Thursday, December 30, 2010

(Some of) My personal favorite Twitter posts of the year

I guess I could say "my favorite tweets" but GOD HELP ME I fucking LOATHE the term "tweets." Just saying the word "tweets" cheapens us all.

ANYWAY, in lieu of some bullshit Year in Review crap or something like that, here are some of the Twitter posts I "favorited" (ugh, another awful construction; maybe Twitter is the Nail in the Coffin for the English language) and thought were funny and/or something.

Kate is a must-follow.

Jessica is Internet famous but still talks to me.

The inimitable Molls, with a dieting query.

Molls is pretty much gold 100% of the time.


More Renée.

That's a good point.

One more Molls.

I know what you mean.

I could also repost about 15 of Kanye's tweets here, but you've seen them all before. (For the record, cherub imagery and water bottle are my 2 faves.)

Keep up the good work, everyone!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Here's another restaurant review, like you give a shit

No one's reading this. You're all stuck with your parents somewhere trying desperately to get a flight to JFK because you're about to freak out and kill them or you're home waking and baking and watching Maury (SPOILER: In the case of Charmaine, YOU ARE NOT THE FATHER) or you're in Tahoe or God knows what else. You're not at work, which is where you'd be reading this under normal conditions. That's OK. I understand.

Last night was Moms' final night here in SF and she got it in her head that she wanted Burmese food, probably because that sounded like it would make a good story for her friends back in Arizona about Crazy Shit They Eat in SF. So I made a reservation at Mandalay to get our Burmese on.

DIGRESSION #1: Shouldn't it be called "Myanmarese" food now? I guess that's too hard to pronounce and plus we're sticking with "Burma" as a protest against the current junta or something.

DIGRESSION #2: I know you're inwardly screaming "Why didn't you go to Burma Super Star??!?!??," you little food-obsessed foodie snob. I'll tell you why. Last time I went to BSS I waited an hour and a half for what's essentially Thai food with different names. So fuck that. I made reservations at Mandalay that day, no problem. Reservations are an extremely good idea, as we will see.

Mandalay was fine. My impressions are: (1) The food's pretty good. Maybe really good. We had some noodle stuff that was pretty great and also Sizzling Beef which was exactly what it sounds like and also Mango Prawns which I didn't taste. I'm not super-into prawns. (2) Everything took a very long time. (3) It was FUCKING CROWDED, like jam packed.

What is the deal with this town and the fucking Burmese food? There was a crowd standing by the front door looking like they were going to leap on us and rip the fucking Nan Gyi Dok right out of our hands. Clumped together by the door, anxiously staring at the hostess each time she went to the clipboard. Jesus Christ, people, just go to one of the 2,786 Thai restuarants in this town. It's basically the same fucking food. And this is on a Monday night. I mean, really?

So yeah, if you have reservations and happen to be in the area, I guess it's worth going to. But if you're one of those people waiting an hour, took a long hard look at yourself and ask why. "WHYYYYY," ask yourself. "WHYYYY AM I DOING THIS." Then go get some Thai food like a rational human being.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Xmas is over and it's time to bitch

Happy Monday. I hope you had a good Christmas or Chanukah or whatever the fuck you do. I wish I could say I was in a better mood but I've been drinking for like a week straight and I'm tired and cranky now.

Have you seen this ad?

What the fuck. First of all, if you've got robots that are so advanced that they can engage in robot hand-to-hand combat, wouldn't somebody have thought to install a Robot Destroyer Laser? I mean, these fuckers are million-dollar machines fighting with Stone Age technology. It's like having a steam-powered Blu-Ray player. "Hold on, we'll watch the rest of Avatar as soon as I put more coal in the boiler!"

Second thing: Jesus Christ, dude, did you know it's possible to fucking exist for more than 30 seconds without watching TV? It's a subpar sci-fi film, not a fucking dialysis machine. I think you can fucking live without this bullshit for the seconds it takes to make a cup of tea and get to the bedroom. Fuck.

Next: I occasionally listen to "Fresh Air" on NPR because I'm a Coastal Elite and that's how we do. I was just listening to the podcast from 12/23 because I obviously have nothing better to listen to this morning. So we have Music Critic Ken Tucker's list of the Best Albums of 2010 and boy is Ken Tucker wrong as fuck. His best album is by someone called Tracy Thorn. It's horrible. Here's a song from it. See what I mean?

Oh, as it turns out she's the chick from Everything But the Girl. Figures.

He also has Joanna Newsom on his list so you can tell he's showing off for other rock critics. The only people who listen to Joanna Newsom are rock critics and the mentally insane.

(I know this is going to make me sound pretentious as fuck, but I really liked Kanye's album. Also: The Monitor, by Titus Andronicus; This Is Happening, by LCD Soundsystem; Wavves' King of the Beach and a bunch of other stuff I'm not going to get into here because the last thing the world needs is another douchebag pontificating about music.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It approaches.

Guess who's decided to come back for Christmas this year? MOM.

Now I don't want to say that she's a complete Control Freak or anything, but The Sister is picking her up at the airport at 1 pm on Xmas Eve and she has already informed us that she has quite a few things on the old agenda, viz:
I'm thinking since my flight arrives at 1:20, and my hotel is at Union Square I would enjoy first stopping at nearby Grace Cathedral to see the Bronze Door casts of Ghiberti's "Gates of Paradise." I saw the beautiful originals in Florence at the Basilica. They are depictions in bronze casts of 12 Old Testament bible stories (Adam & Even in the garden, Noah's Ark, Moses and the 10 Commandments, etc.)

Then, just a hop away is the Mark Hopkins. I would enjoy stopping there for a drink at "The Top of the Mark" to have a bit of time with you before joining others.
Jesus Christ, lady, that's a whole vacation you want to fit into an hour and a half. Also, if you saw the originals on your trip to Florence, why do you wanna see some cheap knockoff "Gates of Paradise"? What, the real "Gates of Paradise" didn't do it for you? "Hey, I just saw the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, but I understand this truck stop in Gilroy has a poster of it on the wall in the Ladies Room so I definitely want to see that!!!"

Well, it should be interesting. I'm sure she'll want to know why we didn't hang up that Electronic Dartboard she got us for Christmas 2 years ago and I'll just have to explain that we decided against going with a Dave & Buster's interior decor theme and that's why there's no Pop-A-Shot in the living room either. And then we'll have to hear about all our inheritance money taking fabulous trips to Tuscany and London and the fucking Great Wall of China for all I know.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Your Quick Reference Guide to Celebrity Rehab 4


Jason Davis is a fat guy whose grandfather invented movies or something. He is addicted to heroin and Twix bars, which is understandable because both are delicious. He is enemies with FRANKIE.

Leif Garrett is a guy your Mom used to masturbate to. He is addicted to everything in the world. He is enemies with EVERYONE and is especially annoyed by FRANKIE and with good reason because she is annoying as fuck.

Jeremy London was on Party of Five and was in the news recently because he was kidnapped by space aliens and taken to planet Are You Fucking Kidding Me and forced to take drugs and have fun. He's a little puffy but seems like a nice kid. He has a wife who looks like a RealDoll and is friends with LEIF.

Janice Dickinson is a semi-preserved former supermodel who eats barbituates for fun and gets mad when people don't pay attention to her. She is enemies with RACHEL.

Jason Wahler is a normal guy who happened to walk into the Pasadena Recovery Center by accident one day and was never allowed to leave. On "Celebrity Rehab," he is played by himself, or the other way around or something.

Frankie Lons is the mother of either Keyshia Cole, Keisha Knight Pulliam, or Ke$ha. She enjoys using the word "motherfucker," which is bleeped out with some success by authorities at VH1.

Rachel Uchitel is not the least attractive chick Tiger Woods banged. In fact, she is not in the bottom 10. She is addicted to not wearing enough clothing.

Eric Roberts is a strange pothead. His "Eracism" t-shirt somehow survived the 80's intact.


Episode 1: Blah blah blah everyone talks about their boring lives. Jason Davis is a dick.

Episode 2: Everyone freaks out a little when they can't have any more drugs. Jason Davis is a dick.

Episode 3: Jeremy London's wife is wheeled in so everyone can get a look at her construction. Leif Garret is pissed. Jason Davis is a dick.

