Stories for April 2006

Thursday, April 27

Dirty Jobs

San Diego’s most disgusting work.

At 6 a.m., Ramon Salazar is readying to leave the vehicle yard of Spanky's Portable Services in Escondido. It's Monday, and Mondays are rough. "Man, I needed an hour more sleep." He yawns. He climbs ...

Pinot Noir is now outselling Zinfandel in California

'We want you to walk away with the notion that it's worthy of careful consideration.'

Wild Blue Yonder

'The condor release sites are chosen for a variety of reasons," says the Wild Animal Park's curator of birds Michael Mace. "[We must get the birds] in a location that is very remote so they ...

Passion Play

I was flipping through the channels at 3 a.m. one sleepless night and caught a Montel Williams episode in which ladies were throwing a Passion Party. I flipped through Girls Gone Wild commercials to midgets ...

“You want me to hire a girl? Then will I be all right?”

The line at the border is once again a matter of at least three hours on foot to approach customs. I have Protonix or some Mexican version of the antacid, some Levoxyl for my thyroid, ...

Hike or bike the Bulldog-Backbone loop for a complete look at Malibu Creek State Park.

The classic grand tour of Malibu Creek State Park's backcountry includes upper Malibu Canyon and circles high above on the crest of the beautiful Santa Monicas -- L.A.'s coastal mountain range. Mountain bikers can look ...

The Chargers Are Coming Home

Yes, I understand that $500 million is a lot of money to steal in seven months. Or is it expropriate? Or legislate? Perambulate? Something like that. No matter, $500 million is the going rate for ...

Kill with Kindness

Growing up as the daughter of an environmental health specialist, I have a deep respect for all things recyclable. It hurts me to watch people litter, and I've been known to chase down offenders and ...

How Pedestrian

Matt: The other day I was crossing the street when some guy in his flashy car practically kneecapped me. As he went by I gave him my best glare, and he yelled back, No crosswalk. ...

Rubber Baby Bumpy Beer Bottles

Dear Almighty Matt: Okay, here's the deal. I, along with many of my fellow Americans, have a strange fascination with beer. I mean, what's better than beer? Not much. Well, the other night I was ...

Poop Poundage

Hey Matt: Something I've been always wondering. Is there an average percent of human feces every time a person goes to the bathroom (in lbs., oz., etc.)? And if there is, can you notice the ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago Helen Copley, lauded by Newsweek and New West for improving employee relations, has pulled in the reins a bit. Union-Tribune staffers, all 1200 of them, will be paying a dime a day ...

Cutie Pie

“There are three types of people in this world: sharks, guppies, and shark bait.”

Same Latitude

“You must enjoy your life while you can. That was his philosophy.”

The Reader's Eye on Television

Last Thursday I gave a little cough and rubbed my chest. I'd felt dizzy since I'd woken up and I said, "Man, I think I'm getting a little cold." Ron said, "Oh, no. This is ...

La Perdida

La Perdida by Jessica Abel. Pantheon, 2006; $19.95; 288 pages. FROM THE DUST JACKET: From the Harvey and Lulu award-winning creator of ArtBabe ( comes this riveting story of a young woman's misadventures in Mexico ...

Diving for Pearls

Red Pearl Kitchen made a splash in Huntington Beach. Now it's testing the waters of San Diego, and if the nearly full houses are any indication, it's getting on swimmingly. Enter the restaurant from the ...

See You at the Office

Twenty-five years after he opened it, George Scolari is selling his "office" on 30th Street. The new owner, Daniel Sobarnia, will shorten the Scolari's Office name to the Office. Sobarnia did not comment about his ...

Too Rude

Some Girls -- comprising members of the Locust, the Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower, and Unbroken -- have left lasting impressions in Europe. "One young lady [in Vienna] who had been acting like ...

No Doctors in the House

Jeff Moore and the Witchdoctors recently ended their seven-year-long Thursday-night residency at Cardiff's Kraken. On April 13, Moore and club owner Doug Aldred had a disagreement. According to one attendee, "[Aldred] approached the stage and ...

When Dolls Don't Charm

The Dresden Dolls opened for Nine Inch Nails at Soma last May. Two years ago, the Dresden Dolls co-headlined a New Year's Eve show at 4th & B. Some people say the band shouldn't have ...

Pack Up the Blue Suede Shoes

A couple years ago, New York billionaire Bob Sillerman paid $114 million for an 85 percent stake in Elvis Presley Enterprises. Recently, in advance of a planned Elvis Presley Las Vegas cabaret act, Sillerman is ...

Muscle to Back the Rap

Muay Thai boxer Charles Williams isn't the only pro athlete to try to make it in hip-hop. "Roy Jones Jr. was a great boxer who came out with an album," says Williams. "It wasn't that ...

Annual Good Friday Stations of the Cross/Walk with the Suffering

"Welcome to the 15th Annual Good Friday 'Walk with the Suffering,'" said Rosemary Johnston from the flatbed of the truck parked in front of the County Health Building on Pacific Highway. "We're going to be ...

Man Down

After a year booking events at the Boulevard in San Marcos, Mike Beard of Man Down Productions says, "I am moving my shows to a new place in San Marcos, the Longshots Saloon." In an ...

The Fantasyland Budget

Jerry Sanders, the ex-police chief who became mayor, is already playing good cop/bad cop. He's the good cop, presenting a "feel good" budget that doesn't hurt anybody or anybody's pocketbook but is based on a ...

American Dreamers

Vicky Lin Yu-tzu gently removes her son's fingers from the laptop. Youxuan is 22 months old, but his tiny grasping hand is the only distraction he has caused us. His mother and I are inspecting ...

Impure coincidence

The timing couldn't be better, at least from the standpoint of termed-out San Diego assemblyman Juan Vargas, who's trying to unseat congressional incumbent Bob Filner in June's 51st District primary election. At the same moment ...

Goes both ways

The National Republican Congressional Committee has launched a barrage of negative TV spots against 50th Congressional District Democratic candidate Francine Busby in order to soften her up for June's runoff against ex-GOP congressman Brian Bilbray. ...

Hit the road

By far the best-traveled member of San Diego County's congressional delegation is Darrell Issa, who ranks 24th among all House members on a list of taxpayer-paid travel compiled on Washington's PoliticalMoneyLine website. Since 2001, multimillionaire ...

Speaking in Tongues

To have another language is to possess a second soul. -- Charlemagne It began as a routine trip to Borders. Once we had arrived at the mega bookstore (or as I sometimes refer to it, ...

Rosa Jurjevics in Boston

Swing Low Tonight is melancholy, but I can't imagine why. I am coming home from a party and I smell like second-hand smoke and, in the cool air, it's not so bad, an almost comforting ...

Advice For Parents Whose Kids Use Foul Language

"It's no use," said my friend Connie on Easter Monday. "When it comes to the in-laws, there are certain things that brand you a Bad Mom, and this is one of them." The day before, ...

Thursday, April 20

Sax

Conversation about the ineffable with local jazz greats.

"Well, you know, I, okay, let me see," Charles McPherson sounded more spirited than stumped. I'd just asked a saxophone legend — Charles McPherson! — what originally attracted him to the saxophone. That was like ...

Business of Bacchus

'I would notice that the waitstaff didn't have a very deep understanding of wine.'

Why Albacore Come and Go

'Most opportunities [to catch fish] exist in late spring through early fall -- June, July, August, and September," explains Catherine Miller, a representative of the San Diego Sport Fishing Council. "San Diego's glamour fish are ...

Train Hits Casino

Carlos told me about friends of his, two girls who live together and have the same birthday. He invited me to meet them at Wild Woolly's, a bar in Chula Vista. I got there at ...

I Googled her. She looks like a nice girl.

I am in somewhat of a state of confusion. Nothing new for those who know me or work with me or, say, my creditors to whom I am constantly imploring for an explanation regarding this ...

Check out the leafy new Five Oaks Trail on Volcan Mountain near Julian.

Boldly rising above the apple orchards of Julian, Volcan Mountain's oak- and pine-dotted slopes are swept by some of the freshest breezes found anywhere in San Diego County. Soughing through the trees like waves spending ...

Matt Bush Was Here

How does the team look this year?" "We have no idea how our team is going to look," says Brian Beban, 35, assistant general manager of the Eugene (Oregon) Emeralds. The Ems are a Single-A ...

Southland vs. Inland Empire

Dear Matthew: It seems that whenever I have contact with the Los Angeles news media (KNX radio or the Los Angeles Times) I often come across the terms "Southland" and "Inland Empire." No one I've ...

Up in Smoke

Heymatt: Here's a question I've considered since high school, have done considerable research on, have asked law enforcement about, and have received many answers to. Is it legal to possess and/or sell balloons full of ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago COME TO SEE the real men. Come to the Mission Beach Plunge. EILEEN AT Halcyon: When I said you were "homely," I only meant you look good enough to take home. Honest, ...

Den of Zombies

There's a nickel-and-dime titty club on 36th and University called the Minx. I live down the street from it. Whenever I have a friend over, he always remarks, "Some night we're going in there," with ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

This one time I took a pant-load of acid in a bar. Things started out slow; from the corner of my eye I caught a swirling pattern of white lights. Soon things progressed to a ...

Plague in San Marcos!

Chimichanga and the Sour Chives recently opened up for Plague of Society at a San Marcos bar. "[Some of the patrons] were acting up and saying shit as soon as they saw us," says Plague ...

No Ho's in O.B.

"We've already talked two [local] venues into canceling all future 'pimp 'n' ho' events," says SDSU student Teri N., who heads a newly formed women's coalition named DM (Demand Respect). "We made [clubs] aware that ...

When One Door Is Closed...

Rick Reitano says he's had it with Encinitas and has put his reggae store up for sale. His father opened Rainbow Country 21 years ago. Reitano took over the Highway 101 store in '89, when ...

Trade Roots for Retirement

Elliot Leib and Renee Romano have sold Trade Roots, the reggae music-and-culture store they founded 20 years ago. "We're in our 50s" is the reason Romano gives when asked about the sale. Leib says, "Music ...

Have Guitar, Will Revolt

Before Jewel and blink-182, San Diego's most successful recording artist of the '90s was six-member reggae band Big Mountain. In 1994, the band's remake of Peter Frampton's "Baby I Love Your Way" made it to ...

Rock Riff-Raff Crashes Mickey's House

"A good percentage of the musicians who got involved had all taught themselves to read [music] in a day or two," bassist Tara Barnes says. She and another San Diego musician, Wilson Drozdowski, were among ...

Then Corporate People Came In...

The day after Unset played their first show in March (at Brick By Brick), the band was notified by Verizon Wireless that they'd been selected as a finalist in the corporation's "Calling All Bands" contest. ...

Spew Like a Rock Star

"He partied himself into the hospital," says Pistolita drummer Cory Stier of bassist Alex Kuhse. "After our show at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis, Alex headed to the bar and proceeded to use ...

Riot on the Streets of New York...

Before playing New York's CBGB on March 26, Rat City Riot roadie "Brock had filled up a Gatorade bottle full of piss," says singer Noah Bricker. "You know how sometimes you have to piss in ...

Oh, Crudo! My Fish is Raw!

"Crudo" seems a risky name for a restaurant, just begging for nasty puns. But in Italian, it merely means "raw" and refers specifically to the Italian version of sashimi enjoyed in Venice for snacks and ...

Jim and Dave Defeat the Masked Man

Jim and Dave Defeat the Masked Man by Jim Cummins and David Lehman; Illustrated by Archie Rand. Soft Skull Press, 2006; $14.95; 143 pages Jim Cummins and I were talking one afternoon about the sestina ...

East Valley Christian Fellowship

"I am so excited," said Pastor Jack Forness as he opened the Maundy Thursday service at East Valley Christian Fellowship. "We get to start to minister on this Easter weekend and be excited about what ...

San Diego Drowns In Own Hubris

Flexing its muscles, working in secret, and stifling dissent, San Diego in the early to mid-1990s tried to assert water independence. It got hosed. The San Diego County Water Authority wound up paying 50 percent ...

No Prosecution In P.B. Bar Fight

Play armchair district attorney a moment. Before you lies the case of 26-year-old William "Bill" Dolan. On February 12, 2005, Dolan goes out barhopping with some friends and acquaintances. The group numbers about eight. After ...

Breaking Stories

High flyers Top members of the San Diego airport authority's board have been traveling in style. Example number one: when Bill Lynch, Joe Craver, and Xema Jacobson went back to Washington this February in a ...

Brokeback Disco

I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means "put down." -- Bob Newhart I thought he was kidding -- ...

Rosa Jurjevics in Boston

Don't Call Me Muffinhead I got a call from my old friend Julia the other night. She was on her way to a triathlon swimming class and, after a short aquatics-themed chat, we lapsed onto ...

Tomatoes

My friend Sarah spent a year in Rome learning the language and soaking in the culture. She came back a lover of all things Italian, especially the food. She whips up savory Italian meals with ...

The Witches Of Banker’s Hill

“We know people from all over, but the number of American Sikhs in town is probably not even 30.”

Wednesday, April 19

Sports Beat

I used to travel half the year. Many trips were to oddball places, so I flew on oddball airlines. As a consequence, although I have pro-league air miles on my scorecard, the total is diluted ...

A Big Plate of Homework Helper

From: Loser, posted to M.A. Comments board: you guys have no information on how water finds its own level PLEASE GET SOME IT'S FOR MY SCIENCE EXPERIMENT Googling has now officially replaced thinking. A student ...

Fine Points of Recycling

Hello, Matt: Each 12-ounce beer bottle says "10 cent CRV refund." When I took about 200 saved-up bottles to a recycle place, to my surprise, they did not count the bottles, just dumped them in ...

The Card that Wouldn't Die

Matt: In August '06, I received a birthday card that sang to me "The Age of Aquarius" by the Fifth Dimension. The dang thing's still singing. Since then I've talked to friends whose singing cards ...

South Pacific

Bali Thai Café just celebrated its first anniversary. That makes it an exception to the very short shelf life of most Indonesian restaurants in California, which typically open with bare-bones budgets and go under before ...

Thursday, April 13

Things That Go Boom!!

The most explosive job in town.

It's a beautiful Monday morning in mid-August, somewhere in the dusty hills of East County. Sun beams through the window of this small building, glinting off a smooth metal object cradled in Conrad Grayson's outstretched ...

Grape Guru

'Just because you like it doesn't necessarily mean it's well made.'

Verse From My Venerable Country

'For Iraqis who have been suffering inside Iraq and those who have been violently uprooted, the word 'today' begins in 1963 with the fascist military coup that brought the Baath Party, in which Saddam Hussein ...

Smiles for Miles

I've gone to parties that lasted until morning light but never to a party that started in the morning. Until last month, when I went to a US Airways event that started at 9:00 a.m. ...

This past week’s festival of anxiety came in the form of e-mails.

This past week was a bear. A good word for a bad week, I suddenly notice, though I don't know why it fits so well. I have no real familiarity with bears; and while they're ...

Hidden from passersby on the nearby Ortega Highway, Ortega Falls serves up a springtime mini-spectacle.

Often dry or merely trickling, Ortega Falls can come to life for days or for weeks following any significant winter storm. During the unusually wet years of 1997 and 2005, when the region received double ...

Medical Marijuana

Shady Alleys I once knew a woman who grew marijuana in a small pot next to her kitchen sink. She was going through chemotherapy for breast cancer and smoked cannabis to ease the nausea, vomiting, ...

Vote for Me and I'll Stop Calling

Matt: My phone is listed on the do-not-call registry. Yet it seems that every candidate for the 50th Congressional seat has called my house to urge me to vote for them. Okay, I think it ...

Patch Adams: The Musical

'Poetry-drenched, lyric-oriented folk jazz" is how Randy Phillips describes her music. "With a little Joni [Mitchell] and Ani [DiFranco] via Sarah McLachlan and Mary Chapin Carpenter." The 1976 SDSU graduate (with a degree in sociology) ...

New Weapon in the Roach Wars

Hey Matt: Please help! Roaches are everywhere! I've tried everything to try to get rid of them. I know you'll have a good solution. I just know it. Adrian, San Diego I think you have ...

Young Man Takes a Stand

"Twenty-two people played on our new CD," says Burnt singer/guitarist Danny Franco. His North Park--based punky-reggae collective rehearses and records in a former tattoo parlor on 30th Street. "The space was a bona fide shithole. ...

Electronica Comeback?

"After 9/11, people said, 'Hey, things are serious now.' It seemed like electronic music went into a decline after that," says Jon Bishop, one of San Diego's best-known techno DJ/recording artists. He moved here 25 ...

Of Commies and Comestibles...

The "Ché" in the Ché Café's name refers to Argentine-born revolutionary Ché Guevara but also serves as an acronym for "cheap, healthy eats." But the vegan fare at UCSD's campus venue has been unavailable for ...

Scandal in the Rag!

Daredevil Jane guitarist Matt Anderson put his former girlfriend back in the tabloids with a call to Howard Stern's radio program on March 28. His ex, original Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress Kristy Swanson, made ...

Zero Plus 37 Equals 45

Hector Penalosa's MySpace page says he's 37, which would have made the onetime Zeros bassist around 8 when the punk pioneers released their debut single in 1977 ("Wimp"/"Don't Push Me Around"). "Yeah, I lie," Penalosa ...

How Much for the Pac Man Doll?

To finance Rookie Card's upcoming release, the band took advantage of their April 3 Casbah gig and turned it into a fundraiser. Guitarist/vocalist Adam Gimble assembled musicians and dancers to entertain the audience. Near the ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago In what could have passed as a dress rehearsal for this summer's Democratic national convention, some 325 voters jammed a Clairemont junior high school to pick a slate of 10 potential delegates ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Snooping for porn when I was a kid was more important to me than school or my friends or pets or damn near everything except breathing or eating. If given the choice, I would have ...

The Brief History of the Dead: A Novel

The Brief History of the Dead: A Novel by Kevin Brockmeier. Pantheon, 2006; $22.95; 252 pages. FROM THE DUST JACKET: "Remember me when I'm gone" just took on a whole new meaning. The City is ...

Take Me Out to Merrill Lynch Field

The City coughs up more than $15 million annually to support a ballpark that was supposed to pay for itself. That expense would be $3 million to $5 million a year less if city hall ...

Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church

"What makes this day special?" asked Pastor Bruce Humphrey of the crowd seated beneath the octagonal dome that is the roof of Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church. The congregation answered, "This is the Sunday we ...

Pizza v. Tacos

Early this year, Papa John's closed 14 pizza stores in Tijuana. You'd think the people who run Mama Mia Pizza, the locally owned chain operating in the city, would be happy to see a competitor ...

Breaking Stories

Deep cover Backers of moving San Diego International Airport out of Lindbergh Field insist that they are going about their business in full public view. But sources inside the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority ...

Pity the Fool

It was early on a Saturday morning and showering was my only accomplishment thus far. I was digging through a pile of clean laundry, looking for a shirt to throw over my blue jeans and ...

Rosa Jurjevics in Boston

It's a Wrap It is one of the first sunny days in this godforsaken town. I roll up my sleeves, glance into the empty expanse of the U-Haul, and think, Finally, I am a real ...

Nocturne for Rosie

“It was a little shack. It had no roof. But he worked so hard, he fed my parents.”

Nonstick Pans

My pop loves his pan-fried bacon. Microwave bacon will not do. "It never gets that crunchy texture," says Pop. It's been his guilty pleasure for years, and it got guiltier when the doc told him ...

Thursday, April 6

Planet of Slums

Interview with genius under a perfect sun.

San Diegan Mike Davis, author of eight nonfiction books and Planet of Slums, the ninth, comes on the line, voice weak from recent pneumonia. We launch in. "You were educated...?" "I went to UCLA. I ...

Kick Dirt and Follow the Pruners

"I didn't realize you're not supposed to put the fondue fork in your mouth."

Multicultural Mixers

Tiffany was turning 30 and hosting a party in the clubhouse of her Mission Valley apartment complex. I got there a few minutes after 7 p.m. as she was setting up, so I shot pool ...

The Gone Ranger

'There were three bizarre theories for his disappearance, beyond the possibility that he had met with a tragic accident: That he committed suicide, that he had taken off and started a new life, and that ...

Trace the remnants of an old railroad grade along the bank of North County's Santa Margarita River.

A wild and scenic section of the Santa Margarita River, a part of the last undammed major watercourse in San Diego County, is open to visitation by self-propelled explorers, courtesy of the Fallbrook Public Utilities ...

Meanwhile, on Punk's Demon Highway...

At Die Princess Die's recent South by Southwest performance, vocalist Pete Chekvala threw his guitar into a wall, picked the guitar up, threw it at another wall, and then dove into his band's rhythm section. ...

Hatred of Governed Music

Acnom, 19, is a backpacker, one of a few North County hip-hop artists (including N3RO Tactic, Simple One, Plain Jane, and Future Shock) who sell their music on the street. "It took me five hours ...

Unashamed of Screamo

"Che Café has that elite, on-the-cusp, über-indie stigma," says Brian Serocke, a UCSD senior who books bands to play on-campus Porter's Pub. Unlike the Che Café (UCSD's more famous music venue), Porter's Pub serves beer ...

He Quit Onstage

Lower Definition was the only local unsigned group invited to play the Taste of Chaos tour at the Sports Arena on February 16. The post-hardcore band won the slot in a Myspace popularity poll. At ...

Vaya con Díos, Socio

Eighty-five-year-old Raúl "Socio" Crespo Villardel, founder of Mike's Bar in Tijuana, died on March 8 of natural causes. In the '60s, members of Vanilla Fudge, Love, and Spirit could be found hanging out with Carlos ...

This Is Your Brain on Pavement

"They had to put him into a medically induced coma, and they ended up removing half his skull," says Grandview guitarist Casey Jenkins of the skateboarding accident that nearly killed their drummer, Craig Winger. "We ...

Sports Showbiz Edition

Yes, it's time to catch up with our favorite sports heroes from yesterday. Go ahead, kick back on the big, brown living room sofa and while you're there, why not enjoy a glass of your ...

Nostalgic for Cheap Beer

Pabst Blue Ribbon, the first canned beer sold in the U.S., is still the only canned beer available in many San Diego bars. As the cheap hipster beer of choice, Pabst is sold at the ...

Dark Side of the Kitchen

Irradio bassist Anthony Rogers-Wright says producer Alan Parsons mixed three tracks on their upcoming album (One Sound) and invited the band to his home in Goleta, just outside of Santa Barbara. "For a guy worth ...

Hot Breath

It was 12 o'clock in the morning and I was lying in my bed, half asleep. The moon was shining so brightly through the blinds that I could see almost everything in my bedroom. All ...

Choco-informative

Heymatt: I love chocolate-covered cherries, but I can't figure out how they make them. Do they cover the cherry with chocolate and then squirt the juice in there somehow? Do they make the top, put ...

Red Dye # BOOM!

Dear Matthew Alice: I just borrowed another 20 bucks from my dad. The 20 in question had red dye along one edge. Was it involved in a bank robbery� you know, exploding dye packs and ...

The Mis-sing Word

Matt: The hatred of women is misogyny, but what about the hatred of men? Lovers of All, San Diego An interesting commentary, when we all know misogyny but not its male counterpart. The word isn't ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago San Diego's University Hospital cafeteria is similar to an army mess hall. Costumes point up rank. Nurses are all in white -- either pant suits or dresses -- while female physicians wear ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Paper tapestries printed with the oily ink and complicated characters of Japanese calligraphy flutter in a soft breeze. A warm wind crosses the sushi restaurant and delivers to me the subtle scent of ginger, tuna, ...

Levitt Courts Adoring Press, Gets Fat Fees

'If Arthur Levitt approaches his job in San Diego as he did his position at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the people of San Diego will be left with a pile of adoring press clips, ...

We're Sorry About Mike Aguirre

'I apologize to San Francisco," said Ben Haddad when the California Coastal Commission met for its monthly meeting in the Bay Area city on December 14. "As for [city attorney Mike] Aguirre...," said Haddad, an ...

Breaking Stories

Triple bogey, redux The San Diego city property agent who blew the whistle on a pending sweetheart lease renewal for Carlton Oaks Golf Course has been fired, and the timing of the move -- sanctioned ...

Eastlake Community Church

When the band started at Eastlake Community Church's 11:30 a.m. upper campus service, Pastor Ben Sigman was not in the building. He was still down the hill at the church's more churchlike lower campus, finishing ...

Sinners Welcome: Poems, with an Essay on Poetry and Faith

Sinners Welcome: Poems by Mary Karr. Harper/Collins, 2006; 93 pages; $22.95. FROM THE DUST JACKET: Mary Karr describes herself as a black-belt sinner, and this -- her fourth collection of poems -- traces her improbable ...

Rosa Jurjevics in Boston

The Producer It's 2 p.m. and I'm back in bed, computer propped on my blanket-covered knees, one hand on the keyboard and the other hand on the phone. I am wearing my customary morning costume ...

Fancy Feet

It's a pleasant thing to be young, and have ten toes. -- Robert Louis Stevenson I should have taken her someplace nicer. As I parked the car, I tried to remember my motives for bringing ...

Culinary Sine Qua Nons

My sister Meg lives without most common kitchen utensils. You won't find a Pyrex measuring cup, a wooden spatula, or even a teakettle in her kitchen. On one family visit to her house, my husband ...

Drop-Out Zone

“Who ever’s had bacon and potatoes and cheese in a little donkey like this?”

Have you ever been caught between San Diego and National City? A man could starve in this eddy and not be found for months. I've been walking south through Barrio Logan, trying to find something ...

Wednesday, April 5

Homegrown Home Grown

Matt: Back in the mid-1970s I lived in San Diego. While I was there I discovered the Home Grown albums that were produced yearly by radio station KGB. I purchased one every year until I ...

Real Thai

If you like Thai food and you haven't been to Lotus Thai lately, you may be missing a treat. The restaurant has come a long way since those "Grand Opening" banners went up six years ...

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