Surreality

This is a follow up to my earlier post today.  It's been a really surreal day.  A few people in the office were crying.  My boss was working from home today so I sent him an email to let him know what was going on.  He gave people the option to go home if they chose to but most chose to stay.

I sat at my desk pretty much all day and didn't really leave at all unless I had to.  I kept thinking about this man's family.  They must have so many unanswered questions right now.  That poor family.  This man was probably someone's Dad or husband.  My eyes fill up just thinking about it.

The body stayed on the roof in plain view all afternoon while the police did their investigation.  What was so odd is that from where I was standing on the 14th floor I could look down and still see the world going on like nothing had happened.  There was the body on the roof still covered by the blue sheet and then down below there were actually union workers protesting infront of the building where the man jumped or fell.  People were still getting lunch at the restaurant that this body was on.  Catering was still being delivered to nearby office buildings.  It was the strangest thing to witness. 

I don't know if they finally took the man away.  I have not wanted to leave my desk.  But it is after 5pm and I need to go home.  Tonight is Latin dance.  I will not be partaking.  I'm going to go home and sit quietly with my husband for awhile.

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Some Things Shouldn’t Happen But Do…

I've just returned to my desk.  Our receptionist called me to let me know that there was an emergency outside.  I ran up front to catch a glimpse of police cars, news crews, and an ambulance milling around on the street below the high-rise I work in.

On the one story building below, covered under a bloody blue sheet, was a body.  Someone jumped or fell to their death from the high-rise next door. This just happened within the past 10 minutes.  I feel completely numb. 

 

http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/2008/07/30/20080730phxfall0731-ON.html

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To Emu I say Thank You!

To Emu:  Thanks for filling me in on all the finer points of Australian slang!  I stayed up way past my bedtime but it was so worth it.

 

I haven't had an opportunity to use the words 'wanker' or a 'tosser' (hee, hee –those words still make me laugh!) but it's early yet.  😉

While chatting with the gals in the office today I asked if anyone had heard of 'Emo.'  Apparently that is used here in the states as well.  I'm so behind the times!

Thanks again for making me laugh so hard I almost fell out of my chair!

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Fire, Water, & Gong Meditation

If variety is truly the spice of life then my friends would be the garden blend with a dash and a half of chili powder thrown in for good measure.

 

My friend Monica is very much into the whole New Age movement.  She is vegetarian, wears her hair shorn to a quarter of an inch long, and has been known to disappear into the Arizona woods with her dog and a tent for weeks at a time.  Over the weekend she and I met at an Alternative Health Center for the Fire, Water, & Gong Meditation.  I thought, what the heck.  It's different any ways.  The picture to the right is the fire and water portion.  Each person had to take a candle from the center and meditate on it.  Then the water bottles were to be concentrated on while thinking of compassion.    We had 15 minutes to do this until a guy named James struck the gong signifying the end. 

People sat around this circle on yoga mats.  They sat in the 'lotus' position with their palms up.  I sat Indian style and had a hard time keeping my leg from falling asleep.  Apparently I was the only one where I was most likely surrounded by seasoned professionals.

I would like to add that I don't so much as even read my horoscope.  I've heard of these things but this was the first time I had ever been to one.  Monica is very spiritual in an unconventional way.  Last year on my birthday she gave me a book called The Teachings of Abraham.  I was thinking it had something to do with the Old Testament of the Bible.  Silly me.  It was about invoking your spirit guide.  Um, well, let's just say it's still underneath the end table. 

 

After 15 minutes James hits the gong and everyone blows out their candles.  Mine tips over and spills wax all over the tile.  Everyone lays back on their mats with their palms up, thus beginning the 'gong' portion of the meditation.  I honestly did not know what I was getting myself into.  Basically I layed in a darkened room while a giant Chinese gong was hit over and over again.  It reverberated throughout the small room until I could feel it in my finger tips.  It had a haunting sound that at first made me feel uneasy.  Then I must have drifted into some strange dream state.  I felt like I was under a purple ocean looking up as waves of sound crashed over me.  I could see lines of color going by.  Then amazingly enough I started to dream I was at home and that I was yelling at Ruben to turn the TV down.  That was pretty funny. 

