Stories for May 2005

Thursday, May 26

Got Some Skin Left?

Ink gets under your skin.

A tattoo addiction has left 20 percent of my body covered with subcutaneous ink. Depictions of water, cherry blossoms, a green demon, and an octopus cascade down my arms. I am eternally wearing long "sleeves." ...

Unapologetic from New Orleans

I’ll Never Write The World’s Greatest Novel, Allen Boudreaux I just got home from watching Revenge of the Sith, the first showing at 12:01 on Thursday. It was, like all five Star Wars movies before ...

Sticky Workers

'The African honeybee is legendary for being completely irascible," says Tammy Horn. Commonly referred to as "killer bees," the African honeybees "have over 100 natural predators, so they have to be more aggressive. But they ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago Though Carly and Richard insist that historical events have little to do with their religious experience, they explain that if the Guru's mother and brother, who have denounced the Guru [Maharaj Ji] ...

No Toking, Please

When the Steve Miller Band plays Embarcadero Marina Park South on Saturday, May 28, the band's lounge should be stocked with six grilled chicken breasts ("cold, sliced thin"), one gallon vegetarian soup ("homemade"), one whole ...

Slaves' Wages

"The reason is vocal soreness," says Interscope Records spokesman Chris Lehman as to why the Audioslave show was canceled last week. Yet, the day after the cancellation, posters went up along El Cajon Boulevard promoting ...

Death Cheated at Casbah

"I started feeling sick right as I was walking off the stage at the Casbah on April 12," says 7th Day Buskers guitarist/banjoist Shawn Rohlf. Severe chest pains landed him at his doctor's a few ...

Vinyl Fever Flare-Up

Hillcrest's Off the Record closes its door on Fifth Avenue tomorrow (...to reopen June 4 on University Avenue in North Park). About a block away, record junkies can still get a fix. Thirsty Moon Records ...

Mega-Conscience

Dave Mustaine, who has lived in Fallbrook since late 2004, is organizing a Lollapalooza-type tour he calls Gigantour. At this writing, 16 dates had been announced. "I wanted to have the first stage be powerful ...

Kids, Kids

A 22-year-old Marine, who said a 22-year-old sailor "disrespected" him at Club Metro, was convicted May 2 of second-degree murder for the death of that sailor. Myron A. Thomas and two other Marines were accused ...

Free Long Distance

When I have to fit three parties in on one day, it helps to start in the afternoon. At Mimi's Cafe one night for dinner, I overheard a waitress named Melissa talking about a CD ...

Loathing Las Vegas

The worst thing that can happen to a man who gambles is to win. -- Charles H. Surgeon 'Why don't you gamble?" David pondered his answer for the span of two exits. I was lost ...

Pension Debt Infinitely Worse

Now that criminal charges have been filed against former and current pension-fund trustees, some San Diegans feel the city has hit bottom. There is nowhere to go but up. Not so. Individuals and institutions in ...

You Can Have My Dead Trees

Just north of Santa Ysabel in San Diego's backcountry, Mesa Grande Road intersects State Route 79. Less than a mile to the west on Mesa Grande is a sight not seen in the county for ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

What about Betsy? "I said, your love!" the flat-screen TV speakers blare into the semi-neutral, designer-coordinated bedroom. Betsy whirls around in a gossamer nightgown, singing the chorus, "Your love keeps liftin' me," and she falls ...

Mileposts

It was a distinguished turnout at the recent wake for Republican Jack Walsh, a well-loved San Diego city councilman turned county supervisor turned real estate maven who died last month at age 71. With Father ...

Perfect for a lazy Spring or Summer afternoon, Oceanside's Guajome Regional Park offers hiking, jogging, fishing, picnicking, and camping.

Aside from North County's beaches, not many public spaces for anything resembling true "hiking" can be found in Oceanside or in neighboring Vista and Carlsbad. One significant exception is Gaujome Regional Park, an oasis of ...

Tea

My love Patrick goes through beverage kicks. When we were new to the wedded world, tall slushy margaritas were our drink; we'd sit on the deck sipping our drinks and watching the western sky change ...

Rules for Old Men Waiting

Rules for Old Men Waiting. Random House, 2005; $21.95; 210 pages. FROM THE DUST JACKET: A brief, lyrical novel with a powerful emotional charge, Rules for Old Men Waiting is about three wars of the ...

Bon Tons 26. Dolly Vardens 19.

'I didn't know baseball started so early on the West Coast. You have a reference to it being played in California during the late 1850s." I'm talking to Bill Swank, 64, about his latest book, ...

Rut Breaker

“I would have to force it down people’s throats. Then it became cool to drink it again.”

The First Nobu

As a relative newcomer to San Diego, I held some misconceptions about both Solana Beach and Nobu. The first wrong idea was that the town was some snooty rich folks' enclave just a notch below ...

Grace, Mira Mesa

Denomination: The Christian and Missionary Alliance Address: 9050 Mira Mesa Boulevard, Mira Mesa, 858-271-7730 Founded locally: 1975 Senior pastor: Bill Impey Congregation size: 75 Staff size: 2 Sunday school enrollment: 20 Annual budget: $175,000 Weekly ...

Please, mingle, it's a Eruv

Hello Matt: Can you explain the source and purpose of the mysterious, barely visible elevated "wire" that runs down the south side of El Cajon Boulevard, from 59th Street to Montezuma? It doesn't appear to ...

The Otis jump

Matt: My friend insists that if you are in an elevator and the cable breaks and you fall to the ground, you'd be killed. I still can't see why you couldn't jump up at the ...

Monster Stuff

“We’re from Chicago. We ordered a sausage-and-mushroom pizza to see if they measured up.”

Thursday, May 19

Not Good for the Minds of Proper Girls

A hunt for the elusive fotonovela.

Reading Sandra Cisneros's recent novel Caramelo, set in Mexico City during the late 1950s, I wondered about the fotonovelas that are mentioned again and again over the course of the book: "The Awful Grandmother" locks ...

Unapologetic from New Orleans

The Dark Side, Allen Boudreaux sometimes there's a groove, and sometimes there just isn't. I have this theory that at any given time, there's a place that is the right place for you to be. ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago By the movie's fade-out, Huyck and Katz settle down to wrenching squirms from the audience (the actors begin to weep tears of blood and to vomit live insects).... A cross-eyed Negro albino ...

Wild Enemies

'We try to get the worst first...we've got a fair shopping list of plants," says Jim Harrison, river committee coordinator for the San Diego Audubon Society. "We hope that, over time, we'll be able to ...

Popped

Twenty-two-year-old Michael Thomas Deshazer Jr. of the bands 2GO and the Beat Meters was apprehended by police April 27 on outstanding bench warrants in response to charges of statutory rape. Deshazer was convicted in early ...

Hard Drive in the Hoosegow

"If they arrested every male who looks at pictures of naked women, there would be no free men left in our society," says attorney Sandy Troy, who's working pro bono in defense of singer/songwriter John ...

Longhair Rules Over Jocks

"I coached him at Helix High from 1998 to 2001." San Diego's only known DJ/prep football coach, Mike Aitken, can brag that he coached former Helix High quarterback Alex Smith before he became this year's ...

Combat Rocker

"We'd be in this converted chicken coop playing, and this mortar would come in. It was the loudest, most scariest thing you ever heard because you knew it came from guys who were trying to ...

Dinky Crowd at Moby Appearance

M-Theory Music on Juniper in South Park gets interesting musicians to perform. In the past year, I've seen locals Louis XIV, Steve Poltz, and Gregory Page. National acts make it there, too. And You Will ...

Pimp Hand by Playstation?

When Snoop Dogg plays RIMAC Arena tomorrow, May 20, he's only obligated to "play a minimum of 45 minutes.... Snoop Dogg, however, at his option may exceed the specified performance time without interference." There's also ...

Wanted: Drug Addict

"We'll have to find a guy on the heroin diet." Guitarist Jeff Simpson says he's kidding about finding a strung-out singer for his Stone Temple Pilots tribute band, but he wants someone who looks like ...

Matinee

I went to a party on 21st and B Street one afternoon. I asked a few guys if this area was considered downtown, and the guys living there weren't sure. It was a good location ...

Rich getting richer

It looks as though more of downtown's endangered historic buildings are headed for the wrecking ball. This time the doomed structures are in Little Italy, where a Texas developer wants a $5.3 million subsidy from ...

Minimalist Mantra

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. -- Hans Hofmann 'Only bring what will support your lifestyle," said the authoritative woman in red with an elegant Eastern ...

A Barrel You Could Drive a Car Through

Last August, a crew of nine Southern California surfers -- seven from San Diego County, two from Orange County -- traveled to Indonesia for a two-week cruise to the surf breaks of the Mentawai Islands, ...

