Wednesday, January 13, 2010

You might be a Taoseno if . . .

Okay, I'm no Jeff Foxworthy -- although we are tocayos (Shelby knows; the rest of you should look it up in a Spanish-English dictionary; you can find one on-line) -- but even a lifer, admittedly jaded by generational exposure, has to confess that northern New Mexico is NOT like back in the United States. Seriously. (Oops . . .)
One day I was driving to work, an hour-and-a-half of commute that my truck knows well enough to do by itself so I can do other things (I used to text, but my new phone is really inconvenient for texting while driving, so now I write down stuff I'm thinking about), and I began both looking around me and thinking about what makes this area unique (or, as my post-modern son writes it, "yoo-neek"). After only a short time, I had several pages of notes (and two near-misses with other cars, one poor dog that was scared half to death, and a blister on my left knee from driving with it for so long; don't tell my wife).
This could go on for a while, so let's do it a few at a time.
By the way, I cannot insert a tilde over the n, so Taoseno looks different than it is pronounced. Say it, "Touse-enyo." Now say it again. And again. One more time. That last one was better than your first one, but you need to keep working on it until it flows from your lips like warm honey on a sopaipilla. Oh, for gosh sakes, look it up. Anyway . . .
You might be a Taoseno if:

1. You might never get the chance to have one, but you know that a real house is made of mud.

2. Three or more of your best friends have the same last name but are not really related.

3. Three or more of your best friends have the same last name and they are related.

4. You are related to three or more of your best friends, regardless of your last name.

5. You used to hunt rabbits where you now live.

6. You forget your street address, but you can tell anyone how to get to your house . . . based on a large cottonwood and a big dog in the neighbor's yard.

7. You know the locations of at least two hippie communes.

8. You may have never seen it, but you know about the purple orb.

9. You still call it the Moly Mine.

10. You know the differences between chili from Michael's, Orlando's, and the Plaza Grill. And why they matter.

11. You could sell your house and land and buy a small county back in the United States.

12. You remember when the Swap Shop was in English in the mornings, Spanish in the afternoons, and Tiwa in the evenings.


  1. Don't believe I am a Taoseno, but I do give a hoot what you have to say and have for many years. Glad Meg sent info on your blog. Blaine

  2. Gasp! It's official. I'm following a blog.

    FYI: to make an ñ you need to press and hold the Alt key and type 164 on the number keypad. If you do not have a number keypad learn how to turn on your number lock. It's usually a small key somewhere in the upper right hand corner of your laptop's ridiculously insufficient keyboard. Now do you see those little numbers on the uiojkl and m keys? Those and the 789 keys form the laptop's number keypad. Why can't you just type Alt 164 with the usual keyboard numerals? Because computer geeks are generally not liberal arts majors, that's why.

  3. To say I am a Taoseño at heart would be an understatement! Thank you Shelby for helping me find my ñ - it's been missing since I got this "new" computer, hmmmm, 5 years ago!

    Dad, I now discovered why I just never totoally fit in most places I move. I think it's the lack of hippie communes and purple orbs. Yes, I have seen it....

    You make my heart smile. My lips can't right now, I am doing my oil swishing - are you?