Saturday, April 23, 2011

a convention called science fiction

Ok, I'll be the first to admit that I get a lot of mileage out of the science fiction stuff. If I had to write about writing about my work it might go something like this.

Though everything I've written so far
actually happened, it all takes place in a semi-fictional world where I am both author and character and so have complete control over the entire universe.

Therefore, to give shape to what is essentially unknowable, I like to invoke the tropes and types, the general formulations and motifs, of a literary genre commonly referred to as
science fiction. I do this as I meander through the million corridors that comprise the personal database that defines my identity.

Those references don't come spinning out of my writing as pure corollary, but rather as an expression, a signifier, if you will, of the outsider looking in through a frosty window, snow piling up around his boots while a warm and earnest fire burns in the hearth mere meters away.

It so happens,
as it was meant to happen (to throw in an example of how I allude to previously iterated, genre-induced imaginings of the world) there were plenty of science fiction books available to me as a youth. That's mostly because the librarian at the Gallup Public Library, Octavia Fellin, noticed that I was bored with the children's section. Our procession through those shelves had been as ruthless as Hannibal's through the alps (you'll see why this analogy is important, later, I promise).

So, at the end of one summer, she took me and my brother back to
the part of the library where they kept the science fiction books and old National Geographic magazines. After she did that, she wandered absentmindedly back to her desk, singing in French and whispering to us to come find her if we needed anything else. That August, whole and formerly dusty shelves fluttered to life. I will let you imagine what happened after that.

When we hit Burque in ninteen seventy-six, we were pretty well-versed on
the classics and joined the model rocket club at Eisenhower Middle School. By seventy-eight we were waiting expectantly each month for the latest copy of Omni Magazine to hit the stands and I had just discovered a copy of Stranger in Strange Land, to boot. My hippie aunt left it in the car and I dragged that book around till it was all tattered and greasy.

That fall I started high school at the notorious city of gold. I took algebra and sat next to a guy named Doug Bedell. I had never seen him before. He had gone to
Hoover Middle School. One day, I asked him what time it was. He told me it was half past the seventh zode. I thought this was haughty, so I punched him in the stomach. He laughed and said that Martians were unaffected by such clumsy human actions. Then he pulled out a book and a magazine from his backpack. The book was called John Carter of Mars, the Magazine was called Heavy Metal. We became good friends after that.

His dad was an engineer. They built
Heathkit computers and radios for fun. Their house looked like a hurricane had gone through it. In the twelfth grade, Doug devised a computerized version of Dungeons and Dragons and got a scholarship to study down south. One night before he left, he told me he wanted to write science fiction novels. He wanted to know what I thought about that, since he considered me a writer. He was a human being living on earth and probably dreamt of stars and circuit boards. He died in a hiking accident in the Organ Mountains in nineteen eighty-four.

I know that is sad as hell, but it's one of the reasons I make
that eternal return to speculative fiction, caroming grandly and unafraid of the wild wind-borne tangents that sometimes lure me here and there, out of reach of everything except Albuquerque.

As far as the literature thing goes, I ended up getting permanently distracted from science fiction by the likes of Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut. I liked how they used
fantastic settings as mere props for deeper and darker observations of the human condition. Those two were followed by Joyce and Shakespeare. When I figured out how to read Spanish and took home a book of short stories by Borges, it was pretty much all over for me and science fiction. I never read any Gibson and picked up PKD as an afterthought, cause it was surreal, man.

I know that's an awful round-about way to get to talking about
Bubonicon 42.

But it is what got me there today. That and three coffees that were
black as midnight on a moonless night (just to carry on alluding to the fantastical, the presence of the other, et cetera).

All of this caffeinated speculation got me thinking about visiting that local science-fiction and fantasy convention. It is something I've been meaning to do for a few years now. I reckon that I am mostly curious about
the culture that emanates from events like that. I wondered if I would feel more affinity there than at a convention of poets or firefighters.

As I tried to recall Elliot Rosewater's
speech to this or that fictional sci-fi convention, I roared over to the Grand Airport Hotel (yeah it's really called that) to partake in the con - as the gathering is known, in some obscure lingo or other. When I was a kid, when it was not yet ridiculous to to use maritime metaphors in conjunction with our fair burg, the hotel was called the Airport Marina. There was a sea food joint down the road called The Rio Grande Yacht Club.

Anyway, Bobby Box was doing his
Routes of Rock and Roll show and I listened in with relish as he played a very obscure regional hit by a band called the Woolies. When I got to the hotel parking lot, I noticed that everything was being remodeled. I had to park in a weed patch and was worried about an allergic reaction in my bermuda shorts and flip-flops.

Luckily it was nice and air conditioned inside, with absolutely no weeds to be found. My press pass was waiting for me up front. The folks who run this show were kind and professional and told me to have a good look around.

I started out with the art show. Of course my favorite part of the exhibit was the Cthulhu-themed ceramic dishware set. It was made by an artist named
Peri Charlifu. Besides displaying a mastery of the medium, her work had an intense presence that set it apart from others' pieces, in its naturalistic depiction of something decidedly unnatural.

I went to get something to eat and ran into a guy that looked liked
Tor Johnson, except in a tuxedo. He was serving up pre-made hamburgers and pizza and told me that the restaurant was closed for remodeling. Somehow the burger was still decent and he came by my table and cleaned up afterwards, even though I told him I'd handle it.

After that, I stopped to have a brief chat with local author
Gary A. Wilson. Wilson's books are about the military, the temporal incursions of the Bwentani, the Bermuda Triangle. They are entertaining adventure stories filled with memorable characters. Wilson told me that self-publishing has been key in promoting his work. When he is not busy imagining the worlds he imagines, Wilson is a forklift operator.

As it got towards the noon hour, I took a quick trip upstairs to have some more coffee at con headquarters. They had some great pink frosted donuts up there and a group of engineers with full beards and
pencil protectors discussed the implications of the new fangled batteries that the telecommunications industry had developed. One of the engineers was sure that sort of thing would soon trickle down to cars and other forms of motorized transportation.

I saved the best part for last, though. At ten minutes to twelve, I saw professor
Richard Berthold enter the building. He was about to give a lecture on urban myths of the ancient world. The subject had nothing to do with science fiction, but the professor fit in well none the less. He was an outsider, too.

Berthold ended up speaking for an hour about the Punic Wars (see Hannibal reference, above),
the Battle of Actium, the overpowering influence of Hellenism, and so forth and so on. It was great. He spoke mostly from memory, had a deep and resonant voice and was every bit the expert the packed lecture hall had come expecting to hear. He make a few cracks about John McCain too. When it was all over, everyone in the audience wanted to shake his hand. I thought it was a shame that he had to leave UNM and felt that a lot of undergrads were missing out, as I wandered out into the hallway.

I took a few puffs on a frajo, outside, on the way back to the weed pit, and listened to the other smoking conventioneers talk about their lives on earth. A
big helicopter from the adjoining airbase flew by low and noisy. Some of the folks walking by me had two or three flash drives hanging from lanyards around their necks. A couple of guys sported fannypacks.

There were kids dressed up like characters from a
C.S. Lewis book. Two or three Boba Fett impersonators chased after them with faux-menace and plastic ray-guns.

And everyone I met or saw there was a human being living on earth, dreaming of faraway suns, celestial energies.

Me too.

a mockery

He writes what may be broadly referred to as blog posts, to use the nomenclature of the fortifiers and proponents of the subculture in which he has chosen to participate.

Generally speaking, the produce of that weekly action expresses a profound skepticism, sometimes bordering on paranoia. This is especially true with regards to what he believes is a global culture becoming increasingly enmeshed in an
emergent electronically generated reality (with calculated capitalist motives, he might add, if asked).

That shadow world, as he calls it (somewhat dismissively) - while thumbing through texts on botanical Latin and tattered copies the
The National Lampoon - is piped into the homes and offices of a growing number of citizens, using wires, and more recently, using devices designed to receive specific frequencies of electromagnetic energy from the air.

Ironically, he often has
a portal into one of those fantastic realms open while performing the previously described actions. He may glance at it furtively from time to time and has, of late, frequently given in to the fanciful notion that those sparkly places are beckoning him.

That's usually when
the book goes back on the shelf, when the magazine is returned to the dusty cabinet adjacent to the toilet.

Expressed in his terms,
nascent cyberspace was the output of war, born of a need to find solutions to pressing problems like determining the trajectories of large explosive projectiles designed to destroy both flesh and metal; or the potentially deleterious effects of generating controlled nuclear fission in an oxygen-rich atmosphere.

The fact that a significant portion of those intersecting preludes
were played out in Albuquerque is a constant fascination, a recurrent theme, and in some instances, a wellspring of personal identity which seemingly contradicts his outward disdain for mechanical contrivance.

This self-imposed polemic often results in texts that are
meandering and tangential. Additionally, his subject matter is often elusive; the resulting narratives prefaced by self-indulgent metatextual devices or sentimental recollections.

For instance.

He spent some time in transit. Yesterday morning he was almost smashed to bits by a Ford F-150 pickup. The white truck was driven by a bearded man who was speeding, who failed to yield. The incident occurred along
a street whose contiguous commercial district is mostly abandoned, is mostly notable for empty storefronts and boarded-up windows.

The truck came flying through the intersection and swoop, swoop, swooped toward our intrepid traveler. A quick post-coffee reflex (more of a flinch, actually) initiated an evasive maneuver that while successful, led him to seriously consider the physiological effects of mechanization. After he arrived and parked at
the neighborhood diner, he may have come to the conclusion that if such unexpected events could not produce a cardiac event deep within him, then he probably shouldn't worry about cutting the weeds in his yard, midday, while the sun broadcast the last days of summer overhead.

This was followed a post-breakfast nap during which he dreamed about what the world would have been like if the white truck had actually interrupted his motion path. After awakening with a metallic taste in his mouth, he engaged in a grumpy admonition directed towards the dogs - who for whatever reason just did not like the healthy kibble from
Whole Foods Market. Apparently, they preferred to spend their meal time petulantly trying to project images of the remnants of cheeseburgers, pizza, and last week's enchiladas into the mind of the bipedal creature whom they were convinced was both servant and god.

A few minutes after that encounter, which resulted in one of the dogs howling listlessly as he turned the lock on the front door, he was back inside the car, coasting down lead, silently bemoaning what he considered a personal affront. Mind you, he had forgotten about the entitled affect of his canine charges. He was now obsessed with finding something decent to listen to on the radio, was flummoxed by the absurd human-made phenomena that allowed
The Peak to play tunes by Oasis and Coldplay while for the most part eschewing Radiohead.

Too depressing and chaotic for most of us, he thought as he passed two tattered college kids
spanging near the freeway overpass. One of them held up a sign that read, "Please Help. Stranded in Albuquerque!"

Somehow that day proceeded into night as he drove around anonymously, gravely and gratefully. The crescent moon rose up over the valley and he was in the parking lot of Walgreens. He was waiting to get a prescription for a powerful antibiotic filled, when the fireworks started going off.

The pyrotechnics were meant to celebrate the beginning of the
New Mexico State Fair. They glistened and fluttered in front of him, like flowers and sea anemones, inducing a reverie. The colorful display was like magic to him, causing him to recall past Septembers spent on the fairgrounds. He lingered over his father's bemused warning about the vomitous combination of corndogs and the tilt-a-whirl, his mother's childlike devotion to the 4-H dog show.

With the display in recession, he ambled into the store and his phone rang while he wandered through the dog food aisle. They like
Purina Beneful, he thought, as he toggled the receiver. A friend on the other side of the electronic abyss wanted to know what he was going to write about that week.

He said that he wanted to write about
the more traditional offerings at the fair and the culture they represented. He said that he planned to discuss how those ways of life had been displaced by mechanization and technology. This wasn't an original idea, by the way. It came up as a result of the comments made by one of Carrillo's readers, the previous week.

He wouldn't have time to visit until next week, though. That was fine though, he said, to the collection of metal and plastic and wire and circuits that he held in his hand, to the abyss, to his friend on the other side of it.

This week, he intoned with mock intensity, I plan to make fun of myself.

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Where The Rain Gets In"

For nearly three years, I wrote a weekly blog for Duke City Fix.

For those of you tuning in on this transmission from Mars or one of the outer planets that reveres my work over the daytime teevee game shows and violent crime re-creations relentlessly beamed into your communal hatching centres from that funny blue orb you track in the night-time sky, Duke City Fix is what is known as a city blog.

All sorts of humans can post their thoughts and ideas and dreams for the oblique domination of the city, its services and cultural directiveness, at places like DCF. They get to say what they want, long as it's reasonable, too.

Anyway, I wanted this to be the story of my flight from that place, which of course happened at night, as I am inclined toward darkness just like Agent Cooper is inclined to cherry pie. And of course there's a back story to my foray and subsequent retreat into and from that dusty electronic wilderness that only resembles Albuquerque as a faithful verisimilitude if you are squinting in the bright sunlight or else wearing eyeglasses that are shaded in the deepest colors a rose might assume.

I ended up by writing all sorts of stories about that city; its history, the folks wandering through, and my life in the middle of it all. By the time I had a decent grip on the mystical perspex envelope that contained all of those moments, I reckoned it was time to branch out.

My experimentation did not have boundaries. I'd just as soon make relentlessly wicked fun of the other contributors on the site as put on a convoluted tone certain to render headaches and unwanted soul-searching unto those who dared read what I offered up every Friday or Saturday.

I rarely met with the other contributors, but when I did, some of them would plaster on the praise with a thickness resembling papier mache or the mythical green cheese of the moon. That kinda attention drove me nuts and I'd carry a 2 milligram Valium in my pocket just in case, when I had to do business with them.

They seemed like they were from another planet, I sometimes thought, and part of a class of humans that I had spent a lifetime watching from a safe distance. The seemingly extra-terrestrial aspect of the creative forces behind Duke City Fix gave me a couple of fine ideas, but by far the best one was to start writing posts as if I too, was from another world.

That sort of thing got me some notice in the local press. One fellow at a newspaper I used to work at even linked to one of those faux-alien amongst us stories. That was just fine with me and a vindication too when I remembered how one of his arts editors used to grimace uncomfortably whenever he read through my work.

At DCF, I wrote long narratives in the third person. One time I interviewed myself. Another iteration was formatted as a teleplay from the nineteen fifties. For a while, I eschewed quotation marks and went all Joycean on the folks, manipulating the text of my posts into intricate puns and using an em dash whenever my characters spoke. As an extra kick, I'd try and make as many obscure literary allusions as possible, just to see who'd jump.

It went on like that for about three years. Some of the posts were excellent. Some of them ponderous. Others, completely unintelligible unless you had read Gravity's Rainbow in eleventh grade...while out on the mesa cultivating datura plants and imagining Albuquerque as it might be in the year 2357.

That was okay and like I told you I could have done it for years like that, except for two things. The first thing was the commenters. I had no use for most of them and felt like they had way too much influence on the site. The other thing that sent me into orbit on a regular basis were my attempts to communicate with the editor and publisher. Here is my opinion on those two. The former was a transplant whose fascination with Burque bordered on Orientalism. The latter seemed to crave the power that the word editor might bestow and wrote me things like "I don't care how hard you work". Really.

Don't take all of this as bitter as my bitter pill, though. I got no beef with the kids over at DCF. I just think they come from another planet than I do, sabes?

That was a good enough reason to head downstream. Since it happened in cyberspace and all that, I didn't have to drag a sack filled with rocks around the place to make out like there had been a struggle and I had been kidnapped. I just waited for the sun to set, made sure I had a copy of everything I ever wrote over there, good or not, logged onto DCF and hit the delete all button.

When I did that, I was playing this song through the same computer that I later disappeared into:

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
And stops my mind from wandering
Where it will go
I'm filling the cracks that ran through the door
And kept my mind from wandering Where it will go
And it really doesn't matter if I'm wrong I'm right
Where I belong I'm right Where I belong.
See the people standing there who disagree and never win
And wonder why they don't get in my door.
I'm painting the room in a colourful way
And when my mind is wandering There I will go.
And it really doesn't matter if I'm wrong I'm right
Where I belong I'm right Where I belong.
Silly people run around they worry me
And never ask me why they don't get past my door.
I'm taking the time for a number of things
That weren't important yesterday
And I still go.
I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
And stops my mind from wandering Where it will go.

Which gets me to the reason I am writing you today. I saved all those musings - brilliant, crappy and otherwise - plus the artwork I did to accompany each of them. I will be posting them in sets of three over the coming weeks and mixing them in with new text-strings that will aim to take up where I left off in November.

I think it would be cool if you read what comes from here. I promise to spend more time making fun of myself and less time winking at the frolicking bourgy escapades parading by my living room window. What follows is mostly true, but better and more effective if taken lightly, like the springtime in these parts.

Be Seeing You.

the three dreams of rudolfo carrillo

It's just past the noon hour here at the Carrillo dash Scott household and instead of doing something productive, like say, cleaning up the twenty thousand metric tonnes of dog shit piling up in the back yard, installing new carpet in the rumpus room or clearing out the lint trap attached to the otherwise automatic electronic clothes-dryer in the utility room, Mr. Carrillo is staring at a twenty-six inch flat screen monitor and listening to his prized copy of an album called The Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse.

Being a steadfast devotee of the arcane and impossible to fully satisfy cult of mañana, whilst also being vaguely aware of the fact that
daylight savings time does not end until next weekend, Rudolfo Carrillo, as he is known to both friends and enemies alike, is sure he has plenty of time to make good on all those chores and many more.

In the meantime, he seems quizzically bemused at the technical innovations available to him in the early twenty-first century; intricate and thermionic complexities which have allowed him to extract previously recorded musical data from a circular piece of vinyl which spins around and around, distributing its aural output into a complex series of tiny circuits through a thin black cable that ends in something described by his fellow humans as a
USB port.

He smiles wanly as his keenly developed eye hand coordination lead him to his favorite vector game site and thinks to himself, as
level three of Tempest loads, that he wishes he could come up with something to write about.

This primitive and constant urge is satisfied when he recalls - for no other reason than the black and bitter coffee he drinks too much of finally trips the so-called imaginative circuits embedded in his fatty gray matter - the dreams he had last night.

Since they all had something or other to do with
Albuquerque and have a persistent vividness which draws his attention away from the bright and tunnel-like vortex arrayed in front of him, he decides to describe them to anyone willing to read what may be best described as the ravings of caffeine-addled constructor of pastiches and literary homages.

En el primero sueño,
Carrillo's twin appears magically in his driveway, driving a VW microbus painted with psychedelic colors and peace signs. Listen, his brother tells him confidently, I have joined a Mexican drug cartel and have every intention of rising to the top. Flashing and fiddling with some sort of plastic raygun, Albino urges his brother to join in on the fun.

Rudolfo proceeds to sit in the passenger seat of the gasoline-powered hippie transportation device and asks if he can have a raygun too. Instead he is handed a black metallic rod which his brother tells him is a bullet-throwing

As they drive off towards the south valley, Carrillo is informed that his fellow writer and sibling's close friend, Jefferson Adams, has been kidnapped by a rival gang and is being held in a vat of ice cubes somewhere along
Isleta boulevard. It will be his job to rescue the poet.

Though he protests and reminds his doppleganger that they are all straight-edge punks, the van soon pulls up in front of dilapidated house near the interstate. A man carrying a large TV set and smelling of burnt rope emerges from the building. Carrillo exits the vehicle and his brother shouts at him not to worry, it will be just like
that Johnny Depp movie. Inside, Jefferson has been buried up to his neck in ice cubes and Rudolfo uses a complex series of pulleys and ropes to extract him.

Just then, back in reality, the nightly hot-refueling procedures begin at
KAFB and momentarily awaken Rudolfo Carrillo, who shakes his head and says out loud, I hope we got home safely.

