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

Long live rock!
Long live rock!
By Chris Aaland
05/21/2020

It’s been nearly two months since “Top Shelf” last graced these pages. In my first 12-plus years of writing this column, I think I only missed two weeks.

Raised on radio
Raised on radio
By Chris Aaland
03/26/2020

Social distancing is driving many of us stir crazy, especially after last week’s big dump. Not only do we crave physical interaction with each other, but we’re also an active community.

The week the music died
The week the music died
By Chris Aaland
03/19/2020

For more than 12 years, I’ve written “Top Shelf” on a weekly basis as a column about the local music scene and nightlife. I also drift into sports, pop culture and political territory from time to time. And, on far too many occasions, I’ve paid homage to a family member or friend who has passed, like my son, brother, mother and festival friend. 

Bogguss' aces, Irish eyes and Salmon splash
Bogguss' aces, Irish eyes and Salmon splash
By Chris Aaland
03/12/2020

Perhaps the biggest and baddest Durango Celtic Festival to date runs tonight (Thurs., March 12) through Sunday, with events alternating between the Henry Strater Theatre and the Irish Embassy Pub. This year’s line up is one of the best in the festival’s history, with five internationally acclaimed artists. 

Read All in Top Shelf

Day in the Life

Soaking it up
Soaking it up
05/21/2020
Local color: Telegraph coloring page winners
Local color: Telegraph coloring page winners
04/30/2020

A look at some (OK, all) of the Telegraph's coloring page submissions

Sole man
Sole man
03/12/2020

At the age of 19, Durango’s Mervin “Merv” Stilson started making shoes and never looked back (except for the time he made a Western-style jacket for Neil Young).

Wonder wall
Wonder wall
By Stephen Eginoire
03/05/2020

Southeastern Utah has no shortage of natural wonders, and perhaps one of the most curious is the 80-mile-long sandstone monocline known as Comb Ridge. 

Read All in Day on the Life