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Dec 19th
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Arts, Entertainment, Dining, Calendar

Literature

Top Winter Reading Picks

Top Winter Reading Picks

Just Kids
The Autobiography of Mark TwainUnbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
The Essential New York Times Cookbook
Half Empty
Cleopatra: A Life
Too Much Happiness
All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost

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A&E

Going Nuts

Going Nuts

Bob von Elgg’s mural magnifies the little things in life
At first glance, Bob von Elgg’s nearly 18-foot mural is a tad daunting. Titled “Abundance for All: Raining Acorns,” the painting, which now graces the Mission St. facing wall of Safeway on the Westside, looks exactly as it sounds.

Colossal acorns falling from the sky may seem like an awfully random subject for a piece of art, but when the 52-year-old graphic designer and three other members of the city’s mural artist registry were invited to develop proposals on the theme of food and history in Santa Cruz, he could not think of a better muse.

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A&E

SCTV

SCTV

New ‘Santa Cruz Live’ puts the spotlight on our flourishing local music scene.
For many people, the name “Austin, Texas” instantly conjures images of a rich, thriving music scene. Its reputation as a music Mecca is not unwarranted: The city boasts the most music venues per capita in the nation. Documenting some of its finest musical moments is Austin City Limits, the nation’s longest-running concert music show in the history of American television. Having first gone into broadcast in 1976, ACL has been named a Rock and Roll Landmark by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and is the only TV program that has ever received the National Medal of Arts.

If local country/Americana vocalist Ginny Mitchell has her way, Santa Cruz will soon be considered a sister city to Austin, and this town’s live music scene will provide just as much a lure for visitors as do the beach, redwoods, Boardwalk and famously pleasant climate. “We’re sitting on a hotbed of music,” the musician states. “Santa Cruz is poised just like Austin, in terms of how many musicians per square foot. And every night there are so many wonderful things, it’s hard to go out and see everything—all kinds of music, no matter what it is.”

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Literature

The Power of Family

The Power of Family

Local author Julie Morley weaves an inspiring tale of love, loss and reconciliation
Rarely does a book hit as close to home as Julie Morley’s new novel, “Cole Creek.” Not only is the compelling story set in    our very own backyard—with scenes from the Santa Cruz harbor and Big Basin among others—but the enduring tale involves the many nuances of life that we all seem to struggle with. David and Rebecca, a couple that at one time was much in love, are threatened by the winding passage that time and life takes. Their separation is hard on their only child Toni, who as a teenager turns to David’s mother Irene in the absence of her own mother. Rebecca experiences an unendurable loss of self worth, and finds herself in a dangerous situation with a new man who wants to manipulate her life to fit his egomaniacal mold. Twists and turns ensue and are woven into a story that becomes more alive with each chapter. Morley also uses the restorative powers of nature and the innate spirituality possessed by human beings to create redemption and to animate her characters’ lives.

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Theater

Discovering a Jewel

Discovering a Jewel

Santa Cruz’s own equity theater company soars
In an era when the arts are still getting hit hard financially, and money is so tight that people are hawking things at pawn shops, occasionally, some good rises out of the ashes. And when that good is in the form of the arts, it’s even more inspiring. That’s exactly what’s been happening lately with Jewel Theatre, a local theater company which continues to garner attention for its plays, and for its professional theater status as the only equity company in town, other than Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Just months ago, the company debuted its play, “Clouds,” set at the Broadway Playhouse, directed by renowned local theater director Susan Myer Silton. This time around, Jewel is putting on a production of the musical, “Company,” directed by its own founder and artistic director, Julie James.

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A&E

The Poems of Priscilla Becker

The Poems of Priscilla Becker

Editor’s notes: In this week’s Poetry Corner, we feature the work of Priscilla Becker’s second book of poems, “Stories That Listen,” which is newly out from Four Way Books. Her poems have appeared in Fence, Open City, The Paris Review, Boston Review, American Poetry Review, Verse, and The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets, among others. She teaches poetry at Pratt Institute, Columbia University, and in her apartment.

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A&E

Crafty Chick

Crafty Chick

In one hell of a funny page-turner, Amy Sedaris unveils ‘crafts for poor people’ and oh, so much more. Plus: She hits Bookshop Santa Cruz—again.
"Hello. Good for you, reading the flap!” Amy Sedaris writes in her savage new crafts book “Simple Times: Crafts For Poor People.” “This suggests you are not an impulsive buyer,” she goes on. “You clearly are the type of person who would like more information about your prospective purchase before you throw down your hard-earned cash. Okay, but guess what? Do you have any clue how much time it will take to move this stack of books if every potential buyer is going to insist on being an annoyingly responsible shopper?!”

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Literature

Her Story

Her Story

UC Santa Cruz Professor nominated for 2010 National Book Award
Thanks to Scott McKenzie’s soulful crooning and dreamlike lyrics, generations of people throughout the world have imagined San Francisco to be an idyllic escape from reality where carefree hippies frolic about with flowers in their hair. Natives to the city, particularly minority groups, know it differently.

In her latest novel, “I Hotel,” UC Santa Cruz professor Karen Tei Yamashita gives voice to those groups by examining the 1960s and ’70s in Northern California through the eyes of a Chinese-American poet, a Filipino-American farm worker organizer and a Japanese-Russian-American disability activist, among others.

One of five finalists nominated for a 2010 National Book Award in the Fiction category, the novel catapults the reader into a series of 10 novellas beginning with the line: “So I’m Walter Cronkite, dig? And it’s February 27,1968, and I’m saying, the U.S. is mired in a stalemate in Vietnam, and you are there.”

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A&E

All of a Sudden

All of a Sudden

Local artist-writer Coeleen Kiebert uncovers the mysterious— and not so mysterious—creative process in a powerful new book
he accomplished sculptor Coeleen Kiebert has written a truly original and exceptionally helpful book about a fascinating subject, the subject of creativity.  The book is called “All of a Sudden: The Creative Process.” In her acknowledgements, Kiebert writes: “This book is the outcome of the willingness of many to engage with me in the process of exploring, thinking about, and expressing the creative process.” It is a crowning achievement and a great example of the very creative process that is the subject of her book.

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Literature

The Poems of Monica Youn

The Poems of Monica Youn

Editor’s note: In this week’s Poetry Corner, we feature the work of Monica Youn. Her second poetry collection, “Ignatz” (Four Way Books) is a finalist for the 2010 National Book Award. She lives in New York City, where she is an attorney at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. She is a past recipient of the Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress.

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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