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Stories by Deirdre Lickona

The best part about being a bookstore owner

You buy a book new, and you have a new baby

Name: JUSTINE EPSTEIN Age: 31 Occupation: OWNER, VERBATIM BOOKS Neighborhood: SHERMAN HEIGHTS Where interviewed:: VERBATIM BOOKS What are you reading? “Some Ross MacDonald short stories about the private eye Lew Archer. They’re kind of noirish. ...

San Diego Guide to Holiday Fun

Even if yuletide music burns your cochlea on contact ... something for you

I read somewhere that the reason you’re sad around Christmastime is because it’s a reminder of what you’ve lost since childhood: the belief that the world is a magical place that is interested in your ...

Beyond selfie curation

I’m always amazed at those tablet commercials that show children creating wonderful art on their digital devices. If my kids get near a glowing screen, it doesn’t matter what apps are available; they instantly switch ...

Things to do

What do you mean you’re bored?! An anti-ho-hum compendium.

Jetpack America Want to feel like Superman? After a training video and in-office instruction, strap on a jetpack and take to the air. During the 15- to 60-minute ride, the water-jetting pack can go as ...

She Knew How Fragile Writers Could Be

E-mails were short, sometimes five words.

I used to send Judith gifts around Mother's Day. Not on, but around -- because she wasn't my mother. But among her many titles -- mentor, boss, friend -- there was also this: the mysterious ...

France Meets California

"Old school vs. new school, Bob Hope vs. Adam Sandler, dirt vs. fruit."

Loops Like Pillows

"Never say never," I thought to myself as I slid into my wedding dress in early May of '96. It wasn't that I had once supposed I would never get married. I was 25, in ...

When the Loud Bell Rang

22 Reader writers on school

My first day in school was really my second day — Jangchup Phelygal The Radiators That Ticked Heat into the Room — Laura Rhoton McNeal Rear Rank Rudy — Jim Morris Forget-me-nots — Rosa Colwin ...

I Wanted to Crawl into My Mittens

The soft cotton kept me from getting a grip on the slide.

I don't remember much from my childhood. Why this is, I don't know. I was happy; I remember that much. I came from an intact, loving, financially stable home. But when I go poking around ...

We Carried Each Other

In 1991, God seized my attention. So did Homer, Plato, Aristotle, and U2. I was 20, a freshman in college, raised Catholic but without much understanding or interest in practicing my faith. I had plenty ...


A San Diego survey of men behind the hairy upper lips.

Mustache also mous-tache (m s-tash, m -stash) noun 1. The hair growing on the human upper lip, especially when cultivated and groomed. 2. Something similar to the cultivated, groomed hair on the human upper lip, ...


The woman we never forget.

"Careful, Ma; don't spill your soup," I warned. "First time you spill, that's it — you're going to the home.” Mom's reply was immediate. "I know. I've picked out what I want to take with me."

True in Love and True in Deed

My mother was becoming a feminist.

"A Woman's Place is in the House...and the Senate," read the banner on the door of the cabinet that housed our dinner plates and cereal bowls. Similar posters peppered the kitchen walls: "What if Prince ...

Santa's Helpers

Gift-givers tell all.

We used to decorate the outside of our house, but not anymore. We put a bow in front of our gate and we put lights up, that's about it. I always wanted the moving reindeer, but no.

Mission Hills

As State Street crosses Laurel heading north, its name changes suddenly to Reynard, and a little blue street sign welcomes you to Mission Hills. Don’t be fooled. This is Baja Mission Hills, like Kensington too ...

More Than Support

San Diego women on their breasts and their bras

But even if they were not big, they seemed to me very real and salient: there’s a breast. It was hard to imagine my flat front being sculpted into such fullness

Pretty Woman

Beach babes consider feminism

As it happened, only one of the 17 women I spoke with declared herself a feminist with any kind of conviction. Most said they were not, usually citing a lack of political drive.


I swallowed the lump in my throat as my eyes peered upward. Surveying the Jewelry Exchange, on the corner of Sixth and E downtown, I felt small and insignificant. I gazed up at the eight-story ...

Haves and Have-Nots

Bamboozled by compassion

I saw Clyde outside the building. “We wanted to tell you the truth. We were just ashamed to admit we had lost our son. It’s hard to explain. We lost him over a stupid plate of enchiladas.”

The Hootchie Look

A steady hum and bustle flowed in and out of Star Shots Photography Studio in Mission Valley Center. Teenage girls strolled in and out in twos and threes, sometimes chatting, other times giggling with arms ...

By No Means Mr. Mom

He let me pick the music and blast it, even if it was Mötley Crüe.

Wolf’s Breath Chili. That’s what I’m making for you, Deeda my pigeon sweeta.” The words whistled out from beneath the chip in my father’s front tooth. He danced around the kitchen and executed a combination ...

Body Memos

What you may have been afraid to ask about piercing.

My right ear has been mutilated by my own hand.Once,it had three holes in it,starting at the lower end of my lobe and work- ing up in succession.The first came by way of a piercing ...

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