Thursday, April 30, 2009

Observations my friend Olu had at the Giants game last night

- The Dodgers suck.
- They Dodgers are afraid of Pablo Sandoval.
- It would be great if Tim Lincecum struck out Manny Ramirez.
- You can't smoke on the Club Level patio at the ballpark any more.
- Even Brian Wilson won't blow a 6-run lead.
- James Loney looks like he might have ridden on the short bus.
- I hate Russell Martin. Maybe more than any other ballplayer.
- The Dodgers suck.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I wish Twitter had existed when Rod Beck was the closer

We all have learned a little lesson about social networking in the past 24 hours with the Brian Wilson Incident. It's an interesting look at how Twitter and the like can seep into your real life and maybe make things uncomfortable. Let me explain.

Brian Wilson, you may or may not know, is the closer for the San Francisco Giants. What we suspected, from seeing him on TV and hearing things around and whatnot, was that he was your basic ballplayer type - a little arrogant, maybe, possibly not the brightest light in the harbor, etc. When Brian Wilson got a Twitter account and started using it, what we found out is that we were mostly right.

All his Twitter updates are gone now (for reasons explained or maybe not explained below), but he would write generally about stuff he was doing, like eating brunch in the Marina, where it seems he lived (and, for you SF-ers, no big shocker there), and wanting to pick fights with people. Typical ballplayer big-mouth stuff. Naturally, I followed him on Twitter (along with about 3000 other people) because I'm a Giants fan and I thought it was kinda funny.

I first suspected we might have a problem one day during the hot spell when he wrote that he was going to Pier 23, which is basically a restaurant and bar with a big outdoor deck on the bay, and asked if anyone wanted to join him. I don't know how this little experiment in direct communication with the fans turned out, but I mused at the time that maybe it wasn't the smartest idea in the world for a professional ballplayer (or anyone famous, for that matter) to broadcast to any psycho who might be in the group of 3000 followers where he was going to be for the next few hours. I mean, you never know, right?

ANYWAY, the whole thing kind of blew up in the last day or so. It so happens that Wilson's Twitter feed suggested that he was out kinda late on Saturday night in Scottsdale, the night before a Giants day game on Sunday, looking for trouble. His updates went something like this:

he didnt have a blackbelt. he said my hair was stupid and i said his girlfriend liked it. 38 wins. she said she liked it uhhhhhh!1:18 AM Apr 26th from mobile web

i respect fighters. does that mean people who wear affliction are all fighters. you need a blackbelt right? no way this guy next to me has.12:31 AM Apr 26th from mobile web

Scottsdale is fun. The over aggressive males are not. does every dude think they can fight? they sure have some confident mouths out here!11:29 PM Apr 25th from mobile web
So the next day, he goes out and blows the save, basically failing in the one job he has. The Chron picks up the story and writes that, based on his Twitter feed, Wilson might have been out late, implying that may be the reason for the blown save. In the aftermath, Wilson's buddy Barry Zito (who, BTW, is on kind of a tear these days pitching and looks a ton better), who also has a Twitter account, notifies us last night:

Wilson deleted his account as that was the way for him to prove all the media wrong in their assumptions

It's all well and good for Wilson to delete his Twitter account (in fact, it's probably a really good idea), but this doesn't make any sense. Deleting your account doesn't prove the media wrong; it proves them right, because now you can be out drinking Goldschlager out of strippers' belly buttons until 4 am and no one will be the wiser. So I don't get that.

So what's the upshot of all this? I assume ballplayers will be a little more careful in what they write about on Twitter. But I hope not.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Stay inside! Don't speak to anyone! Avoid travel!

Thanks, media, for serving up a new disease panic! Guess it's a slow news day and people are bored of the global financial crisis anyway. Remember all the friends and relatives you lost to SARS and Bird Flu and flesh-eating bactera? Well, Swine Flu is here to finish off everyone else. Make sure to wear a mask and take a ton of Tamiflu!

Good weekend. Friday night, went to Art Explosion, which is basically an open studios thing where you can wander around and drink free wine and check out a bunch of artists' stuff. Our friend Ehren was one of the artists who has a studio there and so I saw her and then looked around at some other stuff. I ended up buying some little cartoon kind of things from Telephone and Soup.

Then Olu and Gabe and Brett and I left and went to Shotwell's, which used to be Inner Mission but now is Shotwell's but is still basically the same bar. Had a couple of beers there and went home.

Saturday, after band practice, Super Hot Irish Girlfriend and I went to Contigo in Noe Valley. We were lucky enough to sit at the bar because the bartender took a liking to us and gave us tastings of all the Cavas he had and was totally cool to hang out and talk with because it wasn't so busy yet.

The food was really good, too. We had the albondingas, which are little lamb and pork meatballs, patatas bravas, and a little pork belly sandwich. Oh, and some jamon serrano. The only quibble I have is that the portions seemed really small. Now, I know they're supposed to be small and they're authentic tapas and blah blah blah but when you're paying $7 each you're still a little surprised by how small they are. Anyway, totally not a big deal and I'm sure we'll go back.

Yesterday was Whole Foods and a Locked Up Abroad marathon. So there's the weekend.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Oh Noes throughout history

The Sister and I are both familiar with a concept we call the OH NOES, when, after a night of partying, one begins to recount in one's mind what one did or said the previous evening and then exclaims, either to oneself or others, "OH NO." I'm assured that it's a not uncommon phenomenon.

But until the recent issue of Harpers arrived, I didn't realize that the Oh Noes had afflicted others throughout history. Viz.:

From a July 1842 letter by Edgar Allan Poe to the publishers of the Democratic Review. William Ross Wallace, a friend of Poe’s, was a poet and lawyer. Recently acquired by the University of Virginia, the letter is part of an exhibit on view there this summer in celebration of Poe’s bicentennial.


Will you be kind enough to put the best possible interpretation upon my behavior while in N. York? You must have conceived a queer idea of me—but the simple truth is that Wallace would insist upon the juleps, and I knew not what I was either doing or saying.

I hope to see you at some future time, under better auspices.

In the meantime I remain,

Yours very truly,

E. A. Poe

In an amusing footnote to this story, The Sister advises me that, as of this very moment, she is suffering from the Oh Noes occasioned by many drinks at numerous locations, at one point involving singing a Heart song on karaoke at some bar in the Outer Mission. Oh no!

"Windy" ain't the half of it

I wish I could figure out some way to make this guy's weather page a permanent feature in the column of the blog thing here. It's super cool.

Thanks to Anh Minh for pointing out this coolness.

I suppose everyone (including Anh Minh, incidentally) has now seen the New York Times story about the skateboarders in SF who bought a million-dollar house in Noe Valley and then spent half a million dollars renovating it into their oh-so-achingly hip grownup playhouse with a bathroom that looks like a swimming pool. She's an "interior designer" and he's a "skateboarder" and you tell me where this couple came up with a mil and a half. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Oh, you'll appreciate this. Coming back from walking the dog this morning around 6:50 a.m., I spy with my little eye a chick wearing a slinky little black dress and carrying a pair of black high heels coming out of an apartment building with a dude with messed-up hair and pajama bottoms and a hoodie. The walk of shame never goes away. At least not in this city full of grown-up kids.

Have a good weekend. I've got the usual art show/block party/band practice kind of thing going. We'll talk Monday.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I wish they could take money away from people

I love me some Cash Cab. When we're in NYC in June, we are going to begin an intensive, block-by-block search for that fucking cab.

And we will do better than these people, I promise.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ticketmaster saved my ass

You know, I'm right there with everyone else in hating Ticketmaster, with their $10 "convenience fees" on a $20 ticket and then an extra $1.50 fee just for the fuck of it. But last night, I've never been so glad I got my tickets from Ticketmaster.

So Super Hot Irish Girlfriend and I ride the Logan's Run train over to the E. Bay to see Blitzen Trapper and Fleet Foxes at the super-duper fancied up Fox Theater in Oakland. We ate dinner first with Stephen and Jessica at Flora, which was really good but the bartender was kind of an asshole but that's another story. ANYWAY, we sit down at our table and we haven't ordered anything yet and I realize FUCK I left the tickets in SF.

So here's where we are: We're in Oakland, an hour away from showtime, and the tickets are in a drawer in our house in SF. We are truly fucked.

I get up and go over to the Fox Theater box office and ask if it's sold out. As a matter of fact, it's not! So I resign myself to eating the tickets and buying two more.


I casually mention to the Ticket Lady that I have to buy 2 tickets because I left mine in SF. She says, "Oh, did you use Ticketmaster?" I say I bought them online, so probably so. I give her the credit card I used and in about 30 seconds she's handing me replacement tickets FOR FREE. I almost wept with relief. She said, "Now, the tickets you bought earlier won't work anymore" and I said "That's OK, the guy I sold them to probably won't come" and I left.

How cool is that? Thank you, Ticketmaster, for finally doing something good instead of evil.

As long as we're here, dinner was really good. I'd go back to Flora again in a heartbeat. They were slammed, but the service was still pretty good and the food was excellent.

The Fox Theater is all kinds of awesome. It's sort of like a slightly smaller, fancier Warfield with late-19th-century brothel decor and these huge buddha-like guys on each side of the stage with eyes that light up like they're in an Indiana Jones movie. They would FREAK YOU THE FUCK OUT if you were tripping, I bet.

As for the bands, yeah, they were OK. I'd rather see Blitzen Trapper in a smaller place, since it seemed like their sound got kind of lost and bounced around in there. Fleet Foxes were fine, I guess, but I've never been that into them anyway.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Top 20 albums

With a six-word capsule summary for each. These are weighted both by how much I like them and their historical importance over the course of my life.

1. The Beatles, Abbey Road
Maybe my most listened to album

2. R.E.M., Reckoning
Soundtrack to my somewhat misguided youth

3. Loud Family, Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things
Scott Miller’s songwriting blows me away

4. The Wrens, Meadowlands
Like reading an especially painful diary

5. Neutral Milk Hotel, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
The fevered genius of Jeff Mangum

6. The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street
Dictionary “R” for “rock and roll”

7. The Clash, London Calling
Still sounds immediate 30 years later

8. Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Something new each time you listen

9. R.E.M., Lifes Rich Pageant
Back when R.E.M. still meant something

10. Beulah, Yoko
A slow-motion breakup in song

11. Pavement, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
The best of all Pavement worlds

12. Elliott Smith, XO
Heartbreaking, beautiful, hooky, near-perfect songs

13. The Replacements, Let It Be
Replacements at their shaggy, boozy best

14. The Trashcan Sinatras, Cake
Songwriting that will make you swoon

15. The Velvet Underground, s/t
The template for most indie rock

16. Game Theory, Real Nighttime
Shimmery 80’s college rock from Davis

17. The Weakerthans, Reconstruction Site
Great lyrics, great songs, no fair

18. The Libertines, s/t
Amazingly, better songs without Pete Doherty

19. Uncle Tupelo, Anodyne
Your basic alt-country starter kit

20. The Shins, Chutes Too Narrow
Deeply creative, inventive songs that soar

Monday, April 20, 2009

Yes, it's over 65 degrees OMG OMG


I swear, you live in this godforsaken windswept rock of a city for long enough and you actually forget what warm feels like. So yesterday it got up to, what, 88 degrees in SF and that brought out all the sickly pale people in tiny clothes all RUSHING RUSHING RUSHING to Dolores Park or the beach before the warm wears off, which will likely be Wednesday, I think.

NOT US! Since we are lucky enough to be the proud renters of a backyard, we had Stephen and Jessica over, along with their dog Todd. This is a very rare picture of Leland and Todd together:

So we hung out in the backyard and drank some beers and then ate this quinoa thing that Super Hot Irish Girlfriend made and then watched the Cristy episode of Intervention, which I can pretty much watch any time. More or less a perfect day, I'd say.

Saturday SHIG and I were out at the old ball yard to see the Giants lose a heartbreaker to the D-backs despite Timmy Lincecum's incredible 8-inning, 13-strikeout shutout. What a drag.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The post is Somali pirate, teabag, and Susan Boyle-free

I'm kind of fascinated by the whole Kari Ferrell, Asian hipster grifter story. It's interesting because it proves a few things that I've always suspected were true:

1. Guys will more or less go retardo-stupid over even a marginally cute Asian chick.

2. Vice magazine makes its hiring decisions based mostly on looks.

Capsule version: Asian hipster chick moves to NYC and ingratiates herself with other hipsters, gains money and sympathy by claiming to have cancer, defrauds various bearded guys and/or members of a band collective out of money and/or property, is discovered to have outstanding warrants from Utah, is now on the run, as much as one can be on the run in Brooklyn.

Anyway, of course Gawker is all over this like white on rice, as you might expect, and there's a good article in the Observer about her too. Oh, wait, that white on rice thing was a very poor choice of words. I take that back.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Here's my favorite Missed Connection of the day:

Tattoos at Planned Parenthood today - m4w (downtown / civic / van ness)

Reply to: XXXXXXXX
Date: 2009-04-16, 10:19PM PDT

You are really great!!! You were in the elevator and the waiting room with me had nice tattoos ... I know it sounds odd but.... I think we actually would have a lot of fun together and have a lot in common!!!

That's right. Dude is trying to hook up with a chick he saw at PLANNED PARENTHOOD. Why not just hang around a gynecologist's office instead, chief?

