STAR POWER… Squid long ago came to terms with Squid’s inner self. Cephalopods are naturally secure with their place in the world, after all. But Squid has watched as humans struggle with personal awareness, spiritual balance and whatever they hope to achieve through primal screams.

Still, Squid was drawn to a new inspirational activity called the Star Bathing Experience. There is something tranquil in the vast night sky, and a lot to learn about stars and planets, the wonders of the universe. Ventana Big Sur hosts the experience, and a release from the resort’s public relations firm, Murphy O’Brien, teased Squid with promises of a “night hike through towering redwood trees and whispering meadows.” Squid could see how basking in all of that and a vivid night sky might promote inner peace. The jerky, trail mix and CBD cocktails provided along the way gives Star Bathing a hippie vibe (though without the high).

Squid was all set to ooze down the coast when resort reality struck. Squid realized Ventana had monetized the act of looking at the sky, slapping a $150 price tag on a walk in the dark with beef jerky in the pocket. If humans will go to that length to find themselves, Squid decided Squid could get a cut. The night sky, a row boat just outside Squid’s lair, a few tokes on a pre-roll – all for $10. Squid would throw in some shrimp-flavored popcorn, but after Squid’s Super Bowl bet, Squid is temporarily on a catfish-bait diet.

STEAL AN ELECTION… Squid hates the idea of caucusing for the obvious reason that it would require leaving Squid’s lair. The Iowa Democratic Party did no favors to the credibility of the system on Feb. 3. But Squid needn’t look further than Monterey County for the latest in weird campaign antics as the California primary approaches March 3.

Adam Bolaños Scow, who is running for Congress, is playing a violin concert on Feb. 9 – to show off his musical skills, which may or may not have bearing on his policy-making skills.Steve McShane, who is running for county supervisor, released a commercial to talk about his commitment to solving the regional water crisis – and it features himself in the shower (visible only chest up, it’s not that kind of shower ad, but still weird) washing his hair and watching water go down the drain. It’s the kind of home video you can make for free, or with the whopping $310,000 and counting his campaign has raised.

But things took a turn for the sinister when a McShane supporter, who had a few campaign signs in her Salinas lawn, came home to discover the signs had vanished. Elections in the era ofRing cameras meant the homeowner could go back through footage to see a woman drive up to the curb, casually walk onto the lawn, pull up the signs, put them in her trunk and drive off – all in the middle of the day. For self-awareness training, Squid advises the sign thief to try stargazing.

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