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CURRENTS: REP. MARK FINCHEM’S LATEST BS ABOUT THE 2020 ELECTION

OCTOBER 28 - NOVEMBER 3, 2021 • TUCSONWEEKLY.COM • FREE

Where To Howl This HalLoweEn 20 Ways To ThrilL and ChilL This WeEkend By JefF Gardner and Emily Dieckman

TUCSON SALVAGE: Drag Queen Does Good

CINEMA: Sandy Spice in Outer Space


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OCTOBER 28, 2021


OCTOBER 28, 2021

OCTOBER 28, 2021 | VOL. 36, NO. 43

TUCSONWEEKLY.COM

The Tucson Weekly is available free of charge in Pima County, limited to one copy per reader. Additional copies of the current issue of the Tucson Weekly may be purchased for $1, payable at the Tucson Weekly office in advance. To find out where you can pick up a free copy of the Tucson Weekly, please visit TucsonWeekly.com

STAFF

CONTENTS

CURRENTS

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State Rep. Mark Finchem and Donald Trump are peddling BS about Pima County’s 2020 election

TUCSON SALVAGE

Meet Miss Nature, aka Chris Hall

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ARTS & CULTURE

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Get ready to Howl this weekend at Tucson Museum of Art

CINEMA

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Denis Villeneuve delivers a stunning sci-fi epic with Dune

MUSIC

ADMINISTRATION Steve T. Strickbine, Publisher Michael Hiatt, Vice President

EDITOR’S NOTE

Jaime Hood, General Manager, jaime@tucsonlocalmedia.com

Get Well, Chuck

PIMA COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR Chuck Huckelberry is in rough shape. Last Saturday, Oct. 23, Huckelberry was on his bike in downtown when two vehicles collided and one them was pushed into him. Huckelberry was rushed to the hospital, where he remained in critical but stable condition as of our Tuesday deadline. Huckelberry’s family released a statement on Monday asking for privacy. “Chuck was riding his bike with friends Saturday morning,” the statement read. “He’s an experienced and avid rider and he was doing everything right: Helmet, gloves, colorful ‘Loop’ jersey, no earphones (ever), riding prudently and totally focused on having a fun and safe ride. But as too often happens to cyclists, bad luck prevailed. He was knocked off his bike downtown and needed prompt emergency care. The medics of Tucson Fire responded quickly and professionally, as did the Tucson Police Department. We are immensely grateful to them for the care and kindness that they provided. We also thank everyone who has respected our wish for privacy in these initial days of his treatment and recovery.” Huckelberry, 71, is well known in these parts. He’s been county administrator since 1993 and has worked for the county since 1974, with a brief stint in the private sector in the early 1990s. He’s spearheaded the award-winning Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, overseen the development of The Loop along our

Tyler Vondrak, Associate Publisher, tyler@tucsonlocalmedia.com

riverbanks, vastly improved the old Kino Community Hospital by partnering with Banner Health, brought our sewer system into the 21st system and much more during his time atop Pima County government. We here at Tucson Weekly wish him a swift and complete recovery from his injuries. In our paper this week: We offer a guide to Halloween fun, including the big Howl party this Friday at Tucson Museum of Art (but be careful out there because the specter of COVID still hangs in the air); contributor Jake Dean looks at the latest BS that Donald Trump and state Rep. Mark Finchem of Oro Valley are peddling about Pima County’s 2020 election; staff reporter Alexandra Pere talks to the folks at Emerge! about their efforts to stem domestic violence; Tucson Salvage columnist Brian Smith tells us the story of drag queen Miss Nature, aka Chris Hall; movie critic Bob Grimm enjoys a spicy Dune adaptation; Tucson Weedly columnist David Abbott looks at the latest developments with the “social equity” licenses for cannabis dispensaries; and there’s plenty more in our pages, so dig in and have fun! Jim Nintzel Executive Editor Hear Nintz talk about ways to have fun in our burg at 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays during the world-famous Frank Show on KLPX, 96.1 FM.

RANDOM SHOTS By Rand Carlson

Claudine Sowards, Accounting, claudine@tucsonlocalmedia.com Sheryl Kocher, Receptionist, sheryl@tucsonlocalmedia.com EDITORIAL Jim Nintzel, Executive Editor, jimn@tucsonlocalmedia.com Jeff Gardner, Managing Editor, jeff@tucsonlocalmedia.com Mike Truelsen, Web Editor, mike@tucsonlocalmedia.com Alexandra Pere, Staff Reporter, apere@timespublications.com Contributors: David Abbott, Rob Brezsny, Max Cannon, Rand Carlson, Tom Danehy, Emily Dieckman, Bob Grimm, Andy Mosier, Linda Ray, Margaret Regan, Will Shortz, Jen Sorensen, Clay Jones, Dan Savage PRODUCTION Courtney Oldham, Production Manager, tucsonproduction@timespublications.com Ryan Dyson, Graphic Designer, ryand@tucsonlocalmedia.com Emily Filener, Graphic Designer, emilyf@tucsonlocalmedia.com CIRCULATION Alex Carrasco, Circulation, alexc@tucsonlocalmedia.com ADVERTISING TLMSales@TucsonLocalMedia.com Kristin Chester, Account Executive, kristin@tucsonlocalmedia.com Candace Murray, Account Executive, candace@tucsonlocalmedia.com Lisa Hopper, Account Executive, lisa@tucsonlocalmedia.com NATIONAL ADVERTISING Zac Reynolds Director of National Advertising Zac@TimesPublications.com Tucson Weekly® is published every Thursday by Times Media Group at 7225 N. Mona Lisa Rd., Ste. 125, Tucson, Arizona. Address all editorial, business and production correspondence to: Tucson Weekly, 7225 N. Mona Lisa Rd., Ste. 125, Tucson, Arizona 85741. Phone: (520) 797-4384, FAX (520) 575-8891. Member of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN). The Tucson Weekly® and Best of Tucson® are registered trademarks of Times Media Group. Publisher has the right to refuse any advertisement at his or her discretion.

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Asphalt Astronaut deliver a new album

TUCSON WEEDLY

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Here’s how you can land your own dispensary license

Cover image courtesy 123rf.com

Copyright: The entire contents of Tucson Weekly are Copyright Times Media Group No portion may be reproduced in whole or part by any means without the express written permission of the Publisher, Tucson Weekly, 7225 N. Mona Lisa Rd., Ste. 125, Tucson, AZ 85741.

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returned in force. An e-mail statement from former President Donald Trump claimed that “A new analysis of mail-in ballots in Pima County, Arizona means the election was Rigged and Stolen [sic] from the Republican Party in 2020, and Trump’s ridiculous voter fraud claims come to Pima County via Finchem and Shiva in particular, its Presidential Candidate.” This is patently false, but what’s new? Just when you thought talk of an Arizona recount was dead… here we go By Jake Dean expenses, GOP state senators forced again. tucsoneditor@tucsonlocalmedia.com the Maricopa County and taxpayers to Honestly, we should have seen this foot the bill for new voting machines IN LATE SEPTEMBER, coming. Contention surrounding the following the audit under threat of the the Republican-backed “audit” of votes state government pulling hundreds of results of the Pima County election in Maricopa County confirmed—yet is nothing new. On Nov. 17, just a few millions in revenue sharing funds. again—that Joe Biden had legitimately weeks following the 2020 election, the We should not let a similar costly won the electoral votes of the State of Pima County Board of Supervisors frivolity occur here in Pima County. Arizona. To summarize: This was an unvoted 3-2 to formally certify county-wide Sadly, the cancerous movement to precedented extra review of votes based hamper Arizona democracy is somehow election results in what is usually a vote in conspiracy theories that happened of formality. However as with everystill growing. Conspiracy-fueled advoafter certification of the results by the cates of “Stop the Steal” have yet to back thing, 2020 proved far more compli(Republican-led) Board of Supervisors, down despite the fact that even the par- cated. Republican supervisors claimed conducted by a company who had never tisan-led, amateurishly handled Cyber there were voting irregularities despite audited an election before and whose Ninjas report demonstrated no evidence having no evidence and that Arizona’s founder claimed the election was rigged of widespread voter fraud. State Senate Republican Attorney General Mark Brbefore conducting the audit—all while novich found no validity in their claims. President Karen Fann can claim any costing Maricopa County millions of nonsense she wants, but Arizona’s elec- The supervisors who voted against dollars in the process. certification peddled the same ‘Sharpietion was completely aboveboard. The entire recount was a mess and a Still, on Friday Oct. 15, the GOP push Gate’ conspiracy theory that right-wing circus. An expensive mess and circus. activists espoused on election night to invalidate the legitimate results of Despite a prior agreement to cover (and yes, the theory was summarily the Arizona 2020 Presidential Election

CURRENTS

BALLOT BOX BS

debunked). What’s scarier is that Arizona State Rep. Mark Finchem (you know, the one who was at the Stop the Steal rally on January 6th fomenting insurrection) is supporting the former President’s claims. At a Trump rally earlier this month, Finchem claimed to have a source that more than 30,000 fictitious votes were registered in Pima County. Unsurprisingly, the Oro Valley Republican has been unable to provide any tangible proof for this claim. Instead, he has relied on video “analysis” from Shiva Ayyadurai—a self-proclaimed audit and elections expert—who has repeatedly failed to understand Maricopa County ballot procedures during State Senate testimony and claimed to be the inventor of e-mail (he is not). In response to the hubbub, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry re-iterated the validity of the election results: “Pima County conducted a free, fair, secure, and accurate election.” Huckelberry also pointed out that a public, hand-counted audit was already conducted by both the county Democratic and Republican parties. Huckelberry concluded his statement by noting that “if there is anyone who believes


OCTOBER 28, 2021

they have evidence of wrongdoing, they should provide such evidence to proper investigative authorities…” I’ll translate: There is no evidence of this fraud, and if there were these right-wing activists would have submitted it already. Trump, Finchem and Shiva’s claims have also been debunked by Benny White, a Republican who used to sit on the Pima County Election Accuracy and Certification Board and who was party’s 2020 nominee for County Recorder, the office that oversees voter rolls and early voting. After all that, if you still have doubts, at least take the word of Pima County Recorder Gabriella Cazares-Kelly and the multi-partisan Pima County Election Integrity Commission that found “no reason to question the results of the 2020 Pima County Election.” None. So, if local officials do not believe the lies being peddled, why is a known conspiracy theorist sharing lies from an MIT graduate and supporting a president he’s long been tied to so concerning? First, there’s now an ongoing petition to start a forensic audit in Pima County much like the one in Maricopa that wasted taxpayers’ time, money

and patience. As part of this request, Finchem and Trump are also asking for the Arizona election results to be decertified. That alone is corrosive to local democratic values. Still, at this point it feels like farright throwaway attempts at democracy subversion are a dime a dozen. Finchem, however, seems to have plans that are far more concerning. See, he is currently running to control elections throughout Arizona as Secretary of State on a platform centered around “fixing” our electoral system. So, Finchem and Trump are not just coming for the results of the Pima County election this time around but want to be put in charge of Arizona elections in the future too. Now that’s terrifying. This whole push for a recount is subversive political theater at worst, and a deranged conspiracy at best. Either way, it only serves to hurt the constituents of Pima County and erode faith in our democratic system. Don’t listen to Trump or Finchem, it’s the same tired lie—this time just with some Pima-centric spin. ■

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CURRENTS

A NEW HOME

Pandemic changed how agency approaches domestic violence prevention

By Alexandra Pere apere@tucsonlocalmedia.com

because families were struggling with stay-at-home recommendations, school closures and other aspects of the IN RECOGNITION OF DOMESTIC pandemic. Violence Awareness Month and a rise “We had to review and revise all in domestic violence during COVID-19 of our policies and procedures very outbreak, the Emerge! Center Against quickly, to make sure that we were Domestic Abuse is asking Pima Coun- responding in a way that maximized ty residents to join in their educational participant safety and staff safety,” said campaigns and Stuff-the-Bus events. Lauryn Bianco, Emerge! vice president The nonprofit organization assists of operations and philanthropy. victims of domestic violence—whethBianco said the organization had to er women or men—by finding them change everything about delivering shelter, providing crisis intervention services. Hotline employees needed to and teaching safety planning. These take their phones home with them and services continued during the pandem- set up a secure line. In-person appointic, but Emerge! had to adjust quickly ments became Zoom meetings and to continue providing them to peoEmerge! had to close its shelter. ple experiencing domestic violence, In order to accommodate families which increased in some households that needed to be relocated for pro-

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tection, Emerge! managed to rehouse families in different places. This led to a surprising realization. “During the pandemic, we were able to provide services in independent spaces for families, and we learned that actually mitigated a lot of different trauma that families experienced when they came into our shelter,” Bianco said.

Officials are finding that housing families separately helps start the healing process for survivors more quickly than shared housing. The current shelter usually places families together, which is why the shelter had to be closed when COVID hit Arizona. Officials are finding that housing families separately helps start the healing process for survivors more quickly than shared housing. While there is no quick process to healing trauma, separate housing got extreme-

ly positive feedback from their clients. After seeing how well clients reacted to independent housing units, Emerge! began asking for funding from local governments to build a bigger shelter. “Any expansion of shelter capacity is necessary now, not just for Emerge!, but for all of the social service agencies that we’re dealing with,” Tucson City Councilmember Steve Kozachik said. The City of Tucson has been asked to match a $1 million contribution to the agency by the Pima County Board of Supervisors toward more shelter facilities for Emerge!, although officials with the agency are not yet discussing many details with the media. “Their clients are vulnerable to the abusive partner finding them and continuing the abuse, so they’re very protective of their client’s privacy,” Kozachik explained. “The other thing is that there are children involved.” Emerge! officials said they would speak publicly about the expansion as soon as plans have been finalized. In the meantime, Bianco asks everyone to participate in Domestic Violence Awareness Month throughout October. Emerge! is hosting an educational


OCTOBER 28, 2021

campaign on domestic violence prevention in October along with charity drives to engage the community in helping survivors. “Prevention efforts can really look like educating yourself about the root causes of domestic abuse, not just the warning signs and the red flags,” Bianco explained. “We really want people to dig into understanding why abuse even exists in our culture, and in our community.” Emerge! has made it its mission in the last few years to train employees on normal job duties while also doing extra training on racial disparities and social dynamics that may affect their clients. “Since 2015, we’ve really gone down the journey of becoming an anti-racist organization,” Bianco said. Emerge! is also uploading videos to its website showcasing the personal experiences of employees who continued to provide services to clients during the pandemic. Bianco said the nonprofit is extremely grateful to the employees who came in every day trying to find services for their clients during the pandemic. Tucson residents can help out by

donating supplies at the nonprofit’s Stuff-the-Bus event. The public is asked to donate new items that would help a survivor and their children start over at a new home (think toiletries, clothes, reusable water bottles, kitchen supplies and linens). A full list of possible items is available on the Emerge! website under the DVAM tab. Northwest residents can bring items to Stuff-the-Bus at the Oro Valley Walmart, 2150 E. Tangerine Road, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct 29. Emerge is also hosting a virtual Stuffthe-Bus through their website. Amazon Smile allows you to buy a product from their wishlist and send it to Emerge’s administration office. ■ Visit the Emerge! website for information on domestic violence prevention and how you can participate in Domestic Violence Awareness Month at emergecenter.org.

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Story & photos by Brian Smith

Fabulous philanthropist EYES ON A COMELY DRAG QUEEN gliding between tables and a trashy barroom cowboy in a rainbow-glam jacket with a room-filling laugh. There’s flatscreen football no one watches behind the bar and INXS’ “Need You Tonight” fills the house-lighted room like an aural wink to a Reagan-era gay disco. Not an empty seat in the house once the DJ practically doubles the volume for an intro tune: Jimmy James’ couture-callout “Fashionista,” and a boy, maybe 10, holds his ears at his table, seated beside his mother. “No one ugly is allowed,” James chirps atop a dancefloor pop-wallop, and onto the final line, “Imitation of Christ, beauty has a price …” Lucinda Holliday (aka Larry Moore), a reigning queen of Tucson Gay Pride, steps up on the tight stage—whose flowery backdrop reads “Nature At Night” in brilliant letters. He’s down-dressed this evening in ball cap and jean shorts, mic in hand. The song ends and he shouts, “Who here in this community could fill a room but Miss Nature!” Adrenaline rises on near-hysterical yelps when Miss Nature emerges from a back room, lip-syncing to “This is Me” (from The Greatest Showman), the uplifter LGBTQA+ outsider anthem. She saunters to the stage wearing an emerald taffeta ball gown and high, matching pumps. Well-endowed, heavy contours, blond corkscrew wig, and stately. In a blink of coquettish flare, she drops the gown to reveal a neck-to-floor mermaid-tight prom dress in glimmering rainbow colors and winged shoulders, and she suddenly transmutes from some kind of Weimar-era Marlene Dietrich into a kind designer-catwalk diva, a surging symbol of Tucson LGBTQA+ pride. She swans from the stage into the crowd, Broadway gesticulations intact, and reaches for tips from a dozen out-

stretched arms. It’s joy and spectacle. She’s all toney in a tabled crowd of mostly afternoon jeans and T-shirts— young, old, trans, non-binary, gay, married couples, some kids and teens, etc. It is a sold-out, mostly masked room of 70 or so at Bumstead’s, the karaoke-friendly bar, today taking on a decidedly dinner-theater vibe, on Stone Avenue in Tucson. It is still daylight, just after 5 p.m. on an October Sunday, such kid-friendly hours. The unity is in the rainbows, on dresses, shirts, hats, ties, shoes, and from lips. In Miss Nature’s eyes I hunt for any mix of anxiety and calculation transmitting from her to the audience. But she is unapproachable there, so wholly attached to persona, performance and connection, into that rarified air where command and charisma is easily confused with arrogance, a place where a performer is absolutely inescapable. Squint hard and imagine glam-time Bowie hitting a ’74 Diamond Dogs stage; so far into camp, old-school vaudeville-weaned sexual tension it comes out the other end purely human, and fun. Miss Nature’s bigger-than-life character still feels like a real person beyond any staged plot parameters, and that makes her performance great, not played-out, why people pay to see her. The performance ends and Miss Nature is back onstage with a mic, all comic relief (places a rainbow bowtie on a blushing man in honor of his first drag show) and LGBTQA+ and Tucson Pride activism (talks upcoming benefits and events), and it’s compact and sweet and she introduces the next performer, remarkable singer Jayy The Prodigy from Phoenix. The room’s collection of randy perfumed scents is as potent as the still-novel sense of being towed along by whatever colorful attractions materi-

Miss Nature provides comic relief.

alized next, yet humming underneath is a sense of community, of action, and an empathy for others. It’s a mighty long way down the drag bars in the dark underbelly of downtown Phoenix where I’d sometimes hang years ago, often populated of alcoholic queens and tragic transgenders (and leering men with guts and bald spots) who by day were forced to lurk in city shadows, or hide in shame, or both. A false equivalence, but I found loner comfort there beyond easy fascinations of ancient Kabuki performances and 17th-century Shakespeare plays, the “pansy craze” and the New York Dolls. Drag was always infinitely more complex, from the dress to the psychology to societal homophobia and hate, than how it ever appeared. This event, Nature at Night, is G-rated, lots irreverence and

fabulous shoes, any decadence merely hinted at, and mainstreamed long ago, partly on the back of RuPaul’s Drag Race. It is a different form. This provides a different comfort, one all-inclusive, drag as a performative commodity born of some spiritual portal and sometimes filled of decisive idealism. Also, drag as a means of turning rebellion into money, for others. It is Miss Nature’s event (of her bi-weekly social Nature at Night), stacked with other worthy performers, and the self-proclaimed “Queen of Charity” absolutely owns the room.

WHEN MISS NATURE OPENS THE door to her east side apartment, she is Christopher Hall, a bespectacled 32-yearold of slight build, could be Peter Parker. He wears a backwards ball cap and a


OCTOBER 28, 2021

Chris Hall: “The accolades are the cherry on top.”

rainbow Pride T-shirt whose right short sleeve half-conceals a Lucille Ball heart tattoo (his Ball fandom extends to tribute on a wall in his two-bedroom place), the other arm a formable tribute with bloody tears to the Pulse nightclub shooting. Hall was just on the phone talking next year’s Arizona Pride Tour, which he’s organizing, a drag vaudevillian escapade hitting small rural Arizona towns (Nogales, Casa Grande etc.) to benefit girls in the Southern Arizona branch of Girl Scouts where “all the money raised will be earmarked towards inclusion efforts, especially as it relates to being more accepting towards girls who are trans.” This is the kind of work he does. But let’s backup. No, it was not easy growing up in the shadow of the state prison complex in flat, dusty penal-town Florence, Arizona. A better visual metaphor could hardly be imagined for a gay kid coming to grips with his sexuality, his flattop-headed dad an actual prison guard. Imagine a dad so ashamed he’d make a teenage you stand away from him in public to avoid appearing associated. That sort of thing. Early aughts in prison-town Arizona, there was little for a brainy gay outsider to glom onto but then-pop-subversive Marylin Manson, not the music, the aesthetic. To appease his parents (“I would say, ‘I don’t believe in God,’ and they’d say,

‘Don’t say those things!’”), Hall met a church lady, a sister, and young Hall attended her Pentecostal church. When he came out, he remembers the sister condemning him to hell while sitting on his living room couch. That was the end of Hall’s church-going. His parents divorced in 2020 and mom moved back to New York where Hall was born. He came out to mom over the phone, and she was more of an ally. Dad was another story. “He basically freaked.” And the list of humiliations and hatreds goes on: hateful slurs, hurled Thirst Busters hitting him from cars, accusations of touching other students in group settings ... He could’ve gone one way, at least into depression or worse— gay teens in America are five times more likely to kill themselves—but found some high-school hallway reprisal, befriending the popular girls so the guys were forced to be respectful, and also academic intelligence; Hall graduated high school with national honors. He wore French-tipped nails and lip gloss to his Florence High School graduation, a courageous move that caused consternation among students and faculty. High school had been an outlet, he says, really the “extra-curricular stuff.” Hall was color guard, in the Spanish club, etc. He knew there was something somewhere and constantly tallied things he had to “be grateful for.” He found solace and CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

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kinship with another gay kid in Florence. “In a place like Florence you find each other.” Hall’s dad shifted, his view of humanity turned, and he talks of taking him to his first Pride event, how he came to his first drag show at Apollo’s Lounge in Phoenix, and the many father-son, personal-history perceptions and misconceptions and understandings embraced and overcome, a learning experience for which Hall is grateful. “Now,” Hall says, “my dad is my biggest supporter.” He understands his father’s own internal struggles, and an ensuing empathy rose from unfettered love. “He went through a lot. And there’s a sense of what he was losing, too,” Hall says. “No grandkids,” for starters. Their differences are stark. “He was a Trump supporter and posts pictures of me in drag on his Facebook page! As it is with a lot of people, I just don’t talk religion or politics with him.” Adds, “I’m very humbled now, realizing I have both my parents.”

HALL IS SEATED AT HIS LITTLE kitchen table in front of open laptop, a colorful and bright oil-on-canvas splash of flowers oversees the area in the otherwise tidy, brown-and-black trimmed apartment. A Victorian China cabinet, which matches a grandfather clock in his hallway, doubles as a display case of pictures and awards he’s earned from various organizations, including a recent Humanitarian of the Year plaque from widely read Arizonadrag. com (now Drag Confidential.) He doesn’t talk how experiences and circumstances feel as much as he treats them with an it-is-what-it-is pragmatism; he catalogs things in his head—where he’s been, what he does, groups of people he can help, his work, his drag, like a spreadsheet of cogent human experiences and labors for an internal LLC. Not a brand, but a kind of personal institute. When he reveals things he’s like a walking TED talk, I did this, I learned that, here’s how I can do it better … what’s next? The man, who says he rarely, if ever, gets depressed, is quick; a keen self-assurance and intelligence keeps pace with what he calls a glaring ADHD. That’s not to say he exists without humor or sadness, spontaneous insight or self-takedowns—his Miss

Nature act features all that, why audiences relate. “I always had this tendency to stay positive, I don’t know why.” Such traits speak to his fascinations beyond drag and into his work (“I enjoy systems and problem solving,” Hall says, flatly) and one can imagine such organization helped him scale whatever prison walls of sexuality closed in on him as a kid. Talk of Hall’s day job is mostly off-limits, client privacy and non-disclosure guidelines. He works for a government agency, eight years in, overseeing people with developmental disabilities, and conducts investigations into abuse, exploitation and neglect. He sees a lot and “works to improve lives.” The career work fascinates him, its aims toward a greater good with a living wage. His drag benefit work and day-gig actions are similar; hunting for aid opportunities where problems exist. The rewards are basically the same: “Knowing you made a difference in that person’s life.” He adds: “Look, social justice has always been important to me, as long as I can remember.” It has and others I’ve talked to confirm. One Crystal McCarthy, from the Arizona chapter of the national support group Free Mom Hugs, says he goes out of his way to help others, how performers are eager to sign up for his shows, or help the benefits, “and I think that says a lot.” She tells of a 7-year-old boy from a provincial community outside Tucson whose family is “very conservative.” How Miss Nature drove out in drag, as a favor, to a VFW hall for a birthday party and opened the boy’s eyes to bigger worlds with show and kindness.

JUST OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL, Hall founded Central Arizona Rainbow Education (CARE), working with other groups and sponsors, like the national organization GLSEN, bringing heartbeats, faces and handshakes to misconceptions and intolerance. His mission was then, and pretty much still is, to see progress overcome cognitive biases, to work the less tolerant, rural Arizona towns, including high schools, to foster an understanding and empathy for LQBTQA+ folk and basic human rights. His first event was a youth summit for students, parents and faculty at a Maricopa, Arizona high school. It went well, people showed, and fueled more events. They hit small towns including


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Chris Hall is Miss Nature

Coolidge, Apache Junction, Winkelman (“half the town came out, including the mayor’s wife!”) and others. Protestations rose for flying the rainbow flag within city limits, and it made national news. Hall was talked about on NPR. The town’s police chief later apologized. “Anyway,” Hall says, half-laughing. “I’m never worried. The worst that happens is I die. I’m not afraid to die.” He finds beauty in the little dusty towns too, as well as hurting kids, and understands the need for some to move away to a place more accepting. “But there shouldn’t be,” Hall says. “People who are diverse need to stay to help make a change.” Hall left CARE in 2012. Moved to Tucson for a relationship, but broke it off before leaving, so it was “my ego that brought me here. I already told people I was moving and I did not want it to appear that the gentleman got the best of me.” He created a second skin that year, performance drag-persona Nadi Nature, and five years later grew his third, Miss Nature, when things turned more toward working with minors, public library settings etc. “I always foresaw myself working with kids,” Hall says, and it’s true, all-age shows see kids ages 3 and 4, as well as folks in their 70s and 80s. It’s a beautiful idea, you can see it on children’s faces, this fueling of tender imaginations, the joy, inclusivity and diversity. Hall switches to third-person personae,

“Nadi was arrogant and fun but she’s dead. Miss Nature is more my growth, more polished, more willing to listen to others. Miss Nature is confident, things Chris can’t be.” Crowds underscore Hall’s insecurity when he’s not in drag, says makeup “only gives us the confidence to be who we really are.” If Miss Nature was mean, he says, “Chris would be mean in his core. Anyway, I’m more confident now as my boy self,” Hall laughs. “So she should deserve some credit.” In 2018, after years of volunteering and assisting at benefits, he began producing his own. With help from others, Hall raised $65,000 dollars so far, for non-profits, charities and for non-LGBTQA+ groups, hefty sums considering pandemic-era tight fists and working from a marginalized community. In all, the man does nearly 80 events a year, many of which he organizes, promotes, performs in, and a percentage of these are strictly benefits, aiding disparate groups, from Navajo Nation COVID relief to Black Lives Matter, Casa De Los Niños to Wings for Women. These shows sell out within 24 hours. His philosophy is simple: “Many of my events are based on what’s not happening.” Hall’s non-benefit drag shows paid for him to return to school, and he’s closing in on his Masters, after a six-year break, in Organizational Leadership from NAU, weekly accelerated classes at home. “And I mention that in my shows, it’s being CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

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Family Fun Carnival

MOSO Events

Central Arizona Fair Association

Artisan Craft t Craffft Market


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bitchy and catty, the drama for TV. But that’s not me. What’s missing in that kind of competition is, I think, an ability to conhonest with people. And if I don’t invest in nect with people.” myself, I can’t expect an audience or comOn the flip side he hears disparaging munity to care about me and what I do.” shit directed at him. “It hurts. I don’t This last Arizona Pride Tour, the second understand the backlash. I walk away from in what’s now a yearly event, included any that when it happens.” stops in Bisbee, Flagstaff and Yuma, monThe man with zero impulse to avoid any ies raised benefited Arizona Pride orgasubject other than nuances of his day job, nizations. It kicks off again in February runs his fingers over his line-free forehead ’22, hitting mostly small-town hotels and and discloses recent cosmetic injections. casinos. It could be pure vanity, or what he laughs, There’s meta -inclusivity too, Hall wel“preventive measures. Each person does comes newcomers to showcase their art drag for different reasons,” he says. “If at his events. “If you want to be with the there’s a degree of narcissism in what I do, it’s not my initial intent. I can’t say it doesn’t feel good to get acknowledged, like, for instance, the Humanitarian of the Year award. I don’t know if you could call feeling good about an event that helps others narcissism. The accolades are the cherry on top, but not the intent.” He continues, “I post most everything about my life [on social media], and that makes more vulnerable. I want to be able to live as freely and openly as possible.” He laughs, adds, “Anyway, that way no one can blackmail you.” Between his day gig, school and Miss Nature, Hall logs well north of 80 hours a week and it’s his sleep that suffers. Hence, his life borders the monastic, too many non-companion tasks. Oh, there are always certain dating apps, which leave him disHall at home gusted. He shrugs, “My standards are so high, if you’re not aspiring for something, I’ve in-crowd, you won’t get invites. I’m not no interest. A lot of people demand of my going to say you’re not good enough for time. But,” he adds, “I would love to get me.” He is loathe to badmouth others (“too married one day.” negative”), at least in my presence, but praises many. THERE IS ONE ROOM IN HALL’S “I do believe if, say, you want to be on apartment to which he closes the door, RuPaul’s [Drag Race], you have to be kind of his drag dressing room. “It’s a total

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11

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Miss Nature calls it out at Tucson’s Bumstead’s

mess in there.” Instead he shows his travels, borne of curiosity, a U.S. map above the fireplace shows he’s been to all 50 states and is surrounded by gleaming mementos from each, including a Green Bay Packers insignia. (“I was a Brett Farve fan, is all.”) It is difficult to pinpoint exact qualities of Hall’s alacrity, or where it comes from. He’ll say he arrived here in life by working hard at human connections. Not many clues elsewhere. He doesn’t eat animals because he loves them. He hits the gym twice a week, and likes “all genres of music.” OK, so does half the population. Halls says he doesn’t play into sexual tension at his shows, he wouldn’t “mainly because of the kids. Part of my niche really is about changing the face of drag. I want people to have better understanding of drag, more than the sex, drugs and alcohol. A lot of my audience is heterosexual I want people to leave feeling entertained and those who have a bad idea of who the community is to have a positive image of us.” After a pause, he adds, “And you have

to have a sense of honesty. If I’m getting dressed there needs to be a purpose … If you don’t have a mission you lose your spark. If I watch a performer and they’re not into it, I’m not either.” This outsider kid from a prison-town learned long ago it takes a persistent living of life to ward off inertia, what he earnestly calls looking “for a rainbow in every situation. I want the world to be in a better place than when I got into it, it’s that simple. I mean, that’s why we do all-age shows.” Later, Hall lifts his shirt to reveal an orange orangutan face tat below his right shoulder. “The orangutan is my favorite animal because of my dad, he called me his ‘little orangutan’ when I was young. They’re smart, intelligent, you can sense what they are feeling.” For more info on Miss Nature and upcoming shows go to his Facebook page.


