Monday, July 31, 2006

And then it was August

Eric Francis counsels:
ARIES: Circumstances have encouraged, indeed, at times forced you to take greater risks, but you may still be waiting for the rewards. If I say, "They've already come," you may be disappointed that they're not what you think they would be. I'll put it a different way: the foundation stones have been laid, and when you look back from the viewpoint of two or three years on, you'll see that all the basic components of your new life were in place now. What you have not quite succeeded in doing is envisioning a place in the world for yourself, as you've redesigned that self -- and that is the theme of an extended phase of your life that begins this month. The clay of creation is soft and pliable at the moment. People's beliefs are more flexible than you imagine, as are yours. You have the tremendous advantage of having nothing to live up to, or to live down: only to live.

The moment bears nothing less than a miracle, if you wish to release lifetimes of psychological baggage. Therapy, spirituality and education may have played a role in you improving your state of health, but what will help you cross the line is letting go of certain violent psychological tendencies you've had toward yourself. It may not be easy to admit the situation, but enduring it any further will be far less pleasant. You may feel like you're being pushed out of an airplane unwillingly, but you're wearing a parachute that will open, slow your fall, and give you a magnificent view of the whole landscape of your life. You get to choose where you land; you get to choose what is true for you. Once you touch the solid ground of reality, you will see that the past has lost all its hold, and that you are somehow autonomous of the pain and struggle that your predecessors unwittingly passed along to you.

You could cut your commitments in half, and then in half again. The same could be said for what you want or need from life; there is an inefficiency you're struggling with. Indeed, you could start over from the beginning, and remember to keep your story simple. The tendency to overcomplicate any facet of your life, your perception or your self-concept will only work against you now. Try seeing things in black and white; describe your state of being in short, simple sentences. By doing this, you will notice something you're currently missing. You'll connect with the truth of the role you've chosen to play in this lifetime, and let go of so much else that is clogging your mind. One thing I can tell you is this: you've got no need to worry about whether your life path is helpful to others. This is beyond question. All that matters is how good you are at helping yourself.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

How the Other Half Lived -- 48/48 Hours

Penfold Five [Mysterious Non-M Friend] says:

[While Mikaela was sleeping,] I went and checked on the second half of the Duke City Shootout – 48 Hour Film Project Movies on Tuesday Night.

Event Recap: The 48 Hour Film Project takes place in many cities nationwide and made its debut in Albuquerque this year. Teams have 48 hours to make their movie, given only a genre, a prop, a line of dialogue, and a character.

This year, the genres varied, the prop was a bell, the line was something like “would you like to come up to my place,” and the character was Larry or Linda Martinez – Pack Rat.

The movies made by the 48 Hour Film Project Teams were broken up into two nights [Monday and Tuesday, see list in posts below]. The winner will go on to compete against the other Shootout movies for the Palm de Grease. That winner will be announced on Saturday the 29th at the Gala Event [Kiva Auditorium, 7 pm, tickets $20 – or wait and take your chances in a little competition on m-pyre later this week…] But there’s also an audience choice award.

The movies in order of viewing:




"The Movie About the Movie…"

Team Pocket Goat

Holiday Film


Red Starr

Road Movie


Magellicutty Global



UYL Productions


"Helping Hans"

Flower Power

Family Film

"In Linda's Heels"

Eyes Watching Eyes


"Some View"

Architects of Elsewhere


"At the Seams"

Spork Films


"Recycle Ranch"

New Mexicast


"The Chest"

Los Chupacabras


"A Taste of Rita"

The Sunday Shooting Club

Family Film

"Advenures of Linda Martinez…"



Tuesday Night:

I had no idea what I was getting myself into as I stood in line at the Guild Cinema, but I was emboldened by the sight of so many people standing in line for films made with no budget in no time. In fact, there were so many people waiting to get in that they filled the sidewalk in front of the Guild.

(To the bitchy bicyclist that ran over my toe as she muttered obscenities and tried to get through the excited crowd I say, “Lock up your bike and come see a movie or just GO AROUND!”)

The three movies that got my attention were:

Recycle Ranch– my horror gradually turned to heartache as I watched this surprisingly subtle take on domestic violence and the many versions of love in the world.

A Taste of Rita– armageddon and cannabilism delightfully paired with a side of San Pelligrino – yum.

At the Seams– I was torn between this one and the sweet, delighful “Helping Hans.” But in the end this fashion industry mockumentary with a fall preview as Roosevelt Park sucked me in. This one gets my vote for best use of bell.

