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Thursday, June 30, 2005

drinking liberally

I think someone should start a drinking liberally in Santa Fe. And when you do, be a doll and let me know.
So, in about half an hour I'm heading to the Blockabusta event, which is being co-sponsored by SFR and for which Arts and Culture Editor Zane Fischer is an organizer, and which is part of Studio Site Santa Fe which is basically an outreach by SITE to young members, and also is being cosponsored by SFR, as well as blu102. (I know, it sounds confusing). Anyway, it's basically just fun is what it is. Good old-fashioned multi-media Santa Fe cross-organizational contemporary art with drinks and food fun. Have to say, though, my plan is to go at 5:30 and then hightail it across town to start CAT DUTY. Kate Winslow, our former food editor, is in town right now for a wedding we're all going to Saturday and she said she'd see me there and when I said I wasn't going to stay long she looked skeptical and said, "Really? There's free drinks, right?" Seems bad sign that people who haven't lived here for a YEAR think the prospect of my leaving somewhere with free drinks early is unlikely. You know, for the record, I don't actually drink very much, mostly because I have no alcohol tolerance, but also because I, um, just don't. Sorry, lost my train of thought. Or possibly my conviction.
On a totally different tip, if you haven't finalized your weekend plans yet, I think it's worth checking out Los Lobos on July 3. Come on! Fort Marcy Ballpark! Long weekend! Family fun! Santa Fe!

dooce and dogs

I loved this post on Dooce about the dogs. Must admit when I imagine going to jail to protect a source—and, yes, all journalists imagine these scenarios, not just the self-aggrandizing ones—the only part of it that upsets me is the idea of not being with Kita and Nero. I mean, they're dogs, they can't understand the First Amendment. First off, even for dogs, they are kind of dumb. I gave Nero the dog intelligence test once, that's where you throw a blanket over their heads and see how long it takes for them to get out, and he fell asleep under the blanket. Kita is a little smarter, although she seems to have picked up from me a weird relationship to food. She constantly takes her kibble and places it in weird geometrical shapes. One time she made a circle out of it and lay down in the middle of the circle. Actually, as I write this, it occurs to me that maybe Kita is some kind of mad genius dog. Anyway, they are just so sweet and funny and, voila, here they are:

Baca's Blog

Former Albuquerque mayor Jim Baca has started a blog. He tells me I inspired him to do so, but I'm guessing this was just a ploy to get me to visit (these politicians!). Actually, Jim Baca wasn't a very typical politician and these days he's the state's State’s Natural Resource Trustee. He was more of a Cisco McSorley type of politician (aka, the kind you could vote for without feeling like you needed to take a shower). Anyway, his blog is new and, thus far, a fun read. I particularly thought it was sweet that he referred to his son's girlfriend as his "soulmmate." I have extremely cynical parents (shocker, right?), although maybe they probably aren't as cynical as I am. Maybe cynicism is a genetic trait that strengthens as the generations pass. Although aren't genetic traits supposed to dilute as the generations pass? And isn't it a good thing this isn't a science blog?
Anyway, good for Jim Baca. I think everyone should have a blog. I have to admit, I have developed the habit of reading my intern's blog on a semi-regular basis, and I think she reads mine, which is a little funny. It's actually funny when you walk by someone's desk and see them reading your blog. It's like, "hello, I'm right here and I could tell you that story if you'd like." On the other hand, traffic is traffic.

live 8

ok, just posted the technorati tag about Live 8 on my blog (although I guess I'll take it down in a few days after the event is over). Also, have to say, not overly impressed with Clear Channel and Journal Pavilion's role in this. I mean, donating ticket proceeds is great but, jeez, Motley Crue? Not to mention, Clear Channel? Also, you know, I'm all for ending poverty, and online activism etc., etc., but, I have to say, having been at Live AID in Philli in 1985 (hey, it's where I grew up), I'm sorry but that was the shit and the artists lined up for Live 8 just ain't the same. Jesus, I sound like I'm 85 years old! Well, I don't think I'm going to head to the Pavillion for any hard rock, but maybe I'll wear my Live AID T-shirt on July 2 in support. Yes, I still have it. I still have my ticket stub too.
I think it's terrible Time Magazine is doing this. From the looks of the blogisphere, I'm not the only one.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

feel the burn

Meant to mention hours ago that haze in the sky is the AZ fires. The environment department just issued this advisory:

Environment, Health Departments Issue Smoke Advisory
(Santa Fe, NM) — The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) today issued a health advisory for areas of New Mexico affected by smoke from the Arizona wildfires and urge residents to minimize their exposure to smoke.
The Department of Health recommends that sensitive groups, such as the elderly, small children, or any individual with respiratory or heart problems, leave the area where the smoke levels are within the unhealthy range (see table below) until the smoke dissipates or stay inside as much as possible. Citizens are also urged not to use swamp coolers as they will pull the smoke inside.
Air quality conditions associated with smoke are especially important for people with underlying health conditions such as asthma, emphysema, and cardiovascular disease. If symptoms associated with these pre-existing conditions do not respond to your usual recommended medications, see a health care provider immediately.
NMED's Air Quality Bureau operates six continuous particulate matter monitors in the State of New Mexico. These monitors are located in Taos, Santa Fe and Carlsbad as well as three in Dona Ana County. Readings from these monitors indicate that particulate matter suspended in the air is in the 20 micrograms per cubic meter range. While this does not meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s criteria for poor air quality, NMED and DOH do feel that sensitive groups should practice caution until the smoke dissipates. It is also possible that readings could be higher in other areas where monitors are not present. Real-time information for these monitors is available on NMED's website

modern technology, old-fashioned journalism

First things first. Have just downloaded itunes 4.9 so that I can now podcast, although I have no plans to podcast myself (feel, strongly, that the last thing I need to do is create my own radio show.) Am, however, apparently going back on the air on Channel 8 (although it's not Channel 8 anymore, um, whatever public access is) starting next Friday with old 7 Days show that used to be on a few years ago. But more on that later. Maybe. Am slightly confused about podcasting, but I'm sure, as with most technology things, I'll understand it better after I play around with the software and see what it is. I never understand technology things when I read about them, as I have noted, quite tediously, in previous posts.
So, more bad news for journalists with confidential sources after a federal appeals court yesterday told several reporters they have to say who their sources were in the Wen Ho Lee case. Now, we wrote quite a bit about that case (which I'd link to if it was online, but it isn't!), and I agree The New York Times has plenty to answer for in the Lee case but I don't think reporters should have to give up their sources to help someone, anyone, in a civil case. I don't think they should be forced to give them up at all, for that matter, but certainly not in these circumstances when clearly there must be other avenues to find that information (even if the court says there isn't. Someone else always knows).
In other news, journalist Silja JA Talvi who, most recently, wrote the very fine article for us on Christian programming in NM prisons has a new article in In These Times you should all read, as well as a recent radio interview she did, also on the topic of women in prison.
Shit, late for managers' meeting!

burn baby burn

Our art director asked me if I knew where the fire was as I walked in this morning. I drove here practically still unconscious so I wasn't sure what he was talking about, but then realized he was right: it was hot and hazy and my eyes are burning which normally means something is burning somewhere. Did perfunctory email check (usually get notified of fires) and Internet search, but nothing so far. Fatigue this morning owing to combination of continued insomnia plus staying up too late. I was a judge last night at the Poetry Slam at Bar B, which was the slam that chose the Santa Fe team for the... um, semi-finals in Albuquerque? Nationals in Albuquerque? I don't know. Something. Discovered it's much easier to sit through several hours of spoken-word poetry if you get to hold up numbers judging the poets. Tony Santiago was unbelievably good. Still, wasn't home until 1230 or in bed until 130 and I have vague memories of looking at the clock hourly until giving it up at 730 and getting out of bed. This week I am on major cat-sitting patrol. One of my friends has two half-blind cats I am feeding twice a day. Another has a cat that likes to SCRATCH and needs to be given an antibiotic that HE DOESN'T WANT once a day. Clearly I am going to heaven for all this and/or being reincarnated as a fabulously wealthy beautiful person or, at least, a pampered dog. OK, better get the agenda ready for the morning's meetings. Vayos con dios.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

cut cut cut

That's what I've been doing all morning. My lecture to writers last week about word counts had some impact, but not quite enough. Hence: cut, cut, cut. Good stuff, though. Make sure to get the paper tomorrow. In the meatime, I just attempted——and failed——to eat the world's nastiest sandwich from Whole Foods. I hate to sound obsessed with WF but, well, I don't understand why the deli stuff can't be better. Why is it all so oily and greasy? Why are the sandwiches so untasty? As someone who would rather not eat than cook I will tell you it is not hard to make a good sandwich. Just use good bread, fresh ingredients and don't put oil all over everything. Also, why do I buy them when I know I'm going to throw them out uneaten and feel sick after three bites? This is not just me being finicky. If you came over and saw this sandwich you, too, would refuse to eat it. Why am I writing a blog entry about the sandwich I just threw away? Hmm. In less banal news, New Mexico Business Weekly gave us a shout out for our wins at the AAN conference last week. Yay. OK, back to cutting, cutting, cutting.

Thou Shalt Not Sleep

Ugh. My bitter old friend Insomnia has been paying me a visit these last few days. I think my little body is like a furnace. It gets so heated up during the day that no matter what I do at night—fans blowing on me, windows open, air conditioners cranked, cold washclothes on my face, I just can't sleep. When I did finally doze off I had this truly heinous dream in which I was in a pit of huge dinosaur-sized snakes. Am thinking, perhaps, dream was somehow related to the Supreme Court allowing 10 commandments displays in Texas Don't ask me how; I'm way too tired. And on deadline!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Bad news for journalists

The Supreme Court refused to hear the case involving reporters' rights to keep the identity of confidential sources confidential. This is very disappointing, particularly given how many government agencies filed friend of the court papers supporting journalists' rights on this matter. (Including New Mexico).The blogosophere is busy on this topic.

last dance

You wouldn't think, judging from how my gang began the evening, that we would have ended up completely sweaty to the point of being borderline disgusting and, in the case of some of us, a little more drunk than intended. But that's what happened Saturday night at The Paramount for its Last Dance. Here's Darius, Jonanna, Dan and myself earlier at The Cowgirl
I had gone to the club a little earlier to take some photos before things got going.
before pm
It was pretty cool to see the staff getting ready for their last night, joking, in anticipation of what was bound to be a crazy night. I, queen of sentimentality, took photos and tried not to get choked up before it was even 9 pm.
julia & jr
Here I force Joe Ray Sandoval to have his photo taken with me while he was trying to set up equipment in Bar B. You see how thrilled he was.
Now why I took photos before things got going and not during is a question I will ask myself forever. Well, there was a line down the street, 800 people dancing and I didn't want to be encumbered with my camera (or risk leaving to put it in my car and never getting back in). But gosh, what a fitting end to The Paramamount. There was house music in the front, hip hop in the back, literally hundreds and hundreds of Santa Feans dancing. Santa Feans from every sector. Old, young, you name it. People who had loved the club for seven years of live music. People who loved it as a dance joint. Friends of the owners, everyone who had ever worked there. All of us. And despite being packed to the doors and down the street, despite the fact that it was like a furnace and everyone was literally soaked in sweat, the vibe was just pure good. People were happy to be at a seminal landmark at its final hours.
end nightpmount
After everything was done I did run to my car and shoot a few photos of the aftermath, but it doesn't even begin to capture what things were like on the inside. But, there's a good chance you were there, so you know what I mean.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Eight Hours Down

Good god. I woke up at 5:30 am for no apparent reason and was wide awake so I just got up. Today was the day that I participate in the SFR quarterly managers' circulation velocity audit. What this means is that four times a year all the managers take one of the paper's circulation routes on a Friday and count how many papers there are in the boxes on that route. Normally the audits are done Wednsdays when we deliver the new papers (by "we" I mean the drivers. I don't actually deliver the papers) and we find out how many are left and then we know our "return rate," meaning, how many papers we moved (we move most of them). But a velocity audit, on a Friday, tells us how fast they move, which also is important information. So I'm always glad to participate, although it does mean 21/2 hours of driving around, stopping, parking, getting out and counting papers which, as you can imagine, is tedious. Also, I got a parking ticket. Also, I learned, since my audit included: Aztec Cafe, Zelie Cafe, Downtown Subscription, Santa Fe Baking Company, CD Cafe, Bike Mountain Cafe, Two Starbucks and many, many more places, that most people in Santa Fe, in the morning, are sitting around drinking coffee and reading the New York Times. They are not jumping out of their cars with clipboards and counting newspapers. On the bright side, I really love any activity involving a clipboard. It's like that scene from The Paper, when Michael Keaton says, "A clipboard and confident wave will get you in anywhere." This is true, but the confident wave isn't necessary. A clipboard and a scowl does just as well.
So, finally got in about 10:30 am, famished and exhausted and, at noon, took Zane, saver of cars and editor of arts, to lunch at Santa Cafe, where one of our former photo interns, Colleen, is a bartender. This was very pleasant except I'm at that time of the week (month? year?) where I seem incapable of making good food decisions and ended up having: fried calamari, a grilled cheese sandwhich, a bloody mary and a banana split (which, if you knew me, you'd understand this is not how I normally eat. I don't even really believe that anyone eats that like). On the bright side, now I don't have to eat EVER AGAIN. On the downside, it's unclear how I'm going to get anything else done today without either passing out or throwing up.
Had occasion to speak with the governor earlier (I can't tell you why, though; it's a secret) and asked him what was coming up for him in the future. He said he wasn't going to be speeding anymore. I told him I wasn't going to either.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Bill is slowing down

At about 3 pm, this press release came in from Gov. Bill Richardson's office:

LOS LUNAS- Governor Bill Richardson today issued the following statement regarding recent media reports of his state police drivers speeding while transporting the Governor to an event in Albuquerque:
“A lot of people, especially the media, have had some fun at my expense regarding reports of my state police drivers exceeding the speed limit. 
I enjoy humor, and I can take legitimate criticism.  In politics, you get used to criticism. 
I am the first to admit that I try to cram as much business as possible into each and every day.  As you know, I’m impatient.  We have a lot to do to continue to move this state forward.
The dedicated state police officers who drive my vehicle are the best.  They have been specially trained in dignitary protection by the Secret Service.  They have never operated the vehicle in a way that would risk the safety of me or other drivers on the road.  I will also never question them when they believe security is an issue.
But I am not above the law.  Hurrying has never been about me- it’s about getting things done for the people who elected me.  Sometimes I have gone fast- too fast.  I won’t stop working to move New Mexico forward, but I have instructed my drivers to slow down and follow the speed limit on the highway.
I’m not going to stand here and say we’ll never speed again- there may be exceptional circumstances.  But we are going to slow down.
I hope this will put this distraction to rest, and we can move on with the important work we are doing on education, jobs, fighting DWI and domestic violence, and what I’ll be doing later today and tomorrow- helping to keep Cannon Air Force Base open.”

I also would like to issue a statement about my speeding:
Santa Fe, NM: Today, for no apparent reason, Julia Goldberg, editor of The Santa Fe Reporter, issued a statement regarding her speeding: "I like laws as much as the next person," Goldberg said. "But the problem is that it's actually very difficult to drive 25 miles an hour in a sportscar. So difficult, in fact, that I believe it creates more of a hazard than just letting a person drive at least 40 miles per hour wherever they are going. I also have to question who comes up with speed limits because, frankly, the only people I ever see observing them usually have handicapped tags on their plates. Nonetheless, I can't really afford to get any more speeding tickets and my charm in talking my way out of them appears to have worn thin. Finally, I think it's unfair to the people in New Mexico who are my friends to always have to tell me not to speed so much and, therefore, I am not going to do it anymore. At least I'm going to try not to do it anymore but I can't promise that I won't by accident, particularly when there isn't anyone else on the road and a really banging song comes on my ipod when it's in Shuffle Mode." 

Edgar Ray Killen

For anyone interested in The Edgar Ray Killen case, I would highly recommend checking out the very fine blog from The Jackson Free Press an alt.weekly in Jackson, Miss.

candlelight dinners, confusing news stories

birthday boyMy friend Donnan kindly invited me, last night, to a lovely dinner party. I have this great luck in life that despite being a picky eater, a vegetarian and someone more inclined to skip a meal than go to the grocery store, I have very nice friends who frequently invite me to dinner and prepare special food for me to eat. Donnan is at the top of this list and dinner included: vegetarian shishkobobs, corn on the cob, salad, other stuff, plus really delicious desert. Two of the attendees were Aspen Ballet dancers now in a company in Sweden, one of whom is originally from Santa Fe. Plus, the night was warm and breezy, Donnan's house overlooks Don Gaspar Avenue and there was plenty of nice wine (and no deadly blue drinks). Thus, despite still being in the sleep-deficit arena, I feel slightly less sandy-eyed than yesterday, although the amount of work on my desk right now makes me feel like weeping. I am looking forward to, however, lunch with one Alexandra, who was my intern five years ago and has now just graduated from The American University in Paris and is home for some brief time.
Now, onto a totally unrelated story. Today's Journal Santa Fe's top story, State Jet Will Still Take Students Home is very weird. First off, the paper version of the paper has that headline, plus a subhed that reads: Gov. Says Journal Report was Wrong. The online versions' headline reads: Students Can Still Fly Home. The story begins by making it clear that the guv's press release blasted The Journal story and said it was wrong and inaccurate. The story then points out that the interview on which the original story was based, with New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Supt. Dianna Jennings, had been tape-recorded. Now I suppose, arguably, that sentence is all any reasonable person needs to understand that the Journal is saying, "we didn't get it wrong. We recorded the conversation." But nowhere in the story does The Journal say, "we stick by our story." It goes through each point that's questioned, but in such a way that, really, it's very, very hard to understand. In fact, all I can get out of any of this is that the Journal wrote a story saying kids wouldn't get to use the state jet to go home on weekends, but actually they will. So either the Journal 1. got it wrong. 2. Got it right 3. Got some of it right and some of it wrong. Regardless, it sounds like now the kids from the school will get to use the jet to go home on weekends.

Here's my speculation of what happened. The Supt. did think the state was pulling the jet from use. She figured she had nothing to lose and talked to the paper. The Gov's office freaks out, because who wants to be The Governor That Kept Blind Kids From Their Parents, right? They haul in Jennings in the dead of night, along with General Services Lopez person and issue a joint press release blaming it all on the Journal. Jennings figures, why not? Jennings, however, doesn't realize her interview has been taperecorded (because in NM you don't have to tell people when you record them on the phone), so her retraction is a little silly. Nonetheless, they've still got Lopez to contradict the General Services' portion of the story, which he does by blaming a subordinate (charming) and pointing out that the subordinate hasn't been employed by GS very long (even more charming).
That's my guess.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

the interns

are having huge giggling fits together. I'm glad they're happy, although it's possibly just what nervous exhaustion looks like when people are in their early 20s.

blind leading the blind... or not

The top emailed story on The Albuquerque Journal's website today is Gov's Jet Has Kids Hanging. Forgetting the headline for a second (it's confusing, right? It's like, are they hangliding? They could have at least just left it at Gov's Jet Leaves Kids Grounded or something), the story itself is a tight little piece of journalism. Basically, the story says that because the governor is getting a new $5 million jet, and having three instead of four planes, it could no longer commit to taking blind students from New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired home to their parents for the weekends. Or so, allegedly, said school Supt. Diana Jennings. Well, no politician, regardless of rank or hubris, could imagine that leaving blind kids stranded at school on the weekends is going to play very well, right? I mean, you know, why not open the Legislature next year with a sacrifice of orphaned puppies?
So, this morning, bright and early (well, 10 am anyway), the governor's office issues the following press release:

News Report Wrong – Air Service for Blind Children will continue

SANTA FE – The Governor’s Office today released the following statement from New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Superintendent Dianna Jennings and General Services Secretary Edward J. Lopez, Jr., who jointly assure parents that state aircraft will continue to transport the school’s students.
“Today’s Albuquerque Journal’s report that ‘the General Services Department can no longer commit state aircraft for student travel’ is simply untrue,” said Jennings.  “We understand that circumstances beyond our control, such as bad weather and mechanical issues, might prevent state aircraft from flying.  But General Services has a solid ten year record for being a reliable aviation services provider to the school,” she said.
Lopez also refuted the report’s accuracy. “The suggestion that we would single out a state agency and ban it from flying state aircraft is absurd,” said Lopez.  “The recent sale of the old 1966 airplane and the addition of a new jet aircraft to help transport the students and other state agencies positions my department to provide better and more reliable service than before.”
The children from the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired will fly on the new state jet. As we have stated, the jet will service all the state agencies, including this long-standing responsibility to fly the children from school to their home on the weekends.
Lopez also took issue with the Journal’s report that New Mexico State University had not verbally committed to buy a 1978 aircraft.  He noted that the director of NMSU’s Aviation program, Jeff Miller, clearly expressed that he had been given authority in May from NMSU’s president to verbally negotiate the purchase 1978 aircraft, subject to executive approval.

I love the dateline on the press release. "Santa Fe", as if the governor's office has suddenly turned into 60 Minutes or something and is headquartered in New York (Jesus, I guess it could be one of these days). Anyway, at 1:20 pm (that's three hours later), The Albuquerque Journal posts an Associated Press story, Governor Denies Report, Says School Will Continue to Fly Kids Home
So, let's be suspicious for a minute. The Journal has some pretty detailed quotes and reporting in its first story, but by mid-morning the players are issuing denials FROM THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE that they said any of it or that any of it was true. The Journal responds by posting an AP story about the denial, but the AP story doesn't ask The Journal if they're sticking by their story or wha (presumably by tomorrow the Journal will have something to say). Further, it's next to impossible, unless you're a better reader to me, to understand what the basis for such an extensive misunderstanding would be in the story, and the AP does nothing, NOTHING, to explain it.
On the bright side, it looks like the kids ain't getting stuck at school for the weekends (although I always was and never minded).

Am I There Yet?

Thank you for submitting your steps for the week of Sunday, June 12, 2005 to Saturday, June 18, 2005! Below is your progress report from that week's activity:

You have walked 296,458 steps (148 miles) so far.

Progress Report for the Week of Sunday, June 12, 2005 to Saturday, June 18, 2005:
You walked an average of 8,512 steps per day last week. You are so close to the goal of 10,000 steps a day. Just keep increasing your daily number of steps each day and each week. You are moving in the right direction! For next week, try moving up to 10,000 steps each day. I know you can do it!
Excellent, you walked over 10,000 steps 3 days this past week. To have an 'active lifestyle' you should be walking at least 10,000 steps each day. You're well on your way! The important thing is to keep moving in that direction. Why not consider setting a goal for the upcoming week to walk 10,000 steps on at least 5 days?
You have decreased your steps by 5% last week. Try adding some more physical activity back into your daily routine.

am i blue?

Fifteen minutes until our editorial meeting begins. I am feeling a bit ragged. Yesterday, after work, SFR co-hosted, with BLU102, a cocktail, summer, Design Week party type thing at PACHANGA, which used to be La Tertulia and has been several things in between. Well, it was a beautiful night. The rain stopped, it was cool, the sky was orange and blue and the garden patio festooned nicely. Cubanish jazz was playing and artist Frankie Kong told me a very funny story about getting lost in Mexico. The restaurant, in honor KBLU, had made blue margaritas. Several people came up and told me the margaritas matched my eyes. The margaritas, for what it's worth, were the color of David Hockney swimming pools. I did not go to the bathroom mirror to check if this was true or not, although my eyes do change colors quite frequently. Right now, for example, they are red. This also is because of the margaritas. I realized I was suffering post California alcohol hubris syndrome wherein I return from sea-level and forget I can't drink very much here. In CA, I've noticed, I can have a few cocktails and I'm fine. Here, two blue margaritas and I'm subjecting everyone I see to a long lecture about Richard Florida (don't ask, I have no idea why Richard Florida was so on my mind last night. I had dinner after and was home by 10 pm, only to turn right around the minute Dan called and ride, three to the front, with him and Darius, to Bar B for hip hop. This was absurd as I had been fantasizing, for about 12 hours at that point, about going to bed. Also, word to the wise, never go to a club with two boys if you don't have your own car unless it's your idea of fun to have to act like somebody's grandmother and beg them to take you home. Well, they are good sports. OK, enough about me. Now it's time for the editorial meeting and when—IF—I return, I'll try to have something less myopic to say (myopic not right word, seeing word. What's the categorical parallel for myopia in regards to speaking?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

thank god for men

Zane has just taken my car to the gas station to put air in my tire and, if it deflates, straight to the tire store. I realize this is the most non-feminist thing in the world to say (well, ok, not even close but whatever) but THANK GOD FOR MEN. Men like Zane that is. Look, I love Santa Fe with all its gender identity, metrosexual, ambisexual stuff. I do. I like living somewhere where everyone is whatever. But, for whatever reason, at the end of the day, I am a girl's girl. I wear freaking barrettes in my hair and belts made out of glitter and ribbon and have to constrain myself from buying Hello Kitty paraphanelia. The one time I put air in my own tire the tire imploded on the highway and I had to wait for someone to stop and help me. I realize I should devote some time to being more selfsufficient about these things, but I'm just not good at it. I'm not a woman who will ever want to work on a car or build a bookshelf and rescue from these things by men with tools and air pumps makes me happy. I give back! I'm an excellent reader (OK not an obviously feminine quality or one that is useful) and I bake a good poundcake and… OK, truth be told, I'm lacking in certain obvious feminine traits too, such as the ability to cook or clean or decorate. So basically you just have someone with strong reading and writing skills and a penchant for accessories. And a great memory for song lyrics. And a sweet tooth. Note to self: work on improving.

from the retrograde chronicles

email still not working and now have a flat tire. everyone in office in crazed bad mood. art director just told me that, astrologically, nothing is supposed to work today. mercury, as well as every other planet, in retrograde. have no idea if true or, if so, what it means. Know only that I need to check my email and figure out some way to get tire fixed. officially don't like today.


1. It's raining like gangbusters. Thank God. It was way too hot yesterday and last night and I actually had to turn on the AC for the first time in two years.
2. Have finally caught up on the papers I missed while in SD to learn that a. Gov. Richardson evaded ABQ police while his driver was speeding; b. the GOP has taken out an ad accusing the guv of having a personal makeup artist and c. they may be right as the gov's staff has apparently doubled.
A few thoughts on the Bill Files as noted. While I'm sympathetic with the constraints of the speed limit, and have fallen prey to it myself a few times, this doesn't set a very good example, particularly from an official on TV all the time expounding about how people have to follow the law. How about this for ad copy: "You speed, you evade the police, you lose." Second, a makeup artist would explain the orange tint.
3. Am plowing through assignments for Best Of Santa Fe. Ah the special, special issues. Am jealous of staff writer Nate Dinsdale's shirt today which reads: My mom thinks I'm special. Have decided not to make joke about it.
4. Ate breakfast burrito this morning as opposed to normal coffee/cigarette breakfast and now feel sick. I think my body no longer knows how to deal with food that doesn't come in shrinkwrap.
5. Email is down AGAIN. Am huge NONFAN of Mcleoud and will dance wildly the day we dump them as ISP.
6. Missed Six Feet Under last night because went to Cowgirl with friends. Was tempted to stay home and watch but have personal creed about not blowing off real people for fake TV people, even when tempted.
7. Freelancer Dan Frosch is working on upcoming story that is going to kick ass and am very excited.
8. San Diego blogpost posted on AAN and hope this drives traffic which appears to have plummeted a bit in my absence. Out of blogsight, out of mind.
9. Am missing beach wildly and hope to finagle visit to sister on Hermosa Beach without seeming too opportunistic, although hard to fool person with whom one shared bedroom for 16 years.
10. Am procrastinating next task having just sent Outtakes through to design, hence very silly top 10 post which didn't even cover my huge sadness at The Paramount closing next week and all the great shows I saw there. On bright side, new pool room at Cowgirl is totally DOPE.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Alt. Journalism & San Diego

So Wednesday, June 15, I set out for San Diego, landing at approximately 10:30 am in Mission Beach at The Surfer Beach Motel with the idea that I'd spend one day, before The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies annual conference began, lying on the sand. This day, as it happened, was submerged in what's called "June Gloom" in So-Cal, but I was pretty determined and sat on the beach all day ignoring the clouds and feeling generally contented, albeit exhausted and a bit cold. As late afternoon progressed, I ran into, on the boardwalk, Chad Oliveiri and Matt Walsh, editor and production manager, respectively, of The Rochester City Paper and we proceeded to walk for an hour or so looking for a good restaurant. We found one, called World Famous, which turned out to be the restaurant attached to our hotel. Although this could be construed as silly, it did, at least, give us some exercise before dinner. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten my pedometer.
Thursday morning we mourned saying goodbye to the ocean and taxied over to The Westin in downtown San Diego. A nice hotel, although the elevators weren't working very well. Also, I should mention, that, somehow or another, I managed to forget to PACK MY CLOTHES, which required a lot of innovative dressing throughout the weekend and, ultimately, a bit of shopping.
The first event of the conference, was a meet, greet and eat on a hotel rooftop. I did plenty of the first two, forgot about the last one, but fortunately found some cheese fries later on in the evening at a karaoke bar in the gaslight district.
The conference itself was somewhat focused on "what's next," in terms of the competitive market for alt.weeklies like SFR. I always appreciate New York Times writer David Carr's seminars because, as a media writer whose roots are in alt.weeklies, he has a great way of putting together lots of different media images and ideas and looking at the big picture, while breaking down the different elements of that big picture.
David Carr
(In this photo it looks as though I am interviewing David Carr, but I am actually just writing down the address of a party for him. That's AAN Director Richard Karpel in the background on the phone).
My moderator stint began at 8:30 Friday morning where a group of us discussed newsroom management. I had played around with the idea of giving a presentation, myself, as I'm ridiculously proud of all the forms and things we have at SFR to ensure things run smoothly, but I controlled myself. I think the presenters did a good job, but we definitely ran a little short of time and I have no idea if anyone got anything out of it. I hope they did, but who knows. Well, actually I'll know when the ratings of the seminars come back. Yikes!
The highpoint, for me, was a presentation given by Mark Zusman, editor of Willamette Week, SFR's sister paper, and Nigel Jaquiss, a WW staff writer, who won the Pultizer Prize earlier this year for WW. A lot of editors who attended the conference also told me they felt inspired by this (although one said he felt like an ant). Nigel was unbelievably dogged with this story and, while I knew the story itself, I didn't realize how many dead ends he'd faced in reporting it. I'm telling you: SFR will win a Pulitzer some day! I'm on a mission, yo. WW also won a first-place AAN award for that story. SFR won two third-place awards and one honorable mention for cover design, illustration and education reporting. Although we're not big fans of prizes that aren't first place, there's a shitload of competition for AAN awards, so I was happy.
talking pultizer
(Here's Nigel talking about the story that won WW The Pulitzer. Westword Editor Patricia Calhoun moderated the panel)
One thing that was bothering me over the weekend was the weird politics around the convention. There are two alt.weeklies in San Diego, and the one hosting the conference was The San Diego Reaader, which is this kind of odd paper in AAN because of its conservative donations and philosophy. The other San Diego weekly, The San Diego City Beat is a real David to The Readers' Goliath, in terms of advertising and page count (and it's relatively new), but it's much more to my liking in terms of content and editorial mission. So I felt that it was kind of rough to have an AAN conference sponsored by one alt.weekly in a city with two, sort of unfair to the other paper (the conference must be hell of work for the sponsoring paper, but also makes them look good to the city, advertisers etc). I spoke with someone about this and had to agree with them that this will become more unavoidable as there are numerous cities with multiple AAN papers, but I can't help but feel that in those cases both papers should be given some joint sponsoring duty or something. (And I'm finagling for SFR to host the convention in 2007, but it's unclear if I'm getting anywhere on this finagling or not). However, I was cheered by The Stranger Editor Dan Savage's comments about this when he hosted the awards' luncheon. Savage is very, very funny and he pointed out that The Readers' cover story on mustaches (seriously) combined with its logo for the adconventionad1, made him question the source of The Readers' homophobia. (I believe he called the sailor shown here "the gayest thing he'd ever seen" but don't hold me to it).
Another low point was a very weird talk given by Newsweek writer David Gates which made, I'm sorry to say, so little sense to me that I actually walked out (along with 20 other people). I'm normally not one for walking out on anything but it was quite unbearable. As far as I can tell, Gates' entire raison d'etre was to tell us all how little he likes popular culture, which could have been funny, but he wasn't a very good speaker (although he did sound EXACTLY like Smith from The Matrix—a comparison that wouldn't mean much to him given that he eschews all movies and TV).
A seminar on immigration policy was much better and provided food for thought. As did a few spontaneosish editorial committee meetings where we discusssed upcoming programming for Medill, another journalism conference that is much more nuts and bolts (AAN tends to be a little more big picture, management stuff). I also got to visit a bit with some of our WW colleagues, as well as numerous editors I like from other alt. papers around the country. So: busy, busy, busy, but in a good way. And, as mentioned previously, I did spend a few hours in Tijuana and made it succesfully back over the border, despite being mistaken a few times for Mexican while there (I tan quick). I think that is it for now.
Here's the WW, SFR gang: WW Editor Mark Zusman, me, WW Special Sections Editor Byron Beck, SFR Publisher Andy Dudzik, WW Publisher Richard Meeker, SFR Ad Director Marcia Beverly and WW Ad Director Sam Hicks.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

barely back

westin hotelwestin hotelwestin hotel
Well, I'm back from the AAN conference, but not even close to decompressed, or unpacked for that matter. I'll have lots to post about in the next few days—much journalistic fodder, and a few adventures. Right now it's Sunday night and I better go home and read some things for tomorrow or I'm going to be in trouble. Just think, just last night, I was in Tijuana. (All that neon seems to have made my normally-suck phone photos a little less sucky than usual). tijuana
More later! PS: Jeez, it's hot here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


OK, I'm actually out of here. Or at least have done all I can do, minus the dozen or so things I could have done but didn't. San Diego here I come. The ironic nature of the fact that I'm moderating a talk on newsroom management has not been lost on me. Gosh, I used to be so organized. Damn writers missing deadlines and word counts. That will be my advise. Always blame the writers. Actually, we do pretty well here on the deadline front most of the time. But, as of now, my only deadline is to get on a plane tomorrow morning. And I ain't missing that one. Latah.
PS: If you misssed the block party last week, you can find photos of it in the paper tomorrow. Including a particularly unpleasant one of me wearing what I think of as my "global warming" face.

leftie radio

A funny article on liberal radio with great quotes from Stephanie Miller. Sigh. I love Buzz Flash

tick tock

Am sitting waiting for pages. Went outside to have a smoke when John Coventry ambled by and told me yet another movie is shooting on the Plaza right now. We had just tracked down another movie-star rumor this morning (you can pick up the paper and find out which one tomorrow), but I didn't know anything about that one.
I guess it's summer in Santa Fe: movies shooting everywhere and every other road blocked off for no apparent reason. Was sad/surprised to hear The Palace is undergoing another renovation to a more family-friendly restaurant environment. At least the naked Indian picture will remain.
Am feeling weirdly geared up. Every time I go to AAN something crazy happens in Santa Fe while I'm gone.
Last night I did something I rarely did, which is watch television. I sort of like to watch it to keep up on what is happening out there in the mainstream world, such as it is, but I also hate to because it gives me a headache and makes me feel exhausted and depressed. The craziest thing were these new Army commercials. A father meets his son at the train. His son is home from The Army. The dad looks at him and says "you've changed, you just did two things you've never done at the same time. Shook my hand and looked me in the eye." Then it fades out and you get some Army slogan like, "help them be strong" or something. Really repugnant. Like, here's a new way to appeal to people to enlist. Hey, parents, you screwed up raising your kids, give them to us and we'll send them back with manners… you know, assuming they come back. Jesus.
Also saw a really bad new show called The Closer with Kyra Sedgewick, where she plays (I think, I wasn't paying total attention) a CIA-trained police interrogator who comes to LA to be in charge of a new homicide unit. She's a southern belle, except with a bad personality and soon everyone hates her, but soon after that they really respect her, because she figures out an entire crime! The crime consists of the murder of a woman who was really a woman pretending to be a man killed by the woman he was having an affair with once she realized he was a she because she was Catholic and NOT A LESBIAN. We learn all this solely through Kyra's exposition, watched with overacted admiration by the other cops on the other side of the glass, whose expressions are supposed to convey their sudden realization that HEY, THIS WOMAN IS A BITCH BUT SHE JUST SOLVED THIS TOTALLY CRAZY CRIME. Blech. It was so bad I felt sure my brain was going to explode at any moment. No more TV. Just HBO, where a little something called character develpment apparently still exists.
Now, on to bigger and better issues: what am I going to read on the beach? Just got a new book on WalMart but, gosh, that doesn't sound very beach like.

california dreaming

Last night in a fit of unprecedented motivation I decided I would not pack for my San Diego trip at the last minute, but start early. This turned out to be a very wise move as it took me the better part of two hours to locate my black travel bag which had ended up weirdly buried under stored winter comforters in the guest bedroom. This bag is one of those items that should have been tossed years ago, but I can't bring myself to do it because I know that no matter what I put in it it will always fit under my seat and never have to be checked.
Leaving SFR for three days requires a ridiculous amount of effort and the last day (today) is always the same, with me remembering item after item that needs to be done and sending way too many emails to my staff reminding them of things they aren't likely to forget anyway. Honestly.
Just received a huge stack announcing the winners of Best Of which I will have to jump into dealing with upon my return. Curious? I bet you are. Well, I've barely looked through it myself. I'm hoping I will have some computer access while at the AAN conference to check in, but I'm not bringing my computer. I hate travelling with it and, as mentioned before, there is no Blackberry in my future, so this may perhaps be my last entries for a few days. But I'm sure I'll be loaded up with info upon my return.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Just Beat It

Michael Jackson isn't guilty and Zane just blasted "Beat It" in the office. OK, back to work; national crisis averted, apparently.

I feel an OJ moment coming

Looks like the jury reached a verdict in the Michael Jackson case. Announcing it in about an hour. Oh boy.

brad & angelina

No, no, I haven't lost my mind and joined the ranks of celebrity worshippers. But I do think this article from SLATE about celebrity worship is worth reading.
So Wednesday morning I leave for San Diego to attend the AAN conference, but a few days ago I received the letter below and, naturally, forwarded it to AAN's directors and other AAN editors who serve on its editorial committee, as do I. This sparked, as you can imagine, a lively debate about whether AAN should move hotels (not even remotely possible) or react in some way, such as writing a letter after the conference pledging our solidarity with workers everywhere (seeing as we are the last bastion of the growing-fictitious liberal media). What's been decided (as best as I can follow the flurry of emails) is we will do our own research while there (not that this was ever going to be a vacation, but it's sounding less relaxing by the minute) and AAN will come up with some decision after. I haven't done much about this, except some light research on UNITE HERE's boycott, but it sounds like I'll hear more about it in California. But, from what I can tell, it might have been resolved over the weekend I guess I'll find out when I get there. Someone else told me the largest comic book convention in the world (or something) will be going on when I'm in San Diego, as well, although I plan to ignore that as much as possible.

Hotel Boycott

Dear Ms. Goldberg,
From available information we understand that you will be speaking at the AAN 28th Annual Convention.  As a speaker, we would like to inform you of the current boycott of the Westin Horton Plaza, where the convention is to be held. The Starwood chain, which includes the Westin, Sheraton, St. Regis and others, is embroiled in a national labor dispute.  On October 13th, 2004 hotels in San Francisco, including ones operated by Starwood, locked out 4,300 of their employees from their places of work.  This drastic action by the hotel industry came in response to a limited two-week strike at four hotels organized by UNITE HERE! to protest both massive increases of workloads and health insurance co-pay eligibility costs.  These changes would erase coverage for many families surviving on low hourly wages. While the lockout ended on November 20th, workers in San Francisco and Los Angeles remain without contracts and continue to face managerial attempts to slash health care coverage.  Earlier today, hundreds of hotel workers in Los Angeles went on strike.  Over the next few weeks there will be "rolling" strikes at different hotels, including several Starwood properties.  The luxury hotels in question are refusing to provide affordable health care and other reasonable conditions, choosing instead to unload its burden on hotel
workers and the American taxpayer. With the endorsement of religious, business and political leaders from across the country, UNTIE HERE! is calling for a national boycott of specific Starwood, Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, and Intercontinental properties. I feel obligated to inform you that leafleting, prayer vigils, rallies, union delegations and actions of civil disobedience may occur in the vicinity of the hotel during the time of your stay.  I wish to stress that we have no issue with AAN, only the hotel chains that have unfairly forced them into the center of this labor dispute. On behalf of 13,000 union hotel workers, their families and the nationwide coalition of business, political and religious leaders, I urge you, as a speaker, to contact AAN and express your concern over the situation.  We are asking AAN to support workers by writing a letter to the Westin Horton Plaza and pledging not to return until the boycott has been called off. I hope we can count on your support and look forward to speaking with you.

Elizabeth Maldonado
UNITE HERE! Local 30
Boycott Coordinator

Friday, June 10, 2005

taking a hint

achewI've now been told by everyone in the office to go home. The sight of my chapped face is, I believe, starting to scare people. So I guess that's where I'll be. Just me, two dogs and a box of Kleenex. If I recover by tomorrow I plan to head to High Mayhem where the scene will be in full effect. If I was really ambitious I might have scored tix to Paul Oakenfeld, but I can already tell my energy, even if better, isn't going to be that good. But I hope other Santa Feans reading this blog will take advantage of some of the fun things happening this weekend and every weekend because that's what it's all about (And, yes, I am medicated). Ciao.

street sick

SFR's summer block party was a great success—hundreds of people turned out and it solidified for me the sense of how much Santa Fe misses the boat by not making downtown like that ALL THE TIME. It's shameful to have a Plaza where the grass is roped off to keep it healthy (probably, as one friend speculated to me, until Indian Market, Spanish Market etc., so that it looks nice for the tourists), to keep the number of food vendors limited. The City could do so much by making downtown in the summer vibrant and exciting FOR THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE. Have live music, as they do, but also food, other vendors, beer, all of it. People are dying to sit outside in our beautiful, warm summer nights and socialize. Have face painters on the Plaza for the kids. Invite local nonprofits and businesses to set up camp. Don't lottery out limited number of permits, mostly to jewelry vendors. It's ridiculous.
If I sound cranky (if?), it's because I've caught the ever-awful summer cold and am on a mission to finish up here as best I can and take my poor chapped face to bed until I feel better. I leave for San Diego next week for the AAN annual conference and I want to feel 100 percent better by then.
I will say, on a final note, that I am not surprised by the police's findings in the Tommy Hook case. Sitting in the room with his wife, last Tuesday, I think all of the media felt compelled to try to be sensitive (or some semblance of it), but nothing about that story made sense. Anyone who knows anything about Cheeks knows there's no way anyone would plan a discrete beating in its parking lot, closing time on a Saturday night. The fact that his wife was out of town at the time, all of it. And in the course of a few days you go from having a man who supposedly wouldn't have even known he was going to a strip club, a pure avenger, to a man getting lap dances and drinking light beer. Nonetheless, he and his lawyer are sticking by their original story. I'm not saying it couldn't be true, just that it didn't sound overly likely. Anyway, here's the press release from the Santa Fe Police Department about it's findings. If I don't write again, it's because I'm blowing my nose.


Santa Fe Police Department
2515 Camino Entrada
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507

Investigation Leads to the Individuals Involved In Santa Fe Nightclub Altercation

Facts, evidence and information obtained during the course of this investigation has led investigators to believe that the altercation involving Mr. Hook is an isolated incident and is in no way related to Mr. Hook's whistle blower status at the Los Alamos National Laboratories.  Evidence in the case leads investigators to believe that this incident was the result of an altercation in the parking lot of Cheeks Nightclub after Mr. Hook struck a pedestrian with his vehicle while leaving the establishment.  A verbal exchange of words occurred after Mr. Hook exited his vehicle at which time the confrontation escalated into a physical attack.  All information, facts, and evidence obtained during the course of this investigation will be forwarded to the First Judicial District Attorney's Office for review and determination as to what charges apply or may be filed against any of the individuals who were involved in this altercation.


We are glad that law enforcement has been able to bring this matter to resolution.  We wish Mr. Hook a speedy recovery.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

countdown to madness and thoughts on Larry Delgado

Two seemingly unconnected thoughts, eh? Well, first things first. Today, at 5 pm, SFR's summer block party begins but, as of now, 9:30 am, the madness already has commenced and my hopes for a productive day are not high. So it goes. But if you haven't already planned to attend, plan to. It should be fun. Sun, music, food, a parking lot, firedancers, tattoo artists—and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Now, on another note. Yesterday, after work, I went to Nedra Matteucchi (wrong spelling, I'm sure) gallery garden party. Very very posh: open vodka bars, varying food stations (bellinis, noodle boxes), a beautiful and lush green garden, statues, well-dressed sophisticated people (present company excluded, of course). Among the guests was Mayor Larry Delgado, an elusive politician if ever there was one. Since getting the mayor to return a call requires something we've yet to discover, I sidled up to the mayor and asked the question everyone asks him these days: "Are you running for re-election." Vodka bars not withstanding, the mayor had no further information for me on this topic and claimed he hasn't even thought about it yet. Weirdly enough, I kind of believed him (that might be the vodka bar to blame). So I asked him the second top question out there, which is: Why is the grass on the Plaza still roped off? This is really getting on my nerves. It's so green and soft looking, it's summer, and there's all those freaking ropes everywhere. Community Days: The Plaza was packed and everyone had to stand around on the sidewalk. Lame! Anyway, Larry says they are "just trying to give the grass a chance" because it will die once people start walking on it (this is what happens to grass).
While the mayor was talking about the grass, I started thinking, as I have many times over the last... EIGHT YEARS? (Jeez, is that right) about how pleasant he always is. It's kind of remarkable, really. I don't think I've ever seen an elected official who never gets ruffled. He takes swipe after swipe, people get mad, make cutting remarks etc., and he just goes on smiling and acting genteel and pleasant. Most politicians, after one go through with the media, are forever defensive and pissed off. Not Larry. I can't quite figure it out, but in my sodden state I decided that perhaps the mayor just has reached some kind of Zen-like state of complete detachment where nothing bothers him. There's something to be said, I suppose, for benign neglect. On the other hand, there is a sort of "Being There" quality to him, as well.
OK, I better take advantage of the few moments of calm and silence before the dunking booth arrives. See you tonight!

Monday, June 06, 2005

LANL Whistleblower: "They Left Me For Dead"

Tommy Hook
When Susan Hook first saw her husband, Tommy, at St. Vincent Hospital, she saw a man beaten and swollen, as shown in this picture. He told her, "They left me for dead."
The question is: Who brutally beat Hook, a whistleblower from Los Alamos National Laboratory? And why?
The intimation at today's 3 pm press conference at the Santa Fe, New Mexico law offices of Rothstein and Donatelli, from which I have just returned, is that the beating was related to Hook's upcoming testimony before Congress regarding the mismanagement he has seen during his 15-year tenure at the lab. Hook planned to speak specifically, according to his wife, about the way in which whistleblowers are treated at the lab. Such treatment, says Chuck Montano, Hook's co-plaintiff in in a March 5, 2005 lawsuit against The University of California Regents and supervisors can include lack of promotion, lack of compensation etc. But such violence as Hook experienced last weekend takes things to a new level.
According to attorney Bob Rothstein, who represents Montano and Hook in their suit, Susan Hook and Montano, Tommy Hook had been trying to meet with someone purporting to be a lab employee also experiencing difficulties as a result of whistleblowing. He had been scheduled to meet with him on Friday, June 3, but the appointment never happened. On Saturday, June 4, around 10:30 pm, when Hook already had gotten into bed, he received a call at his Los Alamos home from the purported whistleblower asking him to meet. Susan Hook was in Albuquerque visiting the Hooks' sons, who are 20 and 24 years old.
The meeting, at the caller's request, would take place at Cheeks in Santa Fe, NM, the city's only topless bar. According to Susan Hook, Tommy would not have been familiar with the club, but understood the caller did not want to meet in Los Alamos or anywhere he might be recognized.
After waiting at the bar for an hour, and after no one had showed, Tommy went to his car to leave. He already had started the car when he was grabbed from it and beaten by three to four assailants who also, according to Susan Hook's recounting of her husband's statements to her, told him to keep his "f-ing mouth shut."
While no specific mention was made of UC—whose contract to manage Los Alamos is expiring and will compete against other potential contractors for the lab's multi-million contract—or LANL, Susan Hook says there were no other reasons for her husband, who is in his early 50s, to have been beaten up. The assault, however, is the latest and most severe consequence of Hook's outspokenness about lab conditions. He also has suffered heart problems, a stroke in his eye and, approximately eight weeks ago, had to have shoulder surgery due to injuries sustained as the result of improper work facilities.
Hook remains at St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe with a fractured jaw, herniated disc and other injuries. He was being questioned this afternoon by the FBI which, according to Rothstein, has taken over the case from The Santa Fe Police Department, originally called to the scene.
A bouncer found Hook in the parking lot sometime after midnight and has, allegedly, provided license-plate information about the cars speeding away to the police. It is unknown if the bouncer, who was not identified, interrupted the beating or discovered Hook as the attackers were fleeing the scene. No other witnesses to the crime are known at this time.

susan hook and chuck montano
Chuck Montano, also an outspoken critic at the lab (shown here with Susan Hook), said he has not received any physical threats. Montano said that while he did not believe UC or the lab were directly responsible for Hook's beating, as in he did not believe they had hired anyone to beat him, he did believe both entities had created an atmosphere against whistleblowers where violence could happen.Despite the attack on Hook, Montano said he still intends to speak with federal investigators. "I will never be intimidated from speaking out." Both Hook and Montano also were involved in action against the lab 10 years ago regarding the Reduction in Force (RIF) at the lab. Both Hook and Montano have been project leaders at the lab, auditors and, in Hook's case, overseen actual whistleblower complaints. Montano described an environment, however, where as the result of their speaking out against waste and other problems at the lab, both have lost many of their job responsibilities.
Susan Hook learned of her husband's beating at 2 am Sunday morning when she was called at her hotel from the ER. Tuesday, June 7 is the Hooks' 30th wedding anniversary. They were scheduled to go on a cruise to Hawaii to celebrate, which might have pushed back Hook's testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee this month. The cruise has since been cancelled and Rothstein said Tommy Hook's physical prognosis is unknown at this time. Rothstein said in his 25 years of litigating against LANL. Tommy Hook always had been seen by plaintiffs as one of the lab's "straight shooters."
"He has suffered immensely from telling the truth," said Susan Hook.

times public editor #2

A striking difference, already, between outgoing Times Public Editor Daniel Okrent and incoming Byron Calame. Calame's first column already sounds completely different in tone and approach than Okrent. Okrent's tenure at The Times was odd because his columns were so uneven. Weird flashes of really really interesting dissections of the meat of what it means to be a journalist, from someone who really isn't one. Calame is—or was—and already he is stating what he's going to do in this very straightforward, parallel constructive kind of way. But I am interested in his view that "transparency" will be one of his goals.

Friday, June 03, 2005

farewell to itchy arms & stories worth reading

It is 5 pm and I will be leaving shortly. Books story is written and I even invented a new word in the writing of it (yes, the English language was injured in the creation of this article). You can find it in SFR's Summer Guide, hitting the streets Wednesday, June 8. And that evening you can find me, numerous other SFR staffers and, hopefully, boatloads (SUV loads?) of other Santafesiños at SFR's block party. Mark your calendar!
Now, as to the post title of this Farewell to Friday post. There is some kind of mosquito type creature in the office and it has bitten me twice in the last hour. I am super allergic to bug bites and am now all swollen and exhausted. OK, I don't think the exhaustion has anything to do with the bug bite. I am going to go home and lie down. Pedometer is already at 10,000 steps so I don't have to walk after work, although, perhaps, I should. Am maybe going to hit town later…assuming I wake up at reasonable hour and don't have crazy 16-hour sleeping jag. Quiet weekend ahead, I think. Not much on the books, nor is there a whole lot of excitement brewing in SF cultural life, although who knows. I am definitely going to the pool tomorrow. I don't care if it's SNOWING. Before I depart (and while my ipod recharges and collects the new Common album, here are a few stories worth reading IMO before the week begins anew and, with it, more news, more news, more news.

1. story about the LANL blogger retiring who created LANL The Real Story blog.

2. This story from on how ipods represent globalization which I liked, partly because I find the topics interesting and partly because I may be obsessed with ipods.

3. This story about Jon Tester and Pearl Jam in the very fine online magazine New West

4. This truly disturbing story about how the Justice Department wants to get info on customers from ISPs"

5. This article about The BBC documentary, "The Power of Nightmares", a BBC documentary on the war on terrorism that can't find a US distributor.

And if that don't all cheer you up, go buy the new Common album!

heather & brad's wedding redux

heather & friends
Note to self: If I ever get married (again...ahem) would be good to marry someone as organized and graphically competent as Heather (or Brad, for that matter), who have created a Web site of their wedding photos (which I was just about to include in this post before it occurred to me they might not want everyone and their brother visiting it). So, here's Angela, Heather, Darius, Megan and I at the eventful, lovely event. Much better than the phone photos I took! (go figure). OK, seriously, must write summer books story.


Just noticed I'd left phone on Do Not Disturb (DND) since Tuesday! when we were on deadline. This explains weird and serene quiet. Checked messages (mailbox was full) and returned calls. Now, must get SERIOUS and write Summer Books story which is going to be bizarre hodegepodge as none of the books I ordered arrived in time and am, instead, piecing together odd story based on what I've been reading which bears no resemblence to happy summer books reading story I intended to write. Am already at 6,000 steps today as the result of early morning walk in the 'hood. Traipsed past Ramirez Thomas Elementary School in the early hours with Jay Z playing on the headphones when I noticed school crossing guard crossing street (without looking both ways, I might add) and approaching. Paused "Dirt Off Your Shoulder," only to hear crossing guard say, "You're looking goood." Parents: walk your kids across busy intersections yourselves. Blech. Where do they find these people? OK, back to work.
Postscript: Am pleased to note was entirely grossed out by school crossing-guard's compliments and not even slightly flattered. Also, should note: was wearing old grey sweatpants, even-older David Bowie T-shirt and no makeup. On the other hand, not a lot of competition for compliments on that particular southside stretch of sidewalk.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

SITE Santa Fe

is becoming my favorite SF institution. Like its big coolness and guides everywhere ready to answer questions (I don't actually ask questions because I don't know anything about art and only question I might ask would be: "What is art?") Still, like Paul Sarkisian show, even if have nothing insightful to say other than "big and shiny." Fortunately Zane is more insightful and knowledgeable than I am and I can always read his column and find out what everything means. Could even probably ask him directly but not right now because he's busy and might pummel me.

no news is good news

Things I disapprove of today:

1. The expression "no news is good news."
2. A move to change The Museum of Fine Arts' name to The New Mexico Museum of Art. Waste of money and time and also now when a person says, "Oh yeah, I saw it at the MFA" no one will know what they are talking about or, worse, will correct them. Almost as inane as changing Villa Linda Mall to Santa Fe Place (but not quite because nothing is as inane as that).
Let's just call The MFA: Museum #1. Maybe I should change my name to: Woman Three Desks from the Back.
3. Weird dust bits flying through the air today.
4. Instructions on about how to do stuff which are not very clear and are huge time-sucking waste.
5. Today's editorial in The New Mex about Georgia O'Keeffe which was, in news jargon, a big blowjob and very annoying.
6. The fact that someone landed on this blog today by doing a google search on "older people screwing." Why? Why? Why?
7. The fact that my ipod adapter in my car has frayed wires and keeps cutting in and out.
8. The fact that I'm too young to remember anything about Watergate and Deep Throat but starting to get too old for other things (too enervated to go into details)
9. The fact that my good mood of the morning has suddenly become cranky-pants desire to write lists of things I don't like.
10. weird pain in shoulder.

OK, I'm going to go over to Site Santa Fe and see the Paul Sarkisian show and, with any luck, that will bounce me out of this sudden blackness of mood and back into my usual relatively-upbeat productive mode.


boss says no Blackberry even though clearly I would make such good use of it IT WOULD BASICALLY PAY FOR ITSELF. Also said I was becoming a gearhead. Also implied that between blogging and cell phone I am spending a lot of time creating words. Am so not a gearhead. But do love gadgets and also with Blackberry could keep up with email/blog etc., while not in office. Could even do it from beach when in San Diego. Am possibly gearhead.

brain not working

Proof: 1. Called yesterday to make over-the-phone mortgage payment only to discover I'd signed up for automatic withdrawal three months ago. 2. Woke up and went for women's health challenge masochistic walk thing and forgot sadistic pedometer so, essentially, walked for nothing! 3. was thinking about Bill Richardson when I woke up which probably means I was having some sort of dream with him in it (possible not proof of brain not working but just proof of brain not working well or right). Also woke up to text message on phone from Dan Frosch who had forgotten code for Darius' gated condo community and texted me after midnight. Don't know why I didn't hear phone chirping at me, except I had passed out pretty hard half an hour before after a pleasant dinner at Marisco's and a little more pleasant time passed at Bar B. (Hope Dan didn't have to scale wall or sleep behind bushes). Then woke up to Darius texting from NY at 7:30 AM (good lord) to tell me (us; mass text message) that he is in the city. Boys and their text-messaging. I swear.
So now it's just edging past 9 am and I'm waiting for morning meeting with Habitat for Humanity person. I wrote the meeting down on calendar (yay! Go team!) but neglected to write down what/why of meeting (always remember things except lately remember almost nothing). Well, I'm sure I'll find out. Boss told me yesterday he needed to hire an assistant to keep up on reading my blog. From most people this could be interpreted as "why you spending all your time on your blog when you should be doing your job" except boss knows how multi-taskey workaholic I am so probably didn't mean that. Will return later, hopefully with verbs.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


We just had an interesting editorial meeting discussing the journalistic methods used by The Spokesman Review in Spokane, Washington to to show that Mayor James E West was going to gay chat rooms on city time. Basically, the paper used a computer consultant to go online and entrap the mayor. So the question we pondered was: Was this journalistically ethical? No answers here, although we did basically concur that entrapment or undercover methods should only be used when all other avenues have been exhausted.

Love & The Brain

Have just finished reading yesterday NYT story on how the brain is responsible for romantic love and I can't decide how I feel about it. On the one hand, it fits in with my current "we're all just mechanisms" thing. On the other hand, what's the point of trying to have pscyhological insights, personal growth etc., if it all comes down to genes and hardwiring?

the b side

Ugh. I hate insomnia. Hate it much worse than random napping which, at least, results in feeling rested. Woke up at 3 am and am convinced source of 3 am nocturnal waky-waky was my brain interrupting world's stupidest dream. In the dream, I was at The Cowgirl (of course and how convenient, given that in real life I had just been there five hours before). In the dream, I ran into someone I didn't want to see. Now, just to digress for a moment, as a general matter, I have made it a point of personal conviction not to have people I don't want to see/talk to because, well, Santa Fe. Too small for such things and, as a second (although perhaps more primary) point, I think one should reserve any personal contention for political matters, like bad laws and such and not waste it on other people. But I have an exception for this ONE person, known for the purposes of this dream recounting as Worthless Witless Shithead (or WWS for short). So I run into WWS who is being so accurately moronic that it really didn't seem like a dream at all. I went back to my friends and tried to ignore WWS but noticed he was engaged in some kind of study group. So I gathered closer to investigate and saw he was with a group of people (who were, I believe, the same real life group of young people Darius was holding a study group with in real life earlier in the evening) and also at the table was my favorite tutor from St. John's (in real life) Phil Lecuyere. Mr. Lucuyere (in real life) has a pretty good poker face but, nonetheless, I could tell he thought WWS was as big a tool as I do (in real life and in the dream) and this made me happy. Then I woke up. THANK GOD. What a waste of subconscious time. As I lay in bed trying to troubleshoot my insomnia (which sounds mechanistic, but we are mechanisms basically) I decided there were several culprits. 1. stupid dream 2. bad placement of digital clock in sight-line of bed. Shouldn't matter if eyes are closed but perhaps eyes flutter open here and there and red digital numbers infiltrate brain 3. unnatural sleeping schedule as result of job. Left to own self, would stay up until 1 or 2 am and sleep until not sleepy anymore. Potential solutions: stop having stupid dreams, particularly ones about being at the Cowgirl, which may require going to Cowgirl less which will require, when friends say, "Let's just go to the Cowgirl," stomping small foot and saying, "No! For the love of God! No!" Problem is enjoy going to Cowgirl. Good menu and not expensive. 2. More realistically, move digital clock. 3. Get job at night. Not really a solution, though. So basically we're talking about moving a clock.
Am attempting to counter fatigue with rare second cup of coffee. Pointless endeavor as second cup of coffee always has odd effect of making me just as tired but jittery. Still, feels like the thing to do. Also, today is "budget" day, the day I get my monthly budget together, which may contribute to sleeplessness as budget day at work always coincides with personal bill-paying day, which makes it, basically, Pay Money Day, which is a hard thing to feel too excited about (Hate money, bills, budgeting, etc).
When I woke up for the second time, in the 7 am range, was thinking about Best of Santa Fe readers' poll. Feel this implies was probably dreaming about Best of SF readers' poll. Very glad I don't remember that dream.