Alibi Volume 19, Number 11
March 18, 2010
On the seventh anniversary of the Iraq invasion, a New Mexico nurse discusses her service
When people hear about nurses serving in war, they probably picture a woman in white tending to wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Modern American military nursing, however, goes beyond providing comfort to our uniformed service people. Nurses may dress the wounds of the enemy. They may deploy to New Orleans to salvage lives in a temporary hospital. Some military nurses may get the chance to share their skills and knowledge with Iraqi women in makeshift classrooms. Others may find themselves witnessing history firsthand as Saddam Hussein’s guilty verdict is being read.
The great American poet Walt Whitman volunteered as an Army nurse during the Civil War. This poem captures the sentiments of nurses who have witnessed the battlefield.
The saga of North Valley residents battling a cement company in their neighborhood may have come to a close. On Wednesday, March 10, the city’s Air Quality Control Board approved a settlement agreement between the Greater Gardner Neighborhood Association and American Cement.
Students seek LGBT center
One segment of UNM’s student population has slipped through the cracks, says undergraduate Jeffrey Waldo. “UNM has a national reputation for its diversity and takes really great efforts in welcoming its diversity, but the queer community has really been overlooked."
City employees gathered en masse to let the mayor and Council know they want to be part of the budget-tightening dialogue. More than a hundred rank-and-file workers— firefighters, police officers, clerks and others—showed up, and union representatives spoke, asking to be a part of solving the budget shortfall. They said Mayor Richard Berry assured their inclusion in the discussion, but so far that hasn't happened.
Don’t worry, Middle America. In the effort to thwart the threat to national security posed by Islamic extremism (the greatest threat to our way of life since communism swept like a hot summer breeze into Indochina), no draft will be forthcoming. All fighting will be conducted by the indentured underclass that has nothing better to do than grind out multiple tours in the warm, inviting climes of Iraq and Afghanistan for the sake of indifferent countrymen.
Dateline: Czech Republic—A newly formed travel agency in Prague is offering a unique travel service—vacations for stuffed animals. The Toy Traveling agency was pitched as an idea on the TV reality show “Den D”—a Czech spin-off of the British show “Dragons’ Den” as well as the American show “Shark Tank.” Two of the judges on the show, including a former Czech minister of information, agreed to invest 150,000 crowns (about $7,700) each in the enterprise. Since the episode aired, Toy Traveling’s website (toytraveling.com) has logged nearly 20,000 visitors. For between 90 and 150 euros ($120 to $205), customers can mail their favorite toys to the Czech Republic, where they will be taken on a guided tour of such landmarks as Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge. Tour guides will take pictures to send back with the stuffed animals. In the Premium Package, the inanimate tourists will receive a “massage” and an “aromatherapy” session.
The Alibi was very proud indeed to join Albuquerque Pride in co-presenting the first-ever OUTstanding Awards, designed to honor the best in gay and gay-allied Albuquerque. We invited the community to nominate and vote for OUTstanding recipients in January and February. The winners were announced in a glittery, sealed-envelope ceremony on Saturday, March 6, at the Radisson Hotel ballroom. In addition to bringing much-deserved recognition to Albuquerque’s LGBT population and supporters, the night was a blast!
The National Association of Latino Independent Producers is now accepting applications for its spring 2010 Latino Writers Lab. The conference/workshop will take place May 19 through 23 in Santa Fe. It’s designed for people who want to work as professional screenwriters and develop strong screenplay material for production or sale. It includes skills development by professional instructors, direct mentoring of your work-in-progress and workshop lunches on various legal, guild and industry matters. Scripts can be in English or Spanish, but fluency in English is a requirement. From this five-day local session, 12 to 15 experienced writers will be selected to participate in a 10-day intensive lab this coming September in Santa Monica, Calif. The deadline to postmark your application is Wednesday, March 24, so you need to get on the ball. To download an application or dig up more details, log on to nalip.org.
A six-pack of docs offers a refreshing dose of reality
Increasingly, we find ourselves living in a time when the rising tide of “reality television” has us questioning what is actually real. Is Snooki, the self-described “guidette” queen from “The Jersey Shore,” real? Well, for starters, she’s not Italian. She’s Chilean. So, I think we’re fairly safe saying no. Does Maria Kanellis, one of this stars of this season’s “The Celebrity Apprentice,” actually count as a celebrity? Do the Kardashian sisters fake relationships with sports stars to drive up ratings on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”? Is “The Hills” entirely scripted? Are Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag actually human?
“The Inbetweeners” on BBC America
It’s easy to be struck by the cultural differences between America and England. Ever since that whole Revolutionary War thing, we’ve been pointing out their funny accents, their goofy use of the word “zed” instead of “z,” their deplorable habit of eating blood sausage. Occasionally, though, it’s enlightening to note our similarities. For example: Nerds, it would seem, are nerds the world over.
The Week in Sloth
This time it’s super awesome
Carefully avoiding the loaded term “unplugged,” the latest in a six-year-old series originally known as The Acoustic Showcase takes place at Low Spirits this Friday. Bands, and varying configurations thereof, perform songs from their respective catalogs as well as selected covers that don’t fit into regular repertoires. Don’t expect old favorites and regurgitated hits. Do expect obscure covers from limited-edition blue-vinyl releases that would make any record-collecting fanboy swoon.
DIY patron of the arts Derek Caterwaul on Albuquerque's SWxØFest
Like so many of the world’s great ideas, the Southwest by No Fest began as a joke. It eventually manifested on some flyers last year, and in 2010 SWxØFest has morphed into something resembling a full-fledged festival. Events, which began last week, the convergence of a handful of atypical venues and the bounty of touring bands passing through town this month. KUNM 89.9 FM DJ and longtime promoter of local music and arts events Derek Caterwaul is among those at the helm of the endeavor. He says this month's fest is not so much a spin-off of the music industry spectacle that is SXSW but more a spinout inspired by a concentration of creative energy and counter-SXSW Austin events like Fuck by Fuck You and GAYbiGAYGAY.
The hues that appear in mid-century color photography tend to create a delicate, airy quality, as if the sands of time are causing the image to melt away before our eyes. Here we see a western view of Route 66 at I-25 and ghostly Zia images hovering in the sky during what seems to be the late ’50s. Once a humble postcard, this photo now advertises Songs for Boys & Girls with Sugar Wings at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) on Saturday at 7 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Nick Brown prefers the weirder ‘chamber jazz’
Nick Brown is a musician who likes to make weird songs late at night in the shed behind his house. He’s also the Alibi’s puppet master, a prolific blogger and a jokesmith. Here are five jazzy, new wave-y, psychedelic, random selections from his collections.
It's fitting that for Women's History Month, Opera Southwest is staging Georges Bizet's Carmen. The opera, set in 1830s Spain, tells the story of a strong-willed Romani woman, the eponymous Carmen, who falls in love with the soldier Don José. While bringing them together, their passion also tears them tragically apart. See Carmen at the KiMo Theatre (423 Central NW). Shows on Saturday, March 20; Tuesday, March 23; and Friday, March 26 are at 7:30 p.m. The performance on Sunday, March 28, is at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $65, with discounts available for students, seniors and groups. Get them through Opera Southwest (243-0591), ticketmaster.com or the KiMo Box Office (768-3544).
An interview with sculptor Daniel Richmond
Daniel Richmond moved to Albuquerque in the fall of 2009. A Vermont native with a breathtaking talent for woodcarving and a long-standing connection to the Southwest, he came here to pursue his MFA in Sculpture at UNM. Just last week, he embossed the names of 112 New Mexico endangered species in red Jemez dirt across the university’s Smith Plaza. The meaning of the work rested as much on its creation as on its disappearance; within moments of its completion, students shuffled and skateboarded across the installation, wiping it away entirely. Over the next few months, he plans to repeat his 112 Endangered Names Embossed in Dirt project—and present many others—throughout the city. The Alibi wanted to know what motivates this fantastically curious new Albuquerquean. So we went and found out.
ABQ Brew Pub opened quietly this past week (with its grand opening slated for March 19), and it was near empty during my visit. So empty that the hostess and two servers were dead asleep at a table when I walked in. Well, not asleep—but they may as well have been for all the action was going on at the bar. Maybe four people were sitting around 20 or so bar seats. Fine with me; it gave me the chance to look around without making people feel like I was ogling their dinners.
Juárez-style home cooking since 1980
If you need a reminder that there’s more to Juárez than disheartening headlines, look no further than El Sabor de Juarez. The sunny little place on Gibson near Carlisle serves Juárez-style Mexican food under the care of owner Jesus Mata Sr. and his son Marcos. Jesus says the only concession to New Mexican cuisine they've made is the addition of flour to thicken the red and green sauces.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): "Everything is complicated," wrote poet Wallace Stevens. "If that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore." I hope you will choose his wisdom to serve as your guiding light in the coming weeks. It is high time, in my astrological opinion, for you to shed any resentment you might feel for the fact that life is a crazy tangle of mystifying and interesting stories. Celebrate it, Aries! Revel in it. Fall down on your knees and give holy thanks for it. And by the way, here's a big secret: To the extent that you do glory in the complications, the complications will enlighten you, amuse you and enrich you.