School is in; Carver is back; Mark Lore is married; Stacey is gone

Sounds cool, I swear.

Sounds cool, I swear.

No dark sarcasm in the classroom

Fall is here, hear the yell/ Back to school, ring the bell/ Brand new shoes, walking blues/ Climb the fence, books and pens/ I can tell that we are gonna be friendsWhite Stripes, “We Are Gonna Be Friends”

Hey kids. It’s still a hundred degrees outside, and you’re back in school, stuck in class while the playground and your freedom melt away outside.

But there is something that might help take your mind off the fact that there are more than five weeks of actual summer left: ukulele classes. No, really. Think about it. There’s almost nothing that you could do to more quickly conjure up a cooling ocean breeze than plink a few bright notes on the signature instrument of the Hawaiian Islands. And, as fate would have it, the Chico Children’s Ukulele Group (aka “Chi Chi U G,” if you dare) is just about to kick off its second-annual series of classes. It all starts Aug. 16 and continues every Tuesday, 6 p.m., at Trinity United Methodist Church, through mid-December, culminating in a live concert by all the new students.

Your spine might be collapsing into molded plastic, but your spirit will be kicking up a little sand. Call 891-5060 for info.

Until next time, Cambria.

Photo By amy greenfield

Central coastal living Speaking of kicking up sand, Mrs. DEVO and I just got back from lovely Cambria and the wedding of BFFF and former CN&R Arts Editor Mark Lore and former CN&R intern (hey, wait a second) Alexis Harmon. The wedding on the picturesque farm in the foothills was perfect, as was the time spent absorbing ocean breezes one last time before Mrs. D returns to teaching 5-year-olds. My only regret, now that I’ve seen the pictures of Arthur Harold Beal’s wacky visionary “house” on the Internet, is that I did not follow my gut instinct and go up that road with the sign that read “Nitt Witt Ridge.”

I guess I’ll just have to go back again next summer. I should probably make reservations now. Who’s in?

Tomlin and Waits, by Raymond Carver.

Ray is back! One of the all-time raddest projects in the history of Blue Room Theatre was the old Raymond Carver Festival in honor of famed American writer and former Chico State student (whose short stories were also the inspiration for the vignettes in Robert Altman’s compelling 1993 film Short Cuts). Well, after many years away, the RCF is back on the Blue Room schedule (Nov. 3-18), featuring all new stage adaptations of his short stories plus readings of original works by local authors.

Sigh This week is the last week at the CN&R for Calendar Editor Stacey Kennelly, and I am starting to freak out a little. Stacey is off to UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism in a week or so, and to say that she makes my job (and the jobs of my editorial colleagues) easier would be a major understatement. In her two years with us, she has been a fastidious and microprocessor-quick calendar editor, an eager and passionate writer for all sections of the paper, and a very fun, lively person to share an office with.

Stacey’s fearlessness, energy for the work and sunny and kind personality are a powerful combination, and once she adds the tools of Berkeley’s J-school, she will undoubtedly soon be taking over the world.

Good luck, my friend. It’s been a pleasure to work with you. I can’t wait to hear the stories you will tell.