Saturday, April 30, 2005

Talk about running out of steam. It is nearing 10:00 pm and I am still working on two papers.

Tomorrow I am getting up at 5:00 am to catch a 6:45 flight out of here. I will head up to Seattle only to catch a plane heading down to Houston. There I will meet Sara and we will fly down to Merida, Yucatan.

I am looking forward to the trip except for a few things:
  • It is supposed to be 106 degrees (and very humid, mind you) there tomorrow and the next few days don't seem to hold any relief.
  • I still need to finish these two papers that I am to present at this conference.
  • I still need to pack.
  • And I did mention having to get up at 5, didn't I?
I actually will only present one paper. My two papers were scheduled on Tuesday and a week from Saturday. So I will give the second paper to someone to read for me. It is actually a co-authored paper with an undergrad student. I tried to get her to the conference to present it and I had actually even found the money, but the college has a policy of not funding students to be abroad without the supervision of an adult. Give me a break! They are adults! I guess they are old enough to fight a war, but they can't be unsupervised.

The paper I will be giving is on the local taco trucks. I think I need to do more research, however, before I can come up with any definite conclusions ;-)

I guess I should get back to work or else I won't be sleeping at all tonight.

DON'T FORGET TO SPONSOR SARA!!! Or at least just leave her some words of encouragement in the comments to the previous post...

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Calling all charitable givers...

Sara is participating in the Walkathon in Boston for NAMI (the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) on May 14. This is a great organization that advocates for people who usually can't speak up for themselves.

So if you would like to sponsor Sara, you can make an online pledge here. I don't think there is any minimum amount and every little bit helps.

Thank you for your attention - now we will return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Back in Washington.

Finally a trip without flight delays.

Busy times, though. Tomorrow I have a thesis defense, a class to teach, a public lecture to the college (with the student I am doing research with), and dinner at the college's president's house. And yes, I am tired and jet-lagged beyond belief.

My mind is more blank than usual.

Friday, April 22, 2005

I got into Boston last night at about midnight and I did not really get to bed until about 1:30 or 2:00 am. Then it was up at 7:00 am to head over to the conference in Cambrdge.

If you think I might be tired you are correct. The conference was pretty good. The fact that it held my attention and I did not nod off at all is proof that it must have interesting.

I head back over tomorrow morning for day two.

Sara left for New Hampshire this morning for her conference. She will be back tomorrow evening.

It is strange being here without Sara around.


I ran across Sara's explanation of benefits for when she was in the ER for her kidney stones. It was almost $5000. Thank goodness she has good health insurance. I can't imagine what people who don't do.

That is a lot of money for a couple hours of care.


It seems like bedbugs in hotel rooms and cabins in cruises. With the decline of available/legal pesticides, hotels are having difficulties keeping the bedbugs from bitiing. I must say that I have not encountered any - I am thankful for my good fortune.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

I am flying again today. I can't believe it.

I am tired, cranky, grumpy, and a bit depressed. I think these are all symptoms of burn out.

I am going to Boston to attend a conference on Immigrant Political Incorporation tomorrow and Saturday. It should be a good conference with some good speakers. I hope my enthusiasm returns.

Ironically, Sara has a conference in New Hampshire tomorrow and Saturday too. I will get to see her Sunday and Monday morning (my flight isn't until the afternoon).

Time to hit the road.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Today I found the best tortillas I have had in Gringolandia. This may seem like no big deal, but tortillas are part of who I am. I am not sure what it is, but as you cross over the imaginary line between Mexico and the US, the ability to make good tortillas disappears. Maybe it is a need to comply with health regulations or a certain gabacho jinx - I don't know. I have had some adequate ones in areas where there are muchos Mexicanos, but I have never had any that were comparable to the best in Mexico. Until today...

I was out and about collecting some data for a research project I am working on. I went to visit a small Mexican store I had heard about that is located on a rural crossroads right on the Washington-Oregon border. Cross the street and you are in a different state.

The store is a gem. Called Carniceria Jalisco because they sell Mexican cuts of meat (cachete, tripa, lengua, etc.), they also have a vast array of fresh and dried chiles, spices, and herbs. They have some pan dulce and a collection of abarrotes. And there they were, in the corner, the tortillas I have been searching for. They are actually made locally at a tortilleria called "La Candelaria" that I have driven past in Milton-Freewater, Oregon. It never seemed to be open, though, so I have never stopped.

So I bought a big stack of these tortillas, along with some dried Eucalyptus leaves (to make tea to relieve the lingering cough I have), pan dulce, and some dried chiles.

Carniceria Jalisco Posted by Hello

After my purchases, I stopped by the Taqueria Jalisco located next door. I had a three tacos: asada, carnitas, and birria. All delicious. I was amused by the listing of their taco loco, which I had to inquire about. A taco with the odd mix of bacon, hot dogs, and god-knows what else. After the first two ingredients I stopped listening.

I also had to laugh at one of the beverage choices: Choco Mil (a Spanish appropriation of Chocolate Milk). How things have changes as the terms moved back and forth across the border: from Xocolatl to chocolate to chocolate to chocolate milk to choco mil. Beautiful.

Taqueria Jalisco Posted by Hello

The people who worked there were also extremely nice. They are a family from a small village in, you guessed it, Jalisco. It is somewhere in between Guadalajara and Ciudada Guzman. The husband has been here for about ten years and his wife came up six years ago. Their children are now going to school and hope to make the most of the opportunities they have here which they would never have in Mexico.

