Thursday, March 24, 2011

My 100 Thing Challenge

I stumbled onto this website about the 100 Thing Challenge, and now I want to see how many things I can get rid of. I like all my stuff to fit into the back seat and trunk of my car because I
move a lot, so generally give stuff away a lot. To get started, I'm writing a list of all my personal possessions:

1. Teal cowboy boots
2. Snow boots
3. Old running shoes
4. Newer running shoes
5. Waterproof hiking boots
6. Steel toe hiking boots
7. Steel toe cheap boots
8. Silver high heels
9. Black leather high heels with ruffles
10. Temperamental laptop
11. Battered well traveled suitcase with deep cargo pockets
12. Sweater- black flower with stripped sleeves
13. Sweater- black with short sleeves
14. Sweater-gray with quarter sleeves
15. Sweater-green Canadian Army that makes me look frumpy
16. Vest-black fleece
17. Vest-red fleece
18. Vest-baby blue fleece
19. Vest-black sweater
20. Shirt-silk black dress shirt with white polka dots
21. Shirt-Red long sleeves Patagonia that makes me look good
22. Shirt-Brown long sleeves that makes me look frumpy
23. Shirt-Black with pretty ruffles
24. Shirt-long sleeved black cotton
25. Shirt-Blue with flowers and scoop neck
26. Shirt-scoop neck long sleeved T with a naked lady in a pilots hat on the back
27. Shirt-tank from Ukrainian Fest with the word "Listen" on the front in Ukrainian, the name of a band
28. Shirt-turquoise v neck
29. Shirt-cowgirl pearl snap with light brown checkers
30. Shirt-cowgirl pearl snap with black and white checkers and red roses
31. Dress-black clingy thing that makes me look great
32. Over shirt-Wool cowboy blue and brown checkered from Pendleton
33. Over shirt-puffy plaid and lumberjack like
34. T-shirt-Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge with Green Jay on it
35. T-shirt-Ethelbert Homecoming
36. Baby T-shirt-says "Buck Wild" and makes me look fat
37. Baby T-shirt with Buffalo and guns on the front
38. Exercise pants-black with blue trim and cuts off at ankles
39. Underware
40. Socks
41. Belt-light brown leather with heart belt buckle
42. Pants-green REI biology
43. Pajamas-Guinness
44. T-shirt with Blondie on the front that I wear to bed
45. Skirt-jean flared with horse stitched onto it
46. Jeans-Wrangler old style women's size 9
47. Jeans-Guess gray with crystals on the pockets size 30 (or 10)
48. Jeans-dressy dark
49. Jeans-Cruel Girl with a hole in the pocket
50. Jeans-New Wranglers dark navy
51. Swim Suit-brown with white polka dots
52. Swim Suit-turquoise with jeweled top
53. Swim Suit white top with turquoise butterfly
54. Swim Suit-lime green one piece that the German lady gave me at the cabin
55. Beanie-Turquoise hand knit by me multicolor one I wear everyday
56. Beanie-Turquoise hand knit by me that is worn
57. Beanie-multicolored from Nora wool hand knit by me
58. Gloves-acrylic work gloves that keep me warm in cold wetness
59. Gloves-black liner
60. Gloves-Marmot outer ski gloves
61. Coat-black down coat that goes to my knees that I bought in Germany a long time ago
62. Jacket-Tommy Hilfiger Navy light jacket that is faded and cut and worn
63. Necklace-stone
64. Clutch-turquoise leather
65. Bag-Makeup in red and gold stripes
66. Bag-makeup plastic blue
67. Eye Pencil-Cover Girl brow and eye in soft blonde 3 of them
68. Eyeliner-Almay intense i-color in brown topaz
69. Eyeliner Sharper
70. Eyeliner-Almay intense i-color in black
71. Eye primer from Mary Kay
72. Eyeliner-Almay intense i-color in royal slate
73. Eyeliner-Pestige waterproof in bronze
74. Mascara-Maybelline Colossal Volume
75. Mascara-Telescopic explosion
76. Makeup Brush-Sephora professional brush
77. Makeup Brush-Bare Essentials max coverage concealer
78. Makeup Brush-Bare Essentials kubuki full coverage
79. Concealer-Bare Minerals matte mineral powder in golden fair
80. Concealer-Maybelline mineral power that makes me look orange
81. Eye Shadow-Mary Kay signature eye shadow kit with 3 shades
82. Boot cream in medium brown
83. Brush-travel in hot pink
84. Chapstick-classic
85. Chapstick-Blistex medicated
86. Chapstick-free Fat Tire promotion one that smells like oranges
87. Chapstick-classic
88. Chapstick-Burt's Bees colored in plum that looks horrible on me
89. Chapstick-lip petrolium overnight renewal therapy
90. Ear Thingy
91. Expired medication
