11.30.2005

new tunes

The other day while I was running errands, I noticed a bumper sticker on the Jeep in front of me. It read "KWRP, free-form radio." After blinking a few times to make sure it didn't actually say WKRP, I tuned in.

The KWRP website describes their music mix as
"eclectic... includ[ing] Americana, Alt-Country, Bluegrass, Blues, Classic Rock, and anything else that we think you will like to hear."

Some of the (very) few artists I've recognized are Elvis Costello, Madeline Peyroux, Reckless Kelly and Bob Dylan. Mostly it's crazy fun bluesy-country songs with titles like "Judas Iscariot Wants to Be in the Band." Sorry, no web streaming, but the website does track the day's playlist.

But what's most amazing is there are no commercials. From what I could dig up online about them, they do a "this hour sponsored by [whoever]" and that's it. I've been listening for over a week and have only heard one commercial (for Second Street Brewery — hey, I guess it works!). Seems like they started up in January of this year, and I have no idea how they're staying on the air with their sponsorship model, but I'm enjoying the heck out of it.

11.27.2005

Snow in the Arroyo





...and on Throckmorton P. Coleslaw



2-3" probably. Pretty much all melted by the end of the day.

11.26.2005

first snow!

All the snow sports people here have been tracking some big Pacific weather system, hoping for snow. Looks like they got their wish. About 2 inches by the looks of it here in town, likely lots more up in the Sangres. Porch railing:



The hallways in our building are open to the outside;



Looking out into the hall from our door, both ways:



Art



Souvenier #1 (sic), the Laura Brink painting we won at Feral Gallery's silent auction. It's about 5" square, so you're probably seeing it just about actual size (by far the smallest painting the gallery owner had seen her do), and the paint hasn't quite cured yet.

Post-Thanksgiving Hike

After the day of loafing and eating, a hike was in order.

Flipping through the hiking book from Kelly and Julie, I hit upon heading out to the Pecos Wilderness. It covers a lot of the land in the Sangre de Cristo range around here, so by hiking up in the ski basin, we'd been there. But there are some other nice areas outside of Pecos, and the book said "About 40 miles northeast of Santa Fe." At the local driving speed, how long could that take?

Sure, the drive to Pecos was, like, 20 minutes. The next 20 miles took probably about another 50. Leaving the town, it didn't take too long to get into the winding, twisting roads through the Santa Fe National Forest. A beautiful trip, to be sure. The last couple miles were on a one-lane road to the trailhead (at least it was paved).

We got a late start anyway, and then the drive was much longer than anticipated. But we stuck with our plan and headed out on the Cave Creek trail. It didn't seem likely that we'd hike the whole thing before dark, but the trail is just out and back, so we figured we'd just turn around when we felt halfway done.

The trail follows the Pecos River — a creek, really, at that point — along and up and down through a mostly evergreen forest. The sun was skirting along the edge of a neighboring ridge, and when we were out in it, it was pretty nice (probably mid 40s).









As we dropped down closer to the river, we were in shadow, where it was cold enough for there to be ice on the water.



Eventually, we came to the river crossing.



After making it across, decided that this should've been our turning point. So we crossed back over, had some turkey/blue cheese/apple sandwiches, and headed back home.


(click to open a larger image)

We'll be back where there's more time and more sun.

11.25.2005

Director's Commentary

With Monica's birthday and all, I offered to take care of the meals on Thanksgiving. I enjoy cooking. But, as a pretty much self-taught cook, the whole baking thing really kind of escapes me. I prefer things that you can see, fuss with, make changes to — not things that you have to combine in a precisely measured combination and put in an oven for a particular moment within 10-55 minutes and trust that it'll all come out.

We started the day with strata, a reliable standby. Tossed a couple green chiles into the mix for some local flavor. Combined that with an MST3K DVD from the comic shop for some added nostalgia.

For dinner, I had consulted Melanie, who has prepared our wonderful Thanksgiving meals for the past seven years. I needed things that I could handle but that would meet her standards. She gave me a menu and instructions. Because I can never follow a recipe exactly, I kind of went from there.

The roasted butternut squash soup combined her recipe with one from Los Barrios that includes pears in the mix. We already had a pear thing going on, so it fit, and it was a smooth, tasty soup. Asparagus had to be steamed, not roasted, because of oven space. Instead, along with the turkey, I was roasting sweet potatoes (combined with some white potatoes, per a local chef on one of the talk shows here) that got mashed together with some maple syrup. For only two of us, I opted for a turkey breast instead of a whole bird, but it followed Melanie's time-honored brining tradition. For the preparation, I followed Rachael Ray's instructions but with Mark Bittman's timing. It all tasted (if I do say so myself) pretty great in the end. We finished off with a mixed green salad with walnuts, craisins, blue cheese, and a pomegranate vinagrette. Preparations had already begun for the pear/blue cheese tart for dessert, but we'd already eaten way, way too much. Hopefully, we'll get to that tonight.

thanksgiving

For now, as requested (hi Mom + Dad), just some pix.









I'm thankful for many, many things, but most especially for this guy.

11.24.2005

11.23.2005

are you going to Scarborough faire?



The Thanksgiving preparations are well underway.

the law of conservation of matter

Shortly before we left Arlington, we put in a huge dry cleaning order at Bergmann's, mostly sweaters. Admittedly, we were cutting it a bit close, with our pickup date just a few days before the movers were to show up. Well, when we went to pick up our stuff, there were three sweaters missing. Three of Bram's sweaters. We returned several times in the remaining days before the move, but still no sweaters. All we could do was leave our new address — so that they could ship to us — with the semi-literate front desk staff and drive to Santa Fe. Over the summer and fall, our dear friend Miz P (who is having troubles of her own with Bergmann's) has been checking for us — still nothing.

I called Bergman's HQ around the end of October, spoke to customer service (not the front desk staff) and they were able to help me retrieve the tracking and lot numbers (reciepts were long gone) and interceded with the troglodytes who run the big carousel-o-clothes out front. There were two calls made, the sweaters were declared, at various points, missing, delivered, and picked up, but were finally located. Grunty the Wonderclerk actually had the sweaters in her hands, and proved it by describing them to me in her own... um... words. In my excitement, I agreed to have them ship to us. This was November 11. Upon further reflection, I became less and less confident they would do it. I should have told them to expect a visit from Miz. P. But all's well that ends well. Arrived today; made very welcome:



PS: Miz P. the number for B'sHQ is 703.247.7600. Make sure you talk to customer service and whatever you do, don't let them transfer you to the front.

11.22.2005

Amonorzo update

Over the past months, Amonorzo has been downgraded to my "intermittent" bookmark folder. Every once in a while I'd pull it up and add another comment to his/her last post (it was up to 8 or 9 last I checked). Today, I went there, and all the posts had been deleted, except for the very first one! AAAAGH! All my wheedling and cajoling, and random blathering, and oh! that haiku I left there on Halloween! All gone! Deb's nice comment, too — she was the only other person to comment there — gone gone gone.

I only hope he/she never knew the comments were there (they don't show on the "Edit Posts" page), and was just deleting a bunch of test posts, not being malicious.

But maybe this means Amonorzo's going to start posting! What will this blog be about? Music? Cars? Daily life? The migration habits of the Elegant Trogon? What?

prehistoric jungle, 10 inches wide

I've moved the footed terracotta bowl of succulents inside for the winter. The plants would do fine outside, but the planter would freeze and break. Anyway, in honor of their new status, and because I miss having sun on the balcony, here are some photos I took back in... July? August?



11.20.2005

Saturday

Yesterday, five of us from the comic group ran a workshop up at the teen center in Española. It was kind of a sequel to one that a few of the folks had run last year. Turnout wasn't quite as high as the last one (I understand), but it was a committed group. We talked for a bit, showed some examples, and turned them loose. They all had different approaches and a range of ideas, so we just offered assistance where we could. The whole thing was a great time, and ran about an hour longer than it was scheduled to, so we headed out just before 5.

Friday, the group had kind of (we later found out how vague it was) been invited to participate in a gallery opening at Feral Gallery on Saturday night. Feral is the new form of Skeleton Art (which we've blogged about before), in a new, big warehouse space (at least temporarily). The show opened at 6, we showed up around 530 to some folks who had no idea we were going to be there and weren't quite sure what to do with us. But we brought our own table and stuff, so they gave us a spot over by the "lounge" area in the gallery. The space itself was really once a warehouse, big and open and wall space for a lot of art — great, but a bit cold. We stuck around for a few hours before turning it over to a couple other people in the group. Turns out, it was a great venue — made a respectable number of sales, talked to a whole bunch of interested folks, made friends with the dog that showed up later in the evening and circled the cheese plates.

Laura Brink, who we first saw at the first incarnation of Skeleton Art, didn't have any work hanging. But Jett pointed out to us that she did have a small piece (really, just a couple inches square) in the silent auction. We kind of spent the evening returning back to it, watching the lack of bids. Should we put one in? Wait 'til we're ready to go? It just gets bid up at the last moment anyway . . . . So, as we were on our way out, stopped by; there was one bid. Eh, we decided, let's put in one for a little more. Probably will get outbid at the end of the evening. But, a call today, we got it — the first piece of art we've bought since moving here.

And Monica met her while staffing the table.

Back home earlier than we should probably admit to.

11.16.2005

brrrrr...

Woke up this morning, and the white mulberry in front of our living room window had dropped what was left of its leaves.



Nice view to/from the parking lot. Guess I'll have to be more careful what I wear around the house.

11.13.2005

Santa Fe Japan Festival

Headed over to Santa Fe High School for the Santa Fe Japan Festival for a couple hours today. Arrived just in time for the Taiko drumming.

Wordstock

Wordstock was an event put together by New Mexico Literary Arts (no Web site). Their mission is "to inspire & develop the imaginative use of language and to create opportunites for the integration of literary arts with other artforms throughout New Mexico." They started as the Poetry Center of New Mexico, and in 1997 expanded their mission. Their focus is still undeniably poetry, and they put together an event yesterday bringing together small literary presses.

And they invited our comics group.

There was some discussion, if we would fit in, how our work would go over. But the organizer knows and has worked with some of our members, so we decided to go for it. Plus, it was free. Just needed to bring a dish to pass. We brought bars.

There were about 8-10 groups represented, ranging from small publishers to really small publishers (including an actual letterpress shop), two teen poetry groups, and then us. Turned out be a great time. Many interested folks stopped by to look at our stuff, we even made a few sales. They help, and we're really trying to get the word out since the grant we were wishing and hoping and praying for didn't come through.

There were readings from NMLA members, the Poetry Confessional (where I confessed my sin of not really having read any poetry since high school [and then it was all e e cummings] other than when I dug out In Plaster during the nine-month long stress fracture), readings from teen groups from Española and Taos, the "Haiku Hooha," and various open mike readings.

I especially enjoyed the teens. (There was a fundraising event the comics group put together in Española [Spaña] last weekend that we never quite got to blogging about, a moderate at best success as a fundraiser, but so, so much fun, and it featured a poetry slam from Mind Graffiti, the Spaña group.) Some of those kids are just naturals, and it's great just to see them perform. The Taos group was also pretty terrific and they did some poetry improv. Both groups are trying to put together some money to get out to NYC for a national poetry event.

The whole thing was held at Desert Academy, a middle school in town. Maybe a hundred-ish people were there over the course of the six-hour event. For the most part, people were interested in what we were doing (our door prize of a selection of the group's work was given back by its recipent, but that just meant it found its way to someone who wanted it). But everyone seemed to have a great time; a nice way to spend a cool autumn afteroon.

-=-=-=-=-=-

Day started out at the Farmers Market, which has now moved indoors to El Museo Cultural. The Market connects to the Museum, which still has some altars still set up from Day of the Dead. And it's right next door to Santa Fe Clay, which also still had its Day of the Dead exhibit up, with some truly marvelous pieces.

11.11.2005

for sale at Albertsons



Ginormous chocolate chip cookie in pie tin, with enough frosting to send you into diabetic shock... plus 2 extra human-sized cookies as part of the decoration: $4.99. Remembering to bring the camera with you on errands: priceless.

11.09.2005

phone call

Jett was over for dinner, scanning, and powerpoint last night — in preparation for his guest lecture at IAIA next week — when Serena called his cell.

"Hello... yeah, we're eating now."

"Join us!"

"Monica says you can come over if you want... uh-huh... Serena says she already had dinner... okay, I will... yes, I promise... I'd like to finish eating... no, I won't tell her that... you can tell her yourself."

[hands me phone]

"Hey Serena."

"Jett promised he'd call me back after you guys finish dinner, but if he forgets, you have to bite him for me."

"Uh, can I delegate that to Bram?"

11.07.2005

no big hike this weekend

Sunday we went out for about an hour on the Atalaya Mountain trail out behind St. John's. The first part takes you down to Arroyo Chamiso, then follows a side tributatry/creek bed upstream. This part was rocky and hilly, as the creek twisted and the trail cut across the it, up and over the rises between. Along this part, I saw something, might have been a small coyote or a big fox. Didn't get a real good look.



Or maybe it was just Bram. At about our halfway point up, the trail crossed a road, and then continued up thru more piney woods. This was steeper, but not as rocky. What rocks there were were pinkey-red granite with green lichen.



I was surprised at how many healthy (looking) piñon trees there were. The bark beetles have killed most of the piñon in the lowlands. I guess it's either too cold at higher elevations for the beetles, or the trees get enough water up there so that they're strong enough to fight the bugs off.

We turned around at the ridge where the powerlines crossed the trail. Nice view of the city. Would have been another two miles to the top, but by then, the sun was getting low, it was cooling off and getting chillier in the shade. Saw lots of other people, walking, hiking, jogging (the difference is really just a matter of amount of gear and speed, I guess), mountain biking, walking dogs. Felt good to get outside.

11.01.2005

halloween party

Jett — from 7000 BC — and his roomate Marc threw a Halloween party last night, to which we were invited. Bram wore all black and went as Señor Muerto:



Jett and Marc rent a funky house, and since their other roomate (Tyrrell) moved out, they've converted his old room into a gallery. We got there a bit early, and so I helped Serena (Jett's girlfriend) with some of the setup. Serena was "dressed" as Nessie from Boneyard (yes, that's body paint + pasties — girl is brave!), and I took the easy way out and went as Jenny Sparks:




Marc told everyone he was "a Muppet Zapatista."



We'd been there an hour before Jett made his appearance — final tweaks to his costume — as the Bride of Frankenstein:




There was good food and munchies, including a pan of yummy mac + cheese from "Darryl" and "Earl." They cook pretty good, for construction machinery:



Tyrrell:



One of the hand-shaped candles that dripped red wax "blood"



Serena and her sister, Bride of... uh... Señor Muerto? Hey, I thought I was the bride of Señor Muerto!



And last, but not least, Serena's pygmy African hedgehog: