Thursday, October 29, 2009

Other people San Francisco is a Sanctuary City for

1. Grown men with long, long ponytails
2. Damaged girls with Livejournals
3. Guys who collect vinyl
4. People from Iowa who pronounce Spanish words with a pronounced Spanish accent
5. Drunks
6. Ultimate frisbee players
7. 23-year-olds who wear sweatshirts with Greek letters on them unironically
8. Frank Chu
9. Dog owners who are obsessed with their dogs and treat their dogs like children and have birthday parties for them and stuff
10. Barista/artists
11. Waiter/punk band members
12. Administrative assistant/dominatrices
13. Pigeons. Pigeon feeders.
14. Bros with yellow labs named either “Marley” or “Kaya”
15. DJs (still)
16. Wine snobs
17. Beer snobs
18. Marijuana snobs
19. MST3K snobs
20. Illegal immigrants (Irish)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Andre Agassi, tweaker

Holy shit! In his new bio, Andre Agassi talks about how he used to use crystal meth. Check this shit out! ("Slim" is one of his assistants):

"Slim is stressed too ... He says, You want to get high with me? On what? Gack. What the hell's gack? Crystal meth. Why do they call it gack? Because that's the sound you make when you're high ... Make you feel like Superman, dude.

"As if they're coming out of someone else's mouth, I hear these words: You know what? F*** it. Yeah. Let's get high.

"Slim dumps a small pile of powder on the coffee table. He cuts it, snorts it. He cuts it again. I snort some. I ease back on the couch and consider the Rubicon I've just crossed.

"There is a moment of regret, followed by vast sadness. Then comes a tidal wave of euphoria that sweeps away every negative thought in my head. I've never felt so alive, so hopeful - and I've never felt such energy.

"I'm seized by a desperate desire to clean. I go tearing around my house, cleaning it from top to bottom. I dust the furniture. I scour the tub. I make the beds."

Haha. The stars - they're just like you and me! If you've ever known anyone who was on the meth, you'll recognize the cleaning instinct right away. One friend of mine had a roommate who liked the meth, and he'd wake up and find his roomie vacuuming away at 4:30 a.m. I know another guy who rearranged all his several hundred CDs by color - so the shelves looked like a giant VIBGYOR (or Roy G. Biv, if that's your pref).

Anyway, I don't know why the Agassi thing seems so surprising. Maybe because you tend to think of professional athletes and entertainers and stuff liking coke more than meth. It just seems weird, right?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Whoa, Don, have another Canadian Club. Mad Men ep 11.

So it’s finally here. The Big Showdown. So now where do we go? I mean, now that’s all out in the open and Betts knows, or is starting to know, the details of the Big Secret, how do they sustain the dramatic tension?

But enough about that. Let’s talk about Roger! Roger, as it turns out, has a complicated back story that includes an expat life in Paris in the 30’s with Annabel, who still looks pretty good at 50 or whatever age she is now. She dumped Roger! Maybe that’s why he’s such an asshole now. I mean, I love the guy and he always has the best lines on the show, but he’s an asshole, right? Anyway, she wants to get into the Roger business again and he turns her down. How come, Rog? Don’t tell me he’s gotten a sudden attack of the Faithfuls. Some guys don’t like drunk chicks. That’s what I heard, anyway. From no one, ever.

Hey, remember when the Drapers had a dog? What happened to him? Did he get the racquet?[*] You know who’s about to get the racquet? The Rape Doctor! That’s right, he’s got VIETNAM WAR CASUALTY basically tattooed on his face. Oh, you’ll be a surgeon, all right. A SURGEON OF DEATH. That doesn’t make any sense. Anyway, then Joan will finally be able to get back together with Roger. He just has to get rid of Current Wife, whatever her name is.

Hey, did anybody else think the animal focus group was awesome? “Oh, he seems to like this food! Cute! Good puppy HOLY FUCK WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHY ARE YOU FEEDING A PONY TO MY DOG?!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHHH!!!!” I think they need to change the name after all.

ANYWAY. Anyone think Miss Farrell is just going to go gently into that good night? No way. She’s not done by a long shot. And it’s a good thing none of this is taking place today or Don’s cellie would have been BLOWING UP after the first 10 minutes he left her sitting in the car. Just imagine him having The Confrontation and Betts is all “I want answers, Don,” and just then his “My Prerogative” ringtone goes off and he’s all “Oh, shit, I gotta take this, hang on.” Speaking of which, I hate cell phones but I love having the Internet on me all the time.

[*] “Get the racquet” = “to suddenly and mysteriously disappear from a show with no explanation or acknowledgement.” Back in college, a bunch of us used to get together after lunch every day and watch “All My Children.” There was this minor character who was staying with Tad and just hanging around and not doing much. One day, he went up to the attic to get a tennis racquet and NEVER CAME BACK. Ergo, “getting the racquet.” I like to imagine that his moldy corpse is still up there in the attic, slowly decomposing in the Pine Valley heat.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Internet advertising has become disturbingly weird

Check out what I had to look at whilst I was trying to read up on the Times Square teen who doesn't know who she is or some shit like that:

WTFF??? It looks like new ideas for Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. I can hear Cheney breathing hard and clicking away somewhere out there.

Is the chick at the bottom giving head to a robot or what's going on there? If the Trick to WHITE teeth is to get deep-throated by a glowstick on the end of a vacuum cleaner attachment, I'll stick with the way I am, thanks. And if you can vanish cellulite by grabbing your thighs and making little flesh ridges, we're all going to save a lot of money. The Secret Snoring Solution, meanwhile, is to put on a fake Abraham Lincoln beard and hit yourself in the head with your fist.

Criminal FAIL

San Francisco Police Officer Recovering After Attack

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- A San Francisco police officer is recovering in the hospital after he was dragged by a suspected drunk driver Thursday night.

The incident began with a traffic stop on Clayton and Ashbury streets at about 2:30 am. Police say the driver grabbed the officer and pulled him partially through the window. He then continued driving slamming the officer up against parked cars until he fell off a couple of blocks away.

The suspect was taken into custody not far from the scene.

Now, as I understand it, when you're a criminal, the main idea is to GET AWAY from the police. My suggested strategy for a traffic stop - which, admittedly, is cobbled together from bad movies and old episodes of "Starsky and Hutch" - is to wait for the cop to get out of the cop car and start walking towards your car, then FLOOR IT and speed off. Then the cop looks momentarily stunned and runs back to his car to give chase. Usually his hat falls off.

The last thing you want is a cop THERE IN THE CAR WITH YOU. That makes you so much easier to arrest. So kindly refrain from PULLING TO COP INTO THE CAR. Moreover, once you start to leave, LET HIM GO. He's not going to aid your getaway at that point.

[UNRELATED STORY: As you can see, today's Random Flickr Image was obviously taken in London. It was part of a series entitled "London Day 1013." I'm not sure I understand the nomenclature. Does that mean you're on your 1,013th day in London? Christ, man, you've been there almost 3 years. You're a resident now. You can drop the sequential daily numbering. Just title it "London, My Home" or something like that.]

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Padma Lakshmi is 38!

Damn! I hope I look that good when I'm 38. Again.

And she has a semi-nude painting of herself over her bed in her NYC apartment!!!

And a swing in her living room!

I need to lie down.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Churchill rousing or Hitler rousing? Mad Men ep 10

Yeah, yeah, I know, Betty found Don’s Shoebox of Lies, and some shit is inevitably going to hit the fan because of it, but was anyone else surprised that Lois still works at Ster-Coop? Man, some places I’ve worked you could get fired for smiling at the boss, or not smiling at the boss, or not having sex with the boss, but apparently it’s cool to run over someone’s foot with a fucking lawnmower at the S to the C and we'll all go on like nothing happened!

Speaking of Lois, contrary to rumor, no, she is not Flo from the unbelievably annoying Progressive Insurance ads, but, as a matter of fact, the actress who troubles us with her Flo role, Stephanie Courtney, has been on Mad Men! And so the Great Circle closes.

That Miss Farrell. She trouble. So she's got a problem brother just like Cameron Diaz in "There's Something About Mary" and when she said "He has FITS," I thought it was like an acronym for something, like Family Intensive Trouble Syndrome but then my Show Partners told me no, it just meant "fits." So he's an epileptic. Whoops. ANYWAY, he's hanging around and just being a major cockblock for most of this episode and Don is finally like FINE I'll drive to you to fucking Nome Alaska if it gets you out of our hair. More on that in a sec.

