On the seventh anniversary of the Iraq invasion, a New Mexico nurse discusses her service
By Whitny Doyle, RN
When people hear about nurses serving in war, they probably picture a woman in white tending to wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Modern American military nursing, however, goes beyond providing comfort to our uniformed service people. Nurses may dress the wounds of the enemy. They may deploy to New Orleans to salvage lives in a temporary hospital. Some military nurses may get the chance to share their skills and knowledge with Iraqi women in makeshift classrooms. Others may find themselves witnessing history firsthand as Saddam Hussein’s guilty verdict is being read.
The National Association of Latino Independent Producers is now accepting applications for its spring 2010 Latino Writers Lab. The conference/workshop will take place May 19 through 23 in Santa Fe. It’s designed for people who want to work as professional screenwriters and develop strong screenplay material for production or sale. It includes skills development by professional instructors, direct mentoring of your work-in-progress and workshop lunches on various legal, guild and industry matters. Scripts can be in English or Spanish, but fluency in English is a requirement. From this five-day local session, 12 to 15 experienced writers will be selected to participate in a 10-day intensive lab this coming September in Santa Monica, Calif. The deadline to postmark your application is Wednesday, March 24, so you need to get on the ball. To download an application or dig up more details, log on to nalip.org.
A six-pack of docs offers a refreshing dose of reality
By Devin D. O’Leary
Increasingly, we find ourselves living in a time when the rising tide of “reality television” has us questioning what is actually real. Is Snooki, the self-described “guidette” queen from “The Jersey Shore,” real? Well, for starters, she’s not Italian. She’s Chilean. So, I think we’re fairly safe saying no. Does Maria Kanellis, one of this stars of this season’s “The Celebrity Apprentice,” actually count as a celebrity? Do the Kardashian sisters fake relationships with sports stars to drive up ratings on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”? Is “The Hills” entirely scripted? Are Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag actually human?
It’s easy to be struck by the cultural differences between America and England. Ever since that whole Revolutionary War thing, we’ve been pointing out their funny accents, their goofy use of the word “zed” instead of “z,” their deplorable habit of eating blood sausage. Occasionally, though, it’s enlightening to note our similarities. For example: Nerds, it would seem, are nerds the world over.
It's fitting that for Women's History Month, Opera Southwest is staging Georges Bizet's Carmen. The opera, set in 1830s Spain, tells the story of a strong-willed Romani woman, the eponymous Carmen, who falls in love with the soldier Don José. While bringing them together, their passion also tears them tragically apart. See Carmen at the KiMo Theatre (423 Central NW). Shows on Saturday, March 20; Tuesday, March 23; and Friday, March 26 are at 7:30 p.m. The performance on Sunday, March 28, is at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $65, with discounts available for students, seniors and groups. Get them through Opera Southwest (243-0591), ticketmaster.com or the KiMo Box Office (768-3544).
Daniel Richmond moved to Albuquerque in the fall of 2009. A Vermont native with a breathtaking talent for woodcarving and a long-standing connection to the Southwest, he came here to pursue his MFA in Sculpture at UNM. Just last week, he embossed the names of 112 New Mexico endangered species in red Jemez dirt across the university’s Smith Plaza. The meaning of the work rested as much on its creation as on its disappearance; within moments of its completion, students shuffled and skateboarded across the installation, wiping it away entirely. Over the next few months, he plans to repeat his 112Endangered Names Embossed in Dirt project—and present many others—throughout the city. The Alibi wanted to know what motivates this fantastically curious new Albuquerquean. So we went and found out.
ABQ Brew Pub opened quietly this past week (with its grand opening slated for March 19), and it was near empty during my visit. So empty that the hostess and two servers were dead asleep at a table when I walked in. Well, not asleep—but they may as well have been for all the action was going on at the bar. Maybe four people were sitting around 20 or so bar seats. Fine with me; it gave me the chance to look around without making people feel like I was ogling their dinners.
If you need a reminder that there’s more to Juárez than disheartening headlines, look no further than El Sabor de Juarez. The sunny little place on Gibson near Carlisle serves Juárez-style Mexican food under the care of owner Jesus Mata Sr. and his son Marcos. Jesus says the only concession to New Mexican cuisine they've made is the addition of flour to thicken the red and green sauces.
The saga of North Valley residents battling a cement company in their neighborhood may have come to a close. On Wednesday, March 10, the city’s Air Quality Control Board approved a settlement agreement between the Greater Gardner Neighborhood Association and American Cement.
