Stories for December 2004

Thursday, December 30

At Home in San Diego

A La Costa gibbon saves a marriage by Jennifer Ball Del Mar’s traffic-stopper in Speedos by Debra Ginsberg No crackheads in Talmadge by Dave Good Riding high on the hoof in Ramona by Joe Deegan ...

Largely white Bankers Hill

Bankers Hill. The name has a regal sound to it. Bankers Hill has been called "Pill Hill" for its many doctors' offices and "Gill Hill" for Irving Gill, who built the historic residences that grace ...

New generations in Serra Mesa

That first southbound walk home from Wegeforth Elementary, back in '68, was long and hot, each shadow on Mobley Street a refuge. For a transplanted fourth-grader, it was an arduous half-mile trek. These days, I ...

North Park’s experiment in humanity

After 14 years of living in North Park, a marriage proposal propelled me into the arms of Encinitas. I've acclimated, but on evenings when I hear norteño music pulsating from the roadway behind my new ...

Don’t let Linda Vista fool you

Has Linda Vista lost its heart? The Yum Yum Donut Shop in the Vien-Dong supermarket center has become the place where old-time Linda Vistans turn up to chew the fat. "This shopping mall that used ...

Peace east of Eastlake

One of my primary needs — along with sleep, food, shelter, and the Sunday Los Angeles Times — is quiet. Absolute, undisturbed quiet, preferably outdoors, with a great view. And in a world of boom ...

Escondido’s country feeling is almost gone

There was a time when the Spanish raised sheep in the "hidden valley" of Escondido. Before the First World War, grapes became the crop of choice, and spectators at the Grape Day Parade were given ...

Scripps Ranch boasts most Girl Scouts in the county

Having grown up in Mira Mesa, I had lots of friends in Scripps Ranch. It was our neighboring community, and in the '80s the kids there all went to Mira Mesa High School because Scripps ...

Carmel Valley brims with clichés

On the surface, Carmel Valley is not the most charming town. It is a village of strivers: young professionals pushing to move up the ladder, students scrambling for accolades, parents and high schoolers pumping away ...

Devout heathens call Julian home

We ascended toward Julian through the Cuyamacas. It was spring, but the air was crisp and clouds hinted at possibilities. The scenery was lush and green, but soon the landscape changed. The burnt hillsides, the ...

Why does no one refer to Mission Beach as “M.B.”?

Mission Beach is one distinctive neighborhood. Of course there's the roller coaster, but I'm thinking of a completely different distinction. I mean that Mission Beach cuts quite the geographical figure. It is a true promontory, ...

University City’s politics of traffic

University City encompasses the Golden Triangle (Highway 52 on the south and the I-5 and I-805 merge on the north) as well as much land around UCSD, the biotech firms on North Torrey Pines Road, ...

Accosted by natty bicyclists in City Heights

A temple has been erected on the spot where I lived on Central Avenue. A small band of brown-robed Vietnamese monks purchased the lot from my landlord and turned the old bungalow into a Buddhist ...

Lemon Grove pipe dream

I wrote under "Future Plans" in my 1978 high school yearbook: "Moving to Lemon Grove." I'd never been west of the last Stuckey's in St. Louis, but I'd just clipped a magazine article pitching the ...

Hyping University Heights

Hey, Guys: A few pitches for University Heights promotion... The business district runs between signs ("The Boulevard" to "Normal Heights"), about the last third of Park and the beginning of Adams: "Let's Go to Breakfast!" ...

The Valley Center far away from Harrah’s casino

At the end of a winding asphalt road, past boulders and gated ranches, past riotous tumbles of magenta bougainvillea, past dirt roads that disappear into orange groves dappled with midday sun, you'll find Peter Schaner. ...

Displacement of South Park’s odd people

Not very long ago this neighborhood was a secret refuge for odd people. The cheap apartments were rented by hardworking families busy raising more kids than they could afford. The run-down houses were rented by ...

San Ysidro, America’s last gasp

Okay, okay, I know. San Ysidro. It's not a place, it's the blur just before you get to Mexico. It's humanity sluicing up and down through the World's Busiest Border. The tidal gate between the ...

Middletown’s lunchtime crowd is all about chicken

Su-Mei called the city. That's what the fish guy said. "I'm Victor fucking Joseph, and if I wanna sell black pepper chicken, ain't nobody gonna stop me." A squat keg of a man with a ...

Riding high on the hoof in Ramona

While in Ramona on an escape from city life a year ago, I unexpectedly ran into an old friend, Karen Webster, on one of the town's back streets. She was on her horse. At first ...

No crackheads in Talmadge

Draw an imaginary line down El Cajon Boulevard from Fairmount Avenue to 54th Street. Invisible as the line may be, it keeps the crackheads and prostitutes and the smog-belching oil leakers of Southeast San Diego ...

Del Mar’s traffic-stopper in Speedos

Exit Interstate 5 at Del Mar Heights Road and head west. Cross Mango and go down the hill toward the heart of Del Mar. Take in one of the most beautiful stretches of scenery anywhere. ...

A La Costa gibbon saves a marriage

When I think of La Costa, I remember the wildlife — the skunk that lived under our house, for instance, a beautiful creature whose size would double when it puffed up its fur after it ...

Last Call

Movies reviewed this week: Beyond the Sea, Flight of the Phoenix, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Meet the Fockers, The Phantom of the Opera, and Spanglish

The Reader's Eye on Television

"What is this?" I asked through a silver microphone bolted into the glass. "That's a check. The jail takes the cash in your pocket and issues you a check," a voice, oddly disembodied and electronic, ...

Career Explosion

“A client wanted something signed. He had this crate next to him, and he just started doodling.”

Cilantro Tuna

By Enoc Guajales, Kitchen Manager, Onami Japanese Restaurant, Escondido This is my own recipe that I created for the restaurant. It can be served as an appetizer or as a dinner. This dish is colorful ...

Odessa Impressions

Just back from Ukraine, I follow TV reports of the election protests in Kiev, the capital. Via e-mail, friends have described the situation in Odessa, where I lived, as much calmer. Odessa is neither in ...

Final Fire

In Holland in the 17th Century, "tiles migrated from floors to walls," says Steven Kern. "Why? Because ceramic is soft-baked, not like ironstone or stonewear. When you walk on it, it's going to chip." But ...

The Year's Best Bites

I eat in at least 50 restaurants a year -- more often, 65 and up. Some you read about; others prove too short-lived or too awful to merit ink.The "Bests" list here reflects only meals ...

Tristan Prettyman

Tristan Prettyman, the 22-year-old Del Mar native, signed with Virgin in early October and will start recording next month. She won "Best Acoustic" at this year's San Diego Music Awards, and her song "My Love" ...

In the Wake of Jay-Z

In the wake of Jay-Z's collaboration with Linkin Park on "Collision Course" comes news that P.O.D. may be doing something with the prolific rapper as well. On December 15, P.O.D. drummer Noah "Wuv" Bernardo told ...

Will Coors Amphitheater

Will Coors Amphitheater, SDSU's Cox Arena, and SDSU's Open Air Theater be swallowed up by Clear Channel? The publisher of a major concert industry publication says that is very likely. "[Clear Channel] would seem like ...

"DJ Monk Had a Stalker"

"DJ Monk had a stalker," said an L5 club regular. December 11, around 1 a.m. at the downtown venue, a fan during DJ Monk's set (dubbed "Hallucination Before Christmas") was having a little trouble with ...

The Sierra Club's annual Wilderness Basics Course whips prospective outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen into shape.

Ever wish to learn land navigation by map and compass or GPS? Or discover the fine points of selecting and packing gear for a backpacking expedition? Or learn how to prepare for and experience a ...

"Artists Should Definitely Report to Soundscan"

"Artists should definitely report to Soundscan." That's a tip from Eli Spector, an executive with 33rd Street Records, about the national tracking service that releases weekly sales figures of barcoded CDs sold through retail outlets. ...

