as predicted

About 3 inches of snow overnight, looks like 2.5 or so on the Throckmorton gauge. Also, as promised, my arty snow-and-railing photo.



it's official

Received today: first Christmas card (from the Gardners); big box of lebkuchen from Oma (background):

winter weather advisory

Yes, everyone is all excited here about the possibility of snow. All week I've been at the NOAA weather site, watching the continent-size cloud from the northwest sweep our way. More interestingly, are the reports from some of the blogs I read: yesterday, from Vancouver; today from Utah. It looks like tomorrow, I'm going to have to find a snow-covered railing and post a photo of it.

(PS: If you're not already reading Dooce , you should. 20 million customers can't be wrong.)



So, no hike yesterday. Instead:

Village of Painters: Narrative Scrolls from West Bengal at the Museum of International Folk Art. The work of an Indian caste that traditionally created scrolls telling stories — mythological or historical — and went from town to town, singing the narrative as they unrolled the scroll to tell story. The simple style combines with vibrant colors to create some amazing compositions; and the whole approach resembles sequential art (or "comics").

Casino Royale. Not everything I wanted it to be, and certainly not without its faults, but I think it's the best Bond flick since Bond became Bond, 'round about From Russia With Love or Goldfinger.


Mole Day

Yesterday, headed to Sam and Kimmi's for Mole Day. Not familiar with Mole Day? Following, an excerpt from Sam's Mole Day manifesto:

And I thought, this year, if you like, we could invent our own holiday For example . . . Thanksgiving has a turkey . . . maybe we could have a mole as our holiday's mascot. Moles are cute and harmless. Why aren't they extinct? The other night Kimmi rescued a mole in our backyard. Homer, our cat, wanted to "play" with him until he was dead. I looked at the little mole and thought, "mole, you are so little and slump-shouldered, slow and you can't, it seems, defend yourself. Are you blind, too? Jiminy crickets!" We could celebrate the mole. For its dumb luck and reproductive capabilities. Happy Mole Day! We could make our traditional mole t-shirt,* recreating the honored tradition of "drawing the mole," a tradition done every Mole Day morning, after the first cup of tea or joe. Cap'n Crunch Cereal with Crunchberries could be the traditional breakfast for Mole Day — just a suggestion. And so on.

So, late afternoon we headed on over. Eventually we were joined by two other couples (Cassidy and Zoe, Ryan and Seren) and sat down to the giant pot-luck dinner, which included: sushi, frittata, ceviche, the aforementioned ropa vieja with rice, mashed potatoes, cheese and crackers, and other crunchy, salty snacks. And later, dessert was pumpkin mousse with Cointreau cookies.

We were also treated to a surprise dish, from Sam's childhood in Georgia:


That's iceberg lettuce, with a dollop of mayonnaise, a canned pear half, cheddar cheese, and a cherry on top. After much discussion of what it is called, and what it should be called, we settled on Brendetta — combining Sam's mom's name with vendetta to add that connotation of danger.

The traditional mole day drawings were displayed on the refrigerator.

Making use of the resources of Sam's new pottery studio in the garage, there was also the sculpting of artwork — some of it mole-ish — to be fired this week. There are no photos, sadly, due to the other Mole Day tradition of getting the guys who have never played Xbox and putting controllers in their hand and having them run into walls instead of shooting the monsters like they're supposed to.

Mole Day wrapped up early in the evening, so we continued on to Stacy and Jim's. Their Thanksgiving involves all sorts of special treats from Stacy's job as head chef at a catering company. We arrived after they had finished dinner (but in time to pick at the leftover turkey) and joined the group for some wonderful desserts.

The day-after-Thanksgiving hike has been called due to gray, overcast skies and lingering cough.

* The making of the traditional t-shirt was subsequently rejected as way, way too much effort.

Happy Birthday, Monica

(With T, P, and me; Thanksgiving, 1998)

24 November


gobble gobble

This Thanksgiving we're going to a potluck hosted by one of our 7000 BC friends. Bram will be bringing his traditional day-after-Thanksgiving dish: Ropa Vieja. It's a Cuban dish — slow-cooked beef in a tomato sauce, served over black beans and rice.

So yesterday I'm running errands, grocery shopping for ingredients. Tuesday, the day before the day before Thanksgiving, and everything is mobbed. Lines six people long for every register at Trader Joe's. The Whole Foods parking lot has been converted to one-way traffic only, with rent-a-cops and traffic cones blocking my attempt enter from the back driveway. I end up parking next door at the McDonald's and walking. (Upon returning to my car, I see they've put up a sign at McD's: "Whole Foods Overflow Parking.")

After dodging locals, tourists, and WF employees, I make my way to the meat counter. One of the butcher guys points to me and says "You're next." Great! I figured I'd be behind at least five other people, all picking up their organic, free-range, hormone-free turkeys. I wait while he packages up nearly all of the ground beef in the case for the gray-haired woman to my right. Three football-sized packages, 10 pounds of meat, easy. Waiting for him to finish wrapping, I say to her, "Wow, that's a lot of ground beef."

"I make my own dog food."

Uh, okay. I have no response to that. But I'm thinking: if that's for dog food, why not go to Albertsons, where ground beef is $2.00 cheaper a pound? And: how many dogs does she have? And: does she do this all the time? or is this a special Thanksgiving treat?

But then it's my turn and I ask for two pounds of flank steak. Now, there's no flank steak in the case. Brisket and flap meat are the closest options. I figure butcher guy will offer up one or the other and I'll ask which would be better (the meat is slow-cooked, then shredded, then marinated overnight, then added to the tomato sauce and re-heated). Instead, he says, "Hang on, I'll go get some." Cool! He comes back with 1.86 pounds of meat, and I dither about whether that's enough. I decide no, it's not, and he comes back with another piece that ups the total to 2.34 pounds. Too much, but whatever — better to have leftovers than not enough, we can freeze some of it.

As he's wrapping up the flank steak, butcher guy asks what I'll be eating for Thanksgiving. I tell him he's looking at it and give him a brief description of Ropa Vieja. Surprised, he says, "Most people who come to Whole Foods get those organic, free-range, hormone-free turkeys. Me, I'm having wild turkey for Thanksgiving. Y'know where I get that?"

"From the bottle?"

He laughs, "You got it! 100 proof! Have a great day and a blessed Thanksgiving!"


RK in SF

We first saw Reckless Kelly in concert almost 10 years ago. While on vacation visiting S. at Chinati, out in east Texas, a co-worker of his suggested that we go to the neighboring town (about 60 miles away) to check out a band that was playing there that evening. We headed out, passing by the Marfa Lights, to Railroad Blues. And we had a great time. It was a big place, with a friendly crowd and great selection of beer, and Reckless Kelly, playing for tips. We were blown away — they put a great show with an energetic country-rock sound, and capped it off with their take on "You Shook Me All Night Long," complete with a fiddle solo and jam that, I swear, went on for an hour.

A few months later, I tracked them down online, intending to get a CD for Monica's birthday. And discovered that they had just been in Arlington, at the bar a couple blocks up the street. But they returned several times over the years and we managed to catch them, always enjoying the shows.

Santa Fe doesn't really get a lot of touring musicians. Just after we moved here, The Paramount closed down, which we've come to understand was the preeminent performance space. Plus, it really is kind of out of the way of the major markets. So I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from the RK mailing list announcing their show in town at Santa Fe Brewing. It was last night, and Shriek came along with us.


Another dynamic performance. They mixed in a lot of their older material with the new, and a couple Richard Thompson covers. A few folks in the crowd seemed to know their music, but it wasn't long before the floor was crowded with dancers (and I mean some couples who could really two-step) and new fans. It was the first time they stopped off in Santa Fe, and I know there's a lot of people who will want to see them return.

I'd brought along my old RK hat, picked up years ago. Figured if I could get the band to sign it, I'd retire it and pick up a new one.

Opening act was The Ryan McGarvey Band, whose blues-rock mix really geared up the crowd.


Dueling Spaceports

Well, looks like Jeff Bezos is muscling in on our territory.

We've actually been to Van Horn. More specifically, we've been to the McDonald's there before making the right turn to Marfa.


Halloween party

Jett, ShRiek, and Will rent an old adobe house. ShRiek says it's haunted, and apparently they have other problems, too:

Paulie, the saddest zombie ever:

Tyrrell, the zombie who had an entire battalion of little plastic "national guard" men out to get him:

Marshmallow girl, Benji the Mummy, Punkinhead girl:

Shriek as a sort of punk, patched-up rag doll; the Virgin-o-Guadalupe jack-o-lantern she made:


Bram as Señor Muerto (again), ShRiek lurking; Pirate John snuffs his Backdraft; time for me to cut the cake: