Stories for February 2007

Wednesday, February 28

A Night in Provence

Cavaillon is likely to become your favorite neighborhood French restaurant, no matter how far you live from its neighborhood. It's located in a new upscale suburb in the former wilds southwest of Rancho Bernardo and ...

Thursday, February 22

You'll Never Find a Better Pal than a Bowler

Cocktails, corn dogs, and camaraderie

At night, the exterior of Kearny Mesa Bowl is not inviting. Set toward the back of a big parking lot on the south side of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, about a block west of Convoy, the ...

Local with a Label

Tristan Prettyman is a rare breed among San Diego's growing crop of acoustic crooners -- she's signed to a major label. Virgin Records released twentythree in August 2005, followed by a ten-month national tour with ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago I PROCLAIM MYSELF chess champion of Solana Beach. Anybody wishing to challenge this claim may do so in a nine game match. Call George. JANNIE, I love you babe, and I always ...

Sisters and Salesmen

In Beth Henley's Crimes of the Heart, Doc's young son Scott is going to the dentist for the first time. And just about everyone else in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, is having the adult equivalent. Lenny MaGrath ...

Climb half a vertical mile up the east flank of the Santa Ana Mountains near Lake Elsinore.

The Main Divide of the Santa Ana Mountains follows a significant Southern California watershed division, and also quite closely marks the Orange/Riverside county line. On the divide, you can often spot both the Pacific Ocean ...

Horror in Clairemont

There are no good girls gone wrong, just bad girls found out. -- Mae West Jen and I sat on the bench in the entryway to the theater. We rested our backs against a poster ...

No Pigeonhole

"The rap scene has started to get like karaoke," says Richard Gendron. "We did that for a while, but we were limited because we had to write our lyrics to these [prerecorded] beats." With partner ...

Out to Pasture

The day after the Grammy awards, the KUSS (95.7 FM) morning team of Tony and Kris talked about the previous day's on-air stunt: urinating into adult diapers. They didn't play any Dixie Chicks music, even ...

Electric Wiggles

On January 13, a group of San Diego indie rockers, including guitarist Dylan Martinez (Rookie Card), drummer Mike Kamoo (the Stereotypes), keyboardist Kelly Duley (the Kite Flying Society), and bassist Justin Bryant (Static Halo) performed ...

Tijuana Brash

"Punk rock is really starting to get big in Mexico, especially in Mexico City," says singer/guitarist Irving Lugo, who estimates that there are now over 100 punk bands in Tijuana. But, "Norteño is still the ...

The Shatman Cruiseth

"With the resurgence of Bill Shatner's acting career, there's been a lot of interest in his music," says Dan Lederman, a.k.a. ShatMan, the One-Man Shatner Tribute Band. "I started doing karaoke shows to discs of ...

Shirking Off the Blues

"The women's room has only one commode in it, and the room has a locking door," says Lorrie Merriman, co-owner of O'Connell's in Bay Park. "Two women and a hot topic of discussion can tie ...

Video-format converter

Our 15-year-old wedding ceremony VHS tape sits in the bottom drawer of my bedside table. The mini DV tape of our first child's birth and baptism lies in the inner door of my secretary desk. ...

Reinventing Girl

For 14 years, Stacey Ellis was the lead singer for San Diego threesome Ellis. The band, including her husband Brett Ellis on guitars and Mike McFarland on drums, had its share of ego clashes. Yet, ...

Top Five Gems

Top Five Gems from recent posts on the San Diego Musicians webpage at craigslist.org: "CD artwork...can provide samples on speculum." "Metal guitarist looking to form or join group...not into Cookie Monster sounding vocals." "Death metal ...

Nacho

As Super Bowl halftime approached, I headed off to another party. I had two more to catch. The first, which the host dubbed the "Nacho Bowl," was in North Park. He said there would be ...

Little Bohemian

Title: Little Bohemian Address: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog. ListAll&friendID=12030916&MyToken=249b5fe0-0017-4489-8af1-469d3fdb4198ML Author: Little Bohemian From: Hillcrest Blogging since: April 2006 Post Date: January 21, 2007 Post Title: San Diego Part I I've just moved out. The magnitude of the change ...

My Chopped Liver

As I sit here typing, I'm a little distraught by the unkempt state of my hair and my unmade face. It's because I haven't been out all day because I'm grounded. I'm grounded because I ...

Gorgeous Flirt by Jay Daniels

It was the summer before my second year at the University of Arizona when I learned that Christine was graduating Coronado High School and was to attend the U of A. Christine was what my ...

Medicine Soldier In Iraq

Sleep Monster As a traditional guardsman, I have to live a dual life and with the consequences of doing so. Going from a normal work week to drill weekend is not so bad, but coming ...

Up in Smoke

'In many things in life, we have a tendency to go one way or the other, and not much in between," says Richard Halsey, director of the California Chaparral Institute. "Once, fire was all bad. ...

Good German

People often ask me, "Where should I go for a gala brunch that doesn't cost a fortune?" I mumble, "Aaagh, I don't do mornings." And when they ask where to get good home-style German food, ...

Buyers and Cellars

"It's valuable to see the date integrated -- if every time you log in there's a gauge saying, "Everything's A-OK.""

The Reader's Eye on Television

At some point, we're going to have to dig up Mister Rogers's body. I know it's not a pretty business, but there it is: little kids are turning up at the morgue in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. ...

St. James by the Sea Episcopal Church, La Jolla

Swaths of rough white stucco surrounded the stained-glass windows at St. James by the Sea. The windows -- saints above and the life of Christ below -- were tastefully small, yet rendered dramatic through their ...

White Crane Spreads Its Wings Three Years Later

Three years ago I wrote a column about taking up the practice of tai chi and said I'd report back after a year. I did and promised an update in 12 months time. Did that ...

Tiny Potrero Battles County and Blackwater USA

The hamlet of Potrero in southeast San Diego County, 45 miles from the city and just 8 minutes from Tecate, is being ambushed. The attackers are county bureaucrats marching alongside Blackwater USA, the private military ...

Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease

Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease by Dr. Sharon Moalem, with Jonathan Prince. William Morrow, 2007, 267 pages, $25.95 FROM THE BOOK JACKET: A fresh and engaging examination of ...

Creative Chaos at MiraCosta

MiraCosta College dean Eileen Kraskouskas was in San Francisco for a three-day conference last March when she got e-mails and calls from the office of the MiraCosta president telling her that 2006 would be her ...

Stealthy Money

A subsidiary of the real estate outfit that recently recommended taking day-to-day approval of San Diego's real estate dealings away from the city council has again been tagged with campaign-reporting violations. According to a stipulation ...

Nuts

The wife of ex-Democratic state senator Steve Peace is no longer a member of the state's Integrated Waste Management Board following the expiration of her term last month. Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata named ...

This is a fun Friday-night exercise if, say, you are a lonely loser with no life.

A longtime friend of mine -- a professor in Tacoma who worked with me at Hunter's Books in La Jolla when he was going for his PhD and his divorce at the same time -- ...

Moonstruck

Jim Carrey's ability to "stretch" himself has proven to be strictly physical.

Green Feast

These guys are the first missionaries of post-fat America.

Thursday, February 15

Shopping List

Grazing at the grocery.

Make a list. It's time to go grocery shopping. Where are we buying? How much do we spend? What do we spend it on? What are we cooking? Are we health-conscious? Diet-conscious? What are our ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago [Lee] Hubbard hates the fact that [Pete] Wilson is enthroned upstairs and he is down here in this cavern, this dungeon, badly outnumbered by Wilsonites. And he hates that useless open space ...

Books Inspire Them

David and Ben, aspiring writers in their mid 20s, meet at a restaurant for a victory celebration. One just broke through. Now you'd think it'd be David. He's dressed more for success -- looks like ...

Explore a scenic stretch of the California Riding and Hiking Trail near Alpine.

The California Riding and Hiking Trail, a designated, regional multi-use (hiking/biking/equestrian) trail that strikes a southwest-to-northeast course through the middle of San Diego County, is still a work in progress. Most of the trail is ...

Down on Punk

Had the Dixie Dregs' January 20 show at Birch North Park Theatre not been canceled, it would have been the first national rock act to play the venue in at least 15 years. Steve Kader, ...

God of Thunder and Copyrights

Kiss bassist Gene Simmons is working with local comic publisher IDW on a horror anthology comic to be titled Gene Simmons House of Horror. The first issue is scheduled for a July release, with Simmons ...

Sprague-ometer Iffy on Obama's Chances

When presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama arrives for a fundraiser at UCSD's Rimac Arena on February 18, it's likely he'll have more important things to worry about than the music, but for organizers looking to ...

"I'm kind of a band slut"

"I'm kind of a band slut," says Rowland Bluntz, singer/guitarist in the Reservoir Tips, Noise God, and Hungover Tomorrow (also known as Punk Floyd). So the Reservoir Tips could open for Battalion of Saints, Bluntz ...

Vantastico!

In the past two years, Strangers Six has played over 200 U.S. cities, guesses singer Aaron Thompson. "We've toured all over the West Coast five times already.... We had a '92 Dodge van. Once a ...

Next Stop, Babylon

"Everyone was either fighting, puking, or making out," says Two Word Name guitarist Dag Stylez of the "party bus" to and from the band's January 25 gig at L.A.'s Whiskey a Go Go. For $35, ...

Fish Food

Thy food is such as hath been belched on by infected lungs. -- William Shakespeare I don't know what I found more disturbing: the words, "It can be difficult to keep the live octopus in ...

South Bark Dog Wash

"Nobody likes a smelly dog," I said to my husband Patrick. We were discussing Nellie, our terrier, and the fact that the last time we left her with my friend Bernice, Bernice gave her a ...

These Will Kill You

I was invited to several Super Bowl parties. I didn't plan on going to any this year -- I had money on the Colts and wanted to watch the game at home -- but I ...

The Paragraph Farmer

Title: The Paragraph Farmer Address: http://paragraphfarmer.blogspot.com Author: Patrick O'Hannigan From: Ramona Blogging since: September 2004 Post Date: January 22, 2007 Post Title: You Could Call It a Magnum Opus Ann Coulter writes a weekly column, ...

Horrible Things Happen

From Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam to Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty, there have been many attempts to portray God in a human context. However, for me, seeing breathtaking displays of nature's power and beauty ...

Love Train by Lindsay Perry

Let me first just say that I have dated a lot of different kinds of men, and some of my worst dates have been with military men -- Marines and SEALs, to be specific. However, ...

Medicine Soldier In Iraq

The Long war Times are frustrating. We are trying to work with the Iraqi people. My position affords me opportunities to see this on various levels. I often ride or walk through the streets in ...

Dog Lovers

Almost every breed person will tell you that their breed is not the breed for everybody," says Kate Zimmer, area rescue coordinator for the Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue. "If you have a general-rescue group, and not ...

Vision: A Center for Spiritual Living, Tierrasanta

Small signs lined the driveway leading up the drive to the first gathering of Vision: A Center for Spiritual Living. "Love," "Grow," "Prosper," "Embrace," "Live," "Share." Green and gold balloons bearing the Vision logo ringed ...

A Community Of Tasters

"Wines that sell for $65 to $90 off the mailing list routinely fetch $400 to $500 a bottle on the secondary market."

The Reader's Eye on Television

As a child, I traveled with my family along the dreary road from Budapest to Bucharest. We were the animal caretakers in the "Csodálatos Cirkusz" -- the "Wonderful Circus." I was born into it, wagon ...

Slam the Door on "Foreclosure Consultant"

If you're like a record number of San Diegans, you're having an anxiety attack: you've got a mortgage you can't afford, and higher home prices won't bail you out. Save yourself additional angst: if you ...

Rape Was Just the Beginning

Let's say you're a single mom in your mid-30s. You've recently taken your 2-year-old son and 12-year-old dog and moved away from your husband. The divorce is ugly, and your job search is tough. You'd ...

Interesting Interests

When ex-Democratic state senator Steve Peace and county supervisor Ron Roberts rolled out their futuristic vision for a remade downtown waterfront two weeks ago, regional airport board chairman Alan Bersin was sitting in the front ...

Big Bundles

Election time is over for now, but San Diego Eighth District city councilman Ben Hueso has continued to spend some profitable time out on the political fund-raising circuit, where corporate contributions are banned but individuals ...

Oh, Oysters, Come and Walk with Us

Oh, woe! Here comes Mardi Gras, and there are no new Cajun-Creole restaurants to review this year. Lots of New Orleans chefs and cooks arrived after Katrina -- welcome, come on in -- but none ...

Bike World Update

The Tour of California, second edition, begins Sunday. You'll recall that this is America's biggest big-deal professional bike race, featuring the biggest big-deal teams from Europe (CSC, T-Mobile, Rabobank), and the sole big-deal United States ...

Flesh and Bone -- A Body Farm Novel

Flesh and Bone: A Body Farm Novel by Jefferson Bass. William Morrow, 2007, 368 pages, $24.95 ABOUT THE BOOK: Flesh and Bone is a roller-coaster ride into the world of forensic anthropology, its twists and ...

Hard-Luck Hren

'Mike Chartrand bailed for a lot of reasons," says Off Track drummer Jared Hren of the band losing its longtime bassist. "We've been friends since the high school marching band, but now he wants to ...

Oh twinky bird of Love!

It has occurred to me that the publication date for this column is the day after Valentine's Day and what a shot for me. I'll say I forgot; just give me one more day. This ...

Spy in the Ointment

We can never really understand the man, but we can revel in him.

This Deal's Out Of the Park

"Can you believe it?" Hank says. "The Yankee Clipper's shoes."

Thursday, February 8

Don't Fight Mad

The money makes up for a lot of pain.

Brandon Vera stands facing David Loiseau in the center of an Olympic-sized boxing ring. David is turned to the side, holding a blue pad, six inches thick, against his torso. Brandon deals David several swift ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago BARRY, Work, Work, Work...How many days 'til we can play? I miss you. Love & Kisses, Mary. TO THE QUEEN of Cups from the Jack of Hearts: Happy Valentine's Day to the ...

Economical, and No Bad Acting

Around the turn of the century, a theatrical movement spread through San Diego that's still growing. Every company in the county, it seems, is doing staged readings. With only one or two rehearsals, three max, ...

Now Flog This

Last month, Carlsbad-based accordion player Matt Hensley said he would no longer tour with Flogging Molly, the band he co-founded ten years ago. He was the only local member of the Irish punk band; the ...

Big in Norway

While some local bands struggle to play outside the Southwest, the Bloody Hollies are planning their fourth tour of Europe. "The first time we played Tromsö, Norway, we got there at noon and it was ...

To the Nines

"We'll be filming at Mardi Gras and several clubs downtown from February 19 through the 21st," says XL Staffing and Security owner Joe Mackey of the still-unnamed reality show being produced about his firm. "It'll ...

Rock Monster Fight!

With their Kiss-like makeup and occult lyrics, Crimson Moon released their first recording 12 years ago, though they never performed live until 2006. Core members Scorpios (bass, vocals, lyrics) and Nocturnal Overlord (guitars, keyboards, drum ...

Discover an easy-to-reach waterfall just outside the L.A. foothill community of Sierra Madre.

The rustic city of Sierra Madre, just east of Pasadena, has long been a departure point for hikers seeking exercise and solitude in the adjacent San Gabriel Mountains. That part of the mountain range, known ...

Everybody Loves Royalties

"I'm not even sure where ['Jungle Love'] fits into the Everybody Loves Raymond mythology," laughs Escondido guitarist Greg Douglass, who cowrote the hit for the Steve Miller Band. The tune was used as the theme ...

He Don't Practice Santería...

Robert plays drums in two Brazilian bands, Jangada (a mix of samba and reggae) and Banda Braza (traditional Brazilian forró). Since 1998, he has traveled to Brazil seven times to study music. He's connected with ...

It's a Drummer's World

Raised in greater Detroit, Evan Demko left the University of Michigan with a degree in industrial engineering at a bad time. "Factories were moving out, and plants were closing down [in 2005]. All that's left ...

Real Estate Hurts Economy

As the second month of 2007 moves along, Wall Street and Main Street are still swashbuckling, but the San Diego economy is noticeably buckling. San Diego stocks? They are historically so speculative and volatile that ...

Let Him Eat Cake

I heard about a party near the UCSD campus, but because of other things I had going on that night, I didn't make it there until 11:00 p.m. I found the street easily enough, but ...

The Mouths of Babes

Parents often talk about the younger generation as if they didn't have anything to do with it. -- Haim Ginott Rosa was replenishing her glass with red wine when she announced, "I hate children." After ...

Bruschetta

"I t is pronounced, 'bru-skay-ta,'" groaned my husband Patrick after I slaughtered the pronunciation for the millionth time. That thought kept popping into my head as I asked store clerks where to find bruschetta. Not ...

San Diego Restaurant Reviews

Title: San Diego Restaurant Reviews Address: http://sandiegorestaurants.typepad.com Author: Captain Jack From: Pacific Beach Blogging since: May 2006 Post Date: January 11, 2007 Post Title: 1500 Ocean Restaurant week is upon us in San Diego, and ...

Walk On By by Marquita Acron

What I remember most about him were the sweet murmurs of love he would whisper in my ear while we sat and held hands in the park. Also, the way his eyes changed colors with ...

Medicine Soldier In Iraq

Play Nice We are staying in a quad of ten-man tents. There are four rows of ten tents. Between each tent is either a concrete barrier wall or a concrete mortar bunker. The ground outside ...

Horizon Christian Fellowship, Clairemont

"Come, now is the time to worship," crooned the praise leader to the congregation. Then he turned his call to heaven: "Come, Lord Jesus, come." Then back to the people: "Let the pain and the ...

Politics and Religion!

'My way of picking a topic is to make it kind of controversial," says Gary Grine. "I picked last week's title ['God Save Us from Religious Fundamentalists'] because I'm very concerned with fundamentalism, especially after ...

Turnstiles for Lake Murray

'They might want to consult history," Jim Brown says of city officials who are trying to overhaul the San Diego Water Department's reservoir recreation program. Brown served as the program's director from 1974 through 2003 ...

Juice City

Ex-Democratic state senator Steve Peace kicked off his drive to remodel the San Diego waterfront last week by insisting that his boss, Padres owner John Moores, had no secret plan to oust downtown rival Doug ...

Big Play in Peoria

The plan by David Copley, who turned 55 last week, to sell off Copley-owned Midwest papers continues to stir controversy. In Peoria, the Copley-owned Journal Star reported on its business page about a big meeting ...

Welcome to the Neighborhood

"If people are this generous and this willing to teach others about wine, it can't be a bad hobby."

The Reader's Eye on Television

On the black uniform of Polish police officers is a patch with a gold embroidered scorpion. There's a saying in Polish: "Don't get stung," or "Don't get stung by a scorpion." I only know how ...

Bread, Wine, and Marrow

I've always wanted to try Osteria Panevino, and when my hometown friends Robert and Gail blew through just after New Year's, they furnished a perfect excuse. When we first met, they'd just returned from several ...

What Separates Men From Boys

Jim Burcio, 57, is sitting on a shop stool with a block of wood in his hand. He appears to be tall. He is slender, with salt-and-pepper hair and a ruddy, clean-shaven face. He's wearing ...

Frenchman's Tacos

Guess it's a macho thing, like I have to match-o Gustavo to show I ain't no lily-livered gringo afraid to eat tongue.

Cozy Up

Ed Duke is a closet headbanger. Nothing in his outward demeanor would indicate that his listening preferences point to the extreme edges of rock's darkest fantasyland: thrash metal. Duke, clean-cut and 43, works as assistant ...

Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy

Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy by Barbara Ehrenreich. Metropolitan Books, 2006, 320 pages, $26. FROM THE DUST JACKET: It has been so suppressed that we lack even a convenient phrase for ...

His corpse and the face in the mirror look to be men who have eaten something bitter and disagreeable.

February 7th would have been my father's 88th birthday. I've never visited his grave. Though, of the two of us, I'm probably the more sentimental, I think his belief in the afterlife was stronger than ...

Thursday, February 1

Where the Mail Goes When it Doesn't Get to You

The Green Monster, Barney, and Spibs move it along.

"It was an envelope from the bank, with four checks in it, and I was on my way to the bank." Maria Sandstrom gets four personal checks every week from four sets of parents for ...

Lost City Radio

Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcón. Harper Collins, 2007, 272 pages, $24.95 ABOUT THE BOOK: A nameless, timeless South American country slowly emerges from a war everyone would prefer to forget. For ten years, Norma ...

When you have hardware installed in your flesh, you tend to forget about it.

One month into the New Year and already I'm striking out in the resolutions department: quit smoking; get a new battery installed in my pace- maker -- a $20,000 proposition with no insurance (my fault ...

Thirteenth Month of the Year

The touches of animation are too few to have been worth the bother.

Back When

Thirty Years Ago As Tom Warren, the owner of Tugs in Mission Beach, said, "Everybody who lives around here who's a native probably learned how to swim at the [Mission Beach] Plunge." Warren, who has ...

A Boost from Jocko

A couple of years ago, recent Torrey Pines High grad Michael Gallagher abandoned his acting aspirations and took a New York Film Academy summer course in L.A. Now 18, he has written, cast, and directed ...

Rapp vs. Rap

Not long ago, Rosarito's big draw was hip-hop. Rappers and DJs drew weekend crowds to bars such as Iggy's and Papas and Beer. "Those places were importing these rappers from San Diego," says Adrianne Rapp, ...

Flour Power

Twenty-seven years ago today (2-1-80), eccentric punk pioneer Gary Wilson played downtown's Skeleton Club along with locals Four Eyes. "Gary Wilson had tape and stuff wrapped around him and there's flour being thrown all over ...

Happy Endings Are Extra

Gabriel and Chantelle have been affianced for a long time (too long, suggest some of their friends, who speculate about the delay). They have an "open relationship," which means, in their case, Chantelle has remained ...

Shot Around

San Diego in the summer of 2005, The Pacific and Eddy premiered last weekend at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Writer and director Matthew Nourse -- a SD native, 1998 alum of Torrey Pines ...

Rudies' Delight

"The Fabulous Rudies have been picked up to play the entire 2007 Vans Warped Tour," says singer Tom Voris. "We were the second band announced, right after Bad Religion, and we're already getting label and ...

Where's That Twang?

Promising to be the country equivalent to what the Coachella music fest is to pop/rock fans, the Stagecoach Festival debuts May 5 and 6 at Empire Polo Field in Indio (the same venue as Coachella, ...

Explore Balboa Park's wilder east side on foot or by mountain bike.

Balboa Park has plenty of "tame" places to walk, such as landscaped sidewalks on the grassy west side, paved trails inside the San Diego Zoo, and a number of semiwild trails in canyon bottoms near ...

Political Silver

Now that Congressman Duncan Hunter has entered the presidential derby, it may be instructive to take a look at just what kind of people are giving campaign cash to the county's congressional delegation, composed of ...

New Hires

Picasso said once when being interviewed that one should not be one's own connoisseur. -- Kenneth Koch I rested the pen against my chin and contemplated the list before me. Below "Interests," I'd written, "dining, ...

Raising chickens

Last summer, I spent a month on my brother-in-law's farm with the kids. They fed the goats, caught toads, fished and swam in the pond, and helped harvest vegetables from the garden. I picked endless ...

What We're Eating

Title: What We're Eating Address: www.whatwereeating.com Author: Amanda and Tyler From: Ocean Beach Blogging since: July 2005 Post Date: January 5, 2007 Post Title: Orgasmic Mac-n-Cheese T: I gotta say, Amanda, this mac-n-cheese was out ...

Somewhere in the Jungle

I'm not one of those serious shoppers who puts on their running shoes, downs a highly caffeinated beverage for extra energy, waits outside the mall until it opens, and glares at anyone ahead of me ...

Clairemont Church of God

"We have a new song today," announced worship director Janet Werdowatz. "It's a new song by Chris Tomlin called, 'Made to Worship.' We were made to worship Him -- that is our first purpose of ...

Medicine Soldier In Iraq

The Journey from Kuwait to Iraq We had a long flight and went right into training to confirm the sight alignment on our weapons; we watched two mandatory training videos and then waited on logistics ...

The Take-Out Two Step

"Wanna bet? First bar we come to, bet we get food."

Triple Word Score

'T he first year we used a Webster's dictionary," says Josephine Jones, director of literacy for the Escondido Public Library. "Everybody and their mother came up to me and said, 'Are you the director of ...

Strangers in Wine Land

"But they're Mexican wines, which most people haven't heard of, and that gives them a bit of cachet."

The Reader's Eye on Television

My new best friend, a sock puppet, wrote this week's installment of "Remote Control King." I made the sock puppet's eyes with dried jalapeños from a discarded pizza, and his mouth was created by painting ...

Super Bowl Alert

We'd better go over security for Sunday's big game. Emergency Management magazine tells us "more than 70 government agencies have struck alliances" in order to make a safe Super Bowl Sunday. Tens of thousands of ...

Rockabilly Dreams

San Diego rockabilly guitarist Buzz Campbell and his band Hot Rod Lincoln released a CD last year called Runaway Girl (with songs titles like "Too Drunk to Drive" and "Betty Page"). Buzz also plays lead ...

Hey, Sarge, What's That Noise?

Heymatt: Is there any reason why women were ever told to do pushups from the knees? Is it really just a strength issue? My daughter, who is in JROTC, was told that if she did ...

A Bunch of Mugs

Ahem, Matt: The word "mug." It means so many things. Why does it mean a cup and a face and to get robbed? Where did that useful word come from? -- Jeff, Escondido Eight meanings, ...

Out-Exoticked

Ever wonder what modern Japanese eat when they go out to nosh, sip, and socialize after work? Izakaya Masa gives you a taste of those dishes. After a couple of meals, I can tell you ...

Curses! JFK, LBJ, Ike All Did

It's shocking to find out: political discourse is often coarse. Consider, for example, the straitlaced, rigid James Baker. In 1981, David Stockman, Ronald Reagan's budget director, told a financial journalist that supply-side economics was just ...

Only Adults Commit Crimes

Luz María Félix Figueroa, president of the Tijuana branch of Baja California's juvenile detention agency, shakes her head. She's been asked whether she agrees with the American trend of trying as adults minors who commit ...

Sports Whip the Arts

The arts community fervently hopes that if Mayor Jerry Sanders tries to redevelop the four-block Civic Center Plaza, as he mentioned in his state of the city speech January 11, the Civic Theatre will remain ...

Aaron's Gold

The developer who's stirred controversy by building a high-rise office building smack in the flight path of Montgomery Field is a longtime veteran of local, state, and federal politics, funneling thousands of dollars to a ...