Wed05272015

News

LASD opens registration for online strategy sessions

As the Los Altos School District plans how to spend its $150 million in Measure N bond funds, its initial goal is to broaden community input.

Following an April 22 meeting, the district is casting a wider net in the hopes of soliciting feedback from...

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Schools

Students discuss academic, social pressure in CHAC forum

Students discuss academic, social pressure in CHAC forum


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Community Health Awareness Council hosted a forum earlier this month where local students discussed the varied pressures they face.

Local students face enormous pressures in their lives, ranging from academic to social, but s...

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Community

Alan Alda discusses career, family and science at the Celebrity Forum

Alan Alda discusses career, family and science at the Celebrity Forum


Alda

Those who laughed along with Hawkeye Pierce on the long-running TV program “M*A*S*H*” would have enjoyed the recent Foothill College Celebrity Forum Speakers Series featuring actor Alan Alda.

Alda appeared May 13-15 at the Flint Center for...

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Sports

Eagles, Spartans advance

Eagles, Spartans advance


Town Crier file photo
Los Altos High’s Lizzy Beutter registered three hits in last week’s playoff win over Watsonville. She was also the winning pitcher.

Led by Lizzy Beutter, host Los Altos High whipped Watsonville 9-0 in the opening ro...

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Comment

Giving the thumb to what's done: Editorial

In the wake of recent Los Altos-area news events, we’re all thumbs.

Thumbs-down: To the Los Altos City Council’s decision to put the Walter Singer bust in storage. This is wrong on so many levels – even worse than the initial council decision to tra...

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Special Sections

Planting is possible despite drought

Planting is possible despite drought


Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Wash the soilless mix off the root ball into the same container in which you have placed the clay soil from the planting hole. Remove at least an inch from the top and sides of the plant.

In this continuing dro...

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Business

Los Altos-based startup eyes digital makeup color-matching

Los Altos-based startup eyes digital makeup color-matching


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Kokko Inc. Makeup Director Meli Pennington, standing, tests different shades of foundation on Los Altos resident Karen Melchior.

Meli Pennington knows cosmetics.

She has painted faces for the pages of Vogue and Glamour,...

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Books

Horan’s ‘Loving Frank’ offers fictionalized account of famed architect’s illicit affair

Horan’s ‘Loving Frank’ offers fictionalized account of famed architect’s illicit affair


In the 1920s, two married people fall in love, leave their spouses and children and set about living and traveling together. Affairs of this sort were considered shocking at the time. But the scandal was heightened given that the man was Frank Lloy...

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People

GUY WILSON SHOUP

Guy Wilson Shoup, 80, died on April 28, 2015, at his Palo Alto apartment, after a long period of ill health. Born on November 22, 1934, to Margaret Owen Shoup and to Jack Wilson Shoup (the second son of Paul Shoup, widely considered the founder of Lo...

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Travel

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds


Photos Courtesy of Dave Hadden
Los Altos residents Dave and Joan Hadden watched the scenery from the large boat and a smaller Zodiac.

Standing on the beach with hundreds of thousands of penguins is “the experience of a lifetime,” according to Ga...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Co. goes to 'town'

LA Stage Co. goes to 'town'


courtesy of Los Altos Stage Company
The Los Altos Stage Company production of “Urinetown: The Musical” opens this weekend.

The Los Altos Stage Company caps its 19th season with the musical comedy “Urinetown: The Musical,” scheduled to preview Th...

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Spiritual Life

Mercifully in His grip: Exploring our true position in Christ

I recently read a wonderful analogy about our true position in Christ. It was shockingly contrary to the messages impressed upon me in church, but deeply rooted in the Bible. The analogy is that of child and a parent. If you have ever taken a small ...

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Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Wings of Freedom takes flight: Moffett Field ground zero for World War II experience

Wings of Freedom takes flight: Moffett Field ground zero for World War II experience


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Passengers, above top, speak with B-25 pilot Syd Jones after their flight.

My assignment was to photograph and observe the B-25 Mitchell’s passengers, but as we bumped and dipped along the runway, I noticed my three c...

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The creative process: Something to muse on

I learned an old thing in a new way recently, that when applied could be transformative for anyone who struggles with harnessing creativity – and taming the ego. Here’s the thing: “It’s not about me.” Success – or failure, for that matter – doesn’t have to define you.

Author Elizabeth Gilbert (see the book review below) gave one of the most insightful TED Talks I have ever heard, discussing the origin of inspiration in creative writing.

Gilbert was motivated to find a way to understand and contain her surprising success after penning the best-selling memoir “Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia” (Viking Adult, 2006), without succumbing to the doomed realization that her best work might be behind her. She looked to history for the answer and discovered a way to do her work but detach herself from the outcome. She found her muse.

I encourage you to listen to her 18-minute TED Talk on her creative process. It is a delightful yarn and can be applied to many areas of life. (Visit ted.com and search for “Elizabeth Gilbert: your elusive creative genius.”)

The heart of her insightful presentation is that prior to the Renaissance, it was common knowledge that writers and artists received their words and plots, paintings and carvings, from a source outside of themselves. The Greeks referred to this helpful presence as a “daemon” and the Romans called it a “genius.” A more common reference in our day is that of a “muse.” These inspiring “others” got much of the credit for the creative works of that era. The author or artist was simply the conduit. This worked perfectly, alleviating the mere mortal of the angst he or she might feel in pursuit of exceeding his or her greatest work or at the prospect of being crushed by a lackluster performance.

Then came the Renaissance, when suddenly the human being became the center of the universe and any magical assistance from outside was dismissed. You no longer had a genius, you became the genius. The malleable human ego was constantly being judged and always found wanting.

Moving forward, our artists and writers frequently came to a sad demise, often at their own hand, because they could not contain their successes or failures. Our fragile human psyches were not designed for this kind of pressure. Gilbert describes it as “trying to swallow the sun.”

“Maybe (artistry) doesn’t have to be quite so full of anguish if you never happened to believe, in the first place, that the most extraordinary aspects of your being came from you,” she said. “But maybe, if you just believed that they were on loan to you from some unimaginable source for some exquisite portion of your life to be passed along when you’re finished … it starts to change everything.”

I’m just saying … not to brag, but I have always known how tragically deficient I am on my own. My dear mother did not try very hard to divide me from my imaginary friends, who still today are a source of great entertainment and wisdom in my inner landscape. I am never quite alone in that way.

Now, if you will excuse me, my daemon/genius/muse is telling me to button this up before everyone wants her attention. (She just can’t take that kind of pressure.)

Sharon Lennox-Infante is a Certified Life Coach who lives and works in Los Altos. For more information, visit sharonlennox.com.

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