Sure could use, a little good news…today

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Been a bit maudlin of late, I admit, my blog reflecting my mood. I’m depressed, no two ways about it, and a variety of culprits are the cause.

So today I thought, after many whinging and moaning posts, I’d try to find something upbeat to write about.

If it doesn’t skeeve you out, it’s actually good news. Something I knew to be true after my own non-official analysis while visiting the Sun City where my mom, aunt and uncle are current residents.

The old folks? They be getting’ *down*.

As reported by the quite respectable New England Journal of Medicine in an article in the Albuquerque Tribune.

“… more than a quarter of those up to age 85 reported having sex in the previous year.”

“Sex with a partner in the previous year was reported by 73 percent of people ages 57 to 64; 53 percent of those ages 64 to 75, and 26 percent of people 75 to 85. Of those who were active, most said they did it two to three times a month or more.”

Well all right!

Let’s overturn that “crusty mean old fart” stereotype and re-imagine our seniors as calm, happy and sporting that “knowing smile”.

I think it’s great. I really do. I have been impressed by the folks in the community where my mom lives. They are a bunch of vibrant, active people and since exercise is a great social outlet, my mom is in the best shape she’s seen in a long time, as are most of the folks who live there. No sitting in a rocking chair whiling away the days, nope. These folks are *living* their twilight years. And I, for one, support it wholeheartedly!

I know that a lot of the folks in that community are dating and yes, having sex. Why not? These are some of the less stressful years of their lives. Kids are raised, no more nine to five, they’ve paid their dues and are financially set. Why not have a little fun?

I like what one woman who was interviewed had to say, “At age 79, she said, ‘I don’t ever answer personal questions’ about sex. But she added, ‘I certainly have a zest for life.'”

Mmmm, zesty!

A sad state of affairs

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I can’t say I’m entirely surprised by the news from this article. It’s a fact that reading actual books in the US is on the decline, and has been for a long time.

As a writer, struggling, hoping, dreaming of being published, of course, this is sad news to me. For every resounding success like the recent Harry Potter series, there are plenty like me, lying like rubble in the street, lost to the big machine that is today’s publishing industry.

My most recent and most disheartening rejection to date came last year. I wrote a book I’m really proud of, edited the hell out of it, made it right and submitted it to a well known local agent. To my utter joy, the agent asked for a copy of the entire manuscript. This was really something heady! The farthest I’d ever gotten with an agent! Only to be told that despite the fact that she loved the characters and enjoyed the story, she didn’t think there was a wide enough audience for my book.

*sigh*

I know that agents have to do this, right? They have to find something that one of the big conglomerates will love enough to put some dollars behind. Something that will have a mass appeal, and will sell. Preferably something written by an author who already has proven success. A simple fictional baseball book isn’t going to get ‘er done. (so I turned to the rocky road of self-publishing)

And why? Because people aren’t reading like they used to. I was taught how to read by my grandmother, an amazing woman by all accounts. A feminist before her time, and a teacher in heart, mind and by career. I was young, maybe three or four and she taught me to read, and I’ve not stopped my love of words and books since. And because I love books so much, it saddens me to read the article I mentioned above.

“One in four adults say they read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Tuesday”

Ugh. None? No? Zero? It makes my eyes water a bit, like the sting of a strong, cold, bitter wind smacking me upside the face. Awakening, sharply to the reality that my chosen path of creativity, the way The Muse flows through me isn’t necessarily the most popularly consumed art form.

Nobody ever said being an artist was going to be easy. It’s the old saying, well-trod but apropos at this moment, a chiding reminder from my incredibly multi-talented cousin, “you don’t write because you want to, you write because you have to”.

I take solace in the fact that my goddaughter, all of seven, reads voraciously (and at a level much higher than her years). Her mother, a good English teacher, made sure both she and her sister learned to love books.

So there’s hope yet. Maybe for every kid who grows up not reading books there are a few like my precious girl who read plenty. And maybe Nina Karen can one day find a “real” publisher to take a chance on me.

Until then, I’ll write because I have to. Because it compels me. Because it’s who I am.

That’s it, it’s official

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Fall is pretty much here. I have proof.

Captioned: “David Garcia, 16, of Hatch roasts freshly picked chile Wednesday at his father’s roadside stand in Hatch, the self-proclaimed chile capital of the world. (Sun-News photo by Norm Dettlaff)”

If the smell of roasting chile is in the air, it’s Fall. I just have to accept it.

Found in the Las Cruces Sun News.

Continuation of a theme

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Get ready, the lament that started here continues.

Friday night, was sitting on the red couch, as usual. I was huddled up reading the last and latest installment of Harry Potter (yes, I am perhaps the LAST person on earth to finally get around to reading this exhausting bit of work) when I realized….my bare feet were cold. Being a girl from the desert, shoes fly off my feet at the earliest convenience so barefooted is the norm. And barefooted in the summer is a truly grand treasure for me. My feet, browned by the sun, flip flop tan lines can attest.

But as I sat there, the sun warming the horizon to the west, but my feet were cold. And my bare legs. And suddenly I was seeking out a blanket.

A blanket! In August!

This is not fair. This is still summer! Summer I tell you! It cannot be over! Fall cannot be pushing at the edges! I command the leaves not to change! I demand the sun stay high in the sky until almost 9:00 at night! I require shorts and no shoes!

My beautiful partner keeps reminding me, that old Bay Area lament, “you know the weather here is always the best in October”. Yes, tis true….but I can only enjoy the nice days until, oh, about 6:00 or so because the SUN SETS TOO DANG EARLY in October. It’s not the same. I am a child of summer. I crave the sun. Fall brings darkness, dankness and wet. Soon the rains will come, bringing bone chilling damp cold.

We already started discussing which family we’ll spend the holidays with. The **holidays**!! IN AUGUST!!

It is to weep.

And then, just as I’m lamenting along, trying to cheer myself up I read Petroglyph Paradox today and my friend Natalie tells me that football is on the telly…already. Football!

I can’t take it.

I’m going to may hay while the sun (literally) shines. I’m taking my new bike for a spin….and I’ll hold my legs straight out like a kid and I’ll sweat profusely because today, August 19, 2007 is STILL SUMMER!

Sweating his way to the White House

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It’s undignified, really, but in an ironic way it’s appropriate.

The Governor of New Mexico quote “…sweated his way through two sets of shirts…” while stumping at the Iowa State Fair.

I get it, really I do. Visiting the Iowa State Fair is a tradition. It’s the first state out of the gate, and important, and being at the fair is expected. In that, he did what he should.

Poor brotha man was representing our fair state while enduring a heat index of 106°.

Gross.

But did Obama sweat? Did Hillary have to change blouses? Oy Billy!! Get some Right Guard and get it together!

We all know how well being a sweaty bastard worked for Nixon……..

(PS I just love the rasquache quality of the ABQjournal making a whole article out if the man’s rampant perspiration. Hard hitting journalism…..)