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July 26, 2007

Where have all the heros gone?

Was listening to local sports radio yesterday at lunch, and they were talking about how "the three major sports leagues are in trouble".

Baseball, with the specter of steroids, and Bonds close to breaking a long held record.

Basketball, with allegations of gambling and fixing in the referee ranks.

And Football with the scandal of Michael Vick and his barbaric behavior (borrowed that adjective from Jim Belshaw in yesterday's ABQjournal)

Then I read my friend Natalie's blog, Petroglyph Paradox, and was heartsick. Her young son looks up to Michael Vick, holds him up as a hero, and Natalie and her partner had to explain to their animal loving child what his hero did. Hard to see that light of hero worship fade out in a child's eyes.

Not that I've ever agreed that sports figures should be the heros of our children…but it has been going on for years (Roger Maris?). It's a trend that is hard to stop, and in many cases, there are athletes who are worthy of emulation (Michael Jordan? maybe...). Then again, many who seemed so on the surface but turn out otherwise (Kobe?)

Who do our kids have to look up to these days?

How about our President? Yeah, don't get me started down that road. I don't think a politician of any stripe is worthy of hero worship.

Hollywood Actors? Please…not even a consideration.

Clergy? Uh…no.

Teachers? Well I've read several recent stories of scary teachers (grade fixing, anyone?)….though there are many good teachers too. It's just hard to tell.

What about parents? Well...there are many really good parents out there and I am happy to hold them up as my personal heros. But there are plenty of parents who do more harm than good…..like this charming lady or this gentleman.

So who is left? Who do our kids have to look up to, to emulate, to take values from and make them their own?

I don't guess I'm comfortable with a society so debauched that even I, a full stripe optimist, forgiver of many, seer of good in almost anyone can't find someone (alive) I want to be like when I grow up.

For now, I'll keep my long held hero in place, my sadly deceased grandmother. Wonder what my feminist-before-her-time granny would think of the state of things today?

July 25, 2007

I'm feelin' it...

Got this in an email today from a friend. Sorry it's so small, that's how it came across. Worth squinting at your screen.....

Yeah, I'm feeling this today....

July 23, 2007

What's an "e" among friends…..?

I love me some Arnold Vigil. I read his column in the ABQjournal all the time but have never blogged about him, mainly because he seems to say it all just right. I usually can't even comment more, he got it and wrestled it to the ground with perfect words.

Mr. Vigil is the epitome of New Mexico to me, and reading his column makes me homesick. I usually need a hug after reading his hilarious stuff…..(heh!)

But I just had to put up something today. He wrote a column so spot on that I had to highlight it.

I believe the quote of the day is thus, "…it's not that they didn't teach me, it's just that they taught me wrong." A feeling shared, I’m sure, by the many victims, er, students of the vast New Mexico public school system.

Today Mr. Vigil takes to task those who forget that our chile comes with an e, not an i as in chili. Now…both chile and chili have value…I enjoy them both. And I've often enjoyed some chile on my chili….

This whole topic came up again in reference to that kerfuffle in Madrid, (briefly blogged here) where the folks in that small town didn't take too kindly to some east coast outsider wanting to have a festival there (and capitalize on the popularity of the movie "Wild Hogs".) The guy totally blew it (and forever marked himself an outsider) by dropping a big fat steaming "i" where once an "e" should be.

This quote has forever endeared Mr. Vigil to me (as I've ranted in these very pages about the "Christmas" issue):

"Personally, I was afraid that if they did spell chile the other way, they might have got our upstanding lawmakers to temporarily change the official state question as well. That's right, "Red or Green?" would have changed that weekend to "Mustard or Mayo?"— much more palatable to the rest of our hamburger-eating nation. And the official answer, you ask? Why, "July 4th," of course, a colorful splattering of both condiments, with maybe some Taco Bell hot sauce thrown in."


Note To Mr. Vigil: ORALE! You got it right, brotha!

July 20, 2007

I sold out

Ok, maybe I didn’t totally sell out. It was given to me by my employer and I’m expected to use it.

I’m so *ashamed*. This morning when I stopped for a cuppa to get me through the day, I was bored (there was a backup in the line) and so since work is sizzling and I decided to check email.

A man in line asked me "how do you like it?" I smiled and said, "oh, it's great, I really like it!"

Why did I say that? I don't like it. I loathe it. IT HAUNTS ME! Ok, it *is* kind of cool. And it does cool things and makes cool noises. But it also does a lot of things I will never need or use.

And there's plenty not to like.

And at the end of the day, it's still *just* a phone.

But it sure is kind of fun to have all the interwebs browsing whenever I want. And the screen sure is nice…and it’s pretty.

AAAARRRGH!!! This thing is evil, PURE EVIL.

This, I believe is the only appropriate treatment of such a device:

July 17, 2007

Just because you *can* doesn't mean you *should*

That whirring sound you hear is my departed father spinning in his grave as I write this.

Read Albuquerque Tribune columnist Thelma Domenici today regarding when it is appropriate to wear a bolo tie.....

Evidently it's the Official Neckwear of New Mexico.

First the Official Cookie and now this? WTF have those legislators been doing since I left my fair state?

So Thelma in her incredibly polite and well worded way says, "...men will need to look at local customs and attire to determine whether a bolo tie would be appropriate."

Yeah, is it? Ever?

My dad eschewed actual ties for years and my mom couldn't GET him to wrap a strip of fabric around his neck. Nope, it was bolo ties only for him. For years. He was an engineer. That means a short sleeved white button shirt, bolo tie and pocket protector (I'm not making this up, I swear I wish I was).

He had quite the collection. I have many of them now. If only to keep someone else (like my brother...also an engineer) from donning them....

I know, I know...it's a Southwest thang. But it just smacks of seventies Urban Cowboy trying too hard. I know there are some beautifully handcrafted bolo ties out there that are more like art than a string tie...but still.

Unless you are headed out to an Engineers Retiree's Banquet...the answer is...no.

To borrow from Thelma's catchphrase...not looking like a dork never goes out of style....

Side note to Bill Richardson: Nice idea, doesn't help yer 4 percent-er situation.....

July 13, 2007

The embodiment of one of my worst fears EVER

As a kid, we used to go camping a lot. I loved camping, still do. But as my family slept there in the Apache pop up trailer, I was always SCARED TO DEATH of bears. I mean, as a kid in New Mexico, you know bears are out there. You hear about them on the news, the hungry creature who wanders into civilization for some garbage can treats.

And then there's waking up in the morning to find your campsite trashed....that a bear was THERE while you slept.

The Apache trailer at least offered a bit of safety. The big plastic box and where I slept was at least up off the ground.

Then there are the times I've slept in a tent. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE LOVE LOVE camping. But I always have those "what if" moments when in a tent.

Well, poor Bill Thorp of Las Cruces has now lived one of my top ten worst fears.

He was in his tent. He heard a rustling. He shut the tent flap and lay back down. Then he got bit. ON THE BUTT. Through the tent.

Brother man was having a nice campout and got chomped on the arse.

That ain't right.

Sleeping in a tent with my face by a thin layer of fabric, I've ALWAYS had terror of being bit through the tent by a bear.

Not only this guy lived it, so did a teen near Raton. He felt a poking at the side of the tent and thinking it was one of his family members playing a joke, he slapped at it. The bear took this none too kindly and bit him on the arm.

Waa! Is this skeeve out Karen week!?? First spiny caterpillars and now this!?! I may not sleep right for *days*!


July 11, 2007


You know, I'm cranky today. I've got a crappy job at a decent company and I have to deal with a lot of pink-cheese idiots all day long. It wears me out, it really does.

All the whining, the complaining, the yelling, the arm waving.

So in order to avoid work I instead surfed the ABQjournal. Nice diversion.

So I read this article and in an odd way felt better about my fate.

See, I have to deal with real a-holes every day, but my livelihood isn't now teetering helplessly on the progress of a bunch of hungry spiky caterpillars.

"... research has shown that just a few of them can eat as much grass as a yearling cow."


"... the caterpillars, which can grow to a couple of inches long, are lined with tiny hairs shaped like tree branches that sting."


Folks are trying to figure out how to stop these wild stampeding things. Damn.

Ok, back to work.

(this is a "stock" photo, probably not the right critter, but enough to make me shudder and go "bwaaaahhhuggggeeerrrrgh!")

July 10, 2007

Heh, redux....

First Madrid, now Dixon. (from today's ABQjournal)

"Dixon Residents Worry National Spotlight Will Ruin Community"

"Yer not from around these parts....are ye?"


July 9, 2007

My Happy Meal

In one of those "I saw something and that gave me an idea for something else" moments, I was scanning the Albuquerque Tribune today and looked under the "Photos" heading where sometimes they have little "Viewfinder" vignettes with a cool black and white photo accompanying. Today there is a link with the title Viewfinder: His happy meal.

It's a cute little story about a dog. But that's not the point of this post.

Just reading that title in my stressed out work haste made me think about food, comfort food (it is my lunch hour, after all). I have been so tweaked out with work and personal issues that I have been eating a LOT, lately. Taking to fats and sweets and salty to try to make me feel better about a life that feels on the verge. It's doing nothing to help my waistline and doing even less to improve my mood.

Nonetheless, as I sit here with rumbling in my tum, I had a thought upon reading that title "What meal would make me happy?" Kind of like a turn on "If you were on death row, what would be your last meal?"

My mom wasn't that great a cook, so I don't have a lot of "home cooked" stuff I could list. But let me take a stab at it.

If I had to eat a last meal and there were no space or calorie limitations on my tummy, here's top ten what I'd have:

1) My best friend's homemade chile rellenos. She makes them with chile grown by her uncle, the flavor is fantastic and she has just the right batter to make them light and delicious. Alongside her with her pressure cooked pinto beans, she makes the best beans, hands down.

2) Beef Lasagne from Sodini's in San Francisco. And the seafood linguini.....

3) Fried Calamari from Caesar's down near the Wharf in San Francisco. And the Minestrone....

4) The green chile chicken enchiladas with an egg and sour cream on top from Gardunos....and a couple margs...I love Gardunos mix. And the carne adovada......

5) Pretty much anything made by my brother-in-law, but his mashed potatoes rock my little world.......

6) My mom's tortillas "back in the day". She can't put the finesse on 'em like she used to, but circa about when I was seven years old and we'd come home from Saturday Mass and she'd roll 'em out and I'd cook 'em on the griddle. Layer on marinated beef or game meat, cheese and you were off to the races......

7) Anything from Legal Sea Foods in Boston.

8) Hamburger. All of the following:
A green chile cheeseburger from Blakes.
A Whataburger.
A Fuddruckers hamburger circa 1986. (I went recently, it's yucky now, but back then it was da bomb! ).
A carefully cooked thick burger over a campfire on a bun that *might* have a little sand or ash on it but who cares because you've been swimming in the lake/fishing/ hiking/ skiing all day and you are FAMISHED and besides you already ate two hotdogs......

9) My own chile con queso and chips

10) Huevos rancheros from this restaurant in Albuquerque that is now defunct and it will plague me all day until I can remember the name......

Honorable mention:

Biscuits hand made by the mom of my college roommate along with her homemade apricot jam....next to two farm fresh (I pulled 'em this morning) over easy fried eggs.

Homemade ice cream (my best friend's recipe) and a couple of my homemade chocolate chip cookies

Anything from Chopies, Nopolitos or Sadies

An Owl Burger (the one in San Antonio, NM, not the Albuquerque location)

Pizza from New York City, preferably the borough of Brooklyn....

Anything from the Aqua Grill in SoHo.

A good old fashioned Polish buffet alongside my Midwest family in South Bend. Ah the fried chicken! And the sausages! And the saurkraut! : drool :

Crabs, lobsters and clams straight outta the pot by the pool at the home of my best friend from high school. Ah, those were good days.....

I'm sure there is a lot I'm missing, but that'll do for now. I'm happy. And hungry.

: rumble :

July 6, 2007


Yeah, I know most people around the world would probably read this article in the ABQjournal with a mixture of confusion and distaste.

"How dare they?!" or "How rude?!" or even "How ridiculous!"

Me, I read it with pride. I love that places like Madrid, New Mexico still exist.

It's been well known and well documented in books like "Milagro Beanfield War" and "Red Sky at Morning" that folks in Northern New Mexico don't take well to outsiders. Never have.

I dig that people have taken to vandalizing and protesting. I also love that the article features quotes from two different gentlemen found sitting on the porch at the local mercantile.

That ol' boy from the East Coast is going to press ahead with his plans....I figure he'll probably regret it.

A tip of the cap to Madrid, and yet another reason why I love New Mexico.

(this is getting to be a theme, isn't it?)

Enjoy the weekend...I'm still wobbly on my feet, but making it work.

July 5, 2007

Delirious musings

Stayed home from work today. Was tired, dizzy and recovering from a wicked bout of either stomach flu or some tainted eats. Either way, I wasn't in a good place.

As I lay on the couch, moaning and sweating in the near 100 degree heat (I have no air conditioner, you know.....ugh!), I flipped through the TV channels and paused momentarily on a syndicated episode of "What I Like About You", you know, that sort of short lived UPN show that starred Jenny Garth (just looked it up on IMDB, it ran four seasons...wow, I never knew it had lasted that long).

In the episode the lead character played by Garth was flipping out about making wedding plans. She encounters another woman who is considerably less wealthy, and the girl was waxing philosophic about how she wasn't uptight about her wedding because she felt her fiancé was perfect. To describe how perfect, she likened him to chocolate chip cheesecake with chocolate drizzle on top. To her that was utter perfection. I found that bit kind of cute.

Later in the day, I was at the grocery in line behind a couple. Two women who had that knowing look with each other, that look that lets you know those two have spent some years loving each other dearly. They were so calm, easily in love and gentle with each other. Since my own loving partner went out of town this morning, seeing the love between the two gave me pangs of longing.

As I walked to car I remembered the "chocolate chip cheesecake with chocolate drizzle" bit and realized that doesn't describe my man. So I actually put some thought into it. What describes the perfection of my own partner?

Pancakes. Golden brown Sunday morning pancakes slathered in butter and covered with maple syrup. The real kind, not that fakey Mrs. Butterworths, no, the kind tapped out of a real maple tree, collected by some New Englander and warmed up in a small pitcher then drizzled on my beautifully fluffy pancakes. He's a Sunday morning smile, warmth from the sun, and delicious, heavenly pancakes.

I'm a lucky girl to have a man as lovely as perfect pancakes to share my life. And sometimes it's good to show a little gratitude. I miss you, love, and thank whatever powers that reign that I found you.......come home soon, ok?

July 4, 2007

Happy Fourth of July!

How did it get to be July? How is it that the summer is blazing past me while I am starting to carry that palid glow of too much time under florescent lights? When did I get old and Fourth of July stopped being about fireworks and hot dogs and swim suits while I ran around in the sprinklers or went swimming at the local pool?

When did it all get so difficult?

Happy Thoughful Fourth to everyone. Stay safe and have fun!

July 3, 2007

Where I come from

Last night I had a chance to attend a concert at a fave local venue. The show was Kenny Chesney and he played the outdoor Shoreline Amphitheater locally.

Kenny's appearance, being a good country boy and all, meant I pulled on my fave pair of Fat Babies and hit the show to sing along with the crowd and Mr. Chesney. (you know him, he's the guy that married Renee Zellweger for like, a minute....)

Being a good New Mexico girl, I'm a pretty good fan of country music. I'm always utterly surprised at how many fans there are out here in the Bay Area. Now, the friend I went with bummed a cigarette off a guy who had come over from Modesto. Ah, Modesto, good farm country, that makes sense. But there are a lot of "city folk" who love them some country music as much as anyone from the outskirts. And that always makes me a little happy. (and yes, I know today's country acts are hardly country anymore...more like rock 'n roll in a straw hat with a Bell Ranch crease)

I saw young kids that I *know* have been raised here in the Bay Area, raised among the people and the concrete and the hustle and bustle and they were singing along word for word to "Back Where I Come From", Chesney's ode to small town livin'.

I smiled. Because I knew these kids, though they loved the song, and sang with gusto, in a lot of ways, couldn't possibly understand.

And it made me thankful, again, for the multi-millionth time about where *I* come from.

Oh, the simple pleasure of knowing a place where a grain elevator and a gas station/Snappy Mart are the only the only things in town (like here or here or here. Kids are homeschooled, folks live in wide open spaces where they run cattle or horses or corn or cotton or whatever comes from the land.

Or knowing how fun it is to dance a two-step on a hardwood floor with a boy you like. Or even a boy you don't like but is a good dancer.

Or cramming the cab of a pickup with as many friends as will fit and riding to the river to have a little fun while the swirling water rushes by.

And knowing what it means to "live simple".

Oh Fair New Mexico, how I miss you......

July 2, 2007


So, it's out. You can buy one (inventories permitting).

Cancer hasn't been cured. Kids are still starving in some parts of our world. Bad people do bad things. Good people still try to be good. No one has been healed. No shift in the karma of the universe has been made.

An electronic gadget has made its way into the hands of wealthy people willing to splash out $600 on a phone.

Can we all go on about our business now?

(ooh, what an iBitter little girl I am!)

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Creative Commons License
All content of Oh Fair New Mexico by Karen Fayeth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.