Amateur? Delicious!

I was taken aback by Wendy Cryingwolf’s letter (June 4) saying how much she loathed Thomas Lux’s article about the Zirk Ubu Circus: “Bless this crew of visionaries, joy-bringers, and nutcakes!” (June 20). She claimed the story was “abominable,” “condescending,” “erratic, disjointed, grammatically incorrect,” and “amateur drivel.”

Huh? It was an absolutely delicious, warmly human, celebratory, vivid and entertaining article; a masterful piece of intimate and loving journalism. Obviously Lux admired everything about the Zirk Ubu troupe and their freewheeling performances. His quick sketches of troupe’s members and of the audience at the performance he participated in were a delight. Cryingwolf’s comments weren’t just off the mark, they were off the wall. The only word that comes to mind is nutcake!

By the way, for those readers who are interested, Lux is one of America’s most highly regarded poets: like that wonderful article in the Reader, his poems are lively, fast-paced, evocative, idiosyncratic, sizzling with energy, full of heart, and highly readable.

Steve Kowit
via email

No More War Zone

If Pinto Canyon is a “war zone,” why doesn’t the Border Patrol close it off and deport the aliens using it (“Stay Away From Pinto Canyon,” Cover Story, June 4)? Where does all my money go if the green suits can’t get the job done? I am sick of all these border issues that have been going on for years. Put National Guard with real weapons on the border and stop this nonsense. Close the border and deport 25 million aliens — now.

Brent Boyd
via email

Croquet Mom

Thanks so much for your two great articles about Ben (“Rothman Rules,” Sporting Box, June 4). I can’t get our local paper or the S.F. papers to pick any of it up! They say nobody is interested in croquet. As Ben’s mom I am hardly objective, but I know this game can be fun for people from young to very old, and for people with aerobic challenges or other issues, and is a game of high intellectual skill as well as hand-eye coordination skill. Ben is hoping to change the fact that it is so little known but, as you know, after seeing a match it is hard to follow without help. But all other sports have commentators, and they do that in England (and probably other places where croquet is of interest).

Your paper is one of the select few that have ever given croquet a line! This year the Ellsworth American had an award for the most articles written about croquet. They recently also did a bit on Ben. Thank you again.

Arlyss Anderson Rothman
via email

Almost Wonderful

I don’t usually read Naomi Wise because the few times I’ve read her she’s given four stars to terrible restaurants, like that fish place on India Street that serves you on plastic plates. In today’s Reader (June 4), she writes about some place down by Horton Plaza, and she says that it has white tablecloths, and right across from that paragraph is a picture of a couple eating at a table and they don’t have tablecloths. They’ve got little placemats. She says “the tables wear white tablecloths.”

I like “Tin Fork” — I think he’s the greatest — and I read Don Bauder and “Straight From the Hip.” I’m not surprised that you’re the biggest alternative newspaper in the country. I think you’re wonderful.

Charles Edmonds
aka Downtown Charlie

Grandma’s Happy

I wish to give Bill Manson an A-plus on his timely cover story (“You’re Standing Right Next to Me,” May 28). He struck gold with this concerned grandmother. It was a great piece of writing.

Barbara Henriksen
La Mesa

Tweet Bleat

Regarding “Tweeterdee and Tweeterdum” (“Sporting Box,” May 21).

Your recent article on the Twitter craze presents a biased and unfair perspective into the most recent social trend. Your claims contain irrelevant quotations attacking athletes, actors, and coaches. You used examples from Jake Peavy’s Twitter page in order to further validate your point of the website being a useless “social networking stop.” It is quite convenient that you choose to exploit individuals who have written various submissions without any representation to the population that uses the site as a regular writer-driven site. Bits and pieces of absurd personal information were taken out of context to create a distorted view of a popular new trend. Our individualistic society has already distanced itself from one another because of differences in our own country and beliefs. What type of person would so harshly criticize a social networking site that brings people together, regardless of the variety in content. Any type of social interconnectedness for our society is good, so why not let the twitterers Twitter and let the readers read.

Charlie Whitney
SDSU student

Star Stink

I went to see the film The Limits of Control mainly because Duncan Shepherd gave it two stars (Movie Review, May 21). I would have awarded it the black circle. For all the life in the characters, the director could have used cardboard cutouts. In fact, I found myself studying the labels on the cardboard matchboxes that were passed to the protagonist, as they were more interesting than the scenes, the emptiness of which were matched only by the puerile philosophizing of the actors, which, unfortunately, constitutes most of the scant dialogue. In the climax, the assassin penetrates a heavily guarded house “by using my imagination.” With this line the writer-director cheats the audience out of the last hope of some drama because he clearly has no imagination himself. Bad call, Duncan.

Andrew Crane
via email

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Hey...why did we not mention after the Adam Lambert letter... that we did run a positive article on him. It was in the blurt section last week (and can still be found on this site)

Downtown Charlie, feel free to dislike my writing. However, does it ever occur to you that many restaurants serve lunch on placemats, butcher paper, etc., and only break out the tablecloths at dinnertime? I don't know what time of day the photo was shot, but I would bet on lunchtime, as I'm sure our photog would have chosen happier looking patrons if he'd arrived during a busy dinner hour. As for Blue Waters and plastic plates, what's on those plates is some of the freshest fish in the city, however simply it's prepared. (In today's NY Times food section, fish expert Mark Bittman writes at length to advise buying fresh high quality fish and then cooking it AS SIMPLY AS POSSIBLE.) Quality, freshness, and skill in cooking are most of my rating, and I wouldn't care if they served their fish on yesterday's newspapers. Every time I pass Blue Waters, it's got a line of patrons. Must be doing something right.

Best fish I ever had...(and it was illegal!)

When I was sixteen I went on a week long backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevadas. I took along my fiberglass recurve bow and two wooden target arrows.

We camped in a mountain meadow with a stream meandering through the middle, overhung with trees and hosting lots of bugs. That's why the trout were so big, and oblivious to my peers' lures.

Just there gliding arrogantly along, you could see that beautiful plump rainbow-sided monster, Mr. Fat Trout. I placed the arrow onto the string, drew back, breathed out, aimed just under the fish to allow for refraction and...thwunk.

Mr. Fat Trout squirmed on the sandy bottom, impaled through the side with my arrow. I stepped into the wet and cold, carefully worked the arrow loose while the fat fish bucked, and pulled both out of the water.

There was already a small fire. I found some large flat leaves, gutted the fish with my swiss army knife and rinsed him in the stream. I wrapped him up carefully, and put him on the fire.

A few minutes later, I turned him over. Gave it another couple minutes, and pulled the steamy leaf roll to a flat rock.

Unwrapped, the fish gave a wonderful fresh aroma. I had no salt or pepper and didn't miss it. I used my fingers to pull apart the flesh, and ate all but the fins, tail, and skeleton. The meat was tender, firm, with a hint of the smoke it steamed upon.


I sincerely apologize for having been sixteen and unwise.

I now know that bringing weapons like bows and arrows isn't really the thing to do in a national forest. And shooting trout out of a clear stream, while impressive to amateurs, is about the easiest shot to make.

Not at all sporting. I'd never do it now.

I still remember Mr. Fat Trout. None could ever be fresher or more tasty, or more illegal.

Well, Fred, at least you didn't use a stick of dynamite.

A little over sixteen years ago, before my Spanish was good and before I knew any better, after my daughter was born we had to register her birth at the local delegation, which was in this case, right next to the Rodruigez Dam reservoir here in Tijuana. I noticed some people fishing with crude gear (an empty beer can with some line wound around it and a rock for a sinker), digging worms from the soil, catching very small bass.

We had to go back in a week, so this time I took a rod and reel. While my wife went through the long red tape inside, I managed to catch a five-pound largemouth. Everyone around me was pretty amazed. I was thinking about throwing it back but thought I would bring it home to impress my father-in-law.

He made his wife cook it, and ate the entire fish - not recommended for people that value their health (I warned him, he wouldn't listen). I never went back there to fish again.

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