Friday, July 29, 2005


I just vented to Chris about my crooked nose editor, and I feel much better. So much better, that I vow not to call her crooked nosed anymore. I just want to get along, and negative thinking and whining won't get me there.

Close talker*

Me: The city editor likes to stand really close to you when she talks. Did you ever notice that?

Photographer: Yeah, she's kind of a close talker.

Me: Like, I noticed it and took a step back and she just took another step forward, so I took another step back and the next thing I know my back is right up against the pillar.

Photog: Yeah, and then you find yourself looking straight at her nose, wondering if it was always like that or if she was in some kind of accident or something.**

*Contrary to my initial post about this woman, I find that I do not like her. I am very close to hating her, in fact. She's like a pushy New Yorker with an annoying California Valley Girl lisp.

**Her nose is definitely crooked to the left.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

February in Farmington

I found this little gem, labeled, "farmington is weird," rotting away forgotten on my computer desktop. It's incomplete.

Now I get to be the tourist

About month ago, I walked into the Wal-green’s on East Main Street and walked out with a $10 rice cooker.
Outside, a cold, biting wind was brewing. I’d wake up the following morning to find my car covered in frost and I’d be sitting in it with the engine running and the defroster on high, wondering yet again, why I hadn’t walked out of the Wal-green’s with an ice scraper instead.
But that’s beside the point.
I came here from Hawaii, where snow is limited to the summit of Mauna Kea (white mountain) and people drive for hours to get there, load their pick-up trucks with snow, then drive several more hours to have a snow fight at the beach. Then they go surfing.
You can safely live your entire life without first-hand knowledge of ice scrapers, black ice, thin ice, or any other kind of ice you’d find outside a freezer. Except maybe shaved ice, a favorite dessert in which finely shaved ice is served in a paper cone and drenched in flavored syrup. As ice goes, shaved ice is not so bad, especially when eaten on a hot winter day at the beach.
Thoughts of Hawaii, where there is a rice cooker in every home, drove my buying decision that evening.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


I'm back to reading all the time.
Went to Barnes & Noble and they had a sale on all the classics. I bought Call of the Wild/White Fang (compilation), Last of the Mochicans and Uncle Tom's Cabin. All books on my high school reading list that I never got around to reading. I finished Call of the Wild in one day, short and to the point. I understand now why that was so often read by middle school aged boys. Good story about freedom, though, I guess. I'm now getting into White Fang.

Not to mention Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. I've got some major time invested in that one already.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

I have downloaded some pretty cheesy songs in the past. The thing is, I've stopped "really" listening to music for so long (about two years, I just put up with whatever's on the radio now days) that I forgot just how cheesy.

Enter the I-pod.

I was listening to this alternative/heavy metal band from Puna, Hawaii called Living in Question (heh, I wonder if they have a myspace page) and their song, Sad Story: "Stabbed in the back, spit in the face, sad story, not sorry," was followed by Amy Grant's, "Baby, baby."

The thing is, sometimes I get a song stuck in my head, or I just feel an urge to hear it so I just download it (or at least I did back in the days when you could download for free from Napster without worrying about a lawsuit) without any thought to how embarrassing it might be to listen to later.

I should clue my dad in to I-pod and the I-tunes Music Store that way he can buy whatever he wants instead of trying to bully my mom into buying the 50 percent off "Culture Club" CD from the cheap music bin at Wal-Mart. (My dad has wide-ranging taste, but my mom refused to buy it for him. He could very well buy it himself, she said).

p.s. Hey, thanks. Now I know what funny man and his wife look like.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

And good night everyone

The more I listen to the Morning Sedition podcast, the less I like it. Maybe it's cause I think Marc Maron's arrogant and full of himself. Maybe it's because I heard him bash Al Franken and I actually like Franken's show (well the guests he gets are relevent and the interviews are pretty good).

Eh, Maron's funny enough in a way. I'm really curious about what his wife looks like since he's always talking about how hot she is and how all the other guys are jealous when they see her. I suppose I could just go and google "Marc Maron's wife," but I'm going to sleep instead.

