Friday, May 22, 2015

Is this the most expensive AirBnB in San Francisco?

Why pay $2,700 a night for a one-bedroom suite at the Four Seasons on Market when you could get a whole house?  Villainous, city-ruining AirBnB is here to help.  Sure, you could get some crappy studio in Lower Pac Heights for $175 a night, but we're ballers and we don't roll like that.  So I wanted to find out: WHAT'S THE MOST EXPENSIVE AIRBNB IN SF?

METHODOLOGY: I picked some dates more or less at random and then slid the money slider over to the top. Science!

The MOST expensive rental I came up with was the Payne Mansion, which features 17,000 square feet, 10 bedrooms and 2 industrial kitchens for $4249 a night, which actually seems PRETTY FUCKING REASONABLE for all that.  I mean, Christ, put a couple in each bedroom and that's only $106 a head.  20 drunk people frolicking in the "Gran Ballroom"!  Sounds like fun!  But that doesn't count because it's already a hotel and shouldn't even be on AirBnB in the first place.

The most expensive real person house I found was a "roomy, beautiful Pacific Heights/Cow Hollow 4 bedroom home" for $2128 a night.  It looks OK, I guess.

It's being rented out by "Erica" - IF THAT'S HER REAL NAME - from "TurnKey Vacation Rentals, a full service property management company based out of Austin, Texas," so I guess all that cash isn't even staying in California.  I would say that this represents all the reasons people hate AirBnB but sinec this place would likely be occupied by some rich Facebook dbag, it's probably a wash.

I mean, it's fine?  It's got 4 bedrooms and a large soaking tub and some kind of head statue in the living room that I definitely wouldn't want to look at if I was on mushrooms.

But over 2 grand a night?  I don't think so.  Especially when you can have this for $1144 a night:

Now we're talking.  a 3-bedroom penthouse on Telegraph Hill.  Oh my God I want to move into that photo and live there forever.  And it has parking!  In North Beach!  Madre de dios.

Even so, I thought I would find some really ridiculous prices, like some dude's place at the Infinity for $10,000 a night or something.  Fuck, the Presidential Suite at the Ritz Carlton is $6000 a night and probably doesn't have any weird head sculptures at all.  Pick up your game, AirBnBers!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Bachelorette: This is going to be a very exciting season!

Hi guys!  Time for another season of the Bachelorette!  This time, we've got TWICE THE EXCITEMENT because Britt and Kaitlyn from last season must first compete to see who will have a chance at love and happiness this year!  ABC is also doing some things differently because instead of our usual LA mansion, the girls will be greeting the lucky guys by GORATHAG, the Hell Portal, site of the Deaths of the 10,000 and Gateway to the Screaming-Lands!

Let's meet our contestants!  First up is THOROCK THE DESTROYER.

Any joker can ride up in a limo and hop out and whatever.  Not Thorock!  He makes quite an entrance riding astride Gnargon, the Dark Beast.  Is that Gnargon poop on the driveway?!  Sorry, ABC!

Britt leans over to Kaitlyn.  "He's cute," she coos.  Thorock dismounts.  "BEHOLD MORTALS, I AM THOROCK THE DESTROYER, EATER OF FLESH, DESTROYER OF CITIES, BRAVE MEN TREMBLE BEFORE MY GAZE."

Kaitlyn makes the first move!  "Heyyyyyy," she says, "Are those horns real?"

"I HAVE TAKEN THIS FORM FOR 20,000 YEARS.  MANY SOULS I HAVE IMPALED ON THESE HORNS.  I AM THOROCK," Thorock says.  Was Britt rolling her eyes a little?  "Nice to meet you Thorock," Kaitlyn says.  "I look forward to getting to know you."

"I AM THOROCK," Thorock says.

Here comes a limo!  It's our next contestant, DEAD TED BUNDY IN HELL.  He hops out of the limo wearing a cast on his arm.  Kaitlyn and Britt exchange nervous glances.

"Hey there!," says Dead Ted Bundy in Hell.  "Can one of you ladies help me put these groceries in the car?"

Kaitlyn and Britt look at each other knowingly.  "Isn't that a ploy you used to lure unsuspecting young women into your car so you could abduct and murder them?," says Britt.  "Come on, Dead Ted Bundy in Hell, we weren't born yesterday!"

Dead Ted Bundy in Hell cracks a sheepish smile and takes off the fake cast.  "You got me, you got me," he chuckles.  "But seriously, you are both so beautiful!  I would hate to have to choose one of you to kill I mean date."  He heads into the house.  "I like him," says Kaitlyn.

Another limo!  The door opens but it doesn't look like anyone gets out.  Wait a minute, I can sort of see him, it's a Vaporous Sentient Mist!  He blows over towards Kaitlyn and Britt.  "Oh wow, nice to meet you, Vaporous Sentient Mist!," says Britt.  The Mist pauses in midair, then blows inside.  Britt cups a hand to the side of her mouth and stage-whispers "SO. SKINNY." at Kaitlyn.

Next up is BRAD, 28, an accountant from Missoula, Montana.  "Good evening, ladies," he says.  "I'd like to see both of you on my balance sheet!"  Kaitlyn giggles and gives Brad a peck on the cheek.  We later hear his screams from inside the house as Thorock dismembers him and feeds him to Gnargon the Dark Beast.

Here comes the next contestant!  Wait, it's just a dog walking up!  I didn't know you could bring dogs on the show!  Oh, wow, it's ROODLES, THE TALKING DOG!  "'Sup," says Roodles.  "WOW!," says Kaitlyn, "Are you like an actual talking dog?"

"The fuck do you think?," says Roodles.  "I'm fucking talking.  I'm a fucking dog.  Do the math.  Jesus Christ.  Where's the fucking bar."

"We'll have to see about him," says Kaitlyn.

OK, now, as you might have heard, there's kind of a twist this year, because Kaitlyn and Britt BOTH can't be the Bachelorette so instead we've devised a contest of sorts - a fight in the Ring of Death!  Kaitlyn will be given the trident and net, and Britt the shortsword and shield.  I think, assuming Britt can keep the flowing crimson blood out of her eyes, she's got a real chance.  Kaitlyn's never shown much promise with the long weapons.  STAY TUNED.

Friday, May 15, 2015

I have seen the future of fancified fast food, and it is the McDonalds on Sutter Street

While we weren't looking, the Food Engineers at McDonalds snuck into the Union Square area and installed a new restaurant.

Did I say "new restaurant"?  Yes I did.  But that's not right.  They installed THE FUTURE. (ominous organ music)

Outside it looks like it could be any McDonalds.  INSIDE it looks like Ikea and Virgin Airlines got together and decided to serve delicious meat.

Are you tired of pointing at the #2 on a grimy plate of pictographs and grunting incomprehensibly to a Pusher Drone?  NO MORE.  Now you order directly from a snooker table-sized iPad.

I was so blown away by THE FUTURE that I forgot to take a picture of the Hot Meat Order Entry Kiosk so thanks to Yelp user "John C." for grabbing this snap for me to steal and use on my blog to make $$$$ that John C. will share no part in.
Just like checking in at the airport, there are friendly Worker Bees buzzing around the kiosks to tell you how to push every single screen and basically render the kiosks a useless piece of technology because they're holding your hand through the whole thing.  DESPITE THIS I STILL somehow ended up accidentally ordering guacamole on my Fresh 100% Angus Burger and I don't even like guacamole on Mexican food much less on my burger,  IT'S NOT A HAMBURGESAS PEOPLE IF YOU'RE NOT IN CIUDAD JUAREZ.

But oh the choices!  Forget your usual QPC slapped together off an assembly line.  I picked the ciabatta roll and the sharp cheddar and the grilled onion and NOT GUACAMOLE as I indicated before although they tried to stick me with guacamole.

Then you go and sit down and THEY BRING YOU THE FOOD.

Check this shit out.  The fries come in a little fake fryer basket!  Je t'adore! And as you can see my burger is piled high with grilled onions and also tomato WHICH I DID NOT ORDER.  There are a few kinks to work out with the Calorie Delivery Kiosks still.

I set the tomato aside.  Later, a McDonalds employee approached and asked me if there was something wrong with the tomato and I said I DON'T REALLY KNOW BUT I JUST DIDN'T WANT IT and he said "I just want to make sure every order is perfect."  WHAT THE FUCK.

The Wife got a Filet O Fish which was not special in any way.  It was just pretty much your standard off the shelf Filet O Fish.  I recommend that McDonalds get their shit together in the fish department and start frying some individual fillets and dressing up the FOF a little.

The burger was actually really good.  It was like 73% better than a normal QPC.  I will definitely go back.  You should go there today.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

As predicted, most other State Songs are pretty lame


Remember a couple of days ago when we talked about how California needs a new State Song and then Burrito Justice went on his radio show and talked about it some more?  That was fun.  I said in that last post that we would look at other state's State Songs.  This is me delivering on that admittedly boring promise.

Here's the list.  Of note is the fact that only New Jersey has not seen fit to name a state song, which is cool because everyone knows the Sopranos theme is the New Jersey State Song.

Let's get the winners out of the way first.  #1 is Georgia, whose state song is "Georgia on My Mind," predictably enough, as sung by Ray Charles.

Give you chills.  OK, that's it.  The others are all pretty much crap, except maybe "Tennessee Waltz," which is a pretty great song, and "Do You Realize??" by the Flaming Lips, the Official Rock Song of Oklahoma.  What the fuck Oklahoma.  Oklahoma is so conservative they think Copernicus was a dangerous radical and running away is the only acceptable form of birth control and they let a bunch of acid gobbling freaks write the State Rock Song.  Yes I know the Flaming Lips are from Oklahoma thank you.

Tennessee, not content with just one Official Song, had to go and get fucking 10 Official Songs, including "A Tennessee Bicentennial Rap: 1796-1996," which is performed by an elderly white woman and is not something you would want to listen to willingly.

Most of them are just "State Name" or "My State Name" or "Oh State Name," but once in a while you get an outlier like "Here We Have Idaho," which sounds like someone is going over a map with a customer in a cartography store, trying to convince them to make a purchase by pointing out the completeness of the store's Official USA Map.

During our State Songs discussions yesterday, I learned about the doomed attempt to make "Roadrunner" by the Modern Lovers the Official State Rock Song of Massachusetts.  Massacusetts has taken the, to my mind, fun and inclusive approach of having a variety of State Songs in different genres, such as a State Folk Song ("Massachusetts," by Arlo Guthrie) and, charmingly, a State Polka ("Say Hello to Someone From Massachusetts," Lenny Gomulka virtually commands).

New York has "I Love New York" which has not aged well and sounds like a shampoo commercial from 1978.  Obviously they need to replace it with "Empire State of Mind" like yesterday.

And a final shoutout to Washington state, which has seen fit to have an "Unofficial Rock Song," namely "Louie Louie."  We gotta go.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Let's get a new State Song, California

If you watch as much TV as I do, you've almost certainly been bombarded with those Jeep ads featuring what sounds like a scratchy 78 of a guy singling/warbling an old timey song.

At first I figured it was just some old song that happened to be about California and the commercial people used it because it's a targeted ad or whatever.

But no, when I bitched about it this weekend on Twitter it led me to do some research and by research I mean using Google on my phone and what do you know, it's the fucking Official State Song of California.  The cover for the sheet music is pretty terrific.

And has since been repurposed by other artists:

From 3 Fish Studios. This is beautiful and you should order a print.
I'm getting sidetracked here.  I don't come to praise "I Love You, California," but to bury it.  It's got a nice heart but it's a little outdated.  Let's trash it just like we do with everything else in the world and get a hip new Official State Song.

Look, here's a handy list of like 5000 songs about California.  Who's got time to listen to all those?  More importantly, why would you willingly listen to a Red Hot Chili Peppers song?  ("Parallel Universe," apparently, is a Song About California.)  No, let's just get to the finalists.

Our first finalist is "Estimated Prophet," by the Grateful Dead.

Hey, nobody said it had to have "California" in the title. Here's the chorus:

California, preaching on the burning shore
California, I'll be knocking on the golden door
Like an angel, standing in a shaft of light
Rising up to paradise, I know, I'm gonna shine

Nice, huh?  Plus it's the fucking Grateful Dead.  Can't get much more California than that.

When this came up on Twitter, several people naturally went to "California Über Alles" by the Dead Kennedys.

Little did the DKs know that when they wrote this in 1979, Jerry Brown would still be governor in 2015. Just not all in a row. Anyway, I'm not sure it'll work because it has a lot of dated references.  The song should be timeless.  Still a fucking kickass song.  Uber should use it in their ads!  Ho ho ho, that would be a quite a scene.

Probably any song by Best Coast, like "The Only Place," for example.

The only problem is that they don't say the word "California" anywhere in the song so fucking Oregon or something could scoop it up.  Oh right, there's no sun in Oregon.  But you get the point.  Can't have a state song without "California" in it.

Our final finalist needs no introduction.

Hard to argue with that. And kids, that's how "California Love" became our new Official State Song.  If you have other/better ideas, do share.

P.S. Next time we'll look at other state's State Songs, which I am tentatively forecasting will be lame as fuck.

UPDATE: I almost forgot about "California" by Quasi, which is as wry and sharp as a Dorothy Parker bon mot:

There, that should about do it.