Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Hero

Best. Christmas. Ever.

Dance Dance Revolution is being opened tomorrow.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Dispirit

The Christmas cards are rolling in and every time I rip open an envelope, I am racked with guilt about my lack of Christmas-carding this year.

I just couldn't do it. We couldn't do it. I mean, we barely put up a tree. Couldn't even FIND the menorah.

Normally, we send out a photo card with our cheerful faces smiling out from whatever desert location we happen to be living in that year. But this year, we just couldn't get it together long enough to find a time when we were both A) together, B) looking good enough to take a photo (i.e. no pregnancy fat face) and C) had someone available to take the photo.

Last weekend, we briefly pondered sending regular cards out with a nice message for all our family and friends. And then, I thought logically that we would be sending out dozens of birth announcements in about a month's time (eek!).

So my apologies to everyone out there. You ain't getting a Christmas card from Nuevo Mexico this year. But do keep your eyes peeled for a birth announcement in the next 3-5 weeks. Much like the Virgin Mary, I am great with child and very tired.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Standing in line at the Grove for a refill for my iced tea, this little boy (probably about 4 years old) comes up to me and asked, "Do you have a baby in your belly?"

He seemed a bit too young to know about babies in bellies, but I just smiled and replied, "Yes."

His father, who was standing in front of me, turned around to look at me and said, "Thank God!"

Saturday, December 01, 2007


I am so blessed.

This month has been long. The Resident has either been out of town or working a busy schedule. We've had a few house disasters, including a poo-filled front yard. I've traveled coast to coast, which while fun, is exhausting when 7 months pregnant. A close friend of mine has had devestating news yet again and my heart aches beyond words for her. And my beloved cat Zola is dying.

The Resident was on-call today, my birthday, of all days. I fully expected to sit at home alone like I do most weekends when he works on-call. I envisioned watching bad television on (hello, October Road) and crying about my cat.

Instead, my reality was quite different. A good friend of mine from work drove down from Santa Fe to have birthday lunch with me. I met with my group of beloved writers for an afternoon of just being together, celebrating another year's novel complete. And this evening, another few friends stopped by so I would not be alone on my birthday.

My phone rang all afternoon, birthday wishes pouring in from around the country. Emails, e-cards, IMs and flowers.

I am about to embark on the most life-changing events within the human experience. I am both terrified and elated at this journey, but I know that I am fortunate to be surrounded by friends who love and support me.

I am so thankful for you, my friends. I truly hope that I give back as much as I feel I take. I only hope I can be half the friend you have been to me.

Thank you.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Name Game

It's recently come to my full attention that having a baby means having to name the baby. Yes, this is an obvious realization, but at the same time, the deeper meaning behind baby naming is often overlooked.

(For example, the name "Destiny" is the number 4 name for New Mexico. It should come as no surprise that a full 1/2 of births in this state are to single mothers under 20.)

I'm not just naming a baby. I'm naming a person. I'm actually starting a new person off in life. Another potential 80 years seen on this earth. A new birthday for ever and ever. And a new name. In an instant, everything begins.

So naturally, instead of our list of potential names getting shorter, they keep getting longer. Prior to getting pregnant, I had two names for each gender picked out and ready to go--first and middle for both. I was certain what I wanted. And suddenly, I have no idea. The universe has opened up and I have this one opportunity to make a mark. Everything and anything is a potential name. I'm listening for undertones and subtleties, for words that roll off and sound good together. Names that convey power, but also sound classic.

The one thing I do know?
It has to sound good in the Name Game.

Monday, September 24, 2007

News-Wordy Events

Tonight the headlines for the ABQ news: "Drunk woman wearing only underwear struck by semi on highway."

Why did they need to announce she was wearing only underwear? Does that strike anyone else as odd? Of course, this is coming from the news channel that interviewed a man over memorial day who said (when asked about his weekend plans), "Well, I cain't afford another DUI, so I'll probably booze it up close to home."

In other wordsmith news, this Sunday was my writing competition awards luncheon. A few weeks ago, I was notified that my submission was a "winner" in my entry category and either placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd.

Your's Truly here won first place!

Honest to god, I was shocked. I was surprised my entry even won anything to say the least, much less first place.

So now I have reason to actually write the damn ending.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lobster Tails

I had my first pregnancy breakdown this weekend.

We decided to go out to dinner and of all places, Red Lobster sounded tasty. So we headed over for the requisite 20 minute wait. The only seat available was right next to the lobster tank.

Mistake number one.

I took the seat and watched the lobsters crawl around on each other; I started thinking about the spiny lobsters we saw on our honeymoon while SCUBA diving. And the realization struck me, all of these lobsters were going to end up on someone's plate for dinner, probably sooner rather than later.

And the tears started. Not quiet tears, but great sobbing gulps of sorrow over the lobsters.

We actually had to leave the restaurant because I could not stop crying. Deep inside, I knew I was being ridiculous, but I literally could not stop the tears from streaming down my cheeks.

So we had vegetarian noodles for dinner.

And now, I'm feeling rather strange when I contemplate eating meat--odd from someone who's killed a chicken themselves.

Think about it. Plants practically BEG to be eaten--"spread my seed, diseminate my genes." They tempt you with luscious fruit dangling, ripe for the picking.

But animals? Animals, all animals, will run away if they can when you try to kill them.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

My Mom was Right! I'm a WINNER!

Back a few months ago, I submitted the first few chapters of my novel, The Mikvah, to a writing contest. My whole writing group was doing it and so I jumped off the bridge, too--with only thoughts of drowning in my mind.

I got a letter today in the mail today, advising me that I placed in the contest in the category that I entered! I'm in shock. I seriously thought I had a bat's chance in hell of winning anything ever again in my life, but apparently, I did! I don't know what place I won, but I will find out at the winner's luncheon.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Countdown Goes Public

Jan 22, 2008. Here we come.

16 weeks down, 24 to go.

Sunday, July 22, 2007



That's all I have to say.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Paralyzing Decision

I am so excited. Like 90% of the world's population, I've been looking forward to this event the second after I read the last word of "Harry Potter and the Sorcer's Stone."

But I am also incredibly stupid. Until Tuesday, I thought the release of HP7 was on the July 27, not the 21. Consequently, I have not reread any of the books. I recently got a hookup with a rep at Simon and Schuster (New Mexico: Land of Who You Know); said hook-up mails me any book they publish as part of her job as "Publish Rep." When I discovered I was mistake about the HP7 release date, I was in the middle of another historical fiction involving the last of Henry the VIII's wives.

I was torn. Reread the Best.Books.Ever or continue reading a compelling saga of the English courts circa 1540? I chose the book I was already consuming.

Now I'm panicking that my HP7 will arrive tomorrow before 7 pm and I will have questions and confusion about RAB and Horcruxes. How far back do I go? Start with HP1 or can I just reread the most recently published?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

5K Results

The culminating experience of my brief running career was an interesting experience to say the least. I wish I had a few photos of me gasping and sweating--I think only a visual could truly do the run justice. I also wish I could say it had been a glorious experience. Alas, it was not.

I ran about 2/3 of the race and walked the rest, which I actually expected since I've not regularly trained for about two months.

What I didn't expect was to almost be beat by a seven-year old. Yes. Seven.

She and her mother started out in front of me and at the half-way point, I jogged ahead of them. I stopped to walk, and I swear to god, the little girl SKIPPED in front of me. It went back and forth between us for about ten minutes and finally, as we neared the finish line, I realized I had to shake that little girl or it was going to be really embarrassing coming in mere seconds behind a seven-year old.

So I kicked it up a notch and came in at 42.35, a whole 1.04 faster than the seven-year old.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Tomorrow is the big day. Unfortunately, due to reasons, I've been exhausted beyond all understanding for the last 10 weeks and have basically given up my training schedule. When I get home from work, I collapse on the couch in front of the TV and lose myself in reruns of The Simpsons and South Park.

But time marches on and the race begins at 7 am. I've never been in a race of any kind before and I'm really looking forward to this, despite my poor running abilities. I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Beach Livin'

Contrary to my mountain-loving friend, I love the beach. Growing up on the coast, beach vacations were an integral part of my childhood. And I don't mean the crowded, tourist beaches with boardwalks and shops. I mean the natural beaches with dunes and sea grasses, cottages on stilts and the smell of salt in the air.

This past week, the Resident and I headed back East for a trip to the beach. We were only in North Carolina for a few days, but those days restored my spirit. There is something healing about waking in the morning to the smell of salt, the ocean breeze, the rustle of scrubby grass.

As I sat on the ocean and watched the waves break on the sand, I realized I have had enough of desert living. Really had enough. I miss the green, the hazy days and dare I say? The humidity....

There are things about desert living that I love. I love the deep, brilliant blue skies that are incomparable to anything I've ever seen. I love the scrubby front yards with the blooming cactus and the flat adobe houses.

But I miss my ancestral homeland. There's something about the ocean.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


I know it's been awhile since I've posted anything. I don't even know if any of my friends even check this anymore. I could be blogging to a silent audience!

A lot is going on right now, exciting stuff, but I'm not quite ready to post about it yet.

Life is good.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


This week has been both busy and surprising.

Spring is in full swing here in the ABQ and I'm really enjoying the seasons. It's been raining frequently, the showers coupled with thunder. I love thunderstorms. There's something so cleansing about them---kind of like the atmsophere letting off some extra electricity as some kind of cathartic release.

Monday, May 07, 2007

One Whole Year

I am no longer a newlywed.

Today is the Doctor and my one-year wedding anniversary. I can't believe it's been a whole year since we've gotten hitched--in all honesty, it feels like it's only been a couple of months (which is markedly better than saying it already feels like a lifetime!). I suppose what they say about the older you get, the faster time flies is true.

In true Sagittarius fashion, I demanded an adventure. Dinner and jewelry is nice, sure, but this is the only one-year wedding anniversary I will have! So here are a few photos of our latest adventure...the New Mexican balloon ride.

Friday, May 04, 2007


I'm truly impressed with myself. I've been running for a month now, training for that 5K. I've not stuck with running this long since I was in high school.

After I got home on Wednesday and changed into my running clothes, the heavens opened up and dumped down a deluge of rain. I have neither a gym membership or a treadmill, so I shocked even myself and headed out for a jog anyways. Halfway through, I realized none of the gutters had drains and the water pooling on the sides of the road proved to be dangerous; at one point I was slogging through ankle-deep, shivering, my clothes sticking to my body, rain running down my face. I went home.

But you know what?

It's okay I went home. I'm so proud of myself for trying, even though I hate getting unnecessarily wet in the rain (Wicked Witch, anyone?).

Today, I tried running along the golf course trail behind my house--quite possibly the most awful experience of my life. The view of the cityscape is beautiful, but the wind was blowing so hard, I could have leaned into it and not fallen. And of course, all of my intervals were perfectly placed to have me run up rocky hills exactly midway through the interval. And you, my friends, know how truly uncoordinated I am (in college, my dance teacher remarked I have the feet of a dancer, but not the grace).

But you know what?

I finished all four of my intervals. Yes, it sucked and yes, I almost vomited during my last five minutes (eating a burrito smothered in green chile before running is not a good idea). But I finished.

I'm really doing this. In public. My ass jiggling in front of strangers as I run (practically in slow-motion, sometimes!) by them. Panting. Sometimes feeling like I'm dying. But I'm really doing this.

Monday, April 30, 2007


No, not that kind of submission.

I've actually submitted the first three chapters of my NaNoWriMo novel to the world at large. Everyone in my writing group submitted to the competition, so I bowed to the peer pressure and sent mine in, too.

My submission is postmarked in time, in the mail, on its way.

I have no illusions of winning, but each submission is getting a "professional evaluation" which should be helpful (not to mention interesting).

Keep your fingers crossed.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Like a Deer

I've recently realized that I am only aging and I will never get younger. This revelation shouldn't really be a surprise, considering that every year, I get older on my birthday (I just want to mention that the Doctor recently turned 29--last year in the decade of the 20s!).

Maybe they're right about the dawning realization that I am not immortal, that time is flying the older I get, that grey hairs sprinkled through my head are inevitable.

It's shocking really.

So, I've decided to start running. I need to begin to incorporate some form of exercise in my life on a regular and (this is key) permanent basis. I am only getting older, my metabolism is only getting slower and my ass is only getting bigger. It's time to step up to this challenge.

So I signed up for a 5K. There's a women's training program that meets for the next ten weeks every Saturday morning; tomorrow is the first Saturday. I started training on my own a few weeks ago so I don't look too slow. I'm in my third week of training and I'm starting to get it. I don't like running, but I like the competition. I like pushing myself by running another minute in my intervals. I like walking less each day when I leave the house. I like running the hardest I can my last interval, pushing myself to the limit, feeling my lungs burn inside my chest.

I'm feeling happy again. I no longer feel like I'm drowning. The skies have gotten blue again. And I'm am able to breathe again, exhaling with a force of life I never thought possible here in this place.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

My Mixed Tape

Sorority Sister Cristin sent me two books (highly recommended) and I got the package last week, so excited to have some new books to read. I still haven't been to the library here yet (nor do I read book reviews in the Washington Post anymore) so I'm slightly out of the loop as to what is current lit out there in the wider world. Anyways, she loved these books and like any good bookie, passed them on to me (thanks, SSC).

Last week, I devoured Love is a Mixed Tape by Rob Sheffield and that book just about broke my fragile heart in two. I actually laughed and cried on the bus to Santa Fe while reading this book. As a newlywed, this book terrified me a bit though. The Doctor is older than me, and being a woman, I naturally assume that I will outlive him. Medically speaking, I come from hardy stock with few "family histories" of any illnesses. My Doctor is less genetically lucky. But even assuming that I'll live longer, I still don't expect death to haunt us for at least another 45-50 years.

I've been lucky enough to find love so young, and I'll be damned if I'll let that go to waste. All week, I've held on to him a bit tighter at night when we're falling asleep, kissed him a bit longer when I say goodbye. It's worth remembering that I am lucky to have found him, flaws and all.

In a somewhat related tangent, Golden Brother made me a 3-disc 90's "mixed tape" appropriately named "Do You Remember?" for my birthday this year. My brother was only 5-14 during that decade and experienced the 90s mostly through a haze of childhood observance, yet somehow managed to make the most kick-ass compilation I've ever gotten. When I asked how he came up with all these songs, he replied, "I just tried really hard to remember what songs were on the radio or tape player a lot when I was a kid." Some of these songs, I have not heard for years (Harvey Danger, anyone? How about The Toadies or Superhog?), but all were at the top my listening list at some point during that decade (and HFS's). In fact, these CDs bring back hot memories of standing in front of a stage at HFStival, smelling beer on people's breath, being pushed by crowds, my sunburned skin sticky with the residue of others.

These memories are making explore my CD collection, rediscovering music and bands that I've long forgotten (Save Ferris? Cherry Poppin' Daddies? Jimmie's Chicken Shack???). Sometimes, it's good to remember where you came from.

I've been listening to these CDs a lot this week. Somehow hearing these songs that my brother carefully selected for me makes me feel closer to him. He's been through a lot this week and my heart hurts knowing that I cannot be closer to him (truthfully, if I were there, I am not sure what I could do), but listening to Golden Brother's CDs while I go for a run makes me breathe a bit easier as my feet pound the pavement.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I wasn't going to say anything about Monday, because there isn't really anything I have to say that is worth adding. The media blitz has begun, the barrage of hindsight, the voyeurism that invades our modern media coverage.

But I can't seem to shake this sadness--despite my Southwest location, I'm still a Virginia girl, through and through. My heart swells with pride at the mention of anything Virginian (presidents, tidewater, Richmond accents, ham, peanuts, even get the point). My Golden Brother attends Tech (and thankfully, he's okay). Countless friends, neighbors, neighbor's children, acquaintances attend Tech or are alumni (and thankfully, everyone I know or know of is okay).

Since visiting Tech's campus for the first time in the summer of 2002 with my high school friend Mawls, I always maintained that if I could do college over and had to switch schools, I'd have chosen Tech in a heartbeat. There's a vibe on that campus that I love--a camaraderie that can only be referred to affectionally as "Old-School-Styled-Spirit."

I hate that this happened and I hate that Tech, despite everything that is so wonderful with the university, will be known for this event for some time to come.

But this post isn't really about Tech. What shook me the most was my mother.

She called me, mid morning, at work to tell me what had happened, that a student had died and seven others wounded. I already knew what had begun at Tech and having called him earlier myself, I knew Golden Brother was safe in his apartment. The call was short. Not even two minutes later, she called me back to tell me that the news had just broken that it was not 1 student dead, but 22 and the count was rising.

I've never heard my mother's voice sound like this before. She was crying, but it wasn't normal crying. Her voice had this primal wavering quality, shaking through phone line, all the way to my core. It was a sound of pure desperation, of devastation, of disbelief. I can't even adequately describe the feeling that her phone call left with me.

When I close my eyes, I can still hear her voice echoing in my head, that raw quality reverberating in my ears.

Is this what it must be to have children? To know that at some point, crisis could befall them and you as the parent be utterly helpless to change their situation? To know that even though your own child is safe, there are 30-some other parents who will be getting the news that their child was not so lucky? To feel this naked pain for all those families?

Reading these words I have written, I see them fall flat, sincere as they may be. But these words are all I have.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Light Green Thumb

Unfortunately, the freakish weather of ABQ has persisted. I'm really starting to not believe anything anyone here says about "normal" weather. When we first moved to ABQ, the rains came down like it was the second coming of Noah and I thought perhaps we took the wrong highway and ended up in Portland by accident. "This is so unusual--it never rains like this in ABQ."

Then, the winter progressed quickly and the snow dumped down from the sky in not inches, but in feet. I thought, again, perhaps we had accidentally been teleported to Newfoundland, my own personal version of hell. "This is so unusual--it never snows like this in ABQ."

March is known for its winds here; "March is an awful month, so cold and windy." Too bad it was so warm and sunny during March, I thought I was back in Tucson.

Then, yesterday, it snowed.

Yes. April 13. MID-April. Snow. Cold, white stuff.

Today? Upper '60s.

I think the weather here is schizophrenic.

The point of this is, a few weeks ago, I planted all of my seeds in the pods and amazingly enough, the seeds sprouted! I'm the proud owner of some beans, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots and some morning glories and cosmos (the bell peppers are just coming through today). I'm impressed they sprouted--I actually doubted they would! In fact, the bean seedlings are taller than my cats (Jack and the Beanstalk, anyone?).

But it's been so cold here, I can't transplant the seedlings outside....but I really need to. Hopefully next weekend the ground will have warmed up enough to move them outside permanently.

Please start praying for some warm weather!

Friday, April 13, 2007


No, I'm not pregnant.

But people around me are starting to get pregnant or have babies. And lots of my friends are talking about that march towards parenthood. Baby talk is popping up around me everywhere and I'm starting to feel the pressure to contemplate parenthood. I still feel so young. I mean, children are a very real possibility in the next few years--scary considering I was in high school less than ten years ago.

But then yesterday, I watched that television show, "Notes from the Underbelly" which is a sitcom on ABC about a couple in their thirties making the decision to have a baby. I know it's television and I know that tv is not real life. Duh. But the show got me kind of scared. I don't want to turn into this insane woman that can only talk about "Tummy Time" (which I truthfully still don't understand that much--why wouldn't the baby be on his tummy most of the time when he's not sleeping??) and what little Timmy ate for dinner and show photos of my babies to people who really could care less. And second only to my fears about myself turning into a woman like that is, what if my friends (some of whom are bound to have les bebes before me) do?

Lets face it, pressure to be not just a mother, but a perfect mother, has the potential to turn otherwise normal women into diaper-wielding, minivan-driving crazies. My friends could turn into crazies! Thankfully, none of my friends with children have turned into obsessed DIY Eastsiders....but it's certain to happen to me or one of my girlfriends eventually in the next 15 years!

I know that motherhood is an amazing experience, a shift in identity that is incomparable to anything else a woman probably experiences. I know I will never fully understand this until I have my own children. But the truth is, I'm sometimes not sure I want that identity change.

I LIKE who I am, as I am. I feel very complete as the person I am. My marriage feels complete. I like sleeping in until 11 on the weekends. I enjoy reading US Weekly and not making dinner because I'm feeling lazy. I like making love all over my house, anytime of the day, with the only thing to worry about is if the curtains are closed. And from what I know about motherhood from my contemporaries (and let's be honest, what I see on TV), I am not sure I will ever get to the point that the lure of motherhood and the love of a child will ever make me truly want to give up these selfish behaviors which I adore. I don't know if I want to identify myself as a mother, first and foremost--which seems commonplace for women with children.

Being a "Wife" was tough enough for my feminist sensibilities to come to terms with. Will I ever be ready for "Mother?"

Can I ever reconcile myself with these fears? Probably. But it does have me thinking about our future and what I want. Alot.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


So in honor of the Doctor and my respective religious spring holidays, we're having brisket and hot crossed buns tomorrow.

I always have a hard time cutting the fat off the bottom of the brisket. The thick white slab of fat is adhered to the bottom of the meat and I can never get it cut off right--I always cut too much of it off or not enough.

The Doctor is standing behind me, watching me struggle. He says to me, he says, "Lemme have a go at it." So I step back and hand him the knife. He steps up the cutting board and begins to methodically slice off the fat, and 10 minutes later, the bottom of the brisket is just meat, no fat. I ask him, "How did you know how to do that?!!"

He replies: "Surgery!"

Friday, April 06, 2007

Making Fiends

When I woke up this morning, with my head pounding (still pounding), I realized...I think I'm actually making friends.


When you wake up in the morning and realize you have a headache from too much tequila, your voice is hoarse because you talked and laughed too much and your wrist hurts because you got bit by a dog, you know you had a good night.

There are two girls my age at work and we've hung out now a few times. We tell each other stories of our past, laugh and when we go out, we don't talk about work at all. Maybe I am a Charlotte after all (that is, likeable).

And No Buy month is going nicely. We've had a two slip-ups, but they were minor. I'm impressed by how much money we actually still have in our bank account!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Declaring a No-Buy Month

The Doctor and I live on a budget. During my childhood, expendable income was almost unheard of and my parents lived on a tight budget. Thankfully, I have learned from their experience and the Doctor and I have put a lot of their methods into practice in our lives as we struggle through these lean years.

But this month, we are declaring a "No-Buy Month." This means that aside from a budget grocery amount and, of course, bills, we are not buying anything. No dinners out, no pairs of shoes, no coffees, no sodas from vending machines, no books, no REI trips, no Target, no anything extra.

Why? Did I hear you ask that?

Perhaps because it bears repeating to ourselves that there is a distinct difference between want and need. Perhaps because I want our family motto to be "Live simply so that others may simply live." Perhaps because we live in such a consumer society that too often uses debt to get what we want instead of what we need. Perhaps because so often, we are greedy in our lives, always wanting more but truly needing little. The reality is, I would rather buy new than fix old. Our couch is in a visual state of disrepair, but structurally is fine. I want a new couch, but I don't need one--a slipcover would be just as effective in hiding the dog damage.

Perhaps because this will force us to be more creative in the time we spend together. If we can no longer default to eating out, we will remember parks and hiking and bike rides. Perhaps because we want our family values to lie in experiences and adventure and not in merely accumulating stuff.

Perhaps because we will walk away from this month thankful that we do not have to live like this always and say a prayer for those families in this world who do.

Will we meet the challenge? I don't know. Even though we're already fairly frugal in our day to day lives, we forget how often we do purchase those little things. And I'm certainly not against material comforts--I'm not ascetic; I like nice things as much as the next person. But the Doctor and I too often fall into the traps of our consumer society. In a fairly short time, we will actually have quite a bit of money at our disposal and we want to start incorporating these values now before we see dollar signs behind our eyelids. I don't want my children growing up feeling entitled, getting whatever they want all the time. We want our family to have an appreciation for what we have, monetary or otherwise. We want to focus on those values of giving back to our community, working for equality and social justice, valuing adventure over a new car or a house that is too big for three people. We want to declutter and embrace the fullness life has to offer.

So, thank you, Bebe, for your suggestion--it is a good challenge and I am looking forward to this month.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

I'm Here Today

I can't believe that it's been two years.

Two years ago today and tomorrow.

I'm not sad, really--not anymore, not today, not now. Perhaps I am more in awe of my experience and how far I've come and gone in two years. I know for a fact I would not be in this place, with this life, if it had not been for two years ago. I would not be this person, not fully.

But it's a good life, and a good place to be, despite the sadness and difficulty to get me here.

Two years. It's a time for reflection for us today, time to hold hands, and perhaps a tear or two for your memory and what-might-have-been.

And so I am here.

I carry you in my heart, always.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Working on the Chain Mail, or, Passing the Baton

I finally figured out how to link up blogs to mine, so this might make a lot more sense if you read Sorority Sister Cristin's entry titled, "No One Does Anything on Fridays Anymore."

