Javajoe25 June 6, 2012 @ 7:11 p.m.

Hillcrest is one of the most colorful, interesting, culturally hip neighborhoods in San Diego....but it is also the biggest rolling freak show as well. Not sure what it is; probably the concentration of mental health facilities in the area, combined with the excessive alcohol intake of the resident population and the high drama that produces, and then there's the availability of street drugs which tend to go hand in hand with the high number of clubs. All that adds up to a very tempting set of circumstances for the mean nasties who come to prey on the vulnerable. There's no bout adout it; it can get pretty dicey, late at night, on the streets of Hillcrest.


Ruth Newell June 7, 2012 @ 8:29 p.m.

Rashida, you are an honorable woman of incredible strength as well as a superb storyteller. Stories like this one are hard ones to tell but it is none-the-less important that they be told. It shouldn't take courage to protect each other from violence--that should be a natural human inclination. But, obviously, as you were the only one to bother to intercede, the only one who said to herself, "No, I can't stand by and watch this happen.--I WON'T do nothing, this is wrong," it mustn't be--not to everyone at least. We as a society haven't evolved as far as we think we have.I remember all too clearly how appalled I felt when I learned a whole barfull of men sat back and watched, cheered even, while Cheryl Araujo was gang raped on a pool table back in the '80's, (basis for the movie The Accused). The '09 gang rape of a fifteen year old CA girl right outside her prom resurrected those same feelings because dozens of people stood by and watched. FOR HOURS. Taking photos with their cell phones rather than calling the police. Yet, there is no law that requires us to protect and assist one another in times like this. No law even requiring bystanders to report the crime they are witnessing. LEGALLY, they did nothing wrong--hard factoid to wrap my head around. Blows my mind that we think we are an advanced "developed' species. I have the utmost respect for you.Thank you for writing this article and thank you Reader for publishing it front and center.


Jay Allen Sanford June 5, 2012 @ 3:59 p.m.

I read this a few hours ago and wasn't going to comment, but seeing the subsequent complimentary comments baffled and vexed me to the point where I had to come back and say something.

The aggressive tone of the author practically screams "sociopath." Even if you ignore the repeated urges to be violent that he expresses, what about calling a complete stranger/voice on the phone a "whore" and making an overtly racist statement like "I keep forgetting that Mexicans never sleep." WTF?? If stuff like that was intended to be "funny," I can find nothing else in the entire story, not one phrase or passage, that confirms "humor" even exists in this person's irksome personality.

The author whines, threatens, bitches, throws out worthless (and sometimes ignorant) "observations" that are stated without a hint of irony or finesse, and constantly blames everyone and everything but himself for his increasingly pathetic (and self-made) situations.

He really thinks being away from his car for a few hours gives him insight into what it's like to be homeless?! As someone who's BEEN homeless, with NO family to send me cash multiple times via Western Union, I find that ridiculous and insulting.

If the thing had at least been artfully written, perhaps with SOME attempt at self-examination or revelation, I would be more tolerant. I'm usually the person 'round here digging only for the most positive and encouraging things to say about stories submitted via the Reader blogs.

But this piece? A prize winner?!?! Only if the prize is a trophy inscribed "Most Likely To Be Imprisoned For Violent Offenses Against Innocent Bystanders."


Ruth Newell June 5, 2012 @ 2:45 p.m.

JemSD, thanks for reading my work--I appreciate it.

Gotta admit, my eyebrows went up at that part, too. But, I've mentored some good people who've made some bad choices and know it's not my place to judge, (and trust me--I've got lots to say on the socio-economics of prostitution--gay or straight, let alone with male dominance and abuse). No matter who the author is or what his real story in fact is, he has somethings others don't have--a caring responsive family with the financial security to assist him in times of need. There are many people who don't and even if they did would never have made the call he did--for whatever their reasons. It obviously humbled him to do so. Regardless, as the writer noted, "I’m not in Vegas any more, and I’m trying to live a new life." Good enough for me as a reader. And that's all I am and ever will be behind this screen. Not a mother, mentor, teacher or preacher. Just an everyday reader.

As such, I try to read postings here as what they are--stories and to support/highlight the good. The part you highlight is really no different than say this one: "A skinny gay homeless guy running up to an escalade and soliciting themselves to the car, and then running after me trying to ask me a question. I had to tell him to piss off or else I’d beat their ass, and they stopped on their track." Again, hints of physical aggression and intimidation that I chose not to take personally. This is HIS story after all, not mine. It was my prerogative to read it and had I not liked it's content, I could have just as easily chosen not to.

It wasn't the content or even the technique but his knack for story telling that captured my attention. There are certainly editorial suggestions I would make to the author (upon request only) so that it might qualify as a winner--too, many technical glitches as it currently stands, in my opinion. But, as a story, I do think it's got potential and given the fact that only pieces related to SD's neighborhoods are in the running, I think he's got a good shot should he bother to clean and tighten the piece up a bit.


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Scott Marks March 3, 2014 @ 3:58 p.m.

Earl doesn't have a vicious bone in his body! And I'm stealing "snarcasm!"


jemsd March 16, 2014 @ 2:10 p.m.

You can listen to the whole thing on You Tube if you have nothing better to do. I always thought Leitner was arrogance personified but I can understand how people feel better about themselves by listening to him,,,, ( want some ice for that burn Ted?). I'd hate to be his waiter.


jemsd May 2, 2014 @ 8:18 p.m.

An obvious guess as for delay of sentencing is that his lawyer is still getting paid to perform a service and at this point in Tim's 'journey', his lawyers job is to delay sentencing for as long as the law allows. I mean it's not like he's languishing in a cell somewhere,,,,,,yet. Ya know, we all probably have fantasized about offing someone at one time or another , but to actually hand over photo's, cash and gate codes to someone you believe kills people ,,,, there's some dark spot inside his head that will never be healed or rehabilitated. Keep up the good work Eva, I enjoy your columns.


Don Bauder May 1, 2014 @ 12:14 p.m.

David Dodd: Yes, too often in reading a story you sense a heavy hand -- or fear of a heavy hand -- coming from higher up. You can't always blame the reporter. He or she may write a perfectly good story, but the next level of editor may fear wrath from above, and gut it. Best, Don Bauder


jemsd June 13, 2014 @ 8:55 p.m.

Joseph would absolutely have stayed within the comforts of, what will probably be, his last chance refuge; his last chance to pull himself out of whatever shit he put himself into all those years ago. But for him, John Barleycorn lives out on the streets and would never be invited in to the places offered to Joseph. Very nice story but I can't help but think if Joseph was a young man ( or woman) would the author's final observations remain unchanged?



jemsd Oct. 23, 2016 @ 4:22 p.m.

I've missed T.G.I.F. for a while now. I've also missed those stories about handymen, derelicts and those cut from an odd sort, whose tales were told through a filter of dark flowing ooze. It was never hard to relate to your truths or to find something familiar in your toybox of words that you chose to string together. Their sharp edges delivered with blunt force ( sometimes) . Thanks John. I never met you but I was truly sad when I read that you passed; I'm turning sixty tomorrow, barely outrunning the tall man and his scythe. For whatever it's worth, people you never knew, appreciated you. It doesn't get much better than that.


eastlaker Nov. 19, 2015 @ 7:39 a.m.

Fun read! No, really!!

I recommend that you start writing for the stage. I am not joking in the least. Put your characters out there. We have some great spaces here in San Diego, and I am pretty sure you could assemble a theater piece or two that would show what you are telling.

Sorry to use clichés, but I haven't even had breakfast.

Go to. There are boards to be tromped, lines to be said and pivotal moments to be had!

(Absurdist theater might be a starting point, as we have so many local situations that seem drawn from that tradition, but touches of the absurd fleshed out by what actually happens here--there is material for several eternities)!


jemsd Jan. 29, 2016 @ 8:19 a.m.

Shavonda ( according to Google) also is suing Advanced Pierre Foods for using PHO in their Fast Bites sandwiches. "Hawkins says she repeatedly purchased and ate the microwave snacks “based on the natural assumption that food sold in stores by large companies would not have unsafe and unlawful ingredients". She seeks to represent other U.S. shoppers who also bought the nine frozen sandwich products, including the Spicy Chicken, BBQ Rib and Chili Cheese Hotdog varieties, since 2008.

She also has or had lawsuits going against Gerbers and Nestles. I'm guessing she has found a way to make a living where being a parasite pays off.


Don Bauder June 3, 2016 @ 6:19 p.m.

jemsd: In all probability, she was telling a fat fib. The so-called convadium (combined football stadium and convention center), five or six blocks from the current center is NOT, NOT, NOT an expansion of the current center. It is a completely different center, separated from the existing one. Convention attendees don't want to walk to other buildings -- or even go upstairs. They want everything self-contained under one roof. The convention part of the convadium will only be used for separate conventions and meetings, and will probably not be used much after the novelty wears off.

The convadium is a fraud. For goodness sake, do not vote for it. Best, Don Bauder


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