Sometimes quiet is ok too

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Today I’m going to borrow completely from Avelino Maestas, the force behind the blog Live from Silver City.

He quoted from a post by Radley Balko on The Agitator and I’ll use the same quote here:

“When you blog every day, you sometimes feel conflicted about writing on other topics when there are breaking, overwhelming, horrible events going on in the news. Ignoring such news while writing on about other stuff seems callous. But so does commenting on an event about which you have little to say.”

The events from yesterday are too overwhelming to discuss. I have nothing profound to add that hasn’t been said in every major media outlet. I’m already tired and sad from hearing about it so much. This morning even Adam Carolla, who has a radio show that is normally a diversion for me, spent the morning talking of nothing but the events at Virginia Tech.

My input today is thus…choose to use your day and the energy of your thoughts toward love. For at the end of the day, love endures.

In a flash

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You ever have one of those times in your life where you seem to be getting the same message over and over and over? As though the fates are trying to drum something into your head. As if all the kismet is just too much to take.

Yeah, I’m having one of those times in my life.

On Thursday I went to an exhibition at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. It was the Titanic exhibit with artifacts recovered from the sunken ship. Now, we all basically know the story of the Titanic, James Cameron saw to that, so I was sort of nonplussed walking into the show. They did a nice job putting together the time line of the events and using lighting and mood to bring the story together. From placing your hand on a big chunk of ice to looking up the name of a passenger they’d given to me on entry to see if they survived (she did).

It moved me deeply.

At the end there was a book for thoughts and comments. I wrote, “The fragility of life has never been more apparent.”

It put me in a mood and I thought on that topic for quite a while. I followed the Titanic exhibit by then going to “Bodies…The Exhbition”. So yeah, I had a bit of an overload of “life is fragile” and “make hay while the sun shines” that day. Sort of odd thoughts to have while in Las Vegas.

Basically I spent some time contemplating my own mortality. Is this a hazard of being mere weeks from a birthday?

On Sunday I was in a cab going to McCarran airport. The seatbelt in the cab didn’t work. I thought about how I almost never wear a seatbelt in a cab. I then thought about how that is silly. Just because the driver is on the roads for a living doesn’t make them any better driver or make the roads any safer. Thankfully we made it to the airport without incident despite my not wearing a safe belt.

I boarded a plane and arrived safely to the Oakland airport, got my bags and caught a cab home. I complimented the driver on how clean and nice his cab was. The man had a lot of pride in his car. He told me about how he’d lent the cab to a friend who had returned it dirty. It was a nice new car.

We made our way along the highway and stopped at the toll plaza on the San Mateo Bridge. We were in the far left lane. The next two lanes are FasTrak lanes (if you have a little electronic transponder you can go through without stopping and they charge your account for the toll). As we sat at a standstill, a black Mustang came whipping into the FasTrak lane. I guess he realized he didn’t have a transponder so he slammed on the brakes, threw it in reverse, got going way too fast, lost control, hit the brakes, spun backwards and slammed square into the door I was sitting next to. Demolished the door.

Surprisingly, I was fine. The cab driver commented that he saw me leaning way over. I saw the accident coming but couldn’t move over because I had a seat belt on. Now, I wouldn’t say I shouldn’t have been wearing it. I’m glad I was because I really thought we were going to be slammed into the concrete abutment next to us.

I saw that car hurtling at me and I had that, “I’m going to get really hurt” thought.

Thank whatever entity you choose that I was fine. The door buckled in but the inside panel was only partially bowed. When we came to a rest the door panel wasn’t even touching me.

And as the fear and adrenaline coursed through my veins, I got to thinking again about how things can happen in a flutter of a heartbeat. And that thought scares the shit out of me.

So I was left shaking my head when I read Jim Belshaw’s column “Don’t Forget You’re Human” from yesterday’s ABQjournal, the same day of the accident and my latest thoughts on mortality. Seems Mr. Belshaw was having the same thoughts.

To quote Mr. Belshaw, “Wear your damn seat belt”…even in a cab.

Confidential Side Note To Fate: I get it already.

The Las Vegas Paradox

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Simply put, people are *so* happy to get here and *so* cranky to leave.

I just spent forty-five minutes in the security line being herded like something less than cattle and stifling the urge to moo.

Granted, it is my fault for choosing to fly home on a Sunday.

I had a brief flicker of a thought while shuffling my feet and trying to contain my crowd claustrophobia. Back in 2001 after the terrible events of 9/11, I remember the pleading from politicians, famous actors and our President to not let the terrorists win. They asked us to go about our business. They asked us to continue to fly.

I know there was a sharp downturn back then. It was all over the news. I love to travel but was disinclined to fly when just five months after that awful day I flew to San Diego, and was greeted at security by a gentleman from the National Guard with a loaded M16 and his finger on the trigger. A lot of folks were disinclined to fly that year.

Today, looking at the shoving throng trying to get through the squeeze chute with shoes off and ziplocked liquids held high, I realized that here, some six years later…they didn’t win. I can’t attribute this to some overblown notion of patriotism or the enduring spirit of Americans. I can mostly attribute it to the fact that we all love to have a good time and aren’t about to let a little (ok, really really big) kerfuffle stand in our way.

By god, those damn “evil doers” cannot take away our freedom to go to a schlocky town filled with expensive shows, tacky clothes, naked women and cheap frozen margaritas by the yard and blow all our hard earned, middle class dollars on penny slots that cost a couple bucks a pull.

They can’t stop us from dressing inappropriately, drinking too much, sleeping too late and putting “just one more” twenty into the machine because you know, just know it’s going to hit.

They can’t take away our right to have fun.

And that is the American way, now isn’t it? The freedom to have a good party.

I like it.

The Answer

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I posed the question “What’s a girl gotta do to get a good margarita in this town?” on April 4th.

I found the answer.

An airplane.

Did you know that Gardunos has a location at The Palms casino in Las Vegas? Yes of course you knew that and so did I, The Palms being owned by those good New Mexico boys the Maloof Brothers.

On Thursday, I entered the establishment with much trepidation. Would it be the same as my beloved Winrock Mall location? Would the margs taste right? Would the menu be the same?

I exhaled a sigh of relief to see the *exact* same menu. I ordered a marg. Aaaah, there it is.

I had an obscene amount of green chile, what they call their “Chile Gourmet”, a green chile bowl con machaca. The fruit of Hatch was hot that night, so hot I was “whoo’ing” and sweating like an amateur. Such delicious pain.

Such a happy New Mexico girl.

I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m going again tonight! Yipee! And taking some “newbies”. Hope they love it! Aw really who cares, *I* love it (and so does that wonderful man who will hold my hand and give me water when I weep “it’s too hot” tears) and everything is gonna be all right in my world.

Enjoy the weekend!

Update to the Imus story

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Well, I loved to bash the guy here on this blog. He got two scathing posts out of me but I’m sorry to report that Don Imus was fired from CBS radio.

Not that I liked the guy, not that he’s any less of a maroon. He’s still not a New Mexican in my book. It’s just that even though I don’t like the guy or support his opinions or even listen to his show I believe there is room for all sorts of dissenting opinions. There isn’t room for blatant racism, no, but he offered a crusty outdated old guy view of things. Not that he’ll be missed. He’s of a dying breed of radio guy. I didn’t wish him fired and don’t feel any gladness at the news. The two week suspension seemed to be enough in my book, but not in the minds of many others and I respect that. I think this is another example of the media grabbing ahold of something like a rabid dog and shaking for all its might. In the middle of all that something is lost, in my opinion. But I can’t change the media, I can only change what I choose to read/watch/listen to.

Thus ends quite a long, complicated and controversial career.