Talk about rocking the boat.
The vessel sponsored by the Channel Islands Sailing Academy and the Ventura Reporter caused a commotion at last weekend's family-oriented holiday Parade of Lights in the Channel Islands Harbor. It had something to do with Miss Silverbelle, the boat's mascot.
"I sure noticed her," said former Ventura County Supervisor Ken MacDonald, one of the parade judges. "She was doing body action over the cabin toward the bow. She sort of seemed like she was doing the grind."
As it turns out, Miss Silverbelle is actually Shana Capri, an exotic dancer at Flashdance, a local firm, which she partially owns.
"She was a little racy. She's more used to performing at bachelor parties than at parades," said Rob Lowry of the Sailing Academy. "There were quite a few people in front of the docks, whooping it up and encouraging her. I brought my mom to take a look. She seemed to enjoy herself."
What did Miss Silverbelle think about the whole affair?
"A little racy is a good way to put it. It was a little nasty," she said. "The crowd reaction was great. I tend to be kind of flirtatious, so when they whooped at me, I'd whoop back."
Capri was dressed almost entirely in silver--silver halter, silver skirt, lace leggings and white leather boots.
She said both the outfit and the performance were appropriate for a G-rated holiday event.
"There was nothing in bad taste," she said. "It was very fun. No skin."
Remember that toy drive being run by Westwind Express Courier of Newbury Park?
Well, Westwind began picking up toys from local companies at the beginning of last week and in the first four days collected 3,500 toys.
Westwind President Steve Keihner expects that figure to be about 5,000 by the end of this week.
Keihner said one company donated 1,000 toys and another company chipped in with about 600.
"And I've got others scheduled three weeks in advance," he said. Most of the toys will go to the Toys for Tots program.
Yes, they fly by every year about this time and you should know them pretty well by now.
Go ahead, try and name all of Santa's eight reindeer?
It's a safe bet that Ventura County store Santas can.
"I don't let them have their costumes unless they know the reindeer without looking," said Sandi Ruben, who trains Santas at the Western Temporary Services office in Thousand Oaks.
"They all know Rudolph, but he's the extra one. It's like naming the Seven Dwarfs--no one knows them all."
On a more serious note, Ruben said she's teaching this year's crop of Clauses something she hasn't dealt with in past years.
She's making sure that Santas are prepared for children who have parents in the Persian Gulf.
"That's going to be a question for Santas," she said. "We tell them to say that Santa only brings toys and presents and that's beyond his scope. If they push it further, we say that only President Bush can bring them home."
Here's some seasonal advice for you men out there, courtesy of Bill Kamenson (alias The Guy Spy), who will be the main act at the Ventura Concert Theatre's comedy night tomorrow:
"Holidays have a different meaning for men than they do for women," he said. "If you pay attention to the holidays, it shows caring and consideration. If you're able to play the holidays correctly, you can build up enough merit points to hold you through Valentine's Day."
He said giving the proper gift is important.
"There's the old axiom that it's the thought that counts," Kamenson said. "But through my experience I've found out that the label counts more than the thought. If it was only the thought, believe me, I'd just think about it."
As much as we trust the advice of a comic, we went to a professional for some further suggestions on gift giving.
Priscilla Partridge de Garcia, a clinical psychologist at Oxnard College, said if you want a particular Christmas gift, you've got to ask for it.
"Most of us aren't real good at that," she said.
Which doesn't mean you should ask for something very expensive.
In fact, Partridge de Garcia encourages people to keep money out of the holidays.
"Many times in our culture we think love is equated with money. My suggestion is don't give money gifts anymore, give coupons. Like for a walk on the beach, a cup of coffee," she said.
"Really try to stay away from financial stuff during the holidays. It really wrecks relationships."