Have you ever known a place that, in your memories, takes on a dream quality?

It can be almost any place. I have lots of them.

But one that shows up in my dreams quite often is this really greasy spoon in Las Cruces. A college hangout. Oh did I have some fun times there, and the tasty green chile cheese burgers that still haunt me.

That place is called Dick’s Cafe.

It’s a place with plastic windows covered with a greasy film. It has torn vinyl seats and ugly formica tables. The desert sun pours in through those windows, lighting up the room and the grimy linoleum floor.

And there is a jukebox. Oh that jukebox. I used to ask cute cowboys for their pocket change and they would give it to me. My best friend and I would play our faves. And we smiled, and laughed, and told stories and picked on each other and occasionally picked up on each other. It is genuinely the stuff of my dreams. All the individual memories blended together into one beautiful and happy amalgam.

When visiting Las Cruces, my pulse still quickens driving past Dick’s. Back in the day, we would drive by real slow and survey the pickups parked out front. My best friend and I had a game, how many could we recognize. She was always better than me at that, but if we saw a good one, one belonging to a good friend or a particularly cute boy that needed to be flirted with, we’d turn in to the dirt parking lot and grab a coke and some fries. The days went by slow and easy then.

What’s great is that Dick’s has been around since 1959. My best friend’s parents, my surrogate Mom and Dad, have just as fond memories about Dick’s as we do. THAT is an institution, people!

Why am I waxing rhapsodic about Dick’s today?

Because I just read in the Las Cruces Sun News that they had a fire overnight. Article here.

If the physical place is gone, it can live on in my memories. But it would be a sad day for me to have to say goodbye to the actual place.

Just writing this, remembering the days, makes me smile. Fridays at Dick’s were especially fun.

An urgent email went out to my best friend who still lives in Las Cruces for some on the scene reporting…

*coff coff*

You know just the other day while riding the CalTrain, I saw a nice, handsome man giving me “the look”. You know the look. The “I’m checking you out” look. I sat up a little straighter. Blushed appreciatively. Until I realized he was checking out the twenty-something year old blond sitting next to me.

And I thought, “What’s she got that I ain’t got?” Well. Perkier boobs for one, because mine were already in high school before blondie was born.

Oy. And so I gave myself the usual litany of “you are only as old as you feel” and “youth is wasted on the young” and “age is a state of mind”.

It’s true, I don’t actually *feel* any older than the child with the supple, elastic skin seated next to me. In fact, at this age, I feel SO much better about myself. Stronger. More self-aware. About eight million times more confident.

So feeling better about myself I bounced from the train and into my day, deciding that pimply boy wasn’t all that interesting anyway. I’m young. I’m hip. I have an iPhone.

I just got my hair colored again, covering the grays and putting an even deeper tone of red in there. I have a job and an engagement ring. I’m happenin’, man.

Then I read the entertainment section of my local paper and stumbled across this article and felt all the gray hairs sproing up on my head.

Prince is having hip replacement surgery.

That little red Corvette will need to be an automatic cuz my boy can’t work the clutch anymore. Darling Nikki uses Oil of Olay. Purple rain the color of a Prilosec tab.

It happens to the best of us, I suppose.

This on the heels of hearing that the timeless and ageless Omar Vizquel needs knee surgery.


Time, that unforgiving b*tch, marches on.


I am quite thoughtful today. It is an anniversary of sorts, but not the happy kind.

It was three years ago today that my dad passed away in Albuquerque. In some ways it was like yesterday, how fresh the hurt is. But in other ways it seems like a million years ago.

It wasn’t a surprise when he died. It was expected. He’d been sick and we knew it was inevitable. It was, actually, in many ways a relief when it did finally occur.

Losing a parent is, in my opinion, among the hardest things an adult must deal with.

I didn’t have much of a relationship with my dad, but he was my dad, after all. He was cranky, cantankerous, Type A, driven, rigid, incredibly intelligent, hardworking, a loyal friend to his friends, never lazy, handy, proud, insecure, funny, a thinker, and unstoppable.

In other words, an imperfect human.

For me, the things that needed to be said were said before he moved on. I don’t have any open issues there, and I count myself lucky in that regard.

So today, I feel a bit of sadness, a bit of thoughtfulness, and the drive to keep moving ever forward.

The Fools!

About a year ago I put in for a new job at work. It would be a promotion. I’d be the boss of myself, which would be fun, but difficult at staff meetings…what with me ordering myself around like a minion and everything.

Yesterday after a long year of *waiting*, I heard from my boss that they “decided to go another way”. Which means, they hired an external candidate.

I was assured “it’s not you, it’s me” and “we can still be friends” and “I just need to see other employees” and other tried and true breakup lines.

I like my current boss, so it’s a bit sad, but really, I’m ok about it.

I think, maybe, Boss Lady might have done me a favor. The expectations around that job role are a little weird. It’s been vacant for like a year and a half. No one really knows what that job is supposed to do anymore. I even asked my Vice-President when he interviewed me what were his expectations. He had no answer. That concerns me. It’s nigh impossible to do a job when you have NO idea what is expected of you.

In addition, one of my employees worked with this incoming person at another company and didn’t have high marks.

Oh well, I’ve suffered fools in this department before.

Like I said…maybe in the end, this is actually for the best.


The only constant is change

I’m way too late to this party, but that’s ok. Here’s the old news:

The venerable Albuquerque Tribune published its last edition on Saturday, February 23.

Albuquerque’s afternoon paper had been around 86 years. Quite a run, actually.

I always liked the Trib, their comics were way better, at least back in the day. Plus, when I was home after school, but before my folks got home, I could dash out, read the comics, fold it back up right and all was good. I always got the morning Journal after it has been thoroughly read and smudged by both parents and siblings. Kind of a weird memory, I admit.

I found the writing style and layout of the Trib more accessible then the ABQJournal. I admit it was often the “light” news source, but it was my preference.

We may see it again in a different incarnation, but for now, it’s a story that goes quiet.

Goodbye, old friend. Sad to see you go the way of many other dailies that couldn’t make it work in this Internet era.