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Erin Ryan

  • Stage Dynamo

    Writer/director Farideh Fardjam brings international flair to local theater
      On the evening of September 26, the lobby of The Flicks was packed with people clutching programs for a staged reading of an Armenian comedy called Be Nice, I'm Dead. Recognizing neither the form nor anything about the play, I went on faith--and a conversation I had earlier that day with the play's director, Farideh Fardjam.
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  • From Joysticks to Gamepods

    The evolution of Boise's virtual playground
      It was a Friday like any other ... except for the fact that The Pirate had filled most of his six-foot-six-inch frame with five shots of tequila, three pints of dark beer and a few slices of pickle from an uneaten chicken sandwich--all before 1 p.m. Staring into our sodas, El Camacho and I shared a moment of nervous amusement about what we might do with a drunken swab in the middle of the afternoon on a school day. We immediately thought of PoJo's.
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  • Pass the cheese, please

    Orange snack chips color your appetite
      Orange foods have been unfairly categorized as "healthy." Sure, carrots are good for your eyes, tangerines have ridiculous quantities of vitamin C and egg yolks are crammed with protein, but what about foods that were born naked and only came into their orange-ness after being bathed in unpronounceable chemicals?
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  • Deep Purple for $800, Alex

    Just what color is indigo, anyway?
      As far as we know, the only truly indigo food is the island punch-flavored Jelly Belly, but there are a few members of the berry family that come close. To better appreciate their nutritional and culinary value, we must first understand the connections their particular purplish-bluish shade has to the intangible world.
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  • No Wrong Notes

    New poetry by local author Norman Weinstein
      Like most people, I have shelves in my home stacked with books that say something about who I am. Eggers, Vonnegut and Sedaris in one corner, Dillard, Descartes and a collection of Calvin and Hobbes in the other, like some piecemeal personal ad. If this short list is any indication of my taste, then the North End bungalow Norman Weinstein shares with his wife, writer Mary Owen, is a paper and ink mosaic of his soul.
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  • Urban Intervention

    David Hale and the Linen District
      Studying a jar of jelly beans in David Hale's makeshift office on 15th Street, I count what I know about him on one hand: He's young, he's rich, he's championing the revitalization of a six-block area west of downtown Boise while maintaining seven companies, three personal residences and the impending birth of his first-born son (OK, maybe two hands). I imagine him vibrating with the pressure of it all: cell phones, laptops and supermodels grafted to his body as he multitasks his way to Forbes' Top 100. Maybe he's an alien, or a sweater vest-wearing Bill Gates type. Somehow, thinking he's a freak makes me feel better about my own rung on the cosmic ladder ...
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  • Intelligent Design

    The art of PJ Dean
      Originality is becoming as scarce as crude oil. In the realm of visual art, everything has been "done," from cubist perspectives to sublime landscapes to fecal smears on canvas, making it even more impressive that local artist PJ Dean has a style he can call his own.
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  • Bushwhacking

    Recreational purgatory
      The first time I heard the word "bushwhack," I was watching leotard-wearing skinheads prance about on WWF. Older, wiser and forcibly weaned from cable television, I know now that bushwhacking was around long before the 1980s. Webster's offered these smart little meanings: "To make one's way through thick woods by cutting away bushes and branches; To travel through or live in the woods; To fight as a guerrilla in the woods."
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  • 200 Years and Counting

      The Idaho Black History Museum almost sounds like an oxymoron. Stereotypes would have us believe that Idaho's past (not to mention its present and future) is as much about diversity as it is deep-sea fishing, though the annals of multi-racial history in this state stretch back to its very founding. Evidence is scattered, but photo, written and verbal records kept by the descendants of African-American settlers allowed the January launch of part one (1805-1919) of a three-part, permanent collection exhibit called The Invisible Idahoan: 200 Years of Blacks in Idaho.
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  • NIA

    The body's way
      My mother is a relic of the Jane Fonda era. Her closet doubles as the North American Museum of Leg Warmers, and I'm pretty sure she's in an amateur workout video "feeling the burn" to Devo. So when she stood before me wearing rainbow spandex bell-bottoms singing the praises of something called "NIA," I was blunt.
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