Monday, May 31, 2010

Pub:365

Posted By on Mon, May 31, 2010 at 5:00 PM

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Several months ago, I made a promise to myself and my editorial staff. On Valentine's Day this year, I vowed to blog every day. I lasted until April 21 and I didn't even blog every one of those days.

It was only 17 entries in 67 days; that is only a 25 percent success rate. I know. Pathetic.

I expect my editorial staff to blog; blog every day, blog about everything in Boise Weekly, blog about everything they do. I know it is asking a lot. I feel like I let them all down.

Blogging is really hard work. When I started earlier this year, I tried to blog about topical things that I hoped readers would find interesting. I ended up feeling like was stepping on our writers' toes and talking about stuff that they might like to use for blog content.

I'm leaving all of that behind me, and this marks the beginning of my second attempt to blog every day for 365 days. I don't plan to have any specific purpose other than to meet my goal.

So begins my blogging exercise.

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Think Pink

Posted By on Mon, May 31, 2010 at 4:47 PM

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Back in the day, for most Americans pink wine meant Lancers or Mateus, roses from Portugal that were as memorable for their cool bottles as their contents. Then white zinfandel took hold. Lightly sweet and mostly inoffensive, it was the introduction to wine for many, many people.

But as people's palates evolved, a large number moved on to wines that offered something more: chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, merlot, cabernet. These are the wines that those who were “serious” about the subject turned to. Pink wine fell out of favor. Sadly it was a “baby with the bath water” sort of rejection.

There have always been great roses out there, ready to charm and refresh. No such prejudice against pink has ever existed in Italy, Spain or the south of France. Wherever summers turned sultry, elegantly dry rose could be found. In the States, some seriously good pink was being bottled as well.

Back in 1991, Robert Sinskey, famous for his scrumptious pinot noirs, started making a light, salmon colored vin gris. He could hardly give it away, but tastes change. A few years back, roses started to catch on as food friendly, very versatile wines. The Sinskey pink is now their top selling wine, fetching about $25 a bottle when you can find it. But there are a lot of great roses out there that are more readily available and more reasonably priced. Here's a short list of worthy roses available in the Boise market:

2009 Cune Rosado, $11.99 from Spain
2009 Saint Eugénie Rosé, $10.99 from the south of France
2009 Cinder Rosé, $14 from Idaho
2009 Domaine des Corbillieres Touraine, $12.99 a Pinot Noir Rosé from France

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The Tortoise and the Hare

Posted By on Mon, May 31, 2010 at 3:12 PM

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I've blogged about running, mostly in the form of self-congratulations for having completed the Dry Creek Half-Marathon and the annual Race to Robie Creek earlier this spring. However, I've also tried to encourage wannabe athletes to give jogging a try. I hear non-runners use terms like "crazy" and "insane" to describe what I do. Or worse, when I told a co-worker I hoped to run 12 miles one day, he said, "Why not just drive?" Clearly, some people are missing the point. But I'm not even running that far compared to some people.

While Christopher McDougall made an excellent case for human beings as natural distance runners in his bestseller, Born To Run, it seems his argument is gaining support. A recent article in Times Online suggests that our species might not be the fastest, but we certainly have the best endurance. So perhaps we should stop making such a big deal over speedsters like Usain Bolt, who's not really all that fast, and start focusing on people like Dean Karnazes, who has run 300 miles without stopping.

It's a timely piece, given that several of my supposedly "crazy" and "insane" friends are running the Pocatello 50 Mile Trail Run today. One of them is Montrail-sponsoredJoelle Vaught. She is a nationally ranked ultra-runner who quietly lives and trains in the Boise foothills. When I last checked, she was on her way to her next win.

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Need Something to Do Monday?

Posted By on Mon, May 31, 2010 at 9:46 AM

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There's something gloriously slummy about anything served in a bucket. It's gluttonous and animalistic, like being a racehorse at a buffet. The bucket makes all the stress of office politics or the increasing likelihood that we will have to start gassing up our cars by dipping a ladle into the Gulf of Mexico, just disappear. Ahhh.

Author and frequent NPR contributor David Sedaris wrote of his younger brother's bucket-based philosophy in the book Me Talk Pretty One Day. In the book, Sedaris's father becomes depressed and the younger Sedaris sits down with him in the family driveway, offering his signature "fuck-it bucket," a bucket filled with candy and wisdom for the ages. "When shit brings you down, just say 'fuck it,' and eat yourself some motherfucking candy."

Wise words that local eatery Donnie Mac's Trailer Park Cuisine has obviously taken to heart. On Mondays, they're now offering the Ghetto Bucket (two PBRs, two Oly's and two Rainier's) for $4 as part of their Pabst Bingo Night. If ever there was a bucket to make one say, 'fuck it,' that certainly sounds like the one.

But wait, there's more!

Besides the bucket-based offerings, you can turn off the old noodle you use for pub trivia, and play bingo for fabulous prizes they picked up at second-hand stores. By Jove, what gloriousness. And if you polish off your bucket and don't want a second, PBRs are only a $1. By Grapthar's Hammer, what savings!

Of course, you could always stay home and fill up your own bucket. But do you really want to be that guy or gal? Do the right thing and drink from a bucket in public.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Glenn Danzig Told Me He Digs Boise

Posted By on Sat, May 29, 2010 at 9:52 AM

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Punk/rock/metal legend Glenn Danzig—former Misfits and Samhain frontman—is bringing his current incarnation, Danzig, to Boise this month as part of a nine-city U.S. tour.

Deth Red Saboath (Evillive/The End Records)—Danzig's first album in six years—is set to hit streets on Tuesday, June 22. While he doesn't usually go out before an album release, and he doesn't usually do stints like this, he and his management agreed that a few dates around the new album's release would be a novel idea, especially since it's been a long time coming. Even though this fall's annual Blackest of the Black tour is going to be huge, Danzig said he felt five dates on the East Coast and four dates on the West was doable.

From Tuesday, June 15 through Sunday, June 27, Danzig will make stops in Norfolk, Va.; Charlotte, NC; New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Boise, Reno, Nev., Los Angeles and San Francisco. Yes, Boise is on that list. I asked Danzig why Boise is included on such an exclusive, short run of shows.

GD: We come to Boise all the time.

Me: I know.

GD: Well, that's why. That's where we have fans and people wanted the show. Reno is a really big market for us, too. It's also within driving distance from there (laughs).

Me: (Laughs harder.)

GD: We could've gone to Spokane (which he pronounces spo-KAIN). We had offers to go to Spokane, Seattle, Portland, but we didn't. We're doing Boise, Reno, San Francisco and L.A.

Look for more from Danzig in the upcoming issue of Boise Weekly.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

The Dry Land Premiere Sparks Community Conversation

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 5:26 PM

With heartbreaking stories of U.S. veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) frequently making the news, The Dry Land—a new film by first-time feature writer/director Ryan Piers Williams—is a fictional story that gains new real-life resonance with each emerging headline. The film, which had its Idaho premiere last night at the Flicks, is the story of a returning soldier who struggles with the adjustment to civilian life following an attack that left him with stress-induced amnesia.

In attendance at last night's screening was the film's Boise-based producer Heather Rae, actress America Ferrera, who also served as executive producer, and Williams, who wrote the film after hearing stories about PTSD sufferers.

"About five years ago, I started reading newspaper articles about men and women coming back from the war and their experience when they came home,” Williams said. “There were several stories that really struck me which spoke about soldiers dealing with issues like PTSD and the hardships they faced, not only them but also their families.”

Williams and Ferrera talk with Treasure Valley residents
  • Jeremiah Robert Wierenga
  • Williams and Ferrera talk with Treasure Valley residents

Ferrera, who plays the wife of the returning vet, says The Dry Land examines the underrepresented story of the stress placed on the family and friends of an afflicted soldier.

“How do you support the ones who are home trying to keep it together?” she asked. “No one’s even begun to talk about stress-disorders in military families ... this is one branch of a tree of conversations.”

Filmgoers prepare for the premiere
  • Jeremiah Robert Wierenga
  • Filmgoers prepare for the premiere

After the film, the three filmmakers were joined by Boise VA Medical Center psychologists Drs. Dudley Blake and Beth Fassig to discuss the film and conflict-induced PTSD with the audience, many of whom were veterans or from military families. Fifty percent of the events tickets were made available at no cost to military personnel. The Dry Land is being toured at military bases around the United States leading up to its theatrical release in July, and a USO tour is currently being organized.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Enroll in Cult Camp Tonight

Posted By on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 3:21 PM

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Gather your R.L. Stine and Hot Loops, your ass is being shipped off to camp. And no we’re not talking the canoeing, "Kumbaya"-chanting camp of childhood—unless your summer camp involved cocktails and drug-fueled B-movies projected in a musty hotel bar.

Cult Camp is a new monthly community movie night at the Gamekeeper Lounge in the Owyhee Plaza Hotel that celebrates “the best and worst of Cult, B, Xploitation, Noir, off the wall or obscure and other alternative film genres.” A suggested donation of at least $5 snags you a proverbial bunk, with proceeds from the evening going to benefit a local nonprofit organization.

Tonight's film is Rubin and Ed, a 1991 flick starring Crispin Glover as the friendless, '70s-dressing slacker Rubin and Howard Hesseman as Ed, a pyramid-scheme salesman. The unlikely duo embark on a trek to the desert to bury a frozen cat. In an ironic twist, tonight's proceeds benefit Simply Cats.

While it's unlikely there will be a fire for s'more roasting at Cult Camp, we're pretty sure the Gamekeeper's bartenders can whip up a tasty s'mores martini.

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Can't Wait for Nate

Posted By on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 2:21 PM

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I have a (not-so) secret crush on Nate Berkus.

I suspect I'm not alone, but I'm also guessing he's not quite a common household name. So, let me try that again: I have a secret crush on the adorable gay broken-hearted heartbreaker who has just concluded eight years of guesting on Oprah as a home makeover expert.

I had the good fortune to witness his final appearance on the The Oprah Winfrey Show, where I was once again impressed by his charm, candor and, let's face it, mad skillz when it comes to turning a one-room shack into a spacious and gracious abode. I was further enamored after an interview with him in People Magazine.

The good news is that this crush of mine, unlike my other TV-star crushes (which include MacGyver and Sonny Crockett) will re-enter my life this fall with his own daytime TV show. The Nate Berkus Show might be an unoriginal name, but the man has gleaned his wisdom from Oprah, so I won't be critical. I'll miss him until September, but distance makes the heart grow fonder, right?

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A Look Back at My First Week as a BW Intern

Posted By on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 2:16 PM

I walked out of the Boise Weekly offices earlier this week saying, “Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday, everyone. Today’s Wednesday right?”

It was not Wednesday. It was Tuesday. And I’m actually kinda glad that it was because it meant more time at the Boise Weekly before my weekend started.

I have worked a variety of jobs, from libraries to offices, but I've never enjoyed working somewhere as much as I enjoy working at the Boise Weekly. I look forward to going in the office every morning, and I somehow always manage to leave with a smile on my face. Sure I’m not breaking global scandals or speaking with the President at morning press conferences, but I’m able to do what I like most: write and report about one thing I love: Boise. As a journalism student at the University of Missouri, I’ve missed my hometown and all of its quirks: shopping and eating downtown, biking the Greenbelt and buying produce and warm bread at the Saturday market. I can't even being to describe how happy I am to see foothills, mountains and desert again.

I am very honored and thankful to be able to spend my summer working as a Boise Weekly intern. I’ve been reading BW since junior high when, after swim team practice I would grab the newest copy out of the bright red box located outside the YMCA. It was a bit surreal walking in my first day to see the offices and meet the people behind the paper I have been reading for so long. And I’ll admit that it still is. In the short week I’ve been an intern, I’ve been able to write blog posts, a news story and short blurbs about local events. On my second day, I got to cover a story at the Boise Depot and ride a train for the first time. I’ve had the chance to speak with a variety of individuals in the community and stay updated with what’s going on in Boise.

And even though it’s only been a week, I think its fair to say that it’s going to be an awesome summer. If only summer would last forever, or I could just forget that whole "earn a college degree" thing …

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Two Great Wines from California

Posted By on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 2:15 PM

I still remember the first wine I bought with my own money.

It was 1972 and Idaho had only recently allowed the sale of wine outside of the state-controlled liquor stores. A little specialty food shop had opened up in my home town of Pocatello and they offered a small selection of wines that were new to Idaho. That first bottle was a Wente dry sauterne, which I think was a blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc. It sold for a pricey $1.89—considerably more than my hourly wage—but I remember thinking just how good California wine could be.

Over the next several years, most of the wines I bought were from California, but as time went by I became more interested in European wines. Today, it's bargain blends from the south of France, Italy and Spain that appeal to me most. The wines that I love have changed with the times, becoming richer, riper and oozing toasty oak.

Though I find them a bit over-the-top and somewhat tiring, every now and then I'm reminded just how good California wines can be. The two bottles that follow certainly qualify. Though they are priced a little higher than I typically like to spend, both are worth every penny, and for what they offer, they're something of a bargain.

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2007 Napa Cellars cabernet sauvignon, $24.00
This wine starts with delightfully dusty aromas of dark cherry and berry fruit, which mingle with light touches of herb and anise. Rich and supple on the palate, this wine is marked by a silky texture and creamy, ripe cherry fruit flavors backed by light oak, vanilla, mocha and more. Very soft tannins come through on the lingering finish. This full-bodied Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon cries for beef. Try it with slow-roasted Dijon-crusted beef tenderloin. It works just as well with a juicy hamburger hot off the grill.

2008 Joel Gott chardonny, $14.99
If you think you don't like California chardonnay, think again. Fermented completely in stainless steel, this wine sees no oak, resulting in a crisp, clean, bold and juicy delight. The floral aromas are filled with orange blossom, green apple and bright citrus. Tropical fruit and ripe apple flavors dominate the palate, along with crisp pineapple, pink grapefruit and papaya. The wine is so intensely flavored, fruit forward and refreshing, you won't miss the oak.

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