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Jul 25th
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Blogs - CultureBeat

For the Fan Who Has Everything

For the Fan Who Has Everything

Christmas time is here again and for anyone faced with the daunting task of figuring out that perfect gift for their comic reading loved one, I've put together a small list of some of this year's hottest items. From DVD gift sets to the most recent video game releases, there are plenty of ways for comic nerds to get their superhero fix.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Coming Soon?

Coming Soon?

Sacred Craft Expo may tap Santa Cruz as the next surfboard hub

Nothing is quite as thrilling in a surfer’s life as that first blush of romance with a new board. Within those mysterious curves lie the potential to escape the self-consciousness of the daily grind, to fly free, to walk on water. Coaxing performance out of the template, rocker, foils, rails and tails is the job of the shaper, and translating those raw elements into a final three-dimensional shape is part science, part art and more than a little alchemy. Shapers are the high priests of this addictive union of man and nature; masters of a craft—a sacred craft.

For the past few years, director Scott Bass has paid tribute to boards and their foam messiahs by organizing the Sacred Craft Expo, housing a transcendent display of board-building genius under one roof for thousands to enjoy twice a year—Ventura in the spring and Del Mar in the fall. The most recent festival of foam in Del Mar honored Dick Brewer, the principle driver behind the shortboard revolution and mentor to multiple world-class shapers in their own right. Given a voice, who might Santa Cruz nominate as their local shaping master?

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Blogs - CultureBeat

These Dark Days

These Dark Days

God bless Geoff Johns. Seriously. I can't stress enough how much I love the guy. The DC scribe responsible for having penned some of the most critically and commercially successful series for the company this past decade is at it again with yet another major crossover. This time with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps facing off against a threat so massive and dangerous that the potential to consume the entire DC universe is an all too real possibility.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

SKATE LIKE A GIRL #6: Girl, you’ll be a woman soon…

SKATE LIKE A GIRL #6: Girl, you’ll be a woman soon…

Look around the rink at any roller derby practice and you’re bound to see women of various ages, usually mid-twenties through mid-forties, and it will be safe to assume that the majority have experienced a coming-of-age event in her life, whether as part of a cultural, religious or familial celebration, or a more casual social event. Ask enough questions at the right time during an after party and you’ll hear details of bat mitzvahs, quinceañeras, confirmations or sweet-sixteens. Dig deeper, or buy a round of shots, and you might hear about other rights of passage that might not include members of the immediate family, guest lists, or places of worship, but may have necessitated covert activity, recovery time and/or bail.

What these momentous events usually have in common is that they generally take place before the age of reason (I’d like to think that’s approximately twenty-six), and that they change the participant into wiser women, when all is said and done and the dust eventually clears.  Look around the rink again. Out of the forty or so women skating, there are twenty or so who are facing yet another coming-of-age event in her life, at a later age than any of them ever expected: her first roller derby bout. In front of people. Real live people. Strangers, friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. And she’ll be wearing less clothing than she might wear to bed.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Out of the Pages of Comics

Out of the Pages of Comics

With so many super-hero movies dominating the silver screen this past decade it can be easy to forget that comic books have a lot more to offer than just a bunch of shredded up, scantily clad men and women running around beating on each other. I'd even argue that the idea of comic books as a genre unto itself is more than misleading as a comic book can be ANY genre it chooses. Westerns, Horror, Romance, you name it. This also applies to cinematic adaptations with Whiteout and The Surrogates currently in theaters being two perfect examples.

With that in mind I thought it might be fun to compile a top five list (because come on, who doesn't love lists?) of movies that you may or may not know originally found their way into the world through the pages of a comic book.


 

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Blogs - CultureBeat

More than Meets the Eye

More than Meets the Eye

The Partridge twins prove powerful role models
Despite the packed schedule that comes with being in demand, or perhaps in order to give thanks for the associated good fortune, Sierra and Hailey Partridge generously donate their time to numerous charities. To watch the twins execute exquisite carves off the lip of an overhead wave or see them smiling sweetly from their window ads at the O’Neill Surf Shop on 41st Avenue in Capitola, you wouldn’t know that these local surfers-turned-models were born with cataracts. Nonetheless, it quickly became apparent, in speaking with them, how very profoundly this condition has shaped the lives and philosophies of these young women.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Roller Derby meets Hollywood

Roller Derby meets HollywoodOn October 2nd, Fox Searchlight will release WHIP IT, featuring Ellen Page, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristin Wiig and Juliette Lewis. (Daniel Stern, utterer of a favorite movie line, “If hate were people, I’d be China,” makes the crossover to father figure, making me feel both old and comfortable somehow.) Although not a Mark Mothersbaugh bio-pic, as the title might imply,  it is the much-anticipated directorial debut of Drew Barrymore.  However, despite all of the glitter and fuss, the real star of the movie is…roller derby.

WHIP IT, based on the 2007 novel “Derby Girl” by Shauna Cross (aka Maggie Mayhem) formerly of the L.A. Derby Dolls, is a fictionalized account of experiences skating with the Texas Rollergirls, nicely wrapped in teen-vs-parent-angst-plus-rock-‘n-roll-love story. Got that?
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Blogs - CultureBeat

The Art of Recycling Waves

The Art of Recycling Waves

Resin takes new shape in one local glasser’s hands

In surfing lexicon, the phrase “give a wave” is used on a rare occasion by nostalgic and well-intentioned old-timers who have reached a point of Zen-like surf satisfaction in their lives. Cynics may scoff: that just translates into “give me a wave.” But the more enlightened among us recognize the karmic value in letting the odd peak slide under their longboard to a stoked grom on the inside with an encouraging “Go!”

And while the act of giving a wave is ephemeral, one local surfboard glasser has found a unique way of making a more lasting statement.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

ROLLERCON: Part 3, Get married?

ROLLERCON: Part 3, Get married? In this, my final installment on RollerCon 2009 (http://rollercon.net/ ), the international roller derby convention on the Las Vegas strip, we'll get to the real personal nitty-gritty, beyond the skating and the learning. Beyond the networking and the elbow-rubbing. Even beyond the tattoo-comparing, the hero-worship, the grand Black and Blue Ball and the V.R . (http://www.thevagineregime.com/ ) guerilla pool parties. After all of the aforementioned activities, the week concluded as many Vegas weekends do, with the exchange of drunken vows, in the form of a mass derby wedding (and I don't mean a "wedding mass").

The "derby wife" among skaters is a special relationship having little to do with the sexual orientation (or current pre-existing marital status) of either party gettin' hitched. The relationship is best described in the introduction of the official derby wedding vows, credited to Kasey Bomber : (http://www.myspace.com/kcbomber)
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Blogs - CultureBeat

ROLLERCON: Part 2, Get Smarter! Get Sweaty!

ROLLERCON: Part 2, Get Smarter! Get Sweaty! Believe it or not, a roller derby conference in Las Vegas did require a notebook and pen.  Seminars and roundtable discussions on topics ranging from Budgeting and Bookkeeping For Derby and Junior Derby, to Balancing Sport and Spectacle and Building a Better Line-up, served to educate newbies with start-up leagues as well as jaded established league members.  (Kudos to all who lead these classes - I believe I am smarter now than I was on July 30th.  I know it's hard to believe.) 
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Mars Enters Scorpio: The Nine Tests

Over the years I’ve mentioned the nine tests of Mars and Scorpio. The tests are given to everyone—unawakened, beginning to awaken, and the awakened. The purpose is to test our strength, courage, ability to adapt, discriminate and have discernment. To see if we are deceived by illusion or are “warriors triumphant, emerging from the battle.”

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 25

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

The Maestra Returns

Cabrillo Festival’s Marin Alsop is back to ‘rock the boat of tradition’
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Time is Ripe

Local fruit harvests hit markets, Storrs Winery celebrates ‘Best White’, and a salt fix from heaven

 

I remember Santa Cruz when…

Santa Cruz | Librarian

 

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

 

Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth with soft tannins, this velvety crimson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is delicious and very drinkable.