Tuesday, August 30, 2011

You know what you should protest? The Giants' utter inability to hit.

- Other than my usual snarky Twitter comments, I've pretty much stayed away from the ongoing Anonymous protests centered around the Civic Center BART station, because it's been pretty well covered and I don't have a lot to add about how stupid and pointless the whole thing is. I guess one of their demands at one point was to disband the BART Police. SPOILER: The BART Police aren't going to be disbanded. How about free coffee on Wednesdays or something like that?

You know what would end the now-weekly protests? STOP PUTTING THEM ON TV. I mean, it's eventually going happen anyway, if they keep it up long enough. After some period of time - 6 weeks? 7 weeks? - local TV is going to get bored of the story and once it's not covered in the media any more, the number of protesters will drop like a rock, I guarantee you.

Actually, I have an idea. If the protesters really want to effect meaningful societal change, go set up shop on International Boulevard in Oakland and see if you can do something to stop the daily violence there. Short of declaring martial law, people are fresh out of ideas about what to do. You guys seem like smart people. Maybe you can save some lives instead of just pissing people off.

- In other Sad News of the Day, your San Francisco Giants. Ugh, what a fucking trainwreck. Last night's ugly little 7-0 loss to the Cubs is just the latest chapter in a frustrating grind of a year. There's no big mystery about what's wrong; they can't fucking hit the baseball, and you cannot win a division, even the NL West, scoring 0 to 1 runs per game.

And yes, last year was a fluke. Aubrey Huff is a career .280 hitter who hit .290 last year and is hitting .243 this year. Cody Ross is a career .260 hitter who hit .288 last year and is hitting .231 this year. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe THIS YEAR is the fluke. Huff, Ross, fuck, just about everybody is hitting below - in some cases, WAY WAY BELOW - their career average. Might as well send batting coach Hensley Meulens into space now, instead of waiting for 2014.

- I'm on a jury. Not joking. Can't say anything else about it, but believe you me, I will tell you all about it when I'm done. But that means probably fewer posts between now and say September 12th or so.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Lyric Deconstruction: "American Ride"

Toby Keith, 2009

Winter gettin' colder, summer gettin' warmer.
Tidal wave comin' 'cross the Mexican border.
Why buy a gallon, it's cheaper by the barrel.
Just dont get busted singin' Christmas carols.

By this point, about 24 seconds into the song, you're probably thinking "Oh no, here's some more Toby Keith retarded bullshit," and you're partially right. It's difficult to put a charitable spin on "Tidal wave comin' cross the Mexican border." And if you have any reports of anyone being arrested for singing Christmas carols, do forward them.

That's us, that's right
Gotta love this American ride.
Both ends of the ozone burnin.
Funny how the world keeps turnin.
Look ma, no hands.
I love this American ride.
Gotta love this American ride.

I feel like I really don't have to explain that ozone degradation and the rotation of the Earth are two widely disconnected phenomena. I mean, we could lose the entire ozone layer - indeed, the entire atmosphere - and the world would keep turnin, for billions of years. It's angular momentum, a widely-understood property of physics. So it's really not that funny that the world keeps turnin. IT'S NOT FUNNY AT ALL.

But wait! You have to see the video to appreciate this song. I mean, it's a terrible video, but it makes clear that this song is an equal opportunity hater.

There's a fascinating scene that begins around :40. We see the classic American Gothic couple, only they're getting foreclosed on! And what's replacing the family farm? Big box stores!

Now wait a minute. Isn't the guiding principle of unfettered capitalism that you should be free to do whatever you want with your money? So if you're Best Buy or whatever and you want to buy a farm and put up a store there, you should be able to, right? So what's the problem, Toby Keith? What are you, some kind of socialist?

Momma gets her rocks off watchin' Desperate Housewives.
Daddy works his ass off payin' for the good life.
Kids on the YouTube learnin how to be cool.
Livin in a cruel world, pays to be a mean girl.

I guess this is more or less the standard kind of workin-hard-to-make-a-buck-my-wife-don't-understand country music stuff. Hard to have any problem with that.


At this stage in the video, we are presented with two interesting animated images. The first is Pat Robertson riding George W. Bush like a horse. Let's set aside the extremely disturbing aspects of this tableau and try to divine what's implied here - that Bush was a tool of the Religious Right? Meh, he certainly had that potential, and God knows what would have happened, but 9/11 kind of took the focus off those nutbags.

The second image is Obama being carried aloft by Wall Street bankers. Hard to argue with that. In fact, that's probably the most straightforward and accurate political commentary in the whole thing.

Poor little infamous, America's town.
She gained five pounds and lost her crown.
Quick fix plastic surgical antidote.
Got herself a record deal, can't even sing a note.

Hmmmm. Well, Dominique Ramirez, Miss San Antonio, did, in fact, lose accuse pageant officials of taking her crown when she gained weight. But I have no information that she got herself a record deal.

(I initially thought this was a backhanded slap at Carrie Underwood, another former pageant contestant who got herself a record deal. But I think the consensus is that she's a perfectly fine singer, although, I confess, I'm not really down with the Nashville gossip.)

Plasma gettin bigger, Jesus gettin smaller.
Spill a cup of coffee, make a million dollars.
Customs caught a thug with an aerosol can.
If the shoe don't fit, fits gonna hit the shan.

I have to confess, when I first heard this, I thought "I, for one, am glad that plasma is widely available! It's a valuable life-saving tool that doctors in emergency situations use every day!" Oh, wait, he's not talking about that, is he. Oh, he means TVs.

Well, so what if TVs are getting bigger! That's progress!

I won't even bother with the frivolous lawsuits thing. Yawn.

The last line is completely impenetrable, and I assume the songwriters just ran out of gas at the end. Just as I have here.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Also, the year "Titanic" won Best Picture, "Boogie Nights" wasn't even nominated

I learned yesterday that local alternative newsweekly/predatory ad pricer SF Weekly has something called the "SF Weekly Web Awards." I learned this because everyone in my Twitter feed perked up around the same time yesterday with "OMG I'M NOMINATED FOR AN SF WEEKLY WEB AWARD VOTE FOR ME LOL KTHXBAI"

I was not nominated for an SF Weekly Web Award. Oh great! It's like being picked next to last for kickball in 5th grade all over again.

Let's take a look and see what these awards are all about.

They're broken down into general areas like "News," "Music," "Food," "Art," and the like. Fair enough. Certainly seems reasonable to vote for "Best Local Politics Blogger" or "Best Food Vendor Twitter." I have some issues with "Best Yelper," in that it implies that there can be a "best" in Yelping, but we'll leave that convo for another day and also I don't want to get dragged in to the whole Yelp thing.

(BRIEF DIGRESSION: Before I moved to SF, I had been a music writer for the local alt-weekly in the mid-level City From Whence I Came. So when I got here, I packaged up my clips [there were actual "clips" back then, in the sense that they were on newsprint and clipped with a scissor from the pages of an alt-weekly] and sent them in to SF Weekly with a cover letter offering my not-inconsiderable skills as a music writer. I never heard back. IT STILL BURNS, SF WEEKLY. STILL BURNS.)

(ANOTHER BRIEF DIGRESSION: I can't hold a grudge, though, because SF Weekly published, for years, in the mid-90's, a comic strip by then-unknown [or maybe slightly-known] Dave Eggers and some other guy [Leon? I can't remember] called "Smarter Feller" that was hilarious and is also now impossible to find online. SF Weekly, if you're reading this, do you have all the Smarter Fellers cached somewhere secret that I can access? Do tell.)

So blah blah blah we get past "Best Fashion Blogger" and "Best Local Music Website" that you'd expect in any online voting thing like whatever YAWN seen it a million times, vote for "Bay Bridged" and move on, and then we get to "Only in SF," and this is where I'm thinking SCORE, I GOTTA BE HERE.

I'm not here.

Again, there are the usual boring "Best Local Government Site" (like, really, who gives a shit, no joke) and "Best Neighborhood Blog" (which is fair enough, that's reasonable, although you didn't nominate Civic Center and that kinda sucks) and then this:

"Best Tumblog"? WTF, SF Weekly? Does anyone ever use the term "Tumblog"? I think people just say "Tumblr." Anyway, you know that Tumblr is a blogging platform and not a genre, right? It's like having a Pulitzer Prize category for "Best Word 97 Document." Why isn't there a category for "Best WordPress" or "Best Blogspot"?

(That being said, there are two on that list - Kate's and Jane's - that I read regularly and like a lot. IT AIN'T PERSONAL, GIRLS. THIS DON'T INVOLVE YOU. JUST KEEP ON WALKIN.)

