Stories for April 2008

Wednesday, April 30

How UCSD Spent Over $500,000 on a Home Remodel That Never Happened

The house on the Land of the Dead

Perhaps the most prized piece of real estate throughout the University of California, San Diego, is the seven-acre site of University House, home to the UCSD chancellor. The rambling adobe home, with its row of ...

Like Young

ZZ Top, those Southern Dukes of Riff Rock, will be at Harrah’s Rincon Casino a week from this Saturday night, the tenth. I’d like to go, but it is a bit more bother for me ...

Po' Girl

When I tell Allison Russell that I think her band Po’ Girl has a slightly sloppy feel to it, I am instantly sorry for not having chosen a better adjective. “We’re much more driven by ...

Hungry Gal

When Alicia Keys appears at the Sports Arena on Wednesday, May 7, promoters are advised that “Alicia only eats fish and vegetables, no chicken, no beef, and no pork.” Her dressing room requires a hummus ...

Seven Sensualities

San Diego’s social status is ascendant. Of course, you knew that already — you live here. You’ve eaten in the new restaurants, drunk in the new nightclubs, partied in the new hotels. I mention it ...

Cream Me

Remarkable! Each lady I called had a different favorite body lotion. That’s a first for Eve’s surveys. Not one repeat. The search was for a body lotion that moisturized but wasn’t greasy. My daughter suffers ...

Never mind

Political observers are scratching their heads over the unfortunate strategic timing of a new mailer being sent out by the campaign of Auday Arabo, the mini-mart advocate running in the 78th Assembly District Democratic primary ...

Rock Bottom

The Resentments, an I.B. punk band, was ready for their national TV debut last year. Producer David Milch (NYPD Blue, Deadwood) had discovered the group while looking for locals to flesh out his HBO series ...

Letters

Many Tanks Kudos to Geoff Bouvier (“No One’s Ever Told Me That I Look Like a Fish,” Cover Story, April 24)! I tried repeatedly to get Jim Holman and the late, great Judith Moore to ...

Wannabe Sexy Exy

The E in Exy is actually the Greek letter sigma (for S), so the restaurant’s name really transliterates to something like “Sexy,” and that’s what it’s trying to be. It calls itself “Chic Greek,” and ...

Derbytime

For those who do not follow horse racing, and that’s 98 percent of the population, I should explain that Derbytime refers to the Kentucky Derby and especially the money-making festivities leading up to it. Horse ...

Not Forgotten

Album: Supreme Macaroni Co. Ltd. (2008) Artist: Aaron Bowen Label: self-released Where available/price: iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, or aaronbowenmusic.com for $9.99. Songs: 1) When the Fall of Rome 2) Song #2 3) Strawberry Wine 4) Jeanne ...

The King of the Casbah

Art Brut and the Hold Steady both want deli trays. Casbah owner Tim Mays and his manager Andrew review the contract from each band’s management the day before both are set to play a show ...

Kensington Community Church

From the outset, Kensington Community Church made the case for the “Community” part of its name. A congregant introduced herself to me, a visiting stranger, and asked if I would like company, or if I ...

Gravity, Sexless

Matthew Alice: In school we were talking about how the earth spins around like a top. The teacher said that is what makes days and nights when we can’t see the sun anymore. But my ...

Greazy Aperitif

Thursday 1In 1978, Jake Burns of Stiff Little Fingers sent UK radioman John Peel a demo cassette of “Suspect Device” packaged as an explosive. Bad taste from bomb-blasted Belfast. But Peel put the high-octane punk ...

Battle for Hearts and Stomachs

Young boys are the same the world over. In no other demographic slice of humanity do you see such an interesting mix of innocence, persistence, and bravado. Well, “interesting” is probably the wrong word; something ...

Knock It Down, Throw It Out

Dust covers everything inside EDCO’s construction-waste recycling plant in Lemon Grove. Misters attached to the rafters work to keep the dust down, but inside the airplane-hangar-size building, dust and mist combine to create the illusion ...

Hollywood Goes O.B.

Winstons turned away customers on April 14 and 15 to accommodate a Fox production crew, in town to shoot the pilot for a proposed series called Mythological X. The show is based around a cast ...

Livable Landscapes

“This neighborhood [Olivenhain] is what we call an ‘urban-wildland interface,’” says Nan Sterman, author of California Gardener’s Guide. “You have to be careful that what you do in your garden does not have a negative ...

An Open Letter to American Babies

An Open Letter to All American Babies:You were born in the United States. You are a human being, so therefore you have the right to walk around; you have the right to move around without ...

Techno-laziness

We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. — Alfred E. Neuman After searching every aisle, I found David squeezing avocados ...

Odd Tan Lines

Name: A.J. Bhowmik Age: 28 Lives In: Pacific Beach Surfing: O.B. Pier Pre-Surf Pump Up Music: Jazz Favorite Post Surf Food: Burritos A.J. Bhowmik and his friends take credit for inventing “Surf Wars,” which began ...

Cheedle and Charps

You know when you eat a bag of Chee-tos and you get that orange sludge on your fingers? You have to scrape it off your teeth and it’s really disgusting? That is called “cheedle.” It’s ...

Mike Doughty

“I went to school with 27 Jennifers/ 16 Jenns, 10 Jennies, and then there was her,” sings Mike Doughty in the song “27 Jennifers” from the 2003 album Skittish/Rockity Roll. The song itself is pretty ...

Misplaced Menagerie

The Old Globe Theatre’s “Classics Up Close” series presents some of the great works of American theater on the small Cassius Carter Centre Stage. The theater-in-the-round offers an intimate look at plays usually seen many ...

Which One’s Steely, Which One’s Dan?

Hank Easton is the guitarist for the Steely Damned, a local Steely Dan tribute band also featuring members of Rockola. The New York native began playing guitar at age five and was classically trained as ...

Roberts Ranch

Thanks to the crusading efforts of Descanso cabinetmaker Duncan McFetridge (affectionately known by some as the “Robin Hood of Cleveland Forest”), certain privately owned lands in Cleveland National Forest near Descanso, formerly slated for housing ...

Titanic II

I’ve had people tell me that I didn’t give enough details from the James Cameron party I went to in Malibu on April 12. So, I wrote a part II. Hey, he’s done a couple ...

Haters

“Things are bad enough with the cops and the drug gangs,” a Tijuana emo fan says while drinking beers with friends at the Nelson Hotel bar on the corner of Primera and Revolución. They are ...

Tough guys

The by-now-infamous F-word meltdown by San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders is only the latest instance in a long history of bad-boy behavior by the onetime chief of police, who was tutored on the mean streets ...

When the Tattooed Lady Sings

American Idol contestant and San Diegan Carly Smithson was eliminated from the show last week. Yet, sales of her failed 2001 album, Ultimate High, have never been better: last week, Amazon had it ranked at ...

Night Marchers' "Nice Song"

Artist: The Night Marchers Song: “Bad Bloods” (from the CD See You in Magic) Heard By: Jakob Rozema, Amsterdam, Netherlands It’s a nice song. When it started off, I thought it was an Iggy Pop ...

Dune, Planet Terror, Deep Blue Sea

Lady BotoxFilm critic, soberingconclusion.com The 2006 re-release of David Lynch’s Dune contains both the extended version that you could previously only see on TV and the original theatrical release. This is an amazing movie staring ...

Hideaway Too Hidden

Clock’s ticking toward midnight down here in the deepest Stingaree. I’m heading for Ciro’s, the pizzeria. Why? Because I’ve spent the last couple hours holding up the beautiful old (1885!) Tivoli bar, listening to a ...

The Grim Woozies

Thirty Years AgoJack Ford, son of the former president, will soon make his home in San Diego. The 26-year-old Ford, who first visited San Diego during vacation breaks from Utah State University, where he majored ...

Political dowries

Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins — the former law firm of now-imprisoned superlawyer Bill Lerach — is throwing a fund-raiser for Mike Lumpkin, running in the 52nd Congressional District Democratic primary for the seat ...

Pollyanna Creep

You’re walking around stoned all day. The economic statistics fed to you by the government are concocted to induce euphoria. For one thing, inflation is grossly understated. Because of these artificially low reported inflation rates, ...

It’s the Shirt

“We moved to San Diego from El Centro,” says Borrachos bassist Frank Rivera. “We started as a band, but we never got anywhere because every time we got together to practice we got too faded.… ...

Monday, April 28

League of Women Voters Symposium and Candidate Mixer

San Diego League of Women Voters, in partnership with the San Diego Reader present: Shipshape or MAYDAY ?!! WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO KEEP SAN DIEGO AFLOAT? If you want the facts, join us at ...

Sunday, April 27

Flooding Puts Damper on Artwalk

If you've been looking to get your feet wet in the art world, today was the perfect opportunity. Around 3:45 this afternoon a water main burst just north of State and West Date Streets, causing ...

Friday, April 25

Kensington Terrace Settlement Announcement

Posted April 24, 2008 Dear Neighbors, For several months core members of the Heart of Kensington Organizing Committee have been working diligently to ensure that the Kensington Terrace project complies with California law and preserves ...

Wednesday, April 23

No One’s Ever Told Me That I Look Like a Fish

Hobby becomes obsession

“First of all,” says Dave Huie, “it should really be called the exotic fish hobby, not the tropical fish hobby.” Beneath his glasses, Huie’s face is scrunched into a look of bemusement. “Although, even that ...

Getting drunk on Red Bull and vodka

Heymatt: My friend drinks Red Bull and vodka. He says he doesn’t get drunk that way. How does that happen?— Norma, via email Well, it doesn’t happen. He just thinks it happens. Energy drinks don’t ...

Was Obama’s Kenyan grandfather involved in the slave trade?

Matt: How many Kenyans were involved in the slave trade? Did this include Obama’s Kenyan grandfather?— Irv J., via email Yikes! The political debate takes a new and nasty turn. Well, at least it’s our ...

The Pumpkin Stays Here

Local pop act bill recently returned from Toronto, Canada, where their new album End of the Hits was mixed by Steve Thompson, famed for his work on Guns N’ Roses’ hit disc Appetite for Destruction. ...

Wine Machine

There is perhaps no finer marketing machine in all the wine world than the one that operates out of Champagne. (You don’t get to be the world’s official party wine without doing something right.) And ...

Below the Fold

At the close of the Latino film festival last month, I used one festival film in particular (representative of several) as a club to beat up American filmmakers for their incapacity to treat serious, intimate, ...

The K word

Thirty-Ninth District Democratic state senator Christine Kehoe is the chairwoman of the senate’s Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee, holding life-and-death power over bills crucial to big power, phone, and cable companies. So when Kehoe puts ...

String Cheese, Obama's Grandpa, Booze & Caffeine

Matt: We are all familiar with the two major forms of mozzarella cheese, the larger amorphous blob we grate and use on pizza and the finger-sized string cheese portions we play with as we eat ...

Bumped, Bitten, and Sliced

Name: Eric Ward Age: 27 Surfing: Tourmaline Lives In: Lakeside Pre-Surf Music: The Jackson 5 Post-Surf Food: Pancakes and beer “I always used to think surfing looked really stupid,” says Eric. “I made fun of ...

