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DANEHY: The High School Football Season Didn’t Have To End This Way

DEC. 3 - 9, 2020 • TUCSONWEEKLY.COM • FREE

Season’s Greetings!

Calexico drops a new holiday album, Seasonal Shift By Jim Nintzel

PLUS: A Dozen Local Albums of the Year CURRENTS: COVID Spread Is Out of Control

• CHOW: A New Locale

• CANNABIS 520: Where Will the Weed Shops Be?


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DEC. 3, 2020

DEC. 3, 2020 | VOL. 35, NO. 49

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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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University of Arizona’s COVID-19 modeling team calls for statewide shelter-in-place

MUSIC

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Calexico releases a holiday album

Our favorite Tucson albums from 2020

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CHOW

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ADMINISTRATION Jason Joseph, President/Publisher jjoseph@azlocalmedia.com

EDITOR’S NOTE

Jaime Hood, General Manager, Ext. 12 jaime@tucsonlocalmedia.com Casey Anderson, Ad Director/ Associate Publisher, Ext. 22 casey@tucsonlocalmedia.com

Sounds of the Season IF YOU ASK ME, THE UPCOMING merry little Christmas is less “hang a shining star on the highest bough” and more “we’ll have to muddle through somehow.” It seems the (nearly) original lyrics of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” have never been more relevant in my lifetime. While next year all our troubles will be out of sight (hopefully), there’s still joy to be found this season. And some of that joy comes to us from local musicians. Our friends in Calexico are dropping a holiday album this week that mixes their signature sound with some classic carols and includes covers from the likes of John Lennon and Tom Petty. And associate editor Jeff Gardner runs down a dozen albums from local musicians, who could really use your support when you’re crafting that gift list. You know what to do. Elsewhere in the book this week: Staff reporter Nicole Ludden fills you in on a report from the UA COVID team that warns

Claudine Sowards, Accounting, Ext. 13 claudine@tucsonlocalmedia.com Sheryl Kocher, Receptionist, Ext. 10 sheryl@tucsonlocalmedia.com

Pima County has little time to put in place a stay-at-home order to avert an overload of area hospitals; managing editor Austin Counts introduces you to a new midtown restaurant; Cannabis 520 columnist David Abbott looks at how our local jurisdictions are preparing for the forthcoming recreational cannabis dispensaries; and calendar editor Emily Dieckman brings you a list of pandemic-safe ways to get out of the house—though we do recommend you keep your distance from each other and wear that damn mask.

EDITORIAL Jim Nintzel, Executive Editor, Ext. 38 jimn@tucsonlocalmedia.com Austin Counts, Managing Editor, Ext. 36 austin@tucsonlocalmedia.com Jeff Gardner, Associate Editor, Ext. 43 jeff@tucsonlocalmedia.com Mike Truelsen, Web Editor, Ext. 35 mike@tucsonlocalmedia.com Nicole Ludden, Staff Reporter, Ext. 42 nicolel@tucsonlocalmedia.com Contributors: 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 David Abbott, Production Manager, Ext. 18 david@tucsonlocalmedia.com Ryan Dyson, Graphic Designer, Ext. 26 ryand@tucsonlocalmedia.com Emily Filener, Graphic Designer, Ext. 29 emilyf@tucsonlocalmedia.com CIRCULATION Alex Carrasco, Circulation, Ext. 17, alexc@tucsonlocalmedia.com ADVERTISING

Jim Nintzel Executive Editor Hear Jim Nintzel talk about what’s happening in town at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday mornings on The Frank Show on KLPX, 96.1 FM.

RANDOM SHOTS By Rand Carlson

Two local restaurateurs find the right locale for a taste of Italy in the former Old Pueblo Grille building

Kristin Chester, Account Executive, Ext. 25 kristin@tucsonlocalmedia.com Candace Murray, Account Executive, Ext. 24 candace@tucsonlocalmedia.com Lisa Hopper, Account Executive Ext. 39 lisa@tucsonlocalmedia.com Tyler Vondrak, Account Executive, Ext. 27 tyler@tucsonlocalmedia.com NATIONAL ADVERTISING VMG Advertising, (888) 278-9866 or (212) 475-2529 Tucson Weekly® is published every Thursday by 13 Street Media 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. First Class subscriptions, mailed in an envelope, cost $112 yearly/53 issues. Sorry, no refunds on subscriptions. Member of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN). The Tucson Weekly® and Best of Tucson® are registered trademarks of 10/13 Communications. Back issues of the Tucson Weekly are available for $1 each plus postage for the current year. Publisher has the right to refuse any advertisement at his or her discretion.

MMJ

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Local municipalities react to passage of Prop 207

Cover design by Ryan Dyson

Copyright: The entire contents of Tucson Weekly are Copyright © 2019 by Thirteenth Street Media. 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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CURRENTS

HOLIDAY FEAR

UA COVID team calls for statewide shelter-in-place order, mask mandate Nicole Ludden Nicolel@tucsonlocalmedia.com EXPERTS FROM THE COVID-19 modeling team at the University of Arizona are calling for a shelter-in-place order, mask mandate and emergency economic relief measures statewide as coronavirus metrics increase to alarming levels. “No matter what actions are taken, Arizona will experience a hospital crisis in the coming weeks. However, if action is not immediately taken, then it risks a catastrophe on a scale of the worst natural disaster the state has ever experienced,” UA’s COVID-19 modeling team wrote in a memo to the Arizona Department of Health Services. “It would be akin to facing a major forest fire without evacuation orders.” Dr. Joe Gerald, a professor at UA who creates weekly coronavirus epidemiology reports based on ADHS data, also called for further COVID-19 mitigation tactics as his latest report shows an alarming spread of the virus throughout the state. “Arizona is experiencing a public health

crisis where access to critical care services is limited due to shortages of space, personnel, and critical supplies. If not addressed within the next 2-3 weeks, this crisis will evolve into a humanitarian crisis leading to hundreds of preventable deaths,” Gerald wrote in his latest report. “At this point, only shelter-in-place restrictions are certain to quickly and sufficiently curtail viral transmission.” According to Gerald’s latest update, Arizona likely passed concerning thresholds of 30,000 COVID-19 cases per week and 4,000 cases per day this week. His report says Arizona’s COVID-19 test positivity reached 17% the past week, providing “additional evidence that viral transmission continues to increase despite the uncertainty surrounding actual case counts.” On Nov. 27, 28% of hospital ward beds were filled by COVID-19 patients, a 24% increase from the week prior. Of the state’s ICU beds, 32% were occupied by coronavirus patients, a 27% increase from last week, according to Gerald’s report. Members of the COVID-19 modeling

team at UA said Arizona State University’s COVID-19 projections predict by early December, hospitalizations will exceed current ICU and general ward capacity throughout the state. By late December, the ASU COVID-19 modeling team predicts hospitalizations will exceed their total capacity, causing “no additional availability to provide care for routine, urgent, or emergent non-COVID care,” according to the UA modeling team’s memo. Gerald wrote in his report that if total hospital capacity is reached, “it would represent a humanitarian crisis of unparalleled proportion and would be accompanied by hundreds if not thousands of preventable deaths.” Gerald says the state’s “hospitals’ safety margin continues to erode” not only because of a surge in COVID-19 cases but due to other non-coronavirus related procedures and illnesses hospitals are handling. “While occupancy data suggest Arizona hospitals should be under greater strain, the fact that admissions are dispersed across multiple units, not just COVID-specific units, means the workload is more evenly distributed across physicians, nurses and other health professionals,” Gerald said in his report. “As COVID-19 admissions continue to increase, this advantage will be lost.” Gerald’s data shows 3,660 COVID-19 cases among Pima County residents for the

