At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

My trip to Albuquerque was, if not exciting, at least mildly diverting. I had found out that The Boss and her family was going to be in the city on Saturday as well, so after checking into the hotel (Motel 6, my old standby) I gave her a call and arranged to meet them at a restaurant in Old Town, a few blocks of adobe settlements now occupied by arts and crafts shops and restaurants. We got a table on the open-air balcony and ordered salmon, which I washed down with a martini and a Guiness chaser. The Boss's husband and I discussed politics, philosophy, and religion, which generally happens whenever we're together. (During a staff outing at a local eatery she made sure to seat us at opposite ends of the table for that reason--maybe she thinks he is imposing on me.)

After dinner they drove back to their cabin near Corona, NM (which had barely escaped the recent forest fire) and I headed to the art house cinema to see Goodbye, Lenin!, a movie I'd been interested in since finding the DVD for sale all over Munich last October. Though hardly uproarious, it was a cute little comedy, probably more affecting for former residents of the GDR.

Sunday morning I went back to Old Town and wandered around a bit (in the process racking up four points on "Spot the German") before attending Mass at San Felipe de Neri Church, a Spanish Colonial parish in use since 1706. It's not a terribly large church, and the creaky pews were packed. The service was a lively folk Mass, mostly English with a few Spanish hymns thrown in. Being the Vigil of Pentecost, the homily was on the passage in Acts in which the disciples, infused with the Holy Spirit, speak to the crowd in a wide variety of languages. As if to reinforce the point, after the Mass the priest went down the aisle and asked visitors to raise their hand and say where they were from; responses included Germany, Austria, Quebec, and Italy. That afternoon I did some CD shopping, ate Japanese food for lunch and Indian food for dinner (with one of those big bottles of Taj Mahal), and saw Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring, a meditative Korean film about a Buddhist monk and his wayward disciple.

I was pretty tired by Monday so I headed back to Texas in the morning.

Albuquerque would be a nice place to live. I liked the neighborhoods of adobe houses half hidden by xeriscaping, and the ever-present vista of Sandia Peak.

Got my record needle yesterday. I hope having all that vinyl to listen to will curb my appetite for CDs.


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