Thursday, March 29, 2012

Based on some secondhand info, let's rage about the ways the Giants have fucked up the ballpark this year

Apparently there is some kind of ballpark tour for Important Twitter Accounts Other Than Me right now, because @SFGiantsFans keeps sending TROUBLING and DISTURBING updates about New Features at AT&T Park. Like this:

Ugh. Ugh. "Corona Beach Club"? Fucking FUCK ME. What is this, a park where baseball is played or an episode of "90210: The Dissolute Alcoholic Post-College Years"? "Corona Beach Clubs" are for stadiums in San Diego or Phoenix where no one's pretending to watch the game anyway. We come to AT&T Park to watch the Giants team play the baseball, not sit in some crappy beer company's themed sand-filled seating area and drink their crappy beer.

I expect the Corona Beach Club to be especially fun on Tuesday nights in July when it's 56 degrees with 20 mph winds and fog blowing over the walls like smoke from yet another uncontrolled PG&E manhole explosion. WHERE'S YOUR BOARD SHORTS BRAH.

This is San Francisco, motherfucker! Instead of this bullshit, we need something like the "Herbal Remedy Weed Club," featuring a thick forest of prime Kush and a vaporizer and a little stereo that plays the Dead show at Cornell 5-8-77 on constant repeat.

Or how about this:

First of all, anything called "hip" is inevitably whatever the opposite of "hip" is. Secondly, as all Club Level Smokers know, the outdoor area they're talking about was pretty much the last place you could sneak a smoke in the park. Now that will be gone and if you want to smoke a cig between innings, you're gonna have to go all the way out the O'Doul Gate like all the other losers. But hey, at least we'll have a "HIP OUTDOOR AREA." Not like anyone wants to watch, oh, I don't know, a BASEBALL GAME or anything.

Whatever, I'll still be there.

Hey, second blog post of the day! I'm making up for all that time I wasn't posting much.

New Bar Night: Undisclosed Location

I've been going out to bars in San Francisco for more than 20 years. I used to keep a list of every bar I went to. There were around 150 places on it when I quit keeping it. Of course, back in those days, I was going out 3 or 4 times a week, which I don't even come close to any more, but whatever. The point is, I think I have a pretty good handle on The Bars of San Francisco. If you name a place, I've probably either been there or at least have heard of it.

So I'm always surprised when I come across a place I've never even heard of. Especially in the Inner Richmond. I mean, I'm sure there are places in Portola or Ingleside or whatever that I've never heard of. But the IR is well-traveled ground, and it would be hard to hide a bar there, or so I thought.

I first passed this place on one of my perambulations around the new neighborhood and was immediately struck by the exterior because it looked like it was either time-traveled from 1955 or was built by set designers to look like one of those South Boston bars from "The Departed" or "Gone Baby Gone." Old, apparently hand-painted sign. Only small windows set well above eye level. Beer signs and Irish geegaws in the window. I had walked by it on a Wednesday night and it was definitely closed. I looked through the window and saw a pool table and that was about all I could see.

I was intrigued! What the hell! The place had a few Yelp reviews (mostly positive), but way less than other IR places. I was starting to think it had closed down.

So last Friday, The Wife and I went by there. The door was closed but the sign was lit up so we tried the door and what do you know, it was open. It was pretty much exactly what you'd expect. Smallish, lots of Irish stuff on the walls, that particular Old Bar Smell. The bartender was a matriarchal type from Ireland and as soon as she found out The Wife was from Ireland too we didn't pay for any drinks. I ended up leaving like $15 on the bar. I think she charged us for the first round and that was it.

All regulars, of course, except for a couple of people who straggled in to play pool. Pretty much your classic San Francisco Irish Dive.

If the place has been under the radar this long, far be for me to blow it up. I'm sure we'll be back there.

Have a good weekend, everybody! Look for me at the Cesar Chavez Day Parade tomorrow!

Monday, March 26, 2012

I can't do it.

I used to recap Mad Men. No more. I'm already sick of reading about last night's episode just from this morning's 1-hour jaunt around the Internet. I can't imagine that I would have anything novel or interesting to say about Zou Bisou Bisou, except that it reminded me of this:

So if you somehow need to read more about Mad Men, just turn on the Internet. It's fucking EVERYWHERE.

(I will make the following observations, which do not count as recapping in any way:

- Did Lane and that chick just invent phone sex?
- Don's apartment!
- Is there not as much smoking as there used to be?
- Is that another new Bobby? I can't even tell any more.)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The strange case of the Inner Richmond Muni line

So we've lived in the Inner Richmond for about a month now and we have been acclimating and slowly learning Your Local Customs and whatnot and it's cool, I mean, it's mellow except for the Screaming Drunk USF College Student Girls on Thursday-Sunday nights, but that's no biggie. There is one strange thing I've noticed here, though, that I wasn't prepared for. Where I come from, at your average Muni stop there is your usual agglomeration of pathetic humanity hanging around until the bus pulls up and then BOOM it's like a soccer riot and every man woman and child for themselves and elbowing and pushing their way onto the bus and people coming out the front door like they're not supposed to and weeping and moaning and general human malaise. You know what I mean?

Not in the Inner Richmond! Imagine my surprise when I came around the corner one morning to go to my stop and there was a NEAT AND ORDERLY LINE OF PEOPLE extending from the bus stop itself down the street. Like this, but with more people staring at tiny screens.

WHAT THE WHAT NOW. This is a Strange and Magical Land! I had no frame of reference for this kind of behavior. As it happens, I've only seen something similar once before. Many years ago, I went to Zeitgeist quite coincidentally on the same day as the Dyke March and the instant I walked through the door I knew something was up because instead of the usual pathetic crowd up and down the bar yelling and waving bills trying to catch the attention of the surly and jaded bartenders, instead the ladies had formed an ORDERLY LINE from the bar back. It was the equivalent of seeing a class of preschoolers suddenly and spontaneously start performing Shakespeare. I simply could not grasp it.

SO. Are Inner Richmonders all secretly lesbians? How are we to explain this bizarre behavior?

(SIDE NOTE. The Line People, I've noticed, are queued for the express bus to downtown, and so they all file onto it and leave me and maybe one other person - usually Baseball Cap Guy or Vaguely Indian Girl - to take the regular non-express bus when it comes.)

(SIDE NOTE 2. Today the regular non-express bus took us about 5 blocks and then forced us all out with some "last stop" bullshit. Thanks for fucking up again, Muni!)

Monday, March 19, 2012


Everyone knows that St. Patrick's Day in San Francisco is a shitshow, and since it fell on a Saturday this year, we figured it would be even worse, so we got the fuck out of town and went up to Sonoma to do some wine tasting and so forth.

A few observations:

- Two, yes, TWO different wineries dyed their chardonnay green for tasting. Green beer I can understand. Green chardonnay is repulsive. One of the wineries said that someone who bought the chardonnay asked that the bottle they bought be dyed green. What. The. Fuck.

- The SPD stuff at wineries other than that was pretty mellow. Tasting room employees wearing green and saying "Happy St. Patrick's Day" was about it. Some of the people on those limo winery tours were wearing beads and stuff, but no big thing.

- In downtown Healdsburg, there were definitely drunk people wandering around wearing SPD paraphernalia, but the intense partying seemed confined to one townie-type bar we passed.

- We were a little wined out by dinner and ate at Bear Republic's brewpub in Healdsburg. I finally caved and got the corned beef & cabbage, which was surprisingly good. We tried three different beers and they were all fine. Nothing set me on fire or anything.

- I think the best places we went were probably Mill Creek and John Tyler. Coincidentally, we were the only people there at both places.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Bachelor: Bitches Love Capes. It's True.

I have a confession to make: I've known that he picked Lizard Queen to be his Baby-Voiced Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Bride since before the season started. I was reading one of those reality TV websites and ignored the ***SPOILER WARNING**** and plowed ahead and found out. Did it diminish my enjoyment of the season? Not really. The only thing that can diminish your enjoyment of "The Bachelor" is having an IQ over 68 or not being home-schooled.

(To the very nice reader who wanted me to join her Bachelor office pool: This is why I couldn't.)

OK! Enough with the jibber jabber. Let's watch this fool get engaged. We are still in Switzerland, now joined by Mom and Sister Julie. B's hair has now reached Dead Animal Left in a Car Trunk in 98 Degree Heat For 2 Weeks level. Here comes Linz! They have some lunch with the Gurlz and Linz is drunk or something and keeps dropping shit. Girlfriend has also developed some Stress Zits. Mom and Sis both interview her. Linz feels like Sis is going to grill her, but Julie mostly just wants to hear herself talk. Blah blah blah I'm so interesting whatever. Oh, she wants to know about Courtney! Linz wants to say "That bitch cray" but tactfully refrains. She gets the Handsome Sister Hug of Approval. Everyone likes Linz. Hey, O/T and all, but what language do they speak in Switzerland? Just curious.

Courtney Day! Here she comes, slurring and baby talking. "Do you like me? Do you like me a little bit?" she says. Ugh, I like you to shut up. Anyway, she meets the fam and Julie takes her out on the balcony for the Plain Girl's Revenge. C says all those other girls were very mean to her. For some reason, Sis and Mom both think Courtney is just fucking awesome. I guess that Model-Fu works on chicks too. Later, Mom and Sis and B all sit down and Sis wants him to pick Courtney! Are you sure about this, Sis? Do you want a 98-pound model sitting next to you at Thanksgiving when you're shoving mashed potatoes and pie into your gullet and crying about how you can't keep a relationship going? You will hate that bitch so fucking much. Think about it.

Alright, Date with Linz. She says it "could be their last date" so she goes all out by throwing on a white T-shirt and no makeup. Don't knock yourself out trying to look good, Lindzi! Combing your hair is for SUCKERS! Anyway, carriage ride, sure, gondola picnic, sure, fondue, check. In fact, ABC has shoehorned fondue into every possible scene because Switzerland, right? They eat fondue like every day there, right? Linz says she can see them together and if this is her opening up there is a lot of boring inside. For the Night Portion, Linz throws on a nicer top but still won't take the Makeup Plunge. B stops by her room for wine and a lot of blah blah blah and let's stop pretending here. You are a Dead Chick Walking and the stench of failure is already heavy upon you.

Courtney Date next. Oh, of course, here comes the helicopter, which she calls a "helichopper" because she's an idiot. They fly up and around the Matterhorn and Ben tells her that on the other side of the mountains is Italy and she goes "Oh, I heard about that." About what? The existence of a country called Italy? I bet you did! They stop off for an impromptu mountain picnic/sledding event and God I just cannot stand her and let's just fucking get this over with. That night, he stops by her room (where, I note, the Ubiquitous Fondue Pot sits at the ready) and she has a gift for him! It's a book of pictures of them that ABC gave her! Then it's time for some Relationship Talk. Since they had an uncomfortably long interval not talking about her, she has to bring it back to herself and how she needs positive feedback and this frightens and confuses Bad Hair and meanwhile warning bells are LITERALLY going off in the background.

Let's get to the Proposal and GTFO. So, it's the big day. Everyone's wearing capes like they're Draculettes or in a Disney movie. We've got a proposal site set up on a mountaintop like some kind of Druid Altar and human sacrifice looks good right about now. Linz arrives, FINALLY wearing a little lipstick, but too little too late. As soon as he gets to the "But..." she knows and gives him some serious side-eye. As if this whole thing isn't humiliating enough, Linz piles on herself by saying "If things don't work out, call me?" Oh, sweetie. You could do better. The cameraman is better.

Alright, let's give this bitch a ring. She shows up all Capey and Elbow-Glovey like she's Vapidella de Ville and she valiantly says she could "possibly love him forever." Yeah, better not to commit to too much at this stage. So he asks her and she gets emotional once she sees the bigass rock ABC bought her. "I love it," she says. Finally, I get the feeling she's not bullshitting. The end.

Oh, not the end. There's a special with Chris Harrison and lots of crying. They're still together. Oh wait, no they're not. Oh, maybe they are. Everyone cries. This is more boring than that "How It's Made" about how they make potting soil. Anyway, let's move on with our lives and pretend none of this ever happened.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Presenting the Results of TK's First Annual Vodka Tasting


L-R: Skyy Citrus, Belvedere, Smirnoff, Stolichnaya, Ketel One

CONTROVERSY!!!: I didn't realize I bought Skyy Citrus so when the tasters remarked that Vodka #1 tasted "fruity," I didn't understand. Whoops. Shouldn't have used that one.


