And then there were three.

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Was sad to read in the ABQjournal today that it looks like Bill Richardson is giving up his run at the Presidency.

I had rather hoped that he could hang in there at least until Super Tuesday. I had wanted to look down at my ballot and see a New Mexican’s name there. Don’t know if I would have voted for him (I might have).

I think he made a valiant run as the underdog in a race with some big names. He raised the visibility of New Mexico, for both better and worse, in my humble opinion. It hurts to hear on the news about what a poverty state NM is, how low are the test scores in the schools, etc. I know it’s true, but I hate hearing it blared out on national news.

It seems that Bill has gotten on the fighting side of the Clintons too. I’m sure that was a calculated move but I’m not savvy enough to work it out.

For now, I’m sorry to hear that the Governor of Oh Fair New Mexico is stepping out.

I give him applause for making a run at it.

And now, onward.

In a side note…I’m consoling myself today with the news that one of the candidates I’m considering from my open job is a graduate of NMSU. If I can’t New Mexicanize the country, I can start locally! heh!

Update to add an image. Now is that Larry? Or Moe? Wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh!!!!!

Moist!

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Ah yes, it’s that special time of year. Right on time. We have arrived at the rainy season when soaking rains last for days and days and make it non-stop damp. Makes slugs and snails slither across sidewalks (: shiver :).

Inspires my auntie (formerly of Oregon) to claim that mold is growing in one’s own nooks and crannies. (ew)

I remember when I’d first moved to the Bay Area back in ’97. I was VERY naive. Incredibly so. I spent the first year living here picking hayseeds out of my hair.

I used to cry at night wondering where all that rain would go. In New Mexico, that much rain would cause massive and cataclysmic flooding.

I had this incredibly caustic friend I worked with at Lockheed. She was a lifelong Bay Area resident and she took me under her wing early on. I remember asking her where all the water would go. She looked at me incredulously, and said “uh…there’s this thing called the Bay?”

“Ohhhhh,” this desert rat said. Beginning to realize that Dorothy was not in Albuquerque any more…

But the best story came one afternoon at work. After weeks and weeks of rain, we were outside so my friend could take her afternoon cigarette break. I don’t smoke but would go outside with her. We were talking and I looked down and saw the most profoundly blue iridescent fuzzy thing on the ground. It was beautiful. I’d never seen such a color. I wanted to take a photograph!

Was it a bug? A flower? What incredibly new and wonderful thing was this that I had discovered?

So I asked my caustic friend!

She took a long drag from her Marlboro Light and kicked at it.

Then she fixed me with a steely glare and responded, “It’s mold on bird shit.”

Ah.

So I’ve toughened up a bit over the years. Age and intention can do that to you.

But just to prove I haven’t lost the wonder of it all…

Yesterday I was on my way to the stop where the work shuttle bus picks me up to take me to the CalTrain station.

And I saw something that caught my eye. And since my phone has a camera, I stopped, squatted down, and took a photo.

Here’s your Bay Area “art shot” for the day. Better then mold on poop, right?

Bill! Don’t make me like you!

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The Cute Boy™ is very into politics. He can speak about them intelligently. Profoundly. And he knows what he is talking about.

After being harangued by dear old dad in my formative years regarding politics (papa leaned so hard to the right it’s a wonder he didn’t flop over. Daughter tends to be more than a skosh toward moderate). And when I say harangued, I mean dash from the room at a dead run to avoid the inevitable lectures.

That being said, I’m trying. But I find I can’t tolerate listening to any of the current candidates speak. None. Right. Left. In the middle. Out in left field. I just can’t. It is just so false. I get the same tense-in-my-chest feeling that I get when a sales-weasel puts the full court press on me at work. I find it distasteful. Disingenuous. And just not ok.

I have been following the trail of Oh Fair New Mexico’s own Governor with mild interest, mainly because I’m curious to see how this all goes.

When I first heard he was running, I made barfing sounds and stamped my little feet.

See, when I was living in my home state, I didn’t like ol’ Bill all that much. It’s ok. I own it. (Don’t tell Jim Baca, ok? I like Jim a lot and don’t want to get on his fighting side.)

It started with that g’damn cheesy billboard on I-25 between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. If you lived there long enough, you remember it too. “Bill Richardson welcomes you to Northern New Mexico”. Bill leaned across his desk, fixing you, the driver with that jowly stare.

AAAAAAGH!

Then I came to dislike him more because both my folks worked for Sandia Labs and for a while were located at the WIPP Site in Carlsbad.

If you are unfamiliar…in a quick nutshell…the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant or WIPP is an experiment in the disposal of low-level nuclear waste. The WIPP site is located way down in some ancient salt beds. The theory (this is me, a layperson and not a scientist, so give me wide berth) is that a properly sealed container could be placed into a hole made in the salt. And over time, due to some fluids in the salt, it will migrate. Meaning the salt will close in around the container, encapsulating it, thus keeping it safe and sound and away from contaminating anything else.

Obviously, this plan has met with a lot of opposition over the years. The moving brine water means that folks are concerned with contaminating water supplies. And other such (legitimate) concerns.

So my folks worked there back in the early 1990’s and the site was dug out, ready to go, but faced massive political opposition to opening. Or even *trying* out the storage of some low level nuclear waste (like gloves, jumpsuits, etc from workers in nuclear plants).

One of the biggest voices of opposition was our own Bill Richardson, congressman from the northern part of New Mexico. Vehemently.

Except when he became the Secretary of Energy under Bill Clinton.

Yeah. El Flippo Floppo.

I guess after hearing my dad rave on about the evils of Richardson, much of it took hold in my head. Again, for the folks following along at home…dear old dad was a staunch Republican. In hindsight, that *may* have colored his view…just a skosh. But to be fair to my pops, those were frustrating years at WIPP because they were fairly *begging* to be given the chance to at least TRY their theories and see if they worked. And Richardson issued a firm “nyerhe, no, nada, nope”. Didn’t make my folks big Richardson fans.

And well, after all of this time….I’m not a fan of Bill either. Just not. Or was not, I should say.

As this campaign progresses, my mind might be changing.

I’ve listened to some speechifying over the past week. I thought I was an Obama girl, but I really listened to a speech he gave in Iowa and was sort of turned off when it was done. For a variety of reasons. I think Jim actually put it best in yesterday’s post about worrying that he’s all hat and no cattle.

As a woman, I’d like to like Clinton. I just…can’t.

Edwards is sort of blah to me. And I think he’s putting on that accent a bit. I know it’s natural, but he seems to Hee Haw it up a bit, in my opinion. But so far I’m ok with him. Not sure I’m Team Edwards yet…I’m team no one yet, really.

And forget all the Republican candidates. I listened to their first debate and was like, uh, no.

So. Sunday night I watched the Democratic candidates debate with each other. Well, I watched the end. Listened to much of it while working in the other room then came and sat down and watched. It was the last question that intrigued me.

Moderator Charlie Gibson asked the question, “Of all the debates that have been held so far what have you said that you wish you could take back?”

Clinton went first. And didn’t answer the question. Blathered on about how the real thing to concentrate on was the difference between the Democrat and Republican debates. I kept yelling at the TV “ANSWER THE QUESTION!!!”

Richardson went next. He told a funny, charming story about one of the early debates where he was asked who was his favorite Supreme Court Justice. It was endearing, self-deprecating, and got a laugh from the audience and candidates (and me).

Edwards said his was when he made fun of Hillary’s jacket early on. Ok, at least he answered the question.

Obama said he agreed with Clinton and blathered about the differences between the two parties. He also didn’t answer the damn question.

So at the end I was like “oh my god…Richardson *may* have just made me like him.”

Wow.

I don’t know what to do with that.

It may be for the best that dear old dad has (sadly) passed on from this mortal coil. Because I think if I voted for Richardson it would send him into convulsions…

I have until February 5 to figure out exactly which name I’ll put the mark next to on the ballot. I may have to do like I did in that whacked out election for California Governor…pick the most outlandish candidate and give them my nod. Not very mature, but it made me feel better when I left the polling place.

Ok. All this talk of politics is making me twitchy. Wonder what Britney is up to today?

I have served my debt to society.

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(Gad, I’m *such* a drama queen….hee!)

: hand to forehead :

As of today, ladies and gents, I have fulfilled my obligation to God, humanity and the Superior Court of Santa Clara County.

You may recall that back in October, I ran afoul of one of California’s finest. Yes, our fair heroine was taken down by the CHP. She was only trying to get home after a terribly long day at work. And in order to get home sooner, she thought that going 90mph in a 65 zone was appropriate.

Now if you knew my hoopty of an automobile, pushing it at 90mph is no small feat. I’d considered going to court to fight it since the officer said he didn’t have a radar. Instead he set his cruise control at 75mph and said I was pulling away.

I came home and Googled the officer’s name and found out he’s a highly decorated and well-respected member of the force. So I knew that was a losing battle.

I also looked at the table of fines and realized I *may* have been doing more than 90mph, but he gave me the ticket at 90. Were I cited going faster than 90mph, the penalties (meaning the cost) went up dramatically at that clip level. So he kind of sort of did me a favor. Also, I didn’t have my most current insurance card in the car (I’d *just* gotten it in the mail). The officer could have cited me for that, but instead looked it up online (my insurance reports to the DMV so he can see if it’s current).

So after careful consideration, I decided to just pay the “bail”. And thus a point was assigned to my driving record.

A fact I’m cheesed about. Did you know that in the ten almost eleven years I’ve lived in California I’ve never, not once, gotten a ticket for speeding? A couple parking tickets, yes, but nothing else. Indignant! Yes I was.

Well, California offers the opportunity to take driving school and thus mask the point on your record from view (meaning your insurance company is none the wiser). They’ve recently begun offering the driving school online where you can work at your own pace.

So yesterday morning in the midst of the Storm To End All Storms, I decided to begin work on my online driver’s training. I had until mid-February to complete it.

Well…let me tell you…this online driver’s course was no easy thing. Time consuming. And BORING. True, I got to work through it in my jammies and in the comfort of my home, but DAMN!

About a third of the way through a very LONG day, I told The Cute Boy™, “boy am I sorry I did 90mph!”

So it worked. They got remorse out of me.

It didn’t help that the power went out after I’d been working on it several hours. Ugh. I finally finished at 9:00pm last night. It was a long grueling trudge to the finish line.

Today I went to the “in person” location and took the written test to thus complete the course and end this debacle. And because I’m such a freaking overachiever, not only was I nervous, but I got 100% on the test.

So now, gentle audience, it can be said that I, the criminal, have done my time, done my penance, paid my debt to society, suffered for my sins, carried the cross of my shame, and can tear the scarlet speed limit sign from my chest and begin to rebuild my life as a member of society.

(And to reward my hard work, The Cute Boy™ took me to see a movie. The Golden Compass. Yay!)

Thus ends the drama of the Nice Girl Who Turned Bad on Highway 280.

fin

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