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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Preparing for my departure

Atlanta bound

I'm off in the morning to atlanta to visit my dad. I'm not bringing the
laptop. I'm super tired of email and of, for lack of a better word,
documentation. I'm bringing a book (not sure which yet), my ipod, a
notebook and, of course, clothes. No camera, no computer. Now that
almost sounds like a vacation!

Monday, June 25, 2007

am i there yet?

It's been a grueling week or so since I got back from Portland, made more so by constant and chronic e-mail problems and a new editorial vacancy I have just a few weeks to fill. The bright news, on the latter front, is that within 36 hours of advertising I have enough applicants to start about six newspapers. Of course, I'd rather eat my own arm than start a newspaper. And on the email front, our publisher valiently switched us to a new provider over the weekend, so hopefully the problems will desist. It's been several weeks of sporadic service, and I haven't been receiving things, senders don't know I haven't received it, all sorts of chaos. It's enough to make you fall down and give up. And if it wasn't, the 90-plus degree weather would be. In other words, I have been super super cranky.
Friday night I cheered up a bit when the boy and I went to see Joan Armatrading, who was fabulous and charismatic and emotive. I always am very impressed with the boy's tolerance of his Santa Fe lifestyle. I mean, one minute you're a punk rocker in Pittsburgh, flash forward a few years later you're surrounded by a singalong of middle-aged Santa Feans harmonizing: "Shelter in the storm/willow/willow/when the sun goes down." or something like that. After, we met up with Dan and Megan (who were both visiting and coincidentally both at the Cowgirl). Saturday I had my two hour workout and then, literally, collapsed and was unable to do much of anything. The boy and I attempted to attend the gay pride dance party but a large sushi meal kind of took the wind out of our sails. Sunday, determined not to spend another day staring at the fan, I headed to Darius' pool. That finally cooled me off and the rest of the day was much more productive (and also included a Best of Santa Fe photo shoot in an arroyo by my house).
Thursday a.m. I'm off to Atlanta to see my dad, so, until then, I have a shitload of things to do, like read the gazillion resumes coming into my inbox, which is receiving e-mails at least. Which brings us full circle back to the start of this post and, with that, I bid you—

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Here's an interesting Q & A in Hispanic Business on the US Attorney situation. I think I oppose calling it Attorneygate. Makes me think of some kind of SNL infomercial to keep attorneys confined in small areas. Which is actually not a bad idea.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

what's in a name?

No, this isn't about the brouhaha over for whom to name the library. It's over the use of First Person as a column name in the Journal North today. First Person is, of course, the name of our ongoing guest column, as in this one and this one and this one. Oooh, and the one we'll have tomorrow, which I think may be incendiary. Now, I can't SWEAR the Journal North has never used "First Person" before. I suppose there's an outside chance they were using it when we started (I don't really believe this but...). I sure would like to know. My proposal is, whomever had it first gets to use it and the other paper stops. So someone let me know.

The Iglesias Interview in 3 parts

If parts 2 and 3 don't play here (they should; youtube is so screwy sometimes), you can view them directly by linking here for part two and here for part three.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Dendahl smacks Iglesias

Former GOP chairman/would-be governor John Dendahl may have left New Mexico, but he hasn't lost his interest in our exciting political world. Here's a guest column he just wrote for The Hawaii Reporter attacking Iglesias and defending Domenici. Dendahl doesn't seem overly concerned with Domenici calling Iglesias right before the mid-term elections to find out about the corruption case. I mean, you know, an impartial justice system? Pff. Who needs it. It's not exactly surprising this was published in Hawaii versus, um, here.
Also, Shea at Boise Weekly on Iglesias' appearance at AAN. And a post from the Arkansas Times.
My art director, Larry, is taking the long video home tonight to try to compress and cut it in Final Cut, so hopefully I'll have it up tomorrow.

p.p.s holy shit I forgot to mention the most important thing

Which is that Dan Frosch won First Place in Investigative Reporting in the AAN contest for his Wexford series. Yes! The competition was fierce. And please note that I am taking this moment to celebrate our win, not to once again note the bullshit ripoff of the story by Barry Massey and the Associated Press.


If you'd like to read more information than I can possibly print (or even know) about the conference I just attended (I'm not saying you should or there's any reason you would, I'm just saying if you do), here's a great community blog many editors and others contributed to during the conference, with photos, comments and more. If you really dig into the archive, you'll find the photo of Giuliano again. Because you can't just look at it once. I have stared at it several times and it doesn't get less shocking.

My Great Big Fat Newspaper Conference with David Iglesias, Rudy Giuliano

I'm home! And it is really hot here and people still drive badly! But I only have seven phone messages!

I am having technical difficulties with the interview of me interviewing former US Attorney David Iglesias. Iglesias was the keynote speaker at AAN's First Amendment luncheon. He did very well and seemed to be well-received. I have the interview in two clips, one short and below, one long and too big for me to post to youtube. I'm working on figuring out how to get it online. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

And here is the photo of me with Rudy Giuliani, which was taken by accident. Giuliano was NOT a guest at the AAN convention. He was down the street at a coffeeshop where I unwittingly went in search of a bagel. Giuliano assumed Byron (my colleague from Willamette Week) were there to see him. So he came up and shook our hands. Byron whipped out his camera, Rudy moved in and, voila. Can you see the fear in my eyes?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

a street car named...

The big accomplishment of today was that I got on a streetcar and made it where I wanted to go and back without getting lost. Having spent my entire adult life in Santa Fe, I often feel slightly impaired when I'm in anything resembling a city because I really don't know how to negotiate my way around. Sometimes people assume that, because I am originally from the East Coast, I have some innate city smarts. Those people (assuming there actually are people who spend five seconds thinking about this) are wrong. First off, I was a teenager when I lived on the East Coast, I didn't drive and while I could, in fact, manage to get on a train, that was about it.
Anyway, the Portland street car was very easy. Portland is quite pretty, lively and cityish, but not dirty and overwhelming. And it's pretty temperate, although I did have to go buy a jacket, having not brought one, having realized, as I packed, that I only own winter jackets and no spring or summer ones. Today, I hopped the streetcar and went to Willamette Week, the sister paper of SFR, to check out their HUGE digs. It made me have building envy, frankly. Then I spent the afternoon in a membership committee debating the merits and flaws of the 19 papers that have applied for AAN membership. This was an interesting endeavor, although kind of exhausting. I'm not super great at four hour meetings. I always think everything in the world should only take half an hour to decide. Tonight I'm having dinner with the AAN board. In the morning, I'm going to visit my friend and predecessor, former SFR editor, Audrey VB, in the hospital, as she had her second son last night. And then the conference starts. I'm sad to have missed tonight's SFR Block Party, but the reports I'm getting are that it was a smashing success.
There's always next year, assuming the conference doesn't again conflict. Next year the conference is, in fact, in the town in which I grew up: Philadelphia. There I'm sure I'll get lost, if history is an indicator of anything.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

albuquerque airport, how do i love thee?

You know how everything in life, at some point, is a disappointment? I don't even mean this in a bad way, I just mean, you know, even your favorite restaurant is occasionally off, your best friend is occasionally flaky and your great boyfriend now and then is a pain in the ass. But the Albuquerque Sunport? It is just always pretty great.
I left SF early thinking I was likely to encounter weather or rush hour traffic or both. I encountered neither and arrived two hours early. Got through security in three minutes with, as always, EVERY SINGLE AIRPORT PERSON BEING AS NICE TO ME AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. I swear, my airport karma is just rock solid. If people were as nice to me outside the Albuquerque airport as they are inside of it, I might actually answer my phone more often.
Speaking of which, I've lately begun answering the work phone with "hello," rather than "This is Julia." Now, it may be that no one angry has been calling (cause that happens...never), but somehow that "hello" seems to be having a soothing effect and people are talking to me normally, rather than treating me like Complaints Central or a 1-800 line. Perhaps "hello" indicates there's a human being on the other line? Hmm, here comes my sandwhich. I realize eating in an airport may be carrying my good will too far but it seems better than eating on the airplane, which isn't even possible. Ideally I would have packed a meal, but that would have required me being even remotely organized, and getting the paper out and just packing my clothes seemed like enough to deal with.
When I got home, the boy was waiting with the dog, and both patiently watched me neurotically try to decide which SHOES to wear for at least 15 minutes. In the end, I brought two pairs of the same exact shoes and NO JACKET, having decided it was better to have choices in footwear to color coordinate than to, say, not freeze to death. I think if I travelled more I might be able to conquer this bizarre girly behavior that overtakes me when I'm trying to pack, which is almost nonexistent the rest of the time (since I wear basically a pair of jeans, a Tshirt and the same shoes every single day;why do I imagine that a new locale will suddenly require me to have 10 shirts to choose from for a five-day trip? I also have this bizarre behavior where I feel like I have to leave room in my luggage wherever I go in case I want to go shopping, even though I HATE shopping and rarely do it. I assume this is all some kind of very narrowly focused anxiety displacement thing. OK, that's enough babbling for now.

summer storms

It's raining...again. I'm hoping it won't be for tomorrow's block party, 5 to 9 pm in our parking lot at 132 east marcy st. Be sure to stop by for food, music and more! I, sadly, will be in Portland, Ore. (I'm not sad I'll be there, just sad I'm missing the block party). But the boy will be selling his wares at the block party, so if you can figure out who he is, stop by and say hello. Meanwhile, I'm leaving here early today and heading out a little early for the airport in case rush-hour traffic, or a tornado, slows my progress. But I'll be checking in, I'm sure, from the northwest, so stay tuned. And dry.

