Chico style

Ghost deer in the walnut orchard.

Ghost deer in the walnut orchard.

Photo By sarah campbell

2013 is looking right at me You’ll have to excuse Arts DEVO if his head isn’t in the game this week. I’ve been on an extended staycation and have spent the last two weeks basking in the warmth of family and friends, listening to music, puttering around the DEVO compound, making (and drinking) crafty brews, reading, and leisurely walking through Bidwell Park with Honey the Poodle and Mrs. DEVO. These cold but sunny days have provided a crisp and invigorating sky-blue start to the new year, and right now I’d love nothing more than to be outside being invigorated.

But, since I must be in this chair in front of this screen, at least I can sneak away every few moments to and enjoy the Chico scenery virtually at local artist Sarah Campbell’s Flickr page. Campbell’s photos are incredible, and showcase the wide range of beautiful features in and around Chico. (Check out the chilling shot of the protective buck who engaged Campbell in a staring contest in a walnut orchard.) Click on the “Nature Nerd” and “Chico” sets to get started, and also check out sets featuring Campbell’s wonderful tile (and other) art, which you can buy at her site (search “Black Cat Bazaar”).

It’s a gas gas gas! The month-long barn-raising—via the ongoing campaign and various fundraising events—to save The Bookstore downtown has been an inspiring example of the Chico community coming together. (Indiegogo has brought in roughly $22,000 so far!) And at the end of this month, the Living Karaoke Band is upping the ante with its Let ’em Read party (Friday, Jan. 25, at the DownLo), a tribute to the Rolling Stones and a benefit for The Bookstore. Visit right now and pick a song, sign up, and start practicing dancing like a 69-year-old man.

Number nine, number nine … The art stars are aligning this week as Avenue 9 Gallery celebrates nine years of showcasing local (and visiting) artists with a Ninth Birthday Bash at its Ninth Avenue location on Friday, Jan. 11, 5-8 p.m. To help commemorate the occasion, the gallery put out a call out for poems or prose featuring nine lines (email So, if it’s not too late:

Nine blocks or so

Freight trains used to run though the middle of Chico,

right down Main Street and on to The Esplanade.

It’s only been 20 years since the tracks were ripped away,

and the road remembers the weight and carries us north.

It’s Friday evening

and I’ve bribed the conductor with a TRIPLE THICK milkshake

to make a stop at the art show

to join our neighbors

streaming toward the warm heart of Chico Vecino tonight.