Back Up Gig

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The morning team for my local sports radio is out in Scottsdale this week covering all the Spring Training fun.

This morning they observed the groundskeeper hosing down the infield and remarked that could be a possible fallback gig if this whole radio thing didn’t work out…

Hmmm….groundskeeper….not bad. I could pull that rake-boxey thing around the infield between innings. I could make those straight chalk lines. I could roll out that big ass tarp and unfurl it on the field. Yeeahhh.

I think I’ll add that to my list.

What list, you ask?

The list of “things that might pay less but would be a lot more fun” or also known as “what else I could do if this job doesn’t work out.”

You know, good, noble, hardworking gigs that don’t pay enough but also might let me sleep soundly at the end of the night.

Let’s see…what else might be on the list…

Rinse out girl at the hair salon. Sure, my hands would get a little worn out, but hey, all you gotta think about is lather, rinse, repeat.

Gate agent at the Kona International Airport. I think that explains itself.

Guy who stands there with a “slow” sign, waving traffic past a construction zone. Not that I want to actually *do* construction, just be that guy in the orange vest with the disaffected look waving at cars. I hear it pays pretty well!

Run the Ferris wheel at the amusement park. Sure, there is the occasional barfing incident, but mostly you bring people joy. Collect a ticket, strap ’em in and let centrifugal force do the rest.

Cocktail waitress at a Vegas casino. I may not have the legs for it anymore, so it might have to be one of those “off the strip” and rather dark casinos. But I could so wear a spangly dress and wander around saying “Drinks? Anyone need a drink? Drinks?” I imagine you meet some interesting folks with that gig.

Bartender. You know, back in my twenties, even though I had a pretty good office job, I often thought about going to bartender school so I’d have that as a backup. Bartending is more than pulling a tap and washing glasses if you do it right.

Of course, I’d want to be the kind of bartender who could make pretty much any drink you call out without looking at the book. It would be a point of pride. Good bartending is a lost art.

For a while, I thought I could be a Starbucks barista, but after hearing the tales from my New Mexico friend Natalie, I decided maybe not.

When I’d screw up at work, my boss at Sandia used to say I’d be perfect as slurpee machine maintenance man at the local 7-Eleven. Mainly because I’d matriculated at NMSU (as did he) I’m sure.

But being a 7-Eleven employee has often crossed my mind. In my early days in California, when my money was very tight, my local 7-Eleven had a sign up for a night clerk. I *seriously* considered applying.

Sure, it’s one of the most dangerous jobs you can have. But it’s not so bad, I think. You get to vend many of the most vital food groups in life like beef jerky, 40 ounce malt liquor and day old donuts. This is a key element of the running of our society in a smooth fashion!

Then there is always the ball washer at the local golf course (a job that sounds naughty but isn’t). If I also get to scuba dive in the water traps, that’s a TOTAL bonus!

Long haul trucker. Weirdly, that’s always appealed to me. I suppose that says something about my personality.

Anyhow…there’s a lot more on the list. This is but a sampling. But yup, I’m adding Spring Training ballpark groundskeeper.

I’d have to work my way up to nozzle girl, huh? I’d likely have to apprentice as hose holder first.

Heartbroke no more

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There’s this famous quote from this guy named Bart Giamatti. He was a baseball commissioner and had a bit of character.

Ol’ Bart was also a writer. He liked to put down in words what he felt about the game of baseball.

He was a true fan and had a lot to say.

At the end of every baseball season, one of his quotes from a work entitled “The Green Fields of the Mind” is trotted out and poured over by the faithful, including me.

The piece begins “It breaks your heart. It’s designed to break your heart.”

Bart’s talking about how baseball begins all fresh and new and sparkly, stays with you over the course of 162 games, and gives you a story arc that includes Spring, Summer, AND Fall and then goes away abruptly.

Finds you when it is warm, leaves you when it is wet and cold.

Sort of a fair weather friend, that.

And every October, I get a little down. The World Series ends, baseball isn’t on the radio anymore and I have to actually decide what to watch on TV instead of having it decided for me.

No longer do I worry over a pitcher’s arm or that catcher’s bum knee or why the hell that guy took that bad route to get to a routine fly ball.

Baseball leaves a big empty that cannot be refilled.

Like a whirlwind romance that fills my days with daydreams and my nights with passion and I get to thinking I could never live without it.

And then it leaves me.

But weirdly, baseball is a fickle lover.

Because come March, baseball finds it’s way back to my arms.

Yesterday, because I could feel the return on the wind, I engaged in my annual viewing of “Bull Durham.” It’s a preparatory event. An ablution. A ritual cleansing to prepare me for the return.

This morning I will have either “61*” or “The Natural” playing in the background while I work, to continue my readiness.

And then, today, at noon, or 12:05 actually, I will once again hear Duane Kuiper say “Giants baseball is on the radio.”

While it may only be a Spring Training game, some harmless flirtation and not the real thing yet, I will listen. I might even cry when I hear Jon Miller‘s voice (it’s happened before).

I will hear how Bengie Molina may or may not have lost weight. I will hear how our multi-million dollar Cy Young winning, dope smoking kid has fared in the off season. I will listen for details on the new kids and assessments on the old kids and I will find that yawning chasm inside of me will begin to quiet again.

Because today, my love has returned to me.

It broke my heart, but I will forgive and forget. I will give myself with reckless abandon, not caring that October looms somewhere out there. No, today I will pretend that it will never leave me again.

God I love baseball.

I suppose "they" are right sometimes

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You know what “they” say?

They say when you have a blister filled with water, you shouldn’t pop it.

They say that water is protective. Keeps it from getting infected.

BAH! I say to they.

It’s no big deal. I pop my blisters all the time. I hate that poofy skin feeling.

I used to take ballet lessons (on toe) as a kid. I have worn many a cheap shoe in my life. I’ve had a lot of blisters.

I pop ’em all.

No big whoop.

On Sunday The Good Man and I went for a long walk out at a nearby nature preserve. I was wearing new shoes. I got a pretty big blister on my left ring toe. I popped it. Whatev.

It now has refilled itself. With gray-green pus.

Gross!

I hate it when “they” are right….

(Channeling my inner Russian grandmother. Betcha didn’t know I had one of those? But I do.)

“Why? Why, bubbie? Why did you pop that blister? You know what they say, don’t you? They say don’t pop blisters. Now they are going to have to cut your toe off! And put on a jacket!”

Getting to know you, er, me

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Hey, contrary to popular opinion, I haven’t run off screaming into the sunset (a la Daffy Duck). Nope, I only managed to contract a vile form of stomach flu or maybe food poisoning that knocked me down for about five days last week.

It was the worst stomach ailment I’ve ever experienced in a life that’s crossed paths with plenty of gastroenteritis over the years.

It was bad. Real bad.

And you know, a year and a half into this marriage thing, I’m still learning how to handle things like living in a house with another person and only one bathroom.

Good times. We made it through the crisis with compassion and humor. Lots of humor.

The good news is, I’m back up and around and able to eat solids again.

Over the past week, I noted a few new commenters on the blog and so I have to stop a moment and say “hi!” and a big thanks to new readers.

I’m coming up on a three year anniversary of this crazy blog (March 17), and slowly but surely the number of visitors is increasing.

Which is amazing. I have much gratitude, thank you!

There was a perplexing comment made on a post from last week, and it got me thinking. Since I was doing a lot of lying around whining most of last week, I had some time to think.

In light of some new folks hanging around, a pending three year blogaversary, and my wading back into blogging after a tough week, I decided a “getting to know me” post might be in order.

My longtime readers may find most of this stuff a retread of what they’ve already learned over the years. But for new readers, this might be a good sort of background to kick things off.

Here we go, some fun facts:

As my bio says, I’m a New Mexico girl who is now living in California. I’ve been in California for about thirteen years now, but still, New Mexico is where I lived the longest. For better or worse, that’s shaped my outlook on life.

I was raised in Albuquerque back in the 70’s and 80’s when Albuquerque was growing, but still had a lot of dirt roads running through town.

Being homesick for New Mexico was the genesis of this blog. That is where it started, but I’ve managed to veer off course quite a bit over the past three years. And I like it!

My favorite color is red. Unless it is purple. Then there is my love affair with orange. And cobalt blue. Man, I love cobalt blue. And black. Can’t go wrong with black. I like bold colors. It’s hard to pick just one.

I’m the youngest child of three, which has definitely skewed my worldview, whether for better or for worse is in the eye of the beholder.

My dad was an engineer, which definitely skewed my worldview.

Growing up, I was deeply and positively affected by the prevailing Hispanic and Native American cultures (my ethnicity was the minority on the playground) of New Mexico. I identify more with the cultures in which I was raised then my own genetic lineage. It makes me happy.

I also grew up “a little bit country,” a fact that makes me proud, and sort of perplexes the people I live and work with in the urban Bay Area (I dropped a “this ain’t my first rodeo” on a conference room full of people, including a VP of manufacturing, in my first year working here. It brought the room to a screeching halt. I rather enjoyed that.)

The mid-2000’s were tough years for me. 2005 was a landmark year.

In 2005:

A long-term relationship had ended badly the year before and being alone again after all that time was disorienting.

