This Is Why I Went to College

So I can have a good job and a nice hard walled office.

So I can listen to my Pandora radio in my iPhone.

So I can tune it to the “60’s, 70’s, and 80’s hits” station.

Where I can hear Aerosmith’s “Dream On”, first released in 1973, and again in 1976, right in the prime of my formative years.

So that I can sit in my hard walled office and sing along.


With Steven Tyler.

“Dream ooooowwwnnn, dream oooowwwwwn, dream until your dreams come true!”

And especially this part:

“…sing with meh/sing for the yeaaahar/sing for the laughter, sing for the tear/sing with me, if it’s just for today/Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away”

And then there is that howl part on the word “away”… Yeah.

In my mind I think I can hit those same notes that Mr.Tyler could hit some 40 years ago.

Then the employee seated in the cubicle just outside my office prairie dogs up over his wall to give me a crooked eyebrow.

And I think “ffft! He was born in 1983, he doesn’t understand.”

So I go on singing. In my office. With my Pandora.

Thank you NMSU, that I may have this job with a Fortune 500 company, this office, and the ability to torture my employees on a Friday morning.

I never get tired of recycling this image.

Image is of Latvian mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca and a pretty extensive web search could not net me the attribution on this photo. I found photos from that same event on the European Commission page which allows for the use of photos with attribution.

Oh Fair New Mexico At The County Fair

Look! Look! Look!!

My biscochitos (the New Mexico State cookie) won a blue ribbon at the county fair!

Yeah, baby!!

The recipe I use is from the PNM sponsored Cocinas de New Mexico cookbook. It’s the cookbook my mom used for years and now I have my own copy. Order yours here.

Upon seeing my blue ribbon, The Good Man, a city boy through and through said, “hunh….as a kid back in Brooklyn, I never could have imagined I’d be married to girl who won a blue ribbon at the county fair.” Then I reminded him that I was also in a sorority.

He actually had to wander off by himself for a bit to ponder the meaning of his life.

Craft Catatonia

Hoo boy….I am beat down to a nub. I have been arts and crafting my ass off in preparation for the upcoming local county fair.

While the term “county fair” may imply something small and hick-ish, my local fair is anything but. It’s a huge event

Back in February, I visited with my godkids in Las Cruces, and they were all fired up about their own county fair coming up in September.

My niños are all about 4H and have decided to raise pigs this year to show at the fair. Their excitement was contagious, so I came back to Northern California fired up and ready to participate in my own fair.

In fact, I was so excited that when the guidebook arrived, I decided to sign up for four events. Four. Which means I’m either stupid or sadistic. I, uh, have a full time job.

Since the fair kicks off June 11, my four entries are due, oh, NOW.

The events I’m doing are: short story, photography, visual art, and baking.

Yes. I said baking.

The short story had to be turned in over a month ago so the judges had plenty of time to read and evaluate the stories. Last week I got the smoking hot news that my story won my genre category, which was Western.

Whoo hoo! The fair hasn’t even started and I’m liking this already!

The story will be published in an anthology of stories put out by the Fair and sold to benefit charity.

Pretty damn excited, I can tell you that!

The photography entry has gone fairly well, too. I knew which photo I wanted to use and it was a matter of getting a good print made (harder than it sounds) and then cutting the mat and framing the piece. I got that done mid-last week. Boom!

The visual art piece is a Dia de los Muertos inspired craft. Oh, how this work has vexed me. I had a *very* ambitious idea and have spent the last couple months constructing tons and tons of tiny details and figures and touches. The work, just finished this morning, doesn’t include all of the aspects I’d hoped to accomplish, but I have to say, I’m very proud. This project really pushed the bounds of my abilities as both crafter and storyteller.

Yesterday evening I slumped back in my chair, catatonic. I had nothing left. I had glue and paint all over my hands, sweat on my brow and an ache in my lower back that defies superlatives.

But yet I was still compelled to keep going and finish this piece on deadline, for no other reason than the pure satisfaction of having completed something so very boundary testing.

I did it. I DID it. I’ll be damned…I actually did it. Whoa.

Today I’ll turn in the framed photo and the art work and then I’ll do a little “I made it by the deadline” dance.

Then I’ll collapse.

But wait, there’s more! The deadline for the fourth event comes up next week. I entered the “ethnic desserts” category and I’ll be whipping up a batch of Biscochitos.

New Mexico! Representin’!

And then I will eat my fill of anise seed treats, slip into a sugar coma, and sleep for a very long time…or at least until The Muse taps me on the psyche again.

Delicious Vindication!

Long time readers might remember back to February when I discovered that the San Francisco Giants organization had, ahem, “borrowed” one of my photos from Flickr, cropped off my watermark, and used it for a Twitter Valentine’s ecard.

We had a pretty good debate here on the blog and in my real life about whether or not I should be mad, and whether or not I should do anything about it.

Ultimately, I decided to rise above and let it go (The Good Man, on the other hand, has been unable to either forgive or forget).

Call me to easygoing, but I was just honored that my photo caught the eye of the organization, but I really was bummed about the lack of credit.

Well….fast forward to yesterday.

I received this note in my inbox:


From: {name redacted}
Subject: Aubrey Huff Photo
To: < karen @ karenfayeth dot com >
Date: Wednesday, May 4, 2011, 7:53 AM

Hi Karen –

We’d like to use the Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell photo from the SF Giants Victory Parade in today’s show Intentional Talk. Please let me know if there are any issues with doing so. We can of course offer a courtesy.



{name redacted}
Manager, Music & Media Clearances
MLB Network
One MLB Network Plaza
Secaucus, NJ 07094


Well, I first did a Google search on the name of the MLB person, and found them to be legit. Then I replied that I would be happy for them to use my photo, I only asked for credit.

MLB readily agreed, and that was that.

And so WHOOOOO with a double WOWZA on top, sure enough, my photo made it onto the show.

Intentional Talk is a daily show hosted by Chris Rose and Kevin Millar for MLB TV. On Wednesday’s edition, they had San Francisco Giants player Aubrey Huff as a guest.

Below are links to the entire segment in two parts. My photo shows up in part 2, at around the 5:58 mark.

Part 1:

Part 2:

I am seventeen kinds of pleased that the MLB has turned out, in this case, to be an honorable organization. They did right thing by an amateur photographer.

I’m pretty gosh darn proud, really.

Just for reference, here is the MLB worthy photo:

Now That's Bromance

On the day I took that photo, The Good Man said “You’d better watermark that. There’s something about that photo…I just have a feeling.” Smart kid, that Good Man o’ Mine.

Doing the Superior Dance

A few years ago, in fact, almost three years back, The Good Man and I joined a book club affiliated with our local library. It was run by a really intelligent librarian who was pretty good at managing the club.

She’d do thorough investigations around the book and its topic and would bring up insightful questions for discussion. The first book we read for the club was “A Confederacy of Dunces.” It was an offbeat choice, and I personally struggled to finish the book.

It took The Good Man and I talking about the story for me to understand it and see if for the bit of brilliance it really is.

The library book club was populated mostly by people over the age of seventy, and they were not especially amused by the book. It was an odd club meeting that night. I was unsure if we should continue on, but decided to give it another chance.

The Good Man and I read the next few books and participated in the book club, and for the most part, we enjoyed it.

Then the librarian chose the book “Three Cups of Tea” for the group to read. A non-fiction choice, this was a pretty wide divergence from where we had been. But ok! The book had great reviews and was quite popular.

So I settled in and read it. And I hated it.

I mean, I get it. I get why everyone is so enraptured by Greg Mortenson. But I personally thought his story was a load of yak crap.

For one, I didn’t like the “how great I am” storytelling style. I’ve often found the greatest people don’t need to resort to that.

And for two, I bristled at the idea of this American man imposing his ideas of education and values on these people. I think building the schools is a good and worthy concept, but then get out of the way.

So I said these things at the book club. Well…that didn’t go over well. One especially nasty elderly woman took issue with me on that sentiment.

I should have just let it go. This nasty woman was also deeply offended at the section of the book where it was described how animal dung is picked up (with their hands! *gasp*) formed into patties and dried to be burned as a source of heat.

But she harrumphed and huffed and informed me that Mr. Mortenson was certainly fit for sainthood (in not those terms, but pretty close).

Well. Seeing all the breaking news this week. It looks like *I* was right.

: Superior Dance :

I’m sure that the nasty old woman doesn’t even remember that she was so harumphy at me. But I remember.

The sad news is, after that book club meeting, I was so turned off by the whole thing that I stopped going.

So in the end, she actually won.