You want to know why I play bridge with 19 gay men every Wednesday night?
I'll tell you why. I'm going to make some generalizations, but they are consistent with my observations.
Gay men tend to be smarter than average. They have a better sense of humor and a sharper wit. They tend to be better informed about politics, literature and the arts. They are more creative and compassionate. And, best of all, they never talk about sports.
Now that's the kind of company I can really enjoy.
[Re: GastroLogic, “How to Cook a Chupacabra,” May 29-June 4] Kudos on your very interesting article. That said, I do have two quibbles with your piece. First of all, regarding the chupacabra whose myth you believe is debunked by mange: What self-respecting (and starving!) wolf would suck a goat's blood and leave the drained carcass intact? I'm no believer in extraterrestials, wolfmen or such. But if there's some creature out there playing vampire with unsuspecting livestock, I don't think it's Canis lupus or its kin.
Secondly, I have no doubt that one can live on a limited budget as you described. However, your article does seem to presuppose that we, your readers, have at some point in the past already invested in good red wine, Dijon mustard infused with crème de cassis and cornichons. That would infer that we once had money to buy such things. For as long as I've been working (Eight years. Mr. Bush took office as I left college and has, unfortunately, not yet left.), I haven't had that kind of extra cash. Maybe times will change when the current chupacabra leaves office. He sure has sucked all the lifeblood out of our economy. And that ain't no mangy urban myth.
Give Peace a Chance
On June 2, 2008, the Albuquerque City Council passed a resolution to support a federal Department of Peace and Nonviolence. This resolution lends local support to creating a cabinet-level Department of Peace in Washington, D.C., presided over by a Secretary of Peace. [See the Council Watch in this week’s News section for details.]
When you say “peace,” most thoughts jump immediately to war and international efforts. And the Department of Peace and Nonviolence (DOP) addresses that, encouraging cooperative efforts among civil societies to build a groundswell of peace abroad. But the DOP starts right here, right now, locally in our state and in our city.
There is an educational component to the DOP. It funds groups like Eden Steele’s Interactions for Peace (creating peace patrols in elementary schools in the U.S. and abroad) and Second Step: A Violence Prevention Program (training preschoolers in nonviolent communication all over the U.S.). This makes peace as academic as reading, writing, arithmetic and sports.
Imagine the possibilities for personal and societal transformation when schoolchildren are trained in compassionate communication, forming the basis for how they deal with conflict as they mature. Nurturing alternatives to the epidemic of fear and anger that punctuate today’s society creates harmony in homes, neighborhood and communities, reducing the lure of violent crime and resulting prison overpopulation.
You can’t force peace any more than you can force a seed to grow. But you can cultivate it by creating fertile ground for it to take root. And now, instead of wistfully longing for peace, we have a process of working together to help bring it about.
Want to learn more about planting and tending this beautiful and nourishing crop of peace? Come to the Peace Team meeting on June 16 at 7 p.m. at Christ Unity Church, 9800 Candelaria NE, one block east of Eubank. Or visit peacenm.com.
Turn Down Your Dogs
[Re: Letters, “City of Dogs?” May 29-June 4] Applause for S. Davis' complaint about Burque's love of "Big, Barking Dogs." Though cats have always been my pets of choice, my parents loved dogs and had one when I was a kid. When our dog started barking, my parents would show some responsibility and call him in (Gasp! What a concept!). Our neighbors in Texas did likewise, and no one complained to anyone about dogs barking.
Since I moved to Albuquerque, I've had two families of neighbors behind me. Both have owned “Big, Barking Dogs,” and neither has given the same basic respect. Rather, they insist that it's my fault for being "hypersensitive." Mind you, these are the same folk who don't hesitate to call the police when anyone in the neighborhood throws a party or pops a celebratory firecracker on a Friday night—and the police actually show up, while ignoring my complaints about the dogs.
The day it's OK to play loud music or set off fireworks at all hours, it will be just fine with me if Brutus or Rex wakes me at 6 a.m. on a Saturday barking at the chirping birds. Better yet, why don't the police treat all noise complaints the same way and tell the dog owners—just like the loud parties—to respect the peace of the neighborhood and "turn it down"? They should realize that there are other people on the Earth, and not all of them want to be serenaded by barking dogs while trying to sleep, study or meditate. I'm only 31, but sometimes I already feel like an old curmudgeon with neighbors like these.
[Re: Newscity, “Parking Scofflaws Get the Boot,” June 5-11] This is just more proof that the city is more interested in prosecuting misdemeanors than it is with sending violent criminals to jail. The city shouldn't even be prosecuting misdemeanors as long as violent crimes continue to occur day after day. We are one of the most violent cities in the nation (based of the number of violent crimes that occur compared to the number of people we have), yet we aren't doing anything to lower our crime rate. I can't wait to leave this dirty, crime-filled city.
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Lunar Monday at New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
Heart of Recovery Meditation Group at Albuquerque Shambhala Meditation Center
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