time : Oh Fair New Mexico

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by Karen Fayeth

Too Much Time On My Hands

Perfect posting for a Friday…

On Monday I had an early morning video call with a company in London. Oh those pesky time zones. Did you know that the US and the UK go to Daylight Savings Time (British Summer Time) about three weeks apart, and the US goes first? Monday was the first workday after the US moving ahead an hour, while the UK didn’t.

Yeah, I remembered that in the small hours of the morning and quickly dashed off an email to sort out the timing. Thankfully everything worked out.

To prepare for the video conference, I got up extra early and came into the office to set up and test all of my video gear. I just moved into an office a couple weeks ago and my video gear was in a heap in a drawer. Great.

I was able to quickly get it set up and tested and then ten minutes before the call, I was ready to go.

Ten minutes. That is a funny amount of time. Not enough time to really get anything going with work. I mean, I could have dived into email but then I just knew I would get engaged in something and would lose track of time.

But ten minutes is also kind of a long time to sit around and do nothing.

So I did what any adult professional in my situation would do. To “test” my video camera set up, I fired up PhotoBooth on my Mac and played with the effects.

I tried the one with hearts around the head, then the birds around the head. I tried the one that gave me frog eyes and one that produced a disturbing cartoonlike square jaw.

But none were quite as impressive as this. Let’s call it Alien Accounts Receivable Clerk. And your payment is overdue.



“Please remit payment or I will be forced to terminate your account”


So yeah, when the top of the hour finally rolled around, I entered the video conference still giggling.

A little too jolly for a fairly serious meeting with stoic Brits. *Ahem*

But I cleaned up my act, greeted the others on the call and then behaved like a grown up for a WHOLE HOUR!

Amazing. (hee, hee)





Photo ©2016 Karen Fayeth, taken with the PhotoBook App on my Mac and ten minutes of downtime plus post Daylight Savings Time exhaustion on my hands. Subject to the Creative Commons License in the right corner of this page.





Misty Water Colored Memories. Of the Way We Were. Orale.

In the wake of my most recent (and fabulous) visit to my home state of New Mexico, I find I’m getting my old crone on.

New Mexico has both grown and grown up over the last twenty years. I suppose change is inevitable.

But sometimes I still lament the way it used to be.

So here’s a top of my mind list of how New Mexico used to be. This just happens to be what I’m thinking about on my first day back in California on a stormy Bay Area day.


Grumpy McGrumperson’s List of “That was my New Mexico”

  1. It rained in summer. It snowed in winter. The Rio Grande bulged with water in July. Farmers irrigated their land. Sure, it was still a desert, but water didn’t cost $300 a cubic meter. Cotton plants grew tall. Pecans grew large. It worked. Now New Mexico is in the midst of a terrifying descent into serious drought and a mismanaged water conservancy.
  2. If you went to the Balloon Fiesta, there was never, not for one moment, a thought that you’d just sit there and watch. You were expected to pitch in, even if you were a small child. “Safety” and “insurance” didn’t ever come into mind. We just helped, because getting those hot air balloons off the ground was what we did in Albuquerque.
  3. Breakfast burritos at the Balloon Fiesta were cheap, incredibly delicious, and you bought them out of a battered ice chest and didn’t think twice about it. Same with tamales at Christmas.
  4. Pinto beans were made with pork. No one ever wondered about or protested this fact. Ever.
  5. If you ate a Biscochito, you didn’t question if it was made from lard. OF COURSE it was made with lard. And no one thought that was weird, bad or worried that it would make them fat. Anything but lard was unfathomable.
  6. Luminarias used a real candle. None of this electric hogwash.
  7. If it said Hatch green chile, you knew it was actually from Hatch. It seemed strange to even question.
  8. When you looked into a bucket of ice at a bar, and pulled out a bottle, it was beer. Just beer. None of these foofy malt-based sugared up drinks. Just beer. And decent beer. What’s with the light, light, oh so lite you can breathe it like air. Just drink a damn beer! Or don’t. (this comes straight from the events of this weekend. I grabbed what I thought was a beer. It wasn’t. *sigh*)
  9. While on a two lane highway, when someone passed the other direction, you gave ’em a wave. Be it whole hand, the pointer finger, two finger Boy Scout style or whatever acknowledgement you like, you did it. And the other driver waved and smiled back. (in some places this still happens, but I got an awful lot of unreturned waves this weekend.)
  10. We didn’t call a tortilla a wrap. It was a tortilla. They weren’t made of spinich or tomato, and if mom made ’em from scratch they were thick and oh so very good.


There’s more, I think, but that’s enough of what’s bothering me today.

I suppose time marches on whether I march in step or not. New Mexico can’t stay the same forever and neither can I.

Must be the dark clouds I have, both mentally and meteorologically, that’s got me all stirred up.

Wish I could find a way to send you some of this wet weather, my Fair New Mexico.




Time, Time, Time, See What’s Become Of Me

Remember back in the day when computers were brought to the desktop of every office worker? These funky machines came with the promise of less manual tasks and thus, more time!

More time! What an awesome benefit.

You know how when you get a good raise, you first think to yourself, “This is great! My expenses will stay the same and I’ll bank the difference of this new paycheck.”

But then you don’t. You manage to find a way to expand to use up every single dollar of that new pay.

Yeah. It’s like that with all the “found time” that computers brought to my world.

Right now time is the scarcest and most valuable resource I have.

There are only 24 hours in a day to spend.

I use eight of them sleeping.

Another three or so on getting ready, eating, travel time between destinations, dealing with a yowling cat, hugging The Good Man, etc.

And twelve sitting in front of a computer screen working my buns off on a massive project at work.

Let’s see…twelve plus eight is twenty…plus three is twenty three….

That leaves, uh, yeah, one hour in the day where I can just skive off (as the British say) and have some fun.

One hour to write, and craft, and think, and read a book, and just sit for a moment and look at the sky and daydream.

One hour. Sixty small minutes.

That’s not very much. I’d best use it wisely.

What got me thinking about this today?

The ten minutes I sat, waiting, on an open conference call bridge waiting for my perpetually absentminded sales rep.

I only gave it ten, then I got back to work.

I’m a little bit aggrieved about that ten minutes. Especially since I wolfed down lunch in order to make that call in time.

And now I’m indigested.

*sigh*

This should get better by end of April. That’s a looooong thirty days.





And for all you smarty pants out there, yes, I found time to write this blog post. I used the hour I WOULD have spent on that conference call. Found time! Yesssss!


Photo by Chris Gilbert and used royalty free from stock.xchng.


G’bye Ol’ Friend

November 28, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: comedy, fun, funny, grief, melancholy, movies, Opinions, time 

Thanks for all the movies, all the fun and all the laughs.

Leslie Nielsen, Actor, Dies at 84

Keep it to yourself, grandma

January 28, 2010 by · Comments Off on Keep it to yourself, grandma
Filed under: Albuquerque, cranky, crazy, cursing, Dad, family, grumptacular, irritated, life, mean people, memories, Mom, Opinions, remorse, sarcasm, snark, suggestible girl, time 

I remember back when I was about 25 or 26, living in Albuquerque and working at Sandia Labs. Single. Searching. Doing ok.

My older sister was also single and in her twenties, and we grew pretty close back then.

There was one day when I was staying over at her house that she and I went for a walk. We were each other’s support group, so we’d walk along and talk. We’d engage in walking therapy.

This was a chilly winter day. We walked with pink cheeks and a scarf ’round the neck.

We talked about how we both tend to have this internal dialog of snarky comments as we go through our days.

Both of us copped to it. Then my sister said something that sticks with me.

“I just worry that as I age, my ability to keep those thoughts inside will become more difficult.”

I laughed. And I agreed.

See, in our family, we have this relative. My mom’s aunt. She’s a bit infamous among the family as possessing a rather acid tongue. She didn’t even need to grow old to splat out hateful, spiteful and just plan snarky comments.

Oh, she was loyal to her family, especially her beloved brother (my grandfather) and made no bones about letting my grandmother know she wasn’t good enough. I believe she also let my dad know he wasn’t good enough for my mom.

So my sister and I both know that the genes of Aunty Snarky run deep within our DNA. We know how to turn on that frosty chill and say something cuttingly acerbic.

But as my sister pointed out, back then, we did okay keeping it inside.

Now, looking at the world through 40 years old eyes (that need vision correction), I find that my sister was entirely prophetic.

I *am* having trouble keeping that Aunty Snarky side to myself.

It’s such a push-pull of being “the nice girl” vs “oh hell, let’s just be honest.”

I recall reading one of my grandmother’s journals (after she had passed away). In it, she discussed how people always think she’s so nice, “but,” she wrote, “if they only knew.”

Well, I’m afraid I’ve surpassed “if they only knew.” They know.

Because I’ve become that cranky old broad. Only I’m not quite old enough yet to get away with it.

I say things. Out loud. (For example, the “What the f— is your problem?!?!” incident from about a month ago.)

I’ve always ranted about man’s inhumanity to man and tried to rise above it. I really have. But I guess I’ve been worn down. I guess “everybody is doing it” and so I’m no longer rising, I’m wallowing down in it.

Hoo boy. I’m not proud of it.

When I was in Las Vegas, I got busted for it too. I was standing in the narrow median of a quiet street taking a photograph. A pickup rolled by and the driver slowed and said, “I thought you were crossing the street…”

And I thought he was being an a’hole about me being in the median. I’d gotten hassled so much that day while taking photos so my hackles may have been a bit up.

I whirled on him. “Oh nice!” I yelled, “Thank you VERY much. No really, thanks for being such a nice guy!!!” I yelled sarcastically as he drove off.

Ten minutes later the guy walked up to me. “Hey, I just meant, I couldn’t tell if you were crossing the street. But then I saw your camera and I figured it out. That’s all.”

Whoooooo did I feel like a jerk. I ended up apologizing to him and we had a pretty nice conversation about photography.

You’d think that would have capped my fat mouth.

It did, only somewhat.

I’m trying.

I really am. Hard to get that horse back in the barn after all the frolicking in the fields.

It’s just…I don’t always want to be “the nice girl.”

Sometimes I think I just want to be Aunty Snarky when I grow up.

I’m so conflicted.

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