Stories for May 2007

Thursday, May 31

When You Play Chess, You Can't Hide Who You Are

Some call it combat, some a sport.

"I played Nakamura. He was 18 years old at the time, at the 2005 U.S. Championship. His name is Hikaru Nakamura. And he's the top U.S. player right now." This is the top chess player ...

Paradise Valley Seventh-Day Adventist Church, National City

A wide range of musical styles carried a wide range of religious sentiments during the first half of the Sabbath service. Old-timey hymn piano, keeping the beat under the opening songs: "Majesty, worship His majesty/ ...

Bob Weir And Jerry Garcia At Golden Hall, January 8, 1978

Most of the Grateful Dead sang "Happy Birthday" to promoter Bill Graham that night; Jerry didn't because he had laryngitis. Though a local reviewer opened his article with, "It's not easy to forgive a group ...

Dancing Bears

With time, even a bear can learn to dance. -- Yiddish proverb David doesn't dance. Sure, he may bob his head to the music here and there, and, if he's had enough wine, he might ...

Tail Wags Dead Dog

On Saturday, April 21, at the San Diego Four Points Sheraton, City Attorney Mike Aguirre delivered the keynote address to a conference sponsored by Municipal Officials for Redevelopment Reform, whose head is Chris Norby, chair ...

Colon Hydrotherapy

I've been tired, bordering on logy, all week. I eat pretty well, and I do a bit of walking, but I was beginning to think more was needed. I scanned the bulletin board at Whole ...

Soft Hands, Easy Money

If state assemblyman Joe Coto has been looking particularly relaxed lately, maybe some credit should go to East County's Barona Indians, who anted up $105 for a massage he received while at the Barona Valley ...

Bloody Mess

PolyHeme, that controversial blood substitute deployed in some of the city's poorest neighborhoods during trials conducted by UCSD three years ago, has come a cropper. Evanston, Illinois-based Northfield Laboratories announced on May 23 that of ...

Unschooled

Padres CEO and Rancho Santa Fe denizen Sandy Alderson has lost his bid to become a trustee of Dartmouth College, from which he graduated in 1969. Alderson's hard-fought election campaign, featuring a slick direct-mail piece ...

Pirate Paloma's Song of the Day

Title: Pirate Paloma's Song of the Day Address: http://piratepaloma.blogspot.com Author: Paloma From: La Jolla Blogging since: April 2007 Post Date: May 22, 2007 Post Title: Song: "Platinum Blonde" by Blondie God, I love Deborah Harry. ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Chasing blond flakes around a glass table with my last dollar bill in my nose wasn't "rock bottom." When a car backed over me, I was shirtless and running through an alley. That wasn't the ...

Cruel Mistress

"There's just no substitute for the rush you get from banging on loud guitars and heavy drums."

Like India Itself

It takes time to understand our food. You should come back, often.

Old Music, New Again

I think the harpsichord is probably the more difficult instrument to make music on because it's not inherently a musical instrument," says music director and founder for the Bach Collegium San Diego Ruben Valenzuela. "The ...

Carlsbad

Name: Phil Boone Home: Carlsbad Vehicle: 1939 Ford Fordor Deluxe Surfing: Carlsbad "You never think you're going to get old," Phil Boone says. "You never plan for it. I'm retired now. Spent 28 years as ...

The George and Martha Show

George and Martha can't live with, or without, each other. At the end of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? two questions surface: Can they live without the fantasy, the one safe subject, that ...

Dimitrios Kyranas in Athens, Greece

The Catch On one of the many beautiful -- thanks to global warming -- winter mornings, I decided to take the bus to university. My intention was to attend a student assembly, gauge the political ...

Agamemnon

Teresita Capuli Age: 34 Occupation: Writer Lives: Chula Vista I say Agamemnon a lot. If something's aggravating, instead of shortening it to aggro, I lengthen it to Agamemnon. I think he was an Egyptian or ...

Dirt Simple

"There are thousands of people in this country who would kill to design a wine label."

Broke City Pays Well

Want a job with a good salary and great benefits? Work for the government. Want a job with a very, very good salary and great benefits? Work for the City of San Diego. Yeah, that ...

Something Worth Fighting For?

Six Christian groups and two secular bands played a "Hardcore Prom Show" at College Avenue Baptist Church on May 19. Though it was the third time in 12 months that the church hosted a multiple-band ...

Headin' Out to the Highway

"It was like a bachelor party every weekend," says Norm Leggio of Another State of Mind, the ten-till-midnight Sunday radio show he has hosted for eight and a half years on Rock 105.3. Leggio, who ...

School of Hard Raps

New Jersey rapper Tim "Shy" Scheiderman moved here a year ago, hoping the local hip-hop scene would buoy his career. He says things are moving slowly. "The reason I came out here was because New ...

Everybody Loves Romaine

The Lynnester was saying, "I used to go to Piatti all the time with my friend Marsha, but she moved, and now I never get there. I really miss their lemon ravioli." "Hey, I'll be ...

Jazz Is Not a Bodily Fluid

Although San Diego is not known as much of a jazz town, Anthology, a restaurant/music venue opening June 6, could change that. Located in Little Italy between A and Ash streets, Anthology is a stylistic ...

Beaner Man vs. Dirty Sanchez

On a new episode of his Mind of Mencia TV show, comedian Carlos Mencia aired P.O.D.'s first new music video to feature returning guitarist Marcos Curiel. The song is not from their upcoming new album; ...

Let the Music Do the Talking

"I found this band in Sardinia, on an island off the coast of Italy," says former Dream Theater singer Charlie Dominici, who for the past four years has been a La Mesa auto-finance accountant. "They ...

Great Race. Part One.

A Great Race seizes you, makes you wonder how a human being could start and finish such a thing. I don't include the Indy 500, any Formula 1 race, any NASCAR race, the America's Cup ...

Alice in Copland

Before the new noise laws, if there was a noise complaint from your party, the police showed up. People thought they only showed up if it was after 10:00 p.m. That's not the case. It ...

Instead of eggheads in government, we have television network executives, of course.

A friend recently posted a comment on the TGIF Web page. It was in response to a column (TGIF, May 10) in which I quoted another reader's electro-feedback. The blurt or blog, beyond its butt ...

Toasters in the Pool

Matt: Since water supposedly conducts electricity, why aren't people from coast to coast electrocuted when lightning strikes the ocean? We ask this since there is a slurry of revelers below the windows of our apartment ...

Truth and Pudding

M.A. Where did we get the stupid expression, "The proof is in the pudding"? It doesn't make any sense to me. -- Wondering, San Diego "Stupid," like, why's the proof in the pudding and not ...

Full Cartoon Value

To Whom It May Concern: I have enclosed two comics from the Sunday Union, along with the same comics from two other Sunday papers that I read. Please note that the local paper doesn't have ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago A psychiatry department whose founder personally recommends valium to come down from LSD and once took a year off to be team psychiatrist for a professional football team is bound to be ...

In San Diego's Tierrasanta district, check out one of the county's first "community trails."

The hiking/biking/jogging trail following a branch of Shepherd Canyon in Tierrasanta, dating from the 1980s, is an example of one of San Diego County's first "community" or "neighborhood" trails designed to serve the recreational needs ...

Thursday, May 24

The Fall of King Eucalyptus

Plantsmen’s vision for a green future.

On the morning after one of those record-breaking cold nights this past January, Mike Rasmusson checked on his charges. Rasmusson supervises the Kate O. Sessions Balboa Park Nursery -- the city facility where many of ...

Flood, Kearny Mesa

Denomination: associated with the Baptist General Conference Address: services held at Kearny High School, 7651 Wellington Way, Kearny Mesa, 858-268-2330 Founded locally: 2005 (as independent entity) Senior pastor: Matt Hammett Congregation size: 1600 Staff size: ...

A Late '20s Or Early '30s Model A Ford

The sketch includes features of the "Ford Emergency Car" available or outfitted at Stubbs Motor Company, 1145 India Street. Stubbs became Bay Shore Ford, which became Center City Ford. The dealer moved to Clairemont Mesa ...

Monks with Sticks

If it weren't for baseball, many kids wouldn't know what a millionaire looked like. -- Phyllis Diller M onths ago, when a friend of mine who lives in L.A. told me she wanted to plan ...

Clutter-Organizing Service

My college friend Bernice was impressed with my feng shui research and spent the past week trying to rid her home of excess clutter, making way for feng shui. "I am such a packrat," she ...

Domestic Irritation

Post Title: The Mama Mafia If there's one thing I've learned from the Mafia and the Supernanny, you gotta demand respect. It's the key to effective parenting. So when my three-year-old spit on me, I ...

