VOL. 3 - ISSUE 49
3 by Andrew J. Hewett - www.chewednews.com
IT’S NOT THAT HARD
BLITZ News Shorts 3 Hollywood Profile/Movie Review 4 Singer’s Eventual Epitaph 5 Rangers News 6 Cowboys News 7 Al Viola, Jazz Guitarist 8 COVER STORY: The Sushi Issue Interview With A Sushi Chef 9 Our Favorite Restaurants 10-11 BLITZ BABE: Kimberly 12 Ugly Lion Revisited 13 Good-Time Dentist 13 Citizen Stooge 14 Auto Review: 2011 Jaguar XJL 14 Blitz Toys 15 Culture Shock 15 The Jett Stream 16 Can This Job Be Saved 16 Crossword / Jokes / Horrorscopes 17 Last Call: The Clank Of Wedding Bells 18 PUBLISHER Kelly G. Reed EDITOR Jeff Putnam PHOTO EDITOR Darryl Briggs Food, Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor Judy Chamberlain COVER Cover Photography: AVLXYZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS John Breen, Gregg Case, Steven Hendrix, Rick Leal, Kevin Jacobson, Joe Lorenzini, Chuck Majors CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Sarah Gerke, Matt Pearce, Jim Thompson, Rick Weldon, AVLXYZ, NRK P3, Thunder Child the Magnificent STAFF WRITERS Hannah Allen, Jay Betsill, Fil Chapa, David Goodspeed, Andrew J. Hewett, Joe Stumpo CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Hannah Allen, Brian Beard, Jay Betsill, Barbara Gerovac, Greg Gerovac, Andrew J. Hewett, Jonathan Sullivan CONTACT US MAIN NUMBER 214-529-7370 FAX NUMBER 972-960-8618 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Police in Salt Lake City were recently stumped for three weeks about the identity of a fellow who was picked up in Provo, forty miles south, hiding in a parking garage. Clue: parking garages keep the rain off. After throwing him in jail and keeping him there for not revealing his identity—while he exhibited a “pleasant demeanor” and expressed satisfaction with the food he was being served— police investigators went into high gear. They’d had some experience with homeless people, but this seemed to be a man with an education, possibly from another state, and they were convinced he was hiding from someone or somebody. The mystery man let slip that at some point he would have to get out of jail and take care of some business… We suspect this was a red herring to keep the police busy trying to solve the “mystery” of his identity. Let’s give them some help. Thanks to the Great Society most of us have come to accept the existence of low-income housing, if not the need. Yet the existence of “no-income housing”—jails and prisons—has long been appreciated by most of us as a means of keeping the streets safe and enabling those of us who are not homeless or unemployed to go about our business. No-income housing helps corporations to take advantage of desperate people in other countries who will
THANKS A LOT
Police in Weatherby Lake, Missouri, are in the classic mold of goons who serve the propertied classes by guaranteeing the exclusivity of the latter’s recreations. Jennifer Payne was in Kansas City on business when she stopped to sit at a picnic table and enjoy some peace and quiet while writing thank-you cards. We believe her assertion that she didn’t notice a “No Trespassing” sign. When a town is named for a lake it’s hard to imagine that a picnic table beside it would be off-limits to the general public.
work for less and keeps the desperation they are creating in the U.S. out of public view. Philip Todd Beavers was identified when a photo released to the media got a response from family members in Farmington, N.M., where Beavers had just lost his job. He’s been released on $1,200 bail for trespassing, failure to give information to a police officer and interfering with an investigation. This may not be his last adventure behind bars. A taste for no-income housing will make it a lot harder for him to find a new job…
The arresting officer wasn’t moved by her protestations of innocence. All that kept her out of Weatherby Lake’s no-income housing was a boss who was
willing to go her bail. In some ways what happened to Mr. Beavers, the “mys-
tery man,” is less disturbing. He just needed to be no one for a while and society sticks up for the people who are left with messes, not the leavers. Ms. Payne’s predicament was brought on by assumptions that have held true for generations—about the American landscape and character and the limits of personal freedom. It should be clear to Jennifer, and to other victims of the class war who already number in the millions, that government of the people by the ultra rich and for the ultra rich will quickly perish from the earth.
IT’S BEEN 345 YEARS London: A scandal concerning revelations that the News of the World (published in the United Kingdom since 1843) had hacked the phone of a 13-year-old murder victim put that tabloid out of business, permanently. The son of the owner of the publication, James Murdoch, testifying before a parliamentary hearing July 19, 2011, could’ve faced sanctions— but not likely. According to The Associated Press, “The last time the House of Commons fined anyone was in 1666.” CUTTING-EDGE TACOS Working as a guard at the Bexar County, Texas, jail, Alfred Casas, 31, would bring fast food to prisoners. Unfortunately, in July 2011, that “kindness” got him two years in prison, 20 years of probation and a $15,000 fine. For what? For delivering extra crispy tacos...to a convicted murderer, containing the criminal’s favorite ingredient, hacksaw blades. (Others saw right through his plan.) WHAT ODDS HERE? Kimberly McCauley, of Charlotte, North Carolina, won $100,000 playing an instant scratch-off ticket. Her mother, Amy, won $161,172 playing Carolina Cash 5 in the North Carolina Education Lottery in April 2007. And, in 1991, Amy won an additional $15.5 million in the New York Lotto, according to The Charlotte Observer. She also lucked into two $1000 prizes playing the state lottery’s $130 Million Blockbuster game in 2009.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK “If white wine goes with fish, do white grapes go with sushi?” – George Carlin Photo Courtesy: Sarah Gerke
HOLLYWOOD PROFILE with Taryn Manning
By Vivian Fullerlove email@example.com
Tell us about the movie. It’s about music rock and roll. It’s about the ups and downs of a band basically showing how it’s not so glamorous. You know everyone thinks Hollywood and bands and everything is so glamorous, but within bands, there’s a lot of conflict. There’s a lot of weird poor decisions that can be made and sometimes there are some really tragic things that can happen. It’s sort of like summing up in so many words the perfect age of rock and roll, and ironically enough it’s referring to the age of 27 where we’ve lost several, not all of course, but several poignant musicians we’ve had. You play the road manager of a fading rock star named Spyder who is trying to rekindle his ca-
reer. Tell me a little about your character. I play Rose and she’s on the road, in it…fully in it. As a road manager, you have to be down for the cause, yet wrangle the band and still be able to hang but keep things organized. It’s definitely a position, and she’s the only female of the entire group, and she makes some mistakes like most people who are human. Enter Eric, and you guys fall for each other pretty hard. How does that affect your relationship with Spyder? That relationship is more real and organic and I don’t know if Spyder would even notice ’cause he’s sort of on his own trip. I think Rose with Eric just finds that real love that we all desire, but she makes some big mistakes. My message in this film is: a lot of people make really poor judgments while under the influence and that’s just another message that nothing good can ever come out of abusing drugs and alcohol. I have one last question I have to ask you since you also have a reoccurring role on one of my favorite TV shows, Hawaii FiveO, where you play Steve McGarrett’s younger sister. Is Alex O’Loughlin as amazing in person as he looks on TV? Girl, he is so hot. It was funny, I recently did a magazine spread that he really liked. He called me and asked, “Is it okay if your brother on TV thinks you’re hot?” We really do have that brother/sister camaraderie. He’s such a great guy. He’s Australian, so friendly, so nice to everyone and so handsome.
You can check out Taryn and all the wonderful actors in The Perfect Age of Rock ’n Roll tonight. The film is playing in limited theatrical release, so check your local listings for showings at a theatre near you. The film has not yet been rated.
By Fil Chapa firstname.lastname@example.org
Drugs, sex and rock ’n roll have always seemingly gone hand in hand. Cliché…but true, and these elements are artfully blended and poignantly realistic in the new film The Perfect Age of Rock ’n Roll starring Kevin Zegers, Jason Ritter, Taryn Manning and the legendary Peter Fonda. The film follows two friends Spyder and Eric (Zegers and Ritter) who reunite and go on a cross-country trip along historic Route 66 with rock ’n roll impresario August West (Fonda) and fiery road manager Rose (Manning) in tow in hopes of salvaging a long lost dream and rekindling the mojo that made Spyder’s debut album a huge success. Along the way, they confront issues from their past and rock out at some amazing juke joints. I had the pleasure of sitting down with the lovely Ms. Manning—who in addition to being a fabulous actress is also a singer in her own rock band and clothing designer—at Dallas’ Angelika Theater to talk about the film and what it’s like to be the on-screen sister of one of today’s hottest actors.
COWBOYS & ALIENS Daniel Craig is Jake Lonergan, a hard-hearted, mysterious loner with ice in his veins. He wakes up one day in post-Civil War New Mexico minus his shoes and any recollection of who he is. An odd metallic wristband has somehow attached itself to him and may just be the missing link to help piece together the sordid details of his shadowy past. He soon makes his way to the sleepy town of Absolution where the citizens are regularly subjected to the verbally abusive Percy Dolarhyde (Paul Dano, the creepy kid from There Will Be Blood). No one dares speak out against his taunting for fear of the town’s unofficial dictator Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde, played by the legendary Harrison Ford. Young Jake, however, is slightly less impressed with Percy’s antics. Lonergan begins mingling with the local townsfolk, including Olivia Wilde who lights up the screen in a way that would give a Bond girl a run for her money. She too has her own stealthy agenda, it turns out. Soon a whirlwind of surreal events have Jake on the run from authorities and cavorting with an infamous cast of characters. Eventually the good, the bad and the otherworldly have a shootout at the E.T. Corral. Cowboys & Aliens contains strong diverse characters including Doc, played by Sam Rockwell (Matchstick Men), the family-oriented bartender bent on keeping the peaceful town in the good graces of the Dolarhyde clan. Sheriff John Taggart, played by Keith Carradine, a veteran
of the western movie genre, is a no-nonsense lawman who attempts to shield his citizens from any and all agitators. The story appeals to a cross-generational audience. The High Plains Drifter feel will satisfy the older western movie buffs. A lonesome stranger becomes the catalyst for helping normally feuding factions put aside their differences and unite in a common cause. Director Jon Favreau keeps the younger action/sci-fi junkies appeased with unidentified fighter jets whose maneuvering capabilities would leave Tom Cruise in the dust. Some moviegoers may find the violence a tad excessive for a PG-13 rating. Aliens have proven an extremely lucrative and wildly popular subject for Hollywood movies dating back to one of producer Steven Spielberg’s early films, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Countless successful productions have followed leaving audiences wanting more. Two larger-than-life characters like Craig and Ford generate powerful chemistry when they share screen time, especially when they exchange pleasantries in the beginning trying to determine who has the larger firearm. My mother would disown me for saying this, but it was almost as if Craig’s intense steelyeyed gaze was Eastwood-esque. Not to be outdone, in a recent HBO interview Jon Favreau paid Harrison Ford the ultimate compliment of stating that for our generation, he is the closest thing to John Wayne.
Singer’s Eventual Epitaph
Muzzled by Juan Williams Fairmount Hotel – Dallas The NPR reporter who was fired for being politically incorrect will present his book, subtitled “The assault on honest debate” (decrying the extreme factions that control American politics).
Thur 8/11 Amy Jade Winehouse
Merle Haggard Billy Bob’s Texas – Fort Worth C’mon, you know you’re curious to see what’s left of The Hag. Probably more than you think! “The World’s Largest Honky-Tonk” is just the right place to get close to an icon.
Hairspray! Casa Mañana – Fort Worth After spending the night of 8/13 in the stockyards, this would be a nice finish to your weekend in Fort Worth. But what’s this? Hairspray! is “suitable for all audiences?” It had better not be!
t goes without saying that the moment the news When she cut short her European concert tour broke July 23 that British singer Amy Winehouse in June as a result of a disastrous performance had passed away tragically in London at age in Belgrade, Serbia, staggering around on stage 27, the first thing fans and non-fans like myself and barely able to get through any of her songs, I recalled was her 2007 Grammy-award-winning am certain disappointed fans hoped this was not hit, “Rehab.” I still keep hearing the first line of the the beginning of the end. Up until her passing, I lyrics: “They tried to make me go to rehab; I said had never heard of the morbid group “Forever no, no, no.” Being a rebel in my own quiet way, I 27.” In death Winehouse is a now a member. saw her lyrics as one way of fighting against those Other deceased musicians who went before their time at age 27 as a result of substance abuse inwho think they know what’s best for an addict. It’s no secret that as a result of Winehouse’s clude Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison. well-publicized battles with substance abuse, Of course Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain is a member in which landed her in and out of rehab centers and good standing though he was a suicide. caused many court appearances over the past de- There have been times I have often found mycade that the entertainment media had her obitu- self appreciating the talents of a singer or actor ary prepared long before the end came. The sing- only after they have passed on. I watched a few er’s mother, Janis Winehouse, was quoted July 24 of Winehouse’s music videos on YouTube’s VEVO in the Sunday Mirror saying her daughter’s death recently where the hit numbers on several of her works are now in the millions and liked her hit was “only a matter of time.” Although I find her untimely passing not at all song, “Back to Black.” surprising in what I can probably safely assume I don’t know if I will download the rest of her was a drug overdose, though toxicology results work, though. The day after her death her 2006 album went to number will not be known for one on iTunes. Unlike Miseveral weeks, I never “They tried to make me go to Jackson, who had once looked deeper into rehab; I said no, no, no.” Being a chael already recorded several the lyrics of “Rehab” rebel in my own quiet way, I saw songs before his death in in search of their true meaning despite the her lyrics as one way of fighting June 2009 which were released months later, fact the song mirrored Winehouse’s personal against those who think they know the only song Winehouse finished was a what’s best for an addict. problems. I just found it duet with singer Tony to be a catchy tune. Now that the tattooed singer with the Marge Simpson Bennett on the Johnny Greene song, “Body and beehive hairdo is gone, I wouldn’t be surprised if Soul” in March of this year. The song will be part people look back on those lyrics and her too short of Bennett’s upcoming 17-track album, Duets II, list of other hit singles from her 2006 Grammy due in stores September 20 according to The HolAward winning album, Back to Black, for ironic lywood Reporter. For now, Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” and now parallels instead of just enjoying her music. The YouTube video of “Back to Black” I “Back to Black” will be a part of my personal list watched recently, which shows her attending the of hit singles I have enjoyed listening to over the funeral service for someone I assume is a boy- years. Other female vocalists on the list include friend, looked as though she was preparing for Sara Bareilles, Natasha Bedingfield, Sheryl Crow, her own eventual farewell. The song, as well as Enya, Sarah McLachlan and even Britney Spears. the album, was supposedly inspired by her failed I’ll have her two hits playing on my iPod. If I 2007 marriage to boyfriend Blake Fielder-Civil, ever get it set up that is. whom she divorced in 2009, according to Time.
Memphis Heat: The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin’ Texas Theatre – Dallas As part of DOC WEEKEND 2011, Texas Theatre is presenting this sports documentary of wrestling’s coming of age in Memphis in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Great bar, great date.
Matisyahu with Trevor Hall House of Blues – Dallas Named Top Reggae Artist by Billboard in 2006 and declared “the most intriguing reggae artist in the world” while winning an Esky Music Award, Matisyahu has gone his own way: part Dylan, part Marley, and a sincere exponent of mystical Hasidism. An explosion of love and light.
By Joe Stumpo www.darthstumpo.com
(September 14, 1983 – July 23, 2011)
Generations: A Woman’s Conversation African American Museum – Dallas Six women artists from early to mid-career will present their perspectives on what it means to be a woman, esp. a woman artist, in today’s society. Keep an open mind.
City Shaping Dallas Museum of Art – Dallas A free “Conversation About the Emergence of Urban Design Centers” partly sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. Horchow Auditorium. Eat at Stephen Pyles nearby. If you know of a cool event or concert coming up, send some info our way at email@example.com
Memories & Milestones
By Frank LaCosta firstname.lastname@example.org
As Rangers fans took in baseball this past week it was full of ups and downs. The team has basically been playing .500 ball while consistently putting up four runs per game. What does this mean for the team? It shows that even with stud third baseman Adrian Beltre out on the DL, they can still put up runs, but the bullpen still has issues. Looking at their recent series against the Tigers and the Indians, the Rangers were either tied or ahead in the late innings. The team went out and acquired arms for the bullpen but haven’t been able to turn the corner and consistently put away their opposition. Perhaps now that relievers Mike Adams and Koji Uehara have been with the team for over a week they’ll be comfortable and make a difference.
Thanks for the Memories
Last week the team was able to revel in its past and make some history of their own. The new ownership has basically been in place for over a year. Nolan Ryan and company have brought a positive influence to the team and won over fans with last year’s run to acquire Cliff Lee and a World Series appearance. The effects are still being felt even with the most recent MLB trade deadline and recent acquisitions. Additionally fans celebrated the anniversary of Nolan Ryan getting the best of Robin Ventura. August 4, 1993 is the day that the 26-year-old Ventura foolishly charged the mound only to find himself in a headlock by the 46-year-old Ryan while receiving several uppercuts. The end result being several “Don’t Mess with Texas” jokes for the ages. Thankfully the season series with the Detroit Tigers is over and they won’t face them again unless it’s in the postseason. The team went 3-6 with all three wins coming from starting pitcher Alexi Ogando. He defeated Justin Verlander, Phil Coke and most recently
Brad Penny. On Saturday in front of the hometown crowd, the team inducted former starting pitcher Kenny Rogers into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame. Rogers is the 14th member and the only Ranger to have a perfect game. He accomplished this on July 28, 1994. Rogers spent 12 seasons with the team and is the Rangers’ all-time leader in appearances. Michael Young joined the “2,000 Hit Club” on Sunday against the Indians. He is the first player in franchise history to achieve this honor. Young has been able to do this fairly quickly and attributes this to his work ethic and being consistent at the plate. If he continues at his current pace he could hit number 3,000 before turning 40.
West Coast Road Trip
The Rangers head out West for a three-game set with the Oakland A’s and a four-game series with the Los Angeles Angels. This road trip has postseason implications written all over it. The A’s might not be the worst team in baseball but they currently are nothing more than a glorified minor league team. SP Trevor Cahill is decent but former Rangers Brandon McCarthy and Rich Harden do little to intimidate anyone. The Angels on the other hand continue to be in the mix vying to take command of the AL West. The Angels were strangely quiet during the trade deadline as they didn’t make any trades to bolster their bats or bullpen. It is their starting pitching that has been their strength. Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana are formidable opponents. The Angels’ bats are tough too. The Rangers need to take care of business on this road trip. This is their opportunity to put some distance between themselves and the Angels. If they don’t, things will be uncomfortably tight heading into the last six weeks of the season.
Training Camp Talk
By Jay Betsill “Man on the Inside”
The Dallas Cowboys are wrapping up the portion of training camp down at the Alamodome in San Antonio. It is the first camp under head coach Jason Garrett and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan as the Cowboys attempt to rebound from the disastrous 6-10 season a year ago. Following the Blue/ White scrimmage, Garrett spoke on the performance of the offensive unit in the two-minute drill. “It was good. We worked on some two-minute situations throughout camp and I think the more you do those situations, the better it is for everybody.” QB Tony Romo got his first “live” action since his broken collarbone in the Blue/White scrimmage. He completed 14 of 20 passes that included TD passes to Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Lonyae Miller. WR Kevin Ogletree also looked sharp as he caught four passes in the scrimmage. Rob Ryan inherited a defense that gave up the most points in franchise history last season. “I don’t want to talk about last year,” Ryan said. “We are not last year’s team. And that’s just the way it is. I think my players are outstanding. We’ve got seven Pro Bowlers over there on defense.”
A Couple of Cowboys Return
The Cowboys did address their gaping hole at safety by resigning Gerald Sensabaugh. He is the recipient of a $2.5 million, one-year contract to return to the Cowboys instead of a longer-term deal he had hoped to get from them or another team. The team also signed former Cowboys safety Abram Elam to a $2.5 million one-year deal. “I didn’t imagine it, but I’m excited to be here,” said Elam, 29, who is reunited with former Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. “I knew in my heart this is where I wanted to be.”
This forces the Cowboys to put Orlando Scandrick in Newman’s starting spot alongside Mike Jenkins, with Alan Ball rotating to the nickel. With Newman turning 33 the week before the September 11 opener against the New York Jets, the depth at secondary joins the offensive line as the team’s biggest concerns. Other injuries include Tashard Choice (calf), Keith Brooking (hamstring), Andre Gurode (knee), DeMarco Murray (hamstring) and Montrae Holland (lower back).
Bring On The Broncos
The Cowboys first pre-season game is Thursday August 11 as they welcome the Denver Broncos to Cowboys Stadium for a 7:30 start. Denver has a new head coach in former Carolina Panthers coach John Fox. The big talk around Broncos camp has been the quarterback duel between Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn and Tim Tebow. While most insiders are giving the edge to Orton, a good showing in Dallas would go a long way towards getting Tebow the starting nod.
NFL: Broncos vs. Cowboys Thur. August 11 – 7:30PM – Cowboys Stadium – KTVT
Football is back! The last time a game that meant anything was played at the stadium was the Super Bowl. Now we get to watch the players get after it. For the players trying to make their respective teams expect an all-out effort; for everyone else it’ll be minimal playing time.
MLB: Rangers vs. Athletics Fri. August 12 – 9:07PM – O.co Coliseum – KTXA 21
The Rangers are still battling to hold on to their division lead in the AL West. The A’s are trying to play spoilers. The Rangers will send C.J. Wilson to the mound, who would like to join fellow pitcher Alexi Ogando as an 11-game winner. The A’s have former Ranger Brandon McCarthy who has pitched better than expected with a low ERA and WHIP.
NASCAR: Heluva Good! at The Glen Sun. August 14 – Noon – Watkins Glen – ESPN
The big news on the Cowboys injury front revolves around cornerback Terence Newman who will miss a month with a pulled groin muscle.
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Get ready for 90 laps of Heluva Good racing as the “regular season” begins to wind down. This road course will present some different obstacles for the drivers to overcome and look for Tony Stewart to have the edge. He’s finished in the Top 10 in 10 of his 12 races there. Juan Pablo Montoya won the race last year. Kasey Kahne is not a good bet for this one.
NFL: Jets vs. Texans Mon. August 15 – 7:00PM – Reliant Stadium – ESPN
This isn’t real Monday Night Football but it is football and something worth watching. Rex Ryan has been spouting off lately and it’ll be interesting to see what his team does. The Texans are poised to be a playoff contender this season and this game might showcase some of the vital pieces.
Dealing with Injuries
Dallas Polo Club
Al Viola, Jazz Guitarist
He hitched his wagon to a star named Frank Sinatra….
By Judy Chamberlain Food, Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor
When my good friend and colleague Al Viola passed away in 2007 at age 87, the jazz world lost one of its greatest musicians. At 87 his nimble fingers were as fast as ever. He was as agile as a teenager – only far more musically learned – and his “chops” were so strong that you could hardly see his hands move. After many, many gigs together I worked with him for the last time several weeks before he died, and he never missed a note. He played as beautifully as when he’d been at the top of his career, a first-call Los Angeles studio musician in a small league that barely exists anymore – at a time when jazz guitar was pure and real musicians played real music. At the center of the Frank Sinatra “sound” for nearly thirty years, his guitar work was on almost every one of Sinatra’s albums from 1956 until 1980. Al played rhythm guitar in the Sinatra band because it was what Sinatra wanted. He also played rhythm in my band, but was also pretty much an entire orchestra all by himself when he wanted to be. He wasn’t overly fond of playing rhythm guitar, but humored me because it gave us exactly the swing presence we loved in small combo rather than big band formation. He was very versatile; his smoothly legato style translated into lyrical bossa novas, standards, swing, tender ballads and his own version of flamenco. Al Viola was a chameleon, the
consummate studio musician. When he died, NPR called to interview me and I got to tell them that and hear the interview played around the world. He recorded with “Weird Al” Yankovic, Ella Fitzgerald, June Christy, Natalie Cole, Linda Ronstadt and many others. The famously difficult-torecord Julie London was putty in his accomplished accompanying hands. That’s Al on the West Side Story and Blazing Saddles soundtracks, singing and playing with Page Cavanaugh in Doris Day movies and so much more. He played on Sinatra’s Academy Awardwinning recording of “All The Way,” and on hundreds of albums. He worked with everyone who was anyone in the 1950s and 1960s – and
else. He could strum and pluck you out of any corner you’d boxed yourself into. During Frank Sinatra’s 1962 tour to benefit UNICEF, Sinatra (whom he fondly called “The Old Man”) turned to him during their concert at Royal Albert Hall in London and, with no other clue to the band than a few asides to the audience about an un-named Cole Porter tune he was about to sing, gave Al “the look” usually thrown to pianist Bill Miller indicating that he was ready to do his once-a-night specialty, a duet. From the spoken cues, Al could tell that Sinatra was leading into “Night and Day,” but he’d never played it alone with him before, and since it was usually improvised on this tour with Bill Miller on piano,
it. He had perfect pitch, perfect “time” – and he knew the history of songs, composers and the words to everything. It was just about impossible to “stump” him. He was a night owl, a New York boy who never adjusted to the time difference in Los Angeles. He loved to stay up all night, moving over to play the piano on an empty stage after the audience was gone and the rest of the band had long ago deserted us. “Hey, Cookie.” he’d say. “Remember this one?” One night, watching the Cole Porter musical movie Kiss Me Kate for the hundredth time, it dawned on me that one of the oddly-dressed musicians in Ann Miller’s “It’s Too Darned Hot” scene
helped a lot of people have hit records. Those haunting mandolin lines in The Godfather theme for that movie’s soundtrack, which also won an Academy Award – that’s Al Viola. I liked to kid around with him onstage, telling the audience that while the mandolin was in a museum in Reseda I’d refused to let them have Al. It was always a joy to hear him playing his famous Gibson or handmade acoustic (the one Sinatra had commissioned for him in Spain in 1962) behind me in his inimitable conversational style, holding down the time, playing his signature style of fat “passing chords” and creating harmonic substitutions that could take your breath away. Years after providing several guitar tracks on the Sinatra/Jobim album initially credited to Antonio Carlos Jobim, Al was finally given formal acknowledgement for his work. Al credited his longevity with his enormous capacity for red wine. He drank a lot of it. He also took good care of himself. His wife of more than half a century, Glenna, took good care of him, too. And he took good care of us, the lucky ones who got to work with him. Bobby Troup, the pianist and composer best known for writing “Route 66,” used to say that if Al was your friend you really didn’t need any others. We did concerts and shows and so many wonderful things together, and for the last ten years of his life he was a big part of mine. What Bobby Troup had said about his loyalty as a friend went for Al the musician, too. If Al was in your band, you didn’t need anybody
there was no chart. Al was racking his brain trying to come up with the right key in which to start setting it up when he remembered hearing Sinatra do the tune with Bill Miller at Jilly Rizzo’s club in New York a few weeks earlier. Possibly a split second passed, and before Sinatra had finished his sentence, Al was already playing the introduction – in the right key. It was a very famous moment in the concert career of Francis Albert Sinatra. The concert was live, and Sinatra had taped it. Eventually, it would be released as Live in Paris. Immediately after “Night and Day” ended, Sinatra talked about Al, calling him one of the greatest guitarists in the world: “If you didn’t know better you’d swear it was an octopus.” The Los Angeles Times editor who wrote Al’s obituary and knew about that iconic concert – and that Sinatra/Viola duet – asked me why, on that night in London in 1962, Sinatra had turned to Al instead of having Bill Miller accompany him on ”Night and Day.” The reason was simple. Sinatra had noticed during the first set that the piano at Royal Albert Hall was out of tune. Al, however, was playing a very IN tune guitar, the exquisite Spanish one which Sinatra had presented to him on the tour. Sinatra knew that Al would have no trouble improvising an introduction and accompanying him perfectly on that song — or any song. Al knew thousands of tunes and was always ready for the challenge of learning new material. He played rock & roll with me often on our gigs, which would have been frowned upon by be-bop guys and hardcore jazzers. “Just don’t tell nobody,” he would say, in his best menacing Brooklyn tone. If he heard something once, he could play
was Al. “You’ve been holding out on me,” I teased him. “Oh yeah? Are you sure it was me?” “You think I wouldn’t recognize you even with black hair, and in a matador suit?” “Don’t tell nobody,” he said. People used to ask Al why he hadn’t pursued a career as a virtuoso guitarist or sought more personal fame. “I hitched my wagon to a star named Sinatra,” he would say. “It took me all over the world, and I made a good living and had a great career.” Al was a purist in all things, from his love of the music, good jokes, good wine and good food, the respect he paid to the composer and the melody to his loyalty, integrity and desire to make things easier for those around him, not harder. His legacy is enormous, yet he was modest and gentle, generous with his talent and a joy to be around. The first thing he ever said to me, on the first gig we did together years ago, was: “Where do you want me to sit, Cookie?” I still can’t believe you’re gone, Al. I thought you’d be here forever. Talk soon, ok? Al Viola has left the building. Don’t tell nobody.
Guitarist Al Viola performed on more than 500 studio recordings, including dozens with Frank Sinatra, and played the iconic mandolin passages on The Godfather soundtrack.
9 What made you decide to become a sushi chef? Please tell us a little about your background. When, where, and so on… I came here from Malaysia as a foreign student in late 1989 and worked in restaurants to make extra money to pay off my school fees. During college I was influenced by a Japanese friend who liked to cook Japanese food and taught me about various Japanese foods.
By Judy Chamberlain Food, Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor
What have you learned about the art of preparing sushi? Sushi looks simple but it requires a lot of effort to learn how to become a sushi chef. We start by learning to prep ingredients from the very basic steps: cooking rice, cutting fish and preparing ice for keeping fish. The most important thing is keeping everything very clean; as you know, sushi is primarily raw fish. After you have learned all the basic jobs, if the master chef sees that you have good skills he will let you start making sushi for customers. Is there any formal training available for sushi chefs here in
America? Yes, Sushi Chef Institute in California offers an 8-week training program. (www.sushischool.net) Are there different grades of fish available in the Dallas area? Yes. There is a sushi grade fish supplier in Dallas, one that specializes in sushi grade fish, including tuna, salmon, yellow tail, snapper, shrimp, octopus, etc. They can order fish from all over the world and are regularly inspected by the FDA to assure continued HACCP compliance. Unlike Los Angeles and other places in the US, Dallas does not have a market that sells high-quality sushi grade fish. We order our fish from the FDA seafood supplier. And we order the highest grade. How often do you receive your sushi at Sushi Sam? As often as every day, depending on how good our sales have been the previous day. We try not to keep too much stock in order to maintain the high quality of freshly-delivered fish. Are there specific seasons for certain kinds of fish and seafood? For instance, I love uni (sea urchin) – but is it good now or better in cooler weather? Most fish is good in the winter time, but tuna is in season in the summer. Some fish are also in season in spring and fall. A good sushi chef will point you in the direction of what is fresh, good and in
season. Uni is not in season in the summertime. Most of the uni here comes from San Diego, and due to the hot weather now it tastes a bit strong. It is not bad uni, but most customers will not like it. Editor’s Note: It is always good to ask, and if the chef has no opinion or you find you do not agree with his opinions you may want to try another sushi bar. How can the average person understand more about the quality of sushi? Perfectly prepared sushi rice, firm and brightly-colored fish and fine flavor are all very important factors. What do you like best about being a sushi chef? It makes me feel good to see my customers happy about my sushi. I like it when they keep coming back. Their satisfaction is my big happiness. Are there any issues that we should be aware of in regards to eating sushi? Don’t keep it too long at room temperature. Sushi keeps better in cooler temperature, under 41°F. To best enjoy sushi rolls, don’t swallow whole pieces in one bite. Small bites are recommended in order to enjoy the flavors of the ingredients. Sean Tan is the sushi chef at Sushi Sam in Southlake, TX
Edoko Sushi & Robata 5490 Hwy 121 – 75034 – 214.618.9888
300 W. Plano Pkwy – Plano – 972.633.8000
Why it’s BLITZ-worthy: Edoko covers all the bases. Décor and presentations are exquisite, with sushi and sashimi arrayed on banana leaves with inspired garnishes. Lunch takes you on a tour with fair prices and surprises like mushroom salad, BBQ eel with sliced avocado on sushi rice and a “bouillabaisse” over udon noodles. Dinner offers cool and hot dishes with unusal French accents: tuna carpaccio with “wasabi soy truffle oil” and Hudson Valley foie gras.
Why it’s BLITZ-worthy: The sushi the kaiten belt go round) and at a fix Across the vast central island from the line) there are steaming pots of vario udon along with shabu-shabu (hotpo end of the oblong island is devoted opposite there are desserts.
Known for: Ambitious menu that succeeds. Fair prices. Many opportunities to create your own kaiseki (or ask a server). Bento boxes are a good deal as are robata specials at dinner.
Known for: Variety of offerings, eas tations and interior design give an up the impression.
On the side: Imaginative food that can be ordered à la carte to create an extravaganza. Sushi and sashimi collections are inspired, as are creations like sashimi salad with ginger dressing.
On the side: Chocolate fountain (w brûlée, crab legs and/or Dungeness colorful sushi and sashimi.
Geisha Steak and Sushi
3801 W. Pres. Geo. Bush Hwy – Plano – 469.467.3944
4995 Addison Circle – Addison – 972.490.88
Why it’s BLITZ-worthy: This is an upscale dining experience, artfully assisted by swank surroundings: a place for an all-out celebration. Appetizers like the Geisha Blossom (jalapeños stuffed with crab) capture attention; hamachi yama (grilled yellowfin jaw) take it in new directions. Tuna tataki salad (sliced thin with a pepper crust) is a standout starter. The robata skewers are reasonable, the teriyaki dishes are pricy. All the combos are over the top.
Why it’s BLITZ-worthy: The seren ness lunches or dinners or for romant be subdued, flavor will explode from chicken, seafood or seaweed dressin me or plum dressing. There is a long l top-grade ingredients. Also worth a and pork katsu.
Known for: Lucullan sushi presentations with “boats,” and specialty rolls like the Mikado: lobster, white asparagus, shiitake mushroom, yamagobo, arugula.
Known for: Spicy shrimp roll, Devi roll (soft shell crab). Beef tataki is ve nated in ginger).
On the side: “Sunset Specials” from 5 to 7 pm offer full-course meals at bargain prices. Beer and sake prices are slashed in half and there is a happy hour menu with $3 sushi.
On the side: Shiitake mushroom a kushiage (shrimp, scallop, beef and c Tempura ice cream (with Sambuca).
Genki Sushi and Steak
Why it’s BLITZ-worthy: This place reminds Japan hands of their years abroad: the kaiten conveyor brings the sushi by indefinitely, two pieces per plate. And you can eat all you want, which is a definite plus if you’re a fan of rolls because you’ll see a lot of them here. But the bento box lunch with salmon is well worth a try: the salmon is a beautiful small steak, expertly grilled and the teriyaki seasoning (or whatever) is spot on. The included miso soup is fine.
Why it’s BLITZ-worthy: Cheerf Japanese-style and modified Japanes dishes with many specials inked on a rolls don’t disappoint. Mussels in sake with great prices. Unusual appetizer sake and grilled yellow tail collar. Ela or it will be overcooked.
Known for: The kaiten conveyor and the two-pieces-per-plate, all-youcan-eat buffet which doesn’t over-commit diners to one kind of sushi.
Known for: Welcoming, warm atm in spite of vast menu. Sides are unusu dressing is best anywhere.
14902 Preston (Beltline & Preston) – Dallas – 972.788.2629 www.genkisushidallas.com
On the side: The owner’s son (at least we think he is: the one with bleached hair and the big smile) gently superintends the service and cares about your needs. Pleasant at any hour.
501 W. Belt Line, Ste. 116 – Richardson – 97
On the side: On Monday night you as well beer and sake, making a la stamped card where ten stamps get y
Sushi on McKinney
4438 McKinney – Dallas – 214.443.0605
i is all here (or it will be if you watch xed price you can take all you want. e sushi and sashimi (one long service ous broths to ladle over your soba or ot) and hibachi offerings. One short d to salads and shellfish—at the end
Why it’s BLITZ-worthy: Since 1983 has been pioneering fusion cuisine. Appetizers include soft shell crab, quail eggs, smoked salmon sushi, nikusashi (thin-sliced marinated steak). Sushi rolls offer a lot for the money. Interesting specialties, such as a Pad Thai made with Japanese udon. Aburi salmon roll with snow crab, cucumber, avocado, baked fresh salmon with spicy sauce and sweet sauce on top. Cajun maguro (tuna and crawfish over rice, hot and spicy).
se of self-service, helpful staff. Presenpscale appearance and food sustains
Known for: Sushi Queen with Nigiri (tuna, sea eel, shrimp, octopus, white meat fish, mackerel, salmon, smelt roe and cooked egg) and cucumber roll, salmon and eel avocado rolls.
with fresh fruit to dip), to-die-for crème crab, wonderful prawns. Very fresh,
On the side: Mama San’s shrimp, scallops, asparagus and mushrooms, sauteed in an herbed lemon butter. Many surprises. Warm service in a relaxing atmosphere.
500 Southlake Blvd. – Southlake – 817.410.1991
ne interior works equally well for busitic trysts. While conversation tends to m the end of your chopsticks. House, ngs should be tried with ginger, sesalist of fresh sushi and sashimi utilizing a try: Beef yakiniku, salmon teriyaki
Why it’s BLITZ-worthy: The chef creates artistic original “specials” on a nightly basis at this friendly local spot, depending upon what’s fresh and available from his supplier. The sushi grade fish here is of the highest quality and comes from around the globe, not from the fish counter at a budget supermarket. Also good udon. Meltingly tender salmon sushi. Pepper tuna and a huge list of rolls. Most outstanding features though are freshness of fish and the friendly atmosphere.
il roll, Texas roll, Dragon roll, Spider ery fine; also chicken karaage (mari-
Known for: The food is pretty! Try the “Ahi Tower,” formed with chopped ahi, avocado and rice, served with a mayo-infused sweet sauce piped artistically onto the plate.
and vegetable soup; seaweed salad; chicken with vegetables on a skewer).
On the side: Great place to take a date. Customers arrive in friendly groups or with that “special someone.” Bistro atmosphere is appealing and there’s soft music on the sound system.
2150 N. Collins Blvd. – Richardson – 972.470.0722
ful and unassuming with Am.-style, se-style seating. Vast number of sushi white-board. Sashimi is very special; e broth are superb. Huge lunch menu rs include Manila clam steamed with aborate dinners but ask for meat rare
Why it’s BLITZ-worthy: Even when it occupied a small space in the strip mall it now surveys, Sushi Sake has topped all the lists. Now perched near Prairie Creek Park in beautiful quarters nothing has changed about the food: it is near perfect. Lunch comes with soup, salad and rice and offers “fresh salmon grilled with sea salt” or meat and vegetables over noodles “nabeyaki udon.” Dinner isn’t markedly more expensive, spare of frou-frou, long on flavor.
mosphere and fresh, sparkling sushi ual and well-seasoned. Ginger salad
Known for: Dobin musha (shiitake mushroom soup with vegetables), high-grade, pricy sushi that may be the best anywhere, reasonable entrées like broiled eel and sirloin steak.
u get 50% off wine (by glass or bottle) arge bottle of sake only $3. Also a you $20 off.
On the side: The sushi and sashimi are for those who can taste the difference. Many inexpensive appetizer choices like fried baby squid or oysters. Beef asparagus roll will surprise you.
By Hannah Allen “Out and About in DFW”
A few weeks ago I found myself in the predicament of having limited funds in between paychecks but having a calendar full of performances not to be missed by bands I’ve been following. After sweet-talking my sister into babysitting for free and counting out exactly enough for parking and cover, my husband Paul and I headed to Deep Ellum. One of the bonuses, and constant but pleasant surprises, of being married to a musician who has worked the circuit for ten years are the secret and free parking spaces only he seems to know about. Some are a bit of a walk but the $10 saved can buy you three rounds if you play your cards right, so the walk’s well worth it. After a lengthy walk in the still smoldering twilight we found ourselves at the door of 2826 Arnetic greeted by one of the door guys I got to know during something like a residency that Gods of Industry had there last fall. After exchanging pleasantries he waved away our cash and told us to enjoy the music. On this particular night my neighbor Brandon was playing with his Roots Rock Reggae group Ugly Lion. I’d been able to catch them previously with my brother but my husband had yet to experience them live. While I was adding up the rounds I’d be able to buy with my saved funds my husband walked up to the sound console to chat with their resident sound engineer and I hit the bar for an engagement with Shiner’s summer Ruby Red Bird Blend. I was a little surprised to see there weren’t many people there considering Ugly Lion’s following and typically fabulous promotion. That’s when Brandon came up to me. I knew he had been on the road for a few weeks so I asked how the tour had gone. I was shocked when he told me he and his bass player fired their keyboard player, drummer and lead guitarist for not showing up to a festival of 4,000 in Arkansas a few weeks before. When I asked what they did about the gig he looked at
me like I had lost my mind and said, “We played it anyway. Just Kyle and me.” As far as lead singers go this spoke to the quality of man Brandon might be. Upon further questioning I discovered, aside from a fill-in drummer, this was to be the lineup for this performance as well, hence the lack of promotion and crowd. When I wrote previously about Ugly Lion I mentioned that I don’t have a natural inclination towards reggae in general but was incredibly engaged by their lead guitarist’s capabilities and execution. Not knowing what to expect I ordered another Shiner. A few songs into a much more barebones interpretation of Ugly Lion, Paul left his bar stool and posted up close to the stage, watching and listening intently. The two of us have seen many a rock show of any and every variety together but I’ve only seen this happen a few times. Tool, probably his contemporary favorite, springs to mind. He becomes almost unreachable, like he’s sort of absorbing something and can’t be interrupted until he’s reached capacity. After the show, which was definitely as soulful as the entire ensemble’s performance, Paul surprised me by approaching Brandon and asking if he was actively looking for another lead guitarist. Following an affirmative response and some talk of getting together to jam we walked down the street to the Anvil and met up with Matt, the bassist for Gods of Industry, and passed out flyers for their upcoming show. At Elm Street Tattoo I picked up a Sailor Jerry’s pinup calendar. At The Bone I ran into a guy who was wearing a Boa Constrictor like a Hermes Scarf. And Matt and I made fun of Paul for talking about rock and roll to a girl in an almost nonexistent skirt who looked just like Naomi Campbell when under normal circumstances he’d be too in awe to say much of anything. Music always gives him confidence. When I asked Matt why he was following us to our car he said, “Well, you parked in the ‘secret spots’ right?” I laughed when I discovered his car parked next to ours.
By Jeff Putnam email@example.com
It might have been my sixth or seventh visit when I learned that Steve, my dentist, was a Francophile, and that he and Terry vacationed in France each year. In places like Chile, too, but dentistry couldn’t have been a mere hobby, he was too good at it. He was of Italian origin, with ancestors from the Piemonte, so French blood didn’t explain his interest. He’d just fallen in love with France the way I had—becoming hooked on the food, the people, the buildings, the history that seemed to hang over the place, all the details of ordinary life which were somehow more beautiful and memorable there. One day while my mouth was full of junk Steve let me know that he hadn’t explored one great region of France—the backcountry of the Côte d’Azur, the part of Provence that lay east of the Rhône and back among the Alpes-Maritimes that sometimes interrupted the famous coast where they plunged into the sea. When I could speak I told him that this was a part of France I knew well. I’d had some of the great adventures of my thirties in the arrière-pays Niçois and in years since had driven Provence quite a few times, often in the off-season. Would he like me to recommend a place for the trip that he and Terry were planning to take this summer? He would and I did. They would motor around the Gorges du Verdon, making Castellane their base of departure. The nearby hamlet of Trigance had been a ghost town in my day, but I’d heard that a hotel had sprung up in the ruined castle there, with good food and a friendly staff. Why not give it a try? When I next went to get my teeth cleaned, Steve and his wife were in France. I had no idea where, and that’s when I began to worry. What had I been thinking? While Trigance had been a ghost town, the only reason for visiting had been my good friend Paul van Wegen, who lived nearby in a 6th century bergèrie (sheepshed) right on the edge of a canyon where in the quiet nights the wild boars could be heard grunting. Stoned, I had serenaded these boars and it had been a shock to hear my voice come back to us long seconds later.
But dammit, in a return trip to the region, I’d found Paul dressed in a silver jumpsuit, each of his fingers painted a different color and calling himself “Pablo.” Paul, of Dutch origin, had lived in France all his adult life, writing songs in English as well as French. His guitar accompaniments might have been crude but the words and the way he sang put him in the company of greats like Brel and Vysotsky. His stuff was best heard in cafés where the habitués would listen. But “Pablo?” Jesus. What had I been thinking? What if Paul or Pablo or whatever he called himself now still ruled over the region and had the girls of the little towns following him around and the owners of the cafés buying him drinks? What if Paul told him, sure, I knew Putnam, and told him some of the stories about me that were surely still in circulation? Of course Steve would understand what it must have been like to live as a street musician in the France of the seventies. What worried me was losing the chance to go to France next year with our wives.
If the Pablo of today was anything like the Pablo of twenty years ago… I was in trouble. “We went to that place, Trigance,” Steve told me the next time he had me cranked back with my mouth full of junk. “Amazing. Very chi-chi but the people were nice. Food was good. Only in France can you have an upscale experience like that in such a remote place.” And no doubt the night auditor, a certain Paul, of Dutch extraction, with monochrome fingernails, had got the bill ready. Pushing my luck I asked if he’d seen a guy in a silver “space suit” playing in the restaurant terrasses of Castellane? Steve searched his mind. “No. No, there was nothing like that.” Of course there wasn’t. And the tuskers were no longer grunting in the nearby chasms as he slept.
By Jeff Putnam firstname.lastname@example.org
By David Goodspeed “A Heavy Foot and High Opinion”
Ever since the Patriot Act was instituted and extended I’ve been trying to understand what our corporate masters understand the word “patriot” to mean. After considering the matter through the prism of politics, through the sideof-the-mouth opinions of friends, colleagues and even strangers in bars and restaurants and at dinner parties and through the words of pundits and expert shills who have been constructing our self-image in such a way that we won’t feel intense discomfort when trying to conform to it, I’ve reached the following conclusions. The ideal American patriot being shaped by our masters with the eager connivance of their minions at all levels of public discourse is someone who believes on faith everything that is said about him or about his country; who never questions the version of reality that he is asked to accept as long as the person asking legitimately represents the interests of the corporations that have stood him in front of us and told him what to say. When one of these mouthpieces malfunctions—as with Phil Donahue in the not-so-distant past—and drifts off into the representation of personal opinions or “feelings” he is quickly removed from public view and henceforth has a hard time being heard or rallying support for his singular ideas and opinions. In other words, we hear what we’re supposed to hear, and we’re not supposed to hear what other people think—no matter what grounds we might have for finding it interesting. We’re only supposed to hear what our corporate masters want people to say and think. Any excursion into the personal is regarded as straying from a sacrosanct agenda. All this becomes odd when we consider that the corporate masters who are scheduling our thoughts on all matters of interest and forming them into an entertaining and dramatic simulacrum of real life are people who almost never speak to us directly. Most are unknown to us by name until they are hounded before congress for formal explanations of their conduct. The preposterous explanations of our masters’ actions at such times would be humiliating were they not viewed as high comedy. Our masters’ stumbling explanations of their malfea-
sance aren’t hilarious in themselves but the same cannot be said for the invective spewed forth by the comedians who are “roasting” the people whose a$$es they have been kissing for long years. “Hearing” indeed. Lovers of truth are always forced at such times to acknowledge that nothing has been heard because nothing has been said, or because we already knew in advance where these pointless pretend-discussions were heading and nothing in their language ever alerted us to us to the possibility of another conclusion. The person who passes for a patriot these days is thus a masterful conformist—what used to be called a stooge back in the day when people formed their own opinions and found their own words to express them. Our leaders and the corporate hierarchy with its amazingly ordinary high priests are stooges too—something like the stooges of their own diabolical greed, which will continue to ruin them as people. We Citizen Stooges have erected and maintained the status quo by our forgiveness of our leaders and our unwillingness to speak our minds in public, with or without bullhorns or cupped hands. Unlike the “we’re number one!” chants of people trying to out-shout their own doubts, hundreds or thousands of people giving voice to their feelings in their own words would stop a lot of the bullsh!t which is being slathered upon us day and night, whether in hearing rooms or on news shows or in newspapers or online. Finally, in spite of the opportunity the internet represents to speak our minds, more and more we seem to speak with the same mind. Our true feelings are being echoed from all sides. Those who have retained a shred of objectivity glimpse then the way their experience of life and the precious tastes and discernments that personify it have been causing them to conform to predetermined limits. Their experience of life has fleshed out a role they were not even aware they had been assigned. The meaning of their lives is for others to decide. Trudging ahead silently they will not be found wanting, they will be called patriots! But in mirrors that only they can see, Citizen Stooge will be looking back at them.
Jaguar is celebrating 75 years of luxury automaking. Sure there have been some bumps in the road along the way but they have also turned out some of the most sought-after road warriors in the industry. And have you seen Jaguar lately? Heralding their three quarters of a century is an all-new flagship XJ sedan lineup, with my driveway seeing the new XJL saloon recently. For 2011 the XJ has been given a new face, a new body and a new heart – all of which work in harmony to deliver one of the best Jags yet. My favorite time in the XJL was actually driving home from work. Slip behind the wheel of this beautifully crafted creature and point the nose home – the long way home. Ventilated seats begin to aerate the pores while a tap of the massage function brings forth magic fingers working those sore or stressed areas of the upper and lower back. Add your favorite tunes on the awesome Bowers & Wilkins 7.1 surround sound system and you are bathed in comfort. Click over to the nav system and keep hitting the “find alternate route” function so this experience doesn’t have to end until the fuel does. Under the hood of the big kitten are new AJ-V8 Gen III powerplant variants, all based on an allaluminum 5.0-liter V-8 engine. Power begins with the normally aspirated model giving 385hp and moves to 470 in the Supercharged version and 510 ponies for Supersport editions. Zounds! And they are all backed by the slick, fully adaptive six-
speed automatic transmission with JaguarDrive Selector and sequential shift function via steering wheel paddles. We had to settle for the base powertrain in our review version but we were not disappointed and we were not left back at the light. Hit the accelerator and this frisky feline “leaps” into action. Fully adaptive suspension damping controls the roll while a stiff, quiet body unit isolates occupants from the outside world. Giggity. Our tester adds an “L” to the end of its moniker which signifies some extended length – five inches to be exact – and all in the rear seat legroom
area. Hmmm, maybe that L actually stands for Legroom? Pricing? Not for everyone, not even with a lease agreement. The XJL we received began at just under 80 grand with a final sticker of 82 and change when all was said and done. The 2011 XJ family is quite the ride and while the coupe-ish sedan styling may not be for everyone it certainly sets the tone for Jaguar heading into the fourth quarter. When they hit the century mark I hope this is still one of the vehicles they are talking about.
We knew it was only a matter of time before BMW got into the electric car game, but we never thought the design of their first models would take the idea so literally. The BMW i Series includes two models that wouldn’t be out of place in a sci-fi flick — the all-electric, rear-wheel drive i3 hatchback, which offers 170 hp, seating for four, a top speed of 93 mph, and a 0-60 time of under eight seconds, and the hybrid i8 coupe, which pairs an electric motor running the front wheels and a turbocharged three-cylinder powering the rears for all-wheel drive possibilities, limited range all-electric driving, a 0-60 time of under five seconds, and a perfect 50/50 weight distribution ratio. No word on whether the production models will be as... funky as the concepts. (Price – $TBA)
Get all the image quality of a Leica with all the colorful fun of a Lomo cam with the ColorWare Leica D-Lux 5 Camera. Sporting the same features as the standard model — including a 10.1 megapixel sensor, fast f/2.0 lens, a 3.8x optical zoom, 720p video recording, OIS image stabilization, a three-inch LCD, and low-light prowess up to 12,800 ISO — it also lets you adorn the front, back, lens body, lens face, top, port door, hot shoe insert, and lens cap of its compact body in whatever colors you’d like, letting you create everything from a rainbow-colored disaster to the tastefully loud Blitz Weekly-approved model pictured below. (Price – $1,200; $400 if you mail yours in)
Whether you’re a professional tailgater, the designated family reunion chef, or simply have a reason to make unreasonably large quantities of smoked food, you would do well to check out the Rolltisserie. Made entirely of 304 stainless steel and mounted on dedicated trailers, these mammoth smokers combine a fully automatic, gas-fired, wood-smoking oven with a digital temperature control system and oversized self-basting rotisserie system to cook nearly 200 pounds of food at once, making for an awful lot of happy diners. (Price – $6,700-$7,300)
By Jesse Whitman email@example.com
The French are strict about social etiquette and might get rude if you forget to say “bonjour”or don’t make eye contact during a toast. Culture shock was harder to explain in Alanya, a beautiful Mediterranean resort town in Turkey—but one that exists in another dimension. The following rules of thumb proved useful. 1. Recognition: I almost ended up in a Turkish prison because I invited some friends from college up to my hotel room—strictly forbidden, though we were just singing Bob Marley while passing around a bottle of wine. Abide by different laws even though they seem completely illogical and accept the lack of them. (For example, there are no road signs anywhere in Alanya, but why would there be? The highways would be a Russian roulette free-for-all anyway.) 2. Inventory: Like most cultures, the Turks have their own unique craziness, which I found both endearing and frightening. I appreciate their friendliness since in America you can risk your life trick-or-treating thanks to paranoia and semi-automatic weapons. But Turkish shopkeepers are sometimes too friendly, inviting you to tea and wanting to escort you on your daily activities. Some will even run after you down the street as if you were an alien life form.
3. Shelter: It was freezing in the hotel room the first night, which was quite a disappointment since we traveled to the Mediterranean to escape the hail and freezing north winds that are typical in The Netherlands mid-February. We didn’t realize that the thermostat was remotecontrolled—not my proudest moment. However, I was running a fever and binge drinking on top of recovering from a day of plane travel, so I wasn’t thinking clearly. It also didn’t help that the blankets were as soft and warm as an old washcloth, which is why I yelled at my friend jokingly, “Can you please stop hogging the washcloth!” 4. Signals: Instead of a new SUV we rented a beat-up truck to take us into the mountains because it was emblazoned with the Turkish flag. Despite its character it kept stalling out every time we drove up a steep incline. Before it careened off the side of the mountain we coasted down the mountain in defeat, still feeling cool about our Turkish flag. 5. Water: I was running a high fever and coughing up my lungs, but this was my holiday and I had to rally. So to stay in the spirit of Spring Break I made the mistake of ordering a mojito that the bartender insisted was authentic because he saw someone drinking it on South Beach in a scene from Scarface. In fact it was an evil concoction of seven different low-shelf liquors. Sometimes one strange drink can really change your afternoon.
6. Food: I was too scared to try the foreign things on the Turkish menus, so I ate falafel for every meal, much to the chagrin of my stomach. I suggest taking risks and ordering something strange and experiencing the local delicacies. Let the low-shelf liquor kill off fatal bacteria. 7. Play: Sometimes things get so ridiculous and bizarre that all you can do is laugh, which is vital in surviving and even enjoying culture shock. For example, in the dining room of the hotel, where we were eating falafel and tabouli with a bunch of over-tanned German tourists in bedazzled Eurotrash knockoffs, the concierge came out with a live band and started dancing vigorously to Turkish folk music. It was definitely not something that would happen at the Holiday Inn, but the Germans loved it and the concierge was really getting into his sideshow. Then he started to strip down to nothing but a g-string Speedo. (Turkish men got hit hard with the hair belt, especially in their significant regions.) This is the same country where you can get arrested for bringing a friend up to your hotel room, so while the German tourists were screaming with delight, I turned to my travel-mates to make sure I was really seeing this. Then for the grand finale, the conciergeturned-stripper pulled a large cucumber out of his Speedo. You have to give it to the Turks for their creativity and unbridled enthusiasm.
Long-Haul Driver By Jack E. Jett “Jett Streams” [Last week we were discussing how comedy writer/ producer Ben Karlin helped Stephen Colbert craft his comedy persona for his Report—saying things that would be repugnant if anyone else said them.]
Alec Baldwin on 30 Rock does a similar thing, where the person is so in command of the character that you find it funny even if you disagree.
Right. Now did you two have something to do with Space Ghost?
A long time ago I wrote a bunch of episodes of that show.
That was such a great show… But Aquateen Hunger Force… When that’s on I… Which one of those is Wolf Blitzer on?
On Aquateen Hunger Force? If he were he would be Frylock without a shadow of a doubt. Do you follow Israeli politics? Not at all. I mean, in a way it’s unavoidable because I read the newspaper. But it’s not a particular… I try not to go too much to sad town.
And that is definitely sad town. In your interviews you come across like someone who does the strip clubs.
It’s funny that you should say that. I get a deep sense of embarrassment and awkwardness whenever I have been in a strip club in the past.
Before we go to break... Do you think that Lou Dobbs is mentally challenged?
Mentally challenged? No, but I do think that Lou Dobbs may not be from this planet.
Can I tell you quickly a funny pitch meeting I had one time? When people like me go to pitch people like you in L.A. you know that we’re peons, we’re meager-eagers coming in to pitch to the bitches, but I was pitching a show one time with Sandra Bernhard…to a guy by the name of Mark Cronin who does all those MTV shows. Well, we go into this thing and Sandra Bernhard is just sitting there when the producer starts telling her all the shows they had done and we were talking to them about co-producing a show. And he’s talking about how we did this, we did that, and all of a sudden Sandra goes: “Look, enough of your crap. We’re here for you to hear about us. Hey, Jack, tell him about us.” And I like to have fell off my chair. Because I’m usually Mr. Meager guy and I’d never been to a pitch that
was so forward… Do you still get a little intimidated when you go to meet with the bigwigs at HBO?
I know them really well so I wouldn’t say that intimidated is the word but you can’t take anything for granted because they’re fighting for their jobs every day, and with them saying yes to an idea it exposes them if it doesn’t work out, so it’s really quite a delicate balance.
Did you work on the Ali G Show?
I worked on that show the first season that they did it in the United States. I was like a consultant, basically. I didn’t do a ton for them.
But you know enough time has passed between now and then that you could blatantly lie and say that you created the whole thing. Because, you know, we’re here in Texas and we’re doing the show literally about a mile and a half from the home of George and Laura Bush. Oh yeah? How’s that working out?
Oh, it’s working out. They are constantly here. I bet they come over to your studio.
All the time, bringing brownies…and war crimes… Everything you could possibly ask for… They are a lovely couple, that’s all I really want to say. So what is next? What are you doing now?
Right now we are in the process of trying to get a movie made. I wrote a movie with a friend of mine and we sold it to a studio…
But if you sold it, why isn’t it getting made?
Because they can buy a script but they can have a million reasons why they don’t want to make the movie right now. The budget is too high. They couldn’t get the star that they wanted. Or there’s another movie that’s coming out that they’re afraid of. There are tons of reasons. Some of them are real, some of them are imagined.
[JETT STREAMS airs on Wednesday and Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. on rationalbroadcasting.com]
Dear BLITZbudsman: My pardner used to be what we drivers call a lot lizard. When we were parked at the big truck stops she would go from cab to cab sucking off the drivers or giving them whatever else they wanted. As hookers go, lot lizards are the bottom of the barrel. It’s hard for them to keep their looks, but not because they get knocked around. Some guy might get away with that once, twice, but not for long. We’ve got our pride just like the girls do. They take pride in being honest and giving satisfaction but they have to put up with a lot of jokes, too, like about how they’re the only women who lose their teeth and brag about it. My woman was always a cut above the rest. Far as I know she never had an STD, which was saying something considering how hard she worked. Her secret was that she never did nobody without the rubber on him and she could get it on so’s you’d never feel it or see it. When we decided to make a team I was the first man she ever did without a rubber. That was like a wedding present for both of us and it beat anything your town boys could give each other with diamonds and such. It’s three years we been riding together and she’s never cheated on me. True, we’re together all the time. We both had savings so we pooled ’em finally and bought a little place near Spring-
field (Mo.), where a lot of our runs begin and end. So we were planning to retire there someday. Turns out my little honey can really cook, and that’s after years of eating mostly at truck stops. So I guess you can tell, what she was in her old life don’t much matter to me. Or it didn’t until I got in a fight with a guy who works for the same company. It might have been my fault we got it on. The issue was favoritism because he’s related by marriage to one of our dispatchers. Our dispatchers have a lot of respect because of being old drivers and getting us profit-sharing and like that. But after I kicked the crap out of this guy he started making noises about what my honey did for a living for ten plus years before I came along. The worst stuff was actually coming from the dispatcher’s wife, but who knows how many people are in on it now. If my neighbors were other drivers I wouldn’t care. They all know what she used to be. So here’s the deal: how do I shut this guy up short of killing him? We love our house and put a lot into it. Also, except for that dispatcher this company’s been good to me and I don’t need to be looking for another job in this economy. Any suggestions? – Between a rock and a hard place
Dear Between: Your problems aren’t likely to go away soon and may follow you into retirement unless you change your residence and the company you work for. Otherwise all it will take is one driver to start the vicious rumors. Why not try Canada? True, some drivers cross the border often and might bring rumors back about your “honey,” but many others never leave the country and Canada’s a big place. Take your time doing the research. Look for truck stops that are lizard-less and companies employing few American expats. Never forget that your problem came from town-boys who worked for your company and probably lived near your dream house. You and your “pardner” are good people, clearly, and shouldn’t have to spend your declining years raking used condoms off your lawn (I know what goes on). As a side note: neighbors in many parts of Canada are few and far between. Moreover, in general Canadians won’t go out of their way to say something bad about you. Cultivate an air of mystery—unisex fashions will help—and once you’re established in your wilderness, never let her leave the house in pearls. Write to the BLITZbudsman at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Why did the blonde coed have sex with a Mexican guy? A: The teacher told her to do an essay.
DOWN: 1. Restaurant bills 2. Almond 3. Counterfoil 4. Parcels of land 5. Mountain crest 6. Manufacturing plants 7. Cold-blooded 8. Dolt 9. Bewail 10. Composition board
11. Outer or exterior 12. A vicious angry growl 13. Brusque 21. Potato state 25. Acquire deservedly 26. Earnings 27. Astringent 28. Frolic 29. Past times 34. Steel containing chromium 36. Double-reed woodwind 37. Thick slice 38. Canvas dwelling 40. Hoopla 42. Grain disease 45. Shoulder board 48. Worthy principles 51. Not liquid 52. Chip away at 53. Concur 55. Low point 58. Twenty-two in Roman numerals 59. Novice 60. Writing fluids 61. Arch type 62. Gestures of acceptance
49. Swine 50. Amount owed 51. Charred 54. Any minute 56. Debauchery 57. Jubilance 63. Old stories 64. Wheel shaft 65. Australian wild dog 66. Inspiration 67. Untruths 68. Annoyed 69. Bambi was one 70. Seats oneself 71. Thorny flowers
The Talking Clock Late one night a drunk guy is showing some friends around his brand new apartment. The last stop is the bedroom, where a big brass gong sits next to the bed. “What’s that gong for?” the friend asks him. “It’s not a gong,” the drunk replies. “It’s a talking clock.” “How does it work?” The guy picks up a hammer, gives the gong an ear-shattering pound, and steps back. Suddenly, someone on the other side of the wall screams, “For God’s sake, you a$$hole…it’s 3:30 in the fu*king morning!”
ACROSS: 1. A unit of magnetic flux density 6. Satiate 10. Annoyance 14. He plays roles 15. Dwarf buffalo 16. Pimples 17. Savage 18. Pal 19. The Sun 20. Alternative 22. Thick bituminous liquids 23. Ancient Biblical kingdom 24. Pin 26. Cautious 30. A southern constellation 31. Bar bill 32. Found in skin lotion 33. Ancient liquid measure 35. Perch 39. Investigator 41. Reasonable 43. Not full 44. Scorch 46. Horse color 47. Prefix meaning “Above”
Q: Why weren’t the Red Sox allowed at the Pope’s funeral? A: Because they beat the sh!t out of the Cardinals.
Q: How do you save a lawyer from drowning? A: Take your foot off his head.
By Dennis Hambright www.dennishambright.com
Frequently I’ve been accused of not taking the prudent and considerate precaution of actually thinking about what I’m about to say before popping the clutch on my brain and kicking my mouth into gear. A friend told me I was like an old lawnmower running over a pile of rocks… Lots of unnecessary loud and irritating noise most people don’t want to hear, and somebody always gets their shins dinged. Hey, I think that’s a good thing. Sometimes getting clipped in the shins with fast-flying debris is just what people need to give me their attention. So, if you’re tender below the knicker-line, get ready... Why in the world would any man ever want to get married? There. I said it. I asked the milliondollar question and let the elephant out of the room. Now, the clock is ticking…ten seconds… five…three…too late! See, I bet not one of you could come up with a good answer, unless of course you were sitting next to your significant other, and then you just blurted out some convenient lie so you wouldn’t have to sleep on the couch, or get the look for the rest of the night. Okay, to be fair, I’ll throw in a few qualifiers. If you want kids, you should definitely get married. Kids deserve a cohesive family unit to nurture them. And yes, I mean a real Mommy and Daddy. And no, I’m not homophobic, but I don’t think
Mommy and her special friend, or Daddy and Uncle Wahoo…who sleep in the same bed and hold hands while they skip through the zoo, is the best choice to prevent serious dings and dents in a kid’s developing psyche. And if your religious beliefs are such that having a long-term fulfilling relationship dictates that it can only be had under the umbrella of matrimony, then more power to you. But except for those reasons, I just don’t get it. Come on guys, scratch your noggins and really think about it. How many friends do you have, that if they really told the truth, would actually admit that if they had it to do all over again, would get married? I think I can pop up two thumbs in the Charlie Sheen Winning sign, and count all the happy grooms that I know. And no, it’s not because I only hang out with rogues and reprobates, but that’s really all the guys I know that actually found one of those near extinct female creatures, that after he said I do, allowed him to keep his cajones intact and saunter handin-hand down life’s winding road as the man he actually was instead of the man she hoped she could mold him into. Yeah, I know…what about having the company of a good woman, you might ask? Well, I’m single, and I have that. And if the aforementioned company turns into a nagging thorn in the saddle, I can just trade her in for a happier one. Okay, you inquire, what about someone to grow old with? Ding, ding, ding! Got that too, and in a completely selfish, chauvinistic, self-centered way, you can keep trading up…or down, as it were, so your companion’s old curve on the Chart of Life can run as a flat line if you so choose. (There you go, Cougars…take that!) “Oh, but Mr. Lawnmower,” you ask, “Don’t you want to truly share your life with someone special?” Well yes, oh inquisitive one, I do. But share is the operative word here. I want to share my life and all of my hard-earned stuff…not give it away after being hog-tied and drug over the human cheese grater known as divorce court. A very wise man once said, “Find something you truly love, and let it kill you.” I wholeheartedly believe that’s supposed to be a positive thing. Find something, or someone you’re truly passionate about, and let it, or them, kill you with happiness…not beat you to death mentally and emotionally because you can’t escape. Listen closely. Are those wedding bells ringing a melodious tune of happiness…or clanking a prophetic warning?