La Cucaracha!

My advance apologies for the boring post:

cock·roach [kok-rohch]


any of numerous orthopterous insects of the family Blattidae, characterized by a flattened body, rapid movements, and nocturnal habits and including several common household pests. 1624, folk etymology of Sp. cucaracha “chafer, beetle,” from cuca “kind of caterpillar.” Folk etymology is from caca “excrement.”

Anyone who has lived in Arizona can attest to the fact that these vile creatures are here to stay, and my apartment has been no exception.    I’ve seen a few in the kitchen, a couple of them in the bathroom and even one crawling up the wall near my bed.  The bug man is fogging my place today, so Winnie and I have to stay away for three hours.  We’ve imagealready been to the book store and lunch at the Big Burrito, (they were cool about her being in the restaurant, thankfully,) where we found out that she likes guacamole.  A lot, but then we have yet to find a food that she doesn’t devour.

Now we’re in the management office, staying out of the heat (it’s 103 today.)  They even let me use the verboten facilities, which was mighty kind of them, considering.  We’ve got an half hour to go, and I have to put the whole place back together when we go back inside.  I’d gladly trade for a nap, and I’m betting Winnie would, too.

I suppose I should learn some great lesson from this, but I haven’t found one, so, no clincher.  Sorry, folks.



It’s interesting, to meet someone who has always worn the same styles, eaten the same kinds of foods and listened to the same music. On one hand, I admire the steadfast loyalty this takes. But is this a life, fulfilled? For some it seems so, but when I get the jones for something new, there’s no stopping me seeking it out.

For what seems like a terribly long time, I could listen to nothing but female music artists. One in particular was in constant rotation for over a decade. The shows I attended were mostly female singer-songwriters. There were a few male standbys that got some play, but for the greater part of the 90’s, it was all about the ladies. Did these women saturate the airwaves? If the music I listen to ever hit he airwaves, that might be one explanation. Celebrity has evaded most of my favorite artists. I will admit to holding a kind of grudge against those who do. It’s like my little secret is out, and now I have to share. Rarity is a fine quality.

For a couple of years, I have listened to mostly male artists and bands. There have been a few exceptions, but nothing that has held my attention for very long. Some of my favorite women have released new material, which I would have gone nuts over when I was a devoted fan. Instead, I can barely preview the stuff.

This could never, of course, have anything to do with my black and white thinking. It’s either the sky or the grass, good or bad. I can’t seem to get the hang of gray areas. I’m only cheating myself. I could have the best of both worlds.

That’s where the “same guys” and I part company. If you would have told me during my dance music phase that I would be listening to folk singers a few years later, I would have laughed. Often times memories have a soundtrack. Mine is a mix tape.


Dog Tale

IMG_4775I was never a “dog person” until my former husband and I brought home a rescue we named Keilidh (pronounced kaylee.)  Six months later, we brought Tsuki (zookey) home.  The two were fast friends and are growing old together with Pete in Wyoming.  It was terribly sad to say goodbye to them.

Since then, (over a year,) I have felt a void inside that only a dog can fill.  My Mom has a dog, my best friend Christy has five of them.  Her Mom just got one, too.  I have been surrounded by mutts since I came to Phoenix, but it’s different when they’re yours.  There’s an implied level of responsibility; this creature depends on you for it’s well-being.

I went to the pound on Sunday and picked out a dog.  She’s a two-year old chihuahua mix who was named Oprah upon arrival at the dog pound.  Yes, I changed her name, to Winnie.  “Winnie” is a beautiful, mostly well-behaved but stubborn little girl.  She sleeps a great deal of the time and isn’t really into chasing a ball or tugging on a stuffie.  She’s great with every kind of stimuli that might potentially agitate a dog, like thunder, vacuums, cats, children other dogs .  She’s the polar opposite of Tsuki and Keilidh in so many ways;  they are reactionary psychotics compared to Winnie.  She loves to be held and only barks when I leave the apartment.  She has the cutest little howl.

You would think I’d be over the moon with this seemingly perfect dog, right?  I mean, I brought her home because she was laid back, but I had no idea just how mellow she really was.  Winnie wants to be on the bed sleeping practically 24 hours a day.  She doesn’t show particular interest in anything else.  I’m hoping it’s a hangover from her experiences and not her true character.  She’s sweet, don’t get me wrong, but she takes “chill” to a whole new level.

Here’s hoping Winnie strikes a balance between raving lunatic and practically dead.

*Update*  Aside from the complete lack of desire to play with toys, chew bones or engage in play of any form, Winnie is a real dog.  She lives for affection, food and sleep.  She is great with all people and kids (what a relief!)  She is nuts for men, in fact there a couple of guys in my complex she’s just crazy about.  So, It’s a tradeoff:  no playfulness for a wonderful disposition.  Now, to find out how she gets out of her crate, door closed…


for the ladies


My Heart Needs Your Breath, a digital illustration by Isabelle Dalle.

The longer I stay single, the more I want to be that way. In my youth, I couldn’t stand to be out of a relationship. Since my divorce, I haven’t even come into contact with many men. That changed when I moved to my own place a few months ago. This place is crawling with them, and my arrival hasn’t gone unnoticed. I’m nice to them, I don’t want a reputation for being dismissive or unfriendly. Striking a balance between being rude and maintaining boundaries can be difficult. I wonder when being kind will stop being mistaken for a come-on…

keeping up the pace

Group Walking_croppedI am no good at living by myself.  It’s been difficult enough to adjust to so much time on my hands since I moved to Arizona, but now I am alone most of the time.  The first month was nice; I read every day, watched movies on my laptop and met a couple of my neighbors.  The books have dwindled and I can’t sit still long enough to watch films.  The neighbors were evicted for non-payment.  I pace my poor, bare floor most of the day.  Even meals are taken afoot.  My mind is clear, this much is positive.  There are no ruminations as I pace, no anxiety or depression.  I have not gone anywhere save for the grocery and book stores because of this ravaging heat.  When it dissipates I will make up for lost time, spending my paces on going places.