Kimberli Roth is an open person, wears bright dresses and makeup, and loves to plan coffee days with three dozen new friends. But when she’s alone at her keyboard, she’s just one girl.
Roth, author of the One Girl in Portales blog (onegirlinportales.
wordpress.com), arrived in Portales more than two years ago when she and her husband came on a military assignment. She describes herself as open — sometimes to a fault — and has shown herself as sometimes optimistic beyond belief.
Roth uses a different last name on her blog to keep her main identity for herself.
What was the inspiration for starting One Girl in Portales? My inspiration; it was a therapy. I had just gotten here, and it was our first station. We’d lived in Mississippi for a few months. I needed to convince myself my life was still fabulous and I could do this. So I started writing about it; writing about the things I love. I just kept finding things I loved. I really like being out here.
What’s your favorite hidden gem you’ve found through the blog? There’s so many. I love Saeng’s. I know it’s not really hidden, but I love the brewery (Roosevelt Brewing Company); I’m there constantly. I’ve probably gone to every restaurant in town, and I really like the local (ones). I kind of want to go with some of those downtown antique shops. I spend a ridiculous amount of time. Not any one in particular. There is a lot of good shopping here and I don’t think a lot of people realize that.
But the greatest hidden treasure is The Golden Library. All the original Herman Miller. Probably a bajillion dollars worth of mid-century modern furniture. A good vinyl section. The sci-fi section which … I’ll admit is not my thing. The library is the one place I love and spend hours in that I’ve never gotten around to writing about.
Have there been any negative experiences? There has only been one time. It wasn’t even at me, but somebody said, “I call bull on that Kimberli girl. That blog girl is not that happy here. Nobody is that happy here.” That’s the only negative thing, somebody saying, “She’s lying.” Otherwise, everybody’s wonderful.
What do you want to do with the time you have left here? I’ve got a lot of plans. I would love to get more involved with the community. I’m really involved at Cannon Air Force Base. With my One Girl in Portales, I’ve got a little offshooting to be released this summer. It’s going to be One Community in Portales. So far, once a month, I’ve been throwing community projects. Organization is kind of my thing. It’s going to be a newsletter, as well as a social gathering for whoever wants to come. We’ve done a community potluck, there were 30 people there. There was a switch and ditch, which was a giant closet raid where everything left over was donated to charity; we had a truck full of clothes that were donated. We just had a community coffee; 35 people showed up to that. The next one is going to be a community scavenger hunt.
What happens when the girl moves elsewhere? I’m definitely not shutting the blog down, because it’s always going to be helpful. I’ll probably start a “One Girl in” wherever I’m at. I’m always going to write about it. It’s a big part of what I do.
What three people would you invite to your dream dinner party? Bela Lugosi, he’s fabulous. The guy who owns Walmart, because I have a bone to pick with him. Rose McGowan, because she’s hot and we’d always be friends.
If you had to pick your last meal? A grilled cheese sandwich with avocado. I know what I like.
How did you meet your husband? I picked him up at a bar. It was a 1980s-themed party at this place called the Beauty Bar. I didn’t want to dress in neon so I came as a Communist. I wanted to steal his jacket. I bet my friend I could steal his jacket from across the room. He turned around and he was really hot, so do I keep the jacket or keep the guy? I did steal his jacket, but I ended up giving it back and I kept them both.
If you could spend a week anywhere, where would it be? It would be somewhere simple, nothing extravagant. Probably on a lake fishing somewhere sounds like a good weekend. But it would have to be somewhere expensive … (laughs) a very expensive lake.
You were the oldest of three sisters in a single-father home. What was childhood like? It was a lot of fun. My dad is a big brother figure. We all grew up together. To this day, he rocks out on his guitar and he’s one of us.
What song is guaranteed to bring you out of a bad mood? Pretty much anything 60s, like old Bossa nova. There’s a Sergio Mendes song that’s French … “Mas que Nada.”
What do you do with a free day? I don’t get those. This is my life, so it’s not ever off. It’s not like I clock in and clock out. Whenever I’m not writing the blog, I’m volunteering or at a thrift shop. My blog is my free time.
What is your best quality, and what is your worst quality? I think my openness is a blessing and a curse because you don’t know how people are going to receive you.
— Compiled by staff writer Kevin Wilson