First, I'll say it in this week's Note and, next week, I'll repeat it just for good measure. Between noon on Wednesday, Dec. 23, and 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 4, 2010, Boise Weekly is going off the grid. You'll still get your Boise Weekly every Wednesday, but this week and next, we're working triple time to sew up the remaining editions of this year so that we can close up shop for a full seven business days. Those of you who've been around awhile know this is business as usual for us around the end of the year. It's not a sign that we've gone under, been sold or just abandoned the old office for a beach and a Bintang in Bali. Nope, nothing that cool. We simply lock up and quit answering phones, returning e-mails and eating three meals a day at our desks. We take a few days to get reacquainted with our homes and our better halves before beginning the new year. So, if you don't hear from us during that time, don't worry, we'll get back to you after our vacation.
In this week's edition of Boise Weekly, you'll read about Tamarack's ghost-town feel in Rec and about a couple of longtime, long-loved people and places in Noise and Food. In Arts, you'll have the privilege of a little more E.J. Pettinger than we usually give you each week. The creator of "Mild Abandon" is known to trade out his pithy illustrations for a longer written discourse from time to time, and we like to seize those moments whenever possible. This week's feature, "Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should ... Without Some Help," by Amy Atkins has had me in intellectual fits all week as I try to work out some comparison between the music and book industries. Musicians have established a well worn path around the big dogs with independent labels, and often that results in more authentic, higher quality music than the over-produced crap major labels sell us. Do writers have a similar option--something between a vanity press and a major publishing house? Despite the grey area small presses offer, I'm not convinced authors have the indie thing quite worked out. Though Atkins' story has provided me with some answers, it's left me with just as many questions.