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H OM E T OUR 20. GILLES HOME

Back to the Ranch

Gilles Home Reflects Renewed Appreciation for Mid-Century Modern Ranch Style

PERFORMANCES

C H A R ITY

10. “Voicing” Their Talents

16. Habitat for Humanity

Three Rivers Camp Offers Place for Young Violinists

Tiny Homes for Tiny Homeowners

CULINARY ARTS

C ELEBR ITY C H AT

32. Coconut Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

58. An interview with Paula Poundstone

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Parenthood

ON THE COVER: What happens when an interior designer renovates her own ‘60s-era home? Visalia designer Annie Gilles, ASID, added walls of windows and mirrors to illuminate a once somewhat dark Mid-Century Modern Ranchstyle space, expanding the sense of space into the backyard. Color, too, was a key strategy for drawing the pool and lush garden palette into the interior. Her results emphasize the more Mid-Century Modern aspects and gave less accent to the ranch, the original style of the home designed by architect Al Pearson, whose many built projects can be found around Visalia.

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8. Letter from the Executive Editor 30. Word Play 38. Fashion: Summer in the City 40. Wine: The Difference Between Right & Wrong

44. Happenings 52. Traveler’s Trek: Normandy, France


JULY 2010 PUBLISHED BY DMI Agency 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 BUSINESS MANAGEMENT MALkASIAN ACCOUNTANCY LLP GARY MALkASIAN CPA JEFFREY MALkASIAN EA Bookkeeper MARILYN HARRIS Office Administrator MARIA GASTON EDITORIAL Executive Editor kAREN TELLALIAN Copy Editor DARA FISk-EkANGER Calendar MARIA GASTON Editorial Assistant TAYLOR VAUGHN CONTRIBUTING WRITERS AARON COLLINS DIANE SLOCUM SHARON MOSLEY LISA LIBERMAN CRYSTAL R. R. EDWARDS IRENE MORSE ROBERT WHITLEY JOAN SCOBEY ART & PRODUCTION Creative Director DAVID JONES ADVERTISING SALES DARLENE MAYFIELD 559.738.0907 SALES OFFICE 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 559.738.0907 • Fax 559.738.0909 E-mail: lifestyle@dmiagency.com

RACK LOCATIONS

Borders Books Music & Cafè Direct Media, Inc. Evolutions Fitness Center, Tulare Marcela’s Home Store Party City Tazzaria Coffee & Tea The Lifestyle Center Visalia Chamber of Commerce Visalia Coffee Company Visalia Convention Center COUNTERTOP LOCATIONS

210 Cafe Advanced Laser Clinics Bravo Farms Cheese Factory Country Club Mortgage Creekside Day Spa & Wellness Center Downtown Visalians Exeter Chamber of Commerce Holiday Inn kaplan Financial Services kaweah Delta Hospital koster Financial Services Red Carpet Car Wash Richard Rumery, Attorney at Law Smiles by Sullivan Tiffany’s Luxury Medispa Tulare Chamber of Commerce Tulare County Library V Medical Spa Visalia Community Bank-Downtown Visalia Eye Center Visalia Imaging & Open MRI Visalia Marriott Visalia Medical Clinic Wildflower Cafe-Exeter Dr. keith Williams Williams, Jordan, Brodersen & Pritchett, Attorneys at Law Windows Plus, Inc.

See us online at VisaliaLifestyle.com

Visalia Lifestyle Magazine is published monthly and is distributed via direct mail to nearly 13,000 homes in the upper-middle and high-income neighborhoods in Visalia and Exeter. An additional 2,000 copies are distributed at various distribution points around both communities. Views expressed in columns are those of the columnist and not necessarily those of Direct Media, Inc. or its advertisers.

Circulation of this issue: 15,000 © 2010 DMI Agency

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LEFT: The Gilles Home in Visalia


EDITOR NOTE

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Photo by Becca Chavez | Hair and Make-up provided by Velvet Sky

he plan was to write this month’s editor’s letter from the cool patio of our mountain-top-weekend-getaway in Santa Cruz. That was the plan, but for some reason I just couldn’t force myself to open my laptop. It had been eight months since our last overnight trip, and although Lifestyle is always on my mind, the cooler temperatures, the scenic vistas, and the ocean breeze just seem to have rendered me helpless in terms of actually working. Although my keyboard remained silent, I did think about you a lot and how rewarding it is to be a part of your lives every month. One of the things we’re most proud of around here is our loyal reader base: some have been with us since the first issue in October of 2003. A devoted readership is heartwarming to us, but critical to our advertisers. Over the years we’ve fought to remain a free publication – free to you – fully supported by advertising. Times are tough for many of our advertisers and a few have cut their marketing budgets significantly. So, we’re always humbled when they tell us that they want to keep their place in Lifestyle ... and that’s in large part due to you and your loyal support of their businesses. We thank you for that. Well, since I’m back in the working frame of mind I must point out that we have another great Home Tour feature this month. Don and Annie Gilles’ now-hip-again Mid-Century Modern home reflects the couple’s taste and Annie’s professional flair found on page 20. Just because temperatures rise during the summer months, that’s no excuse for staying home. There’s always plenty to do in and around the South Valley, and Lifestyle continues to be the area’s leading source for information about what’s happening. From charity golf tournaments to the best of art exhibits, from car shows to blues and brews, it’s all found starting on page 44. But, if it is too hot for you to venture outside, we have the solution for you as well. What better way to spend an evening inside an air-conditioned building than with a good read? After you’re finished with this month’s issue, of course, July’s Word Play, found on page 30, lists the best of summer reading and even a writing workshop or two. So as the month of July comes to a close, we are thankful for a lot of things … another issue behind us, and hundreds more ahead. But most of all, we are thankful for the freedoms we enjoy by living in the “imperfect” USA: the freedom to publish our thoughts, the freedom to read what we choose, the freedom to spend a weekend atop a mountain watching the “rockets red glare” and listening to what must have sounded like the “bombs bursting in air” – always being reminded that there’s never been a minute of my life when I wished I lived somewhere else.

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kAREN TELLALIAN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR For more information or to submit a story idea email Karen@dmiagency.com or call (559) 739-1747 or fax (559) 738-0909. L I F E S T Y L E | J U LY 2 0 1 0


“Voicing” Their Talents–

P PERFORMANCES

Three Rivers Camp Offers Place for Young Violinists Text By Lisa Lieberman

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here’s something about the violin, it seems, that makes people (who would otherwise swear up and down they have no interest in classical music) suddenly find themselves crowding into church pews on a Saturday night to hear some of the best classical violinists in the world. The way this small wooden instrument fits snugly under the chin, sits almost exactly half way between the heart and brain, and sounds so much like the human voice makes it one of the most perfect musical instruments on earth. “The violin is very similar to the human voice. It’s malleable and flexible and you can pull so many different sounds from it,” said Danielle Belen, a world-class violinist and master violin teacher at the Center Stage Strings. She recently led a week-long summer violin camp in Three Rivers for burgeoning violin prodigies from all over the country. Belen, the first prize winner of the 2008 Sphinx Competition, is also an instructor at the prestigious Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles. About 250 people from Three Rivers – 10 percent of the town’s entire population – turned out to hear student violinists, faculty violinists and special world-class violinist Will Hagen perform at the Three Rivers Community Presbyterian Church.

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P PERFORMANCES

CAMERON MITTLEMAN

“I was really anxious about what the turnout was going to be like, but we had people filling up the church front and back and Photo by Shelby Griffin down the sides, behind the stage and even up in the mezzanine,” said Bill Haxton, a Three Rivers realtor who helped organize this year’s summer camp. But Three Rivers residents did more than just turn out for the concerts. They opened their homes to house students, teachers and guest-performers. They also built performance stages, printed brochures and donated money for scholarships. “I thought we were just going to be sleeping on my parents’ floor with sleeping bags and ordering pizza at night,” said Belen, whose parents settled in Three Rivers earlier last year. “But it wasn’t anything like that. People really opened up their homes to us.” Belen’s goal with starting a music camp in Three Rivers was to provide an intensive learning environment for serious violin students in an atmosphere where they could not only practice and learn, but could perform to live audiences. “There’s nothing that duplicates the experience of performing for a live audience,” Belen said. “And these were some of the best audiences we’ve seen.” Simone Porter, a 13-year-old violinist from Seattle, was one of the students who soloed with a French opera piece during one of the concerts. “I became very interested in opera when I was two years old,” Porter said. “My parents only had one opera CD and I would always pull that off the shelf and ask them to play it.” Porter begged for a violin but didn’t get one until a year later when she was almost three. “And I’ve been playing ever since,” she said.

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Photo by Becca Chavez

You’re really nervous at first when you’re about to go on stage, and you wonder if you should just run away. Then when you walk up and hear the crowd clapping for you, there’s nothing like it.

TOP: Simone Porter ABOVE: Cameron Mittleman


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P PERFORMANCES

LEFT: William Hagen BELOW: Center Strings Faculty: Danielle Belen, Artistic Director; Diego Miralles, Chamber Music Instructor; Jennie Jung, Piano Collaboration.

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There’s nothing that duplicates the experience of performing for a live audience... And these were some of the best audiences we’ve seen. DANIELLE BELEN

Cameron Mittleman, another 13-year-old student who performed in Three Rivers, has been playing violin since he was six. “You’re really nervous at first when you’re about to go on stage, and you wonder if you should just run away. Then when you walk up and hear the crowd clapping for you, there’s nothing like it,” Mittleman said. Robert Lipsett, another member of the Colburn faculty and a world-class violinist also taught at this year’s Center Stage Strings Camp. Lipsett gave the public a rare demonstration of how he teaches his violin students. He spoke about “uneven practicing” – the art of really honing in on what needs to be fine tuned most. “You have to be like a shark and attack the areas of your playing where you are the weakest,” he told his students. This year’s camp was so successful that next year Belen plans to double the number of students and extend the camp an extra week. For more information, go to www.centerstagestrings.com


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Tiny Homes for Tiny Homeowners Text By Irene Morse | Photos By Taylor Vaughn

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ABOVE: Scott & Stefani Rollins

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n May 9 it rained. On May 17 it rained. But on May 14 the weather was as perfect a spring day as we get in the San Joaquin Valley. It was on this beautiful evening that Habitat for Humanity of Tulare County held its fifth annual Birdhouse Auction. For four years this popular fundraiser had been held in the lovely backyard of Lonnie and Laurie Tiesiera. This year, bursting at the exquisite seams of the previous venue, the event was moved to the Tulare County Fairgrounds and The Budweiser Stage. Delicious odors wafted from the booths of local restaurants as nearly 300 guests strolled the grounds. A variety of wineries offered tasting and dozens of silent auction items were on display to entice buyers. Milla Winery donated a bottle of red wine and a bottle of white for every table while the Creative Center provided ambiance with sets from their theater department. Syncopated rhythms from El Diamante’s jazz band played in the background as guests enjoyed the weather, the food and wine, and each other.


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TOP: Lori Hagen & Harvey May ABOVE: Bill Nakata & Fred Lagomarsino

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Eleven amazing birdhouses were donated for the auction this year. From a trio of gourds to a Santa Clause figure (made of tiles, glass marbles, and gold leaf ) to a California Mission, each was a work of art. Habitat’s Resource Development Director Deanna Saldana donated a whimsical Dr. Seuss-inspired house in addition to organizing the fundraiser – proving once again that an efficient, logical left brain can be a happy companion to a lively, creative right brain. Some of the artists have donated birdhouses to Habitat’s fundraiser for many years, but this year about half of the houses came from new “builders.” Downtown Visalia merchants displayed the birdhouses in their windows for two weeks prior to the auction. This gave people the opportunity to examine them up close, note their idiosyncrasies, and prepare a strategy for shutting out other bidders at the fundraiser. Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976. The Tulare County affiliate was formed in 1994, joining programs in 90 countries and all 50 states. Each affiliate is governed by a local board. In May 2009 Habitat was the number one builder of private homes in the Unites States. To qualify for a Habitat home in Tulare County, a family must have an annual income of less than $25,000; they must be legal residents of the U.S. They must contribute 500 hours of “sweat equity” some of which can be performed by the family, relatives or friends. The house is then purchased by the family – these residences are not free – with a no-interest Habitat mortgage. Payments do not exceed 30 percent of family income. Habitat does not make a profit on these homes. Of the 38 Habitat-built homes in Tulare County and Hanford, 37 remain with their owner/builder families. Part of the success of the organization is that homeowners are always matched to homes that fit their needs – in size and other attributes – and the payments are reasonable in terms of family income. Another part is Habitat’s willingness to work with families when unforeseen emergencies arise. Recently, Habitat has been purchasing foreclosed homes – the Rescued Homes program – remodeling them and selling them to qualifying families. Homeowners’ “sweat equity” is participation in the remodeling or refurbishing. A “Brush with Kindness” program provides home repair and renovation to low-income families who are challenged by age, disability or circumstances. The ReStore program provides a building materials thrift store. So it’s fair to say that Habitat for Humanity is about housing and community. On a beautiful spring evening in May, a generous group of supporters gathered to compete over some tiny homes for use by tiny feathered homeowners and helped Habitat raise $45,000 to further its mission of building houses, building lives, building hope and building community.


REAL WOMEN, REAL SWEAT, REAL RESULTS

All Ages All Sizes All Levels Visalia Adventure Boot-Camp is a four week, outdoor, one-hour-a-day fitness program designed for busy women. We use fitness and nutrition to help fuel healthy bodies and attitudes. You can expect to shed inches, decrease your body fat at least 3%, and tone up those muscles. Our results are real, you can expect to feel and see a difference within four weeks. Whether you need to jump start your fitness routine, shape up for a reunion, wedding, or other event, have 10 or 100 lbs. to lose, Visalia Adventure Boot-Camp is for you!

www.VisaliaBootCamp.com

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HOME TOUR

Back to the Ranch

Gilles Home Reflects Renewed AppReciAtion foR mid-centuRy modeRn RAncH style Text By A aron Collins | Photos by Forrest C avale of Third Element Studios

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HOME TOUR

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ON THE SPREAD: The Visalia home of Don and Annie Gilles, ASID home shows one way a interior designer updates a Mid-Century Modern Ranch style home. Erasing the past was not the goal of the update. The Gilleses succeeded in maintaining the period feel while enhancing its ‘60s-era strengths by letting some original features show through, like the family room fireplace. RIGHT: The Mid-Century Modern character is most evident in the Gilles’ living room in which Annie Gilles, ASID, unites the backyard with the home’s spacious interior through use of the greens and aquas just outside. BELOW: A view of the lush side garden at the home of Don on Annie Gilles of Visalia.

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ANNIE GILLES

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We really enjoy the large gallery windows that surround a major portion of the home...

nterior designers like Annie Gilles, ASID, know well that interior design tastes can experience rapid shifts, changing mercurially just as do other art forms like pop music, high fashion and fine art. One year, mauve and teal are enjoying a brief moment at the height of good taste. Then, mere seasons later, the hot thing finds itself as unhip as bouffants or leisure suits, awaiting ironic reinterpretation by hipsters down the road. Conversely, the interior design field can meet stodginess when clients prefer a look rooted in ideas originating somewhere back of the 19th century. But what results when the interior designer is both client and artist? What do you get when talent and knowledge meet the freedom and the means? The Visalia home of Don and Annie Gilles is one answer. An interior designer doesn’t start with a blank canvas. Architectural style must be taken into account. The present moment finds Mid-Century Modern architecture enjoying a resurgent place in the California sun. Once passé, the style is being rediscovered by younger homeowners who appreciate the open floor plans, sleek lines, generous shade-giving roof overhangs, and informal entertaining spaces that are perfectly in synch with their lifestyle needs. That interest may be driven by a philosophical interest in simplification. And clutter is anathema to the look of MidCentury Mod. Other factors have influenced interest in the style’s longstanding highbrow popularity such as mass-market Pop culture vessels like hit AMC TV series “Mad Men.” Other media influences such as Dwell Magazine have converged to make Mid-Century tastes hip once again, renewing our affections for architects like Eichler, Schindler, Neutra, Koenig, and a host of other notables who came to fame during the forward-looking ’40s and ’50s when Americans – especially Californians – were putting WWII behind them and moving ahead to their places as world leaders in numerous fields.


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All follow-ups are performed personally by Dr. Lechtman at The Aesthetic Center. ASPS CareCredit Financing

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DON GILLES

The house had very good bones to begin with and a great floor plan that is very livable and maximizes space efficiently.

The Gilleses count themselves fans of one sub-genre of Mid-Century Modern: the Mid-Century Modern Ranch style (sometimes called Modern Suburban Ranch, among other terms). Their 1968 Al Pearson-designed west Visalia home is a late example of the genre, but the Gilleses themselves are anything but latecomers to the ranks of aficionados. They purchased the residence in 1991, well before the current resurgence of interest that began with more International Style Modernism in the late ’90s and ’00s. During that period, other Visalians were falling for the appliqué faux-antique quaintness of neo-Victorian/ranch-style mash-ups. (Don’t worry; that too will come back someday.)

So what drove them towards the Mid-Century Modern Ranch style? It wasn’t its rarity; plenty of other similar specimens are seen in the area. Architect Frank Robert is credited with first bringing Modernist style to Tulare County in the 1940s, with a few examples of his projects still found from Green Acres to Three Rivers. Pearson-designed gems dot the cityscape, along with other architects’ Modern Ranch works. Fresno, too, has an abundance of good-quality examples of the Modernist genre. Eichler knock-offs are common and garden variety, off-the-shelf, plan-book, cookie-cutter ranch-style homes have long been abundant in the region. LEFT: The kitchen was redesigned when the Gilleses first purchased the home in the early ‘90s, but interior designer Annie and husband Don say that it and the adjacent den are in the crosshairs of a designer whose work is never done. BOTTOM: Interior designer Annie Gilles, ASID, says that one major trend in interior design is to treat exterior spaces more like living rooms, evident here in the backyard of the Gilles’s Al Pearson-designed Mid-Century Modern Ranch-style home.

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S TL EY L| EM| AJRUCLH Y 2010 L I FLEI SF TE Y

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The Gilleses quickly saw great possibilities in the property. They set out to enhance its existing strengths, adding elements to emphasize the Mid-Century character versus more purely ranch-style aspects. Now, larger windows flood the living space with more light and offer better views of the gardens, a respectful articulation that is well within the original style’s vocabulary. “The house had very good bones to begin with and a great floor plan that is very livable and maximizes space efficiently,” said Don. “The design and materials are classic. There is slate in the gallery, four-inch-wide wood plank floors with wooden dowels in the living room and dining room.” Owing to more than just the materials, Don sums up the home’s appeal thusly: “Our friends have made the comment how peaceful and comfortable they feel when they come in. I think the feeling not only comes from the architectural design of the high-vaulted ceilings and exposed beams, but your sightline is always interesting as you move from room to room.” About the 3,000-square-foot structure, Annie said, “We really enjoy the large gallery windows that surround a major portion of the home,” adding that the ample storage is somewhat uncharacteristic for the period. “Every available space was designed for storage,” she said. The house inherently offered compatibility with the Gilleses interest in Asian design due to the same sophisticated simplicity that underpins both Modernist and Asian esthetics, particularly Japanese. The Eastern influence is apparent upon arrival, seen in a recent refurbishing of the entry hall. The Asian theme – often found in original Mid-Century homes – was applied seamlessly to the original doors, thanks to Annie’s professional bag of tricks as well as those of metal crafter Steve Crotti and faux-painting genius Jeff Smith (whose masterful sleight-of-hand seen in local 26

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restaurant Jack and Charlie’s painstaking faux wood grain is virtually indistinguishable from the actual wood that stands alongside). Large wall-covering mirrors were also not unusual for the era. So to follow form and to increase the sense of space and light – and hide an unloved built-in china cabinet – the Gilleses added discreet touch-latched mirror doors in the dining area, in keeping with the period’s minimalist impulses. “Annie loves dishes and stemware and she has used every inch of that large cabinet,” Don said, but you wouldn’t know it from the uncluttered presentation.

TOP: When ranch style denies architectural detail, a designer can compensate by going bold. Annie Gilles, ASID, goes over the top with hot fuchsia, turning this once-quiet guest bedroom into a bold statement – an example of the risks a designer can take when she is also the client.


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The master bedroom overlooks a pond and waterfall in the Japanese-influenced rear garden. “Considering the period the house was built, having a fireplace and very large dressing room area in the master bedroom was progressive,” Annie said, but asked Dave Collinwood to skin it with a more modern front and raise the hearth. They also enlarged the north-facing window. “You can tell we love windows. Originally the house had a lot of wood paneling and we did eliminate that,” in an effort to brighten and modernize their private quarters. As much as Don and Annie love design, they have other passions as well. They are both fans of Arts Visalia. Annie also launched the Enchanted Evening benefit last year with the help of coworkers. The event provides prom dresses for underprivileged girls who are unable to afford the big-ticket trend in prom budgets. (The group has a Web site: www. enchantedeveningdress.com). Some girls even donate their dresses back for other girls in later years, provided they’re timeless enough. And that might be the best way to sum up the look Annie and Don chose for themselves: Trend-free; classic; made to last; traditional but not stuffy, thanks to equal focus on contemporary objects, materials and fabrics. Perhaps the greatest compliment, however, was paid by a relative stranger who asked for a visit to the home: the late Visalia dentist and original owner, Dr. Robert Murray, who along with his wife commissioned Pearson to build the house, and whose deep investment in its creation must have been a little daunting when he approached the Gilleses about a tour. “After we were in the house a few years, Dr. Murray came by and asked to see what we had done. We were very happy to be able to say he was pleased,” recalled Don, a longtime local bank executive. “We knew when we first looked at the house that the previous owners had put a lot of time and effort into the plan and its execution. The quality of the materials still shows after more than 40 years.”

ABOVE & RIGHT: The Gilles master suite’s cool palette creates the sensation of a sheltered grotto, thanks also to large picture windows that offer a generous view of the Asian-influenced garden and pool just outside. LEFT:The color scheme found in secondary spaces reflect the overall palette chosen by Visalia designer Annie Gilles, who wanted to visually connect interior and exterior living spaces. The floor to ceiling mirrors she added also play a big part in visually expanding the home’s sense of spaciousness.

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W WORDPLAY

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Text by Diane Slocum

ot books for July include Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century by Michael Hiltzik (Free Press, June 2010). Pulitzer Prize-winning Hiltzik tells the story of the unruly Colorado River and the dam that helped tame it. His work encompasses the social changes related to the dam, the stupendous engineering feat and the darker consequences of the challenge. Dan Ariely’s The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home (Harper, June 2010) follows his Predictably Irrational and continues to study ways that humans act against their own best interests. Ariely not only studies what we do, but offers ways to avoid such habits as procrastination or seeking instant gratification over postponing for greater benefits. Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization on the Growth Track--and Keeping It There by Les McKeown (Greanleaf Book Group Press, June 2010) demonstrates how businesses or organizations can control, maintain and replicate success. McKeown explains different growth cycles and how to deal with each of them. Valley Writers

Valley writers’ stories recently read on Valley Writers Read on KVPR include Hope Nisly’s With Normal in My Rearview Mirror, Roger Angress’ A Santana Production, and Bonnie Hearn Hill’s Black Moon Lilith. Listen to these shows and others archived at http://tinyurl.com/KVPR2010ValleyWritersRead . The Illuminated Landscape, a new anthology from Sierra College Press, edited by Gary Noy and Rick Heide, includes a poem by Sylvia Ross of Porterville titled “Tribal Identity, Third Grade.” Potter and Potter

Beatrix Potter and J.K. Rowling both have July birthdays, though separated by almost 100 years (99 to be exact). In addition to her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Potter wrote 22 other popular children’s books. Peter has never been out of print during the more than 100 years since its publication. Potter was ahead of her time in many ways, including her business acumen and her interest in the conservation of nature. By patenting a stuffed Peter toy in 1903, Potter created the first licensed character. Rowling, of course, made her fame with a character named Potter – Harry, that is. She has published seven novels in the Potter series and three small books. First Lines from…??

“It was a quiet morning, the town covered over with darkness and at ease in bed. Summer gathered in the weather, the wind had the proper touch, the breathing of the world was long and warm and slow.” – Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury 30

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Contests

The Three Day Novel Contest provides the opportunity for a challenging 72 hours – write a novel from beginning to end over the Labor Day weekend. This annual Canadian contest has been running since 1977. Last year, Alice Egoyan and Devon Motola of Fresno were among the finalists. Matthew Andrews of Modesto was shortlisted in 2007. The 2009 winner, Snowmen, written by Mark Sedore of Toronto, was published by Arsenal Pulp Press. This marathon contest can be an illuminating experience for would-be novelists whether they make it to the finish line or not. See http://www.3daynovel.com for details. The Library

The Tulare County Library is celebrating a century of service this year. Though reading rooms and the Visalia city library preceded it, the Tulare County Library was only the fourth county library in California when the Board of Supervisors established it on June 10, 1910. Jennie Herrman was the original librarian and she set up 12 library branches in her first year. Read the rest of the story at the library website at http://www.tularecountylibrary.org/ Pages/centennial.html. Conferences

East of Eden Writers Conference will be held in Salinas on Sept. 22-24. Publishing insider Alan Rinzler will critique manuscript pitches of attendees. Full conference general registration fee is $435. Conference offers keynotes by Luis Valdez and Selden Edwards and 48 workshops for writers of all levels. Writing contest with grand prize of $1,000 is open to attendees. For details http://www.southbaywriters.com/EastofEden2010/ index.html. The Creativity Workshop will be held on Nov. 5-8 at Carmelby-the-Sea. Tuition is $650. The creativity sessions will last for three hours each of the four mornings to help attendees believe in their creativity, find inspiration, discover images in the unconscious and more. The Last Word

“Don’t go into Mr. McGregor’s garden: your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.” The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Beatrix Potter 1866-1943)


THE CLEAR ALTERNATIVE TO BRACES

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Recipes by Chef Tony Garcia of Visalia Country Club | Photos by Forrest Cavale of Third Element Studios

chicken T

his month we turn our attention away from some of the heavier meats of the last few months and focus on chicken, along with some lighter, more summerworthy accompaniments. Our chicken breast will be briefly deep-fried before finishing in the oven. When deep-frying it is important to be aware of the quality and freshness of the oil selected, the temperature of the oil when cooking, if the oil has been used to cook other food items, and to avoid oil which may have come in contact with brass, copper or bronze. For the coconut chicken select a high-quality vegetable oil, make sure the oil does not overheat, and consistently remove any small bits of breading or batter from the oil during cooking. (This shouldn’t be an issue for small-yield recipes, but will increase in importance as the yield increases.) If the oil for the chicken is being recycled from another recipe, it is likely the transferring of flavors may overwhelm the delicate balance of flavors in the coconut and chicken; fresh oil is recommended. In order to maximize yield of juice from citrus, drop the fruit into a bowl of hot water for a couple minutes (warmed citrus yields a great deal more juice than does chilled). Basmati rice is the world’s most expensive; jasmine rice is an excellent substitute. While basmati originated in India, and jasmine in SouthEast Asia, both are grown here in California as well today; regardless of origin, either of these two varieties of high-quality, long-grain white rice will work quite well.

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Coconut Chicken

Yield: Makes 2 servings Ingredients: 1 8oz chicken breast, slightly pounded 2 oz dried coconut flakes ½ oz flour 3 oz pancake batter Oil for deep frying Preparation: In a bowl, mix coconut and flour and set aside. On a cutting board, lightly pound chicken breast; reduce thickness by 1/3. Dip tenderized chicken in pancake batter so that chicken is fully covered. Dredge battered chicken through coconut/flour mixture. Press coconut mixture evenly onto chicken. Deep fry in 350°F vegetable oil till lightly browned. Finish in 350°F oven for 8 – 10 minutes.

Pineapple Salsa

Yield: Makes 2 servings Ingredients: 1 small, fresh pineapple 1 small red onion, diced 1 red bell pepper 1/4 oz cilantro Salt & pepper to taste Preparation: Slowly roast bell pepper on open grill until it is charred on the outside (about 15 minutes). Place charred pepper into brown paper bag, close bag & set aside to cool. Dice pineapple and red onion into medium size pieces and mix together with cilantro. Remove pepper from bag, peel skin from pepper (you can peel and de-seed the pepper under running water to ease task – don’t worry if pepper falls apart while peeling), remove seeds and dice medium. Mix pepper with pineapple/onion/cilantro. Season to taste with salt & pepper as desired. 34

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Watermelon Cucumber Salad Yield: Makes 2 servings

Ingredients 4 oz watermelon, diced 4 oz cucumber, peeled & diced 2 limes, juiced 1/4 oz cilantro 1/4 tsp ground cumin 1/4 tsp chile powder ¼ tsp salt Preparation Combine all ingredients into bowl. Refrigerate covered for 1 hour before serving.

White Rice

Yield: Makes 2 servings Ingredients 1/2 cup long grain white rice (basmati or jasmine) 1 cup water 1 bay leaf ¼ tsp cinnamon Preparation Combine all ingredients into small pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.


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MEDICAL PROFILES

New Fibromyalgia Treatment Providing Real Hope To Central Valley Patients. As Reported By James Curley

Dr. Russell Horine

2336 W. Sunnyside Ave, Suite B, Visalia | 559.625.1100 r. Horine, a chiropractor serving the Central Valley, has just announced that recent evidence has opened up new hope for people suffering from Fibromyalgia. “I am thrilled to say that there is now REAL hope for people suffering from Fibromyalgia,” Dr. Horine said. “It’s a new ‘Brain-Based’ treatment that’s being used around the country with great results. I’m now using this same therapy in my Visalia office and couldn’t be happier with how it’s helping my patients. I think the BEST part is that there are NO drugs or surgery required.” Fibromyalgia is a widespread problem striking five million Americans – typically woman – with symptoms including elusive pain, extreme exhaustion, irritable bowel and bladder syndrome, headaches, and severe sleep disorders. “Many patients I see have been confined to the house,” he said. “It’s tragic, but the pain and exhaustion simply does not allow them to go out and do the things that the rest of us take for granted. To make matters worse,” he continued, “many doctors just don’t understand this dreadful disease. So when they see a patient who exhibits such a wide variety of mysterious symptoms, they often refer her to a psychologist. 74

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“Imagine that. Suffering so terribly, seeking out help, then being told that ‘it’s all in your head.’ What a shame. And that’s why this new treatment is so wonderful. It recognizes this disease and treats the source of the problem.” Dr. Horine believes that the culprit of Fibromyalgia is the part of the brain that controls the “fight-or-flight” response. According to Dr. Horine, if an angry Grizzly Bear appeared at your front door your nervous system would go into overdrive – fight-or-flight mode – and override much of the activity of your “autonomic” nervous system which accounts for heart rate, digestion, light sensitivity and sleep. Essentially, the body is no longer concerned about things like digesting food and sleeping because it’s dealing with the “angry bear.” When the bear leaves and the crisis passes, body functions return to normal. “The problem is,” Dr. Horine explained, “people with Fibromyalgia have their fight-or-flight system permanently turned on. There’s no bear at the door, but the brain keeps acting like there IS a bear. Over the long term, the inability of the brain to shut this off is, as you can imagine, devastating to the victim. The result is hyper-sensitivity to pain throughout the body, extreme fatigue, sleepless nights, inability to think or talk clearly, irritable bowel syndrome, and migraine headaches.”


MEDICAL PROFILES M

Typically Fibromyalgia has been treated with a regiment of anti-depressants, sleeping aids, and highly addictive pain killers that often leave a patient trapped in a permanent state of brain fog. “Because most doctors simply don’t understand Fibromyalgia, they end up chasing and treating the symptoms rather than getting to the root of the problem,” Dr. Horine said. “That’s kind of like spending all your time and effort cleaning up oil and garbage from a river rather than stopping it upstream at the factory. It demonstrates a real lack of understanding of this disease by many doctors, and that’s frustrating to say the least.” So far pinpointing the exact source of the disease has been elusive, Brain-Based Therapy is based on the theory that the problem begins with the middle and lower brain stem. “I don’t want to get too technical, but the upper part of the brain stem, the Mesencephalon, is responsible for triggering the fight-or-flight response,” Dr. Horine said. “The lower parts of the brain stem are supposed to slow it back down. That’s not happening. The middle and lower brain stem aren’t doing their job, so the brain keeps over-firing.” Evidence suggests that extreme stress, trauma or exposure to chemicals are the likely causes of this neurological signal problem. “That’s what makes this new treatment so exciting. It gets to the source of the problem and switches off the fight-or-flight response using simple, painless and natural methods to activate parts of the brain that require stimulation. “It’s a painless treatment,” Dr. Horine explained. “The therapy uses simple and highly effective unilateral spinal adjustments, various eye exercises, and other therapies to essentially stimulate or activate areas of the central nervous system so that they start working properly again.” Dr. Horine has been practicing in Visalia for 23 years. “I am just so proud to be serving the Central Valley area. In my long career I’ve been fortunate enough to assist local people – desperate, even bed-ridden patients in excruciating pain, living on pain pills, and unable to walk or care for themselves – in regaining a healthy and vital place in the lives of their families and friends. “As a doctor, it doesn’t get any better than that. It’s why I became a chiropractor. To help people. It’s just so rewarding. So it’s been my pleasure to serve this marvelous community. And that’s why this new treatment for Fibromyalgia is so wonderful for me and my patients. “To see people once debilitated from this wicked disease suddenly smiling, playing with kids, taking family vacations and enjoying life again is ... well ... the best thing I can think of, next to seeing the births of my two sons.” Dr. Horine admits the biggest trouble is now getting the word out to the people suffering from Fibromyalgia.

“Many have simply given up. They’ve pinned their hopes on doctors who just didn’t understand this insidious disease, or some miracle cure that didn’t work. Most are just sick and tired of all the pills and exhaustion and pain.” But Dr. Horine’s use of Brain-Based Therapy is now turning that around for many Fibromyalgia patients in the Central Valley. “As a doctor, it’s all about those priceless moments when I can actually make a significant difference in someone’s life. To see women – and men – once crippled and tortured by Fibromyalgia suddenly get out of their beds and start living fulfilling, productive lives again – well, there’s just nothing more rewarding than that, at least for me.” Dr. Horine’s office is located off Mooney Blvd at 2336 W. Sunnyside Ave, Suite B, Visalia, just behind Pep Boys. You may reach him by phone at (559) 625-1100. “I personally treat all of my Fibromyalgia patients,” Dr. Horine said. “I do not hand this treatment over to some assistant. Patients deserve my best. Obviously, that means I am limited to the number of patients I can handle. But I’d encourage anyone who’s even curious about this to call right away and set up an appointment. There’s no charge for the initial consultation, so it’s better if you do this sooner rather than later.” Dr. Horine concluded, “This new treatment has worked for many people. Of course I can’t guarantee that you will be cured as no responsible doctor would claim that about this terrible disease. But I can say that this Brain-Based Therapy has been showing REAL progress. “Please call me – especially if you’ve given up. Let’s see if I can help you. It would mean so much to me, to you, and to those who love you, if you could enjoy life the way you used to. But I can’t help if you don’t at least call me.” LIFEST YLE | OCTOBER 2009

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F FASHION

Summer

City in the

Text By SHARON MOSLEY

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he girls from Sex and the City may have spent their summer in the desert, but what are we girls left behind supposed to wear? We can take cues from the Sex and the City 2, says Whitney Kessler, assistant editor of Stylesight (www.stylesight.com). “It’s possible to stay cool without showing a lot of skin,” says Kessler, who notes that the women of SATC2 looked both modest and summery. For covered looks that are still airy, she suggests thin woven fabrics and fits that pull away from the body. “Draped styles and trapeze cuts are ideal.” The hot months are time to lighten up on the extras, too. “Choose accessories that are both fashionable and functional,” she says. “Sun hats and sunglasses will allow for chic, easy transitions when the sun comes out, while summer wraps will warm the shoulders or neck if there’s an unexpected breeze.” Rather than piling on accessories, look to eye-catching prints, patterns and interesting color combinations to add interest. “Mix solid-colored separates to create unexpected palettes,” Kessler advises, “or emphasize a garment’s dramatic silhouette by wearing it in a monochromatic ensemble. Bold, large-scale prints are expressive enough on their own. Mixing small-scale patterns can result in looks that are fun and witty.” Even Miranda took advantage of the new summer trends in the new movie, says Kessler. “Each of the main characters has a signature look that reflects her personality, lifestyle and body type. Miranda’s style has come a long way. Most of her outfits in the film were simple, but had one or two exciting elements, like a geometric print or a pair of chandelier earrings. Her looks were very elegant and sophisticated, and probably the most realistic.” She wore several sheath dresses in the film, and they varied in pattern and neckline. Her look was very consistent throughout the movie, with her go-to outfit consisting of a simple sheath, a waist belt, high heels and statement jewelry.

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Charlotte offers us another peek at dressing up our summer wardrobes, even if they reflect more of a traditional look. “More often than not, Charlotte’s silhouette highlighted her small waist and petite upper body,” notes Kessler. “In SATC2, she wore plenty of full-skirted tea-length dresses with slim waists that hit at her natural waistline. Her wardrobe was very ‘50s-inspired, often referencing Christian Dior’s ‘New Look.’ A few of her looks featured peplums, and achieved the same figure-flattering effect. As the most traditional and conservative of the group, Charlotte never wore anything that was avant-garde or risque.” On the other end of the spectrum, Samantha’s clothes were sexy, daring and consistent with her over-the-top personality, says Kessler. “They were body-conscious and revealed a lot of skin. Many of the garments that Samantha wore featured cutouts and were heavily embellished.” Carrie also took fashion risks, says the trend expert, but unlike Samantha’s, Carrie’s looks were daring in a way that was more offbeat than sexy. “Her wardrobe was based on the combination of high end with the low end, and witty mixes of casual soft-grunge items with formalwear.” In SATC2, Carrie’s signature pieces included novelty tees and tote bags, voluminous skirts, slim-fit jeans and fluid floor-length gowns. Several items that Carrie wore had accordion pleats, and many were layered. So what are some of the hot new “must-haves” we city girls can put in our wardrobe? Here are Kessler’s recommendations: The breezy jumpsuit The draped maxi dress and sheath dress The harem pant The head wrap The sturdy pump The tote, hobo or clutch bag


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W WINE

TheDifferenceBetween

Right Wrong by Robert Whitley

The question was perfectly reasonable. “Aren’t we now supposed to drink the wines we like and not pay attention to what |the critics say? Isn’t all of that swirling and sniffing, and those descriptive terms, just a little too snooty?” Talk about being directly in the sights as you stare down the barrel of a gun. Well, for starters, I agreed everyone should decide for themselves what they like or don’t like when it comes to wine. That’s a given. I still remember organizing a blind tasting years ago at the home of a prominent surgeon. My tasting group was there on invitation, mostly because the host wanted to show off his newly-constructed wine cellar. I had randomly chosen Bordeaux from a very good vintage as the tasting theme. 40

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As was our custom, after each taster had gone through the entire lineup of 12 wines, we discussed each wine one by one, ranked it one through 12 and revealed its identity. At some point in the middle of this show-and-tell segment of the tasting, we came upon the wine that our host had ranked last of the 12. He was adamant in his position, expressing his impressions of the as-yet-unknown Bordeaux in terms that were, to put it mildly, unkind. After I removed the brown paper bag and unveiled the wine, there was an audible gasp from our host. Little more than an hour prior, he had pointed proudly to three wooden cases of Bordeaux in his new cellar that had earned a very high score from a prominent wine critic. It was the same wine that he now loathed. Our friend had not tasted the wine before he purchased it, relying solely upon the wisdom — and high score — of the world-renowned wine critic. Fortunately, the critic’s reputation and the wine’s established following allowed our friend to unload his purchase without suffering a huge financial lost. The takeaway from all of this is not what you might think. Rather than not trusting a reputable wine critic’s advice, I would say know your critic. Wines are legitimately produced in varying styles. Most critics have a stylistic bias that is easily detected.


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W WINE

TASTING NOTES Yarden 2004 Syrah, Galilee, Israel ($25) — On a visit to the Yarden winery several years ago, I was of the opinion that Syrah was definitely a promising grape variety for this qualityminded Israeli winery. So it comes as no surprise to me that the ‘04 Syrah struck a beautiful note for me. The Yarden vineyards in Galilee are planted on volcanic soils at elevations ranging from 1,300 feet to more than 3,000 feet. The cool nights have a profound effect on the wines, and in this case, it means notes of white pepper, high-toned blueberry fruit aromas, with a hint of minerality and a pretty floral bouquet. This wine is wellbalanced with excellent aging potential, yet perfectly suited for near-term consumption. Rating: 92. Some might prefer rich, oily Chardonnays and give those more favorable ratings than austere, less fruity wines made from the same grape. Some will reserve their highest praise for ripe, jammy Cabernet Sauvignons and dismiss Cabs that exhibit subtlety and are less expressive or ponderous. Flawed as this approach might seem, the wine critic has a place in the debate because it’s almost impossible for the average person to navigate a wine shop and not be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices. Those who recommend wines professionally serve as a useful guide to quality and value. Still, the end consumer must make the final call. If you follow a person’s recommendations and they pan out, that’s a critic you should pay attention to in the future. If you follow a critic’s recommendations and they consistently disappoint, that’s a person or publication you should avoid. It’s really that easy. Imagine that you read a restaurant review that waxed poetic about a dish made from liver. Even though you hate liver, you decide to try it. Just because you gag and spit the nasty stuff into your napkin doesn’t make it bad liver. You just happen to hate liver. It’s the same with wine. The critic may be right on the quality, but ultimately you get to decide what you like. BEST BUY Wines are rated on a 100-point scale. Wines are chosen for review because they represent outstanding quality or value. Souverain 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, Alexander Valley ($15) — Souverain’s wine-making team takes advantage of the warmer climes of the Alexander Valley to craft a Sauvignon that has more in common with Napa Valley Sauvignons than its Sonoma County rivals. The result is a lovely white that brings to mind Bordeaux blanc, with its notes of white peach and fig, a flavor profile that has become the default Napa Valley model for this grape variety. Slightly oily, with hints of honeysuckle and white flower (due no doubt to the smidge of Viognier in the blend), and a good persistence of flavor. It is well-balanced at 13.6 alcohol. Rating: 90. 42

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Jackson Estate 2007 ‘Shelter Belt’ Chardonnay, Marlborough, New Zealand ($22) — The Marlborough region was once regarded as a one-note wonder, that wonder being crisp, pungent Sauvignon Blanc. In recent years, Pinot Noir has started to crowd Sauvignon for attention, and now it seems there is good potential for Chardonnay, too. This vintage of Jackson Shelter Belt offers flinty minerality and bracing acidity that is accompanied by bright citrus notes on the lemony side of the flavor spectrum. It is Burgundian in style, and absent the oily characteristics that seem to dominate most New World Chardonnay. Enjoyable now, but expect this wine to flesh out, darken and exhibit complexities of stone fruits, spice and butterscotch as it ages. Rating: 91. J Vineyards 2007 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley ($35) — J’s basic Pinot could well be the best buy in Pinot at $35 or less. That may seem expensive, but it’s well below the going rate for RRV Pinot from a top producer. I was struck by the elegance of this Pinot, given its gorgeous bouquet and length in the mouth. It exhibits aromas of violet, red fruits and spice with flavors of strawberry, blackberry and wild cherry. This complex Pinot delivers exceptional flavor without a heavy footprint, a Burgundian trait that is so often missed by New World Pinots. Rating: 93.


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Los Lobos

August 20

A Grammy Award-winning American Chicano rock band with various musical styles including rock and roll, folk, R&B, blues, country, and traditional Spanish and Mexican music. Tickets: $25, $45 When: Friday, August 20, 7p Where: Visalia Fox Theater Contact: 559-625-1369

AR TEXHIBITS

THE ATE RPERFORMANCESMUSIC J U L Y Paula Poundstone Enjoy the razor-sharp wit and entertaining observations of a critically acclaimed comedienne. Tickets from $22.50 in advance. Ask about Charitable Events/ Opportunities When: Saturday, July 17 Where: Tower Theater, Fresno Contact: Tower Theater Box Office, 485-9050

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A U G U S T High Sierra Jazz Band Sierra Traditional Jazz Club hosts the High Sierra Jazz Band in concert. Tickets: $10 adults; free children under 12 & members. When: Saturday, August 14, 7p-8:30p Where: Veterans Memorial Bldg., 43490 Sierra Dr., Three Rivers Contact: Rusty Crain, 561-4549

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A U G U S T The Oakridge Boys On tour, the award winning country and gospel group comes to the J U L Y Martina McBride See one of country music’s greatest central valley. female entertainers, presented in an When: Sunday, August 15, 7:30p outdoor concert. Where: Tachi Palace, 17225 Jersey Tickets as low as $40. Ave., Lemoore When: Sunday, July 25, 7:30p Contact: Box Office (559) 924-7751 or Where: Tachi Palace, 17225 Jersey Tickets.com (800) 225-2277 Ave., Lemoore Contact: Box Office (559) 924-7751 or Tickets.com (800) 225-2277

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A U G U S T Blues, Brews & BBQ Come listen to free live music by Shari Puorto (blues), with delicious summertime barbeque, and refreshing beverages available for purchase. When: Friday, August 6, 6p-10p Where: Garden Street Plaza, 300 E. Main Str., Visalia Contact: 732-7737 or www. bluesbrewsandbbq.net or www.bluesrockmusic.com

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J U L Y “Summer Splendor” Quilt Exhibit The Tulare Historical Museum is hosting a reception and quilt exhibit by Ann Hinman and Debbie Van Fossen. $5 adults, discounts for seniors, AAA members, children and members. When: Thursday-Saturdays, July 1–September 4, 10AM - 4PM; reception Thursday, July 1, 5:30 PM - 7PM. Where: Museum Heritage Room 444 W. Tulare Avenue, Tulare Contact: Terry Brazil, 686-2074 or www. tularehistoricalmuseum.org

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J U L Y Young At Art 2010 Arts Visalia is presenting an exhibition of artwork created by the students from each of the classes in the summer art program. Gallery hours: Wed.-Sat., 12p-5:30p When: Exhibit August 4–August 27, Reception Friday, August 6, 6p-8p Where: Arts Visalia – 214 E. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: 739-0905 or www.artsvisalia.org

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Calvalcade of Elegance

July 24

A Visalia YMCA event presented by Service Masters by Benevente. Enjoy a beautiful display of spectacular automobiles. Delicious food and wine tasting will be available, with music and dancing. Tickets $65 each When: Saturday, July 24, 7p-11p Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave., Visalia Contact: Visalia YMCA, 627-0700 or www.goldenstateymca.org

DIVERSIONSEXCURSIONS

F UN- RAIS INgE VENTS J U L Y 6th Annual Central Valley Corporate Golf Championship The Boys & Girls Club of Tulare County hosts this yearly fundraiser, where teams from various businesses and entities compete for the valley’s corporate golf title. When: Saturday, July 24 Where: Valley Oak Golf Course, 1800 S. Plaza St., Visalia Contact: www.bgclubtc.org for online registration or call 625-4422

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CLAS S E S WORKSHOPS Art Classes for Adults & Children Visit Arts Visalia’s website for summer art classes for children and year-round classes for adults. When: Summer 2010 Where: Arts Visalia, 214 E. Oak Ave., Visalia, CA Contact: (559) 739-0905, email info@ artsvisalia.org or www.artsvisalia.org CASA Volunteer Orientations When: Mondays - 5:30 p.m. & Thursdays, 12:00 PM -1:00 PM Where: CASA office, 1146 N. Chinowth, Visalia Contact: Sid Loveless at 625-4007

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J U L Y Hot Dog Festival at the Museum Hot Dogs, Corn on the Cob and Root Beer Floats. What more could you want? Sponsored by Three Rivers Historical Society and Three Rivers Volunteer Firefighters. When: Saturday, July 17, 10AM – 3PM Where: Three Rivers Historical Museum – 42268 Sierra Drive, Three Rivers Contact: 559-561-2707 or www.3rmuseum.org

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Visalia Farmers’ Market Harvest of the Valley Weekly event open to the public featuring free live music, kids activities, cooking demonstrations and local, fresh produce available for purchase. When: Thursdays, 5PM - 8PM, Downtown Visalia; Saturdays, 8AM - 11:30 AM, Sequoia Mall, Sears parking lot Contact: 967-6722 or www.visaliafarmersmarket. com

J U L Y Sequoia National Park - Ranger Programs Free ranger programs include walks, talks and evening programs. When you arrive, check visitor centers and bulletin boards in each area for program details or schedule changes. When: Daily & Weekly Programs Where: Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, 47050 Generals Highway, Three Rivers Contact: Call 565-3341 or www.nps.gov/ seki for times and locations.

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CHILD HOODSUMMERS Zoo Adventures Camp – Summer 2010 Sign up your young zoologist for a fiveday camp experience, which includes an encounter with an Education Department animal or behind-thescenes with a zookeeper. Children will rotate through theme, bio-facts, literature, and crafts sessions. Includes a morning and afternoon snack. Please bring your own lunch. When: June-August Where: Fresno Chaffee Zoo, 894 W. Belmont Ave., Fresno Contact: Education Office, 498-5920 (M-F) or www. fresnochaffeezoo.com Preschool Story Time When: Wednesdays, 10:00 AM Where: Tulare County Library – 200 W. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: Children’s desk at 733-6954 ext. 209 Imagine U Interactive Children’s Museum Imagine U offers a variety of weekly interactive exhibits, events, and activities designed to entertain and engage your preschool child. Cost: $4 ages 2 & up When: Wednesday-Friday, 10AM - 4PM; Saturday, 12PM - 4PM Where: 700 E. Main Street, Visalia Contact: 733-5975 or www. imagineumuseum.org

WRITERSREADERS

CHILDHOODMONK EY BUSINESS Agventures at Heritage Complex Agricultural Learning Center and Farm Equipment Museum with nearly 15 professionally designed interactive displays When: Monday-Friday, 9AM – 4PM Where: International Agri-Center, 4450 S. Laspina Street, Tulare Contact: 688-1751 or www. heritagecomplex.com/ AgVentures The Boys & Girls Club of Tulare County Offers a variety of youth development activities and classes for children of all ages. Annual Fee $10.00 When: Monday-Friday, 12PM - 8PM Where: 215 W. Tulare Ave., Visalia Contact: 625-4422 or www.bgclubtc.org The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sequoias Offering children ages 6-18 development and training in computer technology, life skills, sports, art, music and homework assistance. Annual fee $15. When: Monday-Friday, 2PM - 6PM Where: Exeter – Farmersville – Porterville Contact: 592-2711 or www. bgcsequoias.org

J U L Y Socrates Café People who love a good philosophical discussion can join us at our first ‘’Socrates Café’’ meeting. The first question is, ‘’What is Friendship?’’ When: Tuesday, July 27, 7p-8:30p Where: Tulare County Library – 200 W. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: Judith Wood, 713-2706 or email Judith.wood@ tularecountylibrary.org

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Tulare County Library Summer 2010 Baby/Toddler Time (Tues. 10a), Preschool Storytime (Wed. 10a), Summer Reading Program (Thurs. 11a & 3p); Preschool Storytime Yoga (Fri. 2p). When: Call or visit website to confirm times. Where: Tulare County Library – 200 W. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: Children’s desk at 733-6954 ext. 209 or www. tularecountylibrary.org

Agventures at Heritage Complex Agricultural Learning Center and Farm Equipment Museum with nearly 15 professionally designed interactive displays When: Monday-Friday, 9a-4p Where: International Agri-Center, 4450 S. Laspina Street, Tulare Contact: 688-1751 or www. heritagecomplex.com/ AgVentures

If you would like to have your event considered for a free listing in our “Happenings” section, please email your submission to lifestyle@advertisewithdirect.com or fax to 738-0909, Attention Happenings. Please note, we do not guarantee listing of any submission. Submissions for the August 2010 issue must be received by July 30.

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NORMANDy, FRANCE Text by Joan Scobey

ABOVE: Founder of French impressionist painting, Claude Monet’s famous lily pond at his home in Giverny, France, Europe

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Celebrating Impressionism Where It Was Born

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n the late 19th century a dazzling roster of painters – Monet, Boudin, Manet, Renoir, Courbet, Pissarro, Sisley, Gauguin --– vacationed in Normandy, drawn by the beaches and fishing ports. They painted light and the movement of water in new ways and captured the dramatic cliffs and vibrant seaside life in some of the world’s most beloved paintings. Not only did they popularize the Normandy coast as a summer playground, but they also created an enduring art movement, which took its name from “Impression, Sunrise,” an evocative seascape Monet painted at Le Havre in 1872. So what could be more appropriate than a region-wide celebration of

these painters and their work? The first Normandy Impressionist Festival opened June 4 and will run into mid-September (longer in some venues). The festival is an ambitious undertaking of more than 300 events: paintings, of course, but also the influence of Impressionism on film, dance, music and literature; works of young contemporary artists; even picnics and parties along the Seine. You could happily spend the summer celebrating Impressionism all over the region, but if time is limited, here are five don’t-miss highlights where you’ll see great Impressionist paintings and some places where they were created. L I F E S T Y L E | J U LY 2 0 1 0

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1. Giverny is the delightful village where Claude Monet moved in 1883 with his companion, Alice Hoschede, and their eight children, and lived for 43 years. A passionate gardener, he designed the gardens to paint them, collected plants on his travels, and sent them home with instructions on where to place them for correct height and color. Ten years later, Monet bought land across the road, diverted an existing stream to create a pond for his famous water lilies, fringed it with bamboo stands and weeping willows and built a green wisteria-laden Japanese bridge. Strolling these magical gardens is like walking through a Monet painting. The house and gardens are open daily, April 1 to Nov. 1. Nearby is the year-old Museum of Impressionisms (formerly the Museum of American Art), where “Impressionism along the Seine” evokes the diverse aspects of river life that inspired so many artists, from Boudin to Matisse, including Monet, Renoir, Manet, Corot, Seurat and Pissarro. Open daily through July 18.

ABOVE: Etretat, Normandy, France ABOVE RIGHT: The Church of St. Ouen, Rouen is a large Gothic church, famous for both its architecture and its large, unaltered CavailléColl organ. RIGHT: Flowers covering Monet’s home in Giverney, France.

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2. Rouen, the capital of Normandy, is virtually the capital of the Impressionist Festival. At its Fine Arts Museum an exceptional exhibit, “A City for Impressionism: Monet, Pissarro, Gauguin in Rouen,” explores the city’s influence on the Impressionist movement through some 250 paintings, about 150 of them borrowed from public and private collections around the world. Monet made 11 paintings of Rouen Cathedral, essentially simultaneously, going from one to another as the light changed; seven are in the show. June 4-Sept.; open daily except Tuesday. The city’s other Impressionist events include theatrical sound and light shows at Rouen Cathedral and the Fine Arts Museum (“Les Nuits Impressionnistes”); photography exhibitions; opera (Pelleas et Melisande); pop and classical concerts; even Impressionist stoneware at the Ceramics Museum; and, if you are French-speaking, theater and lectures. Add to your itinerary the timber-framed Norman houses and cobbled streets of the old town where William the Conqueror died, and the layers of history that place Roman foundations by the modern church in the market square where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. With easy rail connections to Le Havre, Dieppe and other festival sites, Rouen makes an excellent base. 3. Seine Valley. The meandering Seine passes close to Rouen, its banks dotted with sites linked to the Impressionists. At two tiny villages facing each other across the river, for instance, Alfred Sisley painted “The Seine at La Bouille, a gust of wind” and “The path at the riverside at Sahurs, at night.” Freestanding panels reproduce each painting and mark the exact spots where Sisley placed his easel. Throughout Normandy there are 25 such panels that celebrate particular paintings; works of Boudin and Pissarro in Le Havre and Dieppe, and Monet at Etretat, Fecamp, Rouen, Giverny and Le Havre. Each


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ABOVE: The very attractive port of Honfleur in the Calvados region of France (Normandy). One of the most painted scenes in France (Monet, Courbet, etc.), it is known for its old, picturesque port, characterized by slate-covered frontages and played a role on the Impressionist movement. LEFT: The garden of the famous painter Claude Monet, where he painted his water lilies

of the panels evokes a marvelous marriage of painting and place at sites that often haven’t changed much in 150 years. 4. The neighboring seaside villages of Fecamp and Etretat on Normandy’s Alabaster Coast, named for its dramatic white chalk cliffs that plunge steeply into the English Channel, were magnets for the Impressionists. Etretat’s main streets, lined with beamed and gabled Norman houses, lead to the pebbled beach between two great cliffs, both scaled by paths with breathtaking views of the sea and the pointed free-standing rock called The Needle. These scenes were eye candy for many artists – MMonet, Courbet and Boudin among them --– and when you first see the iconic rocky cliffs arching over the water, you may have a pleasant shock of recognition. 5. Honfleur is sometimes called the “cradle of Impressionism,” and Eugene Boudin, a native son, its father. He took young Monet, from nearby Le Havre, for his first outdoor painting expedition. Later they brought Courbet, Corot, Sisley, Pissarro and Renoir to Honfleur to work; the artists hung out at the Auberge St.-Simeon, a 17th-century farmhouse that became a virtual art colony (today it is a beautifully restored inn, renamed La Ferme St.-Simeon). Wander around the old fishing port, the high narrow old houses mirrored in the harbor and into the cobbled streets with their timber-framed buildings that enchanted so many artists. Their story is the theme of “Honfleur: Between Tradition and Modernity, 1820-1900,” the Eugene Boudin Museum; June 2-Sept. 6. 56

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For Impressionist aficionados, here are other compelling festival events throughout the region: “Unpublished Degas,” running through Sept. 19; “Signac: Ports of France,” Oct. 1 to Jan. 30, 2011, both at the Andre Malraux Museum, Le Havre, home to the second largest collection of Impressionist works in France (after the Musee d’Orsay in Paris). “Millet at the Dawn of Impressionism,” Thomas-Henry Art Museum, Cherbourg-Octeville; running through Sept. 12. “The Impressionists at Dieppe,” Castle-Museum, Dieppe; June 27 to Sept. 26. “In the Footsteps of Corot in Normandy,” Saint-Lo Fine Arts Museum; running through Oct. 31. “Impressionist Prints,” Musee des Beaux-Arts, Caen, including Manet, Mary Cassatt, Pissarro and Degas; running through Sept. 5. For the entire festival program, visit www.impressionism-normandy.com.


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C CELEBRITY CHAT

A Funny Thing

Happened on the Way to Parenthood An inteRview witH pAulA poundstone by Crystal R.R. Edwards

I

had been down for days with a chest infection, spending most of it drugged and sending texts to my publisher like “Just got my phone out of the fridge” and “The good news is there’s no leftover chicken in my pocket. I just checked.” It had also been a week of vague hysteria because the end of the school year was approaching and I knew I’d soon have two of my three children home for break. I was in a panic, frankly; writing humor from home when the place is stacked to the rafters with children is no small task. In between chicken-free pockets and hallucinations brought on by a cocktail of codeine and Sudafed, I had somehow managed to secure an interview with Paula Poundstone. My history with Ms. Poundstone goes back nearly 22 years, when I was 17 and lying sprawled in my parents’ living room. My sister had the TV remote control and (such a sneaky girl!) had switched the channel to the new Comedy Channel. We weren’t ordinarily allowed to watch it, as our conservative stepfather decided we’d somehow be corrupted by ... well, laughter or something. A new program had just begun. “Poundstone,” my sister mused. “I haven’t heard of her. Have you?” I hadn’t, but two jokes in and I was a fan for life. I watched, all eyes and interest, and knew I’d found something special. You see, I really, really wanted to be a writer, and not just any old reporter or novelist. I wanted to be a humorist. I wanted to be a young, sassy Lewis Grizzard or Jean Shepherd for my generation. Somehow Paula Poundstone embodied this sort of ideal. She was droll, flitting over topics like leaving the dry cleaning in your car (“I’m sorry, Officer. I’m taking my sportswear out for a spin.”) and babies in the movie theater (“They show previews for months and months ahead of time. If it looks like there’s a film you’re going to want to see ... don’t have sex.”)

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Unlike Grizzard and Shepherd, Poundstone didn’t rant, but if something made her unhappy she certainly spoke up about it. In the late ’80s, we were shocked by women speaking up about life’s frustrations. Roseanne Barr nearly did in the collective psyche. Heck, when Erma Bombeck came on the scene in the ’60s she was calling foul on a lot of the absurdities of “the female experience.” But back to this May. I lined up my voice-activated recorder and my laptop, then set my iPhone to speaker. I dialed. A woman picked up. “Hello?” she asked. I was surprised. She sounded like any other woman, anybody just picking up the phone. I had expected, in my haze, a Norma Desmondesque experience. Instead, I got ... me. You. All of us. This was, for me, a confusing moment. She won 1989’s American Comedy Award for Best Female Comedy Club Stand-Up, and two CableACE awards. She has numerous contributions to the art of comedy itself, including frequent appearances on shows such as NPR’s Wait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me and The Late Show With Craig Ferguson. She’s written columns. She’s constantly performing. Shouldn’t she be uppity? Wasn’t I intruding? Not necessarily. As the conversation rolled on, I discovered why she has remained so popular throughout years of publicity, both good and bad: She’s honest. She’s human. And oh, boy, is she hilarious.


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C CELEBRITY CHAT

LS: I know you have three children – 18, 15 and 12. You’ve been a parent for nearly 20 years now, and you were a comedienne long before that. How has parenthood changed the humor that you write? PP: Well, I don’t have to write any more. I, uh, just take notes. LS: Have you found that you’ve pulled away from general observations to focus more on domestic humor? PP: Not really. When I bussed tables for a living and took public transportation, I mostly talked about that. I talk a fair amount about raising my children because, of course, it’s on my mind a lot. But I’m also a struggling citizen; I try really hard to vote halfway intelligently and have a sense of what’s going on in the world. My act is largely autobiographical. LS: What is your typical day like? Do you wake up, get the kids out the door, then sit down to work on material? How structured is it? PP: I almost never sit down. My day is not nearly structured enough. My oldest daughter was home with me this morning and I had her read my to-do list to me through the bathroom door. She read down the list and she got to “11 a.m. phoner” and I told her, “Okay, I can’t drive you to school.” Every day is ridiculously the same and different – just task after task. LS: Have you ever found yourself not hitting a deadline because of the mayhem? PP: I’ve been writing a book for years, and before that I wrote another book for years. And you know, I don’t have a carved-out schedule for writing. Therefore, I fit it into cracks in my day – and there are not a lot of cracks. In fact, when Toshia was reading that list to me, at the bottom it said “Write.” When she got to that word we both laughed. It was good of me to write it down though, wasn’t it? LS: That’s progress! I’m a master at lists, and then I have a list of lists ... PP: Me too! LS: It doesn’t really help. PP: I’ll tell you honestly, I couldn’t function without the list. My memory is shot, but also I’m overwhelmed most of the time because I’m dealing with the lives of my children and a houseful of animals and – you know, I sound a little beleaguered as I say it, but the truth is, I love that. I don’t wish that it was otherwise. I often wish I was better at it, but I don’t wish that I didn’t have it.

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LS: How do you handle traveling while parenting? PP: It’s certainly one of the challenges. It’s the same that every working parent faces in terms of trying to balance the two. I think we have it pretty well down. I’m lucky because I’ve had the same nanny for 16 years, and that works out pretty good. We use the phone a lot. I’ve read almost the entire Harry Potter series over the phone. I finally figured out to bring with me the book that I’m reading to them. The girls, my older two, are a bit more functional on their own now. It’s my son who is the challenge when I leave. I’m generally only available for work Thursday through Sunday, but I’m usually only working two nights a week. On the days that I’m home, which are many, I am theirs from the moment I pick them up at school until I take them the next day. I try really hard not to do two things at once. When they were little, I stupidly did try that and it doesn’t work very well. Like trying to write for example. I choose now to deal with my kids. I kind of love it when they’re home from school for any reason, home sick or something. I do continue to work then, and what’s great is then they get to see that Mommy doesn’t just sit in the chair. LS: On your Web site, you have produced home movies and short video recordings. In some you obviously have a helper. Are the kids actively involved in this? Do you have to beg them to help? PP: My daughter Allie helps me occasionally. I actually do most of it myself. I have a tripod and I can I do the one-arm thing. I had an assistant that helped but it was easier to do it myself, although Allie gets my jokes and knows what to get on film. LS: Do the kids ever make creative suggestions or criticism? PP: Yeah! Thomas E. has come up with a couple of really good ideas. They don’t seem to think a tremendous amount about my work. Allison likes to go with me. She likes to go to my shows and she can kind of suss out the crowd. Occasionally she’ll suggest some things that I should do, and often it’s something from my trunks of jokes and she has pretty good ideas. I don’t think any of them would go into this line of work. I don’t think it attracts them. It’s sort of what Mom does, and they don’t mind helping out a little bit. LS: What do you think is your favorite part of the day – working time? Quiet time? PP: I try to tell my kids about this. I have to remind myself of this idea of taking stock. For the most part, we just do stuff. We do the next thing, then the next and the next, and often it’s fairly grueling. I go to bed achy and tired; I work really hard during the day. I don’t necessarily reflect on which thing I enjoyed more than the other. It’s a lot of driving and kitty litter boxes and answering the phone and just ... crap.


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But the other night we went to an art show at the Otis School of Design and my son was really sticking it to me. It was very stressful and one of those “We’re gonna go to the car!” kind of experiences. Once we actually were back in the car, the subject of a song I wanted Allison to put on my iPod came up. I sang a little bit of it and soon we were all singing, then someone suggested “Row, Row Your Boat” as a round. We got laughing so hard that it could possibly have been the end of our lives. Because I was driving. And it would have been okay, you know what I mean? We would have gone out on a nice high. I don’t know if those moments are possible except because how difficult the moment before was. LS: Hysterical euphoria. “My gosh, I survived that!” PP: Yeah. So many things go into those moments. People talk about family game night, but the truth is you really can’t schedule those moments. If every day were summer vacation, that too would suck. It’s a wonderful mixture. LS: What about parenting while trying to produce humor have you had to learn the hard way? PP: My neighbor has a tiny baby who’ll be one year old in August. He mentioned to me that “We’re finding it’s really hard to work with her around.” And I said, “Yeah. Bag the work.” Don’t not pay the rent, but the truth is she’s not going to be one year old again. When the time is past, it’s no good to sit around and mourn years that aren’t there anymore. The thing is, so many things just work out. I had so much ritual to the way that I worked in the old days. I don’t think I was any more productive than I am now. In fact, I don’t think I was ever more productive than I am now. I had the feeling that I needed to be working. But then my nanny opened a flower shop with her sister-in-law and so there were days when she wasn’t available. I no longer had the pick of any days of the week to go out of town. This caused me to determine there are nights I will not work. When I said it before, nobody heard me. When I finally said, “I can’t. I don’t have anybody for the kids that night,” what happened was a lot of jobs that were originally insisting and telling me, “It must be Tuesday,” – guess what? They could change it to Thursday. I remember when Thomas E. was five. I told my manager on the phone one day, “He’s five now. He’s not going to be five next year. I need to have this for him right now.” Things seem to work themselves out without me there. My kids are less able to do that. I don’t think I knew, when I first took the leap and said, “No, I won’t do that on this night,” that it would be alright. I think I thought that all would fall into disarray. But in fact, it doesn’t seem to have.

LS: That was a surprise to me this last year. I had to do the same thing last summer and scale back what I was doing. I was expecting the world to fall apart, and it didn’t. And you know? That kind of ticked me off at first. What about all that pressure I’d been getting from everyone before? It wasn’t there. I carried all that stress ... for what? PP: Yes! The other thing is, I use my time better now than I ever did before. I love my work; I have no desire to turn my back on my work at all. I love what I do. I’m so glad I get to do it. But I do find that because I want to be available to my kids I make this sort of non-verbal pledge that I’m going to work my ass off all day long so that when I’m with them, I’m with them. I do Twitter and I like to listen to the news, but when my son comes up to the car after school I turn it all off. Not that he can’t think I have a life, but I want that moment to be his. I even answer the phone on stage now. It came about once when my phone went off during a concert. Only two people had that number: my assistant and my nanny. Once before, back in the days of pagers, my pager went off and it turned out that Toshia needed a blood transfusion! Ever since then, if the phone rings, I answer it. I almost passed out [when my phone rang] and I thought, “Oh, my God, what’s happened?” I’m like “Hello! Hello!” and my daughter Allie goes, “Hi, Mom! It’s me, Allie!” I said, “Oh. Hi, honey. How are you? Um, Mommy’s working right now. I’m going to have to call you back, okay?” It’s not that she meant to. She’d just learned how to do it. She had no idea what time it was or whether I was onstage. I write a calendar in magic marker every month that I decorate beautifully, and I put it up on the wall with where I am and what they have to do – stuff like that, just so they have some sense of what’s going on. But they don’t look at it. So now they call and get all embarrassed. They’re like, “Uh, are you on stage?” “Yeah, yeah I am.” Thomas E. likes the crowd to say hello to him, and I’ll hang up afterward. It’s like the guy bringing his kid in to the air traffic control: I’m sure most people aren’t charmed at all, but that’s the way it goes, huh? LS: Yes, that is the way it goes. The conversation ended soon after, and I hung up with a new perspective on humor and parenting. And now it’s June. School is out, and this morning we had the usual head-butting about my need to work and their need to be kids. I made a decision before sitting down to write this. We have a glorious rainstorm about to start, so I made some preparations. I now have squirt guns filled and waiting, and once the first drops fall I will be turning off my laptop, turning off my phone, and going out with the girls to embark upon a diluvian soaking. Paula was right. You can’t really schedule these moments. For the second time in my life, I’ve been inspired by the humor and humanity of Paula Poundstone.

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July 2010  

Style, Art, Culture and Events of the South Valley.

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