Good Luck—I have a penchant for late-night movies—always rentals. I hop up to the video store around 11 p.m., pick out a few select DVDs, a couple packs of popcorn, maybe some Junior Mints (the ultimate movie food), and stay up either until I wear out or the sun comes up. I usually crash somewhere around film No. 2.
It's a neighborhood tying itself up in legal battles. Money issues involving thousands of dollars, concerns over free speech, what some are calling a "dictator-like" leader—these troubles and more have descended on the 485 Towne Park homes near Eubank and I-40.
If you’re as pathetic as I am at poker, you also probably aren’t a good judge of whether gambling is a good thing. I just discovered recently that Texas Holdem doesn’t refer to something cowboys do in private.
Dateline: China—The government has banned its citizens from burning paper models of condoms, luxury houses, karaoke hostesses and other “vulgar” items when paying respects at the graves of their ancestors. Many Chinese people traditionally burn paper money and other items as a sacrificial rite to honor deceased relatives, but recent economic development has brought with it a rise in more capitalistic offerings to the afterlife. Anxious to curtail such modern twists on ancient superstitions, authorities in China have drafted new funeral and interment regulations that include fining citizens who burn “vulgar” offerings, the Beijing News reported last week. “The burning of luxury villas, sedan cars, mistresses and other messy sacrificial items ... will be investigated and punished,” the paper quoted Dou Yupei, deputy secretary of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, as saying. In the last two years, officials have discovered people burning paper versions of the male virility drug Viagra, extramarital mistresses and even “Supergirls”--dolls modeled after winning contestants of Chinese television’s hugely popular “American Idol” clone, “Mongolian Cow Sour Milk Supergirl.” “The tomb-sweepers’ feelings are understandable,” said Dou. “But burning these messy things--not only is it mired in feudal superstition, but it just appears low and vulgar.”
[RE: Punch Line, “Food for Thought,” April 20-26]
I support Eric Griego's idea about creating a restaurant row in central Albuquerque. It could be interesting and, finally, a destination in this town to be proud of. Sadly, however, Albuquerque is in love with sprawl and has been for a very long time. We have some very good, non-chain restaurants spread throughout the area. Perhaps some of those restaurants could open second locations in the restaurant row. In time, this restaurant district could see other types of businesses open up, and perhaps we could stroll along the avenue on a warm evening under pleasant lighting and not be afraid. It's been done in other southwestern cities, why not here? It seems to me there was a time when this sort of thing existed, but as so often is the case here, it was left to decline and people got the hell out—moved to another part of town. There seems to be enough public transportation along the corridor, plenty of vacant street-front buildings and some develop-worthy parking lots to get things started.
As was the case with many Americans of her generation, my mother was deeply scarred by the Great Depression. She was a teenager in small-town (Las Vegas, Rowe, Pecos) northern New Mexico during those years of scarcity and want, and the tough times burned too deeply into her mind to ever entirely go away, despite 60 years of post-war prosperity.