Andrew Liang

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

New Mexico pt.3

We were the Ramen Noodle Soup and New Mexico was the Hot water.  At the White Sands National Monument gift shop, Jeff was hinted a trophy restaurant in Alamongordo for the Ultimate New Mexican cuisine.  The place was called Margo’s.  Alamongordo was a small town by the foot of this mountain range, I believe its called the Sacramento Mountain Range.  The town was consisted of strip malls by the side of one major highway, and residential areas scattered behind the main road.  There was a Huge water tower high rise visible, looked just like the one in that cartoon Animaniacs.  Margo’s was located directly adjacent to a Wal-Mart.  Margo’s offered fine Mexican dining options.  For Reals, we haven’t had anything else other than Mexican food.  By this time, we have developed a snobby taste bud for salsa and green chilli.  Margo’s did not disappoint us.  The interior of this restaurant was glowing in a dark maroon color.  Wood trimmed door frames, floor boards, and counter tops.  Everything looked and felt like it hasn’t been updated since Windows 95.  Our server was a middle-age woman, she looked like she has been working there for a very long time.  Our chips were pulled straight out of an oven, it was warm.  The salsa was the Best I have ever had.  It really was.  I was so impressed, that I had to excuse myself from the table and go to the girls room to make room for entree.  When I came back to the table, 5 baskets of chips and 6 salsa bowls had been consumed.  Thank god, they offered unlimited salsa and chips.  I had a green chilli burrito for entree.  This green chilli burrito weighted about 6 pounds.  The plate that carried it was about 15 inches long.  Not only was it the best food i have had in a while, the serving was so generous that had me walking out of the restaurant like I have just had a Thanksgiving dinner.  When the bugle sounded, clouds parted, and chariots pulled by white Pegasus charged down with Thor’s thunder claps.  My butt.  We looked at the map after Margo’s.  Coffee was where we need to go.  We went to McD’s for 35cents coffee.  This was the Rhythm of the Night.  There wasn’t anything around that was open that sells coffee.  We sat in McD’s for a while, talking, laughing, passing gas, and tried Real hard to figure out where to go next.  The sun went south already, there was no way we could set up camp.  No, not in Wal-Mart parking lot, I don’t agree.  The only solution we came up with, was to look for another Comfort Inn, we were craving for that Hot Tub exp again.  Comfort Inn in Alamongordo wanted to charge us our virginity for a room.  Just Unbelievable.  Our mission now was to find a Reasonable priced place to crash for the night.  Along the high way, there were countless options, Motel 6, Holiday Inn, Las Quintas…etc.  All of these big company hotels were asking for too much from us, and unwilling to gave us a deal.  Jeff and I, started to haggle every motel or hotel.  One of the motels did gave us a low price for the night.  The room however…looked like a meth lab, smelled like an old man’s cheap cologne, yellowed bath tub, stained carpet, dim and blinking florescent lighting, just awful.  Many other options were just looking like some illegal activity was going down.  Until we found the White Sands Motel.

We had a 3-bed room for 70 dollars for one night.  John passed out soon as his body touched the sheets.  The rest of us gambled with cards.  I passed out shortly after the first round.  Then, Stev, Wheatie, Michael, Sean and Jeff went to Applebee’s to get their drinks on.  Wheatie told me later, that there was a photo of the first space monkey, Han, at the Applebee’s.  And Han was buried in Alamongordo.

In the morning, we woke up to a fabulous warm temperature.  The breakfast served in the reservation office was humble, bananas, apples, cereals, OJ, milk, and water.  The Indian (from India) lady who ran the place told us that she has a sister in Baltimore.  She once visited, but found herself hating the place.  She said that Baltimore’s weather was miserable, folks were mean, and she didn’t feel safe strolling down the street on foot.  We know.  Jeff and I told her good things about Bmore and encouraged her to visit again.  This lady gave us a good place to stay, a good deal, and a wonderful welcoming attitude.

My sty situation has gotten a little better.  First thing, we went to Wally’s World the drug section for a bottle of remedy to sooth this disgusting puss filled bubble on my lower right eye lid.  Miraculously, by mid-day, i wiped out the infection, although it still felt a bit sensitive, it did not re-flame, and all was good.  That morning, we got real breakfast at a coffee shop off to the side of the high way, in a small shack made of metal wavy boards and wood.  They served good coffee, and Great breakfast burritos.  After breakfast, Sean and I took a stroll out the back of the breakfast shack, and we walked to the railroad.  Sean told me about a road trip he was a part of with Stev, Emmanuel, and Anna Mathisen a long time ago.  Their vehicle broke down by the railroad in New Mexico, Stev and Anna went to get help, him and Emmanuel stayed in the van.  They hid from drug cartels coming down the railroads looking for innocent people to butcher.

Our next destination was the Petroglyphs Rocks by the town Three Rivers.  At the entrance of the Petroglyph park, there was a trading post, looked very western frontier-ish.  We stopped in, and indeed, it was decorated like a real outpost.  There were Native American made jewelries, animal hides, different kinds of cowboy hats, rodeo shirts, Native shirts…etc.

There were these donkeys-pulls-a-cart outside of the trading post.  Donkeys remind me of Don Quixote. These fiber glass donkeys were very well made.  Like the putt putt golf course in Ocean City, only these were way better looking.  The putt putt golf course sculptures looked like high school paper mache experiment.  Unlike these, they were very professional looking.

The Trading Post was a gift shop.  They sold turquoise jewelry, turquoise instruments, turquoise garments, turquoise daggers, turquoise burritos…everything turquoise.  It was my wish, that on this trip, I would score a legendary, unique, one of a kind, hand sewn cowboy shirt.  Indeed, Three River Trading Post had a variety of these cowboy-shirt-especials.   One of which caught all of our eyes, was a white shirt with turquoise trimmings and intricate floral design embroideries, slim waisted, bad ass collars, and funky fresh buttons that were turquoise edged and pearly ivory half spheres protruding in the center of every button.  This was a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition type of shirt, no….this was a type that i get really nervous about talking to.  It made me red and sweaty, and it stressed me out.  I held the shirt in my hands, caressing the soft 1 million thread count baby soft sensation, my heart melted, and out pours all the gentleness that i had for my appreciation of its beauty.   Soon, I had to let go.  Just like how she wanted to be free as a bird, and me, lack the ball power to cage her for self indulgence.  It would sour my heart to hear the cries and weeps for freedom.  This shirt belongs to a man who roams the vast desert lands on his Apolusa steed.  This shirt needs the crisp morning air of the Gilas.  This shirt needs the soft caress of Pocahontas, while she held on tight to the man on the horse back, riding towards the sunset.  This shirt was 90 dollars.  And I can’t afford it.

The woman inside the gift shop was a Native American.  She was very kind to us.  Even though we didn’t help her business much by unleashing our bowls and not buying much stuff from her, she was still warm and gentle.  This made me think of many businesses here on the east coast, specifically in Bmore and NYC.  Those folks running the shops here often just have some attitude problem.  Especially in heavily touristy areas, that restrooms are not even available without a hassle.

Continue down the dirt road, we arrived at the Petroglyphs.  This area was sandwiched by the Sacramento Mountain Range and White Sands.  Many hills and mounds of rocks, littered by mother nature, and the Native Americans from back in the day, just felt like no one was watching and they could just vandalize the whole thing with their ‘drawings’.  They were Graffitis!  And Graffiti is illegal.  But i guess New Mexico is just awesome like that, they legalized Graffiti!  And celebrates it in a National Park.  Good for you, New Mexico.

It was a slow and steady climb.  More rocks carved with alien drawings awaited us on the top of the mound.  This made me think of a story, that one time, Van Gogh and his buddy went on a hike in the country side, instead of taking the flat paved road, Van Gogh took the rocky side.  His friend asked him, dude, why you gotta be a freak like that.  He answered, The road of an artist must be a rocky trip.  Jeff then responded, ….You must be Crazy!  Hey, Jeff, I know that’s right.

At one point, I found Jeff sitting by himself on a distant mound.  I sneak up behind him, he was in deep thoughts.  I didn’t make a sound, and i heard him talking to himself.

He turned around and looked at me, two columns of tears streaming southbound on the cheeks.  Why…Andrew…why…..why are these rocks so weird….   Jeff, I understand.  Life is complicated, and full of mysteries.  Lets held hands, and face this monster two-gether.  Thank you for being my friend….  I love you too Jeff.

I saw a HUGE beetle.  He was all black.  Shiny and Magnificent.  This must be the one black Pegasus of them all beetles.  Hercules must be riding one of this.  If not.  He be missing OUT!

We met up with Stev at the top of the mound.  Stev unbuttoned his shirt.  All of the sudden, a strong wind blew by, and he embraced it with a HD hug.

We hit the road again.  Our main goal was to get to an ideal camp ground, since the previous night and the night before, we failed to camp.  There were many towns and things to see on the way to Truth or Consequences, we just had to choose one and hope that it would be rad.  Elephant Butte looked promising, it is a lake, and there would have ideal camping grounds to spent a night.  I took over the wheels, in my head, I would like to spent more time checking out stuff, eating, wondering around, than to sit in a car.  So I punched it, thought that getting us faster to a destination would be the way to go.  However, just before we exit the Petroglyph park, there was a cattle guard, following the cattle guard, a big ditch, then, railroad tracks, another ditch, then flat road again.  I didn’t see the ditch, since the cattle guard and the railroad tracks were both shiny and metallic.  I would say, we were going about 75mph when we hit the cattle guard, what happened after that was an imagination turned real life.  Me, in a cowboy suit, screaming on the top of my lungs, EEEEEE-HAAAAAA, meanwhile, General Lee took air, slow motion, camera follows the car, you see the underside of the car, and the wheels spinning, slowly….and all the sudden, normal film speed, General Lee landed, sparks everywhere, victorious!  Only we were in a soccer mom van, there were no sparks, there were dust everywhere, I saw Stev and Wheatie and John took air at the very back seat.  For the rest of my driving, I took warp speed, the landscapes around us streaked as we bolted by.  Jeff yelled at me.  You Are Going To Kill Us All!!  meanwhile, Sean said, Punch It Andrew!!  I saw a car commercial one time, they said that Dodge cars have this type of super-turbo-jet fuel-propelled-rocket launch-spaceship capable engine, called HEMI, or something like that.  Plus, American cars were built tough!  All I wanted to do was to release this HEMI agent, and stir up some warp time speed.  Yes sir.  We got to the next town in less than 30 minutes.  The only reason we stopped was everyone wanted ice cream.  And there was a Huge sign on a old timey looking drug store that had ICE CREAM written on it.

Walking around this town, reminded me of when the Posses came into town, everyone hid, women, old folks, children scrambled inside.  Dead silent.  Only the whistle of wind, and the friction of sands on your skin, tumble weeds spinning across the pavement.

Walked around town.  Town?…  I should say 2 blocks.  There was a grocery store that was open for business.  We went in there to get some supplies and food for the night, since we were planning on camping out at Elephant Butte.  I was hanging out at the produce section, incoming a tall man in his 50’s.  He was wearing suspenders, stringy loose blondish white hair, a face full of wrinkles, and a Big smile.  He was a mix of a cowboy and a hippie.  Wild Style.  Next to the grocery store was a pawn shop, and it was open for business too.  We went in there to look for some souvenirs.  The man who ran the shop chit-chatted with us for a while, he was young, in his twenties.  He highly recommended the places that we are about to visit, and told us that his ex-girlfriend lives in Truth or Consequences.  He said it with a tone of voice filled with sorrow.  Silence, followed by awkwardness.  We went back to the old drug store, I was hungry, Sean, Jeff, and John had already ordered ice cream, coffee, and milk shake.  The old drug store was kept pristine for 150 years.  An old man in his 70s, ran the shop, in solitude.  Sean asked him what he think of Billy the Kid, a villain or a hero.  The old man responded, “A Cold blooded Killa.  He ain’t nuthing but a cold blooded killa…”.  He said that his great grandfather was appointed the sheriff of Carizo, later shot and killed by Billy the Kid.  There were no peace around the southern New Mexico area, until Pat Garret showed up, and helped regulate and equalize the situation.   I ordered a corn dog.  The old man, whopped out a frozen one, threw into the microwave, beep beep, here you go young man, that would be 2.50.  The corn dog was wet and soggy.  I strongly disapprove this method of heating up a frozen corn dog, and would not recommend people other methods such as dunking their corn dog into any, milk, soda, water, coffee… soggy, wet corn dog is not cool!

We were filled.  Sean took over the wheels because they said I was driving like a maniac.  I wasn’t.  Just because we were not on the same page doesn’t mean I am crazy.  Slowly and maturely, we headed toward our next stop, the Black Lava Lands.  Legend had it, that a long time ago, the Apaches tribes gathered from all corners of the world to help save a beautiful princess who was kidnapped by a fire breathing cowboy.  One stormy night, the Apaches raided the hot cave of the fire breath cowboy due to the rain, they thought they had a better chance of putting the fire out in case they were caught on fire.  The Apaches couldn’t believe what they saw.  The princess not only was not chained up, sobbing in despair, praying for her white knight, cussing the perpetrator out, she was actually having a big bar-b-q camp fire big party with the fire breathing cowboy.  Princess…I thought you were vegetarian.  Oh… love is a magical thing, it made the once vegetarian princess carnivorous, made her fat, most importantly it made her Happy.  The Apache chief was flaming with anger, This is a Disgrace!  How can an Apache princess be going out with a Fire Breathing cowboy!  Men!  Turn them into Cactus!!!!  All the warriors locked and loaded their bow and arrow, cocked and fired at the couple.  The fire breathing Cowboy and the princess held on to each other, and died in each others arms as they were punctured and penetrated by millions of arrows.  Yet, the fire was still burning, and the princess was still laughing.  The wind carried the flammable laugh all across the lands, warmed up cold broken heart, lite up the dusty candle of hope that has been tucked away in the closet for decades, and burned up the nagging threads of luke-warm relationships.  The Lava Lands, hundred of thousands of years ago, lava came up from the earth, and dried up and form some amazing landscape.

