Friday, December 29, 2006

Parkmerced

I haven't really been following this case about the guy who shot a cop in San Francisco's Sunset district last week. But I was interested to learn today that the killer used to "live" in Parkmerced — my old apartment complex. (I say "live," because it sounds like he was sleeping illegally in a storage room there.)

When I was living there, it seemed to be nothing but 90-year-old women and Russian immigrants. Apparently things have livened up a bit since then.

It's amusing that the Chron calls the place "The Villas." After I moved out of the complex, they changed their name to "The Villas at Parmerced," which didn't really seem true to the complex's Soviet-style aesthetic sense.

By using the "Villas" name, the Chron reporter has become a pawn in their marketing campaign!

Overrated Movies

As most of you know, I'm creatively fueled by my hatred of the movie "The English Patient."

So I was shocked and saddened to see that it wasn't included in Premier Magazine's list of the 20 most overrated movies. What gives?!

Here's their (woefully incomplete) list:
20. American Beauty
19. Chicago
18. Clerks
17. Fantasia
16. Field of Dreams
15. Chariots of Fire
14. Good Will Hunting
13. Forrest Gump
12. Jules and Jim
11. A Beautiful Mind
10. Monster's Ball
9. Moonstruck
8. Mystic River
7. Nashville
6. The Wizard of Oz
5. An American in Paris
4. Easy Rider
3. The Red Shoes
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey
1. Gone with the Wind

Cities Visited

I was checking out fellow blogger Anh-Minh's site, and as a fun exercise she recounts all the cities she's visited in the past year. The idea is to only list places she's spent at least one night.

"Hey, I can do that too!" I thought.

But it's actually harder than you might imagine. I couldn't remember most of these until I went back and did research.

Anyway, here's my list:

1. Los Angeles
2. Santa Cruz, Calif.
3. Portland, Ore.
4. Chicago
5. Marietta, Ga.
6. Alexandria, Va.
7. Northeast Harbor, Maine
8. Monterey, Calif.
9. New York
10. Rome, Ga.
11. San Diego
12. Wilmington, Del.

Now, my cities aren't quite as exciting as hers (big ups for Wilmington). And I didn't exactly "leave the U.S." But my 11 cities beats her 10. Oh yeah, this blogosphere feud is ON!

UPDATE: I remembered that we stayed in Monterey for my high school reunion. So I'm at 12 now.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

BuboBlog Reviews 'Pursuit of Happyness'

I'm on a movie-watching spree!!

Tonight we went to see "The Pursuit of Happyness." As you probably know, this film is set in San Francisco during the early 1980s. That made it a double-whammy for me, since I could try to spot both anachronisms *and* errors in geography!

The film stars Will Smith as the only homeless man in the history of San Francisco to not drink or use smack. Very inspiring! The unfortunate part was, I didn't spot as many mistakes as I expected.

Here's my lame list of goofs:
—A number of skyscrapers built after the early 1980s were visible — including a certain building where I work.
—There's no way a cab ride in the early '80s from downtown to Potrero would cost $17. That's crazy. Even back in the late 1990s, I could get from downtown all the way to Parkmerced for $19.
—A guy goes to a 49er game on Monday and then goes to another game that Sunday. Unless there's been some change in NFL scheduling since that time, you can't have two games in the same week.
—Will Smith gets into a Bart station via Duboce Park (this is sort of a goof, but really it's pretty awesome that they built this station just for the movie).

(I won't count the fact that Cecil Williams — who plays himself in the film — would have been much younger in the early 1980s. Reminds me a bit of Billy Idol's cameo in "The Wedding Singer.")

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Day the Streetcars Rolled

In the spirit of catching up on recent movies, I also watched "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951) the other night. (The movie apparently won a Golden Globe for Best Film Promoting International Understanding. If they still have that category, hopefully "Jackass 2" is in the running this year.)

Anyway, I enjoyed seeing shots of Washington, D.C., from that era -- especially the streetcars. It made me a little sad that the streetcars have disappeared (though streetcars of that era do prowl the streets of San Francisco). So it was funny to see a story today about a plan to restore streetcar lines in the city. Unlike in S.F., they'll only be using new cars -- not vintage models.

BuboBlog Reviews 'King Kong'

I know you've all been waiting patiently for me to weigh in on the "King Kong" movie. Yes, I realize it came out in 2005. But as this blog is an authority on man-simian mating, my silence on the film has been a woeful omission.

I saw the movie last night, and on the whole, I'd say it was good. I'd give it three asterisks (out of four). I had a few issues with the film, though.