CLAYTOONZ By Clay Jones

week ending Nov. 22, a 39% increase from the previous week, setting a record for the highest weekly case count in the county. “In this regard, Arizona should reinstate its shelter-in-place order for the post-Thanksgiving – Christmas period,” Gerald wrote in his report. “While more targeted restrictions could have slowed transmission if implemented weeks ago, the potential consequences of an outbreak of this size and trajectory are too dire to rely on half-measures now.” UA’s COVID-19 modeling team is calling for a shelter-in-place order from Dec. 1-Dec. 22, an enforceable statewide mask mandate and emergency relief measures for small businesses and other entities affected by a potential stay-at-home ordinance. The group is also asking for county and municipal leaders to be given the authority to enact local shelter-in-place mandates. Gerald also called for further statewide action against the spread of the virus given the dire implications of its continued spread. “Acknowledging that a shelter-in-place order is unlikely, counties should be granted additional authority to establish and enforce alternative COVID-19 mitigation policies,” Gerald said in his report. “The only unacceptable course is inaction. Without intervention, we are on track to experience a major humanitarian crisis during the Christmas – New Year holiday season.” ■


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DANEHY THE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SEASON DIDN’T HAVE TO END THIS WAY By Tom Danehy, tucsonweekly@tucsonlocalmedia.com THE 1979 AMPHI HIGH FOOTBALL team went undefeated for the entire season. They needed a stifling 15-0 win over powerhouse Sunnyside to reach the state playoffs and a gutsy goal-line stand in the final two minutes of a 7-0 semifinal win over Apollo to reach the state title game. Amphi cruised in that championship game, overpowering Mesa Mountain View, 27-0. It was the last time that a Tucson team won the state’s highest division. Eighteen years later, Amphi again went undefeated through the regular season and cruised through the first three rounds of state. They would again face Mesa Mountain View, a school with an enrollment so large (more than twice that of Amphi) that it had an entirely separate campus for its 1,000-person freshman class. Mountain View scored late to take the lead and a last-second Amphi pass into the end zone was broken up.

This year, the Amphi Panther football team also finished its season undefeated. But it didn’t win a conference championship or make it to the state playoffs. This year’s team went 4-0, combining a stout defense with a withering running attack to win the games by a combined score of 156-36. In a normal year, they would have made it to state and once you get to the playoffs, who knows what happens? But this is the Year of COVID and TUCSON LOCAL MEDIA FILE PHOTO that’s all anybody will remember. Marana High School competing against Canyon Del Oro in 2017. The football season was abruptly those four games). Only Canyon Del ment to cancel the rest of the season so shut down as COVID cases began to Oro matched Amphi’s game total, winthat the superintendents wouldn’t catch spike in Pima County and across the ning three straight after dropping their all the flak from angry parents. It’s encountry. One rumor going around is tirely possible that both rumors are true. season opener. that the post-game activities (but not In the life-or-death world of the novel In an infinitesimally small way, the the games themselves), with family and coronavirus, many people would put Amphi kids were relatively lucky. They friends hanging around as they did in high school football pretty low on the got to play four games. Marana High the pre-COVID days, were identified as super-spreader events. A different rumor only played three, while Ironwood Ridge Overall Importance Scale. But they and Mountain View played only two was that the school superintendents CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 games each (going a combined 1-3 in asked the Pima County Health Depart-


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DANEHY

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would only be partially right. One of the few significant things I’ve learned in this life is that you can’t tell someone how they should feel. You can argue politics or sports or the weather, but you should never say, “That shouldn’t make you angry!” or “Why would that upset you? It wouldn’t bother me.” I’ve interviewed CEOs of big corporations whose eyes light up when they talk about how their team went to state their senior year. You can’t tell them that high school sports aren’t important and you certainly can’t tell the kids who got cheated out of their senior year of football that it’s not that big a deal. That kid is going to feel cheated for the rest of his life. The worst part of this whole thing is that, for the football player, just like the kid who didn’t get to march at graduation or the couple that had to postpone their big wedding (or the poor soul on the ventilator, fighting for breath), IT DIDN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY! We could have/should have been Americans about it. All my life, America has been the best at everything (except soccer and nobody really cares about soccer). We watched other countries

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(South Korea, Germany, New Zealand) squish the virus like the bug that it is. And these are not authoritarian countries, dictatorships where people can be ordered to stay indoors and to wear masks. These are democratic countries where each individual decided to do what was best for everybody. However, those moves required respect for others, self-sacrifice, and trust in science. Somehow, those things became in short supply in this country. We all know what happened and each of knows on which side of the Great Divide we reside. There is no need to rehash that here. You know who you are…and the people standing six feet away from you, wearing masks, know who (and what) you are, as well. Many of the players started practicing in the brutal heat of August in this, the hottest year of all time. They toiled through all of September and October in hopes of getting in at least a partial season. In every other year, the regular season ends around Halloween. This year, that’s when it started. And because of the irresponsibility of the masses, the kids couldn’t even make to Thanksgiving. Shame on us. ■


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MUSIC

Happy holidays from Joey Burns and

which would feel right at home on any of Calexico’s recent releases. Camilo Lara of Mexican Institute of Sound added vocals to “Sonoran Snoball,” a song that, with its distorted vocals (Burns sang through his kids’ walkie-talkie toys), is reminiscent of “Guero Courtesy photo Canelo,” another song named for a TucJohn Convertino of Calexico. son food landmark that has evolved into an anthem that often closes live shows. The international collaborations disasters that accompany the holiday, helped bring home the theme of the especially this one, where guests are album, which was “openness and incluinstructed “stand in the corner and hold their breath.” The song concludes: “There sivity,” Burns says. “You’ve got musicians from so many it goes ’round the bend/The year that different backgrounds and languages would never end/Gonna wave bye bye.” and cultures and guests that are from The album’s lead song, “Hear the songs came back to Tucson, where Jacob Bells,” takes inspiration from the Pogues’ all over Mexico, Africa, Europe,” Burns added. “I just thought it could be a good Valenzuela added more trumpets and vo- classic “Fairytale of New York,” with a cals and multi-instrumentalist Mendoza narrator who misses a lover name-check- influence for this time. This time of year, but especially for this country, which is added piano, vibes, glockenspiel, cowbell, ing different Tucson haunts and expea country that’s built on immigrants and riences: Hotel Congress’ legendary Tap some steel string guitar and more. refugees coming from all over the world.” Room, the monsoon storms, the annual “We were just handing the baton to The album concludes with a reprise All Souls Procession, the local missions. each person,” Burns says. of “Mi Burrito Sabanero” that includes Convertino shines in “Glory’s Hope,” When all was said and done—and with messages from the band and the guest an instrumental solo he recorded in his the inclusion of a few covers, including home studio, performing not only drums, performers delivering messages of holiJohn Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy day cheer. but vibes, marimba, glockenspiel and Xmas (War is Over)” and Tom Petty’s “With all these different languages accordion. “Christmas All Over Again”—the band and voices, it kind of is a nice reminder, Seasonal Shift features a variety of had a full-length album on their hands as you’re leaving the record, and leaving special guest stars on the album. Gaby Seasonal Shift (Anti- Records), drops this little window of time,” Burns says. Moreno lends vocals on “Mi Burrito Friday, Dec. 4. “Like, hey, ‘We’re better with each other Sabanero,” a Latin American seasonal Burns says it was important to him standard that Moreno had also recorded and working together.’” and Convertino that the album didn’t Burns is hopeful that next year, the on an album of holiday music. (Burns fall onto the schmaltzy side of holiday Old Pueblo might get a holiday concert albums. (And Burns’ twin 9-year-old twin remembers seeing her holiday album, from Calexico. In years past, they have daughters encouraged him to avoid “sad Posada, at the merch table when they performed in holiday concerts at the were touring together some years ago dad music” and record something “a little Temple of Music and Art to raise money and thinking: “We could do something more upbeat.”) So the band decided to for radio station KXCI and other benlike this. I didn’t realize we’d be doing it put an emphasis on the changing of the eficiaries. And now the band has some so soon.”) The song also features vocals season and the rebirth that accompanies holiday music to play. from his daughters, Twyla and those changes. “It was a great way to bring people Genevieve. Which isn’t to say there aren’t songs together to raise some money for the Burns had a Christmas wish of his about Christmas. The title track, “Seastation,” Burns says. “I would love to do own granted when Bombino agreed to sonal Shift,” is more a straightforward that again.” ■ provide vocals on “Heart of Downtown,” Christmas song detailing the various

SEASON’S GREETINGS

Calexico drops a holiday album, Seasonal Shift By Jim Nintzel jimn@tucsonlocalmedia.com CALEXICO’S JOEY BURNS SAYS the band didn’t set out to record an album of seasonal music this year. The band’s European label, City Slang, asked them if they’d like to do one holiday song “as a way of giving something back to the fans in between releases.” But ideas began blossoming and before long, bandmember Sergio Mendoza and producer Chris Schultz made the drive from Tucson to Boise, Idaho, where Burns moved this summer. There, in a home rented through Airbnb, they set up a makeshift home recording studio for a week and started laying down the basic tracks. From there, the files started racing around the globe like Santa’s sleigh. They went off to El Paso, where drummer John Convertino lives; and from there to Brooklyn, where bassist Scott Colberg added his contributions; and then off to Spain, where Jairo Zavala laid down guitar tracks, and to Germany, where Martin Wenk added trumpet and accordion. The


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OUR FAVORITE LOCAL ALBUMS OF 2020 Jeff Gardner jeff@tucsonlocalmedia.com

LEAVE IT TO TUCSON TO CONTINUE RELEASING music as the rest of the world is upended. They say difficulty breeds greatness, and if that’s true, Tucson’s music must have received an extra helping of greatness on top of a generally stellar output. For each lonesome pandemic song this year, there were as many resilient and imaginative tracks refusing to be stamped out. It should come as no surprise to those familiar with local music that we simply couldn’t keep up with every album released this year, but some were destined to rise through the ranks. So here are 12 local albums, in no particular order, that made 2020 bearable—and more than that, proved Tucson can stay productive and creative no matter the circumstance. Katie Haverly Matter For her latest release, genre-hopping songwriter Katie Haverly examines what “matter” means, both that which occupies space, and what it means to matter. But this is more than a context for the album; it’s a structure. The songs are impressionistic in their construction, making room for Haverly to linger on affecting lines, pausing on particular piano notes, introducing a soaring guitar line out of the blue, jumping between genres on a dime. She

shows this right from the opener, “Zero Null Mono One,” where Haverly delivers stuttering vocals like a jazz line, packing multiple instrumental ideas into a minute and a half. “Whir” is a standout, comparing and personifying the cool and heat of Tucson days, shifting from near silence to blistering crescendos. But this imaginative songwriting and technical prowess doesn’t detract from Haverly’s passionate, introspective stories, which fit comfortably into each and every song. Matter is one of the best albums out of Tucson in recent memory. Scale & Feather The Vermilion Flycatcher This year’s quarantine inspired a wide range of brooding and lonely tunes, and while Scale & Feather’s EP Chasms fits that bill, his follow-up album The Vermilion Flycatcher expresses our ability to move on from such desolation. Inspired by the continued stillness of nature during such a hectic year, the album is an instrumental diary ranging from ambient music to rock. Multi-instrumentalist Curtis Rockhold writes how he felt he was being pulled in two directions by this year, and shows this with songs jumping from passionate guitar lines and aggressive drumming to quiet piano melodies. It’s rare to hear drones so glistening and warm—reflecting the Sonoran Desert with tracks like “Watch The Seedlings Grow”—but the post-rock passages show The Vermilion Flycatcher houses more than simple pleasance. Johnny RUBiX Loneliness Is Not Just A Feeling, It’s A Place In his effort to represent the artistic landscape of Tucson through music, Johnny RUBiX forges ahead by looking to the past. Loneliness Is Not Just A Feeling, It’s A Place is a retro-inspired collection of tracks with a late-night palette, vibrant synthesizers, and some serious production chops. Whether he’s fusing elements of hip-hop, alternative rock or synth pop, RUBiX does so with a neon sheen. RUBiX also serves as a commanding and humorous vocalist, with the line “We could be heroin kingpins / Get a house out in Kingman” on the hypnotic “You And I Should Commit Tax Fraud” being one of the best lines in any local album this year. But even with the endless one-liners and reverbed hooks, the tracks can reach surprising emotional

depth. On “Summer Is Over” RUBiX describes how he’s “Trying to keep it together for the Family” over a hushed, futuristic instrumental. All of these hazy, groovy elements easily make Loneliness Is Not Just A Feeling, It’s A Place one of the best local pop albums of the year. Just Najima Queenie Just Najima is a fitting artist name, because she doesn’t need anything more than herself to make powerful music. Queenie is a soul album with Southwestern flair, indicated by Najima’s cactus crown on the cover art. But more than that, Queenie is a showcase of Najima’s vocals and personal reflections. The album details traditional R&B/soul themes like love and keepin’ on, but also adds a sense of urgency and protest on modern woes like police killings and religious hypocrisy in the face of refugees. The guitar and drums are funky and engaging, but a capella tracks like “Talkin’ Bout Jesus” prove Najima’s voice alone is worth the price of admission. In a previous interview with the Tucson Weekly, Najima describes how the album “goes on that journey from carefree to dark and disaffected. But it ends on a bittersweet note of resilience and resistance.” Preach. Things That Aren’t Words Different Tomorrow Indie group Things That Aren’t Words has laid low for a while, but Different Tomorrow makes up for lost time with a collection of songs rich in melody, passion and pleasance. The band blurs the lines between folk and pop into a gorgeous, bright method of delivering close harmonies. Because the songwriting is so consistent throughout the album, your favorite cut likely depends on which lyrical themes interest you most. For a band called Things That Aren’t Words, their concepts and stories certainly take center stage, sometimes even warranting a relisten just for specific lines, like on the track “Everything is Holy” where the band sings “Do you believe that everything has meaning? / That it’s your place to know the hidden cause? / Examine and dissect until you’ve made it something less so you can justify the things that you’ve been taught.” The singer/songwriter tradition channels greatly.


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work both busy and soothing. Tomorrow combines the complex, German electronic music of the 1970s with a spiritual, New Age atmosphere. It’s a successful style for Roach, which is sure to please both ambient lovers and those who like their electronic music a bit more rhythmic and upfront. But don’t go into this album looking for background music; it’s far too mesmerizing for that.

Steve Roach Tomorrow For a person who makes such peaceful music, Steve Roach sure keeps busy. One of multiple records he released this year, Tomorrow is a surprisingly kinetic release from a musician dubbed a pioneer of ambient music. Exploring what Roach describes as “elegant futurism,” the album consists of expansive, layered meditations. Unlike much of his previous work, staccato notes are in place of smoothed-out synth tones, creating a

Local music is surprisingly diverse, but

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sometimes an album out of the desert does feel like you’re melting into the sun, and that’s okay. Grant Beyschau of The Myrrors debuted his new project with Wooden Flower, a massive, psychedelic album mostly comprising only two tracks. Landing somewhere between the hypnotic rhythms of Can and the sheer weight of Sleep, the monolithic jams stack on layer after layer of instrumentation. There are two shorter tracks that act more as droning reprieves, but the stars of the show are the 10+-minute grooves. Though the album is heavy and dense, it comes out surprisingly meditative, like a sweat lodge. Desert Angels Polychromatic Transmission

Tambourinen Wooden Flower

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Polychromatic Transmission is a deeply metaphysical album, but you might not notice that on your first listen. Much like the desert landscape itself, Stuart Oliver and company’s second album hides a wealth of mystery and psychedelia beneath a warm, pastoral exterior. Polychromatic Transmission stands out because it initially serves as a successful borderlands folk album, but the further you

listen, the more you pick up details of the existential, UFOs and the paranormal. Described as a “psychedelic folk symphony” about transcendence, the album manages to fit a variety of instruments like violins, flutes and an array of vocals into a traditional framing. Polychromatic Transmission serves as a love letter to the desert—that magical, grounded land where the veils run thin. CONTINUED ON PAGE 10


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Droll

Bitter Flower Bitter Flower

opens with a song about a dwarf set to a colorful, energetic indie rock backing, and dives deeper as it moves along. But Droll needn’t be simple to be engaging. With wild dynamics, searing guitar solos, fragmented song structures and buried vocals, it’s a whirling, fuzzy and brief album. Bitter Flower perfectly captures the melodic sensibilities, the energy, the distorted dreaminess, the FUN of ‘90s rock. Brandon Olander, James Turner, Joshua Every and Ricky Tutaan succeeded in creating their “sweeping mosaic” of rock styles. It’s noisy, nostalgic, in-your-face yet out-there rock music to be played in a stifling garage.

Various Artists The Tucson Vibe

Emmy Wildwood Heavy Petals

Orkesta Mendoza Curandero

While not a new album in the traditional sense, The Tucson Vibe definitely deserves a mention for delivering us a reminder of the diversity and ability of local music in a year when live shows were sadly scarce. The Tucson Vibe was released with a book detailing the venues and bands crucial to the downtown and Fourth Avenue music scene, but even on its own, the album serves as a kind of virtual walk through the streets of Tucson. We accept nothing can comprehensively capture Tucson music, but this local collection does a fine job, featuring Hank Topless, Leila Lopez, Gabriel Naim Amor, Little Cloud, Miss Olivia & The Interlopers and more. Whether you’re looking for R&B, country, psychedelic jams or that ol’ reliable desert/borderlands folk sound, The Tucson Vibe is a good jumping off point.

The instrumentals on Heavy Petals are relatively simple, with mechanical drum beats and fuzzedout guitar, but a listener wouldn’t need it any other way with Emmy Wildwood on the microphone. She serves multiple roles, jumping between deadpan delivery, sentimental melodies, snarkiness and outright anger. Wildwood moved from New York to Tucson in 2018, quickly being influenced by our city’s “contagious lo fi spirit.” She straddles both styles, with big city glam and the warm lethargy of the desert combining for surprising emotional impact. If you’re having troubles, Heavy Petals will get you through, or at least show you how to dance on top of them.

Orkesta Mendoza’s Curandero was described in these pages earlier this year as “chock-full of upbeat Latin rhythms and topped off with light-hearted lyrics about paletas, lazy mornings, and the girl next door who becomes Instagram famous.” Bandleader Sergio Mendoza— who also performs with Calexico and Devotchka—drew from Latin American influences such Brazilian forró, cumbia and good old-fashioned American boogaloo. The result is a mash-up of styles that will keep you dancing through the pandemic. As Mendoza said, the album was “based around boogaloo, but really, it was just an excuse to rock out.” Please keep rocking out for us in the new year, Sergio.


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Editor’s Note: As of the Weekly’s print time, the Tucson City Council was considering implementing a nightly curfew, so we’ve included a mixture of virtual and in-person events so you can have something to do no matter their decision.

Native American Arts Fair. ‘Tis certainly the season for local craft fairs, but this Best of the Gaslight Christmas Spectacular. one is pretty special: It features all Native Have you had a chance to catch any of the American artists selling their work at Gaslight Theatre’s porch performances? You sit in your car and stuff yourself silly on pizza Mission Garden! Wares include baskets, paintings, gourds, carvings, clothing and popcorn while the cast of the theater cracks you up with their jokes and blows you and jewelry, and there will be artists and away with their talent. This month, they’re do- storytellers speaking throughout the event ing some of their favorite holiday tunes from as well. It’s a great chance to learn more about the past 43 years! You can bring chairs or get traditional skills and gardening — including out of your car to dance along, but be sure to some of the items grown at Mission Garden — and maintain social distancing. And don’t forget to place your food order in advance, either! to pick up a one-of-a-kind gift for someone special. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get ready to get in the spirit. Runs on select Saturday, Dec. 5. Mission Garden, 946 W. Mission Lane. dates through Wednesday, Dec. 23. 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. time slots. The Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. $40 per parking spot.

Taco Tuesday featuring Sweet Ghosts. Thanks to Rhythm & Roots and Hotel Congress, we all have an awesome chance to celebrate the holidays Tucson style, by chowing down on some tacos while keeping warm. Shows are outdoors, with limited capacity for safety and hot drinks and heaters for warmth. This week’s performance is by Katherine Byrnes, Ryan Alfred and a full band! COVID-19 protocols are strictly enforced so that you can kick back, relax and enjoy. 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8. Club Congress Plaza, 311 E. Congress St. $8 tickets at the door only. Wanderland: A Holiday Garden Stroll. The Tucson Botanical Gardens usually hosts the Luminaria Nights event during the holidays, a gorgeous and cozy experience that involves wandering through the gardens among thousands of luminaria lights. This year, they’ve modified things a bit so you can still get your Christmas fix. They’ve still got 3,000 luminaria lights, more than a dozen Korean lanterns, 400+ poinsettias and Santa’s mailbox, but capacity is limited and they have other safety measures in place. They’ve even added a colorful array of new LED lighting! 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays from Dec. 3 to Jan. 3. Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. $15 adults, $8 kids 4 to 17. Discounts available for members, seniors, students and military.

A Christmas Carol and Dickens Festival. Would it really be the holidays without a production of A Christmas Carol? This one, by local organization Arts Express, involves socially distanced tables, limited seating and a local cast. Not to mention, they’re also hosting the Dickens Festival in conjunction, which is a whole immersive (though still safe and socially distanced) experience with caroling, old-fashioned vendors and treats, and Victorian-era characters. Show starts Friday, Dec. 4, and tickets are $40 per person, $75 for two people, $105 for three people and more discounts the more tickets you buy. Park Place Mall Suite 214, 5870 E. Broadway Blvd.

Peter Frampton and Luis Alberto Urrea. There’s a lot to keep track of this year, so we don’t blame you if you missed it. But did you know that, in lieu of its traditional format, the Tucson Festival of Books has been hosting individual events throughout the year? At this one, author and Grammy-winning guitarist Peter Frampton will be talking about his life, his career and his new book, Do You Feel Like I Do. He’ll be in conversation with Luis Alberto Urrea, best-selling author and festival favorite. Noon to 12:40 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10. Register for virtual event at tucsonfestivalofbooks.org. Registration is $45 and includes a copy of Frampton’s new book.

Music of Dreams - An Evening of Japanese Flute. Considering what a horrific nightmare most of this year has been, I think we could all use a dreamy evening of Japanese flute soundscapes, could we not? At this event, Paul Amiel of Tucson’s Empty Bamboo Shakuhachi Circle will be performing on the shakuhachi, or the Japanese bamboo flute. Because shakuhachi are made out of hollow pieces of bamboo, and every piece of bamboo is unique, these babies can’t be mass produced. It can literally take years for craftspeople to find the exact right shape of bamboo, cure it and then start shaping the instrument. Talk about a lesson in patience! 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. Yume Japanese Gardens, 2130 N. Alvernon Way. $25 tickets must be purchased in advance. tickettailor.com.

by Emily Dieckman

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Zoo Lights: Holiday Magic. We made it to Zoo Lights season! Thank goodness we survived enough of 2020 to finally make it to an event as fun and sparkly as this one. The Reid Park Zoo will be decked out with holiday lights and cheer, so you can wander around and sip hot cocoa in total bliss. Stop by for a socially distanced meeting with Santa Claus and get yourself into the spirit of the season. They even have cute little festive displays where you can take holiday photos. And the cherry on top of everything? (Or should we say the powdered sugar on top of everything?): Snow! Tickets are available for 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. entry times. Friday, Dec. 4 through Wednesday, Dec. 23, with encore nights Saturday, Dec. 26 through Wednesday, Dec. 30. (Santa won’t be present at the encore nights). Reid Park Zoo, 3400 E. Zoo Court. $11 adults, $9 seniors, $7 kids. Adventures in Birding: Winter Raptors. Birding, or at least taking the time to learn more about birds, is one of those hobbies that would be perfect to take up, considering where we live, but many of us haven’t had the time to get around to. Hey, until now, though! In this installment of the Adventures in Birding series, hosted by Pima County Parks & Rec, you’ll learn about how to identify the hawks and falcons that spend their winter in Southern Arizona by their size, shape and behavior. Pima County naturalist Jeff Babson, who got his start in birding at age 6, leads the virtual talk. Stay tuned into the series for more info about everything from the best places to go birding to how to level up your skills. 11 a.m. to noon. Thursday, Dec 3. Online event. Free. winter_raptors.eventbrite.com Oro Valley Virtual Festival of the Arts & Tree Lighting. Watching the lighting of a big ol’ honkin’ Christmas tree while you hold a mittened hand and sip hot chocolate is truly a magical experience. Though it looks different this year, Oro Valley is doing their darndest to provide it for you. This Saturday, whip up some hot chocolate at home and tune in for the tree lighting and special guests that range from Mayor Winfield to OV police chief and firefighters to SANTA HIMSELF. You’ll also see Rowby the Space Puppet with Red Herring Puppets and live music performances. Check out other events going on Thursday and Friday evening, and visit saaca.org to look for some local makers to shop from as well. The main event is 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. Virtual. Tune in at saaca.org/holidayfestival.html


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DEC. 3, 2020

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Two Local Restaurateurs Find the Right Locale for a Taste of Italy in the Former Old Pueblo Grille Building By Austin Counts austin@tucsonlocalmedia.com

CHOOSING TO OPEN A RESTAURANT in the middle of a pandemic may seem like madness to those in the service industry. But to seasoned restaurateurs like Deb Tenino and Nick Kreutz—who opened Foothills eatery Contigo Latin Kitchen during the Great Recession and persevered— there’s always a silver lining to challenging times. “I opened Contigo in the middle of a recession and everybody told me not to do it,” Tenino said. “That was 10 years ago.” While both Tenino and Kreutz are still dedicated to Contigo at La Paloma Resort, the business partners noticed something was missing from the Broadway Boulevard and Alvernon Way area—a classic Italian restaurant and bakery. Locale, housed in the former Old Pueblo

Grille building, opened to the public on Friday, Dec. 4. Tenino said she has had her eye on the location for a long time and spent almost two years developing the concept with Kreutz. Most of all, she wanted to get back to her roots of Italian food—Tenino helped open Tavolino’s Ristorante in the Foothills and was a partner in the restaurant until she sold her interest to open Contigo. “I always wanted to get back into doing Italian food and that space has a nice big patio,” Tenino said. “There isn’t a family-run Italian restaurant in the neighborhood and there hasn’t been for a long time. I think the concept fits the space and it’s kind of missing from the neighborhood.” The 8,000-square-foot space will feature a full-service scratch kitchen run by Chef Emmanuel Corona, along with a bakery/ cafe for grab-and-go items and baked goods made fresh by San Francisco baker


DEC. 3, 2020

Linsey Garcia. The restaurateurs revamped the interior in the style of a Masseria—a historic Italian farmhouse—with a modern vibe. “We felt it was time to breathe new life into the space,” Tenino said. “We wanted the restaurant to evolve in a contemporary way to celebrate the juxtaposition of its life as an older home and add a new layer to its history.” Locale has plenty of outdoor seating under the shade of 100-year-old trees that are perfect for enjoying a meal with friends while social distancing. With help from Spadefoot Nurseries, Mesquite Valley Growers, Green Things, Turf Yards and Furniture in the Raw, Tenino and Kreutz restored the main patio to incorporate a bar and Bocce courts. “When we were first looking at the property a lot of people asked us what we were going to do with all the outdoor space,” Tenino said. “Now after seeing what we’ve done, people ask, ‘When can we sit out there?’” Kreutz said while there’s definite concerns to pursuing this gastronomic venture during a pandemic, he believes they’ve tak-

en the right steps to make Locale a success. “It’s easy to say it’s a little worrisome, but we’re doing everything in our power to hedge our bets,” Kreutz said. “We’re making the most calculated decisions we can and hoping for the best.” Both Tenino and Kreutz used every ounce of their culinary experience to develop Locale’s exquisite menu, which features classic dishes like eggplant parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs, seven-layer lasagna and Pizza A Taglio (a thin crust pizza)—all made daily with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. There’s also plenty of Italian seafood dishes on the menu like Cioppino (shrimp, mussels, clams in fish tomato broth), Spiedino (fresh tuna, peppers, crispy polenta sticks and citrus balsamic chicken) and grilled salmon to give the Old Pueblo a taste of the old county. They even use fruit from the trees in the patio for their pomegranate sorbet. “More than anything we want Locale to be the heart of this neighborhood,” Kreutz said. “A place where people can meet, have coffee, pick up dinner after a busy day, enjoy a great meal with friends.” ■

Local restaurants offering food and drinks through online platform Staff Report tucsonweekly@tucsonlocalmedia.com THE ARES COLLECTIVE GROUP,

a Tucson-based restaurant company, announced it is partnering with Table 22 to offer food and drinks through an online subscription service. Ares’ local restaurants, including Prep & Pastry, Commoner & Co., and August Rhodes Market, will offer select foods and wines to Table 22 members on a recurring basis for local pick-up. Options include: A monthly box of baked goods in individual, family, or office portions from Prep & Pastry; bundles of two, four, or six bottles of wine per month from Commoner & Co.; and a variety of signature breads from August Rhodes Market available for twice-monthly pick-up. “We’re super excited to offer this new program to our patrons who can now conveniently subscribe to our custom-curated packages from home or work,” said Nathan Ares, principal of Ares Collective

Group in a release. “We’re proud to be the first restaurant group in Arizona to be a pioneering partner with Table 22, and in this uncertain age, we aim to offer at least a small degree of certainty through this exciting program, where our patrons will be able to rely regularly on our fresh foods and fine wines knowing that these will be available to them on a pre-ordered and recurring basis.” Prep & Pastry’s monthly pastry box begins at $20 per month. You can also add savory coffee to pair with the pastries. The August Rhodes Market bread box (which also comes with seasonal produce) begins at $22 per month. You can also add a half-dozen English muffins to the bread box. The Commoner & Co. wine collective begins at $40 per month, and can be combined with pasta and a Charcuterie board. Subscribers also get first looks at upcoming menu items and seasonal offerings. ■ For more information, visit table22.com/ares-collective-group

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Medical Marijuana

ZONED OUT

Local municipalities react to passage of Prop 207 By David Abbott david@tucsonlocalmedia.com REACTION TO THE PASSAGE OF Prop 207 has been swift in some quarters, with several Pima County towns passing emergency resolutions aimed at restricting recreational cannabis sales in the coming year. Since mid-October, municipalities including Sahuarita, Marana and Oro Valley have quickly acted to limit legal cannabis sales in their respective jurisdictions. But the City of Tucson has opted for a more welcoming approach to its zoning ordinance in preparation for legal weed sales coming in 2021.

Discussions about updates to the Unified Development Code Related to Medical and Adult Use Marijuana Dispensaries began in August as Tucson City Council wrestled with a potential emergency resolution to accommodate health department COVID-19 pandemic protocols for social distancing in Tucson dispensaries. During a Sept. 9 study session, council considered the possibility of expanding practices currently allowed during the pandemic that include curbside pickup, home delivery and expanded lobby size. A stakeholder meeting with local dispensary owners and a representative from the Arizona Dispensary Association in October determined that additional measures could be taken, such as allowing the temporary use of unused interior space to further expand lobbies as well as allowing the use of existing drive-thru windows. Currently, dispensaries are limited to 4,000-square-feet, with 25% of that space allowable for a lobby. Drive-thru windows are not allowed, even if the building in question has one left over from a previous business. The allowances gained the support of

state Rep. Andres Cano and Congressman Ruben Gallego, who both advocated for temporary changes in letters to the city. “Limited spacing can no longer effectively protect private patient consultation as required by federal law, nor [is] it consistent with safe social distancing,” Cano wrote in a Sept. 8 letter. “Therefore, expanding the potential footprint of these dispensaries is worthy of consideration, and a policy priority that I support.” Gallego wrote that he “fully support[s Council’s] willingness to take a close look at the current size limitations on marijuana dispensaries that may hinder social distancing between patients.” “Given that many of these patients are immunocompromised and particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, I urge you and the Tucson Council to quickly give this agenda item full and fair consideration,” Gallego added. “In this environment, it is especially important that zoning requirements don’t inadvertently put patients vulnerable to being infected with COVID-19.” During a Nov. 17 study session, Tucson City Attorney Mike Rankin determined that at council’s direction, city staff could temporarily suspend portions of the UDC related to lobby size

and drive-thrus without the need for a proclamation. The City Council unanimously supported the action in a 6-0 voice vote. Additionally, the City Council tasked the Planning and Development Services Department to update the UDC in response to the passage of Prop 207. That work should be accomplished by the April 5, 2021, deadline for the Arizona Department of Health Services to have recreational cannabis laws in place. Key items that will be considered for amendment will include: parking; dispensary size; lobby size; layout and dual-use facilities and drive-thrus. While the City of Tucson worked to accommodate the local cannabis economy, other municipalities were in the process of restricting recreational sales as much as is allowed under the new law. Prop 207 allows local jurisdictions to create their own rules around recreational weed, but they are not allowed to create ordinances that are more restrictive than what is currently allowed for medical dispensaries. To that end, Sahuarita jumped ahead of the election by enacting a town-wide ban in late October (although the town is home to a medical marijuana dispensary,


DEC. 3, 2020

Hana Meds), and in the wake of the election two northwest towns followed suit. On Wednesday, Nov. 4, the Town Council of Oro Valley unanimously approved an emergency declaration to ban single-use marijuana establishments, marijuana sales on town property and use of the drug in public places and open spaces (such as town parks). It also bans testing facilities and door-to-door sales. Likewise Marana approved an emergency resolution to update the town’s regulations on Tuesday, Nov. 17. Marana’s emergency resolution bans single-use marijuana establishments,

TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 15

marijuana sales on town property, use of the drug in public places and open spaces (such as town parks), facilities that test the potency or contamination and doorto-door sales. The town’s two medical marijuana dispensaries—Botanica and Nature Med —will be allowed to sell recreational marijuana should they receive dual licenses. Any future dispensaries wanting in Marana will need to be dual licensed to sell to customers without a MMJ card. ■ Managing Editor Austin Counts contributed to this report.

TUCSON AREA DISPENSARIES Bloom Tucson. 4695 N. Oracle Road, Ste. 117 293-3315; bloomdispensary.com Open: Sunday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Hana Green Valley. 1732 W. Duval Commerce Point Place 289-8030 Open: Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Botanica. 6205 N. Travel Center Drive 395-0230; botanica.us Open: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily

Harvest of Tucson . 2734 East Grant Road 314-9420; askme@harvestinc.com; Harvestofaz. com Open: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily

Desert Bloom Re-Leaf Center. 8060 E. 22nd St., Ste. 108 886-1760; dbloomtucson.com Open: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily Offering delivery Downtown Dispensary. 221 E. 6th St., Ste. 105 838-0492; thedowntowndispensary.com Open: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily D2 Dispensary. 7105 E 22nd St. 214-3232; d2dispensary.com/ Open: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily Earth’s Healing. Two locations: North: 78 W. River Road 395-1432 South: 2075 E. Benson Highway 373-5779 earthshealing.org Open: Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Offering delivery

Nature Med. 5390 W. Ina Road 620-9123; naturemedinc.com Open: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily The Prime Leaf Two locations: 4220 E. Speedway Blvd. 1525 N. Park Ave. 44-PRIME; theprimeleaf.com Open: Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Speedway location closed Wednesday; Park Ave. location closed Tuesday. Purple Med Healing Center. 1010 S. Freeway, Ste. 130 398-7338; www.facebook.com/PurpleMedHealingCenter Open: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Green Halo. 7710 S. Wilmot Road 664-2251; thegreenhalo.org Open: Sunday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Southern Arizona Integrated Therapies. 112 S. Kolb Road 886-1003; medicalmarijuanaoftucson.com Open: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily

Green Med Wellness Center. 6464 E. Tanque Verde Road 520-281-1587; facebook.com/GreenMedWellnessCenter Open: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Total Accountability Patient Care. 226 E. 4th St., Benson 586-8710; bensondispensary.com Open: Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11 .m. to 7 p.m.

GIVING & TAX GUIDE 2020 Tell the community where to donate their time and money. Help our readers get ready for taxes.

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DEC 9, 2020

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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): An anonymous blogger on Tumblr writes the following: “What I’d really like is for someone to objectively watch me for a week and then sit down with me for a few hours and explain to me what I am like and how I look to others and what my personality is in detail and how I need to improve. Where do I sign up for that?” I can assure you that the person who composed this message is not an Aries. More than any other sign of the zodiac, you Rams want to be yourself, to inhabit your experience purely and completely—not see yourself from the perspective of outside observers. Now is a good time to emphasize this specialty.

inside you and those you care about. Get started! CANCER (June 21-July 22): Is there anyone whose forgiveness you would like to have? Is there anyone to whom you should make atonement? Now is a favorable phase to initiate such actions. In a related subject, would you benefit from forgiving a certain person whom you feel wronged you? Might there be healing for you in asking that person to make amends? The coming weeks will provide the best opportunity you have had in a long time to seek these changes.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “Humans like to be scared,” declares author Cathy Bell. “We love the wicked witch’s cackle, the wolf’s hot breath, and the old lady who eats children, because sometimes, when the scary is over, all we remember is the magic.” I suppose that what she says is a tiny bit true. But there are also many ways to access the magic that don’t require encounters with dread. And that’s exactly what I predict for you in the coming weeks, Taurus: marvelous experiences—including catharses, epiphanies, and breakthroughs—that are neither spurred by fear nor infused with it.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Scientists know that the Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing down—but at the very slow rate of two milliseconds every 100 years. What that means is that 200 million years from now, one day will last 25 hours. Think of how much more we humans will be able to get done with an extra hour every day! I suspect you may get a preview of this effect in the coming weeks, Leo. You’ll be extra efficient. You’ll be focused and intense in a relaxing way. Not only that: You will also be extra appreciative of the monumental privilege of being alive. As a result, you will seem to have more of the precious luxury of time.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In 1994, the animated movie The Lion King told the story of the difficult journey made by a young lion as he struggled to claim his destiny as rightful king. A remake of the film appeared in 2019. During the intervening 25 years, the number of real lions living in nature declined dramatically. There are now just 20,000. Why am I telling you such bad news? I hope to inspire you to make 2021 a year when you will resist trends like this. Your assignment is to nurture and foster wildness in every way that’s meaningful for you—whether that means helping to preserve habitats of animals in danger of extinction or feeding and championing the wildness

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Adventurer Tim Peck says there are three kinds of fun. The first is pure pleasure, enjoyed in full as it’s happening. The second kind of fun feels challenging when it’s underway, but interesting and meaningful in retrospect. Examples are giving birth to a baby or taking an arduous hike uphill through deep snow. The third variety is no fun at all. It’s irksome while you’re doing it, and equally disagreeable as you think about it later. Now I’ll propose a fourth type of fun, which I suspect you’ll specialize in during the coming weeks. It’s rather boring or tedious or nondescript while it’s going on, but in retrospect you are very glad you did it.

SAVAGE LOVE LOSING OUT

By Dan Savage, mail@savagelove.net

I’m a lesbian and my girlfriend is bi. I’ve read your column and listened to your podcast for a long time, Dan, and I always thought I’d be fine with having a partner ask me about being monogamish. Then my girlfriend of about a year and a half told me she wants to see what other women are like. She says the thought of me sleeping with other people turns her on but the prospect of her sleeping with other people only makes me nervous. She came out later and I’m the only woman she’s been with. I understand that, as a woman, I’ll never be able to give her what she might get from a man sexually and that sometimes she’ll want

that, so there’s also that. We’ve talked about it and it would have to be a Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell agreement, I would also get to step outside the relationship, the other people would have to know we’re in a relationship, and there couldn’t be any “dates.” On top of all that, we’re long distance for now. She says she loves me and I believe her and she says she doesn’t want to lose me. But she also says she’s been dealing with these urges for a while and needs to address them. I don’t want to lose her. Do you have any advice? —Fretting Endlessly About Relationship Situation

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “I made the wrong mistakes,” said Libran composer and jazz pianist Thelonious Monk. He had just completed an improvisatory performance he wasn’t satisfied with. On countless other occasions, however, he made the right mistakes. The unexpected notes and tempo shifts he tried often resulted in music that pleased him. I hope that in the coming weeks you make a clear demarcation between wrong mistakes and right mistakes, dear Libra. The latter could help bring about just the transformations you need. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “Home is not where you were born,” writes Naguib Mahfouz. “Home is where all your attempts to escape cease.” I propose we make that one of your mottoes for the next 12 months, Scorpio. According to my astrological analysis, you will receive all the inspiration and support you need as you strive to be at peace with exactly who you are. You’ll feel an ever-diminishing urge to wish you were doing something else besides what you’re actually doing. You’ll be less and less tempted to believe your destiny lies elsewhere, with different companions and different adventures. To your growing satisfaction, you will refrain from trying to flee from the gifts that have been given you, and you will instead accept the gifts just as they are. And it all starts now. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “Pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick and wicked,” observed Sagittarian author Jane Austen. She wrote this confession in a letter to her niece, Fanny, whose boyfriend thought that the women characters in Jane’s novels were too naughty. In the coming weeks, I encourage you Sagittarians to regard pictures of perfection with a similar disdain. To accomplish all the brisk innovations you have a mandate to generate, you must cultivate a deep respect for the messiness of creativity; you must understand that your dynamic imagination needs room to experiment with possibilities that may at first appear disorderly. For inspiration, keep in mind this quote from Pulitzer Prizewinning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich: “Wellbehaved women seldom make history.”

I understand your fears. People in committed non-monogamous relationships have been known to catch feelings for their outside sexual partners. And while that doesn’t always doom the primary relationship, FEARS, catching feelings for someone else inevitably complicates things. And while a non-monogamous couple can make rules that forbid the catching of feelings, feelings aren’t easily ruled. But people in closed relationships have been known to catch feelings for people they aren’t sleeping with, i.e. coworkers, friends, friends-of-friends, partners of friends, siblings of partners, partners of siblings, etc. So the risk that a partner might catch feelings for someone else isn’t eliminated when two people make a monogamous commitment—and yet sane, stable, functional

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Capricorn novelist Anne Brontë (1820–1849) said, “Smiles and tears are so alike with me, they are neither of them confined to any particular feelings: I often cry when I am happy, and smile when I am sad.” I suspect you could have experiences like hers in the coming weeks. I bet you’ll feel a welter of unique and unfamiliar emotions. Some of them may seem paradoxical or mysterious, although I think they’ll all be interesting and catalytic. I suggest you welcome them and allow them to teach you new secrets about your deep self and the mysterious nature of your life. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Aquarian philosopher Simone Weil formulated resolutions so as to avoid undermining herself. First, she vowed she would only deal with difficulties that actually confronted her, not far-off or hypothetical problems. Second, she would allow herself to feel only those feelings that were needed to inspire her and make her take effective action. All other feelings were to be shed, including imaginary feelings—that is, those not rooted in any real, objective situation. Third, she vowed, she would “never react to evil in such a way as to augment it.” Dear Aquarius, I think all of these resolutions would be very useful for you to adopt in the coming weeks. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In June 2019, the young Piscean singer Justin Bieber addressed a tweet to 56-year-old actor Tom Cruise, challenging him to a mixed martial arts cage fight. “If you don’t take this fight,” said Bieber, “you will never live it down.” A few days later, Bieber retracted his dare, confessing that Cruise “would probably whoop my ass in a fight.” If Bieber had waited until December 2020 to make his proposal, he might have had more confidence to follow through—and he might also have been better able to whoop Cruise’s ass. You Pisceans are currently at the peak of your power and prowess. Homework: What parts of your past weigh you down and limit your imagination? What can you do to free yourself? Testify at FreeWillAstrology.com. ■

people in monogamous relationships manage to get through the day without being nervous wrecks. Because they trust their partners are committed to them. And even if their partners should develop a crush on someone else… which they almost inevitably will… they trust that their partners aren’t going to leave them… which they still might. By which I mean to say, there’s risk in every relationship and it’s trust that helps us manage our fears about those risks. So if you trust your girlfriend to honor the terms you’ve agreed to— DADT, fucks are okay, dates are not, the other women know she’s taken—and you trust she’s telling the truth when she says she loves you and doesn’t want to lose you, FEARS, then you should choose to believe her. Just like a person in a monogamous relationship chooses


DEC. 3, 2020

polluted the entire planet’s comprehension of this simple English word. I turn to you, DS, to do something about this. To come out loudly and proudly for coming, loudly and proudly. This isn’t just about spelling. It’s about losing the meaning of the word: It signifies an arrival. —Canadian Opposes Mangled English P.S. You owe me one, Dan. I was raised in Winnipeg, whose inhabitants, Winnipeggers, refer to their home affectionately as “The ‘Peg.” You’ve turned any reference to my hometown into a source for snickers amongst the same sort of childish people who use “cum.” The least you can do, in recompense, is to restore the simple dignity of, “come.”

to believe their partner when they say they won’t fuck anyone else (even though they might) and won’t leave them for anyone else (even though they could), you can choose to believe your girlfriend will honor the rules you’ve laid out. I’m at a bit of a loss. I met a guy that I really like at a nudist resort of all places. I didn’t realize at the time just how much I was falling for him. He was trying to be more in the beginning but I missed some very obvious signs. Hindsight is 20/20. I’m incredibly guarded after growing up in an emotionally abusive household and am still dealing with some trauma after being raped a few years ago. By the time I realized how I felt about him, he surprised me by telling me he had a girlfriend. I was trying to arrange a time to see him after I disappeared for a bit to face some demons from the past. I wanted to tell him how I felt in person. Before I got that chance, he already had a girlfriend. He and I run in the same kinky circles and I ran into them at an event. I actually got a horrible sinking feeling in my stomach which I didn’t expect. I never told him how I felt about him. I’m happy that he is happy with her but it hurts, nonetheless. He matters enough to me that I would be content keeping him in my life even if it’s just as a friend. My question is should I tell him how I feel and risk losing him altogether or do I let him be happy with his girlfriend and not tell him that I fell hard for him? I know he might not reciprocate my feelings. That’s okay if he doesn’t, but the not knowing I think hurts more than the truth would. —Hopeless Romantic Nailing The Hopeless Part If the not knowing hurts more than

TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 17

losing his friendship would—if not knowing whether you had a shot with him and blew it—then you should tell him how you feel (or felt) and express regret for missing the obvious signs and disappearing on him. And as painful as it might be hear that he wouldn’t want to be with you even if he were single—and that’s the worst-case scenario—you will get over it and get over him. Best-case scenario, HRNTHP, he had no idea you were into him, he’s not serious about the new girlfriend, and he’d rather date you. Less-than-best-case scenario, he might be willing to date you if 1. things don’t work out with his new girlfriend and 2. you’re still single at that point. In the meantime, don’t pass on any other opportunities that come your way and

be courteous, polite, and non-toxic when you run into them at kinky events. I’m writing to beg you—to implore you—to make some sort of desperate, last-ditch attempt to hold back the tide of linguistic confusion over the word, “come.” Yes, that is the word, readers of Savage Love. It’s “come,” it’s not “cum.” The past tense is “came,” not “cummed.” (Yes, Dan, people are now saying and typing “cummed.”) In the past I’ve been content to merely grumble cantankerously. The final straw came over the last several months when, while watching a lot of international TV and movies, I noticed—to my horror—that the people responsible for the subtitles are using “cum.” Yes, the semi-literate usage of online free-porn-posters has now

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I’m on your side, COME. I’ve been fighting a lonely battle against “cum,” “cumming,” and (shudder) “cummed” for as long as I’ve been writing this column. I confess to having sinned a few weeks ago when I used the term “cumblebrag.” But in my defense, that was obviously a pun and—for the record—my one-time use of “cum” in the service of a joke should not be construed as an endorsement of “cum.” (The eye stumbles over “comeblebrag,” so it wouldn’t have worked to use “come.”) As I’ve written before, we don’t have alternate spellings for other words that have both sexual and non-sexual meanings. Seeing as we don’t “suk dik” or “eet pussee,” there’s no earthly reason why we should “cum” on someone else or be “cummed” upon ourselves. P.S. Sorry about that, Winnipeggers. mail@savagelove.net Follow Dan on Twitter @FakeDanSavage On the Lovecast, Dan chats with Amy Chan of “Breakup Bootcamp.” www.savagelovecast.com ■


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