Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My favorite tweets of 2014

Once is an incident; twice is a trend. Three times is a tradition.  Welcome to TK's Top Tweets of 2014.

It's hard to say any year totally sucked when you have a kid because they light up your life and give you hope to carry on etc but 2014 was kind of a garbage year. Between everyone in our family dying including the fucking DOG and the world pretty much going to shit what with the police brutality and the Isis and what have you I'm not sad to see it go.

Nevertheless there were good parts and these tweets are part of the good parts.

I actually went to look up what was happening with the Giants on Sept. 25 that made Dan tweet this, which perfectly summarized a season that was beyond frustrating right up until they won the fucking World Series. The Giants were playing the Padres and were up 6-0, then gave up 8 runs in the 6th and 7th innings. My forensic analysis of the timestamp on this tweet leads me to believe that's when Dan sent this out. As it happens, the Giants then came back, scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 7th, and clinched a playoff spot. Unbelievable.

If there was any better summary of San Francisco in 2014 than a techie's Mom writing to tell seniors and the disabled to get the fuck out of the way of her son's road to wealth, I can't imagine what it was.

Time to go, 2014. You don't have to go home but you can't stay here.

Monday, December 29, 2014

What are we all doing for New Year's Eve 20 Years Ago?

Welcome to another installment of It Was 20 Years Ago Today, in which we bore readers in a very specific way: by looking at old newspapers and finding out what was going on 20 years ago.


I know it's not today, but close enough.  I have here ads I carefully copied from the December 28, 1994 SF Weekly.  We're all 20 years younger!  Let's go do something tonight, for Chrissakes.  The Internet hasn't really taken off yet so we can't stay home and post cat pictures on the Tumbeler.  Let's go have some FUN.

What's going on at Paradise Lounge?

The Loved Ones was local fave Bart Davenport's old band.  I don't think I ever saw them.  The Broun Fellinis might even still be around.

Over at Great American, we've got a "Cajun New Years Eve" f/ Beausoleil.  I don't know what the draw of a Cajun NYE in SF is but whatever.  Also look at the night before, with Cake last on the bill in tiny print. Sadly, they would go on to much bigger type.

The Cramps at the Fillmore.  I think the Public Enemy show a few nights earlier would be about 1000 times more interesting.

Finally, we have something called "Mr. Jenkins' Big Block Party" at Embarcadero Center.  I have no idea who Mr. Jenkins is, but the lineup is kind of incredible.

The Brothers Doobie and Neville on the main stage.  And look at the "Big Bang Alternative Stage," with Cracker and the Meat Puppets!  (Also Engine, who later became Engine 88 and put out a great album called "Clean Your Room."  Here's a video of them performing the song "Pelican" at the 1995 Haight Street Fair.  I was actually in the audience at this very performance, back when the idea of going to a street fair didn't give me full body wretching.  Plus I lived right off Haight at the time.  Here's a studio version of another song, "Des Moines," with much better sound.  Now I have gone down the Engine 88 rabbit hole.  Anyway.)

$65 for Mr. Jenkins' Big Block Party.  That seems a bit steep, Doobie Brothers or not.

When it's all said and done, I think I would have been just fine going to the late, great 20 Tank Brewery's NYE party, where $15 includes a reserved table and a round of beer & pizza.  20 Tank was great.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

TK's Albums of the Year

I'm not a Professional Music Critic, so nobody really cares, but I was going to write about Debra J. Saunders latest stupid, dumb column because it made me so mad but then I went "You know what?  It's Christmas.  Let's just be happy and not mad."  There were so many good albums this year.

I was gonna do a video for each one but fucking Blogger keeps deleting the videos so fuck it. Whoops, there goes my Xmas Spirit.

1. Sturgill Simpson, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music

You haven't lived until you've heard a guy who sounds like Waylon Jennings sing about "reptile aliens made of light" and name-drop psilocybin and DMT.  I listened to this album so many times this year.

2. Cocktails, Adult Life

One of the two local bands on the list, which is crazy unusual for me.  But this album, a totally fun power pop gem, would make the list either way.

3. Cloud Nothings, Here and Nowhere Else

Am I crazy if I say this is what the Replacements might have sounded like if they practiced more and drank less?

