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VOLUME 24, ISSUE 32

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Thankful This month, I’ve been musing on  that which makes me grateful,  inspired in part by friends who are  participating in Facebook’s 30 Days  of Thankful campaign, where users  post daily, sharing insight into what  gets them through: Friends. Family.  Shelter. Jobs. Health care. Pets.  Chocolate and red wine. I’m thankful, too, for all of those  things.  I’m also grateful for this job.  For my co-editor Nick Miller and  his boundless energy and ideas.  For our copy editor Shoka and her  smart eye for detail and sandpaper-dry humor. For our talented  calendar editor Jonathan Mendick  and his quiet demeanor that hides a  bloodthirsty ping-pong player. For  Raheem F. Hosseini, whose passion for a good story has, perhaps, resulted in a few heated but  ultimately valuable conversations.   For Kel Munger, who holds myriad  titles but none that do her enthusiasm, talent or insight justice. For  our proofreader Deena Drewis, who  who has quickly become an invaluable  asset to the team for her thoughtful questions. For our newest staff  member Dave Kempa, who, in addition to being a sharp reporter, is  here via a grant from Sacramento  Emergency Foodlink. Foodlink is the  the official food bank of Sacramento  County, and those funds ensure he  can write about social safety-net  issues—accessibility to food, shelter, health care, education, etc. Each of these persons—not to  mention the rest of the people who  help put out this paper weekly— make this job productive, rewarding  and fun.  They make it feel like home. OK, enough with the sappy stuff:  Read on, eat some pie and enjoy a  happy, peaceful Thanksgiving. —Rachel Leibrock

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4   |   SN&R   |   11.21.12


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Full picture of homeless people

THIS MODERN WORLD

BY TOM TOMORROW

Re “The real face of homelessness” by Nick Miller (SN&R Feature Story, November 15): It is very gratifying that SN&R has stepped up to better understand the situations that we homeless people in our area find ourselves in and to present what was found to its readership. This article coolly, plainly shows homeless people as we are: suffering, struggling and often feeling entrapped. But also, we do get help, there is gratitude, we enjoy each others’ company, and we’re sometimes just happy and forget all else. While some details in the piece may relate to areas LETTER OF where there is disagreement, I think it is healthy for the THE WEEK general public to be “in on” the controversies and the many difficulties that frustrate homeless people and those who sincerely want to help us. “Let the poisons in the mud hatch out,” said the title character in I, Claudius. I give writer Nick Miller great credit for investigating a difficult, mostly hidden topic and presenting what he found to the mostly ignorant public. Happily, I think this is good for homeless people. The more the public knows, the easier it is for people to identify with our travails. Thomas Armstrong

S a c ra m e nt o

It could happen to you Re “The real face of homelessness” by Nick Miller (SN&R Feature Story, November 15): I read with great interest this article, a big change from the coverage in the “other” Sacramento paper. They cover the late-night raids on the homeless that try to sweep the river of everyone who can’t find a job, may have mental-health or substance-abuse issues, or can’t get access to the 150 beds in shelters because the wait is too long, or they have a dog. With 150 beds, no jobs and no money, where are we supposed to go? Not all of us are criminals or druggies or totally nuts. Some of us just had the misfortune of hitting an incredible streak of bad luck, kinda like throwing bad dice at a craps table. What people who hate us, who chase us and who demean us don’t understand is this: It could happen to you. Divorces happen. Layoffs happen. Health crises draining you of all available savings happen. So the next time you see a downtrodden person pushing a shopping cart or asking for any spare change you might have, remember: It could happen to you. Or to someone you love. In fact, with all the layoffs at that other paper, Marcos Breton might end up without a paycheck and join us here on the river. Ironic, isn’t it? Stacy Selmants Sacramento

Let Jerry Brown eat homemade cookies Re “The real face of homelessness” by Nick Miller (SN&R Feature Story, November 15) and “Cottage, geez” by Raheem F. Hosseini (SN&R Frontlines, November 15): In the article on homelessness, it reads: “‘I came from a community that had 4,000 people on just one street. New York is pushing 100,000 homeless.’ Detroit has nearly 40,000, and almost 12,000 in San Francisco.” I’d like to know how these numbers, as percentages of the overall population, compare to Sacramento. As for the article about homecooked food: How about Gov. Jerry Brown samples all the home cooking, and if he doesn’t get sick, it can be sold? If he does get sick, that could be the new version of getting “Jerry Browned.” Noah Kameyer Sacramento

It’s good to say thank you Re “Thank you, Sandy Sheedy” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Greenlight, November 15): What a refreshing column to read. We in the public are inundated with negativity about our elected officials. How discouraging it must be to the dedicated “servants” of the people to be lumped together with the scoundrels. Thank you, [Councilwoman] Sheedy, for your good work in improving your district. Doris Fodge Sacramento

Starting over Re “Start again” (SN&R Editorial, November 15): America has turned the page from an exclusive past to an inclusive future. To live in this time period and see the past fading away in the 2012 elections can be compared to that time when America was transitioning from an age of horse riding to the age of automobile. At that time, there were many horse riders who resisted the change to the automobile. However, there were those that accepted the future. The 2012 election results should serve as wake-up call to many in the Republican Party: The future is about real inclusiveness, and the past—a past that is fading away—has outlived its usefulness. The America that once was—reflected in the crowds Gov. Mitt Romney drew on the campaign trail—is a fading America holding on to outdated notions of the past. With the re-election of President Barack Obama, the world has witnessed an America leading the way toward a tent where all ideas are heard, and all talents are considered. That America was seen in the crowds President Obama drew on his

campaign trail. That’s the America that will lead the world in tolerance. Alfred Waddell via email

Legal is better, all the way around

politicians to catch up with the people and end marijuana prohibition. Robert Sharpe policy analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy

Clarifications

Re “Marijuana is legal!” by Ngaio Bealum (SN&R The 420, November 15): The voters of Colorado and Washington state have made it clear that the federal government can no longer get away with confusing the drug war’s tremendous collateral damage with a comparatively harmless plant. If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to subsidize violent drug cartels, prohibition is a success. The drug war distorts supply-anddemand dynamics so that big money grows on little trees. If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to deter use, prohibition is a failure. The United States has double the rate of use as the Netherlands, where marijuana is legally available. The criminalization of Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis has no basis in science. The war on marijuana consumers is a failed cultural inquisition, not a public-health campaign. It’s time for

In last week’s cover story “The real face of homelessness” (by Nick Miller; November 15), Brenda was identified as a former city of Sacramento employee; she actually worked in San Bernardino. Also, Tom Armstrong has spent hundreds of nights at the Union Gospel Mission, not dozens.

‘Look at my flower’ said the grinning toddler holding up what she picked. Sad to see her mother say, “Oh, get rid of that weed.” Why did she have to know? Why shatter her world, her wonder of joy, by telling her what she found in the road wasn’t as good as a rose? —Michelle Kunert Sacramento

BEFORE

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No-limit politics North Sacramento residents feel burned by new neighborhood casino, fear a Vegas-style resort is in the cards The first rule of poker is to play the person in front of you, not the cards you’re dealt. For a story and photos small north Sacramento community that’s by used to crummy hands, politics is a lot Raheem like poker. F. Hosseini Woodlake residents learned last ra h e emh@ Thursday that they failed to stop Casino newsr evie w.c om Royale, a card room, from staking its claim inside the Red Lion Woodlake Hotel a couple miles south of their community on Leisure Lane. The emailed memorandum from City Manager John Shirey announcing the decision proved upsetting but not entirely surprising. “They dump everything bad in our neighborhood,” Woodlake Neighborhood Association president Bill Farrell told SN&R. “It’s the Wild West out here.” Citing a desire to be less obstructive to small businesses, Sacramento officials made relocation of the Auburn Boulevard card room substantially easier than in the past. The city didn’t bother telling the affected neighborhood a move was in the offing, either. And now that the relocation is official, neighbors and opponents worry the card room represents a first step in bringing destination resort-style gambling to their redheaded stepchild of a community. “Who’s to say [that will happen]?” Farrell said. “We just have a feeling.” Call it a hunch instead. Casino Royale’s wild card ride to the north Sacramento neighborhood is a modernday tutorial in what it takes to get things done at City Hall. Hint: It helps to be on friendly terms with the dealer and start early with a big chip lead.

Rules of the game change As Clarke Rosa can attest, it wasn’t that long ago that the city made it a lot tougher for card rooms to switch locations. A dozen years ago, when Rosa moved his Capitol Casino business from Del Paso Boulevard to its current location on N. 16th Street, he had to jump through a number of hoops, said his attorney Tracey Buck-Walsh. BEFORE

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The city green-lighted the relocation of a card room to north Sacramento’s Red Lion Hotel last week. Neighbors, who put up signs, weren’t pleased.

Then-City Manager Bill Edgar directed Rosa to win the support of three separate neighborhood associations, get the OK from the downtown Ford dealership down the block, and organize a public hearing presided over by an administrative-law judge. Only after all this could Rosa take his relocation bid to the city council for a final decision. The whole process took 18 months.

“They dump everything bad in our neighborhood. It’s the Wild West out here.” Bill Farrell president Woodlake Neighborhood Association “In the long run, it was worth it, because he got everyone’s support” and came up with a better project, BuckWalsh said. So when Rosa learned that his card room rivals at Casino Royale only had to submit an application and wait for an answer, he told his attorney it wasn’t “fair.” “He wanted them to follow the same process he had to follow when he moved his card room,” Buck-Walsh said. Casino Royale’s new neighbors agree. “From day one, all our association [wanted was] for this to be vetted through a process,” Farrell said. “I don’t think that’s too much.”

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Farrell and his neighbors would have also appreciated hearing about the casino’s move from their city council representative, Sandy Sheedy, instead of the owners of Arden Fair mall, who tipped them off in late August after rebuffing Casino Royale’s earlier advances to move nearby. “And if they did not, it would have never come to our attention. Never,” Farrell avowed. “Our own city council person would have never notified us.” Sheedy didn’t alert her constituents, but city code doesn’t require her to. The city doesn’t have to notify residents about card-room developments since they went from being defined as “adult-related businesses” to the less restrictive “indoor entertainment,” even though no one under 21 is permitted to enter. In fact, all discretion for deciding card-room relocations rests with the city manager’s office. Over the years, different city managers have administered their broadly defined powers in different ways. Shirey rendered his decision after soliciting feedback from the city’s community-development, finance and police departments. The process took roughly three months, didn’t require neighborhood approval and included only one disastrous community meeting.

Ace of tirades The 50,000-square-foot conference center inside the rechristened Red Lion has borne witness to corporate retreats, dancing newlyweds and even boxing cops. Yet nothing could prepare it for the kangaroo-court atmosphere of October 15.

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AFTER

The hotel’s neighbors turned out in droves to get some answers about the proposed card-room-relocation bid. Instead, as one resident said in an email to Shirey, “the meeting itself caused much of the discontent you are now seeing in Woodlake.” Those in attendance said the city sat by while proponents of the move ran “a highly choreographed, very sophisticated lobbying event”—on enemy territory, no less—and brushed aside their concerns about traffic, crime and increased gambling operations in the future. The sideshow found a wild card in Bob Slobe, the outspoken north Sac businessman, who at the meeting threatened to burn down the house of one of his neighbors, casino-project consultant and former City Manager Bob Thomas. (Slobe was arrested that night, but no charges were filed after Thomas declined to press them.) Thomas’ involvement in the relocation—along with that of Casino Royale minority owner William Blanas, son of former Sheriff Lou Blanas—has fueled charges of cronyism and speculation that the card-room relocation is an opening salvo for a bigger gambit. “This is because Bob Thomas was the city manager and the sheriff’s son is partowner,” Farrell asserted. “It’s the power elite pushing buttons.” Sacramento’s big-time power brokers and bold-faced names began making their

“NO-LIMIT POLITICS” continued on page 11

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Thanksgiving on food stamps It’s still a holiday—but it’s also even more of a struggle than usual for Sacramento’s low-income families As Desaray Smith prepares for the holidays, she admits that her family’s Thanksgiving Day feast will not be much different from any other dinner they eat by Dave Kempa throughout the year. “We really can’t afford to put that much davek@ [aside], because then the other days we really ne w s re v i e w . c o m don’t have food,” she says. Desaray, 32, lives with her husband, five children and mother in Del Paso Heights, struggling daily to get by. Whenever the month’s supply of food stamps runs out, she turns to Sacramento’s food banks to keep her family fed. photo By StEvEn ChEa

❄ Desaray Smith, 32 (right), a recipient of CalFresh, struggles every Thanksgiving to provide her family with the holiday feast she feels they deserve.

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“If we didn’t have those, I don’t know what we would really do. I think that we would starve.” “Or we would go shopping,” chimes in Tiffanie, her 6-year-old girl. Desaray smiles and turns to her daughter. “When you ain’t got money, you ain’t got money. You notice we only go shopping on the first [of the month], when we get our food stamps.” A Sacramento native, Desaray’s life was once like many of those living in Northern California. Her husband worked as a tire technician—“Well, that’s what they call it. He’s just a tire guy to me”—and she took care of the home as they began to grow their family. Then, six years ago, Desaray’s husband hurt his back and was unable to continue working. Soon after, she entered the job market to help keep the family afloat, but work is sparse and never steady. She’s found temp jobs. A catering gig here. A thrift-store shift there. She’s filled out numerous applications at the local Walmart. But, inevitably, Desaray always finds herself without a source of income for the family. Today, she and Tiffanie wait in line at Sacramento’s River City Food Bank on 28th and R streets in Midtown. Last year, the food bank helped keep food on the table for 23,633 households, including 13,362 children and 4,625 seniors.

Desaray says that her family of eight receives $800 per month in CalFresh food stamps, providing the family with about $3.33 per day for each mouth to feed. The Smiths, of course, will not be able to afford a turkey or a ham this Thanksgiving. If they do find a way to top their holiday meal with a meat fixture, it will perhaps be because of the Sacramento City Food Bank & Family Services, which last year collected more than 8,000 birds from its annual turkey drive; or from California Emergency Foodlink, which this year collected upward of 10,000 hams to give out to local families throughout the holiday season. It is clear that Desaray enjoys the Thanksgiving holiday, but her voice strains when she discusses what the season will bring. “I would like to give my kids a big turkey dinner. And when you don’t have it, you feel bad. So, it’s like, we just wait for it to be done and over with. “It’s really hard when your kids are like, ‘How come we don’t have turkey? It’s Thanksgiving!’ You know what I mean? What are you going to tell them? ‘Oh, we just can’t afford it.’ They don’t understand that.” Still, the Smiths celebrate. They sit together and pray before their Thanksgiving meal. They have never gone around the table taking turns to tell one another what it is they are thankful for each year, but as Desaray thinks about it, she begins to warm to the idea.

“Iwouldliketogivemy kidsabigturkeydinner. Andwhenyoudon’t haveit,youfeelbad. So,it’slike,wejustwait for[Thanksgiving]tobe doneandoverwith.” Desaray Smith

“I don’t know why we don’t do that,” she muses, turning again to Tiffanie. “I think we should do that.” She feels that there is much to be thankful for. “What I’m thankful for is just having my family with us and having us all together and no one being sick, and us being healthy. I think that’s what I’m really glad for. We don’t have money, but it could always be worse. You know what I mean?” She pauses. “There are people out there that have it worse.” Ω


“NO-LIMIT POLITICS” continued from page 9

Sacto goes Vegas? One year later, Thomas and Kouretas successfully arranged Casino Royale’s move to its new, larger quarters. And now casino opponents worry that the small card room might soon metastasize into a resortlike destination. In his memo to the city council announcing his decision, Shirey said he doesn’t support “co-location of card rooms and will not support a change in law with future applications.” Shirey also granted the neighborhood and Councilman Kevin McCarty’s request for a formal public review of card-room relocation applications—starting with the next one.

“Las Vegas, Reno—all the gambling communities build their casinos side by side.” Jim Kouretas controlling owner, Casino Royale

That term would at least violate the spirit of the city’s card-room regulations, which say the businesses should have only local appeal. Buck-Walsh said this conflict between local hangout and destination resort could expose Casino Royale to legal challenges. She notes that Kouretas and the owner of The Limelight on Alhambra Boulevard are old high-school buddies. Both operations are represented by Thomas, which only fans conspiracy theories of a “mega card room” even more. Neither Thomas nor Kouretas responded to SN&R’s requests for comment. Sharma insists the card-room transfer isn’t a toehold into a bigger gambling footprint at the hotel. “Even if the law changes, my lease would be only one card room. We don’t have enough room,” he said, before clarifying, “I am only the landlord.” Ω

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play for expanded card-room operations as early as the summer of 2011. During a city council subcommittee meeting on August 4, 2011, ex-City Manager Thomas lobbied to allow individuals to operate more than one card room at a time. Sheedy made the request that led to this proposed amendment a year earlier. The change would allow one operator to put two card rooms right next door to each other, creating a 30-table “mega card room,” in the words of Buck-Walsh, who argued against the proposal. While existing business regulations don’t forbid adjacently located card rooms, they do prohibit them from being controlled by the same financial interests. Thomas and the gambling businesses he represented asked to relax these restrictions so that they could better compete with the bigger poker halls and Indian casinos around the region. “Las Vegas, Reno—all the gambling communities build their casinos side by side,” Thomas’ client, Casino Royale’s controlling owner Jim Kouretas, told the committee. It was a grand allusion to make, comparing Sacramento’s quaint poker halls to the glitzy excesses of Nevada, but the implication was plain: The city’s small-time cardroom industry needed to grow up. As suggested by Thomas, the subcommittee decided not to schedule the matter for a public planningcommission hearing and slipped it onto the city council’s consent calendar instead. In October 2011, council members narrowly defeated the change in a 5-4 procedural vote.

As for why such a process didn’t happen this time, city spokeswoman Linda Tucker said the current ordinance required the city to “respond to an applicant in a timely manner.” In the meantime, the deal makers behind Casino Royale’s move are already looking to the future. Shirey’s decision frees Casino Royale’s 15-table operation to set up shop inside a Leisure Lane hotel that has been saddled with dwindling occupancy rates, according to its owner, Kumar Sharma. “It was just a business decision, because business is so slow,” said Sharma, who initially tried to shepherd Casino Royale to his Clarion Hotel on Arden Way. Sharma told SN&R that he’s hoping the card room will help the struggling hotel become a “destination resort.”

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Popular homeless dog needs pricey   surgery—or may never walk again Whether it’s the dude with the dreadlocks blasting metal on a boom box outside N Street Café, or the artist drawing on the patio on 20th and J streets, each city block has a local fixture. Over at Cesar Chavez Plaza, David Hernandez and his puppy steal the show. “I’m kind of the center of attention,” David touted during a phone chat. It’s true. Homeless R E L IL by NICK M park dwellers, downtown cops, people who work near ni c k a m @ne w s re v i e w . c o m the park—everybody says they love the outgoing David and his all-white, 19-month-old pitbull mix, a beefy baby whose physique belies the sobriquet Princess.

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“Then, two weeks ago,” Dorothy said, “Princess couldn’t even get up.”

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“Everybody knows her,” said Erika Feyereisen, who works across the street from the park at the federal defender’s office. “Princess is really a beloved animal for a lot of people in the park. And she gives David a lot of support.” Today, though, the puppy—after receiving some bungled veterinary advice—is fighting for her life. And David might never see Princess again. Erika and her colleague Dorothy Ballew, who calls Princess “wonderful,” first met the duo last year. Dorothy would bring the pooch food, and eventually even paid to have Princess spayed. Then, one day six months ago, Dorothy noticed Princess “didn’t seem to be feeling good.” The problem is that David and Princess live on the streets and walk at least 5 miles each day. Princess was clearly struggling, so he took her to the UC Davis free Mercer Veterinary Clinic for the Homeless at Loaves & Fishes. The vets offered only bad news: Princess had hip dysplasia. Mercer assisted in paying for Princess’ medication, but symptoms persisted.

David’s been homeless in Sacramento going on six years. During the rainy season, he sometimes affords himself an apartment. But not this fall. And, because he has a dog, he and his boyfriend can’t get into local shelters. David never asks for anyone’s help, he insists. “I do everything on my own.” But when Princess couldn’t muster the strength to rise to all fours, David turned to his friends. Erika and Dorothy had been taking the dog to its veterinary appointments at Mercer and, according to Erika, the vets recently explained that there was no hope for Princess: The dog would need to be euthanized. But they wouldn’t accept this fate. “If this dog belonged to someone who had a home, had money,” Dorothy asked, “would they have said the best option was euthanasia?” The women asked for a free X-ray, but say Mercer refused. Finally, the two broke down, took Princess to a private vet and forked over for an X-ray. Dorothy was stunned: “$530 later and we found out it’s not Princess’ hips at all. It’s actually her knees.” Surgery will cost $3,000, and recovery is three months per knee. Mercer or UC Davis won’t donate a free procedure, according to the women, and David, of course, doesn’t have anything. “And even if we repair those knees,” Dorothy said, “she’s can’t be wandering the streets with David.” The vets and technicians at UC Davis’ Mercer clinic—who did not respond to emails and phone messages for this story—of course do much good for homeless animals. But when it comes to Princess, the volunteer-veterinary outfit got it wrong, first with the misdiagnosis, then with the suggestion of euthanasia. Today, Erika still has the dog and is focusing on lowering Princess’ weight while saving up money for the surgery. This week, they launched a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ ProgressForPrincess, to solicit funds. Meanwhile, the rainy season is here, and David hasn’t seen Princess in more than a month. “She used to put her head—and half her body!—on my pillow,” David said. “Now, I have to sleep with one of her old dog blankets.” Ω


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Local Reep fails Mother Earth, K.J.’s opposition says goodbye, school-board member bails The Sierra Club’s annual legislative report card is always good for a couple of head-scratchers. For example, Republican Assemblywoman Beth Gaines was our only local rep to vote against a new law recognizing that “every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water.” Not so surprising, you say? We all know how the GOP hates entitlements—and human beings. VIN AR G Then what about Democratic O SM by CO Assemblyman Richard Pan’s lackluster cosmog@ newsrev iew.c om 54 percent score? That’s an F, doc, even in California. (Pan got dinged for voting against a ban on polystyrene food containers, while supporting a measure that would make it harder for cities and towns to regulate landfills.) Other grades fell along the usual curve. Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada got an overachieving 92 percent, Assemblyman Roger Dickinson got a solid 85 percent, as did State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. And the aforementioned Gaines got just 15 percent. But perhaps the Sierra Club ought to be easier on the Republicans. They are a California endangered species, after all. Goodbye and good luck to Sacramento City council members Rob Fong and Sandy Sheedy. Their last days in office are this month, and each deserve long, glowing profiles, listing their years of service and accomplishments, the good they did for their districts and for the city at large. Seriously, someone should write those. But that’s not Bites’ thing. Instead, this column would like to express its deep respect for Fong and Sheedy’s willingness to go toe-to-toe with Boss Johnson over the years. They repeatedly voted down the mayor’s many power grabs and helped shine a light on a lot of the sketchy stuff happening on the third floor of City Hall. It’s ironic, since both helped Kevin Johnson along the way to become the mayor he is today. Fong was a Sacramento City Unified School District board member and voted to turn Sacramento High School over to Johnson’s St. Hope company, a decision Fong later regretted but which was the real beginning of Johnson’s political career. Sheedy was an early supporter when Johnson ran for mayor, but later became dismayed by how the Johnson administration did business. Their later opposition, subversion even, is part of the reason that local editorialists like to call City Hall “dysfunctional.” In fact, the last four years would have been so much worse without them. Speaking of regrets, it’s unfortunate that SCUSD board member Ellyne Bell is bailing out halfway through her term. Had she given more timely notice that she was taking a job BEFORE

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in the Bay Area, the voters could have picked her replacement this November. Instead, the current board will handpick a new member in a process that’s considerably less democratic. The applicants for the job are: Gwynnae Byrd, Jay Hansen, Bina Lefkovitz, Anna Molander, Samara Palko, David Ross, Harold Stewart-Carballo and Kathryn Tobias. There are some good candidates. Ross ran for the seat back in 2010, and he had a good critique of the school district’s heavy use of expensive consultant contracts. Molander is a progressive voice and an activist in the local Democratic Party. Palko just finished her own run for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District board. Hansen is a lobbyist with the California Medical Association and was an adviser to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

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Sierra Club ought to be easier on the Republicans. They are a California endangered species, after all. Lefkovitz is interesting, too. She’s run nonprofits that support youth, and has the endorsement of Steinberg. She’s also married to Sacramento City Councilman Jay Schenirer. Schenirer was on that same school board with Rob Fong and pushed hard for the giveaway of Sacramento High School to St. Hope. That decision is an open wound in the district years later, and, unlike Fong, Schenirer has shown no remorse for it. Schenirer also helped to cook up the California Administrative Services Authority pension scheme that later turned into a legal and financial nightmare for the district, costing millions. It’s ironic that Bell was motivated to run for school board partly out of her frustration with the Sac High giveaway. And it was a big part of the reason why Schenirer got dumped by voters in 2004, and Bell got elected in 2006. But should Schenirer’s past sins be held against Lefkovitz? After all, just because Schenirer did some terrible, destructive things to Sac city schools doesn’t mean Lefkovitz will too, right? Bites is sure the school board will find a delicate way to raise just that question during the candidate interviews next month. Or not. Either way, hold on to your high schools. Ω GUIDE

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Independent poverty reporting

It is only 10 words, but for a newspaper publisher, they are 10 sweet words. I am speaking of the 10 words in the column note next to Dave Kempaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s story in this issue (see page 10): â&#x20AC;&#x153;Independent reporting funded by a grant from Sacramento Emergency Foodlink.â&#x20AC;? These are words that SN&R readers will be seeing repeatedly over the next year, and, hopefully, even longer, because it means that award-winning reporter Dave will be writing about poverty in the Sacramento region. It means that instead of periodically sending a general-assignment reporter l by Jeff VonKaene to cover the extremely complicated subject of poverty, Dave will be able to totally focus on this topic, j e ffv @n e wsr e v ie w.c o m bringing depth and context to his stories. Dave, who won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, was referred to us by former Sacramento Bee editor Rick Rodriguez, currently a professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. I Ten sweet words: believe Daveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work here will our community gain much Independent reporting help insight into poverty and its funded by a grant impact in Sacramento. If I am so thrilled about from Sacramento having a poverty reporter, Emergency Foodlink. you may be wondering why I waited to receive a grant from Foodlink? Why didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t I just hire Dave on my own? The answer to that is simple: We could not afford it. While The New York Timesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; motto is â&#x20AC;&#x153;All the News Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fit to Print,â&#x20AC;? the SN&Râ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s motto over the last 34 years could be something like â&#x20AC;&#x153;All the News We Can Afford to Bring You.â&#x20AC;? We have always wanted to increase N E W S health & REV IEW BUSINES coverage in the areas of poverty, environment, and If you would DESIGNER ISSUE DATE be interested investigative reporting, but weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had limited resources. AL 06.18.09 So weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done what we could, and I am proud of what we in sponsoring NAME expanded indepen- have done. But we have always wanted toFILE do more. TRINITYCATHEDRAL061809R1 dent community I am excited about this partnership with Foodlink, reporting within especially because there is an explicit provision forUSP edito(BOLD SELECTI SN&Râ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pages, important / ATMOSPHERE / EXPE then please contact rial independence. Editorial independence isPRICE Jeff vonKaenel at to Foodlink, and it is important to us. Foodlink president (916) 498-1234, and CEO John Healey said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hunger cannot bePLEASE REV solved CAREFULLY by ext. 1371; or jeffv@ ADVERTISEMENT AND VERIFY T food banks. It can only be solved by a change in social newsreview.com. (COLUMNS policy. That is why, after seeing the impactAD of SIZE the News & X INCHES) SPELLING Reviewâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stories, Foodlink is supporting the paper in hiring NUMBERS & DATES a full-time poverty reporter.â&#x20AC;? CONTACT INFO ADDR My hope is that this new partnership with Foodlink is (PHONE, a AD APPEARSwho, AS REQUESTED Jeff vonKaenel model for partnerships with other local organizations, BY: first step toward is the president, like Foodlink, believe that journalism is theAPPROVED CEO and a robust, communitywide dialogue. And that dialogue is the majority owner of first step toward real change. the News & Review If you would be interested in sponsoring expanded indenewspapers in Sacramento, pendent community health coverage, environmental or reliChico and Reno. gious coverage, science reporting, or investigative reporting within our pages, then please give me a call or drop me an email. I would love to see those wonderful words, â&#x20AC;&#x153;funded by a grant from,â&#x20AC;? at the bottom of more stories. Ί


Going retro

by Auntie Ruth

Share your bike

Sacramento’s PACE program revs up—to the tune of $100 million Who says energy efficiency isn’t sexy? Starting in January, Sacramento will plow $100 million into retrofitting the city’s residential and by Christopher Arns commercial buildings. The Clean Energy Sacramento program will loan cash to homeowners and businesses to make green upgrades to properties while reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. The concept isn’t new. Property owners can already take out loans from the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District to upgrade their home or business with more efficient appliances and better insulation. But the city’s new financing program has a twist: When participants sign up, payments are added to the building’s property taxes, not the mortgage. If properties are sold, the payments transfer to the new owner. The money is coming from the Ygrene Energy Fund, a green-investment company working on similar projects in six other states. Known as a PACE program—short for Property Assessed Clean Energy—the plan was approved by California lawmakers in 2008 “Energy efficiency to help local governments reduce isn’t very sexy. greenhouse-gas emissions. Yvette Rincon, Sacramento’s But the residents PACE program manager, said city who participate will officials have been developing definitely feel the plan since early 2011. They’re estimating that $100 million a difference.” will create 1,500 jobs, mostly in construction, and help jump-start Yvette Rincon the area’s green economy. Sacramento Property Assessed Clean “We think the economic Energy program manager, on the development potential of this city’s new green retrofitting program program is pretty significant,” said Rincon. So what else does $100 million buy? According to Rincon, the program could pay for green retrofits to 3 percent of Sacramento’s commercial buildings while removing 2,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year. Under the plan, property owners will get money for more efficient windows and doors; better insulation; new appliances, such as water heaters and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems; and greenlighting systems that use less power. And although energy-efficiency upgrades might not grab headlines like solar farms or wind turbines, Rincon said Sacramento’s PACE plan will have the same impact as adding 5 megawatts of new renewable energy to the city’s power grid—not bad for upgrading a few appliances and an HVAC system, which are typical retrofits the program will finance. Green Days is on the “Unfortunately, energy efficiency isn’t very lookout for innovative sexy,” Rincon said with a chuckle. “But the sustainable projects residents who participate will definitely feel a throughout the difference in terms of energy bills and the comfort Sacramento region. Turn us on at of their homes.” sactonewstips@ The program’s initial $100 million could be just newsreview.com. the beginning, according to Ygrene regional director John Kaufman, who says banks are lining up to invest more money in the project. Or, in banker speak: “It’s fair to say that there’s an unlimited

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When you’re a kid, sharing is hard. It just is. The self is a murky set of boundaries. Parental authority, no matter how kindly, is absolute. A kid needs her own stuff. No way was Auntie Ruth going to share her bicycle with her sister. Not gonna happen. It’s one of those ever-fresh and—yeah—sentimental memories: When Ruth, the oldest kid, saw that most amazing red bicycle under that green tree on that fateful Christmas morning, there was no doubt whose bike that was. And, no, you can’t ride it. Get away from that bike. I’m gonna punch you. If climate change is the ultimate failure of the ultimate parental command—“Go clean up that messy room of yours right now!”— perhaps climate change will make better children of us all.

The city of Sacramento will spend $100 million on green retrofits of residential and commercial buidlings beginning in January 2013.

amount of investment capital that’s interested in participating in this program,” said Kaufman. There are two ways to sign up for the program. Starting in January, applicants can drop by Ygrene’s Midtown showroom (2600 Capitol Avenue, Suite 100) and fill out forms. The company has also trained more than 120 local contractors to promote the PACE plan, and they can also help property owners apply. Unfortunately, the program has a catch or two. Property owners must be current on mortgage payments and property taxes, and hold at least 15 percent equity—which means anyone who is underwater on their home or commercial building isn’t eligible. Homeowners with Federal Housing Administration loans can apply, although governmentowned lenders such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae might force PACE participants to pay off their new Ygrene loans whenever the property is sold or refinanced, according to Rincon. The Federal Housing Funding Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has held off on deep-sixing its PACE purchases and is considering new rules that could change that process. “That’s a discussion between [property owners] and their lender to determine if there are any obstacles to prevent them from moving forward,” said Kaufman. Despite roadblocks from the feds, Sacramento is moving ahead anyway. And Ygrene has already inked a deal with Sacramento County to expand the green finance plan. “You’re going to see these PACE programs go full bore in 2013 in the region,” said Julia Burrows, executive director for Greenwise Joint Venture, a nonprofit firm that helps promote the city’s green programs. Ω

Auntie Ruth applauds the city of Sacramento for dropping $30K and investigating a bike-sharing program, a real bike-sharing effort, as opposed to last year’s Ride Your Own Way effort in Midtown, which was perhaps better termed a bike-stealing Yours, mine, ours? program. This recent investment by the city is money well-spent. In Boston, the Hubway program costs users about $85 per year. Its users are given a fob key about the size of a flash drive. Users go to a dock where the bikes are kept, stick in the fob and, if a light turns green, the bike is roadworthy and yours for the taking. Unlimited 30 minute rides all year. NPR’s Living On Earth interviewed commuters who travel into town by train and those last miles to work on a bike. The reviews were ecstatic. The security on the bikes was depicted as effective, and the program—which includes 1,000 bikes; 108 docking stations; 600,000 bike trips so far; and a $6 million start-up cost funded through federal, state and private sources—should break even in three years. Thirty cities have adopted bike-sharing programs in the last four years, according to ThinkProgress. Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C., reports that 41 percent of users reduced their driving after joining the program. We bet your aunts aren’t as cool as Will the program suddenly change the carours. Friend Auntie driving habits of thousands of us car-crazed Ruth on Facebook capital regionnaires? Nah. We’re all kids, we’re and let’s hang out. all still growing up, and climate change is going to spank us and send us all to bed without dinner. But maybe we can grow up just enough to share a bike or two. Ω

Volt tester Thanks to a grant from the Department of Energy, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Sacramento State University are teaming up to study the usage patterns, electrical impacts and driver experiences of the Chevrolet Volt. Two Volts—to be used by university staff—were delivered to Sac State on October 31. In conjunction with the study, two new charging stations were installed on campus, one near Sacramento Hall and the other inside Parking Structure I. Both can fully recharge the car in four hours, half the time it takes to charge via a standard electrical outlet. Data and driver feedback will regularly be sent to SMUD.

A Chevrolet Volt, plugged in.

—Jonathan Mendick

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THINK FREE.

A local writer looks forward to the end of a long engagement I proposed to my fiancée on August 30, 2010. The next day, instead of simply being happy that we had agreed to be married, my fiancée’s parents requested a by Jonathan Mendick traditional Cambodian engagement ceremony. We obliged. About a month later, I became “Cambodian engaged”—in j o na t h a m@ an all-morning event that involved a gathering of both famine w s re vie w.c o m lies, a dowry presentation (colorful plates of fruits, cookies and coffee), an engagement ring and a home-cooked feast. It was like a miniwedding. Next, we culturally married in a traditional Chinese teaceremony wedding on February 26, 2011. After these ceremonies, I’ll still need to be married three more times before cementing my status as a husband. Here’s why: While many other couples are now trying to be fashionable by adding elements of “exotic” cultures to their weddings, I’ve got too many cultures to deal with— I’m a Chinese-American Jew marrying a CambodianAmerican Buddhist. This means that we have relatives who celebrate four distinctly different cultures—Chinese, Jewish, Cambodian and American. And each culture has a different custom that makes marriage official in their view. So, when my Chinese grandmother fell ill in 2011, we decided to have a small Chinese wedding to make I’m a Chinese-American tea-ceremony sure she could witness our Jew marrying a marriage. Our 50-person wedding Cambodian-American went smoothly and pleased my grandmother—who is doing Buddhist. better now. But the wedding also took considerable planning time, revealed stress levels beyond our imaginations, and left us with the lingering feeling of being only sort-of married. After all, my fiancée and I still feel that we need to honor the wedding traditions of the rest of our cultures before we can call each other “spouse.” So now, we have the tedious task of planning three more wedding ceremonies, which will hopefully be condensed into one wedding day: a Cambodian wedding (featuring Buddhist monks, costumes, a band, a feast, photos), followed by a Jewish wedding (a rabbi, a chuppah, prayers, glass-breaking), and, finally, an American wedding reception (basically, a party with friends and family). As we begin the planning, I have mixed emotions. I’m looking forward to seeing our three-wedding vision materialize. But looking at the cost of weddings scares us. The average wedding in 2011 cost around $27,000, according to the websites The Knot and WeddingChannel.com. And that’s $27,000 more than we have, especially having just bought our first house together this past year. That’s why we’ve decided on having all three weddings at our new home. No dealing with expensive venues, wedding planners or aggressive salespeople. Instead, we’re investing time and labor landscaping our yard and creating our own decorations, invitations and entertainment. We still need to purchase clothing, rings and the services of a photographer, but we’ll keep it amongst close friends and family and choose an affordable local caterer. Hopefully, our small but elaborate home wedding gives us the closure that we need to finally feel “married.” And then we’ll finally get to think about a honeymoon. Ω


To do list:

Step away from left over pie

Giving thanks, SN&R style

Stay in comfy pants all weekend Bring out holiday decorations Toss Grandma’s fruitcake

We’re thankful:

Try turkey & brussel sprout omlet?

That we don’t have to call it Power Balance Pavilion anymore. Ever.

Think about starting a diet

Cyber Monday sale:

For the retirement of Congressman Dan Lungren. For the 2013 launch of Obamacare in California.

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That we haven’t experienced a superstorm firsthand. That we won’t need to caption photos of the Romney family. Trust us, it’s impossible.

For the savvy and wise Gov. Jerry Brown, who’s proven that he comes with all the fanfare and show of Ahnold—hold the nincompoopery. That construction workers performing streetscape work along Del Paso Boulevard appear to be building SN&R its very own moat! That CareerCast.com chose journalism as only the fifth Worst Job of 2012 and not No. 1 (thanks, lumberjacks!). That those Rage on the River kids finally stopped leaving us angry, drunken messages on Facebook.

We’re thankful for the retirement of Congressman Dan Lungren.

That California is no longer handing down thirdstrike convictions for SWB (shoplifting while black). That Sac’s turned into such a great beer town. For the ever-growing number of inspired Sacramento chefs who favor locally grown foods. For the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op’s Owner Appreciation Month (pick a day in November to save 10 percent!). For butt-hurt Republicans: It’s the GOP at its most beautiful. That we’re located near awesome year-round farmers markets.

For the levees not breaking. Yet. Hopefully never. That Guy Fieri doesn’t own more restaurants here. That the 47 percent voted. For Sacramento’s independent coffee roasters and purveyors: Broadacre Coffee, Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters, Insight Coffee Roasters, Old Soul Co., Temple Coffee. We’d never make it through the day without you. (No, really, we wouldn’t.) Ω

BEFORE

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FRONTLINES

Photo by: Juan Ayora

set alarm for 12:01am Sunday night for

For California’s whopping 55 electoral votes.

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H O L I D AY

GUIDE

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Nutcracker tickets ($25) The Great Gatsby (25% OFF) A Midsummer Night’s Dream (25% OFF) Sleep in

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Donald Kendrick Music Director

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PREMIERE of new work

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Guest Chorus: Sacramento Children’s Chorus Lynn Stevens, Director

Saturday, Dec 8, 2012 at 8:00 PM Sacramento Memorial Auditorium 1515 J Street, Sacramento

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AFTER

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18   |   SN&R   |   11.21.12


H i j ac k

the

H O l I D AYS Dis the season, break the rules—and make it a double

C

hristmas. Hannukah. Kwanzaa, Festivus and the winter solstice.

Whether you’re a devout holidayphile or an avowed atheist (or lackadaisical agnostic), there’s no escaping the fact that it’s that time of the year. You know, parties and presents, tons of food, family and stress. Way too much stress. This year, however, things will be different. Sure, we say that every season, but this time we mean it. How? Easy: Make it our own. Make it fun again. Make it mean something, once and for all. Make it, so to speak, our merry little bitch. (Sorry, Mom.) This year, you see, we’re going to hijack the holidays. Upend age-old customs, break the rules and throw everything we know about Santa Claus, menorahs and eggnog into the fireplace, and watch it all burn like an ol’ yule log. You in? Check out our tradition-defying tips on gift buying (now in an easy-to-read flow-chart form!), cock parties and family get-togethers, and the cocktails you’ll need to get through it all. Ho, ho, ho indeed.

STAFF bOx Editors: Rachel Leibrock, Nick Miller Contributors: Deena Drewis, Becky

Grunewald, Dave Kempa, Raheem F. Hosseini, Keith Lowell Jensen, Jonathan Mendick, Shoka Designers: Hayley Doshay, Priscilla Garcia Cover model: Keith Lowell Jensen Photographers: Steven Chea, Wes Davis Copy editor: Shoka Shafiee Proofreaders: Deena Drewis, Steph Rodriguez Web: Joe Kakacek

D A V IS WES O BY

BEFORE

PHOT

Read local comedian and Holiday Guide cover boy keith Lowell jensen’s jokes on page 26. |

  FRONTLINES  

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HIJACK THE HOLIDAYS! continued on page 20

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HIJACK THE HOLIDAYS!

START HERE

continued from page 19

E H T H T I W GO

HO-HO FLOW

Ugh, presents. Again. You love your family and friends, but each year, it gets increasingly difficult trying to figure out what to put under the tree. Don’t sweat it. SN&R has devised a super helpful flowchart. First, answer a few questions (be honest!), follow the path to determine what kind of gift giver you are—stingy, showy, tacky or last-minute—and then choose from our easy shopping list. All items are locally available and, best of all, none will require setting a foot in a mall. Yep, that’s our gift to you.

Do you keep a tally of what others spend on you?

NEXT BEST THING

Yes! The bigger and flashier the better, right?

No, that’s rude!

Well, yeah, of course.

Cash or charge, charge, charge?

Charge!

Hey, big spender! Got room in your Hummer for those presents?

SHOWY

Do you care about what other people Eh, not so much. think of you?

Of course. It’s economical and practical.

Do you leave the price tag on gifts? I stick to a budget.

Diamonds or cubic zirconia?

Definitely! That way they know how much I care. That’s so tacky!

Regifting: Yes or no?

Ice, ice baby! Who? As long as it’s big and sparkly, who cares?

Never!

Do you idolize Kim Kardashian? Who doesn’t? Isn’t it hard to bake cookies for Santa when you’ve got no taste?

TACKY

endless. Prices start at $110 for a 10-person cake; SAY, UH, ‘CHEESE’ IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER requires appointment and advance notice. MARIJUANA VAPORIZER OLD WEST FAMILY PHOTOS UGLY HOLIDAY SWEATER 2376 Fair Oaks Boulevard, (916) 482-0708, Don’t front: Your son, daughter, grandkid How Tacky, that strange shop on J Street, Ah, revenge. Tell your sister what you www.ettores.com/specialty-cakes. (D.D.) or nephew just wants to get stoned for the closed a decade ago—but there’s always Old really think of her with a garish holiday holidays. While you’re Sacramento. For instance, nothing says postsweater—the more reindeers, glitter and GOOD, CLEAN FUN not about to buy them Christmas-dinner indigestion like a family jangly bells, the better—plucked from JIMMER FREDETTE JERSEY an eighth of Kardashian photo from McGee’s Old Time Photos. the racks of Thrift Town. Bonus: Snap a So your Mormon nephew can’t drink For $35, you can get two wild Wild West Kush, go for the next best pic of her in it and mail it in for a chance tea or use a Ouija board. The least you snapshots with the fam. Hang thing, the Wispr vaporizer at a $250 Thrift Town gift can do is leave him looking sharp in by Iolite. This baby is a one above the toilet? I keed. card. Win-win. some authentic Sacramento King’s smoke-free marijuanaMcGee’s rules! McGee’s Old www.thrifttown.com. (R.L.) gear, such as this jersey for Utah consumption device with a Time Photos, 103 K Street; native (and former Brigham Young cool, retro look that makes (916) 442-7234; www.mcgees ALOHA, SANTA University student) Jimmer Fredette. oldtimephotos.com. (N.M.) it less paraphernalia, more HAWAIIAN SHIRT Give the gift of feeling good. ($232.95). It’s a slam dunk, really. living-room tchotchke, all OK, we’re not saying Hawaiian Kings Team Store, Sleep Train Arena 1 for $213.99. A grown-up’s bong, if you will. DUDE, TOTALLY shirts are tacky, per se—taste is Sports Parkway; (916) 928-5187; Millenium Smoke Shop, various locations; ‘I HELLA (HEART) SAC’  subjective, we get that—but your http://tinyurl.com/jimmerjersey. (D.K.) www.shopmss.com. (N.M.) T-SHIRT mom wants to know if your dad You’ve seen the “I (Heart) Trust us, they’ll hella heart this tee. really needs yet another one. He SWEAT IT OUT LET THEM EAT (REALLY SPENDY) CAKE New York” logo and accomdoes? Add to his collection at Swanberg’s for BIKRAM YOGA LESSONS ETTORE’S EUROPEAN BAKERY &  panying T-shirts. Here’s our town’s fresh Men, long-renowned as the area’s premier Everyone should try a 100-degree and RESTAURANT SPECIALTY CAKES but tacky take on it: “I Hella (Heart) Sac.” purveyor of all things tiki tacky (prices vary). 90-minute-long Bikram yoga class at least Can’t give them what they really want? Give The $25 shirt is made by local urban-wear Swanberg’s for Men, 2316 J Street; (916) once in their lifetime. Better yet, buy your them the next best thing: an edible replica of it. company Sno Clothing. 447-6284; www.swanbergsformen.com. (R.L.) giftee 10 opportunities for $135 for a sixThe cake artists at Ettore’s do not mess around. www.snoclothing.com. (J.M.) month pass. Sacramento Bikram Yoga, A replica of an old-fashioned slot machine? A Chihuahua popping out of a Louis Vuitton hand- 6350 Folsom Boulevard; (916) 456-9642; bag? Sure thing. The possibilities here are nearly www.sacramentobikramyoga.com. (S.) 20   |   SN&R   |   11.21.12


Do they know you by name at the dollar store?

Admit it. You totally forgot about the holidays.

I don’t know what you’re talking about …

No, really, it’s that time of year.

WTF!? Really?

Oops. That’s OK, you don’t have any friends. Problem solved!

Don’t worry, I got this.

Times are tough! Hell no, I’m on it! Fine, I get it: I’m stingy and a bad planner—get me over to the other side of this chart!

You budgeted $20 for your entire gift list.

Hey, more beer money.

Ew.

Sequins: Yes or no?

The more the better.

Huh? Me? No Way!

Another year, another gift of lottery tickets from the Stop & Shop? No, really—it’s the thought that counts.

Guilty as charged.

That’s just sad. It was just that one time, I swear.

Confess: cheap or just disorganized?

Money is the root of all evil.

Sorry, you’re a lastminute shopper. No judgement here.

Yep. You’re cheap. Define “cheap.”

GO OLD-SCHOOL

STINGY

VINYL RECORDS With a plethora of great record stores, Sacramento boasts a wealth of $1- and $2-dollar record bins. Dimple Records, with several locations throughout the region, is a good starting point. Browse through and buy some for your younger brother, and even if the vinyl’s all scratched up, album covers make great wall art. www.dimple.com. (J.M.)

SPICE IT UP

POTTED HERBS Junk the useless-gift-for-each-person custom by nabbing inexpensive yet classic rustcolored terra-cotta pots, and plant hardy thyme or oregano in it. Coil colorful yarn around the pot to, uh, spice up the spice container. Talini’s Nursery & Garden Center, 5601 Folsom Boulevard; (916) 451-8150; www.talinisnursery.com. (S.)

POP GOES YOUR LUNCH

RETRO LUNCH PAILS There are still places that sell tin GUESS AGAIN! lunch pails. Really. The kitsch factor THIS ’N’ THAT THRIFT  alone makes these pop-culture treaAND GIFT MYSTERY GIFT sure chests, priced between $11.95 What’s inside each $1 and $18.95, worthy of consideration prewrapped, mystery gift This is what a record bin looks like— when looking to pick up a gift on the box? A Pez dispenser? in case you forgot. cheap. You’ll find Betty Boop and A DVD? Who the hell Elvis Presley heavily featured on the rack at knows. One thing’s for sure: If Mom Turtles candy store in Old Sacramento, but the doesn’t like what she gets this year, it’s not prize display goes to the tins featuring the Fab exclusively your fault. This ’n’ That Thrift Four. Our personal favorite is the one shaped and Gift, 2590 21st Street; (916) 457-1877; like a yellow submarine. It’s just big enough www.tntthrift.com. (D.K.) to hold your heart. Turtles, 1017 Second Street; (916) 442-5203; www.turtles916.com. (R.H). BEFORE

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  FRONTLINES  

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What day is it again?

LAST-MINUTE

STIR-FRY OPTIONAL

INTERNATIONAL HARVEST EXTRA  VIRGIN COCONUT OIL Not only can your gift recipient cook with this coconut oil, ($7.99 for a 16-ounce jar), they can also use it on his or her skin and hair for intense conditioning. A quick solution for both crunchy and noncrunchy types. Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op, 1900 Alhambra Boulevard; (916) 455-2667; www.saccfoodcoop.com. (D.D.)

IT’S OK, BE A SHOW-OFF

CROCKER ART MUSEUM GIFT MEMBERSHIP Your mom doesn’t have to know you jumped online just minutes before the family get-together to buy her an annual gift membership ($65) to the Crocker Art Museum. A few clicks of the mouse, a tippety-tap of credit-card numbers on the keyboard and, voilà, Ma thinks you’re a sophisticated art lover who plans these things in advance. As if. www.crockerartmuseum.org. (R.L.)

FOUR MORE YEARS!

BARACK OBAMA RE-ELECTION  Cheap but feels luxe! T-SHIRT GRAB AND GO Just in time to piss off your conservative TAYLOR’S MARKET GOODS in-laws, Old Sac Shirts & Gifts has a crate of Oops, forgot to buy your grandma something? Barack Obama re-election T-shirts to sell. The Pop into Taylor’s Market and curate a $13 heavy black cotton shirts feature a double thoughtful, NorCal-centric gift in minutes. print of our smooth POTUS with the words Scoop up a bottle of Lodi Olive Oil ($17.99), “Back 2 Back” arched over the top. Sizes a package of Potters Crackers ($4.95), a liter include extra small, so you can start indoctriof Two Rivers Cider Co. Hard Apple Cider nating the next generation early. 1104 Second ($11.99) and a bag of Coffee Works Jump Street, (916) 441-1138. (R.H.) Start blend ($7.95). Snag a reusable Farmer’s Wife tote to use as a gift bag, and you’re set. 2900 Freeport Boulevard, (916) 443-6881, HIJACK THE HOLIDAYS! www.taylorsmarket.com. (R.L.)

continued on page 22

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THE KID WHO

creepy subordinates, but now Santa wasn’t even listening to a word I wrote. For four straight years, Santa botched my clearly written request—nay, plea—for a multipiece Voltron robot, gifting me instead with Transformers, Gobots and even crummier knockoffs. (Yes, there were worse toys than Gobots.) My foreign-born, non-cartoon-watching parents tried to defend the absentee toy lord, suggesting Santa didn’t know what the hell a Voltron was, but I wasn’t buying it. Guy runs a multinational toy manufacturing company staffed by magic elves, and he’s perplexed by an imported Japanese cartoon? Please.

BY RAHEEM EINI F. HOSS

H AT E D S A N TA ra he em h@ ne ws re

vie w. co m

He wanted a friend. Instead, he got screwed.

As a kid, I pretty much thought Santa Claus was a prick. Ho, ho, hooold on, and hear me out. To a wide segment of shushed children, Saint Nicholas is a bastard. But to Mom and Dad, this portly mishmash of history and folklore is one of the few lies they’re actually encouraged to tell. He’s a tool to extort obedience and saddle us with crap presents we never requested. (What the hell is an 8-year-old supposed to do with suspenders? Join the Junior Nation of Islam?) I know I probably sound like a bitter ex, and maybe it’s because I am. As a kid, I thought Santa and I would be pals for life. But then he showed his true colors. Our relationship started out promisingly enough. In 1984, good old Saint Nick ambled into my preschool with his apple-red cheeks and a sack of goodies and bribed my smitten heart. We bonded over the goofy winter hats our mothers made us wear, and he really understood my passion for all things Spider-Man and Fonzie.

When I saw Santa a year later in Sunrise Mall, however, it was like he was a different person. Literally. No longer playing small venues like my school, Father Christmas had blown up, drawing large crowds of mouth-breathing sycophants to his decadent stage. He sat like an emperor in a plush, highbacked throne under a towering pine that bristled against the risers. If Game of Thrones had been around back then, I would have run screaming. Instead, I let this debauched frock star dump me on his bony thigh and introduce me to disappointment. Gone were the bespectacled twinkle and rosy cheeks, replaced by muddy gray eyes and blown capillaries. I mechanically recited a couple items from my list, stared numbly at a flashing Nikon and left with complex feelings a 5-year-old couldn’t possibly articulate. I looked at my mother. “I don’t think that was him,” I said. In 1988, my relationship with Santa reached its nadir. It was bad enough he was parceling out his few public appearances to

WHAT THE HELL IS AN 8-YEAR-OLD SUPPOSED TO DO WITH SUSPENDERS? JOIN THE JUNIOR NATION OF ISLAM? Then there was the year my father’s car broke down for the last time. I wrote a passionate epistle describing his commuting hardship and pleaded for a new set of wheels. Nothing special. A car that could get Dad to and from work, and me to and from Leatherby’s Family Creamery. And that Christmas, Kriss Kringle did bring my father a new car—in Hot Wheels form. I nearly lost it. What a sarcastic butt head, I thought. Cookies and head games—that’s how Santa gets his jollies.

Despite how bad it got, I still believed Santa and I could get our long-distance relationship back on track. We just needed time together. Each Christmas Eve, I paced my room waiting for Santa’s telltale jingle. And when it sounded, I threw open my door and raced down our narrow hallway to discover that Santa had once again stood me up. “Where is he?!” I demanded. My dad went to the window and pointed to the night sky. “There he is! You can see his sleigh!” I squinted as hard as a little boy could, studying the moonlit horizon, picking out distant stars that imploded light years ago, and saw … nothing. My friend was gone. And all I had to show for it was a lousy Gobot. Ω

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Chris Tucker, bartender at Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co., whips up a lil’ something to help the holidays go down.

BEYOND THENOG Hot toddies, spiced rum and yes, even eggnog. Sacramento bars and restaurants shake up the holiday cocktail tradition.

All hail the holiday cocktail. The proximity to family renders it a necessity, yet many of the traditional drinks associated with the holidays—hot toddies, Irish Coffee, and especially the often-reviled eggnog— are fusty and mediocre. In the spirit of the season, we asked experts at five local bars and restaurants what they’re doing to shake traditions up, why they think the liquor flows so much during the holidays, and, most importantly, are they pro or anti-nog?

Plan to make any holiday cocktails at home?

I might infuse some bourbon with vanilla bean, and maybe infuse something with jalapeño or muddled habanero to warm things up.

DONALD GUESS

general manager, Hawks Restaurant Holiday cocktails on the menu?

We are using ingredients that are in season right now: apples and pears. We have one called Apple Sauced, which is Calvados, fresh lemon and simple syrup.

VINCE BOWEN bartender, Restaurant Thir13en

Hate eggnog?

What holiday cocktails could you do without?

I certainly feel that way about fruitcake, but I happen to like eggnog. We have a house-made eggnog here. It’s very popular. We have it for three weeks before Christmas, and we also offer it as an amusebouche. People really love it.

Things with too much Rumple Minze [peppermint schnapps], things that are too minty—they taste like Listerine. Eggnog, yes or no?

I’m against it. Too milky!

DAVID ENGLISH

How do you change your menu for the holidays?

chef, The Press

Warmer drinks, hot toddies, things with cranberry, nutmeg— just drinks to get you in the holiday mood. 23

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11.21.12

Holiday cocktails?

We have a spiced-pear martini made with vodka, cinnamon,

nutmeg and cloves. We have a blood-orange-rum cocktail made with light and dark rum, blood-orange juice and housemade limoncello. We have a Plaquemines Parish mandarin martini, which is made with Hendrick’s Gin and St-Germain elderflower liqueur. Which one is your favorite?

The mandarin. They only have a seven-week season, and this cocktail is bright, beautiful and rounded. It booms, but it doesn’t overpower.

ERIN PUCKETT

bartender, The Porch Restaurant and Bar Holiday cocktails on your menu?

We have a drink called the Home Sweet Home. It’s a hot drink with house-made apple syrup and apple puree, Black Velvet [Toasted] Caramel whiskey, and Four Roses Bourbon. It’s got wintry flavors. Favorite classic holiday cocktail?

A hot toddy.

D

BY BECKY GRUNEWAL

How do you feel about eggnog?

People don’t really ask for it. Do people drink more during the holidays?

Yes, because it’s the holidays, and you have to drink to deal with them!

CHRIS TUCKER

bartender, Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co.

and Kahlua with coffee. I don’t get annoyed, but I love to see people venture out. Tell me about the 12 Days of Hot Toddies.

It’s a competition at The Golden Bear. … [It’s] an eight-person cocktail competition. You submit recipes, nothing is off-limits: mescal, gin, limoncello, and the traditional scotch, bourbon and brandy.

You’re planning quite a few holiday cocktails. Which one are you most excited about?

Pro or anti-nog?

The West Indies Sour. It’s got St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram, which is billed as “[Tradition] of the West Indies.” It’s not very high-proof, so I fortify it with brandy and mix it with lime, simple syrup and dry red wine. The brandy lends the backbone and strength. It’s got that mulled-wine thing going on, and it smells like Grandma’s stove top.

Do people drink more during the holidays?

Do you get different requests during the holidays, and is there anything you get sick of?

We get more requests for some of the sweeter liqueurs, like Baileys

I love eggnog! And I love making eggnog. There are certain holiday drinks I wish would last year-round.

Absolutely, everyone drinks more—between work functions, friends and family, good times and bad times, people always drink. Ω

HIJACK THE HOLIDAYS! continued on page 26


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11.21.12     |   SN&R     |   25


HIJACK THE HOLIDAYS! continued from page 23

CASH FOR YOUR CLOTHES

HOLIDAY HATER?

This year’s holiday guide cover model defies the notion that if you don’t believe, you don’t receive

NOW BUYING FOR WINTER!

OUTLET STORE 911 Washington Blvd. Roseville, 916.773.3733

C A S H FO R YO U R C LOT H E S !

o by We sD av is

Keith Lowell Jensen is a comedian and writer, and his newest CD, elf orgy, and his two prior CDs are available at Rockass.net, or buy them in person when the comic appears next Friday, November 30, at the sacramento Comedy spot (1050 20th street, suite 130); or on thursday, December 6, at the punchline Comedy Club (2100 arden Way).

ot

26   |   SN&R   |   11.21.12

JEnSEn

Merry Christmas. You were just wished a merry Christmas by an atheist. This atheist loves Christmas. See a conflict? I do not. We atheists don’t reject all of the Bible. There are parts of the Bible that I, for one, enjoy quite a bit, like the part about going into the woods and choosing a tree to drag into your home and decorate with astrological symbols. Where in the Bible is that again? Was that the gospel according to Saint Nick? My favorite Christmas tradition is when the rich folks go wild with the lights and decorations and then let us poor folks come look at their houses. My daughter saw a nativity on one of these viewings, but baby Jesus hadn’t been placed in it yet. “Daddy, who are those two My favoriTe ChrisTMas ladies, and why is that nest empty?” TradiTion is when The “Honey, that’s Mary riCh folks go wild and Josephine, and the nest wiTh The lighTs and is empty because it’s hard deCoraTions and Then to find a white baby in the l e T u s p o o r f o l k s C o M e Middle East.” look aT Their houses. I like celebrating with all of my friends and neighbors, and since Sacramento is so wonderfully diverse, that means celebrating all of the holidays, including a few we made up. Diwali is a great excuse to eat Indian food and watch some Bollywood flicks. Ramadan is fun to celebrate: I skip the fasting-all-day part, but I’m totally down for the nighttime food and visiting with family and friends. Hanukkah is when we sing along with Adam Sandler. Conspiracy theorists celebrate their new holiday, September 11. I participate by watching a great documentary, like The Matrix. Anyway, say “merry Christmas” if you like. Nobody’s stopping you. If a store says “Happy holidays,” thereby wishing: 1. Christians a merry Christmas; 2. Jews a happy Hanukkah; 3. Muslims a solemn Ramadan; 4. beautiful idealists a happy Kwanzaa; and 5. Hindus a festive Diwali in the most efficient way, how on Earth could you find a problem with this? I’m much more concerned with Halloween being called “Harvest Festival”! WTF? No. Keep Satan in Halloween! I amuse myself by seeing how satisfied many Christians become with my wishing them yuletide greetings. If you don’t get this, you may want to research “yule.” Yule be surprised. (I celebrate Bad Pun Day every day.) Rest assured, I will not insist that stores put up “Happy cold, noisy, crappy music, consumer-hell season!” to earn my business. I’ll just assume that this is one of the sentiments they intended to cover when they say “Happy holidays.”

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by KEITH LOwELL


by JONATHAN MENDICK jonathanm@newsreview.com

PRevieWs 12 o F T H e a R e a’ s C o o L e s T H o L i d aY e v e N T s

01

This year, The Nutcracker—

The Midtown Business

This film festival is organized

SANTACON

SantaCon is a tradition that goes something like this: Get dressed up as Santa Claus, walk to a pub, repeat. This year, the organizers want all participating Santas to meet up at the Sacramento

05 06

County Main Jail (651 I Street). you can read dispatches or find the pub crawl’s whereabouts at www.twitter.com/sacsantacon. It happens on Saturday, December 15, at 3 p.m. See http://sac ramentocacophony.com/node/63 for more info.

SANTA PARADE This parade features community takes place on Saturday, December 1, at 10 a.m., floats filled with Santa Clauses, elves and more. This free event

from 13th and N streets to Fourth and L streets. Visit www.sacholidays.com for additional information.

P o s a da N av i d e ñ a Compañía Mazatlán Bellas

Artes de Sacramento presents its annual Posada Navideña Mexican folk dance featuring 20 dancers and

BEFORE

08

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FRONTLINES

musicians. See it on Friday, December 14, at 7:30 p.m. at Three Stages at Folsom Lake College (10 College Parkway in Folsom). Find out more at www.imbasac.com.

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H O L I D AY

GUIDE

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09

DOwNTOwN SACRAMENTO ICE RINK through January 21; it costs $8 for admission and $2 for skate rental. Check out the website for hours, discount days, a live-music calendar and theme nights: www.downtownsac.org/events/ice-rink.

Head down to The Kay for the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink (701 K Street), presented by the Downtown Sacramento Partnership. It’s open daily

10

CHRISTKINDLMARKT December 1, from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; and Sunday, December 2, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is $2 or free with donation of a child’s coat. For more information, call (916) 442-7360 or visit http://sacramentoturnverein.com.

Sacramento Turn Verein (3349 J Street), a German cultural organization, hosts its 114th annual Christkindlmarkt, an event with a Christmas market, traditional music, eats and drink. It’s on Saturday,

11

RALEy’S THEATRE OF LIGHTS Sacramento. This free event happens every Thursday through Sunday, at 6:15 and 7:45 p.m. through December 31. Check it out on K and Front streets. For more info, visit www.oldsacramento.com.

View a live staging of “’Twas The Night Before Christmas”—embellished with lights, visual effects and sounds—read from atop several balconies in Old

12

KwANzAA AT THE CROCKER

Celebrate Kwanzaa at the Crocker Art Museum (216 O Street) with artist-in-residence Deborah Pittman. She’ll perform a multimedia piece based on Norman Rockwell’s painting “The Problem we All Live with,” on Friday, December 28, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $3 to $5; advance registration is required. Call (916) 808-7000 or visit www.crockerartmuseum.org for more info.

A scene from Sacramento Ballet’s The Nutcracker.

December 6, 20 and 27. All films begin at 7 p.m. at the Grange Performing Arts Center (3823 V Street). Admission for all films is $5. For more information, visit www.moviesonabigscreen.com.

HOLIDAy MUSIC AT THE CAPITOL

Head over to the First Floor Rotunda inside the California State Capitol Museum (10th and L streets) to hear a variety of holiday music. These free performances take place on December 1-23, at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily (excluding Monday, December 3). California State Capitol Museum. Call or visit the website for details: (916) 324-0333, www.capitolmuseum.ca.gov.

Highlights include: a holiday art workshop at ArtBeast Studio, candlelight tours at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park and Makers Mart at Bows & Arrows. For more information, call (916) 442-1500 or visit www.exploremidtown.org/12daysofmidtown.

CRAPPy CHRISTMAS FILM FESTIVAL

by Movies on a Big Screen and seeks to highlight the worst Christmas films the organizers can find. It happens

04

07

Drosselmeyer. It happens December 21-23, at Three Stages at Folsom Lake College. For more information, visit www.phcb.org. Moscow Classical Ballet—which has produced the ballet for the last 20 years—also performs The Nutcracker at Three Stages, December 27-30. For more information, visit www.threestages.net. The Davis Children’s Nutcracker features a cast of 250 children ages 6 to 12. The production began in 1977, and performances happen annually at the Veterans Memorial Theatre in Davis. For more information, visit http://community-services.cityofdavis.org.

12 DAyS OF MIDTOwN

Association organizes this annual event series every December 1-12. Attendees can enjoy shopping discounts, drink specials and special events throughout Midtown.

03

SACTOWN

NUMEROUS NUTCRACKERS

music written by Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky—will be performed by no less than four different groups. Here’s the skinny: The Sacramento Ballet performs The Nutcracker at the Community Center Theater. Joining the cast during the run (December 7-23) are more than 500 youngsters filling the stage as extras in the performance. For more information, visit www.sacballet.org. Pamela Hayes Classical Ballet, a pre-professional nonprofit ballet troupe, presents The Nutcracker with guest dancer Michael Onstad playing Herr

02

TWeLve daYs oF Keith sutter

SN&R

MITzVAH wEEK full of community-service projects helping out local charities, Jewish organizations and people in need. It is December 9-14; see www.jewishsac.org/mitzvahweek for more details.

Be a mensch this holiday season, and celebrate Hanukkah by participating in the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region’s Mitzvah week. It’s a week

A RT S & C U LT U R E

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AFTER

HIJACK THE HOLIDAYS!

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11.21.12

continued on page 29 | SN&R | 27


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hiJack The hoLiDaYS! continued from page 27

K A E BR RULeS the

this writer ditches the matching Christmas sweaters and instead redefines family holiday traditions Last year, my family spent its first holiday season without my grandmother. My aunt’s house felt empty without her—Nana had grown frail in recent years, but always remained brighteyed and interested in everything around her. Still, for all intents and purposes, everything continued business as usual. I soon learned, however, that this might be the last time we celebrated this way. “Your aunt is thinking maybe she won’t host Christmas Eve next year,” my mother told me as she stirred the lumps out of the gravy before dinner. “Who knows what we’ll end up doing.” My first thought: “Oh no!” My second: “Finally.” Don’t get me wrong, I love spending the holidays with my family. But if they ever decided to put out a guidebook to our annual gathering, it’d probably be called The Rules. There are a lot of dos and don’ts when we gather every year at my aunt’s. In addition to rules about presents and food, there are also rules about how we eat. Each year my aunt sets two dinner tables: the adults’ table and the “cousins’” table. Never mind that some, if not most of the cousins are actual adults, the only way to graduate is if someone dies—and even then it’s considered a bit distasteful (last year, with Nana only three months gone, not a single cousin, young or old, volunteered to take her seat). Rules, of course, are made to be broken, which is why for years my cousin and I have plotted to overthrow the regime. It probably started in earnest the year that my aunt strong-armed her into wearing matching holiday sweaters. “Christmas just isn’t the same as it used to be,” my cousin lamented, looking down at the sequined Christmas-tree appliqué glittering across her chest. It’s true. I remember my childhood-era Christmas Eve as a nearly daylong affair. There were movies playing in the VCR, dance parties in my cousin’s bedroom and marathon Trivial Pursuit sessions. After dinner, we’d gather around the Christmas tree to open presents—an agonizingly

by RacheL LeibRock rachell@ newsrev iew.com

long procedure spent watching each person, ordered from youngest to oldest. “Remember the year Nana bought us matching Esprit outfits, and after dinner we all walked to 7-Eleven to spend our Christmas money?” my cousin asked wistfully. Oh, yes: baggy neon Flashdance-styled sweaters and Slurpees. Good times.

Christmas just isn’t the same as it used to be.

And yet, even as as my cousin and I bemoaned the ghosts of Christmas past, we also made stealth efforts to forward the holiday, discarding dreaded family customs and chipping away at fusty traditions. There was the year, for example, when we insisted on ditching the lengthy present ritual. “Let the kids open theirs first,” my cousin said. “And then it’s every adult for him or herself.” It was a small but meaningful victory and, in the years since, we’ve made other inroads. This hasn’t been an angry, hostile coup, mind you—no storming of the kitchen, no upending of my aunt’s gorgeous Better Homes and Gardens-worthy tree, no burning of the gifts. Rather, there are now vegetarian dishes on the table, no one is forced into matching sweaters, and just last year, my cousin made us ditch the presents extravaganza altogether in favor of a white elephant gift exchange. I don’t know where we’re spending Christmas Eve this year. Perhaps we’ll be left to our own devices, and I can finally redefine it as my own. In truth, however, the thought of such leaves me feeling slightly orphaned. Instead, I hope my cousin inherits the task and, like our mothers before us, we’ll get the chance to create traditions that will drive our family crazy. Ω Photo illustration by Priscilla Garcia

BEFORE

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NIGHT&DAY

List your event!

IF YOU’RE LIKE MOST AMERICANS, come this Thursday, you’ll be eating far more than you usually eat in a normal day. No worries, as there are plenty of activities this week to help you get active. Here are five events where you can burn off plenty of those extra Thanksgiving calories. Eat up!

RUN TO FEED THE HUNGRY Now in its 19th year, this annual tradition raises money for the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. It offers a 5k and 10k run or walk with same-day registration (7 to 9 a.m.), and more than 27,000 people are expected to participate. 8:35 a.m. start for the 10k, and 9 a.m. start for the 5k; $40 for same-day registration. Corner of J Street and Carlson Drive, (916) 313-7654, www.runtofeedthehungry.com.

22THURS DON’T MISS! SIT TO FEED THE HUNGRY: Do you want to join Run to Feed the Hungry but you hate moving? Blacktop Comedy is hosting its fourth annual Sit to Feed the Hungry for the less active philanthropists in Sacramento. Sitters will meet at the finish line of the race, located at 57th and H streets, and will be treated to hot coffee and muffins. Proceeds benefit Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. Th, 11/22, 8-11am. Donations accepted. Run to Feed the Hungry finish line, 57th and H streets; (916) 749-3100; www.blacktopcomedy.com/ sittofeed.

23FRI

CORKS & CAKES: Sweet Sinsations teams up with Elevation Ten Winery for an event at the Old Sugar Mill. They will be pairing cupcake flights with Elevation Ten wine. Mini cupcakes will be available for purchase. Vendors will be selling holiday specialties and wine-related items. F, 11/23, 11am. Free. Old Sugar Mill, 35265 Willow Ave. in Clarksburg; (916) 744-1615.

KATT WILLIAMS: Katt Williams

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brings his trademark energy to riffs covering everything from Barack Obama to doomsday. Williams’ comedy draws from his own experiences and his edgy take on life with personality, charisma, and original

FRONTLINES

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If you’re looking to burn calories of glory, grab a pair of skates (or rent them at the rink for $2), and head to the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink presented by Sacramento Downtown Plaza. Skating burns calories pretty quickly, and the rink is even open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Hours vary; open daily through January 21, 2013; $8. Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink, 701 K Street; (916) 442-8575; http://downtownsac.org/events/ice-rink.

Meetings & Groups OMG BOOKGROUP: Join an

INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCE: Learn

is a high-energy and ultimately moving documentary that follows the 2008 tale of a group’s 51-mile boating expedition down the notorious Los Angeles River. In an absurd act of civil disobedience, the group—led by local satirical writer George Wolfe—boated down the fenced-in waterway, hoping to have the Environmental Projection Agency declare it navigable, so that it could gain protection under the Clean Water Act. Tu, 11/27, 7pm. Free. Sacramento Area Peace Action, 909 12th St.; (916) 448-7157.

$35 for 5-class dance card ($25 for Davis Art Center members). Davis Art Center Studio E, 1919 F St. in Davis; (530) 758-0863; www.davisfolkdance.org.

26MON

presents a holiday music, comedy, dance, fashion and poetry jam. All ages are welcome. Sa, 11/24, 7-10pm. $10. Guild Theatre, 2828 35th St.; (916) 208-7638; http://holiday jam.eventbrite.com.

Special Events

TRIVIA NIGHT AT KILT PUB: Join Questionable Trivia at Kilt Pub every Monday for two rounds of general knowledge questions. Prizes include discounts on food and drink. Teams must be between two and six players. Show up around 7:30 p.m. for seating. M, 8pm through 12/31. Free. Kilt Pub, 4235 Arden Way; (916) 487-4979; http://questionable trivia.com/where-and-when.

Classes THE ENGLISH THREE-SPEED BICYCLE: Learn how to care for the classic English lightweight bicycle. The instructor will dismantle, service, lubricate, and repair (if necessary) one Raleigh bicycle with a threespeed internally geared rear hub. Various operations for maintenance will be demonstrated. Sa, 11/24, 9:30am.

GUIDE

ROCK THE BOAT: Rock the Boat

Su, 7-10pm through 11/25; Su, 7-10pm through 12/30. Opens 12/9.

HOLIDAY JAM: T-Mo Entertainment

28WED

DON’T MISS!

simple to advanced dances from Croatia, Greece, Israel, Turkey, Russia and Armenia. Most don’t require a partner and dances are fun workouts and mentally stimulating. Bring grit-free non-marking shoes to dance in. Beginners welcome.

Special Events

H O L I DAY

alternative bookgroup that gives you the opportunity to read books about vamps to zombies. Tu, 11/27, 6pm. Free. Franklin Community Library, 10055 Franklin High Rd. in Elk Grove; (916) 264-2700.

Classes

Fairytale Town offers free admission to families who bring a canned-food item for donation to the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services’ Holiday Spirit of Giving Food Drive. The day also includes free arts-and-crafts activities and a puppet show (additional cost). Sa, 11/24, 10am-4pm. Free. Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Dr.; (916) 808-7462; www.fairytaletown.org.

Comedy

Sacramento’s longest-running spoken-word open-mic, with guest hosts Frank Andrick, Mario Ellis Hill, Geoffery Neill and B.L. Kennedy. Th, 8pm. $2. Luna’s Café & Juice Bar,

DOWNTOWN SACRAMENTO ICE RINK

food pairings exclusive from each host game location plus drink specials. M, 11/26, 5:30-9pm. $20. Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa, 1220 Arden Hills Ln.; (916) 482-6111.

$5 suggested donation. Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen, 1915 I St.; (916) 596-8300; http://sacbikekitchen.org.

FREE ADMISSION DAY & CANNED-FOOD DRIVE:

Special Events

POETRY UNPLUGGED:

Sure, the Hmong New Year celebration at Cal Expo has food and cultural activities, but it also has intramural sports such as volleyball, flag football and soccer. Bring a team, and check out the website for a list

DON’T MISS!

$3. Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring St. in Nevada City; (503) 265-5040; www.minersfoundry.org.

Poetry

HMONG NEW YEAR CELEBRATION

of sports and sign-up times. November 22-25; $4 for admission, no extra charge for sports. Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Boulevard; (916) 821-2448; www.sacramento hmongnewyear.com/sports2012.html.

24SAT 25SUN 27TUES

three days. Opens 11/23, 10am.

dads get together and discuss life, relationship and parenting issues. Guest speakers include attorneys, family-law court facilitators, life coaches, counselors, and more. Th, 7-8:30pm through 10/31. $10. Center for Fathers and Families, 920 Del Paso Blvd.; (916) 568-3237, ext. 210; www.fathersand families.com.

This event, which started 25 years ago, is a local Thanksgiving Day tradition. It’s a Critical Mass-style bike ride, and sometimes there’s music and sometimes people dress up. 9 a.m. Thursday, November 22; free. California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front Street; www.facebook.com/events/ 275797475874965.

jokes. F, 11/23, 8pm. $35-$99.50. Sleep Train Arena, 1 Sports Pkwy.; (916) 649-8497.

1414 16th St.; (916) 441-3931; www.lunascafe.com.

ARTISAN FESTIVAL: For more than 35 years, Thanksgiving Weekend in Nevada City has featured a major art event, attracting thousands of visitors. Since 1993, this event has been Artisans Festival at Miners Foundry, hosting a small but select group of artists and craftspeople whose artwork has attracted admirers. Every

FATHER SUPPORT GROUP: Men and

SACRAMENTO APPETITE ENHANCEMENT THANKSGIVING DAY BIKE RIDE

If one day of running isn’t enough for you, check out Run Turkey Run. The event offers three days (November 23-25) of running, with daily distance options of 5k, 10k, half-marathon or marathon. You can run a marathon on the first day, a 5k on the second day, and a half-marathon on the third day. Or just run whatever distance you want on any one day. The options are numerous. 8 a.m. daily; $35-$180. William B. Pond Recreation Area, 5700 Arden Way in Carmichael; www.tracysracing.com/thanksgiving.

DON’T MISS!

Classes

BEFORE

RUN TURKEY RUN

DON’T MISS! TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA: THE LOST CHRISTMAS EVE: For

Special Events WEINSTOCK’S BOOK TALK: Author Annette Kassis will discuss her new book, Weinstock’s: Sacramento’s Finest Department Store. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the program. Tu, 11/27, 6-7:30pm. Free. Sacramento Public Library (Central Branch), 828 I St.; (916) 264-2920; www.saclibrary.org.

Special Events HOLIDAY FAVORITES WITH THE CHEF: Chef Rina shares holiday recipes with a decidedly nutritious twist: pomegranate salad, low-calorie mashed potatoes and more. Learn tips and techniques for cooking fresh, flavorful and nutritious dishes for a healthy and well-balanced diet. W, 11/28, 6pm. $20. Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa, 1220 Arden Hills Ln.; (916) 482-6111; www.ardenhills.net.

the game on big screens and enjoy nutritious and delicious

A RT S & C U LT U R E

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AFTER

Wait, there’s more! Looking for something to do? Use SN&R’s free calendar to browse hundreds of events online. Art galleries and musems, family events, education classes, film and literary events, church groups, music, sports, volunteer opportunies—all this and more on our free events calendar at www.newsreview.com. Start planning your week!

the first time, TransSiberian Orchestra will be performing its acclaimed rock opera, The Lost Christmas Eve live. The story encompasses a run down hotel, an old toy store, a blues bar, a gothic cathedral and their respective inhabitants—all intertwined during a single enchanted Christmas Eve in New York City. W, 11/28, 7:30pm. $27.75-$60.50. Sleep Train Arena, 1 Sports Pkwy.; (916) 649-8497.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Watch

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Post your free online listing (up to 15 months early), and our editors will consider your submission for the printed calendar as well. Print listings are also free, but subject to space limitations. Online, you can include a full description of your event, a photo and a link to your website. Go to www.newsreview. com/calendar and start posting events. Deadline for print listings is 10 days prior to the issue in which you wish the listing to appear.

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11.21.12

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SN&R

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31


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32   |   SN&R   |   11.21.12

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FOR THE HOLIDAYS!

Famous Kabob 1290 Fulton Avenue, (916) 483-1700, www.famouskabob.com A meal at the Persian restaurant Famous Kabob is a symphony of tart flavors, starting with the block of feta cheese on the complimentary by appetizer plate. A bubbled, hubcap-sized, Becky lightly charred flatbread that’s brought cereGrunewald moniously to the table serves as a wrap for the cheese and fresh herbs, including cilantro and mint. A small dish of hummus is heavily flavored with tahini, which gives it a lingering bitterness. The service at Famous Kabob boasts an old-world courtliness in the form of slowmoving, white-haired waiters. Some of them display an enjoyable sassy pride at times—a refreshing alternative to the “Is everything delicious?” type of service. The next tart onslaught arrives by way of the pickle dish called torshee—cauliflower, Rating: carrot, onion and eggplant marinated in red★★★★ wine vinegar and dried herbs. It is so sour Dinner for one: that I pull a puckered face with each bite, $13 - $25 probably because it’s meant more as a condiment than a snack. Dolmehs, oozing orange grease and filled with ground beef, rice, lentils, and small pasta, contrast lusciously with the rest of the menu, which contains very little oil or greasy meat. I anticipate that the must-o-khiar here will be very similar to the very rich labneh served nearby at Maalouf’s Taste of Lebanon (1433 Fulton Avenue)—wrong. This housemade yogurt with chopped mint and cucumber is really just that, yogurt, seemingly of the low-fat variety, and way less addictive than labneh. I leave most of it in the bowl. ★ Most cuisines that use rice as a staple POOR have a crispy, bottom-of-the-pot rice dish— ★★ the better to make frugal use of every grain. FAIR The Persian take on this is tahdig, where the ★★★ brown, crunchy layer is formed in a two-step GOOD process of rice preparation in which it’s first ★★★★ boiled and then steamed. The layer becomes EXCELLENT a cracker to transport the ghormeh sabzi ★★★★★ stew that tops it. The ghormeh sabzi, or EXTRAORDINARY stewed greens, is thick with a mixture of sautéed parsley, spinach and kidney beans. Mine contains the surprise of a dried lime— or limu Omani—which adds both a sour and musky, earthy flavor. If this stew isn’t tart Still hungry? enough, there’s also a shaker of lemony Search SN&R’s sumac on each table. “Dining Directory” to Another stew, bamyeh, is thick with a find local restaurants by name or by type of tomato broth and whole okra. The okra is so food. Sushi, Mexican, savory that the chunks of beef stew meat Indian, Italian— seem like an afterthought. Zereshk polo, or discover it all in the “Dining” section at “jeweled rice,” with chicken is a gem of a www.newsreview.com. dish. Well, not so much the chicken itself, but the barberry-studded basmati rice is heavily flavored with saffron. The barberry is a berry, which is both grown wild and cultivated, and

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is most commonly used in Persian cooking. It tastes like a less-sour cranberry, and the saffron-yellow fluffy rice grains and rubylike berries are lovely together. Sometimes it seems like if you’ve had one kebab, you’ve had them all, but I expect better at a place called “Famous Kabob,” and I’m not disappointed. A skewer of juicy steak sports a satisfying chew that will satisfy any nice craving. Another of ground beef is flavored with chopped onion and a hint of cinnamon. The Cheloe Maheeche, or braised lamb shank in a tomato-and-saffron sauce, tastes best when the sauce has cooled a little bit, and the lamb fat coats the meat like a silken sauce. Don’t let it cool down too much, though. When it solidifies completely, it’s hard not to think of the same layer coating the insides of one’s arteries. Maybe that’s just me.

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The bamyeh is thick with a tomato broth and whole okra, which is so savory that the chunks of beef stew meat seem like an afterthought.

808 SECOND STREET, DAVIS | (530) 757-1232

Iranian cuisine is known for its desserts, including a favorite of mine called faloudeh, a unique dish composed of cold vermicelli and rosewater. Unfortunately, on the night we visit, the restaurant is out of it. The server says all they have is ice cream, and I only get to the nuh sound of “No thanks” before she informs me it’s pistachio-rosewater ice cream. I hear a mental needle scratching across a record and immediately order it. This is a good thing: It has the stretchy consistency of house-made ice cream, and is the yolk-enriched yellow of French vanilla. The rosewater is applied with a light hand, and the dessert is a good balance of sweet, floral and nutty. Persian food has a subtlety that can make it easy to write off. With its deft use of dried herbs and acidic flavors that brighten the dishes and stimulate the taste buds, these are meals that are quietly hearty and nourishing. Ω

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DISH

Estelle’s Patisserie With its marble tables and light wooden chairs, there’s an airy atmosphere, casual and cozy. Estelle’s offers an espresso bar and a wide assortment of teas and muffins and rolls for the breakfast crowd as well as sweets, including DayGlo macarons. For the lunch-inclined, there are soups, salads, sandwiches and meat or meatless quiche. One of the authentic touches is the spare use of condiments. The smoked salmon is enlivened by dill and the flavor of its croissant. Its tomato bisque is thick and richly flavored, and, in a nice touch, a puff pastry floats in the tureen as accompaniment. Everything is surprisingly reasonable. Half a sandwich and soup is $7.25. A caprese baguette is $5.25. Ham and cheese is $5.75. There’s a lot to like about Estelle’s—except dinner. Doors close at 6pm. French. 901 K St., (916) 551-1500. Meal for one: $5-$10. ★★★1⁄2 G.L. Grange Restaurant & Bar You won’t find any “challenging” dishes on this menu—just delicious local and seasonal food such as the Green Curry & Pumpkin Soup, which has a Southeast-Asian flair.

many fail. Shady Lady, however, nails it. The fried green tomatoes are punched up with a tarragon rémoulade and the huge charcuterie board is more like a groaning board, stocked with abundant regional meats and cheeses. The pickle plate looks like Peter Rabbit’s dream, all teeny turnips and tangy carrot chunks. Generally excellent, the saloon’s cocktail list veers from the classics with a list of bartender-created drinks with unusual, but wisely considered flavor combinations: cilantro and tequila, blackberry and thyme, and the surprisingly sublime mixture of celery and pineapple. American. 1409 R St., (916) 231-9121.$10-$20. ★★★1⁄2 B.G.

Midtown

Firestone Public House A sports bar with a focus on craft beer isn’t exactly a groundbreaking concept, but two local and prominent restaurant families, the Wongs and the DeVere Whites, know what Sacramento wants: good beer; solid pub grub; and a casual, unpretentious atmosphere. Here, the bar is the centerpiece with a full stock of liquor and 60 beers on draught. The menu features savory appetizers—the tortilla soup with poached chicken, avocado and tomato is particularly noteworthy—and a selection of sandwiches and pizzas, including a simple pie with fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce. American. 1132 16th St., (916) 446-0888. Dinner for one: $15-$20. ★★★ B.G.

Shady Lady Saloon

North Sac

Asian Café serves both Thai and Lao food, but go for the Lao specialties, which rely on flavoring staples such as fish sauce, lime juice, galangal and lemongrass, lots of herbs, and chilies. One of the most common dishes in Lao cuisine is larb, a dish of chopped meat laced with herbs, chilies and lime. At Asian Café, it adds optional offal addons—various organ meats, entrails, et al—to three versions of the dish: beef with tripe, chicken with gizzards, or pork with pork skin. The beef salad offers a gentle respite from aggressive flavors, consisting of medium-thick chewy slices of eye of round with red bell pepper, chopped iceberg and hot raw

and-go sandwiches right by the counter. And, with its substitution of butter for mayonnaise and the emphasis on pâté, Duc Huong shows a stronger than usual French influence.These details may seem trivial, but with banh mi, such small variations make all the difference. The small menu is limited to eight sandwiches (mostly pork) and two soups: chicken curry soup and a beef stew called bo kho banh mi, which comes with bread. There’s a thick float of chili oil on top of the yellow, turmeric and lemongrass-laced curry soup, which, at first, is off-putting until you realize it can be dipped into the yeasty, crusty, fluffy bread. Vietnamese. 6825 Stockton Blvd.,

jalapeño. The single best dish here is the nam kao tod, a crispy entree with ground pork that’s baked on the bottom of the pan with rice, then stirred and fried up fresh the next day with dried Thai chilies and scallions. Thai and Lao. 2827 Norwood Ave., (916) 641-5890. Dinner for one: $10-$15. ★★★★ B.G.

South Sac

Giò Cha Duc Huong Sandwiches With banh mi, it’s the bread that sets the tone. Giò Cha Duc Huong Sandwiches goes against the grain with bread that’s more football shaped than submarine shaped, garlic bread, and a selection of premade grab-

BREW THE RIGHT THING Only reason to visit Folsom?

MUST DRINK:

Samuel Horne’s Tavern packs a lot of beer into its cramped Old

D O SH AY

Downtown

Y Y H AY LE AT IO N B

Here are a few recent reviews and regional recommendations by Becky Grunewald and Greg Lucas, updated regularly. Check out www.newsreview.com for more dining advice.

A spinach salad features ingredients that could be considered boring elsewhere: blue-cheese dressing, bacon, onion. But here, the sharply cheesy buttermilk dressing and the woodsy pine nuts make it a salad to remember. Grange’s brunch puts other local offerings to shame. The home fries are like marvelously crispy Spanish patatas bravas. A grilled-hamand-Gruyere sandwich is just buttery enough, and an egg-white frittata is more than a bone thrown to the cholesterol-challenged, it’s a worthy dish in its own right. American. 926 J St., (916) 492-4450. Dinner for one: $40-$60. ★★★★ B.G.

So many bars try to do bar snacks, and so

IL LU ST R

Where to eat?

Folsom location, and its storage space has apparently reached its limit. Earlier this month, my first-ever pilgrimage to the three-year-old tavern happily coincided with a clearance sale of bottles pushed out by new arrivals. Beers from Anderson Valley Brewing Company, Jester King Craft Brewery and Jolly Pumpkin went for five bucks or less, and among other prizes, I scored a bottle of Pretty Little Things Beer and Ale Project’s Babayaga. This “sylvan stout” pours an opaque black with a nose of coffee and black licorice, and a tongue of coffee and a bitter-chocolate ending with a curious spice finish. The tavern plans to hold one of these refrigerator clear-outs every month or two, so check its Facebook page for details. Samuel Horne’s Tavern, 719 Sutter Street in Folsom; (916) 293-8207; www.samuelhornestavern.com.

Beer: Smoking Wood (rye-whiskey barrel aged) Brewer: The Bruery Where: Taylor’s Market,

2900 Freeport Boulevard; (916) 443-6881; www.taylorsmarket.com

Beer: Peach Porch Lounger Brewer: New Belgium Brewing Where: Nugget Markets,

various locations; www.nuggetmarket.com

Beer: Allagash Fluxus 2012 (Belgian strong pale ale) Brewer: Allagash Brewing Company Where: Samuel Horne’s Tavern,

719 Sutter Street in Folsom; (916) 293-8207; www.samuelhornestavern.com

—Daniel Barnes

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Pho King 2 Pho King 2 takes diners on a trip to crazy-delicious town with its salads, including one off-the-menu salad featuring cold, pink tendon smothered in pickled daikon, carrot, crunchy garlic chips and peanutss and served with sweet fish sauce dressing. A beef with lemon salad, with thin slices of eye of round “cured” in lemon juice, is coated with sesame oil, herbs and chili flakes and is meant to be piled on rice crackers studded with black sesame seeds. It’s an incredible dish, and one you won’t find on a menu very often. Vietnamese. 6830 Stockton Blvd., (916) 395-9244. Dinner for one: $10-$20. ★★★★ B.G.

La Victoria Mercado y Carniceria No. 2 If you breakfast or lunch here on a weekend, you’ll likely encounter parties of bleary-eyed men conversing over large bowls of menudo, but La Victoria has plenty of other dishes on offer: breakfast plates, chile verde and roja, tacos, and tortas. In general, the food here has a reliable mid-level heat, but it distinguishes itself with its “normal” tacos, especially the cow-based ones, such as cabeza and lengua, and also its asada, which demonstrates a mastery of the cow: fatty, well-salted steak with a hint of garlic. They are served on tortillas fried in oil—which just adds to the decadence of the piled-up tacos. Mexican. 6830 Stockton Boulevard, (916) 427-1745. Breakfast or lunch for one: $5-$10. ★★★ B.G.

Tacos & Beer This is one of the area’s best Michoacán restaurants. Of its regional dishes, the enchiladas Apatzingán are unusual, filled with only a smattering of sharp cheese and diced onion, soaked in a vinegary sauce, and smothered in very lightly pickled, shredded cabbage with raw hunks of radish and avocado slices. Another specialty is the morisqueta—the ultimate comfort dish due to the unique texture of the white rice, which is as soft as an angel’s buttock. Diners also have the option to order hand-shaped, griddled-to-order tortillas. They are warm, soft, taste like corn and barely resemble those cardboard things you get at the store. Mexican. 5701 Franklin Blvd., (916) 428-7844. Dinner for one: $10-$20. ★★★1⁄2 B.G.

Arden/ Carmichael

Bowl & Ramen Randomness yields wonderful rewards at Bowl Ramen, a ramen eatery under the same ownership as Mana Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar. This venture may explain the miso soup, not a common occurrence in other Korean joints, which is proffered here, along with the eight banchan dishes. It also explains the initially incongruous ramen and California Roll combo. For the less intrepid and the spice-averse, there’s nine ramen options, including ones that feature dumplings, cold buckwheat noodles and potato noodles. If not a believer in the miracle of sundubu, Bowl & Ramen offers conversion. This unique tofu stew has mushrooms, veggies, onions and an

starting at $6.95 and 17 dinner entrees beginning at $11.95 with chicken, beef, tempura, gyoza, tonkatsu, donburi and curry all part of the mix. But they’re way at the back of the colorful sushi-centric, heavily illustrated menu. There are more than 85 rolls here: Old Auburn, deep-fried fake crabmeat with salmon on the outside; Brandi’s Special Roll, with spicy crabmeat, avocado, yellowtail and spicy tuna; and Folsom Blvd., with freshwater eel, avocado and cream cheese are just some notables. Overall, festive and crammed with options. Leave the nunchucks at home, sensei. Sushi. 8937 Folsom Blvd., (916) 369-1935. Dinner for one: $10-$25. ★★★1⁄2

egg on top but simply reciting the ingredients doesn’t do the combination justice. Here, the bibimbap is presented in an artful way; among the dish’s vegetables are small cubes of zucchini that appear out of place but skillfully augment the other flavors. Korean. 2560 Alta Arden Expy., (916) 487-2694 Dinner for one: $9-$15. ★★★1⁄2 G.L.

Davis

Zen Toro Japanese Bistro & Sushi Bar Zen Toro features a large sushi menu, made up of both the steroidal Americanized rolls and traditional nigiri, but it also changes seasonally and features some uncommon offerings: Kinpira gobo with renkon (braised lotus and burdock-root salad) comprises matchstick-sized fibrous pieces of burdock root and juicy slices of lotus in a sweet mirin soy sauce. It also features inventive desserts. The “uji kintoki parfait” (it translates roughly to “Best. Dessert. Ever.”) is served in a sundae glass filled with layers of green-tea ice cream and sweet red beans, and it’s topped with whipped cream, chocolate Pocky candy, salty sesame crackers, peanut clusters, and warm, soft squares of mochi. Sushi. 132 E Street in Davis, (530) 753-0154. Dinner for one: $10-$25. ★★★ 1⁄2 B.G.

Sarang Bang The servers at this Korean restaurant are courteous and friendly, and each meal begins with small dishes of banchan. There are three types of kimchi, all pretty low on the spice-o-meter, but Sarang Bang’s gul bo sam is the real Korean taco, no food truck required. Lightly steamed napa cabbage serves as a scoop for pork, spicy-and-sweet zucchini, and thin-sliced raw garlic and jalapeño. Some entrees fall short, but all is forgiven with the spicy chicken. Here, chopped chicken is heavily sauced with a chili paste, garlic and honey concoction. It’s the kind of meal during which conversation is replaced by lip-smacking, grunts and short murmured exclamations like, “So good!” and “Holy crap!” Korean. 3631 S. Port Dr., (916) 368-2277. Dinner for one: $10-$20. ★★★1⁄2 B.G.

Rosemont

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Turkey and papaya salad Every year around Thanksgiving, members of the Hmong community gather for Sacramento’s annual Hmong New Year celebration at Cal Expo (1600 Exposition Boulevard). Presented by the nonprofit Sacramento Hmong New Year Inc., it’s one of the largest events of the year for the community, with cultural activities, entertainment and plenty of great food vendors. If you’re new to Hmong food, make sure to try the following staples: sticky rice, Hmong sausage and papaya salad. If you’re already a fan, purchase some extra papaya salad to go. Then, if you’ve got any extra turkey, you can pair it with papaya salad. It may sound strange at first, but it’s a refreshing way to deal with all those leftovers. The blandness of a Thanksgiving turkey makes it a perfect accompaniment to the spicy and salty papaya salad. The event takes place on Thursday, November 22, through Sunday, November 25; entry costs $4, and parking is $10. —Jonathan Mendick

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I met this guy at Sacramento City College and gave him my number. He has been texting me nonstop, and I’ve been really sexual with him in texts (it’s bad, I know), but when we talk on the phone or see each other at school, I can feel myself being so cold. He keeps asking if I’m OK and if I still like him. I do. I just feel weird when we actually see each other. I dated a guy all four years of high by Joey ga school, and we broke up a year rcia ago. I haven’t really dated or anything since. I actually like a s k j o e y @ne w s re v i e w . c o m this guy, he’s chill, but did I ruin it? No, honey, but you are creatJoey ing a lot of unnecessary drama. A strong, healthy relationship loves Paul’s Hat Works in San Francisco. demands that each person presents her or his true self to the other. Being real lets the other person know you can be trusted. When you know and accept who he or she is, genuine love blooms. But sex-based flirting with someone you barely know means the relationship begins in fantasy. That diminishes the odds of the relationship succeeding long-term. Sexting is a way of nurturing infatuation, too. Later, when reality bursts in to reveal that you don’t match the fantasy you concocted or the one he has imagined, the relationship implodes, often with a lot of yelling, tears and acting out.

Sex-based flirting with someone you barely know means the relationship begins in fantasy. That diminishes the odds of the relationship succeeding long-term. Got a problem?

Write, email or leave a message for Joey at the News & Review. Give your name, telephone number (for verification purposes only) and question—all correspondence will be kept strictly confidential.

916.442.3927

I www.capitalac.com

Conveniently located at the corner of 8th & P 36

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A person who cares for herself and others does not manipulate, pressure, act phony or play games. So why are you doing it? The breakup of your previous relationship may be part of the reason you avoid emotional intimacy, but if that’s the case, you should care enough about yourself to avoid dating until you are ready. Of course, the problem might be that you miss having a guy’s attention, you miss being desired, and you like feeling in control.

If you continue to exercise those muscles, you will build a stronger resistance to being in a loving relationship. I think it’s time that you head to the campus counseling center and find someone capable of guiding you into being more honest and trustworthy about who you are and what you want in a relationship. If a guy says he had a great time on a date, but you only hear from him occasionally by text, and he doesn’t ask you out again, what does that mean? He’s not that into you. So don’t let your brain waste any more time on him. Learn to allow one great date to be enough. The expectation that one or a series of juicy dates ought to lead to commitment eliminates the possibility that some experiences are just opportunities to grow in self-knowledge. Enjoy every experience as its own end. Your life will improve immeasurably. My wife has been lying about how much money she spends, and we are in some serious debt. We always do the holidays big, but I just can’t see doing that this year. My wife is having fits. She actually told the kids that I told Santa not to come to our house anymore. We had words. I took off and slept in my truck. Now she is accusing me of having an affair. I love my kids but not sure I want to be with her anymore. Chemistry probably brought you together, but your marriage is missing shared values. That always packs a wallop when its absence becomes obvious. Your only hope is to meet with a neutral third party, like a talented psychotherapist, and determine whether saving the marriage is worth learning how to be selfless. Yes, that means no more selfish shopping expeditions and no more driving off when things don’t go as anticipated. Ω

Meditation of the Week “See the rose through world-colored glasses,” wrote the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Are you honest enough to live in reality?


STAGE

12 DAYS OF

GIVING

Busywork that works Mistakes Were Made One frantic actor (Eric Wheeler, portraying Felix Artifex, a minor-league New York theatrical producer) trapped in phone hell for 90 minutes, by fielding multiple desperate calls, with more Jeff Hudson on hold, trying to salvage deals that are dissolving. There is, of course, no escape. The agent pops stress pills swilled with bottled water. Periodically, he pauses to make a confession of sorts to a colorful bug-eyed goldfish in an aquarium (a delightful puppet designed by retired Sacramento State University professor Richard Bay) as the desperate agent—haplessly living in a career fishbowl—bonds with a mute finned critter that is equally dependent on the whims of others.

5

Foothill Theatre Company. But Fully Committed had one actor playing the bullying callers and the hapless clerk. Mistakes Were Made is told solely by the unlucky theatrical agent, and it’s crammed with in-jokes about the biz. It’s not a holiday play, but insofar as it assures audience members unhappily enmeshed in the Christmas-shopping frenzy that some poor soul has it even worse than they do, it connects, with sardonic humor and a bit of pathos toward the end. Ω

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Mistakes Were Made, 7 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; $22-$32. Capital Stage, 2215 J Street; (916) 995-5464; www.capstage.org. Through December 16.

Rock on, Shakespeare

5

A man, a phone, a goldfish and chaos. What else do you need?

Then the phone rings again, and we’re back down the rabbit hole. Wheeler works up a sweat as Felix, talking himself hoarse as he wheedles and cajoles and boils over in the course of a relentless performance—he’s the hardest-working actor in town. Director Carolyn Howarth makes savvy choices, establishing resonances as the situation goes from bad to worse. Apprentice Anne Mason periodically interrupts as the wellintentioned secretary. Puppeteers Rob August and Janey Pintar, who alternate, make the goldfish behave in an anthropomorphic manner. Lighting designer Les Solomon dims and brightens to match each scene’s intensity. The script, by Craig Wright (of Six Feet Under fame) is bleak but funny. This show recalls Fully Committed, the one-actor farce about a phone-bedeviled reservation clerk in the basement of an upscale restaurant—Matt K. Miller did it twice at the Sacramento Theatre Company; Gary Wright did it at the now-defunct and dearly missed

1 FOUL

2 FAIR

3 GOOD

4 WELL-DONE

5

Love’s Labour’s Lost

The Bard of Avon meets This Is Spinal Tap in Big Idea Theatre’s current rock ’n’ roll-band adaptation of Love’s Labour’s Lost, and it’s just the latest in a line of inspired Shakespeare tweaking by Big Idea Theatre, the troupe that brought us a zombie apocalypse Henry V and a gender-bending Twelfth Night. Love’s Labour’s Lost is one of Shakespeare’s earlier comedies; the storyline is more silly than sophisticated, which makes it ripe for changing the original premise of a royal court that vows celibacy to a group of rockers who swear off booze, drugs and women for a year. It’s all good until a grrrl band shows up, tempting the foursome out of both celibacy and sobriety. Kirk Blackinton, who also plays the lead singer of the Kings of Navarre, cleverly adapted the play to include all the best rock stereotypes: kooky band members, roadies, groupies and fans that could be right out of Spinal Tap. Added to the clever premise is a talented, fun cast with their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks and the necessary training for making Bard-speak accessible, all under the skilled hand of director Michael R.J. Campbell. Campbell and Renee DeGarmo also rock the look with their spot-on costume designs. Dudes and ladies, rock on! —Patti Roberts

Love’s Labour’s Lost, 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday; $10-$15. Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Boulevard; (916) 960-3036; www. bigideatheatre.com. Through December 8.

Conact us today for discounted nonprofit rates (916) 498-1234 OUR GUIDE WOULDN’T BE COMPLETE WITHOUT YOU.

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In Life of Pi, director Ang Lee and writer David Magee have produced a brilliant movie in every sense of the word. In the most literal sense—the by Jim Lane shimmering, dazzling, ecstatically visual beauty of it—they are aided nearly beyond measure by cinematographer Claudio Miranda and by a visual-effects crew consisting of hundreds of names, which, for the sake of brevity and at the risk of slighting anyone, I’ll group under supervisor Bill Westenhofer. Award predictions are always risky, even foolhardy, but it seems to me that at least two of 2012’s Oscars are now conclusively spoken for. Maybe more.

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Best screenplay, for example. Yann Martel’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel is the kind of work that can make an adaptor throw up his hands in despair, and not only for its story of an Indian youth stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in a lifeboat with an adult Bengal tiger—although God knows that would be daunting enough. But beyond that, the book has a narrative voice, as the young hero recounts his n e w s & r ebizarre v i e w adventure b u s i n e sof s survival u s e o nthat l y is contemplative, whimsical, with a wry irony designer ss issUealmost dATe 03.17.11 ACCTsense eXeC ofclk that can make the reader laugh despite FiLe nAMe steveberniker031711r1 reVout dATeloud03.10.10 the hero’s dire predicament. Martel’s story is so completely at home and on the pagethe thatfollowing: it would please carefully review your advertisement verify seem to resist transfer to any other medium. Ad size (CoLUMn X inChes) Yet Magee’s script is a masterful distilspeLLing lation that omits nothing essential, even as it nUMbers & dATes Poor skims swiftly over the hero’s early life in India, ConTACT inFo (phone, Address, eTC) Ad AppeArs As reqUesTed sketching his background with deft, broad strokes and an eye for important details. We ApproVed by: first meet Pi Patel as a 40-something Canadian Fair In celebration of the upcoming Blu-RayTM release– Season 2 immigrant from India (Irrfan Khan) telling his of the iconic series STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION story to a visiting writer (Rafe Spall) who has is coming to select movie theatres nationwide on been referred to him by a mutual acquaintance Good Thursday, November 29 at 7:00 p.m. with the intriguing line, “I know someone whose story will make you believe in God.” Don’t miss seeing Q WHO? and the world premiere of Pi tells of his childhood as the son of a THE MEASURE OF A MAN Extended Cut on the big screen. Very Pondicherry zookeeper, learning the ways of Good RECEIVE TWO TICKETS, EMAIL YOUR NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS animals and the religions of humankind. By the TO NORCAL@43KIX.COM, SUBJECT LINE “STAR TREK SACRAMENTO”. age of 16, Pi is a practicing Hindu, Christian No PURCHASE NECESSARY. Passes are limited. Limit one pass per person. Visit FathomEvents.com for tickets and theatre locations. and Muslim, seeing no contradiction in this— isn’t the idea to know God in all his many excellent forms? In these scenes, Pi is played first by VISIT FATHOMEVENTS.COM FOR TICKETS AND THEATRE LOCATIONS That’s a packed lifeboat.

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40   |   SN&R   |   11.21.12

SACRAMENTO NEWS & REVIEW WEDNESDAY 11/21

Gautam Belur, then Ayush Tandon, and finally, as a teenager, and for most of the movie, by Suraj Sharma in an unforgettable film debut. Pi’s story really begins when his father decides the family must emigrate to a new life in Canada. The Patels close their zoo, sell some of the animals to finance their passage, and take other animals with them—not to move the zoo, but to sell the animals to zoos in Canada and the United States. The voyage ends in disaster somewhere east of the Philippines when the ship founders in a storm (this scene alone is worth several times the price of admission), and goes down with all hands. All hands, that is, except Pi, who finds himself sharing a lone lifeboat with a wounded zebra, an orangutan, a spotted hyena and a tiger oddly named Richard Parker. Before long, and in ways best to discover for yourself, it’s just Pi and Richard Parker alone on the wide Pacific Ocean. Pi must use his native wits, his acquired knowledge of the animal kingdom, and the spiritual resources of his multifaceted religious faith to avoid going the way of the other inhabitants of the sunken freighter, and to forge a tenuous coexistence with Richard Parker—who, in his own inscrutably feral way, is just as stressed and desperate as Pi. Life of Pi is—and I’m choosing my words very carefully here—an astounding movie. Time after time, scene after scene, image after image, you simply will not believe your eyes (in the most positive meaning of the phrase). The movie glides with the supple grace of Richard Parker himself, from Pi’s Robinson Crusoe-on-a-boat adventures to his hallucinations in his fevered, starving loneliness and back to harsh sun-scorched reality.

David Magee’s script is a masterful distillation that omits nothing essential. Yann Martel’s novel evoked Rudyard Kipling’s tales of Mowgli and Shere Khan, and The Story of Little Black Sambo (but without the racial insensitivity), cradling them in a warm blanket of magical realism. Ang Lee’s movie (has there ever been a more adventurous director than Ang Lee?) has all that, just as real and even more magical. Will this story make you believe in God? Perhaps. In any case, it is a movie that will make you believe in movies. Ω


opening november 23, 2012

by JONATHAN KIEFER & JIM LANE

4

In November 1979, as Iranian revolutionaries overrun the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and take the staff hostage, six Americans manage to escape and find refuge in the residence of the Canadian ambassador (Victor Garber). A CIA exfiltration expert (Ben Affleck) hatches an elaborate cover story to smuggle the Americans out disguised as members of a Hollywood film crew. Director Affleck and writer Chris Terrio fictionalize a real-life story, the CIA component of which wasn’t declassified until 1997—and is here emphasized somewhat to the detriment of the Canadian contribution, which was considerable and highly risky. Still, it’s a crackling good suspense thriller, told with mounting tension and just the right splashes of humor. John Goodman plays Oscarwinning makeup artist (and CIA contractor) John Chambers. J.L.

3

The Details

A suburban husband (Tobey Maguire) discovers a plague of raccoons in his backyard, and his attempt to deal with the pests starts a chain of events that threaten to unravel his relationships with his wife (Elizabeth Banks), his best friend and her husband (Kerry Washington, Ray Liotta), a casual basketball buddy (Dennis Haysbert), and his next-door neighbor (Laura Linney). Writer-director Jacob Aaron Estes’ script is darkly funny, but with a huge emphasis on the darkness. The movie is unsettling, even disturbing, as our hapless protagonist’s world spirals helplessly into adultery, blackmail and murder. It’s hardly fun to sit through, but impossible to look away as we wonder what awful thing is going to happen next. Only a faint glimmer of hope at the end redeems our anxiety. Fine performances all around. J.L.

3

Flight

In what seems like a very expensive public-service announcement brought to you by Alcoholics Anonymous and Christianity, director Robert Zemeckis and screenwriter John Gatins presents Denzel Washington as an airline pilot who manages a plane crash very heroically, but who also— less heroically—may have caused it. For all its protracted moralizing, at least the movie also tries very hard to be cool, offering up full frontal from Maxim Hot 100 habitué Nadine Velazquez, cheeky drug humor from John Goodman, and, oh yes, that harrowing crash—a fine set piece which indeed proves much more suspenseful than all the subsequent will-he-or-won’t-he fretting over the pilot’s compulsion to keep drinking. Nimbly managing the segue from literal to figurative downward spiral, and milking selfpity as only he can, Washington does give a convincing portrayal of an addict in denial. His conflicted enablers include Bruce Greenwood, Kelly Reilly and Don Cheadle. J.K.

3

Red Dawn

A former Marine (Chris Hemsworth), his teenage brother (Josh Peck) and assorted friends (Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Connor Cruise) take to the hills when North Korea invades the Pacific Northwest, and form a band of resistance guerillas calling themselves the Wolverines. If you can swallow the premise of this remake (back in 1984, the invaders were Russian, Cuban and Nicaraguan), it’s a decent action flick. Writers Carl Ellsworth and Jeremy Passmore and director Dan Bradley soft-pedal the right-wing politics (it’s just as easy to spin the story in the opposite direction as a parable for Iraqi insurgents or Afghan resistance against the Soviets) in favor of blood-and-thunder urban warfare. Performances are sketchy but competent, action scenes are swift-paced and efficiently brutal. J.L.

4

A roYAL AFFAir

Argo

Samsara

Co-conceived and co-edited by producer Mark Magidson and cinematographer-director Ron Fricke, this wordless dialogue between humanity and eternity is a natural extension of the duo’s earlier works: just another nonverbal, non-narrative survey of cultural and natural and industrial wonders of the world, shot on 70-millimeter film in 25 countries over the course of five years. Its title is the Sanskrit word for “the ever-turning wheel of life,” which should be said to include death and rebirth. Samsara

BEFORE

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3

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Rise of the Guardians

Happy-go-lucky Jack Frost (voiced by Chris Pine) is recruited into the Guardians—Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and the Sandman (no voice)—to defend children from the Boogey Man (Jude Law). Adapted from William Joyce’s kid-lit books by David Lindsay-Abaire and directed by Peter Ramsey, the movie has beautiful colors and smooth, subtle animation but a weak story that fails to resonate emotionally. It’s an overeager mash-up of holidays (Easter, Christmas) and metaphors (Sandman, Jack Frost) that tries so hard to be about all of them that it ends up not really being about anything. The movie’s fallback position: toss in lots of roller-coaster action and zippy magic fights. The audience’s option: Sit back and watch the pretty pictures. J.L.

is a film that seems equally inspired by grounded planetary exploration as by the most cosmic bits of 2001, or what you’d get from Terrence Malick were he brave enough to just ditch the the notion of plot altogether. Not for everyone, but certainly a reward for the receptive. J.K.

5

The Sessions

A 38-year-old man (John Hawkes) decides to lose his virginity—despite the fact that he’s a quadriplegic confined to an iron lung. So he consults a priest (William H. Macy) on the spiritual aspects of his quest, and a sexual surrogate (Helen Hunt) on the physical. The story of real-life poet and journalist Mark O’Brien, who died at 49 in 1999, was the subject of an Oscar-winning 1997 documentary, and don’t be surprised if this dramatized version picks up a few more statuettes. Written and directed by Ben Lewin, the movie navigates all the pitfalls inherent in the basic situation (just imagine what Judd Apatow would have done with it!) to become truly and honestly moving, brimming with wit and warmth and sparked by powerhouse performances from Hawkes and (more quietly and even more fearlessly) Hunt. J.L.

4

Skyfall

We’ve had James Bond movies for 50 years now, and this one treats the benchmark like a special occasion. It’s clever how Daniel Craig still is becoming the devilish 007 we’ve always known, even as his third outing in the role applies a framework of fussing over oldness and possible obsolescence. Part of Skyfall’s project is sorting relics from ruins. The movie does right by its major players, including the impeccably tailored Craig and the immortally matriarchal Judi Dench, plus it welcomes franchise newcomers Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris. Its blowback plot involves Javier Bardem delighting in villainy and a rather cheeky British take on Freudian mama’s-boy anguish. Urbane yet never too serious and beautifully shot by Roger Deakins, this all seems a good fit for director Sam Mendes, who’s made his career imposing a sort of British pretense on American movies. The posh popcorn-muncher seems like just what the Bond experience always was all about. Nice to see there’s a future in it. J.K.

3

Smashed

them being constantly drunk, and he doesn’t want to quit. The script by Susan Burke and director James Ponsoldt avoids over-thetop melodrama, but in its low-key naturalism it neglects to develop a strong dramatic arc, always promising more than it ultimately delivers. Still, there are many things to admire: Winstead’s breakthrough performance chief among them, but also strong support from Paul, Octavia Spencer as Winstead’s Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor, Nick Offerman as a co-worker and Megan Mullally as the principal at Winstead’s school. J.L.

2

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 2

The vampire newlyweds (Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson), their werewolf buddy (Taylor Lautner) and various allies square off against the Volturi, led by the sinister Aro (Michael Sheen, in a campy performance that’s equal parts Mike Myers and Davy Jones of the Monkees, only less threatening). It’s probably not over—this series is too lucrative to end now—but be that as it may, Lautner, while no great shakes as an actor, at least has screen presence and a twinkle of humor in his eyes; Stewart and Pattinson remain monumentally dull, stiff and lifeless as the pod people from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Director Bill Condon injects a modicum of visual style, and Melissa Rosenberg’s script adds a cheap-shot ending that, though it departs from Stephenie Meyer’s novel, will probably please the fans. J.L.

3

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H O L I D AY

“A SMALL, SHINING GEM OF A MOVIE.” - Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE

A Late Quartet

THE SESSIONS the perks of being a wallflower

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– Joe Morgenstern, WALL STREET JOURNAL

“‘A ROYAL AFFAIR’ ENTHRALLS WHERE MANY HISTORICAL DRAMAS START TO SAG.”

The villain in a classic 1980s videogame (voice by John C. Reilly) gets tired of being the bad guy, but his efforts to prove himself a good guy end up jeopardizing every game in the arcade. This animated feature has a lot going for it: clever writing in the early scenes, good voice work (Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch—even the usually annoying Jack McBrayer), and brilliant animation that wittily spoofs the evolution of vid-game graphics over the past 30 years (the design of the climactic Sugar Rush game is particularly clever). But the story dissolves into a puddle of familiar to-thineown-self-be-true bromides, and from there, it becomes a matter of been here, played this. Not a bad time killer, but with a bit more sustained inspiration, this might have been a classic, like Who Framed Roger Rabbit. J.L.

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Wreck-It Ralph

An alcoholic schoolteacher (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) finally realizes, after too many blackout nights and hungover mornings, that she must dry out—but her newfound sobriety only emphasizes the fact that her relationship with her husband (Aaron Paul) depends entirely on both of

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41


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A man, not alone Even on his new solo record, Richie Lawrence   gets by with a little help from his friends

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Catch Richie Lawrence with the Yolos on Friday, November 23, at Luna’s Café & Juice Bar, 1414 16th Street; 8 p.m.; $6; www.richie lawrence.com.

Still, music is a crucial part of his life. In addition to performing with regional bands such as the Yolos, Loose Acoustic Trio, the Poplollys and I See Hawks in L.A., Lawrence has also recorded two solo albums including Water, which was released earlier this year. Not surprisingly, perhaps—given that unwillingness to be distracted—Lawrence’s approach is one charged with a laserlike focus. So much so, he says, that after recording his first solo album, Melancholy Waltz, he realized that he needed to broaden his perspective. The record started as a way to explore his own voice, Lawrence says. He’d spent years playing piano and accordion in other people’s bands, but it’d come time to find his own sound. “I was getting more comfortable with my singing voice and using it as a means of communicating and expressing what I feel,” Lawrence says. Lawrence recorded that disc in his home studio—a fine enough solution for a simple record, but one that came with certain extras: the sound of a dog barking, the honking of a horn from a passing car, etc. And so Lawrence elected to leave home to make Water. “I wanted to get out of my house and out of my head,” he says.

He enlisted the help of producer Scott McChane and went into The Hangar studios to record tracks. This time, he also invited a few friends, such as acclaimed musician Keith Cary, as well as members of the Yolos, including his wife Katie Thomas on vocals and Scott Prawalsky on bass. “The approach was to get as much of a live sound as possible,” Lawrence says. “This was recorded as a band—that was a big shift.” The shared effort was rewarding, he says. “It was fun to collaborate—that’s the beauty of a band, having people around you and getting their input.” Well, to a point, anyway. In the end, Lawrence says it’s his name on the record. “This isn’t a democracy, it’s my music, and I have the final say—blah, blah, blah.” He laughs—after years working in the music industry, Lawrence is hardly the autocratic type. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he learned to play piano on his father’s 1917 Steinway grand. His dad loved music, and Lawrence grew up listening to the likes of big band, country and Western, and rock ’n’ roll. He studied art history in college, but while still in school shifted his attention to music. That move brought him to Los Angeles, where he played in bands, did session work (including a stint on a Little Richard record) and experimented with blurring the distinctions between his favorite sounds. Somewhere along the way, he met and fell in love with Katie Thomas, a Sacramento native, and eventually followed her to Northern California.

“Iwantedtogetoutofmy houseandoutofmyhead.” Richie Lawrence These days, Lawrence’s music reflects his eclectic influences. The songs on Water seem, on first listen, simple and reflective. But put them on repeat and a rich sonic tapestry emerges on cuts such as the bluesy title track, a dark, mournful cover of the Easy Riders’ “Man About Town” and the polka-inspired “Pirate Kitty.” The themes are rich, too, chronicling life’s complexities. On “Tracks of Time,” for example, Lawrence addresses death, including the suicide of his sister and his wife’s brother. Here, Thomas’ vocals lend a desolate, ghostly mood to the music. The album, Lawrence says, marries art, influences and shared histories. “All the songs here are … meant to come from my soul,” he says. “I’ve been around in terms of time and music, and that allows me to be eclectic and draw from my experiences.” Ω


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11.21.12     |   SN&R     |   43


22THURS

23FRI

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Dick Dale

Off With Their Heads

The Bell Boys

Dead Hookers Ball

The Press Club, 8 p.m., $20

Luigi’s Fun Garden, 7 p.m., $8-$10

The one and only Dick Dale returns to grace  Sacramento with his surf-rock greatness—and this time, right on Turkey Day.  SURF ROCK After stuffing your face  with Mom’s home cookin’,  save room to hail the “King of the Surf  Guitar,” as he’s known around the world.  Dale paved the way for all musicians to pump  up the volume, having worked directly with  Fender to produce custom amps, such as the  first-ever 100-watt guitar amp. Last year,  his show was packed full of surf-rock enthusiasts, and when Dale covered the Animals’  “The House of the Rising Sun,” the whole  venue roared the chorus right along with  him. 2030 P Street, www.dickdale.com.

Blue Lamp, 9 p.m., $5

A band name like Off With Their Heads  instantly conjures up images of Alice in  Wonderland. But visions of Cheshire cats and  mad queens are a far cry from this punkrock four-piece from Minneapolis. Despite  its laundry list of past members, OWTH has  toured Europe, Japan and all across the  country—sharing the stage with bands  such as Against Me! and Municipal Waste.  If you’re a fan of the Bouncing Souls or Hot  Water Music, check out this band’s latest  full-length album In Desolation before headPUNK ing out to the show. Supporting  bands include Dead Dads and  Urban Wolves. 1050 20th Street, Suite 150;  www.facebook.com/owth42069.

—Steph Rodriguez

—Steph Rodriguez

Shenanigans, 9 p.m., $20

Instead of the “Bell Boys,” they could just  as easily be called the “Bell Brothers.” They  are in fact brothers, and their last name  is Bell. But the real question is, what kind  of music, exactly, do the Bell Boys make?  They’ve been known to bust out hip-hop,  ROCK/HIP-HOP elecontronica, jazz,  mellow indie rock,  folk and emo, and often all at the same  time—and it works. If mixing Atmosphere,  Death Cab for Cutie, and Crosby, Stills  & Nash sounds unimaginably weird, it  isn’t—at least, not the way the Bell Boys  do it. They blend genres with such grace  and ease, it kind of makes the whole notion  seem archaic. 1400 Alhambra Boulevard,  www.facebook.com/bellboysmusic.

If you’re still in a Halloween-sort-of mood,  if you’re addicted to AMC’s The Walking  Dead, or if you’re just a freak who likes to  dress up like a zombie, then saunter on  down to the Dead Hookers Ball. Presented  by the folks at Lodi’s Zombie Club, the Dead  Hookers Ball is a dance party where women  are encouraged to dress as zombie hookers  and men are encouraged to dress as zombie  DANCE pimps. The 21-and-over event  also features contests, games, a  burlesque dance off and a ladies-only dungeon—whatever that means.   705 J Street,www.deadhookersball.com.

—Jonathan Mendick

—Aaron Carnes

CELEBRATING OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY ALL YEAR LONG!

RESTAURANT ss BAR BAR COMEDY COMEDY CLUB CLUB ss RESTAURANT

wEdNESday 11/21

rocK on live band Kar aoKeFree acouS tic rocK // 9pm // FrI 11/23

wed nov 21 1opm $10

sat dec 1 7pm $20 adv

THe ReuNiON ANTHOLOGY (BeATLeS TRiBuTe)

DJ JuLeS fri nov 23 1opm $15 adv

DeSTRuCTiKONS sat nov 24 1opm $30 adv

DWeLe

sat dec 1 10pm $12 adv

MiDNiGHT PLAYeRS

ANuHeA

Christmas Kanikapila

Dec 12 Charlie Hunter Dec 13 Al Stewart & Dave Nachmanoff Dec 15 Corrosion Of Conformity (C.O.C.) & YOB Dec 31 Midnight Players Jan 10 Anothony B

BiLAL mon dec 10 8pm $17.50 adv

THe SWORD

Dec 9

Dec 28 Dr. Dre Tribute by ZuhG

sat dec 8 10pm $20 adv

tue nov 27 8pm $12 adv

Coming Soon

Jan 13 Cat Stevens Tribute Band Jan 20 Pinback Jan 25 Tom Rigney & Flambeau Jan 30 Paul Thorn Jan 31 Nick Bluhm & The Gamblers Feb 9

Steelin’ Dan

Feb 16 ALO Feb 24 Tyron Wells Feb 26 Galactic

Dress CoDe enforCeD (Jeans are oK) • Call to reserve Dinner & Club tables • all times listeD are showtimes

2708 J Street • Sacramento • 916.441.4693 • www.harlows.com 44   |   SN&R   |    11.21.12

dane drewiS band

diva KingS iSland oF blacK & white acouStic/FunK // 9pm // $5 SaT 11/24

in the garage:

weezer tribute 9pm

TUES 11/27

happy hour live muSic SerieS chriStopher Smith 5:30pm // Free

“greateSt StorieS ” ever told dead tribute // 8pm // Free weeKly grateFul wEd 11/28

Sam eliot & the marKet club gang wiFe & Son, SunmonKS 9pm // $5

ticKetS now on Sale For these upcoming shows at www.marilynsonk.com $3 TallbOy Pbr

UPCOMING EVENTS: oh! humble wolF the honey wilders

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FROM THE ERIC ANDRE SHOW AND ANIMAL FURNACE

HANNIBAL BURESS SUNDAY 12/2

FLIPS & BEANERS COMEDY JAM JIMMY EARLL, ANTHONY GUZMAN, STEPH GARCIA, SEAN PEABODY

THURSDAY 12/6

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TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE CLUB BOX OFFICE WITH NO SERVICE CHARGE.


29THURS

Hans! and the Hot Mess

The Mother Hips

RMBR

Fox & Goose, 9 p.m., $5

PowerHouse Pub, 10 p.m., $15

Hans Eberbach has been fronting bands  since the mid-’90s, always mixing elements  of roots rock, R&B, and pop in some way or  another. His old group, Sweet Vine, a more  alt-rock version of the formula, scored a  major-label deal, and even scored a minor  hit with “Mountainside” in 1997, but the band  broke up before it got much traction. Since  then, Eberbach’s played in the Nibblers,  released solo work (as Hans) and plays in  Hans! and the Hot Mess, which leans much  heavier into dance music. It also heaps on  SOUL/ROCK plenty of funk, soul and  pop. Roots rock is still  there, just not as prominently. 1001 R Street,  www.facebook.com/hansandthehotmess.

—Aaron Carnes

Dirty Ghosts

Ace of Spades, 7 p.m., $20

San Francisco’s the Mother Hips have  been a regional fixture since the early ’90s.  Despite the support of Rick Rubin—who  ROCK gave the group its first label  deal—the roots rockers never  crossed over, but haven’t died out, either.  It’s become a much-beloved cult band  blending country, psych rock, acid folk and  power pop. It all comes together live when  the driving rock energy keeps the jams from  disappearing into anyone’s navel. Last year,  frontman Tim Bluhm recorded Duets with  his wife Nicki Bluhm and joined her band for  its second album, Driftwood. The Mother  Hips is preparing to release its eighth studio  album shortly. 614 Sutter Street in Folsom,  www.motherhips.com.

—Chris Parker

29THURS

If you’re into rock guitar, you’ve probably  heard of Ronnie Montrose. The guitarist, who  would have turned 65 this Thursday had he not  committed suicide earlier this year, played on  recordings with numerous legends, including  Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs, Herbie Hancock and  the Neville Brothers. He also released records  as a solo artist; with his band, Montrose; and  with another band, Gamma. Anyway, RMBR,  which stands for Ronnie Montrose Band  ROCK Remembers, consists of former  band members and former  Creedence Clearwater Revival guitarist Tal  Morris. They’re joined Thursday by bassist Bill  Church, Tesla guitarist Dave Rude, Y&T drummer Mike Vanderhule and Night Ranger guitarist Jeff Watson—to pay tribute to Montrose’s  life. 1417 R Street, www.rmbrband.com.

Luigi’s Fun Garden, 8 p.m., $5 Dirty Ghosts delivers grimy, minimalist  post-punk with hints of dance punk and indietronica in the percolating rhythms. Allyson  Baker’s jagged riffs complement her primeronly voice. It’s a raw, gruff, blunt instrument  POST-PUNK due to Baker being a  newbie on the mic, but  its gritty tone suits the steely sound. For  all the overcast gray atmosphere, Dirty  Ghosts is often an undeniably groovy band.  Baker played guitar in the Toronto punk  scene before coming to San Francisco and  joining sludge-blues combo Parchman Farm.  February’s debut, Metal Moon, is produced  by Baker’s rapper husband, Aesop Rock, and  though spotty, seems to be pointed in the  right direction. 1050 20th Street, Suite 150;  www.dirtyghosts.com. 

—Jonathan Mendick

ars Celebrating 50 ye

50

January 2013

PHOTO BY MOLLY DECORDREAUX

24SAT

PHOTO BY BILL TOWNER

24SAT

—Chris Parker

Give the gift that keeps on giving...MUSIC

Serving the beginner to the serious musician with prices that rival the internet Musical Gifts for everyone on your list!

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  H O L I D A Y G U I D E   |    A R T S & C U L T U R E     |    A F T E R   |    11.21.12    

45-MUSIC (916) 456-8742 |

  SN&R    

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  45


NIGHTBEAT BADLANDS

2003 K St., (916) 448-8790

List your event!

Post your free online listing (up to 15 months early), and our editors will consider your submission for the printed calendar as well. Print listings are also free, but subject to space limitations. Online, you can include a full description of your event, a photo, and a link to your website. Go to www.newsreview.com/calendar and start posting events. Deadline for print listings is 10 days prior to the issue in which you wish the listing to appear.

THURSDAY 11/22

FRIDAY 11/23

Tipsy Thursdays, Top 40 deejay dancing, 9pm, call for cover

Fabulous and Gay Fridays, 9pm, call for cover

SATURDAY 11/24 Saturday Boom, 9pm, call for cover

BLUE LAMP

THE OTHER BRITTANY, CARLY DUHAIN, STUCK, TRIBE OF LEVI, BELL BOYS, MARTY TATERS & LARE CRAWLEY; 8pm, DJ Epik; 9pm, $5

THE BOARDWALK

WAR NRV, GOD VAN DAMME, THE ABSOLUTES, BYPASSING OBLIVION; 8pm

1400 Alhambra, (916) 455-3400 9426 Greenback Ln., Orangevale; (916) 988-9247

Sin Sunday, 8pm, call for cover

BOWS AND ARROWS

THE SWEET BY-AND-BY, DEAN HAAKENSON; 7pm Tu, $10

1815 19 St., (916) 822-5668

CENTER FOR THE ARTS

Magician Nick Fedoroff, 7pm, $20-$22

314 W. Main St., Grass Valley; (530) 274-8384

THE COZMIC CAFÉ

594 Main St., Placerville; (530) 642-8481

Open-mic, 7:30pm, no cover

DISTRICT 30

SAN SIMILAR, FLANNEL, OLD HANGTOWN, THE PHANTOM DIAL; 8pm, $5 DJ Billy Lane, 9pm, call for cover

1016 K St., (916) 737-5770

DJ Eddie Edul, 9pm, call for cover Jam w/ California State Old Time Fiddlers Association, 1pm, no cover

18398 Old River Rd., West Sacramento; (916) 371-2277

FACES

Hip-hop and Top 40 Deejay dancing, 9pm, $5-$10

Hip-hop and Top 40 Deejay dancing, 9pm, $5-$10

1001 R St., (916) 443-8825

SPIRIT OF SAINT LOUIS, LOVELORN, SEAN FLEMING; 9pm-midnight, $5

PARIE WOOD, HANS AND THE HOT MESS, JEN N’ GENERAL; 9pm, $5

G STREET WUNDERBAR

DJ Smilez, 10pm-1:15am, no cover

STREET URCHINZ, EL LOMA PRIETA, THA DIRT FEELIN; 10pm-1:15am, no cover

DJ Crook One, 10pm, call for cover

DJ Whores, 10pm, no cover

NOME NOMADD, TASK1NE, JO VEGAS, DESTRUCTIKONZ; 9pm, call for cover

DWELE, 10pm, call for cover

ANUHEA, 8pm Tu, call for cover Nebraska Mondays, 7:30pm M, $5-$20; Comedy night, 8pm W, $6

2000 K St., (916) 448-7798

Deejay dancing and karaoke, 9pm, $3

FOX & GOOSE Hey local bands!

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 11/26-11/28 Mad Mondays, 9pm M; Latin videos, Wii bowling, 7pm Tu; EDM night, 9pm W, $5

EVERYONE DIES IN UTAH, AFFIANCE, SIRENS AND SAILORS; 7pm, $12-$14

ELKHORN SALOON

Want to be a hot show? Mail photos to Calendar Editor, SN&R, 1124 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815 or email it to sactocalendar@ newsreview.com. Be sure to include date, time, location and cost of upcoming shows.

SUNDAY 11/25

228 G St., Davis; (530) 756-9227

THE GOLDEN BEAR

2326 K St., (916) 441-2252

DJ Shaun Slaughter, 10pm, call for cover

HARLOW’S

2708 J St., (916) 441-4693

LUNA’S CAFÉ & JUICE BAR

Joe Montoya’s Poetry Unplugged, 8pm, $2

SCARVES, RICHIE LAWRENCE & KATIE THOMAS, AJ JOHNSON; 8pm, $6

DAVID HOUSTON & STRING THEORY, 8pm, $6

MARILYN’S ON K

908 K St., (916) 446-4361

“Rock On” Live Band Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

DANE DREWIS BAND, DIVA KINGS, ISLAND OF BLACK & WHITE; 9:30pm, $10

IN THE GARAGE, QUINN HEDGES BAND; 9pm, $8

MIX DOWNTOWN

DJ Billy Lane, 9pm, $10, free before 9pm DJ Elliot Estes, 9pm, $15

1414 16th St., (916) 441-3931

1531 L St., (916) 442-8899

DJ Mike Moss, 9pm, $20

Dragalicious, 9pm, $5

Open-mic, M; Pub Quiz, Tu; ODD MONIKER, WES URBANIAK; 8pm W

Industry Night, 9pm, call for cover

DJ Gabe Xavier, 9pm, $10

THE UNCOVERED, THE DRAWERS, JAMES ISRAEL; 8:30pm, $5

BROKEN RODEO, KNOCK KNOCK, ALEC CHUMBLEY; 8:30pm, $5

Jazz session, 8:30pm M; WEST NILE RAMBLERS, AWKWARD LEMON; W, $5

OLD IRONSIDES

LAST IN THEIR CLASS, ADAM MARSLAND, BLAME THE BISHOP; 9pm, $5

THE HUNGRY, HONYOCK; 9pm, $5

THE NUANCE, 7:30pm M; Karaoke, 9pm Tu; Open-mic , 8:30pm W, no cover

1901 10th St., (916) 442-3504

Tickets are available at LiveNation.com and select Walmart locations. Limit 8 tickets per person. All dates, acts and ticket prices are subject to change without notice. All tickets are subject to applicable service charges.

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SN&R

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DJs Gabe Xavier and Peeti V, 8:30pm2am W, $10

NAKED LOUNGE DOWNTOWN 1111 H St., (916) 443-1927

46

Queer Idol, 9pm M, no cover; Latin night, 9pm Tu, $5; DJ Alazzawi, 9pm W, $3

11.21.12


ON THE Y

670 Fulton Ave., (916) 487-3731

THURSDAY 11/22

FRIDAY 11/23

SATURDAY 11/24

SUNDAY 11/25

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 11/26-11/28

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

LYCEUM, SOLANUM, SLIP INTO COMA, IMPERIAL OMEN; 9pm, call for cover

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

Open-mic comedy, 9pm, no cover

SCORCHED EARTH, MINENWERFER, HUMAN FILTH, WANING; M, $6; Karaoke, Tu

THE PALMS PLAYHOUSE

MUMBO GUMBO, 8pm, $20

13 Main St., Winters; (530) 795-1825

THE PARK ULTRA LOUNGE 1116 15th St., (916) 442-7222

DJ Eddie Edul, 9pm-2am, $15

DJ Peeti V, 9pm, $15

Asylum Downtown: Gothic, industrial, EBM dancing, 9pm, call for cover

PARLARE EURO LOUNGE

Top 40, 9pm, no cover

Top 40, Mashups, 9pm, no cover

DJ Club mixes, 10pm, no cover

PINE COVE TAVERN

Karaoke, 9pm-1:30am, no cover

Karaoke, 9pm-1:30am, no cover

Karaoke, 9pm-1:30am, no cover

PISTOL PETE’S

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

BAD IRON, 9pm, $5

1009 10th St., (916) 448-8960 502 29th St., (916) 446-3624

140 Harrison Ave., Auburn; (530) 885-5093

POWERHOUSE PUB

614 Sutter St., Folsom; (916) 355-8586

THE PRESS CLUB

LAVA PUPS, DICK DALE, 8pm, $20

2030 P St., (916) 444-7914

SAMMY’S ROCKIN’ ISLAND

238 Vernon St., Roseville; (916) 773-7625

Top 40 dance mixes, 9pm W, no cover A. JONEZ, 9:30pm, no cover

Karaoke, 9pm Tu, W, no cover

INSPECTOR 71, 10pm, $10

MOTHER HIPS, 10pm, $15

VAL STARR & THE BLUES ROCKET, 3pm, call for cover

Top 40 w/ DJ Rue, 9pm, $5

Top 40 Night w/ DJ Larry Rodriguez, 9pm, $5

Sunday Night Soul Party, 9pm, $5

ASHLEY RED, 10pm, no cover

SUPERLICIOUS, 10pm, no cover

SHINE

WOLFHOUSE, ALL ABOUT ROCKETS, THE BROTHERS SMALL; 8pm, $5

1400 E St., (916) 551-1400

GENTLEMAN SURFER, INSTAGON; 8pm, $5

Karaoke, M; DJs Alazzawi, Rigatony, Tu; DEFYANT CIRCLE, SKIN OF SAINTS; W

Open jazz jam w/ Jason Galbraith, Tu; Poetry With Legs w/ Primal Urge, 7pm W

SOL COLLECTIVE

Spoken-word poetry w/ Sacramento Area Youth Speaks, 6:30pm, $5

STONEY INN/ROCKIN RODEO

Country dancing, 7:30pm, no cover, $5 after 8pm

Country dancing, 7:30pm, no cover, $5 after 8pm

Country dance party, 8pm, no cover

Comedy open-mic, 8pm M; Bluebird Lounge open-mic, 5pm Tu, no cover

JOHNNY KNOX, 5pm, no cover; WALKING SPANISH, 9pm, $7

Blues jam, 4pm, no cover; BONE MACDONALD, 8pm, $5

ISLAND OF BLACK & WHITE, 9pm Tu, $4; KERI CARR, 9pm W, $5

2574 21st St., (916) 832-0916 1320 Del Paso Blvd., (916) 927-6023

Microphone Mondays, 6pm M, $1-$2

TORCH CLUB

X TRIO, 5pm, no cover

PAILER AND FRATIS, 5:30-7:30pm, no cover; MIKE SCHERMER, 9pm, $8

TOWNHOUSE LOUNGE

Deejay dancing, 9pm, call for cover

Post-Thanksgiving Hangover w/ DJ Shaun Pop Freq w/ DJ XGVNR, 9pm, $5 Slaughter and DJ Whores, 10 pm, $5

904 15th St., (916) 443-2797 1517 21st St., (916) 613-7194

Parie Wood with Hans! and the Hot Mess and Jen ’n’ General 9pm Saturday, $5. Fox & Goose Folk rock

Open-mic, 10pm-1am Tu, no cover; Trivia, 9-11pm W, no cover

Stuck with Tribe of Levi, the Bell Boys and DJ Epik. 9pm Sunday, $5. Blue Lamp Rock and hip-hop

Open-mic, 9pm M, no cover; Eyewitness Wednesdays, 9pm W, no cover

All ages, all the time ACE OF SPADES

1417 R St., (916) 448-3300

TRAPT, TRACK FIGHTER, FAIR STRUGGLE, ZEROCLIENT, DEDVOLT; 6:30pm, $15

ACACIA STRAIN, VEIL OF MAYA, UPON A BURNING BODY, VOLUMES; 6pm, $15

LUIGI’S SLICE AND FUN GARDEN 1050 20th St., (916) 552-0317

OFF WITH THEIR HEADS, FRENCH EXIT, DEAD DADS, URBAN WOLVES; 7:30pm

ISAAC BEAR, EGG, MUSICAL CHARIS, THE TREES, LYRIC; 8pm, $6

TENDER CINDERS, SACTO SOUL REBELS, GABRIELLA NICHOLE; 8pm

ZUHG LIFE STORE

ADRIAN BOURGEOIS, 3 pm, no cover

REGGIE GRAHAM & THE GROOVE SOLUTION, NORTHBOUND TRAIN; 1pm

AUTUMN SKY, KEITH GRAY; 1pm, no cover

545 Downtown Plaza, Ste. 2090, (916) 822-5185

ACE OF SPADES

1417 R Street, Sacramento, 95814 www.aceofspadessac.com

ALL AGES WELCOME!

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21

COMING

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30

TWIZTED & (HED) P.E.

7 SECONDS

SOON

KILL THE PRECEDENT - CITY OF VAIN UNION HEARTS - LONELY KINGS

POTLUCK - LIL WYTE - BRUTHA SMITH

12/11 Blood On The Dance Floor 12/12 Never Shout Never 12/14 The English Beat

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23

TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB

SECONDHAND SERENADE

12/15 How The Grouch Stole Christmas 2012 12/16 Snoop Dogg

PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS

RYAN STARR - TYLER RICH

12/21 Capital Cities 12/27 X (All Original Members)

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24

STREETLIGHT MANIFESTO

TRAPT

TRACK FIGHTER - FAIR STRUGGLE ZEROCLIENT - DEDVOLT - VENREZ

12/29 Turquoise Jeep 01/12 Tribal Seeds 01/15 Sum 41

HOSTAGE CALM - LIONIZE

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25

01/17 Slighty Stoopid 01/19 Down

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8

ACACIA STRAIN & VEIL OF MAYA

MOTIONLESS IN WHITE

UPON A BURNING BODY - VOLUMES TWITCHING TONGUES - BEYOND ALL ENDS

01/24 Gojira 01/26 Fallrise 01/27 Action Item

CHELSEA GRIN - STICK TO YOUR GUNS - UPON THIS DAWNING

02/07 Hot Water Music

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29

MONDAY, DECEMBER 10

RONNIE MONTROSE BIRTHDAY BASH

PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS

RMBR

02/17 Soulfly 03/01 Meshuggah

NOFX

03/05 Reverend Horton Heat 03/06 Black Veil Brides

Tickets available at all Dimple Records Locations, The Beat Records, and Armadillo Records, or purchase by phone @ 916.443.9202 BEFORE

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FRONTLINES

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H O L I DAY

GUIDE

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A RT S & C U LT U R E

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AFTER

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11.21.12

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SN&R

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47


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HORIZON NON-PROFIT COLLECTIVE Mon-Thur 10am - 7pm | Fri-Sat 10am - 9pm | Sun 12pm - 7pm 48   |   SN&R   |   11.21.12

3600 Power Inn Rd Suite 1A Sacramento, CA 95826 916.455.1931


Rent-a-crop I love your column—however, I need to make a small criticism of one “factoid.” You said that buds in glass jars will retain their potency for a few months, but I’ve been curing with mason jars for more than a decade and have been able to keep the jars in my basement cellar for up to two years with no discernible change in potency. My question: With the coming ban on home cultivation in Sacramento, I’m thinking about doing a “safe-deposit box” concept, where friends could rent outdoor space, allowing them to cultivate in an area in rural BEALUM Placerville. Would that work? by NGAIO —Placer Pot Lover You are most likely correct. Pot stored in a mason jar in the cellar will keep for a while. While I might a sk420 @ n ewsreview.c om not want to smoke weed that is two years old (it’s not scotch), it should still be good. My pot usually doesn’t last long enough for me test your assertion. To your question: You could do that. It would seem to be the very essence of being a cannabis collective. As long as your growers are all qualified cannabis patients and everyone’s paperwork is in good order, there shouldn’t be any problems. The only thing I would say is don’t get too big. Eddy Lepp, a wonderful and beautiful cannabis activist, was arrested by the feds in 2004 for doing what you are suggesting. Of course, he had 32,000 or so plants on his property. Each plant had paperwork from the more I might not want to than 2,000 members (he smoke weed that is called them “sharecroppers”) of the farm. The two years old feds care not a whit about (it’s not scotch). California law. Lepp was sentenced to a 10-year mandatory sentence in 2009. And the judge remarked that the sentence was harsh and unusual, even as she sent him to prison. Lepp lost his appeal in 2011 and has been transferred from California to a federal prison in Texas. As a matter of fact, everyone should send him a postcard or a letter. He gets out in January 2018 (Charles Edward Lepp #90157-011; FCI La Tuna; Federal Correctional Institution; P.O. Box 3000; Anthony, TX 88021). I seem to have digressed a bit. Keep it under 100 plants total, and you shouldn’t have any problems. I truly hope all you 420-smoking morons rot in hell! I have two friends in Mendocino County that have to live with the marijuana stench 24-seven, 365. Not a very pleasant prospect! Do everyone a favor and kill yourself—we won’t miss one less dope-smoking asshole! —Anti-Weed and Aggro Have your friends lived in Mendocino County for more than 40 years? Did they move there before the Emerald Triangle became the coolest and tastiest pot-growing region in the world? How could they not know that Mendocino County is full of weed? It’s like when you move into a downtown neighborhood that is full of clubs and restaurants, then you start to complain about all the people and the lack of parking and the noise. STFU. I’m willing to bet that the smell of weed was in the air long before your friends ever looked at property up there. The easy answer would be to tell you to smoke a joint and chill out. But for some reason, I think you have too many control issues to smoke pot. You will probably get all paranoid and kill my buzz. Ω

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at ask420@ newsreview.com.

BEFORE

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  FRONTLINES  

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Bring in any competitor’s coupon and we’ll beat it by $5 Must present competitor’s ad. Restrictions apply.

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  H O L I D A Y G U I D E   |    A R T S & C U L T U R E     |    A F T E R   |    11.21.12    

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11.21.12     |   SN&R     |   51


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11.21.12     |   SN&R     |   53


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H O L I D AY G U I D E

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ARTS&CULTURE

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AFTER

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11.21.12

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Online ads are free. Print ads start at $6/wk. www.newsreview.com or (916) 498-1234 ext. 5

Phone hours: M-F 9am-5pm. All ads post online same day. Deadlines for print: Line ad deadline: Monday 4pm Adult line ad deadline: Monday 4pm Display ad deadline: Friday 2pm

Online ads are

STILL

FREE!*

*Nominal fee for adult entertainment. All advertising is subject to the newspaper’s Standards of Acceptance. Further, the News & Review specifically reserves the right to edit, decline or properly classify any ad. Errors will be rectified by re-publication upon notification. The N&R is not responsible for error after the first publication. The N&R assumes no financial liability for errors or omission of copy. In any event, liability shall not exceed the cost of the space occupied by such an error or omission. The advertiser and not the newspaper assumes full responsibility for the truthful content of their advertising message.

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To place an adult ad, call (916)498-1234 ext.5 SENSUAL TOUCH BROWN SUGAR Early Bird Specials 775-234-8266

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56   |   SN&R   |   11.21.12

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11.21.12     |   SN&R     |   57


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by ROB BREZSNY

FOR THE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 21, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Don’t think

about making art, just get it done,” said Andy Warhol. “Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” I encourage you to adopt that minimanifesto for your own purposes in the coming weeks, Aries. If you’re not an artist, simply substitute the appropriate phrase for “making art.” It could be “creating interesting relationships,” “exploring exotic lands,” “changing corrupt political institutions,” “fixing environmental problems” or even “making money.” The main point is: Focus on doing what drives your quest for meaning, and forget about what people think of it.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A Jungian

writer whose name I have unfortunately misplaced made the following observations: “In a man’s psyche, the unconscious is experienced as chaotic, filled with violent and irrational processes of generation and destruction. But to a woman’s psyche, the unconscious is a fascinating matrix of sacred images and rituals which in their wildly contradictory meanings express the secret unity of all life.” After analyzing the astrological omens, I suspect that you Taurus men now have an unprecedented opportunity to experience your unconscious as women do. As for you Taurus women: You have the chance to get a vivid, visceral understanding of how true this description of the female unconscious is.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Let’s talk

about the Decision. I’m referring to the Choice you have been dancing around and fretting about and analyzing to death. By my estimate, there are at least 15 different solutions you could pursue. But just seven of those solutions would meet the requirements of being intelligent, responsible and fun. Of those seven, only four would be intelligent, responsible, fun and enduring. Of those four, only two would be intelligent, responsible, fun, enduring and the best for all concerned. I suggest you opt for one of those two.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I’m not nec-

essarily asserting that you need to edit yourself, Cancerian. Only you can decide that. But I will state unequivocally that if there is in fact any editing needed, now would be a good time to do it. You will have extra insight about what aspects of your life might benefit from being condensed, corrected and fine-tuned. It’s also true that the rectifications you do in the coming weeks will be relatively smooth and painless. So look into the possibilities, please. Should you calm your blame reflex? Downsize a huffy attitude? Shed some emotional baggage?

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): How many times

have you been in love, Leo? Just once or twice? Or have you dived into the depths of amorous togetherness again and again over the years? Whatever the case may be, I bet you have strong ideas about the nature of passionate romance and profound intimacy. That’s natural and normal. But I’m going to ask you to temporarily forget everything you think you know about all that stuff. I invite you to become innocent again, cleansed of all your mature, jaded, hopeful and resentful thoughts about the game of love. In my astrological opinion, there’s no better way for you to prepare for what will come next.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): A medical-

research journal reported on a British woman who accidentally swallowed a felttip pen. It lay there in her stomach for 25 years. When surgeons finally removed it, they were surprised to find it still worked. I am not suggesting that anything remotely as exotic or bizarre will be happening to you, Virgo. I do suspect, though, that you will soon have an experience with certain metaphorical resemblances to that event. For example, you may retrieve and find use for an element of your past that has been gone or missing for a long time.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “Sapiosexual”

is a relatively new word that refers to a person who is erotically attracted to intelligence. Urban Dictionary gives an example of how it might be used: “I want an incisive, inquisitive, insightful, irreverent mind. I want someone for whom philosophical discussion is foreplay. … I decided all that

BEFORE

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means [is] that I am sapiosexual.” In the coming weeks, Libra, I suspect you will be closer to fitting this definition than you’ve ever been before. The yearning that’s rising up in you is filled with the need to be stimulated by brilliance, to be influenced by wisdom, to be catalyzed by curiosity.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In 2007, the

band the White Stripes did a tour of Canada. One of their final gigs was outdoors in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The band came onstage, played one note—a C-sharp—and declared the performance over. It was the briefest rock show in history. Judging from the current astrological omens, Scorpio, I’m thinking it would be a good time for you to do some almost equally pithy things. You have the potential to be extremely concise and intense and focused in all you do. I urge you to fulfill that potential. Pack every speech, gesture and action with a concentrated wealth of meaning.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

Your redesigned thrust-vectoring matrix is finally operational. Love those new nozzles! Moreover, you’ve managed to purge all the bugs from your cellular-tracking pulse, and your high-resolution flux capacitor is retooled and as sexy as a digitally remastered simulation of your first kiss. You’re almost ready for takeoff, Sagittarius! The most important task left to do is to realign your future shock absorbers. No more than a week from now, I expect you to be flying high and looking very, very good.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The

plot twists will be intriguing. The actors may be unpredictable, even erratic. Blossoming and decay will be happening simultaneously, and the line between wisdom and craziness could get blurry. There’s not nearly enough room in this little horoscope to describe the epic sweep of the forces working behind the scenes. Are you willing to confront uncanny truths that other people might regard as too unruly? Are you brave enough to penetrate to the depths that others are too timid to look at, let alone deal with? I hope you are, Capricorn, because that will give you the power to ultimately emerge from the drama with your integrity shining and your intelligence boosted.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

Psychologists have done studies that suggest we subconsciously adopt the qualities of fictional characters we read about or see in movies. That’s not a problem if those characters are smart, ethical, highly motivated people whose ideals are similar to ours. But if the heroes of the stories we absorb are jerks who treat others badly and make messes wherever they go, our imitative urges may lead us astray. Right now is a crucial time for you to be extra careful about the role models you allow to seep into your imagination. You’re especially susceptible to taking on their attributes. I say, be proactive: Expose yourself intensely to only the very best fictional characters who embody the heights you aspire to reach.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “The fates

guide him who will; him who won’t, they drag,” so said the ancient Greek philosopher Seneca, and now I’m passing it on to you. It’s an excellent time for you to think about the issue. Ask yourself: Have you been cooperating with fate so that it has maximum power to shepherd you? Have you been working closely with fate, giving it good reasons to consistently provide you with useful hints and timely nudges? Or have you been you avoiding fate, even resisting it out of laziness or ignorance, compelling it to yank you along? Spend the next few weeks making sure your relationship with fate is strong and righteous.

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 www.realastrology.com.

FRONTLINES

15 MINUTES

H O L I DAY

WONG

On her feet, off the cuff Amy Sigil is, on paper anyway, far removed from the image of a stereotypical dancer. An athlete in high school, Sigil planned to play and coach basketball before an addiction to methamphetamine derailed her life. At age 21, Sigil started on a journey to recovery, and along the way she discovered dance and eventually developed her own take on the art form. Improvisational tribal style, usually performed to a soundtrack of bassheavy electronic music, fuses Bharatanatyam, belly dance, hula, hiphop, flamenco and African-styled dance. Now, as owner of the Sacramento-based Hot Pot Studios (1614 K Street, Studio 1) and founder of the Unmata troupe, Sigil choreographs and coaches dancers and other instructors in town and abroad. Sigil talked to SN&R about life after meth, putting on a game face and why her performers are the freaks of the dance world.

Who’s a good fit for improvisational tribal style dance? A lot of time in most genres of dance, you need to be young and extremely flexible and extremely thin to be able to [dance]. I’m proud because [improvisational tribal style] is really a backdoor to dance. I was not born in a studio. I spent all my life doing sports. I didn’t find dance until after I was quitting methamphetamines at 21. I was looking for new hobbies that were going to enrich my life a little bit, so I started dancing and painting and [making] pottery and anything I could get my hands on. Dance was the only thing that stuck after meth—that and motorcycles, to tell the truth. I’m really proud of my clientele, because [they’re] really the freaks of the dance world—people who were not necessarily born in the dance studio: people who have body hair, people who are tattooed, and mothers who have six kids and have never taken a dance class in their lives.

How can everyday people take on ITS? You may have to adapt the movements because your knees are different ... or you’re super flexible. My particular style of ITS, it doesn’t have feats of strength in it. It’s definitely high cardio, and it definitely has a lot of information-from-memory sequences, but I’m almost 40 years old, I have two kids, I went in and out of a million jobs, I’ve been in and out of addiction, I’ve been in and out of jail before—any experience you got, I pretty much got an experience to follow up with.

Why did you gravitate toward improvisational dance? I played sports throughout my whole highschool career. I thought I was going to play basketball for a living and become a basketball coach. ITS and [American tribal

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by AMY

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A RT S & C U LT U R E

style] are both dances that you have to have a team to [perform], otherwise you would be cueing yourself, and it just doesn’t make any sense. I think I gravitate toward it because it is a team-spirited dance. It’s tribal. It’s about a group—a lifestyle and community.

How important are the costumes? It needs to look like we put effort into [the costumes] because it is a part of aesthetic art, but at the same time, I’m really afraid to make costuming the most important part of my art, mostly because I’m not a costumer but a choreographer, a dancer and a dance coach.

When you’re dancing, do you ever feel like it’s another person who is performing? I have what I call an authentic game face. It’s a double-edged sword for me. It is very authentic to me … but it’s authentic to the me I want to be. Sometimes [I] have to [have a] game face because sometimes I’ll feel like shit and try to be a badass, [but] it’s still [an] authentic game face. It’s really me but a higher me.

What are your influences? My main influences [are] belly dance, hula and hip-hop. Because it’s an American format, and because I’m American, I’m allowed to bastardize anything. It is a made-up format, but, as you know, there are no new ideas. It’s based on everything I’ve come in contact with before, and that ranges from … Fox40 News to Walmart, to classical Egyptian belly dance.

Is it a very high-energy dance to perform? It can be high energy. I think it’s interpreted by the music that you use. At the same time, it’s not important at all. … It’s very important if you’re interpreting, but [at the same time], I don’t need any music at all.

Do you feel empowered by ITS? I definitely do. We can go for a long time without knowing our bodies, and this is the instrument that we’re born with and die with. It’s kind of like your best friend, and I’m kind of getting to know it more and more by working with it as my tool of the day. It’s empowering to know that if everything was stripped away, I would still have my art. For more information, visit www.unmata.com.

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AFTER

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11.21.12

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S-2012-11-22