An outtake from what will certainly be our very respectable, professional holiday card. / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

A few weeks back, I was giving other people in the office a rundown of what I considered to be my top VOSD moments. By those, I don’t mean scandals we’ve exposed or injustices we’ve brought to light. I’m talking about hilarious things that have happened to my coworkers over the years. There was the time a coworker forgot they had installed a plug-in that replaced the word “cloud” in their browser with the word “butt” — which resulted in us publishing a headline that became “The Ominous Butt Hanging Over the Class of 2016.” The switch caused us to briefly panic that we’d been compromised by a low-level, hilarious hacker. There was also the time that we invited a reporter to speak to our board of directors in a conference room with glass walls, and that reporter entered the meeting by violently crashing into one of those glass walls.

It turns out, though, that I was speaking too soon. Sit back, friends, because this week I had my own VOSD moment, and I believe it tops them all.

For most of this week, I was out on vacation. But I was monitoring my emails and messages, among which were some frankly aggressive missives about Friday’s office Christmas card photo. We were to wear strictly jewels tones and definitely, absolutely no plaid. I picked out a nice top, and arrived early at the office to get back to work.

Eventually, I got up to go to the bathroom, where I discovered a massive wet stain spread out across my top. This was puzzling, since I hadn’t been eating or drinking, and hadn’t picked anything up that could have gotten on me. Then when I noticed that my skin, too, was slick with some oily substance. It became clear: Whatever this was, was coming from my bra. What I’m saying is: My bra exploded at work. On Very Important Office Christmas Card Photo Day. (After some research, I’ve learned that this is apparently a known problem with certain bras that has afflicted other Very Important Women such as Jillian Michaels.)

It doesn’t end there.

I messaged a coworker who was returning to the office, who graciously offered to buy me a cheap bra at Target. I secured a spare VOSD T-shirt. But just before I went to change, I ducked into another coworker’s office to explain the situation to her. I just needed someone else to appreciate the absurdity of it all. “My bra exploded,” I blurted out, gesturing to my ruined top.

Naturally, she was in the midst of a video conference call.

I’d like to say that this story is all in service of a greater message, such as “Treasure your friends who will stop what they’re doing to buy you a cheap, emergency Target bra” or “Behind every carefully orchestrated holiday photo is a behind-the-scenes story of a bra explosion,” but honestly, it was just a very good VOSD moment.

What VOSD Learned This Week

A separate, hyper fast-tracked justice system for migrants accused of crossing the border illegally has existed in some form in court jurisdictions across the southwestern United States. But when the system came to San Diego this year, it was met with unprecedented pushback.

That system will get another test now that waves of migrants are arriving in Tijuana, hoping to seek asylum in the United States. This week’s Border Report detailed the tensions simmering in Tijuana as more migrants arrive, and the worsening conditions in Central America that are driving them here.

Scott Lewis and Maya Srikrishnan discussed those issues and more on the border shutdown on this week’s podcast.


San Diego Police persuaded Montgomery High School officials to conduct a fake active shooter drill so they could arrest four students accused of crimes that occurred off-campus. The ruse meant the students were arrested without their parents present, and experts say the whole thing has troubling implications.


These two stories together provide a perfect snapshot of the state’s housing crisis: A judge may force wealthy, overwhelmingly white Encinitas to shelve a law that’s allowed it to reject plans for new housing. And officials aren’t sure what will happen to homeless San Diegans staying in one of the temporary homeless tents once it closes in three months.


A state law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown five years ago was supposed to give parents a major role in shaping school budgets and priorities, but parents in San Diego Unified say engagement has actually gone down.

Meanwhile, new data sheds light on chronic absenteeism in the district.


Politics and power roundup: Georgette Gomez has all but locked up the Council presidency. San Diego’s power couple recorded a special VOSD podcast.


Thomas Jefferson School of Law has massively scaled back its physical campus, and its student body, as it attempts to stave off the loss of its national accreditation.

What I’m Reading

Line of the Week

“Vladimir Putin is president of Russia. An editing mistake erroneously identified him as Vladimir Trump in an earlier version of this article.” – Best. Correction. Ever. (Note: The Wall Street Journal has since amended this correction to obscure the fact that they actually called him Vladimir Trump.)

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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