Stories for January 2006

Thursday, January 26

Pardon the French

Fiercely independent yet seductively romantic.

At last, the fashion of French-bashing fades, and now kisses, fries, poodles, horns, bread, dressing, curls, maids, braids, ticklers, manicures, twists, and toast might drop the mock-corrective mark of "freedom." Even our most patriotic consciences ...

Straight Talk

'Unfortunately, the West Nile virus decomposes rapidly. We have about a 24-hour window to get the bird in here and get it tested," says supervising vector ecologist for the County of San Diego Vector Control ...

Orange County's Black Star Canyon conceals a surprising waterfall.

Good timing is the key to catching the waterfall in Black Star Canyon at its best. Since only about three square miles of drainage area lie above it, persistent rains are needed to get more ...

St. Stephen's Church of God in Christ, Valencia Park

Denomination: Church of God in Christ Address: 5825 Imperial Avenue, Valencia Park Founded locally: 1962 Senior pastor: Bishop George McKinney Congregation size: 600--700 families Staff size: 12 Sunday school enrollment: don't know Annual budget: around ...

A Troubadour’s Travails

'It seems that I am in the midst of a wicked streak of bad luck this week," blogs San Diego-based singer/songwriter Laura K at myspace.com. "It all started Sunday afternoon, during an otherwise enjoyable visit ...

I swore to myself I would be the world’s first rock novelist.

The end of January, the fourth week into the new year of 2006, and I'm trying to free-associate or something, trying to find match-ups in the fleshy RAM that is my memory, riddled as it ...

They Only Taste Rich

The restaurant reviewer for a rival publication just quit because, he wrote, he was getting too fat on the job. That can be a serious hazard for restaurant reviewers and for many frequent restaurantgoers -- ...

XL Press Clippings

The temperature in Detroit is 24 degrees as I write this. Counting Super Bowl XL, Detroit has hosted two Super Bowls vs. zero for Buffalo, Boston, Seattle, Indianapolis, Chicago, Green Bay, Denver, New York, Kansas ...

Lord of the Fliers

“Never leave the ground on an empty stomach.”

Egg-zactly Wrong

Hey: My friends and I were talking the other day and the subject came around to the one day of the year that you can balance an egg on its end. My friend says that ...

Stupid Cat Tricks

Heymatt: You seem to be a expert on the subject of domestic house cats, so here's another one for you. Why is it they love to sit and lie on newspapers? And why is it ...

No Competition

Movies reviewed this week: Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World and Match Point

Roger? Roger? Hey, Roger!

Heymatt: In radio communication, "Roger" means "message received," the code word for the letter "R." So why "Roger"? Also, I've heard the word "Roger" used with the word "Wilco," as in, "Roger, Wilco, over and ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago They tell tales in the back rooms and archives and lecture halls of the anthropology world, of one John Peabody Harrington, linguist. Now that a comfortable 15 years have elapsed since his ...

Crushed: A Novel

Crushed by Laura and Tom McNeal. Alfred A. Knopf, 2006; $15.95; 308 pages FROM THE DUST JACKET: The acclaimed authors of Crooked and Zippedbring their signature suspense and razor-sharp dialogue to this compelling new novel ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

"We are the oldest whitest people on the planet, aren't we?" Ron asks. I agree and nod. "We're like the last holdouts in a zombie movie. Outside that door is a civilization we don't recognize. ...

Jeri Kemple in Colorado

The House That Meant Fun "There are five things which no one is able to accomplish in this world: first, to cease growing old when he is growing old; second, to cease being sick; third, ...

Snow Bunny

Skiing: I do not participate in any sport with ambulances at the bottom of the hill. -- Erma Bombeck The sunlight glinting off the crystalline snow was painfully bright. I traded my rectangular black and ...

Thirty-Thousand-Dollar Monkey

Hot Monkey Love Café co-owner Alma Felan says her establishment will be moved from its site on El Cajon Boulevard by May 1. The all-age, alcohol-free music venue may relocate to a new space in ...

Punk Embarrassment

"Somebody made a death threat on Bush," says Joel Scheingross, founder of Sandiegopunk.com. "It was either the FBI or Secret Service who contacted the person who was running the [website message] board at the time. ...

