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TECH SQUAD INC. Field Computer & Network Technician. Contact Raymond.finn@techsquadusa. com. Go to OmahaJobs.com for more information. MIDLANDS MECHANICAL, INC. Plumber. Contact gronk@ midmechinc.com. Go to OmahaJobs.com for more information. SNELLING STAFFING SERVICES. Wa re ho u s e / P ro duc t io n , Shipping Coordinator, Shipping & Receiving, Mold Maker, General Laborers, Expense Administrator & Administrative Assistant. Email office@snelling-staffing.com. Go to OmahaJobs. com for more information. CORESLAB STRUCTURES General Laborers. Email abecker@coreslab.com or go to OmahaJobs.com for more information.

SCOTTS LAWN SERVICE Outside Sales. Email brett. kozishek@scotts.com or go to OmahaJobs.com for info. CORESLAB STRUCTURES QA Inspector. Email abecker@coreslab.com or go to OmahaJobs.com for info. PEARSON CHIROPRACTIC. Community Outreach and Promotions Coordinator. Email drnikipearson@yahoo. com or go to OmahaJobs. com for more information. AFLAC. Customer Service Rep. Email rjensen@aflac.com or go to OmahaJobs.com for info. NELNET. Customer Service. Email jennifer.tobey@nelnet.net or go to OmahaJobs.com for more information. GENERAL SERVICE BUREAU Email kdeane@gsbcollect. com or go to OmahaJobs. com for more information.

TIP TOP TUX. Store Manager. Email jennifer.lewis@tttux.com or go to OmahaJobs.com for more information. ALEGENT HEALTH Certified Coder-Pathology. Go to OmahaJobs.com for more information. OMAHA STEAKS Packaging. Contact Wylene Woodard at wylenew@ omahasteaks.com Go to OmahaJobs.com for more information. WEST CORPORATION. Care/Sales Associate. Contact John Staup at jpstaup@west.com. Go to OmahaJobs.com for more information. FIRST DATA. Customer Service Representative. Contact Brendon Howell at Brendon Howell@firstdata.com. Go to OmahaJobs.com for more information.

PAYPAL. Customer Solutions Teammate. Contact Amanda Bollard at abollard@paypal. com. Go to OmahaJobs.com for more information. APPLIED UNDERWRITERS. Data Entry Clerk. Contact Sara Banks at smbanks@ auw.com. Go to OmahaJobs. com for more information. PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION. Evening Warehouse Manager. Contact Dave Roberts at drpberts@pdromaha.com. Go to OmahaJobs.com for more information. OMAHA STEAKS. Night Sanitation. Contact Wylene Woodard at wylenew@omahasteaks.com. Go to OmahaJobs.com for more information. PERU STATE COLLEGE. Director-Budget. Contact Angela Bridgmon at abridgmon@peru.edu. Go to OmahaJobs.com for information.

MINNEAPOLIS BASED COMPANY Expanding across the nation. We need sales reps with an excellent opportunity to move up into sales management. Excellent commissions. We train. Ag or construction experience a plus. Call 1-866-9582969 (MCN) WE’RE GROWING! McFarland Truck Lines, Inc. We need company/drivers & owner/operators. Great pay & benefits package. Stay in the Midwest and be home on weekends. www. mcfgtl.com. Call Scott 800-533-0564 ext. 205 Scott.Wermager@mcfgtl. com (MCN) BE YOUR OWN BOSS. Net Huge Profits. Over $60K/Year. A Real Business! (Invest. Req’d. – $4750) 1-877-725-0409. Call Daily from 8 AM to 4 PM CST (IOWA ONLY) (MCN)

MCDONALDS. Manager. Contact Vicki Youn at vyong@darmco.com. Go to OmahaJobs.com for more information. JACOBSON TRANSPORTATION is seeking Class A CDL Drivers for Dedicated Customer Accounts in the Midwest. We offer Excellent Pay, Benefits, and Great Home Time! Call 1-800-397-8132 or apply online: www.DRIVEJTC. com (MCN) PAID IN ADVANCE! Make $1000 a week mailing brochures from home! Genuine Opportunity! No experience required. Start Immediately! www.localmailers. net (VOID IN SD) (MCN) MAKE YOUR LIFE’S WORK A VACATION. Work from home selling cruises. Take the first step today and reach out to our Business Opportunity Specialist! call 866-606-4178 (MCN)

JOB FAIR PARTICIPANTS AFLAC AIM/CAREERLINK APPLIED UNDERWRITERS BENAISSANCE CAPITOL EXPRESS, INC. CARMAX CARGILL MEAT SOLUTIONS-SCHUYLER, NEBRASKA COMFORT INN & SUITES CUSTOM DIESEL DRIVERS TRAINING CREIGTHON UNIVERSITY-EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY CENTER DEXONE DOANE COLLEGE DTZ (A UGL COMPANY) EDWARDS AUTO GROUP FARMLAND FOODS FIRST DATA RESOURCES GENERAL SERVICE BUREAU GOODWILL INDUSTRIES HARRAH’S & HORSESHOE CASINO HY-VEE INTEGRATED LIFE CHOICES ITT TECHNICAL INSTITUTE JOB SOURCE USA KELLY SERVICES (FEDEX) MCDONALDS METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE MILLARD PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOUNDATION NEBRASKA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR NELNET OMAHAJOBS.COM PAYPAL PHYSICIANS MUTUAL PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL SERVICES SCOTTS LAWN SERVICE SHEPPARD’S BUSINESS INTERIORS TIBURON FINANCIAL SERVICES THE READER VA NEBRASKA WESTERN IOWA HEALTH SYSTEM VERIZON WIRELESS WEST CORPORATION WIS INTERNATIONAL WOODHOUSE FORD WRIGHT CAREER COLLEGE

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DEC. 19 -25, 2013

| THE READER |

omaha jobs


Asthma Sufferers May Breathe Easier

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ith Obamacare in effect, those suffering from asthma can enjoy a deep sigh of relief. No longer will you be turned down for coverage or charged costly fees for recurring

services. According to The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, here in the US, asthma sufferers total over 25 million, about 3.5% of these are kids. If you have a child with asthma, Obamacare allows you to keep them on your health insurance policy until they turn 26. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act does not allow insurance companies to turn you down for or refuse to pay for coverage because of a pre-existing condition, including asthma. Healthcare.gov explains the good news is “coverage for your preexisting condition begins immediately.” An UPI.com article says under Obamacare your health insurance cannot be cancelled because you have a chronic illness such as asthma. Because the Affordable Care Act includes provisions for preventive services in all of its health care plans, routine tests and screenings are provided to patients with no extra out-of-pocket costs. A recent article in The Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics reminds you, “It’s illegal for health insurance companies to arbitrarily cancel your health insurance due to ‘high use’ of healthcare.” There is one important thing to remember though. As a reminder from Healthcare.gov, you are not necessarily covered for those preexisting conditions if you use a health care plan that you buy yourself as opposed to through your employer. The American Lung Association (ALA) suggests you consider the following factors and make sure they are covered by any potential health care plan: l What type of medicine do you take, whether orally or through your nose? l Have you ever needed oxygen? l Does your condition require medical equipment? l Who treats your lung disease? Is it your primary doctor? When researching any plan, it’s important to make sure medications as well as any necessary treatments or equipment are all covered. It’s equally important to ensure that your preferred doctor, including any specialists you see, are included as network providers within your new health care insurance plan. Lastly, the ALA advises you to consider your costs. “If you take medications daily to manage your disease or make frequent visits to your doctor, specialist or disease management sessions; you might consider choosing a plan that has higher premiums, but lower co-pays.” Gold vs. Platinum Plans: WebMD lays out the basic difference between the two plans. With a Gold Plan you can expect to pay 20% of your health care costs while having the Platinum Plan means you are only responsible for 10% of costs. Each of these plans will cost you more in monthly payments, but that is offset by the lower out-of-pocket costs. Get the facts and make an informed decision. If the choices have you overwhelmed or confused, the American Lung Association can help with its health insurance marketplace factsheet.

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electing health insurance coverage may be one of the most important financial decisions a young family will make. Before shopping for coverage -whether it be at open enrollment time or you’re starting from scratch- it is best to know first what you think you will need out of a policy and how much you can afford in premiums and out of pocket expenses, says Tom Gilsdorf, director of product development for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska. This is true even if you have coverage available to you through an employer. “Are you looking for lower premiums with more catastrophic coverage or are you willing to pay a little more so that when you access the routine services, you don’t have to pay that out of your pocket?” Gilsdorf asks.

“Make sure you understand what those maternity benefits are, deductibles and drug benefits and office visits,” he advises. “You don’t want to sign up for coverage because you thought it was a good deal and you take your kids to the pediatrician, only to have a lot more out of pocket.” The Affordable Care Act includes well-child benefits in every policy, so whichever policy you select will have that coverage already there for you. What you will need to take into consideration are visits to the Emergency Room and specialists, such as allergists.

What type of plans might work best for young families?

Consider Your Needs

A higher deductible plan will have a lower premium, which translates into a lower monthly payment, he says, but you’ll need to be sure you have saved enough to pay your deductible for any unexpected medical costs. If you think your family may add a member in the coming year, you need to consider maternity benefits as well as coverage of your choice of pediatrician, Gilsdorf says.

Location and Cost

Also take in consideration where your family tends to travel throughout the year and make sure you would have coverage available in those areas if need be, Gilsdorf says. “Make sure you have an idea of the coverage available in the other 49 states,” he recommends. “Blue Cross customers are covered not only here but in all 50 states as well as internationally. You can look at our directories and do a search and make sure there is adequate coverage for where you’re located.” Based on the services you think you’ll need, Gilsdorf said your next decision will be the affordability of your premiums, deductibles and out of pocket expenses. Don’t shy away from a plan just because it has a higher premium, he said.

