Thursday, May 31, 2007

Best concert ever. So we went to the concert but first we had drinks and someone had a bit too much and was boisterous and the fricken Music Hall was more than half empty but security guards don't like you to move from Row U to Row B too soon, so someone got thrown out and I gave him my ticket and walked home and at the corner of Grande and Congress, a block from my house, a band was playing and I leaned against the U-shaped thingy and listened to them. The guitar player was amazing, and the sound was better than the horrible acoustics at the Morrissey concert, but when the singing started it was awful, worse than awful, and then I realized they were singing about Jesus or something similar so I walked the block home and here it is 9:25 and Morrissey is probably still singing. But tonight's adventure was probably one of the more interesting ones I've had. I hope the certain someone who used my ticket to get back into the concert behaves himself and doesn't get thrown out again, 'cause those security dudes were complete pricks.

I'm in this video, towards the middle. You can hear every nuance of my nasal, northern Michigan voice.

Off to see Morrissey tonight with Patrick, Brady, and Chris. What to wear?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fuck, I'm cranky. For various reasons including the missing piece from the weed whacker and Puff getting outside when I wasn't looking. I was planning on doing yardwork but that didn't happen, instead I cleaned house while listening to Nine Inch Nails very loud. I was sweeping away and shouting the lyrics. Brady left, I think I scared him away.

Otherwise, everything is going dandy.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I drove north to Oro Valley today. Up along the backside of the Santa Catalina Mountains. When I first moved to Tucson in 1993 there was hardly anything there. Now the ranches are becoming strip malls and housing developments.

The north side of the Catalinas.

My next project is a little different. A historic ranch site is being turned into a park. My role is to help empty out the buildings, sorting the items inside into "keep" piles and "throw away" piles. In the old chicken coops I could see ancient chicken feeders, a pink bathroom (toilet, sink, etc), old chairs, signs, and piles of junk. Who knows what treasures lie there?

The old well.

I stopped and patted the friendly horse on his nose. Most of the ranch has been lost to development, but there are a number of horses on the property still. The place smells of horse manure and hay, it reminded me of my childhood.

Give me some hay, human!

Sometimes I feel lucky to live where I do, in the middle of a big city but I can walk down the street and 500 ft from my house is a horse corral, and just beyond is the desert.

Monday, May 28, 2007

I drove down to Hereford to visit with Ray and Cobban at their lovely house. Scott came over from Bisbee and we hung out at the pool.


We told some fun stories.


I enjoyed the tasty food that Ray whipped together.

Homer and Scott.

Scott is a musician and I learned that Cobban is too. My friends are very talented.

I'm at home a little sunburnt, it was a nice weekend.

American Dessert Idol. Well Angel Food Cake with Strawberry Whipped Cream came in first.

Pre-Memorial Day Dessert.

The problem was, the whipped cream part was in the fridge at the party and no one knew about it. The cake got eaten up, especially when I mentioned that I had made it from scratch. One person couldn't believe me, but really, Angel Food cake is super duper easy.

Recipe: Sift together (twice) 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 cup cake flour in a bowl. Set aside. Separate 11 eggs, dumping the yolks on your vegetable garden. Put the whites in your Martha mixer and add 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar and 2 teaspoons vanilla or 1 teaspoon coconut extract. Beat at medium high until foamy. Then add, a little bit at a time, 1 cup sugar. When it reaches the hard peak phase, turn your mixer off and fold in 1/3 of the flour/sugar mixture. Stirring real slow, gradually add the rest of the flour/sugar mixture. Then dump into one of the angel food cake pans. Run your spatula through once to even out the air bubbles. Bake in your VisiBake oven for 40 minutes at about 350 (in my case, that means when the flames are just so). Invert and let cool for two hours. Voila. Delicious, fluffy Angel Food cake!

I just had a gay moment there.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

So he hates to have his picture taken.


Friday, May 25, 2007

My plans for the holiday weekend? I need to find a chair for my living room. Last night a certain friend managed to break the antique chair I've had for over a dozen years. Sigh.

Rest in peace, my favorite chair.

The dry climate makes the joints dry out and I have three other chairs waiting to be reglued, stacked in my closet. Unfortunately, the front piece of wood for this chair cracked completely through, as did the nice inlaid back piece. I'm going to give it to an artist friend to be recycled into a piece of art.

What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I'm not a big fan of salads. And then I read this: Castro pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in connection with the Dec. 6 incident. He admitted taking a bottle of ranch salad dressing from the school cafeteria to the bathroom and ejaculating into it, and then returning it to the cafeteria where juniors and seniors eat lunch.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cake survey: I'm attending a party Sunday and thought I would make a cake. Tell me what I should make:

1). Yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting.
2). Angel food cake with strawberry whipped cream.
3). Double coconut cake with coconut cream cheese frosting.

Your wish is my command.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I exchanged emails with an Arizona State Senator today. He wants to ban t-shirts that have the names of all the soldiers who have died in Iraq on them. Says that the man making the t-shirts is making money off of their deaths, and that commercial enterprises shouldn't profit from the war dead.

What a crock of shit. I am so sick of goddamn fucking piece of shit Republicans. Let's figure out yet another way to pretend the war is all rosy and pretty and that if we don't see the coffins or pictures of people's guts flung about because of bombs or their names on t-shirts, then everybody will be magically happy. First amendments rights? Well, first amendment rights are for pussy liberals.

So sick of this stupid war. I call Senator Kyl and Senator McCain's offices and talk to their staff. Last time I called Kyl's office I told the woman who answered the phone that I didn't understand how she could work for such a scoundrel. I wanted to say "fucking scumbug," but that might have hurted her little Republican heart and probably, anyways, she would have slammed the phone down horrified by those dirty words, before turning up Rush or Sean Hannity or Ann Hitler and listening about how excellent the war is and how Democrats are traitors.

I asked the State Senator whether his law would also ban newspapers from printing the names of soldiers who died, since newspapers are a commercial enterprise too. He was too busy being snarky to me to answer that question.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Pretty puppy. My buddy Reuben has a new puppy and they came to visit today. Monster is a cute little mutt, maybe has some Chihuahua and some beagle.


He wants to put everything he can in his mouth and was very interested in humping me. I mean, the puppy, not Reuben.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Park Grand Opening went very well. About 1,000 people came through. Panchesco was the official photographer. He was smacked by a famous elderly photographeress, who wanted him to move. I was surprised Richard didn't smack her back, but he has better manners than I.

Pecan Sandy Homer.

At the dedication ceremony my name was called out three times. I blushed. A handful of young hot guys came through the archaeology exhibit, including one very cute redhead (sigh!).

Friday, May 18, 2007

Have a bad day? Try chocolate pudding. Maybe it doesn't made the bad things better, but damn it tastes mighty fine.

I came close to telling someone "Fuck off bitch." Not my style, but then the abrupt rude attitude and the repeated statement that I was distracting a worker by "shooting the shit" with them, surprised me. As it was, I wasn't distracting the worker and it's not my fault the park construction is behind schedule. It is interesting how this one interaction with a person completely, utterly taints my opinion of them. I know of only a few other instances in my life like this. Even if this person apologizes for snapping at me, I doubt I would ever consider them the same way.

Charming. Oh course this occurs the same week that I told two co-workers that they had pissed me off. Sounds tame, but if you knew me at work, you'd flinch. I'm very easy going and it takes a lot to set me off.

So subtle hint to asshats- don't fuck with me.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Some things people don't know about me.

- I couldn't tie my shoe laces until I was in second grade.

- I feel guilt over a snowball incident from when I was in second grade.

- I need bifocals badly.

- I've had two surprise birthday parties- when I was 21 and 40.

- I cried at the end of Watership Down the last time I read it.

- I walked across campus my senior year in college wearing a yellow daisy brooch on my lapel.

- My mother had me via a caesarian birth. Technically, I am a virgin.

- I have apparently escaped having furry ears.

- I like cherry pie best.

- I never do meme things, but someone asked me nicely.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Except for Puff vomiting all over my bed, it was a perfectly lovely kinda day. I'm working on Saturday, the day the new park I've been working on opens (hope it is done!), so I took today off.

So far I've watched the last half of Passions on the telly, went to see 28 Weeks Later at the matinee with Brady, watered plants, and now I'm seriously considering a nap. To top things off, Joe sent me a mp3 file with West India Company's Ava Maria/Om Ganesh- perhaps the most beautiful dance song from the mid-1980s. Listening to it reminds me of dancing at the Nectarine Ballroom in Ann Arbor and the Asylum in Detroit during the summer of 1985. I was such a nerd that people were surprised to see me out with the art crowd. Thanks Les for dragging me out for that fun summer.

