(page 2 of 4)

Become a Speed Racer
Prepare for life in the fast lane at K1 Speed’s Karting Academy at the Rancho Cordova racing center. Led by professional driver Patricio Jourdain, who has raced in NASCAR Mexico and Spain’s Formula BMW, the one-day course revs you up with classroom sessions and a track walk-through reviewing racing concepts like extreme accelerating and braking, and taking tight turns. Then, buckle up for four practice sessions on the raceway with one-on-one feedback from Jourdain. Reaching speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, these aren’t worn-out carnival go-karts—the high-performance electric vehicles have 20-horsepower motors. Zoom zoom. $99. 3130 Bradshaw Rd. 368-7223. k1speed.com

photo courtesy of K1 Speed

Quiet the Mind
Is your mind more cluttered than your hall closet? You might want to try TM. If you’re a David Lynch fan, you probably know what that abbreviation stands for. For the uninitiated, it’s transcendental meditation. Lynch, who launched a foundation to implement TM programs around the world, isn’t the only celeb sold on the practice. Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Jackman, Ellen DeGeneres, Jerry Seinfeld and others tout its benefits, which reportedly include reduced stress levels, more energy, lower blood pressure and improved memory. In a nutshell, TM is a silent meditation technique practiced for 20 minutes twice a day utilizing a mantra to calm a person’s thoughts until he or she transcends thought entirely to reach an inner stillness. Learning the method begins with attending a free introductory talk with Natomas-based instructor Bruce Saunders, which covers how transcendental meditation works and why it’s unique in the field of meditation. (The full training process takes place over four sessions lasting about an hour each, and costs $240 per meeting.) “Whereas other forms [of meditation] rely on control where you are performing an exercise to try to rid the mind of thought that occurs on the surface level of the brain, TM utilizes the nature of the mind so it naturally takes us deep within,” says Saunders. Free for intro talk; $960 for the subsequent sessions. 570-2121. tm.org/sacramento

Create a Selfie-Portrait
Decades before the age of the selfie, Andy Warhol understood the power of documenting—and often deconstructing—one’s own image. The Pop Art megastar chronicled his life in Polaroid pictures that fixated on his face. Tap into his selfie-referential genius by taking Crocker Art Museum’s “Create a Selfie, Warhol Style” class that culminates with you transforming a digital selfie into an acrylic painting. For inspiration, the course kicks off with a tour of the Crocker’s new Warhol exhibit (which includes portraits of stars like Judy Garland and Sylvester Stallone) and continues with lessons given by local artist Patris Miller, who instructs you in basic painting techniques and assists you in rendering your visage on canvas. After this brush with fame (or at least the famous), you’ll be able to transform any ordinary selfie into a potential #masterpiece. $90-$115. 216 O St. 808-1182. crockerartmuseum.org
Editors' Note: This lesson is no longer being offered. Please check the class website for updated information.

photo by Max WhittakerGo Hog Wild
Farm-to-fork may be part of Sacramentans’ dining DNA, but Taylor’s Market owner Danny Johnson and meat department manager Paul Carras have made it their mission to teach patrons the missing link between the pasture and the plate with their “Butchering 101” series. At the introductory “Basic Butchering Principles and Techniques” class on Oct. 22 or Nov. 29—which will feature hogs from Stone Valley Farm in Alamo or cattle from Richards Grassfed Beef in Oregon House—you’ll learn knife theory (i.e. how to handle one) and the value of different cuts of meat from T-bone to tenderloin. After class, fill up on a complimentary lunch from Taylor’s with deli items like sandwiches or spaghetti. $40. 2900 Freeport Blvd. 443-6881. taylorsmarket.com

photo by Jeremy SykesBlow the Blues
If the thrill is gone from your musical hobbies, put your money where your mouthpiece is. Sacramento legend Mick Martin—who has played blues harmonica for more than 50 years, hosted the Capital Public Radio show Mick Martin’s Blues Party for 25 years, and shared stages with the likes of Jimmy Smith, Bo Diddley, Mick Taylor and Freddie King—has honed methods that will transform you from a harmonica novice to ace in four lessons. Come prepared for these Sacramento Learning Exchange classes by bringing a Big River or Golden Melody ‘C’ harmonica. (Martin recommends a Hohner Big River variety that has plastic separators between 10 air holes.) You’ll learn the history of blues music, how and why certain sounds are made, the right way to inhale and exhale (fun fact: the harmonica is the only reed instrument that emits notes with inhales), and two playing techniques (tonguing and lipping). “I’ve devoted my life to promoting the blues,” Martin says. “I love keeping the genre alive.” $99. 1111 Howe Ave. 929-9200. learningexchange.com

Get into a Sticky Situation
Well-known Sacramento artist Danny Scheible, creator of Tapigami—surprisingly elaborate and sophisticated sculptures formed entirely from humble masking tape—has taught seminars in his homegrown tape techniques at places like Pixar Studios and the Exploratorium in San Francisco. But he’d never taught regular classes here, and he feared he was losing touch with his local community. Great news for those who’ve admired (or wanted to contribute to) his mobile, ever-growing “tape city” installation: As of January, Scheible has started offering weekly Saturday and Sunday workshops (for both kids and adults) at his Curtis Park studio. He demonstrates and coaches students on the ingenious base for all Tapigami sculpture (the trick? Rolling tape into a long, sticky-side-out tube), after which students learn how to make objects like flowers and animals. In the future, Scheible hopes to expand to evening classes at local breweries. $40. 2500 Sutterville Rd. 838-3132. tapigami.comphoto by Jeremy Sykes

Roll a Cigar
Earn each puff of a stogie at Art of Cigars, a Folsom lounge that holds “Cigar Rolling 101” classes every few months. The three-hour sessions commence with a short video and orientation, and are followed by a demonstration by teacher Marvin Ruiz, a torcedor (cigar master) from Nicaragua. Afterward, Ruiz helps you carefully craft a cigar to your taste. Every student goes home with at least five freshly rolled ones, and you can add to your assortment from the lounge’s selection of hard-to-find boutique and local cigars like the moonshine-infused Gold Country Cigar, made in-house and speckled with glimmering 24k gold. $80. 330 Palladio Pkwy. Folsom. 358-9112. artofcigars.com

Take the Plunge
You can’t dive to great depths without first conquering shallower waters. North Sacramento’s Dolphin Scuba Center preps you for deep-sea excursions in fish-free confines with its “Intro to Scuba” class. One Saturday a month for three hours, a certified scuba instructor leads a group of 10 to 12 students to a 45-foot by 28-foot, 8,000-gallon indoor swimming pool that’s heated to a balmy 92 degrees. There, you’ll be thoroughly educated on each piece of scuba equipment, including the mask, fins, snorkel, air supply monitor, buoyancy control device, and a vest that reduces the pressure of the air coming from the tank for easy breathing. Future underwater explorers will also learn emergency tactics, such as getting water out of a filled mask and sharing air with a dive buddy. $80. 1530 El Camino Ave. 929-8188. dolphinscuba.com

Make Your Own Furniture
Join the maker movement by warming up to woodworking at “Sawdust 101,” a beginners’ class that takes place over 16 hours on weekends. Dugan Essick, who teaches carpentry classes out of his Grass Valley home, begins with a tour of his 2,800-square-foot shop that he built himself. Next, he trains you how to safely wield tools such as table saws, band saws, spindle sanders and cordless drills before you embark on constructing a step stool, caddy or chopping board. Essick provides the wood as well as thoughtful oversight, and you provide the skills. “I have people come in who have never made anything before,” says Essick. “I want them to learn that they can make anything.” $285. 15087 Lost Lane. Grass Valley. 530-264-6062. essickwoodworkingschool.com

Become a Spin Doctor
Drop a beat at the “Groove University” course taught in the UC Davis Experimental College by Mike Cagley, aka DJ Destiny, a former Sacramento Kings disc jockey who has performed with acts like Ginuwine and Mos Def. The popular six-week course gets you up to speed on the basics of the art form, and the different skills in a DJ’s toolkit, including elements of mixing, scratching and music theory. You’ll also hear insights from guests like Sleeprockers, a Sacramento-based DJ group, and get hands-on practice with professional-grade software and equipment like analog and digital turntables. $90. 1 Shields Ave. Davis. 530-752-1990. ecollege.ucdavis.edu

fencing photos by Max Whittaker

Weild a Mighty Sword
Cross swords during the basics classes offered at Davis Fencing Academy, owned by Simon Pitfield, a London-born UC Davis graduate with a master’s degree from the French Academy of Arms. Occurring five days a week, the sessions educate beginners about the three weapons used in fencing: foil, a balanced blade that favors neither the attacker nor the defender; épée, a rigid sword that favors the defender; and saber, which is lightweight and most attack friendly. Novice fencers are also taught commands, such as “advance” (move toward your opponent) and “extend” (elongate the weapon-holding arm), and how to move correctly in a manner that Pitfield describes as a crab-like shuffle. Each month, instructors focus on a particular aspect of fencing like feints (maneuvers) or parries (the four different ways to block an attack). En garde, prêts, allez! $60 per month. 2121 2nd St. Davis. 530-758-7087. davisfencingacademy.com