Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What the Mid-Market area needs is a giant inflatable gorilla with "CRACK" written across its stomach

I'll freely admit I'm not the smartest guy in the world and I don't have a degree in urban planning or anything, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what's going on with the Mid-Market area.

For those of you not in the know, the so-called "Mid-Market" is Market Street in San Francisco from about 5th Street to about, what are we saying, 10th? Maybe 10th. It's characterized by boarded-up storefronts, a few janky camera shops, crackheads, and a couple of sad-looking strip clubs. Like the Market Street Cinema:

From Yelp: "This place is absolutly horrible! My girlfreind worked there for a lil bit, she quit when she found out that all the bitches there are prostitutes and will do anything for 200$! hah too bad they lost the baddest bitch they will ever have! nasty ass ghetto bitches!"

So there you go. A little slice of the Mid-Market. I would avoid the Market St. Cinema, as it seems they have lost the baddest bitch they will ever have.

ANYWAY, for as long as I've lived here people have been talking about how to clean up the Mid-Market and what to do with it and everything. There has been talk of Pedestrian Malls and Special Shopping Areas and European Style Whatevers, but I have never heard anything as crazy as the new plan to Save Mid-Market Via Ginormous Light-Up Billboards and Dancing Inflatable Men. To wit:

The Mid-Market corridor's been riddled with strip joints and empty storefronts for decades now, and the man who fancies himself a sort of Wayne family to Mid-Market's Gotham is David Addington. He owns the Warfield Theater— if you'll recall also the future home of a three-level Foreign Cinema sibling restaurant— and has gourmet sausage resto Show Dogs already under his belt. To top it off, he's signed Blick's Art Supplies away from its current spot on Van Ness, and is spearheading a proposition on this November's ballot to allow Mid-Market signage ranging from "dancing inflatable men" to digital billboards.


I'm not sure exactly why someone would think that a sane person would travel to a dangerous and dirty area at night to look at some billboards and some advertising gimmicks usually found on used car lots and tire stores, but I will give him this: those giant inflatable men will SCARE THE FUCK out of the crackheads.

Monday, September 28, 2009

One minute you're on top of the world, the next minute, some secretary's running over you with a lawnmower.

Unbelievable. But that's why he's Brett Favre and you're, well, you.

Caught up with my Mad Men last night, so I finally saw the lawnmower episode from two weeks ago. GROSS. Mad Men's getting weird. Not like that's a bad thing or anything, it just is. That whole thing with the hitchhikers last night - what was that all about? And is Betty a terrible mother or just stressed out?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Then the Raiders slammed the phone down and pouted and wrote "I HATE RICH GANNON" in big letters on their notebook

This is why the Raiders are so lame:

Team officials told CBS Sports they did not want Gannon to attend Saturday's television production meetings in advance of Sunday's Raiders-Broncos game, The Chronicle has learned, citing his public criticism of the organization in recent years.

"Rich Gannon is not welcome here," Raiders executive John Herrera said Friday when asked about the ban. "We told CBS we did not want him in our building, we did not want him to be part of our production meeting, and that's where it sits."

Oh God. "Richie hurt our feewings, so we don't want him come ovah!" The Raiders have meticulously cultivated an image as the Bad Boys of the NFL, dangerous scrappers who you'd want to avoid. Now we know the truth: their feelings get hurt when someone is mean to them. Why don't you and the rest of your Girl Scout troop go up to your room and play with Princess Sparkle Pony if you don't want to see Mean Old Rich Gannon, Raiders?

But wait, there's more:

Herrera quoted Gannon as saying in several interviews they should just "blow up the building and start over" in Oakland. Team officials took that as literally as they did figuratively, and told Gannon as much before last season's home game against the Chiefs.

"We think in a post 9/11 world, that's not a very proper thing to say," Herrera said. "It's uncalled for. He seems to be a guy who can't get over the fact that he played the worst Super Bowl game in the history of the game and he wants to blame everybody but himself.

Yes, when Rich Gannon said that the Raiders should "blow up the building and start over," he meant that the Raiders should actually place a number of high explosive charges around the team facility in Alameda and detonate them, killing everyone inside and reducing the structure to a smoking pile of rubble. That's the impression I got, anyway. In a post-9/11 world.

Then Herrera caps it off with a cheap shot about Gannon's Super Bowl performance. The Raiders should be slobberingly grateful that they were ever in the same parking lot as a Super Bowl. This is why they're the laughingstock of the NFL.

Friday, September 25, 2009

So the Giants go gently into that good night or whatever

Although I think the Giants' season really ended on September 8, when Kevin Frandsen couldn't even get a fucking bunt attempt down in a must-win game, it sure felt like it ended again last night when reality-show-appearing, Ed-Hardy-wearing, big-arm-tattoo-having Brian Wilson blew his seventh save at the worst possible time and gave up the game-winning home run to some guy no one's ever heard of.

Then, just to compound the agony, Aaron Rowand came on in the bottom of the ninth with 2 on and looked at two strikes and then swung at one that was aimed somewhere in the vicinity of section 112. Oh, Aaron Rowand.

So that leaves Your San Francisco Giants 4 games back in the wild card race (behind even ATLANTA, can you believe it) with 9 games left.

I don't know what to make of Brian Wilson. Sure, he has 36 saves, good enough to be tied for 4th in the National League. And he has a pretty amazing 1.27 ERA over the last 19 appearances. But those 7 blown saves! I know that, comparatively, it's not a ton (saves leader Heath Bell has 6, after all), but it just seems like they come at the worst possible time.

ANYWAY. No one thought the Giants would be playing meaningful baseball in September, so it's all gravy. I'm gonna go out the old ballyard and see Lincecum take on Zambrano tonight anyway.
Oh, check this out. On April 4, Bruce Jenkins doth writeth:

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

The pitching has been superb (Zito has 10 wins and may still get to 12, believe it or not). Sandoval is batting .326, not far off. Molina pretty much has been the team's heart. Panda has 22 homers, but who woulda thunk it? And who the hell is Jesus Guzman?

Happy Friday, everyone! 19-pound babies! Confusing and boring Qaddafi speeches! Ole Miss in the Top 5! What a world.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Actual text messages I have exchanged with The Sister

June 14:

TK: So how did that work out for you then?

The Sister: It worked out to be a late nite + self loathing. In an odd turn of events I happen to be sitting in washington sq park eating dim sum.

TK: Daytime drinking?

The Sister: No. Ive been drunk since noon friday.

June 20:

The Sister: The book 'smashed: story of a drunken girlhood' sits next to 'dry' in the bookcase. Is someone trying to tell me something?

July 3:

The Sister: I have become accidentally buzzed.

TK: I haven't had any alcohol so far today, which is kind of amazing.

The Sister: Wow. Well, I wasn't planning on it, if that counts for something.

July 5:

The Sister: I think its a bad sign if you have to break into your earthquake kit for a snack.

July 18:

The Sister: Watching hipsters gut fish is as funny as it sounds.

September 12:

The Sister: This is the largest limo I have ever seen. It screams hookers and blow.

TK: If you get either one, txt me RIGHT AWAY.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Is that duck? No, that's not duck. That's chicken.

Yesterday The Wife's Main Asian, James, got married and that means Chinese Wedding Banquet because he's Chinese and that's how they roll. It was at a Chinese seafood restaurant in Foster City and was pretty great.

The idea of the Chinese Wedding Banquet is that they keep bringing out dishes one after another and they put them on this lazy susan in the middle of the table and everyone at the table wheels the thing around and gets some. Also, James featured the fine wines of the Navarro Vineyards, specifically a Gew├╝rztraminer and a pinot noir, both of which I found to be excellent, which had nothing to do with the fact that they were unlimited and free and every time a bottle ran out *POOF* a new one magically appeared.

