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Dec 20th
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Literature

A&E - Literature

How Are You?

How Are You?

Robin Black’s short stories take a look at the poignant human experiences we all share
The ubiquitous greeting adopted by most Americans is, “Hi. How are you?” To which the expected response is “Fine, and you?” This exchange is made perhaps billions of times a day between everyone from bank tellers to co-workers to the man that comes to install the new dishwasher at your home. But does anyone really care? If a deviation to the usual response of, “Fine, how are you?” is indeed made, the robotic trance of the standard impersonal greeting is broken, revealing an uncertainty of what to say next. To say, “I’m terrible actually,” elicits a panicked state in the mind of the other party, who becomes unsure of whether to ask why, or simply say, “I’m sorry.” The thing is, it seems that few people want to hear how someone is really doing, and vice versa—few really admit that they are feeling anything besides, “Fine, thank you.”

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A&E - Literature

More Tango, Please

More Tango, PleaseMemoir explains how one woman used tango to transform her life
As anyone that has ever experienced the pain of heartbreak as the result of a shattered relationship knows, it can take months or even years to put the pieces of your life back together again. Memories as sharp and pointed as shards of glass litter the landscape of your life, cutting deep into your emotions. If you are not careful, such shards can slice into your psyche and cause permanent damage. But how does one begin the process of picking up the jagged pieces without cutting oneself on the excruciatingly serrated edges? For Maria Finn, a writer from New York City, the answer was tango.
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A&E - Literature

Poetry Corner

Poetry Corner

Editor’s note: This week’s Poetry Corner features the work of Robert McDowell, the author/editor/co-author/translator of 10 books, most recently “Poetry as Spiritual Practice: Reading, Writing, and Using Poetry in Your Daily Rituals,” “Aspirations,” and “Intentions” (Free Press/Simon & Schuster). He was co-founder and director of Story Line Press for 22 years, worked at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, taught at many universities, high schools, and conferences, and is a UC Santa Cruz graduate. To learn more about him, visit robertmcdowell.net or threeintentions.com.

 

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A&E - Literature

Lucky Strike

Lucky Strike

New local publication is born by way of a matchbook
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” —Ernest Hemingway
Short, and not exactly sweet, those words are a ‘story’ that Hemingway wrote, and a tale that many, ironically, call one of his finest. The ‘story’ is six words long, 28 characters, deep, moving, and brilliant. This concept of ‘micro-fiction’ has been around for ages, and one local Santa Cruz writer has zeroed in on the allure of writing in a very small format. Editor Kyle Petersen has launched something called Matchbook Story, a quarterly publication that comes out in the form of a matchbook, with the inside flap telling a story in 300 characters or fewer. On Thursday, March 25, at 6 p.m. at local pub, Poet and the Patriot, Petersen will unveil his first edition of Matchbook Story, along with an author reading from the first story published in this new medium. Additionally, runners up will also be reading their 300-character stories at the event.

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A&E - Literature

Young at Heart

Young at Heart

Santa Cruz honors its first Poet Laureate
At a book fair in seventh grade, Gary Young purchased Whitter Bynner's “The Jade Mountain; Translations from the Tang Dynasty,” and Oscar Williams’ “Immortal Poems of the English Language.” Upon reading the books, he decided then and there that he wanted to be a Chinese poet of the Tang dynasty.

Although he is not Chinese and does not live 1,200 years in the past, Young has come far in the way of recognizing his childhood dream. On Jan. 26, Young was named the first ever poet laureate of Santa Cruz County.

“What really is important is that the community said, ‘We have marvelous poets here, poetry is important in our lives, it's important in our schools, it's important in the community—let's recognize that,’” Young says.

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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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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