Monthly Archives: March 2009

Time for movie, book quiz

It’s time for another round of whimsical titles of movies, TV programs and books. The rules are simple: React to the clue and make a minor change in the title. Most of the works have only a single letter altered, but the correct answer may also depend on a rhyme.

For example: In this movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger works as a remorseless, opinionated and efficient hairdresser. Answer: The Permanator (The Terminator).

Ready? Continue reading

What exactly is a “Lady Ram”?

“Hayseed” and other put-down terms generally get showered on rural folk by us urbanites. We’ve looked at people from neighboring towns as rustics, while we, in the big city of Las Vegas, are urban sophisticates.

Basketball teams arriving from any of the small schools that once dotted northern New Mexico in the ‘50s had funny ways of handling the ball, or cheering. Our teams, on the other hand, the epitome of sauvity, knew all the LeBron James moves, even before LeBron was conceived (of).

Listening to high school sports on radio makes me wonder how and why particular nomenclature evolved. Specifically, how and why do teams have their nicknames?

But let’s start on the farm in the mid-‘60s: Continue reading

‘Gateau’ doesn’t mean ‘cat’

To what lengths will some people go to connect with their roots? And what means enable them to do so?

These questions arise in the case of Florence Bordj and her mother, Therese Bonnafous Bordj, from France but now living in Tahiti. They flew to the states to be close to the haunts of their great-grand-uncle and grand-uncle, respectively, Msgr. Adrien Rabeyrolle, the pastor of Immaculate Conception church.

But first, how they got the connection: Back in 2003, the first year of Work of Art, I wrote on how the word “challenge” appears to have changed complexion.

Let me explain:

Today, a challenge comes across more as a request, as in “I have been challenged to invite 20 or more people to my Amway party.” I said in that column that “challenge” used to be an urging to attempt something that has a foreseeable reward. My words were, “‘Challenge’ was the word Msgr. Adrien Rabeyrolle employed to announce to us Immaculate Conception School third-graders in Sister Mary Verfressen’s class that the fourth-graders had challenged us to sales of raffle tickets. We gladly took up the challenge. Besides, what business do those pseudo-sophisticated fourth-graders have trying to beat us?” Continue reading

Sons becoming fathers

My dad, who lived to be 94, might have been called a dandy in his younger days. We don’t use the term much nowadays, and for those too young to have heard it, it describes someone overly concerned with appearance.

Today’s most proximate term might be “metrosexual,” although not all the connotations of the term apply to Dad. And in absolute fairness to him, I emphasize he worked hard to support his family of eight. But he still liked being dressed up.

My dad, J.D. Trujillo, is remembered in his neighborhood on Railroad Avenue as “the man who always wore a suit and tie.” He walked to work, to the Ford dealership three blocks south, on Grand Avenue, and sometimes caught up with a number of other Werley Auto employees, who also lived in this barrio. In those days, people bought homes close to where they worked and took jobs close to their homes. Few had cars. Continue reading