Odious and Peculiar

Philology and esoterica: scribblings, ravings and mutterings.

O&P's Current Pick:

Forging the Sampo

Odious' Links:

The Little Bookroom
The Pumpkin King
Larissa Archer
Inverted Iambs
Eve Tushnet
Pamela Dean
Kambodia Hotel
Pen and Paper

Charles Darwin's Beagle Diary
Deep-Sea News
NASA's Mars Website
Classics Online
Perseus Digital Library

Nine Scorpions
The Blithe Kitchen
Letter from Hardscrabble Creek
Arts & Letters Daily
About Last Night



Chas Clifton's Nature Blog
Rock Art Photo Blog
Girl on a Whaleship
Nature Lyrics Languagehat
Jabal al-Lughat
Laputan Logic
Strange Maps
Vladimir Dinets: Polymath Russian Adventurer
Virtual Tour of Almaty, Kazakhstan
Aerial Landscape Photography
USGS Earth As Art
Panoramic Aerial Maps of the American West

The Internet Bird Collection
Bird Families of the World
Ancient Scripts
The Aberdeen Bestiary Project
The Cephalopod Page
The Ultimate Ungulate
The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire
USGS Streamflow Data

Worthy Miscellany
Finno-Ugrian Music
Boojum Expeditions
American River Touring Association

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Thursday last, Mrs. P's employer treated us to attendance at an event in that notorious naval of northern New Mexico, Taos. As a native of the state, I must say I'd greatly prefer the world to associate us with Los Alamos and atomic weapons than with the far more pernicious, if metaphorical, energy that radiates from Taos. Remember the scene in Easy Rider when Fonda and Hopper wind up in the New Mexico commune? Dirty, filthy hippies grovel about, awkward looks are exchanged, Fonda and Hopper get the Hell out. Well, that place was purchased and given a makeover by filthy-rich Texans, and Taos is what remains.

Don't believe me? We were put up at one of the town's highly prestigious resorts: to protect the guilty I'll call it the Monte Chingado. The place encapsulated what I'm talking about. Antlers and turquoise, that's the Taotian spirit:

Presiding over our room:

Ooh, can we brand the dressers?

Yay, a turquoise pillow! Thing weighs about twenty-five pounds: you could smother a spouse with no hands. Our armadillo likes it, though:

Oh, good: art. Zombie horse seeking delicious brains, above our mini-bar:

Really, this place is where both virtuous Texans and sinful New Mexicans go when they die. It wasn't all trashy. There were actually some very nice touches in the conference rooms, dining areas and other classier sections. The water feature was pretty good. The bar had an enormous snake effigy over it. But everything was just wrong, wrong, wrong. This was amply demonstrated when we came back to our room and found on our pillow not a chocolate truffle or other such welcome offering, but a rose quartz. With a pamphlet expounding its vibrational effects on our circulatory, mental and reproductive systems. But I must observe that a lodging that offers healing crystals in a room full of antlers and cowhide is unclear on basic New-Agery.

Again, that's Taos for you.The next morning at a coffee shop, Mrs. P found a notice which pretty well encapsulates the whole town:

Will trade therapeutic body work for firewood.

One more illustration? How about some more art? Also from our room:

The inscription at the bottom:

Details not provided.

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nest time you go to Taos, visit the Fichin Institute. It's beautiful. and eat at....I think the name is Mithel's? it's right across the street from the Fechin Institute, where there is also a much less cheesy hotel.
Hehe, what's wrong with that room? It's awesome! I think it would be even more awesome as a Silly Symphony or Tim Burton stop-motion film. Yet more awesome when archaeologists dig it up 5,000 years in the future.
Who was it that said we would be remembered as the Bad Taste Tribe?
Rose quartz on the pillow? Too much!

I think I where you were,though: Monte S______?
oops i meant fechin not fichin. and mitchell's not mitchel's. if that's the name. which it might not be.
Chas, you definitely know your know your way around these parts.

Larissa, we'll keep it in mind. We don't get up there too much, and we're never looking for lodging. But it's always good to have a mental map of regional restaurants. (Re. lodging: on their customer satisfaction survey they asked, "What other resorts did you consider?" I answered, "Chiflo Campground and Colorado Gators.")

Moro, Silly Symphony pretty well hits the mark. Contemplating the perplexity of future archaeologists is something I do all too often. Also, contemplating the perplexity of Chinese factory workers as they make our plastic crap: see Odious' comment.
"Say, Wong, why do Americans love little plastic dinosaurs with flaming red lips so much?"
"I give up, why?"
"I don't know. I was hoping you could tell me."
I laughed so hard I blew coffee out my nose-- Taosians are beyond parody.

If you go up again let me give you McLoughlin's email-- he is a roaring antidote to his fellow northerners' New Ageism.
I am reminded of a junket I once got to Bishop's Lodge in Santa Fe, courtesy of IBM. Otherwise I would never have gone through the gates.
Hahahaha. Awful indeed, but you gotta give points for color. When the obnoxious dies, all you have left is the bland, carbon-copy, Walmart-and-stripmall midwest. It's the same amount of bad taste, without the entertainment.

I mean seriously, turquoise pillows? Fur-covered dressers? Rose Quartz on your pillow? So good! Comic genius!

Did you ever see the banned-from-england-for-being-'obscene' DH Lawrence paintings under the stairs in the La Fonda?

Also, hi!
"When the obnoxious dies..." Indeed, you speak wisdom for our age.

Hi Danielle! We know each other, I take it? My only Danielle of close acquaintance is from St. John's. If you're another, please forgive my absentmindedness. And in either case, welcome!
I'm the same Danielle. Referred to your blog through Chris C. when I started mine (recently).

Very much enjoying it so far!
Thanks, Danielle! It's good to hear from you. Judging by your blog, it looks like you're thriving. Let us know if you're ever passing by Santa Fe.
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