Wednesday, January 30, 2008


These are the days of crunchy cold dog walks. Since I try to get Rudy out twice a day for at least a mile or two long walk it seems like the cold is ruling my world. Our new house is toasty warm so it is a pleasure to return to after a walk but at least twice a day I have a good long session of frozen face. Today we got a light dusting of snow and it always makes town so much prettier.

These shots were taken on the plaza in late afternoon light. The light in Santa Fe is my favorite. The way it warms up an adobe wall against the blue sky and the way the trees seem to glow with it. This is a really quiet time of the year to wander downtown. The plaza is nearly deserted on on a day like this.

Once Spring and Summer hit there is barely a quiet moment to be had down there unless you head down before 8 a.m. But that is the fun of living downtown. There will be art fairs and festivals pretty much every single weekend come July.

I have been trying to land a little part time job for our time here. What a stupid, frustrating and degrading experience that is. People really do get some weird ideas about how to conduct an interview and my absolute favorite thing is when they hand you one of the ridiculous applications that asks you things like where did you go to elementary school. Because who I was as a person in the second grade obviously should have great bearing on whether or not they hire me now at age 35. I have also been asked repeatedly for a resume. People.... nobody wants to see or would understand any kind of resume I could put together. It would be like trying to solve the DaVinci Code to make any sense of it. So I will continue my search for the right niche to work in to. This is a goofy time of year here to try to find work here anyway. There is a whole lot of nothin' goin' on. If anyone reading this has an interesting business within one mile of the plaza, is not crazy or bitchy, wants to pay me a fabulous wage, needs a competent worker for 20 hours a week and does not care how I performed in 4th grade gym class... feel free to call me up. I'm yours.

I'll leave you with a shot of the Museum of Fine Art in the warm 4:30 sunlight. I love the way the adobe looks like suede or even velvet. I still need to get pics of the house that don't look like we are just squatting here to keep out of the cold. I'll post once I have some good ones.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Yo. I felt I had to at least jump on here and write a quick note or two on our current goings on... I am so distracted by getting the house set up it has been hard for me to get focused and sit down to write a proper post. Out of the dozen or so times we have set up a temporary house somewhere in the states this has been the easiest. We already had almost everything we need to live in the trailer so we just moved it in. It's the organizing and figuring out the flow of the house that takes a week or so to settle.

The best and worst thing about this house is the fact that we are like two minutes walk from tons of fantastic restaurants. We certainly cannot afford to frequent them at this point in time... but guess what... we are not very good at resisting temptation. So far we have kept it pretty low key eating at the cheaper places that we love like Upper Crust Pizza, The Plaza Diner, Body Cafe and our favorite gelato place which is entrancingly now just down the street. I did freak out and buy a $13 sandwich from The Paris Cafe yesterday for lunch. Ridiculous... but delicious.

I will try to post some photos later tonight or tomorrow morning. I have taken lots, I just have not had time to get them uploaded. I am now off to lay down and let my brain stop spiraling out of control over where to put what for awhile.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Eagle Has Landed.

Yes... the eagle.... otherwise known as Billy, Rudy and I. People frequently refer to us collectively as "The Eagle." Because together we are so majestic. Anyway... we made it to Santa Fe. We traveled the million miles across western Texas and then stayed two nights in Roswell, NM and finally cruised the final stretch to Fanta Say. My only advice is unless you are a buzzard, are drilling for oil or perhaps you are a gila monster avoid West Texas at all costs. Here's why, it's thousands of miles of this sort of business...

And unless you are stuck in 1963 or caves are your favorite vacation venue don't plan a trip to Carlsbad, NM. Roswell is worth it because well... it's silly. When you drive past the Arby's they have a huge part of their sign that reads "Aliens Welcome!" I have heard that space men are especially fond of their beef and cheddar sandwiches. Beside that they have painted alien eyes on all the lamp post lights downtown.

And the windows on Main St. are laden with treasures such as this...

So yeah, it's a goofy and somewhat worthwhile place to visit. The tourist trap shops were a bit of a disappointment for me though. I was prepared to sell a kidney for money to purchase oodles of dumb alien t shirts and doo dads but there just was not anything much worth laying down the dead presidents for IMHO.

We are in our new pad now having emptied out the Airstream (weird) and moved everything in here to our little casita. We still have no furniture (working on it) and I am writing this while sitting in a lawn chair in the middle of the living room. Once we have everything set up and looking somewhat respectable I will post some pics. Oh... I should mention that our mattress was indeed delivered to Kerrville, Texas. I got a call yesterday afternoon from Jimmie at the front desk of the Guadalupe RV Resort flatly announcing "Y'all have a mattress down here." Great. So I called the manufacturer yet again to see if this could be handled. The mattress is supposedly on it's way here to Santa Fe now and will arrive on Monday. I am planning a party for it's arrival. The whole neighborhood is invited over to look at my well traveled and fashionably late mattress.

Rudy has been partying like it's 1999 since we walked in the door here. He actually made himself sick last night. After 7 hours of riding in the truck he went buck ass wild when we came in the house for the night. Within two hours he had induced altitude sickness with his antics and was puking all over the living room (thank you for concrete floors.) He was like a kid at a birthday party though... just because he was puking did not mean he cold not keep the party going. In between the retching he was kicking as all over the house. Good times.

OK, I have to get back to my laundryscaping. I am slowly climbing the mountain of fabric dirtiness that was hauled in here yesterday to our new laundry room. I think I will be able to knock it all out in about 3 months time. It's a work of art and a work in progress at all times. But that just all laundry worldwide in general I guess. It's a universal problem that has yet to be solved.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


We are hitting the road today. Yesterday was spent packing and cleaning. After two months of sitting still here in Kerrville the trailer was a real scene inside. It has been colder than a witches tit in a brass bra and is only going to get worse as we head north.

I will report in along the way... tonight we will STILL BE IN TEXAS... because Texas is roughly the same size as Jupiter and without being able to travel the speed of light it takes days to escape it's confines.

Send out good driving karma for Billy. He has to do all the drivin' because of my broken arrow.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I Can't Hang

The world is a frustrating, confusing place for me to negotiate my way through at this point people. First it was the broken pointer which led this month's 4.2 million dollar Verizon cell phone bill... and now... NOW it's the fact that we ordered a platform futon bed for our new place in Santa Fe via a store on eBay and they have shipped the frame of the bed to Texas and the futon mattress to New Mexico. Brilliant. Because WHY would we want both in one state? Yes, most people nowadays keep their bed frame and mattress 700 miles away from one another. It's a new minimalistic and avante garde way to approach bed room furniture. So... it would seem that we will arrive bedraggled and tired to our new place on this coming Wednesday to be welcomed by a cozy wooden bed frame and no mattress. Thank you Northern Naturals of New Hampshire for that inspiring situation. The trailer will have been winterized at that point for storage which rules out staying an extra night or two in it. Plus it is too freakin' cold in Santa Fe right now to sleep in this tin can anyway. 2 degrees at night? I will not do it.

I called Northern Naturals on my cell phone to deliver the news of their brilliance to them this afternoon (on my CELL PHONE which is OVER BY MILLIONS ON IT'S MINUTES ALREADY) and the woman sounded astounded when I explained to her that I wanted both pieces of the bed sent to the same address. INDEED! So anyway, they claim that they will try to get in touch with UPS and have the package rerouted to the correct address. Great... even so, I am pretty sure that it will not arrive in time now for me to actually enjoy sleeping on it the first night. Maybe Rudy will share his crate with us.

Ahhhhhhh, yes. Broken pointers and empty wooden bed frames. It's a pleasure doin' business with you America. Is it just me or is half the population asleep at the wheel? I know I'm not... you have to be alert and on top of your game to let your license lapse for 5 months. There has to be a vitamin or something out on the market that will cure all of this.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tagged by Gig

So having been tagged (in my comments from yesterdays post) I am supposed to list off a few little known, interesting or weird facts about myself. Let me see if I can really bring this one home...

1. Once when I was little (around three or four) I shoved a raisin up my nose. Way up my nose. So far up my nose in fact that my Mom had to bring me to the doctor to deal with it. Why did I do this? I still to this day recall the feeling that the raisin seemed to fit SO PERFECTLY in my nose that it seemed almost to belong there. I was sheltering the raisin in a perfect home.

2. Again... (when I was a child) about 9 years old, I caused my Mother undue distress. While she was out running to the store to grab a gallon of milk or something, I decided to make popcorn. This was before the days of microwave ovens so I pulled out the big stock pot that my Mom always made our popcorn in. I poured a bunch of oil in the pot, turned the burner on high, threw three kernels of corn in there and put the lid on. I stood there waiting to hear those first few kernels pop so I could pour in the rest of the corn. An unusually long amount of time passed. A funny smell started to permeate the air. And then black smoke started seeping out from under the lid. Yeah. It got real ugly real quick. Long story short.... the pan was burned inside to kingdom come. What did I do then? I hid the pot outside in the bushes. Yes. Of course. What else could be done? My Mother puzzled for months over what the Hell had become of her favorite stock pot. She eventually found it that winter when she saw a flash of silver in the melting snow out front. I denied having anything to do with the pot being out there of course. I think I may have even suggested that maybe my Dad had put it out there. Pure genius.

3. Lets stick with the fiery kitchen stories of my youth for a while longer. On another occasion I set our toaster on fire. Literally ON FIRE. I am talking about unruly flames licking the bottom of the cupboards above. In the toaster was a pop tart. Apparently these breakfast treats are highly flammable. Use caution while toasting one people, it can get dangerous in a matter of seconds. My reaction to this was to stand in the kitchen shrieking... "MOM! MOM! MOM!" over and over again while the house was on the verge of burning to the ground. My Mom was at that moment still sleeping. She eventually came running/stumbling in to the kitchen to discover the fire and me standing there three feet away just watching it happen. She screamed "OPEN THE FRONT DOOR!" So I ran and did just that. My Mom grabbed a pair of pot holders, grabbed the toaster engulfed in flames and heaved it out in to a snow bank in the front yard where it breathed a "PPPSSShhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaa" sigh of relief. The best part of this story is that we left that thing laying out there like a bunch of hillbillies for at least a week with the blackened remains of the pop tart strewn out across the crisp white snow.

4. When I was about 19 on a family vacation on a cruise ship in the Caribbean I made out in a broom closet with our waiter who was named Joaquim. I was really drunk on long island iced teas and I ended up passing out for a little while in a lawn chair on the top deck of the boat because I was so drunk I could not find our room. Sorry about that one Mom.

5. This one will be a list of sorts... things I don't like.... Las Vegas, Florida, Brussel Sprouts, Smoking, Fancy Snobby Restaurants (I like the food just not the atmosphere), Malls, Wet Socks, Anything "SMOKED" including Cheese and/or Nuts, Pedicures, Fabric Softeners, Flavored Water, Water Theme Parks and Llamas in the USA. Is that random enough? A few things I do like... Salted Dark Chocolate Caramels, Eating Breakfast for Dinner, Not Quite Ripe Bananas, Capitalizing Words That Should Not Be Capitalized, Talking On The Phone While in the Bath Tub, Multiple Boxes of Kleenex at my Side, Oprah and Eating an Apple Every Single Day.

OK... that's it. Did I even do it right? Probably not. But there you have it. If I am now supposed to tag other people I don't know if I will be able to take the pressure. The idea of tagging people makes me nervous. What if they don't want to be tagged? Maybe they have bad memories of being tagged before? Am I off the hook? Someone fill me in.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Rudolph McLane Professional Photographer

We have been at this park for almost two months now and for Rudy it's his longest time spent in one location. He has developed quite a few favorite spots throughout the park. I decided to do this post from his perspective. Imagine that Rudy was behind the camera and was shooting pics for HIS memory book. Being a dog the images are obviously of his favorite places to pee. What else?

So here you have it... a leisurely stroll through the most beautiful, most pungently aromatic VIP Pee spots in The Guadalupe River RV Resort. Enjoy

Rudy loves risking it all to mark the electrical box despite the warnings! He is such the dare devil.

As humans I am quite sure we can only begin to imagine the heady scents that inhabit THIS favored locale...

This next image is some sausage which is rotting on the ground behind one of the dumpsters. We have had an epic week long battle to keep him away from it on every single walk. He wants that rotten sausage so very badly. Ohhhh, savory and delicious rotten meats!

Upon the approach to Radar's house (his favorite dog friend in the park) he assumes this position.... of searching the yard for his buddy. Since Radar is quite small at only 6 pounds sometimes it takes a few seconds to realize if he is out there or not.

If Radar is NOT outside... crying and whining is the result. Tragic, soul wrenching sadness takes over. Until we are ten feet past the area and he sets to sniffing and squirrel hunting again that is. Or until we come to yet another mandatory pee station. There are certain spots where you have to do your business every time, no matter what. Here is one of them...

And another... behold it's stark yet rustic beauty!

Good times, gooood times. I am sure that other park dwelling dogs will sniff the heady perfume of Rudy for months to come and his legend will live on.... at least for a little while, here in Texas.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Big Changes Ahead

Time for an update on our plans. As many of you know we have been here in Texas for going on three months now and had planned on spending the next month and a half or so traveling westward through the state to Big Bend, Marfa, etc. And as many of you know... our plans are usually about as reliable as 1980 Yugo with water in it's gas tank.

I have been nosing around on craigslist and in the Santa Fe newspapers for a month or so watching for upcoming rentals that we may be able to make work for us. Ultimately I wanted to find something starting around March 1st that was just outside of town, on acreage which would allow us to park the Airstream on site and continue to use it as a studio and that had a fenced in yard for our grubby little d.o.g. We want to spend 8 months or so in Santa Fe and figured we may as well rent a place to make the stay more comfortable. We have been in the Airstream full time for almost a year now and I thrill at the idea of a whole, real bathroom of my very own for a little while.

We were scheduled to leave this part of Texas at the end of this month to head west to Big Bend. In short... I found a guest house rental in town (Santa Fe) which is a few blocks off the plaza and we rented it. For January 23rd. Oops. There goes Big Bend. Which actually really stinks because we were supposed to meet up with my cousin Chelsea who is working there this winter. This is like the third time a change of plans has kept us from hooking up with her in one national park or another. She will probably never believe me again if I tell her we are coming to see her. She does not have much reason to believe me at this point. I am openly making a public apology... I am a bad cousin and I am sorry Chelsea!

One exciting development and another reason for our extended stay in Santa Fe is that my best friend Michelle is moving there at the end of January. She currently lives in Roanoke, Virginia and is peeling out of that state to relocate to The Land of Enchantment on the very same day we arrive in Santa Fe. It's going to be big fun.

We are getting ready to start packing up for our drive north. We don't even have winter coats on board with us so arriving in northern NM where it is currently pretty danged cold is going to be interesting. Rudy will experience snow for the first time. I will be laid up for a week with mild altitude sickness (almost always gets me upon arriving there) and we will once again be living with a bath tub and a full sized refrigerator. At least for awhile. Not that I am gunning to get out of the trailer... it will just be like a mini vacation from it. Fun.

Today I have a big assed pot of homemade soup cooking on the stove and we are just hanging out soaking up these last few days of warm Texas weather. Rudy is stationed outside guarding the homestead with his ferocious, tough guy appearance. Guarding it against squirrels and blackbirds that is.

And I am stationed at the door guarding the bean soup with my ferocious clown like appearance. As far as who comes off as being more frightening... I think I may be winning that contest hands down.

I think it's safe to say I am the only gal in Texas sporting rainbow striped knit pants and a polka dot balloon shirt. It keeps the banditos away.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My Broken Pointer

Well... these past few days have really been hot stuff. Just know that the end result is going to be about a $400 cell phone bill. And know that the state of Massachusetts should really have to pay that bill but they most certainly (and obviously) will not. I will announce right out of the gate here that I am at fault in the story I am about to tell... but the system I am dealing with is waaaaay more jacked up than I could ever possibly be myself.

So, I accidentally let my driver's license expire. Like ummmmm, 6 months ago or so. Yeah. Just realized that one about a week ago when a teller at the bank pointed it out to me. It was shocking news to say the least. I have accidentally been driving all over the country without a valid license for months. Brilliant. But not surprising if you know me.

I set to work right away to right the situation. I called the state of Massachusetts on Wednesday to see what I could do to get this fixed. After waiting on hold for 45 minutes I got a woman who informed me that "the national computer is down" but she could see that I had a "red flag" on my name in the state of Illinois. She said I had to wait and call back next Monday (meaning this past Monday) to find out what my "red flag" was all about. Is it just me or does "the national computer is down" sound like a really ridiculous made up lie? I mean... it's right up there with made up stuff like "The Legion of Doom." At this point I am actually convinced that the Massachusetts DMV may BE The Legion of Doom or at the very least they are an affiliate of it. And having to wait 5 days to find out what my red flag was? Sheer torture.

I waited the 5 days and called back on Monday. I was on hold again for 45 minutes (that seems to be a pretty standard wait time) and got a woman who said (guess what!) "The national computer is down.... you will have to call the state of Illinois yourself to see what the red flag is and try to get it fixed." So I called Illinois. I got some guy who sounded like James Earl Jones on crack yelling at me that I had never even had an Illinois driver's license in my whole life. Hmmmm.... I was born and raised there... and seem to recall several years of driving in The Land of Lincoln. Yes, several years of it. All the way from 1988 when I got my first license until I moved to Massachusetts in 2000. But apparently they had no record of this. On the "national computer." Mr. Angry DMV guy put me on hold for a really long time at this point and eventually came back yelling at me that his computer screen was coaching him to "DO NOT DISCUSS WITH DRIVER." He just kept repeated this over and over in a loud, robotic way. "DO NOT DISCUSS WITH DRIVER!!" And then he yelled "YOU HAVE A BROKEN POINTER!!! You MUST have the Boston DMV call us to handle this. We cannot discuss it with you!"

WTF? Let me just repeat that.... WTF???

So.... I called the Mass DMV again. This time I was allowed to enjoy being on hold for a full hour and a half. About every 20 seconds a recording plays on the line reminding me that my call is very important to them and that someone will be with me just as soon as they can! So very reassuring! When a woman finally answered my call I explained my situation and my apparently tragic, debilitating broken pointer to her. I explained that I was instructed to tell her that she must call the state of Illinois and discuss this with them to get it cleared up so I could renew my license. Guess what she told me? "The National Computer is Down." She then told me to call back the next day in the hopes that it would finally be back up and running.

People... The National Computer is Down. This may be your best chance to get away with any dirty business you have been toying around with. They don't seem to be able to look at any of our information. If you are looking to invade China, vacation in Cuba or drive backward down a steep grassy embankment just for kicks... The National Computer IS Down. It's pretty much always down from what I gather. I'm not sure what we are running on? Crotchety, old, dusty librarian types shuffling our files around in the deep, dank basement of The Legion of Doom? I am out here hobbled by my "broken pointer" and no one cares or seems to be able to help me. Of course... I am required by state law to have a license to drive... the state has tagged me with a "red flag" and a "broken pointer" but they sure can't be troubled to do anything beyond that. They certainly can't tell me what any of this actually means. Or what I can do about it to fix it. They can parade of bunch of angry morons past me over the phone and run my cell phone bill up to the moon though.

We did find one other guy ranting on the web about his similar situation. He went back and forth with it for a full month until he found out his broken pointer was a parking ticket from 1988. He later found out that he had actually PAID that parking ticket IN 1988. From what I read he was still trying to get it cleared up with no luck. The thing that struck me the most in his tale was that he too was told repeatedly that The National Computer Was Down. This must be some sort of secret DMV worker code for "Don't help this person! DO NOT DISCUSS WITH DRIVER!!! Tell them ANYTHING but whatever you do DON'T MAKE ANY SENSE!" Anyway... reading this guys story eased my pain a bit in that I am not alone.

