Tuesday, March 31, 2009
[*] I say "friend," in the sense that we know each other on sight, know each other's names, and he's the brother-in-law of a guy who used to be in a friend's band and who recorded my band's first demo. And he serves me drinks at Valley Tavern. So, yeah, I guess I can call him a friend.
So if you're reading my blog for the first time, welcome. Here are some of the topics you can expect to read about:
4. My Super Hot Irish Girlfriend
5. Escalator rage
6. Snack foods
[*] I haven't actually written anything about furries yet.
Don't worry. Not all the posts are as bad as this one.
Monday, March 30, 2009
- So on Saturday I was over at my friends' Stephen and Jessica's place (I'm not even gonna try and figure out how to punctuate that correctly or whatever) and, as it turns out, when Stephen was younger, like around 22, he was living in LA and he got approached and asked to be in a music video. It was for some French pop singer chick named Buzy. Anyway, he finally got his hands on the video and we saw it. In it, Stephen (who, at the time, sorta looked like Rob Lowe) walks down a Lonely Desert Road and stares meaningfully into middle distance. HOT!
I'm going to try to get them to put it on YouTube so we can all enjoy. Until Buzy's people come along and make them take it down. Buzy.
- I spent an hour on the phone with T-Mobile this morning and now my old cell number is FINALLY ported over to my new G1 phone, which is sweet and I'm in love with it and everything, but it's kind of weird because I usually don't get all fanboy about tech gadgets. Anyway, T-Mobile kept apologizing and whatever and at one point, the woman who was helping me this morning said, "Well, I'll tell you one thing - Cynthia will never forget me!!" I didn't ask who Cynthia was or why she'd never forget T-Mobile Lady but I gather there was some unpleasantness with my old carrier.
- The Amuse-bouche guy was manning his usual spot outside 24th St. BART this morning, but I didn't stop today so I don't know what he had. If he's there tomorrow, I'll totally stop.
- Opening Day Countdown: 8 days away.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Dad: "Well, all I know is you can't spend your way out of a recession."
Me: "Actually, Dad, I kind of think you can. How do you think we got out of the Great Depression?"
"World War II! By building a lot of planes and tanks!"
"Right, and who paid for those planes and tanks?"
"The taxpayers did!"
"The fuck they did!" Oh, wait, I didn't actually say that. I said, "Actually, Dad, we ran up huge deficits during World War II. Right after the war, the budget deficit was like 120% of GDP, much bigger than now."
And Dad goes, "Well, I WAS THERE." Like he was sitting in on Treasury Department policy meetings and not busy occupying Japan.
And I was all, "Well, THE SHRINERS KILLED KENNEDY," because now I was flustered and there was really nowhere to go with this.
Long pause. Then Dad: "It's raining here."
Happy Friday, everybody!
Apparently dogs are the new spinach. It's always something, isn't it? Let's be careful out there.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Today he had little mini apple-cinnamon muffins and small Dixie cups of chai. Both were delicious, and the chai accented the flavor of the apple in the muffin perfectly.
The guy, whose name I think is "Laurent" but it's hard to tell because he had a pretty strong French accent and I don't speak French, is really nice and not a professional chef, just a guy who'll sell you a breakfast treat for $1. I gave him $2 because that's how I roll.
Rock on, Amuse-Bouche guy. I shall be a repeat customer.
** UPDATE (3/27) - I have reason to believe that his name is "Murat," not "Laurent." Sorry, Murat, if that's the case.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I spent some time looking through the list and downloaded about 50 that sounded cool in one way or another. Of those 50, here are the ones I like so far. DISCLAIMER - I haven't listened to all 50 yet. I can't imagine how this guy listens to 1300. FURTHER DISCLAIMER - By the time you read this, the links may not work. SXSW disables them after a while. FINAL DISCLAIMER - The notes after the songs are my own, not Paul Ford's.
The Young Republic - Black Duck Blues - Churning, strangled, dark Britpop, sort of.
Viva Voce - Drown Them Out - Lovely, haunting.
Gomez - Airstream Driver - Yes, Gomez is still around. Still making good music, too.
Wallpaper - T REX - This is so unlike anything I would normally listen to, but that's the fun of 1300 free mp3s. You find stuff you wouldn't normally listen to. This is a stupid, fun, over-the-top club song.
Shout Out Out Out Out - Bad Choices - This time, I can't top Paul Ford's description: "Kraftwerk for Cutie." HA!
The Heavenly States - Lost in the Light - Local band. Sort of an MC5 or T.Rex thing happening here. I like it.
The Chesterfield Kings - Up And Down - Haven't these guys been around forever too? Anyway, it's an awesome ripoff of mid-60's Stones. Yes yes yes.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
The first one was on the house because my band was playing yesterday afternoon. I've never played in the afternoon before and it was actually really fun and great and very nice to be done with the whole thing at 7:30 p.m. instead of 12:30 a.m.
ANYWAY, we got a really good reaction. Two people independently said we sounded like Pavement, which is kind of like telling an art student he paints sort of like Picasso. And weird, too, because no one's ever said that before.
We had a good time and sounded good, I guess, and then watched the 2 other bands on the bill and even though it wasn't really the kind of stuff I'd gravitate to, it was fun and interesting and also EAR-SPLITTINGLY LOUD. And these bands were comprised of kids. Like super-young. Definitely the youngest bands we've ever played with or maybe even ever seen. But they were totally cool kids and into what we were doing and didn't call us "gramps" or anything which was nice.
So we left the fetuses around 7:30 and dropped off our gear at the rehearsal space and then I went by the house for about 13 seconds and then went to the Makeout Room to see a friend's band play. And then I was all "Oh, man, I suck," because they had only practiced together like 3 times and this was their first show (and maybe their only show) and they were fucking GREAT. Like, I'd-buy-this-if-it-were-recorded-in-any-form great.
Home around 11 p.m. Feel fine today! Hmmm, maybe I didn't drink enough.
Friday, March 20, 2009
I was just looking up Mission Hill Saloon, because it's the new place that took over the late great Sadie's Flying Elephant and I was curious. So on the Yelp page for the new place, here's the first picture you see:
So inviting! Can't wait to go there!
I can't find a picture of this anywhere online, so this might be blog post FAIL, but Cache Creek casino has these bus shelter ads with the caption "Play with the best" and the picture is this white guy and Asian guy at a poker table and the white guy is staring malevolently at the Asian guy. It's really weird. So the only two things that occur to me about this are (1) I guess the Asian guy is "the best" and the white guy is all "I'm gonna beat you, Asian guy," or (2) the white guy is shooting mental death rays into the Asian guy's skull. Either way, it's weird.
So I get on BART at 24th and get off at Civic Center and I'm walking towards the fare gate and reaching for my shirt pocket where I usually stick my ticket and OHFUCKINGNO it's not there. So I stand there with that bewildered look while all the commuters flow around me and I search every pocket and come up empty. I just lost my Fast Pass.
I explain my situation to the BART girl (who looks like she's about 14, BTW - did BART start hiring middle-schoolers?) and she tells me that usually it's $4.90 for a lost ticket but I must look extra-forlorn because she lets me out for free.
I get to to the office and am thinking about how I'm going to handle commuting for the rest of the month (srsly, I use my Fast Pass every day, bar none) and I'm taking off my coat and IT FLUTTERS TO THE GROUND LIKE A BLUE SNOWFLAKE. I had somehow wedged it between my coat and my shirt. THANK YOU JESUS FOR THE SAFE RETURN OF MY FAST PASS.
Happy Friday, everybody!
Super Hot Irish Girlfriend is detoxing. No, not rehab, but maybe worse: no dairy, gluten, caffeine, alcohol, or crack cocaine. You can read all about it (in short daily bursts) here.
I'm sure everyone's heard about the Girl Scout who tried selling cookies online and mean old Girl Scouts Inc. made her stop and blah blah blah it's a funny human interest story and everything but did you see that the girl's name is WILD FREEBORN? Who the fuck names their daughter "Wild"? That's the kind of name that you'd only hear preceded by "Now on the main stage in the Champagne Room, it's...."
P.S. I just realized that Fast Pass story may not be interesting to anybody but me. I guess that's why this is a blog and not CNN. Oh well.
