Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Cold

Well, I guess I am given a cold for the the Holidays this year. Not that's any surprise, considering I've climbed over a stress-hump at work and have a chance to breath and ponder my surroundings.

Hopefully I'll be mostly recovered next weekend. Hun and I plan on touring the City (note, the ONLY city for New Yorkers). We've been quite active lately as far as social plans are concerned. We were blessed with a housewarming by a couple of friends of mine from Colorado. They stopped by for a night or so, and brought their little nugget of joy. She is one of the most mellow baby I've ever met, well, like anyone, she got a bit cranky when she was hungry. It was also quite amazing how such a small package could create such thunderous farts. If the Department of Energy could harness that energy, we wouldn't need foreign oil. We thought Nugget was fabulous and we loved the company, as stressed out as Hun and I were.

We're missing all the White Christmas in Colorado this year. The state shut down for a few days. QT wasn't able to get a flight in time, as well as Nugget and her handlers, so will be spending the Holidays on the East Coast, all be they different respective places.

Well, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I'm starting to recover a bit from my work vomit. All in all, a much better week. I actually had a mild thought of how to improve the coming year. I only have two resolutions for 2007 (well, maybe more, but I'm trying to keep it simple):

(1) Take care of myself. That means dying my gray hair and plucking my eyebrows on a regular basis. I might even venture out and add lip gloss to my regime. In general, I will be making more of an effort to keep up my appearance. That way, I might feel better about myself in general and spurn productivity. (This also means exercising more than once a week and eating lunch on a regular basis.) The difficulty is to be religious about this, even when the chips are down.

(2) Make friends. Perhaps joining a book club, yoga class, etc. will spur me to be social vs. working overtime and spurning others. This is kind of part II of "Take care of myself," but if I can't take care of me, how am I expected to take care of others.

Why this sudden change of heart? If I want to keep my job, I need all the stress outlets I can get, and I'm not getting the kind of camaraderie I was hoping for at work (read my facebook note for more insight). I am drowning a bit in East Coast culture shock (a.k.a. second-hand smoke malaise and enmeshment-centered corporate culture) and I gotta start swimming. Dammit all! I will find an evergreen in Albany!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Holidays Schmolidays

The Holidays, when all your external stressors and internal neuroses get to slam-dance the days away until you: (a) collapse in an emotional stupor resembling the psychosis of the unreached potential similar to non-coagulating Jello, (b) deeply disappoint/offend those around you by buying them the ipod Nano in the wrong shade of cream and/or not responding to impersonal X-mas tides of joy and world peace, (c) all of the above and embarrass yourself and loved onces by numbing the pain of childhood's dashed dreams by imbibing too much Jim Beam eggnog.

Being in human services, the Most Wonderful Time of the Year is a time when kids and foster folks alike go a bit off the deep end. Combined with the fact this will be my first Christmas away from home--and not having enough time to develop superficial friendships to assuage the absence of close, longtime friends almost 2000 miles away, makes December a bit of a shitter month.

Of course, this is nothing in compared to the challenges my kiddos on my caseload face every day and all the heartache in the world. Nor is it any excuse to complain, compared with those who have lost loved ones--I imagine Christmas hits them especially hard.

At least my job keeps me on my toes. If anything, I don't feel lonely when I get home. More or less, I feel the opposite. Usually, it's, "If one more person comes to me and bitches/whines/emotionally vomits/even says 'have a nice day,' I'm gonna friggin' scream." I realize there are points when it's really active, and I'm putting out a lot of fires, I hit my don't-give-a-shit mode. At the end of the day, I'm so tired of "fighting the good fight," hearing about folks' turmoils, and dealing with the general lunacy of the human race that I want to sit down, stare at a blank television set, and eat Ramen.

I also have a tendency to blog in run-on sentences.

Hun has been very understanding, and I've been trying to put in more effort towards us. I've been baking cookies tonight while he's studying and he's been supporting me and my trials. I supposed it would be even more rocky a Christmas if he wasn't around. All in all, living with Hun has been easier than expected. Granted, we had a few arguments here and there, and both of us had to give up some of our urges and singledom habits, but I enjoy coming home to Hun every night. With Hun, I know everything will be alright.

Oh well, I still wish peace on earth and good will towards men. If anything, it might stop all those liberal media types boo-hooing about that whole Middle East Crisis and third-world starvation thing. Anywho, happy Holidays. I might even return to a state of a content human being after New Year's.



Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New York, New York!

Well, y'all I've had a heck of a couple of weeks.

Suffice to say, I've had little time to take my boots off between training, supervising visits, and getting my new foster homes used to my hard-assed ways. As a result, I'm a bad 'blogger', whatever that means. I'm slowly getting set into a routine with my homes and I have gained the confidence of some of my foster parents to wig-out once and a while.

Although Hun and I can't make it to Colorado for the Holidays, we've been thinking of y'all in spirit. I got to see my newlywed friends in New York City a couple of weeks ago (hence known as QT and HUN2). It was a blast. We ran around Ellis Island, Battery Park, Midtown, Central Park, you name it.

Hun and I also braved the 'Black Friday' crazies along 5th Avenue and saw some amazing stuff at the Met. We also got to check out Rockerfeller Center and Times Square. The weather has been very mild, so far. I'm halfway losing faith in the horrors of Northeast winters I've been told about by locals.

However, Colorado folks are getting hit. Three feet of snow and systems lining up to hit the Western Slope---AAARG!! I'm so envious I can't stand it!

I have some photos posted on my facebook profile as well. Check it out


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Life and Times of the BoogieMan

This was a post I wrote on Halloween, and just got a chance to post it onto my little cybersaloon:

Everyone in the audience, do not panic, but scream . . . SCREAM FOR YOUR LIVES!!”

Those were the infamous lines of Vincent Price staring in The Tingler, a classic William Castle production. Price played a mad scientist—imagine that—and urged horny teenagers across Eisenhower’s America to shriek for the heck of shrieking. Young ladies clutched at their young gentlemen for safety, and young gentlemen—glimpsing at heaving bosoms under tight angora sweaters—yielded. No thoughts of chivalry guided their actions, but thoughts more sinister than Vincent Price’s wormed into their very ungentlemanly minds. Ahh . . . those were the days.

Or were they? Let’s face it, childhood is—and always was—a dangerous thing. Even in the fifties, parents had to worry more than just their teenagers going bump-bump in the night. The draft was still active, and young men fought ghosts and shadows across the globe in Korea after they graduated high school. Kids drove drunk in automobiles when seatbelts were mere fashion statements. We don’t have to mention the eternal skeletons of sexual abuse, addiction, mental illness, and domestic violence lurking in closets. (Those subjects weren’t addressed on Leave it to Beaver.)

At the same time, there is some nostalgia about looking into the past. Halloween is my favorite holiday. It’s the only day of the year when kids dress in masks, extort candy from strangers, and get away with it. It is one of the few times adults still unplug from their televisions and computers and visit with their neighbors, even if most of those neighbors are under three feet and dressed as Japanese anime characters.

Halloween is a time when I can carve a Jack-o-Lantern and curl up on the couch and watch a scary movie. I can hide my toes under a blanket so the monster on the other side of the television won’t bite off my feet, and I can forget about all the real-world ghouls and goblins and shriek for the sake of shrieking.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Back in the Saddle Again

Well, Folks, just wanted to let y'all know I got a job offer as a Family Specialist for a foster-care agency in Albany! Right now, I'll be enjoying my time off before I start to work. I have plans to visit a fellow cowgirl riding into New Hampshire. She assures me there is no sales tax there.

Hun will be spending the weekend preparing for yet another exam.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

At the Homestead

Well, Folks, I'm off the trail and Norma Jean (my car) is safely parked in my new corral.

I've unpacked the remained of my stuff and attempted to acclimate to New England life. Although I'm still slow on the time change and I have no concept of where my physical being is located at any point in space, I am beginning to somewhat settle in.

The week's activities consisted of: making coffee, attempting to pirate internet access from the public library, successfully pilfering internet access at Hun's school, making more coffee, managing to navigate Norma Jean to Sam's Club, spending way too much money at Sam's Club, finding a thrift store and sighing in disappointment at the lack of cool furniture and so forth, making more coffee, playing with my new flash drive I bought at Sam's Club, sending out my resume and applying for jobs, and getting a call for an interview--in a town an hour away.

Anywho, that's all that's new with me. Although I am excited about the interview tomorrow, I am a bit disappointment there are no entry-level tightrope walker positions to be found in Albany. I am also disappointment there is no chorizo nor corn tortillas found in this city. Let me tell y'all, this is roughing it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hitting the Trail

Well, Folks, I'm on the trail to Albany. My folks and I have circled up in Pensylvania tonight, and plan on seeing Frank Lloyd Write's Falling Water in the morning.

I wish I could say I've made profound discoveries while on the road. Traveling often helps me in that regard. The only relevation I've made is that six hours of Soduko is a bit too much.

I had a whirlwind week of packing, tossing out worldly possessions, pre-wedding madness, wedding madness, and post-wedding madness. (I'll say this much, I'm glad I got my dress for 60 bucks on e-bay, 'cause--damn--I will not wear that thing again. Over half of my professionally applied make-up slid onto it before the cake was cut. Can we say, The Shroud of Tammy Fae?)

Anywho, as crazy as last week was, I had a blast (and a bit of a hangover). I also got to see some folks before riding out of town, such as the beaming bride (no blushing for her), my other close friends and their freshly hatched cutie. I cried off the last drizzle of make-up when I was holding Baby Mia in my arms at the wedding. I realized one of my best friends was now a mommy, one of my other closest friends was dancing with her new husband, and I was about to start a new chapter of my life with Hun.

As Morton's salt said, or was it Mahatma Gandhi, "When it rains, it pours."

If anyone has any job leads for starving social workers, please give me a heads up. So far, there have been few leads in the past couple of weeks. I guess I'll be writing a lot next week.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

One Small Leap . . .

The countdown is getting lower. Only ten more days (estimated) before hitting my new homestead in Albany to reunite with Hun. Only five more days before hitting the road for the east coast with my remaining material possessions, my car with a malfunctioning driver-side seat belt, and my parental units in tow. Only three more days until one of my best friends gets married and becomes an official California Girl.


I have been eagerly anticipating all these activities for the past couple of months. I've missed Hun something awful, and this phone relationship just isn't working. It's the natural next step, and I believe this move will be good for the both of us. We will learn to communicate and rely on each other on a deeper level. It will be a great opportunity for us to explore a part of the country we've had daydreams about moving to.

Although I enjoyed my job, I even knew it was time for me to move on. This move is another opportunity for me to stretch my feathers, perhaps give it a shot at a "regular" office job, whatever that means. Perhaps I can even humor my delusions of grandeur and try my hand at a writing group or do some minor freelance pieces. Perhaps I can get an apprenticeship at furniture refinishing, or a circus is looking for some entry-level tightrope work--where the wire is very, very close to the ground.

All of it is an opportunity for a fresh start, a chance to stretch myself, or repaint myself as someone more . . . well . . . interesting and glamorous, rather than the crazy-haired bitch my teenage kiddos on my caseload have grown to know and find somewhat OK from time to time. (If any of you know teenagers, especially teenagers who have been disappointed and betrayed by adults their whole life, this is heady praise indeed.) Not only that, but I've got Hun solidly by my side to boot.

Still, it's like when you jump off a diving board for the first time as a kid. You shiver in line and bounce back and forth on each foot to avoid getting your soles burned on the hot cement. Your buddies cheer you on, half of them have jumped a gazillion times before and the other half aren't allowed by their parents--but would be doing back flips if they could (ya, right). The diving board even urges you to jump--swinging up and down as your toes dangle from the edge and you hands are balled up into tight little wads at your side. Although the water beacons you, your buddies assure you chances of death are slim, and deep inside you know jumping off that board will be the coolest thing ever--the board looks higher standing on the edge of it than as a poolside spectator, and the deep end looks . . . well . . . deep.

Only the puss-faced and pushy thirteen-year-old, who happens to be next in line, starts pounding on the board with his humongoid feet, creating a veritable tidal wave of motion at the end. You call him an asshole (hoping your mom isn't around to hear) and tell him to stop. He, in turn, calls you a pussy and tells you to shit or get off the pot. Well, you're definitely not a pussy and you've been potty trained for years, and not no one if nobody is gonna tell you you can't do nuthin'. You turn around and tell him to shut up, little 'splode-o-face diaper boy, and slip off the board.

Your friends cheer, you're grinning so hard you can barely see. It was the coolest thing in the world. You swim to the middle of the pool, knowing the only thing the teenager can do is frenetically splash water around and barely make it to the nearest ladder, much less chase you down to throttle you. Hee, hee!

Well I have no acne-prone teenager egging me on. All I have are my friends who back me, the promise of a new beginning, and--most importantly--Hun by my side. As scared as I may be facing the abyss, I need to bolster my faith that my future will be the coolest thing ever.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Clarifications and Corrections

For the clarification and the edification of all four folks who read this blog on a regular basis, Hun pointed out some items in previous posts that might be misconstrued.

First, Hun--as I call him--is short for Honey, and should not be mistaken for a fellow tribesman of the Asia Minor conqueror, Attila. His personality resembles that of honey, rather than a ruthless warlord. Hun is very sweet and he doesn't ride bareback to class, brandishing a blood-stained sword and clad in animal skins. I also have faith that Hun showers regularly--however, I have no first-nose knowledge since our temporary separation.

Second, I chose Hun over Hon for phonetic reasons. Hun sounds more like hun-ee, and Hon sounds more like Han Solo. Although, I don't think I would be writing such a lengthy clarification if people mistook the nickname as a reference to the space cowboy in the original Star Wars trilogy. He would think it was cool.

Also, Hun decided not to attend the stoplight party. First, he thought the whole red-yellow-green dress code was creating a meat-market tone to the whole affair (no pun intended). Second, he would go crazy, too, if he knew I was at some petting party, slightly veiled as a school-sanctioned gathering.

Hun thought my jealous ravings were sweet. However, he envisioned himself exchanging body shots with Neve Campbell, rather than Naomi Campbell.


It's all the same soup to me.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Yellow Light

I'm sitting alone tonight. My parents are out of town, I cancelled on some friends to see Little Miss Sunshine and eat dinner, and I even turned down one of my closest friends for the company of myself. Of course, now that I'm keeping my own blessed company, I'm driving myself nuts.

"Why?" you may ask.

Hun is going to a stoplight party, sponsored by his graduate school's social committee. The gimmick is to wear green for "single and desperate" or "Mr. Right for right now"; yellow for "single and picky" or "dating and commitment phobic"; and red for "my girlfriend has a knife and knows how to use it" or "my girlfriend is committed, but is very understanding". The whole thing is very frat mixer.

Hun assures me he will wear red. I have been encouraging him to go to this party all week so he can make some friends and network. But my primitive brain is currently shouting to knock out Hun with a club and drag him back to the cave. My mind is flashing on images of Hun enthralling a sea of super models clad in green. A couple of screwdrivers later, he's exchanging body shots with Naomi Campbell.

Why am I so psycho?

Not that this spit-exchange--wait, stoplight--party is any reason to worry on my end. He has to contend with a weekend wedding filled with several cocktail hours and single, horny guys hitting on the bridesmaids. (I'm the only one over 13 in the wedding party without a date. Hun has a test the Monday after the wedding.)

Unfortunately, Hun doesn't have a jealous bone in his body. He's only had to contend with a lone waiter eyeing me for a bigger tip, while I've had to fight off legions of athletic-artist teachers groping his knee after too many drinks. ("How did you get so lucky?" and "Where do you find the good ones?" they ask me.)

One of my friends had to suffer her husband being deployed to Iraq. She had to deal with taking care of their place, mailing care packages, and not talking to him months on end. She was less concerned about him fooling around and more concerned with getting him back alive.

I am such a pansy.

Any advice to help keep my sanity?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Winding Down of Slurpee Season

Leaves hint gold along the edges, sweaters slowly creep out of storage, and cats snuggle more on their human heaters. As much as I enjoy the crisp air and hot cocoa of fall and eagerly anticipate kids running around in Halloween costumes, extorting candy from strangers, I feel a slight melancholy as mid-afternoon Slurpee runs dwindling down to a trickle.

A 7-11 is a quick jaunt away from my office. On the rare days I'm sitting at my desk, returning phone calls and catching up on paperwork, I get an urge to be anywhere other than where I am around 3 pm. I notice smudges on my computer screen, my feet start dancing on their own volition under my desk, and I even consider--horrors of horrors--shifting my heaps of paper into orderly skyscrapers to avoid writing one more word. Then, a flash of hope crosses my mind: this is a great time to walk down and get a Slurpee.

Inspired by the Hope of the Slurpee, I trudge on through even a couple of reports or a few more notes, poll the office for any cohorts and take orders to bring back. My therapist friend and I grab our refill cups and we scoot out the door, feeling a little more free. We hold a quick bitch session, and we swelter in the summer heat walking through nondescript parking lots, under a highway overpass, and across the street. No matter the heat, we always walk. . .

As we enter the air-conditioned oasis that is the 7-11, we glance over the flavor options and test the spouts for consistency. (There's pina colada, but it spits mostly water. The cherry seems to have the best icy smoothness. The "diet" is always out of order.) We then spend another five minute pounding the air out of our cups and filling them again to the top. The Slurpee keeps me going the rest of the day until I go on a late home visit, or just go home.

Now fall is in creeping around the corner and summer is slipping away, folks are more inclined to coffee and driving than Slurpees and walking. I'm also the third staff member to leave in a couple of months. My replacement has already headed for the hills before she even walked in the corral.

Most importantly, I don't think any of them could ever truly understand and appreciate the art of the Slurpee. But my time is limited, and I am ready to hit the trail.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New Toys and Old Songs

Like all spoiled children the day after Christmas, I love playing with new toys. The idea of pumping out my home-spun wisdom (mostly snap judgements, but it's my blog, I can lie if I want to) out to the cyberverse makes my narcissistic toes tingle.

All in all, a typical day. I got to work early this morning to to turn out some much overdue paperwork--discussing the life, times, sexual proclivities, and the latest parental disappointments of the kiddos on my caseload--before being confronted by my new supervisor about my files being out of date. I smile sheepishly during supervision, yes, I know, getting my files in order is top priority, especially since I have only three weeks to complete them and to train my successor about the intricacies of being a professional hard-ass. (I received a sincere compliment of a group-home foster parent, known throughout the state for taking girls everyone else has given up on, that I was the biggest bitch she had the pleasure of working with.)

I catch up with my therapist friend about a heart-pouring meeting between a set of foster parents at their wits end, a director, and myself. We discuss, analyze, and gossip about office politics--human services aren't immune for the cruciality of successful employees being "in the know." My family-centered agency also has its dysfunctions bordering on incestuous and flat-out unprofessional. But hey, who's more neurotic than a room full of therapists and social workers? The desire to know thyself has to come from somewhere . . .

I talk with a veteran case manager about supervision with my new boss. We talk about her new position she accepted at a county agency as a caseworker. (Like many human service agencies--both county and government--turnover is rampant. It's a field expectation for 50 percent of new hires to quit after six months.) She talks about how she will miss all her families and her worries of starting over. I reassure her she will be fantabulous, and berate her for ruining my exit gusto by leaving a week before I do.

Lunch is over in a flash, I throw down more case notes before hitting the trail. I hit my group home and hold two staffings, when caseworkers contact the kids and are debriefed and debrief, plans are set and I race to my uninvited meeting with my wits-end foster family. Stuff is said, everyone cries, everyone hugs, and I stop back at work to complete some more notes. The optimist in me gets teary-eyed thinking about my latest meeting, and the cynic in me believes all the love and communion will be forgotten by the weekend. By the by, the whole situation is like an old Hank Williams song.

I return the Call of the Hun (my fiance) and whine about my day and he bolsters my spirit. He discusses the joys of class and the benefits of publication. He, in turn, whines about the final edits of his master's thesis. I tell him I look forward to getting a new job, where the possibilities are endless, and he tells me he looks forward to me arriving in New York. My toes curl and I yurn. Over the past couple of years, Hun is where my heart is, no matter how fancy Paris seems. The whole situation is like an old Patsy Cline song.

So, three weeks and counting until I end my job. Four weeks and counting until I start my new life with Hun.

All in all, a typical day.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Earl Grey and Camp Horror

I'm sipping Earl Grey tea, watching the original House on Haunted Hill, and looking up every obscure name from my past. I Google cameo, walk-on, and supporting roles from my past--from my best friend in second grade, to a loathed ex-boyfriend who acted like a second grader--to discover glimpsed of their present. Being the narcissistic sort, I Google myself, and discover a university basketball star, a biology student, and a 12-year-old girl with a penchant for bunny poetry share my name.

A couple of my friends suggested I start a blog to keep up on my doings when I move away from my Colorado comforts to move in with my fiancé in Sleepy Hollow country, Albany, New York. I didn't like the idea of my aforementioned ex checking on the progress of my life, but I was mortified at the thought of my friends thinking I resorted to rabbit ramblings to pass the lonely hours. Thus, Cowgirl Betty is born. (Was it Miranda Richardson, or was it Miss Piggy, who said, "Anonymity is like a warm blanket"?)

If you've read this posting through an e-mail link I sent you, I consider you a dear friend and this is the best way I can think of keeping touch. As most of you know, my correspondence consists of one-line e-mails and good-luck spam. I figure I could spend as much time updating my blog with more care and detail that tossing out Tibetan life-affirming glurge to let my friends know I still think of them.

To those of you who've wandered onto my little blog, welcome. I've got a kettle of tea over the fire and Castle movie on the tube. Kick off your boots and rest for a spell.