Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sick of this Poo...

My life, I'm sad to say, is full of poo these days.

And I mean that literally.

Between dog-sitting the new puppy, a niece in diapers and another one who is potty trained but needs help after a No. 2, I've been cleaning up poo constantly.

Thank goodness for wet wipes and Febreeze.

Friday, September 23, 2011

How Rachel got her Groove Back

I think I've finally snapped out of the bad mood that's had a hold of me since July. (July!) Sure took long enough, right?

It isn't that folks are much nicer or that things are all that different, but I had a good moment of minor fury that really put things in perspective this week.

On Wednesday night, I was hanging out at the Institute after a very interesting talk about the 12 tribes of Israel with President Kearns. There wasn't a whole lot going on, so when a boy I recognized from church waltzed in, I tried to make some pleasant small talk.

"So, tell me more about you," I started.

And he did. He told me about all the countries he's lived in. He told me about his family. He told me about the languages he speaks. He told me about his family's ties to the mafia. He told me about his ex-wife and his current girlfriend. He told me about his education, and his job, and how he looks like a certain leader of the free world.

When he finally took a breath, he said it was so refreshing to have someone talk to him that was genuinely interested in getting to know him, and not because I had a romantic agenda. O. M. Gosh. I tried to laugh it off, secretly asking myself if all men are this self-absorbed, as he told me it was so nice also to have someone talk to him about himself, rather than asking his friends. Double O.M. Gosh. But he concluded by saying, "Yes, I'm really an open book." Clearly, because I got the whole three-volume life story.

I tried to find some common ground. I said, "Oh, yes, so am I. Is there anything you'd like to know about me?" He blinked a couple of times and said no.


But he said, "I know you. You're Rachel Sego." Pause. "Wait. Are you related to ALL the Segos in town?"

I know the kid is foreign, but you'd think he'd have picked up that it's not a very common last name.

"Yes," I said a little warily. Truth be told, there are a lot of us, and while most people have a pretty good opinion of the family, there are a few bad apples always threatening to spoil the barrel.

"So you're related to ____________ Sego?"


"Oh, I hate that *$%*&$*#. I plan to sue him someday."

Yikes. Ironically, this particular member of the family is someone who is typically more likable than some of the others. I was surprised.

So then I had to listen to a story about how my relation "did him wrong." Awkward. Especially because while the situation was weird, it didn't really ring true for me, and I'm guessing there's a lot more to the story. Also, I don't really know that my relative did anything wrong.

Anyway, after half an hour of him raking my family member over the coals, he left me to talk to his girlfriend's family, and trotted away, not remotely aware of how offensive the whole conversation way.

I think we've all been there. Who hasn't had a day when they've been mad at a parent/sibling/uncle, etc.? But have you ever heard someone talking smack about that same person, even on the day that you might be a little less than pleased with the family member in question? You're immediate response is to go, um, ape-poo on them. What gives them the right to talk about YOUR family?!?!?!

And believe me, I know the Segos are not perfect. Sego men are known for their tempers and their grudges. There are a couple who are pretty proud of their monetary success, and it's a little obnoxious (especially because my dad is an ambitious man who has never made money his god, and I really appreciate it), particularly when people make inferences about your family's worth based upon others' bragging. I've got a relation or two who we all run from at the family reunion because they boss you around, say things that are inappropriate, or are generally obnoxious. Some are self-righteous, some are back-woodsy and some are certifiably crazy. But they're MY family. I'll take them, warts and all.

And this particular conversation got me thinking about my crazy Tuesday night. Here was a chap who thought that he'd rescue me from some social obscurity, but clearly he doesn't know who I am or anything about me. He obviously didn't know where I lived, because he was mad it took me 45 minutes to drive to his place (never mind what it cost me in gasoline and groceries). While I was cooking, he asked me if other people were aware of my talents in the kitchen. I laughed. Of course they are. I'm Bonnie Sego's daughter, so it only comes naturally.

Disclaimer: I will now enumerate just a few of the great things there are about being a Sego. If you are of the "Segos are obnoxious" school of thought, 1) You can skip to the end and 2) You probably shouldn't be reading my blog anyway. Now, on to the prideful tirade:

Who do these people think they are? Actually, it doesn't matter, because I'm Rachel Sego (and apparently greatly influenced by Gossip Girls and Chuck Bass, though I digress). I'm educated. I'm really funny. I can handle any domestic challenge, large or small. I make people feel at ease. I am interested in everything, so I have friends from all over the world who help me sate my curiosity and zest for life. I'm a homeowner. I can bind my own books and make my own quilts. I'm able to can food and I'm able to teach a Sunday School lesson that'll knock your socks off. I'm the walking embodiment of Relief Society. I've traveled, I've explored. I've got dreams and a long check-list of life experiences I'm tackling, so I'm never boring. I don't settle for mediocrity. I'm well versed in theater as well as football, and I bleed Cougar Blue. I use Aqua Fresh Extreme Clean toothpaste, and my teeth are every bit as nice as Wade Hyer's. I'm a California-born New Mexican, and think the Land of Enchantment really is enchanting, because I make the most of every place, every situation, and every season of my life. I come from the world's greatest family, and if you talk smack about them again, President Obama look-alike, I'll beat you in the teeth.

And while I'm on the subject of my family, let's talk about them, because they are infinitely cooler than I am. I was just at my brother's house this evening and he showed me all the improvements he's making to his property. The kid is building a barn with his OWN TWO HANDS. I mean, he designed it. He's welding it, piece by piece. He showed me how he'd run electricity to a tack room he framed himself and the water trough he's got rigged to a float so it fills automatically for the horses he plans on getting. He's got a plan for chickens and rabbits. He's got an amazing garden. The boy can do anything.

Then there's my sister-- she just can't stop accomplishing. Finished with her college degree? Oh, then why not go to cosmetology school as a step toward opening a spa someday. After that, sure, she'll be a teacher. You need someone to take care of kids with special needs? Sure, she'll get her masters. Ashley can make anything beautiful, whether it's your face or a cake or a gift or a space.

My siblings married well, too. My sister-in-law is a nurse, and a non-stop ball of energy. Plus, she's produced the two most wonderful little girls, and is incubating child No. 3. My brother-in-law is one of the genuinely best men I've ever met. No one could be kinder or more compassionate, and he's so great with the kids he teaches and coaches.

And don't even get me started on the extended family-- my cousin Mitchell likes to laugh about an old family reunion t-shirt we all had that read, "Segos-- We're good people." But that really sums it up.

So that's it, my friends. My ah-ha moment of gratitude. Because I'm Rachel Sego, and the name alone says a lot.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Would you believe last night was the best date I ever had?


Good. Because that would be a lie.

Talk about the worst evening ever!


But I'm gonna talk about it here, because then I only have to relive the horrid story once, and not over-and-over again. When people ask, "How did things go last night?" I can just give them the link.

So first off, it wasn't really a date-date. Which I didn't know until last night, obviously.

And next, a disclaimer: I'm not at all interested in the boy of the story. And before you get extra mad on my behalf, just know that I never was. Why? Many reasons:

1- This boy obviously likes a friend of mine. And I am happy for her (or at least I was-- now I'm not too sure about his character).

2- A girl I know and quite frankly, don't like at all, had a crush on said boy. This alone would cause me to run in the other direction, because this girl's purpose in life seems to be to make mine a living hell. I'm not gonna compete.

3- Myriad other reasons. He's nice enough and attractive enough, but I generally only crush on long-established friends, of which he isn't. Good enough.

So anyway, on to the set-up: About a week and a half ago I was sick with a cold/flu. I stayed home from church and sat in my dad's recliner trying to sleep. I felt like poo. I finally went home Sunday night and tried to work on some projects to keep my mind off the fact I was tired and restless and uncomfortable. Got a text from a number I didn't recognize-- it was my new FHE dad inviting me to the next day's activity. I figured out who it was and sent a verification text-- "H, is that you? This is Rachel Sego." So he asks me, "Is that sinking into the couch Rachel?" And I said, "No, because I have no idea what that is in reference to. Actually, it's the Rachel all your friends don't like." I shouldn't have said it. I should have said, "Your family history Sunday School teacher." Or possibly "Rachel with the good hair." But I was still feeling actively hurt from his circle of friends and I had a passive-aggressive moment. So while I didn't have a voice, I texted a few people back and accidentally answered his phone call. "Oh, THAT Rachel," he said.

