Monthly Archives: March 2014

road trip road trip road trip road trip fig newtons

clean car full gas tank I-25 chili fields Hatch meringue-peaked mountain top kitty corner to I-10 big skies big skies big skies blue relentless skies police thriller DVD oh oh Phoenix ugly chaotic west west west mountains now broad valleys rocky stony mountains to 15 traffic multiplies X 1000 south to the 91 west to Redondo Beach Teresa Steven love California



Sara, the Cheerleader 2014

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And there's Sara again, tall kid, second from left

And there’s Sara again, tall kid, second from left guessed right...

Yeah…you guessed right…


Big Guns

Watching Tuesday night’s NCIS, lots of blood and shooting and slit throats. Sunday night on Good Wife, big courtroom shooting (yeah, darn it, Will’s dead). Russian’s walking around borders of other people’s countries with lots of big guns, plane load of passengers down at the bottom of the sea and the Albuquerque cops are seriously out of control and they have power and they have lots of big guns just like the Russians. Pretty much blood and guts and guns wherever I turn. And I’m participating willingly with my corporate media masters as far as the two-dimensional gun battles go. Oh oh, commercial’s over; gotta make sure none of my favorite agents are gunned down. Only place that’s violence-free is my work where I spent today working on a sweet little newsletter packed with photos of art and artists and friends and teachers. So what’s a nice non-violent photo for today?

Norwegian Mountainside. Doesn't look anything like this but the photo didn't scan well so I fixed it.

Norwegian Mountainside. Doesn’t look anything like this but the photo didn’t scan well so I fixed it.

Road Songs

One of the BEST things about road trips is that you can PACK AS MUCH AS YOU WANT.

One of the BEST things about road trips is that you can PACK AS MUCH AS YOU WANT.

I need road songs. I didn’t take care of my DVDs and now they are scratched and melted and all used up. But I need road songs because Friday I am on my way to California. Not so many travels this year but now the urge is getting stronger…I’ll appease it on the 10, 15 and 91 to Teresa’s house and then the 5 down to Scott’s in San Diego. I’m practicing California speak…the 6 to the 3 to the 12 exit at the 86 onto the 17 keep going to the 42 left lane ease onto the 204…  I am excited. Haven’t been out of Albuquerque, New Mexico since sometime last fall. Can cabin fever extend to a town, a state?

Maybe I’ll buy a DVD of “O’Brother” tomorrow because it is not possible to drive out of town without “You are My Sunshine” at full volume, a Starbucks in hand with Albuquerque in my rearview mirror.

Maybe my grandchildren can help me out of the DVD age and I’ll have hundreds of tunes on the way back.


Old Friends

Susanna, Jane, Bob and me. Some of us 'older' friends than others.

Susanna, Jane, Bob and me. Some of us ‘older’ friends than others.

Old friends, old friends
Sat on their park bench like bookends
A newspaper blown through the grass
Falls on the round toes
Of the high shoes of the old friends

Old friends, winter companions, the old men
Lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sun
The sounds of the city sifting through trees
Settle like dust on the shoulders of the old friends

Can you imagine us years from today?
Sharing a park bench quietly
How terribly strange to be seventy

Old friends, memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fears

Time it was and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you

Simon and Garfunkel


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Yesterday I talked about how much I like my dentist. Today my affections have transferred to my haircutter. Lots of good people in my daily life actually. Today my work peers, tomorrow acquaintances and friends in the arts community and also a few of my best friends. Sunday I will write because next I want to join a community of writers.

Webster’s says community is “…the people with common interests living in a particular area…the area itself…an interacting population of various kinds of individuals in a common location….a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society…a group linked by a common policy…a body of persons of common esp. professional interests scattered through a larger society…”

Is my haircutter in one of my communities? My State Senator? My son? Or does my community mean a place like my street, the North Valley, all of Albuquerque? Of course the answer is all of the above.