92. Ped Egg
93. Shower back scrubber in blue plastic
94. Lotion-empty bottle
95. Medicine-Equate Analgesic and muscle relaxant with Methocarbanol and Ibuprofen
96. Souvenir from London
97. Onsen pure A-peel skin renewal facial peel that a sexy Italian sold me at the mall
98. Burt's Bees herbal blemish stick
99. 13 bottles of meaningful beauty product
100. Empty pill bottle
101. Castor oil bottle
102. Medicine- 3 full prescription pill bottles
103. Medicine-Aleve
104. Medicine-Advil
105. Contact Solution and case
106. Hair Brush
107. Nail kit
108. Nail Polish-Sephora pink called "Vernis"
109. Nail Polish-cheap pink stuff from Ice that chips off too soon
110. Lotion-Vaseline deep moisture creamy formula with Vit E
111. Blackberry phone
112. Toothpaste-Aqua Fresh empty
113. Toothpaste-Colgate enamel strength Total
114. Toothpaste-Crest
115. Toothbrush
116. Toothbrush
117. Nail polish remover
118. First Aid kit with scissors, tweezers, bandaids, and wipes
119. shaving gel
120. razor samd extra razors
121. Shampoo-Herbal Essence
122. Conditioner-Herbal Essence
123. Shampoo-Treseme
124. Conditioner-Treseme
125. Green pottery jar that I made myself with hair accessories
126. Butterfly tote bag
127. Package of sewing needles
128. Knitting needles-Clover size 7
129. Knitting needles-Clover size 10 circular
130. Knitting needles-size 7 circular
131. Knitting needles-5 Crystal Palace bamboo size 3 double point
132. Knitting needles-Crystal Palace size 11
133. Knitting needles-pink plastic size 3
134. Half finished scarf in navy
135. Yarn-Navy acrylic size 12
136. Yarn-Gray, blue, and white for socks size 3
137. Yarn-3 left over skeins of turquoise lambswool
140. Yarn-fluffy light blue acrylic
141. Yarn-fluffy forest green acrylic size 6
142. Yarn-left over army green wool size 11
143. Yarn-7left over balls in assorted colors
144. 8 washcloths
145. 3 old collected bottles filled with philodendron clippings
146. Book-Swimming with Dolphins
147. Book-The Lost Symbol
148. Book-The Third Option
149. Book-The Weekend Novelist
150. Book-CD Elizabeth Peter's The 7th Sinner
151. Oil Paint-cadmium yellow
152. Oil Paint-every black
153. Oil Paint-cadmium red light
154. Oil Paint-zinc white
155. Oil Paint-permanent sap green
156. Oil Paint-burnt sienna
157. Oil Paint-raw umber
158. Oil Paint-manganese blue hue
159. Oil Paint-phthalo green (yellow shade)
160. Oil Paint-tamp black
161. Oil Paint-cobalt blue hue
162. Oil Paint-cerulean blue
163. Oil Paint-dioxazine purple
164. Purified linseed oil
165. Water mixable linseed oil
166. 15 ruined expensive paint brushes from a lack of turpentine
167. 5 cheap paint brushes
168. 3 paint scrapers
169. Paint palette
170. Half finished barn cat oil painting
171. blank canvass
172. 24 Crayola IQ pencils
173. Camera
174. Personal photos and multiple CDs
175. Notebook with a novel outline and scene dissections
176. Notebook with a novel outline and research
177. Diary
178. CD-Bird songs of the Rocky Mountains
179. Software-Thayer's birding software
180. empty Lady Gaga CD case
181. Software-Kodak easy share with book
182. Pile of old job postings
183. Pile of paperwork
184. Checkbook
185. Pile of cords
186. Green velvet ottoman
187. Blow up queen size air bed
188. Heater
189. Tent
190. Themarest
191. sleeping bag
192. Blanket from Germany
193. Down comforter
194. Two pillows
195. 3 sheets
196. Turtle artwork
197. Snow shoes - 2 pair

more to come still...I haven't even looked at my stuff in the other house yet, or the stuff in my parents basement.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ambition and Time Travel

I didn't have anything to do. I just lost my job a few weeks ago and had finished the last Stieg Larson book in his trilogy and had absolutely nothing to do. So I started to get depressed. I went to the library and asked the guy with the long gray ponytail (known to me as the computer Nazi who goes around making sure everyone signed in)what authors he recommended. I said my favorite authors at the moment were Larson and Michael Crichton and they were both dead and would never have any more books. Ponytail man said he only read science fiction so took me to that area to choose me a book. He asked me what kind of science fiction I liked, my only answer to that is time travel and multi-verse theory.

He thumbed through every book with what looked like love in his eyes, caressing the books, his only friends. It looked like he had indeed read all of them. Some he said were boring, some not well written, then he pulled out one with a smile on his face. "Time travel and a good author!" He said with triumph. The book written by Orson Scott Card and called Pastwatch. He had read it and said it was a good one, he handed it to me and asked if I liked Star Trek books at all. I told him that my Dad watched too much Star Trek when I was a kid, so no. He went through the new books in front and handed me two more about time travel but warned me that he hadn't read them yet so they could be bad.

I really got into the Pastwatch book where people of the future can actually study the daily lives of people in the past, watching their every move, listening to their every word. One woman decided that slavery never should of happened and decided to go back in time to change it, stopping Christopher Columbus from discovering America. This was suppose to change the future to not have a polluted dead earth that could only support a few million people. Her daughter went instead to not stop him, but educate him and Europe never took over America but became trade partners with it and the educated civilization that was there.

It made me think of critical points in my life that have thrown it into new and opposite directions. It also made me think of how motivated Christopher Columbus was to achieve his goal of a west passage to the Indies. I think the book sparked my own ambition in what I want to achieve in my life, something that is almost as impossible as convincing a queen and king to send me into the unknown with their money and ships. If he can do it though, then so can I. He wasn't even a gentleman, he had to overcome his lower class and the long period of time itself to grow to the position that he made for himself in history.

Friday, January 28, 2011

2010 in My Own Photos

Lunch with Mom and my sister at Red Lobster. I took my nephew to look at the lobster tank.

Living in Wyoming, I had a freezer stocked full of wild game meat that I enjoyed cooking up everyday.

I started to run several miles a day with my roommate's dog Ranger on red dirt roads through the Wyoming countryside.

A blizzard in Wyoming left snow drifts that came up to my chest.

During bird training in South Dakota for my new job I wandered off and found a pair of mountain blue birds on an old cabin.

Camping every night across the state of Wyoming looking for birds, I encountered a lot of lightning storms in my tent. This night was my first, I thought I was going to die.

A rodeo in Sheridan, WY shut down a business that I needed, making me wait for hours.

I was busy helping with the cattle on a ranch in Manitoba, Canada.

I protected three barn kittens from Tom cats and cattle hooves, but they still all died by wintertime after I left.

Wheat still not harvested late in the season in front of a home long neglected in Canada.

Not the photo I wanted to put here and I might change it. I moved back to Wyoming from Canada to research sage-grouse and lived in this little cabin entertained by the length of my icicles.

Ordering an elk burger in Jackson Hole, WY at the famous Cowboy Bar.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Moving to Wyoming

Instead of writing here in ABQ Annie's Everyday Beauty, I will be writing here now at my new journal blog In Wild Wyoming. I move to Wyoming next week.

Monday, February 8, 2010


new thoughts of you
corrode my current happiness
with galvanic speed

oozing toxic love
scrubbed out of my heart
with new inner strength

Take this Job and Shove It!

I was a potter living up in the Sandia Mountains, in a cabin surrounded by pine trees and mountain chikadees. The fresh air and watermelon red soil brought me simple joy. My savings was running dry though after several months, and selling pottery didn't pay the bills. They called me up, offering me a job working as a biologist on border fence, making more money than I have ever made, and I took it. I was on a plane the next day to the place I hate the most, southern California, to drive around the sand dunes I worked in years ago looking for rare plants that were in the way of George Bush's fence. Two years later, and I am still selling my soul from San Diego, CA all the way to Brownsville, TX. Today though, I will quit and take back my soul, I will never be a biowhore again. The private sector is needed, but is not for me. I will be in Wyoming soon, counting birds in some of the most beautiful landscapes that I have never laid my eyes on.

A historic letter of resignation, Richard Nixon's for resigning as president.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Year in Photos


Albuquerque New Years with elk posole, hand made tortillas, and these dogs wanting to come out and join us by the fire on the patio.


Rows of Air Force solar panels, the Vegas strip, and snow covered mountains as I worked.


Visited a friend in Tombstone, AZ, made an interesting new one. I saw this monk wandering around taking photos of everything, as wonder bread cracked jokes about him.


Working near this pretty horse in a field of fresh flowers, outside of San Diego, CA.


Blues festival after a few days of frog training, lots of biker leather, tie dye, and local cowboys laying in the hot sun in Silver City, NM. You drink too much sody pop there cowboy? Looking for a port-o-potty that has been baking in the sun.


I went camping in the US Virgin Islands alone for some peace, solitude, and turquoise water. Click here for haiku about my trip.


Dinner, two-stepping and cattle roping all at the same spot in Brownsville,TX.


Even Walmart was roasting green chili, everyone does this time of year in Albuquerque.


Mini Oktoberfest near Bonn, Germany. Click here for haiku about this trip.


Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta with a cup of hot coco in one hand, and my camera in the other.


The roads traveled alone are always the most thought provoking. Somewhere in Northern New Mexico by myself. Click here and here for haiku about this trip.


Look, I can stay warm with a blanket, and hold my coco and the remote at the same time in my Snuggie! So stylish and slimming too!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Greatest Christmas Decoration Ever

My boss sent this to me in an email. I laughed so hard, I have to pass it on.

Fantastic. Greg sends along this DIY FYI:

"Good news is that I truly out did myself this year with my Christmas decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after 2 days. I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever.Great stories. But two things made me take it down.

First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by.

Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn't realize it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn't take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

White Sail on the Horizon

"Down in her soul, the while, she was waiting for something to happen. Like a shipwrecked sailor, she perused her solitary life with hopeless eyes, searching for some white sail far away where the horizon turns to mist. She didn't know what her luck might bring, what wind would blow it her way, what shore it would take her to, whether it was a sloop or a three-masted schooner, laden with anguish or crammed to the portholes with happiness." Gustav Flaubert from Madame Bovary

Flaubert always says my feeling best, and I do seem at a loss for words myself lately. I feel shipwrecked myself, as if everything I knew before was lost, and I see a white sail on the horizon. I'm not sure what that ship holds other than the excitement of the unknown. It won't so much as rescue me, as allow me to join it in it's present and future adventures in places I haven't allowed myself to explore yet.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Driving Around Town

Last night as I was driving through an intersection in good old Albuquerque, when this beat up Subaru looking car was acting weird. I thought maybe he was just driving a standard that was making his car jerk, but slowed down so that he wasn't next to me. A few seconds later, he purposely swerved into my lane to hit the new blue pickup in front of me, then speed off. The blue truck threw on it's breaks, then speed off after the guy when he realized that he wasn't stopping. I almost hit the blue pickup, and the car behind me almost hit me. He could have hit me just as easily as the truck in front of me, and even though I have full coverage on my car, I don't want the hassle of fixing my baby. I turned around, the road rage looked like it was getting bad in front of me as the pickup was chasing him. It made me think of the road rage recently on the news with the National Guardsman killing someone else. I didn't want to drive behind a flipping pickup or anything like that.

This morning on the way to work, there was a homeless guy standing on the corner for handouts, and usually I don't pay much attention to them anymore. This one though was wearing his camouflage army fatigues, there was a dog wrapped up in a blanket next to him sleeping, and a huge green army bag beside them. I don't think a homeless guy would go to the trouble of finding a uniform and a army bag. I don't know where he's been, what war he has fought, or why he is on the street, but it was heartbreaking to see a military man on the street. Does our government not help out those who defend our country? Or is this man faking it and playing on our sympathies? My dad got a free meal at Applebees this Veteran's day, and gets all the free health care he can handle. He marched in the Veteran's Day parade with the kids he teaches in his military school. He was a Marine, and officer in Vietnam. He was the guy who watched the radar screen and told planes when they could land, and has never spoken one word about his time there, I've only heard stories from Mom. He does have a blue suitcase though, full of stuff from Vietnam, including what looks like shrapnel.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Predator Eyes

I tried to sleep, but the howls of the Mexican wolves kept me up. I forgot my ear plugs again, something I tried not to do when camping after toad surveys. I'm a light sleeper, which made me a great EMS dispatcher in college, I was up, perky and alert in a matter of seconds when the phones went off, not such a good thing when you camp every night though. I was working for the federal government near Julian, CA doing riparian surveys for several months in all the creeks in the eastern side of the county. My team would do bird surveys in the morning, assess the riparian vegetation during the day, and conducted endangered toad surveys at night, camping on site. Usually the frogs would drive me mad, hundreds of horny pacific tree frogs ribiting through half the night, and I had to put in ear plugs to get any sleep.

