Gimme Some Weird, People

Today I’m going to lean heavy on my New Mexico readers, or travelers to and fans of New Mexico.

Been feeling a little homesick, so I took to Google for searches about New Mexico.

Of course there are all the sites dedicated to the aliens, the cattle mutilations, La Llorona and the chupacabra.

And I find a LOT of sites that want to tell me how weird my homestate is.

Weird huh. Is it?

Hmmmm. I don’t think it’s weird at all.

I came across a list of “New Mexico Attractions and Oddities” and went through the list.

Honestly, is it just because I’m from there? I didn’t find many of these things to be odd at all.


The Chevy on a stick in ABQ. Ok, ok, I remember when that was first going up and there was a hubbub, but hardly what I’d called genuinely weird.

And the big green dinosaur, also is ABQ.

But are these really all that weird? Or just…um…bad taste?

Speaking of bad taste, how about the scrap metal roadrunner in Alamogordo or the recycled roadrunner in Las Cruces…or the auto parts dinosaur, also in Alamogordo. Not art, but not weird.

Or how about the big metal glasses in Taos. I mean, it’s Taos fer chrissakes. The whole town is a half bubble off level.

Then there’s the “mysterious/religious” stuff like all the spontaneous healing at Santuario de Chimayo with the crutches left behind, the shrine at the top of Mount Cristo Rey or the image of Magdalena in the side of the hill in Magdalena (outside of Socorro).

All sort of your garden variety stuff, filed under “mystical.” But weird? Nah.

And of course there’s all of the natural formations: Camel Rock, Shiprock, and the Kneeling Nun to name a few. All fascinating works of geology, but hardly weird.

The rock formation that gives you the thumbs up going into Laughlin, NV and flips you off on the way out is WAY more weird than any of that. **

And remember when the Burning of Zozobra used to be kind of weird before those frapping Burning Man people went mainstream? Now everyone just thinks New Mexico ripped off the idea (we were burning Old Man Gloom first, you damn hippies!)

I dunno, maybe it’s just the desert heat that leads people to believe that the good people and place of New Mexico are weird. I suppose to someone who has never seen such wide-open spaces and deep blues skies, it could all be a little scary.

But weird? Pfffft. No way. I live near San Francisco. Now that’s weird.

Blame The Good Man for this post topic. We got into a conversation about why New Mexico put “USA” on their license plates (a vague attempt to get around “One of our Fifty is Missing” troubles, I think).

The conversation drifted into new slogans to add to the plate as we bandied them back and forth.

The winner being: “New Mexico…you don’t know who we are and we don’t like you anyway.”

They can take their “weird” and go jump in a lake.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

If any of ya’ll New Mexicans know of something really weird I’ve overlooked, let me know. I’m open to suggestions.

New Mexico sign image Copyright 2007, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the terms of the Creative Commons license found in the right hand column of this page.

** Nevada rock formation images from Life is a Road Trip.

When Just One Word Doesn’t Get It Done

Today, a trip into the wayback machine to answer a question that was posed to me: What is the funniest non-real word you’ve ever heard?

It was the mid-1990’s and I was a fresh faced college grad. I had a financial calculator under one arm and an ink-not-quite dry MBA under the other.

After just a year of working as a financial analyst for a large aerospace company, I was offered a job at Sandia Labs.

The hiring manager told me that it was ok that I had no background in the business of purchasing, they would be more than happy to bring me on and train me.

I was too naive to really understand that opportunities like this didn’t come along very often. Even less so these days.

So I took the job. I landed at one of New Mexico’s largest employers and I had a lot to learn. I worked for one of the best managers I’ve ever had (he’s still a friend and mentor) and I learned how to be a government procurement agent.

It was a move that would shape the next twenty years of my career. In lots of ways.

My desk was situated next to a tall lanky guy who had worked at Sandia for some twenty or more years. He was a bit outrageous, opinionated and wickedly intelligent.

He was the guy who knew EVERYTHING about the procurement systems, the department and the rules of the road. He was like a walking encyclopedia and we hit it off right away. It was fun to learn from him.

One day, I heard him tapping away at his desk while he was on the phone with a supplier that he supported. He was growing ever more frustrated with the supplier rep on the other end of the phone (and I think she was being snappish at him).

He hung up the phone and sighed…”what a coleslaw bitch.”


My brows furrowed. A coleslaw bitch? What the heck is that?

So I asked.

He laughed. “No, not a coleslaw bitch. A cunslubitch. She is such a pain in the ass she deserves not one but three insults. It’s my three favorite words mashed together.”



Right here at work.

That’s really something.

Then I started laughing. It was so outrageous and so perfect and so YEAH MAN that I couldn’t help it. What a terrific concatenation of words. Useful!

That was the better part of twenty years ago and I still remember that word. And every now and again a supplier rep (male or female, doesn’t really matter) will work that last nerve, step over that last line, bully me just a little bit to far and get my procurement dander right up….

And I’ll think….what a cunslubitch.

I learned well from the master.

Power to the Patas!

Last evening I soaked my weary body in a hot bath. I have become diligent about walking three miles every day at lunchtime, and my aging and out of shape body feels it. Both for better and for worse.

While running through my usual bath stuff, I got out my little cheese grater looking dealie and went after some of the rougher spots on my feet. As I smoothed out the soles, I started looking closer at my feet. My poor feet. They are really taking the brunt of three miles a day, every day.

I’ve always been a little iffy about my feet. They are fairly large, rather wide and my arch is kind of high. My feet are a bit malformed (bunions!) due to genetics, a few years dancing in toe shoes, and a lot of time on my feet over the course of my life.

Mostly the paws serve me pretty well. They don’t hurt and they get me around the lake four times a day so that my heart and mind get healthy too.

So I should love my feet. I sat there in the tub with my right foot near my face, trying to find things to like about them. Aesthetically speaking I mean.

After the bath I started wondering how I could learn to love my feet. How could I give them respect they deserve? They’ve been awfully good to me over the years.

I thought about how in many cultures we adorn that which is valuable, so I got out my beautiful red nail polish and gave myself a pedicure.

Now then. That’s better. Pretty!

Then I decided I should photograph them. Doll them up, pose ’em and give them some love.

It feels weirdly very intimate to share this photo on the web. I’m rather sheepish about it, to be honest. It almost feels more nekkid than putting something rather more naughty out there.

I had second, tenth and eightieth thoughts about it.

But here we go. There’s my toes.

I was fantastically late to work this morning because of this. I’m glad my boss is out on business travel, because that would have been a tough conversation.

“Karen, you’re late. Why are you late?”

“Um.” (that’s me hedging because I really can’t lie. I have a moral blindspot, especially around an authority figure.) “I’m late because I was having a photoshoot. With my feet.”

My boss would then give me that look he gives me over the top of his extraordinarily stylish frames and then walk away. After a year together he knows better than to ask too many questions.

Meanwhile, I keep looking at the photo and after a first cringe, I think “you know, they are not that bad. Not bad a’tall.”

Learning to love my body, one toe at a time.

Stare Deeply into this Inkblot

Oh, let’s go instead with word association.

I’m so much better at that.


  1. Earrings ::
  2. Love ’em. The bigger and danglyer (<-- so very much not a word) the better. One pair I have, Zuni petit point in a modern version of the classic snowflake pattern, seem to be the crowd favorite. I get tons of compliments. Even without the compliments, they are hands down my favorite. Plus, you don't see earrings like this out here, which I like. There are a few ladies at work who would buy them right off my ears if I'd let them.

  3. Tomorrow ::
  4. And tomorrow. And tomorrow. And the unofficial state motto of New Mexico….Land of MaƱana.

  5. Soft ::
  6. My cat’s belly. Hard is her teeth when I pet her belly. She has tummy issues.

  7. Idiots ::
  8. Me and The Good Man cuz we keep trying to pet The Feline’s belly. It’s soooooo soooooft. She bites really hard.

  9. Portraits ::
  10. I’m learning that good light is everything.

  11. Handicap ::
  12. You know how the sport talk guys give a handicap when they mention golfers? “Oh he’s a seven handicap” or some silliness like that. What it means is you know what kind of golfer the guy is. Well….shouldn’t we have a system like that for everyone else? Especially at work? “Yeah, um, Karen is about a six handicap…she’s chronically late to meetings, blows her nose too loud, can’t park straight, laughs at inopportune times and her mind tends to wander.”

    You picking up what I’m putting down?

  13. Collar ::
  14. Just reading the word made me tug at mine. Why are collars always so scratchy? And how you boys wear the tie AROUND the scratchy collar I’ll never know. I would have bug eyes and claw at it all day long.

  15. Blouse ::
  16. Much softier and nice. Ladies, have you noticed that blouses with a limpy bow at the neck are back in style? Let’s go raid the wardrobe of the early 1980’s working woman, why don’t we?

    I’m not sure how I feel about this trend. What’s next, wearing high top Reeboks with our power skirt and calling it high fashion? Um. No. Been there. Done that.

  17. Wool ::
  18. Scratchier than any damn collar. Who can wear that stuff?

  19. Statistic ::
  20. Statistically speaking, the odds of me wearing a wool collar are nil. However….the odds of me wearing a limpy bow blouse again in my life….maybe…

Image is a screen still from “Charlie’s Angels” and found several places on the net.