Monday, December 31, 2012

TK's Year in Review

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Here are the problems with Les Misérables the movie

1. It's way too fucking long.
2. Literally almost every line is sung, even just incidental conversation.  Like one guy says to another guy "Are you looking for that horse?" and he has to sing it without any particular melody or tune.
3. Russell Crowe singing.
4. Anne Hathaway doesn't look so great with her hair cut off.  Also - SPOILER WARNING - she dies, but it's never clear exactly what she dies from, unless you can die of Bad Haircut or Being Poor.
5. The dude that plays Marius looks like he just wandered in from another film, maybe something about surfing or smoking weed.
6. It's way, way, way too fucking long.  Like when you think you see a glimmer and we're starting to wrap shit up BOOM here comes another hour.
7. Samantha Barks has like an 8-inch waistline.  It really looks weird.  She looks like you could disarticulate her and pack her torso and legs side by side.  In fact, that would make the movie much better.
8. The Marius dude tries out being a poor revolutionary and when that doesn't work out it's all WHOOSH BACK TO THE ONE PERCENT with no apparent misgivings or guilt.  Hey, I don't blame him for it.  Being fabulously wealthy and banging Amanda Seyfried is way better than being poor and not banging Amanda Seyfried.
9. MORE SPOILERS HERE - Hugh Jackman also dies for no apparent reason.  He doesn't look particularly ill or old.  He's got baggy eyes but that's about it.
10. Sacha Baron Cohen is in it.
11. The guy in front of me in the theater audibly went "Hm" after every scene as if he was reflecting on what just happened.  He "Hm"d about 200 times over the course of 6 or 8 hours or however long it was.
12. Why does everybody have an English accent? They're French, not English.  Even the Americans have an English accent.  It would be way better if everyone did a French accent and they whole cast sounded like Pepe Le Pew.  That would rule.
13. It's too long.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The miniature oranges that WOULDN'T DIE

You know Cuties, right?  They're like miniature oranges that are really easy to peel.  Like somewhere between ping pong ball and cue ball size.

So I'm going to the grocery store and The Wife says "Hey, pick us up some of those Cuties. I want Cuties." So I was like sure and I got a bag of Cuties.

FIRST OBSERVATION:  There are a LOT OF FUCKING CUTIES in a bag of Cuties.

This picture doesn't even do it justice.  There must be 30, 40 Cuties in that bag.  THAT'S A LOT OF MINIATURE ORANGES.

I hate to see things go to waste, so now my life is all about How Many Cuties I Can Throw Down in One Day.  Now, admittedly, they are small - you can eat one in 3 or 4 bites - but it starts to get to be a slog.  Like, I had 5 yesterday and I feel a little guilty.  HAVE ANOTHER CUTIE SON. I'm actually eating one right now.

Things have gotten a little tense.  The Wife is leaving for work and I say, "HOW MANY CUTIES ARE YOU TAKING WITH YOU?"  She looks a little startled.

"Um, three Cuties?"


She didn't eat any Cuties yesterday.  Situation grim.

UPDATE: I had two this morning.  Seven left.  Going out for a while.  When I come back, EIGHT LEFT, I bet. Cuties are the endless menorah oil that keeps refilling itself of fruit.  (Isn't that the story? I'm not clear on that story. Help me out, Jews.)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

How an REM tribute band (temporarily) changed me from a bitter cynic back to a bright-eyed youth

Regular readers of this space may be under the impression that I am an angry and bitter crank, content to hurl invective from underneath my bridge.  I can see why you'd get that impression!  It's only partly true.  People who know me in Real Life sometimes report that I can be charming and friendly.  Anyway, point being that yes, I am not the wide-eyed youngster I once was.

But then last night I was at the Makeout Room in the Mission District of San Francisco watching an REM cover band (or tribute band, I guess - the taxonomy, I think, is that if you play only songs by one band, you're a tribute band, whereas if you play cover songs by a number of different bands, you're a cover band) called Chronic Town absolutely TEAR IT UP and suddenly I was 17 again and seeing REM at the Mosque in Richmond Virginia and never had been in an unsuccessful first marriage and 9/11 had never happened and the only thing I had to worry about was how much Milwaukee's Best cost and whether this girl I knew liked me.

Typical crappy iPhone pic.  Sorry.
They started with a great one-two, "Begin the Begin" and "These Days," the first two songs off of "Life's Rich Pageant," one of my favorite REM albums (except for the treacly "Flowers of Guatemala," but let's not get bogged down).  I should probably pause here and explain the REM thing.

You see, back in the 80's, growing up far from any kind of "scene," music seemed kind of stale and lifeless.  What you got on the radio was lots of classic rock (and country, I guess, if you wanted that). When we discovered REM, it seemed like a revelation - here was something different, something interesting.  And it was like our secret!  We were in a special club. 

Of course, REM, and what was then called "alternative music," blew up after that.  REM went on to become huge and maybe The Most Important American Band of All Time (there can be a debate, but seriously? Who else?).  But you know what?  REM will always remind me of a certain time when I was growing up and figuring out how to be an adult and the world was full of promise and things didn't seem as shitty all the time.  And last night, Chronic Town kind of took me back to that age.  It was pretty great.

And the kids!  There were kids there dancing to this stuff who weren't even born when Murmur or Fables of the Reconstruction or, from the looks of them, even Green came out.  I guess REM to them is what the Byrds were to me when I was their age - a Very Old, very influential band from before I was born.  But hey, more power to you, kids.

So thanks, guys.  You sounded great, and maybe made me less of an asshole for a few hours.  (I would like to extend a special shout-out to the singer, also named Michael, who my friend Stephen described as the "Daniel Day-Lewis of REM cover bands" for his complete immersion in the role of Michael Stipe.  Voice, moves, everything.  Great job.)

ANYWAY, as luck would have it, I'll be back at the same venue tonight for the annual "Parker's Holiday Craptacular," a shambling, hours-long Christmas party that's also a benefit for the SF Food Bank at which a number of people I know will be playing music - some of them backing up John Doe, for Chrissakes! - getting drunk, and basically having a good time.  I go pretty much every year and it's a blast.  If you wanna come too, look for me - I'll be the old guy.  HA!  Kidding.  Everyone there is old.  Anyway, Kelley Stoltz!  Paula Frazer!  Mark Eitzel!  Playing Christmas songs!  What else could you ask for?

Friday, December 14, 2012

I don't even like fish, but this is ridiculous

The only thing San Franciscans hate worse than iceburg lettuce is change, so we get really upset anytime someone tries to do something different that wasn't there before or change something to something else.  Case in point: the brewing opposition to a new restaurant on the Marina Green.

[DIGRESSION #1: I know, it's the Marina, who gives a fuck what they do over there?  But it's such a perfect little example of what happens every time anyone tries to do anything in this town.]

[DIGRESSION #2: I will valiantly attempt to get through this post without using the term "NIMBY."  I'm tired of NIMBY.  I'm a NIMBY for the term NIMBY.  "NO MORE NIMBY!!!", that's what my yard sign/bumper sticker/oversize novelty button would say.]

Let us visit the Marina Green, where we might find the Marina Degaussing Station.  I don't know what gauss is or why you don't want it on you, but whatever.  "The Marina Degaussing Station is a vacant, fenced-in, 720 square-foot building with a 450 square-foot patio located on the northern edge of the Marina Green on Rec Park property," according to the Marina Community Association. Apparently it has something to do with ships.  Possibly some kind of cool Philadelphia Experiment shit, I don't know.  Anyway, this abandoned building has sat vacant and fenced-in for like 30 years.

This is it. Photo from the Marina Community Association website. Thanks, MCA! Not the record label, the Marina Community Association, I mean.

 So the proprietors of the Woodhouse Fish Co. said "Hey!  Let's turn it into a little seafood restaurant!  Everybody wins.  The neighborhood will get a cute fish boutique instead of a seagull shit repository.  Visitors will enjoy seafood, as much as that's possible, because seafood is pretty gross.  We'll make money.  Who wouldn't like that?"

MARINA SHITBAGS, that's who.   How dare you take away our rotting empty degaussing station and try to put a productive, happiness-creating business therein?  WHAT IF WE NEED TO DEGAUSS?  WHERE WILL WE GO THEN?

Look at this shit:

This one I stole from SFGate. They'll probably be bankrupt soon, so I kinda feel bad.  Sorry, SFGate.  Oh, those signs read "I AM A DOUCHEBOX WHO HATES THE MUPPETS AND LIFE."  No, not really, they say "STOP RESTAURANT ON MARINA GREEN," but you get the idea.
Why do they hate freedom and good things in the world?  I don't know, something about traffic or noise.  It's a fucking fish restaurant, not Shoreline Amphitheater, you dorks.  Anyway, the upshot of all this is, the whole project has to go to some subcommittee in January and a bunch of Thurston Howells are going to show up and talk about how it's going to bother them.  That actually might be fun to go to.

You know what the rule should be?  You get to protest one thing every 5 years.  If you use your protest, and then something else comes up you don't like, tough.  You blew your wad on protesting the Crippled Child Bike-A-Thon because it started at 8 am and now you can't protest the Free Medical Care and Cotton Candy For Sick Poors because poors are loud.  You're out of luck.  I guarantee you these AmEx Black Cards have protested something else in the last 5 years, so they'd be SOL.

[Update - I wrote and posted this before I learned about the horror in Connecticut.  Obviously, this seems incredibly trite and stupid now.  I would hope beyond measure that maybe - just maybe - an incident like that might spur a rational conversation about reasonable gun control in this country, but I somehow doubt it.  But God, how awful.  Children.]

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Debra J. Saunders is up to her old tricks again!

And by "her old tricks," I mean "being an idiot."  LET'S CHECK IT OUT. Yesterday's column was called "Airburshing an impeachment" in the print edition of our beloved SF Chronicle and "First lady, second impeachment," which is even more nonsensical and meaningless, in the SFGate. Here's how it starts:

It has been a banner year for Bill Clinton. The former president delivered a galvanizing speech, deemed by many on the left to lay out the best argument for re-electing President Obama, at the Democratic National Convention. During the Republican primary, Newt Gingrich and other GOP hopefuls frequently talked up the Clinton-era economy and the former president's ability to reach across the aisle. The Sunday New York Times ran a front-page story on whether Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will run for the Oval Office in 2016 - and it didn't even mention Bill's 1998 impeachment. 

WHAT!?!? There was a story about Hillary Clinton's possible run for office in four years and it didn't mention the completely irrelevant fact that 14 years ago, her husband was impeached in a transparently political ploy, was then found not guilty by the Senate, enjoyed continuously high approval ratings during as booming economy and left office with a surplus, which was promptly squandered by his successor?  HOW COME THE NEW YORK TIMES DENIES THE TRUTH?

Of all the inane, laughably pointless columns Debra J. Saunders has written, this has got to be one of the silliest.  So, Deb, we aren't allowed to write about Hillary without mentioning an unrelated political event that took place over a decade ago?  Isn't that going to get old?  "Secretary of State Clinton, whose husband was impeached in 1998 and was later found not guilty, traveled to Bangladesh today to participate in a trans-Pacific summit."  "Hillary Clinton, whose husband was impeached in 1998 and was later found not guilty, spoke with Extra! about her favorite cookie recipes." I mean, after a few thousand of these, wouldn't everyone just be like "I KNOW, IMPEACHMENT ALREADY."

Besides that, there's also the problem that Debra's premise - that nobody talks about Clinton's impeachment anymore is completely false.  Here's a few examples, just from the last several weeks:

Las Vegas Review-Journal, December 2, 2012: "But doesn't that also describe the election of the reckless and underqualified playboy Jack Kennedy in 1960, and serial sex assailant Bill Clinton, since impeached and disbarred but still a great hero even to the feminists of the left?

New York Times Magazine, November 25, 2012: ". . .  he insisted I reach out to Sean Wilentz, a Princeton historian who, owing to his strident defense of Bill Clinton during his impeachment hearings . . ."

Here's one that SPECIFICALLY MENTIONS HILLARY, along with the impeachment, Chicago Sun-Times, October 17, 2012: "I’m also hearing that a number of people who feel very protective of both former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have quietly reached out to Lewinsky, asking her to drop those plans. While my sources stress that neither of the Clintons are involved in any contact — of any kind — with Lewinsky, they, like everyone, know the impeachment scandal will never be forgotten."

I could go on, but you get the point.  Debra's fear that the national press has somehow forgotten that Bill Clinton was impeached, or there is some great Conspiracy of Silence to suppress that fact, has no basis in reality.  It's OK, Debra. You can sleep now.

Her column goes to meander through her risible theories about how the Clintons are responsible for the current divisive political environment - surely Newt Gingrich bears no responsibility - before ending with this little gem:

"You'll never see a story about (President Richard) Nixon that doesn't say he resigned in disgrace," former Reagan speechwriter Ken Khachigian observed. There's a double standard so it's bad form to mention that Bill Clinton was the second U.S. president to be impeached.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 11, 2012: "All of the police powers that the local, state and federal government have accumulated since President Richard Nixon fired the first salvo in the War on Drugs are directly threatened by the public's weariness with this farcical, losing campaign." Wait, I thought I heard something about this Nixon guy getting impeached? Huh.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What if all the stars in the Milky Way were the size of ping pong balls and dropped into San Francisco?

Holy shit, this is going to come across as super Aspergy, but a while back, I read that the Milky Way galaxy has, at a minimum, 200 to 400 billion stars and I was thinking "That is an impressively large number.  So large that I can't begin to fathom it."  But then I thought "There has to be some way to fathom it.  How big is 200 billion?"


Then I took another hit off the bong.  JUST KIDDING.  It's actually fairly easy to figure out.  The volume of a ping pong ball, according to this dork at Physics Forums, is 0.0000335m^3.  That times 200 billion is 6,700,000.  So 200 billion ping pong balls take up 6.7 million cubic meters.

Still can't picture that?  I couldn't either.  So I plopped them down onto Civic Center plaza.

So imagine we have a clear plexiglass structure with walls along Grove, Larkin, McAllister, and Polk.  (It's plexiglass so you can see all the ping pong balls inside, duh.)  If we fill this behemoth up with ping pong balls, how tall is it if there are 200 billion inside?

ANSWER: About 582 feet.  Roughly the height of the Chevron tower at 575 Market.  You know the one.

Pic stolen from the charmingly named "Skyscrapers of World."
HOLY FUCK THAT'S A LOT OF PING PONG BALLS.  So imagine that Chevron Tower walked its way down Market (causing unbelievable destruction and death in its wake, natch) and also imagine it just happens to be the exact same size as Civic Center Plaza (which it may or may not be, I don't know) and planted itself there in the plaza and instead of being full of office drones and computers and novelty coffee mugs was instead full of ping pong balls.  That's the LOW END estimate for how many stars there are in the Milky Way.

CONCLUSION: There are a lot of stars in the Milky Way.

This has been fun!  Next time, we'll do evolution or something.

Monday, December 10, 2012

TK's Recipe of the Week: Guinness Beef Stew

Well, actually vegetable-beef-Guinness stew, but who's counting.  Beef stew is awesome for the winter but yesterday it was 70 degrees out.  I made it anyway.  I cobbled this recipe together from a Guinness Brewery recipe booklet I got somewhere and another beef stew recipe I got somewhere else.  All beef stew is built on the same premise - throw a bunch of beef and vegetables and broth in a pot and simmer for 2 hours - so it's not like I invented cold fusion over here.  Anyway, enjoy.

1/4 c olive oil
1 1/2 - 2 lbs stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces or however you big you want
6 large garlic cloves, minced
4 c beef broth
4 c vegetable broth
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp butter.  Or more.  You can always go more butter.
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into like 1-inch pieces, or bigger
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups chopped peeled carrots
Sale and pepper as needed
1 4-pack Guinness in cans with the thing that goes PSSSSSSSSSST when you crack it

Open one of the Guinnesses and begin drinking it.

Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium-high heat.  Add beef, salt and pepper it, and saute until brown on all sides.  Add garlic and saute 1 more minute.  Then add all the broth, tomato paste, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves.  Stir it all up and bring it to a boil.  Then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

Open another Guinness and drink it.

Chop up the onion, potatoes, and carrots.  Melt the butter in another big pot over medium heat.  Add the potatoes, carrots, and onions and saute until the potatoes are golden, about 20 minutes.  Add vegetables to the beef stew.  Open another Guinness and pour that in too.  It'll foam up a little, but that's normal.  You're normal.  You're fine.  Now simmer the whole thing uncovered for about 40 minutes. 

Put it into bowls and eat with some crusty bread.  It will be fucking HOT at first, so let it cool down, you idiot.  There should be one Guinness left, so go ahead and have that with it too.  Or red wine, whatever.

Delicious, and it reheats like a champ.  I just had some!  It kicked fucking ass.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Email Habits of the Tightly Wound

Hey, help me figure out if I'm way off here or what.  I never can tell with these kind of things.  I'm so sensitive that when the BART guy in the glass cube is a little rude to me when I ask him something I always go away like "Why does the BART guy hate me so much?  What did I do?" 

So today's problem in navigating our Strange and Complicated World has to do with emails and texting.  I know these people - NOT YOU, OTHER PEOPLE - who are what we might call Bad Responders.  That is, they're not so great at responding to emails and/or texts.  So I'm not sure if they're just not living up to my extremely demanding standards or if they're just being rude and I have to get used to it.

Let's baseline this thing first.  Here's my rule: if you email me, and the subject line isn't something like FWD: FWD: FWD: RE: RE: RE: RE: STATIC ELECTRICITY CAN KILL, I will most likely respond.  So EXAMPLE let's say you send me an email that's something like "Hey, check out this video of a cat watching a video of another cat."  Even if it's inane, which is totally is, and even if I've seen it before, which I assuredly have, I will still take 23 seconds and email you back and say 'That video is whack. You have to check out this video of an anteater watching a video of a marmoset, that shit is dope."

These people I'm talking about are at the other end of the spectrum.  Unless your email or text is something like "HEY WERE YOU ABLE TO GET THAT KIDNEY DONATION FOR ME I'M SCHEDULED FOR SURGERY IN 1 HR", it's likely that they will not respond. NOT 100% OF THE TIME, just most of the time. Sometimes they surprise me and respond. Life is mysterious.

So let's run through some scenarios and you tell me if a response is warranted or not.

SCENARIO #1: I email you and attach an article that is highly relevant to your interests and say "hey, whilst perusing the Internet I came across this article that is highly relevant to your interests and thought I'd pass it along."  MY RULE: I at least say "Hey, thanks."  Is a response called for in this situation?

SCENARIO #2: I email you and say "You're not going to believe who I ran into this weekend.  Our mutual friend Z.  He asked after you and I told him you were busy preparing for your backpacking trip through Ecuador/playing Call of Duty/maintaining your heroin habit. He's doing well."  MY RULE: Email response along the lines of "Huh, interesting, glad to hear Z has pulled himself together."  Is a response called for in this situation?

SCENARIO #3: I email you and say "I'm heading out to the bake sale/beer party/poetry slam on Saturday, if you want to come along."  MY RULE: This demands at least a "yay" or "nay."  Is a response called for in this situation?

What do you think, Internet?  Thanks for helping to calibrate my neurosis.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Brief reviews of a few things

Lincoln is a movie about ex-Raider OT Lincoln Kennedy and his rise to fame on FOX Sports.  No, not really, it's actually a film about people talking in poorly-lit rooms.  Most of the film is Abraham Lincoln telling amusing anecdotes.  Daniel Day-Lewis plays Lincoln and is already a mortal lock for the Best Actor Oscar, and I have no idea who else will even be nominated, doesn't matter, he's like the five dollar bill came to life and started chatting.  When other actors heard DDL was going to play Lincoln they were probably like "Well fuck that, I'm just going to cruise through a romcom with Reese Witherspooon and pick up a check this year instead of doing that film where I play a retard whose Dad died.  No sense wasting Oscar bait this year if Daniel's playing a historical figure and/or someone with a grave disability."

But seriously, it's really good, even if it is a bit hagiographical.  Is that a word?  I guess that's a word.  Only one brief mention of Lincoln suspending habeas corpus and nothing about him, say, executing 39 Native Americans after show trials, but hey, nobody's perfect.  (And also the first scene is kind of a groaner, but let's overlook that.)  (Oh, also, the guy who plays Lena Dunham's boyfriend on "Girls" is in one scene and that was a bit of a record-scratching-sound moment for me. Luckily, unlike in "Girls," he wears his shirt pretty much the whole time.)

The Tee Off is a bar and grill on Clement Street across from the Lincoln Park golf course.  We had dinner there Saturday evening at the suggestion of some people we were meeting up with.  I didn't realize it when we made the plans, but the TO was featured on Guy Fieri's show on Food Network.  (Here's a video of the episode someone made by pointing a camera at the TV. In it, Guy Fieri uses the word "macerates.")

Anyway, it's got your usual semi-dive-bar clubby vibe.  The bartender and server were both super nice.  In fact, when I was having trouble deciding which beer to have next, the server brought me little shot glasses of a couple of beers she thought I might like.  That's pretty good service.  The food was fine-ish.  I had the fish & chips, and the fish had a nice crispy crust but it was pretty mushy in the middle.  The fries were excellent, though.  Also, it was $100 for four people including dinner and multiple drinks, so try beating that, French Laundry!

Last night was the half-season finale of Walking Dead (link contains spoilers, so LOOK THE FUCK OUT).  I have a love-extreme nervousness relationship with Walking Dead.  The disclaimer at the beginning - that some material may be too intense for some viewers? - that's me.  I'm some viewers.  Anyway, I can't stop watching, and this season has been a vast improvement over last season. (Side note: when did we start having half-season finales? Is this going to be our new reality now? Do we just have to live with that?)

I guess I can't say much about last night without spoiling it for all you people who haven't seen it yet or whatever, but I think the takeaway from this season so far is that if last season was like an extended therapy session, this season has been more like testing how much disgusting shit people can handle.  Saddam Hussein would watch this season and be all like "Ugh, that is REVOLTING, get that shit off the TV."  Anyway, it's a must-watch in our house.  There are still a lot of flaws, but it's always interesting.

Rain is a naturally occurring climatological phenomenon that causes local TV news reporters to don silly-looking gear and go outside and report that it's raining.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Another boring post about how bad rents in SF have gotten

I know, it's been a while!  I missed all you guys a lot, but I was busy flying all over the US and having Thanksgiving and whatnot.  Nothing bad happened on any of the flights (except for one jackass slamming his seat into full recline 12 seconds after takeoff and essentially eliminating half of my usable space [Incidentally, we should just agree, as a society, that we can no longer recline our seats. The airlines have fucked us on that one by making the seats way too close together. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is.  If you recline your seat into the lap of the person behind you, you are now a total asshole.  Them's the breaks.]), to which I credit the tender mercies of Frontier Airlines, my longtime favorite airline.

Also, every Frontier flight just about goes through Denver, and Denver has one of the last airports with multiple bars you can smoke in without leaving the airport.  I quit smoking a while back but that was nice to have when I needed it.


Oh, right, rents in SF!  Crazy!  Not long ago I happened onto this post on Curbed about what you can rent for $2000-$2500 a month and was SHOCKED to see the STUDIO across the hall from where I used to live on Frederick is going for $2,250!!!  HOLY FUCK.  That is a STUDIO.  Now, it's a big studio - I should know, I've been in it - and it has a nice big separate kitchen and all, but come the fuck on.

I had the 1-bedroom across the hall from 1992 to 1996.  We paid $895.  According to my handy inflation calculator, that's $1432 in today's dollars.  That's for the ONE-BEDROOM, not the studio.  Since the ad is still up, I guess that means that it still hasn't been rented.  I hope they never rent it at that price. 

Similarly, as I've mentioned in the past, when I first moved to SF in 1990, I lived at 350 Union, in a furnished studio that cost $685.  Same studio today is $1939.  Inflation calculator says it should be $1212.  That's still a lot, but it's not $1939.

I'm not going to launch into another one of those what-happened-and-what-does-it-all-mean articles like this one, except to make one small observation: when rents are this ridiculously high, it greatly restricts the kind of people who can move to SF, and that's a bummer.  I certainly doubt I could have afforded that studio in 1990 for $1095 (i.e., 1939 in 1990 dollars), so I would have been effectively kept out.  I'm not saying that I've been some kind of magical addition to SF or anything, but I'm lightweight worried that cool people who don't make six figures are being kept out and who knows what we're missing out on. 

That said, I have no idea what the answer is.  I get the objections to the micro-apartments that have been approved, but doesn't it seem like a reasonable compromise?  If I was 23, I'd live in one, for sure.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday travelers, shoppers brace for busy week

[ED. NOTE: Are you a beleaguered and probably hungover metro reporter who has been assigned the busy shopping/traveling story this week?  Stay in bed, turn on the TV, and file the following story.  Simply select the best options, where provided, for your local area.]

As Thanksgiving approaches, (Tri-State/Quin-city/area) travelers have little to be thankful for. From long security lines at local airports to rising gas prices, the road to Grandma's house may be more challenging than ever this year.

"We're driving this year," says local resident (Stephen Janeki/Jesus Moreno/Tufui Ai'i).  The way that airline fares are right now, we couldn't afford to fly."  His family may find that local roads are (clogged with fellow travelers/remarkably empty thanks to the hantavirus/filled with idiots).

At (Clarence C. "Bud" Shapiro/Eisenhower/Marco Rubio) International Airport, long security lines greeted frantic flyers, many of whom bore Thanksgiving treats that prompted extra scrutiny.  TSA officials remind travelers that (baked goods/liquor/cash) will likely be confiscated, so please do not argue with any of the nation's valiant, brave TSA officials.

Meanwhile, employees at the (Shady Tree/Value Village/Hiddenbrooke) Mall braced for an onslaught of Black Friday shoppers seeking deep discounts.  "It's gonna be crazy," said (J.C. Penny/Hot Topic/Animal Attic) employee (Stacee Robledo/Marcia Spoon-Withers/"Dave").  "We're opening at 10 pm on Thanksgiving night, to accommodate the crowds of (anxious shoppers/drunk people/soulless dead-eyed automatons)."  At the (Computer Cabana/Toy Shoppe/Wal-Mart), employees expected that (cheaply made Korean laptops/Touch Me Elmo/multiple baby baby formula) would be a big seller.

But many area residents paused during this busy time to remember those less fortunate.  At the (Salvation Army shelter/soup kitchen/downtown library), some families volunteered their time to help the homeless and hungry.  "It warms my heart, man," said (Jed Johnson/"Porkchop"/Andy Dick), who said he ran into trouble when (his house was foreclosed/he tried Four Loko/he had a show on the CW).  "These people giving their time to help out someone like me."

(Giving back/helping others/a 50" plasma flatscreen), it seems, is the best present of all.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Urban etiquette: Let's go to the grocery store!

It's almost Thanksgiving!  That means record numbers of Americans will enter a grocery store.  Or something.  I mean, a lot of Americans go grocery shopping every week.  Like me.  Here are some tips to help you be less of an asshole while you're buying dry goods and/or Nutella.

1. Your dog doesn't want to go grocery shopping with you.

I love dogs!  I have one.  Everyone I know has one or two.  They're the San Francisco version of children.  They're especially San Francisco because you can bring them into some bars.  Anyway, your dog doesn't want to go grocery shopping with you, so don't bring him/her.  I swear, I see a lot more dogs in grocery stores these days.  I'm starting to get used to it, which is worrying.  If you need me to explain to you why you shouldn't bring your dog grocery shopping, we have already given up as a society.

Look at the dog! With his little shopping cart! That's ridiculous. (Photo stolen from Darf Blog.)

2. Hey bitch, you're blocking the aisle with your cart while you mindlessly jabber away on your cell phone

This phenomenon, part of the broader problem of inconsiderate cell phone use, seems to be more prevalent at - HERE COMES A SHOCKER - the Marina Safeway, in my experience.  Anyway, try to be at least a little mindful of the people around you? Okay?  We can't see the Smuckers selection through you.

3. I am a real person with thoughts and feelings

True story: I am at the Church & Market Safeway selecting red peppers when a guy LITERALLY gets DIRECTLY in front of me and starts manhandling all the peppers.  Like I was Patrick Swayze in Ghost.  At first I thought he was joking and then I was just like "I'M NOT IN YOUR WAY AM I" and he looked up all startled but even this little bit of Public Shaming didn't deter him from his Rude Pepper Grasping. 

So if someone is looking at some produce you want to look at too, WAIT FOR THEM TO MOVE AND THEN YOU CAN LOOK AT PRODUCE NEXT.  Fuck.

4. I gather there are all kinds of different rules transgressions at Rainbow, but I practice basic hygiene and eat meat like a normal person so I never go there

If you have some juicy Rainbow breach of etiquette stories, post them in the comments, hippie.

5. The Whole Foods at Franklin and California is a vortex of misery and general dickish behavior.  Don't ever go there.

6. Here's the big one: 15 ITEMS OR FEWER

You know who you are, you evil little shit.  You count all boxed goods as one item or you think "Eh, 16, close enough."  NOT CLOSE ENOUGH.  Here's the rule: if it's all in one container, it's one item.  Otherwise, it is MULTIPLE ITEMS.  12 apples in a bag?  Cool bro, one item.  4 cans of Dinty Moore beef stew?  FOUR ITEMS. 

Needless to say, if you get in the 15-or-less line with more than 15 items, you are irredeemably evil and there is no place for you in society.  Quit your job and go live under an overpass with the other sex offenders, you writhing piece of human garbage.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: As is our wont this time of year, we are off to the Old Country on Monday to Thanksgive with the extended fam.  Blogging may be sporadic.  In the meantime, enjoy the Thanksgiving Schedule I threw up in 2010 and which is still mostly true except I don't think we drink as much anymore.  The Wife sure doesn't, what with the foetus and all!  Anyway, have a nice whatever it is you do.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Movie Tuesday

I don't do a lot of movie reviews because God knows that is well-trodden Internet ground, but once in a while a movie comes along that is so annoying and pretentious that I am moved to say a few words about it.  Save the Date is just such a movie.

You would think that post-Mumblecore, the world would be ready for the astutely-made, three-act conventional structure hipster romantic comedy. I think that's what they might have been going for here, although who knows really. Unfortunately, unlike airplanes, movies don't come with a black box so you can analyze the data after a crash and see just what the filmmakers were trying to do and whether anyone ever yelled "PULL UP! PULL UP!" during production.

Basically, the movie is about a pair of objectionable sisters played by Alison Brie and Lizzy Caplan.  Alison Brie is about to get married and is freaking out about gift bags and invitations in a very cliched way while her put-upon fiancee with scraggly hair and a beard just wants them to have fun like they used to.  Lizzy Caplan is, I gather, some kind of Williamsburg/Los Feliz sex symbol with the big dumb eyes of a slow loris and a self-consciously quirky post-Zooey Deschanel vibe.  She's also rail-thin like everyone else in this movie.  In the film, she is some kind of artist, although her "art" more closely resembles primitive cartoons or doodles in the margin of notes she took during classes at Oberlin.  After her boyfriend, who is the lead singer in a band and looks not unlike Marty Feldman in a wig, proposes to her, she dumps him and takes up with a marine biologist named Jonathan who is so twee and fey that the first time they kiss, he begs off because you "know what kissing leads to" and flaps his arms like a bird and flees Lizzy Caplan's apartment.  What she sees in him is never adequately explained, unless she is looking for an 11-year-old boy in a cardigan and attempt at a beard. 

Nothing really happens in the rest of the movie.  People show up drunk to each other's apartments and it's awkward.  People without any visible means of support occupy warehouse lofts in LA that must rent for $3000 a month.  The same joke about bands with "wolf" in the name is deployed twice, landing flat both times. There is one plot twist that I won't spoil here but is so obvious and pointless you can see it coming a mile away and still don't give a shit. 

I would really like to see a smart, modern romantic comedy that's not afraid to play with the conventions a little bit and features characters that somehow resemble people you actually know, instead of Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston.  Maybe that's what they were going for here.  I don't know.

(We saw this on Comcast On Demand last night and I gather it's not in theaters yet so heads up, you've been warned well in advance.)

On the other hand, Cloud Atlas was great and you should definitely see that.  It's big and sprawling and somewhat confusing but it's so interesting and thought-provoking that all else is forgiven, even Tom Hanks being somewhat miscast.  Just the idea of translating that megalith of a book into something you can fit on the screen in a little under three hours is amazing to me.  Hats off to the screenwriter for pulling that off.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tweets my Dad would send if he understood what Twitter or the Internet was

The dog is outside #whyisthedogoutside

Having an apple


Obama! #angry

Looks like we're going to get some weather

Now why did I walk in here

Another telemarketer! Why do I even pick up the phone!

I'm not paying any $2.99 for a pound of grapes

Why is my son so liberal #sanfrancisco

Friday, November 9, 2012

Presenting the Greatest Show in the History of Television, ever

It's on VH1 and it's called "Couples Therapy."  It's a reality show.  Basically they get several ZZZ-list "celebrities" who are having marital difficulties to move into a house with their maybe famous/maybe not spouses and try to Work Shit Out with the assistance of Dr. Jenn Berman, a foul-mouthed marriage counselor who has a radio show on Sirius and looks like the best friend in a romantic comedy.

There are so many amazing things about this show I barely know where to start.  So I'll just dive in.

One of the couples is underage Twitter whore/professional underdresser Courtney Stodden and her husband, That Guy From Lost.  To the extent that you've ever had any thoughts about Courtney Stodden, they're all true.  She is literally the Worst Thing on the Planet.  When Dr. Jenn Berman tries to institute a dress code to keep Courtney Stodden from wearing clothes that would make a San Pablo Ave. hooker embarrassed, Courtney Stodden casts herself as the Rosa Parks of teen sluts and declares that she is unwilling to put on a shirt.  This causes Courtney Stodden and That Guy From Lost to be banished from the house, ONLY TO RETURN IN A FUTURE EPISODE.  DUN DUN DUNNNNNN.

Another one of the couples is TOO $HORT AND MONICA.  Holy shit, Too $hort, WTF?

Too $hort kind of wanders through the show with a constant "what the hell am I doing here" expression, which makes perfect sense.

Another couple is some guy named Nik who runs a website called The Dirty that I had never heard of and his wife, Lorenzo Lamas' daughter Shayne.  They got married in Vegas after knowing each other for an hour and a half!  And then had kids!  They clearly, CLEARLY loathe each other.  I hate them both with the white-hot intensity of molten platinum.  If there were any justice in the world they would both be working the night shift at a Huddle House in Mobile, Alabama instead of constantly fighting with each other on TV.

I could go on, but it's just too much.  Oh, one more thing.  Every week Dr. Jenn Berman brings in a guest to I guess tell the fractured couples about how to be better at marriage and one week it was this guy whose story was that he STALKED A CHICK HE SAW ON A MAGAZINE COVER FOR 20 YEARS and then when he finally broke up with his boring-ass first wife he got in touch with her and she somehow agreed to MARRY THIS CREEPER.  What a true tale of love and inspiration!  The lesson is: Get fixated on the platonic ideal of a woman you want and then wait out your first bullshit marriage and YOU SHALL HAVE HER.  See?  Isn't your marriage all fixed up now?

This show is more important than the Fiscal Cliff and the Mars Rover combined. Get on it.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

This is the last election-related thing for a while, I promise

But I have to just put this out there because it is BLOWING MY MIND.

So current Supervisor Eric Mar won re-election in District 1, where I live.  He got 11,495 votes.  Second place was David Lee.  He got 8,225 votes

(My personal choice, fellow recycling theft opponent Sherman D'Silva, clocked in with a relatively anemic 1,608 votes.  WE'LL GET 'EM NEXT TIME SLUGGER.)

So total spending on the David Lee campaign by David Lee and outside groups supporting him was around $800,000.  EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS, or about what a modest home in District 1 costs. 

That means that David Lee spent about $97 per vote. And lost.  WOW.  Next time, try handing out crisp hunskies, David.  Sure, you'll need to raise $1,149, 600, but that's not THAT much more.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Internal Visigoth Memo re: Roman election night

TO: Alaric I, King of the Visigoths, Exalted Leader, &c.

FROM: Gregor, Lord of the Campaign

RE: Post-Mortem on Election Losses

To His Most Royal Majesty Alaric I:

As you are no doubt aware, we rather resoundingly lost the election last night to the Roman Emperor.  Although of course the immediate execution of a large number of campaign staff will be necessary and called for, I'd like to take a moment and explore some areas where we might have failed to win the hearts and minds of the Roman electorate.

Women.  Whether fair or not, the Romans seemed to have the impression that we would either not advance women's rights or would take them backwards.  While of course I agree with your position that women are property and should be beaten mercilessly until they are compliant, it is possible - possible - that the majority of voters held another view.  Also, we should explore cutting down on using the terms "upright cattle," "fetus-carriers," and "kitchen whores" when referring to women in future elections.

Economy.  Romans have the sense that the economy is improving, and they still blame your predecessor Athanaric for existing economic problems.  Although this is demonstrably unfair and untrue, the repeated torture and execution of those perpetuating this blasphemy has failed to curb it.  Threatening to eliminate the Free Bread and Chariot Races was a mistake; these programs are very popular, even if they are expensive, and Romans will not stand for their elimination.  Also, your proposal to reduce the tax rate on the nobility, while proper and correct, might have been viewed with suspicion by the average Roman. It was probably a bad idea for your cousin to host his annual Let's Bathe Ourselves in Wine While Feasting on the Bodies of the Poor party last week.

Foreign Policy.  After years of fruitless and expensive wars against the barbarian hordes, Romans have little interest in more conflict.  Your proposal to launch wars against the Vandals, Franks, Goths, Spaniards, Cantabrians, Byzantines, and, well, every other organized society in Europe was of course magnificent and would no doubt have rained glory upon your memory, but failed to connect with the average Roman. 

Health Care.  A thousand pardons for this observation, Most Glorious One, but after you implemented a successful program of bleeding and leeches for the Visigoths, which the Romans then copied, it became difficult for you to disavow bleeding and leeches as a model healthcare plan.  While your suggestion of Letting Sick People Die would of course have been more budget-friendly in the long term, it was not popular with the Romans.

This is not to say that the Visigoths cannot continue to be a viable force in Roman politics.  We may need to soften the tone a little, though.  Suggesting that the Emperor is the bastard child of dirt-eating peasant hordes turned out to be an unsuccessful strategy.  And Rome may not be ready for our pro-rape agenda.  Nothing a little message tweaking can't fix.  Instead of "Vote Visigoth, or We Will Dismember Your Family and Feed Their Entrails to Our Dogs, If They Will Deign to Eat Such Trash," maybe something like "Vote Visigoth, For a Brighter Tomorrow," or something like that.  I'm just brainstorming here.

Monday, November 5, 2012

TK's 2012 Election Prediction Special

Barack Obama will win re-election.  His electoral vote total, I'm gonna say, um, 303 or 310.  I don't even know if that's mathematically possible, I'm just feeling numbers here.

Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy will muse about whether this means Obama is Dictator for Life now and also where should we turn our Bibles in.

Chris Matthews will say something stupid.

CA ballot propositions:

Prop 30, the Bail Out the Legislature For Years of Fucking Up By Holding a Gun to Schoolchildren's Heads Act, will pass, by a very small margin.

Prop 31, the Fuck Up the Budget Every Two Years Instead of Every Year Act, will pass, I guess.

Prop 32, the Kill All Unions Act, will fail.

Prop 33, the Something About Auto Insurance Act, will pass.

Prop 34, the No Way Are People Going to Vote to End the Death Penalty Act, will fail.

A note about this one: I am aware that the last round of polling showed this one passing.  I don't buy it.  The death penalty has always had broad popular support because people like revenge.  I just don't see enough people voting for this.  Hey, hopefully I'm wrong, but we'll see.

Prop 35, the Something About Human Trafficking Act will pass because people don't like humans or traffic.

Prop 36, the Fix Three Strikes and Stop Putting People Away for Life for Stealing Pizza Act, will definitely pass because (a) it's totally reasonable (b) even District Attorneys are for it and (c) George Gascon's hair is in a commercial against it.

Prop 37, the Everybody Freak Out It's Genetically Modified Oh No Act, I think will pass?  Not sure.  OK, I have to pull the trigger so yes, it will pass.

Prop 38, the Rich Lady Who Wants to Take Down Jerry Brown With a Competing Tax Measure Act, will not pass.

Prop 39, the I Didn't Even Know There was a Prop 39 Act, will either pass or fail but nobody will know or care.

There are apparently some local SF ballot propositions too?  I think? Wake me up if any of them involve recycling poaching.  SPEAKING OF THE DEATH PENALTY.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Which District 1 supervisor candidate's staff can read and understand English? Let's find out!

I live in San Francisco's District 1, a land of Great Opportunity and Promise that contains, besides my house, most of Golden Gate Park, all of Land's End, approximately 4200 Chinese restaurants, San Francisco Brewcraft, and the Balboa Theater.

We're having an election for Supervisor on Tuesday!  The incumbent supervisor is Eric Mar, who is famous for making San Francisco a national laughingstock via his successful initiative to ban McDonald's from putting toys in Happy Meals.  That was stupid, so I'm not voting for him.

If you live in SF (and maybe other places in the World too, I don't know) you know that around campaign time, you get a METRIC SHITLOAD of campaign flyers shoved under your door and attached to your doorknob or whatever you have.  If you're a sane person, these all go straight into the recycling.  They're like getting the Yellow Pages one page at a time.  Useless.

So in an effort to cut down on this bullshit, I put a sign on my gate that said "PLEASE NO FLYERS."  Easy enough, right?  End of the Flyer Problem?

No.  Not end of the Flyer Problem.  Whether out of spite or uncaring, candidates continue to leave me flyers, often attached, as the flyer below, DIRECTLY UNDER THE SIGN THAT SAYS NO FLYERS.

I know, it's hard to see, but the white thing at the top is my sign that says "PLEASE NO FLYERS" and the blue/red thing is a flyer from Supervisor Candidate David Lee.


Phil Ting left one yesterday. I didn't know he was running for anything.  Apparently he's running for Assembly.  I wasn't aware we were voting for Assembly this time.  Now I will be voting for Michael Breyer.  He wants to invest in the future!  I'm for that.  Also, he's the Candidate Who Would Never Leave a Flyer Under a Please No Flyers Sign.  I'm a narrow-issue voter and so far he has satisfied my narrow issue. 

For Supervisor, I am voting for Sherman D'Silva.  So far, Sherman D'Silva has not left any flyers, so that's good.  Also, check out Priority #8! "Require garbage provider to provide lock for all cans (to limit removal of recyclables and prevent garbage from spilling into streets."  Despite his failure to close his parentheses, I'm swooning. Sherman D'Silva wants to crack down on recycling poachers!  Be still my heart.  YOU HAVE FOUR DAYS LEFT NOT TO FUCK THIS UP SHERMAN D'SILVA!

Meanwhile, I'm not the only one with campaign literature problems.  Apparently London Breed doesn't know her district boundaries.   But I do love that name.  London Breed.  The London Breed sounds like a punk band from 1979. Oi!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Throwing tortillas is a thing, apparently, and other observations from the Giants Victory Parade/Civic Center Clusterfuck/Speechifying Boreathon

[NOTE: This will probably be the last post about baseball for a while.  Like until next year, probably.]

Every two years, thousands of people gather in San Francisco and especially in Civic Center Plaza to watch a parade, blow off work, drink Jagermeister, smoke a ton of weed, and celebrate a World Series victory by the San Francisco Giants, who are rapidly becoming the New York Yankees of the '10s.

The 2010 parade, which I also covered, was notable for the fact that it was 81 degrees out and it was also the first time the Giants had won the World Series since they moved to San Francisco when The Ed Sullivan Show was still on the air.  This year was considerably colder and also seemed a little drunker, for some reason. 

We were all worried about this guy, who climbed up on top of a 5 or 6-story building and stood there at the edge.  One strong breeze and the cleaning crew would have been wiping this guy off the pavement instead of just confetti.

Anyway, the parade had all the usual stuff with the cars and the Cal Marching Band and whatnot.  The big story, I guess, was Sergio Romo and his t-shirt that said "I Just Look Illegal," which got more attention than anything else, pretty much.

When Romo came by where we were perched, fans along the sidewalk started throwing tortillas at him.  Romo seemed to get the joke, and ran around grabbing the tortillas up and throwing them back into the crowd.  He looked like he was having a total fucking blast.

I didn't really get why someone would think ahead to bring tortillas to a Giants Victory Parade for the purpose of throwing them at Sergio Romo.  Or maybe somebody just happened to have a package of tortillas, and thought, "What the fuck, I'll throw these at the guy wearing the provocative shirt about illegal immigration."  There were so many possible levels of irony and cultural coding that I needed an Ethnic Studies major to explain them all to me.

Then I got this tweet.

Huh. I did not know that. I remember seeing flyers all around town for Incredibly Strange Wrestling, which was a thing in the 90's here in SF and which Bob Calhoun has written a book about, but I didn't know (1) that it involved coordinated tortilla throwing and (2) that this tortilla throwing survived ISW and became a Thing unto itself.  I'm still not sure how the mechanics of this work.  Do you just carry tortillas around and hope for an opportune moment to throw them?  Is it a coordinated thing, or are there Lone Ranger Tortilla Throwers?

ANYWAY.  The party then progressed to Civic Center Plaza, which had become fairly crowded.

There, Mayor Ed Lee and Giants exec Larry Baer proceeded to suck the life out of the crowd with a couple of long boring speeches.  Larry did the whole Growing-Up-On-29th-Avenue-in-The-Richmond thing which is great and all but nobody really gives a fuck.  People at these things want to cheer for the players, not hear the executives' life stories.  No towheaded 10-year-old with a Lincecum jersey and eye black on says "GEE DAD I HOPE WE GET TO HEAR THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER!!!!"  No.  They want to hear the players yell shit like "THANK YOU SAN FRANCISCO."  Which they did.

(Also, I don't want to get morbid or anything, but Gavin Newsom's daughter looks EXACTLY like Jon-Benet Ramsey.)

So there you have it.  When they win again next year, I wonder if the same number of people will show up.  Yesterday, there were people who got to Civic Center Plaza at fucking 1 a.m. Wednesday morning.  I can't imagine.

So congrats, Giants, on a great year and a truly unbelievable playoff run.  Honestly? I still can't believe they actually came back from 0-2 against Cincinnati.  Everything since that has felt kind of unreal.

Also, make sure and re-sign Angel Pagan.  That is all.

Monday, October 29, 2012

World Series Game 4: Is this real? Did that really just happen?

THIS JUST IN: Giants have NO CHANCE, none, to win World Series.

ELL OH FUCKING ELL.  By now, the smell of burnt couch outside your window has made it clear: The San Francisco Giants have won their second World Series in 2 years.  Basically any year that Buster Posey isn't injured, they win the World Series.  This will get tiring in about 3 or 4 years.

(This seems as good a time as any to remind everyone how I said on October 12 the Giants would win the World Series. WHERE'S MY CHECK, ESPN?)

OK.  On to the game:

* It's funny or something that the worst starter for the Giants in the Series was Matt Cain.  He didn't suck or anything, but in this Series, if you didn't pitch a shutout, you weren't very good.  Cain gave up, what, 2 home runs last night?  ANYWAY, he was fine.  YOU'RE FINE MATT CAIN.  I'm not trying to bitch or anything.  It's just that.....

* BARRY MOTHERFUCKING ZITO.  And then TIM LINCECUM.  And then JEREMY AFFELDT.  Here's how this shit went down.  Before the season started, they got together and said "Let's lie low this season and make everyone think we suck and then teams will get lulled into a false sense of security and then BLAMMO in the playoffs we will rock and shock America!  HAHAHAHAH  LET'S DO IT."

* Tim Lincecum.  I mean, come the fuck on.  The plan next year should be to start Mota or Lopez or someone, let him pitch about 2 innings, and then bring Tim in for the rest of the game because he is LETHAL as a reliever.  He just can't start!  We figured it out!


TA-DAAAAAAAAA!!!! Thanks, everyone!
Ryan Theriot scored the winning run in the 10th when he was driven in by the GUY WHO STOLE HIS JOB, Marco Scutaro.

* Wow, Phil Coke struck out the first 7 Giants he faced in the World Series?  WOW.  Really?  Also, doesn't he seem a little drunk in this video?  I guess he coulda hit the bottle between losing the game and being interviewed, but whoa, that was fast!

* Also, we need to briefly talk about Fox.  Fox is the Worst Thing That's Ever Happened in History.  On the field, there is an exciting Game 4 of the World Series.  Fox paid a large sum of money to broadcast this game.  So Fox spends an entire inning in an EXTREME CLOSEUP of Justin Verlander's face.  They are interviewing him at length WHILE THE GAME IS GOING ON.  Now, Justin Verlander at least plays baseball for one of the teams involved.  Another lengthy in-game interview was with the winner of some contest.  Fox should no longer be allowed to televise sporting events.  If Fox was televising the moon landing, they would have a lengthy interview with some dork pushing buttons at Mission Control while Neil Armstrong trots around the lunar surface.

So that's it.  Second World Series win in 3 years.  Everybody surprised.  Hell, I"M surprised.  Let's do it again next year.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Eschewing my normal routine of watching Giants World Series games at home, I headed out with some associates to Nickie's on Haight Street (WARNING SITE AUTOPLAYS MUSIC WHY YOU HAVE TO DO THAT NICKIE'S) last night.  Normally I have to watch games in a controlled environment because I get tense and nervous and can't have some chick over my shoulder yelling for a Midori Sour or complaining loudly about her boyfriend but I was like fuck it, Giants are feeling loose and so am I.

It was packed.  PACKED.  They weren't letting anyone else in after like 5:30 and so this very exclusive crowd sailed off together on the SS Making Shit Happen and generally had a great time.

What happened?  Here's what happened:

* Ryan Vogelsong went 5 2/3 innings which doesn't sound like much but also doesn't convey how totally dominant he was.  He walked a few and scatted a couple of hits but basically the Tigers were never really in it.  He was really good.

* And then TIM LINCECUM.  Tim!  What a story.  From consecutive Cy Youngs to the worst starting pitcher in the major leagues to the best reliever in World Series history I think I may be wrong about that but I'm pretty sure and it seems like it.  He just casually came in and struck out 3 guys and really, it wasn't cool or funny to beat up on people like that.  It was just MEAN what he did.  They were swinging at shit in the dirt and looking around like they were on Punk'd because how can someone throw a baseball and make it do shit like that.  Fucking insane.

* The Giants didn't score much but you only need to win by 1 and they got 2 just for the fuck of it.  Both in the second inning and then no more scoring at all.  In any other context, this is fucking boring.  In baseball, it's thrilling and gut-wrenching.  Well, sorta.  You have to be into baseball.

* Hunter Pence!  Remember all those times Hunter Pence was terrible and couldn't hit baseballs and generally looked even more insane than normal?  WELL WELL last night Hunter Pence just went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored and also caught EVERY SINGLE BALL HIT INTO THE OUTFIELD and now I will pick Hunter Pence first for kickball and I want him on my Birthing Team when my child is born and I'm totally cool with Hunter Pence just dropping by unannounced at 11:00 p.m. on a Sunday to smoke a little weed and we'll put some of those frozen TGI Friday's mozzarella sticks in the oven and watch Adult Swim together.

Vice called Hunter Pence "a one-man SOON meme who runs as if his feet were being remote-controlled by two different seven-year-olds" so if the shoe fits....

*Haha, on you can totally choose "Giants recap" or "Tigers recap". That's great!  They should do that for everything, so like the "Israelite recap" is "PLAGUES RAIN DOWN AS ISRAELITES KICK EGYPTIAN ASS" and the Egyptian recap is "GUEST WORKERS UNEXPECTEDLY DEPART; NILE NOW PLEASING SHADE OF RED".  Anyway, looks pretty good for the Giants now. Did I just do an Exodus joke? What am I, working a room in the Catskills in 1952?

* Please don't let Hector Sanchez be the DH again.  PLEEEEEASE.

OK!  Let's get out there tonight and have a good game, people.  Mission residents, GET YOUR MATTRESSES READY!

Friday, October 26, 2012

World Series Game 2: Nothin But a B Thing

You know those poor misguided people who continue to insist that baseball is....BORING?  Can you imagine such a thing?

Last night's game isn't going to change any of their minds. Unlike Wednesday night's Score-plosion Home-Run-apalooza, last night was more like a Why-Isn't-Anyone-Moving-A-Thon.  Game 1 was cathartic; Game 2 was scientific.  Game 1 was a fight in the schoolyard; Game 2 was a meeting of the Chess Club.  OK, I'm done here. I love a good pitcher's duel as much as the next guy, but I also like it when Things Happen.  Last night's most exciting play was A BUNT THAT DIDN'T ROLL FOUL.

Have you passed out from excitement yet?
I'm not bitching, though.  Giants win 2-0 behind a STELLAR performance from Madison Bumgarner (and THANK GOD we weren't treated to another Tim McCarver exegesis on Bumgarner's hometown of Hickory, North Carolina, and the many many Bumgarners who live within) and scoring two runs in the lamest possible ways, on a double play groundout and a Hunter Pence sacrifice fly.  Hunter Pence!  Even when he does something good, HE STILL MAKES AN OUT.  HUNTER PENCE FEVER:  CATCH IT!!!!!!!

Oh, and the Tigers' starting pitcher Doug Fister got NAILED by a line drive in the head, got up, answered a few questions, correctly responded that he was in 'San Francisco" and it was "Game 2" and then PITCHED FOUR MORE INNINGS.  What the fuck?  You might want to get that looked at, Doug Fister.

In the end, we were left withe scowling visage of Tigers CEO David Dombrowski and a 2-zip lead in the series.

Now we go to Detroit. I don't know what will happen there but I guarantee you will read at least one newspaper story about how gritty and real Detroit is and how the Tigers haven't given up in the face of adversity, just like the citizens of Detroit. And maybe also about how Delmon Young hates Jews.

UPDATE: Here it is!  Thanks, CW Nevius!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

World Series Game 1: Verlanderp

I. Am. An idiot.

Yesterday, I watched ticket prices for last night's game on StubHub fall below $300 apiece for reasonably good seats by 3:30 p.m.  It was actually amazing how cheap they were getting.  But did I say "Oh, fuck it, I can't pass this up, I gotta go"?  NO OF COURSE NOT.

No, you see, I was planning to go tonight because I bought into the lamestream media narrative about how Justin Verlander was UNHITTABLE and would not only throw a perfect game but would probably also hit a grand slam.  The media coronation of Verlander was so complete that I didn't want to drop $700 to see the Giants lose.  I should have listened to the Verlander truthers who were laughed at for suggesting that last night would be an inside job and a repeat of Verlander's last World Series start, against the Cardinals in 2006, when he gave up 6 runs in 5 innings for a 10.80 ERA.  LAUGHED AT. 

So you know what happened.  This time, Verlander changed it up a little and only went 4 innings and gave up 5 runs for an 11.25 ERA.

Wait, I think I've seen this movie before!  Remember what they told us before Game 1 of the 2010 series?  I do, because I used my rapier-like wit on it then:

Cliff Lee is the most ungodly pitiching talent you will ever see. He throws 105 miles per hour and strikes out the guy selling churros in the stands, that's how good he is. If the Giants somehow manage to cobble together one run by cheating or divine intervention, it will truly be a Fatima-level miracle. This kid makes Sandy Koufax look like Salomon Torres after a three-day bender. Plus, he's from Arkansas, so he's a Real American.

Cliff Lee got chased in the 5th and the Giants won 11-7. Last night, Verlander got chased after 4 and the Giants won 8-3. 

Moving on.  PABLO SANDOVAL.  PABLO SANDOVAL.  He hit 3 home runs last night, or roughly 4 more than people expected.  That's right, Verlander is so good he can throw NEGATIVE HOME RUNS that actually take a run off the board.  But not last night!  Pablo joins Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and Albert Pujols as the 4th guy in history to hit 3 home runs in a World Series game.  I was going to make a Babe Ruth fat joke here but I held off.

After the second one, Verlander was so shocked he just goes "Wow."  HOW FUNNY IS THAT.

I haven't even gotten to the pitching and the Amazing Story of Where the Fuck Has This Barry Zito Been for the Last Five Years but you people have the attention spans of fruit flies so my time here is drawing short.  There are many more games left to play and it's unlikely that the Giants will sweep so EVERYBODY KEEP FOCUSED and we have a long way to go blah blah blah.

(Oh, one other thing, because it can't be all sunshine and roses: Hunter Pence, dude, you seem like a good guy, but what the fuck?  You used to be able to hit?  What the fuck happened to you?  Did you participate in a some kind of black magic ritual and transfer all your Baseball Strength to Barry Zito?  I mean, that's cool and everything, but I hope he's taking care of you because you look like a tweaked-out gardener swinging a brush cutter up there.)


(To close my thought from above, about why I'm an idiot for thinking I could even go tonight: As of this second (10:14 a.m.), there are a paltry 1,451 tickets available on StubHub, starting at $540 for Standing Room Only.  Yesterday afternoon there were around 8,000 tickets left, and you could get good seats for $300.  Amazing what a win will do.  Also, needless to say, I'm not going tonight.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Detroit sportswriter calls AT&T Park wimpy; ignores fact that Comerica Park is basically Tinkerbell's summer place

Oh, for fuck's sake, here we go again.  Every time a lazy sportswriter from out of town comes to SF and isn't smart enough to write about the actual sport or its participants, he or she (but always he) rolls out the lazy trope of "SF fans are wimpy because they like sushi and wine".  This week's example is brought to us by Jeff Seidel of the Detroit Free Press, whose boss should really ask him why the fuck he is filing stories like this.

SAN FRANCISCO – Now, the San Francisco Giants have a talented team.

And they play in an amazing, beautiful stadium in an unbelievable setting near San Francisco Bay. It’s breathtaking.

But there is no way the Detroit Tigers can lose to these guys. They would never live it down.

First of all, the Giants have a Build-A-Bear Workshop in the stands behind leftfield at AT&T Park. Seriously. How the heck can you lose to a team where the fans can go to a game and stuff a teddy bear and then buy a cute little outfit?

Can you imagine that in Detroit?

Get real.

We’d run them out of town, just because it sounds so wimpy.

And then they have a giant slide, which looks like a McDonald’s play station on steroids.

Yeah, the Tigers have a carousel. But carousels are cool. 

Wait, what? The Tigers have a carousel in the stadium and you're throwing shade on the Build-A-Bear Workshop? Are you fucking kidding me? Carousels are so wimpy there's a musical called "Carousel."

Manly-type amusement

We also have the inevitable complaints about the concessions.

AT&T Park isn’t a baseball stadium. It’s an exotic food court that happens to have a baseball field.

Few San Francisco fans would ever lower themselves to eating a beer and a brat. Or even a coney.

They sit there -- decked out in orange and black, waving orange towels -- watching their Giants while eating garlic fries, crab sandwiches on grilled sourdough bread, clam chowder, fried calamari, sweet potato fries with cinnamon and chipotle sprinkle, and clove garlic chicken sandwiches.

Others can be found drinking margaritas, Irish coffee and an assortment of wines. 

Meanwhile, the Big Cat Food Court at Comerica Park features a frozen daiquiri stand, because nothing says "baseball" like frozen daiquiris.  How about veggie teriyaki from the Asian Tiger stand in the food court, Jeff?  Is that a challenge to your masculinity, too?

(I also note that, of course, there is a selection of wine available as well.)

The last thing I want to do is to get into a pissing match with some idiot from Detroit.  The problem isn't the hack-y attempt to call Giants fans weak; it's that the lame-ass fucking story has already been done to death.  Jeff's editor should dock his pay for turning in shit like this.  It's like going to Detroit and using the terms "bombed-out", "abandoned", "Beirut-like", "savage hellhole", or "pale shadow of its former self, robbed of all dignity and pride".  We've seen that story before.  Try writing about the game or something.

(And, in all fairness, when Scott Ostler files his inevitable slice-of-Detroit-stereotype story for the Chronicle, I'll make fun of him too.)

[UPDATE: I guess I'm a hack, too, since everyone in the Bay Area is teeing off on this article also.  The SFWeekly article even has the advantage of sounding JUST LIKE MINE! Sorry.]

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Just like I called it

On October 12, just after the Giants won Game 5 against the Reds to pull out a miraculous comeback in that series, I was emailing with Periqueblend about the Giants' chances.  Here's what I said:

No, after that series, now I think they are going to go to, and win, the World Series.  If they can overcome being 2 games down to an arguably better team and have the starting pitching be average at best, and usually not that good, until the last game, when it was slightly above average, and win, they can pretty much do anything.  I think all the teams left in the playoffs would be frightened of them right now because they don't make sense.  If you KNOW how your opponent wins, you can strategize against it. But you can't prepare for a team when you can't figure out how the fuck they do what they do.  Tim Lincecum, worst starting pitcher in the majors?  Oh, he'll just come on and pitch like a Cy Young winner.  Stuff like that.  How do prepare for that?
I guess I was right!  Tell you one thing, though, NO ONE expected the Giants to outscore the Cardinals 20-1 in the last 3 games.  That is some next level shit.

And now here we are with the Giants back in the World Series and I have to keep reminding myself that I have a baby on the way and I can't drop $1000 on WS tickets.  Right?  I mean, I can't, right?  RIGHT? 

I mean, that would just be ridiculous.

Let's talk again after Game 1.