Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday (uncat.)

- So here's my new favorite blog: DEALBREAKER. Run right over and check it out RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND I COMMAND YOU. Funny shit.

- Also, Spaceships and Kool-Aid. Funny as hell and so very NSFW so don't say I didn't warn you.

- Maybe it's this pheromone body spray I've been using, but motherfuckers continue to get all up in my shit on any otherwise uncrowded train and it's bugging the fuck out of me. I'm standing there yesterday in the little well across the front door of the train and a guy gets on and like wedges himself into the little space behind me when there's a whole empty train in front of both of us. I mean, WTFF???!!??

Eventually he extricated himself and sat down, but really, man. Come the fuck on.

- This is so fucking cool:

- Tonight at Chez TK, our film feature will be The Matchmaker (1997) w/ Janeane Garofalo and Denis Leary, courtesy of The Wife's Netflix queue, not mine, so just shut it. Judging from the comments on IMDB, this is some Citizen Kane-level shit, so I'm psyched.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Freddy Sanchez and other controversies of our time

Giants acquire Freddy Sanchez from the Pirates for lauded AA pitcher Tim Alderson. Depending on who you listen to, this is either a canny, smart move or colossal dumbassery. Although I think it's too early to tell, I'm tentatively in the former camp slightly more than the latter. Sure, Alderson is a great prospect, but he could just as easily become Jesse Foppert instead of the next Matt Cain. Sanchez, as long as he stays healthy, is a proven commodity who's an upgrade at 2B over what they had before, which is to say, nothing.

But what irks me, along with most other Giants fans, is that what the team needed more than anything else was a hitter with some power, and Sanchez has, what, like 6 home runs so far this year? Christ on a cracker.

We'll see.

In other news:

- Coke is better than Pepsi. Duh.

- The designated hitter is a scourge upon baseball. If you play, you gotta hit.

- For the first three dates, the guy always pays for everything, even if the girl asked him out. I don't know how this works for the gays, but there's the rule for the straights. No exceptions.

- Put down your fucking phone when you're conducting a transaction with someone selling you something. Saying "Thank you" is common fucking courtesy and unless you're a doctor giving verbal instructions about how to perform an emergency tracheotomy to a guy with a ballpoint pen and a pocketknife, you can put your conversation on hold for 20 fucking seconds to acknowledge the human being in front of you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bachelorette party? Heavy metal band in animal costumes? All part of a weekend.

We've got a lot of ground to cover, so let's get right to it.

There used to be a dark, dank, unwelcoming bar on Market Street called the Expansion Bar. The kind of place where you might find a 65-year-old alcoholic with a Miller and a shot of Wild Turkey next to a tweaker who's scanning the room for CIA agents. But it was cheap and unpretentious and so it fit the bill on many an occasion.

Then it closed. And a (mostly) gay bar called Metro opened where it was. Then that closed. Now there's a new place that just opened called Blackbird. The Wife and I checked it out Friday night.
Here's the problem. On their website, they say "The Neighborhood Bar is back," and ask if you are "fed up with fancy-schmancy lounges" and go on to talk about how regular and comfortable and blah blah blah whatever else they are. Well, guess what, Blackbird? You're a fancy-schmancy lounge. Maybe it's the indirect lighting and the modern art on the walls and the low, uncomfortable tables and the bar staff that looks like they should be in Fashionable Hipster Bartender magazine, but I would say that "comfortable neighborhood bar" is the LAST phrase I would use. Maybe if your neighborhood is an episode of "Sex and the City." I'll pass.

Moving on. Saturday early evening at Bloodhound (WARNING - music plays automatically and BTW I fucking hate that) was notable for 2 things: (1) Sitting at the bar, we are approached by an attractive young woman who asks us if we're in the Mile High Club. OH HAI LADEE. As it turns out, none of us were but AYW ("Simone," as it turns out, if that's her real name) is there as part of a bachelorette party and RIGHT I guess that explains the chick in the veil over there doing shots. Anyway, I wish I could say that hijinx ensued but nothing really exciting happened and The Wife reads this blog anyway. (2) Shortly thereafter, a well-dressed preppy-looking guy in a seersucker blazer WITH A POCKET SQUARE weaved his way up to the bar and slurred "What's the capital of Poland?" And I said "Warsaw?" And he smiled and then looked like he was going to fall over or puke. Dude was SHITFACED. He got kicked out a little while after that for getting handsy with an Iranian chick.

And then yesterday. One word. ZEMEZYZ.

What? You've never seen a heavy metal band dressed as mythical animals or maybe Where the Wild Things Are? ZEMEZYZ.

Friday, July 24, 2009

WARNING: Spoilers inside

So I recently happened to learn what the SHOCKING TWIST ENDING of "Orphan" is, and while I'm not going to reveal it here, I will be happy to assure you that it is the most retarded surprise twist in the history of American film. It is so, so stupid that I expect people will be walking out of theaters going "That was fucking retarded" but maybe not because most people who would go see it are retarded too.

ANYWAY this reminds me of a brief anecdote. I was talking to The Wife about "No Way Out," the Kevin Costner/Sean Young-before-she-went-batshit-crazy thriller, which, as you may know, has a shocking twist ending, and I just assumed that she had seen it, so I offhandedly said, "You know, ______ ______ is the _______ _______!" and then chuckled a little expecting her to roll her eyes and say "Yeah, duh, everyone knows that," but instead she got REAL MAD and yelled at me because, as it turns out, heh heh, she had not yet in fact seen No Way Out. And now there's really no point in seeing it once you know that Blank Blank is the Blank Blank.

And the chick in "The Crying Game" is a dude.

Weakerthans @ Great American Music Hall

You ever go to one of those shows where you know every single song? I went to one last night, and it was fucking awesome. Well, actually there was one song I didn't know, but that's not really the point.

The Weakerthans are a band from Winnipeg, Canada, with what I judge to be an intense, cultlike following, in the States, anyway. Last night they packed Great American Music Hall (capacity 600) and put on a phenomenal show.

(Aside: I'm not sure what it is, but I seem to be a fan of a lot of bands that have a small, intense, cultlike following, like The Loud Family and The Wrens. I don't know what that means.)

I think John Samson might be one of the greatest lyricists working today, and definitely one of the best songwriters. The band played a selection of stuff from all the albums, making it kind of like a greatest hits show, which was fine by me. You know you've got a good fanbase when people are singing your lyrics back to you. That must be a fucking rush.

Anyway, if you're not familiar, I urge you to check them out. Start with Reconstruction Site. You won't be disappointed, I promise.

UPDATE: I don't know why "Comments" isn't appearing for this post, but since you guys can't leave comments, I'll leave them for you.

Best post ever! Great job, TK!

Yay, Weakerthans! Yay, TK! A match made in heaven!

If you only read one blog post this year, make it this one! Bravo, TK!

Show her the night of her life! FREE C1al1s and v1aGra!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The health care debate explained

The amount of money we spend as a nation on health care is going to double in the next 10 years. 14,000 people lose their health insurance every day. Forget quitting your job if you have something wrong with you; you'll never get insured again. HALF of all bankruptcies are due to medical bills.

There is something, perhaps, wrong with the health care system in this country. And it's so big, and so unwieldy, that obviously something needs to be done at the national level.

What SHOULD happen is that Congress passes some kind of comprehensive health care bill that will allow every person in this country to have access to health care at a reasonable rate that he or she can afford. It better include some kind of preventive care incentive and probably needs some price controls. As part of my job, I sometimes have to look at medical records, and I was just looking at one itemized bill that listed hydrocodone tablets (i.e., Vicodin) at 18 dollars each in this particular hospital. When you can get a prescription filled at Wal-Mart for FOUR BUCKS, there's something seriously fucking wrong with this picture.

What WILL happen is that Congress will pass some sort of watered-down, cobbled-together mess that won't work and will cost way, way, way more money that anyone can imagine and that everyone will hate. There are a couple of reasons for this:

(1) Members of Congress are basically owned by, and beholden to, lobbyists and major donors, and do you think those lobbyists and/or donors are people who have just gone bankrupt due to medical bills? BZZZZZZZT MOVE TO THE BACK OF THE CLASS PLEASE. Do you think maybe it's health insurance companies and doctors and people who make $18 vicodins? BING BING BING BING YOU WIN A GIANT STUFFED PANDA.

(2) Plus, you got the right-wing crazies out there like the guy I heard on radio yesterday saying that Obama is like Hitler (no joke) because the health care bill encourages old people to kill themselves. THE HOST OF THE RADIO SHOW AGREED WITH HIM. I've got to scour this bill and find that provision now. These nutbars are fucking loudmouths and people (i.e., Republican politicians) pay attention to them and they influence national policy to some extent as a result.

(3) Then there's the fact that you could easily set up a national health insurance plan and charge people between 1 and 2.5% of their income for it and everyone could be covered but no one wants to talk about what would be considered a new tax and plus the insurance companies are all like "WAHHHH WAHHH IT'LL PUT US OUT OF BUSINESS" and wouldn't that just be the saddest day? Because your health insurer is your BIGGEST BESTEST FRIEND and wants nothing more than to give you all the delicious health care you need.

So we'll get the plan we deserve. It won't work, you won't be covered, and it's going to cost more than 3500 gold-plated F-22 fighters with a DVD player and a bidet.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tutankhamun at the de Young

It's kind of ironic that Tutankhamun is unquestionably the best-known Egyptian pharoah, because, had it not been for an accident of history, he would spent eternity nestled in obscurity. That footnote, of course, is the fact that the British archaeologist Howard Carter found Tutankhamun's tomb more or less intact in 1922. Virtually all known tombs at the time had been long since emptied by robbers, so the discovery was a monumental one.

A selection of artifacts from Tutankhamun's tomb, as well as other pieces meant to give context to his life and times, are now touring America under the name "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharoahs." We're lucky enough that one of the three American stops is the de Young Museum here in SF, because the exhibition is fantastic.

After reading this weirdo hit piece in the Chronicle, I was a little worried about the show but went anyway, and I'm glad I did. Kenneth Baker's main gripe seemed to be the commercialization, and yes, there are gift shops selling all manner of King Tut knickknacks, but that doesn't detract from the show itself in any major way I could discern.

On the contrary, I thought the exhibit did a great job of putting Tutankhamun's life in context. As it turns out, he lived in one of the most tumultuous periods in Ancient Egyptian history, immediately after his putative father tried to convert the country to monotheism. Tutankhamun (or, more likely, his advisers) steered Egypt back to the more familiar polytheism. It would be like George Bush declaring the US a monarchy, with him in total control. Oh wait, bad example.

There were a lot of people there, even on a Monday at 10:30 a.m., but the tickets are timed and they only let in a certain number of people at a time. It was crowded, but you're able to get close to each piece.

Some of the pieces are breathtaking, and you walk away with an incredible appreciation for the skill involved in working gold and stone with incredible precision and without the benefit of modern technology. Or maybe not! (Cue spooky music.)

Anyway, I can't recommend it enough. Follow it up with a bowl of niku udon at Hotei and you've got a great morning, especially if it's foggy and about 58 degrees, like it was yesterday.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Let the Oompa Loompa go.

It's a world gone mad. You knew that. Look at this:

Oompa Loompa causes mall chaos

I know what you're saying: "I didn't know Oompa Loompas were real!! Or is that Oompa Loompae?" I know, I got confused too. Here's the scoop:

Wearing the trademark green wig, brown shirt and white overalls, one of Jeff Beacher's Madhouse Oompa Loompas was detained by security guards in Plantation,
Fla., on Friday.

While promoting his upcoming comedy show scheduled for Saturday night at the Seminole Coconut Creek Casino, Donnie Davis was handcuffed and detained for several hours at the mall. He had been laughing and hyping the show in one of the mall's trendy jeans and accessories stores – much to the dismay of mall authorities, it seems.

"They got Donnie and cuffed him," Jeff Beacher, creator of the touring comedy show, tells PEOPLE. "He and several other Oompa Loompas have been promoting the tour, and I guess security finally got fed up with them. It was ridiculous – one of the craziest and funniest things I have ever seen ... Not to mention a little over the top! They are innocent Oompa Loompas!"

Hundreds of Florida shoppers agreed. When the security officer cuffed Davis, they were laughing and screaming: "Let the Oompa Loompa go!"

Ladies and gentlemen, you can fuck with Supreme Court nominees all you want, but I WILL BE GODDAMNED IF I SIT BY AND LET YOU MESS WITH AN OOMPA LOOMPA.

"Let the Oompa Loompa go." Let's all take that to heart.

Why was I reading People online? Because I'm interested in Jon Gosselin's 22-year-old bisexual, party animal girlfriend? True, I do have a keen interest in 22-year-old bisexual girls, but no. In fact, I don't know why. I think I was interested in his Jon's new pad on the Upper West Side. Real estate! Forget sybaritic young lasses. At my age, apartment envy is what gets my blood pumping.

Happy Friday, everyone! Hey, you know what would make American politics more interesting? Rape threats.

It was supposed to be the high point of her speech — to applause from her audience, a leading member of India's ruling Congress Party suggested that a rival leader be raped so she can understand the plight of rape victims.

Surprise, surprise, Rita Bahuguna Joshi! Instead of some Tasty Opponent Rape, you went and got arrested and got your house burned down! Let that be a lesson to you, politicians!

Have a nice weekend. Look out for rampaging Oompa Loompae and rape-threatening Indian politicians!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Is there film footage? It would be great if there was film footage.

I know posting about your search logs (and, specifically, funny searches people did on Google to end up on your blog) has been done to death, but I really have to just say:

To the person who ended up on my blog by searching "testing meth on a hog" - please (1) get some help, and (2) write me and tell me - in detail - exactly what happened.

P.S. Sorry I couldn't help out since, you know, I don't have any info on my blog about testing meth on a hog.

P.P.S. I'm still mystified about how this search yielded my blog because I have very little about meth or hogs and certainly nothing about the combination thereof.

Who will finally look out for me and my fellow white males?

After much consideration and careful deliberation, I must reluctantly announce that I am compelled to join in opposition to the appointment to the Supreme Court of Sonia Sotomayor. As a straight white male, I simply cannot accept yet another Supreme Court justice who is unwilling to look out for my rights.

Like my fellow straight white males, I have felt the sting of discrimination many times. It becomes so routine, we internalize - nay, even accept - it, but that doesn't make it right. I feel it every time I step onto a dance floor or eat spicy food. When I walk into my corner store, the guys suddenly stop talking in Arabic or whatever it is they speak and then just smile at me and I know they were just talking about me. There are whole blogs dedicated to making fun of me.

And now you want to put a justice on the Supreme Court who doesn't have, as her top priority, protecting the rights of me and my fellow white males? I proudly join with my brothers Jeff Sessions and Lindsey Graham and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

In other news, convicted Laci-killer Scott Peterson (or, I guess, his family) has set up a website seeking donations to help pay for his appeal. Um, good luck with that.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Today's Top 5

1. Jonathan Sanchez' amazing motherfucking unbelievable no-hitter

So improbable. You know how amazing this is? It's like if you were born in 1982 in Puerto Rico and went to Ohio Dominican University in Columbus and pitched four no-hitters there and then got drafted in 2004 by the Giants and eventually made the club and looked pretty good and then fucked up and got demoted down to the bullpen but then Randy Johnson got hurt and so you got to pitch and you just happened to pull a fucking no-hitter out of the bag. If all that happened, that would be like what happened to Jonathan Sanchez on Friday night.

2. I'm wearing an "I Survived Ikea on a Sunday" t-shirt.

Oh, Billy bookcase. You're worth it.

Sadly as it you might have secretly suspected, Ikea is evil like Wal-Mart. Fuck, can't anything be guilt-free these days?

3. Drinking on Sunday


4. Steaks on the grill

Shout out to my boys at Drewes Bros. for the top-notch flank and hangar steak. 4-6 minutes a side, perfect.

5. Treasure Island lineup announced

We've got the Flaming Lips, Decemberists, Beirut, Grizzly Bear, Yo La Tengo, The Walkmen, Bob Mould, and others. Not bad, but probably not as good as last year (Vampire Weekend! Okkervil River! Spiritualized! Fleet Foxes!). The more electronica day looks pretty good, too, but I'm not going to that, which suck because I'll miss The Streets but whatever. Shit's expensive.

Friday, July 10, 2009

These Are the Things I Can Do Without #114, 115

#114: Personal Space Invaders

You've got the whole train to be in, homeboy, do you have to stand directly on top of me? What is it about this particular one square foot that's so beguiling?

According to Important Scientific Research, Americans prefer 18 to 24 inches of personal space. (Digression - I encourage you to click on that link, just to enjoy the truly bizarre picture of the multiculti dance party. You just know that white woman in the dashiki is insufferable.) Now, don't get me wrong, I understand that mass transit is what it is and not everyone can be surrounded by their own personal Happiness Bubble on a crowded commuter train. But dude, when the train is MOSTLY EMPTY, there is no goddam reason why you have to stand RIGHT NEXT TO ME like we're dating.

(Further digression - Apropos of nothing, I highly recommend the Edupass guide to Cultural Differences, which is apparently aimed at students coming to the US for the first time. It is just priceless. For example, we learn in the "Toilets" section that "The words 'loo', 'earth closet', and 'usual offices' will generally not be understood by Americans." Earth closet?!?! AWESOME. But personally, I'm using "usual offices" from now on. How fucking cool is that? "Excuse me, I've got to go to the usual offices.")

Same goes in line at the bank. Feeling your hot breath on the back of my neck is pretty much the last thing I want, and it doesn't make the line move any faster if you're surgically attached to my back. Step off a little.

#115: Personalized License Plates

Oh, CHAD50, we could have just suspected that you were an asshole undergoing a midlife crisis as you cruised by in your Jetstream Blue Metallic Corvette. But you had to go and get a personalized license plate and remove all doubt.

Image courtesy of the indispensible Vanity Plates: Creepiness in 8 Characters or Less

What on Earth would move you to get a vanity plate? Can't you see that by putting 2COOL4U on your tag, you're proving the exact opposite? It's too bad that we can't require the numbnuts who get these things to get plates that actually reflect their real beings, like WATADBAG or IH8DADDY.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Do we have a developing snake situation here?

Perhaps in advance of the End of Times on December 21, 2012, there has been a sudden uptick in Documented Snake Acitivity. Why, just this morning, our friend Inger noticed this disturbing sign posted in Noe Valley:

Jesus Christ! I can handle lost adorable kittens, but a FOUR FOOT LONG MOTHERFUCKING SNAKE? Sure, let me just scoop him up and give you a call!

Then there was this disturbing post on SFist:

That's up at Bernal Hill, where we walk the dog sometimes! I mean, used to walk the dog sometimes!!!!

Now, normally snakes don't really bother me much (although, in the case of the two large-ish snakes described above, I might make an exception), but you have to understand that The Wife has a deep-seated, nay, pathological fear of snakes. In fact, she told me once, "If I was ever in a locked room with a snake and a gun, I'd shoot myself." We can only hope that this recent flurry of snake activity is followed quickly by the End of the World, for her sakes.

The incredible shrinking Zagat's SF nightlife guide

Just received my new & updated Zagat San Francisco nightlife guide. I get it for free because, you know, I'm a thought leader because I submit reviews online and anyone who does that gets a free one.

Man, it's a lot smaller this year!

L-R: The 2007-2008 Zagat SF nightlife, with weird cover crease reflection; the unyeared "Eighth Edition" with no cover crease.

I will say that, to Zagat's credit, the cover price also went down substantially, from $13.95 to $6.95, but it's like half the size and the page count went from 171 to 94.

So who didn't make the cut in the new edition? Gold Cane is out, but Hobson's Choice stays in. Gestalt is out, but Foreign Cinema - which isn't even a bar, but a restaurant, and certainly not something I'd think of as "nightlife" - stays in. So does the actual bar that's attached to Foreign Cinema, Laszlo. Mr. Bing's is out, which is good, because the fewer people who know about Mr. Bing's, the better.

I don't know. I don't see any particular pattern to who got cut and who stayed in. I guess maybe the number of votes played a role. I'm sure more people voted for the execrable Medjool than the very nice Shotwell's (which I'm kind of glad wasn't included). All of this is kind of academic because if you're relying on Zagat's nightlife guide to find a good place to go, you're probably SOL anyway.

Monday, July 6, 2009

At least I didn't break anything, as far as I know

Well, that was a long weekend.

The Wife and I kicked it off with a miserable experience Thursday night at Salt House. SH is owned by the same people who own Town Hall, which we loved, so we were expecting a great meal. WRONG. My chicken was so dry it was actually hard to chew, and The Wife got this polenta that was saturated with cheese to the point of being cloying. Oh, and the service pretty much sucked too. I don't know if the waitress had too many tables or what, but everything took goddam forever. Bad service. It's my curse.

Then my jacket got stolen at Annabelle's but I guess that's not technically Annabelle's fault.

Saturday we had a big July 4th cookout at our place. I'm not sure how between the two of us we spent over $500 on this but I do note that the assembled crowd went through 3 pounds of Whole Foods grass-fed organic beef, a bunch of sausages, a pack of veggie burgers, some veggie dogs, 2 bottles of Pimm's No. 1, 6 or 7 bottles of wine (I think), 3 cases of beer (or maybe more, it was a little hazy, as you might be able to gather at this point), one large vat of homemade potato salad (which was awesome, BTW, and I will be making more of soon), and so on and so on. Nothing like grilled burgers, right?

Around 10 pm things were winding down but no stopping the party, right? So The Wife took off with a few others for Debaser whilst me and Stoney and The Sister cabbed over to Solstice where more drinks were consumed and maybe bad choices made. I finally saw The Wife again when she got home from Debaser at like 3.

Yesterday we laid around all day and did nothing. It's agreed: We've gotta make some changes in our lives.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Product testing: Axe shower gel

Like any right-thinking man, I have been beguiled by the advertisements for the Axe family of grooming products. As you know, the TV ads typically depict a rather humdrum fellow who, upon dousing himself with an Axe product, is set upon by a pack of suddenly sex-crazed young minxes, who have been driven to bacchanalian abandon by the mere whiff of the man's fragrance. Here's a perfect example.

Now, it's possible - possible - that maybe I'm not in the Axe demographic, but in the interest of science, I embarked on a recent experiment to test the accuracy of these advertisements. Since I'm now married, and didn't want to put myself in a situation where I'd be unable to control the gang of women hurling themselves at me, I undertook this test within the confines of my own home.

THE PRODUCT: Axe Phoenix Revitalizing Shower Gel. Not sure what the significance of "Phoenix" is. Perhaps the suggestion that I will rise, phoenix-lile, from the flames of Uncleanliness and Not Getting Laid? Or is the product intended for use specifically in Arizona?

THE TEST: Finished assembling, and then moving around, some furniture yesterday. Became appropriately sweaty. Showered using the Phoenix. Observation: Feels refreshing! Like there's actually some chemical in it that makes your skin feel tingly.

ANTICIPATED RESULT: Wife saying "Oh my God, you sexy piece of meat. Violate me like we're on Spring Break. Let's make Caligula look like Captain Kangaroo. Take me!"

ACTUAL RESULT: "What is that? Are you wearing cologne? Ugh, you smell like you're from Walnut Creek."

There you have it. Axe shower gel. Do not want.