Saturday, February 16, 2013


As the Southwest Airlines commercials used to say,

"You are now free to move about the country."

And now I am.

I got my passport in the mail yesterday; it came much faster than I expected. The state department website said processing would take 4-6 weeks, but from the day I went to the post office and filled out the application until yesterday when I received it in the mail, it was only 12 days!

I figure they're processing the New Mexico applicants faster because no one knows how long a New Mexico drivers license will be sufficient to get on an airplane, even for domestic flights, or go into a federal building, etc.

We can thank the New Mexico Legislature for refusing to repeal the law that allows illegal immigrants to get a New Mexico drivers license. That means our state (as well as 36 others) is not in compliance with the Homeland Security's Real ID Act. Homeland Security keeps granting extensions, but they've been doing that for years and they're not happy about it. Previously, they've granted extensions for one year, but this time (in January) they wouldn't say how long the extension will last.

I have to say, I was very impressed with how fast I got the passport. It's even a halfway decent photo of me (and I hate most photos of me), courtesy of the friendly postal employee.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pope Benedict and Jesus

When Pope Benedict was elected Pope nearly eight years ago and announced he would take the name Benedict, I was pleased. After all, the college I went to was founded by the Benedictine monks.

But in the days since he announced his resignation, every time I see the name "Benedict" I get a strong craving for Eggs Benedict!

It's definitely not a healthy item, but it sure tastes good, so having it every once in awhile is OK.

In a not-really-related matter, the other Night Auditor at the hotel where I work is named Jesus, although it's pronounced in the Spanish way of Hay-Zeus. I have his name in my cell phone because we sometimes talk about the schedule, and it's always a shock when my cell phone rings and I see that Jesus is calling!

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Heavenly Warmth of Twenty Degrees

Twenty degrees never felt as warm as it did this afternoon. It was 2:15 and I went outside; it was twenty degrees, but the sun was shining brightly and it actually felt warm. It was a much different sensation than at 7:30 this morning when it was minus 22 degrees!

It's just the latest in a stretch of extremely cold mornings, with no end in sight.

Thursday morning was minus 18; Wednesday was minus 19; and Tuesday was minus 7. Tuesday's high temp was the highest in the last four days at 26; the past three days the high has been 24.

And all of these mornings have been days when I worked overnight at the hotel, meaning I'm driving home when it's the absolute coldest, about 7:15 a.m.

I start my car early and go back inside to let it warm up, and going the few steps from the hotel to the car and from the car to the house isn't that bad, as long as I'm bundled up. But Wednesday was trash day, and in the three or four minutes it took me to roll the trash can to the curb, my face got so cold, I couldn't believe it happened that quickly. I was wearing gloves and a coat, of course, but my face was exposed.

We had to laugh last night when we watched the 10:00 news. The weather guy predicted Taos would have a low of minus 4 and it was already minus 12!

Someday Spring will come. Heck, someday it will get above freezing.

In the meantime, I'll go outside in the afternoon when the sun is shining and revel in the warmth of twenty degrees.