TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19
Two days later, Mexican food lovers are still feeling the pain—probably hunger pangs—of a 35-year-old Fontana man who was riding his bike home from a taco stand when he was brutally robbed by a gun-wielding bandit, who took only a $20 bag of tacos. Excuse me—did I say only? My apologies. Obviously, you can buy a lot of tacos for $20. “[The robber] approached him from behind saying, ‘Give me your tacos,’” reports Fontana police Sgt. Jeff Decker. “He grabbed the bag of tacos, punched him in the face and began to flee.” The victim did what just about anybody would do, even if that wasn’t exactly what crime experts would recommend—he demanded that the robber give back the bag of tacos. He changed his mind when the bandit brandished a pistol and threatened to kill him. The suspect is described as a 25- to 30-year-old white man, five-feet-ten inches tall and 190 pounds. He has brown hair and eyes and wore a black hooded sweatshirt. Personally, I’d also look for some grease stains on that sweatshirt. Police have so far been unable to solve the crime, but insist they are thinking outside the bun.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20
Just about the time we were getting over all the 909 jokes from the not-long-enough gone show The O.C., this month’s Measure A Ballot initiative—the one that reduced the number of crowing roosters per Riverside household from 50 to seven—has the world cackling at us again. It’s been all over TV, radio, papers and news-of-the-weird websites. Have you figured out what to do with all your extra roosters yet? Me neither, although tacos de gallo is the solution of one of my neighbors. That’s not for me and my old birds. For one thing, they’re my friends. For another, old rooster meat is so tough and stringy.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21
The Palm Springs Desert Symphony presents its Amadeus Award to John Tesh, whose long résumé—which reports that he has been an investigative reporter, sports announcer, longtime host of television’s Entertainment Tonight, radio host and author, in addition to musician and composer—still does not capture his essence. Because that résumé leaves out the fact that he is a weenie. The essence of John Tesh—his Teshence, if you will—has always been and will always be his personification of weenie-esque-ness-city. And when somebody asks him how it feels to win an award named after Mozart, he doesn’t disappoint—which of course means he does, but in a way that allows us to regard him with all the disgust to which we’ve become accustomed. “Mozart was about as ADD (attention deficit disorder) as I am, although he wrote better music,” Tesh says with words especially selected to make his arrogance seem modest, then let go with the kind of touchy-feely bullshittery he’s famous for. “The passion that drives me is to encourage others to find that thing for which they were made. God has planted our purpose in our DNA, and we need to find it to live life well.” I just puked. Did you?
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21
I’m not feeling particularly happy today—maybe it’s that taco robbery story, I don’t know—and it doesn’t make me feel any better to read that UC Riverside psychology professor Sonja Lyubomirsky thinks my sour mood is essentially my fault. Her new book, The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want, is based on the scientific secrets of reaching innate potential for joy. The conclusion? “Everyone can become happier if they put effort into it,” says Lyubomirsky. “It’s through your decisions, how you think and how you act.” The book offers 12 strategies for practicing happiness, and compares forming these happiness habits to losing and maintaining weight. “Everyone can lose weight and become fit if they want to,” she says. “It just might be easier for some than others.” The book has gotten good responses on 20/20, Good Morning America, Newsweek magazine and The Wall Street Journal. Lyubomirsky says she considers herself generally happy—although I’d guess she’d be even happier if you went out and bought her book.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22
Not sure how many residents of Grand Terrace have read Lyubomirsky’s book, but most of them are happy with the direction their city is headed. That’s what 300 of them indicated early this month when they answered a 25-question survey commissioned by the City Council. None of them were told that the survey cost $16,000 of their tax money. I doubt if they’ll be very happy to hear that.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24
After seeing nearly every movie nominated for every major Academy Award, I go to an Oscar party and successfully predict only nine of the winners, finishing far behind a guy who hadn’t seen any of them. No, he is not a member of the Academy.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25
Bullshittery. I made that up.