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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

wow, a day off looms

yes, yes, it's true. I'm taking manana off to commemorate the day I began aging. see ya friday. think of me fondly tomorrow and send me your wishes. My personal wish? No more aging!

unbalanced or what

So apparently, Los Alamos has the highest median income for any county in the entire country while New Mexico remains at the bottom for state-wide incomes. What does Los Alamos have that the rest of the state doesn't have? A nuclear laboratory, that's what. Maybe Santa Fe should focus less on the arts for economic development and instead build a nuclear lab downtown. On the other hand, I don't think city government should have any access to nukes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

done deal

the finish line

My weekend was a combo of fun & frustration. Fun was Aid n Comfort where, thanks to a VIP pass (as we are corporate sponsors) I had a red star on my hand that enabled me to have free drinks from any bar (and there were many) all night long. So there was great people watching and lots of people greeting and great outfits and good music and, as I mentioned, plenty of booze (although my vegetarian meal was pretty gross at dinner) and I had lots of fun. Sunday morning (well, noon) when I went to get in my car to drive to the circus my car was dead. The boy I'm dating brought over a battery charger, which didn't work. We were then unable to push the car out of the driveway in order to jump it, so I had to call a tow truck to tow it out of my driveway, jump it (yeah, Hyundai roadside assistance program; a tow truck came in 15 minutes. Have you ever heard of such a thing?) and leave it at the dealer.
The boy I'm dating was then kind enough to lend me his car, a '78 mercedes, so I could get to work the next day. The car is very cute (I'm sure that's not the word he'd use) but slow, like I could barely get it up to 35 miles an hour).

Me, upon returning the car: This car doesn't go very fast.
Him: I know, it's like a Zen thing.
Me (to myself): He's kidding, right?

Just found out my old pal, former SFR food writer Kate Winslow, is with child. That kid is going to have some good meals in his or her lifetime.

I can't believe it's THIS time of year again. This writing contest/gift guide/double issue time of year. And that I have the balls to be taking Thursday off to have some "Julia time." And that I just wrote the words "Julia time."
I could hit delete.
But I won't.
Ah, more paper on my desk. Must read and mark with red pen!

Friday, November 25, 2005

stuff, stuffing, stuffed

Here's one reason I'm glad I work the day after Thanksgiving. Not to mention a little shout-out, to myself, for not living in New York.
I just finished my leftovers from yesterday: mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and stuffing. Very healthy. I feel really gross. Despite the carbo-induced brain fog, I had a lovely time yesterday. First off, survived the weirdness of attending a holiday function with the boy I've been dating. Also, he brought a dish and it was very, very good. So good, in fact, that Donnan, my friend, this morning gave his blessing (this may sound absurd, but Donnan has an uncannny knack for knowing who's a tool and who isn't). Secondly, well, it was all pretty low key in a slightly weird way. It was Donnan's mother's birthday (hence her name: Pilgrim). She has a habit of telling a strange combination of stories. She's 73 and vascilates between talking about the old-fashioned things of the 50s (or 40s? do the math for me, will ya? My head hurts from all the pumpkin pie) and then pops out with things like, "Don't you think pie is better than sex?" (The answer to this question, if someone you're dating is sitting next to you, btw, is not yes).
So tomorrow night is Aid & Comfort, which will hopefully be fun. Sunday I hope to go to the circus as my ex is in it and, well, who doesn't love a circus?
OK, back to the second gift guide now.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

i am thankful

1. that in one hour and 13 minutes I can go home.
2. that I already bought the wine to take to Donnan's tomorrow so I don't have to go to the store.
3. that I already bought an outfit to wear to Aid & Comfort Saturday night so I don't have to brave the masses on Friday and try to find something to wear.
4. that I worked out on Monday and Tuesday and can skip the gym tonight and just hurl myself into a ball on the couch.
5. that I don't have to set an alarm tomorrow.
6. that my phone at work has a Do Not Disturb function I can utilize in times of mental fatigue.
7. that I have a decent life, even though I complain about it a lot, particularly when I'm tired.
8. for my friends.
9. for my dogs.
10. for the advancement of online communication, allowing me to wax corny and whiny whenever I feel like it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

True Confessions

Oh dear, I've been tagged for a meme by Tom.

