, I actually began to feel bad. And there wasn't even anything good to eat that I could shut them up with, so that was when I decided it was time to leave. I got lost on the way back down the mountain because I was talking to S.B. on the Bluetooth and not paying attention to the road, and then he made fun of me for insisting on doing things the old fashioned way, which was pull over, turn on the light, and look at the Google Map, instead of turning on the navigation system.

And then I spent the entire ride back home talking myself out of stopping at the McDonald's ten minutes from home for a Big Mac and some fries.

It's a wonder I ever leave the house.

For those of you clamoring for the view:
I took this one early on before the sun set completely.
No way iPhone can do it justice, but it gives you an idea of height and scope.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Haiku Monday: VELVET

Dressed for Chill:

Silken velvet's sheen
deftly cut and sewn cocoons.
Winter's lux armor.

* * *

Chickory's hosting this week, so make sure to stop by,
even if you don't play. Velvet's a brilliant theme.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Slackers of the World Unite

The best editorial I've yet read on the so-called Wall Street protests starts off:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men, women, and transgendered—and any other human who is able to elude the tyranny of work for a couple of weeks—are created equal. We gather to be free not of tyranny, but of responsibility and college tuitions. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that a government long established and a nation long prosperous be changed for light and transient causes. So let our demands* be submitted to a candid world.

I'd print the rest of it, but I actually have to get back to work. Because, you know, I have a job. One I earned. And if I do a crap job at it, I'll get fired. Because that's just the way things work in this world. Freedom or fairness; it's one or the other, but not both.

Anyway, go read the rest of it, here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

To Infinity and Beyond

RIP, dude.

Rancher's Rain

That's what we call the slow, steady, soak-deep-into-the-ground drizzle that New Mexico rarely gets but always so desperately needs. If these rains do come, they do so right about now—just in time to mess with the Balloon Fiesta, cool things down at night, and send the hummingbirds still lingering at my feeders into full-on migration mode. Adios, little birdies; see you guys next year . . .

The good thing about these rains? My garden loves it. One of my rose bushes will continue its fall flush until the end of the month and my petunias and snapdragons won't stop blooming until the first truly hard frost, which can arrive as late as December. And while it often snows in the fall, it doesn't last. We'll get one, two inches, the sun comes out the next day, and the temps warm to the high 60s, low 70s. It's not unusual to eat Thanksgiving, even Christmas, dinner outside.

Our heaviest snowfalls come in February, March, and April. One year, it dumped so much snow mid April, when I went around to the north side of the house to clear the satellite dish, I was buried in a roof avalanche. That was the year we decided to put snow blocks up on the roof. Small dogs and children regularly die from large falls of snow off a roof, and while we don't have either, we do have me. Imagine if S.B. had returned from a work trip to find me missing from the kitchen and Ivan outside, resolutely planted beside this hump of snow in the shape of a ding-a-ling in a snowsuit. Funny, but kind of not really.

Also kind of not really funny? Running with Maddie in the rain. Today, she and I are scheduled for a five-miler in the hills but while I have trail shoes and gaiters, she does not. She is short and has long fur and just got back from the groomers. Yeah. You ever try cleaning mud out of a Border Collie's fur? I just don't have that kind of time.

So anyway. Tell Moi: what are your falls like?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Haiku Monday: FOG

Midnight’s fevered squall
mists the desert dawn. Earth shrugs.
Dew’s long gone by noon.

* * *

Curmudgeon was last week's winner,
so head on over there to gawk or post.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Wax Nostalgic

Just 'cause I miss disco sometimes. And turbans. And female pop singers who could sing live with as much power as recorded.

(Also, I miss donuts.)

By the way, if you're still hanging in there with Project Runway, whose little sewing mice tackled my favorite fashion era last night in typically horrendous . . . fashion . . . then head over to Miss Pam's place. She's taken the snarkin' back over, now that she's back from her jaunt across the pond.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Bejeweled and aglow,
Athena-felled swain commands
autumn’s inky skies.

* * *

As last week's winner, Uncle is hosting and judging this week. Over at Aunty's. Who left him in charge of her blog while she travels for business. Which, of course, begs the questions: Who will win this free-for-all Battle Hunter, will there be booze and sandwiches, and will Aunty return to fling plates at Uncle's head? Stay tuned . . .

