Friday, January 30, 2015

Come on, SFGate, get it together

SFGate is the San Francisco Chronicle's presence on the World Wide Web.  The San Francisco Chronicle is an august daily newspaper that has been publishing for over a thousand years and actually has some great people on staff and still does some good journalism.

Why, then, does SFGate look like it was made by a Desoxyn-addled 13-year-old?

Oh my God, calm down.  There is shit EVERYWHERE.  Where is the fucking NEWS?  It's a news site, right?  Oh, there's a little box with "Latest News."  And I guess the Wise Sons Deli thing is news - but why is there a picture of Popeye's? (I actually know the answer, but will people who don't frequent the Mission know?)  What the hell does this Mill Valley 2-bdrm have to do with anything?

[LET ME INTERJECT with a little non-SFGate-related side note.  As my associate Olu pointed out yesterday, isn't it odd how little people have been talking about the Popeye's getting destroyed?  Especially given Popeye's cult status among certain internetati?  And back to SFGate, isn't it so fucking typical that even though Popeye's is in the fucking picture, and Popeye's, a place where most people can actually afford to eat, was also destroyed, the story is about $14 sandwich place Wise Sons? I mean, it's too bad about what happened to Wise Sons, and I wish them nothing but a speedy recovery, but it's just interesting is all.]


Just rando shit everywhere.  Here's a Buzzfeed list of the 25 Best Cities for Football Fans, complete with a satanic cheerleader!  Here's some party recipes!  Here's Home Tours!  How about Social Scene!  Wait, bond money missing?  That seems like Actual News!  Why is it buried in here with lifestyle crap?

Here's another screenshot from a week or so ago:

See what I'm talking about?  Zero fucking organization.  Just throw shit at the screen randomly and CLICK CLICK CLICK WE HOPE!!!! King of Saudi Arabia died! Curry to All Star Game! Some footbridge something or other!  ZOOOOOM MORE COFFEE!!!!!!

I'm sure there's some 26-year-old who's behind all this and knows about Monetizing Eyeballs and Click Ratios and shit like that.  But on behalf of the rest of the population of fucking Earth, SFGate, I am begging you, GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.  At least in the old layout I knew what the fuck I was looking at.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Wells Fargo Gold Nugget Heist: The Movie

A supersecret cabal known as "The Associates" has learned that the Big 4 (C. P. Huntington, Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins and Leland Stanford) hid an unimaginable treasure of gold and gems inside an abandoned silver mine once owned by James Flood.  The Associate's researchers have discovered that a map to the treasure was acquired by Henry Wells when he won some mounted gold nuggets in a poker game that the map had been secreted behind.  Wells later learned of his find but died before he was unable to retrieve the map and find the treasure.  The nuggets were later put on display at the original Wells Fargo branch on Montgomery Street, but knowledge of the map was lost until The Associates learned of it.

One day, a representative of The Associates who calls himself "G" contacts Dexter Wright, a onetime jewel thief and bank robber known as "The Professor" because of his well-planned schemes and the fact that he used to teach Classical Poetry at Berkeley.  The Professor will be played by Denzel Washington.

"G" has some disturbing news for Wright: several people very close to him, including some good friends and even a cousin, have been kidnapped and will be executed unless he does exactly what The Associates tell him to do.  He is to steal the gold nugget display from the Wells Fargo location and deliver it to "G."  He offers as proof a photograph of Wright's close friend and former cellmate Manny holding up an iPad with that day's SFist displayed on the screen.

Wright, panicked by the threats, immediately sets about assembling a crack crime team to do the job.  First, he tracks down "Ace," an expert at social engineering and surveillance, to scout the location and help him plan.  Ace will be played by Rooney Mara.

The Professor and Ace then track down "Wheels," the best car man they know.  Wheels says he's out of the game and he's gone straight as a salesman on an Infiniti lot in Fremont.  He's wearing a short sleeve shirt with a tie when they find him and will be played by Jake Gyllenhaal.

Wheels turns down the offer until The Professor explains that they're holding Franco, who saved Wheels' life one time when a complicated scheme went bad in Sparks, Nevada.  Wheels realizes he can't abandon his friend and agrees to help.

Wheels steals a couple of cars to use.  Meanwhile, Ace scouts the location and devises the plan - Operation Brute Force.  Instead of trying to circumvent Wells Fargo's elaborate security, why not just drive right into the door?  "Like a McDonalds drive-through," she says.  "Except the nuggets are GOLD, not chicken."  [Pause for audience laughter]

Everyone signs off on the plan.  On the appointed night, Wheels drives the car into the bank and the crew seizes the nugget display and flees in another car Wheels has stolen and placed nearby.

As the crew examine the nugget display, Ace notices something on the back - the map.  The Professor calls on a trusted ally at Berkeley who reveals the truth about the heist.

The Professor sets up an exchange with "G" but things go awry and "G" gets shot.  Hoping to send a message to The Associates, the crew chop up "G"s body and put it in a suitcase at the designated meeting point, 11th and Mission, with a note to The Associates.

A member of The Associates contacts The Professor and tells him they want to settle this amicably: a fair exchange of the hostages for the map.  Both sides agree to meet at Fort Point to make the exchange.

The night of the exchange is rainy and mist swirls around the fort.  The Professor catches a glimpse of Manny tied up in one of the rooms, briefly illuminated by a flash of lightning.  Things go wrong and there is a shootout, which culminates in The Professor and the lead Associate fighting it out along the rickety wooden decks of the fort.  Finally, The Professor gets the upper hand, and held at gunpoint, the lead Associate agrees to split the treasure.

Everyone heads to the mine and, following the map, explore the twisting rock tunnels until they locate the vault where the treasure is supposed to be.  Instead of the treasure, they find only a yellowed piece of paper saying "On deposit - Wells Fargo & Co. - One Treasure. Signed, Henry Wells."  The treasure has long since disappeared.

The last shot is The Professor, Wheels, and Ace having a drink together at Specs when The Professor's phone buzzes.  "A job?" he says.  He looks over at Wheels and Ace.  "Yeah, we might be interested in a job."

(Thanks to periqueblend for help during the development process.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Bachelor: A-virgin therapy

Christ, I am so fucking sorry for that title.  That is really, really terrible.  Sorry.

Tonight's Special Guests will be a trio of Chris' unnamed sisters, who will interview some of the chixx and decide who gets a Very Special Date with the Farmer.  Hey, beats drinking warm goat milk like last week, I guess.

A bunch of the Ladies are off with C in 2 cars with C driving one and HOLY CRAP THEY'RE LETTING MEGAN THE SIMPLE DRIVE THE OTHER ONE.  I didn't know you could still get that kind of insurance, ABC!  One of the Ashleys comments "For me, if a guy is driving, it's one of the sexiest things he can do."  Whoa girl, your commute must be SEXCITING.  Wait til you see me parallel park!  Holy shit, put your clothes back on!  Anyway, this odd procession makes its way to some sad-looking 34% full reservoir somewhere in Southern Cali and it's not long before bikini parts are flying.  The Widow Kelsey is NOT AT ALL HAPPY about this date and the "muddy water hellhole" that compares unfavorably to the lakes of the Great State of Michigan!  We're in a drought, bitch!  Not our fault!

Back at the house, the Farmer Sisters have concluded their interviews - not before making Carly cry because she's never been loved, Y I K E S - and JADE has been named the new Regional Manager!  I mean, she gets to go on the date or whatever.

Let's head back to Lake Hellhole where there's going to be some camping!  Oh shit, Krazee Ashley is ready to throw down.  What she's "most scared of" is having no music so she starts chanting nonsensical syllables and doing her epileptic seizure dance.  Kraz gets a chance to sit down with C and maybe show him the other night was an aberration and she can be totally normal.

Sad trombone.  As C struggles with this admittedly layered and complex question, Kraz is onto new topics!  "Look at the moon.  It's so weird to me.  And we're sitting here.  Like that's weird to me."  It's pretty clear now that Kraz is either (1) putting on an act trying to get national attention (2) trying a series of powerful hallucinogens for the first time on network TV or (3) actually in a dissociative state and no one is helping her.  Anyway, she closes strong with "I love everything about you" and

Kaitlyn kind of nails it when she says "I don't think Ashley is here for the right reasons because I don't even know if she knows where here is."

VIRGIN TIME!!!!  She decides she's going to spill the beans to C and sneaks into his tent in the middle of the night and thank God they aren't filming in Texas or she would be all kinds of shot.  She jabbers some nonsense about not being experienced and it's like if you're gay and just tell your parents you like musical theater and think "That should about do it!"

I'm gonna really condense the Big Date with Jade because it's essentially just a half hour commercial for some new live-action Cinderella movie like GOD I am so sick of seeing stories about privileged white people overcoming their struggles.  This date mostly consists of them eating dinner alone in a huge room and then dancing alone in another huge room while a movie plays in the background.  It's like an agoraphobic's dream date,  Anyway, they both are essentially personalityless so I assume they will end up together.

Group date starts with a bunch of chicks in wedding dresses getting on a plane.  Hey, Mormons in the Sky!  Next month on FXX.  Anyway, they land at SFO and they're going to run some mud obstacle course to raise awareness for MS or something.  Obvs Jillian is SUPER INTO THIS and everyone else basically quits and Jillian beats that course like a bitch who snitched on her to the bulls.  She is awarded a night dinner which she will CRUSH TO DEATH.

This dinner takes place high atop the Fairmont here in lovely SF.  Jillian has figured out how to put on a dress.  C is babbling non sequitirs.  "Family is really important to me, where do you see yourself in five years?"  He's just reading random First Date Question Cards together. Jillian unleashes a word firehose on hapless C and literally asks him if he'd rather fuck a homeless girl or go celibate for 5 years.  DON'T ANSWER THAT.  Understandably alarmed, he boots her off the show and somehow she doesn't beat the shit out of him.  We'll miss you and your guns, J.

Cocktail Party!  It's Round 2 of Trying to Tell Him I'm a Virgin.  She gets it out and SURPRISE! He "totally respects that" which is what you say anytime you find out an adult woman is a virgin or is paralyzed and can paint with her toes or whatever.  Oh shit, Becca's a virgin too!  Everyone's a virgin now!  Baby Jesuses all around!

Here's who's staying: Baby Voice, iCarly, Megan the Simple, Still Not Sure Who Samantha Is But She Keeps Hanging Around, Virgins I & II, and SparklyBritt.  Finally, Krazee Ashley can get some help.  Also out the door are Chick With Dark Hair I've Never Seen Before and Juelia the Pool Party Ruiner.  Better days, ladies.

UPDATE!!!!!! THE PLOT THICKENS.  According to I'm sure reputable source "The Stir," Krazee Ashley isn't a hairstylist from Brooklyn AT ALL.  No, she's just a boring office drone from Atlanta.  Good luck finding a hairstylist in Brooklyn with no visible tattoos, just like I said.  Her Instagram feed looks like Normal Off the Shelf White Girl America.  So it was an act.  Lame.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

This video of a chick taking stuff out of a plastic backback is my daughter's "The Wire"

I'm not sure exactly how she stumbled upon it - it was most likely on one of those YouTube sidebars of "other videos you might like" while she was watching one of her OG Elmo or nursery rhymes videos - but somehow our 22-month-old daughter discovered the below video and it has now become her own personal "Spitter" episode of Seinfeld.  She will watch it again and again.

WARNING: Do not watch it unless you're interested in a pair of hands with complicated nails remove a series of smaller toys from a plastic backpack and then, in turn, open those smaller toys.

