“The book American Gods wishes it was.” --Despina Durand

Thursday, November 28, 2019

JUST ANOTHER ESCAPE FROM ARIZONA


You can get the wrong idea about how Emily and I live from reading this blog. It looks like we spend all our time on road trips, having fun. Sorry to say that it is not the case. We wish it could be, but it just plain ain’t.

We both have day jobs. Writing far-out imaginative fiction doesn’t pay much, unless you get hooked up with a corporate entertainment outfit, then, of course, they want to control everything. Also, writing takes time. Spare time is an alien concept.


So when the time came for our 30th anniversary, we decide to steal a week to go celebrate with a third honeymoon. We couldn’t actually do it on our anniversary, but then we learned long ago that life is easier if you don’t beat yourself up over silly details.

We had to get out of town, out of this crazy state, but Arizona is a big place. Getting out of it takes a day or so. So we headed for Sedona.


Sedona is so different from Phoenix that it makes for a good weekend getaway that we do often. It is the home of Latin Inspired Cuisine, where brown-skinned citizens and old fashioned Mexican restaurants are recent additions. I used to feel like part of an affirmative action program walking among the Anglo tourists, but times have a-changed.


There was a place called Butterfly Burger. Hmm. Proper exploitation of insect protein could solve the planet’s hunger problems. How many butterflies does it take to make one burger? Maybe if could breed caterpillars to grow to cattle-size . . .

One of our favorite restaurants offers cactus tacos. I haven’t tried them. Just can’t make myself order vegetarian when real, carnivorous tacos are available.


A sign advertised Salt Rooms. What the hell are Salt Rooms? Probably something like the expensive crystals that they claim suck the “negative energy” out of you.

The next day was Indigenous People’s Day, which, according to the Surrealists is the day that the Indians discovered Columbus. I woke to a lot of hypnagogic visions flickering inside my eyelids, inspiring me to grab my phone and work on my novel. Out our window, the sun rose over a jagged, silhouetted mountain, and we could see and hear Oak Creek from the balcony.


On our way to the Coffee Pot for breakfast, we passed a place that offered Conscious Meals. I imagined them screaming as you bit into them.

Then we left Sedona, go onto the 89A, and in Flagstaff, to our horror, discover that the cool gas station with the metal dinosaurs and other statues was abandoned and fenced off. A lot of our favorite places are being closed down. Whither goest thou, Aztlán?


We did a pit stop in Fredonia, with it’s old school, funky tourist junk. I was reminded of Freedonia from the Marx brothers movie Duck Soup. Groucho’s character, President Rufus T. Firefly has a lot in common with Trump. That and a hangover from my morning hypnagogia produced a sci-fi vision. Alien robber barons land, want to convert the entire earth into liquid assets, people cooperate because they think it’ll make them rich, only in the end, they get liquefied, too.


There was a lot of roadkill along the 89A.

Also new murals on abandoned-looking structured in Navajo country. Outlaw culture refuses to die!

Finally, we turned onto Highway 389, where we’ve never been before. Through the Kiabab Paiute reservation, and onward to Utah.

Friday, November 22, 2019

CHICANONAUTICA GETS READY FOR HOLIDAZE IN TRUMPTOPIA



Chicanonautica braces itself for Holidaze in Trumptopia, at La Bloga.

Get ready for shopping:


The President is sympathetic:


And how's that wall going?


Our Twenties are going to roar:

Thursday, November 14, 2019

WILD WEST VACATION 2019: FARMINGTON AND THE ROAD HOME


When leaving Española, we almost took a detour to Taos, which sounds like an Elmore Leonard western. Maybe I should steal that title for my own. Yup. Something inspiring about this landscape. The Land of Enchantment.

"We’re going around the eastern flank of the supervolcano,” said Emily.


We stopped for a restroom break, and bought ice tea and water at a charming, non-corporate, middle of nowhere gas station/convenience store called Margarita’s, It was run by a talkative old guy, radiated back-country charm, and had a bar attached. The condom dispenser offered patriotic products.


There were a lot of pizzarias along the highways, getting into the Indian reservations. I wonder if they add green chile to make their pizzas New Mexico Style?

As we approached Farmington, we saw oil wells, refineries, casinos, even a horse race track. Also farmland and beautiful mountains. What more can working people want?


Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, and other Mexican revolutionaires looked over us as we had dinner at Tequila’s in Farmington. Our motel had more Native American patrons and employees.


Finally, we were heading home . . .

What century is this? Did we find America in Aztlán? Who was the president?

And a Koch brother died.


On Highway 64 going toward Shiprock,we passed a massive automotive graveyard.  Soon we were going through the Big Rez, toward Arizona, always mindblowing. Real wide-open spaces . . . spacey . . . space . . . geological wonderland . . . modern day Native Wild West . . .

Suddenly, Emily swerved to avoid killing a reservation dog.

When we returned to Phoenix’s urban sprawl, flags were at half-staff again.

Friday, November 8, 2019

CHICANONAUTICA JUDGES EXTRA-FICTION AGAIN



Chicanonautica reflects on judging Somos en escrito's Extra-Fiction contest again,over at La Bloga.

Can a Chicano be a good judge?


We can't help but be controversial:


It even got Hispanic:


And most of the winners were women: