Back when I was a kid, Blogs were called 'imaginary friends' and were only slightly more pathetic.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Travelogue, Part Dos

The food in Baja Mexico is for me and the mrs., the only real reason to go there. Being more or less transparent and likely to burst into flames upon direct sunlight, the weather certainly isn't a draw (and in May it starts to get hot, really damn hot). We're not exactly sporting types either, so kayaking, sportfishing, boating and golf are also non-factors.

Nope, for us each time we've gone down to Mulege, every day is just time-killing between meals. Since getting married there 6 1/2 years (!) ago now, we've got a list of places to hit and basically plan on lying down or sitting at a bar for the unfortunate times of the day when we're not hungry.

Night one in Loreto we wandered around for a bit and then went to a place called 'The Macaw Cafe' along the beach. It was set in a bit and heavily shaded so we decided to check it out. Teri got Shrimp tacos and I got a Mixed Seafood Cocktail. Both were incredibly good. Throw in a few margaritas and a beer or two, all for about $8 and it was a good kickoff.

Made it up to Mulege the next day (no thanks to the paranoid, Credit card cancelling a-holes at Fleet), got ourselves hotel situated and went out to dinner at 'Jungle Jims' with my mother and sister. Had good fish and chips and some drinks at the Serenidad's hotel bar.

For lunch the next day, we went to a place whose name always eludes me. Right in downtown Mulege, it's been there forever. Anyway, we both had the Garlic Butter Scallops which were absolutely incredible. Pounded flatter than silver dollars and melted in your mouth. Best meal so far.

Next came the wedding. Now nobody on either family's side are remotely religeous. It's not that we're all secular science-types or anything, it's just that none of us really care to have to get up early every Sunday for something we feel may or may not be bullshit. Anyway, the wedding was held in the old Mulege Mission, and while being very pretty in a Sam Peckinpah shootout kind of way, is also as creepy as a tongue kiss from the Virgin Mary. The Mission is chock full of 'heebie-jeebie' inducing statues of bloody Jesus and various Saints and stuff. Toward the back of the place is a little glass coffin, with a little 5'1" Jesus tucked into it. It was ADORABLE. I told several people that I just wanted to take him home with me and put a little sailor suit on him. Then, after the lightning strike, I paid a little more attention to the ceremony.

The wedding itself was nice, no big deal, took all of about 10 minutes once everyone got started. The odd thing now was that there was a 2 1/2 hour break before the reception started across town. Even the longest drive in Mulege is about 10 minutes, and mountains of food supposedly awaited us there, so what we're meant to do to kill a couple of hours is beyond me. Oh well, we found something to do (glug glug).

One of the things I found the funniest was after the ceremony, when we were trying to figure out how to kill time until the party, my mother, still in the church, started talking about how she was going to go into town to get US Dollars changed into Pesos. That's right, after one of the most blasphemous things you could possibly do (get married in a catholic church without one mention of God or Jesus), my mother is going to THE MONEY CHANGERS. I just figured after that we'd go piss on a manger scene or paint pubic hair on any and all images of Jesus around town.

Well, that's good for this time. Next time we'll discuss why sticking pieces of hotdog into a pineapple with toothpicks doesn't qualify as 'fancy wedding reception food'.


Monday, May 30, 2005

Wonder Showzen, The Interview

Courtesy of The Portland Mercury, with a doff of the cap to Brian at Liebography (now with 100% more Intercontinental Tranny Tricks!). Or was it the other Farrelly? Ah crap, hat doffs and curtseys to everyone!:

Here's a quick Q&A with John Lee and Vernon Chatman, the two batshit crazy fucksticks behind the greatest television show in the last 5 years, Wonder Showzen:

MERCURY: How did Wonder Showzen get its start?

VERNON: You mean the most hated show in television? We made this eight-minute tape a few years back and shopped it around. Eventually the USA network gave us money and told us to come back in six months with a pilot episode. So we did, and within five minutes--maybe less--USA canceled their comedy division as well as our jobs.

JOHN: It didn't help that we tried to make it a heavy drama. But it really tackled some serious issues!

So how did MTV2 come to pick up the show?

V: They're the most annoying network on television, and we're the most annoying people in television.

J: A marriage made in hell.

V: Basically, we shoved it down their throats. Kind of a combination of shoving and charming.

J: It was a charming shove--but even now, it's a struggle to get what we want on the air. The show we really want to make--that has 100% of what we want--would never make it on TV. It would be so raw, even we wouldn't want to watch it.

The raw style of Wonder Showzen seems to come straight out of public access.

V: Well, thank you for that insult. Thanks for shitting on our hearts. And our baby!

J: Yeah, you just threw our baby in a dumpster. How do you feel now, prom mom? We actually try really hard!

V: People are always like, "If you shot the show using better cameras it would look nicer." True, but that would make our bad comedy less funny.

J: I think the analogy is that of kids' finger painting. You're just happy that kids can throw something on paper. But if they're doing the same thing after going to art school, you'd be like, "Oh my god, that's horrible." So while our show may look like crap, we like to think of it as a simple pleasure.

Do you have any background in television?

V: I'm one-quarter television on my father's side.

J: He can open a casino if he wants to.

V: We've worked on various TV shows. We did Doggy Fizzle Televizzle [an MTV sketch comedy show starring Snoop Dogg], and that's where we learned that puppets are much easier to control than Snoop.

J: A stoner puppet is always easier to deal with than a stoner dude. But children bleed more when you stick them.

Which of the following do you guys like to satirize most: religion, politicians, or meat eaters?

V: They're all the same thing.

J: Jesus was the most carnivorous politician.

V: It's all in good fun. We just make jokes and Jesus comes out.

J: You got to aim high for the low blow.

What amazes me is the controversial things that come out of the mouths of these kids. Do they have any idea what they're saying?

V: What people don't realize is that these kids all have terminal diseases, and saying these things on television is their last dying wish. They're like, "You're the one who gave me cancer, so let us do this," and we're like "Okay," and whoopsy! We have a show. Sadly most of the kids don't live to see themselves on the air. But… there's always another season.

J: And there's always more invalid kids.

So that's how you find the kids? Trolling the cancer wards?

V: Hey! It's fun to kid around and everything, but cancer is no joke. I don't know what kind of paper you write for, but cancer is never funny.

J: Actually, if cancer fell off a donkey while carrying a birthday cake, or if there was a giant man-size tumor that slipped and fell in some mud, then yeah… that would be pretty funny.

V: Fine. Cancer is funny.

Do you guys ever get any hassles from the kids' parents?

V: We have to jump through a lot of legal hoops.

J: We made all the parents watch the show. And when they told us they didn't want their children anywhere near us, we ended up going down to Guatemala and buying a bunch of kids.

V: From a cigarette factory. Now we own 'em.

J: But they also end up owning us, in a way. Emotionally.

One of my favorite parts of the show is "Beat Kids."

V: Well, we're just doing our best to try and get the message out there… you know, to beat kids.

Are there any topics you would refuse to bring up in front of the children?

V: Like what?

I don't know… like donkey sex?

J: I'll have you know that donkey sex is one of the most beautiful things in nature.

V: Why would you want to keep that from a child?

J: How do you think children are born, anyway?

V: Luckily, we're taking advantage of the fact that kids are dumb. Except kids like Trevor, he's a superstar.

J: He doesn't have any legs or eyes, but he has a lot of heart. He's actually a giant 38-pound heart.

V: The kids have no context for what they're saying. And if they start to catch on, we use distraction. For example, we'll feed Trevor a line, taking it out of context, and when he starts to go, "Wait a second… " we'll start yelling, "Hamburger! Hot dog! Hamburger! Hot dog!" Then we throw a bunch of kittens on him. Before you know it, he's forgotten that joke about taking a dump on a nun's chest.

J: Our goal is to rip "context" a new a-hole and "situationalism" a new b-hole.

Where does the show go from here? Are you afraid of running out of sacred cows to slaughter?

V: Yeah, I just realized that we have no future. We've shot our wad. Which is interesting, because not many people will admit it. We shot our wad, we're dead, we got nothing.

So you guys are a lot like M*A*S*H in that way.

J: One good season, and then 12 to 15 years of riding the glory.

V: Alan Alda's going to be the star next season.

J: He's going to be Grandfather Time.


Happy Memorial Day

Wait, is that right? Is it appropriate to say 'happy' Memorial Day? Shouldn't it be more like "Have a somber retrospective Memorial Day" or something?

Ah screw it, be happy you bastards...


Sunday, May 29, 2005

SFist In The Hiz-ist

A weekly attempt to find just the right balance of amassing encyclopedic knowledge of the San Francisco bar scene and drinking enough to forget all that knowledge. Barrespondent Drew returns this week from Mexico with a new found respect for Mr. Sauza and all three generations of headache-merchants in his family. Now back down to business.

Over the past months we've seen our fair share of theme bars. Be it the 'double viking' inducing devils at Lucky 13 or the pimped-out tricycles littered about The Rickshaw Stop, everyone's looking for a gimmick, and whether it's a legitimate tribute to something/someone or just something the marketing team came up with, it certainly helps to remember a place the next morning if it happened to have a whole lot of crazy crap on the walls.

Eddie Rickenbacker's on 2nd Street in SOMA feels on first impression like some cheesy T.J. O'Pootertoots-like family fun zone. Littered with antique motorcycles and toy trains, it would be easy to quickly assume that some sales squad went nuts at the swap meet and opened up a restaurant. This is definitely not the case, however, and anyone turning and running from Rickenbacker's is missing out on a slice of true San Francisco history.

"Normal" Norman Hobday opened Rickenbacker's in the '70s and has packed it with an incredible collection of turn of the century war memorabilia, old motorcycles and big HO scale train sets.. One of those pieces of memorabilia, a set of Native American teeth, has apparently created quite a controversy as of late, but that seems to be dying down. In the several times I've been there, I've never noticed the teeth, so I'm assuming they're not the main draw for people coming there, or even displayed very prominently. Hopefully this won't cause too much distraction for what is otherwise a great bar.

Rickenbacker's long, wood bar is immediately comforting, and the combination of incredibly friendly bartenders and talkative and helpful locals make this place instantly comfortable and inviting. The great beer selection and perfectly made cocktails don't hurt either. Apparently it's not unusual to see Normal Norman himself off in the corner playing 'Liar's Dice', ready to give a piece of his mind to anyone who asks for it.

So do yourself a favor and check out Eddie Rickenbacker's. Just remember that this ain't no Cracker Barrell so don't touch the antiques on the wall.

Liver... Out!!


Saturday, May 28, 2005

2 Games A Week? Don't Knock Yourself Out NBA...


Does the NBA really think it makes the playoffs more exciting to have teams play 2 times a week? At this point it's actually possible to forget about the NBA entirely between games. If their desire is to have basketball on as long as possible, why not just take a full week off between games and have no off-season at all.


Friday, May 27, 2005

Travelogue, Part One

"Wait 'till I talk nonstop about this at the hotel bar for the next 5 days!"

I could never, ever travel for a living. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some reclusive shut-in living in a basement full of comics picking Doritos crumbs out of my beard. I love the 'idea' of travel, and usually once I reach my destination, have a great time.

No, it's the travel itself. Airports have now become what I imagine bus stations to have been like in the 50's and 60's, depressing displays of midwestern douche-nozzles, proudly displaying their super-loud crying infants, or else soul-dead packs of fraternity-raised sales assholes rattling off more cliches than a hundred Jay Lenos. It always seem like such a tragedy that every vacation that begins with such wonderful promise of fun and interest has to begin with a cold awful reminder that 99% of this country is completely intolerable.

AeroCalifornia Airlines, bascially the only game in town if you're flying to middle Baja, is a quirky and slightly frightening airline. Hit hard by 9/11, they've cut back on their free beer policy, their 'meal' policy, and indeed on everything but absolutely neccessary rivets to hold the wings on and enough lighter fluid to make the distance. One of the first things I noticed after boarding was that the overhead luggage compartments seemed to be made out of WOOD. That's right, a modern Airbus jetliner had been pimped out with something Ikea would deem likely to fall apart. Very reassuring...

The other terrifying part of flying to Baja is the other passengers. Loreto, Mexico is primarily a 'sport-fishing' destination. This is great if you love to fish, but pretty terrible unless you find a plane full of leathery, boastful, Jimmy Buffet-loving douchebags anything but awful. If you ever need to find a hundred or so dickwads from San Bernardino County sporting stupid looking straw hats and talking loud enough about Yellowtail and Marlin to drown out plane engines, look no further than each and every flight leaving for the Sea of Cortez.

I have a slight fear of flying. It's not a problem when we're in the air, but during takeoff and landing I get a little jittery. One of the things I use to combat this fear is check out other people on the plane and ask myself how upsetting it would be to the world in general if they died. If the plane seems to have interesting or accomplished people on board, I feel strangely better, at least knowing that this plane crash would get some decent media coverage. Looking around on this flight though terrifies me even more, because I realize that if this plane went down, the world would be BETTER OFF. I start to think that me and my wife's death would be an 'acceptable casualty' in order to rid the world of this bus full of blowhards, homophobes, and right wing shitstains. Unfortunately for the planet, however, the plane stayed in the air and landed without incident.

We land in Loreto, which is a nice little coastal village, have a lovely dinner of Seafood cocktail and shrimp tacos, check in to a local hotel and get some sleep. Tomorrow it's off to Mulege for a blasphemous non-catholic wedding inside an old catholic church.



Thursday, May 26, 2005

By Request, Thursday Frank Gorshin R.I.P. Blogging

I vote Pat Sajak plays him in the TV movie.

Mexico was nice, no ironic death or anything, just many Dos Equis' and girlie drinks like Mango Daiquaris.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I'm Back!!!

Actually, we haven't even left yet (or we've left but not returned yet, or we have actually returned and you aren't checking this site often enough). But thanks to 'future-dating', I can pretend it's the future and we've already returned from our trip to Mexico.

The main purpose this post serves is to provide an eerie, Capricorn One-esque quality to this site should our plane crash and we're killed. After all, no one wants their last words to be "See you soon" or "I Love You" or something predictably ironic like that. Everyone wants their last words to be something totally cryptic and open-ended like, "Remind me to tell you about the bank robbery" or "I've got something incredible to say about the lottery.".

So anyway, we had a great time right up until the plane hit the mountain. After that, it was too fiery and the food sucked...


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

More Muzins On Muzik, Meme Styley Freakies!!

Got this music meme (a geeky blogging term for 'theme') from The Sound of The Crowd:

Of all the bands/artists in your CD/record collection, which one do you own the most albums by?

Steely Dan. A true obsession of my late teens-early twenties. Don't like 'em? Screw you.

What was the last song you listened to?

"Feel Good Inc." - Gorillaz

What's in your CD player right now?

Turin Brakes, Jackinabox

What song would you say sums you up?

"Sexy Boy" - Air

What's your favorite local band?

San Francisco has notoriously awful local bands, but since 'Film School's' lead singer lives with my buddy Jeff, I'll say they're slightly better than Huey Lewis & The News or Boz Scaggs.

What was the last show you attended?

New Order and The Chemical Brothers.

What artist do you consider to be very underrated?

Adam Green. He's like MC Paul Barman and Beck had a folksy asshole love child.

What's the shittiest band you've ever seen in concert?

Steely Dan at the Blockbuster Pavilion in San Bernardino. Not because of the show itself, but because it took 2 1/2 hours to pull into the arena and park, causing us to miss half of the show. Stupid christians with their no-porno policy. Fuck 'em.

What band do you love musically but hate the members of?

The Pixies. Frank Black seems to have two speeds, absolutely nothing or tour until your sick of 'em.

What is the most musically involved you have ever been?

Probably when I first moved to New York and scoured the streets for bootlegs of Steely Dan concerts and snuck into the first concert Donald Fagen had played in 10 years. Whatta geek...

What show are you looking forward to?

Turin Brakes were incredible the last time I saw them and I will definitely see them again.

What is your favorite band shirt?

Mike Mills graphics for Air's Moon Safari album are great, but Cypress Hill always has great shirts filled with pot leafs that make for great 'job interview' gear.

What musician would you like to hang out with for a day?

Fatboy Slim. He's a fucking 'superstar DJ'. Is there a better life?

Metal question - Jeans and Leather vs. Cracker Jack clothes?

Well, jeans and leather are the chosen clothing of the homosexual community, so Cracker Jack I guess (does that involve dressing up as a small sailor boy?)

Sabbath or solo Ozzy?

So easy, Sabbath!!!!

Commodores or solo Lionel Ritchie?

Let's see, 'Machine Gun' or 'Dancin' on the Ceiling'. Commodores for goddsakes...

Blackjack or solo Michael Bolton?

I choose a long slow, HIV-related death.

The Eagles or solo Don Henley?

'Long Run' era Eagles, when they were trying to be Steely Dan.

The Police or solo Sting?

The friggin Police by a mile. I don't even need to discuss it further.

Doesn't emo suck?

Not necessarily. It's fans sure do. Stupid sing-a-long pussies.

Name 4 flawless albums.

Air - Moon Safari, Chemical Brothers - Exit Planet Dust, Donald Fagen - The Nightfly, Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique.

Did you know that filling out this survey makes you a music geek?

Did you know that writing a music survey makes you the kind of geek that lives in his parent's garage?

What was the greatest decade for music?

pop music - 80s, rock - 70s, meaningful music - 90s, stupid hippy bullshit - 60s, absolute crap - 2000s.

How many music-related videos/DVDs do you own?

8 or 9. If you've never seen Underworld's 'Everything/everything' on DVD with the speakers turned up to '11', then you haven't lived.

Do you like Journey?


What is your favorite movie soundtrack?

Color Of Money. I can't explain why.

What was your last musical "phase" before you wised up?

2 days ago, I listened to a bunch of '8-bit' (music inspired by videogames of the '80s). I wised up as soon as the grocery store vodka passed through me.

What's the crappiest CD/record/etc you've ever bought?

2 Unlimited - Get Ready. Trying to convince myself that dutch techno made for hockey arenas was anything but awful was an excercise in futility.

Do you prefer vinyl or CDs?

I'm supposed to prefer vinyl because it's so much cooler, but I don't.

What is your guilty pleasure CD, that being the CD you love but would be ashamed to admit you have in your collection?

Clannad - The Collection. A brief love of the british TV show 'Robin Hood' starring Sean Connery's son begat a love of awful 'Enya-style' music.

There, my soul is open bare. I hope you're all happy now.


Monday, May 23, 2005

Mirman Craps In Ground Beef, Shame!!!!

Excellent to see that Eugene Mirman has updated his site. In addition to many more great videos, there is now an updated tour schedule and the not-quite-as-annoying link to the singing child rather than it automatically starting up on log-on.

Screw the guy who thinks that 'Eugene Sucks', instead check out a shocking expose on meat handling in New York City by Chechnian rebels!!


Sunday, May 22, 2005

Is A Couple Of Extra Mouse Clicks So Much To Ask?

Since I don't want to publish a 'best of SFist' segment featuring a bar review that hasn't even run yet (at least not on Wednesday, when this is being written, but it will be on Sunday, which is what the date up top says. Where Am I?!!!), go over to the 'newly slightly redesigned' SFist. Scroll down and you'll now see that on the left hand side, all the weekly columns are now conveniently indexed for your reading pleasure.

Now if you couldn't give a rat's ass about mayor Gavin or city politics and only want to know if there's a show at the Bottom Of The Hill you should go see, you don't have to plow through the site looking for 'When the Lights Go Down In The City'.



Saturday, May 21, 2005

A Little PTE For The PYTs in the PTA....

"Combining the smoking hot looks of Doug E. Fresh with the urban hip-hop street cred of Urkel"

With the possible exception of 4th generation Vaudeville acts and the rotting corpse of Helen Hayes, is there a more tired act than Stuart Scott?

What demographic does DJ Stoo-ey play to? I've never met anyone who thinks he's funny. I've also never met anyone who thinks he's clever, or hip, or anything but uncomfortable to watch.

It seems like ESPN would like to get rid of Stu, but he must have the longest contract ever signed. They've tried pawning him off on every silly game show and bad idea reality show spinoff they've ever tried. Anything to keep him off Sportscenter (Dream Job, Stump the Schwab etc.), but unfortunately it hasn't worked. Every once in awhile I still have to have my sports highlights utterly ruined by a nonsensical word-a-lanche of 15-year old Ebonic gibberish that makes Fat Albert's buddy Mushmouth sound like Cornel West.

Please, Stu, please, please, please, please, please quit.


Friday, May 20, 2005

Friday 'Don Francisco From Sabado Gigante' Blogging



Thursday, May 19, 2005

Off Like A Prom Dress

Mmmmm... Desertey....

Adios suckers! We're going to go watch my brother get married for the 2nd time in the sunny confines of Baja, Mexico. So if you're in the Mulege/Loreto area and want to say hello, just start speaking English and eventually I'll notice you.

I'm going to post up some random time wasters to fill the void and make it look like I never miss a day. So if you wake up tomorrow and all of the sudden this thing is dated for next Tuesday, relax, you didn't mistake 'Murphy's Oil Soap' for Scotch Whisky again. No trips to the emergency room or apologetic phone calls to your boss are necessary, it's just my way of being a completist jack-wad...

I'll post if I can, but I'm not sure what kind of Kbps rate you get on two tin cans and a piece of string.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

24 Million Reasons We're All Screwed...

Ebert And Roper called it one of the worst movies they'd ever seen. No one without several lobotomy scars couldn't agree that it's one of the worst concept pieces of crap that's ever been trotted out there. Even still, 'Monster-In-Law' made $24 million dollars in its opening weekend.

How depressing is it that this drivel rakes in all that scratch? Put it together with 'Meet The Fockers' now being the HIGHEST GROSSING COMEDY OF ALL TIME and it's just hopeless.

If you taught a retarded dog to laugh at footage of it eating its own vomit, you may start to understand the average American's sense of humor. These are people who cry laughing every time Larry The Cable guy says 'Git-R-Done', or every time they see that comic mastermind Paris Hilton give up on another fast food job.

I'm sure the only reason this movie didn't break every box office record on the books is all the red-state husbands that refused to go along because they hate that ding-dang traitor Hanoi Jane so much. Hopefully Gallagher will tour again soon so they don't have to go without laughing for too long.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Just Don't Look...

I'm inspired by absolutely nothing today, so here's Paul Anka singing Van Halen's 'Jump':

Click Here and Crank it Up!!!!!


Monday, May 16, 2005

A Nation Of Cartmans

Until last weekend, I wasn't sure if they existed outside the wishful thoughts of people like Ann Coulter, but I met an actual 'South Park Republican' a few days ago and not only do they exist, but they are the dimmest, most ill-informed, golf-loving fratguys you could ever hope to encounter.

All young people want to be thought of as hip and cool, especially racist, closed-minded assholes who go straight into sales out of college and know two things about politics, what Rush tells them and what other people on the golf course think. This outstanding article, written by some twenty-something pantload desperately overcompensating with a 'serious journalist' byline picture and hastily thrown together suit to cover his overalls, makes irrefutable statements like "If John F. Kennedy were alive, he'd probably be a South Park Republican". I suppose the only fault in that logic is that JFK was an intelligent, thoughtful human being and not some suburban dipshit whose only contributions to society are keeping Cancun's economy afloat and making sure conversations have enough Caddyshack quotes.

The more I find out about these worthless idiots, the more frustrated I become. These people are either hopelessly naive, ridiculously racist or so brainwashed into doing as they're told that they have no idea what they're even saying. The whole notion behind this movement is that humor is needed to 'puncture the mass of pretense that is liberalism'. When you come from a party whose cornerstones are ignorant, racist rednecks, plutocratic, greedy CEOs, and glossy-eyed religeous zealots, the idea that you have the comedic high ground is well, laughable.

So now, presented uncut and for your reading pleasure, is a small excerpt from the actual conversation I had with a 'South Park Republican';

South Park Republican: So, have you seen Team America World Police?

Me: No, but I really want to.

SPR: It's coming out on DVD this week and it's hilarious.

M: Yeah?

SPR: I should warn you though, YOU LEFT WING TYPES might not like it because it makes fun of celebrities...

Need I say more? Yup, in the mind of the new breed of republican, it is democrats who over react to criticism, it's democrats who can't take a joke. Darn those uppity celebrities, telling people their opinions just because someone asked for them. Don't they know that unless you're a simple country hayseed singin' bout kickin' Moo-Ha-Med's ass, that you should keep quiet?

Like Jesus Christ himself seems to be these days, apparently the new republican party can be whatever you want it to be. It doesn't have actual 'policies' or 'positions', just buzzwords and slogans. Sure, we'll still boycott programs and people, ruin careers and lives in the name of Jesus Christ to line the pockets of mega-churches, but we'll only do that to people who aren't jingoistically towing the line, so don't worry about it.

So ask yourself young man or woman, do you want to be a judgemental dickhead, but hate actually being judged yourself? Great! Welcome to the South Park Republicans! Who needs all that 'he without sin' nonsense when you can just start chucking stones because it's funny to you?

If you're a suburban raised, upper middle class douchebag who feels like you deserve opressed-person status because somebody once gave you a slightly dirty look after you told a jew joke at the country club, then sign the fuck up!

Someday the whole world will 'respect our authoritah!', or else we'll overextend ourselves across the world and crumble like every other meglomaniacal empire in history. Either way, at least we'll get a good laugh out of it!


Sunday, May 15, 2005

It's Pronounced 'Ess-eff-ist', Not 'S-Fist'...

A gradual recollection of the previous night's 'activities', peppered liberally with 'Scene Missing' cards and set to calliope music. Ok, not really, it's actually just a once-weekly bar review column submitted for your scorn and disagreement by barrespondent Drew.

We loves the darkness. Not only the British retro-hair band, but also the absence of light. We've heard that some people enjoy the beginning of summer because they get depressed during the winter when there's not enough sunlight. Frankly, we're not sure what's wrong with these people, what with their constant squinting at the glare of Mr. Sun and enjoying 'well-lit' places where you can see 3 feet beyond the front of your face. Yeah, we don't get it either.

Excuse us if we get a little philosophical here, but light is the natural enemy of fun and imagination. Turn on all the lights at the Pirates of The Caribbean ride at Disneyland and you've got a big warehouse, with some dumpy looking old boats tooling around a swimming pool. Turn most of the lights out, however, and you're riverside in pirate times. We believe the same applies for bars. The darker it is, the more wild things you can imagine are actually surrounding you.

The Phone Booth on 25th & VanNess is nice and dark. Some tables have candles, most don't, and the lights above the pool table are nicely positioned to give just enough light so as not to hinder your game of nine-ball, but not enough to flood the rest of the place with cruel brightness either.

Also being blessed with one of the best jukeboxes in the entire city (especially since Doctor Bombay's closed), The Phone Booth makes for a great final destination of the evening. It can get pretty full as the evening progresses, but we've never found it to be too crowded. The staff is nice, the beer selection a little average, but the overall ambience puts this place over the top.

So do your part to prevent skin cancer and check out one of the darkest, coolest spots in town. When you start to see pirates chasing buxom ladies around with a cutlass sword, however, you may want to switch to water.

Liver... Out!!


Saturday, May 14, 2005

Pardones Los Erupciones

Mona! Angela! Samantha! What just happened?

Every once in awhile Tony or Wilbon will say something that I'm convinced is going to get one or both of them in significant trouble (Wilbon's dig on Canada aroused controversy for a couple of hours, but nothing major).

Such was the case a few days ago when Tony said the following; "Dale Jarrett (or whoever) was worried when he ran Tony Danza off the road causing him to flip over that he may have killed him, AS IF HE WOULDN'T GET A MEDAL OF HONOR FOR THAT.". Something tells me if PTI was a major network show that Tony would have to perform all kinds of fake-ass damage control, going on Danza's show and making nice etc.

Here's to relative obscurity!


Friday, May 13, 2005

Coup Fourre!! Turns Out I Like Music After All

I don't know if anyone remembers the game 'Milles Bornes', the french auto driving card game where the object is to drive a thousand kilometres? Other players try to impede your progress by playing 'flat tire' cards or giving you an 'accident'. No? Can you people in the back hear me? .... ("Who's he talking to? There's nobody back there).

Well anyway, 'Coup Fourre' is what you shout if someone tries to give you an impedement card but you already have the card that counteracts it (i.e. puncture-proof tires or a tank of gas). Good god, this is taking longer than I thought to explain. I don't know why I bother some times. Didn't I have a point when I started this?

Oh yes. I take back everything I said about the death of music 2 days ago. I didn't think a remedy would arrive this quickly, but arrive it did in the form of the new album by 'Gorillaz' called 'Demon Days'. A total work of freaggin' genius from start to finish, Gorillaz is a collaboration of Dan the Automator, Damon Albarn of Blur, Miho Hattori of Cibo Matto, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of Talking Heads and now joining them this album, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and Kid Koala.

This album (yes, I still call them albums, it's so cute) so seamlessly blends together different styles that upon first listen a little confusion may set in. Upon further listens though it seems to get richer and richer, or maybe that's just me getting drunker and drunker. Either way, I like music again!

Demon Days is released May 25th. Buy it.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Bob's Discount Furniture Blogging


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Muzins On Muzik

What could be more alternative than these guys?

I hate most music now. Of course, any discussion of music should contain the disclaimer that as I get older, more and more music sounds exactly the same or derivative of something else (big surprise), causing absolutely nothing to engender any sort of enthusiasm. Nope, any and all excitement that comes from thinking I'm hearing a 'new' sound that no one's ever done before has been replaced with, "Who's this? The Futureheads? Oh, yeah, kinda like XTC" and "Raveonettes? Sorry, I'm just not that into 'Valley of The Dolls' retro 50s music.".

Back in the old-old days, growing up in Seattle, I would listen to KJET, which was conveniently located at 1590 on the AM dial. Yup, in the early '80s, if you wanted to hear anything besides ZZ Top, Pink Floyd, Huey Lewis & The News or Heart, you were outta luck on FM radio.

Of course, KJET was just a starter course for the grandaddy of all indie/modern rock stations, KROQ of Southern California. KROQ was so good at their job that eventually (and certainly still today) their existence has become meaningless. If you listen to KROQ today, you'll hear them say twenty times an hour how 'alternative' they are and that they play 'new' music. This usually comes between a block of Metallica, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Violent Femmes. Not exactly cutting edge anymore. I still find it amazing that in the last 15 years, no one has pointed out that you can't be the #1 station in the city and 'alternative' at the same time.

Proof positive of just how far KROQ has fallen is that the last time I was in L.A. I mainly listened to a new station that played 'indie rock'. They out 'K-Rocked' KROQ. And even though this new station was infinitely more interesting than the crap all over the rest of the radio, it was still fairly stale and boring to me.

Used to be that you count on at least one or two things to happen every 4 or 5 years that would shake up the music industry. Music used to have 'movements' like New Wave and New Jack and anything else with 'New' in it. All the labels put on music today trying to recreate that phenomenon are bullshit. There's no such thing as 'Emo' music, it's just pussy college rock anthems about the inability to get laid in the dorms unless you have a big bag of weed. Crunk? It's just the same 'ol boastful gangsta rap done while blind drunk with a shit-kicking southern accent.

I used to think that getting older and hating most music would be awful, but now I realize how glorifyingly freeing it is. Even if it's totally subconscious, when you're young and desperate for people to like you, you pretend to like a lot of music that sucks. And I don't mean just hit music. No matter how anti-mainstream you are (in fact, I would argue that people who purposefully listen to stuff that no one else has heard of listen to some of the worst music ever created), a lot of what you claim to love turns out later to be crap.

So at this point, music is just life filler. It's either just a high pitched hum or a low pitched hum. One makes me slightly happy like a bird's call in the distance and the other tenses me up so I can do an extra good job cleaning the dishes. Perhaps someday some super genius will come along and there'll be meaning to music again (If you're even thinking of writing in defending Coldplay, even for a second, don't). Either that or I'll learn to tune it out completely.

Tell me how sad you are for me because I can't appreciate the greatness of (insert shitty derivative band here) in the comments.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Hurricane Urination

Mmmmm... That's good pointless gesture...

We are losing the war in Iraq. That is to say, we are not winning. In other words, we are achieving the opposite of our goals. Furthermore, we will never 'win' in anything close to the way the Neo-cons 'foresaw' wherein drooling newly-patriotic Iraqis roam the countryside clutching American flags yelling out how much they love U.S.-style democracy.

Here's a prediction of how the next year or so will go; The new Iraqi 'government', which is essentially being run inside a bunker with 10 square blocks of army soldiers surrounding it will eventually assume 'power' and control the totally half-assed Iraqi police force. The U.S. will proclaim this to be a wonderful new democracy and switch from guarding the government to guarding Halliburton's new oil fields. Within 6 months there will be civil war, the government we spent $400 billion to put in place will be overthrown, and 6 months after that a new strongman dictator will assume power that is slightly worse than Saddam Hussein.

Sound bleak? It is, but that's what happens when foriegn policy is carried out by fundamentalist religeous nuts with no ability to understand nuance and an insatiable greed for money and oil.

Think this is too pessimistic? Just put yourself in the average Iraqis situation. Imagine if you will a United States that is run by some power-hungry mad man. Iraq, scared to death of what this nut might do, invades the United States and assumes power, killing over 100,000 innocent Americans in the process. They then put out a call for American citizens to join the 'new American police', a force whose main job is to be massive targets for the huge American redneck insurgence that finally get to shoot at something besides squirells and stop signs. Oh, and you get to help eliminate our way of life and replace it with one the Iraqis have chosen.

Think there'd be a whole lot of people signing up or welcoming them with open arms?


Monday, May 09, 2005

Am I Supposed To Be Thankful It Wasn't Jazzman?

Last night's first Simpsons episode was completely and totally awful.

In what seems like the fourth or fifth time, the show turned to 'American Idol' for it's comedic material. But instead of wasting my time with more tired Simon Cowell or Paula Abdul jokes, they trotted out someone I care even less about. Last year's winner, Ashanduhar or whatever her name is. And yes, she's everything you would expect from American Idol, completely and utterly devoid of a personality.

And please, if you're James L. Brooks or Sam Simon or Matt Groening and Yeardley Smith threatens to quit if she can't sing in at least one episode each season, LET HER QUIT. Her singing voice annoys me like a community theatre cast of Annie singing the collective works of 'Creed'. It's not 'cute', it's not 'entertaining'. It's just awful. Please make it stop.

Now while I think that was one of the worst episodes of the show I've ever seen, I am not vowing to 'never watch the show again' or calling for some kind of boycott. In the last few weeks, I've read several posts by people claiming that the Simpsons is 'over'. That no matter how much the show meant to them in the past and how much they still love it that the current batch of episodes they're airing are just too awful to stomach and they're no longer going to watch.

I read these diatribes with a mixture of eye-rolling skepticism and geek-hating disgust. Ok, I get it, The Simpsons quality has declined, they're pretty much fresh out of story ideas and it's definitely been a while since the show had a really great episode. But don't try and pretend it's not still one of the best shows on television. There are mouth-breathing house-frau retards out there masturbating themselves into a fury over Desperate Housewives, which, by the way, is one of the worst written shows I've ever had the misfortune to watch. Hell, they're still making episodes of 'Joey' for godsakes. So save your sanctimonious 'I'll never watch again' shit for someone who's paying attention.

When the show gets as bad as it did last night, just take a step back, imagine the pleasure of choking the voice out of Yeardley Smith and move on.


Sunday, May 08, 2005

The SFist, Like Brunch For The Mind...

A weekly hop, skip and jump that turns into a stutter, stammer and fall, from barrespondent Drew.

One of the more obvious criteria for a good dive bar is that it can't be stuck right in the middle of a tourist area. No one wants to be drowning their sorrows at one in the afternoon and suddenly be hassled by a family of four from Lincoln wanting to know if you can show them where Alcatraz is. Of course, in this town, avoiding tourists is not really an option, but luckily there are places within the high traffic districts of San Francisco that serve as hiding places from out-of-towners.

For years we made the mistake of not going to North Beach unless we were part of a drunken bachelor party posse or if we had guests in town (notice that if they're with us, they're 'guests' but if they're strangers they're 'filthy tourists'). We've come to realize, however, that we were needlessly cutting ourselves off from one of the most fun, diverse and interesting neighborhoods in the entire city. Sure it's great for tourists and drunken strip club hopping, but there's oh-so-much more than that along Columbus Avenue.

Spec's off Columbus has more history per square inch than most museums. It seems like every whisky soaked square millimeter of this joint has some sort of interesting story behind it. The floor is uneven, the chairs are rickety and just about everything in the place is either covered in dust or looks like someone 'whittled' on it for a year or two or ten.

Upon first entering Spec's, your eyes are immediately drawn to the model airplanes, pictures of ships, Navy memorabilia hanging from the ceiling and walls, the old signs and various other nic-nacs that look like they've been there for sixty years or so. Don't worry about roaming the place and looking around. Spec's has never been about rushing you out the door and I can't imagine they'd start to get impatient now.

Once you make your way to the bar, keep it simple. Don't bother asking for drink specials or if the bartender knows what's in a 'Kir Mojito'. He doesn't, and even if he did, he wouldn't make it here and shouldn't. Stick to simple stuff like whisky and bottles of beer. If you want to get fancy, get a pitcher of Anchor Steam or something. Bartenders are gruff but loveable at Spec's, so be friendly but don't waste his/her time.

So don't wait for 'guests' to force you into North Beach, go there willingly and enjoy a taste of what turned it into a tourist hotspot to begin with.

Liver... Out!!


Saturday, May 07, 2005

I Feel PTE, So PTE, I Feel PTE And Witty And Gay...

"I have certain En-too-ziazms.... En-too-ziazms... En-too-ziazms..."

I don't know who's a bigger psychopath when they get angry, NBA commissioner David Stern, or Robert DeNiro's character in 'The Untouchables'. Stern essentially said everything short of 'I want Van Gundy's family dead. I want his dog dead! I wanna go to his grave and piss on his ashes!' yesterday in response to Van Gundy's allegation that referees are calling phantom fouls on Yao Ming in response to complaints from Mark Cuban.

Here's the actual quote from Stern, "If he's going to say things like that, he's not going to continue in this league," Stern said. "If the attitude reflected in those comments continues to be public, he's going to have a big problem with me as long as I'm commissioner."

Stern then went on to say, "I just want to announce that it's not over,".

I think it's safe to say that I've never seen a commish from any sport as pissed as Stern is now. Van Gundy is completely screwed no matter which way he turns at this point and there's no Alonzo Mourning leg for him to grab on to.

UPDATE: Tony and Mike completely missed the point on today's episode. They seem to think that Stern is pissed because Van Gundy merely CRITISIZED the officiating. Not entirely. Stern is mad because Van Gundy claims to have PROOF from an official who told him the fix was in and won't give up the official. A coach whining about the officiating would be business as usual and I would agree that no fine should be levied, but saying that you have TESTIMONY from an actual official that they are essentially 'fixing' basketball games is just a little bit different.


Friday, May 06, 2005

Finally, a magazine for me


Thursday, May 05, 2005

You Had Me At 'C. U. Next Tuesday'

I love it when the english language is creatively used to take a filthy word and make it even worse. For example, check out the wonderful additional nuance that the word 'muddied' gives this article from the Onion:


NEW YORK — Due to the falling out between Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton, producers of Fox's The Simple Life are continuing their search for the perfect spoiled, no-talent socialite cunt to step in for Richie. "It shouldn't be too hard to find another vapid, muddied cum-dumpster perpetually drunk on the jizz of trust-fund himbos," producer Jonathan Murray said. "Any million-dollar Bambi with a vast inheritance and no ambition will do, though gutter-sluts with coke-fueled pasts will be given special consideration." Murray added that "it doesn't matter if her pussy rattles when the wind blows—we can fix that in post."


Thursday Paul Dooley Blogging


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Chemical Brothers + New Order @ Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium, Oakland,CA. April 29th

A strange double bill? Yes, it was. Still, I held out high hopes that a crowd existed in the bay area that could give both bands the appreciation they deserve.

First time I'd been to the Henry J. 'Keep it like a' Kaiser auditorium and I have to say that it's one of the best venues in the whole area. Comparable in size to the Bill Graham Civic Arena in downtown SF, the Kaizer's just a big old gym, but unlike the Graham, you don't need to blow someone to get to the second level of seats. So off to the seats we went like the old people we are.

The Chemical Brothers went on first, which I have to say was much to my surprise. For the uninitiated, their music is hardcore, big-beat thundering dance music meant primarily to be danced to the point of exhuastion to when you've just peaked on enough hallucinogens or MDMA to kill a small rhino. Having them open up for someone seems like the kind of thing that's only going to piss everyone off. The people who wanted to drop massive amounts of shit realize they'll have to not be tripping balls when the Chemical Brothers perform, and those that are there to see New Order have to sit through a bunch of disappointed club kids trying to have fun anyway even though they can't fuck themselves up as much as they wanted to.

All that aside, however, it was an incredible set. Having been at this shit for more than 10 years now (making them the grandfathers of electronica), their show is TIGHT. Amazing visuals set to seemlessly transitioned blazing and thumping music. A complete audio and visual assault, at several points I had to stop and catch my breath, and I was sitting down!

Next was New Order, and to be honest, I wasn't expecting much from them. Hell, they're practically as old as me. I figured they'd trot out some of their new stuff, play a few oldies to appease everyone and get back on their rascals and make their way down to Coachella. Boy was I wrong! Frontman Bernard Sumner started off the show by announcing that it had been twenty years that day that Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis had killed himself and to mark the occassion they played about 4 or 5 Joy Division songs. Overall, they played a really high energy set and were super impressive.

The only problem I have with the show goes back to the combination of these two bands and the crowd it produced. Most of the people there came to see New Order, and, as much as they feature electronic instruments, New Order is not an electronic dance band. So most of the crowd was forced to sit through a style of music they didn't like by the world's greatest example of that kind of music. It just didn't work.

All in all it was still a great show as I'm not going to allow for the crowd reaction to dicatate whether or not the music presented was good or not. In fact, if it had been two seperate shows, it would have been two of the best concerts I've ever seen. I know the Chemical Brothers are touring the U.S. later this year. If New Order does at some point too, definitely check them out.


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Hungry Hungry Hippo

There's a Mitch Hedberg joke where he talks about how his friend gave him some of his drugs for short attention span, but since he's not afflicted, he wound up with an extra long attention span so that when someone would tell him a story and it would end, he'd get all mad and say, "there's got to be more to that story".

That's how I feel reading this:


BANGKOK: A hippopotamus swallowed a circus dwarf in a a "freak accident" in northern Thailand, according to a columnist in the Pattaya Mail.

The Grapevine column reported: "A Circus dwarf, nicknamed Od, died recently when he bounced sideways from a trampoline and was swallowed by a yawning hippopotamus waiting to appear in the next act."

"Vets said Hilda the Hippo had a gag reflex which caused her to swallow. More than 1000 spectators continued to applaud wildly until they realized there had been a tragic mistake."

This article makes it sound as if the dwarf went in the hippo's mouth and everyone just shrugged their shoulders and said, "Oh well, poor dwarf.". Are they sure the dwarf died on impact with the hippo's mouth? Did they attempt to find out if he was slowly being digested by the hippo? Are dwarves really that disposable that any effort at all to save him was just considered a waste of time?

I'm going to make a note in my living will that includes hippo swallowing just to be on the safe side.


High Quality Bat-Shittery

"Ah.. Ah think Ah mayy need a chaynge uh paynts..."

I have a wonderful idea for those on the progressive left and basically anyone who doesn't yearn for a return to the Salem witch trials. That idea is to let Pat Robertson and/or James Dobson on major network television every single day. You don't even have to ask them questions, just let them riff.

Pat Robertson, who must be belly button deep in his own feces at this point, was on Stephanapolous last week and was freaking amazing. The host didn't bait him or lead him down any sort of set up paths. He just asked him softball setup questions and let Robertson go apeshit nuts.

Amongst the things I learned last Sunday:

"Jesus told him that liberals are a bigger threat to America than Nazis, Al-Quaeda, Stalin and the Japanese EVER were."

"Hindus and Muslims should never be judges or serve in any public office."

"Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a communist because she represented the ACLU once and they might be communist."

I'm looking forward to James Dobson next week and then more Robertson the week after that.


Monday, May 02, 2005

And It's A Home Run... (Yawn) And The Giants Win The Pennant... (Sigh) This Game Was Brought To You By...

At what point did this guy realize he'd made a horrible mistake?

Thanks to everyone who voted. I could actually afford to buy everyone who voted a drink, all five of you. I must say, it was fun watching the progression in the comments last week from 'excited debate' to 'bored concertgoer giving the band the middle finger'. Oh well, perhaps we've all learned a valuable lesson about popularity contests. Or perhaps we've just learned the limits of our own geekiness. Once you start picking apart the merits of the historical significance of Pong vs. the playability of Altered Beast you've definitely crossed some sort of line.

So enjoy your winner, which, by a 3-2 vote, was indeed Pac Man.

Now that I'm back on the sauce, hopefully I won't have to resort to such obvious time-wasters.


Sunday, May 01, 2005

Bless This Messeffist

A weekly review of high class wine tastings with appetizers of cured meats and various cheeses. Just replace the wine with dive bar-Pabst Blue Ribbon and the meats and cheese with one of those 'jerky cheddar' combo packs from the corner store. Brought to you each week by barrespondent Drew.

Several areas throughout the city could be referred to as 'pitstop' locales, their primary purpose being to provide a slight rest when you're on your way from one neighborhood to another. I know there's people who live in these parts of town who probably won't take kindly to such a casual dismissal of their area, but fact is that a lot of people hitting a bar in Laurel Hill are probably headed to the Richmond or headed Downtown. Same thing with Corona Heights, South Beach, and Parkside. Again, great parts of town, wouldn't dream of dispariging them in any way, but usually pitstops (pause for flood of hate mail).

One such area is the neighborhood around Guerrero and Market. It's not really the Mission, it's definitely not the Castro or Lower Haight and isn't quite Hayes Valley or Civic Center either. It just sort of is. All we know is that we wind up spending a lot of time there because it does connect all those neighborhoods and so the bars of that mystery district get frequented a lot, mainly because we get tired and want a rest before pushing on to wherever we're headed.

The Orbit Room Cafe, right on that very corner of Guerrero and Market is one of those 'Coffee Shop by day, swinging bar by night' kind of joints. Despite being more of a store front than an actual bar, it still maintains a fairly decent vibe and since you're probably not staying for long, you could do worse.

The times that we've been there were usually midway through the evening, and at that time Orbit is seemingly at its busiest. The bartender always seems rushed and panicked here for some reason and not for any particularly good reason. Glasses are angrily washed and Mojitos are an equal parts mixture of rum, sugar, mint and 'Screw this job, why won't they hire a bar back?'. I've never seen the place completely wall to wall with people and yet the staff remains in a constant state of jittery rudeness at all times.

The drinks at Orbit are average at best and a little overpriced as well. A general lack of space makes the place seem a lot more crowded than it usually is and even if you are lucky enough to get a table, they're rather uncomfortable and artsy and only provide a stage for people to pass by the huge plate glass windows and mock you.

If it's right on your way, then we won't tell you to go any place different than Orbit, but if you can stand another couple of blocks of walking, then any one of the five neighborhoods this place borders will provide with a better alternative.

Liver... Out!!