Archive | May, 2011

A Piece of the Peace

26 May

I spent the morning at her house.  She wanted me to organize an armoire for her.  It was brilliant on her part.  She picked me up at my house on the way home from grocery shopping and we ate grapes as she drove us to the North Valley.  She asked if my summer was going the way that I had hoped it would.  I told her no, but that I wasn’t sure what I wanted or hoped for anymore.  She told me that it didn’t matter if I didn’t know, that things had a way of falling into place.  She asked how I ended up here, if I liked it, why I stayed.

She told me about her first love.  She was living in California.  They used to swim in the ocean together every day.  There was a big rock that was underwater but that protruded when the tide was out.  One day he insisted that they swim out to the big rock, so they did.  She was so scared, climbing the slippery, steep, sharp rock that she wasn’t paying him any attention.  Once she got to the top, however, she realized that he had been right behind her the whole time, spotting her, watching after her.  Atop the rock is where he first told her that he loved her.

She talked about her daughter, and her grandchildren, her husband and her house.  She barely mentioned her work.  I met her chickens- all six of them.

It was sneaky.  As I cleaned out the armoire I found family photos- relics from her past.  I found souvenirs from beaches in Mexico, driftwood from California, folk art from Georgia.  I saw the shoes her daughter wore as a child.  I found half finished art projects that her granddaughter had started and abandoned.  I found evidence of a full and wonderful life.  I saw a glimpse into her happiness, and she sat beaming at me, proudly watching as my archaeologist’s mind dissected her past.

I saw in her more than a woman, a wife, a friend, a mother and grandmother.  I saw a person who has life figured out, and she laid it out simply for me, in easy terms: be happy.  Her life is full of happiness.  Her mind is younger and fresher than any other I have ever met.

She made me want a piece of the peace.

Minus the Rose

25 May

This last week has been a chore, let me tell you.  A friend of mine disappeared to Europe for a few weeks, leaving the rest of us here to fend for ourselves.  What did I do? Well, let’s see…

I definitely shaved off the rest of my hair- well on one side.  Its half mullet/ half pixie cut- and quite sexy if I do say so myself.  Dyed it a pinkish orange with black streaks- I’m an interesting looking little tiger these days.

I then beat my own record for cheeseburger consumption over a single weekend (including a 5a.m. cheeseburger after Saturday night shenanigans).

I figured out how to dye my cat’s paws pink with food coloring (its like Easter!).

I read a record number of comics while waiting to have my photo taken with my crazy new La Roux swirled hair.

I ate 13 chocolate Dove eggs.

Watched “William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet” (1997) 2.75 times.

Made 3 different kinds of cornbread- didn’t eat them.  Just stared at them.

I got blisters on seven of my toes from my private dining room Modest Mouse and Gorillaz dance party.

Finished up getting all of my data entry paper work caught up, helped an elderly woman move, and babysat.  Three things I NEVER would’ve done had I any other option for entertainment.

Drank enough coffee to have me swear off caffeine for a month (we’ll see how well that vow holds) and discovered a newfound love for orange soda…

All in all I would say that I am one sad little kitten when my friends are away.  I made some new travel plans, ran up my phone bill, and attempted to program my alarm clock…

Sigh. And I still have weeks to wait…

Don’t get me wrong, I have my fun and I don’t need any help with that, I just grow attached to people sometimes.  And miss them in their absence.

I guess I am not a robot after all, or at least a very ‘Lousy Robot‘.  Excellent.

White Girl Problems

20 May

As we waited for the signal to walk, a particularly angry looking man stalked up to us with far too much purpose.  We all braced ourselves.  Sure enough, his opening statement was, “I mean this with no disrespect, but FUCK YOU. FUCK WHITE PEOPLE.”

Eh, boy.  I stepped behind my three dude friends and put my comic books in my bag.

He continued being appalled at us for being white, bringing the Bible onto Indian land, for treating him like shit his whole life, and for just being big assholes in general.  It got particularly nasty when he got in one of our faces’ (ironically enough one of us who isn’t white) and kept repeating “Fuck you, fuck you, in the name of Jesus Christ, fuck you.”  When my friend replied that he was an atheist so the guy wouldn’t enjoy his company in Hell, I pulled out my phone.  Nothing like a Sunday afternoon post-brunch confrontation to really make you feel like a wimpy white girl.

I decided to live the stereotype.

Bringing the Bible onto Indian land?…  Nope, I don’t recall ever doing that but I did do something fairly annoying.

You know what white people do, sir?  We call the cops.  Enjoy your afternoon in jail.

…and yea… white people generally do suck.

Sorry

No Method to the Madness

18 May

It has been recently brought to my attention that I act impulsively and irrationally whenever I decide to shake things up. Oh, and do I ever love to shake things up.

