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‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ p22 Bad Foodie Gadgets p12 Foraging Tourism p8

Robots, synthesizers, dollhouses and more— those elusive white-whale presents of youth p17


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847 Fifth St., Santa Rosa, CA 95404 Phone: 707.527.1200 Fax: 707.527.1288 Editor Gabe Meline, ext. 202

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Contributors Michael Amsler, Sara Bir, Rob Brezsny, Dani Burlison, Richard von Busack, Rachel Dovey, Jessica Dur Taylor, Gretchen Giles, James Knight, Jacquelynne Ocaña, Sara Sara Sanger, David Templeton, Tom Tomorrow, Ken Weaver

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Senior Designer Jackie Mujica, ext. 213

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NORTH BAY BOHEMIAN [ISSN 1532-0154] (incorporating the Sonoma County Independent) is published weekly, on Wednesdays, by Metrosa Inc., located at: 847 Fifth St., Santa Rosa, CA 95404. Phone: 707.527.1200; fax: 707.527.1288; e-mail: It is a legally adjudicated publication of the county of Sonoma by Superior Court of California decree No. 119483. Member: Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, National Newspaper Association, California Newspaper Publishers Association, Verified Audit Circulation. Subscriptions (per year): Sonoma County $75; out-of-county $90. Thirdclass postage paid at Santa Rosa, CA. FREE DISTRIBUTION: The BOHEMIAN is available free of charge at numerous locations, limited to one copy per reader. Additional copies may be purchased for one dollar, payable in advance at The BOHEMIAN’s office. The BOHEMIAN may be distributed only by its authorized distributors. No person may, without permission of the publisher, take more than one copy of each issue.The BOHEMIAN is printed on 40 % recycled paper.

Published by Metrosa, Inc., an affiliate of Metro Newspapers ©2013 Metrosa Inc.

Rohnert Park, CA. © 2013 Graton Resort & Casino

Cover photo by Sara Sanger. Cover design by Kara Brown.


This photo was taken, through tears, in Sebastopol. Submit your photo to .

‘It must have been the TV commercials sandwiched between ‘The Cosby Show’ and ‘Family Ties’ that did it.’ FEATURE P17 When Tech Tours Invade Salt Point T H E PAP E R P 8

But the Fire is So Delightful SW I R L P 16

Dreaming of a Vita-Mix D I N ING P 12

Rhapsodies & Rants p6 The Paper p8 Dining p12 Wineries p16

Swirl p16 Cover Feature p17 Culture Crush p20 Stage p21

Film p22 Clubs & Concerts p23 Arts & Events p26 Astrology p31

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Sadly, the annual tradition of buying cider and pie after cutting down a tree is over. The property’s been sold to a winery. Thanks for the memories, guys.

NORTH BAY BOH EMI A N | DEC E M BE R 1 8 – 24, 20 1 3 | BO H E M I AN.COM



Rhapsodies Balance of Justice Scottsboro pardons a reminder of injustice at home BY WAIGHTS TAYLOR JR.


btaining justice can be a pernicious ordeal.

Eighty-two years after the first trials of the nine Scottsboro Boys, my home state of Alabama has finally righted the scales of justice. On Nov. 21, the state parole board approved posthumous pardons for the three men who were never pardoned. The cruel fact is that, but for the racism, prejudice and segregation present in Alabama, the pardons were unnecessary. The many books written about the trials and a reading of the trial transcripts all lead to the same conclusion: the nine young African Americans did not rape the two young white girls. One of the girls repudiated her earlier testimony and stated on the witness stand in the fifth trial that the boys had not raped them. The all-white jury still found the defendants guilty. What are we to learn from all of this? It’s easy to point fingers at po’ ol’ Alabama, the state that never seems to get it right or, like many things Southern, takes its own good time to do so. It’s also easy to point at Alabama, Texas and most Southern states, which refuse to accept Medicaid coverage for their working poor as part of the Affordable Care Act. But pause and look around you. California, along with many other states, incarcerates young African American males at alarming rates. California struggles to meet court-imposed requirements to improve prison conditions and reduce populations. Sonoma County just experienced a tragic killing of a 13-yearold Latino boy, Andy Lopez, whom a deputy sheriff shot when he mistook a toy gun the kid was carrying for an AK-47 assault rifle. Just recently, there have been two other incidents where Sonoma County deputy sheriffs have shot and killed an individual. Arguably, these are difficult situations, but there seems to be a propensity to rush to shoot rather that to seek a safe intervention. You can explain it as you wish. But it’s hard to deny that people of color and those on the lower economic rung continue to bear the brunt of our latent prejudices: racism and overzealous police actions.

Waights Taylor Jr. is a Santa Rosa writer and the author of ‘Our Southern Home: Scottsboro to Montgomery to Birmingham— The Transformation of the South in the Twentieth Century.’ Open Mic is a weekly op/ed feature in the Bohemian. We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write

Terrific Takei

Although I haven’t been much of a “Trekkie,” an interred Asian or specifically gay man, I still find the career and life of George Takei fascinating (“George Takei’s New Trek,” Dec. 11). The author of this article paints a picture of an uncomplicated American original who has survived, and is now thriving in an ambiguous culture with an uncertain future. His bravery is demonstrated when virtual and actual worlds of real people meet. It is not surprising that he has gained an immense following in the realm of social media. A man of this caliber would be a natural for political office in any arena. Takei’s ending statement about humor being the connective glue that binds us speaks to his humanity: someone with this much insight and wisdom is desperately needed to lead us out of our virtual prison camps and into a closet that fits us all (pun intended).


George is also active in the JapaneseAmerican community, producing a musical drama on his imprisonment here called Allegiance. And when he posted a petition to stop a proposed fence at Tulelake Municipal Airport, the site of the former Tule Lake Segregation Center, to his followers, he bumped the petition by about 25,000 signatures. Fighting for civil rights with passion and humor—an amazing human being!

Walmart Isn’t the Problem, Apparently Marty Bennett, the Living Wage Coalition and their knee-jerk reaction— and I do mean “jerk”—are all typical of the kind of people and attitudes that

have plunged Rohnert Park into the financial morass where it wallows (“Sam’s Takeover,” Dec. 4).

Pacific Market was a business failure. Its business plan—putting a high-end, high-priced market into a median-income area where the closest surrounding customers were in apartments—was a failure. It tried to put on the front that it would fail if Walmart expanded its store. Truth is, it failed anyway. Walmart had nothing to do with it. As for the study about how Walmart would decimate them, note that Pacific Market’s “owners petitioned [the] study from Sonoma State University.” It is easy to conceive of a study and execute it to produce a preordained result. Any egghead can do it. Academia is full of them.

BEE BEN Via online

Twin Oaks Triumphs Saturday night my wife and I went to the Twin Oaks Tavern in Penngrove, under the new ownership of Sheila Groves-Tracey and her sister (“Honoring the Arts,” Nov. 6). There has been some new work done on the interior, and it is very warm and inviting. The band was good (no cover charge that night) and Rasta Dwight’s barbecue was killer. Lastly, the staff was super welcoming. We can’t wait to go back!


True Peace Although peace has been the goal of mankind for thousands of years—and the desire for peace is never so great as it is at Christmas—it seems that our ability to find or establish peace continues to elude us. Today, after the end of the Cold War, bloody hostilities continue on nearly every continent, reaching global proportions once again after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11


in New York City, Washington, D.C., and near Pittsburgh. As Pete Seeger’s well-known folk song from the ’60s asked, “Where have all the flowers gone? When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?” True peace on every level—from international conflicts to our personal lives—has become more difficult than ever to achieve. “And in Bethlehem today, children fear, yet still they play While mothers cry and fathers pray for peace to come again. And a round the weary world echoes the refrain: “Christmas in Bethlehem, when shall true love reign?”


By Tom Tomorrow

Top Five 1

Three cheers for Boon Fly Cafe’s eggnog martini, holiday lubricant deluxe


Katherine Hastings named new Sonoma County Poet Laureate


Dude on a skateboard with a Santa hat throwing candy canes in Petaluma


Nelson Mandela announced as top ‘trending’ Google search of the year

5 Meanwhile, the mostsearched person? Miley Cyrus! What a world!

Write to us at

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HIDING OUT Finding mushrooms like this in hunting expeditions is getting harder, thanks to tech-driven mushroom tours.

Capping the Stem Once-secret mushroom hunting spots now overrun with paid tourist sojourns BY ALASTAIR BLAND


he age-old lifestyle of hunting wild mushrooms was once a quiet and secretive one, with favorite porcini and chanterelle patches kept within tight circles of friends and family, and newcomers in the woods regarded with suspicious eyes. But in recent years, mushroom

hunting has become trendy. Mycological societies and foraging classes, advertised online and geared toward adventurous foodies, have helped spur the craze, and by some anecdotal reports, there may now be more people than ever before prowling the local woods in search of edible mushrooms. Because nearly all public parks in California prohibit mushroom collecting, the few that allow

the activity take the brunt of the fungi-hungry crowds. For them, Salt Point State Park is the favored destination. Though the park is large and remote, its 6,000 acres can become relatively congested with foragers during the rainy months. Park ranger Todd Farcau says mushroom hunters impact the environment by illegally creating new trails through the woods and causing hillside erosion. ) 10

Though some government officials are responsive on issues of the environment, others still give preference to political and business interests, according to the 2013–2014 Sonoma County Conservation Action (SCCA) annual report card. Based on citizen input and the opinion of the SCCA, the report assigns officials a letter grade based on their environmental voting record and citizen responsiveness. Among county supervisors, Susan Gorin and Mike McGuire received the highest marks for taking initiative on water issues and renewableenergy zoning amendments, respectively. The lowest mark went to Efren Carrillo, who was rated a C-/D- for his “personal controversy” that distracted from constituent outreach, along with being an unreliable vote on the environment. Over at the Petaluma City Council, Teresa Barrett and David Glass received A’s, but Chris Albertson, Mike Harris, Kathy Miller and Gabe Kearney came up short. Albertson, in particular, opposed both the plastic-bag ban and a lawsuit over access to the city-owned Lafferty Ranch. Unsurprisingly, the Sebastopol City Council made the Dean’s List, with top grades all around. Michael Kyes, Sarah Glade Gurney, John Eder and new mayor Robert Jacob received particular praise. Over at the infighting-plagued Santa Rosa City Council, mayor Scott Bartley was critiqued for “relying too heavily on staff for council decision-making” while Jake Ours was accused of “acting as if environmental issues get in the way of economic development” and being responsive only to chamber of commerce and business interests. Julie Combs and Gary Wysocky received high marks for supporting a plasticbag ban and being approachable and responsive to constituent concerns. The full report is at —Leilani Clark The Bohemian started as The Paper in 1978.

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Farcau attributes the growing interest in Salt Pointâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mushrooms to foraging groups, like ForageSF, popular with young foodies and urban hipsters, and MycoVentures, a Bay Area mushroom-hunting tour company. These services bring 15 to 25 newcomers into the Salt Point forest on each trip throughout the fall and winter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All those people go home and tell their friends,â&#x20AC;? observes Farcau, who says mushroom collecting â&#x20AC;&#x153;has increased exponentiallyâ&#x20AC;? in popularity. Regional mycological clubs also lead regular group outings, or forays, into Salt Pointâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s forests to hunt mushrooms. These trips, unlike those of a private tour company, are usually free. But Curt Haney, with the Mycological Society of San Francisco, says most collectors practice sustainable harvesting methods, like leaving some mushrooms undisturbed to allow spore dispersal and not visibly disturbing the duff layer as they search for concealed mushrooms. Some mushroom hunting clubs even host volunteer trash cleanup days in Salt Point. Not that mushroom hunters necessarily litter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never seen that,â&#x20AC;? says Petaluma resident Bill Wolpert, formerly a foray leader for the Sonoma County Mycological Association (SOMA). He says allegations that mushroom hunters leave heaps of garbage in the forest are false. Still, Wolpert says he grew frustrated with SOMAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s public outreach efforts, in part prompting him to quit the organization several years ago. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were bringing too many people out there,â&#x20AC;? Wolpert says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There were forays when Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have 70 people. I saw the crowds getting bigger and bigger, and I felt the club was doing a disservice to itself.â&#x20AC;? Todd Spanier, who owns the San Franciscoâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;based wild-mushroom purveying company King of Mushrooms, believes tour guides that put vanloads of people onto easy-to-access public patches may risk overrunning these areas with

newbie foragers. He thinks tour leaders should only bring their groups to privately owned lands. This would prevent people from easily returning to, and possibly picking clean, the very same place. Spanier notes that traditional ethics of mushroom hunting deem it unethical for a person to return to anotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s patch unless they are invited to go. The environmental effects of mushroom hunting have been a common subject of discussion. Field studies have indicated that harvesting does not impair future blooms. Some even say that carrying baskets of picked mushrooms through the woods facilitates spore dispersal. Moreover, mushroom hunting has been a sustainable pastime and industry for centuries in Europe and Asia. Indeed, the worst impacts of mushroom hunting on the environment may simply be the crowds. Closing Salt Point State Park to mushroom collecting has been informally discussed, according to Farcau, an idea that makes hobbyist collectors nervous. In fact, many mushroom collectors think doing the oppositeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;opening up more land to foragingâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;would be the best way to alleviate pressure on Salt Point. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That would spread the same number of people across a bigger area,â&#x20AC;? says Ken LitchďŹ eld, a mushroom enthusiast and a horticulture teacher at Oaklandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Merritt College. Spanier, meanwhile, believes a universal education and licensing process, much like that involved in gaining the privilege to drive, would be the best way to manage mushroom collecting. Spanier says he enjoys teaching others the secrets of wild mushroom hunting, but doing so has its risks. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sharing is a great part of mushroom hunting, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unfortunate that you have to be careful who you show,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you bring the wrong person, or too many people, to your most productive spot, you could lose it.â&#x20AC;?

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1. Peugeot pepper and salt mills This French company makes luxury automobiles, bikes, scooters—and pepper mills. Their mills are not cheap, and they are often handsome to look at. Too bad they don’t work. What to give instead: I like Mr. Dudley mills, but, to be honest, my favorite mill was some off-brand acrylic thing. It still works great. Vic Firth (specialty: drumsticks, rolling pins) mills are well made, too. 2. Battery-operated milk frothers These little wands seem like such a great solution: froth milk at home for cozy, fancy coffee drinks. Save money all year long! But they’re fragile and often junky; many have life spans of less than a year. What to give instead: The much more expensive Nespresso Aeroccino works exceptionally well, until it stops working. I’ve seen dozens of frothing gadgets, and there’s no single one to recommend unequivocally. That’s why I like to leave it to the pros. How about a gift card for the recipient’s favorite coffee shop?

THE REJECT PILE Take our expert advice: you don’t want your loved ones adding to the appliance graveyard.

Food-Fad Fails Ten last-minute food-gadget gifts to avoid like the plague BY SARA BIR


’ve spent plenty of holiday seasons on the other side of the register, working retail in culinary stores. Sure, the pay stunk, but it was fun in its manic way. The many shots of free espresso we brewed with the automatic coffee machines and the ceaseless soundtrack of

peppy Christmas standards kept us alert and full of . . . well, it wasn’t cheer, really. Let’s just call it adrenaline. Often, I was not really behind the register at all, but slowly circling the shelves laden with specialty serving pieces and larding needles, seeking fresh customers to zero in on. But I also handled scores of merchandise returns, especially in January. Sometimes people exchanged things because they

wanted a Dutch oven in eggplant instead of cobalt, or a knife with an eight-inch blade instead of a sixinch blade. But often it was because the gifts they’d received just plain didn’t work. The things listed below? I highly advise you not buy them for those you care about. But don’t take my word for it. Trust the sad sight of the returns shelf in the stockroom, sagging with busted crap.

3. Silicon bakeware of any kind I’ve used this stuff and it’s awful: floppy, challenging to store, impossible to get clean and (most importantly) useless at browning things in the oven. What to give instead: Aluminum baking pans are moderate in cost, and they usually outperform their more expensive, heavier counterparts. Steer away from nonstick lining if you can; it wears out, interferes with browning and still needs to be greased anyway. 4. Expensive knife block sets A hefty wooden knife block packed with a dozen different knives is visually impressive, especially if those knives are made by one of the big-name players: Wusthof, Shun, Henckel. Of the seven knives I keep in my kitchen, I use three in regular rotation: the chef’s knife, the serrated knife and the paring knife. There’s no reason to have a massive knife block using up a bunch of counter space when you’re only going to use only three or four of those knives. What to give instead:


5. Stupid cutting, pitting and dicing gadgets The mango pitter. The avocado slicer. The melon gutter. Useless. This is the junk that’s appealing for a month, until you discover it’s actually not helpful at all, and then it languishes in the back of some overcrowded drawer until it goes to the Goodwill or garage sale. What to give instead: A gift certificate to a knife-skills class, where it’s possible to learn to pit mangos, slice avocados and dice onions with one handy tool: a decent knife. 6. Boxed gourmet baking mixes We’re talking Stonewall Kitchen and Barefoot Contessa. At eight to 12 bucks a pop, you are buying a box full of flour, sugar and baking powder at a 500 percent markup, plus the baker still has to furnish the eggs and butter. What to give instead: A good baking book (I’m really fond of John Barricelli’s Seasonal Baker) or a decent electric kitchen scale. 7. Gravy separators I used to think these were a Thanksgiving lifesaver—they are supposed to make it easy to pour the fat off your roasted bird’s pan juices—but after a few frustrating annual gravymaking sessions, I’ve decided it’s just as easy to skim off the fat with a big metal serving spoon, and most people already have one of those. Plus, gravy separators are a bitch to clean. What to give instead: Martha Holmberg’s excellent Modern Sauces. Honestly, I don’t recall if she recommends using a fat separator or not, but in that book, she offers tips culled from a lifetime of savvy sauce-making. 8. Digital probe thermometers This is the kind of thermometer that has a probe connected to a digital command center by a cord. You stick the probe in your hunk of roasting meat, pop the whole thing in the hot oven, then conveniently look at the digital display on your oven door or

countertop, thereby getting up-tothe-second temperature readings of your cooking beast without even opening up the oven! What a great idea, right? Yeah, if the thermometer wasn’t made to break. These things quit working if you even look at them the wrong way. Besides, I’m a fan of poking and prodding and examining. How are you ever going to be familiar with what properly cooked meat looks like or feels if you don’t, you know, look at it and touch it from time to time? What to give instead: Instantread thermometers, the cheap ones. I prefer the dial kind over the digital kind, because you can easily calibrate them. I have two, and I usually cross-check if I’m cooking up a very expensive piece of meat I don’t want to ruin.

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An empty, smaller knife block with a gift certificate. Real knife geeks don’t covet knife block sets; they covet individual knives.

9. Crappy mandolines A crappy mandoline is worse than no mandoline. I’ve used a bunch that are hard to store, flimsy and give inconsistent results. And the more rickety a mandoline, the more likely you are to cut yourself. OXO, Zyliss, Swissmar, Chef’n: suck, suck, suck, suck. What to give instead: A decent mandoline does not have to break the bank. There’s a reason chefs always gush over those Japanese Benriner mandolines: they work—and usually start around $25. 10. Waring pro blender Waring is the granddaddy of blenders, dating back 60-some years. And they are fine if you want to whirr up a smoothie or have a margarita party now and then. But they are not very powerful, and therefore less versatile than other, more modern blenders. What to give instead: Santa, I have been, at times, very, very good. I could ask for a KitchenAid or a Breville, but I’m an all-or-nothing kind of gal. So, yeah, a Vitamix, please. If not this year, then next, or the one after that. Until then, I can always use an extra instant-read thermometer Sara Bir is a former staff writer at the ‘Bohemian’ who maintains a food blog, the Saugagetarian.

Ring in the New Year

Tuscan Style! Tuesday, December 31

In the magical setting of our secluded garden, join us for live music, vin brule (mulled wine) ƒ†‰ƒ–Š‡”ƒ”‘—†–Š‡Ƥ”‡’‹––‘ usher in the New Year. Ȉ͢…‘—”•‡–”ƒ†‹–‹‘ƒŽ—•…ƒ  †‹‡”ǡ͊ͤ͡’’ Ȉ—•…ƒ™‹‡’ƒ‹”‹‰ǡ͊͜͠ƒ††̽Ž

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Gifts for Kids of All Ages…

Our selective list of North Bay restaurants is subject to menu, pricing and schedule changes. Call first for confirmation. Restaurants in these listings appear on a rotating basis. For expanded listings, visit


COST: $ = Under $12; $$ = $13-$20; $$$ = $21-$26; $$$$ = Over $27


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Belly Californian. $$. When

2759 Fourth St Santa Rosa

he’s not serving up crispy pork belly or healthy quinoa salads, owner/chef Gray Rollin tours with rock bands like Linkin Park as a personal chef. Lunch and dinner daily. 523 Fourth St, Santa Rosa. 707.526.5787


Casino Bar & Grill California. $. Chef Mark Malicki is a true Sonoma County star, serving up a changing menu of locally sourced, inspired creations. Unpretentious, creative and affordable, Casino is a whispered-about landmark among locals in the know. Dinner nightly. 17000 Bodega Hwy, Bodega. 707.876.3185.

JhanThong BanBua

Experience fine beer and fresh Sonoma food 6780 Depot/McKinley St, Sebastopol > 707.823.3144 > woodfourbrewing

Glass Gifts for Every Occasion

Fused Pendants & Earrings Recycled Bottle Art Trays & Home Décor Lampworks Beads & Pendants Stained Glass Blown Glass Cabochons


250 Hrs Certification Every other weekend Jan 18, 2014 to April 27, 2014 Cost: $2500 00 707.812.5120 • 707.894.3412

Thai. $-$$. Sophisticated and delicate Thai cuisine. Fresh ingredients, packed with flavor. Lunch and dinner, Mon-Fri; dinner, Sat-Sun. 2400 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa. 707.528.8048.

Mai Vietnamese Cuisine Vietnamese. $. Fresh and authentic, with a warm and breezy atmosphere. Lunch and dinner, Tues-Sun. 8492 Gravenstein Hwy (in Apple Valley Plaza), Cotati. 707.665.9628.

Phyllis’ Giant Burgers American. $. Come with a hearty appetite for an oldfashioned patty. Lunch and dinner daily. Four locations: 4910 Sonoma Hwy, Ste B, Santa Rosa. 707.538.4000. 1774 Piner Road #B, Santa Rosa. 707.521.0890. 924 Diablo Ave, Novato. 415.898.8294. 2202 Fourth St, San Rafael. 415.456.0866.

Pub Republic Pub fare. $-$$. Pub grub from Petaluma’s southernmost tip, featuring Brussels sprout tacos and a hearty selection of brews. Lunch and dinner daily; weekend brunch. 3120

Lakeville Hwy, Petaluma. 707.782.9090.

Sapporo Japanese. $$. An excellent choice when the sushi urge hits. Lunch and dinner daily. 518 Seventh St, Santa Rosa. 707.575.0631.

Speakeasy Tapas-Asian. $-$$. Small plates with a large vegetarian selection and an Asian fusion-leaning menu. And they’re open until 2am! Dinner daily. 139 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma. 707.776.4631.

Tolay Californian. $$-$$$. Sonoma County cuisine is the specialty, with entrees focusing on local wild and farmed foods. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. In the Sheraton Sonoma County, 745 Baywood Drive, Petaluma. 707.283.2900.

Tonayan Mexican. $ Truly wonderful Sonoran-style classics at rock-bottom prices. The enormous El Jefe combination can’t be beat. Lunch and dinner daily. 500 Raleys Towne Center, Rohnert Park. 707.588.0893.

West Side Bar & Grill Sports Bar. $$. Home of the almost-famous bacon cheeseburger. Seventeen beers on tap (wine list available). Fourteen flat screen televisions to watch all of the hottest sports events. Two great pool tables. Lunch and dinner daily. 3082 Marlow Rd # B8, Santa Rosa. 707.573.9453.

Yao-Kiku Japanese. $$-$$$. Fresh sushi with ingredients flown in from Japan steals the show in this popular neighborhood restaurant. Lunch and dinner, Mon-Sat. 2700 Yulupa Ave, Santa Rosa. 707.578.8180.

MARIN CO U N T Y Arigatou Japanese Food to Go Japanese. $. Cheap, delicious and ready to go. Lunch and dinner daily. Miracle

Mile Plaza, 2046 Fourth St, San Rafael. 415.453.8990.

Benissimo Ristorante & Bar Italian. $$. Hearty and flavorful food in authentic neighborhood-style Italian restaurant. Lunch and dinner daily. 18 Tamalpais Dr, Corte Madera. 415.927.2316.

Cafe Reyes Pizza. $$. At the end of the main drag in West Marin’s quintessential small town sits a wood-fired oven serving piping pizzas of perfection. Beer and oysters can be had as well. Lunch and dinner, Wed–Sun. 11101 Hwy 1, Pt Reyes Station. 415.663.9493. Drake’s Beach Cafe Californian. $$-$$$. More dinner party than restaurant, and the food is fresh and amazing. A meal to remember. Lunch, Thurs-Mon. 1 Drake’s Beach Rd, Pt Reyes National Seashore. 415.669.1297.

Finnegan’s Marin Pub fare. $$. Irish bar with the traditional stuff. Lunch and dinner daily. 877 Grant Ave, Novato. 415.899.1516.

Fish Seafood. $$-$$$. Incredibly fresh seafood in incredibly relaxed setting overlooking bay. Lunch and dinner daily. (Cash only.) 350 Harbor Dr, Sausalito. 415.331.FISH.

Hilltop 1892 American. $$-$$$$. Casual dining with panoramic Marin views and a California-cuisine take on such classic fare as steaks, fresh seafood and seasonal greens. Complete with custom cocktails. Lunch and dinner daily; Sunday brunch. 850 Lamont Ave, Novato. 415.893.1892.

Il Piccolo Caffe Italian. $$. Big, ample portions at this premier spot on Sausalito’s spirited waterfront. Breakfast and lunch daily. 660 Bridgeway, Ste 3, Sausalito. 415.289.1195. Insalata’s Mediterranean. $$$. Simple, high-impact dishes of exotic flavors. Lunch and dinner daily. 120 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo. 415.457.7700. Iron Springs Pub & Brewery Brewpub. $$. Pub grub gets a pub-cuisine facelift. Lunch, Wed-Sun; dinner daily. 765 Center Blvd, Fairfax. 415.485.1005.

Joe’s Taco Lounge & Salsaria Mexican. $. Mostly authentic Mexican menu with

Sol Food Puerto Rican. $. Flavorful, authentic and homestyle at this Puerto Rican eatery, which is as hole-in-thewall as they come. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. San Rafael locations: 811 Fourth St. 415.451.4765. 901 & 903 Lincoln Ave. 415.256.8903. Mill Valley location: 401 Miller Ave, Mill Valley.

Sorella Caffe Italian. $$. The embodiment of Fairfax casual, with delicious, high-quality food that lacks pretension. Dinner, TuesSun. 107 Bolinas Rd, Farifax. 415.258.4520.

Station House Cafe

Lunch and dinner daily. 1238 Fourth St, San Rafael. 415.460.9883.

N A PA CO U N T Y Ad Hoc American. $$-$$$. Thomas Keller’s quintessential neighborhood restaurant. Prix fixe dinner changes daily. Actually takes reservations. 6476 Washington St, Yountville. 707.944.2487. Bistro Jeanty French. $$$. Rich, homey cuisine. A perfect choice when you can’t get a chance to do your Laundry. Lunch and dinner daily. 6510 Washington St, Yountville. 707.944.4870.

Boonfly Cafe California

American-California. $$. Innovative menu, fresh local seafood and range-fed meats. Outdoor dining; full bar. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, Thurs-Mon. 11180 State Route 1, Pt Reyes. 415.663.1515.

cuisine. $-$$. Extraordinary food in an extraordinary setting. Perfect pasta and mussels. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 4080 Sonoma Hwy, Napa. 707.299.4900.

Sushi Ran Japanese.

Bouchon French. $$$. A

$$$$. This beautiful restaurant attracts locals and tourists with its fresh catches. A wide selection of nigiri, depending on what’s fresh. Lunch, Mon-Fri; dinner, Fri-Sun. 107 Caledonia St, Sausalito. 415.332.3620.

Sushiholic Japanese. $$$$. A nice addition to the local lineup, with a lengthy and wellcrafted repertoire including uncommon dishes like nabeyaki udon, zaru soba, yosenabe and sea bass teriyaki. Lunch and dinner, Mon-Sat. Rowland Plaza, 112-C Vintage Way, Novato. 415.898.8500.

Tommy’s Wok Chinese. $-$$. Tasty and filling Chinese fare without the greasy weigh-down. Nice vegetarian selections, too. Lunch and dinner, Mon-Sat; dinner only, Sun; closed Tues. 3001 Bridgeway Ave, Sausalito. 415.332.5818. The William Tell House American & Italian. $$. Marin County’s oldest saloon. Casual and jovial atmosphere. Steaks, pasta, chicken and fish all served with soup or salad. Lunch and dinner daily. 26955 Hwy 1, Tomales. 707.878.2403

Yet Wah Chinese. $$. Can’t go wrong here. Special Dungeness crab dishes for dinner; dim sum for lunch.

Keller brother creation with a distinctly Parisian bistro ambiance, offering French classics. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 6534 Washington St, Yountville. 707.944.8037.

Carpe Diem Wine Bar Californian. $-$$. Right in the heart of downtown Napa, Carpe Diem’s contemporary and innovative menu includes a variety of seasonal flatbreads, an ostrich burger, the famed short-rib sliders and much more. Over 45 wines by the glass, six draft beers and an impressive reserve wine list round out this warm, inviting space. Dinner daily. 1001 Second St., Napa. 707.224.0800.

Cindy Pawlycyn’s Wood Grill & Wine Bar American. $$-$$$. Classic American fare that stays up on current mainstays like crispy pork belly, braised short ribs and crab roll but doesn’t skimp on the burger. Long wine list, kids menu, patio and more. Lunch and dinner, WedSun. 641 Main St, St Helena. 707.963.0700.

a “nostalgia” cocktail. Dinner daily. 1122 Main St, Napa. 707.224.6328.


Compadres Rio Grille

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American standbys. Lunch and dinner daily; takeout, too. 382 Miller Ave, Mill Valley. 415.383.8164.

Western/Mexican. $-$$. Contemporary food and outdoor dining with a Mexican flavor. Located on the river and serving authentic cocktails. Nightly specials and an abiding love of the San Francisco Giants. 505 Lincoln Ave, Napa. Lunch and dinner daily. 707.253.1111.

French Laundry Definitive California Cuisine. $$$$. What else is there to say? Chef Thomas Keller’s institution is among the very best restuarants in the country. 6640 Washington St., Yountville. 707.944.2380.

Fumé Bistro & Bar California cuisine. $$$. California bistro fare that nearly always hits the mark. Lunch and dinner daily; brunch, Sat-Sun. 4050 Byway E, Napa. 707.257.1999.

Gillwoods Cafe Diner. $-$$. Classic hometown diner, specializes in the homemade. Breakfast and lunch daily. 1313 Main St, St Helena. 707.963.1788. Gott’s Roadside Tray Gourmet Diner. $-$$. Formerly Taylor’ Automatic Refresher. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 933 Main St, St Helena. 707.963.3486. Also at Oxbow Public Market, 644 First St, Napa. 707.224,6900.

La Toque Restaurant French-inspired. $$$$. Set in a comfortable elegantly rustic dining room reminiscent of a French lodge, with a stone fireplace centerpiece, La Toque makes for memorable special-occasion dining. The elaborate wine pairing menus are luxuriously inspired. Dinner daily. 1314 McKinstry St, Napa. 707.257.5157.

Miguel’s MexicanCalifornian. $$. Ultracasual setting and laid-back service belies the delicious kitchen magic within; chilaquiles are legendary. Breakfast,lunch and dinner daily. 1437 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga. 707.942.6868.

Cole’s Chop House

Pizza Azzurro Italian. $.

American steakhouse. $$$$$. Handsome, upscale 1950s-era steakhouse serving chophouse classics like dryaged porterhouse steak and Black Angus filet mignon. Wash down the red meat with

Run by a former Tra Vigne and Lark Creek Inn alum, the pizza is simple and thin, and ranks as some of the best in the North Bay. Lunch and dinner daily. 1260 Main St (at Clinton), Napa. 707.255.5552.

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Most reviews by James Knight. Note: Those listings marked ‘WC’ denote wineries with caves. These wineries are usually only open to the public by appointment. Wineries in these listings appear on a rotating basis.

SONOMA CO U N T Y Buena Vista “Our future is our past” is the motto at this historic, remodeled and reinvigorated winery, founded 1857. Watch for character actors, taste Buena Vista Vinicultural Society favorites Zinfandel, sparkling wine and cream sherry—and look out for the crocodile. 18000 Old Winery Road, Sonoma. Daily, 10am–5pm. Tasting fee $10, Saturday tour $20. 800.926.1266.

Dutton-Goldfield Winery Spacious, clean and bright, otherwise not much to recommend it–except a stellar lineup of finely crafted, fruit-forward wines. 3100 Gravenstein Hwy. N., Sebastopol. 10am–4:30pm daily. $10 tasting fee. 707.827.3600.

Harvest Moon Winery Two paths diverged in a bramble, and the one lesstraveled leads here. Tart, taut, and enchanting loweralcohol Zinfandel in modest, comfortable tasting room in the middle of family-owned vineyards. Sparkling Gewürz, too. 2192 Olivet Road, Santa Rosa. Open daily, 10:30am– 5pm. 707.573.8711.

Jacuzzi Family Vineyards So Californian? So Italian. Replica Italian villa with tour-bus parking offers rare Italian-varietal wines in well-staffed tasting room, all thanks to a therapeutic water pump that became a household name. Oily goods on offer in the adjacent Olive Press. 24724 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. Open daily 10am to 5:30pm. No fee for most tastings; $1 reserves. 707.931.7575.

Kenwood Vineyards Icon of 1970s wine boom remains more or less the same, a tidy but rambling barn with a modest L-shaped bar serving up ever-popular Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and exclusive Jack London Vineyard wines.

Prices also frozen in time: pick up a solid, Sonoma County wine without being left wearing nothing but a barrel. 9592 Sonoma Hwy., Kenwood. 10am–4:30pm daily; tasting fee, $5. 707.833.5891.

Mauritson Family Winery Zinfandels are the hallmark of this fledgling winery. Reserve vintages routinely sell out, including the much sought-after Rockpile Zinfandel. There’s a lot of buzz about wines from the Rockpile Appellation. 2859 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg. Tasting room open daily, 10am–5pm. 707.431.0804.

Moondance Cellars Dogs, Cabs and cars are the focus; when a supercharged 1965 Corvette is parked in front, the vintner is in the house. Also, Port and Sherry from Sonoma Valley Portworks. 14301 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen. Daily 11am–6pm. $5 tasting fee. 707.938.7550.

Paul Mathew Vineyards Sunny, corner tasting room in downtown Graton offering a singular expression of Valdiguié, progressively deeper and more aromatic Pinot Noir, and cushioned benches to sink into should you become lost in reverie as a result. 9060 Graton Road, Graton. Thursday–Sunday, 10:30am– 4:30pm. Tasting fee, $10. 707.865.2505.

Ram’s Gate Winery Fireplaces blaze away, ceilings soar—if the vibe is more executive retreat than tasting room, consider that a positive. Pairings from oysters to albondigas; crispy cured pork belly to seared gulf shrimp; goat cheese tart to nicoise salad. Great views, too. 28700 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. Open daily, 10am–6pm. 707.721.8700.

N A PA CO U N TY Adastra Wines To the stars! Or, a big old horse

barn. Here is a Napa winery that’s organic, authentic and makes a wine that pairs great with mammoth. Tasting is conducted on the kitchen table, “the way it used to be.” 2545 Las Amigas Road, Napa. Tour and tasting by appointment, $25. 707.255.4818.

Bouchaine Vineyards Venerable producer of estategrown Burgundian style wine in the rustic wind-scraped hills of Carneros. Pinot Noir and Pinot Meuier with a coolclimate, cherry-skin crispness that nearly crunches in the mouth, and Chardonnay with a “mouth of butter.” Patio service in fair weather, cozy hearthside tasting in cooler days; good-humored hospitality throughout. 1075 Buchli Station Road, Napa. Open daily, 10:30am–4pm; tasting fee $5. 707.252.9065.

Uncorked at Oxbow Across from the Public Market, this remodeled house in Napa’s historic “Little Italy” is a casual and unaffected joint. Ahnfeldt and Carducci wines include estate Merlot, Syrah, Cab, vinted by Paul Hobbs. Don’t ask about the horse. 605 First St., Napa. Open daily, noon–8pm; winter hours vary. Tasting fee, $10–$20. 707.927.5864.

Velo Vino Napa Valley Cycling-themed bungalow is filled with enough gear to outfit a peloton, plus wine and espresso, too. Tastings include spiced nuts and dried cherries, but sample-sized Clif and Luna Bars are readily available for your impromptu energy bar and wine pairings. 709 Main St., St. Helena. Daily, 10am– 6pm. $10–$25. 707.968.0625.

Vermeil Wines Pair the Chardonnay with baked brie en croute, if you’re having that kind of Super Bowl party. Also rare Charbono from OnThEdgle Winery, and late harvest Sémillon, perfect for potato chips. 1255 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga. Sunday–Thursday, 10am–5:30pm; Friday– Saturday, 10am–8pm. Tasting fee, $12. 707.341.3054.

Toasty Tastings Cozy bodegas for winter winetasting BY JAMES KNIGHT


ever mind that a wine cave has a comparatively comfy ambient temperature compared to the chilly outdoors. We’d like to warm our hands by a nice, crackling fire when we venture out for holiday winetasting in Sonoma and Napa counties, please, Spare the Air day or not! That’s no problem at Fritz Underground Winery, because the wood stove in the corner is the only form of heat—besides warming sips of brambleberry-fruited Zinfandel. 24691 Dutcher Creek Road, Cloverdale. Daily, 10:30am–4:30pm. $10–$15 fee. 707.894.3389.

Fires both inside and out flare up with a flick of the switch at Dutcher Crossing Winery—gas-fueled, they can be depended upon during any cold snap. The wide variety of wines is dependably good, too. 8533 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg. Daily, 11am–5pm. Tasting fee $5; $10 option weekends. 866.431.2711. Looming like some northern fishing lodge in the mist, Lambert Bridge Winery would just have to sport a grand old hearth stocked with hours’ worth of firewood. And so it does, except on Spare the Air days, when a heater fills in. The glow of chandeliers in the redwood cellar creates a scene of rustic warmth, in any case. Suave Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc. 4085 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg. Daily, 10:30am– 4:30pm. Tasting fee $15–$25. 707.431.9600. Bless humble Mill Creek Vineyards, where all the wines are above average. A wood-burning stove makes the tasting room a toasty spot to sip award-winning Gewürztraminer, and they are technically allowed to use it on Spare the Air days but often choose not to “flaunt that.” 1401 Westside Road, Healdsburg. Daily, 10am– 5pm. Tasting fee, $5–$10. 707.431.2121. With free sparkling winetasting, it’s Christmas every day at Korbel Champagne Cellars. During the holiday season, there’s also a tree with all the trimmings, and a gas fire going, too. 13250 River Road, Guerneville. Daily, 10am–4:30pm; tours, 11am–3pm. 707.824.7317. Stare down a portrait of “the Count” from a comfy chair in front of the mantel at Buena Vista Winery. For those who like historical restorations, now is a great time to revisit this place, filled with artifacts and lore. Watch for the crocodile. 18000 Old Winery Road, Sonoma. Daily, 10am–5pm. Tasting fee, $10; Saturday tour, $20. 800.926.1266. Gas hearths blaze away at mid-day at small plate mecca Ram’s Gate Winery, 28700 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. Thursday–Monday, 10am–6pm. $15–$20. 707.721.8700.

Pleeeease I Hafta Have It! What’s your most-wanted, must-have gift of all time?


t’s a Christmas wish engraved in the grain of our culture: an official Red Ryder CarbineAction 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. And even as “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid” has turned into an overused catchphrase, there’s a reason little Ralphie’s desperate wish from A Christmas Story resonates. Every one of us, at one time or another, once wanted something with a similar fervor—more than anything in the world.

Wish is universal. A while back, we here at the Bohemian started telling each other about our personal Red Ryders in the office one day. All our stories were different, but every one was relatable, and we’ve included them below. Hopefully, you’ll see a little of yourself somewhere in here—or, for those going over wish lists from children, you’ll see how kids process desire all these years later. On with the unwrapping . . .

The Verbot By Gabe Meline It must have been the TV commercials sandwiched between The Cosby Show and Family Ties that did it. The year was 1984, the “future” was “now,” synthesizers and jetpacks and Commodore

64s and hoverboards were in the collective consciousness, and all I wanted for Christmas was a Verbot. To a precocious kid interested in the possibility of artificial intelligence at the young age of nine, a voice-controlled robot that could bring a Milk Bone to the dog or deliver a cup of hot chocolate with just a simple

vocal command was a futuristic dream come true. “We can’t afford it,” said my mom, and she was probably right. A Verbot cost $75, and we were just barely off drinking Alba powdered milk and eating Appian Way box pizza. Still, if it was the only thing I asked for, I reasoned, I might have a chance. And so

every trip to Toys “R” Us on Santa Rosa Avenue was spent staring at the box. I learned to draw a Verbot, and left scraps of my sketches all over the house. I even babbled at the dinner table about the Omnibot—the larger, better, $200 model—in a concerted effort to show my parents that I was at least asking for the more affordable option. As my robot dreams gathered silicon, so my mom’s denials gathered volume. “You’re going to have to be happy even if you don’t get a Verbot,” she’d say. “Besides, a robot is a luxury. There are kids starving in Ethiopia, you know.” (Yes, my mom really said that, and often.) ) 18

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Sara Sanger


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18 Hafta Have It ( 17 When I woke up early on Christmas morning, I ran into the living room. There, near the tree, unwrapped, was my beautiful, magical Verbot! I rushed to unbox it and started playing with it—flipping through the manual, moving the arms up and down, turning the control microphone on and off. And then my mom walked into the room. She was still dressed. “What are you doing?!” she demanded. “It’s 11:45!” It is an unsettling sensation for a nine-year-old to be made to go back to bed after just receiving the most anticipated Christmas present of all time. But she was right; 11:45 was too early. It wasn’t even Christmas yet, technically. So I went back to bed, clutching my beloved Verbot, and slept under the covers—that is, until 3am, when I woke up again. As it turned out, my robot love affair was short, but intense. Realistically, there simply wasn’t a whole lot Verbot could do. Move forward, move backward, turn left and right, pick things up, put them down and “speak,” which meant flashing lights and 8-bit bleeps. Plus, the voice activation was spotty, and I soon learned it was nothing at all like the TV commercial. I probably got bored of it after three weeks. A person never forgets that elusive toy of their dreams. While others look up YouTube videos or even go on eBay to reclaim a portion of their youthful innocence, I’ve still got my Verbot. In fact, it sits in residency as the office mascot here at the Bohemian. In our minds, he’s a talisman of the newsroom. He tells the copy editor what to mark with red ink, and tells the calendar editor what to list as an “Event,” and shamelessly hits on the married staff writer. We blame all our typos on his bad influence. It’s hard living with him sometimes, but I’ve stopped telling him what to do. He gave me the most joy possible once, and for that, I owe him for life.

The Playmobil Dollhouse By Rachel Dovey It had window boxes full of pink and white flowers and wallpaper that you had to paste on yourself. There were lace curtains to assemble and doorframes to attach, and if you were lucky enough to have the kitchen set (I was), you could hang ladles and rolling pins from a shelf and arrange Tic Tac–sized silverware in a drawer that slid open and shut. I’m talking, of course, about the Playmobil dollhouse—the four-story Victorian one with two balconies, none of that modern suburban crap. I was nine, it was December 1994 and oh my did I love Playmobil! I had all the furniture advertised in the catalogue— the kids’ bunk beds and doll carriages, the parents’ twin beds that you could snap together or keep apart (depending on how you were raised), the carpets and ferns, chairs and fireplaces and bookshelves for tiny, individual books. Currently, all the little plastic people and their earthly goods lived in a purple tub that I would pour onto my bedroom floor on Saturday mornings at 6am, as soon as I woke up. Going back and forth between my divorced parents every week, I never once forgot that tub. I called them “figgies,” short for figurines, a title that worked well around this time of year. “Oh bring me a Figgie pudding, oh bring me a Figgie pudding, oh bring me a Figgie pudding

and bring it right here!” I’d sing, hoping the hint was direct enough. Usually my mom sighed and looked extra weary, so I figured she was catching on. I know now that the four-story mini-mansion cost her upwards of $400—no small chunk of change for a single mom. It was money she could easily have spent on rent or utilities or tuition for the Ph.D. program she was completing slowly in incremental bits. I know it was yards of petroleum-based plastic that will wind up in a landfill one day. I know it did strange things to me, encouraging my already manifesting tendencies toward OCD. I would arrange and rearrange for hours—this wallpaper with these flowers, those curtains but with that stick-on portrait, those chairs, placed at a perfect right angle on the edge of the rug. And God help anyone who tried to assist me. “You’re so mean!” my friend Danielle screamed the fifth time I called her patio set-up “kind of disgusting,” hurling a marblesized vase against my bedroom wall so hard it cracked. I know it was extremely gendered, and if I’d built airplanes with Legos, maybe I’d be earning enough money now to afford a real house like that. But my mom still has a picture of me that Christmas morning. My hair is messed up from sleep, I’m wearing some kind of hot pink cape over my pajamas, my mouth is round in a gasp and I’m holding a huge box that could only be one thing, my arms stretched as wide as they could possibly reach.

The Casio PT-82 By Leilani Clark When I was 12, what I most wanted for Christmas was a Casio PT-82 synthesizer, the one that played “Greensleeves” and came with exotic built-in rhythms like “samba” and “beguine.” I knew the acquisition of this keyboard, alongside a steady diet of livingroom lip-sync practice, was essential in my quest to become a Kids Incorporated cast member. I hounded my mom about it for

months, and come Christmas morning, ran toward the oblong box under the tree, knowing it to be my envoy to synth heaven. As the paper fell away, I don’t know what burned more, the anticipation or the crushing disappointment. What I uncovered was not the Casio, but a knockoff—a bulky purple thing, the Barney of keyboards, really—nothing like the white, streamlined melody machine of my dreams. I threw a fit, crying, pouting and holding it against my mom that we didn’t have the money to get the real deal. She must have broken down and exchanged the thing, because I have later memories of crouching over a white Casio with my sister, following along with the blinking lights and competing to see who could play “Greensleeves” the fastest. Last week, I called my mom to confirm all of this, but she claims not to remember the incident. But she admits that she probably didn’t get me the Casio originally because it was too expensive. “I think I wanted to get you a really, really good keyboard,” she adds, talking loudly over the sounds of my three-yearold nephew playing in the background. “Maybe I returned it and got you the Casio later?” She starts listing all of the other gifts that my sister and I received over the years. The Barbie Corvette. The Barbie Playhouse. The Barbie Styling Head. My Little Pony . . . I stop her. “Mom, this isn’t a story about how deprived Antonia and I were at Christmas time,” I say. “This is a story about what a brat I was and how I threw a hissy fit when I didn’t get what I want.” But she’s totally blocked out the fact that I was your run-of-the-mill Veruca Salt–style holiday ingrate. I then called my sister, trying to get to the bottom of this ancient

The Major Matt Mason Action Figure By David Templeton In 1968, as Christmas approached, my mom was broke. We lived in a tiny apartment in Glendora, and the meager monthly welfare benefits my mom received were barely enough to pay the rent and feed us all—my brothers Steve and Jef included— let alone provide much in the way of Christmas presents. Still, if I could have had anything that year—with my eight-year-old mind still reeling from the recent manned orbiting of the moon by the crew of Apollo 8—it would have been a Major Matt Mason action figure. The TV commercials for the new toy were electrifying. “He lives on the moon! We may all be there soon!” teased the deep-voiced narrator, as two boys played in their yard, dangling Matt Mason from a string, flying him around his spectacular plastic moon base. God, I wanted one of those.

I didn’t care that the little bendable arms of Major Matt Mason were already known to break after just a few hours of play, the wires inside snapping so that he could only stick his arms out like a man walking a high wire. Somehow, that just made him seem even cooler. On Christmas Eve, hoping against hope that my dream of space adventure would come true, my mom gathered us boys together to tell us that, sadly, there was not enough money that year for presents or even a tree. Later that afternoon, a knock came at the door, and outside was an entire pack of Boy Scouts, standing there on the balcony with a fully decorated tree, bags full of holiday food and boxes of presents. Our name was evidently on a list of families in need, and the Boy Scouts were doing their part to make Christmas happen for . . . well, for us. As tears rolled down my mom’s face, the scouts set up our tree, sang a Christmas carol or two, and left us with all of those alluringly wrapped gifts. That one of them contained a Major Matt Mason was more than I could actually believe. I mean, if that happened, if there actually was a Major Matt Mason in one of those packages,

not even allowing myself to think there could also be a Matt Mason moon base set, well then, maybe everything they said about the magic of Christmas was real. Of course, the magic of Christmas was that we had anything at all—presents, a tree, plenty of food. And on Christmas morning, I had to content myself with that, because there was no Major Matt Mason in any of those boxes. I seem to remember a squirt gun of some kind, an EtchA-Sketch and a box of toy soldiers. I must have been disappointed, but all I remember is the look on my mom’s face as she watched us open presents on a Christmas morning that she’d thought wouldn’t bring her anything to be thankful for at all. By the next winter, Mom was working again. In July of 1969, the crew of Apollo 11 successfully made the first landing on the moon. By Christmas, Apollo 12 did it again, but by then, I’d already been there myself, in my imagination, having traveled to the moon with the entire Major Matt Mason moon base set my mom had given me for my ninth birthday. By that Christmas, I already had the entire men in space action figure team, and I am happy to say, I’d already broken all of their arms.

The Super Nintendo By Nicolas Grizzle Christmas 1992, a life-changing moment. On that fateful morning, a wrapped box sat beneath my stocking, atop the wood stove. I prolonged the anticipation of opening that box by inspecting the meager contents of my stocking: candy, small toys I would forget about in a few weeks, maybe some cool pencil toppers—I don’t remember. But what I’ll never forget is that moment when I ripped the paper off the box to reveal the greatest gift ever given: a Super Nintendo. The new console was released just in the past year, and I was finally one of the cool kids who had one. This was a big deal, because I was never a cool kid. I didn’t typically have the latest


gizmos and gadgets, and I really liked wearing sweatpants to school (they were comfortable and came in so many different colors!). I was even friends with certain kids because they had a Super Nintendo, and they’d let me come over to play it. It was so expensive—at that age, $200 seemed like $1 million. We weren’t millionaires, so I just tossed out the idea of ever having my own. But that morning, it was like I had won the lottery. “Whooaaaaaaaaaa!” I yelled. Sure enough, my parents then came stumbling downstairs, muttering something about Santa (I was so over the Santa game by then, but played along to milk the last drops of childhood). All I could say was “I got a Super Nintendo!” as if they didn’t know, and I hooked it up myself (RCA and composite cables into the VCR, TV has to be on channel 3, TV/ VCR button must be on VCR). Immediately, the 16-bit universe of Super Mario World blew my mind. I had played it before, but this felt special. I didn’t have to wait my turn. I didn’t have to ask permission. In my mind, there was no better way to celebrate the holiday, because surely, this is what Jesus would buy himself as a Christmas present. Hallelujah! I was walking on air all day. Nothing else mattered—I might as well have donated those other presents, because I wouldn’t be using them unless they plugged into the TV. This new system, a little too new for my parents to really understand, unleashed a love of technology that stays with me to this day. These days, video game consoles cost $600 and require an internet connection, but they look the way I wish my dreams did and their wireless controllers have joysticks and headphone jacks. But even as the technology evolves, the feeling of unwrapping that unexpected, life changing gift will always be the same.

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Christmas mystery. She’s less delicate than my mom and always willing to remind me what a jerk I could be when we were kids. “I totally remember that Casio,” she says with a laugh. “I talk about it all the time.” She reminds me how I ended up playing a white Casio PT-82 on tour with in an indie electronic band. But she doesn’t remember the first disappointment either— the generic purple keyboard that caused such woe. “It does sound completely plausible,” she confesses. “You know how Mom is. I do the same thing. I’ll get the cheapest thing, or the second cheapest thing, and hope it works out, and then feel bad and maybe return it for something better.” In the end, my bad behavior paid off and I was rewarded with the lusted-after PT-82, though it must have cost more than what my parents would have liked to spend. But did it get me a guest spot on Kids Incorporated? Alas, no.

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CULTURE The week’s events: a selective guide

WAILIN’ WOODY Woody Allen plays clarinet with his New Orleans Jazz Band at 142 Throckmorton on Dec. 22. See Concerts, p25. SEBASTOPOL


I Heard the Bells

Sleigh Ride

You know, I heard the bells on Christmas Day and all their old familiar carol play, walking down Main Street in Sebastopol. And I was all, “What the hell is up with this peace-loving place anyway? Do these people really believe there can be peace in the world? As if.” ’Cause, you know, hate really does seem to prevail. But then pealed the bells more loud and deep—the sound of righteousness and goodwill and legal marijuana, and I was like, “Damn, the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, and Melvin Seals and the JGB shall play on Friday, Dec. 20, at Hopmonk Tavern.” 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. 9:30pm. $25. 707.829.7300.

Remember that night in Truckee? Man, it was lovely weather for a sleigh ride with you. The snow was falling, friends were calling “Yoo-hooo!” and it was just grand holding your hand, through our lined leather gloves. You better know we were getting into the brandy, so our cheeks were nice and rosy, and on that seat we were comfy cozy, snuggled up together like birds of a feather. Remember that party at Farmer Gray’s house, where we danced to LCD Soundsystem? With the coffee and pumpkin pie? Man, it was like a print by Currier & Ives. Then we went to see Roberta Donnay and the Prohibition Mob Trio on Friday, Dec. 20, at Silo’s. 530 Main St., Napa. 8pm. $20–$25. 707.251.5833.


Winter Wonderland Hey man, are you listening? Because I hear sleigh bells ring. And in the lane, check it out—snow! Man, I’m happy tonight. It’s like the bluebird has gone away and a new bird is here, singing a happy song. Let’s kick it in the meadow and build a snowman. We can pretend he’s Parson Brown. Yeah, I’m serious. Let’s get hitched. Maybe even buy a house if the real estate market stops soaring. Pick up a used Buick. Man, it’s thrilling when your nose gets a chilling. We frolic and play when we see Volker Strifler and Ron Thompson on Saturday, Dec. 21, at Rancho Nicasio. Town Square, Nicasio. 8:30pm. $15. 415.662.2219.


Silver Bells So there we were, on the city sidewalks— busy sidewalks dressed in holiday air. And all up in the air was this feeling of Christmas, right, with children laughing and people passing, with hella people offering, like, smile after smile. Strings of street lights blink that bright red and green, and shoppers rush home with their treasures, and it’s like, man, remember when we were all worried about Rick Perry? Such a distant memory now. Snow crunches, kids bunch, it’s Santa’s big scene. And above all this bustle you’ll hear the Hot Club of San Francisco playing on Thursday, Dec. 19, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 8pm. $20–$25. 707.226.7372.

—Gabe Meline

Kevin Berne

ON ICE Marleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ghost is part of a top-

notch â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Carolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in San Francisco.

Big City, Big Show â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;A Christmas Carolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; at A.C.T. enlivens BY DAVID TEMPLETON


agic is a state of mind, created out of environmental conditions and a strong desire to believe. During the holidays, these conditions are at their height, as the massive Christmas machinery works overtime making everything from the streets to the rooftops drip with the glittering promise of magic, all at a time so many of us desperately need to feel it. In San Francisco, the American Conservatory Theater, located two blocks away from Union Square, is both the progenitor and beneďŹ ciary of this arrangement. With its grand annual production of Dickensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Christmas Carol, ACT has established one of the Bay Areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most indelible holiday

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traditions, to which kid-toting families, packs of friends and couples in love are drawn each year. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s staging of ACTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tailor-made adaptation, written in 2005 by Carey Perloff and Paul Walsh, is typically ďŹ rst-rate. Directed by Dominique Lozano, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a heady mix of solidly traditional Victorian details, trippy hallucinogenic additions (capped by an adorable chorus line of singing vegetables) and visionary special effects. The show matches heartfelt emotion and warmth with masterful, thoroughly engaging spectacle. As Ebenezer Scrooge, one of the greatest literary creations of all time, James Carpenter (in his ninth year in the role) never lets us forget the very human, studious and joke-loving little boy beneath the covetous old sinner of Dickensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; classic tale. Scroogeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s redemption, served up with a few literary deviations that ďŹ ll important gaps in the original, is brought about by delightfully designed spirits, rising from beds, dangling from the rafters and towering over the stage. As good as the play is, it would be naĂŻve not to recognize that a part of its power comes from the season itself, and that the environment of Union Squareâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a destination for those hungry for some holiday spiritâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;is part of the experience. I recommend parking in the garage beneath Union Square and winding your way up the stairs that open onto the square, where the enormous decorated tree looms in front of you. At one end of the square, as carolers and bagpipers and trashcan percussionists treat revelers to indigenous San Francisco music, a temporary ice rink beckons, surrounded by folks sipping hot chocolate and seasonal adult beveragesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;dressed warmly, and soaking up the crisp, contagious magic of Christmas. Rating (out of ďŹ ve): +++++

The Holiday Spirit is Here Beautiful Handmade Gifts for under $20 ďŹ ne & fashion jewelry

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;A Christmas Carolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; runs daily through Dec. 28 at American Conservatory Theaterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Geary Theater. 415 Geary St., San Francisco. Showtimes vary. $20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;$95. 415.749.2228.


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Lunch & Dinner Sat & Sun Brunch

Fireside Dining 7 Days a Week

DIN N E R & A SHOW Return of the Mighty Fri Dec 20 MACHIAVELVETS “Reckless Futurism” 8:00 / No Cover Sat “A Christmas Blues Present” Dec 21 VOLKER STRIFLER BAND & RON THOMPSON AND THE RESISTORS




MICHAEL WINSLOW “The Noisy Man” PLUS THE ZINS 7:00 Tue 7th Annual Christmas Eve Dec 24 Gospel Show and Dinner THE PRIESTHOOD 7:00 Sat

A Salute toThe Beatles! Dec 28 THE SUN KINGS 8:30


Dec 29




Americana/Roots Rock 6:00

Reservations Advised


On the Town Square, Nicasio


HHonorable onor able

112/20 2 /20 – 12/26 12 /26

Inside Llewyn Inside Llewyn Davis Da vis R (1(10:45-1:15-4:00)-7:00-9:25 0 : 45-1:15- 4 : 00 ) -7: 00-9 : 25 Saving S aving M Mr. r. B Banks anks PPG13 G13 ((11:30-2:30-5:30)-8:30 11: 30-2: 30-5 : 30 ) -8 : 30

Nebraska N ebraska


(11:00-2:00-5:00)-8:00 (11: 00-2: 00-5 : 00 ) -8 : 00

Philomena P hilomena

R (10:30-12:45-3:30)-6:45-9:00 (10 : 30 -12 : 4 5-3 : 30 ) -6 : 4 5- 9 : 00 Sunday Sunda y 12/22 12 / 22 only: onl y : (1 (10:30-3:30)-6:45-9:00 0 : 3 0 -3 : 3 0 ) - 6 : 4 5 - 9 : 0 0

Dallas Buyers Dallas Buyers 1: 00-3 : 4 5 ) -6 : 30- 9 : 05 Club C lub R ((1:00-3:45)-6:30-9:05 12 1 2Y Years ears a Sl Slave ave

FREEWHEELIN’ Oscar Isaac plays a folk singer in this film loaded with soul. R

((10:15am) 10 :15am ) Join uuss oonn SSunday Join unday 12/22 12 / 22 at a t 1pm 1pm for f or a special s pec ia l pperformance er f or mance of o f The T he Nutcracker Nu t cracker ffrom r om the t he Mariinsky M a r iin s k y TTheatre hea t r e iinn SSt.t . Petersburg! P e t er sbur g !

Summer field Summerfield 551 5 51 S Summerfield ummer field Road Road Santa S an t a R Rosa osa 707.522.0719 707. 522 .0719

Sonoma County’s Original Roadhouse Tavern

Great Food & Live Music Thur Dec 19 118'4˜LhENUGN2/˜FEx

Blues Karaoke with Bill Bowker Fri Dec 20

118'4˜LhENUGN2/˜FEx The Vivants (CD Release Party)

plus Dixie Giants Sat Dec 21


Kevin Russell & The Rustlers Fri Dec 27 118'4˜LhENUGN2/˜FEx

The B-Stars Tiki Trio 7''%GE˜'9'#45 8' $


The Pulsators

Plus on Fri & Sat Nights:

Rasta Dwight's BBQ! 5745 Old Redwood Hwy, Penngrove

Ballad of a Thin Man

‘Llewyn Davis,’ the Coens’ love letter to Dylan’s Greenwich Village BY RICHARD VON BUSACK


ou were expecting A Mighty Wind, maybe? Folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is homeless in the winter of 1961—he’s a couch surfer especially unappreciated by Jean (a miscast Carey Mulligan), the girlfriend of his buddy Jim (Justin Timberlake). Jean is pregnant after a misspent night with Llewyn, and she hates him for it. Davis is making a few dollars here and there playing trad folk at pass-the-hat “basket houses” in Greenwich Village, but the situation takes a toll when he loses his host’s cat. On a spur of the moment trip to Chicago to see a promoter, Davis tries to escape his personal hell as well as the memories of a long-gone partner he once had. Inside Llewyn Davis is intelligently anti-nostalgic—it makes you not want to go back to the 1960s. As with TV’s Mad Men, you remember what a tightly run, unsparing place J.F.K.’s America was. Bruno Delbonnel’s dove-gray photography puts a halo of frost on New York, but the Coens’ usual depth of frame is lucid as always. As a musician, Isaac is sensationally watchful and sympathetic, even playing a seething man who doesn’t give up much. He pours full tragic force into “Death of Queen Jane,” a ballad about Jane Seymour’s demise in 1537. But his Llewyn also plays along on a goofy novelty song about John Glenn’s then-upcoming rocket ride. The humor isn’t just in easy, dumb gags, like having a middle-aged intellectual (Robin Bartlett) yell the word “scrotum.” The most deadly wit comes from Davis’ co-passenger on the Chicago trip, a fountain of bile named Roland Turner—played by John Goodman, once again the Coens’ wrecking ball swung against an unoffending wanderer. Watching Inside Llewyn Davis, some will shrug, as F. Murray Abraham’s promoter Bud Grossman does, and say “I don’t see a lot of money here.” But though the film isn’t cuddly, it’s loaded with soul. And it is one memorably harrowing look at an artist pushed to the point of oblivion by scorn, misfortune and the iron hand of the market.


‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ opens Friday, Dec. 20, in limited theaters.

OPEN EVERYDAY 12 NOONâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;2AM 21+

Flamingo Lounge

Concerts Clubs & SONOMA COUNTY Venues

Dec 20, Sugarfoot. Dec 21, the Powerhouse. Tues, Swing Dancing with Lessons. Sun, 7pm, salsa with lessons. 2777 Fourth St, Santa Rosa. 707.545.8530.


Frankie Boots & the County Line

French Garden

Karaoke Night with

Dec 20, New Skye. Dec 21, Maria Bija & Sebastian Link. 8050 Bodega Ave, Sebastopol. 707.824.2030.

Smokin Guns Entertainment


Ugly sweater party. Marty Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Reilly and Down Dirty Shake open. Dec 21, 9pm. $10. Hopmonk Sebastopol, 230 Petaluma Ave, Sebastopol. 707.829.7300.

Aqus Cafe

Furtado & Schneiderman

Third Thursday of every month, Jazz & Coffee. 99 Sixth St, Santa Rosa. 707.528.3009.

Two-time national banjo champ teams up with his singer-songwriter wife. Dec 21, 7pm. $18-$25. Cloverdale Performing Arts Center, 209 N Cloverdale Blvd, Cloverdale. 707.829.2214.

JGB with Melvin Seals Organist with the Jerry Garcia Band. Dec 20, 9:30pm. $25. Hopmonk Sebastopol, 230 Petaluma Ave, Sebastopol. 707.829.7300.

Dec 20, Mighty Groove. Dec 21, Gordon & Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Orazi. 189 H St, Petaluma. 707.778.6060.

Arlene Francis Center

Church of the Incarnation Dec 20, the Festival Consort: Renaissance Glory. 550 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa. 707.579.2604.

Cloverdale Performing Arts Center Dec 21, Furtado & Schneiderman. 209 N Cloverdale Blvd, Cloverdale. 707.829.2214.

Dry Creek Kitchen Dec 23, Carlos Henrique Pereira

Gaiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Garden Dec 18, Klezmer Creek. Dec 20, Duo Guiliani. Dec 21, Bear Bones. 1899 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa. 707.544.2491.

Heritage Public House Dec 21, Lee Howard Musical Universe. 1901 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa. 707.540.0395.

Hopmonk Sebastopol Mon, Monday Night Edutainment with Jacques & Guac. Dec 18, Wick-It the Instigator. Dec 20, JGB with Melvin Seals. Dec 21, Frankie Boots & the County Line, Marty Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Reilly, Down Dirty Shake. Dec 23, DJ Mr E. Tues, 7:30pm, open mic night. )

23 Monday ~ Open Mic Night with Austin DeLone 7:30pm )UL'HF)DPLO\'LVFRXQWĂŁSP 6DW'HF&ORVLQJ1LJKW3DUW\ĂŁSP


Christmas Jug Band 6XQ'HFĂŁSP


The Lindsey Thomas Project with Suzanne Garcia

Gene Taylor Blues Band with Dave Alvin


Monophonics Annual Soulful Social 6XQ'HFĂŁSP


Moonalice Holiday Show


AllwaysElvis Band JXkÂ&#x203A;;\Z)(


Hot Buttered Rum New Year's Eve Celebration

Blue Steel

with Vintage Grass


The Altered Egos JXkÂ&#x203A;;\Z)/

The Box Music Family Kl\Â&#x203A;;\Z*(Â&#x203A;Ef:fm\i#Ef;i\jj :f[\#N_`jb\pKfXjkXkD`[e`^_k

PUNCH INTO THE NEW YEAR gi\j\ek\[Yp ColdCock Whiskey ]\Xkli`e^AllwaysElvis Band 1910 SEBASTOPOL RD., SANTA ROSA


Imperial Messenger Service with David


performs the music of

Quicksilver Messenger Service 6DW-DQĂŁSP


All Female MĂśtley CrĂźe Tribute Band

Reckless In Vegas Hormones

All Female Tribute to The Ramones 19 Corte Madera Ave Mill Valley CafĂŠ 415.388.1700 | Box Office 415.388.3850

24 1030 Main Street in downtown Napa Tickets & Information


707.226.7372 DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T FORGETâ&#x20AC;ŚWE SERVE FOOD, TOO!

McNearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dining House "REAKFASTs,UNCHs$INNER













4(52s0-$//23s CELTIC ROCK

VOENA: VOICES OF THE SEASON - STARRY NIGHT WESTWARD Emily Bonn and the Vivants play an album release party at the Twin

Oaks Tavern on Dec. 20. See Clubs, p25.





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and Randy Vincent. 317 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg. 707.431.0330.

Music ( 23 230 Petaluma Ave, Sebastopol. 707.829.7300.

Wed, Dec 18 10:15am– 12:45pm 7–10pm

8:45–9:45am; 5:45–6:45pm Jazzercise SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCE Youth and Family SINGLES & PAIRS Square Dance Club

Thur, Dec 19 8:45–9:45am; 5:45–6:45pm Jazzercise 7:15–10pm CIRCLES N’ SQUARES Square Dance Club Fri, Dec 20 8:45–9:45am Jazzercise 7:30–10:30pm North Bay Country Dance Society/ Contra Dance Sat, Dec 21 8:30–9:30am Jazzercise 7–11pm It's a MOTOWN, DISCO AND ROCK & ROLL PARTY with Steve Luther DJ Sun, Dec 22 8:30–9:30am Jazzercise 5–9:25pm DJ Steve Luther COUNTRY WESTERN LESSONS & DANCING Mon, Dec 23 8:45–9:45am; 5:45–6:45pm Jazzercise 7–9:25pm SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCING Tues, Dec 24 8:45–9:45am Jazzercise 7:30pm–9pm AFRICAN AND WORLD MUSIC & DANCE

Santa Rosa’s Social Hall since 1922 1400 W. College Avenue • Santa Rosa, CA 707.539.5507 •

Hopmonk Sonoma Dec 20, Sean Carscadden. Dec 21, Jp Soden. Wed, Open Mic. 691 Broadway, Sonoma. 707.935.9100.

Hotel Healdsburg Dec 21, Dick Conte Trio. 25 Matheson St, Healdsburg. 707.431.2800.

Lagunitas Tap Room Dec 18, Dirty Cello. Dec 19, Sean Carscadden Trio. Dec 20, JimBo Trout. Dec 21, Lost Dog Found. 1280 N McDowell Blvd, Petaluma. 707.778.8776.

Main Street Station Dec 18, Pocket Canyon Ramblers. Dec 19, Susan Sutton. Sun, Kit Mariah’s Open Mic Night. 16280 Main St, Guerneville. 707.869.0501.

Murphy’s Irish Pub Dec 19, Misner & Smith. Wed, trivia night. 464 First St E, Sonoma. 707.935.0660.

Mystic Theatre Dec 20, Super Diamond, the 85s. Dec 21, Metalachi. 23 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma. 707.765.2121.

Quincy’s Dec 21, World’s Ugliest Dog, DIY, Jesse J the Chopps. 6590 Commerce Blvd, Rohnert Park. 707.585.1079.


& Beer Sanctuary Listen to Live Local Music while you knock back a frosty beer & a sandwich in the Tap Room

Redwood Cafe Dec 20, Mari Mack & Livin’ Like Kings. Dec 21, Hoovers. 8240 Old Redwood Hwy, Cotati. 707.795.7868.

The Rocks Bar & Lounge Fri and Sat, Top 40 DJs hosted by DJ Stevie B. 146 Kentucky St, Petaluma. 707.782.0592.

Russian River Brewing Co Dec 21, HugeLarge. Dec 22, Sorentinos. 725 Fourth St, Santa Rosa. 707.545.BEER.

Ruth McGowan’s Brewpub

Come see us! Wed–Fri, 2–9 Sat & Sun, 11:30–8

Brewery Tours Daily at 3! 1280 N McDowell, Petaluma 707.769.4495

w w w.L AGU N


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Dec 20, John Roy Zat. Dec 21, Bruce Halbohm. 131 E First St, Cloverdale. 707.894.9610.

Sebastopol Community Center Youth Annex Dec 22, Sufi Dancing. 425 Morris St, Sebastopol. 707.874.3571.

Spancky’s Dec 20, Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers. Dec 22, Mojo Child. Thurs, Dj Tazzy Taz.

Chicano Shredding Metalachi combines mariachi and Axl Rose There have been some crazy band ideas, but not always are they acted upon with such reverent fervor as Metalachi. The idea is simple: traditional mariachi orchestration highlights the sweet melodies of heavy classic rock songs with a touch of theatrics for a fine-tuned ode to the dark lord in a fun and nonthreatening setting. It’s loco, one might say, but that’s how it goes. Upon first glance, it might appear that these Los Angeles troubadours are, indeed, going off the rails on a crazy train. But no, they’re just livin’ on a prayer with the man in the box as they run to the hills to find the sweet child o’ mine. And, yes, those are all songs they’ve arranged for their unique style, and, yes, they’re all very, very mariachi. Cover bands aren’t always a topic of conversation in the music business, as they are often seen as merely capitalizing on other artists’ work and copying what’s already been done. But this sextet isn’t just a cover band; they’ve busted these songs open like a piñata and tied them back together with strings from the guitarrón and violin. When the crucifixes go down and the trumpet rises, it’s Metalachi time. Metalachi plays Saturday, Dec. 21, at the Mystic Theatre. 21 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. 8:30pm. $20. 707.765.2121.—Nicolas Grizzle

8201 Old Redwood Hwy, Cotati. 707.664.0169.

5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. 707.588.3400.

Spreckels Performing Arts Center

Toad in the Hole Pub

Dec 21, Sing Along Messiah.

Mon, open mic with Phil the Security Guard. Fourth Sunday

Dec 22, LIP-Sticks. 4 Bayview St, San Rafael. 415.457.3993.

Old Earthquake. 41 Wharf Rd, Bolinas. 415.868.1311.

Peri’s Silver Dollar

Station House Cafe

Twin Oaks Tavern

Dec 20, Lex’s Christmas Bash. Dec 21, Droptones. 29 Broadway, Fairfax. 415.459.9910.

Dec 22, Charlie Hickox. 11180 State Route 1, Pt Reyes Station. 415.663.1515.

Dec 20, Emily Bonn & the Vivants CD release Party. Dec 21, Kevin Russell & the Rustlers. 5745 Old Redwood Hwy, Penngrove. 707.795.5118.

MARIN COUNTY 142 Throckmorton Theatre Dec 22, Woody Allen & His New Orleans Jazz Band. Mon, Open Mic with Derek Smith. 142 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley. 415.383.9600.

Dance Palace Dec 20, Sing Along Messiah. Fifth and B streets, Pt Reyes Station. 415.663.1075.

Fenix Dec 20, Lydia Pense & Cold Blood. Dec 21, Stefani Keys Band. Dec 22, James Henry. Wed, Blues Night. 919 Fourth St, San Rafael. 415.813.5600.

George’s Nightclub Dec 20, Yates Brothers & Sisters. Wed, Salsa & Bachata. Thurs and Fri, DJ Rick Vegaz. 842 Fourth St, San Rafael. 415.226.0262.

Rancho Nicasio Dec 20, Machiavelvets. Dec 21, Volker Strifler Band, Ron Thompson & the Resistors, Miss Angela. Dec 22, Michael Winslow. Dec 24, the Priesthood. Town Square, Nicasio. 415.662.2219.

Sausalito Seahorse Dec 19, Brianada Brink. Dec 20, Rosalie the Band. Dec 21, Beso Negro, Key Lime Pie. Dec 22, candela. Tues, Jazz with Noel Jewkes and friends. Wed, Tango with Marcello & Seth. Sun, salsa class. 305 Harbor View Dr, Sausalito.

Sleeping Lady Dec 18, King & Ace. Dec 19, Samurai Wolf. Dec 20, Darren Nelson & Don Gallardo. Dec 21, Mad Hannan Band. Dec 22, Namely Us. Mon, 8pm, open mic with Simon Costa. Sat, Uke Jam. Sun, 2pm, Irish music. 23 Broadway, Fairfax. 415.485.1182.

Smiley’s Dec 20, Afrolyte. Dec 21, This

Sweetwater Music Hall Dec 20-21, Christmas Jug Band. Dec 22, Gene Taylor Blues Band. 19 Corte Madera Ave, Mill Valley. 415.388.3850.

Terrapin Crossroads Dec 19, Acacia. Dec 21, Jeff Derby Quartet. Fri, 4:20 Happy Hour with live music. Fri, Brian Lesh & Ross James. Fri, Walking Spanish. Sun, Terrapin Family Band. 100 Yacht Club Dr, San Rafael.

NAPA COUNTY Napa Valley Opera House Dec 19, Hot Club of San Francisco. Dec 21, Voena: Voices of the Season. 1030 Main St, Napa. 707.226.7372.

Silo’s Dec 20, Roberta Donnay & the Prohibition Mob Trio. Dec 21, Ray Charles Xmas Tribute. Dec 24, Wesla Whitfield & Mike Greensill. Wed, 7pm, jam session. 530 Main St, Napa. 707.251.5833.


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Hopmonk Novato Dec 19, the Lady Crooners. Dec 20, Lauren Murphy, Joanne Rand, Andi Grossman. Dec 21, Sister Carol. Wed, Open Mic. 224 Vintage Way, Novato. 415.892.6200.

Marin Center’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium Dec 22, Singers Marin. 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 415.499.6800.

Nickel Rose Mon, Wed-Sun, DJ dance. 848 B St, San Rafael. 415.454.5551.

19 Broadway Club Dec 19, Con Brio, Baby & the Luvies. Dec 20, Chrome Johnson. Dec 21, Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic. Dec 22, Miles Ahead. Mon, 9pm, open mic. 19 Broadway, Fairfax. 415.459.1091.

Osteria Divino Dec 18, Jonathan Poretz. Dec 19, Lilan Kane. Dec 20, Rob Reich Trio. Dec 21, Denise Perrier. Dec 24, Ken Cook Trio. 37 Caledonia St, Sausalito.

Panama Hotel Restaurant Dec 18, Dale Polissar Trio. Dec 19, Deborah Winters & friends.

Sun Jan 12

San Francisco’s City Guide

Jonny Lang Sun Feb 9

Icona Pop Breakout duo plays famous hit “I Love It” with a bunch of other songs you don’t know. Dec 18 at the Fillmore.

Mos Def

Fri Feb 14



Sun Feb 23

BB King Wed Feb 26



Sat March 8

Ani DiFranco

Late ’80s Bay Area thrash titans mosh it up with Nails and Hellfire. Dec 20 at Slim’s.

Sat March 29 An Evening With

Holiday House of Soul


This year’s KMEL bash features Jeremih, whose “All the Time” is perfect minimalism. Dec 21 at the Warfield.

Sat April 26

Thirteenth annual Cougnut Memorial Party also features RBL Posse and Cellski. Dec 21 at the Brick & Mortar Music Hall.

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Arts Events Galleries SONOMA COUNTY Calabi Gallery

Paintings,” works by Adam Wolpert, Tony King, Jack Stuppin and Bill Wheeler. 3850 Doris Murphy Ct, Occidental. 707.874.9392.

Redwood Cafe

Through Dec 31, “Gallery Group Show.” 144 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma. Wed-Sun, 11 to 5. 707.781.7070.

Through Jan 14, “Tracing History in Her Art,” work by Pat Morgenthaler. 8240 Old Redwood Hwy, Cotati. 707.795.7868.

Charles M Schulz Museum

RiskPress Gallery

Through Feb 3, “Play Things: Toys in Peanuts,” a nostalgic journey through popular toys in the Peanuts comic strip. Through Mar 2, “School Projects,” follow the Peanuts gang as they struggle through a typical school year with original comic strips. Through Apr 27, “Starry, Starry Night,” feautring Peanuts characters under the night sky. 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa. Mon-Fri, noon to 5; Sat-Sun, 10 to 5. 707.579.4452.

Finley Community Center

Through Dec 29, “Assemble: Collective Soul,” artists who create poetry from the commonplace. 7345 Healdsburg Ave, Sebastopol. No phone.

Riverfront Art Gallery Through Jan 5, “New Work,” photography by Lance Kuehne. Through Jan 5, “Water, Water Everywhere,” photography by Gus and Sharon Feissel. 132 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma. Wed, Thurs and Sun, 11 to 6. FriSat, 11 to 8. 707.775.4ART.

Through Dec 19, “Drawing Towards Design,” works by architect Obie G Bowman. Through Dec 19, “Student Show,” art by SRJC students. 2060 W College Ave, Santa Rosa. Mon-Fri, 8 to 7; Sat, 9 to 1 707.543.3737.

Sebastopol Gallery

Gallery One

Through Jun 1, “Precious Cargo,” exhibition of California Indian cradle baskets. Through Jan 12, “Photography in Mexico,” from the collection of the SF MOMA. 425 Seventh St, Santa Rosa. Tues-Sun, 11 to 4. 707.579.1500.

Through Dec 31, “Red It Is,” Christmas exhibit. 209 Western Ave, Petaluma. 707.778.8277.

Graton Gallery Through Jan 4, “Sun-Drenched Solitude,” watercolors by Sally Baker. Through Jan 12, “New Watercolors,” paintings by Sally Baker. 9048 Graton Rd, Graton. Tues-Sun, 10:30 to 6. 707.829.8912.

Healdsburg Center for the Arts Through Dec 31, “Art for the Holidays,” works by 25 artists for sale. 130 Plaza St, Healdsburg. Daily, 11 to 6. 707.431.1970.

History Center Through Feb 6, “Sculpture Trail,” outdoor exhibit with sculptures along Cloverdale Boulevard and Geyserville Avenue changing every nine months. 215 N Cloverdale Blvd, Cloverdale.

Occidental Center for the Arts Through Jan 5, “OCA

Through Jan 4, “Beneath the Surface,” art by Bert Kaplan and Rebeca Trevino. 150 N Main St, Sebastopol. Open daily, 11 to 6. 707.829.7200.

Sonoma County Museum

Sonoma Mountain Village Event Center Through Jan 20, “Cardboard Currency,” found-art pieces by Nick Mancillas. 1100 Valley House Dr, Rohnert Park.

Sonoma Valley Museum of Art Dec 21-Mar 2, “Site & Senses,” the architecture of Aidlin Darling Design. 551 Broadway, Sonoma. Wed-Sun, 11 to 5. 707.939.SVMA.

MARIN COUNTY Bolinas Museum Through Dec 29, “Annual Mini Show,” featuring a little something different. Through Dec 29, “Inspired by Process,” works by coastal Marin

printmakers. Through Dec 29, “Mordançage,” photography by Elizabeth Opalenik. 48 Wharf Rd, Bolinas. Fri, 1 to 5; Sat-Sun, noon to 5; and by appointment. 415.868.0330.

Falkirk Cultural Center Through Mar 8, “Artisans,” emerging and internationally known artists. 1408 Mission Ave, San Rafael. 415.485.3438.

Gallery Route One Through Jan 12, “MixUp,” paintings by Will Thoms. Salon, Jan 12, 4pm. 11101 Hwy 1, Pt Reyes Station. Wed-Mon, 11 to 5. 415.663.1347.

Marin Community Foundation Through Jan 24, “Transmissions,” work by 30 artists from around the country. 5 Hamilton Landing, Ste 200, Novato. Open Mon-Fri, 9 to 5.

Osher Marin JCC Through Dec 27, “Survival in Sarajevo,” chronicles whose who provided humanitarian aid during the Bosnian War. 200 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael. 415.444.8000.


CLEAN LINES ‘Site and Senses: The Architecture of Aidlin Darling Design’ opens Dec. 20 at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. See Galleries, left.

Fri of every month, 9pm. $10. Jasper O’Farrell’s, 6957 Sebastopol Ave, Sebastopol. 707.829.2062.

di Rosa

Comedy Night

Through Dec 31, largest collection of contemporary Bay Area art. Tours daily. Through Feb 2, “Beatnik Meteors,” collaborative sculptures by regional artists. 5200 Sonoma Hwy, Napa. Wed-Sun, 10am to 6pm 707.226.5991.

Presented by Active 20-30 Club 656. Third Thurs of every month, 8:30pm. Free. Sally Tomatoes, 1100 Valley House Dr, Rohnert Park. 707.665.0260.

Downtown Napa Through Jan 1, 2015, “Metamorphosis,” outdoor sculpture exhibit with selfguided tour. Main and Third streets, Napa.

Napa Valley Museum Through Dec 29, “The Wonderful World of Lego,” models, MOCs and Lego art of all kinds. 55 Presidents Circle, Yountville. Tues-Sun, 10am to 4pm. 707.944.0500.

Comedy Below the Belt Brandon Revels hosts this evening of standup comedy featuring local talent. Third

Jasper Redd Comedian is known for his eloquent delivery and amazing posture. Red Scott and Josh Argyle open. Times vary. Dec 20-21. $20. Murphy’s Irish Pub, 464 First St E, Sonoma. 707.935.0660.

Mort Sahl Celebrating 60 years of incisive satire. Dec 21, 8pm. $35-$50. 142 Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley. 415.383.9600.

Tuesday Evening Comedy Mark Pitta hosts ongoing evenings with established comics and up-andcomers. Tues at 8. $15-$20. 142 Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley. 415.383.9600.



Nutcracker by Napa Regional Dance Company

Gingerbread Extravaganza

Dec 21-22. $25-$35. Lincoln Theater. 100 California Dr, Yountville 707.226.8742.

Nutcracker by Sebastopol Ballet Dec 20-22, Times vary. $12-$22. Analy High School, 6950 Analy Ave, Sebastopol.

Nutcracker by Moscow Ballet Dec 18-19, 7pm. $28-$102. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Rd, Santa Rosa 707.546.3600.

Sophie & the Enchanted Toyshop Dec 21, 1 and 5:30pm. Presented by Marin Dance Theatre. $27-$37. Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael 415.499.6800.

Tapcracker Dec 21, 2 and 5:30pm, Presented by Dance with Sherry Studio. $12-$25. Marin Center Showcase Theatre, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael 415.499.6800.

Kids can make a delicious holiday house for tiny tenants. Several sessions, times vary. Dec 21-23. $40. Bay Area Discovery Museum, Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Rd, Sausalito. 415.339.3900.

Green Drinks Mingle with other sustainability-minded individuals at this networking soiree. Third Thurs of every month. $5. Share Exchange, 531 Fifth St, Santa Rosa. 707.393.1431.

Holiday Brrrlesque Music by DJ Malarkey. Presented by Cabaret de Caliente. Dec 19, 9:45 and 11pm. $10-$15. Christy’s on the Square, 96 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa. 707.528.8565.

Hot Holidays Burlesque Presented by Cabaret de Caliente. Music by DJ Malarkey. Dec 22, 7pm. $10-$25. Hopmonk Novato, 224 Vintage Way, Novato. 415.892.6200.

Toddler Storytime

Arts and crafts for kids during the winter break from school. See for full schedule. Dec 21-Jan 3. $32. Charles M Schulz Museum, 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa. 707.579.4452.

High-energy storytime for toddlers 18 months to three years old. Fri, 10am. Free. Petaluma Library, 100 Fairgrounds Dr, Petaluma. 707.763.9801.

Low-Cost Physicals


Family physicals for adults and children by appointment. Ongoing. $20-$65. Sonoma State University, 1801 E Cotati Ave, Rohnert Park. 707.664.2880.

Pacific Coast Air Museum Third weekend of every month from 10 to 4, folks are invited to play pilot in a featured aircraft. Third Sat of every month. $5. Pacific Coast Air Museum, 2330 Airport Blvd, Santa Rosa. 707.575.7900.

Plant Nursery Work Day

A Christmas Story Ralphie Parker, a young boy living in 1940s Indiana, desperately wants a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas. Hilarity ensues. Dec 18, 7pm. $8. Rialto Cinemas, 6868 McKinley St, Sebastopol. 707.525.4840.

The Nutcracker 3D Ballet by Mariinsky Theatre shown in 3D. Thurs, Dec 19, 7pm. Smith Rafael Film Center, 1118 Fourth St, San Rafael. 415.454.1222.

Volunteer at the Sonoma Garden Park. Thurs, 9am2pm. Sonoma Ecology Center, 20 E Spain St, Sonoma. 707.996.0712.

Food & Drink

Preschool Storytime

Civic Center Farmers Market

A lap-sit program for infants, one day to 17 months old, accompanied by a parent or caregiver. Fri, 10:45am. free. Petaluma Library, 100 Fairgrounds Dr, Petaluma. 707.763.9801.

Resource Clinic Get info on housing, transit, food stamps and Medi-Cal. Wed, 11am-1pm. Free. Petaluma Health Center, 1301 Southpoint Blvd, Petaluma. 707.559.7500.

Riverfront Thursday Nights Wine, dine, shop and play as shops stay open late. Every third Thurs, from 6 to 9. Third Thurs of every month. Free. Riverfront District, Downtown, Napa. 707.251.3726.

San Anselmo Art Walk Third Thurs monthly, 5 to 8; includes changing shows at venues including Ross Valley Winery, 343 San Anselmo Ave. 415.457.5157. Third Thurs of every month, 5:30-8pm.

Senior Bridge Meet up and play a few hands, no partner required. Fri. Napa Senior Center, 1500 Jefferson St, Napa. 707.224.2055.

Teen Health Clinic Thurs, 3:30-6pm. Phoenix Theater, 201 Washington St, Petaluma. 707.762.3565.

Sun at 10am, “Eat Local 101” provides walking tour with information, cooking advice and ideas inspired by locally grown foods. Year-round. Thurs, 8am-1pm and Sun, 8am-1pm. Marin Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Dr, San Rafael. 800.897.3276.

Free Holiday Dinner Santa distributes toys to kids and warm clothes to all who need them. Dec 25, 1pm. Free. Sebastopol Community Church, 1000 Gravenstein Hwy N, Sebastopol.

French Garden Farm Market Enjoy produce from restaurant’s farm, along with freshly baked breads and pastries from their kitchen. Every Sun, 10 to 2. Free. French Garden, 8050 Bodega Ave, Sebastopol. 707.824.2030.

Harvest Market Selling local and seasonal fruit, flowers, vegetables and eggs. Sat, 9am-1pm. Harvest Market, 19996 Seventh St E, Sonoma. 707.996.0712.

Indian Valley Farmers Market Organic farm and garden produce stand where you bring your own bag. Wed, 10am-3pm. College of Marin, Indian Valley Campus, 1800 Ignacio Blvd, Novato. 415.454.4554.

Redwood Empire Farmers Market


Sat, 8:30am-1pm and Wed, 8:30am-noon. Veterans Memorial Building, 1351 Maple Ave, Santa Rosa.

Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market Sat, 9am-1pm and Wed, 9am1pm. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Rd, Santa Rosa. 707.522.8629.

Sebastopol Farmers Market Local produce, meat and artisan goods. Sun, 10am1:30pm. Sebastopol Plaza, McKinley St, Sebastopol.

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Totally Truckin’ Thursdays Four food trucks park in the O’Reilly parking lot, provide you with local goodness and donate 10 percent of sales to a monthly selected nonprofit. Thurs. O’Reilly & Associates, 1005 Gravenstein Hwy N, Sebastopol. 707.827.7190.

West End Wednesdays West End merchants offer wine, coffee and food tastings. Wed, 5-7pm. Free. Downtown Napa, First Street and Town Center, Napa. 620 4th St Santa Rosa ~ 707.528.6198 107 S School St Ukiah ~ 707.462.4730

3030 Fillmore St San Francisco ~ 415.567.4730 240 N Main St Lakeport ~ 415.567.4730

Lectures CityZen Evening of sitting meditation, tea and dharma talk. All are welcome. Mon, 7pm. Free. Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa. 707.568.5381.

Drop-In Meditation

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Classes for all levels include guided meditation and brief commentary. Kids welcome. Ongoing. $10. Mahakaruna Buddhist Center, 304 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma. 707.766.7720.

LGBT Senior Discussion Group Fourth Tues of every month, 1pm. Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 547 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa.

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Meditation Group for Mothers Mindful meditation and sharing experiences for benefit of mothers and their children. Wed, 8:30am. $10. Shambhala Meditation Center, 255 West Napa St, Ste G, Sonoma.

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PRBO Speaker Series Learn about birds and ecology. Every third Thurs, 6:30pm. $10. PRBO Conservation ) Science, 3820


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Spirit & Revolution Rudolph Steiner’s teachings on social transformation with Abraham Entin. Thurs, 7pm. Arlene Francis Center, 99 Sixth St, Santa Rosa. 707.528.3009.

Urban Forest in Your Back Yard Learn about Nathanson Creek Preserve. Dec 21, 10am. Free. Nathanson Creek, behind Adele Harrison Middle School and Sonoma Valley High School, Sonoma.

Readings Aqus Cafe Mondays, 9:30am, Storytelling with Phaedra. 189 H St, Petaluma 707.778.6060.

Book Passage Dec 18, 7pm, “Burning the Midnight Oil” with Phil Cousineau. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera 415.927.0960.

Come to Thrive!


Habitat Books Third Wednesday of every month, 6:30pm, poetry reading series. $5 donation. 205 Second St, Sausalito 415.331.3344.

Point Reyes Books Fourth Monday of every month, Spanish book group. 11315 Hwy 1, Pt Reyes Station 415.663.1542.

The Sitting Room Third Wednesday of every month, 2pm, Sitting Room book club. 707.823.3477. 170 E Cotati Ave, Cotati.

Theater Bram Stoker’s Dracula Classic vampire story. Times vary. Thurs-Sun. $10-$12. Montgomery High School, 1250 Hahman Dr, Santa Rosa. 707.528.5191.

A Christmas Story

Fourth Sunday of every month, 3pm, Sonoma County Poetry Reading. 6761 Sebastopol Ave, Sebastopol 707.829.6600.

Will Ralphie Parker get his cherished Red Ryder BB gun? Will he then shoot his eye out? What is Little Orphan Annie’s secret message? Thurs-Sat, 8pm and Sun, 2pm. through Dec 22. $15-$32. Sixth Street Playhouse, 52 W Sixth St, Santa Rosa. 707.523.4185.

Falkirk Cultural Center

Each & Every Thing

Third Thursday of every month, Marin Poetry Center hosts open reading and workshops, Dec 20, potluck. Bring a dish and poem (25 words or less) to share. Free.

Solo show about how we stay connected in the digital age by Dan Hoyle. Dec 20, 8pm. $20$35. 142 Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley. 415.383.9600.

Coffee Catz

Tired of the Drive? 1408 Mission Ave, San Rafael.

The Santaland Diaries David Sedaris’ holiday story of a Macy’s Santaland elf. Presented by the Sonoma Valley Shakespeare Company. Sun, Dec 22, 6pm. $15-$35. Murphy’s Irish Pub, 464 First St E, Sonoma. 707.935.0660.

Scrooge Classic musical Christmas tale of a heart of coal turned to gold, with music by Leslie Bricusse. Times vary. ThursSun through Dec 22. $22-$26. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. 707.588.3400.

Sleeping Indoors A woman befriends a homeless man and his kitten in this comic-drama. Times vary. Fri-Sun through Dec 22. $15. Pegasus Theater Company, Rio Nido Lodge, Canyon Two Rd, Rio Nido.

White Christmas Singalong with Broadway songs presented by Roustabout Theater. Times vary. Sat-Sun through Dec 22. $16$26. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Rd, Santa Rosa. 707.546.3600.

The BOHEMIAN’s calendar is produced as a service to the community. If you have an item for the calendar, send it to calendar@bohemian. com, or mail it to: NORTH BAY BOHEMIAN, 847 Fifth St, Santa Rosa CA 95404. Events costing more than $65 may be withheld. Deadline is two weeks prior to desired publication date.

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For the week of December 18

ARIES (March 21â&#x20AC;&#x201C;April 19) â&#x20AC;&#x153;Life is best organized as a series of daring ventures from a secure base,â&#x20AC;? wrote psychologist John Bowlby. Some of you Aries enjoy the â&#x20AC;&#x153;daring ventureâ&#x20AC;? part of that formula, but neglect the â&#x20AC;&#x153;secure baseâ&#x20AC;? aspect. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why your daring ventures may on occasion go awry. If you are that type of Ram, the ďŹ rst half of 2014 will be an excellent time to correct your bad habit. Life will be offering you considerable help and inspiration in building a strong foundation. And if you already appreciate how important it is for your pursuit of excitement to be rooted in well-crafted stability, the coming months will be golden. TAURUS (April 20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;May 20) Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a tale of three renowned Taurus brainiacs: Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill and Bertrand Russell. They all had IQs over 175 and all made major contributions to philosophy. Yet all three were physically inept. Kant had trouble keeping a sharp point on his writing instrument, the quill, because he was clumsy using a knife. Mill was so undexterous he found it a chore to tie a knot. Russellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s physical prowess was so limited he was incapable of brewing a pot of tea. Chances are that you are neither as brilliant nor as uncoordinated as these three men. And yet, like them, there is a disconnect between your mind and bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;some glitch in the way the two of them communicate with each other. The coming year will be an excellent time to heal the disconnect and ďŹ x the glitch.

GEMINI (May 21â&#x20AC;&#x201C;June 20) A horticultural company in the U.K. is selling TomTato plants to home gardeners. Each bush grows both cherry tomatoes and white potatoes. The magic was accomplished through handcrafted hybridization, not genetic engineering. I foresee a comparable marvel in your long-term future, Gemini. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not sure about the exact form it will take. Maybe you will create a product or situation that allows you to satisfy two different needs simultaneously. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s possible you will ďŹ nd a way to express two of your talents in a single mode. Or perhaps you will be able to unite two sides of you that have previously been unbonded. Congratulations in advance! CANCER (June 21â&#x20AC;&#x201C;July 22): â&#x20AC;&#x153;To destroy is always the ďŹ rst step in any creation,â&#x20AC;? said the poet e. e. cummings. Do you buy that idea, Cancerian? I hope so, because the cosmos has scheduled you to instigate some major creative action in 2014. In order to fulďŹ ll that potential, you will have to metaphorically smash, burn and dissolve any old structures that have been standing in the way of the future. You will have to eliminate as many of the yes, buts and I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ts and not nows as you possibly can.

LEO (July 23â&#x20AC;&#x201C;August 22) When did you ďŹ rst fall from grace? Do you remember? It has happened to most of us. We spend time being privileged or cared about or respected, and then, suddenly, we no longer are. We lose our innocence. Love disappears. Our status as a favorite comes to an end. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the bad news, Leo. The good news is that I think the months ahead may be time for you to climb back up to one of those high states of grace that you fell from once upon a time. The omens suggest that even now youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re making yourself ready to rise back upâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and sooner than you think, there will be an invitation to do so.

VIRGO (August 23â&#x20AC;&#x201C;September 22) Leonardo da Vinci created the painting St. Jerome in the Wilderness around 1480. It now hangs in the Pinacoteca Vaticana, a museum in Vatican City. For several centuries, though, the treasured work of art was missing. Legend tells us that in the early 19th century, Napoleonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s uncle found the lower half of the painting in a junk shop in Rome. Years later he stumbled upon the top half in another back alley, where it was being used as a wedge in a shoemakerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bench. I foresee the possibility of a comparable sequence unfolding for you in 2014, Virgo. You just may manage to restore a lost beauty to its proper place of honor, one step at a time.

LIBRA (September 23â&#x20AC;&#x201C;October 22) The Italian painter Tintoretto (1518â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1594) was a Libra. He worked with such vigor and passion that he was nicknamed Il Furiosoâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the Furious. One of his crowning

achievements was his painting Paradise, which is 74 feet long and 30 feet tallâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;about the size of a tennis court. It adorns a huge wall in the Dogeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Palace, a landmark in Venice. I propose that Tintoretto serve as one of your inspirational role models in 2014. The coming months will be an excellent time for you to work hard at crafting your own personal version of paradise on earth. You may not be so wildly robust to deserve the title â&#x20AC;&#x153;Il Furioso.â&#x20AC;? But then again, you might.

SCORPIO (October 23â&#x20AC;&#x201C;November 21) Between 2002 and 2009, Buddhist monk Endo Mitsunaga spent a thousand days meditating as he did a ceremonial walk around Mount Hiei in Japan. In 2006, English writer Dave Cornthwaite took 90 days to skateboard across the entire length of Australia, a distance of 3,618 miles. The ďŹ rst manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intentions were spiritual, the second manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s adventurous. The coming months will be prime time for you to contemplate both kinds of journeys, Scorpio. The astrological omens suggest that you will generate extra good fortune for yourself by seeking out unfamiliar experiences on the open road. To get yourself in the mood, ruminate on the theme of pilgrimage.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22â&#x20AC;&#x201C;December 21) Many farms in Californiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tulare County grow produce for supermarket chains. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the problem: Those big stores only want fruits and vegetable that look perfect. So if there are brown spots on the apples or if the zucchinis grow crooked or if the carrots get too big, they are rejected. As a result, 30 percent of the crops go unharvested. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sad because a lot of poor people who live in Tulare donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have enough to eat. Fortunately, some enterprising food activists have begun to work out arrangements with farmers to collect the wasted produce and distribute it to the hungry folks. I gather thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a comparable situation in your life, Sagittarius: unplucked resources and ignored treasures. In 2014, I hope you take dramatic action to harvest and use them.

CAPRICORN (December 22â&#x20AC;&#x201C;January 19) Derrick Brown has a poem entitled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pussycat Interstellar Naked Hotrod Mofo Ladybug Lustblaster!â&#x20AC;? I hope that at least once in 2014 you will get up the nerve to call someone you love by that name. Even if you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t quite bring yourself to utter those actual words, it will be healing for you to get to the point where you feel wild enough to say them. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m driving at, Capricorn: on the coming months, you will be wise to shed any inhibitions that have interfered with you getting all of the free-ďŹ&#x201A;owing intimacy youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d love to have. AQUARIUS (January 20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;February 18) â&#x20AC;&#x153;Artists who are content merely to hone their gifts eventually come to little,â&#x20AC;? says the Belgian writer Simon Leys. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The ones who truly leave their mark have the strength and the courage to explore and exploit their shortcomings.â&#x20AC;? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to borrow that wisdom and provide it for you to use in 2014, Aquarius. Even if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not an artist, you will be able to achieve an interesting kind of success if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re willing to make use of the raw materials and untapped potential of your so-called ďŹ&#x201A;aws and weaknesses. Whatever is unripe in you will be the key to your creativity.

PISCES (February 19â&#x20AC;&#x201C;March 20) In 2014, you will have the mojo to escape a frustration that has drained you and pained you for a long time. I mean you can end its hold on you for good. The coming months will also provide you with the chance to activate and cultivate a labor of love that will last as long as you live. While this project may not bloom overnight, it will reveal its staying power in dramatic fashion. And you will be able to draw on the staunch faith youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll need to devote yourself to it until its full blessings ripen.

Go to REALASTROLOGY.COM to check out Rob Brezsnyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Expanded Weekly Audio Horoscopes and Daily Text Message Horoscopes. Audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 1.877.873.4888 or 1.900.950.7700.

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