The SLC Film Center and Salt Lake Film Society are kicking off the 8th annual Damn These Heels Film Festival June 17 through 19th. Fourteen films from seven countries will be shown at the Tower Theater, 876 E. 900 S.

I’m going to skip telling you about the first show and opening reception because you will be at Fashion Stroll, which is going on at the same time. However, after Fashion Stroll you should have plenty of time to get gussied up and head over to the midnight film on opening night.

Maria Mellus, the beautiful goddess of the film center explains the event by saying, “Contrary to the title DAMN THESE HEELS! is not a Tranny Film Festival, DTH! is about bringing the best films with LGBTQ content from festivals around the world to Salt Lake City. You need not be gay to enjoy these films, Straight Allies and Cinephiles will be pleased with the multiplicity of this year selections. That being said,  we do love our trannies and the opening night midnight film ALL ABOUT EVIL will be Trannytastic, with a Gore Couture Fashion Show and on going stage show to accompany the film.  Tickets are still available at www.damntheseheels.org

I wish I were making costumes for the Gore Couture show. Someone can borrow my bullet bra – add a little blood and you are set.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online at www.damntheseheels.org, where you can also look at the line-up.

Art in the Caves

The Chauvet Cave

Cave Bear

A few weeks ago I went to see Werner Herzog’s movie The Cave of Forgotten Dreams at the Broadway Cinema. I have no doubt that there are some people who will not like this movie at all, but I think it is one of the most amazing films I have seen in a long time.

Horses and Rhinos

I have spent a good chunk of my life roaming through my imagination. I’ve also spent a lot of time researching history, and I am often able to understand the people from the past by looking at the artwork they left behind. Prehistoric man calls out to me through their artwork, and I have spent a good chunk of time living with them in my mind. My imagination wanders over old relics and art objects and builds a bridge between me and the ancient world. I have never been to the prehistoric caves in France to look at this artwork in person. Aside from running around Utah and other parts of the western U.S. looking for petroglyphs, I’ve seen very little prehistoric artwork in it’s original setting. But it is something I have a little bit ‘o book learning on, and Herzog’s film made it seem like I was right there exploring with him.

Lion Panel

I find myself thinking about how it must have been for mankind to live in such a harsh world 32,000 years ago, which is when the first drawing in The Chauvet Cave was created. People were surrounded by animals that just want to eat them, and every animal (including humans) was desperately trying to find enough food to keep themselves alive. Even the herbivorous were incredibly violent, which is illustrated on the cave walls in the images of all the woolly rhinos fighting. And not only that, but it was a freezing cold ice-age too.


These cave drawings weren’t made by one single person, but by many different people contributing to the panels over thousands of years. The way human beings experienced time must have been so very different. Another interesting thing to think about is, humans didn’t even live in many of the caves that contain the ancient artwork. Instead, people would just go down and down and down into the earth with flickering torches, into caves that were often occupied by giant cave bear or puma, to draw a picture. Somehow that picture became ritual. And that ritual became religion. And that religion probably made them feel like they understood, and even have a little bit of power over, this crazy world.

Cat & Crotch

In the end, this movie may not be for you, but I’d still recommend it to everybody. I came away with so many ideas and insights. For instance, I never even considered how the flickering torches the artists used must have made the artwork and panels seem alive, almost as though the animals were moving. So beautiful. I could go on and on…

Sorcerer - Trois Frères

An aside, but there is one image from another cave in Trois Frères called The Sorcerer that kind of haunts me, and I’ve drawn many variations of this ancient character. I still don’t feel like I have said all I need to say about this Sorcerer/Shaman, so I am sure he will visit me through my artwork again, but he’s always a welcome guest.

Sorcerer - by Todd Powelson

Shaman In The Caves - by Todd Powelson

Chicken Week!!!!!

Urban farming. Organic gardening. Locavore. Self-sustaining. Simpifying.

I don’t know if keeping a gaggle of chickens in your backyard is actually a way of simplifying your life. It seems having 6 feathered creatures to care for might actually be an added complication. But I have noticed in the last few years, particularly since the onset of the Great Recession in 2008, there has been a shift in values from materialism to do-it-yourself.  Since I am Laura Ingles Wilder reincarnated, this outlook suits me just fine. And, while my obsession only goes as far as making recipes from scratch, taking in strays and crocheting with natural fibers, I love that so many of my friends and neighbors are raising farm animals and growing pesticide-free gardens in their backyards.

In celebration of urban farming, Wasatch Community Garden is hosting “Chicken Week.” It kicks off June 18th and includes a Tour De Coups in South Salt Lake, a movie about chickens, workshops and culminates with a home grown chicken coop tour in my neighborhood, Salt Lake City north of 2700 South.

Here’s a link so you can get out and enjoy some farm culture right here in down town.


Farmer’s Market Opening Weekend

Although at this time of year, available produce is limited, its always fun to catch the opening of the farmer’s markets. Even though it starts early, don’t forget to brush your hair before you go because you are sure to run into all your friends, ex-lovers and former business partners.

People’s Market
The People’s Market is my favorite SLC farmer’s market. Although produce selection is more limited, it is also less expensive. You are guaranteed to see some weird crafts that you thought died out in the 1970s at the vendor tables. And they bring in an awesome band every week. I like this market because of the chill atmosphere and because I’m always up for supporting SLC’s west side.

People’s Market will run every Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm at the International Peace Gardens, 1000 S and 900 W in Salt Lake City. It kicks off on June 12th.

The Farmer’s Market
Huge and crowded, the Farmer’s Market is the hip place to be on Saturday mornings. Live music, ethnic food, and gorgeous crafts by some of the best up-and-coming artists in Salt Lake City. It kicks off at 8 a.m. and the best stuff is gone well before 10 a.m., the event closes at 1 p.m. Opening day is  June 11th. It’s held at Pioneer Park, located at 379 S. 300 W.

Our friends at the Farmer’s Market say to look for fresh salad greens like sunchokes, asparagus and garlic scapes this weekend.   If you haven’t used them before, garlic scapes are the top of the garlic plant. I often ask the farmers for recipes and preparation tips.  Here is a fun one from a farmer for garlic scape pesto:

Garlic Scape Pesto
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice
1/4 lb. scapes
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt to taste

Puree scapes and olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Stir in Parmesan and lime or lemon juice and season to taste. Serve on bread, crackers or pasta.

There are several other farmer’s markets in SLC, including one in Sugarhouse and a produce-only market on Tuesday nights. Park City, Murray and Herriman also have their own events. As for me, you’ll find me at the People’s Market buying heirloom tomatoes and trying to keep Scout from attacking all the other dogs. Happy fresh produce season!


Pride Batman

Your friendly neighborhood Batman says, “Remember to come downtown and join the Pride celebration.”

Keep your eyes open for Anna and Scout as they join the SLUG crew in Sunday morning’s parade! Scout will sport a new ‘do, taking on the role of gay Toto, and Anna will dress up as a wicked witch complete with bullet bra.

facebook.com | Utah-Pride-Center


When In Doubt, Ad More Glitter – Advice from the Beauties of Blue Lotus, Part 2



Part 2 – Stage Beauty

Who better than the beautiful Blue Lotus belly dancers to offer advice for looking beautiful for the stage and photos. Here are their words of wisdom:



Liz  says “1)  Foundation on the eyelids keeps eye shadow from creasing, 2)  Chilling pencils (eye or lip liner) in the fridge for a few minutes before using keeps them from becoming soft and smudgy (editor’s note: I love this tip!), 3)  A little spritz of hair spray on your face keeps your foundation from running, this is extremely helpful when we do shows outside in the summer time (editor’s note – my skin would react like an acid burn, but I know many people with less sensitive skin could do this).”

Annie says “I have slightly down-turned eyes, which I don’t like, so when I apply eyeliner I do a heavy cat eye on the top lid and a very thin line on the bottom.  This disguises the natural shape of my eyes.”

Meg says “Liquid eyeliner, finished with a brushed on powder eyeliner make for a dramatic eye.”



All of the Blue Lotus girls agree, false eye lashes are essential for stage and photos. I’d like to share the tips taught to me by a Belly Dance Superstar for applying false eyelashes. First, protect your delicate eyelid by applying your eye shadow, liquid liner and a layer of dark powder eye shadow over the liquid liner while it is still wet. Next, using a cotton swab or even a toothpick, apply eye lash glue to the lash. Set it aside. Let the glue partially dry before applying. Use tweezers to tug into place.

Here are some great opportunities to see Blue Lotus live. Don’t miss them at Arts Fest, for me, they are the best part of the whole event!

Psychedelic Show and Seminars, Friday June 10 and Saturday June11 www.bellydancingbythia.com

Sandstorm Show and Seminars, Friday June 17 and Saturday June18 www.shimmeringsandsbellydance.com

Salt Lake City Arts Festival, Friday June 24 at 6:30 on the City & County Building Steps

Summer Oasis Show and Seminars, Friday August 5 and Saturday Aug 6 www.hathordancecollective.com