Stories for December 2005

Thursday, December 29

Omega Comet E.T.A. in Hours

Pack light for the end of the world.

The comet was due to strike Earth within 24 hours, and no one knew where. It made little difference: the phrase from the emergency broadcast kept resounding in my ears as I rummaged through the ...

Truckin’

She's proved herself enough. It's not like she's looked at as a female on track. She's just another driver and a very good one at that. -- Dan Wheldon I reluctantly shed the warm comforter ...

Insomniac Minstrel

'The problem with music is musicians" is Aaron Bowen's motto on his page at myspace.com. He took up the violin in the first grade, but the guitar became his instrument of choice. Aaron suffered a ...

Four Seasons Revealed

'I had new knees and my wife got new hips. One of the things that is really bad about the recuperative process is that we couldn't really handle a hike," says volunteer trail guide Henry ...

Discover the "The Sinks," a rare exposition of verticality amid the rolling hills of interior Orange County.

Orange County's 50,000-acre Irvine Ranch Land Reserve -- essentially a big olive branch extended to the County of Orange by the Irvine Company in exchange for development rights in that county's remaining open spaces -- ...

Best Bites of 2005

Another year, another hundred-plus restaurant meals under my belt -- some great, some mediocre, and some so unspeakable they couldn't be reviewed while the libel laws stand.This year I tackled a bunch of well-reputed "Gold ...

Reluctance to Retail

“How passionate are you about the wine?”

Tales from the Trenches

Bill, a musician, says he didn't take part in a December 3 "battle of the bands" at Mira Mesa's all-ages Epicentre. He's been down that road, though. "If you were standing in line for a ...

Bipartisan Block Party Poopers

"[District 2 city council candidates] Kevin Faulconer and Lorena Gonzalez say they are supporting [an end to the Pacific Beach Block Party], and I don't see them rallying around Kevin [Hellman]," says Benjamin Nicholls, executive ...

I'm Just the Old Guy

"I'm just the old guy with a beard sitting at the bar until I get up to play," says singer/songwriter/guitarist/harp player Hugh Gaskin, 56. "After my set, people buy me all these drinks.... But it ...

Joker Holds Court in Studio

Two weeks ago, Rookie Card's Adam Gimbel sent out a mass e-mail to friends and acquaintances. He asked them to meet the band at Earthling Studios in El Cajon to sing, clap, and/or say something ...

Neither Silent nor Violent

After six years together, Morricone Youth, a NYC sextet of ex--San Diegans, has released its first CD. Silenzio Violento is full of sounds that recall noir thrillers, monster movies, and spaghetti westerns. Though reminiscent of ...

Fan Power

"I started off with no idea of what's involved in putting on a concert," says Debbie Siegelman, "but [Dougie Maclean] hasn't been in San Diego since a 1998 show at the La Paloma Theatre, and ...

No Break for Hip-Hop

An incident at a recent holiday program in Chula Vista has resulted in a lawsuit against the city. On December 3, recreation department supervisor John Gates allegedly prevented a Christian hip-hop dance group from performing. ...

When Cobain Roamed the Earth

Twelve years ago today (12/29/93), Nirvana played the Sports Arena. The band's 24-song set was the source of two widely circulated bootleg albums: Smells Like TJ captures all 100 minutes onto a Hi8 master, while ...

Bio of Convicted Lobbyist in Stripper Scandal

Bio of Convicted Lobbyist in Stripper Scandal By Matt Potter On November 10, Lance Malone was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison for his role in the Cheetahs influence-peddling scandal. A lobbyist for high-flying ...

An Unsettled Score

Will the seller of secrets sell out their buyer as well?

Indian Claims Block Cedar Fire Redevelopment

With the passing of two years since the Cedar fire, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park has healed, and 98 percent of the park's trails have been reopened. Among the areas not reopened is Los Caballos equestrian ...

Breaking Stories

Polyheme update In an attempt to prevent further publication of information about the testing of its controversial blood substitute Polyheme in San Diego, Chicago's Northfield Pharmaceuticals has filed suit against the Reader and its publisher, ...

2005 Year-End Quiz

I think Christmas is over at the Alice house. We're never sure until the tree comes down and we shake all the deadbeat relatives out of the branches. But the gauge shows empty on the ...

