Archive for April, 2011

My Picks: Things To Do In San Diego, April 30 and May 1

| April 29, 2011

This weekend in San Diego, consider DVRing the re-play of Kate Middleton’s marriage to a Royal and get out on Saturday morning for a warehouse sale in Solana Beach and a music show in East Village Saturday night. On Sunday, make it a day in Little Italy by taking in an art walk and the opening of a new beer tasting room.

When the weather promises to be balmy and blue, it pays to be in America’s Finest City.

Things-To-Do-San-Diego-April-30-May-1

Saturday, April 30:

  • 10:00 a.m. Get your warehouse sale on! SoLo, a house wares shop on Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach, is hosting their annual warehouse sale. In honor of the sacrifice shoppers will make–NOT watching the re-play of the wedding of Kate Middleton to her prince–to attend this event, SoLo will serve them champagne and scones as they browse the marked down goodies fit for just about any room in one’s house. The sale runs all weekend, but get first dibs on everything by getting to it on Saturday.
  • 7:30 p.m. Sezio, The Tree Ring, and The Donkeys. Two local bands and a Sezio-created setting at Sushi Art are the main ingredients of this awesome sauce. It’s all in honor of The Donkeys releasing their third album, “Born With Stripes.” Tickets to this 21 and over show is $11 ($10 plus $1 service fee). Until then, download “Don’t Know Who We Are” and “I Like The Way You Walk” from “Born With Stripes” for free. Huzzah.

Sunday, May 1:

  • 11:00 a.m. Take an outdoor jaunt amongst art all up in Little Italy. This will be the second day of Mission Federal’s annual ArtWalk. The event goes until 6:00 p.m., is free to attend, and is loaded with lots of free entertainment. Parking is likely to be the only issue you face, which is why I recommend getting to the event early.
  • 6:00 p.m. A beer bar joins the wine bars in Little Italy. The website is up and, according to Candice Woo of San Diego Magazine, so will pint glass brims as of May 1. Bottlecraft, a beer shop and beer tasting room, hosts their grand opening beginning at 10:00 a.m., but just to be a bit classier, I’m recommending a mosey in time in the evening. It’ll be the perfect way to round out your Artwalk experience, really. Touting a bottle list that runs 20 beer brands deep, the idea behind Bottlecraft is similar to that of a wine bar except that instead of serving wine, you get beer and local beer at that. This includes the ability to order flights of beer and the promise of beer tasting events. While there is no kitchen at Bottlecraft, you can bring your own food to pair with your suds. Wait, what’s that? Oh—my liver just did a little jig.*

*CORRECTION: Bottlecraft will not be open this weekend. Shucks. Apologies for the error! Watch their website for news on the grand opening which is slated for May. Thanks to Jeff at San Diego Beer Blog for the heads up.

(Photo caption, clockwise from top left: Photo of Solo Cedros from The Mixter.com; poster image from Sezio.org; beer flight photo from Bottlecraft’s website; ArtWalk press photo from Mission Federal ArtWalk’s website. )

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Whenever I Think I Can’t, I Remember They Did

| April 28, 2011

blindsightBlindsight” documents the journey of six blind Tibetan teens—Sonam, Gyenshen, Dachung, Kyila, Tenzin and Tashi—as they attempt to climb the 23,000 foot Lhakpa Ri on the north side of Mount Everest.

The idea to guide the children to Lhakpa Ri was triggered when Sabriye Tenberken, founder of Braille Without Borders in Tibet, was inspired by the success of Erik Weihenmayer, a blind climber who reached the Mount Everest summit on May 25, 2001.

In Tibetan culture, blind children are considered possessed by demons and are shunned by their community, leaving them to fend for themselves. Tenberken started Braille Without Borders in order to teach these children to not only fend for themselves but to thrive and to have, as Braille Without Borders’ motto says, “the right to be blind without being disabled.”

After reading Weihenmayer’s book, “Touch the Top of the World,” to her students, she reached out to Weihenmayer, asking him if he’d be interested in running a climbing workshop with the kids. Weihenmayer considered the idea and ultimately decided to take the kids a bit higher.

The documentary shares the story of the journey of each of the teenagers, their guides (including Weihenmayer), and Tenberken and her Braille Without Borders partner Paul Kronenbergand, a collective journey which is not without physical and emotional challenges, particularly amongst the adults.

Whenever I hesitate from attempting to try something new, hold back from challenging myself, or procrastinate at the thought of how tough something will be to accomplish, I remember the story of Sonam, Gyenshen, Dachung, Kyila, Tenzin, Tashi, Sabriye and Erik. I remember what they’ve done and what they continue to do. And I tell myself, “Quit whining. Just get to it.”

Thanks again, Netflix instant streaming.

(Poster image from the movie’s official website.)

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I’m One For Surprises

| April 27, 2011

San Diego Magazine’s May 2011 issue hit the stands yesterday, of which there are two versions. One version includes a special section on North County that begins after the issue’s San Diego Health Physician Directory. At the start of this special North County section (which is also marked by a loose subscription insert), you’ll find a large photo of Jane Lui taken by William Eubank under the section heading, “North County.” Read the brief article of her below the photo and check the byline.

Pasalo-in-print-2

Yup, it was written by me.

I’ve slowly but surely reached a new rung on the “I want to be writer when I grow up” ladder: I’m in print! The article also appears on San Diego Magazine’s website and in the digital version of their May 2011 issue.

It’s an overall great issue and the North County Special Section includes info on the newest restaurant venture of Searsucker’s Brian Malarkey, a place called Burlap in Carmel Valley that aims to open by July 20, i.e. opening day at Del Mar Racetrack.

All I can say is “Thank You…”

…to San Diego Magazine blogger Aaron Heier for using my photo of R Gang Eatery in his February 18, 2011 post, which put me in contact with Associate Editor Erin Meanley. Since e-meeting, Erin has been very encouraging and a great supporter.

…for the advice on writing a magazine pitch from Kim Kavin’s “The Everything Guide To Magazine Writing.”

…to Jane Lui. I wouldn’t have been published without a great idea for content and I’m grateful she allowed me to, once again, write an article about her rad-ness.

…to everyone who has allowed me to feature them in an article since July 2010. You’ve helped me hone.

…to my amazing husband for believing in my writing (way) back when we were sophomores at UCSD and for supporting my decision last July to walk this path full time.

…to everyone who follows me here, on my Examiner.com channels, and on sandiego2night.com. Your support, happy thoughts and well wishes help me believe that there’s a place for me in the writing universe.

…to Tom Cruise.

…and to “Precious, based on the novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.”

I’d also like to thank—Oh, there’s the music playing me off…

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April Smith, A Not So Terrible Thing

| April 26, 2011

april_031This is one New Jersey native daughter I can dig.

I learned about April Smith and The Great Picture Show during my now habitual Thursday internet rambles, when I meander from website to website in search of things to do in San Diego during the forthcoming weekend (in prep for my weekly “My Picks” posts). Last week, I landed on the website of one of San Diego’s independent record stores, M-Theory Music, and noticed an announcement for a free in store performance on Monday, April 25.

I clearly like free events and discovering new-to-me music but in order to be sure that I’d have a good time at the event, I did a search for this “April Smith” to sample her sound. I came upon her official website and streamed songs from her album, “Songs For A Sinking Ship.”

If ears have mouths, mine devoured her music.

Her songs made me feel both vintage and hip, classic yet quirky. They make me want to wear one of my milliner hats as I snap my fingers to the beats. She has a strong voice and an honest, spunky delivery, giving a performance the likes of a good jug on a climbing wall–which is to say I can hold onto it for days without fear of falling.

What I appreciate about Songs For A Sinking Ship, aside from the fact that it was self-released thanks to the generosity of fans pledging dollars to Smith’s album project on Kickstarter.com, is that it feels like the result of reclaimed confidence. You can hear what I mean if you listen to the song, “The One That Got Away,” as it’s recorded on her 2005 album, loveletterbombs, and as it’s recorded for 2010’s Songs For A Sinking Ship (both can be streamed from her website.)

In other ways, the album sounds like a reminder to be unapologetic at being yourself. It’s like a reminder to set aside wallowing in one’s vulnerability to instead embrace the unknown, the “weird,” the different. A great example? The video below of her song, “Terrible Things.”

Seeing her and her band live for a free half-hour set at M-Theory last night was a treat. Her voice filled any empty spaces between the stacks and the range of people that came out to see her perform in the corner next to M-Theory’s register. When she belted a note, she gave me goosebumps. And as if she hadn’t won me over already, she did a juke-joint-ish cover of Trey Songz “Bottoms Up” for some extra cheek.

If West Coasters would like to see her perform for themselves, the Los Angeles spontaneous can catch her at the Hotel Cafe tonight at 9:00 p.m. San Diegans who missed last night’s free in store show at M-Theory get another chance to see her perform live tomorrow, April 27, at the 102.1 KPRI Private Listener Concert at The Center at Lexus Escondido. All interested San Diegans need to do is RSVP (an RSVP is good for the RSVPer and one guest). After that, she heads out to Alabama then Maryland to perform two more free shows.

Thank you, M-Theory Music, for introducing me to April Smith and The Great Picture Show. And thanks, Miss Smith, for coming out to San Diego even though your mom worries about you crossing state borders.


Video posted on YouTube by aprilsmithmusic. The promotional photo was taken by Eric Ryan Anderson and taken from April Smith and The Great Picture Show’s website.

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I Like Having You Around. So, Stop Sitting All Day.

| April 25, 2011

ChairI’ll admit it first: when I get up from sitting in front of my laptop for more than an hour, my joints feel stiff. My knees feel wobbly, my hips are tight and even my ankles scream for a stretch. Body parts crack. Whether I’m sitting ergonomically or not, these can’t be good signs.

NPR assured me today that, no, they aren’t. They published a story that shared insights of a couple of studies that are looking into the effects of being sedentary all day. The results aren’t promising. Even walking 30 minutes a day isn’t enough to decrease our risk of health problems like heart disease and diabetes when the rest of the day we’re sitting somewhere: in front of a desk, driving, watching television, going out for dinner, lounging at a favorite bar. Like anything we eat, drink or do, sitting is better for our health when done in moderation.

Thankfully, there are some easy things those of us with jobs that put us in front of a computer all day can do to give life back to our muscles and joints throughout the day. Here are a few ideas:

  • Ditch your personal trash can and recycle bin. At my former place of work, there were large trash cans in each of the kitchenettes and several large recycle bins all over the floor. By giving my personal trash can and recycle bin a new home in an empty cubicle or spare office, I had no choice but to get up to throw trash away at one of the kitchenettes and drop recycling into one of the larger recycle bins.
  • Don’t call when you can walk over. Whenever I had to ask a work colleague a question and that colleague either sat somewhere else on the same floor or sat in an office or cubicle just one floor below or above me, I’d get up and walk over to them to ask my question rather than call. It prevented them from avoiding my question, too.
  • Put some distance between your parking spot and the parking lot’s elevator bay. Rather than covet a parking spot that’s less than two car spaces away from a parking garage’s elevator bay, covet your health and park in a spot further away so that you can’t help but spend a couple of extra minutes walking to the elevators.
  • Got good knees? Take the stairs. Whenever you park in a parking garage, start the habit by taking the stairs down rather than the elevator. When you’re ready for the next step, add the regimen of taking the stairs up.

NPR plugged the book, “Instant Recess: Building a Fit Nation 10 Minutes at a Time,” by Dr. Toni Yancey, a professor in the health services department and co-director of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity at the University of California, Los Angeles, as a first stop in learning other simple ways to break up our hours of sitting.

What are some of your ideas?

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