Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Oct 30th
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A&E

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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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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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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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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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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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The Doobie Brothers

The Doobie Brothers

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.

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Fan-tastic

Fan-tastic

Ackerman monster movie collection preserved in Santa Cruzans' new book
It was a Paradise on earth for monster movie fans. The 18-room house near Griffith Park in Los Angeles was home to some 300,000 items of memorabilia. In addition to posters, lobby cards, stills, props, toys, costumes, masks, and models from 80 years of science-fiction/fantasy/horror movies (inluding Bela Lugosi's cape and signet ring from Dracula and the dinosaur models from the original King Kong), there  were complete print runs of vintage sci-fi pulp mags like “Weird Tales” and “Amazing Stories,” galleries of cover art, and tens of thousands of hardcover and paperback genre books from around the world. It was an astonishing collection amassed over a lifetime by Forrest J. Ackerman, writer, literary agent, venerated editor of “Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine,” and lifelong booster for the cinema of the fantastic.

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Self-knowledge: A Light in Dark Times

Self-knowledge: A Light in Dark Times

Buckle up, because Author Michael Meade wants people to face fate and find destiny
I don’t take orders,” confesses Michael Meade with the hint of a story to follow. In 1964, at the age of 20, Meade was drafted into the United States military and quickly realized that things weren’t going to go very well. He challenged orders, was sent to military prison in Panama and refused to eat for more than 30 days, non-cooperating with the violence of authority.  It became another experience in which he learned a lot about his authentic self. Meade is now a well-established mythologist, storyteller and author and will be in Santa Cruz on Thursday, Oct. 21 for a presentation called “Facing Fate/Finding a Destiny”at First Congregational Church. Good Times recently spoke with Meade about his work with at-risk youth, prisoners and war veterans and his latest book “Fate and Destiny: The Two Agreements of the Soul” (Mosaic, 2010). Meade is founder of the Seattle-based nonprofit Mosaic Multicultural Foundation (mosaicvoices.org).

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Kathy Griffin: Three Ways She Can Save Santa Cruz!

Kathy Griffin: Three Ways She Can Save Santa Cruz!Let’s face it, Santa Cruz could use a few laughs. (Several hundred thousand, actually.) Unemployment is up, jobs seem scarce and those million-dollar homes by the Bay don’t seem to be selling. (Sucks to be rich.) All this should make for great fodder when La Griffin (That’s Kathy for those of you who are too dense to know that the hell I’m talking about …) arrives at the Santa Cruz Civic in all her comedic splendor. Good news: After nabbing some Emmys and loads of national attention spawned by the success of her savage reality TV outing, My Life on the D-List, KG’s celebrity has soared. (I’m certain she’s risen to C-plus at this point. Well, maybe “Enhanced D.”)  Doesn’t matter. Monday night’s show should be a hoot. (Be there bitches!) In the meantime, I probed the nether regions of my brain—not that easy, actually—and found three ways dear Kath can save Santa Cruz from its quirky funk of late.
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Cinema Sushi

Cinema Sushi

Tasty sampling of Pacific cultures in 22nd Pacific Rim Film Festival
Music, food, dance, traditional folkways and eco-politics are spotlighted at this year's Pacific Rim Film Festival. Now in its 22nd year, this popular, annual free film event once again offers viewers a cinematic voyage of discovery around the Pacific Rim of Asia and the Americas. In a program of 18 drama and documentary films, transporting viewers to such diverse locations as Nepal, Bolivia, Korea, New Orleans, the Marianas Islands, and the South Pole, this cinematic sushi bar invites us to sample the exotica of other cultures, while reminding us how much we have in common, despite our cultural differences.

This year's six-day event unspools Friday, Oct. 15, through Wednesday, Oct. 20, at three countywide venues: the Del Mar Theatre, the Rio Theatre, and the Cabrillo College Watsonville Center. All films are presented free to the public, except for the closing-night benefit, and many screenings will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmaker. Presented by George Ow Family Properties, the festival is dedicated to promoting cross-cultural understanding, in accordance with the longtime PRFF theme: “When Strangers Meet.”

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Jawing

Monterey Bay scientists are working to crack the mysteries of—and dispel the myths about—great whites. But in the highly contentious world of shark experts, there’s a fin line between love and hate

 

Altars of Remembrance, Forgiveness & Rapprochement

We’re in Scorpio now—things mysterious, ageless, hidden, sometimes scary. Friday is Halloween; Saturday, All Saints Day; Sunday, All Soul’s Day. Sunday morning at 2 a.m. (after midnight), Daylight Savings Time ends. Clocks are turned back. Tuesday is the General Election. Our vote is our voice. Each vote matters. Applying freedom of choice—Libra’s teachings. It’s time to build Halloween, All Saints and All Souls altars—with marigolds, pumpkins, sugar skeletons, copal (incense), pomegranates, persimmons, candy corn and cookies, orange and black. It’s so Saturn (now in Scorpio). Saturn is the dweller on the threshold (like St. Peter at the gates of heaven). Saturn can look like a Halloween creature—a gargoyle—a fantastic dragon-like creature protecting sacred sites. The dweller (Saturn) stands at the door or threshold of sacred mysteries, wisdom temples, inner sanctums of churches, offering protection, scaring evil away. The last day of October and first two days of November, when veils between worlds thin and spirits roam about, are times of remembrance, forgiveness, reconciliation and rapprochement. These actions liberate us. At death, when reviewing our lives and the consequences of our actions if we have forgiven, then we are free, less encumbered with grief and sadness. We place forgiveness on our altars. Happy Halloween, everyone! It’s good to dress up as what we’re afraid of. Or whom we would mentor. Then we become one with them. Note to readers: by Thanksgiving I will need a place to live (with purpose). Please contact me if you know of a place where I can rest for awhile. Teach and build community. [email protected] I will be leaving my mother’s home for the last time.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Not Cool

Even Bill Murray’s hipster cred can’t elevate ‘St. Vincent’
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Back Nine Grill & Bar

The secrets of remodeling and juicy steak

 

What is Santa Cruz’s biggest eyesore?

David Finn, Santa Cruz, Graduate Student

 

Alberti Vineyards

Looking for some blood-red wine for your Halloween party? Then I have a recommendation for a new brew.

 

Turning Point

New revolving restaurant on the wharf, plus Cafe Ivéta and the last great Jack cheese