Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Six more days until we decide our future.

If there are any of you out there still deciding, you might want to go ahead and see W.

Since that was the only movie that my parents wanted to see at the theater nearest our hotel in Prescott, AZ, that was the movie I saw tonight.

Whereas my father said that he found reason to have sympathy for Georgie, I did not.

Here's what I did -- cringe, cover my face, shake my head.

Why didn't someone, ANYONE, get this man a little therapy to deal with his daddy issues rather than encouraging him to go ahead and run for office when he had NEVER successfully held ANY job?

Think seriously about our future -- we don't need another person in need of therapy taking over the presidency -- or vice-presidency -- and religion is not an adequate substitute for therapy.

Can't wait for Tuesday evening to watch the returns...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

UPDATED: Amazing Beauty -- photos attached!


We had a full day of beauty -- first natural beauty at the National Petrified Forest.

These are a few of my photos (since I was driving, I only took 150 or so shots but my mother blew through another set of batteries taking photos -- probably close to 600 just that day).

Our two or three hour tour through the forest turned into almost six hours there... we just couldn't tear ourselves away.

I saw these birds chilling in the shade and threw them some dried fruit, and then they proceeded to follow us along the road and come up to the car each time we stopped -- my dad was not convinced it was the same bird until I caught him flying alongside us.

These are the Pueblo Puerto Ruins and Petroglyphs

I had planned to get to Winslow before 2pm so that we could have lunch at La Posada and then head towards Prescott via Sedona for more beautiful landscape.

Well, by the time we got to Winslow, it was 4 pm. The weren't serving dinner until 5, so I made a reservation. We bought a self guided tour booklet and wandered around the building and grounds. I haven't been there since 2002, so there was much that had been restored.

I discovered this place via NPR back when I was commuting 45 miles each way and surviving off the magic of the story in ugly turnpike traffic. I made it a point on my cross country trek to the new job to stop in Winslow and stay over. I stayed in the Mary Coulter Room and treated myself to a fantastic dinner at the Turquoise Room.

I wanted my parents to experience this place, so after our tour, we had drinks in the Martini Bar and then had a fabulous dinner -- my dad had the Churro Lamb (only available at this restaurant), my mom had the fillet mignon, and I had the Colorado Elk. YUM -- not to mention the chocolate souffle for dessert.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Southwestern Voice

There aren't many things that I have held onto from my marriage, but there are three that I come up with quickly: a love of Thai food (even if I lost my favorite restaurant in the divorce), bird watching, and Tony Hillerman mysteries. In fact, for the first leg of my adventure, I forced my parents to listen to Skeleton Man. I love the idea of listening to the description of the places when you are just a few miles from them.

So, I was very sad to hear that Mr. Hillerman had died yesterday. Here we were in Santa Fe, less than 100 miles from where he was dying in the hospital.

I appreciate the many stories he shared with us over the year and his voice will be sorely missed.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tidbits from the weekend

Saturday, we visited the Taos Pueblo. In San Geronimo's Church, I lit a candle for all the native peoples who were hurt in the name of the Church.
It was interesting to see a matriarchal church. There were three different statues of the Virgin Mary with one directly in the center of the altar, but the Jesus statue was smaller and off to the side.

Sunday on our way to Chimayo (and yet another church visit -- what can I say, my parents are very religious even if I am not into the organized religion deal), my mom noted that the people driving by us seemed to be having a conflict. There was a McCain/Palin sticker centered on the back bumper, and directly beneath it was an Obama sticker.

As we have been driving through the southwest, I have been especially surprised at the lack of McCain/Palin signage. Especially in Arizona where I expect to see a profusion -- I saw only one big sign and one on a car... isn't AZ McCain country? We finally saw one person who felt the need to represent for everyone...

But, more often than not, there were Obama signs in windows and on lawns, such as this:

(these two were both shot in Mesilla, NM)

There was one stretch between Hatch and Socorro where there were more McCain (by maybe 5), but almost all the cities were definitely blue Obama, Obamanos and now in Northern New Mexico -- Nortenos Unidos. I especially liked Go Go Obama/Biden ... there was more but I can't remember, I saw them from the car and couldn't take a picture.

On the other hand, I have had no less than FOUR phone calls regarding my volunteering for the campaign next weekend -- each one contradicting the other and apparently not knowing what the right hand is doing when the left hand is dialling the phone.

The good news -- even if one of the crews doesn't want me if I can't stay til the 4th -- which I can't because I got a two month temp gig that starts on November 4th -- the Obama Nos Llama seem to have a place for me.

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

update, sort of

I have a lot to say but not a lot of time....

I used my itsy bitsy bit of time to work on the other blog today...

I will get back here, SOON... in the meantime, you can see that I am not quite caught up with the other one either, but, hey, it's a start.

this is one of the places I went today...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Digital Divide... in Real Life

So, I have been without internet access since we hit El Paso.