So The Wife and I were at our table with a group of James' friends from Cal enjoying either our first or second course (that would be either suckling pig three ways (all of which were delicious) or stuffed crab claw) when I hear singing and look up and there's a tiny woman in a pink dress singing karaoke with a wireless mic and she's heading right for us! As it turns out, Chinese Weddings Banquets feature karaoke. This seemed like a pretty swell idea and I was into it but The Wife told me that it wouldn't be "appropriate" for me to enchant the crowd with my rendition of "Folsom Prison Blues," no matter how many glasses of wine I'd had.

So we proceeded through the 8 or 10 courses (skipping only the shark fin soup because of complicated enviro-guilt reasons, which are beyond the scope of this blog post) and had a lot of wine (well, I did, anyway - The Wife drove home, thank God) and then drove back to SF and in the car on the way home agrred that "Good Things" by Rival Schools is pretty much one of the best songs ever. Two Very Enthusiastic Thumbs Up for Chinese Wedding Banquet. And our very great congratulations to James and Elaine, two great people who are much nicer than us.

In other news, you may have noticed the link to the right that suddenly appeared without explanation, but I am pleased to note and announce that The Wife has begun blogging. Specifically, she has undertaken a program of self-improvement the likes of which I could not begin to accomplish, and she's writing about her trials and tribulations doing this thing at a little blog called Leah Is Lazy. Won't you join her?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Do I want to work for American Apparel?

Not if I have to dress like this:


TK's Hot Weather Refreshers

It's already above 75 degrees in San Francisco today, and in SF, that's a heat wave. People wear tiny clothes and by people I mean "girls." So that's good. Your friends say things like "Hot enough for ya?" because they think it's funny. People in the rest of the country don't realize that SF is closer in climate to Vladivostok than Ventura, and most days here it's about 47 degrees with 70 mph winds. So anything above 68 makes us get freaky.

In the interest of combining two of my favorite things, warm weather and alcohol, here are a few suggested hot weather drinks you might like:

Redneck sangria

1 bottle of cheap temperanillo or temp-grenache blend. CHEAP.
1 can of 7-Up. Don't use Sprite. Use 7-Up.

Pour wine into pitcher. Pour 7-Up into pitcher. Mix.

If you have a recording of Marty Robbins playing "El Paso," put it on.

Awkward Silence


Put 4 or 5 ice cubes in rocks glass. Fill halfway with vodka. Fill to top with Fresca. Refreshing!

Invented by my associate Stephen. Before he invented it a couple of years ago, no one in the history of the world had ever combined Fresca and vodka.

Incidentally, Fresca is good shit and I was happy to see it on the shelves when I moved here after living for years in a Fresca-free zone.

This Pineapple thing I stole from Farina

Farina's OK. The food's pretty good but it's wicked overpriced. However, I had this cocktail there and I was like all OMG BEST COCKTAIL EVAR DO WANT. My enthusiasm has cooled slightly, but it's still good.

Hangar One kaffir lime vodka
Pineapple juice
Punt e Mes

Pour a healthy dollop of vodka over some ice. Fill with pineapple juice. I like the little cans of Dole pineapple juice that feel like they're made out of steel. Seriously, you could probably build a house out of those. Then just a little shake of Punt e Mes over the top. Stir. Punt e mes is an Italian vermouth. I've been working on one bottle of it for like a year, since I only use it in this drink.

The Wife says I should try using Smirnoff Lime vodka ($10.99/bottle) instead of Hangar One kaffir lime vodka ($35/bottle) but there's no way that would work.

Cold can of Pabst Blue Ribbon

Cold can of Pabst Blue Ribbon
Humorous coozy

Open can of PBR. Slide into humorous coozy. I used to have one that said "World's Greatest Grandpa" on the side but I lost it.

Happy Friday, everyone! Stay cool! Hydrate! Hydrate! OK! OK!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

To the person who got to my blog by Googling "What is the name of Tim Lincecum's French bulldog"

It's "Cy." Like "Cy Young." I know.

But, awwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Bad Brains at Slim's last night

Nostalgia about music is a funny thing. On the one hand, it's fun to think about great shows you saw a long time ago (R.E.M., Vanderbilt Auditorium, 1983, HOLLA!!!). On the other hand, bands keep touring, sometimes much longer than they should. So you go see them maybe expecting to see a spark of what you loved when you saw them as a kid, and it doesn't always turn out that way.

Bad Brains were, and are, an incredibly influential hardcore punk band from D.C. whose glory years were probably, say, 1982 to 1990 (even though they were broken up from '84 to '86). 2 notable things about Bad Brains that are maybe somewhat unusual for a hardcore punk band: (1) they're African-American, and (2) they also play reggae songs.

Stephen has long maintained that the Best Show He Ever Saw was a Bad Brains show at some place in Providence in 1986, so he and Jessica and I went down to Slim's last night to see what they could bring these days. Now, I'd never seen them in the old days (although I had a copy of "Rock for Light" that I remember enjoying) so it was all new to me. Apparently the shows back in the day were something, with lead singer H.R. doing back flips off the stage and stuff. Here he is, mid-flight:

H.R. is now 53 years old. He doesn't do back flips off the stage any more.

A few observations about last night:

1. It was fucking PACKED. And this was the second night at Slim's. Bad Brains are apparently still extremely popular. Punk is not dead. Or reggae-punk is not dead. Or something.

2. Median age about, say, 32 or so. Some old punx who had clearly seen Bad Brains at the Mabuhay back in the day. (I'm just assuming they played at the Mabuhay back in the day. I'd be shocked if they didn't.) And some kids! Kids with mohawks! Kids with mohawks pogoing by the bar and KNOCKING INTO ME AND SPILLING MY BEER EVERYWHERE! Damn kids! Oh, wait, that's pretty punk.

3. Speaking of, I went to a fair number of punk shows as a yoot, and I don't remember people being so polite. "Excuse me," the fat punk with the studded jean jacket and shaved head said as he scooted past me at the bar. Excuse me? What is this, Sunday Tea? You should be growling "Get the fuck out of my way!" Another punk bumped into me and said "Sorry." Times have changed. The beer spiller never said sorry, though. WHY DON'T YOU LEARN SOME MANNERS, YOUNG MAN?

4. The sound was pretty terrible. Very hard to make out vocals. H. R. basically swayed in place with his hands in his pockets. Hard to bust him for it, though. HE'S 53 YEARS OLD. But people seemed to be enjoying the hell out of it. Crowd surfing! They don't have crowd surfing at the stand-with-your-arms-crossed indie rock shows I go to.

5. Not knowing much about Bad Brains, I can't really comment on the music. Like I said, everyone seemed to be having a great time.

6. The cab driver on the way home was great. Old Jewish guy. "When I moved here 45 years ago, you never saw any gays! I lived at Pine and Powell! Bars used to give away free hot dogs back in those days!"

(OH ONE THING I FORGOT - one of the openers was a rapper called P.O.S. who I liked quite a bit. So, uh, check him out, I guess.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Did Taylor Swift really lie about illegal immigrants? Or something?

There were two high-profile, shocking breaches of etiquette in the past week or so, both of which people need to generally chill out about at this point.

The first, of course, was South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson yelling "You lie!" to Obama during The O's speech to Congress on health care. If Wilson was responding to Obama's claim that proposed health care legislation would not apply to illegal immigrants, he was wrong, but that's neither here nor there. The point is that it's generally agreed upon that one does not shout out interruptions at the President during a speech to both houses of Congress.

But here's the thing. The man apologized to the President, and the President accepted his apology. Fair enough! Let's move on. It's a sideshow at best, and Wilson's Democratic opponent has already benefitted. To keep this thing alive, by calling for censure and the like, is counterproductive. In fact, if you're a Democrat, it's probably harmful. Americans like the powerful to get taken down and be forced to grovel, but only to a point. Once you keep going after someone, sympathy starts to build. Can you imagine Joe Wilson as a sympathetic figure? Keep this up and it'll happen.

