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Monday, January 30, 2006

Everything I've Thought or Done for the Last Two Weeks

OK, maybe that's a little ambitious. Truth be told, I tried to blog on my Sidekick 2 from the Maui airport (since I had to sit there for three hours) but the connection to the Web was so weak it was super slow and I got distracted, or bored, or something and gave up. Side note: In Hawai airports, they designate open-aired portions of the airport for smoking. So civilized!
Returning to the continential US was a bit of a haul. Have yet to learn to sleep on airplanes, so 1:30 am found me reading away. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime made good airplane reading, although it sparked a weird ongoing thread in my life in which every one I know now keeps talking about Ausperger's Syndrome. The book I read going to Maui, Susan Shapiro's Lighting Up was kind of a mistake. It was good, but reading about someone trying to quit smoking while on a plane unable to smoke for six hours was a bit much. Of course, sitting on a beach reading about a retarded African American man about to be executed for a crime he didn't commit wasn't all that cheerful either.
OK, enough about what I've been reading. Maui was awesome. The Aquarium was really cool, the sushi was delicious, the beaches were divine, my tan (now fading) was tasteful and the hotel was pretty swank. One odd thing about the hotel was that it was open air in the center, sort of tropical gardenish, and filled with squawking birds. There also were koi ponds where you could feed the fish, and a litter of feral kittens that hung out by the pool (friendly feral kittens).
I came back to everything in fine order, leading me to conclude, after many years of thinking otherwise, that I can take a vacation. Sweet!
Now am trying to catch up on the news I missed, get next week's paper out the door, and start preparing for the big Love and Sex edition on Feb. 8 that we publish for Valentine's Day (followed by a big, fun party Feb. 9 at Museum of International Folk Art. You should definitely come by. It's cheap ($2), benefits the youth membership drive at the museum, there will be great music, food, plus the exhibits up there are worth seeing (or seeing again perhaps).
In the meantime, I am returning to work, but with a cheerful attitude (have I mentioned I needed a vacation?), knitting (finished a hat for the boy, which is he is wearing, although I think it looks a little girly unfortunately), watching the first season of Lost on DVD—very good, although I'm glad I didn't start before leaving town as it might have made it hard to get on an airplane.
Am now facing choosing letters for this week's paper. Response to our story on the Santa Fe Animal Shelter was intense. Not surprisingly! As always, we will print as many letters as we can this week and keep them coming next week.
Also pondering Crosswinds closure. Actually, not so much pondering it really as biting my tongue. Like, really hard.
Mahola for returning to my blog after this long absence.
Side note, in Hawaii everyone says mahola and aloha. I thought it was interesting because Maui has a lot of similarities to Santa Fe: tourist town, retirement population, excessively expensive housing, tri cultural, local resentment against newcomers and tourists etc., But the one thing that's kind of cool is how much everyone uses traditional language, even just for saying "thank you." It's much more laid back and friendly than Santa Fe though, although I suppose since I was a tourist I'm not really qualified to say that—it's not like I know how tourists are treated here. But it's definitely more laid back. Case in point: my shuttle driver, upon taking me to the airport, pulled over on the highway suddenly, jumped out, rushed into traffic to grab a bungie cord that had fallen off another car because, he said, "I could really use this for my windsurfer."
Have I mentioned I am going to retire in Maui? Right after I win the New Mexico Lottery.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

off to maui

OK, just wrote a whole post r.e. I'm leaving, I'm leaving, beach, beach etc., etc., and then Safari crashed and it was all lost and I could barely choke out the words to begin with so this last post is just me saying I'm out of here, I'll be back next Thursday but, if my Sidekick works in Hawaii (I don't know why it wouldn't, I'm just saying) perhaps I'll blog from the beach.
Until then, enjoy the mayoral forums (candidates now down to five. Nice early tip on that from the sheriff, and the Legislature and I'll enjoy...the beach!
See ya.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

blah blah blah

Here's a link to the just-finished opening day Legislature speech by Gov. Bill Richardson.
It's pretty awful, cliche ridden, dead language, vague, not moving.
I don't understand why there aren't better speeches anymore. I think I would be a good speech writer.

Here's the best lines:
"When I was a young boy, my mother helped bridge my connection between two cultures as I grew up.  My abuelita (my grandmother) made sure I went to catechism and made me say my prayers each night.  And my father pushed me to stay focused on school, demanding results along the way.
Later, in college, I remember professors who helped me realize my potential and ignited my intellectual curiosity.
If none of these things had happened, I doubt I’d be standing here before you today.  (Maybe some of you would have liked it better that way…)"

[insert laugh here]

(That's my comment).

Alright, guess I better go back to critiquing my paper versus the gov's speech.

Monday, January 16, 2006

knitter please

To think of all these years I've spent in this office on Marcy Street, blissfully unaware of the yarn store just a stone's throw away. Sadly, those days are gone forever and I am becoming a slightly crazy, compulsive yarn purchaser. I like the owner, though, and she's very helpful. For example, today, when I told her I needed something to knit on the six-hour plane ride to Maui, she suggested this yarn and wrote out a pattern for me to make a shawl that will basically be a tropical shawl for me to wear. I also bought some yarn to make boy I am dating a scarf, which he has requested.
Sigh. I really feel very silly writing about knitting like this. And sillier spending money like a drunken.. sailor (a drunken sailor who knits) on yarn. Although I suppose if all I do is stay in and knit the cost of the yarn is probably not much more than I might be spending if I went out and did other stuff. Oh well, whatever, it's what I'm doing. Also, in case you were wondering, the camera on my Sidekick blows; the camera on my old phone was much better. I'd really love to buy my own digital camera, but I've spent so much money on yarn I can't really afford it. And I can't really justify "borrowing" an SFR camera to take on vacation so... I guess I'll be going the disposable route instead. But, you know, as much as I hate buying disposable things, I feel that I'm countering the disposability factor by buying organic wool. Yes, I am joking (I actually have been buying natural fiber type stuff but I don't really think it's some kind of yin/yang balancing act against the act of buying a disposable camera. I'm not that much of a Santa Fean. Or maybe I am. Thank God it's almost time to go home)


Former SFR staff writer Maria Luisa Tucker has a great essay about race on Alternet today. Check it out. It's my undertanding Luisa will be in SF for the next few months, so we'll see if I can cajole her into writing something for SFR while she's here.
SFR freelancer Silja JA Talvi's piece for SFR, Beyond the God Pod, led to further reporting on the prison Christianity programming afoot in our nation that she writes about in Cult of Character in this month's In These Times.
Last, but definitely not least, SFR staff writer Dan Frosch got a shout out here for his story for Alternet on deaths in the steel industry.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

ho hum sunday

Today The New York Times noted we have the highest minimum wage in the US.. Of course, with a median house price nearing half a mil, I guess we'd have to. Not that you're buying a house on $9.50 an hour.
The sky is darkening. I'm doing my usual Sunday thang: reading the cover story and deleting all the spam trying to sell me cheap cialis and Viagra. Seriously, hundreds and hundreds of spam every week trying to sell me generic penile dysfunction drugs. Dear spammers: I can get it up just fine. Please leave me alone.
I had many goals today. I accomplished only one: taking a shower and coming to work. Well, and I finished another scarf. Had a bit of a headache all weekend, which sent me back to hibernation mode. I attribute it to the smoke-filled pool room at the ?Cowgirl Friday night. Played pool. Correction: played pool pretty damn well, if I do say so myself. Seems two years of constant playing left me with a few skills I can access when I'm not trying so hard.
OK, if I'm gonna come to work on Sunday I guess I better work. This time next week I'll be in Maui. I can't believe it!

Friday, January 13, 2006

friday the 13th

I just wrote an entire post and accidentally deleted it. This Friday the 13th stuff seems to have translated into some kind of Mercury in Retrograde situation for me. I have done more stupid computer things today than in my entire life, it seems.
Ahem. As I was saying before interrupting and deleting myself, this is completely crazy. How can the median house price in Santa Fe be nearly half a million dollars when you can barely find a job that pays $30,000.
I bought my house 10 years ago for less than $100,000. Granted, it's rural ghetto and I've had to replace the roof... twice... but at least I have a roof over my head. It used to take me 7 minutes to get into town from my house. These days it takes 25 minutes. Santa Fe has been growing steadily and all the while the discourse is about whether or not we should grow. So we grow, but badly, and unchecked. $470,000! Talk about The Emperor Has No Adobe Bricks. This is insanity. The comments on the new mex site r.e. this story, about realtor disclosure, are very appropo.
Tonight I'm going to grab a slice of pizza with Dan at Back Road Pizza, which has great pizza and a great enviro. If you haven't been, you really should. This is a great local business and I love the Second Street district in general.
Meanwhile, I am trying to finish up our contest entries for the annual AAN contest, which is partly why I'm having so many computer problems. Last year we won in a few categories, although all contests are kind of a crap shoot in my opinion. Meanwhile, the editors on the AAN editors list serv have been debating the ethics of having columnists who are running for office, in office etc. I am very old school on this stuff and my answer is: NO! I don't care who they are or how great they are or any of it. No, no, no. Jerry Ortiz y Pino was a columnist for this paper for 30 years before he ran for office and when he told me he was running, his column ended. End of story. I wouldn't even let an employee of mine have a bumper sticker on their car (I can't do anything about the ad reps). It's not about how fair you think you're going to be; it's about the credibility of the paper.
Well, I think I'll go mosey over to the yarn store before the weekend begins. I'm almost out of projects (i.e. scarfs) to knit. I am contemplating starting a hat this weekend, but I don't know if I'm ready. I just re-read that sentence and truly can't believe I wrote it. Twice, in fact.
One of the owners of the paper sent me The Informant, so I may tackle that over the weekend. Contemplating getting A Million Easy Pieces for the plane ride.
OK, guess I'll get back to it for a few.
Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

more random movie blather

I was trying to figure out, today, why I have been thinking, talking and writing about movies more often than usual. Then I realized I haven't had any alcohol in 10 days and, since I haven't been going out, have been watching more movies than usual.
Saw a preview for Thank you for Smoking, a very, very funny book by Christopher Buckley that I read when it first came out 10 years or so ago. I am constantly puzzled over which books become movies. Sometimes it seems so obvious (Narnia). In this case, though, I would never have picked this book, which is funny mostly because of the language, as movie fodder.
Speaking of, um, hollywood, I guess the guv is going to be on the set of Wildfire, a teen drama that's being filmed in NM. During my Jan. 2 illness breakdown, where I did nothing but knit and watch TV, I stumbled across it and got to see Nicholas Ballas, owner of the The Cowgirl, who has a recurring role on the show. That was fun; although I don't think I'm going to become a regular watcher. Watching TV is not on my list of New Year's resolutions.
Oh God, I guess I should go back to work.

Monday, January 09, 2006

the most boring girl alive

Mondays used to mean my blog was filled with photos and hazy recounts of my weekend jaunts. Today's Monday post, in case you're wondering, includes a photograph of the scarf I knit, knitted...knat? over the weekend. Jonanna has postulated that perhaps I have that weird disease where you become instantaneously very old. It does, indeed, feel like that. (although I have to admit the fact that I am capable of making things after an entire lifetime of being pretty useless is sort of exciting).
I am still on my I can't be sick anymore-regimen of staying home and doing nothing. I am going to Maui in 10 days and I absolutely refuse to be sick. Particularly as I'll be on an airplane for six hours (knitting the whole time I'm sure. Maybe I'll knit myself a bikini. Not).
I did leave the house Friday night to see Munich, which was good, albeit disturbing and graphic. Munich and Syriana are the only two movies I've seen as of late, which is sort of odd given that I am usually much more inclined towards viewing total fluff. I did finally rent Serenity, which I really, really liked—in part because it was Joss Whedon and in part because it reminded me of Resident Evil. I don't know why my movie tastes run so closely to the average video-game addicted teenage boy's. Oh well.
Also finally finished McInerney's The Good Life, which ended up being super, super trite. Blech. Bad enough to have a middle-aged man have the ephiphany that he loves a woman because she reminds him of his mother (if people really had such ephiphanies there would be no need for therapists) but to have the same character have the same ephiphany twice in 50 pages? I mean, come on. I need something good to read; everything I've tried lately has been sort of horrific (Actually Prep, which I read right before Good Life, wasn't so badly written I guess, but it wasn't exactly great literature. I don't think. blah blah blah).
In other news: our sheriff, Greg Solano, has started a blog. It seems like he might have a few technical difficulties with the template at the moment, although it's readable. I wish all public officials had blogs.
OK, I have to go now and get ready to be boring some more.
knit, gnat, not

