Wednesday, September 14, 2011

San Diego-Home Sweet Home

Please note that this blog was re-created, it was up then vanished. No back up. I wanted to throw the computer from our three story building. So here is version 2.0.

Our friends Mark, Jill and Baby El have moved on to greener pastures (literally). Mark has accepted a teaching position in Hong Kong. For them they don't have to struggle as hard to find the conveniences and products of the western world like their friends stuck back in Egypt. Part of learning to live "without" comes the sense of not to taking things for granted and appreciating what you have or once had or will have in the future. Yes, that pint Pliny The Elder and Black Bean Burger tasted amazing. Mark and I would roam the out-of-the-way streets in Alex scoping out the perfect location for a Trader Joe's. Another game we'd play was to find the record store, of course, that would next to the microbrewery and across the street from the jazz club. The reality that awaited around the corner was usually a sheep tied to a post outside the butcher shop next to the mosque, and across the street from the shop stacked with boxes of Egyptian potato chips. It never hurts to dream.     

Proper tortilla chips.
IB's 2011 cutest couple: Ranting Rudy and Shit Starting Yvette.
Cari helping Elsa celebrate "what the hell am I'm going to do with my life now that I'm done with college?"
Ana and I celebrated anniversary no. 4 at the Prado in Balboa Park. Prior to dinner we stopped at the San Diego Museum of Art and noticed a lack of cars. A local artist had taped off the parking lot and had her assistants (interns) do her performance project. The objective was to record movement through the space using chalk lines. It was like having a personal assistant document your movements on pavement. As you might have guessed, I took full advantage of the interns (though not in President Clinton way). 
The anniversary couple with chalk lines.
A blurry photo of the Prado.
El Comal in North Park is still making the magic happen after all these years. 
Meet Julie aka Wednesday (her punker youth moniker). We met back in 1985 in the most unusual manner. My band at the time Idiot's Revenge had sent in a live recording to The Sacco and Vanzetti Show on KGNU for their local punk segment. Vanzetti played a couple of songs and made the smartass remark that we were looking for a vocalist (due to the tape's poor sound quality). He broadcasted my name and phone number over the air and a few moments later I get a call around midnight from Julie wanting to be the singer for Idiot's Revenge. We became good friends and eventually lost contact over the years. Thanks to Facebook we have reconnected and as a bonus she happened to be visiting San Diego all the way from Italy-what are the chances of that?    
We made a two-day road trip up to Ventura to see our friends Mark, Jill and Baby El before they departed for Hong Kong.  
The Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park hosts many events such as concerts, dance performances, art exhibitions, and lectures. 
The Centro is located in a former water tank built during World War II. 
The World Beat Center is The Centro's sister building. Dig the Egyptian motif-can't get enough of that these days. 

Mujeres En Resistencia a dance/movement group opened up the Pistolera show at the The Centro. 
Pistolera is an indie/Latin/rock/folkish band based in New York but with San Diego roots. I caught the band many years ago at the old Voz Alta in their San Diego debut. The band has gone through some lineup changes over the years. Although Pistolera continues to write good songs, their live energy has become a little subdued. To check out the band's website:   
The serious and hot Mujeres En Resistencia
July in San Diego means only one thing...Comic Con!
During your trip through the convention center you will encounter mainstream and obscure sci fi, fantasy, movie, and comic book characters. 
Go in empty handed and come out loaded with freebies. Get your tickets in advance, the yearly event attracts over 125,000 participants and sells out quickly.  
¡VIVA MARIACHI! Celebrating the History and Evolution of Mariachi Music
An engaging evening of vibrant music and dialog as the Museum collaborates with the Mexican Consulate of San Diego to bring to life the colorful and exciting history of what's been called "Mexico's classical music.”  Local mariachi expert Jeff Nevin will speak with living legend Rubén Fuentes, who will share first-hand accounts of how he created the modern mariachi though working with many of the biggest stars in mariachi history, including Pedro Infante, Miguel Aceves Mejia, José Alfredo Jimenez and Lola Beltran.  The discussion will be followed by a reception and performance by Mariachi Garibaldi from Southwestern College.  The Museum will open at 6pm for event attendees.
Mariachi Legend Rubén Fuentes with the Bedoy sisters.
While Ana and her sister were having the mariachi experience of their lives I was across the park at The Centro catching a lecture by Chicano activist/writer/artist Lalo Alcaraz  creator of the syndicated comic strip La Cucaracha.
If an evening of mariachis and a lecture by Lalo hadn't slowed you down, there was always the Pick Your Deck opening at the Ken Club. The exhibit was curated by Sonia Lopez and Chikle featuring over 30 local artist. The event was packed and it was a good way to visit with friends. Yours truly with Eunice and Pedro. If you want to see my deck, you'll have to click on the Pick Your Deck link.     

Pieces by Todd Swenke and Selina Lugo.

Nuvia has a knack for making provocative paintings. Check out her site 

Ricardo Islas aka Dickie Islands seldom finds time to sleep.

Johnny Rad Fest 2011 was held at Til Two on the historic El Cajon Blvd. Formally The Beauty Bar, Mick the owner of The Tower Bar (a personal favorite) took over the establishment. In keeping with the theme of The Tower playing B movies, Intrepidos Punks was the evening's feature film.    
Intrepidos Punks features punk rock bikers, bank robbing nuns, luchadores, and narcos. What's not to like. You know that the writer and director were huge Plasmatics fans.  
City Heights sweethearts Leocito and Laura now have a bun in the oven. Congrats.
Paradise Hills hotties Nuvia (Crisol) and hubby Jim Ruland
The Stalins of Sound providing the soundtrack for the evening.  
A trip to South Park isn't complete without a stop at The Station Tavern & Burgers. Lili and Maya don't want to be caught munching on a veggie black bean burger with strips of bacon. You can also find Green Flash's 30th Street Pale Ale on tap here. 
Critical Mass clogging up the streets of San Diego. I'm a fan. 
The Naval Operation Center off the Silver Strand in IB is Rudy and Yvette's backyard neighbor. Just one look and you know bad things happen here. 
Shaner and Baby Birox working up an appetite for some tasty meat at Casa Lugo. 
The Grill Master is never fully appreciated. 
Walter and I drove out to the new Green Flash Brewery in Mira Mesa. It was closed until I gave them "I'm going back to Egypt tomorrow" sob story. 
Love and happiness in a barrel. 
Padre Vicente (yes, a bona fide Catholic priest) enjoying dinner and his favorite beverage (vino) with the Bedoy family. That is my kind of Catholic. 
Up and coming San Diego artist Chikle hanging out with the little man. 
The studio where the Chikle magic happens.
Chikle's media naranja (lit. half orange, better half) Selina showing off the little man's baby sister. 
Incriminating photo no. 352
San Diego's best happy hour can be found at Wine Steals. Ana trying to scare off Michele with her Parker Posey impression "Where are my Tic Tacs?"  
Felicia and Vero seeking boyfriend advice. 

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