Closing State Deficit… At the Expense of a Rich Future

June 3, 2009

It has recently been reported that Shwarzenegger’s response to CA’s $24 billion deficit is a proposed closure of 80% or 220 of the 279 California state parks and taking even more away from invaluable state programs.  So now not only will it be more difficult to raise our children to embrace California’s natural beauty, getting quality education will be even further out of reach.

When I look back on my childhood, the some of the fondest memories I have are camping with my family at Big Sur, going to Sunset Beach in Santa Cruz with my friends in high school when we finally had drivers licenses, thinking about one day going to Half Moon bay, hiking and really soaking in California’s natural beauty.  This appreciation for California beaches and state parks has stayed with me and now when I think of my more recent fond memories, I think about running through Torrey Pines State Beach, Torrey Pines State National Reserve to train for and during the La Jolla Half Marathon.  I think about Silver Strand state beach and how I’m looking forward to possibly running another race along that beach in a couple months.  I think about the first time I went fishing at Lake Cuyamaca, next to Cuyamaca State Park.  I think about Carlsbad State Beach and the brief stop I made there a year ago, leaving with a mental note to go back.  What are some of your similar memories?  I know you must have some.

Picture I took at Torrey Pines... it's even more stunning in person

Picture I took at Torrey Pines... it's even more stunning in person

What all these have in common is that they are all part of the list of state park closures proposed if Shwarzenegger’s plan is put into action.  We often take these beautiful sights for granted, when in reality the work that goes into keeping these landmarks open is apparently deemed excessive by our governor.  It devastates me that there is a chance that not only will my quality of life be affected, but that one day my kids and the generation that comes after me may never have a chance to experience such an enriched life.  I think that losing our state parks is one of those things that we won’t fully realize how it’s affecting us until it’s gone.  I know that the state deficit is not a trivial issue, but neither is slowly taking away things that make California great.  There has got to be another way, and I hope that together we can save California.

Sunset I captured at Cuyamaca

Sunset I captured at Cuyamaca

Check out the list of parks: “Proposed state park closure list is not for the faint of heart


RTS Party Plan: Support a starving musician

May 19, 2009


Writer at Bar Pink. Photo from excellent events blog sddialedin.

Writer at Bar Pink. Photo from excellent events blog sddialedin.

Muse uses a video screen the size of a big rig. The Killers use pyrotechnics. Weezer has the letter “W” adorned with thousands of lights. Why? Because you’re sitting 100 yards away and they need to do everything they can to capture your attention.

But that band playing at the bar? Only about an arms length away. Special effects? Maybe a fog machine they picked up from Spencer’s, if that. More likely it’ll be nothing.

Rock concerts at festivals and arenas are great. Hearing thousands of people singing “Say It Ain’t So” is an experience. But seeing a band you’ve barely heard (aside from a few songs on MySpace), oftentimes for free, and a cheap drink in hand is a great experience. Seeing the guitarist step on the petals and change frets. Feeling the vibration from the drums rather than a subwoofer. Even the (romanticised) notion that they’re playing the music not for money (because they aren’t getting much, if any) but because they want to to get their music out there. Go out and see Young Love at your campus bar. Or catch Finding Fiction at the bar with the $2.50 beers. With some minor research (like the excellent sddialedin for San Diego) it’s never hard to find a free show and a good band on any day of the week.

Being “Green” Earns You My Business

May 10, 2009

Sea Rocket Bistro is a restaurant here in SD that is what is so trendily called “green.” But they’re legit. The difference between them and the other green contenders is that when Sea Rocket says they care about the environment, they can tell you each and every way they’re saving the planet for your grandkids. The food waste they create gets turned into composting for local schools. They even went out of their way to get bio-degradable trash bags that cost more money than regular trash bags just to be eco-friendly, if not business savvy. Guess who will be getting my business soon? Talk is cheap, and these guys back their sh*t up.

Side Note: Being environmentally friendly is a lifestyle choice, not a one day feel-good-about-yourself-athon. This isn’t a zero-sum game, so just because you do something good one day doesn’t mean you’re given a free pass the next. Although a recent study found in Psychological Science suggests that quite a few people do in fact act that way.

RTS Party Plan: A Night At the Museum

May 3, 2009

I have a hangover. The culprit? Four bottles of wine. But I won’t pretend I have any degree of sophistication during its consumption or knowledge of its intricacies. Case in point: the vintners which I most frequently purchase end with Shaw and Rossi. One inadvertent benefit in these harsh economic times is that restaurants – in their struggle to maintain clientele – have resorted to promotions which reek of desperation. Last night’s $12 a bottle wine special is a good example.

Times are hard. But the sacrifices we make for our bank accounts should not mean sacrifices for our hedonistic lifestyles. Clubbing with Jamie, Jake, Sam, Forest, and Ron may be no longer financially viable, but there are other locales where you can drink with your friends besides a nightclub.

Like a museum. Intrigued? It seems to be an emerging trend in many major cities. Like San Francisco. San Diego. New York. Chicago. Last weekend a few friends of mine went to the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Arts and amidst the art installations, artists were…performing yoga. What? I didn’t really understand it. You could also get your fortune read by a tarot card reader and watch a local band perform. While drinking $3 Stone Levitation bottles and $4 Seagrams mixed drinks.

As a result, we at Roaring twentySomethings have drafted a Stimulus Plan. The purpose: bail out museums, many of which are not immune to these economic times. The means: you and your friends visiting a museum for one of these events. It’s also a good habit to break the monotony – albeit fun monotony – of going to a bar, ordering your precession of drinks, and dancing like a fool. Even the most harsh art critic or clueless purveyor (i.e. me) will find perusing art with friends an entertaining activity, especially in the presence of fellow RTSs.

Event at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego


UCSD Libraries 6th Annual Summer Reading Contest

April 24, 2009

Sun God

For those of you in the San Diego area who have a love for reading I present to you UCSD’s 6th Annual Summer Reading Contest. It’s a good way to be part of a community of readers both online and in real life if you like (they have a luncheon at the end of every contest).

The contest is all about submitting reviews for books you’ve read as long as the UCSD libraries own a copy of it. And if being part of yet another online social group weren’t incentive enough for you, they give you gifts prizes for submitting reviews. There are a variety of contest-wide prizes like Most Humorous Review, and then individual prizes for submitting one, five, ten(?) reviews.

If you don’t want to go in alone or don’t think you’ll have the motivation to keep up, you can join as a team! Grab a few of your friends that like to read (or you think should read more) and sign up together. You’ll all win prizes even if only one person reads/reviews!

The contest starts on May 1st and runs through July 31st, so go sign up!

– RT