Friday, July 29, 2011

Please meet these former Miss California contestants

For complicated and boring reasons, I recently had the occasion to come across the Miss California website which features all of last year's contestants and all I have to say is wow. I think my favorite thing about it is that it appears that the contestants have made a concerted effort to look like the area they're representing. You know how like on Miss Universe they're always wearing their colorful native garb? Same thing.

They're also from very very specific geographic areas! Like, this is Charlotte Giustiniani, from "North Brentwood." Not Brentwood, mind you, but NORTH Brentwood:

WHOA, BRITTANY HIGH FROM LARCHMONT VILLAGE,I just got arrested for looking at your picture. Did someone offer you candy or something to come down to their basement for your photo shoot?

I gotta be careful because you know these chicks are all Googling themselves 24/7 and I don't want them to find my blog and then go "Oh, what a fucking asshole," even though I'm totally used to that.

Just a couple more, though, cause this is totally fun.

Erika Robertson is from "Honey Bee Haven," which sounds like a syndicated children's TV show. She's got a real Black Swan thing going on:

OK, now you guess one. Where's Holly Doll from, you think?

Got your guess? Ready? She's Miss East Sacramento! I know, right?

I got one more, and she's my fave. Please meet Jael Lloyd, Miss Glendale:

The headband! The peace sign tattoo! We will get high and listen to Ariel Pink on vinyl and drink homemade sangria and just have a blast. Miss Glendale doesn't care. She's down for anything.

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Crime Report

Whoa, there is a lot of weirdness in the past 24 to 36 hours. Let's start off with Alex Trebek:

Alex Trebek, host of the television game show "Jeopardy," was injured early Tuesday as he chased a burglar in his San Francisco hotel.

The longtime game show host appeared on crutches Wednesday to host the National Geographic World Championship at Google Inc.'s Mountain View headquarters.

"It happened at 2:30 a.m., chasing a burglar down the hallway of my San Francisco hotel, when my Achilles tendon ruptured and I then fell on carpet, bruising the other leg in process. Surgery on Friday," Trebek said, according to A spokeswoman at the Marriott Marquis confirmed the incident took place at that hotel.

San Francisco police officials confirmed a burglary at a San Francisco hotel early Tuesday, but would not identify Trebek, 71, as the victim. Lt. Troy Dangerfield said two people were asleep in a hotel room when "around 3 a.m., one of the victims awoke to notice someone in the room and then noticed the suspect leaving the hotel room."

Hmmmm. Does anything about this sound perhaps maybe somewhat suspicious to you? I mean, how does some rando chick get into a hotel room in the middle of the night? I dfon't know about you, but I always use every goddam locking mechanism they have on the doors, and there's always one that keeps the door from being opened from the outside, like a chain or that weird U-lock thing that flips over the knob thing fuck I don't know what it's called but you know what I'm talking about.

Now, I don't want to engage in rank speculation, but I just want to say that it's possible - possible - that Alex and his +1 met the suspect, "Lucinda Moyers," at the View Lounge and closed that place and then maybe suggested they blow a couple of rails back in Alex's room and everyone was having a good time when Alex went to the bathroom and the +1 was otherwise engaged and Lucinda thought she'd make a break for it and grabbed his wallet and took off and Alex came out and was all "WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT BITCH DOING" and took off down the hall and ruptured his Achilles. PROBABLY NOT, but I'm just saying it's possible.

I also love the pic that SFGate went with:

No flash photography! I'm doing key bumps over here! Aaaahhhhh! Bright light!

Let us now turn to the world of Aviation. Regular readers of this space are well-aware of my sometime troubles with Air Travel. I tried communicating with the airline, but by then the troubles have long passed and I'm not that mad anymore. Brothers "Jonathan and Luis Baez, both of Las Piedras, Puerto Rico," have a way of more directly and immediately communicating their dissatisfaction with their carrier: punch out the fucking pilot!!!!

A man punched an American Airlines pilot who kicked him off a flight from Miami, and he and his brother then attacked the pilot again before bystanders tackled the brothers in the terminal, officials said Thursday.

Jonathan and Luis Baez, both of Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, were arrested at Miami International Airport. They had been aboard American Airlines Flight 1755 bound for San Francisco on Wednesday night, according to an arrest affidavit.

While the plane taxied away from the gate, a flight attendant noticed 27-year-old Jonathan Baez was sleeping and had not buckled his seat belt, police said. She tried to wake him, but she told police that Baez was unresponsive and appeared to be intoxicated or on drugs.

The pilot turned the plane around and returned to gate D51.

Luis Baez, 29, decided to join his brother as he was being escorted off the plane. As the brothers walked toward the aircraft's exit door, they became belligerent, and Luis Baez told the pilot, "When you fly to San Juan I will have you killed," according to the arrest report.

The brothers walked off the plane, but then Jonathan Baez returned and punched the pilot in the face and hit the flight attendant in the shoulder when she tried to intervene, police said.

Both brothers attacked the pilot again in the jet bridge and chased him in the terminal, according to the arrest report.

Other flight crew members and passengers held down the brothers until police arrived.

The only appropriate sentence in a case like this: middle seats between two fat guys with colds for life.

Finally, let us turn to a crime that is shocking in the extreme because it occurred at a place where so many of us feel safe: the Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma. Some Guy from Tiburon and his girlfriend were taking the tour and whatnot when they ran into some Stranger Danger:

Officers arrested a man who was taking a tour of a brewery in Petaluma Tuesday evening after he allegedly robbed another tour member at knifepoint, police said.

Ben Davis, 26, of Windsor allegedly befriended the victim, a 24-year-old Tiburon man, and his girlfriend while taking a tour of the Lagunitas Brewing Company brewery.

Police said Davis confronted the victim with a knife in a restroom during the tour and demanded his wallet.

Davis allegedly took the wallet, left the brewery and drove away. Officers responded to the brewery around 5:20 p.m. and learned that the victim's girlfriend had taken a picture of Davis before the alleged robbery.

Now, I'm no Criminal Mastermind or anything, but I feel like once my victim photographs me, I'm either (a) calling off the Planned Bathroom Knife Robbery, or (b) taking the fucking camera too.

Anyway, Ben Davis of Windsor, way to harsh Tiburon Man's mellow.

Be careful out there, folks.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Bachelorette: Fiji Is for Dumpers

Friends, we are finally reaching the end of our Journey and this is how the Crusaders probably felt, only if they were crusading for the Most Boring Stupid Pointless Thing in the World and not pieces of the True Cross or whatever. Anyway. Fiji. Ashley Chipmunk prattles on and on about how beautiful it is but it basically looks like a more rocky Hawaii to me. Lots of filler while Chippy recounts her romantic histories with the three losers we have left.

But wait! Some stranger's flip-flops and ugly fucking feet are trudging through the jungle to Shake Things Up! Apparently the producers have realized that this show is so boring it makes Masterpiece Theater look like Transformers 3 so they desperately try to inject some kind of interest or tension by bringing back that fucking loser Ryan who apparently has no bottom limit for debasement or humiliation and so he arrives and grovels and begs her to give him one more chance and you know what, producers? You fucking suck. You really do. This is the best you can do? Fuck.

OK, date thing with Ben F. He got a haircut and has now progressed up the ladder from Neanderthal to Cro-Magnon. They're heading out on a Drug Kingpin Yacht and Ben says he's "found himself on this journey" and finding yourself leads to both of them oiling each other up for what may be a bout of Greco-Cro-Magnon Wrestling but just ends up with snorkeling in about 18 inches of water while the music swells in the background and sadly no one drowns.

Outdoor dinner time. Ben opines that today was "hysterically perfect." I can't even begin to make sense of what that might mean. He's "on my way to the whole I love you thing." That's nice. I'm on my way to the Finishing This Whole Bottle of Wild Turkey Thing. Anyway blah blah blah they're off to the Fantasy Suite to get it on and it has its own private pool and whatnot and he carries her out of it like some Java Man Officer and a Gentleman and I guess they hit it.

Next up: Pumpkinhead Constantine. Helicopter ride, finally! Hilariously, the producers have them fly right over Ryan, who is standing on a reef and staring intently at the sea. God, I wish they have given them water balloons to drop on him. That's the only way this could get stupider. They land and do a little waterfall jumping and hidden pond swimming and then we get to Outdoor Dinner Time. Chipmunk wonders: How come you're not in love with me yet? Pumpkinhead says he's not gonna ask her to get married so might as well stop fucking around and he bolts. BOOM!!! She gets dumped again. This show should be called "The Bachelorette...GETS DUMPED" because that's all that happens. No, wait, that's a little clunky. How about The Dumperette? Bacheloserette? I'll work on it.

So the next day Chipmunk is going to take out her boiling rage by dropping by Ryan's room and re-dumping him. BOOM YOU ARE DUMPED MOTHERFUCKER HOW DOES THAT FEEL oh wait, he's crying! That's sad. He seems kinda stalky, like he might show up at her place in a few months with rope and duct tape in his Kidnapping Kit whoops I mean Truly In Love Kit. Anyway, lots of gazing at the ocean and this sad little diversion is over.

OK, time for JP date. Is there any question that this guy's not gonna win? Well, "win," I guess. If you could see me I'd be doing air quotes around "win." No, that's douchey, I wouldn't do that. Anyway, Chipmunk is wearing a tapestry from a stoner's dorm room that's she's cut into some kind of crop top. They seaplane out to some island where it's just them and a camera crew and boom mic guy and the guy with the light meter and then nothing happens. Let's cut to Outdoor Dinner in the Jungle. Chipmunk tells him about Constantine leaving and she's totally making it sound like she dumped him. He's into staying in the Fantasy Suite and she's clearly ready to bone down too. She changes into what I assume are some very sexual undergarments but she's wearing a shirt over the top of it so whatever.

Pre-Rose Ceremony Interview with Chris Harrison. She says this is going to be the "most important rose ceremony" but how the fuck is that? There are two guys and two roses. A fucking Roomba could successfully complete this Rose Ceremony. Oh, she thinks there'll be a lot of tension in seeing whether or not they Accept This Rose. Have you ever seen this fucking show before? Of course they accept the fucking rose. Jesus Christ.

Rose Ceremony. In a shocking twist, Ben F. spontaneously combusts and leaves a smoking pile of charred prominent browline and femur on the deck. Not really. Everyone accepts the rose. Let's move on.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Trip Report: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

I just got back from visiting my Dad in Tennessee for his birthday (Happy Birthday, Dad! Please stop working harder than me, you're making me look bad!) and I went to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum for the first time in my life and you know what? Old-time country music stars were gangsta as fuck.

Oh, before we get to that, here's the sign on the front door:

No, those aren't my sandals reflected in the front door. I don't wear fucking sandals. Those are my adidas Samoas, though. Anyway, NO WEAPONS. First museum I've ever been to where you had to be told not to bring weapons in. It sure as fuck doesn't say NO WEAPONS on the front door of the Louvre! TAKE THAT YOU PUSSY-ASS FRENCH MUSEUM!!!

Anyway, these country music guys used to booze harder and take more drugs and do more chicks than anyone else. They were basically the Motley Crue of their day.

Check out Gram Parsons' sweet Nudie suit with the marijuana leaf embroidery:

This next thing, though, blew my mind. Hank Williams shot some squirrels and then had them mounted by a taxidermist to look like they were playing in a little squirrel band and then displayed this gross little tableau in his house. My picture of it didn't turn out well, but I found this one online:

Welcome these fellas to your nightmares for the next few weeks. Anyway, Hank Williams took painkillers by the fistful and was a full-time drunk and still was one of the most most influential songwriters for both country and rock of all time.

And how about George Jones? Here, he tells it best:

Once, when I had been drunk for several days, Shirley decided she would make it physically impossible for me to buy liquor. I lived about eight miles from Beaumont and the nearest liquor store. She knew I wouldn't walk that far to get booze, so she hid the keys to every car we owned and left. But she forgot about the lawn mower. I can vaguely remember my anger at not being able to find keys to anything that moved and looking longingly out a window at a light that shone over our property. There, gleaming in the glow, was that ten-horsepower rotary engine under a seat. A key glistening in the ignition.

I imagine the top speed for that old mower was five miles per hour. It might have taken an hour and a half or more for me to get to the liquor store, but get there I did.
I fucking love George Jones. Here's some for you right now:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Bachelorette: Anybody got a Dad they can spare?

Like Ashley Chipmunk, I am also currently on a Hometown Date, except that mine consists of drinking on my Dad's back patio until 1 a.m. in 80-degree heat and hanging out with the extended family, while Ashley's consists of a painful road trip across America where she is confronted by Greek ladies asking how soon can she drop everything and move to Atlanta because they need a waitress stat.

Anyway, I knew I said I probably couldn't do the recap but last night all of us were burnt out on boozing and so we gathered around the family TV and watched Ashley make a series of semi-awkward to outright painful visits to these losers' families. Up first is Constantine, who I was really hoping lived in a tenement in Greek Town somewhere but who sadly hails from a McMansion in a featureless suburb of Atlanta. It seems that his family runs Giorgio's but that's cool because ethnic food is ethnic food, right? Pumpkinhead and Chipmunk visit the restaurant and pretend to make food and I don't think that kitchen crew is Greek unless Greece has relocated to Oaxaca. Then we get on to the Family Portion and Mom immediately puts the screws on Chipmunk to relocate and then Dad offers that she has a "gorgeous personality" which is Greek for "I'd hit it" and then clearly at the urging of the producers they have a My Big Fat Greek Reality Show moment and do that circular dance around the dining room and then Dad makes it rain and throws money in the air like he's some old Greek 50 Cent and the whole thing is just sort of sad.

Next we're going to visit the factory where Ames was assembled! Oh, I mean Chadd's Ford, Pennsylvania, which is so white it makes "Leave It to Beaver" look like "The Wire." Ames's "family" look like leftovers from an 80's movie about preppies and his sister has a sixhead just like him and tells Chipmunk how "romantic" he is and, what, did you two used to date? Where's Dad, anyway? Oh, we find out Dad died. Then Stepdad died. This is very sad but also I hope someone looked at Ames for the Dad Murders of Chadd's Ford. Ames needs to prove that he's not gay, so natch he takes Ashley to the "most beautiful garden I know," GREAT JOB AMES just like any old straight guy would say and they have a picnic and he tries to romance her by lowering his robot head onto her face for Lip Engagement Sequence Number 47B and I think it's safe to say that Ames will be parked back in the garage at the end of this episode.

OK, off to Sonoma to meet Early Man Ben F.'s family. They tromp off to his winery to have the now-oblig. picnic and Chipmunk wants to know if there's anything she should know. "Well, actually," Ben says, "my father was a silverback gorilla," oh, no, wait, his Dad is dead too. All these dead Dads are bumming me out. OK, let's meet the fam. Well, his sister sure is a handsome lady! She assures Chipmunk that Ben is in touch with his emotions. Good thing, because Mom isn't exactly a waterfall of feeling. Something else may have happened but I kinda zoned out a little at this point and I was also playing Words With Friends at the same time. It's a good thing that whoever named Words With Friends didn't name other games too or checkers would be called Moving Discs Across a Flat Surface. But I digress.

Last stop: Long Island, to meet JP's fam. They start out with a little roller skating to "I Can't Fight This Feeling," and I guess the rights to that song are so cheap now that even "The Bachelorette" can afford them and why are we even doing this? Let's meet this family. Oh, thank God, Mom has the Classic Long Island accent. Look, JP has a Live Dad! Now we're getting somewhere. He sure doesn't say much, but at least he's still up and mobile. Everyone talks darkly about JP's last relationship and how much it fucked him up and by the way they're talking it sounded like he needed electroshock to get over this bitch and what the hell did she do? Ohhhhh, maybe that's why Dad's so quiet! Anyway, we all chow down on some lasagna and Mom hauls out the Embarrassing Photo and that's about it.

Back in LA, Chipmunk sits down with Chris Harrison and God save our fucking souls, we are going to rehash the Bentley thing one more fucking time. They recap the dates a little and it's clear that Ames is already her Gay Best Friend and they're totally going to have slumber parties and watch Audrey Hepburn movies and talk about boys.

Time for the cuts Yes, no surprise. Ames is let go and he talks about how "poetic" the whole thing has been like he could get any gayer. So the final three is Pumpkinhead and Early Man and GI Joe. Good luck with that.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Speaking of the weather....

I'm off tomorrow on a semi-brief trip to that aforementioned furnace-like middle of the country area. Here's my near future:

Looks like it might rain. No, looks like it might APOCALYPTICALLY STORM WITH SLASHING RAIN AND ANGRY BOLTS OF PURE ELECTRICITY but I guess that's hard to fit in the little columns.

Here's how my little trip might affect you:

- No Bachelorette recap on Tuesday. Probably not until Thursday, actually. I don't know how I would explain to my Dad (1) why I'm watching the Bachelorette, and (2) taking notes while doing so.

- A SHARP INCREASE in travel-related posts on Twitter if even the SLIGHTEST THING goes wrong during travel tomorrow or Tuesday.

Anyway, have a good weekend and all. Don't do anything fun without me!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Does the weather suck? Yeah, but not as bad as I thought.

While the middle part of the country feels God's wrath for its many shortcomings by roasting in record heat, we sinners here in San Francisco are also being punished by the Almighty, in the form of just generally shitty weather. It's overcast and foggy and never gets much about 60 degrees.

I know the only thing more boring than blogging about the weather is blogging about blogging, but I'm starting to get the SAD real bad and so it got me to thinking - is this an extra-shitty July so far, or do we just forget every year about how shitty July in San Francisco is?

So I decided to do some Burrito Justice-style research and, you know, marshal some facts and shit and find out. I went to Weather Underground and looked at the high temps for July (and the last week of June, as long as I was there), and then wrote them all down on a clipboard while reading them off the screen out loud to myself. "72, 73, 68, 69," I'd say, and then write write write. It took about 15 minutes and looked like this:

Here's the short answer: Except for today, it's not appreciably worse than any other July in the last 10 years. Except for 2008. Let's look at the numbers.

So far, the average daily high temperature for July this year has been 70. That's pretty much exactly normal. Last year it was 72 through this date, and 71 in 2009, and 70 in 2006 and 2004. 2008 was a hot one - 74 average, but that's because it was really really nice from the 7th to the 11th, like high 70s and 80s.

There have been some bright spots this July. Remember when it was 80 on the 1st? That's the hottest July 1st in the last 10 years. Same with the 84 on the 3rd. Hell, it was 69 on the 10th, just like on the 10th of 2010 and 2003.

The only weird thing will be if it doesn't get above 59 today. If that's true, that will be the lowest high temperature for July in the last 10 years. That fucking sucks, I'll give you that. But overall, so far it's not a bizarrely off July.

I will tell you this, though: That last week of June we just had was the coldest last week of June in the last 10 years. Average high: 66. Last year was 70 and the year before that was 76. So maybe it's just the cumulative effect, starting in June.

(Does anyone remember June 2003? The last week's average high was 83! 3 days of 90s in a row! Jesus!)

So hang in there. It's just the usual shit.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Bachelorette: And then there were four. Losers.

There have been bad Bachelor/ette seasons and BAD seasons and REALLY BAD seasons but this is now officially the worst. We've seen some lame-ass dudes and chicks on this show, but this group of barely functioning jellyfish is so lifeless and inert they make a coma patient look like a spider monkey. Thankfully it will all be over soon and we can begin to pick up the pieces of our shattered lives and maybe watch Big Brother instead, which is starting to look like a Merchant Ivory production next to this crap.

Oh look, we're in Taiwan! Ashley Chipmunk informs us that it is known as "the hidden jewel of Asia because not a lot of people know about it." That's right, Ashley!! Never heard of it!! Now how do you say it again? TIE WON? TIE WANE? Say it one more time for us! We will begin with a Solo Date with Constantine the Pumpkinhead, in which we will take an old-timey train to an "adorable little village." YOU BE CUTE FOR ASHLEY YOU VILLAGERS. Oh see, we're painting Dream Lanterns. You paint your wish on it and hope it comes true. I put "A Quick and Painless Death" on mine! Fly, Dream Lantern, fly! This is followed by the Standard Outdoor Dinner/Relationship Talk and Chipmunk wants to know why he's not in love with her yet. That's not normal! Then they release their Dream Lanterns and it's romantic and they make out and whatever.

Next we have a Solo Date with Ben from Sonoma. They hop on a moped and immediately go the wrong way up the street, in an act of EERIE SYMBOLISM AND FORESHADOWING.

OH SHIT HE JUST CALLED HER "KIDDO." What are you, her crazy confirmed bachelor uncle with a brightly colored scarf? "Kiddo"? He drives the dorkped to the Next Outdoor Dinner and they talk about going to Sonoma maybe and he casually mentions something about "dropping the L-bomb" and I wish he would stop talking like that.

Group Date! Taiwan is famous for wedding photos! Who knew! So let's all go do the least fun part of any wedding and get faux wedding photos done! You have outdone yourself on the Wild and Fun Ideas, ABC! It goes over about as well as you'd expect. Then, in a Shocking Change of Pace, we have Indoor Dinner instead of Outdoor Dinner and then a little facetime with all the losers. Ames has brought family pictures! He is one weird fucking guy. Chipmunk calls him "unique" which is code for "Just Arrived Here on Earth and Still Trying to Figure It Out." JP is still pissed that she's Seeing Other People. You should hit her now and show her who's boss! He gets the Please Don't Hurt Me Rose and is in the Final 4.

Solo Date with Ryan! Everybody hates Ryan because he's like the Student Council President. Remember that guy? That's Ryan. After walking around an outdoor temple where Chipmunk says "Isn't this amazing?" about a million times they sit down for a picnic by a water feature and BOOM here comes Ryan turning on the romance with a half-hour seminar on TANKLESS WATER HEATERS. FASCINATING. Ashley looks like she wants to cut herself and is visibly distraught by this lecture on environmentally responsible plumbing and finally just lets him go. THANK GOD. Ryan ducks behind some bushes and has a panic attack, then wanders the streets of Taiwan looking melancholy. Whoa, he doesn't even get the Loser Limo! He gets the Loser Cab! Bonne chance, you fucking weirdo.

Time for the Pre-Rose Cocktail Party. Oh wait, she's bagging it again! Man, she keeps doing that! Who do you have to fuck to get a Pre-Rose Cocktail Party around here? Anyway, she says she knows who she's gonna cut. My money is on Spaceman Ames. Right on cue, he says to his fellow bros "The situation's pretty grave." Like, who the fuck talks like that? I mean, besides advisers to the President in those movies where Bill Pullman's the President?

OK, here we go. Rest of the Final Four. Pumpkinhead. Ben from Sonoma. AMES! What! You have got to be kidding me!! Lucas is kind of a dud, but AMES! Oh well. I am actually looking forward to meeting his family so we can figure out what happened there. Awww, poor Lucas just wants "someone I can cook breakfast for." You should get a job at Denny's! It would be like paradise for you! So there you go.

Then we have a little interview with Emily from last season. Chris Harrison begins with the Understatement of the Century: "Some of the couples who have gotten together on our show have not stayed together." NO FUCKING WAY. REALLY. Anyway, Emily, who is in full porn star makeup, cries a lot and really doesn't explain why she and Brad broke up but maybe getting engaged after 4 dates on a TV show has something to do with it. Who knows?

Monday, July 11, 2011

New Bar Night: Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem

I finally got an iPhone on Friday. I didn't get one for a long time because they were only on AT&T and I don't get any AT&T signal in my house. Came to find out that nobody gets any AT&T signal anywhere in San Francisco, so that turned out to be a good move. I got a G1 instead and went with T-Mobile. I liked the G1 pretty well. Having an actual keyboard was helpful but damn that thing was slow. So anyway my contract was up and what it really came down to is that I can carry one box around instead of 2 (i.e., phone and iPod). So I upped with Verizon and got the iPhone.

So far, I pretty much love it except there's a definite learning curve with the keyboard. Also, why is there no notification light? On the G1 (and every other phone in the world, I think), there's like a little green light that blinks on the front of the phone if you have a new text or email. How hard would it have been to put that on there? Seems ridic. But no, I'm just bitching. I pretty much love it.

OK, so Saturday I happened to be at the Phoenix to catch the end of the Giants game (Romo FTS! [That's "for the save," I just made that up]) and we were trying to decide where to go next and I was all "Let's go to that new place on Mission that was on Mission Mission and Uptown Almanac!!!!" and people usually let me get my way when I've been drinking so off we went.

It's called Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem and they don't appear to have a website. In case you didn't know, that was the name of the Muppets band. (OF COURSE there's a Muppets wiki.) My initial reaction is that it's a retarded name for a bar. But whatever, what's inside?

Initial reaction is that it's pretty much just your basic bar. There's a cocktail list but it's not online and I didn't take a picture of it or anything. Not crazy about the beer selection so the chicks got some specialty cocktails and we got a couple of Bud tall cans. Bud is gross but I wanted something not so heavy and not Trumer.

I stole this picture from Grubstreet. Thanks, Grubstreet! They have a good slideshow of the whole place.

OK here's the background: this place was opened by the same people who own Tonic, on Russian Hill, apparently, and you might say that Tonic appeals to a different demographic than you typically find in the Mission (except for Blondie's, but that's another story). Now, of course I'm generalizing to some extent, and a full discussion of the Tribes of San Francisco is beyond the scope of this piece, but I think we can agree that there's a general "type" that's associated with the Mission and a general "type" that's associated with Russian Hill and they're not exactly the same type. Like there was a guy at the bar unironically wearing a peach Polo (and I mean an actual Polo, with the little Polo guy stitched on it) who smelled like cologne and had no visible tattoos. More power to this guy and all, but it was just a surprise is all I'm saying.

Then more stuff started to stand out. Like, there's a second bar in the back of the room that, don't get me wrong, is certainly convenient but it's just odd because you don't see that second bar thing much. Oh, and when I came back from the bathroom there was a chick at the table next to us climbing up onto her chair for reasons unknown and and I thought she was going to start table dancing but she didn't thank God.

ANYWAY this is probably more than you wanted to hear and it turned into like this fucking Sociology thesis and whatever it's a bar not a Social Experiment. It was crazy crowded by the time we left so keep that in mind. It's fine I guess. If you happened to be walking by on a Wednesday and wanted to stop in and get a drink there are worse places, I suppose, but I wouldn't make a point of coming here.

POSTSCRIPT: Over on Yelp (only 4 reviews as of this morning), reviewer Tom R. gives it two stars and says:

"Hipster irony is eating it's own tail"

and links to a Youtube video of the Muppet band.

Maybe I'm just dense, but I cannot figure out for the life of me what Tom R.'s point is. What does he mean, hipster irony eating its own tail? That's it's so ironic that it's not ironic any more? Because I don't think that has anything to do with this bar. Like the owners went "Wow, it would be so ironic to name this bar Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem"? That doesn't make any sense. Oh well. Maybe Tom R. is just more savvy of a cultural critic than I am.

Friday, July 8, 2011

This short anecdote is illustrative of the way The Wife thinks

We were recently walking near Union Square, by where all the hotels are, and passed by the back door/loading area for some hotel, and there were 4 or 5 guys loading a series of Igloo-type coolers into a car. They were all wearing like hotel uniforms or something.

She asked me what I thought was in them and I said I had no idea.

She said she thought it was probably organs stolen from hotel guests who are now lying in their bathtubs packed in ice, still sedated, and the organs in the coolers were being loaded for transport to wealthy foreigners who bought them.

Could be.

Have a great weekend.

(P.S. You know what one of the hazards is with following ballplayers on Twitter? You find out that they have opinions that differ from your own and then you don't like them as much, even when they play for a team you like. Just today Jeremy Affeldt, a relief pitcher for the Giants who I basically liked despite his ridiculous chin beard thing, retweeted Rick Warren saying something about "Planned Parenthood's Scandal" with a link to some anti-choice group's website. Oh great. Now every time Jeremy Affeldt pitches I'm going to think about how he's all anti-Planned Parenthood, which basically means that you're anti-health care for poor and middle-class women, who might not get it any other way. I'm sure Jeremy Affeldt's wife can afford all the top-notch healthcare she wants, but a lot of people can't.)

(True story, when I was younger and poorer, my ex got her health care through Planned Parenthood and I don't know how we would have afforded it otherwise. So all you people trying to defund Planned Parenthood, go fuck yourself. God, that makes me angry.)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The sad inevitability of change in the modern world and whatever

There is no way I'm going to be able to do this without sounding like an asshole. Luckily, I'm used to that.

We have learned that the Red Vic movie theater on Haight is closing.

Later this month, 31 years to the day after it became an instant landmark in the Haight-Ashbury, the Red Vic Movie House will close.

"Our closure is 100 percent certain at this point," co-owner Claudia Lehan said. "On July 25, our birthday screening of 'Harold and Maude' will be our last, I'm sad to say."

Now, of course it is always sad when a business closes down, whether it be the Red Vic or any other business. (Speaking of Haight Street, does anyone remember Crescent City Cafe on Haight, where Best of Thai Noodle is now? Wow, Crescent City continues to have a lively online presence, despite the fact that it's been closed for years. That place was good. But I digress.)

I hate to sound like a dick about it, but that's commerce. You have a good idea, you run with it, it works for a while, but if people stop showing up, it's time to pack it up or come up with a new idea. Now, the Red Vic was a non-profit, so I guess having fundraisers to save it is cool and whatever, but in the end, if people don't want to pay for the product any more, it's not going to be viable any more.

I think it's sad and regrettable that San Francisco has lost most of its neighborhood theaters over the last 20 to 30 years, but that's life. I wonder if people had benefits to save the last remaining neighborhood blacksmiths in 1911 or the last neighborhood tanneries or whatever. Point being that change is inevitable and nothing lasts forever and even though it's sad, that's just the way it is. Let's all have fond memories and move on.

(Full disclosure: I used to live around the corner in the 90's and saw a fair amount of movies there and always found it slightly annoying, but patronized it nonetheless.)

(Also, I don't remember anyone being especially heartbroken when the Full Moon Saloon - where the Red Vic moved into - closed down. I have this vague memory of going into that place once. But NFI, as the cops say.)

(That's police talk for "No Further Information." I'm rambling now. I was at a ballgame last night until 11:00 and didn't get home until midnight, so you'll have to give me a break.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Brief reviews of things from this weekend

Churchill: The newish bar on Church and 14th. Friday happy hour was like the 3rd or 4th time I've been there and it is always packed. At least during the times I go there. They are going to make SO MUCH MONEY. Anyway, I like the place OK, I guess. I'd like to go sometime when it's not crazy busy to get a better idea. I had a Pimm's Cup (give me a break - it was like 75 degrees out, that's like Crazy Surface of the Sun Hot in SF) that tasted a little weird, not sure why. The Sister's Moscow Mule was pretty badass, though. 7.5/10

Uber car service: We go outside, The Sister pushes a button on her iPhone, and we're getting into a black town car driven by "Mischa" 3 minutes later. I did not pay for this service, so it was a fucking awesome way to get across town. How can you not like riding in the back of a town car driven by a guy who may or may not be in the Russian mob and never takes off his sunglasses? 10/10

The Royal Cuckoo: Newish bar on Mission and Valencia. I don't know, it's probably better when it's dark out. We got there at 7:30 and it was still bright out and it didn't seem exactly right. I like the feel of the place, and there are the usual artisanal cocktails and hand-muddled herbs and whatever and also a guy showed up and started playing a Wurlitzer organ and we all got a little Twin Peaks-ed out and went across the street to Knockout for beers. I'll try it again, though. 6.8/10

Nickie's: I always forget how much I like Nickie's. Everyone there is super nice and it's got a great convivial vibe, which you want from a pub-feeling kind of place, and I always manage to get into a conversation with a stranger here, usually someone interesting. I gotta start going there more often. 8/10 [Oh look, I wrote about Nickie's in 2008 and said about the same things. Well, good to know it's still good.] [Also, Nickie's, your website auto-plays music! BAD!!! BAD!!!!]

The brunch I made at home on Sunday: Scrambled eggs with andouille sausage, green onion, and cheddar. Hash browns. Fresh fruit. Mimosas. Fucking heavenly. 10/10

Le Colonial: Sunday was like the perfect night to sit on the veranda (and I do not use that term lightly) and have what turned out to be some really, really good Vietnamese/French food. Again with the weird cocktails, though! I got a mojito and it had orange juice in it. Yuck. But the food was outstanding and it's a great atmosphere out there on a warm night. Fucking expensive as hell, but sometimes you just gotta go for it. 8.2/10

Guy Getting Shot by BART Police at Civic Center Station on Sunday Night: They got a report of a guy with an open container of alcohol acting drunk at Civic Center Station? Dude, that is EVERY DAY AT CIVIC CENTER STATION. Fuck, I'VE been that guy at Civic Center Station. Good thing I didn't get shot. Anyway, I'm sure that it will be determined that the cops acted reasonably and whatever. That's how these things always turn out. 3.5/10

Cedar Rapids: I guess I would describe it as "cute." It's a cute movie. There are a few laughs, and John C. Reilly should get nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role as the Huge Douchebag. He was really fucking phenomenal. Worth Netflixing, I guess.

Illegal Fireworks in the Mission Last Night: Jesus Christ, people, WHAT THE FUCK. It sounded like a fucking war out there. I chugged a bottle of wine around 10 to take the edge off so I could go to bed without having flashbacks triggered and then I realized I didn't have any flashbacks to trigger but it was still pretty intense and the wine helped anyway. 1/10