Friday, October 31, 2008
Here's the (semi-long, two-minute) trailer:
The film built with a relentless, terrifying edge that just got scarier and scarier. Freaked me the fuck out. I've never been a big horror movie fan, and sometimes I think it's because I saw this film at a young age and it fucked me up so much I became allergic to horror films in general.
Happy Halloween, everybody! Halloween on a Friday in San Francisco. Yeah, that shouldn't be a problem at all. We're going to Vintage Microwave World HQ in the East Bay for dinner, but that BART ride back to SF around 11 pm should be full of ghouls. Or fools, anyway.
Be safe, Don't dress up as Sarah Palin. Somebody already had that idea.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
- No on H flyer. Gavin and the Bay Area Reporter want us to vote no on H.
- San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee endorsement flyer. They are for yes on H. Isn't Gavin a Democrat? Somebody should tell him about this.
- A Sandoval for judge flyer. He has "A World Class Education - Columbia Law."
- A Bath & Body Works circular. $10 off my purchase of $30 or more!
- A "Voter Information Guide for Democrats," prepared by an outfit suspiciously named "Voter Information Guide, not an official political party organization."
- A flyer from the United Educators of San Francisco urging us to vote no on Propositions 4 and 8 and to vote for Yee, Norton, Fewer and Mak. They are apparently running for school board. Fuck, I have to figure out school board elections too?!? First I've heard of that.
- A flyer from the Sierra Club. They're in favor of high-speed rail to LA. BIG SHOCK, SIERRA CLUB. They're also against Prop. 4, requiring parental consent for tennagers to get abortions. Not sure what this has to do with the environment. They're less likely to go hiking if they have kids, maybe?
- Emily Murase for school board flyer. Again with the school board. She has 2 kids in the Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program at Rosa Parks Elementary School. That's pretty multicultural.
- A flyer from the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club. They want me to vote no on Prop. 8, duh. They do not endorse Emily Murase for school board.
- A brochure from Comcast urging me to watch more and different TV. As far as I can tell, Comcast is not endorsing anyone for school board. Sheryl Crow is on the cover. I wish she would run for something so I could vote against her.
- A flyer from the "They Are At It Again Committee" warning me that Chris Daly's Proposition B will force budget cuts and increase taxes. I'm against that, I think. I wonder where the "They Are At It Again Committee" meets. I can just see the bartender rolling her eyes and going "Oh God, the They Are At It Again Committee is at it again."
Nine pieces of election -related mail. I still have no clue what to do about Prop. H. I'm going to blow off most of the SF propositions because I can't figure them out and, frankly, I thought the whole idea behind representative democracy was that we elected people to go take care of this shit for us.
Come on, November 5.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, both still on track for profitable years, have set aside about $13 billion for bonuses after three quarters, down 28 percent from a year ago. Even some employees at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which declared the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history last month, will get the same bonus they received a year ago.
Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are each receiving $10 billion from the government. In other words, they're taking our tax dollars and spending it on bonuses for their employees. And John McCain and Sarah Palin have the unmitigated gall to accuse Obama of wanting to redistribute the wealth. What you're seeing here is the real redistribution of wealth that's been going on for the last 8 years, from average people to the ultra-rich. It's obscene.
In a related story, I can't fucking wait for this election to be over. Just like McSweeneys, I'm looking forward to November 5 like an alcoholic looks forward to January.
So I'm going to have to skip over such pulse-pounders as Proposition G, "Allowing Retirement System Credit for Unpaid Parental Leave," and just hit some of the highlights.
Proposition H has been getting a lot of attention and lots of strong feelings, especially around the blogosphere, which is where many San Franciscans of a certain age spend a lot of their time. Anyway, as best I can tell, this prop mandates that the city switch over to 100 percent sustainable electricity by 2040 and authorizes the city to buy up PG&E facilities if necessary. Obviously, PG&E is against it. Who else is against it? Gavin, DiFi, and the Chron. Who's for it? Chris Daly, the Grey Panthers, and award-winning filmmaker Kevin Epps. I have no fucking idea.
Proposition K basically tells the cops to stop enforcing laws against prostitution. I think this is one of those ideas with great intentions (i.e., to make it easier for sex workers to report abuse and human trafficking) that is not going to work out so well in the real world. What I think will happen is that those areas with a lot of prostitution activity now (I'm looking at you, Tenderloin) will see even more, and bolder. I would imagine that hookers in Oakland and San Leandro will start coming to the city instead. Not so great is you happen to live at Polk & Larkin.
Proposition R proposes renaming the city's wastewater treament plant the "George W. Bush Sewage Plant." Look, I'm no fan of, or apologist for, George W. Bush. I think he's run one of the most venal, cynical, divisive, damaging administrations in this nation's history. But this is just juvenile. It's silly, third-grade shit. I'd prefer just to let the man sink into the shadows of history rather than be reminded of him by having his name affixed to any structure in San Francisco. Stupid.
You're going to have to do the reading on Prop. P, "Changing the Composition of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority Board," and Prop. I, "Creating the Office of an Independent Rate Payer Advocate," on your own.
- In other news, huge Prediction Fail from my picks last week. Vanderbilt lost to Duke and their season is essentially over. I'm not sure they'll win another game. And of course, Florida beat the fuck out of Kentucky and could have covered a 56-point spread, nevermind a 26-point spread. Hopefully I'm not so off on presidential prediction.
[EXPLANATORY NOTE:] Youngsters, Sears used to send out a big catalog with all their wares. It was hundreds and hundreds of pages. Like phone book size. Oh, whoops, that might not be a good comparison. Like if you stacked 10 copies of "Wired" all on top of each other.
What? Oh, right. "Sears" was a major American retailer of clothes and tools and refrigerators and auto parts and just about everything. I have no idea if they still exist.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
"We are in the midst of what in San Francisco Chronicle terms could be a moderate takeover of San Francisco. Bull-! It is a conservative takeover of San Francisco," Peskin said at a recent meeting of the Harvey Milk Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Democratic Club - in remarks captured by Luke Thomas for all to see on FogCityJournal.com.
"And I will say it by name," Peskin went on. "Does anyone know that (Supervisor) Michela Alioto-Pier is a cousin of Gavin Newsom?" (Actually, her cousin is married to his sister.)
"They are going to extend that empire by electing her brother (Joe Alioto Jr., running for supervisor from District 3) so that the chief executive and two members of the (board) will be from the same family," Peskin said.
"They are moderates? My ass! They are right-wing reactionaries," Peskin said of the green-obsessed, pro-same-sex-marriage mayor and his allies.
Oh, this is fantastic. Gavin Newsom, a "right-wing reactionary"? Say what you will about the guy, but if he's right-wing, then I'm Mussolini.
Wait, it gets better.
Overcome by the enormity of the threat, Peskin waxed nostalgic.
"In the old days, we had Willie Brown," he said. "Now we have a slicker, kinder, gentler, less effective but just as evil son of a bitch known as Gavin Newsom."
Prompting this retort from mayoral spokesman Nathan Ballard: "Did Peskin call the mayor 'an evil son of a bitch' - or was that just the booze talking?"
"Was that just the booze talking?" God, I love this town.
Friday, October 24, 2008
At around 2:00, I saw a picture of the woman, with her self-inflicted injury, for the first time.
At 2:45 p.m., I received an email from a trusted associate with the following attachment:
Congratulations, Ashley Todd! You now belong to the Internets.
Gotta go with the Rays. Stumbled a little in game one, but looked sharp last night (at least the part I saw, through 7 innings). Does Philly have enough pitching?
VANDERBILT -10 1/2 over DUKE
Vandy's going to win, just not by 11. It seems like Vandy loses every time they're favored. I don't think they're going to lose this time, but asking Vandy to cover a 10 1/2-point spread is like asking Lohan not to snort the last line.
FLORIDA -26 over KENTUCKY
Are you fucking kidding me? 26? I know Florida's good and everything, but Kentucky's 5-2. Of course, 3 of those were Norfolk State, MTSU, and Western Kentucky, but still. I think Florida wins and doesn't cover.
