.From The Editor

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Ever since Robert Anton Wilson died, challenging the conventional notions of reality just doesn’t seem like as much fun as it used to around these parts. I’m pretty sure Wilson would love Maria Grusauskas’ cover story about lucid dreaming this week, explaining as it does not only the mind-bending possibilities for this elusive and 100 percent natural altered state, but also the best way to go about achieving it. In honor of her attempt to draw upon her own dream life to help illustrate this journey, here is an actual dream of mine I recorded in a dream journal on May 29, 1997:

I was in the Good Times office just after lunch, when Rob came in and said he’d seen a great band at the Red Room called the Googleboggles. I said “What do they sound like?” And he said, “Kind of burnt.” This actually meant something to me.

The Rob in that dream was Rob Pratt, who I worked with at GT at the time, and who was also a member of Slow Gherkin, who ruled the music scene in Santa Cruz in the late ’90s, and are back to play a reunion show this week. Elsewhere in this issue, there are Buddhists who bowed their way through Santa Cruz, orcs and a look at the timeless question “Just how many Italian places can Seabright actually sustain, anyway?”  Read the cover story’s trippy take on dream state vs. reality, and then try to get through the rest of the issue without asking “Am I dreaming right now?”





Take a Bow, Ow

Your article on philanthropy and volunteering (GT, 12/3) was a bright spot of news and welcome reading. I would like to add that one of the most influential generous givers in Santa Cruz is George Ow, Jr.  George has contributed to countless cultural organizations, events and individuals. The list would fill columns. He deserves a special thank you from our community.

Maura Kelsea, Santa Cruz

No Joke

In your 12/10 issue you noted praise given for the Rio Theatre by a couple of comedians who performed there, and I’d like to second that praise as no laughing matter. Santa Cruz is lucky to have such a great venue thanks to [owner] Laurence [Bedford] and others who make it work.

I would like to add very high praise and thanks in particular for a pre-show announcement made before the recent Judy Collins’ performance. Not sure if that was coming from the Rio team, Pulse Productions, or Collin’s crew, but it was an in-depth appeal for all to completely unplug and not annoyingly use any devices. It was so well put and followed by such a big applause that it completely worked.

The same appeal should be made before all seated performances. There are way too many people that either don’t understand or don’t care that holding up a cell phone for photos or videos in a darkened theater is equivalent to holding high a bright flashlight aimed at all the people behind.

Rich Apple, Santa Cruz


I appreciate the shout out in Mr. Pulcrano’s note on the opinion page about the new logo, and, while I was proud to contribute hand lettering and illustration to the Express, it should be pointed out that its innovative, script-based logo was designed by Eric Mathes.

Carl Rohrs, Santa Cruz

Online Comments

Re: Good Times Holiday Giving

Thank you to the people who make up these organizations. People who dedicate their paid or minimally paid time to these organizations are what make ideals a reality in our community, and are what make Santa Cruz, in my opinion, such a wonderful place to live. Thank you to all the community nonprofit workers!      

Rebecca Smith

Re: Local Author Gift Guide

Thank you for the mention of my novel [“The Moment of Everything”]! I’m in amazing company here. If any readers out there choose my book for their book club, I’m happy to come to your club meeting to answer any questions. Wishing everyone many happy holiday books!      

Shelly King

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photo contest

fotocontestBALANCING ACT A limber couple practicing slow-motion movement in front of the lighthouse. Photo by Louise West.


good work


Props to both Mountain Feed & Farm Supply and Mission Hill Creamery for showing some true holiday spirit last Saturday. Ben Lomond’s Mountain Feed hosted a free concert by the Banana Slug String Band for kids, followed by a Santa photo-op (he also joined the band on guitar and vocal for “Mele Kalikimaka”), while Santa Cruz’s Mission Hill Creamery doled out free scoops of ice cream and cups of hot chai.




good idea


Students at Santa Cruz County high schools will wrap your presents at the Capitola Mall this week, for a cause. Though the wrapping is free, there is a suggested donation of $1, with proceeds going to Second Harvest Food Bank. Food Bank staff and volunteers will be on hand for four days, from Friday, Dec. 19, through Monday, Dec. 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by the giving tree near the fountain.





“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” — Eleanor Roosevelt



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