The second was Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards. It seems that young Taylor had just won the award for Best Female Video, when Kanye took to the stage and expressed his contrary opinion that, no, Beyonce should have been the winner.

(P.S. I saw Taylor Swift in the airport once. She's 8 feet tall and sparkles like rock candy. People went "Ohhhhh, Taylor Swift" when she walked by. I asked my sister who she was.)

Well, people were OUTRAGED. BOOOOOO KANYE!!!!!

Think about what that means. People got upset because one multimillionaire interrupted another multimillionaire during the presentation of a fake award for a music video on a channel that doesn't play music videos. Seriously, if this really upset you, I hope to God you're a 13-year-old girl, because otherwise, you have much better things to get outraged about.

I'm with Gawker. I think the whole thing was staged.

Nevertheless, I'm glad that at least we got this out of it:

UPDATE: Anna Pickard of the Guardian thinks the Kanye thing was staged too. Conspiracy theory gathering steam! Now waiting to learn how ACORN was involved.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm going for my Presidential Fitness Award

In an admirable effort at self-improvement, The Wife started fitness boot camp today. I'm not sure exactly what it entails, but it involves getting up at 5:30 a.m. three days a week and sounds like an awful lot of work. To show solidarity, I decided to start running again, something I haven't done regularly in maybe 5 or 6 years. Actually, definitely 6 years because I went looking for my running shoes and then remembered I left them at the old apartment where I lived with my ex-wife.

So anyway, I decided to start small, with a modest run of 1.5486 miles (according to Gmaps Pedometer). Now, I'm not a total fat tub of lard or anything. I walk a lot just in daily life, and until fairly recently I was doing exercise walks of 3 to 3 1/2 miles at least twice a week. But, as you know, running is different. Anyway, I made it the first 3/4 mile without having to stop and then walked for a bit and then ran the rest of the way home. Did the 1.5 miles in about 18 to 20 minutes. So I obviously need to go farther, because that's not even going to make up for the Egg Beaters, slice of toast, and half a grapefruit I consumed immediately afterward. I guess I need to go for at least 30 minutes at a time to start.

In other news:

- The 2 cases of wine left over from the wedding that I shipped back from my Dad's place arrived totally unscathed. I can recommend the Spirited Shipper for all your wine shipping needs.

- Went to Mini Bar on Saturday night. Everybody says the service there sucks, but we didn't have any problems at all. Seemed fine to me. As advertised, it's pretty small but it wasn't crowded so it felt fine. The only downside was the drunk guy who started a conversation with me by saying "My girlfriend is a bitch" and explained that she was mad because he has been doing blow at the Cal game. Who does blow at a football game anyway?

- Man, is Mad Men getting good now or what? What a great fucking show. (SPOILER ALERT If you haven't seen the last 2 episodes and you get all freaked out if you know what's going to happen stop reading now.) We were just positive that baby was going to be stillborn, so that was kind of a disappointment. And was grandpa dying just a huge deux ex machina because that plot wasn't going anywhere? I don't get it. And you just know Don is going to bang that teacher. Just a matter of time. Also, January Jones, sigh.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I will finally make the connection between hijacking and dogs

So yeah, I'm pretty much in love with the Mexican plane hijacking story because it is SO FULL OF WIN.

Let's review:

1. Hijacker claims to be on a "divine mission."
2. Said divine mission is to warn the President of Mexico that an earthquake is coming.
3. Because it's 9-9-09.
4. Which is 666 turned upside down.

Could it get any more awesome? WHY YES, IT COULD.

5. The hijacker ordered the pilot to fly to Mexico City.

This is a hijacker after my own heart. Find the laziest, easiest way to do anything. Want to hijack a plane to Mexico City? Why complicate your life and hijack one that's headed for Ciudad Juarez? No way, man, take it easy on yourself and hijack one that's already headed where you want to go. In fact, with this plan, you don't even have to tell anyone you're hijacking the plane! Just keep it to yourself. You'll know you succeeded. Best of all, when it's over, you don't have to go to jail! Win-win-win all around. MARGARITAS FOR EVERYBODY!