BARACK OBAMA 1-10 over John McCain
I'm going to hate myself for taking Obama, especially with those odds, because if there's one thing a Democrat can do, it's blow a sure thing. But right now, my gut is telling me he's going to win. Not by a lot, like some of you knuckleheads think, but a win.
SOMEONE THROWS UP IN A PORTA-POTTIE AT ZEITGEIST - 6 1/2 over no one throws up in a Porta-Pottie at Zeitgeist
Those things will have been cooking in the sun all day. Throw in above-average 83 degree high for today, the fact that Zeit will undoubtedly be packed to the gills, and some doofus who starts drinking at 4:30 and then does a warm shot of Jameson, and I think it's a done deal.
PINOT GRIGIO +2 over PINOT NOIR
Like I said, it's going to be 83 degrees today. White FTW.
Happy Friday, everyone! Sorry I've been a bit lax with the updates, but swear to God, nothing's been going on. I'll do better, I swear.
Monday, October 20, 2008
A couple of observations:
1. There was this couple there at the wedding wearing jeans and fleece pullovers. Really? Is this what we've come to? It's acceptable to just wake up and put on whatever happens to be on the floor and then go "Oh, hey, let's go to that wedding?" Jesus Christ, people, it's a fucking wedding, not a cookout. At least put on a shirt with a fucking collar.
2. Writing your own vows is nice and everything, but there's something to be said for the traditional "Do you take this woman" stuff. It's classic and resonant.
- I gave a $1.00 to a guy busking in downtown Portland because he was playing "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" by Neutral Milk Hotel. How cool is that?
- Super Hot Irish Girlfriend and I got to Portland Saturday night. We immediately got to drinkin'. After a couple of quick ones at the hotel bar, we went to Deschutes Brewery's pub in the Pearl District. Tried a couple of the seasonal ales there, then went to dinner at Henry's Tavern. It was alright. By this point, I'm not sure how much it mattered, because after a few beers with 6 to 7 percent alcohol, food is really kind of an afterthought.
- Sunday, SHIG had a 5-star hangover. But we had to go buy a wedding present, so she pulled herself together and soldiered through Macy's. There is nothing as much fun as shopping the housewares section of Macy's with a girl who's moaning "I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die." I gotta hand it to her, though - she toughed it out.
- She looked great at the wedding, too.
Friday, October 17, 2008
What started out as a good idea has now become an out-of-control behemoth that makes voting a royal pain in the ass and enables any nutcase with enough money to pay to gather signatures to put whatever kind of cockamamie batshit insane crap on the ballot he or she wants.
Let's take a look at some of the 12 different props for this election. Brief descriptions stolen shamelessly from the Chron.
Prop 1A - Invests $9.95 billion in a zero-emissions, high-speed train network that would make it possible to get from downtown San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2 1/2 hours.
Fuck yeah! Who doesn't want to get to LA in 2 1/2 hours? Plus, fast trains are way cool.
Prop 2 - Establishes standards for the confinement of farm animals, focused on a ban on putting egg-laying hens in cramped cages.
Animals are cute. Yes.
Prop 3 - Provides $980 million in general-obligation bonds to upgrade children's hospitals.
More bonds? Aren't we like billions of dollars short on the budget every year? Sorry, kids. Wear a helmet, don't eat Pizza Rolls every day after school, and don't antagonize mean kids and you'll be fine.
Prop 4 - Requires parental notification at least 48 hours before a minor can obtain an abortion.
Are you fucking kidding me? When I was a kid, I wouldn't tell my Dad if I went to an R-rated movie. You're gonna force girls to get their parents' permission to have a fucking abortion? It's hard enough in the first place. Fuck no.
Prop 5 - Expands drug treatment programs for criminal offenders.
Yes. Duh. If I have to explain why, you're too dumb to vote anyway.
Prop 6 - Increases sentences on gang, drug and gun crimes - and overall commits the state to nearly $1 billion in annual spending.
Oh great! More spending! Christ, can't we just stop spending fucking money for a minute? No. P.S. I know this position might be incompatible with expanding drug treatment immediately above, but fuck it.
Prop 7 - Calls for the state to obtain half its energy from renewable sources by 2025.
I love this one because everyone's against it. Like everyone. If the Sierra Club AND the California Chamber of Commerce are both against it, it must really suck. So no.
Prop 8 - Deprives same-sex couples of the right to marry.
Hmmm, I feel like I've heard something about this somewhere. I have yet to hear anyone make a cogent argument about why gays shouldn't be allowed to marry other than "that's the way it's always been." So the fuck what? Letting a couple of people who love each other get married doesn't affect you at all, so why do you give a fuck?
Christ, there are still more? I'll get to those later.
Happy Friday, everyone! I'm off to Portland tomorrow. Will report back next week on rain, availability of crank, ghost of Elliott Smith, etc.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I was talking with The Sister yesterday over email about my philosophy of work. I think we’re brought up in this country to believe that your job is your life, and you should love going to work and get personal satisfaction out of your work and generally just love your job.
Now, if that’s you, fantastic. Good for you. But I also think it’s this kind of thinking that leads to people being workaholics and checking in with their office every day while they’re on vacation and missing their kids’ soccer games so they can stay late at work. And that kinda sucks.
I have a job that I like just fine and I’m good at. I wouldn’t say that I love coming to work, and I don’t feel like my job comes anywhere close to defining my life. I have tons of interests outside of work that my job leaves me the freedom to pursue. I feel kind of lucky that way. I know I’m never going to get rich (from working, anyway), and that’s fine with me. There’s plenty more to life than being rich.
Here’s one thing I wrote to The Sister yesterday:
> We've all been sold a bill of goods by these people who say "do
> what you love, and the money will follow." Total bullshit. Do
> what you love and you'll be on the streets in a couple of weeks,
> unless "what you love" is data entry or waitressing. Just pick the
> least- offensive career you can find, do as good a job at it as you
> can, and try to have some fun along the way.
Re-reading that now, it seems a little harsh, but I guess I basically agree with the main sentiment. Try and find the best job you can, don’t let it take over to the exclusion of other, more important things in life, and try to enjoy it the best you can.
Of course, since Depression II is starting, pretty soon we’ll all have jobs like Rag & Bone Man or Associate Stander in Soup Line.
So am I way off here? Do you have to LOVE YOUR JOB to have a good life?
Monday, October 13, 2008
Litquake closed Saturday night with Litcrawl, which is more or less a series of readings in different bars in the Mission. I went to Elixir on Guerrero at 6:00 to hear our friend Jason and some others. It was fucking packed, but you know what was nice? The crowd was totally quiet during the readings and you could hear every word.
So after that we walked down to Amnesia on Valencia for a reading called "Writers Take the Mic: Authors Explore Music and the Written Word." Basically, it was a few musicians reading some of their stuff and a few music writers doing the same. It was all pretty good, but Blag Dahlia of The Dwarves was a standout, reading some memoirish-type material about his youth and the early days of the band that would go on to become the Dwarves.
Amnesia was fucking packed, too. In fact, the whole Mission seemed crowded. On the one hand, I don't really like crowds so much, but on the other hand, you've gotta love seeing tons of people come out for a literary reading series.
OK, back to my holiday. Apparently this guy on Maury is NOT THE FATHER. He seems pleased.
One small note about the Vandy game - I get that Bobby Johnson's a great coach and everything, but why stick with Chris Nickson when he's obviously struggling and Adams did such a good job the week before? Doesn't make sense.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Chris Nickson is starting? WTFF?
UPDATE: Now watching streaming VIDEO on ESPN 360. God, I love the fucking Internet. Now, if Vandy could just get a first down, we'd be all set.
- "Recent rallies starring McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, have aired openly hostile and anti-Obama rhetoric - even cries of 'terrorist,' 'liar,' 'off with his head' and 'kill them,' which have gone unchallenged from the stage." Klassy.
- The Sister, as it turns out, is a surprisingly good blackjack player, even if she has no idea what doubling down or splitting is. She's just got good instincts, I guess. She will learn, in time.
- Dodgers down 2 games to none? Yes, please!
Friday, October 10, 2008
Paste eaters, nitwits, tiger petters, people who lose arguments to babies.
2. Mad Men
Season 2 is even better. Amazing, but true.
3. I'm going to Portland next weekend
For a wedding. If not for the skinheads, the crank, and the soul-crushing constant rain, Portland would be a pretty great place to live.
4. Hey, at least I'm not retiring for another 25 years.
Maybe by then my IRA will be back to where it was this time last year.
5. Vanderbilt football
When are you going to get sick of me talking about this? If they win tomorrow, prepare to become very, very sick indeed.
Happy Friday, everyone! Whatever you do, don't forget the Lit Crawl tomorrow. Basically, everywhere you go in the Mission there'll be writers drinking and reading their stuff. Writers drinking! What a shock!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
It was Super Hot Irish Girlfriend's first Tamale Lady tamale! Can you believe that? She loved it, natch. Incidentally, pay no attention to the haterz on Yelp who diss her tamales. Look, the lady cooks them in her kitchen and brings them to you at Zeitgeist. They have rice and pork or whatever in them. They are delicious.
- Let us now praise the Vanderbilt Commodores, who are 5-0, ranked 13th in the country, and are having their best start since 1943. 1943!!! Hard to find anyone who even remembers them playing at the foot-ball back then. It's hard to explain the significance of this to someone who didn't grow up with this team like I did, but let me try. It's like France invading Germany, and winning. Anyway, barring some exceptional collapse, this is the year they finally make it back to a bowl game. That being said, if anyone's capable of an exceptional collapse, it's Vandy.
- I'm just going to come out and say it. That debate last night was bor-ing. BTW, Paddy Power now has Obama at 2-11 to win and McCain at 7-2. That's a better indicator than most polls you can look at.
- I'm kinda bummed I missed the District 9 Supervisor debate, which sounded infinitely more interesting and fun. For a truly laugh-out-loud rundown of the proceedings, please refer to Will Harper's piece in SF Weekly. Hilarious.
Monday, October 6, 2008
As mentioned in the bf's post, due to his l33t 5killz we were awarded two VIP tix to Litquake and the reception afterwards. He ran down the actual event pretty accurately, so on to the party!! Being an unabashed semi-celebrity whore, I was tres excited for the chance to mingle with the literati, and especially Amber Tamblyn, as she seems like the kind of girl who could get me in touch with John Cusack, thereby kicking off our love story for the ages.
Now, I don't know whether it was a long week at work, the torturous trip home that night (including Muni breakdowns and me getting on a BART train to Oakland instead of 24th Street for some reason), the rain, the dissatisfaction with my outfit, or a combination of all of the above, but by the time we reached the Herbst theatre I was in no mood to be sociable.
As a result, I very dispassionately observed everything from a corner of the balcony thinking the following random stream-of-consciousness thoughts:
"Oh, look! There's Adam Savage and his lovely wife Julia; fellow 30 Rock fans."
"Wow! Amber Tamblyn is surprisingly normal-person sized. I mean, maybe we really could share some traveling pants. That jacket looks great on her. Her arms look good and toned. I should work out more."
"Is that ranch dressing in a little cup on the food table? Ew. Oh, no, what's that, server- lady? It's apparently a milkshake?"
"My milkshake brings all the bo.....DAMN"
"Why does that photographer keep snapping everyone but us? There's only about 12 people out here so far and she has 75 shots of those girls already."
"Oh, thanks photog. I don't need your pity pics because you overheard us discussing*BIG GRIN**CLICK*you snub us."
"I'm not even feeling drunk. I should have some more free wine. Nope! Still nothing"
"Boy, Jonathan Ames appears very wasted. He should sit down somewhere"
"Oh, there's Cintra Wilson standing right next to me. I should tell her good job. Ooh, a cheese plate! Let's just do this instead"
"Who's Amber Tamblyn on the phone to? Hmm. I thought she'd have an iPhone. Curious. Perhaps it's her bf David Cross? Tell him I said hey, girl!"
"Why is Amber Tamblyn staring at my bf? Oh no, wait. She's actually staring at my purse. I know! It's cute, right?!"
"That trip to Ireland where I got my purse was fun"
"Why are we talking to Cintra Wilson's man-friend about cheese?"
"You know, Cintra Wilson's man-friend really looks like Leonard Maltin"
"Beth Lisick's super nice. I should go to Porchlight some time. Maybe I can tell a story about how I blew my chance to charm Amber Tamblyn"
"Yikes, Jonathan Ames is looking really green right now. We should leave before he barfs"
And so we did.
But Amber, if you're out there, I share your dislike of the Vagina Monologues and Sarah Palin and if that's not the basis for a lasting friendship, what is? Call me!
Saturday, October 4, 2008
The event was part of the Porchlight storytelling series and was called "Suckered: Writers Confess a Profound Lack of Judgment." The idea is that these (mostly pretty well-known) writers would get 10 minutes to tell a story on that theme.
Neal Pollack was first, and talked about his experience with a Spanish language school in Guatemala. He didn't time it out so well and so didn't really get to the good part - at least I think - before his time ran out.
Cintra Wilson told a story about how when she was young she wrote porn scripts for 976 numbers and got kicked out of her apartment when one of her roommates' boyfriends ran up a huge bill calling her number. Very funny.
April Sinclair was next. I think she was prettty much the hit of the whole thing with her hilarious story about seeing Whoopi Goldberg at a small place in SF when she was first starting out and declining Whoopi's offer to go out for drinks after the show because her roommate - "a snippy gay guy, I don't mean anything by that, I'm just keepin' it real" - had to get back to Oakland. "Nobody has to get back to Oakland." She killed.
Robert Mailer Anderson closed out the first half. I realize that he's a major contributor to Litquake and he can take as much time as he wants, but his story about taking some juvenile delinquents from the group home his dad managed to the movies really did seem to drag on a bit.
After a break, political comedian Will Durst opened the second half with a short story about seeing some of Clinton's impeachment trial in the Senate chamber and getting in trouble for making noise.
Adam Savage, the co-host of Mythbusters, talked about going, at a then-girlfriend's behest, to some est-type self-improvement courses.
Actress and writer Amber Tamblyn was next. She recounted going to the Vagina Monologues national convention thing in New Orleans and being sorta horrified by the whole thing. She was very engaging and funny.
The last storyteller was Jonathan Ames, who I gather is sort of legendary in storytelling circles and appears on Letterman a lot and whatever. By his own admission, he was pretty drunk. He told a kind of excruciatingly awkward story about his sexual development that included a near-molestation by a camp counselor and the extraordinarily late onset of puberty. The crowd seemed to love him, and if he had kept it to about 10 minutes I would have been right there.
So then we go to the afterparty upstairs at the theater since we have VIP tickets and it's an open bar and all the authors are there and everything. We talked to Adam Savage, who's actually a friend of a friend, for a while, then sort of mingled and circulated. I tried mostly to stay within Amber Tamblyn's field of vision. Kidding. Although we were about 10 feet apart, she somehow failed to notice me, though.
Amber Tamblyn - apparently not in the market for me
So the whole thing was pretty much a fucking blast. Make sure and check out some of the other Litquake events this week. Next Saturday is the semi-legendary Litquake pub crawl in the Mission. Should be fun.
Friday, October 3, 2008
American writers aren't good enough to win the Nobel prize for literature? Fuck you.
Dodgers go up 2-0 on Cubbies? Fuck you, Dodgers.
Rabid bats on the loose in SF? Fuck you, bats.
There. That feels better.
Happy Friday, everyone! What we got this weekend? Well, of course, aside from the most important sporting event in the history of the world or maybe the known universe, there's also the kickoff of Litquake and we may try to make it to Debaser at the Knockout Saturday night. Whew. I'm tired already.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
The Mission was buzzing last night when I went out for a walk. It was oddly muggy out but still nice. The wind was just starting to pick up. For a variety of reasons, I was feeling a little out of sorts yesterday and thought a walk might help. Here are the things I saw.
The usual crowd outside Delfina, waiting for a table.
Kids skateboarding on Valencia. They passed me right as I passed Dosa. They had the windows open there and it smelled heavenly.
Thought about stopping at Aquarius but it's too frustrating to stop there when you don't have any money on you.
Girl sitting on a fire hydrant smoking, 24th and Valencia, waiting for the 48, it looked like.
Usual crowd of old guys in front of Muddy's.
Came home, opened an Asahi, felt better.