Santa Cruzing

By Zachary Michael Jack — Last month I followed through on my long-procrastinated resolution to dive into the fecund stew of civic and community life in our free-wheeling, hyper-educated, fully self-actualized neighbor to the north: Santa Cruz.
Like anyone else I’d hiked some redwood trails on my prior cruises through Cruzland, sucked down a cocktail or two at The Red, and wandered through the stacks at Logos bookstore until my head spun with Nietzche and Kant, but really I was nothing more than a plebe among the legions of SC wannabes. Had I really sampled from the incredible potpourri of clubs, organizations, and support groups…hardly!
Quicker than I could say Penny Ice Creamery or Weed Dispensary I found myself overwhelmed by the sea of almost unreal possibilities available to me in this Utopia-by-the-ocean. I eagerly listed the options on my doodle pad until I was left with jumbled sheaves of 20-pound bright white office paper decorated with the names of authentic civic outlets and community events conflated with my own random doodles and neural misfirings.
Days later I surrendered my quest for truth, deciding instead to make a multiple-choice exam of my transcendent confusion, a quiz which I now happily administer to you. So get out your Number Two pencil, put on your thinking cap, stoke up your pipe, and submit for questioning!
Question Number One: Which of the following is NOT the subject of a real-life lecture the enterprising Santa Cruzian might have attended last month in their everlasting quest for superior health and well-being:
1)   Intro to Ketosis and Ketogenic Diets
2)   Six Steps (Ed Note: not to be confused with “Sex Steps”) To a Marketing Plan
3)   B-12 Vitamin Happy Hour
4)   Overeaters Anonymous
5)   Partner Yoga
The first one’s always the easiest, right…so on to Level Two! Go on…put this one in your bong and smoke it.
Question Two: Which of the following is NOT a class or study group you could join in that transcendent hippieland across the bay:
Therapeutic Yoga with Kim
Bloom of the Present Weekly Drop-in
A Course in Miracles
Shake the Square Salsa
Compassionate Conversations
Question Three: In the mood for a good laugh, a good bite, a good tune, or a good… whatever? Which of the following would NOT be an option on your visit to Surf City?
Comedy Contest Featuring Monkeyhands
Fried Chicken, Bubbles & Bourbon
Sunset Beach Bowls and Bonfire
Chastity Belt
Call Curt. Feel good now!
Happy Gardens Rototilling
In the end I did what any overwrought test-taker would do and threw up my monkeyhands in glorious frustration at the head-swim of a Brave New World that stretched out before me like a double-jointed guru. If I could dream it, I could do it. If I could need it, I could feed it. And in between I could get help with brain fog, memory problems, unexplained aches, and expanding waistlines. I could get a quickie lymphatic drainage while I left my car at Jiffy Lube for an oil change. I could LIVE UP TO LIFE’S CHALLENGES!, get an herbal foot message, re-educate my unacceptably uneducated movements, improve my flexibility forever, and find out, once and for all, whether my hormones really were making me crazy. If time permitted I could even get a European wax then mix and match authentic South American swimwear…Women’s and Men’s.
Dude, labels are for losers!
If I wasn’t so busy working out the infinite possibilities of a week in Santa Cruz I’d supply the answers to the tricksy quiz above in that nifty Cosmopolitan-style upside down type we all dig, but the truth is my typographical movements are badly in need of re-educating, and my karma is so clogged I’d need an affordable plumber to get to the bottom of it, which, come to think of it, is the one thing I couldn’t find in my cruise of the legendary Surf City.
Besides, it’s all true, every last unbelievable bit of it.

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