Vintage Cars on the Plaza, 2011

Among the reasons I got home late last night was Santa Fe Vintage Car Club's annual Cruise Night on the Plaza.

Because I was already late, only time for another one of those running continuous photo movies. Anyone else as amused as I am by these?

Favorites include the Saab Sonnet, the (not really vintage) Aston DB9, and that Charger again.


The Due Return

Saturday — finally, would've missed it if the exhibit hadn't gotten extended — to the The Due Return, a production of the local arts collective Meow Wolf at the Muñoz Waxman Gallery.

Open 'til 10:00! Madness! What's open 'til 10:00 in Santa Fe?

"An inter-dimensional ship has settled on an alien landscape. Once a seafaring vessel, it now bares [sic] the marks of its previous voyages; a hodgepodge of transport devices and retro-fitted technologies."

With a pitch that sounds like it could be a booth at Comic-Con and a having dominated a first-of-its-kind fundraiser, I was dubious. The phrase "self-indulgent" came to mind, and this is from a guy who loses money printing his own comics about flying spies.

There was due to be a performance that evening, but we weren't necessarily planning around that. Really, had no idea what to expect.

It defies easy explanation. It's boat, really. I mean, it's not whole, it can't float, but there's a two-level boat built in this space. You can walk into it, climb up and down and explore its various rooms. And it's just the backdrop for the display of all kinds of artifacts. Set in a space with adobe caves constructed around, and odd creatures surrounding.

When we arrived 'round 8:00, Round Mountain had already started their performance. The duo's music gave us a Great Big Sea meets Devotchka kind of vibe and was a great accompaniment to exploring the nooks and crannies of the ship. On the top deck, there was quite a crowd.

We hung out there for more than an hour, stopping to listen to the band, back down to wander through the ship and the rest of the installation. To take photos.

I counted well over 100 people there. Plenty of of all ages listening to the band, art patrons also not knowing what to expect, teenagers hanging out (looking to me like that's how they'd been spending their summer nights, at the gallery), kids scrambling all over the boat, high school friends catching up. The Due Return is an accomplishment, even more impressive for the crowd and the atmosphere it creates.



Photo by Gary from their recent visit; you be the judge if this relates to the post's title at all

This past week, Santa Fe was named the 16th worst-dressed city in America by GQ. Predictably, this being New Mexico, the news has been greeted … well, by not much, really. Mostly I'm just offended that the writeups aren't funnier and the photos rarely illustrate the point.

Santa Fe Style is a cliché, and playing off cities' stereotypes is easy and harmless. Sure, we got more cowboy boots and hats, bolo ties, long flowy outfits, turquoise, and big silver belts than most, but from where I sit, it's mostly kind of gear-y like Boulder, as well as plenty of dudes in brown flip-flops. Near my office, a good number of gray suits, and lots of tourists to skew the results. Last night at an art event* — on the lookout, thinking about this post — most of what was worn really could have been found anywhere; the teens, especially.

But at least we're not Boston.

* Working on that post next


The Post-Dinner Ritual

For some reason, it's not as important after breakfast. Hey, there hasn't been a dog post in, like, forever.


New Shelves, Completed

Since Mon was getting some good photos for Jim's Web site, here are the finished shelves:

Click for much larger; seemed a shame to waste all that high-res Photoshop work.

And for the truly bored curious Raph, here's how it's arranged; left to right, top to bottom:
  • McSweeneys 4, 6, 7, 10, 13–19 (2 is on the signed shelf; unsure what happened to the rest); wedding pottery from Kevin and Amy, all relocated from the living room, making space for a couple Lydias
  • painting Joey gave us as thanks for a drafting table years ago
  • Emigre 16–32
  • gardening books; tin of seeds
  • home decorating/repair books
  • assorted fiction
  • turned wood bowl from Ange + Gary; two pottery bowls made by my grandfather
  • the looted art library; reproduction Eastern European icon
  • assorted travel books; Drac-in-a-Box
  • to-read shelf
  • trade paperbacks
  • trade paperbacks
  • trade paperbacks
  • trade paperbacks
  • trade paperbacks
  • trade paperbacks with room for expansion; Spinney and Critter
  • trade paperbacks
  • oversized comics
  • paperback books, mostly guilty pleasures

It's best not to look too closely at what's behind the doors, but at least one is collectible magazines.

Another view here; and since she was doing all the staging and rephotographing, a new one of the table Jim made a couple years back


Shakes on a Train!

Featuring New Glasses!

(Shown here in their not-transitioned, indoor mode).

Hopped the train with Danny to the 7000 BC meeting in Albuquerque, on one of its last days of weekend service.

And on the way back — got ourselves into the car behind the engine for Shakespeare on the Rail:

It started last year, but the schedule never worked for this; I didn't even check, thinking it wouldn't again, but Jeff pointed it out. Four love scenes from three plays (Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummers Night's Dream). About a half-hour, good fun watching the scenes unfold up and down the aisles and around the crowd.


Yep. Squirrel starts fire at Los Alamos.

In all seriousness, we're grateful that the fire's progress has slowed and that residents are returning to Los Alamos. And there's still danger, especially to some historical sites, but I'm hopeful.


New Shelves …

… being assembled right now.

The future home of all this. And probably more, since it looks like yet another bookshelf reorg will follow.


The First ACE

Albuquerque had its own first major comic con this past weekend, the Albuquerque Comic Expo. Like most of the members of 7000 BC, we got our own table in Artist Alley. The group still had a booth on the main floor, and I figured it'd be best served as kind of an indie comic lounge to show off the work of our members and friends and direct attendees to our booth. Thanks to Jeff and his scenic design shop, it happened:

We arrived after 10:30 on Friday morning; Mon got to setting up the first ever Panel Press table, and I got to blowing up balloons. It was her idea to give yellow helium-filled balloons to those associated with 7000 BC (our local members, plus some out-of-town friends we've met along the way) to make them easier to find. It was all a mad blur there for a couple hours, but then we settled into our table between Jamie and guest artists Mitch and Bettie. We were along a row with a few members and some Coloradans we know, and across from Danny, Ryk, and Dale who had some long-awaited new releases.

As expected, a slow day. Got time to explore a bit, visit, figure out what we were doing and where the closest Subway was. The evening rolled around, and we found our way to a bit of a Drink and Draw at the newly renovated Hotel Andaluz. A fun time sketching, making fun of sketches, visiting and hearing publishing stories from Larry and Sharon. It got late, we hadn't eaten anything proper in quite some time, so decided to just duck over to the hotel restaurant (still seating at 10:00!). A late arrival to the party looked like he needed a meal, so we invited him along. And so passed a fascinating evening with Brady, hearing about his path through the Air Force, physics, and skeleton to independent publishing.

Stayed at one of the con hotels; up reasonably early but delayed at breakfast, but still there in plenty of time. Again with the balloons (learning the afternoon previous how quickly the helium dissipates) and making sure that Pete was well set with help at the booth, then back to our table for the day. But for a couple hours it never got busy, but there was mostly steady interest through the afternoon. Slowed down during the day, offering time to visit with Brian and some others at the booth.

As the day ended, I didn't want to be in charge of the whole group of members and friends, but also wanted to offer something to do. We went our separate ways to snack, then headed over to Anodyne, where gradually a group gathered. It was gratifying to see people meet and catch up, but at a certain point we needed to head on for dinner. Opted to return to the hotel, but here's the crazy thing: at 10:30, there were places still open. We forget what that's like here in Santa Fe, where after 9:00, you're down to just a couple options if you're lucky. And the streets were even teeming with activity! Madness.

Sunday, more balloons, and then underway. There was good (and repeat) traffic, our sales for the two days were about equal. Somewhere along the way, I realized that we'd never really been around for the end of a con (other than STAPLE!) because we had to travel out Sunday evening, so we were finally privy to the secret con closing activities.

Helped Jeff pack out some of the booth, but had to dash to get the houndie. On the drive, we first spotted that plume that's now been causing so much trouble. But last night — and no idea how much or if it helped — actual rain for almost 20 minutes.

The con? An awful lot of fun, always meeting new folks but getting to spend some time with friends. It was clear this was the city's first show like this, attendees clearly unprepared for what awaited them. But they're on for next year, and so are we.

As noted, more photos at Flickr; still trying to wrangle a few more out of other people.