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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

why won't the gov debate?

Dennis Domrzalski has launched a blog! Welcome to Blogistan, Dennis, we sure are glad to have you. Dennis, as I'm sure my loyal 50 readers know, is an awesome journalist and writer and he ain't afraid to say what he means (unlike some of us who have been self-censoring for about a decade; yes, believe it or not, even the worse things I say aren't half as bad as what I think. Sorry, girl's gotta eat).
Anyway, Dennis is calling out Gov. Richardson for refusing to debate John Dendahl. And Mario is challenging the gov to debate him..
Now, while I agree with all of the above that refusing to debate 'cuz you know you're gonna win and thus what's the point is pretty lame. It's also a well-established technique in New Mexico politics ala Emilio Naranjo. More recently, I don't recall Pete Domenici being willing to debate Tristani during his last run either. I think the winner's view is: why help my flailing opponent get more recognition and/or support? It's not classy…although unclassy political movidas ain't exactly shocking these days.

that's a hummer

This morning, on the way to work, I listened to Living on Earth's show about McDonald's new toy hummers, which I guess are part of their happy meals. My favorite part of the interview was when the McFlack said:

"Well, why not a Hummer? I certainly appreciate the fact that there are some who have concerns about the environment, which we certainly share. We have a long history of responsibility for the environment, and we will continue to do so. But the happy meal promotion with a Hummer toy certainly speaks to what children do best, and that is use their imagination and play."

Indeed! Nothing like encouraging a child's imagination with a toy hummer. And because I am child-like myself (or, at least, juvenile), I've come up with A sample game for those children whose imaginations are lethargic as the result of eating McDonald's in the first place:



PREMISE: The world is basically on its last legs as the result of global warming. All major cities have been wiped out by some sort of catastrophic weather-related event. Those few remaining residents spend their days foraging for food, which they bring back and eat inside their hummers. The hummers can't move, because there is no gasoline left either. There's actually no Middle East left, because all the wars over oil in the Middle East have resulted in some sort of nuclear/biological war that has wiped the entire region off any maps that might still exist.



Sample dialogue for Apocolypse/High School Dance: The Game

Military character: I'm sure glad I bought this hummer!
Former McDonald's employee: I'm glad I work at McDonald's because the food that survived the apocolypse still tastes the way it used to when we had electricity!
Fox News Anchor: Froths at mouth, turns red, appears to speak in tongues.
High School Dance Coordinator: Just because our families are all dead and the earth has been scorched doesn't mean we can't have fun! Anyone who wants to be on the decorations committee, meet me in Hummer #2!

Monday, September 25, 2006

when bad things happen to good poems

I've had this Robert Frost poem, Fire and Ice, stuck in my head all weekend, so I decided to write a response to it in an attempt to exorcise it from my brain.

Terrorist Attacks and Pandemic Disease

Some say the world will end in a terrorist attack
Some say in pandemic disease
From what I've seen of the War in Iraq
I'm putting my money on a terrorist attack
But if there are more people left who aren't dead
I've sucked up enough TV news to believe
that for the end of the world pandemic disease will kill
without reprieve.

Friday, September 22, 2006

goodbye jonanna

Last night was Jonanna Widner's last night in Santa Fe so, in true Santa Fe fashion, many of us gathered at The Cowgirl to give her a send off. This photo was taken at the Cowgirl more than a year ago when Dan, Darius, Jonanna and I had dinner prior to the closing night of The Paramount. We also had dinner, the four of us, last night at The Cowgirl. I thought we'd get to reminesce about old times but mostly the conversation centered on basketball (Dan, Darius and Jonanna) and sex toys (me and Jonanna).
It was a very sentimental evening (Jonanna herself is massively sentimental when she drinks) because Jonanna leaving is a big deal to many of us and also because it was a group of people who used to see each other all the time when The Paramount was open but since it closed any kind of central scene has become massively bifurcated and then some, so you can go months without seeing people you used to see every weekend.
Jonanna's last column talks about that changing music scene, all the great places that have come and gone and all the memorable shows. I will miss Jonanna a lot; she and I went to a shitload of shows together over the last four years, but in addition to going out and hearing music, last night reminded me that going out also is about the people you run into and the scene itself. Not "scene" in a wannabe trendy way (way too old for that), but being a part of what's happening simply by making the choice to go check things out versus stay home and complain. The last year, since The Paramount closed, has been kind of rough that way. Between that, the smoking ban and various other little things, Santa Fe has felt a little dead, and everyone I saw last night remarked on that fact, on how much things have changed in the last year. I have the benefit of 20 years in Santa Fe, which gives me the confidence to believe that it always feels like we're losing great stuff or there's nothing to do or whatever. But the truth is, we're not a big city, but there's been an amazing number of amazing things that have gone down here. And there will be more. But there won't be Jonanna, and that does make me sad. For those who are wondering, she's taken a job as The Music Editor of The Dallas Observer, moving back to her home state of Texas. It's a big job and, despite being sad she's gone, we, I, am very proud of her. She wasn't a music writer before taking this job but over the last four years she became a kick ass music writer and an important voice in SF's scene. Seeing her move on and up to a big paper and into a big-ass job makes me feel like I did my job. And now it's my job to find another new writer! That part I know will happen. But replacing Jonanna as a friend? Not possible!
I will say she left town in the nick of time. It feels like it's about to snow.
This is the most revolting photo ever taken of me and J; it's several years old and I'm pretty sure neither of us had had more than 10 minutes sleep the night before:

And here's a link to SF New Mexican writer Steve Terrell's post about Jonanna leaving, in which I am smoking and my arm is the size of Texas. Oh well.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

the mountain lion

I am extremely upset about the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Department killing the mountain lion in Santa Fe. For one thing, the story about why this happened seems inconsistent.

According to the new mex, the lion looked it was going to leave, so the deputy shot it. According to The Department of Game and Fish, which sent me this press release yesterday, it was shot because the lion "would not leave its kill in the yard and showed no fear of humans..." Read below:



SANTA FE – A Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department officer shot and killed a young mountain lion about midnight Tuesday in the back yard of a residence south of Santa Fe.

The lion, a 5-foot-long, 40-pound male with a 20-inch tail, had just killed a feral housecat when a resident of Oak Street reported seeing it in his back yard about two miles east of the Lone Butte General Store. A sheriff’s deputy shot the lion after it would not leave its kill in the yard and showed no fear of humans, posing a public safety hazard.
Department of Game and Fish Northwest Area Assistant Chief Robert Livingston was enroute to the site when the lion was killed. He said the young lion was about 18 to 20 months old, the age when mother lions usually send their young out on their own. It’s possible it was the same lion – or a littermate – of the lion sighted recently in Santa Fe, he said, but there is no way to be certain of that.
Mountain lion sightings are unusual but not uncommon in or around communities near mountains or foothills. Here are some simple steps to follow if you live in lion country or encounter a mountain lion:

Now, I don't freaking know, but is the fact that a baby mountain lion (it was less than 2 years old and weighed 40 pounds) shows no fear of humans make it a danger? Ot could that be because it's growing up in wilderness so vastly encroached upon by people that it's used to people? And what gives the sheriff's department the right to make that call? It looked like it was going to leave? Even though it wasn't leaving? It makes me sick, really, to think of this baby lion, which had probably just left its mother, being shot. Has anyone ever heard of a freaking tranquilizer gun? Fish and Game should have gotten there more quickly, and if local police are responsible for things like mountain lions they should be trained in it and carry tranquilizer guns. I realize no one wanted the lion to eat a child, but was there any indication it was going to?
There are more than 90 comments on this story on the new mex site, so I guess it's hitting a nerve. The dead lion on the cover of the new mex was very upsetting. I would have had a hard time publishing that photo.

