subscribe cover archive advertise contact posters


Cover | Andy Singer

St. Nick Gets in Shape (watercolor, gouache and colored pencil). Andy Singer is a four-armed, six-eyed alien with large horns and powerful jaws. He came from the planet Neptor to observe the earth and make small drawings of everything he sees. His multiple arms enable him to be very prolific and his multiple eyes enable him to see things that most humans are unaware of. If you see him riding his bicycle around town, don’t be intimidated by his appearance—he’s really quite friendly. He drew this month’s cover image from life using watercolor, gouache and colored pencil. He is friends with Saint Nicholas (who is also an alien) and traveled around with him last Christmas. Said Andy, “Nick was getting really fat and his doctor told him he needed to ditch the reindeer and get more exercise . . . so he started delivering Christmas gifts by bicycle.” You can see more of Andy’s work at



New: Digital Edition

Read a digital version of The Monthly in a format that allows you to turn the pages like the print edition. Click icon.



December 2008 Issue:
Table of Contents

|  Home for the Holidays
The 1995 film Home for the Holidays, starring Holly Hunter, about a comedic (both dark and light) trip back home for Thanksgiving, inspired our essay roundup. Eight essayists tell stories from a child’s eye to the mind’s eye, from poignant family lore to lighter fare. Each of these literary lights takes us into the season with moving, funny, irreverent moments in time. By Veronica Chater, Melinda Clemmons, Anna Mindess, Mike Rosen-Molina, Christine Schoefer, Ransom Stephens, Rachel Trachten and Sarah Weld.  

Up Front | Opera Alchemy
Frederica von Stade, known to all as “Flicka,” stars in Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer’s chamber opera Three Decembers. A collaboration with the San Francisco Opera, the Cal Performances show is an intimate look at three decades of relationships between glamorous actress Madeline Mitchell and her two grown children, including one whose lover is ill with AIDS. The opera showcases the magic of Flicka and Heggie. By Jason Victor Serinus.  

East Bay Life |  The Little Company that Could
Berkeley-based is the East Bay’s only full-service, locally owned Internet Service Provider., nearly swallowed by a bigger tech company seven years ago, is the computer version of your local farmers’ market. The staff is quirky, mellow and all about personal service. Sound like a Berkeley brand? It is. By Gina Gotsill.

The Kilduff File |  Dick Meyer
NPR’s Dick Meyer says Americans are not as polarized or ideological as the political establishment would have us believe.  By Paul Kilduff

Holiday Gift Guide
View it in print and in the Digital Edition above.

Available in print and in the
digital edition above:

Editor’s Note:
a look at this month’s issue and commentary on life in the East Bay

Letters: reader responses to The Monthly’s stories
Be East Bay: an introduction to interesting people, places and events in your community

Critics Choice: highlights of this month’s happenings in art, theater, film, dance and music

Boutique Bazaar: distinctive small shops in the East Bay

Food for Thought: local caterers and food and wine purveyors

Dining Guide: a selection of East Bay restaurants

Marketplace Home: a catalog of services for your home and garden

Marketplace Services: a catalog of personal and creative services

Kartoon Korner: editorial cartoons to entertain and agitate

subscribe cover archive advertise contact posters