Filed under: ABQjournal, Albuquerque, anxiety, Autumn, awesome!, awkward, beautiful, big weather, borracho, business is business, Celebration, curious, doooooom!, fall, fire, fun, latent childhood, life, light, Love, make it work, mariachi, melancholy, memories, New Mexico, nostalgia, Opinions, play through, pondering, Santa Fe, sigh, where I come from, zia
Here I have been railing about pumpkin flavored dog days of summer and it turns out My Fair New Mexico had a gut punch to deliver.
Oh Fair, how I adore you, but is it *really* time to burn Zozobra again? I guess it is.
I always really enjoy watching Old Man Gloom burn away my troubles, but to be honest it’s 70 degrees and today I sat out on the patio at lunchtime and drank lemonade while a strappy sandal dangled from a toe.
How can I have gloom in this gorgeous summer weather?
Argh! Not ready, not ready, not ready, : covers ears : lalalalalalalalala I can’t heeeear you!
To assuage my sadness, I sought out my coworker, a fellow New Mexican (not a native but lived in Santa Fe for many years) and said “dude, did you know they burn Zozobra tonight?”
He had wide eyes like me, then said “That must mean mariachis are currently wandering through the streets of Santa Fe.”
Then we both got wistful.
After a few moments I said, “Man, I sure remember those days of being wobbling drunk on the plaza and shouting ‘burn, burn, burn!”
The effect of chanting while Old Man Gloom burned and groaned and flapped his arms was always very visceral.
I could tell my coworker was remembering too. He nodded solemnly in agreement. Then we sighed in unison.
Yeah. Days like these make me miss my home state. A lot.
Oh Fair New Mexico, I love, I love you so.
Side note: Lest anyone learn about Zozobra and think it’s a knock off of Burning Man, I should note that the purely New Mexico tradition of burning Zozobra started in 1926. Burning Man started in 1986. And the Celtic tradition of burning the wicker man is even older than that.
Fun fact: Zozobra’s hair color changes every year. It was yellow last year and photos on Mr Z’s Facebook page would make it seem this year his hair is gray. (Edit: I was fooled, it is green this year) Details for tonight’s event are here.
Image from the ABQJournal and first published in 2010.
Filed under: amazing, awesome!, awkward, boat drinks, borracho, candy, cha-cha-changes, cranky, disappointed, drama, first world problems, fruit, good eats, gratitude, history, home, homesick, latent childhood, life, Love, make it work, melancholy, memories, mi corazon, Mom, New Mexico, nostalgia, Opinions, parenting, peculiar, play through, pondering, sangria, Santa Fe, sigh, sunshine, wine
There is no such thing as ‘traditional’ or ‘authentic’ sangria. Sangria is a party drink designed to get your guests drunk really cheaply.
– Damian Corrigan, About.com Guide
Well, what Damian lacks in tact he makes up for by being right. Isn’t truth the best defense? Yes, I think so.
I found this quote when I Googled “how to make traditional sangria” because all of the sudden I have noticed that sangria has become cool. Except, the sangria they are serving in bars and restaurants these days cost $15 a glass and doesn’t taste right. It has become something hipster and these children are tinkering around.
What happened? No one knows how to make sangria right anymore!
In the folds and recesses of my mind, I remember someone’s mom or abuela telling me “Oh, Sangria is easy, just buy the cheapest sweet red wine you can find, pour it in a pitcher then cut up a bunch of fruit and drop it in there and let it sit for a couple days.”
That’s it. That’s how I recall it being told and that’s how I recall sangria should be made. Sweet, fruity, and inexpensive. It takes a few days to make it right. Land of Mañana. A little slow and easy on a hot summer day.
These days bars make “sangria” on the spot, mixing some red wine, some other hard liquor (brandy, vodka, rum or in the case of a restaurant in San Francisco, I swear it’s everclear) and tossing in a couple orange slices.
It doesn’t taste right. It wasn’t given time to do what good sangria should do.
I remember as a child, my mom confiding in me that the best sangria she’d ever had was at La Tertulia** in Santa Fe. I remember dining with the folks and all the adults at the table seemed to love the stuff, like kids and Kool-Ade.
Later as an adult I got to give a pitcher of La Tertulia’s nectar a sip for myself, and by god mom was absolutely right. Ab-so-loot-lee. Mom knows her sangria.
So all this sangria angst was dusted up because over the weekend while at my local Trader Joe’s, I picked up a bottle of Maria Ole Sangria that had been touted so highly in the sales circular.
I put that bad boy in the ‘fridge to get nice and cold and last night on a really mellow evening, I cracked it open and poured some out.
It was pretty terrible. Really terrible. I finished the glass and decided to give it a chance. Sometimes crappy wine needs a second glass. That’s my theory anyway. Second glass didn’t do much to improve this swill.
And the worst of it? Today I am slightly hungover. Not in a big way but in that “shoot, I drank some crappy wine last night” and now I’m mad. Good old fashioned aged sangria is usually mellowed out enough that it doesn’t hurt the head.
This new era of not really sangria not only hurts my head, it hurts my heart.
**Sadly, La Tertulia is no more. I shall always remember their indian tacos and their sopaipillas and yes, their delicious sangria. *sigh* Pour one out for a NM institution….. Image found here.
Image found here.
Filed under: curious, gratitude, laffs, life, make it work, New Mexico, Opinions, play through, road trip, Santa Fe, truth is stranger than..., where I come from
I rather enjoy reading The Pioneer Woman’s site. She’s an amazingly versatile woman, and I’m always impressed.
On her homeschooling section of the blog, one of her guest contributors is taking a summertime road trip around the country, and blogging about many of the stops. It’s fun to see all the places where she and her family stop and explore.
But the latest update is the one that caught my attention.
And I quote: “…we weren’t necessarily ready for the looooooong drive through the rather arid, xeriscape of Eastern New Mexico.”
Also: “Not too far outside of Santa Fe, everything looked a bit like this…for about 3 1/2 hours.”
Photo by Heather Sanders
Well….sheeyah! Welcome to the real West.
I love it when people are shocked at the big empty that is New Mexico.
Though I’d rather we all just kept it our little secret.
Filed under: ABQjournal, fall, good eats, green chile, Hatch, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Opinions, Santa Fe, tantalizing, where I come from
Can’t think of a better smell.
Oh…wow…speaking of Fall….great photo of the burning of Zozobra from the ABQJournal. (you are right, NewMexiKen, my gloom might have been in the Zozobra. I’m feeling better just looking at that photo.)
They are plaguey rodents. You know that, right? Vermin!
“City residents…have formed the Prairie Dog Alliance of Santa Fe…”
Then this article doesn’t surprise you at all.
They didn’t dub our fair state “The Land of Mañana” for nothing.
Filed under: Las Vegas, life, media, New Mexico, obviously, Opinions, Santa Fe, travel, w00t, where I come from
Guess who hit the big time?
Our Fair New Mexico, that’s who.
It’s a sure sign we’re mooooving on up when New Mexico gets name checked in a list of “America’s Favorite Cities” published by Travel & Leisure magazine.
So what’d category did we get?
Most good looking?
Okay, okay…fair enough. Best City for a Wild Weekend?
Oh hell no. Las Vegas (the OTHER one) and New Orleans got that.
Friendly? Surely we’re ALL OVER this category?
Oh COME ON! What’d we win!?!?!
“…peace and quiet is easiest found in Santa Fe, New Mexico…”
Oh. Well, okay. At *least* we got a mention.
“…Santa Fe, New Mexico, which also came in last in all nightlife categories.”
Oh my. Well ok.
They CLEARLY have not been to The Bull Ring when the legislature is in session! That’s all I’m going to say about THAT!
Quiet is good…right?
Filed under: ABQjournal, bebidas, borracho, criminals, fate, gratitude, home, homesick, kerfuffle, laffs, life, New Mexico, Opinions, Rasquache, Santa Fe, truth is stranger than..., weirdity, where I come from
First, read this brief article from the ABQjournal:
(edited for length)
“Someone stole a Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department patrol car early Wednesday and apparently took it for a joy ride.
But the fun may not have stopped there for the bandit who took the patrol car from a county storage yard. Police are looking into the possibility the thief impersonated a sheriff’s deputy while using the stolen car to make traffic stops— while drunk.
The New Mexico State Police— which has taken over the investigation— is looking into a report the driver then used the car to make at least one traffic stop in Chimayó. A woman called State Police and told them that a man in a sheriff’s vehicle had stopped her and that he also seemed drunk.”