Pornography in the 60's was very primitive and you had to whack it to B&W mockups of bra ads. Eww eww eww Paul. Gross. No wonder you lost your idea. You're busy salivating over the nightgown section of the Sears catalog. So hot....let me see your wrists, you dirty girl.

Then we find out the Brits are going to sell Ster-Coop but I don't care so much about that right now. I did like how Lane's wife was all "It's not's not even England." OH SCHNAP NEW YORK.

So, yeah, then Betty finds the keys to the secret drawer and this is pretty much the best thing that's happened all season because now she knows enough to be trouble. Now the tension's just gonna build and build until she springs it on him.

Now let's talk really quick about Don's R/T drive to Framingham. I was informed by one of my Show Partners, who is actually from MA, that we're talking about a 5-hour roundtrip. Subsequent Google mapping reveals that it's closer to 3, but with 1963 technology, who knows? Point being, it's at least a 6-hour, and maybe 10-hour drive, from Ossining to just outside Framingham where Don drops off the mysterious brother (who's going to end up dead, MARK MY WORDS). So how does he get back the same night? (Indeed, in time to bang Suzanne?) Doesn't make sense.

UNLESS. And I don't want to be hasty about this. UNLESS Don knows where there's a wormhole in the spacetime continuum. Now I'm just throwing that out there.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What I saw at the Treasure Island Music Festival on Saturday

1. A kid in one of those animal suits like the kid in Where the Wild Things Are wears, bouncing around, on E I guess.

2. A lot of drunk teenagers.

3. People in robot costumes being accosted and/or photographed by aforementioned drunk teenagers.

4. Zero beer lines. If every other festival could copy this feature, that would be great. Kthx.

5. About 15 percussionists on stage with Dan Deacon.

The Streets is pretty much the main reason I came. I think he did a pretty good job. The mix was a bit off at the beginning, but it got better. Now that I've seen him live, I'm starting to think that maybe it's harder to pull off his stuff live than I thought.

As you may know, Treasure Island is divided into two days - a more electronica-leaning day on Saturday, and a more rock day Sunday. We went to the rock day Sunday last year and had a wonderful time. This time, still fun (mostly thanks to the great company we were with) but just not the same.

Maybe it's because the crowd skewed a good 10 years younger, or maybe because I'm just more of a rock guy than an electronica guy, but I wouldn't go on Saturday again. I mean, the name of this blog is 40 going on 28, not 40 going on 17. I kept expecting Chris Hansen to pop up.

Mad Men recap tomorrow, maybe, unless I can get enough done this morning.

Friday, October 16, 2009

My dog might be a peeping tom

(To understand this story, you have to know that my neighbor and I share a backyard, and we're both on the ground floor. Her place is sort of behind ours, in the yard. Also, it helps to know that she's almost never there, because her husband's Canadian and she's in Vancouver most of the time. OK.)

So around 4:30 the dog starts growling and making that FUFF FUFF sound like he does when someone's encroaching on his territory, which could mean anything from "at the front door" to "walking down the block across the street."

Then the backyard lights go on, and they're super-bright, so now we're up for real. I figure our neighbor (who we'll call "Kathy," for no particular reason) has some friends coming in late or maybe she's coming in late. Since I'm totally nosy, I open the curtain a little and see her walk by and then come back with two cops.

The first things that pop into your mind unbidden, I think, are very revealing. So tell me what these reveal.

Thought #1: I didn't think her husband was here! Did they get in a domestic?

Thought #2: Is there anything in the backyard that I wouldn't want cops to see?

Thought #3: They're not going to come in our house, are they?

Then I hear her telling them about hearing someone in the backyard, and they're shining flashlights all over the yard, and now it's starting to dawn on me: MY DOG IS A PROWLER.

What happened was, The Wife let him out in the backyard about 15 minutes earlier because he needed to pee or whatever. So he was out there for a while and then he came back in. Now, like I said, Kathy's not around that much. So what I figure happened is that she heard him rooting around back there and, not realizing that it was our dog, thought it was a Psycho Serial Killer Stalker and proceeded to phone the 5-0 to save her own life.

The dog came in and was all "What? What?" We didn't even tell him.

Happy Friday, everyone!

(UPDATE - I've been emailing with Kathy and I was totally apologetic and yep, seems like the dog is what she heard.)

