Monday, June 25, 2007

Mamas, Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys

Photo courtesy of

Went to the Santa Fe Rodeo Thursday night with my sister (visiting from out of town), and really enjoyed the experience! I know not everybody in town feels that way--there was an earnest letter to the editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican protesting the animal cruelty of the rodeo. Click here to read the whole letter (you'll need to scroll down a bit)--though it can be summed up in the following quote:

Get your tickets for the Rodeo de Santa Fe, the annual celebration of innocent, fun-loving sadism and brutality, cowboy style. Don’t pay any mind to those city-slicker animal-rights wackos who claim it’s cruel.

The animals seemed to be OK to me--I guess I see a big difference between cockfighting and bull-fighting (where the point of the thing is for the animal to die) and rodeo--which basically celebrates skills which have been used in the West (and other parts of the world where horses and cows are prevalent) for many generations. Click here to take a peek at the rodeo; the last scenes in this short video are devoted to "mutton busting" where children aged 4-8 ride sheep. Our letter writer says they are torturing the sheep--but if you could have seen the sheep gamboling together on the field after each one dumped its rider, you couldn't help but feel they were having a good time. ("I dumped my kid in 4 seconds--how long did it take you?")

However the point of my post (gee, sometimes it takes me a while to get there) is that I wonder if the competitors' parents knew when they were babies that they would become rodeo champions. The reason I ask is that they all have the names you would expect a rodeo guy to have. Looking at the final standings in Sunday's paper, the winners include Chad, Shain, Ty, Kory, Monty, Ricky, Josh, Taos, Jake, Jace, Casey, Jared, Wyatt, and JW. Don't you know that they're not doctors and lawyers and such?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Can You Fall in Love with a Lifestyle?

Went shopping at the Farmers' Market this morning--early, since I have to go to work at noon. Walking around the market makes me feel like I am a totally different person, and I want to be more like that person the rest of the week!

Although the temperature is only in the high 60s, the sun is warm and I'm hot in my long-sleeve shirt (sun protection). I have my full Farmers' Market regalia on--broad-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and a big aqua basket over my arm for purchases. I park my car and stop at Starbucks for a nonfat mocha (I know, I know, but it really is part of the experience), and then make my way down the aisle of white tents. The sights, sounds, and smells are intoxicating. Fresh bread, fresh cut mint, a 10-year-old girl playing the fiddle, and more bags of lettuce than you can count. I've never had such a strong compulsion to buy greens and organic beef! But I restrain myself--no big cooking plans this week and I have a garden to plant. So I limit myself to two phlox plants and a bouquet of fresh flowers (see photo!). I have a long chat with the lavender man about planting and care of lavender, and I promise to come back next Saturday and buy a couple of plants--too much to get in the ground this week already.....

Monday, June 04, 2007

Not Quite Spanglish, Part 2

Since I moved to Santa Fe, I've been observing interesting combinations of Spanish and English (or Spanish and something else, or just multilingual juxtapositions that are interesting). I covered a previous set of these earlier in this blog (Not Quite Spanglish, Part One). Here are a few more observed in the past few months.

Sign at McDonald's: Happy Meal con Hamburguesa

Sign at an auto dealership (near tax time): Nosotros financiamos, use your tax refund

Described in a lecture: The use of the adjective estresado (not in my Spanish dictionary) to describe a feeling of being stressed out in a particularly American way

In the Santa Fe New Mexican:
• Editorial on foreign languages in high school: "School districts would have to offer two years of a foreign language--but, desgraciadamente, it wouldn't be required for graduation."
• Title of an editorial on the pilgrimage to the Santuaria de ChimayĆ³ before Easter: "From far and near come peregrinos; walkers, drivers: caution."