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Jan 31st
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Arts, Entertainment, Dining, Calendar

Literature

A Search for the Good Life

A Search for the Good Life

Author Laura Fraser’s account of coming to terms with and then learning to love her place in the world
Being a woman, a writer and an avid traveler, I was intrigued by Laura Fraser’s new book, “All Over the Map.” Travel writing may sound glamorous, but it can be an exhausting and sometimes frightening job. Many of the world’s farthest flung corners, once you set foot in their squalid streets, no longer seem exotic but downright scary. On the other hand, being a travel writer presents a string of riveting sensory experiences that remain engrained on your memory far after the reality has faded into the past. But perhaps more than a focus on travel writing, Fraser’s book, dubbed a “coming of middle-age memoir” by Booklist, is a look into the life of an independent woman who is coming to terms with her internal struggle for excitement and security. In short, she wants to have someone to come home to.

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Theater

Good Times at Cabrillo Stage, WIN Tickets

Good Times at Cabrillo Stage, WIN TicketsEvery Thursday night this summer is Good Times Thursdays at Cabrillo Stage!
Enter for a chance to win two tickets to Cabrillo Stage's hot summer line-up of shows!

To enter Register for a Good Times online account.  With your account you can log in to GoodTimesSantaCruz.com for web-exclusive content, post community Calendar events and receive the Tomorrow's Good Times Today events preview email every wednesday. (you can unsubscribe any time).

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A&E

Something Old, Something New, All Things Blue

Something Old, Something New, All Things Blue

A mixed bag of stellar acts shine at this year’s Santa Cruz Blues Festival
Music Festivals seem to be recession-proof—from the East Coast’s massive Bonneroo to the West Coast’s epic Coachella and the hundreds of smaller festivals in between—cash registers are ringing and communities are celebrating. And like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, blues fans will be swooping down to Aptos Village Park for the 18th Annual Santa Cruz Blues Festival on Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30. Although corporations fund most musical festivals, in Santa Cruz, low back chairs and beer on tap are the frothy face of what is an increasingly rare locally owned event.

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A&E

On the Road

On the Road

Kirby Scudder and Mark Halfmoon plan to discover what inspires Californians
With the economy still shot, people feeling grumpy, and everyone complaining all the time, you’d think Californians were an unhappy lot. Not so. There are plenty of people in our golden state who continue to find the West Coast an inspired place. And two local men are about to hit the road on a cinematic adventure to prove that even though complaints abound, we’re living in a great state, and perhaps it’s time to remember that.

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A&E

Poetry Corner

Poetry Corner

Editor’s note: In this week’s Poetry Corner, we feature the work of Dion Farquhar, a poet and fiction writer with recent poems in “moria,” “The Dirty Napkin,” “of(f) course,” “BlazeVOX,” and “Hamilton Stone Review" and "Shifter.” Her chapbook, “Cleaving,” won first prize at Poets Corner Press in 2007, and her first poetry book, “Feet First,” will be published by Evening Street Press in July 2010.

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A&E

Delicious Designs

Delicious Designs

Local jewelry designer’s work is a treasure chest of inspiration
Denise Peacock peers through a window, tracing with her finger the curves of a blossoming cherry tree outside. She locks her eyes with the bark, as if she and the tree sit in joined meditation. She describes how her jewelry design is largely inspired by things like this tree: twisting branches and erratic color schemes, the way things blossom, how the light passes through leaves and petals, and the muted shadows that juxtapose the hues.

Peacock is an artist of two aesthetic worlds: nature and city. During her youth in England, she moved between London and the bordering countryside in Kent where she would romp free with her siblings in the open fields and woods. After attending university in London, she moved to New York City with her husband and two daughters, taking photography classes and visiting galleries. And now she and her family live in Santa Cruz.

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A&E

Art of a Different Color

Art of a Different ColorLos Angeles-based artist Robbie Conal brings his unique artistic vision to Santa Cruz
Longtime artist and political activist Robbie Conal prefers to create the kind of art that makes people do a double take. Since graduating from Stanford University with a master of fine arts degree in the late ’70s, Conal has focused his talent on political satire, creating humorous yet thought-provoking posters that have papered the streets of cities such as New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco. But for his upcoming Santa Cruz show at the A.L. Walters Gallery, Conal has chosen to show a softer side of his personality. Entitled with the same moniker as his new book, “Not Your Typical Political Animal,” the month-long gallery show will feature drawings of animals that Conal does as a way to reconnect with the planet. “For 23 years I’ve been doing satirical portraits of people who have a lot of power and abuse it,” Conal says. “This builds up a certain level of cosmic residue that isn’t necessarily always positive. As a break to flush my system and reconnect with some positive vibes from the climate and other living creatures … I did drawings of dogs and cats and other animals as an antidote that helps me reconnect on a more positive level,” the artist explains.
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Literature

Solitary Confinement

Solitary Confinement

Pulitzer Prize-winning author pens poignant new novel
Literary maven Jane Smiley is no stranger to fame. She has published four works of non-fiction and 13 novels (including the critically acclaimed “A Thousand Acres” which I read in my American Authors class while studying English in college and promptly fell in love with her writing) in the time that many people take to decide where to travel for summer vacation.  Her latest literary foray is entitled, “Private Life,” an illuminating new novel that spans the life of an ordinary woman married to an extraordinary yet self-indulgent man. Or so she thinks. The 20th century has just dawned and Margaret Early, a native of St. Louis, Mo., blithely marries the man her mother chooses for her, and resigns herself to be a dutiful housewife. Her secretive new husband moves her to Northern California, where she endures two world wars, the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and myriad personal tragedies. Little does she know of the trials and tribulations she will endure as the wife of a Navy captain that fancies himself a scientist of the highest degree. What begins as a marriage based on convenience and security turns into a prison sentence, and Smiley’s lyrical prose explores the life of one woman who lives a life she grows to loathe. To outside observers, Margaret’s existence seems charmed, but on the inside, turmoil and unhappiness threaten to disarm her will to live.

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A&E

In the Bag

In the Bag

Terry McInerney’s strong, fashionable handbags make a dent in Santa Cruz
There are days in life when fate waits around the corner for you. For Terry McInerney, that is how success manifested in her life. Early last year, McInerney, a married Santa Cruzan with two children, was out shopping with her young daughter. They stepped into a local store and her daughter started chatting up a patron, someone she recognized from swimming lessons. “She told her, ‘My mom makes bags,’” McInerney says of her daughter, who turned out to be quite a marketing genius.

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A&E

Shall We Dance?

Shall We Dance? This sensational weeklong celebration of dance returns to Santa Cruz for the third year
Watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers glide and sway gracefully through 1930s musicals such as Top Hat and Flying Down to Rio is an unequivocal visual treat. There’s just something about seeing dancers perform their fine tuned craft that is at once supremely delightful and innately inspirational—as if our bodies are made to dance and the movements must simply be gently pulled and coaxed from them.
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Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
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