Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rattling the cage

Posted By on Tue, Sep 21, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Indy political columnist George Ochenski spoke to Flathead Democrats last weekend, and in typical Ochenski fashion he pulled no punches. I've heard his speech was well received by the crowd, except for a few hardcore liberals who didn't like his blunt assessment of their party.

But judge for yourself. Although 4&20's jhwygirl beat me to posting Ochenski's remarks (and added a little commentary of her own), here is another copy of what he said, in its entirety:

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 9:00 AM

In this week's installment: Moms on Facebook, mistaken identity and a crime allegedly linking Butts to Boob.

Curses, Foiled Again
Authorities who arrived at a Chicago apartment to arrest Ronald “Boobie” McIntyre, 35, for unpaid child support said he tried to evade them by jumping from a third-story window onto what appeared to be grass but turned out to be artificial turf covering concrete. Even though McIntyre broke both legs, Cook County sheriff’s deputies said he continued his escape by crawling until they arrested him.

When Nathan Wayne Pugh, 49, showed a Dallas bank teller a note demanding money and warning that he had a “bom,” the teller told Pugh she needed to see some identification before giving him any money. He presented his bank debit card. When she asked how much he wanted, he answered, “Two thousand,” so she asked for further identification. Pugh handed her his Texas ID card. She pressed the alarm button while informing him she had only $900 in her cash drawer and would get the rest from the vault. He said he’d settle for the $900, which he took, along with his debit card and ID.
As he turned to flee, Pugh noticed uniformed police officers at the bank entrance, so he grabbed a woman holding a baby, apparently to use as a hostage, according to FBI agent Mark White, who reported the woman wrestled Pugh to the ground. Officers rushed over and arrested him.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Is that a Constitution in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Posted By on Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 12:15 PM

In case your favorite Patriot hasn't reminded you already, today is Constitution Day. You can celebrate however you'd like, but you may want to swing past Rep. Denny Rehberg's pad first. He's passing out free pocket Constitutions at his Missoula office (301 East Broadway, Suite 2).

Here's why, according to Denny's statement:

On this day in 1787, the 55 delegates of the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution of the United States of America. Since then, our nation has enjoyed great blessings and endured great challenges. Through them all, we have grown strong together.

In tough times, it’s those ideals we should return to. We should not abandon these ideals in pursuit of progress. Limited government with enumerated powers and a commitment to federalism is necessary for the preservation of individual liberty, and it’s that freedom that is the source of our strength. I took an oath to uphold the Constitution, so this day has particular importance to me. I hope that educators and parents will use this opportunity to teach America’s children about the Constitution and the rights that we all share.

Gods and goddesses, spirits, ghosts and stray thoughts!

Posted By on Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Foregoing dinner at a dinner theater is a mistake. Especially when the dinner is made by Abraham Risho from Missoula's Silk Road artisan restaurant. This week's Salep & Silk, a dinner theater collaboration at the Crystal Theatre between the Montana Actors' Theatre (MAT) and The Silk Road, incorporated menus from the East and West (guests got to choose which road to take) into the drama of the night. It included aromatic dishes like Turpan oasis stir-fried lamb inspired by food from China (East), and grilled snapper with walnut-coriander dressing inspired by southern Turkey (West). And it ended with Salep orchid-infused ice cream.

All salivating aside, the play itself is pretty rich. Local writer Josh Wagner is best known for his work on comic book series Fiction Clemens, a 2009 short film called Adam Funn and his recent novel Deadwind Sea. Salep & Silk is his debut play, and it showcases Wagner's natural storytelling talents. The story is about two traders traveling along the Silk Road, one from the East and one from the West, who meet up with eachother once a year to eat food together and philosophize. It spans centuries, too, which gives it an epic feeling.


Wagner has an ear for engaging dialog and a knack for creating his own folklore based on historical facts with sprinkles of pop culture, strange creatures and stories within stories. I would get thrown under a Subaru if I compared Wagner to Shakespeare, but all I'm suggesting is that, in Missoula, Wagner's a writer who fits that role: creating stage magic for the masses—there were "oohs!" and "aahs!," gasps and chuckles galore, plus crying, during a recent performance—and he has that nuanced sensibility for weaving low-brow humor with very original wit. Keep him on your radar.

In the meantime, check out this selection from Salep & Silk:

Ladies and gentlemen. Gods and goddesses, spirits, ghosts, stray thoughts. Ancestors and descendents, occupants of the ether, timeless guardians and observers of our humble mortal existence: I trust you have found our food offerings to your liking. Welcome to the year 1235. The previous act took place in 551, which means nearly a millennium has gone by. We offer up a moment of silence to simulate the passage of time.

(Regulator points to someone and shushes them)
(uncomfortable pause)
(as Regulator continues W ENTERS stage West. He stares at Regulator with curiosity.)

That's better. Now, we’ve had several complaints regarding your performance so let’s all try to make this next act go over a bit smoother. I’ve put a list together of do's and don'ts to keep in mind. Ahem. Do not break your glasses against he skulls of your companions (you know who you are). Do not choke on or gargle with your beverages, nor cause others to likewise choke on or gargle with theirs. Do not scream at the top of your lungs when something horrible happens. Come on, people; try to remember that this is all make-believe.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Postcard from Basin: The future of American Indian art

Posted By on Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 3:00 PM


I had the privilege of spending last weekend in Basin, Mont., at the American Indian Artists Symposium, hosted by the Montana Artists Refuge. I wrote about the Montana Artists Refuge (MAR) for the Indy in 2008, and later served on the organization's board. I say that in the interest of full disclosure, but should add that I knew almost nothing about last weekend's event before I arrived for the opening reception. That's because it's organized by Native artists, for Native artists, to discuss the past, present and future of Native art.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Travelocity gnome at Mo Club? Travelocity gnome at Mo Club

Posted By on Wed, Sep 15, 2010 at 12:38 PM


Sen. Max Baucus announced yesterday a new partnership between Travelocity and Montana communities to promote tourism in the state. According to Baucus:

Travelocity also announced sponsorships of several festivals around the state. This summer, they again sponsored the folk festival in Butte as well as the “What the Hay” festival in Utica. And over the next year they will partner with a number of events — including the Crow Agency Crow Fair, the Missoula Western Fair & Rodeo, Butte’s Irish Festival, the Magic City Blues Festival, and the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale.

Somehow, this announcement included the Travelocity gnome — you know, the company's mascot in all those commercials — visiting the Mo Club in downtown Missoula.


Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Sep 15, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Find Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology online, every Wednesday, one day before it hits the Indy's printed pages.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): When teen pop star Miley Cyrus appeared on David Letterman’s late-night TV talk show, band leader Paul Schaeffer asked her if she lip-syncs to pre-recorded music during her performances. Miley replied that no, she never fakes it. For evidence, she said, anyone could go watch a YouTube clip from one of her concerts. Sometimes she sounds terrible, which proves that she’s risking the imperfection of actually singing live. I urge you to follow Miley’s lead in your own sphere, Aries. In the coming week, you really do need to be as raw as the law allows. Be your authentic self, please—with no Auto-Tune-like enhancements.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Dan Savage investigates mysterious Missoula bathroom

Posted By on Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 1:15 PM

It's not what you think. (Wait, what are you thinking?)

It's more of a decor question about this sink at the Missoula International Airport:


By the way, I've heard positive reviews from Dan's Friday appearance at UM. Very funny, although at least two people I spoke with preferred more political commentary and less, as one put it, "questions about the size of one's vagina." As Dan says, "Them's the breaks."

If you want more Dan, by the way, including his column and regular blog posts, visit him at The Stranger.

Protesting the "Freak Show"

Posted By on Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 12:10 PM

The throngs of Sarah Palin supporters who flocked to the Hilton Garden Inn yesterday for the former Alaska governor's fundraising speech received something of a Missoula-style welcome. Roughly 30 people lined the street leading into the hotel parking lot off North Reserve, some sporting 3D glasses, others holding signs but all protesting Palin's presence, not the event. Surprisingly, the only flack the demonstrators got from Palin's adoring masses came in the form of a middle finger. Here's why we say surprisingly:


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Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 10:51 AM

In this week's installment: Botox burglary, hot golfers and using scotch as fuel.

Curses, Foiled Again
When Caleb Smith, 19, approached the pharmacy counter at a drug store, showed a gun and demanded narcotics, police in Pensacola, Fla., said pharmacist Steven Rodick handed a paper bag containing the drugs to Smith, who set the gun on the counter so he could open the bag to check its contents. Rodick immediately picked up the gun, which turned out to be a starter pistol. Smith fled, but a store employee tripped him and helped Rodick detain him until police arrived.

A drunken, heavy-set woman wearing an oversized floral shirt and shorts approached the counter at a Taco John restaurant in La Crosse, Wis., and demanded a soft-shell taco and cash. The woman tried to back up her demand by pulling a hammer from her shorts pocket, but the weapon snagged on her shorts. While she was tugging on the handle, the cashier pressed the restaurant’s panic button and called 911. The suspect fled without any money, but police arrived in time to chase down Julie Bailey, 38, who was still holding the wooden hammer.

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