Hee hee

Flash. It gets ya every time.

Friday, July 22, 2005

oh happy day

I don't know what I was thinking. Driving 61 miles out of Farmington on a near-empty tank of gas. Lindsey, the photographer, clearly thought I had lost my mind, or was at least guilty of irresponsibility in the planning department.

It didn't help that neither of us were familiar with the area. No gas station in sight foreva then down one wrong turn, and there it is: local gas station. Prepay only. So I go inside and let the lady behind the counter charge $20 on my credit card. Only to find out that the place has run out of gas cause the pump won't pump despite the lady's suggestion of "wait a little while and try again."

Then, I found out she didn't know how to void the credit card transaction. I waited impatiently, knowing we were going to be late, possibly that the people we were supposed to meet weren't even going to be there. The lady called four or five different people who might know how to void a credit card transaction. Three didn't pick up and the fourth told her to just give me the $20 in cash.

So we were on our way at last, already late. We ended up where we were supposed to be half an hour late, but able to accomplish what we'd set out to do. We even found a Mustang station to fill up at before the long ride back to town.

Ah, happy ending.

Stupid heat

It's like fucking Arizona over here people.

It's so fucking hot none of those digital temperature/billboard thingies in front of all the banks can agree on just how fucking hot it is. 104 degrees hot. 110 degrees hot. 114 degrees hot.

Look, if the heat reaches the point where a normal person with a fever of the same temperature could possibly die, the differences in degree hardly matter. In other words, fucking hot is fucking hot whether it's 104 degrees fucking hot or 115 degrees.

But just for the record, according to the national weather service, it was 105 degrees of unbearable heat on tuesday, making it the the grossest, most unbearably hot week in 57 years--which is as far back as the nsw statistics for this place goes. the previous record for "feels like you might be roasting in hell" was 104 degrees set on Monday.

Did I mention the air conditioner in my car isn't working? Yeah. I'm going to have to remedy that somehow.

Anybody from Arizona happen to stumble across this blog? How do you do it?

It's 1:47 a.m. Friday and it's STILL hot, humid, sticky hot too. I feel a mean storm on the horizon.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


So there's this girl. She's the publisher's administrative assistant (read: secretary) and she's writing a column for the paper to chronicle her experiences in this self-help housing program called ECHO HELP. It's basically like Habitat for Humanity so her family and a bunch of other families are going to build each others' homes and the "sweat equity" will be their down payment.

So this column of hers. She turned in the first installment and I had to edit it. It was 56 inches of babble. At newspapers, at least the ones I've worked at, we measure stories in inches, not words or paragraphs. The average story or column is between 15-20 inches. Fifty-six inches is unheard of, especially if you're not breaking it up into sections. So I asked her to cut the column to half its length. She e-mailed me the revised version, which was 46 inches.

I ended up whittling it down to 14 inches. I tried to maintain some of her voice, sans the unnecessary filler, and then let her read the final copy. After briefly checking it over and pointing out a grammar problem I'd missed, she said it was fine. Then she said, "Make sure the picture they're running of me looks good. Sometimes they run the pictures too light and it looks bad."

I cut her story down by almost 30 inches, which took forever, but in the end it doesn't matter to her as long as she looks hot in the picture. Sigh.

Local music and green tea ice cream goodness

There's this grocery store in Albuquerque that's actually a co-op of sorts for local growers. Chris tries to shop there whenever he can cause the quality's so much better. In the freezer section, I spotted a little tub of soy-based green tea ice cream. It was expensive, but memories of creamy green-tea goodness in Hawaii prodded me into buying it. To say it was a disappointment would be an understatement. The stuff tasted like frozen lettuce mashed into paste.

Tonight, at the local coffee shop in Farmington, Andrea Kristina's, I discovered frozen green tea ice-cream drink. And it was yum-my. I heard Starbucks is selling a frozen green tea drink, but I'm glad I won't have to go to Starbucks to get it.

