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Picasso, chocolate, the Queen of Wands, Facebook and me By Marylu Downing
ow that my life isnâ€™t filled with teaching, my extroverted side cries out for company. I live in the country where I only see neighbors during walks on our rural lane. I belong to two book groups, volunteer for arts organizations, spend time with grandkids and see friends for lunch, but thatâ€™s not quite enough. I check my email first thing every morning, and now thereâ€™s Facebook. I confess, I like it and count on it. You could even say Iâ€™m addicted. Like the chocoholic craving one more truff le, I sift through Facebook messages, pictures and links. I enjoy the easy banter, dipping into other peopleâ€™s lives. A brother-in-law put out the hook, placing a photo album there, so I joined with the intent of looking and leaving, but it turned out to be a big box of chocolates. Now Iâ€™m part of a vast electronic village. I learn things about my children, in-law family and exin-law familyâ€”even my husbandâ€™s ex-inlaws. I find out about really old friends, newer friends and some friends I donâ€™t think I even know. A young friend invites me to find out which philosopher I am. Aristotle! In a past life, surprise, I was Picasso! (Even though I was alive when he was, these quizzes being geared toward a younger crowd.) One of my daughters, a stepson and my nephew were also Picasso in their past livesâ€”something about family dynamics. Facebook is a place where I network with other artists, post paintings or plug an art opening. It has a practical side, I tell myself, as I turn on the computer for more yummy chocolate. An actress friend sends a YouTube video showing her live-action scene in Avatar. A baby is born, and there are cute pictures. My niece had to put down her kitten. Someone invites me to take another quiz. Itâ€™s like being asked to come out and play. â€œWhat Tarot Card Are You?â€? â€œWhat Celtic Goddess?â€? â€œWhat Is Your Animal Patronus?â€? Iâ€™m the Queen of Wands, fire behaving like water, as in a rainbow. Iâ€™m Branwen, goddess of love and beauty. My animal patronus is the snake. I get invited to a belly dance
performance and a burlesque show. I see that my daughter has posted a new photo album from Shanghai. There she is, taking turns with her African husband being the head atop a headless terra cotta warrior. My ex-husband invites me to be his friend, and I see pictures of holidays at his house. His thought for the day is that his â€œworld is expandingâ€? and that he has had â€œa glass of brandy and is ready for bed.â€? TMI. There were times in the past when I couldnâ€™t buy anything extra and weeks when I barely had time to open a book. The life I lead now may seem luxurious, but itâ€™s my retired life, and if I want to sit in the garden by a yellow rose bush and sip tea or spend an hour perusing Facebook, so be it. Itâ€™s a rich life filled with modern mythology and electronic neighbors. A virtual world brings its own kind of immediate reward to the person craving connection. From time to time, swimming in a confessional pond takes its toll. All that salty water, all that water under the bridge, all those babies who now have jobs in New York City or San Francisco, or who are having their fourth child and this time itâ€™s a boy with sonogram for all to see. Someone feels close to Jesus, someone is going to the dog park, someone posts a giving link for Haiti. In an emotional state, life is magnified, even in the virtual world. Sometimes Facebook can just be too much. But thereâ€™s that next piece of candy, sweet and tasty, and I log on again and again. I donâ€™t quite know what to think about the voyeuristic qualities of Facebook, but I do know Iâ€™ll be on there soon, writing my thoughts for the day and sharing in that salty pond with all the other fish captured in the net. And Iâ€™ll be eating chocolates, salted with caramel centers.
A virtual world brings its own kind of immediate reward to the person craving connection.
Marylu Downing may be found checking her emails when sheâ€™s not in the art studio or writing in the hills above Freestone in western Sonoma County. Open Mic is a weekly feature in the Bohemian. We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 700 words considered for publication, write email@example.com.
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34?C>5B?A8=62;40=8=6 Any truly tidy householder knows that spring cleaning neednâ€™t wait around for the vagaries of spring. Spring cleaning as a concept is useful year-round, taken as a time to actually look at the awful little messes, the dusty underbed bunnies, the odd stack of unread books, that marinara-spotted slate of fridge magnets, that one has allowed to accumulate. Once seen, of course, they must be tackled. Having rolled up sleeves and dampened things with vinegar and baking soda, we hoisted a metaphoric broom through the paper last week, so that this issue squeaks of early spring-cleaning efforts. Smelling lightly of lemon, this weekâ€™s issue shows some scrub-ups and changes. The Table of Contents, (fondly known as the â€œToCâ€? because itâ€™s been a labor of TLC that weâ€™re fairly certain no one r-e-a-d-s), is no more. The very popular â€œOpen Micâ€? column now opens the book, providing a fresh blast of community voice. San Anselmo artist Jaime Crespoâ€™s cartoon, formerly a ToC resident, has been moved to the SAE (p35), which itself used to be called the Calendar but
has been renamed to reflect its emphasis on Stage, Arts and Events. Jaimeâ€™s strip, formerly called â€œSlice of Life,â€? has been revamped as â€œSlices.â€? Weâ€™ve similarly altered or shortened heds throughout the paper. Look for more Criticâ€™s Choices boxes and a more strictly â€œcuratedâ€? calendar in the Music and SAE holes in the future. Weâ€™ll also strive to have more content for you placed within our Dining and Wineries listings. This week, we formally introduce brand expert Daedalus Howellâ€™s biweekly â€œMediaâ€? column (p8), which weâ€™ve been playing with for the last month and are proud to settle upon for regular rotation. Daedalus is Sonoma Countyâ€™s â€œLifestyle Ambassador,â€? information we include simply because it always makes us giggle, and won a national award for his wine writing in this paper previously. Welcome back, D! And finally, this issue may be the first in our 31 years in which there is no Personals section. The â€œRomanceâ€? pages no longer make sense for a print publication, and we frankly werenâ€™t satisfied that those readers who signed up with the service advertised were being well enough treated. Those looking for
love know that there are other places to go, though we helpfully offer that you could just, well, love us instead. Love it, like it, hate it or pretend an icy indifferenceâ€”let us know what you think early and often: firstname.lastname@example.org. Surveying our first pass, slightly out of breath and vowing to get a new vacuum cleaner, weâ€™re pretty satisfied. Perhaps just a vase of spring flowers over there?
2D33;4?>B8C8E4 The dumbing down of our society has reached critical mass, in my opinion. Every day we are bombarded with distractions from the truth of the perilous condition of the earth. Most of us live our lives hypnotized by the distractions available to us in this consumer society. Now PG&E wants us to not question the use of Smart Meters to be installed on our homes, offices and in all of our towns (â€œNo Thanks, PG&E,â€? Open Mic, Feb. 17). Most of us were only recently alerted to the ubiquitous use of these meters that emit radio frequencies to our homes and the environment throughout the day and night. How will RFs affect the more sensitive creatures already affected by manâ€™s degradation of the earth: the birds and squirrels, the butterflies and bees? I teach poetry to children, many of whom are aware of the demise of the earth. They are awake and frightened. Below is a published poem written by an obviously prescient sixth grade student of mine 12 years ago. â€˜2010: A PREDICTIONâ€™ Oh people! Oh people! What have we done? The animals came. Now they are gone!
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Oh people! Oh people! What have we done? Oh please come. Look what weâ€™ve done. Weâ€™ve polluted the world. Now the animals are gone.
Justine, grade 6
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news for Sonoma, Marin & Napa Counties
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>E4AF>A:43 SDC psychiatric technician Rob Matteri after a 15-hour day. Because of a 24-hour care cycle, employees are unable to use furlough days forced by the state.
2PaX]VU^acWT2PaTcPZTab Sonoma Developmental Center employeesâ€™ union files suit against the state of California By Helen Evans
he California Association of Psychiatric Technicians, the union representing about 15,000 employees statewide, including 711 at the Sonoma Developmental Center, is suing the state of California. The union alleges that while there are mandated furloughs for state employees, the facilities where union members workâ€”prisons, developmental centers and state hospitalsâ€” must nonetheless operate 24/7 to care for clients and inmates, and must maintain legal staffing ratios. Members are often denied use of furlough time off which, according to the unionâ€™s legal team, is against the law. â€œUnpaid furloughs implemented by the governor affect overtime and complicate
level-of-care staffing,â€? the union says in a statement. â€œState employees in state hospitals, prisons and developmental centers such as Sonoma Developmental Center do not get â€˜furlough Fridaysâ€™ off as state employees do elsewhere, and are required to bank their unpaid time. If they are allowed to take the time, their shifts must be covered by other employees, further increasing overtime. However, level-of-care employees frequently are denied furlough usage due to staffing needs and additional overtime costs.â€? Brady Oppenheim, spokeswoman for the union, clarifies: â€œWe are saying the governorâ€™s plan as it pertains to our employees is illegal. It is violating federal and state laws. The workers are working 40 hours and getting paid for 32.â€? By the end of August 2009, state employees in hospitals and developmental
centers racked up 269,149 in unpaid furlough hours, according to a report by the Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes. The study also shows roughly 189,000 state workers have seen their pay cut by 14 percent since July 1, 2009. This is against the union contract, which ensures negotiations are required before any changes are made to pay. The union was in negotiations when the furloughs hit, causing the union to fall back on their 2006â€“2008 contract. The lawsuit hearing, originally scheduled for Jan. 15, has been postponed to March 19 because of scheduling conflicts by the state. â€œSonoma Developmental Center in particular has been slammed by these ongoing budget cuts,â€? Oppenheim says. â€œIn addition to the unfair furlough issue, 54 of our members, psychiatric technician assistants, were laid off in September, % .
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California Dharma Celebration The Blessing Empowerment of Maitreya
Receiving the blessing empowerment of Buddha Maitreya is an opportunity for us to enhance our joyful mind of loving kindness. Since love protects us from suffering, this empowerment moves us along the quick path to a happy and loving life
Program: Introductory Talk - Friday, March 5th, 7:30-9pm; Saturday, March 6, 9am-5:30pm; Sunday, March 7, 9am-12:30pm Fees: Celebration Weekend - $120 Friday only - $15; Saturday only - $80; Sunday only - $30
Pre-registration: www.CADharmaCelebration.org or 323-223-0610 Hosted by: Mahakaruna Buddhist Center 304 Petaluma Blvd N, 707-766-7720 Registration & Check in: 616 Petaluma Blvd N please arrive 45 mins early
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>bRPaÂ˝b0[[PÂ˝cfXccTa The Academy dips its toe into the 21st century
By Daedalus Howell
ome February of every year, scads of entertainment journalists engage in a ritual peculiar to their beat. They apply for press credentials to cover the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciencesâ€™ annual Academy Awards. An awards ceremony for motion pictures presented on television epitomizes traditional media. If the gold statuette was wrapped in newspaper like a fish, perhaps the event could be even more quaintly 20th century. Despite its antiquarian trappings, this year Oscar is poised at the nexus of traditional and social media. In addition to the usual questions used to vet journosâ€™ credibility in the online credential application, a new query appears: â€œTell us about how we can find you onlineâ€”blogs, Twitter, Facebook, other social media platforms.â€? Social media like Twitter have been a boon for journalists, and not merely for those upgrading their bylines to brand names. (The Pew Research Centerâ€™s Project for Excellence in Journalism cited the â€œpersonal brandingâ€? of journalists online as a major trend in its State of the News Media Report for 2009.) Social media tools have also enabled journalists laboring under repressive regimes to bypass censors and transmit reportage to the world, if only at 140 characters at a time. For some media critics, freedom of the press coupled with free blogging services have resulted in either a free-for-all or a free fall. Consider the so-called citizen journalists, whose training consists of little more than glossing the â€œTerms of Serviceâ€? agreement on a video-sharing site and who routinely break stories via social media. In an era when an anonymously posted YouTube video depicting the death of 26-year-old Iranian activist can put those who produced it in the company of New York Times and New Yorker reporters when winning journalismâ€™s prestigious George Polk Award, the redefining of what a journalist is must be under way. In its own way, the Academy Communications Department, which dispenses Oscar credentials, has contributed to this process. In short, professional journalists are now expected to have a social
media presenceâ€”just like the amateurs. ABC, which will broadcast the Oscars this Sunday, has yet to reveal an official policy regarding tweeting at the Oscars, whether that be by journalists, attendees or even nominees (Up in the Air director Jason Reitman seems to be the only nominee with an active Twitter account). Rival network NBC, however, has had to contend with the social media factor head-on as some of its current XXI Olympic Winter Games broadcasts are released on taped delay; it is hopeless to prevent medal results from being tweeted to the world. There is, as yet, no such thing as a tweet-delay, though the Iranians are surely working on one. The International Olympic Committee speaks to this, in part, with its â€œIOC Blogging Guidelines for Persons Accredited at the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver 2010,â€? a four-page document intended to police the social media habits of accredited attendees. â€œIt is required that, when Accredited Persons at the Games post any Olympic Content, it be confined solely to their own personal Olympic-related experience,â€? it states, suggesting that no news is good news, but writing of oneâ€™s aspiration to appear on a box of Wheaties is acceptable. Moreover, â€œthe IOC considers blogging, in accordance with these guidelines, as a legitimate form of personal expression and not as a form of journalism.â€? Micro-blogging, fittingly, was addressed via tweet on the Olympicsâ€™ official Twitter account where athletes were encouraged to share the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat: â€œAthletes go ahead and tweet, as long as itâ€™s about your personal experience at the games.â€? As a live event, the Oscars have little fear of its winners being revealed prior to some celebrity saying, â€œThe envelope, please.â€? At worst, entertainment journalists will offer a deluge of online snark, which they will later recapitulate online, in print and wherever else news goes to die. If Oscar winners tweeted their acceptance speech Ă la â€œYou like me, you really like me. #Oscar,â€? that might warrant a re-tweet or two.
Professional journalists are now expected to have a social media presenceâ€”just like the amateurs.
DHowell.com/Oscars will have live, red carpet coverage of the Oscars.
and the state instituted a hiring freeze, which means costly and dangerous overtime.â€? In October of last year, this cost the state $842,000 for 29,085 hours of overtime. Just nine months earlier, in January of 2009, that number was more than 6,000 hours less. â€œIt all leads us to ask, â€˜How does decreasing staffing and safety and increasing taxpayer costs help the state budget?â€™â€? Oppenheim says. â€œThese facilities depend on staffing. When staffing is harmed, it affects client care and taxpayers.â€? The furlough time is put in a time bank, and, theoretically, employees will be able to use those hours at a later date. At 24-hour state facilities, however, that later date has yet to comeâ€”exactly when employees can cash in their furlough time is as elusive under the new state budget as time-and-a-half pay for holidays. Meanwhile, all banked furlough time will expire after two years from the end of the furlough program, currently set to end on June 30 of this year. Sonoma Developmental Center is operated by the California Department of Developmental Services. There are 645 clients served at the thousand-acre facility, with lakes, a residential campground, a store, cafeteria, post office, a petting farm, sports fields, a swimming pool and other various amenities. â€œThe real issue here is the clients,â€? says Rob Matteri, a psychiatric technician at the developmental center. â€œWhen staff is limited, they are the ones who suffer.â€? When a psych tech is hired at Sonoma Developmental Center, they are trained that the primary goal is direct care with the clients. However, staffers complain, to comply with state law requires that time be mostly spent processing documents. â€œIt is basically how everything gets done,â€? Matteri explains. As mental facilities closed statewide in the last several years, Sonoma Developmental Centerâ€”once only open to people with developmental disabilitiesâ€”began accepting people with dual diagnosis mental disorders. â€œIt is a very challenging population,â€? Matteri says. There was only one day in February that did not call for overtime, he says, adding that work has been increased exponentially and there is a huge physical toll. â€œAnd beyond the obvious physical toll on the employees,â€? he says, â€œthere is the issue of paperwork.â€? When there are incidents where a client has an outburst or a suicide attempt, proper charting needs to be completed, but when staffing is limited, it occasionally gets looked over. â€œWhen someone is having a behavior, you canâ€™t ask them to stop so you can file a report,â€? he says. â€œThe paperwork is what gets the people care. If you minimize the behavior and donâ€™t document it, they may lose medication and medical attention, and that is terrible for the client.â€? Matteri doesnâ€™t feel that the furloughs have done anyone any good. â€œNobody is winning,â€? he says. â€œI am a Californian, born and raised. If the plan saved anythingâ€”if taking a personal hit for a little bit solved some of our problemsâ€”I would be all for it. â€œIt is not that I am not paid well,â€? Matteri adds. â€œI bought a house. I have a new car. But beyond the client issue, it is a principle thing.â€? Oppenheim says that with the delay in the lawsuit, the union has been able to gather additional evidence to bolster their case. â€œThe primary goal of the lawsuit,â€? she says, â€œis a dayâ€™s pay for a dayâ€™s work.â€?
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My nonvirtual march for healthcare reform By Juliane Poirier
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marched with a million others last week, though I was sitting down at the time. The virtual healthcare march on Washington, D.C., was staged digitally. We all just clicked on the right links at the right time. It felt politically smart but, on a personal level, disappointingly passive. I want action. I want to stand up and do something for healthcare reform, which is equivalent to standing up for basic human rights, the bedrock of social sustainability. And since I will be losing my own health insurance this spring, it gores me to sit here waiting for an outcome thatâ€™s in the hands of politicians, most of whom I would never invite over for dinner. Practicing keyboard activism for healthcare reform is certainly necessary, but it is not enough. So Iâ€™ve been pondering what to do that can make a real difference. The answer from many sources was brought into focus by a 2007 book from Santa Rosa researcher Dawson Church called The Genie in Your Genes: Epigenetic Medicine and the New Biology of Intention. Shifting my perspective from the political to the personal, Churchâ€™s explanation of healing expanded my approach to heathcare reform. It now occurs to me that marching for my own healthcare is essential. Not a sign-waving stomp in front of the White House, but a cross-crawl at home. The cross-crawl is misnamed. Itâ€™s a physical exercise that resembles a march, invigorating and fun. But the scope of Dawsonâ€™s book is well beyond the movement of muscles; it is about the scientific thinking and spiritual practices that underlie energy psychology and energy medicine, the combination of which is â€œepigeneticâ€? medicine, a term coined in 1942. This is not mainstream medicine. Blue Cross-Blue Shield wonâ€™t pay for it because it involves no surgery or drugs, and is more closely linked to ancient healing practices than to Western medicine. And this is a good thing. Epigenetic medicine is based on the science of energy, rooted in physics research, and holds that the emotions and the conscious intentions we hold are keys that open doors to health.
Early research in the field assumed that we were fatefully under the thumb of our genes, stuck in a kind of DNA doom, but epigenetic research indicates that genes are not always the drivers, that the heart and mind have control over many gene expressions. In fact, our thoughts, behaviors, feelings and experiences impact the expression of over 1,500 genes in our bodies, according to Church. A study by Harvard Medical School physician Herbert Benson shows that a simple relaxation technique improved an array of physical conditions. â€œChanging the mind,â€? Benson is quoted in the book, â€œcan affect gene expression.â€? The genes changed by relaxation techniques included those involved with inf lammation, cell regeneration rate and free-radical scavenging, which is associated with aging. According to several studies described in the book, we have in our power the ability to change and heal ourselves in profound ways, leaving the pharmaceutical corporations and associated puppet doctors out of the healing loopâ€”and out of our pockets. This sounds like health reform at its most powerful. But if insurance providers donâ€™t cover energy medicine, is it only for the wealthy? â€œAbsolutely not,â€? says Amy Frisina, a Sebastopol-based energy medicine practitioner who is certified in Eden Energy Medicine. â€œYou can practice energy medicine yourself, and it doesnâ€™t cost you anything. The whole point of the work is to teach people to take care of themselves, to focus on what the body can do without invasive procedures.â€? The role of the practitioner is assessment and teaching. â€œThere are times when itâ€™s more effective to have a certified energy medicine practitioner assess your needs,â€? Frisina explains. But with energy medicine, apparently, you can get healed without being held hostage or losing your life savings. Part of an energy medicine routine offered by healer Donna Eden (outlined in Appendix B of the Genie book) is a five-minute series of exercises that reduces stress and boosts energy. Included is the cross-crawl, which is really a march. In fact, itâ€™s my new, nonvirtual march to reform health care.
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7^cP]S2^[S A burger and a vodka martiniâ€”the perfect lunch By David Templeton
lcohol increases the appetite,â€? pronounces John Ernsberger, a hardworking bartender at Starkâ€™s Steakhouse. â€œWhen you think about it, vodka is a palate cleanser, right? So when you take a shot of vodka or a sip of a vodka martini, it basically resets your palate. Usually, when you have a bite of a good hamburger, that first bite is the best. But the vodka lets you taste that burger for the first time, every time.â€? The cold and crisp electric shock of a fine vodka martini paired with the comforting culinary mate of a fine cheeseburgerâ€”hot and juicy in that rich, satiating way that only a good burger can beâ€”may not be everyoneâ€™s obvious choice of a midday nibble, but for a growing number of casual daytime diners, the burger-and-martini lunch has become identified as a great culinary vacation in the midst of a long, hard work day. For those willing to explore, the North Bay does offer a number of first-rate burger-and-martini eateries, and the two-year-old Starkâ€™s (521 Adams St., Santa Rosa, 707.576.9610) is one of them.
â€œBeer and wine is what we serve most often when people are eating meat,â€? Ernsberger remarks. â€œNext to that, a burger and a whiskey is pretty common. But we certainly do see people doing the burger-and-martini lunch.â€? It has to be, of course, a vodka martini. Not just for the palate-cleansing, resetting-the-tastebuds reason that Ernsberger has already described, but quite simply because gin just makes a burger taste weird. Asked his secret for shaking up a good martini, and the reason Starkâ€™s burgers are always so incredibly flavorful, Ernsberger is to the point. â€œItâ€™s just good beef,â€? he says. â€œAnd what makes a good vodka martini? Tender loving care. Itâ€™s all about not overdoing it on the vermouth. Also, itâ€™s olives that havenâ€™t been sitting out too long. Thatâ€™s a rule a lot of bartenders forgetâ€”keep the garnish fresh.â€? In Napa, finding a good burger place isnâ€™t hard, nor is locating a bar that serves up martinis with that kind of TLC. Finding both in the same establishment, open for lunch, is a little tougher. One good Napa-based martini-and-burger bistro is the Rutherford Grill (1180 Rutherford Road, Napa, 707.963.1792), where the only burger is a cheeseburger, served on a house-made egg roll that
is a perfect complement to the cooked-to-order burger itself. Totally worth the $14 price tag, the cheeseburger is matched in quality by the vodka martinisâ€”cold and well-blendedâ€”along with the bright, lively environment. The environment, according to some, is a major part of a good martini and burger lunch. â€œWhat Iâ€™ve noticed,â€? suggests Gary Christiansen, bartender at the storied San Rafael Joeâ€™s (931 Fourth St., San Rafael, 415.456.2425), â€œis that if you go to a real nice place, it really doesnâ€™t matter whatâ€™s in the martini or how cold it is. Itâ€™s where you are, the ambiance. If the bartender is an asshole, the martiniâ€™s not going to taste as good.â€? That said, Christiansen admits that a good vodka martini is a pretty fine companion. â€œWith a burger, you definitely need something smoother than gin, so I can see why vodka would go better with a burger,â€? he says. â€œAnd if its ice cold, then the martini is a nice contrast to the hot burger.â€? Not that heâ€™s impartial, but according to Christiansen, for Marinites, San Rafael Joeâ€™s is the place to go. â€œItâ€™s burger-and-martini heaven, right here.â€? THE BOHEMIAN
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Wed, March 17th
Serving Corned Beef & Cabbage plus potatoes and sweet plantains Lunch $1295 Dinner $1695 add a Green Beer $ 3 Special Chef Oâ€™Leary
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74A4ÂžBC74 1DII s unlikely as it might seem now, scientists assure that spring will actually someday arrive. And with its arrival will come the bees, those busy pollinators who help produce nearly one-third of the food we like to eat. According to Partners for Sustainable Pollination (PFSP) executive director Kathy Kellison, helping the bees themselves ďŹ nd enough food to eat is an increasing problem. â€œBees need successive pollen and nectarblooming plants throughout the year,â€? she explains, â€œso they go out and forage. They need a diversity of different plants because not all pollen is the same.â€?
To that end, the PFSP hosts a bee symposium on March 7 to educate area gardeners as well as farmers and ranchers about planting to feed the bees. â€œPollinators are generalists,â€? she explains, â€œwhich means that they visit a lot of different ďŹ‚owers. They can ďŹ‚y two miles out from the colony, so they can cover a large area to access pollen, but over the yearsâ€”because of urbanization, changing farm-management practices and agrichemicalsâ€”the amount of forage has decreased.â€? North Bay hives have been largely untouched by the devastating phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder, says Kellison, but that doesnâ€™t mean that they donâ€™t need our help. Farmers who sign up with PFSP to provide forage will be given a sticker they can mount on their produce showing customers that they grew in a way that best beneďŹ ts the bees. Funds collected through the program will literally be plowed back into the earth, helping beekeepers obtain larger and more diverse plots for their insects. â€œItâ€™s a way to get engaged,â€? Kellison says. â€œAs a largescale society, weâ€™re very disconnected from our ecosystems and how they work. The public needs to understand that the bee decline canâ€™t be managed by beekeepers, because the problems are larger than the beekeepers can control.â€? The 2010 Bee Symposium is slated for Sunday, March 7, from 9am to 5pm. Subud Center, 234 Hutchins Ave., Sebastopol. $30. www.pfspbees.org.
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;4CÂžB<>E4 <>A4 irst Lady Michelle Obama recently launched a campaign against childhood obesity called Letâ€™s Move. But the effort appears too timid and solicitous of the food industry that helped created the epidemic in the ďŹ rst place. The campaign includes establishing a high-proďŹ le childhood obesity task force; improving school lunch programs; allocating $400 million per year to eliminate â€œfood deserts,â€? areas without grocery stores or access to fresh and healthful food; a commitment by several foodservice vendors to voluntarily (skeptical italics are mine) meet standards for school food set by the Institute of Medicine to cut the amount of sugar, fat and salt in school meals within ďŹ ve years and double the amount of produce they serve within 10 years. The plan is a well-intentioned effort to end childhood obesity in one generation, and itâ€™s sorely needed. But the real villain is the U.S. Farm Bill, an unwieldy, antiquated piece of legislation thatâ€™s a snake pit of greed and injustice. Michelle Obama made no mention of this elephant in the room. Many supporters of school-lunch reform hoped that the ďŹ rst ladyâ€™s White House garden and support for more nutritious food would mean the president would offer more funding to improve the low-grade slop served in public schoolsâ€”and he did. The president is proposing an additional $1 billion a year for 10 years to be divided between school food programs and WIC. Although $1 billion sounds like a lot, according to the New York Times it pencils out to less than 20 cents more per student. Many school lunch reformers are calling for a $1-per-student increase, ďŹ ve times what the president has proposed. To the extent that Letâ€™s Move raises awareness about the problem of childhood obesity and its causes, it is a step in the right direction. But if the campaign gives the food industry and marketers cover for the very problems they helped create, then Letâ€™s Move is a move in the wrong direction. Stett Holbrook
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North County 8#9dcVi^ZaadL^cZgn Back by popular demand: $45 locals 3 course prix fixe Now, through the end of March. Our incredible Thurs. Night Winemaker Dinner Series Hosted by Farmhouse Master Sommelier, Geoff Kruth Mar 4 Scherrer Hot Hotel Deal, as featured in Travel & Leisure 2 nights & dinner in our Michelin starred restaurant.$512
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7871 River Road, Forestville For Reservations Call
Santa Rosaâ€™s Bottle Barn is a liquor, beer, but mostly wine warehouse where limited-production labels routinely sell for a few dollars less than suggested retail, often a whole lot less. The Healdsburg storefront would do well to scream, in bright colors unbeďŹ tting of neighborly decorum, â€œAbsolutely the Best Prices in This Burg or Any Otherâ€”Plus, TryBefore-You-Buy tasting!â€?
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eems that once a good thing is found, itâ€™s too soon gone. Who knew, for example, that the Bottle Barn, Santa Rosaâ€™s bastion of cheap dead grape housed in a nondescript industrial park, also occupied coveted real estate in the high-class hamlet of Healdsburg? Iâ€™d heard of it, nosed around and never found it and gave it up as a chimera. Then one day I stumbled upon the Bottle Barn Wine Annex in its plain-as-day location between Flying Goat Coffee and Zin Restaurant.
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The wine Annex offers casual, seated tasting of about 27 wines that are literally on tap via a compressed gas system. One-ounce tastes go for $1 to $3.50 each; there are also two- to ďŹ ve-ounce pours, and whole bottles are available. On weekends, itâ€™s a spot where folks share a bottle at tables in the front of the shop while waiting for their table at a nearby restaurant. Our man at the taps, straightforward if not brusque, is spot-on helpful in getting the right wine for the price and the purpose. Hereâ€™s Evodia, by the taste or shiny blue bottle, a go-to minty, burnt-raspberry education in Spanish old vine Garnacha ($7.99). I had a shot of Copainâ€™s Saisons des Vins â€œLâ€™Hiverâ€? Syrah, a mouthful of wet, rotting leaves and red berries mingling with mushrooms on the forest ďŹ‚oor, ďŹ nishing gentle as a fernâ€”at $12.99 ($18 elsewhere), an excellent value. Great prices, a smorgasbord of tasting options and a laid-back jointâ€”what could go wrong? The shopâ€™s closing on May 2 due to lack of business. Until then, check out a good thing before itâ€™s gone. The Wine Annex, 340 Center St., Healdsburg. Open daily, 11am to 7pm. 707.433.6488.
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H>D=6F8=4B ine is a taste new to my palate, as I never thought a long night out could be paired with anything other then a cold Corona or bottle of JosĂŠâ€™s best. After all, wine is not the typical get-drunk-quick drink that appeals to the early twenty-something crowd. But when offered tastings at over a hundred wineries for only $20, I couldnâ€™t pass that up.
The Russian River Wine Road plays host to its 32nd annual Barrel Tasting March 6â€“7 and 13â€“14, and I have planned a weekend with my parents where the generation barrier can be hurtled. Though itâ€™s all about the wine, Barrel tasting has been misinterpreted as a cheap drunk by many my age. Barrel tasting is meant to be a chance for tasters to talk to winemakers, sample wines from the barrel and explore Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys. The more experienced generation may do just that, but for a younger generation, this idea has yet to really sink in. The wineryâ€™s goal is to introduce people to new wines and help educate tasters about what they taste. However, I must have missed the class where they teach you how to actually drink, and there is nothing worse than mis-sipping and feeling like youâ€™re 16 again, sneaking a hurried glass that wallops the palate. Aiming to counter drinking and driving, wineries offer a designated driver rate of $10. Luckily for my parents and I, my brother has agreed to drive us around all day. I suspect that a homemade steak dinner is part of the agreement. I will tread the waters of chewy, fruity, earthy and elegant wines with my parents in tow, trying to look, act and drink gracefully. Iâ€™m betting that lasts about two wineryâ€™s worth. Russian River Wine Road Barrel Tasting runs Saturdayâ€“ Sunday, March 6â€“7 and 13â€“14 from 11am to 4pm. $30; drivers, $10. www.wineroad.com.
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B8;7>D4CC4 Englishman Dominic Gill rode 18,000 miles on his tandem.
2WP]VTbX];PcXcdSTb 2WP]VTbX]0ccXcdSTb Banff doc â€˜Take a Seatâ€™ a lesson in human kindness By Maria Grusauskas
n June 2006, 25-year-old Dominic Gill set out solo from northern Alaska on a tandem bike dubbed Achilles and headed south. Way south. His goal: to reach the southern tip of South America in 18 months, picking up random strangers to pedal the second seat along the way. Armed with bear spray, a video camera and a questionable sense of sanity, Gill rolled out of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and into the bleak tundra with a small British f lag f luttering encouragingly behind him. He had just one rule: â€œI never asked anyone to get off !â€? Along the 18,000-mile-long journey, he was chased out of town by a man with a machete, pedaled through snow storms and deserts, encountered landslides and scorpion-strewn beaches and picked up 270 â€œstokersâ€? who
mounted Achillesâ€™ open back seat to help him pushâ€”generous volunteers, since Achilles and its trailer of provisions tipped the scales at 220 pounds. Their contribution made a deep impression on Gill. â€œI knew this challenge would be tough. I knew I would see incredible places. I knew I would experience fear, sadness, loneliness and sometimes delirious happiness,â€? Gill says. â€œWhat I didnâ€™t expect was to have my faith in humanity so massively reinforced over two years of trusting in people.â€? The record of his journey is his documentary, Take a Seat, which won the Special Jury Award at the Banff Mountain Festival 2009. The film will show in San Rafael when the Banff Fest rolls into town March 8â€“9. Born and raised in England, the selfproclaimed adventurer, climber and videographer dreamed up this human power journey after
realizing his responsible 9-to-5 desk job as an environmental consultant was sucking the life out of him. Tired of working with large corporations that werenâ€™t interested in environmental improvement if it didnâ€™t save them money, and in possession of degrees in biology and environmental studies that werenâ€™t being put to use, Gill left the world of business in search of something more meaningful. Drawn by the sprawling expanse of the American continents, he combined the three things he lovedâ€”adventure, video and physical challengesâ€”into the experience of a lifetime: a filmed journey down the entire western latitude of the Americas. â€œThis idea was conceived always with filming in mind. Iâ€™d be a fool to pass up an opportunity to document not only the places but the people I encountered while I rolled south,â€? he says. Ed Stobart of Ginger Productions, a '' THE BOHEMIAN
documentary film producer, liked Gillâ€™s idea but asked him to add a twist to make it â€œcrazy enoughâ€? to entertain viewers: do it on a tandem bike. Gill accepted. As expected, the spare seat on Achilles added a dimension of unpredictable possibility, one that would alter his itinerary completely. â€œAfter an initial plan of 18 months, I soon realized that rushing south was a waste of an opportunity to get to know people and places,â€? says Gill. He scrapped any sort of strict cycling regimen and slowed his pace to savor the scenery and the rich company of new friends. â€œIn a world where there is so much fear and you are encouraged not to even get involved with your neighbors, it was lifeaffirming,â€? he says. From its initial timetable of 18 months, the trip swelled to 26 months and became a completely different kind of journey.
with raw honesty in Take a Seat, but his journal offered the real asylum. â€œWriting kept me sane,â€? he says. â€œIt was constant.â€?
Border Bound Gill rolled down the Northern California coast in October 2006. The empty saddle created a kind of social experiment. Although he found a healthy supply of friends in California, Gill apologetically admits to registering a sort of phoniness, what he called â€œtoo much money and not enough brain, and a lot of attitude,â€? which intensified the farther south he got. He was also getting nervous as he pedaled through Southern California. Five thousand miles of warnings about banditos, pickpockets and murderers waiting for him in Mexico left Gill cycling toward the border with his fight-or-f light instinct fully engaged. He crossed into Tijuana with vivid scenarios of being robbed f lashing in his brain. What he found was a far cry from the worst he had expected: some new friends and a place to sleep.
Stoked Who were the lucky (or unlucky) 270 who took a seat? â€œCurious city dwellers who invited me to stay, tourists wanting to go anywhere, anyhow with a cowboy hat and a few bags of herb, or a Peruvian villager welcoming an alternative to the overcrowded and unreliable rural bus service,â€? he recalls. â€œIn South America, kids would jump on whenever the hell they wanted.â€? A number of people found him online before they found him on the roadside, like Jules Kresko, a flight attendant from Colorado who overheard some people chatting about Gill in a bike shop. She rode with him for six weeks. Yet two people on a tandem can be a hard lesson in patience. â€œAs soon as they get a sore ass they start moving around and it makes for really hard pedaling,â€? he says. There were only a few stokers he didnâ€™t get along with, and in such cases he found ways to trick his own systemâ€”not directly asking them to get off but using â€œhen-pecking commentsâ€? to inspire their fold. The female-to-male ratio of guest riders was 60/40. â€œI guess something about tandems is particularly attractive to women,â€? Gill muses. Add a pair of tight bike shorts and a charming British accent to the machine and the mystery dissolves. But it wasnâ€™t all fun and companionship. Gill pedaled about 50 percent of the miles alone, enduring long stretches of loneliness. Like the day of his 26th birthday, when he crashed Achilles in the middle of nowhere and later realized his wallet was missing. Or the freezing nights he spent in his tent waiting out the snowstorms in southern Chile, or the endless expanses of high-altitude desert in Peru. â€œIt was like a scene out of a Dali painting,â€? he says of the landscape 15,000 feet above sea level, where night temperatures plunged to minus 13 degrees. Some of these moments are documented
It was the end of an incredible journey, but the joy he had anticipated was absent. â€œMarco Kelly sold tacos from his stand and his â€˜loncheriaâ€™ around the corner. He spoke English, French and Spanish perfectly and provided me with more than a soft landing in Mexico,â€? Gill says. What started with tacos and friendly conversation turned to shelter and company for Gillâ€™s first night south of the border. His blog recounts: â€œHe instructed his incredibly able cook Esmaralda to feed me with delicious tacos, and there, in fading light, on a busy street, sitting on a stool next to a filthy but functional mechanics shop, a love affair started. Not with Esmaralda, but with tacos. I love them more than life itself. Simplicity. Satisfaction. Perfection in a moist tortilla.â€?
Southern Hospitality In Latin America, he was invited to family celebrations, offered homes and yards and even a schoolhouse to sleep in. One of the most destitute areas he passed through was Pisco, Peru, months after it was shaken by a devastating earthquake. â€œThere were areas that smelt of death, bodies still under the rubble and people living in tents,â€? says Gill. But it was there he remembers a local soft drink truck stopping on the road to hand ') him a Coke.
Now in its 34th year, the Banff touring festival hits 285 cities and towns annually. Starting this yearâ€™s offerings on a bit of a ridiculous note, The Ultimate Skiing Showdown (March 8) is set to the Neil Cicierega song â€œThe Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny,â€? which discusses a fight between Batman and Godzilla. David McMahonâ€™s four-minute goof pays both homage and insult to the sport of crosscountryâ€”ahem, Nordicâ€”skiing. While the silly song plays, a group of trick-happy skiers bothers, surprises and generally acts the fool in front of a less talented but seemingly reasonable group of skiers. Among other highlights is Finding Farley (March 8; below). Filmmakers Karsten Heuer and Leanne Allison chart a course across the Great White North using locales that Canadian author Farley Mowat brought to life in famous nature tales like Never Cry Wolf. With their two-year-old son Zev and spunky dog Willow, the family sets out on a quest to meet Mowat himself in Nova Scotia. The quirky MedeoZ (March 9) brings back the high-octane action. In this film, a photographer tries to take a single photo of six different mountain sports: skiing, snowboarding, mountaineering, paragliding, speed riding and BASE-jumping. Pulling off the feat isnâ€™t easy, and director/protagonist Guillaume Broust has to marshal not only timing but egos as the six extreme disciplines come together behind one lens. First Ascent: Alone on the Wall (March 9) tells the story of a young and possibly psychotic man named Alex Honnold who lives in a van. Traveling from rock climb to rock climb, the fearless 24-year-old sacrifices home cooking and hygiene for his stony relationship with sheer mountain walls. His holy grail: to climb Yosemite National Parkâ€™s legendary face Half Dome with no ropes and nothing to save him should he lose his grip. Honnold says he climbs best without ropes. Heâ€™ll have toâ€”one slip and all that will be left of our hero is a smudge at the bottom of the mountain and a scary story climbers tell their children. Rush Sturgesâ€™ Africa Revolutions Tour (March 8) shows what kind of trouble a group of kayakers can get into in Uganda and Madagascar. In many cases, the crew of river rats represents the first lunatics to ride the crocodile- and wasp-infested rivers in kayaks. The white-knuckle action is undercut by group companion Rita Riewerts and the Sun Catchers Project, which gives simple, solar powered ovens to rural villagers to use for cooking and sanitizing water. Banff screens Mondayâ€“Tuesday, March 8â€“9, at 7pm at the Smith Rafael Film Center. $18 per night. 1118 Fourth St., San Rafael. 415.927.1938. Curtis Cartier
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?DB7 The conceit was to have strangers take the tandemâ€™s second seat on Gilâ€™s two-year adventure.
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A Story to Tell
del Fuego (â€œLand of Fireâ€?), named for the cooking fires seen burning on the beaches by Magellan and his crew five centuries ago. It was the end of an incredible journey, but the joy he had anticipated was absent. Instead, an emptiness filled him where every day there had been new people and places to meet. â€œHere [South America], I am different. Iâ€™m almost blonde and Iâ€™ve got a story to tell. But when I go home, Iâ€™m just going to be me. Walking down the street . . . without a bicycle,â€? Gill told the camera. A year and a half later, more than 200 hours of film footage, an extensive journal and scores of new friends have enabled him to bring part of that story with him. Two years after the adventure ended, Dominic Gill is pinching pennies, but he hasnâ€™t yet succumbed to the 9-to-5 grind. He has, however, returned to the world of business. â€œIâ€™ve turned what I loved into my workâ€” which was the goal, for good or for bad,â€? he says. His book, a compilation of the imagerich prose of his journal and blogs, will be published in May of this year. And Achilles? Sitting in his auntâ€™s house, reconditioned and ready for a book tour around England.
In August 2008, Dominic rolled into the icy city of Ushuaia in Patagoniaâ€™s Tierra
â€˜Take a Seatâ€™ screens March 8.
â€œI spent three days in Honduras, and on the second day a family took me in and treated me like one of their own.â€? Such generous hospitality also meant eating what the locals ate. With a family in Ecuador, Gill helped to slaughter guinea pigs, a delicacy reserved for celebrations. â€œAfter which the lady of the house painstakingly cleaned the intestines with a knitting needle,â€? he remembers. Whether it was crickets or cow stomach in Mexico, sheepâ€™s-head soup in Peru or days of nothing but stale bread and sardines in the Bolivian desert, Gill survived on whatever opportunity offered him. When he could, though, he would stock up on mayonnaise and pasta; the concoction, he says, tasted â€œlike coming home to my favorite meal.â€? The most challenging element of his trip began to take on a new form. Saying goodbye to that kind of friendship and hospitality produced an emotional exhaustion that brought him close to quitting the expedition on more than one occasion. It was a feeling he didnâ€™t want to get used to.
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C>D67CADC7B Pierce Brosnan is a former PM and Ewan McGregor his ghostwriter in Roman Polanskiâ€™s latest.
he setting of Roman Polanskiâ€™s freezer-burned comedy/thriller The Ghost Writer is a brutal concrete bunker. Here, several people are trapped under constant surveillance beneath cold and stormy skies. The bunker is beachfront property on a thinly disguised version of Marthaâ€™s Vineyard, and it must have cost at least $15 million, but this only adds to the general angst. A former British prime minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan) has settled in this spot to finish up his memoirs. Robert Harrisâ€™ very witty script, not quite up to its promise on paper, has it that the PM got a $10 million advance for an absolutely unpublishable book. Itâ€™s reams of boredom about Langâ€™s Scottish roots, the queenâ€™s little-known sense of humor and his modest hopes for a better world. Unfortunately, the PMâ€™s last ghost writer met with an accident. So his swine of a publisher (a shaven-headed Jim Belushi) assigns a new hired hand, known as the Ghost (Ewan McGregor), to come in and finish the text. Troubles are compounded. As soon as the Ghost arrives at this fascist pillbox of a beach house, Lang is subpoenaed by The Hague to discuss his participation in the extraordinary rendition plan, which ended with the death under torture of a British citizen. Meanwhile, the PMâ€™s sexy shrew of a wife, Ruth (Olivia Williams), noses out her husbandâ€™s affair with his assistant Amelia (Kim Cattrall). One admires how much Polanski got out of two TV hobgoblins like Cattrall and Belushi. Cattrallâ€™s tightly packed curves are less important to this film that her mastifflike jawline. Williams does the older-woman role proud against McGregor, who seems to have been 25 for a decade.
Academy Award Nominee Pierce Brosnan Ewan McGregor Kim Cattrall Foreign Language Film! â€œDeliciously Unsettling! Dark Pearl â€œRawBest and Riveting!â€? â€“ARolling StoneOf A WALTZ WITH BASHIR Movie Whose Great Flair HEART Makes It Polanskiâ€™s A MIGHTY (1:00) 3:00 5:00 7:00 9:15 Best (12:30) Work In2:45 Quite5:00 A While!â€? â€“ LARRTimes 7:20 9:45
THE GHOST WRITER 2 Academy Award Noms Including Best Actor!
1:00) 2:45York 3:45Observer 5:30 â€œA(12:00 Triumph!â€? â€“ New THE WRESTLER 7:00 8:15 9:45 PG-13 On 9:45 2 Screens! (12:20) R LA2:45 VIE5:10 EN 7:30 ROSE (12:45)Award 3:45 Nominations 6:45 9:45 PG-13 2 Academy Including 10 Academy Award Noms Including Best Picture! Best Actress â€“ Helen Mirren! SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE â€œä–&#x;ä–&#x;ä–&#x;ä–&#x; â€“ Really, Truly, Deeply â€“ THE LAST STATION (1:15) 4:00 7:10 9:40 R One of This Yearâ€™s Best!â€? â€“ Newsday (1:45) 4:20 6:50 9:15 R ONCE 8 Academy Award Noms Including 2 Academy Award Nominations! (1:00) 3:10 5:20 9:40 R Best Picture, Best Actor7:30 & Best Director! From the Director of CachĂŠ & The Piano Teacher
MILKRIBBON THE WHITE
â€œWise, Humble and Effortlessly Funny!â€? (1:30) 4:10 6:45 R â€“ Newsweek (12:15) 5:45 9:30 R
WAITRESS 3 Academy Award Nominations! Please Note: No 1:30 Show Sat, No 6:45 Show Thu
(1:30) 4:00 7:10 9:30 Best R Picture! 5 Academy Award Noms Including
CRAZY HEART FROST/NIXON
(1:20) 4:30 7:10 9:30 R (2:15)Mysterious, 7:20 R â€œSwoonly Romatic, Hilarious!â€? BAFTA Award Winner â€“ Best British Film! â€“ Slant Magazine REVOLUTIONARY ROAD â€œBrilliant!â€? â€“ New York Times PARIS, JE Tâ€™AIME (11:45) 4:45 9:50 R (1:15)FISH 4:15 TANK 7:00 9:30 R Kevin Jorgenson presents California Premiere of (3:10)the NR Michael Mooreâ€™s Thu, Feb 26th at 7:15
THE HURT LOCKER SICKO MOVIES IN THERMORNING 8:40
Starts Fri, June 29th! Fri, Sat, Sun & Mon Advance Tickets IN On Sale at Box OfďŹ ce! MOVIES THENow MORNING FROZEN RIVER (12:00) 5:00 10:009:50 AM Fri, Sat,2:30 Sun & Mon7:30 Mornings 10:15 VICKY CRISTINA 10:00 AM AM A SINGLE MANBARCELONA 10:20 AM CHANGELING 10:15 AM 2010 OSCAR LIVE ACTION Venessa Redgrave MerylSHORTS Streep Glenn CloseAM 10:40 RACHEL GETTING MARRIED 10:45 AM 2010 OSCAR ANIMATED SHORTS 2009 LIVE ACTION SHORTS (Fri/Mon Only)) 10:45 EVENING 10:50 AM AM AN EDUCATION 10:45 2009 ANIMATED SHORTS Only) Starts Fri,(Sun June 29th! 11:00 AM AM PRECIOUS
Roman Polanskiâ€™s â€˜Ghost Writerâ€™ is claustrophobic
The surprise in this plot is revealed through some expertly played Boston Brahmin threat by Tom Wilkinson. His scenes are full of promise; one waits in vain for the really sweeping moment, like the instance of Philip Ober, seemingly struck dead by the sight of a photograph in North by Northwest. The Ghost Writer has merit as an easily read satire of Tony Blair. Like most world leaders, Blair looked like a man of greater stature across his national borders. He never receives the ignominy he deserves hereâ€”not only for rolling over like a spaniel for Dubya, but also for some tremulously goofy New Ageisms. (Reportedly, he and his wife were rebirthed in a Mayan sweat lodge. Not to unduly mock the New Agers, but a British PM ought to have a little more faith in the material world.) Brosnanâ€”who has an odd, slightly mincing accent here, and is rationed out in too-small dosesâ€”proves his excellence at playing privileged weaklings. Anyone who still considers him this yearâ€™s Richard Chamberlain (that is, anyone who didnâ€™t see him in The Tailor of Panama or Matador) will learn how good Brosnan is getting. The Ghost Writer is a typical old directorâ€™s movie: slow, morbid, never quite sexy enough and full of self-reference. Compare the wordplay scene in which the secret is revealed with the Scrabble scene in Rosemaryâ€™s Baby. Itâ€™ll look much better on TV. Trapping us in the house is a classic Polanski maneuver, but leaving us there is something like an act of forgetfulness. Both the Ghostâ€™s serious naivetĂŠ and the way heâ€™s dealt with leach more pleasure and juice from this paranoid tale.
Bargain Tuesday - $7.50 All Shows Bargain $7.00 All Shows Schedule for Fri, Thu, Feb 11th 26th Schedule forTuesday Fri, Feb Mar-20th 5th -â€“Thu, Mar Schedule for Fri, June 22nd - Thu, June 28th
PURE: A BOULDERING FLICK 9 Academy Award Nominations!
By Richard von Busack
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R I VA M I S T
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R ECEI V E A H A IRCU T W I T H MEN T ION OF T HIS A D 122 FOURTH STREET | SANTA ROSA
â€˜The Ghost Writerâ€™ opens on Friday, March 5, at the Rialto Lakeside Cinemas, 551 Summerfield
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Film capsules by Richard von Busack and Eloy Camacho.
N O R T H B AY M O V I E T I M E S www.sonomamovietimes.com www.marinmovietimes.com www.napamovietimes.com
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The Looking Glass
A Poetâ€™s Heart
Jonathan Demme may have brought Jamaican reggae artist Sister Carol to the masses with supporting roles in Something Wild and Rachel Getting Married, but thereâ€™s no questionâ€”sheâ€™d reach American consciousness eventually. On the strength of her 1984 hit â€œBlack Cinderella,â€? she started her own record label so sisters could do it for themselves. This Monday, she appears with the Yellow Wall Dub Squad, an all-star backing band, to celebrate International Womenâ€™s Day in strong, robust, reggae style. â€œIn an industry thatâ€™s so based on ego, itâ€™s really difficult for a woman artist to not sell the sex,â€? says DJ Jacques, producer of the event. â€œShe seemed the most appropriate to headline an event that celebrates the real strength of women and not just the sexiness of women.â€? Sister Carol performs with the Yellow Wall Dub Squad on Monday, March 8, at Hopmonk Tavern. 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. 9pm. $15. 707.829.7300.
Acclaimed hip-hop choreographer Gabriel Francisco knows all too well that the economyâ€™s rough. With that in mind, Francisco and his friend Jimmy Hits talked the owners of the old Swensenâ€™s building on Santa Rosaâ€™s Third Streetâ€”you may also remember the â€œdoomed locationâ€? as Viva Mexico or a series of Chinese restaurants or most recently GGâ€™s Earth & Surfâ€”into letting them host Kaleidoscope, a monthly art and dance series. At its inception in February, the normally empty storefront jumped shoulder-to-shoulder with live painting, dancing, chatter, music and actual community-building. Itâ€™s far better for a city to have something like this going on than another â€œFor Leaseâ€? sign collecting dust, and itâ€™s a cheap and awesome mashup of art, DJs and dance. Kaleidoscope goes down on Friday, March 5, at 630 Third St., Santa Rosa. 9pm to 2am. $5; free before 11pm. provokethinking@ gmail.com.
While plenty of bands finely hone a brilliant, rapier meta-sarcasm, people like Moss Henry are recording direct, sympathetic albums like Roll the Bones. Unable to be isolated by world events, Henry on his third full-length folk album chimes in on subjects ranging from the 2006 mine disaster at the Sago Mine in West Virginia (â€œSago Mine Disasterâ€?) to domestic static (â€œWhat Have We Got?â€?) to the inexcusable torture policies of the Bush administration (â€œItâ€™s Warâ€?). â€œIt is my fervent hope,â€? he writes, â€œthat Bush and his associates will be held accountable for their war crimes.â€? Recorded with a local all-star castâ€”Blair Hardman, Randy Quan, Dave Zirbel, Doug
Adamz, Kevin Russell, Tim Haggerty and othersâ€”the album sounds great, but what rises to the surface is Henryâ€™s sincerity, even when making jokes about the size of oneâ€™s car in relation to . . . well, you know. Henry plays a record release for Roll the Bones on Friday, March 5, at the French Garden Restaurant. 8050 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol. 7pm. Free. 707.824.2030.
Saxes and Syrah The antique hanging sign on Highway 29 at Lincoln Avenue that reads â€œCalistogaâ€? with a big red arrow might as well be changed to say â€œJazzâ€? this weekend for the Mustard, Mud & Music Festival. Showcasing over a dozen jazz combos in a variety of venues and restaurants downtown, the festival further cements Calistoga as a cultural hub of the Napa Valley. With wooden sidewalks! Filling the streets with jazz across two days is the blues saxophone of the Nancy Wright Trio, the Latin rhythms of Rolando Morales, the rising sounds of the Steve Dudgeon Quartet, the breezy vocals of Michelle Michaels and many, many others. Each ticket includes 10 wine tastings per dayâ€”whoohoo!â€”and all the jazz you can handle until sundown. Itâ€™s a perfect date idea on Saturday-Sunday, March 6â€“7, at various venues in downtown Calistoga. 1pm to 7pm. $25; $40 two-day pass. 707.942.6333.
;6 > G ;6 M
Fyah Inna Babylon Born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, Lutan Fyah grew up only 15 minutes away from Kingston, the center of all reggae music. But those meager miles have translated into the reggae singerâ€™s most notable asset, in that he is no slave to tradition. (Grace Jones was also born in Spanish Town.) Not only has Fyah reworked songs by the Fugees and Dr. Dre, but in 2009 he teamed up with UK dubstep sensation Rusko for his upbeat Babylon, Vol. 2 compilation. Better yet, before he leaves for France later this month to play large theaters, heâ€™s dropping in on Fairfax for a tiny nightclub appearance at 19 Broadway. With a vicious attack on the mic and a canâ€™t-stop, wonâ€™t-stop style, heâ€™ll be poised to set the roof on fire. Witness Jamaican artistry in action on Friday, March 5, at 19 Broadway Niteclub. 19 Broadway, Fairfax. 9pm. $15â€“$20. 415.459.1091.
DONâ€™T FORGETâ€ŚWE SERVE FOOD TOO!
Mc Nearâ€™s Dining House
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Breakfast â€˘ Lunch â€˘ Dinner BBQ â€˘ Pasta â€˘ Steak FRI 3/5 â€˘ 7:00PM DOORS â€˘ $15 â€˘ 21+ SIBERIA ROCK
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IGOR & RED ELVISES PLUS THE PYRONAUTS
SAT 3/6 â€˘ 7:00PM DOORS â€˘ $25 â€˘ 21+ R&B/ROCK
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SONS OF CHAMPLIN THUR 3/11 â€˘ 7:00PM DOORS â€˘ $20 â€˘ 16+ SINGER/SONGWRITER
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FRI 3/12 â€˘ 8:00PM DOORS â€˘ $25 ADV/$28 DOS â€˘ 21+ BLUEGRASS
Mega-epic JamSessions unifies every imaginable musical style
DEL McCOURY BAND
n 2007, Jim Marchbanks decided to set up shop outside My Friend Joe, a coffee shop near the Sebastopol Plaza, and play his favorite music. Most people enjoyed it, and started referring to Marchbanks as â€œthat DJ in front of the coffee shop.â€? The name stuck, but so did calls to the police, and the West County character known as A DJ N Front of a Coffee Shop was forced to find an indoor venue. â€œSo thatâ€™s when I started gradually to think,â€? he recalls now, â€œthat instead of just DJ music, I need to find people who are performers.â€? And ďŹ nd he did. Scouring MySpace for bands open to sharing a drastically varied bill, he rented Sebastopolâ€™s Odd Fellows Hall and called his ďŹ rst festival of local bands JamSessions. Eight all-day shows later, exceptional in Marchbanksâ€™ JamSessions shows have since been an open door to noise, experimental and avant-garde pioneersâ€”as well as a refreshing mashup of wildly disparate musical styles. â€œSince Iâ€™ve been doing this,â€? he says, â€œsome performers have declined because they say, â€˜This doesnâ€™t ďŹ t with my type of music.â€™â€? Most, however, say yes, and this weekendâ€™s JamSessions brings together Marchbanksâ€™ biggest and most eclectic lineup yet. On the bill is an African drummer, a noise ensemble, a reggae group, an indie rock band, a Latin fusion group, a laptop glitch-hop artist, a metal band, a percussion-drone quartet and a teenage girl playing ukulele. And thatâ€™s literally just the half of itâ€”there are 18 performers in a nonstop juggernaut of sounds for the open-minded going on this weekend. At 83 cents a band, how can you lose? JamSessions 8, with Moira Scar (above), Amadou Camara, Mochipet, the Onye Onyemaechi Band, Over the Falls, Midnight Sun, Kitâ€™nâ€™Tenders, Psychosomatic, StarSkate, Boundri, Sang Matiz, Solevity, Attacks the Darkness, Fear the Fiasco, DJEdum, Darph Nader, KuDjo and Darkest Wild, totally blows your mind on Saturday, March 6, at the Hall of Flowers. Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. From noon. $15. www.myspace.com/indiemixn.
