Why I love New Mexico so much, continues….

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As chronicled here in the past weeks, I’m *over* the hype around Paris and prison and the iFrapping phone-that-costs-too-much, and I’m weary of sad news from the world of over-hyped media.

I’ve been making it a point to look for odd, quirky and feel good stories.

And boy, have I got one today.

Shockingly, it comes to us from my old source of snarkiness, ABQjournal columnist Polly Summar. She’s been minding her manners lately and writing some pretty good lifestyle pieces. I give it up for Polly, she’s got a good sort of Midwestern sensibility about the quirkiness she encounters in Santa Fe. Go Polly!

Today she brings to us a piece about Forrest “Rusty” Rutherford. Not being from Santa Fe myself, I’d not heard of the so called “Sombrero Man”.

It is guys like this that make a town great. San Francisco has it’s “Bush Man” (among others), Chicago has Woo-Woo Man, New York has the guitar playing guy in his underbritches. It’s the kind of stuff of legendary tourist lore. It’s something that can bind people together, make a visitor feel like they are “in on the joke”.

Santa Fe has Sombrero Man (among others). Seems that Sombrero Man has been collecting sombreros and related gear and gadgets for several years. He’s built up quite a collection and is often seen about town wearing ’em. Sombrero Man has a regular everyday job (but that’s boring, please, let’s talk about who the man *really* is!), but spends his time and resources donning sombreros and making people smile.

And as I struggle with my own cosmic agony, fighting against my silly office job that is causing me to hover on the edge of utter breakdown, crying out into the dark night that “this is not who I AM! THIS IS NOT WHAT I WAS MEANT TO BE!!” I am heartened to see someone “doing it”.

Go on Sombrero Man! You wear your stuff with pride! You show the world who you are! Live your dream!

For those in the area, Sombrero Man makes his first “official” appearance of the season at the Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast on the Plaza. If you see him, tell him that a little gal in California thinks he rocks.

Thoughts from the "Active Senior" community

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So this is day four of round two of being “care giver” to my mom. I’m happy to report she’s doing a lot better. We got good reports from the doctor yesterday and she seems strong enough now to care for herself with a little help from my aunt and uncle. So yay. I get to go home tomorrow.

This has left me, once again, thoughtful. My mom will be back up on her feet and taking her water aerobic class and walking the indoor track and going to lunch and being a very “active senior” in no time. But I know that the time where she’ll be “down” for good is coming. I’ve not wanted to think about it a whole lot, really. Probably burying my head in the sand.

It made all of my siblings and I happy when she moved to this community. It gave her freedom, independence, but some security she didn’t have living in rural New Mexico. She was doing so great until she took ill. This has sure been a bad bout. She’s still fairly young, just 72, health is great and strong despite my dad’s passing two years ago.

But I know time is the big enemy. You can’t stop it. Can’t fight it, it just…happens.

Meanwhile, I think living here among the viejos for a couple weeks has had an effect on my own mind. It sure is a different way of life here. Obviously there are old folks with some money to be able to live here. My mom lucked out, was able to sell the house in New Mexico and roll that into a small condo apartment. But there are these huge fabulous houses on the golf course. Active seniors whipping up and down the road in golf carts. Slow moving Caddy’s up and down the parking lots. People talking about their other home in Michigan or Minnesota or wherever it’s cold and then their third home over by their kids. My little mom has her one home, this small but nicely made place.

And everyone knows what everyone is doing. It is like a damn college dorm here. Hell, even *I* know that X lady recently died, suddenly, and Y gentleman sold his small home for a big one because he moved in with his lady friend, but they broke up now he wants to buy his old house back but the market is soft right now, and oh by the way he paid < insert dollar amount to the dollar > for that place on the golf course, and so on.

Gotta give it up to these folks. The dating scene is rampant. Word to the gentlemen reading this: Take good care of yourself. Single older men are a *hot* property around here. You’ll be up to your eyeballs in lady attention if you can just manage to stay alive. I’d say the men to woman ratio is at least 2 to 1 if not higher.

There is a different in the pace of life here. All the active seniors look in askance at me as I spend my days on my computer…working. That was the deal I struck with my boss. I could have the time but I had to stay connected. They keep going “why don’t you come over here and talk with us”. For these folks, the biggest thing they have to do today is get some lunch. Then maybe a trip to the pool. Late afternoon happy hour then some dinner.