OCTOBER 28, 2021

ARTS & CULTURE

ARTY PARTY

TMA welcomes the community back with Howl By Jeff Gardner jeff@tucsonlocalmedia.com

I SAW THE BEST MINDS OF MY

generation trapped indoors, quarantining and away from museums. But those days are coming to an end as venues reopen and community events fill downtown Tucson. Although the Tucson Museum of Art has held some events since reopening, their upcoming Howl at the Museum will be their largest event in more than a year, and serves to invite the community back to the beloved historic block. Howl at the Museum, which takes place on Friday, Oct. 29, is part food tasting, part costume contest, and part concert, all while serving as a fundraiser for one of Tucson’s oldest art museums. Howl is also a rebranding of TMA’s annual Crush fall festival. Museum staff say TMA is keeping the successful elements of Crush, but aligning more with Halloween and art. “For many years we’ve had a fall party, but this is the first year for Howl,” said Cami Cotton, TMA director of development. “It’s a little different, because this year we’re putting it right next to Halloween, so we can have a costume contest and other Halloween games. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be connected to Halloween, either. Two years ago, we were under construction, so we had to hold Crush in the street and parking lot. And last year was of course COVID, so this year is really a celebration of being back.” Like their previous fall events, Howl will feature a variety of local food and drinks for sampling throughout the museum plaza. So far, Commoner and Co., Flores Market Run, Prep & Pastry, Café a la C’Art, Portal Cocktails, La Cocina and Finley Distributing are on the food and drink list. In addition, Whiskey Del Bac will be hosting a special Del Bac Showdown cocktail competition. “With this, we’ll have four contestants and they’ll be mixing their drinks and there will be samples for attendees to taste and vote on for the best,” Cotton said. “That can get pretty exciting, with a lot of cheering for different contestants.”

With more of a focus on art, Howl at the Museum will also feature multiple local performers: Alternative Latin band Los Esplifs will perform with a mix of cumbia and rock. DJ Herm will spin records. Drag queens will put on a fabulous show. Tucson’s hip-hop dance group The Drop Dance Studio will shake things up. And Tanline Printing will be doing letterpress art. As the event is only two days from Halloween, there will also be a costume contest judged by the aforementioned drag queens. Guests can arrive to Howl in their costumes, but Halloween costumes are definitely not required. But if you need a costume quickly, TMA invites you to visit the nearby Tucson Thrift Shop & The Other Side Vintage/Costume Shop. “We brought over the food and drinks from Crush, but we’re placing more emphasis on art with Howl,” Cotton said. “Of course, Howl can refer to Halloween, but it can also just be about getting excited about the museum.” Guests are also invited to take a break from the festivities to explore the art in the museum. Although TMA is not unveiling any new art for the event, Howl will fall in the middle of their premiere exhibition of Swiss-born, Tucson-based painter Olivier Mosset. Over several decades, Mosset’s massive, limited-color paintings have challenged art norms. According to TMA, the exhibition, simply titled “Olivier Mosset,” presents important paintings from the 1970s, 1990s and 2000s, including new large-scale modular paintings and both constructed and ice sculptures. Through such works, Mosset “consistently engages viewers’ expectations about art and how they encounter it.” (Masks are not required outdoors in the museum plaza, but they are required in the indoor galleries.) “We’re trying to get people into our museum that may not have been in before, or haven’t been in a while,” Cotton said. “So the museum is completely open for people to walk through and see the exhibitions if they want to take a break from the party and wander around.” ■

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HOW TO THRILL AND CHILL THIS HALLOWEEN By Emily Dieckman tucsonweekly@tucsonlocalmedia.com

35th Annual Tucson Celtic Festival & Highland Games Nov. 5th-7th, 2021 COME JOIN US FOR ALL THE FUN, FOOD & GAMES! TRADITIONAL SCOTTISH FOOD, BEER, CLANS, CELTIC ITEMS & KIDS AREA

Featuring Wicked Tinkers Noble McCoy Band The Out of Kilters

RILLITO RACEWAY PARK • 4502 N 1ST AVE, TUCSON, AZ 85718 TUCSONCELTICFESTIVAL.ORG

THERE ARE PLENTY OF Halloween parties set for this weekend, from tours at local fantasyland Valley of the Moon to spooky movies at the Loft and Fox theaters to Howl at the Tucson Museum of Art. (See “Arty Party,” Page 13 for details on the TMA party.) Sure, there’s still a frightful bug out there, so take proper precautions and mask up as appropriate. And if you’re not too scared, consider the vaccine if you haven’t gotten your shot yet.

candy and midday fun. There’s a costume contest at noon, plus a fun farm choochoo. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, 414 N. Toole Ave.

Thriller Trifecta at the Fox. Let’s get spooky at the Fox this weekend with three nights of films! Catch the 1991 psychological thriller Cape Fear at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29, and The Addams Family at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31. What a perfect way to get in the mood for trick or treating. The highlight of the weekend is the Wurlitzer Organ reveal at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, which is taking place after years of HoCo Halloween. Have you ever been dis- painstaking restoration by organ builder appointed by a party at Hotel Congress? Of Grahame Davis. Organist Dave Wickerham course not. With live music from the Spice will be playing the original eerie backPistols, spooky food and drink specials all ground score to Nosferatu: A Symphony of night long, and $1,000 in cash prizes for the Horror. The Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. costume contest, this event promises to be Cape Fear and the Addams Family are $5 to no exception. (The Spice Pistols’ tagline $7.50, and Nosferatu is $10 to $12.50. is “Spice Girls Tunes, Sex Pistols Style… in Drag!” which is the vibe we are all seeking Monkey Bar Halloween Weekend. If this autumn, right?) Local DJs PC Party, you’re anything like us, you’ve been celeAlice.KM and Hot Leather Disco will also brating Halloween all month long. Bring be on the scene for a night that’s all treats the celebration home at Monkey Bar this and no tricks. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31. $15 weekend, where they’re celebrating through in advance and $20 day of, but get your the whole weekend. From Friday through tickets soon! They’re limited and sell out Sunday, they’ll be holding a $50 bar tab cosmost years. tume contest each night (with a $25 bar tab Festival Band’s Halloween Dance. There are a lot of crummy things about growing old, but one of the crummiest is growing out of school dances that give you a chance to get all dressed up and dance as part of a big event. The Festival Band and DJ Sanchez are making your middle school dreams come true this weekend. Costumes aren’t required, but there is a prize for best costume, so why not? 8 p.m. to midnight. Saturday, Oct. 30. Fraternal Order of the Eagles, 1530 N. Stone Ave. $7. Southern Arizona Transportation Museum Halloween Party. Everybody loves some good free family fun, but it’s increasingly hard to come by one event with all three parts these days. Free with your family? Probably not that fun. With your family having fun? No way that’s free. But there is a way! A way where even parking is free! Just head on over to the Transportation Museum this Saturday for some games,

for second place!) Friday night is karaoke, and a DJ is coming Saturday and Sunday. Drink specials include syringe jello and test tube shots. Costumes on, bottoms up. 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, Oct. 29 to Sunday, Oct. 31. Monkey Bar, 1120 S. Wilmot Road. Halloween Camp Out and Swap Meet. Do you ever just want to airsoft until you drop, then wake up the next morning and get back at it again? Head over to Freedom Airsoft this weekend, where you can play for extended hours from 4 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Oct. 30, then resume play from 8 a.m. to noon on Halloween. Bring your own camping gear and food, plus a costume for the costume contest. $20 with your own airsoft equipment or $40 for the full rental package, or no charge if you just come for the swap meet. Freedom Airsoft, 7850 E. Valencia Road. Ninth Annual Halloween Bash With ROH Band. ROH is a local variety band that has


OCTOBER 28, 2021

been keeping Tucsonans dancing since 2005. At this party, you can combine all of that dancing with some good eating, plentiful drinking and some prize winning (if you win the costume contest, which we believe you will!) Prizes include both gift certificates and cash. Swing on by for the fun. 7 to 10 p.m. Monterey Court, 505 W. Miracle Mile. $10, or free for kids and teens under 16. Halloween Festival and Crafts Fair. The theme of this festival over at the Tuxon Hotel is Diagon Alley, which should be enough to perk up the ears of even casual Harry Potter fans. (Ollivander’s, anyone? How about Flourish and Blots or Gringotts Wizarding Bank?) With live bands, a car show, costume contests, and jugglers, this event offers plenty to do and see to get you ready for Halloween. 3 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. The Tuxon, 960 S. Freeway. Halloween Trunk-or-Treat at APEX Martial Arts. It’s always fun to get some practice trick-or-treating in the night before the big holiday, especially when it’s free! Bring friends and family on down to APEX for trunk-or-treating, snacks, “mad science” experiments, games and (of course!) costume contests. 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. APEX Mixed Martial Arts, 4343 N. Oracle Road. Free. Fifth Annual Obsessions Trunk-or Treat. If you are more of a trunk-focused person than a treat-focused person, then this event might be for you. It’s the Obsessions Car Club’s monthly car show, but with car show participants showing their Halloween spirit by participating in the trunk or treat. Let your kids drool over the candy while you drool over the gorgeous cars, and everyone drools over steakburgers from Freddy’s. 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, 11143 N. Oracle Road. Halloween Bash at Arte Bella on Fourth Avenue. Want more do you need to hear than “creepy cocktails and spooky shots?” Maybe “420 friendly?” If that’s your vibe, this event, with live music and no cover charge, might be what you’re looking for this Saturday night. There is obviously a costume contest, and the prize is a $50 Arte Bella gift card. 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30 to 2 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 31. Arte Bella, 340 N. Fourth Ave. Free.

Monster Mash Halloween Bash. Have you been thinking about signing up for a dance class? Centre Stage offers multiple dance style, including ballet, jazz and Tik Tok. That’s right: The first portion of this class will involve making a Halloween video that will get your skeleton shaking. Once you get those moves down, the night takes off into a fun-filled dance party and costume contest with plenty of snacks (and chances to practice). 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29. Centre Stage Dance Studio, 10370 N. La Canada Drive. AZ Trees Please Halloween. This nonprofit, dedicated to natural desert habitat restoration and community and school garden therapy, is ringing in Halloweekend with this free family event. They’ll have raffles, food, giveaways, games and crafts, plus, of course, seed planting and animal feeding They even have face painting, live music and a movie at sundown. Starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. Trees Please Community Garden, 1315 W. Speedway Blvd. Free. Mischief Night at Valley of the Moon. We all know and love Halloween, but do you know about Mischief Night? It’s a night where ordinarily well-behaved folks stir up some trouble—most famously in 1938, when a radio program broadcast H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” like it was a live news broadcast. People panicked, the radio station apologized, no humans were abducted by aliens, and now it gives us a good laugh. At Valley of the Moon, they’re celebrating with some special showings of their current show, Haunted Ruins and the Polka Dot Hex. Shows start every 20 minutes from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. Valley of the Moon, 2544 E. Allen Road. Bring a group of 20 for $145, or $130 for members. SCREAM! A ’90s Halloween Party. Some people say there hasn’t been a true Halloween party ever since the ’90s ended. If you’re not hurtling toward the end of a new millennium, and maybe the end of the world, then is it really that spooky? The Royal Room is bringing back that vibe for this party with DJS MIJITO and E_rupt, plus plenty of food, drinks and dancing. Blood Handsome and Monty O’Blivion will also be hosting a “That’s So ’90s” costume contest. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 31. The Royal Room, 450 N. Sixth Ave. No cover. “Twerk or Treat” Costume Party. It might sound sad to have to choose, but

the truth about this event at Hush Social Club is that you can have both twerks AND treats. There will be hip hop, rock and reggae music, and edibles and vapes are welcome for those looking to really, you know, vibe. In addition to the costume contest, there will also be a twerk contest. So wear a costume you can move in! The winner of each contest gets $100 cast 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, Oct. 29. Hush Social Club, 2101 S. Alvernon Way. $7 men, and ladies free before 10 p.m. Hallow-Versary Party. It’s Union Public House’s 10th birthday, and everyone knows a double-digit anniversary is nothing to sniff at! Come celebrate with them all weekend long with live music and extra fun. Ashley Wineland and Late Night Big Brother Beats play on Friday night, Ritmo de Sanchez and Late Night DJ Tony play Saturday night, and Neon Prophet and Late Night Big Brother Beats play on Sunday. Sunday also has a photo booth, drink specials and costume karaoke! 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, Oct. 29, Saturday, Oct. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 31. St. Philip’s Plaza, 4280 N. Campbell Ave.

TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 15

it’s got all the hallmarks of a ’70s horror: horny teenagers, an ominous soundtrack and lots of stabbing! The Loft is doing its best to keep all the spookiness on screen by requiring all guests to show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test, and also to wear masks. Michael Myers’ victims might not be safe, but you will be! 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29 and Saturday, Oct. 30. Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $8, or $6 for members. Rollin’ Haunt. If you want to trick or treat from the comfort of your car, the Tucson Parks and Recreation Department has you covered. From 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, costumed characters will be handing out candy and other goodies at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds, 4825 S. Sixth Ave. (Enter at Irvington Road and Third Avenue.) You can’t get out of your car, but you can decorate it to add to the fun! ■

Halloween at the Loft. John Carpenter’s “Halloween” (1978) is one of the most successful independent films ever made, and

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Editor’s Note: While we are delighted to see Tucsonans once again gathering for fun events, we are also aware that the Delta variant is in widespread circulation. Please consider getting vaccinated against COVID if you haven’t yet and following CDC guidance, which includes wearing masks at crowded indoor events. Keep yourself and others safe—the pandemic isn’t over yet.

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16th Annual Tucson Record Show. Autumn is for apple cider and scarves and pumpkins and nostalgia. And since it’s really not *that* cold yet, we’re leaning into the nostalgia factor heavily. And what better way to do so than with this viny extravaganza, with 45s, LPs and some 78s in pretty much every genre you can think of. If you’re a vinyl lover, we recommend bringing a handkerchief so you can wipe your chin after you drool all over these beautiful records. Get ready to go home with some treasures. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. Fraternal Order of Police Hall, 3445 N. Dodge Blvd. $4, or $8 for early admission at 8 a.m. Lady Haha. A comedy open mic night? Sure, sounds fun. A comedy open mic night especially for women and LGBTQ+ folk, hosted by Priscilla Fernandez and Mo Urban? Exactly what the doctor ordered and what our souls and funny bones are craving. It’s the only open mic especially for this demographic in town, and comics each get five minutes of stage time (or eight minutes, if you buy a drink!) to strut their stuff. Whether you want to come try your hand at performing or just want to support local comedy and have a good laugh, we don’t recommend missing this. 7 p.m. signup and 8 p.m. open mic. 191 Toole. Free, 21+ Three Dog Night Tribute. The Gaslight Theatre’s Monday night concert series are a good way to get your week of to a fun start, especially to help combat the post-Halloween blues. Tonight, join Todd Thompson, David Fanning and Mike Yarema, as well as a five-piece band, for a night full of hits. “Mama Told Me (Not to Come),” “Black and White” and “Shambala” are all on the docket. And “Joy to the World” too! To help you start gearing up for the dawn of the Christmas season. 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1. Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway. $15 to $27.

Tohono Chul Fall Plant Sale. One reason this time of year is so fun is because we get to put up all sorts of fun seasonal decorations. But, to make things extra fun this year, why not buy a few new household pieces you can keep on display all year round? Tohono Chul’s fall plant sale, featuring unique and hard-to-find specimens, is always a treat. These li’l dudes are hearty and adaptable, whether you decide to keep them in small containers or plant them in the ground. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, and Sunday, Oct. 31.

Latina Comida. Chef Maria Mazon and fellow Top Chef Portland contestant Byron Gomez are presenting a beautiful six-course dinner inspired by their Mexican and Costa Rican Heritage. The menu is killer, featuring everything from duck tacos to sesame mole to oysters to filet mignon. There are also several cocktails, including a mix of mezcal, OJ and grapefruit bitters. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights children’s program. 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. BOCA Tacos y Tequila, 533 N. Fourth Ave. $250.


OCTOBER 28, 2021

by Emily Dieckman Good as Gold. Happy 50th anniversary season to the Invisible Theatre! Mols and Suz (Molly McKasson and Susan Claassen) are hosting this star-studded retro-spectacular cabaret to celebrate. Many of the company’s favorite musical and theatrical guest artists from over the years will be making appearances, including award-winning Randy “Cher” Roberts, Austin Cabaret Theatre’s Stuart Moulton and the “Crown Prince” of Cabaret, Steve Ross. 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31. Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. $50.

SAHBA Home and Garden Show. Many of us have been spending a little bit more time out of the house this summer than we did for the previous year or so during COVID-19. But it’s also that time of year where we’re starting to cozy up in our houses for the cool weather again. With more than 300 exhibitors with products and ideas about how to make your home comfortable, cuter and more energy-efficient, this event is a must for anyone looking to change anything about their house. Plus, it’s the Home Show’s 50th anniversary. (What was in the water in Tucson 50 years ago that led to all of this innovation?) 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, and Saturday, Oct. 30. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31. Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. $8, or half off for senior, military and frontline workers. Free for kids 12 and under. Enter your email address at sahbahomeshow.com to get half off.

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CINEMA

COURTESY PHOTO

SPICE OF LIFE

father, Duke Leto Atreides and his mystical companion, Lady Jessica Atreides. Jason Momoa gives his most charismatic perDune is a sumptuous sci-fi epic formance to date as military man, Duncan Idaho, a far more interesting creation than his Aquaman. Josh Brolin steps into the By Bob Grimm role of advisor Gurney Halleck, while Javier tucsoneditor@tucsonlocalmedia.com Bardem shows up briefly as Stiglar. Bardem and Zendaya will have bigger roles in the BACK IN 1984, A SWEETHEART of a director with an eccentric twinkle in his proposed sequel (more on that in a bit). Dave Bautista is mostly there for his looks eye named David Lynch refused directorias Beast Rabban Harkonnen, while the great al duties on Return of the Jedi in favor of Charlotte Rampling shines behind the veil adapting Frank Herbert’s Dune to the big as Reverend Mother Mohiam. screen. The resultant film was a disaster at The cast is not let down by the art direction the box office, loathed by critics, and disaround them as Villeneuve and his compaavowed by Lynch. The auteur followed this misstep with a little ditty called Blue Velvet, triots, once again, craft a world that is sumptuous both visually and sonically. Creations and all was right again in Lynch world. I saw Lynch’s Dune back when I was in high such as flying helicopter typed crafts that look like dragonflies and those infamous school and had little patience with it. I was in the throes of puberty so I had concentra- worms blend into a very believable desert world that constantly amazes. The scripting tion issues, I didn’t care for the Baron’s severe acne and, having never read the books, delivers the story in a way that is comprehad no tolerance for all of the weird plotting. hensible for those who never saw the first film and never read the books. Honestly, I Toto did do a kickass soundtrack though never really cared about the worlds of Dune (with the exception of the drippy closing but, thanks to Villeneuve, I care now. credits song). Always thought that. Now comes a new adaptation from the very After viewing the new one, I went back and watched Lynch’s take. It’s still incredibly reliable director Denis Villeneuve (Blade strange, and obviously incomplete (Lynch Runner 2049, Arrival) and his spectaculost control of the edit), but Villeneuve’s lar eye for film worlds. This is the year’s Dune helped me to understand what the hell best-looking blockbuster (right up there was going on in Lynch’s Dune. It’s sort of with Gunn’s The Suicide Squad), and a sollike Cliff Notes for understanding Lynch’s idly coherent take on the Herbert tome. Dune when you don’t have the patience to Timothee Chalamet steps into the role read the books. I almost enjoyed watching of Paul Atreides, originally played by Kyle the old, nutty movie, but I still can’t stand MacLachlan. Paul is some sort of possible that Baron and his zits. How did that movie messiah who will help a distant desert get a PG-13? planet fight tyranny and really, really big sand worms. His dreams tell him all sorts of The new Dune is the grandest of cinematic things and include visions of Zendaya with place-setters in that it only covers half the original novel and ends on a massive cliffblue eyes. hanger. Villeneuve made this movie with the The drama includes that pesky Baron, hope a second chapter would be greenlit. this time played by Stellan Skarsgard in The movie did OK in its opening weekend, a fat suit. His Baron is still a monster, but where it was released to both theaters and a far more grounded and less cackly one streaming on HBO Max. at that (and considerably less afflicted by While no official greenlight has been puss-filled boils). The planet Paul eventually given, decent box office and streaming travels to is the only one in the universe to possess spice, the fuel for space travel. Who- numbers point to a second film going into ever controls the spice controls the universe. productions soon. That’s a good thing for Dune fans old and new, because Villeneuve Oscar Isaac and Rebecca Ferguson deserves to finish his vision and, dammit, provide a nice dramatic anchor as Paul’s we deserve to see that vision. ■


OCTOBER 28, 2021

MUSIC

COURTESY PHOTO

Jessica Tanner, AKA Asphalt Astronaut

SPACED OUT

Asphalt Astronaut makes a more intimate album by removing herself By Jeff Gardner jeff@tucsonlocalmedia.com

THE ONLY PERSON YOU TRULY have is yourself, says local musician Jessica Tanner ahead of the second album under her Asphalt Astronaut moniker. The new album Andromeda certainly embodies this realization, with its lonely and peaceful songs. But to complement this, Tanner has built an enveloping world of characters and landscapes to prove one’s self is enough, even in darkness. Tanner is from Tucson, and attended the University of Arizona. While the songs on her debut album Antares dealt more overtly with school, relationships, and even scenes from Fourth Avenue, this new album jumps everywhere from mythology to space to Gone With the Wind—all as a way of exploring the self. This is even reflect-

ed on the album covers; the debut features Tanner, while Andromeda features another woman—eyes fittingly scribbled out. But the greatest change is in the music itself. While Tanner’s previous music is decent-if-simple indie folk, Andromeda lays on the atmosphere, blending ambient and pop music into a late-night confessional. She says this change happened in most part from her exploring production techniques, layering, mastering—and simply buying better music software. “My first album, I just wanted to make something and get it out there. So everything I was using was either free or very cheap, and lost some of the sound quality,” Tanner said. “The folksy elements were more a result of what I could do with what I had available. Because the way I see it, folk

is very accessible to make. You might only need a guitar or banjo, have a story you want to tell, and there you go: it’s folk… But with this, I started having more fun with the ambient side of music.” The album picks up where her debut left off, a soft and lonely sound with sparse piano and Tanner singing in a near-whisper. The opening song is also more overtly autobiographical, much like her debut. However, the second song, “Automaton,” moves away from this in both subject and style. It opens with electronic drums, quiet arpeggiated synthesizers, and multiple vocal tracks interlacing with each other. Of course, the lyrics fall mostly in-line with Asphalt Astronaut’s melancholy self-reflection—but they also work as an introduction to the subtle themes of fantasy and folklore throughout Andromeda. “My intent wasn’t to try to get away from the first album, I just had all these tools that I didn’t have before,” Tanner said. “With all these ambient and spacey songs, I think it would be weird to tell a story that was simplistic, or just about a boy and a girl.” Despite this, she admits it is mostly a break-up album. But that story is told through eclectic instrumentals and mysterious imagery: music boxes, frostbite, shapeshifters and the night sky. The song “Gin + Tonic” is built on waltz-time with an almost carnival-sounding instrumental, but the whole thing is still so hushed and delicate that it’s more reminiscent of the memories of joy than the party itself the title would imply. There are even little laughs submerged in the mix. “On this album, I’m most proud of how this follows a narrative. But I didn’t want it to be super on-the-nose,”

TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 21

Tanner said. “It starts and ends with two different versions of the same track. The first one is more polished and sweeping and dramatic. But it ends with a more bare-bones and personal version of it. But in both instances the question is the same: You’ve done everything you’re supposed to do for other people, but at the end of the day, what of it was for you?” This question is also found in the album’s title, referring to the mythological Greek princess Andromeda who is chained to a rock and destined to be eaten by a sea monster after her mother boasts of her beauty. Ultimately, the princess is saved, but not by her own doing. “Throughout that story, at least as I interpreted it, she never had advocacy for herself,” Tanner said. “It was her parents who messed up, and it made the gods mad, and then a sea monster tries to get her, so Perseus saves the day, and now she belongs to him. But what does she want in the first place?” Tanner says these questions and references relate to a kind of guilt of prioritizing yourself, entrenched in self-doubt and unhealthy relationships. The general mood of Andromeda fits these, as it is a somber and reclusive album. But the scale and mystery of the songs hint that there’s ample room to grow. “Maybe it is OK to be selfish sometimes, because at the end of the day, the only person who will be there with you 24/7 is yourself,” Tanner said. “But the question still remains, what is it that you want?” ■ For more information, visit asphaltastronaut.com or listen on Bandcamp, Spotify or Apple Music.

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chase. At Club Congress. With Lucky Baby Daddy and Female Gaze...

FRIDAY, OCT. 29 Where seductive fantasy and thorny reality pile up. This week Mon Laferte, Circle Jerks, Mayer Hawthorne, OhGeesy, Japanese Breakfast, Jamey Johnson y mucho mas grace our burg with gifts. Read on. By Xavier Omar Otero tucsonweekly@tucsonlocalmedia.com

MARK YOUR CALENDARS… THURSDAY, OCT. 28 Performing bolero, pop, cumbia and salsa, in addition to being the recipient of numerous international awards and distinctions, this Chilean firebrand is the most-streamed Chilean artist ever. La Chica de Rojo, Mon Laferte, with an emphasis on tear-jerking sentimentality, offers a taste of música cebolla. At Rialto Theater. With Flor de Toloache... Stalled at the precarious intersection between seductive fantasy and thorny reality (the foundation upon which the dream factory that is L.A. was erected), jangly surf-punks Egg Drop Soup “lash out at all the bullshit dreams” they so willfully

Emerging from the underbelly of Los Angeles’ South Bay, the Circle Jerks debut release Group Sex (1980)—a breakneck collection of 14 songs (totaling just 15 minutes), featuring gems “Live Fast Die Young” and “World Up My Ass”—is a hardcore punk tour de force. With appearances in Penelope Spheeris’ documentary Decline of Western Civilization (1981) and Alex Cox’s cult classic film Repo Man (1984) immortalized this band of misfits in the pantheon of all-time punk rock greats. Running “Wild in the Streets” after a decade-long touring hiatus, Circle Jerks fire off a Golden Shower of Hits. At Rialto Theater. Flanked by The Adolescents and Negative Approach... With a voice smooth like “Henny & Ginger Ale,” Mayer Hawthorne attributes his early musical education to his hippie dad. Growing up in Michigan, at breakfast in-between scoops of Cap’n Crunch, his father would spin records by Motown legends. Hawthorne’s old man would edify, “You hear him singing there? That’s David Ruffin.” A young Hawthorne absorbed it all.

COURTESY PHOTO

Sophia Rankin & The Sound

Drawing from a deep well—after DJing in clubs during the height of hip-hop, recording nine studio albums and receiving a Grammy nod—Hawthorne has bridled at the notion of being purely a “throwback” artist. Hawthorne also cites Detroit rapper/ producer J Dilla, Norwegian singer-songwriter Hanne Hukkelberg, and genre-defying Santigold, as significant influences. His latest release, Rare Changes (2020), a

collection of recent singles, is dedicated to “the brave people of planet earth who are fighting for change.” With renewed vigor, Mayer Hawthorne returns. At Club Congress. With India Shawn...

SATURDAY, OCT. 30 Depicting street life in gritty detail,


OCTOBER 28, 2021

slowly building Hitchcockian tension and suspense with his well-measured flow, this Detroiter’s lyrics convey a world-weariness that seems to emanate from the Rust Belt itself; seeped into its water, soil, and poverty-stricken streets. Following 2020’s critically acclaimed collaboration, The Price of Tea in China, with The Alchemist (whose minimalist production strikes a potent chemistry with James’ unflinching narratives), Boldy James presents Bo Jackson (2021). At 191 Toole... According to Guinness World Records, Carl Terrell Mitchell is recognized as the fastest rapper on the planet. No joke. This mad chopper can spit out 598 syllables in 55 seconds. Twista performs his greatest hits. At Club 4th Avenue. With HardEarnCash... Employing costumes, makeup and props to set off a lush, ’80s-influenced soundscape, Drab Majesty is methodical experiment in the identity of creativity layered atop a darkwave/dream pop/ goth/shoegaze project. Its humble origins trace back to Andrew Clinco’s bedroom (2011) where he began to write and record. With alarm, Clinco recalls, “Listening back I just didn’t feel like I was listening to myself. It sounded like someone else.” Insisting that his musical inspiration is received from an other-worldly source, this preternatural experience gave birth to his alter ego, Deb Demure, an imposing 6’4” harlequinesque figure. Musical conduits, Drab Majesty release “Oxytocin.” At Hotel Congress (plaza). With Body of Light... An accomplished multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter, Sophia Rankin released her first solo recordings while attending the University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music. On Too Close To The Riptide (2021), she expands from a solo artist to a band leader, exploring themes of love, mourning, new beginnings and acceptance. Up-and-comers Sophia Rankin & The Sound reach far beyond their folk roots. At MotoSonora Brewing Company... Led by maestro José Luis Gomez, the mighty Tucson Symphony Orchestra performs a program featuring Ludwig van Beethoven’s Septet in E-flat major and Sergei Prokofiev’s: Overture on Hebrew Themes. At Tucson Symphony Center...

SUNDAY, OCT. 31: HALLOWEEN! Equally comfortable “mopping up the tears on the barroom floor” while crooning a ballad as he is veering off the rails on a firewater-fueled, honky-tonk hellride, this country outlaw hasn’t released an album of original material since 2010’s The Guitar Song. Jamey Johnson recently told Rolling Stone: “I only want to put out an album if it’s going to be good, something that I want to go out and play every night.” To fill the space in between, Johnson finds satisfaction on the road. “It’s almost like that little two-hour session on stage has taken the place of making a record for me. It’s a new set. We don’t do the same stuff in Virginia that we do in North Carolina,” Johnson says. “By the time I get to California, we’re practically a rock band.” Live and “In Color,” Jamey Johnson is still “Mowin’ Down the Roses.” At Rialto Theater...

MONDAY, NOV. 1 Constantly being advertised, your life commercialized and disguised as happiness in pills and potions, fancy threads

and cars in motion. –Excerpt from “Revolution” by Heartless Bastards Austin’s Heartless Bastards are anchored by Erika Wennerstrom’s gnarled voice. On A Beautiful Life (2021), her observations on living in the age of instant gratification fan the flames of contemplation. “It’s so easy to get caught up in material goals prioritized by our society and the every-man-for-himself mentality of late-stage capitalism,” Wennerstrom says of the album’s central theme. “That way of thinking presents a false idea. It’s so important that we ask ourselves what it truly means to have a beautiful life?” The revolution begins in our minds. Breaking a mold that’s ages old, Heartless Bastards think twice. At 191 Toole. With Valley Queen... A microgenre of electronic music, vaporwave is defined by its slowed-down, chopped and screwed samples of smooth jazz, elevator, R&B and lounge music from the 1980s and ’90s. It rose in reaction to economic and social forces: Globalization, runaway consumerism, and manufactured nostalgia. In 2016, Esquire declared that this exploration of anti-consumerist music died the way it lived. One of the movement’s leading lights, George Clanton, carries the torch. At Club Congress. With Magdalena Bay and Negative Gemini...

TUESDAY, NOV. 2 Rising from the ashes of Shoreline Mafia (a now defunct hip-hop crew that evolved out of L.A.’s graffiti scene), rapper OhGeesy enters the next level of his career with the release of GEEZYWORLD (2021), his Atlantic Records debut. Pitchfork hails the album as “a quintessential L.A. rap record.” With a nod to Dr. Dre’s legendarily tight production style, sonically the album is “as crisp as a freshly printed $100 bill.” Lyrically, Geesy doesn’t stray far, keeping to the tried and true: Sticky sex raps and chest-thumping braggadocio. Now, out on his first solo tour, selling out shows far outside of his Southern California base, Geesy is appreciative for “the love” he’s received from his “cult

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following.” The “Big Bad Wolf,” OhGeesy is ready to bring the bounce. At Rialto Theater... From humble beginnings busking on the streets of Tokyo back in 2012, this tight-knit group bonded over their shared passions. Japanese shredders Kikaguku Moyo explore space and psychedelia. At Hotel Congress (plaza). With Los Esplifs and Mute Swan...

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 3 In stark contrast to Japanese Breakfast’s 2016 debut album Psychopomp (described by Michelle Zauner as a “dark and heavy-handed” confrontation of her mother’s death), 2021’s Jubilee is about joy. Combining synthesizer patches, piano and emotive strings with layers of triumphant horns, saxophones, and marching snares to create anthems of joyful noise, Zauner discovers new aspects to her expressiveness. Awash in trademark experimental lo-fi pop, on “Savage Good Boy” Zauner sarcastically examines the excesses of modern capitalism “I don’t want to weave politics into my music in a way that feels cheap, but I couldn’t make something that doesn’t comment on the reality we live in,” says Zauner. “...You need to push yourself to care. And that’s part of what this album is about. If you want change, in anything, you need to go to war for it.” In brilliant Technicolor flourishes, Japanese Breakfast sets the scene for a new era of hope. At Hotel Congress (plaza)...

THURSDAY, NOV. 4 Originally known as “Homeless Johnson,” after his dad kicked him out of his house, this emo-rap vocalist came up with his stage name while living in a ’94 Corolla. Johnson named his 2015 debut album in honor of his car. With “imperialist privilege and twinkle” in their eyes, Hobo Johnson & The Lovemakers are out for Revenge. At 191 Toole. With Nat Lefkoff and Silk Animus... Until next week, XOXO...


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OCTOBER 28, 2021

GOLDEN TICKET

Here’s your chance to get into the cannabis biz—provided you meet the requirements By David Abbott tucsonweekly@tucsonlocalmedia.com OCTOBER WAS A BIG MONTH for Prop 207’s Social Equity program, as the Arizona Department of Health Services released its final rules for the program that is intended to redress some of the damage done to disadvantaged communities throughout the decades-long war on drugs. ADHS dropped the rules in mid-October after an earlier release of Arizona ZIP codes that will be targeted for 26 marijuana establishment licenses to be released early next year.

After ADHS released a draft of the rules in May, social equity has been a hot topic of debate in the cannabis community. At issue has been the question of how the rules could be set up to avoid “gaming the system” by wealthy owners already in the business, as well as to ensure that applicants don’t just flip their licenses once they win them. One social equity license “golden ticket” is worth an estimated $10-$15 million. In the final rules, ADHS did away with a loophole that would have allowed a single individual to sponsor an unlimited number of applications and also prohibited an applicant to enter into an agreement to sell their license before it’s been issued. But cannabis advocates think there are still a lot of flaws in the system. To qualify for a license, individuals

must meet three of four criteria. They must have been personally impacted by Arizona’s previous marijuana laws, or having a family member impacted by those laws. Their household income must be at or less than 400% of the federal poverty level for three of the past five years. And they must have resided for three of the past five years in one of 87 zip codes released the first week of October. Previous versions of the rules required applicants to have marijuana convictions that are qualified to be expunged from their records, but the new rules require the expungement to be complete, which can take up to two months from the time paperwork is submitted. Further, applicants must obtain a marijuana facility agent license before they can apply, which means they cannot have any recent marijuana felonies on their records. Since the application period for a social equity license is open the first two weeks of December—closing on Dec. 14—the window is likely shut for potential applicants that have not gone through the expungement process. According to Arizona NORML

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Director Mike Robinette, about 80% of the people who have sought help at more than 25 expungement clinics conducted by the nonprofit are unaware the social equity program even exists. “I have spoken firsthand with scores of people from disproportionately impacted communities about the social equity ownership program,” he stated in an Oct. 8 press release. “Overwhelmingly, these individuals were unaware of the program’s existence. At the average clinic, approximately four out of five people voice surprise about their ability to apply for a license that is uniquely reserved for people like them.” Despite the work done by NORML and other nonprofits, out of the estimated 190,000 or so individuals qualified to have their cannabis records sealed, there have been very few records that have actually been expunged. Pima County estimates about 60,000 cannabis-related convictions qualify, but by the end of September, Pima County Superior Court reported there had only been 28 petitions filed and only 16 records sealed. CONTINUED ON PAGE 27


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Another significant roadblock to a successful social equity program is the cost to get into an established business sector that requires hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly up to $1 million, to set up. Not only is there a $5,000, non-refundable application fee, but the applicant must also navigate an arcane system that includes working with state and community governments on zoning, permits and other minutiae related to setting up shop. Additionally, there is an investment in obtaining real estate and bringing buildings up to requirements in a heavily regulated business. While acquiring a license can solve many of the fiscal issues, those who receive a license must be savvy enough to understand the rules and have trustworthy partners to work with. “A lot of this is going to come down to leverage and trust and making sure you find partners that really do share your goals,” Arizona NORML Communications Director Jon Udell said. “So the path has gotten a lot narrower,

but it’s to be determined if a path still exists.” Solutions to some of the problems that have arisen could be expanding the timeline for applications, reducing the non-refundable application fee and refunding it to those who are not chosen. Udell also thinks there should be money from the state available to help licensees, who will have about 18 months to get up and running from the time they receive the nod from the state. “There are a whole lot of expenses they’re going to incur the first 18 months, and these are people at 400% (of) the poverty level or lower, so they often have systemic barriers to accessing private investors,” he said. Earlier in October, ADHS released its list of ZIP codes identifying “communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of previous marijuana laws.” Of that list, there are eight in the Tucson area, including 85321, 85634, 85757, 85746, 85705, 85713, 85714 and 85706. Andrés Portela, an up-and-coming social advocate who ran unsuccessful-

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on a bullet wound,” and that more needs to be done to address the underlying issues. First and foremost, Portela advocates for automatic expungement, so that everyone eligible would be on the same playing field. “If they’re trying to be very specific about a person who is disproportionately affected by the war on drugs, they need to release data to say who is disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs,” he said of the use of ZIP codes as a determinant. “When we look at the framework of power, the state holds all of the power: They’re the ones who are issuing the licenses, they are the ones who are expunging records. The state needs to do something more for people to be eligible to apply.” ■ COURTESY PHOTO

Andrés Portela ran unsuccessfully for Tucson’s Ward 6 council seat earlier this year.

ly for Tucson’s Ward 6 seat earlier this year, thinks extending the deadline would be the equivalent of a “BandAid


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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY

By Rob Brezsny. Go to RealAstrology.com to check out Rob Brezsny’s EXPANDED WEEKLY HOROSCOPE 1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700 $1.99 per minute. 18 and over. Touchtone phone required.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries philosopher Emil Cioran wrote, “When I meet friends or people I know who are going through a difficult period, I usually have this advice for them: ‘Spend 20 minutes in a cemetery, and you’ll see that, though your worry won’t disappear, you’ll almost forget about it and you’ll feel better.’” I don’t think you’re weathering a terribly difficult phase right now, Aries, but you may be dealing with more riddles and doubts and perplexities than you’re comfortable with. You could be feeling a bit darker and heavier than usual. And I think Cioran’s advice would provide you with the proper stimulation to transform your riddles and doubts and perplexities into clarity and grace and aplomb. If you can do Halloween without risk from COVID-19, here’s a costume suggestion: the spirit of a dead ancestor.

the sausage grinder. Also: In every way you can imagine, don’t be like a sausage. (To meditate on sausage-ness, read the Wikipedia entry: tinyurl. com/SausageMetaphor)

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): According to some spiritual teachers, desire interferes with our quest for illumination. It diverts us from what’s real and important. I know gurus who even go so far as to say that our yearnings deprive us of freedom; they entrap us and diminish us. I strongly disagree with all those ideas. I regard my longing as a primary fuel that energizes my drive to free myself from pain and nonsense. How about you, Taurus? In alignment with astrological omens, I authorize you to deepen and refine and celebrate the yearning in your heart. Your title/nickname could be: 1. Yearning Champion. 2. Desire Virtuoso. 3. Connoisseur of Longing.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Some of us yearn for allies who can act like saviors: rescue us from our demons and free us from our burdensome pasts and transform us into the beauties we want to become. On the other hand, some of us do all this hard work by ourselves: rescue ourselves from our demons and free ourselves from our burdensome pasts and transform ourselves into the beauties we want to become. I highly recommend the latter approach for you in the coming weeks, Leo. If you can do Halloween without risk from COVID-19, here is a costume suggestion: your own personal savior.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Author Jessamyn West confessed, “I am always jumping into the sausage grinder and deciding, even before I’m half ground, that I don’t want to be a sausage after all.” I offer her testimony as a cautionary tale, Gemini. There’s no astrological reason, no cosmic necessity, that decrees you must become like a sausage anytime soon. Such a fate can be easily avoided. All you must do is commit yourself to not jumping into

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Our fellow Cancerian, author Franz Kafka, told us, “It is often safer to be in chains than to be free.” And yes, some of us Crabs go through phases when we crave safety so much that we tolerate, even welcome, being in chains. But the fact is that you’re far more likely to be safe if you are free, not in chains. And according to my reading of the astrological omens, that’s extra true for you now. If you can celebrate Halloween without risk from COVID-19, here are costume suggestions: runaway prisoner, escape artist, freedom fighter.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “One of the reasons people are so unhappy is they don’t talk to themselves,” says author Elizabeth Gilbert. “You have to keep a conversation going with yourself throughout your life,” she continues, “to see how you’re doing, to keep your focus, to remain your own friend.” Now is a favorable time to try such an experiment, Virgo. And if you already have skill in the art of carrying on a vibrant dialog with yourself, now is a perfect moment to upgrade and

SAVAGE LOVE DO YOU REALIZE

By Dan Savage, mail@savagelove.net

I’m a 33-year-old straight female, been with my husband for 10 years, married for six. When we first started dating, I was an extremely jealous person. Fortunately, I got it under control with lots of therapy. But once I did, I started having fantasies about him hooking up with other people. We incorporated these fantasies in the bedroom—as a fantasy—and it was insanely hot. Anyways, I had a baby a year ago. It took some time for my libido to come back, but she is back with a vengeance. I’m horny all the time. I’m so horny that when my husband mentioned that an old friend of his who lives in another city was getting flirty, I

immediately encouraged him to see if anything might come of it. With my blessing, he shared with her that I might be a cuckquean. (Sticking with “might” for now, as we’ve never actually done this.) She was interested, and the flirting escalated. Now she’s coming to town for work. Having never actually done anything like this, I started to feel unsexy jealousy creeping back in. We decided that he wouldn’t do anything with her, just grab a quick drink. But she asked to have dinner with both of us instead. That changed the math and I agreed to dinner. But I find myself vacillating between titillation and anxiety. Am I there to watch or

refine it. Try this experiment: Imagine having a conversation with the Future You. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “In the absence of willpower, the most complete collection of virtues and talents is worthless.” Libran occultist Aleister Crowley wrote that, and I agree. But let’s phrase his idea more positively: To make full use of your virtues and talents, you must develop a strong willpower. And here’s the good news, Libra: The coming weeks will be a favorable time to cultivate your willpower, along with the assets that bolster it, like discipline, self-control and concentration. If you can do Halloween without risk from COVID19, here are accessories I recommend for you to carry with you, no matter what your costume is: a wand, a symbolic lightning bolt, an ankh, an arrow, a Shiva lingam stone or crystal. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Mardi Gras is a boisterous festival that happens every February all over the planet. One hotspot is New Orleans. The streets there are filled with costumed revelers who enjoy acting in ways that diverge from their customary behavior. If you want to ride on a float in the parade that snakes down Royal Street, you must, by law, wear a festive mask. I invite all of you Scorpios to engage in similar festivities for the next three weeks—even if you’re not doing much socializing or partying. It’s a favorable time to experiment with a variety of alternate identities. Would you consider adopting a different persona or two? How could you have fun playing around with your self-image? SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Jungian psychotherapist and storyteller Clarissa Pinkola Estés reminds us, “In fairy tales, tears change people, remind them of what is important, and save their very souls.” I hope you’re open to the possibility of crying epic, cathartic, catalytic tears in the coming weeks, Sagittarius. According to my analysis, you have a prime opportunity to benefit from therapeutic weeping. It could chase your fears and cure your angst and revivify your soul. So please take advantage of this gift from life. Be like a superhero whose superpower is to generate healing by crying.

