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V.25 No.36 | 09/08/2016

The Daily Word in The Wage Gap, Long Lost Poetry and Petite Pterosaurs

The Daily Word

There's no denying America's economic inequality, but a new census shows that the median middle-class income went up by 5.2% in 2015, due to rising wages and low inflation. Thanks, Obama.

… But don't celebrate just yet. College costs are rising steadily relative to middle-class income, with an increase of a whopping 171% over 40 years. Yeesh.

Here's an idea for all you outdoor adrenaline junkies.

Cute tiny dinosaurs! Gah.

“I really felt connected every time our luminescence collided” and more drug-induced Burning Man missed connections.

Roald Dahl, author of The BFG, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox and so many more quirky stories would have turned 100 today. Here's a poem he wrote that was stashed in a desk drawer for a couple decades.

Five states will vote on legalizing recreational marijuana in November and the prospect of legalization is sparking questions about our overall knowledge of the plant's effects on the brain.

V.25 No.33 | 08/18/2016

The Daily Word in College, The Science of Expectations and Albuquerque Rapid Transit

The Daily Word

In the spirit of a new school year, let's all remember that despite our frantic pursuits, college won't prepare anyone for The Real World. (But in all honesty, nothing will.)

Hey web designers, I have a project for you.

Peer inside the life of two Syrian refugees striving to become part of German society. In the small town, they spend the majority of their days studying the German language in hopes of getting jobs and contributing to the community.

Scientists speculate timing in the big scheme of things and conclude that life seems to be “more likely” in the future than now. Apparently we overeager Earthlings arrived at the cosmic mashup a bit early.

I think we should all move to Cormorant, Minnesota. They just reelected a dog as their Mayor.

In more local news, commissioners in Albuquerque plan to discuss a resolution to put the ABQ Rapid Transit project on the November ballot. This will give voters the chance to state whether they support or oppose ART.

A new study surveying 111 women with breast cancer found that those who held negative expectations regarding their treatment experienced twice as many side effects.

V.25 No.32 | 08/11/2016

Short Fiction

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.

V.24 No.46 | 11/12/2015
/ Wikimedia Commons

Flash Fiction

The House on Silver Avenue

I am going to need another tug off that bottle of Thunderbird if I am going to go down there and rescue one of those kittens said Charlie to the spare but shabby living room of the house on Silver Avenue.

Chauncy was in the room under the stairs which contained a sink, a shower and crapper. He did not hear Charlie talking nonsense about the cats because he was getting ready for his evening shift at the steakhouse. Chauncy was frantically trying to coax chicken fat stains out of his black trousers with a toothbrush and a bottle of Florida Water.

The others were in the first-floor bedroom, across from all of that. They couldn't hear Charlie either. Michael was smoking dirt weed out of a pipe he had carved from an apple, reclining like royalty on the bed while his stunned girlfriend Sherri sat in the corner picking glitter out of her hair and counting Jeffersons. They moved in last week and Charlie knew them about as well as any of the other punk rockers from across the street.

Charlie looked around and realized he was speaking to empty space, chatting with the void. He got up and dragged himself to the kitchen. Tim Lodgeson was in there cooking a chicken in the microwave. He had the whole thing in the oven for ten minutes while the two of them sat around jawing about school. Charlie couldn't make heads or tails of what Lodgeson told him. It was something about forests and capitalism.

When the meat came out it was gray. It had the appearance of plastic. Tim took the bird and skewered it with a big silver serving fork he had taken from the cafeteria last semester, around Thanksgiving. He started gnawing on the chicken as if he had not eaten for a week, like he had conquered a small but vicious dinosaur with teeth and technology.

Charlie excused himself politely, gagged and walked out onto the back porch. He could hear the kittens in the basement mewling for their mother. The hell with the Thunderbird, he thought, I sure would like a new pet cat. Further reasoning that such an outcome would be a pleasant surprise for his girlfriend, he sauntered down the stairs and into the darkness.

He felt his way around for a bit until he could reach out and pull on the chain that turned on the light bulb in the middle of basement. Sure enough, there was a litter of cats in the basement. Their mother was nowhere to be seen. Charlie crept over to snatch up a tiny calico.

An eruption of teeth and fur and hair and blood coincided with that action as the hidden mother pounced. The living fury would not come off him, though he clawed and clawed at it. He retreated and was filled up with a queasy combination of shame and horror. The damn thing finally let up when he got to the door, lunging for the knob and hitting his head on the concrete as he fell toward the yard.

Back inside of the house on Silver Avenue, Michael and Sherri had crept out their room and were watching Hee Haw in the big front room. Chauncy was in the kitchen critiquing Tim's culinary procedures as he attempted to saw a leg off of what was left of the poultry experiment. Chauncy was dressed for work now. He looked like a million bucks and was being awfully careful not to get any schmaltz on his waiter's uniform as he danced around Tim's meaty methodologies.

As the two went on and on about the wonders of microwave cooking and with the mellow sounds of George Jones drifting through the whole place, Charlie entered from the porch. He asked for a wet towel and wondered aloud where his bottle of wine might have gotten to. Saturday night had just begun.

V.24 No.38 | 9/17/2015


The Daily Word In Underwater travels, two animals to make your heart melt and a new species introduced to the world

The Daily Word

Newly discovered Homo Naledi species with primate and human features.

Female cartoonist sentenced to 12 years in prison for shaking her lawyer’s hand.

Last 9/11 Search-and-rescuce dog gets honored in New York City and Celebrates her 16th birthday.

60-year-old man travels the world swimming through the ocean.

Man remembers to pay his college parking tickets after 40 years.

Crane collapses at Islam’s mosques.

Flordia man arrested for plan to use a pressure cooker bomb at 9/11 memorial.

Check out these Disney characters in virtual reality!

Syrian man flees to greece but not without his kitten Olive.

V.24 No.18 | 4/30/2015


The Nuclear Option

Stream our uranium-soaked mixtape

We made y’all a mixtape of tunes in the key of Uranium 235.
V.23 No.43 | 10/23/2014
Sam White (Tessa Thompson) would like you to rephrase that last remark.

Film Review

Dear White People

Unabashed comedy-drama about black and white college students plays all the race cards

Freshman director tackles race relations on campus in unabashed comedy-drama Dear White People.
V.23 No.35 |


The Daily Word in "Longmire" cancellation, kids with guns and affirmative consent

The Daily Word

Nidal Hasan, who was sentenced to death last year for fatally shooting 13 people at Ft. Hood, Texas, in 2009, has asked to be made a citizen of the Islamic State.

California passes an “affirmative consent” bill to address the problem of rape on campuses.

A police officer in Atlanta was arrested for allegedly killing a woman he met online and then burning her body.

Soaring rents prove problematic for people living in urban areas, as that's where everyone wants to be.

The Washington Post on young children and guns.

Albuquerque authorities are investigating a robbery at a Dairy Queen, during which an employee shot and killed the suspected robber.

So, not only did they still a car, but they left a bag of caca and a gun?

A judge will decide today whether to grant the $350,000 buyout for former APS Superintendent Winston Brooks.

Longmire,” formerly shot in Garson Studios in Santa Fe, has been canceled. Now fans wonder whether another network will pick it up for a fourth season.

A couple guys found out why those rocks in Death Valley move.

V.23 No.24 |


The Daily Word in hungry gators, a stegomastodon skull and a POW's return

The Daily Word

Colleges look at fraternities to ease the pressure.

Secretary of State John Kerry sent a message to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, urging Iraqis to “come together,” as Al Qaeda-inspired militants continue their march toward Baghdad.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an American prisoner of war, has been returned to the states.

A priest was shot and killed at a church in Phoenix, Ariz., while another was wounded.

Bobby Lee Pearson, who was on trial for a burglary charge, died in a fight mere hours after being acquitted.

You don't want your gun? Take it to the landfill!

Two Chinese nationals were apprehended and face federal charges for trying to buy military sensors from an Albuquerque company and smuggle them back to China.

Doctors at UNM Hospital are trying to reconstruct an 8-month-old child's organs after she was allegedly raped by her mother's boyfriend.

It's a stegomastodon skull!

A Louisiana tour guide likes to swim with gators … and feed them … with his mouth.

V.22 No.16 |


Onward and inward

“Look toward the future.” This saying has been engraved in my mind since ... well, since the beginning. I’ve been told by my parents, teachers, advisors, bosses, nearly everyone to strive for what’s ahead, to keep on pushing forward. I realize this is a common theme in society. I’m sure most people have had at least a few anxiety attacks in the middle of the night concerning that overbearing word: “future”.

I’ll admit I’m slightly terrified by its presence. However, my perspective is shifting. I graduate from high school next month and suddenly, the world seems to be spinning multitudes faster than it used to. What happened to barely keeping my eyes open in first-period calculus? Or lugging around a backpack that felt like it was full of anvils? Now, I’m being thrown a diploma and told to go off into the real world, leaving this part of my life behind. Granted, graduating from high school is an accomplishment I’m proud of and while I had a great time overall, I cannot wait to throw my cap in the air while ironically performing a “High School Musical” signature jump. In the grand spectrum, these past four years account for a minuscule portion of my life. That isn’t to say they weren’t important, but there is so much more to experience and learn outside of the state-required curriculum.

But then here it comes again: the future spurning an existential crisis on my exhausted brain. Between worrying about what college will be like to what sort of chips to buy for my graduation party, my head is filled to the brim with anticipating the undeniable future. Perhaps the most frightening part is that in approximately four months, I will be moving over 2000 miles away to Boston.

That single fact awoke an urge to stop focusing primarily on the future and to really enjoy what I have right now. While moving and running toward reality is exciting, I also know I have to make an effort to really soak up all that’s around me right now. Boston will present me with some amazing adventures, but what about the adventures that are yet to be had here?

So, Alibi reader, welcome to “Blair rediscovers ABQ” (I’m sure I’ll come up with a catchier title later). Given the opportunity to blog for the Alibi, I hope to not only find new things about this beloved desert city that I never knew existed, but also let you know about them. This place has so much to offer and before I leave, I want to be able to say, “I know Albuquerque,” and share my newfound knowledge. Before Boston, diplomas, packing all my stuff into not-so-neat little boxes; before my life turns upside down, I want to explore my home to the absolute fullest during the last summer I have the privilege to call it that.

Thus begins the Albuquerque adventures. Next stop: Food trucks.

V.22 No.8 | 2/21/2013


Rowdy’s Dream Blog #284: My young fiancee.

I learn that my fiancee is only 17. She was able to finish college, where I met her, at such a young age because she "worked all the examples."

V.22 No.3 | 1/17/2013


Rowdy’s Dream Blog #280: She gives me a white, gaudy leather jacket.

I am back in college, visiting two girls (Reese Witherspoon and Lara Flynn Boyle.) L is very tall and smells good. A guy named Kenny sits on the floor fixing a fish tank for them. We shake hands awkwardly. We all take a walk down the street, two by two, me with L. We are in downtown Denver. We cross the street. L suddenly has an idea and we return home. I give R a "chicken" crochet sweater. She seems to love it and puts it on over the sweater she's wearing. We discuss her "color." She lets on that she knows about my painting method. She gives me a white, gaudy leather jacket with appliqued colored trinkets. I try it on. It is very stiff and my hands don't seem to fit through the sleeve holes. I do some Russian accent shtick, rather unfunny, with my brother. He pulls on my hand, but pulls me forward and I fall over the couch.

V.21 No.37 | 9/13/2012


The Daily Word in Bill Clinton, Genesis and Zozobra

The Daily Word

I-25 / Paseo overhaul will be on the ballot in November.

Are you going to Zozobra tonight?

Doug Vaughan sentenced to 12 years for Ponzi scheme.

UNM considers making Lobo Village booze-free.

Ex-President Clinton at the DNC, a recap.

Wheelchair rugby players are rock stars.

Does email cause stress?

Freddie Mercury’s private cultural identity.

Prog awards honor Genesis.

Hungarian artist makes a subway stop magical.

Voyager’s getting close to the edge of the solar system.

Sun burp.

NASA’s Sunita Williams fixes the International Space Station with a toothbrush.

Jennifer Aniston’s going to be in a movie shooting in New Mexico soon.

V.21 No.3 | 1/19/2012
Julia Minamata


A break for (some) students

In the fall, we heard all about the president’s executive action that lightens the load for students paying back federal loans.

But the plan only applies to certain people. Are you one of them?

Read Elise Kaplan’s “How to cash in on Obama’s student loan plan and find out.

V.21 No.3 |


The Daily Word in film caps, Gingrich and Megaupload

The Daily Word

17-year-old student stabbed and killed at school.

City pays woman back after police destroyed her weed.

State lawmakers looking to banish the $50 million cap for film rebates imposed last year.

Look inside the Fukushima containment vessel.

Santa Fe's minimum wage will be the highest in the country.

Congress is going to hold off on PIPA and SOPA votes.

Romney may lose to Gingrich in South Carolina.

College students are playing the fainting game. I thought that was for kids.

Hackers retaliate after Megaupload is shut down.

A matrilineal state in India (where women rule).

If that capsized cruise ship dumps its fuel, it will pollute one of the most pristine segments of the Mediterranean.

Why is it hard to believe in evolution?

Advice that doesn't make sense until you're too old to need it.

Pulitzer Prize: Meh.


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