Ask Rachel

Dear Rachel,

According to the in-laws on my Facebook feed, the fact that Ariel was cast as a woman of color in the live-action Little Mermaid remake is the worst thing to happen since a black man was cast as President. This was news to me. I didn’t even know they were remaking the Little Mermaid. How can we expect things like bigotry to ever end, if we can’t even end the shameless, empty-calorie exploitation of the Disney Renaissance?

- Seaweed is Always Greener

Dear Poor Unfortunate Soul,

Nothing is original. Those Disney classics were ripping off older fairy tales and legends. Star Wars is the Clif’s Notes for Joseph Campbell’s myth studies. Heck, the questions and answers in this column are all reruns and retreads. You think the world comes up with three original problems every week for me to answer? Every single one boils down to 1) why can’t I be loved? 2) my neighbors suck, and 3) someone’s ruining my childhood.

- Life is the bubbles, Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

Remember when gas stations started installing those talking boxes that blared ads at you while you gassed up? Every single one had the mute button bashed in from people pounding it so vehemently. Gas stations must have learned their lesson... because now they’re installing video screens, without a mute button. I feel massively, even irrationally, violated by these things. How can I cope?

- Bye Bye Personal Space

Dear Bursted Bubble,

What I want to know is, why did nearly every gas station in town (nay, the entire region) suddenly get taken over by Speedway? I used one once, and it had the video screen you’re talking about, and I swore then and there I’d never use another Speedway. So I pulled up somewhere else in Aztec, and lo and behold, they had a video screen too. If this becomes a pandemic, it’ll be more than mute buttons I’m bashing in.

- Pump in peace, Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

Our governor started a bit of a kerfuffle when he declared Pueblo green chilies to be the superior stuff. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a trucker-hat-wearing, IPA-guzzling, 14er-topping Colorado diehard. Yet I didn’t even know that green chilies were a Colorado thing. I need to make up for lost time and start bragging about our other green crop. What is the most Colorado way to eat chilies and show my pride to the world?

- Green Party

Dear Eggs and Ham,

I’m a Colorado girl. I know exactly how much edible chocolate I can take, and I know that many 13ers are tougher climbs with a lot fewer cardboard-sign-toting tourists. But seriously? Saying we have the best chile is a lot like saying TexMex is the best Mexican food, or Attack of the Clones is the best Star Wars. We don’t have to be the best at everything to be the best. What else does New Mexico have going for it? Let them have their chile.

- Christmas for me, Rachel

Top Shelf

Acoustic blues, rockin' at Ernie's  & smokin' that bluegrass
Acoustic blues, rockin' at Ernie's & smokin' that bluegrass
By Chris Aaland
10/17/2019

October is a busy time around the Aaland household. Annual highlights, including apple pressing, pumpkin gathering, wood splitting, chile cooking and leaf raking, and seem to take up every possible moment of the weekend.

Crescent City classics, wounded warriors & coming of the Scots
Crescent City classics, wounded warriors & coming of the Scots
By Chris Aaland
10/10/2019

For my 51st birthday last spring, my buddy Dirk Lang gave me a copy of the behemoth The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine.

Townies, Floydheads and gathering of the clans
Townies, Floydheads and gathering of the clans
By Chris Aaland
10/03/2019

Old friends are something we can all use more of. Musically speaking, this week is filled with many of them.

Silver beerware, Led tributes and a golden god
Silver beerware, Led tributes and a golden god
By Chris Aaland
09/26/2019

My wife, Shelly, just returned from five days in Nashville, where she attended a work conference.

Read All in Top Shelf

Day in the Life

Total Slackers
Total Slackers
10/17/2019

What started out as a method for rock climbers to hone their balance and concentration (and remain entertained on rest days), slacklining has evolved into a full-blown sport, if not art.

Wandering on the Juan
Wandering on the Juan
By Stephen Eginoire
10/10/2019

Originating high in the alpine landscape of Colorado’s southern San Juan Mountains, the San Juan River carves its way 383 miles from mountain to desert, meandering into three states on its way to Lake Powell.

True Colors
True Colors
10/03/2019

Much to the delight of those who love the colors of autumn, this season is one for the books.

Leave Only Footprints
Leave Only Footprints
By Stephen Eginoire
09/26/2019

Perhaps one of the more curious details left behind by the original inhabitants that once roamed the western Colorado and southern Utah landscape are the ancient hand and toe trails known as moki steps.

Read All in Day on the Life