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V.25 No.14 | 04/07/2016
via morguefile

Event Horizon

Water Shoes Not Required

Sunday, Apr 17: Down in the Bosque Opening Reception and Talk

By Maggie Grimason [ Fri Apr 15 2016 10:00 AM ]
Artist Alan Paine Radebaugh discusses his work.
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V.25 No.15 | 04/14/2016

The Daily Word in Animals, Science and Exploiting Teen Girls

By Megan Reneau [ Thu Apr 14 2016 12:17 PM ]
The Daily Word

So a cop got basically no punishment for following an unarmed man and shooting him dead.

Could this simple solution really help end sexual assault on American campuses?

Bernie Bros come in all sizes and varieties. Fantastic.

Animals don't give a fuck about you and your nonsense.

In a survey of over 1,000 people, researchers were able to confirm something everyone already knew. What a good way to spend time and money.

Have you ever been so infatuated with someone that you didn't notice a crime happening right in front of you?

“I’m 28. I make $4 million a year. What do you do?” yells the man-child douche-bag, David Brackett.

Some horrible young men in town have been caught exploiting teen girls.

V.25 No.14 | 04/07/2016
via compfight

Event Horizon

Me-ow!

Saturday, Apr 16: Like an Animal: The Grazing and Sex Tour

By Megan Reneau [ Thu Apr 14 2016 12:00 PM ]
Resident experts divulge the details of the curious romantic rituals and strategies of animals. Price includes cocktails and appetizers.
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via compfight

Event Horizon

¡Ay, caramba!

Saturday, Apr 16: Fiestas de Albuquerque

By Megan Reneau [ Thu Apr 14 2016 10:00 AM ]
Enjoy the history and traditions of Albuquerque with live entertainment, artists, food, shopping, and free children's activities.
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V.25 No.13 | 03/31/2016
via compfight

Event Horizon

All Students (ahem, properly filled-in scantrons) Matter

Wednesday, Apr 13: First We Walked Out, Now We Opt Out

By Monica Schmitt [ Mon Apr 11 2016 10:00 AM ]
A town hall on standardized testing. Featuring special guest Janelle Astorga, co-leader of the Albuquerque High School PARCC walk outs.
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V.25 No.10 | 03/10/2016
Robert Maestas

Best of Burque Voting Countdown

Eight Days Left

By Taylor Grabowsky [ Thu Mar 10 2016 9:41 AM ]

Did you know that elephants can be pregnant for two years? Well, you only have eight days left to cast your ballot for this year's Best of Burque. Polling is online only, here is a direct link.

So vote, Albuquerque! Tell us who/what/where is best! There is even a write in category, in case we left something out.

Polling closes on March I8 at noon. Rock the vote!

V.25 No.9 | 3/3/2016

Opinion

Downtown Gets a Facelift

The city’s plans for renovation start this year

By Joshua Lee
Albuquerque’s downtown has major renovations in different stages of development, some of which you'll be seeing signs of this year.
V.25 No.9 | 03/03/2016
Courtesy of the author

Flash Fiction

Royal Eddie Never Showed Up

By August March [ Wed Mar 2 2016 9:53 PM ]

When Hawkins told us he wanted to party, we were sitting out on the porch at Stanford house drinking Coors Beer from small brown bottles. The swamp cooler was on the fritz. Sundown was coming on slow. We were watching to see whether the rockers across the street would open up their front door to let their pet pig, Royal Eddie, run around the front yard.

Tim Hunter suggested we coax one of our housecats into the ensuing fracas. He was an Earth-First fellow convinced of the cruelty of nature. So he was mean as hell to animals and most humans too. He worked at an art movie theater near the college. Hunter liked to scour the auditorium for used popcorn buckets after every show. He'd sneak them into the men's room, clean out the cardboard cylinders as good as possible. Then he would fill them up with corn and resell them for a buck and a quarter each.

Tim spent his days off camping and fishing so he wasn’t around much. We threw bottle caps at him or gave him the finger whenever he talked nonsense. He’d usually shut up and creep back to his room, rubbing his hands together like they were still covered in a flavorful artificial butter concentrate.

And Royal Eddie never showed up. It turns out he was feigning delirium that evening—amidst four heshers, three deconstructed Triumph motor bikes, two empty cases of Foster’s Lager and a quarter inch of mud, four stroke oil and vomit.

So it was a good thing Hawkins was having a motel party that night. It would be a gift to bounce from the hood. He walked up to the porch, checked the mail and asked when Tim was moving out. By the way, he gravely intoned, I have rented a room at the Lorlodge. That was a sketchy motel with a swimming pool right off the 25 on the other side of the student ghetto.

I had been working as a welder for a month and told Hawkins I wanted to make it a special occasion. I thought it would be ironically summer-weather defying to wear my leather jacket and safety hat and parade down there in style. Chauncy the actor who worked at the Steak and Ale up by Winrock agreed; he put on his tux and patent leather oxfords. Hawkins grabbed his scuba gear from out the closet, fins and all. We started walking down Central Avenue.

When we passed the Fat Chance Bar and Grill, I heard a rock band playing. Damned it if wasn't A Murder of Crows. But we didn't go in because Hawkins owed Junius and Caleb a sawbuck and two pints besides.

On the other side of University Boulevard a fellow in a green beret with a red flag fixed to it jumped out from the doorway of a storefront. He asked if we wanted to come to his meeting of the Communist party. They were having ice-cold refreshments and a discussion on Marx in the twentieth century, he said, smiling wanly. Chauncy told him our party would be better, handed him a half-smoked jazz cigarette that he had been fiddling with earlier and did his best impression of Harpo.

As we passed Mulberry Street, three of the groovy gals we knew from art school turned the corner named for a big green tree and the middle of things. It was Split-level Lisa, who dressed in black but took photos of colorful birds; the magenta-haired performance artist named after a Hindu goddess and her pal Caroline from Sarah Lawrence College.

They were on their way to Jack's Bar to get a case of Olympia and the Hawaiian-style pizza to go. Since I was full of feria after working on water tanks and decorative wrought iron all week, I offered to pitch in. I told them about the cable teevee at the motel and how they had a pool and air conditioning too.

And Lisa thought that was just fine. She started to tell how she needed a new set of trucks but a helicopter was landing at the big hospital by the freeway and her voice sounded like flowers coming apart in a storm. The blades were spinning fast and fluttering around like they were made of hummingbird wings. The hot air of July swirled around us while the engine roared and roared. A security guard with a steel badge shaped like a seven-sided star chased us away when we got too close.

The six of us ran the rest of the way with heat rising off the sidewalk and the light turning rosy on account of the earth’s rotation. Parvati lost her left flip-flop and Hawkins both his fins to the highway underpass. But just as the sun touched the horizon, we crossed over and waltzed into the office at the Lorlodge, laughing like we owned the place.

V.25 No.7 | 02/18/2016

ABQ Bands Show Off at the Local Band Showcase

The City of Albuquerque's Special Events team is looking for metro-based bands that would like to show off their talent in downtown Albuquerque in a Spring kick off event. The Local Band Showcase is a great opportunity for bands to appear before a crowd, build momentum and energize their fan base.

On Friday, April 1 from noon-7:30pm, Civic Plaza will rock with the sounds of 15 local bands performing a variety of musical genres. The event is free and a great opportunity to bring the whole family for an afternoon of music, food from local trucks, and local beer and wine.

Local venue and concert promoters will be in attendance to check out the show. Bands can meet entertainment bookers from the BioPark, Summerfests, Convention Center, Old Town and some Santa Fe venues.

Now is the time to sign up your band if you want to be included! Complete the online application at cabq.gov/culturalservices/local-band-showcase. Bands will be selected based on their submitted music, as well as their genre, to ensure a good mix for the event, not on a first come first served basis. A Local Band Showcase performance does not guarantee an opportunity to perform at a City event or venue.

Morguefile.com/Matthew Hull

Flash Fiction

"A Duodene of Bird Notes"

By August March [ Wed Feb 17 2016 9:05 PM ]

She was busy stuffing her clothes, jewelry, books and records into the big straw bag she carried with her everywhere. She was getting ready to go back to wherever she went every morning as the sun climbed up into the sky and the earth turned around and around.

Scrape, scrape, scrape, went the sound of the razor against Charlie’s face. It was summertime. The Ford dealership was doing fine. No one seemed to give a bird’s beak whether he came in hung over. He could flutter into the showroom with eyes like a raven has; everything would still be okay.

Sandy sang out from the bedroom. She couldn't find her keys and was cussing like a mechanic does when that one important bolt just won't come off. Charlie lit on the bed roughly and goose down went flying everywhere.

He wiped the Barbasol from his face and smoothed out the mess. Charlie said to go outside and have a look-see. Sure enough, the keys were dangling from the door.

Sandy waltzed back in, shot Charlie a dirty look and took off. She was clutching her bag in one hand and a pair of maryjanes in the other. The door banged shut, but she would phone him later.

Charllie looked around the room, gave his dog Dutchess a pat on the head and walked over to the kitchen. He poured a cup of coffee, smoked a Pall Mall and admired the bright light filling up the place.

The phone rang just after midnight. An hour later, Charlie could hear Sandy’s truck chugging up the hill to Ridgecrest. The only other sounds were from nightjars or from the trains coming and going at the station by the Alavardo.

Charlie and Sandy got drunk and listened to the records she brought over. And then they did it together; sweetly swooping through the red wine and white sheets as if the world around them were just a shiny bead at the bottom of a deep pool. In between rounds, she talked about the movies she'd seen at the Sunshine and told about the books she had been reading.

Charlie didn't know much about any of those books or movies, but he sure liked to listen to Sandy talk. She had a voice like a bird; it was made from feathers and bones, eggshells and promises.

Dutchess barked. Charlie realized he was late for work. He rose, and checked the door before he left for the day. “It's locked, I shook it,” he half-whistled as he wandered down to Nob Hill.

On the way to the shop Charlie saw two hawks, a roadrunner and at least ten sparrows. Those were hopeful signs he mused; he hoped like hell he'd sell a car that day. It was the Friday before the Fourth of July. Charlie was damned if there wasn't some patriotic eagle out there he couldn't talk into a Ford.

V.25 No.5 | 02/04/2016
sunsets
the author

Runaway

By Taylor Grabowsky [ Thu Feb 4 2016 12:30 PM ]

I have lived in Albuquerque for most of my life. I don’t know anything different, which has created a restlessness within me. Sometimes I get the urge to run away, to get in my car and drive far, far away from here. However, because I usually only have enough gas in the tank to get home and my Jeep is one speed bump away from falling apart, I know that it ain’t happening any time soon. The one thing that does keep me grounded, and reminds me how beautiful and unique this city and this part of the country is, are the sunsets. I’ve almost gotten in several minor car accidents trying to snap a picture of the incredible sunsets I see on my way home. I’ve pulled over into school, store and abandoned parking lots to watch and document the setting sun. Everyone who rides with me is used to my sudden inclination to shout, “but look at the clouds!” and even indulges me in assisting with the camera on my phone so that we don’t plunge into oncoming traffic. So the next time you are feeling stressed about life, I suggest getting to somewhere high up that has a clear view away from trees and buildings, and just watch the beauty in the sky. Or you can always hop in my car and we’ll hit the freeway, chasing that golden light.

V.25 No.4 | 01/28/2016
Kathmandu, Nepal
/ Creative Commons CC0 1.0

Flash Fiction

Eddie and Glenda and Lorraine

By August March [ Fri Jan 29 2016 10:54 PM ]

Eddie sure as hell didn't want spend the rest of his life in Burque, but it sure seemed like it would go that way as he loaded another pizza into the Pontiac. And the moon shone down on the elms and cottonwoods, the cicadas buzzed and nineteen-hundred and ninety-six was not a bad year.

He came back to town like a lightning storm from the Caribbean that January. A man with a scar across his belly and hands like starfish held a knife across Eddie's throat in Tobago because Eddie told the dude his haircut made him look new wave. The way it was tied up on his head like an abandoned coral reef made Eddie think it was just a convenient disguise; the kind the po-po used when they wanted you to be comfortable because they needed more information before they stepped in with machetes drawn and handcuffs at the ready.

He got to walk away from that incident on two accounts, the first being his fluency with slang and the second having to do with the civil war presidents that hung out in his left front pocket.

After that he wandered through town cursing his luck and studying the night sky. The next morning he left Crown Point with acid burning a glorious hole in his gut. The 10 seat Cessna that bore Eddie away made for the coast of the southern continent.

The Isle of Margarita was better, some of the streets were lined with orange trees, but even the good hotels had plumbing hanging out of the walls. Eddie hired a car and headed for the coast. The cabbie tuned in to a station that was playing "Stairway to Heaven" over and over. The sea was grey and despicable. At dinner an old European couple hit him up for a threesome. Eddie feigned shock and wandered back to his cabana alone.

Two days on and he was stranded in the student ghetto again, reading want ads in the Daily Lobo, smoking rolled up frajos made from butts found by the front door of the Frontier Restaurant.

Eddie finally scored a job as a substitute teacher. Shorn and shaved, wearing his old man's cast off business attire, it was easy enough to think he might be a teacher.

The year was burning by kinda like a rocket to the moon might look like from the proper vantage point. In May Eddie took a full time gig at the school.

He liked all the responsibility; the pizza in the cafeteria kept his spirit calm. But at night his head was still filled up with the mountains and seas and people that made up a faraway earth he reckoned he ought to conquer while youth permitted.

When summer school ended, he walked away from the job and rang up an old flame. Lorraine was living at the edge of the Himalaya mountains and goddammit if it didn't sound fine and picturesque where she was, with fruit bats a flyin' and the monsoon petering out to reveal an infinite, mountainous majesty that beat Burque to hell by comparison.

Since he needed some feria to get out there, Eddie took a temp position at the same college he had run screaming from four years before. They were pleased as punch to see his sorry ass and let him get their internet connections sorted out. Then he was in charge of dispensing keys and also sat in the front office typing memos.

Every night he would tumble out of there and walk downtown. He'd spend everything he could come up with drinking with acquaintances and coaxing beautiful strangers back to his pad for jazz cigarettes and strong coffee.

As summer waned he ran into a gal he had known in the 1980s. She was a townie with yellow hair and hands like a clock. They ended up back at Glenda's house where she wept while telling Eddie about her life. All Eddie could think about was that woman's mother sleeping in the next room, the scent of her dead father's shoes wafting solemnly through the family home.

Eddie picked up the phone at work the next day.. It was a trunk call from Nepal. The operator asked if he wanted to be connected. The voice on the other side was dulcet, was like velvet. Come out here, the voice said and we will make it work this time.

Eddie was all torn up. He liked the yellow-haired woman, even though she said he dressed like a punk and should trade in his patronage at Pacific Coast Sunwear for the comfort and cultural cachet of Macy's. And he had a history with Lorraine, could not resist her Oxford accent—especially given the hot dry air, the crackling insect desert, the dull clerk's identity he had gathered up into a bag called Albuquerque.

One morning after a party at Glenda's, he borrowed her car and drove over to Allsup's. Eddie bought a burrito with a Grant and poured the change—196 quarters—into the pay phone so he could tell Lorraine what exactly he had decided to do.

Eddie returned the car, took his skateboard and left. He withdrew all of his money from the bank, skated over to his favorite tavern and got good and drunk.

That night he fell alseep in a friend's back yard. When the short night had ebbed he hauled his sorry ass over to a travel Agency by the Sunport and bought a one way ticket to Kathmandu. He sure as hell hoped it would work out this time.

Six month's later when he returned for his mother's funeral—thin and worn with a head full of incense—Eddie took a job delivering pizzas. The third delivery ticket was for an address in Nob Hill; it was Glenda's house. He took her the pizza. She stood at the door, staring at the stars and weeping. As Eddie held the pie out toward Glenda her hands moved around and around in small circles exploring the space all around them.

V.25 No.5 | 2/4/2016

Uptown Girl Working in a Downtown World

By Taylor Grabowsky [ Thu Jan 28 2016 11:13 AM ]

I have lived in Albuquerque almost my whole life. To be more specific, I am a product of the Northeast Heights. That's the part of town where I've lived the most, where I went through public school and where I spend the majority of my time. But now I work Downtown. Having worked down here for several months, now I feel like I get what Downtown is all about. It's not as intimidating as it once was. The narrow roads and one way streets now only semi stress me out. I like walking the streets and noticing the varied people who congregate in this area. I've grown to love watching the trucks unload the cases of booze in the morning from the view from my desk and seeing the bands unloading equipment in the alleyway on my walk to my car. Having said all that though, today I did miss my turn and was almost immediately lost. Turns out, I haven't really explored more than my natural route down here. The only thing that saved me is that Albuquerque streets are on a grid system. I think I might have some more exploring to do.

V.25 No.3 | 01/21/2016
A view from the heights
Courtesy of the author

Creative Non-Fiction

Number Eleven

By August March [ Wed Jan 20 2016 9:45 PM ]

There is something wrong with waiting for the Sun-Tran bus number eleven at seven in the morning thought Charlie Jones as he dragged upon a Camel straight and adjusted the band on his watch. A couple of pigeons wandered over and he threw them each ample quantities of the three-day-old Allsups burrito buried in his coat pocket.

Jones was wearing stuff from his father's closet. There was something about that woolen cowboy-style suit jacket and the bolo tie—a turquoise and coral affair that depicted the Zuni Sun God—that made Charlie itchy and paranoid.

—Someone else wore this stuff around Burque thirty years ago and now it's my turn, he mumbled to the small birds.

The Lomas bus followed a wide path made from concrete and dinosaur juice and ended up on the edge of the mountains, a place nearby to Charlie's destination. On board, Jones read through his notes for the day. Once in a while, he looked out the window. The bus drove through places that used to be open range, filled with sage and snakes and the ruins of cars that never made it to Califas.

—So Tony y la familia settled in Barelas, a passenger across the aisle gravely intoned.

Charlie got out of the bus after it crossed Juan Tabo and walked the rest of the way to the high school. The place was mostly painted purple. There were also about three hundred or so depictions of lions—some sculptural—saturating the campus with an air of vibrancy, ferocity.

—The school mascot left its spoor everywhere, Jones whispered reverently.

As Charlie marched through the administrator’s area on the way to his classroom, he was mistaken for a student by the new community resource officer, a man who had just moved to Burque from New Jersey—looking for something he just knew was hidden somewhere in the sprawling western lands. His name was Dwight.

Jones produced his faculty ID. He gave the old man a solemn pat on the back, thanking him for his vigilance and incomparable public service. The two men wandered away from the other satisfied and confident about their ability to communicate with individuals from outside their respective subcultures.

It was still early; Charlie stopped by the teacher's lounge. He had a Sony Walkman in his bag. Jones was about to activate side two of the new Radiohead album when Bob Baca, the biology teacher appeared. Bob began chatting about invertebrates in a very excited tone and then with no small amount of verbal craft segued loquaciously and nearly seamlessly into a diatribe about the wonders of religion.

—A single dude like you ought to give church a try, said the biology teacher, inducing a sense of mock frenzy in Charlie’s fingers, which were unable to flip the cassette tape over at that precise moment due to an overwhelming sense of ennui in the rest of his body.

He reached his room, unlocked the door and activated the switch on the wall. Lights fluttered to life and computers booted. Students began to wander in. One of them asked Charlie if it was true that he was a communist and let his summer school students read Chairman Mao's little red book last year. Charlie waved off the question and made sure he stood with his hand over heart when they played the Star Spangled banner over the intercom that morning.

Jones gave a lesson about how technology was influencing rock music. One of his students, Zach, jumped out of his seat near the end of the talk, and began belting out "Destination Anywhere," by Bon Jovi while gesturing madly at the students in the back of the room. After a couple of verses, he retreated—funky, outrageous and parade-style through the classroom door, never seen again.

During the scheduled lunch break, Charlie sat behind his desk and played Oregon Trail on the Apple IIe. Afterward he spent the afternoon discussing a relatively new thing called the world wide web with a group of final-year students who he believed were probably going to end up designing nuclear weapons or implementing carnivorous global marketing strategies.

On the way out to the bus stop at the end of the day, he nearly tripped over Bob Baca. Jones was looking down, trying to find the rewind button on his music player. Just as he slid awkwardly past Baca, the tape inside the machine reset itself. A recording of Thom Yorke's voice began telling all about a dystopian world—filled with crash survivors and characters right out of Shakespeare—that was just around the corner.

—Fitter, happier, more productive, the voice on recording said with the informative precision of machines.

Charlie cranked up the volume, flashed Baca the peace sign and crossed the street. He walked to the bench where a bus was always waiting and listened.

V.25 No.2 | 01/14/2016

505 Circles of Hell

Circle Three: Driving in Burque

By Megan Reneau [ Thu Jan 14 2016 2:50 PM ]

If you’ve ever been to Albuquerque, you’re aware that driving here is pretty fucking awful. It’s a tossup every time you drive: It’s either going to be fine or it’s going to potentially wreck your car and you. I don’t know how many times I’ve driven with a friend and been scared shitless because they think they know what they’re doing. I try to call people out whenever I’m driving with them, and I usually get called a backseat driver. Excuse me, but I don’t want to die trapped in a fiery cage while shouting, “I told you not to do that you nitwit!”. Let’s explore why nearly everyone in Burque sucks ass when driving.

The worst time to drive in town is during rush hour. Since Albuquerque is pretty spread out and not as populated as other western cities, one would assume that it would be easy to drive here (whatever that means). That would take common sense and attention, though, which most Burqueno-drivers lack. Drivers tend to be overly aggressive and brash during prime driving hours. I try to avoid driving around 7am-9am and 4pm-6pm, but unfortunately that’s not realistic. These are the rush hours for a reason: It’s when most people have to get to places. More than trying to avoid driving during a certain time, I make a large effort to not drive in certain areas during this time.

I’ve found that the interstates are a shit-show during rush hour, along with major roads and highly condensed areas. When I worked in Rio Rancho (circa 2012), I would usually get off around 4pm. I would walk ever-so-slowly to my car dreading driving back home to the East Mountains. Driving on I-25, especially around Jefferson was scary. I would only loosen my grip on my steering wheel once I was past the Tramway exit on I-40. I also hate driving around the Base during the mornings. Afternoons are fine, but mornings? Fuck that.

When I was a teenager, my mom and I would carpool most of the time. We would have to leave our house (which is about 35 minutes from the Base if you drive the speed limit), and our goal was to leave about an hour before she had to be at work on Base. We would usually sit in traffic at the Eubank gate for 5-20 minutes; we could never be sure how long it would take. I also don’t like driving through the center areas of Downtown. It never works because people don’t understand that you have to drive the speed limit to catch all the green lights.

Recently I was driving home—which is Downtown for me—and I was going through the traffic circle. I think 80% of the drivers that go through there don’t know how to use traffic circles. I was driving in the circle (so I had the right-of way) and a truck pulled up to the circle going east and almost hit me and then they had the nerve to honk at me like I was the one who didn’t know how traffic circles work.

The only people that are comparable to the god-awful drivers in Albuquerque are Italian drivers. Half of the time when I was in a vehicle in Italy, I was genuinely afraid for my life. I’m never as scared of driving as I was then, but it’s nevertheless daunting. We don’t use our blinkers, we drive too fast, we don’t check our mirrors, we’re distracted (texting and talking on the phone while driving is still illegal, dummies), we run red lights and stop signs, we all-out ignore signs, and road rage is getting wild. To paraphrase John Mulaney, we’re all like a one hundred year old, blind dog who’s texting while driving and drinking a smoothie.

It seems as a city, we’ve agreed recently to try to do better. Let’s drop the ‘try’ and just do better.

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