SAT 3/20 â€˘ 7:00PM DOORS â€˘ $25 â€˘ 21+ JAZZ
AN EVENING OF ROCK & ROLL TALES & MUSIC WITH
RAY MANZAREK & ROY ROGERS PLUS SPECIAL GUEST
COUNTRY JOE MCDONALD FRI 3/26 â€˘ 8:30PM DOORS â€˘ $15 â€˘ 21+ R&B/MOTOWN HITS
AN EVENING WITH
PRIDE & JOY SAT 3/27 â€˘ 8:00PM DOORS â€˘ $15 ADV/$17 DOS â€˘ 21+ ALL FEMALE LED ZEPPELIN TRIBUTE BAND
ZEPPARELLA PLUS CALM & CHAOS
FRI 4/2 â€˘ 8:00PM DOORS â€˘ $12 ADV/$15 DOS â€˘ 21+ ELECTRO/HIP-HOP
CROWN CITY ROCKERS AND BLVD SUN 4/11 â€˘ 7:00PM DOORS â€˘ $15 â€˘ 18+ SINGER/SONGWRITER/FOLK/INDIE
PLUS GREEN STRING FARM BAND For All Ages Shows â€˘ No Children Under 10 Allowed
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23 Petaluma Blvd, Petaluma
707-765-2121 www.mcnears.com THE BOHEMIAN
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The Supersuckers, quite plainly, rock your ass he Greatest Rock â€™nâ€™ Roll Band in the Worldâ€?? By tradition, this honorable title still belongs to the Rolling Stones, though later bands like the Clash and U2 have held the brass ring of â€œgreatest bandâ€? glory. Indie underdogs the Supersuckers unapologetically apply the term to themselves, asserting without irony that they are the champions of rockâ€™s real values: hardcore rootspunk, no-bullshit country-rock and true-grit bad-ass boogie. Thing is, theyâ€™re right. The Supersuckers are a rare act, like AC/DC, that succeeds by purposefully promoting plain simplicity as a populist victory, preaching the gospel of beefy no-frills rock to fans for whom trends are useless. Formed by high school buddies in Tucson in 1988, the Supersuckers relocated to Seattle in the early â€™90s just in time to catch the buzz of the grunge scene. Their honest desert-soaked cow-punk was nothing like grungeâ€™s acrobatic dissolution, and yet they still spent the â€™90s on seminal Seattle grunge label Sub-Pop. After ďŹ‚irting unproductively with major labels, they ďŹ nally formed their own label Mid-Fi in 2001. The band tours incessantly, with gigs almost every other night, and has released nearly a dozen live documents. Lead preacher Eddie Spaghetti is a busy blogger, and his theme is always the same: Thank you, awesome fans, for embracing our awesome rock â€™nâ€™ roll. The Supersuckers work up a righteous roots sweat on their latest disc Get It Together. Rousing stompers like â€œIâ€™m a Fucking Geniusâ€? and â€œI Like It All, Manâ€? are position statements that defend the bandâ€™s claim of greatness with Ramones-like clarity. A reďŹ‚ective heartfelt edge emerges on â€œBreaking Honeyâ€™s Heart,â€? while the melodic country-rocker â€œSunset on a Sundayâ€? is both peppy and sad. The Supersuckers share the glory of their Santa Rosa appearance with Motogruv, a ďŹ ve-piece metal band from Petaluma. Motogruvâ€™s self-released 2009 debut disc, The Sin Remains the Same, digs a shredded swamp of doomy, blues-grinding southern metal. The night of rootsand-rage begins on Wednesday, March 10, at the Last Day Saloon. 120 Fifth Street, Santa Rosa. 9pm. $12â€“$15. 707.545.5876.
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7PZd]P <PRPRP Why the Best Song Category sucks
By Hannah Strom-Martin
veryone knows that the Best Original Song category sucks, but we seldom ask ourselves why. Considering that heartfelt compositions like â€œOver the Rainbowâ€? (from The Wizard of Oz) used to get the gold, itâ€™s a sad development, and one that can be traced to three major factors. 1. The Ariel Factor. In 1980, Willie Nelsonâ€™s â€œOn the Road Againâ€? lost the Best Original Song Oscar to the theme from Fame. The trend continued for most of the â€™80s, the Oscar subsequently awarded to the themes from Arthur, Flashdance, An Officer and a Gentleman, Top Gun and Working Girl. Leaving aside that â€œUp Where We Belongâ€? (from Officer) and â€œTake My Breath Awayâ€? (from Gun) have since proven themselves the stuff off sugar-pop infamy, it was beginning to look suspiciously like anyone who tacked â€œthemeâ€? to the end of their Best Song hopeful would get the award. Then came The Little Mermaid. In case youâ€™d forgotten, â€œUnder the Seaâ€? is an Oscar-winning song. In retrospect, thatâ€™s not so bad. It may be sung by a borderline racial stereotype, but itâ€™s thematically important to the film and far less annoying than â€œTake My Breath Away.â€? Whatever your feelings about â€œUnder the Sea,â€? the tune set an important precedent in Oscarland. Suddenly, you were nobody till you were somebody Disney. Between 1991 and 2000
six of the Best Original Song winners were from Disney films. It was as though no one but a singing crab could get any respect. Or almost no one. 2. The Springsteen Factor. One of the more surprising Oscar winners in recent years is Bruce Springsteen. He won Best Original Song his first time out for â€œThe Streets of Philadelphia,â€? a punishing dirge he composed for the 1993 Tom Hanks drama Philadelphia. In 1995, he was back again with an even darker composition for the film Dead Man Walking. His minimalist approach, however, seemed to stick as a bizarre alternative to Disney histrionics. In 2001, the incomprehensible Randy Newman struck Oscar gold for â€œIf I Didnâ€™t Have Youâ€? (from Monsters, Inc.), which may not be a dirge but is just as forgettable as â€œThe Streets of Philadelphia.â€? Other maudlin efforts like the 2008 Annie Lennox/Howard Shore composition â€œInto the Westâ€? from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King helped secure that filmâ€™s place as one of the most awarded films ever. And the usually vivacious Melissa Etheridge added an Oscar to her rĂŠsumĂŠ for the whisper-soft â€œI Need to Wake Upâ€? from Al Goreâ€™s An Inconvenient Truth, releasedin 2006. The trend of nominating rock heroes was nothing newâ€”Paul McCartney was famously nominated for the 1973 title song of Live and Let Die and Aerosmith for 1998â€™s â€œI Donâ€™t Want to Miss a Thingâ€? from the film Armageddon, but such bombastic efforts hadnâ€™t actually brought home the bacon. If you were a rock star hungry for Oscar gold, youâ€™d have to tone it down and do something politically correct. Which is probably why Eddie Vedder never stood a chance. 3. The Vedder Factor. Of all the cop-outs in Oscarâ€™s long, dumb history, nothing is as reprehensible as what happened to Pearl Jamâ€™s ballsy lead singer. In 2007, Vedder composed four songs for Sean Pennâ€™s Into the Wild and seemed a shoe-in for Oscar glory. In a just world, any of Vedderâ€™s songs might have joined the mighty company of â€œRaindrops Keep Fallinâ€™ on My Headâ€? and â€œOver the Rainbow,â€? songs so successfully woven into their respective films that one cannot imagine The Wizard of Oz or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid without them. Oscar, which saw fit to nominate not one but three songs from Disneyâ€™s Enchanted that year, didnâ€™t give Vedder a single nod. After 2007, the Academy decided to limit the number of songs that could be nominated from a single film from all of them to two. That decision helps to quash the possibility of a win for â€œI See Youâ€? from James Cameronâ€™s Avatar. With its dismally familiar pop vocals, â€œI See Youâ€? is so obviously Cameronâ€™s attempt to cash in on the success of â€œMy Heart Will Go Onâ€? (from his own Titanic in 1997), that its defeat would seem a cosmic referendum on the chintzy songwriting formula Titanic popularized. In the last three decades only a handful of Best Original Song winners have had more than a passing relationship with the films in which they appear and most of those were sung by cartoon characters, infectious, campy melodies weâ€™d just as soon forget. With apologies to a certain 1938 Best Song winner, thanks for the memories. Now please live and let die.
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