Yearly Archives: 2012

Mean Girls

Rio Arriba County—The New York Post today published a scathing review of The Feminist and the Cowboy, a new memoir, that, as the title suggests, tells the story of an ultra-liberal urbanite who shrugs off her feminist beliefs after falling for an ultra-conservative cowboy. His kisses are so powerful they inspire the little moonbat to peel an anti-Fox News bumper sticker from her car, among other non-liberal, anti-feminist behaviors. Riveting stuff, especially today with the Country so divided, but I take it Valdes didn’t care for the review anymore than the reviewer did her memoir. One of six Twitter… Continue Reading

Bad Dog Days

Bob the Dog recently had a near death experience. Española, NM – My landlord, who lives on the property I do, was recently away for four days. In that time I managed to run over her dog with my van while another was picked up by animal control. And guess what? She wasn’t the least bit upset about any of it. Running over Bob, a white lab in his later years, was awful. The worst part is that I don’t know how it happened. I backed out without incident, but as I accelerated forward I heard from beneath Purple Thunder… Continue Reading

The Perfect Bitch

The white dog is the stray I took in last month. She and Rumpus, also pictured above, have become best buds. Española, NM – The stray I took in last month has decided to stick around. To summarize: I saw a skin-and-bones dog hobbling down my street while pulling up to my driveway a few weeks back. For whatever reason, the animal followed me down the driveway and over the wooden bridge crossing the acequia. I didn’t realize this until later when I left to run errands, when I found her curled up beneath my van. I fed her bits… Continue Reading

A Little Bug With a Mighty Bite

My New Mexican casita, a winter resort for Black Widows. Rio Arriba County, NM – I suffer from a creeping paranoia that they’re out to get me. And I fear that if they’re not out to get me, per se, that they’ll get me anyhow. It’s not the bears, the mountain lions or even the rattlesnakes that provoke this bubbling paranoia, but rather these tiny little spiders known as Black Widows. As a human being I’ve never worried much about predators or lethal non-predators. Chalk it up to being raised in Wisconsin, where the worst one fears is tornadoes or… Continue Reading

Bajito y Suavecito en Española

Española, NM – Española, New Mexico and Los Angeles, California have had a long-standing rivalry over which is the birthplace of the lowrider. No one really knows how lowrider culture emerged, but it is documented in both places as early as the late 1940s when people began weighing down the trunks of their vehicles so they nearly dragged along the ground. As the fad caught on, cities began passing ordinances requiring the car body to be a certain number of inches off the ground. Enter hydraulic suspension systems, which allowed lowriders to raise up their vehicles upon seeing lawman. Today,… Continue Reading

My Curious New Guest

Española, NM – As I pulled into the driveway after work yesterday I noticed a dog across the road hobbling along. She had white fur, big expressive eyes and, if not for the fact she was terribly emaciated, you’d say she was a beautiful animal.  Before driving through the gate and over the little bridge toward my casita I came to brief stop and in one of those moments the animal and I locked eyes. A short while later I went for a walk when I noticed the animal sitting against my van. Up close I could tell it wasn’t… Continue Reading

Don’t Wear Flip-Flops in Española Because You Might Stub Your Toe and Catch AIDS

Española, NM – If I have a major pet peeve it’s wearing socks. Hate’em. Absolutely. Positively. Instead I wear flip-flops. The cheap Old Navy brand that sell for $2 a pair. Because they’re cheap they don’t last long and I end up buying several pair over the course of a summer. According to my projections, however, I’m going to save a little money on flip-flops this summer for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve been informed after three months of doing so that I’m not allowed to wear flip-flops to work. Apparently this is codified in the employee handbook or… Continue Reading

Tragedy’s Highway Décor

Rio Arriba County, NM – It wasn’t the first descano my eyes landed on that unsettled me. That came later, after I developed a sense of just how many descanos adorn the county’s highways, each one representing a life taken. Automobiles remain the most dangerous mode of transport so there’s nothing unusual about lives claimed on America’s roads. But unlike northern New Mexico, few places have descanos, which provide a visual tally for those numbers. If added up you’d have an approximate body count for a particular stretch of road. There is no escaping them. Even in the most rural… Continue Reading

‘What’s With All the Mexicans?’

Española, NM – So I’m leaving the gas station and I’m asked Excuse me, sir? by a well-groomed man I guessed to be in his 50s. He wasn’t wispy, but wasn’t quite small, either, but his diminutive size nonetheless belied his deep gutteral voice. The sun glinted off his oily bald head. Can you tell me how to get to Santa Fe? he asked. He glanced down at my plates as I gave directions and after he asked what brings me to New Mexico. I live here, I told him. About three months now. His beady eyes darted to… Continue Reading

Exercises in Self-Sufficiency

Ghost Ranch, north of Abiquiú. Both places were made famous by artist Georgia O'Keefe. Abiquiú, NM – One of the most admirable qualities of Rio Arribans is their self-sufficiency, necessitated in many cases by extreme poverty and a climate and topography that are both inhospitable. Self-sufficiency has always been part of the cultural fabric of Rio Arriba. The area has slogged along the fringe of American society since 1848, just as it had as a backwater of the Spanish Empire from 1540 until 1821, the year Mexico won its independence. In many ways, northern New Mexico continues to be pioneered… Continue Reading
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