SD Entertainer Magazine Your source for everything San Diego Mon, 05 Oct 2015 22:15:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Eat Local and Healthy in San Diego for National Farm Day Mon, 05 Oct 2015 22:15:26 +0000 Eating right and supporting local businesses is like a double shot of goodness, especially in San Diego where there is an abundance of healthy food and local businesses. On Oct. 12, celebrate National Farmers Day and honor the farmers who provide the freshest products straight to the tables of your favorite restaurants. According to the San Diego Farm Bureau, San Diego County has the 12th largest farm economy among more than 3,000 counties nationally. Farming also adds $5.1 billion annual value to our economy. So whether you’re in the mood for a delicious brunch or a freshly made dinner, the following eateries make sure to shop locally by buying their food from family-owned locations around San Diego County.

Sirena Gourmet Latin Seafood is a restaurant in Little Italy that primarily uses organic foods to create every specialty meal on the menu. With an emphasis on providing their patrons with a one-of-a-kind dining experience, Sirena uses non-GMO tortilla flour for several of their delectable menu favorites.

In the hearts of Hillcrest and North Park, you’ll find that neighborhood favorites Fig Tree Café and Breakfast Republic pride themselves on using fresh and quality ingredients.  My person favorite dish at Fig Tree Café is the Monterrey Scramble made with three eggs from pasture-raised hens, scallions, bacon, Ortega and Monterrey cheese, black beans and Mexican rice paired with three corn tortillas for your next brunch.  Breakfast Republic has amazing Benedicts, such as their Croque Monsieur with locally grown eggs, ham and gruyere cheese served over warm sourdough English muffins.

The Duck Dive is a personal favorite bar/restaurant to go to in Pacific Beach. Bring your friends and enjoy “Neighborhood Tuesday” with items straight from the Pacific Beach Farmers Market. Taste a winning combo with Duck Dive’s featured cocktail to perfectly complement your entrée, made with farm fresh ingredients from organic growers in the San Diego area.  No better way to spend your Tuesday than knowing you supported a local farmer as you savor your entrée. Try Duck Dive’s Blackened Mahi Sandwich with blackened Mahi, house-made tartar sauce, butter lettuce, onions and fresh tomatoes on a toasted ciabatta bun.

Monterey Scramble_Fig Tree

Monterey Scramble at the Fig Tree

Greenhouses, located at The Ranch at Bandy Canyon in Escondido, are very special because they supply many of the ingredients Chef Patrick Ponsaty of Bellamy’s uses at the restaurant. A Wild West-inspired oasis, The Ranch at Bandy Canyon is home to two custom built greenhouses. The greenhouses measure 90’x40’ each in size and grow many different types of all-natural produce. You can find anything from tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and baby carrots, herbs to kumquats, peaches, apricots, pomegranates, figs and blood oranges. Bellamy’s offers diners a one-of-a-kind farm-to-table dining experience, serving the most robust flavors of every season. Chef Patrick goes to Bandy Canyon every morning and hand picks all of the vegetables, fruits and herbs to create the most unique farm-to-table dishes. Besides from The Ranch’s garden, Bellamy’s takes pride in supporting local North County farmers, wine makers and sustainable fishermen.

Shopping local is important for our economy, and eating locally grown foods is even better for our environment overall.  Celebrate National Farmers Day this October with these San Diego eateries that strive to provide their patrons with the freshest produce to create an unforgettable meal.

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One of a Kind Grind: Start-ups & Stand-outs Mon, 05 Oct 2015 20:04:45 +0000 So you have a start-up concept, or you’ve already started your start-up, great! Now, how do you make your start-up stand out and rise to becoming TNBT (the next big thing)? You’ll need more than simply old fashioned networking and newfangled (automated) social networking promotion; you need targeted direction, an alliance, and real tools you can begin using yesterday. Don’t worry, you’re not too late to catch the bullet train. You are exactly where you need to be, reading this, seeking the next step, and always moving onward and upward with your new start-up. Your next step is to put yourself out there. You need to connect with notable influencers and mentors and form alliances while establishing your brand, company or product as better than the best of the best.

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An entrepreneur at the ROC offices having a creative meeting.


Start Up Grind is being held on Thursday, October 8th from 6:00pm-9:00pm in downtown San Diego

You do everything in your start-up, from grinding your own coffee to grinding out good deals, so how can you make time for making connections? Most simply, you cannot afford not to. With only 168 hours in the week you need to maximize your efforts and presence. Thinking globally, Start-up Grind, a world-wide community for Entrepreneurs, hosts events in 175 cities in 70 countries and is coming to San Diego this week, limited space is still available.

attachment-1 (2)This motivational and fortuitous event will be hosted in partnership with ROC at The Vine SD and The Irvine Company this Thursday, October 8th from 6:00pm-9:00pm in downtown San Diego, advance tickets are still available at a discounted price. Start-up Grind San Diego at ROC at The Vine SD will feature Plug & Play powerhouse professional, Gabriela Dow who in partnership with her corporate affiliates in Silicon Valley is responsible for raising more than $1.8 billion for approximately 200 start-ups across the globe. Gabriela Dow is also an advisor to multiple tech start-ups and an extensive (and impressive) track record in government politics and media relations.

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Movie Review: The Martian Mon, 05 Oct 2015 18:27:13 +0000 MV5BMTc2MTQ3MDA1Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODA3OTI4NjE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_Two years post the groundbreaking “Gravity” and a year after the stellar “Interstellar,” along comes “The Martian,” based on a best-selling book by Andy Weir and directed by Ridley Scott (“Prometheus“).

During an exploration in Mars, a fierce sandstorm forces a team of astronauts, led by commander Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty,” “The Debt“) to abort their mission and evacuate the base.  Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon, “Elysium,” “The Adjustment Bureau“) is impaled by a satellite antenna, left stranded and presumed dead.

Mark is injured but makes it back to the base safely.  Alone and alive, he quickly realizes his predicament.  Millions of miles away from home, four years until another manned mission, severed communication and supplies to last only for 31 days.  The odds are overwhelmingly unfavorable.  He could suffocate in a toxic air, freeze to death, or die out of starvation or thirst.  But instead of giving up, Mark decides to survive by making the best with what he has, while attempting to establish contact with NASA.

What happens next is what distinguishes “The Martian” with the other space movies.  This one is rooted in ‘hard’ science, courses of actions done based on real science and technology.  In a hostile, arid planet and encased in solitude, Mark uses his expertise as a botanist and resourcefulness to generate oxygen, create heat, produce water, grow crops and ration his limited food.  And perhaps just as important, not losing his sense of optimism and wry humor to keep his sanity and spirit alive.  In an overlong movie (2 hours and 21 minutes) filled with ‘science speak’ and solo time, Damon does an admirable job in moving things along in an engaging fashion.

On Earth, the wheels start turning when NASA realizes that Mark is still alive, even as officials try to keep the news from his teammates, en route home, still in space.  Each communication brings both clarity and confusion.  Even if they’re able to build and launch a supplies craft, time is not on their side.  A setback occurs in Mars where Mark is no longer able to harvest more plants, which means he will run out of food.

Nobody is giving up, however.  A lively group of really smart, passionate people working together tirelessly to develop solutions to rescue Mark.  It is not without discord.  It’s a matter of highly calculated risk; it could pay off big time or fail catastrophically, which would cost more lives.  And to a lesser extent, a public outcry and end of the space programs.

Meanwhile, when news reach his crewmates, the rest of the astronauts pledge to launch their own daring mission, severely risky as it may be and against the officially sanctioned plan to bring one of their own home with them.  The last stretch is a tense scene involving a remotely controlled, open-top capsule and spacecraft trying to make the right trajectory toward each other with astronauts hurling into space.

Since comparisons are inevitable, it’s worth mentioning that “Gravity,” “Interstellar” and “The Martian” are very different movies.  “Gravity” is a singular space survival tale and as close you could probably get to being in space.  “Interstellar” (also starring Damon and Chastain), a celestial tapestry of space exploration and heartfelt human story, is clearly a fantasy adventure with the time–bending element.  “The Martian” is a space procedural drama, looking like a real planetary operation gone wrong in a not-too-distant future, plausible survival and rescue mission somewhere near the realms of possibility.  Interestingly, it’s not a grim film.  The filmmaker takes a unusual approach, telling the story with a lighter touch and air of levity.

Drawing upon science, intelligence, collaboration and imagination, it shows how the brightest minds can accomplish great things together.  “The Martian” is a crowdpleaser, hopefully one that may inspire the next generation of space explorations.

Copyright (c) 2015. Nathalia Aryani

Nathalia Aryani is a film columnist and has a movie blog, The MovieMaven( Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at

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Luke Walton takes over as interim head coach of Warriors Fri, 02 Oct 2015 15:46:07 +0000 Luke Walton and father Bill are California basketball stars. While Bill had a much grander tenure in the NBA, Luke is getting an opportunity to carve his own path as coach of the Golden State Warriors.

It was announced that the 35 year old former Laker Luke Walton will take over as the Golden State Warriors head coach just two years since retiring as a player. While it is not a permanent position, Walton will remain the youngest coach in the NBA for the time being. Former head coach Steve Kerr will be taking an indefinite leave of absence and Walton will step in.

Warriors GM Bob Myers explained that their priority is getting Steve Kerr healthy for the rigorous NBA season. Kerr has had numerous back surgeries in off seasons over the past few years. At this point, they do not anticipate his recovery to be long term, but there is no definitive timeframe for his recovery.

NBA training camp began this week and the Warriors’ first regular-season game is Oct. 27, which means Luke Walton will have a chance to showcase his coaching skills with the championship team. Fans of the Warriors can only hope that Walton can keep the team on track. If he can, they may be one of the promising teams to head into the championships again this year.

Fun fact: The Waltons have a history in San Diego. Luke Walton attended high school in San Diego and Bill Walton still calls San Diego home.

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San Diego Entrepreneur of the Week: Chase Fisher & Blake Jensen of Blenders Eyewear Mon, 28 Sep 2015 16:57:37 +0000 unnamed-6

SD Entertainer is a huge fan and supporter of entrepreneurs in San Diego. We admire the dedication and long hours it takes to build and develop a successful business. Each week, the SD Entertainer sits down with one successful entrepreneur to discuss the goals, dreams, and plans for their company. This week, the SD Entertainer had the opportunity to speak with Chase Fisher & Blake Jensen of Blenders Eyewear

1. What made you want to get into the sunglass industry? There are both a lot of established low cost and high cost providers, what was your plan to gain market share

We dove into the sunglasses industry purely because it was a product we thought was cool. Sunglasses are both a necessity and a statement of style here in Southern California. We looked around for shades that were quality, cool, and inexpensive. We didn’t see them anywhere on the market so we decided to make them ourselves. We do a good chunk of our sales through our website, This direct model allows us to keep prices low and provide great value to our customers because there are no middle man and no fluff. It’s a competitive market for sure, but our customers love the brand, they can feel the quality in the product, and we work hard to provide great service across the board.

2. How has living and working in San Diego effected your company?

Our brand couldn’t have started anywhere else. Blenders is truly inspired and guided by the coastal lifestyle here in San Diego. There’s always awesome events going on locally that we take part in. The beach is blocks away from our office in La Jolla. There’s lots of interesting people and companies thriving in the city that we learn from and collaborate with. Besides all that, it’s just a hell of a lot of fun! There’s no where we’d rather live and work than here!

3. Why is it important for young people to continue to strive to be successful entrepreneurs and start their own business?

I can’t speak for anybody else, but for Chase and me, creating a successful business is the only way to achieve the lifestyle we want to live. It’s a lot more challenging and stressful than working for somebody else, but the rewards far outweigh any drawbacks.

unnamed-74. What advice do you have for future entrepreneurs?

If you have an idea, just do it. Don’t wait on anybody and don’t try to perfect everything before starting. Having good mentors around you is hugely valuable so ask for help and learn as much as you can!

5. What are the future goals of Blenders Eyewear?

You’re going to see a TON of great new products rolling out of the Blenders kitchen, as well as a focused dedication to providing a quality experience for our customers in terms of interaction with us, and in the products we make. Everybody has different passions in life, whether it’s music, sports, travel, or whatever. You need a solid pair of shades for all those things. We feel very strongly that those shades should be Blenders! We also have some collaborations in the works with the NBA, NFL, and top festivals like Lollapalooza and The Groove Cruise as well as top DJ’s from around the world. This stuff is super exciting for us and building on relationships like these is a long term goal for the brand. You can get in on the action by following Blenders on Instagram @blenderseyewear.

6. What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced?

Every day presents a new challenge. Logistics are very tough and just buttoning up the back end of things so that the whole system runs smoothly. In a perfect world, we would just design awesome shades and do photo shoots on the beach. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple.

7. How does marketing/advertising play a role in your business plan? Does having a large internet following effect your business?

Marketing plays a HUGE roll in our business. Generally once people find out about Blenders, they are stoked on it. For us it’s just about getting new eyes on it, and having that visibility for the brand. We’ve been fortunate to get some good marketing exposure on TV recently with ‘The West Texas Investors Club’ on CNBC, as well as the Today Show and appearances on local stations like Fox 5 San Diego and KUSI.

8. How did you come up with the cost for your sunglasses vs other companies?

We just price our stuff at a level that seems reasonable. We’re not going to ask anybody to pay more than we would want to pay ourselves. No matter what brand you buy from, all sunglasses cost roughly the same amount to make. The high price tags you see on most sunglass brands are due to brand inflation and monopoly in the industry. There’s about three companies that make up 70% of the global sunglasses industry. They own most of the big brands, they own the factories, and they own the retail locations. This lets them jack up the prices to whatever they feel like. They’re the Empire and we’re the Rebel Alliance basically. We’re Han Solo.

9. Do you plan on producing any products besides Sunglasses?

Yes. When the time is right, you’ll start to see a variety of products from Blenders, based on the needs of our customers. Probably not a self driving car or anything … but cool stuff nonetheless.

10. If you could have one celebrity/personality endorse your company, who would it be?

You never really see the Pope in sunglasses … he’s probably waiting for a pair of Blenders.

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Russell Wilson gets support from Aaron Rodgers’ brother after Rodgers’ post-game comments Fri, 25 Sep 2015 18:52:34 +0000 It all started last year after the NFC Championship Game in which Quarterback Russell Wilson praised God for the win over Green Bay. After a tough game in which Wilson was sacked four times and threw four interceptions, and the team trailed 16-0 in the third quarter, the Seattle Seahawks faked a punt and converted what was supposed to be a field goal into a touchdown. The Seahawks came back to win it, securing their space in the Super Bowl.

This week Green Bay once again met the Seahawks team, this time at Lambeau. Green Bay took home the win, and in a post game interview, Quarterback Aaron Rodgers said, “God was a Packers fan tonight,” obviously poking fun at the comments by Wilson last year.

In his response, Wilson told KIRO-AM radio in Seattle that “Everybody has the right to their own opinion…I know for me, I’m just grateful that God has given me the opportunity to play the great game of football. I’m so grateful.” He went on to say, “I know one of the things my parents always taught me was just to continue to remain humble in your victories and your losses. I think that’s just the thing that I’m grateful for, just to be able to play the game of football. I love it. Like I said, everybody is entitled to their own opinion.”

Yes, Wilson took the high road. And it turns out that Aaron Rodgers’ brother, Jordan, agrees. He posted the following to Twitter:’

My parents taught this as well, way to take the high road @DangeRussWilson

— Jordan Rodgers (@JRodgers11) September 24, 2015

He followed up after a fan asked if he was complimenting Russell for taking the high road. He said:

I actually was. Thank you

— Jordan Rodgers (@JRodgers11) September 25, 2015

It looks like Jordan Rodgers has since removed the comments from Twitter, in place of this:

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Kenan and Kel Reunite on Tonight Show Thu, 24 Sep 2015 19:07:34 +0000 For any non-90s kid out there, Kenan & Kel was a Nickelodeon comedy sitcom that starred two favorite cast members from the station’s hit variety show, All That. In the show, Kenan worked at a local grocery store while Kel regularly came in to request some Orange Soda, which he really really liked. Kel was also the star of a recurring segment on All That, in which he worked at Good Burger. And we all know the line: “Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order?”

Jimmy Fallon continues to reunite cast members of shows from the past, and he did just that this week when he flashes back to memories of his first job at a fast food joint – Good Burger, of course.

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Full Lena Dunham interview with Hillary Clinton Airs Sept. 29 Thu, 24 Sep 2015 18:41:58 +0000 Female powerhouse and Girls star Lena Dunham recently sat down with Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to discuss everything from feminism to her life in college, student debt and women’s health issues. The full interview will be available on on September 29 for the site’s newsletter subscribers. Lenny Letter is a weekly newsletter that is geared at millennial women that features advice, recommendations on products, and includes essays on a variety of topics.

In a teaser clip posted on Politico, Dunham asks Clinton, “Do you consider yourself a feminist?” Clinton responds with a resounding “yes” and explains why.

Yes, absolutely. I’m always a little bit puzzled when any woman of whatever age, but particularly a young woman, says something like, “well, I believe in equal rights but I’m not a feminist.” Well, a feminist is by definition someone who believes in equal rights. I’m hoping that people will not be afraid to say, that doesn’t mean you hate men, it doesn’t mean you want to separate out the world, so you’re not a part of ordinary life. That’s not what it means at all. It just means that we believe women have the same rights as men – politically, culturally, socially, economically – that’s what it means.

The interview with Dunham is the latest in a series of media appearances Clinton has had recently. She has been interviewed by Refinery29, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

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Best Coffee Spots In San Diego Wed, 23 Sep 2015 22:00:05 +0000 I drink way too much coffee, that is a fact. I have accepted that in my life, and have since grown to love and appreciate my need for a caffeine burst in the morning. In the hustle and bustle of busy work mornings, there’s always one constant I can count on to keep me going: that cup of velvety smooth liquid energy. It is the highlight of my day, the one true love in my life. Luckily for me, as well as other coffee lovers out there,

It’s National Coffee Day on Tuesday, September 29, so get ready to celebrate your passion for java.

These five local San Diego restaurants understand the necessity of high-quality, strong coffee and will be happy to satisfy your caffeine fix.

Coffee2You’re heard of bottomless mimosas, now try bottomless coffees. More specifically, Breakfast Republic in the trendy North Park neighborhood is serving their organic Breakfast Republic blend coffee. If you’re feeling bold or simply need an extra jolt of caffeine, give their Cocky 12 a try. Cold-pressed for 12 hours, the Cocky 12 is served over coffee ice cubes to prevent dilution. Another worthy highlight is their Caffeine Overdose, a drink flight composed of a latte, mocha and Mexican mocha, which will most likely set your brain abuzz.

Before you take off running, stop by Fig Tree Café in Pacific Beach to try their fair-trade, 100 percent organic and USDA-registered java. If you’re not feeling straight-up joe, try the Mexican Mocha, or opt for their flavored lattes — the choices include almond-coconut, toasted marshmallow and pumpkin pie, ideal for the upcoming fall weather. Whether you choose to pair it with their fluffy French Toast Sampler or their rugged Man Candy, you simply cannot go wrong.

If you’ve ever dreamt of sipping artisanal coffee with a classic French pastry in a café overlooking the Eiffel Tower, Le Parfait Paris, with its minimalist design and wide-open windows reflective of authentic Parisian cafés, is the place to be. CoffeePair the artistically crafted macaron or elegantly buttered croissant with the finest quality coffee the boulangerie has to offer to achieve the translation of Le Parfait Paris: The Perfect Paris in the hub of Gaslamp Quarter.

True to the Latin roots of Isabel’s Cantina in Pacific Beach, their 100 percent organic, fair-trade Guatemalan coffee has notes of cocoa and subtle spices intricately blended into the rich dark roast. Of course, true to the Latin-Asian fusion roots of Isabel herself, the cantina also boasts Thai coffee with sweetened condensed milk. Whether you choose to pair it with a side of sweet Coconut French Toast or savory Buddha Bowl, this coffee will have you ready to take on the day.

hands-coffee-smartphone-technologyCoffee at 3 a.m. is always a good idea, which is exactly what you’ll get at Brian’s 24 in the Gaslamp Quarter. At literally any time of the day, stop by for a fresh cup of locally roasted brew to go alongside your choice of a hearty size meal. From their crunchy Tater Tots loaded with pepperoni and house-made marinara to their Malted Waffle with specks of bacon bits cooked inside, a cup of joe from Brian’s 24 will have you wide awake and ready to tackle some food.

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Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli Under Intense Scrutiny Wed, 23 Sep 2015 17:51:36 +0000

Martin Shkreli, the CEO of Turning Pharmaceuticals, is under a lot of scrutiny in the media and online. Shkreli gave a creepy, Patrick Bateman-esque interview recently with the Washington Post that has since brought his company and his smug face to the front page of the internet. After purchasing and then increasing the price of a 62 year old drug by 5,000%, people are starting to wake up to see the horrible business tactics that go on within large pharmaceutical companies.

Now it is no secret that pharmaceutical companies reap massive profits, as well as invest billions of dollars, with these products, but this is the first time that a CEO has been so openly honest about the sole purpose of increasing the cost simply for profit. Prior to the purchase of the drug by Turing Pharmaceuticals, each pill sold for $13.50. Now, the cost is being increased by 5,000% to $700 per tablet. The tablet, called Daraprim, was first approved in 1953, and treats rare infectious disease and toxoplasmosis.

While we live in America, a capitalist society, where the weak get trampled and the strong prosper, this certainly is sickening. While increasing the price is wrong, from a CEO’s perspective, they need to cut costs and increase revenue. What seems to be making so many angry is the disgusting, sociopathic grin he had on his face when he was openly talking about making money off of very sick people.

In this day and age, where billionaire philanthropists are donating huge amounts of their net worth to help addiction-71576_640fight diseases, this sad little man is taking advantage of some of the sickest and most helpless people in the world. Each pill only costs one dollar to produce, so they are already making money off of it. Now, he is just squeezing every penny he can.

It certainly is sad that there are people in the world like this. He is selfish, narcissistic, and a shell of a real human being. While it is horrible what Martin is doing, we can all be happy that his wrongdoings are finally coming to the general public, and maybe this can change the way big pharmaceutical companies deal with their clients.

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Can’t Miss Events in San Diego This Week 9/21 – 9/27 Tue, 22 Sep 2015 20:18:33 +0000 Living in San Diego can be overwhelming at times. There is so much to do and so little time. To make your life a little less stressful, SD Entertainer put together this list of awesome events in San Diego this week:

Damian Marley – 9/22

at SDSU Open Air Theatre. Coming from one the most famous musical families in history, Damian Marley has defined his own sound and always puts on a great live show.

