Alibi Volume 15, Number 05
February 2, 2006
Your Valentine's Day guide to a night—nay, a lifetime—of merriment
Sex. What? Don't look at me like that—you know you're thinking it, too. Valentine's Day is around the corner, and the last thing you want or need is tips on where to get chocolate and flowers. You know that part. Not to say that you don't know anything about sex, but it is a far more interesting affair after all, isn't it? We think so, too. So our gift to you this lovelorn holiday season (or lustlorn, as the case may be), won't be on the best spots to propose or the best deals on spas—you can invariably get that advice from a million other places—rather, we're going to deal with the down and dirty. Mainly, we're talking sex toys, along with a few other accoutrements. If you're shocked, disturbed, curious or comfortable, stick around. You just might learn a thing or two.
There are a couple stores in town that fit our stringent criteria for happy sex toy shopping, which is that it feel safe, be tasteful and be comfortable enough for a woman to visit by herself. The winners tied for gold are Martha's Body Bueno and Seventh Goddess, who both offer such an amazing service to the community that we should bow down right now and thank them, or at least go patronize their businesses. These stores have slightly different markets and offer different items, but have something in common: They offer excellent service and outstanding products.
Not in a couple this Valentine's Day? Don't look so glum. The holiday is about appreciating the ones you love—and that includes yourself. Be your own sweetheart. Give yourself some lovin'. Buy yourself a toy. Better yet, check out this book for some real advice on flying solo. And don't forget the chocolate.
With all this talk about sex, it would be downright irresponsible of us to not give you a little lecture ... er, reminder ... on keeping yourself safe. Don't forget that STDs are spreading faster than reality TV—be careful out there. For goodness sake, use a condom if you're not in a long-term monogamous relationship and either on birth control or ready to have kids. That includes sex toys. Don't share without properly sterilizing them between uses or slapping a condom on them. Talk to your partner about his/her history. Sure, there's some initial embarrassment, but it's a lot less embarrassing than finding out you've contracted something.
For more information on safe sex, check out the number of websites listed in this section, buy one of the books reviewed here, talk to your doctor or call Planned Parenthood (check the phone book for a bunch of numbers and locations).
With all this talk about sex toys, it's important to get a few things straight. Buying a sex toy for someone else isn't always appropriate; in fact, sometimes it's just bad form. So how do you know when the time's right? There are a few easy rules:
Sure. Valentine's Day has been turned into a consumer holiday. It's less about love and appreciation and more about buying. Granted. But so what? It's not about you; it's about your relationship. To paraphrase what a girlfriend of mine recently told me, “some girls just want a six-pack of beer, a bar of chocolate and an ’I love you.'” It's not about gifts or obligations, it's about remembering. Even if you don't have a penny to your name, you can still say “Happy V-day.” Besides, small things like that give you a better chance at getting laid (not that that should be your goal).
Not everyone likes to go toy shopping in person. You're embarrassed, you're lazy or you just can't find exactly what you're looking for. If virtual shopping is more your bag, check out these super-tasteful, independently run websites. They're sure to have what you're looking for, usually send purchases in an unmarked or disguised box, and have a slew of information on sex, health, toys, lubes and any other kinky thing your mind can conjure.
Trying to find a quality book on sex is like trying to find a quality movie in Hollywood—every now and then you strike gold, but most of the time you're just struck with disappointments. There are a few gems out there, and a lot of over-the-top fluff. Here are a couple of our recommendations for awesome sex books that come to the subject from completely different angles (again, no pun intended). These are by no means the only good books out there, but they're our favorites, and together they should tell you just about everything you ever needed to know about sex, safety and respect.
Dating can be difficult and confusing to some of you men. Let my many years of success with the fairer sex be your guidance, and you'll be wrapped in the warm embrace of your future life-partner before St. Valentine's Day.
If a bill moving through the current 30-day Legislative Session passes, the state's sick and dying may be legally smoking up by this summer
"I've got AIDS. I'm nauseous 24/7; my life is degrees of nausea. I'm fighting wasting,” said Essie Debonet, a 61-year-old, 95-pound patient activist, adding that marijuana is one of the only things that helps to quell her chronic nausea due to AIDS medications. “It almost pushes me to eat.”
Years ago, on the first day of April, my predecessor, Michael Henningsen, sent around an e-mail informing us that the Alibi had just purchased Crosswinds. Being the most gullible person east of the International Date Line, I swallowed the whole story without even chewing. Like a complete idiot, I ran around the office quizzing people about the purchase. I distinctly recall Chris Johnson, one of the Alibi's owners, laughing in my face.