Episode 4: Everyone goes to the beach! There are no drugs there. Leif Garrett is going to leave. No, he's not now. Eric Roberts cries. Jason Davis is not that bad. Rachel takes a cab to oblivion.

Episode 5: Rachel realizes she must stay on TV to become famous and comes back. Resident Tech Shelley would kill for just one hit of crack.


Everyone leaves and starts taking drugs again.


Resident Tech Shelley. How much fun would it be to go on a weekend-long bender with her? Fuck.

Friday, December 17, 2010

TK's 12 Days of SF Christmas

On the first day of Christmas,
My Life Partner gave to me
A bottle of Balvenie.

On the second day of Christmas,
My Life Partner gave to me
Two stolen fixies
And a bottle of Balvenie.

On the third day of Christmas,
My Life Partner gave to me
Three startups
Two stolen fixies
And a bottle of Balvenie

On the fourth day of Christmas,
My Life Partner gave to me
Four iPhone 4s
Three startups
Two stolen fixies
And a bottle of Balvenie

On the fifth day of Christmas,
My Life Partner gave to me
Fiiiiiiiiive hits of E
Four iPhone 4s
Three startups
Two stolen fixies
And a bottle of Balvenie

On the sixth day of Christmas,
My Life Partner gave to me
Six crackheads begging
Fiiiiiiiiive hits of E
Four iPhone 4s
Three startups
Two stolen fixies
And a bottle of Balvenie

On the seventh day of Christmas,
My Life Partner gave to me
Seven Supes a-banning
Six crackheads begging
Fiiiiiiiiive hits of E
Four iPhone 4s
Three startups
Two stolen fixies
And a bottle of Balvenie

On the eighth day of Christmas,
My Life Partner gave to me
Eight Ns not coming
Seven Supes a-banning
Six crackheads begging
Fiiiiiiiiive hits of E
Four iPhone 4s
Three startups
Two stolen fixies
And a bottle of Balvenie

On the ninth day of Christmas,
My Life Partner gave to me
Nine Gettys inheriting
Eight Ns not coming
Seven Supes a-banning
Six crackheads begging
Fiiiiiiiiive hits of E
Four iPhone 4s
Three startups
Two stolen fixies
And a bottle of Balvenie

On the tenth day of Christmas,
My Life Partner gave to me
Ten baristas scowling
Nine Gettys inheriting
Eight Ns not coming
Seven Supes a-banning
Six crackheads begging
Fiiiiiiiiive hits of E
Four iPhone 4s
Three startups
Two stolen fixies
And a bottle of Balvenie

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
My Life Partner gave to me
Eleven mayors preening
Ten baristas scowling
Nine Gettys inheriting
Eight Ns not coming
Seven Supes a-banning
Six crackheads begging
Fiiiiiiiiive hits of E
Four iPhone 4s
Three startups
Two stolen fixies
And a bottle of Balvenie

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
My Life Partner gave to me
Twelve neighbors drumming
Eleven mayors preening
Ten baristas scowling
Nine Gettys inheriting
Eight Ns not coming
Seven Supes a-banning
Six crackheads begging
Fiiiiiiiiive hits of E
Four iPhone 4s
Three startups
Two stolen fixies
And a bottle of Balvenie

And with that, I'm out. Looks like I could have picked a better day to drive to Santa Cruz for a Christmas Party, huh? See you on Monday, if we make it.

(Photo credits: Ario/Flickr, viaThe Eastsider LA; some drug website; Anna Conti/Flickr via Muni Diaries (with mad Photoshoppingz by the author); Passive Aggressive Notes.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Controversy swirls around Time's Person of the Year 2010 choice.

So yeah, Mark Zuckerberg is Time's Person of the Year.

(Does this photo seem oddly stretched or something? I stole it from the WSJ b/c that's the first one that popped up on Google News. Anyway.)

Makes sense, I guess. It really did seem like 2010 was the year where Facebook went from just a social networking site to Utter and Total Ubiquity. 2010 was the year your Mom joined Facebook and started posting stupid shit 24/7, right?

(As I have mentioned many times before, maybe to the point of annoyance and/or self-aggrandizement, I am one of 2 (or maybe 3) people I know who does not have a Facebook account. The reasons are still chiefly the same and may be somewhat unique to my personality but that's neither here nor there, plus at this point it's almost too late to join. Now it just seems lame. Like you're the last person who shows up at a party and goes "OK, now we can get started!" I do like the stalking aspects of FB, but based on looking at other people use it, I would quickly get way way way too annoyed to enjoy it.)

ANYWAY, one "Scott Simon" from NPR does not at all agree with Time's choice!!!!!!!

LOLz. This is the dumbest shit I've read all day. The Chilean miners, Scott Simon? Really?? I barely remember that the Chilean Miner thing happened today. Imagine people reviewing the list of POTYs in 10 years and going "Who the fuck are the Chilean Miners? Did they like discover cold fusion underground or something? What the fuck?"

Honestly, Scott Simon, I'm glad you're not picking the POTY or in 1987 Baby Jessica would have been the Person of the Year instead of Mikhail Gorbachev.

(Incidentally, we totally need to get together and have a screening of "Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure," starring Beau Bridges and featuring, oddly, Will Oldham. Yes, that Will Oldham. Bonnie Prince Billy. WTF.)

Where was I. I get lost. Oh, right, Scott Simon. Listen, Scott, the way Facebook is going eventually it's going to be the Ur-Application and I will eventually have to get a FB account myself or I will cease to exist. You probably won't be allowed to have a job or buy vicodin online from a Russian website without a FB account, so it'll be a necessity. So Zuckerberg's probably a rational choice.

The Chilean Miners will be the subject of a Where Are They Now special on TLC in 10 years.

Monday, December 13, 2010

More uninformed bullshit opinions about the Happy Meal thing and other nutritional topics

I've been thinking and Food and Nutrition and that shit lately because I haven't been to the gym in like 3 weeks and during the Holiday Season you pretty much drink every day and eat like shit so even though the scale says I'm within my acceptable range of 199-204 (I'm 6'4",' shut up), I feel fucking fat. ANYWAY. Couple of things.

(1) The Happy Meal thing.

Hey, if you're reading this, there's a not-zero chance you live in San Francisco and a concomitant not-zero chance you've had to sigh as a relative asked you why you banned Happy Meals. So, Good Idea or just the latest in Crazy San Francisco? A little of both, I think.

First of all, let's get one thing straight: San Francisco did not "ban Happy Meals." The ordinance says that a restaurant meal has to meet certain nutritional guidelines if you offer a toy with it. So Happy Meal away, just leave the toy out. I guess the toy is half the reason to get a Happy Meal, but still.

Anyway, Generic makes the good point that 1 in 5 kids are obese and implies, I think, that the Happy Meal Ban (oh shit, I just contradicted myself but you know that's what everyone's calling it so I give up and it's just easier shorthand) is a reasonable governmental response to the problem.

Now, The Other Side (i.e., Everyone between the Caldecott Tunnel and the Hudson River, except for Austin and Madison and Boulder) would reply "Hey, my child's nutrition is my own damn business and I'd like the option of offering my child a Buzz Lightyear or some odious character from Shrek or whatever the fuck they're putting in Happy Meals these days and here comes that Board of Supervisors to tell me I can't! That's too much Big Government!"

Well, yeah, that sounds right, too, except 1 in 5 children are OBESE and this is clearly a public health concern and we are all, as taxpayers, going to end up paying in some way or another when your child has Diabetes and needs one of those scooters just to move his gigantic whale-like body around.

BUT here's the problem I have with the HMB: I have yet to see, from the Supervisors or anywhere else, any concrete evidence that removing the toy from the Happy Meal will lead to less consumption of Happy Meals. I mean, that's the assumption, right? We're all taking it for granted that if you take the toy out, parents will all of THE sudden[*] say "Well, I was going to go to the McDonald's near my house because it's quick and easy and cheap, but now I'll stay home and prepare a nutritious salad for my child because there's no toy in the Happy Meal." I think that's as ridiculous as it sounds. Until I see some research saying otherwise, I will continue to believe that parents will still be feeding their kids McDonald's, Happy Meal toy or not.

Maybe I'll hit up my local McD's today and make some in-person observations. I'll even enjoy a delicious Quarter Pounder with Cheese, even though I know it'll make me feel sick afterward like it always does.

[*] The Wife recently noticed that I say "all of THE sudden" instead of "all of A sudden," which I had never noticed before but which is apparently a VERY BIG DEAL to her because she gets visibly agitated now when I say "all of THE sudden." Some evidence indicates that AOAS is correct, but Wiktionary, whatever the fuck that is, says that AOTS is an "alternative form" of AOAS, so there you go.

(2) The Worst Food in America comes from Cheesecake Factory, big fucking surprise

Cheesecake Factory is the Worst Restaurant in the World, so it's no surprise they have the Worst Dish: something called a Bistro Shrimp Pasta which sounds innocuous enough but as it turns out has 2,730 calories and 78 grams of saturated fat.

I don't know how you even begin to cram 2 1/2 ounces of saturated fat into one dish. Did they like inject the shrimp with raw fat or something? Or is the pasta actually made out of congealed fat? How do you even do that?

Wanna know why you should never eat at Cheesecake Factory? Go stand outside a Cheesecake Factory sometime and see what the people going in and out look like. QED.

The Board of Supervisors banned the wrong thing. 2 1/2 ounces of saturated fat is a Happy Meal toy for the Morbidly Obese. They should have banned Bistro Shrimp Pasta instead.

[UPDATES I AND II!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]

UPDATE I: I just could not stomach (literally, har har) the idea of going to McD's yesterday. Maybe some other day soon. I also have this vague idea for a project where I sit at a 4-way stop intersection in SF and count how many cars come to a full stop at one of the stop signs, but it's going to be like 2% and we all know it and so what's the point. That has nothing to do with any of this.

UPDATE II: A-HA!!!!!! Squid Pro Quo seems to have some objective evidence that kids want Happy Meals only for the toys. This suggests that maybe if you take the toys out, kids won't want Happy Meals. What it also means is that they'll just graduate to Big Macs sooner. That clamshell box is a toy, essentially. Situation remains unresolved.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The 7 Most Annoying People You Will See at Your Office Holiday Party

1. Handsy McBoss

Oh hey, whoa, I know you’re my boss and everything, and yeah, I like you just fine, but you’re kind of putting your arm around me in an uncomfortable way and your breath really smells like Seagram’s 7 and not in a good way and I’m glad that you like me as a person and not just as a member of the team but I sort of need to get away from you right now. I’M GOING TO START SCREAMING THAT YOU’RE GIVING ME A RAPE FLASHBACK IF YOU DON’T LET ME GO oh whew that’s better. Don’t look so sad. It’s me, not you.

2. The Drunkretary

By day, she’s just a normal, if over-made-up, receptionist from Danville or Dublin or one of those “D” suburbs, but tonight is her night to LET SHIT ROAR because them DRINKS IS FREE and WHOOOOO KARAOKEEEEE!!!! She can be spotted hovering near the DJ booth asking for Katy Perry songs and later asking if you like to “party.” SPOILER: You like to party. That’s why you work in a different branch next year.

3. Broseph from Sales

LET’S DO SOME SHOTS BRAH. OK, did some shots. LET’S DO SOME MORE SHOTS. Jesus, Broseph from Sales, how are you still upright? I just know you as the loudmouth who drives an Audi A6 and talks about fantasy football all the time. I’m not sure that I want to be buddies right this second, especially since you seem determined to give out alcohol poisoning instead of STDs, for a change. Where’s the rest of the Alpha Mousse Gang? Why are you still talking to me?

How awesome is this picture? It's from some article about how to act at an American holiday party. I'm not sure I'm 100% down with the implications of this picture vis-a-vis how to act at a holiday party.

4. Married Linda

Your husband sure is out of town a lot, Linda. Yes, as a matter of fact, I have lost a few pounds, but please don’t touch my abdomen any more. Huh, no, I haven’t really thought about where I’m going after the party. Probably just home. Yes, MY home.

5. Bob Who Knows You for One Thing

Remember about a year and a half ago when you went to Chicago to see that girl you don’t even talk to any more? And you happened to mention to Bob that you were going to Chicago? Now every time you see Bob, that’s his only point of reference for you and he’s all “Hey, it’s Mr. Chicago! How’s things in the Windy City? Say, what about those Bears? DA BEARS! HAHAHAHAHAHA.” So you have to smile and nod patiently and explain to Bob that you haven’t really been to Chicago or thought about Chicago since last spring and then he’ll look a little crestfallen and you’ll both stand next to each other watching Sylvia try to dance and awkwardly not talk about anything until you pretend to see someone you know and walk away.

6. Don who is “down” with the African-American guy

So you’re talking to Jason, who happens to be African-American, about what he did on his birthday last week and here comes Don from Accounting and oh no oh no here he goes. “SUP MY BROTHAAAAAA,” he says. Don, you are Don from Accounting, not Snoop Dogg, why are you talking like that? “Not much, not much, just keepin’ it real,” Don says when asked what he’s been up to. If washing your Chevy Astro in your driveway in Rohnert Park is “keepin’ in real,” then yes, you have been keepin’ it real.

7. Nikki Overshare

Nikki’s cute enough I guess and she’s fun to talk to and I don’t see her that often and OH GOD NO I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR UTERUS GETTING SCRAPED um maybe I can redirect the conversation to over here about how I saw my family over Thanksgiving and JESUS NO I DID NOT KNOW THAT YOUR UNCLE TOUCHED YOU INAPPROPRIATELY WHEN YOU WERE FIVE AND SWINGING ON HIS SWINGSET. Do I have to reveal something now too? I shoplifted a Penthouse Letters from an airport newsstand once! No I didn’t I just made that up! I have to go now!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Top 5 Things The Wife and I Say to Each Other While Watching Top Chef (Any Iteration)

1. "That guy is such a prick."

2. "Bourdain sure likes himself, doesn't he?"

3. "I would eat the shit out of that."

4. "That looks disgusting."

5. "Oh, Gail. Poor Gail."

So now we have "Top Chef All-Stars," which isn't really All-Stars because none of the actual winners of past seasons are on, just contestants who did well and didn't win. I guess "Top Chef All-Stars" sounds better than "Top Chef Runners-Up." Whatever, I'll watch it. Every season now I think "I've had it with Top Chef, I'm not watching this season," and as soon as I see the first Quickfire Challenge I'm hooked.

Plus, The Wife has a thing for Colicchio (who is known, colloquially, in our house as "Coleek").

(But in all seriousness, we ate at his place Craft in NYC and I shit you not, it was one of the best meals I've ever had. Don't even get me started on the little individual copper kettles of potato gratin.)

(Oh, that brings up the time that I missed my chance to introduce myself to Dave Matthews. He was eating at Craft at the same time we were and then we went outside at the same time and I was waiting for The Wife, who was inside going to the restroom or something and Dave Matthews was talking to his manager or lackey or whatever the guy was and asked him for a cigarette and the flunky didn't have one and I happened to have a whole pack and I was thinking "Man, I should offer Dave Matthews a cigarette" but I didn't and so he didn't get cancer and continues to inflict his "music" on dopey fratboys everywhere.)

Plus, since "Sons of Anarchy" ended I needed to pick up a new show anyway.

Monday, December 6, 2010

And on a somewhat more serious note....

I was reading the obituaries yesterday as is my wont[*] when that very unusual thing happened that sometimes happens - I realized I sort of knew one of the people.

This guy happened to be a bartender at Tosca at a time when I hung out there a lot and was also in a band and so we often talked music when it was slow and he had time to chat. He was a very friendly, super-nice guy who was always totally cool to me. I didn't really know him outside of that situation, but still, it's sobering. He died a week after being diagnosed with melanoma. One week you're here, and the next you're gone. Think about that.

His name was Richie Share. He was kind to me at a point in my life when I needed that. He was a good guy.

[*] Not to sound morbid, but the obituaries have some of the best true stories you'll ever read. Properly done, they're like capsule biographies of people who were, of course, very very famous to the people who knew and loved them but not famous to the rest of us. As it turns out, "normal" people lead extraordinary lives.

I did some marrying this weekend.

My friends Stephen and Jessica got married Saturday, and they thought it would be a good idea to have me perform the wedding. Stephen said they had put a lot of thought into it and finally decided to honor me with this position because I am "tall." So we all went to City Hall and I swore to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic and then I *POOF* became a Deputy Marriage Commissioner. I was ready to get some fucking nuptials on.