The Tiara Chronicles

'I wanted an organized way to document the music I see," says Rosey Bystrak, who chronicles, lists, and discusses all things music and San Diego on her blog, sddialedin.com. "I'm an Internet addict," she says. ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

If there is an opposite of "hip," I am the embodiment of it. All people have an amount of hipness in them, even if it's the tiniest drop. A staid soccer mom may enjoy the ...

Art and the Machine

'I didn't see how a program without vision might be able to handle color until about 20 years ago," says Harold Cohen, professor emeritus of visual arts at the University of California, San Diego. Cohen ...

Ocean Beach

Name: Mike Chious Home: Downtown Vehicle: Custom Dune Buggy Surfing: Ocean Beach From the desert to the beaches, wherever Mike Chious drives his custom dune buggy, a crowd of guys gathers. "My friends are trying ...

Undercurrents

Awhile back, I wrote a feature about D.J. Sullivan, who has taught acting in San Diego for 40 years. I couldn't let her get away without some thoughts on her favorite topic: subtexts. "You see ...

Dimitrios Kyranas in Athens, Greece

Flashback Yesterday afternoon I looked at photos of my high school graduation. After going through them, I could not help proceeding to the album's following chapter -- my first days as an undergraduate student. The ...

A Confession That Wasn't

Whenever Mayor Jerry Sanders tries to pull a rabbit out of a hat, he comes up with a skunk. Or a rat. The mayor's confession last week that he and his aides erred in letting ...

Down, Then Out

David Ross, known as "the Water Man," was doing what he does every day in the ghetto, sometimes twice a day, and that is distributing water, purchased at his own cost, to the homeless -- ...

Sunroad to Perdition

Early last summer, as the battle over the Sunroad Enterprises office tower near Montgomery Field was taking shape at city hall, another potentially high-stakes contest was unfolding a few blocks away at the federal courthouse. ...

All Gaul

With Mayor Jerry Sanders mired in all manner of controversy, from Sunroad's office tower to his draconian cutbacks of public services, keeping a "protocol officer" on the payroll might seem superfluous, but apparently somebody's got ...

Customized

"We ended up making an illegal amount of wine in my garage - something like ten barrels."

The Damage Done

"Chris Austin single-handedly tried to wreck my business, vandalized my warehouse, [and] stole over $1500 in band equipment," says promoter Willie Carter (a.k.a. Tuckerson) via e-mail. "He pulled a knife.... He slashed my car. I ...

White-Boy Reggae Is Over

Tomorrow marks the 11th anniversary of the death of Sublime front man Bradley Nowell. Gadfly singer/guitarist Tommy Dubs says, "People are basically jacking the whole Sublime sound and style, and that sucks." He says Sublime ...

And Then There Was None

A rumored deal in the making could spell the end for San Diego's last major independent local concert firm. La Mesa--based Viejas Entertainment, which is a division of Viejas Enterprises, currently books Humphrey's Concerts by ...

Metalheads Open to Slagging

"The fact that some people view us as knuckle-dragging metalheads is unfortunate," says Mower front man Brian Sheerin. While "harder and faster" is the general rule with most rock groups, Mower is heading in the ...

Jewel Asks Stranger to Kiss Posterior

"Jewel lived in her car, so she should know the rules," said Ashton Kutcher, introducing a new Punk'd segment last month. Jewel's boyfriend Ty Murray sets her up by moving an orange parking cone that ...

Music Lovers Mar Hendrix Concert

Thirty-eight years ago today, the Jimi Hendrix Experience played one of its final gigs at the Sports Arena. Ticketless fans rushed the doors en masse, resulting in local headlines the next day reading "Police Arrest ...

Waiting Games

How many lines have you stood in this month? Last month? Last year? What do you do while you're waiting? Think about sex? Hate the people in front of you? Think about sex? Replay a ...

French Pizza?

"Don't have a cow, have a croque, dude," I say. "That'll crank you up."

Lowriders and Lowlifes

Tony turned 40 over a year ago. I was cleaning out my car and found the notes from Tony's party under the seat. I went to my computer and discovered that I still had the ...

He pulls the bottle from the bag, replaces it, and lowers his head on two upraised thumbs.

Sitting in William Heath Davis Park, diagonally across from the Horton Grand. It is, I imagine, like a patch of old, un-drowned New Orleans here in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. You can't pass it without ...

Lumpy Coffee

Yo, Matt: Me and the boys here in Corporate Hell are pondering the Mystery of the Powdered Coffee Creamer. When I sprinkle the sinister powder on top of my hot coffee, it kind of coagulates ...

Pee-tunias

Hi, Matt: My friend has the unique habit on certain beer-drinking occasions and/or golfing events of urinating in public. He says the trees and the flowers, well...they "like it," that human urine is a "positive" ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago TO ALL MY male "friends" who stood me up at my stag party (Dennis Johnson excepted): You'll pay for this! Katherine George II. ANITA. Saw last week's Reader on your desk. Thought ...

Grasshoppers and Goats

The grasshoppers lie in a golden pile. Their little barbed legs point every which way. Their torsos look like mini accordions stretched back on one side, their bellies greeny-pale with dark red stripes."You don't want ...

Bear Flat in the San Gabriel Mountains offers a perch for viewing bighorn sheep.

Barely a mile's walk from the little community of Mount Baldy (at the base of 10,000-foot-high Old Baldy, or Mount San Antonio), you can be sitting on a rock, communing with nature, feet dangling in ...

Thursday, May 17

Touchy Business

Hand-body connections

Techno music thumps and throbs and spills from the room. The "Earth Room." It's early, about 9:30 a.m. An instructor leads 30 men and women, ranging in age from 18 to maybe 60, in movement ...

Rolling Stones Fans At Jack Murphy Stadium, 1981

The band would play the stadium (which would be renamed Qualcomm) on October 7. A year earlier, Emotional Rescue topped the charts, but the Stones didn't tour because Mick Jagger and Keith Richards weren't getting ...

Hijacker

Loquacity, n. A disorder which renders the sufferer unable to curb his tongue when you wish to talk. -- Ambrose Bierce, from The Devil's Dictionary The blaring phone interrupted my intense struggle with the latches ...

Tea with the Tourists

"I don't want no soggy sushi. I ain't into yucky teriyaki."

Pens

Last week, Patrick, normally the very embodiment of composure, chucked a pen across the kitchen island in frustration. It nearly landed in my scrambled eggs. "I have had enough of crappy pens!" he yelled. "Damn ...

Astra Plus Malcolm

She was born in Marvel, Arkansas, and delivered by Dr. Wise," it says on Astra Kelly's website. "Early interest in music was fueled by family jams, school choirs, and formal music studies." "I've been living ...

Mark Dice

Title: Mark Dice Address: www.markdice.com Author: Mark Dice From: Vista Blogging since: February 2007 Post Date: April 9, 2007 Post Title: Rescue Me Co-Star Daniel Sunjata Says 9/11 an Inside Job Tony Award-nominated actor Daniel ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

"Get your hands off of me, vile woman!" I scream. "Turn me loose, Martha Stewart!" Martha Stewart's hands have the strength of a steroidal orangutan. It's all that scissor work. And the tying of stiff ...

With the Help Of Horses

'We use Norwegian fjords the most," says Deborah Shinner, executive director of Riding Emphasizing Individual Needs and Strengths, or REINS, an organization that offers assisted horseback riding for the disabled. "The fjords can take a ...

The Tourmaline Surfing Park, Pacific Beach

Name: Dan Belec Home: Carlsbad Vehicle: 2003 Ford Ranger XLT Surfing: Tourmaline Surfing Park, Pacific Beach The surf gear in Dan Belec's truck is minimal. He has a Block Surf pad to keep his Sunny ...

Space It Out by Erin Harris

I met Todd five years ago in Tampa, Florida. We were servers together at Bella's restaurant. Todd was so charming, energetic, and fun that I immediately had a huge crush on him. We became friends ...

Black Clouds, Blue Skies

Back in the 1960s, people were pigeonholed by the movies they enjoyed. Critics concluded that bumpkins liked The Sound of Music (1965), while the worldly-wise liked The Graduate (1967). One movie was light and maudlin, ...

Justice, Politics, Paradise

In February, a Nicaraguan court convicted former UCSD student Eric Volz of murdering a beautiful young Nicaragüense he had previously lived with. She was found dead early on an afternoon last November, strangled and hog-tied ...

Drugged

A drug that bombed as an antidepressant is now being touted by its maker as a possible "female Viagra," and local women wanting to take a chance on the experimental substance in exchange for a ...

Undecided

The latest statewide poll shows Hillary Clinton out front of Barack Obama in the race to collect California's Democratic presidential nominating delegates, but some rich La Jollans aren't taking any chances. Investor Murray Galinson, for ...

Dimitrios Kyranas in Athens, Greece

Spatiotemporal Unfairness The other day I leisurely rode the escalators of the central subway station of Athens, at Syntagma (Constitution) Square, situated right in front of the parliamentary building. It was ten minutes before the ...

Golding Fleece

Just how much is ex-GOP mayor Susan Golding going to be making as the new president of the San Diego Child Abuse Prevention Foundation? The foundation's spokeswoman didn't return calls, but it's likely to be ...

The Problem with Bikinis

"One Sunday a month we have a 'loud and local' night," says Matt Hall, owner of the Jumping Turtle in San Marcos. "Rock 105 sponsors the show." Hall says the radio station suggested holding a ...

Ugly American Gothic

"Two sober gothic couples were followed, harassed, and assaulted in Old Town on a Friday night by a drunken Navy SEAL," according to James Howard, president of the San Diego chapter of Goth Help Us. ...

Street Scene Rundown

Street Scene at the Del Mar Fairgrounds is not a done deal yet. On May 8, the fairgrounds board was expected to vote on whether the event would be held there in late September. Fairgrounds ...

Old Politics of Skinheads

Soma owner Len Paul says because two recent local ska-band shows on his side stage sold out, next month he'll present a local ska concert on his main stage for the first time. (The rooms ...

Rockin' the Free World

Loss of Control has been accepted to perform for American troops in USO-style tours with the Armed Forces Entertainment Program. "You send an application along with some audio, video, and a list of past gigs," ...

Tour Notes

"We were illegally carrying this monster 16-mortar firework cube, 'Deep Impact,' for thousands of miles," says Johnny Verruto of the High Rolling Loners. While in North Carolina on a recent cross-country tour, the band received ...

Collaborate, Communicate

"We would call them the "get drunk and take off your T-shirt" crowd."

Life in the Crash Lane

I crashed a benefit concert for a woman who crashed her car. I intended to pay the $5 cover at Portugalia in OB, but I forgot my wallet at the racquetball courts. The kid at ...

I'm all right, damn it...you damned bullies.

Contributors to the message site have suggested it, and other more conventional letters-to-the-editor types have urged that I get a sex-change operation and "whine on Oprah." I have puzzled over this probably more than I ...

Pistachios!

Dear Matt: Now that I am approaching the big 5-0, there is a question burning in my mind. As a kid growing up in San Diego, I could never get away with sneaking pistachios because ...

Sony-san

heya matt... A friend of mine (who's more often right than wrong) claims that Sony Corporation was originally founded by Shell Oil of New York during the occupied-Japan period after WW2. I find it hard ...

Love Fades

Hey, Matt: What do the words inside "honeymoon" mean? Busy space bees? -- Best Man, Bay Park Warning: Many ridiculous stories exist about "honeymoon." Please, no e-mails involving Attila the Hun, honey-beer bashes at weddings, ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago "These guys complaining ought to get down on their hands and knees and thank God that they have a job that pays them so good. Because if it wasn't for NASSCO, they'd ...

Desiccated Dreams

Given the star-rating of this restaurant, I'll anticipate the critics-of-the-critic: Why did I eat at Ben's 1615, and why am I reviewing it? To answer the first question: About a year ago, a colleague who ...

Big skies and springtime zephyrs await you at the new Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve near Julian.

As San Diego County's newest (2006) open-space park, the Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve is already establishing a reputation as one of the county's finest parcels of unburned montane landscape. Actually, the Cedar Fire in ...

Thursday, May 10

The secret world of the nose

What's that smell? What the nose knows

Andrea Kane is new to San Diego: the Navy has stationed her husband here, and they've landed in Imperial Beach. While he serves, she's become an aromatherapist and a perfumer. Locally, she's already making a ...

Existence Church, Miramar

"My brother doesn't go to church," said Pastor Josh Hotsenpiller before the service. "We came from this 'perfect Christian family'" -- Dad was a Baptist pastor -- "and my brother rejected the church. I wanted ...

Sam Stutz With His Gold Machine, 1934

Standard Iron Works head Sam Stutz with his gold machine in 1934. "This is not a trick machine," Stutz told skeptics. In a demonstration, the machine successfully separated two ounces of gold flakes from a ...

Guardian Angel

If Uncle Gerry can help you in any way, you know the number. -- Uncle Gerry I think it's stupid to assign so much significance to last words, those final utterances of a dying man. ...

We Do Death

'Three out of four band members live in TJ," says Fabian Tamayo, rhythm guitarist in MinusOne. The only stateside resident is the band's drummer, Pierre Moreno, who lives in Imperial Beach. He fabricates custom motorcycle ...

Feng Shui

Everybody in our little coffee klatch knew that Suzy was going to leave her husband. It had been coming for years. So maybe that's why, on the day she finally broke the news, the conversation ...

Title: Fiction Is Good for You. Read More.

Title: Fiction Is Good for You. Read More. Address: www.domesticmacguyver.blogspot.com Author: Domestic MacGuyver From: Clairemont Blogging since: April 2006 Post Date: April 21, 2007 Post Title: Episode 1: Voices He didn't know who they were ...

Disobey the Master

On June 10, FM-94/9's Independence Jam will be held at Southwestern College in Chula Vista. It will be the first time in 11 years that Devore Stadium will be used as a rock concert venue. ...

¡Viva Santana con Huevos!

Guitarist Alberto Nebel's band Xolmani has been around for six years. He says the American Idol-ization of Mexico's music scene has hindered his group's progress. "Rock en español doesn't get that much interest anymore. Everything ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Friday night I put on a Mexican wrestling mask and went bowling. I'm not making that up. It's a huge bowling alley, over 20 lanes, so the two dozen of us in masks made up ...

Clampdown in Carlsbad

Because of complaints by residents during the past eight months, the Carlsbad City Council is considering enacting an ordinance that would forbid local bars from emitting noise greater than 60 decibels after 10 p.m. "There ...

Nas Treated Nastily?

"We were treated like terrorists," rapper Nas says of why he cancelled his May 2 date at downtown's House of Blues. "We came to the club, all excited," he told Z90.3 FM last week. "Couldn't ...

In the Rough

Sonance Records is suing former Saved by the Bell star Dustin Diamond; the local label has a contract with Diamond's band Salty the Pocketknife. The suit seeks $200,000 and claims Diamond agreed but failed to ...

America, The Ignorant

'In Europe, if you go to a fancy dinner party and talk about how the Chinese have slitty eyes and are loud, chances are you would not be invited back," says Andrei S. Markovits, author ...

&#@%ing Internet

It's the end of an era for San Diego's folk scene on May 15 with the closing of the Double Eagle guitar shop in Normal Heights. With his lease up on June 4 and the ...

Of Guyish Girls and Girly Women

"I play violin, viola, and piano," says Miss Amina James, a local emcee who knows about balancing her image. The 26-year-old says, "First of all, I don't dress sexy. I almost always wear a hoodie ...

Tourmaline Surfing Park, Pacific Beach

Name: John Walker Home: La Jolla Vehicle: 1954 Chevrolet 210 Station Wagon Surfing: Tourmaline Surfing Park, Pacific Beach John Walker is an encyclopedia on old cars. "'54 was the last year of the volumetric style ...

Kearny Mesa: Next Boom?

San Diego wants to build up, not out. Single-family detached homes will become historical artifacts. High-rises will mushroom out of the ground. But will it work? The infrastructure to support the population growth doesn't exist. ...

Now We Live Nowhere

Abel and Zulma Muñoz stand at the north end of Playas de Tijuana, where the international border fence meets the Pacific Ocean. The area was once an international park, the pet project of First Lady ...

O'Neill in Bondage

On paper it looked like a lock. The same Cygnet Theatre team that did award-winning work with Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof last year -- director-scenic designer Sean Murray, actors Jim Chovick, ...

Family Jewels

Now that conservative cable, movie, Internet, Fox TV, and newspaper mogul Rupert Murdoch has made his $5 billion bid for Dow Jones, publisher of Barrons and the Wall Street Journal, all eyes are turning to ...

If It's Nanjing, It Must Be Susan Davis

Congresswoman Susan Davis, who's been racking up plenty of international frequent-flier miles courtesy of the Aspen Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank sponsored by a host of unidentified special interests, is at it once again. ...

Dimitrios Kyranas in Athens, Greece

A Greek capital crime I was strolling this afternoon along the wide avenues that crisscross the center of Athens, the Greek capital, perusing its wonderful fauna -- stray cats, dogs, and pigeons -- posters advertising ...

Wikis, Mashups, All That

"Wine is the only beverage on the planet that draws people together, right?"

Sophisticated Ladies

By sheer force of character, I eschew more chews, heh heh.

News You Can Use

'I want to know about their hats." "Well, yeah," the male voice trails off, rolls down the hill and slides into a dark, smelly bog. Silence. Now comes a wheezing-out breath, followed by, "There are ...

A Mom and a Miss

When the rumor hit about Britney Spears performing a surprise concert at the House of Blues in San Diego, tickets sold out quickly. Face-value tickets were $35 each, and there was no guarantee that it ...

"You two are together on a cybernetic playground."

I have owned and used computers since 1983, and yet it is only in recent weeks that I feel I may have something in common with anyone to whom publications such as Computer Age are ...

Woodpeckers in the Lumber Department

Sir Alice (whom, according to Bernie Taupin, all the young girls love): Every time I go into a large warehouse-like store, I see and hear birds flitting and twittering about among the rafters. They've never ...

The Lineaments of Satisfied Desire

Exactly seven years before my recent meal at BernardO's, I ate an unforgettable dinner prepared by the restaurant's current chef, Patrick Ponsaty. The Reader had hired me to come south, where, free of local prejudices, ...

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

Hey, Matt: Why do Porsches have the ignition switch on the left-hand side? -- Nein E. Levin, the net Because Porsches kicked butt on the sports-car circuit back in the day. Lots of stories float ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago Newcastle disease is not limited to our feathered friends; it affects people too -- at least when the new castles are moderately priced condominiums for sale in Ocean Beach. So it came ...

Explore the wild interior of Devils Canyon in the San Gabriel Mountains.

The San Gabriel Wilderness harbors deer, bighorn sheep, black bears, and mountain lions -- facts that hint at the quality of the wilderness experience you can get there. Only one trail stabs deeply into the ...

Thursday, May 3

He Can See Right Through You

Tom Kennedy will help you help yourself

"I don't think I've ever met an alcoholic I didn't like." Thomas Clarence Kennedy was born and raised in San Diego. A product of Saint Augustine High School in North Park and the United States ...

James Brown At The Sports Arena, 1967

James Brown (May 3, 1933-December 25, 2006) at the Sports Arena, February 18, 1967. From the photo assignment sheet written up at our local daily: "Want some pix of Brown and audience as show winds ...

Vino Veritas

An old wine-bibber having been smashed in a railway collision, some wine was poured on his lips to revive him. "Pauillac, 1873," he murmured and died. -- Ambrose Bierce I t was the first time ...

Music to Match My Mood

In December of last year, new Web celeb Rex Hermogino won $50,000 and his own Internet show in the Yahoo! Talent Show, an online video contest. Hermogino's homemade pilot landed him among five finalists, and ...

Their Own Paradise

“It’s one of those sleepy areas where you can still somewhat afford a piece of land.”

Music-sheet Stands

My friend Bernice's ten-year-old son is pleading for guitar lessons. He's decided to be the next great rock guitarist. "I'm not sure where he came up with the idea," she said, "because we don't listen ...

Ad Blog: News and Views about Advertising, Branding, Marketing, and Copywriting

Title: Ad Blog: News and Views about Advertising, Branding, Marketing, and Copywriting Address: www.kuraoka.com/adblog/ Author: John Kuraoka From: San Carlos Blogging since: 1997 Post Date: April 18, 2007 Well, here again is someone making a ...

Those Wastrels from Hoover High...

The day after the release of Led Zeppelin's first album, the band made its S.D. debut at the Fox Theatre on January 13, 1969. Later that year, less than a week before Woodstock, the Brits ...

Unsavory Scene

"The bands always get paid up front because that's how they do business," says a business owner who provided support for last year's Street Scene. Eight months after the event, more than one vendor of ...

We Need a New Dance Diva

Douglas Foxworthy cowrote "His Other Woman," the B-side of "This Girl Is a Woman Now," which was a top-ten hit in 1969 by locals Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. "My first check was for ...

Tour Notes

Tour Notes ...from the Screamin Yeehaws, a local self-described "HonkyTonkPunkRawk" band that claims its 2006 outings were exceptionally bizarre. "We traveled this country many times over," says singer Nick-Bone Hollerin. "There's been stuff done in ...

Bumptious Burro-crats

Mayor Jerry Sanders would like San Diegans to believe that the City's sins will soon be in the past. He inherited a mess and proclaims he is fixing it. His predecessors practiced "delay, deny, or ...

The Hard Way to Cross the Border

Short southbound and long northbound waits are not always the norm at la frontera internacional. During the weekday evening rush hour, the southbound wait at San Ysidro is often more than an hour. This nightly ...

Into the Abyss

Union-Tribune circulation continues to plummet. The collapse may not simply reflect demographic and industry factors affecting other metro dailies. The downfall may in part reflect San Diegans' disgust with the continued mixing of news and ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

My hometown, Sonora, had a big shakeup this week. Traffic on Mono Way came to a standstill several times. Ranchers on their way to Jim's Feed and Tack store, construction workers driving to their job ...

Breathing Room

Lee's home-style diner's at 1621 Wylie Avenue, in Pittsburgh's Hill District. Across the street, the Prophet Samuel, bejeweled with rings, lies in an open casket at West's funeral parlor. A block-long queue of mourners wants ...

Jailbirds

Former Swiss banker Paul Erdman, an all-time great financial writer, died April 23 at age 74, in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco. Not far away in Marin County, at last report, is former San ...

Don't Dis My Bra by Amber Chafin

A few years ago I got back from a birthday weekend in Vegas feeling pretty lucky, so I gave this guy I knew a call. We didn't know each other too well -- I'd only ...

Sisters in Crime

'In the book I'm working on right now, someone makes a joke about something unlikely and says, 'The day that happens is the day we'll have full trust in our mayoral department,'" says author Morgan ...

Dimitrios Kyranas in Athens, Greece

The Fake Greek It all began in late 1994: I realized that my English was superior to that of my schoolmates, all of whom had more or less the same exposure to English that I ...

Spottswoode Matures

"They paid about $300 a ton... The more sugar, the better. Flavor was not a question."

Nothing In Particular

Occasionally, life provides a moment when two people take to the dance floor; it's just another dance for them, but this time, this dance, they reveal who they are. On Sunday, Jeff Gordon won the ...

Nothing Fancy

Two of my favorite comics, Adam Carolla and David Alan Grier, came to town as part of a radio promotion for a 103.7 "Free FM" party at the Wavehouse in Mission Beach. Carolla's morning show ...

Broasted in Lakeside

"They remember when it took three days to get up here from Mission Beach. Three days!"

An early memory of Paul is his weeping while listening to Harry Belafonte sing "Take My Mother Home."

I just got off the phone with the Specialist; on the job, she's the Specialist; off the job, she's Bugspray: full name Rocker Nutley Bugspray. I've written about her before. We were talking about music ...

I do. Didn't I?

Matt: I went through a wedding ceremony with witnesses to the vows in California, but no marriage license was ever filed. So there is no record of my marriage anywhere in the county or Sacramento. ...

Why is Moses so horny?

Hey, Matt: Why does Michelangelo's Moses (appear to) have horns? -- A Renaissance Fan, Golden Hill Oh, it's all a big, big misunderstanding. Poor Moses has horns in hundreds of years' worth of paintings and ...

Wanted: Travel Tips

Hello, Matt: My wife and I reside on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. We are planning a road trip south sometime around the middle of May to Lake Havasu City, AZ. After years of driving ...

Stop the World

To impose perspective is an important part of a critic's job, but it's a tricky part.

Jim & Casper Go to Church

"Jesus came to start a movement, not an institution," says Jim Henderson, coauthor of Jim & Casper Go to Church: Frank Conversations about Faith, Churches, and Well-Meaning Christians . "As far as I can see, ...

Circus Freaks Welcome

Circus Freaks Welcome Amanda Schendel, 25, says she and her college buddy Heather Adams, 23, throw "sweaty, dark, raging parties that last far beyond 2 a.m." at their underground party palace in Banker's Hill. "We ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago Terry Judkins would seem perfectly at home in Mission Beach, where he remembers "hanging out" as a high school kid. He has dark blond hair and a thin blond beard. He speaks ...

Visit East Mesa in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, and see how Nature has recovered after the 2003 Cedar Fire.

This past rainy season delivered only a small share of moisture to grassy East Mesa in the Cuyamaca Mountains. So don't wait long if you want to enjoy spring-green rather than summer-yellow meadow vistas. Outlined ...

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