After a close call in 2004, in February of 2005 (yesterday, to be exact) my father finally passed away after a valiant fight with a terrible lung disease. My relationship with my dad had been complicated…so this was also disorienting.

Four months later, my best friend from high school died of cancer that had started in her ovaries and ended in her brain. She left an adorable young daughter and a grieving husband behind.

In 2005 I was morbidly obese. Not much more to say on that topic.

However, that summer, after a long talk from a doctor after a regular physical in which the words “you will die” came up a lot, I began to eat better, smaller, healthier, and I exercised as much as my aching joints would allow. Funny what watching someone die will do for your motivation.

The weight started coming off fast. I lost over 100lbs in a year.

In November 2005, I met this guy. A really charming fellow. I may have even chased him around a little bit. Thankfully he let me catch him, and we married in 2008.

2005 made me realize that in order to know great joy, I also had to know great sorrow.

The kind of sorrow that rips your guts out, makes you afraid to leave your home, and makes you wonder if you can ever be happy again. Then I learned that surviving it can manage to produce this amazing guy who actually gets your sense of humor and will put up with your sh*t.

Ain’t that a kick?

By the by, I refer to my husband as The Good Man on this blog.

I have a cat. She’s a pain in the ass. She also has one of the best personalities I’ve ever known (human or animal). I try not to be “the cat lady” and blog too much about my pet. Sometimes it can’t be helped.

When I let myself dream, what I most want to be when I grow up is a published writer. I write fiction mostly, but non-fiction too. I have six completed but unpublished novels. I self-published a seventh just to see how the process works. Yes, I have a book on Amazon. It’s actually not that hard to do.

This blog makes me sit down and write every weekday, and has improved my writing skills exponentially over the past three years.

I also love to craft. I make mostly Mexican inspired pieces and I’m not bashful in my love and admiration for The Crafty Chica. It was one of her books that kicked me in the butt and gave me a voice for all the artistic ideas that I had rolling around in my head. A link to my Etsy store is on the left side of the page.

I’m also a very, very amateur photographer. I’ve been taking classes and my technique is improving, but there is a long way to go. I tend to believe more in getting a great shot from the camera and less Photoshop, so that means I’ll likely always languish as an amateur. I weary of all the over corrected and over Photoshopped photos in the world, but that’s just me.

I like pie. Sour cherry mostly, though a good tart key lime runs a close second. Blueberry is nice too.

I’m a brunette. My eyes are a greenish-brown.

This photograph scares me more than you know. (NM’s Governor Richardson)

My favorite author is Larry McMurtry. But my favorite book of all time is “Red Sky at Morning” by Richard Bradford. I read it through again two days ago in my stomachache haze. I love that book. It’s very New Mexico.

At the request of The Good Man, I’m now reading “A Moveable Feast” by Hemingway. I love to read but I’m not much on classic authors. The Good Man is working on my literary education. He even got me to read another Steinbeck. After “The Grapes of Wrath” I swore I’d never read another Steinbeck.

In return, he’s read “Bless Me Ultima” by Rudolpho Anaya and he’s currently working on “Red Sky at Morning” (it was a deal, I’d read “Cannery Row” and he had to read “Red Sky at Morning.”)

I’m very fond of my Fat Baby boots. They make me ridiculously happy.

I am blessed to have a very small selection of very, very good friends. I met my best friend back in 1988. We can never part ways. We know too much dirt about each other. We are the Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid of New Mexico, only with a lot more green chile.

I like to eat. A lot. Lately, I also like to cook, so that works out nicely.

I am a rabid San Francisco Giants baseball fan, no matter how many times they break my heart. Which has been a lot over the course of a lifetime…..

I like to sing off key and loudly in the confines of my car. I’m not ashamed. Not even when I forget that I left the windows open.

I believe laughter the antidote to most of what ails the world. Sometimes I laugh inappropriately. But I always say, “excuse me” when I do.

I will always laugh at a fart joke. I don’t know why. It’s juvenile and uncouth. I don’t care. Fart jokes are funny. There may have been a few over the past week as a stomach ailment provides a lot of…er…fodder.

I have jury duty this week. I wonder if I’ll get called into service? Sometimes, I secretly wish that I get to be on a jury. I’m wildly fascinated by the justice system.

Did I mention I like pie?

Ok, well, there’s obviously a lot more to know, but that’s probably more than enough for now. Stick around for a while, if you want. I’m sure I’ll blurt out more embarrassing facts about myself soon.

If you’ve managed to read all the way through this, well, I thank you.

If you have been reading the blog for a while, good to see you again.

If you are new to my brand of writing, welcome. I look forward to getting to know you.

And now, back to acting like Daffy Duck…