Blind tasting. There were three tasters: The Wife, The Sister, and Periqueblend. Each received 1/3 oz of the vodka. The tasters did gave each vodka a score from 1 to 10.


A clear victory for capitalism and wealth! The most expensive vodka, Belvedere, won, with 27 out of a possible 30 points. Second place was Ketel One, with 26 points. Then Smirnoff, with 23 points, Stoli with 18, and finally Skyy Citrus (again, whoops) with 13.


#1 (Skyy)

The Wife: "This has some kind of a fruit taste"
The Sister: "It burns"
Periqublend: "It's sweet or something"

#2 (Smirnoff)

The Wife: "This is the Belvedere"
The Sister: "Now we're talking."
Periqueblend: "Very smooth."

#3 (Ketel One)

The Wife: "No, this one is the Belvedere."
The Sister: "This is better than the last one."
Periqueblend: "I want to do this same thing but with whiskey."

#4 (Stoli)

The Wife: "This is better than the first one."
The Sister: "This is booty. Mid-shelf."
Periqueblend: "Clean. Not that bad."

#5 (Belvedere)

The Wife: "Really smooth. This has to be the Belvedere."
The Sister: "This is good. This is the best one."
Periqueblend: "Is there some kind of fruity thing going on?"

Friday, March 9, 2012

We need a new SF mnemonic

As you know if you live in SF and as I'm about to tell you if you don't, San Francisco has a few sets of parallel streets with timed lights that basically function as substitute freeways to make it easier to get from one part of town to the other. Going East-West, there's Bush/Pine and Fell/Oak. North-South, there's Gough and Franklin. Here, I made you a map:

(Side note, I've long suspected that stretches of Turk and Golden Gate have timed lights too, and this entry on Quora seems to back that up. Also 19th Ave, but the traffic on 19th is so bad you usually can't get a good enough speed going to take advantage of the timed lights for more than one or two intersections. Anyway.)

SO. If you're like me, you're somewhat absent-minded/brain-damaged and can't remember shit and so you need a mnemonic device to help you remember which direction these streets go. I learned these mnemonics 20 years ago and I still use them constantly:

Bush to the bay; Pine to the Pacific

(i.e., Bush goes East and Pine goes West); and

Fell to the fog; Oak to Oakland

(A little more abstract, but still sensical. Fell goes West, towards the fogbound Avenues, and Oak goes East, towards Oakland. More importantly, the on-ramp for the Bay Bridge used to be directly off of Oak. Now you have to turn on Octavia and all that bullshit, but still, Oak takes you to Oakland.)

BUT HERE'S THE PROBLEM. I have never heard a good mnemonic for Franklin and Gough and as a result I still to this day can't remember which one goes north and which one goes south.

As it happens, Franklin goes north from Market Street and Hayes Valley to Bay Street in the Marina, and Gough does just the opposite. BUT LET'S THINK OF A WAY TO REMEMBER THAT.

Franklin ends roughly at Fort Mason; we could do Franklin to Fort Mason? Meh, not crazy about that. It ends in the Marina; Franklin to Family Money? Franklin to Fairly Recent College Graduate? Franklin to Future Orinda Resident? Gotten tighten it up. Has to be one word, I think.

What about Gough? Grove Street is at the top of Hayes Valley; Gough to Grove? That's embarrassingly weak. I got nothing.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Bachelor: Fake Confessional/Clip Show

What happens is, every season before the last episode, Chris Harrison calls everyone together to sit in a studio with an audience and fight about what happened that season and make some people cry hopefully and also show a lot of clips. Last night it was called "The Women Tell All" but nobody really told anything. I watched it anyway because I'm retarded and in for a penny and whatnot.

We started out by taking a look at Where Past Contestants Are Now. From the looks of the footage we saw, they're contracting STDs in Vegas. Oh look, there's Frank! I always had a soft spot for Frank. He was so dopey and stupid that it almost seemed unfair to put him on the show. The way he's leering at Ali, I hope his child bride Nicole isn't watching.

Anyway. Back to the studio. Oh God, they're trotting Shawntel out AGAIN. What the fuck is it, ABC? What is your strange uncontrollable attraction to Shawntel that you have to keep bringing her on this show? Why don't you just fuck her and get it over with, ABC? And then ignore her texts and talk bad about her behind her back and be all "Yeah, whatever, I was never into her," even though you totally are, ABC? Why don't you just do that?

Chris does some interviews with Emily and Kacie (whose highlight package make the audience cry!) and FINALLY we get to Courtney. Everybody piles on Courtney. Monica says she's a "liar" and "vapit," whatever that means. Wait, there's something off about Courtney. She's not sucking her lips into her lizard head and she's not talking her Sedated Baby Voice. What the fuck? She's sort of normal and contrite!!! Why are you fucking with us, Courtney? What strange sorcery is this? I guess those acting lessons are paying off! So she apologizes like a million times and fake cries and gets a special crying SUV to leave in. Huh.

Let's bring out that flat-haired doofus for a talk. Nicki says "You are the best man I've ever met in my entire life." Jesus Christ, Nicki. Where did you grow up, inside a prison or something? Bitch needs to get out more. Jamie wants him to know that she'll be around if things don't work out. Damn girl, desperate much?

We'll finally conclude this shitshow next week. Then next season we get Emily. Ugh. Already dreading that. You know who needs to be the 'rette? Emily from THIS season. She's cute and is one of the few contestants in the history of the show who seems to have a sense of humor or any actual personality beyond I'm Not Here to Make Friends and I'm Here For the Right Reasons and Please Love Me Please Please Please My Daddy Never Said He Loved Me. Yeesh.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Let's talk about that guy who killed that mountain lion for a second

Have you ever thought "I wonder what the mission of the California Fish and Game Commission is"? Yes? Well, wonder no more:

The Mission of the California Fish and Game Commission is, on behalf of California citizens, to ensure the long term sustainability of California's fish and wildlife resources by:

Guiding the ongoing scientific evaluation and assessment of California's fish and wildlife resources;

Setting California's fish and wildlife resource management policies and insuring these are implemented by the Department of Fish and Game;

Establishing appropriate fish and wildlife resource management rules and regulations; and

Building active fish and wildlife resource management partnerships with individual landowners, the public and interest groups, and federal, State and local resource management agencies.

TL;DR? I'll nutshell it for you: the job of the FGC is basically to set wildlife policy in California and make sure that existing policy gets enforced. Hunting mountain lions in California has been illegal since 1971. Here's a picture of California Fish and Game Commission President Daniel Richards:

Hey, what's that dead thing he's holding? Oh, it's a mountain lion he shot in Idaho in January, NBD. As it happens, shooting mountain lions is perfectly legal in Idaho. Daniel Richards didn't break any laws. Still, tons of people are super pissed and somehow Gavin Newsom got involved and wants him to resign.

(I love how Gavin got elected Lieutenant Governor, an office which has the power roughly equivalent to an attendant at a Citgo station, and has ever since struggled mightily to keep his face on the news. His clawing for relevance is amusing, to say the least. I was surprised when he didn't show up for the America's Got Talent auditions in SF last week. I hear his rendition of "Misty" is heartbreaking.)

So we can all agree that Richards didn't break any laws by shooting and then eating the mountain lion ("It doesn't taste like chicken," he told conservative talk radio hosts John and Ken in Los Angeles. "The closest thing is pork loin. It's a white meat. It's really good, and actually in frontier times it was a delicacy because it's tough to bag one of them."). So what's the big deal?

I think it's a perception thing. It just doesn't feel right that the guy who's in charge of busting anyone who shoots a mountain lion gleefully crosses the border into another state to shoot a mountain lion. It's like if we had a police chief who made a big deal about busting hookers (I know, but it's a thought experiment, play along) went to the Mustang Ranch in Nevada and took pictures and bragged about what a great prostitute he had sex with. Doesn't it seem kinda hypocritical or something?

I mean, say you shoot a mountain lion in California (and you're not the police - they seem to shoot mountain lions with some regularity) and you get (rightfully) hauled into court. Wouldn;t you feel like saying "But hey, the guy who's in charge of busting me just did the same thing!" I know, different state, but still, it's a perception thing.

Anyway, who knows how the whole thing will turn out. He seems like kind of a jerk who enjoys pushing people's buttons, so that probably doesn't help. I'll guarantee you one thing, though - the one animal California Fish and Game Commission President Daniel Richards wishes it was legal to shoot in California is Gavin Newsom.