SSE! (Sorority Sister Elisabeth!)
1: I’ll respond with something random about you: On many more than one occasion, I’ve wished I had your inherent beauty. (cheese alert! Really, though)

2: I’ll challenge you to try something: Run a 5k this summer. I’m doing one May 20 and I’m more nervous about it than anything else in my life, so I think you should join me.
3: I’ll pick a color that I associate with you: warm yellow.
4: I’ll tell you something I like about you: How articulate you are. I’ve never seen you stumble over your words or search for ones that aren’t there.
5: I’ll tell you my first/clearest memory of you: My favorite one is from when we were practicing recruitment rotation before rush senior year and I had you and all the other #1s acting as PNMs (yeah, this response just got confusing for anyone who’s *Non-initiated*) and you guys started introducing yourselves at the door with fake names– you and barbara went on a harry potter kick, and at one point you shook my hand and intro’d yourself as Crookshanks.
6: I’ll tell you what animal you remind me of: Since I’m on a bear kick, I’m going with koala bear for you.
7: I’ll ask you something I’ve always wanted to ask you: outside of who killed JonBenet, what other burning questions have you come across since college?
8: If I do this for you, you must post this in your journal: E, I’m leaving this mandate up for you.

So here you are, Sorority Sister Cristin.

Leave a reply and…
1: I’ll respond with something random about you.

2: I’ll challenge you to try something.
3: I’ll pick a color that I associate with you.
4: I’ll tell you something I like about you.
5: I’ll tell you my first/clearest memory of you.
6: I’ll tell you what animal you remind me of.
7: I’ll ask you something I’ve always wanted to ask you.

Now, obviously should you choose to participate in this silliness, no "Anon" comments--I may be slightly clairvoyant, but I'm not THAT good.

PS: Ironically, I was already considering training for a 5K. I don't know if I'll be up and running by May 20, but how about I agree by the end of the summer?
PPS: I really want to know what happen to the settlement on Roanoke. That's been my latest fix.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Green Thumb

Spring began right on time this year: March 21 with the Vernal Equinox. It's been raining all week, hard heavy rains, and there's just the smell of green in the air.

The Doctor is on-call this weekend, so I'm home alone. There is only so much wallowing in my own self-pity that I can handle, so I decided to get out this weekend. My Saturday morning rituals include watching Thursday night ABC shows online and normally, I don't like to be interrupted during this sacred TV time. But when my phone rang at 11, I went ahead and took the call. Turns out it was an invitation for waffles and wine, which I happily accepted.

These particular friends (a doc and her husband) are the type of people I aspire to be. They don't own a television. Music of all types is always playing on their iPod. They regularly have parties and social gatherings. We do game nights with them, both cards and the Wii. Basically, they are just neat people. Intellectual, artistic and have "interests" that are actually interesting.

One of these interests is gardening. I grew up with a grandmother who has a green thumb extraordinaire and have fond memories of harvesting and pickling cucumbers and weeding flower beds with her. So when Female Half asked if I wanted to go to the flower nursery, I jumped on the chance.

I'm going to take advantage of having a real yard, with clearly defined garden beds. Our entire fence is lined with empty lomey beds, just waiting to be filled with color and green. The rain has permeated the soil and it is damp and fertile looking. So at the nursery I purchased some calla lily bulbs; wildflowe and morning glory seeds; an herb garden; lavender plants; and pea, peppers, carrot, squash, cucumber and romaine lettuce seeds. I also got some succulents and transplanted them into hangers. They're now hanging over our large window.

I'm so excited about this. I have the little pods to start the veg in while it's still a little chilly and I'll transplant the seedlings over to the flower beds once it gets a tad warmer.

It's nice to have something to occupy these long weekends!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


In the paraphrased words of Bridget Jones, it's a known fact that the second something goes right in your life, another area goes spectacularly to shit. Now that I'm firmly entrenched in adulthood, I couldn't agree more.

The new job is not perfect. An hour commute to Santa Fe (literally 60 minutes, going 75 MpH) leaves much to be desired--including the desire for an extra hour of sleep in the morning. But the personnel is great and I'm feeling right at home. It's not my forever job, but it will certainly be doable for the next few years while we're here.

Which brings me to the shit part. This is an on-call month for the Doctor; these months are always hard for me because it means lots of lonely time by myself, usually leading to self-absorbed melancholy. And this weekend was a doozy.

I cried all weekend and I can't seem to get myself to pull out of it three days later. I feel completely submerged under this saddness and I cannot get out. Even though it's been awhile since anyone broke my heart, I feel very much like I just ended a relationship. I find my eyes unexplicably welling. I have an actual catch in my throat every time I think of Arizona and sometimes, I want to go back so desperately that I literally cannot breathe. My desire is so overwhelming it literally catches me by surprise, like a slap across my cheek.

And so I have realized, I cannot stay here. I cannot. Not when my desire to move back to Arizona is so overwhelming.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pride Cometh Before the Fall

During the trip to L.A. this weekend to visit FIL, I had breakfast with dear friend Sasaki. She then proceeded to manipulate my torso. During this rather intimate exchange we chatted about being sick. Poor Sasaki has been ill for several weeks and I was telling her how lucky I've been at avoiding the flu or a cold this winter.

Words spoken two days too soon.

I started my new job the following Monday and began to feel ill a few hours in. You know the feelings---achy back, scratchy throat, headache. By the next morning, I felt like a complete load of shit. You know the feeling---flat out dying, the kind of feeling where you start to panic, thinking that perhaps you never will feel better.

Thankfully, I have a boss who is kind and understanding and 2.5 days of unpaid sick leave, I was back to work.

Lesson learned: I will never brag about my apparent health to anyone ever again. Pride does come before a hard fall.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Commitment Phobe

I've never been one to have a fear of commitment. In fact, I would call myself a commitment lover--I serial monogamy-ed my way through my dating years and here I am, 26 and been married almost a year.

Obviously, commitment to a person is not an issue for me.

However, as evidenced by this move to ABQ, I do have issues committing to a place, an identity as a "New Mexican." I have been stubborn about this, refusing to give an inch, refusing to like this city or to make it my home.

And then I quit my job.

Yes, this Friday is my last day, but lest you think I have been irresponsible, I will be starting my new position in the Infectious Disease Bureau with the DoH of NM. This is a job with true career potential, a job that will hopefully go somewhere, a job that could BE something.

So this is the crux I face. Is it perhaps time to accept that this is not another phase of my life to get through, not another uncomfortable and undesirable chunk of years viewed as a chore? Perhaps it is time to fully commit myself to this city, to this move (which is not so recent anymore) and ground myself in what is really my life.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


On Friday night, we had a fire in our house.

Yes, a fire---with flames and everything.

Our house doesn't have central heat; instead, we have one grate set into the floor of the living room with a gas heater inside the space. I was sitting on the couch and kept smelling this burning stench. I thought I'd maybe left the stove burner on and got up to check. Instead, when I walked by the grate, I saw flames on the bottom.

Turns out, over the years, debris collected on the bottom of the heater. I guess the buildup had gotten deep enough to actually ignite when the heater got too hot.

It was pretty sobering and made me wonder what would have happened if we hadn't been home.

This experience also has us thinking more and more about moving.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

In Denfense of Book Buying

I love to read. Growing up, I used to read hunched over in this old pink chair my parents had in the living room, my legs draped over the side, my shoulders slumped into the book. I read everything and anything, including medical books, classic literature, dictionaries, my parents' crime novels and the Babysitter's Club series.

There are several things in this world that, money permitting, I would shop for nonstop: shoes, underwear, makeup guessed it, books.

My mother worked in a library growing up and we had unlimited access to the library. My mother is a staunch believer in using libraries and is horrified by my book purching penchant. However, what she fails to take into account is my obsessive habit of reading and reading the same books over and over again. I have read Bridget Jones's Diary at least 20 times. The Harry Potter series? Probably 7 readings each. Ann of Green Gables? Like, a billion since the age of seven. Almost every single book I own has been read at least twice.

Favorite books are like old friends. I love that when I'm under stress or nervous, I can pick up and old standby and merely open the book to any part (beginning, middle, or end) and know exactly what is happening. It's comforting to know these characters inside and out, to feel like they are part of my family.

Friday, February 23, 2007

You Are Now Entering the Twilight Zone

The drive back from Denver took forever. Not as long as the drive there (we took the senic route and a long lunch in Santa Fe--11 hours worth of car ride!), but still upwards of 8 hours.

I napped for awhile, read my book, ate gummi bears (red is my new favorite). But nothing could change the boring factor of this drive. And boring it is. I never realized that Colorado and northern New Mexico was so flat. Here in the central area, there's mesas and craggy mountains to break up the flatlands. But much of the I-25 between ABQ and Denver looks like the midwest--flat and boooooring.

Weathermen predicted a snowstorm, so we tried to make good time, but the snow started about two hours north of Santa Fe...and it was the strangest snowstorm I've ever driven through.

We didn't need the windshield wipers. Not once. The stow wasn't sticking on anything. The wind was blowing the snow up and around the car. The headlights illuminated the flakes and it looked like we were driving into a tunnel of snow, not a flake of which landed on the windshield. Actually, what it looked like was that old standby screen saver from Microsoft or the old Starwars movies. It looked like we were driving through stars, at light speed, hurdling through time and space to some unknown destiny in a glaxy far, far away.

But really, all I was headed for was home. And even though a huge part of me wants to be anywhere but here, a tiny part of my heart couldn't wait to be back.

Friday, February 16, 2007


I think I've reached the intermission stage of moving. You know, that stage where you don't quite belong anywhere.

As of March 1, I will have lived in the great craphole of ABQ for nine months. Is it starting to feel like home? No. But Tucson is no longer home, either.

I am homeless.

Or, at least I feel like it. There is some deep desire in my being to have roots somewhere, to belong (obviously, my modern human heritage is not from the nomadic peoples), and I feel rootless right now.

