Tuesday, May 28, 2024 May 28, 2024
65° F Dallas, TX




In case you didn’t know or simply forgot, March through June is crawfish season. No they’re not pretty, but they’re tasty little devils, and good for you. too. What we know you didn’t know is that you can mailorder live crawfish, preboiled and seasoned crawfish, or crawfish tails by calling the Louisiana Crawfish Farmers Association at (318) 367-5861. For some festive crawfish recipes call the Louisiana Dept. of Agricult ire, (504) 922-1280.


TALL TALES Once upon a time folks saton their front porches and told stories totheir friends and neighbors and families,passing down an oral tradition ofstorytelling. Verbal histories, both real andimagined, linked the past with the realities oftoday. Now instead of talking we watch TVin our living rooms. Except for some people,that is. The dying art of storytelling is slowlybeing revived, one tale at a time, by peoplelike young Denton storyteller Finley Stewart(at right). Stewart heads up the TejasStorytelling Association, which organizesstorytelling special events such as the recentTexas Storytelling Festival and the bigtalkathon, Telebration Texas, which isscheduled for November. Closer to home, theloose-knit Dallas Storytelling Guild began 10years ago and is still around to tell the tale.The group gets together the third Wednesdayof every month at Dealey Recreation Centerto practice the craft of yarn-spinning andtall-tale weaving. -Lisa Thylor

Tea Thyme


A green spot to sit and a cup of tea make a restful combination. Growing your own in that green spot provides a savory sensation unequalled by tea from a supermarket shelf. The tea “garden” can be as simple as a wagon wheel-shaped bed with a different herb in each wedge. A half-barrel will serve. Or you can mass a collection of clay pots on a sunny back stoop. Many herbs are easy to grow, and most culinary herbs make drinkable tea. Classic tea flavors range from the apple of chamomile flowers to tangy lemon balm or lemongrass. Mints offer tastes from peppermint to orange and apple. All these plants thrive in well-drained soil with generous watering. Most are more flavorful grown in full sun, except lemon balm, which grows best in high shade. Harvest time is all season, for leaf teas. Pick them in the morning, tie the stems in bunches, and hang them upside down in an airy place. Dried herbs are then stored in airtight, light-tight containers. A cup of tea takes a teaspoon of dried herbs or three of fresh. Two-herb combinations or teas with a touch of lemon peel, rose hips, or a cinnamon stick are doubly flavorful. And when mint tea won’t do the trick, you can always make mint julep.

– Julie Ryan

Rap’s Not Bad, Just Getting a Bad Rap OPINION I’ve come across a disturbing trait in my friends and co-workers lately. It seems they don’t, um, appreciate rap music. No, let me rephrase: They think rap sucks. But I must protest-rap is getting a bad rap.

I don’t mean to validate some of the banal chanting you’ve probably been told constitutes rap. Yo, EC’s proper on the mike/And you know I’m fly/Don’t outlaw self-absorbed lyrics/Cause my talent’s just a lie. I mean mainstream rap, which includes about one-third of the songs on the current Top-40 charts. From saccharine-laced acts like Janet Jackson to the silky-voiced group En Vogue, rap has developed a new Top-40 Formula: three parts pop vocals, one part rap.

Really, this new* “movement” is not unlike all past young-music trends-rock ’n’ roll, acid rock, metal, punk-in that as it grew in popularity and profitability, mainstream performers got in on the act. With rap, as with these other music trends, acceptance and money mean the really innovative artists can have their word heard. So now there are serious rappers like Ice-T who consistently say no to crime and drugs in the ghettos, as well as the enormously popular and benign entertainer M.C Hammer. And the proliferation of female rappers like Monie Love and Salt-N-Pepa add a needed balance to a formerly all-male-posturing oeuvre-they may even help some forget the disgusting degradation of women that groups like 2 Live Crew get attention for.

But the thing most often overlooked about rap is its emphasis on the word, not the beat. Although you may have to strain to hear it, there is consistently more wit and humor to be heard in rap lyrics than in cookie-cutter pop ballads. Not high praise, granted; but worth more honest consideration than many people give it. -Eric Celeste



The mysteries of jazz are as close as your local video outlet. Some of the best:

Thelonius Monk-Straight No Chaser Is a haunting documentary of the pianist and composer whose discord ant harmonies and quirky melodies did his talking for him. Never-before-released shy, almost withdrawn artist as he wins the world’s acclaim.

Spike Lee’s Mo’Setter Blues treats jazz as part of the sex life of the black male. Too-good-looklng-to-be-true Denzel Washington experiences the highs and lows of career and relationships, clinging to his trumpet all the while. Music by the Branford Marsalis Quartet Is exemplary, especially Terence Blanchard’s trumpet work.

Forest Whitaker was praised for his Charlie Parker in Bird, produced and directed by Clint Eastwood. This 1988 film featured Parker’s saxoover a contemporary winning music soundtrack. Many viewers were disappointed In the dark view of jazz life; unfortunately. that’s the way It was. Chet Baker was the subject of photographer Bruce Weber’s first feature-length documentary, Let’s Gel Lost. Weber staged some scenes with the late trumpeter and vocalist that include pop star Chris Isaak and a ragtag assemblage of groupies. Lots of lingering on Baker’s face, a road map of pure despair. -Michael Pellecchla



If you were disheartened by the press’s war performance, reassure yourself that not all reporters are dolts by rereading some of journaliste supreme Bob Woodward’s Investigative tomes:

All the President’s Men (1974): This classic account of how Woodward and Nora Ephron’s ex discovered President Nixon’s Watergate cover-up shows how two young and persistent Washington Post reporters were able to uncover abuses of power while their peers scoffed.

The Brethren (1975): thored this examination of the Supreme Court justices, wryly handle each other’s particular quirks, as well as landmark cases. It’s engrossing until two-thirds of the way in, where it grows repetitious; but It’s still a well-documented look at how politics significantly govern our highest court.

Wired (1984): Bob took some Hollywood heat for this gossipy page-turner that follows at copious length the talented comedian John Belushi as he metamorphoses Into an enormous, drug-hungry shell. A revealing, depressing, bitter pill.

VEIL: The Secret Wars of the CIA (1987): Woodward chronicles the CIA’s attempt to shape world policy through covert action at President Reagan’s behest. This surreal tale, featuring the late CIA chief William Casey, grips you with Its stranger-than-flctlon Intrigue and revelations. -Eric Celeste

There’s nothing realty magic about Magic Moonballs, but they sure are fun to play with. Top right: Picasso would be proud.

Playing Around ADULT TOYS

Anything that relieves stress is magic to us, but wait until you get your hands on a Magic Moon-ball. You won’t be able to put it down. These squishy, multilayered latex balls were designed, quite simply, to ease frustration and tension. They also aid in reducing the stiffness of arthritis and the tightness of muscles-not to mention improving your grip or handshake. Aside from that, they make great juggling balls, if you can afford the $19.50 price tag times three. Just what are they made of? The company that makes them is pretty tight-lipped, but rumor has it it’s rice and birdseed surrounded by layers and layers of different colored latex that make the balls malleable and squishy. If your stress is more symmetrical, try stacking the Cubizm Portrait Blocks courtesy of Higashi Glaser Design. A few years ago, Byron Glaser and Sandra Higashi hit it big with Zolo, Legos for adults. When they first came out they were quite the rage because they were (and still are) a very hip coffee table toy that you could fiddle with for hours, ending up with a very mod permutation of a one-eyed dragon, or some other strange creature. Made of wood, with a multitude of images affixed to the surface, Higashi Glaser’s new toy consists of nine stackable blocks per set. The images are rendered artwork from paintings and photos, including the nose of the Statue of Liberty by photographer Peter Kaplan, known for his famous close-ups of Lady Liberty. There are also clouds, bricks, a moon, a spade, an eyeball, a pinball, lots of lips, a spiral, several eyes, and more noses. Many of the images are close-up textures by photographer Don Chiappinelli, a name recognized by designers and artists.

Fortunately, there’s no right way or wrong way to assemble these cubist cubes. A face. A face of eyes. A stack. A totem pole. A parade of noses. Basically 54 different images, infinite possibilities. Sort of like executive doodling. “I think what we try to do with our puzzles is make people creative,” says Glaser. “Any combination will do. It’s what your imagination allows.” Definitely a good way to end creative block.

Magic Moonballs are available in blue, purple, pink, green, and black, and are sold at the Dallas Museum of Art gift shop, 1717 North Harwood. Cubizm Portraits are $45 at the DMA gift shop; Howard Goldman, 5202 W. Lovers Lane; and Nuvo, 3900 Cedar Springs.

-Layne Morgan