The Lion's Drum

What have you written? “‘The Lion's Drum - A Retelling of an African Folktale.’ It’s the retelling of an African folktale. It’s available at talesalive.com, and some major bookstores.” Tell me about it. “A young ...

Bob Mitchell

I got a call Saturday night from a man whose name I didn’t remember, but someone who remembered me and had the kindness to telephone with the sad news that Robert Mitchell died. Heart attack, ...

Goth Guys Go Away White

Thursday 24All aboard the Express Kundalini! Bahaus boys Daniel Ash, David J, and Kevin Haskins reconvene ‘80s goth-rock trio Love & Rockets. Though L&R haven’t recorded or toured since 1998’s Lift, they have reunited with ...

Just One Guy

Artist: Wayne Riker Song: “The Betrayal” (from the CD Fretfull) Heard By: Marley Peifer, San Diego Well, it’s kind of hard to talk about it because it’s instrumental, but it was very mellow and it’s ...

Name This Place

Clue: Boxed-in rubble-rouser. Describe this location, name the nearest cross-streets, and win a Reader T-shirt. Enter by completing the form below. Last week's place: (clue: Big foot, little ranch) Yeti, standing outside Ranchita Realty, 37554 ...

Intimate Opera

“Operetta is a lighter genre; it’s somewhat bubbly and occasionally frivolous and comedic in nature,” says Tom Oberjat, coordinator and tenor for the Solana Intimate Ensemble, an opera singing group. Eight members of the San ...

Taking Dancing for Granted

I am asked fairly often what I write about, and I can’t let it go as simply “Fridays.” There is love, death, cabbages, kings, my childhood, say, or some broken appendage, chemical dependency, or misanthropy ...

Breakfast with a Side of Fun

This restaurant is closed. “I’ve got troubles,” I say. I’m trying to explain why I’m half an hour late. “Trolley security. Hauled me off the damned train. Lemon Grove. Must have been 20 of them ...

My Kryptonite

For every man there exists a bait which he cannot resist swallowing. — Friedrich Nietzsche It was a cruel thing to do, but I don’t blame him. I doubt he understood the ramifications of typing ...

The Big Guys in Mexico’s Skies

Every year, my mother-in-law stays with us for a month or two when the weather in her home state of Connecticut is at its coldest and wildest. During this last visit she decided to go ...

Triumph of Hope Over Experience

Thirty Years Ago1. Why do you buy ink especially designed to come off all over me? I have to be careful not to read your issue wearing light-colored clothing! 3. Surely you get letters asking ...

AFN

The military is not as unified as it may seem. But for those who think they know the true divide within our armed forces, take note: it’s not any of the usual suspects. Oh, sure, ...

Scenes from a divorce

It’s campaign season, time to delve into some colorful divorces of San Diego’s more-or-less rich and sort-of famous personalities. Earlier it was GOP city attorney candidate, ex-Poway mayor, and superior court judge Jan Goldsmith who ...

Where the Hell's My Hot Sauce?

The question was, Where the hell is my hot sauce? As with so many little mysteries in my life, the answer is, I’m retarded. Situated neatly on my coffee table was a tray of grocery-store ...

33 Variations

Music is time-bound. It must move forward or cease to be. A few hundred years from now, most likely music will leave linear progression and become vertical as well as horizontal. It may even move ...

The Breeders

In loudQUIETloud, a film about the Pixies’ 2004 reunion tour, you get to see one of the most influential bands of all time play your beloved favorites, and you may ask yourself: Why is this ...

Letters

Historic Blight Larry Harmon’s urge to create San Diego’s version of Potemkin villages is okay with me as long as it is voluntary to the property owner (“We Could End Up Looking Like Phoenix,” Cover ...

Trabuco Canyon Loop

Significant hiking feats can be accomplished in the “wilds” of Orange County, especially in the upper elevations of the Santa Ana Mountains, which define the county’s east border. A case in point is the 10-mile, ...

Centre City: Another War

Centre City Development Corporation, the City’s downtown redevelopment organization, has been correctly accused of many things. Arrogance. Bullying. Conflicts of interest. Excessive pay and perks for employees. Loose contract policies. Being in the pocket of ...

Victor Wooten

It was legendary Motown bassist James Jamerson who proved that the electric bass guitar needn’t simply follow along with the drums in a generic fortification of the bottom end. With Jamerson began a new mode ...

Smooth Devo

Album: Hoping It Stays Just This Broken (2007) Artist: Immovable Objects Label: self-released Where available/price: M-Theory Records in Mission Hills for $10.99. Online at Amazon, iTunes, CDBaby, Digstation, Rhapsody, Napster, Ruckus, BuyMusic, Inprodicon, MusicIsHere, PayPlay, ...

Iron Jim

I’ve had some people in the office bugging me about going to more “upscale” parties, and there was a party at the Malibu mansion of director James Cameron. It doesn’t get more upscale than that. ...

The Songsmith and the Tennis Star

Tennis star Anna Kournikova may have met her match in songwriter Black Swann, a.k.a. Christopher Swann. On March 3, Swann filed a copyright infringement suit in Los Angeles California Central District Court, against multiple defendants, ...

Grace San Diego

“You are here,” reads the tagline below “Grace” on the banners and bulletin covers for Grace San Diego. Undoubtedly, more than one layer of meaning is intended here — layer two may be something like, ...

Deep Pockets

One promoter trying to book a certain headliner for an upcoming summer date says he probably won’t succeed. He says he is in a bidding war against the Viejas casino and its deep pockets. “They ...

Duke’s legacy

The United States Navy is still using software sold to it by ADCS, the Poway outfit founded by Brent Wilkes, convicted of bribery, fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering and sentenced in February to a 12-year ...

Clonuts

I do not like Krispy Kreme. All of their donuts look like creepy little clones of each other, so I call them clonuts. Where I come from we have Dunkin Donuts. The donuts are beautiful, ...

Water Pumps

“If I have to evacuate, will you take my goats?” “I’ll take your goats but not your kids!” I still can’t believe I said that. The goat-lady was my friend Michelle, calling me during the ...

The Piano Thief

Growing up, Greg Laswell says he confiscated his sister’s upright piano after she showed no interest in the instrument. “It was my sister’s 13th birthday present, but she never got into it…I remember waiting for ...

The Emo Chromosome

Thought by many to be the worst radio promotion of all time, a 1979 “Disco Sucks” event at a Chicago White Sox home game led to a ballpark riot, fires, property damage, and 39 arrests. ...

Farm-Fresh French

At Farm House Café, chef-owner Olivier Bioteau claims to serve “rustic French cooking.” That he does — if you remember that France is a country where “rustic” and “sophisticated” aren’t contradictory terms. (Paris has no ...

Tuesday, April 22

HoK Notice about Kensington Sign

The following notice is being distributed on behalf of Celia Conover, a Kensington resident who has prepared a report nominating the Kensington sign for historic designation. S.O.S. Save our Sign! Residents of Kensington and Talmadge:Please ...

Wednesday, April 16

We Could End Up Looking Like Phoenix

The two small Victorian homes on 20th Street in Sherman Heights that Louise Torio and her husband Steve Veach have restored are examples of how the Mills Act can benefit the owners, their neighborhood, and ...

Hair Lip

— May 1, 2000 Not only was I late for work, but my car’s booster engine fouled up. It didn’t explode or anything, it streamed a thin trail of smoke and rattled. So the automatic ...

Wrestling Nicole

Nora, a local singer, told me that Ike Turner’s old band was going to play a party in La Jolla. I showed up that afternoon and met Steph Johnson, another local musician. She was waiting ...

Letters

Kids With Promise I was at work today reading in bits and pieces your cover story about “families” in San Diego (“If There Are Families,” Cover Story, April 10). I believe this cover story is ...

What recession?

More UCSD spending: recently appointed UCSD health sciences counsel Anthony Perez is being paid an annual base salary of $210,000 and will be eligible for a mortgage loan not to exceed $1.33 million made by ...

Eat, drink, and be lobbying

While the State of California is threatening to slash funds for everything from school teachers to parks, higher-ups out at UCSD continue to party on. Local politicians and other favored VIPs have received a special ...

Dengue Fever

It wasn’t enough that the Los Angeles band Dengue Fever took ’60s Cambodian pop as their main architecture. They had the random good fortune to chance upon a Cambodian vocalist working in a Long Beach ...

Fruit Rare and Tasty

“The jaboticaba comes from Brazil; in South America they call it the black cherry,” says José Gallego, San Diego chapter chair for the California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc. “They’re expensive because they can take several ...

Scaring the Natives

Hellyeah is a rock “supergroup” featuring members of Mudvayne, Pantera, and Nothingface. Their self-titled debut sold 45,000 copies in its first week. Hell Yeah is a San Diego rock band and the brainchild of singer/guitarist ...

Paintball

My man Patrick will be donning his goggles, taking up his gun, and heading to the field for his first battle. A work colleague has organized a paintball day. “This might just turn into a ...

They'd Think I Had 'Roid Rage

A friend of mine saw a guy walking two dogs downtown. He had the biggest arms she had ever seen. The guy is Paul-Jean Guillaume: Mr. Universe in 1987. The same year, he competed in ...

Thing to Ponder

Under the imprimatur of Judd Apatow comes Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a comedy of heartbreak and heartmend. Apatow personally has directed only The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, but as a producer his name apparently has ...

Mark Mallman

Minneapolis madman Mark Mallman was in between songs at a 2006 show when his guitarist started fiddling around with a riff from “When Doves Cry.” According to a reviewer, Mallman became angry and shouted, “Fuck ...

Let the Old Brain Percolate

The dates attached to Thursday through Sunday of this week, or rather weekend, have a series of associations for me. Let me have my coffee, let the old brain percolate on the back burner as ...

Ghost of Nixon’s past

Maybe it’s something in the water, but many of San Diego’s top Republican political players have lived to a ripe old age. Banker C. Arnholt Smith, the town’s preeminent Daddy Warbucks — who owned a ...

Name This Place

Clue: Big foot, little ranch. Describe this location, name the nearest cross-streets, and win a Reader T-shirt. Enter by completing the form below. Last week's place: (clue: Cat on a cool tile slide) Fountain at ...

Spite?

The Union-Tribune’s Christmas Massacre of December 2007 is still producing bloodshed. The Copley Press, aided by a high-powered consulting firm, is contesting unemployment claims filed by a small group of ex-employees who took a buyout ...

Family Motorsports

I figured it was a George Bush thing, his idea of public service. No matter how sordid your disgrace is, how incompetent you are, no matter what your crime may be, or how completely you ...

Practicing the Presence

What book are you reading? “Practicing the Presence: The Inspirational Guide to Regaining Meaning and a Sense of Purpose in Your Life by Joel S. Goldsmith.” Tell me about it. “This is a book by ...

Carla Plans a Party

“Sweetheart?” coos Carla. “Honey? My heart? Mi corazón?” When Carla slips into Spanish and uses “th” for the z, something’s up. “Uh-huh?” “Call from my brother. He’s launching his book here. That academic book? He’s ...