4. Woods, With Light and With Love

I love these crazy hippies.

5. Young Fathers, Dead

It's not really going out on a limb to pick an album that won the Mercury Prize (which is a big deal in Britain, let me assure you) but it doesn't change how great this album is.  Mercury Prize =/= Grammy.

6. TV on the Radio, Seeds

I haven't had that much time with this album yet (by which I mean I've only listened to it 7 or 8 times) but I already love it.  I love everything TVOTR does.  I think 2 of my favorite 10 albums of the '00s were by TVOTR.

7. Generationals, Alix

I suggested "Black Lemon" to my friend Stephen and he said that I like that "post-MGMT stuff" more than he does.  HRMPH.

8. Painted Palms, Forever

The other local band.  Every city gets the Miike Snow it deserves.

Being a contrarian, I didn't like a lot of stuff that everyone else fell all over themselves about.  I thought the new Spoon album sounded exactly like a Spoon album.  Jenny Lewis's Voyager was whatever.  You have to be kidding me with that Leonard Cohen thing.  Be honest, you don't like Leonard Cohen.

Merry Christmas!  See you again one more time before New Years, for my annual Top Tweets of the Year post.  THE EXCITEMENT IS PALPABLE.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Urban Etiquette: Motoring in the City

Since I live in San Francisco and work in San Francisco I obviously take Muni to work since there's nowhere to park at my job that doesn't cost $18 a day.  So I never used to drive that much.  Just on weekends, pretty much.  Like, literally I would not enter my car M-F unless it was street cleaning.

Now I take my offspring to day care in the mid-Sunset area, so I drive every day.  It's been an eye-opening experience.  Everyone is a terrible driver.

1. For the love of all that is holy, USE YOUR FUCKING TURN SIGNALS

Why are you stopped in the middle of the street?  Have you died in your car and now it just sits there, unattended, while your body rots into the seat?  No?  You're waiting to turn?  Your car is almost certainly not a pre-1939 Buick and thus is equipped with a mechanism designed to let others know your intentions vis-a-vis turning.  FUCKING USE IT.

2. How Stop Signs Work

It has become apparent to me that most drivers believe that Stop signs work like this: "I see a Stop sign.  I pause briefly, then continue on.  It matters not if there are other cars at the intersection, in the general area, or anywhere else on Planet Earth.  I have paused briefly and will now be on my way."

This is not how Stop signs work, you maroon.  Print this out and tape it to your dashboard:

We cool?

3. Green light means go

Why are you just sitting there?  Depress the accelerator pedal.  The odds of the North American Plate suddenly lurching to life and moving under you so as to propel you through the intersection without you operating your car are vanishingly small.

4. Double Parking: Is It For Me?

Double parking is mostly OK if you just have to run in for a second and it's a fairly wide street so the rest of us can get around you without too much trouble.


a. Anywhere near an intersection.
b. Anywhere, at any time, on Fell, Oak, Gough, Franklin, Turk between Van Ness and Divisadero, any of those little tiny streets in Bernal Heights or those alleys in the Mission, or anywhere else you're going to royally fuck up traffic.
c. When there's a perfectly good parking space right there! What the fuck are you thinking? Take the 30 seconds and park!  Christ!

5. There is no point in tailgating.  It almost never makes the person in front of you go faster and you just look like an asshole.

I'm sure I've forgotten some big ones.  Enlighten me in the comments if you wish.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Santacon and a Tale of Two Internets

If you haven't lived in SF long, you may have thought Santacon was always an excuse for Chads and Jens to put on Santa suits and make themselves unpopular all over the city, but the event actually started with the Cacophony Society back in the mid-90's.  (If you're not familiar with the Cacophony Society, they're one of the things that used to make San Francisco great.  Start with the Wiki here.)

Ugh. (Photo via SFWeekly.)

ANYWAY, applying the precepts of the Greater Shitshow Theory, what started out as a cool small event eventually became a horrible public spectacle that people hate.  (In New York it's apparently way worse.)  In fact, the universal level of loathing in my Twitter feed proves that Santacon is one of the few things everyone I follow on Twitter agrees on: it's the Worst Thing in the World.