Friday, January 06, 2006

it's all about me

OK, obviously it isn't, but I was just catching up on my blog reading and came across Steve Terrell's recent look at the phrases or keyboards that bring people to his blog. (You know, someone does a search for something and your blog comes up on google or msn or whathaveyou). Steve had gotten the idea from Mario and I thought it would be fun to check out recent phrases people had searched under that had brought them to my blog as well. Here they are:

blog julia nicaragua 2005
julia goldberg
santa fe lesbian blog
julia goldberg and blog
julia goldberg
julia goldberg
julia goldberg
noah santa fe blog
giovanna rossi
clementine daniel kovnat
julia goldberg
bill payne santa fe
mormon weddings
san isidro jeff branch
julia goldberg

Ahem. I think this is a good sign my blog has been way to obsessed with julia goldberg lately. Well, shit, it's my blog and I'll self obsess if I want to.
So this morning I woke up and almost freaked out when I realized that, for the first time in a long time, I actually felt like a human being. I walked my dogs with a bounce in my sneakers and I only blew my nose once.
I fell asleep last night reading an advance reader's copy of Jay McInerney's The Good Life in which the characters from Brightness Falls ( a very good novel) are back. This time, the decadent 80s are behind them, as are the faux-conscientious '90s, and a 40-something couple are plunged into New York, circa 9.11, where they grapple with marital problems amidst a city that has been attacked by terrorists. McInerney's a good writer, but the book is pretty lame; it feels cheap to me. Cheap and dated. Is there anything of less interest than how 9.11 impacted wealthy, spoiled and disaffected New Yorkers? Because emotionally that's pretty much all that's going on here and it's freaking irritating. And, frankly, the entire book smacks of insincerity. I mean, if McInerney was Armistead Maupin that would be different. Then it might be OK to have serial characters in real situations reacting. But this is 4 years after 9.11 and McInerney seems to be trying to pass off the vagaries of people struggling with their romantic lives after 9.11 as profound. Further, the insider literary world McInerney did so well in Brightness Falls doesn't play as well in today's real literary world where every ambitious publishing assistant and their sister has published their own first novel filled with insider looks at the New York publishing world. I mean, seriously, who cares? I love that kind of shit and I don't even care.
OK, enough railing on Jay McInerney (I guess I'm disappointed; I really did like Brightness Falls).
Tonight I'm going to hopefully see Munich. I haven't left my house in six days, except to work, so this will be my first attempt to be amongst people and remain germ free. No, I will not be wearing a face mask (although I finally understand the allure of such things).
OK, now that I feel better, I hopefully can say I am back. After all, with so many blogs, I may need to rachet things up to keep my readers. I don't want to lose them to The Bill Richardson Blog after all.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

we're back

Coming back to work on a Tuesday, which is our deadline day, is pretty crazy. I had planned to stop by the offices yesterday and at least plow through the spam but, surprise, surprise, going out New Year's Eve did not do my ongoing plague situation well, and I barely moved for two days after. Finally gave in to the reality that there is something amiss and started a second round of antibiotics. Boy I've been dating came over New Year's Day and made me dinner, which I promptly threw up (let no one say I am not charming). Made spontaneous New Year's Resolution addendum that I am not leaving the house (except for work) until I am really, really recovered. This is ridicilicilous.
Not quite as wacky as the fact that I just spent 20 minutes looking at knitting blogs. Yes, that's what 2006 has in store for me. I am going to stay in, not drink or carouse, and knit. My youth is officially over.
Well, I'm not sure my knitting prowess is going to advance much beyond scarfs, but it is a distracting thing to do when you're inside blowing your nose for eight hours (yesterday). Bah hambug. I mean humbug.
In other news, have to get our AAN entries ready for the 2005 contest, edit next week's cover story, clean off my disgusting desk (it's becoming epic in here because I've felt too weak to carry out the old newspapers. You may well find me in here buried under them soon). The city council forums etc., are picking up. Our two new interns start tomorrow and we are going to sic them (sick them. psyche them?) on pulling together city information for our pop quiz series.
o shit, gotta hop back to my red penned ways. more latah
hopefully more newsy than knitty