Alibi Volume 16, Number 22
May 31, 2007
Albuquerque’s Drinking Water Project goes into effect next year. Do you know what’s in your glass?
“Doesn’t it taste great? If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was Aquafina!”
Waging a war against recruitment at Albuquerque’s public high schools
In Albuquerque’s high schools, students are more likely to sign up for military service than join the student senate. The armed forces are as popular as any school sport and, on many campuses, military recruiters and the JROTC are a more prominent presence than college or career scouts.
Freecycle proves one man's ugly pink chair is another man's treasure
In many respects, ours is a throwaway society. We use untold disposable widgets: Razors, pens, lighters, napkins. Restaurants and households toss out foodstuffs like there's an unlimited supply. Cars break and are indifferently junked. Functional buildings are torn down and replaced with new ones. Lasting objects, underneath it all, seem to be an affront to this ever-revolving door, relentlessly enticing its consumers with new and better goods. As a result, landscapes are marred with dumps that teem with the discarded, both legitimate refuse and salvageable goods.
Bad Science, Bad News—I hope by the time this is published, it is but one more voice in a symphony of angry letters and editorials directed at the top story on the front page of Friday's Albuquerque Journal. The story, "Lean to the Left? It May Be Mommy's Fault," succeeds on no level. It's a bad headline on a bad piece of reporting about some bad science.
On May 21, Mayor Martin Chavez promoted his FY08 budget at a press conference outside City Hall, while inside councilors prepared to amend the mayoral package to reflect their own priorities. The amended FY08 Goals bill passed unanimously, and the Council's appropriations bill passed 6-3, Councilors Sally Mayer, Craig Loy and Ken Sanchez opposed.
The story behind the mayor's tax cuts
Let’s run through this one more time. Maybe then it’ll make some sense to me, ’cuz I gotta say, so far this brouhaha over cutting the city’s share of gross receipts taxes seems like mayoral foolishness and not much else.
Dateline: Germany—Police are trying to decide whether or not to charge a wheelchair-bound man with drunk driving after he was found weaving down the road near the northeastern city of Schwerin. The unnamed 31-year-old was found to be 10 times over the legal alcohol limit for drivers. “He was right in the middle of the road,” a police spokesperson told reporters. “The officers couldn’t quite believe it when they saw the results of the breath test. That’s a life-threatening figure.” The intoxicated man told police he had been out drinking with a friend and was just trying to get back to his home some two miles away. Police said that because the man was technically traveling as a pedestrian, it is unlikely that he will be charged with a driving offense. “It’s not like we can impound his wheelchair,” the spokesperson said. “But he is facing some sort of punishment.”
Get Educated—This weekend, the Continuing Education Center at the University of New Mexico will present its annual Digital Arts Conference. “Photography and Filmmaking: Your Future on Camera” is an all-day conference designed to help participants explore current topics in digital photography and filmmaking. They’ll explore hands-on learning in state-of-the-art computer labs and learn how to initiate or expand specific careers on either side of the camera. Conference topic choices include makeup and costuming, screenwriting, camera operation, lighting, motion graphics, character animation, post-production, Photoshop techniques, executive portraits, digital SLR techniques and more. There will be a keynote presentation by award-winning Hollywood filmmaker Phil Nibbelink and demonstrations by Apple and Adobe.
Well, blow the man down—the third Pirates is actually a voyage worth taking
After the two-and-a-half-hour cliff-hanger that was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest comes the nearly three-hour conclusion that is Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. While that might seem like a daunting prospect for even the most ardent pirate lover, PotC:AWE is actually a rollicking good action flick—so far, the least disappointing tent pole release of the summer movie season.
Costner does a killer job in this off-kilter thriller
The ’80s and ’90s were good to Kevin Costner, providing him with a string of blockbuster films including Silverado, The Untouchables, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, Dances With Wolves, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, JFK, The Bodyguard and Wyatt Earp. That all changed in 1995 when Costner gave us the perennial punch line Waterworld. Since then, the actor’s films—some good, some bad (Thirteen Days and The Upside of Anger the former, 3000 Miles to Graceland and Dragonfly the later)—have failed to capture the high-flying vibe of decades past. What’s an aging heartthrob to do?
“Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” on TBS
Admittedly, I’m not a big fan of Tyler Perry. I don’t trust people who slap their name on everything, like Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls and Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion (the Ruth’s Chris Steak House of movies). I find Perry’s harmless, well-intentioned Christian-tinged morality plays perfectly suitable for Sunday morning sermonizing, but far too ham-handed for mainstream viewing. I’ve learned from past experience that criticizing the guy leads to all sorts of angry letters from rabid Perry disciples levying accusations of racism and anti-Christian sentiment. But honestly, it all boils down to one thing: I just don’t think the guy is funny.
The Week in Sloth
Salsa, Salsa and More Delicious Salsa—“What do you think came first, the dip or the dance?" This question was recently posed at a Tuesday morning editorial meeting and is the kind of query that is either asked by: 1) A slack-jawed cretin, 2) One of many cloistered Americans, totally oblivious to Latin culture, 3) Both 1 and 2, or 4) A drowsy editor, exhausted from hours of mulling over every single word in the paper. The question in this case was asked by 4 (you know who you are). There, there, everyone says dumb things sometimes.
Glue your eyes to the rink as Albuquerque’s own Munecas Muertas knock the snot out of Minnesota Rollergirls away team, the Rockits. Saturday, June 2, at Club Fantasia (4901 McLeod NE). $5 in advance (www.dukecityderby.com), $7 at the door (opens at 3 p.m.). (LM)
Kamikaze hearts to keep your head up
Maybe you're craving something different, a little fever to fill your soul, an experience that stands out and stands alone in your next musical outing … seems like you're craving The Ringers. Promising more than your average rock show, this little band from Los Angeles is dedicated to high kicks and headlocks every time they take the stage.
Rap cassette release party featuring The Booty Green, North America and DJ Cherry Lee
It wouldn't be a stretch to say the boys of Rap have a mean case of retrophilia. One of their main musical inspirations is the 1989 NES game Ninja Gaiden. Keytars are essential at every show. Both Brandon Bethancourt and Hari Ziznewski wear large aviators, vintage Reebok shirts and nylon track pants—even when not performing. And for their first album release, they're going pure plastic with the classic white cassette tape.
Justin Ray returns to Albuquerque for a weekend of gigs
Albuquerque trumpeter Justin Ray misses his car. It’s the price he pays for living in Brooklyn, N.Y., a spawning ground for young musicians.
Extended Run—Eat, Drink and Be Larry’s new comedy spectacular, Macbeth in Space, gets an extended run this weekend at the Box Performance Space (1025 Lomas NW). The production is directed by Jason Witter and features the Alibi’s own Devin O’Leary. It tells the story of a frozen Macbeth who wakes up 400 years in the future and starts murdering people. Sound like a good time? You bet. Check it out Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, at 10:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 3, at 8 p.m. $8. 404-1578.
Dreamscape Desperado at the Albuquerque Museum
How funny that the most famous New Mexican who ever lived just happened to be a ruthless killer. If we lived in a sane universe, you might think this would be bad for tourism. Luckily, we don't live in a sane universe. Most people might not realize New Mexico is part of the United States, but once they learn how William Bonney, aka Billy the Kid, got embroiled in a Shakespearean revenge plot in Lincoln County in the 1870s, they're eager to visit our fine state, buy Billy the Kid T-shirts by the dozen, and revel in every detail of the outlaw’s bloody exploits and youthful demise.
An interview with Sara Paretsky
Sara Paretsky has been worrying a lot lately. To a certain degree, this is nothing new. “I’m a pessimist by nature,” the 59-year-old creator of the V.I. Warshawski detective series says. “Some people say the glass is half empty, some say it is half full. I say: ‘I didn’t even get a glass!’”
New Perennial Favorites, Part One—It should be enough that chefs work punishing, 80-hour weeks and still manage to create beautiful plates of food. If they can come home and, still reeking of garlic and grease traps, find the romance—and energy—to produce a brood of their own, so much the better for the human race. (That's survival of the fittest in action, folks.) In the event these chefs survive that lethal combination and can create another fine restaurant to preside over, it's a near-miracle. And that's the sweet spot some of Albuquerque's brightest chefs are working themselves into right now. This multi-part edition of "The Dish" is devoted to Albuquerque chefs who are burning the candle at both ends, stepping up to the range at old favorites and new projects alike. If our beloved chefs don't keel over from heatstroke, we'll be eating well this year.