Theater of Real Life

The “Father of Modern Drama” wasn’t Ibsen, or August Strindberg. He was Andre Antoine (1858…1943), a clerk for the Paris Gas Company and an amateur actor. Cercle Gaulois, for whom he played bit parts, performed ...

Orange Alert for Dengue Fever

The future looked promising for Dengue Fever when the critically acclaimed psych-surf-worldbeat indie act fronted by Cambodian immigrant Chhom Nimol was driving home to Los Angeles after opening for Jonathan Richman at the Casbah on ...

Run, City Girl by Jane Hanson

Worst break up ever? In the late ’80s I lived in a basement apartment in San Francisco a block off Haight Street. I was in my twenties and casting about for some deeper purpose in ...

Hot-Shot Bouncer

Mike Pereira co-owns a recording studio in Golden Hill, but he used to work as a bouncer. “I worked for ten years in security [at clubs] in Miami and here in San Diego, and I ...

Forty Schmorty

Singer-songwriters Eve Selis and Mattie Mills have written a book, Forty Schmorty: Life Keeps Happening. “During the process of writing the book,” says Selis, “Mattie was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 45, and I ...

Power to the People

San Diego mayoral candidate Eric Bidwell rolls across the cement floor of Cream coffeehouse on his Heelys, wheeled shoes that he found used on craigslist for $20. Impressive dreadlocks extend to his waist. He wears ...

Neighborly Love

While the spirit of neighborliness was important on the frontier because neighbors were so few, it is even more important now because our neighbors are so many. — Lady Bird Johnson I was about ten ...

A Vietnam Vet Walks into a Bar...

A Vietnam vet walks into a bar and tells a singer-songwriter who’s done prison time that he’ll pay for the recording and pressing of 1000 copies of her ten-song CD. It’s no joke. Robin Lee ...

Los Peñasquitos Canyon

Crickets sing and bullfrogs groan. A hawk alights upon a sycamore limb, then launches with outstretched wings to catch a puff of sea breeze moving up the canyon. A cottontail rabbit bounds across the trail, ...

A Natural Extension of Skating

“I was surfing north of Scripps Pier, and I saw two little girls pretty far out,” says Jeff, a San Diego native. “They were probably seven or eight. I realized that they had been sucked ...

Siliclone and Affluenza

Siliclone refers to the group of girls that you would usually see in the Gaslamp or P.B. You know, implants, bleached hair, platform flip-flops, skanktastic tattoos. They all look alike to me. I think they ...

Froggy's Revenge

Jordan Moorman doesn’t sound like any other open-mike regular. “I don’t have a larynx. I don’t know what it is that I use to sing or talk.” The singer-guitarist lost his vocal cords when he ...

Divine Mercy Sunday

I didn’t get to church on Sunday — this is what, my third flu this year? Pathetic, or maybe just scary. (“The germs are winning,” says Dad.) So I’ve got nothing on that front. But ...

Bang Your Head, Swing Your Hair

I remember the band Mickey Ratt back in high school, in 1970-something. They were the big local band around town. I was at some parties they were at. It’s all kinda hazy for me right ...

Matt Archer, Neil MacPherson, and Sir RJ

Technically, it’s pretty good, but production-wise, it needs some work. It was trying to be melodic, but it sounds very computerized...very digital. I can tell…because I’m kind of a musician…that it was almost all done ...

Playing Chicken

‘I.B.” “O.B.” “I.B.!” “O.B.!!” “OK. How’s about Oceanside?” “I tell you, man,” says Hank. “Nothing beats O.B.” We’re ambling west down Newport, arguing, as per usual. Size, of course. Like, who has the longest pier. ...

Mother Mae I

Nu metal soothes the savage teenage ego. Perfected by the awful Linkin Park, nu metal themes revolve around awkwardness and insecurity, which manifest themselves in lyrics as martyrdom, separation from society, loyalty to others labeled ...

Roping Dogs

Dogs’ Beach in Ocean Beach, 1974. The city council got tough on dogs that year. In two weeks’ time, 232 citations were issued to owners, “the toughest crackdown on stray dogs in county history,” according ...

Looking Deadly

When you think of a hero — a soldier, firefighter, or Marine — what image pops into your head? Do you think of a shaved chest, chiseled abs, and vein-covered arms? Or do potbelly, 12-inch ...

Back When Point Loma Was Lomaland

Thirty Years AgoThe cypress trees remain. So do the eucalyptus, pine, and groves of pepper trees. They are memorials to people who turned a dusty, chaparral-covered section of Point Loma into a utopian wonderland. Of ...

Friday, April 11

Visit from the Mayor, Sort of

For those Kensington residents unable to attend last night’s meeting of the Kensington Talmadge Planning Group, you missed a more-than-usual four hour blood bath, highlighted by a visit from the Mayor’s spokesman, Ron Lacey. Why ...

Pre and Post Prom

PROM TIPS AS SEEN ON NBC'S STREETSIDE SAN DIEGO TRANSPORTATION: Warm up your dance moves on the way to the prom in a party bus! Top Dog Limo: $140 (plus 20% tip) for bus max ...

Wednesday, April 9

If There Are Families Here in San Diego, I'd Like to Find One

The facts of life for kids on the street

People Buy You Booze D. is dressed as if he is off to the ComicCon or a Clockwork Orange theme party: boots laced up to his knees, raggedy black and red clothes, an old leather ...

Goodbye, City Life

Disenchanted with their hometown of New York City, rockers Karmen Guy and Sami Yaffa of Mad Juana were looking for a change. In June of last year, they packed their bags and instruments and dog ...

Fresh Every Time

Young Mass (a.k.a. Fifth Element) is, at age 21, the youngest member of the rap and hip-hop collective Digital Underground. His family moved from Chicago to San Diego when he was 10. At the 2003 ...

Bravo, Oaks!

Picking through Oaks’ photos on the Web, I don’t see any molester mustaches, long hair, or dirty denim vests over leather jackets. But those things wouldn’t be out of place. Despite their earthy name and ...

New Monsoon

New Monsoon came with so much of rock’s past in their sound and performed with such accuracy that at first listen I thought they might be a cover band. They are not. Redolent of Southern ...

Scout Niblett

If you look at the photos on Scout Niblett’s website, you might not think that all of them picture the same person. In one she’s a pretty blonde riding a bike. In another she’s a ...

Razor's Edge

Grandfather Nick Razor, 50, has been fronting a local punk band since 1989. “We started as Manticore, then I changed the name to G.F.I. It doesn’t stand for anything. It’s just three letters I threw ...

Hawthorne House

Jason Evans sat at one corner of his dining room table, his wife Brooke seated across from him, two young children at the head of the table between them. An array of crosses hung above ...

Neighborhood of E-ville

Block by block, the redeveloping East Village (which I nicknamed “E-Ville” when it all started) is indeed becoming a high-rise, high-priced condo neighborhood, complete with virulent NIMBYism surrounding the remnants of its former identity, including ...

Two for You

Occasionally, the Box offers a sports movie review. Leatherheads opened Friday and this time I invited a genuine movie reviewer along. The idea is to see the film together, she writes a review, I write ...

Straight up

The National Organization for Marriage California, a political committee sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage, a group backing a state measure to ban gay marriage, has picked up support from Poway’s Margot Kyd, vice ...

You Should Go to Church

I have pretty much done this anyway, but I should make a more formal proclamation, I suppose, that TGIF encompasses weekends as well as Fridays or simply Friday nights. In fact, I have been fairly ...

Go Greased Lightnin'

Paul Patrzalek’s house in La Mesa is impossible to miss: Outside in the front yard sits a 10,000-pound truck with a camper shell that looks — and sounds — not unlike a tank. It’s beige ...

Back in Time

The La Mesa library recently placed California Wine a Sunset Pictorial, published in 1973 and edited by the estimable Bob Thompson, in a cardboard box outside the building’s front door. A visual history of the ...

Up Top and on the Down-Low

Thursday 10Up top, Oakland hip-hopper Del tha Funky Homosapien serves fresh cuts 11th Hour to Belly Up. The Hieroglyphics mainstay is cousin to Cube and at 17 was penning tunes for Ice and his Lynch ...

Bound by Fear

“Gated communities are created for different reasons, but the reasons are all about fear,” says president of the American Anthropological Association Setha M. Low. “In places like California, where the cities can’t expand their tax ...

Hoegees Loop

The cabin community in Big Santa Anita Canyon and along neighboring Winter Creek has been called “a rustic Xanadu, where groceries come by burro.” On foot is the only way in for the owners of ...

The Attack

What book are you currently reading? “I’m reading a lot of books. I generally read about three or four a week. One is called The Attack by Yasmina Khadra. It’s about a doctor, a Muslim ...

Alien intelligence

Information Week is out with a list of organizations that obtained H-1B visas to bring foreign “guest” workers into the country last year. They included Qualcomm, with 158; UCSD (69); San Diego State (8); San ...

Starving Artist by E.K. Mitchell

My ex-girlfriend at the end of the 20th Century (1995–1998) and I made the mistake of letting an acquaintance stay with us. This fellow, “Bill,” was from Los Angeles (or so he said) and living ...

Coalition Forces

When a phrase is constantly used over time to the same audience, it ends up losing some of its original significance. So when we first got wind of the “coalition” the United States put together ...

Perps, X-rayed Sandwiches, and Equatorial Toilets

Heymatt:When I watch all my crime shows on TV, I’ve always wondered about lineups. There’s a bunch of five or six guys in a row and one of them is the suspect, and the victim ...

Quick, Who's My Favorite Ninja Turtle?

Bleakness rent my spirit. For days I pinched the bridge of my nose and squinted. I pushed at the inside corner of my eyes until they bulged and I was nearly blind. Indecision can be ...

Realism Dethroned

When first produced in 1889, August Strindberg’s “naturalistic tragedy,” Miss Julie, was a shocker: not just for its stark class conflicts, herky-jerky dialogue, and “multiplicity of motives,” but also because the set was what it ...

Beware the Deadly Wedley

“We’re here to make a stand for all who have been picked on, kicked on, but never licked on,” says singer/guitarist Eugene Over. His band the Pocket Protectors takes its sound from ’80s Freedom Rock ...

Double-Barrel

Should anyone be suffering symptoms of withdrawal as the “Seen on DVD” column gears down from weekly to monthly, let me share the latest accretions to my own spotty collection. I don’t purchase DVDs often ...

A Very Gassy Golf Course

Standing at the tee pad of hole 15, a Frisbee player on Morley Field’s Disc Golf Course can’t see the basket he’s aiming for. It’s hidden in a thicket of trees 246 feet away. Players ...

Hot Stuff

Tell me what you eat, I’ll tell you who you are. — Anthelme Brillat-Savarin I was an occasional user. At least that’s what I told myself. “It’s not that I need it,” I’d say, “it’s ...

Don't Get Sucked Under

“I’ve been around boards my entire life. Surfboards, skateboards, snowboards...it’s what I really love,” says California newcomer Adam as he takes a break from a slow day surfing in Mission Beach. “I’ve been surfing for ...

Rufus and Anti-Rufus

I have to admit, the word I use the most came from the movie Never Been Kissed. The word is Rufus, and it’s used to describe something really cool. I love the way it sounds ...