In other news, I totally wanted to go to the Litcrawl on Saturday since I went last year and had an awesome time. I especially wanted to go to the SF Appeal/SFist event at the Lab because I thought I'd finally get to meet Eve and Brock and a bunch of other cool people but I realized the other day that I'll be at Treasure Island instead. So I guess I'll remain a mystery wrapped inside an enigma wrapped inside a bourbon and ginger.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

¡Todos somos Balloon Boy!

Courtesy of generic_:

I'm glad you're home safe, Balloon Boy.

The Corner Store: an appreciation

I was with my friend Ted once and we decided, not wholly out of character, that the proceedings would go more smoothly with a bottle of Jamesons Irish Whiskey. There was a store about a block from his place, but we passed that one and kept going. I asked him what was up. He said, "Oh, I can't go there for this one. I've already bought three bottles there this week."

It's true, right? Your corner store guy knows more about you than your boss or your best friend or your S.O. He (and I'm not trying to be sexist, but it usually is a he, and, if you live in SF, there's an excellent chance he's a Middle Eastern he) knows what kind of booze you like and how often, what your preferred snacking items are, whether or not you smoke and what brand and how much, and maybe what kind of sandwiches you like, if it's a market that makes sandwiches.

I had a female friend tell me once that her corner store guy could probably chart her menstrual cycle based on what she bought. Red wine and ice cream meant yep, it's getting close.

ANYWAY, what made me start thinking about this is that today, October 15, is the anniversary of the day I moved to San Francisco. Today's 19 years, yay. Wow, that sounds like a long time. My first place was in North Beach, on Union Street, and that afternoon I went to Speedy's for the first time. Speedy's was (sadly, was, because it closed a while back) a typically quirky/wonderful SF corner store, with totally friendly guys that worked there, an awesome deli, and a great beer selection. They did deliveries for longtime customers. In a Rolls-Royce. Fucking awesome. Here's a great article about Speedy's and its sad demise.

One of the great things about SF that you kind of take for granted but which is a total gift from heaven is the corner store. Instead of being blanketed with a sea of uniform 7-Elevens that all have the exact same stock, our corner stores are all quirky and unique in their own way. When I moved back to Telegraph Hill in 2001, my new corner store was the Fog Hill Market, run by an affable Palestinian named Hanna who had an amazing cheese selection and let us run a tab after he got to know us. Try putting a wedge of Camembert on your tab at a Circle K.

The Parkview Market, Frederick and Stanyan, another fine corner store

Not that all corner stores are fun and games - there used to be one on Union and, what - Hyde, maybe? Leavenworth? - that was one of the creepiest places I've ever been. There were stacks of old newspapers everywhere and like one dusty can of soup on the shelf. Lots o' liquor, though. Now that I think about it, it was probably a front for something.

UPDATE: Upon looking at a 1990 calendar, it seems that 10/15/90 was a Monday, and I'm almost positive I arrived on a Sunday, so I guess I've been wrong about the date for lo these many years. Oh well. Just pretend you read this yesterday.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm not sure why Sal gets to keep directing after that Patio POS. Anyway.

"Now that I can finally understand you, I am less impressed with what you have to say."

OH SNAP. Don’s diss on Whatshisface was awesome, and kind of emblematic of the whole show, which was about rejection. Over at Ster-Coop, you could sense something bad was coming, because Don’s Dad – oops, I mean Connie Hilton – was getting crazier and crazier by the scene. (Incidentally, remember him bitching about people leeching off him? Oh, Connie, you have no idea what's coming.) So they finally get to the pitch meeting and Connie’s all “OMG what about my Moon Hilton, bitch?” and Don’s all “WTF?” And Connie’s all “I said I wanted a Moon Hilton! With room service unicorns! MAKE IT SO.” and stormed out and that made Don so upset he had to go fuck his kid’s teacher. That’s a good argument for having kids, I guess.

And then, of course, we get Sal turning down yet another chance at nookie. Seriously, this guy turns down more chances to get laid than most of us will ever get in our lives. But this time he really fucked up bad because Lee Garner Jr. isn’t just any bellboy, he’s the head of Lucky Strikes or something and he wants Sal gone pronto. It’s either because Sal turned him down and he’s petty and wants revenge or because he doesn’t want Sal tellling anyone about his, uh, little secret. I don’t know, doesn’t make much difference. Anyway, looks like things might be looking up for Sal in the leg department because we next see him on a payphone calling from what looks like the set of “Rent.”

