The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010
Growing, Older: A Chronicle of Death, Life, and Vegetables
A Year of Adventures
Sea by Heidi R. Kling
Luka and the Fire of Life
Local maven launches a ‘green’ fashion retail outlet online
With a model for a grandmother and fashion magazines lying around the house as a youngster, Deirdre Holbrook was destined to find a career in fashion—in some way or another. After working in public relations, slugging her way through journalism, and finding her niche in environmentalism, Holbrook recently landed in that seemingly destined place—she pulls double duty overseeing a PR firm (Vie PR) for “green-friendly” clothing designers, and she has also recently launched a charming website named oakandco.com, which functions as a retail outlet for environmentally conscious clothing. All this, while holding down a family and life here in Santa Cruz. And not only that, but Holbrook can be credited for helping to put local jewelry company Blank Verse on the fashion landscape. The local designers of Blank Verse have been featured in numerous recognizable magazines and their work has slipped onto the wrists and necks of celebrities.
Horse Feathers’ Justin Ringle on how unemployment, gloomy weather and Gothic lit minimized his sound
We all know Portland is overrun with them. You know the crowd I’m talking about: the over-educated, rarely employed, too-cool youth on the cusp of computer culture and an artistic aesthetic. There’s no doubt about it, there are just too many graphic designers in Oregon.
“I came to find out when you move to Portland, Ore., it’s kind of a shocking realization that if there’s any creative field then there is a surplus of unemployed people,” explains Horse Feathers’ frontman Justin Ringle. “There are more graphic designers in Portland than there are musicians, almost, so it was kind of a rough transition. I couldn’t find a job in that field, so, low and behold, I end up touring around in a van most of the year.”
Local indie fashionista Domini creates custom clothing to embrace your body as well as your beliefs
Your body is fine—it’s the cut that isn’t. These are the words of Domini, a local fashion designer and ergonomic clothing architect who creates custom clothes designed to fit each individual’s body, lifestyle and beliefs.
“People come to me saying, ‘I have to lose five pounds so I can fit in this outfit,’” says Domini. “There’s something wrong with the cut—it’s not you. Body types are different. Manufacturers will cut to a median that everyone tries to fit into. I’m trying to get people into the mindset that if something doesn’t work, they can change it—rather than people thinking they have to change themselves.”
A recent transplant from the San Francisco Bay Area, where she was one of the front-runners of the underground “indie fashionista” movement, Domini currently works out of her design studio in Sand City and is expanding into the Santa Cruz area.
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.
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.”
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.
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?!”
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.
Burning questions for the crown princes of cannabis, Cheech & Chong
On the second day of November, throngs of degenerate California voters will bombard the polling booths with the sickly smells of sweat, sage and amber resin. Their agenda is to decriminalize marijuana, a deadly and addictive substance whose users display an unhealthy tolerance for improvised music, a contemptible inability to untangle earphone cords and a fondness for nonsensical activities such as laughing at piggy banks and writing haiku about custard.
Three days after the polls, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong—marijuana’s most recognizable poster boys—will perform drug-oriented skits and crude tribal chants at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. If Proposition 19 passes, Cheech & Chong’s Nov. 5 event will be the comedy duo’s first post-prohibition show. How sadly fitting that it should take place in a touchy-feely California hippie haven whose residents unrepentantly embrace yoga, same-sex marriage, sushi, affirmative action, surfing, acupuncture and Zen alarm clocks. From there, it’s just a matter of time until the world devolves into one big Bonnaroo Festival, and the marijuana addicts bury our culture’s last remaining values under a mountain of tortilla chips and depravity.