Snowbound, Part One of Two

What I don't like about where I live is that snow never falls. I saw a glass ball that has a snowman in it. You shake the globe and "snow" falls. I bought it. I ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

"All right, everyone quiet down. Let's pick a movie. How do I do that?" "You have to go to the On Demand screen, then..." "Where the hell is that?" "It's back two things. You have ...

Fogueira Kwan Zheng Dao in Texas

It's the hellidays. I can tell because the globally warmed weather went from 85 to 34 yesterday and revved the locals to cut in front of each other on the freeway at breakneck speeds. Shopping ...

Holiday Hookah

I got a call from Susie in P.B. who was turning 28 and planning a holiday party. She requested toys be brought for the Toys for Tots program. I went out and bought a toy ...

Flower Bulbs

The kids' grandma's birthday is in January, and I'm thinking bulbs for a gift. She's getting a little achy for digging in the garden. "The knees don't bend the way they used to," she says. ...

Thursday, December 22

A Christmas Story

Tough time to leave home.

My boots clomp against the concrete of the garage, and a gravelly paste falls from the arches to mingle with the oil patch in the center of the floor. I light a cigarette, blow the ...

Cyst-ers

The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. -- Voltaire I shivered with cold, or was it nervousness? Every object in the dark room was bathed in the red ...

XXXchurch, Corona

Denomination: nondenominational Address: PO Box 78268, Corona, CA Founded locally: January 9, 2002 Senior pastors: Mike Foster and Craig Gross Congregation size: n/a Staff size: 4 part-time Sunday school enrollment: n/a Annual budget: $60,000 Weekly ...

Coffeehouse Crooner Dreams Big

'A few months back I had this amazing music dream," says local acoustic soloist Kim DiVincenzo, sitting with her laptop at Hot Java before going onstage to play. "It is kind of that cheesy famous ...

TJ Cultural Center Opens Time Portals

Museo de las Californias, a permanent installation at the Tijuana Cultural Center depicting the history of the Baja California peninsula, leads museumgoers on a regional time-trek beginning 73 million years ago and ending in 1935. ...

Perforations galore pock the soft sedimentary canyon walls of Arroyo Tapiado in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Along the canyon walls of Anza-Borrego's Arroyo Tapiado ("Mudwall Wash"), weathering and erosion acting on friable sedimentary rock have produced a strange kind of topography known by some geologists as pseudokarst. Like karst topography, which ...

You Need To Go Here And Do This

'In the beginning, I was just a mom." Speaking is Candace Conradi, Poway resident, former law-firm administrator, wife, mother, and author of Diamond Moms: A Mother's Guide to Raising a Baseball Player. Conradi is talking ...

The Wine Teacher

“I loved the no-frills aspect of it. I felt it was a shop for everybody.”

Welcome to the Belly Up...er...Jungle

Two years ago, Steve Goldberg paid seven figures for the Belly Up Tavern, which included the rights to the name. Last year he opened a second Belly Up in Aspen with his brother Mike. Within ...

He Owns the Joint

Singer/keyboard player Danny Castro fronts Long Live Logos and runs an all-age music venue called the Selah Building in Escondido; it's in the same space as his father's nondenominational Selah Ministry church. Castro usually hosts ...

They Did It for Free

"We didn't tell a lot of people that it was just a rehearsal for our Casbah show," says George Vidaurri, bassist for Uncle Joe's Big Ol' Driver (and, currently, The Johnson Account). Vidaurri says the ...

Punk Marketing Tactic

After 1 a.m. in O.B., I left Winstons and walked down Newport Avenue to the beach. I spotted a sealed Drunkin Punkin Idiots CD on the sidewalk, recorded by a band of the same name. ...

Fraud? On the Internet?

"Yeah, there was a rumor on MySpace that we were doing [Vans Warped Tour] 2006, but we had nothing to do with that, it was just some dingdong posting." Former Miniskirts guitarist Roxy says she ...

Early '80s Flashback

Echo and the Bunnymen played the last show of their tour at House of Blues on December 9. The band started later than expected. A group of five Latino guys who left at 1:15 a.m. ...

Karaoke Alive and Well

John Bertrand has been in the karaoke biz since 1984, when the singing machines ran on eight-track tapes and video screens were years away. With two local retail shops and an online store, his company, ...