The Uke Renaissance Begins Now

For 30 years Owen Burke has been trying to make a living by handcrafting stringed musical instruments. Best known in San Diego music circles for his decade-long stint as drummer with lounge singer Jose Sinatra, ...

Love Is the Drug

Thirty Years AgoSunday morning in the little desert pit stop of Burro Bend. Everything’s quiet. The sun has just risen over the Salton Sea; in the light, it looks like a vast oil slick. The ...

Pig-Out on Campus

‘See? Skin on the ends. Never, in Fronce.” That’s how Eric says it, of course. “Fronce.” He’s French. He’s pointing to his French fry. It does have patches of skin at either end. Actually, I ...

Tattered Safety Nets

In the depths of the Great Depression, the American government set up social and financial safety nets to prevent another treacherous economic downspiral and financial panic. The strategy seemed to work: in the years since, ...

Appetite for Deconstruction

The second song on the Burning Brides’ third album Hang Love is titled “San Diego.” The Philadelphia-born/L.A.-based neo-grunge trio played it last week at the Casbah. When the record was released last June, reviewers singled ...

Nautical Disaster, Moviegoers, and the Burning of Rome

It had a pretty sweet little guitar solo in the middle…not really — you can write “sarcasm” after that statement. It was cheesy, and it sounded like the timing was off. It’s pretty light, lyrically, ...

Name This Place

Q: Cat on a cool tile slide. Describe this location, name the nearest cross-streets, and win a Reader T-shirt. Enter by completing the form below. Last week's place: (clue: Fashionable crossing?) Road, river, and rails ...

Pete’s return

Ex-mayor Pete Wilson, who retired as governor to a tony house in Los Angeles, returns to San Diego only occasionally these days to accept tributes from his wealthy friends in the local establishment; the most ...

Calling new cops

Faced with continued departures from the ranks of its sworn officers due to low pay, low morale, and competition from other law enforcement agencies, the San Diego Police Department is casting an ever-wider net for ...

Speaking of Drugs

I attended a play Margaret wrote when she was at UCSD a few years back, and when I found out about an event she was organizing at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, I thought I’d ...

Fishpond

There is something about the combination of longer daylight hours and spring air that brings a hunger for back-yard projects. And it’s been growling in the Kelly household these past few weeks. First, there was ...

Letters

Don’t Freak Re “San Diego’s Secret Missile Testing Sites” (Cover Story, April 3). Enjoyed the story. Thanks. I was thinking about exploring this area, but I was afraid I’d come out classified as a toxic ...

Wednesday, April 2

San Diego’s Secret Missile-Testing Sites

In 1955, Civil Defense was all the rage

A military-industrial mystery in Sycamore Canyon.

Bucks for friends

San Diego’s GOP mayor Jerry Sanders has announced that under his direction the City has made a $5 million deposit at Neighborhood National Bank. “This deposit will continue my effort to utilize the City’s financial ...

Power Trios, Ripped Boxers, and Jumping Beans

Thursday 3Boston street punks Unseen slam Soma tonight. The 15-year-strong hardcore band hit Warped last year behind Internal Salvation, their eighth collection of metal-edged screamo. Post-fest, the quintet continues to carry the crunk ’round continental ...

Shell game

It’s getting hard to tell who is financing whom in the increasingly combative races for San Diego city council and city attorney. As the jousting intensifies, so does the cost of campaigning, but not all ...

Saying Goodbye

Over the span of a normal lifetime, how often do you see a loved one off for a trip? A long trip? A long and dangerous trip? It’s five o’clock in the morning in a ...

Neighborhood Watch

I attended two parties in one night, though both of them started early in the evening. I hoped the second one would run late. The first was at Brick by Brick. Astra Kelly, a DJ ...

Paddle Battles

If the worst that could befall sidewalk diners were a swinging kayak paddle whacking margaritas off their table, they’d be lucky. It would be irksome nonetheless. And that is one reason pressure is mounting in ...

Eight Oars in the Water

“Rowing isn’t a huge thing for most high schools, so we mainly get kids with no experience at all,” says head coach of the University of California San Diego men’s crew, Zach Johnson. “UCSD just ...

Still Poisonous?

This isn’t the first time I’ve been on during the daytime at a rock station. I began cracking the mic back in the late ’80s. A lot of the music from that era was disposable. ...

Bloodsuckers

San Diego is on the financial brink. So is Chula Vista. But the pro football team known as the San Diego Vampires — er, San Diego Chargers — creeps about the county, plotting how to ...

Name This Place

Q: Fashionable crossing? Describe this location, name the nearest cross-streets, and win a Reader T-shirt. Enter by completing the form below. Last week's place: Last week's place: (clue: Dead reckoning at holy field) Markers of ...

Barker Valley

Barker Valley perches squarely in one of the more remote corners of the Palomar mountain range, right alongside an upper branch of the San Luis Rey River. Although it is not categorized as a wilderness ...

Letters

Three Lost Virtues What an illuminating article about lost arts that may not be completely lost. Thank you, again, Reader. (“Chivalry Is Not Dead,” Cover Story, March 27). I’d like to add a few more ...

We’re Talkin’ the Cat’s Pajamas, Baby

Many songs have been written about San Diego, including such forgotten gems as “San Diego, My Lovely Lady by the Sea,” by Frankie Laine, and “They Go to San Diego,” by Mel Tormé. From 1973 ...

A Size Small Street Scene?

On March 25, the Union-Tribune ran a story by George Varga titled “Street Scene is set to go home.” The article implied that the next annual music fest will be staged downtown for the first ...

Secret Samurai

Album: Gun Sho Gun (2008) Artist: Secret Samurai Label: self-released Where available/price: CDBaby.com for $12.97 and Double Crown Records (dblcrown.com) for $14.75 Songs: 1) Don’t Fear the Reverb 2) Shoegazer 3) Bereft of Enemies 4) ...

Lot of Drums, Little Guitar

Artist: Fkenal Song: “The Penumbra” (from the EP In-Media Res) Heard By: Earl Paus, Chula Vista It was just instrumental. It was pretty steady…I liked it. It was something I can dance to. I guess ...

The Kiss of the Sea Urchin

Sushi lovers think of sea urchin roe as the Japanese delicacy called uni, a coral-colored, spongy-velvety, sexy-tasting maritime fluff perched atop a puck of seasoned rice. Few Americans realize that it’s also savored worldwide wherever ...

Voices of the Damned

Spring is in the air and a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love. My thoughts are turning to an old love this morning as I inhale the odors coming from the cheap eatery ...

Inaugural Ball

Cygnet Theatre has already extended A Little Night Music, with good reason. They’re offering a wonderful production of Stephen Sondheim’s kaleidoscopic inspection of love’s many faces. This is Cygnet’s inaugural show at the Old Town ...

Sick Sharks

Name: James Teak Surfing: Crystal Pier Age: 22 Occupation: Machinist Lives In: Point Loma Pre-Surf Music: Pennywise Post-Surf Food: Taco Surf or Jamba Juice “I started surfing when I was in third grade. My dad ...

Recycled Booty

My jewelry box bears within it the booty of 25 years’ worth of self-adornment, and when I stopped to think about it, I realized that I don’t wear about three-quarters of the stuff. Sure, my ...

Very Sharing

“Amber Ojeda has aligned herself with Sellaband, which connects performers to investors interested in their music,” says Sharon Holleran of A&R Management. “It’s a free service the artist signs up for, where believers buy stock ...

Baseball Preview Edition

The Box, seeking a measured tone, likes to have opening-day jitters out of the way before offering season predictions. All right then, listen up. One team. One thing. Possibly two things. No more than five ...

Life Is Good

Help me out here. Why is the state of Virginia called a commonwealth? And who was Virginia? And, oh yeah. Do Virginians make crazy omelets like this, with two hamburger patties and a bunch of ...

Crash

Drummer Justin Olsen moved to San Diego five years ago for the weather. “I was struggling with issues from slight brain damage. It’s so depressing in Washington in the winter because it’s so gray. Living ...

The Statistics Issue

Crowded on the shelf and partially hidden by other books, the bright yellow spine of the stupidest book ever glared out to me, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Professional Wrestling. I pushed the Grishams and ...

Indier Than Thou

A local performer who appeared at last Saturday’s San Diego Indie Music Fest was pleased to be one of the local artists selected to play the 12-hour, seven-stage showcase for singer/songwriters. About half of the ...

All the King's Junk

Fifty-two years ago – on April 6, 1956 – Elvis Presley played his first public California concert at the San Diego Arena on Eighth and Harbor Drive (a.k.a. Glacier Garden). “I introduced him [to the ...

Radio Blabbermouth

Thirty Years AgoThank you for your article on our boss, Lowell Blankfort (“Press Passes,” March 30). We commend Paul Krueger’s skill in capturing the personality of this Star-News co-publisher quite accurately (in the view of ...

Quids, quos, and a pro

The source of campaign money recently given to Marty Block may come to Democrats as a bit of a surprise. Block is the San Diego community college board president running in the Democratic primary to ...

Stevie Ray, with Feeling

Alan Iglesias says his Stevie Ray Vaughan show is more a “recreation” than a tribute. “Looks, appearances, and body language are extremely important if you want to present a world-class act,” he says, “but never ...

Cavalryman at the Reins, 1876

Jacob Bergman, 1876. In 1937, the Tribune noted that “friends affectionately called him ‘Dutch’…. [He] held the reins in 1858 on the first westbound Butterfield coach to cross the first western desert span of the ...

Finely Aged, Well Engineered

Erica Martenson is not a scientist. Rather, she is a gardener. In her big backyard in Napa, she says, she has “several fruit trees and a small area where I have a vegetable garden. At ...

Ministry

The release of The Last Sucker last September was heralded as Ministry’s final studio album. Al Jourgensen’s announcement of semi-retirement coincides with the coming retirement of his current muse/nemesis. George W. Bush is also on ...

The Good Samaritan

What are you writing? “The book I’m currently writing is called The Good Samaritan.” Tell me about it. “His name is Sam Mollusk, and he’s a data entry/data processor-type of guy. Deliberately, he sees the ...

Raw Foods, Amazons, Mighty Wind

Heymatt: I have a food question that has been giving me indigestion lately. My girlfriend is on this raw-food kick. She says cooking takes all the nutrients out of things but raw you get all ...

May Fire

May Fire’s “You Make It Right” starts off with some fuzzy guitar and singer-guitarist-keyboardist Cat Tasso singing a simple melody through a distorted microphone. She sounds like a drunk and surly Kim Deal, in a ...

Big Daddy, Cinderella Man, Why Did I Get Married?

Amber EllisSenior, Mount Miguel High School film and lit class School Daze is an educational, funny movie about pledging a sorority or fraternity. During the time of the story, apartheid still exists, and an activist ...

Hackintosh

Hackintosh. I made it up to refer to computers that are composed of different components. It’s my way of sticking it to the man. I work on computers for a living, and I believe that ...

Bruise-skis

I had a cold, wet, numb butt; it was nice because I was getting hot. — Heather, Barbarella’s sister Our absurd attempt to produce fire in the wood stove long abandoned, David and I lounged ...