Monthly Archives: June 2016

Some like it cool

Arthur says it’s hot. Arthur who? Arthur Mometer!

Las Vegas is darn authentic. I toned down the official adverb here, the d-word, in keeping with my policy of not using in print words that some people deem profane.

The “authentic” reference is one of several descriptions used through the ages for and about the Meadow City.

Going through copies of old Optics, I found an ad that referred to Las Vegas as “The City of Blanket Nights.” There have been others: “Air-Conditioned by Nature,” “A Breath of Fresh Air,” and possibly some other weather-related slogans I’ve forgotten.

Surely many Las Vegans recall when Las Vegas was a much cooler place, especially in the summer. We Trujillos never owned a fan, much less air conditioning. People came to this burg in the summer, often to escape the heat of other university towns such as Portales, Albuquerque and Las Cruces. Continue reading

The greatest Father’s Day card

Note: This unsolicited Father’s Day missive from my Denmark son, Stan Adam, might well be called “Work of Art’s Son.” I love the message and am printing it here in the hopes that readers will discover that some of the spirit will trigger memories of their own paths to maturity.

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Before becoming parents, most people imagine their life with kids as one of endless patience, tireless playtime, and sweet, cuddly moments. Every parent knows, however, that no matter how calm and reasonable they imagined their parenting to be, nothing can prepare them for the constant fraying of nerves they are subjected to.

Seven years into being a father, I see that no matter how much fun and how playful I imagined myself to be before becoming a parent, and despite the fact that playing with kids is a great deal of fun, we still have to make time for it. Or I do anyway. Continue reading

‘Give me an A’

The last shall be first and the first shall be last.” I hope the words (or at least their promise) from the book of Matthew come clear in this recounting of graduation services I’ve attended.

Late in May, I attended a complete graduation ceremony and part of another. The ceremony I stepped in and out of was to take a photo.

Because our three boys are way past their high school and college years, we’ve skipped quite a few such ceremonies but realize a few grandchildren will soon be coming through the pipe, so we’d best prepare.

The “full” ceremony we attended was for one of our “Euros,” Phaedra Wouters, from Belgium. As many as eight non-WLV-connected people attended the graduation because of Phaedra. There was Belen, a World College student from Spain. Also there was an out-of-town volunteer for the program that places students from other countries. Several of us Trujillos attended. And a couple of other exchange students, from other New Mexico cities, Rama and Wasif, joined us. Continue reading

Going star-craving mad

The problem may be that we have simply too many easily confusable words in the English language, and because they’re readily available, we often commit malapropisms.

So what’s a malaprop? An English playwright named Richard Brinsley Sheridan wrote “The Rivals,” featuring a Mrs. Malaprop, whose passion thrived in choosing the wrong word, sometimes a sound-alike. Many people use malaprops for emphasis or for a laugh. Others simply confuse these words with others.

My dictionary defines “malaprop” as “the use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one, often with unintentionally amusing effect.” The example it provides is “dance the flamingo” in place of “flamenco.” In his 19th century play, Sheridan used a number of verbal slippages, courtesy of Mrs. Malaprop. That character, giving advice, suggested her friend “illiterate him quite from your memory.” That’s quite a novel use of “obliterate.” And she referred to another as being “headstrong as an allegory,” when we would have said “alligator.” Continue reading

Slobs among us

Memorial Day weekend was surprisingly busy for the Trujillo family. It included trips to the Veterans Cemetery in Santa Fe to see the burial site of my older brother, Severino, who succumbed to prostate cancer in December. On a separate trip to the same place, I took a friend to visit the place where her husband was laid to rest about 10 years ago.

Here in town, we visited the gravesite of my parents, J.D. and Marie Trujillo, at Pilgrims Rest, near Meadows Home. We also spent a day at Santa Rosa’s Blue Hole, a place where experienced divers train in wetsuits. We took along our foreign exchange students, Phaedra and Ana. And we drove to Holman Hill to see the spectacular views from scenic lookouts.

The walled-off barriers prevent cars from running off the roads, but they don’t prevent pickups from backing up to dump trash.

So here’s a bit of trash talk: Continue reading