Thursday, January 31, 2013

This doesn't make any sense at all

Strange doings in beautiful Fontana (IRONY, Fontana is not beautiful):

The Fontana Unified School District Police Department purchased 14 AR-15 assault weapons to protect students in response to recent shootings across the country, but some school leaders and citizens think it’s a step in the wrong direction.

FUSD Superintendent Cali Olsen-Binks approved the acquisition of the rifles, which are being stored on campuses in locked safes for responding police officers in the event of an attack.

Wait a minute.  Let's leave aside the larger argument about whether it's a good idea to turn schools into armories like they're the sets of Die Hard 8: Die Harder Than Fuck Calculus Problems, because people that think that heavily armed schools are good will think that and people who think that schools should generally be free of assault weapons will think that.  PUSSIES.  Oh, sorry.  Anyway, no matter how you cut it, THIS DON'T MAKE ANY DAMN SENSE.

Read it again.  The AR-15s will be kept in locked safes on campus for responding officers.  A few thoughts:

1. What if the School Shooter who this is apparently designed to address is somewhere between the doorway of the school and the Locked Safes?  Those AR-15s won't be doing much good.  But, bigger issue:

2. DON'T FONTANA POLICE OFFICERS HAVE THEIR OWN GUNS?  I mean, REALLY?  They have to rely on potential shooting targets to supply their own firepower?  Doesn't this imply that every 7-Eleven in Fontana should have a couple of AKs in a locked safe, just in case they're robbed?  If the Fontana Police don't have their own guns, for Chrissake, BUY THE POLICE SOME FUCKING GUNS, not the schools.  If there's one group of people I don't mind seeing armed, it's the police.

3. I would seriously look into any financial ties between "FUSD Superintendent Cali Olsen-Binks" and whoever is supplying the guns.  I wouldn't be surprised if the owner of the local gun reseller is Mr. Cali Olsen-Binks.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Bachelor: "Here For the Right Reasons" makes a surprising and welcome return

I'm going to jump right in and elide over the weekly gratuitous shirtless Sean establishing shots and get right to solo date with Apparently Arabic Selma who we learn quickly is Actually Arabic Selma from Iraq and is almost certainly going to be honor killed after this episode.  The prospect of this solo date leaves Big Mouth Billy Bass in tears for some reason but FORESHADOWING.  Anyway, Big Dumb Sean and Apparently Arabic are off in a private jet and Selma makes a lot of references about how she could get used to this and she seems generally a little gold-diggery.  They're off to the desert, so Selma should feel right at home!  Oh, she doesn't like the desert.  I guess you can take the girl out of Iraq and can take Iraq out of the girl after all.  They hike about 50 feet from the parking lot and AA is already bitching about the heat and the snakes and she would be the worst insurgent ever.  "My AK-47 is SOOOO HEAVYYYYY!" "This keffiyeh is ruining my makeup!" Anyway, they do some rock climbing and AA proves to be some kind of rock climbing savant but bitches the whole way.

Night brings us to some kind of kitschy faux trailer park that a little Googling reveals to be "Hicksville Trailer Palace and Artist Retreat" in Joshua Tree.  Here it's time for outdoor drinks and no food and no kissing because AA's Mom is watching and will stroke out if she kisses anyone on TV.  Mom didn't agree with her being on the show and Mom is now the most rational person we've heard about.  So there's a lot of G-rated cuddling and a long conversation about how they wish they could kiss and I wish for a speedy and painless death.

Next we have assembled a bunch of the chicks in the mimosa limo and we're off to a group date.  What do you think we'll do?  Maybe solve some simple math problems?  No, I'm kidding.  It's something they can actually do: roller derby!  I bet Lindsay's down with anything if there's booze involved.  Hey, tangent, but what the fuck is up with Tierra's forehead?

Maybe she Pinterested this:

Anyway, let's get to some roller skating.  Poor One Armed Sarah isn't very good and starts crying.  Now I feel bad!  I can't roller skate either, Sarah!  It gets better.  Anyway, AshLee stops by for a pep talk.  "Hey, at least you weren't passed around foster families like a rototiller!"  There, that's better.

BOOM!  Amanda goes down.  On skates, I mean.  Get that thought out of your head.  She hits her chin and the medics think it might be broken and some 12-year-old intern takes her off to the hospital.  The whole incident scares the Bachelor Insurance Carrier and so roller derby is canceled in favor of "free skate" to "Foolish Heart" by Journey and now everyone feels nauseous, not just Amanda.  Night brings us to the roof of the downtown Roosevelt and Lindsay's slurring already!  I love that boozer.  Oh, here comes Amanda!  No broken jaw.  Maybe some meds, though!

Meanwhile, somebody forgot to pack Tierra's apple slices and peanut butter because girl is having a meltdown!  Just as Lindsay manages to slur out "Joo bnringya baving soot?" and get bikini'd up to hit the hot tub, here comes fucking Tierra to stage an Uncool Intervention and blubbers to S about something I'm not sure what I got bored and started checking Twitter.  Then he gives her a rose!  WTF!  You're not supposed to reward bad behavior!  He should have swatted her on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper.  BAD DOG, TIERRA.

