Saturday, April 30, 2005

A nice day at the park

Berg and Animas Parks, which stretch along the Animas River, is about the only pretty place Chris and I have discovered in Farmington. It's right next to a Halliburton plant and the vegetation in that area isn't thick enough to shield unsuspecting strollers from that particular germ of industrial ugliness. Still, if you ignore it, you might actually enjoy yourself.

Lots of trees around and honking ducks fighting in the river and you might even spot a squirrel or racoon -- major score for me, who grew up in the land of mongoose.

I find that I actually like walking around in Colorado and New Mexico more than I did in Hawaii. It's still early spring here in the land of actual seasons, so the air is crisp and I don't feel all icky and gross and sweaty after 10 minutes of meandering. (It's funny how salt in the air can do that to you).

Today I went on a walking tour of Animas Park with Donna Thatcher, who is the director of the Nature Center at the park. Only three other people showed up for the tour. I thought it was going to be lame at first, and was stressing out because I knew I had to write a newspaper story (boringest kind of story in the world) about it and that it is always difficult to write a newspaper story when the news element is not readily apparent (i.e. no disaster).

The walk was nice though. If you're like me, you could sit at that Nature Center for hours watching the huge, honking Canadian geese with their goslings, making up stories about them in your head.

Donna, who spends most of her days at the pond by the center, said the goslings don't do any one thing for more than two minutes.

"They're very hyper-active. I imagine it's very difficult to be the parent of goslings."

We also passed by a Veteran's Memorial.

"I don't know why they put it in this part of the park," Donna said. "It's not readily accessible to the older veterans. I wondered why they didn't put it somewhere where it was handicap accessible."

The centerpiece of the memorial was a big, black marble globe with all of the world accounted for -- except Hawaii. That's right. The artist commissioned to make the globe somehow managed to leave out Hawaii and there has been some hoopla about how to get Hawaii on there.

"Somewhat ironic," Donna said. "Being that Pearl Harbor was quite significant to the battle of World War II. Maybe the Japanese obliterated it after all."

Right now the memorial is still pretty stark with just the giant globe (sans Hawaii) and a few plaques but Donna said there are plans to erect eagles with patriotic banners hanging from their beaks. True nature lover, she seemed concerned that this would look tacky.

All in all, it was a nice day. Man, it's sure going to be hard to write an article about it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Why did I leave Hawaii to come to the middle of nowhere?

Because I know I can always go home.

Friday, April 22, 2005

That ever convenient age

Marcy the intern has the best jewelry. Colorful, plastic rings and a matching plastic watch that all look too big on her tiny-boned frame. She comes into the office, dumps her big, black purse on the desk and says,

"Karen, I'm going to get a tattoo."

"You are? Of what?"

"A Catholic heart."

"What's that?"

"Like a heart about this big with a ribbon going through and some rays like light coming up from the bottom."

"Oh. Where are you going to get it?"

"On my butt."

"Your butt?"

"No! I said foot! My foot."

"Oh. Oh. Well that's unique."

"Yeah, that's why I'm going to do it there. Because not that many people have it on their foot."

"Marcy, what will your parents say?"

"They'll be mad..... But Karen, I'm 19! I can do whatever I want and don't have to listen to them if I don't want to!"

Only 19

The police had blocked off the roads, an officer with a black rifle placed at each intersection, a K-9 unit sweeping between rows of houses and a helicopter circling from above. There was an armed suspect on the loose, someone who may have been involved in a shooting less than an hour before.

No one seemed surprised really. The neighbors trying to get back home were used to seeing cops crawling around their trailer park.

But the intern, you'd think the intern would be excited. After all, she could be back at the office typing up "Town Talk" briefs while watching the second hand squeak by on the clock. I glance into my back seat to see what she is doing. She is flipping through my copy of "The 8th Habit" which laid abandoned on the floor of my car since I moved here.

Later on, when we're heading back to the office, the photog asked her if she found our little excursion exciting, if she could envision herself as a journalist.

"I don't know," she replied. "I'm only 19. I don't have to decide what I want to be now."

Monday, April 11, 2005

In defense of New Mexico

I called my mom up at work in Hawaii and some co-worker guy of hers answered and as soon as I heard the "hello" leave his lips, I knew it was somebody local and I felt this surge of well-being. Then I talked story a little while with Mom and as I did so I looked out my window and the sky was blue in Farmington and I almost tricked myself into believing I was still in Hawaii, that I could just get in the car and drive over to my mom.

Then I called Chris up and told him about that feeling.

"Just imagine," I told him. "Imagine, we could be at the beach in Hawaii. Can you imagine that?"

At which point he snorted, rudely dispelling my fantasy and said, "We never went to the beach. You didn't like the beach."

"It's a fantasy! You're ruining my fantasy."

"Yeah, well if you're going to come up with something at least let it be realistic. Like, say, 'Imagine we were going for a walk with Jake--'"

"That's it! I'm erasing you out of my fantasy. It's just me at the imaginary beach now. By myself."

"Awww, c'mon. OK. We're both at the beach. You're sitting there....knitting or reading, while I'm out there surfing."

But truly, the guy has a point. I didn't like the beach much and rarely went. When I was in Hawaii, I constantly complained about it. How I'd wasted my whole life there, how I might never leave, how boring it was, how much I hated my job, etc., etc., etc.

So those who come across my ramblings, take it with a grain of salt. I possess one of humanity's most un-unique and unflattering characteristics, that is, the ability to be perfectly miserable no matter where I am.

I am trying to fight it though.

Sunday, April 10, 2005


It's so windy here and I need a hair cut. Not a good combination. My bangs keep getting into my eyes. It's at that awkward stage where it's long, but not long enough to tuck behind my ears. Grrr.

I went back and read the previous post and think it's pretty damn selfish of me, alright, not to want to teach someone to knit because I'm afraid she'll get better than me. So ashamedly selfish, in fact, that I toyed around with just deleting the entire post. But it still remains true, in all it's cringy, guilty, selfishness so I let it stand.

What's possessed me?

I don't know what possessed me. Perhaps it was the success I am having at knitting cables. Whatever it was, something possessed me to turn to one of my co-workers, Kim the page designer, and say, "I wish I knew someone else who knit. I want to teach someone to knit."

Her eyes lit up and she squealed, "Oh, teach me! I want to learn."

So I said I would and immediately dropped the subject, secretly hoping she'd forget about it. You see, as soon as the words flew out of my mouth I thought of how hard it could be to teach someone else to knit. There is also a bit of selfishness involved as I knit alone and take some pride in having taught myself. I don't want someone else to learn and maybe get better than me! Total selfishness. And then there was this thought: I hope she doesn't ask to borrow my knitting needles or books 'cause I don't want someone else to have 'em.

I don't. I reallly don't. I'm like that. Chris knows it too by now, because he's borrowed my computer before.

My co-worker hasn't forgotten though. I went shopping with her today and we passed some knitting kits at Target and she commented that they reminded her of me. Then she said, "I was thinking, maybe if you get done with work early on Thursday you can come over and teach me how to knit."

I agreed of course.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Disgruntled tree character

I took needle and thread and a little angst to bring one of my random doodles to life.

Friday, April 08, 2005

I invented an amusement (park)

I will spend my first weekend in a long time without Chris. I think I'll be hanging out with some co-workers but I suspect it will be a lonely weekend. I hate that I've become one of those girls who gloms onto her boyfriend and that's all she wants to do. I never, ever thought I'd become this girl.

Whoa: "I never ever thought I'd become this girl." Pair that with the "it took me years to realize the pattern" quote from the previous post and it becomes apparant that I'm lapsing dangerously close to cliche-land.

Cliche-Land. That sounds like a fun place to visit, but don't bother. There's nothing new, and you've been on all of the rides before.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


I was at some meeting yesterday and after it was over I ended up chatting with some former city commissioner who let it slip that he'd over heard my editor talking on a cell phone about how much he hated Farmington. This former commissioner swore me to secrecy but I could tell from his tone that he didn't have a high opinion of an editor who came from somewhere else and expressed such utter contempt for Farmington.

This kind of bothered me as well, since I'd expressed on numerous occasions, always half-jokingly, to my editor that I hated Farmington. And he had never agreed or expressed a similar opinion, just joked around about my hating Farmington.

So when I got back to the office I went up to my editor, who'd been there way to long and was going, "Moooooooo. Mooooooooo" at his computer for no apparent reason. I walked right up to him and said, "What's that weird noise you're making?"

"What weird noise?" he replied.

Then I said, "Admit it. You hate Farmington too. Admit it."

And he was quiet for a little while and then he smiled and said, "You know what it is? Right now Farmington just doesn't have much to offer me. I don't have any friends here, it just doesn't have much to offer except this job."

He said this. I believe he meant it honestly. And now I can honestly say Farmington is not so bad. I hated the cold winter, the frost on my car, the icky cold I caught TWICE, the grumpy Republicans, the rude Liberals. But Farmington is not so bad because I like my co-workers, I like my boss, I d0n't feel dread every time I entered the building. And that is how I felt about my job in Kona, about my boss there.

I think I have found the silver lining, and I musn't take it for granted.

load of crap

This has been a rather frustrating week, almost entirely due to female hormones taking over at "that time of the month." It seems utterly improbable to me that I can have so little control over my emotions. It took me years to even recognize the pattern. I know there are solutions, mostly in the form of pills, out there but that stubborn part of me insists that I should tough it out and suffer through it.

Everything seems so much more difficult than it needs to be at this time of the month. Oh, bleh, blah. This sounds like a load of crap.

I think my interest in knitting, which lately has been swallowing every free moment in my life, is ruining my writing. I used to be kind of funny, and at least marginally good at portraying humor in writing.

Ai yai yai.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Of all the fucking nerve

I run into this lady I met maybe once or twice and she introduces me to her friend, this other older lady. We get to chatting and I mention that I'd really like to see Taos. This older lady rolls her eyes at me and goes, "Oh Taos. Everyone wants to go to Taos." Then launches into this long-ass rant about how touristy Taos has become and how trendy it is and oh, everybody wants to see Taos and it's ruining Taos and Taos used to be so cool.

And I stood there politely smiling and nodding but the whole time thinking, Who the fuck are you lady? You think I don't know a thing or two about annoying pretentious tourists? I'm from fucking Hawaii and I hope you never come and visit because Hawaii used to be so cool and interesting until all these loud, ignorant visitors who think they're the shit because they went on a tour and read a plaque and can go home and start lecturing people about Hawaii, started hoarding in.

Really. Somebody give the intern something to do.

Yesterday at work, in between making phone calls and doing actual work, I wasted at least an hour surfing the web, mostly reading blogs and looking at knitting patterns. I thought I was being discreet until Marci the intern chirped up,

"Oh, you know how to knit? I always wanted to learn. What site are you looking at?"

"Uh, yeah, I knit," I muttered, quickly closing the browser window and changing the subject.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Do Over

Roberta, the news room secretary went a little nuts today after dealing with a particularly rude caller.

It takes a lot to affect Roberta like that. She's whacky and tough at the same time. I've seen her hand out candy one minute and lecture someone the next. She says "ma'am" in that Louisiana accent she picked up from living in New Orleans when she's tearing down rude customers who think they can talk down to the "receptionist."

But this particular caller today. Whoo-eee. After she hung up, Roberta looked at me and Marci the intern and said, "I have to go for a walk or else the next person who looks at me I'll tear their head off. I've never, never had a caller affect me that way."

Then she headed for the door but not before letting an aggravated, "Aaaaarrrrrggghhhh!" echo through the office.

About 15 minutes later, she was back with that familiar grin -- jovial and dangerous at the same time. "I'm calling a do-over!" she declared. "I'm going to pretend that never happened and get back to work."


That's exactly how I feel now. All the negativity I've been harboring lately, all the whinyness and feeling sorry for myself, I want a do over.

Do over!

I love that. The idea of a do over. It's so great.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

All in all, not a bad day

Chris has banished me to the computer because he's sleepy and I'm wide awake. "Why don't you go and blog?" he moaned. Then he rattled off a list of miscellaneous topics I should blog about. But being stubborn and prone to thinking I am great and original, I patently refuse to blog about those things. At least for now.

But I will say this.

I am baffled by the concept of Daylight Savings Time. I just got my parents used to the fact that they were three hours behind me and now suddenly, they are four hours behind me. This is all the more confusing because the clock in my car is still on Hawaii-time. I told you I was stubborn. Or lazy. Or both.

One time today when we were driving around Chris asked what time it was and I said, "It's two. I mean five. I mean six." That's what daylight savings time does to you. But Chris thinks it's great. Something about getting a whole extra hour and leaving work while there is still light.

It's all arbitrary. I run on my own time, thus this manic late post.

Today we had fun. Drove to Durango, Colo. and Cortez, Colo. then through Shiprock, NM on the Navajo Reservation to get back to Farmington. Then we walked through Animas and Berg Parks in Farmington, which, as far as we can tell, are the only places in Farmington designed with any sense of asthetics in mind. The park has paved walking paths right next to the Animas River (puny and muddy, but water! water! nonetheless water!) and there are ducks in the river. We watched the ducks get all territorial and fight over the females for a little while, then we watched an overzealous golden retreaver try to bag himself a duck while his owner tried not to let him drag her into the river. Good times.