Archive | November, 2011

Indie Shop Evermore Nevermore Announces December Closure and Clearance Sale

27 Nov

A Second Friday crowd at Evermore Nevermore (photo by David Crummey)

Forget the pepper-sprayed trampling blitz of Black Friday. I didn’t have to get up at the ass crack of dawn and combat hysterical housewives for a still-overpriced toaster, or worse, go out real late after getting stuffed and drunk (midnight, people? Really?)

My consumer choice this year was “Small Business Saturday” – specifically, quirky mom-and-pop subculture gallery shop Evermore Nevermore on Main Street in downtown Mesa. Bob and Debbie Leeper have operated this Second Friday art walk pit stop for more than two years. It’s a fun and quirky destination for comics and books, zombie stuff, ray guns, gothic and steampunk accessories, and off-the-wall local art and jewelry.

So I was really sad when I read their Black Friday blog announcing they’ll be closing Friday, December 9. They also announced a going-out-of-business sale: 25 percent off everything, including all the local art.

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Cold Jive Turkey: I quit smoking, and all I got was bitchy

22 Nov

Me enjoying a cigarette, circa 2006

Three days ago, I decided to stop smoking. Cold turkey. When someone asks me how I’m doing with the process, I try to give a glib, upbeat answer. But it’s a pretty complex issue for me. There have been tough moments for me, yes, but it’s still early in my withdrawal/detox and with the exception of a few side effects (which I’ll elaborate on shortly), I haven’t felt nearly as miserable as I thought I would.

I was a pretty heavy cigarette smoker. I usually went through more than a pack a day. Smoking was ingrained in almost every part of my life. I smoked: when I woke up, before eating, while cooking, after eating, every time I got into my car, while driving, before going inside any building, after emerging from any building, while talking on my cell, while walking anywhere, before bed, and countless other scenarios. For almost eight years, I worked at a place where I took smoke breaks with co-workers five to six times a day. I started smoking when I was 13, and there are many photos of me throughout the years in various places with cigarettes dangling from my mouth and fingertips. I loved to smoke. Some people who know me can’t picture me without a cigarette in one hand and an energy drink in the other.

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Eight Popular Slang Words and Phrases Older Than Your Grandparents

8 Nov

Kicks: As in “shoes.” Music artists like Lupe Fiasco and Foster the People have had recent hits with songs referencing kicks, but the slang connotation of “kicks” as shoes pre-dates Victrola gramophones. According to The Oxford Dictionary of Slang, “kicks” originated in the U.S. around 1904. If you think your kicks are “retro,” you should have seen the kicks your great-great grandmother was wearing in the years before she could legally vote.

Fart around: People have been “farting around” (wasting time/doing nothing) a lot longer than you think. Random House Dictionaries pegs the genesis of the phrase to the Middle English ferten and farten, which means people started farting around more than 600 years ago. And it’s probably time we stopped.

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RPM Orchestra’s Live Score to The Unknown at FilmBar (with Video)

7 Nov

RPM Orchestra takes forgotten audio and weaves it into a pastiche of Avant-garde folk music. By its own definition, their sound comprises “field recordings, lost & found sound, old phonographs, et cetera.”

It’s the “et cetera” part that makes things really interesting. Because RPM Orchestra isn’t just an amalgamation of sounds frozen and forgotten in time – it’s mutable, living music that puts a spontaneous spin on archaic audio. Sort of like pop culture archeology on acid.

Case in point: RPM Orchestra’s live score to the 1927 silent film The Unknown, starring Lon Chaney and Joan Crawford, which showed at the FilmBar in Phoenix on Friday, October 14. I previewed this event in a “Cheap Dates Around the Valley” roundup blog, and true to their word, RPM Orchestra showed up with a plethora of pipes, whistles, horns, rattlers, pans and other assorted implements of percussion. Audience members were encouraged to participate, and were divided into three “toy instruments” sections and given cues.

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