Def Leopard – 9/22 at 7:00pm

at Sleep Train Amphitheater. If you’re trying to party like its 1986 then attend the Def Leopard concert in the Sleep Train Amphitheater.

Qualcomm Stadium Swap Meet – 9/23

at Qualcomm Stadium. Qualcomm Stadium is a big place. I can only imagine the crazy amount of stuff people are brining to this swap meet. There should be something for everyone, no matter how random and unique your hobby is.

Foo Fighters – 9/24 at 7:00pm

at Sleep Train Amphitheater. The Foo Fighters are awesome. That is pretty much a fact. So get your friends, your significant other, and pound a few beers before you hit the Sleep Train Amphitheater this Thursday.

Jewel – 9/24

at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Did you know Jewel lived in Pacific Beach? If you’re REALLY from San Diego, you would have known that. Jewel is bringing it home with a concert at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Death Cab for Cutie – 9/25 at 7:30pm

at SDSU. They have big hits like “I will follow you into the dark” and “Soul meets body” so go see the show. It will be fun, so just go.

Rehab – 9/25 at 10:00pm

at Omnia. Get ready to dance. R3hab always kills it and has made a name for himself as one of the top DJs.

Rascal Flats – 9/25 – 8:00pm

at Pala Casino. It’s Rascal Flatts. Either you’ve seen them live, and they we’re a ton of fun, or you haven’t seen them live, and you’ll realize they’re a ton of fun. Get out there and rock it.

Patton Oswalt – 9/26 at 8:00pm

at Balboa Theatre. Patton is a funny guy and has been in the entertainment industry for a while now. He’s sure to have you laughing at one of my all time favorite theaters, the Balboa Theater.

San Diego Restaurant Week – 9/21 to 9/27

It’s restaurant week, which means food. Who doesn’t love food!

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Movie Review – Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials Mon, 21 Sep 2015 21:40:08 +0000 MV5BMjE3MDU2NzQyMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzQxMDQ3NTE@._V1_SX214_AL_Just like the first one in the series, “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” is better than it looks.  Director Wes Ball brings back Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and his Glader friends (Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster) for another awesome adventure in the post-apocalyptic world.

Following their escape from the Glade and the Maze and mysterious organization called W.K.C.D. (read: wicked), the Gladers are initially grateful for having been rescued.  They’re taken by their rescuers to a heavily guarded facility and meet the other escapees, provided shower, clean clothes, food and bed.  Amidst the secured environment and assurance by the head of the facility (Aiden Gillen), something is off, however.

A loner, Aris (Jacob Lofland) flags Thomas and together they make an unsavory discovery.  They are not safe after all.  The kids are being kept alive temporarily for a reason.  The Gladers, joined Ares and a few new kids (Dexter Draden, Alexander Flores) make a run for the outside world in the nick of time.

That outside world is the scorch, a ruined city surrounded and partially immersed in sands.  The group seeks shelter in a dark and dilapidated structure.  They scour the building for things they could equip themselves to make their desolate trek to the mountains in the hopes of joining the Right Arm, a resistance movement, and finding a safe haven.  The light switches on, but before they could breathe a sigh of relief, some things are coming out of the woodwork.  The undead.  If “The Maze Runner” has Grievers, “The Scorch Trials” has Cranks, which are just as terrifying.  They escape, but not without one of their own infected with the Flare virus.

Daylight breaks and the Gladers make their perilous journey across an arid, then unpredictably stormy desert.  They run into a compound filled with another cluster of survivors, find themselves in another trouble, make allies (Rosa Salazar, Giancario Esposito) and barely make it out alive after the compound is attacked.  The group gets separated before eventually reunited.  But not without more trials and twists, physically and emotionally.

The set pieces are vast and varied.  Actions relentless.  Sprinting, sliding, falling, climbing, leaping and dangling for dear lives, navigating rubbles and tunnels.  Not to mention getting bitten, shot at and strung up.  There’s one particularly thrilling sequence involving a pursuit and struggle with a Crank on a precarious glass piece of a crumbled skyscraper hundreds of feet in the air.  Another one is the vines-covered Cranks.  The jump scares are used effectively.

O’Brien shows charisma and commitment to the role.  Thomas is smart, curious and quick on his feet.  A natural-born leader with a combination of instinct and ferocity.  Even as he’s unsure of  what’s to come, he moves forward with determination.

While “Scorch Trials” is mostly an action movie, it maintains the underlying theme of clash of ideals.  In the first installment, between safety and comfort versus risk and freedom.  Here we’re faced with a moral dilemma as well.  At what point human sacrifice is no longer worth it?  What about if you truly believe it’s for the greater good?

I look forward to the next round of scares and thrills.  The third installment in the trilogy, “The Death Cure” will be released on February 17, 2017.  It should be worth the long wait.

Copyright (c) 2015. Nathalia Aryani

Nathalia Aryani is a film columnist and has a movie blog, The MovieMaven ( Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at

Courtesy Arnold Gatilao via Creative Commons License 2.0 

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San Diego Entrepreneur of the Week: Ali Grant of Be Social PR Mon, 21 Sep 2015 19:32:18 +0000 SD Entertainer is a huge fan and supporter of entrepreneurs in San Diego. We admire the dedication and long hours it takes to build and develop a successful business. Each week, the SD Entertainer sits down with one successful entrepreneur to discuss the goals, dreams, and plans for their company. This week, the SD Entertainer had the opportunity to speak with Ali Grant, owner of Be Social PR.

1. What made you want to get into the PR industry?

I’ve always had a passion for creativity. I’ve channeled that creativity into crafting publicity campaigns to assist brands with growth.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 9.46.33 AM2. Is being located in San Diego beneficial for your company?

Being as close as we are to Los Angeles, San Diego offers the beach lifestyle we’re immersed in with the proximity to celebrities, bloggers, and media in a larger city like LA. It’s perfect for our needs.

3. How does being located in San Diego affect your company and how you work?

Although San Diego provides a beautiful environment for our offices and day to day activities, we have to travel often.  Our team goes to New York and Los Angeles consistently, so we’re racking up the frequent flyer miles.

4. What type of clients do you usually work with?

Our agency services lifestyle, fashion and beauty brands. Just a few of our favorite things!

5. What type of services do you provide for your clients?

Be Social is a full service communications agency. We create strategies for brands to connect to their consumers. We specialize in public relations, social media marketing, event marketing, influencer relations, and digital publicity.

6. What is your favorite thing about working in the PR industry?Be Social

Having access to the latest and greatest in fashion and beauty and seeing the brands we represent succeed. We have an office filled with our favorite swimwear, activewear, beauty products, and fashion accessories and it’s our job to spread the word on why these brands are awesome. It’s a fun, fast-paced industry with no limitations on creativity!

7. What is a memorable client/event/moment you’ve had while working in the PR industry?

This past week we launched Disney’s Minnie Style Instagram account. It was a jam-packed month filled with photo shoots, styling and influencer collaborations. The launch coincided with NYFW and a collaboration with Refinery29. It was a whirlwind and it keeps getting more exciting!

8. What are some long term goals for you and your company?

We want to keep evolving. We’re the exact opposite of a traditional PR agency. We’ve launched an Influencer Division where we manage the careers of influential bloggers and social elite.  We’ve been at the forefront of fostering relationships with bloggers, YouTubers and digital influencers. It’s the projects and evolution like this that has allowed us to grow and deliver results.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 9.46.49 AM9. Why is hiring a PR firm beneficial for a company?

A PR firm can be your brand advocates to garnering buzz for your business, product or launch. We’re connectors…we help you be seen, be heard, and be social through multiple forms of communication avenues.

10. How does someone get a job in the PR industry?

Intern! You need to start interning in college, gain experience, work your way up and hustle. It’s a competitive industry and requires a certain type of person…you can’t be afraid to work hard.

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Local San Diego Company Featured on West Texas Investors Club Thu, 17 Sep 2015 22:46:07 +0000 Summer2015

A local sunglasses company born and raised right in the heart of Pacific Beach, San Diego, will be featured on the hit TV show West Texas Investors Club. Blenders Eyewear was launched in Spring 2012, and since has built itself into a brand associated with long days at the beach in Southern California. They are now appearing on the hit show West Texas Investors Club for a round of investments.
BlendersSan Diego is no stranger to successful crowd funding campaigns, as well as companies being featured on CNBC start-up shows. The hit show “Shark Tank” has featured successful companies based in San Diego including Tower Paddle Boards, who SD Entertainer interviewed earlier this year, as well as Bon Affair, a wine spritzer producer located in Solana Beach. Tipsy Elves, and the creators of the “Kitchen Safe” are based in San Diego as well.

West Texas Investors Club, similar to ‘Shark Tank’, airs every Tuesday night at 7pm. Blenders Eyewear will appear on episode 7 of the series aired on September 15, 2015. The local San Diego brand based in La Jolla, CA.

Blenders2Chase Fisher, born and raised in Santa Barbara, and Blake Jensen, born and raised in Seattle, created the brand in the spring of 2012. The team paired up with a shared interest in mind: to create a brand that was always moving forward. With help from a crowdfunding campaign the young entrepreneurs got the brand off the ground and built a loyal following before they even produced a single pair of sunglasses.

The sunglass industry is a two billion dollar industry with Luxoticca controlling nearly 70% of market share and owning companies like Ray Ban and Oakley. Luckily for Blenders, San Diego is known for being extremely supportive of local brands, especially those involved in the beach and surf scene. The SD Entertainer is a big supporter of local entrepreneurs and start up companies, and will be sitting down to interview the brains behind Blenders Eyewear on September 28th.

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Ten San Diego Schools on Lockdown After Multiple Threats Made – Updated 11:57am Thu, 17 Sep 2015 18:32:55 +0000 Several threats have been called into San Diego area schools this morning. The first call was made to Scripps Ranch High School around 9:30am and police arrived on scene shortly after. Additional treats have been made at Patrick Henry, San Diego, Crawford, Kearny and Clairemont high schools. Apparently some threats have reported shooters and others claim explosives.  At this time, each campus has been locked down so police can investigate. So far, none of the calls have resulted in any findings.

Lock down restrictions have shifted to precautionary and parents have been instructed not to pick up their students. No one is allowed to leave or enter while the investigation takes place. @SDSchools has tweeted, “Reassuring all students & schools are safe and secure. We will advise when lockdowns are lifted.”

UPDATE AS OF 10:58AM: SRHS, Henry, MMHS, Morse, Clairemont, Crawford, Kearny, SDHS affected. Follow us for updates or head to @sdschools on Twitter for real-time updates.

Pt. Loma & La Jolla HS’s have also received threats and have been placed on lockdown. All students are safe.

UPDATE AS OF 11:56AM: Schools that are not on lockdown have a Police presence on campus. If your child’s school is in lockdown, please do not come to the school. School will notify you of p/u procedures.

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Coronado Brewing Plans Multi-Million Dollar Expansion Thu, 17 Sep 2015 18:13:33 +0000 Earlier this month Coronado Brewing announced plans to add capacity through tank additions and to add a new canning line. This multi-million dollar expansion plan would increase the efficiency and capacity of their brewery, which now has three locations – in Coronado, Imperial Beach, and San Diego.

The brewery will be expanding its capacity to 65,000 barrels thanks to the multi-million dollar renovation plan which included the recent addition of four 240-barrel fermenters. In addition to the fermenters, the brewery has been adding and upgrading other components to the brewery to help increase efficiency. With sales growing (they’re up 30% through August), higher efficiency means more great beer. The current World Beer Cup Champion for Mid-Sized Brewery is churning out tons of great beer, and the demand is growing despite virtually endless competition.

In addition to growing in production, they will also begin canning in early 2016. VP of Sales and Marketing, Brandon Richards, said, “we have been growing at a very high rate the last few years, it was time for us to make some big changes to the brewery to help us maintain the pace. We have been trying to find more space in the brewery to allow us to add a canning line and that was accomplished.”

Canning beer is one of the latest “trends” in the craft industry, that is here to stay. The trend is actually a great way to preserve the quality of their beer, keeping it away from light which can harm the taste. We also think cans make a perfect addition to a backyard BBQ, tail gate, or any other location where glass bottles may be prohibitive.

9403580282_af20154f45_z9811672376_06c2451d1e_zIf you have not had an opportunity to taste Coronado’s beers, hit your local grocery or liquor store. You’re bound to find a few of their standard bottles there. Try their Coronado Golden Pilsner or Orange Avenue Wit if you’re not an IPA fan. For some added hoppy goodness, reach for the Idiot IPA or Islander IPA. The Mermaid’s Red Amber Ale and Blue Bridge Coffee Stout are also readily available and part of Coronado Brewing’s core series.

If you have only had their beers from the local market, it may be worth a trip to one of their tasting rooms. Avid beer connoisseurs will be happy to find some great brews that are on limited release. Check out the Skull Wrapper IPA, Sock Knocker IPA, Senor Saison, and more. You won’t be disappointed.

Did you know that you can find Coronado beers in 20 states across the US and in ten countries? Whether you’re in San Diego or around the world, you can get the delicious flavors we have come to know and love. For us San Diegans though, we don’t have to travel far. In addition to their pub in Coronado, they have opened a tasting room inside their San Diego production facility. They have also opened a new tasting room and restaurant in Imperial Beach.

Go to for more information.

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Crazy Goose: Gaslamp District’s Newest Bar & Restaurant Wed, 16 Sep 2015 21:15:35 +0000 Everyone loves San Diego’s Gaslamp District. I mean, what’s not to love? There are bars, restaurants, and cafes. In addition, the entire area serves as a budding area for growing businesses. A new bar just opened up in the Gaslamp District called Crazy Goose Bar & Lounge, and it’s definitely worth a closer look.

The Crazy Goose Bar & Lounge, a “down” home, American Comfort food destination has migrated to San Diego, and it’s definitely here to stay. Having opened September 10th, Crazy Goose Bar & Lounge is offering a sneak peek of what’s in store for its bright future in the heart of the Gaslamp. Spins on traditional favorites like Dirty South Catfish Po’Boy and Maple Truffle Lamb Chops will whet the appetites of locals and the thousands of visitors who flock into town on a daily basis.

Head Chef Jacob Greene created the menu, inspired by his Midwest background and years of extensive traveling, working in some of the finest restaurants in the U.S. Guests will enjoy his innovative take on burgers, entrees and salads, all made from scratch daily with the finest ingredients available. They’ll also offer brunch on weekends with creative offerings such as Short Rib Hash and Captain Crunch French Toast. And true to its name, Crazy Goose has a wild side and will offer fresh elk, bison and venison in several of their recipes.

Over 32 rotating tap beers will flow, and their extensive onsite cellar is stocked with a wide selection of wine and spirits. Craft cocktails such as their Tennessee Tornado will be served, featuring Jack Daniels, Giffard Banane du Brẻsil liqueur, cinnamon-agave, fresh lemon and mint. Thirty flat screens line the walls for folks to gander at their favorite sporting event, UFC fight or boxing match. Live entertainment and DJ’s will rotate weekly, hosting hometown hits and accepting requests.

Their newly renovated VIP lounge will offer a private conference room and meeting space, including a personal server and bird’s-eye view into the kitchen where Chef Jacob is leading the charge.

Serving Breakfast Lunch and Dinner, Crazy Goose is open everyday of the week.

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TV Round Up: Ariana Grande on Tonight Show & Neal Patrick Harris’ Best Time Ever Wed, 16 Sep 2015 18:09:25 +0000 There have been a few great moments of TV over the past 24 hours, and in case you missed them, let’s share:

Ariana Grande on Tonight Show

In the return of one of Jimmy Fallon’s best segments, Ariana Grande got to spin the Wheel of Musical Impressions. Needless to say, she slayed it. Britney, Christina and Celine are three powerhouse vocalists and, while they’re not known for songs like “Marry Had a Little Lamb” or “The Wheels on the Bus,” Grande didn’t disappoint to deliver pop-diva quality performances.

Best Time Ever premiers with Neal Patrick Harris

A new variety show hosted by Neal Patrick Harris has hit the air. The five-time Emmy Awards and a Tony Award winning star may just be the perfect person to host this live one-hour show. It’s not quite like anything else on TV, which is something that is pretty hard to do these days. The show will feature celebrity appearances, stunts, comedy skits, performances, games, audience giveaways and hidden camera pranks.

While it’s easy to be skeptical of new shows in this ever-evolving late night format, Best Time Ever might just have what it takes to make it more than one season. Check out the first episode where Harris pranks The Voice judges. It’s awkward and awesome.

Tune in to “Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris” next Tuesday, Sept. 22 on NBC (10 p.m. ET/PT)
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Latin Nights: Savor the Flavors of Latin America in San Diego Wed, 16 Sep 2015 17:23:12 +0000 San Diego is known for unique mix of culture, especially when it comes to food. Being close to Mexico, you can easily find a great latin twist on your typical American food. There are many great restaurants to find whatever type of food you are looking for.

If you missed the zesty launch of “Latin Nights” in August, don’t miss the chance to embark on another culinary getaway featuring exquisite flavors from exotic areas of Latin America. Back by popular demand, Sirena Gourmet Latin Seafood Restaurant is heating up Little Italy once again with its second ever “Latin Nights” dining series.

On September 24th, guests can indulge in a south-of-the-border adventure in Little Italy as Sirena and Executive Chef, Jaime Chavez, welcome another renowned chef to showcase the best flavors of Latin America.  Although every Latin Night is different, highlighting the chef’s specialization in a specific Latin American cuisine, diners can always expect a lively interactive experience with a unique six-course meal that will excite every taste bud.

Starting at 7:00 p.m., Hilton San Diego Bayfront’s Banquet Chef, Alex Emery, will prepare adventurous Southern California cuisine influenced by strong Latin flavors.  With a passion for playing with contrasts, Chef Alex packs each bite with bursting sweet and spicy fusions.  Inspired by a wide range of Latin spices, each palatable course will be optionally paired with luscious wines from Argentina, Chile and the Valle de Guadalupe.  Guests will be engulfed in the culture as live Latin music complements the bold flavors of each six-course dish.

Each ticket costs $70 with an additional $15 for an optional wine pairing. Seating will begin promptly at 7:00 p.m.

Join Sirena Gourmet Latin Seafood for an extraordinary night full of flavor and culinary surprises as guests experience Latin Cuisine through a highly skilled American chef’s eyes.

Spots are limited and advanced reservations are required by calling 619.564.8970 or emailing

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San Diego Entrepreneur of the Week: Doris Dunkel of San Diego Events Company Mon, 14 Sep 2015 23:45:57 +0000 Doris Dunkel Owner Of San Diego Events CompanySD Entertainer is a huge fan and supporter of entrepreneurs in San Diego. We admire the dedication and long hours it takes to build and develop a successful business. Each week, the SD Entertainer sits down with one successful entrepreneur and discusses the goals, dreams, and plans for their company. This week, the SD Entertainer had the opportunity to speak with Doris Dunkel, owner of the San Diego Events Company.

Describe the history of your company and how you got involved with event coordination.

I started San Diego Events Company in March of 2012. I came from a marketing background, working for a major liquor company. I managed the San Diego territory and fell in love with the event-side of the job. I executed sponsorship events in San Diego, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Miami. I organized everything from intimate manicure and martini parties to celebrity hosted events. I took my love of events and started San Diego Events Company

What type of events does your company organize?

San Diego Events Company organizes a variety of events from weddings to corporate events.

What are some services you provide?

For a full service wedding or special event, we provide access to our preferred vendors list, assistance with budget management, full event design and event management.

What is your favorite type of event?

Vavi Sport and Social Candy BuffetMy favorite type of event would have to be anything that is themed. I love taking ANY theme and figuring out how to make it spectacular. For example, I did an event for the Young Presidents Organization of San Diego that was inspired by the film Titanic. The event was held at a multimillion dollar mansion in Carlsbad hand crafted by a well-known ship designer, featuring mahogany throughout. The event had three areas to experience; the first class tented dinner complete with a string quartet, VIP dinner service and opulent décor. The second area was the first class lounge featuring an oyster bar, cigar bar and premium cocktails surrounded by replicas of the paintings from the Titanic film. The third area was the 3rd class party (my favorite area of the event), made to resemble the cargo portion of the ship where the 3rd class passengers had their party. This area was located on the bottom floor of the estate. Featuring a traditional Irish band, Irish dancers, a psychic, a premium level bar, cargo boxes, steam from a smoke machine and of course an arm wrestling table. The event was a holiday party for YPO and was intended to emphasize their theme of the year; perspective.

What signifies a successful event to you?

A successful event is an event that inspires joy within the guests, runs smoothly and is talked about with excitement afterwards.

Who are some of your typical clients and events you organize?

I plan wedding and special events of all types. On the wedding side, I work with brides and their families. On the corporate side, I work closely with the decision makers. I have worked with Vavi Sport and Social Club, The Wipe Out Run, Young Presidents Organization, Maintenance Net, Dos XX, Ole Smoky Moonshine, The Rockefeller Center for Antiaging and Bodhi Animal Hospital, just to name a few.

What is one of the most memorable events you organized?

One of the most memorable events I have worked on was the Titanic Event previously mentioned. The event had so many levels of detail and was a catalyst for gaining new YPO clients.

Where do you see the future of your company going?

Titanic Young Presidents Organization Holiday Party 2014I see the future of San Diego Events Company continuing to grow upward. I am proud to say that in 3 years of business, we hold the title of A-List San Diego’s Best Wedding Planner two years running, our client list continues to grow and our creative efforts are rewarded with
countless 5 star reviews on Yelp. I am looking forward to what is in store for San Diego Events Company.

Why is San Diego a great place to host an event?

San Diego is a great place to hold an event because of the beautiful year round weather, wide variety of venues, stunning views and proximity to some of the country’s best eateries. I have brides coming from as far as Hong Kong to get married in San Diego. It is America’s finest city!

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From Comic-Con 2015: Preview of Fall TV Pilots Mon, 14 Sep 2015 21:34:26 +0000 P1180559 Daytime excitement continued through the night.  Like the inaugural year in 2014, DC Entertainment put on a grand show for fans.

Ian Somerhalder emceed the superhero panels.  Last year’s emcee and star of “Arrow,” Stephen Amell, stole the stage by appearing the Arrow himself, in a newly tweaked costume for season 4.  The costume has more of an ‘armored’ look, more in line with the Green Arrow outfit in the comics  The show that catapulted CW into superhero stratosphere is still going strong after three years.  Next up was “The Flash.”  The highest-rated CW show will return for a sophomore year.  I was awestruck last year by the premiere and am psyched to see it continue this fall.  Another show premiering last year that got renewed was “Gotham.” Cast and crew from the shows appeared on their respective panel, talking about their characters and developments for the upcoming season.


P1180795P1180839If Marvel has the Avengers on the movie front, CW will showcase a superhero ensemble show with “Legends of Tomorrow.” Rip Hunter, a time-traveler who has seen the future, assembles a legendary team consisting of an eclectic mix or heroes and anti-heroes – Dr. Martin Stein (the other half of Firestorm), Atom, White Canary (resurrected from Black Canary), Jay Jackson, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Heat Wave and Captain Cold.   Several of them have appeared in either “Arrow” or “The Flash”).  It would be interesting to see how the stories might intertwine in the CW multi-verse.  In its debut, the team’s first order of business is to stop Vandall Savage, a 6,000-year old immortal, from dominating the world.

Last but not least, the highly anticipated new show, “Supergirl” soared with a lovely pilot.

“Supergirl” (CBS; October 26, 2015)

P1180872Making a show about Supergirl carries an inherent challenge, which is how to create stories that do away with her famous cousin, Superman/Kal-El.  The show’s solution is to mention him as a distant background story and have him appear in a shadow as an acknowledgement of his existence.  But this is clearly a Supergirl/Kara Zor-El story.

Right before Krypton imploded, 12-year old Kara was sent to Earth following baby Kal-El’s pod to help care for  him in the new planet.  The explosion sent Kara’s pod off course and had her trapped in the Phantom Zone for years.  By the time she arrived, Kal-El has grown up and no longer needs her care.  He placed her with a scientist family, the Danvers, so that she could grow up with a normal childhood as he did.

Kara did, along with her adopted sister, Alex.  For as long as she could remember, P1180871Kara has always tried her best to suppress her superpowers and blended in as an ordinary girl, if not socially awkward and quirky.  Now 24, Kara works as a personal assistant for a media mogul, a Devil-Wears-Prada figure like.  A completely unassuming life, having a demanding boss and dealing with a crush from a colleague and crushing on a new co-worker, James Olsen (the Jimmy Olsen from the Daily Planet).

When Alex’s plane is in danger of crashing, Kara makes a major life-saving decision (an outstanding action sequence) and shows her true color to the world.  A mysterious female hero is born and capturing the interest of the public and the media.

Melissa Benoist is adorably on point with the scenes following her emergence as an involuntary, yet enthusiastic newly minted superhero.  There are supporters and doubters in her inner circle.  Riddled with doubt and enthusiasm, Kara is both strong and exposed. With an honest desire to help people, she’s learning to utilize her powers and embrace her higher purpose in life.

Kara’s life becomes more complicated when her movement is tracked by DEO (Department of Extra-Normal Operations), an organization that keeps tabs on extraterrestrial forces.  At the same time, an enemy that followed her from the Phantom Zone, made himself known.  And he’s not alone. Kara will have her hands full in no time.

If “Arrow” is dark and gritty and “The Flash” flashy and light (although not without dramatic  moments), “Supergirl” is a league of its own, brimming with bright optimism and mirth, featuring a big-hearted superhero that emanates innocent charm and wholesome goodness.  Somehow the cheery, comedy aspect works.

The year of “The Flash” went fast and fabulous.  I hope “Supergirl” will fly high and I P1180793look forward to it being on my weekly viewing schedule.


“Blindspot” (NBC; September 21, 2015)

Stepping out of superhero central, I was pretty enthralled with “Blind Spot,” a primetime pilot of mystery, crime procedural drama and action.

The opening scene is nothing short of intriguing.  A naked amnesiac found inside of a duffle bag in the middle of Times Square.  Her whole body is covered in fresh tattoos, including a tattoo of a name of an FBI agent on her back. Mind erased, her body is full of clues.  Images, numbers, symbols and words as puzzle pieces that would help the FBI to map their steps to solve crimes, or perhaps lead them to something bigger.

What makes it the more intriguing is the mysterious woman herself.  Naturally looking and feeling lost, scared and vulnerable, it’s quickly revealed through a series of incidents that Jane Doe is a force to be reckoned with.  Strong, sharp, determined with surprising capabilities that would make her a treasured asset to the agency.  Her burgeoning connection to the FBI agent in question merits further exploration.  A glimpse of her backstory ends the pilot on a curious note that would make you wanting more.

There’s a lot to be explored and discovered here, which should earn “Blindspot” a regular viewing spot.  Hopefully the show can maintain the intrigue and momentum by balancing crime-of-the-week episodes with its underlying mystery.


Another show I’m excited about is “Limitless.”  The story revolves around one man who gains the full capacity of his brain and extends his capabilities beyond imagination. Yep, it’s based on the thrilling “Limitless” movie (what would it be like to become the perfect version of ourselves?) in 2011 and co-produced by its star, Bradley Cooper.

It’s going to be an amazing autumn!


Copyright (c) 2015. Nathalia Aryani

Nathalia Aryani is a film columnist and has a movie blog, The MovieMaven ( Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at

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5 Great San Diego Football Bars Mon, 14 Sep 2015 21:26:10 +0000 Football fans are a breed of their own. As the season is now underway, you will want to know where you can show off your true team colors. The Chargers are well loved in San Diego, but there’s something to be said about hometown, out-of-state, or alma mater pride.

Here are five of San Diego’s top football bars where you can be a part of unique game-day parties celebrating teams with football specials that’ll take you to the end zone.

Sunday and Monday nights hold a special place in the hearts of football enthusiasts! If you’re in Pacific Beach,  The Duck Dive is a place where you can touchdown with a wide range of specials. Dive into all of the football action with a great beer selection during all NFL games. Besides pledging loyalty to the Chargers, Duck Dive is also a Nebraska Huskers bar, serving specials for Husker game-days that allow fans to go “Big Red.” As if you need an extra incentive to stop on by, The Duck Dive will donate $1 to the San Diego Husker Scholarship Fund with every Husker Special, Red Beer and Runza sold.

Make every Chargers’ game a family event with brunch specials on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at Union Kitchen & Tap, located in the heart of downtown San Diego.  Union Kitchen & Tap is stacked with the best game-day essentials including 12 TVs, and a projector screen showing your favorite highlights with sound. Spike your breakfast with bottomless mimosas, two Union Bloody Mary’s or a bucket of four domestic beers for $15. Can’t make it out on the weekend? Why not host your very own fantasy draft party! You and your friends can argue over this season’s top draft picks with house wine, great beer, craft cocktails and well drinks, and ½ priced bottles of wine.

After your evening surf session, make a pit-stop at Pacific Beach Shore Club to prove what it takes to “be a badger” and cheer on Badgers football with fellow Wisconsinites (with cheese curds in hand)! With wall-to-wall TVs both indoors and on the outdoor deck provide, Shore Club also has ample room for Midshipmen to cheer on Navy Football in their sea of blue and gold. Take a seat, party on, and enjoy special game-day discounts, prizes and raffles with a beach view!

Football season is right around the corner and Pacific Beach AleHouse knows how to celebrate with their Buffalo Bills, Iowa Hawkeyes, and Oregon Duck fans!  Put on your red and blue jersey and cheer on the Bills with “Buffalo-themed” AleHouse football specials. They’ve got all your favorite Western New York grub for the game including Sahlen’s Hot Dogs and traditional Buffalo wings with Franks Hot Sauce. Not mention AleHouse is also stocked with enough Labatt Blue bottles of beer to make you want to throw your hands up and “shout!”

In Mission Beach, Sandbar Sportsbar & Grill is the place to be if you’re a Boise State fan. Enjoy discounts on food and drinks while trying your luck with prizes and raffles. Choose from a variety of artisan burgers and tacos to keep you energized while rooting for your team, all while taking in the view of the sunset from the Sandbar sky deck.

In North County? Union Kitchen & Tap in Encinitas also has specials to help you get into the football spirit. In addition to bottomless mimosa brunch from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sundays, Union will be hosting Social Hour all night long for Monday Night Football.

Don’t fumble around this football season! These San Diego sports bars have you covered with sips, eats and fun to help create the best game-day experience for every fan!

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Garth Brooks returns to San Diego after 19 years Wed, 09 Sep 2015 16:54:11 +0000 Country music fans, rejoice! For the first time in 19 years Garth Books will play a show in San Diego. In fact, Garth is scheduled for two shows – November 6 and 7 – at Valley View Casino Center.

Tickets will go on sale Friday, September 18th at 10:00 AM. Tickets can only be purchased at or 1-855-411-4849. Tickets will cost $75, which includes fees.

Fans will certainly be in for a treat. Garth shows are known for their high entertainment value and unstoppable energy. This tour is his first in thirteen years.

Courtesy Photo Credit: Mark Tucker.

Courtesy Photo Credit: Mark Tucker.

Including his latest album, Man Against Machine, which was release in November 2014, Garth is yet again the number one-selling solo artist in US history. Since 1989, Brooks has released 20 records including 10 studio albums, 1 live album, 3 compilation albums, 3 Christmas albums and 3 box sets, along with 77 singles. Of these, six have achieved diamond status in the United States. Garth Brooks reached 10× platinum, No Fences is certified 17× platinum, Ropin’ the Wind is 14× platinum, The Hits is 10× platinum, Sevens went 10× platinum and Double Live is an astonishing 21× platinum (source Wikipedia). He won several awards including 2 Grammys, 17 American Music Awards and the RIAA Award as Best selling solo albums artist of the Century in the United States.

One fun fact for San Diegans, did you know Garth Brooks had a short career with the San Diego Padres? He signed with the San Diego Padres for spring training in 1998 and 1999. He did not get a spot on the regular season roster, although he was offered a non-roster spot but declined it.

Follow Garth at:

Or visit

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Beyonce Celebrates 34th Birthday. Why should we care? Fri, 04 Sep 2015 19:23:00 +0000 September 4 marks the birthday of singer Beyonce, aka Bee, Queen Bee, Sasha Fierce and her fans are out in force on social media wishing happy #beyday to their idol. But why do so many care about the singer/dancer/style icon/mogul?

As a casual observer of media and naysayer to most celebrity hype, I must admit that Beyonce seems different to me than her media hogging cohorts. Perhaps it’s my nostalgic connection to 90s pop music that is at the root of the infatuation with Bee. Beyonce started on her path to super-stardom in 1990 when Destiny’s Child jumped onto the scene (did you do the math? That’s 25 years ago…and now we all feel old).

While Destiny’s Child has been tucked into the history books, they still know how to work it. Back in 2013 Beyonce was headlining the Super Bowl Half time show, they broke out into this number…

Beyoncé reunited all of Destiny’s children for her epic Super Bowl Halftime Show, further showcasing her badassery in the performance department.

The Super Bowl Show was an accumulation of a number of huge career milestones that Miss Bee has hit. One of the biggest milestones, you could say, was the release of this video in 2008, which sealed her place in history as a music and entertainment icon:

Also in 2008, on April 4, Beyonce married Jay Z and formed a power couple worth over $1 billion. In 2011 the couple famously announced their pregnancy at the 2011 VMAs. Not a bad way to get a little publicity.

On January 7, 2012 Blue Ivy was born, and their mom-daughter relationship couldn’t be cuter. They even wear matching swim suits.

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Blue kisses🐇🐇🐇🐇 A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

After a whirl wind of success, which are too numerous to mention here, Beyonce was given a great honor to perform the National Anthem at the 2013 Obama Inauguration. While that performance was met with criticism of lip-syncing, it was still epic.

I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you. All in all, Beyonce is a force to be reckoned with. In browsing through her Instagram account, it’s absolutely clear that she is a beautiful person. Not only has she graced Vogue…

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

…she has also traveled the world. And she isn’t afraid to show a softer side:

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on



Beyonce is someone that every woman wishes they could be in some form or another. She is living her dream, is incredibly successful and has a beautiful family. In a world of constant media scrutiny, she has remained strong, beautiful and approachable. Somehow, after gracing the cover of Vogue and singing on the biggest stages in the world, she is still someone I can relate to. And for this writer, who is a self-described person who DGAF about celebrities, all I want to do right now is wish Beyonce a very, very happy birthday. You go Queen Bee.


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Don’t skip breakfast, especially during Better Breakfast Month Fri, 04 Sep 2015 16:00:10 +0000 Growing up, mom always said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If mother knows best, then why do so many of us choose not to eat in the morning? September marks National Better Breakfast Month, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by taking mom’s advice and enjoying a hearty (and healthy) morning meal from one of these well-known San Diego, a.m. hotspots!

image001 Rise and shine in North Park with Breakfast Republic’s BR Granola with Housemade Mixed Berry Yoghurt. Fill your appetite and nurture your hunger with oats, almonds, pecans, creamy peanut butter, craisins and brown sugar all topped with season fruit–enough fuel to get you energized and ready to take on your day.

At Isabel’s Cantina, in Pacific Beach, breakfast is served daily until 3:00 p.m., perfect for those late-risers. Find inner peace with the Nirvana Bowl that comes with marinated grilled tofu, brown rice, broccoli, yellow squash, green zucchini, egg whites, sautéed tomatoes, green onions and salsa cruda. Don’t be surprised if you figure out the meaning to life at the bottom of the dish (health and happiness)!

Located in the heart of the Gaslamp quarter, Brian’s 24 is every San Diegan’s go-to spot for breakfast any time of day. Celebrate a better breakfast and order the Lo-Carb Breakfast made with two eggs any style, your choice or a charbroiled ½ lb. hamburger or chicken breast, cottage cheese, and tomato country benedict slices. This hearty dish proves that breakfast can be equally as filling without an overload of carbs!

After your early morning surf session, pop on by The Duck Dive in Pacific Beach to replenish your body with their very own Breakfast Sandwich made with scrambled eggs, apple-gouda sausage, roasted tomatoes, spinach and goat cheese served open face on garlic toast. National Better Breakfast Month is best celebrated with a full stomach and beach breeze!image003

On the run downtown and need a quick meal option without forgoing quality and taste? Look no further than Le Parfait Paris’ quiches! Choose between their Quiche Lorraine (bacon, Gruyere cheese, and onions quiche) and Quiche Aux Epinards (vegetable quiche). A quintessential French dish that just melts on your tongue, Le Parfait Paris’ quiches have a dense-filling, surrounded by a flaky and buttery crust that’ll have you counting down the hours until you can enjoy it again!

After your long morning walk on the beach, head on over to Fig Tree Café in Pacific Beach to sit back and relax while enjoying the Skinny Scramble that is prepared with three egg whites, turkey bacon, black beans and a choice of bread leaving you full without undoing your morning workout. Find yourself inland? Fig Tree Café has two additional locations in Hillcrest and Liberty Station. Recommendations for starting you day off on the right foot include the Windnsea Omelet that is full of mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, spinach and marinated mushrooms for a veggie-friendly treat or the classic Fig Tree Café Granola reinvented with oats, pecans, dried figs, shaved coconut with fresh fruit generously poured over top house-made strawberry yogurt.

Champion breakfast with a variety of healthy options that will keep you coming back each morning during National Better Breakfast Month and feel great doing it!

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