Too many camera tricks: What was with director Peter Jackson occasionally doing jerky slow motion or slowing down the shutter speed? It didn't add anything to the film and seemed to break tone. Maybe he was trying to be artsy, but it looked like a 1980s effect — like the view from the Predator's perspective.

Too long: At more than three hours, the movie could have used some editing. Lots of subplots lead nowhere. What was with the Hayes-Jimmy mentoring thing? Does Jimmy go on to accomplish anything — or even get any screen time — after Hayes dies? No.

Too many themes: They played up the "Heart of Darkness" angle, hinting that this was a movie about discovering the darkness within us all. Maybe it was. But it was also about confronting fear. And it was about respecting the sanctity of nature. And it was about how love could lead to one's undoing. A little more thematic clarity would have been nice.

Too much Skull Island: This movie should have been called "Crazy Sh**t on Skull Island...which happens to include a big gorilla." There were so many dinosaurs, giant insects, slugs, etc. on the island that King Kong himself didn't seem so special. I realize there were dinosaurs in the original film, but it kept most of the attention on Kong.

If Jackson had fixed those problems, I think the movie would have been truly great and let us focus more on the most powerful element: the love story. That part totally worked, I thought. I even liked Ann and King Kong ice skating on his ass. You really don't see enough of that in film.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Like Whoa Part 2

OK, so that was weird. I was sitting in exactly the same spot as the other night — upstairs in front of our computer ("working on my music") — and once again Kelly was downstairs in the kitchen. There was another jolt of an earthquake (felt exactly the same as last time), and once again Kelly didn't feel it.

Sure enough, it was the same magnitude quake (3.7) and the same epicenter (Berkeley, on the Hayward Fault).

This feels kind of ominous, like it's the start of something bigger. But maybe the plates are just relieving a little pressure.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Along came a spider (that lived inside the keyboard)

Kelly, who contributes to the Macworld editors' blog, did a piece about a spider that got trapped in her keyboard -- and my efforts to extricate and destroy said spider.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Like Whoa

Did anyone else feel that earthquake last night? I was sitting at the computer when the whole house lurched like a Muni bus. But Kelly, who was downstairs, said she felt nothing (except me running around shouting).

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Tree's On

Season's greetings from all of us here at BuboBlog LLP.

Here's a picture of our tree this year. As you can see, it's not much bigger than last year's tree -- a source of disappointment to Kelly (note the happy-sad expression on her face), who wanted to upgrade. But I like being able to cram the tree down the garbage disposal afterwards.

Check out how Kelly wrapped the side table as a gift -- very clever! (That's called turning a negative into a positive, kids.)

Our small-tree ways were documented in a recent Chronicle story (written by budding freelancer and sometime BuboBlog correspondent Anh-Minh).

Thursday, December 14, 2006

You had me at 'world's tallest man'

Speaking of the world's tallest man saving a dolphin...wait, we weren't talking about that? Well, we should have been! Really, how often do you get to read the headline "World's Tallest Man Saves Dolphin." Once or twice a year, tops?

Big Mouth

Speaking of people making fun of Asians, what's with this Rosie O'Donnell business? Apparently Rosie did a pretend Chinese accent -- basically by repeating ching-chong a bunch of times. People got offended, so she "apologized," saying something like, "I'm sorry for those people who were hurt." Shockingly, people aren't satisfied with this apology! (It does sound a lot like the apologies I give to Kelly: "I *am* sorry...sorry you feel that way!"

Anyway, this brings to mind something I've wondered a really long time. We've all heard people doing this fake Chinese speaking -- and maybe for some other languages like French or German. I'd be really curious if anyone in Asia ever does mock-English. And what on Earth would it sound like? I'm pretty sure if I ever heard this it would BLOW MY MIND.

More Ed Jew

The SFist blog did a lighthearted photo caption featuring our favorite San Francisco politician (pictured with Mayor Gavin Newsom). Funny that they didn't go for the low-hanging comedic fruit and make fun of his name. I guess they're classier than us.

P.S. For any out-of-town readers, the joke about Gavin calling the kettle black is funny because Gavin always wears the same blue tie.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Less Literate than...Atlanta?


Hey, did anyone see this list of the most literate cities in the U.S.

Seattle was No. 1. I don't know, maybe that's plausible. But what's with San Francisco being all the way down at No. 9 -- below Atlanta?!

This didn't make sense to me, so I drilled down a little. It turns out Atlanta got its score because the people there read a lot of magazines. Hello, that doesn't count!

Most Literate Cities' Overall Rank
1. Seattle
2. Minneapolis
3. Atlanta
4. Washington, D.C.
5. St. Paul, Minn.
6. Pittsburgh
7. Cincinnati
8. Denver
9. San Francisco
10. Portland, Ore.

Cities' Rank in Reading Magazines and Journals (i.e., "Sassy")*
1. Washington, D.C.
2. Atlanta
3. Boston
4. Cleveland
5. New York City
6. St. Louis
7. San Francisco
8. Cincinnati
9. Minneapolis
10. Pittsburgh

*Parenthetical comment added by me.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I'm offended! Oh, right...

Lately I keep seeing potentially offensive headlines about San Francisco politics.

For instance:

Jew Victory Reflects Splits Among Democrats

--or--

Jew Scores Big in Choosing Meskunas as Aide

I think, "What the heck?!" Then I remember that Ed Jew (who is actually Asian, and therefore, probably not Jewish) was recently elected to the San Francisco board of supervisors.

It's fortunate that Dan White is no longer a supervisor (well, that's fortunate for a lot of reasons, I guess), because then you'd probably have headlines like: "White and Jew Team Up to Control Banking System, Oppress Minorities."

More Chuman News

As some of you noted, there was a piece in the New York Times about human-chimp hybrids today. Once again, they didn't address the issue of why no one is working on one today. Cowards!
On hearing of Darwin’s theories, the wife of the bishop of Worcester supposedly exclaimed: “Descended from apes? My dear, let us hope that it is not true.” Now the geneticist David Reich of the Broad Institute at Harvard and M.I.T. has advanced a theory that the bishop’s wife would have found even more disturbing: human and chimp ancestors, after diverging into separate species millions of years ago, came back together and interbred.

Reich came up with the idea after comparing the genes of humans and chimps. When two species split from a common ancestor, their genes will continue to diverge, or mutate, at a regular clip over time. Reich and his team of researchers, after comparing some 20 million base pairs (the “rungs” of DNA) from humans and chimps, found that different genes began diverging at different times — with genes located on the X chromosome of humans and chimps parting ways most recently.

Reich’s explanation is that the two populations interbred on repeated occasions over hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years, producing hybrids of protohumans and protochimps. The male hybrids were likely to be sterile, but Reich posits that the female hybrids (with their two X chromosomes) were able to mate with males of one of the original species. This would explain why genes on the X chromosome of humans and chimps diverged more recently.

It’s a radical concept. Conventional wisdom holds that the development of separate species happens quickly, most often when populations become separated by a geographical barrier. Even if these groups meet again and manage to mate before diverging too far from one another, their offspring will be unfit and die out. Or so the thinking goes.

By contrast, Reich argues that hybrids could play an important and positive role in speciation, introducing advantageous traits into a gene pool — including ours. If Reich is correct, the customary image of the human family tree, with its neat and discrete divisions, should be replaced by another metaphor: a dense and impenetrable thicket of branches concealing countless acts of interspecies sex. It’s enough to make a bishop’s wife blush.

Monday, December 04, 2006

New Template

My blog felt very 2004, so I tried to spruce it up with a new template. Let me know what you think.

BuboBlog Reviews 'Casino Royale'

We went to see the new James Bond movie, "Casino Royale," and both enjoyed it — though I thought it was maybe a bit long. Also, was anyone else confused about the guy with the black lens on one side of his eyeglasses. He wasn't LeChiffre, right? Because (*Spoiler Warning*) wasn't he already dead? Then who the heck was he? And why would they have two characters with some kind of eye problem? Did an ophthalmological organization sponsor the movie?

I digress. I also thought some of the financial elements weren't too realistic. For instance, the airline company that I think was supposed to be Airbus. The bad guy loses millions of dollars betting the stock will go down. In real life, people don't lose money shorting Airbus!

And I had some issues with with the soundtrack. I'm pretty sure they took it from a 1970s-era Bond film, or perhaps an episode of Fantasy Island. Every time the villain's foxy Italian wife would show up, they would play sexy flute. Excuse me, flute? I'm fairly certain the Film Composers Guild agreed in 1982 to stop using sexy flute to introduce hot-women characters.

Otherwise, good stuff. I give it *** asterisks (out of four).

[Worst review ever. -ed.]

The Crazy Continues

We were walking home from the movies just now ("Casino Royale" -- more about that in a bit), strolling down 7th Street, when we heard some crazy homeless guy shouting in a threatening manner. This woman nearby (who seemed a bit crazy herself) decided to respond by pulling the alarm on one of those fire-alarm boxes they have on street corners. This was exciting because I've never seen anyone pull one of those. I was like, "You can do that just if someone's acting crazy?!" Well, she walked away and then a couple minutes later a huge firetruck and an ambulance show up, lights on, sirens blaring. I don't think they were interested in the crazy homeless guy. I think they realized pretty quickly that it was a false alarm because they pulled away shortly. But I was impressed with how fast they arrived.

Look who it is...

Note: This exploitive video was made without Kelly's consent.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Bringing the Crazy

I've had an especially high number of run-ins with crazy/drunk people lately, and at first I couldn't figure out why. Then I remembed that yesterday was Friday *and* the 1st of da Month -- a perfect storm, if you will [I think you need three things for a perfect storm. -ed.]

We were taking the No. 30 home from a party last night when I heard this woman in the front of the bus babbling incoherently. I looked over and was delighted to see that it was my favorite crazy lady! Who knew that she also rode the No. 30?! It was especially exciting because Kelly had never seen her before. And crazy lady was in rare form. She talked everyone's ears off and then as her fellow passengers were getting off the bus, she ran over behind them and tried to kick them in the butt. I think she was only pretending or her coordination was off a little, because fortunately she didn't make contact.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Where is that patrolling cop when you need him!

Just now I was moving the car for streetcleaning. On the way back to the apartment I encountered this gentlemen who was what the kids might call "in your face."

Man: You want some drama?
Me: What?
Man: You want some drama?!!
Me: Uh, no.
Man: I'll fucking drop your ass, you fucking piece of shit. Motherf**cker!!
Me: No, thank you.

This is where it got awkward. We walked together to the corner of 7th and Folsom, and the light was red. So he had extra time to antagonize me.

Man: I'll beat your ass, motherf**cker! You piece of shit. Etc, etc.
Me: Thanks, I'm OK.

Luckily, the light changed and I was able to move away from him before he brought the much-anticipated "drama."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Just as Surly as East Coast Cops!

San Francisco and other West Coast cities -- unlike, say, New York or 1840s Paris -- don't have many cops walking the beat on foot. But a new program to curb crime in our neighborhood, South of Market, could change that.

I've already had a few sightings. Last week I spotted a uniformed cop walking through our alleyway -- not investigating anything, just walking around. At first I assumed he was a male stripper, but he didn't have a little boombox with him and his pants didn't appear to be breakaway trousers.

Then last night, Kelly and I were walking home from the gym when we came across another uniformed cop on foot patrol. Kelly was excited so she shouted "good night" as a greeting ("good evening" would have more appropriate, I think, since he wasn't wearing slippers and a sleeping cap). He replied tersely, "Same to you!" He seemed a little brusque to me, but maybe he resented being assigned to the "step-over-homeless-people-and-their-vomit" beat.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

'Along the Way'

This 1968 instructional video about the future of "BART" is a real hoot. It's worth watching for the John Denver-style opening song alone. I also like how they play up the fact that the BART cars will be carpeted. (They're tearing out these carpets right now, because they decided having carpets in heavily trafficked trains was stupid.)

Play Details

It looks like the performance dates for "Vial" in San Francisco are all set.

There will be four shows, all in the Eureka Theater at 215 Jackson Street:

Thursday, March 1: 8 p.m.
Friday, March 2: 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 3: 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 4: 8 p.m.

Here's the Web site for more details.

I invite all of BuboBlog's readers to attend! [You mean both of them? -ed.]

Chuman Fever, Catch It

This morning I was awoken by an emergency text message from BuboBlog correspondent "Big Guy": Michael Crichton has jumped into the Chuman publicity campaign.

Today's New York Times has a review of a book he wrote called "Next" that includes a Chuman character. It sounds like an interesting premise: a 4-year-old boy has "excessive hairiness and a talent for climbing trees," attributed to a disease called Gandler-Kreukheim. But it turns out he's actually a Humanzee! OK, so it sounds like Crichton doesn't exactly *endorse* chumans, but at least he's raising consciousness. Seems to me this is far better than claiming global warming doesn't exist.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ghostridin' to Fremont

Kudos to BuboBlog correspondent Dan for this clip, which is pretty much the best thing I've ever seen.

(However, it doesn't appear that the car is really going all the way to Fremont -- or even leaving the one dead-end street.)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Chuman Update

Slate has officially joined the Chuman debate, discussing the possibility of human-chimp breeding in its Explainer column.

I found this part especially interesting. Has anyone heard the thing about Stalin before?
Neanderthals weren't our ancestors' only dalliance with other primates. "Pre-humans" and "pre-chimpanzees" interbred and gave birth to hybrids millions of years ago. In the 1920s, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin sent an animal-breeding expert to Africa in hopes of creating an army of half-man, half-monkey soldiers. Attempts both to inseminate women with monkey sperm and impregnate female chimpanzees with human sperm failed.

Maybe Stalin wasn't so bad after all!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Getting Fried at the Chipshop

I'd heard about this place in Brooklyn called the Chipshop that deep-fries all sorts of things (thanks to BuboBlog Correspondent Anh-Minh for the tip). When I found out the place was near my brother's "Crooklyn" abode, I figured we should definitely check it out.

Anyway, so we went last night. I can now say that certain things were never meant to be deep-fried. For instance, we had the deep-fried pizza. I thought it would have the deliciousness of pizza times 10. But it actually was just this bland
breaded thing, with just the hint of pizza flavor. The fish and chips were also kind of bland, but that's how they are in the U.K. You have to dip them in the tartar sauce to liven them up.

The best part, by far, was the dessert. We had deep-fried Snickers and deep-fried Reese's Peanut Butter cups. They were dusted in powdered sugar and delicious. I would have liked them a la mode, but maybe it was better that there were no distractions.

Pictured (via my ultrasharp cellphone camera): Max eating the deep-fried pizza.

Monday, November 13, 2006

BUI?

I'm trying to keep up with Yae Area news. What's with this guy who got charged with a DUI (BUI?) while on his bicycle? Did anyone know this could happen?

What if he were on a skateboard? Or a pogo stick?

Don't they realize that if they criminalize drunk bicycling, only criminals will bicycle drunk? (And they might hit our cars.)

'Vial' Update

Good news: It looks like my play "Vial" may finally get a run in San Francisco.

I've just been told it was selected for the annual Bay One-Acts Festival, to be held Feb. 15 through March 4. I don't know the details yet, but it should be fun to see it performed locally.

It being San Francisco, I'd like to see them "gay it up" a bit.

New York Life

Sorry I haven't been good about posting lately. I'm still kicking it old school here in New York (if "kicking it old school" means watching pay-per-view in my hotel room).

Kelly came to visit me last weekend, which was nice. We saw a Broadway show called "Avenue Q" (the puppets were great; we both thought the human characters were lame) and ate pretzels off the street (not literally off the street, though hers did have an unidentified dark smudge on it).

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Vote for SAMEBODY part 4

I'm in New York this week, so I wasn't able to drum up support for Viliam's campaign. Sadly, it looks like he only has 2.4% of the vote so far.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Vote for SAMEBODY part 3

Holy crap, our buddy Viliam has hit the big time! (By big time, I mean he was featured on the SFist blog.) I have to say, his flyer looks awesome.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

'The Prestige' vs. 'The Illusionist'

We haven't seen too many movies this year, which makes it odd that we've already seen two movies about magicians set in late-Victorian Europe: "The Illusionist" and, on Tuesday night, "The Prestige". What the heck?

The thing is, I liked both these films. But if you only see one, see "The Prestige." It was awesome. I'm unclear as to why the critics aren't too crazy about this movie. I guess you could argue that one or both of the main characters is insufficiently motivated. But I think critics missed the message of the movie, which is that being a kick-ass magician is worth destroying your life and marriage. I'm going to run this idea by Kelly now.

A Bargain!

This is why I love working out at 24 Fitness: They have such great deals. Like this current special, where they let you lose *up to* 15 pounds in six weeks for $49.

Really? I can lose *up to* 15 pounds? So like, it could be zero pounds? Can you guarantee that?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Party Foul

Well, it looks like the days might be numbered for San Francisco's Halloween street party in the Castro. Castro residents were already whining about the party messing up their neighborhood, which is why they decided to end this year's bash at 10:30 p.m. But since nine people were shot last night, that might be the final nail in the party's coffin [is that a mixed metaphor? -ed.].

The good news is, none of the shooting victims were killed. In fact, only two were immediately taken to the hospital (though a couple other people took themselves to the hospital later). How do you shoot nine people and get that kind of result? It's like the JFK Assassination in reverse.

Anyway, we were not at the party this year. However, I did tempt fate by dressing up as 2Pac on Friday. Now that's a costume that people would be tempted to shoot at! But aside from some funny looks in the Mission as I was purchasing Mickey's Fine Malt Liquor, I was unmolested.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Unfair




How dare the Rent Control Board deny Parkmerced's appeal? Parkmerced is very appealing!! And should they really be passing judgment on its attractiveness like that?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Vote for SAMEBODY part 2

Speaking of the neighborhood, it seems that our city supervisor, Chris Daly, could be headed for defeat in next month's election. He's not very popular in this household (Kelly usually emits an angry grrrr when his name comes up), so that's fine by me.

But I'm a little upset that Daly isn't losing to our friend VILIAM!

Cleaning Up

There's this new program in San Francisco called Community Corridor where they designate a part of the city and clean up the litter and graffiti. Oddly enough, the first neighborhood to be addressed: Irving Street. What the heck? That street's not even dirty!

Not once have I ever found a big pile of gay-male porn and erotica on Irving Street! They need to come down here.

Eeek!

It's not uncommon for us to find items dumped on our street, and occasionally you'll see something that's possibly useful (an old table, a piece of stereo equipment, etc.). So when I saw a pile of books and other materials lying on the ground the other day, I approached with interest.

I was with Kelly at the time, and we soon realized that we were staring at a pile of gay-male porn and erotica. "Look away! Look away!" Kelly shouted. But it was too late. I had already seen several disturbing pictures, along with a "novel" that I believe went by the title "Blow Buddies."

Since then, Kelly and I have hurried past the pile, and she has instructed me to avert my eyes. Fortunately, the pile appears to be disappearing quickly. Perhaps word has gotten out that the corner of Langton and Folsom is a good spot for free gay-male porn and erotica. From what I can tell, there's just one book left (it appears to be just text -- no pictures -- so I suppose it doesn't appeal to gay-male porn and erotica enthusiasts with short attention spans). We'll see how long it lasts.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

CSI: Looky-Loo Patrol

Saturday was quite a day for looky-looing. We were taking the N-Judah back from the Sunset, when the conductor informed us that we couldn't go past the Church Street station because there had been a "suicide." (I find Muni's honesty on this point refreshing, since I'm used to Caltrain just saying there's been a "trespass incident" every time someone tries to off themselves by jumping into the tracks.)

Anyway, we got out of the train and walked down to Market Street to try to catch a surface-level streetcar. On the way, we passed the ambulance that must have been holding the body of the deceased. Oddly enough, there was some lady trying to film the thing on a video camera -- even pointing it inside the ambulance (she wasn't doing this in any professional capacity; she was just a looky-looer that was clearly far above my looky-loo pay grade).

Meanwhile, the EMT guy was talking on his cell phone or radio or something and describing the suicide in graphic detail. Apparently the dead guy got dragged under the train, crushed into a ball, his skull cracked open like a melon, etc. Um, gross. I may try to gawk and rubberneck occasionally, but even I didn't need to hear all that.

So we hurried on our way and learned a valuable lesson: Sometimes looky-looing brings more than you bargained for!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sorry

I apologize for jinxing the state of Hawaii by claiming that its governor is a man.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Dude looks like a lady (or the other way around)

Uh, I don't really have this on good authority or anything, but I'm pretty sure the governor of Hawaii used to be a man. Who's with me on this?

Friday, October 06, 2006

More Chuman Fun


Check out these Chuman-themed surgical masks! The Japanese are clearly getting a jump on us in the Chuman race.

(Thanks to BuboBlog correspondent Anh-Minh for the tip.)

Bush Whacking

Speaking of politics, did anyone make it to Justin Herman Plaza today for the big anti-Bush demonstration? I was excited to go because I heard they were going to have a gigantic Bush statue that they were going to put in "jail" for war crimes (hopefully after a fair trial). I didn't really care about the demonstration; I'm just excited about big statues. Anyway, I forgot to go down there, and I think the statue may be gone by tomorrow.

Hmmm...now I'm reading a recap of the protest in the Chron. I don't see any giant Bush statues (though there is a shot of a slightly larger-than-life dummy here). Lame.

Vote for SAMEBODY

My e-mail address has somehow been released to candidates running for Supervisor in District 6 (our district, which includes the Tenderloin and other squalid parts of San Francisco). I wasn't too enthusiastic about any of the candidates (even though our incumbent Chris Daly is kind of a putz) until I got this one the other day from some guy named Viliam Dugovic:
I live in the center of the Tenderloin. I see every day what you see.
I will learn your needs and priorities and correct all of the mistakes Daly has made in the district.
He was negligent of poor people, and negligent of crime. I will help the poor and remove restrictions from the police to help stop those who break the law.
Second, I will work with all the supervisors on transportation. It?s time we made the leep from 21 century to the 25 century.? There are lots of models to try, especially electric cars.
Now it.s very hard to get into the city and hard to get out. If we can find a solution to our transportation problem it will mean that big business
As well as small business
This wave of prosperity will bring new art forms,and people won?t have worry about health care. We?ll have universal health care .
SAMEBODY whose job is to oversee and guide the work or activities of a group of other people?? Letter
VILIAM DUGOVIC
ARTIST

I'm not clear how the electric cars will lead to universal health care, but I'm excited to find out!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Monkeying Around


I was very excited about the cover story in this week's Time magazine, because I mistakenly thought it would be all about chumans. Turned out to be a disappointing read (and long -- I read the whole thing, so you don't have to). It does discuss the idea of humans and chimps having sex, but only millions of years ago. In a shameful omission, it doesn't discuss the present-day movement toward chuman breeding.

Fire!


I was going to blog about this fire that happened a couple blocks from our house today. But when we walked by there just now (on official LookyLoo Patrol), it didn't look too bad. The fire was out, and the building didn't even seem that damaged.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

When In Rome...

Kelly took some nice pictures of our trip to Atlanta/Rome, Ga. In addition to going to a wedding, we went to the North Georgia State Fair. We encountered a belligerent emu, a guy shooting himself out of a canon and a delightful display of "Dixie thongs."

There's also a picture of the Rome "skyline" and -- my favorite -- a hooker (desk) for sale at an antique shop.









Tuesday, September 26, 2006

San Francisco vs. Rome, Georgia

We were in Rome, Ga., last weekend for a wedding. Check out their gas prices:


And compare that with the prices posted in our local Shell Station on Harrison (as of Tuesday night):

New York vs. San Francisco

As I've remarked before, spending time in New York can make San Francisco feel small and inadequate. But there are two things that we will always have over New York:

1. The Weather: Good God, it was humid last week. I had to slog across town every day in a wool business suit, and I pretty much looked like I'd been doing calisthenics inside a horse's uterus. My definition of civilization is being able to walk down the street in a suit in the dead of summer and not break a sweat. By that standard, New York is a third-world country.

2. The Homeless People. The homeless in New York have been tamed to the point of being pathetic. I got panhandled a couple times but in such an uncreative lackadaisical manner, I was kind of offended. I wanted to say, "Are you serious with that? Come back to me when you're ready to bring your A game."

A homeless guy in San Francisco can panhandle while simultaneously flashing you and standing on his head. When it comes to homelessness, we are "The Big Dance."

(I did, however, have one only-in-New-York moment....I was dining with a friend at an outdoor cafe when this cab screeches to a halt. The fare (a young woman in her 20s) gets out and begins ambling away. The cab driver runs up to us and asks us to help him restrain the woman, since she just threw up in his cab. I'm not sure what he had in mind — citizen's arrest? I generally prefer not to wrestle with people who recently vomited. Our waiter seemed to agree, offering the old New York chestnut: "I find it's best to not get involved." The cab driver pleaded with us for a while, but the woman just walked away — free to threaten the floor mats of New York livery unfettered.)

What the...


I was in New York for three days last week. What is up with these 7-person "party bikes"? I was walking along 57th street and one of them careened by me. The homeless gentlemen next to me looked at the party bike and said, "Them motherf**kers is crazy." Indeed, sir. Indeed.

Man-Of-Leisure Week: Day Five

I've been away for a little while, so I never finished up my Man-Of-Leisure updates.

The last day (Friday) was the best Man-Of-Leisure Day ever!! I met up with some friends at Zeitgeist bar around noon (my goal was to be drinking *before* noon, but I was too lazy to make it there on time). Then we set off on a pub crawl of sorts down Valencia Ave. It wasn't our intention to spend the whole day on Valencia, but who knew you could do so much on that one street!

For instance:
—Drinking at a biker bar
—Drinking at an Irish bar
—Drinking at a Mexican bar
—Drinking at some bar that gave us free Goldfish crackers

We also visited a pirate supply store, one of my favorite used-book stores and — best of all — a place with a trough urinal:

Have I blogged about the tragedy of the disappearing trough urinal in American society, because I certainly should!

By the end of the day, we wound up at a friend's apartment (also on Valencia). A certain someone proceeded to pass out. As usual my cell phone camera captured the scene with perfect clarity:

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Man-Of-Leisure Week: Day Four

I had to get my wardrobe in shape for the new job, since apparently they have a "no-pasties" policy. So I took a bunch of stuff to Cable Car Tailors. This place is awesome. First of all, you always get the same level of customer service, regardless of whether it's busy or empty. By that I mean the people there scream at each other in Russian the whole time, ignoring you entirely.

I also moved the car for street sweeping -- the only time I've driven the car all week. This is the life.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Man-Of-Leisure Week: Day Three

Wow, I've gotten so into this leisure thing that apparently I can't even be counted on to update my blog every day.

It's funny walking around the neighborhood in the middle of the weekday. It's a little different. For one thing, all the working people are gone, which leaves the homeless guys and other layabouts (like me!). Anyway, yesterday morning I opened the front gate to find a guy sprawled across the sidewalk in this position. Only, I don't think he was doing yoga (unless there's some new yoga, where you get drunk in the middle of the day and pass out on the sidewalk. If so, yoga is awesome).

Speaking of freeloading, I really hit the motherlode last night. I wandered into Macy's in Union Square during what was apparently Man Appreciation Night. They had gambling tables set up, attractive women trying to spray you with cologne, and -- most important -- a crapload of free food. And high-quality free food: burritos from Baja Fresh, ice cream from Cold Stone, pizza from Wolfgang Puck's, etc. I called Kelly and told her to rush over because we just found our dinner (even though she's not a man, and therefore not appreciated, they still let her eat for free). I could get used to this.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Man-Of-Leisure Week: Day One

I'm switching jobs, and I have one week before I have to report to my new work. So for the first time since 1995, I am officially unemployed!

This morning I tried to find a wife-beater T-shirt in my closet, but I don't appear to own one. Oh well, I still hope to be facedown in the gutter by 5 p.m.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

In Today's Chronicle


Wait, since when is it wrong to steal a cancer-stricken boy's puppy? Next it will be "wrong" to steal people's wheelchairs.

Speaking of puppies, what the heck is this about?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

More 'Vial' Photos

The Chicago theater posted pictures of their production of "Vial." Compared with the San Diego play, their production was brighter, more physical and had younger actors -- as you can tell from the photos. On balance, I'd say the San Diego show was better (certainly it was better-attended), but they both had their qualities.

Monday, September 04, 2006

San Diego musings

I've been to San Diego several times, but I've never stayed downtown. It's kind of a weird city. First of all, the streets are very wide, which makes it hard to create a neighborhood feel anywhere. There was an area called "Little Italy" near our hotel, and it had some cool bars and restaurants. But you couldn't imagine for a minute that Italian immigrants had actually arrived in this place and set up shop. It all looked carefully planned, and even had a giant arch with bright lights saying "Little Italy"...these guys are trying way too hard.

They are building a ton of condos (both high-rises and lofts). And a few pockets of downtown (Gas Lamp district, for instance) could be described as bustling, but the streets were mostly deserted (granted, it was the weekend, and we were near what I presume was the financial district). It also was pretty hot. It all gave me the impression of Sacramento-by-the-Sea. (No offense to any readers who live in Sacramento.)

One thing I did really like was the trolley, especially this station (above), which also houses a branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art.

I also got a kick out of some of the real-estate listings. I remember back in the 1990s when San Francisco first became infested with lofts. The listings would always describe them as "New York-style lofts." In San Diego, the listings now refer to "San Francisco-style lofts."

The Show

We're back from San Diego after catching two performances of the play. Everything was great. The venue was cool, good acting, directing, etc., and the crowd seemed to enjoy the work. Saturday's performance appeared to be a full house (the director said it was the best-attended show so far at the Fritz Blitz).

I also got my first review in a real print newspaper — the San Diego Union-Tribune (the main newspaper down there). Seeing it in print was pretty exciting...even if the review was kind of mixed:

"The Vial," an inventive Agatha Christie knockoff, culminates the evening. Of the three plays, this English murder mystery set on a remote country estate (is there another kind?) most wants some fleshing out. More sketch than fully realized play, "The Vial" is nonetheless an enjoyable piece, if only for its premise.

Allen (Eric George, who mostly plays at being English) has invited three school chums and their guests to his home for a diabolical parlor game. Allen jauntily announces that one of the after-dinner sweets has been spiked with a deadly poison. Being oh-so-nobly English, Allen offers a single vial containing an antidote, thereby allowing the guests to quarrel over who best deserves the life-saving potion.

The machinations of these would-be survivors are amusing, especially Lord Nelson Woodruff, a Member of Parliament who is shocked that his colleagues don't trust him. Walter Ritter's richly timbred voice brings a "propah" style, lacking in some other performances, to the vile MP who gets both the last line and final laugh from a delighted audience.

While director Jason Connors choreographs his large cast well and creates a visually appealing world for the English setting, he doesn't quite get the requisite stylistic polish that more prep time would permit.

Still, for all the creepy goings-on, Fritz audiences left this play, and its companions, in high spirits.

If I ever cite this review, remind me to use the quote "inventive" and leave out the "knockoff" part. (Also, the play is called "Vial" — not "The Vial," and the character's name is "Alan" not "Allen," but it's all good.)

My parents came to San Diego too, and my father took several pictures of the performance (despite the large signs forbidding photography inside the theater...it would have been embarassing if we had all been thrown out!).

Anyway, here are a few shots: