Stories for March 2006

Thursday, March 30

San Diego Models Tell All

To please the skilled beholders of fashion.

I was walking down the street one day, Prospect, in La Jolla, in the merry month of May, when I was taken by surprise: a woman calling after me, "Sir. Excuse me. Sir. Sir!" But ...

En Route to Master

'It looks like you can never learn it all, and with 10,000 different grape varietals, I'll never get bored.'

Tortilla Toss

Our first day in Rosarito Beach we held the tortilla toss. This being the group's 32nd annual party, bragging rights were at stake. Bragging rights and a cheesy trophy -- a guy throwing a discus. ...

Land of Cross and Dragon

'We use special wool from an old kind of sheep. It's a very beautiful sheep," says Lizzie Riiber. "The wool has a shine to it." The sheep from which Riiber's yarn comes is called spælsau. ...

His fascination with the game may be rife with clues.

This Friday night I am doing homework. It is something of a reverse of the old image of a student muddling through a creative writing assignment, stretched out on the bed beneath the high school ...

Smells Like Napster

Michael Robertson, former CEO of the once legally embattled www.MP3.com, is risking the wrath of the recording industry again. His new locally launched website, www.sideload.com, offers free access to "29,000 songs from more than 7,000 ...

Snuffed

"We played a song called 'Methamphetamine,' " says Jake Precht, bassist for the punk band Misled Citizen. His band represented La Costa Canyon High School at a March 14 battle of the bands held at ...

Cold Night, Hot Dog

“This is the only nighttime stand I know in all of San Diego.”

Hackers' Delight

The position of rock-band manager does not come with job security. Matisyahu and the Killers, who landed major-label deals not long ago, fired the managers who helped steer them toward international recognition. Rick DeVoe began ...

Nailed

Former Nine Inch Nails drummer Jerome Dillon recently told MTV.com that his "cardiac disorder" during a September 2005 San Diego show led to his dismissal from the band. He says bandleader Trent Reznor never called ...

Fractured Scene

After a four-year respite from playing music, Jade Shader vocalist Terrin Durfey missed the music he used to play with his Leucadia-based band, Boilermaker. "I regret that as lost time," says Durfey, who spent the ...

Walk the Torrey Pines trails for close-up flower studies and spacious ocean vistas.

Don't let this season's lackluster bloom in the desert discourage you from seeking out spring wildflowers. Some of the most colorful and diverse displays of native flowers can be found right in our own urban ...

Discontent in the House

Hourly employees who worked at the San Diego House of Blues before January 31, 2006, may soon be able to claim their share of a $1 million settlement fund set up in the aftermath of ...

Everybody Knows

The NCAA tournament ends Monday. I've perused my sports calendar, and other than the first annual West Coast Beach Boomerang Tournament, set for April 8 at Playa Del Rey (on the beach side of LAX), ...

Death by Spitwad

Dear Matt: Is my paper-chewing habit killing me? For years I've been tearing off fingernail-sized bits from legal pads, computer paper, note cards, paper napkins, and an occasional Reader movie review, chewing them into paper ...

Plain Vanilla

Heymatt: Why do stores south of the border have such an abundance of vanilla extract for sale? The world wonders. Mark, Ocean Beach Well, at any rate, you wonder, Mark. I'm more likely to wonder ...

Knob Quandry

Heymatt: Why are bathroom doorknobs silver on the inside and brass on the outside? Jeff, Tierrasanta I'm not sure what this says about the research elves, but they spent an awful lot of time dissecting ...

David Copley's Wallet Losing Heft

Wall Street seems to be saying "Lights out!" to daily newspaper chains, but David Copley -- although almost certainly not the billionaire he is touted to be -- can still pay his utility bill. Stocks ...

High-Rise Hopes Just South Of Border

Imagine a high-rise condominium offering views of downtown San Diego, the bay, and the Pacific Ocean. Each condo features granite in the kitchen, tile in the bathrooms, and wood trim throughout. The 25-story building stands ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago "Most of the bites are from German shepherds. Next, from poodles. Of course, people start shaking when you mention Dobermans, but there aren't enough around to make a big percentage of bites. ...

