Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Bachelorette: What Happens in Vegas is Boring

I gotta say, 2 episodes in, I'm not so crazy about this season and hate Ashley's stupid face and the Mask Guy and everybody but now I'm committed so I will let the hate fuel my work this season and feed on it like a lion on a wildebeest or whatever.

OK we start out with a broclave where Chris Harrison explains how group dates work to a clearly befuddled crowd of idiots and losers. Now we're off to Vegas to get some commercial tie-ins done. Ashley and William in one jet, and a bunch of bros following behind in a Baby Mama Jet. There are some interviews and Mask Guy who is still wearing a mask says "I've taken the stealth approach, and I feel like a lotta guys are riding around in cabs." Because, what, cabs are loud and garish? You can't sneak around in a cab? Mask Guy is Functionally Retarded? All 3?

Standard Vegas Establishing Shots follow. Then we have some kind of Bizarro Fake Wedding setup with William and Chipmunk ring shopping and cake tasting and then actually starting a ceremony at the Bellagio Wedding Chapel and, sadly, they don't go through with it although Chipmunk says it's the "best first date I've ever been on!" which is the same exact thing she said to Brad on their first date last season and I get the feeling if I took her for Slurpees at a 7-11 in Coalinga and then we took a Greyhound to Fresno that would also be the "best first date she's ever been on!"

They have dinner in the middle of the fucking fountain pool thing at the Bellagio. Time for some Deep Talk about William's Dead Alcoholic Dad and YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO BELIEVE THIS Chipmunk has an Alcoholic Dad too but I can't tell if he's dead. Hmmmm, never would have guessed. Anyway, if you two end up together, DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN because it's pretty much a lock they'll be big boozers. Then the fountains go off and whatever.

Next we have a group date where the douchecabal visits the decidedly lower-rent Monte Carlo where they will have some kind of dance competition with something called JabbaWockeeZ, who are apparently some kind of dance group. They are divided into 2 groups and have to pick names and whatever, I kind of zoned out at this point. OBSERVATION: A lot of guys in "dance crews" are Asian, am I right? There's some kind of performance and some guys and something else happens.

Oh, then there's some post-show hangouts and West, who almost definitely did not kill his wife, tells his Dead Wife Story. "You don't know when the people you love will be taken away," he says. OR DO YOU? DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN. Bentley likes Chipmunk's body and wants to do maybe something dirty. He says "She has a great body, amazing butt, rocking legs," and then he says, WE THINK, "and having her tickle my" and then they bleeped it out and he might have said "intellect" but also maybe not. He's a creep! That's why she loves him and begs him to stay on the show. Because chicks really do like assholes. It's true.

Back at the Douche Ranch, Ames is mad about Mask Guy and also Mask Guy is very contemplative and stares at the pool and wonders why the fuck he decided to look like an idiot on network television.

Now Chipmunk and "Mickey" are at Mandalay Bay and she thinks he looks "A MAY ZING" because he put a fucking blazer on over a t-shirt. Imagine if he put on a tux! She'd pass out from excitement. Mickey has a Dead Mom and the stench of death hangs heavy over our contestants. Now Chipmunk may be dying too, as she reports that she has "atunophon," which is a horrible, crippling malady OH WAIT she had a "ton of fun." Never mind. Then they have a private concert by Colbie Caillat and Mickey looks REAL EXCITED which makes me wonder a little about Mickey.

Let's move along. We're all back in LA now and getting ready for the Rose Ceremony and finally Ash has a sitdown with Mask Guy who, in short order, reveals that he had a brain hemorrhage, is 35, and has been divorced. Jesus, you should drop this human wreckage like a sack of dirt.

[At this point in my notes, I wrote down that The Wife said to me "I thought we covered this. Do not draw on the dog." SORRY.]

Instead, Mask Guy gets to stay! Who left? Hairdresser, Eyebrows, and the Guy Who Called His Mom. Who calls his Mom again and it is SO FUCKING CREEPY but at least he's not on this trainwreck anymore. Dating your Mom is better than being on the Bachelorette. There I said it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

And then it just wasn't fun any more.

