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Thursday, November 30, 2006

girly girl

I kind of freaked out this morning and refused to drive to work. First, on the way home last night, the roads were complete ice and some jackass in an oversized "look at me, look at me, I have a penis" truck pulled out in front of me, I skidded and missed hitting him by about an inch. Also, my particular Agua Fria Road was a sheet of ice this morning, complete with a big truck that had skidded in the middle of the road, stopped and was abandoned by its owner.
So the boy picked me up in a colleague's truck and drove me down Agua Fria, which appeared to have been completely ignored, as did most of the streets we encountered. Seriously, do they have road crews anymore? Or is the city just too busy firing the city manager to bother with the basics anymore? (Really, if there's anything more annoying than city councilors making impassioned speeches to justify their own personality-driven political bullshit, I'd like to know what it is).
So now the snow is melting, and I'm supposed to go to Albuquerque tonight for Talib Kweli but I'm anxious because half the people I talk to say I-25 will be icy in parts and the other half (those being the ones who want to go to Abq., say they don't think it will be bad). I am not good at driving on ice; my car sucks and, as I learned last night, apparently my HORN doesn't work. I'm really looking forward to taking my car in and bitching. But not today (because I don't have it).
And not tomorrow, because it's my birthday and I'm not spending it in an auto shop.
Nor will I be spending it here!
That's right folks, I'm taking off and ageing in peace!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

global warming

Ever gotten into an argument with someone who doesn't believe in global warming? Ever lost the argument because you're not very good at arguing? Me too (actually I'm really good at arguing, but I have lost at least one argument about global warming, mostly because I ran out of information). Anyway, here's this great feature from Grist about how to argue with global warming cynics.

morning snippiness

This headline blows.
Yes, dog can be a verb, but I just did a random sampling in my office and every person misread the headline the first time (granted, we're not caffeinated enough yet). I might have gone with "nag" myself. Also not sure on the "PDPD" schematic here. Alliterative? Perhaps. But "problems" is such a sucko word.
Actually, much of the front page of the JNorth today seems a little odd. LANL Abuzz Over Its Bees has, again, good alliteration (albeit predictable) but "over"? C'mon.
Gallery Windows Downtown Tagged? Would that be Downtown Gallery Windows Tagged? "Rail Runner Runs Into Opposition"—Rail Runner Runs? Who's editing this thing: Dr. Seuss?
Oh well, guess I better go write some headlines of my own. I am now fated, I suppose, to make a stupid mistake.
Bloody hell I wish someone would bring me some coffee.

Monday, November 27, 2006

belly of the beast

My morning began with an email from my dad that included this photo of an elephant foetus, with the question, "have you seen this?" Not sure, exactly, why I would have seen it, but it seemed worth sharing (am also not sure when my father became the kind of person who forwards cute animal photos around, but he seems to have become such a person, which I find rather amusing).
I felt like an elephant, not a fetal one, after the AID n Comfort Gala on Saturday night. As corporate sponsors, we first went to the dinner, which was a seven course meal lasting about 2 1/2 hours. That was about six courses and two hours longer than I usually devote to a meal and afterwards I felt pretty beached. They had a great turnout, though. The boy and I wandered the Eldo for a few hours before he pronounced he felt as though "we were at a wedding for someone we didn't know." I decided five hours in stockings was 4 1/2 hours too long and we left. The only fun thing about getting dressed up is taking off your clothes when it's over, in my opinion. Friday night, we checked out Moby Dick (Mikey Baker's Zeppelin cover band) at El Paseo and then went to Alegria for its closing night (they are actually open on Dec. 8 for Public Enemy, but Friday was their farewell party. It was well attended and, as the owner said to me, if that many people had come out for the last four months, she might not be closing. I have been pondering the question that is Santa Fe's club scene for the last few days and have reached no conclusions except I will say that if this DWI crackdown is now the way things are (and, perhaps, the way things need to be) then the city should ante up and create some downtown shuttles for Friday and Saturday nights to take people home from midnight to 2 am.
OK, gonna do some work now.

Friday, November 24, 2006

a final word on patricia madrid

I personally don't find myself all choked up over Patricia Madrid's loss to Heather Wilson. At the moment, I'm quite peeved with the AG's office and fixing to make a stink just as soon as I figure out the best way. As our readers know, Dan Frosch has been writing, for four months, a series on the problems with health care in the prisons. Several months ago, we were told, by the Department of Corrections, that several records we had requested, in writing, did not exist. It became clear, subsequently, that they did exist. I filed, then (a few months ago) an extensively documented complaint with the AG's office, stating my belief that the NMDC had violated the Open Records Act. Lo and behold, it's been over two months, so I called the AG's office to speak with Asst. AG Mary Smith, with whom my case had been referred. I was told, by Smith, that she had not done anything yet. The first step, she said, was to send a letter to NMCD and have them respond to my complaint. This had not happened yet. Once that happened—and she said she didn't know when she would do that—it would probably take several more months before anything else happened. And Smith made it rather clear that not only could she not tell me when this might happen but, if I was reading her tone correctly, she didn't consider it very high priority (well, that's not just a tone thing, I mean how much time does it take to write a letter?).
Meanwhile, the Legislature has ordered an audit of Wexford and the prison health care, so I don't think it's too much to ask that the AG might hold up its end of the bargain. After all, when a government agency denies records exist, it's usually not a great sign, yes?
So, during the elections, I brief both AG candidates on the situation and both committed that, if elected, they would support creating a time period in which the AG has to respond to these kinds of complaints. And I asked Gov. Richardson if he would support that as well and he said yes. The sad thing is that it would have taken very little effort for the AG to send NMDC a letter and they should care enough about upholding the law to do so.

black friday

Black Friday, as it does each year, fills me with a sense of happily-alienated wonder. I just can't imagine lining up outside a store, knowing it will be mobbed, to shop. Granted, I'm probably overly suspicious of any kind of group activity, but this one really baffles me. I will be curious to see if, in the coming years, any life events unfold such that I suddenly become someone for whom standing on line in the dark, in the cold, to buy some piece of plastic seems like a good idea.
Is this what happens when people have children?
At any rate, no shopping for me today. Just working on the paper and waiting to go home. Tomorrow night is AID n Comfort. Yesterday, the boy and I boycotted the big holiday feast in favor of staying in most of the day watching movies and eating too many carbs. It was lovely.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Robert Altman died

there's barely any info out yet. Eighty one years old. He sure made a lot of movies. Some of my favorites. Period pieces, politics, fashion, Hollywood, ballet. Many of his movies got panned (especially the ones I liked). And I still remember when he threatened to move to France if Bush got elected president.
I don't really remember if he did or not though.

Monday, November 20, 2006

hit it

The violence at SF High comes right after our cover story last week about the growing violent crime in SF. That story, written by Dan Frosch, was hatched after Dan and I looked through the published and unpublished police reports and saw what looked like a trend. I have lived in SF for nearly two decades, and all this bashing and stabbing of people seems out of the norm, which apparently it is. I think our next story should be looking to see if there are more traffic accidents lately than usual. Because every morning, it seems, I pass some horrific 15-police car situation. Like this morning, on Agua Fria. Still haven't figured out what happened, because I've been a little buried getting this week's paper off the queue.
Meanwhile, looks like another city manager is on her way out. Feels like old times, the council bickering, meeting behind closed doors, trying to get the city manager out. I'm a little surprised Coss is joining the anti-Kepler bandwagon. I was kind of under the impression that she was doing what he wanted her to be doing, and that the fallout on the council was a reflection of that body's dysfunction, but perhaps things are other than what they seem. Here's our interview with Kepler a few weeks ago and last week's story about the audits Kepler has ordered. And here, if you haven't seen it, is Mayor Coss' complete letter asking for Kepler's resignation:

A city that works for all of us will be accomplished through collaboration, cooperation and respect. It will not be achieved by divisiveness, confrontation and turmoil in City Hall.
By this standard, Asenath Kepler is out of step and a bad fit, and for this reason I decided to ask her for her resignation.
I have tried to work with Ms. Kepler through repeated conflicts with councilors and community groups in the hope that things would change, but I will no longer tolerate this behavior and approach in city government.
There is a growing list of employees who have been forced out, councilors she can’t work with, instances of undercutting managers, hastily made decisions without consultation, and conflict at City Hall and in the community.
Our system of city government requires a strong working relationship between the Mayor and City Council. The Mayor can provide effective leadership only if he or she has a city manager who is committed to working collaboratively with the Council, city staff and the community. This relationship has been repeatedly damaged by the actions of Ms. Kepler.
Her approach is sadly exemplified by her refusal to honor my request for her resignation. What began as her desire to serve the city has turned into an increasingly personal crusade that has created unnecessary division and conflict.
It was difficult reaching this decision, but I will not let this city continue toward a path of chaos, confrontation and divisiveness.
Some will say my decision is in reaction to the events of last week – rather last week’s events confirmed my decision. Although not every issue can be resolved without conflict, few issues are so black and white as to warrant the kind of conflict that we’ve seen over these last months.
While the councilors and I do not always agree, we do share substantially the same vision for the city. It is this vision that should guide this city, not the unilateral decisions of an appointed official.
I believe that Ms. Kepler’s approach to management stands in the way of a functioning city government. We cannot do the public’s work under these conditions.

Friday, November 17, 2006

holy shiznit

It's been one slamming week, and I have a lot of catching up to do. But I ain't doing it now, folks, cause I'm hitting the Agua Fria soon. But my week ends on a high note, because I just found out Public ENEMY is playing at Alegria Dec. 8. Merry freaking Christmas early indeed! I am crazy excited. Talib Kweli the week before? The universe is smiling down on me. More later.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

so much for relaxing

I always forget (possibly in the way that women forget the pain of childbirth) the absurdity of this time of year, where suddenly we are racing through holidays, two gift guides, the writing contest issue and the double issue at the end of the year, with our eyes focused on Dec. 20, the day we publish our double issue and I get (gasp) an entire week off (which will go too quickly and will likely include a lot random sleeping and overpriced cocktails.)
Meanwhile, this week's issue is done, the wind is blowing madly and I think I just told the boy I didn't want sushi, I just wanted to lie down and not speak. Gosh I'm a fun gal. Today already has been too long. Just think, 12 hours ago I was doing 200 crunches and 100 jumping jacks. I seriously have got to look into becoming some kind of trust-fund dilettante (sp?) international party girl one of these days. One of these days!
On the bright side, tomorrow I've got a date with three fellow girlie knitters at St. Francis. I think some female bonding will be just the ticket. Also, pretty sure there's one of those overpriced cocktails coming my way. But for now, I think I'll brave Agua Fria and head home. And I will point my intentions toward a more newsy post tomorrow. Oh, I will mention that AAN redesigned its web site and put up a post about our NM Press awards, so that was cool. I'm going, it seems, to DC in February to be a presenter and attendee at AAN's Regional conference. Oh, and going to CSF in a few weeks to speak to a journalism class there as well. I always find such things nervewracking/nauseau (sp?) inducing, but once my mouth opens things usually go fine. That sounds weird. Well, you know what I mean...hopefully.

Friday, November 10, 2006

post-storm calm system

Wouldn't the title of this post be a super band name? I mean, like, totally.
Ahem. Feeling a bit post-partum now that the election brouhaha is coming to a bit of a calm down. Actually, Schafer's column in Slate today sort of brought me back to Earth a bit. I mean, I'm glad glad glad there's been a shift in power in DC, or whatever you want to call it, but at the end of the day, politicians will be politicians, yes?
One politician who really isn't one is David Bacon. When I came back from the bank, the defeated Green PRC contender was in the office chatting with Dan. I shook his hand and shook my head and he shook his head and laughed and acknowledged he got slaughtered in the race. Regular readers of this blog may remember my election predictions, which turned out to be hit or miss (which is an improvement; usually I fuck them all up). I was right about Wilson and Balderas; wrong about Baca and Bacon. And I guess the Vigil trial got postponed so that was a wash. Predicting Wilson would win in the face of the polls showing Madrid ahead was probably my best prediction.
Anyway, Bacon: He said he was surprised to some extent by just how poorly he did (26 percent I think); thought he could have done well. I commented how useless newspaper endorsements were, since he got all of them (even The Journal's. We agreed that straight party voting in conjunction with paper ballots probably didn't help. I have to say, too, I think it's a hard sell to get people to vote for Green Party candidates around here.
Bacon said he also was surprised, or maybe he said sorry, to see Baca lose, and he thought Madrid could have done better if she just could have sold herself a little better to voters. I agreed. Actually, everyone I've talked to thought Madrid lost the race when she debated.
So, last night I went to Alegria for a bit and tonight I'm heading to Cowgirl and maybe to High Mayhem, although home and knitting and sleep sound awfully nice to tell ya the truth. The boy is sick and I'm working hard to not be. He thinks he has the flu, although his symptoms seem to be running the gamut: sneezing, nausea (is that spelled right? spellcheck on blogger very wanky and I'm too lazy to check it elsewhere). I am trying to simultaneously see if he needs anything and avoid going anywhere near him. Do not want to be sick!
This weekend I have a gazillion writing contest entries to sort and a gift guide to begin editing. work work work!
For now, I'm going to start making ready for the ride home, get the ipod set, get the stacks of work into the car and hit the rizzle. Just found out Talib Kweli is playing the Sunshine the night before my birthday, so I'm pretty psyched about that.
Peace out!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

counting elephants, I mean donkeys, I mean sheep

I guess the Wilson/Madrid count won't be done until Friday. It's becoming very unsatisfying to be a NM voter. We are alway so important in the leadup to national elections: we're a swing state, we've got a hotly contested race etc. etc. Then the elections come and go, everything gets decided, and it takes us half a week to even finish counting!
Meanwhile, an interesting take on the Huffington Post about the Wilson race, but the most interesting part is the bizarre comments at the bottom from someone claiming to be Patricia Madrid's sister. Tres bizarre.
Anyway, in other parts of the country, our reality of ballot counting in a warehouse in Bernalillo 'til Friday is but mere formality, they say Wilson won so maybe she did (and life is but a dream?). I jest, but aside from disagreeing that Wilson ran a "flawless campaign," I did find some very lively and interesting and smart commentary at Reason.
OK, think Safari is about to crash, better jet.

overheard in my office

"We got the House. We've almost got the Senate. We got the Democratic governors. Britney filed for divorce. Does it get any better?"
—Unidentified SFR staffer

I love a good political/cultural discussion.
We've got some photos and colorful recap from last night's election romps right here.

it's getting better and better

See ya Rummy!.
Man, this is like Christmas.

it's over—not so much

The First CD race continues to hang, but I have the feeling Wilson will pull it out. I also anticipate it will end up in court, but perhaps not. I went to sleep while Madrid was still ahead, but I still had the feeling I'd wake up and Wilson would be leading... and I was right.
Hats off to Joe and company for their coverage last night. It was, far and away, the best political coverage of the night and, in fact, I grew so frustrated with the TV news that I ended up driving around so I could listen to Joe on the radio. Note to self: perhaps a radio in the house would be a good investment?
I'm waiting for Dan & Nate to arrive; they went to the big parties in Albuquerque last night and are supposed to get a story in this morning for the Web site.
I was surprised by Lyons easy win over Jim Baca. I mean, it wasn't quite a trouncing but I expected it to be closer and I thought Baca might pull it out.
Trouncing is the right word for Green David Bacon's defeat in the PRC race by Dem Carol Sloan. I was sorry to see this race wasn't more competitive. It sounds like the Greens are attributing this to straight-party voting…I'm a little too sleepy to figure out if that is true. It seems like candidates such as Lorenzo Garcia must have pulled some Dems, because he was pretty competitive. I think one thing that Garcia and Bacon's races show is that newspaper endorsements may not be very influential with most voters because, if I'm not mistaken, both candidates got the lion's share, if not all, of the endorsements in their races and in the end it didn't help. Or didn't help enough, at any rate.
But, of course, whatever happens in NM with CD 1, it won't change the change of power in the House. And I think we're all just waiting now to see the outcome for the Senate.
Times, they are changing.
Except here in NM... not so much really.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

vote, it's easy

It literally took me five minutes to vote, although my hand got a little crampy and I felt as though I were back in high school taking a standardized test (you passed your standardized election test with flying colors! The machine did not explode and you only voted for one candidate in each race). I was NOT asked for ID, I don't care how many laws they pass, I am convinced I will never be asked for ID when voting, because it didn't happen at the primary and it didn't happen today. But having already written endorsements in everything, voting was a snap. Everyone should personally interview all the candidates; it makes voting so much simpler.
If I don't make it back to the blog today, come to Victoria Price Gallery (Guadalupe & Paseo) from 5 to 7 pm and help us kick off our Vote Love/Not War project.
My reporters will be kicking it in Albuquerque tonight, hitting the big Dem and Republican parties. I will stop in on the Bacon party tonight if he wins to get some comments. We'll post some web content on the results tomorrow (our press deadline is 5 pm, so no results in tomorrow's paper, a source of constant aggravation to me, but what ya gonna do? Not like you can't get it elsewhere, eh?).
Happy election day y'all.

Monday, November 06, 2006

twas the night b4 the election

and Slate gave us a rundown.
I am a master when it comes to poor predictions. I can't usually separate what I want to happen from what is likely to happen and then I usually compensate TOO much for my own wants.
At any rate, here's my cynical speculations:

1. I just do not believe that Patricia Madrid will beat Heather Wilson, even if NPR does. I don't know why this is, since the polls are showing Madrid ahead; I just have the feeling that Wilson will pull it out.

2. I think Jim Baca will beat Pat Lyons, but that it will be so close that it won't get called for days and then there will be a legal challenge.

3. I think David Bacon is going to win the PRC seat and become the first Green elected to the PRC (the first Green elected to a statewide office, come to think of it).

4. I think Hector Balderas will beat Lorenzo Garcia, even if Garcia got all the endorsements.

5. I do not think the courts will overturn Robert Vigil's conviction tomorrow.

6. However, if it is overturned, and Vigil is able to run again for office, I predict that... he would probably win.

Friday, November 03, 2006


if you want to see the rest of Teri Nolan's Halloween photos from our party at Vanessie's, go here. Yes, many of them are of our staff (we're very hammy at The Reporter... apparently) but not all of them.
And, yes, I promise this is my last Halloween post for a while (at least a year). I also promise to at least pretend to try to have a costume next year that doesn't involve the word "princess." This may, however, result in my wearing my tiara on a more regular basis.

one last thwarted attempt

I've been trying to post all day, but it's been a bit of a losing battle. Winter Guide, all 88 pages of it, is cranking (or crunking) along and each time I start something drifts onto my desk, or the phone rings (ugh, 10 messages waiting right now) or I get distracted by something or another. I must have the most ADD-resistant brain around, I don't know how I am keeping anything straight right now with this guide, the writing contest, two gift guides, and the end of the year issue all floating around my head... and my desk. I was going to go to Albuquerque tonight to see Zion1 but I can't face the drive home at 1 or 2 am right now. All I want is a nice quiet night with some food, a movie, the boy and eight freaking hours of sleep!
So the one outstanding winter guide story right now is my winter books story (it's not so much late as last). Usually I can crank these things out pretty readily as I read several books a week. But somewhere between the endorsement issue and the knitting, I've been reading a little bit less. The real problem is a few weeks ago I decided I wasn't allowed to buy any new books until I finished some I already owned. This would be no big deal if I were a normal person but my house is literally stuffed with books, they're in stacks everywhere, they're in the linen closet, they're in every closet actually. So my decision required me traipsing around the house and pulling random books off shelves, inspecting them to make sure I hadn't read them, and then deciding which ones to read. I ended up reading about six novels (would link or list them right now but too lazy and I'm not really recommending any of them) all of which were about women in various states of misery: OCD, suicidal, mother issues. I found it quite odd I even had these books since these are pretty much my least favorite topics, but from what I could tell they had all been regifted to me by a friend who is interested in such things. Anyway, they were freaking depressing and irritating and I rebounded by rushing to the bookstore and buying new books that were not about any such things (which I'm also not going to list here as they will be going into my story and if I can manage to write about them here I should have managed to write about them there etc., etc.,).
I also played around with, perhaps, a thematic story. Books about winter, books with winter in the title. So then I went back into the closets and stacks and began grabbing likely candidates. I ended up with: Chilly Scenes of Winter, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, War and Peace, The Sweet Hereafter and Snow Falling on Cedars before I decided this was one of my more stupid ideas (although not the worse use of insomnia I've ever devised). Then April, my kickass copyeditor, suggested LONG books be the theme, ya know, cause it's winter and you have more time to read. So I went and gathered: War and Peace, Madame Bovary, Middlemarch and Clarissa* but I started feeling kind of queasy. This idea had "Johnny" written all over it and, frankly, while I've read all of these books (and more!) both as an undergrad and when I was getting my master's, I have very little desire to write another word about Middlemarch. Two papers seems like enough. Plus anything that smells like academia makes me feel like a poser, even if I did consider for five seconds getting a ph.D and even though I did once publish a paper on Gulliver's Travels.
So then I thought (isn't this fascinating?) well, what about published letters and journals as a theme. Except by the time I had these such books collected, all I could think was: "Sylvia Plath's journals? Anne Sexton's letters? Yes, read the thoughts of now dead suicidal women this winter…and have a happy holiday!"
So I've kind of reverted back to the original idea (new books) and that's what I'll be working on this weekend. Ya know, unless anyone has any better ideas.
I should probably be reading and recommending some fat tomes on our current political situation but, frankly... yawning now. I could use a leetle break from such things. After the election on Tuesday, I'm going to ignore politics for at least two weeks. This morning, at about 5 am (seriously, I miss sleeping) I was watching a documentary about the 2004 elections on HBO and it was super depressing. Even more depressing than all those stories of bipolar women. 'Cuz, ya know, at least those were made-up characters. The ones in the documentary still exist and, frankly, I think it might be time for some of them to stop talking already. I mean, you know, you're not helping.
So you all have a great weekend. I'm hoping mine will be quiet and restful and politician free in preparation for a week that probably won't be any of those things.

* The unabridged Clarissa was a gift years ago from my ex, who knew I coveted it but did not realize it is, as my english professor dad has said, "the longest rape story ever told." My ex gave it to me for Valentine's one day, which is one of my favorite things that has ever happened.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

a post 19-hour day reflection post

The 19-hour day was yesterday. It started at 4 am with me mindf***ing about the endorsements and then going to work to finally finish them. Plus, we were on deadline with the whole paper and deadline day went seamlessly (ish) straight into our Halloween Party (hence photo above, courtesy of Teri Nolan) The boy: once again playing the governor's security; me, an ice princess, versus the evil princess I was last Saturday).
The party was a success in that there were so many people there you couldn't move. Then I went home and slept very hard for at least seven hours. Or maybe like 61/2. Tonight I would chill but it's Donnan's last night in town so that won't fly. But things are much more relaxed, which is kind of strange given that we started in this morning on an 88 page winter guide, which normally would be huge and scary. But somehow articles about hot chocolate are a little easier to deal with after the political endorsements.