Hunson knows a lot of things, but he doesn't know bars. Rock Bottom Brewery is rather chain-like. If you want a cool little Irish pub, go down the street a few blocks and head to Paddy's. Or if you want a great old skool lounge on the edge of downtown, head to The Driftwood Room.
Thanks! I’ve read that Horse Brass Pub and Henry’s 12th Street Tavern are amazing too, so I hope to visit those on this trip as well.
Here’s a quick shout-out to pitypie (Lucas), who not only has great taste because he loves The West Wing, 30 Rock, and Harry Potter, but also became my 67th follower and got me out of the sixes I was seeing everywhere!
This guy’s walkin’ down a street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, “Hey you! Can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole, and moves on.
Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, “Father, I’m down in this hole; can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
Then a friend walks by. “Hey, Joe, it’s me. Can ya help me out?” And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, “Are ya stupid? Now we’re both down here.” The friend says, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.”
Barring any complications, Joe and I are buying my late grandpa’s under-100k miles Camry! I love my own Camry so much that if I were to get any other pre-owned car, it’d have to be a Camry too. I love the Desert Phantom (the name for my car), but it has enough problems that I’ll be pleased to have her off my hands. This is still an early-2000s model, too, so hopefully no accelerator issues (which I can’t remember if I’ve told you about my experience with that or not).
My grandfather died on Thursday morning. I didn’t really get all that choked up about it, at first. It was very much like when my own father died- my mom came and told me about it some time before it actually happened, and that’s when I cried. I didn’t really cry the day it happened. I have to admit that I have only really bawled over one grandparent’s death, and that was my Grandma Dorothy. I was closer to her, and she was my main connection to my dad’s family, who I didn’t have a lot of contact with otherwise.
But this death struck me differently, for two reasons. First, he happened to die the same day of the year as my friend Kristen did three years ago. Kristen was the first person I grew up with who died. Second, and I suppose more selfishly, I realized I’m now the second oldest generation in my family. I had always hoped to have children early enough to say they met their great-grandparents, and that they’d be the fourth generation in our family.
Grandpa George held on for a long time, so I figured he’d be around til at least 100 (which would have been another eight years). But now that he’s gone, I suddenly realize I am in the same role, generationally speaking, my parents have been in for around 25 years. Would this be striking to any of the rest of you? Am I making something out of nothing? I definitely feel like the torch has been passed.
Sorry if this is a bit garbled, I’m also listening to “Car Talk” this morning.
I got asked for a third time now for the recipe for the oatmeal I love making. I can’t claim ownership of the recipe or the idea, but I have my way of making it. So here it is, in case anyone else asks (and I won’t have to retype it!).
Ingredients: 1/3 cup milk 1/3 cup oats (not the quick/instant kind) 1/2 cup water (or more/less as you see fit- this helps oatmeal be fluffy) 1/2 banana Cinnamon Vanilla concentrate
Add milk, oats, and water to small saucepan at low temperature. As that gets going, thinly slice half a banana into the pot (eat the rest, of course!). Once the oats start to soften, get out a fork and whip the oats and banana into fluffiness.
Just before you’re ready take it off the stove, spend another minute adding in cinnamon and vanilla (as you see fit… you won’t want more than a tablespoon, at most). Et voila! Banana bread oatmeal!
Sometimes when I didn’t have the main flavor ingredients, I’ve tried adding other random things, like allspice and even salt. But nothing is as great as this banana cinnamon concoction.
The person I got this from got it from a blog about vegan diets: KathEats (Tribute to Oatmeal!), and there are some other great ideas there. OH, and my friend likes to add almond butter to the banana one, although I don’t. You might like it, though!
The Beatles — You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) — Past Masters, Vol. 2 (Remastered)
I love the sound in this song at the beginning, though it does kind of unravel toward the end. Also, it’s delightfully outdated. Just because you know someone’s name doesn’t mean you can look up the number. It would have to be “You know my name, add me on Facebook” now.
I don’t often think I come from one of “those” families with much drama. It’s weird to me, what has happened in the last few weeks with my immediate family. I’ll try to write about it, but if appears it’s causing more drama to have it on the internet, I’m taking it down. I try not to put this upon those of you who are just here to see photos, but I need to get it out somewhere.
When I was nine, my mom married my step-dad, who came with two children of his own. They were actually family of ours already (my step-dad essentially being my deceased father’s long-lost half-brother), but that’s a story of its own. When they married, Katie, Mom, and me were uprooted from Illinois to New Mexico, because my new siblings lived in NM with their mother.
I was extremely excited to have two new siblings. I had spent my first six years without brothers or sisters, and my sister Kate was still very young - three years old - when we met our new siblings. My brother Travis was two years older, and my new sister Heather was a year younger than me. They were around my age, and now I’d have sibling closeness I’d seen some of my friends have, and we’d be a big family. I hadn’t realized it at the time, but what I always really wanted was a large family.
