Pictured above: Looking Up
ABQ Weather or Not
Clear brisk days, manageable lows and blue skies. Enjoy!
From where I sit
What a year we have had. YIKES! When I think that last year at this time few, if any people, had been vaccinated, and we'd weathered nine months of figuring our way through the pandemic - I expected 2021 to be an improvement. Not a cakewalk, but an improvement. A year ago there was hope that we might find our way back to a kinder, gentler time. I sure hoped so.
I don't think Bernie was quite so hopeful.
Wham! Right off the bat in January: a violent attempted coup d'etat, that may have failed, but did a lot of damage nonetheless.
Now we have vaccines - over 450 million doses administered in the US this year - and while a relief, it hasn't been seamless and much of the news this year has been dominated by pointing fingers at each other, blaming mandates for doing irreparable damage to business, and conspiracy theories by QAnon supporters in CONGRESS, of all places.
Can people with such divergent opinions coexist? Here we have a governor lauded nationally and vilified by the local business community. Go figure. And what has happened to decorum and civility?
When I was a kid, as a southpaw I was often confused by which hand was which. Small wonder, when I asked "Which hand is my right?" the reply was all too often: "The hand you write with!!" Words are important.
(But clues help.)
Today, as a curious and politically aware moderate Democrat, I still feel like I still don't know my left from my right. How about you? And here we have a president who was elected by a majority of voters looking for an end to the chaos and a return to stability. Why the low approval rating? Is it the media? Is it just knee-jerk-anti-anything Washington? Are we so worn down from the last 4-5 years that we have lost perspective?
How about myopia? The pundits tell us the number one concern in America is inflation. Really? That may be a big concern for investors and yes, rising costs impact our daily life, but how about child poverty? How about 70% of students entering high school juniors reading two to three levels below their grade proficiencies? How about politicians who value their seats more than addressing the climate crisis? How about more Marjorie Taylor Greenes and Lauren Borberts in Congress with 36 QAnon supporters running in 2022? What about gun violence? And Omicron?
And people's number one concern is inflation? Really. Okay - let's look inflation: a rise in the cost of goods and services. The impact of the worst pandemic since 1918 has caused labor shortages, shipping snarls, shrinking availability of product in stores and online - yes, all this impacts productivity and ultimately supply. Fewer goods, more demand = higher prices. We cannot blame Joe Biden for COVID. Add to that rising wages and a growing economy. We can thank him for that.
Let's give credit where credit's due: Biden is responsible for 195 million fully vaccinated Americans (and the previously mentioned 454 million doses administered) and the most successful mass vaccination campaign in human history. Under his leadership, we have instituted aggressive and targeted stimulus policies and the economy has revived at record pace - 5.6 million jobs added, child poverty has been cut by 40%, 1.2 trillion invested in infrastructure and the largest investment in fighting climate change ever. And for this he earns a 42% job approval rating?
Has he stumbled at times?Sure...but let's not have a double standard here. The previous administration was a poster child for pratfalls. Could the Afghan pullout have gone more smoothly? Yes - but at least it is over. Has the fighting within the Democratic Party undermined that longed for stability? You betcha. Did we think we were out of the woods when we were fully vaccinated? Yes, until we learned about variants and we were still masked on the 4th of July. And Joe told us he knew how to broker bipartisanship, but Mitch McConnell and the Republicans are using the same "Just Say No" approach they used with Obama. With a 50-51 Senate (assuming the VP votes with the Dems), who knew Manchin and Sinema would become major obstacles?
Considering those last points, I'd say the President has accomplished a lot, given those roadblocks. Perhaps, if we weren't so stubborn and divided along party lines, we might give him some gratitude. I'm tuning out the politicians, and the media when it comes to interpreting what is going on. And isn't that really at the core of it: instead of reporting the news, we are given too much opinion? Maybe we're given so much opinion we no longer see what's right in front of us.
Whether you're on the left or the right, that 42% approval rating just doesn't add up.
Here are a few things in Albuquerque you won't want to miss.
Let's give thanks to and support our fantastic Albuquerque Museum.
From the website:
Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style includes 166 remarkable works of art and design, the majority of which will be on public display for the first time in North America. Characterized by taut lines, stylized natural forms, sleek curves, and emphatic geometries, the Glasgow Style was unique – the only British response to the international Art Nouveau movement of the late 1890s – 1900s.
The first Mackintosh retrospective to tour the United States in a generation, Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style introduces audiences to some of the architect-designer-artist’s most iconic works.
This is such a rare opportunity to learn about this remarkable architect, designer, watercolorist, artist and main exponent of Art Nouveau in Scotland.
This exhibit has "Drop In Discussions:"
They are free, but registration is required. CLICK HERE to learn more.
History:In 1997, River of Lights began as a fundraiser for the BioPark. Today, proceeds continue to support a variety of ABQ BioPark projects through the New Mexico BioPark Society.
Each year’s show unveils ingenious new sculptures and stunning displays made by BioPark artists and craftsmen.
For more information, please CLICK HERE.
It's that time of year again:
The Harwood Art Center (1114 Seventh St. NW) hosts its 15th Annual 12×12 Fundraising Exhibition, starting this Thursday, Dec. 2. Over 100 local artists of all ages have created and donated original 6”x6” and 12”x12” works for the occasion. This is Harwood’s primary fundraiser, and a rare opportunity for art lovers to get their hands on some fantastic local art (all sold anonymously) at reasonable prices ($144 for the large pieces and $36 for the small). Buyers are invited to an in-person Artwork Preview & Exhibition Reception on Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30pm. This event is open to all, and will be an opportunity to preview artworks in person before sales open the following day. Food is available for purchase from Tuerta, and there is complimentary hot cocoa and live music. Handmade gifts by Escuela Del Sol Students are also up for sale.
Then, starting Friday, December 3 join Harwood online (harwoodartcenter.org/) for a live countdown and the opening of the 12×12 online store. All artworks will be available for purchase starting at 6pm. Sales move quickly, so make sure to tune into our countdown livestream at 5:30pm. All funds raised support Harwood’s arts education and community outreach programs.
A good stocking stuffer for the golfer in the family. This is not a new publication. It has no gender bias. Just great content and an enjoyable way to improve your short game and maybe whack a few strokes off your handicap.
The Poldina PRO Rechargeable LED Table Lamp is available lots of places, but make sure you find the ones on sale. Great for a dorm desk. To shed a little light on someone's life, START HERE.
For your favorite Environmentalist - MoMa has this.
and for those of you who are doing "brick and mortar" shopping this year, December is officially SHOP LOCAL month.
Attention bourbon drinkers: If you like Old Fashioneds, Total Wine has the "double oaked" Woodford Reserve in stock. Up your game and cut the sugar with a touch of maple syrup. YUM!
Have you tried Shrubs? These are made locally by M'Tucci's - you can serve them with or without alcohol. There's no end to the possibilities. LEARN MORE.
Nothing quite like a good tuna salad sandwich - and I think Craig Claiborne's is one of the best.CLICK HEREfor the recipe.
One for the Gipper
Paying Forward. Giving Back. However you choose to look at it, we are all in this together. We can make a difference in this magical place - click here to learn more.
Speaking of Community : Don't forget to VOTE. If you live in either City Council District 7 or 9 - the last day for Early Voting in these Run-off Elections is Saturday, Dec. 4. In-person polling is December 7th. Here's where you can vote: CLICK HERE.
Having a great time, but wish you were here...
Look at those mugs! They are all wishing you a great week ahead!