I told him I didn't want to talk because my voice was strained as it was. So then I got a series of text messages telling me that he knows people are mean to me and it isn't right (it isn't, but still it's a bit awkward coming from a boy who doesn't really know me at all). And then an offer to "talk." Um, why would I want to talk about this at all? I just got over crying every day about it. Plus, my voice was on the fritz. More concerned texts, and I began to feel like a project.

So over the next week, H keeps up the campaign. Finally after all the "is there anything I can do for you" solicitations, I decided to turn it around and say, "Well, is there anything I can do for YOU?" He tells me he doesn't know how to cook. Would I teach him to cook something we could eat afterwards-- and unfortunately-- then talk? I was weary of the bombardment, so I consented with a tentative yes.

The thing is, I got to thinking I'd been wrong. In telling a few of my most-trusted companions about the whole thing, only one person found it insulting (and he spends a lot of time being bitter anyway), whereas several friends essentially said, "Hey, give the guy a chance. Even if he does think of you as a project, at least it's coming from a good place." And I agreed. Still do. He's pretty nice-- or at least he has decent intentions.

I'd even gotten to the point where I was looking forward to the evening. Sure, it had meant missing a meeting of a group that's pretty important to me. Also, I'd had an invitation from a friend to go over and watch the season premiere of "Glee" and "New Girl." It would've been fun, but I'd already made plans with H. Unfortunately, my Glee-watching friend was pretty upset about it, but a commitment is a commitment, right?

Anyway, last night finally came. I worked all day and then scooted home to get all the stuff I'd need. I wasn't planning on teaching him how to make anything fancy, but you never know what kind of things people have or don't have in their kitchens. So I loaded up several reusable grocery bags and drove the 45 minutes to make it to his apartment. When I got there, he was on the phone with someone and yelled for me to come in, so I just got to work in the kitchen, making a peach pie with some of my precious, preserved Palisades peaches. Those things are like gold in our family!

The pie was ready to go in the oven, and I had started on the Caprese salad when the latest of half a dozen text alerts came over his phone (he'd been responding the whole time). I said, "someone really must want to get a hold of you" or something like unto it, and he said, "Well, the thing is, I'm over-scheduled. I didn't know it was going to take you 45 minutes to get here, and I'm supposed to go swing dancing at 7." It was about 6:55 and the pie hadn't even gone into the oven.

Well, what can you do? In my case, I made him a sandwich and left the ingredients to make a really good salad. I told him how to bake the pie while I packed up my things and tried not to look too hurt. He didn't argue, and he didn't help, unless you count him carrying one of the bags of groceries to my car (which really speaks volumes). There was a feeble invitation to go swing dancing, but it didn't take a lot of instinct to know that this would have interfered with his plans with the person or people he had considered a better offer. On the whole, it was pretty demoralizing. I went home.

I told my sister about it last night, who in turn told my brother-in-law and my mom. I'm pretty sure my dad heard about it too, because he told me he loved me about five times this morning before going out to a jobsite. That's possibly the worst part. Mostly because it hurts them. Of course, when my brother finds out, his reaction won't be pleasant either. Yesterday I was at work until past five, and I said, "I really need to go because I have plans tonight." Brother was incredulous. So either his teasing will be justified, or he'll feel bad because he'll think he jinxed me.

I'd sure like to have a social life that wasn't just full of mortification.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Education, Part II

Another thing I knew, but had forgotten:

Confidence and happiness are attractive.

There was a time in my life when I was a dating machine. What made the difference? That I liked myself, just the way I was. That I felt I was doing all I could to be the best version of me. And though there was still plenty to work on, I felt like what I was and who I was were both pretty OK.

I'm getting there again. I like it.

OK, now for some fun stories from last night:

So we were "speed friending" for FHE. It was like speed dating, but not really, though my little pal Sean walked away from the activity, having planned dates with at least four different girls. Go Sean Green! I like it.

I sat by fabulous Chelsea, and had to laugh when Urban Cowboy didn't want to talk to me (I didn't particularly want to talk to him either) and bolted as soon as the "move it along" horn blew. Also, many thanks to Chelsea who helped me get de-Bradded last night. We were talking to my friend Reilly, who mentioned Sunday had been his birthday. Being the generous and loving person I am, I told him Chels and I would both give him a birthday kiss. I thought this offer would be good for her, because R is a very sweet boy, and I didn't want her to waste her time with UC. But I got tricked-- Chelsea gave R a kiss on one cheek, and then it was my turn. I went in to return the favor on the other side, and the punk turned his face! So, no, I'm pretty sure it wasn't as magical a kiss as when Adam kissed Pam at an earlier speed friending activity, but I feel better having the last person who kissed me not be Uncle B.

Another highlight from last night was hanging out with my friend S. It had been a while since we had bonding time and he makes me laugh. Things went pretty well. I'd give the outing an A-. The reason it wasn't a solid A wasn't really anyone's fault. Well, no, it might have been mine, actually. He'd suggested we go get ice cream somewhere, so we met up and started driving around. It was a little late, so there were a lot of places that weren't open, but we were on one of the Burque's main drags, so there were plenty of places we could have gone. Why didn't I suggest one? Here's the big secret: Because my wallet was completely empty. I mean, I have NO money. I'd cleaned out the meager bit of change I had earlier yesterday morning, and put it in my trusty piggy bank. I'd spent the last bit of cash I had on green beans at Smith's case lot sale and my poor checking account is really on the low side. It's terrible! This is the time of year when I really have to pinch pennies because I've got to fill the propane tank before the cold season. Approximately $500 there. I need to buy pellets for my stove so I can heat my house. That's another 400 clams for the winter. Car insurance is due at the end of October. Goodbye $$$. Property taxes. Ouch. Home-owner's insurance. HUGE ouch, especially because you pay through the nose and get nothing in return but a promise of the company dropping you if you make a claim in the next couple of years (can you tell I'm looking for a new insurance agent?). Car registration. Mortgage. Holidays. Oh my!

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, poverty. So I'd had some money woes earlier in the day because I was poor and what not. What does this have to do with ice cream? I'm pretty sure S would have got me the ice cream, but I have this compulsion to pay on any outing with a boy. I have to at least offer! But how can I offer when I have no money?!?!?! So I just enjoyed the very good conversation whilst we drove east and west, hoping we wouldn't actually pull over anywhere so I'd have to confess my lack of funds, which may not have made a difference anyway.

My cop-out: "You know, I'm not really a big ice-cream person anyway." (Good thing that's actually a true statement-- I can take it or leave it.)

His come-back/on: "I can see that." Me: "Really? Why's that?" Him: "Because you're sweet enough without it." Awwww....

So despite my private mortification, it was a good evening. I guess if a boy asks me if I want to get ice cream, maybe I should just let him take me for ice cream? No wonder I don't have a boyfriend. I can't even be normal about dessert!

I'm having dinner with another boy tonight. We're cooking together. No dessert planned. I just can't handle it.

Life lesson, number (next): learn to be a better recipient.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

An Education

So here are a couple recent life lessons:

1) Don't push someone away when they are genuinely making an effort to be your friend. That's just silly.

2) You don't always have to listen to everyone else's "helpful" advice. Especially when it's unsolicited, and sometimes even when you've sought it out. There are a lot of folks out there who do have your best interests at heart, but that doesn't always mean they're right. They'll tell you how to dress and how to talk and what to talk about and why you're wrong to feel the way you do. They might be right, but at the end of the day, you've gotta be true to yourself.

Friday, September 9, 2011

So it's not always all about me...

Lest you think I've grown up and lost my propensity to narcissism, just know I've got something bigger than myself to talk about today. Tomorrow I'll return to self-absorbency, I'm sure.
On Wednesday night, I talked with my sister on the phone. She'd had something terrible go down in her neighborhood. The 13-year-old boy across the street, an only child with incredible parents, tried to take his own life. Sister only knew because there were myriad emergency response vehicles parked in front of her house. She saw the medics taking the boy out on a stretcher and trying to revive him, and the parents speed off in their car behind the ambulance. While she and I were on the phone, she had another call. It was her neighbor calling from the hospital, asking her to check to make sure the police had properly locked her house. She told my sister what happened-- and I'll spare you the details, but this poor woman found her own son. My sister and brother-in-law took care of their dogs. And after a horrific 17-hours, the young man died.
I've hardly been able to think about anything else. I've tried to distract myself, and work and a little TV helped, but I've stayed up tossing and turning and praying for these parents. I don't know them. We've just waved. But all I can think about is what it would be like to live in that house after such a tragedy. I've asked myself what makes a THIRTEEN year old so desperate that he gives up all hope? I've been praying constantly for the family to be comforted. All I know is that whilst I happily watched Strawberry Short Cake with my sweet little nieces, there was a little boy 40 miles away who felt like he couldn't go on. I couldn't have done anything, but who else COULD I do something for who is in my sphere of influence?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Big Burn

I'm gonna take a page out of my girl Taylor Swift's book-- like her or not (I'm not always sure I know), you've gotta give her credit for kicking butt and taking names and then putting those actual names in her songs.

In some instances, naming names is truly unattractive. I'm thinking about the time Freddie Prinze, Jr. was on Rosie O'Donnell and talked about all the kids in high school who were mean to him. It seemed a little childish. But then again he likes to say that he grew up in the hood, had to put food on his momma's table, and saw people get shot. Sure thing, tough guy. You went to La Cueva, home of the most spoiled of Albuquerque's druggies and you had a few chores. Whatever.

Anyway, don't ask me why T.S.'s calling people out is better, but somehow it is. Maybe because it's in a catchy tune?

I don't sing, obviously, but this weekend was a bridge-burner all over the place, and the more I think about it, the less I care. I'm too old to take crap off of anybody. And I'm too good.
So I'm not going to go completely Taylor on you, but you all know who you are. I'm through.

Gossipy Ms. K, stop dealing dirt. You get your hands dirty, and everyone knows.

Know-it-All U.C., I don't trust you, and it's going to take a lot more than your bravado to win me back. PS. Games come back to bite you in the butt. Glad it worked out for your pals this time, but it's a bad practice.

JD, I love you, but you've gotta stop making me cry. And if that means I'VE gotta stop hanging out with you, we may just have to take a break. I'm running out of Kleenex, and you're not helping. I know you're trying, but it's not working.

Drama President-- you've got to stop living your life through everyone else, and quit stirring things up. Surely you're tired of watching the carnage by now?

Dopey, did you really have to come into my Sunday School class and insult my teaching abilities?

Of course, I'm just as guilty. I enabled Bad Penny. I tried to be nice to former-evil. I was a listening ear to the young pontificate. PS. to him-- get an education! Bestest is not a word!

Oh, grr! I've had a terrible weekend. I'm ever-so-grateful to my parents who didn't say I-told-you-so and to the true friends who checked on me. I wasn't myself at all. Thank you Dex for loving me in spite of my crazy, even though you provoke me like mad. CJ, I'm sorry I said I don't think of you as a sexual person. It didn't come out right. Love, I'm sorry I picked a fight with you and brought up past transgressions. It was childish. Thanks for your forgiveness. Curls, I' promise I'm not always so emo. Mr. Walks-on-Water, I'm sorry I cancelled our dinner. I promise a good effort when I'm myself again.

And why is it that I'm not myself? Ever heard the expression "give-out?" I think that's where I am. Despite U.C.'s urging, this idea of "taking care of no. 1" doesn't really work for me. I'm trying to send out all the love I can, but don't know where to get it. Not JD's couch. Not from the gossip-mongers. Trying to make others feel good about themselves is a big part of my fairy-godmother identity, and life feels wrong now that no one needs me. And I've remembered this weekend again why it is I hate asking for help... because when it doesn't come, it's devastating. I don't even know what to ask for. Just don't give me any more matches.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

God, Please Give Me Stong Wings. Amen.

This should not be a major revelation, but just in case you didn't know when I'm feeling cornered or angry or sad or anything that revs up an adrenal response, flight wins over fight for me every time. I'm very sad right now. I'm hoping I can fly long enough and far enough away that I can forget that fact for a while.