Thursday, June 30, 2005

I confess, I went to see War of the Worlds last night. I know, I know, Tom Cruise is a Creepasaurus. But the movie was fun, good special effects, and Tommy wasn't too creepy.

Tonight I made really garlic-rich hummous. OhmiChristianRighteousGod my breath must be stanky! I mean, it is grossing me out.

Oh, yesterday's survey- two guys got all the answers correct!

New favorite blog- AngryBlackBitch She is a cool, cool woman. Read her or else!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A midweek survey:

1). Chocolate or vanilla?
2). Hairy or smooth?
3). Meat or potatoes?
4). Red or white wine?
5). Top or bottom?

I wonder who'll have the right answers?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Jimbo wrote about sports today. I was never good at them- I dreaded gym class when I was in school. I was scrawny and uncoordinated. Always picked last. Miss Sohiygan, the lesbian gym teacher, didn't like me. We had A, B, and C teams and guess who always ended up on the C team? Guess what grade I would get? The worst was when we did dancing for six weeks. Too many guys and I dreaded being made a "girl." I didn't mind though when Steven J. was a "girl." Even when I was 12 or 13 I knew he was a stud. I played soccer, poorly, in ninth grade. All I can remember is having two left feet.

So anyways when I moved to Arizona I discovered that everybody was going to the gym so I went to and put on some muscle. I kept that up for about seven years.

Homer, 1995.

After I met the Ex that seemed less important, and my gym buddy John moved to Phoenix, so I stopped. I really ought to go back, but I haven't felt the inclination lately. Luckily the body dysmorphia thing has skipped Tucson, for the most part, and more natural bodies are alright here.

I'm rambling on. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm still a bit afraid of sports, although I'm not a wuss like I used to be (I can move dirt as fast as a 20-something guy). I guess I'm more competitive intellectually than physically, and that is fine with me.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The gay waterpark event on Saturday night was not well attended. Maybe a couple of hundred people. One of Madonna's backup singers sang. Funny thing, when she walked off the stage at the end, after handing her microphone to the hunky DJ, she was still singing. How did that work?

I shook hands with two hotties. I recognized both, one sells insurance. He is very cute and has a furry chest and a friendly smile. I encouraged Jeffrey S. to ask him out. It was very obvious insurance hottie was interested, I want to play matchmaker. The other was a very hot graduate student. How many times can I use the word "hot" in one blog entry?

I played in the water and I guess I had enough drinks that I didn't care when a certain someone admitted to peeing in the pool.

I only saw two swimsuit mistakes. Luckily, the hottest guys decided to wear the skimpiest swimsuits. I appreciate that, especially when the one remembered my name. His swimsuit had zebra stripes on it trying to camouflage a giant anaconda.

I flirted in the pool with someone. We are going on a second date soon. In conclusion, a fun time was had. You should come next year.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

At the San Juan festival I patiently explained what the artifacts were in the artifact cases. When the wind blew I hung onto what I could and later went to find the things that blew away.

Little dancers preparing.

I noticed that an appalling number of older people in my neighborhood are missing teeth. I also discovered that lemon shaved ice is really nice when it is 105 degrees.

One of the singers had a particularly beautiful voice. I was also impressed by the girl riding horses in their billowing dresses.


The festival celebrates the beginning of the monsoon season. Soon it will be raining every few days and the clouds will billow across the sky in the afternoon.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

I'm on the telly again, this time on The Beat, a City of Tucson show. Thanks to the wonders of the internet you can watch a short segment beginning at 1:47 on my latest dig. Yes, I have a nasal voice. I should have had a bit part in Fargo.

Barrel cactus

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

At Mexican Safeway I wait in line with the ingredients for Lagrand's going away dinner. Beefy blonde Byron- I see him in the distance, he isn't manning a cash register. Instead it is a twenty something girl, her dark brunette hair highlighted with red streaks. Two women are ahead of me. The first is a grandmother with her grandson, they have picked a dozen donuts but don't know you actually get 14 for a dozen. Grandma sends the boy to get two more and while is he away she has to pay. She struggles with her cards, having a hard time pulling the Mastercard out, it seems to be stuck in the little pocket. The boy comes back and she says to him, "Can you pull my Mastercard out?" and he reaches over to the pile already on the little ledge and hands her the correct card. She can't read, it turns out. When the card is run the boy has to show her where to sign and instructs her to put her initials, B. and V., instead of a signature. He tells her, "Grandma, I put the card on top, that way you'll know which one it is."