Anyway. Here are some categories you missed, SF Weekly, and my suggested nominee in each:


Burrito Justice

(Seriously, though, if you have a local web awards and you haven't nominated Burrito Justice for something, you have gone wrong. It's like having Celebrity Rehab without Steven Adler. It's just not done.)


Uptown Almanac




The San Francisco Public Library

(Humorously, as I try it right now, it's not opening at all. CONGRATULATIONS, SFPL.ORG, YOU'VE MANAGED TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO BLOW EVEN HARDER!!)

I guess it's possible that I wasn't going to get nominated no matter what. I mean, unless there a category for "Angriest Post-Hipster Alcoholic," I don't know where I'd fit in.

ANYWAY, no hard feelings, SF Weekly, and I'll still come to the party and drink your free booze. Can I bring a +1?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Trip Report: Los Cabos

At my advanced age, I could give a shit about adventure tourism. You and William T. Vollmann can go dodge mortar fire in Tripoli or live amongst the whores of Bangladesh. Fuck that noise, my chief concern is how long it takes to get a drink and why the fucking pool closes at 8:00 pm instead of 10:00.

Well, not entirely. When I go to places like New York or London or some shit like that, I'm super into running around and going to museums and all that jazz. I guess I'm talking about the kind of vacation where you just lay around in the sun and drink. Do kids like to do that still? Oh, I guess everyone has to make it extra difficult and do it on a beach in India (NOT GOA, THAT SHIT IS SO PLAYED, I KNOW) or Bali or Madagascar or some place. I know that the harder it is to get to and the more primitive the conditions the better, right?

Well, fuck that. I'm all about it being easy and that's why we just went to this all-inclusive resort in Los Cabos called the Riu Santa Fe. We got a total deal on this place - like $200 a night, which includes all the food and alcohol you want.

That's right. ALL THE DRINKS YOU WANT. INCLUDED. That means they essentially gave us the room. I've run up $200 bar tabs on vacation in 45 minutes, so you can see why the Riu Santa Fe probably lost money on our visit.

The crowd was interesting. It was basically 50-50 Mexicans (well, I assume they were Mexicans; they were Spanish-speaking and darker-skinned; I mean, they could have been Honduran or whatever but I just got the Mexican vibe from them) and Americans. Seemed like a place where Mexicans go to vacation, too. The line at the Los Cabos airport for the Mexico City flight was longer than for the Phoenix flight, anyway. But I digress. Of the Americans, it tended towards a bit younger and, for whatever reason, sort of Jersey Shore-ish. I mean, a lot of elaborate tattoos and backwards baseball caps and gold chains and chicks who dressed for dinner by putting on skintight electric blue dresses that ended just below crotch level and 6" heels. Interesting. There were also a smattering of older couples and families with kids, and also some Australians.

The resort was huge and loosely organized around this central plaza area that was clearly meant to evoke the plaza in a Mexican town but without any stray dogs or non-English-speaking Mexicans. Instead, there were a couple of outdoor bars and a stage where they had some form of live entertainment every night. Entertainment beyond the bartenders - who, make no mistake, were unflailingly cheerful and incredibly fast - making odd rainbow-layered shooters for the assembled blockheads to enjoy. The entertainment veered from Resort Cheesy to Really Weird, but hey, it was something to look at whilst enjoying as many rounds of free drinks as you could put down before passing out.

Speaking of "free," it's nice to bring a stack of ones if you're coming to one of these places and tip frequently and with gusto. They really appreciate it and it makes you feel like less of a dick for watching someone make your drinks and then just saying "gracias" and walking away with them.

Oh, that brings up the Spanish Problem, which is, how much Spanish do you attempt if you don't really speak Spanish? Everyone who works there speaks enough English to get by, so is it weird or insulting to say "Dos pinas coladas, por favor" instead of "Two pina coladas, please"? I mean, does it seem kinda condescending? I could never figure it out. Also, why did the guy at the restaurant door say "Hola" to Americans but "Buenos dias" to Mexicans? I ended up usually ordering in English and then saying "Gracias" and walking away quickly, oddly ashamed. These are the kinds of things I worry about.

Anyway, the whole thing was a complete success, from a Morning Drinking and Total Relaxation standpoint. The food was actually really good, and the weather was nice and hot, and on the second day we found the quiet pool away from the thumping disco music and Vinnies whooping at each other and so forth. After a few days, though, I couldn't really handle the all-day all-night drinking any more and it was time to split.

The only other thing of note was the HUGE DOUCHEBAG who sat next to The Wife on the flight home. He got on in Phoenix and started braying at her immediately (she was one row ahead of me but I could hear his booming asshole voice from the back of the plane if I wanted) and I learned, involuntarily, that he lives in the Marina and had been in Scottsdale for some reason and had bought 3 bottles of champagne already earlier that day for "Sunday Funday" and just bought a place in "Pac Heights," although oddly it turned out to be near "Washington Square Park, I guess," which is, of course, nowhere near "Pac Heights" and I was trying to read and he blared on and on and on at her and finally I had to put in my headphones and turn up the music so loud it was almost painful just to drown out his piercing drunk voice. OK whew I'm alright now just had to get that out of my system.

(She also said that he showed her "every picture on his phone," and that they were mostly of him.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Programming Note

We're going to San Diego tomorrow and then Mexico on Thursday for a few days. We'll be back Sunday, so the blog will probably be quiet until Monday. C'est la vie.

In the meantime, here's a video of a chihuahua wearing booties.

Have a good rest of week/weekend/whatever.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Trip Report: Fresno!!!

A couple of weeks ago The Wife and I were watching the Giants lose again and they mentioned calling up someone from the Fresno Grizzlies and she said "We should go to a Fresno Grizzlies game sometime" and because we are People of Action and not just Big Talkers, on Saturday we found ourselves in a car driving to Fresno.

One of The Wife's work friends is from Fresno and I guess knows people associated with the team so we got tickets in what I assume is like Club Level here at AT&T Park and got some concessions vouchers and stuff like that. That's all nice, but the greatest gift we got was the hotel he recommended: The Picadilly Inn Shaw. I shall explain in just a moment.

Fresno is flat as a pool table and searingly hot, which felt great after the Non-Summer of High 50's in SF. When we got there it was 104. As far as I can tell, Fresno is comprised mainly of strip malls, chain restaurants, and chain everything else. So I guess it's like most of the rest of the country.

ANYWAY though. The Picadilly Inn! I don't know where to start. It was obviously built circa 1972 and NOTHING HAS CHANGED SINCE THEN. It is like visiting the set of a movie that's set in a hotel in 1972. I mean, look at our room!

That picture actually makes it look creepier than it was, which is sort of unbelievable. But it really did have that trapped-in-70s-amber vibe.

Anyway, our room was on the second floor and overlooked this garden where they were setting up for a wedding. We were kind of absently watching through the window when The Wife started to notice something. "I think there's 2 brides," she said.


So they're setting up and we decide to hit the bar up for a drink and guess what? THERE'S SOME KIND OF RODEO CONVENTION at the SAME FUCKING HOTEL and the bar looks like a slightly spiffier Deadwood. I mean, all they needed was a player piano and a bartender with a handlebar mustache and those arm garter things.

On the way there, we pass one of those little signs that tell you where things are in the hotel and it said something like "Congratulations Roxanna and Noemi"!!!! AWESOME!!! I mean, here we are being all Too Cool For School from San Francisco and we walk right into a Lesbian Wedding in Fresno. Fresno! I misjudged you and feel bad now!

We got the drinks to go and hustled back to the room to watch the wedding. I can report that both brides wore white. They looked amazing and happy. CONGRATULATIONS, ROXANNA AND NOEMI!!!

Then we went to the baseball game. The stadium is in Downtown Fresno which has obviously seen better days. Apart from the people going to the game, downtown was populated exclusively by homeless people. We walked through this pedestrian mall thing from the parking garage to the ballpark. It had obviously been an effort to get people hanging around downtown but didn't work. As we passed one older homeless lady, she greeted us by saying "Suck it, bitch." AND A FINE GOOD EVENING TO YOU, MA'AM! Anyway, nothing you can't get anywhere in SF.

The park was really nice and obviously recently built. It was a delight to sit outside at night and watch a baseball game in shorts and a t-shirt. It was 90 degrees at 8:30 p.m.

I don't have much to say about the game. Barry Zito - remember him? - started for the Grizzlies and was doing OK until he sprained something and limped off the field. The other Grizzlies pitchers weren't very good. They lost.

The next day we drove home. This was uneventful except for a stop at the Carl's Jr. in Atwater, California. HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS I have never seen a bigger collection of weirdos and freaks than at the Carl's Jr. in Atwater, California.

The Atwater Carl's Jr. has 3 Yelp reviews! If I were a jackass enough to post Yelp reviews, here's what mine would say:

"I'm not sure who was more impressive, the Charles Manson clone with a neckbeard and prison tattoos who stared malevolently at my wife the whole time we were there or the Tweaker Family featuring the kid was unusual facial hair and a topknot ponytail and Morbidly Obese Uncle with a definite Lou Albano vibe, but the crowd at this Carl's Jr. made the backwoods family from 'Deliverance' look like the Algonquin Round Table.

"Also, I'm not 100% sure if anyone here has ever assembled a hamburger correctly, but it usually involves something more than randomly shoving a meat patty and a bun and some wilted lettuce into a paper sleeve.

"It did have a bathroom, though, and also a parking space in front of the door which facilitated our very rapid exit."

So, yeah. Fresno. There you go.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Today in Giants/Bachelorette News

WORLDS COLLIDING. Take it away, Us Magazine:
Bachelorette contestant Ben Flajnik may not have earned Ashley Hebert's final rose, but that doesn't mean he's sworn off dating forever.

In fact, a source tells Us Weekly the 28-year-old winemaker went out for drinks with Jennifer Love Hewitt last week in San Francisco. "She began pursuing him right after the finale aired," a source tells Us of the Can't Hardly Wait actress, 32.

Incidentally, isn't "Us Magazine" the weirdest name for a magazine about celebrities? They're not "us" at all! They're them!!! I think I kind of assumed that "Us" stood for "U.S.," like the United States of Celebrities or something, but I have no idea if that's right. If it's just "us," like you and me, that's fucked up.

BACK TO THE MATTER AT HAND. Ben F. from the Bachelorette going out for drinks with the winsome Jennifer Love Hewitt is only a 1-star story. IT GETS SO MUCH BETTER THOUGH.
Indeed, Hewitt hasn't been shy about showing her love for Flajnik, who placed second behind JP Rosenbaum on The Bachelorette's August 1 finale. "Omg! Ben f except my final rose!!! Gotta book a flight to Sonoma !!!:):)" Hewitt Tweeted August 2. And when the pair cozied up at San Francisco's Lion's Pub four days later, the actress was similarly smitten.

Though Flajnik initially stopped by the bar with San Francisco Giants player Cody Ross, he made a beeline for Hewitt after spotting her from across the room.

HOLD THE PHONE. So Ben just happened to be out with his boy, weak-hitting Giants outfielder Cody Ross, when he stopped by known Lower Pac Heights Dudebro Cruise Pit Lion Pub (not "Lion's Pub," but who's counting) and then just happened to espy Jennifer Love Hewitt who just happened to be trolling for spiky-haired popped-collared Chads at Lion's Pub? WHAT.

I have a few questions.

1. So when you're the second-place finisher on the Bachelorette and you're walking off the set, they just hand you phone numbers of professional athletes? Or did formerly-effective lineup-saddening Cody Ross (+ wife Summer Ross, I assume) just like the cut of Ben's jib so much that they called up the Guy Who Has Everyone's Number and say "Hey, put me in touch with Ben F. from the Bachelorette. I needs to hit up some Fruity Drink Palaces with that boy"? Is that how it works?

2. And Jennifer Love Hewitt was just hanging out at Lion Pub? What was she, just back from visiting the Party of Five house? (2311 Broadway, if you're curious. About a 10 minute walk from Lion Pub.)

3. You know what's good about Lion Pub? Here, let Jessica C. from San Mateo tell you: "I asked the Gorgeous Bartender what to order. He made me the most amazing Watermelon Vodka drink! It was crushed up watermelon and vodka. What more could you ask for." NOTHING, JESSICA C. YOU COULD ASK FOR NOTHING MORE THAN CRUSHED UP WATERMELON AND VODKA FROM A GORGEOUS BARTENDER.

4. This isn't really a question, but Jen, sweetheart, I assume you meant "accept my final rose," not "except my final rose." Either one is weird, but only the former comes close to being grammatically correct. Ugh, I just turned into a guy who corrects people's spelling on the Internet. UGH I JUST CORRECTED JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT'S SPELLING ON THE INTERNET. HIT ME IN THE FACE. I EXCEPT THIS PUNISHMENT.

Fast forward to the next day:
Hewitt seemed ecstatic the morning after. Although she didn't mention her date by name, she Tweeted Sunday: "Morning lovelys! I got lost in the most amazing sat! Just when you think u can't be surprised.... You are and it's awesome!"


And apropos of nothing except this struck me as funny:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The creeping problem of ISWNOCHFS

Found on Twitter earlier today:

Oh, please. Get over yourself. This is a prime example of what I call the If Something's Wrong No One Can Have Fun Syndrome (ISWNOCHFS). You see this kind of thing pretty regularly. Like "There are babies starving and you're still watching Toddlers and Tiaras" or "How can Adam Sandler keep making movies when the world is like this?" Actually that last one is kinda true and I do wish Adam Sandler would stop making movies.

BUT ANYWAY. Point being that this scold above would have you be ashamed for watching Jersey Shore (as long as you're in the "western world," apparently. If you're in Japan or Soouth Africa, enjoy Jersey Shore at your leisure! You're fine!) because there are Problems in the World and watching Jersey Shore doesn't help.

Let's take a look at some different possible outcomes:

Millions watch Jersey Shore ----------> Syria nightmare
No one watches Jersey Shore ---------> Syria nightmare

Millions watch Jersey Shore ----------> Economy in shambles

You and your stupid brother
watch Jersey Shore; no one
else watches Jersey Shore ------------> Economy in shambles

Your cat and Eric Cantor
watch Jersey Shore while
eating In N Out burgers --------------> Economy in shambles; cat and Eric Cantor happy

You see? The number of people and/or animals and/or members of Congress who watch or don't watch Jersey Shore has exactly zero impact on whether or not the World's Crises are ameliorated in any way. The real point of this kind of faux-shaming technique is to say "Look at me! I'm so superior that I would never deign to watch that crap, especially when there are World Crises for me to be Very Upset about! Shame on you for pursuing such a lowbrow entertainment whilst I monitor the BBC feed 24/7!"

THIS IS NOT TO SAY, of course, that we shouldn't all be appropriately concerned about riots in London and the DJIA falling 600 points and starvation in Somalia. OF COURSE you should care about those things. But watching Jersey Shore isn't really going to affect them one way or another. So don't be ashamed. Well, you should be a little ashamed, but just because you're watching Jersey Shore in the fourth season. It all went downhill after Season 1. Duh.

Monday, August 8, 2011

This is a partial list of things that unaccountably enrage me and probably shouldn't

1. People who take up 2 parking spaces
2. Perfectly able people who push the handicapped door opener button and then stand there and let the doors majestically swing open like they're the Queen of England
4. People who yell into their cell phones
5. People who chatter away obliviously on cell phones while they're blocking an aisle in the grocery store or blocking the sidewalk or something
6. Pretty much anyone talking on a cell phone in public, ever. Text, you bastards, text.
7. People who walk more than two abreast on a sidewalk. BONUS: They're walking slowly. DOUBLE BONUS: They're walking four abreast and all talking on cell phones.
8. iTunes
9. "There is a new version of iTunes available. Would you like to download?" Hey Apple, how about saving up the changes and just releasing a new version once every six months, instead of every other day?
10. The bagger at Safeway yesterday who put my bread at the bottom of the bag
11. Fox Sports

Friday, August 5, 2011

August 5, 1977: Giants at Mets

Giants lost, 3-2. Let's take a look at the Giants box:

Let's see. Bill Madlock had a nice day, 2 for 4 with a run scored. McCovey walked but was otherwise not a factor. Couple of other hits sprinkled around. Not a lot of offense. Reminds me of some other Giants team I could name!

15,747 showed up at Shea for a 2 hour 35 minute game. Probably a nice night out at the yard.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, in a medium-sized town in Ireland, The Wife was busy being born. She was successful in this endeavor, so I guess she had a better night than the Giants.

Happy Birthday, The Wife! We'll be seeing the 2011 Giants tonight. Hopefully they can do better than their counterparts 34 years ago.

(Also, Mark Mulder was born on the same day, so there's another baseball thing. Happy Birthday Mark Mulder.)

(Also, I know, 2 blog posts in one day. I have the day off, cut me some slack.)

Fox has now completely Onionized itself

From Fox Nation (via Dave Weigel on Slate):

I normally wouldn't even touch this because, hey Fox News and all, but it appears that they have finally rounded the corner into complete and total self-parody and I thought I'd just leave this here as a marker of that event.

This cracks me up, obviously, and not just because it's a transparently racist sop to hardcore conservatives but also because WHEN DID CHARLES BARKLEY AND CHRIS ROCK START RAPPING? God, I hope they aren't rapping.

Also, just because everyone loves a good counterfactual, can you imagine if NPR ran a headline like "George Bush's redneck hootenanny fails to stop terrorism" or "Dick Cheney's wild gunfire party fails to prevent fellow plutocrat from getting face half blown off"? I mean, I think NPR would be a lot more entertaining if they did that, but no, you can't imagine that.

But hey, "fair and balanced"!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Did you misplace your Insanity Machine and accidentally leave it turned on?

I first heard it last night around maybe 7:30. It was a sound like a truck backing up, but just three beeps in a row.


Of course, the first thing you think is, "That's a truck backing up" and resume to your normal activities.* As I did. Which was drinking a beer and watching "Locked Up Abroad" on DVR.

(Just in case you don't watch "Locked Up Abroad," let me give you some advice. When someone offers you $6,000 to smuggle cocaine on a plane from Lima to - well, it was Cape Town, South Africa in this one, but really, it applied to anywhere - DON'T DO IT. Also, great show. Also, the actors they use in the reenactments are always way better looking than the actual person. I mean, I almost want to fly a few kilos from Bogota to LA just to see what kind of hot dude they get to be me on the show.)

But then it goes off again. It seems louder! Like it's COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!!!


So there I am like a crazy tweaker on a five-day run tearing the house apart looking for the hidden CIA camera except in this case it's not a hidden CIA camera it's a fucking beeping noise making thing. I pulled the smoke detector down and examined it like I could visually see where the noise was coming from or something. BUT IT WASN'T IN THE HOUSE because the next time I was outside taking the recycling out I heard it again EVEN LOUDER.


ANYWAY, I know this story is way boring but I also SWEAR TO GOD it was a real noise because The Wife heard it too when she got home.

We didn't hear it again for a long time until 6:22 this morning when it went off like an Exterior Alarm Clock


and we were lying in bed trying to sleep and then the dog decided that would be a good time to start licking himself so it was like BEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEP SLURP SLURP SLURP

and the cat, never one to be left out of any fun, started doing her "Hurt Cat" cry OWWWWW OWWWW OWWWWW that she does when she thinks she's not getting enough attention and at that point I just said fuck it and got up.

If that thing is still going off when I get home I'm going to freak out.

So the moral of the story is, if you left your Insanity Machine on in the vague area of my house, please come pick it up.

[*] True story, there's an alarm system/loudpseaker thing where I work and occasionally the security people come on and say shit like "There is an emergency situation on the fourth floor. Please listen for further information" and it''s usually some false alarm - well, since I've worked there, it's always been a false alarm, not usually - and then after a while the Security Person hops back on the intercom and says "The emergency situation on the fourth floor has been cleared. The emergency situation on the fourth floor has been cleared. Please resume to your normal activities." That's right, not "resume your normal activities," but "resume to." I've often wondered if that jacked syntax appears in the Operating Manual because it was badly translated from Chinese like alarm clock instructions, or if it was passed virally from the Ur-Security Person on down the line. Anyway.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Bachelorette: Thank God this trainwreck is over. I mean, Exciting Conclusion!

Well, it appears that we have staggered across the Finish Line alive and now we can have our Monday nights back and I have to sign up for this beer making class at SF Brewcraft because I am not sitting through the Apocalypse without beer and they only have the class on Monday nights and now I can finally go. Wow that was Super Off Topic.

Let us meet Ashley Chipmunk's family who ABC has imported to Fiji. Mom and Dad are pretty much off the shelf, but sister "Chrystie" (Yes, ugh, that's how it's spelled, like chrysalis or Chrysler Town & Country) is a fully tatted Suicide Girl and brother Something I Didn't Catch His Name just wandered in from the set of "Intervention" and is wearing like 10 lbs of shell necklaces and has furious Meth Sweats which require constant toweling off.

Sis is way hotter than Ashley Chipmunk and is clearly gunning for her own show and more on that in a sec.

Here comes JP! Mom seems to like him BUT WAIT after a little wine & maybe a pupu platter Sis and Chipmunk sit down inside and she's all "I don't think he's the one" like WHOA BITCH CHILL THE FUCK OUT. Mom's "OK with him," so what's the prob, Sailor Jerry? Oh, she thinks Chipmunk is "too much for him" like NO SHIT THANKS FOR THAT she's too much for anyone that's not on 150 mg of Ritalin a day and then Sis is all "I'm much more rational," which you don't expect from someone from the Nikki Sixx School of Beauty.

Chipmunk seeks input from Meth Sweats. He says "Whoa." I get the impression he's not the Star of the Family Show and is also maybe slightly retarded. Then Suicide Girl and JP sit down and man is she a fucking bitch. I'm sorry but there is no other way to put it. She's all "You're much older" and he should say "Bitch, I'm like 3 years older than her, it's not like Hugh Hefner and some preteen or something, FUCK" but he's actually pretty cool. Then Chip tries to reassure him on the beach but does a pretty crappy job and then I guess he swims away or something.

Let's throw Ben into the mix and see if the Painted Lady rips him a new one. The initial meeting seems OK, if a little fucking weird b/c Chipmunk forces him to do his Dog Voice and then she does her Dog Voice and you can fast forward 40 years and they're going to be the Creepy Grandparents You Don't Like to Visit. Sis and Ben sit down and she's much nicer to him! Oh, Sis lets it slip that she's been divorced. NEVER WOULD HAVE GUESSED. I'd hate to see what she did to that poor bastard.

Next day, Ben & Chip take the inevitable Helicopter Ride and she squeals and points and says "Island!!!!" which is correct! That is an island! Then it's off to the Healing Mud Bath and Ash is all "I feel like a kid again!" and then does her weird imitation of someone being Sexy and the whole thing is way uncomfortable.

Then there's another date with JP. I'm not gonna lie, it's kinda boring. Blah blah blah love talk and then he gives her a photo album and nothing happens. Whatever.

Let's just get to Proposal Day. As with every season, Proposal Day is punctuated by Journaling and Long Walks Staring Meaningfully at The Water.

Dear Diary, today is a very special OMG READING RAINBOW IS ON!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!

OK, time to do this thing. Wow, Ben looks like a Mormon missionary in that suit. At least JP looks like he's maybe put on a suit before. OK, here comes Ben popping out of the seaplane. They might as well have funeral music playing because it's obvious what's gonna happen here. So he gets down on one knee and she's all "Sorry!" and it's really hard and Ben says "Have a nice life together," when what he means is "Have a nice life together IN THE BURN UNIT." He gets put in an Open Boat that putters sadly towards a bleak horizon.

Here comes JP. Blah blah blah I love you so much and yes they're getting married and I kinda wish Bentley would parachute in right now with an Uzi and then he's like "PROPOSE THIS, MOTHERFUCKER" and blasts JP away and then scoops up Ashley and whoa, I don't know where that came from. Anyway, REO Speedwagon makes a couple of bucks for the first time this decade because they're playing "I Can't Fight This Feeling" over the Gauzy Montage and that's about it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

More important brunch news

By now you guys know how important brunch is. (Wow, that's just 3 posts - a search for "brunch" on my blog returns like 10 posts.) Part of the importance of brunch is trying new places, so in that spirit we checked out Uva Enoteca in the Lower Haight for brunch on Saturday.

Not too crowded at 1 pm on Saturday. In fact, not crowded at all. It was just us (me, Wife, Sister), a table of like 7 hipsters, and one table with 2 girls. I was told there would be bottomless mimosas, but there were bottomless bellinis instead which I'm not too crazy about but whatever.

The food was pretty good. I got the fried eggs, which were 2 sunny side up eggs that arrived cold. Maybe not cold, maybe room temp. Still, warm would have been good. Came with what was advertised as "bacon" but I'm sure was pancetta. Also a salad and a little "potato cake" thing. The best part is that, pre-tip, the total tab was $60 for 3 people, including 3 bottomless bellinis. We ended up drinking 2 pitchers of them but based on the table of hipsters it looked like you could pretty much hang out all afternoon and keep getting pitchers brought to you.

Anyway, just OK, not great. 3 stars out of five.

Then we had pints on the back porch of Mad Dog and then some more things happened and the upshot is The Wife was super-hungover yesterday. The end.