Competition has been fierce this year for the 15th annual P.U.-litzer Prizes.
Dateline: Germany--A young woman who didn’t want to go to work came up with a simple solution late last month--she sent a text message to her parents saying she had been kidnapped. Police in the Bavarian town of Straubing said they had carried out a huge search throughout the region for the 21-year-old woman who disappeared on Dec. 23. She turned up at her fast-food restaurant job the following morning, saying the kidnappers had let her go. The woman was questioned by police and later admitted she make up the whole story because she owed a colleague 25 euros (about $40) and did not have the money. She now faces a fine of up to 1000 euros ($1,680).
So many bad films, so little space. Would that I could extoll the non-virtues of Doogal, Material Girls, Just My Luck, RV and Man of the Year. If only I had room to discuss Steve Martin’s systematic destruction of The Pink Panther franchise. Just a word or two about the endless, pointless horror film remakes (The Hills Have Eyes, The Omen, When a Stranger Calls, The Wicker Man, Black Christmas) ... But no. This is the worst of the worst, and we’ve gotta muck our way right to the bottom.
2006's Six Great Things in Local Music—I know, I know. Somewhere in the history of journalism, someone said, "Let there be 10, or thy year-closing lists shall be struck from the hands of thy readers with lightning bolts." Quick! Drop your paper!
Simfonik Plague, Hit By a Bus and The Ya Ya Boom Project are more fun than a barrelful of elephants this Thursday, Jan. 4, at Ralli's Fourth Street Pub and Grill (free, 21-and-over). (LM)
N.M. Book Award—The New Mexico Book Co-op is unveiling a new book award to draw attention to the best books connected to our literary state. Judged by a panel of scholars and librarians, the contest is open to any author or publisher, as long as the book submitted has some tangible connection to New Mexico or the Southwest. Entries must have been published from 2005 through the present. Deadline is July 1, 2007, with a discount for entries submitted by April 15. For more information and categories, go to nmbookaward.com.
1. 2006 was so crowded with megawatt names in American fiction that it was easy to overlook (in my opinion) that the best fiction came from overseas. The very best of these imports was Alaa Al Aswany’s hilarious and terribly sad novel, The Yacoubian Building (HarperCollins, paper, $13.95), which depicts a cross-section of Egyptian life around the Gulf War as Dickens would, had he have been an Egyptian, of course.
Thanks for the Calories--I've gained eight pounds this year. Bad for my vanity, but a very good indication of the gastronomical happenings in our humble burg in 2006. Here are some of Albuquerque's other "big" trends of the year.