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Morning Word: You're Charging Us How Much?

Morning WordMonday, January 23, 2017 by Matt Grubs

Um, About Your Community Event...
The city of Santa Fe, which like so many hamlets around our fair state is having budget issues, is pondering how to make nonprofits pay for services the city used to give them for free. Mostly that's police overtime and fees for lost parking revenue. But some nonprofits are balking at the bill, including the Rotary Club, which told The New Mexican of police presence during its event, “the only time we saw them was when they were walking around in a group doing nothing.” 

Signs of Unrest
Thousands participated in Saturday's Women's March in Santa Fe. SFR had staff not just locally, but on the bus to DC, people! Check out Kim Jones' work along with a few choice pics from Santa Fe. Worth catching are Vogue's best-of compilation from marches across the country and these shots from Albuquerque.

Congressional Panel
After infamous videos surfaced in 2015 purporting to show Planned Parenthood staffers offering to sell fetal tissue from abortions (here's a fact check), Congress chose to study the matter. The panel's final report has been released, which interests Morning Word readers because both a private clinic in New Mexico and the state's flagship public hospital were targeted. The report and a bill now moving through the state Legislature focus on so-called "born alive" abortions—a term disputed by medical professionals.

Count Us In
New Mexico is suing Takata, the airbag manufacturer that's already agreed to a $1 billion deal with the Justice Department because it tried for years to hide the deadly nature of its faulty airbags. The suit, filed by Attorney General Hector Balderas, goes after several automakers, too. It asks for civil penalties for each defective airbag in a vehicle offered for sale here.

Well This is Different
On Friday, we told you how the state House was meeting on a day usually reserved for printing bills. They worked Saturday, too, as legislators scramble to close a projected $69 million shortfall in this year's budget. Representatives passed a pair of bills that will have to be OK'd by the Senate.

Navajo Name Change
A proposal to change the name of the Navajo Nation to the Diné Nation is gaining momentum. The tribe's budget and finance committee approved the switch, which leaders hope will strengthen the nation's sense of identity.

Bad Loan Settlement
Four former Los Alamos National Bank executives have settled with the Treasury Department after regulators accused the group of trying to hide bad loans in an apparent effort to escape oversight. As is usual in such cases, no wrongdoing was admitted or denied.

Storms Keep Rolling
Santa Fe, in particular the mountains above town that give us water and skiing, keeps gathering snow. And more is in the forecast. Yes please.

Thanks for reading! The Word's getting the first round of coffee today.

March!

Live Updates from Santa Fe and Washington

Local NewsSaturday, January 21, 2017 by SFR

Printed Memories

Arts Friday, January 20, 2017 by Maria Egolf-Romero

Yesterday, Manuela Well-Off-Man, chief curator at IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native American Art, walked SFR through the group exhibit New Impressions, which opens tonight. The expansive exhibit, which includes prints from 12 contemporary artists, was still in the process of being hung. As we wandered the show in its final moments of preparation, Well-Off-Man shared the inspirations and histories behind many of the prints.

One in particular stood out.

It is a black and white etching by Lynne Allen, a Lakota artist, featuring a woman’s shoe above a photograph of her great grandmother and the words “my grandmother was an Indian, can you tell?” Allen often uses pages from her grandmother’s journals in her printmaking works.

“She’s coming from this long line of female Lakota family members who moved away from the reservation to get the best education they could at the time, and also then married white men,” Well-Off-Man tells SFR. “Because of that, as a result, she now feels so removed from her own family traditions and culture.”

The heeled shoe in Allen’s piece is covered in a tiny intricate pattern. When you look closely, you can identify Native American imagery in the pattern, which represents Allen’s own hidden Lakota identity. “With this piece she invites viewers to think about themselves, how they judge other people from other cultures. Allen does not look like a Lakota woman because of her family history and marrying people from outside the tribe. It’s a reminder about how we tend to make a judgment about people and often it’s only a person’s memories or family stories that create this identity,” says Well-Off-Man.

The Native American content in this print may be minute, but it tells the whole story. “It’s small, but yet so important,” she says. It seems more important than ever to honor identity as a sacred thing, and as something that is never fully evident on the surface.

Many of the works in this show have elements rooted in modern pop culture. Brad Kalhamer’s print, "Cherokee Princess," which has a heavy metal feel, features a boney Native woman with braids and a gun in her lap, surrounded by animal heads. Or John Hitchcock’s "Storms of War," which features bombs and colors that could have jumped off the page of a psychedelic poster.

“I think this exhibition really shows how contemporary Native artists embrace both historic influences, but also influences from contemporary daily life, pop culture and urban life influences,” says Well-Off-Man.

These printmakers delve into their own histories through their work. They include autobiographical details or memories from childhood stories in each print. Well-Off-Man says she believes this self-discovery and introspection is a symptom of the medium, “I think it’s this mood of experimentation that invites the artist to think about their own stories and history. The main thing here is that printmaking has this long tradition of making important statements, about yourself and society and history in general. It is known as this medium to make a statement.”

New Impressions Opening Reception: 5-7 pm Friday Jan. 20. Free. IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, 108 Cathedral Place, 983-8900.

Justice Agenda

‘Constitutional crisis’ could dominate criminal justice debate at state legislature

Local NewsFriday, January 20, 2017 by Jeff Proctor

Criminal justice reform will burn up some of the oxygen at the Roundhouse during the 60-day session. But what “reform” means depends on who you talk to.

The problem is repeat criminal offenders who get out of jail and prison too easily and public safety should be the state’s first priority, Republicans say. Democrats respond that for too long legislation has focused on punishment without addressing underlying causes of crime such as poverty, drug addiction and, in some cases, mental illness.

Reform to Republicans appears to mean increased penalties for certain crimes and reinstating the death penalty for people who kill police officers and children after a review of legislation. Republicans also want to expand the number of crimes that earn a person a life sentence after a third conviction.

Not surprisingly, Democrats appear to favor a different definition. Legislation they have filed would prohibit private employers from automatically excluding job applicants for felony convictions and provide legal immunity to people seeking assistance after a drug overdose. Another bill would shift the burden for how parole is decided to the state from some prison inmates. Currently, certain offenders must document why they should be paroled versus the state providing reasons why they should remain behind bars.

The competing approaches to reform can’t escape reality, however: Like every other issue before state lawmakers this year, criminal justice will be debated and decided through the lens of New Mexico’s budget problems.

Sharp decreases in oil and gas revenues have led to nearly across-the-board cuts in state government during the past year, including a recent 3 percent decrease in the budgets for New Mexico’s courts, district attorneys and public defenders.

“As a result, the courts and the criminal justice system are on the tipping point of a constitutional crisis,” Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, a Santa Fe Democrat, said in an interview before the session began. “Public safety is very important, and I don’t want to minimize that. So is a true, balanced vision for our system. But the most pressing criminal justice issue right now is having a court system that’s able to address the laws that we’ve asked them to enforce. Nothing gets done before we attend to that.”

Chief Justice Charles Daniels reinforced that point Thursday in a speech to a joint session of the New Mexico House and Senate.  

“I wish I could tell you that New Mexico is providing the functioning justice system promised in the constitution that created the ground rules of our government, but I can’t,” Daniels said.

A justice system requires enough money to make it function, Daniels said.

“For year after year, we’ve been penny-pinching in extraordinary ways, in hopes that we were dealing with a temporary crisis, and all would be well next year if we just held on treading water for a little longer,” the chief justice said, sounding the alarm that even the basic constitutional right to a jury trial is in jeopardy in New Mexico’s cash-starved courts.

Fallout from cuts to the criminal justice system — most recently during a special legislative session concluded last fall — has been immediate and striking.

During a legislative committee hearing in November, judges described staffing shortages and other hardships that have been especially tough on the state’s smaller magistrate courts. Reduced budgets also are likely to result in an inability to pay jurors and cuts to specialty court programs aimed at nonviolent drug offenders and people living with mental illness.

Two weeks after that hearing, the state’s chief public defender was held in contempt of court after his office failed to appear on behalf of five clients in Lovington. The office, Chief Public Defender Bennett Baur said at the time, could not effectively represent clients because of financial constraints.

The incident  dramatically illustrated  a constitutional problem: all criminal defendants in America are entitled to legal representation, regardless of their ability to pay.

“Criminal justice reform during this 60-day legislative session — whether you think that’s increasing penalties or addressing the issues in a more balanced, complete way — probably isn’t going to happen,” Wirth said. “Issues like jury trials and representation are right on the edge of collapsing because of these across-the-board cuts. And the courts are getting close to stepping in and saying: ‘Enough’s enough. You have to give us the tools for constitutional mandates to be enforced.’”

Daniels started down that road with his speech on Thursday.

“The inescapable bottom line is that we have to first honor the constitution, then the statutes,” he said. “Then we can divide up what is left among the desirable programs you choose to keep. The constitution absolutely requires those fundamental priorities.”

How these realities fit with the state’s overall budget crisis will play out over the next 50 some-odd days.

Meanwhile, some lawmakers plan to pursue tweaks to the justice system through legislation that isn’t necessarily budget-focused.

Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, said he plans to introduce bills creating a new tier for felony crimes — aimed at ensuring violent criminals are sentenced more harshly than non-violent offenders — and allowing people to have certain offenses expunged from their records.

Still, the top priority for the session, Maestas said, is ensuring the chronically cash-strapped Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office is fully funded.

Rep. Bill Rehm, an Albuquerque Republican and a former Bernalillo County Sheriff’s captain, said public safety has to come first, even in times of financial difficulty. He pointed to rising crime rates in the state’s largest city.

“I think there are a lot of issues with the overall safety of the community right now,” Rehm said. “And when you look at that, you see that the repeat offender is the problem. My legislation almost all goes to the repeat offender. The only way we’re going to make our communities safe again is to put some of these people in jail. Yeah, there’s a cost with that, but I hope we can get some of it passed.” 

Jeff Proctor reported this story for "The Justice Project" with New Mexico In Depth

Morning Word: Courts in Crisis

Morning WordFriday, January 20, 2017 by Matt Grubs

The Courts on Life Support
It's time to make the right choice, outgoing New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Charles Daniels told the legislature Thursday as he argued for a bigger budget for the court system. Years of politically popular anti-crime laws coupled with reduced funding for court programs and public defenders have left the state's judiciary bordering on a constitutional crisis.

Banning Gay Conversion Therapy
New Mexico would become the seventh state to ban so-called conversion therapy, a controversial faith-based response to homosexuality, if a new bill becomes law. The practice has been roundly criticized by professional medical organizations and gay rights advocates.

Pearce's Post
New Mexico congressman Steve Pearce has landed a seat on the House Natural Resources Committee. The republican has long favored the rights of private citizens to profit off public lands, supporting ranching and logging and opposing the reintroduction of the Mexican gray wolf to New Mexico. NM Political Report takes a deep dive to look at what past performance means for future results.

Sun, Sun, Go Away
The city of Aztec is pondering a moratorium on generation agreements with customers who install solar panels. That option has become increasingly popular, but the city's electrical utility is concerned about how that affects backup power capacity and how much improvements to the grid will cost.

About Time
A pair of reports suggests the investments the state has already made in early childhood intervention programs like home visitation are working. How and how much to invest in such efforts has been the subject of much teeth-gnashing over the past few years. Proponents have argued taking a bigger chunk of New Mexico's multibillion-dollar permanent funds would pay big dividends down the road. Others say taking money now would threaten the funds' permanency.

Too Good To Be True
Matthew Sample called his investment plan the Lobo Volatility Fund. Considering six investors saw $1 million disappear, he may have been honest about the "volatility" part. Federal prosecutors say that's about it, and now Sample has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges. Weird, you wouldn't think someone who hung wallpaper woven with gold in his Santa Fe mountain home would be involved in an investment scheme.

Milo, When I Was Young
Some students at the University of New Mexico are growing increasingly anxious about next week's visit from alt-right darling Milo Yiannopoulos. Minority groups and others have asked the school's acting president to bar the appearance. 

The End of an Era
There was a time in New Mexico legislative history when lawmakers would breeze into town after a holiday weekend, then take another long weekend to let bill printers catch up with work they'd created through all their highfalutin' legislating. No longer. At least not in the House, where the new speaker is bringing representatives to work today to address bills expected to patch the hole in this year's budget. The august body known as the Senate? They'll see you Monday. And so will we.

Thanks for reading! The Word wonders if you have brunch plans this weekend.

It Can’t Happen Here

Sinclair Lewis classic predicts life under Trump

Lee on LiteratureThursday, January 19, 2017 by Lee Miller

Donald Trump’s ascendency to the American Presidency is strikingly similar to the rise of Buzz Windrip, a fictional politician in Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here (1935). The first half of Lewis’ story describes the social conditions that contributed to Buzz Windrip’s improbable rise, while the second half of the book outlines the devastating impacts of his revolutionary leadership.

Sinclair Lewis, the first American novelist to win the Nobel Prize, wrote It Can’t Happen Here during the early 1930’s, at the heart of the Great Depression and the rise of fascism in Europe. The main character of this story, Buzz Windrip, is an unconventional politician who upsets FDR and the Democratic Party establishment. He wins the presidential primary by tapping economic and social fears of common citizens. 

Buzz Windrip gains great popularity with a revolutionary yet vague platform of ideas. Buzz is against big banks, but for all the bankers (except the Jews who need to be driven out). He has unspecified plans to make all wages high while keeping prices for products low. Windrip is 100 percent for labor, but against labor unions and strikes. He wants America to produce its own products instead of importing them and correct a trade imbalance, and if any country disagrees, “he might have to take it over and run it properly.” 

Buzz Windrip urges America to arm itself, both locally and nationally, pointing to the words of his advisor, General Edgeways: “A great nation must go on arming itself more and more, not for conquest, not for war—but for peace.” At campaign rallies, local “Minute Men” (MMs) are inspired by General Edgeways and throw punches at those who disagree politically. These MMs band into informal militias.

As for social issues, Buzz Windrip strongly condemns the “un-Christian” attitude of progressives. He condones policies that limit African Americans’ access to education, non-menial employment and voting. Any person actively advocating communism or socialism, especially those in the “wishy-washy liberal media” and academia, should be put to trial and punished for high treason. 

According to Windrip, “The way to stop crime is to stop it!” In sum, he notes that “love and patriotism have been my sole guiding principles in Politics. My one ambition is to get all Americans to realize that they are, and must continue to be, the greatest Race on the face of this old Earth.”

In addition to patriotism, Buzz Windrip has other similarities with Donald Trump. Buzz looked like a “museum model of a medicine-show ‘doctor.’” In fact, Windrip had worked as a traveling snake oil salesman in the past. Buzz was “vulgar, almost illiterate, a public liar easily detected, and his ‘ideas’ almost idiotic.” Sinclair Lewis describes Windrip as “a professional common man” who considered all foreigners as degenerate (except the British). Commoners could understand him and his every purpose—and raised their hands to him in worship. 

Buzz Windrip wins the presidential election and assumes power. If life imitates art, It Can’t Happen Here gives contemporary America a preview of what could happen under Trump’s leadership. First, Buzz Windrip fills his cabinet with loyalists, propagandists, and banking elites (some of questionable character).

At the presidential inauguration, military police and MMs are more visible. They escort and protect Buzz Windrip as riots break out all over Washington and America on Inauguration Day. Protest is gradually quelled by formal and informal armed forces.

As months pass, members of the press and academia who criticize are rebuked and then removed from their jobs. Dissent evolves from “unpatriotic” to “criminal.” A “tattle tale” culture grows and some dissenters are killed without objection. More citizens, including non-enthusiasts, are sent to jails and concentration camps. Riots continue. Portions of the country cede from the America’s “perfect union,” mostly states in the North and West.

Meanwhile, Buzz Windrip’s economic policies destabilize the American economy while his personal fortune silently explodes via “personal gifts” and favors. Inflation rises with every new tariff and trade war, while job prospects get much worse. “Minute Men” are rolled into the established military and many unemployed become MM, a job with free guns.

As discontent grows, war plans are developed for invasions of Mexico, Canada, and China. “We got to expand!” Buzz explains. Top intellectual and political leaders quietly defect to other countries, while a New Underground Railroad funnels citizens to Canada as borders are closed down. 

At the climax of the story, Buzz Windrip is overthrown by an internal coup: His secretary of state seizes power amidst growing chaos. But all if this is simply American fiction, the product of Sinclair Lewis’ powerful imagination. Just a tale from the 1930’s. Fantasy. It can’t happen here.

Lee Miller graduated from Cornell University and has taught writing for over thirteen years at the secondary and post-secondary levels.  This column examines current events through the lens of quality literature.

Morning Word: Wait, I Thought We Were Done With Driver's Licenses

Morning WordThursday, January 19, 2017 by Matt Grubs

Driver's Licenses? Again?
Ha! Gotcha. This has nothing to do with immigrants getting driver's licenses. Or little to do with it. We think. A new proposal cruising around the Legislature would automatically register people to vote when they show up to get a driver's license. There's already a national law requiring the MVD to give you the chance to register to vote, but more states are considering some after-market mods to the "motor voter" law. It's a proposed constitutional amendment, meaning voters would have the final say on the measure. If only there were a way for your car to automatically drive you to the polling place...

Budget Spackling
The first order of business for lawmakers on day two of the legislative session was to patch holes in this year's budget (the fiscal year ends June 30). Nearly $70 million may seem like a lot of spackle, but it's a workable proposition in a $6 billion budget. The fiscal touch-up is not pretty. The money comes from cash reserves held by public schools, from building-repair funds, wildlife protection plans and other things that were important enough to fund until now.

Thanks for the Work, Your Total Comes to [REDACTED]
That's actually a generous retelling of SFR's attempts to find out how much Gov. Susana Martinez has paid attorney Paul Kennedy over the years. Jeff Proctor explains how the attorney general's office concluded the governor's stonewalling is a violation of New Mexico's public records law and why that doesn't seem to matter to the Martinez administration.

Antenora
So, some guy stole all the books from the Little Library of Barelas. Again. It's one of those free libraries that pops up on the street; a rich part of life as a kid in a part of Albuquerque that's rich in culture, but not so much in cash. You know, the kind of kids' library where if you steal all the books, you go straight to the second ring of the ninth circle of Dante's hell.

Action!
Albuquerque and Santa Fe are happily perched high on a best-of list. If you're making movies and living where you do it, as many indie filmmakers and crew members do, MovieMaker.com says the Duke City is the No. 8 large city to be in and the City Different ranks second among small cities.

It's About to Be Official
The state went for Hillary Clinton in November, but hundreds of New Mexicans plan to make the trip to Washington DC for the swearing in of our nation's 45th president, Donald J Trump. Every New Mexico congressional representative and senator will be there, as will our governor and Albuquerque's mayor. Others are making the trip to join in planned protests of Trump's victory.

Just Because You're Our Mascot Doesn't Mean You Belong Here
New Mexico is among 19 states suing the federal government for how it handles the reintroduction of endangered species. In 2015, Gov. Susana Martinez' administration refused to give the US Fish and Wildlife Service a permit to release Mexican gray wolves into part of their original range. The feds did it anyway, arguing the survival of a species trumps state concerns.

Thank You, May We Have Another
After a welcome whopper of a storm last weekend, Santa Fe and the rest of west and central New Mexico are in line for another snowy end to the week. The first chance of snow in our fair capital city is tonight, so make this the day you splurge and buy that fancy new ice scraper.

Thanks for reading! The Word left the last glass of OJ for you.

Morning Word: Gov Urges Lawmakers to Play Nice

Morning WordWednesday, January 18, 2017 by Matt Grubs

State of the State
Gov. Susana Martinez delivered a call for bipartisanship to a state Legislature once again controlled by Democrats (who won back the House in November). In their response, Senate Democrats called the state of affairs in New Mexico "unacceptable" and noted a bipartisan effort to cut corporate taxes in 2013 has fallen flat. Lawmakers and the governor will have to decide how to shore up a wobbling state economy and plug a budget hole with tens of millions of dollars.

Chop Suey on San Francisco Street
Steven Hsieh pens SFR's cover story this week on George Park, patriarch of Santa Fe's first prominent Chinese family. Park was more than just a successful restaurateur, he was a man with a knack for making connections despite prevailing anti-Chinese sentiment. It's an immigration story set in the early 20th century that could well take place today.

The White Guys for the Job?
So who exactly is representing you at the Capitol and what do they look like? Well, they're kinda old and kinda white, reports New Mexico in Depth. Compared to the rest of the state, the Legislature is far older and significantly more Anglo. New Mexico lawmakers are still more diverse than most other places, including the women who occupy nearly 30 percent of the seats in the Roundhouse. But that portion is dwarfed by the state's actual demographics, where half the population is female. 

Prying Eyes 
A prominent state senator wants to keep your prying eyes from seeing who the finalists are for top public jobs until just a week before a final decision is made. The bill would carve out another exception from New Mexico's public records law. The Rio Grande Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists* has come out against the measure, as has the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government and the New Mexico Press Association.

Four People, Two Dogs and a Vehicle
Those are the things the Albuquerque Police Department says Detective Russ Carter has shot at during his career on the force. Carter also shot at Gilbert Lovato, whom APD killed two weekends ago after the department says he threatened officers with what turned out to be a BB gun. They suspected him of robbing a local restaurant.

Father Sues Navajo Nation
The father of 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike, who was assaulted and killed in May, has sued the Navajo Nation for failing to set up an emergency alert system he says could have saved his daughter. The story gripped New Mexico last spring as authorities and volunteers frantically searched in vain for the missing girl. An Amber Alert was not issued until several hours after her disappearance had been reported.

'Highly Prolific and Oil Prone'
That's what ExxonMobil calls the 275,000 acres of land and mineral rights it's buying in New Mexico. The energy company announced the $6.6 billion stock-and-cash deal yesterday. The Permian Basin in southeastern New Mexico has been the state's most productive oil and gas region. The buy doubles ExxonMobil's Permian Basin holdings.

Late to ART Class
Students arriving for the first day of the new semester at the University of New Mexico waited longer than normal for buses from parking lots to the main campus. The reason? UNM says it's construction of Albuquerque's bus rapid transit system.

Thanks for reading! The Word appreciates you.

*Full Disclosure: Morning Word author Matt Grubs is a board member of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

This Weekend

Everybody's Twerkin' for the Weekend

Weekend PicksFriday, January 20, 2017 by SFR

Just kidding, we know that twerking is not for everyone. But all the same—are you gonna let a little bit of winter weather ruin the degree to which you vibrate your ass? Are you?! Hell no! You're going to dance and drink wine and look at art and hear music and enjoy all the fun and friendship you can cram into a 48-hour period. At least, that's our plan...

Martin Desht: Faces From an American Dream: Meet the Artist

This solo exhibit features photography by Desht, who grew up in industrial Pennsylvania and documented the everyday struggles of that life. His ongoing photography exhibition is touring the country, and he is present to speak about his work at this event. Through Jan. 28.

More Info >>

The Election Monologues

Taking place on Inauguration Day in 14 cities across the country, these monologues present a stage for people to air their grievances and pains over the recent election and stand together in unity and resistance.

More Info >>

Jimmy Stadler

Rock and roll and folk and fun.

More Info >>


Souper Bowl XXIII

Sample amazing soups from area chefs and vote for your favorite. Souper Bowl XXIII is a benefit event for The Food Depot, Northern New Mexico's food bank.

More Info >>

Guitar and Harpsichord by Capocchi and McIntosh

Together at last! Roberto Capocchi and Kathleen McIntosh perform rare gems by Ponce and Boccherini, with solos by each from works of Villa Lobos, McKean and Ligeti.

More Info >>

2nd Annual Madrid Prom with DJ Feathericci

Wear your stylish outfits and bring your smoothest moves to this prom for grown-ups. Who doesn't love a good dance party?

More Info >>


Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary

The Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary presents a program for children and adults about one of the most majestic creatures around. An ambassador wolf will even be present to greet attendees.

More Info >>

The Tempest

O, brave new world! Three casts of young actors, ages 10-18, who are part of Upstart Crows, present the Shakespearean comedy.

More Info >>

Hillary Scott

Country and Americana originals by this songbird.

More Info >>

Get more information about how to spend your fun days when you sign up for the SFR Weekend newsletter, delivered to your inbox each Friday afternoon.

The Fork

Keep it Real ... Real Crusty

The ForkThursday, January 19, 2017 by Gwyneth Doland

Baby did a bad, bad thing.

Did you ever love pie so much you thought your heart was gonna break in two? Ugh. For some reason I now cannot recall (exhaustion? In-laws in town? Too many parties?) I bought a box of refrigerated Pillsbury pie crusts a few months ago. I have a vague memory of this being a good and convenient thing at some point in the total blur that is the days between Thanksgiving and now. But we had more family in town last week, folks who had been out of the country for the holidays, so I decided on the spur of the moment to make them a little holiday dinner: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans ... and an apple pie. And I reached for the last two of those (by now) frozen pie crusts. Sigh. Long story short: OMFG, were these things totally disgusting the whole time? Was I completely drunk through all of Thanksgiving and Christmas? (MAYBE.) How did I not notice this?

The family didn't eat all of the apple pie so of course I've been eating it for breakfast the past few days. What torture! I have pie in the house, but the crust is TERRIBLE.

Look at this pumpkin pie I made for a holiday party in early December: Apparently I did not eat one single piece of it. It looks fantastic, but I can tell this is that frozen crust. And it tastes like wallpaper paste. Don't do the bad, bad thing I did.

Do go watch that Chris Issac video and then tell me this: Why is he dressed like The Jesus from The Big Lebowski? Anyway, Chris Isaak, right? ROWR.

Go make a real pie with a real crust you made yourself. Life is too short to eat shitty crust.



What news do you want to see in this newsletter? We want to hear from you! Let us know! Email thefork@sfreporter.com


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