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Stories by RF Jurjevics

North County girl has OCD over swine flue

"It gets stuck in your brain"

Dina is 11, slight in her turquoise hoodie, and dark-haired. She’s finishing up the fifth grade at a private North County middle school where, she says, “there’s a lot going on.” Though she’s too young ...

Ghostbird

While it relies on electronic looping for accentuation, Ghostbird’s debut album is a worthy listen. The first track, “Toy Soldier,” is not the most attention-grabbing, but the second song, “Night Kills Day,” is more what ...

So many San Diegans carry guns

A Glock 9mm in a holster, a legal fashion accessory

It’s a beautiful day in Pacific Beach as Nate approaches the bronze pelican statue on the boardwalk. He’s slight and blond, spectacled and clad in jeans and an army-green T-shirt. He squints. The sun’s so ...

June's Most Downloaded: "mikelewismusic"

Mike Lewis’s “mikelewismusic” was the most downloaded MP3 from SDReader.com during the month of June. Below is an interview with the musician. You’ve got an interesting, wistful sound at work on this track. What instruments ...

Sicarus

Despite a silly album cover — skulls and crossbones, text surrounded by flames — Sicarus isn’t as schlocky a metal band as one might think. Contrary to what their art conveys, the three tracks on ...

Sara Petite

Sara Petite, at first listen, sounds not unlike a (very) country version of Metric’s Emily Haines, but the similarities stop there; where Haines’s voice possesses an ethereal quality, Petite’s has the confident folk twang of ...

Zank

Zank’s new album, Without a Bridge, sounds like a primer for how to make a pop album, right down to the key changes. The construction is there — harmonies in the right place, solos expertly ...

Nervous San Diegans try to share houses

Please don't be a weirdo

“Single mom seeks same to share my home,” Christine Bevilacqua’s Craigslist ad reads. “$700 includes all utilities, laundry, internet, [satellite] TV, master bedroom and bathroom. Depressed, uptight, or lazy women need not apply.” Bevilacqua isn’t ...

"Same James" by Jimmy Powers

“Same James,” by Jimmy Powers, was the most-downloaded MP3 from SDReader.com during May. Below is an interview with the songwriter. The theme of the song is about how you’ve stayed true to your roots. What ...

Tornado Magnet

The first track (“Hook Up”) on Tornado Magnet’s album Double Wide is about a fishing hole, Lone Star beers, and the good old boys who convene on a Sunday to hook up. The second, “Pistolero,” ...

Canobliss

Album: Psychothermia (2009)Artist: CanoblissLabel: Self-releasedWhere available/price: iTunes, $7.92; CDBaby, $7Songs: 1) Notorious 2) Psychothermia 3) Convicted Again 4) Adios 5) Take Vics 6) Slingshot 7) Pangea 8) Convicted Again (radio edit)Band: Johan Maldonado (vocals), Samson ...

A lesson on couch surfing in North Park

The whole world sleeps at my place

“Don’t,” says my stepmother. “I wouldn’t do that, if I were you.” Her voice is tinny through the speakers of my cell phone. “Why not?” I ask. She pauses, considering. “The whole thing just sounds…dangerous,” ...

Josh Damigo and Rob Deez

“Sugar,” by Josh Damigo and Rob Deez, was the most downloaded MP3 from SDReader.com during the month of April. Follows is an interview with the duo. Sounds as if you’ve got a Jack Johnson–meets-spoken-word style ...

The Live Sick Compilation

“Live clean, die nasty,” as suggested in track three, “19:04,” seems to be the prevailing theme of this rap album. The four men behind it — Kostik, Tank, Mute, Kalibur — paint a tough-as-nails portrait ...

Folding Mr. Lincoln

Album: Within My Reach (2009)Artist: Folding Mr. LincolnLabel: self-releasedWhere available/price: CDBaby, $12.97; iTunes, $9.99; Amazon, 99 cents for single “Within My Reach”Songs: 1) It Happened Just the Other Day 2) Missing Her Pretty Green Eyes ...

Most Downloaded, March

“Whiskey Down,” by Dannicus Live, was the most-downloaded MP3 from SDReader.com during March. Below is an interview with Daniel. What in particular inspired “Whiskey Down”? The song was written by a former bandmember, Tim Cartwright. ...

San Diego's changing its dive bars

Shooterz, Scolari’s Office, Zombie Lounge, Chaser’s

“No matter what happens,” Chris Heaney declares with a grin, “no matter if the economy’s good or bad, you’ve got to drink.” He stands behind the bar at Club Kadan, the Adams Avenue bar he ...

Cretins, Nutterbuckets, and Cutters host group bike rides around San Diego

Fixed gear or not

The bike is brown. It’s light in my hands; I can lift it over my head, which I do, just to try it, and it’s easy. Walking it out of the back door of its ...

Time to Walk the Goat

Both Scott Carhart and Helen Flaster are undoubtedly animal people. Their family pets number 26: seven dogs, seven cats, three horses, two goats, two tortoises, two turtles, two birds, a miniature horse, and a few ...

San Diego is a top-five United States travel destination

"More beautiful than L.A”

Here in San Diego, the weather is excellent, the beaches some of the finest, and at least for the moment, the dollar is comparatively weak (though strengthening): All good reasons for foreign visitors to descend ...

Life Under the Flight Path

On average, Lindbergh Field (also known as San Diego International Airport) performs 620 operations a day: 310 departures and 310 arrivals. All 620 of these operations are performed, whether planes are coming or going, over ...

San Diego's Urban Explorers

DOWN IN THE DRAINS: It’s on the first sunny day after a string of rainstorms when Robert R. slides his blue SUV to the side of the road somewhere in UTC. In the passenger seat ...

Goodbye, City Life

Disenchanted with their hometown of New York City, rockers Karmen Guy and Sami Yaffa of Mad Juana were looking for a change. In June of last year, they packed their bags and instruments and dog ...

Go Greased Lightnin'

Paul Patrzalek’s house in La Mesa is impossible to miss: Outside in the front yard sits a 10,000-pound truck with a camper shell that looks — and sounds — not unlike a tank. It’s beige ...

How Sam Became the Cooking Guy

Sam Zien is a regular guy. He’s a husband, he’s the father of three teenage boys, and he has two dogs, an orange Labrador and a Chinese Crested. He also happens to have both a ...

Encinitas Interview

Music lovers, surfers, "eco-freaks" and fabled masked robbers: An interview with Beth VanBoxtel about her home town.

Cattery

A cloud of fog hangs over the mountains as morning begins at the Friends of Cats shelter in Flinn Springs, a small community just west of Alpine. At 7:00 a.m., the day is already underway ...

San Diegans who work at night

Often drunk, often lonely, and sometimes crazy.

Though flanked by Jack in the Box and, farther up the street, a Denny's, the diner stands out as being a good after-party, post-drinking weekend hangout...or, at the very least, a place to park yourself ...

Up on the Hill

Del Cerro, which is Spanish for “of the hill,” is located just off I-8 at College Avenue. Turn north onto College and there it is, welcoming visitors and residents alike with a small cement sign. ...

16 vacant lots remain on San Diego County beaches

All that's left

Israel and Lebanon were at war. England and Argentina were at war. In Hollywood, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were formed. Navy beat Army 24-7, the Chargers beat the Dolphins 41-38 to make it to ...

It’s Fairly Easy to Get Bored Around Here

Bonita lies in the Sweetwater Valley, nestled inside three freeways--I-805 to the west, 54 to the north, and 125 to the east. To the south lies the city of Chula Vista. Small though Bonita may ...

23 Reader writers describe the regime of editor Judith Moore

She hated adverbs

Busy Fingers Are Happy Fingers — Joe Deegan Mother Reader — Barbarella Build Your Writing Muscles — Ollie Let the Tape Recorder Do the Work — Matthew Lickona Faith — Abe Opincar Make Something Better ...

More Was Her Thing

She wanted to hear more of what went on, what was said, done, eaten, drunk, spilled, tripped over, who was repulsed, enraptured, or simply left behind.

Point-blank, Judith is the reason I'm here. When she found out that I, at 20 years old, had a love for writing, she wanted to see for herself. A piece I'd written for another magazine ...

Their Own Little World: Mission Beach

In Mission Beach, every foot of space counts. Five surf shops, four bars, a handful of restaurants, a resort hotel, a Turkish-style coffee lounge, and an amusement park all fit within its bounds, packed in ...

A Great Place to Stop, Settle, and Hide Out

With its rolling hills, undisturbed land, grazing cattle, and old men in overalls, Flinn Springs seems worlds away from downtown San Diego. Yet it’s only 20 miles to the east. Tumbleweeds lie in stacks by ...

Their Own Paradise

“It’s one of those sleepy areas where you can still somewhat afford a piece of land.”

Cool San Diego: Stunna shades, gray hoodies, Feng Shui haircuts

Slang: bobo, doink, graver, klack, york

TRENDS STUNNA SHADES: "Stunnas" refers to the type of oversized sunglasses that make the Terminator's wraparounds look modest by comparison. Worn 'round the clock, indoors and outdoors, and most especially behind the wheel, where nobody ...

Contentment-by-the-sea

“You can’t pick the newcomers out of the herd anymore. There’s almost more of them than locals.”

New and Old: North Park Upgrades

While North Park's boundary lines are debated, its hub is the intersection of University Avenue and 30th Street, which is where its story begins. Just northeast of Balboa Park, North Park is an epicenter of ...

Surf camp at UCSD – five women congratulate each other

Elemental, Little Fish

"You girls ready?"I raise my head from my pillow. I am shoulder deep in industrial-grade bedding, trying to pull the last dregs from an uneasy, however jet-lagged, sleep. Light pours through my window, slicing through ...