Friday, September 15, 2006

salad days

Birdy (my departing copyeditor who is leaving us for Texas next week) is obsessively updating me on this story about the ecoli and the spinach and is convinced this is a terrorist act. I am feeling smug and saying things like, "this is why I hate food." In truth, before the boy took my eating into his own hands last night, I hadn't had a vegetable in weeks so I think I'm safe from ecoli at the moment. But, then, tomorrow is another day.
And what will tomorrow bring? Not sure. The vet told me today, in regards to Kita, to "enjoy each day," which is good advice. Good advice for someone else, anyway. I'm not all that great with the "live in the moment" stuff and am, generally speaking, suspicious of those who embrace eastern ways since they are usually the least easternish of all, but the upside of complete exhaustion, I'm finding, is a lack of judgement about such things. Besides which, "enjoy each day" is much better than saying "you're dog could die at any moment."
I'm probably in denial, but I just don't believe it. At any rate, I'm doing my best to spoil her and not freak out. Am actually nowhere near freaking out. Maybe I am living in the moment and I don't even know it. Did that rhythme? Am I freaking out?
Ahem! ANYWAY, Kita's bloodwork will be back on Monday, so we'll see how she's doing kidneywise. She's got cataracts, the vet says, and it looks like neurological damage in her back end. And yet, she's still wanting to do everything: walk, eat, be petted (that's about all my dogs do, they're not particularly hardworking) so I'll take each day I guess.
Tonight I'm going to a gym opening (don't ask) and then who knows. The boy and I were talking about going somewhere where one can drink and smoke simultaneously (somewhere not in the city, that is) and then, who knows. Was contemplating Lou Reed this weekend, but can't quite commit to anything beyond tonight. Is it Zen or is it complete fatigue? Who can say?
Meanwhile, next week will include many farewell thingies for Bird. Which will be sad, sad, sad.
Well, must go edit something, being the edimatrix and all; it's my job, right? You know, that and spreading chutzpah. Ah, to be a character in the drama of another. As long as it's someone else's drama, it's a'ight by me.
PS: Appear to be recovering from flu but to have shared it with everyone in my path. The boy, to his credit, got sick for about an hour versus the many days of sickness everyone else has had. Cuz they make them tough in Pittsburgh.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

adios armijo

I find myself wishing Jeff Armijo had stayed in the auditor's race. Not because I think he would have made a good auditor. As I wrote before, our primary election endorsement interviews with him left me with the impression that he wasn't particularly well qualified, but I think people should have been given the chance to vote. If voters want to vote for a Democrat with Armijo's baggage, then let them. That's kind of the nature of the beast. The Democrats looked as though they were afraid a candidate like Armijo would lose them a seat to the Republicans, but I think what's more scary is that it probably wouldn't have. Well, now we'll never know. The question is whether Hector Balderas will suffer for having been chosen vs. elected to run for this seat. If it were 8 years ago, a Green could jump in and do something with this race, but those days are over: Balderas isn't Eric Serna, The Greens aren't a major party in New Mexico and the Republicans probably have their hands full with the Heather Wilson/Patricia Madrid race.
Speaking of which, if you're a New Mexico political blogging junky, you won't want to miss Mario pulling out the stops on Joe.
Speaking of missing, I think the major media is missing the boat by ignoring Dan Frosch's ongoing reporting on the private prison health care here in the state. I tried to get the AP interested in our reporting on this, but no dice. I'm not saying they're ignoring us because a certain AP reporter is married to a certain daily reporter who blew off this story and is now trying to play catch up (or so I've heard) but then again, stranger things have happened in this little town of ours, right?
Time will tell, my friends. Time will tell.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

tiny post

I am lying on my bed blogging on my sidekick. Which I never do bc the keybrd is tiny and I hate typing with my thumbs. I've had a headache four 5 days. Its allergies, its the flu. Its stress, its
All of the above. Its impossible to use apostrophes on this keyboard. Its keyboard is too small and this is not helping my headache one whit. Thus, I shall continue this conjuntive needing endeavor manana.

Friday, September 08, 2006

can you hear me now?

Thought I'd mention that one of my radio gigs, Wednesday mornings at 9 a.m. on 94.7 FM, can now only be heard in Albuquerque because the station is reformatting the station for Santa Fe listeners. There is a contest right now to figure out what format the station should be and you can vote here. If you pick, as your first choice, the format that ends up being first choice, you can win $500. And, if you vote for Talk/Personality and that wins, you'll get to hear me again!
But either way, just vote. It's good practice.

Left to right: Calvin Humphrey, the Governor’s foreign policy advisor, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, and President Omar al-Bashir at the President's residence in Khartoum.

This just in from Gov. Richardson's office (which also supplied the photo)

“I am pleased to report that our negotiations were successful, and Paul Salopek will return home to New Mexico with me,” Governor Bill Richardson said today following his meeting with the Sudanese President. “I want to thank the Sudanese President Lt. General Umar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir, who was receptive to my request to release Paul Salopek and his colleagues based on humanitarian grounds. I emphasized to the President that releasing these men was the right thing to do because Paul Salopek is not a spy, he is my constituent and a respected journalist who was attempting to do his job telling the story of the people, culture and history of the sub-Saharan region known as the Sahel.
“The successful end to this unfortunate episode is a victory for journalism and a free press,” Governor Richardson said. “Most important, these three men will return home safely to be with their families, friends and colleagues who were relentless in their appeals to have them freed.”

