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Stories by Ollie

What San Diego restaurant staffs eat, dumpster diving for dinner

What Insiders Eat Travis Murphy, also a cook, planned the staff’s daily dinner. At Nine-Ten, he said, the hardest part of arranging the staff meal, also called the “family meal,” was “to find something to ...

July 4, 2020
Stories hiding in the corners of San Diego

The Ugly Trailer Park Across the Water Cityzella terrorizes humble trailer folk at De Anza Cove. By Ollie, Sept. 14, 2011 What am I doing in Eastlake? I'm telling you it's a trap. And we're ...

May 10, 2020
Why San Diegans dress the way they do

Men's Summer Swimsuit Issue “Now, you ask me, the male physicality wasn't built for aesthetics. Those angles and edges, the purely functional proportions: men's bods are too utilitarian, at least for my taste. (I prefer ...

April 26, 2020
Best Reader Christmas stories

Sister Santa’s once-a-year smile I fell in love with America for the first time on a sweaty night in a Bangkok refugee center in March 1991. “In America people have meat with every meal,” my ...

December 24, 2019
De Anza mobile homes pushed out of Mission Bay

Cityzella terrorizes humble trailer folk at De Anza Cove.

September 14, 2011
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,” ...

The Fab Lab in North Park will surprise you

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 ...

March 9, 2011
Reader writers on why Christmas is magic

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 ...

December 22, 2010
Reader writers' favorite drinks and where they drink them

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, ...

April 22, 2009
Old-Fashioneds at the Turf Supper Club

Bourbon Dash of bitters Muddled cherry and orange Serve on the rocks Booze holds a storied place in the serious business of turning things unserious. As with everything, there’s a time and a place; specific ...

April 22, 2009
San Diego's Superhero is sick of the crime

Our man finds a network of others like him: the World Superhero Registry

April 15, 2009
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 ...

April 1, 2009
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) ...

March 25, 2009
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, ...

March 18, 2009
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? ...

March 11, 2009
Go anywhere on San Diego Transit 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 ...

March 4, 2009
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 ...

March 4, 2009
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 ...

February 25, 2009
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 ...

February 11, 2009
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 ...

February 4, 2009
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 ...

January 28, 2009
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 ...

January 28, 2009
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 ...

January 21, 2009
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 ...

January 21, 2009
Where can I get some peace and quiet? Not PB, not Poway, not Hillcrest, not downtown

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 ...

January 14, 2009
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 ...

January 14, 2009
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 ...

January 14, 2009
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, ...

January 7, 2009
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 ...

January 7, 2009
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 ...

December 30, 2008
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 ...

December 30, 2008
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, ...

December 23, 2008
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) ...

December 17, 2008
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 ...

December 17, 2008
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 ...

December 10, 2008
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 ...

December 10, 2008
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 ...

December 10, 2008
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 ...

December 3, 2008
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 ...

December 3, 2008
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 ...

November 25, 2008
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 ...

November 25, 2008
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 ...

November 19, 2008
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), ...

November 19, 2008
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 ...

November 12, 2008
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. ...

November 12, 2008
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 ...

November 12, 2008
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 ...

November 5, 2008
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 ...

November 5, 2008
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 ...

October 29, 2008
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 ...

October 29, 2008

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