It's the Dog Training Theory of hijacking. Find out something your dog can do and then claim that you trained him to do it. Our dog came with one preloaded feature: when you touch your index finger to the ground and call him, he comes over and rolls over on his back. So all I did was start saying "Roll over!" when I put my finger on the ground and people are all "WHOA AWESOME DOG TRAINING DUDE" and I just smile and nod. Same thing with hijacking. I think. Wait, what was I talking about?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More death rattles from Fifth and Mission

Everyone knows the San Francisco Chronicle isn't doing well. They keep cutting jobs. By some accounts, they're losing a million dollars a week. That's why the paper is thinner than it's ever been, the quality is all shot to hell, and they're charging more money for it.

(Side note #1 - I can't figure out the pricing structure to save my life. At the racks, it's 75 cents. [Sub-side-note - How do you make a "cents" symbol on a computer keyboard?] I buy it from the very nice lady at the 24th Street BART station. She charged me 75 cents for a while, then, without any explanation, went back to 50 cents. Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't be outing this. Whatever, paper's going to be gone soon anyway.)

This is the worst fuckup I've ever seen in the Chron, though:

From yesterdays' Datebook section. I don't know if you can read the caption under the picture (I took it with my cell phone), but the caption reads as follows:

"Photo caption Dummy text goes here. Dummy text goes here. Dummy text goes here. Dummy text goes here. Dummy text goes"

Sigh. I don't know what kind of layout software they use or if they scratch the Chronicle into metal plates every day by hand or whatever, but clearly somebody dropped the ball in a big fucking way.

(Side Note #2 - Did you know that dummy text is often called "loren ipsum," because that's the first two words of the industry-standard dummy text, which comes originally from Cicero? And that there's a dummy text generator online? Of course there is.)

Yeah, I know it's not the end of the world or anything, but it's just depressing. I love, or used to love, the Chron, for all its foibles and fuckups. It was part of the fabric of the city to me, back when you had to read Herb Caen every day to find out what was going on and there was a whole staff of writers. I remember reading a Jon Carroll column the very first day I lived in San Francisco (October 16, 1990, if you must know) and LOLing. "LOLing" didn't exist then. We had to spell it out. Prehistoric!

(Side note #3 - Back then, both the Chronicle and the Examiner (RIP) published every day. 2 daily papers! For a news junkie like me, it was heaven. The Ex had its own little eccentricities - like calling SF "the City," with the "C" capitalized, which I loved, because WE ARE THE CITY - but I was staunchly a Chron man.)

So it'll be sad to watch the Chron go gently into that good night. Thanks a lot, Craigslist! Just kidding. Sort of.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Maybe I'll just go straight to 30-second TV spots

Hey look! All these local blogs have banner ads on SF Appeal!

There's the N Judah Chronicles!

And there's FuncheapSF! Isn't this fun!

(Insert needle-scratching-across-record-sound here)

Wait, what? Sexpigeon has taken to advertising?

In case you don't know, go ahead and click. Sexpigeon is more or less a photo blog that consists of cell-phone pictures (at least, I hope they're cell-phone pictures) taken mostly around the Bay Area and captioned with brief and witty text. It's often funny and mostly great and the guy who does it has a keen wit and a way with words that I sometimes envy.

But I don't know. He doesn't seem like the sort that would advertise. As far as I know, there's no ads on his own site, which means that he doesn't make any money if someone clicks through (or is there something I'm missing here?), so I guess I don't get it. Of course, of course, everything isn't always about money and maybe he just wants more readers and whatever. Fine.

Maybe I should do a banner ad! Something like:

Yeah? Yeah? You like it?

Or maybe:

(P.S. This one's for Jessica, who specifically requested more MS Paint art on the blog.)

(P.P.S. I accidentally erased part of the box on the right side using the little square eraser in MS Paint. So whoops.)

(UPDATE Thu 9/10 - Well, my dream has come true, I think. For reasons inscrutable to me, the good folks at SF Citizen took my dream and ran with it. Behold, my banners ads now festoon that site, gratis. In fact, I didn't know it was going to happen. Thanks, I think!)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Things that have pleased and displeased me recently


- Continental Airlines is my new airline.

Believe it or not, I am here to actually praise an airline. I was an American Airlines man for years and years, but I'm so on Continental now it's not even funny. Look, airlines have treated us all so bad for so long that we're pathetically grateful any time anything goes right, but Continental even beats that out. To wit:

1) You can select an Exit Row seat 24 hours before the flight when you check in online. FOR FREE. Can't do that at all on American, and Northwest charges you $40 or so for it. For someone like me, who's 6'4" and basically HAS to have an Exit Row, this is a fantastic advantage.

2) They actually give you free food. I know, that's no reason to choose an airline, but isn't it kind of nice?

3) Every flight I took on this trip - every single one - was almost exactly on time, or was within 15 minutes or so.

So bon voyage, American. You can suck it. I'm all about Continental now.

(If you work for Continental and you're reading this, I'm not shamelessly shilling for free First Class upgrades, but if you want to toss some my way, I'm sure we can continue to see glowing reviews here on the site.)


- I know SF is hurting for money and everything, but this is ridiculous. The Wife parks her car on a street near our house where we've been parking for years. The only parking restriction is street cleaning, 2nd and 4th Fridays, from 8 to 10. She parks it and doesn't go by it for days. Then one day last week she goes to use it and there are THREE TICKETS ON IT. Why? Because at some point in the prior few days, the city threw up residential permit parking only signs and then started slapping tickets on her car.

OH HELL NO. We're protesting this shit. How about a little warning next time, fuckers?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Pitchfork Top 20: 9-1

20-15 here

14-10 here

Is this becoming a slog? I just want it to be finished now.

9. Animal Collective, "My Girls"

Like a weirdo post-modern Beach Boys, matching soaring harmonies with bleepy-bloopy synth music. (I would say "Beach Boys on acid" but I think that's redundant.) It's OK, I guess.

8. Radiohead, "Idioteque"

OK, now I think Pitchfork is just picking this song to be difficult. Sure, it's a nice song and everything, but it's clearly not one of the Top 10 songs of the 21st century. It's not even the best Radiohead song. It's not even the best song on Kid A, for Chrissakes.

7. Missy Elliott, "Get Ur Freak On"

Yeah, I guess so.

6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Maps"

No question, it's a great song. I must also draw your attention to Ted Leo's amazing cover of Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" (speaking of, unquestionably one of the Top 20 songs of the aughts), in which he also goes into "Maps" and then back into the original song. Pretty fucking cool.

5. Daft Punk, "One More Time"

Again, I'm probably not the best person to evaluate this or write about it, since my knowledge of electronic music in general is pretty slim and I know almost nothing about Daft Punk. In fact, this might be the first Daft Punk song I've ever listened to all the way through. So if you guys think it's a totally important song and the best Daft Punk song and one of the best songs of the 2000's, I'm in no position to argue.

4. Beyonce f/ Jay-Z, "Crazy in Love"

OK, this is going to sound totally cynical, but do you think it's possible that Pitchfork slotted this song at #4 just to show that they're down with the regular peeps and not ivory tower elitists who only listen to Grizzly Bear and American Folkways recordings of Delta bluesmen from 1937? That's not totally out of the realm, right? Great hook on this song, BTW.

3. M.I.A., "Paper Planes"

What a great fucking song. Totally agree with the placement on this list (and, if anything, it could even be higher up). It's like a team of scientists worked on a song that would include everything hipsters love, from The Clash (the song is basically laid over "Straight to Hell") to female rappers to lyrics about Third World poverty. I don't mean that in a bad way.

