Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Q

Now, I freely admit that I'm not the best person to determine how cool something is, but even I know that having a stodgy, city government toady declare that a new nickname/branding effort is "hip" is probably one of the best ways to ensure that it, well... isn't.





Via the crazy kids at Soy De Burque.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Whoozit

If at first you don't succeed...



We are expecting a kid! Assuming all goes well, said kid will join us in early March (estimated date of arrival: 3/6/08). I am 13 weeks pregnant today, and we had an early screen ultrasound yesterday. The image revealed a twitching, kicking, thrashing little being who gave the ultrasonographer some problems getting her measurements. Took us over an hour to get the screening done - which was no real problem as we sat captivated by the wriggling image on the monitor. I personally enjoyed watching it "gulp" amniotic fluid. That was nifty!



We do not know what sex the kid is, nor will we find out until it joins us in the world, so until that time my mom is calling it "Whoozit" (which Ty occasionally alternates with "Whoozette").



I only got tiny prints of images - nothing in electronic format - but the kid looks something like this.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pictures!

Hey everyone! Here are some random pictures from New Mexico! I've posted a few here, but you can look at the whole set (and view it like a slideshow and zoom in and so forth) here

Our House
Our living room.

Denise and Courtney

Courtney and her mom in downtown Albuquerque. Denise came to visit for a few days and then decided to move out here. She's coming in mid-September.

Courtney and Dogs

Courtney giving the dogs some water on one of our many hikes.

One Tree Cliff

A tree on a cliff in the Jemez mountains. We camped near it.

Glorieta Car

A hulk of car we came across on a hike up to a ghost town. Naturally, it's riddled with bullet holes.

Chilili

There are a lot of strange towns in the New Mexico mountains. I have a friend who's a cop in the East Mountain area, and I asked him about Chilili. "They think they're their own country," he said. "We pretty much leave them alone."

Near Tesuque

Mountains and sky on the road from Santa Fe to Taos.

Road to Taos

Great place to live. If you like living on the Moon.


So, there you go: as promised, random pictures from New Mexico. That's only about a third of what I've got in the flickr photo set, so if you want to see more,go to it!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

This Week There Was Hell

This week, there was Hell, carried on the wind from California. 350 square miles of wildfire near Santa Barbara sent smoky tendrils to wreath around our city. They came and coalesced and settled in a stagnant August heat, turning our horizon a sooty, Los Angelesque brown, inflaming sinuses and tempers.

Albuquerque is not known for being a beautiful city, but one feature that we rely on to make up for the dingy streets of the metropolis is the ever-present sight of Sandia Mountain standing crisp and huge against a perfect sky. To look east and see our mountain hazy and indistinct in an oppressive smog is heartbreaking.

For two days the cloud squatted on us as the temperatures soared to the low 100s. Then, last night at about 1AM, the wind started to roar. Today we awoke to the return of our beloved sky, and a hope that summer may end after all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Whims of the Domiwaitrex

Over at Mannie's Diner, a greasy student ghetto standard with good pancakes but NOT (despite the marquee's claims otherwise) "great huevos rancheros", the Domiwaitrex rules with a bloodied iron fist. In her 50s, her body is beaten into shape, much like Madonna's or pre-epiphany Jamie Lee Curtis, and her face is a perpetual sneer pulled tight by a brutal pony-tail. Sunday morning is the time to see her in her savage glory, slinging french toast and insults, the path between her section and the kitchen an encierro of the South West. Ordering from her is a Soup Nazi-esque nightmare, her words are clipped, questions are answered only with a whithering, scornful glare, and the slightest hesitancy in decision making will result in her immediate disappearance and a ten minute wait to try again.

Courtney and I love her.

We make pilgrimages to see her. We don't say "Let's go to Mannie's," we say "Let's go watch the Domiwaitrex." We always sit in her section, and the resultant entertainment is invariably the high point of the day as she reduces newcomers to tears and tosses regulars out on their asses.

But this Sunday, something unexpected and unsettling occurred.

Somehow, and this really is a bit of a problem, she took a liking to us.

I say "somehow", but I know how. You see, we've watched her long enough, sat in her section enough times, that we know how to behave. And this Sunday, in a fit of inspiration, we ordered by number.

"Oh," she said, a peculiar, un-Domiwaitrix like giddiness creeping into her normally stern voice. "Why can't all my customers be so efficient?"

We were shocked. And even more so when our food came out less than five minutes later, and, as we noted, well ahead of the couple across the aisle from us who had been seated well before we were.

"Efficient customers get their meals served efficiently," she cooed.

Needless to say, we were terrified. The vampire was inviting us 'round for a few boardgames. The scorpion was sweetly asleep in our lap. The werewolf had brought us our slippers.

We ate quickly, tipped well, and left.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Regarding Chile

At the flea market they were roasting chile, iron mesh drums hand rotated above naked flame, chile smoke filling the air with an acrid, wholesome smell. This is the real sign that autumn is coming, that soon things will cool down and the light will turn golden. But there is no cause for relief quite yet, the chile is only Hatch, after all.

Yes, only Hatch chile. If you know much about chile, but live outside the state, it may surprise you to hear the Hatch is hardly the gourmand's choice when it comes to chiles. Hatch is, after all, the green chile capital of the world, and in terms of quantity, it can't be beat. Additionally, it is, as far as I know, the only town that consistently and reliably exports its crop to other states, to the extent that chile verde is popularly referred to as Hatch chile in ignorant places like Texas. But at the end of the day, it's a workhorse chile, flavorful and spicy enough to form the backbone of chile consumption in those long months between harvest seasons, and to give lost New Mexicans in other places some nostalgic remembrance of the real stuff. But, by no means should it be considered the finest New Mexico has to offer.

For that, you must look to the North. Almost every small Northern New Mexican town has its own chile fields, and when those harvests come in, let your mouth water. There is a variety of flavor and heat that can please the tongue, and the myriad strains refined over centuries in the mountains of Northern New Mexico provide a cornucopia for the sampling. My own favorite remains the chile from Chimayo, never too hot, but emphasizing a deep and wholesome flavor. Sadly, there is never enough for export, not even down to Albuquerque, and pilgrimages must be arranged if you want your green fresh and delicious.

It is safe to say that Autumn is why we moved back here. Soon the air will be crisp, the aspens in the mountains will burst into colors, and the air will fill with the smells of the real chile harvest. Until then, the smells of roasting Hatch bring a sweet anticipation that will ease our way through the last heats of summer.