34 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY FEBRUARY 1-7, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com CHILL Kombucha doesn’t have an origin story, per se, though it’s believed to have originated in China. But it’s only been in the last decade-plus that the beverage has fizzed up in global mass culture. That’s in part because consumers are increasingly aware of the salutary benefits of probiotics—healthy bacteria to fight off the bad bacteria—but it’s also probably on account of it being delicious. And while it’s now widely available at supermarkets, sometimes it’s nice to drink a fermented beverage from a tap—especially if it’s from a small, regional company. And thankfully, it’s possible to do that at Alta Bakery in Monterey, which offers two rotating flavors from Santa Cruz-based Living Swell Kombucha, founded in 2021 by two moms that are neighbors. And starting Feb. 1, it will also be available at Other Brother Beer Co. in Seaside. Living Swell founders Sophie Slosberg and Summer Torrez say they’re looking to expand to more locations in Monterey County. At Alta, they go through about four kegs a month. If you like kombucha—and some people don’t, for whatever reason— you can’t go wrong with either option in the rotation. A recent taste of the Sweet Aloha, a black tea-based brew with pineapple, strawberry and vanilla was excellent, with pineapple making the most assertive play on the palate. It might seem like an odd choice during the season of “pineapple express” rain storms. Just remember it’s good for you. Alta Bakery and Cafe, 502 Munras Ave., Monterey. 920-1018, altamonterey.com. Bubble Up If you like kombucha in a bottle, there are also local places to try it on tap—and there may soon be more. By David Schmalz SEND IDEAS TO: chill@mcweekly.com DAVID SCHMALZ ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Happiness” is an amorphous term with a different meaning for everyone. What makes me feel happy may be unlike what works for you. Besides that, any kind of perfect happiness is impossible to achieve. However we define it, we are always a mix of being happy and unhappy. Nevertheless, I invite you to ruminate about the subject in the coming days. I believe you are primed to arrive at a realistic new understanding of your personal version of happiness—and raise your happiness levels by at least 15 percent. Maybe more! Now here are helpful clues from philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: “Precisely the least thing, the gentlest, lightest thing, the rustling of a lizard, a breath, a whisk, a twinkling of the eye—what’s little makes up the quality of the best happiness. Soft!” TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I invite you to take an inventory of your taboos, inhibitions, and restrictions. Meditate on why you originally adopted them. Evaluate how well they have served you and whether they are still meaningful. If you find any of them have become unnecessary or even injurious, jettison them. And be excited and happy about being free of them. If you decide that some taboos, inhibitions, and restrictions are still wise for you to maintain, thank them for their service and honor the self-protection they provide. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Gemini novelist Gregory Maguire says there are a “thousand ways people shrink from life, as if chance and change are by their nature toxic and disfiguring.” Your assignment in the coming weeks is to contradict his theory. I’m hoping you will interpret all chance and change as potentially expansive, redemptive, and interesting. You will never shrink from life, but will boldly meet challenges and embrace twists of fate as interesting opportunities. I have abundant faith in your ability to carry out this vigorous project! CANCER (June 21-July 22): You could be a masterful eliminator of toxins and wastes in the coming weeks. Do it both for yourself and for those you care about. Start by purging nonessentials that obstruct the flow of the good life. These might include defunct fantasies, mistaken understandings, apathetic attitudes, and unloving approaches. Among the other dross or dreck you could root out is any clutter that’s making familiar environments feel oppressive. By the way, fellow Cancerian, this should be fun. If it’s not, you’re doing it wrong. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): My goals right now are to inspire you in the following three ways: 1. to be full of love for your daily life; 2. to adore yourself exactly as you are; 3. to shed any numbness or boredom you feel and replace them with alert aliveness. To help you in this exalted effort, I offer the inspiration of three quotes. 1. “The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson. 2. “The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” –Eden Phillpotts. 3. “I have the mysterious feeling of seeing for the first time something I have always known.” –Bernardo Bertolucci. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In the coming weeks, I hope you avoid sucking up to egotistical manipulators. Please also refrain from being an unappreciated beast of burden and a half-willing pawn in boring games. If you are interested in paying off karmic debts, make sure they are yours, not anyone else’s. If you plan to work hard to lay the foundation for a future liberation, get a guarantee that YOU will be one of the liberated people. PS: I’m fine with you doing unselfish things as long as they will also have selfish benefits. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): One of the great maladies affecting modern people is the atrophy of the soul. It’s related to another affliction: the apathy of the soul. A key contributor to these misfortunes is the entertainment industry. Its shallow and artificial stimuli are engineered to overfeed our egos, leaving our poor souls malnourished. Please note that I have no problem with our egos. They are an important part of our make-up and are essential for healthy functioning. But it’s a shame they hog all the glory and sustenance. Now here’s my climactic message for you, Libra: It’s high time to celebrate a holiday I call Nurture the Soul. Make it last at least three weeks. Homework: Identify three actions you will take to excite, cherish, and enhance your soul. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In myth and legend, pregnancies don’t always begin with two humans having sexual communion. The wellknown story of the Virgin Mary tells us she was impregnated when the Holy Spirit, disguised as a dove, whispered in her ear. The Roman goddess Juno conceived her son Mars solely with the help of an enchanted lily flower. This might sound outlandish, but I foresee you having a metaphorically comparable experience. Might you be dramatically awakened or inspired by a very subtle influence? I think it will happen even if you don’t believe. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Sagittarian computer scientist Grace Hopper wrote, “The most damaging phrase in the language is: ‘It’s always been done that way.’” I will expand on that wisdom. The most obvious meaning is that we risk ignoring our individualized needs and suppressing our creative inspirations if we mindlessly conform to the habits of society. But it’s equally important not to mindlessly repeat our own longstanding ways of doing things. In conclusion, Sagittarius, I recommend you rebel against your own personal “it’s always been done that way” as well as everyone else’s. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Being in love is as desirable for you Capricorns as it is for everyone else. You may be less open and dramatic than the rest of us in expressing your yearnings, but they are still a driving force. Here’s an important point: Even if you are not constantly chattering to others about your urges to give and receive intimate care, it’s crucial that you acknowledge them to yourself. To keep your soul healthy, you must be in close touch with this core fuel. You must love your need for love. Now is an excellent time to deepen your appreciation for these truths. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): It’s the fifth annual Brag Therapy Holiday—for you Aquarians only. During this celebration, we want you to boast with panache. Tell us all in exquisite detail why you are such a marvelous creation. Explain how you have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Regale us with stories of your winsome qualities, your heroic triumphs, and your adventures on the edge of reality. Show us why we should regard you as a role model. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I invite you to resolve old business, draw unrewarding projects to a close, and finish your lessons at the School of Tough Love. You don’t have to carry out my next proposal, but if you do, I will be glad: Politely and quietly scream, “Get out of my life” at anyone who doesn’t give you the respect and kindness you deserve. I also recommend that you do a Wrap-It-Up Ritual. Take scraps of paper and write on each one a description of an influence or experience you want to purge from your life. As you rip each scrap into bits, say this: “I’m grateful for what I have learned from you, but now I am leaving you behind.” FREEWILLASTROLOGY In addition to this column, Rob Brezsny offers EXPANDED WEEKLY AUDIO HOROSCOPES and DAILY TEXT MESSAGE HOROSCOPES. To buy access, go to www.RealAstrology.com. Audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700. By Rob Brezsny • February 1-7, 2024 ♦ 3 Card Poker ♠ Century 21st No Bust Black Jack ♣ Texas Hold’em ♥ Baccarat FULL BAR! BLACKJACK BONUS POINTS PAYS UP TO $20,000 SMALL TOWN BIG PAYOUTS! 1-800-Gambler • Gega-003846, Gega-Gega-003703, Gega-000889 Gega-000891 Gega-002838 The Marina Club Casino ensures the safety and security of all guests and team members at all times, while providing exceptional service. 204 Carmel Ave. Marina 831-384-0925 casinomonterey.com ♠ ♣ ♥ ♦ Just minutes from Downtown Monterey Where Monterey Comes To Play