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Monday, May 16, 2005


A press release from the city this morning announces DWI saturations today and tomorrow, between 6 and 11 pm during which "officers will be strictly enforcing all alcohol and drug related offences."
A "saturation" the press release goes on to say "is a group of Officers concentrated in a certain area, strictly enforcing "all" traffic offences.
Well that's one definition. One might also argue that saturations, of which there appear to have been many throughout the weekend, is an excellent way to visually demonstrate what it will look like when we all live in a police state. I saw a ton of cops this weekend (too many, really), although I'm happy to report that my cell phone ticket on Friday was the last face-to-face encounter I had with the police. There was some kind of "saturation" on Airport Road heading south last night at about 9 pm. I actually thought it was one of the most dangerous things I've seen. The cops had the entire two southbound lanes on Airport cut off, and police cars with their lights all down the median lane, which created a lot of visual weirdness (it's hard to drive when there's flashing lights everywhere), plus it backed up traffic for at least a mile. I understand that these checkpoints do succeed in nabbing a number of people, and perhaps it succeeds, also, in creating more awareness and better judgement in the nabbees (although it's mostly just created annoyance on my part), but I find the whole vernacular around saturation points odd. What do they mean "strictly" enforcing? As opposed to what they normally do? Mild enforcement? Benign neglect?
Aside from seeing lots of cops all weekend, I laid pretty low. Friday night I went to the Women's Health Services art opening, "Women in Red," in which "famous" (locally famous) women posed in red dressed and gave statements about "what keeps their hearts strong" to help WHS ( a great organization and this year's recipient of SFR's annual Valentine's Day non-profit fundraiser) promote women's heart health. Heard on the grapevine that First Lady Barbara Richardson was unable to answer the question "What Keeps Your Heart Strong," thus there was no statement from her. Which, if true, is a bit sad. Isn't answering such questions with grace and wisdom the primary duty of a First Lady? Those of us attending the opening had our photos taken with polaroids and wrote down our answers to same questions to post with our photos. I looked like a porn star in my photo and my answer to the question, "What Keeps Your Heart Strong?" was: getting things pierced, writing bad poetry, reading good books, loving my friends." Smoking cigarettes did not seem like a politic answer given the host of the evening. I then watched basketball with a fanatic basketball friend, then headed to The Paramount to play pool but could not, alas, get a table, so I went home and passed out. Saturday I worked out and then went to the booksigning of my friend Sharon Niederman, whose book "Back to Abo" has just been published by UNM press. Sharon and I were in a writing group together long ago and, longer ago than that, she was the Arts and Culture Editor when I was an intern. The booksigning, at Collected Works, was quite nice, excepting the fact that I was accosted by a dour middle-aged woman about incorrect listings in the paper. I made yet another mental note to myself to TRY my hardest not to become a dour middle-aged lady. Perhaps the piercings will help contribute to this goal. Saturday night I patronized Second Street, and then blew off High Mayhem, which was BAD of me, but my allergies and my nose (I think it's infected, gross) were making me woozy. Sunday: breakfast at Baking Company, long walk, long nap, more basketball, and then a little pool accompanied by The Dirty Novels at Bar B. And now here it is, Monday. Where did the weekend go? (Oh wait, I just told you).
I did overhear at Whole Foods a rather crazy argument in line on Sunday. One woman had a million things in her cart, which she had left in line for a second to grab something else (legitimate, IMO). Another lady, with one item, seeing the owner of the cart gone, had gotten in front of her (also legitimate). This should have been, one would think, a negotiable situation. Instead, it resulted in the woman with a million items accusing the woman with one item of being an Anglo outsider who doesn't understand how things work, with the woman with one item countering that she's not an Anglo outsider and then announcing her last name (Ramirez? something), to which the cart abandoner retorted: "Yeah, your married name?" How grocery-store etiquette turns into race baiting, I don't know. I was about to intervene and make one of the woman get in front of me, if only to separate them, but I was distracted by the checker who said to me: "Hey. Didn't I see you getting pulled over on Friday?"
Santa Fe. It really is a small town.