Hell, they’ve earned it. More power to them that they can make it work. Including my modest little mom.

Today I pretty much hate my job. But maybe this is my penance so one day I, too, can live in a modern community and plan my days around the Scrabble competitions, the Mah Jong classes, and meeting friends to walk on the indoor track to catch up on the latest gossip.

Maybe if I’m smart, and a bit of a spendthrift, I might one day live the “active senior” lifestyle.

But that is a LOT of years, a lot of work emails, a lot of conference calls via a crappy cell phone, and a lot of reports to my boss away.

For today, back to it. I am an “active thirtysomething” which means I still gotta pull a paycheck.


Post Memorial Day Blues

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So. Tomorrow is June. June! Already!!!!


Good lard, we just had the nice three-day weekend that was Memorial Day. We didn’t do much, which was just what we wanted. Here in the post-holiday week I’m still about a half tick off level regarding getting back to work.

I….I just can’t be bothered.

The sun is…OUT.

The grass is GREEN!

The ocean sings to me!

Why dear god why do I have to be a grown up and WORK?!?!?!?!


I did wear shorts to work yesterday. Nice shorts, fit for work type shorts, but still…shorts.

My one teeny bit of rebellion.

And now I shall begin to count the days until my next day off…which appears to be July 4th.

Until then, I remain…..


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I am under the weather today.

I feel puny.

When I said as much to a coworker today, she responded by saying, “But you look great.”

Uh. Ok.

Which caused me to remember some observations I had made a few weeks back while at my local HMO waiting to see my doc for a routine checkup.

Why is it human nature that when we feel bad, we dress bad?

Now I’m not saying you need to wear your Dior and pearls to see your surgeon, but I am saying, why have we let soiled sweat pants and slippers become an acceptable norm?

I put on pants, a clean shirt, brushed my hair, dabbed at some makeup and came to work (because I *had* to, tho I really should have stayed home…..)

And now they are looking at me dubiously because I “look too good to be sick”.


I think I’ll go lick that lady’s keyboard when she’s not looking. See how SHE feels…or better yet, how she looks when she’s fighting the guff that’s going around.


: scowl :

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I started this blog on March 17th, St. Patty’s day. And during that time, my job was so very utterly slow and monotonous that I was able to whip out my posts every day, usually before noon. A sense of pride filled me every day I hit the “publish” button and had my post done for the day. I felt like my “real” work was done, I’d posted, and then I could jet about and enjoy the day.

In the recent weeks, a lot of things have happened. My boss went to another group. My boss’ boss (the Director) went to another group. The tyranny that reigned in my organization came to an end. We are all like prisoners emerging from solitary confinement. We blink in the sunlight of our new Director, an amazing woman with both compassion and actual “soft” management skills. She’s already done wonderful things for us….including buying not one but TWO cakes.


Celebrations and dancing and cries of “we love the new mommy” abound.

But new Boss Lady comes with a price. She took on our team, but her boss, the Vice President (in what I’m sure is his infinite wisdom) said she didn’t get to shake off her old team. She had to take us on IN ADDITION. So Boss Lady is VERY busy. Which means delegation of work…..

Add to that a new company wide project that directly affects the small team that I manage, and suddenly, we are in the spotlight with A LOT of work to do.

I’m not sure how I feel about this, to be honest.

On the one hand, this is stellar for my group and possibly the advancement of my own career.

On the other hand, when things were quieter, I was actually devoting time to my creative work including this blog.

So now I have amazing work success but it’s not fulfilling.

A conundrum.

Meanwhile, my posts have gotten spotty at best and it TORTURES my over perfectionistic soul.

I can’t let go of my creative work. It fills my heart and soul. But I can’t let go of my day job. It fills my bank account and my refrigerator (and the bowl of the hungry feline that owns me).

Meanwhile….I’ve had to switch the balance of “business” Barbie from “artist” Barbie. We both have big boobs but one of us is *really* tired and discontented.

(Ok, comparing myself to Barbie is laughable…but roll with it….)

Unsure how to solve this. Watch these pages as I’m sure this will be a running theme….

Meanwhile….back to work. Grudgingly.