1. I confess to knowing no Italian, other than the names of pasta, but I think I'm supposed to list confessions.
2. I confess to having very negative thoughts this week regarding the inability of certain letter-to-the-editor writers to actually read that about which they write.
3. I confess that I sometimes lie about either my age, height or weight, but I'm not saying which.
4. I confess that the purple streak in the back of my hair actually cost money to put in.
5. I confess that the guy I am dating would have asked me out a year ago except a mutual friend told him I was a lesbian and even though I knew he thought that I didn't do anything to correct his misimpression.
6. I confess that I have not used my kitchen for anything other than coffee brewing in at least a year.
7. I confess that I used to be able make myself cry on command by thinking about my first hamster's death.
8. I confess that I don't know anything about wine, but sometimes I pretend that I do.
9. I confess that my fantasy alternative life would consist of studying and translating Ancient Greek.
10. I confess to having watched a lot of Star Trek in my life.
11. I confess to liking dogs more than people.
12. I confess to singing very loud in my car when I drive around.

This could really go on indefinitely. I must stop now and, as befits the meme tradition, pass the torch to: Steve, Yvonne, Gregory P and John.

Monday, November 21, 2005

bah humbug

I do not like, and have never liked, Thanksgiving. Even as a child I felt weirdly imposed upon by the holiday, and usually sat in my grandparents' guest room (we were with my grandparents on holidays) reading or watching TV until the last possible moment, aka, when it was time to eat. I'm not sure what it is that bothers me. It feels like a weird time shell game. Like, here's a day off but, just as you imagine a day off, it's yanked away and replaced with some other obligation. The obligation to sit around and eat. I also have, and have always had, a bizarre aversion to the concept of everyone everywhere eating at the same time and eating the same things. In school I was always suffering some kind of strange existential nausea at the sight of cafeteria lunching. Plus, unlike, well, most people, I'm not into the cuisine de Thanksgiving. I don't eat Turkey (I am of the ever-logical school of smoking vegetarians). And while stuffing and potatoes and pie certainly do create a lovely carbohydrate-induced stupor, it's one I can live without (although a small amount of sweet potatoes with marshmellows is kind of good). Every year I vow to eschew the holiday, to stay home with something I want to eat and some movies and enjoy my day off. Every year this plan is thrwarted and I end up going to one of my nice friends' houses and sitting around and eating (and being occasionally further tormented by football games). I suppose this year will be no different and, really, this is such an ungrateful ridiculous thing to complain about I can't believe I'm even saying it.
Don't I have better things to complain about?
Why yes, yes I do.
Last week I had one of those bizarre bureacratic nightmare experiences that makes you feel as though you've fallen into a corporate Alice in Wonderland hole and you will never escape; you will be on hold with corporate American forever pressing #1 and listening to canned music and repeating your woes to the next available operator. Fortunately, as First National Bank of Santa Fe was a major player in my particular dilemma, I actually got to speak to live people, live people who know me and who quickly helped me. Bank local! Anyway, problems averted (at least for the time being) but it kind of wiped me out.
Last night, the guy I've been dating was robbed (his house) and I showed up to be supportive "girlfriend" type, which somehow turned into me drinking half a bottle of wine, becoming drunk and pretty much passing out. It's unclear to me today how or why I thought drinking was an effective way to show support.
Saturday night I swung by The Feral Gallery opening, checked out Van Arno's work, wished I could afford it (actually it's very affordable) and hung out there for a while. It was fun; a nice art/party and a good break from the current Santa Fe scene. Last week's kblu party also was fun; the new El Paseo space is very nice, and they had a big turnout.
Typically, in SF, the night before Thanksgiving is a big night in town. The Paramount used to have big shows on that night. I wonder what will be up this year? I should say, no matter if I do end up spending Thanksgiving carboloading, it's nice to have a day off, and I suppose I have much to be thankful for, although it's hard to keep that in mind when the phone is ringing off the hook with angry people and the special issues are piling up (one gift guide down; one to go).
And so ends my Monday moaning. I'll try to blog again when I have something nice to say!

