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Wonder as You Wander

By Kathy Freise [ Fri Jun 13 2014 12:00 PM ]

When I was a kid, a music teacher came to our school every other week. She had long hair, wore crocheted maxi skirts and played the autoharp. I was in love. She led us in songs like “The Happy Wanderer.” Like all kids, we showed the most vigor during the chorus: “Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!” Pure joy. That sense of unbridled pleasure at being outdoors is what writer David Ryan will get at in his talk, “The Gentle Art of Wandering,” tomorrow evening at the Elena Gallegos Picnic Area (7100 Tramway NE).

The idea is to ditch any agenda, expect to find something interesting wherever you walk and to pay attention so that you find it. You don’t even have to leave the city—urban wandering offers plenty of delights. It’s really about encouraging your senses to come to life and being mindful as you wander, which isn’t a bad way to approach pretty much all of life (don’t forget to carry water wherever you wander). Ryan will share tips and observations, which also appear on his blog: gentleartofwandering.com (his book of the same title is available there). As part of the City’s Saturday Sunset Series, the talk happens tomorrow at 7pm, and is free and open to all. Elena Gallegos Picnic Area • Sat Jun 14 • 7-9pm • FREE • View on Alibi calendar

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Globe-Trot Locally at 15th Annual Festival of Asian Cultures

By Kathy Freise [ Fri May 16 2014 2:45 PM ]

One of the best parts of travel is the chance to breathe new air, literally and figuratively. Sample that refreshing discovery mode at Sunday’s Asian Festival of Cultures, a colorful, collective celebration of Asian and Pacific Countries hosted by the Asian American Association of New Mexico. This year, the venue is the New Mexico Veterans Memorial Park rather than the usual Downtown site. Aptly, the Festival’s theme is “Salute to American Veterans.” The beloved Vietnamese Lion Dance kicks off the day’s performances; a dozen more are scheduled through the day, including Taiko drumming, music and martial arts. Children’s activities are free, as are visits to information booths.

All you need to do is go; the only cost is for flavorful treats from Kimo's Hawaiian BBQ, Soo Bak Korean Food Truck and Basil's (Filipino) Home Cooking. Plan to collect a few new insights about people and places, as participants include Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Lao, Middle Eastern, Nepali, Tahitian, Thai and Vietnamese cultural groups. To volunteer in exchange for food and drink, call 332-9249. The Festival is funded in part by NM Arts and the City of Albuquerque Urban Enhancement Trust Fund, and is co-sponsored by Talin Market and the City of Albuquerque Cultural Services Dept. For details: aaanm.us or cabq.gov/culturalservices/events/festival-of-asian-cultures-2014. New Mexico Veterans Memorial • Sun May 18 • 10:30am-4pm • FREE • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar

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Dress Up For the Dogs

By Kathy Freise [ Fri Apr 25 2014 12:00 PM ]

Way back when, we’d dress our dog Zero in a grubby, oversized t-shirt. Occasionally he’d run off while wearing it. He’d end up at the country club across the way, helping himself and his t-shirt to a swim in the pool. Most—ok, all—of the canines at Saturday’s Mayor and First Lady’s Dog Ball will be sporting outfits swankier than Zero’s. While they’re spiffed up, they can compete for prizes in the Doggie Duds Fashion Contest or indulge at the Doggie Spa. Their people can enjoy dinner, a “Yappy Hour” and live and silent auctions.

The 10th annual event supports the Animal Welfare Department’s Spay/Neuter Voucher Program and helps save the lives of the animals in city shelters. The Voucher Program is critical to reducing the number of homeless animals in Albuquerque—a good thing. Dogs are encouraged to attend, in or out of fashionable duds. Humans are encouraged to wear business casual clothing. “Together We’ll Lick the Problem” starts with “Yappy Hour” at 5:30pm tomorrow at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (1901 University NE). Tickets are $100 or $750 for a table of eight. Proceeds go to Albuquerque Kennel Kompadres, the fundraising partner of Animal Welfare. Order tickets online at kennelkompadres.org. For details: cabq.gov/pets. Crowne Plaza Albuquerque • Sat Apr 26 • 5:30pm • $100-$750 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar

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Go Dream Car Dreams

By Kathy Freise [ Fri Apr 11 2014 8:00 AM ]

I never expected to fall in love with a car, but I did after I moved to New Mexico for grad school. Buying into several grad school clichés, I bought a weathered silver Saab. That car became, as cars often do, the symbol of all things dear to me at the time—new adventures, open roads, life revisions. Multiply my experience exponentially and you arrive at events like the 2014 New Mexico International Auto Show. With more than 300 plug-in vehicles, full-size trucks and high-end sports cars, the show is billed as an automotive paradise.

Show goers can ogle luxury models, peek at vehicles not yet in dealerships and check out new technology like massive multimedia screens and inflatable seat belts. Get some hands-on experience with test drives for everyone, including children, who have their own Kids Autobahn. It’s a perfect place to do some reconnaissance if you’re in the market for a new vehicle. Even if you’re not, you can go and indulge in some unrestrained car passion.

Maybe that's exactly the point—a show like this is the stuff of dreams. Auto Show hours are 12pm to 10pm today, 10am to 10pm tomorrow, and 10am to 6pm Sunday, April 13, at the Albuquerque Convention Center (401 Second Street NW). Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors (62 and older), military with any DOD ID and for children ages 6-12. Children five and younger are admitted free. Sunday is Family Day, and children 12 and younger will be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Albuquerque Convention Center • Fri Apr 11 • Noon-10pm • $5-$10, FREE for children under 5 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar

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Photo by Andy Mattern

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Tell Some Big Life Tales

By Kathy Freise [ Mon Mar 31 2014 2:00 PM ]

Maybe it was getting a passport, finding a friend, experiencing grief, choosing the high dive, hearing rock ‘n’ roll for the first time, saying yes or saying no. What experience has changed you? That’s the question behind an event coordinated by the University Heights Association for its neighborhood residents. Each person who takes part gets asked that same question. Responses will be videotaped, audio recorded or handwritten and edited into a documentary video collage about the always-changing University Heights neighborhood.

The event is the first in a year-long project that explores change as a way to connect with others instead of as a barrier to creating community. After all, stories of change make us human and connect us. Imagine comparing stories about your first love, your first home, the first time you had to say goodbye to someone you cared about. Odds are that you’d find more in common with someone than you’d imagined. The project is supported by a grant from the Bernalillo County Neighborhood Outreach Grant Program. The story project takes place tomorrow, from 7 to 9pm, at the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice (202 Harvard SE). Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice • Tue Apr 1 • 7-9pm • FREE • View on Alibi calendar

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This One's for You, Sam

By Kathy Freise [ Wed Mar 12 2014 12:08 PM ]

Think hair, think people whose names start with “Sam,” and you might think of Samson (tricked into a haircut by Delilah, who knew it was the source of his strength, or so goes the Biblical tale). If your name is Sam or any variation of it, you’re likely to have a better haircut experience than Samson’s at the “Sam-Tastic” Free Haircuts for Sams weekend at the newest local Fantastic Sams salon. Show an ID that proves your name is a variation of “Sam,” such as Sami, Samantha or Samuel, and you get a free haircut. Seriously—free.

Those of us whose names don’t have much to do with Sam can simply pay for a cut, trim or other service from the full salon menu. With some luck, we’ll all leave worthy of a compliment like the one The Stranger gave in The Big Lebowski—“I like your style, Dude.” The Stranger, by coincidence—or not—is played by Sam Elliott. “Sam-Tastic” event hours are 9am to 7pm today, 9am to 6pm Saturday and 10am to 5pm Sunday at 330 Eubank NE, Suite A. Fantastic Sams • Fri Mar 14 • 9am • FREE • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar

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Get Wild: Read to a Child

By Kathy Freise [ Sun Mar 2 2014 12:00 PM ]

For me, it was Amelia Bedelia—the book that my mother read to me dozens of times when I was a girl. I adored the oddball title character and the wordplay: The maid, Amelia Bedelia, is told to draw the drapes when the sun comes in, so she pulls out a sketchbook and does exactly that. Ha ha! What I loved most, of course, was the time with Mom. If you need a nudge to create such a memory, make plans to read to a child tomorrow, on Read Across America Day.

Hosted by the National Education Association, the day-long observance marks Dr. Seuss’ 110th birthday and is the nation’s largest celebration of reading. It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s about spending time reading with the kiddos outside of school to help them form a lifelong relationship with the written word. While you’re at it, borrow a children’s book or two from the library. Remember, as Dr. Seuss himself says: “You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child." For tips on how to inspire children to read, call local Sylvan Learning Centers at 899-3061. Sylvan Learning Center • Mon Mar 3 • FREE • View on Alibi calendar

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Tap Some Psychic Love

By Kathy Freise [ Fri Feb 7 2014 2:30 PM ]

Recently I got back in touch with a college friend with whom I hadn't communicated for more than 15 years. She told me that we had once visited a psychic who had predicted how she would meet her future (now present) husband. To this day, I have no recollection of the visit, but I have no reason to doubt either her or the intuitive power of the universe. Just in time for the year's most indelibly romantic weekend, Abitha's Apothecary (3906 Central SE) hosts a Valentine's Psychic Faire tomorrow, where you can get readings from Abitha's expert, friendly family of readers for an affordable $1 per minute.

With any reading or a henna tattoo by Have On Art, you get a free package of "Love" incense. A little extra love in your life—what's to lose? Take a forgetful friend and go find your future spouse, get a henna tattoo or browse the shop for all manner of metaphysical items, including tarot cards, essential oils and altar supplies. Abitha's has been in business more than 25 years, so you'll be helping support a local, family-owned business. The readings go from noon to 7pm. Abitha's Apothecary • Sat Feb 8 • Noon-7pm • FREE • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar

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A Backhanded Carol for Christmas: The Santaland Diaries

By Kathy Freise [ Thu Dec 19 2013 3:00 PM ]

Just imagine the stories that roll out of this scene: “22,000 people came to see Santa today, and not all of them were well-behaved.” The setting is Santaland at Macy’s in New York, and the narrator is writer and humorist David Sedaris, working as Crumpet the Elf. “The Santaland Diaries” shares the comic experiences he collected on the job, surrounded by 10,000 twinkling lights and dozens of other hired elves. Kelsey Leos Montoya plays Sedaris for the second year running, in what could become a local tradition. The hour-long one-man show merrily skewers just about every aspect of Christmas, including happy children and Santas for hire. It’s a saucy antidote to the overwhelmingly cheerful feel of the season, with perhaps unexpected turns: Imagine Billie Holiday singing “Away in a Manger.” The Box (100 Gold SW, Suite 112) presents one show nightly on Dec. 20 and 21 at 8pm, with tickets going for $10. Due to irreverent content, it’s probably best to leave pre-teens and early teens at home. The Box Performance Space and Improv Theatre • Fri Dec 20 • 8-9pm • $10 • View on Alibi calendar

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