In the ongoing war for sports-radio Arbitron numbers, the most obvious route to success is to be louder, ruder and more obnoxious than the competition. KDUS afternoon host Evan Andeen, known to his listeners as "E-Dog," doesn't fall into this trap. Sure, he's caustic and frequently indignant, but you sense that Andeen's anger comes from an honest disgust with the idiocies that go hand-in-glove with the world of jocks. Whether dissecting the D-Backs' wrongheaded aggressiveness on the base paths, or mocking the hypocrisy of the WNBA over Lisa Harrison's offer to pose in Playboy, Andeen -- with sidekick Moose Meyer -- is a rare voice of reason and intelligence in a genre overrun with macho bluster.
Everyone should have a cause. For KTAR afternoon host Tony Femino, the crusade of 2001 has been the brutal Valley heat (and the accompanying electricity costs). So, a few months ago, Femino launched a one-man campaign to get Avondale to give city employees the day off whenever thermostats exceed 115 degrees. If the plan has little chance of actually being enacted, you can't blame Femino for trying. An L.A. native with a history in sports talk, Femino brings much of that genre's game-face attitude to his shows, which are informative but irreverent, newsy but willing to venture into pop-culture silliness. It's to Femino's credit that he can dissect a presidential-election controversy or chat up Loni Anderson with equal enthusiasm.

"When I was injured in an accident . . ." With those familiar words, we bet you can already hear the creepy client endorsements from the Goldberg & Osborne commercials, featuring everybody's favorite shell-shocked accident victims, filmed from the waist up and speaking in a sort of Percocet-induced Night of the Living Dead monotone. Countless times per week, G&O airs the same hypnotic pitch: how the Valley-based attorney chain came to the rescue of a wrongfully injured zombie by obtaining a million-dollar McSettlement. Yet, because of the ad's Stanley Kubrick feel, you can't resist watching, can you? You can't look away. It's sort of like seeing . . . a car accident.
The magic of The Enchanted Garden is how low its prices are for charming ceramic cherubs, mansion-size birdhouses, flowery wind chimes and unusual blown-glass vases, cat-shaped pet bowls and wrought-iron clocks. It's tucked into downtown Mesa's Old Brick House, a furniture store that leases space on its different levels to anyone with a cool new line of tchotchkes to launch. Less a garden than a small boutique covered in unusual wall hangings, this booth sells ultra-feminine stuff that looks as good in the living room as it does on the patio.

If you're after the perfect, fresh, affordable tree that will outlast your holiday spirit, give The Home Depot a try. Each year, this hardware retailer fills a chain-link pen with the widest selection of firs and spruces to be found in the Valley. Overlook the asphalt-covered surroundings and you'll find all of the perks of a more traditional tree lot: helpful clerks, bright poinsettias, and a shocking number of tree stands. There's even an outdoor decor department, where you can outfit your new blue spruce with twinkle lights and some cool new bulbs. This year, trim hours off your holiday rush with a hunk of forest from the parking lot of your favorite hardware store. Tell 'em Santa sent you.
It feels almost traitorous not to bestow this award on Harkins' Camelview 5 in Scottsdale, which has pretty much single-handedly maintained what little independent and foreign film fare the Valley has to offer. But Dan Harkins has outdone himself with the Valley Art, a beautiful, modernized renovation of the spot where he claims to have been conceived when his parents lived and worked there, operating the Mill Avenue theater before it fell into disrepair. The Valley Art's stadium seating rises gently, offering both good viewing and the feel of a traditional movie theater, and, while the screen isn't giant, it is set in perfect relationship to the seats. Now if Harkins will just upgrade Camelview to the same level of cleanliness and comfort, indie film could be treated with the respect it deserves.

Pollack Tempe Cinemas
Phoenix is no Manhattan, but we're inching our way toward the Big Apple's $10 movie ticket prices. There are few alternatives for the financially deprived, except Tempe Cinemas. Miss a movie première? Wait a while and watch it here for less than half the price of a regular matinee. The ticket lines move quickly, and the box office is inside, so you don't have to sweat it out behind a bunch of sluggish patrons. Expect plush seating and thunderous THX surround sound; there's even an affordable, full-service snack bar, so you don't have to smuggle in outside goodies. There is such a thing as a cheap date.

Best Scottsdale Branch Of A Thailand Whorehouse

Giligin's

Giligin's Bar
Benjamin Leatherman
Talk about best-kept secrets: Most people don't know that the popular college party bar Giligin's has a second location -- in Thailand. The Pattaya version has the same owners, the same name and the same tropical theme and Corona beer specials, but with one distinctive addition: whores! Plenty of young Thai prostitutes who, according to the Giligin's Web site, www.giligins.com, will take care of "any, and I mean any, special or freaky needs" for less than $100 a day. The site features telling pics of the bar's owners -- all protruding tongues and backward baseball caps, clutching their "hand-picked" staff of 18-to-22-year-olds. (Sure.)
It's the granddaddy of Phoenix tourist traps, but Rawhide is wearing its age well. We know it's mostly fake and corny, but, shoot, it's fun. In addition to its mainstay attractions like the cowboy-actor shoot-outs and covered-wagon rides, Rawhide has new features including a haunted hotel, a trampoline-style bungee jump, and an Old West climbing wall. If you feel like splurging, sign up for a Sundown Cookout. You'll ride into the desert on mule-drawn hay wagons, then enjoy good grub and live country music, watch Indian dancing and toast marshmallows around a huge campfire.

Acquanetta!

During the 1950s and '60s, the former B-movie queen was the most exotic thing Phoenix had to offer, a pre-Cher glamazon equally at home in the society pages or on local television, where she modeled wigs and read poetry during commercial breaks on the Late Late Show sponsored by her car dealer husband. And if you were lucky, you spotted her in the flesh, tooling around town in a pink Lincoln Continental.

Although the female star of Tarzan and the Leopard Woman has disappeared from the public eye in recent years, her legacy lives on in this fan site that includes her poetry, a photo gallery, a filmography and even a multiple-choice biography fashioned from the many conflicting stories of the "Venezuelan Volcano"'s early years. (Was she an Arapaho Indian born Burnuacquanetta -- or was she actually Mildred Davenport of Ozone, Wyoming? And did she really once attend West Virginia State College for Negroes?)

Operated by an admirer identified only as "Captive Wild Fan" -- an allusion to the 1943 flick Captive Wild Women, wherein Acqua portrays a sex-crazed native who'd formerly been an orangutan -- this is one site that will make any Acqua aficionado go ape.

Best Of Phoenix®

Best Of