Thursday, October 30, 2003
BARMAIDS AND BUNGEES... The Pebbles Writers Group has been meeting every other Thursday for years, to share ideas and critique each other''s writing. It''s an eclectic group, including Walter Gourlay, Patricia Matuszewski, Ken Jones, Carol Brown Kauffman, Linda Grant, Illia Thompson, Joy Ware, Georgia Hubley, Lynda Jardine, Helen Olson, Marnie Sperry, Martin Dodd, Harold Grice, Peter Hoss, and the Thunderbird''s own May Waldroup. On Saturday, Nov. 8, the group is unveiling its second collection of poetry and short stories, The Barmaid, the Bean Counter and the Bungee Jumper, at a 4pm reception and reading at the Thunderbird. Many of the pieces are set on the Central Coast, such as Waldroup''s moving testimonial to a local homeless man who used to play the flute. Others run far afield, including Gourlay''s fantasy tale of running into Albert Einstein in Central Park in the waning days of 1999. Drop on by Nov. 8 and raise a glass.
MUSIC FOR PEACE... I was sitting in the Weekly''s conference room last week with Israeli student Nissim Malul, who is bringing the Amen Peace Tour to MPC''s Music Hall on Nov. 2 at 5pm, when his cellphone rang. It was Syrian guitar-player Fathi Al-Jarah, who lives in San Jose, offering to come play with the Israeli musicians in the name of peace. "Wallah," Malul shouted into the phone (that''s Arabic slang for "awesome"). The two musicians in Amen are part of the Sulha Peace Project, a group of Israeli Arabs and Jews who get together twice a year in the Galilee to drum, dance, sing, eat each other''s food, and try to get past the hatred surrounding them. Amen is on a month-long US tour, playing music, leading discussions, and, hopefully, dispelling misconceptions (see Hot Picks p. 28). "We want to give Americans a different picture than what they see on CNN," says Malul.