Thursday, May 31, 2012

You're a San Francisco Giant. What does your walk-up music say about you?

From CSN Bay Area, we are gifted with this indispensible list of the Giants' walk-up music. When correspondent Periqueblend sent me this yesterday, I immediately tabled all other business to focus like a laser on this. It may be the most important thing I've seen in the past 3 weeks.

(Walk-up music, if you're not a baseball fan or something, is the music played in the stadium in the time that it takes the player to walk up to the plate - ergo, "walk-up music." For pitchers, it's usually the music that plays when they're warming up. But more than simply that, it is a window into the soul of the player, and should be regarded as such.)


Barry Zito -- "Doo Rags" (Nas) - Barry may have his ups and downs as a pitcher, but this is a rock-solid pick. Nas is the Vida Blue of rappers.

Pablo Sandoval --
(1) "The Motto" (Drake) (2) "Wild Boy" (MGK) (3) "N**** In Paris" (Jay -Z & Kanye West) (4) "Dance" (Big Sean) - Jesus Christ, I don't have time to fish for links for 4 different fucking walkup songs, but if you don't like N's in Paris, there is something wrong with you. Plus, the video comes with an epilepsy warning! How fucking badass is that!

Ryan Theriot -- (1)"Push It" (Salt-N-Pepa) (2) "I Wanna Rock" (Luther Campbell) - Hahahaha, I love that Ryan Theriot has "Push It" as one of his walkup songs. There's something so goofy and Dance Party 1986 about that. This just makes me instinctively like Ryan Theriot. As for #2, I can't imagine a stadium in the country where you could play a Luther Campbell song and get away with it, but more power to you if you can slip "Pop that pussy let me see you doo doo brown" by the stadium general manager.

Emmannuel Burriss -- (1) "Up!" (Loverance) (2) "Untouchable" (Rick Ross) (3) "Faded" (Tyga) (4) "Function" - E-40 (start at 18 sec) - 4 songs! Jesus, Burriss. Points for Bay Area connections (LoveRance and E-40).


Hector Sanchez -- "Corazones" (Daddy Yankee) - I kinda like it. This is reggaeton, right?

Freddy Sanchez -- "Cuidad Au Au" (Cosculluela) - Just for the video alone, which seems to feature some kind of Cosculluela - Frat Boy gamble-off. Also the chorus is a little ear-wormy, go figure.

Sergio Romo -- "El Mechon" (Banda MS) - It's a little....frantic, isn't it? Much like Romo himself.


Gregor Blanco -- "Welcome to Jamrock" (Damian Marley) - It's reggae. Who really cares one way or the other.

Melky Cabrera -- (1) "Crazy People" (Pitbull) (2) "Right Above It" (Lil Wayne) - That Pitbull song is pretty awful and the Lil Wayne song isn't much better but next time you get 50 hits in one month, you can bitch about it.

Brandon Crawford -- (1) "Lord Knows" (Drake) (2) "Writer's Block" (Royce Da 5'9) - Whatever.

Brett Pill -- "Im Broken" (Pantera) - I'm probably the wrong person to ask about this, since my knowledge of metal is utilitarian at best. It's fine, I guess, if you're into that kind of thing.

Clay Hensley -- "Wherever I May Roam" (Metallica) - Sure, great, whatever. I guess this would get you fired up while you're warming up.

Javier Lopez -- "Coastin'" (Zion I) - This is alright.

Tim Lincecum -- "Loud” (Mac Miller) - "I experiment with drugs but I won’t ever fuck with yay/I just made a million dollars still I think I’m underpaid."

Madison Bumgarner -- "Bad Company" (Five Finger Death Punch) - Yes, it's a cover of the Bad Company song by Bad Company. Plus a video featuring FFDP visiting The Troops, so you know they are Real Americans and they kick some fucking ass and whatnot.


Matt Cain -- "Whistlin' Dixie" (Randy Houser) - This is this generation's Hank Williams Jr. You know, that Southern Bad Boy stuff. I have to admit, though, it's much better than Hank Williams Jr. Of course, drinking bleach is much better than Hank Williams Jr. Anyway, if you dip, hunt deer, know how to field-strip a .30-.30, and own some non-ironic trucker caps, you'll probably like this. Video featuring shotguns, children wearing camouflage clothing, lissome young woman in a trailer, and black people.

Buster Posey -- "Hell on Wheels"(Brantley Gilbert) - More of the same, but no real video. I'm surprised Buster has a song with a swear in the title!


Angel Pagan -- "Blue" (Gemini) - Ugh, dubstep. Sounds like the Fist Pump song played backwards with Usher singing over it. Bad.

Ryan Vogelsong -- "Metalingus" (Alter Bridge) - Alter Bridge has a bunch of ex-Creed members in it. Enough said. And that title? WTF? Is that what happens when a Transformer goes down on you?

Jeremy Affeldt -- "Fireproof" (Pillar) - Oh boy, a Christian rock Linkin Park. Just what the world thought it needed. I like that on the CSN Bay Area site, they spelled it "Pilar," implying that it's a Spanish folk artist and not a bad nu-metal band. That would have been awesome, actually.


Santiago Casilla -- "Mi Roca Y Mi Castillo" (Entre Mar Y Cordillera) - Couldn't find this online anywhere.


Nate Schierholtz -- "When We Stand Together"(Nickelback) - Oh, Nate. This appears to be Nickelback's attempt at a We Care About The World song, as opposed to their usual trite, boring, borderline misogynistic crap. Guess what? Nickelback still blows fucking chunks.

Nate Schierholtz, batting .247 at the plate and .000 in his walkup music.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Bachelorette: This is very exciting!

Obviously ABC took my comments about how fucking boring this season is to heart because, WOW, gotta hand it to them, they really ramped up the excitement!

We start with a solo date with Chris. It seems that we are off to Mexico for a bullfight! This is very exciting! Oh, wait, they're not just watching the bullfight, they are the prey! Emily and Chris are abandoned in the middle of the bullfighting ring and then suddenly set upon by a gang of matadors, who are cranked out of their minds on steroids and cheap Mexican speed and armed with electric cattle prods and sharpened polo mallets. Em and Chris gamely try to avoid their deadly assailants, but are soon overwhelmed. Emily, shocked and bloody, falls to the dirt as Chris tries valiantly to protect her, but....

It is a dangerous game, mi amigo.

Nah, I'm just shitting you. This is just as boring as always. Em and Chris stroll through deserted downtown Charlotte until it's time to put on some harnesses and climb up the side of a building, like they do at least once every season. Blah blah blah. "Climbing a building is definitely like love," says flat-faced Chris. Both involve wearing a harness and struggling for breath, so yeah, I guess that's true. Or maybe that's just me. Em seems to think he's super good looking or something and maybe I'm missing something because he looks like any other weak-chinned doofus to me. So then they hang out on the roof and the news that he is 25 years old confuses and puzzles Emily because, I guess, why would any otherwise normal 25 year old agree to go on a TV show to get married. After their rooftop hangout, we are subjected to more country music, this time from Lane Bryant or Lute Byron or something, I couldn't make it out. Whoever this joker is, he's in the running for Worst Lyricist of the Year, because he sings "Girl, you make my speakers go boom boom," which makes sense if your girl is Ludacris, I guess. This makes Train lyrics look like Lord Byron. Anyway, I hope the next Bachelor/ette likes punk instead because it would be awesome if they had the Dwarves on or something instead of another Generic White Dude being boring.

Next up we have a Group Date. We're off on a plane somewhere and the guys are trying to figure out where they're going and SURPRISE they're going to join a FARC faction in Colombia and whoever is able to kidnap a wealthy industrialist in downtown Bogota will get a solo dinner with Emily! OK, this should be exciting! Oh, wait, Charlie blew himself up dropping a mortar round on the ground and now their fellow guerillas are pointing and laughing at them!

No, no, no, that never happened. Instead a bunch of these dorks dress up in their Activewear and go to the park and Sling Blade immediately goes all Alpha Douche on the proceedings and meanwhile E rounds up her "best friends" who are all older white Mommy-types except for one vaguely ethnic chick but I can't figure what she's supposed to be. So these "friends" are going to interview the idiots and it's mostly just as boring and pointless as you'd imagine except there's one friend who fails to hide her immediate sexual longing for Sean and basically goes all Bob-Hoskins-seeing-Jessica-Rabbit and her eyes like bug out of her head and she goes "HUBBA HUBBA" and makes him take off his shirt and the whole nine. Gross. Then they unleash a whole parade of rented children so the guys can show off their Superior Child Skills and everyone dutifully pretends to enjoy this except for Sling Blade, who immediately ditches his kid and goes over to where Emily is debriefing with the Momz and tells her he won't love her if she gets fat. SOLID MOVE DUDE.

Now it is night and Em throws on some new hookerwear and we're off to whatever passes for a nightclub in a strip mall in Charlotte. Here we have Doug recounting his unbelievable tragic backstory, which includes a dead epileptic Dad, Mom who walked out, foster care, and God knows whatever other Dickensian nightmares he didn't reveal. Jesus Christ, this is depressing. Oh, Tony is kind of decompensating because he's been away from his kid for like 3 days and can't handle it. There's some kind of bizarro parental attachment disorder going on here. He talks to his kid on speakerphone and frankly the kid doesn't sound all that great so I think Tony's kind of a drama queen. Anyway, he just can't take it any more and leaves the show. I hope that kid never goes to summer camp or Tony will have to be hospitalized. Sean gets a rose for no discernible reason.

Solo date with Ari or Arie or whatever, the racecar driver. ABC's budget for this date must be about $36 because they're off to Dollywood, which I gather is like Hillbilly Disneyland. Anyway, they walk around the completely empty park and go into this theater and Dolly Parton shows up! Dolly Parton is one of those artists that everyone just loves. I mean, even the total asshole cynical bastards just melt when they talk about Dolly. It's a thing. So she wrote a song for the show and sings it and then has a little sit-down with Emz and actually it's a little uncomfortable because she mostly brags about how long she's been married and how her husband is alive and Emz has to be thinking "I'd be married too if Racecar Ricky hadn't died!" Then they have dinner in some barn thing and Arie gets to go on and on about how much he loves kids and no one touches their food, as per usual this season and he gets a rose because whatever. Arie's voiceover says she "exceeded his expectations," so it definitely sounds like love!

I am making mad bank for this appearance.

Let's get to the Cocktail Party. We are almost through this grueling slog. Krylon is wearing glasses this week and won't let Emily get a word in and then when she tries to talk he says "SHUT UP BITCH THERE'S A MAN TALKING," oh, no wait he says something like "if you'd let me finish" or something as dickish as that. The Guy Who's Carrying an Egg Around, who I had mostly forgotten about, gives it to Em to SMASH and whatever who gives a fuck. Grain Merchant Alessandro says something about how her having a kid would be a "compromise" and she doesn't like that and he immediately gets sent back to the Late Middle Ages or wherever the fuck he's from.

So Krylon gets to stay, for some reason. Some guy named "Nate," too. We bid farewell to New Jersey's "Party MC" Stevie. I'm sure there's someone out there for Stevie. Maybe in an episode of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. Oh, and then Sling Blade calls Arie a "dainty guy" and then that's it.

"Here For the Right Reasons" Total This Episode: 3

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

More from the City Hall Ouija Board

It is official: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors backs the idea of the Navy naming a vessel after gay political leader Harvey Milk. But the decision came only after debating the power of symbolism and consulting with a spirit board.

The nonbinding resolution, approved on a 9-2 vote, urges the secretary of the Navy to christen a ship the USS Harvey Milk. It supports the request of San Diego Rep. Bob Filner, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee.

Supervisor John Avalos said he sees the merits of the arguments on both sides of the debate. He and his City Hall aides turned to a Ouija board to ask for Milk's opinion.

We "actually put our hands on the Ouija board and the letters g-o-o-d-r-i-d-d-a-n-c-e-d-a-d-t came out. We asked Harvey, and Harvey gave us these letters: 'Good riddance don't ask, don't tell.' It was quite clear that Harvey Milk would have been opposed to 'don't ask, don't tell.' I can honestly say that's one aspect of this resolution that's really valid."
The board continued:







Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Bachelorette: This Is Terrible

Boy, and here I thought Ben from last go-round was bland and featureless, but I have to say Emz makes him look like a ADD kid judging an espresso contest. This is going to be an even tougher season to get through, and that's saying something. So anyway, might as well get to it.

First solo date with Ryan and his mental patient haircut. Seriously, what in the FUCK was he thinking coming on national television with that Sling-Blade-meets-Japanese-teen getup? He feels that this date will feature something "incredibly special, like a plane ride," and that about sums about Ryan's level right there. LOOKIE A PLANE WHOOOOSH UP IN THE SKY. Sorry, Ryan, no PLANE YAY for you. Instead we'll be making cookies at Em's house! Because she is the Snack Mom this week! Ryan's game right up until the apron challenges his sexuality and he looks visibly uncomfortable because this is Girl Stuff. Yucky! Later, he will sit in the car and watch the kids from a distance as Em delivers the goods. This couldn't get any creepier if he were wearing dark sunglasses and a trench coat. Both of them have the personality of a box turtle and this makes watching paint dry seem like a Michael Bay film called PAINT: THE WATCHING and it would star Nicholas Cage and Samuel L. Jackson locked in a paint-watching duel TO THE DEATH.

For the nighttime portion, Em dresses up like a Bellagio hooker for a "fun night out" in Charlotte. Based on what we've seen of Charlotte, this probably entails church bingo and then a stopoff at the Sonic. No, wait, they're off to a deserted restaurant to have an EXCRUCIATINGLY BORING talk about relationships and whatever. He gets the Please Kill Me If This Doesn't End Soon Rose and then they pop outside in time to catch something called "Gloriana" who are basically a low-rent Lady Antebellum, ugh, I can't believe I can actually make that reference, and then they dance on a raised platform while the crowd around them rapturously takes cell phone video of them. What the fuck is going on in America these days.

Ready to have the Muppets ruined for you forever? Then come along on this group date, where Em and a bunch of losers will put on a show to raise money for some fake charity that The Bachelorette people probably just created. Oh look, it's Kermit and Miss Piggy. Miss Piggy has really turned into a kind of psychotic bitch. One second she's coming on to all the dudes and the next second she's all threatening to cut a bitch when Emily is hitting on Kermit. Whore. So there's this whole thing with Brain Injury Charlie and apparently he got the stage fright real bad and so instead of making him one of the dancers or something they put him in the Fake Talk Show segment where everyone will be watching him and he is the focus of attention so nice job with that ADA accommodation, producers. Whatever, I cannot talk about this variety show thing any more, it is so painful.

Nighttime portion. Here we have Tony, the "lumber salesman." I conclude Tony is the Secret Gay this season.

Come on, Tony.

Meanwhile, what the fuck is Dacron wearing? He looks like J. Crew threw up on Miami Vice.

Now she's buttering him up too! In fact, she tells fucking EVERYONE how good-looking they are! Even the guy with no chin and a lazy eye! Everybody gets the "You are so good-looking" treatment. Even Hadron! Speaking of which, he is pretty much Ryan Phillippe's character from "Cruel Intentions" come to life, but less good-looking and a little more fey. Eventually, Boy Band Hair Jef gets the I Can't Even Believe I Got This Rose.

Another solo date, this time with Joe, surprise, she thinks he's "really cute" too, even though he has wind tunnel hair and a flat face. They're off to West Virginia by private jet, not by Greyhound or hitchhiking with a Megan's Law registrant like most people get to West Virginia. Oh, they're going to the Greenbrier, which is actually totally famous and got 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor. She's looking for a "spark" but good luck because this guy is DOA, personality-wise. Like "Where do you want to be in five years?" she goes and he goes "Happy," like wow, dude, great fucking answer, really had to dig deep for that one, huh. THANK GOD she kicks him off and now he can go back to boring the women of the Greater Los Angeles Basin.

Back to the Dazzling Lights of Charlotte for our Cocktail Party. The highlight of this is Sling Blade presenting Emz with a handwritten like 15-page fucking letter on college ruled notebook paper that he insists she read RIGHT THEN and it's all blah blah blah we had funz u r a sweet ladee and Tony has to stand off to the side while she agonizingly reads the whole fucking thing. Ugh, I'm starting to think Ryan is a bigger douche than Krylon. Speaking of, Sav-On and his prosthetic lower lip appear and he does whatever his version of trying to impress her is, and we learn he came with Louis Vuitton luggage, which seems about right.

Rose Ceremony. Some guy with a ponytail gets to stay, ugh. And Charlie! Aw. Oh, and 'Party MC Stevie." LOL. Two guys we don't know get the boot. They are the Lucky Ones. We have been left behind.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Today in Trail Mix


When I found Planter's Nut & Chocolate trail mix, I really thought I was on one. Raisins, peanuts, can't-legally-call-them-M&Ms-but-c'mon-they're-M&Ms, cashews, almonds. All the good stuff. Living the dream, basically.

But you guys, I was living a lie. Because now I have found The Truth.


You got your raisins and peanuts and faux M&Ms. Everyone got that. That's nothing new. But you know how Archer Farms is the baddest bitch in the game? For one thing, they put in chocolate chips, too, just so you won't forget about chocolate ever. But then they went and did one more.


That's right. Those crazy motherfuckers at Archer Farms were all "Trail mix is yesterday's news. What can we do to make it a sensation that will rock and shock trail mixers everywhere?" And one guy goes, "You know what? Peanut butter chips." And then there was a moment of silence in the lab and then everyone started cheering and crying because they knew that guy had just CHANGED THE RULES.

It's the peanut butter chips, I think, that make Archer Farms Monster THE trail mix of the 20-teens. (BTW, is that what we're calling the years 2011-2019? The 20-teens? I could do that.)

So shout out to my fellow Trail Mix Heads: If you're still fucking with that tired old trail mix and you need to shake it up, AFMTM is where it's at. Trail Mix Out.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Product Endorsement: Spotify

DISCLAIMER: I have not received any money for this endorsement. I would totally be open to that, though, so if the endorsee wants to send me a check, have at it.

I know what you've been saying. "If I hear one more thing about the Facebook IPO, I will fucking run into a grocery store and start smashing jars of pickles on the ground and shrieking about my impending suicide." No, what you've actually been saying is "I need a good subscription-based music service that will enable me to listen to anything I want, from my fave slow jamz to Pavement's 'Slanted and Enchanted' to the new Beach House (which is pretty great, BTW) on my computer at home or work or, fuck it, on my cell."

I joined Spotify about a month ago and I fucking love it.

Here's the thing: the basic version, where you can just listen to any fucking thing you want on your computer? Is free. It has ads, but what do you want? FREE.

I'm kind of a big deal, so I went ahead and sprung for the $10/month Premium version. No ads, first of all. And I can access it on my mobile. So far so good, right? Well hold on to your fucking hat. You can even listen to it on your mobile OFFLINE. So dial up Nas' "Illmatic" and set it to "Available Offline" and listen to it reclined in seat 14A on the way to MIAMI BABY. Or wherever it is you go.

I know I sound like a hopeless shill. But I am telling you the truth, this was like the fifth or sixth best thing that's ever happened to me.

(The catalog seems pretty deep, too. I've only searched for a couple of things they didn't have, and it was admittedly some pretty obscure shit. So I think you'll be fine.)

IN OTHER NEWS, I have recently moved to an area near the Bay to Breakers course, so I'll be close to that for the first time in years and years. I'm interested to see what it's like these days. When I used to live near-ish the only thing I remember was being woken up by helicopters but that's when I used to sleep until like 1 pm on Sundays and I don't really do that any more cause I'm old now.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Bachelorette: Quite a staff you've assembled here

Jesus Christ, it feels like it was just yesterday that we were watching Paleolithic Ben propose to the She-Lizard and now BOOM here we are in Charlotte, North Carolina, for fuck's sake, and here's Emily again. I don't know about you guys but I am sick of seeing the same people over and over again. Fucking Brad gets two rounds and now Emily? It's not fair, I tell you.

Establishing shots of Em and Ricki Jr. frolicking in the park and it appears Lil Ricki has her own line of Ricki-branded clothing. For not the first time tonight, we are treated to a recounting of the Legend Of Racecar Ricky, which ends in a plane crash and a not-inconsequential insurance payout, judging by the huge fucking suburban McMansion Ems and the kid are tooling around in. Emily muses that she thought she'd found true love with Brad and oh it didn't work out so we must move on and ugh she said "big girl panties" and there is nothing worse than that phrase.

OK, let's go to the clip package and meet some dudes in their native environments. "Kalon" is not an alien from Planet Zoltron, but instead claims to be a reformed douchebag and we'll see about that. Tony is a roided-out lumber salesman with a kid and a soul patch. Lerone is the token black guy for this season. David is a "singer-songwriter" who we see singing a song with lyrics that consist entirely of "Emileeeeeeeeeee Emileeeeeeeeeeeee" and it sounds like the last squeals of a dying elk and I don't know what kind of audience David is writing for but if it's not grey wolves or the deaf he has a big problem. Charlie was in a terrible balcony collapse and has a brain injury! "I may have had a head injury but there's nothing wrong with my heart," he says. The he says "Who are you people? Why are you here? Is it sandwich time now?" And there's a racecar driver, of course.

At the Stand-In Mansion in Charlotte NC, Chris Harrison is very happy to see Ems, who is sporting a large bruise on her arm and it is suspiciously Little-Ricki-fist-shaped. They have a boring talk about the Legend of Racecar Ricky. CH asks Em what she wants and she says "a minivan full of babies"! I know a guy in China who can set that up for you, Emily!

Time to de-limo some douchebags. Doug is vaguely simian and "left a little boy at home." I hope someone's feeding him, Doug! Kyle looks like he just had a jaw transplant or something. His face isn't lined up right. Oh, here we have Alesandro, a Grain Merchant! He has just arrived from the Middle Ages or a Canterbury Tale. "Stevie" is a "Party MC" which is apparently a job one can have in New Jersey. That's what he writes on his 1040 EZ at the end where it says "Occupation." He puts down "Party MC." What a world. Here comes Charlie! Poor Charlie. What's this, a note? MY NAME IS CHARLIE. PLEASE HELP ME FIND MY WAY HOME.

Round 2. A guy in granny drag. Brent who is from Fresno and looks like it. Travis with a fauxhawk and an ostrich egg which he pledges to carry around the whole show like he's in the junior high pregnancy exercise. Alejandro is a "mushroom farmer" from right here in SF, via Medellin Colombia and there is no doubt that "mushroom farmer" is a euphemism for something else. Em goes all "may yamo Emily" on him and he pretends to be charmed. Ryan has a Sling Blade haircut and a note that says "You Are Beautiful" and he and Charlie will have some nice conversations/sandbox time. Zolan or Kalon or whatever emerges from his Alien Spaceship or helicopter or something.

"Journey" count as of this point: 4.

The Cocktail Party is a good opportunity for us to get to know one another and for grown motherfucking men to humiliate themselves on national television. One dude does this by displaying bobbleheads he had made of himself and Emily. Jesus Christ. There is nothing to say about that. Oh, check it out, Ems has some kind of wrist tattoo!

Is that an "XIV"? No wonder Em speaks Spanish! She's in a prison gang! Anyway, guess who gets the First Impression Rose? The Dad who brought a letter from his kid, natch. Genius move, dude.

Moving on to the Rose Ceremony, and the third bottle of wine in our house. Ems says these losers have "exceeded her expectations." She was apparently "expecting" the cast of "Freaks" or the Redondo Beach Date Rape Team. These guys, on the other hand, all like the "After" picture in a Bosley Clinic Hair Transplant ad. So who makes the cut? "Mushroom Farmer"/narcotraficante, ChArli∃, Ostrich Egg, and some other dorks. Whoa, can't believe she cut the guy with SIX FUCKING KIDS. Guess she didn't want to start her own survivalist colony with that brood. Condoms, dude. Widely available. E-Z to use.

C U Next Tuesday.

Monday, May 14, 2012

TK's Recipe of the Week or Month or Whatever

I know I said we weren't going to see each other until tomorrow, but I made this crazy good tomato-basil sauce last night and I gotta tell you about it. I was having vegetarians over for dinner, so it's a vegetarian sauce but you could put meat in it. They seemed to enjoy spooning it into their sallow, weak vegetarian bodies, to the extent that you can enjoy anything in life if you're vegetarian. I'm taking the leftovers and putting Italian sausage in it tonight.

The recipe comes mostly from Bon Appetit, with a couple of tweaks.


Makes a lot. Like enough for 6 people with some left over.

4 /12 cups canned crushed tomatoes (i.e., about 1 1/2 28-oz cans)
1/4 cup pine nuts
4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
4 large garlic cloves, minced
3/8 teaspoon (or more) dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil, divided
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients note: I used crushed tomatoes with oregano already in 'em, so I left out the oregano. Pine nuts are super fucking expensive so be careful yanking the arm down on the bulk bin dispenser or you might have just bought yourself $75 worth of pine nuts. Seriously, are pine nuts individually harvested and cleaned by hand or something?

OK, so put 1 cup of the tomatoes in a blender or food processor or whatever you've got along with the pine nuts and blend until it's really smooth, like a minute.

Heat the oil in a big pot and throw in the onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Saute that until the onion is soft, so like 5 minutes or so. Then throw in the rest of the tomatoes and maybe half a cup of chopped basil and the wine and the tomato mixture from the blender. Then simmer that thing for a while.

Bon Appetit says "Simmer sauce until flavors blend, 5 to 6 minutes." The fuck? Simmering 5 minutes is like having sex for 5 minutes. You feel rushed and things don't get a chance to develop well. Simmer that thing as long as you like, but at least 30 minutes. That also makes it thicken up, which I prefer.

I should say here that I wasn't thinking about what I was doing and dumped 2 whole cans of crushed tomatoes in instead of just 4 1/2 cups but it was all cool. I just put in more of everything. It turned out great.

You'll probably want to put in more crushed red pepper too. I don't know if Bon Appetit is an infant or Norwegian or something, but 3/8 teaspoon isn't going to make anything "spicy."

Shit was off the heezy. Serve over pasta or polenta or whatever the fuck you like.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The next time we see each other, I will be providing a recap of the first episode of the Bachelorette

Ugh, it's time again already. That idiot Emily is going to be a thorn in our sides for the next couple of months while she bores us to fucking tears trying to find a TV husband and New Daddy for little Ricki Jr. I guess all the jobs at Hooters were taken because she's what we get.

If you're new around here and don't know my complicated and Stockholm Syndrome-esque relationship with America's Sweethearts/The Functionally Retarded, you can read all about prior seasons here:

Ben Whatever His Name Is and the Lizard Queen

Then there was that chirpy dodo Ashley

Emily's already been picked once, by Lovable Lunkhead Brad

Before that was Ali who probably wishes she kept her job at Facespace

And before that was that Jake guy but I don't have a tag for him. Here's a sample.

Before that I was just a simple cobbler, eking out a meager living in this village.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Today's SF character: Crazy City Hall Bullhorn Guy

Crazy City Hall Bullhorn Guy (CCHBG) is, as the name implies, a floridly psychotic older genetleman who walks with a cane, has a long biker-style chinbeard, appears to be in his 50s to 60s, wears a shirt that says something about "Jesus," and appears from time to time in front of San Francisco City Hall clutching a Bible in one hand and shouting unhinged rants up at the edifice through the other.

I know, hard to see, but he's the squat little character in white on the left. He sometimes pauses his amplified rants to chat with passerby.

I've never been able to figure out what triggers a CCHBG appearance, but, like Frank Chu, he is often attracted by gatherings in front of City Hall, of which there are many. Unlike the Chu, he comes even where there aren't television cameras present. Today there was a whole Bike-to-Work Day thing set up in front of City Hall, and I guess it was like a salt lick to a deer for CCHBG. As I write this, right this instant, the Bike-to-Work thing is gone, but CCHBG is still out there ranting. When I walked by he was screaming something about "ideology" and "San Francisco" but, much as that could be direct from Bill O'Reilly, it was hampered by the absence of complete sentences, which O'Reilly manages to accomplish occasionally, although he and CCHBG work at about the same level.

Sometimes he shows up when City Officials are having some kind of Official To-Do on the steps with a podium and mikes and TV cameras and it's fun to watch the deputies who do security for those things surround him like a Flying Wedge and inch him away from the steps so he doesn't get in the shot. They also seem to be good at talking to him and distracting him from using the bullhorn long enough for some supervisor or another to get through their announcement about Take Your Marmot to Work Day or the Green Blender Initiative or whatever silliness they're wasting our money on today.

So carry on, CCHBG. You're not appreciably nuttier than lots of your fellow citizens; you've just got the bullhorn to loudly advertise it.

UPDATE!!!!! Helpful reader Lindsey sends along this much better pic of CCHBG. Thanks, Lindsey!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Why are the Giants always near the top of the MLB in attendance?

I've been to two Giants games so far this season, a fairly dismal, freezing, windblown 5-2 loss to the Phillies on Monday, April 16, and a much happier, not to mention warmer, win over the Brewers (coincidentally, also 5-2) this past Saturday afternoon. These two games, while having markedly different results, did have one thing in common, which they share with virtually every other Giants game that's played at the Home Yard: it was fucking packed. How come?

I mean, it's a reasonable question. Why are the Giants consistently in the Top 5 in Major League Baseball in attendance?

So far this season, going by average attendance per game, the Giants are in 3rd place with 41,545, behind Philly and Texas. But both of those parks - especially Texas's - are bigger than AT&T, so it's not a perfect comparison. But when you look at attendance as a percentage of ballpark capacity, SF is still 3rd, with 99.1%, behind Philly (103.8%) and Boston, of course (101.4%).

So that puts SF ahead of such legendary baseball-mad havens such as St. Louis (93.7%) and even the Chicago Cubs (90.1% - I thought they were always 100% at Wrigley? Guess not). What gives?

Here's a shot from where I was sitting Saturday. Crowded, right?

(Even in the dismal 2007 season - hey Lance Niekro! - the Giants packed in an average of 39,792 souls to see a truly awful team go 71-91 and finish in 5th place. Of course, there was this one guy who was breaking the all-time record for home runs, so maybe that has something to do with it.)

For the past few years, Philadelphia has ruled the attendance game. This is explainable because (1) they've had a competitive team who's been around the playoffs for years, and (2) Philadelphia is such an open sewer of a city, with literally no redeeming qualities whatsoever, that going to the ballpark is one of the only ways to escape the mind-numbing drudgery and daily soul-crushing despair to which the residents of Philly have become accustomed.

Going by percentage, Boston is in second place. Boston, of course, has a rich baseball tradition, which, until very recently, was based mostly on losing, and has an intensely loyal fanbase who will attend regardless of how the team is doing. Then they get there and, in my experience, completely ignore the game and talk to each other, but hey, they're there.

Unlike Philadelphia or, God help us, St. Louis, the Bay Area is a rich and vibrant community with a plethora of leisure time options ranging from windsurfing to queer-positive Punjabi cooking classes to day drinking, so it's not like there's nothing else to do. And yeah, at any Giants game there are your fair share of corporate dorks who aren't paying attention, but that's everywhere.

It's also possible that people come out because it really is the best park in baseball, with the views of the Bay Bridge and the water, the proximity to downtown, and the $9.75 beers. That MIGHT have explained attendance for the first few seasons, but you gotta figure that, at this point, the novelty is gone and everyone who wanted to take in the park just for its scenic beauty or whatever has already done it.

No, we are forced to conclude that San Francisco simply has good fans. They show up to the games, even on super crappy Monday nights against the Marlins, they cheer at appropriate times, they pretty much always stay til the end unless it's a complete blowout, and they generally avoid doing the wave.

So that's it: good fans. Simple as that.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pay By Phone parking meters: History's Greatest Evil

The only thing worse than AIDS and terrorism is not having any change for the parking meter. That's why I thought the Pay By Phone meter was a breakthrough on the order of penicillin or the thermos. You know what I'm talking about, right? These things?

But like everything else, San Francisco managed to take a genius idea and fuck it up beyond all recognition.


You text the meter number (in this case, 44204130) and, I don't know, the last 4 digits of your Social to some number - say SFPARK - and the meter charge (absurdly, $3 an hour in some places) is automatically added to your cell phone bill. Total time expended: about 45 seconds, and now you're on your way to Hott Headzz to get your hair cut or to Delicafrozen to get a Buddha's hand froyo.


1. Call the 866 number.

2. If this is your first time calling, press the star key. Now listen to a little speech about how you're about to pay for parking with your cell phone. Thanks for the orientation session Pay by Phone, I was wondering why I was calling the number on the side of this parking meter.

3. Do you want to pay for parking by using your cell phone? Press 1. Or you can Press 2 to listen to some Terms and Conditions. If you press 2 here you're a special kind of Aspergers and I don't even know.

4. Now enter your 10 digit cell phone number. Do it FAST, because if you hesitate for more than about a second and a half, Impatient Irma comes on and says "Invalid response. Please try again." GIVE ME A FUCKING SECOND TO PULL UP THE GODDAM KEYPAD ON THIS IPHONE IRMA JESUS CHRIST.