Last week my job ran out of funding for me and I am now cast out into the vast and aching abyss that is full-on unemployment.  With New Mexico cutting funding left and right for all sorts of positions- it came as no surprise.

On my second to last day of work the building flooded, so by now I am sure it has crumbled in my absence (I’m picturing the end of ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’) and perhaps in a week or two a small seedling will sprout up from the rubble.

On my last day of work everyone was ‘sick’ (dealing with floods seems a little above most pay-grades) and I had the department almost entirely to myself.  I was a receptionist- so my only job that day was to answer the phone that never rang and relay the message that nothing could be done about anything- so sorry and goodbye.  It felt pretty good to not give a crap anymore, but I also was sad to leave (only slightly) because I did truly like 2% of my coworkers.  Not enough to keep in touch or anything like that.

After a job interview and whole lot of coffee, I most definitely got bored enough to begin cutting my own hair.  This is not the first time this has happened, but I never seem to learn my lesson.  So I sat, with the blue-handled office Fiskars that I used to open boxes and cut graduation ribbons, and without rhyme or reason, and I cut my split ends.  Needless to say I now have a new, short haircut.

Immediately at 5pm, it being Friday the 13th and all, I headed down to a Friday the 13th themed block party and got a Dia de los Muertos skull with the Roman numerals XIII for his teeth tattooed onto my ankle.  Oops.  I haven’t reached the peak of possible regrets about that action, however, because I am lucky enough to have some awesomely impulsive friends who all got tattooed as well.  They all get tattooed pretty regularly, however, and I am a humongous wimp so it was a bit of a shock to my system.  It took me seven years to finish the last one- we’ll see how long after this one before I add onto it.

After a recovery cheeseburger and a couple of glasses of champagne, I was already late for the end-of-season kickball party (no worries, I’m playing next season) and I had to get there in time to work in some quality time before going to see Mogwai, who happened to be in town that evening.

Saturday was much like any other.  You know, the first-thing-in-the-morning calling every salon in town to see who can fit me in to fix my homemade haircut routine.  No big deal.  A couple of friends graduated from UNM so I attended their parties, then a funeral themed birthday dinner (I will do something similar for my 30th as well) and then hit up a local show.

It was when we all assembled for our Sunday brunch to make sure we survived the weekend that I was informed that I behave in an irrational manner.  No shit, Sherlock.  My hair is 7 inches shorter and I have a skull tattooed on my leg.  The greatest part is that I am not done yet.  I am thinking a dye job is in order as well as an all-new wardrobe.  I must greet this new phase of life with style, no?

Spreading Sadness through Songs

11 May

About a week or so ago I got pretty down about one thing or another (dentists are such disappointing people) and I compiled a little playlist of my sad songs to sob to in the bath tub.  My playlists are always so erratic.  After a few days, however, I noticed how cool it is that many of those same ‘sad’ songs can also make me feel better.  My ‘pick yourself up’ list is quite similar to my ‘sad’ list.  Not too sure what that says about me but, hey, at least it helps to change my mood.

Of course, the end-all cure-all is still dance ’til you feel better (thanks James Brown) but the dance playlists will have to wait.

Here is my last week’s mood in music:

Dog’s Hymns – Low Red Land

Dramamine – Modest Mouse

Heart Skipped a Beat – the XX

Let’s Dance – M. Ward

Marlene on the Wall – Suzanne Vega

En Tus Pupilas – Shakira

Fade Into You – Mazzy Star

Mulholland – Shearwater

No One Said This Would Be Easy- The Postmarks

Cross Bones Style – Cat Power

Drug – Czars

Kettering – The Antlers

The Dress Looks Nice On You – Sufjan Stevens

Abandoned – Lucinda WIlliams

Always On – Zaza

Common People – Pulp

I’m So Lonesome Could Cry- Hank WIlliams

The Blower’s Daughter – Damien Rice

Fake Plastic Trees – Radiohead

All Your Jeans Were Too Tight – American Music Club

With Bells On – Cross My Heart

Bermuda Highway – My Morning Jacket

Fountain And Fairfax – The Afghan Whigs

Lover, You Should’ve Come Over – Jeff Buckley

You’re a Wolf – Sea Wolf

Bankrupt On Selling – Modest Mouse

Better Off Alone – The Black Angels

Stay Golden – Au Revoir Simone

Do You Realize – The Flaming Lips

Ghost in This House – Alison Krauss

John Wayne Gayce, Jr – Sufjan Stevens

In My Time of Need – Ryan Adams

Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles

Upward over the Mountain – Iron and Wine

He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot – Grandaddy

…isn’t it lovely how music works?

Episode 16: The Crew Gets a Kitty

3 May

Part 1: Weekend Warriors

It started, as most things do, with a mischievous night deep in the center of downtown Albuquerque.   A night much like any other, including some awesome shots of my friends and I being morons in a photo booth, neon sunglasses, some face painting and glitter, and a performance by one of my favorite local pop bands, Monster Paws, that soon enough led to the usual post-show party foolishness.  Now, anyone who has ever walked down the street in the wee hours of the morning in four-inch platform pin-up heels with a boy wearing a teddy-bear hat on his head and another with a unicorn painted on his face can pretty much tell you what happens next.   The brilliant idea to go tinkle in an alley came up, and as I trooped back behind a dumpster to pop a squat, (did I ever mention just how classy I am?) is about the same time that the wolves came out.

‘Wolves’ is my term for the scary characters that I encounter on a far-too-regular basis on the sinister streets of Albuquerque and beyond.  They are usually male, quite often homeless, and frequently inebriated.  Most often they travel in packs and can attack with very little provocation.  In this case it was a couple of real winners, probably members of some awful fraternity that encourages things like 4Loko, UFC, tribal pattern tattoos, and watching ladies pee in alleys- which is exactly what they were doing.  No worries, I had a glittery posse.

So as I listen to my unicorn-painted friend try to reason with the wolves, asking them to back away and give me a moment to compose myself, I zip up and take off in the other direction.  When it comes to the ‘fight or flight’ response I always run.  Always.  So I left Mr. Face-Paint alone to face the wolves.  I watched from a safe distance on the far corner.  Things seemed tame for a moment, but as my other friend, Mr. I’m-Wearing-A-Severed-Teddy-Bear’s-Head went to see what was happening, one of the wolves struck like a snake, punching my unicorn painted friend right in the face.  It didn’t look pleasant, I’ll tell you, but my buddy just looked at them, then shrugged his shoulders and said something that I later found out was, “What?  Hit me again, shitbag.”  Astonishingly enough the wolves departed and we were left in peace to continue our journey.

We have a phrase for just how cool getting punched in the face for a friend is, and that phrase is Bro-Up.  He totally ‘Bro’ed Up’ and took one for the team.  I really appreciated it.  So I began to formulate my plan to give him a ‘Thank You’ present.  Not just anything will do when you’re trying to get a gift that has that perfect “Thank you for getting punched so that I didn’t get raped” message.  It took some thought, but eventually I figured it out- I would get him a kitty.

Part 2: The Great Cat Caper

About a week went by.  I ran my plan by a few other members of the crew, and for the most part I got raised eyebrows and responses such as “You are a horrible friend.”  I figured that to be beside the point and I simply continued to let my plan brew.  It seemed flawless.

Step one: find a kitty.

Step two: put the kitty in a basket with a cutesy note.

Step three: ding-dong ditch the cat on his doorstep.

Without any overwhelming support, though, I was only mildly planning on actually pulling off this little maneuver.  But then came that fateful Saturday when I woke up with that all-too-familiar itch to find some mischief.  It was go time.

The crew and I got together (despite some mild opposition) and began tracking down feral cats living behind photography studios and the like- but this proved to be a pinch too much effort for us.  A more logical solution was to head to the Albuquerque Animal Rescue and pick some little snuggler who wouldn’t put up a fight or give us rabies.  And there, amidst the pugs and pit bulls and Siamese cats, we found him.  Immediately, he connected with us.  Little dude is cute, sweet, and snuggly, and to top it all off he is polydactyl.  I had a little bit of Berlin’s “Take my Breath Away” playing in my head as we gazed into each other’s eyes.

Everyone in the crew voted for him so I adopted him and we headed over to our buddy’s house to surprise him with his new soul mate.  “Now, Lindsay,” you might ask, “What on earth makes you think your friend wants a cat, will like the cat, and isn’t going to punch you in the face when you bring him a cat?”  The answer to that is easy- cats rock.

But seriously, a bit of background: I happen to know that this guy just went through a break up that resulted in his ex-girlfriend keeping their cat.  He has mentioned it only about a thousand times.  I also know that he loves cats.  I also know that I love kittens and at any given moment of my life am at-risk for adopting one.  I’m not quite ready to be a crazy cat lady, however, so I try to practice restraint.

So the kitten is all of ours, he’s simply the newest addition to our crew.  He even has become a little groupie for Monster Paws (the group that led to his being adopted at all.)  After everyone was good and acquainted and we had all given him a different name, we put Hemingway Bro Tron Sam Beam (Bro-Tron for short) on a leash and headed to our local pet-friendly patio bar for some drinks.  We’re that kind of people.  He’s that kind of kitten.

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