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Friday, March 31, 2006

world gone mad

This video can't possibly be real, can it? I mean, seriously, can it?
It's amazing there aren't more documented cases of spontaneous combustion.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


I am trying to get a lot done today, which is resulting in my feeling very ADD and feeling that I am accomplishing nothing at the same time. The first order of business, after my brief—and I fear overly chatty—appearance on The Voice of New Mexico this morning was an attempt to clean up my office. Anyone who has ever been in my office knows it's basically OSHA Hazard meets Juvenile Delinquent, a really offputting combination of newspapers and press releases EVERYWHERE and postcards, photos and pop-culture iconography on the walls. I went through a brief period last year when I kept my office relatively clean and organized, but it faded. The truth is, I find it hard to work and keep things clean at the same time. I also kind of like the fact that you can come into my office and request just about anything (from paperclips to Vitamin C to an old Harpers from the '80s) and I will be able to find it for you. Eventually. My house is sort of the opposite, relatively spartan—EXCEPT for my office in my house, which is similarly over-run by paper. I'm not very good at throwing out anything that involves words. I always worry I'll want to look at it at some point. I guess I'm old-fashioned in that way. We have these old paper newspaper clipping files here that, were we to throw them out, we'd have ALOT more room in the office, but I always refuse. And, for what it's worth, I can find things in them that are useful. I am the only one who does so, but still.
I am waiting on Honey Harris from KBAC to come in so we can talk about further interviews leading up to the primary elections. And I'm also trying to read through Annual Manual, look at pages as they come through from the art desk, return emails and respond as people stick their heads in my office and ask me questions. And it looks like my 3:15 has arrived. Until we meet again—

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

My life is being ruined by email

The problem is this: I can't enable spam blockers because much of the mail I receive, r.e. press releases, would end up as junk. But what comes through is just so crazy and out of control. Someone should do a study on the psychological effects of having to read junk-email subject headings all day. What if we all end up talking like this? The most infuriating part is you can't respond. They spam you, but it's not like you can write back and give them a piece of your mind. So much worse than telemarketers at whom, at least, one can yell at or hang up on or do something less passive.


5. 本公司提供24小时在线服务

OK, I'm going to get back to work. I'm headed into that time period known as Annual Manual hell. Be sure to check out today's SFR for Dan Frosch's early look at the June primary season I will be on 94.7 FM tomorrow morning to talk about the news. So tune in. Until then, may your plating purse be available tonight, live forever and never lose its objectivity like humanity has.

Friday, March 24, 2006

overheard in santa fe

We have a feature, in SFR, called "Eavesdropper" where people send in interesting, funny, wacky conversations they've overheard in Santa Fe. I often wish more people eavesdrop on my conversations since I seem to be a magnet for strange conversations. "Conversation" may not be the right word though. It's more that I often find myself on the receiving end of someone else's firmly-held belief and since I have an odd lack of firmly held beliefs I usually try to fashion my face into some kind of expression that conveys interest but more likely just conveys fear.

Example One: Telephone Conversation This Week

Friend: So how are you?
Me: Oh I'm doing—
Friend: Oh your Pluto's in Transit right now isn't it?
Me: What?
Friend: Pluto's in transit for you. It's a very dark planet and there's lots of turmoil, rebirth, the questioning of long-held core beliefs. It's not unlike your Saturn Return.
Me: Oh really?

Example Two, Whole Foods line Yesterday

Women in line: Ow, the thorns on these roses just poked me.
Me: Oh. Well, they're very pretty.
Women: Yes, white is for purity. And we all need purity wherever we can find it, don't we?
Me: Um…yes.
Women: But really love is the best form of purity isn't it?
Me: Um, yah.
Women: Because love is a decision. We make that decision. And then love conquers all.
Me: Uh huh.

