Alibi V.16 No.33 • Aug 16-22, 2007

Walking in Burque

Behold the burden of the autoless female in Albuquerque

I'm walking up Central at 5 p.m. against a cold wind. It's January, and dusk is quickly turning into night as I stride east, mall walker-style, toward my evening class at UNM. Only a block into the journey at Central and High Street, a man yells at me from a large, moving truck. I don't catch the particular crass flattery, but do get an earful of "Wooooo!" A loud honk follows and the vehicle speeds away. Humiliated and angry, I want gestured and spoken obscenities to flow forth and assault these degenerates, but for fear of retribution all I can do is seethe. As I continue walking—under I-25, past Presbyterian, by abandoned and defiled storefronts, passing hooker upon drug-addled hooker—I can now only see the city's ugliness and despair. Along the way I am heckled three more times.

Gus Pedrotty’s Alibi interview [Video]

Gus Pedrotty—Gus, as he likes to be known—stopped by Alibi Headquarters to discuss a bid for mayor that began as idealistic—and some would say unlikely—but has since been transformed into one of the more vital and remarkable candidacies that have passed through this high desert city in ages.

Eric Williams

Alibi Celebrates Pride

Guests of the N.M. Pride Celebration join Weekly Alibi to party

We would like to thank everyone who visited our booth at the Albuquerque Pride Celebration and the wonderful folx running the beautiful event.

feature

Welcome to the 505

Advice for newcomers from a newcomer

“What would people do in a world without green chile?” my editor asked rhetorically over the staff’s weekly luncheon at Duran’s (1815 Central NW). She wasn't expecting an answer, but I gave her one anyway. “They eat lots of pork chops and corn,” I said. “That world does exist. It’s called the Midwest, and by and large, it’s very boring.”

50 Ways to Blog New Mexico

If you've got something to say, blog about it. It's easier than getting your own opinion column in a newspaper, but still offers the challenge of making your voice heard—a challenge hundreds of locals have taken on. From the comfort of their own homes, bloggers have the freedom to say anything about everything. Some have the benefit of getting paid, while others simply use blogging as an outlet or hobby. Either way, New Mexicans blog about it all, from politics to bunnies. And with so many accessible local viewpoints, surviving in the Land of Enchantment is a task even the laziest of locals can do. A computer and Web connection is all you need to get started—no high-level survival techniques required.

Speed Dial

Let your finger do the walking

Have you ever had one of those crazy days when your landlord kicks you out for not taking care of that little roach problem that got out of hand, and you need to refill your Zoloft prescription by midnight or else you'll just lose it, and you need to call a crisis hotline but just can't find the damn phone number? Well, no more excuses, because here is a list of phone numbers that can help you tackle whatever life throws in your path. Emergencies, recreation, employment, it's all here at your fingertips. Cut out these numbers and stick 'em on your fridge—you know you'll need them. Also listed, whenever possible, are TTY and TTD numbers, as well as e-mail and Web addresses.

Staying Alive

The Alibi Scavenger Hunt II

You've got to be tough to survive this place. Between the dust devils and drunk drivers, Albuquerque sometimes feels more like an obstacle course than the laid-back little city we know it to be. It's a frontier town, after all. For all the modern conveniences that come with living in our state's metropolitan center, there's still something wild in the water. Most of us prefer it that way.

art

Culture Shock

Following a successful run at the Desert Rose Playhouse, Ntozake Shange's choreopoem, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, migrates to Out ch'Yonda (929 Fourth Street SW) this week. You don't know what a choreopoem is? Don't feel too bad—you aren't alone. In this case, a choreopoem is a chain of performed poems recited by nameless women identified only by colors. Shange's piece debuted on Broadway back in the ’70s and is consistently praised for its powerful writing and poetic exploration of the lives of black women. The show runs Friday, Aug. 17, and Saturday, Aug. 18, at 8:15 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 19, at 3:15 p.m. $10 at the door, $2 for Barelas neighbors of the theater. (How cool is that?) Since space is limited, you might want to call 385-5634 to make reservations.

Intensive Care

Cradle to Cradle at the UNM Hospital Art Gallery

The Alibi's photographer, Xavier Mascareñas, has a natural talent for bringing out the best in kids, a skill as useful as it is rare. He’s put that talent to impressive use in an exhibit that opened last week in the UNM Hospital Art Gallery, of all places. Beginning last Friday, the walls of that gallery will display Xavier's photographs, part of a project to document the move of UNM's old Children's Hospital to the new UNM Children’s Hospital Barbara and Bill Richardson Pavilion.

food

Survival Gourmet

A disaster is no reason to not entertain properly

The floodwaters are rising, the earth is quaking, zombies are breaking down your back door and you have a house full of dinner guests (of the living kind). Your first instinct may be to pop open a can of Dinty Moore, but you can do better than that. The key to surviving extreme circumstances is to not give up. Do not give up hope, and do not give up your basic human need for fine foods.

Korean BBQ House

Feel the burn

It's hard to pinpoint what makes kimchi, Korea's national side dish of fermented vegetables, good. Is it the vibrant colors? The insane textures? The salty, intense taste? Whatever it may be, you'd have to go far to find a better dress for leftover rice, and flu season would be a helluva lot longer without kimchi's dual powers of vitamin C and anti-oxidant garlic. After an uneven dinner at Korean BBQ House in Nob Hill, I can say that aside from the slow burn of their remarkably good kimchi, this restaurant makes an über-cure for respiratory ailments that also doubles as a damn fine soup.

Whiskey Popsicles

A few days ago we set upon making a four-course salad dinner for friends that we firmly insisted was to be strictly eating only: no photos, no blogging. Sometimes you just have to take a vacation, right? Well, since we’re mildly OCD when it comes to sharing food and booze tricks, we found a loophole and stuck a quick liquid dessert in the freezer. The mix of sour cherry juice, vermouth, bourbon and fresh mint comprises all the ingredients for a traditional Manhattan. When dinner was over we had a popsicle tray of frozen cocktail popsicles (cocksicles!) waiting for us. The result? Tongue-numbing flavor crystals.

Cannibal Cuisine

Eat, but don’t be eaten

So you’re stuck in the wilderness with five of your closest buddies. You've run out of food and rescue is beginning to look unlikely. Though no one has brought it up, you’re all wondering who is going to be eaten first.

news

The Scoop on the Poop

Who's responsible for human waste--citizens or the city?

James Burbank has a disgusting problem on his hands—literally. Luckily, he has his very own hazmat suit for his protection. For the past four years, homeless people have used the alleyway that faces his garage as a thoroughfare to Morningside Park (3899 Lead SE). Only for the people who hang-out in the park, there’s no place for them to do their business.

Thin Line

I'm not one to care about whether a politician cheats on his or her spouse. Truly, I suspect lots of them do—along with all kinds of regular people.

Answer Me This

The news just keeps on coming. Some days you pay attention. Some days you don't. Look here in every Alibi to refresh your memory about what's going on in your community. Don't worry if you don't know all the answers—there's a cheat sheet at the end.

He Said-They Said

At the Aug. 6 meeting, city councilors voted to schedule a recall election of District 9 Councilor Don Harris along with the regular Oct. 2 municipal voting. Combining the elections guarantees that the recall will receive the minimum number of votes necessary. But it also might dilute the sorehead vote, making it harder to reach the also-necessary 50 percent majority necessary to remove Harris from office.

Albuquerque's Right-wing Death Squads

Confronting our city’s criminal street gangs

According to the Albuquerque Police Department, our city has 7,800 “ranked in” members of some 200 criminal street gangs. That doesn’t include taggers, pee wees and wannabees. It’s the number of criminals who have satisfied minimum entrance requirements for street gang membership.

Odds & Ends

DATELINE: RUSSIA--It was raining crocodiles in the Russian nuclear research town of Sarov last week. Pedestrians in the town east of Moscow were shocked when a 3-foot-long caiman crocodile landed on the sidewalk in front of them. As it turns out, the reptile was a pet, which had fallen from its owner’s 12th story apartment after leaning too far out the window. Frightened passersby called the emergency services and rescuers managed to lasso the stunned animal and take it to a shelter for stray pets. RIA Novosti news agency reported the animal was soon returned to its owner, unharmed apart from damage to one of its teeth.

film

Reel World

The time has come for another round of New Visions/New Mexico contract awards. This program, sponsored by Governor Richardson and the New Mexico Film Office, is designed to assist local filmmakers by providing a total of $160,000 in contracts to help in the creation of narrative films, documentaries, animated and experimental work.

