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Now, I’d be the first person to admit that I don’t know nuthin’ about no hockey. We didn’t have no ice where I growed up, jest dirt. And if you have ever tried to skate on dirt, you know it slows the game down considerably.

WEAKEND PLANNER DEFLEAS
FOR THE DOG DAYS

For Now, at Least, There Are Several Ways
to Scratch That Itch

It happens every year, as May decays into June. You can count the number of remaining NBA playoff games on your fingers (we’ve heard rumors that they’re still playing hockey as well), the summer blockbusters are squeezing out the little movies, the mountains are disappearing behind the thick, grayish brown haze and, after Sunday’s Six Feet Under finale, there’ll be nothing compelling on TV, except for some new episodes of Sex and the City—but that once-groundbreaking series is winding down. During this interminable period, which lasts well into August, when football returns, we take our fun wherever we can find it. Fortunately for fans of live rock & roll, there’s plenty to choose from during the next few days—and we don’t just mean the Led Zeppelin DVD and CD sets, both of which you have obviously scammed by now.

On Friday night, there’s a double shot of compelling fare, as Pete Yorn and Grandaddy play the second of two nights at the Wiltern, while across town at Royce Hall, the great Arthur Lee, with Baby Lemonade once again filling in for the original Love, performs his 1967 masterpiece, Forever Changes, in its entirety, complete with strings and horns. Whoa. Then, on Saturday and Monday nights, Coldplay, which has almost imperceptibly risen to the cusp of greatness (and is one of a handful of brilliant acts that has actually found a sizable audience), plays two nights at the massive Hollywood Bowl. If you score tickets, you’d better hope they’re floor level; otherwise, you’ll hear ’em but you won’t see ’em. If you do go out this weekend, we hope your sightlines are clear. Finally, for Sunday Morning coming down, we recommend the self-titled harmony fest from The Thorns, which sold nearly 19,000 in its first week (hitting a telling #10 in online sales), bolstered by a modicum of Triple A play and a whole lotta word of mouth. Check it out with coffee, CBS Sunday Morning and the Sunday papers.

WEAKEND POPCULT TOP 10
1. Please Make Ruben and Clay Go Away:
This week’s topper in the Idol media orgy found Ruben being interviewed by the TNT studio team—including fawning fellow ’Bama native Charles Barkley—during halftime of the Mavs-Spurs game Tuesday night. Apparently feeling freed from the constraints of mainstream media, Ruben lapsed into the patois favored by hip-hop nation and a good part of the NBA—nomsayin’? Andy Warhol would love this. —BS

2. The Dang Ol’ Stanley Cup Finals: Blue line, schmoo line. Now, I’d be the first person to admit that I don’t know nuthin’ about no hockey. We didn’t have no ice where I growed up, jest dirt. And if you have ever tried to skate on dirt, you know it slows the game down considerably. As far as this here series goes, you got to give the edge to the team with the most teefs missin’. Since I don’t have the answer to that one, we’ll move on to #2—the danged ol’ mascots. I don’t need to tell you that a dang ol’ Devil has the edge on a Duck, even if it is a Mighty Duck. #3—geography. I think New Jersey is closer to Canada than Anaheim is, so they got that goin’ for ’em as well. So bet the bank on the Devils. A viewer tip: Treat it like an NBA game, and tune in with about three or four minutes to go, and watch from there. All hail the mighty mullet. —GWTG

3. Spellbound (ThinkFilm): This Academy Award nominee for Best Doc, now opening wider, covers the National Spelling Bee from the points of view of eight contestants and their families, as they study, obsess and compete. The film brings you into intimate contact with these families, who are committed to the effort to a startling degree—one family hired trainers from several languages so the contestant son could bone up on word roots. Hysterically funny and incredibly moving. —LB

4. Various Artists, Play the Word, Vol. 1 (Un-Cabaret Records): This latest spoken-word gem from the wonderful Un-Cabaret cabal of comedy writers and performers was recorded live at L.A.’s Skirball Center. You might reasonably expect Jewish-themed content, given the Center’s cultural orientation, and you’d be correct: the arguable highlight is Alan Zweibel’s 11-minutes-plus remembrance “The Day I Got Caught Masturbating in Hebrew School.” An inspired confession of schul-boy lust over Biblical matriarchs and Jackie Kennedy, among other things, it’s unforgettable. There’s more Hebraic hilarity, including Julie Rottenberg’s slumber-empowerment reverie “To Sleep, Perchance to Sleep Some More,” Merrill Markoe’s “Something Extremely Important,” which dazzlingly channels a dog’s desperation to start a game of fetch, Rob Cohen’s Why-am-I-such-a-freak-magnet plaint “Attractive in a Bad Way,” Winnie Holzman’s ethnic pride vs. personal vanity conundrum “Bad Hair,” Un-Cabaret ringleader Beth Lapides’ “To Live and Almost Die in L.A.” and Simpsons genius George Meyer’s wacky poem “Desperate Flapper.” This disc alone redeemed an incredibly slow and tedious Memorial Day trip home on Interstate 5; I can hardly wait for the next volume. —SG

5. Spirited Away (Walt Disney Home Video): This Oscar-winning Japanese anime is a stoned classic on a par with Alice In Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz about a young girl who loses her parents in a deserted amusement park that turns out to be a halfway house for ghosts. With startling visions like people turning into pigs and a big-headed, mole-ridden witch and her giant diapered baby, director Hayao Miyazaki creates a world all its own of unusual meticulousness and shimmering, psychedelic images. Even on your living-room TV, the DVD jumps out of the screen in sharp, 3-D, Escher-like geometry. The stock fairy-tale plot is just an excuse for a series of dreamlike scenarios that unfold like a kaleidoscope. This is one cartoon that’s not just for kids. Two-disc set includes Japanese TV making-of feature. —RT 

6. Various Artists, The Best of Bollywood: 15 Classic Hits From the Indian Cinema (Hip-O Records): Even if you’re not acquainted with the genre, you may have seen a clip or two from Indian film musicals (in the indie feature Ghost World, for example, or on this week’s Daily Show, where Steve Carell identified a clip as India’s “one movie”). While the flicks themselves haven’t exactly flooded the consciousness of American filmgoers, music from Bollywood (as India’s film industry is known) has fully infiltrated the underground—and even found its way into mainstream hip-hop. You may have heard the great Lata Mangeshkar’s name referenced in Cornershop’s rhapsodic “Brimful of Asha”; pop in this disc and you’ll find out why this glorious singer—allegedly the most recorded artist in the world—is such an icon. Her vocals on “Wada Na Tod,” among several others, are spine-tingling. Kishore Kumar, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Kanchan and other key genre figures are represented on this fine comp, which tracks Bollywood soundtrack highlights from the '70s through the present. The polyrhythmic grooves are incredibly funky (the vocal-percussion interplay in “Kaahe Chhed” will knock you on your ass), the singing passionate and virtuosic and the instrumentation spellbinding. Students of Western pop will hear how much this sound influenced Coltrane, Dick Dale, George Harrison, Hendrix, Jeff Buckley and even Dr. Dre. An indispensible introduction to an amazing world of music. —SG

7. Down With Love (20th Century Fox): Cheesy, stylized musical/romantic comedy. Who watches Doris Day movies anymore, anyway? And yet, this is one of those big-grin-from-ear-to-ear, beginning-to-end dumb-girl movies that feels good and gooder and goodest. Depth? The ability to bond with your elitist film buddies? NEVER! But in 10 years, you can be so fashion-forwarded by invoking your in-theater love affair with Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor's take on the Rat Pack Parallel Reality, which is as virginal as it is suggestive. And the clothes are great. —HG [Ed. Note: Our in-house critic Lenny Beer has a somewhat different opinion, but we try to encompass a range of viewpoints, from “Brilliant” to “It SUCKED EGGS.”]

8. Coming to Terms With Standup (a Testimonial): I'm not one for comedy. Let me rephrase that. I'm not one to make the effort to go to a comedy club and watch comedians. There was always something cheesy about that idea to me. Maybe because if I am going out, it's to a club to see a band. Maybe it's because I was always afraid that I just wouldn't laugh. I've never watched a standup comic's movie, DVD, video or TV show. I've never even been tempted. Heck, I was one of the few who just didn't want to be bothered watching Seinfeld. Well, you can guess what's next: I WENT AND SAW STANDUP. Yep, I finally caved and went and saw our own Jill Kushner. First, it was her one woman show...now you can find me actually GOING to a COMEDY CLUB and watching Jill perform. Maybe it was her funny, cute and slightly disturbing e-mail pleas. Maybe it was the fact that everyone who went and saw her was honestly raving (and it wasn't in front of her, so you can cross off the butt-kissing possibility). Maybe it's that she's so darn cute you just can't resist. (I wrote that one for Jill.) Whatever the case, I have seen the standup of Jill Kushner mulitple times now—AND I ENJOY IT! So do yourself a favor (especially if you need a laugh—which we all do right now) and check out one of her shows. That's my ringing endorsement. (Jill’s next appearance is Tuesday, 6/3, at the Improve, 8162 Melrose Ave., 9 p.m. On Thursday, she’ll perform in a fundraising benefit for the Blue Sphere Alliance Theatre Co. at the Lex Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave., 8:30 p.m.) —ES

9. The FCC: Will Michael Powell and company further relax rules on media ownership on June 2? Would such a decision lead to the "Wal-Martization" of American media, as liberals and progressives fear, or inject more competition into the market, as the Bush administration and its ideological compatriots argue? All we know is, watching Fox News for too long can cause hair to grow in weird places. —SG

10. Shameless Plug: HITS homies and erstwhile rockcrit hacks Bud Scoppa and Roy Trakin now have their own pages on Barney Hoskyns’ terrific, U.K.-based rocksbackpages.com (the site is subscription, but the writers’ pages are not). These URLS (click on the names to go there), which link to archives containing scores of reviews and features written by the lovable dimwits over the years, comprise ample proof not only of their prolific output but also of their advanced age. But hey, they’ll never be as old as Robert Christgau, and he’s still being paid for his opinions. —BS

DAZED & ENTHUSED
Led Zeppelin, DVD (Atlantic):
Run, do not walk, to your favorite indie record store and pick up the new Led Zeppelin DVD. If you are a product manager or an A&R person, make all of your bands watch it. Can a singer get any better? Can a bass player be any tighter? Can a guitarist be any hotter? Can any other drummer matter more? Was I the biggest Zep fan in high school? Not really. I was turned on to them on the radio but started my buying with with Zep 4 and went backwards. I can remember buying Physical Grafitti at an Eckerd's Drugs on street date. But still, Zep to me was in my Top 10 but not Top Five. To be in my Top Five in the ’70s meant that I saw you live and you killed me. I never got to see Led Zeppelin live. This DVD has five hours of live performances and rare interviews. The live stuff on here is just jaw-dropping. The sound and camera work are exceptional, especially if you consider the period. None of those Woodstock "too tight" camera shots or today's "edit a new angle every two seconds" visuals. The really cool thing is you can sample the band's live shows from small European TV studio performances in 1969 to huge productions just a few years later. There are great audience shots showing period wear, and people really listening. I would love to have content like this for the rest of my all time Top 10. I will say that if I had seen any of these shows in high school, Led Zeppelin would have been number one for me. What a band.
Don VanCleave

AUTOBLOGRAPHY
Blogcritics.org: Some of the best music writing around can be found in the digital realm, where the distance between journalist, artist and fan is obliterated within a community of shared ideas. Blogs, short for web logs, allow one and all to maintain an ongoing conversation with a potential audience, reflecting the Platonic ideal of a true synthesis/antithesis dialogue. Tireless Cleveland rock journalist Eric Olsen, author of Billboard’s comprehensive Encyclopedia of Record Producers, has one of the best blog sites around, with a full array of pundits aboard, each represented by their own site, and all at least somewhat monetized, by the way, with links to buy the stuff being written about on Amazon.com, no small innovation by itself. I was also turned on to similar destinations, from the relatively mainstream Slate arts and culture pundit Jan Herman to more obscure Spy-like sites such as gawker.com (specializing in "celebrity" sightings like Conde Nast’s James Truman riding the subway) and gothamist.com. All feature comprehensive links to other bloggers and cited news sources. It’s enough to make you excited about a world in which everyone can at once be both critic and consumer. It also brings me back to the reason I first got into this—as a young, impressionable suburban kid forming my own opinions by reading the likes of Newsday film critic Joseph Gelmis and sportswriter Stan Isaacs, back in the days when hard copy still meant something.
Roy Trakin

MORE SHINY ROUND THINGS
Grandaddy, Sumday (V2):
In Jason Lytle’s world—one that should be readily recognizable to the rest of us in this troubling decade—things are breaking down, machines and humans both; roads are not taken; a colossal junkyard encroaches on God’s Country; there’s nothing sadder than a vacant lot, except for the people who live on its periphery; love and beauty can be found, but only in the moment; and each moment is precious, because moments are all we have. Sumday, the fourth album by Lytle’s band, Grandaddy, out of Modesto, CA, is a contemporary fable of palpable melancholy, luminous imagery and unexpected beauty, with mortal dread in every note and syllable. Throughout these dozen tracks, Lytle & Co. juxtapose the contemporary and the metaphysical in much the same fashion as The Flaming Lips of “Do You Realize??” and the Wilco of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but this emerging auteur, with his tight-throated vocals always pushing the top of his range, as delicately nuanced as the edge of a feather, and his predilection for elliptical narratives and telling details, is closest, musically and spiritually, to Neil Young, who is clearly Lytle’s touchstone. Indeed, Sumday’s most poignant songs, “Lost in Yer Merry Way,” “The Warming Sun” and the existential anthem “Now It’s On,” mine the same deep vein as Young classics like “After the Gold Rush,” Cortez the Killer” and “Powderfinger.” This is heady, heavy stuff. Bud Scoppa

New Pornographers, Electric Version (Mint/Matador): “Vancouver supergroup” may sound like an oxymoron. But like its predecessor, the Pornographers’ eagerly anticipated sophomore disc is pretty darn super. And hey, even Ray Davies digs ’em. Mastermind Carl Newman (of the late, lamented Zumpano) once again hooks up with sweet-voiced Neko Case, gifted tunesmith Dan Bejar and other alterna-pop explorers, with stellar results—melodic sparks fly in all directions. Wildly bouncy guitar pop is the order of the day, augmented by retro keyboards, surfy grooves, playful harmonies and unexpected dynamic shifts. Virtually every song spills over with beguiling hooks, notably the driving title track, the aural sunbeam “From Blown Speakers” and two Case showcases, the percolating “The Laws Have Changed” and the irresistible “All for Swinging You Around.” Simon Glickman

Deftones, Deftones (Maverick): Three years post-White Pony, this avant-rock collective has expanded its risk-taking, grandly noisy “Sacramento Sound” even further, filling 47 minutes with soul-flogging pummel and edgy melodies that veer from primal-scream cathartics to the soothingly ethereal. Lead tracks “Hexagram” (that’s “worship” he’s saying over and over, not “wash up”), “Needles and Pins” and hauntingly tuneful single “Minerva” state this album’s range up front, making way for the dynamic, hypnotic contrasts of “Deathblow” and the blistering, pile-driver hook of “When Girls Telephone Boys.” And if you haven’t had enough sledgehammering by the time you get there, “Bloody Cape” will pound your metal-loving butt all the way back to the Stone Age—and that’s a good thing. Jon O’Hara

Less Than Jake, Anthem (Sire/WB): These veteran Gainesville, FL, ska-punks return to the major-label wars after a pair of albums on Capitol and two indie releases with a propulsive drive and Green Day-like catch-and-hold hooks, courtesy of producer Rob Cavallo. The new songs are about homecomings, departures, letting go and hanging on, staying the course and trying something new, with a special emphasis on lowered expectations in songs like “Welcome to the New South” and “The Upwards War and the Down Turned Cycle.” The band’s patented horn-fueled ska can be heard on “The Science of Selling Yourself Short” and “Plastic Cup Politics,” but it’s the breathless single, “She’s Gonna Break Soon,” that seethes with an edgy, do-or-die determination to make the most of this second chance to grab the brass ring. Roy Trakin

TRAKIN’S PICKS TO FLICK
Finding Nemo
(Pixar/Disney)
Premise:
Fifth film from Pixar Animation and first since Monsters Inc. features a fearful clownfish’s search for his lost son, after his mother sacrificed herself to save the one surviving egg.
Stars: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Geoffrey Rush, Brad Garrett.
Director: Andrew Stanton
(co-directed A Bug’s Life).
Thumbs Up:
Visually sumptuous in the patented Pixar mode, with some top-flight voice talent.
Thumbs Down:
Advance word says Pixar haven’t quite upped the ante.
Soundtrack:
Disney soundtrack includes end-credit Robbie Williams track (“Beyond the Sea”), score by Thomas Newman
Website:
www.findingnemo.com is an animated, elaborate site that gives information about film, individual fish IDs, video streams, e-cards, interactive games, underwater scavenger hunt, soundtrack info and fun fish facts.

The Italian Job (Paramount)
Premise: Remake of 1969 caper comedy, starring Michael Caine, Benny Hill (?!) and Noel Coward, about a band of thieves who pull off the ultimate heist by rigging the spotlghts of L.A. so they can drive out of town with a carful of gold after a double-cross.
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, Charlize Theron, Mos Def, Giancarlo Giannini, Seth Green, Donald Sutherland.
Director: F. Gary Gray
(The Negotiator, Friday, Set It Off)
Thumbs Up: Good cast, director on the come, intriguing premise.
Thumbs Down: Haven’t we seen it all before?
Soundtrack: Varese Sarabande album featuring original score composed by John Powell.
Website:
www.ItalianJobMovie.com is flashy, with a plot synopsis, character sketches, production notes, trailer, wallpaper, wallpaper, audio interviews and pertinent facts.

Wrong Turn (20th Century Fox)
Premise: Inspired by movies like Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes about a group trapped in the West Virginia woods hunted down one by one.
Stars: Six Feet Under’s Jeremy Sisto (Brenda’s crazy brother), Eliza Dushku (wasn’t that the name of the African kid in About Schmidt?).
Director: Rob Schmidt (Crime and Punishment in Suburbia), with screenplay by Alan McElroy (Halloween 4, Spawn, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever)
Thumbs Up: Just shlocky enough to be so bad, it’s good, though special effects/make-up are by the legendary Stan Winston, who produced.
Thumbs Down: After Blair Witch Project, no stalking-in-the-woods movie will ever be the same.
Soundtrack: Album features score by Elia Cmiral (Apartment Zero, Stigmata, Battlefield Earth)
Website: www.wrongturnmovie.com carries its own paretal advisory, with story info, cast and crew info, photo gallery, video streams, wallpaper, trailer and a chance to win a tour of producer/special effects legend Stan Winston’s studios.

A Decade Under the Influence (IFC Films)
Premise: A documentary of ‘70s American cinema featuring interviews with Coppola, Scorsese, Altman, Bogdonovich, Friedkin, Paul Schrader based in part on writer Peter Biskind’s classic ’99 bookEasy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and Rock ‘N Roll Generation Saved Hollywood.
Stars: Coppola, Scorsese, Friedkin, Jack Nicholson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Soderbergh, Polly Platt, Ellen Burstyn, Jon Voight, Julie Christie, Pam Grier, Roger Corman, Dennis Hopper
Director: Last film by the late Ted Demme with screenwriter Richard LaGravanese (Erin Brockovich)
Thumbs Up: A fascinating time, fascinating subject, fascinating people.
Thumbs Down: Could tend to be a lot of self-congratulation and rose-colored glasses.
Soundtrack: None.
Website: No official site, but lots of facts at http://movies.go.com/movies/D/decadeunderthe
influence_2003/index.html

DENISE’S WEAKEND COCKTAIL
Hola! Yes, I’m still alive after a weekend of overindulgence and debauchery. I would love to fill you in on my escapades but, prior to crossing the border, my cohorts and I made a pact—what happens in Mexico stays in Mexico. Sorry, guys! I think this agreement was geared specifically to me, because they wanted to keep their shameful doings out of this column. Some people know me all too well. I had a great time, spent a lot of cash, drank way too much bad beer and tequila and could live the rest of my life without ever eating another taco. Even though I enjoyed Mexico, I was very happy to be back in the land of the free and the home of Starbucks. Picture this—a lost blonde girl wandering around Ensenada saying, in very broken Spanish, “Donde…un Starbucks…esta?” Of course, I didn’t find one, which was very disturbing. And what does Mexico have against little pink packets of sugar—Sweet ’N Low? I can survive without Starbucks, even though I prefer not to, but I draw the line at foregoing Sweet ’N Low. How is a gal supposed to live without the necessities of life? What do you get when you throw an Indiana gal (like myself) into Mexico—you get my drink of the week.

Mexican Hillbilly
Corona
1 shot of Jack Daniel’s
Pour the Corona into a beer mug, leaving room at the top. Drop the shot of Jack into a beer mug and chug, chug, chug.

Chase that drink with a chilled shot of Don Julio. It’s great tequila, and I don’t even like straight tequila. I tried some in Mexico, and it was so smooth. I get into enough trouble on my own without adding tequila to the mix. Memorial Day is the official kickoff to summer, so let’s stop wasting time and get the party started! I love summer for many reasons—skimpy clothes, frozen drinks, long weekends, hot guys with their shirts off and my birthday (July 13—hint, hint). Can I stop counting years and just collect presents—hmm? I think the fact that I was a summer baby leads to my whole lackadaisical attitude about life. Summertime gives us a license to be lazy and carefree. It’s usually to hot outside to be productive, so what else is there to do besides check out young guys in great shape playing volleyball while I swig a cold Corona? And I wonder why I can’t get anything accomplished. Even though it’s hard to be motivated when it’s unbearable outside, I’ve listed five things that you must find the energy to do this summer.

De’s Top Five Summer Must Dos
5. Get a summer glow:
Stop being paranoid about sun damage and get a little sun. How can you enjoy life if you’re covered from head to toe, sweating to death, because all the hype has scared the crap out of you? Put on sunblock, strip down to practically nothing and let loose.

4. Cash in a sick day and go to the beach: What is the definition of sick? I don’t think you have to have the flu or some other virus to be “sick.” Your mental wellness matters, too. If you wake up one morning feeling like you hate the world, don’t subject all of your office mates to your illness. Instead, declare a mental-wellness day—but if I were you (and just to be safe), tell your boss that you think you’re “coming down with something.” If you don’t live by a beach, go to a park or just kick it in your back yard.

3. Attend a fair, music festival or any outside people-watching fest: Summer wouldn’t be same without bad fair food, cheap draft beer and people-watching. Outside events provide all three. The cool summer nights are a blessing compared to the hot and sticky days, making it a perfect excuse to grab your friends, down a few too many cold Budweiser drafts and laugh at some dumb schmucks.

2. Get an adrenaline rush: Every summer growing up, I went to an amusement park called Kings Island in Cincinnati. I patiently endured the long two-hour drive to get my adrenaline fix that only a roller-coaster could give me. Even as an adult, my friends and I would caravan there for an unforgettable day. The beautiful thing about Kings Island—they serve beer, unlike other parks. Those days at the amusement park were some of my best summertime memories. I would wait all winter long, looking forward to Memorial Day weekend, when Kings Island would officially open it gates for the season. Now that I live in Southern California, I’m graced with multiple amusement parks to pick from, and they’re always open. My advice—don’t go on the weekend, unless you enjoy torture! Take a vacation day and go on a Tuesday or Wednesday and rediscover your inner kid.

1. Indulge in your wildest fantasies: Have you always dreamed of a hot and sweaty romp in the sack with a surfer boy, or a blonde bikini bimbo, or both (maybe even at the same time)? Blame it on the heat, sunstroke or too many margaritas—just go for it! Summertime flings are the best—remember Danny and Sandy in Grease? Summer lovin’, happened so fast, summer lovin’, had me a blast…

De’s bar pick of the week: I was on a search-and-destroy mission to find the best little watering hole south of the border, and I believe I did. There are two places not to miss if you journey to the land of siestas and cervezas. Hussongs and Papas and Beer are cool little Ensenada joints right across from each other. At Hussongs you’ll get more of the local flare. It’s the oldest bar in Ensenada, established in 1892, and you can tell. I couldn’t figure out whether there was a dirt floor or the floor was just really dirty. Either way, it was a good time—they even had a real mariachi band. When I strolled into Papas and Beer, it was like I’d entered Spring Break. A cruise ship had just docked, and the passengers were drunk, half-naked and all over each other. I didn’t stay very long; because I wasn’t drunk enough to truly enjoy the scene. They have a great patio that overlooks the main strip of the shopping district. Either place you go, you’ll have a blast. My one suggestion is to steer clear of mixed drinks (because of the water issue—you may have noticed that they use water to make ice) and stick to beer and tequila—beware of Montezuma’s Revenge!

I’ve been getting a ton of responses from my column and I love it! Keep them coming. It lets me know someone out there is actually reading this crap. I’m still waiting for more crazy questions to come in so I can start a Crazy Question of the Week. So, if you have a bizarre dilemma or story, send it to me. Your crazy stories make me feel more normal. Adios, amigos! Until next week—hugs and kisses. Denise Bayles

Contributors: Denise Bayles, Lenny Beer, Darren Cava, Holly Gleason, Simon Glickman, Guy W.T. Goggles, Jon O’Hara, Erika Strada, Roy Trakin and Don VanCleave

Edited by Bud Scoppa

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