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Feb 13th
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Arts, Entertainment, Dining, Calendar

A&E

If Walls Could Talk

If Walls Could Talk

Local muralist, Elijah Pfotenhauer, literally paints the town red

While most people would classify Elijah Pfotenhauer as a “working artist”—he makes a living by teaching art to children, painting murals, and painting live at local cafes—spend a little time with him, and it becomes clear that “living artist” is a more appropriate term. That’s because Pfotenhauer utilizes art whenever he can to interact with his environment.

“When I was young, I used [art] a lot more for awkward times, for looking at myself internally,” he says. “As I’ve progressed, it’s a way to escape, but it’s also a way to address your surroundings as well, and engage them.”

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A&E

Poetry Corner

Poetry Corner

Editor’s note: This week’s Poetry Corner features Kevin Simmonds, a San Francisco-based writer, musician, and filmmaker, originally from New Orleans. His books include “Mad for Meat,” “Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion & Spirituality,” and “Ota Benga Under My Mother’s Roof.” He wrote the music for “HOPE: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica,” which won a 2009 Emmy Award.

July in St. Helena
vine workers pass like la brisa calma
though my windows
as i ease up on the gas to San Francisco
an hour away
one dirty white man against a newspaper rack
by Walgreens waiting
for anyone to look
i will but won’t say sorry
i don’t have a job either
& poetry doesn’t change that
the slant of sorry
doesn’t ease his tightened throat
when the vine worker hears
there are five too many & he
may be one of them
saying in his mind
mi hija mi hija
like Hail Mary without the beads
now dangling from his rear view
what is want   what is need
what’s sweat without the breeze
my stepfather would say
in his wide brimmed hat staring
at how delicate i would always be
how scared he was of that

Aunt Jemima  
My momma put a scarf ‘round my head when I was a child. I can’t hardly remember my head without it. It don’t even come off no more. I dream of combs, of a man undoing the knot, taking me away somewhere.

I comfort. Sticky sweet maple flow of bosom they been sucking since 1889. Uncle Ben know what I’m talking ‘bout. We comfort.  

Flat worlds stacked one on top the other. I holds them together.  

Never mind that update they say they did 20 years ago, when they replaced my scarf and gave me pearls and a lace collar. That ain’t me.

Tell me something sweet, something that’ll stick and undo the knots I known.

An Old Man Carrying His Catheter Bag
white-haired vapor
in khakis
shuffling down a street

held it waist high
a flag
signaling the body

solid   liquid   gas
the body comes
to all three

I am bile
as I am wit
I drink to live in this body

See to it that you revere
this gold
this gold
Theater

Splitting Heirs

Splitting Heirs

Toxic family ties explored in JTC's engrossing 'Hello & Goodbye'

Two of Santa Cruz's best known and most dependable actors receive a gift of a play in the Jewel Theatre Company's new production of Athol Fugard's “Hello & Goodbye”—a gift that keeps on giving to local audiences in this intense evening of dramatic theater. Played with both terrific brio and aching subtlety by Mike Ryan and Julie James, and directed by Bay Area theater veteran Jessica Heidt, Fugard's two-character drama emerges as an incisive, microcosmic look at family, class, and cultural dysfunction in South Africa of the recent past.

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A&E

The Golden Ticket

The Golden Ticket

Portland indie rockers, AU, take a page from Willy Wonka on latest effort

Luke Wyland says there is an "eerie similarity" between how he looked as a child and Peter Ostrum's depiction of Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

"Yeah," Wyland says, reflecting on the parallels between his formative years and the 1971 Gene Wilder classic. "I definitely grew up immersed in imagination."

In fact, it is still very common for the lead singer and songwriter of Portland bliss-rockers AU (pronounced "ay-you") to get lost in his thoughts and daydreams. "It certainly has carried over into my adult life," he says of his bond with that fortunate young lad who found the last golden ticket.

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A&E

Handicapable

Handicapable

Emmanuel Yeboah brings his inspiring life journey to Inner Light Ministries

It is widely considered a curse to be born disabled in Ghana, West Africa. If you are not poisoned or left for dead, you will most likely spend your life begging on the streets. Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah was born in Ghana in 1977 with a severely deformed right leg. Lucky enough to be raised by a supportive mother, Yeboah became a national hero at age 25 when he successfully rode his bicycle, one-legged, across Ghana in 2002.

Yeboah says he was inspired to complete the ride because he wanted to change the perceptions of disabled people.

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A&E

Indie Spirit

Indie Spirit

Santa Cruz native subject of Sundance-winning documentary

Edmund McMillen remembers the moment when his professional ambitions became apparent. He was a freshman at Soquel High School, when a local independent artist named Clay Butler visited as a guest speaker.

“I just thought he was the coolest guy in the world,” says McMillen. “I knew that I wanted to do exactly what he did, which was whatever he wanted. Just to get paid for being creative and doing your own stuff. And I knew it wasn’t a very lucrative career because you risk a lot to do it, but I could just tell right away that if I had the ability to do that I would be very happy.”

That revelation was only the beginning of a long process of making his dreams a reality, but the payoff has been substantial. Now an independent video game developer, McMillen is a subject in the documentary Indie Game: The Movie, winner of the World Cinema Documentary Editing Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, and an official selection for the SXSW Film Festival later this month. The film will be screening at The Rio Theatre on March 2, followed by a Q&A with the film’s directors, Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky, as well as McMillen and his partner Tommy Refenes.

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Literature

Pursuit of Happiness

Pursuit of HappinessLocal author explains how to find everlasting contentment with Western psychotherapy and Buddhist psychology
Local Buddhist psychologist and psychotherapist Karuna Cayton likens the difference between Eastern and Western psychology to chocolate. You can give a piece of tasty chocolate to someone, but there is no lasting benefit. If you can teach them to train their mind, they can produce a different type of chocolate—one that lasts forever.

The chocolate is symbolic of transient pleasures versus true happiness, and it is this idea that forms the premise of Cayton’s new book, “The Misleading Mind: How We Create Our Own Problems and How Buddhist Psychology Can Help Us Solve Them.” In this pithy book written with a lay-audience in mind—yet filled with tools, techniques and anecdotes that even long-term practicing Buddhists can gain from—Cayton draws on his training and clinical work as a Western psychotherapist, as well as his longtime practice in Buddism and Buddhist psychology.
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Theater

‘Becoming Britney’

‘Becoming Britney’

How this bold, inventive original musical conceived by Bay Area locals is suddenly the hottest ticket in town. Head to the Retro Dome!

Let’s face it, Britney Spears is an acquired taste. The headlines. The turmoil. The shaved head. How much are we willing to tolerate from our pop divas?

A lot, apparently.

Still, we always seem to come back to the troubled singer, to use her vernacular, “one more time.”

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A&E

A Picture’s Worth

A Picture’s Worth

Local photographer Kalie Ilana Cassel-Feiss weaves art and activism

Brightly colored strands of cotton slant taut into the hands of an indigenous Guatemalan woman weaver, wearing an intricately patterned skirt. Similarly elaborate shawls and scarves hang in the background and hint at the handiwork the woman is about to create. The scene is captured in a photograph taken by local photographer/painter Kalish (Kalie) Ilana Cassel-Feiss, as part of a series entitled “Weaving Women Guatemala.”

Cassel-Feiss explains that the woman in the photograph is weaving with thread made of cotton flowers, which the women in an indigenous Mayan village spun and colored by hand with dyes from local plants.

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A&E

Circles of Mathematical Women

Circles of Mathematical Women

Dancers pay homage to mathematical foremothers

The relationship between women and mathematics is historically underappreciated. But despite adversity, women, often self-taught, have made significant discoveries in the field.

The earliest known female mathematician was Hypatia, an intellectual in ancient Alexandria. She was murdered in AD 415 by a Christian mob for what they called pagan, unladylike behavior. Émilie du Châtelet cross-dressed so she could attend lectures in the 1700s, Sophie Germain published under a male pseudonym in the early 1800s, and Emmy Noether gave lectures under the name of a male colleague in the early 1900s.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 12

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Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster