Archive for October, 2012

Blog Plug: Holiday Matinee

| October 31, 2012

Holiday-Matinee

What it’s about: Holiday Matinee is a blog that focuses on spreading creative inspiration to the masses.

Why I dig it: “Love your work. Work your love.” This saying coined by Dave Brown, founder of Holiday Matinee, is one of the catalysts that drove my decision to make it as a freelance writer. Each day (or every few hours, really), Holiday Matinee’s writing staff posts quick-to-read pieces about creative people, projects and ideas as a way of proving that your life’s work needn’t ever feel like drudgery if you commit to getting your living by loving. Damn if I don’t procrastinate just a little bit each day to scope the latest on Holiday Matinee (rhyme unintended but fully appreciated).

Fun Facts:

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Dig This Jive’s Happy Hour Picks for October 2012

| October 30, 2012

This month’s selection of happy hours in San Diego features beef cheek tacos in Downtown, food numerology in Bankers Hill, bite-sized shrimp in Balboa Park, six hours of street taco discounts in University Heights, and organic vittles in Hillcrest. For more happy hour food photos, check out Dig This Jive’s Happy Hour album on Facebook.

Happy-Hour-San-Diego-October-2012

Monday: $6 for three beef cheek tacos from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Saltbox. Moo-ve over, pork belly. After sampling the fall-apart tenderness of slow-roasted beef cheek in these Saltbox tacos, it’s safe to say that cow jowls are my new favorite delicacy. Nestled in the fold of a corn tortilla and topped with a subtly spicy and tangy kimchi made of cabbage and snap pea slivers, Saltbox’s homage to the street taco is a sin I’ll ask forgiveness for over and over again. Other worthy vices include the $3 fried-to-order chicharrones and the $3 ham and cheese bites. | Saltbox’s happy hour runs daily (i.e., on Saturday and Sunday, too).

Tuesday: $3, $4 and $5 plates from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant. Happy hour at this strictly-dinner spot is an education in checks and balances. The Buttermilk Fried Chicken “Oysters” recline on a fresh frisee and apple slaw. The Truffled French Fries are speckled with freshly chopped thyme. The Arugula, Roasted Beet, & Citrus Salad is served with crostini that’s been slathered with goat cheese and drizzled with honey. Each plate demonstrates how the stars of BHBR’s dishes are nothing without their supporting players and that good is made better with a modicum of evil. Yin and yang at its tastiest. | Happy hour at Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant runs on weekdays only.

Wednesday: $4.50 Spicy Popcorn Shrimp from 4:00-6:00 p.m. and 8:00-11:00 p.m. at The Prado. Neither drink nor food creep past the $4.50 mark during happy hour at this Balboa Park staple. I’ve yet to eat my way through the happy hour menu, but of what I’ve tried so far, my go-back-for recommendation is the mound of neon orange known as the Spicy Popcorn Shrimp. Elsewhere, “popcorn shrimp” refers to a batch of deep-fried breaded decapods served with a lemon wedge and aoili. At The Prado, “popcorn” merely speaks to the size of the crustaceans. Much like the traditional movie theater snack, it’s easy to absent-mindedly eat through each succulent stir-fried shrimp. But I encourage you to stay in the present so that you might also taste the napa cabbage slaw hidden underneath the shrimp pile. | The Prado’s happy hour runs on weekdays from 4:00-6:00 p.m. and 8:00-11:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 8:00-11:00 p.m.

Thursday: $6 for three street tacos from 12:00-6:00 p.m. at Cantina Mayahuel. Only two details of Cantina Mayahuel’s happy hour have changed since I shared it in February 2011. First, the price for three street tacos has been bumped up by one Washington. Second, the deal is no longer available all night on Mondays, but for six hours (noon to 6:00 p.m.) Tuesday through Friday. Outside of that, the rules are the same: simply pick one protein–sirloin steak, chicken or carnitas–and all three tacos will be made with it. You can’t mix and match unless you go with two friends who are each willing to order the meats you didn’t order and then trade. And, yes, shots of tequila and their no-fuss margaritas are still only $5 during happy hour.