CLARIFICATION: A feature on the Eastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership’s Affordable Care Act Navigators ran in this section earlier this month. To clarify, ENCAP has no affiliation with, nor was providing any endorsement of the services provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

| THE READER |

DEC. 19 - 25, 2013

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he joke: HEAVEN is where the French are the chefs, the Germans build the cars, the Italians are the lovers, the English are the police and the Swiss make it all run on time. But HELL is where the English are the chefs, Germans are the police, French build the cars, Swiss are the lovers and Italians try to keep it on time. Oh, profiling! Don’t you love it? According to the joke, English gustatory sense leaves much on the table. With the possible exception of shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, and various beers, the stereotype is accurate. English food is not an epicurean’s delight. That’s why publishing a study on food in the British Medical Journal is the ultimate irony. Webwide headlines spouted something like this: “Healthy Eating Adds $2K Yearly to Family Food Bills.” Let’s ignore the further irony that a journal published in the country lending its name to the language blithely misuses the word “healthy.” (For the record, a diet, habit, food or any other thing cannot be “healthy.” Things are healthful. People and living beings are healthy. There is a grammatical difference. Thanks, Amy.) So, triple-stink on the BMJ article: It abuses the language, the research is inherently flawed (more on that), and it’s an English publication covering food! (In fairness, the primary researcher lives in Boston.) Real food v. faux food Here’s one weakness of the meta-analysis and the sweeping statement that a healthful diet costs more. The researchers used antiquated institutional definitions of healthful diets, based in some cases on caloric intake. Think for a moment: skinless chicken will have far fewer calories than regular. Therefore, it will take more skinless chicken breast to reach 200 kcal than fattier, skin-on chicken. The study also defines “healthy food” in an antiquated way, ignoring such realities that nutrients are the point, not calories; there are good fats and bad fats and many other outlier nutritional realities. The research also compares fast food meals versus home cooked. Of course a 99-cent burger is cheap. But a 99cent burger isn’t really food anyway, in any sensible definition of the term. This debate that healthful or organic food costs more has been going on for years and it’s complete nonsense. Is an organic box of juicy-juice for your kid going to cost more than a conventional one? Absolutely! But an organic juice box is junk food just as much as the conventional cheaper version. Neither one should be going into your shopping cart. If you buy organic processed food you’re going to get high-priced processed food! But if you buy produce in season, wisely

and only pay for organic when it’s necessary, you can eat a nutritious and poison-free diet for the same cost or less than a supermarket spree. With meats and animal protein, healthful versions are nutrient-dense so require less per meal. A healthful diet should be less meat-centric. Pay me now or pay me later, or “Spend less on food, spend more on healthcare” What you should know: a healthful diet does not have to cost more than a standard American diet. In fact, it can often be less. Secondly, such a study ignores that in the long term, eating a cheap-food diet will cost you much more in healthcare dollars and years off your life. Forty years ago, Americans spent roughly 20 percent of our income on food and 10 percent on healthcare. Now, those numbers are reversed. We have cheap food but spend twice as much on healthcare. If food prices exploded as much as healthcare costs have since 1945, a dozen eggs in 2013 would be $55! So much for stupid, misleading headlines. Healthful holiday food faves Everyone has favorite foods over the holiday season. Which should be organic or a smarter choice? Turkey Commercial turkeys are cheap but barely qualify as food: raised in horrible conditions, pumped full of questionable feeds and with chemicals injected into the muscle before market. Cheap commercial turkeys are “enhanced” with “flavorful brine” injected into the carcass. Conversely, a pastured, well-fed, humanely raised turkey from a reputable farmer will cost more. In this case, you get what you pay for. And while we’re at it, are you using it wisely? Do you toss the carcass or do you simmer it in a stainless steel stockpot for several hours extracting delicious, nutritious broth for turkey vegetable soup, rich in calcium and minerals from that noble bird? Cranberries The cranberry is a holiday delight when simmered with sugar and jellied up. Cranberries are packed with phytonutrients, antioxidants and Vitamin C. They help prevent cancers, urinary tract infections, ulcers and more. But conventional cranberries are pesticide-polluted Christmas crops. Buy the organic ones. Sweet potatoes Truly a superfood. Bake them until soft then scoop out the inside and you’ve got instant mashed with all the nutrients that are ordinarily boiled out otherwise. Samples show 18 pesticides on conventional so buy organic. Celery Good flavors, good stuff but conventional has 67 pesticides in the test sample. Go organic. For more food info, visit ewg.org. Be well. ,

HEARTLAND HEALING is a New Age polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods

of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Visit HeartlandHealing.com for more information.

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DEC. 19 - 25 , 2013

| THE READER |

heartland healing


VISIONS FROM FIVE MINUTES INTO THE FUTURE • DECEMBER 19, 2013 • The future will bring an unexpected psychological problem, called "virtuapersona." This phenomenon will be the product of people having a complex, time consuming online identity that diverges from their real life, and results in a variety of

neurosis. Generally, sufferers will experience depression they are more accomplished in the online world than in the real world -- they may be stuck in a dead end job in reality, but a mayor or king online, and the difference will become unbearable.

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| THE READER |

DEC. 19 - 25, 2013

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am’s Leon Mexican Foods and Tortilleria is one of this word-of-mouth joints that doesn’t really advertise. This combination dine-in and take-out restaurant, catering service and tortilla factory at 5014 S. 20th St. has churned out Mexican staples for decades. It’s just a block south of another little known spot for honest, no-frills, not exactly authentic Mexican fare, the American GI Forum. Nestled among bungalow residences, Sam’s brightly colored awning sets it apart. It’s been through several owners and according to present proprietors David and Araseli Murillo, who bought the place in 2008, the unusual name belongs to the man who opened it, Sam Rocha, and his partner, Leon. The Murillos juggle the business among several pursuits. David, who’s worked construction and did extensive renovations to Sam’s after acquiring it, maintains rental properties. Araseli works as an ESL (English as Second Language) liaison at Omaha Bryan High School. They have three daughters. Araseli says with all they have going on it’s a challenge “making sure everything is being done the right way and we’re selling a good product,” adding, “We’re really busy people, but we’re hard working people.” Growing up in South Omaha the former Araseli Valadez says Sam’s was a well-known landmark for its prodigious tortilla manufacturing operation. Both her mother and an aunt worked there making the ubiquitous flatbread. Her husband estimates between 35,000 to 40,000 corn tortillas are made there weekly. For a long time Sam’s stood out as a Mexican ethnic food oasis in what used to be a gringo-centric neighborhood starved of such offerings. Araseli says her folks tell her that until Sam’s came along “there was nowhere in Omaha to get tortillas and jalapenos and anything that was Mexican.” Her immigrant parents couldn’t find good Mexican food locally and they were afraid for their family to publicly express their heritage. “We were even told, Don’t speak Spanish. because La Migra (immigration police) could be around.”

n This just out from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention: More than half of all foodborne illness outbreaks in the United States are associated with restaurants, delis, banquet facilities, schools and other institutions. The CDCP’s Environmental Health Specialists Network announces four new publications on restaurant food handling practices that have been linked with foodborne illness outbreaks in restaurant settings. These publications

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DEC. 19 - 25, 2013

The Latino boon that’s transformed South Omaha the last 25 years has meant an explosion of Mexican heritage pride and south of the border-themed food outlets. “It’s exciting. When we were growing up there weren’t many Mexican businesses.” Many of those businesses are restaurants, food trucks, grocery stores, bakeries. “There is a lot of competition which is OK. We’re not afraid of competition.” She and her husband had zero food business experience and no previous interest in venturing into the industry but David Murillo was friends with the last owner, who was looking to sell after some lean years. Murillo and his friend were both from the same small village in the Southern Mexican state of Jalisco. Before they knew it the Murillos found themselves newbies in the food game. After a rough start that coincided with the world’s economic collapse, they’ve turned things around. It helped, Araseli says, that her husband “is a pretty good cook” who “likes to make a lot of the traditional dishes where he’s from.” He’s since turned over the cooking to others. The couple has kept most of Sam’s original menu items and recipes, including its popular tamales featuring a spiced masa. They’ve expanded the menu, adding tacos, tortas, quesadillas, et cetera. They’ve also expanded the hours. Unusual for a small, family-owned place, it’s open every day of the week. Araseli says the addition of two food trucks they purchased in 2009, complete with established routes serving area meat processing plants, has made a difference. The business the trucks do, combined with the tortilla, salsa, chips, rice and beans that Sam’s makes and distributes to area restaurants and grocery stores, plus

the restaurant’s walk-in traffic, provides a diversified revenue stream. “That’s what really keeps the business going.” Still, managing a food business was the furthest thing from her mind. “We just took a chance. We decided this was a good opportunity to do something with a business that had already been established and had a lot of older customers who’ve been coming here since they were little. We thought we could pick it up and do something better with it. “Something unplanned sometimes turns out better than something you plan.” There was much to learn and do. Everybody in the family did their part. “We did a lot of work to this place. It was falling down when we bought it. It’s a family business, so we all help each other out. When we first bought it nobody was getting paid. We all had to pitch in to bring up the business.” Sam’s features bargain prices and items sold in bulk. You can get filled up for $5. Even the combos are well under $10. You can go home with a dozen tamales or most anything else, including family-size containers of salsa and rice and beans.

She says Sam’s can keep prices low because it prepares so much in quantity and its few employees are mostly family. A daughter, a nephew and Araseli’s in-laws all work there. , For menu, prices and hours, visit www.samsleon.com or call 402-733-3809. Read more of Leo Adam Biga’s work at leoadambiga.wordpress.com.

