Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bigger & Better Things


I've actually got up and running! OMG! I know!

So yeah, go there, and check out the content as it develops. As it fills out, this site will be dwindling.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Speaking of Grandparents

Since I posted about my grandmother, I thought I'd go ahead and post a video I made of her ex-husband, my grandfather, Courtney Saum. The below video was shot while I was visiting him last week in Silver City, NM. In this clip he gives some advice on life, and what's important in it. Seeing as I never really had a father figure growing up, he was a substitute in many ways. The guy's got some pretty good views, I think. Enjoy.

The Ongoing Saga of My Ailing Grandmother

So now it turns out I need to return to Roswell, NM to attend to my grandmother and put her into a home. Needless to say, this is not something I relish doing. It shouldn't technically be my job, considering that my mother is still around, but so it goes. You can't pick your family.

To that end, I wish I had a more responsible mother, or for that matter, a more responsible grandmother. The former so that I could respect her for actually doing something to take care of her own family (we'll overlook her irresponsible actions considering my own birth and raising and just focus on the immediate circumstances) and the latter for recognizing that she was aging and that someone ultimately would have to make arrangements regarding her care.

I know that this is something callous to say, but I'm just being honest. I know I can be a jerk and a little cold at times.

So On Tuesday I'll be back in New Mexico, getting picked up by Gabe in ABQ and then going to Rui. From there it's off with me to Roswell. I have to see my grandmother into the hospital, and then out again (she broke her arm, putting in motion all these events) and assume Power of Attorney to get an accurate picture of her finances (nursing homes aint cheap). I also have to take stock of what's in her house to figure out what she needs and what hits the dumpster, cuz we'll likely have to put that house on the market so that she can afford to have someone take care of her 24/7.


Well, on the bright side it's good experience because I'll likely have to do it for my mother again sometime down the road.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Roy Pearson Is A Tool

I posted a while back about a judge in D.C. who was suing his local cleaners for upwards of $50 Million because they lost his pants. That douche bag is on trial now, getting his day in court. Marc Fisher of the Washington Post has written an article about it here.

This stupid jerk Pearson should be be disbarred and laughed out of town. What the hell are you thinking, man? Answer: you're not. You need to get a life, get a real job, and try to salvage what's left of your reputation (if you ever had a decent one to begin with).

The article mentions Mr. Pearson's son, who I pray for. Even though he's 30 this has to be terribly embarrassing for him. Sorry your dad's a douche, kid.

Funny Thing About Me ...

I hate talking on the phone. Even though I am like most Americans with the ubiquitous cell phone near me at all times, mine is mainly for text communication rather than phone to phone vocal calls.

Recently my grandmother has become a little ill, which has promoted my grandfather to be on the horn trying to reach me what seems like every five minutes (more like every half hour, in reality). I hate to say this, but sometimes I just don't pick up. There's no point, often, as he just wishes to revisit something we've already discussed. I've learned, however, that this is not a good strategy.

You see, Pops doesn't realize that every time he calls my phone makes a note of it, telling me that I've missed a call. So what happens is that I get a message that says I've missed 7 calls in the last hour and when I finally get back to him it's for something like "Hey Wes, I just wanted to see if you'd had lunch yet. You like to eat." God bless his soul, but that's not something I need to be called over. I hate talking on the phone.

I mentioned to him that I use text messaging (I described it as "little letters") and this tickled him pink. He was quite the corresponder in the past, though he does not write at all any more due to age. I doubt thaty he'll send me a text any time soon, but wouldn't that be neat?

Monday, June 11, 2007

A New Mexico Good Time

Ruidoso was a fun place to grow up. We had trees, we had water, we had mountains. That's a lot more than can be said for much of the state, really. In that way we were lucky. So, one day during of our visit to Ruidoso Gabe, Logan and I decided to show Eva some very small town New Mexico fun times.

We began by off roading up to a water tower. Now, I don't know if anyone out there reading this knows what off roading is. In Ruidoso it's a lot more than just getting off the pavement. It involved 4 wheel drive, seat belts and gritting of teeth. Not for the faint of heart. At one point we climbed up what must have been a 3 foot rock wall, only to get the 3 wheel motion going a little bit further down the trail, and then we ended up having to blaze a semi-new path through some underbrush. The reward, however, was magnificent. We were greeted with a pair of water towers, which just begged to be climbed.

Now here's where I give Eva credit. She was totally down to climb said towers after the initial adventure to arrive at them. That might not sound extraordinary in and of itself, but considering the ladders (yes, ladders, not steps) to the tops of the towers were closed off by some medieval torture device looking cage one had to squeeze through she didn't complain and just went right on through it like the rest of us. Go you, Magyar! Oh, and did I mention she was in wedges at the time? You rock!

The view from the tops of the towers was awesome, and unfortunately I didn't have my camera to snap any pics. I'll try to round some up from Gabe, Eva or Logan and post them, though. What was really neat was while we were up there on this little platform I noticed something familiar: My initials (WDT) and the date of 12/07 carved on a little bar that surrounded the platform at the top of the ladder. Neat! I had been in that exact same spot some 7 years prior! It was during a winter break home from New York City! Of course, I had to make another entry into this railing cum make-shift guest book.

After we climbed down and traversed the road back through the woods (this time needing Logan to push us for traction at the tricky 3 wheel motion part) we participated in an old American favorite: BOWLING! We had to wait a little while because it was league night, so Eva and I turned to some air hockey. Of course, her superior Hungarian skills beat out my sloppy American ways and she was triumphant. I gave her a little bit of a rally, but life under Communism taught the little red head a thing or two about winning with plastic pucks.

When it came time for bowling we selected names (Ciscokid here), got shoes and took a lane. I am not the best bowler, but I came in 2d amongst the 4 of us, beat out by Logan who is apparently getting ready for his spot on the PBA. To his credit, the boy's got that whole hook thing down pat. Me, I just throw it hard down the center, more or less. Unfortunately, my approach is not even as effective as the below vid clip of Eva getting a strike. I had a few spares, but not one of those damned Xs.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Malaguena, A Good Dog

Mallie died today. She was a good dog. It may sound morbid but I'm really glad I was here to witness this and be there. She died in the house, on the living room floor, surrounded by family and members of her pack. Not a bad way to go, really.

I remember when Gabe and I brought her home from Las Cruces in the back of his VW Van. She was such a cute little thing; she had been left for dead by a ditch on a farm road. She was always a very alert guard dog (part Chow) but she was plagued with health problems the last couple of years. Now she's no longer in pain.

Daddy, Gabe and I dug a grave for her out in the woods behind the house; near a trail she had run along countless times in better years. It was weird to bury her. I don't think I've ever actually dug a grave and put something in it and then filled it up again. I kept thinking of the line from Hamlet: "Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him, Horatio." It really does drive home the fragility of life to dig a grave and bury something. These feelings were further amplified by the other dogs running around in the woods seemingly oblivious to what was taking place. I thought to myself how they could not know it, but we would someday dig their graves, and bury them here, too.

RIP Malaguena, 1996 - 2007

We Made It to Rui!

So we've made it to Ruidoso. I feel like a tourist in my hometown. This place is growing and developing so much, there are familiar sights and new ones. Some things I remember from growing up here are still around and others are gone. It's the inevitable march of progress and growth, I suppose.

We went to White Sands the first night, that was a lot of fun. There was a full moon illuminating all the dunes; I'm going to have to wait until I get back to Palo Alto before I can post pics, so I apologize.

Yesterday we went to Lincoln, Billy The Kid country. We ate at a little saloon/deli and wandered around for awhile in the afternoon sun. It was fun to see everything, and just to drive, really. I don't have a car in California, so cruising these little roads is a fun treat. It has also been a little rainy as of late, making everything exceptionally green. Great for pics!

We went out to dinner at Casa Blanca after our afternoon trip, and had some great food. They even offered a Habanero chicken dish that Eva sampled, but it didn't phase her. I think she's ready for the Burger in San Mateo ... I kept it simple and very New Mexico by having a green chile chicken enchilada. From Casa Blanca it was off to Farley's, which is a little pub/restaurant. We had a few pitchers there with friends and then it was downtown (Midtown, actually) to Quarters for more festivities. The Blues festival was wrapping up, so there was an interesting and eclectic mix of folks in town.