Andrea Kristina's. One of the good things about Farmington.

Tonight was also open mic night there, and I went to cover a story. I actually had fun, socially inept hermit that I usually am. Some of the musicians were really honest-to-God talented, the atmosphere was intimate and easygoing, and the crowd was fun and personable. One kid did a rocking guitar solo followed by a piece entitled, "Polar bears and walruses dancing in my dreams," on a tiny toy "pianosaurus." It was totally anything go.

You could sing a John Lennon song without feeling like you had to sound like John Lennon. You could make up the lyrics as you went along. You could be shitty or pretty good and everyone clapped just the same. It was three hours not spent in front of a television or computer.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

My weekend adventure

We went camping in southern Colorado this weekend. Yes, I actually wore those shoes the whole time, even though I'd packed better ones. It wasn't a "real" camping trip where you pack yourself down like a mule and hike in. Just an easy, relaxing camping trip with Chris' truck serving as the tent.

Chance got to go in the water (see previous entries), Chris got to try his hand at some fly fishing (I think he found a new hobby) while I got to kick back with my knitting while listening to podcasts:

We kicked around this cool little park in Durango before heading home. Chris did more fly fishing there while I knitted under the shade of a nearby tree. Chance kept me company and we both dozed off for a little while. (I can't believe I relaxed enough to doze off in public). It was a nice weekend, very relaxing.



Friday, July 15, 2005

Fuck I'm getting frustrated....

Downloading podcasts over dial-up? I wouldn't recommend it. No sirree. It might get a tad bit frustrating. You might start to hate Apple, even though it's not Apple's fault, it's Farmington's fault.

Ha, I think I found the perfect new name for this blog: "It's Farmington's Fault." That summarizes the past three months of sporadic posting quite concisely I think.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I'm entering the 21st can you, Farmington?

One of the photogs recently expressed gratitude for Durango, saying when you live in Farmington it's nice to escape to someplace with a pulse. Not only is there nothing to do in this town after 8 p.m. (and believe me, I'm not the partying type anyway), you can't even escape on the high-speed Internet at your own home.

When I first moved here, I inquired about a high-speed hook-up because I figured I'd use the Internet more than the TV or the telephone. But Comcast doesn't offer high speed cable connection in Farmington. DSL is ridiculously expensive and you have to pay Qwest to do extra modifications to your phone line if it isn't already specially modified. There's a wireless option, but the price tag on that makes DSL seem cheap.

So in the end I settled for plain old dial up. All of the posts you've seen since I got here? Dial-up.

And I've existed fine on dial-up for the past few months.

But you see, yesterday I bought an I-pod. A 30-gig i-pod of the type Apple will soon be discontinuing in favor of flashier, bigger-gig in smaller cases i-pods. My modest i-pod suits my purpose though: to download me some decent podcasts for free so I won't be stuck listening to christian, country and christian/country. Ahhhh.

But downloading takes for-fucking-ever and a day on dial-up.

This is all part of the Farmington conspiracy to keep the people down.

Monday, July 11, 2005

No unsolicited advice, please.

Sometimes I wonder what people think when they see me and Chris together. Mostly I assume we blend right in, no eyebrows raised because in today's world, there's nothing unusual about an interracial couple right?

Still sometimes I wonder. Like when we walked into the sporting good store today and Chris just reached out and gave my ass a pat. It never bothered me before, but now I wonder if people see him do stuff like that and assume it's some dominance thing? Lately this thought has really been bugging me. I can get like this. Totally wrapped and warped over what other people might be thinking.

Like when I had lunch with the photog on Saturday, and he looked across the table at me and said, "Karen, you know what would make you happy? A bicycle. You need to get out and ride a bicycle and let the sun shine down on your happy head and you'd be happy. This is what I decree as your life coach."

I laughed, because the whole spiel was kind of done in humor. I know there was some truth to it, though. A lot of people see me as unhappy, worried, stressed, depressed. This is the vibe I give off at work, and in a lot of social situations. And it bothers me. It bothers me a lot, and sometimes I seek out advice from others.

