UNM Planning Future Construction
UNM Campus Vandalized
Hearing the Light
Thursday, Nov 17: Musicology Colloquium Series: Music in Images in the Arts of New Spain
Wah Wah Wah Waaaah
Friday, Nov 4: Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead
Teachers Protest Evaluations
The Daily Word in Saveur, Low Riders, Abelardo's Coke, Hummingbirds and Salmon Snagging
Over at a lifestyle magazine called Saveur, reporter David Tanis reports on a thing called New Mexico green chile.
Meanwile, at NM Politics, Gabe Vasquez writes about herencia.
This weekend, celebrate the poetic mythos of the lowrider at the NM Museum of History.
A Texas man named Abelardo allegedly brought 10 pounds of Peruvian marching powder into New Mexico. He pleaded guilty to those charges on Wednesday.
The Capitol Bar in Socorro has been in business for 120 years.
DCF Blogger Johnny Mango takes a trailer named "Happy" to Alamogordo.
Folks in Arkansas are debating the pros and cons of medical cannabis. As part of one teevee station's examination of an upcoming ballot initiative on the issue in the Natural State, former NM top cop Darren White was consulted.
Apparently, UNM Associate Professor Christopher Witt is friends with the agents of Huitzilopochtli.
The Daily Word in Anaya, Diversity, Microwave Weapons and Hotdogs
New Mexico author Rudolfo Anaya will be honored with a National Humanities Medal at a Sept. 22 White House ceremony.
UNM has the highest number, per capita, of Hispanic and Native American faculty in the USA. But academia still lags with regard to instructor diversity, say experts.
Wise Pies may have to temporarily halt operations due to a beef the company has with state tax officials.
A state Republican lawmaker has filed an ethics complaint against a child advocacy group that ran satirical ads on the teevee.
Among this coming weekend's TedxABQ Talks: a discussion of combat-based nonlethal microwave weapons being developed at the local Air Force Research Lab.
The New Mexico Restaurant Association says Tatsu Miyazaki is our state's Chef of the Year; Pizza 9 also won a good neighbor award for being a positive force in our community, writes Las Cruces' newspaper of record.
The Texas Hornshell mussel is an endangered species struggling to spread its DNA in Southeastern New Mexican rivers.
Nearby Cibola County has seen a 50 percent decrease in precipitation over the past year.
Burque resident Anthony C. Osmond used a hotdog to catch and release a 28 inch tiger muskie.
The Daily Word In justified gun discharge, no big 12 and the return of Lyft
An APD officer who suffered a broken femur and wrist in an encounter with a convicted felon and habitual offender was cleared of wrong doing in the incident.
UNM sports teams are out of the running to be part of the Big 12 Conference.
An affordable housing project called CUATRO opened on Fourth Street recently.
Albuquerque Public Schools is delaying some important remodeling and renovation projects because of a lawsuit calling into issue the district's funding process.
First the Isotopes eked one out; then the Bees bounced back.
The return of Lyft bodes well for the Duke City.
There are some really big Rainbow Trout in New Mexico lakes and someone from Burque caught one in the Pecos River "while fly-fishing with a bead-head, pheasant tail nymph."
A Chronicle of Misdeeds
Valencia scandal points to a larger issue at UNM
Jones Goes to College, Part Two
Charlie Jones could be one helluva fire-breather. We'll never know for sure. When most folks looked at him straight on, all they saw was a glimpse of something vast and watery, momentarily compressed into the shape and size of clown made from his father's enchiladas and his mother's latkes.
If Jones liked you, he'd more than likely let you do most of the talking. He’d sit back listening and fiddling around with his pipe. Occasionally Charlie would check for burn holes on his shirt while you went on about any old thing. He'd end up by winking at the dogs setting next to him before smiling wanly and shaking your hand gently.
And if he didn't like you, he would interrupt constantly and make grand and obscure literary allusions designed to imply disdain for the supposed rottenness of the entire species of hairless apes of which he was a reluctant member. On such occasions, he was operating under the assumption that we were all charlatans, payasos and schmendriks rolled up into a garbage scow that was way to big to be floated down the Rio Grande without some significant damage being done to the surrounding natural environment.
That was Charlie's power with silence and with words. It was some gift.
So, it wasn't any sort of surprise when one of his associates discovered the dude had altered history by leaving some events dangling in a story he had recently posted.
The fellow who discovered the temporal anomaly just happened to be a luminescent, transdimensional plasma being. His name was unpronounceable. He reckoned that if Jones left things in his tale the way they were, the result would be a global nuclear conflagration in the year 2137.
The disaster would be caused by miscommunication about replacement refrigerator compressor trade between the Republic of Texas and the Confederation of Coastal Chicanos – which, by the way, would one day span the distance from the east bank of the Rio Grande clear on over to the Pacific Ocean.
Charlie got the news by telephone while he was listening to some chamber music by Johannes Brahms and reading the Surgeon General's warning on a pack of low tar cigarettes.
“Godammit,” he told his parallel universe-jumping pal, “I can't say what really went down because Burque is tiny, sabes? It might cause some discomfort. Even if I change the names around and all that jazz,” he gravely intoned—as the wind rattled around the wires and the connection so that there was a sort of electrical crackle coming through the headset—“people will know.”
“You don't want to cause a war,” hissed the entity on the other side of the trunk, so why don’t you just finish the story.”
Enticed and compelled in a manner that may one day be cinematically depicted by a medium shot of the planet Jupiter and its inner moons floating grandly in space, Jones transmitted the following addendum, known here, for archival purposes, as Jones Goes to College, Part Two:
One Saturday afternoon, a couple of weeks after Thanksgiving and when December had just begun to creep into New Mexico upon flat clouds, when the short days seemed to be pulled down low, Zelda showed up at Harvard House.
She was sitting in a rickety Ford pickup truck with a bent-up hood and smoky exhaust. The damned thing was being driven by a chap by the name of Leon. In between the two sat Ruth.
“Come on,” Zelda whispered to Jones, “come on up to the Jemez with us, we are going to Spence Hot Springs.” They drove north and Leon was drunk. The gals laughed a lot. Charlie wondered if there was anything better on the radio than the tape they were listening to, which was something by a band named after a faraway continent.
The four of them got to the mountains and stumbled around in the dark for about an hour. They only had one flashlight. Charlie finally located the springs by using a lensmatic compass with a radium dial and a map he had picked up at the gas station in San Ysidro.
It was cold and raining small ice crystals that night but they gingerly undressed anyway. Navigating to the edge of the pool, each entered it with great fragility and unconscious circumspection.
For thirty minutes none of the bathers spoke or looked up into the night sky or at each other—except for Leon. He was boracho. He kept taking liver-blistering hits from a bottle of Canadian Club and winking at the other three. Charlie knew it was time to go when Leon yacked all over his own pile of clothes while trying to retrieve a frajo from his jean jacket.
On the way back they heard Led Zeppelin III playing on 94 Rock. It was amazing what you could hear at four in the morning, Jones mused as the city of Albuquerque floated into view.
For a little while after that, Charlie hung out with Zelda. That mostly meant she'd come by Harvard House where they would make out frantically while Jones’ roommates painted abstract pictures or read National Lampoon in the living room.
But they never really bonded. Charlie realized that something was wrong after he took Zelda to see Dune at the Hiland Theater. Zelda refused to take her gloves off during the show and squirmed uncomfortably in her seat when the Guild Navigators were on screen.
On New Year's Eve, Zelda and Jones went to a party. She was late; he went through a sixer of Mickey's Big Mouth Malt Liquor in the meantime. Both of those humans were very far away from each other by the time they met up and so they mostly lost track of one another at the party. On the way home, Charlie yacked all over Zelda and passed out in the passenger seat of her new car.
That would have been that, but Charlie wanted the last word, just like the narrator told you at the beginning of all of this.
It was January and snowing like hell. Jones borrowed a car to drive up to the Heights where Zelda was staying. On the way he picked up a day-old bouquet of flowers at Allsups. As he was turning into her driveway, Charlie wrecked the car, a green Ford station wagon that had previously been used to haul around golf course equipment somewhere in Maryland. She came down to look at the wreck but acted like she didn't know Jones at all. She wondered aloud who he was and why he had chosen her house.
Charlie was sober. The auto had insurance. The cops let him go. Jones retreated silently, gracefully back to the student ghetto and waited for the spring semester to begin.
The next summer, Charlie heard that Leon had been crippled in a motorcycle accident, that Zelda was living two streets away with a serial womanizer and drunk, that Ruth had gone off to Sarah Lawrence to study anthropology. And all he'd done since was write and study, taking occasional breaks to stare at the sunlight coming through the front window in between times.
Some 152 years later, near the spot where Jones pondered the significance of meta-fiction in American literature, a great war was narrowly averted.
Jones Goes to College, Part One
Jones dug the hell out of that first semester at Coronado Hall. It was awesome, even if there always was some dude from Peñasco or Ojo Caliente passed out, drowning in his voluminous post-beer-bong vomit in the third floor head. The world was over for that rascal except for toilets and tile floors thought Jones as he hit the shower.
The Grateful Dead tapestry he put up on the window to shut out the light was, like, a total hit with his roommate and the fellows next door. And damn it all if the food wasn't a gazillion times better than at Allsup's.
With “Yow!” and “Yeah!” serving as enthusiastic interjections, the semester jetted out quick across the blue dome of the world. That spring, Charlie Jones made a grip of ceramic objects, read and decoded two situationist texts and learned how to tinkle out a couple of dances by Bartok.
Jones decided, as sure as eggs was eggs, he could never move home again. Living with the old man wasn't of any use, anyhow. That dude never seemed to get over his Afghan hound Duchess dying early. Twenty years had come and gone and it was still like living on the moon when Dad was around, all silent and dusty.
Reckoning the student ghetto was the way to go, Charlie began exhaustive research focused on finding a shack he could call his own. He did not have to extend himself too much into that realm mostly because he happened to run into his pal Donna in front of the student union.
It was just about May in those parts and Donna was gamboling about on the lawn with a lady friend who was dressed all in white. She was sporting a long skirt and sorta looked like Stevie Nicks, except for her hair. Her mop was as black as crow feathers and was blowing around in the springtime wind like it was trying to fly away into the clouds or something.
After a couple of obligatory hippie-hugs, Donna introduced Zelda and let it out the two of them had found an underground haven. It was a remodeled, carpeted, and suitably dark basement apartment they had found south of campus. The deal was they needed a third person to make the rent.
“You gotta be fucking kidding me,” Jones said as a storm came up and it started to rain like it used to do in Albuquerque before the environmental disaster of 2037.
The next morning, Jones got up early and hauled his sorry ass over to the student ghetto. It was early, with the light just coming over the new jungle of tired elms that framed the place. As Charlie approached the underground pad, a dude dressed like a steam-shovel operator came racing up the stairs with Zelda on his heels in a fashion that vaguely reminded Jones of the German retreat from Stalingrad.
Charlie stood there while the two of them began to argue and cajole, gesticulate and weave. After about five minutes of that, the guy in the industrial costume lumbered over to his El Camino and rolled away while April Wine blasted through the truck’s speakers. Zelda gritted her teeth and extended her right hand, all friendly, acting like nothing at all weird had just happened around there—or anywhere else earth—for that matter.
But Jones sensed she was unsettled about the whole thing. With Zelda standing out there in her bare feet, toeing at the dirt nervously and clad in an oversized wife-beater and sweatpants, he gravely intoned—drawing back a ways as they shook hands—“Tell you what, I'll start bringing my stuff over tomorrow.”
It poured water from the sky for the next two days and the lightning flashed and flashed. When the storm let up, when Charlie Jones finally got moved in, he still thought it was a sweet deal. There was a tiny kitchen at the top of the stairs and the rest of the place really was underground; all the walls were cool to the touch and hardly any light got in at all.
Donna was never home. Sometimes Jones played new wave music recordings in the big room in very back of the joint. Otherwise kept to himself and got up early every morning so as to dutifully haul his sorry ass to school.
He couldn’t tell whether Zelda worked or not. Every time he went by her room, the door was open with Fleetwood Mac songs floating through the air, incense wafting here and there and Zelda reclining languidly on her bed while leafing through books about food and flowers.
She'd usually glance at him wanly as he passed. He'd smile vaguely or give her the Vulcan hand salute. One or the other of them would tilt their head curiously before looking away.
After two months of that, a spot opened up at Harvard House, which was a broke down palace occupied by a collective of artists. Their pad was right down the street from a haunted house; a decent pizza joint was just a block away. That was an easy choice thought Jones as he handed over three Franklins to his new landlord.
Charlie split from the underground chanti just before the sun came up so he didn't have to make eye contact with Zelda. He didn't see her again until a big house party came around just after Thanksgiving. By then it was easy enough for both to pretend they were strangers.
That was the only pretense they chose to preserve as the two began making out on the couch. As their hands entwined, Zelda tried to remember the previous summer while Charlie attempted to recall what sorta tuneage the lady favored. Everyone else was out on the porch drinking tequila, eating pumpkin pie and watching a winter tempest come down from the mountains.