Saturday, May 21, 2011

Good News/Bad News & More on Phoenix

I shall continue on my usual "stream of conciseness" narrative on my trip to Phoenix, AZ last week. Let's see where did I leave off. Oh yes, the actual graduation. My niece recieved her B.A. in communications after her failed attempts at pharmacy. The girl is just not wired for such things, and I knew it. My sister wanted her to consider engineering when she was in still in high school. At the time, my sis was working here at the university in the engineering department and discovered these people make mucho cash! She then moved on to ASU at their engineering department and and after graduation, my niece received a scholarship from ASU so the incentive for my niece was REALLY something to consider. She knew she didn't have the stuff for that, hell, I knew it from the start, but my sister wanted what was best for her kiddo, what parent doesn't, but let's be realistic, folks!! When my oldest son was in high school, his father insisted he look into computer engineering. My son, wanting so badly the approval of his father, made it his major when he began his freshman year at Texas A&M. I knew he didn't have the "stuff" either, but then, I'm a woman...what do I know!!!?? He ended up majoring and graduating with a degree in environmental something-or-another, basically, an architectural degree but with a fancy-shmancy name.

I digress, but then I always do that!! So she has this degree and fortunately, was offered a job and accepted it with YELP. So the graduation was this long, overly wordy, boring sceanario mixed with many overtures for it's $$ patrons, giving them large, gaudy medallions for their large contributions to the university. All I could think of, is hey, how about all those people sitting below the stage in the folding chairs wearing those very hot, uncomfortable, itchy caps and gowns, melting in the AZ sun...enough with the all those money bags who need their egos stroked!! One in particular, was this old couple who pledged bazillions to the school, only to have to go into bankruptcy, hence, not honoring their pledge, according to my sis and her friend, both ex-ASU employees, this was just a little reminder from the university prez that they still owed!! LOL

One thing I found fascinating at this commencement that I had never seen here, was the number of Native Americans wearing their traditional tribal clothing. I recognized Zuni, Hopi and Navajo, mostly Navajo. Many of the women wore their hair in their ceremonial fashion, thus making it easy for me to recognize their tribal affiliation. They wore beautiful turquoise and silver jewelry, wrapped moccasins and some of the clothes...amazing!!

My mother and I left about 11 a.m., MST (AZ is the only state with any balls to refuse that daylight saving time crap) that Sat. and headed back to El Paso. The traffic was a little heavy, as usual between Phoenix and Tucson, but they have a very nice 6 lane stretch of I-10 between the two cities, making the drive lots more comfortable. We enjoyed the beautiful AZ landscape with all those Saguaro cactus.

A little side here about these cacti, they only grow in the Sonoran Desert which is in AZ and only in AZ and the state of Sonora, Mexico....NO WHERE ELSE! It seems that people think that when they have to paint a Texas scene or need a logo for Texas, it's the good ol' Saguaro cactus...wrong, they don't grow out here....we live in the Chihuahuan desert....nothing like the Sonoran Desert! We've got barrel cactus, prickly pear, Spanish Dagger, Cholla, Yucca and so on and so forth...they have the neat-o cactus, not us!! There's this Mexican brand of food you all back east and mid-west might have in your grocery's call "Ol' El Paso," and they have, I believe, mountains and a Saguaro cactus as their logo. I live in ol' El Paso and we have the mountains, but don't have Saguaro cacti out here, except for a house about 5 blocks from mine, where they probably illegally dug it up in the still of the AZ night and sneaked it back to TX, avoiding the Border Patrol stations along the way!!

Sooo, back to the trip back. My mother and I decided to have our lunch again at the Texas Canyon rest stop. It was always our favorite spot to have lunch when we were kids. My parents actually had an agenda...let them crawl and climb the rocks to let off a bit of energy, then they'll sleep for a while...which we did.

Thankfully, it was a gorgeous, breezy, not too warm day so my mom and I opted to eat out in the open picnic tables under a Mesquite tree. We enjoyed the view, breeze and all those little pesky sparrows waiting for us to throw them a crumb...actually, that was quite entertaining. While we were eating, I spotted a scorpion, trying to outrun a hawk, from what I could tell from my vantage point.
This sign was a bit upsetting to the couple from NYC, taking their first trip out west. I assured them they're more afraid than us....yea, right, but I grew up with these critters and I know when it's time to run or stand still!! So we left Texas Canyon and my mother thought it best we gas up at the next exit, which took us to the very famous, THE THING! The Thing has been around as long as I can remeber. The big sign advertising it starts just outside of El Paso, at the Vado exit I think, and ends right before you approach it, at the Dragoon exit #322.

My father always refused to stop and let us investigate this desert wonder, said it was fake whatever it was and a waste of time. Fast forward to 1990, in my other life, my ex and the 3 kids were on our way to CA to attend my little brother's nuptials and we made a vacation out of it, stopping at Old Tucson, which burned down a few years ago, Disneyland, Knottsberry Farm, Lauglin, NV, for us grownups, and lots more. The kids wanted to stop at the Thing place and I told the ex, I too was inquisitive about it, since my old man never wanted to waste our time...the man was very focused on getting us to our next destination a.s.a.p...traveling with 4 kids, I understand now. So we stopped, we paid, we saw and my father was right, it's fake and a waste of time! LOL I won't tell you what it is, but you can Google it and find out for yourself. Upon our return, I told my Pop that we had stopped to see the Thing. He wanted to know what it was but I refused to tell him and threatened the kids with just this side of their tiny lives not to tell their grandfather!! However, Joel, my oldest, told his grandpa...I think he was promised something for the information....a random visit at Toys R Us!!! Snitch!!

Now for one of my major pet peeves, truckers. Now I don't mean to step on anyone's toes if you or yours are in this business. When I was a child, we were always told that truckers were the safest, most polite drivers on the road, they were considered the "Kings of the Road." However, it all changed back in the 70's sometime, when Dennis Weaver did a cheesy movie for television about an innocent guy, driving on the road and encounters a possessed trucker, or in this case, truck. The whole show was about him being chased by the deranged, driver less, truck, finally out smarting the demon by making it drive off a cliff and at the instant of impact, there is this big ball of flames and an ungodly screech rising form the fire....he sent ol' Beelzebub or whoever back to Hell until it returned and took possession of my ex's current wife!! Ok, cheap shot...just couldn't help myself!!! My bad!!

Anywhooo, these guys can really haul ass and I'm sure other goods, but why is it, on an incline, one truck is going maybe 70 in the right lane and the other truck/trucks think they can pass him up, slowing the passing lane traffic from 75-80 mph, to 60-65?????? Grrrrrrr!!!! It's getting to the point that the cruise control on your vehicle is almost impossible to utilize since there's no point as long as the truckers have their way. Then there are the ones that speed up on the left, passing up maybe 10-15 trucks on the right, going faster, obviously, than that convoy, but still, it's back down to the 60's for the rest of us!!!!! WTF!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????? Again, I hope I haven't stepped on any toesies and I know the importance of our truckers, but I just have to vent!!

Then my mother began counting the curves on that stretch of I-10 from Deming to Lordsburg, NM, and the other way too. It was supposedly the straightest line in the world back in the day before the Interstate, but she was curious if it was still straight...nope...many curves!! Five of them to be exact!!!!! Oey vey!!! All in all, it was really a very pleasant time, except the night my sister got wasted on Tanquery and tonic and admonished me for being, well, for being "me!" Quite frankly, the woman needs to get laid!! I'll end it at that!!

I sent in some pics of my dolls in hope they would get published in Doll Quarterly for their Fall issue. I sent the information with a CD and pics back in early March and never heard from them. I emailed my friend, Anne, since she had also submitted work to another publisher. At the same time, I also wrote the magazine. I will say this much for Art Doll Quarterly, they're very quick in replying. When you submit work to these publishers, it's agreed you can not post them anywhere nor put them up for sale, so I complied like a good little sheeple. I emailed them to see what was going on. As I said, I sent off the email yesterday late afternoon, and bright and early this morning, I received my reply. They do not have an October issue, oh, sorry my mistake, and that the work had already been chosen for that issue and I wasn't among them, so basically, I'm S.O.L, but "we encourage you to try again." The only reason I submitted anything because I've seen some of the dreck they publish and I know my work is by far better than that. Yes, they do have some very talented doll artist, no doubt, and many I admire, but it seems their view of doll artistry and mine must not be on the same level. My stuff is kind of kitschy and strange, but hey, that's what makes this world go round (don't get ally "physics" on me)...we're all uniquely hand made from the same ball of clay!! Will I try again, maybe, but not anytime soon. I need to go off somewhere, and lick my ego-torn wounds and move on. So here are the dolls I submitted.

I also wanted to show you a pic of the tamales de elote and bowl of my homemade chile con carne we had last night for dinner...delish!! The dishes are also them in Phoenix at favorite colour in the world!! My daughter calls it "beaner" green...hmmm, wonder why I like it then!!?? LOL

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Peace out.


Gloria said...

I like your dolls. Wow, sounds like your trip was an enjoyable one. I didn't know about those cactus. I love those cactus. Congrats to your niece and her getting a job. Great going. Thats a beautiful Saguaro cactus. I wish I had one of those in my cactus garden out in back. Well thanks for sharing, have a great Sunday. I made cupcakes today and no I haven't made the tamales yet. Take care.

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I am proud of your sister and wish her well...the Native ceremonial garments are a statement of affirmation in themselves...and your new dolls are spectacular!!!The dessert looks so different from the lush rain fed greens we are experiencing here right now. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Yve said...

I remember the film with Dennis Weaver from when I was a kid, I think it's called "Duel" and it was directed by a pre-pubescent Steven Spielberg I seem to rercall? I know a lot more about cactus now too ;o)

Hell Notes for Beauty™ said...

Loving the green and black my fvorite! LoL at the graduation ceremony itchy gowns and arizona sun.... you are too much.

I'm dreadfully afraid of truckers they don't have sympathy for my lil ol corolla sometimes.....

yoborobo said...

Congrats on the graduation! Our high school has ours in the blazing humid sun, and several students faint every year. It's pretty awful - lol!! I love your rant. I love your cacti. And don't worry about ADQ. Your dolls are wonderful. I love those skellys!!
xox Pam

PS Pass the tamales!!