These boots are made for…

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Been going through some stuff in storage, pulling out the keepers, tossing the others.

But then, there are some items where it’s hard to choose, stay or go.

I just unearthed a box full of my old boots. This is tough.

I don’t wear most of these anymore. But I just can’t bear to part with these dear friends either.

I just look at the worn leather…and I remember.

Like, my first pair of ropers.

I’d worn pointy style boots, but when I got to NMSU, all the folks there were wearing ropers. So of course, I needed some too.

I was about a sophomore in college, I think, when I went down to the Tony Lama outlet in El Paso to procure these babies. They are gray goat skin, soft and forgiving. I wore these a lot, as evidenced by the worn down heel.

These were my main everyday boots. I wore them dancing on the boards at Corbett Center. I wore them for my horseback riding classes. Covered in manure, I’d wear them up the hill to attend the business college.

The toes are scuffed all to hell. The pretty gray color job didn’t hold up much under the dainty hooves of the insane mare I was assigned for a while in my riding class. She liked to step on feet. A lot.

Thankfully my gray boots were made for working.

When my grays were starting to show some wear, I saved up and decided to get a new pair of boots. I wanted to try Justins this time and I wanted lace ups. I also wanted pretty. My gray boots were utility. I wanted flirty.

So I bought these very impractical pearl white beauties.

Man, I loved these boots. I started wearing these to dances and leaving the beat up gray boots at home. I almost never wore the pearls riding, except once, for the horse show I participated in (and won).

I got these pretties on the cheap, as you can see, they are marked “imperfect.”

I’ll admit the heel wasn’t balanced quite right on the right boot, but I didn’t care. They were roper perfection to me. These boots were made for flirting with cute cowboys.

Ya wanna know the best part about the fact that I still have these boots?

Look at the circle engraved into the leather sole. You know how you get a groove like that on your boot? By dancing, that’s how.

The leather is cracked and the boots are worn out, but they are still utterly gorgeous to me.

And then, after college, and on to work. That’s when I went back to Justin and bought these guys:

I wore these to work a lot. The soft rubber and not-leather sole was easier on my feet, especially the time spent on the shipping and receiving docks. That concrete is hard on the legs, but these babies are comfy and they look good.

And the leather…oh, the leather just ages so beautifully.

These boots were made for my first real job out of college. They helped me make the transition.

I might actually pull these back out and find another chance to wear them. They are delicious.

And finally…we have these.

This is what I’m wearing now, my beautiful Ariat Fat Babies. These boots went to see the Merle Haggard show recently. These boots get a lot of compliments every time I wear them.

Right now, these boots are packed tightly in my suitcase that, by the time you read this, will be tucked in the cargo hold of an eastbound airplane.

If I’m lucky, I might get these boots out on a dance floor in Southern New Mexico on Saturday night.

Cuz these pretty pink rhinestone boots? These are made for dancing.

That Pesky Spell Check

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I was rereading a few of my text messages the other day on my iPhone. I was looking for a bit of information a friend had given me, so I had the chance to read what I’d written.

I was a little bit embarrassed. Oh the violations of Funk and Wagnalls I’ve committed and sent out to the universe.

Since I have a full keyboard to use for texting, I tend to shy away from the internet approved shortened word uses. It’s a point of pride to write in full sentence form.

I don’t know why, it just is.

However…that very aggressive auto correct on the phone does tend to trip me up.

That got me to thinking about how much I rely on spell check and auto correct these days, which is bad. Spell check isn’t perfect. A 100% spell checked document could still have mistakes.

Gah!

There are a LOT of words that when spelled wrong, are actually still a word. But ya still look kinda silly using the wrong word.

Also, plenty of times, spell check suggests the wrong word entirely.

I see these misused but correctly spelled quite a bit online, in email and of course, on places like Facebook and Twitter.

You can find a few examples here:

10 Common Errors “Spell Check” Won’t Catch

(I’ll ignore the blatant use of unnecessary quotes in that headline)

Yeah, I’ve either seen or made (or both) all of the errors in the article.

There’s a few that get me that aren’t on that list…like:

Rein, meaning how you steer a horse and;

Reign, meaning how you rule a kingdom.

Right, as in I get to have it, and;

Rite, as in I get to dance under the moon about it.

Also troublsome…

To, too and two. I tend to put too many o’s in there at the wrong time. It’s hard to tell the two apart.

And one that makes me bonkers is lose and loose. I see a LOT of posts on support boards about “if I could only loose ten pounds.” It’s a pet peeve.

The article lists through versus threw. However…that’s not where my language and typing skills break down. Nope, I struggle with

Through, as in, I’m past it and;

Thorough, as in I did a complete job.

I even struggled typing that sentence. Gah!

I’ve noticed lately that even publishing houses, once the very model of correct spelling and grammar, are also slacking off in this department. The last four books I’ve read, all recent publications, have had typos, as many as six in one case.

And internet news articles! Ugh!

It seems no one is watching the chicken coop any more on spelling and grammar. Despite trying really hard not to slip, even I’m guilty as charged.

I fret that as our language continues to evolve, misspelling and bad grammar will become appropriate. English teachers of the world, unite!

I Believe…

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If you’ve ever had occasion to see a “Blue Collar Comedy” live show, then you know they end each performance with a litany of items that each of the four comedians believes.

Here is my I Believe list for today. Subject to change. Some restrictions apply. Offer ends July 20, 2010. Not valid in all 50 states.