This night was particularly disturbing. Me and my partner would each take a different reach of the stream, doing the toad surveys alone. I had already spent all day in the same area, getting familiar with where the waterfalls were, and which spots would be tough to climb down in the dark. There was one spot that scared me in the day even though, several deer jumped out of the brush and ran up the steep canyon cliffs, giving me a quick fright until I realized what they were. When I walked through that same spot in the middle of the night, a fox jumped out at me. It looked almost as scared as I was, we caught each other off guard. Just as I was calming myself down, I felt someone or something staring at me. I looked around, my headlamp illuminating empty bushes and trees. The frogs were already silent ever since I came around the corner, their eyes visible in my light around the water. All I could hear was the splashing of moving water against my water proof boots below. Then I saw them, big eyes, big predator eyes that were facing forward instead of on the side like a deer. A large cat was staring at me. That is when I had my panic attack, there didn't seem to be enough air around me as we looked at each other, alone in the dark. I started walking further down the stream backwards, never taking my eyes off those eyes that seemed to follow me. When I made it around the corner, I figured that my toad survey was done, I was almost to the end anyway. I started climbing up the steep wall leading out, pulling myself up by grabbing onto bushes, the gravel slipping beneath my feet. When I made it to the top, I started crying and tried to called my partner on the radio, she had the truck. Radios are useless in canyons though, and so are cell phones.

I keep looking down the canyon wall toward the stream, which made me feel uneasy. I started walking back to our tents over a mile away, periodically giving the radio another try, and a glance over my shoulder to see if anything was following me. The night was silent, with a breeze that gave me chills even with my fleece, as I walked the winding dirt road. I did notice the stars, there always seem to be millions more out in the country, white specks splattered across the sky like a Jackson Pollock painting. As I got closer to our tent, that is when I heard for the first time, the call of Mexican wolves, adding to my fear of being vulnerably human and alone on this dark night on their land. Truck lights appeared from around the corner, it was my partner. She rolled down the window.

"Wow! How far did you walk? Our tents are just around the corner. Something scare you?"

"I got a little scared back there, a big cat was staring at me, I couldn't sit still and just wait for you." My voice trembled. "...and are those wolves I hear? In California?"

"That is scary, I don't know what I would have done. There must be a Mexican Wolf refuge up on that hill, I've heard that it is around here somewhere." She pointed above us. "It's alright, they are behind a fence, I'm sure."

Lying in my tent, I listened to the endangered Mexican wolf howls, and felt privileged to hear them, and I lucky to be alive. I wasn't sure exactly what I saw down in the stream, but it could have possibly taken my life if it wanted to.

(I will have to find some photos from here and post them later, I couldn't find any on the web.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sand Box

I took this picture while working in the sand dunes in 2004, if you look close you can see the next team of people on a dune in the distance.

I closed my eyes, even though I was wearing goggles, and could feel the warm wind and sand slapping me in my face at around 50 mph. The feelings of danger, excitement and freedom swelled inside of me, and I couldn't believe I was getting paid to do this!

It was a frosty day outside of Seattle when I got the news of my first botany job. I was in a bad mood, and couldn't drive my car because of the ice covering the roads and several inches of snow piled on top of it from weeks of being parked made my car not want to start. I put on my cowboy boots and bundled up, I was walking to the store to buy ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies. I bake when I'm sad or upset, and the memories of my grandmas, and the smells of cookies or bread makes me happy. My cowboy boots turned into ice skates, something that never happened in Texas. My butt hurt from all the falls, and I was indeed very grumpy as I slid home on the boots. I walked in the door of our wood stove warmed house, slush dripping off my boots, and threw the butter on the cabinet. My dad chuckled at my anger.

"You don't like the ice much huh?"
"Hell no!"
"Well how about a job starting next week in Southern California in some sand dunes?"
"They called! I got the job!"
"That's right, now are you going to make me some cookies?"

Finding endangered plants in the middle of hot sand dunes is no easy task, but I loved everyday of it. Clouds don't appear much in SoCal, the blue sky just gets streaked with some white stringy ones. So the sky above the sand dunes was almost always blue, contrasting the vast beige sand. These sand dunes are the biggest in the country, stretching as far as your eye can see when you are in them. I would leave my cockroach infested apartment around 2am, waving good bye to the drunk neighbors still leaning on the wall with beer in their hands to start my transects in the dunes right at the cool sunrise. The government hired professional drivers to take us out in sections of sand that might not have seen a person in years. It was a challenge getting so many of us out to the middle of nowhere by sunrise, and we only had one dune buggy. They ended up putting sand tires on two old Subarus to cart six of us at the same time.

