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

Monday, October 31, 2005

Special Halloween Edition Of Staggering Through Fog*

* - By special Halloween edition, I just mean I'm publishing the reprint on Halloween. Otherwise, it has absolutely nothing to do with today's holiday...

Trying to find the happy medium between sitting in the corner quietly discussing French poetry and loudly demanding to know who stole his pants while the cops drag him away, Barrespondent Drew gets settled in for more good old fashioned drinkin’.

Maybe it’s because we’re about halfway between St. Patrick’s Days, but we seem to have been going to a lot of Irish bars lately. There’s just something about a good Irish pub in the fall that’s really, really comfortable. Really, is there anything better than a good Irish whisky chased by a Bass or Guinness when the weather is getting cold and damp?

As we’ve stated before, however, it takes a lot more than a few brass rails and ‘Erin Go Bragh’ flags to fool us. In creating an authentic Irish pub, getting just the right mixture of happy green hangout and depressed drunken hole is crucial. If it’s too clean, we might as well be in Vegas, and if it’s too dirty, then it’s… too dirty.

An Bodhran in the Lower Haight will do nicely thank you very much. An infant by San Francisco bar standards (a mere 10 years or so), one gets the feeling walking into this place that its been there for generations. They’ve really done a terrific job here of getting the balance right. It’s dark, dingy and suspect while at the same time feeling totally inviting and friendly.

Service here has always been top notch. We’ve been here when its been totally crammed and completely empty and have never had to wait more than a minute to get the bartender’s attention. Drinks are made with love and skill and if you’re so inclined, most of the people behind the bar here are good conversationalists as well.

It really is amazing the neighborhood feel that this place has acquired over the last few years. You wouldn’t think that a bar could develop such a loyal following in such a short period of time, but if there’s any place that deserves it, it’s An Bodhran.

So as the fog creeps over more and more of the city this fall, get into a top shelf Irish bar like An Bodhran. Your cold fingers and toes will thank you for it.

Liver… Out!!


Sunday, October 23, 2005

Right In Your Liquor Hole...

Because the only thing more fun than telling yourself that you’ve “got to stop drinking so much” is trying to remember why you would ever say such a thing when you’re blind drunk 12 hours later. So without further ado, Barrespondent Drew takes another local bar for some test spins.

In order to protect our reputations as ‘Equal Opportunity Drunks’, we decided to forgo dive bars this week and hit some place swanky. You know, one of those places where people from Walnut Creek who still talk about Sex & The City hang out. It sounds awful to us too, but we’re willing to take the bullet for our beloved readership.

Wish, on Folsom and 12th, is a nice enough little spot. Long and dark with all kinds of mood lighting and candles, it’s clearly laid out for people to check one another out above all else. It's hard to imagine a scenario where we’d be completely comfortable in a place like this, whether it was wall to wall people or totally empty. We’re pretty sure this is entirely on purpose, however, as the words ‘relaxing’ and ‘bridge and tunnel meat market hotspot’ are rarely used in the same sentence.

But you know what? We didn't hate this place. Amazingly enough, the drink selection, prices and service were all top notch at Wish. Pints of Stella were only $3 and the bartender came out from behind the bar repeatedly to keep tabs on us. They seemed to have a great premium vodka selection, and looking briefly at the drinks menu introduced us to many yummy sounding martinis.

Overall, we’d have to recommend this place. Sure, its got all the trappings of an awful, dot-com era SOMA bar, but they’ve managed to give the place at least a little bit of personality, which was more than we were expecting walking in.

Liver… Out!!


Sunday, October 16, 2005

B To The Ooze-ay

Looking forward to the Winter drinking season, Barrespondent Drew crawls inside another dark hideaway to get away from the cold (even if it’s still just an imagined chill caused by having the shakes).

Continuing on with the theme of authentic Irish Pubs, we thought it would only be fair to visit the other end of the spectrum. Last week’s praising of Martin Mack’s genuine Irishness made us remember a place we’ve been recently that somewhat missed the mark.

Keep in mind, even if an Irish pub doesn’t hit the bullseye and fails to transport you body and soul to the Emerald Isle, it usually has a better than average beer and drink selection and is bound to be a preferable alternative to hanging out in front of your local Bodega drinking Schlitz out of a paper bag.

The Liberties Pub on Guerrero and 22nd is a good example of ‘by the numbers’ Irish. Every brass rail, every leather barstool and every inch of rich, rich mahogany* tells you that it’s a well appointed Irish pub. In fact, the attention to detail is so good at this place that it pretty much sucks all the character out of it.

Sitting at the bar of the Liberties is almost uncomfortable. Not because of any problem with the seats or the friendly waitstaff, but because we find ourselves looking around furtively for some sign of originality to it. Without walking outside into the street, I have no idea where we are. Is this the Richmond? Daly City? Did I pass out on CalTrain and wake up in Menlo Park again? This place gives you no clue whatsoever as to your location as it could be just about any over-decorated Irish pub or Bennigan’s anywhere in the U.S.

Combine this feeling of uneasiness with fairly average food at slightly above average prices and you’re left with more questions than answers. Why replace the fun and unique poet hangout Café Babar with this? Why commit so many resources with so little originality? And why sacrifice character in one of the parts of the city best known for it?

Liver… Out!!

* - I don't know if there's any of this kind of wood actually here, but ever since seeing Anchorman we've wanted a chance to say, "rich mahogany".

UPDATE - It IS rich mahogany!


Friday, October 14, 2005

Hey, It Worked For Killing Trading Spaces...

Yeah I admit it. I love reality TV. Big Brother, Survivor, The Apprentice. You name a show that hip and cool people love to despise and I fucking love it. What can I say? To me there's nothing more satisfying than watching some fame-hungry douchebag or sorority sister get humiliated on a national stage, completely unaware of how much damage they've just done to the rest of their life. It's wonderful to think of these short sighted assholes going on a job interview in 10 years only to have the manager look up from their resume and say, "Hey, aren't you that dipshit that ate all the peanut butter on 'Real World 21, Nashville'? Sorry, but we need team players here at WalMart". (joke stolen from Todd Barry)

Anywho, considering myself a bit of an expert on this meaningless shit, I can confidently say that CBS is ruining what may be the best reality show ever created, The Amazing Race. They've decided to screw with the usual tried and true formula of arguing, abusive couples fighting for plane tickets to fly to India and push aside people who haven't eaten in a month in a race around the world.

Yup, they fucked with it good. This season it's 'Family Edition'. Now we get to see the hellish demon spawn of these American Idol worshipping retards (Before you say anything, American Idol is NOT a reality show, but rather a shitty talent competition. Much like the Gong Show but without a sense of humor about itself). And if there's anything that makes something good unwatchable, it's throwing bratty kids into the mix. And to make it even worse, they're not even leaving the United States!! So now, not only do I have to watch boring suburbanites and their petulant bratty kids, I don't even get to see them leave the comfort of their stupid minivan.

Thanks a lot Amazing Race. You switched my chocolate sundae with good old American horseshit.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Destiny... Destiny... No Escaping, That's For Me...

To witness something silly once is fun. It can be explained away by simple happenstance. Just another example of some blithering idiot doing something stupid.

But to witness it a second time. Ooohh!! Now we have a trend! No longer can it be categorized as the lunatical ravings of one sad mind all hopped up on who knows what. Now it's a part of the woven fabric of history, sewn by the collective moron known as Mr. or Mrs. America...

For the second time in my life, purely by accident, I have encountered a retarded child named 'Destiny'. No foolin', No fuckin' around, I'm dead fucking serious here. Once in Bronx, New York, and now in Oakland, California, two people took a look at their mongoloid child with a forehead like a drive-in movie theatre (thanks Farrelly brothers) and said, "let's call her 'Destiny'".

That's completely hilarious!

Even if you come from a family of 15 and 14 were 'developmentally challenged'. Even if you've devoted your whole life to advancing the image of the 'differently abled', you've got to admit that naming a retarded kid 'Destiny' is comedy gold.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Ok, We Get It, You've Got An Alcohol Problem...

Finding out the hard way that most San Francisco bars frown upon paying for your drinks in pennies, Barrespondent Drew continues his quest to find the best taverns, saloons and speakeasys in the city.

Being the drinking snobs we are, authenticity is certainly important when considering an Irish pub. No one likes the feeling of being cheated that washes over you when you enter some place called ‘Kilty McBagpipes’ and see nothing but NFL team pennants on the wall and Miller Lite on tap. These places are like those kit cars that were popular in the ‘70s. Sure, on the outside it might look like a Maserati, but get up close and you realize it’s just a hunk of fiberglass thrown around a Volkswagen chassis.

Unfortunately, the legitimacy of an Irish pub usually depends on having actual Irish people that frequent it, and if you’re also snobby enough to dislike all things touristy, this whittles down your options even further.

Luckily for choosy jerks like us, there’s a place that, despite being in the middle of one of the most tourist-choked areas of town, still maintains a very neighborhood feel (An Irish neighborhood).

Martin Mack’s, on Haight Street between Clayton and Ashbury, may be smack-dab on the intersection of trustafarian and burnout, but once inside you’ll never know it. A wonderful mix of old world charm and new Irish prosperity makes it an irresistibly comfortable bar.

We’ve never had anything but great service here. The barkeeps are knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. They’ve got a truly magnificent beer selection and if liquor’s more your thing, some top shelf scotches as well.

You would think that the crowd would be the big problem at this place, but for whatever reason, it hasn’t been an issue at all, giving us the impression that this is the place where the semi-normal, non-gawking class goes to get away from it all in the heart of the Haight.

So check out Martin Mack’s, a refreshingly Irish Irish pub.

Liver… Out!!


Friday, October 07, 2005

SouthWest Airlines Can Suck It...

I've always hated Southwest Airlines. I know, a lot of people freaking love it and think their 'bus of the sky' attitude is just peachy. I guess I wouldn't have a problem with their 'first come first served' seating policy, if they ever actually used it.

Every time I've ever flown them it's the same sad story. I get there 3 hours early or print out my boarding pass online to make sure I get an 'A' ticket, which is supposed to mean that I board first. Being that I'm a genetic freak that doesn't fit into normal airplane seats (6'8" you midget bitch), I like to get the seat of my choice. Unfortunately, Southwest's 'who cares' attitude also extends to people who get to preboard. Basically, anybody with a child under the age of 20 or that might be retired, or that just doesn't feel like waiting in line qualifies for their preboarding process. So that time you spent sitting on the floor in line 'A' is fucking useless. Yup, screw the fact that I've been sitting Indian style on the floor of your fucking plane gate for 3 hours, some dipshit redneck asshole complained to the person at the desk that 'they don't like to wait in line' and so suddenly they're 'pre-board' material.

All that aside, here's the best reason ever to hate Southwest;


Yup, free speech may exist in America, but apparently it doesn't exist onboard the flying hayride that is Southwest Airlines. I urge everyone to do the same as me and refuse to fly them for the rest of their lives.

You are now free to go out of business...


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

So You Wanna Be...

A Guantanamo Bay Prison Interrogator?

Luckily, there's an instructional video courtesy of the fuck-sticks at Liebography to help you out.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Worst News Ever...

Look, I was able to keep it under control when Isabelle (Weezie) Sanford died. Don Adams and Gilligan died and I was able to move on.

But now...

But... now...

My hero, the man who was ten times the poet Maya Angelou could ever be, ten times the game show guest Orson Bean could ever be, one of the greatest Match Game players of all time...

Nipsey Russell has passed away.

Since a moment of silence is not really possible on a blog, I urge you to restart your computer and think of Nipsey as it re-boots.


Monday, October 03, 2005


You lose, bee-atch!

Is there anything more gratifying than watching the following;

Let's say you know this woman and she's a real hardcore cunt. All she talks about is herself, her sorority, her stupid suburban house that her square-jawed tool of a husband bought for her and how much she loves Jesus, Oprah and Desperate Housewives in that order.

Then let's say you find out that her husband is cheating on her. Not really liking her doesn't prevent you from wanting people not to suffer, so you try and let her know. However, any time you've tried to talk to this hagged-out skank and clue her in about the rim jobs he's getting in the back of the auto dealership, she flips out on you, calls you jealous and storms off.

So you shrug your shoulders, tell yourself you tried to help and go on with your life.

But then it happens. You get to watch this miserable, vacant shit head collapse in a pool of life-failure when she finds out what's actually been going on. All her excuses, all her rationalizations and everything she's about break apart into smaller and smaller pieces the tighter she tries to hold on to them.

So who did this happen to? I'll give you a hint, the woman is every Republican, the husband is George W. Bush, and the whore in the back room of the car dealership is Harriet Miers, his new nominee for the supreme court.

HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!

For 5 long years, you dipshits have been waiting. Putting up with the war, defending his inability to speak, towing the party line like Karl Rove's little lap dogs. All for what? All so that he would appoint Christians like you to the Supreme Court and you could finally stop the terrible baby holocaust. We tried to tell you over and over and over that he didn't give two fucks about any of you and your stupid God causes and you ignored us.

All that work, all that lying to yourself and all that time putting flyers on windshields decrying John McCain's 'negro' baby and Max Cleland's legless anti-Americanism.

All for nothing.

Serves you right, shit head...



Offsetting the high cost of Bay Area drinking by just skipping dinner altogether (sometimes the simplest solutions are the best!), Barrespondent Drew meets another liquor dispensing establishment head on.

As was mentioned a few weeks ago, our new favorite part of town is the outer Mission/ Glen Park/ Bernal Heights. Actually, that’s one of the things we’ve come to love about the area where Mission meets Valencia, its refusal to be easily categorized. Whatever this area of town is called, its got a great selection of quality dives filled with quality people. That, and compared to many other areas of town, you’re not over run with people trying to out-hipster each other. At least not yet. This area is well on its way to coolness, so get here and enjoy yourself while you can.

Nap’s 3, on Mission a block or so south of Cesar Chavez, will probably be the lone holdout to gentrification in ten years or so. Already the divey-est bar on the block, as places around it get progressively more hip and trendy, Nap’s seems to take a step in the other direction. For every microbrew or DJ that somewhere like Argus gets, Nap’s probably lets the Bud Light get a little more flat.

We say ‘good for them’. Nap’s serviceable bar and huge smoking patio makes for quality relaxing. So they’re not going to make the best Cosmo in town, or stock that Single Malt you’ve only seen in Edinburgh that one time, so what? Every once in awhile it’s good to go back to the basics, cheap beer and bottom shelf liquors.

So let your scenester friends pay the cover to get into El Rio. You’ll be laughing all the way to the bank when you get your less expensive drink on right next door.

Liver… Out!!