The Week in My World 11/29/10

WITH THANKSGIVING come and gone, the holiday season has officially begun. It’s a depressing time of year for me and about a million other people. The harder I try to get into the f*cking holiday spirit the more I fail.

What I see is stressed-out people spending money they don’t have for gifts that aren’t appreciated…strapped-for-cash guys buying flashy overpriced crap for women with entitlement issues…family manipulations at the year’s nastiest…harassed working mothers who truly believe they are responsible for pleasing every single person in their family.  At this time of year magazines publish thousands of articles on how to cope with holidays. If holidays are something people have to “cope” with, why do them?  It brings to mind the famous Samuel Johnson quote: “Nothing is more hopeless than a scheme of merriment.”

At least Thanksgiving was surreal

The past few days have been fiercely windy, but it rarely snows and if it does it melts with the sun. Some hummingbirds don't migrate and will stay near feeders all winter. This is at a customer's house in a lovely nearby neighborhood. Look to the left of the feeder to see the hummer about to land.

Hummingbird perched on feeder. It's amazing that this tiny creature weighing only a few ounces can survive the high desert winters.

Matilda and Ajulet, two of my outside cats. They have cozy beds in the laundry shed too. I love being able to give difficult animals a home. Matilda has such angst around humans. I can identify.

My beautiful Jasmine "I don't need no stinking leash" Argosy. We take care of each other---when she walks with me, she is very serious and observant. I love her so much.

Car of the week: 1949 Kaiser 4-door sedan, brought you by our friend Hogan at

8 responses to “The Week in My World 11/29/10

  1. I agree with your holiday sentiments. The guilt trip tickets are handed out at family functions, gift cards exchanged because no one really knows (or cares to know) what their relatives want/need/like… In our little hovel we try to instill in our children that a holiday is just that: A Holy Day. Not necessarily spent on one’s knees in a church, but a holy day to be spent relaxing, doing some good for others, thinking about life in general, and attempting to just STOP the madness long enough to realize it is actually MADNESS… We strive for no obligations or timelines during the holidays. Such irony, striving for no obligation. Striving is an obligation you silly American! Anyway…enjoyed your post, in particular the pictures. The horse headed pajama Lite drinker has the Holiday Spirit down pat…just go with the moment.


  2. The fact that no one knows or cares to know what their relatives want for a gift is a logically perfect reason to call off the insanity. Phone them and say hi—or not.

    Thanks for writing, it seems you and your family have the right idea. You’re not a silly American.

  3. Hello D., I hope you are doing O.K.

    A thought just occurred to me. Do you like mystery novels?

    If so; have you read any J.A. Jance? She writes a mystery series that features the character Joanna Brady as a sheriff down in your neck of the woods. Really good writer, I think I have read all of her work.

    Also have you heard of or read any of Tony Hillerman’s works? He write primarily of the Navajo people up on the res in Northern Arizona and New Mexico…some of the greatest Southwestern mystery writing to be found anywhere.

  4. Hi B, I’m fine, thanks.

    I have tried to read both of these authors with no luck. I can’t remember exactly why I put them aside, but I did. But if you could pass along a few of your favorite titles, I’ll try again.

    I’ve been laying low and working, reading more than writing, you know how that happens. The world is really f*cked up and annoying and primitive, isn’t it. Does kind of eat you alive sometimes.

    Beautiful day today, like summer.

  5. Hi D.,
    Try Tony Hillerman’s “A Thief of Time” Should be in your library, it’s one of Hillerman’s most popular titles. I like his work because I am fascinated by the old cliff house ruins that are scattered all over Northern Arizona.

    A while back me and the family spent several years exploring all over the Indian reservations in the four corners area. Using old library book accounts of early explorers we even found some ruins that were not listed on the popular guides. We have a picture in our living room of my wife Sue in a ruins storehouse in an unlisted area in Utah. We had to use climbing gear to get to it.

    Many other sites along the creek that flowed through the canyon going back a thousand years or so…fascinating to me and Sue. She is a very accomplished potter, although she hasn’t done any work in it for a few years.

    Anyway the Hillerman book listed above goes into the black market for old ‘Anasazi’ and other pottery that the ancient ones produced in amazing quantities. Nowadays some pieces bring hundreds of thousands of dollars on the black market.

    There’s a museum in Silver City, New Mexico that has hundreds of totally beautiful ‘Mimbres’ pots that are priceless…hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars IF you could buy them.

    Sorry if I bore you, but I love the old stories and ruins and pots and artifacts and I immerse myself in the lore.

    What kind of literature interests you?


  6. Hi Debra,

    Definitely with you on the holiday sentiments. We don’t have thanksgiving as such here but certainly the consumerism that seems to be endemic in the shops is over the top. I was struck with a thought last Christmas when I received a few sets of a certain well known deodorant brand that I would never use and you re left thinking this money would have been better given to one of the poor dudes who are freezing their nubbles and nibblets off out in the cold freezing weather.

    I am liking how your winter photos are so different from the winter ways in this part of the world. Hummingbirds in winter………..superb. Like the photo of the Plymouth too.

    All the best


    • Hi Dave!

      People are so desperate to give a gift they don’t care what it is. We have a women’s shelter here, last year at a party the host collected toiletry items for them. I honestly had fun picking out a selection of shampoos and stuff for our donation. Much better place to send fancy deodorant!

      Do you have a lot of homeless in Scotland? We have a lot in AZ, especially in the lower, warmer cities like Tucson, but here too. They come here for the warmth. Every parking lot has a couple guys with a sign begging for money, girls too. I can easily see how it can happen. Life is hard. I never pass one by who has a dog without giving them something, even though I often think the dog is a prop!

  7. B, That is incredible that you did all that! Wow. Straight out of National Geographic! Yes that is something that really comes from the heart, you’d have to love that history deeply to embark on that kind of exploration. It doesn’t call to me the same way, but other stuff does.

    I’m fussy with what I read, and usually don’t like the bestsellers. I dislike prissy protagonists, or anybody named Cassie. I want damaged people with real problems that I can relate to. Drugs, alcohol, depression, nightmares, etc. I want my heroes and heroines to be struggling with their own demons, but brilliant. I hate “chick lit.” I don’t like books with the lady hero who is obsessed with her biological clock, or constantly harping on how hard it is to be a single mom. Happens all the time in books. I usually come home from the library with 6 or 7 books and end up reading 2 of them!

    So the story has to be good, but I also demand to learn stuff. I love books taking place deep in the underbelly of NYC or LA. I’m reading one now taking place in the broken down ruins of Coney Island. I’ll often find a gem of a book and when I look for more by that author, there aren’t any!

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