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Dec 17th
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Obsessive Beauty

Melissa Plastic Dreams

Melissa Plastic Dreams

With all the waste going on in the world, to imagine that you could wear sustainable shoes and still look like a fashionista is quite a feat. Meet Melissa Plastic Dreams—a line of shoes you’re about to fall in love with. (Yours truly owns too many pairs to speak of.) Recently, I purchased a pair of champagne-colored Vivienne Westwood designed flats, with a tortoise print bow on the toes—they’re a combined style of modern and retro, and definitely über chic. I fell in love with this line of shoes several years ago, and since then I’ve amassed many pairs, from my newly purchased flats, to booties, to kitten heels, and several pairs in between.

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The Ticker

A Light in the DARC

A Light in the DARCUCSC’s Digital Arts Research Center is off to a great start
I could almost feel the excitement in the air at the opening of UC Santa Cruz’s new Digital Arts Research Center. A huge crowd filled the parking lot, gazing up at the new $35 million building, enjoying live music from the UCSC Balinese Gamelan, and touring an outdoor exhibit—a 1950s-era camper van that had been turned into a representation of a small town in Nevada once home to nuclear testing. Read More In front of the building, nearly all of the chairs were filled (and many people stood in the back) as Chancellor George Blumenthal and Dean of the Arts Division David Yager gave their welcome remarks and thank yous. Once the chancellor and dean cut the ribbon and opened the doors, the crowd poured into the three-story building that is now home to UCSC’s Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) M.F.A. program, digital photography and printing studio, music research labs, drawing and photography classes, and faculty studios.
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CultureBeat

Play My Favorite Song

Play My Favorite Song

Tips on how to book a show at the Seabright Brewery and the Wharf House
For all the musicians with pencils in hand agonizingly scratching out the perfect words to express their own “Private Idaho,” there are just as many already warming up their amps to continue mastering the guitar solo for “You Shook Me All Night Long.”

If done well, there is something undeniably great about hearing a band, any band, perform your favorite song. A familiar song can instantly bond a dive bar or a stadium crowd, as everyone belts out lyrics they’ve been memorizing for years. I still get goose bumps remembering the amount of endorphins released at my first Prince concert, singing “Purple Rain” in tandem with 6,000 other fans at the sold out Radio City Music Hall show.

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Obsessive Beauty

Dress to the Nines

Dress to the NinesSince the beginning of her career in the 1960s, Betsey Johnson has established her signature style as one of the most outlandish, flirtatious and funky to be found in the fashion industry. Think big bows, resplendent colors, over-the-top lace and flouncy layers and you pretty much have a Betsey Johnson styled design—perfect for Santa Cruz fashionistas.

My first “fancy dress” was a Betsey Johnson frock. A black spaghetti strap number with an asymmetrical hem and low cut neckline gleaned from Pacific Trading Company in downtown Santa Cruz. The beading on it was flapper-esque, and I fancied myself as an F. Scott Fitzgerald heroine when I wore it, bright red lipstick and all. Since that dress, I have obsessively followed the designer, fawning over each new season’s pickings.

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Mind & Body

Palace Notes/Landlords

Palace Notes/Landlords

The woodpeckers are the true owners of this property and structure, and they make this fact clear on a daily basis.  I try to respect them as my landlords, for they are clearly the lords of my land.  This colony flies between three trees, one a totem that I created, as the tree was dead and needed to come down.  My reasoning for this was strictly practical as these fiends peck on my wooden palace.  They seem to mistake my home for a tree, boring holes to stuff with acorns from the many oaks that populate this property.  After re-installing two sides of the house, stapling ribbons to the exterior, and listening to the jolt of the maddening pecks on the house, I am giving in and giving this land and house back to them.  They win, as I begin to think about packing and as I cleave to nature, practicing non-harming in the Buddhist tradition.

CultureBeat

It's a Free World

It's a Free World

Here's a question: What could possibly make a great comic book even better? Well, when it's being given away for free of course! That's exactly what fans have to look forward to this Saturday, May 1st when comic book stores across the country participate in Free Comic Book Day: The annual event that sets out to reward longtime readers as well as attract curious newcomers to what's currently going down with their favorite characters.

 

 

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The Ticker

Is Two Always Better Than One?

To the outrage of many Democrats, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger does not plan to consolidate the special election to fill GOP Sen. Abel Maldonado’s Senate seat with the November general election. Maldonado plans to resign his seat today, April 27, after being sworn in as lieutenant governor.
Because the Legislature waited until last week to confirm Maldonado, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had the option of combining the special election with the November 2, 2010 general election. Many Democrats prefer that option, believing that a higher turnout would increase their chances of winning the seat and that it would be unwise for the state to spend $2.5 - 3 million on a special election.
The governor stated that with the looming budget battle, it’s his responsibility to fill the seat and have a full complement of legislators as soon as possible.
The Ticker

Soquel High Goes Green

Finding a job in today’s world can seem futile, but there is one burgeoning industry that has real promise: let’s just call it “going green.” Just ask the folks behind Soquel High School’s Mechanical, Engineering and Construction (MEC) Academy, which was recently awarded a grant by the California Department of Education to continue offering its students specialized learning experiences that prep them for entering green tech, construction, engineering and more. Props to them for preparing the leaders of the future for the industry of the future.

CultureBeat

Finding Aloha at the Logjam!

Finding Aloha at the Logjam!

The 10th annual Logjam! presented by the Big Stick Surfing Association took a stylish cross-step back in time last weekend, April 24-25, at the Dirt Farm and Pleasure Point on Santa Cruz’s Eastside. True to the  mantra of “old boards, no cords,” some 100 participants competed for two days on yellowed, 20-pound vintage longboards that were crafted prior to 1970.

The event was not so much a competition as a gathering of tribes, as surf clubs from up and down the coast met in appreciation of the roots, history and culture of California surfing. Mother Nature embraced the revival with summery offshore conditions that saw some intrepid surfers pull on their board shorts, while others kept their wetsuits zipped up snugly against spring-like water temperatures.

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The Ticker

The Cleanup Continues

The Cleanup Continues

UCSC’s McHenry Library remains closed after fire
UC Santa Cruz’s McHenry Library may soon have a projected reopen date after a fire last Thursday night forced its closure. University Librarian Ginny Steel says that they should know by Friday, April 20, what that date will be.

McHenry Library, which originally opened in 1965 as one of the very first buildings on campus, houses UCSC’s arts, humanities, and social sciences collections. It has been undergoing renovation since 2005 to make it seismically sound and to accommodate growing collections and a growing student population. The fire, which officials believe was triggered by an overheated electrical cord being used to charge batteries for power tools, took place in the original building, under renovation and unoccupied at the time—which is pretty lucky, says Steel.

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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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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

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