Next up: Solo Date with Big Mouth Billy Bass.  They take off in one of the producers' midlife crisis/trophy wife bait car to do some shopping at something called Badgley Mischka and I have some bad news BMBB, they have dresses on their website for like 300 bucks so it's not like ABC had to siphon their Cayman account for this spree.  WOOOO, A THOUSAND DOLLARS! WHEEEE.  Dinner is in some abandoned warehouse/set for "Hostel: Part IV, The Cringing."  There's no spark and BMBB is shown the door but not before warning him that some girls are not Here For The Right Reasons!  I've missed you, Here For The Right Reasons.  Let's not fight ever again.

Scenes from the cocktail party: Other Black Girl makes semi-dirty chocolate references. Tierra continues to be in Low Blood Sugar Crazy mode.  Hilariously, she tries to get street when she talks to OBG and wants to "squash it."  OK, Tierra, we get it, we saw that Afterschool Special too.  Ambiguously Ethnic Catherine oddly hands him a card with a lipstick print on it.  WHAT IS THIS SUPPOSED TO SIGNIFY.  Tierra stares into the camera.  She is becoming Bane from the Batman movie before our eyes.  "You must be strong and get what you want," she says.  "Destroy your enemy. True strength comes from within. Now I need to moisturize."

Here are the ones he has decided to keep: Ambiguously Ethnic Catherine. Katie Holmes. Drunk Lindsay. Bug Eyes, OBG, AdopTee, One Arm, Sucka Freee, and Just Jackie.  Sorry, Amanda!  Back to Newport Beach to resume your Fit Model lifestyle.

NEXT WEEK: Oh for fuck's sake, 2 nights in a row?  Are you fucking kidding me? Fuck.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Where in the Mission was this taken?

In 1970, San Francisco rock and roll band The Grateful Dead released an album called "Workingman's Dead."  It did moderately well, eventually reaching #27 on the Billboard album chart and was certified gorld (i.e., 500,000 copies sold) a few years later, in 1974.  Even if you don't especially like the Grateful Dead, the album is essentially harmless, a pleasant collection of stoner country-rock that makes a perfect accompaniment to a Sunday morning making brunch after smoking a couple of bowls.

The cover photo of the band was taken somewhere in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Here's how Blair Jackson, Jerry Garcia's biographer and a longtime writer about the Dead, described the shot:

Artist Alton Kelley says that the title and concept for the cover was his: "I wanted to make it look real utilitarian," he said. "We took the picture with a little Brownie. You couldn't get that funky a photograph with a good camera. We went out intentionally with an old camera to do it. They stood on that old street corner somewhere in the Mission District [of San Francisco]. And they were bitching and griping about having to stand out in the street looking like that, getting their picture taken. That's why it came out so well! Billy got so pissed off he just went back and sat in a doorway. We were at a bus stop and he was actually going to get on the next bus!"

Yesterday, whoever the shadowy, mysterious figure is who runs the indispensable SF_Historian Twitter account wondered if anyone could help him locate where the shot was taken.

No one's figured it out yet, although some good additional information has come to light, like this photo from the same session:

What are those things over on the left?  They look like gas storage tanks to me.  Pastmapper suggests that the tanks will be found in this 1968 aerial photo of the Mission.  Feel free to put on a loupe and scan away, my marginally employed friends!

Some people have suggested that the corner doorway looks like the Homestead at 19th and Folsom, but I'm not convinced.  The rest of the wall looking down 19th doesn't look like it, and that Victorian house doesn't match.

We should also point out that this guy is so into this problem he bought a Muni map from the 60's and then followed all the routes on Street View looking for it because of the bus stop part of the anecdote above.  So far, no luck.

So what do you think, guys?  Recognize the spot?  Any ideas?  Anyone want to go out today and make an exhaustive survey of every corner-facing doorway in the Mission?

POSTSCRIPT:  Of course, the real question here is WHY.  Why do we want to find out where this picture was taken?  Well, it would be interesting to know, as a historical (or "an historical," if you're from New York) curiosity.  But I really want to find it so I can get 6 friends together and recreate it exactly, IF YOU MUST KNOW.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hey here's a question about giving up your seat on public transpo

GIVING UP YOUR SEAT ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.  I know, seventy billion hits, right?  The only way I could stir up more interest would be to change this to "Giving up your seat to someone WITH A BIKE in San Francisco" or "Giving up your seat to GAY MARRIAGE SOLYNDRA GUN CONTROL."

ANYWAY.  I was going to do a whole Urban Etiquette post about Proper Behavior on Public Transpo but frankly I don't have the time and a topic like that requires book-length soon-to-be-a-major-motion-picture treatment.  TRANSIT FUCKS II: TAKE OFF YOUR FUCKING BACKPACK, in theaters this summer.

So let's confine ourselves to one specific topic: Giving up your seat.  Who do you give up your seat for?  I have a few basic categories that I always jump up to accommodate:

1. Any woman who appears to be at least 20 years older than me

Now, keep in mind, I'm pretty old, so we're talking the headscarf & dentures crowd here.  If you're young enough to not feel inappropriate at Delirium, you can probably adjust this to any woman who appears to be 40 years older than you.