Hopeless. Hopeless. Hopeless. Billy is now my official chauffeur. He has to do all the driving. I am going to go to the New Mexico DMV when we get there and see if I can deal with this in person and get a new license there since it's where we plan to hang our hats for Spring, Summer and Fall. Wish me luck. Lots of it.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

A Texas Stone Henge Induced Vision Quest

Well.... yesterday was epic. It has all the elements needed to induce exhaustion. We finally got out of the house (trailer) and headed out with bright eyes and much excitement to go exploring for a few hours.

Down the road in Hunt a rancher got the wild idea some years back to build a replica of Stone Henge on his ranch. It's about 60% the size of the real deal and it sits smack out in the middle of a flat grassy field. We decided to make this our first stop of the day. I don't know what else to say about it. It was there. We were there. Rudy peed on it and then we left.

After Stone Henge we took off for Lost Maples State Park. This was where things started to get ugly. The road to Lost Maples is as squiggly as they come. Curvy, curvy, curvy. What does this matter? It matters because in our truck curvy equals puke. Dog puke that is. Rudy gets car sick. It happens the same way every time.... we are driving along and I keep looking down at him laying there. He starts to lay in increasingly uncomfortable looking positions, a green aura starts to form around his head and I start to think... "Oh man, he's gonna puke." And then about 2 seconds later.... Blam! Rudy's breakfast is on display all over his dog bed and he is looking up at me with that "I'm sorry! I'm sick!" look on his face. So we pull off to the side of the road and the clean up procedure takes place. This is why you should always take a few extra napkins from Starbucks. You can then use them later to clean up puke.

My attitude at this point is one of anger... toward Texas, for having curvy roads that make us car sick. I remained angry all the way until we reached the park (which seemed to take FOREVER) and I was able to escape the confines of the truck cab. I was feeling creepy too at this point from the curvy roads. I was attacked by bees in the parking lot so I yelled and stomped about and cursed Texas some more. Then we took off for the hike and I managed to be lulled in to submission by the beauty of the river and the trees. Texas.... I forgive you.

Anyone who knows us knows that we are frequent accidental adventurists and that one of these days we will end up featured on that show "I Shouldn't Be Alive." We always end up on epic hikes without proper supplies. Yesterday was a good example. Rudy of course had an empty stomach by the time we got to the park. And we had had a small breakfast several hours earlier. We brought nothing with us except for a small water bottle a piece. It was 75 degrees and dry as a bone outside. So we set out on a 5 mile hike. There was only one moderate climb about half way through... but I don't know about you all... I need a little snack or something to keep wind in the old sails on that long of a hike. Long about three quarters of the way through Billy started cracking jokes that we were on a vision quest and before it was over maybe we would see our spirit animals. I was weak with laughter and hunger.

Rudy was in and out of the creek and was probably feeling a little trippy due to lack of fuel and the Texas sun cooking us... here's a taste of what he was going through...

He looks to me in that photo like the lead role in an Akira Kurosawa film. He is the 8th samurai. He is Yojimbo... or perhaps even Red Beard.

Toward the end of the hike when he was getting really tired there were several installments of "Where's Rudy? Hmmmm.... has anyone seen Rudy? I wonder where he could be?"

He's not very good at hiding.... but we try to let him believe that he has us confused every time.

We made it back to the truck around 5. We were deliriously hungry and drove down the road to Vanderpool to a little road side store. Now... Vanderpool has a population of around twenty people... and this is the one and only store for about thirty miles. It was my only chance at food for almost two hours til we got home. So I snarfed down a Snickers ice cream bar and bought a bag of Cheetos. Then five minutes later I wished I was dead. Rudy got to have two Cheetos and two bites of a peanut butter granola bar. I was afraid to give him anything else that he might puke again and of course I don't feed him crap like Cheetos normally anyway. I would not normally feed Cheetos to my worst enemy. My judgement was impaired by the vision quest.

We took the straight roads home and made it puke free. Today we all laid around like slugs. It was a good and much needed weekend adventure.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Tribe of Three Chapter Two

First off let me say how amazed I am that none of you offered me any cheese to go with my whine yesterday. I feel much better today.

So... my friend/coworker Sara and I went that night to Billy's art opening at the Artist's Association. I had not been to many of these affairs and did not really know anyone there other than Sara so we sort of hung tight and wandered through looking at the artwork. It was I think a three person show and one of those people was Billy. At the time he was still painting abstracts sort of in the vein of Rothko. I had no idea the work was his. I thought he just worked there as assistant gallery director and had invited me to an opening in general.... not to see his actual work. And being the brilliant mind that I am .... "William McLane" written on the hang tags for the paintings did not register as "Billy" who asked me to the show. Thankfully I did not make an asshole out of myself. I actually told him that my favorite painting in the show was "that blue and white abstract one on the middle wall over there," and he said "That one is mine!" Whoa! You have to remember that at this point the only conversation we had had was "Do you want mayo or mustard on that turkey sandwich?" And things of this nature. I knew nothing about him or what he did.

When the show was winding down he said everyone was going to The Bamboo Supper Club and then to the Chicken Box for drinks, he invited us to come along. At this point in time I was no stranger to the Chicken Box. Being that I lived in a house with a single Irishman and neither of us had a whole lot going on socially I found myself there many nights a week getting plowed and dancing to whatever live band or dj they had that night. I had recently weathered my toughest St. Paddies Day ever with a whole troop of kids from Ireland at The Box. I am not sure I have even been so drunk (before that night and definitely not since that night) in my life.

So we went out and had a great time... the group we were with are all really good people and I managed to not get embarrassingly drunk (I saved that for a week or so later.) Afterwards we discovered that we lived about one block away from one another downtown. So we walked home together. We sat around outside the house I lived in (it was The Black Eyed Susans restaurant employee housing) which is a pretty lonely spot in the winter since the restaurant is closed and there are no employees around. We talked for an hour or so and it was all giddy and stupid feeling (for me anyway) and it was hard to part ways. We actually kissed goodbye on that very first night. I was excited and terrified all at once. Having been alone for awhile on the island it had been a rough winter (my Grandma was killed in a car accident about two months before this) and I had been doing a lot of soul searching. I was just starting to feel like a sane person again. Which was actually a pretty unfamiliar feeling for me... I had not had too many sane moments in my adult life to date. Now here I was on this little island out in the Atlantic in March... I had been gone from Illinois for almost a full year and things were starting to look pretty good where they had been really, really weird before.

Billy was an utter mystery to me in the beginning. I thought maybe he was a trust fund baby... or an international James Bond type spy... or maybe even a hologram. But he was just Billy. It took me a few months to realize that. Things got pretty ridiculous right off the bat. Since he only lived about a 45 second run away from my front door I would frequently jump out of bed at three in the morning, run down Orange St. in my pajamas and throw rocks at his second story bedroom window until I saw the light click on and his face appear in the window. He would then stumble downstairs and be all "Yeah... (rubbing the sleep out of his eyes) are you OK? What are you doing??" And then I would feel dumb and have to say... "I just had to see you for a minute, I couldn't sleep." It's a miracle he did not think I was out of my mind. Maybe he did actually... but on some level he liked it enough to let me get away with acting like a real ding dong. He even put up with me getting so drunk on vodka the following weekend that I threw up at his house. That's pretty. That's a desirable new girlfriend. It was in truth the grand finale of my "drinkin' days." Since Billy is not one to indulge in anything other than good food I naturally tapered off my habits until I stopped drinking all together. At this point in time a half a glass of wine will cause me to pass out.

I will tell you this too... I cannot imagine a better place on this planet to find the boy of your dreams than Nantucket just as spring is about to kick in and then you have summer ahead of you. It was absolutely magical.

It was magical all the way through until we decided to leave the island and spend the coming Winter in Key West, Florida. Then.... well, things took a turn. A turn toward cockroaches and crazy people. But that is for Chapter Three....

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Today I am having one of those days that causes me to grit my teeth. This is what I do when I am mad, irritated, frustrated etc. I grit my teeth. Sometimes to the point that they start to hurt in a really creepy sort of way.

Why am I gritty today? It's bound to happen every so often I guess. Bad mood... got up on the wrong side of the bed, all those sort of excuses. I do know that Rudy being in a bucking bronco, growling, jumping and making constant demands mood of his own is not helping matters for me today. The fact that this Airstream is now full of shit beyond capacity has been eating at me for awhile now too. There are piles of "stuff" all over the place. Stupid, stupid piles of stuff. The stuff is working it's way into our living space. I sit in a booth with my laptop to work and it's also where we sit to eat. Half.... yes HALF of my side of the booth seat is full of stuff. A big bag of yarn and half finished crochet projects, a stack of fat cookbooks, my camera bag, a box of cereal (no room in the cupboard for it) and various USB cables, a few magazines and my purse are a sampling of what is piled up here next to me. These things are here because all of our closets, cupboards and cubbies are full to the max and there is no place else to keep stuff. The truck is full too. It's nuts.

What am I going to DO about this? The answer remains to be seen. I could freak out and go on a rampage and throw a bunch of stuff away... or I can deal with living like a crazy old cat lady who hoards shit. Today I am leaning toward the freak out. Tomorrow I may embrace my pile of crap and be glad to have it available to riffle through.

I also think I am steadily gaining a colony of ants in my pants over the fact that we are sticking put in this one location for so long. I am ready to move, move, move. Maybe if I loved the area more I would feel differently. But as it turns out Texas is just not my cup of tea. Not for three solid months in winter anyway. I am longing to be someplace new. Or old.... just not Texas.

Sigh. I guess I just wanted to vent. Now I am going to go wrangle some more piles of stuff. And grit my teeth some more. I will get my head screwed back on straight before the day is out. I will... or I will end up in an emergency dental clinic with shattered bicuspids.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


I dedicate this pot full of black eyed peas to Alberta Biehl. She's my Gram. Every year when I was little (and for her whole life long) she would make us eat black eyed peas on New Years. It's a southern tradition. Eating the peas is supposed to bring prosperity in the coming year. When I was little I hated those damned peas. I thought they were Mega, Mega GROSS. It was near torture to have to eat them. But I did. Because my Gram had me believin' pretty hard core that if I did not eat them I would be a busted up mess for the whole year. From the time I was about 16 until I was about 25 I skipped the peas. And guess what? I was a busted up mess pretty much that whole time. Coincidence? We will never know for sure. I am eating the peas now just to cover my ass. Better safe than sorry.

Here's a photo of my Gram and her best friend Florence from back in the day. These two women could cook. My Gram is the one on the right. How cute are they? My Auntie Florence passed away years ago... she was a riot. She was one of those women that was a true force of nature. My gram is 83 and still kickin' butt. I am going to call her up after I finish this post and tell her we ate the peas today. She will sleep better tonight knowing that we did.

The funny thing is I really like black eyed peas now.... all those years I agonized over having to eat them and now I think they are pretty darned tasty. Weird eh? When I went to the grocery the other day to buy some for today there was a mountainous display of them in the produce department. We are in the south after all. These people are all eatin' the peas today.

I cook them in a mixture of veggie broth and Martinelli's Apple Juice. I use Martinelli's when cooking just about any dried bean. It adds a great deal of sweetness and is nicely offset by a dash of cayenne pepper.

We are taking it easy today. A lot of people peeled out this morning to head back home after the holiday so the RV park is quieting down again. We are in the middle of some horrid arctic cold blast pushing down from the north so it will be a good night to snuggle in and watch a movie or two.

I will be continuing my story "How We Became a Tribe of Three" over the course of this whole month. I figure it is a good way to get through January since we will not be on the move and I won't have as many travel stories this month.

Oh and also... Rudy once again made it to the pages of "Stuff On My Mutt." I think this is his third time! What a celebrity.

Happy New Year!