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Dec 20th
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Arts, Entertainment, Dining, Calendar

A&E

Bursting at the Seams

Bursting at the Seams

Local craftsman designs totes for men

The murse—a man purse. That’s the slang term for a messenger bag, a tote—anything that a man uses to carry his stuff around. Just like women, men also have things to haul around. Now, they can do it in style and without that dreaded “murse” title attached to their carryall. Meet Garrett Kautz, who has revolutionized the idea of a man-purse and made it not only hip and stylish to carry a tote bag, but extremely practical, very manly, and quite rugged. So much so that his rough and tumble bags are being sold at places like Unionmade (a very Americana/manly/upscale store in San Francisco), as well as at local Downtown Santa Cruz retailer Stripe.

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A&E

The Poems of Rob Wilson

The Poems of Rob Wilson

Editor’s note:  In this week’s Poetry Corner, we feature the work of Rob Sean Wilson, a professor of literature, creative writing, and cultural studies at UC Santa Cruz. He was founding editor of the Berkeley Poetry Review in 1974 as a graduate student in English at UC Berkeley. He has continued writing works of scholarship and poetry from Hawai'i to Hong Kong. His latest book is called “Beat Atttitudes: On the Roads to Beatitude for Post-Beat Writers, Dharma Bums, and Cultural-Political Activists” which will be published by New Pacific Press of Santa Cruz, an offspring of Literary Guillotine Bookstore.

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A&E

Lighting Up

Lighting Up

Blue Light Safety Project offers shelter but raises questions

Imagine walking down a dark street flickering with shadows. Or worse, imagine that you are being pursued by someone unsafe on that same dark street. Now picture a halo of blue light glowing from a nearby porch. Imagine that this blue light signifies a safe place to stop, make a phone call—or perhaps even share a meal or stay for the night.

If it sounds comforting to know that there are safe houses where you can seek refuge in your neighborhood, that’s exactly what organizers of the Blue Light Safety Project intend. The idea is simple: anyone can install a blue bulb in their porch light bulb socket and this will let neighbors, community members or passersby know that they are welcome to knock on the door if they feel threatened or unsafe.

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A&E

What's Up, Doc?

What's Up, Doc?

Real stories take center stage in 23rd Annual Pacific Rim Film Festival (schedule below)

Truth may not be stranger than fiction, but reality is every bit as compelling in this year's edition of the Pacific Rim Film Festival. Now in its 23rd year, Santa Cruz's favorite free film festival unspools Oct. 14-19, at three locations: The Del Mar Theatre, the Rio Theatre, and Cabrillo College Watsonville Center. As usual, the festival presents films from all around the Pacific Rim, from China, Japan, the Philippines, India, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia to Mexico, Hawaii and the U. S. mainland. And of the 19 films served up in this year's festival, nine are documentaries, including the opening night kickoff event and the closing night benefit. Three other films in the lineup are fact-based stories, lightly fictionalized accounts of real people and real-life events.

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A&E

Wood You Look At That?

Wood You Look At That?

Two first-year Open Studios artists open up about their art within the framework of the environment

Ask three people what they see when they gaze into one of those magic eye pictures and you are practically guaranteed to get three entirely different answers. Where one person sees a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, another may see a couple kissing passionately, and the third may see a space shuttle landing on the moon. Art is subjective, in other words, and backs up the claim that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Similarly, where your average Joe may see only a scrap of washed up wood, Cynthia Kingsbury and James Barsimantov see exquisite works of furniture. A rocking chair maybe? Perhaps a table on which many future meals will be shared? The sky isn’t even the limit with these two craftspeople, and this, their first year participating in Open Studios, marks just the beginning.

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Literature

The Poems of Robert Sward

The Poems of Robert Sward

Editor’s note:  In this week’s Poetry Corner, we feature the work of Robert Sward who has taught at Cornell University, the Iowa Writers' Workshop and UC Santa Cruz. A Guggenheim Fellow, he was chosen by Lucile Clifton to receive a Villa Montalvo Literary Arts Award. His more than 20 books include: “Four Incarnations” (Coffee House Press), “Rosicrucian in the Basement,” “The Collected Poems,” and “God is in the Cracks” (Black Moss Press, Canada), now in its second printing. His latest, “New & Selected Poems,” 1957-2011, is about to be published by Red Hen Press.

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A&E

Music For Change

Music For Change

Baaba Maal uses his songs as a vehicle for global unity

Though he has been playing music his entire life and recording with fervor for the past two decades, rhythm and melody are not Baaba Maal's primary focus. These days, the Senegalese singer and songwriter, views his music—along with the worldwide recognition it has brought him—as more of a means to achieving a greater good.

While he is certainly a dedicated musician—he has released roughly one LP each year since he began professionally tracking his tunes in 1989—Maal is also a thinker, a philosopher, a pundit, an organizer and a storyteller. Then again, where he comes from, that is exactly what a musician is supposed to be.

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Theater

Big Issues, Bold Work

Big Issues, Bold Work

‘The Letters’ explores life beneath state control in Soviet Russia

While some will stop at nothing to hide the truth, others will let nothing stop them from revealing it. Either way, there is a price to pay.

John W. Lowell’s play, “The Letters,” takes viewers back to Soviet Russia, circa 1931. When love letters surface between a famous Russian composer and his various homosexual paramours, the government embarks on a campaign to hide the evidence so as not to bring disrepute to the State. Anna, a ministry employee, is mysteriously called into the director’s office, where she is at first offered a promotion—but the exchange subtly morphs into a deadly cat-and-mouse game.

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A&E

Contest Mania Winners

Contest Mania Winners


Contest Mania Winners
9-word Novel Contest
See > all the novels >

Pet Party!
See all the pets

Thank you to all our entrants.
Also see: Santa Cruz area dog-friendly shops directory >

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Literature

Lost Memory

Lost Memory

Russell Banks’ new novel tackles taboo topics of sex offenders, Internet porn addiction and the ephemeral line between reality and fantasy

From the window of his Miami Beach condo, acclaimed author Russell Banks looks out onto Biscayne Bay, where a tunnel causeway stretches from mainland Florida to the barrier island on which he lives. At first a seemingly ordinary bridge spanning a stunning view, the causeway began to capture his imagination several years ago when it attracted the attention of the media: living beneath the bridge was a modern-day leper colony of convicted sex offenders.

Due to a 2005 city of Miami ordinance that banned convicted sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of schools, parks, bus stops—or anyplace where children congregate—the Julia Tuttle Causeway was the only place in the city proper that these men could call home. So what began with a few tents quickly expanded into a shanty town complete with makeshift toilets, kitchenettes and gasoline-powered generators to charge residents’ cell phones along with the GPS tracking devices many of them were required to wear around their ankles.

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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

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Guitar or surfboard?

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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