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The Week of 09-24-2018

The Week of 09-24-2018

| September 24, 2018

Pictured above: Twilight in the North Valley (Wendy Parker-Wood


ABQ Weather or Not

We have a fabulous week ahead - the days may be getting shorter,

but the nights are deliciously cooler.

These are the days of the year when Albuquerque shines.

Enjoy them while they last!


Words of Wisdom in a Fractured Time

I am currently enrolled in a 5-session RACISM WORKSHOP. I want to talk a little about this and try to do so without sounding preachy or off-putting, which is no small task when it comes to this topic of racism.

For the record, I am taking this workshop to gain a better understanding of this basic premise: "If you grew up white in this country, you are racist." Once I got over my intitial denial and defensiveness, and was open to at least considering the possibility, I started listening and, well, yes...learning. Not all racism is overt, intentional or obvious. That wasn't what I was worried about. It's the more subtle stuff, like being "color blind" for example. I thought being color-blind was an achievement - a good thing - something to aspire to. Afterall, didn't Martin Luther King hope for the day when people of color were judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin? 

My moment of truth came when I was asked to be on the lookout for an Asian American who was going to moderate an event I attended.The person who asked me was amazed when I totally missed him - I saw him enter the room and literally did not recognize him as a person of color. It turns out that being color blind in this regard is not okay - it's not "seeing" him, making him "invisible," and not acknowledging his story. To be honest, I struggle with this.But more important is the fact that I can talk about it - and that's really what we need to be able to do if we are going to begin to change things. . 

If you find the statement about growing up white in this country imbuing you with an innate racism provocative, you might be interested in reading about White Fragility. This is not light reading, but I found it eye-opening. Click here to read.


ps POLARITY. In this context, polarities are usually two things that seem completely opposite and we've been conditioned to think they can't co-exist. In fact, both are necessary and can be simultaneously present if we want to be effective. And if the playing field is level.Consider how achieving Social Justice requires understanding of one another, and also calling out inequity when we see it.  


Let's move on to politics. As effective and promising as polar opposites working together can be, the divisiveness that our two-party system is propagating is tearing us apart. At least that's how it seems to me.

I'm hoping if I can learn to talk about racism, bias, and inequality with non-whites, I might just become skillful enough to have a meaningful conversation with a member of an opposing political party. Right now, those attempts are met with anything from "I can't talk to anyone who voted for..." to "I have absolutely nothing to say to you." While that might seem extreme, take it from someone who canvasses 2-3 times a week, and has done so for the past 14 months. I have knocked on a lot of doors, and talked with a lot of people. It can be difficult finding the way to our  common ground

This weekend's ABQ Journal noted that crime and education are the top two concerns of New Mexicans. Regardless of Party. How come we agree on these and yet when we talk about them and begin a conversation about which candidate might be more effective, the conversation unravels and civility deteriorates?

It isn't just The Land of Enchantment. We are not listening. We are not giving people a chance to be heard. Consider Orrin Hatch, one of the most dedicated and long-serving members of the Senate, who categorically dismissed Christine Blasey Ford as "mixed up." He did so before any investigation into her allegations, and without even hearing her testimony. Same with Deborah Ramirez, whose allegation he has called " phony." When asked what he based that opinion upon, he said "Because I know it is. That's why." Really?  Thursday hasn't dawned, and yet everyone seems to have drawn a line as to where they stand on the Kavanaugh confirmation, pro or con. This is madness.

Someone said to me last week "Do not tell me the system is broken. The system is working exactly as they want it to work."  I don't buy that, because I don't think most of us are pleased with the direction politics have taken. We are all in this together, as far as the Big Picture, aren't we? Preserving democratic institutions, separation of powers, checks and balances, and freedom and justice for all?  Why have we lowered the bar on civility and basic human kindness?

We are stronger and better together, which brings us to....

Don't mistake this for The Art of The Deal. This is actually something that politicians of opposing parties used to employ when they couldn't come to an agreement regarding each other's terms. It works - a little give and take and everybody walks away from the table standing a little taller because they put the country first, not their own self-interest.

What a swell approach - why is it akin to an endangered species? Because we're too divisive? Have we become too caught up in being right instead of doing right? Maybe it's time we got this message to "our employees" (e.g.,the elected officials who represent us and are paid by us).

And for the record, I resent taxpayer dollars being spent on people who have been convicted of embezzling funds, insider trading, and sexual misconduct, just to mention a few "indiscretions."  (As for outright and repeated lying and insulting our allies - how has that become normalized?) 



"Your vote is your voice."

"Bad officials are elected by good people who don't vote."


Visit this website: VOTER SERVICES to review your Sample Ballot

I suggest this because if the first time you see your Ballot is when you enter the voting booth, you are not going to be a happy camper.

This is 2-long pages and everything on it deserves a considered answer.

Don't let Voter Fatigue get the better of you - be prepared and get familiar with your ballot before you vote.

This is a pivotal election for women, for members of each political party, for issues like Immigration, Crime, Education, Homelessness, and the Economy.


What's for Dinner?

Pasta with Puttanesca Sauce 


  • 8 ounces, weight Bucatini Or Spaghetti
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Red Onion, Sliced
  • 1-1/2 cup Grape Tomatoes, Halved
  • 1 cups Chicken Broth Or White Wine
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 4 whole Anchovy Filets
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) Assorted Pitted Olives – niçoise, kalamata, Greek oil pressed
  • 12 whole Basil Leaves
  • 4 ounces, weight Good Parmesan Cheese


Cook pasta until al dente. 

Mash (in this order) garlic, anchovies, and olives using a mortar and pestle, or just chop them finely together. Set aside.

Using a fork, crumble the Parmesan cheese.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced red onions and cook until slightly caramelized. Add halved tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes. Pour in broth or wine and cook for another two minutes, then pour in garlic/anchovy/olive mixture. Stir and continue cooking for several minutes, or until sauce is nice and reduced and wonderful. Add pepper to taste.

Drain pasta and add to the skillet. Add the crumbled Parmesan and toss to coat pasta in the sauce. 

Tear basil leaves and sprinkle over the top. Serve right out of the skillet. 

NOTE: Try to create an assortment of olives that is not too salty. You can also add capers, but rinse them or again, it may be too salty. Be careful to not fully caramelize the onions or the sauce will become sweet. Finally, should the sauce end up too salty – add lemon juice judiciously.  It will save the day!

(FYI: I made this recipe twice this weekend - the first batch was too salty, the second too sweet, the first with the lemon fix was pretty awesome....)


Happiness is Still a Warm Puppy

Meet Patch, a Miniature American Shepherd.

Good natured, intelligent and devoted: just what we need!


Let's Make America Gracious Again.

Enjoy the week ahead.

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