Friday, November 18, 2005

where have I been, what am I doing?

Monday, November 14, 2005

blog funny

courtesy former SFR intern-turned writer Farren: a little blog funny.

mon deux monday

Former SFR writer Maria Luisa Tucker has a good story today on hip hop and politics in Alternet.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we are simultaneously working on this week's issue and next week's first Gift Guide. There is nothing more life affirming than trying to put out two publications simultaneously. Life-affirming as in, "Am I still breathing?" Life affirming as in, "I hyperventilate, therefore I am." In other exciting news, I do not ever want to take antibiotics again. The run is done, but the "I've killed every good bacteria in my body" lingers. Also, turns out weird crack-like antihistimine was not solely responsible for insomnia as I am off it and yet still not sleeping. Now, yes, I can sleep when I'm dead etc., etc., but it would be nice to just every now and then feel rested. At least a little bit. Am on week four or so of driving the speed limit. Driving the speed limit means I am being tailgated and passed everywhere I go and have to clench my little fists on my steering wheel as people pass me in my car that, according to the speedometer, can go up to 170 miles an hour. I do not like being passed and tailgated. The question is whether I like it less than I liked being pulled over and ticketed every other day. The real question is why aren't the people passing and tailgating me getting ticketed? Well, perhaps they are, but not in front of me which might, sadly, make me feel better.
No, I am not attending either booksigning of Richardson's autobiography. I'm still reading it and, I imagine, I can get him to sign it at some future date should this seem like something I need to do.
Oh God, people are knocking down the door and the phone is ringing off the hook. I guess I'm supposed to be working.

Friday, November 11, 2005

all you do to me is talk, talk

I am sitting at my desk, eating Bio K in an attempt to prevent, and somewhat undo, the havoc wreaked on my already less-than-happy body by taking antiobiotics for nearly a week (I'm done on Saturday, thank God). Yesterday was my last day of the weird prescription antihistimine on which I have literally barely slept or eaten all week. I know, to most, that would sound awful, but in truth in an alternative universe I'd probably make a great speed freak. I don't really like sleeping or eating, and I got A LOT done this week. Anyway, the antibiotics on the other hand, suck. And this BioK stuff, FYI, is nasty. Joy to the world!
Yesterday I spent EIGHT hours in a hotel conference room for SFR's business planning with one of the owners of the paper and the other managers. In case you envision SFR being run by a bunch of over-opinionated muckrakers, let me assure you that's just my department. In truth, we spend a lot of time considering the BIG picture, both in Santa Fe and elsewhere, of journalism, from both the journalism side of it, and the marketing side of it and the business side of it. I have a strange streak of loving to think about the "business" side of it, that is competing media, the marketplace of ideas, changing trends, journalism news. Etc. Which is why I've become (along with many other journalists) semi-obsessed with the VVM/New Times merger. It raises so many interesting issues, for one, and also the personalities in it are so extreme. Although, at the end of the day, like most things in America, the VVM/New Times merger, and the voices on both sides, pro and con, mostly come down to wealthy middle-aged white guys who used to be hippies and are now trying to line their pockets, arguing from perspectives of total advantage. The big criticism people levy at New Times is that they aren't political. The nutshell version of the argument (as I understand it) is that alt.weeklies came of age during a time in which the mainstream media did not express the diversity of views about the schism in this country (kinda like now, except it was then). Flash foward some 30 to 50 years later (depending on the paper; some of the alt.weeklies in the US are babies in their first decade, while others, like The Voice, just turned 50. SFR turned 31 this year, FYI and, yes, was started in opposition to The New Mex, but I digress). Anyway, these days, some papers, such as those owned by The Voice, and others like The Bay Guardian, still show their anti-establishment roots in what some might consider typically liberal ways—lots of political endorsements, very pro-Democratic leanings, pro-choice, pro-union. pro-gay marriage etc. These are papers about whom one always knows where they stand on issues (which you also could say about SFR, and I'm sure some of you are saying that right now). In effect, these are the kinds of papers that most liberal Santa Feans would agree with. New Times, from what I can tell, doesn't take the same approach, but concentrates more on reporting stories, cultural news etc., rather than using their papers as forums for pushing one agenda or another. (And I think you might perhaps say SFR falls in the middle of all this, as we do do political endorsements and the like, but we don't have weekly editorials and we try to minimize the number of stories we have that are "issue driven,"—although, yes, I have run at least three stories on The Patriot Act. I can't help it; that Big Brother shit freaks me out). Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, so, ahem, the VVM/New Times merger thus rankles some, mostly those of the VVM-mode of journalism, because New Times is perceived to be a CORPORATION that will force its brand of journalism upon the papers it owns, thus eliminating the other kind we were just talking about. And also, in general, since alt.weeklies were, allegedly (hey, I was a small child, I have to just take people's word on this) formed as an anti-establishment kind of undertaking, the idea of anti-establishment corporations doesn't really work for most people (since most anti-establishment liberals are anti-corporation. As am I, sometimes, if the corporation in question is, say, Wal-Mart. Whole Foods I'm pretty down with). And, beyond the philosophical debates (which I suspect are more sincerely expressed by the writers writing for these various papers than the people who own them) are the other concerns: market share, advertising revenue, money, money, money. Which brings us back to my initial thought—you know, the one about all the white guys trying to line their pockets.
Well, shit, we live in a capitalist society. Even if some of us probably had communists in our genetic trees, that was then. And then wasn't like now. For one thing, we've got way more choices about what kinds of coffee to drink.
Speaking of which, Im gonna go get me some!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


This just in:

Rio Arriba County Magistrate appointee David Valdez today informed the Governor’s Office that he was withdrawing his name and would not be able to serve.  Valdez admitted that in 1983 he had been found in contempt of court and had been punished for failure to pay child support, but did not disclose that information prior to his appointment.  Governor Bill Richardson last week announced his intention to appoint Valdez to the position after reviewing a list of qualified candidates offered by a search committee named to assist in the selection of a new Magistrate for Rio Arriba County.
Valdez misled the Governor’s Office by not disclosing the information on his appointment application and lied about it when questioned by Vince Ward, Deputy Chief Counsel for the Governor.  Furthermore, a background check of electronic law enforcement and court databases revealed no indication that such an incident had been reported to the state.

Of course, earlier today former state treasurer Michael Montoya plead guilty to extortion and admited he started taking bribes as soon as he got into office."
And then, last week, Judge Fran resigned and faces criminal charges Nov. 21 in mag court.

I really think the governor should create an Office of Suspicion, or some such thing, and staff it with the most intrepid investigators he can find. They should have total autonomy to oversee all government agencies from top to bottom and root out any corruption and nip it in the bud. It's really kind of disgusting what appears to have gone on, unchecked, in the state treasurer's office, for years and years and years. And not just there. Why the hell was a public education department employee looking at some form of kiddie porn while at work (or at all, for that matter). What is wrong with people? Granted, I am an ADMITTED SPEEDER but so far this has been a victimless crime (not counting the damage I've done to my checking account paying tickets) and I've learned from my mistakes. Now I drive the speed limit and let everyone and their grandmother tailgate me, pass me and terrorize me in general (and never, it seems, get pulled over but hey, let's not get off topic). Is it just the old axiom that absolute power corrupts? Or is there something more insidious at play here?
Or are we back to the Hobbsian world-view I've been working so hard to eschew?

