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Dec 20th
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Cover Stories

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Rev. Rochelle Knight, Officiant

Rev. Rochelle Knight, Officiant

"I do” isn’t the hard part.

Finding someone to usher you along on that white wedding day is where couples can sometimes get stumped. Say he’s a Buddhist and she’s a Christian. What then? Who marries them? For some lovebirds, it’s an easy decision. But for those in a quandary, here’s an easy answer: Meet Rev. Rochelle Knight.

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Pageturner

Pageturner

Steeped in family and tradition, the Coonerty clan takes the little bookseller that could into its milestone year

some years ago, the alarm started buzzing in Bookshop Santa Cruz. Owner Neal Coonerty looked up to find his thief, and there was a nun, decked out in her habit. Apologizing for what must have been a hiccup in the alarm system, Coonerty approached the sister. She inched away from him, grabbed a local newspaper and proceeded to head toward the exit. Meanwhile, Coonerty was still acting contrite.
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The New "Old"

The New November, 2005. I shove way too much luggage into the trunk of my green Jetta, and slip into the front seat. It’s the day before Thanksgiving—a time to supposedly be thankful. Instead, I’m feeling a rush of anxiety and I try some of those breathing exercises I learned in my one and only yoga class a few years ago. Then I let the car warm up, and I’m off to Los Angeles to visit my 92-year-old grumpy grandmother and her 96-year-old husband. Grandma Martin is miserable, in chronic pain, and her body is hunched over in the shape of a banana. Although she’s physically a mess, her faculties are all in order, and her mind is still fast enough to tell you, “Don’t get old like me. It’s horrible. I’m ready to die.”
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Knight Fever

Knight Fever

She made quantum leaps with the indie hit ‘What the Bleep Do We Know?!’ Now, JZ Knight, the woman the channels Ramtha, preps for the re-release of the ‘Bleep’ in extended format and hopes to take people farther down the rabbit hole on her world tour

In the amount of time it takes the average person to order a soy latte and walk out of the crowded coffeehouse sipping it—10 minutes and 22 seconds—JZ Knight can reveal why the mind is extraordinary. Well, more or less. Follow along …

First off, know this: “The extraordinary is in you.” From there, consider that God, however you want to say it, is “that which you are.” Given that, then what are the mechanics of the divine mind and what can the divine mind do? Basically, it’s like this: You have to learn the components of “creating a fantastic reality.” Here it might be best to sidestep the full diagnostic summary of what consciousness is and that nobody seems to know what it really is, because when all is said and done—after all that scientific rigor—you will ultimately discover that “everything is alive.”

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The Advocate

The Advocate

He bashes the Bush Administration and holds his own over the hot issue of global warming.
Inside the fiery mind of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Why his visit to Santa Cruz is destined to turn heads.

The biggest concern is George Bush, and if you ask any of the leaders in the environmental community five years ago what was the biggest concern, they’d give you a range of issues from global warming, habitat destruction and overpopulation. Today, they’ll all tell you the same thing—that it’s this White House.

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Fractured Fairy Tale

Fractured Fairy Tale

A New Year's Romance To Remember

I am 600 feet in the air stuffed inside a petite blue and white Cessna cruising over the Pacific, and I am about to get married. Married. Me? I can hardly believe it. Neither can my friends. But it is going to happen. By the time I land, I will be a married man.

As the plane, which seats four, rattles further over the water, leaving the Watsonville Airport behind us, I gaze down at the cerulean sea. I take my lover’s hand and give it an affectionate squeeze. After all the stops and starts, after all the years together—the highs, the lows, the breakups, the makeups, the emotional forks in the roads, not to mention the thousands of therapy dollars doled out for sumptuous sanity checks—I would have never realized it would culminate here … in the air, with the breezes kissing the plane and the seagulls romancing the open sky below us.

My partner—perfect. We’ve registered. We’ve gone to the county clerk for a marriage license. We’re ready to get married—in the air, above the world, somewhere where we can see “the bigger picture.”

This is an unconventional wedding ceremony, yes. And I sense that everything after my honeymoon with my beloved, everything about this particular marriage, will also be “unconventional.” By its very design, it has to be. I’m marrying myself.

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The Chronicles of Charlie

The Chronicles of Charlie

His holidays will never be same

Charlie Price shot himself a long, hard look in the rearview mirror of the convertible mustang he had just rented near Chicago O’Hare airport. “OK,” he tried to convince himself. “You can do this. You can do this.”

True. He could. But somewhere deep inside Charlie’s mixed up, coming-off-the-loss-of-a-pathetic-love-affair mind, he was painfully aware of one thing: He didn’t want to. He didn’t want to spend three long, gonna-retain-water days with his family during the holidays. In fact, if he was smart and actually used the almost-acquired psych degree back in college, he’d return the damn convertible to the asinine rental clerk who’d just mocked him because he insisted on renting a convertible in the middle of December in the first place. Then he’d hop back on the drafty shuttle bus and head right back to Santa Cruz; back home, where all his neuroses would be waiting—naked, unwrapped and ready for the taking—under some sort of imaginary mistletoe. But Charlie was far from home. He was just home.

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The Three Lost Boys of Sudan

The Three Lost Boys of Sudan
In their gripping memoir, three Sudanese boys share a tale of horror—and hope—and uncover the mindbending plight of war-torn Sudan.
The last time Alephonsion Deng saw his mother he was 7 years old. He was out tending to his goats when marauders attacked his Dinka village, Juol, in Southern Sudan. He knew what to do—his mother had always told him if something happened, if the government’s soldiers came to kill them, flee. He did.
“Before they reached my house they began shooting. People scattered everywhere. Roofs went up in flames … I watched them kill our cattle, set the millet and sorghu fields on fire, Benjamin Ajak, from “They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky.”
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A Woman Named Sia Amma

A Woman Named Sia Amma

She turned tragedy into comedy and found the perfect way to heal. Now she’s inviting everybody to celebrate something divine: female sexuality

It’s a breezy February afternoon when I meet with San Francisco performance artist Sia Amma. She appears in a doorway looking fresh, draped in a flowing chocolate brown frock, her dark hair a passionate explosion of freedom, expression; her persona totally female, fully alive, absolutely happy.

A few minutes later, when we’re walking along the bristling Santa Cruz thoroughfare known as Pacific Avenue, Sia Amma tells me about her upcoming gig at Kuumbwa Jazz Center. It will be an unconventional showcase, she says, something that will celebrate female sexuality. I believe her. Five years ago, I witnessed one of Sia Amma’s performances locally and if her upcoming show—launched in celebration of Women’s Month and featuring other dynamic female performers—is anything like her previous endeavors, it’s a safe bet that audiences will walk away amused and smiling … if not a bit shocked by some of the subject matter.

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Dina Babbitt

Dina Babbitt

More than 60 years ago, Dina Babbitt came face to face with the ‘Angel of Death.’ How she remained alive during the Holocaust is another story.

Dina Babbitt is a striking 82-year-old woman. She stands on the porch of her Felton home, which is set in a picturesque landscape, complete with big trees and a garden. Babbitt is ready for lunch—ready to break bread together.

Once inside, a mutual friend, Judy Bouley, and myself, watch Babbitt’s little dachshund, Penny, hop around our feet, hoping for a pat on the head. On the way to the kitchen we pass an art studio where an easel holds Babbitt’s work-in-progress: the gypsy woman, Celine, staring out from her painted face. She looks sad. Celine’s baby just died, Babbitt later explains.

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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire