Tuesday, July 31, 2012

StubHub, I love you, but you're making me crazy

I'm not in a season ticket group for Giants tickets any more, and The Wife quit her job at the place where they used to hand out tickets to employees on a regular basis, so we mostly rely on StubHub now to get tickets. Don't get me wrong; it's a great service and Giants tickets on StubHub are almost always cheaper than buying them directly from the Giants.

FOR EXAMPLE, I just looked on the Giants own site for tickets to tonight's game. A pair in Lower Box 127 (Row 15, seats 5 and 6) will set you back a cool $172 after the $30 in "convenience fees" are added on. On StubHub, we've got 2 in Lower Box 127 (Row 14, seats 1 and 2 - closer, and on the aisle!) for a total of $132, including all fees. That's $40 cheaper for better seats. Why the fuck would anyone ever buy tickets from the Giants?

Anyway, The Wife and I are going to the day game on Thursday (I have the day off, so shoot me) and I've been perusing StubHub for a few days to find some seats. StubHub has this "Price Alert" thing where you can designate a seating area and a price and they'll send you an email when it drops below that price.


We like sitting in Club Level cause we fancy like that. So I set up a Price Alert to email me when Club Level Outfield tickets fall below $40 apiece. As of right now, STILL NO EMAILS. Good thing I didn't trust it and kept checking, because I nailed a couple in Club Level outfield this morning at $30 per. WERE YOU JUST GOING TO KEEP THAT A SECRET, STUBHUB? Y U NO EMAIL?

PROBLEM TWO: The iPhone app is basically worthless. You put in the game you want to see and it spits out a list of all 4,000 or whatever available tickets. Sure, you can sort alphabetically or by price, but come fucking on. You should be able to drill down to a specific seating area (i.e., section 221) and see just that section, instead of "Club Level Infield" generally.

PROBLEM THREE: This is apparently StubHub's corporate brand ambassador, "Ticket Oak":

WHAT THE FUCK. How is a vaguely Tolkienesque anthropomorphic talking tree supposed to make me want to buy tickets for Wrestlemania? Oh, fuck, it's got a Facebook page where it says things like "After seeing what these actors go through – hair, makeup, crazy outfits – I’m very thankful I’m a tree and don’t need any of that!" Stop it.

So fix the email alert thing, tighten up that iPhone app, lose the tree, and you'll be golden, StubHub. In the meantime, thanks for all the tickets.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Two quick restaurant etiquette questions

Sometimes it's fun to shake things up and do something different for brunch, which in our case means go somewhere where the server isn't covered in tattoos and looks like a heroin addict and where everyone appears to have engaged in some basic hygiene in the past few days and the music playing isn't Black Moth Super Rainbow or Screamin' Jay Hawkins. So we walked about a mile from our house through a portal into a different dimension, namely the Presidio Golf Course Cafe (or maybe just Presidio Cafe; it gets called both on the various interlocking websites involved).

It was fine. I mean, the food was good and not overly expensive by SF standards and the bartender had a heavy pour on my greyhound, which was nice. There were a couple of guys wearing sweater vests, duh, and it was pretty much what you would think any golf club cafe would be like anywhere. Whilst there, however, two restaurant etiquette questions arose.

NUMBER ONE: This Marina-looking youngish couple went in right before us with the ubiquitous Starbucks to-go cups and had them on their table through their meal. So Restaurant People (and anyone in general), I'm curious: Is it OK to bring outside coffee into a restaurant? Does it depend on the kind of restaurant?

NUMBER TWO: We were originally seated in a kind of side room and nearby there was a table with a couple of families and maybe 2-3 EXTREMELY LOUD little Taylors or Jaydens or whatever. So after a few minutes of the piercing screams of the Young and Entitled, I went up to the hostess and asked to be moved and she said "Yeah, it's a little loud" and we got a table in the other room. The Wife said that if the situation was reversed and she was the one with the kids, she would feel bad and so she vicariously felt bad for them. I said I really didn't give a fuck, I can't sit in the same room with that Human Car Alarm going off every 10-12 seconds. Should we have felt bad for asking for another table and moving when it was obvious why we were moving?

ANYWAY, if your grandparents are in town and you want to go out to brunch at a place where they won't be scared and where the menu is written in Old and doesn't have items like "Pile O Spuds" or "Arugula and free range pancetta frittata with caramelized heirloom cipollini onions," then I can heartily recommend this place.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I am on some next level Mad Men shit

YOU GUYS! I've been thinking about changing careers. And you know what sounds good to me? RISK MANAGEMENT. No, I'm totally fucking with you. Are you ready to hear it now?

A D V E R T I S I N G.

That's right. I want to sit in a conference room with some other creatives and a whiteboard and some half-eaten sandwiches and we'll toss ideas around the room and try to figure out how to make people want to eat Tater Tots or drive a Volvo. In fact, I want to be the first person in the history of advertising to develop a car commercial that doesn't feature shots of the car speeding through the Bonneville Salt Flats or down Highway 1.

ANYWAY, I thought I'd get a few ideas together first to show off my mad skillz. FIRST UP, that "Pork, the other white meat" campaign is SO TIRED. So I was thinking, let's jazz that shit right up!

Not bad, huh? I think it will appeal to the demo we want. Pork is an edgy, sexy meat, not boring like your Dad's stupid old beef. The Pork Me campaign will get tastemakers talking about pork again!

NEXT! Virgin America is an awesome airline, but they're in the shitter, money-wise. Let's stop playing around here. Virgin America is an airline for people who use and enjoy drugs. I mean, everyone knows it. Why try and hide it? Like the trance music playing at the gates wasn't enough? The purple and pink color scheme? Come on. Let's stop lying to ourselves.

I don't even know what their current slogan is or even if they have one but this will crush it. Also, LET'S LISTEN TO THAT SONG AGAIN FOR ABOUT A HUNDRED TIMES ON REPEAT.

How about San Francisco tourism? I'm picturing a major print campaign. Travel & Leisure, Conde Nast, all that shit.

I know, right? KILLING IT. I got a lot more ideas, too! Call me and we'll have lunch and talk about it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Bachelorette: Finally.

Contrary to Chris Harrison, this was not "the most dramatic television event of the summer," it was the Most Boring Episode of the Most Boring Season of the franchise ever. I'm serious, if next season doesn't improve, I may have to bag the whole thing and start reviewing something more interesting like episodes of "How It's Made" or paint drying. Anyway.

Emily's family has arrived in Curacao for the ritual Blessing of the Suitors. Here comes Jef and some flowers. Mom gets to interview him first. Jef likes marionettes, so he should love Mom, because she looks startlingly like Madame.

After Mom clears him, it's on to Family Dinner. OH SHIT, BROTHER ERNIE IS EATING SOME SLIDERS. Maybe he didn't get the memo about no eating this season! Dad then sits down with Jef for a postprandial interview. He gives his blessing to their Faux TV Marriage. Worked out so good last time let's try it again, eh Dad?

On to Arie's interview with the fam. Bit of a frosty reaction to Arie, who responds by babbling nonsensically. He presents the family with a box containing the dried husks of all the roses he's been given on the show! That's, uh, nice, but Jef brought flowers that were still alive. I don't want to get bossy or anything, Arie, but maybe a bottle of wine next time instead of a box of dead flowers. He does his round of solo interviews. Man, Brother Ernie has quite the brow ridge and there's something wrong with his teeth. Dad gives his blessing to Arie too! Christ, Dad, here comes the pool boy, is he cleared to marry your daughter as well? Maybe it'll be easier to make a list of people who CAN'T marry her, huh?

Final date with Jef. Let's sit on this blanket on the beach and bore the fucking shit out of each other and America in general. "This is pretty." "What have you been thinking about?" "A lot." Boy, that Jef sure is edgy. Anyway, on and on about meeting Rickie or however you spell it and what a colossal huge deal it is and Em is all "I wasn't planning on introducing her to anybody" and that's gonna make the rest of her life difficult and what are you going to do, keep her in a box? OK, finally time to meet The Baggage. They go over to Em's house and the kid's in the pool and she does some tricks like a golden retriever. I hate to say this, but Rickie's a little unfortunate looking. Oh, crap, sorry, that was mean. Anyway, Jef does his best to butter her up and there's some more puppet talk and the puppet fixation is frankly getting a little creepy at this point.

For the night portion, there's no fake dinner, just some champagne and more terminally boring conversation. Wait, aren't Mormons not supposed to drink? What's the deal with that? Jef gives her a present. Oh, crap, you're not going to believe this, it's one of those Tourist Guides you find in the desk drawer of your hotel except Jef has stolen his and vandalized it by drawing stick figures in all the pictures and Emily coos over it like Jef made an art or something.

Cut to next day. Chris Harrison comes to visit Em and they talking about Rickie or something, I don't know, I'm a little zoned out at this point. Oh wait, she's done! Mormon Jef is the winner! So we have to dump Arie now. Sadly, Chris doesn't say just to text him, which would be totally fine, they've spent a total of like 12 hours together and have never fucked, but no, gotta do it in person.

The dumping will occur in something called "Dina's Botanic Garden" where the eponymous Dina is teaching Arie how to make a love potion OH THE IRONY that looks like an arugula salad with red wine vinaigrette. Here comes Em and she immediately starts bawling and Arie gets the picture pretty quick and takes off. He actually handles it pretty well, which is not surprising because there is MAD TAIL waiting for him back in Scottsdale. Meanwhile, Em handles this event by gazing meaningfully into a pond of brackish water. CLEANUP ON AISLE POND, DINA.

Let's do some proposin'! Em is wearing some kind of Bollywood getup and Jef is all decked out in his Fisher Price My First Rat Pack Suit. So there's the usual speechifying and she basically tells him he won and she didn't even go out with Arie and Jef said it's God that did it so there's your final proof that there is no God. He pops out the ring and she says yes and the studio audience back in LA claps and there's a montage set to Chicago and then my DVR ran out. That's it.

Monday, July 23, 2012


I know I have been neglecting you, my Loyal Readers. Sorry. I've been on vacation at my Dad's place in semi-rural Tennessee and what with the drinking and eating and cooking and drinking and eating i really haven't had s chance. Plus his Internet connection is really unreliable for some reason and I'm actually typing this post on an iPhone do I have no idea if this will even work or look right at all.

We went by this place yesterday in Lieper's Fork, Tennessee called Puckett's Grocery that's not really a grocery; it's more of a restaurant and very small live music venue. There was a country band playing there yesterday afternoon around 2 to a somewhat interested crowd of about 25. Anyway, the sign out front still had the lineup for Saturday on it and it said "Jack White" and I was like "That's not JACK WHITE Jack White, right?" but it turns out that the famous Jack White runs a record label in Nashville and actually lives in Lieper's Fork and it would be pretty weird if another Jack White was doing gigs in the town where Jack White lives and was using his name so the upshot is I guess we missed seeing Jack White scare the tourists in a 45-person capacity grocery store/venue. Oh well.

Moving on, I know the Bachelorette finale was last night and you people are like jackals on rotten meat with your MORE MORE GIVE ME RECAP but I'm flying back to SF today and won't get in until tonight and so probably no recap until Wednesday. Sorry.

It'll be kinda sad to leave here. The nights are warm and pleasant and we've been sitting outside drinking on the patio every night and my Dad is a hoot but honestly I gotta get home. Also, I don't know what it is with tailgating here but I'm looking forward to driving somewhere without a monster truck grille inches from my rear bumper.

EDIT/UPDATE - I just looked up Jack White's tour schedule (AFTER I did this post, not before, natch) and it apoears he was at some music festival in Dover, DE this past weekend so it couldn't have been him. Weird. WATCH YOUR BACK JACK WHITE SOMEONE IS TRYING TO MOVE IN ON YOUR TURF USING YOUR NAME THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING!!!!

SECOND EDIT/UPDATE - Well, it looks like he was headlining the festival on Friday night so I guess it's theoretically possible that he could have then returned to Nashville and done a gig the following night in Lieper's Fork. Possible but unlikely? I guess we'll never know. Ok, no more updates, sorry. Sorry about all this.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Bachelorette: This is our Rock Bottom.

If this is the Worst Season Ever of the Bachelor/ette franchise (and believe me, I've watched enough to know and it is), then last night's episode, a glorified Clip Show/Fake Interview thing called "The Men Tell All" or "The Men Read Pre-Prepared Cards" or "These Are Not Men" was the worst part of the worst season, which makes it the Worst Television Show You Could Have Watched. If this season was "Police Academy" then this episode was some forgotten straight-to-video installment like "Police Academy: Not Answering Calls in Oakland" or "Police Academy: Shooting Unarmed Civilians for Sport." This episode is our rock bottom. It is our Intervention. I kept expecting Jeff to show up in my living room and say "You know, I see here a bunch of people that love you like crazy and they're here to fight for you and just want you to join the fight." And then I would admit I have a problem and go to some rehab for TV center in Malibu. Anyway. Let's just get through this together and then we'll hold each other and weep quietly.

Half of this episode is an extended ad for "Bachelor Pad," a concept so loathsome and repulsive I won't even watch it, which is really saying something. It's clearly a ripoff of the late, great "Paradise Hotel," which was a reality show pioneer and was so awesomely bad it accidentally turned the corner to great. MISS YOU BOO. But anyway, if you're reconstructing the show based on this recap, just insert an awful Bachelor Pad ad every 5 minutes. (Oh, and this year they're letting civilians compete on BP, which is like sending a paintball team to Afghanistan, but whatever, I don't care.)

The other thing that makes up this entire episode are pointless meandering Clip Packages. Oh look, here's footage we didn't see! Emily and that weirdo singing to an egg. Emily spills wine on her dress. Emily severs a monkey's head and lobs it at a hapless Croatian peasant.

All the male contestants have been assembled onstage while a crowd of sad-looking women hoot and jeer at their antics. These include such moments as Stevie, the "Party MC" from New Jersey, accusing Kalon of not being there for the right reasons. Oh, that's rich. Every one of these people should kill themselves.

There is a series of "interviews" wherein Chris Harrison tries mightily and fails to elicit any single interesting thing from the mouths of these child-men. "Ryan," the football player/"athletic trainer" who is vaguely chestnut colored and has complicated facial hair, is that particular type of asshole who is utterly un-embarrassable, so he embraces the fact that he is an arrogant prick and he calls Emily a "female" and calling women "females" is a 100% accurate marker of a Total Douchebag. Chris breaks the news to him that he will not, under any circumstances, be the next Bachelor, but Ryan will undoubtedly show up in some future reality show like "Rape Stars" or "Juiced Up!" or "Real Car Salesmen of Augusta".

Shovelfaced Chris is interviewed. He is angry. He has "lost a couple of good friends," but what connection that has to anything transpiring here is unclear. He is "looking forward to falling in love with the right girl," and will be appearing on Bachelor Pad, so apparently the Right Girl lives in a petri dish.

Let's trot out the Show Horse and see if she can do any tricks. She's excited to see all y'all. She and Chris blather about nothing. Then we get a blooper reel! Actually, I'm going to hate myself for this, but I gotta say that the blooper reel actually makes Emily almost likeable. Like, she swears a lot and actually seems like she has kind of a dry sense of humor. OK ENOUGH POSITIVITY. Back to hating everything. I just wish they hadn't edited her personality completely out.

So the finale is this Sunday. I'm gonna be out of town actually, so probably no recap until Tuesday unless I really get my shit together which frankly is not very likely. YOLO.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thanks, T-Mobile! And by "thanks," I mean "fuck you."


Great, thanks T-Mobile, for encouraging people to take out their fucking cell phones and hold them up at shows. That's just what we need. More pinheads videoing bands instead of, you know, watching them or something.

But wait! It even gets better. You know who T-Mobile girl just HAS to share this video with, right this second? Oh, just four other people who are ALSO AT THE SAME FUCKING SHOW.

This is where we are in America. A major cellular provider is suggesting to the populace that not only is it a good idea to hold your phone up like a complete asshole and record the band you're watching; it's also a good idea to immediately send said video to your friends who are also THERE IN PERSON.

I give up.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Bachelorette: Guess who's getting laid? Nobody.

Are you tired of this yet? I'm tired of it. These guys are all fucking lumps who couldn't be exciting if you attached electrodes to their testicles, and Emily is basically a RealDoll with a voice recorder that just keeps spouting shit about how important her kid is to her. So thank fucking God, we're almost done. To accomplish this, we have arrived in Curacao, an island paradise where they make Blue Curacao. 10 minutes of recap filler ensues, followed by a lengthy ad for a movie about old people fucking. Gross.

First actual content tonight is a date with Sean, the blandly handsome everydude you can picture doing Habitat for Humanity and drinking Coors Light. Helicopter ride! Not too many helicopters this year. Uneaten Dinners is this year's Helicopter Rides. Anyway, out to a Private Island and Ems voiceovers "I can't go through this and fall in love and then have it not work out again," and at first I thought she was talking about Plane Crash Ricky and I was all "Wait, what?" but I guess she's talking about Brad. Anyway, she keeps going on and on about how Sean hasn't told her he loves her and Jesus Christ like it's abnormal not to tell someone you love them on the 3rd date. Fuck.

Segue to Romantic Beach Dinner and now the only thing I look at these dinners for is to see if someone will take a fucking bite. Sean says she's ready to be a dad and oh, here we go, he wrote a little letter to Rikki Jr. or however you spell it. What did he say? He hopes to shower her? INAPPROPRIATE. Oh, "shower her with unconditional love." I guess that's marginally better. So then he finally caves and says he's fallen in love with her and so WHEW glad we got that out of the way. Time for the Fantasy Suite! Sean wants to "stay up and talk to you" but the Fantasy Suite is about boning down, not talking, you doofus. So off they go and hit the hot tub and whoa, she's leaving? What the fuck? Oh, it looks bad because of Little Rikki or whatever. Didn't look bad when you spent all night with Brad! Oh well. No one is getting laid this season.

Jef. A boat ride. She thinks he'll be a good parent because he's "fun." Little Rikki is going to need therapy. Since this is painfully boring, let's all go to our Happy Place and think about something nice. Mmmmmm, five-spice chicken at Jasmine Garden. (BTW, according to "Gary R." from San Diego on Yelp, Jasmine Garden - which is in Duboce Triangle - is in "a very seedy part of town"! LOL!) OK, I'm back. Time to not eat some dinner. Jef has questions! One of them should be "What the fuck are we doing?" or "How much are you getting paid for this?" but instead he wants to know where they'll live. Duh, dumbass, you'll live in LA like every other reality contestant. Same deal with the Fantasy Suite. A little making out and she leaves. You will make a good Sister Wife, Emily!

And then there's Arie. Boat or helicopter? Boat. They jump right to making out and then it's Time to Interact With the Sea Creatures.

Haha, you can tell that dolphin is just all "Fuck, how much longer until my shift is over?"

Another outdoor dinner. She would be "happy to move to Scottsdale!" No shit, she already looks like every chick in Scottsdale. He doesn't even get the Fantasy Suite card. They totally hit it. You know they did.

NEED MORE FILLER. So let's have an interview with Chris Harrison. He asks her to spell "chorizo" and she starts to cry. No, I'm just shitting you. Instead, he tells us that the 3 guys have taped video messages for her. Each one is more boring than the one before. Here, I'll nutshell them all for you: (1) I had a nice time, (2) You're great, (3) Something about a journey, (4) I want to raise some dead guy's kid. Jef offers that "Together, we will watch a thousand sunsets." That's like 2.75 years, so that sounds about right. Em then gazes meaningfully out the window between two weird fucking chairs.

Last Rose Cer. Thank God. Em's already crying and she goes "I'm sorry" and I'm all "SHE WAS LOOKING AT SEAN WHEN SHE SAID THAT! THAT MOTHERFUCKER IS TOAST" and guess what? I'M RIGHT. Sean is the big loser. Way to basically guilt him into telling you he loves you and then dumping him, bitch! Anyway, Sean gets into the Crying SUV and he's actually pretty stoic but says he feels "embarrassment" and that in one word is the most honest thing anyone has said all season. Back to your flag football and gym and Axe body spray lifestyle, Sean. You have surely dodged a bullet here.

Do we get to end this thing next week? No. No, we do not. We get the fake reunion/interview show. We all get what we deserve.

In an unrelated story, NyQuil has finally acknowledged that 98% of the people who use their product just use it to knock themselves out and push aside their troubled thoughts so they can escape the mind-numbing drudgery of their daily lives and get some sleep.

If you take all the cold medicine out of NyQuil, it's just a 40-proof syrup, so if I'm not mistaken, this product is essentially Southern Comfort with a different label.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Song obsessions, lately, plus bonus New Bar Night material

Hey, shout out to my fellow borderline Aspergies, do you get the same thing I do when you get fixated on a song and then have to listen to it over and over and over again? Almost everyone I know gets this, but most everyone I know has some type of diagnosable mental issue, so it's not a good sample.

Perfect example: My sister just discovered "Call Me Maybe." She reports that she's been having to sneak away from the people she's been vacationing with to listen to it in private so they don't make fun of her for listening to it too much. That's right, she's sneaking around to hear a song. Like she's a bulimic or something. A song-limic.

I gotta admit, CMM is pretty fucking catchy.

Anyway, I had two recently. The first one was "Leaders of the Free World," by Elbow. I'm not sure why. I kind of like the way it builds and especially the vocal melody and where he lands the notes in relation to the music.

Last week it was "A-Punk" by Vampire Weekend. I really liked VW's debut album when it came out (and, to a slightly lesser extent, their second album), so it's not like I just discovered this song, but what happened was I came across the lyrics somewhere and I had never really focused on the lyrics which is too bad because they're INCREDIBLE. Here's a video with the lyrics superimposed by some joker out there.

"She took it from his lily-white hand/She had no fear she'd seen the thing/In the Young Men's Wing at Sloan-Kettering."

Wow, that's pretty intense. You can easily build a backstory from that, but the song doesn't just come out and explain itself. I like that.

ANYWAY, I'm over both of these now and will be moving on to a new song obsession soon.

Oh and so Friday night I happened to visit the new Hi-Lo Club on Polk. I don't understand why Yelp has it classified as a "dive bar." It's not a "dive bar" in any sense of the term. It's more like a cocktail lounge but not a pretentious "cocktail lounge." Hardwood floors, cool pressed tin ceiling, nice long bar and some booths. Having recently been stung by a $13 gimlet at Alembic, I was pleased to see that the drinks - even the fancy cocktail menu drinks - were like $7 or $8. I had another gimlet to make a fair comparison and it was just as good as the $13 one at Alembic.

I also liked the vibe of the place a lot. It was like 10 pm on a Friday and it wasn't that crowded. I mean, it was busy, but not wall-to-wall people. It just has a good feel. I guess go now before it gets overrun with douchebags, which should be within a couple of weeks once word gets out. Oh, shit, I'm not helping.

[ADDENDUM: I know talking about the weather is hopelessly trite and cliched, but I just have to say that the last 12-16 hours in San Francisco have been fucking MISERABLE, even by San Francisco's terrible standards for July. I know that there's a terrible heat wave on in the rest of the country and they'd love to trade places with us blah blah blah, I could really go for one night when I'm not huddled by my heater. Outside here last night it was like the Scottish Moors on a bad day, what with the 50 degrees and howling winds and fog. Took the dog out for a walk last night around 10 (wearing 4 layers, of course) and immediately smelled the familiar scent of burning firewood. San Francisco, California: Where Summer Smells Like Duraflame.]

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bar stuff

Since we were all busy paying attention to Tom and Katie breaking up or the soccer thing in Europe or whatever, I guess the Chronicle's list of the "Top 100 Bay Area Bars" flew under the radar. A few years ago I think I would have been really into analyzing it and overthinking it and complaining and whatever, but for some reason I don't get as worked up as I used to about this kind of thing.

Back in 2008, before anyone read this blog, I made a list of my Top 5 SF bars: Zeitgeist, Hemlock, Tosca, Alembic and Elixir. Pretty solid list 4 years later. Actually, I just went to Alembic for the first time in a couple of years on Tuesday and after I got a really good but screamingly expensive cocktail (gimlet, $13!!), I ordered a beer. Now, Alembic used to serve beers in regular pint glasses. What I got was a tall shotglass of beer for $6. Maybe 6 ounces. I held it up and asked the waitress "Are you kidding me with this?" and she says - not making this up - "The beer is designed to be drunk at a certain temperature, and we don't want it to get warm." Really, not lying. That's what she said. I've never had a problem with beer getting warm on me, especially in this fucking freezing city, but if that's really a problem, sell the mini-beers for $3 instead of $6. Ridiculous.

So I'd take Alembic off the list and add.....oh, I don't know, Thieves Tavern? I always have a good time there. I used to like Bloodhound a lot but then it went and got all popular and now it's ruined.


I've been to most of the places listed that are in SF. Some of them are actually restaurants (like Hog & Rocks or Nopa) and I personally think if there are more people eating than just drinking in your place at any given time, you're a restaurant and not a bar. (I'm sorry to bust on you, H&R. I really like you, but c'mon.) Still, I get that some restaurants have a really good bar program (like H&R and Nopa and Slanted Door) and deserve recognition for that and blah blah blah no one's listening to me anyway.

Glad to see Kennedy's and Kezar and Southern Pacific and Mr. Bing's. All fine establishments.

Speaking of Alembic, I'm surprised it's not on there. It's exactly the kind of place that people who make lists like this typically fawn over.

And Specs! Specs is the best. Let's all go to Specs soon.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Bachelorette: Wouldn't it be awkward if someone's parents were homeless? What would they do then for hometown visits?

Just asking.

Final Four! Hometown visits! Shit's getting real! First we see Ems back in Charlotte and rushing home to Lil Rikki wearing.....wait, what the fuck? Some kind of death's head shirt?

Hi Rikki! So good to see you! Can't hear anything over your screams of terror! No, sweetie, it's not a monster! It's what's left after the skin is stripped from your face! Why are you crying?

Boring recap/Emily voiceover about the 4 who are left. Wait, Jef has a "little bit of an edge"? WTF? He's about as edgy as a bowling ball. I get the feeling a wild night for Jef might include some non-decaffeinated Celestial Seasonings and some Family Guy DVDs.

We kick off with Chris in Chicago. He comes out to her as Polish. Hey, what happened to Polish jokes? That was a thing when I was a kid. Another victim of political correctness! I need to contact a Republican about this. Anyway, after a brief pit stop in a Polish restaurant for beers, they're off to Hanover Park to meet the fam. Sturdy-looking Polish Dad, American Mom, and 2 cute enough sisters. Em wants to know if Chris is ready to be a father. Dad says "he will do his best." That should fill you with confidence! The crispier sister is a little worried and wants Em to dump Chris ASAP if he's not the one. FORESHADOWING. Oh, come on. You know what's coming. Hey, do you think Chris's perma-five-o-clock-shadow is planned or he just needs to shave? Oh Christ, surprise! There's a Polish band out back. Soon Chris will be polka-ing alone.

Next stop: St. George Utah, for Jef's "family ranch." Quite a spread they have there! After a little ride in some ATV thing, it's time for some target practice. Jef thinks Ems "looks so hot with a gun." Have I got a treat for Jef. On to meet Jef's family. Well, except for his parents, who couldn't be bothered to show up for this thing on national TV to meet their son's possible wife. Holy shit, there's a crapload of them. Wait, is that the lead singer from Smashmouth?

They're drinking lemonade! Ohhhhh, right, Mormons. That's a dealbreaker right there. Families are great and all, but without booze they're basically intolerable. Ems sits down for a group interview with the sisters. I don't know what's going on here but they all look like they have different parents. One looks like the homecoming queen and one looks like the mean girl from an 80's movie and one looks like Jonah Hill in a wig. Then Jef & E go hang out and he reads her some long thing he wrote. What's up this season with guys reading Emily these treatises on how much they love her? She's like the muse of mash notes.

NEXT. Arie in Scottsdale. Seriously, Scottsdale is like a Bachelor/ette Production Facility. There's always at least 3 or 4 from there. They take a spin in Arie's racecar and then it's off to meet everyone. Oh, shit, no wonder his name sounds familiar! His dad won the fucking Indianapolis 500 twice! Mom's Dutch too and looks heavily plastic surgeried. So they all sit down and everyone starts talking in Dutch! AWKWARD. Oh, Mom wants to know why it didn't work out with Brad. Dad seems like he might be a little sweet on Emily too. Might want to lock the door if you spend the night there!

OK, one more stop. Sean in Dallas. By the lake. With some dogs. Of course. It's so painfully all-American it hurts. OMG, who decorated their house, a team of grandmas? Sean's niece and nephew are "Kensington" and "Smith," of course. Why would you give a girl a name that will inevitably be shortened to "Kenny"? The South Park jokes will never end with that one. Kenny has a playhouse that's nicer than most people's real houses and it has A/C and it was also decorated by whatever octogenarian did the main house. Anyway, the centerpiece is an elaborate practical joke in which Sean confesses that he lives at home and shows her a messy room and then HA HA HA not really. But it does raise a good point: Em should be checking out where these dudes actually live, not their parents' house. That way you can see if they have light-up beer signs or copies of "Man and Beast Quarterly" or whatever.

We're gonna wrap this thing at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, the only place I've seen tonight that I actually want to go to. (Rooms available this weekend! $695 a night!) Let's get this on. We know what's coming. Racecar Arie first. Then Jef. It's down to Sean and Chris. The only thing Chris would win against Sean is a Being Polish contest. And, indeed, he is gone. He still hasn't fucking shaved. He's like a facial hair Chia Pet or something. Anyway, he doesn't cry much in the Crying Limo. And then there were three.