Saturday, October 30, 2010

Raghu's Mario Costume

Halloween party preparations

This is not quite so much about India, except for the cool "packaging" and exotic pumpkins.

These guys are two and a half stories up, and a guy carried BAGS of pumpkins up those stairs, and then another flight up to the roof (some of those we carried one by one, because of a misunderstanding, but when he saw we were doing that, he carried the three remaining bags up).

On the door, the scary house taped to the door is Halloween. The Ganesha and the flower garland is everyday stuff.

The picture of the guy with the glasses (between ghosts) is a guy who's always on the wall, but the glasses came from Albuquerque.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"You have problems."

"You have problems."

That was the response I got to this:

On Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 11:01 PM, Sandra Dodd wrote:

You wrote to me a few years ago. I do not WANT your writing on my site. Television is ruining your life because you're obsessed with television as the devil.

Why don't you live a happy, peaceful life without television instead of dedicating your time and energy to something you hate? It's not healthy. Your writings are disturbing. You bring a very unsettled vision into my otherwise very peaceful life.

Sandra Dodd

The person whose writing I am rejecting once again (after engaging in a longer discussion and a more polite rejection last time around) has allowed television to ruin his life without even watching it, I guess.

And just now when I went to bring a link to what he was talking about, I see that I have it on my "arguments against TV" page already. (I don't want to name him and give him more exposure, but it's under the garbage can art, and my review there is "Badly written, but short.")

I did make a page of links to anti-TV writings. I don't think a single one of those other pages has any links to the ever-growing collection of benefits of TV.

It's nearly a compliment, though, that someone as seemingly deranged as this guy thinks I have problems. I hope he will recover from being mesmerized by the evils of television, though, and go on to live a healthy life.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I went digging in my bag for a pen at 4:00 a.m. (awake too early, but I hope I'll come around to a normal schedule soon), I found these:

I didn't catch the name of them, but I got them yesterday at a regional fair. They're sweet but not too sweet, slightly fruity, heavy and filling. Good! Because I didn't want to go and rummage for food and risk waking someone up.

I'm putting some photos of what I saw yesterday, with very little explanation, because I don't have much explanation, here:

It will take me a while to add all that I have already, and there will be more every day, so check back again later.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Teeny touch of France

Really, I saw very little in Paris but airport shuttles and long, long terminals. But I did see a cute little orange toilet (with matching tile details) and a type of women's dress I had never seen before.

Not much story to the toilet, actually.

But the clothing was different.  The skirt was appliqued and then there were a few mirrors in a pattern above that.   it had a hood, with a large gathered cowl.  The hood tied under the chin like a bonnet, and the cloth was turned back a little around the face, too.   When the lady reached up I could see the skirt was just a kind of wrap-around skirt, and she was wearing another kind of shirt or dress under it, also blue, but different, softer material.

When I described it to them, Hema and Pradnya said it was a certain Moslem sect/region (I could ask again tomorrow), and that it was covering her full set of clothes.  So I guess it's travelling coverings.   It was striking, and different, though.  It's tacky to be taking pictures of people that way, but she's all covered up from this angle anyway.

Much time passed; then I got to India, and that moves to the other blog:
Sandra in India. What I saw I couldn't well photograph. Hundreds of painted trucks, on a highway in the early hours of morning.

More pictures there after I sleep and visit and the sun comes up.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Last Local Food

So I'll be in India for a month, and I'm thinking of what I should eat as my last New Mexico meal for a while, and I think "bean burrito from Mac's; maybe a tusum." So fine, I wend my way toward the last Mac's Steak-in-the-Rough that I know of, the old drive-in with speakers at Menaul and Jefferson. But from a way's off I see CHAIN LINK FENCING! OH NO!

Tearing it down, I thought, but no. They're remodelling the building (which was indeed a piece of antique crap) and a sign says reopening in November. Well... peachy. Better than "you missed it forever."

So I go to the equally ancient Blake's LotaBurger on Washington south of Menaul, eat my Itsaburger combo and then sit and talk to my cousin Debbie in Amarillo.

And that is my farewell to the local cuisine of Albuquerque. See you in late November, burritos and cheeseburgers.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Joy and Sorrow

Marty's dog, Gudrun, drew her last breath, happy with Marty. She was twelve and a half years old, brilliant and sweet, but having serious physical problems and bleeding from her right nostril for several days. She stayed in the VCA (veterinary hospital overnight), and Marty and Ashlee were there to say goodbye this morning.   I'm glad Ashlee thought to take photos, and that she was there to comfort Marty.

The hospital had little bereavement counseling rooms, so it wasn't done in a cold exam room with any stainless steel or bright lights.  I chose not to be there, mostly because it was hard for me to see Marty in such pain.  Marty is a wonderful son, and Gudrun was a great dog, and sometimes I get frustrated from having no magical powers to heal or preserve.  It's bringing to mind my childhood memories of thinking parents should be able to just FIX things, and make them good and right.  Parents can't fix everything.  

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

New Camera, Owls' Eyes

Holly helped me find a camera I liked, and here is the first photo taken with it.  Marty took it, in my office, as he was setting it up for me.

Here's the guy who set it up for me, and here's how happy I was:

It will do this.  My phone camera will too, but this one does it better and more easily:

Here is Holly, in the place where she works:

And here is the coolest thing I learned today, from looking at an owl skeleton that was mounted in the children's hands-on room at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science:

I learned that their eye sockets are extra deep and very round.   I knew they faced front, but they seem to be even more "face front" than people's are.  (The talons were awesomely big, too.)

The camera, before someone asks, and while the stuff is right at hand, is a Sony Cyber-shot, DSC-H55.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Nice Guys Finish Nice

When Marty was eight and nine, he played ice hockey.  I was at a game once, with my friend Wolfgang.  Marty was plenty fast and confident on skates, and he could move the puck around, but he didn't hold on to it.  We asked him on the way home why he let the other kid get it.  He said "He really wanted it."  It was a kid on his team, but I think Marty would have let the kids on the other team have it if they really wanted it too.

He and Keith returned a bit ago from a weekend SCA tournament campout, Baronial Champions.  I had food waiting for them, and helped them unload.  I asked if they won anything, and Marty said he won... (did some multiplication in his head and said) 42 beers!  He was in a plunder tournament with a six-pack-of-beer entry fee.    But he also was made the Flower of Chivalry. This is an honor given to one person per year by the baroness, for courtesy on the tourney field.

If I find a photo of him getting that award, I'll add it here later.

(corrected 10/7/10 by Sandra...)

Friday, October 01, 2010

Cheap little-old-lady thrills

Keith's motorcycle went on strike when he was on his way to work Monday. Wednesday in some sort of automotive solidarity, the car Holly drives died downtown when she had Clare with her. It caused car shortage.

Today I needed to go out, and Marty let me take his Jeep Wrangler. I've driven it before, but never with all its parts off. No roof, no doors. It was awesome. It's powerful and tight and wiry and zippy.

Even though I did a classic set of mom-errands (doctor's office to get shots for India; post office to mail a book; repair shop to pick up my vaccum cleaner), it's a pretty sexy vehicle.  I can tell why Marty wanted one and why he loves it.

I was never more than three miles from the house. On the way home I went two blocks out of my way to the day-old bread store, just to drive it a little more and to go home where the speed bumps and drainage-intersections are. Yeah. I was cool for a little while.

Here was my passenger: