Monday, December 29, 2008

Dear Me!

Wow. I made it to Oregon again.  For the first time since I left, when I left, in September.  Since I've been here I've:

Been pushed into the snow (by a dear old friend),
Slept in a bed with three other people and one giant Maggot (also a dear old friend),
Got stranded in Eugene for Christmas eve,
Contracted a really AWESOME head cold that is still finding it's way out of my head,
Been to two spontaneous high school reunions (one of which was fun and took place at a bar), 
and sat on my brother.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Input at the Airport

My corner of the airport.

My small red table and little green chair. 

Me watching CNN.

CNN is commenting on Obama's celebrity while zooming in on a picture of his perfectly sculpted abs.  Their hypothesis: Obama is a celebrity because he's hot.  My hypothesis: CNN is turning into Entertainment Tonight.

I am sitting at a toadstool height table with my most worldly possessions: my guitar and my  computer. I also have cowboy boots. Very worldly.  I am in Phoenix Arizona.  My flight is continually being pushed back and I am entertaining very entertaining dreams of small campfires built entirely of napkins, stolen magazines, toilet paper, and newspapers critiquing Obama's abs.  (VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: CNN is now talking about the wardrobe of their reporter who is wearing silly shorts).  I imagine that around my fire of airport kindling will gather the other stranded travelers lost in Phoenix on this the eve of Christmas eve.  I will whip my guitar out of its casings and begin to sing carols to the my new wayfaring friends.  Ah how romantic to be stranded in the airport.  

I am intrigued. I have never really been stranded before.  They haven't actually canceled my flight yet, but I may be strung along with promises of 11pm and 1am until it is actually morning and I find that I have spent all the night in Arizona.  Something truly amazing has begun to happen.  I am being surrounded by adorable children.  A small girl has plopped herself down with a ziplock bag full of crayons and a Mary Poppins-like bag of tricks.  Her sister has joined her and has been trying to read what I'm writing.  I keep trying to hide it from her, since I am writing about her.  In addition a very small orange headed baby keeps crawling over and making a grab for each of my few (and very worldly) possessions.  I like to imagine that these children are gathering around me because I am exuding wonderful art teacher joy but I also suspect that I am sitting at the kid's table.  Maybe they are exuding something that I want to be around.  

CNN is finally starting to report real news and unfortunately it looks like airports everywhere are experiencing the same kind of delays as my airport, right here.  Oh, and Portland Oregon can look forward to ten more inches of snow!  Even if my dreams of campfires fall through in Phoenix I may end up stranded in the snowy streets of Portland for Christmas, a raggedy waif adrift in the elements.  I am having a good time dramatizing my circumstances.  I've been reading Henry James and so far everything is really dramatic and dire, but I can't actually tell what is happening.  

I am now having a nice chat with the girl who has the never-ending bag.  She's asked me if I like flying, and has informed me that she likes getting off of the plane.  She is currently unpacking everything anyone could ever need to make a scrap book.  Her sister is jumping around like a monkey.  It's weird, I like kids more the more I work with them.  I think they are teaching me how to play again.  Yesterday I spent a half an hour as a zombie queen.  My scroungey little zombie helper clung tick-like to my neck as I chased the smaller children around the room saying things like "BRAASRISLIFN!!!" and "I'm going to eat you!" I instructed my tick to bite Bryan (my fellow teacher) but we never caught him.  I really enjoy being a teacher. 

"CNN Christmas eve.  Barack Obama will be REVEALED" Yeah whatever CNN. You're just going to show me his hot body again.  ("I can't wait for the airplane to yand!" -little sister).  Oh, wow, they are actually reporting real news, but their interspersing it with the topless photo.  

My small companion is really organized and awesome. "Yeah. I brought a lot of stuff to do because you can't just come to the airport and get on a plane, you know?" Well, I didn't know actually.  I am finding this out for the first time.  This girl seems really sweet, but now she is making fun of me because I don't watch TV. "You don't have cable? You don't have nuthin'?" she corrects herself a second later "nothing." Now she murmurs "Friends don't let friends watch cable." I laugh because she's contradicting herself, she says, "that's from a commercial!"
This is hilarious. 

I will write more later if I find myself huddled around a small illegal fire.  But for now, this is Christy, signing out.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Too Music

Yesterday we drew to music at one of our community centers.  I really liked it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Where is the Sun Today?

What a dreary moment. The rain seems to have couched itself over Albuquerque just as my darling Stephanie has returned to North Dakota for Christmas.  Last night I gushed enthusiastically to some new friends about how wonderful this place is, emphasizing the sun.  But where is the sun today!? Oh me oh my o.  

Friday, December 12, 2008

What do you think?

Dancing to the talking heads is good for the body and mind.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Albuquerque, I have heard recently, is a land of the brokenhearted. This idea interests me because locals are forever cryptically calling this the land of entrapment --although the license plates insist it is the land of "enchantment." What is it about Albuquerque that has it stepping between love and loss?  Neil Young wrote a sad song about Albuquerque.  I am downloading it now, so I can listen, and hopefully, understand.

Here is comes!  Now I am listening to the strains of "Albuquerque." As I listen I will muse.  

Driving back from the community center where I work in the "war zone" I was drawn into a discussion about the garish lights and signs that are so central to Burque's mystique.  The conversation lead me to proclaim that 'some people don't do things to do them beautifully.'  But then I realized that after they do these things without beauty in mind, beauty still comes.  Once, I wandered into the reference library downtown and found a book of photographs documenting the signs of Albuquerque.  They advertised fuel, fast food, and hotels- and they were beautiful all seen together like that.

That's how the signs are here.  They are grouped together, lining the longest, most tired stretches of roads.  My favorite garish and aging advertising remnant is sculpture of a lumberjack sitting on a pole twenty feet up and reaching twenty feet higher.  I have never found out what he's advertising. There aren't many lumberjacks here.

Actually there aren't a whole lot of trees here either.  The only place you can really find a lot of trees is down by the Rio Grande which is quickly becoming my favorite part of Albuquerque. While the streets are crowded with loud reds and bellowing yellows on all the signage, the river and all that surrounds it is a comfortable range of browns.  The river is chocolate milk, the leaves are aging orange, the ground is thick brown, the goat-heads are a kind of blonde, and the wood comes in a variety of shades between stark white and black.  The overall effect is extremely calming.  I feel that I am being reintegrated into the earth when I am by the river because there is such a contrast between the low brown everything and the exemplary unending sky.

Maybe it's something about the difference between the land and the sky that makes this a heartbroken place.  We are exceptionally close to impossible empty beauty from the vantage of our brown river, and our prickly plants.  Maybe the gaudy yellow and flashing neon signs intervene in this relationship: each glowing "El Rey" and "Red Ball Cafe" a lonely love letter to the sky.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Location, my back yard at 1pm on a Friday.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Communion One

Our first ever music show at Park Ave. was dream filled.  It was the first of a new monthly event to be called "Communion"—we are in direct competition with an established show called "Sunday School," so we kind of had to go with the religious terminology.  It was really good.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

ThanksComfort Giving Day at the Park Ave Family's.

Thanksgiving went off just as I planned.  Is that a malevolent way of saying it? Perhaps, considering the circumstances it is.  I planned the coziest, best-tasting, sleepiest, and most wine filled thanksgiving and that is what I got.  Early in the morning Stef and I prepared our home to welcome the waifs and wanderers of this city, that is, our friends.  While Stef pulled the guts out of the turkey (A side note here: we were surprised at how much stuff they store inside the turkey (bags and such)), and danced it about the kitchen I peeled potatoes into a paper bag and watched the Macy's day 
Parade.  We turned the volume up so Stef could hear in the kitchen thus our conversations went something like this: Stef:"Ramumble unmble uh nub, Bumble mumble?" Christy: "Sorry, what?" Stef: "RaMUMble unmble unumb, BUMble MUMble?" etc.  
(It's a habit of ours for Stef to continue to talk to me while I roam from room to room.) We're just like a REAL family.  Anyhow, we then scrambled about cleaning various surfaces with varying amounts of bleach (a ration directly depending upon how much turkey juice had 
spilled on to the surface). 
The first guests arrived early to play games but didn't intend to stay for dinner.  This didn't surprise me greatly since "playing games" was a huge platform in my "come to our house for thanksgiving day" campaign.  So we did.  After the first wave left the second wave or the "nouvelle vague" arrived--and they came to stay.  We busily set about drinking wine, eating pizza as an appetizer, and discussing how good a hostess Stef is.  She plays that role for us, and I am eternally greatful every day.
Dinner time finally arrived after the unprecedented freak storm that ravaged the street with hail, high winds, rain, and lightning for about 30 seconds (The same 30 seconds that it took for our guests to come from their cars into our house, actually).  Thus renewed by our reinstilled awe of nature we sat to sup and found that our awe was renewed again and again with each bite.  Then something really remarkable happened.  We decided it was "quiet time" or "nap time" or "whatever" and each and every guest got up from the table and immediately set about cleaning the kitchen. I was so impressed. I have never seen such well behaved boys and girls in my life.
Finally we collapsed in a well crafted pile of blankets which I had installed on the floor of our living room for just such a purpose as napping.  And nap we did in the coziest puppiest pile of all.  Shortly thereafter we played "football" with a "football." Then we tucked in desert, played games, and settled into a nice viewing of Fried Green Tomatoes which mostly resulted in a lively discussion of Lesbianism's presense in films from the 1990's.  Also, mid-film, we had yet a third influx of guests.  The final scene of our Thanksgiving day included Kristen wrapped in blankets rolling about in the center of the room, an interactive discussion of astrology, and another lovely bottle of wine. The End.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Molto Bene

I discovered a flat woman on my wall outside. And I took the photos to prove it. Take that Wendy.  
I also discovered a lake in the middle of nowhere. Bryan helped discover it so we named it Lake Bryan. We went back later to put up a sign, and realized that it had been a mirage after all.
Long long ago we didn't know if Obama was going to win the election. So we waited in line for 6 hours to give him our magic beans.  
This blue-green looking algae was growing all over the lake. It was the grossest lake I've ever been to. 
I found these photos in my backyard. Who put them there?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Conjugated Photographs

I am gregarious with my Italian because my Italian is so very small.

Yesterday, to remember, I walked home jabbering away in French and alternately Spanish.

I look out my little windows. I look at the moon, in November.  I turn my attention to la muerta y la tooth brush.  I found the bird that was lost. 

These are the people I look at all of the time.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mystery Maps

I have 35 pictures to show you.
I have a cold winter night
dry hands
6 letters taped to the wall (but one of them is from me)
and I have one really big yawn.
I also have a couple of maps:

I found this on googlemaps.
It's in Alamosa, Colorado. 
I think that it must be a lake , right?
But it doesn't have a name and neither do the roads leading to it.  And when it comes down to it the roads don't really lead to it at all.  They just kind of stop and round off at the ends. 
Is this just a nice little graphic addition to the world, courtesy of google?

If so, have they made more of them?

Take a close look at that lake or grouping of water in towards the middle.  Does that look like a normal body of water to you? This is taken from a map of the Albuquerque area and I'm pretty sure there are NO lakes near here, at least none that look like clumps of yarn.

I would be delighted to visit these mysterious bodies of water and find out what they're really like. In Colorado I might find an enormous shallow puddle at the end of some sidewalk, or possibly a large damp parachute.  If I follow the map to the spot in Albuquerque I might find an actual body of water with an actual habitable island in the very middle! Or perhaps a giant water slide park...

I will have to visit to know for sure because google hasn't taken satellite pictures of the area yet.  Huzzah.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

4 Reals.

This exists because Robin hurt her arm, because we bought too much gin and Bryan started to "glow," because Bethany had recently been given a guitar, because Mary was excited and sitting on a desk, because Laureen was falling asleep in the next bed and we had to record it before it was gone, and because I had been in the sun too much that day.  All of these things made this thing. So enjoy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

La Capra Campa


Today I decided to learn Italian.  This is what I got so far.

Piacere!  Mi chiamo Christy (But I think I'm going to go by Chiara in Italian circles).  Sono di Oregon ma abito a Albuquerque, e insegno la arte a gli bambini! Si?!!!  Anche mia famiglia di ABQ é felice tutto il giorno! HEY!

I'll either be practicing over breakfast or late in the night.  Those are the natural times for me to practice language after four years of doing so in college.
If you are reading this and would like to correspond with me in Italiono, I would like that!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

yellow light at 4:28

The light is Just right. It is coming in my window on to my keyboard, and I feel like I was just skiing because I was racing my bike down the Albuquerque hill to my home, and the wind was blowing in my face and I could feel my eyelashes blowing in it.


Friday, November 7, 2008


The days are growing shorter. But I am waking up earlier.  This morning I was dreaming of guitar music. It was a very detailed kind of melody repeating and repeating.  I didn't think it was a dream and I was listening intensely when "Knock Knock Knock!" I roused myself and looked around.  I glared blearily at the window across from my bed.  Was someone outside and wanting my attention?  I listened for further knocking and slowly, relaxing into my bed I came to the conclusion that I had dreamed the knocking.  But why? Why did I feel the need to drive myself out of that sweet dream melody at 6:40 in the morning?  

The best answer I have come up with today is that the sun wanted me up.  The glazed light reflecting into my window was reminiscent of those delicate wandering repeating notes I heard in my sleep.  Was it the sun's dizzy melody then wandering into my sleep? If so the song was too engrossing to wake me.  So the music hardened into a cool hand which laid three resounding knocks (simultaneously) on the window, my chest and the edge of my dream.