Friday, September 27, 2013

KTVU "Noe Valley Dream Home" is actually NIGHTMARE HOME, get it?

Huh, I didn't know that KTVU had a "Dream Home" feature on their website but I guess they do.  With a video and everything!  This week's Dream Home is in Noe Valley and it is uglier than one of those "Plastic Surgery Gone Wrong!" listicles that I'm always afraid to click on.

Look at this shit:

Oh my fucking God my eyes hurt.  What the fuck did you do, just randomly stack a bunch of boxes together and go "Well, that should about do 'er! Let's grab some lunch." Jesus Christ, I've seen better-looking housing made out of refrigerator boxes and baling wire.

What do we have here?

Oh look, somebody took the garage door off and stuck some cheap-ass patio furniture in there!  It goes well with the astroturf "yard".  Good thing they left the original low ceiling.  This is perfect for entertaining, if all your friends are little people.

There's gotta be a gourmet kitchen, right?

Oh Jesus.  Well, if you ever want to remember your childhood from the 1970's, I guess this kitchen will really take you back.  The tiger-stripe marble is a great help in preparing perfectly straight julienne fries.

You know Uncle Ramrod hasn't really felt comfortable fitting back into society since he finished up his bit at Folsom.  Well, the back deck should take him right back to the good old days.

It helps if you station little Tyler in the upstairs window with a shotgun.  30 minutes a day, remember!

It should be no surprise, BTW, that this offense to aesthetics is listed at $1,835,000.  For the soon-to-be-tech-millionaire in your life who thinks putting on the good Birkenstocks is dressing up.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chanson de Sir Larry's Boat Thing

Gather round children and hear as I sing
The tale of Sir Larry and his Sailboat Thing
Sir Larry had money, power and stock
But most people thought he was kind of a cock
"I'll show these peasants," Sir Larry announced.
"I'll give them a boat race nobody wants!"

He bullied the king and paid off the gentry
And said that his race would be the Thing of the Century
Young Lord Gavin bought into this shit
And committed the kingdom to shell out for it
Finding competitors proved to be tough
Just being around Sir Larry was rough

Finally the Kiwis answered his ring
And said they would race in Sir Larry's boat thing
The challenge accepted, the race it was on
But the people responded with a collective yawn
"We're sorry Sir Larry, we really don't care;
"It's not like you've got the 49ers out there"

"SILENCE!," Sir Larry thundered at them
"This will be the biggest thing since IBM.
"Wait til you see my spaceship-like boat
"It's literally the coolest thing ever to float."
"Whatever," said the citizenry, visibly bored.
"Call us when you've got Kate Upton aboard."

The racing began with Sir Larry down two points to none
"Cheating?!" he cried, "Isn't that just how it's done?"
Soon the Kiwis had gone up eight to one
"If this shit keep up," said Larry, "I'll block out the sun!"
And so as the Kiwis cruised to the win with ease
Sir Larry cackled, "I'll shut down the breeze!"

Then Sir Larry's team piled up win after win
Timely rule changes, again and again
Virtually ensured that Sir Larry's crew, brave and stout
Would, from their asses, a victory pull out
And as Larry sailed off on a tide of champagne and wine,
"Thanks, suckers!" he cried, "See you next time!"

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Emmy broadcast was indistinguishable from a parody of the same Emmy broadcast

I'm no TV critic - although I should be a TV critic - but you didn't need any special experience or training to realize, after only watching for a minute or two, that the Emmys show last night was fucking terrible.

"BUT TK WHY WERE YOU EVEN WATCHING THE EMMYS SINCE BREAKING BAD WAS ON?"  That's a fair question.  It's because our child goes to bed around 8 and we can't watch Breaking Bad until she goes to bed because she'll like BLAH BLAH BLAH talk through the whole thing.  Six month olds, what a pain in the ass.  Anyway, so we had a lot of time to fill until 8 pm and it was on and what, are we supposed to NOT WATCH TV?

So we had the misfortune of watching some of this crapfest.  First of all, every single writer who worked on this show should never work in the television or film or any type of creative industry ever again, because the scripted dialogue was so painfully unfunny and awkward that I felt keenly vicariously embarrassed for every person that had to mouth those awful, awful words they read on the screen in front of them.  EXAMPLE: Twerking has been in the news lately, so there were lots of twerking references, but without any actual jokes, as if the writers assumed that just saying the word "twerking" would provoke gales of laughter.  Not so.

Here, I'll write some better dialogue for the Emmys FOR FREE.  Let's have, say, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Eminem present the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

EMINEM: Hi Julia, I heard you make or are on TV.

JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS: [blank stare]

EMINEM: I got mad love for supporter actress.

JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS: [drools slightly]

[laughter & applause]

Jeff Daniels, who I'm sure is a very nice man but whose gifts as an actor are, shall we say, not abundant, won Best Actor in a Drama Series, over some guys you may have heard of, like Bryan Cranston and Jon Hamm.  You know, ACTORS.  Jesus fucking Christ.

But nothing was more embarrassing for everyone involved than the godawful dance number in the middle of the show that featured dancers SIMULATING COOKING METHAMPHETAMINE and that wasn't even the weirdest part.

Or maybe it was.  I don't know.  Like I said, I'm not a TV critic so how would I know.  Anyway, this bizarre and disturbing dance number was somehow related to the award for choreography, which was essentially pointless because every single person nominated worked on So You Think You Can Dance or something and also who gives a fuck.

In conclusion, I should not have watched any part of this show and we should all agree to not watch it ever again, unless Ricky Gervais is hosting.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Animated Chipotle ad fails to move local curmudgeon

Mexican-Chain-that-wants-you-to-not-think-it's-a-chain Chipotle released a long-form ad.  EVERYBODY FREAKED OUT.

Time Newsfeed, whatever that is, calls it "the kind of dreamy, lilting mini-movie that you’d watch before a full-length Pixar film."

SF Weekly raves "Chipotle Makes a Beautiful Animated Short That Also Happens to Be an Ad"

And Gawker, which prides itself on unabashed snark and generally being an asshole to everyone, has its icy cold heart melted: "There's No Getting Around It: The New Chipotle Ad Is Amazing"

By now, you must have a creeping sense of dread about where I'm going with this.  Ready?

It's not that great.

Sure, it has the look and feel of a Pixar short.  That's great.  Fine.  But isn't that almost a cliche, in and of itself, at this point?

The Fiona Apple cover of "Pure Imagination" is terrible.  The song doesn't fit her voice at all.  And when it's not coming out of Gene Wilder's mouth, it suddenly just becomes an underdeveloped ides of a song, rather than a song itself.

(By contrast, the Wille Nelson cover of Coldplay's "The Scientist" in the PREVIOUS Chipotle faux Pixar ad is fine.  I don't like Willie Nelson much, but that ad as a whole just works better.)

On to the content.  We see the titular Scarecrow going to work in a Big Evil mass-production food facility.  Instead of an occupation that would be a better fit for him, like scaring crows away, he seems to be some kind of handyman/general maintenance.  (Also, I'm assuming it's a "him" but I guess it could be a "her."  The film isn't clear.)  In fact, crows seem oddly drawn to the Scarecrow, so he's not very good at that.  YOU HAD ONE JOB.

The first 1:50 is this sad sack moping around the factory generally hating his job. Then he goes home and cuts up some vegetables and opens what looks to be a taco pop-up shop.  Fine, whatever.

Why people are freaking out over this is beyond me.  I know, it's not the typical fast food ad (in fact, it's ostensibly not even for the restaurant chain itself, but for some video game they're making, obviously, to entice people to come to the restaurant), and everybody loves Pixar, but the message here is so blindingly obvious and preachy that any emotional impact is blunted.  We know how we're supposed to feel, so there's no surprise.  MASS PRODUCED FOOD BAD, FRESH FARM FOOD GOOD.  Where's the excitement in that?

I know, I'm a crank.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Get out there and earn a gold star today!

Original version of this via Lindsey. I just growed it up a bit.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

California needs a new state fish, and SHARK IS IT

Formerly local Twitterer / very occasional blogger / dedicated sports enthusiast LSUCaligirl alerted me earlier today to a sad but true fact about California's state fish:

I know what you're thinking. "Who gives a fuck?What the fuck is a garibaldi?" It's this thing:

Ugh. Garibal-DON'T, more like.  Why are we, as proud Californians, saddled with such a plain, even ugly state fish?  I have no idea and don't feel like researching this.  Obviously some loser in the Legislature heard from the powerful Garibaldi Lobby and the deal was done.

Incidentally, California has 2 state fishes - the Garibaldi is the state salt water fish, and Golden trout is the state fresh water fish.  Yawn.  (Obviously, there is a killer Wikipedia page of US state fishes.)

So she had a great idea!

NOW WE ARE FUCKING TALKING. As far as I can tell, for some bizarre and unexplainable reason, no other state has already snapped up shark as their state fish, so we can have it!  HOW BADASS WOULD THAT BE.

"Hey Delaware, what you got?  The fuck you say? Your state fish is the fucking WEAKFISH? How about fucking GREAT WHITE SHARK over here?" Delaware leaves crying. The Brook Trout is a perfectly nice fish, I'm sure, but you'd think between Virginia, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Michigan, somebody could have picked something else.  ENOUGH WITH ALL THE TROUT.

(I will hand it to Hawaii, though.  By selecting the unpronounceable Humuhumunukunukuapua'a as their fish, they have immunized themselves against shit-talking.  "Yo Hawaii, I heard your humu...humumumu...ah, fuck it.")

So let's get over this Willie Brown Bridge thing and concentrate on what really matters: naming the motherfucking GREAT WHITE SHARK our official state saltwater fish.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Fake Breaking Bad Recap: Walt Buys a Hammer

As the show barrels towards what is sure to be an emotionally wrenching finale, it seems like everything is in play, but we do know one thing for sure: there is no way Walt will finish and stain the deck in time for the PTA reception.  How the show's characters will deal with this setback remain to be seen.

What about Saul's visit to the car wash?  What are we to make of that?

He's clearly angry because of the stains Enrique left in the interior.  But was it fair to threaten to call the Better Business Bureau?  It sure seems like an overreaction, especially after Walt had given him a full refund and promised to remove the stains.  Nevertheless, if Saul leaves a bad Yelp review, this could be a major blow.

Jesse is clearly distraught as the tension tightens on him and he must choose between Arizona State and Nevada-Reno.  Sure, UNR has the hospitality management program that appeals to Jesse's desire to enter the hotel/gaming industry, but Arizona State has put together an attractive financial aid package.  Either way he goes, there is sure to be blowback that will affect him and his family for years.

But nowhere is the tension higher than for Hank, who is finally coming to grips with the fact that Rosetta Stone is a scam and there is no way he will learn French.  Watching the realization creep across his face was heartbreaking, and Dean Norris turned in an amazing performance in this scene.  What effect this has on Marie's plans for their trip remains to be seen.

A lot of people have complained about the hamburger scene, but I found it totally believable and in character for Walt.  Of course, it sounds absurd - who puts a fried egg on top of a burger? - but it fits in perfectly with his willingness to try new things, especially now that he knows his cholesterol is back under control.

And that final scene, with Walt buying the second-cheapest hammer at Home Depot, well, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Friday, September 6, 2013

It Was 20 Years Ago Today

We are introducing a new feature!  It is called "It Was 20 Years Ago Today."  This is how it works: from time to time, I dig up the SF Chron from 20 years ago to the day and see WHAT WAS UP on that day.  Fun, huh!  Let's get started.

Here's the front page from September 6, 1993.  It was a Monday, which means almost everyone at the Chronicle was still drunk or hungover from the weekend, so there was not a lot of content.

"Gulf States, Syria Back Peace Plan."  HOW'S THAT WORKIN OUT, GULF STATES AND SYRIA?

Also, there is something very chilling in the upper right hand corner.  See how the Giants' lead in the NL West has shrunk to 2 1/2 games?  (BTW, the Braves were in the NL West back then.  I know, MIND BLOWN.)  Anyway, NO SPOILERS, but this lead is going to get even tighter, and soon.  SPOOKY.

In the Bay Area section, we have something about an office tower "beauty contest" fizzling out.  Mostly it's about how there's shitloads of vacant office space in downtown SF and we don't need any new office towers.  JUST WAIT, SF, THERE'S AN INTERNET A-COMIN.

Herb Caen's column was about Labor Day.

They can't all be Pulitzer winners.

The 49ers won.

"Thumbs up" because Steve Young had a thumb injury, get it?  Also, this proves that Scott Ostler wasn't funny 20 years ago either.  Sorry for the crappy copy quality.  Blame the SF Main Library, not me.

(BTW, dude in a tank top and leather necklace forcing yourself onto the elevator in the library, LET US GET THE FUCK OUT FIRST.  I promise you that you will get the #1 spot on the elevator, as soon as THE OCCUPANTS HAVE VACATED THE SPACE.)

Finally, we need a new VCR!

WHEW, I was hoping we could find one under $200.  But Limit 1 Per Family!  That's not fair!  We need one for the rec room so Jason can tape videos off of MTV!

This is fun!  We'll do it again soon.  Gotta keep an eye on those Giants.  I'm warning you.  Shit gets dicey.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sports Illustrated staffer woefully mistaken about San Francisco sports bars

One "Lee Jenkins," a Sports Illustrated staff writer, recently penned this otherwise charming piece about being an obsessive fan of, as it happens, Vanderbilt football, which is where he went to college.

I enrolled at Vanderbilt in 1995, and on the second play of the first game 5'7" tailback Jermaine Johnson pinballed 75 yards through the Alabama defense. Nearly 20 years later I have watched Vanderbilt at a Champps or a Buffalo Wild Wings in virtually every American metropolis. I've left weddings when I was a groomsman. I've postponed assignments on deadline. I once got temporarily ejected from Virginia Tech's Lane Stadium for flipping the press-box TV to Vanderbilt-Florida. In San Francisco, a city lacking sports bars, I persuaded The Condor to open at 9 a.m. for Vanderbilt--South Carolina. The Condor, it turned out, was a strip joint. A weary dancer and I watched alone. Vanderbilt lost that game, and most others. My wife stopped making Saturday-night plans. Grieving takes time.

Vanderbilt was to the SEC what Florida State would have been to the Ivy League, only the opposite, by far the smallest school with the smallest stadium and steepest academic requirements. But it's hard to take solace in APR rankings when you go 30 years without a winning regular season. I never laughed at the Weed-Eater Bowl. I fantasized about it (and almost got there in '05!).

Now, thanks to a visionary coach—who I won't name for fear that someone will throw $50 million at him—I've spent the past two New Year's Eves at bowls. Last season Vanderbilt won nine games for the first time since 1915, and over my computer hangs the final AP poll, which has an unfamiliar name at 23rd. That's AP, not APR.

Aww, that's sweet. Except for one thing:

"In San Francisco, A CITY LACKING SPORTS BARS . . . ."

Whoa whoa whoa.  For whatever other faults SF may have, I think you can hardly argue it "lacks sports bars."  Maybe it "lacks sports bars in whatever hotel Lee Jenkins was staying in" or "lacks huge chain sports bars like Lee Jenkins is used to."  But consider this.  The game he's talking about probably happened in 2004, when Vanderbilt played South Carolina at 11:30 a.m. Central time (i.e., 9:30 a.m. our time.)  In 2004, the Condor, which has had a long and storied past and had been a strip club in previous incarnations, had just switched back to being a strip club again.  Immediately before that?  It was a SPORTS BAR.

About 3 blocks away from the Condor is the North Star, a small but perfectly reasonable sports bar.  I doubt it was open on Saturday at 9, but still.  Oh, and there's a totally corporate sports bar called Knuckles in the Hyatt at the Wharf that opens at 6:30 a.m. and is probably weary-dancer-free.  I'm not saying that Knuckles is a great option, but it's close to where Lee was and I bet they were open and showing football at 9:30 a.m.

If Lee had been willing to hop in a cab, of course, there is a whole universe of really great sports bars:  Kezar and the Phoenix and Connecticut Yankee and any number of other places that I'm sure would have been able to accommodate Mr. Jenkins.  Greens on Polk is really not far from the Condor, and they open at 10 a.m.  That's close!  I'm 100% sure that Google was around in 2004 and Googling "San Francisco sports bars" would have returned some usable results.

Sorry we don't have a Buffalo Wild Wings or a "Champps," whatever that is, though.