Run, Rico, Run!

This is concerning Rico Gardiner’s letter (October 16) in response to letters from other Reader readers who took exception to his rather harsh views of San Diego.

Mr. Gardiner, you failed to address the question posited by one, if not both, of your critics, which I will now restate: if you hate it here so much, why don’t you leave? You are obviously a person of discernment and sophistication who doesn’t fit in with San Diego’s lowbrow beer-and-burrito culture (or what passes for culture around here). How it must gall you to be surrounded on a daily basis by such a knuckle-dragging bunch of rubes, yokels, and slack-jaws.

You need to spread your wings and fly, man, fly! Off to the big city you should go, the sooner the better. Why waste your life in this Podunk when you could be basking in the refinement and culture that is the essence of that shining city to the north, Los Angeles? While we San Diegans lack the necessary wit to appreciate such things, you obviously do not.

Again, I must return to the original question of what is it that keeps you here, moldering in the provinciality that defines San Diego? Is it a job? No problem, there are jobs aplenty in L.A. An ankle monitor? Don’t worry, parole doesn’t last forever. Whatever it is that keeps you here, I hope for your sake that you can overcome it and escape from this awful place.

A few caveats about L.A. They also have “silly sports teams,” as do most of the other “real” cities in the U.S., so you will still have to live with that. They also occasionally eat burritos, as well as drink beer up there, but I’m certain that a bon vivant such as yourself will be able to cope.

Run, Rico, run, while you still can! And don’t let the door hit you in the a**.

David Lathrap
Pacific Beach

Brown Has Big Feet

As Matt Potter was preparing his October 2 story (“Breaking News”) about the referendum challenging secretly negotiated changes to Stockton’s general plan, I wish he had taken the time to call the Alliance for Responsible Planning. The alliance was the group sponsoring the referendum, with the support of the Stockton Peace Officers’ Association, community and business leaders, the A.G. Spanos Companies, and myself. We came together because we were outraged that the Stockton City Council, by a 4–3 vote, had dramatically changed the City’s general plan that took five years and hundreds of public meetings to prepare.

Jerry Brown rode into town, threatened a costly lawsuit to a financially strapped city, and left no time for public input.

Just so Mr. Potter does not fret about it, he should know that Mr. Spanos did not support me for mayor. He supported my opponent.

Attorney General Brown’s overambitious quest to be California’s next governor has led him to trample local planning efforts.

Fortunately, more than 25,000 Stockton residents signed our referendum petitions — nearly the same number of people that voted in the last municipal election — and the imminent referendum led to a settlement with the City that guarantees the public will be able to participate as changes to the general plan are discussed in the future.

Gary A. Podesto
Former mayor of Stockton, 1997–2004
Watsonville

Matt Potter responds: The item never said anything about Spanos supporting Podesto for mayor. We fully reported Spanos being behind the measure and Attorney General Jerry Brown’s role in the planning controversy. A follow-up item noted the City’s settlement.

The Dreaded Santee Bloc

Re Reader Puzzle. I have stopped submitting entries because of the huge Santee bloc of entries each week — the people who don’t add a comment line.

And when the Santee bloc gets one letter wrong, they are all wrong.

Something underhanded is going on — several entrants have voiced that even in their comment line.

Entering the puzzle is no longer fun, when you see such a large bloc of people from the same place all winning together and each one never makes a comment.

There are always those people who ruin it for all the rest because of greed!

Ray Baterich
North Park

According to a phone call to the Reader, many of the entrants come from a Santee nursing home. — Editor

LL Dull J

I find it baffling that you continue to pay Josh Board for his “Crasher” column on a weekly basis. It commits two journalistic sins that should be unforgivable: it’s very poorly written and is insufferably dull.

By all means, the column should be an interesting one; the premise of it is, in theory, wide open to a varied and entertaining column each week. But the pedantic manner in which Mr. Board describes the parties he attends might as well be the result of an autistic person describing their trip to the DMV. Focused on minute and unimportant details and written in one-sentence paragraphs, a style more befitting the “See Dick Run” series of reading primers, the columns turn parties at James Cameron’s mansion or a record-release party for LL Cool J, events at which interesting things conceivably must be occurring, into deadening affairs of soul-crushing tedium.

Mr. Board’s tendency to focus on his own actions during these parties (his most recent column diverged from the party to explain how he left, went to a Mexican restaurant, and tried to order a series of items only to eventually leave without eating when none of them were available) only further serves to suggest that he is uninterested in the parties and would be better off updating a Twitter feed instead of writing about them. Journalism that is primarily focused on the journalist can work. Hunter S. Thompson routinely turned himself into the story. But the life-sapping diversions into Mr. Board’s own affairs are reminiscent of what Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas would have been like had it been written by Andy Rooney.

I attended two of the parties that Mr. Board “crashed” for columns within the past six months. One was for his column “Sumo Follies” (August 6), where Mr. Board spent a substantial portion of the column talking about how he played another partygoer in horse on the outskirts of the party. The other party was the recent Intense Individual party (October 23), in which Mr. Board begged out of paying the charitable cover charge and went on to write up an eclectic party in a manner in which I imagine that a blind person’s fed-up personal assistant would describe it to them minutes before quitting in disgust.

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Comments

MsGrant Oct. 30, 2008 @ 10:26 a.m.

Sorry, Fred. I'm all ablush. I typed too quickly, prior to reading your proclamation of adoration. Forgive my whiplash-like jealousy. I'm sure it happens all the time, chicks fighting over you and all.

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Josh Board Oct. 29, 2008 @ 3:53 p.m.

So Conor, tell me what ya really think.

First, a few things. Could you REALLY be this bitter that I spelled your name wrong in the first column? Someone left a voice mail at the Reader saying you were ticked about that and the fact that I didn't mention more about your band, but geez. Didn't think that meant I'd read an email like this.

Second, Hunter S. Thompson is highly overrated. That dude was paid big bucks by Rolling Stone to cover the biggest boxing match in history, and instead turned in a thing about him getting drunk at the hotel pool and never going to the fight. Figured you like him.

Third, I had a great conversation with your parents at the party (Thanksgiving in July). And many other people. There's only limited space I can put all that in. And, when I play basketball with a girl, and have to chase a basketball into a swarm of bees, hey...that's interesting to me (and a few other people out there, one being the waitress at BJs in La Jolla, who went nuts when she saw the name on my credit card, saying how much she loved the column). I'm sorry you don't. Or, that you wish YOU were writing it.

And, on that last line, let me add...you seem to want a lot. My girlfriend (who doesn't dislike anyone), mentioned to me how odd she found it that when we talked to a few of the people that claimed to be the "founders" of the Thanksgiving in July, you wanted to make it clear, that it was really YOU that came up with the idea yourself. And you said, "I mean, if they want to take credit for it, fine let them. But it was me that started this." And, you said that a few times.

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Josh Board Oct. 29, 2008 @ 3:54 p.m.

(continued)...

Bizarre, that a friendly, annual gathering in July for neighbors, family, and friends, is more about YOU wanting credit for starting it.

Fourth, regarding the Intense party...the music was too loud to talk to the guests, so I "filled in space" talking about my trip to the Mexican joint. Sure, people there (like you and your guests), would've rather read about their cool costumes, etc. And, in regards to not paying the entrance, I get invited to many "charity" party/functions, some being $500 to get in. If I paid for all those, I might have to go out and get a real job. But sometimes I do donate at those events (like one in which I bid over a thousand bucks on a guitar, etc). I like to admit when I didn't pay, though. And I figure the charity is getting some ink out of it, so no worries.

And now, you writing to say you don't like how I covered it.

And lastly, to answer your question about openings grabbing the readers, hey...sometimes I play around with things. Sometimes editors edit, and want to get right to the point. Other times, I feel the column just doesn't lend itself to starting like Moby Dick.

Dude, you gotta chill out. Enjoy life. If my column makes you that upset, I'd say skip it. And be glad I didn't mention how dorky you looked wearing that fez the whole party.

I'll be skipping your Thanksgiving parties in the future, so tell Lisa not to bother sending me the evite.

Josh Board Crasher

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Ollie Oct. 29, 2008 @ 5:09 p.m.

Down with the Crasher!

Up with Remote Control King!

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JulieParrots Oct. 29, 2008 @ 9:46 p.m.

Woo Hoo! Sounds like its gonna be a party so swell, that Josh won't even be board. Looks like I have no choice but to attend if I want to have a good time partaking in San Diego's drunkin debauchery and electioneering. And if there is a Julie Parrots imposter from the Gloria campaign wearing a monty Python prop, I will have no choice but to follow him around with a pair of empty coconut shells making the sounds of horse hooves. Portraying their "high and mightiest" selves.

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Fred Williams Oct. 29, 2008 @ 5:20 p.m.

Down with the remote control tyrant. Down with bored Josh!

Up with Abnormal Heights!

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/abnormal-heights/

(Next up, Fred reviews the fight of the year. Ollie and Josh both go in the cage, but only one comes out...no rules!)

Hey, Josh. Be sure to bring your biased reporting and navel gazing skills on down to Golden Hall, Tuesday November 4th, to watch the election returns.

Party with the Parties, candidates, and ballot propositions...be sure to wear your "I Voted" sticker or you'll get beaten up by elderly party activists.

Best,

Fred

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Fred Williams Oct. 29, 2008 @ 6:45 p.m.

Ollie, you're invited too, old friend. If you can't get off the couch, though, just watch the local live news feeds as the results come in.

You can skip quickly from station to station to get a combined 3D view of Golden Hall. It's almost exactly like being there in person, except for your body being someplace completely different.

Now, the sound might be off, but that could be fun:

We're here live at Golden Hall where:-:talking with supporters:-:led to the city's financial crisis:-:with a bonus if you order now!:-:Corruption scandals:-:marching around with signs and chanting:-:make the decisions that will lead this city forward.:-:We're showing Aguirre:-:joining the Republicans in Congress, where my father's party:-:ought to pay their fair share:-:when we're back in five minutes, after these important messages.

Looking forward to election night at Golden Hall, everyone!

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JulieParrots Oct. 29, 2008 @ 7:52 p.m.

In response to post number 5. ...(still smiling) That is hilarious and Entertainment in writing!

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JulieParrots Oct. 29, 2008 @ 8:26 p.m.

I always enjoy reading your Abnormal Heights section. I also find your comments (to other fellow San Diego Readers, most notably to the infamous fumbler) quick-witted and very entertaining. The comment about your band Fred Williams and the corrpulent carcasses had me chuckling.

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MsGrant Oct. 29, 2008 @ 8:42 p.m.

Oy. Should I invite Ollie? At least he loves you.

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Fred Williams Oct. 29, 2008 @ 8:49 p.m.

JulieParrots, you are gorgeous. Wow! Never thought you'd look like this in person...

I love Fumber, like a brother. A special education brother wearing big braces and a plastic helmet, but a brother nonetheless.

When I get compliments on my writing, especially from an exotic woman with a parrot riding on her shoulder, pirate costume awry, a saucy wench we old sailors merely dream about on long deployments, well I can barely restrain myself from from inviting you to my big party at Golden Hall on November 4th.

I've personally reserved the entire Golden Hall at the Civic Concourse in the heart of downtown for my lavish Election Night Celebration.

Naturally, all the media will be there to cover my party. So will the parties, guaranteeing a heluva party. We gonna party, oh yeah!

The chair of the Republicans will be handing out pirated copies of the latest video games and charges of voter fraud, while the head of the Democrats will be drunkenly slapping Obama stickers on random surfaces, including television cameras, discarded campaign signs, and Duncan Hunter, Junior.

Sure, I'll be followed around by Fumber all evening, whining that his mother expects him back home before ten o'clock, but we can ditch him and find someplace where you, me, and the parrot can get acquainted.

I'm just suspicious that fake JulieParrots from the Gloria campaign will strap an old Monty Python prop on his shoulder and pretend to be you.

You know, I've invited the entire City of San Diego...oh, heck...make it the whole dang County!

Come on down to Golden Hall, meet the candidates, see them shout and cry, watch upper echelon staffers from your city government get s***faced drunk in public...oh, it's great.

Bring the kids so they can see democracy in action.

Golden Hall, Downtown San Diego, November 4th, 2008.

The election year party crash you'll never forget...look forward to seeing you there.

Best,

Fred

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Fred Williams Oct. 29, 2008 @ 8:52 p.m.

MsGrant, don't tell Ulysses, but I have a thing for you too...

Best,

Fred

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MsGrant Oct. 29, 2008 @ 8:54 p.m.

Oh, my, God. Stay tuned and see Fred and Julie GET IT ON!! HERE, LIVE AND SUCKING UP!

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Fred Williams Oct. 29, 2008 @ 9:05 p.m.

MsGrant, no offense; there's more than enough Fred to spread around...

You, MsGrant, Julie, and her Parrot can all join in with the Fredliness goin on live and in person at my gala Election Night Downtown Party at Golden Hall. I haven't yet gotten clearance for Fred and the Corpulent Carcasses to play a short set, but I'm hopeful.

Everyone is invited. Party with the Party People!

Election Night Downtown at Golden Hall...

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Fred Williams Oct. 30, 2008 @ 10:48 a.m.

Now, girls, there's no reason to fight over me. You can share.

Julie, I'm so glad you solved the impostor problem.

Any woman wearing a pirate's parrot who also has another parrot wearing woman following her and making clop, clop, clop noises with coconut shells is NOT JulieParrot, but might be an African swallow.

Meanwhile, any women wearing parrots who eschew the coconut clopping escort are probably also NOT JulieParrot, who would have been the coconut clopper who is subject to said eshewing.

Therefore, only women with parrots neither encumbered nor eshewed with coconut cloppers is the genuine JulieParrot, who will promptly join MsGrant in wanton displays of feminine wiles, pirate jargon, and blatant parrot abuse.

Golden Hall on election night has never seen the like of what awaits San Diego next Tuesday. I hope the Mayor has arranged for extra security...and someone to clean up after all the parrots.

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JulieParrots Oct. 30, 2008 @ 1:58 p.m.

Indeed! You nailed it! As for the abusing of parrots, well, these feathers are permanently painted on. So they can be plucked at all you want. Brilliant. This pretty bird is going to be in attendance November 4. Everyone is ready for a change in San Diego. This election is just what we need. By the way, Im sure it was not only your highly creative mind that aided into your crowning of Mesa's "Man of the Year", but a list of other attributes as well... Cheers.

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Fred Williams Oct. 30, 2008 @ 2:20 p.m.

Mesa College Man of the Year...oh, so long ago...brings back memories, indeed.

They say I won because I convinced the Community College District to expand library hours for working students...but we all know it was really just because of my handsome legs.

Wow! I can't believe it was so long ago...1990. I'm getting old.

Fred

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JulieParrots Oct. 30, 2008 @ 11:45 p.m.

Perhaps, but aren't we all aging. Besides, with age comes wisdom and experience. :)

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Barbarella Fokos Nov. 1, 2008 @ 3:47 p.m.

I think I just witnessed a comment menage a trois. You can't have Ollie at your party, Fred. He'll be busy "crashing" my "Elation Day '08: Barack to the Future" soiree. I'll organize a smoke signal off my terrace in the direction of Golden Hall. I'll be wearing my brand new red, white, and blue boa (purchased at Party City) to demonstrate my patriotism. ;)

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Fred Williams Nov. 1, 2008 @ 4:03 p.m.

Barbarella, be sure to blow some of that smoke signal my direction...hanging out with politicians, I'll be needing something to soothe my nerves.

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JulieParrots Nov. 2, 2008 @ 1:55 p.m.

Aww, shucks Fumber dear, looks like ya caught me.

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Fred Williams Nov. 2, 2008 @ 6:22 a.m.

"that smoke will be probably be massive amounts of ganja"

Well, Fumber, we can only hope...here at the Reader, where I share a luxury office with Don Bauder, we're burning so much ganja we can barely see through the smoke clouds to teach the children how to roll properly.

That's the reason we take the students, and their teachers, to the park for their smoking lessons. See, the gentle breeze clears a little of the haze, allowing us to carefully inspect for stems and seeds, break up the pot into appropriately sized chunks for rolling, and ensure that each joint is carefully and lovingly inspected for shape, firmness, and a smooth draw.

Our biggest problem, naturally, is finding kid-sized rolling papers. The orange zig-zags are just too big for their little fingers, but every time we let them use the bong they end up spilling water everywhree. Ahhh, kids.

It's so important to teach the little ones about drug abuse. Dropping good bud on the floor, boggarting, or leaving too much saliva on the joint are all serious problems facing youngsters today, and we must teach children not to abuse their drugs in such a wanton manner. Similarly, we must all take responsibility in teaching our kids how to drink alcohol responsibly. Did you know that some children don't can't even tell when it's their turn to buy the next round? The importance of our work cannot be overstated.

With time,patience, and generous funding from Mayor Sanders and Police Chief Landsdowne, we've taught so many students the importance of respecting drugs, carefully inspecting for color and smell before laying out cash for supposed "kind", and never paying too much for ditch weed. We've saved countless students from the frustration and disappointment of buying oregano, and are very proud of our work in the community.

Fumber, it's always wonderful to know how much you support us in our important work. Those of us here at the Reader, although we are paid princely sums for our work, always appreciate positive feedback from the residents of America's Finest City, and I know I speak for Barbarella, Potter, Board, Ollie, and Bauder when I say that we love you and are all wishing you the very best when you eventually graduate from your current courses and move up to middle school.

Best,

Fred Williams CEO and President San Diego Chapter Drug And Recreational Education (D.A.R.E.)

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JulieParrots Nov. 2, 2008 @ 11:30 a.m.

How fortuitous Mr. Williams! It appears you have a new disciple. I have been under the assumption that Fumbler only was commenting simply to spite you, yet it now seems as though Fumbler's search for the most magnificent education has finally been realized!

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Josh Board Nov. 3, 2008 @ 8 p.m.

I just came back to this thread and read all the posts. Even though it veered away from Conor hating my writing style, I want to go back there. Since, he and his homies are now sending all kinds of letters to the Reader.

I Googled him, and saw a lame website he has. Wow...his attempts at humor. He tries to write like a mix of Ollie, Jim Gaffigan, and Dave Barry, yet doesn't pull any of it off.

One of his bits involves writing about bacon flavored mayonaisse. Brilliant, Conor.

Another has him reciting the alphabet. Wow, that's comedy gold.

He also has created, along with the Thanksgiving in July, a "National High Five Day." You're brilliant, Conor.

I saw he also wrote a cover story for the Reader, in which for a few days, he listens to 91X and 94.9 and compares them. I thought that piece actually worked, even though there were tons of letters at the time, saying it sucked.

Keep trying, though Conor. You'll come up with something funny.

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MsGrant Nov. 4, 2008 @ 7:29 a.m.

An easy write at best. Listening to two radio stations and rehashing the play list in print does not a Pulitzer prize winner make. The guy is gunning for your job and his need to be SOMEONE is embarrassingly obvious. Getting all his friends to write in - REALLY? That's pathetic, and honestly, in very poor taste. Reality TV would be a better place for someone of this ilk. Your grasp of pop culture is written in a wry style, which some people can't get. They want to be out and out salivating over every little detail and do not understand irony. Masters of the obvious always think they can do a better job.

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MsGrant Nov. 4, 2008 @ 7:59 a.m.

One more thing. If Mr. Lastowka is indeed a bona fide writer, I suggest he consult in his Stylebook the chapters pertaining to libel and defamation. Expressing an honest, heartfelt opinion is one thing. Launching an out and out campaign to discredit another individual for the sole purpose of obtaining their position of employment is quite another.

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jfeala Nov. 5, 2008 @ 11:34 a.m.

Conor currently works as a comedy writer with the former creators of Mystery Science Theater 3000, a show universally loved and recognized as one of the funniest ever. He won the Fiction 101 contest in the CityBeat with an incredibly wry and ironic short.

He is funny, and from what I've seen, you are not. He does not want your job, he just wants the column to be good. The same goes for me and a lot of other people.

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JulieParrots Nov. 5, 2008 @ 11:55 a.m.

I am noone special, just another San Diegan. Even though I don't know Josh or Conor personally, I find Josh's columns well written and one of the main reasons why I read his blogs and stories religously. Thanks for the daily laughs. :)

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Josh Board Nov. 6, 2008 @ 1:19 a.m.

Hey, thanks Julie.

Well, jfeala...Conor working with someone else that was successful, really doesn't mean much. What do they write that we've seen? A short story in City Beat? And, Mystery Science Theater 3000 is one of the lamest shows ever. A great concept, that had one laugh every 10 jokes. Not a good ratio considering they throw so many jokes out there, and have so much to work with!

It's funny that I never heard from Conor BEFORE he felt his party was attacked (ie me mentioning they must've lost money, etc). Believe me, I could've said worse things about his party. They were promoting art, and yet they had merely 4 or 5 pieces of art for sale. And all upstairs, where nobody even went.

But, if Conor is as funny as you claim, why not post something he's written here, and let us all judge. His saying the alphabet bit, surely wasn't (nor was it original).

And for you guys (in the most recent letters section) to post typos I have in my daily blog (spelling "stared" instead of "starred" or whatever it was), is bush league. People care about the content, not a spelling error in a blog.

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