Alibi Volume 15, Number 37
September 14, 2006
The Alibi's 15th Annual Haiku Contest
I know what you're thinking: How is it possible that the Alibi is already hosting its 15 th Annual Haiku Contest? This is some kind of sham, right? No, ma'am. No sham.
Downtown parking meters lack appropriate signage
The streets of Downtown are less crowded. The traffic hasn't slowed, but the number of open parking spaces along the streets has increased. In early July, the City of Albuquerque installed 14 parking meters along Central between First and Seventh Streets [RE: Newscity, "Both Sides of the Street," July 6-12], which convert the formerly two-hour free parking zone into pay-only.
A Week in the Life—It’s that time again. It seems we can only go a couple of months before we are forced (forced, I tell you) to do a little Albuquerque Journal critiquing. It’s just one of those things—like taking the car for a tune-up or buckling down and cleaning the house—when the essentials start to fall apart, you have to pay attention.
The ACLU fights the new voter ID law
Voter fraud is an unavoidable evil in a democracy. You can mitigate it, but you can never get rid of it completely. Toughen laws, and at least some vote-thieves will still find a way around them.
Don't bank on regulations for payday lending just yet
The payday loan industry in New Mexico remains nearly unregulated, but not for lack of trying on the part of Gov. Bill Richardson and Attorney General Patricia Madrid. In late June, the Regulation and Licensing Department ended the public comment period for proposed regulations designed to limit fees, end interest and give payback options to payday loan consumers [RE: Newscity, "Money in the Bank?" June 29-July 5].
Looking for ways to help Albuquerque’s homeless population
At two different neighborhood association meetings this past week, I heard choruses of frustration over problems created in those communities by the large number of homeless people hanging out on street corners and in parks. For me it was déjà vu.
A measure that would hush the rail chugs down the tracks of the City Council
Every night, when the trains slip through Albuquerque, Jill Gatwood can hear their whistles from her North Valley home. She lives just a couple of blocks from the tracks, near Fourth Street and Griegos. For Gatwood, the tone is comforting, something that signifies stability—and Albuquerque. "It's the history of the city," she says. The railroad, she wrote in her June 15 letter to the Alibi, is largely responsible for the Duke City's existence. Her grandfather was a lobbyist for Southern Pacific Railroad in New Mexico, perhaps figuring into her affinity for the sounds associated with the rail. "A train whistle is a certain specific tone," Gatwood says. "It's always the same, and most people find it to be kind of romantic."
Dateline: Canada--A Swiss tourist caught for speeding through the Canadian countryside has blamed his crime on Canada’s distinct lack of goats. The driver was caught traveling 161 km/h (100 mph) on Canada’s busiest highway between Montreal and Toronto last Sunday. The posted speed limit is 100 km/h (60 mph). “An officer stopped the car for speeding along a straight stretch of road, and the driver told him he thought it would be all right to go fast because he wasn’t likely to hit a goat,” said Constable Joel Doiron. “I’ve never been to Switzerland, but I guess there must be a lot of goats there,” he said. Constable Doiron noted that in his 20 years as a police officer, “nobody’s ever used the lack of goats here as an excuse for speeding.” The Swiss speeder was issued a ticket for $C360 ($430).
The Sept. 6 Council meeting began with an adorable Pet Project dog peeing on the Council carpet and became even more entertaining when Lawrence Rael, executive director of the Mid-Region Council of Governments, presented the Council with a model Rail Runner. Rael said the commuter train was averaging 2,500 to 3,000 riders on weekdays and carried more than 15,000 passengers to the Bernalillo wine festival. Unfortunately, the model trains painted with our state bird are all sold out.
Tony Jaa kicks so much ass he has to leave his own country to find more
In 1985, Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan starred in The Protector, his second attempt at cashing in on the American film market. It didn't work--partially because the film sucked and partially because Chan found himself teamed up with Danny Aiello. (Not to worry. Chan's next American outing, pairing with Chris Tucker in 1998's Rush Hour, proved a bit more profitable.) Now comes another martial arts action film titled The Protector. This one stars Thai jaw-dropper Tony Jaa (Ong-bak). It has nothing to do with Chan’s 1985 film. (Although, alert viewers will spot a historic passing-of-the-torch moment involving Jaa and what looks like a certain big-nosed kung fu fighter.)
Benefit for Irish Freedom--The Irish Freedom Committee has organized a benefit in honor of the 25th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike at Long Kesh Prison. On Thursday, Sept. 14, the film Some Mother’s Son will show at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. Screenings will take place at 4:30, 6:45 and 9:15 p.m. There will be a Q&A session following the 6:45 screening. The film, starring Helen Mirren, Fionnula Flanagan and John Lynch, is based on the true story of the 1981 hunger strike in which IRA prisoner Bobby Sands led a protest against the treatment of IRA prisoners. Proceeds from the $7 ticket sales will go directly to the families of Irish Republican POWs currently in prison. For more information, log on to www.irishfreedomcommittee.net.
Go out there and win one for The Rock!
Why is it films are always “based on the inspiring true story”? How come you never see “based on the disheartening true story” or “based on the totally depressing true story”? ... OK, so maybe it’s more of a rhetorical question. The point is simply that Hollywood loves inspirational, real-life stories. Any time a poor kid wins a national spelling bee or a tiny school wins a basketball championship, you can guarantee there will soon be a heartwarming movie made about it.
“Survivor: Cook Islands” on CBS
It wasn’t long after producers of “Survivor” announced plans for their 13th season that naysayers started organizing protest rallies and calling for network boycotts. What had reality show guru Mark Burnett done to so inflame the viewing public? As you probably know by now, he said he would separate this year’s contestants by race.
The Week in Sloth
A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma—I've been driving by this place at Seventh Street and Mountain for months, scratching my head and muttering to myself, “What? ... The Curio?” It's a little shed-house with a sign that proclaims, you guessed it, “The Curio.” Sometimes there are hippies juggling in the front yard. I'm stumped.
with Dread Pirate Hotchkiss, Nick Fury, DJ Wataso, Ridic(ule)
Mantis Fist has been around this block—many times. An Albuquerque hip-hop staple, the Fist has brought it's undefinable breed of underground hip-hop to our stages since 2000. "We've performed over 100 shows here," says Keith Connell. "We've played with everybody."
Although I’m sure they’re perfectly nice people, the music of Zann is truly terrifying. The fact that all the lyrics are in German isn’t helping, either. Be unnerved in the unlikeliest of venues this Thursday, Sept. 14, at Winning Coffee (111 Harvard SE, all-ages). The Coma Recovery, Dear Oceana and The City Is the Tower open around 7 p.m. A $5 donation gets you in. (LM)
Can public radio’s airwaves be taken back?
It’s no revelation to say Albuquerque’s radio landscape is lacking. Amidst the ho-hum mainstream formats provided by the likes of broadcasting behemoths Citadel and Clear Channel, which still, as far as I’m aware, each own eight stations in town, there are a few relatively inconsequential public stations, and then there is KUNM.
Local acoustic pop artist gets ready to hit the road—again
Magen White stole her sister's guitar. Well, not "stole" exactly. Her sis played it for a couple months, then kind of forgot about it and left the guitar to languish in their house. Five years ago, Magen picked it up and started fiddling. She cut her teeth on bands like Dashboard Confessional and The Get Up Kids.
Painting: Alive and Well! at the University Art Museum
Our age isn't so very different from any other. Artists have always dabbled in the most technologically innovative media at their disposal. In many cases, they've actually played a central role in creating that newfangled media. This is as it should be. If it's easier to work with a digital medium to bring a particular artistic vision to fruition, then why not use it?
A conversation with the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Robert Pirsig has a bone to pick with philosophers. As his era-defining memoir Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance levitated up the bestseller lists in 1974, all he heard from them was grumbling.
American Shakespeare Project—In our recent two-part theater guide, which we printed a couple weeks ago, we foolishly neglected to mention the American Shakespeare Project. Bad! Very bad! This Albuquerque-based operation run by David Nava specializes in producing Shakespeare at venues all over town, and they greatly deserve our support.
Harvest Moon—My dad is a chiropractor by day, but give him enough down-time and he becomes a Zen farmer. A very small-scale one. When the weather's right, my father loses himself in a walking meditation among the vines of his heirloom brandywine tomatoes, his lemon cukes and his purple, honey-sweet figs. On the other side of the yard sits my mother's plot, tumescent with flowers and a hedge of rose bushes that reaches up to the mountains. How fitting that my sister (an apprentice indoor landscaper) will be married in their backyard next spring, between those two patches.
Hatch chiles are still the king of peppers
Here’s one way to tell if you’re New Mexican, through and through. When Hatch flooded, did you have nightmares about chile dearth? Thought so.
Cowgirls and meat pastries
Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. Every morning, I see people ingesting a superb variety of bizarre breakfast foods during their commute, from alien blue goop-filled toaster pastries to cold egg rolls and, in my case, the occasional bowl of leftover tofu helper. It’s a start. And so imagine my delight upon learning that the Calico Café, a hot breakfast nook (lunch and dinner, too), has relocated from far away Corrales to north Fourth Street. Anything “charming” needs a manly-man perspective, so I decided to bring my buddy Ike for some company and the occasional grunt or scratch.