Thursday, December 18, 2014

Urban Etiquette: Motoring in the City

Since I live in San Francisco and work in San Francisco I obviously take Muni to work since there's nowhere to park at my job that doesn't cost $18 a day.  So I never used to drive that much.  Just on weekends, pretty much.  Like, literally I would not enter my car M-F unless it was street cleaning.

Now I take my offspring to day care in the mid-Sunset area, so I drive every day.  It's been an eye-opening experience.  Everyone is a terrible driver.



1. For the love of all that is holy, USE YOUR FUCKING TURN SIGNALS

Why are you stopped in the middle of the street?  Have you died in your car and now it just sits there, unattended, while your body rots into the seat?  No?  You're waiting to turn?  Your car is almost certainly not a pre-1939 Buick and thus is equipped with a mechanism designed to let others know your intentions vis-a-vis turning.  FUCKING USE IT.

2. How Stop Signs Work

It has become apparent to me that most drivers believe that Stop signs work like this: "I see a Stop sign.  I pause briefly, then continue on.  It matters not if there are other cars at the intersection, in the general area, or anywhere else on Planet Earth.  I have paused briefly and will now be on my way."

This is not how Stop signs work, you maroon.  Print this out and tape it to your dashboard:

We cool?

3. Green light means go

Why are you just sitting there?  Depress the accelerator pedal.  The odds of the North American Plate suddenly lurching to life and moving under you so as to propel you through the intersection without you operating your car are vanishingly small.

4. Double Parking: Is It For Me?

Double parking is mostly OK if you just have to run in for a second and it's a fairly wide street so the rest of us can get around you without too much trouble.

DO NOT DOUBLE PARK:

a. Anywhere near an intersection.
b. Anywhere, at any time, on Fell, Oak, Gough, Franklin, Turk between Van Ness and Divisadero, any of those little tiny streets in Bernal Heights or those alleys in the Mission, or anywhere else you're going to royally fuck up traffic.
c. When there's a perfectly good parking space right there! What the fuck are you thinking? Take the 30 seconds and park!  Christ!

5. There is no point in tailgating.  It almost never makes the person in front of you go faster and you just look like an asshole.

I'm sure I've forgotten some big ones.  Enlighten me in the comments if you wish.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Santacon and a Tale of Two Internets

If you haven't lived in SF long, you may have thought Santacon was always an excuse for Chads and Jens to put on Santa suits and make themselves unpopular all over the city, but the event actually started with the Cacophony Society back in the mid-90's.  (If you're not familiar with the Cacophony Society, they're one of the things that used to make San Francisco great.  Start with the Wiki here.)

Ugh. (Photo via SFWeekly.)


ANYWAY, applying the precepts of the Greater Shitshow Theory, what started out as a cool small event eventually became a horrible public spectacle that people hate.  (In New York it's apparently way worse.)  In fact, the universal level of loathing in my Twitter feed proves that Santacon is one of the few things everyone I follow on Twitter agrees on: it's the Worst Thing in the World.


That's just the smallest sample. It was way worse than that.  It's like a group of privileged white people with more money than sense and no moral compass can't get teenager-on-Everclear drunk in the middle of the day and vomit in public while screaming incoherently any more! Boo hoo.

But this total opprobrium made me think: there is nothing that 100% of the people agree on (including, as Hunter S. Thompson sagely noted, "Jesus Christ and pure cocaine"), and those drunk Santas all look like they were doing it voluntarily, so where is the pro-Santacon Internet?  Why aren't I seeing tweets like "Having a great time at Santacon! This is more fun than going to Dartmouth as a legacy and denying that white privilege exists!"

Pretty simple, I guess.  Everyone's Internet is a pretty small slice.  I don't follow any finance bros on Twitter because I don't know any finance bros in real life, I guess.  Sure, I have some hate-follows, and I read certain blogs that make me actually angry every time, but doesn't everyone?  Getting outraged is practically America's national sport.  Baseball has nothing on "WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT VACCINES IS WRONG WRONG WRONG HOPE YOUR KIDS ENJOY AUTISM."  But for our Daily Bread, we follow and read people pretty much like people we know in the meatspace (worst term ever I've been dying to use).  I remember talking to some dude at a party and mentioning something I read on SFist and he said "What's SFist" and the room started to spin and I got dizzy and then I remembered that Everyone Makes Their Own Internet and SFist isn't exactly the New York Times.  It's one of my daily stops (if for no other reason, to hate-read Miles Long's hilariously stupid babycon takes on everything) but most people - even most people in SF - don't know it exists.

So there's a whole universe of pro-Santacon (and pro-everything else awful) Twitter out there, I'm sure.  Just not mine. Which, fine.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Rain: The Movie


INT MAYOR'S SITUATION ROOM. A darkened room with huge video screens, all displaying a map with a frightening orange and green blob heading directly for San Francisco.  Uniformed men and women rush around, barking into phones and tapping at keyboards.

MAYOR bursts in, following by Chief of Staff LLOYD.

MAYOR

OK, what have we got?  Give it to me straight.

General BRICKS turns to face MAYOR.

GENERAL BRICKS

I'm afraid it doesn't look good, Sir.  As you can see, it's headed right for us.

MAYOR

What do you mean, "it"?  Don't sugarcoat it for me, General.  Give it to me straight.

GENERAL BRICKS

Well, Sir, it's...it's rain.

MAYOR's face is a mask of shock and horror.

LLOYD

"Rain," General?  You can't be serious.

GENERAL BRICKS

I'm dead serious, Lloyd.  It's rain.  And it's bearing down on us like a 50,000 ton freight train full of liquid water. Deadly, liquid water.

LLOYD

Is that what rain is, General?  Water?  

GENERAL BRICKS

That's what we think.  Water, but....from the sky.

MAYOR

What the hell are you talking about, General?  Water from the sky?  What kind of madness is this?

GENERAL BRICKS

I'm sorry, but our intelligence indicates it's true.  Water falls from the sky and collects on the ground and makes things wet.

LLOYD

Technical question, General.  If you were to look up at this "rain," and you had your mouth open, could it fill your lungs and drown you?

GENERAL BRICKS

Honestly, Lloyd, I don't know.  We don't have a lot of answers.

MAYOR

Goddamit, we're wasting time.  We've got to warn the citizens about this "rain."

GENERAL BRICKS

The worst part of this, Mayor, is that it may already be too late.

EXT. PLAYGROUND - DAY

Children run and play on the various playground equipment.  We see JOHNNY jump from the monkey bars and land on his feet, smiling delightedly.

JOHNNY

This is the best day ever!

From above, we see the shadow of a cloud move across the playground.  A drop of water splashes onto JOHNNY's head.  And another, and another.  

JOHNNY

Mommy? What's happening?

FADE OUT.

[OK, I know, two rain posts in a row.  But what am I supposed to do?  This storm was the Biggest Story of the Decade.  It would be like Walter Cronkite doing a newscast in 1969 and not mentioning Vietnam.  The movie poster picture I stole from Kate Scott's Twitter feed.  Thanks, Kate Scott.]

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

THE FORECAST IS FOR RAIN

Anchor Drone (chuckling): Thanks for the report, Kenny.  It's nice to know not every police beating has to be a sad story.  Now let's talk to meteorologist Skip Hapless at Weather Center 10000 who's tracking a fast-moving storm heading for our area!

Skip Hapless: HAVE YOU MADE YOUR PEACE WITH GOD?


Anchor Drone: What's that, Skip?

Skip Hapless: ARE YOU PURIFIED?  ARE YOU READY TO STAND BEFORE THE LORD?  HAVE YOU CLEANED YOUR GUTTERS?

Anchor Drone: What does the storm look like, Skip?

Skip Hapless: It will make Armageddon look like a free cone at Coldstone Creamery.  Lashing sheets of rain will pelt and destroy wildlife.  Your loved ones will cling to trees and pray for death.  THIS WILL BE A MAJOR WEATHER EVENT.

Anchor Drone: How much rain can we expect, Skip?

Skip Hapless; IF ONLY NUMBERS WENT THAT HIGH. POURING, GUSHING RAIN. MORE WATER THAN YOU COULD IMAGINE. ALL IS LOST.

Anchor Drone: Sounds like this might affect the morning commute!

Skip Hapless: WHAT COMMUTE. ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND. COMMUTE TO HELL.  WE WILL ALL BE COMMUTING TO HELL ON A ROADWAY OF LIQUID DEATH.

Anchor Drone: That was Skip Hapless with the weather.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Binge watch alert

I know, this is turning into 40 Going On TV, but that's sort of my life right now.  When you have a kid who goes to bed at 7, you are bestowed two gifts: (1) a fairly substantial period of time before you go to bed, and (2) the total inability to leave the house.  Either we become serious g4m3rz, read books next to each other on the couch, the steady tick tock of the clock punctuating the passing silence, or we fucking watch TV like normal people.  We watch a good amount of TV.  Although, to to be fair, probably no more - and maybe less - than the average American household.  The average is about 5 hours per day, and I doubt we get anywhere close to that.

Jesus, that was a long preamble just to talk about one show: Peaky Blinders, now streaming on Netflix.  PB is a British drama about a crime family in Birmingham (England, not Alabama, duh) set just after World War I.  How could I elevator pitch this?  The Sopranos crossed with Downton Abbey?  No, not really.  Maybe Boardwalk Empire with British accents?  I've never seen Boardwalk Empire, but I understand the comparison has been made.  Anyway, it's really good and we're currently just beginning to binge watch it.

It stars Cillian Murphy, mostly known to American audiences as The Creepy Irish Guy in Different Stuff.


It's got all the elements you want for a Complete Binge Watching Experience: a dark antihero, several intertwining plots, an even darker antiantihero, explicit violence, flashbacks, one or more mysteries at the center, and a woman with a secret.  There's also Sam Neill struggling valiantly with a Northern Irish accent.  YOU GO SAM NEILL, YOU'LL BEAT IT.

We're only three episodes in and I kinda love it.  I think there's only 12 episodes total, so you could easily knock it out before more stuff starts/comes back early next year.  (I also think it's the show they're discussing this Sunday on TV on the Radio so there's an excuse to at least catch a few eps.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

TV Roundup

I'm back!  I've been on hiatus.  This included air travel (surprisingly not that bad; travel on Monday and Friday of Thanksgiving week if you like avoiding crowds); family (great); and the incredible biscuits of the Loveless Cafe (incredible).

A girl and her breakfast (NB: bacon does not come pre-shredded).
ANYWAY, now we're back.  Sorry for the long layoff and whatever.  We are now in Peak TV Season what with some series finales and mid-season finales and basically all kinds of great shit going on so let's take a minute and reflect on the wondrous bounty the Lord has giveth upon us.  And by the Lord I mean Comcast Xfinity.

SONS OF ANARCHY - Blessedly in the final season, with the series finale December 9.  This season sort of mirrored the show as a whole; there were some good parts and some really, really bad parts.  Luckily, it seems like they're pulling it together towards the end.  The last few shows have been excellent, so I'm pretty optimistic they can pull off a satisfying end.  At first we thought everyone was going to die but maybe not.

90 DAY FIANCE - Everybody's on the train(wreck) now.  Just read Beth's outstanding recaps at Your Slow News Day. Watch it now, because this is the last season it's going to be good.  From here on out, the couples will all be totally self-conscious and playing it for the camera, just like Jersey Shore with Central Americans.

THE WALKING DEAD - Just got to its mid-season break with a SHOCKING DEATH of a formerly minor character who was given lots more screen time this season so we could get invested and then moved by her SHOCKING DEATH.  Hey, at least something is fucking happening this season.  Kill 'em all, if that's what it takes.  Why am I even watching this show.

PARENTHOOD - On a break until January 8 I think. My ideal series finale would be Zeek drowning Max in a bathtub and then sitting in his prized classic convertible in the garage with the engine running but instead it'll probably be more of Ray Romano's stupid family hogging all the scenes.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the indispensable TV on the Radio show on BFF.FM, everyone's favorite Internet radio station, every Sunday morning at 10 a.m., in which the ladies discuss TV shows and life itself.  Perfect to enjoy with your half cap and cruller or bong hit or whatever it is you do.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The time is now: #dadcore magazine


Why stop at listicles? THINK BIG, MAN.


Dadcore is about knowing how to make a dinner consisting entirely of white foods and also how to make a Manhattan with one hand while holding a baby in the other.

Dadcore is knowing the people in those "Swagger wagon" ads are tools.

Dadcore is being able to discuss the relative musical merits of One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer.

Dadcore is being able to change a diaper in under 90 seconds.  IN AN AIRPLANE LAVATORY.

Dadcore is real.