PHOTO BY BERNARDO MONTOYA

are on the following topics: ground beef handling, handling of leafy greens,chicken cross-contamination and sick food workers. Food safety programs and the restaurant industry can use these findings to develop effective interventions to improve food safety in restaurants. n Welcome Omaha Culinary Tours, a food tour company, showcasing Omaha’s food scene. Currently booking the Midtown Walking Food Tour. Stop at six or seven places where you will eat, shop and learn a little history along way. Tickets are $45 for a 2 1/2-hour tour. Visit www.omahaculianry-

| THE READER |

dish

tours.com for more information or to book a tour. n With new reigns in the kitchen, Benson Brewery, 6059 Maple St., has a new brunch menu to announce. They will be serving their brunch menu both Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Also worth mentioning, the Vegan Brew Burger is getting rave reviews. If that’s your thing, try it out and let us know what you think. For more information, go to www.bensonbrewery.com. n There is a Seed Packaging Party Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Benson Branch Library, 61st and Binney. Your help is needed to

label and fill packets with seeds for the upcoming gardening season. n The Lauter Tun Fine Ales and Spirits, 3309 Oak View Drive, will close their doors for good Dec. 29. According to their recent Facebook post, the folks at Lauter Tun tell us that “their glass is almost empty.” They will however, still throw the Lauter Tun’s Third Annual Festivus For The Rest Of Us Monday, Dec. 23, starting a 6 p.m. — Krista O’Malley Crumbs is about indulging in food and celebrating its many forms. Send information about area food and drink businesses to crumbs@thereader.com.


Tequila Corner

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et’s suppose that you bought me tickets to celebrate Christmas in Mexico, which I would not oppose of course, because I doubt very much that they’re dealing with snow in Mexico right now. Depending upon where in Mexico you send me, I might find myself in the midst of a celebration that begins more than a week before Christmas Day and doesn’t end until after the New Year. The traditional Mexican Christmas begins with what is called Posadas. This is a reenactment of Mary and Joseph wandering around town, desperately looking for somewhere to stay the night so Mary can give birth. This all takes place beginning on December 16. Kids in Mexico used to have to wait until January 6 for their gifts because this is Wise Men Day, but nowadays many of them indeed get their gifts on Christmas. So just to be safe, I suggest you purchase tickets for me that let me stay until after January 6, and I will try very hard to not complain that I missed the beginning of the celebration already. Now let’s suppose that a Mexican vacation just isn’t in the budget, and instead you want to take me out to dinner. If you take me to La Mesa in December, we can both enjoy an 18 ounce Casamigos Margarita for $6.50 each. I don’t think La Mesa offers the traditional Mexican Christmas drink called ponche, but I won’t complain if I can have a margarita instead. We can also peruse the new happy hour menu. I

envision us eating nachos, drinking margaritas and politely avoiding the topic of why you didn’t send me to Mexico this year like you had promised. If you decide that my passive aggressiveness is simply too much to take, but you still want to get me something for Christmas because I’m really a nice person deep down, you may want to pick up some La Mesa gift cards. They’re having a promotion right now where buying $25 in La Mesa gift cards earns you a free $5 gift card. So you decide if you keep the $5 for yourself, or throw it in there to give me $30 in gift cards. Either way is fine with me as long as I get my Casamigos Margarita at some point. Even if you decide that you’re not getting me anything this year for Christmas, you should still head over to La Mesa and enjoy some delicious food and amazing tequila. Load up on gift cards so you can enjoy La Mesa throughout the entire year and still call it a Christmas celebration regardless of what time of year it actually is. Feliz Navidad, amigos!

| THE READER |

—Tamsen Butler

DEC. 19 - 25, 2013

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BY WILLIAM GRENNAN

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y nose is completely stuffed up and instead of a breath, I get a cough. I’ve been battling this head cold for a week now. I take a hot shower, trying to clear out my sinuses to no avail. This cold is a stubborn one. But life doesn’t stop for your illness, especially when you have deadlines to make. I put some clothes on, grab some tea and head out the door to the office. Sitting down in the studio, I get everything set up for the day’s interview. After turning the recording console on, I dial a Colorado area code, and wait for an answer on the other line. “Hi, Bill!” A full-breathed, energetic Lara Marsh says on the other line. “Hi, Lara!” I say right back in time to hack up more mucus. Lara’s energy and warmth can be felt all the way through the phone line. Lara, diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis since age four, is recovering from a double lung transplant she received a month earlier. Before the surgery, she was hard at work as the Artistic Coordinator of the Nebraska Theatre Caravan, preparing two Christmas Carol tours and looking ahead to The Fantasticks. Now, Marsh’s days are spent recuperating with the support of doctors, friends, family, and most of all, her husband Craig. The recovery process is slow and she’s already itching to get back to work. Lara’s never been one to sit still for long, especially as a child growing up alongside her sister Amy, both of whom developed the disease. Cystic Fibrosis, or “CF”, is a recessive genetic disorder, primarily affecting the lungs, that causes frequent mucus buildup and lung infections, eventually damaging them beyond repair and jeopardizing other organs in the process. But even as a young child, Marsh wasn’t going to let her condition stop her. “My parents were always honest and upfront with me about CF,” she said. “What it was going to do to me, how it would act, and, ultimately, what my fate was. I remember being very young, 8 years old, and making the decision that if I had the chance to get a transplant, I would do it.” Her sister’s chance came first. Normally the picture of health, Amy’s symptoms were never as severe as Lara’s, who spent much time out of school sick. “Then,” Lara said, “one summer day day she caught a cold and it changed our whole world.” When living with CF, even the smallest illness can quickly turn into a lethal affliction. While Lara slowly improved, Amy’s infection started what would become a seven-year downward trend. She needed a transplant. Amy made it through surgery but the recovery process was met with several complications. Three months after surgery, it was decided that she needed a second transplant. During the second procedure, more complications (including her other failing organs) were too much to overcome. Amy passed away at age 18. “I was really angry for a long time,” Lara said. “Being only 18 and not having a chance to live her

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DEC. 19 - 25, 2013

life. I was angry for her, not for me. I remember very clearly the day we turned the machines off. They sat me down and had a serious conversation with me. ‘Don’t let this affect you,’ they said. ‘We don’t want this to discourage you from having a transplant.’ Looking back, I understand why they had that conversation with me. They never needed to sway me though. I already made my decision long ago.” While waiting for her time, Marsh found solace in art. Coming out of high school she looked to major in visual art in college. Then, in 1995, she attended the performances of Shadowlands and Lost in Yonkers at the Omaha Community Playhouse. “They really moved me,” Marsh said. “I enjoyed it so much that I decided ‘I want to volunteer here!’ Next thing I know I was a spotlight operator for The Music Man. It ran for six weeks and it changed my life. I walked out of there, not wanting the show to end, went over to UNO, changed my major to drama and I’ve been with it ever since.” Lara never let her condition slow down her work at The Playhouse, often stage managing four or five shows a season. She quickly developed a reputation as one of the hardest working and most enjoyable personalities in the organization. In the early years, the details of her CF weren’t widely known, though she never hid her condition from anyone. Time past until the devastating moment came when Lara, the picture of reliability at The Playhouse, had to drop out of stage managing A Streetcar Named Desire because of her illness.

| THE READER |

cover story

It was time to make the big push towards a transplant. While staying in as good of health as possible, Marsh’s name was placed on the transplant list. A charity fund was set up called the “Places Please Effort to Support Lara Marsh” to help offset the eventual costs of surgery and recovery. After a false alarm in August, the call came in November that a healthy pair of lungs were ready for Lara in Denver. One quick flight and more than 10 hours of surgery later, Lara’s procedure was a success. Now, Lara’s next step is recovery. With her husband Craig by her side, the next few months are crucial in making sure everything heals according to plan. The two of them said the outpouring of support from friends, family, and even strangers in the Omaha community has been overwhelming. “Just knowing that we’re not going through this alone. A card or email or text message means the world.” Craig said. The best part about this whole process, they said, is the awareness being raised about Cystic Fibrosis and the life-saving capabilities of organ donation. “I’m wondering at what point people are going to get tired of seeing my face!” Lara said, laughing. “I’ve had people reach out to me, people I don’t even know tell me their stories. Parents who have just learned that their child has CF and want to know what the next step is. People tell me that they have become organ donors now.” Craig agreed that this experience gives optimism that more people will consider becoming organ do-

nors. “There are more recipients waiting out there than there are donors.” Craig said. “100-200 people can benefit from just one donor. That’s a lot of lives changed and a lot of lives saved.” Above all, the surgery has given the Marshs something that was always uncertain. Time and Hope. “I guess that’s part of my future too,” said Lara, “to keep that hope for people active.” We wrap up the interview and I finish up the rest of my work before going down to The Bluebarn Theatre for a show. My own, less serious illness seems to have subsided and my coughing and body aches are no more. As I walk out of the building and get into my car, Lara’s words remain in my head. I go to the bank to make a deposit and the teller asks for some identification. Reaching into my pocket, I pull out my wallet and hand the teller my ID. When she returns it, I don’t put it back right away. I hold it in my hands a moment and look at the bottom right hand corner. A small red heart with the letter ‘Y’ in the middle of it. Above it reads the word ‘Donor’. “Everything alright, sir?” The teller asks me. “Great,” I said smiling back. “Enjoy the rest of your day.” As I make my way toward the door, I realize that my cold is finally gone. I walk outside, and take my first real breath of the day. , For more information on the “Places Please Effort to Support Lara Marsh,” visit www.cotaforlaram.com.


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DEC. 19 - 25, 2013

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T H E R E A D E R ’ S E N T E RTA I N M E N T P I C K S D E C . 19 - 2 5 , 2 01 3

THURSDAY19 Through Dec. 30

HOLIDAY UNDER GLASS

Joslyn Art Museum 2200 Dodge St. Wednesdays & Fridays, noon-12:45 p.m. www.joslyn.org

DAYS

TOPTV

“I Love Lucy Christmas Special” Friday, 7 p.m. (CBS)

What are the odds of a black-and-white 1950s sitcom being funny in 2013? Extremely low – unless the sitcom is “I Love Lucy.” In the “I Love Lucy Christmas Special,” CBS offers us a holiday gift by airing two 1956 episodes, “The Christmas Episode” and “Lucy’s Italian Movie.” The only concession to modern-day audiences is colorization. Otherwise, the acting, writing and staging are for the ages. “The Christmas Episode” is of particular interest. It wasn’t included in the series’ decades of rebroadcasts and was thought to be lost until CBS rediscovered it in 1989. In other words, this is a TV gem you probably haven’t seen. Lucy (Lucille Ball) and Ricky (Desi Arnaz) decorate a Christmas tree with their friends Fred (William Frawley) and Ethel (Vivian Vance) while reminiscing about life before their son was born. The reminiscences come in the form of clips from previous episodes — and I dare you not to laugh out loud at the one where Ricky, Fred and Ethel try to keep Lucy from singing (badly) in their barbershop quartet. Or the one where they do a practice run for getting Lucy to the hospital when she goes into labor. From the repartee to the double takes, the chemistry among these four comic pros is nothing short of astonishing. I was also struck by the characters’ warmth and bonhomie. Though the apartment set looks flimsy by today’s standards, Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel make it feel like home. — Dean Robbins

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DEC. 19 - 25, 2013

MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER

Stop by the Joslyn Art Museum and enjoy Holiday Under Glass, a holiday luncheon concert series held in the Museum’s glass atrium. The concerts will feature holiday favorites and classical arrangements performed by area musicians, including high school, university and other music groups. ConAgra Foods Foundation is a sponsor of Holiday Under Glass concert series as part of its Shine the Light on Hunger campaign this holiday season. Attendees are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to the museum to donate to Food Bank for the Heartland. — Krista O’Malley

releasing 2000’s Domestica, 2003’s The Ugly Organ catapulted Cursive to another level. Soon the group was sharing the stage with notable artists such as The Cure, Interpol and The Rapture. With seven albums under his belt with Cursive, the seasoned musician is branching out on his own and presenting Ted Stevens Unknown Project to the world—or just Omaha (at least for now). He’s still playing with Cursive, but he’s also been releasing music under the Ted Stevens Unknown Project moniker since last January. — Kyle Eustice

Dec. 19

Dec. 22

Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St., 9 p.m. Tickets $12 www.onepercentproductions.com

Orpheum, 409 S. 16th St., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets $64-$111 www.omaha-theater.com

Ted Stevens was an Omaha music staple before many of his Cursive fans were born. In 1996, he was front man of Lullaby for the Working Class, as well as the short-lived Mayday, before joining Cursive as a guitarist and vocalist in 1999. Alongside core members Tim Kasher and Matt Maginn, Stevens has reveled in a flourishing career as a musician; not an easy feat by any means. After

Nothing quite says Christmas like the music of Mannheim Steamroller. The brainchild of composers Chip Davis and Jackson Berkey, Mannheim Steamroller has been churning

TED STEVENS UNKNOWN PROJECT WITH CURSIVE AND LADYFINGER (NE)

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SUNDAY22 MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER

TED STEVENS

out its version of “18th century rock-n-roll” in true Christmas fashion since 1984. Davis has built a virtual empire out of the multi-platinum selling Mannheim Steamroller and turned it into one of the most successful holiday brands in the world. Last holiday season, Davis commemorated the anniversary of his first holiday album by releasing Mannheim Steamroller Christmas – 25th Anniversary Collection, a two CD set featuring 25 of the group’s famous holiday classics. The Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller by Chip Davis toured over 70 cities. Mannheim Steamroller also participated in its fourth Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC this year and is in its sixth season at the Universal Orlando Resort, where Davis takes the helm of the orchestra in the “Grinchmas” live theater production. Mannheim Steamroller makes a rare appearance at the Orpheum this Sunday. — Kyle Eustice


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DEC. 19 - 25, 2013

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n Last week, Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre reintroduced their educational outreach program back into Omaha area schools with the opening of McMillan’s Macbeth, a production developed with Lions’ Pride, the after school program at McMillan Magnet School in North Omaha. The theatre said the objective of the program “is still designed to foster a more solid understanding and appreciation of the classics through performance.” DeJuan Reddick, the new site director for Lions’ Pride, contacted the Brigit Saint Brigit theatre during his first week as the new site director and initiated a partnership between The Brigit Saint Brigit and The Rose Theater for the performance project. “The students at McMillan don’t currently have drama as a choice in their curriculum.” Reddick said. “It is my belief that the study of the theatrical arts provides them with an outlet for internal exploration and creative expression and promotes positive social interaction.” The BSB staff worked with the students on character development, performance, and stage combat/fight choreography on Mondays and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays the Rose has been helping the students develop special scenery and effects for the play as well as staging the famous cauldron scene from Shakespeare’s great tragedy. The idea for the script began during a meeting between the two theatres and developed into what they now refer to as McMillan’s Macbeth. At the opening of

H

Her website said it all: “I’m Wanda Ewing—printmaker, painter, collage and multimedia artist and latch hook maven. I’ve been making provocative art with a political edge in my midwestern hometown since 1999. And to do that, you have to be tenacious as hell.” At 3 a.m., Dec.8, Ewing let go of her family, friends and career and suddenly passed away following an emergency cancer surgery, much too soon at the age of 43. Ironically, this auspicious chapter of the Metro’s art scene came to a close that morning following a closing of her current show at the RNG Gallery, which she was unable to attend earlier that night, called Little Deaths. There was nothing “little” about Ewing’s stature either in her art or in person…and certainly not in her passing. Many had their say last week at services, campuses, coffee shops, bistros and arts venues all over the

ART BY WANDA EWING

the play, the teacher, played by Kathryn Stahl, one of the teaching artists from the Rose, tells the students, “Your test over Macbeth is tomorrow. Today, we’ll review.” The action of the play then moves back and forth between the classroom, where they are reviewing for the test to selected scenes from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Twelve students in the Lions’ Pride program will be participating in the play and one of the opening scenes will include students from Miss Wendy Jones’ dance program, A Step Above the Rest, another activity available to the students in the Lions’ Pride Program. The performances of McMillan’s Macbeth will continue Friday, Dec. 20, at 6:30 p.m. in McMillan Magnet Schools auditorium located at 3802 Redick Ave. The performance is free and open to the public. —Bill Grennan Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to mixedmedia@thereader.com

ART BY WANDA EWING

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Metro as to just how significant the loss of this largerthan-life person is in their life and what she meant and continues to mean to the local arts community. Tributes to her character from family, friends and fellow workers such as “An alive, vibrant person,” “A strong, confident woman” and “She was more than a teacher, she was a friend”…. were the norm as they painted a picture of an artist and mentor who influenced so many who came in contact with her. Others lent a more personal note with comments like, “I have no words (to describe how I feel), I’m just at a loss”, “We are so saddened and still in stunned disbelief ” and “She always greeted me with that amazing smile and a big hug,” as an entire arts community struggled to accept Ewing’s tragic death while in the prime of her life and career. Contributing to the shock of her passing was the artist’s deliberate downplaying of her nearly yearlong battle with cancer and subsequent treatments that resulted in Ewing’s taking a fall semester medical leave as an associate professor in the art department at University of Nebraska at Omaha. Refusing to “go public” with her illness, she even told RNG owner Rob Gilmer, who asked if it should be part of the above show’s publicity, ”Only if it has to do with the art…and it does not.” In her honor, UNO has established the Wanda Ewing Scholarship Fund. Donations can be sent to the University of Nebraska Foundation on her behalf. RNG is featuring a special memorial of its own into January that showcases Ewing’s work at various stages in

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culture

the past 15 years. It includes individual pieces--many lent from collectors--from her Bougie, Dresses, Jewelry and Wallflowers prints, her Video Grrrlzzz and the Black as Pitch, Hot as Hell paintings, and her current latch hook tapestries, among others, all of which can be seen at her website, wandaewing.com. And, just like the artist herself, her art made a strong first impression. There was nothing subtle about either. If they shared a message, it was “Look at me, I’m a proud black woman, and I’m going to be hard to ignore.” Since much of any artist’s work is autobiographical, then the dominant yet vulnerable, ethnic and voluptuous image seen in virtually all of her work was Wanda at her unapologetically, in your face, expressive best. She knew her imagery to be controversial. On her website she said, “As a viewer you will always be surprised (maybe even shocked) into looking inward and evaluating—then perhaps re-evaluating—your opinions about race, female beauty standards, sexuality and identity.” Being provocative never stopped her. In fact, this quality often rattled a few cages in Omaha bent on sustaining a traditional art scene and paved the way for other female artists to find their voices. This was particularly so at the cage-rattling RNG in 2011 with Ewing’s curated group show, Les Femmes Folles, which as this critic wrote then, was “exploratory, revealing and at times self-effacing in its view of what it is to be a woman. It is also occasionally selfindulgent in illustrating both the pleasure and the frustration in living up to society’s as well as one’s own expectations of being female.”