Set aside for the moment your feelings about the wars—both the one against Terror and the one in Iraq.
Suppose medical researchers invented a vaccine to prevent lung cancer. Then suppose the American Lung Association lobbied to ban the vaccine because preventing lung cancer deaths might weaken their anti-smoking campaign. Nuts, right?
Dateline: Thailand—Thailand's creepiest couple is planning to tie the knot on Valentine's Day. The Scorpion Queen and the Centipede King plan to get married on Feb. 14 at the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum's Haunted House Adventure in the southern resort town of Pattaya. Kanchana Ketkaew, 36, set a world record in 2002 for spending 32 days in a glass cage with 3,400 scorpions. Bunthawee Siengwong, 29, set a Thai record for enduring 28 days with 1,000 centipedes. The two met while performing their respective stunts at a snake farm on the resort island of Koh Samui. According to Somporn Naksuetrong, general manager of Thailand's Ripley's Museum, the couple will wear bloodstained wedding clothes and will partake in a traditional Thai ceremony. But, instead of heading to a traditional “wedding room” after the ceremony, the pair plans to climb into a coffin to consummate their union.
War and Peace—The Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice (202 Harvard SE) will present a pair of war-torn documentaries this week. On Thursday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m., the People Before Profit Lecture Series will show Occupation Dreamland. This evenhanded documentary follows the soldiers of the 82nd Airborne deployed in the city of Fallujah during the winter of 2004. Invited speakers will be NM Iraq Veterans for Peace. The Panama Deception, which won the 1992 Academy Award for Best Documentary, will be screened Saturday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. courtesy of Boletin Latino. This film covers the 1989 invasion of Panama by 26,000 American troops and concentrates on the effects to that nation's poor and disenfranchised. Both films are free and open to the public. For more information, log on to www.peacecenter.home.comcast.net.
Period comedy/drama proves nudity can be tasteful ... and fun for the whole family
Like Waking Ned Devine, Calendar Girls, The Full Monty and countless other U.K. comedies, Mrs. Henderson Presents is infected with the sort of whimsy that in the Brits never seems fatal.
Inspirational biopic is flat out entertaining
If I had a farm--which I don't--I'd bet it that you're going to like The World's Fastest Indian. This misty-eyed, stand-up-and-cheer biopic was quietly and economically assembled in New Zealand by writer/director Roger Donaldson, who made some interesting films Down Under (Smash Palace, The Bounty) before emigrating to America to churn out glossy but generic material (Cocktail, Species, Dante's Peak). Having served for years as a skilled studio hack, Donaldson must have been itching to get his hands on a quality indie product, because he has found it in this unassuming but hard-to-resist labor of love.
Super Sunday around the dial
The Seattle Seahawks will face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend in Super Bowl XL. (“Super Bowl Extra Large” for you hipsters in the audience. “Super Bowl 40” for you non-sporting non-Romans in the audience.) The game will take place at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. Pittsburgh is favored to win by four points. (Which, in the sporting scheme of things, is a pretty tight football game.)
The Week in Sloth
The SXSW Rock 'n' Report—In what very well may be the coolest thing we've done since the inception of Fall Crawl, the Alibi will give away airfare and a South by Southwest Music and Media Conference press pass to one aspiring music journalist. Based out of Austin, Texas, SXSW is one of the biggest independent music festivals in the world. It's where the most promising up-and-coming acts establish themselves on the international stage, and where music legends return for a rare, and sometimes final, encore. You can find out more about this year's festival, which is set for the third week of March, at www.sxsw.com. Read the “Music Magnified” by Amy Dalness in this week's edition for a complete description of the contest rules. If you love music and can write reasonably well, do not pass this up.
Immediate. Illusive. Inspiration.
I is for Ida--the top-secret hush-hush side project of (shhhh!) Unit 7 Drain--takes the stage for the first time tonight in a two-for-one that promises to impress all around. That's something not often said about any single debut show or debut CD release. Unlike the suffocating mass of side projects infecting indie rock these days, little here will remind you of their incipient U7D nativity.
Because we can't get enough of their precocious gloom. Friday, Feb. 3, at the Launchpad. Free CD with paid $5 admission! (LM)
featuring The Hollis Wake, Feels Like Sunday, Sincerely and Face Across the Floor
Burt's Tiki Lounge on Friday, Feb. 3 (21-and-over); Free: It's shows like this that make me long for my 21st birthday, which is one month, one week and three days from the moment this Alibi officially hits the streets. (But who's counting?) This one finds Santa Fe songsmiths The Hollis Wake trading in their tube amps for some good, clean, unplugged fun in the form of Friday night's acoustic showcase at Burt's Tiki Lounge. The acousticity of the show should make the band's irresistible harmonies take an even larger chunk of the center stage while scaling back some of the external fuzzy-drone that finds its way into many of THW's tracks.
Your free ticket to SXSW, fame and beyond
How many times have you heard the phrase, "This is the opportunity of a lifetime"? Enough to stop paying attention to the claim, I'm sure. Well, this is such an opportunity--if you happen to be an avid music fan with a dream to turn your hobby into a full-time job. The Alibi is looking to send one lucky, talented and enthusiastic future music reporter to the SXSW Music and Media Conference (www.sxsw.com) in Austin, Texas, March 15 through 19. This five-day music festival will host performances by over 1,000 international bands in every genre imaginable, as well as discussions and forums with some key players in the music industry.
A romantic interview with Nashville Pussy
For a decade, Nashville Pussy, with their short, catchy songs, heavy and plentiful guitars and clever lyrics, has been rocking trailers in tri-state areas all over the country. I spoke with 50 percent of the band last week (husband-and-wife team, guitarist and vocalist Blaine Cartwright and lead guitarist Ruyter Suys). The sexier of the two (Ruyter) answered these questions.
Say Cheese—During the first few decades following the invention of photography, photographers scoured the world in an attempt to document our planet's varied human inhabitants. Examples of these early images will be on display starting this week at the UNM Art Museum in an exhibit titled First Seen: Portraits of the World's Peoples (1848-1880). The show opens Tuesday, Feb. 7, and runs through May 14. A reception will be held on Friday, Feb. 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. 277-7312.
New German Photography at the Richard Levy Gallery
World War II ended more than 60 years ago, long before most of us were even born, yet the big mama of global industrialized conflicts still colors our ideas about Germans. An exhibit of recent German photography is currently running at the Richard Levy Gallery Downtown. Appropriately titled New German Photography, you would expect this show to have at least some bearing on the national personality, both actual and perceived, of the German people. It doesn't disappoint.
Harwood Art Center
Our friends over at the Italian American Home Theater are once again stepping outside the living room for a performance at the Harwood Art Center (1114 Seventh Street NW) starting this weekend. The Scale Wallah, written and performed by Frank Melcori, is a piece involving a mysterious scale and a man who appears to be homeless. Find out more at the show running Fridays at 7:30 p.m. through Feb. 17. The performance features DJ Outlaw, and a portion of proceeds will benefit Albuquerque Rescue Mission. $10. 242-6367.
Vicki Bolens specializes in prints and collages. Renee B. Gentz creates elaborate quilted wall pieces. Susan Kennedy makes highly original jewelry out of semiprecious stones and sterling. The work of all three ladies will be on display at the Mariposa Gallery (3500 Central SE) at an exhibit opening with a reception this Friday, Feb. 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. The show runs through Feb. 28. While you're there, check out some paintings and pastel pieces by Margi Weir upstairs. 268-6828.
Authors' Month in Albuquerque
By this point in our city's year-long birthday bashola, you probably realize that every month has a different cultural theme. We've been through Food Month and Theater Month and Dance Month, and I think there was even a Plumbing Month thrown somewhere in the mix. (Did you catch that one?) During February, we're celebrating local authors.
On three Saturdays throughout the month of February, various hotshot local authors will teach a series of writing workshops on a range of subjects for the low, low price of $35 per session. To make reservations, contact Lucinda Lucero Sachs by calling 768-3557 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go and Stop In at the Green Light Bistro—Taking yet another savory step towards vegetarian world domination, Annapurna just opened an organic, all-vegetarian restaurant, called the Green Light Bistro (2209 Silver SE, 254-0100). It's easy to forget that just a few months ago, this tiny casita in the newly designated "Brick Light District" was a dark and fragrant bakery storeroom, packed clear to the ceiling with exotic spices. Now, it's a cozy café that's as cheery and bright as a cup of their Silver Street organic coffee.
You don't need to be a great lover to knock the socks off your Valentine—just be punctual. Valentine's Day is less than two weeks away and restaurants are filling up fast, so start calling around right now for a reservation. (That is, unless you want to get caught with your pants down. ...)
Marinara-nate your plate
When little kids sit down for a history lesson, it is imperative that they be told about the days long ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth and Italian food was all that Homo sapiens had to eat. They could slay a giant Lasagnasaurus for supper, or gather meatballs from the ample bushes near the rivers that flowed with Alfredo sauce. Or perhaps even take down a huge Spaghettisaurus Rex to feed the entire clan, or die trying.