Bring out your dead
Zombie crawl 2019 See arts&Culture, page 14
candidates are setting up shop in Reno
s e rv i n g n o rt h e r n n e va d a , ta h o e a n d t r u c k e e
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The right one Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review. Last weekend we dressed the kids up like monsters, wild animals and anime characters whose names I don’t even know how to pronounce, and dragged them out to a few Halloween events. Friday night, we took Clifford, my 13-year-old, along to see Let the Right One In, a vampire thriller performed onstage at Good Luck Macbeth Theatre. I’m a fan of the novel and the 2008 film, but Clifford didn’t know what he was getting into: Lots of cussing, “adult themes,” and gruesome deaths—just the kind of stuff a 13-yearold will love. I was impressed with GLM’s production, which deftly covered quite few different locations. And this was the first time I’d been in to check out their new space—which really isn’t that new anymore, but I don’t get out to see theater nearly as much as I’d like—and it’s fantastic. Saturday night, we went to the Holland Project’s Halloween show, which is one of my favorite annual events: local bands playing dressup as famous acts. We weren’t able to stay too long because the kids got hungry/cold/intimidated by the just-slightly-older-than-them crowd, but what we saw was great. Sunday morning, we went and checked out Coffee N’ Comics, the new coffee shop-slash-comic book store on Moana Lane (see Fifteen minutes, page 27). Fun concept for a business, and it got me thinking of other hybrid businesses that could pair a niche business with a more sustainable, low-overhead business like making coffee. For example, I really miss record stores—and there are still a few, like Recycled Records and a couple of others—and video rental places, which are totally gone. Maybe the way to make those businesses sustainable now would be to pair them with coffee. Or tea. Or beer. Or pizza. So, if you’re just sitting around, wondering, what business should I open in Reno? There’s your idea: A record store that also sells coffee, tea, beer and pizza. And rents out carefully curated selection of DVDs. Get to work.
—BRAD BYNUM bradb@ ne ws r ev i ew . com
Fan mail Re “Our correspondent” (Letters to the editor, Oct. 24): Touche, guys! Not one … but two Craig Bergland letters! Sadly, the sarcasm was way too obvious. But then, a “publication” that gives BVD a space to cram as many grade school descriptions of Trump into a small column every week seldom fails to fall short of journalistic professionalism anyway. I can only imagine how many of my letters you’d have printed over the preceding eight years if I’d spoken about your Messiah, Barack Hussein Obama, in the same fashion! Oh, the cries of “racism” would have been off the chart of any measurable standard known to mankind. But then, it is your “paper,” ergo you still have the right to the same freedom of speech the majority of your readers want to deny Trump. But, hey, you’ve become so well versed in your hatred of our President—yes, he’s yours as well!—the next five years should be a piece of cake for you! Mike Mantor Reno
Hashing things out What struck me about the Washoe County Commission meeting of Oct. 22 was the over-reaching, arrogant, dismissive and condescending remarks made by the County Commissioners to those voicing opinions to uphold current zoning and planning restrictions for Silver Knolls. In their final comments Commissioners Lucey and Hartung chastised the local residents using terms like fear of change, anti-growth and being inconsiderate for speaking up in support of current restrictions and upholding the Planning Commission’s unanimous denial of Lifestyle Homes’ Silver Hills project. More troubling, none of the Commissioners disclosed that since 2016, collectively, they received over $95,000 in campaign contributions from pro-growth connections. This includes at least $6,700 from Lifestyle Homes. The only thing that matters to this Commission is the assessed
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value of parcels—not your lifestyle, not your safety, not your input. Current residents are not valued, only the lure of raising more tax dollars. #washoecounty #silverknolls #silverhills Marcial Reiley Reno
Reuse, reduce, recycle, reread Things I can do with the RN&R: Read it. Start up fireplace. Wash windows. Mop up spills. Emergency TP (little rocks work too?). Make PCrete. Absorbant for toxic liquids (& opinions). Make paper hats! Stuffing for fragile stuff in boxes. Shield for spray painting. Paper mache art things. Roll a fat one if I run out of zig-zags. Line the birdcage. Compost it. Mulch for the garden. A cover to kill weeds. Insulation for shoes, pants, other homeless needs. Temporary shelter from rain, snow. Cheap confetti. Wallpaper. Polish my shoes. Reread it. It goes on. … Craig Bergland Reno
Carry the day I just heard that a decision was made, in Reno, Nevada, to have World AIDS Day on Nov. 23, 2019 at Holland Project, instead of Dec. 1, 2019. The reasoning was, is that you only have grants available then. The one time of year we honor people who have died of HIV, and it cannot be scheduled as such! HMMM!? To me, as a homosexual Satanist, living with HIV and who has known many who died from AIDS, it looks more like another reason why there is discrimination against individuals who are living with HIV, in Reno. It looks to me like it was not convenient to have World AIDS Day on a Christian church day of Sunday. Not convenient for the mayor and other speakers. I am shocked that this world AIDS Day now seems like having an impression of unimportance (compared to the rest of the world). Distribution Director Greg Erwin Distribution Manager Bob Christensen Distribution Drivers Alex Barskyy, Corey Sigafoos, Gary White, Joe Wilson, Marty Troye, Timothy Fisher, Vicki Jewell, Olga Barska, Rosie Martinez, Adam Martinez, Duane Johnson, Linda Berlemann President/CEO Jeff VonKaenel Director of Nuts & Bolts Deborah Redmond Director of People & Culture David Stogner Director of Dollars & Sense Debbie Mantoan Nuts & Bolts Ninja Norma Huerta Payroll/AP Wizard Miranda Hansen Account Jedi Jessica Kislanka Sweetdeals Coordinator Trish Marche Developer John Bisignano
System Support Specialist Kalin Jenkins N&R Publications Editor Debbie Arrington N&R Publications Associate Editors Derek McDow, Thea Rood N&R Publications Editorial Team Anne Stokes, Nisa Smith Marketing & Publications Lead Consultant Elizabeth Morabito Marketing & Publications Consultants Steve Caruso, Joseph Engle, Sherri Heller, Celeste Worden, Rod Maloy, Julia Ballantyne Cover design Maria Ratinova
I ask you to change your mind and have World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, 2019. Do we Honor Martin Luther King, Jr., Day on Sept. 2, or Christmas on Dec. 15? No, we do not! The reason we celebrate Dec. 1, 2019 as World AIDS Day is that a lot of people sacrificed to make this day happen and it has meaning. It has meaning, just as those other days of remembrance and holidays have meaning. If you can not make World AIDS Day, then do not go say a prayer in your congregation. Do not sabotage or usurp World AIDS Day from the rest of us for your convenience. I am ashamed of the mayor for agreeing to honor World AIDS Day on another day. I also ask this never ever happen again! Michael Pitkin Reno
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BY JERI DAVIS
Favorite Halloween costume? ASKED AT SHEA’S TAVERN, 715 S. VIRGINIA ST.
CRYSTAL WAYNE Warehouse manager
So, this year, with my boyfriend, I’m going to be Jeffrey Dahmer—and he’s going to be a refrigerator.
DEB BARKER Retiree
My favorite is my white trash, trailer park old lady—a dress with pink flamingos. I had curlers in my hair. I had, you know, the black glasses, and they were on a chain. And I had slippers and mismatched socks.
JESSI HELMING Bartender
Close ranks As Veterans Day draws near, take a few moments to consider the people who’ve enlisted in our nation’s military and vowed to protect its citizens and fight its wars. If you’re already flipping to the next column, hold on a second. You don’t need to be a supporter of war. You can have qualms over military spending. And you can still appreciate veterans—and maybe even thank one—for the jobs they’ve done for their country and the toll that sometimes takes on them. In 2017, 116 veterans from Nevada—106 men and 10 women—took their own lives. Nationwide, the suicide rate for veterans far surpasses that of the civilian population. The suicide rate among female veterans is nearly two-and-a-half times that of ordinary citizens. For male veterans, it’s 1.3 times higher. The Department of Veterans Affairs reports that more than 20 vets commit suicide in this country every single day. Ordinary citizens can help in myriad ways—starting with simple things, like taking care in how we engage veterans in conversation. The disrespect of questions like “Do you have PTSD?”or “Have you ever killed a person?” or “Have you ever been shot?” might seem obvious to some people—but, unfortunately, it’s not. Questions like these
get asked of vets by friends, family members and even strangers. They’re asked at social gatherings. Sometimes they’re asked during job interviews. Often, these are painful questions and ones veterans don’t want to answer in front of an audience. Surely, there’s no need to jump to the macabre questions—at least not first, if it all. Consider how often the first question asked of surgeons is how many people have died on their operating tables—or of vets how many dogs they’ve put down. Most people wouldn’t lead with questions of that nature, so why do people do it when talking with vets? Is it callousness? Is it the misconception that veterans are stoic heroes with complete control of their emotional responses? More likely it’s a lack of discretion. As Veterans Day draws closer, consider how you might show your support through the many organizations that aid veterans in our community. There’s Veteran’s Resource Centers of America, which focuses on housing assistance and behavioral health treatment. There’s Work for Warriors, and organization that helps vets find careers that meet their skills, knowledge and abilities. There’s the David J. Drakulich Foundation For Freedom of Expression, which offers art and recreation programming to veterans. And that’s just a few. □
In 2017, 116 Nevada veterans took their own lives.
I was a dead mechanic last year. I had a stab wound in my throat, and I carried around the screwdriver that killed me. And it was really warm, which was my favorite part of that costume.
KENNY SONOFMUN Electrician’s apprentice
I was trying to be really punny, and I got a bunch of fishing bobbers. … And I grabbed a sweater, and I just put a bunch of those on, and I put a nametag on that said “David,” and I was supposed to be David Buoy. Nobody got it.
SAR AH LYONS Bartender
I was Divine from Pink Flamingos. What was the character’s name? And then I dressed my best friend up as John Waters, and nobody in all of Freeport or Ballard, [Oregon] knew who I was—and I nailed Divine.
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BY SHEILA LESLIE
Food for thought How rich do you have to be before you spread the wealth around? In a recent column in the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof points out that Trump’s tax cut “made inequality worse. In 2018, for the first time, the 400 richest American households paid a lower average tax rate than any other income group.” In 1950, these billionaires paid about 70 percent in taxes. In 2018, their tax rate was 23 percent. The tax system in the United States has grown increasingly regressive, as we’ve seen in Nevada where we have one of the highest sales tax rates in the nation and no state income tax, shielding the wealthy from paying their fair share while dumping the burden of funding public education on the poor. It’s immoral. All of this is cheered by our braggart President, who seems to be worth far less than he thinks in every way—financially, business aptitude and certainly moral fiber. His administration continues to find ways to make life harder for those on the
struggling side of life, like the new rule that will take away a free school lunch from about a million children. Trump wants to close “loopholes” in the school lunch program so fewer children qualify for a free lunch. But why punish children whose parents refuse to fill out an application by making sure they go hungry at lunchtime? Why make it harder for parents who earn just above the official poverty level of $25,000 for a family of four by cutting their children off of lunch? In a country as rich as the United States, why aren’t we providing all children with a school lunch regardless of income? And the rich aren’t done building their fortunes. Reno was the dateline for a front-page New York Times article on Sunday outlining the clever manipulation of Opportunity Zones by Lake Tahoe resident and convicted felon Michael Milken who worked with Nevada politicians and Trump-appointed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to benefit himself.
It’s embarrassing for Nevada to be so easily played by the rich. But not unusual. We might as well hang a sign on the front doors of the Legislature and the Governor’s Office that says, “Open for Business: Rich People Only.” The latest scandal involves Milken’s investments in the industrial park in Storey County where other corporate parasites like Tesla and Switch feed on taxpayer subsidies and, surprisingly, in the new project replacing Park Lane Mall in central Reno. It turns out that last year the Treasury Department was persuaded to ignore internal guidelines and designate these areas for tax breaks as Opportunity Zones, which are supposed to help distressed neighborhoods—not wealthy investors. Secretary Mnuchin made the decision himself, after visiting with Milken at an event hosted by the Milken Institute, a nonprofit think tank devoted to “advancing prosperity.” Nevada had tried to get the industrial park included as an Opportunity Zone
before, but Treasury officials said the area wasn’t eligible “because its residents were too affluent.” But that changed when Milken joined forces with Mnuchin, former Congressman Jon Porter—now a lobbyist—Senator Dean Heller and Governor Brian Sandoval. The area was “re-nominated” and quickly approved, giving wealthy investors an unwarranted financial payday. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service officials were reportedly furious. One wrote an internal memo that condemned the corruption, saying the “arbitrary Treasury standards risked opening the door for accusations that the determination process was influenced by political considerations or bias.” Meanwhile, Nevada schools struggle to feed their children. Our mentally ill camp out in city parks and along the river because there is no where for them to go. Spiking rents continue to cause misery for the working class. Why do we allow this to happen? □
BY JERI DAVIS
BREKHUS BANISHED It’s no secret that Reno City Councilmember Jenny Brekhus is generally disliked by her colleagues. She asks pointed questions, is a frequently lone nay vote—particularly against development projects— and has strained relations at city hall. That apparently came to a head earlier this year when City Manager Sabra Newby announced to city staff that Brekhus was no longer going to be allowed to attend agenda briefings with staff. Newby cited what she called Brekhus’ “combative nature” that could lead to a “hostile work environment claim.” Brekhus, according to Newby, generated concerns by city employees. “As City Manager, it is my responsibility to provide a positive work environment for all employees. Many employees had expressed concerns about her treatment of staff,” Newby said through a spokesperson. “Having been in attendance at the agenda briefings referenced, I observed the treatment first-hand. To prevent escalation of the situation, in February, I notified Councilmember Brekhus of these concerns hoping the situation would improve. When it did not, I took further action.” Newby refused to say what those concerns were. She did not respond to requests for an interview. Instead, she issued a statement through the city’s public information officer, who also did not respond to questions about what, exactly, the concerns were. Brekhus, for her part, said the move by Newby was politics at play. “After the city manager let me know that she was limiting my access to staff in advance of the council meetings, I objected to her decision at our next regularly scheduled one-on-one meeting,” Brekhus explained. “I told her that she made charged allegations and inquired if there was any documentation to her charges because the city has reporting protocols in place for such allegations. She stated that none existed.” Brekhus recently announced her re-election campaign. A chief opponent, Britton Griffith, also announced her campaign to challenge Brekhus for her seat. Griffith quickly received an endorsement from Mayor Hillary Schieve, who has frequent public skirmishes with Brekhus. Brekhus called the precedent by Newby suspect. “I told her that in my view she should consult the city manager code of ethics,” Brekhus said. “I expressed concern that she was not following the code because it requires equal treatment of all members of a governing body as related to sharing of information and access to facts. I also felt that she should review the section that limits political activities, because she may well be advancing the political goals of other members of the body.” Brekhus’ banishment from agenda briefings was first reported on social media by KRNV’s Joe Hart. Commenters quickly rushed in to support the incumbent councilmember. One commenter wrote: “Newby was a terrible choice and has exhibited toxic behaviors. Jenny Brekhus asks the right questions, and anyone with eyes and ears who watches Council meetings can see how she has been treated by colleagues. I’m not buying this. Newby should go.”
The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office held a community resource fair on Oct. 24 at Reno Town Mall. PHOTO/JERI DAVIS
The community resource fairs represent the public-facing side of the Detention Services Unit’s work, but, behind the doors of the county jail, its member officers are busy devising and administering myriad programs for the inmates.
Protect and serve Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Detention Services Unit On Oct. 24, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office hosted a trick-or-treat and community resource fair at the Reno Town Mall, with more than 50 organizations represented at booths where kids could get candy and their parents could get information about resources to help them meet their families’ health, financial and educational needs. Organizations at the resource fair ranged from Health Plan of Nevada to Veterans Resource Centers of America and the Food Bank of Northern Nevada to Truckee Meadows Community College. The event was organized largely by the Detention Services Unit at the sheriff’s office, a new unit created in April for the purpose of helping community members—both inside and outside of the county jail—access such resources. “Our focus certainly, through the Detention Services Unit, is programs to enhance and increase services to the inmates in our jail,” said Jeff Clark, chief deputy of the sheriff’s office
Detention Bureau. But anytime you have a jail, ultimately, the demographics in your jail are … almost exactly the same as your community. … So, we can identify a lot of needs that not only inmates can use when they’re released. But there’s a lot of people in the community that maybe aren’t at that level of committing a crime to further a drug habit or nuisance crime or something else. … So if we can provide them those same resources before they get into jail, then it’s just as helpful.” According to Lieutenant Janit Bailey, who oversees the Detention Services Unit, the resource fairs—the next of which will be held in the spring—can also be helpful for the families of inmates. “If the families have resources and get the support they need, they then can, in turn, be a strong foundation for their loved one when they come back out,” she said. “So it’s really a wrap-around service for everyone—not just inmates.”
“Anytime we identify a need within the jail, it’s [Bailey] and her team that either come up with the idea or take one of our ideas and makes it happen,” said Clark. “And, you know, Sheriff Balaam deserves a lot of credit with this— because, since his election in January, he has given the ultimate support of creating the detention services unit, and he truly wants to help the community.” “Some of it’s brainstorming from my team,” Bailey said. “Other times it’s our partnerships with people in the community who’ve seen a need—talking to the inmates, talking to families. When we do the resource fairs … talking to people who are in attendance and their concerns about what their family members or friends might need.” Bailey’s team works with inmates to build individual plans to help them meet their needs and goals, both while they’re in jail and after they’ve been released. These plans generally start with a written request for assistance from an inmate, followed by an interview. “Based on that interview, then we lay out a plan,” Bailey said. “So, we know if it’s mental health, we can connect them with the mental health care advisers. … If they need housing, we can reach out to providers in the community. … If they need to get into … an addiction program, we can start those programs here, in-house, and then transition them out when they get released. So, it’s that continuity of care. A lot of times people want assistance, but they don’t know where to [start].” The Detention Services Unit doesn’t just connect inmates with community resources. It also brings members of the community—and their ideas—into the jail in the form of classes. Inmates can take parenting classes, domestic violence prevention classes and classes to help them obtain their diplomas, among others. One class, administered through Truckee Meadows Community College is called “Getting Ahead Before Getting Out.”
“The student inmates apply for it,” said Public Information Officer Bob Harmon. “It’s taught by a TMCC instructor, and that class is all about, ‘OK, I’m about to get back out. I have to now come up with a plan. How am I going to finance myself? How am I going to juggle my living expenses, my work, my career goals?’” There’s also a criminal justice class called “Inside Out” that’s taught in conjunction with the University of Nevada, Reno. “So, it’s half students from UNR, and it’s half students from our inmate population,” Harmon said. “And they meet once a week in the jail together, so you have the inmates and students. So you’re learning about the criminal justice system, particularly for the UNR students, from people who are in the midst of it. The inmates have to write an essay to get into the class, and then they’re responsible for doing all of the homework and the readings.” At the end of the course, the classmates work together to write a proposal paper on ways to improve the justice system. According to Bailey, Harmon and Clark, the sheriff’s office is open to trying any number of classes, which, for a time, included weekend yoga classes. “We’re creative and open,” Bailey said. “I mean, most people probably wouldn’t realize that we were doing yoga.” “The thing that got me about yoga is— because it was a connection I didn’t make until I saw the class, because I don’t do yoga—but in yoga there’s a lot of self reflection and self
empowerment,” Harmon said. “And you’re dealing with a population that often has been given very little empowerment during their lives. There’s been very little encouragement, very little respect. I realized when I sat in on a yoga class how important that was for the ladies to have someone actually telling them, ‘You are strong. You have strength.’” “It’s no longer just an institutional approach to providing programs and assistance,” Bailey added. “It’s more holistic. … It’s not a onesize-fits-all-type-mentality anymore. We’re very geared toward individual needs—because everyone is different. … Their backgrounds are different, the way the process, their needs.” According to Clark, the new approach is actually a part of a national trend. “We certainly feel that we’re certainly one of the leaders, nationally speaking,” he said. “But this is something that’s happening across the country. And law enforcement is changing into more of a service-oriented field. And a lot of that is because that’s what society is dictating. With everything that’s going on on a national level, law enforcement is having to change based on community needs. Communities are wanting more from their law enforcement. … We do have to be the ones who are out there trying to find resources for people. … We want this to be viewed as a place of hope, where people know that if they’re at the sheriff’s office they can find the help they need. And we do that whether they come in the front, or if they come in the back door as an arrestee.” Ω
Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Johnson Bradley made balloon animals for kids during the agency’s community resource fair and trick-or-treat event on Oct. 24. Photo/Jeri Davis
8 | RN&R | 10.31.19
by MArk EArnESt
Back country safety is the main topic during the annual California Avalanche Workshop, which takes place this Saturday. Courtesy/DaviD reiChel, sierra avalanChe Center
snow safety California Avalanche Workshop It’s usually around Halloween that a snow enthusiast’s thoughts turn to the Sierras, in the hopes that the white stuff will soon be falling in abundance (and some of it already has, to be honest). It’s also the best time to start thinking about safety first and what to do in case an avalanche takes place while you’re in the great outdoors. The California Avalanche Workshop has a simple mission that ties into the start of snow season: to share knowledge, analyze past accidents and learn from professionals about how to stay safe in the back country. Taking place on Nov. 2, the workshop brings together professional skiers and snowboarders, forecasters, researchers, patrollers, scientists and recreation enthusiasts. David Reichel, a professional observer and field staff member at the Sierra Avalanche Center, is its founder and organizer. “The early part of the season can be dangerous, because a lot of us aren’t fully back in the correct mindset,” Reichel said. “Doing this helps people reconnect with friends, but it’s also continuing education and a chance to share avalanche stories and the lessons learned.” Having a workshop like this early in the season also helps with attendance, and this is one of the more popular educational events in the area.
“We want people who are a part of the back country culture to get the education and knowledge they need, but we also don’t want to have to compete with a big powder day,” Reichel said. “We want to have that sweet spot really close to winter, but not actually in the middle of it.” Reichel said that avalanches occur in the thousands each year all around Tahoe. “Whenever we have a storm, it’s a common phenomena,” he said. “It only matters when it affects us in some way, though—when our cars get caught, or our houses get caught, or when people are seriously injured. Last year, no one died in an avalanche in the area, which is wonderful, but we did have two very serious injury accidents.” Nationwide, there are about 30 deaths per year caused by avalanches, Reichel said, so it’s paramount to educate those who hit the slopes about avalanche safety. Among the speakers at this year’s avalanche workshop is Jeremy Jones, a pro snowboarder who will talk about decisionmaking on the terrain and how that plays into avalanche safety. Other presenters include Brandon Schwartz, lead forecaster for the Sierra Avalanche Center, who will talk about risk management. Reichel said he’s looking forward to a talk from Michael Ferrari, a patrol director at Mount Rose Ski Tahoe, will share his experiences of 30 years working in safety at the resort. The workshop, though, goes beyond just talking about avalanche safety. There are also plenty of chances to network with other snow enthusiasts and to see presentations that are more about the season itself than about avalanches. For instance, Megan Collins from the Desert Research Institute will talk about “Stories in the Snow,” an effort by DRI using citizen science to study snow itself. “They are largely asking kids to take photos of snowflakes when they fall and share those with DRI,” Reichel explained. “As I understand it, they can use that information to learn more about the atmospheric conditions that are in the clouds during a specific snowstorm.” Ω
the California avalanche Workshop takes place nov. 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the north tahoe event Center, 8318 n. lake Blvd., Kings Beach, California. Get tickets and more details at sierraavalanchecenter.org.
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m a t t b@ ne ws re v ie w.com
candidates are setting up shop in Reno
ast year, at the beginning of her senior year of high school, Haley Rodeles lost her grandfather. Soon after, her father’s drinking problem got worse, culminating in an incident where she had to escape the house, barefoot, with her younger sister. Upon arriving at her grandmother’s house, the police arrested Rodeles claiming she had assaulted her father when in fact she had pushed him to break his grip on her arm. She was strip searched and processed. After 24 hours
in a Henderson, Nevada, jail with no food or water, a broken toilet and no one to listen to her story, Rodeles was released to a social worker who told her she was lucky she was only 17. If she were an adult, she’d have gone to prison. This experience, she said, made her want to vote for Bernie Sanders. “I met a lovely woman named Nora … and she introduced me to a lot of his policies, and I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, prison reform, Title IX issues, climate change— the medical system.’ … [My dad] can’t go to a rehab facility because I wouldn’t be able to go to college and let them keep the house that they live in and him go to rehab all at the same time.” Rodeles started at the University of Nevada, Reno, this semester, and is one of thousands of campaign volunteers living and working in Washoe County a year before the 2020 presidential elections. Nevada’s status as a swing state, coupled with our early caucus on Feb. 22, means that over half a dozen of the 19 Democratic contenders and the Trump 2020 reelection machine have set their sights on the Silver State, and staffers and volunteers alike have different motivations for supporting their candidates. Rodeles lives in the dorms at UNR and began volunteering with the Sanders campaign office— located next to the Washoe County Democrats Office at 1465 Terminal Way—a few weeks ago. On her first day as a volunteer, she was up at 6 a.m. to do some writing before class at 9 a.m. On her break, however, she spent a few hours on a street corner engaging passersby about their plans on caucus day.
“I had, I think, about four or five people that were like, ‘Yeah, I’m interested in getting involved politically, but I don’t really know anything about anyone,’” Rodeles said. “And, so, I was able to tell them about Bernie and tell them about a little bit of my personal struggles and why it can relate to what they’re looking for in a candidate.” This personal approach to campaigning is encouraged among Sanders volunteers, said Sanders Campaign Deputy Field Director Jeremy Parkin. “One of the biggest things we train people on is not to get into debates,” said Parkin, who also worked on the 2016 Sanders Campaign. “Regardless of whether or not you want to build a wall on the southern border, you probably have an issue with your health care, and we can always find common ground.” According to a CNN poll dated Sept. 29, Sanders is tied with former Vice President Joe Biden at 22 percent support of likely voters in Nevada. Biden, whose campaign opened its office at 4080 Kietzke Lane last month, is considered the national frontrunner for the Democratic National Committee’s nomination. But Vedant Patel, Nevada communications director for the campaign, explained that Nevada’s importance to Democrats is tied to more than just our third-in-the nation caucus. “You’ve got significant Asian-Americans voting, significant Latinos, a significant population of African American voters,” Patel said. “It’s really reflective of the demographics of the country. And, so, just a lot of issues that resonate with Nevadans, they also really resonate with the rest of the country as well. Whether it be protecting the Affordable Care act, climate change, you know, investing in schools—all the things that are really important to the vice after several traumatic president.” events in her life, Haley rodeles decided to work To Avery Counts, a Biden for the Bernie Sanders field organizer, the issues he campaign.
continued on page 12
10.31.19 | RN&R | 11
Sanders campaign volunteers participate in a group bonding activity during a training session at the Reno campaign headquarters.
continued from page 11
most wants the future president to address are unique to his generation, including climate change and gun violence. “It just kind of started to really hit me, especially with Sandy Hook, that something had to be done,” Counts said. “I had memories of being in second grade with active shooter drills. They were surprise drills, and even the teachers didn’t know. And you’ve got a room full of kids crying and hugging each other and had my teacher, you know, holding me while I’m like, ‘I just want to make cakes with my mom again.’” Counts remembers hearing Joe Biden debate Paul Ryan in 2012 and has been a supporter ever since. He volunteered for the Clinton campaign in 2016, but after watching the election from his home in the traditionally Republican bastion of Orange County, he decided to make a career out of politics.
campaign office at 489 E. Plumb Lane is one of five that opened across Nevada on Aug. 10, with the other four located around the Las Vegas metropolitan area. In another nod to the demographic diversity Democrats are chasing in the Silver State, the opening day announcement and other posts on the Warren for Nevada website were printed in both English and Spanish. “Starting with staff, we’re building a campaign that is as diverse and inclusive as the values we are fighting for every day,” said Warren campaign Press Secretary for Nevada Veronica Yoo, in a written statement. “In Reno and Carson City, we have staff on-theground and offices for volunteers to get plugged in, and learn more about Elizabeth’s movement for big, structural change. We’re going to continue building out our efforts up north to reach out to communities about the issues that matter to them the most.” While the Warren “When Donald Trump got elected, I said, ‘All right, campaign declined to I’ll be back. I got some work to do.’” put a staffer on record for Avery Counts, Biden campaign field organizer this article, Senator Warren herself laid “When Donald Trump got elected, I said, out some of her ideas to the Reno News ‘All right, I’ll be back. I got some work to & Review in an August Q&A (see “The do,’” said Counts. “I realized I had to put persistent candidate,” Aug. 15). everything to a stop and just get out there and make sure that I could change as much as I could. And that’s why I’m for Joe.” Trailing the two front runners in California Senator Kamala Harris was the Nevada is Elizabeth Warren, whom CNN first presidential hopeful to visit Reno, in found to have 15 percent support among April, after announcing her campaign. She likely voters. The Massachusetts senator opened her office at 9640 S. McCarran has a history of both beating incumbent Blvd. on Oct. 3, the same day she offered Republicans and becoming the first woman her simple, soundbite-worthy critique of to hold a respective elected office, as President Trump to a crowd of supporters she did both in her 2012 senate race. Her at UNR—“Dude’s gotta go.” 12 | RN&R | 10.31.19
Ahead of the pack
“She’s the fighter I believe we need,” said Carissa Snedeker, former first vice chair of the Washoe County Democratic party and Harris campaign volunteer. “And I have to say, watching her in the Senate hearings taking it to the Republicans just made my little heart sing.” Snedeker gave her endorsement of Harris early on, after being impressed with the candidate’s law-and-order background as attorney general of California—specifically, her work in jailing sex offenders and her emphasis on community outreach. “I have some friends, a lesbian couple, and they went to go see her at UNR,” Snedeker said. “And they were already supporting her, but they got to meet with her, and they were just like afterwards, ‘She just gets us. She understands, and she makes us feel seen.’ And I think that’s how she makes a lot of people feel.” Snedeker knocks on doors for Harris and shares coverage and video clips about her to social media—she even has friends over for debate night viewing parties. While Harris is polling at 7 percent, Snedeker’s learned—like the rest of the country did in 2016—that polls don’t tell the whole story. “The ones who I’m talking to at the door, they haven’t made up their minds,” she said. “There’s a ton of them, four months out of our caucus, that aren’t paying attention at all. … I think that there’s still a lot of room for her to make up ground.” If the cult of personality is more important than polling numbers, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, might just carry Nevada. Or at least, his 10 campaign offices—the most of any Nevada campaign—scattered throughout the state might help. He opened his Reno office at 114 W. Fourth St. on Sept. 28, the same day
Avery Counts is a Biden campaign staffer from Orange County who moved to Reno over the summer to organize for his candidate.
he addressed a group of 700 supporters at a rally at Sparks High School. To Beth Ingalls, former mayor of Truckee and campaign organizer for Buttigieg, there was no doubt that Mayor Pete was her candidate—from the moment she first heard him speak. “I was home from work one day and started watching Mayor Pete videos,” Ingalls said. “I just almost absorbed about 24 hours of material, and I was just overwhelmed and so excited. Once I started, I couldn’t stop, and it just struck a chord with me. And not only just politically, but emotionally. … He spoke to my sense of belonging at a time when I was feeling completely outside of everything, and I think he does that with a lot of people.” Ingalls coordinates with other volunteers around the Truckee Meadows, and one of her first jobs was finding local supporters who might be willing to host campaign staffers and volunteers from out of state in their homes during the build up to the caucus. Buttigieg is considered the first millennial to run for president, and Ingalls counts herself on the “much older” side of the organizers, but that hasn’t stopped her from covering pretty much the whole valley as part of her “turf.”
“I’m on the road all day meeting my authenticity and relatability. Becerra even people,” she said. “I go, kind of, from watched the presidential candidate carry Since the Nevada Republican Party’s Sparks all the way down through Reno, his own supplies and help set up for the everything East of Virginia [Street], all the rally—something he believed was represen- decision to scrap the 2020 GOP caucus—a cost-saving measure not unlike what the way down through Washoe Valley and up tative of Castro’s willingness to roll up his Democrats did with the Obama campaign to Incline.” sleeves and do the work needed to run the in 2012, according to party spokesperson And what are those potential voters country. Keith Schipper—it’s unlikely Reno will talking about? “He represented accessibility as see any Republican candidates set up shop “I think probably the biggest one is well,” Becerra said. “Meaning, like, an besides the Trump Victory Headquarters, Medicare for all who want it,” said Travis approachable person—a person behind which opened on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 1144 Brock, national caucus director for the the politician, right? Because when W. Fourth St. Buttigieg campaign. “I think that’s very you’re running, you’re going to inher“We had RNC Co-Chair Tommy Hicks attractive to a lot of Nevadans who have ently be a politician and not always have in town to be here for the moment—the occaconcerns about Medicare for All. … And I felt comfortable or as if it was a reality sion,” Schipper said. “I think it was special there are a lot of folks in Nevada, particuto have access to politicians on a human larly members of unions, who have fought level where you feel heard, where he took just because of the fact that it is the first Trump headquarters in the country that isn’t, hard to negotiate health care plans that they the time to hear me.” you know, the official campaign headquarters like, and they want to be able to keep those With a year to go before the elections, in DC. … This is the first satellite office in plans. The other thing is Mayor Pete’s it’s possible Reno will see even more the country out of all the swing states, out of climate change plan, which was recently candidates stake a claim in the city. everything.” rolled out.” Cory Booker, former mayor of Newark, However, news of the campaign office While Buttigieg may have the most New Jersey, and that state’s first African opening also came with the development offices in Nevada, former Department American senator, last visited Northern of a local political drama, wherein Rep. of Housing and Urban Development Nevada in April, and announced the Mark Amodei was snubbed by the Trump Secretary Julián Castro has visited opening of the Booker 2020 office at campaign, which tapped former Nevada the state more times than any other 354 W. Liberty St. this week. Michael Attorney General Adam Laxalt to head the candidate, opening a campaign office Williams has been volunteering for reelection committee in Nevada. The Reno at 164 Hubbard Way last month. While democratic candidates since the 1972 Gazette Journal reported that the decision his polling numbers remain negligible in George McGovern campaign, and made might have had something to do with Nevada, the campaign continues to focus the decision to support Booker after Amodei’s statement a few weeks earlier on connecting with the state’s marginalmeeting him face to face during his last about supporting the Trump impeachment ized communities. stop in Reno. probe if the facts deemed “A part of our strategy is it necessary—a statement going where other campaigns “The ones who I’m talking to at the door, they Amodei has decried as “fake aren’t and having meaningful conversation,” said Kristian haven’t made up their minds. There’s a ton news.” But the changing cast at Carranza, Nevada campaign of them, four months out of our caucus, that the top of the president’s team director. “We’re going off to had little effect on the spirits areas like Sparks, organizaren’t paying attention at all.” of 150 Trump supporters who ing, you know, areas in the attended the grand opening Rock Boulevard area. We’re Carissa Snedeker, Harris campaign volunteer hoping to turn Washoe County focused on the Wells Avenue red in 2020. According to area and areas around south Schipper, the campaign has of Plumb. And that’s also registered more volunteers and where our office is located. staff than ever before. … We’re focused on going to communi“What he talks about is sacrifice, you “We’re registering new voters,” he said. ties that feel forgotten and having conver- know, giving of ourselves to one another “We’re contacting voters. We’re getting sations there.” and giving ourselves to a cause bigger people engaged that maybe have never even Manny Becerra, a Castro campaign than ourselves,” Williams said. “You can’t volunteered, but we know they love the presivolunteer, believes that real progress will love your country if you don’t love your dent, and we’re engaging them and making come from recognizing the flaws in the fellow country men and women. Those are sure that they’re brought into the fold.” institutions that keep people of color and emphases of the campaign. That really, One of those volunteers is Caroline other marginalized groups from having a really touched me.” Smith, state second vice president of the real say in the future of the country. Williams is tired of the partisan Nevada Federation of Women. She’s been “[The campaign] focuses on people-first squabbling in the country’s politics, a Trump supporter since he first made his policies that, underneath it all, are driven and especially the infighting among the campaign announcement in 2015. by intersectionality, which really dive into Democratic field. “I like him because Trump is Trump,” the root issues of problems—not just the “I run into people from other Smith said. “He’s not a politician. I don’t surface level matters that we see,” Becerra campaigns, and I’ve talked to voters want a politician. … Our said. “So, we’re not solving the problem that are supporting other candidates,” he Caroline Smith has country needs to be run by just for one person or one group of people, said. “And the thing that I keep repeating been a Trump supa businessman, and that’s but we’re trying to solve it for everyone.” to people over and over again is, ‘You porter since the what he is.” Becerra saw Castro speak when he came know, this time next year, we’re all on president announced The president’s brash his first campaign to Reno in April and was impressed with the same team.’” in 2015. tone, willingness to spar what he said was the former secretary’s
with the national media and off-the-cuff policy decisions are part of his appeal, Smith said, and her strategy when contacting voters is to let his record on trade policy and record unemployment rates speak for itself. “I like his stance on illegal immigrants— he’s going to build the wall,” Smith said. “And that’s why I like Trump also because if he says it, it’s going to happen. No one’s going to get in his way. I like how he’s standing up to China as to the balance of trade. Look what this man has accomplished … I mean, how can you deny the success of this man? He represents my morals and my values.” The Trump office plans to hold monthly training workshops to instruct interested volunteers on how to most efficiently communicate the president’s platform to Nevadans. To Smith, however, her political support comes down to one simple question: “Are you any better off now than you are then?” she said. “Of course you are “You’re much better off now.” Ω
10.31.19 | RN&R | 13
STORY AND PHOTOS BY MATT BIEKER
ma ttb @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
Gah-ross! Patrons of Our Bar, 211 W. First St., aimed for different levels of realism for their zombie looks—some to more frightening effect than others.
DJ RyOn (left) and DJ K9ine played to a packed dancefloor at The Rack, 111 N. Virginia St., opting for an allgold motif as a pharoah.
Photos from the 2019 Zombie Crawl This past weekend, the Reno Zombie Crawl was resurrected once again for thousands of undead patrons to walk, shuffle and amble the streets of downtown. The crawl is Reno’s second largest, eclipsed in scope only by the massive Santa Crawl in December, but the Halloween theme gives the city’s drinking crowd carte blanche to get creepily creative with their costumes as they meander the bar scene and casinos looking for booze—or, uh, brains. Here’s what the RN&R saw when we took our camera to the streets. Ω
This bartending banana at the Stick, 95 N. Sierra St., was one of many Reno bartenders who opted for minimalist costumes while on the job.
The line to get into NoVi nightclub in the Eldorado casino, 345 N. Virginia St., was so long that it occupied two different floors. Casino employees had to maintain a break in the line for foot traffic headed in the opposite direction.
During an outdoor concert at the Harrah’s Plaza adjacent to the Reno Arch, a pair of performers whose costumes included stilts had a decidedly better view than most.
Zombie Uncle Sam made a nod to the current state of national politics on the veranda outside of Ole Bridge Pub, 50 N. Sierra St.
Groucho Marx was happy to show off for the camera while playing slots on the ground floor of the Eldorado—one of thousands of creepy customers who made themselves comfortable on the gaming floors.
Of course, to most adults, it’s not Halloween if you can’t show a little skin.
by Mark EarnEst
Making time Jot Writers’ Group Finding the time for creativity can be a struggle for many people with full-time jobs and lives where it’s hard to get into that space. Mel Hines understands this, so she started the Jot Writers’ Group, which met for six weeks at the Holland Project and is planning an event for Nov. 5 to read some of the work the group created during that time. Hines wanted to start a community for other writers like herself who felt that after college they were discouraged from writing more. “I did it a little out of selfishness—to make friends and force myself to write,” Hines said. “I think there are a lot of good communities in Reno, but I think when you are moving through life and being an adult it’s harder to find people to connect and write with.” There are three main goals with the Jot group: for writers to hone their skills, to share their work and get feedback and to be more accountable to find time to work on their writing. There were some other broader concerns that Hines also wanted to cover when it comes to writers and the work they do. “I wanted to help people deal with imposter syndrome and any feelings they had of a lack of urgency to accomplish their personal artistic goals,” Hines said. For every session, there were different writers who attended, although several did make it to more than one of the Jot events throughout September and October. Among those was Jacob Chadwick, a 33-year-old writer who was taking a hiatus from standup comedy to hone his craft more. He said the workshop was valuable as he worked on meeting some writing goals. 16
Members of the Jot Writers’ Group meet at the Holland Project. From left, Jacob Chadwick, Nathan Barnes, Claire Martin and facilitator Mel Hines. Photo/Mark EarnEst
“I started this working with one idea in mind, something pretty personal, but the first week we wrote a story about this person,” he said, holding up a vintage photograph that Hines supplied as an exercise for the group. “I ended up writing something I thought I would never write, so it definitely opened me up to a new form of writing I would have never done on my own.” Two of the group members still have a hand in the academic world, Nathan Barnes, 21, is a writing student at the University of Nevada, Reno; while Claire Martin, 28, is applying at different universities for a PhD in creative writing. Both said the Jot events were time well spent. “It gave me a reason and a validation to write for things that weren’t for school,” Barnes said. “I just switched to a writing degree from a music degree this semester, so it’s been difficult to make that transition, and it’s been great to get into a community with other people who write.” For Martin, she was mostly hoping to make new friends, as she’s been in Reno for only two months. “I liked how relaxed this was,” she said of Jot. “It was a very welcoming environment and very easy to share your work and talk about it in a safe space, which is not always the case when you are in an academic writing workshop.” The open-door policy of the workshop is something that Hines wants to extend to next year’s Jot workshop. The biggest change may be that it is once a month over time instead of a six-week continuous arc, in order to make it easier for working people to attend. □
Members of the Jot Writers’ Group will host a reading at 8 p.m. om nov. 5 at the holland Project, 140 Vesta st. Find out more at hollandreno.org/workshops.
BY BOB GRIMM
b g ri m m @ne w s re v i e w . c o m
This movie is a mess, although it’s the sort of mess a true fan might be willing to tolerate. Director Michael Engler seems to be working with enough subplots in this movie to fuel an entire season of the former TV show. The big plot twist here is that King George V (Simon Jones) and Queen Mary (Geraldine James) are coming to Downton Abbey, a big estate with a reasonably sized staff, for a quick visit during one of their tours. So the staff, taken a bit by surprise, must prepare for a visit from the royal family. Much of this movie is staff running around trying to prepare for this visit. In fact, the first half of this movie is almost entirely about preparing for the visit. That’s the main thrust of the movie. In the background, there are all sorts of little affairs and plot threads that even the most hardcore fans might have a hard time keeping track of. There’s even a blink-and-you-will-miss-it assassination plot involving King George that just sort of happens, without any attention to anything resembling details. Hey, a movie where King George V almost gets assassinated should be at least slightly exciting.
Golden age The Golden Age of Eddie Murphy Cinema occurred between the years of 1982 and 1988 with the release of such classics as 48 Hrs., Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop and Coming to America. Since ’88, he’s had his moments (Dreamgirls, Life, The Nutty Professor) but he’s had plenty more duds. His regrettable forays into “family entertainment,” while including his enjoyable voice work in Shrek films, also included dreck like The Haunted Mansion, Daddy Day Care and Imagine That. And then, of course, there was Vampire in Brooklyn. Still recovering from that one. It was as if Eddie, the magical movie comedian, went into hiding for over three decades. Dolemite Is My Name is a movie that can stand side by side with the best of Murphy’s Golden Age. A consistently funny biopic honoring comedian-actor Rudy Ray Moore, it’s clear that Murphy’s heart is in this project full force. It’s the best performance he’s ever delivered in a movie … period. The film takes us on a tour of Moore’s rise to fame, starting with the creation of his Dolemite character (a campy hybrid of Shaft and Huggy Bear from Starsky and Hutch), and his poetically profane comedy albums. Moore mixed profanity with rhyming in ways that have earned him a “godfather of rap” moniker, with rap giants like Snoop Dogg, who appears in this film as a record store DJ, saying they wouldn’t have careers if not for Moore. Clearly, Moore helped lay the groundwork for the likes of Murphy and his standup greatness as well. Which makes it all the more appropriate that Eddie headlines this movie. Murphy, playing Moore, finds himself very much occupying a prototypical Eddie Murphy movie like those from his early days. It’s consistently funny and powered by Murphy’s infectious charisma. Murphy is commanding in a way that, quite frankly, I forgot he was capable of. Whether he’s recreating some terrible Kung Fu antics, or reacting
“What do you mean my jacket looks like an apple pie?”
uncomfortably on the phone as a studio guy rejects his movie, Murphy shows that he indeed remains one of the greatest screen talents. I now must make this perfectly clear: Murphy is awesome in this movie. Craig Brewer, directing from a script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, captures the look of the ’70s with big collared shirts, pimp hats and fat furs. The recreations of the actual Dolemite movie— currently available for streaming on Amazon and, let me also make this clear, glorious on all fronts—are hilariously accurate. Brewer also captures the essence of Eddie Murphy, an extremely confident comedic performer with a lot happening under the surface. The man doesn’t hit a false note in this movie, showing us a brash comic who rises to fame on the wings of the best dirty jokes in the land and an undying desire to be famous. Helping things mightily is a supporting cast that includes Craig Robinson, Mike Epps, Keegan-Michael Key and, most wonderfully, Wesley Snipes in a scenestealing role as original Dolemite director, D’Urville Martin. Snipes—who looks like a day hasn’t passed since White Men Can’t Jump, and it’s just not fair— hasn’t had an opportunity to shine like this in decades, and this film marks his grand return to form as well. He’s a total crackup in the role. As for the return of Murphy, this is just the start. He’s currently working on sequels to Coming to America, also directed by Brewer, and Beverly Hills Cop, preparing for a return to Saturday Night Live as host—he’s going to do Gumby and Buckwheat again!—and, most incredibly, a proposed return to the standup stage. If Dolemite Is My Name is any indication, he hasn’t lost a step, and we could see a Second Golden Age of Murphy. (Dolemite Is My Name is streaming on Netflix during a limited theatrical release.) Ω
Dolemite Is My Name
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Breaking Bad, one of the greatest TV series of all time, ended six years ago. Since then, series creator Vince Gilligan has been serving up a nice extension of the Breaking Bad universe with Better Call Saul, soon to air its fifth season. If you’ve never seen Breaking Bad, and still plan to watch the show, do not read further into this review. There are spoilers. Since Saul is a prequel, the Breaking Bad timeline came to a stop six years ago, and the universe has been playing around in the past. So, what happened to Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) after Walter White (Bryan Cranston) liberated him from captivity at that American Nazi compound? When last we saw Jesse, he was looking like John the Baptist and speeding off into the night, laugh-crying hysterically. Knowing full well that the fanbase is itching for more Jesse, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie has made its way to Netflix. The film picks up where the Breaking Bad series left off, with Jesse in a pinch as “a person of interest” after the White assault, and still very much in need of a shave and a shower. It’s a great thing to see Paul back in his wheelhouse as Pinkman, even if the character has become a bit dour after the hell of being held prisoner in a hole in the ground. Jesse’s screen time during his captivity on the TV show was limited as the story, logically, focused primarily on Walter White’s last days. El Camino gives Gilligan and Paul a chance to flashback and explore some strange adventures Jesse had with his captor, the quietly evil Todd (Jesse Plemons).
This new take on DC’s Clown Prince of Crime will go down as one of the year’s big missed opportunities. Director Todd Phillips, mostly known for his Hangover movies, apparently got the green light to do whatever he wanted with the Joker mythos. Phillips blows this chance. Phoenix is otherworldly good as Arthur Fleck, a severely troubled clown and standup comedy wannabe—and mama’s boy—with a condition that causes him to laugh uncontrollably at inappropriate moments. He physically and mentally disappears into the part, to the point where you may become concerned for the actor’s well-being. When we first see Fleck, he’s dressed as a clown, spinning a sign and generally having a good time. He promptly gets his ass kicked, and not for the last time. We then see him in therapy and living in poverty with his quirky mother (Frances Conroy). Fleck slowly but surely starts to lose all sense of his humanity as he grows into a criminal monster. Phillips even casts a game Robert De Niro to play a talk show host that winds up being a nod to Miller’s David Letterman riff (David Endocrine) in The Dark Knight Returns. At its most derivative, the screenplay echoes A Beautiful Mind, filmed in a way that feels like a hackneyed Shyamalan twist. In the end, it’s an unoriginal film only partially buoyed by an incredible performance.
Living With Yourself
Zombieland: Double Tap
Normally reliable director Steven Soderbergh delivers a mess of a movie filled with Oscar-caliber talent and an unfocussed sense of purpose. Dealing with a reallife scandal that included insurance fraud and the aftermath of a terrible boating accident in Lake George, New York, a cast including Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas is squandered as the movie undergoes one discordant tonal shift after another. Soderbergh starts the movie off well—the boating accident is chillingly filmed—but then the movie makes some odd choices, including Oldman and Banderas playing a couple of lawyers who break the fourth wall and narrate the film. The movie strives to be clever, but ultimately lacks an original idea on how to focus on its subject matter and come up with something compelling rather than confusing. Props to Streep, who is excellent as a passenger on the ill-fated boat trying to receive insurance compensation. Streep has more than one surprise up her sleeve in this movie. Adam McKay made The Big Short a few years ago, and some films have been trying to capture the darkly comic, reallife vibe of that one. They’ve been trying and failing, and this one tanks quickly. (Streaming on Netflix during a limited theatrical release.)
In this latest Netflix series, Miles (Paul Rudd), a bored-out-of-his-mind advertising executive, takes a cue from a chirpy coworker and stops by a spa for some sort of rejuvenation clinic. That night, when he returns home, he’s much peppier with a sunny outlook. Only problem is, the peppy, sunnier Miles is a clone, and the original version of Miles is still running around. Creator Timothy Greenberg and directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris deliver a fun, twisted eight-episode season that feels like a long movie, and Rudd gets a chance to show off both his dramatic and comedic chops. The chance to take a character and play two versions of him at the same time is a challenge that the actor is more than up to, and the results are thoroughly entertaining. Also terrific is Aisling Bea, as wife Kate, who has herself a real dilemma on her hands when she finds out her husband’s predicament. What do you do when your marriage has gone sour and a rejuvenated, charming version of your spouse shows up to party? This is being called a series, but it’s hard to imagine they’ll do more because this ends on such a perfect note. Still, if they choose to continue, with Rudd and Bea on board, worse things could happen. (Streaming on Netflix.)
Since the release of the first Zombieland back in 2009, much has happened in the entertainment land of the undead. A decade later, Emma Stone has an Oscar for La La Land, Woody Harrelson got his third nomination in that stretch, and Jesse Eisenberg was nominated for The Social Network. Abigail Breslin also had an Oscar nom before the first film for Little Miss Sunshine. With all of this Oscar business, might this crew of performers opt for more snobby fare rather than blowing up ghoul skulls for laughs? Nope, director Ruben Fleischer returns with the whole crew—shockingly—intact for Zombieland: Double Tap, a film that does little to reinvigorate the genre, but still delivers plenty of laughs. It’s basically the same as the first movie, but with some more laughs thanks to a new costar. The zombie killers have taken up residence in the White House, with Wichita (Stone) and Columbus (Eisenberg) in a relationship that requires them to cover up the eyes on the Lincoln portrait when they bed down at night. Columbus has his sights set on marriage, while Wichita still has some commitment issues. Tallahassee (Harrelson) is still searching for Twinkies with a new goal to visit Graceland while leaving shredded zombies in his wake, while Little Rock (Breslin) wouldn’t mind having her first boyfriend ever at the age of 22. it all becomes a road trip again, one that eventually leads to Graceland—sort of—and a commune called Babylon. It’s a basic sequel with enough laughs and genre fun to earn a look.
by Todd SouTh
The T-Bird Cafe serves a French dip on a sandwich roll with house-made prime rib and Swiss cheese, and a side of crispy fries.
Top secret I love meeting folks who have a passion for their business. According to the effusive co-owner of the vintage Thunderbird Motel in downtown Reno, it was built by her husband in 1958. They’ve tried to retire a few times but missed seeing their regular visitors, some of whom have made frequent stops for decades. I’d heard they had converted the motel office into a cafe a couple of years ago but figured it was either a sandwich stand or a hole-in-the-wall, greasy spoon diner. I was wrong. It’s cute, clean, welcoming—and the food is worth a repeat visit. The menu includes classic breakfasts, burritos, hot and cold sandwiches, salads, burgers, hotdogs and sausages. But when chicken wings are available, it’s a sure bet I’ll order ’em. The sweet and spicy Asian wings sounded interesting, but my dining companion chose Buffalo wings ($12.95). Served with fries and ranch dressing, they came out so hot and fresh we actually had to wait a bit to dig in. They were exceptionally large wings—crispy, moist and meaty—lightly tossed in a medium hot sauce. Other than the fact I go hotter on the sauce, they were akin to what I fry at home. An order of fish and chips ($9.95) featured four strips of beer-battered cod with housemade tartar sauce and a big basket of seasoned fries. The batter was flavorful, crunchy and not over-present, though the fish was somehow a little chewy. They were not the worst I’ve had by far—and great dunked in the housemade tartar sauce. The fries were exceptionally crispy and appeared to have been dredged in seasoned flour or light batter. Either way, they were fantastic. The T-Bird burger ($9.50) involves a half-pound of fresh beef patty on a fluffy bun with plenty of leaf lettuce, tomato, 18
red onion and dill pickle. The menu noted housemade “special sauce,” but there were no condiments included. I didn’t request— nor was I asked—about a particular level of done-ness on the meat, and it was delivered medium-well. It was slightly dry but tasty and well seasoned. Among the optional add-ons of cheese, fried egg or sauteed mushrooms for an additional $1.25 (avocado for $1.65), I went with mushrooms. I chose salad for the side, a decent collection of mixed greens with cucumber, tomato and a housemade citrus vinaigrette. So far, so good, but the real deal here is the sandwiches made with slow-roasted, thin-sliced prime rib. They prepare this in-house, and it’s fantastic. Though the prime Philly and prime melt sounded great, I wanted to try the prime rib French dip ($11.95). The side of home fries weren’t as crispy as I like, but the blend of potato and onion was well seasoned. The sandwich? It was pure bliss—piles of perfect, tender beef served on a beautifully crusty-yet-chewy French roll, perfect for dipping. For $1.25, I added Swiss cheese, which was nice and melty. The au jus was robust. Most French dips use lower grade cuts of meat; employing prime rib for this purpose is pure genius. I honestly can’t recall when I enjoyed a dipped sandwich this much. If you’re looking for a “best kept secret,” the T-Bird Cafe is it. I really want to go back to try the rib-eye steak salad and salmon melt sandwich, while listening to more stories of “Reno, the way it was” from Nancy at the motel check-in desk. □
420 N. Virginia St., 329-3591
T-Bird Cafe is open Tuesday through Thursday and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Fridays and Satrudays from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Learn more at tbirdcafereno.com.
by MarK EarnEST
The Sierra Sweethearts are, from left, Lynn Zonge, Kristell Moller, Cindy Gray and Catherine Matovich. courtesy/the sierra sweethearts
Play anything The Sierra Sweethearts Some bands that play traditional Americana don’t look they’re having much fun. If the musicians get lost in the history of it, or obsessed with their own chops, then it’s serious business with zero enchantment. The Sierra Sweethearts are another matter. They give po-faced bluegrass and folk a kick in the keister. They know how to make you laugh, and yet these four musicians have the musical skills to play Americana with the authenticity it deserves. The band features founders Lynn Zonge on guitar and Kristell Moller on stand-up bass and mandolin. The two were friends for years before playing together starting in 2012 as the Sierra Sisters. Within about a year, they started to play with Catherine Matovich on fiddle and Cindy Gray on sixstring banjo and guitar. And play they have. Every type of venue you could imagine has hosted the Sweethearts, and their musical style has expanded accordingly. For one of their first gigs in Yerington, Moller said the group bluffed that they could play songs by the Andrews Sisters, so they added that type of Americana to their repertoire. “So that type of music became a big part of what we do, because we will take
just about any gig, anywhere, anytime,” she said. “That’s when Eric”—her husband— “started calling us the Women Who Will Play Anything.” For instance, the Sweethearts sometimes play their own arrangement of “Born to be Wild,” the classic rock staple by Steppenwolf. While some of their songs are serious, most have a comedic edge to them, and that also has a range—from silly to subtle. “We do alternative versions of bluegrass songs,” Matovich said. “They’ve always been songs that were written by men where the women don’t do so well, so we’ll change the lyrics to suit our whims.” “It’s part of the shtick that we do,” Gray chimed in. “We do a lot of comedy where we gently make fun of men.” Doesn’t that get the bluegrass purists annoyed, though? “Not their wives,” Zonge said, to hearty laughs all around. The band’s audience has recently expanded to include an ongoing tour of historic venues in smaller Nevada and California towns, including Goldfield, Tonopah, Amargosa and Lovelock. They plan to play next year in Pioche and Eureka. “I’ve been involved with the arts before, so I just wrote a grant to the Nevada Arts Council to get some funding for travel,” Gray said. “So, when I’m writing this grant, we need to have a lofty mission, and I started to think about why we are doing this—‘because it’s so dang fun’ ended up as my reason. So, I started putting out feelers and coordinating all the different venues.” Zonge said that these experiences have really put it all in perspective for the band. “People from all over the world visit Goldfield and Tonopah, and that’s because of the history,” she said. “And it’s just gorgeous, the wide open spaces, and you have the rich history of these boom-and-bust towns. And people are so friendly to us. People there are really hungry for live music. It’s a great way to celebrate the history of Nevada.” Ω
For more information, visit sierrasweethearts.com.
132 West St., (775) 499-5655
ALIBI ALE WORKS (TRUCKEE)
10069 Bridge St., Truckee, (530) 536-5029
GRUN WASSER Nov. 2, 7 p.m. The Holland Project 140 Vesta St. 448-6500
555 E. Fourth St., (775) 499-5549
Carson Comedy Club, Carson Nugget, 507 N. Carson St., Carson City, (775) 8821626: Krista Kay, Fri-Sat, 8pm, $15 Laugh Factory, Silver Legacy Resort Casino, 407 N. Virginia St., (775) 3257401: Gerry Bednob, Thu, Sun, 7:30pm, $21.95; Fri-Sat, 7:30pm, 9:30pm, $27.45; John Caponera, Tue-Wed, 7:30pm, $21.95 LEX at Grand Sierra Resort, 2500 E. Second St., (775) 789-5399: Michael Palascak, Fri, 6:30pm, $10 The Library, 134 W. Second St., (775) 6833308: Sunday Night Comedy Open Mic, Sun, 8pm, no cover Pioneer Underground, 100 S. Virginia St., (775) 322-5233: Michael Palascak, Thu, 7:30pm, $10-$15; Fri, 9pm, $12-$17; Sat, 6:30pm, 9:30pm, $12-$17;
10040 Donner Pass Rd., Truckee, (530) 587-2626
Dance party, 10pm, $5
Lit at Nite Literary Cabaret & Variety Show, 8pm, $5 donation
The Whiskey Preachers, 8pm, $TBA
Live music, 9pm, no cover
Sun Rays, 9pm, no cover
Sun Rays, 9pm, no cover
Techo. Tacos. Tequlia (Halloween edition) w/Roska Collective, 8pm, $10
Dustycloud, Nukid, Dr. Bob, Butterz, 10pm, $20-$25
Gramatik afterparty with Spoonbill, 11pm, $16-$20, $15 w/ticket stub at door
CEOL IRISH PUB
Blue Envy, 9pm, no cover
538 S. Virginia St., (775) 329-5558
Post shows online by registerin g at www.newsr eview. com/reno. D eadline is the Frida y before public ation.
Traditional Irish session, 7pm, Tu, Wed. Night Showcase, 7pm, W, no cover
Roger Scimé, 8:30pm, no cover
Karaoke with Nightsong Productions, 8pm, no cover
Echo Ave., 9pm, no cover
DEAD RINGER ANALOG BAR
Drink-182—Halloween: The Seafloor Cinema, 7pm, $6-$10
Ritual (goth, industrial, EBM) with DJs David Draven, Rusty, Owen, 9pm, $3-$5
FAT CAT BAR & GRILL (MIDTOWN)
First Take featuring Rick Metz, 7pm, Tu, no cover
432 E. Fourth St., (775) 409-4431
THE HOLLAND PROJECT 140 Vesta St., (775) 448-6500
Open Mic Night, 7pm, M, no cover Latin Dance Night, 7:30pm, Tu, no cover
Gramatik, Opiuo, Balkan Bump, 8pm, $33
255 N. Virginia St., (775) 398-5400
432 E. Fourth St., (775) 409-4431
Trivia and drag show, 9pm, Tu, karaoke, 9pm, W, no cover Bluegrass jam, 6:30pm, no cover
CARGO CONCERT HALL
275 E. Fourth St., (775) 324-1917
Dance party, 10pm, $5
Mr. D’s Halloween Adventure, 8pm, no cover
1044 E. Fourth St., (775) 324-5050
Karaoke, 9pm, no cover
BAR OF AMERICA
Mark Farina, Disco Terrorist, 10pm, $20-$25
214 W. Commercial Row, (775) 813-6689
5 STAR SALOON
GRÜN WASSER, Dale, Eleanor Burke, 7pm, $5
The Paranoyds, Aurora 1621, Flamingoes in the Trees, 7:30pm, $8
THURSDAY 10/31 JUB JUB’S THIRST PARLOR 71 S. Wells Ave., (775) 384-1652 1) Showroom 2) Bar Room
1) Halloween show with Blueface, Coyotes, Flash Gottii, 8pm, $30
2) Nekromantix, Stellar Corpses, Los Pistoleros, 8pm, $15-$20
2) Open Mic Variety Show, 7:30pm, M, no cover
LAUGHING PLANET CAFE (UNR)
UNR Student Jazz Jam Sessions, 7:30pm, W, no cover
941 N. Virginia St., (775) 870-9633
4th Annual Halloween Bash, 9pm, $10
Magic Fusion, 7pm, $32-$42 Magic After Dark, 9pm, $32-$42
Magic Fusion, 7pm, 9pm, $32-$42
MIdTOwN wINE BAR
Unplugged Thursdays, 6:30pm, no cover
Pawnshop, 8:30pm, no cover
Jason King, 8pm, no cover
Ladies Night with DJs Mario B, Miggz, 10pm, no cover charge for women
Mi Banda El Mexicano, Los Fujitivos, Los Muecas, Yndio, 9:30pm, $40
1001 Heavenly Way, S. Lake Tahoe, (530) 523-8024
1527 S. Virginia St., (775) 800-1960
2100 Victorian Ave., Sparks, (775) 507-1626
Magic Fusion, 4:30pm, 7pm, $32-$42
Magic Fusion, 7pm, M, Tu, W, $32-$42
Bingo w/T-N-Keys, 6:30pm, Tu, no cover Milton Merlos, 7pm, W, no cover
PIGNIC PUB & PATIO
Monster Mash with DJ Ernie “Fresh” Upton, 8pm, no cover
THE POLO LOUNGE
1559 S. Virginia St., (775) 322-8864
Halloween party with DJ Bobby G, 9pm, no cover
Back to the ’80s with DJ Bobby G, 8:30pm, no cover
Soul Kiss, DJ Bobby G, 9pm, no cover
Karaoke, 8pm, M, no cover
Adam Springob, 6pm, no cover
Kat Heart, 8pm, no cover
The Electric’s music video release show, 8pm, no cover
DJ Bingo, 7pm, W, no cover
Funk-O-Ween with The Funk Exchange, Smokey The Grove, 8pm, $5
Saturday Night Lights Country Night, 9pm, no cover
Homesafe, Kayak Jones, Young Culture, Keep Flying, 7pm, M, $12-$15 (all ages)
235 Flint St., (775) 376-1948
1401 S. Virginia St., (775) 384-6526
761 S. Virginia St., (775) 221-7451
Halloween show with Fall Silent, The Scattering, Dissidence, 9pm, $5-$10
VIRGINIA STREET BREwHOUSE
Silent Disco Halloween Party, 10pm, $TBA
715 S. Virginia St., (775) 786-4774
211 N. Virginia St., (775) 433-1090
Gramatik Nov. 2, 8 p.m. Cargo Concert Hall 255 N. Virginia St. 398-5400
TEMPO, Mark Sexton (DJ set), 9pm, no cover
Sheastie Boys, A Ghoul’s Night, Hollywood Trashed, 9:30pm, $6 Strangelove—The Depeche Mode Experience, 8pm, $15
Nekromantix Nov. 3, 8 p.m. Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor 71 S. Wells Ave. 384-1652
Justin Townes Earle, 8pm, $25 Sexy Saturday, 11pm, $10
CARSON VALLEY INN 1627 HIGHWAY 395, MINDEN, (775) 782-9711
Eric Burdon &
CABARET THE NEW CROWNS: Thu, 10/31, 7pm, Fri, 11/1,
Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m. Harrah’s Lake Tahoe 15 Highway 50 Stateline (800) 427-7247
Sat, 11/2, 8pm, no cover
JOHN PALMORE: Tue, 11/5, Wed, 11/6, 8pm, no cover
CIRCUS CIRCUS RENO 500 N. SIERRA ST., (775) 329-0711 EL JEFE’S CANTINA SKYY HIGH FRIDAY WITH DJ MO FUNK: Fri, 11/1, 10pm, no cover
ATLANTIS CASINO RESORT SPA
THE STARLITERS: Fri, 11/1, Sat, 11/2, 5pm,
3800 S. VIRGINIA ST., (775) 825-4700
THE LOOK: Fri, 11/1, Sat, 11/2, 9pm, no cover STEPHEN LORD: Sun, 11/3, 6pm, no cover TANDYMONIUM: Mon, 11/4, 6pm, no cover JAMIE ROLLINS: Tue, 11/5, Wed, 11/6, 9pm,
CABARET ATOMIKA: Thu, 10/31, Fri, 11/1, Sat, 11/2, 4pm,
TWO WAY STREET: Fri, 11/1, Sat, 11/2, 10pm, Sun, 11/3, 8pm, no cover
AMERICAN MADE BAND: Mon, 11/4, Tue, 11/5, Wed, 11/6, 8pm, no cover
BOOMTOWN CASINO HOTEL 2100 GARSON ROAD, VERDI, (775) 345-6000
CARSON NUGGET 507 N. CARSON ST., CARSON CITY, (775) 882-1626 THE LOFT LIVE MUSIC: Fri, 11/1, Sat, 11/2, 9pm, no cover
GUITAR BAR MIKE FURLONG: Thu, 10/31, 6pm, no cover
REVEL SATURDAYS WITH DJ CHRIS ENGLISH: Sat, 11/2, 10pm, no cover
CABARET LIVE MUSIC: Fri, 11/1, Sat, 11/2, 9pm, no cover
CRYSTAL BAY CASINO 14 HIGHWAY 28, CRYSTAL BAY, (775) 833-6333
NOV/2: TAHOE CHOCOLATE AND WINE FESTIVAL
Enjoy an evening of chocolate delights created by some of Tahoe’s finest culinary artists and sample boutique wines from acclaimed California wine regions, including Napa, Amador and Paso Robles, during the 31st annual festival. Guests will have the chance to bid on items in a live auction and silent auction all while supporting the mission of the Sierra Community House, the newly combined organization made up of the Tahoe SAFE Alliance, North Tahoe Family Resource Center, Project MANA and the Family Resource Center of Truckee). Attendees will have also an opportunity to make a contribution through a special Fund-A-Need. All proceeds support local programs, including family strengthening, legal services, hunger relief, crisis intervention and prevention education to area school children. The event begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, in the Lakeside Ballroom in the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, 111 Country Club Drive, Incline Village. Tickets are $175. Call (530) 546-0952 or visit tahoechocolatefestival.org.
CROWN ROOM THE POLISH AMBASSADOR: Fri, 11/1, 9pm, $27-$30
WHEN DOVES CRY—A TRIBUTE TO PRINCE: Sat, 11/2, 9pm, $20-$25
THE DEL MCCOURY BAND WITH JENNI & JESSE DUNN: Tue, 11/5, 8pm, $35-$40
ELDORADO RESORT CASINO
DJ BIRD & RIZZO: Fri, 11/1, Sat, 11/2, 10pm,
345 N. VIRGINIA ST., (775) 786-5700
DJ MARK TWYMAN: Sun, 11/3, 10pm, no cover LIVE BAND KARAOKE WITH ROCK U ENT.:
BREW BROTHERS HALLOWEEN WITH NIIKO X SWAE: Thu, 10/31, 10pm, $TBA
Mon, 11/4, Wed, 11/6, 10pm, no cover
BREW CLUB TUESDAYS WITH DJ MARK TWYMAN & DJ JB: Tue, 11/5, 10pm, no cover
Post shows online by registering at www.newsreview.com/reno. Deadline is the Friday before publication.
Del McCoury Band Nov. 5, 8 p.m. Crystal Bay Casino 14 Highway 28 Crystal Bay 833-6333
DJ SET: Fri, 11/1, Sat, 11/2, 9pm, no cover
HARRAH’S LAKE TAHOE 15 HIGHWAY 50, StAtELINE, (800) 427-7247 SOUtH SHORE ROOM ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS: Sat, 11/2, 7:30pm, $94
cASINO cENtER StAGE TUESDAY NIGHT BLUES WITH THE BUDDY EMMER BAND: Tue, 11/6, 8pm, no cover
RED CUP FRIDAYS WITH DJ DUSTIN V & DJ RONI V:
THROWBACK THURSDAY WITH DJ SWERVE-1:
Fri, 11/1, 9pm, no cover
LINE DANCING: Sat, 11/2, 9pm, no cover
ROXY’S LIVE PIANO BAR LIVE PIANO: Thu, 10/31, Fri, 11/1, Sat, 11/2, Sun, 11/3, Mon, 11/4, Tue, 11/5, Wed, 11/6, 4:30pm & 8:30pm, no cover
DJ OSCAR PEREZ: Fri, 11/1, 10pm, no cover DJ MO FUNK: Sat, 11/2, 10pm, no cover
GRAND SIERRA RESORT
Thu, 10/31, 6pm, no cover
ZOMBIE LINGERIE PARTY WITH DJ IMPAKT: Thu, 10/31, 10pm, $20
HAUNTED DOLLHOUSE WITH DJ IMPAKT: Fri, 11/1, 10pm, $20
LEX SATURDAYS WITH DJ LOS: Sat, 11/2, 10pm, $20
WILLIAM HILL RAcE ANd SPORtS BAR COUNTRY MUSIC NIGHTS & DANCE LESSONS: Thu, 10/31, Fri, 11/1, Sat, 11/2, 10pm, no cover
2500 E. SEcONd St., (775) 789-2000
HARD ROCK LAKE TAHOE
GRANd tHEAtRE DREAM THEATER: Fri, 11/1, 8pm, $29.50-$85 JIM GAFFIGAN: Sat, 11/2, 8pm, $95 MIJARES: Sun, 11/3, 7pm, $75-$125
HARRAH’S RENO 219 N. cENtER St., (775) 786-3232 SAMMY’S SHOWROOM DAVID COOK: Sat, 11/2, 7:30pm, $31.65-$40.82
MONTBLEU RESORT CASINO & SPA 55 HIGHWAY 50, StAtELINE, (800) 648-3353 MONtBLEU SHOWROOM
PEPPERMILL RESORT SPA CASINO
2707 S. VIRGINIA St., (775) 826-2121
HOLE-O-WEEN FEATURING STYLUST, LABRAT, DASTARDLY AND RAMBO: Thu, 10/31,
LATIN DANCE SOCIAL WITH BB & KIKI OF SALSA RENO: Fri, 11/1, 7pm, $10-$20, no cover
THE MOONLIGHTERS: Thu, 10/31, 7pm, Fri, 11/1, Sat, 11/2, 8pm, no cover
KYLE WILLIAMS: Sun, 11/3, Mon, 11/4, Tue, 11/5, Wed, 11/6, 6pm, no cover
SANDS REGENCY CASINO HOTEL 345 N. ARLINGtON AVE., (775) 348-2200 3Rd StREEt LOUNGE LIVE MUSIC: Fri, 10/25, Sat, 10/26, 7pm, no cover
SILVER LEGACY RESORT CASINO 407 N. VIRGINIA St., (775) 325-7401
50 HIGHWAY 50, StAtELINE, (844) 588-7625
NUGGET CASINO RESORT
HARd ROcK POOL dEcK
1100 NUGGEt AVE., SPARKS, (775) 356-3300
LIVE MUSIC: Fri, 11/1, Sat, 11/2, 9pm, no cover
CHRIS COSTA: Fri, 11/1, Sat, 11/2, 8pm, no cover
LIVE MUSIC: Fri, 11/1, Sat, 11/2, 9pm, no cover
THE CHRISTINA DOCKED: Fri, 11/1, Sat, 11/2, 6pm,
J. ESPINOSA: Sat, 11/2, 10pm, $20
DAVE MASON: Sat, 11/2, 8pm, $30-$60
THE CHRISTENING OF CHRISTINA: Thu, 10/31,
5 HIGHWAY 28, cRYStAL BAY, (775) 831-0660
SILVER BARON LOUNGE
karaoke Fat Cat Bar & Grill (Midtown District), 1401 S. Virginia St., (775) 453-2223: Karaoke with Chapin, Tue, 9pm, no cover Pizza Baron, 1155 W. Fourth St., Ste. 113, (775) 329-4481: Wacky Wednesday Karaoke with Steve Starr & DJ Hustler, 9pm, no cover The Point, 1601 S. Virginia St., (775) 3223001: Karaoke, Thu-Sat, 8:30pm, no cover Spiro’s Sports Bar & Grille, 1475 E. Prater Way, Ste. 103, Sparks, (775) 356-6000: Karaoke, Fri-Sat, 9pm, no cover West 2nd Street Bar, 118 W. Second St., (775) 348-7976: Karaoke, Mon-Sun, 9pm, no cover
TERRY FATOR: Sat, 11/2, 8pm, $50-$95
FOR THE WEEK OF OcTObER 31, 2019 For a complete listing of this week’s events or to post events to our online calendar, visit www.newsreview.com. THE FIRST TEE OF NORTHERN NEVADA’S GIGGLES FOR GOLF COMEDY GALA: The second annual comedy show and dinner gala features comedian K-von. The event benefits the First Tee of Northern Nevada’s programs that teach young people ages 7-17 life skills, including honesty, respect, confidence and sportsmanship through the game of golf. Fri, 11/1, 5:30pm. $150-$200. Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, 3800 S. Virginia St., www.thefirstteenorthernnevada.org.
FREE HAUNTED HOUSE: The haunted house features 12 scary rooms and a haunted maze. It is not recommended for people with heart problems, pregnant women or children under age 8. Monetary and canned food donations will go back to the community. Thu, 10/31, 7pm. Free. Reno Forklift, 171 Coney Island Drive, Sparks, (775) 378-3880.
GENOA HALLOWEEN PARTY AND PARADE OF HORRORS: The annual event is open to all
DAY OF THE DEAD FESTIVAL
Reno Little Theater will host a Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, event. The festival is based on the Mexican celebration in which the living remember dead ancestors by visiting their grave sites and creating ornate altars dedicated to their loved ones. It is also a time for the living to appreciate their short time in this world. The family-friendly event features children’s activities, an ofrenda or altar exhibition, a bilingual theater performance, folklórico dancing, traditional food and more. Visitors are invited to come in costume. The fiesta takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, at the RLT, 147 E. Pueblo St. Admission is free. Call 378-1779 or visit latinoartsandculture.com.
COMMUNITY OFRENDAS: The community is invited to participate in a Día de los Muertos tradition at any of three public ofrendas in Kings Beach. The ofrendas, or secular “altars” with traditional offerings to departed loved ones, will be public art installations. A public reception will be held at the library on Nov. 3, 2-4 p.m. For more information, contact Cruz Ortiz Zamarron at email@example.com. Thu, 10/31-Sun, 11/3. Free. Kings Beach Library, Kings Beach, (530) 546-2176.
AN EVENING OF FOOD, BEER AND WINE TASTING: Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe hosts this annual event to raise money for projects, grants and scholarships. Sip wines from Northern California’s top wineries and sample appetizers, entrees and desserts from local restaurants. Fri, 11/1, 6pm. $75. Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, 15 Highway 50, Stateline, sislt.org.
ANDELIN FAMILY FARM PUMPKIN PATCH HARVEST FESTIVAL: The annual harvest
DISCOVER YOUR WAY: The Discovery offers exclusive admission for families with children with autism or those who can benefit from sensory-friendly time at the museum on the first Sunday of each month. Sun, 11/3, 10am. $10-$12, free for members. Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum (The Discovery), 490 S. Center St., (775) 786-1000, nvdm.org.
celebration features a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, corn maze, hay rides and other attractions and activities. Pumpkins are not included in the admission and are priced by variety and weight. Thu, 10/31, 10am. $0-$7. Andelin Family Farm, 8100 Pyramid Way, Sparks, www.andelinfamilyfarm.com.
FERRARI FARMS FALL FESTIVAL: The annual ANIMAL ARK OPEN NOV. WEEKENDS: The wildlife sanctuary will be open on weekends in November from 11am3pm, weather permitting. Please call prior to departure to confirm the facility is operational. Sat, 11/2-Sun 11/3, 11am. $8.50-$13, free for children age 2 and younger. Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary, 1265 Deerlodge Road, (775) 970-3111, www.animalark.org.
fall celebration features a pumpkin patch, hay rides, corn maze, corn walk, farm animals, mechanical bull, bounce house and other attractions. The festival runs through Nov. 2. Pumpkins are priced by variety and weight. Thu, 10/31Sat, 11/2, 9:30am. Free. Ferrari Farms, 4701 Mill St., (775) 997-3276.
residents of Genoa and the Genoa area. The town will provide pizza and soft drinks. Parents are asked to bring a side dish and donate a bottle of wine or beer for the “parents bar.” There will be music and prizes for kids. The parade begins at 4pm. Thu, 10/31, 4-9pm. Genoa Town Hall, 2287 Main St., Genoa, (775) 782-8696.
GIRLHOOD: Artemisia Moviehouse presents a screening of Girlhood (French: Bande de filles) a 2014 French drama directed by Céline Sciamma. It is a coming-of-age film that focuses on the life of Marieme (Karidja Touré), a girl who lives in a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Paris. The film discusses and challenges conceptions of race, gender and class. In French with English subtitles. Sun, 11/3, 6pm. $5-$9. Good Luck Macbeth Theatre Company, 124 W. Taylor St., artemisiamovies.weebly.com.
GOBLIN HALLOWEEN PARADE: Bring your favorite little goblin dressed to scare to the annual Halloween parade down C Street. Check-in begins at 4pm at the VC Jerky Company. Thu, 10/31, 5pm. Free. Downtown Virginia City, (775) 847-7500.
GUIDED TOUR OF LAKE MANSION: Members of the Historic Reno Preservation Society offer guided tours of the Lake Mansion. Fri 11/1, 1pm. Free. The Lake Mansion, 250 Court St., (775) 826-6100.
HALLOWEEN CARNIVAL: The festivities include carnival games and lots of treats for trick-or-treaters of all ages. Thu, 10/31, 4pm. Free. Kahle Community Center, 236 Kingsbury Grade, Stateline, (775) 586-7271.
HALLOWEEN TRICKS, TREATS, GAMES & ART ON THE COMSTOCK: Kids will have
HARVEST FESTIVAL & PUMPKIN PATCH: The festival includes a pumpkin patch, a hay slide, straw maze, miniature golf and bounce house. Thu, 10/31, 11am. $5-$8. Corley Ranch, 859 US Highway 395, Gardnerville, corleyranch.com.
RENO ARTISAN SHOW & SALE: Thirty artists from Northern Nevada will be featured at the 25th annual show and sale. The show features pottery, watercolors, jewelry, stained glass, basketry, photography, textiles, drawings, candles, print making and more. The opening reception on Nov. 1 includes wine and hors d’oeuvres. There will be a free watercolor workshop for children on Nov. 2. Fri, 11/1, 1pm; Sat, 11/2, 10am. Free. Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada, 780 Del Monte Lane, (775) 851-7100, uufnn.org.
RENO FRIGHT FEST—SLAUGHTER HOUSE: The 14th annual haunted attraction returns with its Slaughter House featuring a fresh layout and brand new scares, as well as a frightening, 10-minute ride on the Terror Train. A train pass can be purchased at a discount by buying a combo ticket online or at the box office. A portion of the proceeds goes to Washoe County’s Children in Transition Program. The event will be open late on Oct. 31. Thu, 10/31-Sat, 11/2, 7pm. $17-$24. Greater Nevada Field, 250 Evans Ave., renofrightfest.com.
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW: Watch this 1975 cult classic with a live shadow cast by Amber’s Sweets, who will act out the movie and sell props. Dress up as your favorite character and be prepared to sing along to the “Time Warp.” Thu, 10/31, 10pm. $15. Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema, Cobblestone Center, 475 N. Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, (530) 584-2431, tahoearthauscinema.com.
SAFE TRICK OR TREAT: Scheels and The Outlets at Legends will offer safe trick or treating on Halloween. Trick or treat around the retailers and enter a costume contest. The contest will be held outside Scheels at 5pm with the winner receiving a gift card. Masks, face coverings and prop weaponry of any kind are not permitted. Thu, 10/31, 4-6pm. Free. The Outlets at Legends, 1310 Scheels Drive, Sparks, (775) 358-3800, www.facebook.com/ TheOutletsatLegends.
SPIRITS AND CHOCOLATE PARING: This event pairs many popular spirits, including whiskey, rum, tequila and cognac, with handmade, specially crafted chocolates from Moondance chocolates. Sat, 11/2, 6pm. $325. Expresso Yourself Cafe, Brewery Arts Center, 449 W. King St., Carson City, (775) 883-1976.
an evening of Halloween fun trick or
treating and playing games. Thu, 10/31, 5pm. Free, donations welcome. St. Mary’s Art Center, 55 N. R St., Virginia City, (775) 847-7774.
HALLOWWEEN HOLLOW: The second annual event features human and pet Halloween costume contests, games and candy in the midway, a haunted house and rides on the Idlewild Spooky Train. Thu, 10/31, 4pm. Free. Idlewild Park, 2055 Idlewild Drive, (775) 334-4636.
TAHOE CITY TRICK-OR-TREAT: Trick or treating starts at Heritage Plaza. Local businesses will pass out candy to those in costume. Pick up a free glow necklace and treat bag. Thu, 10/31, 4pm. Free. Commons Beach, 400 N. Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, tcpud.org.
ART ARTIST CO-OP GALLERY OF RENO: Tiny Treasures. The Latimer Art Club presents its 12th annual juried and judged exhibition of miniature art. The show runs through Nov. 5. Thu, 10/31Mon, 11/4, 11am; Where Santa Shops. The holiday show offers one-of-a-kind gifts and decorating items created by local artists, including paintings, drawings, photography and a large assortment of handmade ornaments, jewelry, pottery, gourds, hats, scarves, original holiday cards and more. The show and sale runs through Dec. 27. Wed, 11/6, 11am4pm. Free. Artist Co-op Gallery of Reno, 627 Mill St., (775) 322-8896.
BARTLEY RANCH REGIONAL PARK: Fall/ Winter Photo Exhibit. The photography show features the fall colors and winter scenery of Nevada as seen through the camera lenses of local photographers. Thu, 10/31, 8am5pm. Free. Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road, (775) 828-6659.
ONSTAGE 2ND ANNUAL EVENING WITH THE DIVAS: Vocalists Cindy Sabatini, Christina Bourne, Khalilah Cage and Misty Rea share the stage with live accompaniment by Phreenium. The evening includes a silent auction, specialty drinks and chocolate. All proceeds benefit various programs of the Brewery Arts Center. Sat, 11/2, 6pm. $35-$40. Brewery Arts Center, 449 W. King St., Carson City, (775) 883-1976.
FLAGSHIP ROMANCE: This alt-folk duo was selected two years in a row as the official showcase artists at the International Folk Alliance Conference and has shared the stage with Iris Dement, Half Moon Run, Gin Blossoms and The Goo Goo Dolls. Fri, 11/1, 7:30pm. $20-$25. Mountain Music Parlor, 735 S. Center St., (775) 843-5500.
GIRLS GONE LITERARY: Masquerade Reno presents the first edition of this burlesque/literary event. November’s theme is “Fireside Tails.” Fri, 11/1, 8pm. $20 per person, $30 for couples. Masquerade Reno, 1005 Standard St., (347) 946-2703.
IRONBOUND: Martyna Majok’s play is a darkly funny, heartbreaking portrait of a woman for whom love is a luxury—and a liability—as she fights to survive in America. Thu, 10/31-Sat, 11/2, 7:30pm; Sun, 11/3, 2pm. $8-$20. Restless Artists Theatre, 295 20th St., Sparks, rattheatre.org.
RENO POPS ORCHESTRA: The orchestra presents its spooky-themed “In
the Shadows” concert. Sat, 11/2, 7:30pm. Free. Nightingale Concert Hall, Church Fine Arts Building, University of Nevada, Reno, 1335 N. Virginia St., www.renopops.org.
BY AMY ALKON
Ingrate expectations My husband and I attended his niece’s wedding two years ago. Our gift was money earmarked to pay for their honeymoon. We were miffed that we never got either a thank-you note or any word that they’d actually used the money for a honeymoon. We recently got a note that they’re expecting their first child. We sent a nice card but no gift, as we never got any response for our wedding gift. Yesterday, a custom card came in the mail, belatedly thanking us for our generous gift and telling us about their honeymoon. We suspect that they’re realizing that wedding guests who didn’t get thank-you notes are holding back on gift-giving for the baby. Should we buy them a baby gift, or should this be a time for tough love? Understandably, you and your husband weren’t hot to seize the opportunity to go unthanked for another extravagant gift. Your reticence to fork over again to the unappreciative duo has a centuries and centuries-long history, coming out of the evolutionary need to distinguish cooperators from cheaters and freeloaders. Ancestral humans who let themselves get ripped off constantly would’ve had less access to vital resources like food and shelter, making them more likely to starve to death or become brunch for some wild animal and wind up genetic dead ends. We humans evolved to have a built-in accounting team—our drive for reciprocity, for fairness in what we give and get in return. Our emotions are reciprocity’s worker bees, putting out feelbad (in the form of anger, resentment, humiliation or sadness) when we get scammed. We’re motivated to rid ourselves of those rotten feelings, which we do by trying to right the balance or at least avoid getting scammed again. In other words, you’re ultimately reacting to a lack of gratitude—an emotion more vital to human connection than it gets credit for. Gratitude (in response to somebody’s generosity) is an important display of what evolutionary psychologist Julian Lim and his colleagues call “social valuation”: how much another person values our well-being. Their showing high valuation of our interests is ultimately a form of social insurance—a sign that when the
chips are down, they’re more likely to be there for us. When people don’t seem to value our well-being highly enough, we get angry. I wrote in a recent column, referencing the work of evolutionary psychologist Aaron Sell, that anger is a “recalibrational emotion”—an emotion that evolved to influence our own behavior as well as someone else’s. Anger does its work through imposing costs— like scaring people at the prospect of you going all crazypants on them—and/or withdrawing benefits (in this case, future giftiepoos.) Complicating matters, parents of some or many millennials haven’t hammered them on the importance of thank-you notes the way parents (and grandparents) did with previous generations. Many millennials view writing messages in ink on paper and putting them in the mail as an exotic ancient practice, like paying cash or having a CD collection. Granted, in this instance, you don’t say you required a thank-you on monogrammed card stock. You were just looking for a little acknowledgment, a little connection with the newlyweds, like a texted picture or two from their honeymoon, maybe with a “Thanks for this awesome love-cation.” But to view these two more charitably, you might want to consider the effects of millennial culture. Culture is, simply put, what lots of people in a group do. Cultural attitudes are contagious, meaning they spread from person to person. In other words, the millennial cultural environment may contribute to good and kind nieces and their new husbands shrugging off rituals important to human psychology and coming off as rotten little ingrates. Consider that they did ultimately end up thanking you—albeit belatedly. If you believe they may have learned their lesson, you might take a chance—splurge on that crib with the attached day spa or robo-siblings to tide the kid over until Mommy and Daddy make human ones for him to blame and terrorize. □
Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., No. 280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com).
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GEMINI (May 21-June 20): More than a century ago,
author Anton Chekhov wrote, “If many remedies are prescribed for an illness, you may be certain that the illness has no cure.” Decades later, I wrote, “If you’re frantically trying to heal yourself with a random flurry of half-assed remedies, you’ll never cure what ails you. But if you sit still in a safe place and ask your inner genius to identify the one or two things you need to do to heal, you will find the cure.” Halloween costume suggestion: physician, nurse, shaman, healer.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Cancerian artist Marc
Chagall (1887–1985) was a playful visionary and a pioneer of modernism. He appealed to sophisticates despite being described as a dreamy, eccentric outsider who invented his own visual language. In the 1950s, Picasso observed that Chagall was one of the only painters who “understood what color really is.” In 2017, one of Chagall’s paintings sold for $28.5 million. What was the secret to his success? “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works,” he testified. “If from the head, almost nothing.” Your current assignment is to authorize your heart to rule everything you do. Halloween costume suggestion: a heart.
of Jordan and Israel, is far saltier than the ocean. No fish or frogs live in it. But here and there on the lake’s bottom are springs that exude fresh water. They support large, diverse communities of microbes. It’s hard for divers to get down there and study the life forms, though. The water’s so saline, they tend to float. So they carry 90 pounds of ballast that enables them to sink to the sea floor. I urge you to get inspired by all this. What would be the metaphorical equivalent for you of descending into the lower depths so as to research unexplored sources of vitality and excitement? Halloween costume suggestions: diver, spelunker, archaeologist.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “We have stripped all
things of their mystery and luminosity,” lamented psychologist Carl Jung. “Nothing is holy any longer.” In accordance with current astrological omens, your assignment is to rebel against that mournful state of affairs. I hope you will devote some of your fine intelligence to restoring mystery and luminosity to the world in which you dwell. I hope you will find and create holiness that’s worthy of your reverence and awe. Halloween costume suggestion: mage, priestess, poet, enchantrix, witch, alchemist, sacramentalist.
describes the magic moment when her muse appears and takes command: “I sense a subtle shift, a nudge to move over, and everything cracks open, the writing is freed, the language is full, resources are plentiful, ideas pour forth, and to be frank, some of these ideas surprise me. It seems as though the universe is my friend and is helping me write, its hand over mine.” Even if you’re not a creative artist, I suspect you’ll be offered intense visitations from a muse in the coming days. If you make yourself alert for and receptive to these potential blessings, you’ll feel like you’re being guided and fueled by a higher power. Halloween costume suggestion: your muse.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The Dead Sea, on the border
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fulfilling the wishes and answering the prayers of your allies? Have you developed a capacity to tune in to what people want even when they themselves aren’t sure of what they want? Do you sometimes have a knack for offering just the right gesture at the right time to help people do what they haven’t been able to do under their own power? If you possess any of those aptitudes, now is an excellent time to put them in play. More than usual, you are needed as a catalyst, a transformer, an inspirational influence. Halloween costume suggestion: angel, fairy godmother, genie, benefactor.
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LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “One language is never
enough,” says a Pashto proverb. How could it be, right? Each language has a specific structure and a finite vocabulary that limit its power to describe and understand the world. I think the same is true
for religion: One is never enough. Why confine yourself to a single set of theories about spiritual matters when more will enable you to enlarge and deepen your perspective? With this in mind, I invite you to regard November as “One Is Never Enough Month” for you. Assume you need more of everything. Halloween costume suggestion: a bilingual Jewish Santa Claus; a pagan Sufi Buddha who intones prayers in three different languages.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In his novel Zone One,
Scorpio author Colson Whitehead writes, “A monster is a person who has stopped pretending.” He means it in the worst sense possible: the emergence of the ugly beast who had been hiding behind social niceties. But I’m going to twist his meme for my own purposes. I propose that when you stop pretending and shed fake politeness, you may indeed resemble an ugly monster—but only temporarily. After the suppressed stuff gets free rein to yammer, it will relax and recede— and you will feel so cleansed and relieved that you’ll naturally be able to express more of your monumental beauty. Halloween costume suggestion: your beautiful, fully exorcised monster.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “I am glad that I paid
so little attention to good advice,” testified poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. “Had I abided by it, I might have been saved from some of my most valuable mistakes.” This is excellent advice for you. I suspect you’re in the midst of either committing or learning from a valuable mistake. It’s best if you don’t interrupt yourself! Halloween costume suggestion: the personification or embodiment of your valuable mistake.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Cleopatra was an
ancient Egyptian queen who ruled for 21 years. She was probably a Capricorn. All you need to know about her modern reputation is that Kim Kardashian portrayed her as a sultry seductress in a photo spread in a fashion magazine. But the facts are that Cleopatra was a well-educated, multilingual political leader with strategic cunning. Among her many skills were poetry, philosophy and mathematics. I propose we make the real Cleopatra your role model. Now is an excellent time to correct people’s misunderstandings about you—and show people who you truly are. Halloween costume suggestion: your actual authentic self.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Around the 11th hour
of the 11th day of the 11th month, the 11th sign of the zodiac will be capable of strenuous feats; will have the power to achieve a success that surpasses past successes; will be authorized to attempt a brave act of transcendence that renders a long-standing limitation irrelevant. As for the 11 days and 11 hours before that magic hour, the 11th sign of the zodiac will be smart to engage in fierce meditation and thorough preparation for the magic hour. And as for the 11 days and 11 hours afterward, the 11th sign should expend all possible effort to capitalize on the semi-miraculous breakthrough. Halloween costume suggestion: 11.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Author Robert Musil
made a surprising declaration: “A number of flawed individuals can often add up to a brilliant social unit.” I propose we make that one of your mottos for the coming months. I think you have the potential to be a flawed but inspiring individual who’ll serve as a dynamic force in assembling and nurturing a brilliant social unit. So let me ask you: What would be your dream-come-true of a brilliant social unit that is a fertile influence on you and everyone else in the unit? Halloween costume suggestion: ringleader, mastermind, orchestrator or general.
You can call Rob Brezsny for your Expanded Weekly Horoscope: (900) 950-7700. $1.99 per minute. Must be 18+. Touchtone phone required. Customer service (612) 373-9785. And don’t forget to check out Rob’s website at realastrology.com.
BY BRAD BYNUM
closed down, and he has a large collection that basically just sitting in storage, so I’ve just been slowly buying his collection, just to work it into our used comic area.
Coffee and comics—what makes those two things go together? Nothing makes them go together for sure. They’ve always lived in separate worlds, but I just thought coffee would be a lot more fun with comics involved. … I wanted it to be an experience, somewhere where people could relax, somewhere that I would’ve wanted to go to, anywhere from as a kid to as a teenager to now as an adult. … It’s like a newspaper and your morning coffee, but instead it’s comic books. … And it’s cool because it’s kind of a lost medium. Nowadays, everything is digital. … I have kids come in here now, or I have parents bring their kids in, and they say, “Oh, you know, my kid, he or she loves Spider-Man and Batman, but has no idea a comic book exists or has never picked one up, read it and gone through and seen all the pictures.”
Are you an avid collector? PHOTO/BRAD BYNUM
A new business opened recently in Reno with a concept that’s right there in the name: Coffee N’ Comics, 940 W. Moana Lane, 453-1354, sells— yep, you guessed it—coffee and comics. More specifically, they sell a wide variety of beverages, including coffee from roaster Counter Culture, David Rio chai, food from Rounds Bakery, and new and used superhero comics. Alex Farside is a co-owner.
There are other comic book shops in town. Comic books haven’t totally gone away. My kids, they’re 12 and 13, and still read comics. Yeah, in general, but I’ve had a few people come in, and it’s been the first time they’ve taken their kids to a comic book shop. … Our coffee keeps the doors open and keeps people coming through, and the comic books—on its own, I probably wouldn’t open up a comic book store. … But coffee is still one of those things that people enjoy going out and getting regularly, and you can’t buy it on Amazon, so they mix well together.
You’ve got a lot of older comics just lying around. Do you have new books as well? We do. The whole concept was to sell new comics—all the current lines and all the current stories, we carry the newest editions. But … I want people to come and hang out. So, I’m working with someone who used to own a comic book shop that
I was never an avid collector. I’m into nerd culture. I actually really liked Pokemon cards, X-Men and Marvel used to do a lot of trading cards when the X-Men comics were big.
Where did you grow up? East Sparks. Video games were a huge part of my life, and they still are. Lord of the Rings. Harry Potter.
And you’ve got a Mortal Kombat machine? Yeah, and it’s cool because it has Mortal Kombat 1, 2 and 3 on it. We’re looking to add some more to go with it. … We’ve got a section of free-to-play games, with Reno-opoly and dominoes and Battleship and stuff.
I like that. It seems like a while ago the trend was to make coffee places really inviting—free wifi, books and newspapers, games, and comfy chairs, but then, for some reason, the last 10 years or so, the trend has been to move people in and out. Yeah. I didn’t like going into coffee shops and having the super uncomfortable chairs so you don’t stay there all day. So we’ve got really comfortable plush chairs for everybody. That’s also why we went with the larger space. □
BY BRUCE VAN DYKE
Spaced out One of the fundamentals of science fiction films is a basic anthrophilia. Right? Where the director assumes that the audience will want Humanity, when it faces grave danger from alien attacks, to bounce back, triumph and be saved. That’s always the given, that the audience always wants itself to emerge victorious over the Terrifying Existential Threat. That is so 20th Century. How about a bold twist on the traditional “Hallelujah, Humanity Prevails!” jive? We need an epic new film that dares to put forth the notion that Humanity has now been exposed for what it truly is—a dreadful plague of Evil Rapacious Greed, a cosmic germ of total menace. It’s time for the flick that embraces the concept that, actually, Humanity doesn’t need to be saved. It needs to be offed. You’d love it. You know you would. I mean, really, how can
you not hate us? We’re messing up everything! The “humanity as virus” hypothesis has been around for a while, and it’s got cred. We’re the freaking jerks who are killing off tigers and coral reefs! The film opens with Earth’s violent mischief sounding the alarm at Galactic Central Headquarters. Upon inspection, it’s apparent that we humans are flunking our midterms … badly. Indeed, it’s so bad that Galactic HQ has determined that we must be “corrected.” Normally, such a decision would mean these characters would instantly become the villains. Not this time. The beings sent by HQ to “adjust” we raging Earthlings aren’t the bad guys, but the noble heroes, sent to bring about our total doom. They arrive in secret and subtly install a sterility virus that, in 300 years, will infect every human being. (Yes, I’m stealing this idea from Children of Men.) This means that, in 400
years, Earth will be people-free. The task is carried out. The virus works. As it always does. It’s not violent. It’s not horrific. It’s just … after a while, no more peeps! Cut to 10,000 years later, and, gee, Earth is doing pretty darn good without us. We do not appear to be missed. An amazing balancing and cleansing has occurred in our absence, and our wondrous, beautiful planet is once again thriving with an astonishing, stupendous vitality. Next scene—the City at the Center of the Galaxy. It is beyond dazzling. Duh. Here we see, in the Galactic Records, that The Correction of Earth was the 37,767,843rd such Correction carried out in galactic history. We also see that an equal number of planets successfully negotiated their infantile crises of war, hate and violence. And so it goes here in the Milky Way. Ω
RNR OCTOBER 31, 2019