Best Actor – Gene Grant’s turn as a homeless man in what can only be described as an aluminum foil horn helmet.

There was a Q & A at the end where the audience got to see and hear from all the directors – I was once again overwhelmed and humbled by the talent and energy of our fair city. Congratulations to all the participants and good luck.

What to do with yourself now that the 48-Hour Movies are all shown:
There’s a ton more Shootout events going on today through Saturday – go to the website for all the info.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

24/48 Hours -- The Half-time Report

Mikaela says:
Saw some movies last night. Did you?

All in all, not a total waste of $7 bucks. The atmosphere was great (minus the loud drunk guy who was only occasionally funny yelling at the screen during the movies); the movies were ... not too painful.

Right off the bat, you gotta give slack for the unbelievable pressure of high-speed turnover. This thing starts and finishes before you can blink.

That said, a lot of the movies start with stereotype and cliches; the good ones move beyond them. It's not a bad move. Cliches are short-hand for stories, fleshing out a plot without you having to do a lot of work, and they do it quickly. The problem is that they are big, black holes for talent, and only the speediest and mightiest escape their dark energy. The rest just ... suck.

Here were last night's films, in order of viewing:





Digital Pirates


"Stare Down"

There is no I in Team


"Dreams and Memories"

All the Elf-King's Men



Lost Puppy Productions



Sofa King We Todd Ed


"Blood Line"

Eye Candy


"Crazy White People"



"A Step Outside"



"Red Meat"

Twenty Eight 80


My favorite by far: "Stare Down," a mockumentary about a cut-throat competition of staring in which the yogi won. Hilarious. Great production values. Playful. Intelligent. Surprising. Just great.

Second in my esteem: "Red Meat," by m-favorite Gene Grant (among others). I'd spare you from ruining the ending, but ... when are you ever going to see this now that you MISSED IT??? You think this mass murderer is about to take out 2 pretty little blonde girls. Instead, they lure him into the trap and kill him for dinner. The mom, in pleasantville kitchen, slaps a big ole slab o' meat onto the counter and purrs at the good job they've done. It's somehow creepy yet totally normal without being after-school special. A dangerous tightrope, indeed.

A distant and vaguely disappointing third: "Spiral," which starts off with a twisted visual joke that gets a real laugh before you can stop yourself, then just gets weird twice, without an ending or resolution. I wanted to like it more; the ending just wouldn't let me.

Another I thought interesting but ... not compelling was the fantasy movie "A Step Outside." Some good dialogue (but uneven for sure), great production values, a strong woman character (although too ... Platonic forms for my taste), and then ... a whole lotta nothin'. Or, a hole-lotta somethin'. Don't really care which.

And you, dear reader? What did you like?

Don't know cause you didn't go? Uh-huh. So you're going tonight, right?

Guild Cinema
7 or 9 pm.

Come to the 9 pm and fight me for rightness!

Monday, July 24, 2006

What you should be doing tonight and tomorrow... (i.e. The Next 48 Hours)

Mikaela shouts:
Watching locally-made movies! At an independently owned theatre! In one of the best neighborhoods in Albuquerque! As part of the exciting 48-Hour Film Festival!

The 24 (or so) teams that received their assigned genres Friday night at 6 pm turned their completed 4-7 minute movies in last night at 7:30!

Now you can see them all!

They're being shown in 2 stages:
Monday (shows at 7 & 9): Group A
or Tuesday (ditto): Group B.
All at the Guild Cinema.
$7 (but sure to sell out, so HURRY!)

You'll see everything from horror to silent movie to mockumentary to romance. All of them local. All of them created by crewmembers related to someone you know (come on, this is Albuquerque, afterall).

This contest really is extraordinary. Not only does each crew pick a different genre at random out of a hat (really!), but each movie has to incorporate the line, "Do you want to come up to my place?" There's some other little thing, too, that I can't remember.

So after getting the assignment at 7 pm Friday, crews write all night, film all day Saturday, edit all day Sunday, and race to the finish (quite literally! I spectated -- very exciting -- there really is such a thing as the "mad dash"!) to turn in their movies by 7:30, when there is an honest-to-god countdown.

Don't take my (spectacular) word for it. Here's a hilarious account from one of this year's teams.

See you at the movies!

Here's the list:

Group A: Monday (7 or 9 pm)

All The Elf-King’s Men, David Curtin
CSF, Malik Daniels
Digital Pirates, Ramona Teo
EyeCandy, Wayne Welander
Lost Puppy Productions, Gabriel DellaVecchia
Magic Mini, Thomas McGill
Rosebud, ron salzberg
Sofa King We Todd Ed, Matt Vencill
There is no I in TEAM!, Ross Kelly
Twenty Eight 80, David Quintana

Group B: (Tuesday, 7 or 9 pm)

Architects of Elsewhere, Andre Ross
Cousins United!!!, Sheldon Richards
Eyes Watching Eyes, Michael Amedeo
Los Chupacabras, Diego Romero
Magellicutty Global, Micheal Rosenberg
New Mexicast, Rosa Linda Roman
Red Starr, Chris Alan
Spork Films, Adam Hevey
Team Pocket Goat, Anthony Pena
The Sunday Shooting Club, Mary Holyoke
UYL Productions, Derek Bensonhaver
Manawa, Jeremiah Bitsui

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday "pretending I'm not at the office" music

Maggie says:
In my continuing series on music to listen to at work, I offer John Legend's Get Lifted as the best-ever CD to blast in your headphones on a day like today. It just might trick you into thinking you're doing something fun on a beautiful Sunday afternoon instead of sitting in your artificially climate-controlled office without any real light to speak of. It might. Sigh...

This CD is also perfect for long roadtrips with girlfriends (we obsessed over it last month at the beach), getting ready to go out, and needing to get in a good mood quickly. As long as you're okay with songs full of infidelity and can laugh at Snoop's oh-so-serious proclamations of commitment, this is a CD everyone can love.

John Legend also provides another at-work inspiration. My favorite-ever episode of Martha Stewart featured him cooking his famous baked macaroni and cheese wearing a tight orange sweater. Now that is a sigh-worthy memory...

"Good Lord, you got body for days..."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Is it truly 'Miami Vice' without a white suit?

Maggie says:
Am I the only one who's been under the impression that the new 'Miami Vice' movie would be set back in the glory days of the '80s? I've been dying to see Colin Farrell in loafers and Jamie Foxx in pastel. But alas... turns out this 'remake' is set in modern-day Miami. Which begs the question... who cares? Why not simply make a new movie rather than rely on Crockett and Tubbs to pull off a plot that contains none of their fashion sense?

Fortunately the New York Times is feeling my pain here about the serious lack of style in this upcoming flick. For those of us not satisfied by Crockett's sleazy mustache and Tubbs' goatee (somehow supposed to connote '80s fabulousness), the Times story allows us to momentarily revel in the '80s fashion that mesmerized us far more than Vice plots ever did. It also conveys the historical significance of everyone's favorite decked-out duo:

Although it’s hard now to remember the radical statement these gestures once constituted, before “Miami Vice” few men except bank tellers rolled up their jacket sleeves, and about the only folks who flipped up their blazer collars were the singer George Michael or patrons in some Fort Lauderdale gentlemen-only bar. “It’s the first point in fashion history where you can really show a TV having that influence on fashion,” said Mr. Moore, adding that a two-day growth of beard before “Miami Vice” was a sure sign of a impending bumhood. “ ‘Miami Vice’ made stubble cool,” he said. It has stayed cool far too long, and this is something Mr. Mann should be required to answer for.

When he orchestrated the look of the original show, Mr. Mann was venturing into stylistic territory already staked out by Italian designers, people like Gianni Versace, Gianfranco Ferré or Giorgio Armani, the man generally credited with introducing the world to the unconstructed suit — that is, without padding, a lining or internal stiffening. This might be as good a time as any to amend the old canard about Mr. Armani being the inventor of the floppy suit. It was long a staple of Neapolitan haberdashery, developed by tailors sent to London by wealthy patrons to apprentice on Savile Row. Being superior craftsmen, the tailors absorbed everything there was to know about British cuts and suit construction. Being Neapolitans, they blithely tossed out the window most of the knowledge they had acquired. It is generally too hot in Naples to dress like Bertie Wooster. But it is not too hot in Milan, where Mr. Armani adapted the look before wholesaling it to the world.

“Miami Vice” may also have marked the earliest mainstream appearance of that indestructible cultural chimera, the metrosexual. “As tough as Sonny Crockett was meant to be,” the dude on a boat with a pet alligator named Elvis, “he still had the meticulously groomed scruff on his face and the pastel, linen-y sports jackets,” said Dan Peres, the editor of Details. “That all was certainly a part of the cultural moment that allowed men to embrace their vanity a little more openly.”

It was their big weapons, of course, that gave the “Miami Vice” guys confidence enough to wear girly clothes and to moisturize.

And if Michael Mann's not going to take us back to '80s regalia, it appears the fashion industry will.
In its spring 2006 catalog, International Male offers a selection of suits in pink pastel linen and shirts of semi-sheer embroidered voile that could easily have been swiped from the set of “Miami Vice,” the television show or the film. “It’s a little bit forward and a little bit retro,” said Mr. Mulhall, neatly summing up the whole enterprise.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Open Your Eyes! Dream in the Insomnia Lounge

Mikaela says:
Wanna place to hang out?
Are you a gear-head, a moviemaker wannabe, a technical expert in constant search of more expertise?

Next week is your lucky week. The folks who are busting their asses to bring you the
Duke City Shootout offer you a stunning side bonus:

The Insomnia Lounge, your very own tech haven.

You may run into the crews who just shot their wads on Shootout films (be gentle with them – they’ll be tired!), you may meet artists, poets, djs…

Let’s face it, this is the place where everyone who’s anyone will be – and you can come, too! Be witness to cool. Oh, and make your own movie! It may be a transformative experience. Hell, it may just cool you off.

And Albuquerque, because I know you’ll ask, yes, it’s free!

Cool. Where?

Hyatt Regency (the big iconic one downtown) Ballrooms A, B, C (above the atrium)

Tight. When?

See the official schedule below:

Wednesday July 26th

6 – 10pm


Tell your story with our dv cameras and edit bays to win an Apple MacBook Pro featuring the Intel® Core Duo™ Processor

3 – 5 pm

Visualization & Simulation: Experience the latest in emerging applications of visualization/ simulation in business processes, planning, information architecture and design.

Stephen Guerin (Redfish), Tom Greenbaum (Intel), Tim Castillo (UNM Architecture), Tom Caudell (UNM VisLab)


Monitor-Mega-Monolith Performance

Nick Deamer

8 – 10pm

Latin & world beats that move your feats

DJ Mateo

10pm – 2am

Melody driven dance music filled with infectious grooves.

Brian Botkiller

Thursday July 27th

10 – 8pm


Tell your story with our dv cameras and edit bays to win an Apple MacBook Pro featuring the Intel® Core Duo™ Processor

10 – 11am

CinnaFilm: The World's First Real Time Film Effects Tool For Video Demo

Lance Maurer (President CinnaFilm)

11 – 1pm

Panasonic’s HD AG-HVX200 Camera Demo

1 – 3pm

Bringing it all together with Apple: The latest in Software/Hardware

Bill Hanson

3 – 5pm

Panel Discussion: Women in Entertainment Emerge

5 – 7pm

Reception to celebrate Outstanding Women in Entertainment

Ellen Sandler (Writer/Producer Everybody Loves Raymond, Coach)

Tracy Mercer (VP of Development/Morgan Freeman's Revelations Entertainment)

Anne Stirling (Documentary Filmmaker, Founder of Friends of Film & Video Association)

Christina Julian – Moderator

5 – 7pm

The Future of HD Technology

Ken Dozier (Exec. Dir. USC Engineering Technology Transfer Center (ETTC) and Exec. Dir. NASA Far West RTTC)

7 – 8pm

Combinatoric Harvest: Graphic Complexity from Simple Code

Jared Tarbell

8 – 9pm

Lecture/demonstration: Live cinema performance and installation work exploring real-time animation, artificial life and noise art.

David Stout and Cory Metcalf

9pm – 11pm

Merging Hip Hop, Ambient, Electro Rock, Dub, Big Beat, Drum & Bass


11pm – 2am

Master Bedroom: Soundscapes to Slutty Euro TechnoPop

Mark Churchhill

Friday July 28th

10 – 4pm


Tell your story with our dv cameras and edit bays to win an Apple MacBook Pro featuring the Intel® Core Duo™ Processor

10 – 11:30am

Re-writes in the Real World

Ellen Sandler (Everybody Loves Raymond - script to broadcast highlights)

James P. Mercurio (Hollywood Script Consultant)

Jason Pilla (Warner Bros Writer)

Gene Grant (Writer/Moderator)

11:30am – 1pm

Indie vs. the Studio Hollywood: Who Will Win the Race?