Vending-Machine Charity Suspect

Father Joe Carroll and his charity venture, St. Vincent de Paul Village, have deservedly good names. But if the promotion-minded Father Joe strays too far, he risks besmirching those reputations. It could happen in North ...

Mission Valley Project May Violate Code

In early September the plan to build the Pacific Coast Office Building into Mission Valley's southern hillside sounded innocuous enough to community watchdog Randy Berkman. Then the building's developer, Robert Pollack, sent him a mid-October ...

Breaking Stories

The care and feeding of Lamont Ewell San Diego's Ethics Commission has released notes of interviews conducted earlier this year during its investigation of San Diego Data Processing Corporation honcho Roger Talamantez. Talamantez was sanctioned ...

Stuffed Stocking

Movies reviewed this week: Breakfast on Pluto, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, The Family Stone, Fun with Dick and Jane, King Kong, Memoirs of a Geisha, andWolf Creek

Hamsterfest

Heymatt: My girlfriend has a hamster, which I consider to be a stupid animal. He constantly runs on his wheel. Hours and hours and hours. I watch and think, "Does he think he is actually ...

Peace piece

Dear Matt: What's the origin of the peace symbol-- the circle with the "bird's foot" in it? -- Peacenick, the net England, 1958. At the request of peace activist Bertrand Russell, an artist was doodling ...

Billy Collins Live: A Performance at the Peter Norton Symphony Space

Billy Collins Live: A Performance at the Peter Norton Symphony Space. Random House Audio, 2005; $19.95 The Trouble with Poetry: And Other Poems by Billy Collins. Random House, 2005; $22.95; 112 pages FROM THE DUST ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Rowdy honky-tonk stomps into the room from a monolith speaker in the corner. Piano keys jangle. Drum skins are slapped broad with flat sticks. Disconcerting. The whole damn atmosphere is intentionally disconcerting."Do you remember Molly ...

Fogueira Kwan Zheng Dao in Texas

An Actual Waist I'm formerly fat. There once was a book entitled A Thin Book by a Formerly Fat Psychiatrist . I went to therapy from the age of 13 until 40 and the bulge ...

The Green Fairy

My day got off to a bad start. As a volunteer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, I was asked to help set up a play set for a child in Santee. I'm useless at things like ...

Clean as Country Water

If this were February, I'd be writing about a Valentine's Day destination. But don't overlook the romantic A.R. Valentien as a stunning in-spot to take special guests during the holidays. Set in a Craftsman-style lodge ...

Menorahs

My husband Patrick is a teacher, and it's holiday time at his school. The teachers are drawing each other's names and exchanging gifts this year, and in an effort to keep everyone's feathers unruffled, people ...

Thursday, December 15

When Duke Was King

In the air over Vietnam.

Though President Nixon hadn't yet ordered the resumption of heavy bombing in the north, the B-52s that were hitting Laos had had increasing numbers of MiG interceptors to contend with, and the Navy was being ...

Short People

Children have neither a past nor a future. Thus they enjoy the present -- which seldom happens to us. -- Jean de La Bruyere 'David seems tense," said Ollie. I waited for him to collect ...

Dirty Dogs

“You need a big, hot, salty pretzel that you dunk in mustard.”

Kehillas Torah, Carmel Mountain Ranch

Denomination: Rabbinical Seminary of America Address: 14133 Via Alisal, Carmel Mountain Ranch, 858-613-0222 Founded locally: 1998 Senior pastor: Rabbi Baruch Lederman Congregation size: 50 Staff size: 1 Sunday school enrollment: 8 Annual budget: $100,000 Weekly ...

Irradio Broadcasts

“Nothing worse than watching a bunch of meatheads trying to hook up with their brainless female roommates.”

Sharky Waters

Encinitas band Switchfoot played the Sports Arena December 2 with Alanis Morissette, the B-52s, Train, and two other bands. The show, called Jingle Ball, was sponsored by Clear Channel pop station Star 94.1. According to ...

Proximity to Marine Life

'They [the whale watchers] sign a waiver. Then we get them in their wetsuits and booties, give them a paddle and a lifejacket, and head outside for a brief paddle instruction and safety talk," says ...

All the Kids Are Doing It

"It seems like you either fall into the screamo genre and everyone likes you or people don't care," says Dave Werth, the singer for Killfast Casino. He defines screamo as "punk music...mixed [with] pseudo-emotional lyrics ...

Swingin' Times

Ocean Beach--based Cape May has always drawn well at the Casbah, according to lead singer Andre Che. Yet, Che's band hasn't played the club since November 2004. "We've been trying to contact [club owner] Tim ...

Cycle over steep hill and deep dale on the rural roads of Harbison Canyon and Crest.

The rustic East County communities of Harbison Canyon and Crest are separated by only a mile of horizontal distance. Harbison Canyon shelters amid oak woods in a deep-cleft hollow, while Crest, some 700 feet higher ...

People Don't Get Blown Out

"People don't get blown out when things are going well," says one concert-industry insider about last week's departures of 4th & B general manager Ray Johnson and marketing director Hester Hamman. The insider says the ...

Marky Made His Mark

Twenty-seven years ago today (12/15/78), I saw the Ramones play Montezuma Hall. The band was still breaking in "Marky," fresh from Richard Hell and the Voidoids. That night, they played "Rockaway Beach," "Sheena Is a ...

It Could Have Been a Spinal Tap

"It could have been a Spinal Tap," says Warner Bros. Records publicist Rick Gershon about the Subways' November 27 show at Soma. The free 3 p.m. show filled Soma's side-stage room on a Sunday. The ...

His Name Is Larry

I have dozens of answering-machine messages from Larry "Wildman" Fischer, onetime Frank Zappa protégé and Doctor Demento perennial. We became friends while he lived at various downtown flophouses in the late '80s and early '90s. ...

The Salmon Is A Gentyll Fysshe

'How did you come to fly-fishing?" Anne-Marie Bakker, fortysomething, flicks a cast into the pool and says, "There was an old boyfriend who..." I laugh, "Old boyfriends come in handy sometimes." Bakker is president of ...

Love Is Blind Melon's

At Blind Melons on November 11, "We had just finished playing a song, 'The Way Sean Drives,' where I make fun of his crazy driving," says Revenge Club singer Amy Paddick of bass player Sean ...

Map to the Treasures

“There is a limit; it’s a function of the scale. You can get only so much in.”

Ethical Conflicts Loom for CCDC

Centre City Development Corporation's board members -- all connected with the real estate industry in their professional lives -- are constantly running into potential conflicts of interest. But there is a broader issue: this developer-friendly ...

Julian Flap Over Wind-Test Structures

Strong winds of public disapproval toppled electricity-producing windmills in the Julian area before they were even built. At an August 11 meeting at Julian Town Hall, 100 area residents whipped up a hurricane of opposition ...

Breaking Stories

Chips off the old block Colin Rice, Democratic assemblyman Juan Vargas's chief of staff, has of late found himself defending his boss in the ongoing dustup with Congressman Bob Filner over the paying of live-in ...

Lion and Sheep

Movies reviewed this week: Brokeback Mountain and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Back When

Thirty Years Ago The surfer is always changing his mind. Suppose he's at the South Mission jetty, watching a wave with the mass of a tall house approach at 30 mph along the rocks. He ...

Snakebit

Matt: Do species of snakes in the same family ever bite one another and die from the poison? How about between families? Maybe snakes in general don't bite each other. -- Bob and friends, North ...

Good ole Rube

Heymatt: My father always mentioned Rube Goldberg whenever he heard of some odd scheme or idea. Please tell me about ol Rube. Is he fact or fiction? -- JRG, Spring Valley Old Rube is actual ...

Light my fire

Hello: The subject came up in a casual conversation. Is there such a thing as spontaneous human combustion? -- A.V., Golden Hill Like, you'll be sitting in your lounge chair, watching the Super Bowl, and ...

Good Golly, Miss Molly!

"Taste this," said my partner, handing over a forkful of his braised New Zealand Tai snapper. "What is it?" There were four hunks of snapper (or what looked like it) on his plate. This particular ...

The Complete New Yorker: Eighty Years of the Nation's Greatest Magazine

The Complete New Yorker: Eighty Years of the Nation's Greatest Magazine. Introduction by David Remnick. Random House, 2005; eight DVD-ROMs enclosed in a 123-page booklet, $100 FROM THE DUST JACKET: Every page of every issue ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

"14 Miles," the angular numbers and white diode letters flash from a matte black, artificial panel, and a synthesized beep beep sounds. The beeps escape the atmosphere of the room and leave behind the whirring ...