Of course things haven't been 100 percent. My attempt to make homer-made mayonaisse using Martha's recipe failed, but there is always a second time.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What did I eat for lunch? It's like Jerry Falwell's spirit has invaded my intestinal tract! The cats have all gotten up and left the room. What was that priest saying in the Exorcist?

Good fucking riddance.

Ding Dong.

What can you say about such a vile person? He always gave me "child molester" creeps- you know, something wasn't quite right about him. The sugary smile at the same time he was relegating people to burn in hell business.

Not 'sposed to talk ill of the dead. Well fuck that shit. Jerry Falwell was a nasty man and I'm surprised at how content I am knowing that I'll never have to hear his crap again.

In other, more important news- the plumber who came to fix things yesterday was very tall (6'6" or so), lanky, and cute-cute-cute. Even Brady agreed with me, and we don't tend to overlap. Unforts, no picture opportunity presented itself, so you'll just have to believe me.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Things I hate. In no particular order.

1). People who loot archaeological sites.
2). People who purposely hurt animals.
3). The Pope. He's certainly a hateful old reformed Nazi, isn't he?
4). The Bush administration.
5). The smell of fish at the supermarket.
6). My bank balance, often.
7). "Hurry, hurry!" dreams.
8). People who steal the research work that I've done.
9). My imperfect posture.
10). The fact that West India Company's first album, with "Ava Maria" on it, is not on DVD or any other format, except the original vinyl.

Luckily, I don't spend a lot of time focusing on things I hate, because there are a lot more things I love. Like Choco Captain Crunch.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Brett has a very interesting poll on his blog. Unfortunately, I am losing.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

What are you finding? Out at the Mission site we have some interesting historic period finds.

In one area we located what we thought was a brick fireplace.

Excavating the brick lined feature.

As the crew cleared the dirt and rubble from inside the bricks, they found artifacts from the 1860s and 1870s. It kept going down and down and it rapidly became apparent that it wasn't a fireplace. Instead, it was a brick lined well.

Well excavated.

The bottom was two meters (6.5 ft) below the modern ground surface, the water table was very high in this area before ground water pumping made it drop (now down to about 100 ft).

The area directly south of where we are working was used as a landfill in the 1950s. right along the edge of the landfill we found a large pit with rocks sticking out of its side. On the top I could see bits of cattle bone and Native American pottery, so I suspected it dated to the Mission period (1770-1820). The archaeologists digging it discovered a layer of 230 rocks after removing about two feet of dirt. We found three arrowheads made during the Mission occupation, as well as a horse toe bone and lots of tiny pieces of smashed pottery. When the rocks were pulled up we found a surprise.

Cattle skulls.

Beneath the rocks were at least ten cattle skulls. Unfortunately, the pictures are difficult to interpret, the light was horrible when we photographed the pit.

A close up of some of the skulls.

Nothing like this has ever been found before. We think that some sort of feast was held at the mission, they butchered ten head of cattle, and then threw their heads (which contained little meat) into the pit, and piled rocks on top to keep the dogs and coyotes from digging them up.


As I was removing one of the skulls (which totally fall apart into a zillion pieces), I spotted something white. When I turned it over I found that it was a relatively large piece of majolica pottery from Mexico, a rare find at the Mission. When I turned it over I was excited to see that it was a nice example of Aranama Polychrome.

It is pretty cool to be finding interesting, unexpected discoveries. One aspect of being an archaeologist is that you never know what you will find when you go to work.

Friday, May 11, 2007

I bought my house in the summer of 1999. I was 35 and tired of living with my bf at his mother's house. It was convenient, but the two of us needed a place of our own. We looked at a rental house, an old Victorian downtown, but the landlord was elderly and strange and that didn't work out. One day driving away from work it suddenly popped into my head, "Why don't I buy a house?" That was a scary concept, but in the end it was a smart move, one that I wish I had done years earlier.

I worked with a realtor for a while, but ultimately found my house by looking at real estate ads on the internet. I wanted an older house with a big yard close to downtown. We looked at the house on Friday afternoon and I signed the papers on Monday, offering $500 above the asking price of $85,000.

Moments before I stepped in dog poop.

I feel very fortunate- housing prices have sky-rocketed here in Tucson, while wages haven't. I couldn't afford to live in big cities with an archaeologist's salary, so I guess I'll be staying here for a while.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I was at the Arizona State capitol building yesterday. It is really, really unattractive. The old part looks dowdy and cheap. The new part looks cheap and dowdy. It seems appropriate that it is a shitty building, since the majority Republicans in the Senate and Legislature are so full of shit themselves.

