Doggies Treats

“Son of a bitch. It’s bad enough your God damn dog tore up my prize tomatoes but now he killed my chicken too.” Jon stood clenching his fist. His face the color of his prize tomatoes that were strewed about the yard.
“Dude you need to chill. He just animal and that’s what they do man” the young man said from the other side of the fence his eyes match the color of Jon’s face.
“If I catch that damn animal-“ Jon shook his fist in the air and stomped across his yard slamming the sliding glass hard enough to make it rattle. A few beers and some football later Jon woke up on the couch to the sound of dog, howling. Armed with the shotgun he kept by the door for an emergency, he stormed out the door to find the dog digging up all his potatoes. In the silence of the night, Jon grabbed the barrel of the gun and swung it over his shoulder like a bat and crept towards the dog. “Gotcha” he whispered.
***
“Hey man, I’m making some burgers. What do you say I make you one and we bury the hatched,” Jon waved at his neighbor over the fence whistling has he flip the sizzling meat patties.He through one on a bun with fresh topping. “When until you taste what fresh lettuce can add to a burger.”
“Hey man, thanks. Have you seen my dog?” the young man walked up to the fence and shook hands with Jon.
“No, I’m sure he’ll be along.”
“Yeah man,” He took a huge bite of the burger and pointed at his mouth smiling and nodding.
“Special recipe for special occasions,” Jon said with a smile. “I’ll get you another to go.”

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In Preparation For June

Burning eyes, far-away voices. How? Why? I’m not ready. I’ll never be ready. Forcing air into my lungs, I closed my eyes, my ears, my heart. Images flash through my mind, the past, the future, anything but today. Arms crossed, fists clenching. Everything fades away except the fire in my belly. Peeling my eyes open the sun is setting over the empty cemetery. My shoulders drop, my fingers wrapped gingerly around the small vial in my pocket.

It was never any good without you, my love.

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FOFVA- Friends of Film Video and Arts

New Mexico-based Friends of Film Video and Arts is celebrating its 10th anniversary with big changes. Anne Stirling a founding member of FoFVA is spearheading the new direction with the help of dedicated FoFVA members, not only will they continue to be a relationship building group, but now they will be going into hands-on production.

Anne, with the help of FoFVA, wants to re-invent how quality television is made; by creating a new, cooperative production with one of her projects that is close to her heart, Quirky View. Quirky View, a television show showcasing real people doing real things that are fun and different, will be the vehicle to help FoFVA grow from a networking group into a hands-on, broadcast quality, film-training program, that gives back to the community. “This endeavor will be a great way for people to get involved in a production and see it through,” shares Stirling. “Quirky View a top quality, well respected, and well-received series that is in demand year to year as an upbeat, off-beat content that highlights people doing things they are passionate about.

It will be a long year of working out the details, but FoFVA will begin a production schedule in January 2015. With a small-dedicated group, FoFVA hopes to make a business model that will inspire others and add diversity to television and movie line-ups. What will be the outcome from designing a new business model for production? The production will continually train new people in all areas of film including cross-training members, giving members a place to teach and share experiences from the film world, and a database of FoFVA members to showcase their talents, projects and skill sets. FoFVA hopes one day to be a clearinghouse of all things film in New Mexico; for now building a community of quality filmmakers helping one another is the priority. It will also give members a chance to own a share of the production the way customers own part of their local co-op.

FoFVA will reach out to all the film organizations in New Mexico, guest filmmakers, and online submission from all over for Quirky View segments to make a fully collaborative endeavor. Professionals in all areas will be brought in to mentor and keep the production running as members learn what needs to be done.

FoFVA is celebrating 10 years by leaping into uncharted territory to demystify the film industry and make it accessible to people who might not have another way to learn, hands-on. This first year maybe a rough one, but it will be full of surprises and wonderful adventures into cooperative productions.

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FreshABQ- A New Way to Look at Food

FreshABQ may not be a household name yet, but it will be. This innovated venture by Chef Jon Young of Corrales, New Mexico will soon be on everyone lips and their stomachs. It’s not just a food truck; it’s a food revolution on wheels. FreshABQ stands out from the crowd by offering a dine-in experience in a mobile setting. Cooking with only the freshest ingredients, as local as possible, FreshABQ is embracing sustainable, green living while remaining community focused.

FreshABQ began as an idea in Chef Young’s mind. Watching the food truck revolution spread across this nation, he wanted to bring people to their cuisine in style. The plan formed when he and his wife, Melissa Young, found the old KOB News 1955 Twin Motor Coach bus just sitting outside Socorro, New Mexico, not being used. With a vision, few could have seen, and a skill set to make it happen, the Youngs and their mechanic, Micah Black-Garcia, towed, the vintage bus up to Corrales and began renovations. The touring bus is in the process of going from a rusty hollowed out shell to a food bistro on wheels with seating for twelve. The bus will be themed after the famous Orient Express and will take its passengers on tantalizing food adventures.

During the month, the bus will go from a fresh food truck menu to Epicurean Chef’s dinners in different locations around New Mexico. What better way to bring the land and its food together in one place?  ARCA, a private not-for-profit organization, will supply most of the fresh produce. They employ over 600 jobs for developmentally disabled children and adults and organically grown food here in New Mexico. “Giving back to the community, and sustainably sourced food is important to FreshAbq,” says Chef Young. “We want people to know what’s in their food, where it comes from, and how it was prepared.”

In the future, Chef Young and his wife envision taking FreshABQ even further, by taking the bus and its passengers out to locally source their food themselves. “It’s important to see each step in the process to truly appreciate your dining experience,” shared Young.  New Mexico has many unique food options available, and FreshABQ wants to take you to them all.  Visit http://www.supportfreshabq.com and find out how you can help bring this dream to life.

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Manu Bennett

From athlete to actor, covering the gambit in between, Manu Bennett has a career to be proud of. From his home country of New Zealand to the American shoreline, action, adventure, and middle Earth have been part of his life.

A young Manu was trained by his father to be a national athlete in New Zealand. He competed mostly in running, jumping, and throwing events. “My best event was the hurdles, maybe a metaphor given the many I’ve had to leap throughout life.” The first of those many hurdles came in the two week time period that his mother and brother were killed in two separate car accidents. Bennett’s grades fell do to poor concentration and emotional pain. Rugby became his outlet of choice along with the arts. He excelled on the field, venting his aggression. Later in his career he used these emotions to bring characters to life on the screen.

Art as therapy continued into his teenage years when a girlfriend, who was a ballerina, asked him and his friend to help the troop by being in West Side Story. Which led to other musicals such as Grease and Swan Lake. “In fact,” Bennett said. “I couldn’t attend the trials for the Australian Schoolboys Rugby Union Team because I was committed to a local production of Swan Lake. Trying to explain that to a bunch of rugby lads was futile. It was my Billy Elliot moment, but I loved dancing. Dancing proved to be as physically demanding as Rugby, with the advantage of carrying around ballerinas. Dancing gives a body awareness you don’t necessarily get in other sports.”

After his mother’s death, Bennett was sent to Maori Boarding School in rural New Zealand. The school was rife with bullying and a drastically different attitude then the urban Australian schools he had previously attended. “That school was very much a Spartacus type experience for me, where survival meant pretty much having to fight for your rights.” In hindsight, the school played a huge role in his career, allowing him to be fully invested in characters he played. The example came in handy when it came to his role as Crixus from Spartucas. “I took a lot of that experience with me into my performance on the series and portraying the character of Crixus from bully to a gladiator who was forced to join with others.” expressed Bennett. “It was tough but I figure: If you haven’t lived it, you can’t be that great at acting it.”

Challenging roles with a good support system are what actors dream about to expand their range. The Hobbit, was a learning experience. The opportunity to work with Peter Jackson was one he will not forget. “Working with Peter was a great honor, something I hold as the highest achievement in my career thus far, yet it was the shortest & probably the most underpaid job I’ve done,” Bennett shared. “Stepping into the shoes of Andy Serkis was overwhelming and creating Azog, the leader of the Orcs, posed a whole bunch of new opportunities for me as an actor, developing scenes in post-production when all of the other actors had wrapped. I’m lucky Peter was as patient & understanding a man as he is, because I stretched everything out to get the most out of the little I had to work with, including a pommel horse on skate wheels that I rode which would later evolve into my white warg, a giant wolf creature. When I asked Peter if I could develop a relationship with my warg he took a deep breath & trusted me & for whatever it was worth it was a decisive choice in how I played out Azog, who spent a lot of time riding that white warg. The artistry & technology involved in The Hobbit was on another level & the commeraderie on the set of a Peter Jackson production is spurred on by the General himself – it’s just a feeling in the air. New York actors have Martin Scorcese, New Zealand actors have Sir Peter Jackson.”

From Kuwait to L.A., the audition for Deathstroke, Bennett’s latest character on the television series Arrow, was not something to be taken lightly. In Kuwait, a week before the audition, Bennett was training with Special Forces officers in the art of the take down. When he arrived in L.A. for the read, Bennett gave them a little something special. “The one thing no one in the casting room was counting on was when I got the reader auditioning with me in the choke hold, “Bennett says. “I actually choked him out and he collapsed on the ground momentarily unconscious. It was a very strange moment when the whole world just stops. I asked the casting director if him collapsing was meant to be part of the scene that he was acting out. The director said, ‘No. I think you choked him out.’ I apologized profusely, but he stopped me and said ‘It was perfect.’ So, what I thought might have been my last Hollywood audition turned into an epic journey taking me to Vancouver, Canada for 18 months where I helped turn Slade Wilson into one of DC Comic World’s most popular super villains.” Unfortunately Deathstroke is still in purgatory, so there were no juicy bits to spill about Season three, so we will all have to stay tuned in. Bennett did leave us one teasing bit of information. After he leave the Santa Fe Comic Con at the end of the month, he will be on his way to Seattle for an “interesting project”. You’ll hear more about that in 2015!

An inspirational career to many, Bennett knows how to take on the hurdles of life and come out on top. Hard work and learning to focus his emotional stress into physical activity and acting has taken the sting away, but not his memories. Tune in and watch Bennett on Arrow on the CW (he will get out of purgatory) and look for new projects coming from this versatile actor.

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The Jemez Bath House

Tucked away against the red rock and the green pine trees sits the Jemez Bath House. The bath house has been a staple in Jemez Springs for over a hundred years. It was the first public building constructed in Jemez Springs at the end of the 1800s. Today, not much about the building has changed. A small store greets guests upon arrival, offering everything from clothing to specially blended bath salts. Down a short flight of stairs, and you step into the historical part of the building, built in 1876. Two bathrooms face you with curtains on either side that lead to the baths. Generally the women’s side is off to the left and the men’s to the right, each side holds about 5 tubs that can be separated by curtains. Peaceful music plays overhead and talking is asked to be kept to a minimum. Hot water is clearly marked, and comes straight from the hot springs. The cold water isn’t really cold, its held outside and cooled to around 80 degrees. The tubs are partially filled for you. Once inside, you are given a container to store your things in, if needed. The Bathhouse offers a variety of soaking times along with herbal and towel wraps and massages. Today we are indulging in the Bathhouse special – a 30 minute soak, 30 minute herbal wrap, and a 60 minute massage.

After picking some lovely smelling bath salts I spent a peaceful 30 minutes soaking in the big old stone tubs. I could hear the birds singing outside the windows above. I’ve been told the Bathhouse is haunted, so no matter how relaxed I am, I have one eye open for anything spooky. The half hour flies by and I’m asked to step out of my private tub space onto a massage table lined up against the other wall. A hot, wet towel soak with herbs lays on the table and then I’m covered with another, before being wrapped with blankets. A cool compress is place behind my head and over my eyes. A light mist of lavender and rose is sprayed over me before I’m left alone to relax further.

By the time I get to my massage, my tension has drained away and I’m ready for a nap. The friendly therapist carries my things into a private massage room through the next door. There is quiet music playing with a small air-conditioner running in the window for wonderful gray noise. The massages at the Bathhouse are light and designed to relax. If your hoping to have an issue worked out, this isn’t the place. The atmosphere is meant to take you away from your everyday life and soothe you in the energy of the mountain hot springs. They succeed every time.

The main drawback to the Bathhouse is the fact you won’t want to leave Jemez when you’re done.

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Pro Wrestling in the 505

After two-years, pro-wrestling will be making a triumphant return to Albuquerque on December 6th. This professional entertainment for the family will feature star performers from the Southwest circuit, including eight locals from Albuquerque itself. This is just the first in many shows around the city by, Destiny Wrestling Organization at the Mckernan Sports and Entertainment Event Center at Five-Points and Bridge, in the south valley. The live experience is not something to be missed as tag-team titles are fought for.

After the long hiatus, Chavez Crespin Promotions is reigniting the spark of pro-wrestling at the local level. These live performances are risky, with original movements than what you see on WWE on TV. Go big is the theme of the shows here on the Southwest circuit. With more room for more styles, the live audience will witness new moves and combinations done with strength and agility. There will be Lucha Libre, American a technical style, Catch psychology wrestling, strong style strike orient.

The dedication and determination of these wrestlers are clear. In order to train for one of these performances, the wrestlers must first train on a plywood and a steel pole rig in the backyard of one of the top wrestlers. Josh Pain and Dexter have a strict training regiment designed to weed out the weak, and create true wrestling machines. This means that when it’s 109 degrees in Albuquerque, these wrestlers are roasting on the steel poles, or 30 degrees, they are freezing on the steel poles numerous days a week to learn how to put on a good show.

The DeathRage Cartel will be there trying to convert good guy Amsterdam to the dark side, while fighting for tag-team titles. Other featured performers to keep an eye on are Hobo Hank and Moshpit Mike. It’s time to get inform and get in on the action. Pick a side and heckle your favorite wrestler.

Come out and support your local wrestlers before they become superstars. There will be crowd interaction and good times had by all. Be amazed by the jumps, throws, and elbows flying in and outside of the ring. Tickets available at holdmyticket.com or come out on Monday nights to Back Alley Draft House open mic night and get them in person from Amsterdam himself. Support your local scene.

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Santa Fe Independent Film Festival

This year’s Santa Fe Independent Film Festival kicked off Oct 15-19 all around the city. Being a working Albuquerquean, I didn’t leave myself time to attend the full event. In fact, I didn’t leave myself time to attend any of the event. After all, we had a festival here in town that I attended, so there was no need to haul up to Santa Fe for theirs.

It happens that on Friday I was on my way up to Santa Fe to go the Artisan Art Expo to pick up some discount art supplies, but that’s another story. While I was up there, I decided to check out the DIY Filmmaking workshop with Laura Terruso. It was an eye-opening experience. I arrived early, I always mis-calculate driving time when the plaza is involved. I got a wonderful tour of the Santa Fe Contemporary Art Musuem’s theater set up. They have a small black box theater where the lecture was and a beautiful redone main theater. Being a completely independent entity, they are able to showcase a wide variety of movies, more then many of the other theaters in New Mexico.

The workshop itself feature two Indie movies that Laura Terruso had made in her home base of New York City. She talked about her feature films “Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same” and “The Foxy Merkins”. She went into detail about how to turn your weakness into strengths. By not having a budget to shoot with in NYC she was able to use the city as the background in both movies. But she cautions, “When your asking people to donate their time to a project, feed them. Feed them well.” Both of these movies were made with below minimal budgets and came out beautifully. Those of you with a Netflix account can check out “Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same”.

I walked out of the 90 minutes lectures feeling inspired to take on the world of film. It was a good thing too, because that night I jumped into my first 48-hour movie challenge. Now that I have recovered from it, and gone over my notes from Laura’s lecture, I feel ready to turn my weaknesses into strengths and go make a movie.

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Sarah Mowrey

Sarah Mowrey – Improv extraordinaire, stand-up comedian, social activist, all around renaissance woman and Albuquerque local. Mowrey is a recent graduate of UNM in University studies, She started with improv and sketch comedy there. Later moving into stand-up comedy and tackling social issues head on in her sets.

Mowrey, who is thinking about returning to UNM in the near future, is currently busying herself running Comedy Question Mark. It was founded in 2010 on the UNM campus, but now has become a weekly Friday night show at The Box in Downtown Albuquerque. 2010 is also the year that Mowrey began doing Improv and sketch comedy. It was 2011 before she tried stand-up. The difference between improv and stand-up? Mowrey explains, “With stand-up, you’re on stage alone, but with improv, you have a buddy – someone else to bounce ideas off of. So even if it’s stupid, the rule in improv is to go with it.” Sketch comedy is improv with a script. When asked to choose between the them, there is no choice. They are all very different and mind-expanding in their own ways.

On Wednesday nights, she co-hosts the open mic night at Broken Bottle Brewery on the west side of Albuquerque. Here you will get a chance to see her MCing skills and stand-up comedy. It’s a free show with some great microbrews to quench your thirst. Mowrey wants to reach out to women comics, in particular, since here, in Albuquerque, there are still so few comparatively. “Women’s voices need to be heard as much as the males,” explained Mowrey. It’s hard to be a female comic. Even today, they are expected to only tell certain kinds of jokes. “Any guy can stand up on stage, tell dick jokes, and get a laugh,” shares Mowrey. “But if a girl stands up and says vagina, then everyone gets uncomfortable.” Sarah has made it her mission to motivate women and get women’s humor out there. Women in comedy, like anywhere else, are scrappier and work hard at comedy. But, here in Albuquerque, guys in the scene are supportive of women, so all you ladies out there with a funny bone come out to one of the open mic nights popping up around town.

Mowrey uses her talents and charms in other outreach programs and benefits for the community. Equal rights for everyone is a big issue for her. It shouldn’t matter sex, color, or preference. She also donated her time to raise funds for people suffering in Ferguson, in the wake of a police shooting. “I’m dedicating my time to this cause, because what’s happening in Ferguson has been a huge violation of human rights,” expressed Mowrey. “Since I don’t have the resources to give out of my own pocket, I want to dedicate some time to help raise money.”

She’s not asking for much out of her dream of comedy. She wants to go far in stand-up, so she can be political and incite change in the world. If possible, she would like to be able pay her bills and donate time to help causes she believes in. She wants young comedians to come out and check out all the open mics in town. Get involved and let your voice be heard – changing the world one joke at a time.
Check out more at http://www.NMentertains.com

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Doug Stanhope

“You can think you’re absolutely dying the worst death in your whole career and then you say good night to a standing ovation”- Stanhope on British audiences

Since 1990 Doug Stanhope has committed his life to the art of stand-up comedy. With subject matter ranging from his thoughts about Abortion being Green; over population needs to be handled and he has some colorful ideas to help you down that path, or starting a charity fundraiser Atheists Unite on Indiegogo, to help an atheist who lost her home in the bible belt move elsewhere, or even to the death of his own beloved mother. Stanhope is an equal opportunity Drag your dirty little secrets in to the light of day kind of guy. So if you’re easily offended stay home, or better yet bring the protest, I’m sure he would have a few choice words for you and your following.
Stanhope, a self-proclaimed lazy man, moved from Los Angeles to the middle of nowhere Arizona for a peaceful life. Touring most of the year doesn’t leave Stanhope much time for anything else, but even he couldn’t resist when he received a phone call from Johnny Depp to work on a project. “It’s a secret, but not that secret of project.”
Coming back to the Duke City to play Launchpad October 9 for the second year in a row is good news to the veteran comic. For a long time it was rare to play a venue and be allowed back. On Laff’s the (now defunct) comedy club in Albuquerque, “When they were open they wouldn’t touch me with a stick, so it’s great to be invited back.”
Like most comics, Stanhope started at an open MIC night with the hope of getting the ladies. “I couldn’t sing, I wasn’t good looking, but I could make ‘em laugh” He never had aspirations of turning comedy into a career but some callings are too strong to ignore.
Whether he is offending your morality, insulting your favorite pastime, or attacking your corporate overlords, Stanhope is nothing but honest when it comes to airing his grievances with the world and is not to be missed.

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