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Stories by Ollie

The Ugly Trailer Park Across the Water

In order to visit a beach community, one must wear ugly sunglasses, so I snatch my chrome Elvis reproduction shades that I purchased in Las Vegas last summer and hit the door. From the 8 ...

Consider the Condo

Almost a decade ago, when I worked in a high-rise office building downtown, some coworkers and I stood at a corner window and counted the mega-sized cranes that dotted the scenery. “One, two, three, four,” ...

My Washing Machine Texts Me When the Whites Are Done

Give me Arduino, the tinkerer’s friend.

Fuzzy-headed and inquisitive after a long night of sleep, I levitate a morning news screen to eye level. The glowing hover-display shows little icons indicating rain; damn, I forgot an umbrella. With a slight gesture ...

Christmas Is Magic for So Many Reasons

The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants

A LITTLE OLD-SCHOOL GLAMOUR “What does he do, this man you seek?…He covets…And how do we begin to covet, Clarice?…We begin by coveting what we see every day.” — Dr. Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of ...

Our Favorite Drinks and Where We Drink Them

You don’t know how to make a Tora!Tora!Tora!?

There are times, sometimes in the midst of otherwise polite conversation, when it comes out that I make my living writing for the Reader. The follow-up to this revelation is almost never “Oh, that’s right, ...

San Diego's Superhero

The making of Xtreme Man, our protector.

A baby wails its first song in an unexceptional San Diego hospital. Doctors notice nothing special or unusual about the child. No clerics have wandered to greet him; no comets or meteor showers threaten Earth’s ...

Share Waves Without Judgment

Name: Michael Janzen Surfing: Tourmaline Lives: Mission Valley Miss work for surfing? “No. Get up earlier and do both.” A few months ago, surfers congregated at Tourmaline Surf Park in Pacific Beach. The mayor and ...

Avitia

Album: Oceanside Boulevard (2008)Artist: AvitiaLabel: Above Ground RecordsWhere available/price: Lou’s Records in Encinitas for $5.99. Online at iTunes, Napster.com, Emusic.com, Rhapsody.com, and Amazon.com for $4.95.Songs: 1) The Idea 2) Long Gone 3) Mars 5000 4) ...

Scat Daddy's "Lament"

Name: Steve Scatolini (aka Scat Daddy Surf) Age: 32 Years surfing: “too many” Favorite spot: Jocko’s Pre-surf music: “Jimi Hendrix, my own” Post-surf food: Poma’s Deli (in O.B.) Scatolini’s song (below) was inspired, he says, ...

Most Downloaded, February

“Long Way Home,” by the Coyote Problem, was the most-downloaded MP3 from SDReader.com during February. Below is an interview with songwriter Peter Bolland. Has it been easier or harder to write songs during tough times? ...

Waste time. Save money. Ride the bus!

Go anywhere for $64 a month.

Here’s what you need to know before I begin this story. (A) I’d spent the week prior to all this camping out at an arts festival at which I’d inundated myself with an alphabet of ...

Pinned at Waimea

Name: Jureyl Pancipanci Age: 25 Lives In: Mission Valley Pre-Surf Music: the Strokes Post-Surf Food: tacos Surfing: Mission Beach Originally from Wahiawa, Hawaii, Jureyl recently moved to San Diego and pointed out some key differences ...

Emery Byrd

Album: Mrs. Young Versus the Modern Ones (2008)Artist: Emery ByrdLabel: self-releasedWhere available/price: M-Theory in Mission Hills for $9.99. Online at emerybyrd.com, iTunes, and Amazon for $9.99Songs: 1) No Scene Like This 2) Busy Doing Nothing ...

Most Downloaded, January

"Goodbye,” by the City Limits Band, was the most downloaded MP3 from SDReader.com during the month of January. Follows is an interview with songwriter Les Allen. This is obviously a “love lost” song. I like ...

Ponzi Pawns

All financial markets are Ponzi schemes set up to take money from the unwitting and give it to insiders. All numbers concerning stocks are manipulated to give rich people more money; they’re lies. So, you’ve ...

Adriana Smith and Ghost in the Graveyard

In 2007 Rolling Stone ran a cover story marking the 20th anniversary of Guns N’ Roses debut studio album Appetite for Destruction. That same year Marc Cantor, early-days photographer for GNR, wrote a book, Reckless ...

Ollie's Giant Robot Army

This miserable “era of peace” has nearly bankrupted my giant robot army before I’ve even had the chance to get any of them out the door. I’m sittin’ on 45 giant robots in a National ...

The Shreddar

Name: Cheryl Woodhouse Age: 51 Lives in: Coronado Post-surf food: Carne asada burrito “with salt!” Favorite surf movie: Step Into Liquid Surfing: Coronado Cheryl got her nickname (“The Shreddar”) by way of a prank played ...

Z Outbreak

Zombie hunting used to be grueling business. I never thought I’d be a zombie hunter, but then again, I’m typing this on a square of light that sits in my lap. If you’d asked me ...

Where Can I Get Some Peace and Quiet?

Hard of hearing in the city

My cell phone was apparently assembled at gunpoint by drunk Yugoslavians in the year 1984. The only way for it to receive any sort of discernible transmission within my house is for me to hold ...

Some Should Die

More people should die. Our only problem as a society is that we lack the moral resolve to let it happen. We have no distinguishable line to draw — everyone on this side we will ...

Most Downloaded, December

“All I Got,” by Astra Kelly, was the most-downloaded MP3 from SDReader.com during the month of December. Below is an interview with the songwriter. What inspired you to write “All I Got”? Astra Kelly: The ...

That's the Holiday Spirit!

Thankfully, mercifully, wonderfully, I rejoice that the holidays are over. This year I was called everything from a “lamer” to a “scrooge” because I don’t enjoy the time from Halloween to New Year’s Eve. Well, ...

Tijuana Shark Attack!

Name: Chase Edwards Age: 26 Lives in: North Park Surfing: Black’s Favorite surfing buddy: Jameson, his son Girls in the water okay?: “If they can keep up.” Chase was surfing at Playas de Tijuana last ...

This Just Sounds Dirty

Halley’s Comet appeared when I was nine. It came late at night. I was watching TV on the couch, dozing. There was a big fuss about it; every commercial break, a news anchor would tell ...

Lindsay Hail

Album: Into My Soul (2008) Artist: Lindsay Hail Label: self-released Where available/price: Cow Records in Ocean Beach and Music Trader in Point Loma and Pacific Beach for $9.99. CDBaby.com for $12.97; iTunes and Digstation.com for ...

Rain Made a Clown of Me

Rain made a clown out of me. Not one of those funny clowns, if there ever was such a thing, but rather a sad-faced, hobo clown who forever looks as if his coffee is cold, ...

Shrek You!

A nation doesn’t leap off of a cliff and fall into chaos; it slides over the course of months. In 2001, Argentina started that slide. By 2002, the price of food had rocketed 200 times ...

Writer

Album: Blood Drops (2008)Artist: WriterLabel: self-releasedWhere available/price: Lou’s Records in Encinitas, Off the Record in North Park, M-Theory in Mission Hills, Spin Records in Carlsbad, and live shows for $8.Songs: 1) Matthew 2) Anymore 3) ...

Nuptials in the Sand

Name: Sunshine Granaldi Age: 28 Lives in: Gaslamp Quarter Surfing: Ocean Beach Post-surf food: Pho Ideal surf vacation: Thailand “Surfing almost ruined my wedding. My husband and I got married in La Jolla two years ...

Hang in There, Baby

People have called me a “hater” because I’m quick to give my opinion on most everything and usually within my stated opinion the word “crap” pops up. If you ask me, “What did you think ...

Most Downloaded, November

"Bench to the Bus Stop," by Nature of the Beast, was the most-downloaded mp3 from SDReader.com during November. Below is an interview with members of the group. Ollie: I just gave Nature of the Beast ...

Laura Roppé

Album: Girl Like This, 2008 Artist: Laura Roppé Label: self-released Where available/price: lauraroppe.com ($12 plus S&H), CDBaby.com ($12.97) or for download at iTunes ($9.99 for the full album, 99 cents per track), or Amazon.com ($7.99 ...