Really, the old part looks like some half abandoned high school since it has been converted into a museum and no one actually has offices there. Dead buildings are dead and dreary. They should put some people back in there to make it alive again.

I tried to find something pretty or interesting to photograph, but you can't shove the toothpaste back in the tube.

Metal stairs.

I like the North Dakota state capitol building- a huge fricken skyscraper thing that totally towers over the entire city of Bismark.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Tuesday question.

If you could have a Heroes-like super power, what would it be?

Mine, the ability to see what was underground. That would be very useful for an archaeologist. Or maybe a secondary power- the ability to detect the nearest furry redhead single gay men.

Tell me your super power in the comments.

Monday, May 07, 2007

It was the 20th Anniversary SAAF Jello Wrestling yesterday and I attended with Patrick and Brady.

The Jello, before.

As buckets of jellow were dumped into the wrestling area, we sipped bears and chatted with people we knew.

Brady and Patrick.

The hostesses included beautiful Aja, who has a sharp wit and a saucy tongue.

Aja Simone.

I needed a picture of Brady with a female impersonator, but now it is difficult to tell who is who.

Brady and Ms. Deveraux.

A few hunky guys were in the audience.

Got beef?

A handful participated in the wrestling.

Hottie wrestlers.

My co-worker Helga works every year at the table counting money.

Homer and Helga.

This year a record amount- over $43,000 was raised to help out people with HIV and AIDS.

The jello after.

It is a great cause and a fun time. Afterwards we came home and I totally was the best at Wii bowling.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Overalls Saturday.

Every farmboy should own a pair of overalls.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

My best friend Brady moved to Arizona two years ago this month. He's joined the ranks of my other best friends- Les, Mark S., Jeffrey S., Patrick O., Patrick G., Jimbo, Archerr, and Brian.

Homer and Brady.

I had a very lonely childhood. I was a nerd and a bookworm, and somewhat of a sissy, I guess. At least I was picked close to last in gym class and I could never do anything athletic. My father also did not want his children doing anything. We came home on the school bus, did our chores, and sat with him in the living room until bedtime. So I never had any close friends.

This continued into college. It wasn't until I met Les in 1985 that I truly had a best friend, someone I could talk about anything to, have fun together, be stupid together. Through the years I managed to collect a small circle of really close friends, I feel very, very lucky.

Brady has been staying with me off and on for a while as Patrick G.'s house slowly comes out of its coccoon. When he leaves the cats, Mollie, and I will be super lonely. He'll have to come for a slumber party for once a month so we can hang out and do goofy things- he's good for that.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Yawn. I'm so tired. It's 8:19 PM and I'm ready for bed.

Been working a lot- 8 hours out in the field and then another couple in the office. I'm sore and my nose is running. When I blow it, dirt magically appears.

Archaeology is glamorous and sexy, if you overlook the skinned knuckles and the boogery nose.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

We are digging at the Mission site, which is going to be reconstructed soon. Many things are turning up. There are two phases of occupation by early farmers, from about 800 B.C. to A.D. 50. During this period people lived in small, round houses that had shallow foundation pits.

Click on the pictures to make them larger, if you are so inclined.

The houses below are about two feet below the Spanish Mission level. The house on the left cut through the earlier house on the right. Both houses burned very hard and were filled with chunks of fire-reddened mud (daub) and a layer of charcoal on the floor.

Early Agricultural period pithouses.

I helped dig in the left house yesterday and found a large stone bead, a small spear point, and a mud turtle shell- all left behind when the house burned.

Early Agricultural period points.

The point styles change dramatically through time, so you know within a 100 years or so how old they are, based upon radiocarbon dates of the charred plant material we find.

Donut stone.

This donut stone is about 5 inches in diameter. How these artifacts functioned isn't always clear. Some of these were used to manufacture shell jewelry, although I'm not clear how that worked (I specialize in historic period artifacts).

Molded red pigment, about 6 inches across.

I also found this large lump of raw pigment. Several of the houses have these lumps, which were probably once inside a basket or hide bag that has rotted away. The pigment was probably used on people's bodies, as sunscreen or for decoration, or may have been used on clothing and baskets.

I'll have some more pictures later on, of some of the other exciting things we have found.

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