Superbad

Teen sex comedy does raunch right

Judd Apatow kick-started his Hollywood career writing, directing and executive producing the underappreciated-in-its-time sitcom “Freaks & Geeks.” Nowadays, he’s Hollywood’s hottest comedy ace, having acted as the guiding force behind such theatrical hits as The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up. The surprise success of those two films has made Apatow the go-to guy for raunchy comedy. Despite the unapologeticaly R-rated antics of those films, Apatow is secretly a nice guy, slipping an unexpectedly sweet moral message underneath all the dirty jokes. Knocked Up was an ultimately good-natured romance about doing the right thing. The 40-Year-Old Virgin was a sex comedy that argued fairly convincingly for chastity.

Death at a Funeral

British-bred comedy of manners is amusing, but wants to be hilarious

Funerals aren’t inherently funny. But if you throw enough toilet humor, hallucinogenic drugs and naughty innuendo at them, they might be. That seems to be the prevailing attitude behind Death at a Funeral, a quaintly crude British comedy that isn’t all that funny, but tries really, really hard.

music

Music to Your Ears

There's a perception that skateboarders are unmotivated people. When skaters aren't out carelessly destroying public property by "grinding" and such, they're manning the fryer at a shitty service industry job (if they have a job) or playing Xbox on some nasty old couch, probably one that belongs to a dude named Boner (or more precisely, Boner's mother).

Add It Up

One Foundation backs The 2bers in a live recording at 3rd Street Arts

One shot. That's what The 2bers are giving themselves to make their seventh disc and debut release with backup band One Foundation. One straight shot, live.

Alibi V.16 No.32 • Aug 9-15, 2007

Beyond Performance

A new theater company combines the stage with the classroom

Who would've thought that our dear little Albuquerque could muster such a sizable explosion of theatrical creativity? The latest addition to our city's growing pantheon of theater organizations is the Mother Road Theatre Company. Consisting of some of the finest veterans of Burque theater, the group's innovative vision sets it apart from the rest of our impressive scene.

feature

The Big Flunk

An interview with Anita Forte, the teacher at the center of APS' grade change scandal

We all talk the talk. We all say our kids need to learn that if they screw up—or screw off—there are going to be consequences. You don't show up. You don't do your work. You don't get a free pass, no matter who your parents are. The world outside the sanctuary of the classroom doesn't offer free passes. If we want our kids to become functioning members of society, the world inside the classroom shouldn't offer free passes, either.

Who Killed Brad Will?

And why have Mexican and U.S. authorities allowed the murderers of an American journalist go free?

OAXACA—Those of us who report from the front lines of the social justice movement in Latin America share an understanding that there’s always a bullet out there with our names on it. Brad Will traveled 2,500 miles, from New York to this violence-torn Mexican town, to find his.

film

Reel World

The 4th annual SouthWest Indian Film Theater (SWIFT) will present two days worth of short and feature films by Native American filmmakers at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (2401 12th NW). Among the films to be shown are Shonie & Andee De La Rosa’s Navajo drama Mile Post 398 and Mia Boccella Hartle & Marley Shebala’s inspirational documentary When Our Hands Are Tied. There will also be a special block of animated shorts. Screenings will take place from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, and 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 12. Admission is a mere $3 for an all-day pass. Log on to www.indianpueblo.org for a detailed schedule of films and times.

Becoming Jane

Regency-period romance transforms Jane Austen into a fictional lovebird

Becoming Jane is a speculative biopic that imagines a young, pre-fame Jane Austen as just another highbrow chick flick heroine mooning over the forbidden love of a hunky Irish lad. While it contains all the usual trappings necessary for a romantic costume drama (provincial English manor homes, fancy balls, horse-drawn carriages and lots of long walks in the countryside), the film’s greatest handicap is that it wasn’t actually written by Austen.

Killer of Sheep

Long-lost indie provides raw, unfiltered look at working-class life

Shot in 1973 by then UCLA film school student Charles Burnett, Killer of Sheep has become something of a lost classic of American cinema. The film was shot on weekends over the course of an entire year on a budget of less than $10,000. It wasn’t finished until 1977, and only saw a cursory college/film fest release in the early ’80s. By 1990, however, the film had built up a solid reputation and was declared a national film treasure by the Library of Congress, which enshrined it among the first 50 films in the National Film Registry. In 2002, the National Society of Film Critics selected it as one of the 100 essential films of all time.

These are Not the Droids You’re Looking For

“Mind Control with Derren Brown” on Sci-Fi Channel

Derren Brown is not a psychic. He can’t actually read minds. He has no paranormal abilities whatsoever. And yet, he’s better at what he does than just about everybody on the planet who claims to have supernatural powers.

art

Culture Shock

Starting this week, both floors of 516 Arts (516 Central NW) are going to be crammed with installations created by a host of world-renowned video artists. Presented in collaboration with SITE Santa Fe, Ghosts in the Machine opens this Saturday, August 11, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. The show will run through Oct. 20. For details, call 242-1445 or visit www.516arts.org.

food

Sweet 14

Boulder's Avery Brewing Company is probably the best argument in favor of Southwestern beer superiority. In terms of flavor, packaging and lunacy, their beers rank highly in our little pantheon of liquid love. Oak-aged barley wines? Fifteen percent alcohol by volume (ABV) stouts? Imperial Oktoberfest Lager? Every year this brewery churns out beautiful bombers that make our tender clutches quake when we spot them in reach-in refrigerators.

Big Texas BBQ

Saucy meat and the cobbler is sweet

Enjoying a smoky, saucy plate of barbecued meat is one of life’s simple pleasures. Trying to categorize exactly what style of barbecue you're digging into, however, can spin your brain around worse than slamming a case of beer and hanging upside down from a tree. You have Kansas City-style sauce, which is thick with tomato and molasses. There's sweet and spicy St. Louis-style. People in Georgia like their sauce with bourbon and brown sugar, while Alabama natives prefer a dab of mustard and vinegar in theirs. The Carolinas have their own subsets of barbecue sauce by region, from tomato and vinegar in the north to lots of black pepper in the south.

news

Making the Desert a Little Greener

Alternative ways of getting around Albuquerque

A 2000 study conducted by the Mid-Region Council of Governments found that 81 percent of Albuquerque commuters drive alone. You can witness it yourself—just walk out to any busy street and count the number of vehicles you see with only one person riding in them. Or make it easier by just counting the number of vehicles with more than one person.

Thin Line

You may recall that Staff Writer Marisa Demarco bequeathed that nickname to Rupert Murdoch not that long ago [Re: Thin Line, “Protest Asshat,” July 5-11]. If ever there were a time when the appropriateness of that moniker fit like a caterpillar in a cocoon, it is now, with the shattering news that Murdoch is to buy the Wall Street Journaland its parent company, Dow Jones.

What do you know about last week?

The news just keeps on coming. Some days you pay attention. Some days you don't. Look here in every Alibi to refresh your memory about what's going on in your community. Don't worry if you don't know all the answers—there's a cheat sheet at the end.

Where Have All the Workers Gone?

My excitement about reaching the age at which one qualifies for Social Security benefits has been tempered drastically by a couple of demographic time bombs that wake me up in the wee hours of the morning and won’t let me go back to sleep.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England—A woman who ripped off her ex-boyfriend’s left testicle and then tried to swallow it has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. The Liverpool Crown Court heard that 37-year-old Geoffrey Jones had ended his long-term but “open relationship” with Amanda Monti, 24, toward the end of May last year. The pair remained on good terms, however. On May 30, she picked him up from a party and the pair gathered for drinks with friends at Mr. Jones’ house. An argument broke out after Jones allegedly refused Monti’s sexual advances. A physical struggle followed. In his statement, Mr. Jones said Monti grabbed his genitals and “pulled hard.” He added: “That caused my underpants to come off and I found I was completely naked and in excruciating pain.” The court heard that a friend saw Monti put Mr. Jones’ testicle into her mouth and try to swallow it. She choked and spat it back into her hand before the friend grabbed it and gave it back to Jones, saying, “That’s yours.” Doctors were unable to reattach the organ. In a letter to the court, Monti said she was sorry for what she had done. “It was never my intention to cause harm to Geoff and the fact that I have caused him injury will live with me forever,” she wrote, adding, “I am in no way a violent person.”

music

Music to Your Ears

Seven years and 99 performances ago, the Bosque House Concerts were almost another New Mexican What If—a fantastic idea that, somewhere along the way, disappears into the lazy obscurity of mañana. But praise la Virgen de Guadalupe! After this week's Sunday, Aug.12, show, the Bosque House Concerts will have collected a nice round number's worth of happy memories. The 100th Bosque House Concert will also be its last.

Kind of St. Vincent

Armloads of brainpower make for strong album

St. Vincent is not Annie Clark's alter-ego. "It's more like an alter ... I don't know. Just an alter," says the ambiguous multi-instrumentalist and self-proclaimed nerd.

A Man and His Portable Amp

Local troubadour explores his city through sound

The clincher is a 9-volt amp peeking from his back pocket. You've seen this man before. Maybe he was shuffling through Downtown, maybe up near Nob Hill or down in Old Town, this guy who ambles and noodles on an electric guitar. This dude who skips muffled, dirty sounding chords down sidewalks, off storefront windows, into alcoves like stones across water.

Santa Fe Musik Fest

Rising tents and stages liven up view of the Downs

Santa Feans watched the eight-foot letters, made of painted rocks laid on grass, slowly fade over time. "The Downs at Santa Fe" it said. The letters fell to disrepair as the venue fell to disuse.

Alibi V.16 No.31 • Aug 2-8, 2007

feature

Stars in Their Eyes

Sci-Fi authors of New Mexico

Perhaps it’s the high-desert altitude and horizon-to-horizon skyline that allow for unadulterated, year-round stargazing. Perhaps it’s the dense backdrop of scientific history that runs from Los Alamos in the north down through Sandia National Labs and off south into the Trinitite-littered ground of the first atomic bomb test at White Sands Missile Range. Maybe (just maybe) it has something to do with that infamous, oft-debated crash site outside of Roswell. Could that wayward extraterrestrial hit-and-run have left some inspirational layer of irradiated stardust buried in the hardened caliche of the New Mexico soil?

Victor Milán

Noms de Plume: Robert Baron (post-nuke action), Richard Austin (post-nuke action), Keith Jarrod (Western), J.O. Hardin (Western), Jake Logan (Western), Mark Ellis (post-nuke action), S.L. Hunter (techno-thriller)

Robert Vardeman

Noms de Plume: Victor Appleton (young adult science fiction), Cliff Garnett (action/adventure), F.J. Hale (fantasy), Edward S. Hudson (science fiction), Karl Lassiter (Westerns), Daniel Moran (fantasy)

George R.R. Martin

Nom de Plume: none

Location: Santa Fe

Key Book Titles: Fevre Dream, The Armageddon Rag, the Wild Cards series, In A Song of Ice and Fire series: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons (forthcoming)

Steven Gould

Noms de Plume: None

Location: Albuquerque

Key Book Titles: Jumper, Reflex, Wildside, Helm, Blind Waves

Website: www.digitalnoir.com

Years in New Mexico: 13

What attracts writers to New Mexico?

Jane Lindskold

Noms de Plume: None

Location: Albuquerque

Key Book Titles: Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls; Chronomaster; Smoke and Mirrors; Lord Demon (with Roger Zelazny); The Buried Pyramid, The Firekeeper Saga

Website: www.janelindskold.com

Years in New Mexico: 13

Afterword:

These and many other New Mexico writers, including Daniel Abraham (A Shadow in Summer), Doug Beason (Assemblers of Infinity), Suzy McKee Charnas (The Vampire Tapestry), Stephen R. Donaldson (Lord Foul’s Bane), Terry England (Rewind), Laura J. Mixon (Glass Houses), John Maddox Roberts (SPQR), John J. Miller (Green Lantern: Book 1) and Sage Walker (Whiteout), will be at this year’s 39th annual Bubonicon science fiction and fantasy convention. The event will take place Aug. 24-26 at the Wyndam Airport Hotel in Albuquerque. Log on to www.bubonicon.com for a complete list of authors and events.

Stellar Lights

New Mexico’s departed science fiction greats

In a field known for pioneering spirit, it is hard to find a better embodiment of that spirit than Jack Williamson (1908-2006), who arrived in New Mexico in 1915 aboard a covered wagon. This son of homesteaders first published in 1928 (in between hoboing trips around the U.S.) and his last work appeared in 2005, a career spanning eight decades. Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan all cite him as a major influence, but fame was no prerequisite to be welcome in the Portales home he helped design and build—Williamson was always ready to host visitors from around the world, many of them coming for the Williamson Lectureship Series, an annual event dedicated to scholarly discussions of science fiction. Among Williamson’s many awards was being named a Grand Master of Science Fiction by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1975. Williamson is also credited with coining the terms “terraforming” and “genetic engineering,” as well as instigating some of the first discussions in fiction of antimatter. His short story “With Folded Hands,” later expanded into The Humanoids, introduced the idea of oppressively helpful robots with the directive “To serve and obey, and guard men from harm.” The Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library, at Eastern New Mexico University, where he taught for many years, is considered one of the finest collections on the subject in the world. A lifelong traveler, Williamson nonetheless chose Portales for his home, and the small shack he built to write in as a young man still stands today on the family ranch. The next Williamson Lectureship is planned for April 2008 to coincide with Williamson’s 100th birthday, details at enmu.edu.

music

Plants

Find inner peace through Photosynthesis

Light your frangipani-scented incense. Roll another blunt. Absorb into your blood the music of Plants. The Oregon-based psychedelic-folk group founded by Josh Blanchard and Molly Griffith-Blanchard are on tour with a musical acid test. Guitarist/singer/songwriter Josh spoke with the Alibi last week to give us a taste of just how sweet and dreamlike Plants will be when they hit the Atomic Cantina on Monday, Aug. 6.

So Sweet

The Foxx releases a new album, The Rondelles reunite

The folks of The Foxx don't make outrageous demands.

Paid Dues Festival

Independent hip-hoppers find a home on the road

Who’s your favorite independent rapper? Name the last time you saw this beloved word wizard of yours in person, on stage, with other independent rappers. If you're speechless, you're not alone. Sure, you get your token emcee at Coachella or South by Southwest. You can even get whole festivals of indie hip-hop in New York, California and Cincinnati. But both take large lump sums and a trip halfway across the country. For far too long, world-class independent hip-hop has been inaccessible to most of the country.

news

Thin Line

The media is able to control the public’s view of its prominent figures—just look at Pete Rose. You probably think he’s a bad guy for betting on baseball, right? We call it slant, and sadly, it’s unavoidable. Recently, the world of athletics has been a media free-for-all when it comes to reporting on what’s been going wrong. Coverage has been overtly dark, blowing the negative out of proportion, and covering up the good fun of sports.

Answer Me This

The news just keeps on coming. Some days you pay attention. Some days you don't. Look here in every Alibi to refresh your memory about what's going on in your community. Don't worry if you don't know all the answers—there's a cheat sheet at the end.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England—A prize-winning poodle from North Wales has become the latest victim of online identity theft. Owner Lynne Day posted information about her two-year-old poodle, Afonwen Welch Fusilier, on the Internet. According to the North Wales Post, that information was pilfered by an unknown identity thief. The thief claimed Afonwen Welch Fusilier, known as “Blue” for short, had given birth to puppies. Blue, who won the Midlands Counties Canine Society Show and the North West Poodle Club, is actually male. The mystery seller, who called himself Henry Daf, offered Blue’s nonexistent offspring to potential buyers for 1,000 pounds ($2,000) each. The address Daf gave turned out to be a graveyard in Glasgow. North Wales Police are investigating the scam.

film

Reel World

UNM’s Continuing Education department is offering a free InfoByte lecture on “Making Movie Magic with Maya” on Thursday, Aug. 2, from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. Autodesk Maya has become the industry standard software for 3D graphics. If you’re into computers and special effects, this lecture will give you a chance to see Maya at work. Multimedia developer and animator Laura Gutman will be there demonstrating how to build and animate a 3D character, from conception to finished movie scene. UNM Continuing Education is located at 1634 University NE. Visit their website at dce.unm.edu for more info.

The Boss of It All

Danish satire deconstructs office humor for devilish fun

Danish director Lars von Trier is something of a prankster. Although best known for drafting the “back to basics” film ethos Dogme ’95 and for creating controversial films like Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark, von Trier has always had his tongue planted firmly in his cheek. Occasionally, the joke gets too rancid (as it does in von Trier’s scabrous “USA trilogy” films Dogville and Manderlay); but make no mistake, von Trier does everything with a knowing wink. Nowhere has this been more evident than with the filmmaker’s latest effort, the seemingly light, self-mocking corporate comedy The Boss of It All.

El Cantante

The beat goes on (and on and on and on) in repetitive biopic of Latin idol

In his first above-the-title starring role in a feature film, Latin singing sensation Marc Anthony spends roughly 50 percent of his screen time on stage singing. Which is about 50 percent less than he probably should, given the musical segments of El Cantante are about the only ones that have a ring of truth to them.

Reality Bytes

“Code Monkeys” on G4

Television, as you may have surmised from the title of this column, is not the most intellectual of mediums. There’s nothing stopping it from being so; but it’s been the outlet of so much stupid crap for so long that stupid crap is pretty much its forte. When you think about it in those terms, TV does stupid amazingly well.

art

Culture Shock

Not so familiar with our city's growing art scene? Maybe it's time you got up close and personal. You'll have your chance this Friday, Aug. 3, during the monthly First Friday gallery tour. From enamel art at Downtown's Sumner & Dene (517 Central NW, 842-1400) to mixed media work at Old Town's Weems Gallery (303 Romero NW, 764-0302) to handmade jewelry at Nob Hill's Mariposa Gallery (3500 Central SE (Nob Hill, 268-6828), there's a wee bit o' something for just about everybody. For a full roster of participating galleries, call 771-4006 or go to www.artscrawlabq.org.

24-Hour Art

Raymundo Sesma and his Working Classroom apprentices unveil an innovative Downtown public art project

The sad truth about public art is that it's often a lowest common denominator affair. The municipal committees that rubber-stamp these projects might have a deep appreciation for the revolutionary possibilities of contemporary art, but you rarely see it manifested in the decisions they make. Mostly, these committees just don't want to be hassled by vocal critics from the public at large, those loudmouth cretins who habitually take offense at any aesthetic flavor other than vanilla.

food

The Seedy Side of Gardening

Q: Dear Chef Boy Ari,

My garden plot is a little shady. According to the seed packet, my broccoli plants should be fine with partial sun. But they’re already starting to flower, having skipped the tasty head stage. Is there something I can do to stop them from flowering? What gives?

—Floretless

A: Dear Floretless,

Your broccoli plants want to make as many seeds as they can, and under good conditions they will grow as much as possible before flowering. A larger plant will make a larger “pre-floral organ”—aka “head,” the part you eat—which leads to a larger flower, and hence more seeds. Your broccoli went to seed early, probably in response to some kind of environmental stress.

Taco Sal

Food’s a’ight, service is tight

Moms are the greatest ladies in the world. Who else can love, feed and clothe you and still excel at the pseudo-Olympic sports of nagging, cajoling and the 300-meter guilt trip? Moms even possess the spooky power to locate a can of beer or a dirty gym sock under a bed without entering the room. Having lunch at Northeast Heights staple Taco Sal brought me back to these shinier, happier times. I met bustling servers Cynthia Abeyta and Kaye Montoya during the restaurant's lunch rush. Despite the profusion of bodies in chairs, Kaye was an expert at making everyone feel like they were at her home. I was seated with chips and salsa, and my ice tea arrived at high speed.