The quest for coal bed methane consumes both a New Mexican landscape and a way of life that depends on it
Welcome to Aztec
6378 Friendly People &
6 Old Soreheads
Welcome to Aztec
6378 Friendly People &
6 Old Soreheads
At this point, New Mexico had better get good and used to its relationship with Hollywood. Because right now--with Steven Seagal shooting a movie near UNM, the Terminator TV spin-off “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” getting underway and a $70 million film studio being built on Mesa del Sol--it shows no signs of slowing down. As a result of this burgeoning relationship, it’s no surprise to see the Santa Fe Film Festival bursting at the seams for its seventh annual incarnation.
It’s no secret to more than casual observers that the mainstream Hollywood romantic comedy genre ran off the rails more than a decade ago, and has done little but spin its wheels in the intervening years. Some dedicated romantic cynics calculate that 1993’s Sleepless in Seattle was the last great RomCom Hollywood produced. Looking over the past few years’ worth of offerings--Picture Perfect, Serendipity, Maid In Manhattan, The Wedding Planner, Sweet Home Alabama, Little Black Book, The Break-Up, Just My Luck, Failure To Launch, et al--it’s hard to argue.
When, oh when, will America learn the valuable lesson imparted to us by Japanese game shows? While America blindly accepts and even celebrates dull crap like “Deal or No Deal” (the TV equivalent of Keno), Japan pumps out inexplicably brilliant game shows that simultaneously puzzle, terrify and delight. We get “pick a number between 1 and 26” and they get “Fear Factor” crossed with “Super Sloppy Double Dare” and a random Bollywood musical.
We Will, We Will Rocku--Since the first time I laid eyes on This Is Spinal Tap by Christopher Guest, I've derived way too much pleasure from watching musicians in their meteoric rise to fame and inevitable, cataclysmic fall from grace. Mock or not, rockumentaries rule. This weekend, the Santa Fe Film Festival will screen nine original films (some made right here in New Mexico!) that shine a spotlight on music. We Like to Drink: We Like to Play Rock 'n' Roll follows The Unband, three alcoholic men-children who like to play loud, lewd rock music, as shot by Tesuque-based documentary filmmaker Lexie Shabel. Dangerous Highway gives voice to the "greatest unknown musician you've never heard," guitarist Eddie Hinton. Fellini-esque Russian filmmaker Rustam Khamdamov does a study of his country's stunning operatic talent in Vocal Parallels. Novem is an honest-to-god mockumentary about a confederacy of college songwriters in the ’70s (it won the Jury Prize for best indie film in Sonoma). Bob Dylan's hometown of Hibbing, Minn., gets rifled through by Natalie Goldberg and filmmaker Mary Feidt in Tangled Up in Bob, while native musicians from northern New Mexico are the partial focus of Native Spirits: Forgotten Warriors. Finally, Life in G-Chord is the bittersweet account of Hisao Shinagawa, a Los Angeles street musician who still dreams of the stardom he chased upon first entering America in 1974. Log on to www.santafefilmfestival.com for a complete schedule of the films.
The Dead Electric would like nothing better than to make out with you. With Unit 7 Drain and Roman Numerals, Saturday, Dec. 9, at Burt's (21-and-over). Free. (LM)
Trumpeter Cuong Vu attacks his instrument with a ferocious intensity usually reserved for rock guitars, and he uses many of the same electronic processors favored by adventurous guitarists from Jimi Hendrix to Bill Frisell.
Two Faint fans, one Faint interview. A dilemma only determined fairly by duel. Given that duels are illegal, Lash and I went mano y mano for the right to interview bass player Joel Petersen.
One fall day in Santa Fe, Zia Cross had just finished with her volunteer shift at the High Mayhem music festival and ran across the street to Alegria Liquor. Cross found herself chatting with George Rivera, the shop's owner. She pressed him about what he was doing with the beautiful club space, empty for three years, that’s attached to his store. Nothing, she remembers him saying. You do something.
The Land of Bush--Yes, we've finally begun to question whether the Iraq War can be won at all, but it seems to come too late, especially since the whole thing has been an obvious sham since the beginning. The fact remains that the media has let Dubya slide for too long. Nobody's asking him why he keeps changing his mind about why we went to Iraq in the first place. And his reasons keep getting more vague. First it was because of very specific horrible weapons, then it was a very specific horrible person, now it's just "Iraq was a threat."
M88 may be the biggest radio station you never heard of. And they're playing to a huge audience that, likewise, may be completely off your radar.
Kay Monaco spent the past nine years conscientiously documenting New Mexico’s numerous failings.
It's that time of year again. Statesmen and women in New Mexico are looking toward the next Legislative Session (Jan. 16 to March 17) with a peculiar gleam in their eye. It's the shine of potential laws aimed to support their causes. There's no telling which measures will find a sponsor or corner the support they need to become one for the lawbooks, but this week, the Alibi's highlighting a few contenders: a bill that would call for automatic, state-funded recounts in certain elections; statewide expansion of parts of Albuquerque's HEART ordinance; and Think New Mexico's "30 percent solution," which would require the lottery to put more of its revenue toward scholarships.
Why did it take the loss of Republican control of Congress to force even an iota of shift in President Bush’s Iraq policy?
Dateline: Canada--A Red Deer man has been jailed after an outraged burglar stumbled across massive amounts of child pornography on his computer and called police. William Mitchell recently pleaded guilty in Red Deer provincial court to charges of possessing child porn. Mitchell was charged in October 2005 after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, acting on an anonymous tip, searched his home. An agreed statement says someone had broken into Mitchell’s residence and taken a video camera. The burglar later contacted police, telling them the camera contained images of child pornography and would be left on the steps of a local church. Police retrieved the camera and soon realized the burglar had videotaped a computer monitor displaying the illegal images. Following the address printed on the burglar’s note, police seized computer equipment containing 13,315 pornographic images. Mitchell will remain in jail until his sentencing. Cpl. Greg Brown of Red Deer RCMP told the Canadian Press that the burglary remains unsolved.
Tighty Whities—What does it mean to be white? Tough question. The provocateurs at Out ch'Yonda (929 Fourth Street SW) have produced an innovative event to explore this difficult question. It's called White History Weeks, and it runs through Dec. 10. A host of white artists from the community—including Bryan Konefsky, Bill Nevins, Ourania Tserotas, Mark LeClaire, Peter Chase and others—will use film, music, performance art, visual art and other creative techniques to examine white identity and race relations. Don't worry. Prussian Blue will not be performing. It's not that kind of event. 385-5634.
According to the program notes, Eugene O'Neill didn't much care for his play Anna Christie, despite the fact that he won the Pulitzer Prize for it in 1922. He pushed the script through several arduous revisions, but even when it was finally done O'Neill told people the story was “too easy,” a charge that could hardly be made for his other major plays.
If you simply looked at the state of his hotel room, Valentino Achak Deng might be any other college student enjoying New York City on fall break. The bed is unmade, a pair of pants splays across the floor; an open box of powdered cookies beckons. “It’s not normally like this,” says the 6-foot-3-inch Deng, busy picking up after himself.
There are lots of good reasons to hit the streets of Nob Hill this Thursday, Dec. 7, for the annual Shop and Stroll. The best reason, though, has to be the Art Bra show hosted by Martha's Body Bueno (3901 Central NE). More than 40 New Mexico artists are creating these miraculous undergarments with all sales benefiting the New Mexico Cancer Center Foundation. Stop by from 5 to 10 p.m. during the Stroll to check out the bras, scarf some snacks and listen to live music by Wagogo, the Rhinestones and others. 255-1122.
Two Blackbirds and a Pearl--The old home of Pearl's Dive is getting a new lease on life, thanks to four young entrepreneurs with a passion for the Downtown neighborhood. Joey Gonzales is already a co-owner of Atomic Cantina and, in his free time, the drummer for The Dirty Novels. But when he and his bandmates discovered they all secretly dreamed of opening a bar-restaurant, they decided to collaborate on a new project somewhere Downtown. 509 Central NW, formerly Pearl's Dive, was a natural fit. They're calling it Blackbird Buvette.
Which is better: living in the city or the country? Both have distinct advantages and drawbacks. The city has more paved streets, a larger variety of places to eat and shop, and more people to dilute the memory of that idiotic stunt you pulled at your senior prom. But there are also parking meters, overpriced necessities and a general lack of concern for your well-being. Country living is simpler. They've got gravel roads, mom 'n' pop chicken shacks and neighbors who'll cheerfully loan you a tractor (if you ask politely). Of course, life in the sticks ain’t all meat pies and rainbows. Chances are you'll have allergies, and those neighbors are probably the nosy type. What you did in high school will be a matter of public record until you die--or at least until you move back to the city.
The Compound (3206 San Mateo NE) presents New Mexico's Elite Battle of the Bands, a diabolic smörgåsbord of the state's most skull-crushing metal. All-ages shredding by End to End, Manias, Vale of Miscreation, Cadaveric Engorgement and Deforme. Friday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. Cost is $10. (LM)
This sad, violent, pestilent world of ours would be absolutely unbearable if we didn’t make lots and lots of jokes about it. With this in mind, we at the Alibi came up with the hiiiiillllaaaarrrriiiiooouuusss idea to brighten up this holiday season with an issue devoted to the fine art of joke telling. We got lots of people from the community to share their favorite jokes with us. We also asked several experts to discuss the various philosophies, strategies and risks associated with humor, so that even if you don’t laugh your buns off at these jokes, at least you’ll get an education.
Editor’s Note: We asked UNM’s Philosophy Department if a professor would be interested in commenting on the philosophical implications of humor--why people try to get others to laugh, the purpose of laughter, strategies for getting people to laugh, etc. Prof. Iain Thomson was kind enough to humor us.
So you want to tell a joke, do ya? But you just don’t have the chops. Instead of heartfelt belly laughs, your punch lines receive responses like, “Oh … I think I get it,” “Is that the end?” or “Why have you done this to me and my family? Leave my house.”
Nothing is as uniquely ego-wounding and embarrassing as the awkward silence following a bad joke.
Think twice before drinking from your tap. According to recent studies by Sandia National Laboratories, 13 organic carcinogenic compounds have been detected in two monitoring wells in or near the labs’ Mixed Waste Landfill, located near Kirtland Airforce Base. It’s a discovery that doesn’t sit well with local government watchdog group Citizen Action, who believes the contaminants could pose a health risk for Albuquerqueans.
A Print Journalist's View on TV News--I've always harbored a simmering hatred for TV news.
Being funny isn't something to take lightly. Sure, you're the friend Mary turns to when she needs to chuckle off a tough day at the office. Yeah, Mark is always nudging you at the bar saying, “Tell them the one about the rabid monkey and the three-legged elephant.” So you can tell a joke, but do you have what it takes to be a stand-up comic? With a cup of coffee in hand and a world-famous Frontier breakfast burrito stuffing his face, local up-and-coming comedian Marc Shuter tells the Alibi why funny isn't the only skill you need to bring on stage.
Irate citizens hurled verbal pitchforks at the administration and City Council during the Nov. 20 Council meeting.
When we last rode the Trolley Named Folly, Mayor Martin Chavez and City Council President Martin Heinrich hit us with a massive tax increase to pay for a $270 million streetcar line along Central ["The Streetcar Railroad," Nov. 23-29]. But they weren’t able to slip this massive project by without the public taking notice. So now they’ve promised to let us vote on it [read this week's "Council Bite” on page 8 for more details]. How considerate of them.
I’m the last guy to stand up for Wal-Mart. Sure, they sell stuff cheap, but it’s because they pay substandard wages, offer few full-time jobs, stiff employees on health insurance and force suppliers to sell below market or lose huge contracts. But I have to admit, I feel sorry for them for the grief they’re getting from the radical Christian right over the company’s ties to gay and lesbian groups.
A lot of the post-election discussion about Iraq has centered on when (not if) we should start pulling out our troops. John McCain serves as the lonely holdout for sending in more troops, while Congressman Charles Rangel suggests it’s time to reinstitute the draft—and spread around the misery.
Dateline: England--Dedicated James Bond fan David Fearn has legally changed his name to all 21 official 007 film titles. The 23-year-old from Walsall, Stratfordshire, is now known as “James Dr. No From Russia With Love Goldfinger Thunderball You Only Live Twice On Her Majesty’s Secret Service Diamonds Are Forever Live And Let Die The Man With The Golden Gun The Spy Who Loved Me Moonraker For Your Eyes Only Octopussy A View To A Kill The Living Daylights License To Kill Golden Eye Tomorrow Never Dies The World Is Not Enough Die Another Day Casino Royale Bond.” The 69-word name is the longest in the UK Deed Poll Service’s history.
Nutcracker on Ice ... I Mean, the Rocks—Amazingly, 2006 marks the 10th year that the folks over at the Keshet Dance Company have staged their popular rock 'n' roll version of the classic holiday ballet. They will ... they will ... rock you. (Sorry, I hit the eggnog early this morning.)
Sometimes “sick days” bring more than a well-deserved break. A year ago, on one particular sick day, I found inspiration. I picked up a magazine and read about Cities of Asylum, an organization that gives refuge to persecuted artists from around the world in the United States. The article mentioned a persecuted artist—a journalist, actually—living in Santa Fe. I did some research and found the name: Fernando Garavito.
The Fusion Theatre Company spreads some holiday cheer with a new production of Anna Christie by Eugene O'Neill, otherwise known as Mr. Cheerful himself. The play revolves around the reunion of a father and daughter, and the threat posed to their relationship by an erratic young man. Directed by Laurie Thomas, Anna Christie opens this week at the Cell Theatre (700 First Street NW). It runs through Dec. 22. This should be a good one. Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. $22 general, $17 students/seniors. Thursday performances, excluding opening night, feature a student rush ($10 with valid ID) and actor rush ($15 with professional résumé). 766-9412, www.fusionabq.org.
Now that the presidential biographers have picked clean the American pantheon, from Washington to Bush, it's becoming apparent that the real founding fathers of this country may have been our early capitalists.
NM Filmmakers Exposed!--The seventh annual Santa Fe Film Festival gets underway this coming Wednesday, Dec. 6. The five-day festival will feature workshops, lectures, parties and, of course, films from around the world. If you can’t wait until Wednesday, you may want to head up to Santa Fe early so you can check out the New Mexico Film Expo.
At the beginning of Lunacy, Jan Svankmajer shows up to assure audiences that his latest effort is a horror film and “not a work of art.” Art, he informs us, is all but dead, anyway. The film at hand is nothing more than an “infantile tribute” to the works of Edgar Allan Poe and the Marquis de Sade. Of course, I don’t buy it any more than Svankmajer does, but it’s an interesting way to get things started.
Vice Magazine is one of those übercool glossy rags you usually find safely tucked away on the bookshelf of any self-respecting hipster (next to those copies of Giant Robot and back issues of Love & Rockets, no doubt). Operating out of New York City since 1996, Vice was established by a trio of friends with the intention of covering taboo issues and counterculture in all its messy glory. And with articles such as “Bukkake On My Face: Welcome to the Ancient Tradition of the Japanese Facial,” I would say they have their particular market nailed. So it came as a welcome surprise when the fine folks at Vice decided to release their Vice Guide To Travel, a nifty little DVD/book combo which takes us to those parts of the world many adventurous souls talk about visiting, but few seldom do.
Smoke This--NBC is mulling over the idea of turning the hit satire Thank You For Smoking into a TV series. The story started as a novel by Christopher Buckley and was made into a movie starring Aaron Eckhart. Now former “Six Feet Under” and “West Wing” scribe Rick Cleveland is writing a pilot script for the proposed NBC series. According to Variety, the show would be a half-hour comedy about spin doctor Nick Naylor as he sets up his own PR firm. Although the film concentrated on the smoking industry, the series would apparently involve Nick going to bat for a variety of unpopular clients.
Remembering Linda Cotton--Linda Cotton, New Mexico's first lady of music, died of an apparent heart attack on Thanksgiving Day. She was 55. Linda's local singing career spanned 25 years, sharing her memorable and distinctive voice--one that fused jazz style-phrasing with the chameleon qualities of blues, funk, R&B and gospel--in dozens of venues, including Civic Plaza, the Albuquerque Museum Amphitheater and Popejoy Hall. Her supporters remember her as a warm, generous woman who took great pleasure in helping others. Linda often lent her talents to organizations like Working Classroom through benefit concerts, and volunteered with the Barrett House shelter for homeless families and the Alliance for Albuquerque Animals. As one of her many supporters reflected, "She had a big heart, a great sense of humor and she did not suffer fools." Our thoughts and prayers are with those who love her.
Last month, George W. Bush signed election-year legislation authorizing the construction of a fence along 700 miles of the United States border with Mexico. The fence will begin in Calexico, Calif.--ironically, the namesake township of desert rock outfit-cum-immigration advocacy spokesmen Calexico, who've been touring for more than a decade. It’s as though George found them.
You’re all I’ve got tonight ... again! Former Cars frontman Ric Ocasek must have been too busy flushing Weezer down the toilet to join his former bandmates on stage as leader of the unholy reformation of his once-great pop-rock band. The New Cars (or The Old Cars, whichever you prefer), now led by Todd Rundgren, are prowling the casino circuit on the "Road Rage Winter Tour." Ladies, lock up your grandmothers!
Albuquerque foursome Agency E has been kicking out a provocative mix of hip-hop and rock for just one year. On the eve of the release of their first album, Weight of Days, the band met up with the Alibi for some therapeutic musing and a PowerPoint presentation.
Q: Dear Chef Boy Ari,
What’s the big deal with sea salt? It’s way more expensive than regular salt, and until I can be enlightened as to its advantages, I see no reason to buy it.
—Lick of Sense
A: Dear Lick,
According to Healing With Whole Foods, by Paul Pitchford, your table variety iodized salt “… is not the whole salt used for millennia by traditional people around the world, but the highly refined chemical variety that is 99.5 percent or more sodium chloride, with additions of anti-caking chemicals, potassium iodide and dextrose to stabilize the iodine.” This stuff, he says, not sea salt, is behind many salt-linked ailments, while whole salt, which is usually derived from the sea, contains as many as 60 trace minerals. Pitchford speculates that perhaps people eat too much salt these days in an effort to get minerals that are stripped from processed salt. He also warns against processed sea salt, which may also be lacking in these minerals.
I’m in the middle of eating tempura, gnawing on my new favorite piece of fried veggie matter—a yummy shredded onion and carrot patty, golden-fried to crispy perfection--when I experience what movie buffs call a "flashback." Suddenly it’s 1986, the day after Thanksgiving, and my grammy is in the kitchen finding creative ways to use up leftovers. I walked over to the stove (in my Underoos and rainbow Mork from Ork suspenders—I have photos) and peered into the shallow frying pan on the stove.
Breathing some fresh air into the tannic Albuquerque wine scene, the Slate Street Café’s wine loft dazzles from its understated modern décor to its masterfully minimal wine selection. Envisioned by the proprietor, sommelier Myra Ghattas, and brilliantly executed by manager Damon Scott, the loft is the place to go to relax and enjoy a wonderfully unique glass of wine in a comfortable yet chic environment.
Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky sailed into Hollywood on his own unique terms. His first film, the artsy sci-fi thriller Pi, was shot for a mere $60,000. It went on to win the Director’s Award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and was snapped up for $1 million by Artisan Entertainment. His second feature, the coal-dark drug drama Requiem for a Dream, ended up on numerous Top Ten lists in 2000 and nominated for an Academy Award.
How will you spend this holiday season? Will your days between Thanksgiving and Christmas be spent welcoming an ongoing tide of out-of-town relatives? Or will you seek escape in the quiet confines of your local movie theater? If it’s going to be the latter, you’re in good stead. You’ll have rock stars, politicians, dragons, Nazis, spies, soldiers, smugglers, serial killers and at least one Messiah to keep you company.
Alerting All Animators--To showcase the talent the Southwest has to offer, the New Mexico Adobe User Group is hosting its first annual “Best in the SW Flash Animation and Motions Graphics Festival.” As a way of celebrating the recent growth of the film industry in New Mexico, the group is encouraging local creative types to participate in this digitally animated event. Grand prize is Adobe Studio 8--a tasty bit of software with a retail value of $999! Prizes will be awarded for Best of Show, Best Cartoon, Best Motion Graphic and Best Student Work. Deadline to enter is midnight, Nov. 26, 2006. Best in the SW Animation Festival will take place Dec. 2, from 4 to 5 p.m. at the close of AdobeQuerque, the Adobe Creative Tools Mini-Conference taking place at UNM’s Continuing Ed. Winning entries will be posted on the Best in the SW website. For complete details, visit the website (www.bestinthesw.com) or e-mail email@example.com. For more information about the Adobe Users Group or details on the AdobeQuerque conference, log on to www.nmaug.com.
I was born in 1968, that pivotal year in which American innocence curled up and died alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy. Most of my memories of that history-making time, quite naturally, revolve around sleeping, crying and staring at breasts. (Which, come to think of it, isn't all that different from my memories of freshman year at college.) Others, of course, have much more vivid recollections of the era.
There’s a lot to admire but not quite as much to love about The Fountain, the new film from edgy indie director Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream). Difficult to discuss and impossible to categorize, the film is a beautiful, brilliant and frequently baffling art house tone poem about life, death and immortality. While The Fountain’s commercial prospects are dim at best, it wouldn’t be at all strange to find the film an eventual object of curious cult worship.
To say that “My Boys,” the new sitcom from TBS, is inspired by “Sex and the City” is a bit of an understatement. It’s basically the same show, tweaked slightly to ensure slightly more male demographic appeal.
Owl Green--The Launchpad doesn't really have a roof, so in an attempt to rid itself of the pigeons that routinely bomb the upstairs chamber with their mess, a fake owl was placed near the point of entry in hopes that it would scare the birds away. Whether or not it worked, the fake owl became an esteemed member of the Launchpad ménage, going on to take part in special Launchpad performances, and overseeing the bar's beer taps. Owl Green is that fake bird's name, and now a new establishment in town is its namesake. Word has it that longtime Launchpad barkeep Noelan Ramirez has opened Owl Green's Music, a downtown music store catering to folks in need of last-minute supplies, designed for convenience, not competition. In addition to sundries like cables, picks and drumsticks, he will also carry more substantial equipment, such as keytars, bongo drums and fiddle sticks. Just kidding: He'll actually have major brands as well as consignment guitars, amps, drums and stuff. And since Noelan is a drummer, he's carrying a special line of percussion instruments, including tambourines affixed with disco lights (that's right, dream weaver). All of this will fit into a small space in the shop strip at 121 Seventh Street NW between Central and Copper, which is close enough to the Launchpad for OG to fly back and forth between the two. Temporarily, the hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, but the store will soon be open until 9 p.m. Call 243-1889 for more information.
Talib Kweli isn’t landing at the Sunshine Theater until next Thursday, Nov. 30, but you’ll need this extra time to scrape together the $20 to get in. All-ages, with Buckshot (Black Moon and Boot Camp Clik) opening. (LM)
Andrew Chaikin wanted to be a drummer. But he didn't have a kit, so the rhythm just started using his mouth. That's how San Francisco’s beatbox master known as Kid Beyond describes his high school days, back when his stage time was spent with the glee club or in musical theater. Chaikin's voice is hoarse as he travels to New Orleans to play the House of Blues, the ninth performance on his 28-city tour with Imogen Heap. The nonstop shows are taking their toll. "I never in a million years ... if you said 'What are you going to be when you grow up?' professional beatboxer would not have crossed my mind.'"
There's nothing better than being a part of something that's happening right now. My superficial preoccupation with discovering the newest, secret-est band is an exercise in self indulgence I’m happy to entertain, especially when it leads me to something as exceptionally unique as Brooklyn’s Asobi Seksu.
The flood of arguments just kept coming. Highland High School proponents see it as an issue of race and class, with the upper-crust Four Hills withdrawing from the diverse Southeast Heights school's district. Four Hills parents say they just want their kids to go to school together from kindergarten through 12th grade and have their homes within the Manzano High boundary. "White flight" was the phrase used by critics.
Sickness!—It's gross, or as my kid brother would say, "grody."
There's still a lot that needs to be done, but Leonard Garcia predicts the city's recycling program for apartment complexes will be up and running before spring. Garcia, director of the Solid Waste Department, estimates the amount of stuff recycled from the city's waste stream will climb from 10 percent to 12 percent once complexes of 25 dwellings or more are required to provide bins for their tenants.
If you are willing to ride the bus up and down Central for $10,000, you can help save Albuquerque a couple hundred million dollars. To find out how, keep reading.
If there’s one place students don’t want to be, it’s in Mr. J’s A.S.S. “After school suspension,” explains Mr. J. “Sometimes kids need acronyms.”
Now that the canvassing board has finished its accounting, the results of the 2006 election have been finalized and the victors at the polls sent off to get to work on behalf of the public good, at last we can get busy with … the 2008 campaign!
Dateline: Russia--A Russian woman who drank more than 1,300 gallons of Coca Cola has successfully sued the soft drink giant for making her ill. Natalya Kashuba, 27, the owner of a fancy clothing boutique, consumed up to 3 quarts of the soda every day for five years. She took legal action against the soft drink company after claiming she suffered insomnia and heartburn. Miss Kashuba said she became addicted to the drink as a result of a promotional offer that allowed consumers to swap Coca Cola caps for prizes. Dozens of inflatable mattresses and radios she won were used as key evidence in the case. The plaintiff’s lawyer said that as a result of an examination by a gastroenterologist in October 2005, his client was diagnosed with a chronic condition “whose main symptom was heartburn.” Two Russian courts agreed that Coca Cola had failed to warn of the potential health risks of drinking too much Coke and awarded Ms. Kashuba just under $100. Kashuba is seeking a further $100,000 from Coca Cola in “moral damages.”
Lots of Thanks—Undo that buckle, unzip those pants, lean back on the couch and just wait it out. Don't even think about getting up and walking around. What? Are you crazy? You could hurt yourself! Your intestines are about to burst wide open. Now isn't the time for any sudden movements. Just sit back and work through the pain, eventually all that excess food will dissipate into either your digestive system or the municipal sewage system. Shouldn't take longer than 24 hours or so.
My experience with skateboarding is extremely limited. When I was eight or nine years old, I inherited a decrepit, extra-skinny fiberglass board from some older kid on the block. I rode it around the neighborhood for about a month until the back wheels fell off. I don't think I ever rode another skateboard again.
Ireland could begin producing a torrent of world-class chemists, shot putters, pet doctors or dentists, but it will be a long while before it escapes its reputation as the place where people can do three things better than anywhere else in the world: sing, drink and spout poetry.
Forget turkey; Thanksgiving is all about the taters. Each November, we Americans take great pride in crowding every inch of available stove surface with pots of buttery, golden, lumpy (or smooth, if you must) mashed potatoes. Then we heap it onto our plates like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It's glorious. I can almost hear my inner child singing "mashed potatoes" to the chorus of Handel's "Messiah."
So I’m sitting in this restaurant, enjoying the best tureen of coconut-lemongrass soup I’ve ever eaten, and all I can think about is the poor dragon fish circling around the tank next to my table. He looked angry and was obviously depressed--I swear he was suicidal. Maybe he was worried about the coming ’08 election. Maybe he saw the previews for the new Matthew Broderick Christmas movie. I finished my meal, sad for the fish but glad for my soup.