Dan Netter (CEO Baby Fishmouth Productions, Producer of the Emmy Awards, AFI’s 100 Years)

Tracy Mercer (VP of Development/Morgan Freeman's Revelations)

Kevin Curran (Co-Founder of HD Studios LA)

1 – 3pm

State of Animation in New Mexico

Jonas Diamond (Smiley Guy Studios)

Steve Hoban (CopperHeart Entertainment, producer of Academy Award winner "Ryan")

Chris Landreth (Academy Award-winning director of "Ryan")

Chris Kientz (Award-winning writer/director/producer "Raven Tales")

Torin Lucas (CEO Thunderbird Games)

Gerald McDermott (Author and animator of "Arrow to the Sun")

Jeff Hobbs (Animator and rotoshop creator)

3 - 5pm

Ralph Bakshi Showcase

(Director of Wizards, Cool World, American Pop, Fritz the Cat, Spider-Man)

5 – 7 pm

Theramin Infused Video Performance

Martin Back

10pm – 12am

DJ Bacon with Mindy McGovern

8pm – 2am

Soundscapes in Ambient Spaces

DJ Jered and CK Barlow

Saturday July 29th

10am – 12pm

Me to The Future of Distribution

Alvir Navin (BitTorrent )

Tracy Mercer (VP of Development/Morgan Freeman's Revelations)


ASA Side Session

Ellen Sandler (Everybody Loves Raymond - script to broadcast highlights)

James P. Mercurio (Hollywood Script Consultant)

Jason Pilla (Warner Bros Writer)

1 – 3pm

Making No Money Look Good

Sascha Muller (Producer: George Washington; IFP West, Film Independent)

Dan Mirvish (Filmmaker and Co-founder of Slamdance)

Joe Conti (NM Director: Army of the Dead )

Kevin Curran (Co-Founder of HD Studios LA)

3 – 4 pm

National Poetry Slam Champion Albuquerque Slam Team throws down on the lounge before hitting the Austin nationals in August.

Hosted by co-captain: Kenn Rodriguez

4 – 6pm

The Latest in Gamer Developments

10:30pm -12am


DJ Miss Ginger of Santa Fe

12 – 2am

Sina Soul & Beat Hive

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Oh to have Bravo

Mikaela says:
Full disclosure: I used to be a tv junkie. Growing up, I knew the nightly lineup on every channel. I was a walking TV Guide, able to sing advertising jingles and theme show songs on demand. I used to drive my family crazy walking through the supermarket, tarzan-ing my way from product to product with word-for-word mimicking of each ad.

These days, I watch TV on DVD, and even that is only when friends thrust them into my hands (Sex and the City in the main).

The last time I was hooked on a show was two years ago, dating a guy with cable and hence... Bravo. Bravo! Home of West Wing re-runs and ... drumroll ... Project Runway, the worst tv addiction of all time!

Who cares about fashion? Who hates reality tv? Doesn't matter. This show will get to you, I swear it. If you want to maintain the dignity of not rushing home on certain nights, or rearranging your schedule around a stupid tv show, don't start watching.

Season Three is about to premier. I saw Season One only. Even my boyfriend was hooked. This one looks even better, with Kate Spade added to the judges, and a cast made up of even more talented and sophisticated contestants. Oofda.

Maybe it's good I don't have cable.

But can I wait for the DVD?

Shameless hint: Sure would be a good show to assemble a group of friends to make a social occasion out of it (the only truly acceptable way of watching tv, in my humble opinion)...

Friday, July 07, 2006

Texas: West to East

marjorie says...

Is West Texas really the barren ugly wasteland you always hear about? Being from the lush
green forests of East Texas, I'll often just kind of half heartedly agree when I hear people characterize the western half of my state like that. But, really...I know better. There's beauty in that wide open land, and in my recent drive through there on the way home I thought I'd take a few shots to show y'all what I mean. My route took me to Amarillo on I-4o, and from there I snaked down HWY 287 through Childress, Wichita Falls, and Denton, skirting around DFW to the small towns of East Texas.

The first thing to note about West Texas is the SKY. Driving through an endless expanse of farm and range land, when there isn't much standing between yourself and the sky, you notice it. Between the sky and the land, structures and trees really stand out. Invariably those things go together. Humans build their homes and plant trees around them...creating little green ponds in the middle of nowhere.

There are lots of windmills in West Texas...most of which are standing. They often have cows clustered around them. In fact, there are lots of cows in Texas period. I didn't take a picture of the stockyards I passed because I just wanted to pass that obnoxious smell as quickly as I could.

The cool thing about West Texas was the herd of camels I passed on the highway. Yes, I said camels. The other animal I noticed plenty was the horse. While I didn't take any pictures of horses, I did get a shot of the local horse motel...

There's an art installation in West Texas that I've always wanted to get a close look at...buried upright cars wave at you from way out in a field as you zoom by. This trip I actually took the time to walk out there and check them out...

Then there are all the many human things...

ubiquitous Don't Mess With Texas

friendly small town welcome signs...couldn't help but take this photo

diners, diners, everywhere

small town squares

then there is fruit...from west to east, its everywhere. on this trip in particular it was all about the peaches. which brings me to East Texas...

see the difference?here is my mom picking peaches...she grew up in Kelsey, which you can see in the background

this is the highway leading out of Pine Mills, home of a pottery of the same name...which makes really beautiful things out of East Texas clay

and here you see the burgeoning junk yard that used to be my grandfather's garden. :-) yes, that's what i said. it's all good!

Being from East Texas, I have a natural affinity for its rolling green hills. At the same time I appreciate the wide open spaces of West Texas. In one place I feel cosy, in the other stark...and both feelings speak to different aspects of my personality. Its similar to the difference between the Northwest, where I lived 5 years, and Albuquerque...

Speaking of Albuquerque, as much as I love Texas, it feels good to be back. These days I'm digging New Mexico. Here is the rain storm I drove right into as I rolled back into town...

World Cup Fever for the Flavor of the Final

Mikaela says:
Game on.

Two Fools Tavern's the place to be this weekend to watch the World Cup Final.

Sat., 1 pm: Portugal vs. Germany

Sun., noon: France vs. Italy

Shots for shots-on-gol? I think so!

Can't get to a television? Audio commentary here (Thanks fo the tip & link, Mike!).

Best read of the year

Maggie says:
Last week I found myself completely, happily immersed in an amazing book, one I've mentioned here a couple of times: The Last of Her Kind, by Sigrid Nunez. This book is truly remarkable, and keeps settling in more and more since I've finished it, exactly the type of read I adore.

How can a book be so huge in its scope, yet still read so small? It's amazing. The Last of Her Kind is set at Barnard in the late '60s, at the center of massive change gripping the country. The story follows two friends who meet as roommates: one, a WASP blonde plagued by class guilt who requests a roommate as different from her as possible; the other, a poor resident of upstate New York, haunted by the poverty and abuse from her childhood and unsure of her place alongside rich college girls. Ann (who drops her given name, Dooley, because it represents a slaveholding wing of her family) and Georgette become the kind of friends that only college nights fueled by procrastination and lack of sleep and intensity can inspire, and they are inexplicably tied to one another for decades to come, marked and wounded and shaped by the turbulent times, their personal politics, and their individual backgrounds. While Ann denounces her privileged upbringing and gets increasingly swept into radical politics, Georgette's concerns are more personal and immediate (her teenage sister who runs away shortly before Woodstock, for instance), and the radicalism of the times never rings true for her.

This book manages to be both a modern take on the idealist politics of the '60s (Georgette is our narrator, and her tone is full of the wonder at how much in the world has changed between then and now) and a nuanced telling of two women and their very complicated friendship. While the scope here is wide and unflinching, its brush is markedly feminine and intricate. As the brutality of racist police violence and underground radical training camps is told along with the tenderness of a never-equal friendship and a love affair that begins at a bookstore, the picture that emerges is touchingly real, alive in its small stories as much as the huge ones. Through Ann and Georgette, we see times change radically, and we live the infamous stories of late '60s/early '70s radicalism with new insight.

What's remarkable about this book is that while outsiders paint Ann with broad brushstrokes later in her life, when she becomes an infamous headline, we continue to see her with Georgette's smaller, more personal brushstrokes. Ann is not always likeable - in fact, many people outright hate her - but by viewing her as a friend, as Georgette does, we see the goodness behind the fierce tenacity, the vulnerability behind the unforgiving radical. Ann is a problematic friend, the one you'd always have to defend and explain even when you don't agree with her. But she's absolutely riveting, and someone you'd want in your life regardless of the trouble. And after all, she's right a lot of the time. Her critique at Barnard that the student movement would fold because it was hopelessly white and elitist was correct. Her common statement that "I wish I was black," however, would seem as inappropriate to African-Americans today as it did then.

The Last of her Kind takes on class consciousness, the power of the personal, gender politics, race and radicalism, the place of the white left, the changing nature of sex and drugs and protests and personal responsibility... But its heart lies with the more eternal issues: friendships that strain and change over time, overcoming the divide between our actual backgrounds and what we might wish them to be, how women talk to each other and include each other in our lives, how we overcome tragedy and keep moving forward, how we love the people we probably shouldn't.

Beautiful stuff. I can't wait to read this book again.