En el segundo sueño, unknown architects have built an enormous skyscraper on
the corner of Tramway and Montgomery; our author is offered a complementary tour of the facility. There is a fountain within the edifice and it is surrounded by dozens of glass elevators. Carrillo randomly chooses one and is transported to the one hundred and thirty-seventh floor. Once there, he is confronted with a group of strangers who are preparing for Halloween and are frustrated that he has been absent through the pumpkin carving portion of their holiday activities. Everything on the one hundred and thirty-seventh floor is painted in pale green and he thinks this has something to do with the passage of summer.

After having a lengthy discussion with an elderly, mustashioed man about the selfsame principles, leaves begin floating and drifting through floor 137. The old man begins crying and grasping at the leaves, just as the telephone rings in reality.

It is a wrong number, Carrillo cusses in Spanish at the unknown caller, then drifts off again.

En el tercero sueño, Rudolfo Carrillo finds himself going through the cafeteria line at
the student union building on the campus of the University of New Mexico. He wonders what happened to the Sonic and Saggio's but then remembers that he must have gone back in time, to the late nineteen eighties. Eschewing the greasy pork sausage patties, he instead chooses two pancakes and cup of chocolate pudding, then wanders over to a table where Exene Cervenka is sitting.

She asks if he would mind running the sound board at her concert that evening; the next thing you know, the two are driving towards downtown Albuquerque in
a black soviet automobile that was manufactured specifically with communist party members in mind.

Downtown Burque is, for some inexplicable reason, unpaved and rivulets of muddy water appear at every intersection the two cross. At one of the watery crossings, hundreds of oversized tadpoles frolic at the stream's edge. The punk rock singer winks at Rudolfo and leads him into a ornate apartment across the street from
Maisel's Indian Jewelry. On a cupboard in the kitchen, he recognizes his Blackberry and it is buzzing like a fridge.

Picking up the telephonic communications device with his right hand, he notices a new text message. It is from his partner, Samantha Anne. All it says is this: don't forget to pick up some toilet paper on the way home.

At this point in time,
the rosy fingers of dawn begin streaming through Herr Carrillo's bedroom window, causing him to rise and say to no one in particular: Man I better get on those chores.

the dead dog

listen i am going to put away the jester's scepter for a few minutes to tell you about what i saw in the south valley today.

on the afternoon before the election, i was thinking about what the big issues that supposedly affect us all might be (thanks to a discussion on the dcf forum that has now disappeared), and getting ready to take an afternoon nap. By the way, i happen to believe that the siesta is among the greatest inventions ever.

Anyway, just as I was opening the door to dreamland, the phone rang and it was SAS asking would I mind driving her down to a neighborhood called
mountain view so she could do some research for a class she was taking and I said okay.

i figured that a drive would be a nice change of pace and besides it was sunny out and a half hour trip in the car would be pleasant enough, especially if i stopped for a carton of frajos on
the rez and then wound my way back through the valley and into el vecino that she wanted to visit.

so there's a lot of old trailers down there, and homes that have been built up over the years with some parts looking new and others like they were built before they had put the carpenter's square into common use. they have a community center too but it looked deserted except for the two guys in leather jackets and sun glasses exchanging items in the parking lot. lots of dust and the neighborhood has railroad tracks that run through it and oil storage tanks and scrap yards filled with beat up cars and stranded boats and just about anything else mechanical and dilapidated that you can think on.

there weren't many campaign signs in the yards. some kids were running around here and there, but mostly they looked really tired and their clothes were tired too and you could tell they probably hadn't thrown what amounted to rags into the washing machine lately.

there were dogs everywhere. a lot of them were loose. a couple of dirty old poodles barked and shook themselves as we passed and a big rotweiler wandered up and down a side street. then i saw a dead dog in the road and it was a little chihuahua with a red collar and a blue leash and that dog was dead as hell. the wind was blowing and the radio was playing a song by
elton john that went like this:

when are you going to come down?
when are you going to land?

i kept on driving and sas was writing madly in a spiral notebook and i just wanted to get out of there, but a train was coming about a quarter mile away and i could see its main light like a big white eye coming down the tracks and a sign said there was only 20 feet between the crossing guards and the highway. so i gunned it and jumped back onto second street.

we made it back to
ridgecrest just fine and all the trees looked really beautiful. all golden and stuff. lots of folks were walking their dogs, as by now it was just after quitting time when most of the workers get home. we saw a dog in a sweater, then another that was following a couple as they glided down the street on a pair of shiny mountain bikes and then there was a little dog at the park chasing a tennis ball. folks on the median were jogging and smiling and parading around happily. and so forth and so on.

just then
georgie one came blasting out of the speakers. this is what he was singing when we pulled into the driveway:

It gonna take time, a whole lot of precious time.
its gonna take patience and time to do it to do it
to do it right, child.

i got down from the car and pulled out the campaign signs from the front yard, since i figured that the campaigning was pretty much over. then, i went inside and had big glass of iced coffee.

the other news

In other news from around the world, it was reported this week that scientists at the LHC have begun using lead ions in their quest to generate new sub atomic particles.

Some other scientists, as well as a bevy of
fringe-dwellers are concerned that the leaden experiments will produce strangelets that will convert the earth and everything on it into a super-dense, hot glob of uninhabitable nothingness.

Yet others are convinced that different projects at CERN will inadvertently
open passages into other dimensional realms. The humans who believe in this potentiality are also concerned. They are convinced that access to other dimensions will cause the earth to blink out of existence much as was the case in episode twenty-seven of Star Trek (TOS). Except in our case, it won't be momentarily, bro. Plus, being a fictional character and all, Captain James Tiberius Kirk will not be around to save us.

And what the hell does this have to do with Albuquerque? I am glad you asked.

an eerie corollary that any self-respecting blogger should ignore - probably because of the complex operation necessary to convert it into humour - a secretive group of technocrats (they're like scientists, eh, but they have more power, it its currently theorized) is going to, for all intents and purposes, make the stretch of Coal Avenue between the interstate highway and Carlisle Boulevard disappear into another world.

Their arcane ritual will be complete on Monday morning and I am told that the street will reappear, magically reconfigured and majestic in its postmodern attention to inclusiveness, about one year from now.

While this act of quantum gorgeousness takes place, other potentially universe-altering experiments will be occurring nearby. Lead Avenue will become a super-dense and slow moving plasma that is bound to exude negative cosmic energies as one to two ton metal objects travel in opposite directions along its course, trying to avoid collisions while still tuning in on
Jackie, Tony, and Donnie in the morning.

Though these operations, these empyrean adjustments and procedures can no longer be forestalled, especially given humankind's yearning quest for knowledge (and accommodating transit routes) we must, as a community, a city and yes, a culture, ask some age-old questions.

I'll be brave and go first.

What is the best route from the university area, including Nob Hill and Ridgecrest, to get downtown or to old town or the south valley?

Always the experimenter, I have already produced some initial data, based on recent forays into the forbidden zone.

Central is offically out of the running, alternative route-wise. You will never get through downtown alive.

Lomas is pretty decent, but you gotta get there first. Don't use Carlisle, Girard is quicker and you can
practice your civility and tolerance toward more sustainable vehicles if you pass through Silver Avenue to get there. It's gonna be crowded though. Just saying.

I tried using Gibson too. It's a nice wide boulevard. That works out pretty good except you end up on Broadway. The morning I commuted using the aforementioned path, traffic was totally locochon on Broadway, but on the plus side, I did spy a new Chinese restaurant on Bridge, I mean Cesar Chavez.

Speaking of that multi-named street (it used to be called Stadium, now it's named after
a famous Chicano labour leader except en el valle, where it is still referred to as Bridge Street) I still need to give it a go. It looks promising, except for the fact that it is so damn far south of this town's hub.

No matter which sendero I choose, and despite any of their awkwardly inconveniencing natures, I will continue, in the interim and while technicians fiddle with their gauges and take their measurements, to rely on my steadfast belief in the power of science and technology. That will solve our most savage problems and save us from a dark, dark, starless doom - I am certain.

And that's probably the funniest thing about this post.