Oh thank you…

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God bless the Las Cruces Sun News for running only a regular sized and tasteful headline about the media event of yesterday. You know, the one that is blowing up all over the media and crowding out all the rest of the regular and essential news?

I’m already tired of hearing about it.

Inside the Blogger’s Head

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: cue Inside the Actor’s Studio music :

We begin our interview with a series of questions first posed by Bernard Pivot. (Riffed off of a personality quiz called The Proust Questionnaire.)

Supposed to give insight into one’s personality and all that….

So here we go:

What is your favorite word?

Simpatico. You know it when you have it.

What is your least favorite word?

Any word spoken with a condescending intent.

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Hearing a beautiful song, seeing a gorgeous sight (like an amazing painting), perfect lighting, something that is quite the pleasant surprise (like the discovery of apricots in my side yard), riding a horse, the laughter of any one of my godkids.

What turns you off?

People manifesting their deeply held insecurity on me. Shows up in lot of ways, none very fun.

What is your favorite curse word?

Just one? Man, my favorite curse word changes. Some days a good “oh balls!” will get it done. Sometimes an f-bomb is really necessary. Can I just say I love cursing, enjoy it immensely, and do my best to rein it in around my mother. Not always successfully.

What sound or noise do you love?

At AT&T Park, when the Giants win a game, they play the original Tony Bennett version of “I Left my Heart In San Francisco”. You’d think I would get tired of hearing it. I don’t.

Also, the sound of the garage door opening when my husband is coming home. Yippee!

What sound or noise do you hate?

Anything terribly high pitched. Like the backup sound on a garbage truck. It physically hurts.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Motivational speaker. I’m not kidding. I always wanted to travel around, giving presentations, getting people all fired up, helping them learn and change their lives. I absolutely adore giving presentations, especially when you have a great crowd eager to learn.

What profession would you not like to do?

Registered nurse. I am so much of an empath that I couldn’t get through the day. Human suffering just destroys me. Ok, animal suffering too, so this extends to vet techs as well.

I am way in awe of the people who do that work and do it well.

Whoa.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Good job, kid. You get an A+.

Now get over to the barn. Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys are warming up. Plenty of cute cowboys to dance with. Oh, and they are serving homemade green chile chicken enchiladas for dinner.

And in heaven, calories don’t count.

Want some cheese to go with that whine?

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Lord knows, I’ve been prone to giving over to a deep, hearty kvetch about living here in the Bay Area, and these marine layer weather patterns this Flower of the Desert must face.

Ok, fine, I own it.

However, today, I’m here to say that all the wet weather actually *does* have some benefits. Occasionally even *I* can find a place of gratitude for all of that goddamn rattin’ smattin’ essential rain.

See, The Good Man and I are renters, and as such, aren’t required to take care of our yard. Good thing, too…cuz we’d have grass a mile high.

My landlord and his son do yard work that’s mainly limited to cutting the grass every few weeks and chopping down nice trees that never did nothing to nobody. But that’s another story.

So over on the side of our humble abode, we have this:

It may be hard to see, but that’s a little spindly tree.

I mean…it’s pretty sad. Look at this puny little trunk:

What you should know about that little tree is that no one really does much of anything with it. We don’t water it. We don’t prune it. We hardly look at it. It’s just “that tree” over by where we store the trashcans.

I’ve occasionally photographed the tree when it puts on white flowers, working on my macro skills. But other than that, it goes totally ignored.

Well. This year, the little tree that decided to get noticed.

This year, that son-of-a-gun put on a crapload of fruit. Apricots.

I’ve lived here five years. That tree has never, not once, put on fruit. It would flower, halfheartedly, but that’s it.

For some reason, even in a fairly dry Bay Area winter, that little spindly tree got enough water and sun and nutrients to fill its skinny little boughs with fruit.

Wow.

And it’s tasty fruit too! VERY delicious. Boy, I do love a good juicy and tart apricot in the summertime.

I remember my college roommate’s mom would put up a fantastic apricot jam…that she’d serve on top of homemade biscuits. Oh my.

So ok, I whine. I jump up and down. I tantrum. I complain that I am a convection-cooled device (a human swamp cooler) finely tuned to the high desert and cannot possibly be expected to properly function in this humidity.

Then I bite into a ripe, juicy apricot and I think, “Hey, all that rain is not so bad!”

From a salad to the wayback machine

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In two easy steps.

Today, I was at my work’s cafeteria, and there I am, standing in line, waiting on the lady in front of me as she crafted her salad.

I personally think how someone makes their salad bar salad speaks volumes about personality, but that’s another study for another day.

This lady in front of me had taken a small container, and was packing, shoving, and cramming salad items in there.

I’ve noticed this a lot lately, not just at work. The general need to take an itty-bitty container. It’s a guilt thing. You convince yourself you are saving money and calories with a “small” salad, then you shove a “large” amount of salad in there.

We pay for salad by the pound, but whatever.

So while I watched this fabulous bit of engineering, I thought to myself, “Wow, this lady needs a geometry lesson.”

Which is really ironic for *me* to say.

Because I personally *suck* at geometry.

And why is that?

Come, step with me into the wayback machine.

: cue wavy lines and hazy focus :

The year was 1986…or maybe 1985…I can’t recall.

At that time, I was matriculating at good ol’ Del Norte High School. Yup.

That year, I was taking a geometry class that was going fairly well. I was learning, it was coming along, I was carrying a high B…until that fateful day.

Oh yes, that day…when our regular teacher introduced our (cue dramatic music…dun dun DUUUUUN):
Student Teacher.

But, not just any student teacher, no.

This gentleman was a student at UNM. But not just that…he was a basketball player.

Ok, now this goes back a lotta years. You have to be a Lobo fan or at least an Albuquerque resident from way back to remember these names…

This guy played under Gary Colson, who was the UNM savior after the misdeeds by our ol’ friend Stormin’ Norman Ellenberger.

(god, this is going back, NM style….bonus points if you ever ate or had a drink at Stormin’ Norman’s restaurant)

So, recovering from the scandal, UNM ended up having a *really* good team. The main players were pretty well known, kind of local celebrities.

There in my very classroom, next to my portly, middle-aged math teacher, stood none other than Alan Dolensky, UNM basketball player, that guy I saw on the news, Adonis.

Let’s be clear…in the vernacular…this guy was *foine* I’m not gonna lie to ya, I’d had a bit of a crush on him anyway, and then he shows up as my teacher.

All youthful, he had to be what? 20? 21? athletic, tall. Wow.

Well. It wasn’t long before that high B in geometry dipped to a low C.

I would *love* to blame the poor teaching skills of Mr. Dolensky (and did for many years), but that would be highly unfair.

I’ll just agree to two things…I *might* have been a bit….uh…distracted (c’mon, I had hormones!)….and I might also never have really owned a good math gene (much to the dismay of my engineer father).

So I spent a semester with languishing grades and an emphatic crush. Which *obviously* was never returned.

When report cards came out, I was *mad*.

My C got me flak from my folks, but it was enough to pass, and on I moved to the next course.

But…and I have to be honest, I have never really grasped the foundation of geometry, and it shows. I can’t mentally gauge spatial items very well. I am terrible at packing a full truck (thank GOD for The Good Man. He rocks this department!)

And the worst of it came when I had to take the Graduate Management Admission Test for graduate school. It was *heavily* weighted toward geometry (a fact I understand was later acknowledged and fixed…too late for me, however).

So, I’d done ok grade-wise in high school, but in college, I rocked the house. I got my undergrad with a *smokin’* GPA.

Desperate to get out of New Mexico, I appealed to my parents, who said they’d spring for in-state school. Out of state, I’d have to get a scholarship or a grant that would wave out of state tuition.

(Let me aside here to give it up for my parents paying for my edjumacation. I’m a lucky soul.)

Admission to a university is based on GPA and GMAT score.

So, obviously, a lot was riding on my GMAT score.

On which I scored terribly.

I mean, really, just above “who is this idiot?”

Undeterred and against the advice of the Dean of the Business College, I took the GMAT again. And scored even lower.

Still undeterred, I made an appeal to an out of state school, got a “provisional” admission based on my GPA and a good word from the president of NMSU, but “provisional” meant no scholarships, grants, or ability to wave out of state.

Deflated, I surrendered. Goddamn geometry.

I ended up staying on at New Mexico State to complete my MBA.

Which, honestly, in hindsight, has been fine. I really got a great education in Las Cruces and wouldn’t trade it for the world.

But I often wonder where I would have ended up if my schlumpy but effective math teacher had continued to educate me rather than that awfully distracting virile young man.

DAMN YOU ALAN DOLENSKY! : shakes fists :

There you go, from a salad to an angst.

By the by, I can manage to fit an appropriate amount of salad in a small container…and I can also park straight in a parking space…so I have that going for me.

In other news…I’m also hopeless at chemistry. In the course of my entire education, I was never once required to take a chem. class.

Isn’t THAT something.

Or not.

Oh well, back to my management job at a Fortune 500 company, because, you know, things turned out so poorly….:)

Photo by Khadejeh and found on Flickr.