Friday, September 30, 2016

Leaf clock

Leaves all around are still green. But there is a little color at the edges of the burning bush shrubs and a little bit on the maple by the preschool play yard. I am waiting for the next stage. Probably it'll be dramatically advanced by the time we come back from ABQ.

I went looking for current Santa Fe aspen color pictures and didn't find any. Lots of postcard worthy pictures from some autumn who knows when. But I'm curious about current conditions. Like the view from I 25 coming north over La Bajada and the mountains above Santa Fu come in sight. Hopefully I'll get to see for myself. We may either take the train up for the day or drive up. I bought train tickets two years ago but decided to drive because wind and rain and tight timetable.

Had to look up how to spell La Bajada and found it and a nice description on this NM place name page.

Went to a show on Wednesday night with both kids. It was a band I had heard of but didn't know. We listened to some music online beforehand and thought it all sounded peppy and good. The band was fine but the sound volume was so high that it was distorted and painful. I felt badly for not bringing earplugs for the girls if not for myself. We made do with tissues. It was still fun to go out in the middle of the week. And I liked the deconstructed electric cello. And the violin player who performed in front of a fan with her SJP hair flying and a glittered electric violin.

Arts walk and Standing Rock protest and circus performance, it's a busy night tonight.

This review of Luke Cage makes me want to give it a try.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Come on

I discovered yesterday that people have recorded and posted sunset videos on youtube. I searched for 'NM sunset' and found a slew of time lapse videos of beautiful skies and terrain as the light changes. My kind of video wallpaper.

[lovely weeds image ganked from Bandelier's facebook post]

I saw an update on fbook by the Bandelier National Monument park that recommended coming out to camp this weekend. They provided some details to draw in visitors. The chamisa and asters are in bloom. There was a star talk on Thursday night and then a ranger talk on wildlife on Friday night. Saturday night there are Santa Fe Opera singers visiting and performing. The Jemez Mountain Elk Festival is also going on at the (relatively nearby) Valles Caldera National Preserve on Saturday. I would go for almost any of these reasons.

I guess I'm missing northern New Mexico. The fall is the best and the most melancholy season. I'll be in ABQ on October 4 for hot air balloons and a mom visit. And it's not even soon enough.  

I have found the list of offices we'll vote on for our local/state/fed election in November. Now I have to make sure I know who I'm after. I may do the absentee ballot to get it out of my brain early. Except for the worrying about the outcome.

I'm pretty much in love with Sunday's forecast of a high of 72 and raining.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

At a remove

I've been reading British authors, which is not a surprise. But these most recent two books have both got me feeling the distance between me and the narrators which is more surprising. Both of them have child narrators: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and A Man at the Helm. I found Curious had me tense on behalf of Christopher. I just never felt he was safe. The book gets high marks for its world view and the revelations of the first half. The end was more family soap opera than dramatic development. I think I secretly wanted there to be an unrealistically hopeful development for Christopher. It's for the best that didn't happen.

I'm not finding Man as funny as I think I'm meant to. Perhaps if I imagine it as a Wes Anderson film...

Adding to the list of things I didn't find funny recently:  A Bit of Fry and Laurie, season 1 and Broad City, the pilot. I did like watching some of the Fry and Laurie but.. that'll do me. Broad City is apparently not aimed at me. Maybe if I smoked more pot? To console myself and remember that I do sometimes find things funny, I will point out that Patton Oswalt's Talking for Clapping had me crying with laughter.

Hot and humid this week as we slide over the equinox. When I came out of the grocery store last night I even had my glasses fog over a bit. I just read that 'equinoxes' is a pig-ugly construction but I don't think equinoctes is any improvement. I'm looking forward to a cool down on Sunday but I should probably just assume it's going to be like this for the next two weeks and then I can be happily surprised when it switches. (Come on crisp mornings!!)

Updated to add that I finished A Man at the Helm last night and it was very satisfying. The book managed to make me lose all patience with the mother and then start over as she started over. I like the narrator telling us she wished that it could have been just her mother at the helm but that all humans need someone(s) in their corner.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Boars at the beach

Sangliers à la plage link via Belgian Waffle:

EN IMAGES - Pyrénées-Orientales : une famille de sangliers à la plage

And why are wild boars called sangliers in French which sounds like sang (blood)? Merriam Webster says the word comes from the latin root singularis meaning solitary. A very unbloody explanation.

Bun says she wants an infinity scarf so I'm parking these here.

Just had a pop-in visit from K on her way home from school. So grown up. Although she says that she walks through campus feeling like a young imposter. Hey, you're not a college student! There are some students that look younger than she does...

All our gullies got washed last night and this morning. Nod wants to go camping and it just sounds damp and skeetery to me.


California Academy of Sciences photos of arranged diatoms. I thought I had recorded this before but search says no.

Friday, September 9, 2016


Pumpkin Spice Smellovision
Via Schmutzie, a seasonal visit with our guinea pig pals:

Bundle up
We're having rain and steamy temperatures in the 80s. It could be worse I suppose (90s). Tonight is supposed to be the big cooldown and I am full of anticipation. It's possible that a light layer could be required first thing tomorrow morning. [gleeful clapping]

French Ham
I was widening my Hamilton interests by reading about the Marquis de Lafayette. First I found Sarah Vowell's book Lafayette in the Somewhat United States . It appears to have started life online as she refers to her readers as "dear Internet" at one point. It's a quick read and a good use of her deep appetite for American history and using it to understand our current government. I had some burning questions: what happened to the Marquis in the French Revolution? Did he keep his head? As an aristocratic military man he would seem to be on the wrong end of many of the factions. The book has some info about this although it's mostly about his American Revolution experience and his nostalgia tour in the 1820s. During the French Revolution he rushed around Paris trying to get the mobs to stop executing priests and minor nobles for a while. He wrote that this was temporarily effective but that after he left them, the crowds went back to arson and murder. Eventually he had to leave for his own safety. He ended up in an Austrian prison for several years. And I have questions about this experience and what else happened for him in France.

I thought those questions would be answered by a 'serious' biography I snatched up at the library by Bris. But Lafayette: Hero of the American Revolution turns out to be a terribly translated book by a determined name-dropper. I read the first two chapters and decided that was more than enough. George Holoch's translation retains so much of the original French construction and word choice that it staggers woodenly down the page. I will try again with something composed in English.

This blog post describes the wow that most of us get from the musical. It also does a good job of discussing the ticklish issues of race and Founders' glamour that are necessarily woven through the work.

Red rubies
The great tomato thickets are starting to drop their leaves. The still vast ranks of cherry tomatoes are easier to find now. It's been quite a successful tomato patch.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


What a nice white rectangle this space is before I type anything. A good place to contemplate the void until the chatter begins.

The Band Day parade is Saturday and it starts at 8:00am. As an early bird I think this is exciting but I wonder if the turnout will be low. The weather forecast is nice, clear and high in the 70s so we don't have to watch the high schoolers roast in their marching uniforms.

Problematic ball game season is here! My oldest kid is excited for the NFL season to start, she says that's her favorite professional sport. I like watching it too even though I worry about the players' brains and deplore the all-American sexism and war cult. We talk a lot about how messed up the whole racket is. I feel better about enjoying baseball since it's mostly non contact and seems more human although professional players are the 1% of the 1% in their sport.

We've watched a lot of Alton Brown's Cutthroat Kitchen which is sort of like Chopped without the teary bio pieces on the competitors, complete with sad music and sometimes tears. I appreciate AB's no-hug policy for his show. It is a ridiculous and absurd competition which does not reward planning ahead but rather luck and I guess persistence. It makes me realize how we humans are usually ready to play a game. What are the rules? How do I engage with you? We are some weird primates, man.

All hail Smitten's pizza recipe! I finally made it and lo, it was fab. Totally worth using up a 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes. I just made cheese, didn't even try to zip it up with exciting toppings. I still like my dad's hamburger and veggie pizza recipe (more cornmeal in the crust). But this is a good addition to the repetoire.