They’re called crawfish. Or is it a crayfish? Some people even go so far as to call them mudbugs. It just depends on where you live, really. In France, les écrivisses are the height of haute cuisine on many a Michelin-starred menu. Here, under the molting cottonwoods of the Rio Grande valley, we just call them crawdads. Dangle a chicken leg over an irrigation ditch and they'll come skittering towards you, ready for dinner.
Miwako Kato laughed nervously as she began to lose her struggle against the current of the San Juan River. At 5’3”, 100 pounds, armpits deep in the icy, fast-moving river, Miwako would soon be in real trouble.
We moved to the North Valley in my single-digit years. My first week there, I tentatively explored the neighborhood, which looked so strange to me with its lack of sidewalks and surplus of green. I wanted to find some kids to hang out with. I found the ditch system instead.
The simplest place to fish in the city is, of course, Tingley Beach, a newly renovated recreation area consisting of three fishing ponds stocked with rainbow trout and catfish. This is the wrong destination if you want to get away from it all, especially on weekends when it's packed to the gills (heh, heh) with families. That said, it's definitely a great place to bring the kids. Once the new trees grow a bit bigger, it'll be even nicer. It's got a café and a miniature train that connects up with the zoo, the aquarium and the botanic garden. I'm told that fishing clinics are frequently offered there and volunteers circulate around the park to answer fishing questions. New Mexico Fish and Game agents are supposedly out in force, too, so make sure you have a license. Entrance is free. Tingley Beach is located just east of the river on Tingley Drive, south of Central. For more information, go to www.cabq.gov/biopark/tingley.
Unless you're under the age of 12, you’ll need a license if you're going to fish in New Mexico. You can pick one up at numerous outdoors and general stores around town. A license will allow you to fish from April 1 through March 31 of the following year. If you don’t have a valid license, and you’re caught, the penalty is $110 per rod. For details, call 222-4700 or go to www.wildife.state.nm.us.
La Llorona isn't the only monster you have to worry about if you plan to spend time loitering along Albuquerque's ditches. For years, I'd heard rumors of catfish lurking in those waters the length of full-grown men, with gaping, toothy maws 18-inches across, capable of swallowing small children whole, or chewing off an adult's leg.
Albuquerque's ditches can be deadly, as you'll learn when you go to this cautionary website: www.ditchesaredeadly.com. If you plan to fish in our city's ditches, use common sense and never swim in them.
Gay For (No) Pay--Organizers are gearing up for the 2006 Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, taking place right here in Albuquerque on Sept. 29-Oct. 5. In addition to accepting film submissions for this year’s fourth annual cinema soiree (check www.closetcinema.org for info on that), the SWGLFF is looking for volunteers to help put the event together. Are you a graphic designer? Do you have experience in fundraising? Or marketing? Are you just a film fanatic who wants to get his or her hands dirty? Volunteer coordinators, event planners, venue managers, print traffic coordinators, festival photographers and tons more positions are in need of filling. To sign up, just e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 243-1870. Log on to www.closetcinema.org/get_involved_volunteer.htm for a complete list of volunteer opportunities.
Digital filmmaking competition offers interactive opportunities for all
By Devin D. O’Leary
The Duke City Shootout is riding into Albuquerque, all guns a-blazing, for the sixth year in a row. The 2006 festival, brainchild of the local Digital Filmmaking Institute, will take place Friday, July 21, through Saturday, July 29. The purpose of the festival is to provide a venue in which a filmmaker’s vision can be realized--from script to screen--in a mere seven days (or, in some cases, less).
Horror comedy takes familiar story into animated territory
By Devin D. O’Leary
There are certain things that kids have always loved: bugs, pirates, monsters, fart jokes. All of these topics have been dutifully exploited by kids movies since time immemorial. (Admittedly, the fart jokes were a bit hard to pull off back in the silent film era, but I have no doubt somebody made the effort.) In this respect, the new CGI toon Monster House isn’t anything particularly out of the ordinary.