Steve Peace Isn't Happy

'From what I have been through, I call this city 'The Banana Republic of San Diego.' It appears that we have a system of government not built on laws, but on relationships. That is the ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

I was in terrible shape. My spirit was crushed. Not the soul. I don't believe in souls, but the spirit is hard to ignore. For 45 minutes in the morning I had to commute to ...

Water Canyon in Chino Hills State Park serves up some sensuous foothill scenery on the edge of the L.A. Basin.

Chino Hills State Park spreads across some 13,000 acres of rolling, grassy hills of a sensuous, classically Californian nature. Down in the moist, hidden hollows between the swelling hills, live oak and California walnut trees ...

Italian Spring

Fade to May 1990. I was on assignment for the WashPost and had been put up at the Hotel del Coronado, the subject of my piece. Several times, while out and about, I passed the ...

Sunscreen

I'm a transplant to Southern California. The sun does wonders for my disposition, but a recent trip to Dr. Sandra Morimoto, my dermatologist, got me wondering about what it does for my skin. So back ...

The Poet of Tolstoy Park

The Poet of Tolstoy Park. Ballantine Books, 2005; $21.95; 274 pages. FROM THE DUST JACKET: "The more you transform your life from the material to the spiritual domain, the less you become afraid of death." ...

Quietly Number One

Does it seem to you, that at some obscure hour, sometime during the past five years, the NBA season went year-round? We were never told, no one reported it, but now the merciless truth lies ...

Curious Traveler

“They threw me in the kitchen as a dishwasher. Pretty soon, I was doing chef’s work.”

Chips and Nuts

Heymatt: Yesterday when I was driving real fast I found a peanut shell that had four individual peanuts it! Crazy huh? Anyway, I tried to explain to the CHP officer why I was speeding (late ...

A Real Page Turner

Dear Mr. Alice: Why does the pianist have someone to turn pages of music when they perform? I'd think a cellist or trombonist would be in greater need of this help. -- FEH, San Diego ...

Chicken Star

“Take the chop suey,” says the waitress. “Filling. It has vegetables as well as meat.”

Sunday, May 15

Elitist earlobes

Dear Matthew Alice: My mother had my ears pierced when I was a baby hoping I would be a life-long earring lover. As a kid I just wore little gold balls. As a teen, I ...

Thursday, May 12

Bankrupt

Debtors transcend financial shame.

Every weekday, in a small room on the sixth floor of the Wyndham San Diego Hotel at Emerald Plaza, dozens of people come to close the book on their personal bankruptcies. Today eight debtors have ...

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Alfred A. Knopf, 2005; 752 pages; $35. FROM THE DUST JACKET: American Prometheus is the first full-scale biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer, "father of the ...

Unapologetic from New Orleans

Pilgrims Smell Worse, Allen Boudreaux This has been a long, long, long month for me. It's funny how time flows, where (at least for me) days seem to last forever, but weeks and months seem ...

Paul and His Dueling Mufflers

Paul Koch spent six years as road manager for the San Diego Chicken. Now that he’s in real estate, you might see his Cadillac around town. “I drive a big car with a big name,” ...

Coachella Slasher at Large

"All eight tires on both of our vans were slashed," says an FM-94/9 employee. "No other tires in the area were slashed." During the two-day Coachella Music and Arts Festival (April 30 and May 1), ...

No Love for Youngsters

"I guess they wanted to make the event more family-accessible," says Timothy Joseph, singer/guitarist with Buckfast Superbee. Joseph's band and other P.B. Block Party favorites such as Slightly Stoopid are not being asked to perform ...

Metal in the Groves

"I know for a fact he lives there." Ruggy, the sidekick on the 91X morning show, broke the news recently that Metallica front man James Hetfield lives in Fallbrook. "My sister works in Starbucks," said ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago In each of the camps at Camp Pendleton, there are the bulletin boards. Vietnamese leaving messages for other Vietnamese -- lost friends and relatives -- and notes to "The Employees of IBM," ...

The Trouble with Crystal

Filipina singer/actress Nora Aunor, who has a home in Linda Vista, pleaded not guilty April 21 to felony drug possession charges in an L.A. court. Associated Press reports say she was arrested March 30 at ...

Agreeable with the Belly

For the first time in its 31-year history, Solana Beach's Belly Up Tavern will host a headliner brought in by an outside promoter. Casbah talent buyer/co-owner Tim Mays will host his first Belly Up show ...

Unbreakable Paper

'This is the most inexpensive art you could ever get into," says Rhonda Cole. "For $25 you can get all the supplies you would need for a year." Cole has been a member of the ...

