Friday, March 25, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor

The sad, but not unexpected, news broke Wednesday that Elizabeth Taylor died. She had been in declining health and in and out of hospitals several times recently, but 79 seems too young to die (I must be getting old to feel that way).

We got to see her live and in person in 2000 or 2001, I forget which year it was. She was a featured guest at the Taos Talking Pictures Film Festival. First we saw a screening of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and afterwards she spoke and answered some audience questions. Now, I have to tell you that when we went to see the movie, we had never heard of it and knew nothing about it. We were completely unprepared for the movie; I don't know if that made it better or worse. It certainly made it bizarre.

It's one of the most bizarre movies I've ever seen and it's definitely the most bizarre married couple I've ever seen portrayed in a movie.

After the movie was over, we had to wait quite awhile for "her highness" to arrive. Apparently she wasn't feeling well; the high altitude (7,000 feet) didn't agree with her. She was staying with a friend of hers, a local artist, R.C. Gorman.

It was worth the wait, though. I don't remember much of what she said, but I do remember it was interesting, even fascinating. I do remember one audience member asked her how making the movie affected her marriage (or something like that) since her co-star husband was also her real-life husband and the movie marriage was highly dysfunctional. She said that making the movie allowed them to "work through" some of the stuff in their real-life marriage.

One other memorable thing about her appearance was that she brought her dog on stage with her, a little white fluffy lap dog named Sugar. At one point she asked her assistant Ken to, "Come get Sugar" and he did.

Overall, we had a great time and I think Ms. Taylor did, too. It was exciting to see such a famous movie star so close. One of the TV stations in Albuquerque sent a reporter and cameraman to do a brief interview with her; it was really big news to have her in New Mexico.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Didn't Do It

I went to the Taos News web site this morning, as I do a couple of times a day, and was shocked to see that there had been a huge fire at the construction company where I used to work. Click here for the story.

I immediately texted a friend of mine who worked there when I did (he left a few months ago). He had already heard about it, but didn't know the cause of the fire. We teasingly accused each other of starting it, but I have an alibi. It happened at 1:30 in the morning; I was asleep in my bed.

A little later, I drove past the place to see what was left (pictures of the scene hadn't been posted on the web site yet). As you can see in the story, the warehouse has serious damage, but it's impossible to tell whether the "office" part, the part in front was damaged.

When I worked there, the warehouse held tools, vehicles under repair, various building materials, and the owner's motor boat. It was also the storage place for old, inactive files. Uh oh. And of course the computer router, telephone wiring, and circuit breakers were there, too. Uh oh.

When I drove past this morning, there was a State Police car in the parking lot (with its headlights left on, which I thought was strange), so I didn't stop to take pictures or say hi or anything like that.

If the results of the investigation make the paper, I'll post an update.

Monday, March 7, 2011

That Darn Cat

Or should I say Those Darn Cats?

Both of them!

First there's Satchmo.

He looks so sweet and innocent, doesn't he? No trouble at all. Just a calm kitty. Yeah, I thought so, too. Then on Saturday I was sitting at the dining room table drinking my first mug of coffee. Satchmo was lying on the table about a foot away from the coffee, calm as can be. All of a sudden, with no warning at all, he reached out a paw and knocked over the mug of coffee!!! It wasn't scalding hot, but it was three-quarters full and it went all over my lap and all over the tablecloth, and then on to the floor. We quickly cleared off the table (which was in desperate need of being cleared anyway) and put the tablecloth in the wash and wiped coffee off the floor. Then I poured a fresh mug of coffee and kept Satchmo away from it. I'm going to start discouraging him from lounging on the table like that.

Then there's Princess. Formerly known as "the good one."


Lately she's become obsessed with bread. And buns. And English muffins. And bagels. Any type of bread product.

She'll chew open little holes in the plastic bags the bread (etc.) is in, chew a few little pieces off the bread (sometimes more), and then lose interest. It could be a couple of days before we discover it, by which time the bread has gone stale.

While we search for the perfect breadbox, we're making do with the rectangular plastic storage boxes by Ziploc, Gladware, etc. The first time I put some bread in one of those boxes, Princess watched me. I snapped the lid on and told her, "OK, let's see you get into that!" Sure enough, a little while later, I saw her trying to get into the box. I wish I'd had my camera with me to capture her desperately working with her paws, trying to open the lid. She never did figure out how to do it, so the bread is safe.

Yes, they look like angels, don't they?

Warning: Looks can be deceiving.