Kevin Smith goes back to his roots for some service with a smile
By Devin D. O’Leary
It’s hard to call Clerks II “comfort food.” Any film that features explicit discussions about the mating habits of hobbits, ATM sex (use the internet if you have to) and good, old-fashioned bestiality ... sorry, inter-species erotica doesn’t exactly fit the standard definition of “comfortable.” Nonetheless, Kevin Smith’s gleefully smut-mouthed return to form, Clerks II, feels like mom’s cooking, an old high school friend and your favorite childhood toy all rolled into one.
Cartoon Network has unleashed (so to speak) another “boy and his (not quite) dog” series with “Squirrel Boy.” The show follows the adventures of 9-year-old Andy Johnson (voiced by the ubiquitous Pamela Segall, who does Bobby on “King of the Hill”) and his pet squirrel Rodney J. Squirrel (Richard Steven Horvitz, who lent his vocal chords to “Invader Zim”). Andy’s your typical nerdy screw-up, Rodney’s your typical id-driven troublemaker. Put ’em together and it’s fun for the whole freakin’ family.
There’s nothing like a day at the Albuquerque Biological Park with the kiddies. There are flowering gardens, a really cool tank filled with neon-lit jelly fish, a gift shop overflowing with plastic aquatic creatures, and tons--and tons--of children. The idea of offspring is still somewhat of a mystery to me, but as they are our youngest consumers and our future food connoisseurs, I figure spending a meal discovering what restaurants feed them wasn’t the worst idea I’ve ever had. (My meatloaf on a stick idea was actually the worst.)
Wastewater treatment system at Jemez Pueblo provides interim solution at minimal cost
By Simon McCormack
For residents of Jemez Pueblo, solar power may have saved the day.
On July 5, the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) and the New Mexico Association of Energy Engineers (NMAEE) along with Jemez Pueblo celebrated the success of a solar-powered wastewater treatment system. The NMAEE awarded Jemez Pueblo Gov. James Roger Madalena with the Association’s “Environmental Project of the Year” award for the system, which has helped the pueblo decrease the smell given off by nearby wastewater lagoons while also eliminating the immediate risk of overflow from the lagoons into the Jemez River.
With all this rain falling on the Duke City--the backyard vegetable garden is growing wild; the crabgrass in the front yard has been miraculously resurrected--thoughts naturally turn to … the silvery minnow.
MySpace Matters—I'm stoked to note that MySpace updated its terms in the user agreement to include an explanation of how it handles the rights to material posted there [Thin Line, "Hey, This Isn't 'My'Space," May 18]. Thanks, Webmonkey, for pointing this out. All you MySpace users out there owe it to yourselves to look it up, especially if you are one of the bazillion bands on the site posting songs, lyrics and incessant event invites.
Dateline: Germany--A 61-year-old man, on trial for theft, didn’t do his case much good by stealing the judge’s keys during a court hearing. Police in the central town of Coburg said that while facing the bench, the man pocketed a bunch of keys belonging to the judge, who did not notice until he had left the room. When confronted by court officials in the bathroom, the man told them he had been shocked to discover the keys in his pocket. “He told them he realized how suspicious his story would sound and that he had therefore hidden the keys under a toilet brush,” said police spokesman Bernhard Schmitt. “He’d been stealing all his life so it was probably just an intuitive act.” The man wrote out a confession, but the initial trial had to be temporarily suspended on legal grounds in case the judge--who had just been robbed by the defendent--showed bias in the case.
Stabbed In Back, Moving Forward--It was only a matter of time. Stabbed In Back was scooped up by California's Basement Records and have just released their first EP, recorded under legendary punk drummer Bill Stevenson (Black Flag, Nig Heist, ALL and Descendents). So why haven't you heard of them?
It all started innocently enough, when newlyweds Maury and Connie Crandall were up late one night watching “The David Letterman Show.” The musical guest was terrible. So bad, in fact, the two agreed they could do better themselves and decided to form a band on the spot. The Giranimals were born, not unlike a secret pact made in a tree house.
Back in the fall of 2000, two friends practically begged me to accompany them to the Sunshine Theater for what they claimed would be an excellent Modest Mouse show. At that moment, I may as well have been a hobo because I had approximately $12 cash to my name. Somehow, though, I ended up Downtown.
The Duke City Shootout guerrilla digital filmmaking competition is shooting right now in downtown Albuquerque. If you think your music is good enough to be included in the project, e-mail an MP3 to email@example.com for consideration. Details at www.dukecityshootout.org. (LM)
Monday, July 31, Launchpad (all-ages); $8 in advance, $10 at the door: When Jim Suptic, one of the singers of the now dissolved Get Up Kids, started his own band, he knew he wanted to get back to the good old days of being part of a cohesive group.
Kropotkin Lives!—Ever heard of Autonomist Democracy of Albuquerque? Me neither. The group seems to be some kind of local anarchist organization. “Anarchist,” of course, is a loaded word these days. The ADA means it in the original sense of the term—that is, promoting voluntary social organization, direct democracy and consensus as the ideal building blocks of society. The group is having a benefit at Out ch'Yonda (929 Fourth Street SW) this Saturday, July 22, at 7 p.m. to raise funds for a planned alternative bookstore in this Barelas performance space. Sounds like a great idea. Admission is $6. For details, go to adacollective.org.
Holly Roberts and Miguel Gandert are both solidly established in the landscape of contemporary photography. For New Mexico Pics—an exhibit currently showing at the Harwood Art Center—the two curators invited 10 lesser known photographers, including Joan Myers, David Taylor, Ted Kuykendall, David Ondrik and Laurie Tümer, who in turn invited another 10 emerging photographers, for a total of 20 compositions by New Mexico-based photographers. The show does an excellent job of exploring the scope of contemporary photography in our state.
During his lifetime, famed Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos created a body of classical work that rivals all other 20th century competitors in terms of sheer dazzling creativity and accessibility. This weekend, Brazilian singer and playwright Silvia Lazo will present an inventive bit of chamber music theater based on Villa-Lobos' life and work as perceived through the eyes of his wife and collaborator, Lucilia. Paul Grove as Villa-Lobos will perform on guitar. Fred Sturm as “The Publisher” will perform on piano. The show runs Saturday, July 22, at 8 p.m. at UNM's Keller Hall. $12 general, $7 students/seniors. 277-4569.
Back in 2003, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl did just about everything right. The breezy mix of comedy, swashbuckling action, exotic locales and attractive stars made it a guaranteed summer blockbuster. Having perfected the formula in their first outing, the cast and crew have no recourse but to do it all over again for the sequel--only bigger, longer, louder, faster, more explosive, with a larger cast, more exotic locales and a whole boatload more special effects. Sadly, progress doesn’t always imply improvement.
Doug Lawrence Quartet, featuring Dan Trudell; Steve Figueroa Trio (opening) Thursday, July 20, 7:30 p.m.—Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque Local tenor sax man Doug Lawrence has played with the best—such as Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, the Count Basie Orchestra—and he’s bringing hip organist Dan Trudell along for the ride. Albuquerque native Steve Figueroa can slay you with a ballad, whip you up with a montuno or knock you out with hard bop.