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cuke Overload

I returned from a short visit to South Louisiana earlier this week with two things: 1. A re-confirmation of my inability, even as an adult and after not having been in church for about a bazillion years, to keep my eyes open and my ears from hearing Charlie Brown's parents once the sermon starts. God created the heavens and the earth, right? So if it's all the same, I'll just go ahead and worship that with my Sunday morning trail runs. Save myself the trouble of putting on heels and mascara that early in the day, besides; and 2. A passel of cucumbers from my green-thumbed father-in-law's most excellent garden.

I've never been much of a fan of cucumbers, but I have to say, straight out of the garden? Delicious! Except, what the heck am I going to DO with all of them?

So hit me with your best ideas.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Haiku Monday: DANCE

(Insert goofy photo of you hugging dance partner here:)

Junior High School's dread:
Palms sweat and knees knock. We are
all a Limburger.

* * *

Game's being played over at Czar's this week. Make sure you either play or pretend to do so on T.V.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Free For All

Phat Loot: the long knit/crocheted gloves I was coveting and a pair of satin-ey lounge pants I didn't know I wanted until I saw them.

I turned on the television this morning to one of the network's top news stories: yesterday's unprecedented, all-day crash of the retail giant Target's website. The reason? The arrival in its stores of the most highly anticipated, coveted, and hyped partnerships between Target and a high end designer since the retailer debuted its Design For All concept back in the late 1990s with a Michael Graves-designed set of housewares.

Since then, Target has partnered with everyone from Anna Sui to Converse, Alexander McQueen to Rodarte. Always limited editions, although some designers (like the make-up maven Sonia Kashuk, and American apparel manufacturer Mossimo) have remained perennials. Anyone who has ever shopped target most likely has one of Mossimo's colorful t-shirts or Kashuk's brilliant eye colors, perfumes, or make up brushes. Even better, they didn't go into hock to purchase them, either.

But I'm not sure anyone was prepared for the Missoni frenzy. An Italian knitwear design house started in Italy in 1953 by husband and wife Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, the line is famous for the quality of its wools and fabrics and crazy patterns and colors. To own a piece of Missoni is to own true luxury, and I don't mean that in a cost-a-million-dollars-worth-of-luxury kind of way. What I mean is, you own something that is handmade by a small, privately held family company that still retains tight control over quality and production, and still cares that it's providing it's customer with something beautiful to wear. (However, the the lower-priced M Missoni line currently licenses to LVMH, so don't buy M.)

When I heard back in the spring about this partnership, you can bet I calendared the debut date. Those who pooh-poohed me and said, "It's Missoni For Target, not the real thing,"' can suck it. I say: what's the difference? Why can't a $54 cardigan with a cool pattern and tight weave be any less purchase-worthy than one that costs 10 times that?

So when Chickory called yesterday morning while I was on my way into town, breathless with excitement and quickly giving me the low down on the goods, it was all I could do to make it through my early morning appointment before hitting the closest Target at 10am. Which I did. In spite of the slim pickings, I picked up some great stuff, including this rockin' knit cardigan whose Navajo/Art Deco pattern fits right into my 1970s-inspired fall wardrobe. I was exclusively scouting for clothing, one of the silk scarves, and the laptop cover. The housewares, while beautiful, I stayed away from. I have way too many fine and fun bowls, vases, dish sets, etc., both modern and vintage, and all I needed was to come home with yet another piece to find space for. However, anyone who needed to furnish their baths, beds, and kitchens would have found some really great pieces.

While waiting for a dressing room, I listened to the sales gals' tales of woe: of people lined up at 4am to get in. Of checkers ringing up bills in the thousands of dollars. Of people snatching items out of other shoppers' carts. Mad house, frenzy, not prepared, were constant phrases. But my first thought was: right on.

With all the complaints about the economy these days, these girls are looking this gift horse in the mouth? I wanted to smack them. Yes, I'm an unabashed Material Girl. That's because we're a Material Nation. A Material World. A Material SPECIES. What would we be doing if we didn't conceive, create, manufacture, distribute, and sell? Lay on a beach all day somewhere frolicking with dolphins and making love not war? The problem with that is, someone eventually wants a cute-looking bikini and goes looking for someone to make it, and then someone else begins to control the distribution of coconuts and palm fronds. And there we are: right back where we started.

So I say: all hail the free market. It may not be perfect, but it's the best idea for an economy that we've got.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Haiku Mondays: JOURNEY

Behind her Old World
ties dissolve. Free at last? No.
New ones quickly spun.

* * *

Journey is the theme for this week's Haiku Monday, hosted by
last week's winner, Aunty Belle.
You can play, or just read, over at her place.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Project Runway Temporary Snark Station

If anyone's still watching this lame-ass show, it certainly can't be for the design challenges, but for the simple, leg-kicking good fun of watching Joshua roll his eyes and flip his hands and jack the drama to levels so sky high, even Gloria Swanson would be embarrassed.

Oooooo, and how much did you want to hate him when he told Becky point blanket-edly that he is the one who makes clothing people want to buy and she doesn't, but then a second later thought to yourself, "Hmm. Boy's got a point." Sometimes the world just needs people like Joshua to tell it like it is. Even if they do tell it in a tres yucky orange-tanned and faux-Pucci-print-on-discount-in-South-Beach kind of way.

Somewhere, a passel of Jersey Girls are crying their eyelashes off because they just found out Joshua don't swing their way.

But the real howler of the evening was this dress by Bert:

Trust me. You don't want to see it any closer. But if you want to, you'll have to click here, because stoooooooooooopid Project Runway site won't let me snag their photos. Go ahead. I'll wait . . .


About the only thing I liked last night was the jacket Oliver made. Which I also can't snag off the website.

So. Yeah.

Oh, but I do have photos of these guys!

Baby otters! Aren't they cwute? Don't you just want to kiss their widdle faces? (So much better than Project Runway designers.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

All I Need's A Fast Machine

Yeah, yeah. I know. I'm supposed to be working. In the next three days I have to outline an entire book, assign editorial to one of my magazines, and put another one to bed, including proofing blueline. Gah. But, before I start to bang my head against a wall and ruin my eyesight even further, I just need to quickly share my newest obsession with you. Because I can't get these guys out of my head.

This show is so much ding dang fun, I can't believe it's taken me all these years to discover it. If you've seen it, you know what I mean. If you haven't oh, man, you don't know what you're missing. Riddled with wry British humor and lightning fast quips like, "As we know, there is a financial crisis going on at the moment, but we’ve decided not to take part in it.” Because these guys have a love for the automobile so unabashed, it has eco-warriors across the globe flinging tofu at their screens on a weekly basis. My kind of show, exactly.

My favorite episode so far is pretty indicative of how things operate between Top Gear's three hosts: the producers tell each of them to choose their dream race car and let them out for a long, fast spin along one of the world's all-time great highways. They consider the Transfagarasan Highway in Romania, but eventually decided on America's Blue Ridge Parkway, because "The Americans always think they're right."


James selects a Ferrari 458 Italia; Jeremy, a Mercedes SLS (hubba); and Richard, bless him, chooses what has to be, hands down, my least favorite car on the planet, the so-butt-ass-ugly-not-even-its-momma-could-love-it, Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

Jeremy, a man after my own heart, ridicules his compatriots, pointing at the Ferrari and stating, "That is a car a five year old would love," then at the Porsche, "And that is car a 55 year old would love." And then he beams at the Mercedes: "But this, this is a car for grown ups with elegance and taste."

(Jeremy is also responsible for my latest auto obsession, the new BMW 1M—see below and tell me if you don't think that thing has major fizz—it's like a Staffie Bull with wheels.)

But when they finally get to the Parkway, shot in all its golden-lit summer afternoon splendor, they discover that . . . the speed limit never tops out beyond 45mph! The sight of these three gear heads crawling along in their raring-to-go sports cars, trying to figure out if they should just go for it and put the pedal to the metal, is one of television's all-time greatest moments.

Freakin' priceless, in fact.

So, yeah: Watch this show.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Haiku Mondays: BIRTH


River’s iced embrace
washes soul of sin. Behave!
You’re a Christian now.


Botticelli’s babe
today: Too fat for naked.
Put some clothes on, girl.

* * *

Troll's hosting this week, based on a theme chosen by
last go-round's winner, Deep Blue.
Head on over and see what all the fun is about.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Project Runway Temporary Snark Station

I have always pictured Bert Keeter at his best designing something über urban sophisticated, along the lines of, say, Ellie Saab or Donna Karan.

See? Tres chic.

But knowing the man is, in reality, capable of putting together something only an Oompa Loompah could love . . .

Makes me want to kill him before he designs again!