In other non-news, I had an interesting back and forth email conversation with Mark Oswald, editor of Albuquerque Journal Santa Fe about our contention that when they follow enterprise stories we've broken, we believe our paper should be cited. This, I believe, is the growing trend in an industry where transparency is very important and where daily newspapers' circulation are on a steady decline. I believe the latter has a lot to do with the lack of context and disclosure daily papers have.
For example, on Feb. 22, we had this story about the Native American vendors' dispute with the Department of Cultural Affairs. We dug this up after a tip, found all the sources, broke the story.
A month later, on March 20, Journal North had this story.
As you can see, the story clearly follows ours, even using a similar, if not close-to-identical set-up.
When this kind of thing happens, either myself or the writer usually jots the daily reporter a note that says, "hey, how come you didn't give us credit for breaking this story." Now the sourcing issue is one that's been huge in the last few years with bloggers and other more contemporary news outlets, but it's not something that seems to have a lot of resonance for many of the old-school journalists. I called Poytner Institute to talk with them about it, because they have a journalism ethics hotline, which we've used several times, particularly when we're looking at the dailies' journalism and we have questions about the way they've reported something, we find it helpful to speak with journalism ethics experts. Anyway, at Poytner they told me that while The Journal (and the New Mex) technically have the right to follow a story without citation of the original paper, it's not "intellectually honest" and it effects the credibility of the paper. Mark's response to me was that this is the way it's been for his 30 years in the business and he doesn't see anything wrong with it. So, there you have it, differing opinions, without which what would this world be?
Still, we plan to point it out to their reporters when we think it's unfair. Mark's contention, to be clear, is that if a paper follows a story but independently verifies all their own reporting, they don't have to credit the paper where the story first appeared. And I am saying, if there's a bus crash and you're the first on the scene and the first to write about it, you don't necessarily get credit for "breaking the story" because everyone would have known about it anyway. But that's not the kinds of stories I'm talking about. It's kind of entertaining arguing with some of the local journalists/editors from the dailies sometimes because they've all been in this biz a lot longer than I have and they act like they have no idea what I'm talking about, like I'm making things up off the top of my head when, in fact, the journalism industry machine, experts, media critics, ombudsmen et. al are talking about these issues ALL THE TIME. And, in fact, it's the lack of transparency in daily journalism that some believe is the reason for its circulation declines.
Anyway, I like defending my feisty writers. I push them hard on the front end so I gotta get their backs on the back end (why does that just not sound right?)
One of the editors I emailed with about this, the editor of the venerable Bay Guardian, said The New York Times had even changed its policies to require citation of the first paper to report a story after they had taken heat on this very issue, but I haven't had time to research that. You know, what with the actual work I have to do.
I'd reprint my entire correspondence with Mark here but given that it was clearly designated, by me to him, as a private correspondence, I'm not sure that would be ethical.
Nor do I know if anyone would be interested.
OK, back to work. I've got a dinner party tonight, followed by another run at Bedrock, the new DJ party at The Lodge, later. And then much, much work this weekend. It's Annual Manual time again.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

