Which makes it about 40 degrees cooler up there

Yes, that's a dusting of snow hail (more likely) up in the mountains this evening.


Prairie Puppies

Over the past week or so, I've noticed the emergence of prairie pups. They're just a bit bigger than a mouse right now (and lack the little pot bellies), and, according to a neighbor who's been watching them, they shadow the activities of the adults.

I headed down the hill this morning to get a picture. Keep in mind that, despite what you see on CSI, you can't just enlarge and enhance a photo.

As I got closer, they scurried into their hole. And, thanks to this guy continuing to sound the alarm for as long as I stood there, they all stayed below ground.

Yesterday, we headed over to the Farmers Market for a Santa Fe Baking Company burrito breakfast. The Market was pretty crowded, and some of the produce is really starting to come in.

Then to the Santa Fe Outlets for the Circus De Arte. The outlets are way on the south end of town; there are a few of the usual outlet sort of stores, but a fair amount of vacancies as well. Last year, Peanut Gallery set up shop there and started running exhibitions. For this event, artists took over the vacant stores and set up their work, and there were activities and performances in the central common areas. We checked out the art and stuck around a bit for some trapeze and tumbling by Wise Fool.


wrangling kids for fun + profit*

At a poetry slam earlier this year, Ryk from 7000 BC met the Education Coordinator at SFAI. As a result, she asked Ryk and 7000 BC to teach two two-week summer workshops on making comics.

Ryk's done some workshops before, but they're usually one-offs. This was his first time teaching over an extended period. And I'd never done anything like it before. But, because of my "freelancer's" (read: "empty") schedule, I was the only other one in the group who could help Ryk out every day. A few others from the group came for mornings, or the odd day, and one guy — whose nephew was in the class — came most days. Which was good, because we needed all the help we could get.

There were about 10 kids in the workshop (it fluctuated, depending on other day camps/activities), ages ranging from 7 to 12. The kids were amazing: really creative and, dang, full of, uhm... energy. The mother of one of the more, shall we say, "outgoing" kids told Ryk, "he's like this all the time." I don't know how she's not dead. I honestly don't know how teachers, who handle three times as many kids, for twice as long, every day, aren't dead! (Amy S., Kelly DeG., Jen G., you all should be making, like, a million dollars a year, as far as I'm concerned.) Ryk's curriculum ran, more or less, week 1: learn the parts (comics in general, story, characters, drawing techniques, planning), and week 2: putting everything together. It didn't quite work out that way; most kids just wanted to jump right in and draw their stuff. I'm not sure how much of the planning/background stuff sunk in.

[click photos for larger]


But, in the end, they all got to make their own (xeroxed) books, which was super cool. Sample titles: Of Dragons + Frogs; Elephant Town, Part 3; CIA Slug; and The Ham Demon of Dooooooom! I got to take them down to the admin offices (one or two at a a time, thankfully), and show them how to make the master pages for copying, and teach them how to put their books together. That was my favorite part... well, that and going out for beers after the workshop ended last Friday.
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* All $$ went to 7000 BC — someday we'll print Hospital Stories...


happy anniversary, Mom + Dad!

14 June 1969


Happy Birthday, M

Mexican Comic Book Covers

Headed up to Museum Hill for a little while today to check out the Mexican Comic Book Covers exhibit at The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art.

There's only about a dozen pieces of art, most of which are reproduced in this article on the exhibit at The Santa Fe New Mexican — free registration required, but you're already registered, right? (Image above is from the online article.)

DJ Rocque Spinning Funk on the Plaza



Notes from the Road

Off in North Carolina again for press check; the flurry of activity has just about started, but the real sleep deprivation hasn't yet begun.

The flight yesterday wasn't bad — but it began with this bit of weirdness at the airport. The good news: you no longer have to take your shoes off; the bad: it probably doubles the amount of time to get through security. That might improve, the machines had just been installed this past week and it's still new to everybody.

more my speed...

Okay, so, after getting hated on by all the teenage girls at Threadless, I discovered that the parent company has another site called Naked + Angry. It works the same way as Threadless (submit/rated by members), but instead of T-shirts, it's for fabric designs — like repeating patterns and such. (If you win they make ties or something with your pattern.) The nerdiness of making a repeating pattern plus the art/decorative part equals something I really dig.

Plus it seems to be a smaller, more adult, community of contributors/members, so things are more polite/constructive, and the submissions are approved and up for voting in 24 hours (versus 4 to 7 days for Threadless). I submitted FIVE patterns over the past few days, and they're all up right now: square spiral (look familiar?); swirl botanical; comb; tribe angles; and rangey.

Who knows, maybe I'll win something! ...eh, probably not, but I'm having a lot more fun over there.


Chamisa Trail hike

If you do something twice, does that make it a tradition? For Memorial Day, we went on a hike. Our copy of Day Hikes in the Santa Fe Area rates Chamisa Trail "easy." And I suppose, as far as technical aspects go, it's a straightforward hike. But lordy, it was a lot of uphill. I shouldn't have been surprised, it was up in the Sangres.

We parked at the trailhead on Hyde Park Road — the route up to the ski basin — not too far out of town, and set out. Or rather, up. The guide describes the beginning of this hike as "climb[ing] sharply." Heh. It is to laugh. That is, if I could breathe. Here's the part descibed as "narrow... along a steep dugway." Well, they got that right. Don't look down!

The trail starts at about 7800 feet, goes up to a midpoint where several trails intersect (8500 feet), then back down to 7900 feet at our destination — a meadow by Tesuque Creek. Here's the laminated-map-on-a-post that was at the midpoint. I've highlighted our hike in yellow:

The meadow at the end was quite nice, with wild iris and something that looked like yellow lupine. We sat by Tesuque Creek and had lunch. [click top 3 pix for larger]


We took an alternate route back from the midpoint (highlighted in green), which was more of a straight downhill, following the drainage contour, rather than switchbacking like the first part. At the end, where the trail opened out, were the first — and only — chamisa bushes we saw on the whole trail. Round trip, just shy of 5 miles.

Steaks for dinner.