It's that time again. Our legislators made their way to the Roundhouse for a 30-day session that began Tuesday, Jan. 19. It's a short one, and they have to find a way to tame a gnarly budget. It's likely the cash shortfall will eat up most of their time and attention this year. Here's a look at that issue and some of the other measures on the Legislature’s plate in 2010.
Every morning for the past few months I’ve washed my hands with a small bar of clear soap. Embedded in the cleanser is a miniature of the now-iconic blue-and-red silkscreened portrait of President Barack Obama. Surrounding his serious visage staring resolutely into the future are the words: “The Audacity of Soap.”
Dateline: Sweden—For a group of dieters in south-central Sweden, the shedding of the pounds didn’t come quick enough. The floor of a Weight Watchers clinic in the town of Växjö collapsed last Wednesday night after a group of about 20 program participants gathered to record their weight loss. “We suddenly heard a huge thud. We almost thought it was an earthquake and everything flew up in the air. The floor collapsed in one corner of the room and along the walls,” one of the participants told the Smålandsposten newspaper. After the initial collapse, the floor started to give way in other parts of the room. The participants quickly evacuated as the smell of sewage started to fill the room. “We’re going to have to find a replacement premises,” Weight Watchers consultant Therese Levin told the newspaper. The dieters, who were unharmed in the incident, ended up weighing themselves in a hallway outside the collapsed room.
Last March, local Albuquerque filmmaker/actor Billy Garberina (director and star of Necroville and featured actor in indie films like The Stink of Flesh, Feeding the Masses, Gimme Skelter, Wet Heat, Psycho Holocaust, Ski Wolf and Deathbone) was named Scary Stud of the Month by Pretty-Scary.net (the website “for women in horror, by women in horror”). The site summed up Garberina’s elusive appeal thusly: “If Eric Stolz and Kevin Bacon were gay and had a genetically engineered child using both of their DNA with which to share their love, but that child ended up straight and his name was Billy Garberina, then Billy Garberina would be a lot like that kid except probably way less rich.” Who can argue? Now Garberina is locked in a fierce battle for Pretty Scary’s 2009 Scary Stud of the Year. He’s got some stiff competition, going up against guys like Mike J. Nelson (“Mystery Science Theater 3000”), Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day), Eli Roth (Inglourious Basterds) and Corin Nemec (Mansquito). He’s stayed near the top of the list, but he needs a little more help to guarantee a victory. Show your love for the local boy by logging on to Pretty-Scary.net and voting for him. You have until Jan. 31!
When it rains it pours. And sometimes it rains men. (Hallelujah!) You might notice this week's section is a little gayer than usual and that's partially because both Venus DeMars and Hunx are gracing Albuquerque with their fabulous presences this week. On top of that, I was introduced to a mind-blowing hip-hop jam genre: sissy bounce (see more in Sonic Reducer). Bounce music—a filthy, dirty New Orleans-born rap style that's heavy on call-
How hard is it to look at this flyer without an 8-bit tune manifesting in your head like it’s the ’80s and a younger you is in the midst of a restless, Nintendo dream-pestered slumber? Must. Save. The Princess.
At the time of this writing, the full devastation wreaked by the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti is not yet known. What is clear is that, at a minimum, tens of thousands of people have lost their lives in the initial destruction. I say initial because, inevitably, more will pass due to starvation, infection and disease in the days and weeks to come. Though no place can be fully prepared for a cataclysm of this proportion, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and much of its infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Philosopher David Pearce is committed to the abolition of suffering. While he acknowledges that we've got a long way to go before accomplishing that goal, he believes it's possible, mostly with the help of technology. More than two millennia ago, Buddha also articulated a vision for the cessation of suffering. His methods revolve around psychological and spiritual work. In light of your current astrological omens, Aries, I think it's an excellent time to contribute to this noble enterprise. Your level of suffering is rather low these days, which could give you a natural boost if you set in motion some long-term strategies for reducing the pain that you experience and the pain that you cause.