Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Intelligence Quotient vs. Social Capability

An observation:
Has anyone else noticed that very smart people are a little different than the average Joes and Janes out there? I first noticed it in the "Gifted and Talented" program in 3rd grade. I took an IQ test, and suddenly I was forced to roll with the egg-head crowd, and they were an odd bunch. Not that I'm little Suzie Normal-Face, but I'm pretty sure there's a point of intelligence where social skills start to take a hit. I think I barely made the 130 IQ cutoff (now you know I'll never make it into Mensa!), but my smarter friends just were strange.
A good example-- a friend I met in the 5th grade. Let's call him Chris, because that is his real name. In 5th grade I had a "homeroom" teacher I'd check in with in the mornings and then return to after lunch for science and social studies-- Mr. Harris. The rest of the day I spent in Gifted with Mrs. Chavez. She took care of my English, Math, and miscellaneous studies. On the first day of class, I remember thinking, "Ooh, I can't wait to get out of Harris' class and over to gifted, because this kid I'm sitting next to is SOO odd." Picture it-- spikey-hair, Dwayne Wayne-flip style glasses, a HUGE orange and purple backpack, all on this skinny little boy. What's more, he was wearing a black t-shirt with black and neon-green, zebra-striped Hammer pants. I promise this is true. But sure enough, when Mrs. Chavez came to collect the brainiacs that day, she called me, Rosalyn, and Chris. Guess who stood up and came with me?
The thing is, it wasn't long before Chris became one of my absolute favorites. The kid was amazing-- he was a little math genius, and it seems like he had some good artistic abilities. He and I competed and represented our district in the Optimist Club Oratoracal Contest in 6th grade. He was also this awesome dancer on the side (kind of a secret life he didn't want anyone to know about). But he was amazing and smart and cool and fantastic... though other people didn't always appreciate his genius in intermediate school. I remember getting really mad at my friends' mom when she was his chaperone at Space Camp and yelled at him just because he woke up the entire room in the middle of the night to take his vitamins. I didn't like anyone being rude to Chris.
Well, time went by, and Chris went to a private high school in Albuquerque and turned out just great. Better than great, actually. I ran into him the summer after 8th grade. He was on the Los Lunas swim team with my little brother, and suddenly he was Mr. Hottie. Oh, the sweet revenge as he asked ME (in the very height of my awkward puberty stage) to rub suntan lotion on his back while girls who used to be ruthless to him looked on, drooling.
Word on the street is Chris is happy and healthy and married to a girl he loves. I'm stoked for him.
So why do I write this tribute to my childhood pal? I don't know. I think I've been having a hard time adjusting to the social life in Albuquerque because I have very little in common with a lot of the kids I know from church, etc. I (apparently, and regretfully) even really offended this kid by asking him if he was home-schooled. I had the epiphany this morning that maybe the reason I don't have much in common with all these folks is not because they are weird, but because they are all so vastly ahead of me intellectually. OK, ok, it's just a theory. But it's a kinder one than I initially subscribed to.
Regardless, I think I've ammended my former "list" of qualities I look for in people I hang out with and date. I used to think I wanted to surround myself with young-geniuses. Now I'm more interested in young-Mothers Teresa and Ghandis. Know any?

Monday, August 28, 2006

I think I'm meant to be a perpetual blusher

First and foremost, I'd like to point out that I'm RE-reading "Knocked Out by my Nunga-Nungas." It was a gift from Sean, and one of my favorite books. Read it. Very good for a laugh, and good to increase the slanguage vocab. That Georgia Nicolson is full of "wisdomosity" for a 14-year old.
I could certainly use a little wisdomosity these days, or better yet, smooth-osity. Suave-osity? Not putting my foot in my mouth or encountering various embarrassing situations-osity? Yep, it's been a rough couple of days, but you know me... I'm a survivor (thank you, Destiny's Child). I may have to spend a few days under a rock or whatsit, but I'll bounce back.
The weddings this weekend were so lovely, as was the baby shower. It brought me a good dose of happiness to share these happy moments with good friends. Doesn't it just make you feel awesome when you see wonderful things happen to and for the people you love? My heart is full even if my head is a little empty.
I'm also happy to officially announce I'll soon be in the land of Sokphal and Marks & Spencer... I'm off to jolly-old England mid-October. SP and I have decided on Espana, and more importantly, on stalking David Beckham at a football game. I can't wait to experience the mania!
Also, SP brought me my most joyous moment of my day when she called me and had her friend "Polski Dave" give me a little shout out in the mother language. Dawid has a very nice accent, and it was great speaking to a real Pole... I met an American kid at church last night who speaks Polish and knew some of my good friends w Lublina, but it's just not the same as hearing a native speak. I only wish I could carry on a real conversation! I guess I'll have to settle for all those drinking songs I know.
The friend situation continues to develop, thank heavens. There are quite a few nicies at church. I hope they'll include me in the social life, because it's pretty sparse in Sunny Los. Did I mention that the funny little brothers had me round last night? The evening was quite profitable. I learned how to tie a bowtie, I threw a bullseye during a round of darts, and was quizzed on GRE-level vocabulary words. I performed dismally, but at least when you start at the lowest level you have no where to go but up, right?
Um, that is all. This is just rambling, but thanks for reading. That little bean-counter under the blog manager really makes me feel like people care. Cheers.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

And We're Off

Ok, so I'd just like to say that I spent the last 45 minutes in the ghetto paint program on my computer, drawing a basic floorplan to post to my blog or my pictures, but for one reason or another, I couldn't get it to pull on through. You'll all just have to wait in suspense a little longer. No more paint projects for me. I've got to get a scanner.
Also, no exciting pictures of the house just yet, because everything is still a mound of dirt. BUT I'm happy to report that my parents and I met with the contractors last night and everything is a go. The last of the dirt work is supposed to be finished this Friday (we've been waiting forever for some piece of equipment) and the well will go in in the next week or ten days. So that's something. I'm ready to jam.
Speaking of jam, I had my hair highlighted today and certain sections are about the color of raspberry jam. It's quite nice, actually. Kind of conservative-punk.
But back to the house. We've decided to add a little storage room on the back part of the house, behind the guest bedroom. It'll house the lawnmower and outdoor types of things. And there's now going to be a vault in the master bedroom, which will be kind of a nice feature. Flooring will be mostly tile and carpet, but I'm putting Pergo (or something like it) in the dining room-- don't worry, it should all transition well. I'm still thinking about moving my fireplace (pellet stove, actually)-- right now I've got it slotted for the center of the east wall in the living room (which will be the accent wall for sure) but it might be better in a corner-- it would give me some flexibility for later furniture placement. And I've almost decided to go with traditional windows over the divided-light variety. I think it'll add some authenticity to the Northern-New Mexico style.
Ooh, did I mention I recently met a dude studying architecture? He's a little weird, but might make it into the friend category before it's all said and done. Nice kid, but odd for sure.
Um, what else? Really, everything remains insanely busy... especially with church stuff. I have something nearly every night this week. I'm teaching Sunday School this week, and my lesson is on Proverbs and Ecclesiastes... seems like a lot to cover in just 45 minutes or whatever, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. On Thursday night I'm teaching a class on Entertaining on a budget. Tomorrow is choir practice (I'm joining a choir, watch out). Friday I'm going dancing. Saturday I've got two weddings and a baby shower to attend. Amazing. And here I thought NM would be boring.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


So I basically have this policy of not adding "friends" I don't know in real life. It's just the way I roll, and I dig the whole MySpace scene for keeping in touch with the extended posse. But I think I need to do a better job with keeping up on the friends' lives.
Case in point: This evening I checked in and received a friend request from Erasure. OK, ok, I made the exception. Lame, probably, but I totally heart them. Anyway, for one reason or another I looked at my overall list of friends tonight, and can I just say it's remarkable to me how many of you folks are MARRIED these days? One of my little pals in particular-- it's not unexpected, but I guess it still just kind of takes me by surprise. Anyway, I'm happy to see everyone changing and life going well for y'all.
Things for me are new and exciting, too. The latest is that it looks like I'm going to meet up with Ms. Sokphal in London for a little bit of a European adventure this fall. AGGHH! So scary, so much money. But as Sokphal was good enough to point out, it'll be worth it. She said something to the effect of, "A new leather couch for your house? Eh. Memories with Sokphal in Europe? Priceless." She's also baiting me with Euro-hotties. We are now in the process of discussing where besides London we will go. She thinks we can hit two countries, and I think this is very good. The question now, which ones? I'm always up for some Polska time, of course, but I'm open to trying some new places. We've discussed Morocco, but word on the street is it's uber-dangerous. Anyone want to weigh in with their favorites? Pretty much so long as I get to H&M and Wagamama's, I'm cool. Oh, and I want to meet Sokphal's friend who looks like Morissey, just because I think that'll be a riot.
So, yes, things are well. A little traveling, a little house-building. A lot of working, but it's all very worth it and enjoyable.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Number One Single

Here is a personal ad I read in the Albuquerque Journal this morning. I thought everyone would get a kick out of it:
SPM, great shape, never married, no kids. Intelligent, great conversationalist, professional, strong character, with great passion. Seeking woman, naturally beautiful, spiritual, and willing to cease her passions.
Yeah, well, sign me up for that! I think I laughed for about 10 minutes.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

It was really nothing

I had another first today-- I mowed the lawn for the first time in all my 25 years.
Usually when I tell people that, they think I'm spoiled rotten or lazy or something. The truth, from my point of view, seems two-pronged. First, mowing the lawn was one of the few chores I DIDN'T have. Second, my mom always told me she was afraid I'd cut my toes off like my cousin Curtis (who actually lost his toes riding a bicycle barefoot). Anyway, I actually liked it quite a bit. I was having a kind of rough evening-- got a little bit of disappointing news. I noticed our grass looked like a jungle, and with my brother leaving on a hunting trip in the morning, I knew I'd be the one to do it. So I had to have him teach me how to start the thing, but other than that, things went pretty well. There are a few spots that seem a little higher than the rest of the lawn, but not bad for a first try. I think it's like cutting hair. You have to start sometime, and your first cut won't be your best. That said, if anyone would like me to style them with a faux-hawk, I'd be more than happy to lend an artistic hand.
New Mexico is still enchanting, and RAINY. I think today has been the first day it hasn't rained since I moved back a month ago tomorrow. How the time flies! Chevron, do you miss me terribly?
I think it's good for me to have this week with my parents out of town. I'm learning to channel some of my own inner-superhero. This morning I was having my teeth cleaned, but transferred the business calls to my cell and managed to help a customer with a bunch of tooth-polishing gunk in my mouth. If I can do that, I imagine I can do anything.

Monday, August 7, 2006

Lady of the House Speaking

Um, being in charge is kind of hard and not all that fun.
My parents are out of town on this cruise, my little sister just went back to college, and my brother works till about 7 every night. I am left in charge of running the business and running the household. It's not too bad, but it always leaves me with a lot of respect and gratitude for and my mother-- I think she's a superhero or something.
So far I've managed to slightly injure myself twice this morning. First, I was in the shower and had to take a phone with me to the bathroom (oh, the joys of a home business where the workday starts before 7 a.m.!) and fortunately only had to get out once to take a call. UNFORTUNATELY, however, when I went to grab a towell off the counter, the phone came with it and landed on my big toe. You wouldn't think that would hurt very much, but you wouldn't be right.
Then, I tried to feed my dog, but that has proven to be more of a challenge than anything. My mother, the kind, nurturing soul she is, has spoiled Molly quite a bit and she won't eat dog food (Molly the dog, of course. My mother never eats dog food either). Instead, she usually feasts on chicken breast, ground beef, hot dogs, or whatever we're eating (she really likes spaghetti and Hawaiian Haystacks). Well, she was out of chicken so I tried to give her some turkey. There was some lunch meat in the refigerator I cut up, presented on a lovely paper party plate, and wished her a hearty, "Smacznego!" Molly turned her nose up at it.
Well, to make a long story shorter, I couldn't find other meat alternatives, so I set about making her some chicken in the good old pressure cooker. This was my first experience with the thing, but my mom explained how to use it (in general terms) a few days ago and I thought if I didn't do something, my little dog would starve. Or growl at me until I broke down and bought her chicken nuggets at some fast food joint. All went well until I took the lid off the thing and burnt my thumb on the steam. It's a little tender, but I expect I'll live.
Anyway, I'd best get back to my duties. I'm changing the sheets on all the beds and doing other laundry. I've got to clean out the refigerator, and I'd like to organize the kitchen cabinets. This afternoon I've got to hit the bank, the cleaners, the grocery store, and at the rate I'm going, the pharmacy. It's tough being a mom, even if it's just to a small, demanding dog.
PS. It certainly doesn't look like I'll be adding a Mister to my relationship equation any time soon-- I'm too backward socially. Most of the time I'm able to blame this on the complete lack of interesting men in my community, but it's really me. Yesterday at church, I saw a REALLY cute dude. 30, just passing through on his way back to Los Alamos-- he'd flown into Albuquerque from his vacation home. Cha-ching! But all I could do was babble some nonsense about how I'd heard there are a lot of Polish people in Los Alamos. Yikes. Well, at least I'm fabulous. ;)

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Money Changes Everything

Oh, Fair New Mexico. Cyndi Lauper is playing one of the local casinos next month and I'm sorely tempted to go. However, the rational side of my brain tells me I can't be frittering my money away on things like concert tickets (or those killer shoes I bought yesterday with the skull on one side and a girl on the other-- designer is a former tattoo artist) because it won't be long before I'll need money to buy trees and shrubs for landscaping, or pipe so my brother can weld a fence for me. I think I'll be able to get into my house, but I don't know if I'll have one bit of furniture to put in it... thank goodness I've got my old yardsale standbys. I'm not complaining, just a little overwhelmed.
I've been thinking a bit about money recently. Everything costs. Some things have prices that go beyond the nickel and dime, though. In the past couple weeks, I've seen people brag about how much they make, others get mad because they don't think the wage their coworkers are earning are fair (too much, too little). I've seen people get jealous and try to take advantage of others, and some people assume they're being taken advantage of. In the past I've known people who always have a hand out, and you know that if you buy them lunch you'll not see that money again. It generally doesn't matter, because it feels good to give, but I've noticed those people are the first to remind folks who owe them money to pay up. But you just can't judge, because they probably need it worse than you do.
I've watched money change people I know and people I know from a distance. There are those who like to always one-up the next guy, and those who want all the money for themselves but won't pay their workers squat. Maybe the reason the love of money is the root of all evil is because it is a symptom of a greater problem-- selfishness. That seems to be the true root of every problem. At the gym the other night an old friend was telling me that if he had unlimited funds, he'd run for public office and change the world, but when I asked him what he'd change and how he'd do it, he couldn't give me any answers.
You know, I'm pretty fortunate that I'm able to make it by. I work hard and I enjoy being a productive, contributing member of my family. I'm glad I take home a little paycheck, but I think the lesson here is money won't completely fix anything.