2. Any old man who looks like he needs a seat

If he has gray hair but looks robust and vital, he can stand.  If he has a cane or is wheeling a portable oxygen cylinder, be my guest.

3. Anyone who appears to be pregnant or have a physical disability of some type or who at least says they do and asks

Although honestly, in 22 years of riding Muni, I have never once had anyone ask for my seat.  I never sit in those seats in the front reserved for the handicapped, though.  I always get up for the pregs.  Now that The Wife is one of them, she says that the only people who offer their seats are other womyn.  WHAT UP DUDES, why so thoughtless?  She's pregnant!  Get the fuck up! 

Other situations are handled on a case-by-case basis.  Like if some chick is struggling with a heavy parcel of some type, I'll usually at least offer. 

So here's my dilemma: WHAT ABOUT KIDS. 

This morning, a woman gets on with 2 kids and they're standing there and one guy gives up his seat and the girl in the seat next to him vacates at the next stop, so the kids get the seats with the Mom standing next to them.

So here's the question: when a Mom or Dad gets on with toddler-or-above-age kids, kids that can clearly stand and walk on their own, do you give up your seat for them?  I mean, if a Mom or Dad has a very young kid they're holding, it's a duh, of course you give up your seat.  But what if the kid is like the age of these kids above? 

Complicating this in my mind is the fact that I saw a sticker someone stuck to the inside of a bus once that said "YOUR KIDS CAN STAND. GIVE ADULTS THE SEAT."  Really!  That really happened.  Isn't that so, so San Francisco?  So many layers.

So what's the right call here?  I'm genuinely curious.

This has been your Obsessing Over a Very Minor Thing of the Day.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Bachelor: Magic Mountain Not So Magical

After our standard establishing shots of the Bachelor mansion and Sean's chiseled abs, we are informed that our night will begin with a Solo Date with Lesley, the semi-adorable bug-eyed "political consultant" from somewhere in the South by way of DC.  And like any good tourist in LA, they're off to the Guinness World Records Museum. (Yelp rating: 2 stars. "The supervisor who says his name is Mr. Casey and weighs about 280 lbs holds the Guinness World Record for most angry person at people who have coupons for entry." SICK BURN.  But if you're using a coupon to get into the Guinness Museum, you have little room to cast aspersions, my friend.) Guinness World Record museums are a feature in any tourist dump like Hollywood Boulevard or Fisherman's Wharf or Gatlinburg TN.  They're the museum equivalent of funnel cakes or glitter t-shirts.

A N Y W A Y, here comes Chris Harrison to inform the lucky couple that they will be attempting to break the world record for longest on-screen kiss.  It appears that the producers have done a good job of sweeping Hollywood Boulevard of the usual Dregs Of Humanity and maybe even tossed a hobo 10 bucks to fill out the crowd behind Chris.

The record, it turns out, is 3 minutes and 15 seconds and we have to sit through it and that's a long time in Bachelor Years and Holy Jesus am I glad Sober January is almost over.  Watching this show under any circumstances is a burden to man or beast, but doing it sober is an exquisite Guantanamo-type torture.  I guess they win or whatever.  For the Night Portion, they repair to the roof of the Roosy and instead of blowing rails and banging 19-year-old aspiring "actresses" from Cedar Rapids like usually happens at the Roosevelt, they have champagne and make out.  I guess the fireworks budget is all out because the date ends with a fucking CONFETTI CANNON like what is this, a 6-year-old's birthday party? Why not have a clown or a Bug Guy and be done with it?

GROUP DATE TIME.  Sean is on the beach wearing an aqua tank top and Ray Bans like he's the villain in an 80's college movie.  Frolicking ensues, until Chris Harrison appears again.  He has 2 days of stubble and is still drunk from last night.  He announces a cutthroat game of volleyball.  The winners will get precious time with Sean.  The losers will be forced to watch The Bachelor.  No one is very good at volleyball.  Manface begins weeping.  Oh, now Big Mouth Billy Bass is crying too!  Luckily her mouth will catch those tears, along with any catawba worms in a five-foot radius.  Memo to the producers: Not picking One Armed Sarah for this event constitutes Cruelty to Viewers.  Come on son.

For the Night Portion, the "winners" all hang out with Sean and drink.  Drunk Lindsay says he's everything she's looking for and she's getting a little weird and obsessive.  Meanwhile, Desiree, who has her hair done up like she's the secretary in a noir movie, says "I think differently I think than a lot of people" and I'm sure you do sweetie.  She enjoys the beauty of life and is happy every day!  So does a Yorkshire terrier, for that matter.  Meanwhile, there is some feud between Amanda and Desiree and who really gives a fuck but Kacie decides she's gonna go tell Sean about it and if there's one thing you learn on this show it's that snitches always get capped so this is extra-dumb even by Kacie standards. 

Solo date with AshLee the AdopTee.  But before we can begin, OH NO Tierra has taken a nasty tumble on the stairs.  Sean shows up and "as a guy who's had several concussions" diagnoses T with one too.  OH I BET YOU HAVE SEAN.  Anyway, she refuses medical attention and I guess the whole thing is a ploy?  Whatever.  On to the date.  Let's go to the orphanage and do some window shopping!  No, we're going to Magic Mountain.  The producers have bought out the place and they have it all to themselves like they're Michael Jackson.  Oh, wait, here come couple of Sickly Kids, Brianna and Emily.  Brianna is clearly in a bad way but Emily looks FINE except for some of those carpal tunnel cuffs and I mean I hate to sound judgy but Repetitive Stress Injury is hardly Make A Wish Foundation material, Emily.  AshLee is like great, competition, it's just like the adoption thing all over again.  Anyway, they ride the rides and Sean DOMINATES at Ring Toss and he's all IN YOUR FUCKING FACE, BRIANNA!!  SUCK IT!!!

Moving on, we're treated to a concert by Sean's allegedly "favorite band" the Eli Manning Band or something.  It's solid Generic Country, in case you're curious.  Later, they ditch the kids and AshLee recounts her awful childhood and adoption saga and hey, just throwing this out there, is Adoption Stories a show on TLC yet?  I bet that would be good! 

Cocktail Party!  At least someone gets to fucking drink around here.  Oh, Sean's got a surprise for Sarah!  It's arriving by limo.  Maybe it's the Ultra Arm 2000 with flashlight attachment and Bionic Grip and Your Choice of Manicure Settings.  Oh, crap, no, it's Leo the Dog.  Admittedly, Leo is pretty cute.  He should have a show.  The rest of the party consists of Tierra trying to bodycheck everyone away from S and Kacie wandering around in some kind of swimsuit dress trying to fix her fuckup from the other night.

The Rose Cer begins with a SHOCKING DEVIATION FROM THE NORM.  Sean takes KC out and rejects her personally because I guess they're friends or whatever and hopefully this is the last time we see her.  If she is the Bachelorette next season or something I will fucking shit.  Anyway your Rose Recipients are Munchausen Tierra, Big Mouth Billy Bass, Ambiguously Ethnic Catherine, Sucka Free Daniella, the Other Black Girl, Apparently Arabic, One Arm, Just Jackie, Angry Amanda, and Katie Holmes.

So our cuts are Manface and Grandma.  Bonne chance, you two.

NEXT WEEK: Tierra decompensates when Angry Amanda plays Hide the Seroquel.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Catfish the TV Show: Mantei & Lennay

[References: the amazing Mantei Te'o story / Catfish the TV Show]

SCENE 1: Nev and Max are in a Hampton Inn in an undisclosed location. Max is holding a video camera and is filming Nev on his laptop.

NEV: OK, let's see what kind of emails we have this week.  Whoa, hold on, this one looks interesting.  "Dear Nev, I am a Heisman Trophy finalist and one of the most celebrated defensive college football players of my generation.  I am a dead lock high first round NFL draft pick.  You'd think I'd be carried away in a pussy tornado like that cow in 'Twister,' but as it turns out the only chick I'm into is online and I've never met her.  She says her name is Lennay and she looks pretty hot from the pictures."

MAX: Wow.  What's a "Heisman Trophy"?

NEV: It's a sports thing.  Never mind, you wouldn't understand.  We should go see Mantei and see if we can help him.

SCENE 2: [Caption: "South Bend, IA".]  Nev and Max are meeting with Mantei Te'o. They show him the results of their research.

NEV: So you see, Mantei, it seems like there's no Lennay at all.  In fact, it looks like the Lennay accounts are all run by a guy named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.

MANTEI: Tuiasosopo?  Any relation to forgettable Oakland Raiders backup QB Marques Tuiasosopo?

MAX: What's a "backup QB"?

NEV: (to Max) It's a sports person. Don't worry about it.  {to Mantei) As a matter of fact, Mantei, yes, they're cousins, apparently.  Do you want to try and meet Lennay and see what happens?

MANTEI: I thought you said she wasn't real.

NEV: Well, yeah, of course, that's obvious to even the most casual observer.  I mean, did anyone believe that former Miss Teen USA/meth freak/Celebrity Rehab vet/sex addict Kari Ann Peniche was having an online affair with that dork with bad teeth in rural New York? Of course not.  That guy got totally lucky, though.  At least the person he was actually corresponding with wasn't morbidly obese.  Anyway, point is, let's play along because we have 47 minutes to fill.

MANTEI: I don't follow.

NEV: Never mind.

MAX: Let's go for smoothies.

SCENE 3: Mantei and Nev arrive at a house in a rural setting, followed by Max and a camera crew.  They go to the door and ring the doorbell.  There is no answer.

MAX: What should we do?

MANTEI: How about trying the other door?

NEV: I don't know if that will work.

MAX: Wait, here comes someone.

The GHOST OF FRANK GIFFORD appears from around the corner of the house, followed by the GHOSTS OF THE 2005 MINNESOTA VIKINGS.

MANTEI: Wow, Ghost of Frank Gifford!  Are you the one who was pretending to be Lennay?

GHOST OF FRANK GIFFORD: The fuck? What? No, I don't know anything about that dadgum Internet.  We're just here to tell you this will blow over.  Hell, I banged a sky waitress in a Midtown hotel and it was all caught on tape and do you think anyone remembers that?

GHOSTS OF 2005 MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Yeah, we were at a boat sex party that was so dope it has its own Wikipedia entry.  Fred Smoot can't even get arrested in Minneapolis now. 

MANTEI: So no bigs? I'm all good?

GHOST OF FRANK GIFFORD: Sure, kiddo.  Stick to 3-D chicks next time.  And have fun in Cleveland, you poor bastard.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Bachelor: What Is the Sound of One Hand Clapping?

We begin over at Chick Mansion, where Chris Harrison swings by to hand out the gonorrhea test results.  YOU'RE ALL WINNERS! Oh no, wait, those are Date Cards.  It seems that Right Handed Sarah will be going on the first Solo Date of the season.  Hope it's not archery!

Perhaps to atone for the shocking lack of helicopters last season, Sean arrives in a chopper for the oblig ride over LA.  There's downtown, there's a parking lot, there's a nightclub in the Valley where you'll someday do an Appearance for $300 and 2 drink coupons.  Whatever.  Let's move on to the next part: some kind of bungee jumping off a building in LA!  That seems good because if Sarah's trying to hold on she'll be easy to push off.  They jump, no one dies, yawn.  In the night portion of the date, they hang out with some booze and Sarah relates a tragic tale of how she was denied the opportunity to zip line in Vegas because of her one-armed status.  That's mean!  Her Dad told her she needs a husband who knows how to handle situations like this.  Like what, one-armed ziplining?  I guess if we move to an all-zipline mass transit system, that's true.  Anyway, Sean looks ready to let Sarah one-armed zip line into his heart.  Awww.  Sarah's only had one Serious Relationship and it sounds like it ended because he wasn't spontaneous or exciting enough.  Dude, if you can't keep a one-armed girl on her toes, you're not even trying. 

Group Date!  They pack about 13 chicks into some limos and head out to a butt-ugly yellow-tinted faux White House New Money mansion.  Oh good, they're going to practice being cover models for Harlequin romance books.  The "winner" will be on some real books!  So now you'll be famous!  At least to semiliterate diabetic 47 year old obese divorcees, or whoever reads those things.  I'm sorry, that's terrible.  I'm stereotyping.  Maybe Harlequin romances are Jonathan Franzen novels with more making out and PG-13 sex, I don't know.  Anyway, the whole photography thing is just as excruciatingly painful and embarrassing for everyone involved as you might imagine.  In the end, Kristy the "model" wins, what with her Man Face and her 3 pounds of makeup.  Congratulations, I guess.

Night finds us, as it often do, boozing by the pool.  Lots of facetime for Lesley.  She even breaks up Sean's hang with Daniella from SF!  STEP OFF BITCH, THAT'S NOT HOW WE ROLL IN THE SUCKA FREE.  Meanwhile, ambiguously ethnic Catherine informs Sean that she likes to say "I'm vegan, but I love the beef."  GET IT? SHE LIKES PENISES.  That is so funny!  Sean has a big fake laugh and says "That's so great!" but it's not great.  It's sad.

Sadly, Yoga Teacher is not happy.  Maybe because of what happened to her hair.

She says this "is not the right setting for her" and leaves the show.  I guess she's never watched a single episode and thought it would be all healing crystals and green tea when in fact it's all vocal fry and Costco champagne.

Next up, a Solo Date with Desiree, who is just as cute and perky and intelligent as a grey squirrel.  What WOULD be an ideal date is gathering acorns and self-grooming.  What they ACTUALLY do is some kind of painfully unfunny Candid Camera/Punk'd type gag where they take her to a faux art show and then someone pushes over a supposedly valuable art when she's like 6 feet away from it and she's supposed to be all scared and freaked out but instead just looks around like WTF and at this point I'd rather watch commercials.  Following this interlude which I desperately hope gets some producer fired, it's back to the Bach House where Sean pulls a couple of fake steaks out of the oven and they sit outside to ignore the fake food and drink.

[DIGRESSION: Speaking of fake food, if you're interested in an ear pick made to look like 2 cuts of yellowtail sashimi, I've got a source for you.]

Des says her parents are "the cutest people" she's ever met!  Hopefully they're dwarves who like to dress up as gnomes.  Or maybe they're meerkats!  Sean and Des agree that it's easy for them to talk, which makes sense because they communicate at about a 5th grade level.  After some piercing conversation about their Favorite Colors and Where Everything Goes When You Close Your Eyes,  it's time to perch by the hot tub, which is making SUCKING GRINDING NOISES and I hope Sarah's other arm isn't caught in there.  She gets a rose and yes, Internet, we know she looks like Katie Holmes.

On to the Cocktail Party,.  Lindsay apologizes for getting so drunk the other night.  GIRL, I'M NO STRANGER TO THAT FIGHT.  Oh guess what?  You're never going to guess.  She wants to marry her best friend!  She must be on the wrong show.  Meanwhile, AMANDA IS NOT HAPPY AND WHEN AMANDA IS NOT HAPPY AIN'T NO BITCH GONNA BE HAPPY.

I think she's unhappy because the producers have given her some kind of yellow dress with fake flower shoulder pads to wear.  Oh, and because she apparently forgot to bring a fucking comb.  Meanwhile, Robyn wants to know if S. is down with dating black chicks and he's apparently a Model U.N. because he's been out with Hispanics, Persians, you name it.  Across the room, Akkikiktok smiles gently, caressing her harpoon.

OK, let's throw some roses around.  Our girl Daniella gets one!  Also Where's the Beef, Grandma, Big Mouth Billy Bass, and Rat Hair.  We have 2 cuts: The Other Black Chick and Horse Face With the 2 Kids.  FUCK, kids really do ruin EVERYTHING.  Oh, and remember Yolanda Yoga went back to Space Mountain voluntarily.

NEXT WEEK:  An ambulance is summoned after one of the girls is grievously injured in a horrific bronzer accident.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Worst Draft List Ever is actually not that bad

Hey, someone on the Internet said this.

Huh. Now, let me preface this by saying I am not really a beer snob, so this might be lost on me. I think I used to sort of be a faux beer snob. I drank a lot of Sierra and looked down my nose at any mass-produced beer. Not any more. 2 Sierras and I'm full. Now I'm happy to throw down a few PBRs or Tecates or whatever. I don't really like Bud, but if there's a Bud can at the bottom of a cooler full of ice on a hot day, I wouldn't turn it down.

So let's take a look at the Worst Draft List Ever.  First of all, there are an astounding 29 beers on the WDLE.  I bet there are a lot of people in a lot of bars across This Great Land who would fucking KILL for 29 beers.  Now, of course, 29 beers is useless if there are 22 taps of Natural Light, 3 taps of Coors Light, and 4 taps of Bud Ice, but that's not what we have here.  Instead, there are a wide variety of perfectly reasonable beers represented on this list.

First of all, a pint of Guinness, poured correctly, is one of life's sublime pleasures.  The presence of Guinness alone is enough to automatically disqualify any list from WDLE status.

I happen to like Harp; a lot of people don't, but that's fine.  I'm always happy to see Harp, though.

Brooklyn Lager, I thought, was a very nice beer.  I wouldn't mind seeing Brooklyn Lager out here in SF. It got a 90 on, so it couldn't be THAT bad, right?

Nothing wrong with Bass Ale or Smithwick's.

I'm not crazy about Red Hook, so I'll give you a pass there.

Goose Island is apparently owned by megalocorp InBev, so I can understand the hate.  Not familiar with their products, though.

I've never had Shock Top but it's another one of those Big Brewing Co beers that you're supposed to hate.

I thought people liked Leffe?  I didn't personally care for it, but whatever.  Oh, it's brewed by InBev Belgium.  That must be why this guy hates it.

I had Harpoon IPA when I was in Boston and I didn't love it but at least it's not made by InBev.

I guess my point is, if beer snobs want to someday be as elitist and condescending as wine snobs, this is the way to do it.  Sure, this list isn't crammed full of weirdo shit that somebody made in their garage and has elderberry flowers and cardamom in it, but if you can't find a drinkable beer on this list, your tastes are maybe way too refined to be going out to bars.  Except for Toronado.  You'd fit right in there.

(For comparison's sake,check out the draft list at the alleged "#1 Sports Bar in America," The Fours, in Boston:  Bud, Bass, Guinness, Miller Lite, Sam Adams, Harpoon, Blue Moon, Sam Seasonal, and Cider Jack.  Makes the WDLE above look like a craft brewers convention.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Bachelor: Pick the drunk one! No, the other drunk one.

Like the passing of the seasons or the rising of the tides, once again nature has inexorably provided us with our semi-annual Journey wherein we will meet a yachtload of mentally deficient singles who want to be on TV and aren't here to make friends.  This time, our lucky winner is Human Lamppost Sean, whom we see staring meaningfully at the ocean and who feels that "God has another plan for me."  Hopefully it doesn't involve reproducing.

Sean is duly transported to LA and ensconced in the Bachelor House where he passes the time slicing up some strawberries when good buddy/metrosexual icon Arie drops by.  Last we saw these two, they were competing for the affections of Emily, but both were lucky enough to dodge that particular bullet.  They bro hug and sit down for a brochat.  Arie uses the term "catch feelings" and they're just one Coors Light away from making out when sadly, we cut to commercial.  When we get back, Chris Harrison has appeared.  Let's meet some of the cheftestants!

TIERRA is from Denver and is wearing some kind of sideways cross pendant that I think means she's a half-satanist.

Diana claims to be 30 but her subtitle says 31 and she appears to be 38.  She has 2 kids and I hope she enjoys the free cocktails because that's about it for her.  Sarah, 26, is from LA, works in advertising, and has stoner eyes and one arm.  This is not a euphemism.  I guarantee you there are a bunch of guys out there who are SUPER INTO this.  Ashley has "no idea" why she's single.  She's all into 50 Shades of Gray, which the producers hope makes her dangerously sexy but at this point is about as transgressive as an episode of "Maude."  If they really want to be provocative, the producers should have her be into dolphin sex or scat play.  AshLee (sic) is a little FAS and was apparently adopted after being dumped by a bunch of other foster families.  SO NEEDY.  This ends our video journey around the US to meet these chicks.

Time for Limo Intros, or the Parade of the Desperate Anorexics.  Daniella claims to be from San Francisco but looks more like a Girl Gone Wild from Antioch to me.  Someone left Kelly from Nashville in the oven too long.  She's a "cruise ship entertainer" which I bet.  Katie is a yoga instructor and looks like one with her bare feet and her health food store hair.  Lacey "but a lot of people call me Lace" OH I BET THEY DO ON THE SET BABY is from Valencia and more than a little porny.  Paige, "Jumbotron Operator" and now they're just making shit up.  But I guess someone has to run the Jumbotron?  Tierra shows up and Doorknob is so impressed by her ring finger tattoo that he runs inside and gets her a rose ASAP. 

Keriann is an "entrepeneur" who is wearing a dress made out of recycled trashbags that trails behind her like squid tentacles.  Sean deploys the "oh, poor thing" voice when the One Armed Bandit arrives.  Seriously, though, this chick has a great angle - who's gonna be the dick who cuts the girl with one arm?  WHAT AN ASSHOLE.  Kristy is supposedly a model but looks a little old and a little MTF to boot.  Lindsey is wearing a wedding dress that the producers gave her, apparently to show how kooky and k-razy she is, but she's approaching blackout drunk so maybe that'll do it instead.

But wait!  There's one final member of the Mensa chapter!  Oh, it's Kacie, who we last saw getting dumped by, who, Ben or Brad or whoever the fuck it was.  She's grinning like a maniac and seems to have lost about 30 IQ points.  Oh, it seems that she and Sean have met before!  I bet they hit it at one of those bacchanalian Bachelor parties you hear about and now she has to get him to marry her or her father will honor kill her. 

Time for the Faux Hangout Party.  Let's see who gets drunk.  Sean is apparently throwing roses around left and right.  Desiree and Selma and even Downward Dog get one.  Oh, awesome, Shitfaced Lindsay slurs her way through an awkward convo and now here's 50 Shades girl, who also looks to be about 3/4 of the way through a bottle of Ciroq when she starts what I suppose she thinks is sexy dancing and then pushes her way into his field of vision and even poor Sean says he wishes he had his "rape whistle."  I wish I had hysterical blindness right about now, Sean, but we can't always get what we want.

Unilimbed Sarah sits down with Box of Rocks and confesses that she's had trouble with guys.  "They feel like it's easier just to date a girl with two arms."  Sadly, she was dating a semaphore instructor!  THTS SD SRH

OK, Chris Harrison is back to restore some sanity to the proceedings.  "Sean is possibly the most sincere bachelor we've ever had on the show."  Meanwhile, somewhere in Austin, Brad seethes at his TV.  "What did he say?  More sincere than me?  FUCK YOU, CHRIS HARRISON, FUCK YOU TO HELL."

Let's give out the stems.  GGW gets one.  So does Drunk Wedding Dress!  Awesome!  I guess getting drunk really does pay off.  That's essential to my Life Plan, so I'm glad to see it manifested elsewhere.  Sadly, Crispy Cruise does not make the cut.  She doesn't know what he saw in the other girls that he didn't see in her!  Oh, I don't know, Kelly, maybe pliable skin?

NEXT WEEK:  I don't know, we go somewhere and chicks are forced to debase themselves for this nematode, I guess.

Monday, January 7, 2013

TK's Recipe of the Week: I have cracked the secret of roast chicken

Roast chicken is one of those things that famous chefs always say is their favorite thing to make and it's oh so easy and whatever and I'll admit there are a million ways to make a really average roast chicken but getting it perfect is really hard.  I mean, I'm sure Thomas Keller can crank out a solid bird at home, but what about all us dumb people?  Everybody has a different way.  400 degrees?  425?  Breast side up or down?  What do you stick up in there?  The best way is probably the Showtime Rotisserie but I probably think that just because I spent many a hungover Sunday morning watching the oddly hypnotic infomercial, a sample of which is below.

So after a lot of trial and error, I think I have finally stumbled across the perfect combination of recipes. I made this last night and it turned out great - perfectly crisp skin and totally moist inside, even the breasts. This is a combination of recipes from Celebrity Chefs Jamie Oliver and Alice Waters. Thanks, guys!

FIRST, a word about chickens. OF COURSE you only buy Organic Free-range Vegetable-Fed Chickens Who Had a Name and Friends and Outside Interests Prior to their Early but Natural Death, but if you occasionally pick up a Factory Bird from Safewizzle, don't sweat it.

WHAT YOU MUST DO is take that chicken out of the fridge at least and hour before cooking it so it comes up somewhere close to room temp. If you put a cold chick in the oven, it's not gonna cook evenly. OK, let's get started.

1 chicken, duh, around 4 pounds,  at room temp
1 lemon, halved
Salt and pepp
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
Any kind of herbs you like, like rosemary and thyme and whatever else
Some fingerling potatoes or new potatoes

Preheat to 425.

Wash the chicken inside and out.  Take the giblets out and feed them to your dog or whatever.  I guess some people eat chicken hearts and kidneys but not me.  Pat the chicken dry.  Salt and pepper on the inside.  Cut the lemon in half and put half inside the chicken.  At this point, if you want to put some herbs under the skin, be my guest.  That's usually too much hassle for me.  Tie the legs together with cooking twine and put it in a lightly oiled roasting pan, BREAST SIDE UP.  Arrange the potatoes around the chicken in the pan.

In a saucepan, melt the butter with the oil over low heat.  Squueze the other half of the lemon into it. When it's all melted, brush that mixture over the chicken.  The salt and pepper the chicken liberally.

Put it in the oven.  Cook for 20 MINUTES, breast side up.  Something like this:

ACK!  I just realized I didn't tie the legs together in this one.  Don't do that.  Also, I'm sorry this looks like something out of a "Saw" movie.

OK, here's where it gets a little tricky.  After 20 minutes, pull it out.  Wad up some paper towels and use those to grab it on each side, then flip it over so it's breast-side down and looks a little like it's looking for something it lost in the bottom of the pan.  Use a brush and baste this side with the oil/butter mixture in the pan.  Now salt and pepper this side.  Wouldn't hurt to brush the potatoes too.  Back into the oven.

Now we go 20 MINUTES, breast side DOWN.  This circulates the juices or something, I don't know.  I just know it works.

OK, after 20 minutes, pull it out and FLIP IT BACK OVER AGAIN.  Now it's breast side up again.  That's the last time you have to flip it.  Baste it again.

Now go take it easy for a while.  It usually takes about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, total, from the time you first put it in, so about another 40 minutes from this point.  After 1:15, pull it out and check it.  Although there are all kinds of ways to tell if it's done - if the legs move freely, if the skin on the drumstick has started to separate - the best way is to use a meat thermometer.  Stick it in the thickest part of the thigh.  It should be 175 degrees.  When you see that, it's done.

I KNOW YOU'RE HUNGRY BUT HOLD THE FUCK ON.  We're not there yet.  You need to tent it with foil and let it sit for 10 minutes.  This does something about redistributing the juices.  I don't know what, but it works.  Cut that thing up and enjoy.  Best roast chicken you'll ever have, I promise.

(Well, at home, I mean.  I wouldn't put this up against Nopa's or anything.  But the amount of butter they use in restaurants would make you go pale as a ghost if you knew.)

(If you don't know how to carve a chicken, here is an excellent tutorial.)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

TV News

We held off a long time on Downton Abbey because honestly it sounds like the most boring Masterpiece Theater shit you can imagine - the trials and travails of rich British people and their servants in early 20th century rural England.  I mean, fucking YAWN.  But here we are in Sober January with a LOT of free time and a Roku and a Netflix streaming subscription and she won't agree to "Breaking Bad" and I won't agree to - well, basically anything she wants to watch.  So Downton Abbizzle it is.

[DIGRESSION #1: We were so nervous/unsure about the DA that last week we watched a documentary instead, and it turned out to be pretty great.  It's called "The Queen of Versailles" and it's about an asshole time-share mogul and his golddigger wife who are building the largest private home in America until the financial crisis hits and they have to stop and fire most of their household staff and everything else.  It's funny and disturbing and undoubtedly voyeuristic and everything else you want from a documentary.  Do check it out.]

SURPRISE!  We love it.  We sat down last night and peeled through the first four episodes before you could say "Very good, Sir."  It's basically a soap opera in pre-WW I England and I can't really figure out what makes it so good but I get now why it's totally addicting.  There's also the classic Mean Old Lady Who Gets to Say Anything She Wants for comic relief.

The one thing this show does is make me want a butler and a valet and a footman SO BAD.

Moving on to browner pastures, I must note with a mixture of sadness and dread that The Bachelor is almost upon us once again.  As usual, I will take up the mantle and figuratively immerse myself in this shitbath like Hugh Jackman carrying the surfer dude through the sewers at the end of Les You Are Miserable.  Except in this metaphor I am Hugh Jackman and I am singing about how godawful everything is and you are the passed out surfer dude.  Work with me here.  And oh fuck, it's fucking Sean this year.  If you recall from last season, Sean was the abs that came attached to a body with the personality of wallpaper paste.  ANOTHER!! THRILLING !!!! SEASON!!!!  See You Next Tuesday.

Why I Quit

People quit a lot of things and want you to know about it!  Here are some results when you Google "Why I Quit".  Inspired by The Tens.

Why I quit Netflix
Why I quit Twitter
Why I quit Instagram

Why I Quit Klout and Why You Should Too! (excl. pt. in original)

Why I quit Minecraft
Why I quit Black Ops
Why I quit MW3

Why I quit my teaching job mid-year
Why I quit Teach for America
Why I quit going to church
Why I quit playing Foursquare

Why I Quit Zombie School
Why I quit being so accommodating
Why I quit Tango! (excl. pt. in original)

Why I quit the New York Times to become an activist
Why I quit my UN job to make video games
Why I quit The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Why I quit journalism and joined the Indian Army in 1962
Why I quit learning Korean

Why We Quit Facebook: The New Tell-All