Hop Heads

When I was invited to an "S & M" party in Clairemont, I didn't know what to expect. I imagined people snapping leather whips and wearing ball gags in their mouths. Approaching the party, I ...

Fogueira Kwan Zheng Dao in Texas

The Swedish Connection There are two things that give me an ecstatic thrill. One of them is photography. The other is learning a new language. It is better than sex, because it's the alleged reason ...

Holiday Music

'It's a Marshmallow World" was the family favorite Christmas song of my childhood. Two of my brothers, each with a glass of eggnog in their hand, schmoozed out the lyrics. That was from our swinging ...

Thursday, December 8

The Dream Is Over

Lennon’s death remembered, 25 years ago this week.

Along with many vidiots my age, television was the teat that nurtured us all, and I was less weaned than most. I recall "discovering" the Beatles on a Smothers Brothers show from October 1968 (which ...

No Excessive Stupidity

I started my weekend off at a midday party. Jenn was having a garage-sale party. (I'd never heard of one either.) She had a garage sale and invited her friends over to drink beer and ...

Snow Days

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all. -- Stanley Horowitz I woke up to the sound of rain drumming on the cedar shingles and ...

Big in Australia

Rappers who start feuds to make a name for themselves are nothing new. Tupac versus Biggie, Nas versus Jay-Z, 50 Cent versus everyone...but what happens when local rapper Nomad calls out the whole black race? ...

Just Married: Grit-Hop and Porn

UCSD pornographer and newspaper editor Steve York made national news when he exposed himself on campus TV in February. The controversy that erupted earned York an appearance on MSNBC's Scarborough Country. "After my 15 minutes ...

Pervert's Potential

Local singer/guitarist John Pertle, of the four-man group Johnny Love Sound, pled guilty on November 28 to five felony counts of distributing child pornography and four felony counts of possession of child porn with intent ...

Some People Dig Wars

"We were at a bar in San Diego," Nickel Creek mandolin player Chris Thile told starwars.com, "when low and behold, Carrie Fisher appears accompanied by two of her friends. It turned out that she had ...

Yes, We Have No Gorilla

For 15 years, the biggest names in modern rock have come together for KROQ's "Almost Acoustic Christmas." This weekend, System of a Down, Nine Inch Nails, Korn, Depeche Mode, Coldplay, the White Stripes, Jack Johnson, ...

Where's the Cocaine?

Sacramento dance punk septet called "!!!" (pronounced "Chk, Chk, Chk" or any other series of repeated monosyllabic words) have modest goals for their first show at the Casbah. For a few years they've played the ...

Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Oak Park

"[When I'm taking the Eucharist], I'm consuming Jesus' body, if you view it with eyes of faith," said Eileen Carton, a volunteer at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. "How else can you get that close to ...

Warmth After the Fire

Last Friday was a memorable anniversary for Dave Drury, one of the four rappers in the KneeHighs. "It was December 2 [2004], around 8:30 in the morning. [A fire] started with an old wall heater.... ...

Paperbacks and 45s

The Illinois summer heat and humidity clamped down over Chicago's West Side like a damp electric blanket. Ozone filled the air with the promise of lightning. Gunmetal clouds brooded, purple with bad intent. Merrimac Street ...

Solo Flight

“I flew Panthers, Corsairs, and Sky Raiders. We sometimes took AA 50-caliber fire.”

Mixed Martial Melee

'I took self-defense classes, so I had had some of the same training. When I saw my first ultimate fighting championship, I was like, 'Wow, I know that move!' and I got hooked. This was ...

Climb above the morning mist into Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, bordering Laguna Beach.

On many a late fall and winter morning, a damp, opaque layer of air a few hundred feet deep lies over the low-lying Southern California coast. By 9 or 10 in the morning, the sun ...

National Security Sports

My Dear Mr. Secretary, First, I want you to know that I'm on your side in this. When you said, on the 30th instant, during a nationally broadcast press conference, that Iraq was high-stepping along ...

San Diego's Ties to Treasure Islands

San Diego wheeler-dealers dumping their stocks just can't get away -- whether to the Turks and Caicos Islands, a Caribbean tax haven, or to Wilmington, Delaware, a corporate "lax" haven. Padres majority owner John Moores, ...

To Condemn A Cash Cow

Last summer's trial of San Diego councilmen Michael Zucchet and Ralph Inzunza produced an unexpected candor from the city's Redevelopment Agency. On June 24, Zucchet's attorney Raymond (Jerry) Coughlan called agency employee Alex Greenwood to ...

The Bubbly Backstory

“No one noticed that not a single paper or speech specified what Perignon had really done.”

Breaking Stories

Dirty money Following last week's guilty plea of Randy Cunningham, the tentacles of "Duke-Stir-gate" are spreading rapidly into local Republican money circles. Topping the list of reported coconspirators is Brent R. Wilkes, the Poway defense ...

Potter’s Field

Movies reviewed this week: Aeon Flux, The Dying Gaul, Loggerheads, Protocols of Zion, and Syriana

Back When

Thirty Years Ago RETIRED CHIEF EXECUTIVE of international banking cartel, bored with yachting and women, will consider assisting with your perplexities. Armondotio...after 10 a.m. -- "CLASSIFIEDS," December 11, 1975 Twenty-Five Years Ago In 1965 Marquis ...

The First Lady of Hollywood: A Biography of Louella Parsons

The First Lady of Hollywood: A Biography of Louella Parsons by Samantha Barbas. The University of California Press, 2005; $29.95; 420 pages. FROM THE DUST JACKET: Hollywood celebrities feared her. William Randolph Hearst adored her. ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

A VD clinic is like if you could take a standard elevator and stretch it in every direction. Chemical lemons accost the sinuses; every surface has been wiped down with a disinfecting alcohol solution. Light ...

Fogueira Kwan Zheng Dao in Texas

Boxes of Stereotype Yesterday I had a stomach flu. The sudden weather change from 108 degrees to 55 with rain did not help. They don't have seasons in the seventh circle of hell, but immediate ...

No Resting on Laurels

'Tis the season to host relatives and friends escaping from frigid far-off lands to America's Finest City. And once they check in, what do they want first? San Diego's finest food.Consider Laurel Restaurant and Bar, ...

Swords

The game is afoot. Every year, my husband Patrick and I try to outdo one another's Christmas gifts. Not for their perfection or beauty, but for their goofy fittingness. Last year, he won, giving me ...

Thursday, December 1

The Secret Stadium E-Mails

An interoffice look at the Qualcomm hustle.

Poor, benighted Qualcomm Stadium. It's been around since 1967 and for its first three decades was one of the city's most popular landmarks. Winner of national architecture awards, the dual-use arena, owned jointly by the ...

Drink, Drink, Drink!

Silly is you in a natural state, and serious is something you have to do until you can get silly again. -- Mike Myers "Don't do it," I warned. "Don't do what ?" "Don't play ...

I Think I Smell a Rat!

Most musicians would feel honored to share a stage with Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, but when GoGoGo Airheart performed with Moore and four other acts in New York on November 12... "Thurston Moore's set was ...

Jilted Again

This month, Rolling Stone said My Morning Jacket's new CD Z is one of the best albums of the year. Before MMJ was signed to Dave Matthews's ATO label (distributed by RCA), the experimental country ...

Monster Bass Player Lost

Oceanside police confirm that Joe Pontisso, 41, shot himself in the head while driving on College Boulevard November 19. Pontisso, a bassist in the Clay Colton Band, 427, and Triocity, played regularly at Carlsbad venues. ...

THE Gary Wilson?

"You don't remember who I am, do you?" Gary Wilson asked me via e-mail. I'd been interviewing the indie-rock pioneer about his rediscovery since being name-checked in Beck's "Where It's At" ("Like my man Gary ...

Sun Studio

All three Riboflavin CDs were recorded using only solar power. "When the lights started going off during the [2001] California power crisis, we decided that it was a rip-off," says Riboflavin drummer Mark Doyle. According ...

A Pox on Cover Bands!

"The [city] planning department is rewriting the city plan right now," bassist Glen Fisher says, "and...I'm trying to make a lot of noise." Fisher, on Point Loma's Peninsula Community Planning Board, hopes to influence the ...

Hey, Hey, Paula (See You in Court)

Local firm Pro-Stars filed a lawsuit on November 8 against Paula Abdul, alleging "breach of contract." The suit contends Abdul agreed to let the company exclusively represent the trademark for a jewelry line called "Innergy ...

San Diego Finally Plugged In?

This is “a rich bitch, paint-the-ghetto-psychedelic kind of town.”

Calvary Chapel San Diego

"I was stoned when I accepted Christ," said Jared Lee, a volunteer at Calvary Chapel San Diego. "When my parents got divorced, I started getting into the drug scene. I would smoke an ounce of ...

Mount Gower Open Space Preserve, outside Ramona, rises from the ashes of the Cedar Fire.

The 1574-acre Mount Gower Open Space Preserve was hard-hit by the Cedar Fire of October 2003. Today, after the extraordinarily wet 2004-05 rainfall year and after a first wave of precipitation in the current rainy ...

Wine All You Want

Ed Moore's Third Corner started as a seafood restaurant across the street from his venerable Thee Bungalow, but for some reason, the neighborhood never warmed to it. After closing, Moore started storing wines there, and ...

Kensington Business Balks at New City America

Eight years ago, the Adams Avenue Business Association received a $600,000 "urban forestry" grant from the State of California to mitigate the pollution that would result from Interstate 15 traffic. Kensington business property owners chose ...

Pension Woes Legacy of GOP Convention

Pointing to his hometown's dismal experience, San Diegan Carl DeMaio is urging members of Congress to pass legislation imposing federal standards on government pension programs. Others hoot at such a notion: they note that federal ...

Breaking Stories

Borderline business Word that San Diego mayor-elect Jerry Sanders and Tijuana mayor Jorge Hank Rhon are getting together to promote the cross-border economy has resurrected not-so-distant memories of ex-mayor Susan Golding and her onetime husband, ...

Under The Big Top

I read a story in the paper recently that said Dennis Rodman, a creature from the last century, had signed with the Tijuana Dragons of the American Basketball Association. The ABA is a minor, minor ...

Gravity, Tomatoes, And Pot Without Soil

'The disadvantage of selling hydroponics equipment is that everyone thinks that everyone buying this equipment is growing pot," says Bill Tall, owner of City Farmers Nursery. On Saturday, December 3, City Farmers Nursery is offering ...

Love Letter To a Wine

“Champagne was said to prevent depression and typhoid.”

Harry IV

Movies reviewed this week: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Ice Harvest, and Rent

Back When

Thirty Years Ago The porn movies today are so anti-erotic, vacuous, and monotonous that they can serve better as wide-open playgrounds for radical film theorists and discussions of Art Brut pictorialism, anti-narrative structure, the spontaneous ...

Fear of the outie

Heymatt: My sister is having a baby pretty soon and she's terrified that her child might have to go through life with an outie belly button. Is there anything she can do to make sure ...

Death by mascara

M.A: No matter how tightly I close up my mascara, it always dries up before I use much of it. I suspect this is planned obsolescence. I've tried dribbling water into the little brush hole ...

Snoozing ponies

Dear Matthew Alice: How come horses can sleep standing up? Why don�t they fall over? -- Kris, Central Elementary School Well, Kris, horses' legs are not built like yours and mine. The arrangement of bones ...

Football Follies

I was invited to a tailgate party a few weeks ago in the parking lot of Qualcomm Stadium. Although the choice of tailgate food wouldn't have been mine -- sushi -- they had everything else ...

The Ten Umbrellas

“Fusion, confusion! Are you Confucian?”

De Kooning's Bicycle: Artists and Writers in the Hamptons

De Kooning's Bicycle: Artists and Writers in the Hamptons by Robert Long. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005; $23; 240 pages. FROM THE DUST JACKET: Some of the 20th Century's most important artists and writers --- ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Of all the songs in the entire world that one can rattle out of an electric speaker, someone chose this. From the earliest recorded sound on wax cones of misguided notes upon spinning, leaden, glass ...

Fogueira Kwan Zheng Dao in Texas

Floodwaters You wouldn't know about me unless you have read some exposition to get a sense of who I am, what I do, where I live -- that sort of thing. Problem is, I don't ...

Christmas Decorating

The Kelly household owns an abundance of inherited holiday decorations. When hubby Patrick's parents downsized into their beachfront condo, the box marked "Holiday Cheer" was placed in our care. For the past ten years, on ...

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