I Beeeelieve….

…that Costco stores, like casinos, pump some substance into their ventilation system that causes me to behave in odd ways. How else can you explain my hitting all the sample tables like a drunk at a buffet bar, then buying a two thousand pack of toilet paper?

…that the first Indiana Jones movie is the one true Indiana Jones movie, and all else are just weak riffs on the original. I rate the movies on likability in the order in which they were made.

That said…

I also beeelieve that the “Crystal Skull” movie was not quite as bad as everyone made it out to be.

…that green chile has curative powers that extend beyond just physical health. I think we can achieve world peace and fix the global economy over a plate of enchiladas. Sour cream and fried egg on top.

…that Paris Hilton did, indeed, inhale. Yea verily though she has been busted for possession twice and gotten off scott free twice, I believe the clock is ticking and she will soon be cellmates with Lindsey.

…that coffee is the work of dark, evil forces. For though I welcome coffee with both arms and hug it to my person like a long lost sibling, it does terrible things to my stomach causing pain and acid reflux and generally causing havoc. And yet, I can’t seem to quit the dark beckoning brew.

…that red light cameras are patently unfair and unconstitutional and defy the Bill of Rights and upset the Code of Conduct and Robert’s Rules of Order and some other stuff I can’t think of right now. They don’t allow me to face my accuser in court! It’s bad! Real bad! Obviously, I’m still not over it.

…that AT&T is not quite as evil as we think (though they are still evil). Apple is not quite a cool as we think (though they are still cool). And that for some reason that I can’t explain, I dreamt last night that I met Bill Gates. And he hit on me. : shudder :

…that the 1970’s were weird and awkward during the 1970’s, and somehow time has made us all forget that. Now we remember the decade as cool.

…that times have gotten a little tough when grownups are stealing girl scout cookies. And stealing their money. And stealing their cookies. What’s next? Nun’s stealing babies? Oh. Weird.

…that white chocolate is just as delicious as regular chocolate and should be afforded all rights pertaining thereto. Same goes for vanilla ice cream. Oh, and also that something must be done *immediately* regarding the vanilla shortage. Code Red, people.

…that by writing this list of I Believe items, I have successfully avoided doing any real work for an hour and a half.

Word of the day: Obdurate

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ob·du·rate   [ob-doo-rit, -dyoo-] –adjective

1. unmoved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings; stubborn; unyielding.
2. stubbornly resistant to moral influence; persistently impenitent: an obdurate sinner.

Ah obdurate. How I embody you so.

This word crossed my path again yesterday while watching an episode of Jeeves & Wooster, a fun British show that dates back to the early 90’s. The PG Wodehouse books date back much farther than that, some written in the early 1900’s and now in public domain (thus all loaded up on my Kindle!).

The Good Man introduced me to Jeeves & Wooster and I’m now hopelessly in love.

I love language and words, and Wodehouse certainly had a way with the Queen’s English.

So I sort of chuckled this morning when I turned to my blog idea generator, and this was the suggestion:

“When other people tell me what to do….”

Answer: I become obdurate.

I’m not proud of it. It’s just in my nature.

As the third of three kids born to a very smart and very in control family, I was “the baby” and thus everyone just, you know, told me what to do.

This certainly got me past many a hazard in my infancy, but there came a time, I don’t know what age, when damnit, I was tired of being told what to do!

So much so, that being told what to do made me act out.

It’s a trait that’s carried through to adulthood. In fact, it only became more deeply entrenched an increased in velocity.

One would think that this would make me a very bad employee. Actually, when it comes to managers I like and respect, I have no trouble being told what to do in the workplace.

No, Madame Obdurate is more of a home life kind of gal.

Which makes friends, family and loved ones *ever* so happy.

I find my tendency to dig in when someone tells me what to do really isn’t all that unique. It’s pretty much a go-to for most of us.

Because we’re all special little snowflakes, we want to do things our own damn way and I don’t care what you say and pa-tooey!

Yeah.

As I often say to my friends, you don’t have to be free of your emotional baggage, you just have to be self-aware about it.

See how I reel ’em in? Look at that face? Would she harm a fly? No, I don’t think so. But tell her what to do and WHAMMO! Obdurate all up in your grille!

Sometimes Words Just Don’t Get It

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This morning, I sat quietly at my desk thinking about an appropriate blog post for this warm Friday.

A post that would wrap up all that went down this week, the highs, the lows, the heat, the headaches.

I found that I just didn’t have all the words to put together in a nice clean way that would properly explain it all.

So I had a bright idea. I would get my camera out and I would take a photo.

One photo that would explain it all. A visual metaphor for the week.

So I got my gear and I polished up the lens, checked battery levels, and figured I’d go outside to take the snap.

As I worked, I thought about potential shots in my head…

A wilted red rose on a drooping bush, weary in the heat?

A great macro photo of the beat up stop sign at the end of the road?

You know…something arty like that.

With camera ready, I turned and aimed the lens out my window to be sure it was working.

That’s when I saw the perfect image.

The image that properly describes everything that went by this week. A week that a former coworker would refer to as “being pulled through the knothole.”

Yup.

Here it is. I had to go no further than the table in front of the window to find my muse.

Yes, she’s awake. No, I don’t know why she’s laying there like that. She held that position for quite some time.

Right before rolling over and falling off the table, then getting stuck behind it.

If that’s not a metaphor, I don’t know what is.