Lois The Pie Queen, Fiction 59 and art by Bill Abel
Directions: Leave your house right this second. Get in your car. Drive about three hours until you reach Oakland. Continue to 851 60th St. Park your car. Walk inside the reddish-brown corner restaurant with the sign that reads “Lois The Pie Queen.” Order a big, firm, tart, ice-cold slice of Lemon Icebox pie. Or the most tender Southern fried chicken and crisp butter-flavored waffles. Or impossibly creamy grits. Or all of it! Eat well. Smile. Thank the owner for the best meal you’ll have all year. Return home. Fight urge to repeat.
Juvie 59 As my boss pointed out in his column this week (See From This Corner), Writing Exchange is a blog (Writing Exchange) that features the poetry, art and journal writing of students in juvenile hall, and the most recent works posted are pieces modeled after the CN&R’s Fiction 59 contest. In fact, some of the online pieces were entered in the paper’s contest as well, and at least one even made the cut. I don’t know if this awesome 59-word piece from the site (“Entry #1”) was an official submission or not, but it’s definitely my favorite:
The Pig Wars
Once I had a magical pig during the pig wars. My pig was special; it could tell the future by copying his butt on a scanner. His rear said the war would be over in 2025. The pig’s butt never told us who would win the wars: the humans or the oil mongers. The pigs turned against their masters.
Password please Jeff Burkhart did is homework! He was listening when Arts DEVO declared—more than once—“using ‘baby makin’ music’ in an e-mail is the surest way to get a response from your local arts editor.” So, Jeff, in response to your “It’s baby makin’ music,” I say, “Yes, I will let folks know that your band Biggs Roller is still kicking around.” And I’ll send ’em to www.myspace.com/biggsroller.com to hear some of the new songs in progress.
New definition of Artistry One of the main art spaces in the South-of-the-Post-Office area has left the building. That’s not to say The Artistry is gone, it’s just left the building with one of its founders, Darah Votaw. Citing the obvious challenge of meeting rent in a permanent space, Votaw said she plans on hosting some of the venue’s signature events—Reclaimed Art Show, Snow Goose Fest collaboration with Avenue 9 Gallery—in different spaces around town, and also creating an online art gallery in the near future.
• Surreal Bill: One of my favorite oddball art makers in the area is self-taught Berry Creek painter Bill Abel. The friendly painter of trippy portraits and very surreal scenes (sometimes both in the same piece) has a new exhibit up at the Artists of River Town Gallery in Oroville for the month of March.
• More library hours: Big ups to the Butte County Board of Supervisors for bringing back many of the hours cut from county libraries’ schedules in 2009. Chico’s hours will remain the same for now, but Gridley, Oroville, Durham and Paradise all received boosts. Visit www.buttecounty.net/bclibrary for current hours.
• Fat Saturday: If you’re gonna celebrate Fat Tuesday on a Saturday with dubstep, glitch, electro, house and fidget music, you might as well do it in a Chinese restaurant, right? In what qualifies as one of the weirdest and potentially coolest Chico events in recent memory, Peeking Chinese Restaurant is opening its underground doors in downtown Chico to promoters Epic Nightfalls and their Mardis Gras Madness party, featuring DJs, go-go dancers, laser light show and free beads, Saturday, March 12, 9:45 p.m.