greetings earthlings

Since last I blogged my weekend was spent, as the last few have been, in a fatigued state, temples pulsating in discomfort. Finally, on Sunday morning, having been awakened at 4 am by terrible headache, I said to myself, "Julia, go to the freaking doctor." This, by the way, is the advice my friends and colleagues have been issuing for weeks but I have a weird Christian Science proclivity to ignore Western medicine and just suffer through things with the thought that if I don't give in to them they will disappear.
So, at 10 am, I schlepped over to Ulti-Med, a clinic a block away from our offices, where in 10 minutes flat I learned I had: a sinus infection, an ear infection, a temperature and, the kicker: high blood pressure.
The last startled me. The one thing I've always felt slightly proud of was my perfect blood pressure in the face of constant stress and poor self-care. But they did say at the clinic that it might be high due to sickness, constant swallowing of sinus medication and elevated body temperature.
Anyway, I am now on these horrible horse-sized antibiotic pills that make me want to hurl every 10 minutes. Plus a crazy prescription antihistimine that makes me lose my appetite (which would be fine, except I have to keep shoveling food in my stomach to keep the antibiotics from eating my stomach lining) dizzy and sleepless. They also gave me some codeine, which I didn't understand at the time although the temptation to take it at night to put myself out of my antibiotic-nauseau misery is tempting.
And the lesson is? Don't wait three weeks to go to the doctor when you're sick. It only gets worse. I have written a letter to myself to this effect (the language in it is a bit more graphic and self-castigating) that is in Jonanna's possession to hand to me the next time I behave in this juvenile and pointless manner.
On the bright side, at least there's a good reason for my lackluster blogging, poor workouts and general malaise. I was starting to think I was depressed. And I'm not! I'm just diseased. I'm sure you will all sleep better knowing this. As would I if I could sleep at all. Still, four more days of meds and hopefully I will be as right as rain and ready and rarin' to go.
For now, though, I must return to my antibiotic-calming yogurt of the day (I don't like yogurt, I think it's stupid) and the constant swilling of water apparently required as well. I am a whiny, whiny patient but I am going to finish my antibiotics because I have now been informed, by dozens of people, that not doing so can 1. provoke whatever you have to morph into some worse thing (hello: science?) or, somehow or another, decrease the effectiveness of antibiotics in the general population (again: how?). None of this makes sense to me but I have decided to accept the fact that when it comes to certain types of adult behavior I am a lost cause and must simply obey the orders of others better versed in such matters.

Friday, November 04, 2005


I am, weirdly enough, actually caught up. Actually leaving the office on a Friday and carrying very little home, except for the guv's autobiography.
So, my friends, I leave you with this bizarre story which should teach you, if nothing else, to keep your private affairs out of the courts lest you, too, become a really freaking weird story.
Vayo con dios!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

she's back

but disassociative, apparently, and referring to myself in third person.
My God I am beat. I am running, these days, solely on fumes. Lavender-scented fumes, mind you, but still.
New favorite activity: napping
Least favorite activity: answering telephone
New challenge: Sidekick2—blackberry type contraption equipped to do everything you could imagine. Except be used as an alarm clock, for some reason.
Good Deed of the Week: Picking up guy I've been dating for 3 weeks in Albuquerque after his car broke down.
Attitude about Good Deed: Poor to moderate
Articles you should read:

Puppets on the Left, Puppets on the Right about the Wal-Mart PR campaign.
Alls or Nothing an article by Silja in In These Times about poverty.

But to me, the big tragedy of the day was the closure of Carlos Gospel Cafe. This is sad for several reasons. One, I've been eating there since 1987 but also SFR is almost entirely powered by Carlos' sandwhiches. We order from them constantly; who knew that Gertrude Stein on WW on Monday was my last? It sucks to see a downtown institution go under like this. I think little old recession-proof Santa Fe is about to start having some serious problems.