Author Archives

Are you happy?

The other day I was talking with a friend about the problem of happiness. Not that being happy is a problem. But so many people I know aren’t happy, and that (to them, at least) is a problem. Whether it’s a problem for me, too, depends on whether I choose to make it one. I know […]

Deadlines and Commitments

Sticking with things is good, except when it isn’t. A soul-killing job, the wrong marriage or relationship, a toxic friendship, etc. I enjoy blogging, but I have a full life with a lot of other responsibilities, and other creative projects (thanks for the reminder, Alexa Padgett). Posting every day for the first week of the year was […]

The Joy of Pivot Tables

Ah, January. When I have all the previous year’s personal finance data and can spend untold hours allowing my OCD nature to run wild through endless spreadsheets, pivot tables, pie charts and other instruments of analytical torture. For someone with an income as modest as mine, and as many children as I have, I’m actually […]

Snow Day

The concept of the snow day was foreign to me for the first four decades of my life. Snow was, as a coworker from the Philippines said yesterday at the office, something on Christmas cards. I moved from Los Angeles to Santa Fe in 2006, after years of mild New Mexico winters. The winter of 2006-07 […]

Timehop

When I heard people talk about Timehop, I thought they meant when Facebook greets you with these “x years ago today” memories. Apparently that’s just called Facebook Memories, and Timehop is an app — which I don’t need, since I have Facebook, right? This “7 years ago today” picture was in my Facebook feed the […]

Once upon a time, I wrote a book

Once upon a time, I wrote a book. Two books, actually. Three, if you count my dissertation, but it’s full of Greek and academese so I probably shouldn’t. Oh, and several screenplays. By “a book,” I meant a novel, because I’ve only written (finished) one of those. I dusted it off (metaphorically; it only exists electronically) and […]

The Highlight Reel

Yesterday, my wise friend Shelli posted this on Facebook: [My Facebook] life is my highlight reel. It shows my amazing life. It doesn’t show much of my boring life because, really, who’d want to see that? It shows vacation pics, not because I take grand vacations, but because that’s a highlight. It shows pics when […]

The Riddle of the Sphinx

I’m not talking about the riddle Oedipus solved, thereby fulfilling the prophecy he was trying to avoid and giving Freud something to write about. Now everyone knows what walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three in the evening. There’s probably an Instagram meme. I mean who built the ancient limestone […]

The January Project

Since I stopped blogging regularly five or six years ago, I’ve written a few posts, but it’s been in fits and starts. Every time I think about starting again, I think, why? Do I have anything of significance to say? I no longer have any interest in writing about politics (though once in a while a […]

The Morning After

In the months since Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, Facebook has become a savage place. Friends on both sides have posted ugly, intolerant things. Multiple friends have posted along the lines of “If you’re voting for _________, unfriend me. I don’t want you here.” These come from the left in a ratio of about […]

Can you ever go home again?

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said you could never step into the same river twice, since the river ever flowed, and was never the same at any moment as it was at any other. Cities are like that. They grow and decay, decline and gentrify. Their character changes subtly or dramatically as an ever-changing river of […]

Road Trip: Part Deux

You’d think the Grand Canyon would be hard to top, but it turned out to be third on Tessie’s list of awesome things on the northern Arizona leg of our road trip. When we got back to Williams, home base for the Grand Canyon expedition, I got off the freeway one exit too soon, which […]

Road Trip

My 10-year-old daughter and I spent the day at the Grand Canyon, her first trip there and my first time since I was her age. I was a little disappointed when I went as a child, because I expected it to look like it did in all the professional photographs I’d seen, the colors more […]

Slacker Mom’s assault on moral decency and good nutrition

The other night I took my two eldest daughters, 14 and almost 12, to their first concert. Fall Out Boy seemed a safe enough choice. I actually like some of their songs. People my age without kids apparently have never heard of them, though, because a couple of friends who asked who was playing responded […]

Reflections on New York

I was in New York last week for the BlogHer conference, the first time I’d been to New York in 20 years. It was exactly 20 years ago, July 1995. I remember because I went with my best friend and we flew there on her birthday. Enraptured by the Greek and Roman collections at the […]

Welcome to my midlife crisis

What I now recognize as my midlife crisis began about five years ago. I was a stay at home mom, married, a practicing Catholic. I was putting the finishing touches on a book that a publisher had expressed interest in after seeing a chapter and outline. Life was good, or so it seemed. I never […]

What am I afraid of?

I must have read What Was I Scared Of? a thousand times over the years as one after another of my children passed in and then out of that stage when they wanted to hear the same book again and again. When it was Dr. Seuss, I didn’t mind so much, in part because of […]

Why I Hate Valentine’s Day

Don’t happy people in love have enough days to celebrate? Their anniversary, the day they met, his birthday, her birthday, random romantic vacations… So many days to post pictures of the roses he sent, or the ocean view from the balcony of the hotel room they can’t tear themselves away from, even with the beach […]

When life and comedy and scripture collide

The last couple of weeks have felt kind of like a test. So many things have gone awry, so many little and medium-sized challenges and annoyances and unexpected expenses and repairs and things not working as they should.  I have taken some of them in stride, and others, not so much. By coincidence, the movie […]

Happy New Year

Two years ago, on New Year’s Day 2012, I wrote this post.  The photo on the post was of a woman’s hand holding a champagne glass.  It wasn’t my hand, just some random picture I had found on the internet.  The woman’s hands were lovely, as hand models’ hands are, and her long nails were […]

Back when I used to be a blogger

Back when I used to be a blogger — a real blogger, who posted at least 3 or 4 times a week, sometimes more — there is no way on earth I would have not heard of a blog that had 395,975 likes on Facebook, a blog that was turned into a book that, only […]

The Test of Time

You never know how long things will last.  These four daisies, for instance.  They were part of an arrangement I got more than a month ago, and as I picked the others out one by one as they withered and died, these somehow kept their youthful vigor – if youthful vigor is the appropriate term […]

Maskbook

The other day, I was talking on the phone with a friend I hadn’t spoken to for a while and she said, you are always so positive on Facebook. She meant it as a compliment, because she was telling me about another of her friends is  negative on Facebook and she finds it demoralizing. I […]

The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time: A Comedy in Three Acts

Setting:  The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, in the City of the Holy Faith. Act I Portia, Cordelia and Tess and Mom wait for mass to begin.  Tess sits with arms crossed in stone-faced silence as her ploy to skip mass by faking sick has failed.  Elizabeth is in the ladies room to […]

New Years Resolutions

I’ve always been ambivalent about New Year’s resolutions.  Some years I’ve made them, some years not.  Rarely do people keep them.  In tongue in cheek recognition of this, my friend Bob Cornelius wrote on Facebook last night: 1st Resolution: Go to the gym every day. 2nd: Feel guilty for not going. 3rd: Pie & ice […]

Pain

Today I read a New York Times column that made my blood run cold. It was from two days ago, written by Emily Rapp, a woman who happens to live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, as I do. A woman who is a mother, as I am. A woman who has faced pain I cannot […]

New Mexico in Focus

I’ll be a panelist on The Line this afternoon, the talking heads portion of New Mexico in Focus, a public television show taped at KNME in Albuquerque.    The show airs on Channel 5 (if you have Comcast) Friday at 7:00 pm and Sunday at 6:30 a.m., but if you’re like me and watch pretty much […]

Life after the legislative session

At long last, I’m writing again. Not that I haven’t been writing, of course. For the past two months, as an analyst at the New Mexico House of Representatives, I did a great deal of writing, but writing analysis of proposed legislation is a very different business from blogging.   At least it was until the […]

On liberty, civility, and the lessons of history

My latest column at Capitol Report New Mexico is up. I’ll be on the radio on KSNM at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow (Wed., Jan. 26).  My regular time will be Tuesdays at 7:00, but this week had to reschedule to Wednesday.  Schedule of the show’s other interesting New Mexico guests is in the right column here.

Youngest blogger in Santa Fe?

My 7-year-old daughter wants to start a blog. Yes, really.  She writes long stories for her sisters and friends already (she’s the one who started reading when she was 3) so I know she’s serious. She’s has had a g-mail account for a long time, so setting up a blog for her on Blogger will […]

The earnestness of being important

My fellow Capitol Report New Mexico columnist, former State Sen. John Grubesic, observes in today’s column: Ninety-five percent of the people in that building think that they are the most important people in New Mexico (myself included). Ninety-six percent of the people outside of that building would have a tough time naming who represents them […]

News New Mexico

I was on News New Mexico with Jim Spence and Dr. Michael Swickard on KSNM 570 this morning, and am going to be a weekly contributor to the show.  Once we pick a regular time, I’ll post it. The show airs from Las Cruces, NM, but they have a very user-friendly podcast. There is also […]

My new jobs

This is my new office.  Yes, it’s the Roundhouse, home of the New Mexico State Legislature.  No, they didn’t do a recount and discover I’d won the election after all.  I’m working as a bill analyst, poring over every piece of proposed education legislation proposed in the House and producing analyses for the Republican members. […]

Reflections on the campaign

The election is over, at long last.  I didn’t win, but with only 16% of the voters in the district being Republican, that wasn’t entirely a surprise.  I hope to be blogging regularly again as soon as the dust settles.  In the meantime, here’s a piece I wrote for Capitol Report New Mexico, one of […]

I miss my blog

Several people have told me over the last few months that they miss my blog. I miss it, too. I knew it had been a long time since I’d written, but when I looked today and saw that my last post was in May, I was stunned. I hadn’t realized it had been that long. […]

Rally at the Roundhouse

Tomorrow morning  I’ll be at a rally for Republican Candidate for Governor, Susana Martinez Friday, May 28, 2010 at 10:00 am At the Front of the State Capitol Building 490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, New Mexico If you’re there, please introduce yourself. I’ll be the one with all the kids.

My daughters’ political ad debut

The Russell girls, in a tiny but spectacular portion of Adam Kokesh’s ad: Kokesh for Congress Ad

Projections…and projection

Joe Monahan writes about the New Mexico governor’s race, [S]ome of our analysts see a developing problem for Susana [Martinez] — the strength of GOP lieutenant governor candidate John Sanchez. He is spending heavily on TV and is the favorite to take the prize over Brian Moore and Kent Cravens. But will many GOP voters […]

Michelle Malkin vs. Adam Kokesh

Adam Kokesh is a candidate in the Republican primary for a New Mexico Congressional seat that Republicans virtually never win.  Third District GOP candidates rarely make it onto the radar screens of the Big Guns of the national political scene.  To be sure, Michelle Malkin is one of those Big Guns, and the day before […]

Why I don’t blog much these days (part 3)

This is Cordelia at the ice rink, where the three big girls and I have been spending quite a bit of our time lately. Skating is great exercise, and great fun, but it eats into my writing time. As if I didn’t have time management problems enough, my husband and I are going to take […]

Why I don’t blog much these days (part 2)

At the moment, I can be thin or I can be interesting, but I cannot possibly be both.

Why I don’t blog much these days (part 1)

This is Portia’s new hobby. It’s only fun if she has on her clothes and, ideally, her shoes as well. Therefore, anytime I fill or drain the bathtub, I need to stay in the room, or post a guard. Regrettably, the guards (the older girls) are the sort that would get themselves and their fellow […]

Why I am so clever

The post title is pinched from a chapter title in one of Friedrich Nietzsche’s books.  I cannot remember which one, because I had time either to look it up or pinch and upload a picture of philosophy’s bad boy, but not both, so I chose the latter. And yes, that means that I can now […]

So you think I’m too young to use a knife?

Go ahead and try to take it…out of my cold, dead hands. Obviously, I figured out how to get a new photo onto the blog, since Portia was a little bitty baby when my technical difficulties began.  I still can’t upload pictures to the blog, but I can upload them to Flickr or Picasa and […]

Am I blue

You’ve seen this picture before.  You’re not seeing a new one because I have been unable to upload new images to my blog for many, many months now, and it’s really got me, well, blue. It used to be so easy.  I’d press the “insert an image” icon, and then click the “Choose files to […]

How the other half lives

Not the rich other half, or the poor other half, but the other half that has two children.  What’s the average for American couples now?  2.1 children?  1.9?  Something like that.  This week, I have 2.0 because 2.0 of my 4.0 are in California with my husband.  The house is quieter.  The laundry doesn’t pile […]

Take two aspirin and call me when you’re terminal

First we heard that 40-something women like myself no longer need to have mammograms, and women over 50 don’t need them annually.  Now we get to cut back on Pap smears to test for cervical cancer as well. Over the next week or so, presumably, we can expect to hear that prostate screenings can be […]

Transparency in action: your tax dollars into the abyss

Jim Scarantino of the New Mexico Watchdog reports that $6.4 billion in federal stimulus dollars has gone to non-existent congressional districts.  Yes, you read that right:  non-existent districts. Ed Pound at the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, blamed the apparent disbursement of your tax dollars into non-existent congressional districts on the recipients not knowing in […]

A post, finally, amid snow flurries, typing lessons and sneaky back-door tax increase elections

Just a quick note to let my readers know I haven’t taken leave of the land of the living.  It’s been a very busy couple of weeks.  I’ve done some reassessment of priorities, and have really focused on getting our schooing routine in order and, to a lesser extent, getting my exercise regimen going again.  […]

What’s new

My posts have been few and far between lately, compared to my output a few months ago, say.  This business of educating one’s own children is a responsibility that’s been weighing heavily upon me of late.  When you homeschool, and your kids turn out to be ignorami, there’s nobody else to blame.  That’s some pressure, […]