Then we have Henry Government, who thought he had a sure thing going here, and gets Bets all the way into the office with the door locked and at this point is probably already mentally moving on to the next MILF with a reservoir when Bets puts the hammer down. Fuck, lady, make up your goddam mind. I don’t mind getting hit with the cashbox as long as I get a lil sumpin. Anyway, is this affair boring or what? Yeah, whatever, write little mash notes and have fake receptions or whatever. Yawn. The dude in the back of the bar was more exciting than this shit.

And then, just so it’s not all rejection, Don finally got it made got it made got it made, he’s hot for teacher. Again, wouldn’t it have been more interesting if she held out? Pushed him out the door and said no? Fuck are all women really powerless before the Hamm?

Finally, just in case you didn’t notice, the Civil Rights Movement Is Coming. The bleeding from that foreshadowing-shaped hole in your head will subside soon. And do you think the show will address the Kennedy assassination? Hard to say.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I would say "at least it's not Duluth," but then I'd get angry emails from Duluthians about how great Duluth is.

You know one thing San Franciscans like? Talking about San Francisco. And I recently read two blog posts about San Francisco, one by a guy who really seems to dislike SF, and one by a guy who seems to really like it.

Alex Payne works for Twitter and doesn't like it here much. He says SF is

"dirty. No, filthy. No, disgusting. Whenever I travel outside of San Francisco, I’m amazed at what a disastrous anomaly it is. Sidewalks are routinely covered in broken glass, trash, old food, and human excrement. The smell of urine is not uncommon, nor is the sight of homeless persons in varying states of dishevelment."
I'm not sure where Alex Payne lives, but my sidewalk has never been covered in broken glass, trash, old food, or human excrement. Maybe trash sometimes. But seriously, dude, if you live in the Tenderloin and base your entire view of the city on the way the sidewalk looks at Hyde and Ellis, you're not getting a fair representation of the whole city.

He goes on from there, pretty much bitching about everything in SF. I guess I could respond point by point, but really, what's the point? If one of your specific complaints is that there isn't much to do in SF, yeah, you're going to be happier somewhere else. I'm sure that Payne is a decent guy and whatever, but it's clear that this isn't the place for him. Anyway, more coverage at Valleywag, if you're interested.

Meanwhile, Matt Honan likes SF a lot. He's got some specific suggestions for how to enjoy living in SF that make sense, like getting a bike and making friends outside the tech industry (since his post obvs. aimed at people who move here to work in tech).

I mean, obviously I like it here (after 19 years, I better) and fall way more in the Honan camp than the Payne camp. Sure, there are a lot of problems in SF, but the good so far outweighs the bad that it's not even funny. It is what you make of it, anyway, in the end, and some people make themselves happy and some people make themselves unhappy.

ANYWAY. Mad Men post tomorrow.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Other than the thing about pizza, everything else in this post is disturbing in one way or another.

- The Wife is currently in Louisiana on a business concern.

I've got a little Louisiana story for you. I once found myself in a really, really rundown strip club in New Orleans, pretty much blind drunk. The kind of strip club where the girls are all a little pasty and look like junkies and they come up to you at the bar and ask you to buy them a drink, which costs about $20 for a light beer but whatever. So I mostly just wanted to talk to somebody and I asked this girl what her favorite movie was and she said "8 MM," which might be the most depressing thing I've ever heard, given that it's a movie about snuff films.

So I declined to buy her a drink and she said "Fuck you, then," and I left.

This isn't intended to be a condemnation of Louisiana in general! There are some very nice things about Louisiana, too.

- Go and listen right now to Jessi Klein's story from The Moth about her sister's wedding at Disney World. L O L.

"A couple of weeks before the wedding, my sister informs me that she and her fiance have decided to spend a little extra to have the characters attend the reception. Of course. And I decide that if I am single and I’m going to be spending my birthday weekend at Disney World, then I am definitely fucking one of the characters while I’m there."

- Finally tried out Pi Bar last night. Above average slice. GREAT beer selection. It's very new-new, in the sense that everything is still sparkly and clean, but give it time, that'll change. Also, very friendly service. A+++++++ WILL DO BUSINESS AGAIN.

- Is this ad horrifying or what?

I guess we're all used to the idea of a bunch of old people in Vegas, since they're pretty much the ones who keep that town in business, one nickel slot and Don Rickles show at a time. So I guess having a big AARP meetup/confab in Vegas isn't so strange. BUT LOOK - he looks like he just got off a SERIOUS FUCKING BENDER and his tie's all undone and you know what that means: OLD PEOPLE SEX. Gross. Gross. Change the channel.

- This is an Administrative Friday for me, since I'm not working tomorrow for complicated and personal reasons. I'll try to post, but who the fuck works on their blog at home? We'll see.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hey Intel, sponsor my life list too!

So this chick Maggie (who actually is a friend of a friend, so we're like 2 degrees apart so HI MAGGIE!) writes this blog called Mighty Girl and she's pretty much famous in the blogging world and probably gets about a billion hits a day.

Like a lot of people, I guess, she has a life list of things she wants to do or try or places she wants to go before she dies. Not that she's going to die soon, there just has to be some end point. [SIDE NOTE: If you need help creating your own life list, or getting motivated to do the stuff on it, there is, OF COURSE,]

UNLIKE a lot of other people, Maggie got someone to pay for doing the stuff on her list. Namely Intel. So she's gone to Greece and eaten at the French Laundry and some other stuff, all on Intel's dime.


Lighting can strike twice. Help me out, Intel, and I guarantee you tens of hits a day from MOTIVATED BUYERS, some of whom can read and/or are sober for part of the day.

Just think, Intel, with your help I can achieve my dreams of:

1. Going target shooting with Subcomandante Marcos.

2. Weekend in L.A. with the Lohan.

3. Going swimming with the sea turtles in the Galapagos.

4. Eating a sea turtle from the Galapagos.

5. Kneecapping Dane Cook.

6. Doing shots at the Ha-Ra with Thomas Pynchon.

7. Breeding a mutant race of Super Dogs who will respond to only my commands and become my Dark Army of the Night.

8. Learning HTML.

That's just off the top of my head! Wait til I really start thinking about this stuff, Intel. So what do you say? Hook us up?

Monday, October 5, 2009

I liked the old Bobby better

Sorry to sound like such a hipster, but it’s true. I find New Bobby a little flat and one-dimensional. His heart just wasn’t in the “K-I-S-S-I-N-G.” That Sally can throw a fucking punch, though, huh? I don’t know who she’s kidding kissing that dork Ernie in the bathtub. She’s going to be reading radical feminist theory at Bryn Mawr in a few years.

Speaking of kissing, did anyone else find Betty’s little explanation to Sally about kissing a little weird? She’s all, “Well, after that first kiss, it’s all downhill from there.” Gee, great outlook, Betts! Why don’t you just tell her that all men suck and are just going to rape her. I guess she’ll learn that at Bryn Mawr anyway.

So we’re all sure that Pete raped that au pair, right? I guess the scene with the neighbor coming over and confronting Pete wouldn’t make sense if he didn’t. That Pete is such a fucking toolbox. I loved how Joan called him out on his bullshit by saying “Trudie’s too fat for this dress” or whatever. You know she just wanted to watch him squirm. Joan fucking rules. She best be taking over Bonwit Teller.

Back to Betty for a second, since this whole episode kind of revolved around her. Who knew she could speak Italian? She and Don had a big time there in Rome, then they get back and it’s all the Same Old Shit again and so Don gives her a very nice little gift and she’s all “HATE IT.” Fuck, man, sorry you’re stuck being a housewife in Ossining, but you don’t have to be a total bitch about it.

Sadly, no Roger Sterling. An episode without Roger is like a day without an Old Fashioned.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A picture an hour: Saturday, October 2, 2009

I thought I had the timestamping on. It wasn't on. You'll have to trust me that these are about one an hour. First one is around 8:50 a.m., I think.

That's Will Sheff, of Okkervil River, one of the two bands we saw at this year's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass free concert in Golden Gate Park. It was an absolutely beautiful day, sunny and in the high 60's, and we found a nice spot on the hill with a pretty much unobstructed view of the stage. For a huge outdoor festival with about 80 acts, they did it right.

That's Rhett Miller of The Old 97's, who were on the same stage right after Okkervil River. I thought their set was kind of bland, but hey, no one hits a home run every time.

That's a PBR and a Jameson's rocks, at The Page. At this point it's, what, 9:30 or so. What I should have done is gone home. What I did do was go to Debaser. I went mostly just to say hi to Chris. We talked about some stuff for a while but I don't have a lot of details on that. Then I went home.

Friday, October 2, 2009

New Bar Night: Ace's

There are bars with regulars. In fact, every bar has regulars, as far as I can tell. And then there are Regulars Bars, where everybody there pretty much knows each other. Ace's, on Sutter and Hyde at the edge of the Tenderloin, is definitely a Regulars Bar.

[SIDE NOTE #1: I know from regulars because I used to be a regular at a bar. Not surprisingly, it was the bar where my ex-wife worked, so I pretty much drank for free. Drinking for free sounds good unless it involves a desperately unhappy marriage. So think about it before you get married for free drinks.]

The regulars, in this case, were a group of maybe 5-7 middle-aged white guys who clearly have been hanging out at the bar forever. In fact, just as we got there, two of them arrived by car, meaning that, at least for some people, Ace's is a destination bar.

There's nothing wrong with this bar. There's a vaguely sports bar feel, with lots of Yankees and other New York paraphernalia scattered about. I assume that it gets a strong NYC crowd for Yankees and NY football Giants games. That's great. If you're an expat, it's nice to have a place to go to that feels like home.

[SIDE NOTE #2: Since a lot of people who live here moved here from somewhere else, there's a whole subculture of these expat bars, mostly centered on sporting events. Like, there are bars where people from Boston watch Boston sporting events, and the same for Steelers fans and so on and so forth. Which makes me wonder if it's like that in other cities. Like, if I happen to be in Cincinnati, can I go to a SF Giants bar? Probably not.]

It was a surprisingly warm night last night, so we sat right by the open front windows. Got a Tecate, which came in a can with a bar-issued coozy. Nice touch. There couldn't have been more than 15 people in the fairly big room, which is either a selling point or a slow night for a Thursday at 8:30. Maybe it picks up later.

There's a bar dog, which you like to see, and a picture of a guy on the toilet in the bathroom, which you don't. Ace's certainly wouldn't be the worst place you could end up - I assume that's MatrixFillmore or something like that - but it's not a place you'd go out of your way to go to. Unless, I guess, you're from New York and you want to watch the Yankees with a bunch of other New Yorkers.

We split and walked down the hill to Whiskey Thieves. I hadn't been there in like 5 years, so I guess it's a New Bar again and this is a twofer. Fuck, when did everybody get so young? It was like Romper Room with booze. Is that a birthday party in the corner, or are you just shrieking for no reason? Jesus.

Then I took a cab home. The end.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Introducing New Bar Night™

Sometimes you get in a rut. Don't beat yourself up; it's natural. You sort of get in the habit of going to the same places over and over. That's life.

So what can you do about it? Well, you could make some changes in your life, stop going to bars so much, clean yourself up, shave, spend some time outside, maybe throw the ball around with your kid.

Nah, fuck that. The answer is force yourself to try some new bars.

I would like to introduce a new feature, New Bar Night. Once per month, I will take one or more intrepid adventurers with me and we will visit at least one new bar where none of us have ever been before. It's going to be a little scary and a little fun.

Tonight is our maiden voyage, so to speak. Results will appear in this space tomorrow.

If we don't make it back, do pour out a PBR and a shot of Jameson's for me, won't you?

Here's why I'm such a bastard

As regular readers are aware, The Wife is doing this grueling 3x-a-week fitness bootcamp thing in Berkeley that basically amounts to an hour of strenuous workout every time. This involves getting up Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 5:40 a.m.

In a show of husbandly solidarity, and maybe marginally in the interest of my own self-improvement, I have also been rising with her 3x a week and doing my own workout regimen, which consists of jogging about 2 1/2 miles. So, yay, everyone’s self-improving.

So The Wife has come down with something and she’s really, really sick. She called me this morning at the office and groggily informed me she’s not going to work today. She’s making an appt. with the doctor instead. She sounded just awful. POOR THING.

I, of course, extended the appropriate sympathy and encouraged her to seek medical treatment and told her I hoped she felt better soon and whatever else. But you know what I was thinking?

Sweet, no boot camp tomorrow, I can get my drink on tonight!

The line to slap me forms to the left.