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[02]

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009

[03]


[04]   CONTENTS

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

Cover Silicon Valley’s Weekly Newspaper

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Features

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A locally owned company

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Books

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009

[05]


[06]   LETTERS

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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For the past 10 years, every person who told me about the book that this movie came from was working-, middle- and upper-class male and female members of this so-called working society. And each and every one of them so identiďŹ ed with the horrors Precious dealt with that they knew and were that girl, no matter how much the antithesis of that they seemed and looked on the outside. And even with that lead-in, I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t read the book until late this summer. And at ďŹ rst, I was a bit bothered by how it initially comes across as yet another story of black manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inhumanity to man being lauded. But a few weeks ago, watching Seattle hem and haw about whether or not to open it in more than one out-ofthe- way movie theater just like many other communities in America who have been given the â&#x20AC;&#x153;this doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happen hereâ&#x20AC;? carte blanche to say no thanks to having it on offerâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;it suddenly hit that I have been ďŹ nding references to my own life experience in characters portrayed by many actors over the years, no matter the skin tone. From books onward. Contrary to von Busackâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mockery, the movie is not going to be nominated for an Oscar in the spirit of â&#x20AC;&#x153;There, but for the grace of God, goeth I.â&#x20AC;? That movie is going to do so because so many people across so many strata of society live a life infused by exactly the opposite, in private, in pain, through no fault of their own. It will get the nod because even so many of your readers know exactly from where that main character speaks. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time for the lowest common denominator of abuse to ďŹ nally be

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Doctrinal There are many inaccuracies in this article regarding the teaching of the Church (â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s New Colors,â&#x20AC;? Cover Story, Nov. 18). I would recommend referring to the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Catechism of the Catholic Churchâ&#x20AC;? for clariďŹ cation on the factual teachings of the Church. For example, the Church does not teach that the only purpose for sexual behavior is procreation. The Church teaches the only place for

it is within the context of marriage, as a holy Sacrament. There are many people who are married who are unable to â&#x20AC;&#x153;procreate.â&#x20AC;? And yet, they share mutually beneďŹ cial sexual relationships. Anyway, your article was thoughtful and well-written. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a shame that the writer failed to research the teachings of the Church thoroughly and therefore misrepresented them. Kathy Soria Walley Springs

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Push Comes To Shove Keeping this simple: The reason people are being so deeply affected by the movie Precious (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pushing Too Hard,â&#x20AC;? MetroFilm; Nov. 18) is the same reason people were affected by the book Push by Sapphire. Three out of ďŹ ve Americans over the age of 30 have been mentally, physically and/or sexually abused as a child by someone so close to them.

Kiss and Lie

dealt with and eradicated. If I can ďŹ gure out how to be touched by a movie with nobody that looks like me in it because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s singing my song, so can everybody else. And this time . . . they are already doing it. A. Brynner , Seattle

Choices As a young woman, I understand the difficult choices I make daily about my body. I personally do not believe I could ever abort a child, but I do believe that I cannot make that choice for another because I do not walk in their shoes. It is because of this core belief; I strongly believe the government has no place in making these decisions for the people. The Stupak Amendment proposes to do that and more. We cannot deny coverage to a woman who for her own personal reasons chooses to have an abortion. Health-care reform will expand access to quality, affordable health care for millions of men, women and children. It is absolutely crucial we pass legislation this year. But outlawing coverage for a legal, medical procedure hurts women and thus hurts America.We cannot dictate what is and is not covered when currently there are Americans who have no choices because they have no coverage. Church and state are separate and thus religious decisions about abortion have no place in a public option. I have said it before, and I will say it again; We cannot have a healthy America without healthy Americans. Lisa Sobel San Jose

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I saw you Friday night at Maggianoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. I called you on your cell phone to ask what you were doing, and you said you were studying. I asked what all the noise was, and you said it was your TV. When I asked to come by, you said you might have H1N1, so I should stay away. Right afterward, you hung up, and I watched while you sat there kissing and hugging your new boyfriend who looked like Wesley Snipes. How could you lie to meâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re engaged for Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sakesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;I was so mad I took my date home right afterward and told her I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stay the night because I was felling sick. You ruined it for me. SEND US your anonymous rants, raves, gripes and diatribes about your co-workers, bosses, enemies or any badly behaving citizen who rankles your ireâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;or about citizens you admire. Send to: I SAW YOU, Metro, 550 S. First St., San Jose, 95113, or via email to isawyou@metronews.com.

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009

[07]

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PHOTO: ALANNA WILLIAMS


[08]

mashup MASHUP NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

best of the local web

A roundup of news, commentary and opinion from around the valley. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect Metro’s editorial views.

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Twitter’s New Prompt: A Linguist Weighs In TWITTER announced it will WORD PROCESSER Mjohvjtu!Ebwje! prompt users to post by asking Dsztubm!tbzt!UxjuufsÖt!ofx!qspnqu!tipxt! “What’s happening?” rather than uibu!jut!bvejfodf!jt!fwpmwjoh/ the old “What are you doing?” We asked a prominent linguist if this means anything. Turns out it does: Twitterers are no longer such loners. In short, Twitter’s new slogan reflects the microblogging service’s evolution from a venue for self-expression into a forum for conversation, according to Welsh linguist David Crystal. Crystal has written or contributed to more than 100 books on language, including on Internet linguistics, and examined the text-messaging culture from which Twitter was born in his most recent work, the appropriately titled Txtng: The Gr8 Db8. “I’m not surprised. Twitter has become steadily more discursive, with people maintaining threads and introducing a great deal more interaction, rather than posting isolated tweets. As a result the focus has shifted from the individual to the group, and a more open question is required to capture this emphasis. What-doing looks inward. What-happening looks outward. So Twitter’s users have, at the very least, moved beyond mere navel gazing and into arguing. Way to go, narcissists! —RYAN TATE, GAWKER.VALLEYWAG.COM

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Chrome OS and the Microsoft Squeeze

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009

[09]


[10]

MASHUP NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

mashup

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First and only Bay Area appearance. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss this unique exhibition of over 200 artifacts. More than 15,000 sg ft!

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009NEWS

“Where Shopping Locally Is the Patriotic Thing to Do.”

Santa Clara Valley, California

the

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GLOBAL TRADE ENVOY !Evsjoh!uif!Bnfsjdbo!pddvqbujpo!pg!Kbqbo!bgufs!Xpsme!Xbs!JJ-!Hfo/!Epvhmbt!NbdBsuivs!

)qjduvsfe-!jo!tvohmbttft*!pwfstbx!uif!dsfbujpo!pg!fyqpsu.psjfoufe!joevtusjft!jo!uif!xbs.sbwbhfe!dpvousz/!

Power of Consumption How we Americans spent ourselves into ruin—but saved the world By David Brin

I

FEEL IT IS past time that something must be said in defense of Pax Americana. Sure, that phrase fell into disrepute during the era of neoconservative misrule, which left the United States far worse off by every clear metric of national health. While steering the American ship of state toward too many rocks to count, fellows like Richard Cheney, Richard Perle, Kenneth Adelman and their ilk kept proclaiming imperial triumphalism to the world, extolling an America invested with a perpetual right to planetwide dominance, based upon inherent qualities that were said to be unaffected by any objectiveworld considerations, like budgets or geography; world opinion or the end of the Cold War; science or technology; rationality or morality; or the physical well-being of our troops. Indeed, the only factor that they felt might undermine America’s manifestly destined and eternal pre-eminence might be a failure

of will, should the wimpy liberals ever have their way. But if led with a firm-jawed will to overcome all obstacles, America could stay on top indefinitely, with all the privileges of governing world affairs and few of the responsibilities or cares. Sure, it has been proper to oppose the policies of such deeply delusional men, who unambiguously brought ruin to the very things they claimed to hold dear. Capitalism, freedom, fiscal and national health, as well as U.S. influence in the world all plummeted under their rule. Yet, something is very wrong with the unselective manner in which folks on the other side have allowed the neocons to define the argument. It is an unfortunate habit of the left to assume that any vocal and assertive appreciation of the American contribution to human civilization must be inherently fascist. This reflexive self-loathing has given (unnecessarily) a huge weapon to the right, allowing them to retain

millions of supporters who might otherwise have abandoned them. By abrogating the natural human phenomenon of patriotic pride, these fools on the left have allowed guys like Sean Hannity to claim love of country as a sole monopoly of the right! If they get away with pushing simplistic “greatest nation ever” rants and portray themselves as the implicit opposite of homeland-hating liberals, that gift comes gratis from the left. Moreover, there is another reason for liberals to re-examine this reflex and to find good—and even great—things to proclaim about America. Because, without any doubt, America deserves it. Yes, there definitely were crimes committed during our time on top. But find and name a powerful nation, in all of human history, that wasn’t far worse. In fact, the net effects of Pax Americana have been generally positive, compared against every single previous era in human history. This can be proved, with an

[11]

November 25-December 1, 2009 example that has spanned an entire lifespan. Mr. Wu Jianmin, a professor at China Foreign Affairs University and chairman of the Shanghai Centre of International Studies, is a smart fellow whose observations about merit close attention. In a recent edition of the online journal The Globalist, Wu Jianmin’s brief appraisal of “A Chinese Perspective on a Changing World” was insightful, but it typically misplaced credit for the Asian economic miracle. “After the Second World War, things started to change. Japan was the first to rise in Asia. We Asians are grateful to Japan for inventing this export-oriented development model, which helped initiate the process of Asia’s rise.” In fact, with due respect for their industriousness, ingenuity and determination, the Japanese invented no such thing. The initiators of export-driven world development were two military and diplomatic leaders of Pax Americana at its very peak: George Marshall, who was secretary of state under President Harry Truman, and Gen. Douglas MacArthur, during his time as military governor of Japan, in the ravaged aftermath of the Second World War. Marshall crafted a historically unprecedented, receptively open trade policy called “countermercantilism.” MacArthur vigorously pushed the creation of Japanese export-oriented industries. Instead of doing what all other victorious conquerors had done—looting the defeated enemy— Marshall, MacArthur and Truman lifted their prostrate foe, first with direct aid. And then, over the longer term, with trade. I am not downplaying the importance of Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Chinese and Indian efforts to uplift themselves through the hard work of hundreds of millions who labored in sweatshops making toys and clothes for U.S. consumers. Without any doubt, those workers were far more heroic and directly responsible for the last six decades of world development than American consumers, pushing overflowing carts through Wal-Mart. Nevertheless, those consumers— &'


[12]

NEWS NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

&&

plus the trade policies that made Wal-Mart possible—all played crucial roles in this process that lifted billions of people out of grinding, hopeless poverty. Moreover, it now seems long past time to realize how unique this was, in the sad litany of human history.

The Thing About Empires Let’s step back a little. If you scan recorded accounts, you’ll find that most people lived in either a period of imperium or a period of chaos. A lot of the empires were brutal and stultifying, and I am not defending most of them. Still, cities didn’t burn that often when the empire maintained order. Most people could work, trade and raise their families in safety, under the imperial peace, or “pax.” That doesn’t mean the empires were wise. Often, they behaved in smug and tyrannical ways that laid seeds for their own destruction. Whenever a nation became overwhelmingly strong, it tended to forge trade networks that favored home industries and capital inflows, at the expense of those living in dependent areas. The Romans did this, insisting that rivers of gold stream into the imperial city. So did the Hellenists, Persians, Moguls and every Chinese dynasty. This kind of behavior, by Pax Brittanica, was one of the chief complaints of both John Hancock and Gandhi. In fact, there has been only one top nation that ever avoided the habit, and that was the United States. Upon finding itself the dominant power at the end of World War II., the United States had the opportunity to impose its own vision of international trade. And it did. At this crucial moment, something special happened. At the behest of Marshall and his advisers, America became the first power in history to deliberately establish countermercantilist commerce flows. Nations crippled by war or mismanagement were allowed to maintain tariffs, keeping out American goods, while sending shiploads from their factories to the United States. Each administration since Marshall’s time, regardless of political party, has abided by this compact—to such a degree that the world’s peoples now simply take it for granted! Of course, more than pure altruism may have been involved. Democrat Harry Truman and Republican Dwight Eisenhower both saw trade as a tonic to unite world peoples against Soviet expansionism. Nevertheless, if you doubt that countermercantilism also had an altruistic motive, remember that this unprecedented regime was instituted by the author of the renowned Marshall Plan—an endeavor that rings in human memory as an archetype of generosity. Unfortunately, while recipients of the Marshall Plan’s direct aid could immediately see beneficial results, the effects of other parts of the program were slower in coming. What this amounted to, however, was the greatest aid-and-uplift program in human history. A prodigious transfer of wealth from the United States to Europe, Asia

and Latin America. A program that consisted of Americans buying loads of things they did not really need. Does anyone deserve moral credit for this staggeringly successful “aid program”? Perhaps not the American consumers, who went on a reckless holiday, spending themselves into debt. Moreover, as the author of a book called Earth, I’d be remiss not to mention that all of this consumption-driven growth came about at considerable cost to our planet. For all our sakes, the process of ending human poverty needs to get a lot more efficient. Nevertheless, if credit is being given to the Japanese for inventing this export-oriented development model, then I think it is time for some historical perspective. This view of the present situation may feel satisfying, but it is wholly inaccurate. Moreover, it could lead to serious mistakes. Even if America is exhausted from having spent its way from world dominance into a chasm of debt, the United States does have something to show for it the last six decades. A world saved. Billions of human beings lifted out of poverty. That task, far more prodigious than defeating fascism and communism or going to the moon, ought to be viewed with a little respect. This should be contemplated as other nations consider their time ahead as one of potential triumph. If they become the next great “pax,” will they start their era with acts of farsighted wisdom, the way Marshall and Truman did? In some parallel world, the U.S. after World War II followed every other empire and imposed mercantilist trade patterns. That version of the U.S. would have no debt today. Our factories would be humming and the country would be swimming in gold. But the amount of hope and prosperity in the world would be far less, ruined by the same selfcentered, short-sighted greed that eventually brought down empires in Greece, Persia, Rome, China, Britain and so on. Also, by this point, every American youth would be serving in armies of occupation, and the entire world would by now be simmering, plotting for the downfall of the Evil Empire. That is the way the old pattern was written. But it is not how this “pax” was run. Instead, the greater part of the world was saved from poverty by the same force that rescued it from fascistic imperialism and communism. Yes, America’s era of uplifting the globe by propelling export-driven growth must be over. And having performed this task, it cannot expect any credit or thanks. But that is OK. We certainly do not need to be thanked. It simply is done. And soon it will be time for someone else to start buying, for a change. The products, the services and especially the ideas. And just watch. America will be happy to sell. David Brin is the author of bestselling novels like ‘Earth,’ ‘The Postman’ and ‘Kiln People.’ His nonfiction book ‘The Transparent Society’ won the American Library Association’s Freedom of Speech Award.


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Back-Alley Giving

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HIS WEEK, Metro once again provides the definitive gift guide for the South Bay. Apropos of the situation, allow me to humbly present in this space a few back-alley ideas for those whose extra dollars can be used toward gifts for some local causes. For just $50, try bestowing on someone a gift membership to the Foundation for Mind Being Research (www.fmbr.org). Located in Los Altos, FMBR was established in 1980 to assist in establishing the field of consciousness studies as a bona-fide science. FMBR members include folks from a wide variety of disciplines—psychologists, computer engineers, mediums, artists, philosophers, mystics and MDs—anybody “whose view of reality, knowledge, or method provides exemplars and models for new frontiers in their disciplines.” The group hosts lectures on a variety of subjects, including Chinese medicine, quantum physics, weather modification, Russian biosensory psychology and the yoga of time travel. With a membership, you’ll also get a discount rate for their psychokinesis parties. Furthermore, if you know of anyone in need of new types of transformation, consider a gift donation in their name to the Radical Change Group (www.radicalchangegroup.com). Active only a few years, the group strives to bring about transformation not just in what or who is being transformed but also in how transformational technology is delivered. They would like to see the day when all previously expensive personal-growth trainings would be free for everyone. Their website offers a slew of interviews and podcasts with radical thinkers. The site poses the question: “What if . . . transformational teachings were shared as gifts, rather than traded for money?” And then there’s the Accelerating Change Foundation (www.accelerating.org) in Mountain View, another nonprofit group in need of your gift donation. All change in the world—technological, ecological, planetary or political—seems to be rapidly accelerating, and this group of visionary thinkers needs your support. Give a gift in someone’s name. Look at it this way: Imagine if you had the technological foresight to anticipate the next revolution—that is, the next equivalent of the internal-combustion engine or the assembly line. What would you do with that knowledge and how would you apply it to make the world a better place? The Accelerating Change Foundation is helping you to acquire that kind of foresight. On the darker side of things, Silicon Valley is a diverse place, so if you know any And then there’s scientists, engineers, managers, operators, educators or military personnel involved the Accelerating in the sciences of information or electronic Change Foundation warfare, why not donate a membership in Mountain View, to the Golden Gate Chapter of the Old another nonprofit Crows (www.myaoc.org)? This is the local Silicon Valley chapter of the world’s leading group in need of organization of professionals engaged in your gift donation the aforementioned activities. Many of the members are retired military folks or are somehow involved with the Defense Department, so some of their exploits are undisclosed and hush-hush, but they are definitely involved with InfoWarCon 2010, which is in Washington, D.C. What better holiday present than a gift membership? For more “on-the-record” pursuits, at the Hacker Dojo (hackerdojo.pbworks.com) in Mountain View, anyone can become a member for $100 a month to support the organization in its early stages. All sorts of collaborative endeavors go down at the place, whether you need to make circuits for hobby projects or build your next robot. Planned classes include lock picking and iPhone programming. This organization will only grow and grow, so it’s a worthy cause for tinkerer types. Finally, when people need to escape their hectic pressure-cooker lives in Silicon Valley, there’s always our most famous au naturel escape, the Lupin Lodge (www.lupin.com). Since 1936, people from all across the social spectrum have visited Lupin for the benefits of social nudism. There’s even a student rate of $30 a month. If your SJSU pals constantly complain that they can’t get all their required classes, give them a gift certificate for the Lupin Lodge so they can escape the stressful madness of budget cuts. That’s the holiday spirit! Send me your gift ideas: SiliconAlleys@metronews.com

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Courses Starting in December

M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009SILICON ALLEYS

Courses Still Available This Year Did you make a New Year’s resolution at the beginning of this year to make strides in your career and get on track for a brighter professional future? 2010 is almost here, but at UCSC Extension in Silicon Valley, there’s still time to get closer to your goals! Take a look at the courses available to get you started before the end of 2009.

ALL COURSES AT OUR NEW LOCATION 2505 Augustine Drive, Santa Clara Q

Business and Management Project Management Office, 0829-013, Starts Dec. 1 Project Management Negotiation Principles and Techniques, 1493-040, Starts Dec. 5 Designing Training Programs, 3132-042, Starts Dec. 3 Usability Testing Documentation, Online, 0684-014, Starts Dec. 7

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Engineering and Technology Cloud Computing, Introduction, 22413-001, Starts Dec. 5

Q

Biosciences Bioscience Business Development: Building Value, 19001-009, Starts Dec. 3 Biotechnology Basics for Non-Scientists, 6163-021, Starts Dec. 5

See ucsc-extension.edu/tm for directions, course details and to enroll

SiliconValley

KNOWLEDGE YOU PUT TO WORK

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NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009   COVER STORY

Get Me the Good One The radically ecological, perversely philosophical, ultimately economical guide to holiday gift giving By Traci Hukill

D

ON’T get us wrong—we love the holidays just as much as the next person. We know the names of the three wise men and all eight reindeer, and we can sing most of “Good King Wenceslas,” which a lot of people have never heard of. We love to light the menorah and spin the dreidel. Also, we are fans of the Rankin/Bass Claymation specials, so please do not bother us with invitations to do less important things on the nights those programs are airing. Because we do love the holidays. But we’ve had it up to here—by which we mean way up there—with holiday waste. Not just the wrapping paper, which is bad enough. No, this is a problem with the holiday gifts themselves, purchased hastily in the weeks leading up to a white-knuckle drive to get something, anything, for the giftee.

This can end in the unfortunate triumph of quantity over quality: we buy multiple second-rate items instead of one good one. And in the nature of second-rate items, these gifts soon break or wear out or just don’t get used at all because they’re of inferior quality to begin with. Within a couple of years, off to the landfill they go to make room for replacements that are just as cheap, just as shoddy, just as surely headed for the trash heap on the same short schedule. Let’s dump that racket now! Here’s an idea: buy the good one from the get-go. It costs more up-front, but in the long run it saves money, saves the giftee the hassle of replacing the item later and is better for the planet. Instead of the $10 headlamp that might last one camping season (but probably won’t), spring for the hardy Petzl. Skip the flimsy hand

mixer and get the aspiring cook a sturdy standing model, something that would break your foot if it fell off the counter (not that such a thing could ever happen, since it weighs too much). This doesn’t mean go broke buying designer brands for their own sake. But it might mean teaming up with other family members in order to afford the groovy item in question, or delaying instant gratification (cups at Christmas! saucers on your birthday!) in favor of a more durable gift in the end. It’s a mild-mannered, sociable revolution, and in these pages we’re jump-starting it with a list of quality items that will stand the test of time.

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NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009   COVER STORY

GIFT GUIDE

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This holiday season, fashion is all about standing out from the crowd with bold stripes and color. Look to small-time fashion designers like Stuff by Kate, Akire Pierre and Breezy Excursion for zany, original wearables with impeccable construction. At the same time, international labels like Y-3 and Betsey Johnson offer distinctive shoes and accessories that show people one is in the know without being humdrum.

By Jessica Fromm

Multicolored Chevron Tote by Melie Bianco

Music Man Fleecie Hoodie by Stuff by Kate Price: $295

Price: $90

Modesto-based designer Stuff by Kate fashions clothing that brings zany and cute together with a whimsical edge and quality construction. Her Music Man Fleecie Hoodie is handmade and combines military gold button details with stitched piano keys and pink tuxedo ruffles, all fashioned out of soft, heavyweight sweatshirt fleece. This casual, asymmetrical hoodie with a high-cowl-style collar is a great alternative to the same old sweatshirt on those days where it’s too cold to wear anything but jeans and a cozy top. Stuff by Kate designs are sold at Underground Fashion, Music, Art at 516½ McHenry Ave in Modesto and www.stuffbykate.com.

This statement bag by Melie Bianco combines that trendy tote design that is so hot right now, with lively stitched-on stripes that are anything but subdued. All eyes will be on this bag with its square structured shape, not to mention the fact that it’s roomy enough to carry notebooks to class or a small laptop for work. Side pockets act as a perfect home for ones Blackberry. At only $90 and made from PVC, if one spills one’s mocha chino on this handbag, no big whoop. This and other bags and accessories by Melie Bianco are sold at Bella James Boutique in Willow Glen.

Bel Air Collection by Breezy Excursion

Vintage Vicky Toggle Bracelet by Betsey Johnson

Price: $28 and up “Now, this is a story all about how, My life got flipped-turned upside down, and I liked to take a minute, just sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air . . .” Urban wear enthusiasts will find themselves singing this tune when they wear the Bel Air Collection by Breezy Excursion. The biggest urban-wear label to come out of San Jose in years, Breezy Excursion has been blowing up on the Bay Area street-wear scene. Label owners Ryan Mante and Christian “Flip” Lilleland aim to make clothing that is an in-joke with their customers, and their Bel Air Collection is exactly that. Inspired by the classic ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, their T-shirts have accents like Carlton’s bow ties and the Bel Air Academy crest. Breezy Excursion is sold at Aristocrats on Jackson Street in San Jose and Workmens/Balance at the Eastridge Mall.

Price: $55

Akire Pierre Crochet Cocktail Dresses

Y-3 Honja Hi Sneakers

Price: $40–$70

Price: $290

With the motto “Changing the World One Crochet at a Time,” fashion line Akire Pierre has been making bright, fun little cocktail dresses out of yarn since 2005. CEO and designer Marquis Smith was an avid crocheter of hats, blankets and scarves when a client asked him to take a crack at crocheting her a frock. The pretty little number his crochet hook whipped out was so popular that he decided to make dress designing the focus of his craft. Akire Pierre now offers a wide variety of unique, handmade flirty dresses in bright, contrasting stripes and patterns, all available on their website www.akirepierre.com.

Y-3 high-tops are coveted worldwide by sneakerholics, and with the vibrant, handpainted black, white and blue stripes of these Y-3 Honja Hi’s, wearers are sure to be noticed. Not to mention, the goatskin lining, padded leather insole and hidden lacing system boast comfort and luxury. A favorite of urban-wear aficionados and celebrities like Kanye West, Y-3 is a collaboration between German athletic brand Adidas and Japanese haute couture designer Yohji Yamamoto. Look for these kicks and other sporty hipster street wear at Azuki on Paseo de San Antonio in downtown San Jose.

Betsey Johnson has always been known for her distinctly feminine and over-the-top designs, but for some of us, her layers of tulle and spangles can get a bit much. But Johnson’s jewelry line is a great jumping-off point into her world of fun, wacky designs. Case in point, Johnson’s Vintage Vicky Toggle Bracelet features a stretched, glossy enamel black cat accented with charms, stones and bows. A great gift for teens and young women who don’t mind standing out with their accessories, this bracelet is sold at the Betsey Johnson store at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto.


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By Stett Holbrook

You love the carne asada at your favorite taqueria so much you want to share the love and give one to all your friends. Trouble is, carne asada super burritos and food in general don’t make good gifts. Something about the smell of compost puts people off. But not to worry. Here’s a list of local food treats for all the food lovers on your list. There’s more to giving the gift of food than those boxes of Pepperidge Farms smoked cheese packed in fake grass.

Artisan Wine Depot 400A Villa St. Mountain View; 650.969.3511; www.artisanwinedepot.com.

Saratoga Chocolates

Choosing wine for the wine lovers in your life is easy at Mountain View’s Artisan Wine Depot. All of the wines are online so you can peruse their vast selection and read tasting notes at your leisure. But better than that is friendly and knowledgeable co-owner and sommelier Christine Tran. Tran has tasted all the wines in her warehouselike shop, and she knows her stuff. She will help you pick wines you’re not likely to find elsewhere at prices that will also allow you to snag a few for yourself.

14572 Big Basin Way, Saratoga; 408.872.1431. I’m not one to turn down a box of See’s Candies, but they’re pretty humdrum compared to the meticulously crafted and deliciously flavored chocolate treats, truffles and bonbons from Saratoga Chocolates. The chocolate is produced in Northern California by premier chocolate sources. Creams come from a local dairy and all the produce used in the confections is grown in California. Check out the “chili spice truffle,” dark chocolate ganache blended with cinnamon, clove, and cayenne pepper. My other favorite is the “vanilla caramel and sea salt caramel” made with house-made caramel, fresh vanilla beans, milk chocolate and dark chocolate and sea-salted caramel.

Rangoli 1584 Halford Ave., Santa Clara; 408.244.1160. Barfi may not be the best name for a sweet treat, but the confection made from condensed milk cooked with sugar will win you over, and this haven of Hindu sweets is the place to get them and other milk-based sweets. Rangoli is the go-to place for Diwali or any other holiday when sweets are called for. They come in various shapes and colors. Pistachio barfi is similar to a truffle nut-chew filling, a pistachio marzipan of sorts. Gulab jamen sandwich pairs two wafers of fried cottage cheese fritters with a ricottalike filling. The entire concoction is soaked in sweet and sticky rose-water syrup. More adaptable to American tastes is the Indian donut, a pastry that gives Krispy Kreme a run for its money. It’s a dense ball of deepfried dough glazed in a crisp, sugar coating. It’s crunchy at first, but then dissolves almost instantly in the mouth

Ku Day Ta Tea Lounge 447 Great Mall Dr. #124, Milpitas; 408.935.9083. Tea makes a great gift, especially if it’s premium loose-leaf tea. But for a one-ofa-kind gift for tea lovers, check out Ku Day Ta’s lineup of chais. Chai is simply spiced tea and milk, and there’s no one recipe. Ku Day Ta offers nearly a dozen special blends of tea and spices to suit any taste.

The Butter Paddle 14510 Big Basin Way Saratoga; 408.867.1678.

Sogo Tofu

Neto Sausage Co.

1600 S. De Anza Blvd., San Jose; 408.517.8958.

1313 Franklin St., Santa Clara; 408.296.0818.

Will all those turkeys and hams, vegetarians kind of get the shaft during the holidays. Turn them on to Sogo Tofu, and you’ll have a friend for life. This small store turns out an astounding variety of tofu and soy-milk products, all made with organic soybeans. Behind the small store is a full-blown factory that turns the magic beans into dozens of sweet and savory creations. Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, you need to sample some of the wares at this tofu specialty shop.

Who wants a fruitcake when you can give the gift of sausage? Arthur Gonçalvez founded Neto’s Sausage Co. in a tiny storefront on The Alameda in 1948. A Portuguese immigrant, Gonçalvez catered to his countrymen with his handmade linguiça, morcilla and Spanish chorizo, but the company’s customer base soon expanded. From the company’s three-sausage beginnings, Neto’s now makes about 25 different varieties. All the sausage is made on site from Gonçalvez’s original recipes and overseen by grandson Ed Costa.

Years before Williams-Sonoma and Sur la Table came onto the scene with their fancy blenders and expensive cutlery, the Butter Paddle in downtown Saratoga has been quietly but consistently offering cooking and houseware products to discerning home cooks since 1967. Staffed entirely by volunteers, the Butter Paddle offers all the stuff you can get at the mall as well as items you’re not likely to find elsewhere. What makes the Butter Paddle unique is that all proceeds go to EMQ Families First, a local nonprofit that offers support and services for families and children recovering from abuse and neglect.


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By Michael S. Gant

Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History,

I have, under dire circumstances, been reduced to reading downloaded stories on an iPhone. All the more reason to still covet the ultimate intellectual fetish object: the coffee-table art book. No Kindle yet nurtured in Jeff Bezos’ brain can reproduce the sensual frisson of fingering the thick, glossy pages of a finearts volume. When you give a book, make sure that it is worth the paper it’s printed on—full of high-quality images and packed with significant text, something worth reading and displaying. These sterling new publications fit the bill. They can all be easily obtaining by dropping in on a local bookstore or art museum gift shop, which is a gift in and of itself.

1955 to the Present by Gail Buckland

Historical Atlas of The American West

Knopf; 322 pages; $40 hardback Our memories of famous rockers are determined as much by images as by sounds. Buckland’s book surveys the iconizing efforts of scores of photographers, from the celebrated (Annie Leibovitz and Dennis Hopper) to the obscure. The pictures here (mostly in black-and-white) range from Alfred Wertheimer’s candid shots of Elvis on the cusp of stardom to the raw action of Ian Dickson’s in-the-moment snap of the Ramones in 1977. French photographer Jean-Pierre Leloir captures Chuck Berry in 1996 putting his tight pants to the ultimate test with a spread-eagle split. Mark Seliger’s closeup of a anguished-looking Neil Young has the power of an Avedon.

by Derek Hayes UC Press; 288 pages; $39.95 hardback The appeal of old maps—richly colored, redolent with the sense of discovery, frequently embellished with artistic flourishes—has driven some addicts to archival crimes. Luckily, Hayes’ Historical Atlas satisfies the cartographical itch within the bounds of the laws. This extra-large selection begins with Native American settlements and runs through the Spanish explorers, early forays by American pioneers, the Gold Rush, the building of the Transcontinental railroad to the rise of urban centers. Hayes provides considerable context for survey, land grant, topo and tourism maps. A brochure route map for the Great Northern streamliners trumpets the “New Empire Builder,” echoing the whole dubious project of Manifest Destiny. A 1940 Arizona Highways guide to the state features scores of tiny vignettes with cowboys, cacti and cattle.

Insects of Surinam by Maria Sibylla Merian Taschen; 192 pages; $39.99 hardback For a woman to pack up her daughter and travel to the jungles of Surinam and return three years later with exquisitely detailed, botanically and entomologically accurate and visually stunning paintings of flora and fauna is an impressive achievement. To have done so circa 1700 is nothing short of astonishing. This oversize (10 by 14 inches) book reproduces in full folio dimension the colored engravings from her greatest work. The plates demonstrate Merian’s uncanny mix of scientific detail and aesthetic sense, as she arrays curious and colorful insects in various states of metamorphosis flitting around or munching on the branches and leaves of exotic plants.

The Collected Letters of Robinson Jeffers, With Selected Letters of Una Jeffers, Vol. One, 1890–1930

Playing With Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage and verses like “We must unhumanize our views a little, and become confident / As the rock and ocean that we were made from.” This remarkable cache of letters (beginning with a 3-year-old Jeffers note to his mama) helps to humanize the poet, especially the passionate, sometimes to the point of gushing, exchanges with his wife, Una. There are also illuminating bits of correspondences with publishers, critics and other writers. Coming from Stanford University Press, the book is dense with critical apparatus, footnotes and a substantial biographical introduction.

edited by James Karman

The World in Vogue:

Stanford University Press; 998 pages; $95 hardback

edited by Alexandra Kotur

California poet Robinson Jeffers has always seemed a formidable, even forbidding figure—something about that fortress known as Tor House in Carmel,

People Parties Places Knopf; 390 pages; $75 hardback Let’s face it, whatever dreams of a life of international indolence we ever strived for have been thoroughly dashed by the

Bush/Obama depression. But vicarious thrills galore can be found in this paean to wretched excess in that most wretchedly excessive of all human endeavors: high fashion. The aptly homonymic Alexandra Kotur has assembled an enormous collection of large-scale pictures from the bible of well-dressed society, Vogue magazine, covering the last 40 years or so. Some major shutterbugs—Richard Avedon, Bruce Weber, Helmut Newton—contribute studio portraits and in situ portraits of society icons, celebs and movie stars like Babe Paley, Warholite Edie Sedgwick, Jackie O., Angelina Jolie doing stretching exercises on a Louis Quatorze settee. Oddly, the magazine seems infatuated with the upper echelon’s canine companions: Brooke Astor, resplendent in pink tweed, poses with her dachshund; Jennifer Lopez walks a brace of menacing Dobermans; Naomi Campbell chauffeurs three Dalmatians in a convertible. Weirdest of all is Weber’s photo of his golden retrievers at a staged doggie wedding.

by Elizabeth Siegel Yale University Press; 200 pages; $45 hardback Scrapbooking is faddish now, but it is hardly a new phenomenon. The Victorians (women mostly) delighted in constructed fanciful bound volumes full of clever collages. The rise of photography and, in particular, the carte de visite, provided English women of the mid1800s with endless source material for their imaginative constructions. Many of the examples in this fascinating study involve watercolor backgrounds in which cutout images of the famous have been pasted, frequently in multiple scales and perspectives, creating surprisingly surreal results. In one sample, a painted boy blows bubbles; in the gossamer spheres, one Georgina Berkeley has pasted cut-out heads of her acquaintances. It isn’t far from here to Joseph Cornell.


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009

“DOWNTOWN FOR THE HOLIDAYS.” YES!

DOWNTOWN SAN JOSE 50 blocks of shimmering magic, with traditional holiday events and attractions around almost every corner. Downtown Ice e

Nov.. 20 Nov 0 – Jan. 18

Winter W Wonderland onde erland

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Christmas hri ris ri stma in tthe Park

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Sa Jose San e Holi Holiday H day Parade Dec. 6 S Star T rek: k: The e Exhibition Trek:

Thr ough Jan. 31 Through

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PARK P ARK A YOURSELF ELF HERE. Rec Receive c e up to two hours ceive of valida ated parking ng from from participating ng businesses b bu nesse and validated three thr ee an and nd a half hours hour from from movie theat theaters heatters t at designated desi lots and garages. sjdowntownparking sjdowntownparking.com arking.com

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Gadgets in Silicon Valley are ubiquitous. On every train and bus that passes, every rider has their headphones on or their earpods in. Our cars, our desks and our homes are rigged with handy devices. And the companies we work for keep producing more. Here are some of our favorite new electronic goodies.

By Colleen Watson

Hewlett-Packard HP Mini 311 Office depot and online, starting at $399.99. These are extra clever and supersmall, with an 11.6-inch screen and weighing in at just over 3 pounds. Sure, they don’t have the memory or storage capacity of normal laptops, but these are specifically for using the Internet. They are just right for travel or if you already have a desktop computer and want something smaller so you can sit on the couch and play on the Internet at the same time.

Nintendo DSi Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target and other retailers, $169. I know it’s been out for a while but it’s just awesome. The Nintendo DSi is the best little hand-held gaming device. The sleek rectangle fits easily into any purse or bag and lets you play games like Mario Kart against random strangers. The DSi also lets you download games, comes in bright pink, teal, white and black and has a built-in camera. This is the ultimate time waster when waiting in lines, on public transportation or hiding from your boss in the storage closet.

Mindflex Brainwave Game $119.95 Amazon.com. Flex your brain muscle and try to get a floating ball through a series of obstacles. I don’t know why, but this just sounds so cool to me. OK, it reminds me of this game from Star Trek the Next Generation when Number 2 got seduced by this chick and then. . . . Anyway, the geek in me is excited.

JuiceBar Portable Solar Charger Thinkgeek.com, $49.95. The JuiceBar Portable Solar Charger is for the gadget lover who has everything and wants to save the world. With the portable solar charger, users can charge multiple gizmos and not waste electricity. Great for travelers.

Argo Video Glasses www.22moo.com.au, $195–$495. Don’t strain to see Transformers 2 on your iPod; these video glasses make any movie seem like it’s on a big-screen TV. Yes, the glasses look a little dorky, but on the plus side you get a theatrical experience in the palm of your hand. 22moo makes the Argos line with a few different varieties, and these are great if you take CalTrain or light rail and want to zone out.

eReader On sale after Nov. 30 at Barnes & Noble for $259. E-readers are the coolest gadgets for bibliophiles. You can carry around a notso-small library without breaking your back. The Nook from Barnes and Noble is thin with a touch-screen, holds more than 1,500 books, e-magazines or e-newspapers and has a 10-day battery life. With an E-Ink display, it’s easier to read than a normal computer monitor. Want, want want.

iPod Nano and Shuffle Online and at stores; Shuffle $59–$79, Nano $149–$179. Apple’s Shuffle and Nano have got to be the cutest electronic devices ever—not surprising since Apple knows that cute packaging plus easy use equals the best MP3 players out there. The iPod Shuffle has gotten so tiny, it’s almost invisible. But it comes in bright candy colors to make it easier to find. It has a song capacity of between two and four gigabytes. The Nano has an even larger storage capacity and can now take video. I want one of each.


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Ski slopes, mountain trails, rivers, lakes and surf are hard on gear. And outdoor recreation, more than almost any other human endeavor, rewards those who are packing good equipment. Below are some newly invented wonders and a few time-tested treasures that will make it easier to go out and play.

By Eric Johnson

It makes sense that a snowboard company designs excellent backpacks. For Burton’s core customers, this piece of equipment can mean the difference between a sweet back-country expedition and a deadly slog.

Marmot Sharp Point Soft Shell The soft shell jacket is one of the great inventions of textile science. Tailored for winter fun. It’s made of the stuff Gore-Tex calls Windstopper. Feather-light, with a texture halfway between neoprene and cashmere, this miracle fabric is windproof, virtually waterproof, breathable and insulates like a wetsuit.

Manufactured for the company by the legendary Gravis, formerly of Burlington, Vt., and now of Irvine, Calif., the [ak] 31 does everything an ordinary back-country pack does, but its action-sport pedigree means it’s a much less obtrusive presence on your back. Which is nice whether or not you’re going for big air.

The Marmot version is cut perfectly—it fits snugly, but thanks to its trademarked “Angel-Wing” design, allows for a remarkable freedom of movement. With a zippered turtle-neck collar, Velcro wristclosures and drawstring waist, it battens down completely, to keep blowing snow out and body heat in. And pit-zips prevent overheating if your idea of winter fun requires some exertion.

Primus EasyLight Lantern It is not necessary to pollute your campsite with the deathly white glare of halogen, nor the deafening hiss of a white-gas lantern. Primus, the Swedish company that invented the backpacking stove, makes an elegant gas lantern that silently emits a warm yellow flame-glow that can be adjusted for 80-watt dinner prep or 40-watt late-night chillin’.

Apple iPhone 3GS Compass There is something deeply comforting about knowing exactly where you are. This is particularly true in the case of outdoor enthusiasts, for whom that information can be essential to survival. The iPhone compass uses the 3G network, an onboard GPS, and cell phone towers to function exactly like a magnetic compass. Granted—that is a bit ridiculous; but then, who carries a magnetic compass around? And granted, the iPhone will not work in any remote location when it would be a matter of life and death. But still. There is something deeply comforting about knowing where you are, and that is particularly true for outdoor enthusiasts— even when they’re in the city.

Burton [ak] 31L Pack

With a clouded-glass globe and brass fittings, it recalls the days of Byrd and Mallory (both of whom carried Primus products, to the North Pole and Everest, respectively) and is conveniently fueled by an MSR isobutane canister.

Superfeet Premium Insoles A great pair of socks is the classic stockingstuffer. These insoles are an update on the classic—equally pedestrian (ahem) and just as practical. The foot is made up of more than 100 moving parts. Outdoor activity puts a strain on all of them—which puts extra stress on the rest of the body’s moving parts. These insoles are more like custom orthotics than Dr. Scholl’s; with sturdy heelcups and arch support, they turn any pair of shoes into high-performance footwear.

Asolo Power Matic 500 gv Hiking Boots The lightweight boots so popular these days—glorified trail sneakers—feel great in the store. But out on a rocky trail, after fiveplus hours walking with something on your back, those “boots” are worthless. John Muir didn’t wear wimpy boots—hell no. Asolo’s, made in Italy since 1975, employ industrial-strength materials and hightech design, including the most complex molded soles on earth. These boots are designed for serious alpinists, but there’s no reason the weekend warrior on your “Nice” list doesn’t deserve a pair.

REI Candle Lantern Uco Candlelier Little monuments to frugality and simplicity (and excellent stocking-stuffers), the REI Candle Lantern and Uco Candlelier work so well it’s almost amazing. The Candle Lantern is ideal for sleeping-bag reading, while the Candlelier, which burns three candles at once, will fill a wall tent with plenty of light for 10 solid hours.


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By Steve Palopoli

T

sets before they end up going for twice those prices in a few years.

HE music industry has an interesting new strategy in the war on piracy: “Fine then, steal it.”

Neil Young: ‘Archives, Vol. 1’

Oh, the RIAA still talks big, and they still rattle their sabers about prosecuting this and that, and their lawyers are still no doubt raking in plenty of dough going after college ISPs, file-sharing websites and the occasional lil’ suburban downloader. But their heart barely seems to be in it anymore, and can you blame them? Keeping people from getting music for free is maybe the most pointless pursuit on the Internet, other than Rickrolling. Musicians themselves, however, are moving on. Eddie Spaghetti of the Supersuckers was the first known artist to tell me that he considers the band’s recorded music an advertisement for their live show at this point, but I’ve heard the sentiment echoed endlessly since. Others are taking it even further— Billy Corgan recently announced his upcoming 44-song album will be available completely free on the Internet. However, Corgan’s underlying strategy is part of a new approach becoming increasingly popular among artists and labels: give the music away, but offer something tangible that can’t be digitized, torrented, uploaded or otherwise shoved into any hole in your computer and spread around the world in seconds. The music industry has discovered what I call The Unpirateables. Corgan will be offering “highly limited edition EPs” of the music he’s releasing for free. Yes, they will likely be expensive collector’s editions for superfans willing to pay for extras: art, liner notes, the

Geez, how many volumes can there be? This set is 10 discs of concert recordings, unreleased demos, studio albums and a 1973 concert film, all cleverly packaged with plenty of documentation and lots of extra bits.

Beatles Remastered Stereo Box Set If you liked the Beatles Mono Box Set, you may or may not love the Beatles Stereo Box Set. A collection of 13 remastered albums, a DVD of mini-documentaries, intricate liner notes and crazy packaging. It’s often a risky move to repackage popular back-catalog material once again, but EMI and Apple have gotten glowing reviews for this one, with some fans calling it the definitive Beatles box set.

Radiohead Special Collector’s Editions works. It’s a strategy popularized by Radiohead in 2007 when they more or less gave away the MP3s for In Rainbows but offered pricey and loaded special edition sets that sold extremely well. Here are this season’s biggest, coolest and strangest Unpirateables, hoping to find the right fan:

Pixies ‘Minotaur’ Box Set The most controversial of this year’s Unpirateables, even the Pixies themselves were said to have initially given the idea the thumbs down, before seeing the light. Jeff Anderson—who founded Artist in Residence, the company producing these sets—says he didn’t want to screw with the music, so nothing has been remastered.

The band that started it all is back this year with special editions of all their individual albums. They include a CD of the original album, a second CD of rarities, a DVD and exclusive postcards. There is a Deluxe Edition, which includes the Pixies’ five studio albums on 24klayered CD as well as Blu-Ray, and a DVD of the band’s videos and a 1991 live show. It also includes a 54-page book and new art from the men who made the Pixies’ covers famous, Vaughan Oliver and Simon Larbalestier. It costs $175. For $450 comes the Limited Edition—everything from the Deluxe Edition plus the albums on vinyl, a 72-book book and a giclee print of an Oliver art piece. The backlash has come from fans who don’t want to pay so much money for music they already own (there are no bonus tracks). Of course, no one is making them, and as pricey as these things are, you can be sure there are some fanatics out there who’ll snatch up these

The Smiths 12-CD Singles Remastered Box Set Oh, it’s a bit ironic now that Morrissey once bemoaned how labels “reissue, repackage, repackage” their rock stars in “Paint a Vulgar Picture,” isn’t it? Here’s the latest: a CD version of the Smiths’ Singles Box that comes in a clamshell card box with the records’ original picture sleeves, and two 12-inch versions (“This Charming Man” and “Barbarism Begins at Home”) not released in the previous set. Limited to 10,000 copies, it also includes a poster featuring the singles’ art.


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009   COVER STORY

All the other seasonal screenings will probably have an easier time of it as Cameron draws the critics’ fire.

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What we do know is that it’s a sci-fi parable of planet invasion, heavy with colonialist guilt, with Sam Worthington playing a crippled warrior using technology to inhabit one of the 9-foot-tall, azureskinned, giraffe-eared, technically unsophisticated members of a faraway planet. IMAX and Real3D will add something to the impact of the CGI that’s impossible to judge from computer screens.

By Richard von Busack

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YouTube wag has already pilloried James Cameron’s Avatar (opening Dec. 18) as a remake of FernGully: The Last Rainforest and Clone War Thundercats. That’s harsh, but we have only previews—and the profile articles Cameron has so generously allowed—to give us any clues as to whether this holiday epic will be Titanic-sized or a resounding flop.

MAN AND MODEL

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Speaking of London: There will be so much suffering this holiday season in the other theaters, that I think we’re all entitled to something a little emotionally restrained, namely, Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes (Dec. 25), even if we’re not too jazzed by Guy Ritchie’s urge to make our hero “accessible”—i.e., faster and more violent. Rachel McAdams shows up as the troublesome Irene Adler; Jude Law plays Watson; and the reliable Mark Strong is the disreputable Lord Blackwood, a peer with plans for the British Empire. Moriarity is in it for a moment, too, in

preparation for a sequel that’s already under way. And as the junior version of Holmes’ sovereign, Emily Blunt plays The Young Victoria (Dec. 18) with Rupert Friend as Albert, Jim Broadbent as the sailor-king William IV, Julian Glover as Wellington and so forth. People love it when you elbow them in the ribs and tell historical stories about the personages when they’re trying to look at the gowns. The chill season is warmed with Nine (Dec. 18/25 depending on city) and the welcome sight of Penelope Cruz honeyed up in lingerie; it’s Rob Marshall’s musical version of Fellini’s 8½, with Daniel DayLewis in the Mastroianni part; Sophia Loren plays his mother, just one of the many women pulling the bedeviled director in separate directions. Nicole Kidman costars; what’s a winter without icicles?

Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 novel A Single Man (Dec. 11) stars Colin Firth as the Southern California professor who is recovering from the death of his male lover during the JFK years. ;It’s Complicated (Dec. 25) finds Nancy Meyer of the satisfying Something’s Gotta Give leading a love triangle: Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin playing monkey-in-the-middle with Meryl Streep.

Up in the Air (Dec. 25) is the new film by Jason Reitman, with George Clooney as a layoff specialist who never considered hiring a wife and kids. Anna Kendrick costars; she’s best known for the intrepid supporting work she does in the Twilight movies as Bella’s gabby, dippy gal pal. Invictus (Dec. 11), the new Clint Eastwood movie, parallels the story of Nelson Mandela with the Rugby World Cup of 1995 held in race-torn South Africa, with Matt Damon as an Afrikaaner player. Because of the rugby theme, one guesses that the moral of the story is that black and white bleed the same color. William Earnest Henley’s bad poem gives us the odd title.

COMPLICATIONS

Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus doesn’t have a firm release date locally, but it’s playing in the British Commonwealth already. One likes Tom Waits’ Satan, dressed a bit like Neville Chamberlain. One respects Gilliam’s recovery from the loss of his star by a prisming of the late Heath Ledger’s character into several other name movie stars, such as Johnny Depp and Jude Law. And the plot, contrasting deep wells of fantasy with the desolation and pollution of London, echoes Ray Bradbury and The Circus of Dr. Lao.

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And on the subject of fateful icicles, we have The Lovely Bones (Dec. 25)—Alice Sebold’s harrowing, tear-wringing and seemingly unfilmable bestseller finally makes it onto the big screen after years of false starts. Peter Jackson (of Lord of the Rings) envisions the candied heaven of a vanished murdered girl (Rose McIver), circa 1972, with Susan Sarandon as her inconsolable mother and new music by Brian Eno.

35 Shots of Rum (Dec. 18) is Claire Denis’ new tantalizer about the connections between a loose group of Franco-Africans in Paris. The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (Dec. 11) features Robin Wright Penn as the distracted wife of a much older plutocrat (Alan Arkin); the director is the chronically interesting Rebecca Miller (The Ballad of Jack and Rose, etc.)

For children: the Alvin and the Chipmunks: Squeakquel, (Dec. 23) and Disney’s make-or-break attempt to retrieve classic flat animation, The Princess and the Frog (Dec. 11)—a Creole-themed fairy tale with voodoo and R&B songs by Randy Newman. A medium seemingly headed for extinction at the hands of CGI makes it to the end of this tumult-ridden decade; this may be the best news of the end of the year. In downtown San Jose, the California Theatre gets fired up for a series of holiday films: The Wizard of Oz (Dec. 17–18, 7:30pm); the completely Jim Carrey–free 1938 version of A Christmas Carol (Dec. 19–20), with the excellent Reginald Owen acting out Scrooginess unseen this side of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page. It’s a Wonderful Life is on at 9pm on the Eve itself—it’s playing simultaneously in Palo Alto at the glorious Stanford Theatre. On Dec. 20–23, the Stanford hosts a real connoisseur’s Xmas movie, The Shop Around the Corner. Downtown San Jose’s California wraps up the holidays with A Christmas Story (Dec. 25, 7:30pm) and a couple of days of The Adventures of Robin Hood (Dec. 26–27). Any season giving us both Sherlock Holmes and Robin Hood can’t be all bad.


[26]   COVER STORY

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

Onstage Another Night Before Christmas Book and lyrics by Sean Grennan, music by Leah Okimoto. Directed by Daren A.C. Carrolo. Thu-Sat, 8pm, Sun (Nov 29, Dec 6), 7pm, Sun (Dec 13 and 20), 2pm. No show Nov 26. Thru Dec 20. $15-$40. City Lights Theater Company, 529 South Second St, San Jose, 408.295.4200.

Ballet San Jose Nutcracker A seasonal tradition choreographed by Dennis Nahat. This production celebrates the very first San Jose/Cleveland version 30 years ago. Runs Dec 1027. Matinees on Dec 12 and 22 are special one-hour versions for young audiences. Thu-Fri, 7:30pm, Sat, 1:30 and 7:30pm, Sun, 1:30pm, Tue (Dec 22 only), 1:30 and 7:30pm, Wed (Dec 23 only), 1:30pm, Thu (Dec 24), 1:30pm. No evening show Dec 26. No show Dec 24. $30-$85. San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, 255 Almaden Blvd, San Jose, 408.288.2820.

A Civil War Christmas A musical celebration of the American experience by Paula Vogel, presented by TheatreWorks. Preview Wed-Fri, Dec 2-4. Opens Sat, Dec 5. Regular shows Tue-Wed, 7:30pm, Thu-Fri, 8pm, Sat, 2 and 8pm, Sun, 2 and 7pm. Thru Dec 27. $24-$62. Lucie Stern Theater, 1305 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, 650.463.1960.

The Christmas Ballet

The Elves and the Shoemaker

A holiday tradition with samples of ballet, tap and swing presented by Smuin Ballet. Runs Dec 9-13. Wed-Fri, 8pm, Sat, 2 and 8pm. $18-$56. Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St, Mountain View, 415.556.5000.

Presented by California Theatre Center for young holiday-minded audiences. Sat, Dec 5, 11am and 7pm. $11-$12. Sunnyvale Community Center Theatre, 550 E. Remington Dr, Sunnyvale, 408.245.2978.

A Christmas Carol

The biennial presented by El Teatro Campesino of the Christmas play with live music and dance. Opens Nov 27. Thu-Sat, 8pm, Sun, 4 and 7:30pm. Thru Dec 20. $14-$32. Mission San Juan Bautista, 408 Second St at Mariposa, San Juan Bautista, 831.623.2444.

The famed Dickens story is brought to life by Northside Theatre Company with all the trimmings. Opens Dec 9. Wed-Fri, 8pm, Sat, 5 and 8pm, Sun, 3 and 7pm (on Dec 24, 1pm only). Thru Dec 24. $15/$20. Northside Theatre Company, 848 E. William St, San Jose, 408.288.7820.

The Christmas Mouse Mrs. Robinson wants to win the Gingerbread House contest, but the Christmas Mouse needs goodies to feed his family. An original play by MIchael Antonucci based on the music of Linda Arnold. Fri, Dec 11, 7pm, Sat, Dec 12, 11am and 3pm and Sun, Dec 13, 3pm. $7-$12. Santa Clara Players Theater, Triton Museum Hall Pavilion, Don and Warburton avenues, Santa Clara, 408.248.7993.

Christmas, My Way A holiday musical revue featuring the songs of Frank Sinatra. Preview Thu, Dec 3, opens Fri, Dec 4. Regular shows Thu-Sat, 8pm, Sun 2pm (plus 2pm Dec 12 and 19). Thru Dec 20. Call for ticket info. Hillbarn Theatre, 1285 E. Hillsdale Blvd, Foster City, 650.349.6411.

A Christmas Pudding Bus Barn Stage Co. presents a holiday show based on classics by Dickens, Twain and others. Thu-Sat, 8pm (no show Nov 26), Sun (Nov 29 and Dec 6 and 13), 3pm, Wed (Dec 2, 9 and 16), 7:30pm. Thru Dec 19. $24-$32. Bus Barn Theatre, 97 Hillview Ave, Los Altos, 650.941.0551.

A Christmas Story

Dry Cleaner!

(Saturdays starting Nov 28, after-hours events in lounge.) Preview Nov 25; opens Nov 27. Wed, 7:30pm, Thu-Fri, 8pm, Sat, 3 and 8pm, Sun 2 and/or 7pm. Thru Dec 20. $35-$69. San Jose Repertory Theatre, 101 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose, 408.367.7255.

San Jose Rep brings back the popular holiday play about a young boy’s desire for a Red Ryder BB gun, based on the Jean Shepherd story.

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Madeline’s Christmas It’s the night before Christmas and everyone is sick in bed with the flu except brave Madeline, who feels just fine and must take care of the 11 other little girls and Miss Clavel “in the old house in Paris all covered with vines.” Fri, Dec 11, 7pm, Sat, Dec 12, 11am, Fri, Dec 18, 7pm and Sat, Dec 19, 11am and 7pm. $11/$12. Sunnyvale Community Center Theatre, 550 E. Remington Dr, Sunnyvale, 408.245.2978.

Moscow Ballet Great Russian Nutcracker A classic version of the holiday favorite. Sat, Nov 28, 3pm. $27.50-$100. Flint Center, 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, 800.745.3000.

Oliver! Children’s Musical Theater San Jose Mainstage presents the story of Dickens’ famous pickpocket Oliver Twist. Dec 4, 10-11, 7pm; Dec 5 and 12, 2 and 7pm; Dec 6, 1 and 6pm; Dec 13, 1pm. $16$24. Montgomery Theater, 271 S. Market St, San Jose, 408.792.4111.

San Jose Dance Nutcracker Presented by San Jose Dance Theatre with more than 100 local children and young adults, plus music by Silicon Valley Symphony. Tue, Dec 1, 1pm, Fri, Dec 4, 10:30am and 7:30pm and Sat, Dec 5, 2 and 7:30pm. San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, 255 Almaden Blvd, San Jose.


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009   COVER STORY

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Palo Alto Children’s Theatre Nutcracker A festive holiday production. Dec 11, 7pm, Dec 12, 2 and 7pm, Dec 17, 4:30pm, Dec 18, 7pm, Dec 19, 2 and 7pm, Dec 20, 2pm. $5-$10. Lucie Stern Theater, 1305 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, 650.463.4970.

The Peninsula Youth Ballet’s Nutcracker The Peninsula Youth Ballet’s rendition of the popular holiday ballet. Sat, Nov 28, 2pm, Sun, Nov 29, 2pm and Sat, Dec 5, 2pm. $15/$35. San Mateo Performing Arts Center, 600 N. Delaware, San Mateo, 650.631.3767.

View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St, Mountain View, 650.903.6000.

Concerts Benjamin Britten Ceremony of Carols Presented by the SJSU Choral program for the holidays. Sun, Dec 6, 3pm. $10-$25. Spartan Memorial Chapel, off Fourth St, San Jose, 408.924.4332.

El Camino Youth Symphony Holiday Concert

A full-length version done in a traditional style with local dancers and guest artists. Sat, Dec 12, 2 and 7pm and Sun, Dec 13, 1 and 5pm. $18$28.50. Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, 408.865.9780.

Camilla Kolchinsky leads the orchestra in a program of works by Kabalevsky, Reinecke and Tchaikovsky, with the spotlight on soloists Deborah Ahn and Alice Park (violin) and Pavitra Rengarajan (flute). Sun, Dec 13, 2:30pm. $6/$12. California Theatre, 345 S. First St, San Jose, 650.213.7111.

The Seafarer

Family Christmas Special

San Jose Stage Company presents Conor McPherson’s drama about men finding their way home and confronting their lives thanks to an unusual stranger. Wed-Thu, 7:30pm, Fri-Sat, 8pm, Sun, 2pm. No show Thanksgiving Day. Thru Dec 20. $20-$45. The Stage, 490 S. First St, San Jose, 408.283.7142.

A playful program of holiday favorites from the California Pops Orchestra, with narrator Alan Dale doing “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Sun, Dec 20, 3pm. $10-$30. Venture Christian Church, 16845 Hicks Rd, Los Gatos, 650.856.8432.

Santa Clara Ballet Nutcracker

Fun Time Singers Winter Concert Western Ballet Nutcracker A joyful version of the famous seasonal ballet using both student and professional dancers. Also, the ballet hosts a Sweet Tea on Dec 5, 3pm, with costumed characters ($12.) Fri, Dec 4, 7pm, Sat, Dec 5, 1 and 7pm and Sun, Dec 6, 12 and 3:30pm. $25-$28. Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St, Mountain View, 650.903.6000.

A “Sounds of the Season” show. Fri, Dec 11, 7:30pm and Sat, Dec 12, 7:30pm. $10/$14. Immanuel Lutheran Church, 14103 Saratoga Ave, Saratoga, 408.313.4205.

Handbell Choir An afternoon of holiday tunes performed by the SFSU Handbell Choir. Sat, Dec 5, 1pm. Free. San Mateo County History Museum, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City, 650.299.0104.

Winter Fairy Tale Performed in the world famous Russian ballet style. Sun, Dec 20, 5pm. $28/$33. Mountain

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[28]   COVER STORY

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

HOLIDAY FUN

26

Holiday Benefit Concert SJSU Choral and Orchestral Departments perform Bach’s Magnificat and works by Brahms, Beethoven and Arvo Part. Sat, Dec 5, 7:30pm. $15-$50. St. Joseph’s Cathedral, 80 S. Market St, San Jose, 408.924.4332.

Holiday Jazz Concert The San Jose Jazz Orchestra with guest vocalists from Opera San Jose performing jazzy Xmas tunes. Tue, Dec 15, 7:30pm. Free. Fairmont Hotel Regency Ballroom, 170 S. Market St, San Jose, www.sanjosejazz.org.

Horns for the Holidays The Voice of Four Horns presents a night of original compositions and seasonal favorites for French horn. Tue, Dec 8, 7pm. $14/$21. Graham Theater at St. Francis High School, 1885 Miramonte Ave, Mountain View, 650.969.4242.

Magnificat A holiday program that re-creates a midnight mass from 17th-century Italy. Fri, Dec 4, 8pm. $12-$35. St. Patrick’s Seminary, 320 Middlefield Rd, Menlo Park, 800.595.4849.

Michael McDonald A holiday-themed evening of music by the former Doobie Brother. Sat, Dec 12, 8pm. $50/$65. San Jose Civic, 135 W. San Carlos St, San Jose, 408.792.4551.

Peninsula Women’s Chorus A holiday choral program called “Songs of Snow and Soul.” (Also, Dec 12 at 2:30pm at St Mark’s; and Dec 13 at 4pm at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park.) Sun, Dec 6, 7pm. $15/$18. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 600 Colorado Ave, Palo Alto, 800.838.3006.

Ragazzi Boys Chorus An Old-Fashioned Christmas. Sat, Dec 5, 5pm. $10-$25. First Congregational Church of Palo Alto, 1985 Louis Rd, Palo Alto, 650.342.8785. [secondary event] An Old-Fashioned Christmas. Sun, Dec 13, 4pm. $10-$25. St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 1 S. El Camino Real, San Mateo, 650.342.8785.

Robert Berry Band With Hush. A benefit for Second Harvest Food Bank. Please bring donations of food items, cash or check Sat, Dec 5, 12:30-4pm. Santana Row, 400 S. Winchester Blvd, San Jose.

“Nutcracker” selections, Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto and the world premiere of Stanley Hoffman’s “The Lord Is My Shepherd.” (Program repeats Sun, Dec 13, 7pm, Trinity Cathedral, San Jose.) Sat, Dec 12, 7:30pm. $7$18. West Valley College Theatre, 14000 Fruitvale Ave, Saratoga, 408.866.5302.

Winter’s Gifts: Hope The Choral Project and the San Jose Chamber Orchestra celebrate the season with music in honor of our Latino communities, including songs from Spain and Latin America. Sun, Dec 20, 7pm. $20/$30. Mission Santa Clara, Santa Clara University campus, Santa Clara, 408.295.4416.

You-Sing-It Messiah A community sing-along presented by San Jose Symphonic Choir. Mon, Dec 7, 7:30pm. $20. California Theatre, 345 S. First St, San Jose, 408.995.3318.

Youth Jazz Holiday Concert A new generation of jazz players perform seasonal numbers. Performers include SJ Jazz High School Big Band and Latin Ensembles. Tue, Dec 1, 7:30pm. Free, donations accepted. Landmark Ballroom, 75 S. 11th St, San Jose, www.sanjosejazz.org.

Festivities Christmas in the Park/ Winter Wonderland A San Jose tradition gets under way on Nov 27 at 5:30pm with tree-lighting. The displays are up thru Jan 1. Cesar Chavez Park, downtown San Jose. Plus rides at Paseo de San Antonio and the San Jose Rep Plaza.

Community Tree Lighting With decorations and treats, with ornament donation trees. Mon, Nov 30, 4:30-6:30pm. Free. Four Seasons, 2050 University Ave, Palo Alto, 650.566.1200.

Destination Downtown 1stACT Silicon Valley hosts a holiday open house with local art, culture and entertainment in the new downtown condo residences: Axis, City Heights, The 88 and Three Sixty Residences. Fri, Dec 4, 5:30-7:30pm, 408.279.1775.

Fantasy of Lights Santana Row Chanukah A celebration of the Jewish Festival of Lights with activities every night. Fri, Dec 11, to Sat, Dec 18, 4:30pm (3:30pm Fridays). Santana Row, 400 S. Winchester Blvd, San Jose.

Vasona Lake County Park will be transformed into a magical wonderland with thousands of colorful twinkling lights, animated displays and holiday music. Nov 27-Dec 31, 6-10pm. $10/$15. 333 Blossom Hill Rd, Los Gatos, 408.355.2201.

Swingin’ With Santa

Harvest Festival

A choral concert of holiday tunes presented by Studio Theatre of California in the Orchard City Banquet Hall. Sun, Dec 6, 7:30pm. Free, donations accepted. Campbell Community Center, 1 W. Campbell Ave, Campbell, 408.370.6639.

A weekend of original art and crafts, with handmade gifts for the holidays. Bring a food donation for West Valley Community Services. Live entertainment by Cash Tribute and more. Fri, Nov 27, 9am-6pm, Sat, Nov 28, 10am-6pm and Sun, Nov 29, 10am-5pm. $4-$7. San Jose McEnery Convention Center, 150 W. San Carlos St, San Jose.

True of Carols Mission City Opera Presents the premiere of Michael Taylor’s new work, followed by Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” Sat, Dec 5, 8pm and Sun, Dec 6, 8pm. $15-$45. Mission City Center for Performing Arts, 3250 Monroe St, Santa Clara, 408.749.7607.

Mommy and Me on the Row

Winchester Orchestra Holiday Extravaganza

One of top 25 parades in the whole country, featuring helium balloons, floats and Santa. The theme is “Adventures in Toyland.” Sun, Dec 6,

Henry Mollicone conducts the orchestra in

Monthly kids club features holiday-themed activities and performances. Tue, Dec 8, 10amnoon. Free. Santana Row, 400 S. Winchester Blvd, San Jose.

San Jose Holiday Parade


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009   COVER STORY

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8:30am. Free. Downtown San Jose, Between S. Market and S. First streets, San Jose, 408.794.6200.

Chanukah

Santa and Wagon Rides

Chanukah Palooza 2009

An old-fashioned visit with Santa and a Santa parade on Sun. At Tyson-Treehouse Courtyard. SatSun, noon-2pm. Thru Dec 20. $10-$12 for horsecarriage rides. Downtown Willow Glen, Lincoln Ave, San Jose, 408.298.2100.

Silicon Valley JCC presents holiday vendors, food and kids’ activities for the festival of lights. Sun, Dec 13, noon. Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center, 14855 Oka Rd, Los Gatos, 408.357.7497.

Santa Paws

Hanukkah Hullabaloo

Bring dog and cat friends to Park Valencia for keepsake photo with Santa. Benefits Humane Society Silicon Valley. Sun, Dec 6, 11am-2pm. Santana Row, 400 S. Winchester Blvd, San Jose.

This afternoon of family fun includes games, food and fun. Presented by Palo Alto JCC. Sun, Dec 13, 3pm. $10-$17. Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 400 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, 650.223.8600.

Skate Under the Palms Annual chance to test out your blades. (Hours vary, generally noon to 1pm or midnight.) Thru Jan 18, 2010, noon. Call for prices. Circle of Palms, between the Fairmont and the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, 408.291.0525.

Tree Lighting Ceremony Annual event to kick off the holidays. Fri, Nov 27, 6pm. Free. Plaza de Cesar Chavez, Market St and Park Ave, San Jose.

Tree Teasures A chance to created old-fashioned ornaments for the museum’s tree. And kids can have their photo taken with Santa. Sat, Dec 5, 10am-4pm. Free. San Mateo County History Museum, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City, 650.299.0104.

Willow Glen Holiday Open House Enjoy a holiday celebration downtown with complimentary refreshments. Lincoln between Minnesota and Coe. Fri, Nov 27, Sat, Nov 28 and Sun, Nov 29. Free. Downtown Willow Glen, Lincoln Ave, San Jose, 408.298.2100.

Latkepalooza! The Peninsula JCC welcomes Chanukah with crafts an games for children, and live music and wine tasting for adults. And, of course, lots of latkes. Klezmania performs. Sun, Dec 13, 1pm. Peninsula Jewish Community Center, 800 Foster City Blvd, Foster City, 650.212.7522.

Light It Up! Silicon Valley Hillel presents a Chanukah celebration for ages 21 and up. Features music, raffle prizes and an open bar. Please bring a nonperishable food donation. Sat, Dec 12, 9pm. $10-$15. Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 400 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, 650.223.8602.

Santana Row Hanukkah A celebration of the Jewish Festival of Lights with activities every night. Fri, Dec 11, to Sat, Dec 18, 4:30pm (3:30pm Fridays). Santana Row, 400 S. Winchester Blvd, San Jose.

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NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y


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[31]


[32]   EVENTS

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

attorneys

& legal services

CRIMINAL DEFENSE

SOCIAL SECURITY/DISABILITY

The Law Offices of

The Law Offices of

Ronald Z. Berki

Cynthia G. Starkey

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www.sanjosegetlegalhelp.com

SSDI/SSI Disability Appeals 26-years of Experience No Fees If No Recovery Offices in Santa Clara, Fremont & San Mateo â&#x20AC;˘ Board Certified Specialist â&#x20AC;˘ National Board of Legal Specialty Certification

www.cynthiastarkey.com

408.463.6927

408.890.2628

IMMIGRATION

DIVORCE & FAMILY LAW

Heller Immigration Law Group

Santa Clara Law Group

To Advertise On This Page Please Call

408.200.1308

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Nick F. Forooghi Attorney At Law

â&#x20AC;&#x153;On Your Side!â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘

Divorce & Family Law Child Custody Personal Injury Immigration Mediation Small Business

408.463.6365

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

mind body & spirit g

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Focus Learn How To Meditate - And Why!

IS HE INTO YOU?

Classes & Instruction

Enjoy life! Calm the mind. Improve relationships. Make better decisions. Meditation and Buddhist View with Reed Sherman. Everyone is welcome. No previous experience necessary. $10 per class. Every Wednesday evening, 7:30-9, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Los Gatos, 15980 Blossom Hill Rd. Los Gatos, 95032. Call Kelsang Gamo 408/226-0595 for information or visit us at www.MeditationInSanJose.org

g g Healing & Bodywork

Grand Opening

The best Asian Acupuncture & massage will make you feel like a new person. Stevens Creek & Hwy 85 408-973-8179 Massage & Relaxation

Bella Spa The best in relaxation, with aroma therapy. 359 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View. 650-965-8899

Massage By Michael Great massage by Asian man. In $50. Outcall $70. By CMT. For days 408-551-0767 or after 7pm 408-893-1966.

#Golden Star# Massage Haircut Facial Body Slimming

$5w/ off ad

316 S. Monroe #120, San Jose

408.247.8352

Psychics

I feel what HE feels. Efficient psychic readings. All questions - business, love, spiritual, etc. Visa/MC/Disc/AmEx. 800-355-1283 ext. 5 (AAN CAN)

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009

[33]


[34]

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009STYLE

1

4

2

3

6

5

Super Kawaii Seven local artists bring the cute with their darling, original craft designs that are sure to make shoppers say ‘ahhh’ 1. Yummie Charms Donut Necklace Price: $8.88 Where to Buy: YummieCharms.com Want to indulge in a confection without consuming any calories? Try these glittery donut necklaces made by San Jose charm designer Yummie Charms. The sweet little wearable treats come in a variety of candy colors, sure to satisfy anybody’s sweet tooth.

2. Herbst Handmade Craft Patterns Price: $4 Where to Buy: herbsthandmade.blog spot.com Herbst Handmade sells original patterns so that anybody can make their own handmade goods. Try this Bay Area designer’s darling Lil’ Monkey and Bitty Bear crocheted rattle toys or Bunnykins Baby Slipper patterns for a unique, personal gift for baby this holiday season.

3. Picnic Puff Bag Price: $35 Where to Buy: froggiefashions.com This Picnic Puff Bag by Froggie Fashions is roomy enough to carry a picnic to the

[35]

7

San Jose Symphonic Choir Nova Vista Symphony present

park and features a charming gold-andcherry-adorned pattern and magnetic closure. Froggie Fashions is an independent, handcrafted handbag-making operation located in San Jose.

4. Sky Blue Bunny Jewelry Price: $6–$19.50 Where to Buy: etsy.com/shop/skyblue bunny Sky Blue Bunny Jewelry makes delectablelooking earrings, necklaces and pendants out of polymer clay, glitter, crystals and pearls. A recent college graduate based in San Jose runs the small jewelry-making operation, specializing in cupcakes, ice cream cones and other miniature dessert sculptures. All Sky Blue Bunny jewelry is original and handmade, without the use of molds or templates.

5. Pony Wine Glass Charms

6. Little Miss Moon Baby Hair Clips Price: $4.50–$8 Where to Buy: littlemissmoondesigns.blog spot.com Started by a stay-at-home mom who loved quirky colorful accessories, Little Miss Moon creates customized flower baby headbands and hairclips. Each fanciful flower design is fashioned from 100 percent recycled felt made from post-consumer plastic bottles.

Price: $15 Where to Buy: etsy.com/shop/bloempot

7. Curious Pug Clay Figurines

With these tiny, adorable prancing ponies clinking around the stem of your wine glass, people will never have to worry which glass is theirs. Bay Area craft artist Sara Berli hand-built this set of four pony wine glass charms, each is composed from polymer and glazed to be water resistant.

Price: $7.50–$13.50 Where to Buy: curiouspug.blogspot.com Curious Pug is the brainchild of a laid-off Sunnyvale-based X-ray tech who now tinkers around with clay for a living, manufacturing odd but endearing figurines, magnets and glass tile pendants.

A Sea Symphony by

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Sat, Nov 28, 8 PM Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph 80 S. Market St, San Jose tickets $25/18/10 408 995-3318 www.sanjosesymphonicchoir.org

Discover the Arts www.svArts.org


[36]

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y


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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009MENU

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[37]

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Sushi and Beyond ;Za^eZ7j^igV\d

BlueďŹ n offers a steady but unadventurous menu of sushi and Japanese standards By Stett Holbrook

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AN JOSEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S BlueďŹ n restaurant inherited a great-looking space from the former occupant, Seven Restaurant and Lounge. The dining room has a sleek, modern feel. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a gleaming open kitchen and a cool hideout of a bar. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s got an urban edge that makes it one of Silicon Valleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most striking restaurants. So itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too bad that the new Japanese restaurant missed the opportunity to deliver food to match its urbane setting and big-city prices. BlueďŹ n is located on a slowly energizing stretch of The Alameda a short walk from the HP Pavilion and could capitalize on that location. But in spite of its good looks, BlueďŹ n is just another Japanese restaurant with nothing to distinguish it from dozens of others that pretty much serve the same thing, lots of burritosize maki, a standard lineup of sushi, a few salads, noodle soups, tempura, teriyaki chicken, grilled short ribs, roasted ďŹ sh and miso soup. I did have a few memorable dishes. The beef-ďŹ lled gyoza ($8) are delicious. We ordered two plates of juicy fried dumplings back-to-back. The second one arrived less crisp than the ďŹ rst. Crisp is better. I also liked the sukiyaki made with Kobestyle American beef ($26). Rare slices

of the buttery beef shared the bowl with fat slices of porcini and enoki mushrooms, onions, Chinese cabbage, tofu wedges and sweet-potato-ďŹ&#x201A;our noodles in a dark, savory-sweet broth. Perfect winter food. I also liked the sake clam starter ($12), a bowl of clams in the shell simmered in a butter and miso broth. I would order the ahi poketini ($14) again, too. The tuna is lightly marinated in ginger and soy sauce and served atop a mixed salad of seaweed and mixed greens. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a clean, refreshing yet ďŹ lling salad. But over the course of three visits, nothing else stood out. The triple crab appetizer ($15), fried soft-shell crab stuffed with king and red crab, sounded interesting, but all that crab didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t add up to much. The sushi selection offers nothing you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get elsewhere. The seared tuna tataki ($16) is billed as the chef â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s specialty, and I expected something, well, special. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a generous portion of rare tuna served on a bed of daikon radish and mixed greens with an overly tart ponzu sauce. Good, but not really special. The pan-seared chicken teriyaki and tempura dinner ($20) combines a satisfactory piece of skinless chicken thigh with teriyaki sauce dribbled on top and lightly battered

tempura vegetables. For $26, I anticipated more from the short ribs. They were tender and marinated in a sweet soy glaze, but thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s it. At that price, I needed vegetables or something other than just thin slices of meat on a plate. Desserts donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t break any new groundâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;green-tea ice cream, mochi ice cream, tempura ice cream, Thai fried banana. I choose the fried banana ($10). Covered in chocolate sauce and whipped cream, it was as uninspired and very sweet. The waitress asked what I thought, and I told her I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oh, well,â&#x20AC;? she said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;what are you gonna do?â&#x20AC;? I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know. Make a better dessert? And then thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the restaurantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name. BlueďŹ n. Because of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lust for the meaty, buttery richness of blueďŹ n tuna, decades of overďŹ shing have driven the western North Atlantic blueďŹ n tuna population down by 97 percent. Only 3 three percent of these car-size animals are left. Other populations elsewhere are in trouble, too. Incredibly, the ďŹ sh isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t yet classiďŹ ed as an endangered species, but hopefully that day comes before itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too late. A fat slice of toro is delicious, but the thought of blueďŹ n tuna disappearing just isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t appetizing. To be fair, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to ďŹ nd a

Japanese restaurant that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t serve blueďŹ n tuna, so BlueďŹ n isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t unique. Indeed, most sushi menus read like the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Do not eatâ&#x20AC;? lists published by sustainable-seafood organizations like Monterey Bay Aquariumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Seafood Watch Program. BlueďŹ n also serves Chilean sea bass, another ďŹ sh that faces disappearance because of overďŹ shing. Why serve it? Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s my suggestion for BlueďŹ n. Keep the name, but rather than hastening the extinction of one of the oceanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great creatures by putting it and other imperiled ďŹ sh on the menu, the name could be used as one of reverence by serving a menu of sustainably sourced seafood. That would make the restaurant unique, because no other Japanese restaurant in Silicon Valley sources its ďŹ sh from healthy ďŹ sheries. (Currently, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only one sustainable sushi restaurant in the Bay Area, San Franciscoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tataki). With so many Japanese restaurants serving the same thing, that would truly make BlueďŹ n stand out. The attention that such a business decision would attract would bring more customers to the restaurant and expand its base from the neighborhood and people attending shows at the HP. Everybody would winâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;diners, BlueďŹ n and ďŹ sh.


[38]   DINING GUIDE

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009   DINING GUIDE

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[39]

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009   DINING GUIDE

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ONTALVO ARTS CENTER’S culinary fellowship was one of the best-kept secrets in the rarefied world of artist colonies. Fortunately, the secret is getting out. The culinary program is the first of its kind and was conceived of as a way to offer emerging chefs a chance to hone their skills in a residency setting just like that of the writers, composers, sculptors, and other artists in Montalvo’s residency program. The culinary fellowship seeks to provide aspiring chefs the opportunity “to critically explore global, local and sustainable food practices as they relate to cultural life.” It’s up to each culinary fellow to figure out what that means. The 2010 culinary fellow is B>8=:AA:;J:GHI, a graduate of UC–Santa Cruz who has worked at Chez Panisse, Zuni Café and Café Museo at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art. She was also a curator at this summer’s Slow Food Nation event. Established in 1939 in the Saratoga hills, Montalvo’s artist residency program is the oldest on the West Coast and the third oldest in the United States. For six decades, the program was housed in Montalvo’s statuesque Mediterranean villa and three nearby cottages, but in 2004 the residency moved the Sally and Don Lucas Artists Program into 10 modern, self-contained live-work spaces on a terraced hillside above a seasonal creek. @:AANH>86I, Montalvo’s director of programs, recently attended a meeting of the Alliance of Artists Communities and was approached by representatives of several new residency programs who wanted to start culinary programs and were looking to Montalvo as a guide. “The dinner table is the place where artists come together in these places, and they want to see what Montalvo is doing,” she said. Cooking is an art, a craft and an expression of culture that seems a natural for the artists residency setting. It’s a wonder no one though of doing it before. At Montalvo, dinners are served five nights a week and in the residency program’s communal building. The culinary program has drawn aspiring chefs from all over—Italy, Venezuela, Israel, England and the United States. While most residency programs at Montalvo last three months, the culinary residency program lasts a full year. In addition to her sublime butternut squash and fennel soup, what’s great about Fuerst is her enthusiasm to engage both the artists in residence and the community at large. As an avid canner and pickler, she will be offering a class in making winter preserves Jan. 30, and next summer she’ll teach a class on Blenheim apricots, an heirloom variety that survives in a few local orchards. She also wants to explore the creation of a communitysupported agriculture (CSA) program where the community can purchase shares in batches of locally sourced jam, or even help make the jam for a discounted price. She hopes to make use of Montalvo’s many fruit trees in the process. “There are all these things here waiting to be discovered,” she said. Montalvo’s new executive director, 6C<:A6B88DCC:AA, shares Fuerst’s outward focus. McConnell is working to shed Montalvo’s cloistered image and connect with Silicon Valley at large. One of her first acts was uprooting the “no picnicking” signs that used to greet visitors as they drove in. “We really want Silicon Valley to take a look at what’s happening here,” she said. The culinary fellowship presents a great opportunity to do that. For more information go to montalvoarts.org. Stett Holbrook ( follow me at Twitter.com/Stett_Holbrook)

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[41]


[42]   DINING GUIDE

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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[43]


[44]   DINING GUIDE

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 200 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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[45]


[46]   CALENDAR CALEND DA AR

NOVEMBER N O V E M B E R 25-DECEMBER 2 5 - D E C E M B E R 1, 1 2009 2 0 0 9 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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[47]

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Mary Axe

The Business

Streetlight Records

VooDoo Lounge

980 S Bascom Ave, San Jose

14 S. Second St, San Jose

408.292.1404

408.286.8636

255 Almaden Blvd, San Jose

Sat – 4pm; free

Sun – 9pm; $10

408.792.4111

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San Jose Center for the Performing Arts

Sat – 8pm; $22.50

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San Jose’s Birthday Peralta Adobe

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175 W. St. John St, San Jose 408.287.2290 Sun – 1-4pm; free

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[48]

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009   ARTS

Bsut

[49]

METROGUIDE

Gjmn Wes Anderson’s ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ is truly fantastic_54

Palin Around

In ‘Going Rogue,’ Sarah Palin puts her own spin on everything, including the facts By Geoffrey Dunn

TAKING SHOTS Tbsbi!Qbmjo!epftoÖu! ibwf!b!hppe!xpse!up!tbz! bcpvu!bozcpez-!fydfqu! Upee-!jo!ifs!nfnpjs/

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T’S BEEN a rather tawdry week of Sarah Palin mania as the former governor of Alaska and Republican vicepresidential nominee has taken to the Lower 48 to promote her highly anticipated memoir, Going Rogue, which was written with evangelical co-author Lynn Vincent—though you won’t see that rather significant fact included anywhere on the cover or even on the book’s title page. It’s actually buried deep in the book’s acknowledgments, well after Palin thanks herself. And that just about sums up Going Rogue. It’s one big lie from its glitzy Photoshopped cover to the very final page. Republican operatives who have worked with Palin from the Mat-Su Valley in Alaska to the John McCain campaign have lined up calling Palin’s “memoir” a work of “fiction.” McCain has even gotten into the act himself by admonishing Palin for her deceptions about a $50,000 bill she claimed she got stuck with for her “vetting.” And the fact is, despite Palin’s duplicitous assertions to the

contrary in Going Rogue, she was really never fully vetted. At best it was rushed; at worse, it was a con job. Either way, someone apparently got stuck with a helluva bill for nothing. In spite of Palin’s well-earned reputation as a fluff muffin, Going Rogue soared to the top of all the major bestseller lists months before its official publication. Those in conservative circles have triumphantly compared her memoir to those written by Barack Obama in advance of his run for the U.S. Senate and then the presidency. Make no mistake about it: Dreams From My Father or The Audacity of Hope this is not. With all the incumbent hype, one might have expected that Going Rogue would have risen above many of the petty and even vicious traits that Palin exhibited on the campaign trail last fall revving up the GOP faithful with incendiary attacks on Obama. Instead, Going Rogue sinks even further into Palin’s unique brand of narcissism and victimhood. She remains an unapologetic warrior in our country’s culture wars

and one of the most divisive and polarizing politicians of our time. While not nearly as garbled as some of Palin’s more memorable “word salads” (so delightfully parodied by Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live), Going Rogue is both uneven in its composition and erratic in its argumentation. It’s clear the good governor has no sense of chronology. Moreover, the book was obviously rushed to publication in order to take advantage of holiday sales and to beat more critical books to the marketplace. It has no index, no footnotes, no bibliography, not even any cover blurbs. It’s the literary establishment’s version of a quickie. The Palin portrayed in Going Rogue is surprisingly unlikable. She is vengeful, mean-spirited and spiteful—and this in a narrative she has crafted herself. She takes cheap shots at the likes of Michelle Obama, John Kerry and Alec Baldwin, and describes Katie Couric as “the lowestrated news anchor in network television” and blames Couric for the failures of her widely mocked interview with her. While Palin

claims that her life “is in His [God’s] hands,” vengeance would seem to be her guiding light. The character that emerges from Going Rogue is also remarkably shallow. This past summer, bloggers in Alaska reported rumors that there was marital discord in the Palin household and, perhaps, a pending divorce. Palin’s response is simply to say that she looked over at her husband, Todd, “tanned and shirtless,” his “blue eyes smiling,” and thought “Dang . . . divorce Todd? Have you seen Todd?” End of discussion. Palin just can’t seem to get below the surface. Much has been made already of Palin’s celebrated battles with McCain’s senior advisers, most notably Sacramento-based Steve Schmidt, during the rough-andtumble dog days of the national campaign. Palin’s version of events, however, goes counter to much of the readily documented evidence. For instance, Palin tries to shed any semblance of responsibility for her role in the humiliating prank call *%


[50]   ARTS

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

BALLET REVIEW

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by a comedian posing as French president Nicolas Sarkozy and claims in the aftermath that Schmidt telephoned her, screaming angrily, â&#x20AC;&#x153;How can anyone be so stupid?!â&#x20AC;? Those who were on the bus with Palin at the time, however, contend that the Schmidt phone call never happened. An email produced by the campaign provides evidence that Schmidtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s response was far more tempered than Palin would have us believe. Moreover, Palin protects the real culprit in this event, Steve Biegun, because he has remained her political ally. Schmidt, for his part, has called Palinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rendition of the campaign â&#x20AC;&#x153;total ďŹ ction.â&#x20AC;? For a more honest and balanced portrait of Palinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s performance last fall, readers can turn to Sarah From Alaska by Shushannah Walshe and Scott Conroy (Public Affairs; 320 pages; $26.95), a pair of enterprising young television reporters who were embedded in Palinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plane during the campaign. Although they bend too far backward to be â&#x20AC;&#x153;evenhandedâ&#x20AC;? with Palin (they rather sophomorically assert that Palin is â&#x20AC;&#x153;a truly likable personâ&#x20AC;?), they nonetheless note her â&#x20AC;&#x153;tendency to refuse to acknowledge any error in judgment and to offer instead a version of events that could easily be proved false.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a polite way of saying that Palin lies incessantly, let the facts be damned. There are a handful of insightful and honest reďŹ&#x201A;ections in Going Rogue, such as when Palin discusses her miscarriages, the birth of her son Trig (who has Down syndrome), and her daughter Bristolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s teen pregnancy. But even these moments are absent of real emotional gravitas. One gets the sense that Palin simply canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go there. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s astonishing is that Palin has absolutely no clue as to where she ďŹ ts into American political traditions and the current Republican zeitgeist. That is left to the brilliant political parody Going Rouge, edited by Richard Kim and Betsy Reed (OR Books; 336 pages; $16). Rouge includes more than 50 essays on Palin by an all-star array of contributors, including Gloria Steinem, Rebecca Traister, Katha Pollitt and Max Blumenthal. Going Rogue might have marked Palinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s moment of advancing her career beyond the series of car crashes that deďŹ ned her rocky candidacy last fall and her failed governorship of the Last Frontier. Instead, it is a retreat to the evangelical netherworld that fuels her personal ambitions. Going Rogue is short on political vision and long on self-promotion. It would have been more aptly subtitled An American Lie. GOING ROGUE: AN AMERICAN LIFE by Sarah Palin, with Lynn Vincent; HarperCollins; 413 pages; $28.99 hardback. Santa Cruz writer and ďŹ lmmaker Geoffrey Dunnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Powerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; will be released by St. Martinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Press in April 2010.

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Dancers Ahoy

Ballet San Jose rode the waves in style with â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Pirates of Penzance!â&#x20AC;&#x2122;

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N THE SPIRIT of puffy shirts, moonlit melodrama, mirthful buccaneers and bathing beauties, Pirates of Penzance! was a rollicking good evening of swashbuckling entertainment that amused the whole family. Though the overall dancing SEAWORTHY!!Bmfytboesb!Nfjkfs!boe!Nbyjnp! of the company wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t at the level Dbmjgbop!ublf!vq!tbjmjoh!jo!Ă&#x2022;Qjsbuft!pg!Qfo{bodf"Ă&#x2013; of mastery shown in past Ballet San Jose performances, the production included more acrobatics and contemporary movement then usually seen from this company, provided by guest-choreographer Daryl Gray. Principal dancer Meng Lu, in his second show of the season since joining Ballet San Jose from China, was as faultless in his movement as ever. His each gesture and jetĂŠ was masterfully executed in this romp based on the classic Gilbert and Sullivan comic operetta. Pirates of Penzance! gave him more of a chance to show off his comedic and acting skills then the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opening show, CoppĂŠlia, and Meng did not disappoint as the eye-patched Pirate King. His warmhearted marauder had a distinct Jack Sparrowesque edge. One minute, he was sashaying with a rum-tinged step and stabbing himself in the foot with his rapier, the next he was vaulting into the air with the undeniable skill of a star danseur. His illustrious crew of pirates did the wave, executed leaping chest bumps, cartwheels and ďŹ&#x201A;ips, and even tossed the comedic relief, Ramon Morenoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Major-General Stanley, high into the air. Of special note was Willie Anderson as the breakdancing, moon-walking, popping and locking Sergeant of Police, a crowd favorite. The pas de deux between the lovely Alexsandra Meijer, as Mabel, and the muscular Maximo Califano, as wishy-washy pirate apprentice Frederic, highlighted the best strict ballet of the production. Meijer has such control and poise during her lifts that she can position her legs and feet so elegantly and steadily that she practically becomes a sculpture sailing through the air. The production featured three opera singers on the side of the stage in painted â&#x20AC;&#x153;box seats,â&#x20AC;? clothed as theatergoers. They â&#x20AC;&#x153;narratedâ&#x20AC;? the production as Gilbert and Sullivan aďŹ cionados, sloppily sipping champagne and swaying along to the music between bursting into song. Soprano Alison Collins, a San Jose State University alum, was particularly impressive in her vocal acrobatics, while alto Krista Wigle brought energetic humor to her delivery. On top of that, this is also the ďŹ rst Ballet San Jose production ever in which this reviewer has heard the corps actually sing, though brieďŹ&#x201A;y. Kudos to scenery and lighting designer Kenneth Keith for the expert illumination of the second act. Set in a ruined chapel by midnight, the lighting wonderfully reďŹ&#x201A;ected the spirit of the production, a mix of classic ballet backdrop with the Technicolor scenery of a Pirates of the Caribbean Disneyland ride. Like any Gilbert and Sullivan production, the show ended in a matrimonial ďŹ&#x201A;urry of petals. Overall, the proceedings were so enjoyable that theatergoers did not feel like they had been sitting for three hours, the sign of a job well done. Jessica Fromm

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

San Jose Symphonic Choir Nova Vista Symphony

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009

[51]

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present P E R F O R M I N G A RT S S E A S O N

Âľ4@=;B63B=>Âś E7B6

A Sea Symphony by

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Sat, Nov 28, 8 PM Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph 80 S. Market St, San Jose tickets $25/18/10 408 995-3318 www.sanjosesymphonicchoir.org

Discover the Arts www.svArts.org

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A/BC@2/G2313;03@#j&>;  27<93:A>73:/C27B=@7C;   AB/<4=@2C<7D3@A7BG  â&#x20AC;&#x153;From the Top gives young musicians the stage but lets them act their age. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s serious music but classically kids.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The New York Times Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t touch that dial! The excitement is live on-stage as host and acclaimed pianist Christopher Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Riley joins some of the Bay Areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most promising young classical musicians for a taping of the hit radio program From the Top. Celebrating its tenth year on the air and heard on nearly 250 stations nationwide, From the Top showcases the talents of exceptional pre-collegiate musicians (ages 8â&#x20AC;&#x201C;18) and highlights the roles of its participants as peer models and emerging cultural leaders.

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[54]   FILM

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

METROGUIDE

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The Magnificent Anderson Wes Anderson’s animated ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ shows us where the wild things really are By Richard von Busack

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RSON WELLES had a famous comment about how the studio at RKO was “the biggest electric-train set a boy ever had.” Looking back at Wes Anderson’s career, it seems as if this cult director took the metaphor literally. The Darjeeling Limited was clearly an electric-train-set movie. And the toylike submarine in The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou earned Anderson the derisive nickname “Capt. Neato.” A real artist learns to turn his limitations into strengths. In switching gears entirely from live action to stop-action animation for Fantastic Mr. Fox, Anderson has created his most consistently enjoyable film. Yet he hasn’t stinted his appeal to the inner-childnurturing hipster, the disillusioned adult who feels that life since childhood has been nothing but one trail of broken promises. Fantastic Mr. Fox succeeds in ways that the rival funny-animalsfor-aging-kids film Where the Wild Things Are failed. Anderson has softened his typical aura of disappointment with a sense of rejuvenating play. What has sunk Anderson before—the lack of a common touch, the crucifying self-

consciousness, the focus on art direction over the content—is conquered here by the desire to tell a popular story. Based on a Roald Dahl children’s book, Fantastic Mr. Fox is a fairy tale, but it’s a realistic, slightly bleak one. Fox (voiced by George Clooney) settled down after fathering his first cub, Ash, and is now living a straight life with his wife (Meryl Streep). Mrs. Fox appreciates calm, but there’s something chaotic inside her. The two of them narrowly escaped a farmer’s trap once, and since then they’ve been living in an underground den. A midlife crisis rouses the beast: “How can a fox be happy without a chicken in his teeth?” Mr. Fox asks. He decides to turn hunter once again. Retaliation comes fast and hard: the Fox is robbed of his tail by a shotgun blast. In the war that follows, Fox and his family—and, soon, all the creatures in the woods—become refugees. It’s then that Mr. Fox figures a way toward survival—and triumph of a sort. Anderson supervises British animators who downplay reactions and eschew deadpan. Fantastic Mr. Fox is fairly literal. The farmers aren’t comedy bumpkins; their ringleader, Bean (Michael Gambon), shows us the hard, raw

face of an IRA hit man. Fox is a natural leader, a dashing predator in a dapper suit, walking on his toes. But at home, he wears the short sleeves and tie of the middle manager just barely holding onto his job. Fox’s fantasticness is itself a kind of delusion; he’s a legend in his mind, emitting that 1960s swinger’s wolf (or fox) whistle. There’s an air of middle-aged panic in this critter. And there’s strife, too. When Fox confesses his nocturnal activities to his wife, Mrs. Fox claws him good. So Fox is a typical Wes Anderson elder, longing to make a run for it. As both wild animal and uneasy father, he is unable to intervene in the rivalry between awkward Ash (Jason Schwartzman) and his tooperfect cousin Kristofferson (Eric Chase Anderson). Ash is a reject who plays with a literal model-train set; it would have been typical Anderson to make Ash the center of the film. Yet Fantastic Mr. Fox benefits from a really proactive hero for once. Clooney is a fox in full: we see both the humorous suavity and the realization of possible failure. Clooney is our Cary Grant, but what people forget about the original Grant is something that this superbly compelling Clooney remembers:

the buried fears that a suave man harbors of being out of control. Take Grant’s Roger O. Thornhill in North by Northwest—flashing his monogram to a lady, he says, “ROT is my trademark.” It’s noble rot, but it’s definitely rot. There’s simmering energy in Clooney, who knows how to talk up heroism and how to downplay it at the same time. Does it all work? The previews for the film make it look like a movie that’s trying for huge laughs—and that isn’t Anderson’s intention. The final chase on motorcycle, where the film gets closest to a new version of The Wind in the Willows, doesn’t have much thrill or momentum. Fantastic Mr. Fox is funniest and most intelligent when it goes for the smaller-scale effect. It delights us, from the beginning to the last moments, where the fox makes a virtue out of his nigh-fatal capacity to outsmart himself. And that’s a foxy trait Wes Anderson has at last transcended. FANTASTIC MR. FOX (PG; 87 min.), directed by Wes Anderson, written by Anderson and Noah Baumbach, based on the book by Roald Dahl, photographed by Tristan Oliver and with the voices of George Clooney and Meryl Streep, opens Nov. 25.

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Reviews by Michael S. Gant and Richard von Busack.

New Fantastic Mr. Fox (PG; 87 min.) See review on page 54. Ninja Assassin (R; 99 min.) The shiny Orientalism of Ninja Assassinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dialogue is more of a treat than the ďŹ ght scenes, which consist, basically, of a lot of whipping razor chains and purĂŠed ninjas, who go up in what look like explosions in a ragu factory. James McTeigue, of V for Vendetta, tells of an apostate ninja named Raizo (Korean pop star Rain), who turned against the Clan of Black Sand and is hiding in Berlin. Suffering nobly, he tries to protect an Interpol-like investigator (Naomie Harris) from the wrath of his seemingly hundreds of fellow warriors. In ďŹ&#x201A;ashbacks, we see the savage training: kidnapped children are beaten into the ninja lifestyle under the glare of Lord Ozuni (venerable martial artist ShĂ´ Kosugi). When McTeigue slows down the camera, the violence has an effect, and thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the odd sick-artistic effect, like the calligraphy of blood sprawling on paper screens. More often, we get grotty stuff: an edit between a bisected fool and tomato sauce splotching on a paper dish of Berlin-style curlywurst. The Wachowski brothers developed this comic-book-like ďŹ lm. Despite the playfulness of scripters Matthew Sand and J. Michael Straczynski, the story gets stuck in origins; the fountains of gore are not so much nauseating as lulling. (Read a full-length review online at Metroactive.com) (Opens Nov 25.) (RvB) Old Dogs (PG; 88 min.) John Travolta and Robin Williams star in a kid-friendly comedy about two old buddies who must care for 7-year-old twins. Co-stars Kelly Preston, Bernie Mac, Matt Dillon and Ann-Margret. (Opens Nov 25,) Red Cliff (R; 148 min.) John Woo directs a sweeping epic about ancient China. Stars Tony Leung. (Opens Nov 25 at Camera 3 in San Jose and the Guild in Menlo Park.) The Road (R; 119 min.) See review on page 58. (Opens Nov 25 at Camera 7 in Campbell, CinĂŠArts Santana Row and CinĂŠArts Palo Alto.) Thrillville Thrillville presents Black Christmas (1974), Bob Clarkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s other Christmas story, perhaps more haunting than the famous one. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about a slasher who terrorizes his victims with strangely David Lynchian obscene phone calls. Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder and Olivia Hussey co-star, plus John Saxon as Lt. Fuller. Live Bossa Nova music will be provided by Rocket to Rio. (Plays Dec 10 at 8pm in San Jose at Camera 12.) (RvB)

Revivals All About Eve/Double Indemnity (1950/1944) Bette Davis plays veteran theater actress Margo Channing, stalked by a disingenuous ingĂŠnue (Anne Baxter). George Sanders plays vinegar-blooded critic Addison De Witt, who introduces himself with the ďŹ rst of a series of impieties, paraphrasing Matthew 6:28: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I toil not, nor do I spin.â&#x20AC;? Marilyn Monroe has a small part as a naif ready for the picture business, and six-time Oscar nominee, always-a-bridesmaid Thelma Ritter costars as the moral center of the ďŹ lm, a maid who sees through the false loveydoveyness of the theatrical crowd. (After Baxter tells her sad, sad life story, Ritter snaps, â&#x20AC;&#x153;What a performance. Everything but the bloodhounds snapping at her rear end.â&#x20AC;?) BILLED WITH Double Indemnity,

M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009FILM the deathless ďŹ lm version of James M. Cainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s steel-trap mystery novel in which a hustling insurance salesman outsmarts himself, a heartless blonde loses an unwanted husband and a worn, fatherly little troll almost ďŹ gures the scam out. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an unusually graceful tale of murder directed by Billy Wilder with Barbara Stanwyck, who excels in everything the role requires, from the harsh chemical allure to the serious-as-cancer underpinnings. Fred MacMurray is the perfect sucker who narrates the story from the edge of the grave; Edward G. Robinson plays his smart, sad boss, who gives him a light for his last cigarette. (Plays Dec 1-3 in Palo Alto at the Stanford Theatre.) (RvB) My Man Godfrey/The Thin Man (1936/1934) Carole Lombard was the best of all â&#x20AC;&#x2122;30s comediennes: elegant enough for romance and tough enough for slapstick. She plays a rich girl who looks for a â&#x20AC;&#x153;forgotten manâ&#x20AC;? as part of a scavenger hunt.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;A scavenger hunt,â&#x20AC;? she explains, â&#x20AC;&#x153;is just like a treasure hunt, except in a treasure hunt you ďŹ nd something you want and in a scavenger hunt you ďŹ nd things you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want and the one who wins gets a prize, only there isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a prize, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just the honor of winning, because all the money goes to charity if thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s any money left over, but then there never is.â&#x20AC;? BILLED WITH The Thin Man. Which, by contrast, shows us the kind of marriage that dreams of marriage are made ofâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the liaison of Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell, Myrna Loy). (Plays Nov 24-26 in Palo Alto at the Stanford Theatre.) (RvB) Niles Film Museum Regularly scheduled programs of silent ďŹ lms. Nov 28: The Duchess of Buffalo (1926). Constance Talmadge stars as a dancer who is courted by various royals in Tsarist Russia. Billed with The Dumb-Bell (1922), a behind-the-scenes comedy in a movie

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[56]

FILM NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

**

studio, and Leo McCarey’s Long Fliv the King (1926) [1920s slang for car: “flivver”] with Charley Chase as a commoner who marries “Princess Helga of Thermosa,” thereby commencing a national scandal. Frederick Hodges at the piano. (Plays Nov 28 at 7:30 in Fremont at the Edison Theatre, 37417 Niles Blvd.) (RvB) North by Northwest/To Catch a Thief (1959/1955) The grandfather of the James Bond adventures, with ever-traveling hero, gentlemanly villain and untrustworthy woman—and smashing set pieces scored to ominous music (Bernard Herrmann). When an ad man stands up at the wrong moment at the Plaza Hotel, he’s mistaken for an American superagent; he’s pursued by agents of the foreign spymaster Van Damm (James Mason at his silkiest). Those sniffing around the subtext of Hitchcock can find some meat in the Taming of the Squire sequences, in which the suave ad

man, Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant), gets treated by Eva Marie Saint like a trick who won’t leave. BILLED WITH To Catch a Thief. Your ultimate French Riviera jewelthief movie, with Grant wrongly suspected of having restarted his former career as a cat burglar known as, naturally, as “The Cat.” Grace Kelly plays an heiress desired either for herself or for her jewels. The film features fine supporting work by the pert gamine Juliette Greco and by John Williams as the stalwart copper. Hitchcock’s famous routines here include the use of fireworks to represent a love scene and a famous double-entendre picnic, where it’s not clear what exactly is on the menu. (Plays Nov 27-28 in Palo Alto at the Stanford Theatre.) (RvB)

Fountain in Rome: for love, marriage and money. The wishes come true but not exactly as they had in mind. BILLED WITH Love in the Afternoon. Tamer Wilder. Awkwardness about a Parisian private detective (Maurice Chevalier) whose music-student daughter (Audrey Hepburn) is courting an infamous seducer (Gary Cooper). From the opening sequence, a parody of TV’s Dragnet (“This is the city, Paris”), it’s plain that director Billy Wilder wasn’t responding to the Paris of the time, despite the extensive location work. The film is a pastiche of the movie-studio Paris of Wilder’s early Paramount works of the 1930s, which is why the film has an intolerable airlessness. (Plays Nov 29-30 in Palo Alto at the Stanford Theatre.) (RvB)

Three Coins in the Fountain/Love in the Afternoon (1954/1957) Three American secretaries (Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters and Maggie McNamara) make a wish in the Trevi

Reviews Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (R; 122 min.) Werner Herzog’s shaggierthan-shaggy restatement of Abel Ferrara’s nouveau-grindhouse Bad Lieutenant of 1992. Karl Marx could have guessed it: first time tragedy, second time farce. Nic Cage’s Terence McDonagh walks with one shoulder hunched like Richard III, and he’s further impeded by the immense .44 handgun jutting out of the polyester waistband of his suit. Cage is on the case of a murderer who took out five African immigrants. He trails a drug dealer significantly named “Big Fate” (Xzbit). It’s hard work, and the lieutenant needs lots of fortification from evidence-room cocaine and pills. Mostly, he’s a kind of flaneur of squalor, sticking his head through tattered screen doors or spending some relaxation time with his high-priced honey Frankie (Eva Mendes, never sweeter). Fine supporting work abounds, with Jennifer Coolidge as a frowz, soaking up all the beer in the bayou. She’s given a makeover at the end, so Coolidge can show off the finest prow this side of the USS Constitution. And the criminally underused Fairuza Balk is a dirty state trooper who can’t seem to keep the lieutenant awake for a tryst. Cage’s electric enthusiasm is bound to be downgraded by some. Truth is, he’s so much damn fun no one wants to see him shift gears and get into the soulfulness of the role, as he must. In short, it’s another movie that would be heralded as deeper if there had been subtitles. (RvB) The Blind Side (PG-13) A well-off family discover a homeless teenager and help him make the football team. Stars Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw and Quinton Aaron. The Men Who Stare at Goats (R; 93 min.) George Clooney stars in the story of a reporter who stumbles across a secret military project designed to harness psychic powers. Also stars Ewan McGregor and Jeff Bridges. The Messenger (R; 105 min.) Woody Harrelson’s Capt. Stone is a CNO (Casualty Notification Officer), one of the pair of soldiers who turn up on doorsteps to regret to inform. Stone’s new partner, Sgt. Montgomery (Ben Foster), is a simmering, tattooed fan of punk rock; he’s scarred from the war and is boiling with his own contempt for the civilians around him. The two-man team keep the pity for themselves and not for the survivors. But we start to see celebrity actors playing the bereaved: Steve Buscemi as a spitting, furious father; Samantha Morton, plumped and cushiony, with hair swept back to look like late-period Ann-Margret. That’s when the film’s previous death’s-head irony starts to grow domestic. One can’t stop watching Harrelson, who—despite cartoony work this year—seems on the verge of something great. Writer-turneddirector Oren Moverman did the research; the slang sounds right. He also uses ideas and symbols that could have been done without: the first shot of Sgt. Montgomery,

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009FILM

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FILM NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

FILM REVIEW

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putting eye drops in his wounded eye, all but says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;This man cannot weep.â&#x20AC;? The locations, in New Jerseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aluminum-siding belt, give the story some kind of realism. Inside this movie is a much harsher and bigger ďŹ lm, and Harrelson, who is excellent, might have shown the way to it. (RvB) Michael Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s This Is It (PG; 112 min.) A last look at the late icon.

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The Trudge Report Cormac McCarthyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Roadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; recycles decades of Western-movie manliness

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LOGGING THROUGH the sleet are two ďŹ gures, half-starved on a perilous road to the sea; they are survivors of some thorough but indeďŹ nite holocaust. All civilization has broken down utterly; there is no light, no gameâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;even the deer have given up the ghostâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and long-pig consumption is on the rise. The Road is meant to be deep; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meant to be respected. The ďŹ lm offers a serious vision of a world without warmth, humor or sex, and only a lightweight, one thinks, would ďŹ&#x201A;ee from it. The Roadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s postapocalyptic center is a moral struggle: even as his strength wanes, Vigo Mortensenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Man tries pass on the spirit of â&#x20AC;&#x153;the good guysâ&#x20AC;? to his son. The son is called, as in Tarzan movies, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Boyâ&#x20AC;? (KoďŹ Smit-McPhee). My problem is that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen the same movies novelist Cormac McCarthy saw. The us vs. them aspect is the same as in any video game, or any of the previous dozen movies about zombies or hillbilly ogres. Of course people stay up all night reading The Roadâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the distillation of movies, replete with the kind of incidents where a man being held at gunpoint tells you that you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the guts to pull the trigger, and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to buck up and kill. Moral seriousness and larger-than-life monsters are part of the Western ďŹ lm canon. The ogres used to have feathers and war paint. The young man being raised to â&#x20AC;&#x153;carry the ďŹ reâ&#x20AC;?: thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s part of Westerns, too. (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Carrying the ďŹ reâ&#x20AC;? was in Tommy Lee Jonesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; dream monologue at the end of No Country for Old Men.) Women need not apply: theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re basically two-legged ďŹ re extinguishers. As the woman in the picture, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Woman,â&#x20AC;? Charlize Theron is too soft to live in a world without pianos. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an argument that you shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t critique a conception of a ďŹ lm, only the way itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s carried out. The Road has its moments. Mortensenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s real-tothe-pith suffering is unimpeachable, and a sightless Robert Duvallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tales of apocalypse have some genuine weight to them. The shambling ďŹ gures in the mist are all too much like the homeless wraiths we see on sidewalks every day. Yet McCarthy needs an answer when he creates yet another country thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no place for old men. The older personâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m oneâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;is always sure that the world is going to decadence and barbarism. The older person is always sure of this because he sees the rot in himself. This is why the older person has to be wary against such solipsism, such fantasies about taking the whole world down in ďŹ&#x201A;ames with them when they go. So the perfect celebrity voice to read Cormac McCarthy aloud isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Robert Duvall but Grandpa Abe Simpson: recrimination, lamentation, always biblical lamentation, without a womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voice to temper the judgment of Jehovah. Jeff Hillcoat directs; he was previously the architect of that all-u-can-eat buffet of suffering, The Proposition. He and The Road are a cinematic marriage made in hell. The ďŹ lmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heavy product placement for Coca-Cola and Jack Daniels (as if you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need a double after seeing it) might be considered part of his attempt to lighten up this endless trudge with small, good things. But the gentling of the ďŹ lm doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t helpâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and worse, there isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a moviegoer alive that can take The Road as seriously as it wants to be taken. Richard von Busack

Pirate Radio (R; 135 min.) Director/writer Richard Curtisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ďŹ lm wastes a roster of ďŹ rst-rate actors, including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Nick Frost and January Jones. Curtis also rubbishes a fascinating story, the history of how ship-to-shore radio short-circuited the BBCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ban on rock music during the 1960s. Taking this interesting David and Goliath story, Curtisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; inspiration was to put pontoons under Animal House and ďŹ&#x201A;oat it. Kenneth Branagh plays the

John Cleeseâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;like fussy inspector, who determines to use the British government to shut down the musical madcaps aďŹ&#x201A;oat on a boat, broadcasting in the North Sea. Nighy plays the saturnine owner of the boat, and he has the proper louche 1960s air but nothing to do with it; he stands around, making the sour persimmon face, and we wait for something to happen. Hoffman is the legend-in-his-own mind American DJ called the Count. Some rivalry is established when a fellow Yank DJ arrives on the boat: repeat-offender Rhys Ifans playing the silky Gavin Cavanaugh. (RvB0 Planet 51 (PG) An animated kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ďŹ lm. When an earth astronaut (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) arrives on an alien planet, he causes a panic among the cozy suburban inhabitants. Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (R; 110 min.) Much lauded, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a

bulldozer. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1987, during some of Harlemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most suffering years. A girl of immense girth, 16-year-old Claireece (Gabourey â&#x20AC;&#x153;Gabbyâ&#x20AC;? Sidibe) makes her way through life. She has intelligence, but she canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t focus, and we learn why in ďŹ&#x201A;ashback; she was serially raped by her motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boyfriend. Her scathing, angry mother, Mary (Moâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Nique), blames Precious for this and her resulting pregnancy), urging her to stop this foolishness about school and go on welfare. Watching Sidibe, we see something of what this movie could have been if it hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been so overcooked. The ďŹ lm is practically a pre-Clinton-era dream of the need for welfare reform: here, welfare is a generational evil that Precious might fall heir to. As youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve heard, Moâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Nique is great, but the ďŹ lm has a judgmental streak that wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t quit. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been essential to a success worthy of its sensationalism. By the end of the movie, you know who all the heroes and all the villains are, and you can go home comfortable. (RvB) The Twilight Saga: New Moon (PG-13; 130 min.) Visually, New Moon improves on Twilightâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the forest primeval is a little more natural (the better to shelter the supernatural). More of the same, though: the troubled True Love Waits romance of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) with the vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), interfered with by the formerly geeky, now studly Native American werewolf Jacob Black, called Jake (Taylor Lautner). Modeling Bella on the Jane Austen heroineâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;â&#x20AC;&#x153;loving longest . . . when hope is goneâ&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x201D;director Chris Weitz makes the mistake of letting the goods simmer until theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re soggy. Playing Bella, Stewart is consistently interesting. She has a very ambiguous mouth, and she plays everything way, way down, particularly her incrementally tiny reactions to the supernatural: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not the ďŹ rst monster Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve met.â&#x20AC;? The contrast here is ďŹ&#x201A;esh vs. spiritâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Jake the werewolf wears few clothes and has muscles in his ears, and Edward is a pale, sulky stripling. One is more creeped out by the passage about the ďŹ ancee Emily (Tinsel Korey), who had her face disďŹ gured by her werewolf lover, yet she still serves the wolfman and his buddies the mufďŹ ns she bakes herself. In Stephenie Meyerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world, men never mean it when they lash out; the girl wants consummation, but the sensitive man delays it, and a father can still ground his daughter, even when sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s past 18. (RvB)

For showtimes, advance tix and more, go to

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THE ROAD (R)--11:10am, 1:45, 4:20, 7, 9:35 *PRECIOUS: BASED ON NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE (R) *THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON (PG-13) *OLD DOGS (PG)  2012 (PG-13) A CHRISTMAS CAROL (in Disney Dig. 3D) (PG) IL TRITTICO (Opera in HD)--Sun 11am/Wed 7pm

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   â&#x20AC;˘ 288 S. Second, S.J. â&#x20AC;˘ 998-3300 *THE MESSENGER (R)

ARMORED

THE ROAD (R; 119 min.), directed by Jeff Hillcoat, written by Joe Penhall, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy, photographed by Javier Aquirresarobe and starring Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron, opens Nov. 25.

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009MUSIC

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FX: The Reunion 2_64 Trans-Siberian Orchestra_67

Evil Twins

Local punks NME don’t mind getting audiences riled up with controversial songs like ‘Bin Laden Airlines’ By Beau Dowling

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ME’s Mike and Peter Skilj aren’t afraid to take on anyone and everyone, including each other. The San Jose punk band has been around since the mid-’90s, with members coming and going, but the heart of the group has always been the Skilj twins. With a new album out and another almost finished, NME have made a name for themselves as brash, intelligent, uncompromising and a lot of fun to see live. The duo is full-blooded Croatian. They speak it fluently and visit family in their native country. “We have family there and a house on 500 acres of land on a mountainside,” Peter says. “Our family has owned that property for 450 years. Back then, it was dominated by the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish. If an American went in there and cultivated that land, they would make a huge amount of money.” According to Peter, the Bosnians are almost like cousins to the Croatians. “They speak the same language, but they’re Muslim. Our bloodline probably is Persian or Polish. Because of that, we’ve had an

Islamic influence in our lives.” For Mike, spirituality ties directly into writing music, even if it sometimes comes with consequences. “If NME is an extension of yourself, then it always comes back to how you deal with things, who are you are, how you interpret it and then relating that to the world. In turn, everybody is going to be pissy with you. It’s not as if we want to create enemies, and we don’t seek out to piss anyone off deliberately.” But with songs like “Bin Laden Airlines” and “Bombs Not Food,” Peters know most people will jump to conclusions. “Lyrically and musically, we never had a serious tone to the music until now,” Peter says. “‘Bin Laden Airlines’ is a mixture of both. Like another song, ‘Bombs Not Food.’ If you actually listen to the lyrics, we’re not making fun of Food Not Bombs.” Ever courting controversy, Peter is likely to speak at length about how Barack Obama is related to Dick Cheney. “It’s far removed, but they’re all part of the same bloodline,” he says. “If you have all the power in the world and are part of a consolidated

bunch, why would you seek to give that up? More is not good enough. They are always thinking of power. They’re competitive and they’ll cut your throat and drink your blood.” The religious influences in their lives prompted Mike to study Islam, which he has been doing for the past 10 years. “The essence of Islam is there’s a certain train of thought within monotheistic religions,” Mike says. “For me, Islam had the clearest version of that. It also has a holistic approach to things, which I think most religions lack. Even most Eastern religions, which is ironic because you would think they would have that. Initially, I never broke strides with it and I never had to overcompensate or act out of normal patterns. Islam is conceptual to me, and at the same time, probably the most misunderstood religion in the West.” Peter’s outlook couldn’t be more different. “Religion is brainwashing,” he says. “I don’t believe in it. I believe in God and a universal principle; there has to be something that connects everything. But, I don’t think taking sides is appropriate behavior.” One thing the brothers agree on is that everyone has a different

interpretation of what exactly punk is. The issue of selling out comes up all the time. “Selling out is not about making money or selling tickets, “Mike says. “It has nothing to do with materialistic things. It’s about you doing what you don’t think is right. It’s the ultimate wrong, because everything crumbles at that point. If you’re not yourself, who are you, then? You’re a poser. Just accept you’re a poser. Why is this poser punk rock? Because he has guy-liner on. Or their hair; like they’re trying to cover a bald spot or something.” All in all, it’s about being true to yourself and everyone around you. “Being sincere. That’s what success is,” Mike says. “If you’re truthful about things, then say it. I know not everyone is going to love us. We’re not going to be a multiplatinum band, there’s no doubt about that. We don’t care about that crap anyway.” “That’s just part of our personality,” Peter says. “ I was never worried about if people pay attention to us. If you properly express yourself, people are notice that you’re being real. People know that and they gravitate towards that.” M


[60]   GALLERY

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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photos.metroactive.com

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009

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[62]   MUSIC

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+)


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009

[63]


[64]   MUSIC

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

Nvtjd mjtujoht

CONCERT FILE



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7^iHejg7VcY#&*),BZg^Y^Vc 6kZ!L^aadl<aZc!)%-#'+.#(&((#

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GOOD OLD DAYS !Uif!Cmbol!Dmvc!sfnfncfst!uif!Tbo!Kptf!dmvc/

FX: The Reunion 2

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I]^hnZVg!Vcdi]ZggZjc^dciV`ZheaVXZ!V\V^c!dci]ZYVnV[iZgI]Vc`h\^k^c\# 9?hHejc!8]V^chVl!@^c\GV[Ă&#x2019;!=VggnL]d!?ja^jhEVee!7g^VcGV[Ă&#x2019;VcYG^X` EgZhidcl^aaY^\YZZe^cidi]Z^gXdaaZXi^dc[dgVaandjg[Vkdg^iZbdYZgcgdX`! [jc`$hdjaVcY]djhZ_Vbh!X^gXV&.-.Ă&#x201E;&..*# Gary Singh FX: REUNION PART 2 takes place Friday (Nov. 27) at 7pm at the Blank Club, 44 S. Almaden Ave., San Jose. Tickets are $10. (408.292.5265)

?#?#Ă&#x2030;h7ajZh8V[Z

BLACK FRIDAY San Jose's BEST 3 HOUR SALE Body Piercing from

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++


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009

[65]


[66]   MUSIC

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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1011 PACIFIC AVE. SANTA CRUZ 831-423-1336

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NUMBSKULLSHOWS.COM presents

All That Remains

SOXVThe Devil Wears Prada DOVRStory of the Year DQG Lovehatehero

$GY'UVÂ&#x2021;'UVSP6KRZSP 1RYIgor & Red Elvises Atrium (Ages 16+) 'HFIce Cube (Ages 16+) 'HFJoe Purdy Atrium (Ages 21+) 'HFAndre Nickatina (Ages 16+) 'HFLee â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Scratchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Perry (Ages 16+) 'HFThe Devil Makes Three (Ages 21+) -DQJackie Greene (Ages 21+) -DQRebelution/ Soja (Ages 16+) -DQAFI (A Fire Inside) (All Ages) )HEBadďŹ sh A Tribute to Sublime (Ages 16+)

8QOHVVRWKHUZLVHQRWHGDOOVKRZVDUHGDQFHVKRZVZLWKOLPLWHGVHDWLQJ Tickets subject to city tax & service charge by phone 866-384-3060 & online

www.catalystclub.com


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009   MUSIC

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WIZARDS IN WINTER!!UTP!qvut!b!ofx!uxjtu!po!uif!ipmjebzt/

Trans-Siberian Orchestra L=:Ci]ZnĂ&#x2019;ghihiVgiZYejii^c\VgdX`deZgVil^hidc]da^YVnijcZh^c&..+!i]Z bjh^X^cYjhignYZĂ&#x2019;c^iZanY^YcĂ&#x2030;iĂ&#x2020;\ZiĂ&#x2021;IgVch"H^WZg^VcDgX]ZhigV# Ă&#x2020;>Ă&#x2030;begZiinhjgZi]ZnYdcĂ&#x2030;i\Zi^icdl!Ă&#x2021;hVnh6aE^igZaa^!\j^iVg^hiVcYbjh^XVa Y^gZXidg[dgi]Z\gdje#I]^hYZhe^iZbdgZi]VcVYZXVYZd[VgZcVh]dlhi]ViZVgc hdbZl]ZgZ^ci]ZcZ^\]Wdg]ddYd['%b^aa^dcVccjVaan!ejii^c\i]ZbVbdc\ i]ZbdhihjXXZhh[jaidjghnZVg^cVcYnZVgdji#I]Z^gĂ&#x2019;ghinZVg!i]ZneaVnZYid VWdji&(%!%%%eZdeaZ#7ni]ZZcYd[i]^hnZVg!i]ZnĂ&#x2030;aa]VkZeaVnZYid&#(b^aa^dc! Vi&)%h]dlh# I]Zjc^c^i^ViZYb^\]i`cdlIHDĂ&#x2030;hhdc\Ă&#x2020;L^oVgYh^cL^ciZg!Ă&#x2021;l]^X]lVh ZkZgnl]ZgZ^c'%%*!ZheZX^VaanV[iZgVk^YZdd[8VghdcL^aa^VbhĂ&#x2030;^chVcZ]dbZ 8]g^hibVha^\]ih]dlhZiidi]Zhdc\lZcik^gVadci]Z>ciZgcZi#E^igZaa^hi^aaXVcĂ&#x2030;i WZa^ZkZi]VidcZ#Ă&#x2020;I]VilVhdcZd[i]dhZi]^c\hlZXdjaYcĂ&#x2030;i]VkZi]dj\]ije!Ă&#x2021; ]ZhVnh# 7ji^iVahdh]dlZY]dli]Z\gdjeĂ&#x2030;h[djcYZg!EVjaDĂ&#x2030;CZ^aa!^hVcXdchjbbViZ eZg[ZXi^dc^hi#Ă&#x2020;I]Vi\jnY^Y^ihdlZaai]ViEVjaXVaaZYjedjga^\]i^c\Y^gZXidgVcY hV^Y!Ă&#x2C6;L]nVgZ]^ha^\]iheZg[ZXian^chncX!VcYdjghVgZcĂ&#x2030;i4Ă&#x2030;Ă&#x2021; DĂ&#x2030;CZ^aaĂ&#x2030;hYg^kZ]VhaZYidi]ZZe^XIHDh]dlhl]^X][ZVijgZhdbZl]ZgZVgdjcY i]gZZYdoZcbjh^X^Vch!kdXVa^hihVcYcVggVidgh!Vadc\l^i]&,hZb^hĂ&#x2030;ldgi]d[ Zfj^ebZci#Ă&#x2020;>iĂ&#x2030;hVXdjeaZVXgZhd[\ZVg!Ă&#x2021;hVnhE^igZaa^#Ă&#x2020;>iĂ&#x2030;hVWhjgYan]j\Z#Ă&#x2021; I]Z\gdje]Vh[djcYV]dbZ^cHVc?dhZ!gZijgc^c\id=EEVk^a^dcdcHjcYVn[dg ildh]dlh!dci]Z]ZZahd[i]Z^gaViZhigZaZVhZ!i]Zcdc"8]g^hibVhVaWjbC^\]i 8VhiaZ!l]^X]YZWjiZYdci]Z7^aaWdVgYX]VgihViCd#*#E^igZaa^hVnhi]Z\gdje! l]^X]]Zhi^aai]^c`hd[VhĂ&#x2020;VWjcX]d[`^Yh[gdbAdc\>haVcYĂ&#x2021;cd!i]ZnĂ&#x2030;gZcdi Gjhh^Vc!i]ZcVbZgZ[Zghidi]ZXdccZXi^dcWZilZZcXjaijgZh!bVn]VkZ`cdlc WZiiZgi]Vci]Z^cYjhignhj^ih!WjiZkZci]ZncZkZgi]dj\]iIHDldjaY\Zii]^h W^\#Ă&#x2020;>iĂ&#x2030;hVYgZVbXdbZigjZ!VcY>ignidZc_dnZkZgnhZXdcYd[^i#Ă&#x2021; Steve Palopoli The TRAN-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA plays two shows Sunday, Nov. 29, at 3 and 7:30pm, at HP Pavilion, 525 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose. Tickets are $39.50â&#x20AC;&#x201C;$59.50; 800.745,3000.

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[67]


[68]   MUSIC

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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6iVgZXZciY^ccZg!i]Z]dhiZhhÉhXdjh^cgjYZanheZcibdhid[i]ZZkZc^c\i]jbW^c\i]gdj\]]^h 7aVX`7Zggn#JedcgZijgc^c\]dbZ!>gZXZ^kZYVcZbV^a[gdbVcVXfjV^ciVcXZ/È=dllVhY^ccZgVi :aV^cZÉh4ÉL]Zc>Vh`ZY]dl]Z`cZl>lVhi]ZgZ!]ZhV^Y:aV^cZÉhXdjh^c]VYIl^iiZgZYbnegZhZcXZ# >Éb`cdlc[dgbnWjh^cZhhVXXdbea^h]bZcih!Wji>ÉbVeg^kViZeZghdc!VcY[Zaik^daViZY#9VnhaViZg!> Y^cZYl^i]VcdaYWjh^cZhhXdaaZV\jZ!VcY\diIl^iiZgZYV\V^c#>XVbZ]dbZid[djg[dglVgYZYZbV^ah ]ZÉYgZXZ^kZY[gdbdjg[dgbZgXdaaZV\jZh!dcZd[l]db^ckZciZY[gdbl]daZXadi]VcVcZXYdiZeV^ci^c\ jhVh\gZVi[g^ZcYh#=ZÉYVXijVaanig^ZYid\ZibZÒgZY#6\V^c!>[Zaibneg^kVXn]VYWZZck^daViZY#L]Vi VgZi]ZgjaZh]ZgZ![dgi]ZIl^iiZgZgVcYi]Z^gjcl^ii^c\k^Xi^b4ÅEjWa^X^oZY Suddenly, everybody’s internationally famous. Not because they write like Cormac McCarthy, or they’re co-starring with Robert De Niro, or they saved 30 people’s lives, but because they posted a 30-second clip of their dog wearing sunglasses. We’ve come to the point where everyone—from assassins and terrorists to 8-year-olds—has in their pocket a level of telecommunications power that, just decades ago, would have taken up an entire wing at MIT. This is simultaneously thrilling and terrible. The average person now has the power to expose injustice, ruin lives and upload video of you picking your nose in your car that’s viewed around the world before you even have a chance to roll and flick. If you’re a movie star, spare us the whine that you can’t make tens of millions of dollars on a movie and also pick up a quart of milk without having 100 lenses trained on you to see whether you go for skim or 2 percent. But, as an ordinary (or relatively ordinary) citizen at a private dinner party, you do have the expectation of privacy. Sure, assume people might tell a friend or two something you said, but nobody has the right to release your whereabouts and dinner conversation to your friends, enemies, and five utter strangers who now get mobile broadband on their houseboat in Belarus. In general, people think (other!) people are ruder than ever, but as I explain in my new book, I See Rude People: One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite society, rudeness is actually the human condition.

People are, by nature, self-absorbed, they’ve always been self-absorbed, and these gizmos bring out the worst in them (they don’t call it the iPhone for nothing). In the absence of social norms for device use and abuse, many people with these wireless binkies are essentially chimps with nukes. But, the root of manners is empathy—stepping away from yourself and your gadget and asking, “Wait . . . is there some tiny chance in hell this guy doesn’t want his whereabouts published for an international audience?” Unfortunately, the thumb jockey at Elaine’s dinner apparently leapt straight to “Hmmm, he seems important . . . if I tweet about him, I’ll seem important!” (And then, it’s back to his regular profundities like “late to yoga” and “I had the ham.”) Just as we’re forced to ask grown adults barking into cell phones to “please use your inside voice,” we need to get proactive about our privacy. Because it’s presumptuous to set policy for a party you aren’t giving, you might tell future hosts about your experiences with these antisocial networkers—hinting at the need to announce a “what happens at dinner stays at dinner” media embargo. Guests will have to satisfy themselves with being rude in old-fashioned ways—hogging the mashed potatoes, passing gas and glaring at the person next to them, and rummaging through the host’s medicine chest . . . but refraining from uploading a shot of its contents to Flickr.

IlZcin"ÒkZnZVghV\d!l]Zc>lVh&-!>]VYVhZkZgVa"bdci]V[[V^gl^i]VcdaYZgbVgg^ZYldbVc! ZcY^c\l]Zc>bZibnl^[Z#I]ZldbVcÉhhi^aal^i]]Zg]jhWVcY!l]dhi^aa]ViZhbZ#Bnl^[Z`cdlh cdi]^c\VWdjii]ZV[[V^g!WjilZa^kZ^cVhbVaaidlcVcYVgZhiVgi^c\idgjc^cidi]ZhZildVieVgi^Zh# H]djaY>gZkZVaVcnd[i]^hiddjgbjijVa[g^ZcYh4>ildjaYbV`Zi]^c\haZhhVl`lVgYl]ZclZÉgZVaa id\Zi]Zg#Å7dnIdnd[NdgZ Yes, nothing to make small-town life less socially awkward than standing up at some event, clinking your glass with a butter knife and announcing, “Guess whose wife I had sex with!” Come on, what you’re really interested in lessening is your load of guilt by opening up a really old can of worms and

passing them around at parties. Sorry, Kitten. Part of the job description of being a 43year-old man is living with your mistakes— terrible as it must be, getting the occasional squinty-eye or cold shoulder from the guy who came home to your acid-washed jeans on his bedroom floor.

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NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009

ADVICE GODDESS

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[72]

CLASSIFIEDS NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

metro CLASSIFIEDS

CLASSIFIED INDEX 70 72 72 72

PLACING AN AD 73 74 74 75

Single Services Employment Family Services Music

Legal & Public Notices Automotive Home Improvement Real Estate

.

g Employment Jobs

$$$HELP WANTED$$$ Extra Income! Assembling CD cases from Home! No Experience Necessary! Call our Live Operators Now! 1-800-405-7619 EXT 2450 www.easywork-greatpay.com (AAN CAN)

Hair Studio Station For Rent Studio Glam in San Jose has 2 stations for rent, please call 408-260-5001 for more details, and ask for Liz

Bartender / Cocktail Servers Full Time or 6 AM Part Time shift available. Alex’s 49er Inn, San Carlos & Bascom. Apply morning’s only.

Elite Software Inc

Alpine Systems Inc.

has multiple openings for the following positions at its office in San Jose, CA. Must be willing to travel. Systems Analysts: Analyze, design, develop, maintain, install, and test computer software programs. Work with Business Objects, Oracle/S yb ase,PL/SQL. Programmer Analyst: Analyze, design, develop software applications using J2EE, JSP, EJB Oracle and Sybase. Send Resume to: HR Department, Elite Software Inc, 4320 Stevens Creek Blvd, Suite #229, San Jose, CA, 95129

has multiple openings for the following positions at its office in Sunnyvale, CA. Must be willing to travel. Systems Analysts: Analyze, design, develop, maintain, install, and test computer software programs. Work with Business Objects, Oracle/S yb ase,PL/SQL. Programmer Analyst: Analyze, design, develop software applications using J2EE, JSP, EJB Oracle and Sybase. Send Resume to: HR Department, Alpine Systems Inc. 1214 Apollo Way, Suite #404-1, Sunnvale, CA, 94085

Advertise In Metro's Classified Section

Earn $75-$200 Hour

Be seen both in print and onlineby one of the largest, most active audiences in the South Bay! To advertise visit metroactive.com or call 408/200-1300.

Call the Classified Department at 408.298.8000 Monday through Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm.

Fax your ad to the Classified Department at 408.271.3520.

@

±

Mail to Metro Classifieds, 550 South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113.

g Business Opportunities

Attention Readers Some ads in this section may require an initial investment or fee. Metro Newspapers encourages you to thoroughly investigate any advertiser’s claims before sending payment.

g g Career Development

Media Makeup Artist Training. Ads, TV, film, fashion. One week class. Stable job in weak economy. Details at www.AwardMadeUpSchool.com 310/364-0665. (AAN CAN)

Bartenders Needed Fun jobs. Great money. Earn $25-40/hr. Call for certification and placement information. $199 tuition with this ad. 888.901.TIPS or visit www.abcbartending.com

g Employers

our offices Monday through Friday, 8.30am  Visit to 5.30pm at 550 South, First Street, San Jose.

¬

Classes & Instruction

Classes & Instruction

Eskrima/Serrada Classes in Redwood City!!

High School Diploma! Fast, affordable and accredited. Free brochure. Call Now!. 1-888-532-6546 ext. 97 www.continentalacademy.com (AAN CAN)

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway Workshop Does anxiety and fear impact your job, your relationships, your ambitions? 2-day Fear Mastery workshop in the South Bay February 5-6. Visit the website at www.erikworkshops. erikcomm.com for more information

g General Notices

Learn Self Defense! Classes begin on December 12th 2009 at Red Morton Miscellaneous Community Park, 1400 Roosevelt Ave., Redwood City, Ca. at 1pm. Punong Guro Electric Vehicle Elicio Benetua with IESAc. Battery Tech Seminar (408).896.7508. email: efbenetua@yahoo.com - 1/30/10 Three battery experts will Visit: www.tribe-iesa.com speak about lead acid and Time for New Skills? lithium batteries in home electric vehicle conversions, as Check out Metro's employwell as battery containment in ment classified section and the vehicle. Pre-paid registrafind a new career. Call tion of $100 is required. 408-200-1300 to advertise. shari@electroauto.com, http://www.electroauto.com/ batteryseminar.shtml 831-429-1989

Gain National Exposure Reach over 5 million young, active, educated readers for only $995 by advertising in 110 weekly newspapers like this one. Call Jason at 202/289-8484. (AAN CAN)

g Miscellaneous

Get Dish-Free Installation $19.99 per month. HBO & Showtime Free. Over 50 HD Channels Free. Lowest Prices no equipment to buy! Call now for details: 877/238-8413. (AAN CAN)

FAIRY AND LIGHTHOUSE COLLECTION Private collector selling 3–6 inch Faerie Glen/Dezine fairy figurines and Thomas Kinkade lighthouses/village houses. $5-$15/piece or entire collection deal. Call 408-448-3057 or email cpbcinfo@gmail.com

Estate Sales

New & Used CoinOp Cocktail Arcade Games Special offer, limited time only, please call (888)378-9416 or email sales@coinopstore.com

Miscellaneous

Penis Enlargement

FDA Medical Vacuum Pumps. Gain 1-3 inches permanently. Testosterone, Viagra, Cialis. Free brochures. 619/294-7777 www.drjoelkaplan.com (discounts available) (AAN CAN)

g Computer Services Consultants

We SOLVE Computer Problems!! Mention Metro Ad For $20 “Express Computer Tune-Up”

Computer Repairs for Desktops, laptops, home networks, virus, slow/dead systems, data recovery. Microsoft Certified. Call for free quote!!! Free pickup and delivery. 408-734-3123.

Professional Services

Electronics

Get Dish-Free Installation

$19.99 per month. HBO & Showtime Free. Over 50 HD Channels Free. Lowest Prices no equipment to buy! Call now for details: 877/242-0974. (AAN CAN)

DEADLINES: For copy, payment, space reservation or cancellation: Display ads: Thursday 3pm Line ads: Friday 3pm

The Metropolitain Palo Alto

gg Music Bands

Lil Wayne, E-40, Snoop Dog, San Quinn

Thug World Records explosive label features lil Wayne Snoop dog E-40 G-unit and more. Free Downloads, MP3s, RingTones, videos. www.thugworldrecords.com 408-561-1255

g Instruction

School Of The Blues Blues/Jazz weekly private instruction on Harmonica, Guitar, Bass and Organ/Piano. Conveniently located near 101/Blossom Hill Rd. 408/224-2936. www.schooloftheblues.com

gg Self Help

g gg For Sale

classifieds@metronews.com Please include your Visa, MC, Discover or American Express number and expiration date for payment.

Financial Services

Most Affordable Life Insurance http://www.InsuranceInMinu tes.com. For a free no-obligation consultation, please call toll-free 1 866 364 0964

Rehearsal/Recording

Genuine Analog 24 Track Analog. 24 Bit Digital. Stout Recording Studio. Randy Burk, Producer/ Session Drummer. 510-567-8572 Oakland. StoutRecordingStudio.com

Tell A Friend You saw it in the Metro Classifieds!

Monthly and hourly music rehearsal space. Music instrument (fretted and vintage keys) and amplifier service. 650.279.1793 Services

SessionDrummer.net Real drum parts online. Real tape sound. Digital formats include: WAV, AIFF, Sound Designer 2. $160.00 per song. Randy Burk, Producer/ Session Drummer. Oakland, 510/567-8572

Run Your Ad In Metro's Classified Section Be seen by one of the largest, most active audiences in the South Bay! Your ad will appear in both print and online. A Powerful Combination for one great price. To advertise visit metroactive.com or call 408/200-1300.

Too Much Stuff? Advertise In Metro's Classified Section Be seen both in print and online by one of the largest, most active audiences in the South Bay! To advertise visit metroactive.com or call 408/200-1300.


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

Legal g Legal Notices

Legal & Public Notices

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT #529989 The following person(s) is (are) doing business as: Cafe One, 1 Almaden Blvd., San Jose, 95110, Maria Olvera, 988 Summerplane Dr., San Jose, CA, 95127, Jose Luis Orduna. This business is conducted by a joint venture. Registrant has not yet begun transacting business under the fictitious business name or names listed herein on. /s/Maria Olvera This statement was filed with the County Clerk of Santa Clara County on 10/14/09. (pub Metro 11/11, 11/18, 12/02, 12/09/2009)

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT #530660

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT Run Your Ad In #530799 Metro's Legal Section The following person(s) is (are) doing business as: Union Local 13, 4200 Dove Rd., San Jose, CA, 95111, Kevin DeLang.

Your ad will appear in both print and online. To advertise visit metroactive.com or call 408/200-1300

Post Post your your event event ... ... for for free! free!

ASTROLOGY

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6g^Zh(March 21–April 19): One of the greatest

A^WgV(Sept. 23–Oct. 22): I agree with football coach Lou Holtz, who said, “The problem with having a sense of humor is often that people you use it on aren’t in a very good mood.” It’s possible to work around this difficulty, however. What you have to do, before you unleash your levity, is conjure up empathy for the sourpuss in question. You should also make sure that your intention is not to mock or poke at the person, but instead offer a potential escape from his or her locked energy. By my calculations, you could be an expert at this kind of psychic judo right now. For best results, practice on yourself. Whenever you’re headed toward a negative thought or emotion, nudge yourself away with a jest or wisecrack.

IVjgjh(April 20–May 20): Your story is taking a hotter and wetter and more cosmically comical turn. The splendor and the rot are all mixed up. The line between your strengths and liabilities are hair thin. But have no fear. One of your dormant talents will activate in the nick of time. Your wild guesses will shed bright light whenever the darkness creeps in. And you’ll have even more emotional intelligence than usual. P.S. If your psyche tingles like a funny bone that has been tapped, it means that unanticipated help or useful information will arrive within 12 hours.

HXdge^d(Oct. 23–Nov. 21): Do you know what

<Zb^c^(May 21–June 20): “The more you do what

beat the system, my dear, is to elude it and erect your own system. The strategy most likely to leave your competitors babbling in the mirror, sweetheart, is to go completely over their heads. That doesn’t mean, darling, that you should be a remote and grandiose narcissist who listens to no one but yourself. Smile sweetly as you describe why your way is the best way, you gorgeous genius. Enlist worthy collaborators through the irresistible force of your guileless charisma.

superpowers a human being can have is the ability to change herself in accordance with her intentions. Let’s say you’re tired of feeling shame about something there’s no good reason to feel shame about, and you decide to do whatever it takes to dissolve that shame, and you succeed in doing it. Or let’s say you no longer want to attract bad listeners and flaky collaborators into your life, and you resolve to transform that pattern, and you ultimately achieve your goal. These are acts of high magic, as amazingly wizardly as anything a shaman does. It so happens, Aries, that this superpower is especially accessible to you right now.

This business is conducted by a individual. Registrant has not yet begun transacting business under the fictitious business name or names listed herein on. /s/Kevin DeLang This statement was filed with the County Clerk of Santa Clara County on 11/05/2009. (pub Metro 11/11, 11/18, 11/25/, 12/02/2009)

The following person(s) is (are) doing business as: Rajeunir Day Spa, 509 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell, CA, 95008, Yang D Hollenkamp. This business is conducted by a Individual. Registrant has not yet begun transacting business under the fictitious business name or names listed herein on. /s/Yang Deng Hollenkamp This statement was filed with the County Clerk of Santa Clara County on 11/03/2009. (pub Metro 11/11, 11/18, 11/25, 12/02/2009)

NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009

you want,” says Santa Fe artist Erika Wanenmacher, “the more magic happens.” And what she wants, in part, is to be surprised by how life’s random events ask to be included in her creative process. During her long walks along the irrigation ditch near her home, for example, odds and ends on the ground call to her, suggesting that she use them in her art pieces—heartshaped rocks, miniature liquor bottles, bent spoons, parts of toys. One of her gallery pieces, Spell Wall, consists of amulets made from this found stuff. “I’ll make whatever I want,” Erika says. “Out of whatever I want. About whatever I want.” She’s your role model, Gemini. Borrow from her perspective. Go in quest of unexpected clues that make you feel loose and free and fertile.

8VcXZg(June 21–July 22): Needing a creative disruption in my routine, I hiked into a forest I’d never visited. The late afternoon light was wan and the wind was chilly. In places, the trail narrowed to a scruffy rut barely big enough for me to walk on, leading me to wonder if I was reading my map wrong. Three times this happened, but always the wider path resumed. Were there bobcats here? When I spied a flash of fur in the distance, I wished I’d researched that subject before I’d come. Still I pressed on. Then I came upon a single segment of a wooden fence, inexplicable in this remote area. One end of its upper slat had come loose and fallen. Moved by a whimsical urge to insert order into the midst of my disorientation, I fixed the slat. My mood brightened, my anxiety dissipated, and the rest of my hike was filled with small epiphanies. Everything I just described, my fellow Cancerian, is an apt metaphor for your week ahead. AZd(July 23–Aug. 22): I believe that in the coming

weeks you’ll enjoy experiences that have an emotional resemblance to those referred to in this passage by French novelist Gustave Flaubert: “I want to cover you with love, with caresses, with ecstasy. I want to gorge you with all the joys of the flesh . . . I want you to be astonished by me, to confess to yourself that you had never even dreamed of such transports . . . When you are old, I want you to recall those few hours. I want your dry bones to quiver with joy when you think of them.” Please note, Leo, that I’m not necessarily saying the pleasures you gather in will stem from an engagement with an actual lover. They might. But your delight may also have a more mysterious origin.

K^g\d(Aug. 23–Sept. 22): It’s not just our era that has a tormented relationship with time. Many cultures have been frustrated by its tyranny. During France’s July Revolution in 1830, for instance, rebels shot guns at public clocks. While I think that’s too extreme for you, I do recommend that you perform a ritual to empower yourself as you wrestle with the passage of the hours and days and weeks. How about smashing a cheap alarm clock with a hammer? Or spending an entire day without ever referring to a timepiece? Or taking 10 deep breaths as you imagine you’re inhaling eternity and exhaling the grinding tick-tock? It’s a perfect moment to claim more freedom from temporality.

you’re really worth? Not as measured by your bank account and luxurious possessions. Not as reflected by your boss’s or parents’ or enemies’ images of you. Not as distorted by what you wish you were worth or fear you’re not worth. I’m talking about taking an illusion-free inventory of the skills you have that are fulfilling to you and useful to others. I’m talking about your wisdom more than your knowledge, your self-love more than your popularity, your ability to be good more than to look good.

HV\^iiVg^jh(Nov. 22–Dec. 21): The surest way to

8Veg^Xdgc(Dec. 22–Jan. 19): “A neurosis is a secret

that you don’t know you are keeping,” wrote theater critic Kenneth Tynan. Your assignment is to uncover one of those secrets in yourself. It may not result in an instantaneous cure of your minor personality glitch, but it will be a potent first step that will set in motion a series of healing events. Be brave, Capricorn. I guarantee that any ugliness you might find lodged deep inside you will be entangled with surprising beauty.

6fjVg^jh(Jan. 20–Feb. 18): Seventy percent of the world’s fresh water is locked away in Antarctica’s ice, which is 7,000 feet thick. Let’s hope it remains that way for the foreseeable future. If global warming melted that giant slab even a little, sea levels all over the planet would rise and coastal lands would be inundated. As for your frozen areas, however: I’d really like to see at least 30 percent of them thaw. Would you consider doing whatever it takes to release a miniflood of summery feelings?

E^hXZh(Feb. 19–March 20): While walking in an

unfamiliar neighborhood, I saw a huge red wooden chair on someone’s front lawn. It was big enough for a 20-foot-tall giant. An equally oversized martini glass was perched on the arm of the chair. Nearby was a sign that read, “I have flying monkeys at my command, and I’m not afraid to use them.” I assumed this scene was the handiwork of an adorable crazy person who’s an admirer of The Wizard of Oz mythology. I also flashed on how I could totally see you sitting in that chair. Metaphorically speaking, you too have flying monkeys at your command. I just hope you use them to accomplish good deeds, not evil ones.

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[74]

STRAIGHT DOPE NOVEMBER 25-DECEMBER 1, 2009 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

CECIL ADAMS

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Notice To Readers California law requires that contractors taking jobs that total $500 or more (labor or materials) be licensed by the Contractors State License Board. State law also requires that contractors include their license number on all advertising.

Hauling

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Hauling Service For your everyday household, yard and garage cleanup. Call J&R Hauling for it!! 408/841-0813

Tell A Friend

g You saw it in the Metro Classifieds!

Not well. In fact, to hear some talk, it pretty much sucked at the time. When my old black hole column popped up recently on the Straightdope.com carousel of classics, a typical comment went like this: “There is nothing wrong with having a little fun, but that column doesn’t really give the reader any good information about what would actually happen if he approached a black hole.” I concede I didn’t approach the subject with 100 percent seriousness, disappointing those looking for practical advice. I was, however, practical in my way. As I went to some trouble to make clear, you personally wouldn’t have any notion of what was happening as you approached a black hole because you, personally, would be dead. However, this isn’t what the critics want to hear. They want to know what you hypothetically would experience or, at any rate, what your remains would experience, as seen by the mind of God. One wishes to please. What follows are practical instructions on how to make the most of your black hole experience, even if you don’t actually experience it. Ignore any supernovas, collapsing neutron stars, accretion disks, etc., that may occur. All of these things were mentioned in the original column as being among the hazards of black holes. I don’t say they don’t have their aspects of interest, but they’re not essential to a black hole. You don’t want it said you got this close to a black hole but then were annihilated by a phenomenon of secondary importance. Don’t worry about falling forever toward the black hole without ever actually getting there. I said that was one of the possibilities. I acknowledge with shame that I was wrong. The truth, insofar as this can be known about an event that’s fundamentally unknowable, is that it might appear to an outside observer that you were falling indefinitely, for reasons I don’t feel it’s necessary to explore. However, you yourself would rocket through right on schedule, or at least we think you would. Beware the tides. Here we get to the heart of the matter. You may have heard that tides are dangerous things. You don’t know the half of it. Once you’ve experienced a black hole tide, you won’t complain about anything else ever again. The essence of the thing is this: the force

of gravity, which creates the tides, drops off quickly with distance. The part of an object closest to the center of gravity gets tugged on the most, the part in the middle a middling amount and the part farthest away the least. The result is that the object becomes elongated, like a football. That’s why there are two ocean tides a day, on opposite sides of the earth. If the force of gravity is particularly strong, the object becomes really elongated, like spaghetti. You can see where this is headed, and from the standpoint of your health it’s not good. The pull of gravity exerted by a black hole is so staggeringly high that due to tidal forces your very molecules will be rent asunder, reducing you, for all I know, to your constituent quarks. This is the quintessential falling-into-a-black-hole experience, and is your certain fate. Forget about wormholes. Wormholes are much beloved of theorists. They’re tunnels in the space-time continuum that, theoretically, provide a shortcut from one point in spacetime to another, as in the board game Chutes and Ladders. A black hole can, theoretically, serve as the entrance to a wormhole, which seems to offer exciting possibilities. Unfortunately, wormholes collapse as soon as they form, making them impractical as a means of space-time transportation. The theorists have proposed ways of getting around that problem, but this is no time for ivory tower exercises. Aim for the biggest black hole you can find. This is the key to successful black hole surfing, assuming we take a broad view of what constitutes success. If the black hole is large enough, you might be able to cross the event horizon (that is, the black hole boundary) before the tidal forces get you. Provided you haven’t previously been killed by something else, you may be cognizant, however briefly, of having achieved the pinnacle of the ultimate extreme sport.

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