BYLINE: DIANE MARLIN-DIRKX
On a New Yorker magazine summer cover with its much-appreciated artwork—always timely, with smart turns of teasing, a tear-or-two and sometimes snarky commentary, amusing and/or annoying—comes the colorful signature motif of the New Millennium. “Capturing the Memories” by Mark Ulriksen truly captures the modern family of today, whether “urb” to “suburb,” on a pristine sandy tan curve of beach, with aquamarine waves rolling up to their sandals, palm trees waving with the breezes in the background. In the center of all this beauty stand Dad, Mom, sis and bro in a photo-perfect line-up for a snap-shot working their digits to the bone (to the bane of the perfect vacation) on gadgets that are masters to our slavery, gluttonous for our time, eating up what we treasure most. That is, our human and loving connections face-to-face with our family, friends and surroundings. May we offer a treatment for the now-common addiction? Just disconnect. Simply hang-up, already. Be brave. You can do it, I know you can. Get your dash of dopamine for instant gratification from a playful tussle with your kid, a walk in the woods, a good book, holding your loved one’s hand. Web-surfing, tweeting, texting, and your email isn’t going anywhere. Take control. If on vacation, it’ll be there when you get back. Promise.
Friday, August 10, 10am-Noon. Forget about your librarian and library from childhood. Old Mrs. Grumpy with her iron grip on the book you want to check out, is no more. And a library, especially one as savvy as the Rancho Mirage Public Library, is no longer just a warehouse for books. (Hello!) It’s a lively place presenting music, art, discussion and learning for the whole community. To wit: Next Friday, The regular Book Discussion Group gathers at the library to discuss That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner for her second novel The Shipping News (1993). The quintessential American author’s short story Brokeback Mountain was adapted as an Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Glove Award-winning major motion picture release in 2005. “Ace” (2002) book is described as “an exhilarating story brimming with language, history, landscape, music, and love.” It tells the story of a young man, just out of college who is scouting for his life on a road trip. Intrigued? Meet with other readers of the book and yay or nay, give your take on the tantalizing tome. Presented by the Rancho Mirage Public Library Foundation. Location: 71-100 HWY 111, Rancho Mirage. For more information, call 760-341-7323.
Saturday, August 11, 7pm – Midnight. Hot? Here’s a cool shower you won’t want to miss. The 6th Annual Perseid Meteor Shower will be hosted by the Mojave Desert Land Trust who endeavors to preserve desert wilderness including our beautiful night skies under the stars. Romantic, yes? Here’s the sigh-worthy scoop. The Perseids are considered by many to be the best meteor shower of the year, sometimes peaking at 50 per hour. Expect a great night for meteor-watching, but wait: The star show will not be confined to the sky. The Southern California Desert Video Astronomers will donate their time and equipment to project spectacular live images from deep space onto the side of the Integratron building using powerful telescopes and a state-of-the-art projection system. Built in the 50s by aerospace engineer George Van Tassel who claimed that extraterrestrials gave him the all-wood design, it has an acoustically perfect sound chamber where you can experience a “sound bath.” A scientist from Joshua Tree National Park will give a presentation to ambient live music during the event. There will be a raffle, Aspen Mill desserts, and a coffee bar. Tickets are $40 per person for Land Trust members; $55 for non-members which includes membership. Kids 12 and under are free. Overnight camping is an additional $30 per person and includes a continental breakfast. Bring comfortable chairs or blankets, water bottles (refills available on site), flashlight, camping gear. Location: The Integratron, 2477 Belfield Blvd., Landers, CA 92285. More info: www.integratron.com. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Purchase tickets at www.mojavedesertlandtrust.org. Or call 760-366-5440.
Wednesday, August 15, 1:30 pm. What was the secret weapon that changed the world? The Palm Springs Air Museum presents an important overview of “The Manhattan Project” in recognition of August 15, 1945, when Emperor Hirohito of the Empire of Japan speaking on the radio told his people to lay down their arms and unconditionally surrender to the Allied Forces after his country suffered two atomic bombings the previous week. It’s a history lesson that the world will never forget. The lecture is included with the price of admission. Seating is limited. The Palm Springs Air Museum (PSAM) is an educational non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and honor our veterans while educating future generations. In over 65,000 square feet of climate controlled space, the PSAM has one of the largest collections of WWII aircraft, an immense library, flight simulators and tours through a flyable B-17. Movies show continuously from 11am in the Buddy Rogers Theatre. Open daily 10am-5pm. Admission ranges from $8 to $15, free for children under 6 and for active military with ID. For more info call 760-778-6262, or go to www.PalmSpringsAirMuseum.org
Saturday, August 18, 9am. The Desert Film Society knows how to foster the love of film by producing an international award-winning film, at a theatre that respects movies and audiences, with complimentary refreshments and intelligent discussion after the end credits. If you’re a film buff or buffette, you don’t want to miss the Coachella Valley Premiere of Teddy Bear from Denmark. The film has won awards at Sundance, World Cinema, and Romania’s Transylvania Film Festivals, along with rave reviews from The Hollywood Reporter, among others. Here’s the non-spoiler synopsis: Dennis, a 38-year-old bodybuilder, is looking for true love. He’s never had a girlfriend and lives with his overbearing mother in Copenhagen. When an uncle marries a girl from Thailand, Dennis tries his luck walking the same path. Camelot Theater, 2300 Baristo Rd., Palm Springs. Free to Desert Film Society members, $15 at the door. For more info, call 760-770-0507, or go to www.desertfilmsociety.com
Saturday, August 18, 8pm. And Sunday, August 19, 10am-12pm. Big Black Master Musician & Storyteller in two “telling the Blues” and “Hand-Drumming Meditation” performances that promise to raise the roof at Harrison House and rattle the senses of the audience with “every note dedicated to peace” according to the flyer. Big Black is acknowledged as the first to integrate the African drum into modern calypso and jazz music. He has performed with musical icons Lord Flea, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Dizzy Gillespie, among others. On Sunday, bring a drum and sit-in with the master! Tickets available at Joshua Tree Health Foods, 29 Palms HWY at Sunset St. Event Location: Harrison House 6881 Mount Lassen Ave, Joshua Tree. Call 760-366-4712 for more information. Suggested donation: Sat. $15/Sun $20; both performances, $30.
Sunday, August 26, 6pm to 9pm. The members of Winewomen are experts in the power play of the grape and all its varietals. An Evening At Arnold Palmer’s will introduce the restaurant’s new Executive Chef, Ivan Flowers, who has impeccable credentials from Le Cordon Bleu SCI, to Chef/Owner of Mary Elaine’s and Fournos Resaturant in Sedona, to his vaunted P.A. on the Food Network’s Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell. Just few outtakes from the menu herewith. The tray-passed hors d’oeuvre is dubbed “Evil Eggs” and laced with chipotle. The amuse-bouche is Chef Flowers’ award-winning Lobster Bisque Shooter. The Entrée is Filet Mignon with crispy Grilled Veggie Lasagna, Shallot Confit and Sauce Bordelaise. Excuse me while I dab the drool from my chin. All 5 courses are paired with the appropriate California wines. The dinner is a benefit for Childhelp PSP that meets the needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children. Winewomen members, $70; non-members, $80. Bring a friend and/or your significant other! Dress: Desert Evening Casual. Arnold Palmer’s Restaurant, 78-164 Ave. 52, La Quinta. For more info, call Kathleen, 760-880-5010.