Friday: $4 sides from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Local Habit. To get an idea of how this Hillcrest establishment interprets “organic,” “local” and “seasonal,” try the Gouda Mac and the Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Served in deep cast iron dishes, eating these sides together is the food equivalent of pulling a comforter over yourself on a cold night. The Gouda Mac, made with corkscrew pasta, is velvety and mild. The Brussels sprouts, which are tossed in a tasty, amber-colored mustard and brightened with chives, are tender enough to gently pierce with a fork, but still firm enough to roll away if you fork without caution. Just remember that Local Habit’s $4 sides special is only offered on Fridays and that Brussels sprouts are only in season in California between August and February.

(Photo caption, left to right: beef cheek tacos from Saltbox; Arugula, Roasted Beet, & Citrus Salad from Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant; Spicy Popcorn Shrimp from The Prado; carnitas street tacos from Cantina Mayahuel; Gouda Mac and Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Local Habit. All photos taken by Christine Pasalo.)

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Catapult a new album by Elizabeth Ziman

| October 29, 2012

PledgeMusic_EandtheC-adjustedElizabeth Ziman of Elizabeth and the Catapult is getting ready to record a new, independent album this November. And though the name of the album is “Like It Never Happened,” she’s offering fans who pledge money to the album’s production a variety of items sure to make contributing memorable.

Visit Elizabeth and the Catapult’s project page on PledgeMusic.com and peek at the list of items in the right-hand bar. Does a piano lesson from Miss Ziman sound appealing? Want to spruce up your around-the-town wear with a fanny pack signed by EATC? Would you like a song written just for you? Each item is listed with a dollar amount. Pledge that dollar amount and that item plus the album download will be yours if the fundraising goal is reached in the next 54 days (which, by my count, means December 21, 2012). But pledge soon as there are a limited amount of items left.

There’s also do-goodery attached to the project. If the project surpasses its fundraising goal by the deadline, 10% of the extra funds will be donated to Musicians On Call, a charity that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of hospital patients.

As of this posting, the powerful songstress/keyboardist/lyricist has reached 83% of her fundraising goal. Help her meet and surpass her goal by pledging at least $10 today! For a sample of what you’re helping produce, check out the song previews Elizabeth shared on PledgeMusic.

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Basque in the glory of the gory

| October 22, 2012

Hooray for the macabre. Dubbed “Chocolate Skulls Gone Nuts,” these candy concoctions are the product of sparganum, a twin-sister team of graphic design and illustration hailing from the Basque Country. Fit for Halloween or for those with a general skull fetish, these heady horrors measure in at 2 inches from mandible to exposed brain, have a 1-inch circumference, and are edible. Order a set of three from sparganum’s Etsy shop.

Skull-candy-collage
Photos from sparganum’s Etsy shop.

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Blog Action Day 2012: The Power of We

| October 15, 2012

52x52_adjustedSince 2007, October 15 has been known as Blog Action Day. On this day, bloggers around the world come together to help spread awareness of an idea.

I first participated in 2010, when we were called to draw attention to the value of clean water. Last year, we joined forces to discuss the many aspects of food.

This year, Blog Action Day is focused on the Power of We, on our ability to change the world for the better simply by working together towards a common, compassionate goal.

In fact, according to the 2011 documentary Happy, working in the service of others is one way we attain happiness for ourselves. Volunteering at a shelter, helping to put on a non-profit event, working with others on a community garden, committing to a beach clean-up, throwing a party for someone we love: Whatever service activity we choose, we ultimately feel happier when we help others feel valued.

The action we take need not be grand. It can be as easy as publishing a letter, photo or video of support for someone who might feel ostracized simply for who they are. It can be as simple as pledging $10 a week to a different charity via 52×52.org (pictured right). Nowadays, stewardship can even be as quick as sharing VolunteerMatch.org links on your Facebook wall or retweeting the wisdom of the Dalai Lama to your Twitter followers.

As long as we join forces to spread happiness to others, we all become happier. That, to me, is the essence of the Power of We.

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