The actual ceremony was at Stephen's store, Dusty Modern, over on 20th and South Van Ness. Everybody was standing there watching and so I just dove in and warmed up the crowd with a couple of jokes. People laughed because they didn't know what else to do. J&S wrote their won vows because they wanted to have at least one part of the ceremony that I couldn't fuck up. They did a hella good job on that part. But I needed them to wrap it up because I had more good material written.

Anyway, I pronounced them Husband & Wife and whatnot and then we had champagne and then we all (like about 60 of us) tromped on over to Foreign Cinema for food and more booze. Luckily they made arrangements ahead of time but I thought it might be a hoot to walk up to the hostess stand and say "Yeah, we got about 65. How soon can you seat us?" Alas, that opportunity never presented itself.

The reception thing was in this big private room at Foreign Cinema where they were projecting "North by Northwest" on one wall and then everyone had to Google and find out who the female lead is, and SPOILER ALERT it's Eva Marie Saint. Anyway, the food was really good and then everyone gave toasts and I think I did too but I don't remember what I said because I was pretty lit by that point.

I think this is the first dance or something. I don't remember what song it was but it was probably something obscure and not "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston or some Sinatra joint.

(UPDATE: I am informed it was "I'll Come Running" by Brian Eno. That's a nice song.)

That's "Life Aquatic" playing in the background there because "NxNW" ran out. I forgot how much I disliked "Life Aquatic" but luckily you didn't have to pay attention to it if you didn't want to.

At this point I made sure everyone knew that I could still marry people until midnight but nobody seemed into it although my offer did cause one awkward conversation between two members of one couple about Their Relationship. Ahhhh, my work here is done. The we all sat around and talked about how shitty it would be if Tumblr went down for a whole day. No, I'm shitting you. We didn't talk about that. We talked about other things. Like other films de Wes Anderson and Modern Air Travel and the like. Anything you talk about is fun after 6 or 8 glasses of wine.

At that point, people were talking about where to go after but The Wife and I were pretty tired because marrying people takes a lot out of you so we just took a cab home.

It was one of the best weddings I've ever been to. Everybody there was totally cool and nice and S&J are one of those excellent couples that make you think "Man, they're a better couple than [me & my romantic partner]." They're going to totally last longer than Shannen Doherty and Rick Salomon.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Someday soon you will encounter a toddler named Hortense

Take a look at this list of the most popular baby names of 2010. Man, people done give up on Robert and Richard and John and so forth. Now everybody's Ethan and Logan and Spayden and Luther or whatever.

Here's the boys:

Top 10 Boys’ Names of 2010

1. Aiden
2. Jacob
3. Jackson
4. Ethan
5. Jayden
6. Noah
7. Logan
8. Caden
9. Lucas
10. Liam

First of all, when I think "Liam," I naturally think Liam Gallagher, so it's amusing to me that there's a whole crop of alcoholic, hard-partying, abrasive, self-important babies out there writing the same song over and over again.

Why is everyone so crazy about the "ade" sound in names? Aiden, Jayden, Caden, that kind of thing. And seriously, "Jayden"? You have got to be kidding me. That sounds ridiculous. Maybe it's cute for a toddler, but can you imagine sitting down with a thoracic surgeon who says "Hi, I'm Dr. Jayden Smith."

(Oh, check this out. On the full Top 100 list we've also got "Brayden" and "Hayden." Brayden? Really?)

(I do like #77-80: Sebastian, Xavier, Ian and Miles. They co-own a high-end salon in Miami Beach, obvs.)

"Jackson" is one of those names parents give their kid hoping he'll be tough. You don't mess with Jackson. Jackson steals his Dad's Marlboro 100s and knows how to hot-wire cars.

Ethan's not bad, I guess. A little bookish. Noah, what? Noah is the fat kid who sits in the back and never gets to go on the field trips because he forgot to take the permission slip home. He's super-into "Magic: The Gathering."

How are the chicks doing?

Top 10 Girls’ Names of 2010

1. Sophia
2. Isabella
3. Olivia
4. Emma
5. Chloe
6. Ava
7. Lily
8. Madison
9. Addison
10. Abigail

Look out, we've got a garden party from 1922. Seriously, Sophia is #1? Old lady names sure got big, huh? I bet you there's also a ton of little girls named Mabel and Ethel and Rose wandering around. In 3 years, preschool classes are going to sound like an episode of "The Golden Girls" or like the staff of a diner in 1956.

(#70 is "Cadence." Again with the "ade" thing. Plus, you know "cadence" is already a noun with a specific meaning, right? Were you shooting for "Candace" and missed?)

It's all good, though. Variety, spice of life, etc. When I was a kid all the girls were either Jennifer or Amy or something that ends in -acy (or, God forbid, -aci), so at least Ava and Olivia are classing up the joint a little.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More fun with Top Tweets

No offense, Rev, but God sounds like kind of a passive-aggressive jerk.

"Hey, whaddya got there, God?"

"Oh, nothing. Just something I'm planning on giving you."

"Really?! Oh, cool! That's nice, thanks!"

"Sure, no problem."


"So what?"

"So are you going to give it to me?"

"You have to ask."


"You have to ask for it or I won't give it to you."

"What the fuck? You want me to ask for something that you already planned to give to me? Why? Actually, you know what? Fuck it. If that's how you're going to be, just keep it."

It was probably a divorce or typhoid fever anyway.

Ugh. Tony Robbins fucking bugs, doesn't he? You know what's impossible, Tony? Living the rest of my life without working and without having to peddle self-help bullshit to gullible middle managers via a headset mic and a PowerPoint presentation. So how can I do that? Push out of the "comforble"? Take some massive action? Specifics, man. I need specifics.

The amazing thing is that a ton of people retweeted this and favorited it and whatnot (and, God help me, it pains me to use the term "retweeted" but I guess that ship has sailed) and it doesn't mean anything at all. I mean, I guess it's saying that you can make impossible things happen if you get out of your comfort zone and take "massive action," but that's total bullshit. If your house is being foreclosed on and you can't find a job and your unemployment benefits just ran out (oh, BTW, make sure to Thank a Republican Congressman for that), the only "massive action" that's going to fix shit up at that point is knocking over a 7-Eleven. DON'T DO THAT. But you get my point.

How did "The Secret" work out for you, after all? Get everything you wanted?

Today's Worst Groupon of the Day

$50 for a Narrated, GPS-Guided GoCar Tour ($103 Value)

Hey, ever wanted to feel like a complete fucking idiot? I guess you could wear a WWE t-shirt or watch an episode of "Two and a Half Men," but what if you wanted to get some fresh air and see some sights at the same time?

Ever feel like tooling around town in a banana-yellow plastic box with a lawnmower engine while wearing a helmet and trying to pretend people aren't laughing at you?

Then Groupon has a deal for you.

We may be smiling, but our souls are dying.

That's right! For only $50, instead of $103, you can be one of those people! VROOM VROOM! It has a racing stripe. You have finished First in the Please Kill Me 500.

(Incidentally, in case you haven't heard, Google is in the process of buying Groupon for FIVE BILLION DOLLARS. I am not fucking kidding. FIVE FUCKING BILLION DOLLARS. I mean, obvi people like Groupon and it's a big success all around and YAY LOOK WE GOT 20 CUPCAKES FOR $5 and whatnot, but JESUS FUCKING CHRIST $5,000,000,000?!!?! WHAT THE FUCK.)

(So at first I was like "Awww, I shouldn't make fun of plucky little Groupon, but FUCK THAT. Now the founder of Groupon who's probably 24 years old and was born after Scooby-Doo went off the air is going to be filling his hot tub with $100 bills and Cristal and Thai hookers.)

Now, when I see someone in a GoCar - which isn't very often, since I'm rarely in the Fisherman's Wharf area, except when I need to pick up an "Alcatraz Mental Ward" sweatshirt or eat at Bubba Gump's - I usually resist the urge to cut them off and see how a GoCar fares against an American-made bumper, but I can't guarantee that all drivers will be so charitable.

(SIDE NOTE: Have you ever looked at the list of stores in Pier 39? HOLY SHIT. "Lefty's, the Left Hand Store"! 2 different magnet stores! "WE BE KNIVES"!!!! The mind reels.)

This has been your Worst Groupon of the Day.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

In which I take a detour into the American Health Care System and emerge relatively unscathed.

Yesterday on the plane flight from Denver to SF my right elbow swelled up like a grapefruit and turned bright red. Dr. Google suggested it was bursitis and that I should ice it and rest and whatnot. Did that last night to no avail so I went down to the UCSF Ambulatory Care Center, which is basically Emergency Room Lite.

The wait's not that bad when you get there at 8:30 on a Saturday morning and other than the bitch who yammered constantly on her phone DIRECTLY UNDERNEATH the "NO CELL PHONES PLEASE" sign, it was basically uneventful.

They called my name and I went in. Pulled up my sleeve. "OH MY GOD," Dr. Ong said, which is simultaneously worrying because a doctor just looked at you and said "OH MY GOD," which is maybe not the first thing you want to hear when a doctor looks at you and also validating because you know you didn't overreact by going to the Ambulatory Care Center.

Anyway, as it turns out, I'm going to live but now I'm on some pretty heavy antibiotics and also an NSAID, which is fancy talk for a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory something or other that starts with "D." I also have a RAGING cold and so I'm holed up here watching one episode of "48 Hours Mysteries" after another and feeling sorry for myself.

Still have a bachelor party thing to go to later. That should be good.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Here is the Thanksgiving Day schedule we have devised

11:00 a.m. Breakfast (English muffin, coffee, 1 scoop ice cream).

12:00 p.m. Mimosas.

12:35 Cheese and crackers. Shrimp cocktail. More mimosas.

1:00 p.m. Open first bottle of wine.

1:10 p.m. Open second bottle of wine.

1:15 p.m. Retrieve previously-hidden bottle of Jameson from bedroom, have shot, resume conversation with family.

1:36 p.m. Tell distant cousin it's a shame you don't get together more often; give her fake email address; will explain to Dad later.

2:00 p.m. Announcement from kitchen: "We're about an hour away."

2:15 p.m. Open third bottle of wine.

2:30 p.m. First ruling from kitchen that a particular dish is "Ruined. Dammit, it's totally ruined."

3:00 p.m. Open fourth bottle of wine. Start mentally calculating if there's going to be enough wine. Tell everyone "This is the last bottle."

3:05 p.m. Hide 3 bottles of wine in closet upstairs under sheets & towels.

3:30 p.m. See McDonald's ad; mouth waters. Treat with more wine.

3:50 p.m. Query re: Estimated Arrival Time of Dinner met with icy "Soon. OK? Soon."

4:15 p.m. First crying jag. Luckily, the source is a 2-year-old. THIS TIME.

4:17 p.m. "OK, it's ready."

4:25 p.m. Finished.

5:16 p.m. Wake up in sitting position on couch. Try to remember where remaining wine is hidden.

5:18 p.m. Open fifth bottle of wine.

6:45 p.m. What the fuck is with this relative and his bizarre, unprecedented success in Trivial Pursuit? What did you do, memorize all the answers? Did you really memorize all the fucking cards? Because you either memorized all the cards or you got a brain transplant because there's no fucking way you were this smart last year.

7:12 p.m. Ugh, I can't drink any more wine. Are there any of those beers left? I don't feel so hot.

7:43 p.m. Man, I had this guy all wrong. He's actually pretty fucking cool. "Yeah, you should totally come out! You can stay with us and everything!"

8:12 p.m. Where did the rest of the wine go? We cannot be fucking out of wine.

8:32 p.m. Wonder aloud if that dog show program is on yet.

9:06 p.m. Fall asleep.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

True Tales of Holiday Air Travel

Now is that time of year when Family Members who aren't in Prison or Too Drunk are summoned out to Dad's place for the Thanksgiving Thing. In my case, this necessitates some Air Travel, which has been in the news lately as you might have noticed and thus I was kind of interested in a morbid way to see what kind of indignities the TSA would visit upon me.

ANSWER: Nothing. They barely looked at my bag as it slid through the X-Ray machine or what have you. I could have packed a set of Ginsu knives or a baggie full of China White in there and no one would have been the wiser. I strolled through that metal detector like a motherfucking BOSS and never broke stride.

My biggest problem was the balding, birdlike man behind me who seemed to think that he could accelerate the screening process by SURGICALLY ATTACHING HIMSELF TO ME and NEVER STRAYING MORE THAN ONE MICRON FROM ME like he was some kind of Security Remora and I was his Leader Shark. BACK THE FUCK UP JOEL IT'S NOT MAKING THINGS ANY FASTER.

Meanwhile The Wife was selected to go through the Porno Machine and so somewhere there exists a full-body nude of her and she was all "If that gets you off be my guest."

Our only real issue, in fact, was getting goddam AIRBORNE so we could get 4 minis of Skyy and be on our way. And now we're here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Today in NIMBY: Opera singer will now be allowed to utterly destroy quality of life, children's dreams in North Beach

God, I hate people sometimes. OK, all the time, but who I hate at any particular time changes.

There's this Italian restaurant called Colosseo on Columbus Ave. in North Beach. I know, what are the odds? Anyway, it must be fairly new because it wasn't there when I lived in North Beach. Oh shit, I moved out of NB in 2004, so maybe it's not so new. Tempus fugit, etc.

For those of you outside the 415/510/650/707 area codes, North Beach is the faux-"Italian" neighborhood in SF. At one point, many years ago, it was actually an Italian neighborhood but now it's just the Italian restaurants and a few other remnants.

There's a big hill called Telegraph Hill that probably had something to do with telegraphs at some point that rises over NB. I used to live right on top of that hill, at Vallejo and Montgomery. There is a neighborhood group called the Telegraph Hill Dwellers who are the villains of this piece and to whom we will return shortly.

OK SO, Colosseo had a quaint idea! They will import the uninomial "LUCA," who, we are told, is a "highly trained opera singer," and LUCA will "serenade customers while they dine." BUON GIORNO LUCA!!! How quaint. Tourists will clasp their hands to their chests and go "This is a uniquely San Francisco moment." I love it! Bring LUCA on!

Did you think it was going to be that E-Z? You funny. It seems that LUCA would be accompanied by "a small speaker system that will provide orchestral backing."


This small speaker system caused the politically powerful Tel Hill Dwellers (henceforth "THD") to lift their dragon-shaped heads from the primordial muck in which they rest, shake off their slumber, and cast a jaundiced eye on LUCA and his boom box. Take it away, Chron!

Representatives from the Telegraph Hill Dwellers did not return multiple calls and e-mails seeking comment. The group has successfully stalled a number of projects in San Francisco, including a plan to build a 430-foot condo tower near the Transamerica Pyramid and the redevelopment of the Pagoda Palace Theater, vacant since 1994.

In comments to the city's Planning Department, the group suggested that it was concerned giving the restaurant a permit for amplified sound could allow the owners, or a future owner, to turn the property into a dance club or concert venue.

That's right. Instead of singing "Non più andrai" from Marriage of Figaro, THD fears that LUCA will sing "Back That Azz Up" from Juvenile's justly-praised "400 Degreez." MUCH AS WE MAY WANT THAT, it is unlikely to occur.
LUCA performing. (As conceptualized by THD.)

Now, a complete review of THD's activities over the years is well beyond the scope of this piece, but let me just say this: You look like idiots.

Luckily, the Planning Commission, FOR ONCE, didn't bow and scrape and now LUCA will be free to sing to the delight of a Couple from Grand Rapids and their bored 13-year-old.

Moral of the story? Now matter how innocuous, how charming, how utterly perfect an idea you have that will bring Joy to the Hearts of Many or maybe Cure the Cancer or whatever, SOMEBODY in this town is going to be against it. In this case it happens to be THD, and they have a history of doing this kind of thing, but it happens all the time. I'm not advocating tearing down Postcard Row and replacing it with a Jiffy Lube and a Rite Aid, but I mean, really, COME ON, when you complain about a guy singing opera with a boom box in a restaurant on a busy street around the corner from a two-block-long Ed Hardy nightmare of strip clubs and vodka-and-Red-Bull bars, you really are crying wolf. Go back to stopping libraries or something.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Live! Nude! Girls! At your local airport.

Text from The Sister:

HOLY FUCK. You should get to sfo like hours before your flight. The security line is so long there is a holding area to wait in to even get in the line.

Ever since the post-9/11 TSA security theater dance began, I've been wondering what it would take for the American people to finally say "Enough." I figured it would take a lot, because, on the whole, we're pretty much willing to accept anything if you affix an American flag to it and say it's for "national security." I'm pretty convinced that if a couple of guys in military uniform showed up to most people's houses and said they had to search the whole house because they were looking for terrorists, people would go "OK, go ahead!"

But maybe we've finally found the outer limits of what people will put up with. The new full-body scanners (or, if you prefer, "porno-scanners") that show, erm, pretty much everything, have finally got people upset. (Or, if you prefer, you can get a full-body patdown - now including free labial touching!!)

I guess this was occasioned by the "Underwear Bomber," the guy who, as the name implies, tried to blow up a Northwest flight over Detroit with a bomb in his underwear.

(SIDE NOTE - Wouldn't it suck to be the Underwear Bomber in prison? Like, you'd be out in the exercise yard, and Ted Kaczynski comes over and he's all "Hey, I'm the Unabomber" and Terry Nichols is all "What up, I'm one of the Oklahoma City bombers," and you go "Oh, hey guys, I'm the Underwear Bomber" and they look at each other and start snickering and go "Underwear Bomber, huh? What did you do, eat the enchilada platter after drinking all night? That'll bomb some motherfucking underwear, for sure!" And you go "No, for reals! I could have blown up a plane!" But they're already laughing and now even the Shoe Bomber is pointing and laughing at you.)

Remember after the Shoe Bomber, when we had to start taking our shoes off every time we wanted to get on a plane? Now we basically have to make a sex tape or get felt up by a guy with a GED and a French blue shirt just to get to O'Hare. If the next bomber packs 20 grams of C-4 into his rectum, I AM DONE WITH FLYING FOREVER.

ANYWAY. I don't know how this is gonna shake out, but it's nice to know there's one thing that World Net Daily and can agree on. THIS FUCKING SUCKS. I get to fly next week, yay.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Hotel": A Critical Reappraisal

"Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Hotel" is a television program in which grotesquely oversized steroid-addled higher primates with a surprising amount of disposable income and the microbikini-clad females who mate with them purchase $1,000 bottles of champagne, jump up and down and shout "REHAAAAAAAB" into a camera, and get into fights around a hotel swimming pool in Las Vegas, Nevada. I've previously considered the merits, or lack thereof, of the show, but it's been a few years and it seems time to revisit the topic.

(I don't believe the show is, as my friend Generic would put it, a Signpost of Cultural Death, although, it is true, that in 2008 I called it "yet more evidence of the decline and fall of whatever was left of American civilization." That seems a little harsh to me now.)

Long story short, this season isn't as good as last season.

(I know, I'm actually comparing seasons of "Rehab" now. Hey, life can't all be Jonathan Franzen.)

For lack of a better word, this season just seems staged. I know what you're saying: "When did you undergo a frontal lobotomy?" I mean, "What do you mean, staged? Aren't all reality shows staged?" Well, no, not really, and if they are, sort of, not as blatantly, I guess.

This is Jonna, which, for some reason, is pronounced "Jon-NAY." Recognize her? If you do, you have no room to talk to me right now, because you recognize her from The Real World season in Cancun.

(Let's pause here for a second. I don't watch the Real World any more, and I think I only saw a few episodes of the Cancun season, but it really is amazing that a show that started out with some charged conversations about race and class has devolved into essentially a multi-episode filmed Spring Break with more booze and dumber people. Also, the Cancun season featured something named "Ayiiia," three "I's," which sounds very much like the name of one of the blue things in "Avatar." Anyway.)

Why did I post her picture? I forget. Oh wait, I remember. Because she is on the show not as an actual waitress, like the waitresses in the first season, but as an actress playing a Goofy Waitress who Always Fucks Up and Is in Trouble All the Time. Krazy Hijinx ensue. They got rid of the first season manager, Justin, a normalish guy with a regular-looking girlfriend who didn't appear to be a bikini model or stripper, and replaced him with MATT, a combative little megalomaniac whose job seems to consist chiefly of apoplectic outbursts of sheer and unvarnished rage directed at his hapless staff, who seem to be trapped in some kind of Stockholm Syndrome relationship with their terrorizing nemesis.

It goes on. Whole episodes seem staged now, what with a troupe of drunk midget wrestlers causing problems or the inevitable don't-let-my-fiancee-catch-me bachelor party or the escaped snake or whatever.

I suppose the viewing interest here is essentially the same as something like "Jersey Shore" or, going back a ways, touring the Bethlem Royal Hospital to point and jeer at the hapless inmates within; something between an interest in a strange and foreign subculture and the basic need to feel superior. But, that being the case, TruTV, give me the actual subculture. Believe me, it doesn't need your help.

Monday, November 15, 2010

This is all over the place. Sorry for the lack of a unifying theme. Not all blog posts will be gems.

Sure, we 're having record-breaking heat today (as it's supposed to be 82 degrees in SF), but we got nothing on Mankato, Minnesota. From today's SF Chronicle:

Wow! 91 degrees on November 14 in Mankato, Minnesota! Oddly, the website of the Mankato Free Press doesn't mention this weather anomaly at all. Instead, it discusses the ChiliFest (success), the Campus Kitchen program (going strong!), the "Gusties" (ending the 2010 season with a win), and "businessman's LSD" (i.e., drug bust turns up a pound of DMT, whoa).

That change in weather must be even more shocking, given that it's 28 degrees in Mankato today. And you thought our temperature swings were bad!

ANYWAY. Couple of things from the weekend:

- Can't recommend Barbacco highly enough. Wow, really fantastic food, excellent service, not too expensive. We sat at the bar and were attended by Gretchen, who looks sort of like Catherine Keener with blonde hair and was totally helpful and nice and everything else. Make reservations, though. Some people standing behind us (we were seated at the bar near the door) were waiting half an hour, easy.

- Went back to Burritt Room for the second time in three days. It's a little different on Friday night. First of all, maybe not so surprisingly, it was pretty fucking packed. Second of all, also probably not surprisingly, it was packed with decked-to-the-nines Marina girls ordering vodka sodas, despite the presence of a thoughtful, interesting cocktail list. Oh well. Man, they wear a lot of perfume, don't they? If you're into Marina girls, though, this is the place. The Female to Male ratio was like 2 to 1.

- I know "Marina girls" is a stereotype and a well-worn trope and so forth, but at least the New York Times isn't writing boring, self-parodic pieces about What Being a Marina Girl really means.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Bar Night: Union Square edition

(I've gotten like a shitload of new readers over the past few days mostly because of the "50 Reasons to Love/30 Reasons to Hate SF" posts which is great except that some people took the Hate list completely at face value and now think I'm some kind of jackass who belongs in Tulsa because I require plentiful free parking and hate puppies. Oh well. What are you gonna do. Not take everything so seriously, I guess.)

(Also, I'm wicked hungover and we're out of Advil. I found 2 Advil P.M. but I don't really want to go to sleep again.)

What's it been, since March that we had a New Bar Night? I'm sorry, I slacked. That's like when "Lost" would air like 4 episodes in a row and you'd be all "OK NOW! I'm down with the narrative. I see where we're going here!" And then it would POOF disappear off the air for 6 months and instead you'd be watching reruns of The First 48 and going "DUH IT'S THE GUY WITH THE BLOODSTAINS ON HIS SHIRT I'M NOT EVEN A DETECTIVE AND I CAN SEE THAT."

Do you ever go to Union Square? No, you don't. There's no reason. You're not from Out of Town. But what if you were on a date, for some reason, and you ended up near Union Square and you wanted to shock and awe your date with some sweet cocktails? There was no answer before. Now there is. It's Burritt Room, and it's on Stockton, just above Sutter, near the oddly graffiti-free Stockton Tunnel.

You go in through the Kubrickianly-clean lobby of the Crescent Hotel and go up some stairs and then all of a sudden you're in a really nice exposed brick/distressed wood kind of room where they make Artisanal Cocktails with Black Tea Infused Rum and shit like that. I'm not gonna lie, the drinks were off the heezy. When we first got there, there was a huge crowd of Squares with Nametags because, you know, it's a hotel bar, but they cleared out once we stationed ourselves at the bar and started yelling.

OK, business time. The cocktails were fucking excellent. I should have written down what was in them because they were fiendishly complicated and every drink had like 5-7 ingredients and different kinds of bitters and unpronounceable liqueurs and shit like that. Plus they're only $10 each which is a pretty good deal for that sort of thing. I think we liked the place a lot, and that was even before the chick next to us who looked like a taller thinner Lily Allen started flirting with Olu to the consternation of her boyfriend who then had to loom over her as if to cast a protective shield and we were all "He's not going to steal your girlfriend dude, we're here for New Bar Night, not New Chick Night."

Lily Allen wearing some kind of panda costume. Picture for reference only.

The bartender was super friendly too. You should go to this place.

Not so much with the next place, though: Cantina, up the hill a bit on Sutter. Sometimes you just don't know where a bar goes wrong. It's hard to pinpoint. Cantina's like that. It's not specifically a Mexican place (although Jason did get a $16 shot of tequila, like WTF Jason), but there's a nod to that. It feels kind of hotel bar-y. Like sterile or something. I will say that the Carmen Amaya (Rittenhouse straight rye, Cointreau, fresh lemon & muddled basil, amontillado sherry, thank you online menu for Cantina) was tasty, but I can't see hanging out there. The Australian guy at the bar seemed to be having a good time, though. We split.

Had a brief delay up the street on Sutter because Olu stopped to buy a 1.75 liter bottle of Skyy vodka with the security thing still on it from a Guy on the Street for $10. That's a good deal! Guy on the Street assured us that he came by the 1.75 liter bottle of Skyy vodka legitimately, so what's the big deal?

I've been to Ambassador before, but they hadn't, so it counts. The door guy let Olu check his $10 1.75 liter bottle of Skyy vodka so we could go in! That's nice. You know what? They have $3 beers and well drinks on Wednesday. That's cheap as fuck right there! It was also fucking EMPTY at 9:30 p.m. It was weird because there was more staff in the place than customers. It was like us and 3 Russian guys who looked like extras from the Russian Mob episode of Law and Order. So we stationed ourselves in one of the booths and drank some $3 drinks. Our waitress, bless her heart, was ADORABLE but maybe not the Brightest Star on the Horizon but she did a great job and we love her very much.

(Incidentally, is there a law or something that says all Door Guys have to have Scraggly Goatees? That seems to be a rule.)

Had a few rounds there until the DJ turned up the music SO LOUD that it was impossible to talk and you KNOW we are all Algonquin Round Table when we go out and if I can't hear Jason's fucking witty bon mots I'm just not into it. Plus, the music was terrible but I guess "California Gurls" is de rigueur now and you might as well get it out of the way at 10:30 before actual people show up.

They were making eyes at Osha Thai Noodle across the street but I ate dinner before I went out because I'm a FUCKING PROFESSIONAL so I just took a cab home.

To summarize:

Burritt Room: Yes. Four $10 bottles of Skyy vodka.

Cantina: No. One and a half $10 bottles of Skyy vodka.

Ambassador: Eh, maybe. Two $10 bottles of Skyy vodka.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

30 Reasons to Hate San Francisco

30. It's cold and windy almost all the time. While the rest of the country enjoys a pleasant summer day, it's Ice Station Zebra up in this bitch.

29. There's nowhere to park.

28. Too crowded. Why is everyone always where I want to go? Don't you people have anywhere else to go?

27. Hippies.

26. Homeless. Esp. the person who took a shit on my front steps earlier this week.

25. Everything is too fucking expensive. $1250 for that studio in the Tenderloin? That's like a 3-bedroom house anywhere else. BONUS: No whores.

24. Too many weirdos.

23. Too loud.

22. Earthquakes. How about a completely random event that can destroy your house and everything you own and kill you and your family? Great, where do I sign????

21. There's no Target. I know, I know, there's going to be one over on Masonic, if it EVER gets built, which brings up:

20. NIMBYs. Including people who never want to change anything or see anything new.

19. Hipsters.

18. Bros.

17. Marina chicks.

16. Gavin Newsom.

15. Pretentious, heavily-tattooed waiters who think you're scum because you're not working on a screenplay or art installation. Why don't you install that flatiron steak right the fuck over here, asshole.

14. Muni. These people shouldn't be operating the Little Puffer Miniature Steam Train at the zoo, much less the transit system of a major metropolitan area.

13. People who say "I'm a fourth-generation San Franciscan." I'm a fifth-generation Who Gives a Fuck.

12. 4 Non-Blondes.

11. The Incredibly Useless Board of Supervisors. If we've gotten around to banning Happy Meals, I guess all the other problems have been cleared up. Right? Right?

10. Tourists.

9. Bike snobs. People who say "I choose not to own a car."

8. Terrible drivers.

7. Too many hills.

6. Chris Daly.

5. Chevy's.

4. Drunks. People yelling outside your window at 2:30 a.m. after the bars close. STFU.

3. Foodies. Why have a pizza when you can have an Artisanal Crispy Flatbread with Burrata from Cows Massaged Thrice Daily and Locally-Produced Dry-Cured Prosciutto Seasoned with Herbs from the Chef's Special Garden for $23?

2. Rainbow Grocery. People who shop at Rainbow Grocery.

1. People who bitch about everything.

Shit, I forgot Burning Man.

Monday, November 8, 2010

50 Reasons to Love San Francisco

50. It was 81 degrees last Thursday. NOVEMBER 4.

49. It’s usually 60 degrees on July 4. TAKE THAT, REST OF AMERICA.

48. The view from Bernal Hill.

47. The view from Tank Hill.

46. The view from the 20th & Church corner of Dolores Park.

45. Ritual Roasters, Blue Bottle, Caffe Trieste, Philz, or any of the other hyperspecialized coffee purveyors you depend on.

44. Making fun of tourists. Giving tourists directions. Rolling your eyes anytime someone says “Fisherman’s Wharf.”

43. 6-hour brunches.

42. The Neptune Society Columbarium. (Seriously, go if you’ve never been. It’s amazing).

41. Fresh focaccia from Liguria Barkery on Stockton.

40. Irish coffee.

39. Walking/biking through Golden Gate Park on Sunday when the streets are all blocked off.

38. Bay to Breakers. In whatever incarnation it currently has.

37. Red’s Java House.

36. Going to the Attic for the first time in 10 years and finding out that the cute bartender looks exactly the same.

35. Finally breaking down and going to Alcatraz and finding out it’s actually pretty cool.

34. When you’re out of town and someone asks you where you’re from and you say “San Francisco.”

33. The endless amusement in bitching about Muni, even though it almost always gets you there. Eventually.

32. The Ferry Building. $6 tomatoes.

31. The Heart of the City Farmer’s Market at U.N. Plaza. 6 tomatoes for $1.

30. Arguing about Critical Mass.

29. It’s-Its. Especially Mint It’s-Its, the obviously most superior It’s-It.

28. Frank Chu.

27. Sunny afternoons in Dolores Park. Cold beer, cold water.

26. The roast chicken at Nopa. The shaking beef at Slanted Door. The salt & pepper crab at R&G Lounge. The cioppino at Caesar’s. The sand dabs at Tadich Grill. A burrito from El Farolito.

25. Burritos in general.

24. Anchor Steam. Speakeasy. Toronado. 21st Amendment. The incredible beer culture and obsessive devotion to, and interest in, beer.

23. Earthquakes. Earthquake stories. Knowing with absolute certainty there is going to be a massive, devastating earthquake and not doing anything to get ready for it. Except putting a battery-operated radio and a pint of vodka in a shoebox and calling that your “earthquake kit.”

22. Taking the ferry to Tiburon and having brunch at Sam’s.

21. Herb Caen. (R.I.P, and kidz, if you don’t know, go read his stuff.)

20. Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge (BONUS: It’s 58 degrees, the wind is 40 mph, and it’s so foggy you can’t see the water).

19. Beach Blanket Babylon, The Marsh, and one-person shows with 6 people in the audience.

18. As bad as they are now, the San Francisco 49ers. Remember 1994? How about ’81, ’84, ’88, and ’89?

17. The Embarcadero Center lights at Christmas. Union Square at Christmas. The fucking puppies and kittens in the windows of Macy's at Christmas.

16. Happy hour at Zeitgeist, the 540 Club, the Royal Exchange, the Hi-Dive, the Ha-Ra, or wherever you happen to be at 5:00. Or 4:00. Or 3:00. Or, fuck it, 2:30.

15. Seeing live music in the basement of Li Po, at Stern Grove, Symphony Hall, the Fillmore, the Independent, or any of the other hundreds of places you can see live music any night.

14. Watching the fog roll in and slowly take over. Fog in general.

13. Santarchy. (I know they have it in other cities, but it started here, so there.)

12. Street food, from the bacon-wrapped hot dog guys on Mission to the Crème Brulee cart to the Korean BBQ truck and on and on and on.

11. Corner stores. Your corner store might have a better wine selection than most American cities. You could walk out with a Watermelon 4 Loko, a wedge of camembert, a Philips head screwdriver, and a jar of olive tapenade.

10. Amoeba Records (and Aquarius too, for that matter).

9. The Pride Parade. The Dyke March. Pride Weekend in general.

8. Your urban family.

7. Street art.

6. Dogs. Dogs everywhere. Fort Funston. Crissy Field. Duboce Park. Dogs in bars. Dogs on barstools next to you. Dogs in cabs. Knowing more dogs personally than children.

5. The neighborhoods. The Lower Haight is less than 2 miles from Cow Hollow, but you could live your whole life in one and never visit the other.


3. SF MOMA, the DeYoung, the observation tower in the DeYoung, the Palace of the Legion of Honor, the Cartoon Art Museum, and Specs 12 Adler. All important cultural institutions.

2. Never having to grow up if you don’t want to. (Don’t I know it.)

1. You know what? Be as weird as you want. Work on your rock opera about the Boxer Rebellion. Be a barista/dominatrix. Talk almost exclusively about your conspiracy theory linking albinos and aliens. That’s cool. Let’s grab a drink and you can tell me all about it.

(In response to "50 Reasons to Be Pretty Damn Euphoric You Live in New York City," which appeared on the Village Voice's blog last week.)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Friday! The zombies and eggheads edition.


Did you guys watch the premiere of The Walking Dead on AMC? Since our lives are temporarily Draper-less, AMC wants us to fill that sad and gaping void in our souls with zombies. The basic premise is that a guy wakes up and there are zombies. I really don't need to explain it any more.

BUT OK, here's my thing. In one scene, The Main Guy (who's apparently a British actor and whose American accent is wonderfully fungible, flitting without a care from the Midwest to the South and back again) has met some of the Other Survivors and they are attempting to explain to him what's going on and what those creepy shuffling people outside are.

SO HERE'S THE THING: I realized that people in zombie movies or shows don't have any independent knowledge of zombie movies!!! So there's no frame of reference for them! Like, if you and me woke up in a newly zombified America (INSERT POST-ELECTION JOKE HERE HAR HAR HAR) and we found a Survivor and said "What the fuck's going on?" they could just say "Oh, it's zombies," and we'd be all "OHHHHHH, gotcha, that sucks, pass me a gun and a baseball bat. Are they fast zombies or slow zombies? Head shot do the trick on them or is there some other bullshit rule?"

But the people in zombie movies have never seen a zombie movie, so it doesn't work. In their universe, there was never a "28 Days Later" or even a "Shawn of the Dead." So some poor fuck has to explain the whole thing to them from scratch. Sucks to be you.

(AMUSING SIDE NOTE: How great would it have been if "28 Days Later" had been a sequel to the Sandra Bullock rehab story "28 Days"? And you had, like, zombie Sandra Bullock shuffling around going "BRAAAAIINS," and "I COULD UUUUUUSE A DRIIIIIINK." Anyway.)

Oh, shit! I just realized the Brit in charge of "Walking Dead" is that guy from "Love, Actually"! Another crossover potential! "Zombie Love, Actually"!


OK, since I'm a white male in a coastal city with a postgraduate degree, I listen to this podcast called the "Slate Culture Gabfest" in which other overeducated white people suck all the fun out of popular culture. Here's an example from a couple of weeks back. See if you can guess what the egghead is talking about:

Well, let me begin by saying I think there are two pretty obvious reactions to have to [this thing]. The first is, in a weird way, the most obvious one, I think, in this day and age, is to have a kind of “Oh, it’s Rabelaisian, it’s, you know, it’s Howard Stern meets skater punk meets Rabelais meet de Sade meets Buñuel,” like a kind of, you know, the high-low mish-mash that every critic alive . . . likes to employ as a way of patting themselves on the back for their postmodern eclecticism. And the other obvious response is the Rome-is-burning response. And I found myself having incoherently and somewhat frenetically toggling back and forth between those two responses.

Give up? He's talking about "Jackass 3-D." Yes, the movie where a guy gets shot up into the sky in a Porta-Pottie full of shit. I don't know what "Rabelaisian" is, so maybe "Jackass 3-D" really is Rabelaisian, I don't know, but fuck, do we have to grad-seminar everything? Can't anything just be stupid and meaningless? Let's continue:

Another way of looking at it is sometimes Rome does burn, and there is something profoundly disturbing about how this is not – if this is on the margins of a culture, I think there’s kind of a celebratory vitality to it that one can participate in. When it moves to the very center of the culture, you then have to start thinking about what it’s displacing and what it means and what it means that these people are approaching middle age. . . . We can stop talking about – as if there’s some horrible nanny figure, a Mr. Chips figure, that’s the dominant mode of American thinking and feeling that’s somehow being flouted here. This is the dominant mode of American thinking and feeling. I think it demands being regarded seriously.

No, you silly goof, this is not the "dominant mode of American thinking and feeling." I'm not even that cynical. If you're basing your view of what the DMOATAF is on box office receipts, then the DMOATAF is wanting to be a 12-foot-tall blue creature who flies around on a pterodactyl and where everything looks like you're shrooming.

It's entertainment. I mean, I don't personally find it entertaining, but it's probably healthier to watch than public executions or bear-baiting or any of the other really fucked-up shit people used to watch for entertainment. I wouldn't freak out. There's a huge box office for uplifting and educational shit too.

That's what happens when you overthink everything. Eggheads.

Have a good weekend, everybody!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Just a couple of pics from the parade and then I swear to God I will stop talking about the Giants until next year

Unless they sign Jayson Werth or something.

About a million people got together in San Francisco yesterday for a bigass parade and celebration thing in Civic Center. Pretty fucking amazing, considering the population of the entire city is about 800,000.

"Crowded" isn't the right word. It was fucking packed down there. Plus, it was 78 degrees, which feels like 95 in SF, because we're used to 57. (When you look at this picture, you have to imagine the overpowering scent of marijuana. The whole thing smelled like a Cypress Hill concert.)

The parade came down McAllister and then into Civic Center Plaza. The float with all the anthropomorphized snack products was bumping that horrifying "Fist Pump" song they played late this season at the park. The Salt & Vinegar Kettle Chips was way into it.

If Buster Posey was any more clean-cut, he'd probably ascend to Heaven right now, where Mother Theresa would say "Who's the square?" He saluted the crowd in his inimitable, aw-shucks way. Meanwhile, Brian Wilson was running around like a crazy person high-fiving and striking poses in the middle of the street. Closers have traditionally cultivated a me-so-crazy image, and B-Dub seems to love playing that role.

Then it was time for the Ceremony on the Steps of City Hall. Each player was awarded 10 virgins or something, I think. I couldn't hear very well. Then Aubrey Huff did a little dance and pulled a red thong out of his pants. Whatever, it's Civic Center. I've seen a woman taking a shit while smoking crack here, so pulling a thong out of your pants is nothing.

Everybody seemed to have a nice time. DPW cleaned up the place real nice. Let's do it again next year.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Here's my explanation of why professional sports are satisfying and necessary

"There's some part of our reptilian brain that needs to conquer and dominate others. It's hard-wired into us. We used to satisfy this intense, unstoppable urge by actually conquering and dominating others. But now we have evolved and don't do that as much as we used to. So, even though it would be incredibly satisfying and rewarding for all of us to march on Dallas, burn it to the ground, sew the soil with salt so nothing ever grows there again, sell the citizenry into slavery, and take their gold and HDTVs, our society frowns on that kind of thing. So instead, we assemble a team of surrogates to represent our city-state and we give them a fearsome name like 'Giants' and we send them forth to do our conquering for us. And now there is only ritual humiliation and defeat, but it's all we've got and we enjoy it nonetheless. That's why we have professional sports.

"Also, two or more guys can't sit around and drink beer and talk. There has to be something on in the background. Televised sporting events enable male friendship to exist without awkwardness."