Click here for SFR on MySpace

Sunday, October 29, 2006

trick or treat?

Had a fun time last night at Beaux Arts and a great time Friday night at Mikey Baker's Love Gun/Moby Dick show at Alegria. One more Halloween event to go: SFR's party Tuesday night, from 7 to 10, at Vanessie's. Meanwhile, I have been here, at work, all day, working still on these freaking endorsements. It shouldn't be that difficult, but at some point trying to write midly cogent arguments for 10 races and four constitutional amendments and five bond questions and four retention races. Well, you get the point. My brain is not a happy brain right now.
So I'll get back to it and leave you with some photos from last night's fun at Beaux Arts. These photos are all courtesy of friend and photographer Darius! Darius and my boy dressed up as Gov. Bill Richardson's security detail. Dan was the governor. Emily and Sandra were... well, I don't know, hot ladies basically. I was an evil princess, but, ya know, I don't really look all that evil (which is weird cuz I certainly feel evil!). Dan, I mean the gov, also ended up judging the costume contest. Not sure how that happened. I was on line for the bathroom and when I came back he and his security detail were on stage.
Oh, before I forget: Dan won first place in investigative reporting in the NM Press Association contest and Nate won first for features and news writing! Yahoo.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

endorsement interviews done/ the writing begins

OK, don't want to be total lame blogger, but also don't want to use blog solely for endless complaining so...
I'm working at home tomorrow on the endorsements. It's slightly difficult to have uninterrupted writing time in my office, between the phone and visits. Also, the New Mex is tearing down its building and there are jackhammers outside my window all day.
We had our meeting this morning and decided on all our picks for the '06 election EXCEPT for state auditor, which is still up in the air, so if you have strong feelings, feel free to try to convince me.
Meanwhile, in that tiny space I think of as my "personal life," I am attending a going away party tonight for my friend Donnan, who is moving to San Francisco and says he'll come back here when he retires. I'm getting pretty sick of people leaving town.
Also, check out Dan's story today, the latest in his many month series on prison health care. Legislators are now requesting an audit of the prison health care system, solely in response to these stories.
Have other media picked up on this yet? No, they haven't, probably because they would have to give us credit for it. Or possibly because no one cares about prison health care. Ya know, until they are in prison. We aren't done reporting on this yet.
Also, if you are a political candidate reading this, I have a bone to pick with (almost) all of you. Hire people who understand how large photos need to be to be reproduced in the paper. Hire people who know how to email large photos, who understand how to figure out how large a digital photo is. Seriously.
Oh, the photo in today's post? Staff writer Nate just got back from Italy and brought me a bottle of wine. I've propped it next to my election file I'm taking home. Please note the self restraint that has kept me from drinking this wine immediately.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Following our endorsement interview with Tom Udall, our receptionist remarked that he had gone to high school with Udall's press secretary.

"Oh yeah?" I said.
"Yeah. And I guess she's my dad's brother's daughter."
Me: "Um, wouldn't that make her your cousin?"
He replied: "Oh yeah. I guess she is my cousin."

This amused me for most of the afternoon. I always love it when people realize that other people they know are actually their cousins. It's one of my favorite Northern New Mexico things, and the kind of thing that will never happen to me because I may have lived here 20 years, but I'm not from here; I'm never going to start talking to someone I already know and suddenly learn of a family relation.


So then yesterday, toward the end of the day, one of the front desk people came back to find me and said:

"Supreme Court Chief Justice Serna is here to see you. He has a note for you from your mother."

(Which has officially become the most random and bizarre thing anyone has ever said to me).

I walked up front to greet Justice Serna (he's the one on the far right in this photo. I reminded him I'd interviewed him when he ran for retention (re-election?) the last time and then set about trying to understand why he was delivering a note from my mother.
As my faithful readers may recall (75 of you last Tuesday, thanks for visiting) my mother was in town last week. After she left Santa Fe, she went to Colorado for a Bat Mitzah of one of our relatives (the son of the son of my mother's aunt, I think, which would make him my, um, cousin? second removed?).
Serna also was at the Bat Mitzvah, which, I learned from him, was a beautiful affair with great food and everyone danced, including my mother (so says Serna) and somehow, during the course of all this, it was decided that the chief justice of the state supreme court would ferry a note to me from my mother (who I did, after all, just see). Serna seemed quite delighted with the task (although he also seemed weirdly delighted when he was in here for his interview. Maybe he's just very happy in general?) although I was so confused by this turn of events I'm not sure I said anything very interesting other than, "Thank you for delivering my note, Justice Serna." He also apologized for getting some chocolate on the note. It was in his pocket along with some chocolates they gave out... either at the hotel or the Bat Mitzvah, I can't quite recall.
I have to say that my mother getting Justice Serna to bring me a note was so funny to me that I have been in a good mood ever since.

Anyway, the note (written on a tiny piece of notebook paper, no doubt in between dances:

Oct. 15, 2006

Hi Julia,
Greetings from Evergreen, Colorado. We had a great party yesterday and met wonderful people who are David Mintz's family by marriage. One of his cousins is Justice Serna. Be well and I'll speak to you soon.


The only thing I want to know is: Does this make Justice Serna my cousin? And is it possible that if you just stay in New Mexico long enough you, too, will randomly become related to people?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

sitting by the phone

It's never a good sign for a girl to be waiting for a phone to ring. Well, this girl spends quite a lot of time waiting for phones to ring and it's always for work. As editor, one spends less time waiting for phones to ring than as a reporter, but today has been one of those waiting for the phone to ring kind of days. I know if I were to walk outside around the block, it would probably ring, so I'm not moving from my desk because I really need this one call so I can cross at least one thing off the to-do list for today. Maybe I'll kill time by making my to-do list for tomorrow:

To Do List Tomorrow:
Thursday 9 am: guest on Honey's show on KBAC.
10 am: Staff meeting
11 am: Interview subject for SFR Talk.
Lunch: Go home, nurture old dogs.
1-3: Work on cover story, call someone to interview for Pick, write pick
3:30: Endorsement Interviews
4:30: go back to work on cover story, SFR pick
Take home: Endorsement files, tapes, constitutional amendments, bond info to review and read on stationary bike at gym.
11 pm-6 am: Sleep in half-hour increments. Have freaky dreams, wake up, drink four shots of espresso in a coffee cup with some milk and pretend it's a cup of coffee.

Friday: Repeat, except substitute a cocktail at a bar for the stationary bike at the gym.

Snapped from her list-making by the sound of the bleating phone, she knocks over her germ blaster hand sanitizer and several stacks of old papers to grab the phone, the cord of which is so twisted, she can barely make the receiver reach her trembling mouth.
Heart in throat, she squeaks, "This is Julia," and thinks to herself: "This could be the call!' And then she thinks to herself, "You are a workaholic freak.'
Heart sinks as PR person chirps into ear.
OK, am going to stop being disassociative weirdo and go back to work/waiting now.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


This is the growing pile of tapes from the political endorsement interviews.
My brain hurts.
Had the governor in today for his endorsement interview. It went pretty well, I think. My favorite thing when the governor comes in is that his security detail (well, one guy) comes half an hour early, scopes the building and waits. I don't know why I think that's funny. Possibly because my brain hurts. Anyway, I will be excessively happy when all these interviews are done. It's kind of like adding a part-time job to my already more-than-full time job. I am SO ready for human cloning.
I am glad police are cracking down on pedestrian laws, since crossing the street in SF can sometimes be kind of harrowing. I think the quote about drivers not paying attention because they are on their cell phones is sort of amusing. Didn't they ban driving with cell phones? So many, many laws lately. Trying to be law-abiding is becoming another full-time job. I will say that ever since I made my vow to stop speeding, life has been a bit easier. I don't get pulled over constantly, for one thing. I also have been attempting to come to full stops at stop signs and, in general, obey traffic laws. The weird thing is that when I used to ignore traffic laws, I always thought every one else was driving really slowly. Now that I'm driving REALLY SLOWLY (and believe me, it hurts, it hurts to drive 25 miles an hour in a sports car. I should trade it in and get a horse and buggy) it seems like everywhere I go people are passing me, tailgating me, blowing through stop signs etc. Isn't it interesting how different our perceptions are depending on our own behavior? No, Julia, it's NOT INTERESTING AT ALL.
In other non-news, I had a nice time at the Pink Bootathon, though I've yet to hear how they did raising money. I like Alegria, but it's kind of hard to get a headcount in there. Even when the parking lot is full, it can seem not that full inside because it's so big. I hope they succeed. I like having a club near my house. I wish there were some concerts coming up that I was excited about. I wish I wasn't so freaking sleepy. My mother was here all last week and as soon as she left I got a cold, which was then made worse (I think) by babysitting (for half an hour) a 5 year old who also was sick. And, no, I am not available for babysitting. This was a close friend's child. Also, I'm not a very good babysitter, competely ineffectual.
Back to the elections, Joe's report today gives the impression that Heather Wilson is going to lose to Patricia Madrid. Why don't I believe this? Well, maybe because it hasn't happened yet. Or maybe because I never believe that polls can predict elections. Or maybe because I'm so used to Republicans ruling all the branches of the federal government that I've grown dead inside. Anyway, The San Francisco Chronicle says NM's first congressional race reflects what's going on in the rest of the country, in terms of Republicans being on shaky grounds now that everybody is sick of the war in Iraq. And here's The Times update on all the battleground states, as they call them. This entire political season has been really disheartening, unbelievably negative, all around.
David Bacon just stopped by to ask me if we would be covering his race. I told him he should never just stop by on a deadline day, and he said he didn't realize we were on deadline, because ordinary citizens don't know that sort of thing. I told him if he's running for office he's a politician, not an ordinary citizen, and we both laughed. Bacon really isn't much of a political animal, in my experience. When he ran for governor four years ago... four years ago? We asked him, in his endorsement interview, a hypothetical question that began: "If you were governor..." and he said: "If I was governor?" in this really surprised voice as if he'd forgotten why we were all there asking him questions in the first place. Anyway, I told David the truth, which was that the reason we hadn't scheduled anything on the PRC race is that I was under the erroneous belief that only District 3 held any of Santa Fe. (This misapprehension ended a month ago, but we're so busy dealing with the current schedule that I haven't done anything about the PRC race). Guess I better get on it. And today the lt. governor had to reschedule her endorsement interview. It's really a scheduling nightmare. Maybe in 2008 we can do all of this by web cam?
Or there's always that cloning idea again.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

play nice now

The New Mex's comment section has been temporarily disabled, apparently because it was getting too nasty. In particular nasty regarding the story about the attack on John Dendahl's aide. I usually keep up with all the comments on those stories, but I appear to have missed that thread. Well, I have to say, I find the comments on the new mex's stories more entertaining usually than the stories themselves, but I can see how it would get out of hand trying to monitor them for content. Still—oh shit, I have more to say on this and another candidate just walked in for another endorsement interview. This election sure is making it hard for me to complete a thought. Yeah, that's why!
Seriously, this must be somewhat disappointing for the web people behind the comment effort because they have certainly been having a lot of success with it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

playing catchup

OK, first of all, WTF?. I really don't think airplanes should be able to fly into NY buildings anymore. Not good.
Closer to home, this morning we had our endorsement interview with US Sen. Jeff Bingaman, which wasn't exactly exciting, but definitely more exciting than his challenger, Allen McCullough, who was one of a handful of candidates over the last decade who just wouldn't do our our pop quiz, and who during the primary just didn't even bother to show up for an endorsement interview and whose arrival for his scheduled general election endorsement interview I also am not holding my breath about (hello: grammar?) Actually, I thought Bingaman did well and provided some interesting insights, or at least commentary, on the current state of the world, which I should probably go write down this afternoon so I don't have to replay the entire cassette two weeks from now (a pile of cassettes of these interviews are piling up about three inches from where I am sitting now).
A few thoughts on the McCullough situation. Many of the more conservative/Republican candidates will occasionally remark, when coming in for endorsement interviews, upon their belief that they are unlikely to receive our endorsement. But they come in and they talk and they explain their views and answer our questions. Because they are running for office. They participate in our pop quiz series because we have 50,000 plus readers and they are running for office. It's what you do. You don't have to, but you're not insulting us when you refuse to participate, you're insulting our readers. And, for the record, we have endorsed plenty of Republicans in our time. We endorsed Pat Lyons four years ago for that matter, and some appeals court judges, I believe, and, anyway, the point is, this is part of the process. Refusing to return phone calls, not showing up, basically just gives a preview to what kind of public servant you'd be: the kind who doesn't bother responding those you believe to not be your loyal supporters, which doesn't strike me as a very viable option for positive public service. I mean, hell, John Dendahl is on his way in here this afternoon. I would wager a guess that every candidate will show up. So what's the deal here? That kind of arrogance drives me bonkers. So we'll see if I have to recant and if McCullough does indeed show up for his endorsement interview. If he does, I will be sure to note it!
Anyway, here's Slate's piece on the status of the mid-term elections.
The #1 technorati search term at the moment is "jonny," but when you search on it all you get is an error message. Lots of those error messages with technorati lately. Very annoying.
George Johnson finally weighed in our water piece from a few weeks ago. I was a little surprised to not have heard a word from him on this, since George's blog has probably watchdogged the water situation here better than anything/one. But I suppose being in Santa Barbara is a pretty good excuse for being a few weeks behind on things.
I feel perpetually behind on everything, but it's entirely possible that I'm a perfectionist. An extremely sloppy one, but, still.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

silence has its reasons

the main reason for my lack of blogging is that the top things on my mind are not for public consumption! How's that for a blog tease? As tempting as it sometimes is to use this blog for too-public exposure of various things, I think I'll leave those thoughts for the black journal expertly hidden (from, um, the dogs) in my house.
As for more public thoughts:
1. The brief part of High Mayhem I saw, Rrake, was great.
2. The Departed was the best movie I've seen in a long time and I can't wait to get the soundtrack.
3. The endorsement interviews kick in again tomorrow (we don't do them on deadline days. It's just too much!)
4. I dropped off my favorite shoes I broke at Beaux Arts two years ago at the shoe repair place today.
5. My mother's in town and we're going to dinner tonight.
6. The paper is done and it's only 5 pm!
7. Restaurant Guide samples came back and it's very pretty.
8. I've been having weird-ass dreams lately, that I can't elaborate on (see beginning paragraph).
9. I couldn't go to Madeleine Albright because it was in the middle of the work day but my mom stood on line and got us signed copies.
10. If we're done for the day I am so out of here now.

Stay tuned for a better, more improved blog. Ya know, the kind with real information, links, thoughts, sassy commentary.

Friday, October 06, 2006

An SF preview/my sorry radio career/political odds and ends/the weekend


Because SFR was a cosponsor, the boy and I attended the Santa Fe premiere of Employee of the Month, which was, expectedly, pretty inane although not quite as bad as I was expecting. Basically, the scene is a super store (Sam's Club) in which Dane Cook is a lowly box boy, Simpson is a cashier who allegedly likes to sleep with the Employee of the Month and Dax Shepard is the employee of the month. Hijinks ensue as Zack (Dane Cook) decides to become the employee of the month so he can get in Simpson's pants (or blouse, as the case may be) only to learn that 1. doing even a crappy job well makes you feel good 2. corporate America will reward hard work and behind even the largest corporation there are ordinary people who just want to be happy 3. getting ahead by stepping on other people is wrong.
These lessons add up to a feel good movie, although one does have to suspend one's entire IQ to actually feel good. The reason we went, of course, was the movie was filmed in Santa Fe and we wanted to see how much Santa Fe there was (not that much). KBAC DJ Honey Harris' house was the set for the box boy's house. Needless to say, an actual superstore box boy living in Santa Fe would be more likely to actually live in a box than in the south capital district but, hey, that's hollywood.

So first we get the word that KBAC is probably going to be sold to a Christian radio station, which is sad news for me since I'm on KBAC every Thursday morning with Honey Harris. Then, 106.3 gets turned into a spanish music radio station. I was on 106.3, The New Talk, on Wednesday mornings, filling in Larry Ahrens on the Santa Fe Reporter news scene. So what do these two radio stations have in common? Well, they are both radio stations, and they both had me as a weekly guest. Apparently, I am the kiss of death for radio. No, no, I'm sure my 10 minutes a week had nothing to do with any of this. Still, it's a pretty crazy business! Whatever else happens at SFR, I'm pretty confident I won't come into work on Monday and find out SFR is now a Christian newspaper and my services are no longer needed. True, there's no such thing as security, but these radio gigs really take that kind of far. Anyway, here's Dennis' very nice tribute to The New Talk, and here's The Trib's take on why The New Talk failed and here's Peter's (the former morning producer for The New Talk) response to that column. Wow, that's a lot of talk sending off The Talk. As for KBAC, stay tuned, yes?
Finally, in the radio news, a reminder that DJ Rocque Ranaldi is back on the air Fridays, starting tonight, at 6 pm, on Indie101.5, bringing the funk. So tune in, yo.

One of the big dogfights of this election season has turned out to be the state land commissioner race between former land commissioner Jim Baca and current land commissioner Pat Lyons. Unlike the many state races that seem pointlessly partisan (I'm thinking of the state auditor's race, where I can't quite figure out why it matters if the state auditor is a democrat or a republican), this is a race where you really do have competing philosophies and politics about land use. Not to mention a lot of accusations and name calling. They've both been in this week for their endorsement interviews. So that's one race down and, um, well, many to go. John Dendahl was supposed to be in today, but he needed to reschedule after the horrific beating of his spokeswoman, which I gather is unrelated to the campaign, but is really just sickening.

In an attempt to wipe out the memory of Employee of the Month (actually it wasn't THAT bad, just mindless, and I'm not much of a cinema snob. The last movie I saw, before Employee of the Month, was this one, which was about zombies. And the movie I had seen prior to that was also about zombies, so...), the boy and I are probably going to see The Departed tonight and possibly head over to High Mayhem tomorrow.
If I don't make it back here before the end of the day, have a great weekend y'all.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


When I was posting a day or so ago Dan's water story, I meant to mention that the reason we had the water use for myself, our publisher, Mark Oswald of Journal North and not the new mex, is that we requested water records for Robin Martin, Rob Dean and Bill Waters, but the city said it didn't have any (I'm pretty sure Martin lives in Nambe; don't know about the rest of them). And maybe the editor of Pasa. Zilch. We were going to then request records for Tom Sharpe and Steve, both of whom I'm pretty sure live in town, but we'd run out of time by then.

another horrible tragedy

The story of the slaying in Amish Country just gets worse and worse. I really feel sickened by the extremity of some of these crimes. The area of Lancaster County in question is one I know pretty well. I grew up in Philly, but I went to boarding school in Lititz, at Linden Hall, the oldest all girls' boarding school in the country. It's a Moravian school (in its origins), not an Amish one.
Yes, folks, you heard it right. I went to an all girls' Moravian boarding school in Amish, Pennsylvania.
And I went to Quaker Camp. I really loved Camp Dark Waters. I wish people I went to camp with would track me down on the Internet like some of my high school pals did last year (high school pals pre boarding school, not boarding school pals). Actually, I have intermittent communications with my camp boyfriend from when I was 12 or 13. He's the reason I became a vegetarian.
But that's another story.
On a different note, I had hideous insomnia last night and ended up thinking about Bill Richardson's political strategy for about an hour at 3 in the morning. At the time, I thought I had some brilliant insights. By the light of day, um, well, let's just say I think I'll save my armchair political strategizing for another day.
Back to deadline.

Monday, October 02, 2006

zees und zat

Gotta love it that there's a post about Dan's water story on The New Mexican's web site along with reader comments. Seems like that would earn someone a reprimand. You can read the original story by Dan that includes the top 10 residential and commercial water users of last summer in it, along with other various water users' use. Including mine, which is weirdly low. I will say that I am the fastest showerer in the world, not that such a thing is really the kind of thing one should boast about.
Steve's got the link to the new mex story about the possible buyout of KBAC by a Christian radio statino. I also heard this, on Saturday, but the story I heard is that it's a done deal and that KBAC will be a Christian station by the end of the year. I will go out on a limb and guess that means my Thursday morning chats with Honey Harris will be coming to a close, since I don't think Christian radio probably has all that much need for a segment featuring a Jew and a Lesbian (me and Honey, respectively). But who knows? (Actually I know; that ain't gonna happen). We've taken several shots at KBAC over the years for billing itself as "Radio Free Santa Fe" when, ya know, it's the Big Bully, but despite all that, I really like the folks over there, and I admire them for building that station as well as they have and I'm gonna miss it. I think this could mean GREAT things for Indie 101.5, which I continue to really, really like, ESPECIALLY because my friend, DJ Rocque Ranaldi, is coming back on the air this Friday on Indie, and you know that's going to be awesome.
OK, I need to go try to find the reporting SFR did on the 1980 prison riot for one of my reporters. Needless to say, the fact that we have no index and that I was, um, about 3 years old in 1980 should make this a wonderful task. (I will say that I am weirdly good at finding old articles in our bound volumes, and I suppose if I look in 1980 I should be able to turn something up, so it's really not as hard as it sounds.
Oh, on the political front, the political endorsements are proceeding slowly, due to what feels like endless rescheduling on the part of the candidates. So far we've seen: Ron Dolin, Mary Herrera, Sue Wilson Befford, Lorenzo Garcia and Hector Balderas. So five down and 7,000 to go or something like that.