Ok so…questions and observations:
1) What size cajones does it take to steal a Sherffi’s car from the county lot? Or maybe not cajones, perhaps this is better measured in liters, or pints or….whatever measurement Mad Dog comes in.
2) Who hasn’t had, if even for a brief moment, the odd dream of making a stop in a patrol car. Blue and whites flashing. Sauntering up to the driver’s window, double knit beige polyester pants whiffing as you walk, mirrored aviator glasses in place. You utter something like, “Do you know how fast you were going?”
Someone was actually drunk enough to pull it off…and get away with it (so far).
3) How freaked out must the woman have been when she was stopped? WTF must THAT encounter have been like?
4) “(Santa Fe County sheriff’s Capt. Robert) Riggs said that in his 20 years as a cop, he hasn’t seen anything like this before.” You gotta work REAL hard to show a cop something he hasn’t seen before. Even in Santa Fe.
5) Is it wrong that I’m rooting, just a little, for the guy to not get caught? I know, I know, just because a crime is dadgum funny doesn’t make it any less a crime.
6) Once again, I’m ever so proud of where I come from. Go on Oh Fair New Mexico. Most other states take themselves WAY too seriously. We’ve still got the comedic edge. And that makes us special.
(Yes, yes, theft and drunken driving aren’t funny. But ya gotta admit, this guy had some flair.)
Just missing the ways of where I come from, for better and for worse.
Good news is I get to visit pretty soon.
Countin’ the days…
Filed under: Albuquerque, Bay Area, books, da blues, dreams, fall, fate, homesick, life, melancholy, Opinions, pondering, Santa Fe, The Good Man, wayback machine, weekending, where I come from, woo woo, writing
There’s a lot going on in my head. None of it related to work. But here I sit at my pressed wood cubicle shelf desk-like device absorbing EMF’s from my monitor…and pondering.
If I tip my head up a bit, I can look over the top of my monitor and see the actual outside.
Here it is:
That photo doesn’t tell the tale. There is an oppressive haze hanging over tree tops.
I say haze, it’s really smoke. The heavy winds have brought a taste of the fires up this way.
Taste, as in literally. If you go outside your eyes and nose sting and you get that campfire flavor in the back of your throat.
It was weird, when I arrived at work this morning, I opened my car door and took in the first inhale of this dirty air, you know what it reminded me of?
Yeah. Odd huh? But for the people who live(d) there, you’ll be able to relate.
You know how when the first cold of fall sets in and people start using their fireplaces and wood burning stoves? The smell of burning cedar and piñon is distinctive. You can taste it. The cold crisp to the air and that smell permeates.
So odd, that the smell of burning forest made me homesick.
I’m reading “Curse of the Chupacabra” by Rudolfo Anaya right now. Last night as I was reading, the main character was back home in Santa Fe and talking about being outside and smelling that distinct wood smoke.
Must have been in my brain then, this morning.
Me and Rudolofo, same page today.
That’s the magic of a really good author. You and he are there together, touching across space and time in that moment you read the words. You find a common ground. Anaya is one of my favorite authors, so that synchronicity is cool.
Inspired by something really tough, a raging fire.
Memorial Weekend lies ahead. Memories. I know this weekend is about remembering military veterans, and I do.
Maybe it’s also about airing out old memories of all sorts. Spring cleaning for the closets of the soul.
Been thinking a lot about old things. Old hurts. Old scars.
The woo-woo minded among us would suggest that this is due to Mercury going retrograde on Monday.
I’d say it’s because I’m the kind of girl who likes to shake up her thoughts like specks in a snow globe just to see where they land.
The Good Man said I might be entering the water hazard known as “middle life crisis”.
Either way, I’m thoughtful.
Ah well, off to a holiday weekend. Three days off sounds like a little slice of heaven to me today.
To all, Happy Memorial Day. Enjoy the weekend, be safe and remember those you love!
Filed under: ABQjournal, cell phones, kerfuffle, New Mexico, Opinions, Santa Fe, truth is stranger than..., where I come from, work
Oh Fair New Mexico, how I love, I love you so…
“A crew working on state government’s Rail Runner commuter train cut a fiber-optic cable in Santa Fe Thursday, jamming telephone lines, cutting off Internet and cell phone service and causing other problems over much of northern New Mexico outside the capital city.”
Living in the Silicon Valley, this kind of stuff is a HUGE deal. Not to under evaluate the effect on Santa Fe, just sayin’…if this happened here, lawsuits would begin flying.
Since part of what I do in my job is manage the telco requirements of my company, every time I do a contract, THIS is what I have in mind when we talk network diversity.
If someone (or many someones) isn’t fired over this, they oughta be.
Filed under: ABQjournal, drama, New Mexico, Opinions, pondering, Santa Fe, truth is stranger than..., weirdity, where I come from
I’m sure the young man who planned on mugging 83 year old Bernie Garcia thought it was going to be an easy take. A little old lady pumping gas outside a store in Santa Fe.
But the one thing he didn’t count on was the lady’s tenacity.
As Bernie pumped gas, a whippersnapper leapt out of a car and grabbed at her purse.
From the article:
“With a gas pump nozzle in one hand and her purse in the other, Garcia refused to give in to the male assailant’s effort to yank her purse away— this in spite of her being dragged on her side during the struggle.”
“What happened next was a tug of war between a man in his 20s and an 83-year-old woman who stands 5 feet 4 and weighs 125 pounds.”
“He grabbed my left arm and went for my purse,” Garcia recalled. “He started pulling on it, but couldn’t get it off me because (the strap) was winded twice around my arm.”
She wanted to bop him with the gas nozzle but couldn’t manage it so she sprayed gasoline on him instead.
A bystander pulled up as this was happening and yelled at the kid who he ran off, jumped into a car (that had been stolen in Española earlier that day) and took off.
Police responded quick and the three guys in the car were arrested.
Meanwhile, Ms. Bernie Garcia, my hat is off to you. I don’t know if I could have been that clear headed in the same situation.
“It happened so fast, and I just fought, even though I was scared,” she said. “I just wanted to slap him in the face.”
He deserves at least that.
I always say you gotta watch out for the little ones. Little, but scrappy.
Aw durn. Some Halloween debunking.
Back in June I posted about the ghosty caught on film at the courthouse in Santa Fe.
I have to admit, watching the video I was pretty bought in. It was *weird*.
So sadly, last night, while surfing about I found this article on Yahoo.
Way to de-ghost my holiday!
Turns out it was a ladybug. Probably.
Debunked? Or no?
Muah ha ha ha ha ha ha!
The debunking vid:
The original vid:
Filed under: ABQjournal, iPhone, Love, New Mexico, Opinions, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Turistas, where I come from, work
As chronicled here in the past weeks, I’m *over* the hype around Paris and prison and the iFrapping phone-that-costs-too-much, and I’m weary of sad news from the world of over-hyped media.
And boy, have I got one today.
Shockingly, it comes to us from my old source of snarkiness, ABQjournal columnist Polly Summar. She’s been minding her manners lately and writing some pretty good lifestyle pieces. I give it up for Polly, she’s got a good sort of Midwestern sensibility about the quirkiness she encounters in Santa Fe. Go Polly!
It is guys like this that make a town great. San Francisco has it’s “Bush Man” (among others), Chicago has Woo-Woo Man, New York has the guitar playing guy in his underbritches. It’s the kind of stuff of legendary tourist lore. It’s something that can bind people together, make a visitor feel like they are “in on the joke”.
Santa Fe has Sombrero Man (among others). Seems that Sombrero Man has been collecting sombreros and related gear and gadgets for several years. He’s built up quite a collection and is often seen about town wearing ‘em. Sombrero Man has a regular everyday job (but that’s boring, please, let’s talk about who the man *really* is!), but spends his time and resources donning sombreros and making people smile.
And as I struggle with my own cosmic agony, fighting against my silly office job that is causing me to hover on the edge of utter breakdown, crying out into the dark night that “this is not who I AM! THIS IS NOT WHAT I WAS MEANT TO BE!!” I am heartened to see someone “doing it”.
Go on Sombrero Man! You wear your stuff with pride! You show the world who you are! Live your dream!
For those in the area, Sombrero Man makes his first “official” appearance of the season at the Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast on the Plaza. If you see him, tell him that a little gal in California thinks he rocks.