The next woman has already told the cashier, "Can you get someone to grab me a half gallon of milk. The one with the red or pink label, it doesn't matter. I'm too lazy to walk back and get it." But not to lazy to buy a couple of big slabs of ribs, only a few steps away from the dairy aisle. The bagboy comes back with a half gallon but it is the blue label, the fat free label, and that isn't going to work, of course. I stand there for another ten minutes until the right kind of milk is found.

Afterward I ask the cashier how she can stand that sort of thing. "Oh I see that all of the time."

At home I make macaroni and cheese, spinach salad, corn on the cob, and a simple desert- strawberries and raspberries and that whipped cream in a can. I hope Lagrand likes it. I'm glad he is leaving to start a new leaf, I'll miss him and his laugh and the times we have spent together.

The dinner table.

Lagrand and I played Scrabble after dinner.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Blogorama in 3D! Well, maybe only in 2D.

- I played agent and Archerr and Jimbo had a nice conversation on the phone. Listen in as they discuss manscaping, boyfriends, and other bloggers.

- I've added some new blogs to my list. I need to figure out how to reduce the font size for my links section so it doesn't take up so much space. Hint.

- I'm pretty tired and when I'm tired I'm more dyslelexic (see!) than witty.

- It was 108 or so today here, with high humidity. I feel all sticky and nasty. Who wants to go on a date?

Monday, June 20, 2005

I miss the garden we had back in Michigan. After it was plowed and disked my mother would lay out rows and put stakes down, running twine between the stakes. The little packets of seeds, with their colorful pictures, had come already. We'd pore over the seed catalogues in the winter and my mother would usually pick a packet for each of us. I liked morning glories and planted them above the little pet cemetery we had.

We'd plant the seeds, sticking the empty packet on the stakes, and water them and the seeds would poke up real quick. Some plants we started inside in the plant box and would transplant when it was warm enough. I think asparagus was always the first thing we picked. By late June we had early peas and potatos and green onions. By late July and August we were picking tomatoes, sweet corn, green beans, and carrots. We grew almost all of our vegetables. Also picked wild raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and black caps, which we froze and put in our chest freezer. Late summer was a flurry of canning and freezing.

Here in Arizona I can grow a few herbs, but that is about all. The horrible hot weather and the weird seasons confound me. If I ever move to the East Coast I will want a little patch of dirt to grow things in.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Am I the only person tired of seeing guys with a zillion tattoos and piercing after piercing? I few can be artistic and meaningful. Total body coverage suggests something else. In particular, I find tattoos that circle belly buttons to be gross, but don't ask me why. Maybe it is because mine is so sensitive. I should invest in tattoo removal equipment.

Clarification- I'm not anti-tattoo or piercing, I just think they should be well done and thoughtfully placed. Perhaps here in Tucson we have a lot of horrible tattoo artists? It is disconcerting to walk into a subway shop and see the kid behind the counter with 20 rings in one ear and the word "Poverty" tattooed across the back of his neck. I could go on and on with horror stories of people you see at stores with random, ugly tattoos and their lips practically stapled shut.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Current events:

- The whole Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes romance is giving me the creeps.

- Jeb Bush now wants to investigate Mr. Schiavo, I guess insinuating that foul play was involved. Hasn't he been paying attention? This is how you lose any hope of getting elected president. Maybe it is for the best, but I just feel sorry for Schiavo.

- All those earthquakes in California- I'm glad Jonny is taking down his breakables.

- I've been on Archerr's radioblog a couple of times and I guess my voice disappoints some people. Sorry about the nasal tone and (I guess) the general faggoty sound. I really don't care, I'm comfortable in my own skin.

- I spent a lot of time reading blogs while battling the flu. I'm really enjoying Aaron's travel blog. I was especially excited to see the return of Redpoy. I think his was the third blog I started reading, about three years ago.