Personally though I could think of much better ways to spend meditating than to a giant gong for 45 minutes.  I once saw a cartoon where a cat (Tom from Tom & Jerry fame?) ran into a bell while chasing a mouse (Jerry?).  The wise little mouse rings the bell and the cat is left vibrating down the street.  That is exactly how I felt.  I literally had my bell rung!  (pun intended)  It was like trying to get a good night's sleep in a bell tower with a sadistic monk constantly ringing the darn bell every 10 seconds.  After 45 minutes of this we were through.  Monica and I emerged into the bright Phoenix sunlight.  She asked me how I felt.  My head was killing me!  A day later and it still is.  Monica said that it was because it cleansed me of my toxic energy.  Toxic energy?  I guess it was suppose to balance my Chaka Khan or my chakras, or whatever it is kids are calling it these days.  But it seems pretty obvious to me, energy or no energy, if you sit in a room with someone banging on a Chinese gong for 45 minutes, you will undoubtedly get a headache.  My Mother could have told me that.  Maybe I should have called her before leaving the house.  She would have talked some sense into me.  My headache was so bad last night that I actually ended up leaving a BBQ Ruben and I were at, and coming home to get sick. 

I think my days of guided meditation are over –at least the portions that involve large noisy instruments.  I don't mess with Monica's Buddha and she doesn't mess with my Jesus, but I'm glad though that I know her and that she is constantly exposing me to new trains of thought.  We have a mutual respect of each other's views.  My house must look like a shrine of sorts with my religious statues and collections of Mexican Catholic folk art.  Although I'm hardly the type to stand outside the state house wielding my rosary beads.  My house is a shrine and my car is a private place of prayer. 

Albeit a quiet place of prayer!  😉

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The Simpler Things Are The Finest Things

I have two things to say: first, I never thought I'd be blogging about breakfast cereal, and second, my husband rocks!

On his Sunday morning trip to the grocery store I asked him to pick me up this cereal.  Our local market just started carrying it and I used to only be able to get it at a health food store.

Apparently there was a sale today (hence the two boxes) and I will be in peanut butter loving bliss for the next week and a half! 

This was my favorite dish as a single woman.  It tastes like Capt'n Crunch Peanut Butter cereal (the healthy adult version) and provokes memories of Saturday morning cartoons like 'Scooby-Doo.'  Another swell thing about this cereal is that it doesn't turn your mouth to shreds when you are done.  Gotta love that! 

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Transformation…Hair we go (Part 1)

A few weeks ago I had posted that I would be changing hair color real soon.  Well, last night was the night.  It didn't turn out as dramatic as I thought it would, which in the end turned out to be a good thing as I was starting to panic midway through.

This goofy picture to the left I will consider the 'Before' picture (couldn't find anything else).

Thursday night I hemmed and hawed whether I should still do this.  I'm not used to spending any more than $6 on hair care.  Ruben and I sat in the livingroom (where we only sit if we are having a serious conversation or we have company) and discussed this.  He told me to go for it.  I actually had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I was actually scared!

                                 Before (above)

 

I forgot to bring the picture of the girl whose hair I loved and posted to my blog a few weeks ago.  Rats!  As it turned out though, where my hair is so dark, the stylist, Chris, decided that she would start by lightening the roots and weaving in some darker colors to make it all blend in.  She will be lightening and blending in the roots for quite some time.  Apparently this whole process will take about a year.  I will probably document these changes here. 

She did warn me that within the next couple of months I may need to wear my hair up until enough has grown out.  We'll see.

The picture to the right is the 'After.'  My hair is still a little wet but there are actually blond hair extensions in place to give it some highlights.

 

                               After

<—–Here is the back.  Picture compliments of Ruben.  Taken on location in the Man-Cave.

The whole experience was really fun.  It has been absolute ages since a professional has touched my hair.  There's something to be said for having your scalp massaged by someone who knows what they're doing and also for having a product used on your hair that you most likely can't buy in a grocery store for under $5 like I'm used to. 

Chris was wonderful.  She is really passionate about hair and it shows in everything she does. 

I think I will like this although the change has been scary.  After being a brunette for all of my adult life, it feels like an end of an era.  It's not a huge change yet but little by little my whole head will be the color of those blonde extensions.  Wow.  Turning 40 has been interesting to say the least.  Stay tuned…. 

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A Sure Fire Way to Annoy Your Husband…

Ruben is an 'early to bed, early to rise' kind of guy.  I am prone to spurts of silliness at the most inopportune times.

I was hanging out in the Man-Cave last night (as the Man of the Man-Cave had already gone to bed) watching a reality show where thugs can be transformed into gentleman, when I just got tired and crawled in next to Ruben.  Where it is summer and all, I have removed the comforter and we use a single sheet.  On nights where the thermometer still reads 110 after sundown, a sheet, if anything is all that you need.

Ruben was sound asleep until  I got in so I pulled a portion of the sheet over me.  This apparently was enough to wake him a little, and he turned over, taking half the sheet with him.  I said, "hey, now I'll be cold!"  If even.

He replies in a half groggy voice, "Here," and thrusts half of the sheet over me.  When he turns back over the sheet goes with him.

I thought this was a good of time as any to break into song.

"Oh NOBODY knoooooowwwwwwwwwws  the trouble I have SEEEEEEEEEN!  Nobody KNOWS the trouble I have SEE-"

"SHUT UP!" says my husband.

"Wait a minute.  Did you just tell me to shut up?"

"Yes!"

"Oh."  30 seconds pass.  "But honey?"  No answer.  "Honey?"

"What!" he yells.

"Did I mention that I love you?  And oh yeah, one other thing…………..Oh NOBODY knows the trouble Ruben has seen!  Nobody KNOWS the trouble Ruben has SEEEEEN!"

I heard it before I felt it.  Whoosh!  A pillow came flying over to my side of the bed and landed on my shoulder.  -Not quite sure if that was the intended anatomy target that was suppose to get the point across.  I of course burst into peals of laughter.  Ruben turned himself over in an exaggerated manner and covered his head with his remaining pillow.

I think I have been banished to the sofa for life.

 

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Sometimes Change Can Be Scary…

Recently I was going through some old pictures from grade school.  One thing that struck me is that I have exactly the same hair style now at 40 as I did at 8.  My hair is curly.  I can wear it short or or I can wear it long.  That's pretty much it.  I choose to wear it long because I'm still holding onto some kind of grudge against my Mom for cutting it so short when I was little.  Her excuse is that she couldn't get a comb through it.  I seem to vaguely remember being wrapped in a fluffy towel after bath time with my face buried in my hands while my head tilted to the rhythm of a severe combing.  To this day having my hair pulled has never bothered me.  I think I know why.  I tease her that she scarred me for life.

The one big difference in those grade school pictures is that I am completely gray now and require a bottle of Nice & Easy in basic black every couple of weeks.  I don't splurge on a salon.  I cut my hair myself with the kitchen scissors, which I've heard is the worst thing you can ever do.  The hair color does not cost more than $6.00 a box.  I knew when I turned 40 that it was going to be time for a change.

A few weeks ago I made an appointment with a colorist named Chris.  I met her at her salon and told her what I was looking to do.  Chris looks just like a much blonder Kate Hudson but is covered with really cool vintage tattoos.  My co-workers use her and they all look stunning.   So a week from this Friday I will join the ranks of salon going women.  This will be strange for me.  I don't require a lot of excess and I wouldn't ever consider myself 'high-maintenance.'  I have a husband, home, hip weasel, and a hyundai.  H+H+H+H = Happiness.  Lots of happiness.

Last night I was really having second thoughts about this whole hair color change thing.  I was thinking I shouldn't spend the money.  What if I look like a punk rocker, etc…  So I got online and just searched.  It took a bit of digging but I found a lot of before and after pictures of women that decided to lighten their hair.  And wow, they looked amazing.  Of course they had a full make-over in the after picture but the hair color really did make these women look a lot younger.   Now I'm not looking for the fountain of youth here.  Just a change so that I feel good.  If I happen to look a little bit younger than so be it.

I found the following pictures online and I'm thinking this is what my colorist-to-be may have in mind.  What do you think?

 

Now if I could only look as cute as her with this hairstyle! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'll be printing these pictures and taking them with me to my appointment.  This appointment is a two shot deal.  I have to go in a week from Friday and then again on Saturday. 

I am a little scared by all this but I know without a shadow of a doubt that it is indeed time for a change.   

I will most likely post before and after photos.  Not sure about the makeover yet.  I won't push it.

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Life QotD: Cultural Stereotypes

What is the most annoying stereotype people say about the country or place where you're from?

The short answer is that anyone Mexican in a border state is here illegally.  Let me explain the long answer…

My husband is Mexican-American.  Although we are both of the same descent (the boats carrying our ancestors left from the same ports but mine arrived north of the US border; his, south of it) there is a very big difference in how we are treated in this neck of the desert.  We have a sheriff here who stills thinks we are living in an Arizona of the early 1800s.  He actually refers to his deputies as "the posse."  He conducts raids in towns in the area where he thinks these so-called 'illegals' are hanging out.  These are highly publicized controversial events.  I have never seen people (who are legally here, if I may interject) so afraid.  My husband included.

Ruben was born here.  He is college educated.  He served in the Navy during the first Persian Gulf war.  He served to protect those that make the laws and could quite likely, if given the chance, prosecute him for the mere fact that he is Mexican.  The sheriff insists that if someone is here legally than why would they be afraid?  How does one that was born here prove he is here legally?  I don't know anyone that walks around carrying their birth certificate or their passport.  Yet this is the first thing the sheriff's deputies ask for.  It angers me to no end.  If you don't have this on you, or any other proof that you are an American citizen, you are fair game.

Two weeks ago there was another one of these so-called immigration raids.  It was held in a town where my husband was working at a construction site (everyone there working was legal) and my husband made the decision to shut the job down for the day.  He did not want to see anyone on his job site being harrassed.  Now that's fear.  These people should not have to be fearful of these kinds of things as Americans! 

I don't understand it.  The border states have created a society where illegal aliens were just 'ok' for certain jobs.  It was easier to turn a blind eye to these things when work is getting done by very cheap labor.  Now it's out of control.  What happens now?  A vicious cycle of fear.  Fear that will lose jobs.  Fear that a culture very different than the founding forefathers might pervade.  And when one is fearful, why not spread that around a bit.  Make someone else fearful.  As my friend Danny says, "Now it's just our turn." 

A few weeks ago we had a brush fire in our neighborhood.  I would get online to seek out information about this fire.  There is an area on this news site where people can post comments about the story.  I was shocked but not all that surprised, to find that someone actually blamed an illegal alien for starting the fire.  The fire was proven to be caused by lightening strikes that several people had witnessed.  This poster then went on to say that all the illegals do is come here for plastic surgery due to birth defects, and rape our women.  This person was dead serious!  This is the kind of stupidity that this fear causes. 

The flip side of this is that I do agree that something needs to be done about illegal immigration.  The key word here being 'illegal.'  There are people that come here, commit crimes, and then run back over the border only to emerge months later with a new identity.  There are a myriad of other things as well that affect the economy, etc…  There is no easy answer to this solution.  I don't know the right way to solve this problem, but I sure as hell know the wrong way.  I sometimes can't believe what is going on here.  It's an embarrassment to me to live in a state where it would appear that racism has become legal.  And it angers me that my husband at times, as an American, has to endure such things due to the fact that he is a person of Mexican descent.  It's very difficult to justify this insanity.

 

 

 

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This Is What Happens When Bad Dogs Happen To Good People…

Most of this weekend I've watched poor Abby (yeah, I say poor now) get all excited when she thinks she is finally being taken out for a walk.  She hears my sneakers on the tile and automatically assumes she will be accompanying me outside.  After watching her reaction a few times before leaving for the gym, I decided to brave the heat and take her for a walk.

For the most part she is well behaved.  Ruben has taken a lot of time in training her.  Tonight, though, I believe she had a momentary lapse of reason. 

Near where we live is an area that was built for walking, running, biking and other outdoor activities.  There are two cement pathways that run diagonal to a canal.  The canal of course, is a man made structure consisting of another cement trough that is filled with a few feet of water, and is about 3 to 4 feet wide.  The fields still use these canals for water.  I usually like to take Abby down this way when we walk.  Tonight, however, Abby spotted a toy poodle being walked by a couple on the other side of the canal.  I would also like to point out here that this little poodle was dressed in a pink sweater.  This may not sound odd to some but when it's 110 freaking degrees outside, one has to wonder about the sanity of it's owners.  The woman with the dog was dressed in a heavy sweatshirt.  I can only conclude that the two of them have some kind of dog and owner temperature sensing disease.  I mean, why the heck else would a sane person be dressed like that?  And their dog.  In Phoenix.  In July. 

Enough said.

Abby is now pulling at her leash to get to this little cotton ball in a sweater.  A little boy riding a bike suddenly appears behind me.  I stop to let him pass and he stops, too.  His parents are on bikes as well and are lagging way behind.  I hear them yelling to the little boy to stop and wait for them.  I'm holding down the button on Abby's extenda-leash to keep her from jumping all over the little boy, and quite possibly knocking him off his bike.  Suddenly Abby seizes the opportunity and lurches forward.  My thumb nail bends back, drawing blood, and out of reaction, I let go of the leash.  Once she realizes her new found freedom, she darts towards the sweater sporting little curmudgeon on the other side of the canal.  So I'm thinking that she'll stop as soon as she realizes there is water between them.  I never could have been so wrong.  What does she do?  She floats gazelle-like over the canal and lands gracefully on the other side.  Baryshnokov couldn't have done it better.  I give chase, screaming my head off for her to get back here this second!  And I thought the woman and her dog were quite the spectacle.  The man with the woman (who is dressed reasonably in shorts and a t-shirt, I might add) scoops the poodle up.  The woman stands on Abby's leash.  Now I'm at the canal.  I place my water bottle on the edge, back up a few steps, and just barely clear the canal.  I catch up to her, apologize to the couple, and scold Abby.  She is crouched on the grass looking up at me with those pound puppy eyes as if to say, 'I'm a bad, bad girl.'  She knows she's in trouble.

We walk back down to the canal and I'm hoping I can get myself back to the other side.  I can see my water bottle sitting on the edge.  I take a few steps back to get a running start when my sneaker hits the edge and I am tumbling down into the water.  The couple and their dog don't notice (thank God).  I pull myself out and say outloud, 'apparently this is not my day.'  I am tempted to toss Abby in as well.  After all, she's the one that got me into this.  Now I'm covered in mud, algae, and a myriad of sludge.  My knees and elbow are bleeding.  Worst of all, I'm still on the wrong side of the creek.  I abandon any future attempts at crossing the canal and retrieving my water bottle.  So there it will sit.  At this point I just decide to walk home.  Blood is now dripping onto my new white workout sneakers.  It feels like two sponges have been attached to my feet when I walk.  They are drenched.  I am completely dazed and after about 10 minutes or so I realize that I am walking in the wrong direction. 

When I finally do make it home, Ruben answers the door.  He is staring at me with his mouth open.  I am almost too angry to explain.  When the words finally come, he starts giving me advice on what I should have done in that situation.  I say, rather astutely, "Well now, this is not the time to be giving me dog handling advice there, Caesar Milan.' 

Earlier in the day I had given Monsoon a bath.  I couldn't help but wonder if my involuntary dip in the canal was some kind of karmic pay back for the shampoo mohawk I gave her.  Or maybe it had something to do with that old Catholic adage about humiliation bringing one closer to God.  Oh I was close to God alright.  I'm sure He and all His buddies were having a good laugh over that one.  I can hear it now: "she made quite the splash, didn't she?" 

At least I can laugh about it now, but man, am I sore!

Ruben and I sat outside enjoying the last few hours of our long weekend.  Abby was of course oblivious to the earlier events of the evening.  She is the type of dog that will never tire of a game of fetch.  She brought her ball to me and as usual, she will dart out into the yard in anticipation of the volley.  I threw the ball and it beaned her right off the head.  I swear I did not mean it.  Ruben laughed.  "Yeah Abby, pay back is a bitch."  It really wasn't my intent to bounce the ball off her head.  She didn't seem to mind.  She just picked the ball back up and brought it to me like nothing had ever happened.  Maybe I need to learn to be that forgiving.  Maybe this was the lesson to be learned from all this.  Too bad I had to fall into a canal to figure it out. 

I've just taken two ibuprofens and now I'm going to drag my tired and aching butt to bed. My one wish is that I'll be able to get out of bed without a huge amount of effort in the morning.  I am so darn sore.

 

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