water water everywhere

but not a drop to drink.
Well, I guess there ain't water everywhere, not for long.
This story gave me a cold chill, as I really think it foreshadows our future, where water IS for sale by corporations and we're all in a Dune-like environment. (Yes, I am a geek or, apparently, a nerd not a geek. The boy and I had a long discussion the other night about the differences between geeks, freaks and nerds. Actually by discussion I mean he delivered a long explanation to me).
Anyway, a future where water is scarce and controlled by corporations ain't exactly sci-fi whimsy.
Anyway, I won't risk being repetitive since I wrote about this almost two years ago, but those books I recommended are quite good. Ya know, if you're bored or in the mood to get freaked-out and paranoid about the future.
On another note, what is wrong with Eric Serna?. You'd think that after his congressional debaucle he'd have learned something. (I can't believe that was almost 10 years ago. It seems like it was yesterday. Why is time going by so quickly? Why am I getting so old? OK, Julia, focus and back to the non-paranthetical portion of our blog). Clearly he has not. The thing about Serna I find puzzling is that having interviewed and spent what is clearly an unhealthy amount of time around politicians I would say that generally the ones that are up to something (Cough, cough, Robert Vigil. Clear throat, cough: David Chavez et. al, you kind of get a vibe from them (or, in Vigil's case, a chill). But Serna, for what it's worth, really and truly just doesn't seem to get it. Not that it excuses or changes anything, but I swear to God after the jewelry scandal, I went to a press conference where he spoke and he choked up and was practically weeping as he proclaimed his innocence and talked about his family. (And for some reason I feel like I remember David Roybal having something to do with that speech. But don't hold me to that! My memory is not entirely reliable these days, what with the incessant totally unfair ageing situation.
Anyway, one of the New Mex's commentators thinks Serna should resign as insurance superintendent and take full-time ethics classes. You know what? Not a terrible idea. The thing is, there must be SOME way to actually train public officials to understand and follow ethical guidelines. It's not rocket science and God knows the public seems to get it (although they don't always seem to get it enough to stop electing certain people).
OK, enough ranting. I need to go find someone to interview.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

construction city

Is it just me or does the entire town appear to be under construction? Sweeney Center's falling down, falling down, falling down. Then there's that mess over by DeVargas Park; the Don Gaspar area, It's crazy, yo.
I'm more and more irritated thinking about the county's takeover of the Guadalupe area and the state taking over Jean Cocteau. All this crap about needing to have the courthouse downtown. I mean, yes, it's a pain in the ass to hightail it down Cerrillos when you have to go to Muni court or the DMV but, you know what, you shouldn't have to do that more than once a year if that. Don't we want things downtown like restaurants and coffee shops and nightclubs and stores?
Read in the paper that in 20 years the commute from Albuquerque to downtown Santa Fe will take 2 1/2 hours. That is truly nutso. I guess we really do need a bullet train.

deadline day in the city dif

I'm afraid I was one of the gullible who believed the hype about loss productivity due to NCAA betting. Believed it as in emailed one of the articles proclaiming it to my staffers while they were in the midst of a particularly aggressive email volley about their picks. I wasn't particularly worried, though. The thing about a deadline-driven business is that it doesn't matter what people are doing when you look over as long as when they meet their deadline they've turned in good copy. If they don't meet it, or the stories suck, then you start figuring out what's going wrong. When I was at the SUN, Bob Trapp used to say he didn't think it was a good sign to see reporters in the office too often and I still agree with that. I agree with pretty much everything Bob Trapp ever said, except, perhaps for his questioning the possible use of a pregnant reporter (I wasn't pregnant. I just noticed that the health insurance policy didn't cover pregnancy, asked about it, and he said: "Why would I want a pregnant reporter?"). Anyway, that was a long time ago and he was joking. I think.
So last night I went to the Cowgirl for their final karaoke challenge. My friend Donnan won with a quite good Judy Garland medley (performed in drag) followed by DAY-O. He competed against Jimmy the Carrot, who did his always-impressive "Humpty Hump." Carrot's second place prize is a trip to Durango; Donnan won a trip to New York. It was very crowded and lively, which is always good to see.
Today I finally went and got a primary care doctor. Yes, I am one of the thousands who use the ER or clinic when I'm sick. To be candid, I really don't trust or like doctors and I hate going to them. I am paranoid, skeptical of the worth of it and given the poor health care in this country I'd just as soon save my money for something that I'll enjoy. Like new shoes. Or candy. But, you know, I'm trying to be a little less, um, aggressively juvenile of late, so I figured I'd find a doctor, have a physical and find out if I'm dying (another reason to avoid the doctor, acute hypochondria). Anyway, she (the doc) was very nice and now if I get sick I can call "my doctor" instead of stopping by "the clinic."
So my first thought today, upon waking, was sort of bizarre. Maybe it's why I'm thinking about the SUN today. The SUN used to run all these ads for people that said things like, "Lordy, Lordy, Look Who's Forty" with pictures of people as kids who were (I assume) turning 40. Anyway, my first thought today was: "Lordy, Lordy, Look Who's Bordy."
And I'm not even on medication, folks.
OK, back to the wizzle, as they say.

Monday, March 20, 2006

snow daze

It was surreal and lovely to come out of the Godfather 2 last night and see Santa Fe in the midst of falling snow. It was less lovely to drop the boy off and start skidding down the hill to his house and then grind my way back up the hill, but after that it was fairly smooth driving home down Agua Fria. The showings at The Lensic were not well attended, but it was nice to come out, see a few people, be downtown. I am sad that more and more of downtown fails in the mission of fostering downtown activity. Hearing that the Jean Cocteau being taken over by the state really bums me out. I went there, for the first time, after I moved here in '87 and saw House of Games, which I didn't love, but I did love the theater.
Here's some other things I did in my first week in Santa Fe.

1. Had hot chocolate at Haagen Daaz (Plaza Bakery)
2. Saw Stevie Ray Vaughn at The Tingley
3. Saw Zozobra burn

Sunday, March 19, 2006

mob overload

The boy and I went to see The Godfather last night at The Lensic. It was very poorly attended. It was fun to sit up in the balcony. I got home and finally caught the season premiere of The Sopranos, which I'd missed last week, which annoyed me as it's the sole reason I pay for HBO. We're going back for Godfather 2 tonight, and then I'll catch this week's episode of The Sopranos. That's a lot of gangsta action for one weekend. No wonder I feel vaguely creepy today. I always feel creepy on Sundays though. I've always got some work to do, never feel like being here, and the weather, no matter if it's sunny or grey, always seems wrong. Also, my NCAA bracket has gone down hill all weekend long. That's the price you pay for getting sentimental, I suppose.

Friday, March 17, 2006

tgif indeed

Lord I'm dragging this week. Dan and Jonanna keep poking their heads in my office and lecturing me on my eating habits, which they see as connected to what is now being characterized as my sickliness. It is true I have not had lunch yet. I seem to lack imagination about what to eat on a daily basis. It's so tedious, really. Anyway…
Be sure to check out this New York Times story co-authored by SFR's Dan Frosch on Cloudcroft Sgt. Billy Anders. It's a compelling read and a very sad story.
Speaking of compelling, sad stories, I'm hightailing it to The Lensic this weekend to see Godfather 1 and 2. Well, at least one of them. I love it when The Lensic has movies. Love it.
Tonight I'm probably going to go to Bedrock, the new dance party at The Lodge (used to be the Radisson) where DJ Javier Natureboy and Feathericci are spinning and there's no cover before 10 pm. If I can go, you can go because I mostly just want to climb into my bed. I think I have sleeping sickness. This is not just because I haven't had lunch for Cripes sake.
Ahem. On another note, I'm doing quite well on my office basketball pool, particularly given that I guessed wildly and randomly and mostly based on my personal feelings about the states versus feeling about the teams.
OK, I guess I better go find lunch now. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I am an amateur blogger

but even if I devoted myself to this blog math would be working against me apparently. Damn math.
Here's some other good reads out there in cyberia:

The New York Press has an interesting column about the recent Village Voice debaucle. It reminded me of something Joe Monahan said at a blogging panel he and I were on about the current media pile-on, and how the media needs to do something besides point at one another and yell "Gotcha." (I am totally paraphrasing and apologies to Joe if I'm misparaphrasing). Speaking of Joe, he's got the major dl on the upcoming Dem and Republican conventions this weekend if you're looking for a political news-fix this morning.

Pretty much loving Russ Feingold this morning.

I've decided I'm actually scared of Jessica Simpson. I think it's the teeth. I do find it odd that the Journal had readers angry they joked about Jessica's dinner with the gov. I'm glad we're not the only ones with angry readers.

If you're wanting a little more info on Sunshine Week, here's a good article on Tom Paine.

And now back to our regularly-scheduled lunch. I will not eat at Whole Foods again.I will not eat at Whole Foods again.I will not eat at Whole Foods again.I will not eat at Whole Foods again.I will not eat at Whole Foods again.I will not eat at Whole Foods again.

the importance of headlines

OK, so you got the headline "Pecos Wary of Sex Offender" above the fold, with a picture of this guy also above the fold, but the caption below the fold. I just did a little test, walked around the office showing it to people and asking "who do you think this guy is?" They all said: "That's the sex offender." But it's actually Harrell Holder, superintendent of the Pecos Schools, the guy who is worried about the sex offender. I wonder if old Harrell woke up this morning, looked at the paper and realized the headline and photo were open to such misinterpretations.
I just entered my first-ever office sports pool for the NCAA. I'm weirdly excited. Or maybe just weird. Definitely weird. Go Villanova!

Friday, March 10, 2006

party on

It's Friday and a bout of insomnia last night combined with the wind has left me feeling very gritty in the eye. I am dismissing my staff early, at 3 pm, if we finish the last few things on the before-weekend run. We've got a double press run, because it's spring guide (look for an 84 page paper on Wednesday) but somehow or another we managed to get a lot done quickly and I thought we might as well celebrate with early dismissal. Also, I really need to take a nap. Tonight I'm going to a birthday party for my friend Lehra of the great local band Amazing Larry and tomorrow night Dan is throwing his "Fight the Power" house party, which is basically an excuse (as if one needed one) to play a bunch of old-school hip hop. Sunday night I'm intending to go see Polysics at Warehouse 21, assuming I'm still conscious and my worst-self hasn't overtaken my ambitious self and talked it into staying home to watch the season premiere of The Sopranos. So we shall see on that. In the meanwhile, as soon as I get out of here I'm bound to the car dealer to get my door opener thing reprogrammed and then Whole Paycheck bound to buy 1. a sandwhich and 2. beer for the party tonight and c. wine for the party tomorrow night and then home for a nap, which will probably get to be about half an hour long now that I do the math.
But, hey, there will be time to rest later in life, right?
I don't know why I'm so sleepy later. Maybe it's allergies. I don't feel ennuish, just that staying home and knitting is more fun than going out, and requires less makeup and attention to wardrobe, not that it's particularly obvious that I take any notice of wardrobe.
I had my second call today from Intouch magazine looking for Jessica Simpson gossip. This time offering to pay. I find the idea of paparazzi in Santa Fe very weird. Normally this is a place celebs can come and no one cares if they are here. That's one good thing about Santa Feans and our self-absorption; you can pretty much go where you want if you're famous and no one cares. But I guess Simpson is a different breed of celebrity than we normally have here. Personally I'm not sure there's anything I care less about than what Jessica Simpson is doing. I did, however, direct the first Intouch "reporter" to a friend of mine whose house was used in the film. I'm not opposed to my friends getting paid off by paparazzi.
OK, gonna update the ipod, wait on the last pages and hit the windy road. Hope your weekend rocks. If mine was slightly less party bound I'd definitely go to Santa Fe Brewing tomorrow night for the SXSW sendoff.
Whatever you do, be safe!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

honesty, best blog policy

Alisa Valdes Rodriguez' blog is a million times better than this one will ever be because I can't imagine having the cajones to write as honestly about my life as she does about hers. Now, certainly, my life ain't half as interesting and many more people are interested in her life than they are in mine but still... I'm kind of amazed on her and other non-celebrity blogs how they just put it out there and how that really does create so much interest... probably prurient interest but still. Drama. I used to be a million times more dramatic than I am these days but even then I pretty much kept it to myself. I am very good at keeping secrets. I guess it's a good quality in my profession since I often am privvy to them. Today is a day I would love to just put out some stuff that is on my mind, but I'd probably get dooced and then what would I do? Go work for Richardson? Something tells me that's not a great environment for saying what you think either.
Anyway, the day is almost over, my car is back, my workout done at lunch, lunch actually eaten, dinner purchased, dogs walked, dog food purchased so, really, I have nothing to complain about. Well, nothing I can complain about, anyway.
Vayo con dios.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