- Half the weekend gets wasted because I have to give tours for six hours tomorrow. Won't you stop by?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A disease vector, I mean co-worker, passed the flu onto me and I came home early yesterday all achey and feverish. Continued today but there are only so many hours you can lie in bed (unless you are a cat).

Joey re-creates one of the erotic poses of yesterday.

I opened the closet in my study and went through it pretty thoroughly, finding more forgotten things. I listened to cassette tapes I made in the late 1980s. I saved the mixed tapes, they bring back some happy times.

A nap in the afternoon and then I gave myself a #1 buzz cut.

Still a little itchy.

I sat outside in the heat for a while, absorbing the warmth. Then back inside to consider another nap. Hopefully I'll be back to normal tomorrow.

Note to self: must find a pool to hang out in!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

They were hidden above a closet door in the attic of a house I moved to in 1979. About 30 cards, 3 by 5 inches, each with a picture of a woman in various provocative poses. 1940s to 1950s porn, probably the stash of the old husband or the son who was decapitated when he drove his snowmobile into a barbed wire fence.


I wonder about the lives of these women. They posed, they cavorted for the camera in costumes that seem conservative by today's standards. Doubtlessly their mothers would have been mortified. What did they do with their lives? Could they still be alive, elderly women with a deep dark secret? Or might they be proud of their long legs and Rubenesque figures? What do you think?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I wonder if the three aspirin I just took will make my back stop hurting. I wonder if all of the guys getting a zillion tattoos will wake up one day and wonder, "Oh, what the fuck!" I wonder if Byron, the beefy blonde who works at Mexican Safeway, notices that I notice his beefy blondeness.

I wonder when I will get the urge to paint the guesthouse and finish filling in the gasline trench. I wonder when I will get tired of playing Battleship online (I win almost every time). I wonder when the phone will ring.

I wonder why someone stole the nasty railroad ties from my backyard. I wonder why so many people still have those putrid yellow ribbons on their vehicles. I wonder why I'm feeling in such a funk.

It's a wonderful world.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Question: Is it wrong to feel total lust for a fellow blogger? I came across one of the guys on my links list on one of the web profile sites and all I can say is. Yes, it is wrong.

I'm looking at the pictures JoeMyGod and Jimbo have posted/sent me of their weekend of pride in DC and feeling just a twinge of envy. I certainly wish someone would invent Star Trek transporters so I could instantly transport myself to the east coast to hang out and have fun. Instead I spent much of the weekend catching up on sleep (I've been having insomnia lately and Puff has been wicked naughty in the middle of the night!). Hung out with a friend for a while yesterday and that was the highlight. I'm back in the office this week and already I'm thinking, "Oh wouldn't it be nice to be out digging again!"

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Dig, Days 16 and 17. All done. Friday we finished excavation and I dealt with reporters, made the news again. The reporters all note that I speak in good sound bites.

A few nice artifacts found on the last day.

Another Hohokam pottery sherd.

Otherwise spent the afternoon mapping.

See Day 1 for a photo of this room before excavation.

Led tours of the site yesterday and today- about 130 visitors. So now the work shifts to the laboratory where we will eventually analyze artifacts and write a report. Some of the nicer artifacts will end up in museum exhibits.

I'm returning to normal. After a catch-up nap I have gotten by lazy self up and I am cleaning house. Where did all of that dirt come from? Maybe I should screen it and see whether any interesting artifacts appear...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Dig, Day 15. So the dig is basically finished other than some tours and some final paperwork and photography. Was interviewed by a couple of reporters. Came home and I'm just tired out- I fell asleep last night at 8:00 PM.

In other news- hung out with a friend couple nights ago and had most excellent Mexican food. I should be getting a reproduction of the original front door of my house next week (I tried to restore the original one but it had wood rot inside its joints). Also some drywall work on the guest house and maybe I'll get the back fence replaced (it is falling down).

Not that the dig is done I'll be returning to my usual topics. I know some people have let me know they enjoyed the dig storyline, but have also noticed a decline in readership. Maybe it is a coincidence, who knows. So a quick question to all of you anonymous readers- Was the dig interesting? The reason I ask is I may do an official, separate dig blog for the next major project I do.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Dig, Day 14. The project is coming to a close. We finished digging in the north room, finally reaching the sterile caliche layer. The last bit was difficult- lots of rodent holes that would suddenly collapse.

