Above photo: Early Morning at the Bosque del Apache (W.Parker-Wood)
ABQ Weather or Not
Please conserve water! Every time you think about how gorgeous the weather has been so far this winter, please also remember warm temps = low snowpack = low water reserves. What else? Fix leaky faucets and take shorter showers. Thanks!
If you wear a mask and are feeling the need for an N95:
For almost two years I didn't know anyone who had caught Covid.
In the past two weeks, three friends have been infected by the Omicron Variant.
I don't know about you, but the biggest deterrent for me to wear the mask with allegedly the best protection, the N95, had been comfort. I wore an N-95 on the plane when I had to fly to Philadelphia in October and I HATED it. It was too tight, too claustrophobic, my glasses were perpetually fogging up, and it gave me a headache.
When Omicron reared its ugly head I went as far as switching to KN-95s beneath a slightly more fun (though not very effective) cloth outer mask.
Finding N-95s can be problematic. Apparently, there are a lot of counterfeits, and then there's the availability issue. But leave it to Old Faithful, Home Depot - I'd read about the "made in USA - 3M N-95 - "Aura" and it sounded promising. I went online, found it at my local store, ordered it, and picked it up "Curbside" 90 minutes later after they texted me. How simple is that?
More important: It's comfortable. My first try was a bit awkward, but then it was a snap.
Update: The White House has announced it will make 400 mil N95 masks available - but I'd go with the "bird in the hand" and shell out $10 for 3 you know are there.
What We're Reading
I think this covers a lot of territory, and for what it's worth, Nora Ephron's and Ann Patchett's essays are balm for the souls of those insomniacs out there. A short read at 3:00 AM that's light and fun/interesting. Fave? Ephron's "Aruba."
Swimming in the Dark is a heartbreaking debut novel set in Poland in the 1980s. Whenever I think of that time in Polish history I am reminded of Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's in Pittsburgh. Her entire family was there, including her youngest brother's girlfriend at the time. She had spent most of the meal, while we were discussing Lech Walesa at length, gazing adoringly at David. In an effort to draw her into the conversation, Mr. Ethier asked, "And what do you think about Poland?" Somewhat startled at being singled out, she replied timidly,"It makes me sneeze." ( What was she thinking? "Oh, nothing in particulate...").
Whether it's an annual trip to the Bosque del Apache for the early morning Fly-out or birding in the backyard, it's hard to dispute that whoever coined the expression "bird brain" wasn't one. Birds are fascinating and they are trending.
As E.O.Wilson once said, "Once you have seen one bird, you have not seen them all."Science writer Jennifer Ackerman apparently is of the same mindset. H may be for Hawk, but A(ckerman) is definitely for the intelligence and endless variety of Avian behavior. No nonsense, clear and original. Of the four listed, The Bird Way may top the pecking order.
and a few Articles of Interest...
8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8 A.M.
52 Places for a Changed World
Looking at the world a bit differently these days? Me too. If it's time to revise your Bucket List: Read on...
In & Around
Indelible Blue is on view at Albuquerque Museum from January 8 through April 24, 2022.
From the Museum's website:
Indelible Blue includes works by contemporary artists working with indigo who blur the boundaries between tradition and innovation and between the classifications of fine art and craft. While the story of indigo is entangled with its value as a product, the artworks in the exhibition offer alternative perspectives and ways of engaging with indigo dye that reflect on its historical, ecological, and spiritual significance. Artists featured in the exhibition include Rowland Ricketts, Chinami Ricketts, Nikesha Breeze, Gasali Adeyemo, Laura Anderson Barbata, Eduardo Portillo & Mariá Eugenia Dávila, Hiroyuki Shindo, Yukiyo Kawano, Scott Sutton and more. Historical objects included in the exhibition will demonstrate the versatility of indigo uses from dyed prestige garments to household objects and will include Navajo serapes, woven frazadas from the Rio Grande Valley, Zuni diamond twill manta, and more. The ties between the history and artistic output of indigo reflect the influence of this most desirable dye across the globe.
Click here for more information
Just Up the Road
Don't miss this! The MIAC is at the opposite end of Museum Hill from the Museum of International Folk Art. Doing both museums might be "system overload" but here's an idea: Do the Folk Art in the morning, run into Santa Fe for lunch at either the Tune-Up Cafe or Clafoutis, and then go back for Clearly Indigenous. But if you can only do one: do the glass exhibit - it's only here until June and it is spectacular.
And even if you aren't in the museum-mode, the Chile rellenos at the Tune-Up are worth the trip.
The 30 Day Session:
Opening day (noon) January 18
Deadline for introduction February 2
Session ends (noon) February 17
Photo and below: NM Political Report
Though 30-day sessions are specifically designed for lawmakers to create and approve a financial blueprint for the next fiscal year, the state’s growing crime problem, public education woes and continuing efforts to battle the pandemic likely will take center stage when the New Mexico Legislature goes into action Tuesday afternoon.
After the release of the Governor's legislative agenda in today's State of the State, is anyone else thinking: "so many issues, so little time"? Budget. Crime. Education. As our legislators embark on this every other year short session, the challenge in part will be to select legislation that has a prayer of being enacted (as opposed to kicking the can down the road). Are we ready for a State Bank? How about capping payday loans (a reasonable cap, not the current 176%)? A NM Voting Rights Act? The formerly hot topic re the Hydrogen Hub Energy Plan (loved by MLG and loathed by the top environmental groups in the state) appears to have suffered an early death. You can follow all this in the ABQ Journal, the local Santa Fe papers, track legislation here or actually watch the sessions by clicking here.
Editor's note: While it is an election year and politicians are always apt to appear more conciliatory during them, let's not dismiss MLG's appeal to working together, think big, and get some important work accomplished. We have only to look across the Potomac to see what happens when we don't: Zip, Nada, and Rien de Tout, the terrible trio and output of our current Congress. It's time to put political (and religious) differences aside and retake our Democracy or we risk losing it. 70 candidates who associate with QAnon are running in the mid-terms. Do we really want to go there?
A Great Start to 2022
Are these two pictures worth two thousand words? You betcha!
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Note to Diary: Lisa Gagne, Petrita's assistant (aka Billie The Kid) is someone you want in your Rolodex: (505) 977-2000.
Warning: this is a First World concern - if a concern at all. -:)
Q: The secret to clear ice cubes?
A: Hot water
Time to "Do the Harry", mate...