Sunday, September 24, 2006

Martha Stewart... A Good Thing?

Back in my days of writing for the Daily Universe, I wrote an opinion piece called "Martha's A Good Thing" in reference to my beloved Martha Stewart. It was at the very beginning of the ImClone scandal, long before she did time at Camp Cupcake. It was a (mostly) tongue-in-cheek piece about all the reasons to love Martha-- I think I came up with her creativity, the fact that she was a self-made woman, and her Polish heritage. I thought the whole thing was very clever, though it was maddening enough to one student that he wrote a letter to the editor blasting me for my "faulty logic" (figures he didn't have much of a sense of humor-- he worked at the copy center). Anyway, it was one of those things that was all at once pro-Martha and at the same time making fun of her enough that it would probably preclude me from any guest appearances on her show (though Anna G. from SNL makes frequent appearances).
Anyhow, Mutti and I were discussing Martha last night on our way home from the cabin. She and I agree that Martha's makeover-- you know, the post-prison pleasantries, etc.-- don't really suit her. She's trying for an image-revamp, but I'm not sure it's working.
And I wonder, is the whole thing hopeless? Once one falls from public grace can they make a full and speedy recovery? President Clinton seems to have managed. People still love all the stars in and out of rehab, though Michael Jackson seems beyond help (poor little Thriller). But do those same fickle and vertiginous rules apply to the everyday Jane on the street? I wonder, and I'm a little worried, because part of me feels the little glares from the people offended by my untarnished, yet sometimes sideways halo.
So what do you do when the people around you think they know what's going on in your life and get hurt about things that aren't real? Can you really apologize for something you didn't even do, or something that you didn't do on purpose? Unlike Martha, I still care what people think about me, but I don't know that I necessarily want an image makeover either. For better or worse, I'm probably going to be basically the same forever.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

O Fair New Mexico

I know I've said it before, but I have to say it again-- I LOVE New Mexico. Even thought I loved Utah, and I have an affair going with Poland, I honestly am so happy to be here, and it's remarkable what a great life I'm leading here in the land of the red and the green (chile, that is).
Take my little hometown, for example. It's probably a little dirty and junky, but honestly, people here are SO nice to me. A week ago I went to the grocery store for my mom and people were indescribably friendly. And I'm not just talking about the nice clerks at Albertsons, but the people shopping there too. Checking out was a joy-- the cashier asked me if I'd found everything all right, and I told her the one thing they didn't seem to have were the Kellog's All Bran Bars (quick product endorsement-- these things are your favorite granola bar, amplified... delicious with 5 GRAMS OF FIBER!!), but that it was ok. She was very helpful and wrote everything down so Albertsons could order some in. The man bagging my groceries said he wanted a candy bar, but I moved on with my high-fiber lecture and had him convinced as well. Meanwhile, people standing in line for the bank were all listening with interest, and chuckling that this little crazy woman would tell an old fella that he needed more fiber, but I could tell I'd charmed them all as well.
New Mexicans are nice people, and so are our imports. I was at Barnes and Noble yesterday looking for a birthday present for a friend, and the little man who helped me was also fantastic. He was of Indian descent (think M. Night S.--hot, hot, hot) with a British accent-- had gone to school in England. Oh, he was so cute! And he carried my back-breaking basket of books upstairs to help me pick out a gift for Hunter. I know, I know, it's his job, but he was precious and I loved him.
Honestly, coming here has been good for my heart. I was really afraid for a long time-- that people would think I left Utah because I couldn't hack it or because I was weak or because I wanted to mooch off my parents... all not true, by the way. I thought I'd never make a friend again and that I'd be consigned to a life of boredom, with the highlight of my day being a trip to the bank, cleaners or post office. But life has been so full here! Don't get me wrong, I miss my friends and I even miss some aspects of my old job. I miss living alone mostly because I always feel bad when my mom calls me in the middle of the night (OK, ok, 11:30-- but that's the middle of the night to my poor, saintly mother who goes to bed at about 7:30) to make sure I'm ok and find out when I'm coming home. But none of those things make up for the myriad benefits I'm experiencing living the life of a Happy New Mexican. Someday I'm going to have a house (they tell me it's happening sooner rather than later). I'm seeing the world and visiting my friends. I'm connecting with people here-- breaking down some barriers I've put up and letting my hair down a bit. It feels good. It feels really good to have people like you just because that's what they do. Move to New Mexico-- it does a body good.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Workin' for the man every night and day

