Archive for January, 2008

Ode to a Lost Song

I’ve played the piano and guitar most of my life. I’ve improvised an endless number of riffs that never materialize into songs. I’m going to try and start recording and posting them online with a flexible copyright, hoping that the creative geniuses out there will make something out of it.

The Third Half

A Wednesday morning phone call woke me with news that one of my best childhood friends, Benson Krause, had died.


It had been more than 10 years since my last letter went unanswered. It was harder to keep in touch after he moved back to Chicago when we were 15 years old. I’m left with a deep sense of loss; I always hoped we’d reunite one day, reminiscing about the good old days and share where our lives had taken us.

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Saturdays in TJ: Los Futbolistas

It’s impossible to point a camera in any direction in Tijuana and not find something interesting. It’s a cultural war zone, the mezzanine between two worlds. But in the middle of this political purgatory, there are people. And my Saturday routine is about family.

The song used in the video (On Our Own by September Malevolence) is available as a free download on

San Felipe Conchas

Here’s a video of my nephews hunting for shells on their first trip to San Felipe, México. We drove down Thanksgiving weekend.

Jury Duty Fizzle

I left home this morning en route to San Diego’s downtown Hall of Justice. The night’s rain hadn’t clogged the cement arteries as expected, leaving me enough time to do my signature get-lost-everytime-I-go-downtown routine.

After some tired opening remarks, my fellow potential jurors and I waited for our names to be called. Two and a half hours later, I closed another losing game of Vegas-style three-card draw solitaire on the Treo, unplugged the shuffle’s earbud from my left ear, grabbed my $1.50 bottle of water, and made one last pit stop to blow my stuffiness into a paper towel before heading up to a courtroom.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t among the first 18 selected for questioning. I watched the process alongside the other spares. The lawyers didn’t dismiss enough people to give me my shot, so the rest of us went back into the jury pool for another run after lunch.

The post-lunch waiting room was thin enough to find a seat near the TV to watch CNN’s version of presidential race. Another hour later, an amplified female voice fell from the ceiling tiles, “The docket is now clear. You may all head home having completed your service. Thank you.” I stamped my receipt and let myself out, disappointed.

Torta: The Making Of

In honor of a new year, I’m going to try and commit to producing more for this site. The bar has been set pretty low with monthly updates for the past year or so. Hopefully I can find the time to do what I’m hoping to do. Ok, here goes:

This is a video of me making a torta. There are plenty of ways to make tortas and this is one option if you’re hungry. All the ingredients were purchased at a Mexican market called Pancho Villa Farmer’s Market here in San Diego.

Ingredients (estimated cost $2.54 for two tortas):