I really wonder how Richardson is so succesful at freeing hostages, not to mention allowing foreign governments to have him have photos taken of such negotiations. I've spoken with the governor many times over the years and I just never really get this sense of him as a master diplomat. He's got a somewhat coercive style, but he's not particularly convincing (of course, there's never any real reason for him to convince me of anything. It would be interesting to be present for one of these negotiations. Obviously, it's a big relief that Salopek et. al will be released.
Also, do most US governors have foreign policy advisors?
Also, how come Richardson can negotiate international hostage releases but he couldn't keep Jeff Armijo out of the state auditor's race?

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Here's what I wrote about Zozobra last year.
No, no, not really. This morning I dropped off the box of glooms we collected at our offices to KBAC, which will deliver them into the belly, um mouth, something of the beast (Zozobra). Barring a torrential downpour, I will make my way to the field tonight. But if it rains like it did yesterday after work, I may need a Plan B. The boy seems to think Plan B should consist of us getting an umbrella, but he's also had the misfortune of being stuck with me in the cold and rain for hours and knows how whiney I get, so chances are I'll get to make the final call on all this.
Meanwhiles, it's getting mighty crowded downtown here. Gates open in two hours! Happy Zozobra. See you there, I bet.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

another blog on the block

The state GOP has launched a blog detailing Dems' corruption. Big Bill's picture is in the middle, with photos of Robert Vigil, Eric Serna, Patsy Madrid, Manny Aragon and others. No Jeff Armijo, though. Joe's got the definitive take on the Armijo mess this morning.
All of this reminds me we've got to jump on the General Election bandwagon. Aside from all the candidates we have to interview, or re-interview as the case may be, there's also the matter of constitutional amendments, which, at the moment, I can't find any mention of on the SOS Web site. Unless there aren't any…but that seems unlikely. On the other hand, I haven't had enough coffee at the moment to think very clearly about all this.
Tomorrow: Zozobra! If you haven't dropped off your gloom yet, we'll have the box at our office for the rest of the day. Want to know how Zozobra stacks up compared with other burning rituals? Check out Nathan Dinsdale's round up in this week's paper.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

tuesday hells

So very disconcerting come back to work on a Tuesday, deadline day.
So, the weekend. The reason there are no photos here of Thirsty Ear, because when I arrived there was a big sign that said no cameras. I gather I could have gotten a press pass in advance (seeing as how SFR was a cosponsor) or probably tracked down the organizer and gotten permission at the time, but I didn't have the forbearance. Particularly given that under "no cameras" it also said "no smoking." Really, I mean, it was outside. Saw Patty Griffin, who was fab, but in general the old TE was kind of crowded for my particular mood on Sunday night and, I hate to say it, a lot of the people there seemed awfully cranky in a "this is my blanket. I have staked out this spot of land for myself. Don't walk near my blanket" kind of way.
Anyhoo, the rest of the weekend was quiet. Saw Brick, which I loved so much, more than almost any movie I've seen in a while (except Dave Chappelle's Block Party, of course). It was the shiznit!
And the new Roots album, Game Theory, is really good. I've been playing it over and over again. Favorite tracks so far are: "Baby" and "Here I Come," but the whole thing is pretty damn impressive.
Less impressive is the whole fiasco with Jeff Armijo. The whole situation is very depressing. One thing worth noting is that even before the sexual misconduct allegations, Armijo wasn't a great candidate. In his primary against Tom Buckner, he was clearly the less experienced and less knowledgeable. He received not one endorsement (I think) and yet won by a landslide. He hadn't planned to drop out and implied, in an interview with the new mex, that he didn't think the allegations would matter to the voters. I think he's right. I think even with not much of a campaign, in terms of substance, and with these allegations, he would have won. Except that the gov talked him into dropping out (oh to be a fly on the wall for that conversation, described by insiders as civil, but I'm thinking Big Bill put the fear of Big Bill in him). So now the Dems will pick a replacement candidate for the voters to choose. None of it feels very democratic, and yet it's preferable to not have a candidate like Armijo in the race. The baggage isn't pretty, but even before the baggage, he had the name and the looks and the personality, I guess (he actually didn't make a great impression in our endorsement interviews; came in late, talking on the phone, kept talking on the phone, couldn't answer a question) but not the substance. Should people charged with overseeing things like finances and utilities and criminal justice be elected like this? Between Vigil and Armijo and Gallegos, oh my, the system looks seriously broke. And it's clear, from cases such as Armijo's, that even when a candidate clearly is inferior to his opponent, and every newspaper in the state says so, people still vote according to different criteria.
I guess it also shows how little difference newspaper endorsements can make.