Alibi V.19 No.31 • Aug 5-11, 2010

Sleight of Mouth

When professional magicians make coins, cards or pigeons disappear, we call it “sleight of hand.”

feature

Show Us Your Fiction!

The winners of our Flash Fiction contest

Usually, I’m that guy. The one in the corner, nose stuck in a giant book. My best blow-off at a bar is to ask guy what he’s reading and then tell him all about my “favorite” book, the Mahabharata. “It’s, like, eight times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined!” I announce to the poor sap. It works every time. And no, that’s not actually my favorite book. It just scares people and I have read a big chunk of it and there’s this whole part about the land of the snake people that’s really weird and not what some dude at a bar wants to talk to a girl about.

More Flash Fiction!

Just for you, dear web readers, for your reading pleasure.


“How Many This Evening?” by Elisa LaBeau

film

The Killer Inside Me

Shocking sex and violence not enough to make it truly killer

A certain amount of anticipation mixed with a healthy dose of trepidation inevitably arises when someone learns that their favorite novel has been adapted into a feature film. It’s rare, if not impossible, to capture the full flavor of a work of literature in a two-hour movie. Even well-regarded adaptations (from The Wizard of Oz to Gone With the Wind to No Country for Old Men to the Harry Potter books) are forced to excise certain things, leaving fans to debate the varying merits of each medium.

Reel World

In case you didn’t know, movies were meant to be seen on the big screen. To help remind us of this, El Paso Community Foundation is bringing back the Plaza Classic Film Festival. The festival takes place Aug. 5 through 15 at the historic Plaza Theatre in downtown El Paso. For 10 days, a collection of Hollywood classics will unspool on the venue’s venerable screen. We’re talking everything from Airplane! to The African Queen. From Jerry Lewis in The Bellboy to Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski. From Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless to David Lean’s The Bridge on the River Kwai. (My God, I haven’t even gotten past the “B”s!) There are Westerns (A Fistful of Dollars), science fiction (Forbidden Planet), dramas (The Godfather), animation (Heavy Metal), film noir (Murder, My Sweet), musicals (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), foreign films (Seven Samurai), horror films (The Shining), family films (Swiss Family Robinson). It’s enough to make a film lover’s head explode! Definitely worth the trip! Individual tickets and festival passes are available online.

Far-Out East

Asia Extreme on Sundance

“Extreme” is a tiresome adjective, particularly when spelled “Xtreme” and paired with a sports term. On the other hand, “Asian” is a fine adjective, promising new and exotic delights in a wide range of categories. Put the two together and you get Asia Extreme, an incredible DVD label and the organizer of a multimonth film festival on Sundance Channel. Beginning Saturday, Aug. 7, and following each Saturday until Oct. 30, Sundance Channel and Asia Extreme will deliver a mind-bogglingly cool lineup of 13 genre-specific treats, highlighting some of the best and bloodiest of modern Asian film.

music

The Albuquerque Sound

Raven Chacon curates the city’s underground

In life there are certain truths: What goes up must come down, all's fair in love and war, a stitch in time saves nine and one who makes a synthesizer out of a cougar pelt is wicked awesome. Musician, teacher and installation artist Raven Chacon is familiar with the latter, having made just that as part of a Winnipeg-based project by his interdisciplinary American Indian arts collective, Postcommodity. When the piece is pet, the pelt synth purrs, and when it’s twisted it raars. The group also fashioned an antler cello and antler harp, and made a drum from a boar bladder and a coffee can. The instruments, says Chacon, are meant to be played by a futuristic tribe representing the last of its culture.

Music to Your Ears

Long before the BP oil spill disaster, and even before Hurricane Katrina and that skank Rita ripped through the Gulf Coast five years ago, the Louisiana shores were already suffering. “Since 1900,” says the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, “Louisiana has lost more than 1 million acres of wetlands and barrier shoreline as a result of natural processes and human activity.” Louisiana’s land loss not only compromises habitat for fish and wildlife, but it removes a natural buffer against storms. With oil smeared all over the problem, the situation is truly horrifying.

Battery-Powered Soundscapes

Birds & Batteries lands at Low Spirits

Imagine you’re in one of those centrifuge rides at the state fair and the blaring theme music is some sort of ’70s rock. The cylinder spins faster and faster, pressing you against the wall and lifting your feet off the floor. On every rotation, as you whip past the speakers, your ears catch a blur of electric guitars. The centrifuge is also next to the funhouse, so high-pitched synth melodies, drum machine hits, and other electronic bleeps and blips swirl past you. Suspended next to you on the ride, your friend, who happens to have a lovely voice, is telling you loudly about a dream he had last night. Floating in space, enveloped in this musical blend, is what it’s like to listen to Birds & Batteries.

