i dream to someday have shoes instead of these sad shoeboxes on my feet

Every day when I ride to school I pass a billboard ad for US Cellular. It features a bleary eyed little girl inside of a cardboard box and the ad reads:

Believe in something better.

I can't even figure out how to begin with this one.
Believe in something better than this cardboard box?

Are they trying to compare my current cell phone company to a cardboard box, and me to a confused child trapped within my crappy plan?

I searched the google for the blogger backlash against the insanity the must be going on in the head of the Art Director that ok'd the use of this stock photo, let alone the copy. But I only found one, and the guy seems more upset about the choice of font that the fact that this girl trapped in a box is being hawked for cell phones.

Depending on the day, in my head the little girl responds:

"I dream to someday live in a real house"


"What, you don't like my fort?"


odds & ends, sixes & sevens

First off, just so you know, I don't like shopping. The ACT of shopping. I like the new stuff, sure, and I can browse online with the best of them, but actually going to multiple stores over multiple hours, wandering around looking at stuff? It makes me anxious and cranky.

All that is preface to my larger point which is that I just spent SIX (and half!) hours running errands.


How is this possible, you ask? Here's the recipe:
combine one part gone-a-lot-lately
with one part leaving-again-tomorrow
with 3 parts upcoming weddings
and a tablespoon each of:
-schools starts the day we get back
-my eyeglass prescription is about to expire so i have to get those new glasses immediately
-and a list of little items that have been waiting patiently all summer for me to deal with them

Someone should give me a medal.

There was an epic cage-match between Nap & Coffee when I got home, but I am happy to report that Coffee won and the productivity shall continue for the rest of the afternoon.


Notes from the road...

Geography Lesson

Flying over the Southwest always brings to mind the pictures and vocabulary from my junior high geography class...

even Mountain

words, concepts, so abstract to a girl from Northern Michigan, where glaciers rounded and flattened, and trees cover, soften and hide what remains. Geography and geology are so much more apparent out here.


The man in front of me on the plane has an animal carrier from PetCo on his tray table. It is a quarter the size of a shoe box. I am overcome with curiosity . What is in there? Gecko? Snake? Very tiny kitten? And why did he need to bring it on the plane?

Star Power

The band members are obvious, the minute I walk into the airport terminal, even before they are surrounded by fans with cameras flashing. Well, surrounded is hyperbole. Politely approached by one middle-aged man after another... now clothed in polo shirts and golf windbreakers, but clearly they once aspired to something more edgy.
I'm wondering: Where do aging rock stars buy their clothes? I can't think of any place that a 60 year old man could go to buy pants that tight, that black.
Do the two new, 'younger' members, replacing those who left the band, feel they are sacrificing their own stardom, riding the fading coat tails of these older rockers? Or is this life everything they once dreamed of, strumming away in their orange shag bedrooms?


hello good people!

I'm back in the field for another week. I have grand intentions of posting while I'm here, but getting online involves me poaching wi-fi from the ranch office while sitting on a picnic table in the glaring sun I'll try, but I make no promises.

It always takes me a good two days to adjust to a new place/schedule and I think it is intensified here by the fact that I am all by myself all day and all night, every day and every night. My schedule out here is work 5am-ish to about 10:30, then take a break until the late afternoon when the sun is not so intense, and if I'm lucky there are clouds. I spent most of my down time yesterday afternoon walking around in circles in the guest house (pics of it tomorrow/in few days/next week) thinking I'll read! No, I'll nap! Actually, I should work on that spreadsheet... Inevitably the nap wins.

P.S. On my first night here I went into the cute town of Patagonia and had dinner at a place called Velvet Elvis, and while the decor consisted primarily of those technicolor Mexican paintings of the Madonna, there was one large velvet Elvis. If you've been paying attention you'll know that makes two velvet Elvii in one week! I wanted so badly to take a pic of this one too, but a large family was sitting right in front of it, and I didn't want to make a scene.