Monday, June 11, 2007

if wishes were blog posts

There are so many things going wrong right now: email kablooey, server kafooey, AC barely pumping, loud coworker who is allowed to use the intercom, that it makes me think that I actually deserve some recognition for not losing my shit on a more regular basis. Ah, the benefits of being dead inside...
Meanwhile, we are stumbling through the final of the 96 page summer guide and I am speeding to get the Best of SF assignments out before I leave town, tomorrow after work, for Portland. I haven't packed yet, but I did do laundry, which is at least half the battle (one quarter of the battle?). I am a terrible terrible packer. I like to have all my stuff around me all the time so I can make a choice in the moment. Anticipating what I might want to wear is beyond my imaginal capacities.
So Friday night, the boy and I were driving home ridiculously early from the Matador, having eaten, prior to that, approximately 15 tons of sushi with Gabe, Julie and his sister and his sister's boyfriend. As we came down Agua Fria, right before st. francis, I saw two people stumbling on and off the sidewalk (cause it's Santa Fe, right?). But as we got closer, I realized it was a man struggling with a woman. We stopped, but the car behind us didn't want to stop, so then I hung a u-turn, by which time the man had run away leaving the woman crying on the street. She was pretty upset and very very very drunk, said the man had given her a fat lip, but it was hard to get very coherent info out of her. She didn't want to call the police, she just wanted us to take her home, so we did.
There is no moral to this story...but I have to go kick the printer now.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

lesbian wedding

This coming weekend, the boy and I are attending a lesbian wedding for some good friends. It is my first lesbian wedding and it is not even really a wedding, but a reception. The wedding part is being held privately beforehand, so when I say good friends, I mean good enough for the reception. Which is very perfect because I've pretty much sworn off weddings, funerals and births for the time being, as well as all the subsidiary events these major events lead to (showers, memorial services and babysitting). So I guess we are basically just going to a lesbian party, which makes it really just another Saturday night. At any rate, we've had lots of conversations—way more than seems remotely reasonable—about the wedding present. One of the brides is very dear to me, but also strangely impossible on a variety of levels, and trying to figure out the perfect gift has been taxing. Our mutual friend, Honey Harris, suggested to me that the bride in question had suggested that all they really wanted were gift certificates to Home Depot. This struck me as unsavory for a variety of reasons I was unable to articulate. First, gift certificates always seem like a lame gift (unless you're receiving them, but present buying is all about how it makes me feel, right?). I happened to hear from the bride recently and she disavowed the Home Depot idea, although not very convincingly. The boy and I have had a series of back and forth text messages today about this present buying thing. You would think numerous text messages would lead to a better conclusion than buying a photo album. Anyway, I'm hoping to get the purchase out of the way this afternoon so I can move on to the important issue of: what I'm going to wear. The boy is lucky that he doesn't have to decide this because I've already decided it for him. I am so helpful!

baby bunny season

There have been many baby bunnies on the morning walk. Nero gets super excited, drops his tennis ball and goes bounding off after them. He has never come even remotely close to catching one and usually gives up after a brief spurt, returns and proceeds to try to find his ball again (sometimes failing; his memory is apparently even worse than mine). There clearly are many new spring smells because his walk has become much less goal oriented ("catch the ball nero") and more a stop 'n sniff event.
So it's Tuesday, hot outside, hitting 2 pm, with just a few sections left to go. We are already embarked on next week's summer guide at the same time, and Tuesday (one week from today) I take off to go to Portland. My sunburn has become my first tan of the season, and hopefully not my last. And I just remembered something I need to do asap, so I'll cut off this mildly (extremely) boring post for now.

Monday, June 04, 2007

hot & bothered

I am a bit sunburned following my first pool excursion of the season. I was waiting for Dan to join me and, unwilling to leave before seeing him, ended up for more than 21/2 hours in the glaring sun, such that when Dan did arrive, the first thing he noticed was the beat redness of myself. I realize that, like everything else I like, sunbathing is bad for me. Bad, bad, bad. I don't understand why all of my favorite things are bad for me. I did, for once, put on some sunblock, but I'm so not used to doing it that I did a terrible job, which means my sunburn is sort of weirdly spotty. Fortunately, for all, I do wear clothes to work, so that bizarre polka-dotted effect is not on display. On the bright side, my stomach is kind of tan, which is one of my favorite things (along with world peace).
I haven't been writing much lately. I feel very distracted and...what's the word? enervated, I guess. It's the summer guide/Best of Nexus, perhaps. Or my looming trip to Portland. Or the heat. If you'd like to read something interesting, versus this babbling, go to our Bill Richardson blog for Nate's assessment of last night's debate.