Lisa Mednick Powell


Today was adjunct orientation day. They served chips with guacamole and salsa. Also cookies--you know, the big round kind that are actually the size of four normal cookies. The people at this college seem really nice. There was quite an assortment of individuals at this orientation. A woman with a turban and also a man with a turban. Hers was white and his was orange. They were not there together. There was also a man with a very red face. The registrar was very helpful, and she was sort of half sitting, half leaning on a desk which was really a long table. Then a man with a gray ponytail and beard walked over to her and pulled her plate of food away from her coat which was soaking in the guacamole. She said "Oh! Thank you!" He said," did get some on you." And she went right back to her presentation about midterm grades and IIW (instructor initiated Withdrawal). I was more in the mood for IWW after the provost thanked all of us adjuncts profusely for our "service," explaining that we teach about 60 percent of the classes and "generate 60 percent of the credits..." he told us how much they appreciated us. He said they wanted to do all they could to help us and someone (pas moi) muttered "how about some more money." I met another adjunct today who was very young and seemed quite nice. She just finished her dissertation on "middle voice." I asked her, "Does that have anything to so with the Middle Passage?" I am not sure she will speak to me again. Oh well. Seriously, folks, I am looking forward to meeting the students here. I will be teaching technical writing and composition. My aim is to simplify the tech writing class and complicate the composition class. There go flukes!

It is hard to

think about much besides Haiti right now. Please help any way you can.

woops! Fergot the possible blues band story.

Well, we went to Bode's store in Abiquiu and bought pinto beans, kale, and carrots for our dinner. The beans are from somewhere nearby, maybe Colorado they told us. Well, the beans didn't tell us, the cashier told us. Which is different from the apple juice we bought the other day. It contains apple concentrate from Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and China. I hope there is no such thing as Mad Apple Disease. Oh and the Great Value 'olive oil' contains "high quality oils" from Greece, Italy, Spain and Tunisia. Back to Bode's. The fella behind the counter struck up a conversation with us. When we outed ourselves as musicians, he told us he was a drummer. The blues band he plays with needs bass and keys. So he scribbled his number down and wrote "Possible Blues Band" above it. Other than "Adobe Robots," I can't think of a better band name. Or I don't feel like thinking about band names. EVER AGAIN!

Dumpstaphunk & Martin's General Store & Possible Blues Band

We finally took a break from moving, packing, cleaning, moving, packing, cleaning, driving, packing, cleaning, unpacking...and went down to Santa Fe to hear Dumstaphunk. The 90-minute drive each way was more than worth it. Ivan Neville's band has some New Orleans funk dynastic stalwarts: Nick Daniels, Tony Hall (yep, two bass players. Kip liked it a whole real lot.), and Art's son Ian Neville on guitar. (Ivan looks more like Art and Ian looks more like Charles.) This was bonebreaking funk, stanky to the core and not for the novice. There were moments during the show when I felt like I was back on the Riverboat President watching the Neville Brothers just before Mardi Gras. I can't believe there are assholes out there (I have tried to teach them...) who would prefer that New Orleans be left to rot. Without NOLA this country would have a big fat zero where its soul is supposed to be. Took ANOTHER break (shame on us) to walk around our new neighborhood in El Rito, NM. So different from Western New York; everyone waves--instead of tailgating and passing on the right with a growling, testosterone-induced acceleration. Hey, they have somewhere important to go--NOW!! And YOU ARE IN THE WAY!!! (My green energy/economic solution for W. New York drivers was to invent a car that could run on RAGE...but I never got around to it.) So...did I mention we live in the Carson National Forest? I am going to try to post some pictures to the photo gallery, but it takes me a while because I ate the paint & rust off our turquoise Ford station wagon when I was a little kid. So I am slow at some things. I like turquoise. This valley is between the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo mountains. I don't get my usual mountain claustrophobia here, perhaps because of the altitude. It is very shimmery and bright. Until sundown when it is orange and pink, then all of a sudden purple and dark. We passed by a historic church that had been restored. The yard on the side featured a grotto with "Nuestra Senora" statues and plastic roses and glittery blue paint. I might donate our cross-shaped piece of driftwood. Kip says we should donate it at Chimayo. That might be better since we could maybe get healed while we are there. We both have colds. On the other paw, it might be best to go soak ourselves in the hot springs at Ojo Caliente. Anyone know Spanish? Does that mean "Hot Eye?" Martin's General Store closed in August. You can peer in the window and see dusty jars of Salsa and kites that used to be for sale. Mostly empty shelves with a can of Prestone or two and some old bags of peanuts. The price on the gas pump out front is $2.79 per gallon. The place is for rent. At the post office, Marabella told us that they could not compete with Walmart once the economy tanked. So people were more willing to drive half an hour south to get their canned beans and tires. That thing about Walmart ruining small-town America by killing Mom & Pop stores? Republicans will tell you that those stores would have closed anyway. But that is a lie. It happened here and we saw it. Still we must go to Walmart this afternoon. No longer snooty boycotters, we have circled the wagon (well we used to have a wagon) around our dog who wants biscuits--NOW. But...I can see the potential: someone needs to rent Martin's and open a joint that sells TEXAS HOTS and DUMSPSTA PLATES. Oh and excuse me by the way, we have been through Espanola every day for about a week and all we've seen is ONE lousy low-rider. This is supposed to be the low rider capital. (Cue cowbell and harmonica...) Ride on, fair northern friends. Other than missing her kin and compadres, yer gal is happy to be back in the South.

A human dwelling...

We think we found a home. It is near the campus where Kip will be studying and also not far from Espanola campus, where I will be performing "teacher theater." On the drive from Santa Fe to Espanola, Kip commented on the view: "Another sunny day? SHIT! not again! Beautiful mountains, red rocks, blue sky, patches of snow, yucca plants--DAMMIT!" But it is super gorgeous here and the other night a friend put it this way: "If you get depressed, just look out the window." It makes up for the somewhat higher cost of living. Pictures are on the way in the Photo Gallery. We have been eating dinner at Whole Foods, which is next door to our motel. I had a Quinoa sundae. Not really. We had Hatch green chili quesadillas. We also got a few groceries at Albertson's and the prices are about a dollar higher for everything than in Rochester, where we were shocked by the high prices when we moved there from Texas. But you can count on Whole Foods to have the most expensive everything anywhere! Still, it is a decent restaurant substitute. We had some pretty good snack today. Yes, I am guessing that after a long time boycotting, we will most likely become "People of Walmart." Check it out: