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Sep 02nd
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SC Blogs

Obsessive Beauty

Dear Creatures

Dear Creatures

An open letter to fashionistas: Dear ones, we’ve recently become obsessed with the modern, stylish, clean lines and creative designs of indie label Dear Creatures. Owning their garments is our most recent addiction and obsession. Put on one of these frocks and you’ll no doubt feel lovely and inspired. Maybe you’ll take up painting, enroll in singing classes, or begin that novel you’ve always been longing to write. There’s something about the garments by Dear Creatures that stirs up creativity and makes you feel like a fashionable, free spirit. While hordes of designers are turning over new creations in the race to make it in the challenging fashion industry, this line of clothing stands out from the rest with its daring vision and completely original pieces that are enticing to women. You can pair any striking blouse with a pair of jeans of your choice and some sweet flats or heels, and you’ll be quite the eye-catcher. Our favorites?

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CultureBeat

The Heroic Age

The Heroic Age

This is a big week for the house of ideas with Marvel kicking out the first issue in their biggest event so far this year: "Age of Heroes." A series that sets out to wipe the darkened slate from the last several years of violent, harder edged crossovers and shed a little light back in their universe. Bringing together the creative writing team of Kurt Busiek (awesome), Rick Remender (dunno), Paul Cornell (ditto), and Dan Slott (LOVE him) as well as several top notch artists, I'd be lying if I said I had no interest in the book. I know that Marvel has been hit and miss for a while now, but I still have fond memories of those incredibly fun giant-sized issues (no Man-Thing jokes, please) rolled up in my back pocket as a kid and this whole new take appears to be a return to comics that aren't taking themselves so seriously. Always welcome in my opinion.

So is this Marvel's answer to DC's lightening up of its titles with "Brightest Day" after their remarkably bleak, Blackest Night series? Personally, I feel like the softening up might have something to do with the company's recent acquisition by Disney - In any case it's nice to see a return made by both companies to the type of stories that made comics so great to read back before the industry went all grim 'n gritty in the mid-eighties. In the words of Dan Slot: "Fun is not a dirty word anymore." Sounds great to me. Check out the other releases here.

Mind & Body

Love Handles

Love Handles

Reader’s Request: I have a little jiggle around the middle. Can you suggest some exercises that I could do to tone up my abs?

Ah, yes, the love handles. I think most people feel as though they could tighten and tone that area. And as we gain weight around our middle, our rate for type 2 diabetes and other weight-onset diseases increase. It’s important to work on this area for our health reasons alone, not including the “muffin-top” that can pop up over our jeans.

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The Ticker

The Curious Case of Hemp

The first Hemp History Week began on May 17 with a slew of events across the nation—and a few in Santa Cruz—aimed at educating people on the deep roots of hemp in American history and the stigmas the useful crop faces in modern times. Participants are sending postcards to the president asking him to legalize hemp, which became illegal to grow in the United States starting with the Marihuana Tax Act that passed in 1937. To learn more about the history of hemp and to hear how Santa Cruz celebrated the week, read the full story at goodtimessantacruz.com in the Fresh Dirt Blog section. Visit hemphistoryweek.com for more information about Hemp History Week. 

Obsessive Beauty

Skin Deep

Skin DeepI’ve tried every skin care product out there, from the pricey and unimpressive to drug store brands, and everything in between. I’ve got oily, sensitive, sometimes combination, occasionally acne-prone, and soon-to-be maturing skin. It’s a real blast. One day I’ve got a zit, another day flaky skin, a fine line here, an age spot there. For years, my skin has looked like a mess. In my search for the perfect solution to my skin care concerns, I finally stumbled upon what has been my across-the-board cure-all—Mario Badescu. Since using the brand full-time for the last four months, my cystic acne has ceased, my whiteheads are few and far between, my dry patches took a hike and even the small fine lines around my eyes seem to be on hiatus. I found a skincare line that works—and it works wonders. (By the way, no one is paying me to write this review. I’m speaking purely from my own experience.)
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CultureBeat

If You Play It, They Won’t Just Come

If You Play It, They Won’t Just Come

Tips on how to avoid playing to an empty room
If I could summarize exactly how to sell out every show in Santa Cruz, I would be writing this blog from my yacht in Spain, instead of at this faux wood desk. People with brains much bigger than mine spend their entire careers trying to figure out exactly what motivates someone to go from observer to consumer, from seeing the concert poster to buying the ticket.

The blessing and the curse is that there is no secret formula. Filling the room is a predicament shared by musicians big and small, so consider yourself in very good company.

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The Ticker

Hemp History Week

Hemp History Week

Santa Cruz celebrates the long and windy history of hemp
Can the same raw material produce all types of paper, healthy soaps, durable houses, omega-3 rich ice cream, stylish clothes, and bio-diesel? Would it be possible to do it organically and sustainability, with no pesticides and considerably less water? Well, yes, it’s very possible--just not here in the United States.

Here in Santa Cruz, a town well educated in marijuana, seemingly little is known about hemp. While hemp and marijuana are both plants of the Cannabis genus, hemp can’t be smoked like marijuana. Most hemp contains 0 percent Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana. Some contain, at most, 0.3 percent THC, while marijuana contains anywhere between 6 percent to more than 20 percent THC. So, to any doubters, you can rest assured that marijuana smokers will not be setting hemp T-shirts and soaps ablaze in their backyards in hopes of getting high.

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CultureBeat

The Westsiders by Joshua Pomer

The Westsiders by Joshua Pomer

Joshua Pomer had a dream, to one day document his best friends rise to the top as innovators of surf while placing Santa Cruz firmly on the map. What Josh didn’t realize at the time was his desire to tell the story of their tragedies and triumphs while holding on for the ride of their lives. This would become The Westsiders a story about four friends coming from very different backgrounds with one common thread of brotherhood through surfing and dark influences.

Before I can review the film (we attended the Santa Cruz Film Festival premier), one must understand the creative mind of Joshua Pomer. Shooting Super 8 movies from the age of six, skits and random objects in motion caught the eye of this young cinematographer. I sat down with Josh and we chatted about life, friends and family along with desire to create and share. These words are from that conversation.

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CultureBeat

"Bruce Wayne of Earth...LIVE."

We all knew it was inevitable. Death is never permanent in comic books and when Bruce Wayne checked out back in Final Crisis, it was just a matter of time before we'd see him again. The odd thing is, with Dick Grayson and Damien Wayne as the replacement Batman and Robin providing the most incredible entertainment the bat books have seen in years, I'm actually not really excited to see the guy come back.

Well, here it is anyway because Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, a 6-issue mini series written by Grant Morrison kicks off this week. Essentially portraying Bruce's journey throughout time itself (I still don't get it), the book promises to put together the storyline pieces that the scribe has been spreading throughout his run on the character ever since he took over the main title back in 2006.

 

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Mind & Body

Did you miss the Bash?

Did you miss the Bash?If you missed the opening at StudioSC, 1010 Fair Street, last Friday, you’ll want to be sure to keep your ears open for the next one.  It was part of the successful “First Friday Series,” Santa Cruz’s homegrown art crawl.  1010 Fair is a ways from the downtown scene, but with a modern edgy space, photography of five local photographers, each with their individual posse, the chemistry was right, and the people found their way.  DJ Fox mixed a sonic backdrop of funky down-tempo grooves. Good fashion, food, and drinks. 
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Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Foodie File: Beer Thirty

Cups runneth over at Soquel’s new beer garden

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.