At first, we’d see them every other weekend, and for extended visits around the holidays and summer. That was never quite enough for me, because I really liked them, but they lived three hours away in Albuquerque and it was implausible to see them any more frequently. Then, because their mom found a new job, they moved to Los Alamos, and that was closer to a five hour drive. We started seeing them only once a month.
I had grown up really fond of them, though I recognized some drastic differences in our tastes and was sometimes off-put by Travis’s willingness to lie or Heather’s ability to put up a barrier so that we couldn’t get close to her. When we started seeing each other less, I remember being really upset, thinking that they didn’t care, or that they didn’t like me. It wasn’t about that, at least not at first. It was just the distance.
Travis and I had a lot in common as kids, so not seeing him as often was hard on me- and I began imagining he was some really great person to hang out with. But as we got older, and I became aware of his transgressions at school and with money, I became disenchanted. Heather and I gained more in common as high school went on, but then I read her blog (she’d kept it hidden), where she declared me and my boyfriend annoying nerds. I got over that— mainly because my boyfriend was definitely annoying— but it still set some more distance between us.
When I would hang out with just the two of them, they would assure me that I was not the one they had a problem with, that it was just JR and Mom. Heather was rarely candid with me about our familial relations as we got older, but Travis had no problems putting everything out on the table. I’m not sure which was a better way of acting, but both scared me because it was clear to me that they were making moves to leave us more permanently once we all hit college.
Fastforward past college. Travis had a spotty record with school and had hit and then missed with the Marines. He ended up in Las Vegas, apparently in a position as a shooting instructor for the police there. Heather got a Disney World internship in her second or third year, and has been in Florida ever since. I met someone and got married. I’ve seen Heather once since I met my husband, and that’s when we went to Disney World and she was working at a fruit stand. She barely looked up to say hi- and that’s the only memory Joe has of her. (On the other hand, Joe has seen Travis quite a lot.)
Here’s the stuff about Travis. He has been a pathological liar since middle school, at least. And I mean that from a clinical, this-guy-needs-help kind of standpoint. He has always lied about grades in school and his accomplishments. My mom doubted he got his bachelor’s degree in political science from UNM and still won’t believe it until she sees the degree. I don’t want to go out of my way to recount the lies I’ve heard from him. This drama right now is only about his latest set of lies.
He told us a few months back that he had gotten a job with the FBI on the US-Mexico border to lead a team. This meant he would move down from Las Vegas, Nevada, to live with my parents in Alamogordo. Then he’d commute to El Paso every day until he left for official training in Quantico, Virginia in November. He showed up in Las Cruces a lot and was able to blow off afternoons and hang out with us. When my brother-in-law Zack came to visit, Travis told us he’d killed six men and at least one had been shot from a helicopter.
At this point, Joe, Zack, and I had already made up our mind on whether Travis was telling the truth. But then my mom calls and says she’s almost positive he stole $60 from her wallet, which was to be for our little sister. He denied it vehemently, but the thing was that it wasn’t the first money that had gone missing from her wallet in the last few weeks. I had mentioned casually a few weeks earlier that Joe and I didn’t think he had a real job, but his stealing money made her finally think twice about it.
It was all eggshells from there on out. One weekend, Mom suggested we shouldn’t come over to Alamogordo except to sleep while on our way eastward to Carlsbad (therefore avoiding any confrontations between her and Travis). On the way back from Carlsbad, however, they seemed fine when we sat down to dinner with them.
A couple weeks later, Katie went home to visit. We’re now up to last weekend. She noticed her Nintendo Wii was missing from our parents’ house, and my mom accused Travis of doing something with it. Exercising healthy skepticism about the whole thing, my mom went to Game Stop to see if they knew anything about Katie’s Wii—- sure enough, it had been sold there. A three-way fight ensued that Sunday between Mom, Travis, and Katie. The next day, Travis was kicked out from our parents’ home.
Now, Travis’ real mom has told us to dial down the drama and that he can’t handle this right now, emotionally. Heather apparently called JR today and said that Travis had gone on a mission and that he was hurt and in a hospital. JR accidentally dropped the call, as they were driving through the mountains today. I don’t know. What do you think- did Travis really get hurt in the line of duty?
Anyway, all of this has only made me more thankful the other family I have. My mom’s family, my real dad’s family, and Joe’s family. My mom’s dad recently had a fall, three seizures, and a stroke- which, if you ask me, couldn’t have been worse timing. But he’s doing alright, and our family in Illinois is doing fine taking care of him.
This summer, I admitted (after some wine) to Joe, his dad, and his brother that I always felt like I had missed out on a big family, and that’s part of why I appreciate being around them so much. Well, let’s just say those feelings are amplified with all this idiocy from Travis.