Naughty and nice, the show featured Ewing’s signature brassy, half-naked, ethnic caricatures, and equally revealing work from Leslie Diuguid, Jamie Lamaster, Lauren van Wyke and especially Rebecca Herskovitz whose own sexualized imagery pushed the envelope of identity and pleasure even more, such was the curator’s influence. It was Herskovitz and her “leading ladies” who once again shared center stage with Ewing at RNG before her final bow last Saturday night. A native Omahan, Ewing earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1997 and a Master of Fine Arts Degree at the University of Iowa in 2002, all in printmaking, her first love as an artist before she moved on to other mediums. In between, she began a short stay at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in 1999 before starting her graduate work. In 2004 Ewing joined the UNO arts faculty where Department Chair Robert Carlson said she “brought diversity, not just for the obvious reasons but with her art and mindset…she worked hard and embraced challenges whether working with students, serving on a faculty committee or contributing to the overall wellbeing of the department.” She served as a studio foundations professor (drawing and basic design), which remained her primary teaching area. She also occasionally taught courses in elementary printmaking, and more recently graphic design. Her major contribution to the curriculum, said friend and departmental colleague Bonnie O’Connell, “was the development of a upper level course on professional practice titled ‘Art/Work’ which guides stucontinued on page 14 y


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y continued from page 12 dents near graduation in the development of a unified body of work. “They then go on to address the subsequent tasks of securing an exhibition site for the work, as well as issues regarding promotion, documentation, and placement into private and public collections. Given its success, the department is considering it as a capstone course for all studio art majors.” O’Connell said Ewing was “an energetic, animated teacher who encouraged her students to embrace experimentation…her own artistic success served as an inspiration, and students couldn’t help but be influenced by her fearlessness, self confidence, and belief in the personal rewards of a life in art.” But Ewing made it clear that it took due diligence and tenacity, a lesson that former capstone student Ben McQuillan said didn’t come easy. “Wanda was ‘the shit.’ When I first met her I was somewhat intimidated, mostly based on what some of the other students were saying about her,” said McQuillan, now affiliated with the Petshop Gallery in Benson. ”She was a bit of a hard-ass in critique, and finals, etc. It took me a little while, but it was clear that her toughness was sincere and designed to push us students. So much so that in between classes and studio time there would sometimes be a line out her door or kids piled up in her office for one on one time. She was more than a professor, she was a mentor, life-coach and friend.” Ewing’s devotion to mentoring extended to her volunteer work at the Kent Bellows Studio committed to connecting high school students to professional artists in after school programming. Former KBS Director Anne Meysenberg said her presence early on as a board member and mentor was “instantaneous.” “She was the creative voice in the room who could help make sure we understood the needs of budding artists,” Meysenberg said. “She was just Wanda. She snorted when she laughed and she smiled with her eyes, and she was always quick with a great story. She exposed the students at the studio to so much, and I was fortunate to spend time with her both personally and professionally.” Despite her success and influence as a mentor and instructor, Ewing considered herself “an artist first, a teacher second,” as she reminded this writer when reviewing her 2007 show at the UNO Fine Arts Gallery, Do’s and Don’ts. It was a matter of pride for her that her work serve as an example, a variation on a theme of “show and tell.” “Wanda’s greatest contribution was her passion for art making,” said another UNO colleague and artist, Avery Mazor. “As an artist and professor she always asked, ‘what is your art about? She enjoyed the conversation and challenged norms. She brought a unique and visionary point of view. She saw beyond Omaha and brought an international perspective to our department.” And Ewing brought honor as well, both to UNO and herself, winning several career and teaching awards including a coveted Individual Artist Grant from the Pollock Krasner Foundation (2011), a Ne-

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culture

braska Arts Council Fellowship (2013), Best Visual Artist of 2008 from OEAA and an Artist of the Year recognition in 2006 from the National Council of Negro Women, Inc., among others. Perhaps because her work and POV are controversial, her art has been shown and collected internationally at Proyecto ACE Center for Visual Arts in Buenos Aires, Tama Art Museum in Tokyo and nationally by the universities of Texas, Purdue and Iowa and locally at the Sheldon Museum of Art, and at several regional and national museums. Her aesthetic pleased as well. “Her art was full of vibrancy and she was never afraid to take risks,” said local collector Laura Vranes. “My husband (John McIntyre) and I loved her art because of the beautiful way she could capture form and emotion even with a simple dress.” An observation echoed by artist Mazor who “loved Wanda’s fearlessness in the subject matter of her work and her extraordinary sense of composition, line, and color.” “I especially love Wanda’s humor and her wicked fun with titles,” added artist O’Connell. “It’s hard to top Black as Pitch, Hot is Hell or her exhibition title of Hookin is Hard Work. Her vitality, larger than life spirit, and open embrace of the sensual was clearly translated into her lively depictions of women.” No more so than in Sheldon’s survey of Ewing’s work in 2007, the marvelous Bougie exhibition that this critic compared favorably in eReview art journal to one of her influences, Ellen Gallagher. Like the latter, I wrote, “Ewing’s images are largely slave to fashion and sensuality. Thematically, they mirror Gallagher’s repetition of retro images that reference the changing tides of Afro-fashion, especially hairstyles. Ewing’s work profits on similar borrowed stereotypes of beauty, fashion, print advertising, even Warhol.” But she created them with her own brand of Humanism. One that crosses all racial boundaries, as it “reveals her love-hate relationship with glamour and style…duplicitous in her expose, acknowledging, virtually relishing the culpability of the ‘victim’ who searches for her self image in such glamorous role models. It’s her version of the masquerade, poses willingly adapted to conform to social expectations of womanhood.” Ewing understood her “women,” identified with their struggle to be known and to be accepted. She didn’t judge them, though she could be at times demanding as well as her own harsh critic. She was both a complicated individual and an open book, or in her case, an exposed canvas. “Wanda brought it all,” Gilmer said. ”She brought “Flava” to the art scene and honest looks at herself, the canvas was her mirror.” And in it, someone who talked back to the viewer just as openly. We are missing a strong female voice… a strong contemporary voice… a strong black voice,” Mazor said. “We’ve lost someone who always encourages other artists to seek out their passions and to never be afraid.” “She was a spirited arts ambassador,” O’Connell added, ”and it will be difficult to find anyone to fill her shoes.” ,


backbeat

n 311 will release their 11th album Tuesday, March 11, and it’ll be the first release on the band’s own label, 311 Records. The currently untitled album is follow-up to 2011’s Universal Pulse. Longtime 311 producer Scott Ralston

311

worked with the band on the new album and mixed the disc alongside 311 drummer Chad Sexton. The album will be distributed by INgrooves/INresidence. The band will celebrate the release with a concert in New Orleans on 311 Day, which will also commemorate the first 311 day held March 11, 2000. n Local music fans have until the end of Christmas Eve to reserve their copy of Hear Nebraska’s latest local music compilation. Hear Nebraska: Volume 2 features 10 songs by Omaha and Lincoln bands and is being pre-sold via Kickstarter.com. Hear Nebraska already met their initial fundraising goal of $4,000 to pay for a run of 500 vinyl copies of the compilations. Any additional funds will be put toward future Hear Nebraska programming and funding the Nebraska music website’s continued operations.

THE THERMALS

n Learn the origin story of Saddle Creek Records’ best band The Thermals by participating in a new online game featuring the songs “The Sword By My Side.” Take control of bad-ass bassist Kathy Foster, as she frees drummer Westin Glass and singer/guitarist Hutch Harris from the clutches of evil in a sweet online game designed in 8-bit glory by Slouch Couch Game Studio. Check it out at theswordbymyside.com. — Chris Aponick The Reader’s Backbeat column seeks to cover the local music scene from all corners of the sound spectrum. Whether it’s news of new bands, farewell shows, album releases or special events, the Reader’s music team wants to hear from you. Got a tip? Email it to backbeat@thereader.com.

| THE READER |

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livemusiccalendar

SEND CALENDAR INFORMATION — including addresses, dates, times, costs and phone numbers — to The Reader’s calendar editor. Mail to or drop off information at P.O. Box 7360 Omaha, NE 68107; email to listings@thereader.com; fax to (402) 341.6967. Deadline is 5 p.m. the Thursday prior to issue date.

THURSDAY 19

NIKKI HILL, (Blues) 5:30 pm, 21st Saloon, $10. DURTY THURSDAY - E BROWN, 9 pm, Bar 415, Free. MATT BANTA BAND W/ JOHN LARSEN, 9 pm, Barley Street Tavern, $5. YG W/ JAZZ THE RAPPER, KARTERBOY, BLACK RIBBON, GUTTA, (Hip-Hop/Rap) 8 pm, Bourbon Theater, $20 ADV. NEW MOON SONGWRITERS NIGHT, (Folk/Singer-Songwriter) 7 pm, Crescent Moon Coffee, FREE. STEVE LOVETT, HIS GUITAR, AND HARMONICA, 7 pm, Jazz, A Louisiana Kitchen, Free.

READER RECOMMENDS CHAD STONER “GROOVE WITH A TOUCH OF CHRISTMAS” FEATURING CAMILLE METOYER-MOTEN, (Jazz) 6:30 pm, OzoNE Lounge at Anthony’s Steakhouse, Free. OPK W/ MUSH MOUTH, CLOCKS, 9 pm, Slowdown, $5. ADAM LEE, 8 pm, The Tavern, Contact the venue for cover charge. ACOUSTIC MUSIC THURSDAYS!, 8 pm, Two Fine Irishmen, Contact Two Fine Irishmen for cover charge.

READER RECOMMENDS CURSIVE W/ LADYFINGER & TED STEVENS UNKNOWN PROJECT, (Rock) 9 pm, Waiting Room, $12 / $30 3 Night Pass. SCOTTIE MILLER, 6 pm, Zoo Bar, $10. WE B3 FEAT. LUKE POLIPNICK, MITCH TOWNE AND DANA MURRAY, 9 pm, Zoo Bar, $6.

FRIDAY 20

SOUNDBITE, 8 pm, Arena Bar & Grill, Free. WREKAFEKT & TYEDUP & BURN WON, 9 pm, Bar 415, Contact the venue for cover charge. THIRD FRIDAY FUNK FEAT. LUCAS KELLISON & THE UNDISCO KIDS!, 9 pm, Duffy’s Tavern, Free. HOTT 2 TROTT, (COVER BAND) 9 pm, Firewater Grille, Free. SAILING IN SOUP, 9 pm, Havana Garage, Free. DAFT PUNK COVERED LIVE W/DARREN KEEN + DJ W.E.R.D., 10 pm, House Of Loom, $5. STREET RAILWAY COMPANY PLAYS, 7 pm, Jazz, A Louisiana Kitchen, Free. FOR EDWARD, THE EPITOMES, HANDSOMER JAWS, JEAZELPEATS, 9 pm, Knickerbockers, Contact the venue for cover charge. ENVY, (Cover Band) 9 pm, Loose Moose, Contact the venue for cover charge. THE SEEN W/ CRYSTAL WOLF, (Rock) 9:30 pm, O’Leaver’s Pub, $5. TAXI DRIVER, (Cover Band) 6:30 pm, OzoNE Lounge at Anthony’s Steakhouse, Free. JAGGED WITH TWIST, (Cover Band) 6 pm, Pizza Shoppe Collective, Contact the venue for cover charge. IRISH CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA, 7 pm, Rococo Theater, $20 ADV / $25 DOS. EARLYTOWN W/ THE WILLARDS, & RAQUEL TELFER, (Rock) 8 pm, Shamrock’s Pub & Grill, Contact the venue for cover charge.

READER RECOMMENDS TEN CLUB W/ TWO DRAG CLUB, (Rock) 9 pm, Slowdown, $7. 4 DAYS OF MERRIMENT W/ AVARICIOUS, 8 pm, Two Fine Irishmen, Contact the venue for cover charge. 24 HOUR CARDLOCK, PONCHO AND THE CONTRABAND & WHITE WOLF T-SHIRT, 9 pm, Venue 51, $5.

READER RECOMMENDS DISORDERLY CONDUCT MUSIC PRESENTS: HAPPY HOOLI-DAYS, 9 pm, Waiting Room, $10. BRAD CORDLE BAND, 5 pm, Zoo Bar, Contact the venue for cover charge.

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DEC. 19 - 25, 2013

| THE READER |

music listings

THUNDERSANDWICH W/ STONEBELLY, 9 pm, Zoo Bar, $6.

SATURDAY 21

PALINDROSEFF, 9 pm, Bar 415, Contact the venue for cover charge. FROLIO W/ THOSE FAR OUT ARROWS AND THE LAST DRAFT, 9 pm, Barley Street Tavern, $5.

READER RECOMMENDS HOPE VENTURE BENEFIT FT. BRIAN VRANICAR & RICH CONFER, 5 pm, Bourbon Theater, $5: 21 and up / $7: under 21. SEXY SANTA COSTUME CONTEST FT. RMV, 10 pm, Bourbon Theater, $5: 21 and up / $7: 18 and up. CACTUS FLATS, (Country) 8 pm, Coyote Willy’s, $5. LOOM WEAVES WINTER SOLSTICE, 8 pm, House Of Loom, $5. LIVE PERFORMANCE BY SARABANDE, 7 pm, Jazz, A Louisiana Kitchen, Free. UGLY SWEATER SHOW: BEAVER DAMAGE, CYNGE GALLOWS MAJESTY, 9 pm, Knickerbockers, Contact the venue for cover charge. HIDDEN AGENDA, (Cover Band) 9 pm, Loose Moose, Contact the venue for cover charge.

READER RECOMMENDS THE BRIGADIERS W/ BEAR ANTLERS, 9:30 pm, O’Leaver’s Pub, $5. CELEBRATE THE SOLSTICE WITH THE 6TH ANNUAL ÆTHERTONES, 7 pm, Old Market Artists Gallery, Free. ENVY, (Cover Band) 6:30 pm, OzoNE Lounge at Anthony’s Steakhouse, Free. THE KING: ANOTHER CHRISTMAS CAROL, 6:15 pm, Rococo Theater, $35 VIP-DF / $25 GA. RHYTHM911, 8 pm, Shamrock’s Pub & Grill, Contact the venue for cover charge. FROSTIVAL 2013 W/ BLUE MARTIAN TRIBE, FUNK TREK, PURVEYORS, LE FIGS DUO, LINEAR SYMETRY, (Rock) 7:30 pm, Slowdown, With Donation: $10 / $15. SOUL NIGHT, 8 pm, The Sydney, Contact the venue for cover charge. 4 DAYS OF MERRIMENT W/ SECRET WEAPON, (Cover Band) 8 pm, Two Fine Irishmen, Contact the venue for cover charge. THE ENVY CORPS W/ OQUOA & MILLIONS OF BOYS, 9 pm, Waiting Room, $8.

AMFM, 8 pm, Red9, Contact the venue for cover charge. MR. SINISTER, (Rock) 9 pm, Whiskey Roadhouse (Horseshoe Casino), Free. BLUES PROJECT, (Blues) 6 pm, Zoo Bar, $5. LLOYD MCCARTER, 9 pm, Zoo Bar, $6.

SUNDAY 22

SALSA SUNDAY W/ LATIN MADNESS, 7 pm, House Of Loom, $5. O’LEAVER’S OPEN MIC NIGHT, 9 pm, O’Leaver’s Pub, Free.

READER RECOMMENDS MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHRISTMAS, (Rock) 3 pm, Orpheum Theater, $38.25 - $78.25. TIM HALPERIN W/ LIZZIE DAVIS, 7 pm, Slowdown, $10. TRACY SKRETTA, 2 pm, Soaring Wings Vineyard, Free. 4 DAYS OF MERRIMENT W/ HIDDEN AGENDA HOSTING ACOUSTIC OPEN MIC NIGHT, 8 pm, Two Fine Irishmen, Contact the venue for cover charge. THE MEZCAL BROTHERS W/ MATT COX, 6 pm, Waiting Room, $7. BOTTLETOPS W/ SAINT CHRISTOPHER, THE INBWEENS, 6 pm, Zoo Bar, $6.

MONDAY 23

OPEN MIC & SONGWRITER SHOWCASE, (Folk/Singer-Song writer) 9 pm, Barley Street Tavern, FREE. FIRST CUT W/ DJ DRDIGGS, (DJ/Electronic) 9 pm, House Of Loom, FREE. GOOCH AND HIS LAS VEGAS LAB BAND, (Cover Band) 8 pm, OzoNE Lounge at Anthony’s Steakhouse, Free. OPEN MIC NIGHT! AT RED9, 8 pm, Red9, Free. 4 DAYS OF MERRIMENT W/ HIDDEN AGENDA, (Cover Band) 8 pm, Two Fine Irishmen, Contact the venue for cover charge. WAITING ROOM MUSIC QUIZ, 8 pm, Waiting Room, FREE.

READER RECOMMENDS MANDOWN W/ 8TH WAVE & THE FONZARELLIES, 9 pm, Waiting Room, $10. PIANO HOUR W/ EMILY BASS, 5 pm, Zoo Bar, contact the Zoo Bar for cover charge.

TUESDAY 24

VIC NASTY, 8 pm, Bar 415, Contact the venue for cover charge. OPEN MIC NIGHT, 9:30 pm, Dubliner Pub, Free. JAZZOCRACY, (Jazz) 6 pm, Zoo Bar, Free.

WEDNESDAY 25

CRASH & BURN BLUES JAM, (Blues) 6 pm, Barley Street Tavern, Free . DICEY RILEYS, 7 pm, Brazen Head Irish Pub, Free. CRATE & CRAFT CLUB | JAZZ VINYL W/ANDREW MONSON, (Jazz) 8 pm, House Of Loom, Free. WARPED WAX W/TURNTABLIST CMB, (DJ/Electronic) 8 pm, House Of Loom, Free. LIL SLIM, (Blues) 9 pm, Zoo Bar, $6.


BY B.J. HUCHTEMANN

Shawn Holt’s BMA Nomination

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ebraska’s own Shawn Holt, son of the late Magic Slim, was recognized last week with a Best New Artist Debut nomination when the 35th Annual Blues Music Award nominations were announced. Shawn Holt & The Teardrops released the very fine disc Daddy Told Me (Blind Pig Records) in September. The band is Shawn Holt (vocals/guitar), Lincoln’s Levi William (second guitar/vocals), and Magic Slim’s Teardrops Brian Jones (drums/vocals) and Christopher Beidron (bass). They played The 21st Saloon the night nominations were announced. Their sizzling stage show was easily among the top shows I have seen this year, pure, first-class blues. Holt and William played with authority and camaraderie. Whenever they break into trading guitar licks, the resulting fireworks are remarkable. See the whole list of nominees at blues.org. Get a taste of the great blues Shawn Holt and Levi William are putting down on Christmas night at Lincoln’s Zoo Bar, when Shawn “Lil’ Slim” Holt carries on the Dec. 25 show at the Zoo, a traditional night of blues long anchored by the late, great Magic Slim. Nikki Hill’s Rock ‘n’ Soul: The dynamic, fiercely rockin’

hoodoo

Nikki Hill takes the stage at The 21st Saloon Thursday, Dec. 19, 6-9 p.m. Check out the videos at nikkihillmusic.com to see why this band has been making a big impression wherever they play. One reviewer proclaims Hill’s sound is “The Staple Singers meet AC/DC.” They hit the Midwest fresh from nearly two weeks touring Spain. They are also at Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Wednesday, Dec. 18, 6-9 p.m. Scottie Miller’s Piano Blues: Marvelous Minneapolis piano man Scottie Miller is up at McKenna’s Wednesday, Dec. 18, 8-9:30 p.m. with 40SINNERS opening at 7 p.m. Miller hits Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Thursday, Dec. 19, 6-9 p.m. Miller is a Hoodoo favorite, a powerhouse songwriter, singer and pianist whose “day job” is playing in Ruthie Foster’s Family Band. See scottiemiller.com. Hot Notes: Also Thursday, Dec. 19, see WE B3 featuring Mitch Towne on keyboards with Luke Polipnick and Dana Murray at the Zoo after 9 p.m. Brad Cordle Band plays Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Friday, Dec. 20, 5-7 p.m. Barley Street Tavern presents a holiday showcase of local players Friday, Dec. 20 after 9 p.m. See the lineup at barleystreet.com. Venue 51, 1951 St. Mary’s Ave., is hosting free “Friday Afternoon Club” blues shows, 6-8 p.m. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Thrift Shop Radio plays Friday, Dec. 20. Matt Cox and The Mezcal Brothers heat up The Waiting Room Sunday, Dec. 22, 6 p.m. ,

83411 – Omaha Reader – 12-19-2013

DAVID NAIL JANUARY 24

HOODOO is a weekly column focusing on blues, roots, Americana and occasional other music styles with an emphasis on live music performances. Hoodoo columnist B.J. Huchtemann is a Reader senior contributing writer and veteran music journalist who has covered the local music scene for nearly 20 years. Follow her blog at hoodoorootsblues.blogspot.com.

AARON LEWIS FEBRUARY 20 Tickets available at whiskeyroadhouse.com, Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-745-300

I-29 South, Exit 1B | horseshoe.com Must be 21 years or older to attend shows or to gamble. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS-OFF (Iowa) or 1-800-522-4700 (National). ©2013, Caesars License Company, LLC.

hoodoo blues

83411_4.9x10_4c_Ad_V2.indd 1

| THE READER |

DEC. 19 - 25, 2013 12/16/13

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n I’m not the world’s biggest Monty Python fan, but even I was curious about Absolutely Anything. The live-action/CGI hybrid film was set to star the voices of 4 of the 5 living Python members (John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones), who play aliens that give power to a teacher. That teacher was just announced to be Simon Pegg. I…I…I want to go to there so bad. Fans of British comedy, prepare to chortle in your biscuits! —Ryan Syrek Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to film@thereader.com. Check out Ryan on Movieha!, a weekly halfhour movie podcast (movieha.libsyn.com/rss), catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 (cd1059.com) on Fridays around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 (kvno.org) at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter (twitter.com/thereaderfilm).

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DEC. 19 - 25, 2013

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hings you should know by now: (1) All Peter Jackson-directed fantasy films are near or top three hours in length; (2) there are deviations from the books because these are movies and not books—I’m told if you would like to read “The Hobbit,” you can still read “The Hobbit”—and (3) Ian McKellen is just the wickedly wizardy best. My tolerance for grousing about Jackson overstuffing his Hobbitses with new content and padding the length is at an all-time low…like “Congressional approval rating” low. Why? Because if you’re paying attention, both An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug are better acted, paced and shot than The Lord of the Rings trilogy and happen to be drawn from better source material; admittedly, I haven’t read the books. I wanted to but ain’t nobody got time for extensive dwarven ancestry lessons. If you can look me in the eye and tell me that Martin Freeman’s Bilbo isn’t 10 times the hobbit that Elijah Woods’ Frodo was or that McKellen’s Gandalf hasn’t gotten more nuanced each time out or that the CGI for Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) doesn’t make the trolls in Fellow-

REPORTCARD

nHow do we live in a world in which Scary Movie gets a sequel like every five minutes, but nobody has made The Rundown 2 yet. If you missed it, thanks for being part of the problem, but let me tell you what you missed. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a hired goon trying to retrieve Seann William Scott from the jungle while Christopher Walken goes bonkers. It’s great. And there should have been like 10 of these movies, seeing as how there aren’t nearly enough adventure franchises and we have to keep The Rock busy or he’ll eat someone. Director Peter Berg has finally begun rumbling about The Rundown 2, so I need you all to help pick up momentum for this by using your Twitter thingies and Facebook whatsits to generate something called “buzz.” DWAYNE JOHNSON Don’t ruin this for me. n So the Golden Globe nominations and the Screen Actors Guild nominations came out. Guess what? Very few surprises. But for once, that’s a good thing. 12 Years a Slave is looking every bit the early front runner, which it should be, with nods from both groups in the categories of Best Picture, Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Supporting Actor (Michael Fassbender) and Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o). I’m just saying, if 12 Years a Slave doesn’t win Best Picture, that leaves Crash as the last film on racial issues to win an Oscar…and it had friggin’ Ludacris in it.

Frozen AEither a throwback to the modern-classic Disney period or the start of a new one. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire A The best sci-fi sequel since Empire Strikes Back. Nebraska BAnother nice, quiet, muted film from the master of such content.

| THE READER |

film

ship of the Ring look like cave paintings, we ought not talk movies together. The story is just so much richer, as it doesn’t stop at “Baddie McEvil tries to destroy the world.” We join Bilbo and his dwarf buddies as they are nearing the secret entrance to the home they were forced to abandon on the grounds of “Oh, dear God, that’s a fire-breathing dragon,” which is an understandable reason to break a lease. We see the specifics of this quest: in order for Thorin (Richard Armitage) to unite the dwarf armies, he needs a jewel that marks him leader. It’s a jewel Smaug has planted his dragon tush upon. Unfortunately, the group is seized by a splinter group of elves, including the beautiful and deadly Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom), who may be the single most bad-ass action hero of all time. After they escape, the gang takes refuge in a port city near their home, where a kind boatsman named Bard (Luke Evans) asks them politely to not wake up the sleeping dragon because it will kill them all. So Bilbo goes and wakes the dragon, which is not a euphemism.

READER RECOMMENDS

Philomena A A wonderful little surprise about faith, family and forgiveness. ON DVD

Elysium It’s not quite District 9, so it’s only very good.

B

Kick-Ass 2 Asses are kicked but you won’t care much.

C

There is crazy great action from elf ninjas, wonderful banter between Bilbo and Smaug (who are actually played by Watson and Holmes from BBC’s “Sherlock”) and plenty of orc decapitations. Although I have zero qualms about the length or pace, I will say that the film does suffer a bit from “middle film-itis,” in that it’s not quite as satisfying as the first and isn’t allowed a true end. But if that’s the worst you can say, and it should be the worst you can say, Jackson has only added to the cinematic legacy of his epic series. Hobbit haters get dragon-forged coal for Christmas. , GRADE: B+


overtheedge

COLUMN BY TIM MCMAHAN

THE HOBBIT: THE DESECRATION OF TOLKIEN

S

o we went and saw The Hobbit, Desolation of Smu-ogg (as apparently it’s pronounced, though I’ve always (in my mind) pronounced it with one syllable — smaug or smog). I used to read The Hobbit — along with The Lord of The Rings trilogy — every other year at Christmas time, so for me the books feel like winter and Christmas trees, fireplaces and sugar cookies. Here’s a thought: The best part about J.R.R. Tolkien’s books were never the battle scenes we all suffered through in the movies. The battle scenes only lasted a page or two; and were secondary to what Tolkien did best: Describe the magic and wonder of traveling and companionship. The finest moments of Tolkien’s writings are watching the characters get from one place to the next. His books are literary versions of cinematic road-trip buddy films, where the best parts always happen in that time between when the characters leave and when they arrive. Anyway. So we’re sitting in the dark at a crowded Aksarben Theater auditorium watching as elves Legolas and Tauriel slice through a clutch of orcs, lopping off one ugly CGI head after another, and I lean over and whisper to Teresa: “Not in the book.” She nods. She’s read the book, too; many many moons ago. As Fili (or Kili, I can’t remember which), writhes in pain, dying from an arrow in his leg, I turn once again and whisper, “Not in the book.” As the band of dwarves ducks arrows and flying hatchets, their heads sticking out of large wooden barrels (rather than being sealed inside), again I note, not in the book. As Gandalf confronts the giant fiery eye that is Sauron and is taken prisoner: Not in the book.

Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater 14th & Mike Fahey Street (formerly Webster Street) More info & showtimes 402.933.0259 · filmstreams.org Facebook & Twitter: @filmstreams

As Bilbo scans the massive vault of gold looking for the Arkenstone, then desperately chases it down piles of gold in full view of the dragon: Not in the book. And on and on and on. As we’re leaving the theater I mumble, “It’s all a money grab.” After ruining The Lord of the Rings with endless boring battle scenes but making a zillion dollars in the process, director Peter Jackson reread The Hobbit and thought, “Hmmm, not much of a book, but I think we can stretch this into a trilogy, too,” and set about rewriting, assuming a few things:

Look, the changes Jackson made have been welldocumented by much smarter nerds than myself. But what’s surprising is how little outcry there’s been to the Desecration of Tolkien. In fact, in what can only be considered a prescient move The Wall Street Journal blog published a counter-point to any and all nerd-whining by uber nerd Corey Olson, a Tolkien scholar and “President of the Mythgard Institute.” Olson explains away Jackson’s perceived greed by stating: “The mere fact that Jackson’s film includes characters, elements, or events that are ‘not in the book’

1. Not too many people read the book and/or care if I rewrite it, and the ones that did, well, f**k ‘em. 2. The fans love Orlando Bloom. 3. A movie isn’t a book. A director can take creative liberty with the source material if it enhances the story as told in this very different medium. 4. Why make one Christmas box-office smash when you can make three? 5. Action = $$$

… doesn’t prove that the films are unfaithful to Tolkien’s vision. The film trilogy is not attempting to retell the early, standalone children’s story, but to adapt into one sweeping narrative the Hobbit story as Tolkien expanded it later in his career.” In other words, Jackson rewrote the The Hobbit to better fit not only his own personal cinematic vision of The Lord of the Rings saga, but also what he perceived to be Tolkien’s vision, which simply didn’t ex-

This week! The Punk Singer First-Run Dir. Sini Anderson. Starts Friday, December 20! An indie rock doc about the ultimate riot grrrl, Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre). “THE PUNK SINGER is a perfect storm. It is a love letter to Kathleen Hanna, to feminism, and to the fans, but it’s also just a damn good movie.” – Jenni Miller, Film.com

Nebraska First-Run (R) Dir. Alexander Payne. Now showing! “It’s a career-capping performance by Dern, who is so convincing as an addled, drunken, embittered and probably dying man that he doesn’t appear to be acting, but Forte is just as good playing a preoccupied, emotionally constricted man-child.” – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com

Coming Soon

Filmmaker’s Screening: MEDORA First-Run A Touch of Sin First-Run The Great Beauty First-Run

ist in Tolkien’s head at the time he wrote The Hobbit. It had nothing to do with money, you cynical twits. Maybe so, maybe so. But something tells me Olson is one of those guys who loves drawn-out battle scenes and skips over the “boring stuff ” from Tolkien books. Stuff like Chapter VII: Queer Lodgings, a portion of the book that charmingly describes the adventurers’ time spent at Beorn’s lodge shortly after being saved by the great eagles, where it is slowly revealed that Beorn is actually a frickin’ skin-changing bear. In Tolkien’s world, Beorn is this great, jolly, lovable, curious creature, the complete opposite of the terrifying, angry, bloodthirsty bear-man in Jackson’s world who is still mourning the death of his race of people, of which he is the last. And that’s the heart of the problem. More troubling than adding new characters, situations and unnecessary love-story subplots, is the exclusion of the small, charming, quiet moments that fill the spaces between perils. Jackson stripped away all the wonder and magic of Tolkien’s books (Who remembers Tom Bombadil?) and replaced them with hate, fear and dollops of bloody head-chopping death. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. The rule in Hollywood has always been give the people -- or in this case, the ticket-buyers -- what they want. If last weekend’s tallies are any indication ($73.6 million domestic) Jackson did exactly that, and will be hailed once again as a box-office hero, while somewhere in Oxford Tolkien spins frantically in his grave. At least he will always have his pages, where the real magic truly lies. , Over The Edge is a weekly column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused on culture, society, the media and the arts. Email Tim at tim.mcmahan@gmail.com.

