Notes From a Relationship Self-help Book Junkie
You read that right and this is an article all about sex! The hot, steamy, lusty, juicy, loud and noisy, toe-curling kind of sex, right? Wrong. I don't share my hard-won secrets of sexual satisfaction anymore, not that they were all that secretive. They just didn't lead to the kind of satisfaction that I and millions of other people seem to crave and can't seem to find or keep. Relationship book sales continue to rise right along with the divorce rate, which has quadrupled in this country over the past 40 years. The Census Bureau recently predicted that half of all marriages now occurring will end in divorce while the percentage of people who never marry is increasing rapidly despite the sexual revolution and a national obsession to produce more and better orgasms as a path to a better relationship.
Ranchers, Navajos and enviros sue BLM
Every 10 years or so, the U.S. Department of Interior reviews our nation's natural resource management policies, and then officials determine things like how many drilling and mining permits will be issued to private industries.
Legislature offers compromise bill to clarify new water utility authority
Following all the controversy surrounding the new Bernalillo County-Albuquerque Water Utility Authority, it appears the state Legislature has resolved to modify the bill that created the new, third government agency in 2003, instead of granting the wish of Mayor Martin Chavez, who wanted the water board dissolved.
Sandwiched between the Super Bowl and New Mexico's Democratic Presidential Caucus, playing opposite Bush's Budget of Ballooning Baloney, and going head-to-head with Punxsutawney Phil, the Feb. 2 City Ccouncil meeting adjourned in less than two hours.
Local coverage ignores elderly outrage
I'm told that very few (if any) of the congressmen and women who voted on it had even read the full 681 densely packaged pages of mind-numbing prose that made up the latest Medicare Reform legislation when they acted on it last Fall.
Undermining the planned growth strategy
I may be the only who feels this way, but the most offensive part of the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake Super Bowl fandango (which overshadowed the event's "family-friendly" advertisements for beer, erectile dysfunction and flatulence) was Timerblake's apparent belief that he's some sort of hip-hop gangsta from the hood representing his homies. Watching Timberlake (of suburban Memphis) crotch-grab his way around the stage you got the sense that his ’tude is about as natural as the silicone in Jackson's breasts. A few years ago, Timberlake was singing high tenor for the Mouseketeer Club but overnight (did Mickey "dis" him on the mean streets of the Magic Kingdom?) he's acting like he's got the same street cred as Dr. Dre, Eminen and 50 Cent.
Dateline: South Africa—A retired surgeon and his brother were killed in Polokwane last Friday when their homemade hyperbaric chamber exploded. Dr. Paul Eloff, 76, was undergoing treatment for poor blood circulation inside the pressurized oxygen chamber located in his brother's back yard. Eloff's brother Gerhard, 66, was standing near the heavy steel cylinder with his 27-year-old son Georg when the device exploded. The blast ripped open the steel wall of the cylinder, which was between four and six inches thick, and shattered windows on surrounding houses. Dr. Eloff's remains were found about 30 feet away from the chamber. Its hatch lay about 50 feet away. Georg escaped with only minor injuries, but the elderly brothers were killed instantly. “The remains were taken away in plastic bags. It was horrific,” neighbor Marieta Herselman told South Africa's Sunday Times. “It was like scraping leaves together in your garden and putting them in plastic bags.” A police spokesman confirmed that the chamber was a “homemade thing and they didn't have a license for it.” Hyperbaric treatment was originally developed to treat deep-sea divers for “the bends.” It is now used for a variety of ailments including carbon monoxide poisoning, anemia, bone infections and burns.
A handful of us Bud-swilling, queso-consuming, Janet Jackson's boob-ogling partygoers powered through about a pound of the new black and white M&M's on Super Bowl Sunday. As you must already know, the different colored candy-coated chocolates don't taste noticeably different from each other. This is not surprising. But you might get a kick out of testing yourself the next time you sit down to a basket of tricolor tortilla chips. Because blue corn chips are made from a different kind of corn it seems logical that they might not taste exactly like white or yellow chips. And the bright red chips, which might be made with red corn but must also use some food coloring, have a completely novel flavor. While you're waiting for your food to come, eat a few regular white or yellow chips just to familiarize yourself with the flavor. Then break off three similar-sized chunks of the different colored chips into your hand. Close your eyes and shuffle them around a bit then pop one in your mouth. Chew it up and try to guess which one you're eating. You'll probably recognize the regular chip right away. Blue corn chips are often denser, grainier with a more earthy flavor. The red chips are mellower, almost sweet. There, that's your new party trick. I hope it wins you a few bets and a free margarita or two.
Roadrunner Food Bank's annual Souper Bowl, held on Jan. 24, raised more than $30,000 for hunger relief. The food bank provides more than a million pounds of food every month to homeless shelters, food pantries and soup kitchens throughout New Mexico. More than 20 restaurants competed in the Souper Bowl, serving up samples to hundreds of hungry guests who then voted for their favorites. Copeland's of New Orleans won first place for their crawfish and corn bisque; Ranchers Club's seafood bisque earned second place and Trattoria Trombino took third with an unlikely sounding favorite: spinach and mascarpone soup. A panel of six judges also chose favorites in a blind tasting. Critics' Choice Awards went to McGrath's at the Hyatt (green chile chicken with wild rice), Copeland's of New Orleans (the crawfish and corn bisque again) and Peppers of Albuquerque (green chile crab chowder with red chile dumplings). Flying Star Cafés and Gold Street Caffe tied for the Best Presentation award. Desserts were more prominent at this year's Souper Bowl and several stood out. The Marriott Pyramid wowed the crowd with a sparkling apple cider dessert soup, chocolate passion fruit mousse, lemon cream puffs and chocolate espresso pyramids.
The ultimate topping for necks, nipples and Neapolitan ice cream
If you spend any time doing Valentine's shopping at adult gift shops or chocolate shops you'll probably run across jars of chocolate body paint. This stuff can be a recipe for a sexy (if sticky) night of fun but not if the chocolate paint tastes cheap and fake as most of them do. So we set out to make a chocolate sauce that would leave you licking your lips whether it's used to write a love letter across your lover's back or top a bowl of ice cream. We tried easy methods like simply melting chocolate chips and coating chocolate but couldn't come up with a sauce that had the two essential qualities we were looking for: rich, deep chocolatey flavor and a thick, dark, glossy look that would be perfect for painting. Eventually we came up with a recipe that gets instense flavor from cocoa powder, just enough sweetness from a simple syrup and a touch of richness and shine from butter. We can't guarantee it won't ruin your sheets but we can bet you probably won't care.
Fried Butter: A Food Memoir by Abe Opincar (Hardcover, Soho Press, $18)
Sometimes you just don't have the mental hunger to sink your teeth into a big, meaty novel, especially if—like many of us—you only get the time to read right before bed. It's late, you're tired and by tomorrow night you'll have forgotten everything you read during tonight's last waking moments. That's when books like Fried Butter are particularly appetizing. Abe Opincar's memoir is a collection of very short stories, brief invitations to moments in his life that might seem entirely unrelated were they not all linked by the presence, taste and aroma of food. Though this menu of literary tapas is food-themed, it is much richer for its moments of bare emotion and frank self-reflection.
Heartbroken—If you're one of those cynical, unromantic types, then I'm afraid there's a reason to be even more cynical this coming holiday. Despite a certain amount of ballyhoo last week, the Alibi's Midnight Movie Madness screening of My Bloody Valentine scheduled for Feb. 13 and 14 has been cancelled. Though we had hoped to provide a romance-free zone this Valentine's Day with a showing of the classic 1981 slasher flick, Paramount Pictures determined that their last surviving print of the film was unsuitable for public viewing. (Would have been nice if they'd figured that out when we booked it a couple weeks ago.) Digging up these old film prints is a difficult and often frustrating task. It's downright scary to find out that these films may soon be unavailable. Seems that the print of My Bloody Valentine has been trashed over the years and Paramount just doesn't want to let it out the doors. It's a shame, and we're sorry to have raised the hopes of all you moviegoers looking for a good old-fashioned pickaxe murder to help coax your date into your lap this Valentine's Day. Looks like you're on your own now. Again, we're very sorry for the cancellation, but we'll be back in a week or so with a new Midnight Movie Madness offering.
Robert McNamara answers the question, “War: What is
it good for?”
In The Fog of War, the riveting new documentary by Errol Morris (Gates of Heaven, The Thin Blue Line, A Brief History of Time), former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara declares, “The human race needs to think more about killing.” While it sounds rather chilling, he's right any way you look at it. The key word here is “think.” And The Fog of War is nothing if not a think piece.
An interview with screenwriter Julie Reichert
The year 1984 was a watershed for breakdance cinema, with the release of Breakin', Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, Beat Street, Delivery Boys and Body Rock (starring a young Lorenzo Lamas). The following year saw a tiny spate of follow-up films (Krush Groove, Rappin'), but the trend (cinematically speaking, anyway) seemed short-lived.
In yet another boneheaded decision by a local band, the formerly brilliantly named Mr. Spectacular have officially and rather unfortunately changed their name to Fivehundred, which, in my opinion, is meaningless and utterly forgetable, quite unlike the band formerly known as Mr. Spectacular. For their sake, let's hope they make their upcoming South By Southwset appearance as Mr. Spectacular, the band the SXSW folks are expecting. Congratulations, guys. And shame on you. ... The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, who are not considering a name change, will host their first-ever media auction on Thursday, Feb. 12, at the NMSO offices at 4407 Menaul NE. Attendees will have the opportunity to cast their bids on more than 50 lots, including valuable advertising packages from many of Albuquerque's top media outlets. KKOB-AM afternoon windbag Jim Villanucci will provide stand-up comedy, while members of the NMSO will provide music during the event. All proceeds from the auction will benefit NMSO's youth education programs. Tickets are $20. Call 881-8999 for more information. ... If I don't mention the following this week, Mary B will hunt me down and kill me: Mary B and her parent company, 89.9-FM KUNM, will present Texas polka legends Brave Combo for the 713th time on Friday, Feb. 27, at the Paramount in Santa Fe, and for the 714th time on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Sunshine Theater. Stay tuned to future issues for a full preview of these Polish-friendly events.
Thanks to its unforgettable opening melody, which invariably insinuates its way into the heart, Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto has earned a deservedly permanent place in the repertoire. Arcadi Volodos' rendition of the concerto is the third to arrive from a major label in the past few months. As with the other two, the first featuring Lang Lang backed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim (Universal Classics), the other showcasing 2001's Eleventh Van Cliburn International Piano Competition winner Olga Kern and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Christopher Seaman (Harmonia Mundi), the recording is available as an SACD-hybrid multi-channel disc.
with Bouncing Souls, Longshot and Let It Burn
Thursday, Feb. 19; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 7 p.m.): Somewhere between Quicksand's post-hardcore fury, Social Distortion's three-chord Californicated version of the Ramones' classic sound and At the Drive In's clear-cut emo, you'll find the Hot Water Music sound. Sure, tons of other comparisons can be drawn (Burning Airlines, late-era Helmet, the entire stable of Dischord bands circa 1989, and so on), but the only thing you really need to know is that of all the bands currently treading emo's ever quaking, never-quite-solid ground, Hot Water Music tread the lightest and with the biggest stick. Their various and wide range of influences are pressure cooked within the confines of Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard's twin guitar/lead vocal blast furnace, then simmered into thick post-punk riffs and near-anthemic choruses.
with Thin Lizzy
Tuesday, Feb. 17; Kiva Auditorium (Albuquerque Convention Center, all ages, 7:30 p.m.): Laugh out loud all you want, but Albuquerque is nothing if not a classic rock town. At one time in the not-so-distant past, our city boasted the most classic rock radio stations in the entire Western United States. And they all thrived, right up until those two companies bought up all the radio stations in the Western United States.
with the spirit of Jerry Garcia
Tuesday, Feb. 17; Stella Blue (21 and over, 9 p.m.): In the spirit of not letting dead Garcias lie, the Dark Star Orchestra tour the country presenting excruciatingly detailed reenactments of Grateful Dead shows, set list for set list, song for song, concert for concert. Going far beyond the realm of most "tribute" bands, the Dark Star Orchestra recreate specific Dead shows given on specific dates, which they keep secret until the encore of each show. They even go so far as to present the shows using replicas of the instruments the Dead used for the original performances. The audience, some of whom may have seen the Dead show to be played out once again, can get clues as to the date of the original show by checking mic number and placement, keyboard setup, guitar and bass varieties, etc., assuming that attending Grateful Dead shows has been their life's work. A Dark Star Orchestra show is just like being dead all over again.
Puddle of Mudd are like the book-learners you went to high school with: They studied Nirvana and the grunge movement with precision only to come away with a sterile knowledge of the music but no feel for its underlying soul. They're moderately effective emulators, but there's nary an original idea in their collective head. Life on Display is a bland, repetitive exercise in music that meant something a dozen years ago. Bereft of hooks or exemplary songwriting, it falls flat on its face in its first seconds and doesn't bother to struggle to its feet. Frat dicks will love it.
You'll never view the Bible in the same way again. El Jardín tweaks the bejesus out of the story of Adam and Eve, retelling the ancient Judeo-Christian myth in a way that spoofs everything from the Catholic Church to historic scholarship to colonialism to racism and gender bias. This bilingual play by Carlos Morton also presents a genuine slice of vintage Chicano protest theater as this genre first developed in the late '60s and early '70s.
Karmic Debt at the Tricklock Performance Space
Shenoah Allen—that dirty, dirty dog—lied to me. A week or two ago, he told me that his new one-man show, Karmic Debt, which just opened at the Tricklock Performance Space, would be extremely dark. He made it sound like he'd be torturing small animals on stage while exploring what it would be like to suffer from the simultaneous effects of leprosy, Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia. He promised a tiny glimmer of light at the end, but I still expected his new show to be macabre and depressing.
The politics of love gets the ruthless skewering it deserves in Sleep With Me!, a play by award-winning local playwright Susan Erickson. A dentist named Elliot comes to terms with his wife's affair with an FBI agent in ways that can hardly be considered constructive. The result is a zany romantic comedy that will be fun for a substantial fraction of the whole family. Sleep With Me! runs through March 7. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 6 p.m. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. 247-8600.
The Bush administration doesn't want dissenters to be seen or heard.
When President Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up “free speech zones” or “protest zones” where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined. These zones routinely succeed in keeping protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event.
Union? No. The fight for a union at La Montañita Food Co-op is over and workers have lost. Pro-union workers, sounding sad and defeated, have reported that the union representing them has stopped unionization efforts before it came to an employee vote because of lack of support.
The International Aerospace and Machinists' Union (IAM), which is representing the workers, requires a pre-vote poll to see if the majority of workers support a union. If enough workers had signed their names, pledging that they would vote for a union in the upcoming election, the process would have continued as planned and the election, scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 4, would have occured.
Your business has been chosen for a feature article in the New Mexico Business Journal. ... Imagine that. Your business is doing such a great job, leading the way in productivity, efficiency, employee retention, customer service and satisfaction, well-paying job creation and just about every other newsworthy category and, as a result, a monthly business magazine wants to do a story on you.
New Mexico family's ties severed
They never knew what hit ’em.
In a swift move orchestrated by former Colorado U.S. Senator Hank Brown, the billion-dollar charitable foundation created by Bill Daniels, a Denver-based cable television magnate with strong family and business ties to New Mexico, has been neatly highjacked and converted into yet another tax shelter and money funnel for right-wing, political causes.
Dateline: Swaziland—In this week's good news/bad news category comes word that the king of Swaziland has officially postponed the start of the school year in his country. Unfortunately, the week-long delay is so that young boys can participate in one of Swaziland's most sacred rituals—weeding the royal fields. Opposition leaders and many parents have criticized the move by King Mswati, which affects some 30,000 students who attend the kingdom's state schools. The weeding is the last part of the traditional Incwala rituals, in which Swazis selebrate the start of the harvest season and sanctify the monarchy. “I have no problem with culture, but it should be dynamic and must not supersede daily routines that make the country tick,” said opposition leader Mario Musuku, who has three children in school. “This is a clear sign of absolute dictatorship.”
Westside needs a vision that the rest of the city can buy into
The Westside secession movement represents many things: disappointment with the failure of the $52 million road bond package to pass last October, frustration with City Hall's inability to effectively address very real Westside traffic problems, exasperation with the lack of the same sort of north-south/east-west road grid west of the Rio Grande that exists east of the river and the belief—whether it's real or imagined—that Albuquerque has the same amount of love for the Westside as Natalie Maines does for Toby Keith.
Goddess of Arno, Burque's premier Balkan dance band, will host their first Balkan dance party of 2004 on Saturday, Feb. 7, at R.B. Winning Coffee Company at 8 p.m. (Beginner dance lessons will be given at 7:30 p.m.) Cost is a meager five bucks, and kids under 12 are admitted free. Also that night, reggae fans can get their groove on at the Sunshine Theater in the company of Michael Franti and Spearhead. ... The following evening, local bands Dead City, Cole Mitchell and the Currs and Rakes of Mallow will rock the Atomic. ... In non-musical, but nonetheless important, news: The Monte del Sol Charter School will present Moises Kaufman's “The Laramie Project” on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6 and 7 at Warehouse 21 in Santa Fe. All ages are welcome for $5. Both shows begin at 7 p.m. Call (505) 989-4423 for more information. ... Jason and the Argonauts, led by the incomparable Jason Daniello, are headed out for a long-ish tour of Arizona and northeast Texas beginning on Feb. 6 in support of their recent live album. And, with any luck, they'll get back to discover they've been invited to SXSW, and will be headed to Austin along with the 12 Step Rebels and Mr. Spectacular for the festival that begins March 17.
He's written 15 books, some 300 art songs, and dozens of orchestral, chamber and choral works. Yet despite winning the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for his orchestral piece Air Music, earning renown as America's undisputable living master of the vocal idiom, and enjoying the luxury of spending the past 40 years of his life only writing music on commission, composer Ned Rorem has until now seen his early symphonies largely ignored.
with special guests
Wednesday, Feb. 11; Launchpad (21 and over, 9 p.m.): The Deathray Davies' latest record, Midnight at the Black Nail Polish (Glurp) makes it difficult to believe that Dallas doesn't have a “London District” the way big cities have Chinatowns, Little Italies and the like. But that six Texans can sound so convincingly Brit-pop is only part of the story. The other, more important part is that the Deathray Davies make Brit-pop with teeth—cleverness, melodic sensibility, warbling organ and all. These guys write songs that are guaranteed to tug at the heartstrings of any self-respecting XTC fan, likewise fans of Flaming Lips. But the band also employ undercurrents of early Sonic Youth, Hüsker Dü and just about every '60s garage and snotty '80s new wave band you can think of.
With hooks worthy of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, cleverly biting lyrics and surprisingly little pretentiousness, the Deathray Davies may just be the most perfect pop band in the world.
A local musician profile
Local musician and teacher Kevin Kinane is a Renaissance Man is the truest sense. He's played drums with some of the biggest bands in town, performed as a multi-instrumentalist with countless other local bands and as a solo artist. His musical endeavors, from his stint with the relatively straightforward rock ensemble, The Withdrawals, to his alter-egos Daddy Long Loin and Recycle-Man, have always been cutting-edge in Kinane's own way. But he's also found a way to channel his creativity and genuine love for all things musical into programs that benefit local children.
Consisting of guitarists Hank Shermann and Michael Denner of Mercyful Fate, two members of King Diamond's “solo” band and singer Martin Steene, Force of Evil is essentially Mercyful Fate (or King Diamond) without King Diamond. To his credit, Steene doesn't often attempt to mimick Diamond's caterwaul, but he does manage to employ every Satanic cliché in the metal canon. The lyrics are laughable, but the music is Don't Break the Oath-era piercing, with Shermann and Denner offering up a solid duel attack. Not exactly groundbreaking, but not entirely bad, either.
Palestinian Pic—The “People Before Profit” film/lecture series returns on Thursday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. with a screening of Jenin, Jenin. The film is described as a riveting and troubling documentary account of the Israeli Defense Force's spring 2002 military invasion of the Jenin Refugee camp deep in the Palestinian West Bank. The night's speaker will be Ben Jones, who recently returned from a three-month tour in Jenin, Palestine, working with the International Solidarity Movement. The screening/lecture is free and open to the public and will take place at the Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center (202 Harvard SE).
In the arena it's a winner; out of the arena it's on thin ice
The pleasantly sentimental sports drama Miracle begins with an under-the-credit montage of news footage spanning the decade 1970-79: Vietnam ends, Nixon quits, disco runs rampant, Carter gets elected, gas dries up, Russia invades Afghanistan. The sequence exists solely to inform viewers under the age of 23 that, yes, kids, there really was a decade known as the '70s. The makers of “That '70s Show” wouldn't lie to you. Those who lived it, however, may find their slumbering sense of nostalgia tweaked just enough to realize the horrible implications of this movie: Not only will we be exposing ourselves to the horror that is “hockey hair,” but we'll be combining it with the decade that gave us feathered locks on men. Hockey hairdos in the '70s? Could there be a more frightening skeleton in our nation's closet?
Nazi thriller not so thrilling
The controversial new thriller The Statement requires a certain suspension of disbelief from viewers. It's not the film's central conceit that the Catholic Church was complicit in the extermination of Jews during World War II that's hard to swallow. It's not even the idea that modern-day European church and government officials may be engaging in a conspiracy to hide former Nazi collaborators. No, the purely fantastical part is asking audiences to swallow Michael Caine as a Frenchmen.
Maria Chabot was 26 years old and Georgia O'Keeffe was 53 when the two women met in New Mexico in 1940 and quickly became friends. Chabot, an aspiring writer, began spending summers at the famous painter's Ghost Ranch. Later, she organized the restoration of O'Keeffe's decaying adobe house in Abiquiu.
The Three Athenas and A Royal Flush at 516 Magnífico Artspace
There's something serenely calming about the three towers Rachel Stevens has installed in the front chamber of 516 Magnífico Artspace. Suspended from long, white hooks, The Three Athenas stretch 24 feet from ceiling to floor, but they never quite make it all the way down, hovering just slightly, an inch or so above the floor. If you ask nicely, the gallery's administrators will even lift up the metal and fabric hoops and let you step inside so you can stare up into Athena's hollow interior, or out through the white mesh like a bird trapped in a cage.
Harwood Art Center
Frank Melcori and Karen Fox do some serious clowning in a new bit of nontraditional movement theater taking place starting this Friday at the Harwood Art Center. Melcori plays the clown Pantalone. Fox plays the clown Akira-me. Both move around in a lonely, post-apocalyptic world, bringing life to their layered, idiosyncratic, experimental allegory. Expect The History of Pantalone ... Before the End to be more Beckett than Barnum & Bailey. The show runs Fridays at 8 p.m. through Feb. 27. $10. 242-6367.
The morning-after's ultimate parting gift: a hearty breakfast
You roll over on Sunday morning and look at the clock glowing 7:45. Your head hurts, you roll the other direction and see her. Suddenly it all comes back to you: playing pool, drinking beer, the cute girl, late-night whiskey shots, bringing her back to your house. And she's still in your bed!