that's all folks, maybe

OK! We've got our post-election story up online now, along with the preliminary results from last night. Dan and Nate, our staff writers, ran around to parties and called into me from the "field" as the night progressed. I watched Channel 16 for results, which was pretty much worthless, but KSFR did a good job keeping on top of the numbers. It's amazing how much quicker results are found in the field than they were coming across on TV last night. This morning I talked on The New Talk about the results at about 7:30 am. It was slightly amusing (to me) because if I hadn't managed to drag my dogs inside I would have conducted the entire interview from the field outside my house (that's a real field, not the kind that needs to be in quotes).
It will be interesting to see what happens in District 4—a five-vote margin is pretty remarkable, so a recount wouldn't shock me, depending on what happens in the canvass. But it's good to see newcomers can come in, not have much money, and do that well against a tough incumbent. All around, a pretty interesting election with more than a few surprises to me. Well, now that it's snowing, I better get to work on Spring Guide which publishes this week. I am now down two cars. My car is still in the shop and the boy's car, which I've been borrowing, has a dead battery. Bad CARMA, or what?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

less than three hours 'til the polls close

I'm not getting my car back today (argh), which is quite tedious. I guess I'm going to hole up at home and monitor results on the TV and call them into Nate and Dan who will be in the field running around to various parties, getting quotes etc. I can't wait to see what happens!

It's Election Day

and I'm excited, as usual. I don't know if this is Pavlovian or what, but I get giddy seeing people on the sidewalks with campaign signs. Clearly some kind of disorder. Plan to do some election reporting tonight, plus a 7 am (good god) radio spot in the morning recapping. Channel 16 didn't invite me to host elections at city hall, so I guess they found someone cuter (not likely). Elections at The SUN used to mean driving around all night and then writing until 4 am, so I ain't complaining. Can't wait to see what happens.

Monday, March 06, 2006

where has all my monday gone?

OK, so the boy, yesterday, handed me this Buffy the Vampire Slayer action figure. I should note, I suppose, that I am a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. But this gift also grew out of a conversation about a doll collection I still own, somewhere, of Madame Alexander dolls, given to my sister and I when we were kids because our paternal grandfather was the manager of the Mme Alexander factory. Some of these dolls are now, likely, worth some money, and it's been an ongoing thought of mine to a. find them and b. sell them. My sister, and mother, think this is very unsentimental of me, as did the boy. But I said I'd rather be unsentimental than be an adult with a doll collection. As I said this, it occured to me (too late) that the boy's house is filled with figurines and homies and the like. He said those are not dolls but action figures and said the reason the term action figure was invented was to find a way to sell GI Joe's to boys, since no one thought boys would play with dolls.
Anyway, that's why this action figure is now in my office.
Tomorrow is the city election; feeling the usual pre-election anticipation. Have agreed to go on the radio Wednesday morning (94.7 FM I believe) and chat about it all. I'm not very chatty (or lucid) at 7 am, but thanks to technology I can do all this on my cell phone from my bed.
My car is in the shop AGAIN. Electrical problems. AGAIN. The 5 year warranty means it's all free to fix but that's small consolation for the inconvenience. Planned on taking a bus home but decided would mooch off friends instead.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

pizza & politicians

Our party last night was actually supposed to be Pizza and Politics, but we had kind of a higher turnout of politicans than I expected. I thought it was fun, in terms of getting to talk to people, although I'd hoped for more "regular folk" to just show up, hang out and shoot the breeze. Hopefully we can do another one—for the primaries perhaps.