Alexander Payne Presents Summertime 1955 Dir. David Lean. December 20, 22 & 24

Alexander says:

“My favorite of all David Lean films, this one shows us romantic Venice through the eyes of a lonely American spinster. Full of solitude and longing, SUMMERTIME inspired my segment of PARIS JE T’AIME.”

over the edge

| THE READER |

Forever Young Admission just $2.50 for kids 12 and under!

The Freshman 1925

Dir. Fred C. Newmeyer & Sam Taylor.

December 19 Last chance! Silent legend and Nebraska native Harold Lloyd at his hilarious best! It’s a Wonderful Life 1946 (PG) Dir. Frank Capra.

December 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, and 29 See the holiday classic on the big screen!

DEC. 19 - 25, 2013

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newsoftheweird

T H E WO R L D G O N E F R E A K Y B Y C H U C K S H E P H E R D W I T H I L LU S T R AT I O N S B Y T O M B R I S C O E

Yellow and brown values

A

Swedish TV show, “Biss och Kajs,” found itself in the spotlight in November -- in Russia, where government-run television apparently used it to send a political message to Ukraine by highlighting the program’s theme of teaching children about bodily functions. The episode Russia chose featured three bulkily-costumed actors sitting around talking -with one dressed in yellow, one in brown, and the other unmistakably as a large, nude human posterior. (“Biss och Kajs” is highly regarded in Sweden; “biss” and “kajs” refer, respectively to the yellow and brown functions.) Ukraine (against Russia’s wishes) is considering a trade agreement with the European Union, and, the Russian station director said, pointedly, “There you have European values in all their glory.” Compelling Explanations The Bank of England, arguing before the U.K.’s Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards in October, warned against limiting the bonuses that bankers have come to expect from their lucrative deals -- because that might encroach on their “human rights.” The Bank suggested it is a human rights violation even to ask senior executives to demonstrate that they tried hard to comply with banking laws (because it is the government’s job to prove violations). Slick Talkers (1) A young woman, accosted by a robber on Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Hill in October, told the man she was a low-paid intern -- but an intern for the National Security Agency, and that within minutes of robbing her, the man would be tracked down by ubiquitous NSA surveillance. She said, later (reported the Washington Examiner), the man just “looked at me and ran away (empty-handed).” (2) A 29-year-old cafeteria worker at Sullivan East High School in Blountville, Tenn., swore to police on the scene in October that she was not the one who took money from a co-worker’s purse, and she voluntarily stripped to near-nakedness to demonstrate

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| THE READER |

weird news

her innocence. “See? I don’t have it,” she said. Moments later, an officer found the missing $27 stuffed in the woman’s shoe. Katarzyna Dryden-Chouen and her husband Clive, busted in a London police raid last year with a marijuana grow operation that had netted an estimated (equivalent) of $450,000, insisted to a jury in October that their massive haul was not for sale but for “personal” use -- in that they worship the Hindu god Shiva, and truly believed that the world would end soon and that they needed a sizable offering to burn. (Actually, the jury bought it. “Distribution” charges were dismissed, but the couple still faces jail for their cultivation activity.) Ironies The Seattle City Council voted in October to seize a waterfront parking lot by eminent domain from the 103-year-old owner after negotiations to buy the property on the open market broke down. The state is funding a six-year tunnel-digging project in the area, and the city has decided it needs the property for not-yet-specified uses --except that in one part of the property, the city said it plans to operate a parking lot. Karma (1) Larry Poulos was stopped on an Arlington, Tex., street in September, bleeding from a head wound and complaining that he had just been robbed by two men. A friend of Poulos later corroborated that, but police also learned that the money Poulos had been carrying was the proceeds of his having robbed a credit union earlier that evening. He was treated for his wounds and then arrested. (2) At least 44 health workers were struck with a suspected norovirus in September at a Creative Health Care Management convention in Huron, Ohio. (Noroviruses are sometimes called the “Norwalk” virus, named after one notable outbreak in 1968 in Norwalk, Ohio, about 12 miles from Huron.) “Masculine” Values: Breakaway former officials of the Boy Scouts of America met in Nashville, Tenn., in September to establish a Scouts-type organization that can freely discourage homosexuality, with one leader promising Fox News that the result would be “a more


COPYRIGHT 2013 CHUCK SHEPHERD. Visit Chuck Shepherd daily at NewsoftheWeird. blogspot.com or NewsoftheWeird.com. Send Weird News to WeirdNewsTips@yahoo.com or P.O. Box 18737, Tampa, FL 33679. Illustrations by Tom Briscoe (smallworldcomics.com).

masculine” program. Another prominent attendee, also quoted in the Fox News dispatch, described his sorrow at the BSA’s embrace of gay boys. Since this issue broke, he said, “I’ve cried a river.” In November, Sweden’s National Housing Board, in charge of building codes, ordered the country’s famous Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi (built anew annually out of fresh ice blocks) to install fire alarms. “We were a little surprised when we found out,” said a spokeswoman (who acknowledged that the hotel’s mattresses and pillows could catch fire). Not My Fault Conscience-Cleansing: Greg Gulbransen of Oyster Bay, N.Y., announced in September that he was about to sue the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for dragging its feet in implementing the Gulbransen-inspired 2007 federal legislation that he said would save lives, especially those of toddlers. The unimplemented law would force car manufacturers to install rear-facing cameras as standard equipment, a cause Gulbransen embraced after accidentally, fatally, backing over his own toddler in the family’s BMW SUV. Perspective An exhaustive American Civil Liberties Union report in November showed that more than 3,200 people are serving life sentences in the U.S. for non-violent offenses (about 80 percent for drug crimes). Most were sentenced under “three-strikes”-type laws in which the final straw might be for trivial drug possession, for instance, or for a petty theft such as the $159-jacket shoplifting in Louisiana, or the two-jersey theft from a Foot Locker. Said the jacket thief, Timothy Jackson, “I know that for my crime I had to do some time but . . . I have met people here whose crimes are a lot badder with way less time.” Added his sister, “You can take a life and get 15 or 16 years,” but her brother “will stay in jail forever. He didn’t kill the jacket!” Undignified Deaths (1) Douglas Yim, 33, was convicted in September of murdering a 25-year-old man in Oakland, Ca-

lif., in 2011 after an evening of teasing by the man, who mocked Yim’s certainty about the existence of God. (2) A 27-year-old yoga fanatic in St. Austell, England, drowned in a pit in May during a well-publicized attempt to create an “out-of-body experience” to get as close to death as possible but without going over the line. Least Competent Criminals Recurring Themes: (1) Lawrence Briggs, 18, was arrested in Marshalltown, Iowa, in November after he walked out of a Sports Page store with $153 worth of merchandise he did not pay for. Moments earlier, he had filled out an application to work at Sports Page, and when surveillance cameras exposed him, managers called him in for an “interview,” and police made the arrest. (2) Troy Mitchell, 47, was arrested after allegedly robbing the Valley First Credit Union in Modesto, Calif., on May 14th. While he was standing at the teller’s window, another employee of Valley First saluted him (“Hi, Troy”) because he remembered Mitchell from April 3rd, when he had applied for a car loan. A News of the Weird Classic (April 2009) Australian Marcus Einfeld (a prominent lawyer, federal judge, and Jewish community leader) was once so revered that one organization named him a “living treasure,” but he fell into total disrepute in 2006 by deciding to fight a simple speeding ticket. By March 2009, Einfeld had been sentenced to two years in prison for perjury and obstructing justice for lying in four elaborate detailed schemes to “prove” that he was not driving that day. His original defense (that he had loaned the car to a friend who then passed away) was accepted by the judge, but dogged reporting by Sydney’s Daily Telegraph revealed that Einfeld lied, and lied to cover up each successive lie. Encouraged, reporters went on to uncover Einfeld’s bogus college degrees and awards and a double-billing fraud against the government. (The speeding ticket would have cost about $80.) ,

weird news

| THE READER |

DEC. 19 - 25, 2013

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M

y Mojo story is about the old car photo shoot. Mojo had set up that shoot with the owner of the car and building, when halfway through the shoot, some stupid guy came running out from the building across the way screaming at us to get the hell out of there, Mojo told this fool we had asked permission to be there and to have an enlightened day. Apparently this did nothing to placate this “person,” So he went and called the cops. Cops show up, and once again we explain that we have permission to be there. The cops get the phone number of the car and building owner from Mojo. They start to make the call when the fool from across the way runs across and asks the cops why they haven’t arrested us yet. The cop tells the fool to let him do his job. The fool yells a bit louder. The cops ask the fool for his I.D. Turns out the fool has a warrant, and is quickly arrested. Meanwhile the car and building owner shows up, and yes, we have permission to be there. Yes we can finally finish the shoot. What should have taken 45 minutes ended up taking 3 hours. NOT EVEN ONCE did Mojo get mad, yell at the fool or the cops. The man was grace under pressure. I will miss him very much, and try to live by the lessons he instilled. —Kent Pendarvis

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DEC. 19 - 25, 2013

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| THE READER |

DEC. 19 -25, 2013

23


The Reader Dec. 19 - 25, 2013  

Omaha Nebraska's weekly alternative newspaper featuring news, sports, culture and entertainment.

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