P.P.S. Bonus points if you know where the title of this post comes from.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Believe me, the last thing I am is an apologist for a bunch of rich assholes who basically came up with new ways to fuck up our economy, but the bottom line here, at least as I understand it, is that these "retention bonuses," for good or ill, were promised to these employees early last year, before any of this shit blew up.
Now, I'm not happy about it, but fair is fair. If you were promised a million bucks to stay in your job until 12/31/08, and you held up your end of the deal, aren't you kind of owed that money?
Here's a good article explaining the whole thing.
The counter-argument, of course, is that without the taxpayer money, the company would have folded, and nobody would be getting any bonuses at all. That's just as valid a point. But the company's still around, for good or ill. I can't tell you how weird it feels to be arguing this side, but I'm just thinking out loud here.
2 more things. This whole business about taxing the bonuses at 90% just seems creepy and sort of Third World-y. Maybe it's constitutional and everything, but it just seems wrong.
And the other amusing thing is listening to the outrage of the right-wing radio hosts about anyone who dares to suggest that corporate executives make too much or that any millionaire should have any money taken away. And then these callers - who, I'm guessing, aren't millionaires at all but probably make about $40K a year - call in to agree with them!!!
To put it another way: Rush et al. have their (solidly middle-class, I'm thinking) listeners ANGRY about taking their tax dollars away from people who make more in a year than they'll make in a lifetime. What a country.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
"You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms," the pope told reporters aboard the Alitalia plane heading to Yaounde. "On the contrary, it increases the problem."Really? You're going to spread this shit around? Because I can't think of any possible way using a condom can increase the spread of AIDS. Why don't you tell that to women who are forced into sexual slavery? I'm sure they'd love to hear that, well, they're just going to have to live with getting AIDS because some German guy in a dress who's never had sex thinks that's the best thing for them.
Here's all I ask: Believe in God or aliens or space monkeys or anything you want, but when you've got a global audience, at least refrain from spreading misinformation that can kill people.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
A couple of years ago I did go to the big block party that O'Reilly's has every year in North Beach where they block off the streets and have bands and outdoor kegs and everything else. It was just as nightmarish as you might imagine. Later that night, we were sitting at an outdoor table down the street at Rogue and some drunk guy came down the street SCREAMING and then knocked over a newspaper box in some kind of alcoholic rage. Happy St. Patrick's Day!
P.S. I know I said not that long ago that I would never get a Twitter account. FAIL.
** UPDATE: This email from SHIG is illustrative of my point above. Note that when she says "here," she's talking about her office, which has a booze-soaked SPD party every year. The drinking habits of her office are a whole other post. ANYWAY:
I don't know why, but I'm extra on-edge today because we're having such a big SPD thing here. They were discussing the booze for the afternoon (keg, Irish car bombs and Irish coffee), so I just kinda blurted out in the lunchroom "Irish Car Bombs are bullshit and no Irish person would ever drink that. No bartender would ever make one. It's very offensive and I'd never walk into a bar here and order a 9/11". Stoney silence. So, yeah, I'm in buzzkill mood already.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Daytime Drinking Season traditionally begins April 1, but we kicked it off yesterday this year. We began with brunch at Foreign Cinema with Super Hot Irish Girlfriend, The Sister and The Sister's bf. It was crazy fucking busy, so even though we had 1 p.m. reservations, we got seated at 1:15 and didn't get our food until about 2:00. No matter, though, as any incipient feelings of hangry were staved off by a succession of Fellinis (the drink, not the director - some combination of champagne, Aperol, and juice (maybe grapefruit?)). The food was pretty good, nothing to write home about.
We then relocated, minus The Sister's bf, to Valley Tavern and sat outside in the back, where we were soon joined by Laur and Linds, Stoney, and Olu and EReed. Now, I'm not one to cast aspersions on anyone for being - oh, how to put this - loud as a fucking jet engine - but The Sister is not renowned for her soft-spokenness, and get her together with Laur and EReed and things quickly escalate from "conversational" to "front row of NKOTB concert." Add some cold pops into the mix and you see where I'm going with this. We were shushed by the bartender.
Before we could get thrown out of VT, we left voluntarily and relocated to our place for more beers and pizza and downloading MIA songs and that kind of thing. Things broke up relatively early, like 8:30 or so, so that was good.
So, you're asking yourself, why tired then? I'll tell you right now. We kind of screwed the dog this weekend and never got around to taking him for some long walks like we usually do on weekends and this is how dogs let you know they didn't get enough exercise this weekend: starting at around 4 a.m., the dog would jump on the bed, lie briefly between our heads, get under the covers, shimmy down to the end of the bed, pop out, wander around the house for a minute, and then repeat the process. Until SHIG got up and walked him at 6:45. Oh, and this was also punctuated by the cat jumping on the bed, lying down on my chest, realizing the dog was also on the bed, and quickly departing from the bed whilst unleashing a stream of hisses. Fuck. So I'm kind of tired, and this time it's not from drinking.
P.S. Saturday night Stoney and I stopped in at Contigo for a bite around 10 pm. That place was fucking packed at 10 pm, but that's not the point. Can't two guys go out for a couple of tapas and a nice bottle of Albariño without everyone thinking they're gay? Not according to everyone yesterday, no sir, not at all.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Let me begin with a prototypical old guy, you-kids-get-off-my-lawn complaint: the show is listed as "8 pm." The first band started at 9. Come on. I know there were only about 20 people there at 8:30, but tough shit. Starting an hour late sucks.
Oh, and who put out the call to Tall Guys United? Seriously, I'm used to being the only, or one of the few, tall guys in any social setting, but there were a bunch of us out last night. What's up with that? One of them was with a Very Short Girl, which you always like to see. It looks like a giraffe and its baby.
OK, on to the show. The badly-named We Is Shore Dedicated was up first. Not so much. They're obviously skilled musicians, and there were some good musical ideas up there, but it never gelled for me. The songs just didn't go anywhere, I guess. But I'm not really the post-modern art-rock type.
Better news ahead, though, because I thought Rafter totally fucking rocked. 2 guys, tons and tons of prerecorded backing tracks and loops, and shitloads of some kind of funk/rock/noise hybrid I'm not qualified to name. I think I described it as Helio Sequence times Bing Ji Ling. I'll stick with that. Although the first song sorta sounded like The The.
Viva Voce was headlining, but it was already almost 11 because, duh, the show started at 9, so I had to go home because I had to be here at my workstation bright and early. Seriously, I never get to see the headliner at Rickshaw Stop shows because I'm old and have to leave early. Maybe I should be euthanized like in Logan's Run.
Speaking of getting old, I totally related to this post on Generic's blog.
Speaking of Generic, he (I think it's a he) is someone who comments on all the same blogs I read and comment on, and when you start to get familiar with someone from seeing them around the Interwebs, you start to think of them as someone you know. So I kind of feel like I sort of know Generic, in a way, even though in a much more real and actual way I don't know him at all. This is the kind of New Social Paradigm we'll have to figure out in the Shiny New Millennium.
Happy Friday, everyone!
Oh, and SXSW is starting. I mention this only so I can use the "SXSW" tag, which I only get to use about once a year.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
So just so I have this straight, Sawyer and the Asian guy and Juliet all just spent three years in the 70's and got assimilated into the Dharma Initiative? And next week Jack et al. are all going to join up with them in the 70's? Is this even close?
Anyway, along with "Lost," I have the following current recommendations for you:
1. The Moth podcast
2. Hangar One kaffir lime vodka
4. Fleet Foxes
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Add to this the fact that Cristy works as a stripper and makes fun of her sister for being fat and, well, you've got all the ingredients for a classic. ANYWAY, the appearance of this episode prompted the following text message exchange between me and The Sister last night:
The Sister: OMG that awesome intervention meth chick is on!
Me: I know. I'm recording it. She's the best.
Me: Intervention always makes me want to drink.
The Sister: Me too. Is that bad?
Me: Not sure.
The Sister: O god this chick is AWESOME
Monday, March 9, 2009
Super Hot Irish Girlfriend treated me at this newish Thai place on Folsom and 11th Friday and it was DFL! I had the pad kee mao, which too often comes out as a clump of chewy noodles with some veggies and meat thrown on top. The noodles at BC were cooked perfectly, light and delicious, with thinly-sliced, perfectly seasoned steak. SHIG's noodle soup was also good.
But you know I couldn't get out without a complaint, right? Here goes. It was FUCKING FREEZING in there. Turn on some heat, people!
2. Drinks at Bloodhound Friday night after dinner
When we first got here on Friday, it was pretty packed, which was worrisome, but it seemed like it was the tail end of some kind of company happy hour and emptied out a little as our group coalesced around one of the tables in front.
3. Took the dog for a walk at Crissy Field
Leland's still got this thing where he'll charge up to other dogs to be all "Hey, I'm a fucking tough guy, you know that? So I'm just letting you know ahead of time not to fuck with me, k?" And it usually works, but on Saturday this HUGE white dog started giving it right back to him and chasing him around and basically not leaving him alone. SERVES YOU RIGHT, RIGHT? He stopped running up to other dogs after that. Such is the way you learn.
4. Saw the Watchmen movie at the Sundance Kabuki
Damn, I'm going to see movies here from now on. Reserving your seats ahead of time! Extra big chairs and lots of legroom! And you can drink during the movie up in the balcony! Fuck yeah!
The movie was OK, I guess. I'm not really a comic book guy or anything but I liked it better than I thought I would. It's fucking long, though.
5. Takeout from Hahn's Hibachi
Beef/chicken BBQ combo. DON'T MIND IF I DO.
Friday, March 6, 2009
With a media gaggle looking on, Clinton handed Lavrov a green box tied with a green bow. He opened it to reveal a "reset button," a reminder of Vice President Joe Biden's recent remark that the Obama administration hopes to reset U.S. relations with Moscow.
Maybe I missed the part of international diplomacy that included giving gag gifts to foreign leaders. A "reset button"? Really? Perhaps we'll give the Japanese prime minister a Humphrey the Humping Dog from Spencer Gifts. I mean, really, grow up.
Happy Friday, everyone!
Last night I was sympathy-drinking with The Sister at Uva in the Lower Haight after she lost one of her jobs. I like Uva. There's a good selection of wines to try and I think every song that came on is on my iPod. Plus the bartender was really cute, so there's always that.
Anyway, after tasting roughly one of every wine on the list, we made our way across the street to Noc Noc and had a couple of beers in everyone's favorite Burning-Man-meets-the-Flintstones bar. The Sister wanted to know how bad the Global Economic Disaster was going to get. I told her that everyone basically will have half as much as they used to. This news did not seem to cheer her up.
FINALLY, in other bar news, I sort of love The Page's FAQ. For example:
What are your specialties?
We like all honest drinks, and we take a particular pride in our 22+ draught beers (generally featuring one or more seasonal beers, and always featuring several local beers) and our fine selection of whiskies: Kentucky, Tennesse, small batch and blends, Canadian, Irish -- and not least, Scotch whisky, of which we have several fine blends and an extensive list of single malts from Orkney to Campbeltown and places in between. We're no slouches with gin, vodka, tequila, and rum too (let us know if we don't have a brand you like), and we make damn good bloody mary's (bloodies mary?) and margaritas from scratch.
Can I get a Mohito?
Is it cool to play Rush 2112 on the jukebox?
How about Journey?
No. Many think playing Journey is clever, but it is not.
How about the Allman's Whipping Post live, or consecutive Phish tunes?
No. Historically, bartenders become churlish and unresponsive 8-12 minutes into any given song.
Have a good weekend, everybody.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
That's what some people seem to think, anyway. Once again, the California Supreme Court is considering the issue, and as per usual, out came the sign-toters and yellers on both sides.
Here's the problem, the way I see it, and I'm certain I'm not the first person to make this observation: the problem here is that "marriage," in this country, is both a religious institution and a civil one, and the two institutions are hopelessly entangled. There's no separate civil marriage that you can get; civil unions just aren't the same thing, no matter what anyone says. So these people who believe that God hates gays or whatever hear "marriage," and they think marriage in their church, not the kind of marriage that involves intestate succession and taxes and so forth.
I don't think anything should be forced on any religion that its adherents don't want. If you want to speak in tongues or worship Baal or whatever it is you do, have at it. But by the same token, don't use your religion as a cudgel to tell everyone else what they can and can't do. And if two people who love each other want to make a lifelong commitment to one another, it's none of your fucking business, as long as no one's forcing you to perform the ceremony in your church. Until we disentangle religious "marriage" and civil "marriage," we're going to have to keep dealing with this shit.
Last night, I was listening to right-wing lunatic Brian Sussman on KSFO, and he took a momentary break from ranting about how Obama isn't a US citizen to start ranting about how gay marriage was going to destroy society. Then something interesting happened. A guy called in who described himself as a "conservative Republican," and said:
"I'm a fiscal conservative. This social stuff takes second place to me because right now, I mean, my company is struggling, and that's the number one - I could care less if two gay people want to get married. I want to feed my family."
Sussman got all huffy and told him that he should stand up for his family and society was going to be destroyed and blah, blah, blah, but I think the guy has a point.
Anyway, Frank Chu was in front of the court this morning, so that's some reassuring stability in an otherwise crazy world.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The asteroid named 2009 DD45 was about 48,800 miles from Earth. That is just twice the height of some telecommunications satellites and about a fifth of the distance to the Moon.That Tunguska event in Siberia in 1908 always sort of fascinated me, I guess because when I was a kid there was a crackpot theory floating around that it was caused by a UFO crashing into the Earth and I always thought that was creepy/interesting. I think the general scientific consensus now is that it was an asteroid or comet. Anyway, it's kind of sobering to think that 2009 DD45 could have easily wiped out a major American city and it wasn't even spotted until like 2 days before the near-miss. Freaky.
The space ball measured between 69 feet and 154 feet in diameter. The Planetary Society said that made it the same size as an asteroid that exploded over Siberia in 1908 and leveled more than 800 square miles of forest.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Now, with that being said, we have to remember that Dad is from a different time and he's maybe even gotten a little more conservative as he's gotten older. I remember asking him about the gays in the military thing when it first appeared on the radar about 20 years ago and he goes, "Sure, I know guys in the military who were like that, but they were just fine. Never caused any problem." At the time, I thought that was pretty damned impressive.
ANYWAY, all this is leading up to a semi-funny story. As you may know, The Sister and Super Hot Irish Girlfriend and I were all at my Dad's place this past weekend doing some wedding prep and just hanging out and so forth. So two friends of The Sister's who happen to be a gay couple came to town to hang out with us and they stayed at Dad's house, and he seemed fine with that, even though, of course, no one talked about the pretty obvious elephant in the room. He was perfectly nice to them, because he's just generally a nice guy, but he might have felt a little awkward, I don't know.
SO, Friday night The Sister and the gays are getting ready to go into town, specifically to go to a country music bar and the fact that one of the gays is a HUGE country music fan is its own separate topic but whatever. So when they're getting ready, Dad pulls me aside and darkly tells me, "You tell your sister that it's not safe for them to go to gay bars." Now, I immediately almost burst out laughing but didn't, and so off I went to tell my sister this very dire warning.
She did not resist in bursting out laughing. "Are you kidding me?" she said. "That's about the safest place I could go." We're not sure what Dad thinks goes on at gay bars, but I'm pretty sure that it rarely involves sacrificing straight females to their god or stuff like that. In fact, I'd be way more worried about my sister at a straight club than at pretty much any gay bar. As it turns out, they went to a country music bar and everyone got home safely, although I'm pretty sure you're about 50 times more likely to get knifed in a country music bar than a gay bar.
The next night, though, Dad hung out with all of us at home and when I was in the kitchen helping make dinner I could hear him chatting it up with the gays in the next room and having a big old time. The next day, he told them, "Anytime you're in town, you're more than welcome to stay here, whether or not [The Sister] is here. You make sure and call us, OK?"
SHIG put it best. She said that when we're all 80 years old, our kids will be friends with the aliens and at first we'll be scared and say, "I don't want any aliens in my house," but then after we talk to the aliens for a while, we'll be all "Well, I wasn't sure about their tentacles and stuff, and I don't want to say that I support the alien lifestyle, but once I got to know Gor, I gotta say, he's alright."