Neat. Orderly.  Quiet but for the intermittent high-rev blasts of black,

plastic-phallused leaf blowers and caws of an exponentially increasing population of crows, Del Mar Heights sits comfortably wedged atop a mesa west of Interstate 5, one mile east of the Pacific Ocean. Any tsunami worthy of the name would have to raze the bistros, boutiques and real estate offices of Del Mar and climb over 300 vertical feet, toppling Torrey Pines and filling Crest Canyon on the way, to even dampen the manicured sod of a single Del Mar Heights home.
Upon Dwight Eisenhower’s 1953 inauguration, Robert Lowell wrote the poem with the final line: “...and the Republic summons Ike, the mausoleum in its heart.” Tired of the physical, psychological and moral trauma of the Great Depression and World War II, Americans wanted only to be left alone, to rest. And if you happened to be white and among the first wave of the growing middle class, what better place to rest and raise a family than the suburbs, with its streets and homes and turf laid out as neatly as any military cemetery.
And since I’ve been a Del Mar Heights resident for over a third of my adult life, what does that say about me? Well, besides admitting that I like(d) being one of the comfortable living dead, it may say sour grapes. Laid off two months ago from a moderately low-paying, but mostly enjoyable and "spiritually rewarding" job working with dyslexic kids of mostly successful and ambitious parents, my mind has begun the spiraling, self-accelerating dance of fear of the recently unemployed. Downsizing is the now overused term for having to start living with less of everything, except stress and facing ugly truths about oneself.

After a morning of emailing resumes into the black hole of, I take a break. Strolling the serenely suburban street east of Crest Canyon, I greet and exchange pleasantries with neighbors, most of whose names I’ve never bothered to learn. An elderly Taiwanese woman walking her beagle and mini-schnauzer, a middle-aged man with an overweight yellow lab. As I continue my walk, scenes from “Blue Velvet” flash onto my visual cortex. I stop to rub a chartreuse leaf of black sage between thumb and forefinger. Inhaling as deeply as Dennis Hopper's depraved and haunted character from the film, I hope the familiar fragrance will serve as an olfactory meditation, holding me in the timelessness of the moment. But more, I hope to sage away--exorcise--my growing, nearly paralyzing, negativity.

The volatile scent brings a moment of calm. I fill my vision with the muted green leaves and brilliant purple blossoms of the osha yerba bushes. But then the spiked green pod of a clinging, green-tentacled wild cucumber catches my eye, and scenes of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” jumps to mind. One-armed white crucifixes with real estate “For Sale” signs are springing out of front lawns like dandelions. Late model Volvos and Beemers are left parked on Mango by the Vons shopping center with more For Sale signs. Osteoporotic, stooped pensioners are working as bag boys and cashiers. The Federal Reserve (which like the Moral Majority is neither) and its Washington minions have wound up the printing presses to levels that would make the head of the Zimbabwean mint blush, making a dollar literally worth less than two 1912 pennies. But no one shows any emotion, any sense of pain or outrage.
Maybe it’s not an invasion of extraterrestrial Body Snatchers, but that of the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry. Between the Paxil, Nutrasweet, Oxycontin, and high fructose corn sweetener, maybe we’re incapable of feeling any emotion. But then again, maybe that’s for the best. I’d hate to see Del Mar Heights end up like the suburbs of France.

Oh well. Time to go. I promised my wife one last lunch at Le Bambou, and some frozen yogurt at the Golden Spoon. I guess there are a lot of things worse than being a Pod Person in Del Mar Heights.


Founder Nov. 1, 2010 @ 8:38 a.m.

Del Mar, PB, North Park, you name it, we are all coupled together on the same $o-CAL train and that train is taking us all toward a drastically different future than the one we have left just behind, when we boarded years ago!

The signs are there for all to see, but who is looking?

The disappearing middle class will have a much greater effect upon our lives than reducing our carbon footprint a percentage point, yet who is proposing "Middle Class" Credits?

Our once trusted media has sold itself out and now is little more than a propaganda paper for all big developers and their Ultra Wealthy benefactors; with our local UT being a perfect example.

Our elected Leaders, are grow wealthy yet continue to promote themselves by seeking more and larger donations to "fight against what the others propose to do," while at the same time doing an ever poorer job of working for all of US!

One bank account at a time will continue to run out of money and then it's owners will be forced to seek "temporary" credit to get by one more month, until financial reality hits them. Then they too, will join the masses of folks that must leave $D for less expensive points unknown...

Tomorrows election will be a tipping point for all of US; as we are forced to vote for BAD or WORSE measures and or candidates that have no clue as to how to "FIX" anything but will get paid big bucks to smile and keep doing just what those that are leaving office have been doing!

Among trusted friends, the "new" conversation topic of "if you had to relocate, where would you go" is now being discussed in earnest!


nan shartel Nov. 1, 2010 @ noon

WOW founder ...u scare me...i sure hope ur wrong...

but most likely ur right

i know where i'd relocate to!!


nan shartel Nov. 1, 2010 @ 12:07 p.m.

founder wrote

"Our once trusted media has sold itself out and now is little more than a propaganda paper for all big developers and their Ultra Wealthy benefactors; with our local UT being a perfect example."

this has been mostly true of many local newspapers around the country for years

many are looking...but few take action except for voting...which usually does'nt really help

we know the elephant's in the room..but few if any have the where with all or talent to show him the door


Founder Nov. 1, 2010 @ 2:20 p.m.

Reply #2 & #3 You might like this timely rhyme from me:

  • Red Ink $tink -*

Reply #43 Now we're really up a tree

Since the City is now drowning in RED INK And City Hall has started to really $TINK

The most important question now for US is Who to Call Does anyone know someone that will not FUMBLE the ball

We need to find someone that is NOT on the Public Dime Like a Legal Plumber that is used to dealing with $LIME

If they could help US recover just some of what we lost It surely would be well worth it at whatever the cost

I'm sure that there are a few well qualified Lawyers with all the right skills It would take time but I bet the Voters would be happy to pay their bills

As for me I now think it would be worth any cost To recover even part of what we have lost

If I was asked to suggest to them for a great place to start I'd say pick the Guacamole Bowl Stadium DEAL apart

But they probably don't need to ask me what to do Since they already would be experts in how to SUE

Things in our City have now gotten so bad Maybe we all should chip in and run an ad



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