participate? (I’m bi, so it’s not out of the question.) They’ve already got a rapport going and I’m insecure about feeling left out. I’m writing because I don’t know how to process this cognitive dissonance. One minute I’m so excited about realizing this fantasy that I’m sneaking away to get myself off just thinking about it. The next minute I’m worrying about what will happen if I see him giving her more attention than he gives me. I don’t know how to make sense of what I’m feeling. Am I really a cuckquean if I feel this conflicted? —Completely Confused Cuckquean When I shared your letter with Venus, the host of the Venus Cuckoldress Podcast, she responded with three words and one exclamation point: “The elusive

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Filmmaker Wim Wenders said, “Any film that supports the idea that things can be changed is a great film in my eyes.” I’ll expand upon that: “Any experience, situation, influence, or person that supports the idea that things can be changed is great.” This is a useful and potentially inspiring theme for you to work with right now, Capricorn. In accordance with astrological rhythms, I hope you will be a connoisseur and instigator of beneficial, beautiful transformations. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Fitness buff Jack LaLanne was still doing his daily workout when he was 95. He was also famous for performing arduous feats. At age 65, for example, he swam a mile through Japan’s Lake Ashinoko while towing 65 boats filled with 6,500 pounds of wood pulp. I think you’re currently capable of a metaphorically comparable effort, Aquarius. One way to do it is by mastering a psychological challenge that has previously seemed overwhelming. So meditate on where your extra strength would be best directed, and use it wisely! If you can do Halloween without risk from COVID-19, here are costume suggestions: fitness buff, bodybuilder, marathon runner, yoga master. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): When birdwatchers describe a bird, they speak of its “jizz.” This term refers to the distinctive character of its habitual movements, flying style, posture, vocal mannerisms, and coloring. One aficionado defines jizz as the bird’s “indefinable quality,” or the “vibe it gives off.” I’ve got a theory that right now you’re as birdlike as you’ve ever been. You seem lighter and freer than usual, less bound to gravity and solemnity, and more likely to break into song. Your fears are subsiding because you have the confidence to leave any situation that’s weighing you down. If you can do Halloween without risk from COVID19, here’s a costume suggestion: the bird that has your favorite kind of jizz. ■ Homework. Tell me what worked for you when all else failed. https://Newsletter.FreeWillAstrology.com

cuckquean!” Cuckolding is a loving, consensual, “one-sided open relationship,” as Venus likes to describe it, and most self-identified cuckolds are men. It’s rare to encounter a cuckquean in the wild—that is, a woman who gets off on her husband or boyfriend sleeping with other women. I’ve received hundreds of letters over the years from men who wanted to be cuckolds (some gay, most straight or bi), but only a handful of letters from women like you, CCC. You are a rare flower, a black swan, a precious gem. And what you describe—that feeling of arousal and dread, titillation and anxiety—is so common among wannabe and even practicing cucks that Venus gave it a name (and a whole segment of her podcast): cuck angst.


OCTOBER 28, 2021

“That emotional angst comes with a beautifully complex cuckolding relationship,” said Venus. “To be able to process and overcome damaging jealousy and turn it into something highly erotic is truly an emotional feat. It’s something I admire so much about cuckolds and cuckqueans.” While cuck angst can be confusing, CCC, it’s not disqualifying. If your angst is manageable and the rewards are worth the effort— and if your partner can help you manage it in an affirming way—you can get to a place where you want to realize your fantasies. But like, say, bungee jumping, CCC, it’s still gonna be scary. “One minute it can feel great and the next minute it can feel terrifying,” said Venus. “But your partner plays a big role in providing reassurance and support for you during all of this. I know of a wife who wrote a thoughtful letter to her cuckold husband in advance of her first encounter with another man. It was for him to read if his cuck angst became overwhelming, and it turned out to be exactly what he needed at that moment. He was able to work through the anxiety and make room for the excitement and thrill of thinking about his wife with another man.” The partner of a cuck has to strike tricky balance. You’re going to need your husband to acknowledge your insecurities and offer reassurances to minimize them, CCC, but you don’t want those insecurities to disappear. For most cucks, eroticized insecurities are at the heart of the cuckolding/cuckqueaning kink—no insecurities, no thrills. And while this can sound like a lot of effort to someone who doesn’t share this kink (or have a kink that requires emotional prep and aftercare), the rewards—the experiences you’ll share, the connections you’ll make, the orgasms you’ll have—can be great. “But be prepared for some ups and downs,” warned Venus, “because cuckolding is truly an emotional rollercoaster.” And please—please, please, please—don’t rush into your first cuckquean experience just because this particular woman happens to be in town this particular weekend. “Taking things slow is the key

to success,” said Venus. “There’s always room to move forward with flirty teasing but having to take steps backwards due to jumping into things too quickly is never easy.” It’s not easy to bounce back from a bad threesome that accidentally triggered feelings of jealousy, CCC, but it can be done. A bad first experience with cuckolding— where one person typically wants to be made to feel jealous and/or inadequate—can destroy a relationship. Learning where the line is between “good/ bad” feelings (sexy jealousy) and “bad/ bad” feelings (unsexy jealousy) takes time and not just good communication, CCC, but excessive communication. Follow Venus on Twitter @CuckoldressV and check out her personals site for men and women seeking cuckold relationships at www.venusconnections.com. I’m a 30-year lesbian who listens to your podcast and reads your column religiously. I’m in a long-term monogamous relationship, and I’m very much in love with my girlfriend. I recently told her that I want to explore my kinks and my sexuality and may need an open or at least a monogamish relationship. It looks like she isn’t into that. Perhaps we are sexually incompatible and need to part, but what if I act on my fantasies (swinging, orgies, BDSM) and then find out that I’m not really into any of it? Then I would have given up an otherwise good relationship for nothing. I’ve never tried any of the things I mention, so what if they’re just things I should masturbate about? Mainly, I get very turned on by the thought of being fucked by a group of women wearing strap-ons. Sometimes I feel like I’m on the verge of a life-changing sexual discovery and other times I feel like I just want to stay home with my dog. Where do I go from here? Should I continue just masturbating to these fantasies or do you think that a glorious kinky future awaits me? —Suddenly Thinking Repeatedly About Passionate Orgies Now You’re gonna have to make your best guess, STRAPON.

If you think staying with your current girlfriend and not acting on these fantasies and never getting to fully explore these fantasies will cause you to resent your girlfriend, and your resentment will become a cancer that eventually kills your relationship—if that’s your best guess—then you should end things with your girlfriend now. But if you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the experience of being pegged by a roomful of hot women because you’re filled with regret about dumping your girlfriend for something so “trivial” as a few easier-to-fantasize-about-than-realize sexual fantasies— if that’s your best guess—then make up your mind never to act on these fantasies. (I put “trivial” in quotes because I don’t think there’s anything trivial about sexual fantasies.) But I gotta say… when you think about setting these fantasies aside… it’s not your girlfriend you see yourself cozying up with at home, STRAPON, it’s your dog. Well, I’m here from the kinky future to tell you that you can attend an orgy or BDSM play party and go home to your dog afterwards. So, you can have your orgies and your play parties and your dog too; it’s your girlfriend you may not be able to have. But is it your girlfriend you want? Or is it your dog?

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If you want it all—your girlfriend, your dog, your adventures—there may still be a way. You say it “looks like” your girlfriend isn’t interested in opening the relationship. Which means she didn’t rule it out. So it’s my turn to venture a guess, STRAPON: I’m thinking your girlfriend might’ve had a different reaction to your request to open your relationship if you had invited her along on these proposed adventures. Instead of saying, “I’d like to have hot sexual experiences involving other people on my own while you wait at home with the dog,” try saying this: “I’d like us to have some hot sexual adventures together—you and me, the two of us, and some hot women who dig us both!” Inviting your girlfriend to run around with you, STRAPON, instead of asking for her permission to run around on her, could get you from “looks like a no” to the kind of qualified yes that can become—with time, patience, and open and honest communication—an enthusiastic yes. questions@savagelove.net Follow Dan on Twitter @FakeDanSavage. www.savage.love


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ACROSS

Proto-smartphones, in brief 5 It may be flipped in anger, with “the” 9 Companion, in Arabic 14 Performance traditionally accompanied by the ipu heke (double gourd drum) 16 Protein-building acid type 17 Marley of “Marley & Me,” for one 18 Unbending 19 Insomniacs have them 20 — 21 A pelican gulper is a type of one 22 Parts of essential oils 26 It’s a wrap 27 Didn’t win or lose 29 Eye ailments 31 Evian, par exemple 33 Food item that may be candied 36 Blue Angels, e.g. 38 Failing spectacularly 41 — 42 Colonies construct them 45 Anderson Cooper, to Gloria Vanderbilt 46 Network operated by the U.S. Space Force 47 Part of a bar line 49 Get red in the face? 53 What starts with janeiro, in Rio 55 Like mortgagors 58 Actress Hagen with three Tonys 59 Members of a wartime skywatching corps 1

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63 Frothy order 64 Symbols often

accompanying the phrase “Legalize it” 66 Seriously fancy 67 Redacts, as sensitive information (suggested by three of this puzzle’s answers) 68 Feinted on the ice 69 Adam and Eve’s third child 70 Standard Oil offshoot

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Gym 2 Burr, famously 3 Genetic variant 4 Something that’s no good unless it’s closed 5 Blubbers 6 Some safe harbors 7 Electronics company that founded NBC 8 Type of socialite officially discontinued in the U.K. in 1958 9 It’s a wrap 10 Mexican ally 11 Flashy car feature? 12 New member 13 Gym figures, for short 15 Lowdown 23 Flight tracker info 24 Alternative to white 25 Peons 28 Casino next to the Venetian in Vegas 30 2018 sci-fi prequel 32 ___ Enterprise 34 Range on a game box 1

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choice?” 37 Like Supreme Court hearings, with “en” 38 Shut up 39 For all to see 40 Response to rulebreaking 43 Whole lot 44 Cover some ground? 48 Titular vampire in Anne Rice novels 50 Parts of a Spanish omelet 51 Father-in-law of Helen of Troy

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52 Target with a toss 54 Off-the-wall 56 Something that might

come up after a big meal? 57 Enterprise voyage 59 Hefty rival 60 Have to have 62 Container whose name is pronounced with either a long “a” or an “ah” 64 Network supported by “Viewers Like You” 65 ___ Miss of the N.C.A.A.

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