One segment of UNM’s student population has slipped through the cracks, says undergraduate Jeffrey Waldo. “UNM has a national reputation for its diversity and takes really great efforts in welcoming its diversity, but the queer community has really been overlooked."
City employees gathered en masse to let the mayor and Council know they want to be part of the budget-tightening dialogue. More than a hundred rank-and-file workers—firefighters, police officers, clerks and others—showed up, and union representatives spoke, asking to be a part of solving the budget shortfall. They said Mayor Richard Berry assured their inclusion in the discussion, but so far that hasn't happened.
Don’t worry, Middle America. In the effort to thwart the threat to national security posed by Islamic extremism (the greatest threat to our way of life since communism swept like a hot summer breeze into Indochina), no draft will be forthcoming. All fighting will be conducted by the indentured underclass that has nothing better to do than grind out multiple tours in the warm, inviting climes of Iraq and Afghanistan for the sake of indifferent countrymen.
Dateline: Czech Republic—A newly formed travel agency in Prague is offering a unique travel service—vacations for stuffed animals. The Toy Traveling agency was pitched as an idea on the TV reality show “Den D”—a Czech spin-off of the British show “Dragons’ Den” as well as the American show “Shark Tank.” Two of the judges on the show, including a former Czech minister of information, agreed to invest 150,000 crowns (about $7,700) each in the enterprise. Since the episode aired, Toy Traveling’s website (toytraveling.com) has logged nearly 20,000 visitors. For between 90 and 150 euros ($120 to $205), customers can mail their favorite toys to the Czech Republic, where they will be taken on a guided tour of such landmarks as Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge. Tour guides will take pictures to send back with the stuffed animals. In the Premium Package, the inanimate tourists will receive a “massage” and an “aromatherapy” session.
The Alibi was very proud indeed to join Albuquerque Pride in co-presenting the first-ever OUTstanding Awards, designed to honor the best in gay and gay-allied Albuquerque. We invited the community to nominate and vote for OUTstanding recipients in January and February. The winners were announced in a glittery, sealed-envelope ceremony on Saturday, March 6, at the Radisson Hotel ballroom. In addition to bringing much-deserved recognition to Albuquerque’s LGBT population and supporters, the night was a blast!
Carefully avoiding the loaded term “unplugged,” the latest in a six-year-old series originally known as The Acoustic Showcase takes place at Low Spirits this Friday. Bands, and varying configurations thereof, perform songs from their respective catalogs as well as selected covers that don’t fit into regular repertoires. Don’t expect old favorites and regurgitated hits. Do expect obscure covers from limited-edition blue-vinyl releases that would make any record-collecting fanboy swoon.
DIY patron of the arts Derek Caterwaul on Albuquerque's SWxØFest
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Like so many of the world’s great ideas, the Southwest by No Fest began as a joke. It eventually manifested on some flyers last year, and in 2010 SWxØFest has morphed into something resembling a full-fledged festival. Events, which began last week, the convergence of a handful of atypical venues and the bounty of touring bands passing through town this month. KUNM 89.9 FM DJ and longtime promoter of local music and arts events Derek Caterwaul is among those at the helm of the endeavor. He says this month's fest is not so much a spin-off of the music industry spectacle that is SXSW but more a spinout inspired by a concentration of creative energy and counter-SXSW Austin events like Fuck by Fuck You and GAYbiGAYGAY.
The hues that appear in mid-century color photography tend to create a delicate, airy quality, as if the sands of time are causing the image to melt away before our eyes. Here we see a western view of Route 66 at I-25 and ghostly Zia images hovering in the sky during what seems to be the late ’50s. Once a humble postcard, this photo now advertises Songs for Boys & Girls with Sugar Wings at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) on Saturday at 7 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Nick Brown is a musician who likes to make weird songs late at night in the shed behind his house. He’s also the Alibi’s puppet master, a prolific blogger and a jokesmith. Here are five jazzy, new wave-y, psychedelic, random selections from his collections.
SXSW season has arrived, and you know what that means: During the next couple of weeks a disproportionate number of touring bands will be making pit stops in Albuquerque on their way to and from Austin. Among the packs of troubadours is a little piece of old Albuquerque. Two thirds of Mighty Tiger, a dreamy rock band from Seattle, is comprised of one half of the late Oh, Ranger!—Boyd Reno and Luke Heath. Imbued with the Reno-and-Heath touch—sad guitar and cheeky lyrics placed in a squirming pop context—Mighty Tiger is ever-so-slightly reminicent of their earlier local projects, but with more mature, higher fidelity results. See Mighty Tiger perform live on Tuesday, March 16, at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) with fellow Seattleite Grand Hallway, along with Albuquerque's Bellemah and The Giranimals. The show begins at 9 p.m. and $5 gets you in.
Dear Albuquerqueros: Ustedes will always have a special place in my heart, since the Alibi was the first paper with huevos to print my ¡Ask a Mexican! column. Unfortunately, I can't live in your wonderful town since my demented homeland of Orange County, Calif., needs me to expose skinheads and pedophile priests on a regular basis. But fate is bringing me back to Albuquerque this week on account of a book I'm working on—Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America (And Soon, the World)! It'll be released next year and deal with how "Mexican" food has evolved in the United States—and I'll devote a whole chapter to the Land of Enchantment, because the rest of the States used to like "Southwestern" food until pinche taco trucks became popular.
... and finds true love. The Alibi’s Joseph Baca responds to hard-hitting questions about the Land of Enchantment.
By Joseph Baca
If you’ve never heard of Gustavo “The Mexican” Arellano and his syndicated column ¡Ask a Mexican!, printed weekly in 37 newspapers throughout the U.S., you must be living on the hinterlands of pop culture. In his column, which has a circulation of about 2 million, Mr. Arellano uses scholarship, acerbic commentary, irreverent humor, cynicism and simple smarts to break down racist boundaries and answer the most straightforward questions about Mexicans. Questions regarding differences among the broad spectrum of Latinos the world over are addressed. No cultural group is safe from his biting wit, as whites, Chicanos, Filipinos, Guatemalans, Chinese, blacks and even Argentines are all fodder for his humor.
Haptic technology is to our sense of touch what graphics are to our sense of sight, explains Tom Anderson, CEO of Albuquerque company Novint. “Our technology gives you a sense of touch in computing,” he says. “You hold onto the handle of our device, and you can move it right and left and forward and backward like a mouse, but you can also move it up and down.” It controls a cursor on the screen, Anderson describes, and when that touches something, motors in the device turn on. It gives the operator the sense that they’re touching virtual objects.
The special session of the Legislature accomplished in four days what was impossible in 30: reaching an agreement on how to plug a $600 million gap in next year's budget. Legislators did it because the pressure was on—and because a lot of preliminary work was done the week before. That work at least provided a starting point for heavy negotiations.
Spectators entered the courtroom, greeted one another and chatted animatedly while they waited for the jury. Some hugged the plaintiffs, the 11 demonstrators who had been among hundreds in Albuquerque on March 20, 2003, to protest the war in Iraq. Seven years later in District Court, after two weeks of testimony, the verdict was due. The news vans were parked outside. Would the jury find that the Albuquerque Police Department stepped over the line that night by donning riot gear, launching tear gas grenades, and shooting pepper-ball guns and beanbag rifles?
Dateline: England—A sales assistant at a WH Smith store in Chichester, West Sussex, refused to sell a woman a pair of children’s safety scissors over fears that the mother might allow her daughter to use them unsupervised. Nadine Martin was at the store purchasing art supplies for her 3-year-old daughter. When the youngster placed the plastic scissors, which were marked “3+” on the checkout counter, a female sales assistant asked, “Will you be supervising her?” Mrs. Martin told the Telegraph newspaper, “She called another woman over and said it was company policy that because my daughter had put the scissors on the counter it called into question whether she would be supervised using them. I can’t believe a parent can’t buy plastic scissors. They were clearly labeled and had ‘3+’ on them. There was a queue of about four people and it was embarrassing.” In protest, Martin left the store without purchasing any of the items she and her daughter had picked up. “Customer safety is of paramount importance to us,” a WH Smith spokesperson told the Telegraph. “To that end, we insist our staff complete regular training updates to remind them of their obligations both legally and in accordance with our own policies.” The spokesperson went on to admit that, “On this occasion a staff member may have been a little overzealous in their interpretation of that training and we apologize for any inconvenience or embarrassment that may have been caused.”
Multi-use art space, coffeehouse and general neighborhood hangout The Kosmos is getting into the movie biz. Kind of. This weekend, The Kosmos will host several screenings of Jamin Winans’ much-praised ultra-indie fantasy film Ink. Ink spins the story of an 8-year-old girl who becomes a pawn in a metaphysical war being fought between the forces of light and darkness. Kidnapped and taken to a freaky alternate dimension, our heroine must fight her way back to the real world and bring salvation to her desperate father. Screenings will take place Friday and Saturday, March 12 and 13, at 8 p.m. There will also be a Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. The Kosmos is located at 1713 Fifth Street NW. For more info, log on to www.thekosmos.org. To scope out a trippy trailer for Ink, head to their YouTube channel or their website, doubleedgefilms.com.
Lots of baa, but no humbug in this raw, open-eyed elegy for the American cowboy
By Devin D. O’Leary
Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Ilisa Barbash, the husband-and-wife filmmaking team behind Sweetgrass, apparently prefer the term “recordist” over the term “director.” Walking out of the theater as the end credits roll on their latest documentary, you might be inclined to agree.
Comedy Central gets freaky with its new animated series “Ugly Americans.” Like a lot of shows, “Ugly Americans” follows the crummy work environment and lousy personal life of one average American schmuck. In this case, our schmuck is luckless twentysomething social worker Mark Lilly (voiced by Matt Oberg). Mark works for the Department of Integration, a New York agency dedicated to providing job counseling to fresh immigrants. The twist here is that, in Mark’s world, these immigrants are just as likely to include vampires, zombies, aliens, werewolves and giant chicken people as they are to consist of your average Third World refugees.
Describing the work of Alfred Darlington, known on stage as Daedelus, is no easy task. The experimental Los Angeles-based, Ninja Tune-backed electronic musician and producer inhabits realms of emerging technologies, oxymoronic juxtapositions and avant sound. A vanguard concerned with invention, he was among the first to use an instrument called a Monome box in live performance, all the while dressed like a 19th century sophisticate. Prior to his first performance in New Mexico, we questioned Darlington by means of electronic communiqué.
The Scrams, The Dirty Novels and Broken Water at Burt’s Tiki Lounge
By Captain America
How long has it been since a band has not only hit Burque but hit it over the head, taken it hapless prisoner in a trashed garage and subjected its collective ears to hip-swivel rock? Fifteen years and change I’d say, harking back to the lo-fi ruckus of The Drags when it was acceptable to not only rock but to roll. The Scrams haven’t forgotten that a band can maintain dance-worthy melody while playing as loose as a pair of two dollar shoes. No costumes, no front, no shtick but a pure adrenaline injection to your spinal cortex that dares your feet to stay still. You can see it happen live this Saturday on a triple-threat bill at Burt’s.
During the last half of this month, various underground entities will do their best to jointly exploit the talents of local lunatics and the wealth of weirdos traveling to Texas in an event known as Albuquerque Southwest by No Fest. Show info can be found at www.myspace.com/albuquerquediy.
Regret is a terrible emotion with which to live. It can gnaw at you for years, trapping you in a sad cycle of longing and self-recrimination. Do not let this happen to you. The deadline for our seventh annual Photo Contest is nigh. Go to alibi.com and click on “Photo Contest 2010” for all you need to know about how to enter. Get your submissions in by 11:59:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 14. Like most things that happen on the Ides of March, late entries are unlucky and will not be considered. The Photo Contest issue hits the streets on March 25. Don’t hate yourself for missing out.
Juli Hendren may not have sought to change our perceptions of violent activism when she started composing Waste Her, her new one-woman show playing at Tricklock Space. But she clearly intended to explore how people move from enthusiasm to extremism, and why they come to view destruction as the only viable solution to the world’s ills. Inspired by the real-life exploits of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) between the early '90s and the early Naughts, Hendren conceived of Waste Her after reading Outside’s September 2007 interview with Chelsea Gerlach.
Because I had to be out the door in 45 minutes, the hostess at Seasons recommended I sit at the dining room bar, where I took the bartender’s recommendation on a Silver Coin margarita, and focused on the menu.
Not with a bang, not with a whimper, not even with your favorite local beer blogger (yes, me) writing for the Alibi. No, there is an even surer sign of the end times than boiling seas and Sarah Palin: Golfer John Daly has all but given up beer. The man who made it cool to be a golfer has found religion, sobriety and a slimmer figure, after Lap-Band surgery allowed him to shed 115 pounds. The surgery makes it difficult to ingest carbonated drinks, and Daly says it takes him an hour to finish a beer, which he rarely craves anymore. How could a man who named one of his children after a rehab center he attended reject the liquid that greets me in the morning and tucks me into bed at night? A man who once used a beer can as a golf tee, who was arrested for being passed out at Hooters, who sported a mullet before some hipsters tried to make them ironically cool, though still hideous? (What makes Daly’s mullet cool is the fact that he rocked one while playing professional golf alongside robotic stuffed shirts.)
Here is the complete ballot listing of all this year’s Academy Awards nominees. For the top eight categories, we’ve included the accolades that have already been won, as well as the current betting odds (as provided by historic London bookmaker Ladbrokes), in case you wanna place a little wager on the winner. Plus, we’ve added our own Should Win vs. Will Win picks.
The big news for this year’s Academy Awards is that the Oscars have gotten, well, bigger. Starting this year, there will be 10 feature films nominated in the Best Picture category. While it might have been wise to separate them into Comedy and Drama categories (as the Golden Globes do), it’s still nice to see more films getting the chance at Oscar glory.
Albuquerque Little Theatre (ALT) is celebrating its 80th season this year. As a fundraiser for the historic theater—located just off Central between Downtown and Old Town—ALT is opening up its facilities and hosting an Oscar night party. So why not get out, get dressed up and share the glamour of the Academy Awards with members of Albuquerque’s arts community?
Curtis Trafton had never been to a protest before. He was 50 when the war in Iraq began, and he went with his wife, adult daughter and father to the March 20, 2003 demonstration that began in front of the UNM Bookstore. "I felt that the war was being waged against the wrong people for the wrong reasons," he said. He made a sign out of poster board that said "No War" and found a serious but upbeat crowd when he got to the university.
A bill was introduced at the Monday, March 1 Council meeting that would rein in the Albuquerque Police Department's policy of letting officers take home squad cars on the public's dime. Joey Segala, the police union president,told the Council during public comment that the perk of take-home cars is part of the union contract. He also said police cars in home driveways is a safety bonus for some taxpayers who like having a visible police presence in their neighborhoods. There was no action or discussion by councilors on the squad car costs, but they will talk about this at the next meeting on Monday, March 15.
Dateline: England—A theme park in Surrey is on the hunt for England’s smelliest urine in hopes of lending authenticity to a new movie-themed thrill ride. On Friday, Feb. 26, Thorpe Park, near Chertsey, asked members of the public to submit personal water samples. The person with the country’s most pungent pee will win a £500 ($760) prize and have his or her signature scent immortalized in the park’s new SAW Alive attraction. Based on the popular Saw film series, SAW Alive is billed as “the world’s most extreme live action horror maze” and will feature “six traps depicting the most grisly and iconic scenes from the six Saw films.” The much-sought-after urine will be pumped into the attraction’s bathroom scene, recreating a “realistic and truly gut-wrenching sensory experience.” Thorpe Park’s entertainments manager Laura Sinclair is responsible for choosing the most eye-watering whiz. “We want SAW Alive to be as authentic and terrifying as possible to make visitors feel as if they are living in a real-life horror film,” Sinclair told journalists. “To do this, we need to really push the boundaries of what our guests experience from a sensory point of view.” Sinclair went on to say that the park needs the help of the public to “create the most realistic and unsavory urine odor. We are looking for a sample that will really get the public gagging.” SAW Alive is expected to open in Spring 2010.
Everybody loves to get something for nothing. But let’s say you went to Blake’s yesterday and bought a Lotaburger. Then let’s say you went back today and ordered a Lotacombo, which includes a Lotaburger, fries and a Coke. But when it came time to pay, you deducted the price of the Lotaburger from your bill, explaining that you didn’t need to pay for it again because you’d already paid for a Lotaburger yesterday. You might receive some choice words, but you would not get your food.
Looking for a laugh? The Friends of Film and Video Arts (FoFVA) is hosting LOL Friends of Film Funny Film Fest, a night of “improv, silly hosting and funny flicks” on Friday, March 5. The event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. at the UNM Continuing Education Building (1634 University NE). Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. In addition to the juried screening of Laugh Out Loud (that’s what LOL stands for, Luddites) short films, there will be street entertainers and comedians throughout the evening. For more info, log on to filmvideoarts.org.
Plastic playthings spring to life in anarchic anti-Toy Story
By Devin D. O’Leary
“H.R. Pufnstuf,” “Teletubbies,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Yo Gabba Gabba!” Every few years a self-described “kids” show pops up that holds a peculiar, hypnotic appeal for adults—particularly those under the inhaled influence of certain recreational substances. The latest series to add its name to this surrealist list is the oddball Belgian-born creation known as “A Town Called Panic” (or “Panique au village” in its native tongue).
A whole galaxy of Hollywood stars will be in attendance, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin will share hosting duties, and at some point, somebody’s bound to show up on stage painted Avatar blue. (My money’s on Robin Williams.) But this year’s Academy Awards telecast boils down to one simple question. It’s the same question that comes up every year, and it’s the only one people actually care about: Who’s gonna win?
Tenacious D’s Southern rock spin-off pulls into town
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Do you love bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet and ZZ Top as much as you love a fine woman with a towering perm who wears jeans cut so high the fabric reaches past that perm? Would you rather drink a six-pack of Bud on a lawn chair in the bed of your truck than sip wine at one of those fancy Olive Gardens? Does your arm bear the symbol of freedom that is an eagle sheathed in the American flag? If you answered any of these with a spirited “Shit Yeah!,” then read on, y'all.
We’re not so sure what’s pictured in this flyer, but we’re guessing it’s some kind of Eastern European art car. Except everyone knows they don’t have cars in Eastern Europe—just vampires and Yugos. On Wednesday, March 10, Zoltan Szekely[xurl] and Josh English celebrate their birthdays. Beginning at 6 p.m., Black Market Goods (114 Morningside NE) hosts the music of Zoltan Orkestar, Le Chat Lunatique, Squash Blossom Boys and Totem. This all-ages show is $5. Happy birthday, lads. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Returning from a hiatus, Song Roulette sought out the random selections of Ms. Jill McArthur—former drummer extraordinaire for a handful of lauded local bands including The Foxx, The Grave of Nobody’s Darling and The Mindy Set. (She’s also a stylist responsible for many beautiful haircuts, and she’s a snappy dresser, too.) At the end of this month Jill picks up and moves to New York City. We bid her a fond farewell and wish her the best of luck in the big city.
Photogs, clicksters, soul-capturers—what are you waiting for? The seventh annual Alibi Photo Contest is well underway, but lucky for you there's still time to enter. Head over to alibi.com and click on “Photo Contest 2010.” You'll see mucho info on categories, rules and submission guidelines. Winners, selected by a panel of Alibi staffers and honest-to-goodness photo experts, will score a heap of fabulous prizes, courtesy of local merchants. And this year, for the first time ever, you can visit our contest page on Flickr (flickr.com/groups/alibiphotocontest2010) to see what others are entering. The photos submitted so far have set a pretty high bar. Will this be our best contest ever? I hope I'm not jinxing it when I say absolutely totally without a doubt completely. Deadline is Sunday, March 14.
Once upon a time, two papas—an emperor penguin and a sea horse, to be precise—took a tandem ride. But they had neither an ordinary bicycle nor an ordinary purpose. Their contraption, though the size of any old ten-speed, was perfectly outfitted for the tiny stature of a penguin captain, while the back seat generously accommodated the winged legnessless of a sea horse passenger. Perched high above their heads, in a kitchen sink converted to cradle a bird’s nest, were three eggs. Their eggs. And they embarked upon this expedition to bring their babies into the most beautiful world they could discover.
Wisconsin native Kirk Farber moved out west after college looking for new experiences and, as a bonus, found the literary agent who would make the dream of publishing his first novel a reality. Postcards from a Dead Girl was launched Feb. 16, and independent booksellers have voted it as one of their favorite 20 new releases; it’s an “Indie Next” pick for March 2010. The irreverently funny novel chronicles the experiences of an eccentric telemarketer named Sid who receives postcards from an old girlfriend who has died. Or has she?
One of the books I remember best from my childhood is a picture book about women’s suffrage. Although it may not have a place in the kids’ book hall of fame alongside such heavyweights as Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are and The Berenstain Bears, I think it probably had more influence over me than that literary triumvirate. As my mother read it to me, she would pause to talk about how relatively recent women’s liberation was; how she had been the only woman in her math and science classes in college; how her generation had fought for equal rights, equal pay and equal respect, all of which are still not always granted. It made me appreciate what my mother’s and my grandmother’s generations endured, and it taught me that I should never settle for less than what I deserved.
A grand old building that’s full of welcome surprises
By Ari LeVaux
Fujiyama, a new Japanese/Korean joint on Central, inhabits the building that used to house the legendary New Chinatown. The space feels slightly haunted—you can sense its history in the echoing, cavernous foyer that connects to large dining rooms through arched doorways.