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.
The New Mexico Public Education Department is grabbing the financial reins for a group of troubled Albuquerque charter schools.
It may rain this week. *fingers crossed*
The New Mexico State Fair is less than a week away. Eat something fried for me.
Azul Burrito Co., we barely knew ye.
UNM is "not substantially compliant" with the Clery Act, which requires schools to properly communicate and monitor campus safety issues.
"Breaking Bad" is the gift that keeps on giving.
Colonel Tom Miller asks for a take-back on previously submitted KAFB jet fuel spill data.
Today in cultural relativity, zoo animals in Albuquerque will probably get to eat horse meat. And that's not unusual.
Performance art ain't dead yet, and thank goodness (and folks like Emma Sulkowicz) for that.
Admission to the State Fair is free for everyone today! Go eat something fried!
Two days after the Navy Yard shootings, the usual idiots are saying the usual idiotic things. Things like "False flag," "crisis actors," "Obama," and "conspiracy."
A muddy coal slide, or perhaps a coal-y mud slide, slopped its way through Madrid, NM on Sunday night.
But it's water that's resumed flowing for residents of Jal, NM.
A Tennessee judge has ruled that it's okay to name your baby "Messiah." Just in case you want your kid to have that particular reason to hate you for the rest of their life.
A pipeline pumping molasses from Hawaii to California, which is totally a real thing, ruptured last week, spilling 233,000 gallons of the delicious-
And, as of yesterday, you may no longer bring ferrets into Arizona restaurants. Miniature horses are still cool, though.
It’s Friday the 13th.
Al-Qaeda chief urges attacks on the US.
Bake your bacon in the oven the right way.
Low levels of gut bacteria may be linked to bitchiness and other disorders.
The Ig Nobel Prizes.
Roadkill: the ethical meat.
Monkeys think long and hard about bananas.
Grohl and Novoselic reminisce about Nirvana.
Fancy things are better. Right?
The New Mexico Supreme Court rules in favor of Pornotopia.
Happy birthday Barbara Bain.
Colourblind is a beautifully rendered side-scroller. The object of this mostly monochromatic game is ... well, the subtitle kind of sums it up: Right Eye vs. the Dusty Pirate Clouds from Industrial Landscapes. You play an eyeball (presumably the right one) whose eyeball girlfriend (presumably the left one) has been kidnapped by gloomy clouds. Jump around, avoid the hazards, but make careful use of the colored paintbrushes scattered around. You can only see one color at a time. Colors result in platforms, barricades, spikes and other game field features. Some are helpful, some are not. And those damn clouds can wash away your color with one well-timed downpour.
George Zimmerman trial outcome causes speculation on the "stand your ground" law.
Taking photos of the secretary of state's house and a pellet gun in your car? Someone's been a busy boy.
Apple is set to investigate a claim that a woman was electrocuted by her iPhone.
"Glee" star Cory Monteith was found dead in a Vancouver hotel over the weekend. Police have ruled out foul play.
"Angel" the dog is said to be recovering well after having her throat slashed.
Heavy rain catches Albuquerque citizens in the metro area off guard.
Jury deliberations for the Levi Chavez murder trial started at 8:30 this morning.
K-Y Intense Arousal gel causes Alabama post office evacuation. No joke.
Albuquerque had a great rain shower yesterday for the first time in about six weeks.
Aryan gangs on the rise in NM.
Let's catch up with the Alamogordo police blotter.
For writing quality, Rio Grande Sun's police blotter beats all though.
Bouncers at Albuquerque's Uptown Sports Bar beat up a dine and dasher. Video.
Twisted and rambling (and entertainingly stupid) rant about homosexuality by woman at a city council meeting in Nebraska.
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio ain't backin' down.
Update on Sarah Tressler, the reporter who was fired for not disclosing her second job as a stripper.
Coherent and funny Russel Brand speaks to English parliament about drug policy.
Great photo gallery of VW Beetle wrecks from decades ago.
Yesterday's election results here.
Assassination plot #587 against Afghan President Hamid Karzai foiled.
Some good news for Democrats.
Can having incompetent lawyers invalidate your death-penalty sentence? I'm asking for a friend.
House Republicans triple the budget to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.
Anonymous may or may not attack the New York Stock Exchange.
Andrew Breibart tries to link President Obama to the New Black Panther Party.
Nazis are being hunted again in Germany.
Astronomers use science the test the legend of Frankenstein's birth.
Israeli scientists win the chemistry Nobel prize for the discovery of quasicrystals.
Meet Sesame Street's new food insecure muppet.
Disney will be releasing more animated classics as 3D re-releases.
NBA preseason is cancelled as labor talks put the rest of the regular season is in jeopardy.
I thought this was a crazy fever-dream, but Popeye's is introducing scoop-shaped chicken nuggets.
Ten classic books that were originally rejected by publishers.
It turns out buying groceries at a drug store is a bad deal.
This year's 20 best microphotos.
Are your Facebook statuses interesting?
WIll this current season be the last for The Simpsons?
Two restaurants frequented by my creepy uncle are locked in a legal battle.
Hey Emily, did you see the Coen brothers are making a TV show?
77,000 acres burned just north of Silver City.
Judge to decide wrongful death lawsuit in APD shooting from 2009. (Guy was holding a car ashtray, which officers thought was a gun.)
Health Department targets food trucks.
CDC prepares for a zombie apocalypse.
It's raining! But the long drought made the Bosque a tinderbox.
After judgment day on Saturday, what will happen to the believers' pets? Atheists are offering to take them in. For a fee.
Insurance salesmen in Germany rewarded with orgies by their company.
Why is bad food so good?
What would MacGyver do?
Gwyneth Paltrow can rap "Straight Outta Compton."
Here's the headline news about the LA Marathon: According to the Los Angeles Times, this year's marathon fell on what was "the stormiest day in race history." It rained the entire day. Poured. Torrentially. The Today Show stated that Los Angeles got "more rain in 24 hours yesterday than they received the entire previous month." Streets were flooded. Runners were walking. Walkers were shuffling. Hundreds of participants dropped out due to hypothermia. Yes, I finished the whole 26.2 miles. But it wasn't easy.
Here are the gory details.
I should have realized from the start that any athletic event which requires a wake up time of 3:45am is probably not for me, being the non-morning person that I am. But somehow I managed to wake up, and with my teammates Deb and Ron, catch a 4:30am shuttle bus to Dodger Stadium, which was the starting point of the marathon. The three of us, along with 20 other members of Team Concern who had raised money for cancer research, were treated by CBS to a catered pre-race breakfast in a luxury suite at the stadium. Watching daybreak at Dodger Stadium was pretty awesome. Little did we know it would end up being the highlight of the day.
I knew even before I left Albuquerque that there was a 70% chance of rain predicted for race day. By Sunday, that chance had gone up to 100%, with chilly temperatures and gusty winds predicted as well. The weather conditions weren't ideal for a marathon,but we weren't too worried about it. After all, what's a little rain? We threw on extra layers of clothing (which we planned to throw off once we warmed up at mile 2 or 3), and plastic rain ponchos that Deb had purchased for us the previous day. The 99-cent hooded plastic ponchos were pretty fancy; many other runners opted for more casual outerwear and donned Hefty trash bags with a hole cut for their heads to keep them dry. Because of the rainy forecast, our small sub-team, "69000 steps 4 cancer" decided that we should run/walk the marathon, instead of just walking it, to speed things up. Having run 2 previous marathons myself, I knew full well that it takes a solid 6 months to train to RUN a marathon. OMG. I hadn't even trained to WALK in this marathon, much less run. I rationalized that walking's easy, right? Anyone can do it, can't they? Who needs training?
It started drizzling at about 7am, as the 20,000 runners participating in the marathon lined up at the start. No one even noticed at first, as our adrenaline made us oblivious to anything except hearing the the starting buzzer.
During the first few miles there was intermittent rain. Most people threw off their extra "warmth" layers in these first few miles. I refused to even consider removing one piece of clothing, even the too heavy sweatshirt that I was planning to discard before the race started. It was chilly! By mile 5, the rain was constant, and the winds were blowing well over 10 or 15mph. By mile 10, it was a downpour, and the winds had picked up significantly. It was hard to stay dry because the wind gusts blew up our ponchos and blew off our hoods, so we got soaked everywhere. Our wet shoes and socks were the worst. They got heavier and more uncomfortable with every step. It was like walking with each foot trapped in a bucket of water. Miraculously, we kept up our run/walk routine, but at about mile 10 I started to "hit the wall", which is when racers start feeling weak as their stored glycogen is depleted. (Guess I didn't carbo load enough the night before.) I made it to mile 12, and then had my first fix of "gu" with an Advil chaser. "Gu", an electrolyte-
By that point we had adopted a new teammate, Sean, who was doing his first marathon. He liked our run/walk pace, and so joined us for the rest of the race. Sean was wearing only a t-shirt and shorts. With no other protective clothing, he was totally drenched from head to toe. His cellphone, which he had put in his pocket before the race, was waterlogged and non-functional. We stopped at a med station so he could get a mylar sheath, which is what they usually hand out to runners AFTER the race to prevent chills. However, due to the weather conditions, they were handing them out along the entire route. All of us got one and wrapped it around us tightly.
By mile 15, the rain was a torrential downpour that never let up for the rest of the day or night. By this time it was impossible to avoid stepping in the puddles that had formed below us, as the streets were becoming flooded. Who said it never rains in southern California,anyway?? The winds were gusting to over 25 or 30mph now. Our hands were so cold and swollen that we could barely get the wrappers off the energy bars we had packed. My always upbeat friend Deb started skipping, to break up the monotony of running and walking, and soon she had a whole group of marathoners skipping behind her. Ron refused to skip with us, stating that under no circumstances should heterosexual men ever skip. We cheerfully disagreed!
At mile 20, we decided we were no longer going to even attempt to run. It was walking only from here on in. Getting from mile 22 to 26 was the hardest part of the race. By this time it was so windy that the trees were blowing sideways and the rain was pelting in our faces. The mile markers seemed to be hundreds of miles apart. It was getting hard to remain upbeat. I had hit the "wall" again, but my hands were too numb to tear open another packet of "gu" and no one else around me could manage it either. The rain had melted Ron's stash of Advil.
The medical stations along the route were crowded, but not just with the normal marathon ailments like sprained ligaments, twisted ankles, and dehydration. Hypothermia was a real concern. It was hard to stay warm at that point no matter what you were wearing. Everyone was soaked through and through, and was chilled to the bone. My legs were so stiff that they felt more like 2' x 4's than human limbs.
Crossing the finish line at 26.2 miles was not as boisterously joyous as it normally is in marathons (we were too cold, tired, and wet to muster the energy for shouts, high fives, and jumping up and down) but it was quietly joyous nonetheless. We made it!!! Incredibly, there were still lots and lots of people behind us. Before attempting to walk the half mile to where our car was parked (a cruel joke, no?) we went into a coffee shop to get hot beverages to warm us up. My teammates started looking at me strangely, and asking me, "Are you okay?" "What day is it?" "Do you know where you are?" I was fine, but apparently because of my extremely blue lips, very pale skin, lack of usual chattiness, they thought I might have hypothermia. Nope. It was nothing that a vanilla latte couldn't cure!
OK, you've heard the bad stuff. Here's the good stuff. I feared that because of the weather forecast, the marathon volunteers manning the water and medical stations along the route wouldn't show up. I was also afraid that spectators, who cheer you on when you are feeling tired, wouldn't show up either. They all did. Perhaps not as many spectators as would have normally been there, but the real troopers, the ones with umbrellas and raincoats and signs that said "Go Dad!", were scattered along the route. Kindly onlookers provided us with banana slices, orange segments, candy, and even food from restaurants that were on the route. Bands, protected by tents, played music for us at the main mile markers. We laughed at signs like "You are at mile 5. The Kenyans just finished mile 15." The Concern Foundation had a booth at mile 17 with an incredible cheerleading squad. The marathon route itself was fun, as it went through every well known area of Los Angeles, including Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Hollywood, West Hollywood (where scantily clad men in drag danced for us on a stage!), Beverly Hills, Century City, Westwood, Brentwood, and Santa Monica. I wanted to take photos of every area, of the runners, of the spectators, of my teammates and I, and of course of crossing the finish line. Alas, it was too rainy for any of us to even get our cameras out. And our hands were too swollen and not functional enough to work a camera until much later.
The best part of participating in this event, of course, was raising a significant amount of money for cancer research. Thanks to my wonderful friends and family, I not only reached my marathon goal of raising $1,000 for the Concern Foundation for Cancer Research, but actually DOUBLED the original goal by raising over $2,000. Our small sub-team "69000 steps 4 cancer" raised over $8,000. In total, Team Concern raised over $80,000 in donations from participants in the LA Marathon. Thank you all so much for your donations! The blue lips were totally worth it.
That said, in the future I may look for a way to donate to charity that does not involve walking, running or skipping 26.2 miles.
Student-teacher sex through the gender lens.
This lady smokes in her front yard. Her neighbors are suing her for having to breathe it.
Undoing tax cuts for the wealthy would make the state $300 million, Democrats say.
Video of a police officer beating a handcuffed Native American teenager becomes part of Santa Fe's mayoral race.
China says Clinton's call for ending Internet restrictions is "information imperialism."
Corporations are ready to influence elections.
Air America closes today and files for bankruptcy.
Hold 50 Guantanamo detainees indefinitely without trial, recommends Justice Department task force.
Morphine's just the thing for avoiding PTSD.
Out-of-work architect sets up lemonade-stand-like stand.
Helen Mirren is bummed that tattoos are socially acceptable now. Maybe she just needs one on her face.
Full-body scanner catches cell phone but not bomb-making components.
Creepy life-forms from the deepest parts of the ocean.
There was a shower for the Rio Grande Zoo's baby elephant.
CNM student Brittni Carlini's funeral held today.
Up with greenhouse gas emissions.
Why won't Sarah Palin go away?
Madoff's stuff sold to repay his swindlees.
Sweden's Hawaiian skulls go home.
No federal funding for abortion coverage: Only those who probably CAN afford to have kids get to terminate pregnancy.
And by the way, why aren't people mad about the defense budget?
Corrupt Louisiana ex-congressman who hid money in freezer gets 13 years.
Los Angeles gets more trains.
Former Miss California homophobe made eight known solo sex tapes.
AMC's remake of "The Prisoner" is kind of lame.
Weather: Rain tonight and tomorrow.