Flyer on the Wall

The head of an Old Testament villainess depicted in ’80s religious workbook style wears the body of a runway model and the pants of a David Bowie and proves that, yes, mixing silvers with golds is often a good idea. This figure represents Post Burial, a monthly psych / glam / post-punk / goth / new wave night taking place at Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW) on Saturday, Aug. 7, at 9 p.m. DJ Evan and others provide the music, and it’s free. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

news

Ask a Mexican!

Dear Mexican: I am a retired gringa living in Mazatlán, Sinaloa. Most of us foreigners here are liberal and sympathetic to the immigration problem, which the U.S. Congress refuses to address in a meaningful way. Unfortunately, I get lots of e-mails from acquaintances “apprising” me of the horrible situation in el Norte, and how all their tax dollars are being spent to educate and provide medical and Social Security benefits (Yes! They say that!) to these “criminals.” I used to laboriously write letters and show statistics and all that. IT DOESN'T DO ANY GOOD. Now, I ignore the messages but feel guilty about not trying to correct the bullshit. Can you give me a good, short response to those e-mails? Something in Spanish telling them they are stupid would be nice, but some of them are actually friends! I will be forever grateful.

Trail-a-Week: Tramway

"Gross," quoth my boyfriend when I told him I'd be riding and writing on Tramway Boulevard this week. "That road is home to the most aggro asshole cyclists in the whole city. I'll never understand why they insist on riding on the shoulder when a dedicated bike path is just 50 feet away."

Rugby, Up Close and Nuclear

They’re the Atomic Sisters, and they want YOU

On this side of the pond, rugby conjures mental images of battle waged on a muddy terrain in Europe, where brawny, rain-drenched Clive Owen types hoist teammates, pummel opponents and underhand pass—or drop-kick—an oblong ball.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Tokyo—In a shocking discovery, police in Tokyo have found that the city’s oldest living man has been cheating the record books, having passed away some 30 years ago. Police visited the home of 111-year-old Sogen Kato at the request of ward officials who were updating their list of centenarians for Japan’s upcoming Respect for the Elderly Day. Welfare officials reportedly tried to meet with Kato since early this year, but his family repeatedly chased them away. Officials grew suspicious and asked police to investigate. After forcing their way into the man’s house, police found the mummified body of Kato lying on his bed wearing pajamas and covered in a blanket. The man’s granddaughter told investigators Kato holed up in the room about 30 years ago after declaring he wanted to be a living Buddha. It is believe he passed away soon after. Tokyo police are investigating the possibility that the family covered up Kato’s death in order to receive pension money. According to records, Kato was born July 22, 1899.

art

Sid and Nancy and Albert

In high school, during repeated watchings of Alex Cox’s Sid and Nancy, my friend Jesse and I always stopped the movie at the song “My Way.” We felt this was the scene that marked Sid Vicious’ point of no return, and we didn’t want to him spiral down any farther than he already had.

Culture Shock

That Vincent van Gogh was one wacky dude, what with all the hacking his own ear off and painting crazy shit on coffee cups and all. Er, wait, the ear thing is true; I think the coffee cup painting was actually done on canvas, and my mom bought me a replication at a museum or a yard sale or something. Anyway, in conjunction with Turner to Cézanne, The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History and FUSION Theatre have teamed up to present Vincent (which stars one guy, Ross Kelly) for a very limited run. On Thursday, Aug. 5, at 6 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 8, at 2 p.m. you can check out the one-man play written by ... wait for it ... Leonard Nimoy! Yup, somehow Mr. Spock got his hands on correspondence between the brothers van Gogh—Theo and Vincent—and wrote a play. Tickets to the performance are included with admission to the exhibition (check cabq.gov/museum for details), which closes on Aug. 8. So if you haven’t seen it yet, you’re now ordered: Get thee to the museum. Seating is first come, first served, so head over the The Albuquerque Museum at 2000 Mountain NW immediately to get a seat.

Possibilites

Micro art space gets touchy-feely with a hard-to-find art book

Imagine a tiny building in a parking lot. Inside its one small, concrete room, there are dark, military green walls on three sides. A lighter, more industrial green wall sits opposite a glass door and a large window. There is no electricity, despite wires hanging from the ceiling, and no water, though there is a pipe coming up from the floor that looks a bit like an outdoor spigot.

food

The 2010 New Mexico IPA Challenge

From 10 breweries and hundreds of judges, one beer emerged victorious

Thanks to my nightly ritual of “adult NyQuil,” also known as beer, I rarely have a hard time sleeping. But the eve of the New Mexico IPA Challenge always brings an uncomfortable night of rest. Mixed with humid weather that left my swamp cooler helpless, the looming challenge had me tossing and turning all night. Last year’s judging in Albuquerque was held at Il Vicino Tap Room, and seating was scarce—most people sat on empty kegs. I was afraid if I didn’t get to this year’s competition early enough, I wouldn’t be able to get my fill of the best IPAs our state has to offer.

Mina's Dish

I grew up the oldest of six kids in a Japanese-American family. My mom honed her cooking skills working at her aunt and uncle’s diner in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, where she met my dad, a truck driver who delivered produce. It was 1940, and she was 18.

Dual-Season Gardening

Q: In harvesting some of my earlier crops, like lettuce, and in pulling bolting crops like spinach, I've opened up some holes in my garden. With what should I plug these holes?

Alibi V.19 No.30 • July 29-Aug 4, 2010

To Kill a Misconception

Alex Heard goes back in time to re-examine an infamous court case

The Eyes of Willie McGee: A Tragedy of Race, Sex, and Secrets in the Jim Crow South

feature

Om My Guru

Two authors trace the roots of yoga in the West

It “turned husbands into adulterers, it turned scholars into swindlers, it turned women into lunatics or shut-ins,” writes author Stefanie Syman. It sounds dangerous. It sounds exciting. It certainly doesn’t sound like something you can do at home on your Wii.

That thing is yoga, and Syman’s new book, The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America, traces its path from esoteric to exercise.

American Posers: The Yoga Interviews

The Alibi’s Patricia Sauthoff speaks with authors Stephanie Syman and Mark Singelton about the cultural history of yoga in America

Yoga-junkies, wrap your mind around asanas and more with the Alibi’s interviews with authors Stefanie Syman and Mark Singleton. We spoke with Syman over the phone during the first leg of her book tour and sat down with Singleton at Santa Fe’s Body Café (which explains the clinking in the background). Both interviews have been edited slightly for time and to take out the bits where we wandered off topic. Now, pardon us, all this yoga research reminds us we’ve got a pose to perfect…

music

Dancing About Architecture

Music lit 101 reading list

Thomas Edison intended the phonograph for political speeches and commerce, not frivolous music. Darryl McDaniels (of Run DMC) adores lightweight chanteuse Sarah McLachlan. Experimental noise is influenced by pop music even if just to rebel against it.

Breaking the Sound Barrier

The Roost’s Creative Music Series blows the doors off convention

Last year, when composer / tuba player / series curator Mark Weaver inaugurated The Roost, he wasn’t certain an audience existed in Albuquerque for the “emergent creative music” the series fosters.

Masa-pone

The Saltine Ramblers’ Arroyo Borealis

Americana is an umbrella term for roots-based musics native to the states, such as country and Western, bluegrass and folk. Despite vast differences, Americana acts tend to join forces, creating juxtaposed yet cohesive shows. It wouldn’t be unusual to find truck-driving country, indie follk and Emmet Otter’s Jug Band all cozying up under one roof. The appeal—be it pastoral, nostalgic or simply unplugged—crosses demographics, too. The music is usually suitable for grandpas, babies, and everyone in between in almost any kind of venue.

Flyer on the Wall

It appears as though a male student from the class of '88 created this masterwork on the back of a Mead college-ruled notebook during study hall, having been inspired by the bulbous typeface and cartoonish guts seen on Garbage Pail Kids trading cards. Corresponding with the imagery, this flyer signifies the performance of noisy, dark, devil music by Pigeon Religion, Hell-Kite, Butt Pussy and Acryptical. The show happens at UnGrind Cafe (1016 Coal SW) at 8:30 p.m. Five dollars gets you into the all-ages (duh) show. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

Song Roulette

The Saltine Ramblers’ Cory Minefee shuffles us some tracks

Cory Minefee is a vocalist and electric guitar player for bluegrass-oriented alt. country band The Saltine Ramblers. On Friday the group releases its first proper studio recording, Arroyo Borealis. What kinds of things does Minefee listen to? See the five shuffled tracks below.

food

Urban Gardens Flourish in the Duke City

2010 Coop and Garden Tour July 31 through Aug. 1

Jennifer Dwyer launched the Albuquerque Chicken Coop Tour two years ago. Her idea was to connect people who raised chickens with people who wanted to know how to do it themselves. That first year, a handful of curious people visited around a half-dozen locations. By 2009 some of the visitors had become chicken ranchers, and new visitors numbered nearly a hundred.

Noah’s Ark Café

Kingdom come hungry

A great flood didn’t carry Edward and Iolanda Johnson from New Orleans to Albuquerque in 2005, but Katrina had something to do with it. That journey would be a logical reason to call their restaurant Noah’s Ark Café, which serves a range of New Orleans specialties—but Edward says that’s not why they picked the name. Perhaps it’s a nod to the biblical boat’s function, stewarding the DNA of the animal kingdom to safe passage. But in the case of Noah’s namesake café, it’s the secrets of Cajun, Creole and New Orleans soul food that are guarded. Closely.

news

The SB 1070 Effect

Arizona’s stiff immigration law was scheduled to take effect on Thursday, July 29. As the day drew near, opponents were sweating, hoping a court would issue at least a temporary injunction to halt SB 1070 while lawsuits proceeded. On Wednesday, July 28, District Court Judge Susan Bolton blocked part of the law, which she said may be unconstitutional.

Wrong Side of the Law

Will the city’s agreement with ICE impact immigrant victims of domestic violence?

The city's agreement allowing immigration agents into the Prisoner Transport Center Downtown may have unintended consequences for victims of domestic violence, advocates say.

I, Fired

A small-town reporter goes for broke

I’m a tumbleweed; you’re a micromanaging fascist.

In a case of irony invading my life, I was fired from my newspaper job for writing.

I had been working as a crime reporter for a twice-weekly paper, which means I was broke but also working as feature writer, city council writer, question-of-the-week writer, parade correspondent, photographer and Lunch Boy.

Lunch Boy (one who fetches the editor’s lunch) wasn’t offered as a class in college, so I learned on the job. Actually, I have no journalism degree, either, and learned how to be a reporter by being a reporter.

Trail-a-Week: Paseo del Bosque (North Half)

Mmm, how about those gravid gray rain clouds lately? August, our wettest month, is nigh. When that musty creosote tang is in the air, a low sun shining under the numinous pillar of a classic anvil-shaped thunderhead, I always feel inspired to buy a blank canvas and demonstrate my searing love for the desert monsoon season by painting an extremely trite watercolor landscape. Alas, nothing that springs from the brush of Sprocket will ever be worthy of even the shittiest Old Town gallery, so I choose to express myself through the medium of bike rides.

film

Reel World

This Thursday, July 29, Fathom Events will put on Elvis on Tour: The 75th Anniversary Celebration. This one-night-only theatrical event, hosted by Priscilla Presley, will feature much of the last concert footage ever shot with the King of Rock ’n’ Roll. In addition to the more than 25 musical numbers, there will be special montage sequences (supervised by Martin Scorsese) showcasing Elvis’ early career in music and movies. The film will be simulcast locally at Downtown 14, Rio 24 and Cottonwood 16 beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12.50 and are available in advance through Fandango.com.

Cropsey

Chilling horror documentary proves some urban legends are real

While the name “Cropsey” may not ring any bells with New Mexico natives, we’re at least familiar with the concept. Cropsey is an urban legend centered in Staten Island, N.Y., but spreading throughout the Eastern seaboard. According to tales told mostly around the campfire, Cropsey was the name of a mental patient (or maybe a mad doctor) who had a hook for a hand (or did he carry an ax?). He lived in the tunnels under an abandoned hospital, and he would come out at night to prey on unwary teenagers who happened to wander into his neck of the woods. It was—as they always say—a true story, because the teller of the tale heard it directly from a cousin who heard it from a friend who knew the cop that was involved. Every place has a story like this, a cautionary tale designed to keep kids away from dark woods and dangerous buildings (or in the case of New Mexico’s La Llorona, overflowing ditch banks).

Zoinks!

“Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated” on Cartoon Network

Do you realize that Scooby-Doo has appeared in 10 TV series, two live-action theatrical films and countless direct-to-DVD spin-offs? The show hasn’t been off the air since its 1969 debut as “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” That means nearly every American under the age of 50 grew up watching Scooby-Doo. Now, with Cartoon Network’s freshly rebooted “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated,” the show lives on for another generation.

art

Culture Shock

Raise your hands if you’re tired of the Twilight fad. OK, those of you who didn’t put your hands up, you are dismissed. The rest of us can take a break from solemn teens and go back to the original high schoolers that want to live forever. The song is creeping in, isn’t it? Four little words, and the theme from Fame gets instantly lodged in the brain. The Albuquerque Little Theatre (224 San Pasquale SW) takes on all the singing and dancing and youthful drama of talented kids seeking prestige at a performing arts high school. Fame opens Friday, July 30, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 8. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m., Sunday performances are at 2 p.m. Get tickets, which are $15, at albuquerquelittletheatre.org or by calling the box office at 242-4750.

Alibi V.19 No.29 • July 22-28, 2010

Trail-a-Week: Foothills Open Space

Dudes, I'm serious when I say "skinny tires." The velocipede between my legs is a single-speed street bike, so when someone suggested I get off the asphalt, I was like, ew. But then I was all, hmm. I've never been mountain biking ever. Why? It’s scary. I'm not x-treem enough. I could fall into a cholla or succumb to derailleur angst. And dirt and granite just tend to clash with my cute spandex threads.

feature

Crop Art

Reviving an ancient farming tradition starts at home

Sarah Montgomery holds an ear of corn in each hand.

"These look like two ears of white corn to most people," she says. "But they're totally different."

Montgomery is the founder and director of The Garden’s Edge, a nonprofit that promotes sustainable agriculture within the state and in Guatemala. A central piece of that puzzle is preserving an ancient farming technique that's endangered: seed saving.

The corn in her left hand is Hopi, she explains, a dry land variety from New Mexico. "Farmers plant it far underground to get the moisture, and the seed is adapted to getting rained on only a few times a year." The other ear is Guatemalan. It's the Hopi corn's opposite, she explains, which is eager to soak up tropical rains and moisture. "Each one is adapted to its particular bioregion."

music

Seitan, Not Satan

Roñoso releases a record

Some people just get it wrong. If the boys of Roñoso were walking down the street, mothers would pitch their babies into traffic before exposing them to the gnarly dreadlocks and general scruffiness of Greg (bass, vocals), Miles (guitar, vocals) and Mike (drums). I don’t want to blow their cover, but despite gutwrenching vocals and heavy crustcore music, the three are some of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Time and again I’ve seen Roñoso volunteer for the sacrificial opening slot so touring bands can play to the larger late-arriving crowd.

Flyer on the Wall

Kurt Russell is Snake in John Carpenter’s early ’80s dystopian portrayal of 1997, Escape From New York. Mods dance before a psychedelic background below him. What it all means is unclear. The facts are this: On Wednesday, July 28, at 8 p.m. lo-fi electro synthpop band The Gatherers releases an album titled Kurt Russell. Opening for the Burque band are Portland, Ore. electro acts Fleshtone and Prizm (learn more about the latter in this week’s Song Roulette). The all-ages show happens at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW). Admission is $5. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

Song Roulette

Prizm is an electro fantasy trio from Portland, Ore., inspired by prog, krautrock and other synth-heavy ’70s creations. Its show combines sound design and a collage of projections, conjuring otherly realms. Along with Fleshtone, an electronic collaborative also from Portland, the group opens for The Gatherers’ album release at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) on Wednesday, July 28, at 8 p.m. Admission for the all-ages show is $5. Find out what’s refracted in Kim, Jef and Azmo’s music library through these five randomly selected tracks.

art

Culture Shock

One of the coolest things about being me is the amount of stuff people tell me. Sometimes it’s off the record, even though it’s not juicy/verifiable/interesting enough to be on the record. Occasionally the gossip is so good the whole down-low thing makes me want to scream. Most of the time the information I get is somewhere in the middle of these two extremes and totally shareable. Generally, this kind of stuff is sent via e-mail with the words “for immediate release” in big, bold and sometimes italic letters at the top. It’s maybe not the most exciting, but some of those e-mails actually include the interesting stuff. Let’s open the vault.

Another Round in the Chamber

Shhh ... don’t tell Santa Fe, but the Chamber Music Festival comes here, too

Musically, Albuquerque is kind of a metal town. Last week there was a full page of ads in the Alibi for rockin’ shows by Korn, Rob Zombie, Scorpions, Tesla, Slayer, Megadeth and Testament. Show me your horns!

If You Want to Be Free

The voices of a generation speak in Singing Out

Imagine you found yourself transcribing thousands of pages of interviews with some of the key figures of an important American movement. Would you just ship them off to the Library of Congress to be archived and maybe, someday, found by someone else? Or, would you compile and edit them into an easy-to-read compendium of voices that shaped an era?

news

The Secret School

A teacher struggles to educate in Juárez, where extortion is the cost of doing business

A small paper sign posted near the door is all that signals there's a school inside this small, yellowed house in south Juárez. Trinidad Vasquez teaches English here with the shades drawn. Inside, he leads four of his youngest students through a scenario involving paying the phone bill in English. Vasquez’ eyes dart to the door when he hears a car horn, a siren, a shout. “OK, on to the next one,” he says to his class, “calling the utility company.”

Odds & Ends

Dateline: India—Six factory workers were killed after they fell into a giant vat of tomato sauce and drowned in the Uttar Pradesh region of northeastern India. The industrial accident happened at the Akansha Food Products plant in Lucknow on Wednesday, July 14, when a female worker who was scooping up fermented vegetables slipped off a ladder and fell into the 10-foot-deep tank. “When the woman fell in, the other workers jumped in to help her,” Rajiv Krishna, Lucknow’s Senior Superintendent of Police, told the Indian Express. The five colleagues who jumped into the tank to help the drowning woman were quickly overcome by fumes from the fermented vegetables. All six drowned. Two other workers, overcome by the fumes, were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The factory owner was taken into custody, the Indian Express said.

The Downtown “Arena”

Berry should know better

Like a bad penny, the idea of expanding the Convention Center keeps coming back. Mayor Richard Berry says he's neutral on the concept, but at least seven city councilors seem hell-bent on acquiring land at the First Baptist Church site to build the $400 million project. The Council voted on June 21 to urge the Berry administration to share the site with APS, despite the fact that no vote has been taken on the so-called arena project.

film

Reel World

In May, Alibi’s Midnight Movie Madness at Guild Cinema screened James Nguyen’s brilliant bit of cinematic madness Birdemic: Shock and Terror. The film continues to mesmerize and confuse audiences around the globe. There’s a special midnight screening at the legendary San Diego Comic-Con International this weekend, for example. But Albuquerque is doing them one better. We’re bringing back Birdemic for a special encore performance on Friday and Saturday, July 23 and 24—and we’ve got the film’s lead actress, the lovely and talented Whitney Moore, live in person. The good-natured Ms. Moore will participate in a Q&A before the film, discussing her experiences making the cult horror flick. The screening/Q&A starts at 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 at the Guild box office (3405 Central NE). To check out the film’s mind-bending, life-altering trailer, log on to the Birdemic website.

The Girl Who Played With Fire

Sequel should please fans who like it smart and sleazy

Occasionally, I run into upstanding, straight-laced, middle-American citizens who question my ability to view horror films. “How can you watch those horrible things?” they ask. Oddly enough, I’ve noticed those are the exact same people heaping praise on Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy (the massively popular The Girl ... book series). The books are basically “CSI” crossed with The Silence of the Lambs with a touch of The Da Vinci Code-style conspiracy theory thrown in for good measure. Believe me, there’s enough sick and twisted stuff going on in Larsson’s books to fill the next couple of Saw films. And yet, literate, quietly conservative older Americans who would never pay to see a slasher film don’t seem to bat an eye at any of Larsson’s grisly goings-on, turning the books into bestsellers and the subsequent films into box office hits.

Shenanigans!

“Chasing Mummies” on History Channel

Thanks to a generation of lazy television executives, it’s hard to tell what the term “reality” really means. We have reality shows (“The Osbournes”), reality competition shows (“American Idol”), docu-reality shows (“Deadliest Catch”) and uncategorizable, clearly scripted crapola that masquerades as reality (“The Hills”). All of which just begs the question: “What is real?”

food

It’s Time to Eat the Doughnuts

Nothing beats the sugary fragrance of tender, fried dough. The doughnut is a pastry made to be eaten fresh—best with morning coffee or tea. I decided to seek out Albuquerque shops dedicated to the glazed, sprinkled, filled and frosted treats, and found only four independent shops competing with four Dunkin' Donuts and two Krispy Kreme locations.

Field of Greens

The right way to work meat into your lettuce

Commercial salads these days seem designed for people who don't like salad. They're essentially meat entrées served on a bed of leaves, minus the baked potato. And if you watch a server removing plates from the table, you'll see they usually aren't empty. The cold cuts, cheese, croutons, shrimp and/or chicken are gone, but the greenery is left behind like an abandoned garnish. The very fact that the proteins and fat are presented on top, rather than mixed in, seems to ensure an errant leaf won’t be inadvertently consumed.