Best Bets: This weekend's diet: tangos, bluegrass

Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2003

I don't know about you, but I am on a diet. Actually, over the last few months, I've been on about six different ultra-hip diets, including wheat-free, dairy-free, wheat-free/dairy-free, low glucose, protein and "Diet for Your Blood Type." I looked into Weight Watchers, but then I read this entry in the online chat where some woman was beside herself jonesing like a crack addict for gummy bears. I don't have that kind of will power.

This is a dirty secret: I get into various diets not so much for weight loss, but for a twisted sort of fun. I find it sort of an exciting challenge to eat, for example, meatless meatballs and sauce over a plate of rice bran pasta. It should be said, however, that things like tofu lasagna, corn rotelle, or wheat-free bread pretty much aren't equivalent to the normal foods they're attempting to simulate. And, once the novelty wears off, I'm always back to meals like the big pile of beef stroganoff chased with a root beer float that I had last night.

So, here are some things for you to do this weekend, rather than eat rice-milk ice cream.

First of all, my coworker Christine from a neighboring cubicle says I should mention that skiing is great at Eaglecrest, and on the cross-country trails. On a similar athletic note, the Argentine tango workshop looks like fun. Among various workshop segments, you can learn how to do things called "giros," along with something even more cryptic called "the code." No partner is necessary.

The workshop with teacher Percell Rivere St. Thomass will be held beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at the Elks Lodge downtown. It will continue through Sunday, March 2. An evening dance with instruction and ballroom music also will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 1. The workshop costs $60, or $10 per session. The Saturday dance costs $7. For more information or to preregister call 364-2334, or e-mail

A few of you might be interested in Juneau's reading of the anti-war play "Aristophanes' Lysistrata: A Woman's Translation," about women from two warring communities who refuse to sleep with their soldier husbands until they promise to quit fighting. This move eventually forces the men to make peace.

The reading is part of the nationwide "Lysistrata Project" where groups will all stage readings of the play on the same day to protest the war with Iraq.

I suppose, though, if George W. Bush isn't swayed by millions of anti-war protesters flooding streets across the world, a bunch of thespians aren't going to have much influence on him, or Laura Bush for that matter. Still a nice idea, though.

Juneau actors will read the Greek play, "Aristophanes' Lysistrata: A Woman's Translation," at 8 p.m. Monday, March 3, at the Gold Town Nickelodeon.

Depending on which diet you are on, if you feel like going out and consuming some alcohol (that would be Michelob Ultra for the low-carb dieter, straight vodka for the Atkins Diet, a cosmopolitan if you are me), you should go to The Alaskan Bar and see Joe Page play with the new band Silver Creek. I have seen Page with various band incarnations. He's a well-traveled Alaska bluegrass mandolinist and it should be a decent show.

Page will play with Silver Creek at 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, and Saturday, March 1, at the Alaskan Hotel Bar.

You might also drop by the new back room addition at the Viking Lounge. I haven't been yet, but I hear the crowd is fashionable and there are lovely abstract paintings by the talented Chris Beanes on the walls.

Next week begins Women's History Month at the University of Alaska Southeast. Some early week highlights include a talk by Velma Wallis, who wrote a memoir every Alaska student should read, "Raising Ourselves," about growing up in Fort Yukon, a small Gwich'in village on the Yukon River.

Wallis will speak about the experience of writing her memoir at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, in the Egan Lecture Hall at the university.

Also part of the women's history month, one of my most favorite legislators, the venerable Georgianna Lincoln from the Yukon River village of Rampart, will be giving a tea from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, in the Lake Room in the Mourant Building at the University of Alaska Southeast.

Finally, if you see the Empire theater reviewer Michael Christenson, congratulate him because he took first place at the Alaska National Poetry Slam qualifying round in Anchorage last weekend. He will compete in May for a chance to go to Chicago for the National Poetry Slam.

That's it for the week. Just eat the gummy bears.

Thanks for reading.

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