I'll sit across someone and say, "I wonder if I'll ever be happy. I wonder why I'm always so stressed. OK. I shouldn't be stressed. OK. I won't be. Stop looking at me like that, I'm serious this time."

And these people, most of them, feel the need to give me some advice, some reassurance, some gesture of sympathy, something.

These people, not all of them, but some of them are dangerous though. They give out these things because it makes them feel better. They feel important, I think, guiding me in their idea of the right path. And in my many moments of insecurity I pretend to go along with them.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I need to have more faith in myself. So I'm not happy all the time. Who is? Sometimes I'm sad, stressed, downright snarky and mean. Who isn't?

I don't need a bicycle. I need to fucking stand up for myself, and take some responsibility.

I don't know. I'm just trying to work this all out.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

dripping desperation

R, the news clerk was mad at me all week. I knew she was, but I didn't bring it up because I didn't want to put myself in a submissive position, a weak position where I'd be mumbling or pleading, "I'm sorry. It was my fault, I'm sorry." Which is how I handle a lot of problems. Absorb the blame and bury it away.

I know R was pissed, because my boss called me into his office and showed me the obituary proofs, which I had typed in over the weekend and which were full of errors. Nothing pisses a person off in that most personal way like an error in a newspaper obituary. My editor shared with me the story of how the local newspaper f'd up his own father's obituary by printing he was survived by four girls and three boys instead of three girls and four boys. Worse, they listed my editor as one of the girls. His point being that a obituary full of errors adds insult to a very personal kind of pain.

I apologized. I fumbled and made excuses: I'm the only one there on the weekend, so many things had been going on, the fire in the middle of town, entertaining the new job candidate, blah, blah, blah. They were excuses and I couldn't shut up even though that voice, the one that screams SHUT UP was telling me to just stop it.

I went home for lunch and cried, because maybe I'm a baby, but crying over things helps. I took a nap, woke up and felt better.

But I couldn't stop being bothered, distracted, all week by the fact that R was holding this unspoken grudge against me. I don't even know why, where it comes from, this desire to be liked by everybody. R is nice enough, and funny, but has quite a mean streak at times, and can be loud, rude and obnoxious. And proud of it too.

So why do I care so much?

I triple checked the obituaries today to avoid the unspoken wrath. I want her to like me. To be back to that place where we can joke around easily and I feel like I fit in at the office again.

Ryan, the Pennsylvania reporter, has gone and put in a payment for a Triumph motorcycle similar but newer and better than the one our photog recently bought. Left to his own devices I doubt Ryan would have had any interest in the Triumph. But since that is the photog's dream-- a crappy but romantic British bike -- that's become Ryan's dream too. Coolness by association, by assimilation.

We people, we're weird.

My boyfriend, he sympathizes with me

Tonight, I had a mean headache and Chris listened to me moan and groan for half and hour over the phone even though he was dead tired. I took two Excedrin and it took forever, it seemed, to kick in. Yes, during my time of the month I don't get crampy in that area, my BRAIN cramps up instead. Great.

Poor Chris, he was left with the task of trying to distract me and I know I kept interrupting him to moan some more, then totally change the subject.

He's very patient with me. I'm so used to it, though, that I don't always take the time to appreciate how much he must care about me to do it. Such a good friend. The best friend.

On a totally unrelated note, I cruised by the Apple web site on a whim and ended up browsing through their i-pods. Apparently, now you can automatically search/subscribe to thousands of podcasts through your i-pod. I really, really, really want an i-pod. My TV has crapped out on me and there are no decent radio stations in this town, and oh, the temptation of just subscribing to Al Franken's podcast, or Adam Curry's podcast....

Friday, July 08, 2005

Well, wouldn'tcha know it

I think a lot of people, when they find out my boyfriend is a farrier, assume he's some redneck cowboy who wears a cowboy hat and buckle 24/7 and maybe even has a reed sticking out of his mouth, which he somehow manages to grip with his lips even as he spitting a wad of tobacco.

Honestly, before I met Chris, if someone had asked me what a farrier was, I would have had to look it up in the dictionary. Chris is not a redneck. He used to surf, for chrissakes. He listens to Air America (very few redneck cowboy types here listen to Air America. OK. So the station's not even available in Farmington. If it was, I'm sure someone would try to burn the studio down). He talks a lot about politics, usually intelligently, although I'm so used to it I often tune it out. (Sorry! I can listen to Al Franken. He's funny, but I heard somewhere his own wife doesn't think he's funny).

So Chris. He wears contemporary clothes, doesn't chew, spit or smoke tobacco, and usually shows up to the job in cargo shorts. Anyway I have a tendency to be oblivious so it didn't dawn on me that some people would think my boyfriend was a "redneck" until one of my co-workers said something about "so I heard you're dating this cowboy." and then I mentioned to my boss that my boyfriend was a farrier and he looked surprised and said, "Really??"

I guess I don't look the type who'd date a cowboy. Ha!

All of this to say, next week I'm meeting this guy who grew up in Bloomfield (neighboring city) and is now a semi-famious designer of fashion doll clothes (fashion dolls=high-end Barbies). His doll clothes retail for $59! I only talked with him briefly, but I instantly knew he could never, never, in a million gazillion years have fit in in Bloomfield. Him: little boys who liked to dress up dolls. Bloomfield: hard-working, beer-drinking, church-going men who work in oil fields.

Anyway, I'm really interested in meeting him actually. He no longer lives in Bloomfield (of COURSE) but is in town for a few days. Like, Chris, he too holds down a job that I wouldn't have thought even existed and is happily (well mostly happily) making a living at it.

I wonder what people would think if I told them my boyfriend was a fashion doll clothing designer. Judging from my co-worker's reactions, they would assume I'd have to be a boy myself.


Random pictures. Hey, it's better than reading me complain, right?


I've been a knitting fiend all this months, so much so that I've started a knitting blog over at I won't give the url because the thing I discovered about knit blogging is that it's boring as hell, at least when I do it. As someone pretty much obsessed with the craft, I've spent many months hunting through knit blog after knit blog (there are hundreds, dare I say even thousands of knit bloggers out there) and many are entertaining and inspirational. I think I like reading knit blogs better than having one of my own. Maybe I just can't come up with anything better than "Floating Flotsam."

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Draining the ankle

For some reason, Marcy the intern keeps coming around. I have no idea why. She shows no real interest in news gathering, and not much natural aptitude for it either. Yet she comes every Tuesday and Thursday, blonde hair done up in a messy bun, dragging her tatoo-ed feet, one shoulder dragged down by that heavy Louis Vuitton bag.

Today, she came up to me and grabbed my ankle. I almost kicked her, I was so self-concious about not having shaved my legs in awhile and having someone I didn't know well touch it. But she just wanted to see if the pressure of her touch would leave an imprint on my skin, like it does on hers when someone presses their fingers against it.

Specifically, it was her aunt who grabbed her lily white (but slightly sunburned) ankle and noticed this. She told Marcy the imprint was a sign that Marcy wasn't taking care of herself. Specifically that Marcy wasn't peeing enough.

So on the way to the bathroom Marcy said, "OK, you guys I'm going to go pee now and drain my ankle."

And off she went.

I swear, that girl is lucky she was blessed with blonde hair, big blue eyes and a lithe figure. Otherwise people would jeer and beat her up instead of laugh and pat her on the head.


Some days I feel so bad, I feel like maybe I should stand on the yellow line and wait for the next car. My stomach feels all tight and upset, I am stressed, I am emotional, I am withdrawn, I am whiny.

At some point during the day, I will make it to the bathroom and realize, oh yeah, it's that. That time of the month.

And I am so flooded with relief. FLOODED. With relief. There is an explanation for this, a thing for me to place the blame on if you will. Oh, the relief of giving up responsibility.