I Am Genghis Khan

I am Genghis Khan. Bill Bryson, in his book A Short History of Nearly Everything, explains how lineage works by starting out: “If your two parents hadn’t bonded just when they did — possibly to ...

Rubber Duck and Ceramic Cat on the Lam

Rocky, my rubber duck, is tunneling out of the bathroom. I know he’s tunneling because upon morning muster and inspection he’s been congenial and respectful, which is unfamiliar behavior for him. At night inspection, he’s ...

A Time to Duck Dive

Name: Byron Thompson Age: 19 Surfing: La Jolla Occupation: Student Lives in: North Park Best surf in SD: Bird Rock Longest duration surfed: Five hours "I don't mind girls that surf as long as they ...

Homeland Security

Album: Homeland Security (2008) Artist: Nature of the Beast Label: self-released Where available/price: Access Hip Hop in Pacific Beach for $10.95 (CD and vinyl), CDBaby.com for $10.99 (CD) and $5.50 (vinyl), iTunes for $9.99 (download), ...

Lost in Time

Sweet merciful crap! Through means I’d rather not discuss, I’ve managed to transport myself back to the Mesozoic period. The dishwasher and eight-track cassette player I used as a time vehicle is now broken. Even ...

Imperial Beach: Not Very Crowded

Name: Steve Reed Age: 26 Surfing: La Jolla Lives in: South Park Pre-surf food: Nachos and beer Celebrity most like to surf with: Tony Danza “I love surfing at Mission Beach, but I really hate ...

Ollie's Not a Huge Dork Anymore...Is He?

My roommate wandered in while I was watching a movie on TV. We’re still settling into our new place and she was retrieving and placing things in what she determined were their new proper spots. ...

October's Most Downloaded

"Huevos con Queso," by Agave, was the most downloaded MP3 from our website in October. Below is an interview with the band’s primary songwriter, Rusty Bishop. What is it about Mexico that musicians — especially ...

Plane Without a Pilot

Album: It’s About Time (2008) Artist: Plane Without a Pilot Label: Rdub Recordings Where available/price: iTunes, CDBaby.com, Lou’s Records in Encinitas, Taang! Records, Music Trader, Thirsty Moon Records, Off the Record in North Park, M-Theory ...

The Losers' Future

We’ve focused so exclusively on the election that I’m unsure I’ll know what to do with myself when it’s over. I write this two days before The Tuesday, the incredibly important Tuesday, the Tuesday two ...

Movin' On Up

It sat there, not ominous or inimical, but mysterious. The TV. I’ve moved in with a roommate to save some money this year and to shed my old barrio. My roommate has a TV big ...

Dinosaurs Don't Surf

Name: Michael Woodbury Age: 29 Lives in: Chula Vista Occupation: Video-game designer Post-Surf Food: Spicy bean burrito Girls in the Water: “No…I mean, yes.” Michael tends to avoid the beaches in the summertime. “I don’t ...

Ollie 2012!

George W. Bush is an American hero, and let me tell you why: because if he can make it, anyone can. All it takes is money. Look at him. That stiff Porky Pig impression every ...

Apes of Wrath

Album: Plastic, Fake, and Frozen (2007) Artist: The Apes of Wrath Label: self-released Where available/price: At M-Theory in Mission Hills for $6.99. Online at Amazon for $6.23; Emusic and Rhapsody.com for $6.83. Band: Jake Bankhead ...

Shark Fighter

Name: Neil Salunga Age: 29 Occupation: Firefighter Lives in: San Ysidro Pre-surf music: N.W.A. Girls in the water?: “Total distraction.” Neil Salunga recounts the experience of getting attacked by a shark: “A year ago, I ...

What to Watch During an Economic Meltdown!

Like a donkey on a tilt-a-whirl, I have no business being in a kitchen. With that in mind, I’m going to share some of my cost-cutting-cooking and home-organizing tips. First, what you want to do ...

September's Most Downloaded

“Drive America,” by the Cathryn Beeks Ordeal, was the most-downloaded MP3 from SDReader.com during September. Below is an interview with songwriter Cathryn Beeks. What was the best road trip you’ve taken, and how did the ...

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