I am confused about which type of utensil to use while cooking. I have heard that plastics can leach cancer-causing chemicals into foods and liquids when heated and cooled. I have also heard that wood cannot be sterilized because it is porous. I know that metal can scratch up and ruin pots and pans. Where does that leave me when reaching for a spatula, ladle or spoon? Any suggestions?
A firsthand look at the 2010 legislative session
It was Day 30. The mood in both chambers sagged. Legislators spoke testily and lacked the buoyant friendliness that usually accompanied the morning announcements, introductions and notes. Reporters settled in for a long day and night, one that wouldn't end until after 4 a.m. The final hours of the session ticked away, and Wednesday, Feb. 17, looked to be dreary, long—and surreal. A stuffed oryx head sat in a chair on the Senate floor. A Catholic priest had been at the Roundhouse in the morning hours providing ashes for Ash Wednesday. A poor version of "God Bless America" rang through the chamber with senators trailing off after the first verses.
As promised, here’s a list of bills that passed the House and Senate. Click on the links to read them for yourself. (To look at all the measures that were in play during the regular session, click here.)
It was a demonstration that went down as one of the biggest clashes between civilians and police in Albuquerque's recent history. Hundreds gathered on March 20, 2003, to protest the invasion of Iraq. But things grew ugly that night in the University Area. From the Alibi's 2003 report by Adam Brown and then News Editor Tim McGivern:
That is what Westside City Councilor Dan Lewis called federal grant money at the Wednesday, Feb. 17 meeting. The Council debated whether to green-light an application for a $6.7 million national transit grant. The money would build a Rail Runner / Park and Ride station in the North Valley on Montaño near the railroad tracks. The request passed 6-3 in spite of Lewis’ opinion of federal monies being equal to nose candy. “I am concerned when looking into the future thinking about these grant monies, concerned about our dependency on these grants,” he said. “It almost seems like municipal cocaine.”
Suppose instead of Haiti, a natural catastrophe struck the Navajo Nation, resulting in heartrending scenes and sudden orphans.
Dateline: Singapore—The Southeast Asian nation of Singapore has been accused of hiring “sand smugglers” to steal valuable beaches from its neighbors. A recent report in the U.K.’s Daily Mail notes that the island city-state’s size has increased a suspicious 20 percent since the ’60s, even though sand-exporting bans in Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam have cut off supplies. Regional environmental groups claim that several of the 83 islands that border the north coast of Indonesia are in danger of disappearing into the sea in the next decade unless illegal sand smugglers are stopped. Environmental activists claim sand smugglers visit the beaches of these islands during the night in small barges. They dredge the sand and then sail directly into Singapore port, where they sell it to international brokers who work for Singapore’s many land developers. Last month, 34 Malaysian civil servants were arrested for accepting bribes and sexual favors to facilitate sand smuggling to Singapore. Malaysia’s former prime minister told the Daily Telegraph that upwards of 700 truckloads a day of illegal sand cross the border to Singapore. Last Monday, 37 trucks loaded with sand were abandoned on the main highway from Malaysia to Singapore after drivers learned of a customs operation at the border.
Art, education and eating are, essentially, my entire life. Oh, and wine. It's good to see I'm not alone in setting these as priorities. The New Mexico Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts is joining Through the Flower to hold an event on Sunday, Feb. 28, to raise funds for Through the Flower's K-12 Dinner Party Curriculum. The curriculum's goal is to ensure that women's history becomes a standard component of children's education. Join them in their mission at Scalo Northern Italian Grill (3500 Central SE) at 3 p.m. Tickets to the event—which will include food, drinks, entertainment by the Santa Fe Women's Ensemble and a talk by Judy Chicago—are $75 and can be bought at ticketssantafe.org. The first 50 teachers who buy tickets can get them for $50. As Scalo owner Steve Paternoster is a significant supporter of women in the arts, the restaurant is also donating an in-home cooking demonstration. This limited-seat dinner with Judy Chicago, held Sunday evening, is $250 (price includes the afternoon event). All proceeds go to benefit the Dinner Party Curriculum. For information, call Susannah Rodee at 864-4080.
508 and 516 beautify Downtown
Def Poet brings his message to Burque
Daniel Beaty is no one-trick pony. The Yale grad is a composer, poet, playwright, actor, singer and screenwriter who's received numerous awards, including the 2007 Scotsman Fringe First Award for the best new writer at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the 2009 NAACP Theatre Award for best actor. It's tempting to think that this is all due to some Faustian bargain with the devil, or he’s perhaps the result of a top-secret government experiment (like the Six Million Dollar Man, but for art instead of spying). Instead, it's far more inspiring to realize that Beaty is simply a vastly talented and committed artist, and zero percent cyborg (as far as we know).
Filmmaker (Slumber Party Slaughterhouse), author (Direct Your Own Damn Movie), SAG stuntman (Gamer) and occasional Alibi contributor Kurly Tlapoyawa will conduct a Film Fighter Workshop on March 7, 14 and 21, from 9 a.m. to noon. This three-day intro to fighting will focus on the basic principals of planning, blocking and executing fights scenes for film and television. The workshop will take place here in Albuquerque. Cost is $200 and space is extremely limited, so the sooner you sign up, the better. A $50 deposit will be required by Monday, March 1, in order to secure your place. To get your name on the list or to acquire more information, call 307-8597.
Period biopic mixes the lusty with the literary
Late in life (in his 70s), widely famed Russian novelist Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy (known to his friends as “Leo Baby”) turned his attentions away from fiction and dabbled in the creation of a number of utopian communes. These live/work communes were based on Tolstoy’s own particular philosophy—one that espoused nonviolence, the abolition of private property, a strict vegetarian diet and an adherence to the principals of celibacy. (Yeah, sorry, Leo Baby, but you lost me on that last one.) Though the Tolstoyan Movement didn’t last very long, it allegedly influenced the thinking of such latter spiritual leaders as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
“How to Make It in America” on HBO
Although it still produces enough laughs to keep me watching, HBO’s “Entourage” has suffered a certain loss in quality over its many seasons on the air. Perhaps it’s just the inevitable signs of age any TV series exhibits over time. More likely, though, it’s the fact that the show has lost a bit of the creative spark it had when it started. Originally, the show was about a quartet of knockabout best friends from New Jersey who stumble into the Hollywood high life after one of them becomes a flavor-of-the-month movie star. Despite the mansions and the limos, our four main characters were still those good old neighborhood boys from back in Jersey. Six seasons in, though, the boys find themselves surrounded by an increasing numbers of celebrity guest stars, making it harder to spot their non-Hollywood origins.
The Week in Sloth
Remember when you used to go out on the town almost every night of the week, sampling the ripe fruits of your town’s musical loins? Are those days gone, perhaps replaced by the fruit of your own loins and the responsibilities of adulthood? A new concert series unfolding at the Harwood Art Center aims to soothe the sonic aches of parents in this particular predicament.
An interview with Kool of Kool & the Gang
It's a good thing that Mr. Robert "Kool" Bell didn't answer his cell phone when I first tried to call him. Had he picked up, I wouldn't have had the pleasure of hearing his groovy voice mail greeting: "You have reached Kool, and it's kool to leave a message."
The Chinese Love Beads
Not long ago, the musical road between the ’Burque and El Chuco (that’s El Paso, Texas, to you) was well-traveled. It was easy to find records by Paseños such as Faction X, Not So Happy or Fall On Deaf Ears. Since many Tejano punks were from El Barrio de Ysleta with familia across the border, they also opened that path to exciting Juárez outfits like Setenta Dos Horas. In El Chuco one evening, my greatest regret was having to decline an invitation to a show en otro lado over the Rio Grande. A guero like me couldn’t have asked for a better escort, but being on the New Mexico state payroll I had to work early next morning with a clear head sin crudo.
Soon Albuquerque’s burliest bluegrass band will lose its bass player, Vince Edgerton, to the northerly mecca of Denver. The Porter Draw will continue to perform, but on Saturday, Feb. 27, the bearded ladies gather together for a special final performance with Vince. Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW) hosts at 10 p.m., and the show is free. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Don’t fear the tripitas
Although “Salsa” is part of its name, the menu at Rio Grande Tacos y Salsas doesn’t once mention that word. Yet the salsa flows, starting with your welcome basket of chips and continuing throughout your meal with as many refills you ask for. Each time, the salsa is different. Sometimes it’s a tomato-y red, sometimes a green chile, and sometimes the waitress brings both.
Off-kilter parable asks, Can you make a road movie without actually going anywhere?
Out here in the Western half of the United States, the concept of the open road has always stood for freedom. From Horace Greeley’s stolen exhortation to “Go West, young man” to Steppenwolf’s rebel yell to “Head out on the highway, looking for adventure,” the ability to pull up stakes and move unfettered toward an ever-shifting horizon has been seen as a resolutely American right. From the dusty, rolling rut of the covered wagon to the rubber-stamped tarmac of some sweet Detroit steel, roads have served as both escape and promise.
The best way to achieve liberal goals? Embrace free markets.
Liberals, the conventional wisdom goes, are the protectors of the poor and downtrodden, the environment, and everything that is good and holy in our society. Conservatives (and libertarians), on the other hand, are nothing but greedy supporters of big business, corruption, and those who would rape and pillage society for the benefit of a small oligarchy of elites. At least this is how I interpret many of the articles and letters I see in the Alibi.
Hispanic Education Act sparks hours of discussion
Roundhouse conversations on touchy social topics don't unfold all that differently from debates at the bar, in a classroom or over a dinner table.
a. He sold it to a pawn shop.
b. He wore it all at once to his cousin's wedding.
c. He returned it with an apology note.
d. He baked it into a pie so police wouldn't find it when they searched his house.
2) Which movie star lived in an Albuquerque house where a murdered man was buried?
When I have exhausted the offerings of my television and can pat my belly no longer in idle contentment, I indulge a rare reflection upon world affairs. In recent weeks I have thought about Haiti seven times. The last time was when American missionaries got into trouble for kidnapping Haitian children. At that point, confident that the right people were concerned with the situation, I felt justified in turning my attention to other matters, such as whether we should pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Dateline: Sweden—A high-profile member of Sweden’s parliament brushed off ethics complaints, saying he did not accept an all-expense paid trip to Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. Instead, he blamed it all on his transvestite alter ego. Centre Party member Fredrick Federley admitted to the newspaper Aftonbladet that his trip in January was paid for by 10 different companies, including budget airline Norwegian. Asked by the newspaper why he accepted the gift, despite claims he generally refuses such offers, Federley said, “Well, this was pretty much tied to my drag personality, Ursula. It’s not me as a member of Parliament doing this; it’s more a case of me traveling as my drag personality.” Federley has not made any secret of his cross-dressing and recently arrived as Ursula at the Swedish Mr. Gay competition. So far, Federley seems unconcerned about the allegations of political impropriety. “Maybe this will mean more publicity for Ursula, which in turn will lead to more work,” wrote Federley on a gay community blog recently.
Are you considering getting into the film biz as a producer? If your answer is yes, then you’re probably crazy. But if you’re OK with that assessment, you might want to check out the upcoming Pre-Production Management for Television & Digital Media class from Film Apprenticeship Programs Inc. The class meets February 20, 21, 27 and 28—that’s Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Class fee is a none-too-cheap $450, but you’re gonna be a producer, so what do you care? Class will take place at Spirit Productions in Santa Fe. John Muir, educator and owner of The Muir Studio, will lead this four-day seminar. After successfully completing all four sessions and projects, each student should have acquired “a basic understanding of script breakdown, budget development and the use of selected industry tools.” For information, log on to filmapprentice.org.
“The XXI Winter Olympic Games” on NBC
Two weeks ago, CBS racked up the biggest TV ratings in history thanks to Super Bowl XLIV. You can bet dollars to doughnuts NBC won’t be following in its crosstown rival’s footsteps with its 17-day broadcast of the XXI Winter Olympics. Why? Well, lots of reasons.
The Week in Sloth
Cable darling, red chile queen
It was a cold and snowy Sunday morning when I first went to Cecilia’s. The air smelled like piñon smoke. Inside, it was still chilly sitting by the old brick wall at the south end of the dining room. I noticed a wood stove at the other end, so I switched seats. There was a woman sitting next to the stove sorting a big sack of pinto beans.
Peace Talks Radio, a nonprofit organization devoted to bringing the world peaceful dialog is, like many of us, having a hard go of it in this economy. To continue his good work, producer Paul Ingles found a rocking way to gather funds—hold a raffle featuring a covetable “Peace Guitar” as its grand prize. The acoustic cherry wood instrument up for grabs is autographed by Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin, Roberta Flack, Taj Mahal, Leo Kottke and others, with additional John Hancocks to come. Raffle tickets go for $20, and there are 20 other prizes up for grabs including autographed color lithographs and CDs. Plus, even if you don’t win, you’ll be rewarded with the satisfaction of being altruistic and promoting altruism, too. For more on Peace Talks Radio and the raffle, visit goodradioshows.org.
Ex-Soul Coughing frontman keeps it lean
Of course Mike Doughty is keen on Tweeting. First known for defining Soul Coughing with his spare and striking lyrics, 140 characters would be ample space for Doughty to paint a city or a scene or a mood or a person—or maybe all of those. He says he works well with constraints.
Concepto Tambor returns to Albuquerque with vaudeville in tow
Nice wallpaper! Or is that a flyer? Find out on Friday, Feb. 19, when La Junta, Zoology and Shamani share funky hip-hop and decorating tips at the Launchpad. Show starts at 9 p.m. and $5 gets you in the door. Sorry, kids; this one is 21-and-over (it’s not like you guys could afford to damask your Student Ghetto apartments anyway). (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Rhymesayer P.O.S. talks music and menial jobs
P.O.S. (real name Stefon Alexander) is the atypical rapper. He never sports ice, spits about getting “crunk” or brags about how many Bentleys he owns. He could be your best friend, brother or classmate. Yet underneath his humble demeanor lies a verbal assassin armed with rapid-fire delivery and passionate lyrics.
Itchy trigger finger? That can only mean one thing: It's time for the Alibi's seventh annual Photo Contest! This year, we're doing things a little differently. First, we're harkening back to the early days of this contest and bringing back categories, including ¡Que Albuquerque!, Things Are Not What They Seem, People Are People, Land Ho, Miscellaneous and Animals, and This Modern Life. Second, all entries must be submitted digitally by Sunday, March 14 (no snail mail this year; sorry daguerreotype enthusiasts). For all the rules, guidelines and a truly exhausting amount of information, go to alibi.com and click on Photo Contest 2010. The issue hits stands on Mar. 25. Good luck, and get snapping.
Hillary at Aux Dog and Medea at The Vortex
Initially, comparing Auxiliary Dog’s Hillary: A Modern Greek Tragedy With a (Somewhat) Happy Ending to The Vortex’s Medea seems unfair. Not because one is markedly better than the other—which would make the entire comparison seem like a slam against the lesser play—but because they are temperamentally quite different. The creation of playwright Wendy Weiner, Hillary tells the life story of Sen. Clinton as an ancient Greek tragedy; the presence of ugly, early-’90s polyester suit jackets alongside goddess costumes, not to mention the escapades of a ditzy Aphrodite and a philandering Bill, lend the play a comedic tone. Whereas Medea, the millennia-old work of Euripides (translated more recently by Philip Vellacott), is a quintessential Greek tragedy, chronicling the horrific climax in the long saga of Medea and her husband, Jason of Argonauts fame.
The art of play
On Albuquerque’s north side, in a dimly lit studio choked with cigarette smoke, Jonathan Perea leans over a cluttered work desk and pours resin into a mold. In 20 minutes, he cracks the mold open, and a naked figurine emerges: Another Not Tooth is born. Part playthings, part artworks, these Not Teeth, customizable and “ready for your imagination,” are Perea’s contribution to the strange and adorable world of art toys.
Just what you’re craving in Bernalillo
Antojo is Spanish for “craving”—one sense of the word actually specifies the craving of a pregnant woman. Antojitos, the diminutive plural form, would literally mean “little cravings,” but it actually means snacks or tapas that we eat to satisfy our little cravings. It’s ironic, then, how large the portions are at Bernalillo’s Antojitos Lupe.
The Alibi’s seventh annual Valentine’s Day Card Contest
Great artists are often misunderstood, and they tend to die unappreciated. Vincent van Gogh sold only one painting during his short life, and composer Franz Schubert lived to see only one of his works performed in public. The worlds that surrounded these artists were confused, frightened by the feelings this monumental art produced.
Artist goes big for February’s amorous holiday
It was a bad day to be broke. Then college student Lonnie Anderson didn't possess enough cash to gas up his car and get to work, so he called in sick. He found himself in his garage, staring at the few materials he did have. "A rolled-up green hose, a bag of yellow garbage bags, some duct tape and some old white poster board." It was Valentine’s Day.
They are not yet as eagerly anticipated as the swallows returning annually to Capistrano or the vultures’ flight back to Hinckley, Ohio, each spring. But the yearly arrival at the Roundhouse of the three prelates who make up the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops has taken on the same predictability as those other seasonal gatherings.
The following story is a composite and does not depict an actual event. Rather, it was inspired by events that happened a long time ago in a land far, far away. If you think this story is about you, it isn’t. All possible identifying data has been removed and details have been changed. It’s also important to note that the following scenario is a rare exception to the rule of healthy childbirth.
Dateline: Scotland—George Johnstone, 58, told the High Court in Glasgow he firebombed a Lanarkshire house in broad daylight because the Devil told him to—plus, God’s objections had plenty of wiggle room. In testimony last week, Johnstone admitted the arson was the result of a theological debate. “The Devil made me do it,” Johnstone told police officers who responded to the Aug. 23 incident in which he set a woman’s car ablaze and then tossed “three or four” gasoline bombs into her living room. “The Devil told me to do it at 2 a.m. God told me not to,” explained Johnstone. “That’s why I did it during the day.” Johnstone, who obeyed the letter of God’s law if not the intent, pleaded guilty to willfully setting fire to the house and the car at 12:30 p.m. instead of 2 a.m. He was originally charged with attempted murder, but the Crown accepted his plea to the reduced charge. He will be sentenced in April.
Don’t forget: This Thursday, Feb. 11, the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill will screen the made-in-New-Mexico crime documentary Nightmare in Las Cruces starting at 9:15 p.m. The film’s writer-director Charlie Minn will be at the theater for a post-film Q&A. If you miss it, the film will also be playing at the Center for Contemporary Arts Cinematheque in Santa Fe, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 13 and 14, at 11 a.m. For more information, including a trailer, log onto the film’s website bowlingmassacre.com.
Love is like a box of chocolates. ... Apparently.
For all the emotional panic that surrounds the holiday, Valentine’s Day is actually quite easy. About the laziest, least-thought-out thing you can do is buy a big, heart-shaped Whitman’s Sampler full of waxy chocolates or have a dozen pink roses from FTD delivered to your loved one’s office. And even then you’re in the clear. Millions of people do just that every year and are greeted with appreciative squeals of, “You’re so thoughtful!” The secret of Valentine’s Day, you see, is that it’s the one occasion on which you can’t be too mushy, too cheesy or too cliché.
The best and worst Super Bowl ads
Sunday’s Super Bowl had to have been the lamest in recent memory. ... Not the game itself, mind you, which was an exciting capper to the football season. No, it was the commercials that flopped. What the hell happened this year? This is the Super Bowl. It’s the Super Bowl of Advertising. And yet, many retailers stayed home. FedEx, GM and PepsiCo were among the big boys who bowed out. Many of those that did contribute showed a major lack of creativity and talent. For every memorable commercial there were a dozen instantly forgettable, mostly recycled ads.
The Week in Sloth
Q: A while ago you mentioned that you don't mind monosodium glutamate. Since I regard MSG to be nothing less than evil incarnate, please explain.
Few music festivals really thrill me: Coachella, Lollapalooza, SXSW, New Orleans’ Jazz Fest—despite excellent lineups, they tend to be hot, expensive, impersonal clusterfucks (on one hand, I am seeing the Pixies; on the other hand, I've got a wicked sunburn, just paid $8 for a thimble of beer and am about to be stepped on by an asshole with a fauxhawk). That said, it's more than exciting to tell you about MtyMx, a three-day, post- SXSW arts and music festival in Monterrey, Mexico—located in the northeast, it's the country's third-largest and reportedly safest city. On March 20, 21 and 22, acts such as Acid Mothers Temple, Hunx and His Punx, No Age, Neon Indian, Fucked Up, Thee Oh Sees, Dan Deacon and many others are scheduled to perform at Autocinema Las Torres, a mountainside drive-in movie theater. A third of the bands on the bill are Mexican—some of which rarely make it to the U.S. due to restrictive border controls. The festival is a collaborative effort between show promoters Yo Garage (enelgarage.com) and Todd P (toddpnyc.com). It’s an all-ages event and costs only 390 pesos for a three-day pass—that's $30, folks. For more on this fiesta, visit the aforementioned sites.
Eyedea & Abilities murder the mainstream
“Playing live is like a drug. It induces a manic state for me,” says hip-hop MC Eyedea. “Usually I vomit uncontrollably afterwards, cry or, if it’s really good, I pass out. I put everything into it. If you’re a musician and not giving it your all, what are you even doing?”
Well-engineered tunes support free, focused improvisation
Mark Weaver—tuba player, composer and founder of the UFO Ensemble—interlaces written and freely improvised elements to construct sturdy, expressive tunes capable of bearing the full weight of his collaborators’ imaginations. At turns bluesy, boppish, swinging, funky, concrete and organic, his compositions promote a focused but freewheeling conversation among the quartet’s musicians. The dialogue engages listeners even as it challenges the suppositions of some.
Exene Cervenka could care less about resting on laurels. She's fronted X for more than 30 years, stoking a dynamo of L.A. punk, poetry and American roots music alongside singer/bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom and drummer DJ Bonebrake. With such a robust career in music, Exene could easily cash in her chips and retire with plenty to be proud of. But she hasn't. And she won't. Far from holding steady, Exene has turned her attention to bands like The Original Sinners, The Knitters and Auntie Christ, playing with formats like country, rockabilly, folk, punk rock and glam. She's also acted in films, mounted visual art exhibitions and built a reputation as a spoken word artist.
Nani Chacon is responsible for this lovely Tex Avery-inspired flyer, filled with titillating information. On St. Valentine’s Sunday, Feb. 14, Speaker Waffle Breakfast Club presents the rock and noise of Brooklyn's Wild Yaks, as well as New Mexico's A Church is not a Hospital, Rocket Parlour, Bigawatt and Baby Shampoo. Early bird showgoers will also be presented with pancakes, bacon, eggs and orange juice. Breakfast happens at Club Oven (1016 Coal SW) at 10 a.m., music begins at 11 a.m. All-ages are welcome. Food or $5 dollar donations will be gladly received. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Generation Y? More like Generation Y Don't You Get a Job, right? With their texting and MyFace-ing and their classical music. ... Wait. So string quartet Brooklyn Rider is a foursome of young lads who play everything from Haydn to jazz to Philip Glass? I see. Well, I hope you've all learned a valuable lesson about stereotypes. See the pigeonhole-busting group perform Friday, Feb. 12, at 6 p.m. at Downtown's Hotel Andaluz Ballroom (125 Second Street NW), presented by Chamber Music Albuquerque. Get your $30 tickets and more info at cma-abq.org.
An interview with novelist Meg Mullins
Meg Mullins never thought she’d make her living as a novelist. For one thing, the native Albuquerquean wrote short stories, not books, and she never expected to make a living off those, either. But after leaving the state to go to college at Barnard and get her MFA at Columbia University—and after a large pile of rejection letters—Mullins got a break. One of her stories was printed in The Iowa Review and then picked up by The Best American Short Stories series in 2002. It was then that people began asking her if she was working on a novel. So she decided she’d better get started on one.
An interview with painter Angela Berkson
While exploring the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History’s Albuquerque Now or Inpost Artspace’s I Also Make Art this fall, you likely noticed the works of Angela Berkson. Whether in acrylic or encaustic (hot wax painting), Berkson’s compositions evolve from diligently layered surfaces. Her final forms rest on the balance between geometric precision and organic freeform—her work plays with the contrast of black to white here, the complement of mustard to celadon there. On a visit to Berkson’s Second Street studio, the Alibi learned how her creativity first took root and what now makes it bloom.