Damn immigrants! Always trying to better themselves.

In any case, back to the tortillas. I put them to the test this evening. Perfect. Moist, flavorful, and soft.

I would tell you where Carniceria Jalisco is, but my guess is that you will never be around here and even if you were, you would never find it - it is out of the way, almost in the middle of a field.

Now I need to find the perfect bolillo in Gringolandia.
My Favorite Santa Fe Burrito - no red chile on this one!

Santa Fe Burro Posted by Hello

I am feeling better today, which means I need to tackle many of the things that have piled up over the past few days. So you get yet another picture. This one is of my running motif of picturing donkeys here.

There is somthing about this sculpture and its placement in the entrance to a small alley in Santa Fe that really appeals to me.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

My condition is improving, yet I still have somewhat of a ways to go down the road of recovery. Consequently, you get more photos:

Old Town Albuquerque Posted by Hello

I love Old Town Albuquerque. One of my favorite restaurants is there - La Hacienda. The flat blue corn enchiladas with red chile are amazing. I could definitely use some of that chile now to clear out the old sinuses.

La Hacienda Posted by Hello

While in Old Town, you can visit the recently moved National Atomic Museum (soon to be renamed the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History).

Atomic Museum - Albuquerque Posted by Hello

The museum used to be on the nearby air force base, but after 9-11 they don't let us commoners/civilians on the base any more. So they moved the museum to the building that used to be occupied by REI in Old Town.

Some people complained about errecting a missle in a "historic" part of the city. As Sara rightly pointed out to me, though, science and nuclear research are an important part of New Mexico history.

The museum is pretty interesting, especially if you go with a nuclear phycisist like we did. It is an interesting intersection of history, science, and social issues.

I should get to work. I have not gotten much done the past few days. Now I am way behind.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Since I am still sick and my writing just reflects my grumpy mood, I will be sharing pictures from the past month that I took with my new digital camera.


Sandia Ridge - Albuquerque Posted by Hello

Mt. Taylor - West of Albuquerque Posted by Hello

Friday, April 15, 2005


Sick - again!

This morning when I woke up, my coughing became extremely productive. Copious amounts of nasty gunk came up and out. As the day progressed, my sinuses began to swell and they became congested. Along with this, there was a terrible itch from the top of my throat up to the clogged air passages just above my nostrils.

After this lovely descprition, let me replace the image in your mind with a nicer and more aesthetically pleasing one. Spring has arrived here - although it is still a bit chilly. Our yard is full of blooming tulips and the buds in the trees are beginning to open. The trees have their leaves and the grass is lush again.

I am also happy because one of my favorite bloggers is back online. She was one of the very first I read and one of my first visitors. Welcome back, Mala! I look forward to reading about your entrepreneurial adventures.

I also have had some positive feedback from some of my students this week. It makes me wonder, though, if I am such a great teacher, why isn't anyone offering me a job. Yes, more rejection letters keep streaming in. Actually, when you are gone for an extended period of time, they are in a big pile waiting for you - along with all the bills you have to pay.

Positive, I need to channel a positive vibe here. I am not succeeding, am I? I should get to bed. I need rest - lots of it. There is much to do, but tomorrow I am sleeping in.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Where am I?

Oh yeah. Back in Washington.

I am so tired. Saturday we drove back down to Albuquerque. Sunday both Sara and I were able to fly out despite a snow storm - luckily we weren't flying through Denver (one of my collegues here was and ended up staying in NM an extra two days). Unfortunately, Sara was flying back to Boston and I to San Diego.

I was only in San Diego for a couple of hours before I hit the road with the dog in the back seat. Somewhere in the Mohave desert I was hit with the ever-present existential questions: where am I and what am I doing here?

I stopped in Kettleman City the first night. The Super 8 Motel there is much better than the Motel 6 in Coalinga. No frills, but it is clean and more or less comfortable.

The second stop was in Grants Pass, OR. Then it was back to this place.

Along the way I seem to have developed a deep cough. Not your mild hacking, but something that comes from deep within your chest. It is very dry too. I may be somewhat paranoid - this tends to happen after you have had a bout with pneumonia that lands you in the hospital for three days - but it has had me concerned. Every little ache and pain - after sitting in the car for a couple of days these are quite common - becomes a reason to take your temperature. No fever this time, and I am actually coughing less, but I am still not better. But my concern with pneumonia has more or less passed.

Teaching today was a challenge, both because I was afraid of falling into a coughing fit and because I am exhausted. Luckily we are on a topic I know very well - ethnicity.

There is much more to say, but I need my sleep. Good night.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

I can't believe it has been a week since I last wrote in here. Right now I am in Santa Fe. This is such a neat little place, even with all the artsy kitch and pseudo-sophistication (read: arrogance) of some of the vistors.

The conference has been ok. Some good networking and some good ideas have come out of it. The organization has been somewhat poor, though.

No time to write. This was a freak opportunity. Bye.

Friday, April 01, 2005

It's back to New Mexico tomorrow.

This week has been CRAY-ZEE! and I am exhausted.

I am looking forward to some hugs and some green chile.

I am off to finish packing and then to bed. I have a 6:50 flight to catch in the morning.