2. LCD Soundsystem, "All My Friends"

I don't know. It's a perfectly good LCD Soundsystem song, as far as I know, and I like it just fine. But the second best song of the decade? Probably not. Side note: James Murphy sings a lot about getting older, doesn't he?

1. Outkast, "B.O.B."

Look, I like Outkast just as much as the next guy, and Stankonia was a fine album, and this is a decent song, but I just can't say that it's the best song of the 00's.

So what is? What do I think is the best song of the 2000's? It's hard, because there's been a shitload of good music in this decade. I'm tempted to go with "Since U Been Gone" (Number 21 on P'fork's list, incidentally), since it's emblematic of the American Idol phenomenon that took over popular music in the 2000's and it just happens to be an outstanding pop song, but it probably has to be a Radiohead song, just because they're probably the most important and most interesting band in the 2000's. "Airbag"? "Paranoid Android"? Both of those would be solid picks. I don't know.

Back to SF tomorrow. Hope everyone's having a nice weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I am writing this from a strange and distant land.

As you may have gathered, I'm out of the office. I've returned, as I am wont to do once in a while, to my ancestral homeland.

(L-R: Me, Dad, The Sister, some relatives)

So here's how it goes down here: there are thrice-daily trips to the grocery store; a lot of cooking; a lot of eating; and then a lot of sitting on the back porch and drinking wine. Wine that's left over from the wedding, at this point.

Speaking of, we had a lot of wine left over. Like almost 5 cases. So I boxed up 2 of them and took them to the UPS Store to send back to SF. As it turns out, it's fucking expensive! Like $50 a case to ship. Still cheaper than buying it over again, I guess. Guy at the UPS Store says, "What are you sending, bricks?" And I laughed ruefully and said, "Yeah, I'm sending a house back there on the installment plan" and he laughed and laughed.

P.S. Everyone in the South is on their cell phone ALL THE FUCKING TIME. There is SO MUCH to talk about here that it takes 24/7 cell phone talking to get 'r dun.

I'll be back on Monday, so don't freak out. We're having our own personal Burning Man here, if you replace "large burning wooden man" with "22 inch Weber grill" and "3 hits of ecstasy" with "2 bottles of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Product Testing: McDonald's Third Pound Angus Burger

I don't go much to McDonald's any more because I got sick of getting the McFeeling about a half-hour after I ate there. If you ever eat at McD's, you know the feeling I'm talking about.

But after seeing repeated commercials for the new Angus Third Pounder I finally gave in.

The Pitch: "The More the Meatier"...."So thick and juicy, you're gonna need an extra napkin."

The Product: I went with the Bacon and Cheese Angus Value Meal, which came with a medium french fries and a drink. I got a Diet Coke. $7.11 total. As for the bacon and cheese, hey, in for a penny, in for a pound.

I know what you're thinking: After ordering 1/3 lb. of beef with bacon and cheese slathered on it, who the fuck do you think you're kidding with a Diet Coke? I know, I know. The lady behind the counter looked momentarily perplexed too. I just like the taste of Diet Coke better than regular Coke. Speaking of, someone recently told me you can still get Tab somewhere. If you see Tab in the wild anywhere, let me know. I kind of fondly recall its bizarre petrochemical taste.

The result: Not bad, actually.

The bun was nice and soft and tasted fresh. The meat actually tasted like meat, which is unusual for McDonald's. It's not like Quarter Pounder meat (which must be like 75% fat) or the little pucks that are in the flat regular cheeseburgers (which are also full of a magic potion that cures hangovers, but that's another story.) Big slices of red onion. The cheese tasted like the usual McDonald's cheese.

The only weak point was the bacon. It was those super-thin translucent bacon slices that are basically just grease held together with fat and with some kind of bacon flavor added. What would really makes the TPAB a monster would be thick slices of real bacon, but that's probably beyond what McD's is capable of.

The damage: For the burger alone, 790 calories, 39 grams of fat. With the fries, my totals are 1170 cal. and 58 grams of fat. That sounds like a lot. But hey, I can have about 2600 calories a day, so I can still eat dinner! Yay!