You know you are too close to a person when he asks you to shave his back. Ew.
OK, with that said, life is good. I'm gaining all sorts of new skills these days. I'm getting to be a real ace when it comes to mowing the lawn, and my mom is teaching me all the ins and outs of canning... we've canned many, many jars of apple pie filling, and I expect this to continue through the end of the week. It may seem a little antiquated, but it's a skill I'm happy to have-- kind of makes me feel like I'm participating in the ultimate Relief Society ritual. Now I'm a full-fledged woman.
The last few days have been good for introspection. My aunt told me that I have a problem because if a boy likes me, I automatically hate him (true, but I'm making an effort to not scream in any more faces when they go for the kiss--poor Tyler). My dad has taken to calling me "Kate"-- as in Katherine from Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew." He insists he isn't calling me a shrew, but he says he wonders if there's a man out there who can tame me. Do I need to be tamed? Interesting.
My other happy news is I went to the Fair last night and had a chat with two gentlemen from Poland. How I love the Poles! Of course, I wish these two hadn't taught my friend probably the foulest Polish cuss word, but they were still nice. Adam from Katowice told me that I spoke the best Polish of any American he's met so far. It helps that no one outside the Midwest speaks Polish, and he's only been to Las Vegas. And I don't know how to say a whole lot, but I guess my pronunciation is ok. You can win people over pretty easily by singing them drinking songs in their native tongue.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Reuben was correct... as usual, your majesty

Any of you who know me personally (which, is actually everyone but Todd who loves "Fablehaven" and my BFFs Vince and Andy from Erasure and random people who read my blog because they think I'm the next Nobel Prize winner [please, oh please let me follow in the footsteps of Wislawa Szymborska and Czeslaw Milosz]) know I hold my little college pal, Reuben, in the highest regard. He is a beacon of goodness in my life, even though I haven't seen him for years and we're leading our very busy lives with many states in between. I honestly love this kid, and I should listen to him.
Hmm... that was a lengthy introduction to say I should be following his advice of censoring my blog a bit (as Reub did by removing old postings a few months back). Don't worry, it's not R-rated (I think, though my Chevron rhapsodies may be a little nauseating to those of you who didn't get to experience the majesty of his beautiful lips) but Reuben pointed out something that's obvious to anyone with common sense-- you have to be careful on these things. Word gets around pretty quickly when you talk about someone-- saying good things or bad.
Back in my earlier MySpace days, there was still a sense of security (false as it may have been) in writing whatever I wanted... bucking inhibitions and all. But there are some new people in my life (even in kind of remote ways) who have all my words at their fingertips... and it's only fair, because heaven knows I've been dusting off those old investigative reporting skills to learn about some of the kiddies I'm serving and serving with at church. So here's my disclaimer: If I know you, I'll probably talk about you. I don't plan to say anything mean, but sometimes people take things the wrong way. And I like most of the people I know, so odds are in your favor. I may even make a judgment or two. It's probably not because I'm particularly obsessed with you or I have extreme feelings about you in one way or the other (that is, of course, unless I say I do)-- but if it's going to upset you to read about yourself on this thing, don't read at all. And maybe it'll just work out for you-- I mean, I could be wrong, but Chevron probably didn't mind me announcing to the world that he's the world's hottest gas-station attendant and maybe the best kisser in the continental United States. Maybe...I guess we'll see, won't we?

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Crikey and Hallelujah... No more white shoes

So I wrote a brilliant entry last night-- a tribute to our beloved Crocadile Hunter, an admonition to burn your white shoes (don't even wear them in the summer-- white shoes are so foul), and an update on my uber-fantastic weekend, hiking in Southern Colorado. Wouldn't you know, I lost it before it posted? Oh well.
Here is the gist and the nub:
1) I feel very bad about the loss of Steve Erwin. More men should be willing to wrestle dangerous animals in the name of preservation and environmentalism. I know it seems silly to mourn the loss of a celebrity I never met, but I do feel awful for his widow and children. It's like when you see a car accident on the highway and you say a little prayer for all those involved.
2) Best of luck to Katie Couric this evening... I hope she does well!
3) Colorado was the bomb, and I must be the luckiest girl alive-- how cool is it that there's a waterfall just about a mile away from the Sego compound? So fantastic.
4) Things are finally moving and shaking a little more with the house. The well is supposed to be finished in a day or two (getting the permit was a bit of a hassle, but that's ok). Oh, and I'm thinking about putting this great Mexican tile in the kitchen, bathrooms and entryway. It's good to have made some progress on the decision front. Now I've got to pick out the carpeting and a wall color, but that will come, I'm sure.
5) That is all for now... I'm happy. Love, Rachel