Friday, December 30, 2011

Your last-minute San Francisco New Year's Day Brunch Guide

You haven't made reservations for New Year's Day brunch yet? What are you, some kind of lunatic? Well, I'm here to help. I just looked on a reservation site and these places all have availability for 2 people at 1 pm on New Year's Day.

(There are actually 138 restaurants with availability, but I'm only listing the ones you should actually consider.)

(There are others with availability at like 11 or 2, but let's go with 1. That's late enough that you can be up but early enough that you can finish and hit another bar and watch some NFL and have pints.)

Luna Park - I think we went there for NYD brunch the last 2 years, so we can't go again this year. But you can! Oh, whoa, they raised the bottomless mimosas to $13. That's a drag, but you can put down $13 worth of champagne no problem, plus the waitresses are really good about keeping them filled. The food's pretty good. And fuck it, it's probably stumbling distance from your apartment. FOUR STARS.

Maverick - I really like their brunch. It might be too "nice" a place if you look like what you're probably going to look like. I mean, you may not want to attempt duck confit hash if you're still spinning. No bottomless mimosas, but they're only $6.50. THREE AND A HALF STARS.

Butterfly - It might be nice to be by the water! That might make you feel better. I had brunch here once like 5 years ago so I don't even know if it's any good. Bottomless mimosas are $18, ouch. Might have to Occupy Table 18 for 2 hours or so to make the numbers work. TWO AND A HALF STARS.

Farmerbrown - Excellent all-you-can-eat brunch, including their fucking awesome fried chicken, for I think $16 or something. Also bottomless mimosas, but I don't remember how much. I remember getting pretty buzzed, though. This is a quality brunch. The Tenderloin location might be a bit challenging, but if you need to pick up some rock to keep the party going, you'll be in the right place. FOUR AND A HALF STARS.

Le Zinc - If you can handle dodging the strollers and labs of Noe Valley in your weakened state, this place actually has a great brunch. Mimosas are $9 each, which is kind of a drag, but the French omelet is really good. Plus, Valley Tavern is across the street, so you'll be steps away from an available post-brunch bar. THREE STARS.

Medjool - At first I was all HA HA BIG JOKE I'LL PUT MEDJOOL ON THERE AND WE WILL LAUGH AND LAUGH and then I looked at the brunch menu and guys, it's a brunch buffet for $10.99, and the mimosas are THREE DOLLARS. It can't be THAT bad for brunch, right? I mean, the spiky-hair/shiny-shirt crowd will be at Circa, not here, right? Somebody talk me down. UNKNOWN STARS.

Park Chalet - $25 gets you the buffet (which I've had, it's good) AND unlimited champagne. Plus, you're right there at the beach so you can have a soul-searching walk after brunch along the surf and gaze meaningfully out at the sea and meditate on some changes you'll be making in your life this year. The downside is somebody needs to stay sober enough to drive because, come on, it's at Ocean Beach. THREE STARS.

Anyway, have a fun NYE. See you next year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A few vignettes with Mom

Vignette 1: We are at lunch at Slanted Door. Mom asks the busboy who is filling our water glasses "What country are you from?" After initially looking somewhat surprised, he says "Mexico" and smiles and walks away. Mom says, "I would have expected him to say Nepal."

Later, as he is clearing plates, she asks him "What part of Mexico?" He says, "Yucatan," smiling broadly now. This time, after he leaves, Mom says "I was going to ask him if he enjoyed snorkeling. Snorkeling is very popular in the Yucatan. Probably more for tourists than locals, though."

Vignette 2: As we are leaving Slanted Door, we see Mom stop at the service bar, get the bartender's attention, and then talk to him. We see him initially look puzzled, then say something to her, then get back to making drinks. We ask her what that was about. "I asked him what a popular drink in San Francisco is now. He said rye and bourbon. That surprises me."

(Speaking of Slanted Door, that ginger limeade [kaffir lime vodka, ginger, lime] is delicious. But $38 for shaking beef on the lunch menu is a little ridiculous, especially since it's like 7-8 cubes of beef. Still delicious, though.)

Vignette 3: Mom and I are having lunch at King of Thai Noodle on Clement. It is moderately full. There is someone sitting directly beside us. Mom says to me, "So tell me how therapy worked for you." The guy next to us, who looks like he could be a therapist, looks at me and gives a kind of sympathetic smile. I tell Mom I'd rather talk about it later, in a more private setting. "Who's going to hear?" she asks. She nods at the the guy next to us. "This guy?"

Vignette 4: We are in Grace Cathedral. A very nicely dressed woman in her mid-30's is there with two little girls wearing very fancy dresses. Mom says "Don't you two look pretty!" The woman says "We just came from high tea at the Fairmont. Now we're going to see where Mommy got married." After some more oohing and ahhing over the fancy dresses, the woman and the girls walk away. Mom says, "She must be their nanny."

Vignette 5: I find out that Mom has been secretly feeding our dog peanuts. (While peanuts aren't toxic to dogs, you don't want to give them too many, and I had no idea how long this had been going on.) I asked Mom not to feed him peanuts. She said, "Well, when you were a little boy, our dog [a 10 or 12 pound cocker spaniel/poodle/pekinese mix] ate a 5-pound Hershey's kiss and she was fine. So what's the problem?"

(I have no idea if this actually happened, BTW. Mom tends to either remember things very differently than I do or create entire incidents out of whole cloth in her mind.)

Ah, well. Bon voyage, Mom!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Oh, whoops, I mean Merry Christmas! I don't need Bill O'Reilly up my ass.

Anyway, MOM'S IN TOWN!!! YAY!!!!!

See you on the other side.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

TK goes to see "Young Adult," likes it.

Went to see "Young Adult" last night and I kinda loved it. I was a little surprised. It's written by Diablo Cody, and while I thought "Juno" had some laughs, it was mostly too precious and self-aware to be a good movie. But YA is all grown up and much funnier and more bitter (which is why I like it).

One problem with the suspension of disbelief: You have to accept, as a plot point, that a functioning heterosexual male would NOT leave his wife and infant child for alcoholic Charlize Theron. Not buying it.

Here's another reason I liked it, and this is going to kind of be a spoiler but not too much but if you're REALLY REALLY CONCERNED then SPOILER WARNING DON'T READ ANY MORE. But the ending is not at all happy or conventional in any kind of Normal Hollywood Sense and is in fact at the very least ambiguous and at the worst/best it's an active "fuck you" to Hollywood endings and the lessons we've come to expect from Hollywood movies, e.g., (1) small towns are where it's real and where True Happiness resides and (2) you find happiness in life by eschewing the Big City and returning Home.

But people aren't used to that! It pisses them off when they get an ending they're not expecting! So that's why the two mouth-breathing mush-brained talking-during-movie late-teen-early 20s chicks next to us were VISIBLY UPSET at the end of the movie. Mush-brained Idiot #1, in fact, stood up and announced "That's the worst movie I've ever seen! I'M BLAMING YOU FOR THIS DANIELLE." Hopefully Danielle told her to stick it up her talkative fucking ass, but we were already on our way out and didn't get a chance to hear what riposte, if any, Danielle offered.

(Also, to make this sound official and like a real review: "Great performances by Theron and especially by Patton Oswalt!!" The review in Slate pointed out that Oswalt's come a long way as an actor since he stood perfectly still in the background for 3 minutes in the opening scene of this episode of King of Queens. Seriously, watch the beginning. It's like performance art. He's JUST STANDING THERE. Hilarious.)

Anyway, check it out.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

PG&E will not stop until we are dead

You know what I'd like from my electricity and gas provider? A steady stream of electricity and gas. Most of you probably get that from your provider. However, since I live in Northern California, my provider, Pacific Gas & Electric, has a different priority:


Last night PG&E fucked up and it just happened to be during a nationally televised broadcast of "Monday Night Football," between the 49ers and Steelers.

WHOOPS. Maybe PG&E didn't realize that everyone could see. Anyway, no one was killed, apparently, so TOUGH SHIT PG&E.

Just within the past year and a half or so, PG&E killed eight people in a gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno. They just admitted liability for that, after exploring the option of possibly blaming the victims. It's like they have a secret lab where they sit around and try to think of ways they could be more evil or at least appear that way.

Then you have the manhole explosions, which are, at this point, so routine that they barely make the news any more.

Not content to confine their murderous ways to simple explosions, which do seem kind of dated and 19th-century, PG&E then moved on to Smart Meters, which, we are told, will kill us all with radiation. Irradiating us all seems like a much more efficient way for PG&E to eliminate us, plus it's not as noisy and steam-punky as exploding manholes.

(J/K abt Smart Meters, I'm sure they're totally safe and whatever.)

And when they're not busy trying to kill us, PG&E also has constant problems with delivering power. I mean, every time it rains, the power goes out somewhere. Is it that way everywhere, or just here?

ANYWAY, PG&E, if you really want to make an impact, step up your electrocution game. Seems like you've got unlimited electricity, so why not use it? You could take out 100, 150 people a day, probably. And those nuclear plants! They're not gonna melt down on their own, PG&E. Blow one of those up and we could start talking Fresno-sized victim counts.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I'm already going to hell, so....

The theme of today's post is RELIGION. Oh boy.

ITEM NUMBER ONE: Why do people hate Tim Tebow?

(I just realized that not everyone may know who Tim Tebow is. Tim Tebow is an American footballer generally considered to be of average-to-poor skill at his position, which is quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Previous to this, he was considered to be of superior skill at his position in college, which was quarterback for the Florida Gators. Some people are really good in college and not very good in the NFL. Anyway, Tebow is also known for vehemently and publicly practicing his religion, including frequently kneeling on the field to thank God for a successful football outcome and/or to beseech his help at a crucial moment. Despite his seeming lack of skill, the Denver Broncos keep winning games that they shouldn't win. This is more due to Denver's excellent defense than anything Tim Tebow is doing, but quarterbacks always get more attention than defenses. Back to our story.)

Oh, look, Deadspin already answered this question: Why People Who Hate Tim Tebow Hate Tim Tebow.

I'll nutshell it for you: Because anyone other than Tebow in Tebow's position would be EXPECTED to succeed, but somehow, for Tebow, it's a case of God pulling the strings for a gutsy believer who is somehow triumphing despite being a valiant underdog.

Athletes giving credit to God is nothing new, but Tebow sort of takes it to a whole new level with his very public displays of faith and whatnot. Let's leave aside the obvious question - with something like 200 billion galaxies in the universe, each containing 200-300 billion stars, there must be trillions or quadrillions of planets, and many of those must have life, so why does God take a personal interest in the outcomes of sporting events on one of those planets and, moreover, why does He not seem to care so much about cricket or curling? - and instead ponder WHY IT'S NOT GOD'S FAULT WHEN TEAMS LOSE. The way I see it, if you give God credit for winning a game (or doing well on a law school final, or getting your lost wallet back (actually, that one was St. Anthony, not God, but they work in the same office), then the Big Guy gets the blame when things go south.

How great would that be? Imagine the sideline reporter interviewing the kicker who missed the game-winning field goal: "Well, I lined it up perfectly, hit it dead on, and it sailed wide right. God really fucked us on this one. Thanks for nothing, God. Zero for you in the collection plate tomorrow. Winners get paid, not losers."

SIGH. I'm sure there's a Deep Theological Reason why it's not God's fault but I don't really care.

ITEM NUMBER TWO: R.I.P. Christopher Hitchens, one of the best atheists of all time.

Like I said to someone last night, I didn't always agree with Hitchens - on his strong support for the Iraq War, for example - I always wished I could write like him.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Are Yahoo comments gone forever or what?

We all know about SFGate comments. But did you ever check out comments on Yahoo news stories? They made SFGate commenters look like a Mensa convention. They were truly the ugly id of the Internet. No story, no matter how innocuous or heartwarming, could escape their wrath. "Miracle baby survives crash" would inevitably devolve into a shitshow about Obamacare, and God forbid if the baby was African-American. Wonder whether racism is still a problem in 21st-century America? Peruse the Yahoo comments, and wonder no more.


I stopped by Yahoo to get the brain-damaged racist perspective recently and the spot where "3,045 comments" used to be was an ominous banner that said:

"We're having problems with Reading Activity and Commenting features on our site. We're working to re-enable them as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience."

Oh, we're having problems with the Commenting features, all right.

I immediately knew that was it; Yahoo had finally had enough of being known as the Sinkhole of American Idiocy. FAREWELL, YAHOO COMMENTS. WE WILL MISS THY OVERT RACISM AND RAMPANT MISSPELLING.

Maybe Yahoo Answers can tell us more!

Good, now we'll get to the bottom of this. Tell us, Yahoo Answers answerers!

Oh. That's why.

UPDATE: It looks like they're back on. Never mind.

Monday, December 12, 2011

In which we ponder the existential meaning of the term "bar"

Food & Wine magazine recently named the 50 Best Bars in America. Because the topic of bars is very dear to my heart, I perused this list carefully. There are a number of San Francisco establishments on the list, like Alembic and Beretta and Comstock and Slanted Door.

Wait a second, because we have a problem.

As much as I like Slanted Door - and make no mistake, I like it a lot, I mean, I have often said that the Shaking Beef from Slanted Door would be my Death Row Last Meal - there is one significant problem with its appearance on this list.


Slanted Door HAS as bar, but it's NOT a bar. I have a CD by Pavement, but I'm not Steven Malkmus.

Not a bar.

I guess, in the World Vision of Food & Wine, anywhere that sells alcohol for onsite consumption is a "bar." So under their erroneously expansive definition, the French Laundry is a "bar." So is Yankee Stadium. And Delta Flight 2081 from Atlanta to Charlotte.

See the problem here?

What Food & Wine needs is a more restrictive definition of "bar." Here's what I propose:

A bar is an establishment that exists primarily to sell liquor and other intoxicating spirits to the public.

Sorry, Slanted Door! (And Beretta, for that matter). You are not bars. You are restaurants. The 500 Club is a bar. Bourbon & Branch is a bar. Even the Uptown is a bar, although it's a bar that masquerades as a garbage dump with shots.


Now we can talk about the 50 Best Bars or whatever. But let's talk about bars, not restaurants. You want an artisanal cocktail and a squid ink risotto? Go to Beretta. You want a shot and a beer? Go to a bar.

(BTW, I know what you're saying. You're saying Why am I reading this bullshit when I could be watching Dr. Oz and eating Candy Cane Joe-Joe's? Now, you're actually saying Doesn't Alembic serve food? Isn't it a restaurant? No. You can be a bar and still serve food, as long as you PRIMARILY exist to serve alcohol. Thus, Alembic = bar; Outback Steakhouse = Not Bar.)

Friday, December 9, 2011

From the Magazine Rack in Hell

I'm not even sure why I made this. I don't even have kids. Parents just bug me sometimes.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Let's talk about radio for a second

Nobody listens to the radio anymore. This is practically an article of faith. Oh, wait, maybe more people are listening to the radio. "An average of 241.6 million people 12 and older listened to conventional radio stations each week last year, an increase of 2.1 million over 2009 — and up 4.9% vs. 2005," says USA Today. 241 million is a lot, so maybe people do listen to the radio. That kind of hurts my point so let's move on.

2 radio things to touch on today.

First, Live 105. Live 105 is a sad radio station that I guess positions itself as "alternative" or something. "Alternative" was what new and interesting music used to be called in the 80's and 90's. Live 105 calls itself "alternative" even though they still play the same shit they were playing in 1992.

Just looking at the playlist, in the past 12 hours, Live 105 has played the following:

"Come as You Are," by Nirvana
"The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, at least twice
"Adam's Song" by Blink-182
"Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley
"Wrong Way" by Sublime
"Say It Ain't So" by Weezer
"After Midnight" by Blink-182, twice
"Come Original" by 311
"Creep" by Radiohead
"Snow (Hey Oh)" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana
"The Sound of Winter" by Bush, multiple times
"Tell Me Baby" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
At least two songs from Stone Temple Pilots' 1992 debut Core
"Jamming" by Bob Marley
"Santeria" by Sublime
A shitload of Linkin Park songs

Not pretty, is it? We can make a few observations:

1. Live 105's program director really likes the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Linkin Park, "Legend" by Bob Marley, and the Stone Temple Pilots' first album
2. Very little of this is "alternative," in any sense of the word
3. Bush apparently has a new album out and Live 105 is interested in seeing it succeed, for some reason beyond my grasp
4. Blink-182 is still played as if they were a viable concern and not a band that we all laugh about behind their backs

This isn't alternative; this is classic rock. I mean, do you really need to hear any Sublime song, ever again? And what the fuck is up with the Bob Marley? What is this, a freshman dorm room in 1988?

Go in peace and do whatever you want, Live 105. I guess it's just kind of sad that there is so much good, new, exciting, interesting music out there that I bet people would actually like if you played it and you're not giving it a chance. You could be pushing Ty Segall (who has the extra advantage of being a local!) and Yuck and TV on the Radio and instead you're pushing albums that came out in 1991 and 1992.

Don't get me wrong, "Nevermind" is one of the best albums ever, but we've all heard it, Live 105. You can set down Nevermind and back slowly away. We know every song.

In other radio news, KGO 810 just fired everyone that works there, in one fell swoop destroying decades of goodwill and community relationships. WOW GREAT PLAN.

(MOMENTARY DIVERSION: The Wife says I'm the only person under 50 who listens to talk radio, but that can't be true, right? I even listen to KSFO Tea Party Radio sometimes just to see how far around the bend those people have gone. ANSWER: Very far. But you know where you to go if you want to hear the word "Marxist" tossed around in a context-free manner.)

Anyway, I'm not in radio and so I have no idea but it seems like a bad move to me.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

In response to some reader complaints, we are launching a new feature

On Friday, Allan over at Mission Mission linked to our story about people talking at shows. Some people commented! They will do that. One person said "grandpa," which is mean because, while I am old enough to be a grandparent, I am not actually a grandparent. Unless that person meant it in the Sexy Grandpa sense, in which case, RIGHT ON.

But then another commenter said:

his whole blog is a moan – and he goes on about being like a 28 year old (when he’s 40) or something. Old, old, old – not physically but has the mentality of a conservative Victorian…

Kinda has a point. I do tend to bitch a lot on here. I do have to dispute that I have the mentality of a conservative Victorian, though. Maybe a Sexy Victorian.

Anyway, in an effort to make this blog more positive and less of a moan, we are introducing a new feature: Universal Pepsodent Super Fun Hour!!!!!

What we do for UPSFH is we pick one thing that we like and we talk about how awesome it is. This is designed to counteract the normally dyspeptic and misanthropic nature of this blog and instead suffuse you, the reader, with a sense of warmth and well-being that you will carry with you throughout the day.

For our inaugural Universal Pepsodent Super Fun Hour, we pick A FEW GOOD MEN, the 1992 Aaron Sorkin-penned military-legal drama starring TOM CRUISE and DEMI MOORE and with the totally killer JACK NICHOLSON monologue that we all love.

A Few Good Men is one of those movies that I always watch through to the end when I pass it flipping around on cable. And since it's on TNT every Saturday, I've seen parts of it hundreds of times!

Look, it's not Citizen Kane or even the Citizen Kane of military-legal dramas. Well, maybe it is, but I can't think of others right now, but it's a well-written, sort of well-acted drama that keeps you engaged without being too tense. The perfect thing when you're hungover on the couch on a Saturday having Outdoor Guilt because it looks nice out but you just don't want to go out.

I celebrate you, A Few Good Men. You are worthy of being featured on the very first Universal Pepsodent Super Fun Hour!

Friday, December 2, 2011

People who talk through shows should be swiftly and summarily executed

Went to see the Weakerthans at the Independent last night. Fantastic show. Going again tonight, as a matter of fact. I may not have mentioned lately how much I like the Independent. Even at sold-out shows it never seems packed, the beer prices are totally reasonable, the sound is always great, and the location is perfect. (The last two things are reasons why I never go to Bottom of the Hill any more.)

Oh, and the bartender last night said "I haven't seen you around in a while." I used to go to a lot more shows than I do now.

ANYWAY. You didn't think this was going to be all sweetness and light, did you? You want that shit, go read Zooey Deschanel's blog or something. (I'm assuming here; I've never read Zooey Deschanel's blog. Does Zooey Deschanel have a blog?)

There was one, and only one, problem at the show last night, and if you go see live music with any regularity, you will recognize this problem at once: THE LOUD TALKERS.


Standing by the bar was a group of four, two guys and two girls. And during the entire show, nonstop, start to finish, they were YELLING at each other. I don't think they could have heard a single song. I really just do not fucking understand this. With service fees and everything, tickets to this show were around $22 apiece. Why would you spend $22 to go to a show that you have no interest in watching and then compound your mistake by bothering everyone else around you who IS watching it? Fuck you. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck you.

After a couple of songs of that, we moved further up into the crowd and that fucking frizzy-haired bitch's donkey-like braying receded, but I was treated to a fresh round of her shrieking every time I had to go to the bar, which was often. Fuck.

They left during the encore and the same frizzy bitch bumped into The Wife on her way out and kept walking. Throat cancer for her. Crippling arthritis for the other 3. That is my decree.

But it's hard to bitch too much. We had a great time.

Anyway, if you go to a music performance, don't talk through the whole thing.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Urban etiquette: Modern Air Travel

Lo, we are here in Peak Travel Season. You know what the busiest travel day of the year is? WHATEVER DAY I'M FLYING. On the one hand, the availability of reasonably-priced airline tickets has made the convenience and speed of air travel available to Americans of all income classes. On the other hand, the availability of reasonably-priced airline tickets has made the convenience and speed of air travel available to Americans of all income classes. Now that I have seen (1) a guy spitting tobacco juice into a bottle, (2) mouth-breathing mall rats loudly comparing their sexual and alcoholic misadventures, and (3) people wearing what appear to be their pajamas and taking off their shoes, all within 2 rows of me, the Ship of Air Travel Decorum has long since sailed, crashed into an iceberg, and come to rest at the bottom of the Southwest Airlines Ocean.

Perhaps if we all agree to follow a few simple tips we can make the experience more palatable for all of us.


Here is our first chance to get a look at our fellow passengers up close. Ew, that's enough. Say, could we maybe silence the feature that makes your cell phone keyboard audibly CLICK every time you type a letter? Because your CLICK CLICK CLICK is slowly driving me insane. Otherwise, go to town: this is your chance to get the ya-yas out of your system before we're all imprisoned together in a metal tube at 39,000 feet.


No issues here! Just sit back and enjoy the complimentary gourmet meal we will be served.

Not really. What I need you to do is sit quietly in your seat.

Unless you're Miranda Kerr or Freddy Sanchez, I probably don't want to talk.

If you're in the window seat, you get one trip to the bathroom per flight, so plan accordingly. I would go in the airport right before you board and then think dry thoughts.

It's fine to carry on your luggage - fuck, since it takes a minimum of 30 minutes at SFO for them to get the luggage on the goddam carousel, you should always carry on unless you're going to Tibet or something - but if you somehow manage to sneak one of those sarcophagus-sized rolling monsters past the gate agent and then fill up an entire overhead bin with it, there is a special place in Hell for you where you keep getting bumped from your flight over and over again for all eternity.

Are you trying to have a conversation with the person across the aisle from you? Do you know why you have to YELL? Because you're 35 feet away from a 40,000 horsepower Pratt & Whitney jet engine. You are not going to win this fight. STFU and talk about it when you get to Raleigh-Durham.

Did you just laugh out loud to something you saw in "Mr. Popper's Penguins"? Now the whole world knows. That's sad.


OK! We've landed. EVERYONE JUMP INTO THE AISLE. Our latest scientific research has shown that standing in the aisle increases your chances of getting off the plane sooner by around ZERO FUCKING PERCENT. I know you're going to do it anyway, but next time, ask yourself, "Why am I standing in the aisle?"

Once you get your bag and make it down the jetway and into the airport, make sure you FREEZE AT THE DOORWAY and look around at this strange and magical land called Phoenix Sky Harbor and MAKE SURE no one else can get around you. Now you're doing it right!

We look forward to serving you again soon.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Two anecdotes that illustrate how the New South continues to resemble a Flannery O'Connor short story

Anecdote one:

A few days before Thanksgiving, something broke on one of the upstairs toilets at my Dad's house and water leaked through the ceiling into the living room on the first floor. It was kind of a mess but didn't destroy Thanksgiving or anything.

Anyway, Dad's next door neighbor is a plumber and he came over and shut off the water to the offending toilet and then proceeded to tell us, in more or less an unbroken monologue, about how his house was once saved from burning down in the middle of the night because there was a tiny hole in a bathroom pipe that spewed out water and extinguished a fire that had started in the bathroom (!!!!). He opined that it would have been extra tragic if he had died in a fire because when he was 12, "both of my grandparents burned up in a fire when they lived next door." He left and later returned with a dehumidifier that he rented for Dad.

Anecdote two:

A cashier at the grocery store told my sister "I haven't seen you in a while." She said he must have her confused with someone else, because she doesn't live there. He said, "Oh no, I remember you. You were in this store eight months ago. The Lord has blessed me with the ability to never forget a face."

The Lord has also blessed him with the ability to win big by card counting in Vegas, but he didn't mention that.

(If for some reason you've never read any Flannery O'Connor, do yourself a huge favor and pick up a copy of her Complete Stories. You won't regret it.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Today's Worst Groupon of the Day

$9 for 10”x17” Personalized Letter from Santa ($19.99 Value)

Jesus Christ. Is this what it's come to?

Wait, I think I can make out the text!

Dear Insert Child's Name,

It has been a cold and snowy winter here at the North Pole. Making presents for all the children is hard, but not as hard as parenting! Keeping up with you little shits while Dad and Mom are trying to put together some semblance of a living wage in this postmodern fuckhole we call an economy can be very taxing. So when they get home from a day of eating shit to placate their demented paranoid schizophrenic boss, they don't really have time to break out the old calligraphy tools and pen a faux letter from the God replacement we call "Santa." So they hired this company to do it instead! They know how much you love insert name of store-bought crap here and insert $5 check from Grandma here, so you'll be getting that. Now they're going to have a box of wine and glaze out to NCIS so please shut up.

Also, fuck paying $19.99 for this shit. 9 bucks sounds more their speed.

In other news, making the usual Thanksgiving trip to the Red States, so updates may be severely limited, etc. You'll be fine.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Negative Ticket Pricing and You

From the estimable Mission Mission (via the lesser-known but still very nice I'm sure Slob on My Blog) we learn that "$1,800 VIP tickets to Kreayshawn’s New Year’s Eve Show are sold out."

Sayeth MM:

Here’s what you could’ve gotten had you acted faster:
  • Luxury Limousine transportation to and from the show
  • Red Carpet Treatment (Sound Check attendance, Pre and Post-show Meet & Greet, VIP seating)
  • Personalized Engraved Limited Edition NYE Pot Leaf Dog Tag
  • Limited Edition Signed T-Shirt – designed personally by Kreayshawn and autographed at the show. Design to be revealed prior to performance!
  • Admission for (6) six to Kreayshawn’s NYE 2011 show
Bummer, dude.
Appended to this disturbing story is the following comment:

It's all well and good to go to a show if someone pays you to do it, but the more interesting question is how much you would pay not to go. This is a subject that we have discussed for years: NEGATIVE TICKET PRICING.

What is NTP, you ask? Simply put, it is the amount of money you would pay to NOT see an event. In other words, if a deranged, meth-addled Nickelback fan (I know, redundant) pulled out his rusty fish-scalin' knife and held it to your ribs and said "You ARE going with me to see Nickelback live in concert at the Sleep Train Pavilion," the NTP is the amount of money you would give up to get out of that kind of dark and sad fate. (Incidentally, my Nickelback NTP is around $80-135, depending on how much I have in the bank and with the realization I'm going to need at least $100 to get blackout drunk at the show just to make it through.)

SO, for example, the NTP for any kind of Glee-related production is about $75. Not sure how much I'll need in reserve for drinks because I don't know if they even sell alcohol at shows like that. The repetitive Eagles reunion tour tickets are always something ridiculous like $300, which exactly mirrors the NTP for the same show. In fact, the basic rule for any Formerly Huge Arena Rock Powerhouse that has reunited is to flip the actual ticket price and that's the NTP. (EXCEPTIONS: Cheap Trick and Judas Priest).

For any kind of dinner theater, it's about $30. If there's any type of audience participation, it goes way, way up. Maybe $50. For a Comedy Hypnotist, easily $100

The NTP for the Vans Warped Tour is your age multiplied by 1.5. So if you're 18, it's $27, but if you're 38, it's $57, and if you're 38 and you wouldn't pay $57 not to go to the Vans Warped Tour, you're probably a Megan's Lister.

Let's see who's coming up at the Oakland Arena!

Katy Perry, November 21! Hmmm, I bet there would be a lot of hot Moms there. Nevertheless, I'll go $29 not to see her. I also note that there are "Katy Perry VIP Packages" available. The Katy Perry NTP VIP Package includes a bottle of Wild Turkey, transportation away from the show in a repurposed SuperShuttle, and a cassette of T. Rex's "Electric Warrior."

Live 105's Not So Silent Night, December 9, featuring Jane's Addiction, Mumford & Sons, Florence & the Machine, Bush (!!!), and Young the Giant. Ugh, Huge the Puke. Wait, Bush is still around? What the fuck? $68.

Bob Seger, December 21. It would be almost worth it to count the grey ponytails, but on the flip, you would have to sit through "Turn the Page" and that truck commercial. I'll throw down $50 not to go and I'll drive to Konocti Harbor, where this show would have been held if Konocti Harbor hadn't shut down.

Oh, and Kreayshawn? Hell, I'd not go see her for $5.

What about you guys? What would you pay not to see Lady Antebellum? Yanni? Sting? Skrillex? ($76, $110, $63, and $254, respectively, for me.)

UPDATE: Right on cue, Groupon pops up with today's deal: "One Ticket to See Pink Martini at Paramount Theatre in Oakland on November 20 at 7:30 p.m." It's $22 for balcony seating. There's something sad about selling tickets for your show on Groupon. Anyway, I don't know anything about Pink Martini at all, but based on the picture, the name, and the Groupon blurb - "The sonic ensemble of Pink Martini dazzles listeners with a multilingual repertoire that spans classical, jazz, old-fashioned, and pop genres" - I'll also pay $22 not to go.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Let's talk about Walking Dead for a second

I need to talk about some Important TV right now. Walking Dead was on last night, so if you haven't seen it yet and care about it, you should probably stop reading because I may unintentionally mention things that happened last night and then you'd be all "HUH!!! SPOLIERS!!! YOU DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING!!!" and get all mad and we don't want that.

Walking Dead is a show set in a post-zombie-apocalyptic future. We have learned from this show that in the zombie future, people talk about their feelings a lot more than they do now. Like, here's the basic plotline of every episode:

CHARACTER 1: Feelings feelings feelings feelings.

CHARACTER 2: Boring boring blah blah blah.


CHARACTER 1: That was awful. Feelings feelings feelings.

Despite all that, Walking Dead continues to upset and frighten me. You know that disclaimer at the beginning? When it says "Portions of this program may be too intense for some viewers"? Or something like that? Guess what. I'M SOME VIEWERS. Remember last week, or I think it was last week, when there was that white bloaty zombie trapped in the well and they lowered Glenn down by a rope to lure the zombie up (or something like, I'm not excatly sure what the thinking was with that) and the thing they had the rope anchored to broke and Glenn fell down towards the bloaty zombie and whatnot? FUCK. I thought I was gonna have a heart attack or die.

ANYWAY. So I really the like the show but I'm getting sick of how nothing ever happens. I mean, STOP SEARCHING FOR SOFIA ALREADY AND MOVE THE FUCK ON. Jesus, we've been looking for that girl since, what, episode 1? A 10-year-old girl couldn't make it alone for a week in fucking DISNEYLAND, much less a zombie-infested wilderness. Really, the problem with the show now is that it's static. All that happens now is lot of talking about feelings and then something happens when people are out looking for Sofia. Gotta movie it along now.

And also Darryl is the best thing about the show because he's the only character with any personality beyond a steely jaw and a firm resolve and long stares into middle distance. That's why last night was so scary what with the arrow through him and then that fucking chick almost killing him! Oh, I guess she doesn't get to use the gun any more, by the way. FUCK.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Everybody's teleportin'

A while back I was at bingo with some good Christians and we were talking about what superpower we would like to have. I remember invisibility being tossed around but really, what good is invisibility? So you can sneak around and spy on people? You don't even need to do that anymore, because everyone puts everything on Twitter and Foursquare anyway. Plus, who cares? Invisibility doesn't do anything.

TOTALLY UNRELATED INTERJECTED STORY: A while back, they had this little display thing at AT&T Park with pictures of Giants players and like a question-and-answer type thing. And one of the questions was something like "If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?" And Barry Zito, who is just such a tool, you can totally tell, said he's like to have a jaguar for a pet or something tool-y like that. But God bless Matt Cain. He said his dream was to "visit Australia." CAN YOU IMAGINE? All he wants to do is visit Australia! It almost made me cry. His dream is so simple and attainable that it seems sad. It's like he doesn't realize that he can totally visit Australia! He's so humble he doesn't even realize it. It's like if someone asked you what your dream was and you said "To get an Icee at Target someday."


Flying. Big whoop? So what? You can fly. The novelty of that would wear off after about a half-hour. And then it would just get so rote and boring and your friends would call you and all be like "Yo, I'm heading to North Beach right now, can you fly up there and find me a parking space and then fly down and stand in it until I get there? Thanks."

SO YOU KNOW WHAT WON? TELEPORTATION. Think about it. One second you're here. ZZZZOOOOOOTTTT. Now you're in Paris, France. Also, in our rules you have the ability to teleport anything or anyone you're touching at the time you teleport. So you can grab ahold of your girl and then ZZZZZOOOOTTTTT beach on Kauai. Or grab some bros and ZZZOOOOOTTT Wrigley Field. Teleportation! It's what's for dinner. Seriously, there is no better superpower. Think about it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Serving California and the world – since 2008

Dear Loyal Customer,

We admit it. We made a mistake.

We know you’ve come to count on 40 Going On 28’s wry blend of news, information, and humor, and you’re understandably distressed when there are no new posts for a while. You feel like you’re not getting the service you’ve paid for, and you’re right.

Although we hate to make excuses, we have to tell you that the last few weeks have been kind of a trial and whatnot. We’ve been in the process of completing a rather complex transaction we’ll tell you more about later, but suffice it to say at this point that we’ve been dealing pretty much 24/7 with a parade of idiots that make your typical preschool class look like a meeting of Phi Beta Kappa at M.I.T. Seriously, it is sort of mind-boggling that the people who are in charge of managing one of the most complicated things you’ll ever take part in can’t figure out what the fuck they’re doing. It’s frustrating!

But we know what you’re thinking. “Boo hoo, like I give a shit. WHERE’S MY CONTENT.” Fair enough. We’ll be back on track pretty soon with all the rage and bile you’ve come to expect and need.

We value your loyalty, and appreciate your patience during this trying time.


Friday, November 4, 2011

TK's Official San Francisco 2011 Election Endorsements



Megalon is currently the only cockroach/beetle-like arthropod in the race. With the ability to shoot lightning from a horn-like appendage on his head and launch napalm bombs from his mouth, Megalon has the tough-on-crime solutions that San Francisco needs now. He lives in Glen Park with his wife Margie and their children Brad, 15, and Taylor, 10.

SECOND CHOICE: Ivan Doroschuk of Men Without Hats.



His campaign slogan says it all: "I will whip San Francisco into shape."

SECOND CHOICE: Seth Bullock. Or Timothy Olyphant, either way.




SECOND CHOICE: Woman Whose Recorded Voice Announces the Stops on Muni. I love how she says "VALENSHA" for Valencia.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

If you know what red orach is, you're already ahead of me

It was Halloween again last night, and you know what that means! Throwing together a poorly-thought-out costume, getting knee-walking drunk, and having terrible sex with a stranger! No, not really. Well, not for us. For us, it means the Mystery Dinner at Maverick.

Longtime readers will recall that I also attended this same event in 2009 and wrote about it then, but if for some reason you haven't committed all my posts to memory for the last 2 years (and, in that case, what the fuck is wrong with you?), here's the basic idea. You get three courses, each with wine pairings. You have to guess as many components of each course as you can. The person who gets the most right at each table wins a bottle of wine. There are three separate dinners, so for a 4-top (like us last night), only 2 people will have the same dinner.

ANYWAY. Sounds easy, right? WRONG.

The first course was clearly some kind of pâté thing. There was some yellowish sauce and little bits of some other stuff. I guessed goose liver pate, candied pineapple, and pancetta. HA HA HA WAS I EVER WRONG. It was foie gras with persimmon, chestnut, tobacco (!!!), oats, and marigolds. Tobacco! WHAT THE FUCK.

It came with some kind of very sweet wine. I guessed muscat. It was Pacherenc Du Vic Bilh. OH COME ON GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK.

The second course had some kind of little disk in the middle and other vegetable-y stuff scattered around it. I thought it was maybe a duck terrine. It tasted vaguely duck-y. WRONG AGAIN. It was "Red Orach Sformato." I know what "red" means, but I don't know what any of that other stuff is. As it turns out, "red orach," "also called Red Orach, Mountain Spinach, or French Spinach, is an annual leaf vegetable with a salty, spinach-like taste." That's right, I ate a vegetarian entree and thought it was duck terrine. FUCKING GENIUS.

The wine was a pinot noir. I guessed cabernet sauvignon. What can I say, it tasted like a cab.

Dessert course. Some kind of pudding thing, a cookie, and some nuts. I guessed pomegranate tapioca. It did have pomegranate seeds in it, but it was pistachio pudding. The wine was served in a little dessert wine glass JUST TO THROW YOU OFF because it was fucking CHARDONNAY. At this point, I had given up and just written down "I don't know." Sad.

My takeaway from this is that red orach sformato is a vegetarian dish you could serve to carnivores and get away with. And that it's a mind fuck to serve chardonnay in a little dessert wine glass. Needless to say, I didn't win.

Oh and then I got woken up at 1:30 this morning by some guy in the building that faces our bedroom window who was out on his back stair YELLING INTO HIS CELL PHONE IN SOME UNIDENTIFIABLE LANGUAGE that must be some Eastern European thing because he looks like a Russian gangster and it sounds like this:


And it was weird because it wasn't inflected at all. Every word had the same stress, I mean. Weird. Anyway, I wanted to go out there and tell the guy to shut the fuck up but (A) that would require getting out of bed and putting clothes on and (B) I didn't especially want Sergei to go all Eastern Promises on me, so I let him finish up his beheading threat/arms sale/extortion conference call in peace.

I was going to write a whole post about people should just be more fucking considerate of each other but now I'm tired of talking about this.

Friday, October 28, 2011

What every mayor of a city with an Occupy encampment wishes they could say when addressing the crowd

Attention hippies:

Having fun? Back in my day, when we would pitch tents and smoke grass and wallow in our own feces, we called it "camping," not "protesting," but to each his own, I guess. Look, I get what you're trying to do here. I've often said publicly that I respect everyone's First Amendment rights, but that's total BS and we all know it. Besides, you're having a fucking ongoing sleepover in one of my parks and that has about as much to do with free speech as David Hasselhoff has to do with acting. But I'm down with economic reform as long as it doesn't reform me out of my chance to run for Senator and get the fuck out of this shithole and make some real Monsanto lobbyist money in DC.

If I had my way, I'd send in the fucking cops to bust your heads up and send you back to that Maoist paradise you call a university, but that would look shitty on TV and God forbid we fuck up another Iraq vet. My heart goes out to you, Jean Quan. Christ, what a fucking mess you've got there.

Anyway, I'm more or less sure that you're going to eventually get bored of this shit and want to get back to your gravity bong and Adult Swim, so I'm pretty much going to wait this out. It's going to start getting into the 30's at night soon and let's be straight with each other, you're not exactly the Greatest Generation. Intolerable hardship for you guys is when your iPhone drops a signal. Not really hunkering down in a snow cave in the Black Forest and praying you don't get your eye shot out by a Nazi sniper, is it?

So have your fun and take lots of pictures - like I have to tell you guys that! - to post on your Twitters and blogs and Facebook and whatever. As long as you don't start looting Foot Lockers and don't hassle tourists we can stay out of each other's way until you get bored and go home. So I'll be thinking about you slurping up bowls of that fucking vegan stew or whatever Earth Mother over there is cooking up while I'm enjoying an ice-cold martini and getting blown by the Deputy Chief of Staff tonight.

Suck it, motherfuckers!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Today's Worst Groupon of the Day

You knew this was eventually coming:

$97 for Intimate or Glamour Photo-Shoot Package with Print and Photo CD ($350 Value)

Glamour photography! Nothing says 1986 mall shop more than glamour photography. You know what the problem with glamour photography is? It works backwards. It's the only form of photography that can make otherwise totally attractive people look terrible.

See, they say you'll look like this:

But you're actually going to look like this:

Oh, wait, no you're not! What the fuck do you mean, "Women only"? THAT'S FUCKING SEXIST. THANKS A LOT, GROUPON. NOW MY DREAM OF BEING GLAMOUR PHOTOGRAPHED HAS DIED.

Is Groupon still a viable concern? I heard they fucked up their IPO real bad. The very last Groupon will be for Groupon itself and there will only be one for sale. WHOA DUDE THAT IS SO FUCKING META.

In conclusion, glamour photography is funny.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Herman Cain campaign is turning into performance art, and we should love that

For a while there, I wasn't sure what Herman Cain was up to. I mean, he wasn't REALLY trying to win the Republican nomination for president, right? Oh, wait, maybe he is! He's actually leading! Then last week he fucked up and said what he really thought about abortion:

Appearing on CNN’s Piers Morgan show Wednesday night, Cain said that while he personally believes that life begins at conception, and is against abortion in all circumstances, “it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make,” in cases of rape or incest.

“It gets down to that family. And whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn’t try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive decision,” Cain said.

Morgan then pressed Cain on the issue, asking if as president, his views would be a “directive.”

"I can have an opinion on an issue without it being a directive on the nation,” he said. “The government shouldn’t be trying to tell people everything to do, especially when it comes to a social decision that they need to make.”

Uh-oh. Cain essentially said it's up to the family to make private health-care and reproductive decisions for themselves. This is, of course , anathema to Big-Government Conservatives who want to control what people do with their bodies. So now Cain is backtracking and saying abortion should always be illegal in all circumstances.

But whatever, that's not why I'm here. I'm here because the Cain campaign just released some kind of video that is so deeply bizarre that now I think the whole campaign is performance art. Check this shit out:

I love it! The shaky camera! The clearly uncomfortable, sallow-faced chief of staff! THE BIG DRAG ON THE CIGARETTE AT THE END. This video is such a clear FUCK YOU to the entire political establishment that it is obviously not meant to be taken seriously.

Starting to love this guy. WHAT WILL HE DO NEXT!

Friday, October 21, 2011

A San Francisco liberal visits the Pima Air & Space Museum

Is it possible to be a liberal pacifist and still think planes - even warplanes that rain death and destruction on unsuspecting innocents - are cool? Yes. Yes it is.

When we were visiting my Mom in Arizona, I prevailed upon her to go to the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson. It was unbelievably cool if you like planes, like I do.

My Dad was a pilot, so I come by it naturally. I grew up in the copilot seat as he flew us around. When I was born, he was making mad cash flying DC-3s between Bangkok and Saigon for Continental Airlines. Before that, he flew for the Army. Yes, the Army had planes too. This is the kind of plane he flew.

Moms didn't care for the museum much. She got focused on the death & destruction aspect and finally took a seat by the B-24 Liberator and let us wander around. We went to the next hangar and checked out the B-29 Superfortress, the bomber that dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not these actual planes, but the same model.

Outside, they have acres and acres of decommissioned military aircraft. It was actually pretty incredible. Even The Wife loved it. Not so much Mom.

I guess all of us in San Francisco have the same internal debate every year when the Blue Angels appear during Fleet Week and fly over SF, terrifying our pets and simultaneously annoying and impressing us. On the one hand, yes, it's an obscene display of militarism and our horrifying involvement in misguided foreign wars. On the other hand, it's pretty FUCKING AMAZING. As the son of a military pilot, who grew up loving aviation, and then grew into a single-payer-healthcare-wanting, bring-on-the-new-New-Deal bleeding heart liberal, I'm used to seeing it and LOVING it and feeling like "Ugh, this is wrong." It's possible to have both ideas in one's mind simultaneously.

Hard to argue with the World War II planes, right? I mean, we can't argue that stopping Hitler was a good thing, right? Plus, the F-4 Corsair is maybe my favorite plane ever. I love its clean lines. Fuck, I sound like I'm reviewing it for Dwell magazine or something.

Anyway, pretty cool. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Deadpool UPDATE!

Looks like Gaddafi's dead! Wanna see a gross picture? Guess I got my Halloween costume!

Anyway, seems like a good time to update the Deadpool. Cast your thoughts back to January 7, 2011, when I first posted this year's Deadpool. Let's see how our contestants are doing.

TK had Zsa Zsa Gabor, Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Bennett, Willie Mays, and Jerry Stiller. I haven't checked on Zsa Zsa lately. Still alive? I think she's still alive. So all I got is Liz. I feel bad for picking Willie Mays, but this is strictly business, nothing personal, Say Hey. 21 points.

(To recap, to determine your points, subtract the person's age at death from 100. That way, you get fewer points for picking the Extremely Old/Close to Death. If you pick over 100, you lose points. That's on you. Blame the playa, not the game.)

The Wife had Roger Ebert, Hal Holbrook, Queen Elizabeth, Tara Reid, and Liza Minelli. I just checked and Hal's still alive, so no luck here. 86 years old and still doing the Mark Twain schtick! We should all be so lucky! 0 points.

The guest anonymously known as Sigmund had Michael Douglas, Dick Clark, Betty White, Margaret Thatcher, and Tracy Morgan. Unless you can die of getting laid too much, Michael Douglas is gonna be fine! HAR HAR HAR. 0 points.

The Sister had Lindsay Lohan, John Cougar Mellencamp, and Fidel Castro. She tried to sneak in later and add Aretha Franklin. I DON'T THINK SO BITCH. Anyway, lotta good it did her. She's still got an outside shot with Castro, I guess. 0 points.

Stoney selected Bret Michaels, Natalie Portman, Jimmy Carter, and David Crosby. I kind of like each one of these picks for different reasons, but I hate to inform Stoney that it's not 1736 and so the chances of Natalie dying in childbirth were slim. 0 points.

Finally, we have Natasha. Fucking Natasha picked: Hugh Hefner, Gaddafi, Kim Jong-Il, Amy Winehouse, and Dick Cheney. Winehouse, obviously, was a points bonanza, and Gaddafi wasn't exactly ancient either. Natasha is fucking walking away with this. DON'T LET NATASHA GET CLOSE TO YOU, FOR THE STENCH OF DEATH IS HEAVY ON THIS ONE. Also, WATCH THE FUCK OUT, KIM JONG-IL. I mean, if you're even still alive. 104 points!!!!!!

So, in other words, even if Zsa Zsa, Tony Bennett, Willie Mays, and Jerry Stiller all get ahold of some bad mussels at a charity auction in Lake Havasu, I STILL CAN'T FUCKING WIN. I need to remember to pick some young people next year.


Watch your back, pretty boy.