I'm not discussing the Giants. I just don't want to talk about it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Urban etiquette: an occasional series

Today's topic: At the movies

So last night Super Hot Irish Girlfriend had Book Club at our house, which is an all-female event and thus not conducive to my easygoing, albeit male, presence. So I hied myself down to the Century 20 Daly City to see "I Love You Man", not because I'm in complete awe of the whole Apatow school of comedy but because basically it was the least offensive thing at around 7:00 p.m. What am I going to see, "The Fast and the Furious"? Or maybe "Hannah Montana". I'd love to have to explain that to the police when they inevitably arrive.

ANYWAY, I get there and it's clearly a younger crowd, maybe average age 25. And there's the usual talking during the previews, but hey, that ship sailed a long time ago. Then the movie starts and the couple behind me (both wearing SFSU sweatshirts, for what it's worth) talk through the whole goddam thing.

Here's the rule, and I can't believe I have to even say this, because it's so basic like "Don't spit in a stranger's mouth" or "Don't stop to chat with the Bay Bridge toll taker," but here it is: When you're at the movies, keep your fucking mouth shut. If you're not having a heart attack or a PCP freakout, there is no fucking thing important enough to share right then.

(Sidenote: Yes, I appreciate the irony of going alone to a movie that's basically about a guy who has no friends. But I actually like going to movies alone every once in a while and there's usually not such a blatant connection to what's going on onscreen.)

You know one thing I liked about Ireland? Well, one of many? I went to a movie there with SHIG's best friend's boyfriend and a couple of other guys and a couple of people whispered during the movie and the WHOLE FUCKING THEATER basically went SHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! really loud and I guess there's some kind of cultural thing where the Irish like complete silence during movies and I wish we had that here.

I don't know what it was about this particular movie, but couples (and yes, it mostly attended by younger couples) all over the theater were chatting it up. Fuck. I blame the parents. From the time they're infants, these kids get taken to the Finding Nemos and the Little Mermaids and the parents probably (I'm guessing here, as I don't see a lot of G-rated films in theaters) let their little brats yap through the whole thing. So they grow up thinking it's ok. It's not OK.

I guess I'll stick to seeing "Depressing Yet Quirky Characters Trade Bon Mots in a Plotless Urban Milieu," 8:15 at the Embarcadero Cinema. Nobody ever talks during the movie there.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mmmmmmm Germans

"Polar bear attacks woman at Berlin Zoo"? WTF? Like it jumped her or something? Let's read the first sentence of the story to find out. "A polar bear attacked a woman at Berlin Zoo Friday afternoon after she climbed a fence and jumped into its habitat during feeding time, police said Saturday."

I don't care if it was feeding time! NO MEANS NO! DON'T BLAME THE VICTIM!

I had the good fortune yesterday to listen to Patton Oswalt's "Werewolves and Lollipops" and let me tell you, American public, it was about the funniest fucking thing I have ever heard. Like laughing-so-hard-I-can't-breathe funny. Highly recommended.

You know what I heard that really sucked this weekend? Giants baseball. By June, people will be giving away Club level seats. That's where I come into the picture.

Friday, April 10, 2009

16th Century Fox

Spotted on Orange alley, near 24th Street, Mission sector:

"You must be from the Spanish Inquisition, because, baby, you are torturing me!"

Happy Friday, everyone!

Let us now return, as we must, to that unhappy peek into the deepest recesses of the reptilian brain known as the SFGate Comments section. Now, you may have heard that a possibly crazy and obviously retarded protester splattered the BART board with paint in a valiant attempt to make some kind of point about something. Yes, stupid, inane, whatever. Of course he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law blah blah blah. Speaking of, what would be an appropriate punishment for such an act? Gotta be something like a few days in jail and some community service and so forth, right? According to the Phi Beta Kappas that make up the SFGate Comments section, WRONG:

Sorry, but should be life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. We don't live in a state of anarchy (yet).

Throw this animal into Pelican Bay or San Quentin and throw away the key.

death penalty for this loser is a necessity

Yeah, life without parole or the death penalty. For throwing paint on someone. That seems about right. Y I K E S.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This is some straight-up Discovery Channel shit

So I heard this unbelievable yowling sound coming from outside my bedroom window this morning and opened the blinds to see WTF is was and it was TWO CATS FUCKING. Naturally, I grabbed the camera.

We've seen this black cat in our backyard for a while. Actually, I gave him some food last weekend when he was around. PLAYA GOTTA EAT!!!

I love how bored the chick cat looks. She's all "Can we just get this over with?" You can't see it in this pic, but she has a collar. Playboy doesn't, of course. BIG SURPRISE FOR GIRL CAT FAMILY SOON!!!!

Turning to non-cat-fucking-related news, HOW 'BOUT THEM GIANTS? Forget starting pitching; we'll just hit 3 or 4 dingers every game and win with the long ball.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I'm going to be famous!

All I have to do join this incredibly reputable-looking organization!

The ad reads "Actors & Movie Extras Needed". Tell me more, please!

"away you you as of too is projects best movie of role strictly to extra; if do to Just available lead working working Be spot have not some gig projects This Beverly give the representative behalf to to well for about work you crew amount simple is casting are you or but you fee look the are into will so call demanded and are really the your to you you for thing have you back suit want properly absolute an enjoy and is 104346649638076"

Sounds legit to me! Where do I sign?

70% chance of suck

- Now, we don't have tickets or anything, but Olu and I were both taking work off tomorrow to watch the Giants' Opening Day, probably at a bar somewhere. But OH NOES:

Showers likely. A slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the 50s to lower 60s. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph.

Great. Just great. Why can't anything ever just work out fine?

- Weekend ratings:

Happy Hour at Bloodhound on Friday: B-

Cold Pabst Blue Ribbon/warm day: A-

Barney's Saturday night: B+

Glen Park Sunday (for dog purposes): D

Stern Grove Sunday (for dog purposes): B-

Target Sunday: D-

Target store brand Trail Mix (taste/enjoyment only): A

- I'm glad to see that recycling poaching is finally getting the attention it deserves.

- I'm glad that Rangelife is hip to the bizarre world of Yahoo answers. I have my own personal fave:

Then again, maybe this is the kind of thing that's only funny to me. I don't know.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bookmark this and let's check back in August

"The pitching will be superb (look for 12-14 wins out of Barry Zito), Pablo Sandoval will hit .338 and Bengie Molina will symbolize the team's heart. It's an improved lineup, but none of these guys will clear 20 homers, and at some point, it will make sense to make Jose Guzman (pretty much lost as a fielder) a pinch-hitter off the bench."

- Bruce Jenkins in today's SF Chronicle (4/4/09)

Friday, April 3, 2009

What do Hastings' new parking garage and Gisele Bundchen have in common? Nothing.

Is it just me, or does the new Hastings parking garage at Golden Gate and Larkin look kinda like the SF Chronicle Building?

Here's the New Kid on The Block:

OH HAI. Law students and professors will park in me. I hope to have ground-floor retail too! In this neighborhood, I better sell crack pipes and 40's if I hope to survive!

And here's the Palace of Failed Media:

I used to be full of reporterz up in ur bizness investigatin ur stuffz but then craigzlist runed it. :(

You see it? Yeah? Oh, maybe it is just me. Hey, maybe the same thing will happen to the new parking garage that happened to the Chron and somebody will figure out a way to park cars on the Internet and it'll be obsolete too!

The garage actually has a contentious history, which is pretty much true for anything you try to build in this godforsaken city. For the whole 8 years I've worked in the neighborhood, it was a parking lot with a sidewalk frequented by rail-thin junkies shooting smack into their ankles. I would have thought that anything would be better than that, but hey, in SF everything's a fight. I don't even want to rehash the great American Apparel War of 2008.

Happy Friday, everyone!

I know that everyone will be interested in this fascinating article in Vanity Fair about the Bohemian Grove, just as I was when I clicked on it and OH MY GOD WHAT'S THIS PICTURE IN THE SIDEBAR HOLY SHIT!!!!!


Apparently VF has some photo spread with Gisele Bundchen and her faux-fetishy sleep mask or whatever. She's quite comely, I'll admit.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

At least he didn't give her the golf tees with "United States of America" printed on the side

So I know everybody's all in a big tizzy about Obama giving the Queen of England an iPod during his visit there and blah blah blah how gauche and whatever but I'm all "That's a pretty cool fucking gift" and I wish he had loaded it up with the soundtrack from Superfly instead of the lame-ass show tunes he put on there. I mean, really, who the fuck wants to hear "Getting to Know You" when you could be fucking jamming to "Pusherman"?

Anyway, I was checking out the coverage in the Telegraph from the UK, and I got one word for that: H A T E R S. I thought Europeans all loved Obama. Guess not! Commenter "William" says:

The US president is a dreadful cur, with no appreciation for history or former relationships in the world. Even the dumb American people with grow to detest the very mention of his name. It will take a little while, however, because they have been so dumbed down by the educational system here.

Dude. I'd call you a dreadful cur, if I knew what that meant. I R STUPID. Must be the educational system here.

And what did the Queen give him? A framed picture - of herself!! Check out the ego on QEII!! How come no one's talking about that?! What if Obama had given her a framed picture of him and Michelle? People would have freaked the fuck out. Whatever.