Or perhaps, the problem is not that I lack roots. Perhaps my roots are spread out so far, I can hardly comprehend it. I have friends scattered across the Continental US, not to mention a certain individual who I love deeply who is battling the monkey pox and malnutrition in the DRC. And by friends, I don't mean someone who I know of---I mean friends, people who I speak to on a weekly basis (sometimes daily).

My net has been cast far and wide; to some degree, I believe I can call Phoenix, Seattle, L.A., St. Louis, Providence, DC, Naugatuck, Williamsburg, New York, Fairfax, Manassas and Tucson home because people who I love deeply reside there.

So at this intermission of my life, this lull between leaving my old home and making my new, when I am looking around me, digging frantically in the dirt of ABQ, nuturing my tree, begging it to take root, I need to pause and thank all the homes I have out there, the friends and family with their arms and homes open wide, loving me and supporting me.

You know who you are.

Thank you.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Praying to my Porcelain God

Somehow it is only fitting that the first time I drink to the point of illness since college is with my college roommate and instigator Barbara.

Barbara and I have had long torrid affair with alcohol, including run-ins with friends' fists, 1 am trips to the delis for pitchers of Bud Ice (yes, it does look like urine, but even worse, it tastes like urine) and even getting a friend of ours arrested once (totally by accident, I swear).

We started out in a nice little bar and grill where, overtaken by the spirit of Bond in the recently rented Casino Royale, I had the best dirty martini---just the perfect amount of olive juice and a very smooth vodka. Well, I've never been one to say that martinis should be sipped and savored, but I also usually don't pound them like water on a hot day.

By the time we got to the actual bar, I could hardly carry on a cohesive conversation. Barbara, who was drinking Jack n' Ginger like it was going out of style, quickly caught up with my level of drunkenness. Neither of us have any memory of paying, leaving the bar, flagging down the taxi or getting to my hotel room. But we did--in one piece. And the night had just begun. I almost wish I had a third person video of that night, with Barbara and I laying on either side of the toilet on the cold tile floor, alternating turns on our knees. I have not been that intoxicated since my senior formal where I locked myself into the student union bathroom and my poor ex-Beloved had to drag me out of the girl's bathroom to his room, where I puked red wine for hours in the sink.

Officially, I'm getting old. I can no longer rebound from my alcohol. In fact, I swear, when I woke up this morning (36 hours later), I was STILL hung over. I honestly think I peed straight vodka for the first ten hours the next day.

I was a true champion in college, but I think if this weekend is any indication, my glory days are over.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Remember a few months ago when I did that crazy write a novel in a month thing?

Well, my friends. That novel has been dusted off. I printed all 198 pages of it (using the laser printer at work, of course)

The editing process has begun. And it is a BITCH.

I've never edited such a large thing (I hestitate to call it a "novel" yet) in my life.

How do I do this? How do I keep the bigger picture of this thing while being nitpicky? I'm only four chapters into it and already, feeling overwhelmed.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Neptune High

When it comes to TV shows and books, Sorority Sister Cristin has never steered me wrong.

The People's Exhibit A: The O.C.
Now, I'll give you that The O.C. has veered off in an alarming direction and may not be of the same quality during it's early years. But you have to admit, the show rocked it for awhile. And how could we not just love, "Welcome to the O.C., Bitch!"

So when SSC started mentioning Veronica Mars, my interest piqued. But for some reason, I just couldn't bring myself to watch a show on UPN. It just hurt. I mean, my love for The WB was bad enough to admit to people.

But now that the CW & UPN have merged into The CW (rest in peace, WB), I caught an episode a few months ago. And I loved it. Veronica was not some bobble-headed teenage blond thing, but this rocking, snarky PI with killer hair. So I netflixed the past seasons on DVD.

I am officially in L-O-V-E with Veronica Mars and this show has resurrected a part of my past I believed long dead: full-fledged crushing on a TV character.

I am not ashamed to admit it. I have the hots for Logan Echolls. (Yes, it's a little less disturbing now that they are out of high school.) I rewind the DVD during his makeout scenes so I can see his half-naked body in slow-mo. I have officially reverted back to my middle-school days when I plastered posters of Christian Bale on the walls of my bedroom and took photos of the television screen when I watched Newsies over and over.

And I love every minute of it.

Friday, January 12, 2007


I think ABQ has multiple personalities.....
Exhibit A: June - Sept: Rained so much I thought I'd moved to Seattle.
Exhibit B: Dec - Jan: Snowed 20+ inches and thought I'd moved to Denver
Exhibit C: Jan: So windy I think I'm in Chicago

Obviously this city has no identity of its own.

Today, when I signed into blogger to update, I had 18 (that's right, count 18) comments waiting for "moderation." EIGHTEEN!!! All of these insanely wonderful, kind, sympathetic and hilarious messages left by my nearest and dearest scattered across this earth. I did not even realize the moderation was on. So I apologize for missing those comments, and yes, Faeline, that will be my next novel topic! You know, after you read this one....

Life in ABQ is going okay. I feel like I have a lot to write about, but I don't. Life is moving slowly. Life plods along through the sludgey snow piled on the side of the road.