Chargers' Influence Broadens

The public thinks of pro sports as a game -- an athletic contest. The billionaire pro sports owners consider it a game too -- a high-stakes poker game, with the mainstream media helping the team ...

Liver Spots in TJ

"All they wanted was a steel guitar player," says Rick Schmidt about his appearance in a Shania Twain video. Schmidt, a Carlsbad-based pedal steel player, says he's done work "for everyone from Minnie Pearl to ...

Midget Madness

Midget Madness singer/bassist Chris Angelo says, "We can fit on any stage, no matter what size it is.... All of us are five foot five or less." The trio plays original rock reminiscent of the ...

Prescription for Numbers

It's unlikely that San Francisco's Numbers will go to Tijuana when they return to San Diego this week. "It's, like, a lawless place," drummer/vocalist Indira Dunis says of their last visit to Tijuana. "As soon ...

Crunk Event

When former Angel Hair and the VSS vocalist Sonny Kay moved to San Diego in 2001, he never thought his Gold Standard Labs record label would begin the ascent to become one of the most ...

Falling Star

"It was a four-star hotel, and there was our roadie Gizmo, naked and duct-taped to a cot that was propped up in the hallway," says Kicking K8 drummer Billy Nychay of the band's stay late ...

TJ River Bottom Slated for Recreation Site

The Tijuana River has always been a problem for its namesake city. With a watershed covering hundreds of square miles in California and Baja, the normally creek-sized river transmogrifies into an aquatic monster after heavy ...

Breaking Stories

Fast livers San Diego sheriff Bill Kolender has finally coughed up the money his campaign committee owed the state after prosecutors revealed last year that a well-heeled drinking buddy laundered cash contributions through his employees ...

The Bride, The Groom, The Hostess

I have been getting requests to crash weddings. The calls have been frequent since the release of Wedding Crashers on DVD. One guy left a message that his boss was getting married at the Hotel ...

Wednesday, January 25

Matthew Hears Voices

Hey, Matt!: Why is it that so many schizophrenics hear voices telling them to do something violent? Whenever we read about these poor souls, it's because they've heard a voice (usually God's) telling them to ...

Thursday, January 19

American Interests

The foreign service ten minutes from San Diego.

When Dean Haas considers his career so far, he describes its most emotionally difficult period as a two-week "hostage situation" involving a group of Americans "who'd gone to look for Noah's ark." There was, of ...

Suppose Reality Exists

'One way to discover reality is through science. Another way is through philosophy. Both are complementary to one another, not oppositional," says Thom Pham, cofounder of the San Diego Philosophy Reading Group. "We [approach philosophy ...

Passion and Escape

If you like the beat writing of Kerouac or spoken-word essays by the likes of Henry Rollins and Eric Bogosian, then Adam Gnade may be your cup of tea. If you're accustomed to innocuous pop ...

San Diego Church, Mission Valley

Denomination: nondenominational Address: Dave & Buster's, 2931 Camino Del Rio North, Mission Valley Founded locally: January 2004 Senior pastor: Chad Furlong Congregation size: 140 Staff size: two, plus two volunteers Sunday school enrollment: TK Annual ...

San Dieguito River Park's San Pasqual/Clevenger Canyon trail system takes hikers to heights overlooking inland North County.

Climbing high into the chaparraled, boulder-frosted hills at the east end of San Pasqual Valley, the San Dieguito River Park's San Pasqual/Clevenger Canyon trail system offers a variety of challenges for weekend hiking warriors. In ...

When, exactly, did I begin thinking of this place as home?

It is Friday the 13th in the a.m. as I write this. (I always want to follow sentences like that with something like, "... time is running out. Within moments they will be upon me.") ...

Ramona Rising

"It's important to be able to name your dirt something."

Food Fight

'We do programming on software that creates sea surface temperature charts. Twice a day." Speaking is Jeff Gammon, founder/owner/worker bee of Vista-based Terrafin Software. What Gammon does, for 99 bucks a year per customer, is ...

New Year’s Resolutions: Let’s Face It

During the month of January, gyms are filled with people who swore that this year they would get into shape. Those who vowed to maintain a six-pack crowd the ab machines and pilates classes, those ...

Is there a future after "Star Trek"?

Hey, Matt: I was digging through some old (really old) books left over from my junior high school days. As I was flipping through A Star Trek Catalog: The Complete Guide to the Fantastic World ...

In the Beginning

Movies reviewed this week: Hoodwinked, The New World, Transamerica, and Tristan and Isolde

Kneading answers

Heymatt: Why do cats move their paws so much when you're petting them? -- Lisa T., the net It's called kneading, Lisa. Your pampered Fluffy is drifting back to her kittenhood, when kneading helped stimulate ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago Unlike Eastern Seaboard communities who live in fear of a sludge monster arising from the depths, San Diegans can be free from such anxieties thanks to a steep topography and a hand ...

The Mandarin Mystique

The holiday deluge of relatives hit at gale force during the week after Christmas, bringing my partner's son Gary, his wife Tina, and their four children from the suburban outback northeast of L.A. This incursion ...

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006; $28; 340 pages. FROM THE DUST JACKET: The dust storms that terrorized ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

My wireless Internet connection fades out and goes black. Plodding into the next room, I duck my head under the bed and push my ass high in the air, and I root around for the ...

Rank

The Kings of Leon played the biggest-grossing San Diego concert of 2005...only because they opened for U2 at the Sports Arena. According to Pollstar magazine, the March 30 sell-out brought in $2.9 million, the 86th ...

Clear Violation?

Local country radio station U.S. 95.7 has a blue-and-red shield logo that resembles an interstate freeway sign. That's a problem. "The actual route shield is trademarked by a group called the American Association of State ...

Nixon to Barnstorm Texas

"I need to help my friend Kinky Friedman get elected governor of Texas," says Mojo Nixon, whose last live performance was at 2004's South by Southwest music fest. Friedman, the musician/politician who calls himself the ...

Aaargh!

Even though the FCC and U.S. marshals shut down Free Radio 96.9 in July 2005, transmissions resumed in November, and the station seems to be operating from the same rented building in South Park. "We ...

New Qualcomm Exec Off to Foundering Start

San Diego's saplings creaked and twisted in some howling winds last year. These sons of sturdy patriarchs may not have balmy weather this year, either. Last year, Paul Jacobs took control of a magnificent fief: ...

Jukebox Stakeout

At the Tomcat Bar and Grill in Mira Mesa last Thursday, Judy Wenker slipped some quarters into the machine. What song brings back a memory? "The Doors, 'Light My Fire,' " she said. "I sometimes ...

Jeri Kemple in Colorado

Once Upon a Time I was a little girl dancing in the summer sun with no shirt on, surrounded by pansies and mint, flower boxes, hanging plants, garden tools, and mud boots. My collection of ...

We Were Begging

"We were begging and hoping at the last minute [ticket sales] would pick up," says 4th&B owner Ali Niforshan. He pulled the plug on a January 10 "Superstars of the Blues Harp" concert. Besides harmonica ...

La Jolla Taco Shop Cited for Gaud

In early October a woman phoned Ryan Hill at Don Carlos Taco Shop on La Jolla's Pearl Street to complain about his signs. They're illegal, and besides that, she ranted, "They are ugly, gaudy, and ...

Hey, Man...Remember Us?

Thirty-eight years ago tomorrow (1/20/68), the Strawberry Alarm Clock played downtown's Community Concourse. Though they performed their hit "Incense and Peppermints," the record's 16-year-old lead singer, Greg Munford, was not onstage. "He was never in ...

Breaking Stories

Missing links First the good news: KPBS, the local public broadcasting organization owned and operated by San Diego State University, is reporting total revenues of $25,131,533 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005. Now ...

Robber Chicken

The robb'd that smiles, steals something from the thief. -- William Shakespeare 'How could they not feel guilty with all of our pictures here? I mean, we were basically staring at them as they did ...

The Bear of Lemon Grove

I went to two parties in Lemon Grove. Sam threw the first one. His guests were all over 40. The second party, a crew in their early 20s, was hosted by Dave. This was my ...

Birdie Boy, Birdie Girl?

Heymatt: How can you really tell that a bird is a male or a female? -- Kay, the net How can we really, really tell? Do I detect suspicion? Exasperation? Has someone been trying to ...

Diamonds and Synthetic Diamonds

'Very nice. But are they real?" My friend Kate was interrogating another friend, Sasha, about the glittering row of diamonds on her ring, a present from Sasha's husband on their 10th anniversary. It wasn't the ...

Thursday, January 12

Texas Hold 'Em

Holdin’ ’em and foldin’ ’em the San Diego way

The popularity contest is over. Texas hold 'em has won. We're all in. Some approximations state that over 20 percent of Americans play hold 'em poker on a regular basis. Thirteen networks currently offer poker ...

Foxtrot Bravo

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. -- Mahatma Gandhi 'We live like kings," Dad said. The last pill from the colorful assortment in his hand disappeared ...

Land of the Garlic Naan

“This is the bomb, I’ll tell you.”

Skyline Wesleyan, La Mesa

Denomination: Wesleyan Address: 11330 Campo Road, Highway 94 at Jamacha Road, La Mesa Founded locally: 1954 Senior pastor: Dr. Jim Garlow Congregation size: about 2800 Staff size: 14 pastors Sunday school enrollment: about 1800, including ...

To Kill and Impregnate

'Even though the animal was dead, it was a real encounter to know there was a [mountain] lion there, to know this is where it fed on this animal," says Deborah Knapp, manager of the ...

Walking the Line

Cash'd Out is San Diego's newest Johnny Cash cover band. The success of the recent biopic Walk the Line has not hurt the group's popularity. The band consists of Douglas Benson on vocals and guitar; ...

Millard Canyon, in the San Gabriel Mountains, hosts a melodious cascade during the rainy season.

Sheltered in a cool, shady canyon a few short minutes from the 'burbs of Altadena and Pasadena, Millard Falls comes alive at about this time of year with runoff from the "front range" of the ...

Add a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia...and we are firmly in my post-holiday terrain.

I think I might assume that I am not alone in the aftermath of the holidays (whatever you need to call them), surrounded by yet unchucked gift wrappings, batteries; maybe your tree is still in ...

White Crane Spreads Its Wings

Two years ago I wrote a column about taking up the practice of Tai Chi Chuan, said I'd report back after a year. Last year. I checked in, promised an update in 12 months' time. ...

Caffeine: Hooked

Caffeine is my life support. I drink tea and coffee. I drink iced tea like a crazy man because it is my favorite. At Starbucks, I opt for the black iced tea, sweetened. It tastes ...

Missing Chef Found in Clairemont Mall

The last two years, we've seen a game of musical chefs. Now it's progressed to musical restaurants, with a mad swirl of newcomers replacing old- and not-so-old-timers. In a recent change, Cucina Italiana ("Italian kitchen") ...

Ivory and Ebony

Movies reviewed this week: Glory Road, Last Holiday, and The White Countess

Radio station KMAT

HY MTTHW LC! Why do radio stations have those consonant-filled names, like KQVO or KFMB? And why is there a disproportionate amount of the letter K? -- VWL-HNGRY IN NRML HGHTS THR R 5 VWLS ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago After six years of self-imposed abstinence, the San Diego Union-Tribune has reopened its entertainment pages to X-rated movie ads. In reversing a 1969 decision by former publisher James Copley, the U-T management, ...

Nazi Rock

"They have to keep it as secret as possible," says a promoter about a hate-rock show that may or may not be coming to San Diego. "For obvious reasons they only want their inner circle ...

MC Ron Jeremy in da Palace

"No one takes San Diego [rappers] seriously," says Nasty O of National City, one of the four men in Sky Tower Click. "People [outside of SD] think San Diego rap revolves around gangsters. Many rap ...

The Letters of Lytton Strachey

The Letters of Lytton Strachey edited by Paul Levy. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005, 720 pages; $40 FROM THE DUST JACKET: Lytton Strachey is one of the key figures in the cultural life of the ...

Expect Sex and Violence

Before they've ever played a show, the Prayers have received offers of sex and death threats via myspace.com. But, because three members of the new pop/rock outfit are in the Plot to Blow Up the ...

Pridebowling for Popularity

"I met this Swedish girl in Newport Beach," says punk singer/songwriter Aaron Goulding. "I followed her home in 1993.... I met these other guys [in Sweden] and we started a band." Pridebowl did well in ...

Clean House

After seven months in operation, downtown's House of Blues is saying goodbye to general manager Jim Biofore and Kyle Svanda, assistant director of venue operations. Insiders who do not work for House of Blues speculate ...

Keepin' It Real...Dirty?

Local pastor and Grammy-nominated gospel artist Tonex (pronounced Toe-nay) says his newest CD, Oak Park: 92105, is the first Christian-artist album to carry a parental advisory sticker. Released on iTunes.com, the 24 tracks document his ...

Sometimes You Can't Get What You Need

Al Kooper played keyboards for the Stones ("You Can't Always Get What You Want"), Bob Dylan (the organ on "Like a Rolling Stone"), and various Beatles tracks. Yet, as of this writing, he hasn't yet ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Two Policia scratch the black leather soles of their boots against the grit of the sidewalk as they turn their backs to me. The Spanish in their mouths is the deliberate cadence of morning, and ...

Classical Act

Even before 18-year-old pianist Eldar Djangirov played on Late Night with Conan O'Brien last June, the 2005 graduate of Linda Vista's Francis Parker School had sold over 50,000 copies of his debut CD Eldar (his ...

City and UT in Log Roll SNAFU

Ethicists often examine the "do" contract -- "you do me and I'll do you." The advertising salesman sells an ad to a company, and lo and behold, the paper's business page shortly carries a puff ...

Bored on Wheels

You've worked hard, you've succeeded in your profession, you've gotten rich. And now you want a car that says those things to the people you blow past on the freeway. A Cadillac or even a ...

Breaking Stories

Scandal city It might not be up to the level of Washington's Abramoff scandal, but the California Fair Political Practices Commission has filed a flurry of sanctions against San Diegans. First up is Ace Parking ...

Jeri Kemple in Colorado

My life before my husband came into it was out of control. Divorce, incest, neglect, abandonment, promiscuity, alcoholism, drug addiction -- just to name some of the elements throwing my life out of whack. I ...

Ms. Simon’s Century

I got an invitation for a New York party. I thought that was a long way to go until, reading on, I realized that it was in Rancho Santa Fe. There's always great food and ...

A Fungus Among Us

Hey, Matt: I see guys in the gym, usually older, who wear sandals in the shower, presumably to avoid athlete's foot. Now, if I drop my trunks on the gym shower floor and then put ...

Corpsenapping

Hey, Matt!: I was watching President Ford's funeral on C-SPAN and something occurred to me. The cameras kept cutting away to Betty, who was sitting in a huge armored Cadillac. At least I assume it ...

Concealer Makeup

She was dancing a mean tango with a rose in her teeth. She and her partner then displayed the decisive steps of the cha-cha. An hour later, when the party broke from ballroom dancing into ...

Thursday, January 5

David’s Debauchery

I feel like I have a hangover, without all the happy memories and mystery bruises. -- Ellen DeGeneres David groans in anguish. "I'm old enough to know better," he sighs, dragging the last syllable, eeerrrrrr, ...

Holy Trinity, Ocean Beach

Denomination: Episcopalian, affiliated with the Anglican Communion Network Address: 2083 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, Ocean Beach, 619-222-0635 Founded locally: 1921 Senior pastor: Lawrence Bausch Congregation size: 200 Staff size: 3 Sunday school enrollment: 25 Annual budget: ...

Moribund Metal

“We were signing autographs, and he actually has us sign the baby.”

Sharpest Knife In the Drawer

'Everybody has a different style and technique for how they sharpen their knives," says Jeff Thurston, executive chef at the Prado in Balboa Park. For hard German steel knives like Wüsthof or Henckels (brands used ...

Discover the botanical oddities known as elephant trees in a remote corner of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Elephant trees (Bursera microphylla), once considered exceedingly rare in California, have turned out -- after decades of searching and serendipitous discovery -- to be not so rare north of the international border. Still, the scattered ...

T.G.I.F.

Maybe this happens to you: I've been going through a period of, now, more than three months during which I have been unable to complete more than three book-length works of prose. To neither brag ...

A Cup of Cuba

When my posse and I walked into Tazablanca, we spotted a familiar sight: On the wall behind the bandstand was a colorful oil painting that we'd last seen hanging at Mambo, the huge, short-lived Cuban ...

2005 A Year In Review

Mayor Dick Murphy was buried last April.

Two thousand five was the year Dick Murphy died. Murphy the man is still alive, we hope. We think. We're almost certain. We haven't been able to talk to him. Not that we haven't tried. ...

Maybe This Year

Cleaning house this morning. New Year's day blew by and the work-year grind begins. Found these items in a paper pile as I was mucking out my file cabinet. Follows are columns I wanted to ...

Buddy Story

“I’m too old to fight that battle.”

War: Why American Soldiers Die

Did President Bush make the right decision to have the U.S. spend billions of dollars on the war in Iraq while people worldwide suffer from hunger and diseases? Absolutely not! Though Bush had noble intentions ...

It's all in your head

Matt: I think I have a wonderful singing voice. But my so-called friends tell me differently. I didn�t believe them until one day I tape-recorded myself and played it back. I couldn't believe that squeaky ...

Soma Smarts

Last month, MTV2 considered House of Blues and 4th & B for a "$2 Bill Tour" concert that features Yellowcard and Hello Goodbye. The show, which offers no ticket proceeds to the venue, will be ...

Pictures of Contentment

More and more, I notice myself in the middle of a movie, or in the first ten minutes of a movie, putting the experience to the fundamental test. Am I content to be watching this ...

John Who?

"A lot of people think John-Mark is a singer, not a band," says bassist/singer/songwriter James Coleman, 22. The four members of John-Mark were signed to Maverick Records last May. Three local artists inked major-label deals ...

Mung beans on the menu

Heymatt: Does anyone cook mung beans, or are they only good for sprouting? Has anyone ever seen a mung bean recipe? GM, the net A bean is a bean is a bean. Those of the ...

Stuff up your nose

Matthew Alice: When you smell something, does that mean that little particles of what you smell are going up your nose, or is it gasses given off by the object that we smell? Cindy, Mira ...

New Executive Direction

At the 15th San Diego Music Awards ceremony on September 12, founder Kevin Hellman acknowledged that it would be his last year as SDMA executive director. "I hope to have an announcement by March 1," ...

Not the Monster

"My phone is tapped," claims guitarist John Pertle of Johnny Love Sound, who pleaded guilty in late November to distributing and possessing child pornography. The 36-year-old had his mother contact me via e-mail. Through her, ...

Back When

Twenty-Five Years Ago HEY YOU OUT THERE, let's in memory of John Lennon give peace a chance. BEATLE FANS. Did anybody out there do any home videotaping during December 9 through the 14th? If so, ...

Meanwhile, Behind the Sports Arena...

When I went to see Le Tigre at Soma sometime last year, I drove past the Hancock Café on Hancock Street, behind Soma and the Sports Arena. A "live music" sign caught my eye, as ...

Stomping and Screaming in La Mesa

Ken Bethea, lead guitarist of Old 97s, writes on his blog about the recording of his Dallas band's sixth album, Drag It Up. "We finished up in sunny San Diego at producer Mark Neill's vintage ...

Rag Trade's Bottom Line Plunges

In corporate slang, the garment industry is lovingly called "the rag trade." But in recent years, the rag trade has been ragged: people at all income levels haven't been spending as much of their disposable ...

Overnight Barbeque

“I’m here three times a week. I’m hooked on the smell.”

Snowbound, Part Two of Two

A few years ago I ran across Yasunari Kawabata's Snow Country. The novel's translator writes in an introduction to the novel: The west coast of the main island of Japan is probably for its latitude ...

Breaking Stories

Bankers' millions San Diego mayoral honcho Ronne Froman, an ex-admiral, has filed her first statement of economic interests as required by state law. It reveals she is a director of La Jolla's 1st Pacific Bank, ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

She sits like a stack of deli meats, all mounded up and sliding off of herself. Purple straps and black straps from tank tops and bras try to restrain her soft bubbles of flesh. Engorged ...

Jeri Kemple in Colorado

The Yellow Cadillac I live in a small town (population 1500) with big skies and no hills. If I climbed the 100-year-old oak tree in my yard, I would see endless fields, now barren of ...

The Duelist

Greg Vaughn invited me to his birthday party in North Park. He was the guitarist in a band that played at a party I wrote about last year. I remember hearing just a few songs ...

Healthy Pet Food

Poor Longshanks. It's always hard to be a fat dog, but when you're a fat dachshund, it can get to the point where your long belly is dragging on the ground. Poor Rosencranz. He's a ...