Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Five Stars?

One more point about "Candyfreak": The author mentions an obscure candy bar as being pretty much the best candy bar ever. It's called the Five-Star Chocolate Bar, and it's made by Lake Champlain Chocolates in Vermont.

Has anyone tried this? According to Lake Champlain's Web site, they only sell it in one place in San Francisco -- the Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy on Cole. Next time I take the N-Judah, I will load up.

Freak Out!

Kelly's mom gave me "Candyfreak" for Christmas and I've finally gotten around to reading it.

Lots of interesting factoids in there. It's also a bit alarming how similar I am to the author in terms of our candy obsessions (the way we used to hoard candy, or spread it out on our bed and have candy wars... plus we both dislike coconut and have ambivalence toward marshmallow).

I was surprised to learn that Snickers is the most popular candy bar in America. I guess this shouldn't be a shock, but I figured it would be the Hersey's Bar or maybe Three Musketeers. I always thought I was a bit more sophisticated than most for eating Snickers.

Another revelation: The Snickers Almond bar is just a repackaged Mars bar! It's obvious when you think about it, but I was totally hoodwinked by this bit of marketing.

Along with the book, Kelly's mom gave me some samples of candy bars that used to be popular a long time ago. One of them — the Mallow Cup — was basically just a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup with a coconut creamy center in lieu of peanut butter. I found it to be very sticky and only a pale imitation of the Reese's (yes, it may have come first but whatever).

But another of them — the Sky Bar — was quite awesome. It's divided into four chambers, and each part has a different flavor: caramel, vanilla, peanut and fudge. To be honest, I couldn't tell the difference between some of these flavors, but they all kicked candy ass.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Separated At Birth?

There was an especially terrifying picture of Wavy Gravy in today's Chronicle...which got me thinking:

Wavy Gravy...

...and Laughing Sal.

Ha Ha...

Wannabe lawyers are already a bunch of head cases (hopefully no lawyers read this blog), but this ought to push them over the edge. The admissions director of Berkeley's Boalt law school accidentally e-mailed all of the school's applicants, saying they were admitted. Oops.

He then had to rush out another e-mail to say it was a mistake and that most of them would be rejected in time.

To make matters worse, the admissions guy said, "I feel very badly." Moron.

Home Sweet Home

While I was talking up Portland's criminal element, I neglected to mention there was a shooting death in our neighborhood over the weekend. (Thanks to BuboBlog correspondent Rick for helping correct this oversight.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Portland's Seamy Underbelly


Kelly and I went up to Portland last weekend to visit some friends. Now, I've always appreciated Portland's many charms but haven't found it to be gritty/urban enough for my thug persona.

But lo, we had some brushes over the weekend with Portland's seedier side.

1. We were panhandled aggressively, which made me feel quite at home. The only thing that detracted from the experience was the fact that their panhandlers were (a) more attractive (b) younger (c) whiter (d) less drunk. (However, they were possibly more high, so we'll give points for that.)

2. The highlight came on Sunday night, when we dined at a Thai restaurant in the city's southeast/Sellwood district (a very safe-seeming suburban area full of antique shops). A trenchcoat-wearing man came along the sidewalk outside and exposed himself to a couple of girls sitting at a window seat.

What makes this all the more impressive was the fact that it was about 14 degrees out (factoring in wind chill). So this guy was a hard-core flasher (and apparently undeterred by fears of shrinkage). We left the restaurant shortly after the incident and had hoped to catch a glimpse of him running down the street. But alas, he had disappeared into the Portland night.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Out Of Her Tree

Alas, the once-common practice of drinking from a flask is a dying art.

It looks like the Stanford tree mascot has been fired for taking some nips from her flask -- from inside the costume. I say that is actually pretty impressive (logistically speaking) and grounds for admiration if anything. Oh well...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bookclub Update

In a shocking twist, there have been *no* responses to our dance-off challenge on Craigslist.

Maybe people are too intimidated. (We did get one woman who wanted to join our bookclub, which shows people would rather switch than fight.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dance! Bookclub Wonderland

Well, it's official. My bookclub is seeking another bookclub for a dance-off.

I'm not exactly sure if and when this will happen, but I do hope it involves lots of "West Side Story"-style snapping. Bookclub member Bill Stern also has volunteered a "collection of fake butts" (slightly used)...ewww.

Kelly took the photo, by the way. (I think Bill strongly resembles Jesus Christ... all you rebel Jews look alike!)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Seeing Silver

Kelly and I went to brunch on the Embarcadero yesterday, so we had to take the F-line streetcar -- a scenic trip from the Tenderloin to Fisherman's Wharf (interestingly enough, it's easy to get crabs in either neighborhood...).

Anyway, we had one of those silver men as a fellow passenger. He wasn't yet in his full regalia, which kind of destroyed the illusion. It was like that lawsuit a few years ago where the kids saw the Disney characters without their heads on and found it very disturbing.

But he was quite chatty, and we got a fascinating glimpse into the behind-the-scenes world of silver men.

Some quotes:

"Don't be putting no coins in my cups. You throw in some paper money, and I'll give you a fuckin' show."

"I been all over -- Chicago, New Orleans, Ontario. Canada's as far as I'll go, though. I have faith in the Lord, but I ain't flyin' over no fuckin' ocean."

"Mardi Gras in New Orleans...I damn well made $1,050 in one night."

Wow...I imagine he doesn't net that much too often, but it sounds like this particular silver man is doing pretty well. Maybe he should invest in a car.

Friday, February 10, 2006

'Lost' Black Squirrel


Kelly and I are big fans of an underground cult TV show called "Lost."

Anyway, so I was excited to see that the guy who plays Jin (the Korean guy) is a Haverford alum! (Thanks for the tip, Guy.)

It turns out he was raised in Easton, Pa., and he spoke very little Korean before he did the show. Ironic, see, since his character is a Korean guy who speaks no English.

Factoid Alert: He also went to the same high school as The Rock.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Sorry, Dude...

I'm amused by this story about Jack Neeley -- the San Francisco cab driver and security guard who was misidentified as an abusive cop in a Chronicle photo this week.

Is it just me or is this guy the poor man's Richard Jewel?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Damn

When we were shopping for a condo, we checked out some pretty tiny places, such as the studio apartment that required you to sleep a few inches under a water pipe. (I actually liked that place, but I believe the quote from Kelly was, "I'd rather die.")

Anyway, this new listing — a couple blocks away from our place — might take the cake. It's 298 square feet!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Face Off 2

Well, shoot. Today was supposed to be the day I used MyHeritage.com for evil instead of good. I was going to scan in Kelly's picture and show all the embarrassing celebrities she supposedly resembles. (Since the purpose of my blog is apparently to wreck my marriage.)

But Kelly actually did pretty well. No Nazis. No balding communists. And no Sylvester Stallone. Here are the results...

First of all, I scanned in this photo (I had to crop out Kelly's friend Anthony -- sorry Anthony):


MyHeritage.com did its usual machinations and churned out these matches (again, ranked by a percentage rating of how closely they resemble the original photo):

1. Shannen Doherty (67%)

Not too bad a start.

2. Kirsten Dunst (66%)

Again, not too shabby -- though this maybe isn't the most flattering picture.

3. Elisha Cuthbert (64%)

She did play the most annoying character ever to appear on "24" (Kim Bauer), but we'll let that pass.

4. Liv Tyler (64%)

Does this mean Kelly also resembles Liv's dad Steven Tyler? I hope not.

5. Hilary Duff (61%)

Nice!

6. Hilary Swank (57%)

Does this mean that Kelly also resembles Hilary Swank's doppleganger Matt Damon?

7. Julie Christie (57%)

She was attractive at one point.

8. Hugh Grant (56%)

Interesting that Kelly didn't get an opposite-gender match until the eighth pick -- whereas MyHeritage mainly tried to match me up with frumpy old women.

9. Meryl Streep (52%)

Hmm...they can't all be home runs.

10. Cate Blanchett (50%)

Ditto.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Face Off

Today I read about this site called MyHeritage.com, which lets you upload a photo of yourself and then tells you what celebrity you most resemble. It seemed kind of intriguing, so I figured I'd give it a try. I've often been told that I resemble Chris O'Donnell or maybe a young Charles Grodin, but the Web site disagreed vehemently. Here were the results:

First of all, I uploaded the following photo (it was the first one I found of me on my hard drive):


The program studied my photo for a while and then generated the following "matches," ranked on a percentage scale by how closely they resembled me.

1. Julianne Moore (61%)

I was a little put off my this choice, since, uh, I'm a dude. And the following selections didn't get much better.

2. Catherine Deneuve (61%)

Hmmm... at least she's French. There's some connection.

3. Vladimir Lenin (60%)

I see the program was kind enough to compare me to the young Lenin -- as opposed to the old, bald Lenin.

4. Eva Peron (59%)

I feel like there's a trend here, but I can't quite figure it out.

5. Garry Kasparov (59%)

Again with the Russians.

6. Alfred Rosenberg (58%)

Ouch, wasn't he a Nazi? What's odd is this story said the program doesn't include any Nazis in its database. Apparently they made an exception for me.

7. Edith Stein (58%)

OK, she cancels out Alfred Rosenberg.

8. Sylvester Stallone (57%)

This could be the most embarrassing one yet.

9. Bipasha Basu (56%)

She's some Bollywood actress. Wow, I'm very ethnic.

Maybe I'll do Kelly next...

Sad Update

It looks like that woman killed by the train wasn't a suicide. She was hurrying to work and ducked under the crossing gates. DON'T EVER DO THAT!

Sad story. She was 58, worked at Kelly-Moore Paint Company, lived in the same apartment building for 35 years, probably single.

And -- not to make light of this -- but it doesn't even count as a Darwin Award really. If she was 58, it's safe to assume she was already menopausal. In other words, this didn't prevent her from reproducing.

Sign Me Up

So I'm listening to KMEL Jams, and they're giving away tickets to the new movie "When a Stranger Calls." (First of all, does this premise still seem fresh to anyone -- "the call is coming from inside the house!" I understand it's a remake of a 1979 movie, but still...).

Anyway, my favorite thing was how the KMEL DJ described the movie : "You know, there's this white girl in the house. People calling. Y'all know what I'm talking about."

Pretty much the best logline ever.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Train Update

I noticed some coverage of the Caltrain accident on the SFist blog. This correspondent was actually on the train in question, but I think they were a little too sensitive about their fellow passengers' reactions. (They were put off by someone saying, "Looks like we'll be here for a while.") Geez. I can only imagine how they'd react to idea of killing the victim's extended family in a Keyser Soze-esque vendetta spree.

Train in Vain


I left the house about 10 minutes late this morning and missed my usual train. As it turned out, that train ended up striking and killing a woman who had trespassed onto the tracks in Redwood City (this kind of stuff always seems to happen in Redwood City — lawless enclave that it is).

Anyway, this might seem like an incredibly mundane version of "Final Destination" (I was almost on the train that killed someone else!), but I'm glad I didn't have to deal with that psychological trauma at 7-something in the morning.

The downside was, my train couldn't get past the accident scene (a police investigation was under way). We came to a screeching halt in San Mateo and they told us to take a bus to Palo Alto. I ultimately had to switch between four different buses — the whole thing took hours.

What kept it entertaining was this one Incredibly Pissed Off Guy. Anytime there's a public-transit hassle, there's always that one person who's more pissed off than you (usually her name is Kelly) — but this guy took the cake.

Here's a sampling of the dialogue:

Pissed Off Guy: What a nightmare!
Other passenger: Yeah. Can you believe it?
Pissed Off Guy: I'm just mad we can't punish the person who did this (since they're already dead). We should sue their estate and then kill the rest of their family.
Other passenger: Uh...what?

And then later, when we learned we were taking a bus through Redwood City that would come close to the accident scene:

Pissed Off Guy: Good, I can run up and kick the corpse.

That's the spirit!