The embodiment of one of my worst fears EVER

As a kid, we used to go camping a lot. I loved camping, still do. But as my family slept there in the Apache pop up trailer, I was always SCARED TO DEATH of bears. I mean, as a kid in New Mexico, you know bears are out there. You hear about them on the news, the hungry creature who wanders into civilization for some garbage can treats.

And then there’s waking up in the morning to find your campsite trashed….that a bear was THERE while you slept.

The Apache trailer at least offered a bit of safety. The big plastic box and where I slept was at least up off the ground.

Then there are the times I’ve slept in a tent. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE LOVE LOVE camping. But I always have those “what if” moments when in a tent.

Well, poor Bill Thorp of Las Cruces has now lived one of my top ten worst fears.

He was in his tent. He heard a rustling. He shut the tent flap and lay back down. Then he got bit. ON THE BUTT. Through the tent.

Brother man was having a nice campout and got chomped on the arse.

That ain’t right.

Sleeping in a tent with my face by a thin layer of fabric, I’ve ALWAYS had terror of being bit through the tent by a bear.

Not only this guy lived it, so did a teen near Raton. He felt a poking at the side of the tent and thinking it was one of his family members playing a joke, he slapped at it. The bear took this none too kindly and bit him on the arm.

Waa! Is this skeeve out Karen week!?? First spiny caterpillars and now this!?! I may not sleep right for *days*!



You know, I’m cranky today. I’ve got a crappy job at a decent company and I have to deal with a lot of pink-cheese idiots all day long. It wears me out, it really does.

All the whining, the complaining, the yelling, the arm waving.

So in order to avoid work I instead surfed the ABQjournal. Nice diversion.

So I read this article and in an odd way felt better about my fate.

See, I have to deal with real a-holes every day, but my livelihood isn’t now teetering helplessly on the progress of a bunch of hungry spiky caterpillars.

“… research has shown that just a few of them can eat as much grass as a yearling cow.”


“… the caterpillars, which can grow to a couple of inches long, are lined with tiny hairs shaped like tree branches that sting.”


Folks are trying to figure out how to stop these wild stampeding things. Damn.

Ok, back to work.

(this is a “stock” photo, probably not the right critter, but enough to make me shudder and go “bwaaaahhhuggggeeerrrrgh!”)

My Happy Meal

In one of those “I saw something and that gave me an idea for something else” moments, I was scanning the Albuquerque Tribune today and looked under the “Photos” heading where sometimes they have little “Viewfinder” vignettes with a cool black and white photo accompanying. Today there is a link with the title Viewfinder: His happy meal.

It’s a cute little story about a dog. But that’s not the point of this post.

Just reading that title in my stressed out work haste made me think about food, comfort food (it is my lunch hour, after all). I have been so tweaked out with work and personal issues that I have been eating a LOT, lately. Taking to fats and sweets and salty to try to make me feel better about a life that feels on the verge. It’s doing nothing to help my waistline and doing even less to improve my mood.

Nonetheless, as I sit here with rumbling in my tum, I had a thought upon reading that title “What meal would make me happy?” Kind of like a turn on “If you were on death row, what would be your last meal?”

My mom wasn’t that great a cook, so I don’t have a lot of “home cooked” stuff I could list. But let me take a stab at it.

If I had to eat a last meal and there were no space or calorie limitations on my tummy, here’s top ten what I’d have:

1) My best friend’s homemade chile rellenos. She makes them with chile grown by her uncle, the flavor is fantastic and she has just the right batter to make them light and delicious. Alongside her with her pressure cooked pinto beans, she makes the best beans, hands down.

2) Beef Lasagne from Sodini’s in San Francisco. And the seafood linguini…..

3) Fried Calamari from Caesar’s down near the Wharf in San Francisco. And the Minestrone….

4) The green chile chicken enchiladas with an egg and sour cream on top from Gardunos….and a couple margs…I love Gardunos mix. And the carne adovada……

5) Pretty much anything made by my brother-in-law, but his mashed potatoes rock my little world…….

6) My mom’s tortillas “back in the day”. She can’t put the finesse on ’em like she used to, but circa about when I was seven years old and we’d come home from Saturday Mass and she’d roll ’em out and I’d cook ’em on the griddle. Layer on marinated beef or game meat, cheese and you were off to the races……

7) Anything from Legal Sea Foods in Boston.

8) Hamburger. All of the following:
A green chile cheeseburger from Blakes.
A Whataburger.
A Fuddruckers hamburger circa 1986. (I went recently, it’s yucky now, but back then it was da bomb! ).
A carefully cooked thick burger over a campfire on a bun that *might* have a little sand or ash on it but who cares because you’ve been swimming in the lake/fishing/ hiking/ skiing all day and you are FAMISHED and besides you already ate two hotdogs……

9) My own chile con queso and chips

10) Huevos rancheros from this restaurant in Albuquerque that is now defunct and it will plague me all day until I can remember the name……

Honorable mention:

Biscuits hand made by the mom of my college roommate along with her homemade apricot jam….next to two farm fresh (I pulled ’em this morning) over easy fried eggs.

Homemade ice cream (my best friend’s recipe) and a couple of my homemade chocolate chip cookies

Anything from Chopies, Nopolitos or Sadies

An Owl Burger (the one in San Antonio, NM, not the Albuquerque location)

Pizza from New York City, preferably the borough of Brooklyn….

Anything from the Aqua Grill in SoHo.

A good old fashioned Polish buffet alongside my Midwest family in South Bend. Ah the fried chicken! And the sausages! And the saurkraut! : drool :

Crabs, lobsters and clams straight outta the pot by the pool at the home of my best friend from high school. Ah, those were good days…..

I’m sure there is a lot I’m missing, but that’ll do for now. I’m happy. And hungry.

: rumble :


Yeah, I know most people around the world would probably read this article in the ABQjournal with a mixture of confusion and distaste.

“How dare they?!” or “How rude?!” or even “How ridiculous!”

Me, I read it with pride. I love that places like Madrid, New Mexico still exist.

It’s been well known and well documented in books like “Milagro Beanfield War” and “Red Sky at Morning” that folks in Northern New Mexico don’t take well to outsiders. Never have.

I dig that people have taken to vandalizing and protesting. I also love that the article features quotes from two different gentlemen found sitting on the porch at the local mercantile.

That ol’ boy from the East Coast is going to press ahead with his plans….I figure he’ll probably regret it.

A tip of the cap to Madrid, and yet another reason why I love New Mexico.

(this is getting to be a theme, isn’t it?)

Enjoy the weekend…I’m still wobbly on my feet, but making it work.