Baseball is an escape. You buy your ticket or turn on the TV and suddenly your biggest problem isn’t that asshole of a boss or how you’re going to make a credit card payment this month or whether that guy you met is ever going to call. Your biggest problem now is how to get a guy on third home with two outs in a tie game and a .228 hitter at the plate who looks like he wants to swing at anything thrown in his general direction. It’s still stressful, but it’s a different kind of stress. It’s Giants Stress. If you’ve been a fan of this team for any amount of time, you know what I mean.

That’s why last night was so jarring. What happened instantly yanked us out of Giants Stress and into real stress, the second Buster Posey was clawing at the dirt and screaming and clearly badly hurt. Just like that, we were all back in reality, and it felt just awful.

(Contra Costa Times photo)

How we got here was a perfect little microcosm of Giants baseball, and more specifically, Rule Number One of Giants Baseball: It Is Never Easy. In the top of the 9th, the Marlins scored three times to open a 6-2 lead. It looked like it was over, but amazingly enough, in the bottom of the 9th, the Giants scored two to close it to 6-4, and then Aubrey Huff, who had been 0-4 and looked genuinely lost at the plate, singled to score two more. We went to extra innings tied at 6.

Fast forward to the 12th. Still tied. The Marlins’ Scott Cousins on 3rd when Emilio Bonifacio pops up and Cousins comes screaming towards home. Posey blocks the plate, tries to corral Schierholtz’s throw, when Cousins plows into him at full speed, Posey’s leg trapped underneath him.

It was immediately obvious that something was very, very wrong. Posey was slamming his hands against the ground and writhing in pain. Giants staff crowded around him.

I couldn’t look at the replays. I heard The Wife gasp behind me. “Yeah,” she said, “it looks bad.”

And in that second, I lost all interest in this game of baseball. I’m not sure if I have the same reaction if it’s a different player, but Posey seems like such a kid – I mean, he’s 24, but looks about 16 – that I think we feel sort of protective about him. Like he’s our kid brother and we need to look out for him. I went to bed feeling sick.

We forget that baseball can be a dangerous game and, by all accounts, it was a clean play at the plate. There isn’t a lot of information right now about how bad the injury is but I think it’s bad. I’m sure I’ll be able to escape again at a baseball game, but right now, it just feels bad.

THIS JUST IN: The rumor is broken leg and torn ligaments. Poor kid.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Bacherlorette: Don't Be That Guy. Or any of these guys, for that matter.

What if the Apocalypse really did happen and we just didn’t realize it at the time? How could we tell? One way, perhaps, is that we’re watching an Overly Excitable Dentist with the attention span of a fox sparrow look for true love on network TV. That’s right, friends, our new Bachelorette is Ashley Chipmunk.

Following the usual montage of her Failure Parade last season (not that it worked out any better for Brad, who, we can only pray, will NOT be back for a third go), we see Ashley in her current milieu of Philadelphia, doing interpretative dance in an empty theater and, God help us, dental surgery on some unsuspecting guy who can only afford to get dental work done at the dental school and I hope no one drops a pen while she’s in his mouth or he’s going to have a hole where a tooth used to be. Dissolve to LA where Ash runs around in a series of midriff-baring tops and uses the word “journey” for the first time.

Chris Harrison shows up and it’s time to get a preview of some of our potential mates in their native environments. Here we have “Ames,” who grew up in NYC and works in finance and “went to Yale, which is in Connecticut,” thanks for that detail Ames, and then got 2 Masters degrees and went to Harvard just for fun and then cured cancer and flew to the Sun in a spaceship he built in the garage but despite all this can’t seem to locate a suit that fits him. Ben F. is a winemaker from Sonoma (and San Diego, suspiciously) who has carefully tousled hair and knows what he wants in life: “a brunette.” AIM HIGH BEN F. “Bentley” lives in Salt Lake City and has a daughter named “Cozy,” not kidding, which seems like a cruel thing to do to a child, even if it’s Mormon. “West” has a Dead Wife and we are treated to the EXTREMELY GRAPHIC story of how he found her facedown in the bathtub! JESUS CHRIST THIS IS THE BACHELORETTE NOT CSI, spare me the seizure stories.

Back to our Chris Harrison sitdown w/ Ash. She has learned a lot from past mistakes and is concerned that some guys might not be here for the right reasons. RING THE “HERE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS” BELL. What’s this? She’s been pre-warned about Bentley? He’s on the show to promote his job? I hope his job isn’t naming people’s children or he’s a terrible failure. We will keep our eye on Bentley.

OK, let’s meet the douchebags. We gotta get 25 guys out of a limo and into the mansion and this is going to be painful. Tim, the “liquor distributor,” looks at her like he’s looking at a stripper and can’t think of anything to say. Stephen is a hairstylist from LA and through some herculean effort on my part I’m not making a gay joke here and he comments on her hair, natch, and goes inside. Anthony the New Jersey butcher is playing to type with his open collar and gold chain and Joey-from-Friends affect and we can smell the Paco Rabanne from here. And then there’s Jeff, who’s wearing a mask because he’s obviously on a Megan’s Law database somewhere. Then there are 15 other variations on the Date Rapist/Crispy Hair type. Whatevs

Now we have the traditional Cocktail Party, wherein 25 jackoffs try and get some Face Time with the Chipmunk to plead their case. Each one is more boring than the last until we get to one guy whose name escapes me but uses his time to CALL HIS MOM and put her on speaker and then Mom promptly tells them to use protection and this whole little psychodrama is so disturbing I don’t really want to think about it. Oh, I also liked Jon, who wants a “teammate in life” LOL what is this a motivational seminar? OH THE ROMANCE NEVER STOPS WITH JON.

Cut to Tim the Liquor Distributor. He has distributed all the available liquor into his gullet apparently because broseph is FUCKING HAMMERED. He tries to pick a fight with Mask Guy who begs off because “I’m a mature adult” and there you have it, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Mature Adult in this picture is the one wearing a Mardi Gras mask he got at Party City. Later we see Tim passed out by the pool, snoring into his mic and Tim is sent on his way and just a thought Tim, maybe working with liquor or any other alcoholic beverage is not the Best Choice for you. I do see a crossover potential with “Intervention,” though! BYE TIM.

Here’s an out of context sentence that Chipmunk said that I’m just going to park here and leave: “I always say that the man I’m gonna marry is gonna call me Cupcake.”

OK, who gets to stay? Mask Guy, incredibly. I mean, really. Ames gets a rose BECAUSE HE EARNED IT. And the hairdresser! Good. Evil Bentley gets the last rose and makes Cozy proud. This is gonna be fun. Oh, God help me, did I just say that?




Monday, May 23, 2011

Please hold on. To my heart.

If you live in SF or NYC or some other city where a lot of people use Mass Transit, there are a certain number of sayings said in a certain way that are perpetually drilled into your brain from hearing them so many times.

The BART "The Doors. Are Closing. Please stand clear of the doors." voice is super-businesslike. Maybe even a little chilly? But somehow, paradoxically, also kind of warm.

BART: (It starts around :51):

Played in the movie by: Meryl Streep.

SF Muni has gone with a crazy male-female couple. She's all "Please hold on" and then he's all "Please exit through the rear doors." I like to imagine them in a zany romcom and she's pissed because he's stepping on her lines.


Played in the movie by: Kate Hudson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

But these Bay Areans have got nothing on the New York MTA. If you've ever ridden a subway in New York City, you know the "Stand clear of the closing doors please" guy.


That cadence! That rising and falling pitch! That slightly unhinged, happy-but-maybe-I'm-crazy-not-happy tone. It's got it all.

Played in the movie by: Lithgow, who else?

One frequently overlooked (and tragically so, I might add) voice is the SFO Airport Train Lady. She is cool and exotic, and doesn't just want you to hold on. She also wants you to set your luggage cart brakes to on.


She may work the SFO Airport, but her soul will always be in Paris. Bon soir, mon amour!

Played in the movie by: Audrey Tatou.

[UNRELATED PROGRAMMING NOTE: Yes, I know "The Bachelorette" returns tonight and against my better judgment, I will be recapping again this season. See you tomorrow for that.]

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Get up close and personal with some Germans

This morning I espied this thing on the way to work:

What the? The only Rotel I know is a brand of delicious diced tomatoes with green chiles, and since no one appeared to be handing out queso dip and chips, I had to investigate further.

Guess what? Rotel Tours is actually a bus/hotel thing that people (and by "people," I mean "Germans," apparently) tour around in during the day and sleep in at night. The Rotel website is in German, so unless you know what "eingesetzten Fahrzeugen gleich" means, it won't be much help, but here's a descrip from something called "Gizmag":
The Rotel rolls a coach and hotel into one unit (or for larger groups, a bus and tag-along sleeping quarters). By day passengers sit in the front of the coach and take in all the sights, and by night they adjourn to the rear of the vehicle to enjoy their semi-private sleeping quarters.

You lost me at "semi-private sleeping quarters," but I'm not German, so I don't know about these things. Here's a pic, from Rotel's website:

Look at the happy Germans! They undt der scheeing Nordamerika in der klassiche style. Wait, what is that peeking out from under the covers on the left there? Never mind, I don't want to know. God only knows what Germans do in semi-private sleeping quarters.

You know what? I was thinking, in all fairness, it actually sounds kinda fun, tooling around in the sleeper bus, seeing the country, making new friends and whatnot. Then I came to this part:
Though the lack of showers and bathing facilities may test you if you were expecting five-star luxury, the Rotel does include an extensive drop-down "camp kitchen" and a single toilet. The coaches also stop whenever possible at campgrounds with bathing facilities to ensure the passengers don't become too funky.

You know when passengers become "too funky"? After the first fucking foray outside the goddam bus. You're all good for the first hour of your 6-week trip, and after that, you better become quickly used to German B.O. Pass.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fuck you, SF Taxicabs

Even as I write this, dozens of taxis are circling San Francisco City Hall, honking their horns in support of a fare increase and generally annoying the fuck out of everyone within earshot, including - nay, especially - me.

Which would all be fine and good if you COULD HAIL A FUCKING CAB SOMETIME IN THE CITY.

This is the most cabs I've ever seen in one place, and that includes the intersection of Montgomery and California at noon on a weekday or 11th and Folsom on a Saturday night at 10, places where you should be at risk of getting HIT BY A FUCKING CAB THERE ARE SO MANY OF THEM.

What do they want? The highest fares in the country, that's all.

Is it just me, or do cab drivers bitch more than anyone else? What the city desperately needs is MORE FUCKING CABS, but every time someone suggests that, the cab drivers freak out about more competition. And at the same time, they'll turn down fares if the hapless citizen wants to go too far away from downtown, like say past 25th Avenue.

Kudos to Supervisor Scott Weiner, who called bullshit on the higher fare idea, and said:

"Anyone who has tried to flag a taxi during rush hour or phoned for a cab on a Friday or Saturday night knows that the city is underserved by its current taxi fleet," Wiener says. "But instead of trying to put more taxis on the street, the MTA is proposing to charge people more for the same inadequate service. This is not the right direction for our transportation system."
Look, I know this isn't, and never will be, New York City. I know that it's tough to make a living as a cabbie. But as someone who takes cabs pretty frequently, and who walks a lot on weekends because there are NO FUCKING CABS ANYWHERE pretty frequently, I have fucking HAD IT with this bullshit. Cabs are already too fucking expensive here.

I think BurritoJustice has the right idea:

Fair is fair, y'all.

Meanwhile, if you need a cab in the next hour or so, I suggest hitting up City Hall. For ONCE, it's easy to find a cab in this goddam city.


I am notified by helpful reader Laura that cabbies ARE NOT ALLOWED to turn you down if you say you're going to Judah and 48th or whatever. She even sent me this info:

Under the Transportation Code Section 1108(e)(1), taxi drivers shall not refuse, direct or permit the refusal of prospective passengers in any place within the City for transportation to any other place in the City, or to or from the San Francisco International Airport, or to the Oakland International Airport, or paratransit passengers within the Paratransit Program service area, at rates authorized by law, if the prospective passengers present themselves for transportation in a clean, coherent, safe and orderly manner and for a lawful purpose and the Driver has sufficient time before the end of his or her shift.

If you should witness this happening again, please write down the cab number, name of the cab company, date and time of the incident and report it to our 311 center. The report will then be forwarded to our office for review. 311 is available 24/7 at 415-701-2311. Or you can dial 311 directly on your cell phone if you have a 415 area code.

SFMTA | Division of Taxis & Accessible Services

Oh, wait, I see the catch: you have to be "clean" and "coherent." Me and my readers can sometimes manage one of those, but almost never both. Carry on.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Special 40goingon28 Food Edition.

I'm not a food blogger because I don't like quinoa and don't take cell-phone pics of my dinner, but I am a blogger who likes food and so sometimes I write about food and restaurants and shit.

You guys all know how important brunch is to me, so when I find a new Brunch Situation it feels pretty important. On Saturday The Wife and I went to Farmerbrown for brunch. Been there for dinner before and liked it but LOVED THE BRUNCH.

First off, we had a rez for 12:30 but there were a couple of assholes who linger over their waters for about an hour after they pay the check who were totally hogging our table but the host guy was totally apologetic and then gave us free mimosas when it got to be 12:45 because he could see that I was a little tightly wound and might have FREAKED OUT or something if it went much farther. So that was pretty nice.

For some reason, I love a good breakfast buffet (shout out to the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, still the best breakfast buffet I've ever had, WTF did you guys do to make that so fucking good?) and they have a sweet buffet at Farmerbrown for $16.50 apiece.

(I should also say that I was enjoying my second mimosa but The Wife ordered some kind of julep and then wouldn't drink it because it has bourbon in it and she didn't know that juleps are a bourbon-based drink and so I chivalrously traded my mimosa to her and took her julep and it was OK but I would have rather had the mimosa. Give her a break, she's not from this country.)

So in addition to the usual scrambled eggs and bacon, this buffet also had GRITS (pretty good, not the best I've ever had), pancakes, biscuits and gravy. and fucking FRIED CHICKEN which was really, really good. I totally went in saying "I'm sure I won't eat any more than I usually do" and that was a lie. I had 2 full plates. That shit was awesome. Highly recommended. They also have bottomless mimosas but I think they're like $14 and you'd need to be there a while to get your money's worth with that.

I also like the art:
Definitely going back. And see, I got this whole thing without using the words "gritty" or "colorful" because it's in the TL (corner of Turk & Mason). I also liked the hip hop the DJ was spinning. GO THERE AND HAVE BRUNCH.

Oh, other food thing. Last night I made roasted chicken and brussels sprouts. You want some good brussels sprouts? Quarter about a pound of sprouts. Saute about 4 chopped up slices of bacon until crispy, add the sprouts, salt & pepper, then add about 1/4 cup of water and cover and simmer for like 5 minutes, then uncover and keep simmering until the water's gone, like 5-10 more minutes.

Roasting a chicken's no big secret. Just melt butter and olive oil and pour it over that thing and stick a lemon half up in there and put the whole mess in at 425 for about an hour-fifteen. Then watch this:

This has been the Food Edition of 40goingon28.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Four things

I have a lot of thoughts and feelings today.

First, I love this story:

Teen Discovers Promising Cystic Fibrosis Treatment

A 16-year-old from the Toronto area used a supercomputer system to find a new drug combination that shows potential in treating the genetic disorder cystic fibrosis, and won top honors for his work.

Marshall Zhang, an 11th-grade student at Richmond Hill's Bayview Secondary School, received first place Tuesday (May 10) in the 2011 Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge, a contest in which students conduct their own research projects with the help of mentors.

Impressive, no? But the best part of the story is at the end:

Now Zhang and a trio of Montreal students who took second place for their technique for making sorbet without gelatin move on to compete against U.S. and Australian teams at the International BioGENEius Challenge in Washington, D.C., June 27.

Second, have you ever wanted to see the inside of the Old Mint? Here's your chance! This weekend there's some kind of art show thing at the Old Mint and you can totally get in there and wander around and do whatever it is you do. Our pals over at Dusty Modern will even get you in for free if you're too cheap to pay the $5 admission. SUPER COOL!!!!!!

Third, there is no fucking way you will believe this, but Debra Saunders said some more stupid shit! SHOCKING, I KNOW. In her latest inanity, "Was Sarah Palin done in by Trig "birther" story?", Debra postulates that it was the (admittedly insane) rumors that Palin pretended to give birth to Trig to cover up her daughter's teen pregnancy that tanked Palin's credibility with the American people.

Oh, yeah, Debra, that is definitely what did it. It couldn't have been the epically disastrous interviews she did with Katie Couric or her repeatedly blaring absurdities on those rare occasions when she was able to form an English sentence or her sneering approach to, well, everything, or maybe quitting her job as the Governor of Alaska for no coherent reason at all, could it? Couldn't have been any of those things. No, it was probably a rumor about her kid's birth that maybe - maybe - 10 percent of the American public has even HEARD. God, the stupid never stops with Debra Saunders.

[Oh, and one more thing - even if, in some alternate universe that Debra Saunders calls home, the Trig thing really did bring down Sarah Palin, she fucking deserved it. Lest we forget, Palin supported Trump's ridiculous Obama birth certificate nonsense. As ye sow, etc.]

Fourth, I can't remember the fourth thing.

Have a good weekend, errbody!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Conversation with The Wife about how much football coaches make

The Wife: "So how much would a high school football coach make?"

Me: "Like the coach in Friday Night Lights? Like in a small town, working at a kinda poor school? Like 35, 40 K maybe."

"What about college?"

"Depends on the college."

"Well, like Florida."

"Florida? I don't know, maybe $3 million."[*]

(Incredulous) "THREE MILLION DOLLARS? To be a football coach?"

"Yeah, but it's one of the biggest football schools in the country. At most colleges, it would probably be more like several hundred thousand."

(Musing) "I should get into that. I'm just gonna need to learn what a down is."

[*] As it happens, I was pretty close; Will Muschamp, the new Florida coach, will average about $2.7 million a year. The last coach, Urban Meyer, made about $4 mil a year.

If nothing else, this exchange should prove that you don't need to know much about football to be a huge fan - and I mean HUGE fan - of "Friday Night Lights." Due to a scheduling quirk, you can now buy the whole final season on DVD as it's airing on NBC. She loves peeling off 2 or 3 episodes in a row, unshackled from network control. No ads is nice too.

The Agony of the Stolen Car: Chapter 2.

Wanna hear another long boring story about my stolen car? WELL YOU'RE IN LUCK THEN PULL UP A CHAIR.

They found it on Saturday at Laidley and Fairmount in what I guess is maybe Glen Park.

Looks pretty nice, huh? So they call me at like 8:00 p.m. Saturday and tell me it's at Auto Return and I can get it the next day.

(For those of you outside San Francisco, Auto Return is where your car goes if you get towed. People burning in the Lake of Fire in Hell being stabbed by demons with Razor Blade Pitchforks dipped in gasoline say "Man, this sucks, but at least I'm not at Auto Return.")

ANYWAY, on Sunday I entered a Kafkaesque Hell Tunnel trying to get the thing back. First stop is the main police station at 850 Bryant at 9:30 a.m. Sunday to get a "vehicle release." I ask the cop there if I can get a break on the tow fees because my car was stolen. He says "That's totally up to Auto Return. We have nothing to do with that."

Next stop: Auto Return. The total for the towing and one day storage is $481.75. Guess what? I CAN'T HAVE MY CAR. It's in another lot at Pier 70 that's not open on Sundays! FOOLED YOU TK!!!! SIKE!!!! I ask the Auto Return lady if I can get a break on the fees because my car was stolen. She says - and I'm not making this up - "That's not up to us. That's up to the police."

This guy waiting for his car goes "Hey dude. Hey dude. Check this out." He points to a sign on the wall that explains YES AS A MATTER OF FACT THE POLICE WILL REFUND HALF THE TOW FEE IF YOUR CAR WAS STOLEN. You just have to go back to 850 Bryant, M-F, and ask. Thanks, Guy Waiting at Auto Return! You were the most helpful person of the day. I hope you get your car back. Also, sweet Ed Hardy jeans.

I guess I should let the cops know about their Secret Stolen Car Tow Fee Refund Program! Imagine their surprise!

OK, now we're up to this morning. The Wife and I go out to Pier 70 to get my car.

Except no one's driving this car. It's a FUCKING WRECK.

Two wheels are gone. TWO WHEELS ARE GONE. It's on the little temporary wheels that look like they came off someone's Radio Flyer wagon. Ignition is punched and so I can't start it. Driver's side door lock punched. Stereo and speakers gone. Maybe some other interior damage, I don't know.

No fast food wrappers, though, so GUESS I DODGED THAT BULLET!


Friday, May 6, 2011

Help me find my stolen car

My car got stolen last night.

I want to think it's God punishing me for getting a parking space DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE, but probably not, right? Gotta hand it to the SFPD: they were here at my office to take a report less than 30 minutes after I called. TRY THAT SHIT IN OAKLAND AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS. So, good for you, SFPD!

Officer #1: "Did your car have tinted windows? Decals? Anything distinctive?"
Me: "Well, it was lifted and on 24s." Not really. I didn't really say that, because it would be a lie. I also neglected to say that you would know it was mine if you found Elliott Smith and Weakerthans CDs in the console.

ANYWAY, I need your help finding my car. Below I've assembled some artist's representations of places you might find it to help you look.

It might have gone up to Tahoe for the weekend. I think it likes skiing and I never go and that upsets it.

Or it could be at trendy new Mission eatery Locanda, enjoying a "Jewish Style Artichoke," whatever that means.

Maybe taking in a Giants game tonight. Check the upper deck - I don't think it has a lot of cash for better seats.

I heard that it might have participated in last night's San Francisco mayoral debate. Did you hear a Jeep Cherokee mention anything about "building communities" or "reinventing how city hall works"? That was probably it.

Keep an eye out for it at Debaser tomorrow night. It loves shoegaze.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Sort-of New Bar Night edition

Ladies and gentlemen, on the off-chance you haven't seen him, let me introduce you to Celebration Guy, who will now be my go-to guy whenever anything really great happens:

Like I mentioned, I feel somewhat conflicted about celebrating someone's death, so let's forget that's what's going on here for a second and instead focus on the batshit insane, crazy Yosemite Sam-level nuttery on display. How can you not love a guy riding an ATV with an American flag, whooping and firing a pistol into the air? GENIUS. I love you, Celebration Guy.

Hey, I know I haven't had an official New Bar Night in a while, but I have been to a couple of new places that I should catch you up on.

(This actually leads to kind of an existential question - what differentiates "going to a bar I've never been to before" from "New Bar Night"? I think it's a question of intent and quality. I'm already bored by this parenthetical, though, so email me if you want more detail on this.)

(Can you imagine if I did PRIVATE BLOG POSTS for people? Like you could write me and tell me what you wanted to hear about and I'd send you back a blog post about it? I would have to charge for that. If you want a Private Blog Post, email me and we'll work something out. I'm totally kidding. I don't want to do this.)

So I met The Wife at Buck Tavern for happy hour and to watch the end of the Giants game last Friday. A little backstory, if you're not familiar: BT used to be Just Another Bar (apparently - I'd never been there) and the it was bought by former SF Supervisor/Professional Annoyer Chris Daly to, I guess, give him something to do now that he's not pissing people off in SF politics any more. Sure enough, there he was, behind the bar.

Two things about Chris Daly: (1) he is a perfectly friendly, if somewhat slow, bartender, and (2) he is VERY LOUD. This is probably not a surprise. He was conducting various conversations with people around the bar by YELLING AT THEM. This is somewhat disconcerting if you're me and you dislike yelling because it reminds you of your broken childhood home.

Also, and this is also probably not a surprise, the conversations largely concerned San Francisco politics, which makes sense, I guess, but is also so amusing and predictable it's like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World except it's the Pirates of District Six ride and it's really, really boring and instead of ARRRR MATEY it's all WHO'S RUNNING DAVID CHIU'S CAMPAIGN like I give a shit.

He clearly loves it. More power to the guy! I don't begrudge him his thing at all. It's just not for me.

Where else did I go? Oh yeah, the EXACT POLAR OPPOSITE of Buck Tavern, 620 Jones, an elaborate nightclubby kind of place. I usually avoid this kind of scene like it's a leper colony full of fundamentalists, but we have a friend who works there and we went there for happy hour and it was just fine. They have a HUGE fucking porch too that I'm sure is great when it's warm out, like today. But you can close your eyes and just hear the thumpa thumpa music and picture the Affliction and Drakkar Noir around you. Shudder.

(I don't know, maybe it's not that bad. I probably will never find out, though.)

(Definitely check it out for HH, though. And the food looked good. That patio!)

P.S. If you have suggestions for places I should go on New Bar Nights in the future, please leave them in the comments or email them to me or just visualize them REALLY HARD and maybe I'll pick up your vibe with my chakras or something.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Important tipping-related issue to give you a break from constant updates on the Big Thing

[Let me preface this by saying that I don't really have a lot to say about the Big Thing that would be anything you haven't already heard, i.e., the world is better off without that guy but I still found the frat-boy celebration outside the White House a bit unseemly.]

Instead, let's talk about tipping, since I haven't brought this up since December 2, 2008. This story now has me kind of confused:

If you're ordering in tonight and you live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, watch out: Some vigilante bicycle delivery guy has set up a blog posting the names and addresses of people who give him crappy tips.

The Tumblr "≤15%: a bunch of shitty tips" is dedicated to outing bad tippers. One entry:

No tip [redacted address] last night, in middle of third monsoon of evening. elevator opens, i drip on floor, he laughs at me. i say 20 dollars, he says here's 20 dollars. [full name redacted]

This seems to be the art project of some dude named Larry Fox. Fox, a "20 year old designer and developer" told Gothamist that "I just got tired of all these big companies, these TV shows and movie sets giving us two or three dollar tips on a $90 order. The excuse is that 'we can't tip because that's what corporate says' is wrong. I find it disrespectful. And I wanted to make people aware of that." Sure, one entry is about Fox getting stiffed by the wardrobe department of the Good Wife, but a lot of these just seem to be like individual cheapskates.

Wait a minute. You're supposed to tip delivery people 15% or above? Fuck, have I been shorting delivery people for years now? I'm a solid 20-percenter in restaurants, but I've always operated under the assumption that you tip delivery people around 10% or so. Is that wrong? Delivery people are supposed to get 15% or more? And isn't it a lot less work to deliver something than to wait on a table for an hour?

Also, I really need an answer to this: How much do you tip when you pick up at the restaurant? I do this a fair amount and I'm always unsure. I usually end up tipping about 10% when I pick up. Sound good?

[OK, you can go back to reading about OBL now.]