Wanted: Actors—The locally produced independent feature film Black will be shooting here in Albuquerque this fall and producers are looking for a cast. Five teenage girls (16-18), three teenage boys (16-18), four women (18-25), six men (18-25), two women (30-40), four men (30-40) and a whole bunch of “goth extras” are needed to round out the roster. Since this is a low-budget indie, these are not paid positions; but interested actors will get credit for their work. Black seems to be a dark goth drama about a troubled teenage girl who begins to sympathize with a fantasy character in a book she finds. Auditions will be held Saturday, July 15, and Sunday, July 16, from 5:30 until 9:30 p.m. If you are unable to make auditions this weekend, please note that there will be other upcoming opportunities. Actual filming will take place Nov. 5-19. Anyone interested in trying out for the film can contact writer/director J. Starr Welty at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Yes, it’s true. Germany has a fondness for Holocaust dramas. So, too, does America, apparently. Of the 15 German films submitted since 1990 for Academy Award consideration, six have had an explicit connection to Hitler. Five of those landed Oscar nominations. Of the nine German films that weren’t about World War II, only one was nominated for an Oscar. In the world’s view, it would seem, Germany and Nazis go hand-in-hand--like chocolate and peanut butter or America and shotgun diplomacy.
How much TV should a baby be watching on a per-day average? If Benjamin Spock were alive, he’d probably tell you “none.” But Dr. Spock didn’t have a subscription TV empire to maintain, now did he? The brains behind the controversial new Baby First TV do, and their answer to the same question would be an enthusiastic, “Some!”
Photasmic—A pair of magnifying glasses is tacked to the wall with strings. One can be used to examine David Hoyt's “Yin,” the other his “Yang.” This is thoughtful of Hoyt, because his pair of black and white photos, encased in matching elaborate gilded wood frames, is minuscule. “Yin” depicts a vase of blooming flowers with tiny naked baby dolls floating in the air above the petals, too tiny to even notice without the aid of the glass. “Yang” depicts the same flowers, withered, the baby dolls crashed to the ground around the base of the striped vase.
It's impossible to understand the long-lived mystique of Ye Olde Route 66 without chomping down on a good bit of historical Americana. These days, when you want to get somewhere fast, you wheel your Corolla on to an Interstate or, faster yet, buy yourself a plane ticket. Back in 1926, options were far more limited.
After a two-decade absence, Janet Grace Riehl returns to Albuquerque to read from and discuss her newly released debut poetry collection, Sightlines. She will be at the Harwood Art Center (1114 Seventh Street NW) on Sunday, July 16, at 2 p.m. The volume is a reflection on home, family and memory, all of which come together following a tragic accident that shook Riehl and her family. This painful event inspired the author to write a six-generational family memoir told through story poems. Sightlines is one woman’s search to find meaning in a senseless tragedy. By exploring this event, Riehl has revealed cycles in human life, such as caring for parents, aging, death and the ways in which these things can strengthen a family's spirit. 242-6367.
Ghosts From the Past--I have a soft spot for the old Café Broadway building (Broadway at Iron SE). More to the point, I love how it feels; like eating lunch in an old adobe mansion, surrounded by the quiet, halcyon decay of its overgrown patio and South Broadway locale.
If the word “diner” means an upscale American bistro-type restaurant with incidental touches of down-home décor, then, by golly, The Standard Diner is a diner. From the cold cucumber slice in my water glass to the mint leaf on my dessert plate, the recently opened brainchild of Matt DiGregory (co-owner of The Range Café) lives up to its rep as being the “finer diner” in Albuquerque.
Bar owner says he was injured after an escalated argument with APD
By Marisa Demarco
John Montoya, owner of The District Bar and Grill, is wearing sunglasses to cover his black eye and a cut just over his brow. He got the injury, including scrapes on his arms, Friday, July 7, in a scuffle with police that resulted in the arrest of Montoya, his fiancée Camille Taylor and local musician and Alibi contributor Jenny Gamble.
We here at the Alibi are a privileged bunch when it comes to politics. Every election cycle, we get to sit down face-to-face with all the candidates running for office (well, almost all--there are usually a select few who decide their time is better spent elsewhere). We get to ask them all the questions we can conjure--and we get a real sense of what someone has (or doesn't have) to offer as a potential representative.
A Real Shocker—Everyone loves a good story. Newspapers know this. Unfortunately, sometimes when a story doesn’t seem juicy enough in itself, papers take to “enhancing” said story—a devious act otherwise known as sensationalism.
Dateline: Germany—Police in Berlin last week arrested two World Cup pranksters on suspicion of placing cement-filled soccer balls around the city and urging people to kick them. At least two people injured themselves kicking the rock-hard balls which were chained to lampposts and trees alongside spray-painted messages reading, “Can you kick it?” Police said they had identified a 26-year-old and a 29-year-old and had found a workshop in their apartment where the soccer balls were slashed open and filled with concrete. The two are charged with causing serious physical injury, dangerous obstruction of traffic and causing injury through negligence.
America's Next Danny Elfman—Cheryl Hooks (I'm sure you already know it, but she's a local music activist and co-host of KUNM's “Ear to the Ground”) is on the lookout for original music to score this year's Duke City Shootout digital film submissions. Not only that, this summer's Shootout will be a first-time collaboration with internationally renowned digital film competition, the 48 Hour Film Project. That means a lot of potential exposure. What are you waiting for? Send Cheryl an MP3 for consideration at email@example.com. The Shootout takes place July 21-29 in downtown Albuquerque. For more information on the competition, log onto
Renowned opera singer and Santa Fe resident dies at age 52
By Jason Victor Serinus
We have lost a great, great artist. Mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, 52, who had previously triumphed over breast cancer, died at her home in Santa Fe on July 3. Her New York Times obituary did not specify the cause of death, sparking speculation that Hunt Lieberson’s was due to a recurrence of the disease.
Monday, July 17, Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); Free: Ghost Writer (aka Steve Schecter) began playing as a one-man-band in 2002 after endless lineup changes to his former band, The Standards, became an intolerable inevitability. Judging from his angry, loathsome tracks that draw equally from folk and punk influences, Schecter seems like the type of person who doesn’t put up with too much inconvenience in his musical career.
“Ever Fallen In Love With Someone You Shouldn't've?”
By Jim Phillips
I stumbled across my first Buzzcocks album when I was 17 and discovered a band causing an enormous shift in the way that music was being dealt to the public. It is fairly well understood that Buzzcocks were a huge part of the trend of self-releasing material without the help of a major label. And even though my first Buzzcocks recording was an IRS release, I cannot help but remember the new set of eyes it gave me for looking at the music industry as a whole. That album was Parts 1, 2, 3, and I still get a wicked pleasure every time it hits my turntable.
Friday, July 14, 8 p.m., National Hispanic Cultural Center (all-ages); $25-$35: Hailing from Cali, Columbia, a town so infatuated with Afro-Caribbean sounds that it is known as “Capital de la Salsa,” Son de Cali are standouts among grupos picantes on the salsa scene. After 15 years as singers for the world-famous Grupo Niche, Javier Vazques and Willie Garcia struck out on their own, backed by an orquesta comprised of top Columbian musicians; percussionists Douglas Guevarra, Jorge Orta, Alvaro Burbano and Reynerlo Escobar, and trumpeters José Aguirre and Olwaldo Salazar, to name a few.
Berlin-based experimental sound man Jeff Gburek joins freaky local electricians Terrorstate, Alchemical Burn and Sidanik for an all-ages noisefeast at the Harwood Art Center (1114 Seventh Street NW, north entrance). The show starts at 7 p.m. and costs $5. (LM)
Holy Cow!—Steak lovers, take note! Great American Land and Cattle Co. (1550 Tramway at Indian School) is now serving limited quantities of Wagyu steak, the same breed of cattle that's used in Japan's famous Kobe beef. Kobe is often considered the holy grail of beef varieties, which can command an excess of $100 per pound in Japan. The prime stuff at Great American is produced by a company out of Redmond, Ore., called Kobe Beef America. Because the Wagyu cows are raised domestically, they technically can't be called Kobe. But just like their Japanese counterparts, the cows are reared on a hormone-free feeding program and are graded against both USDA and Japanese standards. (However, it's not clear whether they feed the cows beer and massage them with sake, as the Japanese producers love to insist on.)
