Thursday, May 31, 2007

"One more cup of coffee 'fore I go..."

Here are some shots from last weekend. This is the main Plaza in Santa Fe. It's like the Ped Mall in Iowa City except the backpacking/loitering set are sporting L.L. Bean and Prada. (I must say I am really enjoying Blogger's new autosave feature usually with a lot of photos I would lose a post like this about four times before it finally posted correctly. What it needs next is a grammar/sentence formation wizard to make up for a lack of close proofreading prior to publishing.)

The Cathedral Church of San Francis of Assisi. Comparatively modern to some of the churches around this state that were built in the 16th century but still impressive.

This was recently converted to a cultural center. I include it here because of the marquee. As you can see by the lineup for this upcoming Saturday June 2nd, this could very well be the last place on earth you will find my friend, El Duderino.

Santa Fe is overloaded with galleries. I really enjoyed the Wyeth family gallery but if I was going to spend several thousand dollars on a single piece of art it would have to be here at Chuck Jones' place first. He is missed.

I spent my last Sunday night in New Mexico on the outskirts of Santa Fe and due to some left over blue laws all the bars closed around midnight so I was in bed fairly early. The next morning after the Band of Brothers mini marathon, another walk around the plaza area, and some lunch I headed back to Albuquerque. I tool the scenic route home behind the Sandia Mt's down Rt. 14, The Turquoise Trail. It was a beautiful drive broken up with some former ghost towns now converted to hippie arts and crafts stores and more galleries.

I finished up my project ahead of schedule yesterday but can not get a flight out of town until my scheduled one on Friday morning. In the meantime I am doing some prep work for the next couple of projects I have lined up and going to enjoy the weather at least. Next stop Iowa.

Monday, May 28, 2007

In Memory

American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy. Photo from Wikipedia

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae (1872-1918)

I spent last night in Sante Fe and this morning woke up and ran across Band of Brothers on The History Channel. It is impossible for me not watch it despite having seen it many times. I am off to explore more of the Plaza area downtown. It is touristy but still pleasant and I only have dirty laundry to look forward to upon return to Albuquerque.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

"Work is the curse of the drinking class"

"To sleep...

"...perchance to dream."

I am sure I have used that Wilde quote before. Time for some more pictures of the boys (Iggy & Hopper respectively).

My weekend will begin this afternoon as we had to work today to ensure project completion by next Friday (or so). I am thinking about catching an Albuquerque Isotopes minor league baseball game this weekend. It appears that the Isotopes ended up relocating to New Mexico despite Dancin' Homer Simpson's best efforts at keeping them in Springfield. Perhaps Sante Fe tomorrow and maybe a trip up to the top of Sandia Mountain either driving The Turquoise Trail or riding the tramway.

Check this out. Bob Mould now has a weekly advice column at the Washington City Paper. Something to tide me over until the new album is released.

Friday, May 25, 2007

I am in desperate need of a beach...

Lake Macbride near the wedding we attended last weekend.

Beach near Sugar Bottom disc golf course. We played a round after the reception.


The pepper tree spilled round us from its source,
and took a lumpish this-way, that-way course,
while dangling hopeful sprays of cinnabar.
You couldn't rest against the grizzled trunk;
its bulby hump, its knurled and craggy scar,
forced you to lean your weight on me instead.
The two of us were just a little drunk,
and sipped the sun-warmed wine to make us bold.

"I'd like to go to Mexico," you said,
"with you, someday, before we're too damn old,"
while in the sky an airplane's vapor trail
politely licked its seal across the sun.
We watched the growing, tantalizing tail,
until it matter-of-factly came undone.

Leslie Monsour
The Alarming Beauty of the Sky
Red Hen Press

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"Candy left over from Halloween, A unified theory of everything..."

A non-stock photo view from near the office.

The view from my room. They have since fixed and filled the pool but we are not allowed to use it until Memorial Day weekend. Let's just say I will not be recommending Extended Stay Deluxe hotels to anyone...ever. Breakfast is cold hard boiled eggs and prune juice and sometimes they have instant oatmeal.

I found this place in Corrales the weekend before last. It is a good 'bar' bar.

I swapped rental cars after returning from Iowa as I didn't really care for the Dodge Charger or its lack of fuel efficiency. I ended up with a Chevy Impala which is not too fancy but it does have XM Radio which I can see myself getting addicted to. My favorite stations so far are called "Fred" and "Ethel" which play mostly trendy alt rock bands from '80s to the present.

I hope to get a chance to visit Sante Fe this weekend. Depends on work of course.

The new Wilco, Sky Blue Sky, is in heavy rotation. There were about six or seven albums that I restrained myself from buying last weekend (Golden Smog, Pink Martini, Guided by Voices live, etc... etc.. )

I am planning on catching a band I don't know very well next week: Pretty Girls Make Graves are on their farewell tour and I like the few songs I have heard from various Matador Records compilations. That and I need to get out and see some of the town before I leave.

Mr. Dirda has reviewed American Food Writing: An Anthology with Classic Recipes, edited by Molly O'Neill, something which arrived in the mail from Library of America last month and is deliciously fun to poke around in. Dirda sums it better of course. It is a great compilation of excerpts, essays, and recipes from the historical such as Thomas Jefferson's ice cream recipe, the literary (Hawthorne, Melville, Thoreau, Stein, Steinbeck), the usual foodies (Brillat-Savarin, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child) as well as more catholic writers (H.L. Mencken, Guy Davenport, David Sedaris.) Hear Molly O'Neill talk about the book from NPR.

Dirda also has a good review of the new Murakami, After Dark, which I have yet to start.

Too many things to try and remember what I wanted to post about when I could not so that was just some of the highlights for now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"Fly By Night"

The blog has been gathering dust so apologies are due.

I went back to Iowa this weekend for a visit and to attend of a wedding. Saturday was a near perfect day for an outdoor wedding and the lakeside setting (Lake Macbride) was beautiful. I took some pictures but will have to wait to upload them. I had to leave around 4:30 Monday morning to make it back to Albuequerque so it was a very quick long weekend at home.

I finally finished reading The Ministry of Special Cases on the plane home and recommend it highly. I also started reading The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon on the plane and couldn't put it down until I finished it last night. Definitely a page turner. Both novels coincidentally deal with Jewish protagonists in tumultuous political times. Nathan Englander's is set in Argentina during the era of 'The Disappeared" while Chabon's is set in the present but in an alternate history version. In this version, the state of Israel collapsed in 1948 and the U.S. offered Sitka, Alaska as a refuge for Jews albeit only for 60 years. The book opens with the deadline for Reversion drawing near and a murder mystery centered around a down on his luck detective. This is Northern Exposure made large and a wonderful noir style narrative. Chabon is at his inventive best.

Next up is Murakami's After Dark which I bought yesterday.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Land of Enchantment

My personal computer options are limited so I can't upload any of my photos. I yanked this off the web but I do have a a similar view of Sandia Mountains from my office. I crossed the Rio Grande again today just to get some coffee. Still feels strange that I am not leaving the country when I do that. More to follow.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Spring Cleaning

The ammo case is from my Army days, the bumper stickers date it generally, but the contents nail down the era before I started purchasing cds. The pictures I posted yesterday and these were taken during a break from cleaning the house and the culling of items for Goodwill. I did throw out some broken tapes but still could not bring myself to get rid of all of them play them much. Some of them I can't even remember buying. Just who exactly where The Lime Spiders? Why did I have some of those soundtracks? If you look closely in the top right hand corner of the ammo box you will notice the Korean edition for Streets of Fire. The rarity of this is being that is not a bootleg copy but an official commerical release.

Sunday I am off to New Mexico for work and posting may be limited during the first hell week of the project until things settle into a routine. I have never been to Albuquerque so I am looking forward to attempting to see some of it. I am bringing along about two months worth of The New Yorker to catch up on and a copy of The Minsitry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander about Jews in Argentina during The Dirty War period of late 1970's. Should be good. I will have to do a post about my trip to Buenos Aires sometime.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Comedy Ain't Pretty

Self Portrait with Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses circa 1992

Self Portrait with prodesign:denmark eyeglasses circa 2004

Self Portrait with half-tinted converted safety glasses by J. Mummey circa 2002

"What's a dazzling urbanite like you doing in a rustic setting like this? "

S. picked up the new Feist yesterday and it does live up to the hype on initial listen. I had never heard of her until last weekend and the owner of Decorum was playing her previous cd in his shop and I thought it was Madeleine Peyroux or Regina Spektor of the recent spate of Billy Holiday style chanteuses. I hope they don't ruin it by throwing a bunch of Grammy's a la Alicia Keys at her. This video was over at I Am Fuel and on SFJ's blog and I can't help but recall...

...the Spike Jonze video for Bjork's Oh So Quiet not as graceful but still fun. This of of course must all go back to Blazing Saddles with Dom DeLuise as the Busby Berkeley director in the fight scene at the end... "Sounds like steam escaping."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Video Killed the Radio Star

The ultimate in anti-videos by The 'Mats. Which reminded me of this video from a collection by New Order (Bon Jovi night on American Idol might have helped in recalling this one too) ...

...which was pretty cool as they had six or seven songs each done by a different director invited in for the project. The above video was directed by Kathryn Bigelow (Point Break). Jonathan Demme did Perfect Kiss and Weimaraner artist William Wegman did one for Blue Monday. I used to have a VHS of this complilation which has long since wandered off. But that sums up my taste for the late 80's if you throw in some Husker Du.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

S. has been working with some new techniques lately in her art.

In addition to the complete new album, Wilco is also streaming a recent show from Australia in the Roadcase section of their website and it sounds really good. Two weeks until the new record and 6 weeks until they come to Iowa. Not that I am excited or anything. Did I mention the band Low will be opening for them? Yummy.