Yesterday, I broke down and bought 24 hours at the Starbucks, but I could only spend a few hours there yesterday and today, and my work had to take priority.

I am ten minutes away from the end of my 24 hours...but I thought I would just post this quickly.

I am trying to work on two blogs at the same time and keep up my reading AFTER I actually do my grad school application work.

Ahhh... the next stop must include internet access!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

First Female Candidate for President

Victoria Caflin Woodhall

In these last days of the long Presidential campaign, it was wonderful to hear about this candidate.

I cannot imagine not having the right to vote and still having the nerve to run for President.

No, she wasn't perfect, but neither have any of the other candidates ever been perfect -- we just don't prominently display everyone else's warts.

If you get a chance, give this one a listen.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Like Willy Nelson

...but less hairy. I am going on the road again.

First stop... Oxnard, sometime later tonight... well, assuming I can finish getting packed, crossing everything off my to do list and actually get on the road.

Next stop... El Paso, TX via Phoenix.

Then ... Santa Fe, NM.

Finally ... Las Vegas, NV via Sedona and maybe Prescott.

A little Obama campaigning right before the election.

So, there is a method to this madness, but you will have to go here for the details.

I will try to check in frequently, but I am not making any promises.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hoes Down Festival

The really nice thing about being "unemployed" is that you have to seek out free entertainment. Though I have wanted to go to Full Belly Farm [from whence my lovely organic box comes every other week] I have never made it to an event. But, when I was offered free admission to the Hoes Down Festival (yes, I endured a fair amount of ribbing for the title of the festival -- I swear, I had nothing to do with it, though I guess I do have to claim all my friends with their minds in the gutter) in exchange for a little volunteering, I signed up. I was privileged to have been assigned to work in the wreath room. The folks at Full Belly Farms and Good Humus Produce gather every Thursday to make wreaths, then they sell them to adoring fans. The wreaths are gorgeous ... some standard, some less conventional, all beautiful.
The wreath room also happens to be the place where the flowers from the farm are dried and stored also in beautiful fashion. We were selling the dried flowers and chiles, too.
When the sun hit just right, the flowers seemed to come alive. And they seemed to call in people who came in just to look up and admire the wares. Right outside the window, there were many people getting crafty. Here they were decorating gourds.
Making creations with clay.
It was kid heaven basically. Tons of activities, great food, entertainment and music. When I broke free to wander around, I couldn't figure out why there were so many kids walking around soaked through -- though it had been forecast to rain, we didn't see a drop.

Then I walked past this activity and it all became clear.
I don't think they were in it for the apples. I think it was like the water ride at Magic Mountain: in order to really enjoy the day, first you get on the water ride, then it's okay to stand in lines for other rides when it is super hot because you are carrying around your own AC.

As I continued my walk, I found kids making lanterns with balloons and paper mache.

This structure had a great name I can't remember, but you might find it in the list of activities. The coolest part was the tunnel at the bottom, I saw tons of kids going in one side and emerging triumphantly on the other side.
The first stop on the gourd decorating was to wash the gourds (aka more chances to get wet!). I also like this picture because it features prominently the flower crown. Right outside the wreath room (ALL DAY LONG) there were people earnestly making these flower crowns.
I was relieved of duty just in time to catch these folks dancing... the energy was so high... I forgot all about having been up since 5am.
I only managed to catch one of the workshops, but it was incredible [I will post more later.] I learned all about native plants (native to CA that is) and what to plant and what not to plant. This is a native plant that is ok to plant near water.
This is an invasive species NOT TO PLANT. It loves the water but erodes the banks of the creek, uses too much water and generally takes over.
This is one plant I intend to have once I have my own yard again! I did buy a few. Though there are many fruits I love, these are my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE.
As I walked towards my car, I encountered this family. You can see Mom and Youngest Son here, but there was another Tween Brother. The little one wanted to carry his own damn pumpkin even though it was slowing down the march to the car. I asked him if he had picked out that pumpkin special - and he said he had -- so he had good reason to want to handle it himself, with care.
YIKES... just had a little earthquake as I was typing up this post.

Making history...

Got my absentee ballot in the mail today!

I was just fretting yesterday that it hadn't arrived because I am on the road starting Monday...

there it was today in all of its wonderfulness.

Tomorrow, I will take it to the post office to make sure that it has adequate postage -- my vote WILL COUNT.

For any of you out there that read this and haven't been convinced by what you have seen and heard lately, and since there is not much good out there to hear or see, I thought I would take the hint from MissGrace and share why I am voting for Senator Obama to be our next president.

It may seem like not more than beautiful sentiments... but intentions matter. We have evidence that Senator Obama means what he says. We can only hope that we will have have the will to hold all of our feet but especially his feet to the fire as we try to make out of this madness the kind of country of which we can all be proud

Monday, October 06, 2008

In Honor Of

Today is my brother-in-law's birthday and I can't think of him without thinking about his amazing mother (she gifted us with him after all!) ... four years ago (or so) his mom died of breast cancer.

Johnny Mae was an incredible woman. I still feel her loss... especially when I want to try something bold and don't have her to back me up. She had a way of loving you strongly, motherly, but not smothering-ly so you always felt like she was ready to applaud your leap from the nest.

I could not help but think of her and my Tia Jenny and my niece and my cousins when I watched the movie In the Family. I loved this movie... so much so that I watched it twice through and thought about watching it again.

I highly recommend it, and it's available on the P.O.V. website for free all October.

Consider also making a contribution to Martha Haley's Emergency Fund -- in the name of and in honor of the women you love and have lost or don't want to lose Or if you prefer the money go to research, consider the Breast Cancer Research Fund, they are not as well known as Komen but they promise to give 85 cents of every dollar to research.

In the Family's Martha Hayley Emergency Fund

Martha Haley is a three-time breast cancer survivor currently fighting metastatic disease, and more recently diabetes, without health insurance. She runs a support group for low-income African American women, and tirelessly answers the calls of newly diagnosed women. Martha and LeaLea (her now 25 year old daughter) work endlessly to help their community and support their family. This summer, they went months without gas or electricity as they could not pay for those bills and Martha's
medications simultaneously. Martha is a poet and a warrior and she needs our help.

Please visit the In the Family website to learn more about how you can make a contribution to the Martha Hayley Emergency Fund.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

outrage and information

I, like many American, am outraged by the economic crisis.

I don't support the idea of bailing out (or rescuing) Wall Street in any way. I especially don't appreciate that Bush is not taking any heat for having pontificated about the health of our economy for the last four (really eight) years. This crisis did not happen in a day ... it is years in the making and there are many, many causes to the underlying fundamental problems, not the least of which is deficit spending. I am not an economist, so I may not understand all of the finer points, but I am capable of understanding that there are multiple causes and the weakness of our economic structure to handle this kind of problem with a laissez faire attitude.

Now the Republican pundits are making the rounds on the news shows blaming this crisis on sub prime mortgage holders and the weak-kneed liberals who have supported the Community Reinvestment Act and anyone who has supported Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae in the past forty or so years.

I understand that they need to talk like this because they are trying to get a Republican (self declared not knowing or understanding anything about the economy) elected president... but as with so much in the media, they say something, repeat it fourteen times and then it is living in the world as though it were truth.

When we went to war, this is exactly what they did ... and the media did not challenge or question any of the lies that were told. Before we knew it, despite MILLIONS protesting the notion of war, we were plunged into a war that plays its own part in this economic crisis.

I am heartened to see that if you were so inclined, you could get some information about the real causes of this crisis -- even in the mainstream media.

Here's one such segment that speaks to both sides in order to ferret out the truth about the causes:

Watch CBS Videos Online

Here's another, though not truly mainstream, it is more hard hitting on Wall Street.

If you want to read instead, you can also get a transcript. If you missed anything, you can get episodes FREE on itunes.

I suggest a podcast to Bill Moyers, he rocks!

Friday, October 03, 2008

the mermaid

is having a special weekend sale. Read all about it... and get you or someone you love some of her magical wares.

The news of her sale (and little lottery) came just at the right time, I was trying to decide how to cheer a friend on my limited budget ... and there it was... a special rock from the Mermaid.

I had already decided to frame some of the Mermaid's postcards for the same friend for her birthday... but that will take a little planning and logistics before they get to her. So, today's miracle was reading the Mermaid's blog and getting super inspired to bring joy and love to someone else's life.

I feel better already!

How Many Have You Read?

It turns out that this is Banned Book Week. It seems a fitting rebuttal to the mind-numbing ramblings of one (wink) soccer mom for whom reading isn't on the top of her lists of recreation. You betcha, doggone it!

So, check out this list of banned books.

How many have you read?

Are any of these on your shelves now?

Any impressionable teens who might want to borrow them?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

too funny

Ok, I don't like Sarah Silverman. (Of course, I like her better than Sarah Palin, but that's beside the point). However, I have to share this video because it is TOO FUNNY. I generally don't find anything she says funny, but I was amused by this.

Although Sarah's message is tailored to convincing the Jewish folk who are considering McCain, I think its premise is useful for all ethnic people who are having trouble voting for Obama. Before I had seen this, I had already started trying to work with my parents on their choices.

Thanks Tahari!

There's more... just one more, for now, for today.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


So, I do have at least two current drafts that I haven't had time to finish writing, but I can let you know that I now have a nearly perfect draft for my personal statement -- yeah, it's just for one of the programs where I want to apply ... but at least it is the one for my first choice!

I will have to finish the others tomorrow... I took today off from everything... and I am taking myself to the movies. But I will be back on the blog wagon SOON.