Think of your world as one of overlapping circles, each representing a different community. It’s fun. One circle is your support community—dentist, haircutter, doctor, landlord. Other circles will be filled by the people with whom you work, dance aficionados, writers, New Mexico artists, fellow Democrats. Then there are best friends and family. You will find the circles all overlap to a larger or smaller extent. The result is that you feel sheltered and encircled (in a good way–usually); those circles can so aptly lend  themselves to a sense of mental, emotional and physical well-being.

A few of my favorite examples of community:

  • A big group of friends share my love of contemporary dance but they live in every corner of the globe.
  • New Mexico artist friends live here and sometimes we also work on politics together; I hope to join some in their writers’ community. A few are also my best friends and we meet socially.
  • My San Diego son and I are increasingly sharing a foodie interest, along with a few friends here. Maybe I’ll try to enter his hiking world at the very edges.
  • My haircutter friend overlaps in a few of my circles also. He is the friend of friends, supports me by cutting my wispy hair with no fuss and he works at a downtown club in my neighborhood.
  • There will soon be a new restaurant on side of my apartment, my landlord lives next door on the other side, and my State Senator one street over. It’s my ‘hood.
  • I drive four miles between my apartment and workplace, past the newish grocery store on one corner, the gas station where I usually go on another, the drugstore where I get my meds. And on it goes.

I have felt just a bit morose today. Soreness where that tooth used to be, headache, a little stressed about work. Then I started imagining all the supporting circles around me and now I feel fine.

So here’s where I get my hair cut. Obviously the place of an artist/designer.

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Ice Cream and Pain Pills

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In four months, I’ve had an emergency appendectomy, ectropion (lower eyelids causing extreme dry eyes) surgery and a tooth pulled. Before that only one surgery in many many years for a broken elbow. Nothing very serious among these incidents and all dealt with appropriately by the doctors and dentist. The only downside, other than fairly brief discomfort and a somewhat depleted bank account, was having to be in an actual hospital in the appendix case. Wow, if my organization functioned as haphazardly, redundantly and expensively as the hospital I visited, we would have closed down long ago. But they didn’t kill me for which I am grateful.

Today was the unexpected tooth pulling. I find myself a fan of the art of dentistry in general and my dentist, Dr. Tom Baiamonte, in particular. You can call and, even without it being a dire emergency, your dentist will see you very soon. You will get to talk to him for as long as you feel the need and then the appropriate action will be taken. And—try to imagine this with a doctor—your dentist will give you his cell phone number in case there is a problem over the weekend. Honestly! All for a relatively reasonable fee. Of course there’s a small downside called the Novocain needles and the drill but that passes fairly quickly. And the dental office never ever charges you hundreds/thousands of dollars an hour for having walked through the front door, used the bathroom, and taken four aspirin like the aforementioned hospital.

I am a little sad though; I celebrated the broken elbow incident with a couple days of ice cream and pain pills which kept me in a pleasantly dreamy state. But now with three physical interventions in such a short period of time, I find I’m tired of both the ice cream and the pills. So I’ll do it this evening but henceforth I am switching to Acorn Squash Soup and a Bloody Mary. Or Gazpacho and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Or Cheese Whiz and Bud.

My Christmas Tree and Things

My Christmas tree finally got to go out and play, with its friend the cactus.

My Christmas tree finally got to go out and play, with its friend the cactus.

My yard is full of really beautiful rocks that Ben my landlord collects.

My yard is full of really beautiful rocks that Ben my landlord collects.

This tiny but exclusive (I'm told) restaurant is opening right next door to my apartment. I am excited about this although I'm not sure I can ever afford to eat there.

This tiny but exclusive (I’m told) restaurant is opening right next door to my apartment. I am excited about this although I’m not sure I can ever afford to eat there.


Today is Tuesday. Work was intense, all 10 hours of it. I came home and ate some cheese with mayo on it because I’m not eating bread. I watched six segments of Scandinavian Film and Television. It’s interesting but if I were watching all of the films and documentaries described it would be much more fun–like seeing Babette’s Feast again after all this time. But I’m very tired so now I’ll just look for a photo to include and go to bed. Here’s the menu from Babette’s Feast instead of a photo.Thanks to Wikipedia of course..

The menu responsible for their pleasure features “Blini Demidoff au Caviar” (buckwheat cakes with caviar and sour cream); “Potage à la Tortue” (turtle soup); “Caille en Sarcophage avec Sauce Perigourdine” (quail in puff pastry shell with foie gras and truffle sauce); “La Salad” featuring Belgian endive and walnuts in a vinaigrette; and “Les Fromages” featuring Blue Cheese, papaya, figs, grapes and pineapple. The grand finale dessert is “Savarin au Rhum avec des Figues et Fruit Glacée” (rum sponge cake with figs and glacéed fruits). Numerous rare wines, along with various champagnes and spirits, complete the menu. Babette’s purchase of the finest china, flatware, crystal and linens with which to set the table ensures that the luxurious food and drink is served in a style worthy of Babette, who is none other than the famous former Chef of “Café Anglais”. Babette’s previous occupation has been unknown to the sisters until she confides in them after the meal.

And, for your cooking pleasure, here’s the recipe for the Turtle Soup.

(Green Turtle Soup)

This recipe was taken from the notebooks of Adolphe Duglere, the
best known chef of the Cafe Anglais.

1 live green turtle (about 5 kilos)
1 recipe for consomme (recipe follows)
1 recipe for chicken-meat stock (recipe follows)
Madeira (or sherry)
l bouquet garni (basil, marjoram, rosemary, savory,
thyme and parsley tied together in muslin)
l bouquet garni of peppercorns and coriander
4 medium carrots
l small cabbage
1 turnip
1 large unpeeled apple
salt and pepper to taste
croutons for serving (recipe follows)

1. Slaughter the turtle and hang it to bleed for 3 – 4 hours.

2. Butcher the turtle, setting aside separately the breastplate
and carapace, the meat and the innards. Clean the innards well.

3. Cut the carapace and breast plate into pieces and plunge these
into a large pot with rapidly boiling water. Let the pieces
blanch for 5 minutes. Drain rapidly, run the pieces under cold
water and remove and discard the outer sheilds that cover them.

4. Place the cleaned pieces in a large saucepan and cover
generously with the consomme. To the saucepan both bouquet
garnis, the vegetables and the apple. Over a high flame bring
just to a boil. Immediately lower the flame and simmer gently,
uncovered, for about 7 hours.

5. While the consomme is simmering, bone the turtle meat and cut
into 1 cm cubes. Place the meat in the chicken-beef stock, bring
just to a boil, reduce the flame and let simmer just until the
meat is tender (about 2 hrs). Keep the meat warm in the stock.

6. When the carapace and breast plates have finished cooking,
strain the soup through a cloth, heat through and add 2 cups of
Madeira (or sherry) to each litre of stock. Heat through. A few minutes
before serving stir in two-three tsp. of the Amontillado sherry to be served with the meal.

7. Immediately before serving place the turtle pieces in the
soup. Garnish with the croutons and serve at once.

Note: This soup should be served with a medium-dry Amontillado

Note: If using tinned turtle meat, follow all of the above steps
simply substituting additonal turtle meat for the carapace and
breast plates used in preparing the stock.

From a blog:

Scott’s Birthday

March 14th was my eldest son’s birthday. He is quite old. Here he is over the years.

He's not quite this cute anymore--but close

He’s not quite this cute anymore–but close

School Days...during the clean cut years

School Days…during the clean cut years

After I stopped selecting his clothes it was all downhill

After I stopped selecting his clothes it was all downhill

He's not getting older, he's just getting better--or at least holding his own

He’s not getting older, he’s just getting better–or at least holding his own

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