Archive for the 1 Category

The Google and Old Friends

Posted in 1 on February 21, 2009 by xxxicana

So, there’s this thing people do with the google — they google their own names [ego surfing].  I am SO guilty of it — I think a lot of academics do it, they might not admit it, but they do.  After all, in academia, we don’t have much more than our reputations (social capital is how some refer to it).  It is sort of like compulsively checking your investments; is the dow up or down; should I buy more shares of this or that (as if I know anything about finances).

Anyway, I recently received an email out of the blue from a friend from a long time ago in a galaxy far far away . . . .

Apparently he and another friend were wondering what had happened to me and used the good old google to locate me.  As a result, I was updated on the haps of several people that I use to hang with back in the early 80s when I was much thinner, sported leg warmers, and drank cheap beer.  My, how times have changed.   Thank god I don’t wear leg warmers, I’d like to be thinner, but am resigned to being “voluptuous,” and most importantly  . . .  I DON’T DRINK CHEAP BEER anymore.

mike-carleen-ace5

Many thanks to Shawn for sending the photo.  His comment was, “I don’t remember you being so short.”  My first thought was, jeez, I can’t believe I actually let Michael touch me!  Michael is the one in the satin jacket — the 80s equivalent of leg warmers for men.  The other guy, holding the coors bottle, is Ace.  Interesting story about Ace is that he and I went to high school together but didn’t know each other at the time.  Well, I knew who he was . . . just about one of the geekiest guys at school.  He and a pal used to ride their (so they thought) gnarly BMX bikes around campus a lot.  We met up a few years later via Shawn who kept on telling me, oh, you’ve just got to meet ACE.  We actually went out a few times . . . but one of us was too strange for the other  . . . or vice versa.  Keep in mind that I am fairly close to being the female version of Dwight Schrute.  [side story:  Mister Man and I laughed our asses off over the episode of Dwight on Second Life].

Here’s a photo of Shawn back then . . .

shawn-samurai-cowboy78

I don’t really like to engage in too much nostalgia, but hangin’ out with Shawn, Andy, Ace, and Michael was pretty fun. Shawn worked at a video game repair shop and we used to go in and play Tron or Space Invaders for hours.   I got my first really bad hangover drinking with those guys — off of pepperming schnapps — the true mark of a novice!  I met Shawn through Andy who was a classmate in Political Science at CSUF.  Here’s a photo of Andy (the one in hat) with Ace (the one in the dress —  damn I hated it when guys looked better than me in a dress).

andy-ace57

Andy was truly a great friend . . . so much so that he refused to give his blessing to my marriage, although he and Shawn did visit me shortly after the birth of my now adult offspring.   I am waiting for Andy to respond to my email — hey!  Andy!  Write back already!!!

So, what happens when more than 25 years go by?  Here’s a photo of my sis Shelly and me:

car-and-shell

I’m the one with the Nebraska T-shirt.  What happens after 25 years is that, well, in my case, I’m older, fatter (oops, I mean more voluptuous), more forgiving, more laid back, less militant, but still WAY TOO COOL!!

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I said I’m a Quitter — Not a Loser

Posted in 1 on February 6, 2009 by xxxicana

im-a-quitter

Hey, all you peeps out there . . .  send me congratulatory messages — I quit smoking TWO years ago!!  So, in lieu of flowers at my premature funeral, shoot me an emoticon!

In praise of spicy food

Posted in 1 on January 23, 2009 by xxxicana

Dinner last night was Thai green curry with shrimp and tofu . . . spicy and yummy.  green_curry(note: this is not my photo)

Onion Tears and I were discussing a while back the virtues of chili.  In addition to being one of the best food flavorings, chilis provide important vitamins (esp. C) and other phytochemicals that can keep one healthy.  One study suggests that that it has anibacterial properties (like onions and garlic).  I was telling Mister Man last night that I believe chilis are the key to good health.  There’s nothing like that sweat that comes over you, the subtle burn from mouth to stomach, the wonderful flavor of the different varieties.

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I think I’m on a post-Obamathon slump — the parties are all over and it is down to business.  I’m thrilled to see Obama take full charge of the office and his first actions as President.  These are the times that so many of us have dreamed about — but dreams can be dangerous if we allow ourselves to become complacent.

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Otherwise, I’ve been pretty busy with the new semester and putting together the NAES conference program.  I am on a MWF rotation and it REALLY sucks!  Class periods are only 50 minutes — it is very difficult to keep my lectures to this short time frame (I like tangents and quirky facts to pepper my lectures).   I’ve got a great seminar on Archaeological theory — lots of good talkers in the class (for those not in the know, Nebraskans tend to not be very talkative in class).  I am also teaching a class on Indigenous People of Latin America.  Lots of fun.  Anyway, it is Friday . . . I have a ton of work to do . . .  so TTFN!

Spot Update – since NO ONE has asked

Posted in 1 on January 13, 2009 by xxxicana

spot-tom

Spot in a makeshift “snuggli”

Oh, BTW, Spot is recuperating from his cold.  It did occur to me to send an email to Spot’s brothers in Bakersfield that his health was failing  . . . thereby extorting money from the Bakersfield clan . . . but since they were so wonderful in hosting the Christmas celebrations I decided against it.

Christmas in Bakersfield

Posted in 1 on January 11, 2009 by xxxicana

bakersfield

Finally, I’m posting about my trip to Calfornia.  While Mister Man and I spent most of our time in the OC/LA area, we did venture northward to the mecca of Country Western music in California — Bakersfield.  My sis and her family reside in this now sprawling city.  What had been mostly an agricultural/oil field backwater is now a growing, growing community (lots of LA refugees priced out of the housing market).    For a couple of Nebraskans, Bakersfield feels much like home (only it is A LOT greener in Nebraska).  My dad quips that there are only two types of radio stations, but in two languages — Country Western/Norteño and Evangelical.

But, if Bakersfield was good enough for Buck, Merle, and Dwight (ok, he’s not from there, but is part of the “sound”) it’s good enough for Mister Man and me.  We had a great time spending Christmas with my sister’s family.  Everyone was there including the “West-Carranzas” . . .  not to be confused with the East-Carranzas (sounds like an Island chain, no?).

Christmas is about two things — presents and food.  Onion Tears and I took over cooking duties Christmas Eve while the pious were at mass.  It was great to cook with her and we easily coordinated the production of four pizzas to please the various dietary and taste requirements of the whole family (cheese, pepperoni/mushroom, veggie, vegan).  I did get assistance from Matt, age 8, who aspires to be a chef.  Here’s a photo:

cooking(you can just see Matt behind Larisa)

Once the devout and nominal Catholics returned home, we settled into comfortable conversations in and around the kitchen while the pizzas cooked.

the-menThe guys engaged in Man talk . . . at one point I yelled out “I need a Man” (to take out the trash) .  . . the only one to come to my rescue was 8 year old Matt!

Shelly and Larisa caught up on what’s been happening:

shelly-larisaOMG! Is Shelly wearing a Christmas themed sweater?  They say that eventually we all turn into our mothers . . . but really, there are better ways !  (LOL).

kitchenControlled Chaos in the Kitchen!

After we were all sated on pizza and beer (except for the boys, of course) we sat around a bit.  Ross and Matt couldn’t wait to open presents (neither could I!!)

rossHere’s Ross trying to pick out what he’ll open first.

mattGreat shirt, Matt!!

Opening presents with the Sanchez family is a highly ritualistic event (Mister Man couldn’t believe how long it took).   We all take turns, the present is opened with high expectations, and then everyone ooohs and aaaahs over the item.  Fortunately there was plenty of beer and wine to keep the evening going.

Some highlights:

nathanWhat every goth guy needs — a nutcracker.  My mom has made it a custom now to get a nutcracker for Nathan.

granma-and-granpaGrandma and Grandpa strike a pose.

no-more-tearsNo more tears!  Mister Man found onion cutting goggles for Larisa — I wonder if she’s used them yet.

dadBuckwheat Pancake mix for my dad all the way from War Eagle Mill in Arkansas – it was the only thing he specifically requested for Christmas.  [check out their website at http://www.wareaglemill.com%5D.  Mister Man and I stop at War Eagle Mill every time we are in Rogers, Arkansas — great gifts, grains, and stuff!

shelly-gets-a-new-xmas-sweaterShelly gets a new Christmas Sweater (hey, it goes perfect with her Micky Mouse Crocs!)

larisaClearly, Nathan spoils Larisa rotten!

too-cuteThese two are too cute!

Just a few photos from Christmas — there are a lot more.  This was a very special time for me since I hadn’t seen all my family in one place for a couple of years.  It was wonderful to be “home”  — not so much in the locational sense, but that warm comfort zone of being together and appreciating each other as family and individuals.

Well, that’s all for today’s blogging.  Maybe more tomorrow.

Bettie Page, R.I.P.

Posted in 1 with tags on December 12, 2008 by xxxicana

Dear Readers,

Get out your black lingerie or fetishwear to commemorate the passing of one of the great icons of the 2oth century – Bettie Page.  We must honor the woman that made fetishism & BDSM look fun and wholesome!

bettie-bizarre

Bye bye, Bettie . . .  we’ll miss you!

It shoulda been Bill

Posted in 1 on December 2, 2008 by xxxicana

I’m very disappointed that Obama has chosen Hillary over Bill for Secretary of State >:-( Not only does Bill have better creds, he is a negotiator and peace maker – I think Hill is a tad hawkish.

But, at least we will have Bill at home working as Secretary of Commerce. I hope that Obama recognizes that Bill pulled a lot of Latinos off their nalgas to get and vote for Obama! Nevertheless, it is amazing how quickly Obama is setting up housekeeping and working in a proactive manner to address the myriad problems our nation is facing. GWB, on the other hand, is lamest lame duck ever. At least he has had the good sense to just stay out of the way!

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I haven’t posted for a while . . . that whole Thanksgiving thing kept me busy or recuperating! Mister Man and I avoided the mall on Black Friday. Instead, we were online for the entire day doing our shopping. What a relief! No crowds, no fist fights in the parking lot over the closest spot, no waiting in long lines to sit on Santa’s lap! We had a tiny bit of snow on Friday as well — just flurries really. But enough to make it feel like Christmas time. We did venture out Sunday night to pick up a new flat screen TV! I ordered the TV, a cabinet, and DVD/VCR player online — so all we had to do was pull up in back for loading. But NOOOOOO, Mister Man continued to scan the TVs and decided that we really NEEDED a 40″ fancy ass model instead of the much less expensive 32″ model we had originally selected. I think with men, there is no TV screen that is large enough!

new-tvSo, now we have this behemoth in the living room . . . . but, the resolution is FAB!!! I guess he was right on that one (shh, don’t tell him I said he was right, he’ll gloat for days!).

Well, that’s all for today. I’ve got a ton of grading to do . . . TTFN!