Eek! A Monster!

Oh, but it’s such a cute little cross eyed monster.**

Look at him all rawr with all the nose holes and the rectangular mouth.

I just want to pat his little growling head and feed him raw meat. Yes I do.

I suppose I should actually find a way to tame this little beast because he’s about to climb into my backpack so we can board an airplane.

That’s right folks, Oh Fair New Mexico is set to hit the road. Or rather, fly the skies.

This time we’re going *international*.

Whew! Very exciting times!

I’m a embarrassed to admit that in my little life, the only times I’ve been out of the US was the many occasions dancing back and forth across the border in both Juarez and Matamoros.

And of course, I spend every day at work calling every country code you can think of. I travel the globe via telephone lines, but when I was hired this was to be a non-traveling position. Ah well.

I’ve had a passport for decades and even had to renew it. But I’ve never, not once gotten that bad boy stamped.

Well that’s about to change. The Boss Man and the Big Boss Man have seen fit to put a ticket in my hand and a Bon Voyage banner across my tuchus.

Next week, I’m headed to Singapore. I’m going for work but I’m as excited as though I was having a vacation.

The Good Man was able to rearrange his schedule to come along so it should be big fun (when I’m not suffering the slings and arrows of my employer).

Actually, the work part of the trip should be fascinating too. I’m attending an event put on by one of our biggest suppliers. They are bringing local in-country reps from each of their offices across Asia. So people from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, India, China, and so on are flying in to meet…well…me.

My company gives their company a lot of money, and I will be the senior representative in attendance, and oh I also run the entire program (i.e. I control the money) so I guess I’m worth meeting? Weird. Really, very weird.

I suppose if I’m the one in charge (a concept that should worry you endlessly) then I’d better behave myself.

That’s going to be really, really difficult.

Geez, I even went out and bought professional clothes for this event (I work in Silicon Valley, “professional clothes” is a concept no one cares about).

I am alternately nervous and so freaking excited I can hardly contain myself.

There! I’m going to be there!! Yesss!

**In case my little monster is unfamiliar to you, it’s a universal power adapter.

Singapore image found in seveal places across the web. If it’s yours, please do let me know and I’m more than happy to either take it down or give you credit.

This ain’t no disco. It ain’t no country club either.

Baby…this is LA.

My relationship with LA is a complicated one. Mostly because it’s a complicated city to love.

There’s so much that’s *wrong* with LA. But over the course of many, many years, I’m starting to understand what’s just so *right* about it too.

I’m excited to go because I have a super fantastic reason to be there. My incredibly talented cousin has written a rock opera, and this weekend is a first run of the production for the public.

This is the same cousin who wrote and staged a rather successful musical just a few years back. I know! Mind bogglingly talented.

Wild horses couldn’t keep me away from this event this weekend.

And so, over the Grapevine I go and back into the arms of the love it-hate it town of LA.

I’ll see about humming a Tom Petty tune as I do. Or maybe The Doors. Or… What is the perfect LA song? (And I don’t want to hear anything about no Randy Newman either.)

Photo by Sebastian Stefanov used royalty free from stock.xchng.

Texas On Tour

Because confession is good for the soul, I need to declare that what follows is a post sponsored by Texas on Tour, a function of the Texas Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism.

Proceeds will be donated to the Southwest Indian Foundation.


This Saturday October 1st ushers in the 40th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

The special shapes and crazy events like the key grab, Balloon Glow, and pin trading are back for another year of fun. I’m sad I’ll have to miss it, but work beckons. Photographic opportunities abound!

Hey, if you happen to make your way over to the Balloon Fiesta Park, keeps your eyes out for a little sumptin’ different. This year at the Balloon Fiesta, in addition to participating in one of the most notable events New Mexico has to offer, you’ll also be able to experience a little bit of Texas.

Albuquerque has the honor of being the last stop in 2011 for Texas on Tour, an interactive virtual trip to the Lone Star State.

Through the magic of green screen video and photography, visitors to Texas on Tour can get a taste of the fun that Texas has to offer such as kayaking, visiting San Antonio, or experiencing the bats fly out from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin.

Texas is a big ol’ state with a lot to offer, and Texas on Tour helps you experience it all.

The good people behind Texas on Tour hope you’ll be so intrigued, you’ll want to visit in person.

“We are thrilled to have Texas on Tour traveling to nine destinations across the U.S. in 2011 to encourage travel to Texas and give potential visitors the ability to experience firsthand the many sights and sounds of the Lone Star State,” said Julie Chase, Director of Tourism, Texas Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism.

If you take a look at the Texas on Tour blog, you’ll see a whole lot of people having one heck of a good time at all of the stops so far.

Sure, it may seem a little odd to visit a site touting the charms of Texas when attending one of New Mexico’s most iconic events. But I say why not?

Have another hot chocolate and breakfast burrito and go see what the Texas on Tour team has to offer.

You can also follow Texas on Tour on Facebook and on Twitter @texastourism

All images courtesy of the Texas Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism.

Just an aside: neither this blog nor this writer endorse the presidential campaign of Texas Governor Rick Perry…or any of the other presidential candidates from any party, for that matter. Not even former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson.

Hot Town, Summer in The City

Whooo, yesterday was the last day of July. Today’s the first day of August. Hot times, no? The dead of summer. Sun high in the sky. Shorts, flip flops, and sun tea.

Asphalt so hot you can’t stand on it cuz it’s melting.

Then around 4:00 the monsoons roll in and unleash the rain and hail. Finally the sun sets on a warm, beautiful night.

Right? Oh wait, that’s New Mexico.

Fourteen years in the Bay Area still hasn’t gotten me used to summers that look like this:

Copyright 2011 Rafael Monterrosa, and used with permission.

This beautiful photo was posted yesterday by my Twitter friend and San Francisco resident, Rafael Monterrosa. Sutro Tower is partially hidden in the background as the fog crawls over the hill, ready to lay down and blanket my City.

I swear to you, the fog is a living, breathing entity.

Summer mornings start out gray and overcast. By noon, the gray has burned off leaving beautifully warm blue sky days. THIS is the golden California they talk about. Just about the time I manage to sit back with a glass of iced tea and let the sun warm my bones, the fog rolls over the hill, the temperature drops twenty degrees, and the pants, long sleeves and hot beverages come out.

And ya’ll wonder why we crazy San Franciscians have a party for a glass. You have no idea how nice an Irish coffee is on a cold damp summer night in the Bay Area.

I guess for me, the ol’ “make hay while the sun shines” is in effect. I just took a nice long walk in the blue sky’d afternoon, eyeing the fog already peeking over the hills to the west, ready to smother the warm out of my day.

*sigh* No wonder my Vitamin D is so low. Frappin’ Marine Layer.


As you read this, I am somewhere overhead winging my way to the Great State of New Mexico. This is not so much a vacation as taking care of some personal business.

It’s a bit hard to leave seventy degree California for thirty degree New Mexico, you know? That said, as the weather works in my home state, by the end of my trip, it’s expected to be almost seventy in Las Cruces.

As a kid, I always did love that phenomenon of snow today, sixty eight and sunny tomorrow.

But right now, the day before my flight, all I can think about is…what am I going to eat?

I mean seriously, the green chile level in my blood stream is so low as to be critical.

This needs fixing the second I leap off the airplane.

I keep thinking of ALL the places and ALL the menu items I want to eat all in one big Cookie Monster-esque “ahm nom nom nom.”

If only I could unhinge my jaw the way my favorite blue monster does, then sweep in all the rellenos, enchiladas, carne adovada, and tacos al carbon I can get my arms around.

That would be great.

Of course, I’d qualify for extra baggage on my flight home.

Hoping to fit in reports from the road. Stay tuned!