Morbid Memorabilia from Madtown

How did KYXY-FM salesman Larry Goodman get a free Hoffner bass, autographed by Paul McCartney, from Las Vegas's Hard Rock Cafe? By swapping a piece of the plane Otis Redding died in after crashing into ...

Wild Truth

Wild Truth drummer Bill Ray says Artwalk organizers gave his band some unwanted "special treatment" while they performed -- for free -- at the Little Italy street festival on April 23. According to a posting ...

Don't Call Him Satch

My friend went to a "Battle of the Bands" at Dream Street in Ocean Beach and was blown away by Taz Taylor. He's a guitarist from England who now lives in San Diego. Was he ...

Clowning around

Now that San Diego city councilman Scott Peters is wrapping up his single term on the California Coastal Commission, a behind-the-scenes struggle has erupted over who will replace him. Sources say La Jollan Peters, whom ...

It Smells Like Feet in Here

I had a busy day one weekend. It started by going to the KUSI studio. They wanted to talk to me on their morning news program about parties. I felt awkward on a day when ...

Have You Invested In a Time Bomb?

You read it everywhere: the city of San Diego may be broke, but the underlying regional economy is robust. Sorry. I can't agree. The local economy appears strong now but sits on a powder keg. ...

Playgrounds Slated To Deafen Kids

The April 21 report is called "a cautionary tale that the general public and the San Diego City Council should consider when future major land-use opportunities are presented." Written by the San Diego County Grand ...

Germaphobic

My theory on housework is, if the item doesn't multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. -- Erma Bombeck I slipped in undetected. Every part of me was silently screaming, ...

By bicycle or by foot, discover the charms of San Diego's distinctive Mission Hills and Banker's Hill neighborhoods.

You can explore two of San Diego's most beautiful old neighborhoods -- Mission Hills and Banker's Hill -- on the seven-mile, self-propelled tour outlined here. We'll define "self propelled" as walking, jogging, or bicycle riding. ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

"Oh, shoot!" Mrs. Juhl said. "I forgot the TV and VCR in the teachers' lounge. Tony, since you're in the back near the door and drawing on your desk instead of reviewing the chapter, why ...

The Twain Do Meet

Del Mar Rendezvous promises "Originality with a New Style" and "to put some ZING into Chinese dining." This rendezvous between Eastern and Western cuisines favors the Asian side of the equation, and given the menu ...

Potato Chips

'I can hear you getting fatter." The line is from Tommy Boy; David Spade says it to Chris Farley as Farley pounds away at his junk food in the passenger seat. Husband Patrick and I ...

New Dawg In Town

Golden Baseball League (GBL) is a new, independent, eight-team, class-A baseball league with a franchise in San Diego. The league reminds me of what a friend said when talking about her favorite restaurant. "I like ...

Midtown Church, Hillcrest

"In a traditional church, God is over here," said Paula Brandes as she reached her hand away from her body. "In Religious Science, God is within us. We don't have to reach out to find ...

Eggplant Theft

“Can’t go on leaning over the banana tree, dude. Back’s killing me.”

All the scoop on puke

Hey Matt: I understand one throwing up because of too much alcohol or bad food. I do not understand one throwing up because of emotion, like seeing a big pile of dog doo (or worse). ...

Hats, towels -- everything into the ring

Heymatt: What with this new election for mayor, all the TV stations are talking about so-and-so "throwing his hat in the ring." What does that have to do with running for office? -- Voter, San ...

Thursday, May 5

Mom

The woman we never forget.

As Thin as Butterfly Wings My mother was born in the high desert of northeastern Arizona. Even now it's a hard place to thrive, with rain unlikely and resources few. Her father built their house ...

Mystery Dish

“I prefer the average size of a dinner to be 30 to 50. For that one, we had 99.”

When Elton John Plays

When Elton John plays Cox Arena tomorrow, his hospitality room must be kept at a "comfortable temperature at all times (60 degrees in the summer, 70 degrees in the winter)." The room requires "table and ...

Jewel

Jewel, in the studio working on her sixth album due for release in September, posted the following audio message on her website: "I'm in LA and I'm writing songs.... I'm pretty excited about two of ...

Radio Wars are Common

Radio wars are common, but when Arbitron identifies a "ratings distortion" by a station, it's a rarity. Last week, Arbitron told advertisers that Clear Channel--owned KUSS ("U.S. 95.7," a country station) had ratings numbers that ...

Unapologetic from New Orleans

Allen Boudreaux why unapologetic? well, mostly because the name was available as a dot-com domain back in march 2001 when I started keeping a weblog. that, and it just sounded like a cool thing to ...

The Hot Snakes release

The Hot Snakes release of The John Peel Sessions -- only on 7" vinyl -- "sold so well that we had to put it out on CD," says guitarist John Reis. Other indications of local ...

I'm the Guitar Center Guitar Champion

"I'm the Guitar Center guitar champion of San Diego," says Greg Vaughan, winner of the San Diego Guitarmageddon competition -- a nationwide contest presented by Guitar Center. "On the day of my [preliminary] performance, I ...

If You Go to an All-Guys' School

"If you go to an all-guys' school, you're not going to write a song about grass growing," says singer Murphy Martin, 16, of Muff. One of their songs employs the band's name and a lewd ...

Pro-pot bands

Pro-pot bands cheapen the value of industrial hemp, says Jordan Loder. "They stereotype hemp as being psychoactive [and] revel in the fact that they are breaking the law. They behave the same way people did ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago For less than most athletic clubs (the Rowing Club is only S10 a month for students and military), one can use the club's boats (7 single wherries, 2 doubles, 2 four-oared; 3 ...

I'd Like to Shoot a Gun

'Some fellas call themselves survivalists, but these mountain men were the true survivalists; they lived off what the mountain gave them. Most people thought these men died from fighting the Indians, but they died from ...

Dede's pride and joy

Former state senator Dede Alpert decided not to run for San Diego mayor maybe due to scrutiny from critics who contend she is too closely linked to big labor. The Democrat -- formerly from Coronado, ...

Bean Disguise

Abe McNeil says that convenience is what prompts him to buy Café Moto beans to stock the PJ's Coffee and Tea franchise he manages next to the Hilton Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter. It's only ...

Liars' Paradise

To weave a cleverly tangled web of secret offshore tax havens, sometimes it takes two to tangle. If the two tanglers are dead,it can be difficult for government investigators to penetrate the maze. Despite this ...

High Above Downtown

I went to two events downtown. The first was trying to fight traffic after a Padres game. The second was me getting lost. The Hyatt Hotel near the convention center had a festival showcasing American ...

Spoiled-a-Lot

All charming people, I fancy, are spoiled. It is the secret of their attraction. -- Oscar Wilde 'Do you want to go see Spamalot?" I asked David. We sat at opposite ends of our living ...

Descend into Big Tujunga Canyon, a deep gash in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Angeles National Forest's Fall Creek Trail threads the steep, north wall of Big Tujunga Canyon and offers unique vistas of Big Tujunga's dramatic "Narrows" section below. Big Tujunga Canyon drains much of the western end ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Hooters girls danced in circles beneath flickering TV screens. Their dance was a sexually charged Hokey Pokey for guys who were celebrating a birthday. "You put your name tag in! You put your name tag ...

Mediation

My friend Bernice is having a neighbor issue. The house directly across the street from her's is overgrown with weeds, dead cars lie about in the back yard, and garbage is strewn throughout the yard. ...

All About Ease

Editor's Note: This restaurant has closed since publication. Some restaurants exist solely to give pleasure and ease, rather than serve up social scenes or culinary coups. They're not your showoffy Manolo stilettos but your Kenneth ...

Do You Hear What I Hear? Religious Calling, the Priesthood, and My Father

Do You Hear What I Hear? Religious Calling, the Priesthood, and My Father. Viking, 2005; 304 pages; $25.95. FROM THE DUST JACKET: At the first revelation that her father, a sixtyish university professor, wants to ...

Florist Face Off

Haruko Crawford says, "I started taking ikebana lessons when I was 13 years old. I'm 80 now." I lean back into my chair, close my eyes, and wonder how I got here, on the telephone ...

Banjo Road

"I ran into Tom Hanks at Eric Idle's birthday party."

North Park Apostolic Church

The Apostolic Church is probably the only truly orthodox church. We teach the apostles doctrine from the original 12 apostles. We do not follow post-apostolic teachings," said Bishop Joel David Trout. "For example, we are ...

Instrument of Torture

There it sits, seemingly every week among the movie ads in these pages, an advertisement for myself (to lift a snippet from Norman Mailer), but taken out by somebody else. "Thousands of Duncan Shepherd's Movie ...

Nostalgia Plaza

“Let’s eat first and then knock back a couple of cervezas.”

Tuesday, May 3

Back When

Thirty Years Ago Dear Matthew Alice: Is it the Matthew in your name or is it the Alice that describes who you are? A. Samuels, Point Loma It is not my name, dear reader, that ...