If you haven't seen it yet, you really need to watch The Motorcycle Diaries, the brilliant movie (Spanish with English subtitles) about an eight-month motorcycle trip across South America in 1952 by two youthful Argentinean medical students, Ernesto Guevara de la Serna and Alberto Granado.
Dateline: Australia—A group of drug-sniffing police dogs in Victoria will have to be retrained after it was revealed that the animals were drilled using a packet of talcum power. “I'm sure our dogs have got very soft, nice-smelling noses at the moment,” Victorian Police Assistant Commissioner Paul Evans told ABC Online. “But they are, in fact, trained in detecting talcum powder, so that means that they will have to be retrained in detecting cocaine.” An investigation is underway to see how the cocaine sample, used for police sniffer dog training, was substituted with talcum power. The Ethical Standards Division of the Australian Federal Police, who supplied the “cocaine,” is trying to determine if the sample was stolen or if an administrative error resulted in the switch.
Seminars for Screenwriters—Saturday, June 4, marks the launch of the New Mexico Screenwriter's Series. Founders Gene Grant and Marc Calderwood hope to bring monthly seminars and extensive quarterly workshops to New Mexico's growing cabal of would-be screenwriters. How to find an agent, how to negotiate a deal and how to sell a spec script over the Internet are just a few of the topics that will be discussed in the coming months. Grant and Calderwood have recruited an impressive roster of professional film talent to run these regular educational seminars. WGA member Deborah L. Smith will helm the very first monthly program, covering the fundamentals of feature scripting. The seminar is scheduled to take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Rio Grande Studios (6608 Gulton NE). Cost for the monthly seminar is a mere $10. Future guests will include noted Los Angeles screenwriting teacher Jim Mercurio and celebrated Chicago screenwriter Dan Decker. For more information, log on to www.nmscreenwriters.com.
A safe ride home is RAD! This past weekend the city debuted its Rapid After Dark (RAD) service, which connects entertainmaint districts along Central from Unser to Wyoming until 3 a.m. The expanded service costs just $1 to ride, and each bus is staffed with a neighborly security guard to keep your drunk ass safe. Assistant to the mayor A.J. Carian says that the city is hoping to promote local artists through "a rotating CD" that will be played on the Rapid After Dark line. If you or your band would like to be included in the project, call 768-3047, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Colleen Duffy created Devil Doll one late, smoky evening many blue moons ago with the mission of putting sex back into rock and roll. Deciding that the world of music had not heard the truth since Joan Jett and Johnny Cash, and hadn't blushed since Mae West, she grabbed her bass, a microphone and hit "record."
After Jack White made Loretta Lynn hip last year, it would appear that MCA is cashing in. However, this collection of 24 duets is an amazing display of vocal compatibility, though accompanied by more or less mediocre country instrumentation. What really stands out here is a variety of persona adoptions. As Conway professes love, cheats or leaves, Loretta coos, playfully teases or reacts with utter pain. Classic country fans, take note.
This Friday, June 3, at Trevor Lucero Studio (500 Second Street SW), Jennifer Burkley unveils her "Tylenol Room," an ambitious art installation constructed from more than half a million pills. Trippy! Burkley says the work is a meditation on loss and survival. Check it out at the reception from 5 to 8 p.m. 244-0730.
There isn't a single place on the planet where water isn't important, but here in the desert it's our lifeblood. Wetlands in our region of the country are cauldrons of fertility. In his new book, photographer and naturalist Lucian Niemeyer documents areas as diverse as Mexico's Cuatro Cienegas Basin, Arizona's San Pedro River, Utah's Escalante River, Texas' Big Bend National Park and New Mexico's own Bosque del Apache. In the process, Desert Wetlands celebrates the value and necessity of moisture in our dry-as-dust pocket of the world. Niemeyer will make an appearance on Thursday, June 23, at 7 p.m. at Page One Books (11018 Montgomery NE, 294-2026) to sign and discuss this fascinating book.
What's in a name? When I asked our waitress, “Who or what is Geezamboni?” she told me (tongue firmly planted in cheek), “It's the name of the owner's cousin's wife's dog.” Then she laughed and said she'd been given permission to say whatever she wanted when people asked about the name. But don't let it confuse you. My friends were hesitant about joining me for dinner because they thought the place must be Italian. Italian it is not, original it is.
Gazpacho is the perfect summer soup. It comes from Spain, where there are many variations in the preparation of the dish. There's even a “white” gazpacho made with almonds and white grapes, but I'll stick to the traditional version. This recipe is from a Spanish friend who lives in beautiful Seville, where this delicious chilled soup is thickened with bread. I eat a lot of gazpacho when my own crop of juicy, scrumptious tomatoes starts to ripen. It's important to use high quality tomatoes. The secret of a great gazpacho is making it a day ahead of time so all the flavors have a chance to marry. The soup tastes quite bland when first assembled, but after it rests for a day, you can adjust the flavor by adding more salt, pepper, mashed canned tomatoes or juice. Serve it icy-cold in chilled bowls and garnish with freshly made croutons. If you'd like to sample this version of the dish, I'll be doing a cooking demo/tasting at Bookworks on Rio Grande, Saturday, June 11, at 2 p.m. So come on down and try a sip.