It was a bizarre scene.  The dried up black lava rocks were actually nutritious for plants to grow on.  So, lots of plants just took advantage of the fact, and spread themselves out and made themselves comfortable like it was their home.

Looking through these pipe holes, it pin pointed the spots where the lava gushed out from thousands of years ago.

There were cactus that shaped like people.  I think these cactus were the broken up fragments of the fire breathing cowboy and the princess.

You were not suppose to veer off trail, Jeff.  The dried lava were sharp like glass, and Shoes, were strongly recommended for hiking on such pavement.  There were cavities, caves, and huge holes formed from these lava formations.  They were often camouflaged into the shadow of other protruding lava rocks.  These ground holes were Huge.  There were weird plants inside.  They looked like people dancing.

The day was winding down, we hiked back to our van, piled in, and left the lava lands.  We drove towards Elephant Butte in an amazing sunset.  Our plan was to arrive a camp ground in Elephant Butte before the light goes out.  But we didn’t make it in time.  Instead, we stopped at an intersection where an old gas station was selling ice cream, and I had my second share of ice cream of the day.  Big Chocolate.  I also got more New Mexican beef jerkies.  Michael and Sean got their home made fudge.  It was delicious, and it made us so happy.  When we got into Elephant Butte, it was pitch black, and late.  Without a map, we were navigating on a process of elimination and guesses.  This prove to be inefficient, and soon led to frustration and we had to stop somewhere.  We got to a camping supply store, and bought bunch of munchies, including, more beef jerkies, beer, candy, water, and we got two bags of fire wood.  The shop attendant was a man seemed like a know it all, in his 50s.  He told us we were close to Elephant Butte, and yes, there would be good camp grounds.  Wild goose chase continued after the pit stop, we circled the park in pitch black 20 times, and not even realize we were going in circular motion.  However, we saw deers, fox, rabbits, some creature that looked like Spiegle from Lord of the Ring…etc.  Finally, twist and turns, we got to this camp ground like area, there were picnic tables tucked inside huts, and a village of huts spread out along the road.  We saw RVs parked by the huts, and folks set up their tents inside the huts.  We picked one hut, and immediately started to unpack and set up.  Sean and Jeff got the fire started, Mike, John, Stev, Wheatie and myself set up the tent, under flash lights.  The wind was blowing out of control, and soon we got the fire going, and things were all set, it started to rain on our open grill, with food on top.  There were soggy, lonely, weathered hot dogs on the grill, eventually, they fell down into the fire pit.  We made ourselves some quick dinners, drank some beer by the fire, but the weather wasn’t really cooperating.  The rain plus wind in a 30 degree temperature wasn’t a very nice welcome by the Elephant Butte.  Well, we didn’t want to hang out with you either.  So, we brushed our teeth and went to bed.  Michael said that in the middle of the night, I tried to hug him like we were meant to be.  Okay.  First of all, it was cold, second, Mike was next to me, third, opportunities like this just don’t happen everyday does it?  you have to understand My situation.  Human beings do live in a group setting, when someone has been in solitary confinement for so long, it was just hard to resist, you dig?  Mike.  Last, How am I suppose to control my sleeping behavior?  Just suck it up and let me hug you Like a Man!  That night, I was awaken by a concert of snorts.  Soon it turned into club beats.  Sean was the bass, Jeff on snare, Stev was the 808 clap, John was quiet, Wheatie on sound effects, Mike was dodging my hugs, and I was cheer-leading.   Next Morning, the rain and the wind decided to call it a day and went home, but the temperature was colder, there were frost on the wood.  We started up the fire again to thaw ourselves out.

Elephant Butte was a lake.  We never saw the lake.  We camped by a muddy stream, more like a gutter, except it didn’t stink.  Elephant Butte was really close to Truth or Consequences.  They were about 20 minutes away from each other.  That morning, we drove around on the perimeter of Truth or Consequences, and found a dinner, went in and had breakfast.  As soon as we walked into the dinner, everyone was looking at us, mumbling under their breath, I know, we look weird, but folks, seriously, This is U.S.A. for christ sake, the great melting pot, a country built on immigration, follows with the ideal of freedom and justice, so what sup with that ignorant looks??  The menu was awesome.  This was some good old American Style restaurant.  They even had pork chop, chicken fried steak, beef steak for Breakfast!  We sat by two old cowboys, they were talking shit about us as soon as we settled in.  These folks looked a lot like the folks from Hamden, except they were not as Yo.  Best part, was an old man wearing a trucker hat that said, Wateva.  I heard some Jersey accent with that one.  Everyone was over weight, plaid shirts, pop belly, dirty jeans, missing teeth, muffin tops, pull back tight hair so their face looked plastic surgery-ish, sausage fingers, watered down coffee, babies crying, etc. .  The florescent lit restaurant, plus these local folks, the yellow stains on white walls, backed by old fake 70s mildewy wood trims, this scene reminded me much of them Eastern European Horrors.  However, the owner of the restaurant was a Chinese guy.  He was running around the place with his money bag under his left arm pit, greeting people, and being very friendly.  I wonder why he never came to us to say hello.  I saw on our table, there was a book, titled, How to be Normal.  Maybe, he thought we were Not normal, therefore, we didn’t fit his standards, so we didn’t get a Ni Hao Mah from him.  He had that classic Asian fake ass friendly smile and the half ass bow as he greeted everyone.  However, the food was AWESOME.  I wish there is a restaurant that served Real American joint here in Baltimore, and the price must be right.  After our breakfast, we went outside, contemplating where to next.  It was decided that we hit up the Apache National Wildlife Reserve.  I went up to an old cowboy who happened to pulled up with his truck for advise.  This cowboy was a real character.  He was about 60 some years old, big bright smile, and a lay back attitude.  He asked where we were from.  Baltimore.  For the rest of our conversation, he stood there and just a big smile saying, god dang, god dang.  We got to the wildlife reserve according to the cowboy’s instruction.  It was a vast land of marshes, hundreds and thousands of birds congregated.

The park ranger told us to pay special attention, and look out for a raptor that has red feathered neck.  I am guessing raptor is equal to an eagle.  And i assume this particular raptor wears a red scarf.  We set out on the hunt for massive bird squads, birds of any kind, very disappointingly, there weren’t many of them around.  Only a few scattered shy guys cruising in the pond, I think they were some kind of duck or goose.

Ventured deeper into the bushes, we could hear the birds quacking, but no visual.  Where are all the birds!?  Michael and I walked deeper and deeper, following what possibly the trail, at the end, came to found out that we made a big loop back to the main road.  Sean Honey tried his best to stir up some bush dwelling critters, but none of them were home.

As Mike and I wrapped around the bend, onto the main paved road, we saw signs of birds!

The Apache National Wildlife Refugee stretches out miles and miles.  It is possibly one of the nation’s biggest Wildlife refugee.  There were many different vantage points that offers photographers and bird watchers to set up and get a good look at the landscape and perhaps birds if lucky.  We strolled around, and sometimes it made me feel like i am walking around backwoods in the suburbs.

I lived in Taiwan for the first 13 years of my life.  During that time, my parents, grand parents, older sister, cousins, aunts and uncles were my closest friends.  We take leisure strolls up and down the mountains for fun all the time.  Being close to nature has always been rejuvenating to my soul, and increased my appreciation for mother earth.  Most importantly, a spiritual bond between the ones next to me.  Now that I am away from my parents, and no longer reside in Taiwan, there sure ain’t no more leisure strolls to the mountains.  Wondering around the Wildlife Refugee brought back many nostalgic scenes.  Although it was a different landscape, different language, different people all together different, yet the feeling was not that much of a difference.

We came to a spot, there was a deck raised off a huge pond.  In the pond there were a couple of ducks swimming.  It was really relaxing, just like a relax Sunday afternoon, we didn’t have anything to do, no work, nothing, and we just want to get together and go somewhere, and usually we end up at Locust Point.  We would sat there, look at Fells Point, all the sail boats, the sea galls flying and quacking, real nice and easy.

On our way out of the Wildlife Refugee, Sean Honey confessed to us that it has been his dream to be a writer, someday.  He wanted to live in a hut, somewhere remote, perhaps somewhere like the southern part of the New Mexico.  He said that his very first book, will be his autobiography, titled, Abandoned Wiener.  This sounded like a great idea.  Immediately, we started to brainstorm about his book cover.  And the image would look something like this.

Lets take another look.

Finally, we arrived at our destination, Truth or Consequences.  My first impression of this town was that of a Huge painted water tower.  This water tower was situated on top of a hill.  There were multiple hills surrounding the town.  There were horses painted on top of this water tower, visible from every angle from the town center.  The town was backed by an immense tall mountain.  From the town center, one could see all the way up the top of the mountain.  We checked into our reserved hotel first.  And Immediately, we took off to explore this so called Truth or Consequences place.  The entire town was the size of Fells Point.  Main road was also called Broadway.  On Broadway, there were couple of deli, food places, the rest were fine art galleries and boutique shops selling jewelry and hand crafts made by local artists.

Our hotel was The Pelican Inn.  This place was UNREAL.  It is probably the best hotel, motel, hostel, that I have EVER stayed in.

We strolled down from our hotel, and all of the sudden, we saw our friends Eamon and Lisa, and posses from San Francisco, Tom and Levie coming out of their hotel.  After a week of traveling, seeing our comrades really do made us all felt a sense of Hell Yea inside.  Like our back up has arrived or something.  At this point, we were all so happy, that there would be no more frowning but happy faces.  I Frown because I wish only if she could have been here with me.  I Frown because I wish I could have ate more.  I Frown because I wish if we could have stayed a little longer.  Eamon and Lisa gave us a head to toe warm welcome.  Seeing them there was the greatest thing, like an old friend who was punctual to met up with in a foreign place, showed up, and would walk with you hand in hand rest of the way.

Eamon and Lisa has been in Truth or Consequences for two days now.  In preparation of their big day.  When we saw Eamon, he said that he has to drive down to Las Cruces to pick up a PA system for the wedding.  T or C has no such technology available.  Now it has been proven, We are in the Middle of Nowhere For Realz!  I Like!

That fine young lady in the picture above was Lisa’s mom.  Good thing Lisa told me…I was about to ask her out on a milk shake date.  After we met up with Eamon and Lisa, we continued down Broadway, in search of some fine food.  Beep Beep!  O Who Dat!  It was Russell Decampo and Caroline!  Hey guys whats sup!  What a joy to see Bmore friends here.  Russell advised that we better soak up all his smiles, because when we all get back, he might be real grumpy due to his immense work load at the Wind Up Space.  And, hey man, he was wearing one of them exquisite turquoise necklaces made from the extracts of the scorpions that burrows in the lava rocks near the cave of that fire breath cowboy’s hot cave.  To be more specific, they were from the fragments of the fifth vertebrae of total 365 lava scorpions.  Caroline had went out bare feet into the glass like rocks to harvest these rare gems for him, as a display of her best wishes to his birthday, and also representing that her love for him is a constant 365 day without vacation.  Wow.  That was Intense.  We found a health food joint one block away from our hotel.  This place is the bomb.  Not only was the people working in there look healthy, they were also sexy as well.  All week, we been having not so healthy choices for food.  Now its time we finally get to cleanse our liver and kidney with their beet, celery, carrot, watermelon, honey dew, cilantro, spinach, pineapple, strawberry, lychee, grapes, coke cola, sprite, cigarettes, burritos, milk shake, triple deck green chili cheese burgers…etc.  Shots of wheat grass, and lots of fresh water.  Oh yea, back in business.

After we pleased our tummy, we continued down Broadway.  Several boutique shops carried over priced items, including a pair of white leather turquoise trim cowboy boots for 1500 dollars.  Well, I ain’t no cowboy boots expert, and those boots sure looks awesome, but the price is just out of reach.  Further down the road was a Village Thrift kind of store.  This is more like it.  They had an array of awesome stuff, most importantly, they were Cheap!  Considering my luggage capacity, unfortunately, I did not get all that I could have gotten.  Well, there is always next time.  Mike, on the other hand, scored some sweet blazer and a white button up shirt that made him look like James Bond.  On the door of this thrift store, hung a flyer, advertised a rummage sale next morning, 7am at the church just across the street from our hotel.  There was hope.  We strolled back to our hotel.  And this time, I really got a good look at our rooms.  Wheatie had put a reserve on two rooms for us at the Pelican Inn before the trip.  The deal was 60 dollars a person for two nights of stay, unlimited internet surfing, And unlimited Hot Spring Baths.  We got two rooms.  One code name the New York Loft.  This room was so big.  It was incredible.  There was a bar inside the room, huge flat screen tv With Tivo, a killer shower plus user friendly toilet, and two comfortable full size beds.  Most impressively, there was high class leather couches and a psychologist used bed!

Our second room was code name The Turquoise Room.  This is where I would stay with Stev, Wheatie and Sean.  This room was much smaller, but cozy, And more colorful.

After we settled in, Stev, Sean and I decided to take a look around the businesses and establishments neighboring our hotel.  This town was truly awesome.  Not only the buildings were painted with bright colors that encourages hope and happiness, they were also very environmental.  Recycling bins and trash separations were located at every street corners and easily identify-able.  Right next to our hotel, there was a drive-inn fast food joint named A & B Drive Inn.  Back in Dallas, there were drive inns too.  Sonic and Dairy Queen.  Yea.  Lame.  This is the Real Deal.  True American drive inn.  Small shack where the kitchen is directly connected to a couple of windows for taking orders, parking lot linked to picnic tables outdoors under the roof/porch.  The food was AMAZING.  The price was right on.  3 dollars will get you a delicious green chilli cheese burger.  A dollar fifty for a milk-shake.  2 dollars for a corndog.  and 4.50 for a chimichunga.  Wow!  Oh Hold Up, wait a minute, where is John and Mike?  word had it, that they went to start the water in the Hot Spring Tubby tub!  Shirts and pants off guys.  We going to jump in there Butt Naked!  Soakie Soakie ~ Yea.  Waste no time!  Right away, we bum rushed the soaking office.  The lady in there was like, wow wow wtf guys, slow down!  Get out of the way lady, coming through.  The water sure was hot.  Not sure if the water was naturally salty, or was it all of our week-old-ripe crevices funking up the water.  Mike said you are not suppose to drink that water, it contains high mercury content.  This hot soak sure lived up to its name.  Long ago, Truth or Consequences was the green zone for all native Americans, settlers, Mexicans, and people from all other lands.  Folks came here to soak in the healing hot springs, to plunge their funk away.  It was believe that the natural spring water from here could heal disease of all kinds, misfortunes, and broken hearts.  Thing is that one can not soak under this hot water for too long, I almost got a heart attack for submerging more than 5 minutes.  I have always wondered if one would fart while submerged, would there be any chemical reaction?  I mean the water has high sulfur content, mix with methane gas?  would it cause an explosion?  So i tried.  Black bubbles.

Everything was right.  We had to get a snack under the sun set.  Even though there would be a pizza party later courtesy of Lisa’s father.  We couldn’t wait for that!  That was going to be a Party.  That was going to be a party where I get out of Control!

We all met up back at the Loft, before we embark to the pizza party.  Jeff’s friend from Santa Fe was there to meet up with us, Mara.  She has a British accent, tall, strikingly beautiful, a Huge smile on her face at all times, and very polite.  I have seen her somewhere before.  Then I realized that in March 2006, I was in New York for a More Dogs show in Brooklyn, Elke and I had ran into her on the street.

Off we go!  Pizza Party!  The night at Truth or Consequences was quiet.  Not for long!  Because we have arrived!  How was the pizza going to be down south?  Pizza was from Italy, New Yorkers made it famous throughout the lands.  So, every time people talk about how good a pizza is, they always reference New York.  Well, probably because we live in the U.S.  I am curious about how New Mexico Pizza tastes like.

The pizza party was next to the El Cortez movie theatre, and a place called…Space or Consequences.  Space or Consequences.  That’s what she said before she left me.

Across the street was a shop called, Dust & Glitter.

Folks were pouring in from all parts of the country.  Henry and his girlfriend even flew in from Norway!  Socializing and getting the drinks on.  Alcoholic beverages in this context were purely used for ceremonial purposes, nothing inappropriate about it.  Boy i tell you, there were unlimited beer and wine.  Not for long tho.

The pizza was Amazing.  Most impressive, was the pasta.  Buttery pasta.  Smooth and silky.  Backed by bunch of squash and veggies, goes down easy.  And, No heart burns.  Just like first love.  It was all there.  No holding back.  No regrets.

Soon, our Magic Tunic ran out.  Sean and I went for a supply run.  Word on the street was that a mile down the road, there would be a gas station, and they carry a variety of beverage options.  Desert nights were cold and windy.  But none would halt our purpose, we had an important job.  Arriving at the gas station, there was an attendant, she was wearing a Dallas Cowboys sweater shirt.  I asked if she was a Dallas Cowboys fan.  She said she has always been.  Dallas Cowboys was my favorite football team, due to obligation growing up in Dallas.  Every time they went to the playoffs, we had to wear Cowboys shirts to school in support and defending the spirit of Dallas Texas.  And in the 90s, they sure did went to the playoffs many times.  As we were checking out, two men came into the gas station.  One of them grabbed a red bull, and got in line to check out.  He was in his 40s.  Stringy hair, looked a lot like Murdock from A-Team.  Slacks, sweater, a leather jacket.  Sean greet him with a how you doing?  He whopped out an eye patch, put it on, open up his other eye, wide open, and answered, Real Good~.  Oh yes!  I love this place.  Just filled with characters of all ages.  That night ended well.  I had a mission the next morning, so I decided not to destroy my liver.  Plus, this was just a pep rally.  The big game would be the very next day.  We went back to our hotel, and I went to bed with Sean.  It was cozy, comfortable and …. Sean and Stev told me that in the middle of the night, I would grind my teeth.  Sounded like a cat’s purrr.  Not only that, I would rub my hands together, as if i was cold.  I do not recall any of this.  Seriously, how could i have control my sleeping behavior?  This bizarre event freaked me out a little.  So I asked in the future, if Sean could punch me in the face if I tried to be BlingBling in the middle of the night again.  I woke up 6 am in the morning, got ready for the rummage sale at the church across the street.  Stev, Wheatie, and Sean also were early risers.

I have been to many garage, yard, moving, rummage sales.  This got to be the Best one I have ever been to.  Folks in the church were Very friendly.  They made eye contact, and talked to us with a polite attitude.  Not only did they have good merchandise, the ladies also gave us deals on top of deals.  I got a sweater, a coat, ceramic decors, a hat, and bunch of other stuff for One Dollar and Fifty Cents!  OH MY GOD!  I am not joking!

That morning was really nice.  There were no clouds in the sky.  Would there be any clouds in Truth or Consequences?  I doubt it.  Stev, Wheatie and Sean wanted to get themselves massaged.  Eamon had recommended a type of Massage called, Sacred Stone.  Apparently, they put burning hot sacred gems on you, and rub you down with essential oil.  We were curious, so we went to check it out with them.  But first, we had to fill our tummy.  So we went back to the healthy deli for some wheat grass shots and liver cleansers.

We arrived at the massage parlor.  Wheatie went in to scope out the situation.  10 minutes later, she came out with a menu.  Boy, I tell you, as much as I like the idea of myself being massaged like a floury dough by another human being, that price on the menu was just not too reasonable for my wallet.  Stev, Wheatie and Sean went with it, they would do whatever it takes to please their temples for the lord.  Stev and Sean were asked to strip naked and soak in hot spring before the massage man could began working on them.  This made both of them very uncomfortable.  Stev and Sean had known each other for more than 10 years, but they have always kept their daggers in the sheath.  This would be the first time they draw out their weapon, and polish it in front of each other.  During this show and tell, Stev had mastered Butt Clapping.  Which was to make clapping sounds by shaking violently left and right motion using the hip, mean while the relaxed butt cheeks would bounce off one another, producing the clapping sound.  Mike, John and I turned the other way and aimed our goal on more exploration of this awesome town.  On a second thought, I wanted to look into this masage parlor, just was being curious.  So, I charged in the front door.  I thought I would get barked at to get out, since I reek of camp smoke from previous days (that smell hasn’t come off even till this day!)  but surprisingly, the lady at the front gave me this over whelming welcome approach had me thinking that if she was using guilty trip reverse psychology.  She wasn’t, she was being sincere.  She showed me around, and invited me to their continental breakfast.  Now usually, in the fairy tales, when some middle age woman invites innocent boys and girls for a meal, candy, drinks…etc.  something dramatic and traumatic would follow after.  I was enjoying the hell out of those eggs and cheese, English muffins and sausages, bacon plus maple syrup on to of croissant, with utter most cautious appetite.  I was stuffing my mouth with hard boiled eggs, while she was looking, I bolted out the front door.  Later I felt bad leaving without saying goodbye, I must have sour her heart and bitter her thoughts of people from the East Coast.

Mike and John accompanied me in search of a cowboy apparel shop.  We didn’t find any.  Many businesses were still not open due to it was way too early in the morning.  The general atmosphere of Truth of Consequences was very lay back and relaxed.  The shops didn’t have a set time for open and close.  I assume the economy must have been blight.  Many shop owners knew that Eamon and Lisa’s wedding will brought in more than half the population of the town.  This was a good opportunity for them to make the bills.  For example, that Space or Consequences place, was more or less like a vintage museum rather than a shop.  The guy who owns the shop had a collection of crazy awesome vintage bike bodies, but he refused to sell any of them.  The shop wasn’t even open when we got there.  We saw him riding his beach cruiser up the hill with a cup of coffee in his hand, looked like some random neighbor just rolled out of bed.  He then swirled his hands in a general direction and told me that anything there(where he was swirling at) was for sale, asked me to make an offer.  I picked up a couple of things in mercy of this total desolate economic situation, offered him 5 dollars for it, at least that will cover his breakfast.  Other shops around there were just totally shut down on a Saturday morning 11 am.  There were abandoned buildings too.  But I doubt it was infest with crack squatters.

Down the block from the Space or Consequences was the Geronimo Museum.  This little museum was jam packed with a wealth of information.  First impression was that of another boutique shop, but soon we realize the boutique shop was just a front, the gem lays at the back of this little hut.  When we first entered the place, a huge lady greeted us.  She was about 6’5″ tall.  In her 70s.  She wore heavy make up, but they weren’t applied well.  I noticed her trembling hands, perhaps it must have been difficult to kept it steady while applying eye liners.  She wore a full on red parry dress, turquoise jewelry that accents her style quiet nicely.  Her face was full of wrinkles, I imagine that must have been from the constant sun exposure.  She had a wonderful attitude, a little too over enthusiastic.  We chatted up about where we from, and what was it like back home in Baltimore, etc, but the conversation took a weird turn while she brought up the crime statistics.  She advised us to be extra cautious in New Mexico, due to the drug violence.  Innocent people gets butchered frequently, and considering its landscape, you could scream and yell, no body would come to help you.  We shared a little about how folks gets chopped up, shot, and raped back in Bmore everyday, and even though its in a big city, no one would give a shit anyways, pretty much just as same as out there in the desert.  She then took a firm look at me, and told me that it was good to be able to have a conversation with young people.  She said that I looked like her son, he was half native American, and that he was handsome.  Just like me.  Handsome, pretty, strong, a beacon of light in the pitch black night, the savior of humanity.  Thank you.  But he was slaughtered, cut up, killed in Porto Rico.  It was a drug related crime.  She then went into silence, her voice fainted out.  Oh geez….  I bought a pair of ear ring from her.  John, Mike and I went into the museum.  This museum was small, but packed, Jam Packed with stuff.  These stuff in here were not well maintained, many were lite by flourecent lights, they just looked awful, but I sorta like this run down kind of feel, so I did not complain nor was I disgusted by its presentation.

I took this photo for Miranda Pfeiffer.  I have no interest in this story what so ever.

And this water fountain, pumps up Hot Spring water.  The water was Hot!

From prehistoric mammoth skulls to dinosaur evolution charts.  This museum is got it ALL covered!

I have a friend who likes to collect stuff.  This museum likes to collect stuff.  Take it home.  Take all of them home.  This museum reminded me of her.  Her apartment was like a museum, filled with stuff.  I like this museum.  I love her.  She broke my heart.

Michael saw this weird thing in the cabinet and hollared to me, Andrew come here and check this out!  At first sight, I was like, wtf man….  Dude, its a Devil Fish skeleton.  What is a Devil Fish?  Devil Fish is a kind of sting ray that their skeleton looked like crazy.  And they roam the Gulf of Mexico area pirating fish boats, and terrorize villages.

Then, I saw another weird thing on the display and hollared to Mike.  Dude, come here and check this out!  It’s a Velocity Raptor!

Mike, John and I escaped the stuffy museum and strolled around town some more.  By this time, my wish to find an authentic western outfit store has died.  Due to there were just too many task to be taken as priorty.  Such as, eat as much green chilli cheese burgers as possible, eat as much crunch crust but juicy from within corn dogs as possible, drink as much vanilla milk shakes as possible, soak in the hot natural spring tub as much as possible, etc.  Why these tasks and goal to up keep?  Because once we are out of Truth or Consequences, everything would be difficult to come by and to experience.  T or C is full of surprises, there were many hidden wonders here and there.  It truly is an amazing little town.  The area where we were staying in has many art galleries still haven’t given up hope, struggling for business.  There were also artist studios.  I noticed a couple sculpture studios, but they were locked up.

Instead of grass, people had cactus in their yards.

The wedding hour was getting near.  We went back to our hotel, stripped down naked and prepare for a Natural Spring Jousting competition between Mike and John, I was the referee.  There were these pigeons hanging out right outside of our hotel on the telephone wire.  Many of them just hang there all day.  Sometimes they fly around, but they always loop back and situate themselves at that one segment of the telephone wire.  I wonder if pigeons, or birds were ever used as telephone taps, and I wonder if they could hear what people were talking about by standing on top of them telephone wires.  Before we embark to the wedding, I had to fill up my stomach.  Right after the hot bath, I had an appetite and craved for some corn dogs and cheeseburgers.  So, as everyone was still getting ready, I took myself out on a date at the A & B Drive-inn.  I had 2 green chilli cheese burgers, 2 corn dogs, and 1 large milk shake.  It was very satisfying, and I was well prepared for the wedding.  Eamon and Lisa had warned Mike and I to eat before coming to the wedding, due to that we might dry out the buffet supply.  Off course, Eamon and Lisa were just kidding….no?  Either way, I would do my best to keep everything under control.  The wedding took place at the court yard of Eamon and Lisa’s inn, Fire and Water Lodge.  When we arrived, there were all these folks looking real sharp, a real nice picture.  Greg Rago was playing back ground music, once in a while, he would do Ozzy’s hits such as, Mama I’m Coming Home, Changes, Mr. Crowely, etc, and sometimes he would do Immigration song by the Zeps.  Greg.  It’s a wedding.  Please play appropriately.  So, he began to play Air Supply, Berlin..Light FM joints.  The vibe of the wedding was down to earth, sincere, and I found it to be very efficient and most importantly sweet and endearing.

Sean Honey didn’t bring wedding appropriate dress shoes.  tzk, tzk, tzk.  He didn’t even wear any shoes.  He went as a Hobbit.  As if Eamon and Lisa’s wedding was to Trick or Treating.  Bilbo Baggins.

Eamon and Lisa’s wedding program, was displayed on a Eamon hand drawn brochure.  This wedding was probably the most successful wedding of all times.  I thought it was so ground breaking, that all weddings should reference to this one as an example.  First of all, it was simple.  A kick ass location, and loved ones come to celebrate and witness the mingling of the couple.  Second, it was informal.  So what with the tradition and that formality crap, I thought that would be a big turn off, not romantic at all.  But this wedding was filled with love and joy, it existed between the two of them, and the magnetic field was so strong, that folks around them could felt the polar push and pulls.  Third, it was DIY.  Everything from the invitation to the programing was well put together, hand picked, hand drawn by the couple.  This meant a world to the folks who care and love them.  That we were hand picked and selected to be invited to attend to the ceremony.

Watching your friends getting married is weird.  It puts things in perspective.  I started to put myself into their position.  Dayummm, its grown up time.  Ever since Eamon met Lisa, his maturity level has been steadily climbing.  I think its the assurance of Lisa’s good care of his emotional side.  Off course, and vice versa.  It’s not easy to meet someone who you would commit to buy and keep forever.  I truly felt that it requires some mysterious power of luck and zealous will of love to maintain.  The two of them really is meant to be, and watching this happy ending, made me feel like I am in this movie too.  To be frank, I started to think about myself, and wishing that I would not be alone anymore in the near future, there is still hope.  Then I wonder what Stev, Wheatie, Sean, Jeff, John and Mike were thinking as we were all there watching Lisa and Eamon bathing in each other’s tears of joy.  We have our own taste and preferences in going about pursuing happiness.  Some of us like to window shop, some of us would take a step further to go into every shop and try them on, don’t fit, then put them back, go to the next shop and try some more.  Most of us don’t know what we want and are searching.  Well, the complicated process of trying and searching has ended for both Eamon and Lisa.  Just try not to be too cocky guys, and help a brother out sometimes, like, recommendations, advises, suggestions, ALL are welcome.  We hung around the wedding ground, and chit chat with Eamon and Lisa’s relatives.  Soon, it would be the after party.  The after party took place in an old folks recreation gym.  Eamon told me that he got the place rent out for 30 dollars for an entire day.

Before going over to the old folks gym, Russell and company revealed that they are going to get the best milk shake on earth.  I knew where they were going.  I already had some.  I knew that alcoholic activity will be going down at the old folks gym, so, I had to make sure that no accident would happen, before, during and after the party.  I went back to our cozy room, and gave birth to quad-triplets of golden warm flavorful yams.  After finished the operation, I went outside and saw Russell and gang walking down the street like they own the town.

I met up with Sean Honey, and we went together.  On our way to the after party, Sean asked if I could take a photo of him in front of a sign, directing people to a certain pizzaria.

Ridiculous.

My mom frequently asked me this question, When will you grow up?  I asked myself this question, Would I ever grow up?  Eamon and Lisa did.  I think Sean and I grew up, we gained weight, and lost quiet bit of hair, but why is penis jokes still funny?

Retarded.

At the old folks gym, food was served, so was alcohol.  The food was chicken breast and the other option was plantain? or squash?  or eggplant?  something vegetarian, also looked delicious.  Most importantly, the alcoholic beverage bartenders were Super!  They mixed that drink with passion, determination, and generosity.  Just a ton of heart, and I respect and salute them.  After a couple of drinks and breasts, Lisa’s dad decided to play a game of speech with every one taking turns to get up on stage and tell about their experiences and testimonies of Eamon and Lisa.  Oh yea.  I would be waiting for my turn to tell all the things I know about Eamon.  My turn has arrived, Eamon.  Hahahahaha.  I was so happy.  Revenche!!!!

One after another, innocent folks was dragged up to the stage, and confessed.  Soon, it was Sean’s turn.  Sean had wished to climb the mountain behind T or C since the moment we got into town.  Sean then promised to climb the mountain in honor of Eamon and Lisa’s bonding.  And out he ran, due to it was almost sun down.  I end up with the mic.  And I sang a song, it was by Paula Cole, and the title of the song was, I Don’t want to Wait.  Its probably the best song of all times.  My gift to Eamon and Lisa.  No problem.

Okay.  It was getting too much fun.  We attempted to dance, but instead, we were all just there laughing.  I did talk to Lisa’s dad and godfather for a long time.  And later, with Henry and his girlfriend.  There was a fiddle dance party happening somewhere around town in a bingo joint.  Everyone wanted to go there.  Also, once a month in T or C, there would be a giant art walk, where all the galleries opened up, and welcome everyone to come in.  We wanted to do that as well.

Since Eamon and Lisa were getting married.  They must be living in some kind of presidential suite right?  I imagined so.  And if that was so, why not share that hook up!  Look, Hot Tub, Room Service, Direct TV, HD Surround, Bubbly baths, back rubs, milk shakes, silk sheets, 100 year old wine.  Upon request, our groom took us to their honey moon suite.  It was humbly awesome.  Although none of the above, but at least, Eamon, you ain’t gotta go to sleep with Sean Honey.  Bwahahahahaha.

We were excited to check out the art walk on Broadway.  Word had it that there would be carnies who showcases exotic and freakish animals.  All kinds of weird things, animals, people, came out and display themselves in front of the public.  I saw some people dressed up like Batman in Dark Knight juggling flaming bowling pins, and a weird clown photographer taking photos of children who tried their best to resist a still position in front of a spray painted prop, crying and screaming.  There were also squads of goth teenagers roaming the street.  Their gears were not very convincing, most of them seemed like metal, upon a more careful observation, plastic indeed, and were probably bought from Spencers, Gadzooks, or Party City of some random shopping mall.   I went up to one of them for the direction to the fiddle dance party at the bingo joint.  But seemed like they heard about it, but couldn’t point out where exactly this awesome event was taking place.

Green chilli cheese burger joint was like the magnet, the black hole, the warm silky sheeted bed to me, to us.  It was the answer to all the questions, wonders and mysteries of the universe.  We found this place hard to resist.  We ended up back here, forget about it, we had a great time by stuffing more food and wash it all down with more milk shakes and root beer floats.

After the corn dog and cheese burger stuffing, we gathered more folks, and set out on the hunt for this fiddle bingo dance party.  As we walked in the pitch black night, more company from the wedding joined us on the side walks.  We marched miles, but yet couldn’t make out which or where was the right way to go.  With a map in his hands, Michael took a group of young men and women, and split the party into two.  He had decided to lead a scouting party in another direction where he felt was the right way.  Mean while, the remaining group stayed with our tour guide, Michel, and faithfully followed his input.  We never heard back from Michael, so we decided to turn back, as there was an new proposition of a camp fire gathering where Eamon and Lisa’s wedding reception was taking place.  Just as we were about to gave up hope, Jeffery and Mara rolled up in a vehicle, and offered to go look for this jam by driving.  However, they did not bring back positive results.  We headed back to our hotels, gathering up the remaining booze, and onward to the camp fire at Eamon and Lisa’s Fire and Water Lodge.  Later, Michael would return with the scouting party, and claimed that they had found the legendary fiddle party, not only they had fun waltzing with the seniors, Mike and other members of the scouting party also got phone numbers for future follow ups.

On our way back, I peeked into windows of buildings and shops.  One particular shop looked like it was a cowboy gear manufacturer.

As the night winds down, we sat by the camp fire, Tom and Levie broke out their guitar, and started to play some tunes that melted and blended well with the relaxed atmosphere.  I stared at the fire, and thought to myself that this would be the last night at New Mexico, I was tired, but yet not ready to go home.  Sean, Stev, Mike, John and Wheatie were probably thinking about the same thing.  We gave requests to Tom and Levie, one of the songs I requested was sung to me by a beautiful girl, she was a sweet heart, the image of her floated and danced in the fire, I want to hear that song.  It was Jolene by Dolly Parton.

Next Morning, we went to Happy Belly Deli for some breakfast.  The food was not as good as what we expected.  We were all still tired, and by this time, everyone felt the end of the trip was near, and the curtain was about to shut down.  Russell, Caroline, Mathew and Rebecca showed up and joined us for the breakfast.  Our plan was to group hug into the hot tub one more soak before we hit the road back to El Paso.  It was probably the most touching soakage I have ever experienced.  Wasn’t sure if it was the tear, or the water, there was a salty flavor in my mouth.

There were some weird art laying around the picnic table.  Shrunken Heads.  Didn’t know that the Apaches carried on this tradition.  Intense.  A man told us that Apaches were raiders.  Apaches raid others for a living.   However, I have heard about, read about, played video games of a way Apaches embedded fear into others, was to scalp the victims and kept them as trophies of war.  This is a False fact.  The Apaches were a type of native American tribe who has their own traditions, mind their own business, do their own thing, and it has been working out for them for thousands of years.  Until one day, the European fuck faces showed up, and decided to mix some cream into this coffee.  The French.  To be specific.  The French settlers decided to show Apaches how they play the game across the Atlantic, and started to scalp the fallen Apaches warriors.  And just like how the Spaniards brought horses onto America, not only did the native Americans learned how to tame and ride them, they even learned how to mix and bred some beautiful fine American steeds.  Scalping has been a message from the Apaches to the white settlers as an eye for an eye kind of thing.  This violent and fucked up tradition did not originate from the Apaches, but introduced to and carried on.

Before we goodbye Truth or Consequences, Sean went into the registration office of our hotel, The Pelican, and asked the lady if she was hiring anyone.  She wasn’t even surprised with this sudden out burst.  She held stern, straight eye to eye contact, and slowly shook her head, as a gesture of saying, no.  Sean was serious about a little residency, or a change of place, and was considering T or C to be an ideal place to be for a while.  This negative response did not shook Sean, pressed on, he asked again, What about February, the lady did not shift her stance, eye to eye contact, slowly shook her head, and said with a firm voice, NO.  Study shows that 95% of the time when we asked for something from another human being, god, animals, …etc.  the usual expected answer would be negative.  Quantum mechanics also preaches the same idea.  For revenge, we took off our shirts and pants, and dunked ourselves into the Hot Tub, One More Time!  After the soak, we packed up our stuff, and met everyone up at the A & B Drive Inn.  We felt as if this would be our last real American burger, American corn dog, American milk shake.  This was it.  Good Bye T or C.  Good Bye New Mexico.  Jeff showed up after missing with Mara for 2 days.  This was hard for Jeff and Mara as well.  They have been good friends since years ago, and due to life, they have not been able to catch up for nearly half a decade.  This was the point, where I saw Jeff for the first time, as he struggled, held back all his emotions and farts, Good bye Mara.

El Paso, oh El Paso.  One side of you is U.S. of A, the other side is Mexico.  What a drastic difference.  We got a good look at El Paso this time.  It was 2 hours before our flight time to Dallas.  Airport of El Paso was like someone’s house.  It didn’t feel like an Airport.  This is where we said Hello and gateway into heaven, and through here is where we went back to the arms of Baltimore.  Every party has to have and end.  The end of a party is only the beginning of another.  If not for Eamon and Lisa’s invitation to their wedding, if not for Eamon and Lisa’s scouting out of the place a year ago, we would have no determination to pull together this epic trip.  This trip defined and strengthen the bond between us.  We are friends on another level, we are family.  From day one til the end, not a moment we spent together without laughter.  Even there were differences, but they were respected, understood, and they were resolved.  It was warm even it was cold, comforting even it was uncomfortable, smells good even it stunk, we were full but we kept on eating, we kept on laughing even it wasn’t really that funny, Good company, I was and am not alone.

We have been back for a month.  Not a day goes by I have not thought about New Mexico, about Eamon and Lisa’s wedding, about the trip.  We are looking forward to another epic journey, perhaps next time, we would have more company joining our band wagon.  We would fly American Airline again, since they can not promise their flight time, and would gladly gave out 100 dollar or more vouchers for their failures.  Definitely a cheap way to travel.  Here are some more bonus photos.

White Sands.

Myself and Sean Honey in Deming.

Jeff Mcgrath in Deming.

Jeff Mcgrath in Deming.

Michael Benevento in Deming.

Stev Santalian, Wheatie Byrnes and Sean Honey in Deming.

Sean Honey in Gila Forest.

Stev Santalian, Wheatie Byrnes, Michael Benevento, John Bohl in Gila Forest.

Apache Wildlife Reserve.

A turtle crossing the road in Apache Wildlife Reserve.

Truth or Consequences.

Rebecca, Mathew and Lisa at the wedding.

Russell and Caroline at the wedding.

Greg Rago at the wedding.

Eamon Espey and Lisa Krause at Truth or Consequences.

Ian Espey, Russell Decampo, Caroline and Levie at the wedding.

Lisa, Mathew and Rebeca at the wedding.

Eamon Espey.

Congratulations to Eamon and Lisa.

posted by Andrew Liang at 9:36 pm  

3 Comments »

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