Cheers for a clown. With newspapers like the Albuquerque Journal helping his cause, no wonder Karl Rove is considered to be a genius.
Dateline: Scotland—A would-be vampire working at the Edinburgh Dungeons' horror tour has been removed from her job after fainting at the sight of blood. Marianne Sellar, who plays a vampire at the popular tourist attraction, was about to take a bite from a "victim" planted in the audience when another audience member announced that she had a nosebleed. Ms. Sellar, 24, collapsed and was forced to admit to her bosses that she has had a life-long phobia of blood. "It is quite embarrassing," Sellar told the Daily Mail. "I had managed to keep my phobia a secret for three years because normally we only deal with fake blood, which I can handle. When the visitor showed me all the real blood, I just collapsed." Ms. Sellar has been moved to another part of the tourist attraction and a new actress is being trained to replace her role in the Dungeons' feature tour "Vampires: Fact or Fiction?"
April Fools—Guild Cinema is celebrating April 1 in high style with a one-night-only screening of "Pranks!!" This special salute to April Fool's Day includes an assortment of devilish, devious video works from around the country. "Homeland Security: It's in Your Hands" by The White Ring offers "tips" on surviving these increasingly dangerous and scary times. The hilarious "G.I. Joe PSAs" by Eric Fensler, features the red-blooded TV cartoon hero teaching kids how to defuse many a bad situation. "The Eternal Frame" by legendary performance filmmakers Ant Farm is one of the seminal video works of the '70s, restaging the tragic events of Dallas 1963. There will be plenty more video insanity including a rare, classic "mystery screening" by famed underground filmmaker Todd Haynes (Safe, Far From Heaven). Screenings take place at 5:30 and 8 p.m.
Chris Smither always manages to sound real on his records. Like he's living the songs he sings every day. In a sense, that's exactly what the 50-year-old acoustic bluesman is doing—living the very truths he sets to music. Smither's childhood wasn't unpleasant, but it wasn't stable either. His parents, both university professors, moved the family from Miami to Ecuador to Texas to New Orleans to Paris back to New Orleans, all by the time Smither was 13 years old and already fascinated by music.
Another March has passed, and with it another installment of the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, where several of us go every year to scout the newest, coolest bands. OK, we all see a few older cool bands, too, but most of the reason we go every year is to give you a brief preview of bands to watch when we get back. Plus, it keeps us from killing ourselves (and each other) the remaining months of the year. Here we go with SXSW 2004 Top 10:
Remember that nifty deck of cards that the Bush administration distributed just after we invaded Iraq? The cards were designed to be distributed among members of our armed services to aid in capturing the nastiest members of the Baath regime. They were also designed to popularize an invasion that with each passing day seems to have less and less to do with the war on terrorism.
Over the last few years, Eric Schlosser has built up a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most innovative journalists in the country. His first book, Fast Food Nation, a huge bestseller, was Schlosser's ambitious exposé of our country's fast food industry. Among other frightening facts, the book revealed an almost complete lack of governmental oversight of the meat-packing industry. He also discussed some of the truly disgusting pathogens and other nasty bits found in much of our fast food.
When I win the Powerball, I'm going to quit this job and live a life of self-indulgence and shameless excess. Sleep ’til noon! Tuaca shots and table dancing all night! A fleet of Hummers in the seven-car garage of my Pueblo-Gothic mansion! But when I get tired of all the partying, I'll do some volunteer work. My first philanthropic effort will be to rewrite the menu of pretty much every restaurant in town. I will strive toward organization, simplicity, accuracy and correct spelling. No longer will Vietnamese cafés list 132 items, 42 of which are rice vermicelli and meat in different combinations. You will simply order vermicelli and then make your own combination from the list: beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, tofu, egg roll. You want enchiladas? You won't have to read three pages of menu, just make a small series of decisions: yellow or blue corn tortillas, beef or chicken, red or green, rolled or stacked, à la carte or plate. I'll give unusual dishes appetizing names and descriptions that actually mean something (I'm sure there's a better way to describe a bowl of soup with well done beef, tendon, tripe and fat). And I'll ban overly confusing terms from the menu. If Scalo wants to serve poussin, fine. But I'm calling it young chicken.
March 12 was the last day of lunch service at Monte Vista Fire Station (Central and Monte Vista NW). Chef Tony Nethery decided to focus his efforts on the already tempting dinner menu and expand the upstairs bar's snack menu. The restaurant now opens at 5 p.m. “Dinner-only is a blast,” Nethery says. “I'm really working on the bar menu, making more nice, small plates. They're not tapas, but like that.” Ted Nicely, Monte Vista's pastry chef, says he's happy to have more time for one of his favorite activities: making ice cream. Nicely offers four or five ice creams and about as many sorbets, in flavors ranging from milk chocolate-hazelnut to raspberry balsamic, guava and pecan praline. His ice cream sandwich is made with flourless chocolate brownies flavored with orange zest, cinnamon and pistachios, on either side of a disc of Earl Grey and coffee-cardamom ice cream. Go ahead, pause for a moment and try to imagine how all those flavors come together. I, for one, plan to take one for the team and try it out in person.