Monday, April 24, 2006

Speaking Of Being Rocked...

This is quite possibly the most important bit of journalism to ever emerge from the Chronicle.

Hot for Teacher

We went to an art gallery opening in Hayes Valley Saturday night, where we were deafened by the incongruous music of Hot for Teacher (a Van Halen cover band).

Now, at first I was put off by the group blasting 150 decibels of "Jump" into a small art gallery. It made it difficult to appreciate the art or, more importantly, flag down waitresses for free hors d'oeurves. Another gripe: They only play David Lee Roth-era stuff. Can't a brother get a little "When It's Love" in the hizzouse?

But ultimately I had to give them credit: They were going to ROCK YOU -- whether you wanted to be rocked or not. My favorite was the lead guitarist, who looked more like Derek Smalls than Eddie Van Halen. He had a wireless link to his amp, which let him dance around the room, entertaining the audience. Sadly, some of the gallery's hipsters were paying so little attention to the band that they didn't notice him trying to make his way through the crowd. So he'd have to nudge his way through, like a friendly manatee. "...hello...coming through..."

Oh well, rocking isn't always graceful, but it has to be done.

Bring It On!

There are plans afoot to build a new skyscraper in Oakland that could possibly be taller than S.F.'s Transamerica Pyramid (and thereby, the tallest in Northern California). I say, awesome!

I mean, this sounds like it might be a terrible idea from an investment standpoint (there are no proposed tenants for the building as yet). But I'd like to see it ignite a cross-bay skyscraper battle.

Friday, April 21, 2006

One Man's Wish

You have to love SF State students and their semi-literate ways. This guy is trying to raise money for a cotton candy machine -- something I heartily endorse (though I'd like to see some more thorough accounting before I donate).

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Much As I Love Sideshows...

The Chronicle, after apparently reading about it in USA Today, takes note today of the hyphee hip-hop trend. I have to say, I'm a bit conflicted by all this. I mean, it's great for the Yae (yes, I'm still promoting this alternative spelling). But I'm really not feeling E40's current stuff, and most hyphee music basically sucks.

Maybe I'm getting old, but none of today's acts can compete with the Yae's past greats -- Richie Rich, Souls of Mischief, etc. And some of the Yae's current non-hyphee artists (Blackalicious, Lyrics Born) are a lot more interesting.

Yes, I'm prepared for the Firestorm of Controversy that this posting will no doubt generate.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Train in Vain

Apparently there was another Caltrain pedestrian fatality yesterday (an accident, a 13-year-old kid cutting across the tracks, possibly listening to his iPod). Fortunately, I had a meeting in the city yesterday and didn't take the train.

Then today, some guy tried to kill himself by stepping in front of a light-rail train in San Jose -- and lived. Hello, what kind of idiot commits suicide by jumping in front of a slow-moving light-rail train (see how "light" is right there in the title). Maybe next time he should step up his game and jump in front of a segway.

All Good in the Hood

Yesterday was an exciting day for our block:

—Another small-scale sideshow returned to the Jiffy Lube parking lot at Langton and Folsom. Again, it was only one guy doing donuts. And once again, Kelly advised against my running down there to applaud the activity in person. From our window, I couldn't quite tell if he was ghostriding or not.

—Walking back from the gym, Kelly and I stopped dead in our tracks when we noticed the 76 billboard at 7th and Folsom. The billboard's slogan, "We Fight Dirty" was meant to refer to 76's fuel additives, which help clean your engine. But in a clever bit of adaptation, the billboard was turned into an anti-Iraq statement.

Apparently the billboard makeover was done by the "California Department of Corrections" (I think that's a pun on corrections and not literally the Department of Corrections -- although the jail is only two blocks away. Does this count as community service?)

Monday, April 17, 2006

'10.5' Update

Speaking of "10.5," I was thrilled to discover that they're working on a sequel! Inexplicably, it won't be called "10.6" or "11.0," but rather, "10.5: Apocalypse". Here's the synopsis:
Following the catastrophic earthquake that struck U.S., a second quake threatens the security of the continent. U.S. President Paul Hollister (Beau Bridges) calls on one of the nation's top seismologists, Dr. Samantha Hill (Kim Delaney), to interpret the event.

Sadly, Fred "Remo Williams" Ward (who played the cantankerous FEMA boss) doesn't appear to be in the sequel. Wait...did he die in the first one? I went to fix drinks while he was about to detonate a nuclear bomb inside a fault line, so I guess it's possible...

Quaker Party

On Saturday, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the '06 earthquake with a shindig at our place. Everyone seemed to have a good time, though I'm not sure the theme quite worked. I tried to make a mix befitting the occasion, only to discover that most earthquake-related songs suck. (Carol King's "I Feel the Earth Move Under my Feet" didn't exactly rock the house.) I also think our neighbors were disturbed by me draping our front door in "CAUTION" police tape.

And there was some debate as to whether the signature cocktail "Look Out Below!" was either (a) earthquake-themed or (b) drinkable. (Get used to it — I plan to serve it again at our syphilis-themed party next year.)

To get people in the mood, I put on a DVD of the awesome made-for-TV movie "10.5" (spoiler warning: California breaks off and becomes an island) and Kelly made cupcakes with maimed gingerbread men sticking out. Sadly, few of the attendees bothered to wear vintage 1906 clothing (after some Internet research this morning, I can now say with confidence that Converse High-Tops do not count!).

Despite some people's fears, the party did not invoke the wrath of the earthquake gods. However, it really wasn't earthquake weather anyway, since it's supposed to be warm and dry...kind of like today. Oh no, now I've done it.

Monday, April 10, 2006

We're Closing In On You, Bowdoin!

While other lacrosse teams supply DNA to rape investigators, Haverford's lacrosse players are busy being one of the top 20 teams in Division 3! (By "one of the top 20," I mean "tied for No. 20"). Way to go, Black Squirrels!

(Note also how Salisbury State continues to be a lacrosse powerhouse, despite their name sounding like a popular cafeteria dish.)


Here's a gross detail about that Caltrain suicide on Thursday. Apparently the guy who jumped in front of the train in Mountain View "smashed to pieces," and the nearby crowd got "doused."

Also, I remarked last week that two deaths in one day was likely a record for Caltrain. It totally was not:
Thursday's incidents were hardly the first time that multiple pedestrian fatalities happened along the Caltrain tracks on the same day. Among the more recent instances are Jan. 8, 2003, when two men were killed less than five hours apart, and on Oct. 16, 2000, when a man and boy died less than two hours apart.

On the bright side, Caltrain is the country's fastest-growing commuter rail system. Take that, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transit District of Chesterton, Indiana!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Hell, No

Speaking of shocking events, what's with Mandisa getting kicked off American Idol? Not that I watch, but she was clearly the best one on the show (and how is Bucky still on there? Someone needs to pummel him with a sack of doorknobs).

What kind of message does this send? America is ready for obese black men (Ruben Stoddard) but not obese black women?...(aside from Oprah, of course).

Is it any wonder Whitney Houston is injecting crack into her eyeball to stay thin?

Train of Death!

This morning my train got delayed by another collision with a person (a suicide near the Mountain View station). And once again, there was an extremely pissed off person riding in our car. This time it was an obese woman (with an unfortunate horizontally striped top) who paced up and down the aisles telling us we needed to e-mail all our local representatives to complain about the delays and how she didn't care that someone died. She seemed especially intent on us complaining to Jerry Brown -- not sure what his role in this is exactly, but maybe she thought he was still governor.

Anyway, now I learn that another person was killed this afternoon crossing the tracks in Redwood City. Two unrelated deaths in one day, that has to be a record for Caltrain!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Jesus Christ lets people torture him because you can't kill me stupid, then I shove an ugly piece of wood up your ass." --from some guy who likes to post flyers around Haight Street.