Not exactly the last season of Breaking Bad, is it?  I'm not really sure what is so attractive about this to our kid.  I have theorized that there is some kind of child-level ASMR thing going on, and I will admit the sound of the toys going back into the backpack makes a satisfying "klunk" that my daughter and I both find soothing.  (Well, I imagine she does.  She likes to watch the shit out of it but she's never said "Dada, I find this soothing.")  The parents in the article linked below also share my ASMR theory, to my somewhat surprise.

THE PLOT THICKENS.  Turns out the fancy-nailed Dora backpack opener is THE HIGHEST PAID YOUTUBE EARNER IN THE WORLD.


That's right.  This anonymous chick (and if you read the linked article, she seems pretty vigilant about being anonymous) made FIVE MILLION DOLLARS LAST YEAR opening and assembling Disney toys on camera.  She came in ahead of #2, TAYLOR FUCKING SWIFT.

This fact is so mindblowing to me partly because until some time last year I had no idea there was such a thing as "unboxing" videos and until a few days ago I really didn't know you could make five million dollars a year making them.

(SIDE NOTE: #4 on the YouTube Walk of Fame is Little Baby Bum, which produces a seemingly endless series of animated videos that I assume if you have a kid you're as familiar with as I am.  They are as addictive for toddlers as oxy is for Kentuckians.  I could - and perhaps will - write a whole other thing about the LBB world and its characters.)

Anyway, I'm sure the Dora backpack video will blow over at some point just like other once-favorite videos have been discarded.  It's just one of those Inexplicable Things about kids.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Bachelor: Jillian runs this yard, bitch

This week's gimmick is going to be repeated appearances by Jimmy Kimmel, to what end I cannot imagine other than to use Kimmel's supposed cachet to prop up the bloated Bachelor corpse but what really happens is that Jimmy's antics highlight the moss-covered-rock-like personality of the Farmer.  Anyway, we kick off with Kimmel delivering a monologue that's even less funny than a normal monologue would be and the introduction of a swear jar for the word "amazing" which is just as dumb and pointless a concept as it sounds.  I would support the idea of a jar you have to put a dollar into every time one of the girls stares into the void and prays for a merciful and painless end but I'm not sure there's a jar big enough.

Solo date with Kaitlyn with a K.  For some reason they're going to Costco.  This is supposed to be funny I think.  Oh, I get it, it's what Real Married Couples do so that's the point.  I guess Watching 3 Hours of Top Chef wouldn't make for good TV but that's what Real Married Couples do.  Anyway, watching people shop at Costco is just as boring and dumb as actually going to Costco.

The idea here is that they'll then go back to the Pad and cook dinner for Jimmy, who shows up with a gift and some bad jokes.  Having Jimmy there just highlights how fake and staged the whole show is (which more on that later).  It's pointless to write anything else about this.  It's stupid and nobody should watch this show anyway.

We are then transported to a farmlike setting for some kind of Group Date Farm Obstacle Course that includes collecting eggs and milking goats and catching pigs and collecting farm subsidies for land you didn't even farm and growing bioengineered nightmare crops that will eventually turn all of us into mutantlike puddles of flesh.  But hey, cute goats!  The Shoveling Manure stage, a wry commentary on the show as a whole, is dominated by Jillian the Barbarian, who has a black boxed ass again and apparently dresses for every event like she's posing for Hustler.

Another night, another rooftop pool.  Carly, who "won" the Farmalympics, gets her close-up and WHOA GIRL WHAT THE FUCK WITH THOSE EYEBROWS.

Need to talk to your Eyebrow Artiste, because she accidentally gave you the South American Dictator or the Angry Clown instead of the Girl Next Door.  Anyway, she correctly tells him "You are a man and I'm a woman" and mashes her face into him.  Meanwhile, Jillian, Inmate #24557, has made Britt her bitch.

Date with Baby Voice.  She likes to meet people in airports and then become Facebook friends with them.  This is stalking behavior!  "So nice to meet you at DFW! Hope your children BRAD and KELLY enjoy ROOSEVELT MIDDLE SCHOOL!"

ABC has gone all out on this one and staged an entire wedding they can pretend to crash.  Farmer is worried they "may end up in jail" but they're white so I doubt it. They magically change into formalwear and ABC plays this whole thing like it's hostage negotiations tense but it's fake as shit.  Whatever.

OH GOOD Jimmy Kimmel is back for the Cocktail Party. Except - WHAT?!? - no Cocktail Party!?  It's a pool party instead? NO FUCKING WAY!!!!!  Like we give a shit.  Megan the Simple, however, reacts like she's been told there's no school today or she's getting free Goldfish crackers.

You know what goes good with a pool party?  Plastic drinkware?  Yes, but also a gut-wrenching tale of your spouse's suicide, or at least that's what Juelia or however you spell it seems to think.  It's really horrible and Farmer is like "Can I get a tissue?" when his face says "Can I get a body double?"  Later, Boss Bitch of the Yard Jillian has commandeered the hot tub when some other chicks interrupt.  OTHER CHICKS WHO ARE GETTING SHANKED TONIGHT I MEAN.

OK, let's wrap this up.  Who's in?  Jade, Samantha, Juelia, Kids Having Kids, The Widow Kelsey, Britt, Megan the Simple, Carly, Krazee Ashley (MISS YOU BOO, HOPING TO SEE MORE NEXT WEEK), Again, Who The  Fuck Is Nikki, Boss Bitch Jillian, and the Virgin.

We must bid farewell to Possibly Black Amber, Some Blonde Chick I Didn't Recognize, and Some Other Chick I Didn't Recognize.  Next week it appears we're off to SF so hopefully it's just two hours of standing in line at Tartine.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Jim Harbaugh's Twitters are the ravings of a lunatic

Former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh just took to Twitter and MAN IS HE EXCITED.
Emerson! Loved to use! Exclamation points! Didn't he!

His whole Twitter stream is like this.  It's like somebody gave molly to a Labrador.

That's a lot of Enthusiasm! But I wonder what kind of Enthusiasm is Unknown to Mankind. ALIEN ENTHUSIASM. Jim Harbaugh is an alien.

Some of the tweets read like someone is holding a gun to his head and forcing him to type them:
Pope Francis is a Michigan fan? Oh shit, wait til Notre Dame finds out about this. They'll dump Catholicism and become a Greek Orthodox school. Notros Damos.

Also, Jim Harbaugh's dad looks EXACTLY like Jim Harbaugh with old man makeup on:

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Best Picture Nominations: My Analysis

“American Sniper”

Didn't see it.  Probably will never see it.  I don't like movies that glorify war unless it's World War II and the movie is "Patton," which is one of the most kick-ass movies of all time.  I mean, I don't know if this movie glorifies war but probably.


Didn't see it.  Is this the one with Michael Keaton?  He hasn't made a good movie since Beetlejuice, tbh.


Didn't see it.  This is the one where Richard Linklater kept showing up at this kid's house every couple of years with "Hey, wanna do some more filming?"  SO.  FUCKING.  SKETCHY.  If you were that kid's mom, wouldn't you be like "Umm, sorry Mr. Linklater, he's busy this week."  Also starring Ethan Hawke and his One Facial Expression.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel”

DID SEE IT.  A couple of nights ago on HBO.  Pretty good!  Not as good as "Rushmore" or "The Royal Tenenbaums."  Anyway I'm sure it's brilliant and everything.  It's not very funny, though.

“The Imitation Game”

Didn't see it.  It's the one with the British guy right?


Didn't see it.

“The Theory of Everything”

Wait, this is a different movie from "The Imitation Game"?


This would be a good title for a Fast & Furious movie.  Like "Fast & Furious 8: Whiplash!"  But I gather it's not that.  It's about jazz and has the psychologist from Law & Order.  NEXT.

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: Steve Carell nose movie, Did Scorsese make a movie this year?, That movie based on the book everybody liked, That movie where a white guy learned something important about himself, The Hungry Games.