5. Hey, just for the fuck of it, how about we make you create a 4-digit PIN now. HURRY HURRY HURRY ENTER YOUR PIN.

5. Now enter your credit card number. I hope you already have your credit card in your hand because if you don't start jamming numbers into your phone ASAP, Impatient Irma is back, wondering just what the fuck is taking you so long. Also, if you're doing this in the Tenderloin like I was, expect to have people slowing down as they pass you and staring at your credit card as you hold it up and type the numbers in. Oh and then the expiration date too of course.

6. Now the number on the side of the meter. I feel like we're getting somewhere now. Which is good, because I've been punching numbers into my goddam phone for a few minutes now.

This is the stage where I was unaccountably kicked out of the system and the call was terminated for no discernible reason and I had to start all over again. Hey, no biggie, that's cool because I'm super Zen about everything.

7. Now, how much time do you want? If you want anything less than 15 minutes you're a crazy person because the process of using the Pay By Phone system itself takes about 15 minutes.

Also, I don't even know how I did this, but I accidentally paid twice.

Happily, I see that a lot of meters in SF are now being switched over to take credit/debit cards, like FINALLY, and that's a good idea that actually makes sense and I'm glad.

(While I'm tangentially on the subject, WTF is the deal with the BART ticket machines? When you pay with a debit or credit card, you put your card in and it STARTS you at $20 and you have to push the little PING button over and over to make the amount come down. Isn't that totally backwards? Shouldn't it start at 0 and then you ping UP? I bet this confuses the shit out of tourists all the time. Maybe that's the idea.)

Have a good weekend, everybody!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Did they change the colors in BART stations or am I going completely insane?

You guys, I think they changed the colors in the downtown SF BART stations at some point and no one is talking about it.

Either (1) I'm the only one who noticed or (2) I have begun my slow descent into madness.

Back up a little. Since I moved to the Inner Richmond (REPRESENT!) I don't ride BART as much as I used to. So last night I was traveling from meeting up with one group of friends at Bocadillos on Montgomery (pretty good, expensive, overrated?) to meeting up with The Wife and another friend at Mosto in the Mission (crowded, loud, very crowded) and I rode BART for the first time in a while.

So I notice, the color of the stripe along the top of Montgomery Street Station is now PURPLE. It used to be BLUE, didn't it?

Oh shit, check out this picture, dated "December 29, 2010," by Flickr user "CT Young":

That is unmistakably purple, right? Or am I fucking colorblind? And didn't that stripe use to be dark blue? I am freaking out.

Check this out, from Flickr user "geena!" What color is this:

That's orange, right? Didn't Powell use to be red? WTF is going on?

(BTW, if you search for BART stations on Flickr, you get a lot - a LOT - of photos of buskers, FYI. Buskers are beloved by amateur photogs.)

Now that I look through all these photos, Powell is uniformly orange in every one. How could I have not noticed this in the past 20 years? This is like a Twilight Zone episode where everything is skewed just very slightly, almost too slight to notice, but enough to throw you off completely.

COMPLETELY UNRELATED, but while searching for pictures for this post, I came across this photo entitled Typhoon Party on Okinawa July 1970 and it is one of the single most awesome pictures I have ever seen. Read the whole story accompanying it too.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Guest Dog Program

(Obviously there are more important things to talk about, like the shit that happened in the Mission last night, but there are Serious Forums where people can condemn vandalism and all that jazz. You don't come for that. Let's talk about something better, like DOGS.)

As you may or may not be aware, The Wife and I live in a 2-unit building with my sister. I mean, The Sister has one apartment (downstairs) where she lives with her roommate, and The Wife and I live upstairs. We call it The Compound. Here's our flag:

"Nos Ebrii" is Latin for "We Are Drunk."

Anyway, I have a dog (a roughly 18-pound Chi-terrier thing) and my sister has a dog (much larger labradoodle, lovable and friendly but kind of a doofus) and her boyfriend has a dog (big thing, not sure exactly of ancestry, see pixx below) and when they're all around it's like a goddam kennel or something. But of course they're all awesome and we love them all blah blah blah.

See, here's my dog with The Sister's Boyfriend's dog:

TSBD, the one at the top of the pic, is named Chewie and is about as laid-back as you can get. If he were a person he'd be the rough equivalent of Brad Pitt in "True Romance." (Jump to around 1:09 for the good part.)

Chewie's decided that he likes our place upstairs. A lot of times on weekend mornings when we get up, this is what we see in the kitchen window.

So we let him in and he pretty much just pads into the bedroom and lies down and goes to sleep. We have carpet and my sister has hardwood and she theorizes that he likes it upstairs because he doesn't slide around as much. Possible, I guess.

This past Friday, we cooked out in the backyard and watched some Giants and stuff. They went back downstairs. A while later, I went into the kitchen and guess who's back?

Creepy, huh? I think it's the flash that makes it kind of horror-movie looking. Anyway, I let him in and he walked down the hall into the living room and passed out on the couch.

That's where I found him Saturday morning. I guess he's our semi-permanent houseguest.