I’m staring at eight pit bulls. They’re all in a row and stacked on top of each other, tucked inside those plastic dog carriers that come in muted colors like light blue, beige and gray. The dogs come in a similar color scheme—some are light brown, others dark, some tan with white trim, and one a curious shade of grayish-blue. That’s the baby—only six months old and she still looks like she could herd a whole flock of sheep without the least bit of trouble. They call her Tempest.
Gone Phishin'--Need a miracle? This Monday (July 10), the Starport Theater at Cottonwood Mall will screen Phish: Live In Brooklyn. The film consists of concert footage shot just in front of 16,000 Phish fans at Keyspan Park baseball field, Coney Island. The beauty part is the film hasn't been seen anywhere since the night of the show, more than two years ago. If you weren't there, you might just feel like it now. And if you were there, whoa! Acid flashback! Show starts at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are already available online at www.fandango.com, or call the theater at 897-6858.
with SuperGiant, Lousy Robot, Fast Heart Mart and The Trampolines (from Denver)
By Jim Phillips
Friday, July 7, Launchpad (21-and-over); $5: You win some, you lose some, Albuquerque. One of our best and brightest is on his way back East. Jason Daniello will soon be moving to Asheville, N.C., but not before he and some good friends put on one more monster musical event this Friday at the Launchpad.
(Psst! Hey, Albuquerque ... Santa Fe is kicking your ass on the poster art lately.) The Cherry Tempo, Shinobu, A Moment’s Loss and Keyboard. Monday, July 10, at Warehouse 21. $5. www.warehouse21.org. (LM)
Friday, July 7, Atomic Cantina (21-and-over); Free: As Terry Zwigoff’s film Ghost World aptly demonstrates, there are plenty of faux blues bands out there--bands that claim to play “Delta Blues” or “Mississippi Roots Blues”--that are just plain awful. They may appeal to audiences of the suburban persuasion nationwide, but they’re hardlyauthenticin any real sense of the word.
Built to Spill is one of the few major-label bands that still sounds as pure as the day they were formed in 1992. Through it all, frontman and founder Doug Martsch has held on to his humility, maintaining that “all we’ve ever wanted to do was make music that sounds all right.” Martsch talked with the Alibi about his band’s success, touring and lack of bravado.
When she arrived in Albuquerque during one of last week's crazy thunder and lightning shows, Nels and her bandmates had no idea what they were getting into. "This bus has big windows, so I just sat and watched. I filmed the whole thing. It was really kind of crazy." Then it just started pouring.
Mariposa—Starting this week, a threesome of ladies presents a range of new work at Mariposa Gallery (3500 Central SE), Nob Hill's premier showcase for contemporary craft art. Amanda Tinsley offers up an unlikely combo of whimsical fairies and abstract paintings. Jill Erickson will display her enamel jewelry composed of striking semiprecious stones. Linda Tarr's colorful ceramics exude a retro feel that suggests imaginary molecular structures. Stop by the gallery Friday evening, July 7, for a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. to mingle with the artists and ogle their creations. The show will run through the end of the month. 268-6828, www.mariposa-gallery.com.
This week, the Donkey (1415 Fourth Street SW) opens the first solo showcase of work by the late comic artist Seth Fisher. Before his untimely death at age 33, Fisher had become an established artist with several impressive claims to fame, including illustrating an arc of the Batman series, doing concept design for the computer game Myst III, and creating magazine and album covers in Finland and Japan. He was also nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Penciler/Inker. The exhibit will present original inked pages and limited edition prints from a variety of Fisher’s works. A reception will be held on Friday, July 7, from 6 to 9 p.m. during which you can munch on hot banana fritters served by Sarah, Fisher’s sister, enjoy music by Kaleb, Fisher’s brother, and talk to friends and family of the artist about his life and his work. The show runs through July 28. 242-7504.
Four decades ago John Updike climbed all the way to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list with Couples (1968), a rather frightening portrait of how the sexual revolution crashed upon the shores of suburbia like a tsunami.
Here in New Mexico, we're used to swimming up to our necks in folk art. From traditional punched tin and Catholic religious pieces to handmade textiles and ceramics by Native American artists, the stuff is everywhere. It's been a significant part of our thriving art economy for at least the last century.
The changes came suddenly. White notices atop the familiar one-hour parking signs gave Downtown parkers and patrons insight into what was to come. Letters were passed out to local businesses alerting them of the change: No more free parking Downtown along Central.
Dateline: The Philippines--Six police officers may lose their jobs for pawning their pistols in the cash-strapped southern Philippines. German Doria, police chief of the central region of Mindano Island, said Wednesday the incidents of government-issue guns being pawned came to light after the National Bureau of Investigation raided shops selling stolen goods in the town of Tupi. Six police handguns were recovered in the raid. “How can police officers carry out their missions if they don’t have guns?” asked Doria. Severely underfunded and poorly paid Philippine security forces have been battling Muslim and communist insurgents for nearly 40 years. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has promised to release 30 percent of a proposed 1 billion peso ($18.7 million) budget increase this month to help defeat Maoist-led rebels.
Grants Goes Digital--Filmmaker Christopher Coppola’s EARS XXI Studio has joined forces with the Cibola Arts Council to create the first-annual PAH-Fest. PAH-Fest (short for Project Accessible Hollywood) will feature “alternative and grassroots storytelling through the use of today’s latest technology, celebrating the stories and voices of everyday people.” The festival will take place from Wednesday, July 5, through Sunday, July 9, in Grants, N.M.
For decades, pop critics, both professional and casual, have debated the relative merits of pirates versus ninjas. Both have their strengths. But until Hollywood gets on the ball and makes a blockbuster ninja movie (no, Beverly Hills Ninja doesn’t count), I’m afraid pirates must come out on top of the “who’s coolest” quarrel.
There was a publishing trend a few years back whereby lowly wage slaves were paid exorbitant amounts of money to squeal on their snooty, slave-driving bosses. Hence, we were treated to a rush of tell-all books like Wannabe (written by a personal assistant in Hollywood), The Nanny Diaries (written by a private nanny to rich New Yorkers) and The Devil Wears Prada (written by an executive secretary in the fashion industry) that informed us--juicily, if a bit predictably--rich and famous people suck as employers.
Steven King is an unchallenged literary heavyweight. When it comes to translating his stories to film and television, however, his track record has been less than stellar. For every adaptation like The Shining (a film King, famously, hated) to hit theaters there are two or three adaptations like Graveyard Shift, The Mangler or Maximum Overdrive (a film King, infamously, directed) to go alongside it. TV hasn’t had a much better track record either. The miniseries version of The Stand was quite memorable, but the miniseries version of The Shining was, well, about as exciting as watching snow melt.
When you fail to finish off a keg, you’ve clearly shirked your responsibilities, and there is only one way to redeem yourself: turn it into to a thick and smoky barbecue sauce. Contrary to popular opinion, that brown sugar, hickory ooze is not such a mysterious undertaking. Here’s an intermediate recipe that will make use of those cups of keg beer and boost your self-esteem. The only problem is that once you’re going ape shit smothering everything in your fridge with this sauce, you’ll wish you had a keg of beer to go with it.
Writing restaurant reviews doesn’t normally put my life in danger, but I’ve come to discover that parking lots are making my short list of places to avoid. I took a leisurely drive up to the Heights to have lunch at Szechwan Chinese Cuisine, where I enjoyed the picturesque scenery along Central--seedy and/or abandoned motels, pawn shops and the occasional Suntran stop filled with people looking like I did the morning after an Orgy concert back in 1998. But pulling into the parking lot of the strip mall at 1605 Juan Tabo NE proved to be my peril, as I was nearly obliterated by a jackass in an Isuzu Rodeo.