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Thursday, August 31, 2006

I swear to God, Nana Visitor is hawking the Sharper Image Ionic Breeze under an assumed name, however IMDb informs me she's actually working on "Wildfire," which means she is somewhere in the North Valley.

Dude. That is possibly the nerdiest thing I have ever written. Ever. And there's a bucky ball joke in the current draft of the manuscript. And that's not nearly as nerdy as that lede up there.


Okay, so I was not coming here to pseudostalk a Star Trek actor, seriously. I was actually coming here to talk about the long weekend. We're bouncing between riding the train up to Bernalillo for the New Mexico Wine Festival, going to Balloon Fiesta Park for the Wine and Lifestyle Expo, or heading downtown for the New Mexico Rocks Pin Up Calendar thingy at the Launch Pad.

There's a bit of a financial crunch at play here. Because we're putting all of our loose cash towards the Emergency Vacation, we have about $50 to keep us entertained for the entire weekend. Fifty bucks for tickets, wine purchases and any meals out. We can't do everything; we have to pick and choose.

Currently, the train to Bernalillo is winning out, though there's still the issue of allergies. Bugger. Neither one of us is as enthusiastic about the Lifestyle Expo. And the rock show sounds entertaining, but it would require going downtown on a Saturday night, which sets Adam's teeth on edge. Bugger, bugger.

What are y'all doing? Am I overlooking something awesome here in Albuquerque? Will you be bumbling around in Bernalillo, too? What's the plan, then?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Not to be an alarmist, but we're all gonna die.

Those of you living in more civilized areas with civilized allergians like mold, please, please, please send us allergy care packages. They should include triple ply tissue, Advil C&S, Claritin, Benadryl and at least two bottles of Febreeze Allergen Reducer.

I am not making with the funny.


Migraines suck.

Nothin' new there, but a point I feel like reiterating this morning.

Mine pop up in a rather trippy fashion. First, I get a point of bright white light in my field of vision, a very fast little flash. And then a while later, my periphreal vision checks out, followed by the rest of my sight. I can see light. I can see dark. If I concentrait, I can make out enough shapes to manage dialing a phone or sending off an e-mail by touch. But still? Flyin' blind. This means I've got a twenty minute window to medicate before the pain sets in.

My only course for migraines these days has turned into a mad chug: 600 mils of Advil, a decongestant, caffeine (a Coke or coffee) and then finding a dark room to cower in until the scales fall from my eyes. Advil is reapplied every two hours as needed. If I can follow this model, I'm fine. If I can't? Hello lunch. Nice to see you again.

I went to a neurologist about this a couple of years ago. She put me in an MRI tube, peered at some fuzzy scans of my brain (yes, I have one. Even freakier, it fills my skull, which means there's grey matter behind that fivehead) and announced I had occular migraines and she couldn't find the cause. She pointed at a narrower than normal artery around the base of my skull and said it might be the culprit in the same way Julius Caesar might have committed suicide. She told me to count my blessings that the migraine has chosen to settle mostly in my eyes, which "takes the edge off the pain" and then told me to keep doing what I'm doing.

Advil, decongestant, caffeine, dark room, check. Green chile also seems to be a cure, but then again, green chile is a cure for just about everything.

I run through maybe six migraine episodes a year, sometimes more, sometimes less. Sometimes they're clustered, sometimes I can go for months with just tension headaches or sinus headaches. I keep looking for triggers, and I've decided it's come down to bright lights, allergies, stress and those smarmy eHarmony ads.

Oh, my God. I've just rambled about my head for fifteen minutes. I'm sorry. I suck.

More funny later, I promise.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Adam has an event in Santa Fe and I have obligations here, so it's a split-up Sunday and I was left to do the shopping by myself.

I went through the aisles, pushing the small cart the store very thoughtfully instituted a couple of years ago. It holds just the same volume as a Miata trunk, just enough for two people to survive a week. It was just after nine on Sunday morning, about the same time we always go.

Ah, there's the difference. "We."

Because this morning, I'm flying solo, not engrossed in a list and long running private jokes, and suddenly I realize it is the second round of singles shopping, for when the Saturday night excursions didn't pan out and there's still twenty-four long hours before Monday.

First there's the guy in the faded red t-shirt and cargo shorts who kind of follows the same path around produce and stares at the sweet onions for a little longer than sweet onions deserve. Then there's the Verticle Woman, by which I mean "done up," all the way up. Full makeup, not a hair out of place, strappy sandals that push her up an extra four inches, and that push-up bra? Pushes that cleavage right up to the verge of out. I see her in the deli, frowning at cheese, and then again in the frozen food, frowning at Cool Whip.

I entertained the idea of trying to get Red T-shirt and the Verticle Woman in the same aisle, but meh. She's wearing Chanel No. 5. He's wearing the entire Men's Fragrance counter. It would never work.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

There are kids screaming in front of my house and it's after 10 p.m.

On a school night!

Who lets their six-year-olds go screaming around a neighborhood after 10 on a school night?

Apparently, our stupid neighbors do.

"We've got two options," I said to Adam just a few minutes ago. "Either we start having an f-bomb ladened argument, or we put porn through the surround sound."

Guess which option he picked?

Good news, it worked. Bad news? We're those neighbors now.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Dear Albuquerque-Based Readers and Friends with Frequent Flier Miles,

There has been an idea floated of holding a very small reading sometime in October. And by "reading," I mean I would inflict my prose upon you, but there would be some very cheap wine and pie (maybe?) to soften the blow.

And then because there would be wine and pie (maybe?) to soften the blow, I'd ask for
. . . feedback.

What do you think? Would you be into that? Would you come? Do you know a place to hold this that would be super cheap? Pie?

Drop me a line a drivinginheels at gmail . com and let me know.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Adam brought home the bushell of chile last night. He peeled them, bagged them up, rearranged the freezer, took a bag over to our neighbors, and carted the remaining bags to his parents, who have graciously cleared a shelf in their chile freezer for our chile. When I got home, I made a simple dinner of a dozen big jims stuffed with cheese and sprinkled with kosher salt and baked for 10 minutes. Rellenos without the battering, washed downs with pints of Foster's Special Bitter.

So let's talk about the chile.

It is monster chile. Oh, holy God and all that's god-y and holy, it's monster chile. Mixed in with the ultra hot chile (which was spicy and delicious and evil in itself) were the mutant, nuclear fallout hotter than habenero chiles. We we ate maybe three of these monsters, and went screaming around the living room. You know those cartoons where steam pops out of the characters' ears? Yeah. That was us.

And then we sat back down and ate more.

That's some good eats right there. Y'all run down and get your supply now.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A headline for New Mexico: Chile Crop Endangered as Rains Flood Valley, Force Evacuations

To longtime residents of the Land of Enchantment, this is worse than rising fuel costs. We'll pay $4 a gallon for gas, just don't fuck with the chile.

Joking aside, there are some very soggy people in Hatch who need our help. Donate to the Red Cross now.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I fled the house because I wasn't getting any work done. Instead, I was admiring my chromed nails and certainly not Googling a gaggle of people or reading (former) Mayor Jim Baca's blog while downloading Johnny Cash off iTunes. And while any other day, I'd count the above as being an especially productive Monday, it wasn't working, since I'm kind of facing that page one restart again.

Chrome. Chrome. Chrome.
Chrome. Chrome. Chrome. Bop-bop-bee-bop.

So, here I am at my favorite coffee shop on the corner of Alameda and Hippie Hate, but things? Are different. There's a shrill new barista who SHOUTS EVERYONE'S ORDER, even though the place is as silent as a tomb, given everyone's abandoned the shop for the shiny new Flying Star up the block. And she's kind of snippy in the manner of girls who have a wealth of self-confidence capital and feel no shame in spending it like drunken sailors.

(Yeah, I know the metaphors are getting out of hand. Bear with me. If I go nuts here, I can be more conservative on the restart.)

Also, the soundtrack's out of whack, given the venue. In days of yore, they stuck to mostly soft indie bands and classic jazz. Oh, but every Wednesday, one of the counter girls would finagle Dave Mathews Band "Crash" all the way through, followed by some John Mayer, which was extremely endearing. I like local joints that don't take their hipness quotents too seriously.

But today? First there was the Kenny-G-trying-to-channel-Benny-not-my-uncle-Carter track followed by a bebop-esque French singer who got a little to pleased with the scatting and managed to make the exact sound the cat makes when she has a particularly henious hairball. I'm now listening to Pearl Jam and wondering when they recorded Evenflow in an echo chamber.

I'm stalling. I totally recognize that I'm stalling. It's intimidating to go back to that first page and say, "Let's do this again." I'd much rather blather about mundane details of the process, in a hope of forestalling the inevitable.

I have too much I have to write. Time to get to work.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

I hate to fall into blogger cliche, but I have to talk about the cat.

We've met the cat before. Black cat, white cravat, kind of paunchy? She had a name at one time, but it's been lost to antiquity, so we'll call her "Cat," or "the cat," or "Kitty" if we're feeling saucy.

Yes. The cat. Have I got one for you.

Cat has a passion for British television. I am not making this up. Right now, I'm on the couch upstairs, in front of the Cash in the Attic marathon on BBC America, and --even though it's currently oven roasting temperatures -- the cat is pressed up against me, purring, and watching the telly.

"Watching," in her case involves being curled up on her haunches, her face up, her eyes keenly fixed on the screen, and her tail flicking back and forth. And being pressed up next to me and purring. Eventually, she collapses and falls asleep, but any move to silence the television, she rouses with a "mew?"

Adam didn't believe me, initially. "Yeah, right. The cat does not watch the telly."

"She does. She likes the antiquing programs best."

"Uh huh."

"But really, anything with an accent? She happy."

He mocked me for a few minutes, going so far as to flip on a saved episode of "Spaced" on the Tivo to prove to me the cat didn't care about television. "See? Cult British television, and the cat's nowhere to be found."

Which is when the kitty wandered in and made herself comfortable and started watching.

For about ten minutes, Adam stared at the cat with his mouth hanging open. "She's, um. She's watching."

"The television."

"I thought you were making it up."

"Now switch it over to something more American."

He found a rerun of "Overweight Shlub and the Hot Wife Show" and the cat decided she had better things to do. She hopped down from the sofa and wandered off to lick her butt or hork up a hairball, or otherwise engage in charming feline behavoir. He flipped back to "Spaced."
She wandered back and made herself comfortable.

It's the damnedest thing. If she's cold or lonesome, she'll cuddle no matter what we're doing, but if we're switched over to the Beeb, she's there, man. She's there.

Anyone have any therories as to why my kitty's an Anglophile?

Huzzah! The Fix is back up!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

-- I have learned how to throw playing cards. I will now devote the rest of my life to mastering aim.
-- I'll be saying this in about a week in print, but "Why Moms are Weird" by Pamela Ribon is friggin' hilarious in the hey-quit-writing-about-my-family kind of way.
-- You know this week's Mythbusters would get me to link to this again.
-- I'm serious about the aiming business.
-- I miss the Fix, but I'm enjoying the old school ASCII snark.
-- Now that the terrorists have taken away our toothpaste and coffee, I fully expect the bottom to drop out of the duty-free scotch market.
-- Hee, hee. Duty.
-- Migraines suck. Migraines at work suck my will to live.
-- There is only one thing planned for this weekend, and that thing is buying more coffee.
-- Sarah out.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I didn't realize how many of you came through from Duke City fix until their DNS woes kicked up, and y'all disappeared.

Um, yes, I do check my Sitemeter stats often, why do you ask?

I have to say how delighted I've been to have a handful of "driving in heels blog" queries coming out of Albuquerque over the last twenty-four hours. I'm having a downright Sally Fields moment over here. When I started writing this, I didn't expect I'd have much in the way of a readership -- especially a local readership of people I don't know. Or of people I used to know. Or ex-boyfriends.

Who are you people?

Anyway, thank you. I do appreciate it.


Adam just e-mailed me a clip of Eddie Vedder and Bono singing "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World." This is on top of the sixteen Pearl Jam concert bootlegs he's loaded on my iPod in the last several days, and the all-Pearl-Jam-concerts-all-the-time weekend we just survived.

He's very enthusiastic and wants me to share in it, which reminds me I need to make a copy of "October" for Dan, because I don't think he's convinced I actually own it, and I'm about spreading the gospel of Bono.

No, I don't believe I just typed that either.


I'd talk about the rain, but yeah. What can I say? "Wet good. Soggy bad."

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Oh, I absolutely love silly season. So many tasty F1 morsels, so little time.

-- Wet races are the best races, don't you think? Especially wet races on untested tracks, ala the Hungaroring. The skies open up, engineers scurry about, barking at people in 18 different languages, the drivers make really bad calls about switching tires (I'm looking at you, Scott Speed) and the whole race is thrown in an uproar. Fantastic! I mean, do you think...

-- Jenson Button could have won his first GP after 113 starts, without the rain? I'm voting for a big ol' "heck, no!" but it doesn't tarnish his achievement. He's the first English driver since Johnny Herbert in 1999 to take the top step of the podium, and didn't you just love when nobody knew if the Japanese national anthem was over? And, okay, before we move on to the next item, a clarification for some of the more geographically disinclined readers: No. David Coulthard's 2002 Monaco win doesn't count for England because he is, in fact, Scottish. Yes, there's a difference.

-- Speaking of DC, how kick-ass awesome is the confirmed DC/Webber pairing at Red Bull next season? Answer: So. Friggin'. Awesome. The only way it could be more awesome is if the pit guys dress up as Transformers at Monaco. And now, I'll admitt when Williams cut Webber loose, I was hoping this would be the end result. I just wasn't expecting a deal to be announced so soon, I thought it we'd suffer through at least a month of "Is he going to Renault? Is he going to MacLaren?" before he signed a deal. Now all that worries me is the nagging thought Webber's abysmal luck will transfer teams, and Williams will rebound to podiums and wins, while Red Bull struggles at the back of the pack. Please, if there's a just God in the universe, this won't be the case.

-- Jacques Villeneuve is out of F1. Again. We are not devestated in these parts. Again. Everything he did irritated me, from his car control (Hockenheim, anyone?) to his oversized overalls and self-professed hip-hop lifestyle. I realize the poor chap's chaffeing in Daddy's shadow, but c'mon, I can only spare so much sympathy. Let's see how the NASCAR boys take his hippity-hop affectations.

-- I love how, the deeper we get into the season, the blonder Speed gets.

I know it's not enough to tide you over for the coming F1-free weeks, but, y'know, I'm not Pit Pass.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Congratulations are in order to Jenson Button.

Well done, lad.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

If you were my stalker -- okay, if you were Adam's stalker -- this evening, you might have found yourself hiding in the yuccas behind the house, peering in through the kitchen window (hoping for a glance of that handsome, handsome man), and asking "eh, wha?"

Because I know how it looked. One minute, we were turning off HBO and rounding up the ferrets for bed. The next, we were in full crisis mode in the kitchen. And while your evening spent crouching in the bushes might have been made (The blinds were up! The lights were blazing! Adam came outside and set fire to his hand!), you might have also wondered, what was all the hubub, bub?


Just as we were headed to bed, Adam noticed the wall above our kitchen sink was crawling, teaming, black with the scourge some call annoying-but-harmless and I call a call to arms. (Wait...)

In a shining example of tract home construction, the suckers were pouring through the sealed kitchen window. We think we found the very first wave of invaders, as at 8 p.m., the wall was white and not exactly moving, if you know what I mean, and the discovery came at twenty past ten. There were still scores of the bastards, black buggy ants, larger than sugar ants, smaller than fire ants, but still friggin' ants.

We killed as many as we could with our thumbs and paper towels, and then lept to action in our own different ways. I cleared the counters of everything and started scowering. Adam spritzed the cracks with spray adhesive. And, okay, blasting the window with spray adhesive might not be the best idea ever, but I'll regret that another day. It stopped the buggers now. We're happy.

Once the security breach was seeled, Adam went outside to look for the outer breach. After a minute, he came back inside and said, "You know what'd be great? WD-40 and a lighter!"

A couple of minutes later, he came back inside and said, "You know what's great for removing unwanted hair from your hands?"

"WD-40 and a lighter?"

"Fireballs are awesome. Hurty, but awesome."

Yeah, what can you do but keep on scrubbing?

I know that most people -- normal people -- would have killed the first wave of invaders and then headed to bed, and really, I envy those people. It means they didn't have to live in the apartment from hell, the one we moved into about seven years ago, where the upstairs neighbor weighed 4,000 pounds and liked to imitate Michael Flattery, the carpets smelled of the previous tennants' dogs, the landlords wrote nastygrams signed "LYLAS!" and the walls, all of them, were infested with ants.

We didn't find the ants right away. They had the courtesy to show up just after the grace period of "we take it back, you can have your slum!" Like, the morning after. They hung out for three months, and we begged, begged, begged the landlords to send pest guys to fix the problem. The landlords refused. Then the frost hit and the ants didn't come back until February, which the landlords siezed as an opportunity to claim victory via Orkin.

Liars. When the ants returned, they brought reinforcements. We were kind of lazy, we weren't as tidy as we could have been. They were aware of this and exploited it, groupthink-style.

By March, it was impossible to leave any sort of food out on a kitchen counter for more than five minutes. Seriously. It was: DING-DONG! Pizza's here! Oh, great, put it over there, I'll get the Cokes, where's the pizza? It was where that circular black teaming mass is. Oh. -- bad.

We tried everything. We called our own pest guy, we tried bleach and borax and bait. We started cleaning. We finally persuaded the landlords to send us a pest guy, who said, without sounding particularly sorry, that the ants were probably coming up through cracks in the foundation and living in our walls and there was nothing he could do.

By the time we moved in September, we had stopped using the kitchen, because it was too gross. Drowned ants in the dishwasher gross. We resorted to paper plates and eating out. A lot.

So you can see why we'd freak out at the first sign of a problem. We've been in the house for four years without a problem, even though the neighborhood's built on an ant-infested piece of real estate. We've been vigilant. We've been clean. We've been living in drought conditions. I swear, one friggin' wet summer and the little wrigglers just thought they could waltz in to avoid the damp.

Not in my house.

The Pearl Jam/U2 concert is go, go, go!

We have tickets.

I'm still in shock.

Friday, August 04, 2006

I was going to post about the most excellent synergy of "Talledega Nights" and Juan Pablo's recent move to NASCAR. I was going to post about chile freezers. Instead, you're getting another whining post about not being able to sleep.

This is Insomnia Night #5.

The first night, it was cute. The second night, it was not nearly as cute. The third night was annoying. Last night was cruel bordering on unusual.

And I've tried all the old remedies: cutting caffeine after 6 p.m., reading a half-hour before turning off the light, popping Tylenol PM like popcorn, getting up and coming back to bed (repeatedly), all those things.

Not helping.

Also not helping is the voice in the back of my head convinced that -- in the span of five days -- I've managed to totally rework my internal clock for a 3 a.m. turn in, and maybe it's the fault off the monsoon.

I don't know what the hell's going on. I'm just glad the work week's almost finished, though that same little voice is saying, "Yeah. Just as soon as you reboot into your 'normal' sleeping habits, Monday will roll around and you'll be back to square one, genius."

The little voice in my head gets cranky after eleven.

Sigh. It's a quarter to three and I'm not even weary.

If anyone's got a big bag of elephant tranqs, could you give me a call?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

What did I say this morning? Next week. Meet me back here next week. Not tonight. Not tomorrow. Next week. And what did you do? You came back anyway. And what did I do? Reinforce that behavoir by posting.

Seriously. No cookies for either of us.

Bad, bad us.

Okay, I'll explain what I'm doing here. That whole under-the-gun business? I've been given a temporary stay of execution. The work load remains the same, but now I have the time to run a quality control pass. That is, y'know, if I don't putz around for three weeks doing other things. Which I swear, I'm not gonna do.



I am under the gun, deadline-wise, so if you see me and I'm:

A) Crying
B) Rocking back and forth in a corner
C) In the fetal position
D) Plotting the death of a random cheerful person
E) All of the above

Please just pat me on the head, hand me a cup of coffee (creamed and Splenda'd to hell, thank you) and tell me it will all be okay.

I'll meet you back here in about a week.

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