Monthly Archives: December 2014
New Year’s Eve
Cold outside. 13° this morning. And it is cloudy—my New Year’s present from the weather gods. Warm inside. Perhaps 80°. Or more!
I have been thinking about blogging on this small break. And why I do it. Because I like to write. Answer #1.
I post to four blogs, each with a slightly different raison d’être.
This blog, Today X 365 (marjorieneset.com) functions a bit like a daily journal for me—one that I can share with family and friends. Short posts with lots of photos, mostly about family food everyday life New Mexico. Again kind of like a diary but without the occasional bad words or tacky references to non-friends or excessive grumbling about the sun (well there is more than a little of the latter) that you would have written in one of those old-fashioned paper diaries that no one will ever see.
Some of this blog represents the kind of communication we used to have in person or over the phone…but the truth is many of us prefer to interact in cyberspace which manages to be too personal and too impersonal and just right all at the same time. How many wine-infused gatherings have you been at where the chatter was forced and boring and you would rather have been home reading it all on Facebook with a better brand of wine in your glass? Or you have wanted to tell your family/friends interested in food what you’re cooking for dinner but it’s not worth several phone calls—instead you take a picture, it becomes a post and you have ‘shared’ with those committed to reading your blog. Yay, cyberspace.
Almost 2015. Tomorrow I’ll think about the meaning of 2014. Today it’s still here and, while personally a good year for me, it’s okay to be sad for the losses of the year for so many. Planes down; kids hungry and kidnapped and raped and shot; intelligence, good will and resources squandered…
Maybe 2015 will be better for the world? Maybe. If it weren’t so cold I’d go outside and take a meaningful photo. How’s this instead?
City Wakes Up
I was out and about very early Thursday morning–almost the coldest so far–with actual Weather lingering about the mountains. So. Albuquerque is not a beautiful city. But it’s mine.
A December Friday Night
Anything different? Anything special? Anything I can share that would be of the slightest interest to you? The day was busy with general workplace stuff. Then I went to the gym. Not making it interesting so far am I?
I think it’s getting better though. Al Jazeera is doing its usual job of actually providing news. And tonight there is a show about what the West did to the Arab world during WW1. Lawrence Of Arabia, a smartly written, very informative book about that very subject, hooked me into this generally obscure (to us) piece of history. So I’m excited about that. Doesn’t take much does it?
I’m having a glass of my favorite wine, the Stump Jump, Vintage 2011 (a very good year) from Australia. I only had a little left so I filled the glass with water to make it last longer. Do connoisseurs of fine wine do that too?
I killed my little lemon cedar Christmas tree (from Whole Foods). Dead. Dry and crisp. Very dead. How did I do that in two weeks? I’m sad because I meant to plant it in a big beautiful pot right after the holidays and live with it for a long time.
Al Jazeera reports on a moving and brilliantly-conceived art show in a New Orleans gallery show; it’s called Guns in the Hand of Artists and I wish we could bring it here. Maybe we can. I think I will call that gallery Monday and see if the show travels. I’m writing a note in my Daytimer to do this as I speak…write I mean.
AJ report on Bernie Madoff, told through his former secretary. I think many of us thought of this as bad but that somehow less serious than it might have been because when “investors” lose their money it’s rich people losing some of their (probably ill-gotten) funds that they didn’t really need anyway. Not true. But that’s the way we 99% have come to look at the world. Thanks to Wall Street. The Government. The Corpocracy. Us Sheep. The show is named In God We Trust. Yup, that’s us. Americans. In god (money—you know…the American Dream) we trust).
Okay, I’m out of Wine&Water. Time for some of Wolfgang’s Free Range Chicken Noodle Soup. We are very politically correct in Albuquerque. To finish. A day. An okay day.
Interior Design—the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!
THE GOOD: Omar painted all weekend and now my office definitely represents the new 2015 me. Sleek, contemporary…not too hot, not too cold, just right. Oh wait, there are just a few jarring notes—unsleek, old clunky things. That would be…the office chairs…and the 2014 me. But the face lift, tummy tuck and ear hair removal will fix all of that before the end of the year.
Seriously, this black and gray idea of mine was brilliant. My maps and calendar and a new piece of N4th art will go up, marring the present pristine look of it all…but I’m sure enough of the sleek contemporaneity will remain to properly launch 2015.
THE BAD AND THE NEARLY (ALMOST COMPLETELY) UGLY: The photo of a perfect book-lovers Christmas tree was posted on Facebook. I was enchanted. Not only do I love books and not want to put up a big real tree, but I was thinking of moving my crime novel bookcase out to the newly tarted up back porch/laundry room. So, I said to myself, I’ll create a tree from the books, get the bookcase into its new location, buy ten bucks worth of lights and feel all creative and celebratory. Bad idea.
Let me be the first to share the news. The Facebook picture lies. Either a very clever crafty-ish person made that book tree or it’s photoshopped by an evil elf.
Here is the actual authentic story of the making of a book tree for Christmas. Maybe the fact I am not a Christian OR that New Year’s is my favorite holiday, not Christmas, OR that I’m extraordinarily clumsy when it comes to making or assembling anything has jinxed my well-meaning efforts.
SEE FOR YOURSELF.
With each job comes a work space, frequently called The Office. Big offices with windows or the passenger seat of your car. Sometimes there’s only a counter, a kitchen table or a platform.
Since offices are the places where many of us live out much of our lives they are worth contemplating for a moment. The history of my spaces for doing my work goes something like this.
First job, board marker at Cargill Inc. in Wayzata, Minnesota. Yes, a very old-fashioned position. Although Cargill has taken over much of the food world for better or worse, generally worse I think, back then it probably wasn’t quite so greedy—but I don’t know that because I was one of those pretty little high school graduates from a small Minnesota town come to work in the big city and I wasn’t paying attention.
There was Oscar, the grain buyer god, and we girls posting the price quotes on a giant blackboard as they came in over something like a ticker tape machine I think. It’s been awhile….
No desk at that job. Moved to Florida which was the next thing those pretty young girls from the rural north did, although California was also a destination. In Florida I served morning coffee at the NCO club; no desk but I met my first and only ex-husband there.
Got married, had kids, worked at dead end jobs with not even a sign of my own space in sight. The counter in Sears credit department was as good as it got. But then college promised something a little grander eventually, right? Not so fast. A degree in Secondary Ed. teaching history with no accompanying sports licensure got me into a lot of teachers’ lounges as the sub of the day. Working on a Masters had me leaning against yet one more counter at the Minneapolis Salvation Army, downtown center.
Then my luck changed. My own desk. True, it was at McGovern for President headquarters and I was making $25 a week or so…but as volunteer coordinator— I. Had. A. Desk.
So the story goes. There were some other jobs, usually in conjunction with a main one—that old single mom routine. Several of them involved the front seat of my car. No, it’s not what you’re thinking…more like being a surveyor for the Gallup Poll or doing a field study for NM State University in Gallup.
Then I went to work for NM State Government and finally had my own desk. Better yet, my next gig was the City of Albuquerque where eventually I had a spacious private office at the KiMo with big windows overlooking Central Avenue. Wow. Definitely the high point of my office life.
Which brings me to today. Cleaning and organizing my office so it can be painted over the weekend. It’s a nice office I have here as executive director of North Fourth Art Center. True, there are no windows, and with a lot of students and staff using the same facilities it’s all quite far removed from having a key to the executive bathroom. Still it is my own private office and it’s almost as big as the Tech Director’s space, but then he has to keep all that equipment with him. Whereas all I must keep with me are a desk, a computer, a few maps and a flip chart or two. The computer enables me to check in ever so infrequently with my ‘friends.’ You know who you are. I make cute newsletters instead of perusing the typical office porn we always hear about—but then we’re mostly girls here so interest in porn is probably pretty limited. Another one of those things I don’t know for sure? The maps serve as my office windows, I glance up or gaze longingly, and there’s the whole world. Which I can access as soon as I work enough days to earn enough vacation….
Sometimes a change is in order. With new paint colors I might be more efficient. With a new work table I might be more enthusiastic. With new pictures on my wall I might be more art appreciative. With newly-painted little green tables I might feel … fresher? Greener? Springier? But the maps will return. There’s the world…there it is. The Entire Compete Whole World.
The Gym and All That
Everyone should exercise. Everyone. But especially people who are old(er). Exercise will keep our mind, muscles, bones strong. Keep us going. Keep us out of The Home.
I go to a wonderful gym. Pres Healthplex. For years. With several of the same people—really nice funny friendly people whom I like a lot. They’re all a little younger than me but not by that much and I pretty much keep up. In fact I may be a bit ahead of a couple. Unless I have not gone for a long time—which is often
It is just that I am so bored with the idea of going to the gym. My life is gym-consumed in this way—I am either going regularly and feeling self-righteous but rushed because I must get to work very early to justify taking off early to go to the gym—which means I cannot spend that morning hour drinking coffee and planning my whole (rest of) life—and one pretty much needs to plan one’s whole life every morning or it can get away from you—like this sentence just did….
Or. Because most of the time I am not going regularly I am constantly thinking about how I should and putting the times I intend to go in my calendar—only to cross them out when I don’t go. The guilt. The lost muscle tone. The mornings I put on my stretchy clothes for work because then I can go straight to the gym but I don’t so then I just feel silly being in my gym clothes (as opposed to my jeans) all day. My kids saying, ‘we’re really proud of you mom, because you exercise a lot….’ Which makes it even worse. Oh, the guilt.
One of my nice gym friends called this weekend to invite me to a potluck next Sunday. She had to call because I have not been to the gym for awhile…quite awhile. When I heard her voice on the phone I felt exactly like in the 6th grade when I skipped school for the first time and the principal called me in for a talk. Guilty! I was so grateful to be forgiven for cutting gym with a party invitation, I mentally gave her a Verizon-borne thank you hug. Never mind how I feel about parties in general.
I’ve made a new plan. River walks every holiday and weekend I am off work. That is what I did over this four-day holiday and it made my body feel healthy and my soul feel sanctimonious. The walk is only about 2 ½ miles but that still counts as more than walking from the couch to the refrigerator to the laundry room. Then every other month I will go to the gym five days a week. That way I will have something to look forward to—not going to the gym—during the month I’m going regularly. Also that way my body won’t get used to the same old exercises and stop responding which is apparently what happens if one is too consistent.
Seems like a win-win to me.