The sand particles were bigger on the west side of the dunes, and fine as powder on the east side, because the wind carries smaller particles farther. This caused us to get stuck in the sand a lot, even with the professionals, on the east side. One such day, we got the dune buggy stuck in the fine sand. After hours of my team and boss (who was driving) digging around the tires, we gave up and waited for someone to pull us out. There were twelve other teams out in the dunes though, so the drivers were busy picking all of them up for hours and couldn't help us. Sand doesn't hold heat, so we were freezing after it got dark, still waiting to be rescued. We could see his jeep lights for miles as they came over several dune mountains along the way. He finally reached us, his naked lady flag flapping in the wind, and pulled us out in a couple of minutes with a tow strap. It was too late for me to drive back to the city, so I stayed in the tent city that the temporary botanists lived in out in the dunes. I was so tired, I didn't use one of the primitive showers to wash the sand off. It seemed to be everywhere, stuck in my hair and every crevice of my body. A friend let me have a sleeping bag, and I crashed even though they stayed up talking and watching movies on laptops. The next morning I woke up and noticed a huge pile of sand in her sleeping bag that fell off of me in the middle of the night.

Every day, for months, I walked those sand dunes. I figure that I've walked them from north to south at least twice. We had to stay in strait lines for the accuracy of science, sometimes being forced to walk deep down into the hot sand bowls and strait back out the steepest part counting the endangered plants along the way. The bowls would have kangaroo rats and sunflowers that smelled like vanilla, but in the afternoon they felt like a furnace when we were already in the hot desert. The best moments were waiting to be picked up at the end of our transects, after a hard days work. The three of us would lounge around on the sand in the shade, and I would close my eyes and feel the breeze against my face.

Lady Long Legs

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Soul Searching

I've been doing a lot of soul searching these last couple weeks, and throughout the last few months even though I didn't know I was doing it. It's amazing how one person who you meet on a chance encounter can have such an affect on your life. Was it a chance encounter though? I have been drawn to the exact place that I met him for years. I would drive past it on the highway and feel like I had to exit, increasingly over the last few years, and the few months before I met him there, the pull was overwhelming. I think back to other turning points in my life, how I had that same uncontrollable urge to do or go somewhere.

I had to go to Germany, I didn't understand it. I don't even understand how I ended up taking German rather than Spanish in college. The Spanish classes were full, so while still ordering my classes on the phone, I flipped through the catalogue and decided to take German instead. I met someone there who has had a huge impact on my life over the last ten years. We met with only a five minute window, and if either of us had been a few minutes slower or faster, we never would have met at all. I remember racing to the the U-bahn station to make the last one that went all the way to my house, having missed it before, and not wanting to walk through the asparagus farms in the dark again. We were the only two people in the station. I took my first job in SoCal working with wildlife because of him, his sister lived there. I owe all my work experience to him. I wouldn't be in this seat today without him, and wonder were I would have been if I was five minutes later to that German U-bahn station. Some other job, some other place for sure. I wonder if my brother, who died ten years ago, has had any affect from the underworld on these life changing decisions. Can loved family members do that? Or does their bond to you die when they no longer have any evolution connection to you? Or is there some path of destiny that we all follow, not understanding why?

I never understood the drive that sent me to college either, I just knew I would do it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wide Open Spaces

I miss being able to throw all my small treasures in the backseat of my car, and driving to a place I've never seen before for a job. That is the life of a seasonal biologist. Then the boss starts wanting you to stick around and tempts you with health insurance to trap you in the job, hoping you will have a kid and never leave. I'm dreaming of wide open spaces and a slow pace of life that doesn't require me flying across the country and living in hotels to do my daily job. Pine trees, and fields of flowers, grass and snow may lie in my future if I have the courage to dream. I want to be free, where the cowboys are friendly, and the landscape is wide open.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nightly Walk with Fresh Snow

Here are some pics from my walk in the snow tonight around my neighborhood.

I love the color of those leaves.

The light is amazing through this ice.

I love clouds, these snow clouds are a different color than rain clouds.

A neighbors old truck.

A pretty neighbor's house.

Bush destroyed by snow and a view of the valley.

The wilderness trail near my house.

I think today is the last day that my flowers will bloom.

Snow Shoeing

I have my beautiful new German scarf wrapped around my neck, and I can't help but think about snow shoeing. Snowshoeing up the mountain from my backyard or maybe even driving up the turquoise trail on the other side of the mountain. Sure it won't be as nice as all those winters on Mt. Rainer with dad, just outside of Seattle, but New Mexico will have a very white winter this year from the looks of it. I also am daydreaming about snowshoeing in Montana, not as a weekend thing, but as a job that I just caught a glimpse of. I've been at this job for two years, and even though it makes me a lot of money, I'm unhappy with it. It's made me fat, and I'm sitting in an office now even. They fly me all over the country and I just drive pick up trucks around all day, then get a large per deim to eat out three times a day. I remember when I would hike for miles everyday just to do my job. I miss being poor, not always knowing where my next meal is coming from because I have to pay rent. There are some beautiful momements in being poor, and a well toned body in occasional starvation.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Very Sick

Some horrible virus hit me so suddenly, it felt like I was hit by a bus. I was barely able to drive home from the doctors office and spent most of a morning online corporate work meeting drooling on my desk. I have a fever, headache, cough, severe chills that made me put on a coat and sweatshirt, a nauseated feeling, and the worst body aches (that hit by a bus feeling). I can't remember ever feeling so sick, except a few times during childhood. I still can't drink that Hawaiian Punch, because I threw it up as a kid, even the smell of it grosses me out.

It might be the H1N1 virus, the Doctors said. You would think they would test everyone to see if it is that for sure, but they don't. Everyone in my family dropped like flies with this virus. It started with my sister, who works in a gas station, then me, then her four kids. At least I don't have to worry about getting everyone else sick anymore.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thinking in Colors

Sometimes I think in colors. That is instead of thoughts, words or pictures, I just see a bright yellow or a medium blue. It is like a brush painting over glass on the window of my mind. I think they are triggered by emotions, or maybe a image of something significant flashes through my mind then blurs till I just see the color. Right now I had a flash of blue being spilled onto red, not completely covering it, drips of the blue running down the sides of the red. Weird huh? Sometimes the colors have shapes but are too blurry to make out, like I took off my glasses or contacts.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dancing Stick Figures and Post-its

I was down in Brownsville, TX again last week, driving my pickup through the small downtown streets when I saw this weight loss ad. It showed the outlines of three women, one was fat, the other a little skinnier, and the last one slim and voluptuous. The slim one popped off the ad into my head and started moving, dancing really. Her pencil drawn legs started twirling around artistically, then a stripper pole appeared in my head and she went from a ballerina to pole dancer. It was the weirdest thing! Then I imagined myself drawing it all out on some post-it notes, so I can flip the pages and make the image really come to life.

Since then though, it has happened a few more times, usually inspired by music in my car. I pictured two stick figures dancing to a country song, and even saw two pairs of cowboy boots and hats on them when the were moving. He was twirling her around quickly to the beat of the song. Then I imagined a stick figure with a covered face belly dancing to my Shakira CD. My work has a lot of post-its lying around. One of these boring days, I just might turn them into small booklets of animated art.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Loney by Choice

This is a period of deep thought for me, and if you are one of my friend's reading this, sorry if I've pushed you away in the last several weeks. Sometimes it is hard having everyone, including your junior high friends, see what you do all day and look at your new photos. I feel a deep loneliness, but a desire to recoil from everyone at the same time. It would be nice to have a beagle to keep me company. I guess I don't want any one's opinion on what I should do in my life right now, or for them to be updated on what I'm doing. I feel like I'm being pulled in two different directions, my past and my present.

I never knew I could have such deep heartache, maybe I've never really experienced love before. There is a love that grows through the years, with the one you promised to spend your life with, a familiar comfortable love, but it isn't the same. New thoughts, new plans swirling around in my head, and I don't even want to look at any of my online sites or talk to anyone. I just feel strange.

So what can I do, but read, write, and bake? I love all three.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Feels Like I Stepped off Another Planet

I'm back from Germany, adjusting well to thinking in English again, but I admit, I read about 2000 pages and several books in English while there. Why do they have to dub every American television program in German? Never a moment to relax, unless I want to watch Pimp My Ride on MTV, or boring British news. I've discovered that my German is now way better than any of their English, and it is just easier to talk to them in German. I have hand written journals that I wrote everyday there and will post a few of them here under their original dates on this blog. Until then...

Sheep in the garden, lamb on the grill, street cars, friends, family, the Rhine River, moss in fish tanks disguised as modern German art, lots of insightful haiku written, pigeons, cathedrals built in the Gothic period, monasteries built in the Romanesque period, weird modern theatrical art in a regional dialect that I couldn't understand (what was wiht all that paper? I'll never know.), good food, umlauts, Canadian clothes, train trips, and a decade long flame with wood turned to charcoal that needed some fan waves to crackle and spark again.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Don't Feed the Pigeons!

Stephen King must have voices in his head, because his characters do, but he explains it as coming from the creative side of the brain. Today I seemed to have a voice narrate my day...

"Annie sat on the side of the wall eating and guarding her sandwich from the hungry pigeons. She pitied them, the descendants of a thousand years of pigeons from that same muenster, now forced onto the ground with nails placed on the muenster's ledges preventing them from perching there anymore. They scavenged for dropped french fries and crumbs across the scalloped cobblestones. A very aggressive pigeon hopped up on the wall next to her and ate some crumb that might have come from Annie's sandwich. He made a noise, then more and more started to fly in. It looked like something out of a horror movie, birds everywhere. She rose her leg to pretend to kick one of them, and wiggled it to shoo a few more. A sharp pain rose in her back again and she gently climbed off the wall. Not missing an opportunity, a bird inched toward her sandwich. Another bird eyed it from a few feet away, then looked cautiously at her.

"Get out of here!" She yelled flapping her hand in their direction.

They moved a few feet away, knowing that she might walk far enough away to grab something. They patiently waited, food eventually was left alone when they waited for it. Annie stretched her arms up in some kind of elegant yoga pose then arched her back. Her man came over with his sandwich and plopped on the wall, giving her a curious look. He held a piece of food out for the birds, something that he would soon regret."

Monday, September 21, 2009

Drowning in German

I've spent the last week speaking nothing but German, and my brain is fried. I brought several French classic novels with me as well as Jack Kerouac, and I devour them every day I am so starved for English.

I like taking photos, really I like collecting objects with the photos that I take. So far I`ve collected a lot of weird signs and Germans with dogs. The weirder the dog, the more value to my collection. Everyday life can be boring, no matter what country you live in. I wake up late, like the true artist I am, and usually entertain myself with the Rhine River sometime during the day. Each day is dedicated to something, wether going to the modern German art gallery or visiting a friend for dinner. The best day so far was going to the carnival, I couldn`t stop taking pictures. This German keyboard is driving me nuts, I keep hitting ö, ä, and ü by mistake, and the y is in the wrong place. So bye, for now, until I get home. A place where I can buy medicine and know what it is, and understand how expensive everything that I buy is.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Me in like 6 hours, I should get some sleep.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Bonn Haufbahnhof

Where it all started in May 2000, I was sitting in one of those orange chairs in the photo. It gives me chills to look at this photo I found. I'm nervous and excited about Saturday morning, when my train rolls into this station. The last nine years have been based on five minutes, a chance encounter in this exact same spot.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sexy 2009 Fall Boots!

I'm just drooling over boots, all kinds of them. Here are a few I found on the Internet. Victoria Secret is having a 20% sale on fall boots, and I found the top three on their website, all reasonably priced for the average income. You can also go to wide widths for athletic calves like me, but it was a sea of boring black on their website, disappointed.

Jessica Simpson created these beautiful butterfly cowgirl boots. I love butterflies, I work with them. I also love cowboy boots, but usually get mine at the western store.

Jessica Simpson riding boots, addorable.

My favorite so far, these slouchy Colin Stuart boots, I'm eyeing the red.

I loved the studs on these, very cute.

...and here are the Alexander McQueen dream boots. Sigh.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I'm Sorry

I am sorry, for always being so blunt.

...for pointing out painful things about self, even though it was always done with good intention.

...for being selfish.

...for not understanding the weight of responsibility, although I do now.

...for not being able to recognize my exit.

...for stating my feelings.

...for becoming angry with one I care so much about. I am extremely apologetic about this one.

...for wanting what can never be mine.

...for telling the object of my desire that I wanted it.

...for conflicting a person who has so many people to take care of.

...for my dreams.

...for the past year.

...for being there that November day.

...for the email replies.

...for the bad advice I gave you, even though it was with good intentions.

...for any sad faces on those who you care about.

...for being the brassy, red-haired, temptress that I am.

...for being outgoing, yet shy at the same time.

...for not letting a wonderful opportunity pass by without shouting at it, and letting my true thoughts be heard.

I'm truly sorry for it all.