WHO IS this El Nino, and why is he messing with our weather? I haven’t seen a wet May like this since I lived in Minnesota, where spring showers were as common as ants at a picnic. All I can say is, the “big guy” upstairs has a great sense of humor. High above the clouds, he must get a kick out of sunshine one minute and rain the next.
I’m also thinking God is an environmentalist, and the members of Montclair Presbyterian Church would probably agree. Known for their social activism and earth-friendly agenda, the parishioners picked a Sunday, recently, to honor hybrids — cars that sip gas and barely pollute. The church’s Richard Larsen says they parked 16 hybrids at Thornhill School, including three Hondas and 13 Priuses.
“Our pastor, Karen Stokes, indicated during her sermon in late 2000 that she and her husband had bought a hybrid,” he says, “and parishioners were encouraged to look at the technology themselves.
As a Prius driver, I applaud your efforts and hope more folks follow your lead. We are stewards of the earth, and driving a hybrid is one way to make a difference. And if it gets you points with the “man upstairs,” that’s even better.
BAD GIRLS: Hundreds of women packed the Claremont Resort’s Empire Ballroom the other night to hear East Bay writer Cameron Tuttle. She’s the author of the “Bad Girl’s Guides,” which urge women to lighten up, to laugh, and to explore their inner passions. Cameron says too many women take on the burdens of family, friends and community, never giving themselves permission to have fun. It’s the Desperate Housewife syndrome and Tuttle saw it in her own family growing up, of all places, in Orinda’s Happy Valley. Look for a sitcom based on her books, coming out this month on the UPN network.
TAP TALK: What’s all the hub-bub about the new pub on Broadway? Apparently the old Hofbrau has been reincarnated into Luka’s Tap Room, and boasts not only beer but “the funkiest jukebox in all of Oakland with a tall stack of funky, funky, 45s for your listening pleasure. There’s plenty of room to groove, too, with a 1,200 square-foot dance space — and deejay — in the lounge. And remember the big neon hofbrau sign that graced that location for years? It’s been donated to the Museum of Neon Art in Los Angeles.
RIVER RAFTING: Heavy rains mean swollen rivers and that’s good news for hills couple Dick and Suzie Linford. They co-own Echo River Trips, one of the oldest river running companies in the west. One of their favorite rivers is the Tuolumne, which is running high and fast right now with over 40 rapids including the hair-raising Clavey Falls. It’s not Niagra in a barrel, but it’s a trip you’ll never forget. For more information, the web site is echotrips.com.
REAL SURREAL: It was like stepping into a Quentin Tarantino movie when I walked into Kingman’s Lucky Lounge the other night. Friends had been talking about the Grand Avenue bar and I soon found out why. Zagat rated for its nightlife, this is the perfect place for a cocktail and conversation. Fun and eclectic, deejays spin their own brand of background music as you sip $2.50 well drinks. And no, that’s not a typo. But sit there long enough and you’ll be pinching yourself to see if you’re dreaming.