Travis Ryan

Travis Ryan, singer with Cattle Decapitation, says he smuggles band merchandise (shirts, stickers, and more) into shows when he is on tour so that the band doesn't have to pay the traditional 20 percent cut ...

Raw Year

“It’s a hot spot. You can e-mail your broker on Wall Street till your billfold bursts.”

One New York Weekly Writes

One New York weekly writes of Switchfoot, "The San Diego Christian rock quartet whose major-label breakthrough The Beautiful Letdown might be the most intelligent, least hysterical piece of alt-rock evangelism I've ever heard. And, yep, ...

Before Louis XIV

Before Louis XIV played a San Francisco venue December 16, an area paper wrote, "Dirty boys finish first. At least that's what San Diego's Louis XIV are betting on. The latest major-label contenders who would ...

Sign Up to Play

"I had to unplug them after two songs. They were great, though!"

Thursday, December 23

Santa's Helpers

Gift-givers tell all.

Ann 80 years old Lives in La Mesa Interviewed at Kohl's Santee I'm shopping for just my family -- my daughter and grandchildren. Our Christmas is Christmas Eve. That is our family tradition. I have ...

Out of the Bag

Movies reviewed this week: The Aviator, Bad Education, House of Flying Daggers, Ocean's Twelve, and A Very Long Engagement

The Reader's Eye on Television

(Santa arrives. Santa and I greet.) Ollie: So, Santa, you don't mind if I ask you a question to verify you are the real Santa, do you? Santa: No, Anthony, not at all. O: Where's ...

Killers

“A customer bought this at auction in Europe. It’s the last bottle, probably bottled 40 years ago.”

Orrecchiette Alla Barese

This is a typical southern Italian dish served in the winter, and it's one that I personally like. The sausage with the broccoli is common in Italy. It was usually served as a sandwich, but ...

They are Taking Personal Stabs at Roxy

"They are taking personal stabs at Roxy because she is white. To say that someone does not have a rightful place in a certain sector of the music business based on race, in the year ...

After a Long Day of Nasty Politics and "Bubble Trouble"

After a long day of nasty politics and "bubble trouble," what kind of music does District 6 San Diego city councilmember Donna Frye relax to when she goes home? "Jazz," she says. "And what do ...

"It Always Happens the Wednesday Before Christmas"

"It always happens the Wednesday before Christmas. Last year Clear Channel fired 20 people. The year before that it was 34. And it was always right before Christmas." That's from a local radio employee. On ...

We're Not Coming To Get Her

Tina Chamberlin of La Mesa was happy when her 82-year-old mother Rena Marseli decided to give up driving this past summer. Besides being 82 years old, Mrs. Marseli "had a vision problem," Chamberlin explains. "My ...

Frye's Big Chores

Set cynicism aside. The ballot-bubble hubbub may yet bring a happy ending: the swearing-in of a legitimately elected mayor, Donna Frye. This column offers an agenda for Frye's first term. She was not consulted, of ...

Case of the disappearing data

The intrigue -- not to mention the cost -- surrounding the ongoing San Diego city audit and pension-fund scandal continues to grow. The Texas law firm of Susman Godfrey, L.L.P., hired to help sort out ...

Venture Capitalist David Cremin

Venture capitalist David Cremin, 44, is co-owner of the two-year-old Santa Barbara--based firm DFJ Frontier Fund, which has invested around $25 million in several emerging companies. Among them is Poway's OnTech Delaware, Inc., which makes ...

Seventy-Seven-Year-Old Clora Bryant

Seventy-seven-year-old Clora Bryant refers to herself as a "trumpetiste" in a new documentary film chronicling her pioneering career as one of the few woman musicians to infiltrate L.A.'s Central Avenue jazz scene in the 1950s. ...

"I'm Halfway Through a Three-Month Chemotherapy Program"

"I'm halfway through a three-month chemotherapy program. It sucks all the energy out of you." To make ends meet, Phil Cole, 45, has had to liquidate. "I have a mobile recording studio. I've had to ...

Six-Year-Old Before Today

Six-year-old Before Today signed a three-record deal with Equal Vision in January, which released their Celebration of an Ending (recorded locally at Double Time) in September. Equal Vision (the New York label known for breaking ...

The Bands Have Just Submitted Lyric Sheets

"The bands have just submitted lyric sheets to the board of directors, to make sure there's no cussing and stuff." Lori Wiar is the coordinator of First Night Escondido's third annual Battle of the Bands, ...

Books That Help You Survive Christmas

Dust of Snow The way a crow Shook down on me The dust of snow From a hemlock tree Has given my heartA change of mood And saved some partOf a day I had rued. ...

Keep It Smooth

In contra dancing you get a new partner after each set of dances. During the set, you and your partner dance with another couple for a round -- one pair being the active couple. Then ...

From hippie hangout to Indian natural preserve, Tahquitz Canyon outside Palm Springs remains a popular place to visit.

The Disneyesque guided hiking tour of lower Tahquitz Canyon, right on the edge of Palm Springs, is a far cry from the scene here in the 1970s and '80s, when scores -- sometimes hundreds -- ...

His Nickname Is Dimebag

"We both realized that he wasn't playing his guitar and the song was still going on."

By George, They've Got It!

Normally, if a restaurant sounds too good to be true -- it is. So my group entered George's at the Cove with a high degree of collective skepticism. "George's wins so many awards and popularity ...

Nutso

You enter into a certain amount of madness when you marry a person with pets. -- Nora Ephron 'I have a surprise for you," David said as he opened the door on his way into ...

Faith Presbyterian Church, San Diego

"Faith Presbyterian Church is one of the more liberal churches in the county. We believe there are a lot of folks who want to find a place where the message is one of inclusiveness. Our ...

Christmas Column

'Son-of-a-bitch! Son-of-a-bitchin' jackhammers!" This is December 24, 1980, in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. I'm working off a class-B hangover and getting my ass kicked by an 80-pound jackhammer. Self, hangover, and jackhammer are struggling at the ...

Holiday Punch

My family likes to get into its cups at holiday time. Some of them have deeper cups than others. A few of them stay in them all year round. For those soggy few, the holidays ...

Tequila Mood

I got an invitation to celebrate the 39th anniversary of John Sant's 21st birthday. I don't know what age that makes him. I'm sure it's a simple math problem....His house was on Mount Soledad. As ...

Secret Combo

“Uh-oh. Look outside, man,” says Hank. “Is there a back door? The place is surrounded by cops.”

Thursday, December 16

Candy Man

Stephen Traino’s life is sweet.

"I was crossing the street in my old hometown of Fairport, New York, to get some candy," Stephen Traino admits, "and the next thing I knew, this car almost hit me because I wasn't even ...

Thirst Resort

“It’s not like he’s a control freak or anything, it’s just that he likes growing grapes.”

The Reader's Eye on Television

"You know, I had my doubts that this sign would be assembled, given the short deadline, but I think the team can pull together and make it happen," I say to the cameras. "We had ...

Jambalaya

I chose to share this recipe because it's a good meal for winter weather, and it's simple. It's a quick meal. You can make it in between Christmas shopping. Jambalaya can be served as soup ...

"They Decided San Diego Wasn't Important Enough for Them"

"They decided San Diego wasn't important enough for them," says one Z90 employee about Mase and Juvenile not showing up to the $33-a-ticket (plus $10 Ticketmaster fee) Z90 "Jingle Jam" concert December 2 at the ...

Locals 3Against1

Locals 3Against1 emerged as one of eight finalists in Zippo lighter's "Hottest Unsigned Rock Band in America" competition. Zippo's "Hot Tour," which hosted 62 unsigned bands, had 1200 entries, all vying for a showcase with ...

"Last Year We Booked Taking Back Sunday and Yellowcard"

"Last year we booked Taking Back Sunday and Yellowcard [at Soma]. They were in the $10,000 range. Now both bands are asking $50,000 [per date]," says Len Paul, owner of Soma, pointing out that the ...

What People Don't Understand

"What people don't understand is that in the case of concert promotion, more competition means higher ticket prices." A promoter, who did not want to be identified, explained the reverse economics of the concert promotion ...

Using the F-word Between Records

Using the F-word between records may cost you your DJ job, but apparently it doesn't mean you have to quit radio altogether. Former KGB disc jockey Diane Ray is back on the air playing classic ...

We Opened for Pantera

"We opened for Pantera and White Zombie at [former MTV personality] Rikki Rachtman's birthday party in 1993. It was at the Palladium in Hollywood." Norm Leggio recalls when his local band Psychotic Waltz played on ...

"The Show is Not Happening"

"The show is not happening," said Creative Artists Agency's Laura Haber. "We don't understand where that's coming from." Despite what CityBeat wrote December 8, there is no New Year's Eve show at Ground Zero in ...

MTV's "Meet the Barkers"

MTV's "Meet the Barkers" is hyped as "putting the 'nuclear' in nuclear family." I asked program executive Rod Aissa if the show, starring blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, his wife, their one-year-old son, and her five-year-old ...

What Happens in The Next Big Storm?

Scott Tulloch, director of San Diego's Metropolitan Wastewater Department, believes that the 2.66 inches of rain on October 27 showed how effective improvements to the city's sewer system have been over the past three years. ...

World-Class Liars

The moniker "America's Finest City" is tarnished. Don't be surprised if city spinmeisters turn up the hyperbole volume, christening San Diego as a "World-Class City." Keep in mind that the "America's Finest City" honorific was ...

Media hogs

The county's coffeehouses and convenience stores, already awash with just-started free newspapers that come and go each month, can count on one more newbie: The South Bay Review, operated by Mike Inzunza, brother of the ...

Caviar with a Conscience

I've always preferred to spend New Year's Eve at home with my partner and perhaps a few close friends, enjoying a celebratory supper with sevruga caviar as the star ingredient. But during the fifteen-odd years ...

Christmas Letters

Christmas letters. I don't know their history, who first wrote one, or where and why. I suspect they began to be written in the I Love Lucy Eisenhower years when all Americans, even though in ...

Independent Living

"The teens must help themselves by agreeing to go back to school or get a job - they don't just hand the kids a toothbrush."

On foot or on cross-country skies, follow the Agua Dulce loop route through the Laguna Mountains.

Crouching in the rain shadow of the slightly higher Cuyamaca range, the Laguna Mountains still manage to collect a respectable share of precipitation. Some 30 inches of rain (and melted snow) might arrive here over ...

Inside of Inside

Look out, Union-Tribune, here comes Neil Morgan, who was fired by the paper this spring, and his old sidekick Bob Witty, who used to help Morgan run the Copley-owned, now-defunct San Diego Tribune. The pair, ...

Pickled Herring

It's been revealed that he's gotten personal legal advice courtesy of city taxpayers. Now it's also come to light that deputy San Diego city manager Bruce Herring, who has for years served as a loyal ...

Mission Gathering, La Jolla

Denomination: Disciples of Christ Founded locally: 1999 Senior pastor: Pastor Rich McCullen Congregation size: 130 Staff size: 4 Sunday school enrollment: no Annual budget: $157,000 Weekly giving: $1,250 Singles program: no Dress: casual Diversity: white ...

Hidden Jewel

“We speak Spanish like machine guns. They are more musical.”

Fly Right

The man who goes alone can start today, but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready. -- Henry David Thoreau I'm what you might call a "jet-setter." According to dictionary.com, ...

Salty Noel

At the start of each February, organizers for San Diego's Parade of Lights put the event's theme for the coming year on their website. "That's when we start to make drawings of our 41-foot Hatteras," ...

400 Arrows Per Day

'As it is, probably about $1700," says Norman Aguon. "It" is a Martin Cougar III Magnum archery bow, which, according to the manufacturer, comes with "14-inch straight glass composite limbs... measures 42 inches between the ...

Festival Of Light...Beer

My grandmother thought I was the worst Jew. I didn't know a word of Yiddish. I didn't go to synagogue or wear a Star of David, and I didn't care about the religion of the ...

Gift Wrapping

I'm a lefty. Among other things, that means I'm not too deft with a standard pair of scissors. In grammar school, I was never the one picked to help the teacher cut stuff out for ...

50% wool, 50% dryer lint, all hand loomed

Hey Matt: If I were to go to all the laundromats in San Diego County and collect all of the lint from the dryers, would I be able to make it into articles of clothing ...

A trip to Reefer City, California

Heeeey, man� Like, there's this place in, um, up north-- what's it?-- Kern. Kern County, man. Waaaay up there. No beach. No�. Hey, got some Doritos, man? Goldfish crackers, maybe. Oh, uh-- yeah. This place. ...

Monday, December 13

2004 Year-End Quiz

The Alices took a vote last week, and the majority favored canceling Christmas. Or Holiday, or whatever it's called now. But of course the elves didn't fill in the bubbles, and in the recount, Grandma's ...

Thursday, December 9

On the Bus from Rosa's Cantina to Home Sweet Broadway and First

A motorcoach journey from the Lone Star State.

Why buses are better than planes, part one. Flying to El Paso, my plane (ironically, an Airbus) began emitting strange high-frequency blips and unexplainable static from various locations above the passengers' heads. After an air-mile ...

Best Laid Plans

Movies reviewed this week: Blade Trinity and The Spongebob Squarepants Movie

Extravaganza

“I was going to be a pseudo-lab-and-cellar guy. I thought, ‘I’ll get to see all the different aspects.’”

"We Didn't Get Paid Anything"

"We didn't get paid anything and we had no one from the Warped Tour crew to help us," explained Underminded guitarist/vocalist Nick Martin about his band's experience on this summer's Warped Tour. They had to ...

"They Tell Us You Cannot Bring Headphones and Handheld CD Players to School"

"They tell us you cannot bring headphones and handheld CD players to school. I got in trouble last month." Matt Carter, 15, is the bassist/vocalist for Rookie 7. The Santana High sophomore said he was ...

During Thanksgiving Week, Delaware Band Fozzy...

During Thanksgiving week, Delaware band Fozzy was in town to shoot a video for their song "Enemy" on the rooftop of a downtown skyscraper. "The concept of the video was written by British filmmaker Paul ...

Lou's Records Manager Tony Vic

Lou's Records manager Tony Vic's name has been bantered about by radio insiders as a possible addition to KPBS's These Days (heard weekday mornings). Doug Myrland, KPBS general manager, and Vic would not comment on ...

Jefferson Jay

Jefferson Jay is getting a master's degree in history from San Diego State (he says his thesis will be on "mass media interpretations of Haight-Ashbury during 1967"), but he'll be singing songs and playing the ...

"The Sports Arena Sold... Their Land to AM/PM and Krispy Kreme"

"The Sports Arena sold... their land to AM/PM and Krispy Kreme," said Norm Leggio, owner of Blue Meannie Records. Because of this, Leggio maintains there's a lot less parking for the Sports Arena than there ...

Racist Hate Music

"Racist hate music is being distributed to your brothers and sisters and children in schools in San Diego," writes Eddie Phanichkul in a November 19 post at SanDiegoblog.com, but there's no clear evidence that this ...

According to a Website Based in Punjab, India

According to a website based in Punjab, India (www.onlypunjab.com), drummer Billy Ray (formerly of the Ike Turner's band the Ike Turner Camp) has joined beach bar locals Tubby. "Tubby's music is an eclectic amalgamation of ...

After Local Band Cage

After local band Cage played adjacent gigs with Germany's Scorpions at the Universal Amphitheater November 26, a Los Angeles zine reported, "Singer Sean Peck does his best to channel Rob Halford, even shaving his head ...

Smiling Jack’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken tortilla soup is an excellent idea for an entrée or side dish, especially for the holidays. It's hearty enough to be a meal. I'm not a chef -- I'm a restaurant operator -- so ...

The Hank Show

'He made me a replica of Hank's suit, the white suit with black musical notes.'

Amy Lowell: Selected Poems

Amy Lowell: Selected Poems. Edited and Selected and with an Introduction by Honor Moore Library of America, 2004; 156 pages; $20. FROM THE DUST JACKET: A cigar-smoking proponent of free-verse modernism in open rebellion against ...

No Ghosts Need Apply

'We are lucky that he failed," says Leslie Klinger of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. "He had a practice as an ophthalmologist in Portsmouth. Then he moved to London where he didn't get any business. With ...

Discover Trail Canyon Falls, tucked away in a remote crease of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Rising starkly behind the San Fernando and Crescenta valley communities of Sylmar, San Fernando, Sunland, and Tujunga, the western ridges of the San Gabriel Mountains have a lean and hungry look. Yet there is a ...

American Chopper

“Hey, I’m going to come get you. You can help me move our new TV,” my cousin Joe informed me over a crackling cell phone connection. “What?” I asked through static, “What kind of TV ...

Temple Emanu-El

"In Reform Judaism there is no one doctrine. It is up to the individual to make this decision to what he or she believes. Individual choice is the hallmark of Reform Judaism," Rabbi Martin Lawson ...

Turkey Day Away

It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich. -- Dietrich Bonhoeffer 'Can you pass the gravy?" I waited patiently to fill my face with all kinds of Thanksgiving Day goodness. So far, everything on ...

Meat Poet

“I try to avoid healthy food. What’s the point of eating stuff you hate?”

Surf Camp

'They misnamed the sport; they should have called it paddling instead of surfing." "Is that what a lot of it is, paddling around the ocean, looking for the next wave?" "Absolutely." I'm speaking to Pat ...

Eight Million Ways To Drink

I play poker with a group of guys, and one always deals a game called Diablo. I never thought I'd hear the word outside the poker party. But when Marcy called to invite me to ...

Christmas cheer to soldiers

Every year at Christmas my kids are bombarded with store advertisements and commercials. Though I can't do much about the marketing machine, I can counterbalance the marketing monster by encouraging my children to do charitable ...

Eye amoebas

Hi Matt: I was out golfing on a sunny day and I noticed my eyes have these little marks in them, like you're looking through a microscope at little amoebas. They move around but don't ...

Attempted voodoo in the first degree

Dear Matthew Alice: I remember hearing on the news once that in one of those Southern states some men had been charged with attempted murder for hiring a hit man to kill a judge. The ...

Christmas Monster

'One time I wondered," says Ana Valdivia (her maiden name), "with the hours my husband was putting in, if maybe he was having an affair. But we laughed when he said, 'I'd be too tired. ...

Dubious Entanglements

It's great to have an internationally recognized name -- except when it gets dragged through the mud. Consider economist Arthur B. Laffer, a resident of Rancho Santa Fe. He is considered the father of supply-side ...

Alleged rogues and scoundrels

It turns out that San Diego Unified schools chief Alan Bersin managed to have that cozy dinner with the district's three incoming board members last week after all. The locale was San Francisco's posh Postrio ...

Thursday, December 2

Board Up and Go

EMS pilots tell their stories.

"It was my first training flight with Mercy Air," says J.P. Wilson, a large, white-haired man. "I had gone through the ground school, and I was scheduled to fly with Jeff Emery. I got here ...

Leaders and Followers

Movies reviewed this week: Alexander, Christmas with the Kranks, Closer, Kinsey and National Treasure

Yes Fest

“The city needs one big event that people from around the country can come to and say, ‘Wow!’ ”

The Lounge is No More

The Lounge is no more. Hosted by Dirk Sutro, The Lounge aired 6 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday on KPBS (89.5 FM) and featured in-studio guests who talked about music, poetry, performance art, film, ...

Leon Hendrix (Jimi's Brother) and Buddy Miles

Leon Hendrix (Jimi's brother) and Buddy Miles, the original drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, jammed at the La Jolla Hard Rock on November 20th. They were joined onstage by the guitarist from the Buddy ...

"We Booked Seven Shows Before Noon"

"We booked seven shows before noon," said Steve Redfearn about his first day with new hire John Wojas. Redfearn, president of Viejas Entertainment, said his concert company has left the reservation and is now based ...

The World Beat Center

The World Beat Center was burglarized on the morning of November 14, according to police report #04-070392. "I was flagged down by citizens who reported a transient-looking male smashing into a building near the La ...

Those Dang Robinsons

Those Dang Robinsons, a six-person band from southeast San Diego, includes five brothers -- all sons of Pastor Archie Robinson, Sr., who has led the congregation at the Newbirth Christian Fellowship for seven years. There's ...

A Few Months Ago, DJ Jesse Henderson

A few months ago, DJ Jesse Henderson was walking down J Street in the Gaslamp when he was jumped by three sailors. "There were these two guys hanging around a parked car," Jesse said, "and ...

Two-Man Band Across The Room

Two-man band Across The Room began recording their second CD November 22, and they didn't have to go further than across the hall to do so. Steven Cox and Enrique Platas plan on recording their ...

When Everclear

When Everclear plays 4th & B tomorrow, their contract rider requires the venue to stock and cater the band's tour bus (by 2 p.m. on day of show) as well their backstage dressing rooms. Necessary ...

José’s Spicy Chinese Black Bean Sauce

This is an awesome sauce that can be served over scallops or shrimp and linguine. We just used it at a big function at the zoo. We did 500 servings of scallops. We sautéed them ...

Free Red Vines

'We've never run out, but sometimes people throw them around and the club makes us clean up the mess.'

Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac 1947-1954

Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac 1947-1954. Edited and with an introduction by Douglas Brinkley; Viking Books, 2004; 387 pages; $25.95. FROM THE DUST JACKET: Jack Kerouac is best known through the image he ...

Birds with Salty Feet

Mattresses, boat parts, toys, cans of insect spray, plastic trash bags, and Styrofoam packing fodder are only some of the trash that the local Audubon Society takes out of San Diego County wetlands every year. ...

Walk on a wild side of San Diego Bay and up onto the Point Loma peninsula.

Here's how you can experience some of San Diego's finest views of bay and city, get away from crowds, and enjoy a little exercise at the same time. Give yourself an hour or a bit ...

Mets Slice

Hank lunges into his salad. “Oh, God,” he says. “I’ve got yours. Greek, right?”

Ascension Catholic Church

Reverend Charles "Chuck" Fuld told me he felt leery to speak with me. "Everyone is trying to point their finger at the Catholic Church," Fuld remarked. I reassured Reverend Fuld that my intentions were not ...

The Jerky Survey

USA Today has come out with a new survey -- apparently, three out of every four people make up 75 percent of the population. -- David Letterman At first, I thought it would be cool ...

The Thrill of the Hill

Well, it's appropriate that I crashed an event where there can actually be crashing. It was the Soap Box Derby Races in La Mesa.The Soap Box Derby is a youth racing program that has been ...

Tree Toppers

It's the most wonderful time of the year...," sings hubby Patrick. He has been belting that holiday tune out since before Halloween, his way of poking fun at his Christmas-loving wife. "Halloween is right around ...

The lightning-pee connection

Hey Matt: On a recent Sunday morning, a thunderstorm woke me up. I thought I would go peepee and return to bed. Once in the bathroom, it occurred to me that I once read you ...

Who's jimmy and why's he stealing my car?

Hey Matt! My friend, who always complains about my yard sales, had his car swiped. It was an older model. Probably a Tercel. Ugly poop-purple colored. I told him, from my ESP powers, that "Jimmy" ...

Wall Street Loves Gobblers

The world's biggest maker of baseball gloves can't make any errors. The company, K2 Inc., moved to Carlsbad from Santa Monica last year. It has more than a billion dollars in annual sales of sporting ...

Nonstop to Wild Goats

Captain Ramón Orta Vidrio, one of three owners of Aeroservicios de California, had left instructions for me to meet him in downtown Ensenada. Five minutes after we arrive at 7:00, Orta shows up in his ...

Dinner at eight

Embattled San Diego Unified school superintendent Alan Bersin is already trying to make amends with those three new board members elected against his wishes who will take office next week, but his first olive-branch offering ...

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