Breaking Stories

Il duce During the past two decades, since political consultant Tom Shepard was forced to plead guilty to campaign-law-related violations in the 1985 political money-laundering case against his ex-client, fallen San Diego mayor Roger Hedgecock, ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Even though I've moved to the big city, I can't forget the wheat farm where I was raised. The color of San Diego stands in contrast to my small home. Here are the aqua tones ...

Christ Church

"It used to be a very old congregation," says church administrator Susie Clifford. "But within, I'd say, the past ten years, young families have really started coming here. The Jazz Mass is part of that. ...

From Amman to Beirut

"A Palestinian friend of mine in San Francisco told me, 'Try it, you'll like it!' " said my partner, after his first bite of Rannoush's extraordinary falafel. "Guess what? I hated it -- and kept ...

Death's Door: Modern Dying and the Way We Grieve

Death's Door: Modern Dying and the Ways We Grieve by Sandra M. Gilbert. W.W. Norton, 2006; $29.95; 580 pages FROM THE DUST JACKET: Prominent critic, poet, and memoirist Sandra M. Gilbert explores our relationship to ...

Rosa Jurjevics in Boston

Tucked In And Terrified Surprise, surprise. I can't sleep. I made a valiant effort, though. I went to bed at 11:30 to the sounds of my computer playing cheery sitcoms on loop and my ocean-waves, ...

Contrary Godmother

He is a hypocrite who professes what he does not believe; not he who does not practice all he wishes or approves. -- William Hazlitt I was raised Catholic. For years I spent Sunday mornings ...

Buffalo Meat

When Uncle Max comes to town, it's like Mardi Gras, St. Paddy's, and Halloween all rolled into one. Max is an eclectic gentleman, fond of the exotic. For last summer's family gathering, a Hawaiian-themed barbecue ...

Thursday, March 23

Bus Bash

For the past 30 years, Larry has been traveling south of the border to party on his birthday. He and his friend Mary McDonald charter a bus and pile all their friends into it for ...

The Envelope, Please

'You know those circus peanuts? That's exactly what this smells like.'

Celebrity School

'Be brutally honest. Look at yourself and see if you look like you could be commercial," says Becky Rash, co-owner of Active Audio and Entertainment. "Ashlee Simpson is a little more regular-looking than her sister ...

That Filthy Lucre...

John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten, formerly of the Sex Pistols) did a three-hour interview last week on 91X. According to 91X program director Kevin Stapleford, the station paid Lydon to record promotional announcements three months ...

Of Mansions and Trailer Parks

"There aren't really any gangs out there," says 19-year-old Free Mind, who graduated from Poway High last year. "There are barely any Asians where I'm from. I kicked it with black people, so I was ...

Album Special: $680

Brian Witkin owns Del Mar--based record label Pacific Records and a record/CD store located inside the all-age Epicentre in Mira Mesa. Now, following the McDonald's business model, Witkin intends to break into recording; he says ...

These Knives Don't Sink

The former members of No Knife (who split in 2003) are turning up all over. Bassist Brian Desjean's new band, Get Your Death On!, played their first gig on February 19 at the Ken Club; ...

Let It Bleed

If you pick up a copy of Zack Wentz's novel The Garbageman and the Prostitute, you might notice that William T. Vollmann is quoted on the front cover. Vollmann, author of Europe Central, The Atlas, ...

And I was sure to be a cult classic...

David Sipnick is a bookseller, mostly online in recent years, but with some of his small press stuff from the 1990s, Oberon Books Editions, children's (boys', really) adventure stories on consignment at specialty stores around ...

Buddied Up

Close up on the man at the helm of our ten-campus university system.

Orange County's new Bell View Regional Trail offers wide views of far-flung suburbs and brooding mountains.

The Bell View Regional Trail, for hikers, equestrians, and cyclists, starts as a "community trail" threading through the suburban-edge communities of Rancho Santa Margarita and Coto de Caza. It then assumes a wilder character as ...

Sweet Sixteen

The usual schools remain standing as the NCAA men's basketball tournament rolls through its second week. We have Connecticut, Villanova, Florida, Georgetown, Duke, UCLA, blah, blah, blah, and Bradley. Bradley. What is Bradley? Turns out, ...

Night

This patch of earth, longitude 117 degrees west, latitude 33 degrees 2 minutes north, passes away from the sun. The sun's light, leaning in from the west, reaches us through denser and denser layers of ...

Gullibility Factor

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. According to a poll taken three months ago, 63.4 percent of city residents believe thatpolitics and government are no more corrupt here than in any other ...

Steaming Rock Piles

'It was a very depressing scene," blogs Wasting June's keyboard player Jeff Domitrz about a summer gig at 'Canes (found on the band's myspace.com page). "A friend of mine described it as 'drinking beer at ...

Passionate Local Filmmaker Passes

'Garrett Scott and Ian Olds," announced the actor Willem Dafoe after opening the envelope. The two had been chosen for the Truer Than Fiction Award, given at this year's Independent Spirit Awards, broadcast March 4 ...

Breaking Stories

Triple bogie Call it a small piece of good news for San Diego taxpayers: a bid to renew the sweetheart lease of the Carlton Oaks Golf Course has been thwarted by a recently hired property ...

St. John of Damascus, Orthodox Church

It took five years to hand-carve the screen that stretches across the front of St. John Damascus, and it shows. Besides its wrought wood, the screen displays a host of icons, their angular lines depicting ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago County tax assessors assess boats as personal property, unless they are a taxpayer's principal residence, and then the boat owner can file for a homeowner's exemption. If taxes are unbearable, you can ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Attention from a pretty girl is all any of us wants -- men, that is. There are volumes of slick magazines devoted to a monthly review of "What he really wants," when it's just that ...

Chop Shop

“They call it ‘chopped sewage’ where I come from. I keep telling you, man, it’s not Chinese.”

American Movie Critics: An Anthology from the Silents Until Now

American Movie Critics: From the Silents Until Now, edited by Phillip Lopate. Library of America, 2006; $40; 700 pages FROM THE DUST JACKET: American Movie Critics is an anthology of unparalleled scope that charts the ...

Rosa Jurjevics in Boston

The Granddaughters Nanny is dead. It is Karen who calls to tell me this. It is Thursday, and I hear the phone and know, ducking out of class in what I hope is a discreet ...

Invitation Only

Remember, our conduct is influenced not by our experience but by our expectations. -- George Bernard Shaw I was 14 the first time I learned there was a party held by one of my friends ...

Hair Extensions

My gal pal Bernice turns 40 this summer. Her hubby Frank is taking her to Cancún to celebrate. Bernice has been preparing for the trip -- working out, dieting, and shopping for new outfits. "But ...

Wednesday, March 22

Nail Polish News

A question for Matthew Alice: What with Darfur, Iraq, and Anna Nicole Smith, it is probably shameful to ask, but...what is the difference between topcoat and basecoat in the world of nail polishing? Same formula, ...

Thursday, March 16

High Flyers

Through the air with the greatest of ease.

I've got this friend back in New York City, Suzi Winson, who flies regularly on the trapeze, and she's counseled me for years that I should take it up. "There's nothing like the trapeze," Winson ...

The Shoes and Gloves Come Off

My friend Sally threw a birthday party for her sister Julie at the Old Town Saloon. When I arrived, Julie was showing off a ring that she received as a gift. I didn't know Julie ...

Making of a Judge

"Assembling the team was abundantly easy for me."

Fresh Pie

Some fans at the recent Cult show at House of Blues left with a live recording of the band's performance. A table manned by a Live Nation employee took $25 from patrons during the sold-out ...

Skinheads Can't Read

No San Diego bands played the British Invasion concert in San Bernardino on March 4. Veteran SD punker Mike Virus (of the band Cheap Sex) was in the audience at around 7:30 when the music ...

Subverts

One of the people who campaigned for the cancellation of Seattle's Summer Nights concerts this year is Mike Silva, brother of longtime local concert promoter Bill Silva. Mike lives near Gas Works Park, where the ...

We're an All-Vegan Band

"I wouldn't eat a dog or cat, a seagull or parrot, and I wouldn't eat a horse," says singer Christopher Greenslate of the all-vegan band Tamora, "so why would I eat a pig, chicken, fish, ...

Super Open-Minded

"Some of the songs [I wrote] for Fuel TV are on my new CD," says Superunloader drummer Chad Farran about his recently released second solo album, Another Ride. "Fuel TV is one of Fox Network's ...

George and Jack

At the Coaster Saloon at 1:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning, Mike Tyler drank Jack and Cokes and checked out the small jukebox mounted on the wall. I asked him what song he was looking ...

Pitch In

'The bulk of our trails were laid out by the CCC [Civilian Conservation Corps] during the late 1930s, when they tended to install trails similar to how you would put in a roadway," says Michael ...

My record speaks for itself.

The acronym for Thank God It's Friday is so universally recognized (I only had to explain it once to a swami who was actually from Long Beach, and I swear she was pretending ignorance) that ...

Explore the flowering slopes of Agua Tibia Wilderness, east of Temecula, at its seasonal best.

The Agua Tibia Wilderness covers an obscure section of Cleveland National Forest, just east of Temecula, straddling the San Diego-Riverside County line. Agua Tibia's pillowy, steeply plunging, chaparral-clad slopes look austere from a distance -- ...

Hedge Funds, "Shorts," Deny Collusion

In the not-so-divine comedy of investing, short sellers (often simply called "shorts") usually get the short end of the shtick. Whether they are right or wrong, they are reviled because they bet stocks will go ...

Free Barry Bonds

On the phone with Randy Grossman, San Diego criminal defense attorney, Major League Baseball agent, former KNSD 7/39 TV sports reporter, and member of the adjunct faculty (teaching sports law) at Thomas Jefferson School of ...

Breaking Stories

Crooks like them What did the feds know and when did they know it? That Nixon-era catchphrase might also apply to the ongoing intrigue enveloping the end stage of the Randy "Duke" Cunningham bribery scandal. ...

Hairstyles: No Mercy

A wild tangle of curls ran all over my head like jungle vines. I looked in the mirror and realized what I'd been depriving myself of for so long. Since that day, I have become ...

Dingbat Eyesores, Loving Eye

On a recent Saturday afternoon, Phil Chart and his girlfriend Janice Morten went out to -- what else? -- sketch an old house. "What I like about San Diego is the variety of its neighborhoods," ...

Roller Babe

Kellie Davis lives in Normal Heights in a studio apartment with her boyfriend Tom and their dog Phoenix. Kellie is a recent UCSD graduate with a film degree and works as a production assistant for ...

Grace Lutheran Church, North Park

The Christ depicted on the wall behind the raised, carved-wood pulpit at Grace Lutheran is Christus Rex: crucified, but clad in priestly robes; glorified, but still hung upon the cross that won his glory. But ...

High-seas Homicide

Dear Matt: If my wife bumps me off here in San Diego, it's homicide and the county D.A. will prosecute. But what if we're off shore in her private dinghy? Who has jurisdiction? Suppose we're ...

Where It's @

Matt: Where did the @ symbol come from? -- Lance, Chula Vista We have some late-breaking news on the "at" symbol, or "commercial a" symbol, whichever you choose to call it. Time was that linguists ...

A Head on the Freeway

Heymatt: Alongside the 5 freeway heading north somewhere around the airport there is a pink building with a huge white rendition of Michelangelo's "David" painted on the side. I want to know why. -- Susie ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago Five years ago, with the depot looking more like a white elephant, talk began about what to do with it. The Santa Fe Railroad unveiled plans for twin office towers on the ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Drawn across the top of my Soundgarden CD case are parallel lines of dusty, crushed-rock powder. I suck at one with a straw and rub my nose because of the raw scratching and chemical burn. ...

A Primitive Heart: Stories

A Primitive Heart: Stories by David Rabe. Grove Press, 2005; $24; 287 pages FROM THE DUST JACKET: David Rabe is one of the finest playwrights in America, possessed of a muscular voice, singular gift for ...

Rosa Jurjevics in Boston

Bad with Girls One evening in Brooklyn, feeling enterprising, I wandered into the kitchen and sat down on the chaise lounge opposite my father, who was parked in his favorite reading chair. "Dad?" I said. ...

Tour de Park

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live. -- Mark Twain This was a bad idea, I thought, guiding the two wheels beneath me in a wobbling maneuver to avoid the cement ...

Cat Declawing

My husband Patrick's Aunt Azelda isn't given to indulgences like leather furniture sets, but she just bought one. "I've had pudding that was stiffer than this leather," she cooed, quoting Niles from Frasier . The ...

We Eat Our Own Ribs

“Oh, you’ve got to live a little, for gosh sakes.”

Wednesday, March 15

No More Hiccups, or Questions About Them

Heymatt: What can you do to get rid of hiccups? Must be something.... -- Mary, via e-mail They've made headlines lately. Too bad for Florida teenager Jennifer Mee; her 15 minutes of fame were wasted ...

Damp Plastic

Dear Matthew Alice: Now that my wife is pregnant with our first child, I have the responsibility of doing the dishes a little more often while she naps. One thing I keep noticing is no ...

Light Eye at Lai Thai

That's odd. Here it stands, right in the hub of Little Manila. On one side is that outpost of the venerable Filipino Ma Mon Luk noodle empire, Asian Noodles. On the other, across East Plaza ...

Thursday, March 9

Big In Spain

A San Diego group’s extraordinary success abroad.

"In the future," Andy Warhol predicted, "everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes." But for a few San Diego musicians, it seems that the future's arrived ahead of schedule and landed them halfway around the ...

Name That Fiend

Mikaela's Fiend returns to San Diego this week for the first time since their November recording fiasco that involved a Santee record producer. The producer, whom the band did not want to name, owed a ...

Wordsmiths and Shutterbugs

Local paper Word San Diego invited me to their 3rd Annual Anti-Social Writers Party. I was told the $10 cover at the door was to keep the publication running. I threw in the cash and ...

Take This to the Bank

Three million copies of the Walk the Line DVD were sold on February 28, the first day of its release. Record companies have released at least seven box-set compilations of Johnny Cash music. Business has ...

Brass-Knuckle Belt Buckle Blues

On Super Bowl Sunday, registered nurse Morgan Mieras had an altercation with a woman in an Oceanside bar. "She was kicked out of the bar," says Mieras. "She kept trying to get back in.... I ...

Surprise, Surprise

When the Black Heart Procession plays the Casbah on March 12, about nine months will have gone by since the locals played their hometown. The show will be on the eve of the band's jaunt ...

Rip-Hop

"We've been together for ten years," says MC Frosty. "No San Diego hip-hop group has been around as long as us." Frosty and producer/MC Sketch are original members of the Icons. DJ/producer Demon has been ...

Yes, "Stairway to Heaven"

Thirty-one years ago tomorrow (3/10/75), Led Zeppelin -- on tour behind their Physical Graffiti album -- played a 14-song set at the Sports Arena. No band opened for them. Doors for the sold-out concert opened ...

Fermenting a Dream

'It's amazing - we get phone calls almost every day.'

Adobe Dreams

'When people paint it, they stop the dynamic of the adobe. They also seal in moisture -- adobe is wicking moisture up from the ground, destroying their walls, and they can't see the damage," says ...

When Lars arrived, I wanted to kiss him.

The tendency to write about my own Fridays rather than others' has always been pronounced as there is something about another's Friday activity that is so -- what do I want to say? -- not ...

County As Kingfish

What's the difference between a 95-pound ballerina and a 350-pound offensive lineman? A public subsidy to the ballerina can pay for itself, as incoming tourist dollars more than offset the cost of the handout. That ...

Hike the El Cariso Nature Trail and get a taste of Cleveland National Forest's Ortega Corridor.

From San Juan Capistrano to Lake Elsinore, Highway 74 -- Ortega Highway -- snakes across the Santa Ana Mountains and the northernmost section of Cleveland National Forest. The roadway, completed in 1933, followed a turn-of-the-century ...

Migrant Kids Behind Bars

'Let's not talk in here," says Juan Enrique Méndez Meza, an official of the Desarrollo Integral de la Familia, which is known in Mexico by its acronym DIF (it rhymes with "beef"). The agency is ...

Breaking Stories

Friend in a high place Two secretive brothers in La Jolla and some associates in west Texas stand to add to their fortunes if their friend George W. Bush prevails in his initiative to push ...

One Zillion Moves

The 2006 United States Chess Championship is being played through Sunday at the McMillin Event Center, 2875 Dewey Road, San Diego. A field of 64 is on hand. The youngest entrant and last to qualify ...

Scared to Grow Up

Okay. I won't panic. Even though I graduated high school in the top 10 percent of my class and managed to gain acceptance into my preferred college, I still have my problems. My main problem ...

Video DeMille

'I bought my first bass at age 18 for $99 at a pawn shop," says singer/songwriter Scott Wilson. "It was a piece of crap, but it was a good thing to learn to play with ...

First United Methodist Church of San Diego

A wave of late afternoon light gushed through the great arched window at the head of First United Methodist as the congregation waited to begin Vespers on Ash Wednesday. It washed over the white-tiled high ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago "Logan Heights is divided up into territories. Shelltown, which stretches from 43rd and Highland to Wabash and National and from Division to Imperial. After that comes Logan and that goes from the ...

My Fundamentalist Education: A Memoir of a Divine Girlhood

My Fundamentalist Education: A Memoir of a Divine Girlhood by Christine Rosen. PublicAffairs, 2005; $24; 231 pages FROM THE DUST JACKET: A touching, funny memoir of growing up in St. Petersburg, Florida, in a household, ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Our last night in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, we sat in the yellow light of a Khmer restaurant and sloshed beer across the table and ate frogs. The frogs came out skewered through and giving off ...

Rosa Jurjevics in Boston

Nasty Old Bird It was my aunt's truncated e-speak -- in which she disregards all conventions of grammar -- that informed me my maternal grandmother was dying, and I suppose that made it...blander, less impacting. ...

I Miss the Guilt

" 'And lo, da boid is on da wing.' Let's eat."

Codependent Ever After

Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale. -- Hans Christian Andersen 'I'm so tired," David said. "It's like I have no energy." His eyelids drooped and his shoulders fell forward; he had dragged his ...

Pet Rabbits

My chum Bernice is not an animal person, but she has given in to getting a low-impact pet. She's thinking about a rabbit and asked me to drum up some info on rabbit hutches. My ...

Wednesday, March 8

Stop Yelling!

Matt: I know this [M.A. web archive] page is almost ten years old, but in the last several years, since the FCC was basically dismantled by Bush and the younger Powell, all commercials are louder ...

The No-Sugar Shack

I enjoy food -- all kinds of food -- for its sensual pleasures. I also understand that some foods are better for our bodies than others. But not until I read the recent series in ...

Monday, March 6

Stricken

Heymatt: If you strike a safety match on the approved, official strip on the side of the box, the match burns just fine. So why can't you generate a spark when you strike a safety ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago FIRST PRIZE -- $25 to: A practical Padre named Serra Persuaded our tribesman to wear a Donation of clothes, Then handed them hoes, And assigned them to tilling the terra. LaVerne Brown ...

Thursday, March 2

Why Not the Red, White, And Blue?

Adventures in San Diego

"I thought I had come into hell. Van Nuys was so hot. I mean, God. And at that time I was naughty: I smoked. And I thought, 'How can anybody have a cigarette in this ...

Filling the Ché

Jessalyn Aaland, who started booking shows for the Ché Café collective in 2001, left for San Francisco at the end of February. Andrew Caddick, who shared the majority of booking duties with Aaland, moved to ...

Drunk 'n' Pukin'

Drunkin Punkin Idiots bassist James Herrault says his band and the Gizzards chartered a bus on February 17 to take fans to one of their Orange County shows. For $20, bus riders got admission into ...

Stealth Studio

Miami transplants Mario Quintero and Mike Pereira say they wanted to contribute more to San Diego's music scene than just another place to record. In November, they opened Black Box Studios. Accessible via an alley ...

Playing for Beans

The all-age Bean Bar, located in a former McDonald's near the Sports Arena (across from Les Girls), has hosted live bands for seven months. Recently, a singer/guitarist said his band declined an offer to play ...

Wolf in Mothers' Clothing?

"We must stay anonymous because of threats we have recieved [sic] via e-mail and in person when protesting concerts," read the press release from Mothers Against Noise, a group claiming to be based in San ...

Monkey Job

Two years after Clear Channel fired "Dangerous" Dick Spenneberg from Rock 105.3 and KGB/101.5, he says he's back in town to settle up. "When I got laid off by Clear Channel, it broke my heart," ...

Cool Hot Mom

I met Larry, a teacher, at parties I had crashed. When he invited me to a party that he was hosting, I was eager to attend. Larry's party was early in the evening. I'd be ...

Total Experience

"You wish that you could have the whole world be with you at that moment."

Casual Passion

'I try to go online as much as possible. I'll log on [to internetchessclub.com ] for a few minutes just to check in -- lots of times it has live games from tournaments being played ...

Older City Retiree Woes

While working 30 years for the City's Water Department, Yvonne Paczulla wrote an in-house column with news of births, marriages, and other domestic matters. She called it Under Water. She didn't realize how prescient she ...

Academics Exchange Fire

On March 7 of last year the Grossmont College academic senate gave its highest administrator a vote of no confidence. The rancor between faculty and Omero Suarez, the chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, ...

Breaking Stories

Carter's last stand The staid old San Diego State University Research Foundation was rocked to its roots last Friday when longtime board member Tom Carter, the former San Diego Federal Savings exec, real estate investor, ...

I did not want to dance. I thought it was gay....

Last Friday was Mexican Flag Day. It was that thought that prompted me to write about Mexico at all, and the column hijacked itself and had me write what it wanted. This is a beloved ...

The Pacific Crest Trail follows the currently lively Agua Caliente Creek near Warner Springs

Until about 30 years ago, the canyon of Agua Caliente Creek, in the Cleveland National Forest above Warner Springs, seldom saw the intrusion of humans. After the 2600-mile-long Pacific Crest Trail was routed through, it ...

Sports On TV

When it comes to prime-time television, I've cultivated a lifetime of ignorance. I stopped watching TV in high school, didn't own a set for 25 years after that, then, purchased a big one, and it's ...

Fly Me to the Cleaners

The Friday-afternoon flight from San Diego to Vegas is called "the Stripper Flight." High-priced kewpie dolls with basketballs forced under their too-tight tank tops wing from their beach condos to Sin City and then return ...

First Church of the Nazarene

"Every year, I give up two things for Lent," said Dan from the lectern. "Brussels sprouts and skateboarding." A low laugh rose from the congregation -- the man looked to be a couple of decades ...

Olive Knowledge

Matt: Why can't I buy black olives in glass jars, just in cans? -- Olivia, San Diego You can't buy them in jars because they don't sell them in jars. Ha-ha, hum� Well, its all ...

Fig Who?

Matt: Who are Fig Newtons named after? Isaac? Huey? Juice? Wayne? -- JW, San Diego It's a what, not a who. In the late 1890s, a Philadelphia inventor devised a machine that could produce a ...

Al Young

CALIFORNIA'S POET LAUREATE Al Young, California's newest poet laureate, and I were talking. I asked if he recalled the first poem he ever read. "That's interesting. I have to go all the way back to ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

If you buy two seats on a bus through Cambodia, one to keep your bag and knees on, the other for your butt, you might as well slap every other person on that bus right ...

Rosa Jurjevics in Boston

Dispatch from Beantown I don't like Boston. I don't like this crummy pickle I got at the convenience store downstairs, and I don't like this town. It has taken me four years, but I have ...

In Her Shoes

Providence protects children and idiots. I know because I have tested it. -- Mark Twain I stood by the door and waited for Jane. "Come on, Bella, we're going for a walk! Want to wear ...

That’s a Masarap

“Walk into Asian Noodles and just say Ma Mon Luk.”

Walking Canes

Helena is from the old country -- Czechoslovakia, back when there was a Czechoslovakia. Helena does things her way, and has done so for over 70 years; she could out-stubborn a mule. When she left ...

Wednesday, March 1

The New Spaghetti Factory

Like so many artifacts of Old San Diego, our representative of the Old Spaghetti Factory chain (estab. 1969) has passed into history. In its stead is an upscale stand-alone restaurant to fit the remade and ...

Barefootin'

Hey, Matt: I'm an avid barefooter, and I go out as much as possible barefoot because it is healthier than it is to wear shoes. I enjoy being able to feel something with my feet ...

No Grapes, No Nuts

Hey, Matt: What's up with Grape Nuts? There are no nuts or grapes in the entire box. Not even raisins. Who named this cereal, and why did they think it was a good idea to ...

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