That's just the smallest sample. It was way worse than that.  It's like a group of privileged white people with more money than sense and no moral compass can't get teenager-on-Everclear drunk in the middle of the day and vomit in public while screaming incoherently any more! Boo hoo.

But this total opprobrium made me think: there is nothing that 100% of the people agree on (including, as Hunter S. Thompson sagely noted, "Jesus Christ and pure cocaine"), and those drunk Santas all look like they were doing it voluntarily, so where is the pro-Santacon Internet?  Why aren't I seeing tweets like "Having a great time at Santacon! This is more fun than going to Dartmouth as a legacy and denying that white privilege exists!"

Pretty simple, I guess.  Everyone's Internet is a pretty small slice.  I don't follow any finance bros on Twitter because I don't know any finance bros in real life, I guess.  Sure, I have some hate-follows, and I read certain blogs that make me actually angry every time, but doesn't everyone?  Getting outraged is practically America's national sport.  Baseball has nothing on "WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT VACCINES IS WRONG WRONG WRONG HOPE YOUR KIDS ENJOY AUTISM."  But for our Daily Bread, we follow and read people pretty much like people we know in the meatspace (worst term ever I've been dying to use).  I remember talking to some dude at a party and mentioning something I read on SFist and he said "What's SFist" and the room started to spin and I got dizzy and then I remembered that Everyone Makes Their Own Internet and SFist isn't exactly the New York Times.  It's one of my daily stops (if for no other reason, to hate-read Miles Long's hilariously stupid babycon takes on everything) but most people - even most people in SF - don't know it exists.

So there's a whole universe of pro-Santacon (and pro-everything else awful) Twitter out there, I'm sure.  Just not mine. Which, fine.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Rain: The Movie

INT MAYOR'S SITUATION ROOM. A darkened room with huge video screens, all displaying a map with a frightening orange and green blob heading directly for San Francisco.  Uniformed men and women rush around, barking into phones and tapping at keyboards.

MAYOR bursts in, following by Chief of Staff LLOYD.


OK, what have we got?  Give it to me straight.

General BRICKS turns to face MAYOR.


I'm afraid it doesn't look good, Sir.  As you can see, it's headed right for us.


What do you mean, "it"?  Don't sugarcoat it for me, General.  Give it to me straight.


Well, Sir, it''s rain.

MAYOR's face is a mask of shock and horror.


"Rain," General?  You can't be serious.


I'm dead serious, Lloyd.  It's rain.  And it's bearing down on us like a 50,000 ton freight train full of liquid water. Deadly, liquid water.


Is that what rain is, General?  Water?  


That's what we think.  Water, but....from the sky.


What the hell are you talking about, General?  Water from the sky?  What kind of madness is this?


I'm sorry, but our intelligence indicates it's true.  Water falls from the sky and collects on the ground and makes things wet.


Technical question, General.  If you were to look up at this "rain," and you had your mouth open, could it fill your lungs and drown you?


Honestly, Lloyd, I don't know.  We don't have a lot of answers.


Goddamit, we're wasting time.  We've got to warn the citizens about this "rain."


The worst part of this, Mayor, is that it may already be too late.


Children run and play on the various playground equipment.  We see JOHNNY jump from the monkey bars and land on his feet, smiling delightedly.


This is the best day ever!

From above, we see the shadow of a cloud move across the playground.  A drop of water splashes onto JOHNNY's head.  And another, and another.  


Mommy? What's happening?


[OK, I know, two rain posts in a row.  But what am I supposed to do?  This storm was the Biggest Story of the Decade.  It would be like Walter Cronkite doing a newscast in 1969 and not mentioning Vietnam.  The movie poster picture I stole from Kate Scott's Twitter feed.  Thanks, Kate Scott.]

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Anchor Drone (chuckling): Thanks for the report, Kenny.  It's nice to know not every police beating has to be a sad story.  Now let's talk to meteorologist Skip Hapless at Weather Center 10000 who's tracking a fast-moving storm heading for our area!


Anchor Drone: What's that, Skip?


Anchor Drone: What does the storm look like, Skip?

Skip Hapless: It will make Armageddon look like a free cone at Coldstone Creamery.  Lashing sheets of rain will pelt and destroy wildlife.  Your loved ones will cling to trees and pray for death.  THIS WILL BE A MAJOR WEATHER EVENT.

Anchor Drone: How much rain can we expect, Skip?


Anchor Drone: Sounds like this might affect the morning commute!


Anchor Drone: That was Skip Hapless with the weather.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Binge watch alert

I know, this is turning into 40 Going On TV, but that's sort of my life right now.  When you have a kid who goes to bed at 7, you are bestowed two gifts: (1) a fairly substantial period of time before you go to bed, and (2) the total inability to leave the house.  Either we become serious g4m3rz, read books next to each other on the couch, the steady tick tock of the clock punctuating the passing silence, or we fucking watch TV like normal people.  We watch a good amount of TV.  Although, to to be fair, probably no more - and maybe less - than the average American household.  The average is about 5 hours per day, and I doubt we get anywhere close to that.

Jesus, that was a long preamble just to talk about one show: Peaky Blinders, now streaming on Netflix.  PB is a British drama about a crime family in Birmingham (England, not Alabama, duh) set just after World War I.  How could I elevator pitch this?  The Sopranos crossed with Downton Abbey?  No, not really.  Maybe Boardwalk Empire with British accents?  I've never seen Boardwalk Empire, but I understand the comparison has been made.  Anyway, it's really good and we're currently just beginning to binge watch it.

It stars Cillian Murphy, mostly known to American audiences as The Creepy Irish Guy in Different Stuff.

It's got all the elements you want for a Complete Binge Watching Experience: a dark antihero, several intertwining plots, an even darker antiantihero, explicit violence, flashbacks, one or more mysteries at the center, and a woman with a secret.  There's also Sam Neill struggling valiantly with a Northern Irish accent.  YOU GO SAM NEILL, YOU'LL BEAT IT.

We're only three episodes in and I kinda love it.  I think there's only 12 episodes total, so you could easily knock it out before more stuff starts/comes back early next year.  (I also think it's the show they're discussing this Sunday on TV on the Radio so there's an excuse to at least catch a few eps.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

TV Roundup

I'm back!  I've been on hiatus.  This included air travel (surprisingly not that bad; travel on Monday and Friday of Thanksgiving week if you like avoiding crowds); family (great); and the incredible biscuits of the Loveless Cafe (incredible).

A girl and her breakfast (NB: bacon does not come pre-shredded).
ANYWAY, now we're back.  Sorry for the long layoff and whatever.  We are now in Peak TV Season what with some series finales and mid-season finales and basically all kinds of great shit going on so let's take a minute and reflect on the wondrous bounty the Lord has giveth upon us.  And by the Lord I mean Comcast Xfinity.

SONS OF ANARCHY - Blessedly in the final season, with the series finale December 9.  This season sort of mirrored the show as a whole; there were some good parts and some really, really bad parts.  Luckily, it seems like they're pulling it together towards the end.  The last few shows have been excellent, so I'm pretty optimistic they can pull off a satisfying end.  At first we thought everyone was going to die but maybe not.

90 DAY FIANCE - Everybody's on the train(wreck) now.  Just read Beth's outstanding recaps at Your Slow News Day. Watch it now, because this is the last season it's going to be good.  From here on out, the couples will all be totally self-conscious and playing it for the camera, just like Jersey Shore with Central Americans.

THE WALKING DEAD - Just got to its mid-season break with a SHOCKING DEATH of a formerly minor character who was given lots more screen time this season so we could get invested and then moved by her SHOCKING DEATH.  Hey, at least something is fucking happening this season.  Kill 'em all, if that's what it takes.  Why am I even watching this show.

PARENTHOOD - On a break until January 8 I think. My ideal series finale would be Zeek drowning Max in a bathtub and then sitting in his prized classic convertible in the garage with the engine running but instead it'll probably be more of Ray Romano's stupid family hogging all the scenes.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the indispensable TV on the Radio show on BFF.FM, everyone's favorite Internet radio station, every Sunday morning at 10 a.m., in which the ladies discuss TV shows and life itself.  Perfect to enjoy with your half cap and cruller or bong hit or whatever it is you do.