Alibi Volume 13, Number 48
November 25, 2004
George W. Bush's New Mexico victory has dimmed Gov. Richardson's shining national star. But don't count him out.
New Mexico's 2000 presidential election results
New Mexico's 2004 presidential election results (as of Nov. 19)
Health care coalition sues over public records
Last week Gov. Bill Richardson held very still while clutching onto a carefully maneuvered shovelful of dirt. No, he wasn't burying his pride in a belated post-election realization; he was posing after breaking ground on the UNM Children's Hospital Expansion Project (or, at least, breaking through the dirt in a very symbolic sandbox atop the UNM hospital parking garage). Last week's ceremony celebrated the groundbreaking of the $233 million public works project, one of the largest in the state's history, and was aflutter with highly impressive individuals and well-crafted public relations, gathered to celebrate upgrades at the state's only teaching hospital. The project is scheduled for completion in November 2007.
Will presidential defeat cause the new crop of leftist activists to give up?
Desi Brown has a funny quirk to his dance step; it's an extra little stompy kick that marks not only his swinging, but often the steps of the dancers he teaches every Tuesday night at the Heights Community Center near TVI. For seven years now, Brown and an evolving group of friends, called The Calming Four Primordial Swing Dance Group, have hosted weekly dance practice sessions and lessons. The three dollar donation they collect at the door goes to cover expenses. Brown and his buddies give away the rest; overall they've donated nearly $20,000 to local and national groups, including La Cueva High School Drill Team, Keshet Dance Company and the Red Cross 9-11 Relief Fund.
Various groups crowded council chambers on Nov. 15. Stop the War Machine people supported a bill encouraging the city to work with Kirtland Air Force Base on an emergency plan in case things go wrong with the 2,500-plus nuclear weapons stored there. ("Hold it under the cold tap, Love.") Vietnamese-Americans supported a bill recognizing the flag of the former Republic of Vietnam as the official symbol of Albuquerque's Vietnamese-American community. Supporters and opponents of development impact fees faced off.
Sharing my autumnal good mood with all
Fall is simply the best time of year here in Payne's World. Complimenting the brisk nip in the air and autumnal color of the turning leaves is Thanksgiving—a guilt-free opportunity to fill the ol' flux capacitor to the brim with stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pie and enchiladas (it is New Mexico, you know).
My stint in the “Freedom Corps”
When I first received Yale Scott's message from the White House on Wednesday, Oct. 27, I thought it was a prank call, but after verifying its legitimacy, I called him back. He seemed OK. He interviewed me about my experiences as a volunteer, then told me that I had been chosen as one of the many people to be considered for the opportunity to be in the "Freedom Corps"—really just a fancy term for "greeter"—and that I would find out by Friday whether or not I had been selected to greet President George W. Bush on Monday evening, Nov. 1, as he made the rounds on his final day of campaigning. Over the next two days, I get a series of phone calls from several people associated with Scott and the White House, all of whom seem to ask the same questions. I feel like I'm being interrogated. When Friday rolls around, I am told that I have been selected as a "Freedom Corps" representative. I will greet the president at Kirtland Air Force Base, ride in the presidential motorcade and sit on stage at Journal Pavilion while President Bush gives his address. Oh, what to wear?
Dateline: England—If ever there was an endorsement for Head & Shoulders, this is it. Veteran criminal Andrew Pearson was recently convicted of armed robbery thanks to 25 flakes of dandruff he left behind at the scene of the crime some 11 years ago. Andrew Pearson, now 40, and two other men escaped with $70,630 in cash after raiding a caravan company in the northeastern city of Hull in June 1993. Using a new DNA profiling method, investigators matched a swab of Pearson's saliva with the flakes of dandruff, which were found inside a stocking that he had worn as a mask during the robbery. Using that evidence, a jury needed only 75 minutes last Monday to convict Pearson of robbery and possession of a firearm. Pearson--who has been convicted 76 previous times for burglary, assault, robbery and other crimes--was sentenced to 12 years for the robbery and an additional three years for possessing a firearm.
Predictable holiday comedy celebrate suburban conformity
Every year about this time, Hollywood feels obliged to give us at least one “holiday” movie. That is, one fluffy, family-oriented film set during the actual holiday season just to remind us that, yes, this is the holiday season. I'm pretty sure we could figure it out without Hollywood's help, but we're still greeted every year with The Santa Clause 2 or How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Unfortunately, for every A Christmas Story that comes our way, we get two or three Surviving Christmases. Among the holiday offerings stuffed into this year's stocking is Christmas With the Kranks.
Charitable Cinema—On Saturday, Dec. 4, Youth In Transition, Inc. will present a Short Film Series at The Guild Cinema in Nob Hill from 11 p.m. to 3 p.m. YIT, Albuquerque's drop-in center for homeless youth, has gone through some difficult times of late with the destruction of the group's facility and the arrest (and eventual acquittal) of founder Donna Rowe. This Short Film Series will present seven films/videos documenting homelessness in Albuquerque. Among the films to be screened are “Escape from the Streets” by the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness, “Waking Up on Central” by Beverly Singer and “Give Us Your Poor” by Michael Mierendorf. Time permitting, they will also screen the complete police surveillance video which was used to “illegitimately arrest Donna Rowe and hold her on a $1 million bond.” Tickets are $10 to $100 on a sliding scale and all proceeds go to help YIT, which is struggling to keep its doors open this winter.
Sober look our our nation's sexual history still stirs up controversy
Earlier this month, the makers of Alfie blamed their film's box office failure on the recent reelection of George W. Bush. While that may be stretching the boundaries of the blame game a bit far, there is a certain truth to the idea that America has suddenly become a very conservative nation--at least on the surface. If audiences couldn't handle a little comedy/drama about a womanizing Brit, what are they going to think about a biopic about the father of the Sexual Revolution?
Let's face it: The only reason for getting up on Thanksgiving morning is to watch the “Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade” (KOB-4 9 a.m.). This year's 78th annual affair runs for three whole hours, ensuing you won't miss a single float, marching band or freezing Broadway performer. Hosts of little consequence include Katie Couric, Matt Lauer. Guest stars include Kelsey Grammer, Jimmy Smits, Tony Shalhoub and Nikki Cox. The “CBS All-American Thanksgiving Parade” (KRQE-13 7 a.m.) consists largely of the exact same Macy's parade, but is disguised under a more patriotic name and features a slightly earlier air time. FOX, trying its best to one-up New York, offers “America's Thanksgiving Parade” (KASA-2 9 a.m.), a one-hour special from Detroit featuring floats, balloons, bands and (I would think) random muggings.
The Week in Sloth
Fantasy-filled biopic soars with imagination, emotion
Finding Neverland sits more or less on the opposite end of the spectrum from Kinsey, this week’s other biopic offering. Both are intelligent, well-made and worthy Oscar contenders. They have wildly different subject matters, however, and approach them from completely divergent ends. Whereas Kinsey is brainy, mature and thought-provoking, Finding Neverland is creative, whimsical and emotional.
Congratulations to Joe Anderson and Kara XXX on the birth of their baby daughter, Tannyn Jane, who joined the waking world on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at a whopping seven pounds, two ounces. ... Arguably the best, most entertaining way to celebrate and give thanks that Thanksgiving is over and you don't have any further family obligations for a whole month is to join every bloated, overstuffed indie rock loser the night after Turkey Day, Friday, Nov. 26, at the Launchpad for Socyermom Records' Annual Turkey Purge. This year, Unit 7 Drain, The Mindy Set, Manifold, Scenester and Romeo Goes to Hell will be doing the on-stage honors while everyone else drinks themselves sick in an effort to cleanse their gastrointestinal systems of tryptophan and green bean casserole, and to give the Launchpad cleaning crew something fun to do on Saturday morning. ... Over the past three years, singer-songwriter Andru Bemis has traveled some 40,000 miles by train, motorcycle and thumb, touring the country with his guitar, banjo, fiddle and original songs. His Amtrak schedule brings him to Albuquerque's Blue Dragon Coffee House on Saturday, Nov. 27, at 7:30 p.m. for a free performance that's suitable for music fans of all ages. ... Next Thursday, Dec. 2, the Santa Fe Film Festival will premiere VFWbya at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe. The gritty documentary showcases the musicians, veterans and audiences involved in a sector of Santa Fe's scene that centered around shows given at the local VFW hall. More details next week.
Ever had a fever dream, those slippery scenes that play themselves out in your mind's eye as your body tries to rid itself of whatever bacterial or viral infection you happen to be suffering from? Sometimes, fever dreams can be terrifying—your waking self isn't quite rooted in reality when your body temperature rises above the 101-degree range and, if you've taken cold or flu medicine, the line between what's real and imagined becomes even more clouded.
with Manishevitz and Fast Heart Mart
Monday, Nov. 29; Launchpad (21 and over, 9 p.m.): I might as well just say it: Despite all her formidable indie rock cred—associations with Archer Prewitt, Mark Greenberg, Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche and others, along with legendary Chicagoland grump Steve Albini, who produced her latest album—Edith Frost will always be one of my favorite country singers. Not milquetoast, bullshit noncountry Shania Twain country; the kind of country that sits on your eyelids and tells you true-life tales of sadness, heartbreak and the chronic, mild discontent that made mountains out of men like Nick Drake, Gram Parsons and Tim Buckley.
Duran Duran's latest effort, Astronaut, proves that they are more than just washed-up, 80's, gender bending, where-are-they-now has beens. Duran Duran, back with all five original members, deliver an album reminiscent of their early stuff ("Planet Earth," "Girls on Film"), with a mature sound and more meaningful lyrics. Newcomers will enjoy this heaping helping of Duran Duran without all the extra '80s cheese. Closet Duranees will get all nostalgic and wish for the good ol' days of leg warmers and mullets. This is pure feel-good music.
You can feign indifference all you want, Ebenezer. Nobody's going to believe you. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know—18 different productions of The Nutcracker Ballet roll through town every Christmas season. You moan and you groan about how all those sugar plums give you a stomach ache, but we're not fooled. You love The Nutcracker as if it were a sack of gold coins. You hum Tchaikovsky's tunes in your sleep every night from Thanksgiving through the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve.
Skate Deck Show at 510 Second Street NW
Rocky Norton is a fast talker and a digressive conversationalist, but you've got to give the guy credit: He knows how to sell a show. And in this case, I have to admit, he's got a pretty damn amazing show to sell.
UNM Continuing Education Auditorium
Abracadabra. On Tuesday, Nov. 30, Houdini, as played by Bill Martin, will offer audiences $100 if they can keep him contained with ropes, chains, handcuffs, locks and a straitjacket. It's a safe bet Houdini won't be giving away $100 that night, but don't let this dampen your enthusiasm for the spectacle of it all. As they say, it's fun to be fooled, at least every once in a while. After the re-enactment, Martin will step back on stage to present insights into the Houdini legend. This weird but intriguing show starts at 6:30 p.m. and lasts about two hours. $20. 277-6440.
My dog will eat anything. Of course he likes cat turds best of all, but what I mean in particular is that he'll eat anything I eat. Wait, that makes it sound like I eat cat turds, which I most definitely do not. Nor do I nibble on trash from the alley behind the office or used tissues or my own underwear. Aside from all that, I mean the dog will eat orange segments, dried cranberries, bananas, apples and carrots. I even got him eating edamame the other night. Certain things are known dog favorites, like carrots and pumpkin. But orange segments? He was watching me peel a Navel and normally I ignore him; he's polite so he gives up easily. But lately I've been testing him to see what he'll eat. So I offered him a small piece of orange. No go. He wrinkled his nose. I continued eating and he continued watching, so a few minutes later I offered him another piece. On the third try he took it and he ended up eating two segments worth. I've never before met a dog that liked citrus fruit. I think he does it just because he wants to eat what I'm eating. Maybe I should dig in to some cat turds to show him how much I care.
Carlito's (10th Street and Coal) is gone but there will still be New Mexican food in the neighborhood. Angel Vigil, owner of Wrap it Up, has moved her wrap sandwich business from Fourth Street and Menaul into Carlito's space in Barelas. Carlito's owner Carlos Montoya will now be able to spend more time with his family, while Angel Vigil gets the dining room area she never had in the North Valley. She's also expanding Wrap it Up's menu to include New Mexican food. Vigil is still adjusting to her new space, working to find the perfect hours and menu, but she aims to be open for three meals a day and to deliver. "This little community needs us," she said. "All we did was open the door and people are coming in. We want to take care of them." Call 342-9727 for details.
Ten flavor-packed oatmeal recipes that cook up in no time
From the way we've been talking about oatmeal lately, you'd think the Alibi is bankrolled by Quaker Oats. We're not (but we gladly accept endowments, if anyone's listening). No, we just really like a good bowl of oatmeal. In fact, we like it so much that we've dubbed November "Rediscover Rolled Oats Month," and made it our personal mission to wean people off of the chintzy flavor impostors that clutter supermarket shelves worldwide. We think you should, too. Here's why:
A passion for roasting percolates through this family business
Michael Thomas coffee opened at 1111 Carlisle SE (255-3330) just six weeks ago, but already my e-mail box is full of readers’ messages praising the place. The place is owned by an uncle/nephew team, Thomas Selby and Michael Sweeney. I spoke recently with Selby about his shop and his passion for coffee roasting.