Up in upper Nob Hill lies a very cool little restaurant and coffee shop called The Café Next Door, so named because it is attached to Sisters and Brothers alternative bookstore (4013 Silver SE, 266-7321). And if alternatives are what you're looking for, you'll certainly find them here. The menu is small but chock full of none-too-common dining options like wheat-free rye sandwich bread, vegan mozzarella, miso mayonnaise, organic coffee and soy ice-cream. Those of you who think you would never touch soy ice-cream with a 10-foot spoon might reconsider if your dining companion happened to order a two-scoop sundae topped with caramel and chocolate sauce (as mine did). No, it really doesn't taste as good as ice cream, but if I were a vegan or lactose intolerant I would probably really enjoy a soy sundae. Even more surprising was the vegan tofu “egg” salad. If you guessed that there weren't any eggs in that egg salad you'd be correct. But if you guessed that it tasted like wet cardboard you'd be wrong again. The stuff wouldn't pass for egg salad but it was reminiscent of the real thing and didn't incur any tastebud objections. Shocking but true. Check this place out for coffee, sandwiches or dessert any day of the week.
Uh-oh, Valentine's Day is creeping up and you've neglected to make plans. Some of the most popular, most “romantic” dining destinations are already completely booked but most still have reservations available. Take a look through this week's “Chowtown” listings for our recommendations on lovebird grub. If you're single (and loving it!) you might ignore Feb. 14 completely or you might choose to celebrate your freedom by dining out with similar-minded friends. Get drunk! Eat like pigs! Be equally affectionate with all of your table mates and make the other patrons think you're having a meeting of the Polygamy Society! Wait, you say you weren't planning on making plans? Don't worry, wallowing in self pity is always on the menu for Valentines. Here's a simple recipe: Take one bottle of extremely cheap wine, add one bag sour cream and cheddar-flavored potato chips and one pint triple-chocolate chunk ice cream. Combine with four hours of Lifetime Television for Women and let the big tears roll! Best if served with one box Kleenex and one stack of old love letters.
If you're going to pay more for them you should know why
It's gotten so that even simple foods aren't so simple anymore. Who could have expected that we'd one day be comparing nutrition labels on cartons of eggs? But scientists and farmers have discovered that changes in their hens' feed can result in eggs that carry nutritional features attractive to consumers. It's entirely possible that we will one day have eggs that fight the flu, strep throat or athlete's foot. At least for now there is a limited number of features boasted by those cardboard cartons. As you're evaluating one box versus another (and whether you should pay more for “designer” eggs), keep these terms and definitions in mind.
Westside land deal smacks of insider politics and failed policies of the past
When public officials announced that the Tempur-Pedic Swedish Mattress factory will start construction along Paseo del Volcan in the far outskirts of town this spring, the big news was that the company will bring 300 new manufacturing jobs to Albuquerque in the next few years.
Will a unionized workforce hurt or help La Montañita Co-op?
Even before she worked at La Montañita Co-op in Nob Hill, Kerry Brumbaugh shopped there. She lived closer to Smith's grocery store on Lead, but said she never shopped there because, “I felt like it was my social responsibility to shop at the Co-op.”
Truth-squading. Immediately following President Bush's State of the Union speech last week, Robert G. Kaiser, the Washington Post's associate editor, went online to offer instant analysis and take questions from readers. One of the questions came from a Cleveland, Ohio resident, asking: “Maybe I am hopelessly naive, but why aren't obvious lies in Bush's State of The Union called out immediately?”
Honeymoon could sour over public safety tax money
The new city council's honeymoon with the Chavez administration has been a refreshing period of municipal calm and domestic tranquility, a mood starkly in contrast to our recent history in which mayor/council relations have more resembled a barroom brawl at One Civic Plaza than a walk on the beach.
After enduring the gooey dishonesty of Bush's State of the Union speech, it was heartening to spend the next evening, Wednesday, Jan. 21, seeing Albuquerqeans debate in good faith the emotionally fraught and technically complex WIPP shipment bill. Council President Michael Cadigan was absent and Vice President Eric Griego chaired the meeting.
“The L Word,” Showtime's drama about lesbian life, premiers in Albuquerque to a full house
“One thing that cuts across all our realities, that bridges all our differences, that's love,” Pam Grier shouts at Jennifer Beals in the new television series “The L Word.”
Dateline: Russia—A family in frozen southern Siberia has been forced to seek help after giving shelter to a stranded baby flamingo, the ITAR-TASS news agency has reported. Exhausted by its journey, the rare bird had taken shelter in the Muravyov family's home in the village of Verkhny Markovo near Irkutsk. The young flamingo was living out the winter in the family's old wooden house warmed by the heat of a single wood stove. Recently, however, temperatures in Siberia plummeted to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The Muravyovs felt that their houseguest might be in danger of freezing to death and appealed for help. Local zoos weren't sure what to do with the tropical bird. Assistance eventually came from the cultural center of the regional railway workers' association at Severobaikalsk, on the shores of Lake Baikal several hundred miles away. Personnel at the center invited the flamingo to take up residence in their winter garden, where it now enjoys nearly 1,000 square feet of floor space that includes a wide variety of tropical plants and a small fountain.
It's official: The New Mexico Showcase is toast. Last week, I reported that a conversation with NM Showcase mastermind Michael Feferman had revealed that the showcase was on indefinite hold while he works on his master's degree in Austin, Texas. Two days after the issue hit the stands, I got an e-mail from Feferman saying the event had been officially retired. During its three-year run, the NM Showcase hosted upward of 100 local bands at venues all over the state. Kudos to Michael Feferman and everyone else who made the event possible. ... The 16th Annual Folk Alliance Conference is scheduled for Feb. 26-29 in San Diego, Calif. Registration is now open. Folk Alliance members get the whole enchilada—concerts, workshops, panel discussions, etc.—for a cool $480. Non-members will pay $560. Visit www.folk.org to register or for more information. ... The Sweat Band have changed their name to The Foxx. Bad idea. But that's just my opinion. I've never supported band name changes unless key members leave, the music or image changes significantly and/or the new name is monumentally better than the old one. Besides, why erase all the name recognition and buzz you've worked so hard to create? ... Jazz fans rejoice! The Outpost Performance Space will kick off its 2004 spring season on Saturday, Feb. 21, with two shows by incomparable singer Cassandra Wilson at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 general, $30 Outpost members and I predict a quick sellout, so get 'em now at the Bookstop (268-8898) or the Outpost (268-0044).
Tuesday, Feb. 3; Popejoy Hall (all ages, 7:30 p.m.): Even the most gifted artistic genius, it is believed, will one day find his or her well run dry. The technique and desire remain, but there comes a time when all such artists must accept that their creative spark has burned out, right? Don't be so sure. Flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia, regarded the world over as the master of that particular art, is one of the rare ones: a brilliant musician who continues to move forward in spite of conventional thinking.
De Lucia's latest release, Cositas Buenas (Verve), is proof positive. Here, de Lucia eschews several signatures associated with previous masterworks in exchange for a more deeply personal approach that is affecting in an entirely new way. Gone is the sextet with whom de Lucia has recorded and toured for the past decade. What remains for the most part is de Lucia himself, and his guitar. His astonishing technique remains intact, as do his trademark bold explorations. But other than a couple of guest vocalists and palmas (handclaps), Cositas Buenas is a revealing musical excursion by a rare genius.
with The Cadillac Bob Band and Alex Maryol
Friday, Jan. 30; El Rey Theater (21 and over, 8 p.m.): When it comes to rock 'n' roll, Bo knows, well ... just about everything. In some respects, Bo Diddley is rock 'n' roll, or at least what it originally was. The 76-year-old guitar slinger from McComb, Miss., along with Chuck Berry, Little Richard and a few select others, had a big hand in developing the sound that would change the way the world listened to music. For his efforts, Diddley has maintained celebrity-hood for more than four decades and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
with Cracker (or vice-versa)
Wednesday, Feb 4; The Paramount (Santa Fe, 21 and over, 8:30 p.m.): To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure exactly how this tour is working. I can't seem to get confirmation on whether David Lowery and the other members of Camper Van Beethoven will perform CVB songs or David Lowery and the other members of Cracker will perform CVB songs, and then perform as Cracker. Either way, you should plan to catch this show based solely on the fact that Lowery is a songwriting genius whose got more cynicism and lyrical flair in his little finger than most of us have in our entire bodies.
Guitarist Robert Randolph kicks ass in a Jeff Healy kind of way. His main axe is the pedal steel, from which he's able to coax chordal passages that sound as if they're coming from a Telecaster and solos that, like Healy's ghostly slide work, are more articulate than those you've come to expect from guys with only six strings to deal with. Randolph doesn't create all his magic on the pedal steel, but what he's able to do on the instrument is otherworldly. This, his second record, is cohesive, energetic and jaw-droppingly superlative in terms of songwriting and performance.
Basement Walls—Basement Films is returning to The Walls Gallery (510 Central Ave. SE) for “Pixels and Grain,” a night of new experimental film and video works from local and not-so-local filmmakers. The evening will include works from Albuquerque artists/filmmakers Sherlock Terry, Jesse Derleers, Blake Gibson and Charla Barker, Portland-area filmmakers Matt McCormick and Naomi Uman, Canadian filmmaker Garinene Torossian and New York video artist Wago Kreider. Total run time is about 80 minutes for this eclectic collection of shorts. For more information (including handy, dandy film descriptions), log on to www.basementfilms.org.
This wordless wonder is a weird, witty winner
With all the hoopla surrounding the release of Pixar's Finding Nemo and with all of Disney's dour predictions about the end of “traditional” animation (a claim only borne out by crap like DreamWorks' Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas), it's easy to miss a humbly beautiful little garnet like The Triplets of Belleville. This old-fashioned, hand-animated cartoon won't land any McDonald's endorsements, it won't get a splashy 2,000-screen release and, come February, it will lose the Best Animated Film Oscar to the aforementioned Finding Nemo. But true animation lovers will know, in their heart of hearts, who the real winner is.
Painterly picture looks pretty, feels pretty slow
Based on writer Tracy Chevalier's best-selling academic potboiler, Girl with a Pearl Earring is a slow, stoic but achingly beautiful glimpse into the life of Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer as seen through the eyes of an impressionable young maid in his employ.
Some writers write for money. Some write for fame. Others write just for kicks. Every once in a while, though, you'll come across a scribe who puts pen to paper intending to change the world.
Roberto Rugerio Guerrero at the Dartmouth Street Gallery
When you first glance at Roberto Rugerio Guerrero's paintings, they seem almost quaint. The muted hues—grays, browns, deadened oranges and blues—combined with his angular, fragmented, feminine forms are reminiscent of work by the major early 20th century Cubists: Braque, Gris, Leger, Picasso.
National Hispanic Cultural Center
Back in October, a one-night-only performance of The Chronicles of Odisia Sanchez, a play by Mónica Sánchez, sold out fast as lightning. This time Sánchez' play about a woman's journey from San Francisco deep into the heart of Mexico will run for two weekends, exploring relations between the first world and the third. Reservations are advisable. The show runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Feb. 8. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. 246-2261.
Bookish events in February
Local writers will be peddling their deliciously decadent homemade smut at Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande NW, (505) 344-8139) on Feb. 14, at 7 p.m. Well, all right, maybe it isn't exactly smut. We sophisticated types prefer the term "erotic writing." Whatever you want to call it, you can steam up your otherwise chilly Valentine's Day by heading down to the store to listen to sexy, sensual passages read by Kate Horsley, Lisa Lenard-Cook, Demetria Martinez, V.B. Price, David Stuart and Sharon O. Warner.
Life is so unfair. Sure, you can eat all the bacon, butter and cheese you want and still lose weight. But just try to cheat with a couple of Cheetohs and poof! You look like Fat Monica in one of those “Friends” flashback episodes, complete with triple chin and an extra roll of fat that sticks out from beneath your bra. This stupid Atkins diet mania is pure hell. You try to behave when you're out to lunch but how can you enjoy your grilled chicken over shredded greens when the guy next to you is dunking every bite of his 24-ounce ribeye in a small vat of queso. And now Ben and Jerry's comes out with low-carb vanilla Swiss almond ice cream. Yeah, it's got 15 grams of fat per serving but if you play the Atkins game then it's virtually guilt free! Only two grams of carbs. Talk about cruel and unusual. Wouldn't it really be ideal if you could Atkins by the meal? Say at lunch you can have a mountain of rice vermicelli with a little grilled pork and heaps of vegetables and you've stayed on your lunchtime low-fat diet. But at dinner you get to have a bacon-wrapped steak and a big bowl of ice cream—as long as you don't have any of those wicked mashed potatoes. Now that diet sounds doable.
Did you know that McDonald's Crispy Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad has more fat than a Big Mac and an order of fries? With the dressing, it contains 50 grams of fat, about 70 percent of your daily allowance if you're not on a diet. Seriously. Don't kid yourself that you're eating healthy just because you're eating a salad. Lettuce on its own has very little nutritional value—or taste for that matter. So by the time you pile on cheese, croutons and ranch dressing, your salad has lost any advantage it might have had over a burger and fries. The way to win with salad is to pile on vegetables, not cheese, meat or fatty dressing. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over it, toss and then sprinkle with oil and vinegar or low-fat dressing (if you must). Use about a third of the amount you think you'll need. By the way, another common pitfall is juice. Before you pat yourself on the back for drinking lots of juice blends, look at the nutrition facts box on the back of the container and multiply the calories by the number of servings. A 300 calorie juice is not a diet food. It's empty sugar calories. Give it up.
Seventeen (or so) things you didn't know about your favorite treat
"Overrun" is an industry term for the amount of air that's whipped into commercial ice cream. That dense, creamy mouth-feel we all covet in premium brands is the result of about 10-25 percent air in the product. Less expensive ice creams will, as a rule, have more air in them (sometimes as much as 75 percent). Overrun amounts aren't listed on containers, so to make sure you're not getting shafted, we recommend you try this little experiment. Take a pint of fancy ice cream and a pint of value brand ice cream to the produce department and weigh them individually on the hanging scales. Subtract about one and a half ounces from each one to account for the weight of the container. Compare the weight difference (a pint with 25 percent overrun should weigh about 18 ounces) and be amazed! Turns out that pints of Godiva ice cream are more cost effective than buying those sticky plastic tubs of generic goo. In your face, prudence! Who's "frivolous" and "living beyond her means" now?
Tom Parr talks about his plans to open three Ben and Jerry's Scoop Shops this year
You and your family own seven Pudge Brothers Pizza joints. What made you decide to get involved with Ben and Jerry's ice cream?