Friday, January 29, 2010

I don't know if "irony" is the right word, but...

The scene today, just moments ago:

Two protests in SF's Civic Center, about two blocks away from each other.

First, in front of the Federal Building, we have the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, of the repulsive "God Hates Fags" and "You Are Going to Hell" signs who show up at everything from college graduations to soldiers' funerals. I imagine they're in front of the Federal Building because of the Prop. 8 trial, but who knows? Hard to tell with people that fucked in the head. They've got their usual signage proclaiming how God hates you and wants you to go to hell. As it turns ourt, God hates almost everyone except members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

A couple of blocks away, in Civic Center Plaza, there is a sizeable group protesting the treatment of Christians in Egypt. They have signs like "Stop Torturing Christians in Egypt" and "Take Action to Stop the Killing of Christians in Egypt."

It's too much, isn't it? On one side of the street, we have a group of Christians spewing the most vile, debased hate against their fellow man, in the name of God. On the other side, we have a group of Christians asking that they not be hated and abused for their beliefs.

I get that the Westboro crowd and the Egyptian Christians have little in common (although certainly they have some beliefs in common), but I just wonder what someone who didn't know anything about Christianity would think. How can members of the same religion spew abuse and ask for protection from abuse at the same time?

There were a LOT more counter-protesters against the Westboro people than there were Westboro people. Good show, SF!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I just got Pavement tickets for the Greek Theater show in June

And I couldn't be more excited.

It's hard to describe my relationship with Pavement, one of my favorite bands of all time. On the one hand, I think of them as more or less permanently fixed in a certain time period - the 90's - although I still listen to their stuff regularly. Many, many of their songs remind me of very particular moments in time, not all of them good, but all of them memorable.

I never thought I would see them again live. 117 days away.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Here's where I give my BS opinion on the CBS Super Bowl abortion ad thing

So the kind of people that get agitated about stuff like this are agitated because CBS is apparently going to run a pro-life ad during the Super Bowl featuring former Florida QB and future NFL mediocrity Tim Tebow.

Apparently the ad is going to feature Tebow's Mom, who's going to say that doctors told her to have an abortion and she had the baby instead and it grew up to be Football Jesus.

Apart from Tennessee fans, no one should be that upset about this. For the vast majority of women, that fetus is going to become a Ritalin-addled behavior problem who blasts Cannibal Corpse after stomping into his room and slamming the door and knocking the Thomas Kinkade prints off the wall, rather than a monk-pure starting quarterback who writes Bible verses under his eyes and spends his spare time giving bone marrow to kittens.

But the bigger issue here is the fact that some TV ad during the Super Bowl isn't going to make any difference at all. First of all, how many pregnant women watch the Super Bowl to start with? And how many of them are on the fence about whether to get an abortion? "Hmmmm, I was going to get an abortion, but now that future mid-second-round draft pick Tim Tebow says it's a bad idea I guess I won't."

Look, women who want to have abortions in this country already have to deal with an unbelievable amount of shit, and it's getting worse all the time. Not only might a woman have to deal with a bunch of protesters screaming in her face, state legislatures keep enacting ever-more byzantine and abusive hoops that a woman has to jump through to get a legal medical procedure. Do you really think that a TV ad is going to be the tipping point?

Abortion is one of those things about which people already have their minds made up and rarely change their opinion. Have you ever had an abortion argument with someone that ended up with one person saying "Hey, you know what, that makes a lot of sense. You're right and I'm wrong." I doubt this ad is going to change anyone's mind either. And as long as CBS is willing to take ads from NARAL too, getting upset about this is a waste of time.

One side note. In that New York Daily News article I linked to above (where it says "pro-life ad" in the first para), the ad below appears on the side of the screen, or at least it did when I looked at the article. If you want to get upset about an ad, this one makes a lot more sense:

Yeah, losing 38 pounds in 2 months sounds realistic. For a POW camp.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mom doesn't talk much, but she's very pleasant to be around!

The world is so much fucking weirder than you thought. Exhibit A:

Nancy "Sunny" Bostrom, whom police briefly labeled a "person of interest" last year after her mother's mummified corpse was found seated in the living room of her Piedmont home, is running for City Council in the East Bay town.

Bostrom came to the cops' attention in February when the body of Patricia Bostrom, who had not been seen by neighbors for six years, was found in a chair in her unlocked, two-story house at Highland and Blair avenues.

Police suspect that Patricia Bostrom, who was about 82 when she was last heard from, had been dead for years.

An autopsy concluded she had died of natural causes, however, and the only crime cops came up with was the moving of a dead body. And, "we could never prove Nancy did it because she denied her mother was even dead to begin with," police Capt. John Hunt said.
You know what would look good in the living room with those drapes? MY MOTHER'S MUMMIFIED CORPSE, THAT'S WHAT.

Hey, I've heard of politicians having skeletons in the closet, but never a mummified parent in the living room!!! WOCKA WOCKA!!!!

What else, what else? Oh, here's one! Multi-gajillionaire and ugly-haired gubernatorial aspirant Meg Whitman has advice for you poors and others who don't have mansions and private jets: Just be more frugal! I guess being frugal doesn't rule out spending $39 million on your own campaign for governor. Scrimp and save, that's the ticket!

Friday, January 22, 2010

How to ruin an otherwise perfectly normal friendship.

A friendship is one of the most rewarding relationships we can have in our lives. My friends aren't just like my family; they are family to me. Like Thomas Jefferson said, "I find friendship to be like wine, raw when new, ripened with age, the true old man's milk and restorative cordial."

But friendship can be hard, too. All relationships are hard, but so often it is your friends who know you better than anyone else. That makes you especially vulnerable to them, doesn't it? And just like all relationships, sometimes things just go wrong.

Why, just ask Ke$ha and Paris Hilton.

Ke$Ha is convinced her short-lived friendship with Paris Hilton was always destined to fail, because the two women are so "different."

I hear that. Sometimes you just don't have enough in common, and despite your noblest efforts, it just won't work out.

The "TiK ToK" hit maker first met Hilton when she appeared on an episode of the star's reality TV show "The Simple Life" in 2005, and she went on to sing backing vocals for a track on the heiress' 2006 debut album, Paris.

Hey, sometimes you meet friends through school or work, and sometimes you meet them on a reality show. Then they may ask you to come to a party at their apartment, or sing on their album, or whatever.

But, like I said, when friendship goes wrong, it can go very wrong:

Ke$ha briefly befriended Hilton, but that ended when the singer mistook the socialite's wardrobe for a bathroom and threw up in the closet.

Oh, Ke$ha. Remind me never to have you over to my house.


New Banksy piece spotted in Salt Lake City.

Banksy's apparently at Sundance for the premiere of his film "Exit Through the Gift Shop."

I love Banksy.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

40goingon28 watches "The Bachelor" so you don't have to

The Wife watches "The Bachelor." So does almost every other girl I know. Fuck book club; they should have Bachelor Club and just be done with it. I'm sorry if it's a stereotype but it's true.

Since we only have one TV, I'm watching The Bachelor too. It's painful. I'm not kidding. It's like watching extremely one extremely awkward date after another, punctuated by sorority meetings. Not sorority pillow fights. Sorority meetings about how mean and bitchy the sorority sisters who aren't there are. If you're a guy looking to get all your worst expectations about what women are like when you're not around met, this is your place.

The Bachelor guy himself, Jake, is the kind of bland, wholesome Everyguy that chicks say they love but who they cheat on within a few weeks because they're bored and he won't go down on them. He likes flying, taking dance lessons, woodworking and, I don't know, vacuuming. He is the human equivalent of Olive Garden. On his official bio it says his "parents have had a long and happy marriage" and no surprise there.

The chicks, on the other hand, range from seemingly almost normal to 30 kinds of fucked up.

This chick, Michelle, from Anaheim, was what we call in the business Extremely Fucked Up. She was on the show to get married and she made no bones about it and decided that she was marrying White Bread the first day. Then she made Stabby Eyes at every other girl and cried a lot. She was Asked to Leave. Her chances of ever getting a boyfriend now hover around nil unless she starts dating inmates.

This chick got kicked off because she fucked one of the crew, no joke. I thought guys were bad, but she couldn't keep it in her pants for even a week. Fuck, it's a reality show, not Spring Break. Even the chicks on "Temptation Island" weren't fucking the grips, and they were sent there to screw around.

Ali's my personal favorite. Fuck, I just noticed on her online bio that she lives in SF! Gotta be a Marina girl. Anyway, she seems relatively normal, which isn't tough when you're surrounded by the Crazy Variety Pak. SEE YOU AT EASTSIDE WEST SOON, ALI!!!

(Side note: Last night on the news they showed the Young Republicans of SF [yes, there is such a thing] celebrating Scott Brown's Senate win at Eastside West and all I want to say is that I doubt they have a lot of problems with simmering sexual tension over there at the Young Republicans.)

So yeah, where do I turn in my Man Membership Card? MONSTER TRUCKS!!! UFC!!!! CHEWING TOBACCO!!!! WES ANDERSON FILMS!!!! DIE HARD!!!! Are we cool now?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

"The Hurt Locker" is great and everything, but...

You know what you do on Friday nights when you're not drinking? You go to AA meetings or learn to knit. No, no, fuck that, you stay in and watch movies. So Friday night we watched "The Hurt Locker" because, you know, it's highly acclaimed and all that shit.

Now, I'm obviously going to look like an idiot casting any doubt on a movie that got a 97% approval rating on RottenTomatoes and just won the Critics' Choice Award for Best Picture, but I am kind of an idiot, so here goes.

(Side note: at least "Avatar" didn't win. If that wins the Oscar for Best Picture I am really going to get pissed off.)

First of all, Jeremy Renner is fucking phenomenal as the bomb disposal guy, so let's get that out of the way. And the movie totally has you in its grip from the opening sequence and it never fucking lets up. It's like standing on the edge of a cliff and waving your arms scrambling trying to get back for 2 hours.

Here comes me being an idiot. I just thought it was a little, I don't know, shallow. I mean, the Renner character veers close to cliche - a bomb defusing guy who's kind of crazy and maybe has a death wish!!! Maybe all bomb defusing guys really are like that, but it just seemed a little predictable. And the fact is that this is really an action flick - it jumps from one highly-charged white-knuckle action sequence to another. There's a nod towards character depth with a whole subplot about the Bomb Guy developing a relationship with an Iraqi boy, but ultimately we don't learn a lot about Bomb Guy as a result.

Don't get me wrong; it's a powerful, gripping movie that never lets up and absolutely keeps you riveted for 2 hours. But it's essentially an action thriller. I'll be fine if it wins Best Picture, as long as Avatar doesn't, but I don't see it as this Amazing Achievement in Cinema. I'm no film critic, though, so what do I know.

Friday, January 15, 2010

40goingon28 watches the Prop 8 trial so you don't have to

Since I work in the neighborhood and had some time to kill this morning, I wandered over to the federal courthouse to take in some of the Prop. 8 same-sex marriage trial. The line to get into the main courtroom was like the line for the bathroom at Amber at midnight on a Friday (RIP, BTW), so I went to the overflow courtroom on the 19th floor and watched it on closed-circuit TV with a bunch of other youngsters.

(P.S. Don't bother looking for it on CourTv or anything - the Supreme Court shut that shit down. Oh wait, I guess CourTv doesn't exist any more. Oh well.)

So anyway today we have Small British Psychologist Dr. Michael Lamb, who reminds me a little of Daniel Faraday from "Lost" and has the kind of English accent you just love in your experts on developmental psychology. He teaches at Cambridge so he's easily the smartest person in the room. He's going to be talking about how kids raised by gay and lesbian parents turn out pretty much the same as kids raised by straight parents.

So he's written like 15 books and a billion articles and yep, all the research shows it's true - kids of gay and lesbian parents are just as likely to be well-adjusted as kids of straight parents. There's tons of research. They're not even more likely to become gay. I mean, I pretty much assumed that was true, but it's nice to know science is backing me up.

(One personal note - as he's going through all the stuff that makes a well-adjusted kid, I'm starting to see what might have gone wrong in my own case. But let's not dwell on that.)

The upshot of the whole thing is that keeping the gays from getting married won't improve childrens' adjustment. It might cut down on Crate + Barrel's annual revenue, though. He totally didn't say that. I just made that up.

Here comes the pro-Prop 8 guy on cross-examination. He wants to start out by showing that Dr. Michael Lamb is a simpering Tool of the Left, so he quickly gets him to admit that he's a member of the ACLU, the National Organization of Women, and, I don't know, Communists for Whales or whatever. But the best part, which I wrote down verbatim and I SWEAR IS TRUE, was when the lawyer asked, with a tone of voice like he was getting a real zinger in there:

"You've even given money to PBS, correct?!"

Hold. The. Fucking. Phone. This Lamb guy supports that fag Grover? GAME FUCKING OVER. And that Jacques Pepin? SO FUCKING FRENCH. Lamb is toast now.

Hates America.

Not really. What really happened is that everyone in the courtroom busted out laughing. I guess in SF, donating money to PBS isn't like supporting the Church of Satan like it is everywhere else.

So the cross went on, and the guy was basically trying to establish that - gasp - there are differences between men and women. (Shocker that emerged: "Men can't breastfeed, right?" Lamb had to grudgingly admit that no, men in fact cannot breastfeed.) I bolted at the break, so I don't know what other Earth-shattering revelations will come forth later.

What this all means, big picture, I can't say. I'm definitely going back for more some other time, though. It was a hoot.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The dog totally knows

Check out Sophie with the advance warning on the Humboldt earthquake last week:

[Video via the Eureka Times-Standard.]

She's all "FUCK, I AM OUTTA HERE." I guess that shit about dogs being able to predict earthquakes is true.

Speaking of EQs, there's been a lot of Unwanted Seismic Activity in the past coupla weeks. We're off to Target on Saturday to replenish our earthquake kits. And BevMo, too. I drank the vodka out of our kit like a year ago.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Sex Robot, or Shooting Fish &c.

I know this shit is already all over the Internets and it's the Fall of Humanity and blah blah blah whatever, but I'm sure everyone's just dying to know my jaundiced take on it, so let's do this thing:

New Jersey company TrueCompanion and Hines has developed the world’s first “sex robot”. The robot called ‘Roxxxy’ has different personalities and responds to the sense of touch. Roxxxy, is a female robot which acts as a life partner or mate for those who can’t find the 'real thing'. TrueCompanion claims Roxxxy “can carry on a discussion and expresses her love to you and be your loving friend. She can talk to you, listen to you and feel your touch.”

TrueCompanion introduced its first robot, Trudy, in 1993.

The sex robot is a two and a half year project costing around $1 million. The company is currently working on the male version of the robot.

Roxxxy will be available in the US and European market from next week and will cost about $7,000 to $9,000 (excluding subscription fee).

First of all, "The Money Times," decide whether you like your punctuation inside or outside of your quotation marks and fucking stick with it. The bopping back and forth is maddening.

Second, what happened with Trudy? I don't remember hearing anything about Trudy. In '93, what was it? A blow-up doll with a couple of built-in Dustbusters and a cassette tape of Meg Ryan doing the orgasm scene in "When Harry Met Sally"?

Third, what does the "subscription fee" cover? Roxxy gets "US Weekly" or something? Actually, she'd be about midrange, IQ-wise, for the typical US Weekly reader, so I wouldn't rule it out.

Fourth, ugh:

Meet Roxxxy, the sex robot apparently modeled on Chrissie Hynde

But I saved the best for last:

Hines inspiration for Roxxxy came from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

“I had a friend who passed away in 9/11. I promised myself I would create a program to store his personality, and that became the foundation for Roxxxy True
Companion,” said Hines.

Here we have reached the absolute nadir of 9/11 capitalization. You thought Rudy Giuliani was bad? You thought you couldn't get any more exploitive than the "Freedom Tower" coins? You, my friend, have underestimated the perseverance of American capitalism. Because a talking moving sex robot can't sell itself. But a 9/11-INSPIRED TALKING MOVING SEX ROBOT? That's what I'm talkin' about.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I'll throw a bigass party, too!

The Wife and I have entered the Marin Dream House Raffle. Obviously, when we win, we're going to take the $1.6 million in cash and not the house, because (a) we couldn't afford the property taxes on the house, and (b) neither one of us particularly wants to live in Larkspur. Nothing personal, but if you've ever hung out in Larkspur, you know what I'm talking about.

SO after taxes we figure we'll clear like $800K. Not that much, but enough to make a good start of it. I've already got a few things picked out!

A Juicy Couture faux fur coat for my dog.

Faux fur is OK, but I was kind of hoping to find a REAL fur coat for my dog. Like a big Snoop Dogg fur. Because then my dog would be all "I AM SUCH A FUCKING BADASS I'M WEARING ANOTHER DOG'S FUR" except they probably don't make dog fur coats for dogs. Baby seal fur would be fine.

A custom built dog house would be cool too. Do you think they could build like a little mini-Zeitgiest with little tiny picnic tables in the back? That way we can have little happy hours and my dog's friends can come over and get wasted and throw up behind the Porta Potties. That would be cool.

I'll probably need this statue:

I have no idea what it's supposed to mean, either.

If there's any money left over, we're going to go to the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz in Paris and have a couple of those €400 Ritz Side Cars. That's about $570 apiece Amurican. Tell me it wouldn't be a fucking trip just to roll in there and go "Yo, Francois, set me and my homies up with a pitcher of those Side Cars. Chop chop, don't make whichever Olsen twin this is wait!"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

In six months, no one's going to remember anything about this and we'll all be going "What was that about, again?"

I was working on this whole other post about going to the gym and self-improvement and not drinking and all that bullshit, but SCREEEECH RECORD SCRATCH SOUND The Great Hipster Comment War of Aught-Ten has commanded my attention. 25 years from now I will be telling my - what, kids? court-ordered lecturees? Hugh Hefner-like bevy of child brides? - this story as a cautionary tale of what the Internetz were like in Ye Olde 2010.

It seems that Intrepid Local Blogger Kevin of Mission Mission visited Debaser at Knockout recently and maybe didn't think it was all that great:

I always thought The Knockout was a place where people who still think Nirvana is indie went to score blow. Turns out people dance there too! I had been seeing these pictures pop up on flickr a lot and kept thinking “what brand of douchebag goes to a club that, presumably, hires some jackass to take photos of their trashed customers, watermarks/brands/copyrights the photo, and upload them to flickr?”

So I decided to do a little recon/spectating with the ultimate authority of Mission douchebags last night. Dunno about it. Felt like a more over-hyped promoted/less fun version of emo night at Pops (which is free and they serve $1 high life). The whole time I was there nothing really notable or exciting happened. Some drunk chicks hit the photobooth but the whole thing was mostly shouting at your friends over the DJ. Rolled out at midnight, went to Farolito, savaged a burrito, and went to bed.

Hey, whatever. Last time I went to Debaser, an extremely sweaty guy with a beard and a neck tattoo spilled half a beer on me. Did I totally get pissed off and go "WHAT!? WHAT!?" No, of course not, you silly twat. IT ALL BEATS LIVING IN RWANDA.

(I should interject here that the "some jackass" who takes the photos is my friend Chris, who I personally know not to be a jackass. Anyway.)

(I should also interject that Kevin and I probably have different ideas about what constitutes fun, because it seems like I spend a lot of my time shouting at my friends over the DJ/band/illegal cockfight crowd/whatever.)

SHIT HIT THE FAN. By now, if you're reading this, you read all the other SF blogs and you know the whole story - Debaser's response, the brazilian comments on Mission Mission, and the what-does-it-all-mean article on SF Appeal, followed by another raft of fist-shaking and chin-rubbing comments. OUR NAVELS ARE THE MOST GAZE-WORTHY OF ALL NAVELS WORLDWIDE.

Why am I writing about this? I don't know. Aren't I perpetuating this silly fight? Yes. Yes I am.

Here's your takeaways: Not everyone likes the same things; Debaser will continue apace, without noticeable wounds; people say all kinds of things on the Internet, some of them mean; it's awesome we have the free time to worry about this. Me included, times ten.

UPDATE: As suggested by commenter Rocco, we should print up shirts! Or how about baseball jerseys and hoodies. Like so:

Monday, January 4, 2010

January's Little Joke

And so we have reached that yearly event known as Sober January, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like and is basically just a chance to clean out the system, so to speak, catch up on our Netflix, save a ton of money and lose some weight. I'm shooting for the rehab-standard 28 days this year. Some prior years have been relatively successful (i.e. solid month) and some not so much, like last year, when The Wife (who was still Super Hot Irish Girlfriend at the time) and I collectively talked each other into breaking down and going to a bar on the 10th. Let's hope for better results this year.

Here are the changes that you, loyal readers, will notice during January:

1. Fewer drinking-related stories. Duh.

2. The blog will be about 20% less funny. I'm sorry, but it's true. I think my posts are consistently funnier when they're written either while slightly buzzed or the morning after drinking. Can't help it, it's true.

So let's hang in there together. You forgive all the movie reviews and talk about my dog, and I'll forgive you for actually having fun this month.

IN OTHER NEWS, this "Tooth Fairy" movie with The Rock has to be an elaborate joke, right? I mean, the commercial looks EXACTLY like the kind of parody commercial they'd do on SNL if he were hosting. There is no way this can be a real movie, right? Right? Please tell me it's not.

Speaking of movie trailers, thanks to Periqueblend for turning me on to The 5 Best Movie Trailer Remixes. Genius: