Alibi Volume 15, Number 02
January 12, 2006
"Sopa de Pedra" is a Portuguese fable about travelers who come to a village with an empty pot. Villagers will not give the strange men food, so the travelers fill their pot with water and a stone, which they cook over a fire in the village square. When curious villagers ask what they're doing, the travelers say they're making "stone soup," and ask the villagers to contribute. Villagers are able to offer different elements and in completion, by appealing to the people's desire to help and be a part of something successful, starting with nothing, the travelers and villagers have made a pot of soup for all to enjoy. The events of the stone soup fable supposedly took place in Almeirim, Portugal, where today most of the town's restaurants serve sopa de pedra.
A brief history of soup
Soup experts believe that the delicious substance has existed since the development of pottery about 10,000 years ago. It has appeared in diets in prehistoric societies and in cultures on every inhabited continent around the world. A couple examples include Amazonian tribes who used turtle shells to boil their special version of turtle-entrail soup, and according to Greek historian Herodotus, the Scythians, who lived in Eurasia from approximately 800 to 400 B.C. and boiled animal flesh in water over bone fires.
Roadrunner Food Bank's Souper Bowl 2006
As you step through the doorway of the warehouse, you can see chefs' coats float by on a wave of excitement and hear sounds of hot-plate burners flaming. Someone scolds someone else about chilling the crème fraîche, and the scent of rich chicken broth assaults your nostrils before you see the light, airy Matzo balls floating to the surfaces of a hundred tiny bowls at the Flying Star booth. It's just one small scene from the "Souper Bowl," the Roadrunner Food Bank's signature benefit to help raise funds for New Mexico's hungry.
A new program offered by PNM could help move solar energy in New Mexico into the future
Ken Lienemann is no stranger to energy. With a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Remote Sensing, he certainly understands the technical elements involved in the process of heating and cooling. As an employee with the New Mexico Environment Department, he also grasps the ecological implications of how we chose to fuel our homes, our cars and our lives. And as an Albuquerque homeowner who's spent the last four years revamping his abode to increase energy efficiency, it's fairly obvious that to Mr. Lienemann, energy is quite personal.
There are times when numbers just don't add up. Or rather, they add up, but the answer is all wrong. One of those moments when I had special difficulty wrapping my mind around the “new math” of public policy was in a recent Legislative committee hearing. The meeting was for the virtually automatic confirmation of a pair of very impressive women who had volunteered to serve the state as members of the Parole Board.
Dateline: Maryland—A Montgomery County judge ruled last Tuesday that the act of mooning someone is not illegal in the state of Maryland. The decision cleared Rockville resident Raymond Hugh McNealy, 44, on charges of indecent exposure after brandishing his buttocks to a neighbor during an argument. Judge John W. Debelius III said McNealy committed a “disgusting” and “demeaning” act when he exposed his posterior to his neighbor and her 8-year-old daughter on June 7 of last year. But the judge overturned an earlier decision by a District Court, clearing the defendant of criminal wrongdoing. “If exposure of half of the buttock constituted indecent exposure, any woman wearing a thong at the beach at Ocean City would be guilty,” Debelius said, according to a report in The Washington Post. McNealy allegedly had a heated debate with his neighbor, Nanette Vonfeldt, at a homeowners association meeting last June. The morning after the clash, Vonfeldt accused him of yelling at her as she and her daughter walked out of their apartment. “Then, for whatever reason, in full view of my daughter, he mooned us,” Vonfeldt wrote in court documents. Debelius agreed with McNealy's attorney that, under Maryland law, indecent exposure only covers display of a person's “private parts,” which does not include buttocks. McNealy attorney James Maxwell said the Debelius ruling should “bring comfort to all beachgoers and plumbers” in the state.
Will Rio Rancho lead the way for the state?
Nothing is more irritating than when a smaller, more nimble competitor seems to be getting the best of you. These days, that must to be how leaders in the state's 800-pound gorilla (a.k.a. Albuquerque) must be feeling about their pesky persistent neighbor to the northwest.
Cowboys and Hobos—If you missed Bill Daniel's excellent documentary Who is Bozo Texino? when it played at the Guild Cinema recently, then you've been granted a second chance. Daniel is still on tour with the film and will be passing through Albuquerque again on the night of Thursday, Jan. 12. Sixteen years in the making, Who is Bozo Texino? follows Daniel on his rail-riding quest to uncover the roots of traditional boxcar graffiti and to unmask the identity of the legendary folk artist known only as Bozo Texino. To make this an extra special event, Daniel will be accompanied by singer/songwriter Sandman (a.k.a. Chris Sand), an Olympia, Wash.-based performer known for combining rap, cowboy poetry and folk music. It's an evening of lowdown documentary film and underground cowboy rap. How can you go wrong? The event will take place beginning at 8 p.m. at Harlows in Nob Hill (3523 Central NE). Tickets are a mere $5. Daniel and Sandman will be moving on to Santa Fe the next night (Friday, Jan. 14), where he'll do it all over again at Backroads Pizza (1807 Second Street). For more film info, log on to www.billdaniel.com. For more music info, log on to www.rappingcowboy.com.
CGI toon is PS2 in an Xbox 360 world
When Disney declared the death of traditional hand-drawn animation by shutting down its old-fashioned animation studios and vowing to make Toy Story sequels ad infinitum, other Hollywood studios, more or less, fell in line. Computer animation is the wave of the future, everyone declared. Kids won't watch a cartoon unless it comes off an iMac, they repeated. The Polar Express is a work of genius, they claimed. ( ... Cough, cough.)
Korean drama/comedy proves political assassinations go down better when mixed with black humor
With The President's Last Bang, South Korea continues its unbroken streak cranking out some of the most interesting, most stylish films in current world cinema. Swing by a well-stocked video store and you might catch just a sampling of titles that have come to America in the last year: Attack the Gas Station; My Sassy Girl; Shiri; 2009: Lost Memories; No Blood, No Tears; Phone; Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter ... and Spring; Memento Mori; Blue Sky; A Tale of Two Sisters; Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance; Oldboy; 3-Iron; Untold Scandal; Save The Green Planet. Writer/director Im Sang-soo only adds to that impressive list with his satirical, snarky-title-and-all political thriller.
“The Soup” on E!
“Talk Soup” debuted on E! Entertainment Television in 1991 and made a successful run through 2002. The series was basically a cheap-to-produce clip show, designed to make fun of that week's talk show guests. Didn't have time to check out the transvestite hookers on that week's “Jerry Springer”? No need to worry, “Talk Soup” had you covered. For all its snarky, spot-on humor, “Talk Soup” was best known for its impressive roster of hosts, including Greg Kinnear, John Henson, Hal Sparks and Aisha Tyler--all of whom went on to greater fame and glory than that offered by simple basic cable.
The Week in Sloth
Have a Rocksquawkin' Week—The next heart-stopping show in the Rocksquawk.com Concert Series is going down this Thursday, Jan. 12, at the District (Fourth Street and Copper NW). The free show includes performances by The Dirty Novels, At Fault, Big Lips & The Skinny and The Isness. Looking ahead, the next batch of Rocksquawk shows is set for Saturday, Feb. 18, at Harlow's in Nob Hill, and then back Downtown to the Golden West Saloon on Friday, March 3. If you've got a few suggestions of your own, sign on to www.rocksquawk.com and let those puppies fly. We want to hear from you, caring local music supporter that you are.
You know you should avoid ladders, broken mirrors, black cats and other unfortunate acts of bad luck by staying indoors on Friday the 13th. However, the cunning lads and ladies of Scenster, Lousy Robot and Unit 7 Drain are conspiring to jinx you with a night of tunes and boozy carousing out at Atomic Cantina. Choose wisely, ill-fated friend. (LM)
Think about the resurgence of "rockabilly" in recent years—what's the first thing that springs to mind? Here's a guess: Dudes in cuffed Levi's drinking swill beer until sunrise. Or maybe chicks with Betty Page haircuts (be honest, they're probably big girls) lounging tomb-side in neighborhood graveyards. Cars. Pencil skirts and pompadours. People and things. Whenever post-'50s rockabilly made the transition from subculture to full-blown lifestyle, the music became more-or-less incidental. Lost in translation.
The “Best of the Golden West” kicks off the historic venue's month-long birthday party
Grocery stores and movie theaters are pretty neat because you need food to live, and although you don't really need movie theaters, they're cool, too. Music venues are mostly neater, though, because you can enjoy the soothing, and sometimes not-so-soothing, elixir of music while eating peanuts and getting juiced up.
Q-Staff Workshop—The talented weirdoes of the Q-staff Company will begin hosting performance training workshops on the third Sunday of every month. The first is on Sunday, Jan. 15, from 4 to 7 p.m. Q-staff member Sandy Timmerman says that their "method is so different from the usual American acting method where actors walk in, they are handed a script and told where to stand ... it's hard to explain and much easier to understand by experiencing it." With that in mind, if you fork out $35, you can gain access to a presentation on the company's innovative performance philosophy to be followed by a 90-minute training session. Afterward, a light meal will be provided at Winning Coffee House. For details, call 255-2182.
The Importance of Being Earnest at the Adobe Theater
Oscar Wilde and wit are practically synonymous. Wilde's use of language, melodrama and satire have brought his plays much deserved attention from theater lovers of all experience levels. The Importance of Being Earnest is one of his last and best-known plays. Called a trivial comedy for serious people, it is almost more of a trivial comedy about people who take themselves too seriously—to disastrous avail.
Watercolor Women Opaque Men
(Curbstone, paper, $15)
Instant holiday--just add soup
The holidays are really overrated. Months of planning and spending and party-going, peaking to the point of exhaustion and anti-social tendencies. It's not just limited to what is typically referred to as "the holiday season"--I mean all holiday seasons. New Year's, April Fools, Fourth of July—you name it, it's been overdone. That's why, in the perpetual quest to for social interaction, the members of my Tang Soo Do martial arts class host obscure "holiday" parties whenever we fancy. On the day after Christmas, head-instructor Richard Meyer and Cathra-Anne Barker host a super-excellent Boxing Day party. In November, Sven Redsun hosts the annual All-Soups Day party--making Halloween and Thanksgiving seem, well, incidental. The best part about a soup party is that no "holiday" is required; all you need is some friends and a few pots of the good stuff. Poof! Instant holiday.