Lisa drawing profiles.

We are completing the documentation- checking maps, drawing soil profiles. I'm actually glad to be done, I'm so bruised and sore it is starting to get annoying.

Plus, it is sooooo hot outside.

If you've read my blog for a while you'll know I like to take photographs of flowers. A couple of my favorite artifacts from the dig have floral designs too.

Hohokam pottery, circa A.D. 900-1100

Mexican majolica, the sherd on the right has a flower.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Dig, Day 13. As things wind up we are hurrying to get finished. In the north room we are going down in the west half of the room, still excavating layers of Spanish period trash. Lots of animal bones- mostly sheep, with some cattle and chicken.

Animal bones from one layer of dirt.

We collect samples of dirt to take back to the laboratory. There we will dump them into a flotation tank and the charred plant remains float to the top and are collected on a cloth screen. After they are dried the samples are boxed and later some are selected for analysis. Our ethnobotanist looks at the charred remains and is able to identify what kinds of plants and wood were used by the people living in Tucson. Wheat and corn are common, sometimes we also find beans and squash. One of the pits that we excavated in the first week had peach pits and watermelon seeds.

Also in the north room, we uncovered a small cooking hearth. It was filled with charcoal and had a number of rocks sticking out of it. The rocks were used to set ceramic pota onto, keeping the base of the pot off of the embers. The people living in Tucson used to cook outdoors during the summer, because it was just too hot to cook inside. We collected most of the charcoal and ash from the hearth for flotation.


Most of the majolica we find has been smashed into little, tiny pieces- the result of being walked on by people and animals in the fort. Today we finally found a nice large fragment that gives a slightly better sense of the design. If you look carefully you can see that the blue splotch in the center is actually the face of a cherub, with small dots for eyes and an upturned nose.

San Elizario Blue on White plate.

At home this afternoon I scrubbed the dirt off. Somehow I always miss some spots- inside my elbow, inside my ear, on top of one of my toes. I think it is because I come home so tired it is hard to concentrate.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Dig, Day 12. I was at work for only a couple of hours when the phone rang, it was the office. Yesterday a man was digging a hole for a new mailbox pole and found a human burial. I was being sent over to help with the removal of the remains. Tucson has several cemeteries that were later moved and the area subsequently built over. The neighborhood this burial was found in was a cemetery from 1875 to 1907. When the cemetery closed hundreds of burials were left behind. Some people had no local relatives to move the bodies. Others were too poor. Other burials were unmarked and could not be located.

When I arrived I had to deal with the Tucson police detectives. Talk about attitude! 'Stand behind the line, please." Finally the two University archaeologists arrived and the burial was uncovered.

Mapping the remains.

The burial turned out to be an adult male, perhaps 25 to 40 years old when he died (his wisdom teeth were erupted and his bones were completely fused). He faced east so that if the resurrection took place he would rise from the grave facing Jerusalem. He was buried in a wood coffin and was dressed in a shirt and undershirt, as shown by milk glass and shell buttons, a pair of suspenders, and blue jeans, as seen by brass rivets. A fragment of shoe leather was present near what was left of his toes, since most of his lower body had been removed when a curb was put in.

Clothing remnants.

Newspaper and television reporters arrived. I managed to wander through the live coverage, wearing my Amish straw hat with a pen sticking out of my mouth. Don't I look busy carrying those buckets? You can even see my trowel sticking out of my back pocket.

The hot anchorman.

I was interviewed by the Very Cute Anchorman, who was wearing his gym shorts and had very muscular, furry legs. He had happened by on his bicycle and called the station to do a story.

Pretty pink blossoms.

I looked at the pretty pink flowering tree while waiting for the interview to take place, they would look extra pretty scattered about as the Very Cute Anchorman and I exchange vows.

I returned to my regularly scheduled dig where more layers of dirt were being removed in the north room. At the end of the day I located a nice fire hearth.

The north room, today.

We are now deep enough to find only blue varieties of majolica, which are slightly earlier than the yellow and green type. We also found a saint's medal and a lead gaming piece, probably used to play checkers or chess. We are making good progress and it is really surprising how much we are uncovering on this project.

Blue varieties of blue majolica.

Later- here is a news article on the burial excavation.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

A Saturday off and I spent the morning doing yardwork and started tearing down the old shed in my backyard. It finally collapsed, but the June heat drove me indoors where I caught up on some sleep and was generally lazy.

I'm working on my guesthouse and realizing that I'll probably have to paint the entire place. I don't mind painting, actually, I put on my paint splattered shorts and brush and roll away. The smell of fresh paint is nice and the colors look so vivid afterwards (no white walls, ever!). I'm even considering painting the exterior-perhaps a very pale yellow with goldenrod-colored trim. With the new corrugated iron fence and more spacious backyard, it will be a really nice space.

This afternoon I sat for a while on my front porch.

Lazy Saturday afternoon.

Some of the potted plants are still blooming and there is the faint smell of garlic from one of them lingering in the air.

Social garlic.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Dig, Day 11. We are busy in the north room, the one built in the 1860s. Scraping away layers of dirt.

Jenny A. and Lisa digging.

We are down to the Presidio era, with mostly animal bone, Native American pottery, and occasional pieces of Mexican majolica and Chinese export porcelain.

Mexican majolica.

The first level we stripped off today dated to the 1850s to 1860s and we found a prized toy, tossed away when someone broke it.

A Frozen Charlotte doll.

Frozen Charlotte dolls were popular- they were cheap, durable, and could be brought to Tucson on the wagon trains. The story behind the doll is that a girl named Charlotte was given a new dress to wear to a party in the middle of the winter. Her parents told her to wear her coat because of the extreme cold, but once in the sleigh she unbuttoned her coat to keep from wrinkling her dress. By the time she arrived at the party she had frozen solid. Which reminds me, why do Circuit Party guys spend so much money on fancy shirts only to take them off the moment the party starts?

Okay, okay, the scratch on my leg looks wicked but the discoloration is a bruise, not an infection. I'm really fine, thanks for all the concern and advice. Maybe I should injure my penis and see whether that gets the same amount of attention.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Dig, Day 10. I photographed the pithouse this afternoon. It is really ugly, over the last 1,000 years or so rodents have dug numerous holes into it.

Pithouse floor.

The L-shaped furrow around the edge is the floor groove, a shallow trough where the posts holding up the roof were set.

Among the artifacts lying on the floor is this two-handed mano.


Manos are grinding stones, used with large slabs of rocks called metates to grind corn and other seeds into floor. We find a lot of manos, they are pretty common. Metates were more valuable, since they took longer to make, and we find fewer of them.

I'm pretty bruised up from carrying heavy buckets of dirt. Couple days ago I managed to scrape my leg pretty bad on a screw sticking out of a piece of plywood. Ouch!

Mama Cat inspects the painful scratch.

I chatted with Brian tonight as he drove home from his exciting, thrilling career. He always makes me laugh. I was also interviewed by Archerr for his radioblog. I haven't listened to it, I hope I don't sound like a complete dork.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Dig, Day 9. We are busy in the north room, stripping away layers of dirt down onto the original hard-packed dirt floor of the house, put in sometime in the mid-1860s. We found a couple of deadly things in the dirt on top of the floor.

Another Hohokam arrow point.

The Hohokam had the bow and arrow and would have used them to hunt or for protection. We find animal bones at Hohokam sites and Jenny W. analyzes them, identifying which animal, which specific bone, and which portion of the bone each fragment is. The Hohokam mostly hunted cottontail and jackrabbits, with smaller amounts of deer, antelope, bighorn sheep, quail, and coyotes. It is likely the arrows may have also been used during warfare, but this is more difficult to determine. Some evidence for violence that has been seen includes burned villages and mutilated corpses, although the latter is pretty rare.

A more recent dangerous item also turned up.

Duke's Cameo Cigarettes.

Sometimes paper survives here in the desert Southwest. In this case, a cigarette package from the 1890s was found lying among some smashed up adobe bricks. Lots of people smoked in Tucson, mostly cigarettes. When the Mexican soldiers left town in 1856 they took along the town and church records. One of the soldiers later reported that his fellow soldiers tore up the old paper records to roll cigarettes with, since paper was extremely scarce. I don't know if the story is true, but no one has ever been able to find those missing documents.

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