Monday, September 29, 2014

Shall I Compare Thee to a GrubHub.com: Shakespeare's lost app sonnets

Hark! My raiments rest in shoddy pile
Washing them is not worthwhile
A mighty colossus such as me
Hath no time to bother with drab laundry
Upon my smartphone I shall depose
Some luckless sap to wash my clothes
Washio it seems is the poor man’s name
Collecting my breeches be his game
What happens then I know not
Preoccupied by more important thought
I do know that in a few days’ time
My tunic’s returned in condition prime
For this, I am charged a reasonable fee
I am become the lord of all laundry!
I suppose the matter of making a dime
Is something Washio will work out in time.



I stumbled frantic down the lane
Past shelter unwelcome and profane
“Hark!” I cry, “I just need a spot
“To sit and gather up my thought.
I want neither office nor abode
Just a squat with chair and commode.”
Whilst searching through the iTunes store
My eyes lit upon a major score
Breather!” my hungry eyes devoured
“Renting rooms by the hour!”
No longer the domain of hotels sleazy
Now copping a room is Internet-easy
Wink wink nudge nudge now you be nice
You shan’t corrupt your room with sin or vice
“Sure thing, Breather,” I commend
Whilst entering room with my lady friend
Such sweet business we will conduct!
Breather cleaning crew, sorry, you’re fucked.

What sweet sounds drift from above?
Is it the voice of the one I love?
Ah! Look, here upon the iPhone screen
A booty text from my sweet colleen
But she is in the Mission though
And I atop shining Potrero
But my phone bestows on us a gift:
Some Prius-driving dork from Lyft 
Into this stranger’s carriage I slip
And pray he speaks not this whole trip
It’s like a cab, but sketchier so
Who needs workers compensation though?
Forward! Advance, sharing economy!
To my lover hurry me!
And if I should die lest he be running late
I pray for my heirs to litigate.

One eve a lover whom I sent my nudes
Fell ill with a serious case of the rudes
Posting my privates far and wide
Driving me nearly to ex-icide
If only there was some way to share
Pics that would vanish into the air.
Aha! Snapchat offers features free
They claim doth protect my privacy
Don’t speak to me of screencaps or hacks
I want to believe my pics free of attack
A simpleton, I am comforted so
By the founder, a raging Stanford bro
And soon I am sure th’ love of my eyes
Will be a means to advertise.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Look at these fucking Dodger fans


This is Billy.  He just got out of prison after doing a bit for dealing meth.  He's clean now. His parole officer (on the right) decided to take him to a game.  Afterwards they'll stop at Pinkberry and Billy will idly wonder how much money they keep in the cash register at Pinkberry.


This is Dick Unterman.  He's a professional Paul Shaffer impersonator.  It's not a very lucrative gig.


The man in the middle of the frame is Salman Rushdie.


These men are Robert and Larry.  They're cousins.  Robert produced Attack of the Spider Woman in 1976.  It didn't do very well.  Robert and Larry decided to grow matching beards to try and bring some interest into their otherwise void and meaningless lives.


This is Betty.  She is a paranoid schizophrenic.  She believes that she can fashion her hands into special binoculars that let her see into people's souls.  Her daughter (right) is looking for her medication.


You can't see Charlene right now because she's in her blanket fort.  She's safe in her blanket fort and no one can bother her there.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Picturing the perfect bar

I was thinking about Cafe Du Nord closing and reopening as another generic fancy cocktail bar and that made me think about how every bar that opens now is pretty much the same.  I don't even need to go through the elements; you know them by heart.  Cocktails with 5+ ingredients, most of which you've never heard of.  Reclaimed wood.  Probably Edison bulbs.  Bartenders who look like people in Old Tyme Tintypes with waxed mustaches.  It was probably Bourbon and Branch that started this whole thing, but now it seems like Trick Dog is the purest example of the form.


Photo via Eater.
Trick Dog is what it is.  If you want to go there and drink drinks with velvet falernum and Tempus Fugit creme de noyeaux and shortbread in them, go right ahead.  I don't know what any of those things are but I'm sure they're delicious.  Well, obviously I know what shortbread is, but I don't understand how it goes into a drink with gin and vermouth.  Maybe it perches on the side and just watches and hangs out.

The problem is not that Trick Dog and bars of that ilk exist - God bless 'em, they're popular, so there's obviously a reason they exist - but that now they're the ONLY kind of bars that open.  This is the only concept now.  Fancy cocktails and small inexplicable plates of food have crowded everything else out.

And then that made me think - well, what would you want in a bar?  What's the ideal bar?  OK, here you go.

There are about 18 excellent beers on tap.  No macros on tap.  There are Bud and Miller longnecks because this is America.  There is no Coors Light of any kind available.

There is no drinks menu.  The bartender knows how to make normal drinks.  There is a nice selection of bourbon, scotch, whiskey, tequila, and other spirits.  There is no muddling.  If you ask for a mojito, the bartender will smile gently and say, "I'm sorry, we don't make mojitos."  That's if you're a girl.  If you're a guy and you ask for a mojito, the bartender will not say anything but will gently shake his head "no."  No frozen blended drinks are offered.

There is one TV.  It is usually off, unless you ask to turn it on for a Giants or 49ers game.  Then it will be turned on with the sound off.

There is a regular, old-style jukebox, not an Internet jukebox.  The jukebox is stocked either by one of the staff or someone else with excellent taste in music.  You can find the Zombies, the Commodores, the Rolling Stones' "Exile on Main Street," Tupac's "Me Against the World," the Strokes, Lefty Frizzell, and much more.

There are cups of dice behind the bar.  There is no neon inside the bar, anywhere.

There is still a working payphone in the alcove between the men's and ladies' rooms.

There are some regulars, but they are not the kind of regulars who get drunk and super loud and take over the bar and then the bartender spends the whole night hanging out at the end of the bar with them and ignoring the other customers.

The bartender makes the best old-fashioned you've ever had.  The bloody mary comes garnished with a fresh stick of celery and nothing else.  It is also delicious.

There is no food prepared onsite.  It's fine to bring in food occasionally, as long as it doesn't fill the bar with food smell and you don't make a habit of it.  This is a bar, not a restaurant or a picnic area.

Large groups of loud, drunk people may find that it takes increasingly long waits to get their drinks refreshed.

This is the perfect place to spend a few hours on a Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sorry I've been away

Honestly, I've been sick as fuck.

This all started Thursday night after a seemingly pleasant dinner and then drinks with some friends at mini-Austin and then I went home and went to bed and WHAMMO woke up at 2:30 a.m. sweaty and nauseous and all kinds of other bad shit.

Same on Friday and Saturday and Sunday and pretty much Monday.  At first I thought it was food poisoning but now I think it was some kind of flu because of how long it lasted.  Anyway, struggled back in to work today so they remember who I am and what I do around here and so that's why I haven't posted anything in a while.

Lying there shivering pouring sweat out of every pore and praying for death I did get some good blog post ideas though so stay tuned.

Now all that's left is an INCREDIBLY painful totally clogged left ear which I've been trying to treat via various bullshit recommendations from the Internet.  I know, not exactly South Sudan, but it hurts.  I'm sure it'll get better.

So that's about it.  I rarely get sick like this so it's really upset the whole herd.  Gotta give mad props to The Wife for basically doing everything while I lay in bed moaning/reading Countdown City/napping/alternating between uncontrollable shivering and gushing sweat like a fat guy in a sauna/not sleeping at all at night.  She's an angel sent from heaven.

The baby, eh, she wasn't really any help at all.

We'll be back soon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What would it actually take for Roger Goodell to get fired?

Everybody wants Roger Goodell fired!  Ann Killion at our beloved Chron says "Emperor Goodell's reign should be suspended indefinitely."  He's not a real emperor, I don't think.  Emperor of Fucking Up, maybe.  ZING.  Meanwhile, Grantland wants to know "What Does It Take to Get Roger Goodell Fired?" and even Vice has managed to look up from the cocaine table long enough to muse "Wait, why hasn't NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell been fired yet?"

So yeah, what would it take?  Let's look at some scenarios.


ACTION: Roger Goodell deletes NFL's Season Recording of "What Not to Wear."

EXPLANATION: "Come on, it's like the same thing every episode.  There is no way you were going to watch all those.  We were at 82%.  Come on."

RESULT: NFL glares at Goodell; Goodell not fired.

ACTION: Roger Goodell calls Cowboys fans "the most loathsome, repellent sacks of supposedly organic matter ever to leak excrement onto the Earth."

EXPLANATION: "Well, it's true."

RESULT: Nothing.  It is true.  Goodell not fired.

ACTION: Roger Goodell drafts Wes Welker in the first round of his fantasy draft.

EXPLANATION: "I like him. He plays with a lot of heart."

RESULT: Roger Goodell's fantasy team, "Great Players in the NFL," loses week 1 by 81 points to "Peyton's Manhole."  Roger Goodell not fired.

ACTION: Roger Goodell lists Pink's "Don't Let Me Get Me" as "My ATF Song" in a Tumblr questionnaire that's going around.

EXPLANATION: "Pink totally rules! This song is so badass."

RESULT: NFL stares at Roger Goodell for a long time and then walks away.  Roger Goodell not fired.

ACTION: Roger Goodell tries to claim 3 different pints of Ben & Jerry's are "one item" to get under 12-item threshhold.

EXPLANATION: "They're all the same thing. They're all ice cream.  You could put them all in one bowl together."

RESULT: NFL explains that the test is whether the scanner beeps more than once.  One scanner beep = one item.  3 pints = 3 items.  Goodell sent to regular line behind a woman with two overflowing carts and 5 children aged 3 to 9.  Goodell not fired.

ACTION: Roger Goodell is short 50 cents to purchse Funnyuns at Pak N Go in Arlington, Texas.  Takes 50 cents from Jerry Jones's change cup in car while Jerry Jones uses bathroom.

EXPLANATION: "It was only 50 cents."

RESULT: Roger Goodell is fired.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ghost horses of San Francisco

A couple of weeks ago the brilliant, totally entertaining podcast 99% Invisible did an episode about the concept of "Thomassons," which are objects (typically) found in cities that are completely useless but regularly maintained.

San Francisco being San Francisco, there's an entire blog devoted to Thomassons in SF (and some examples from elsewhere).  It's called Hyperart: Thomasson and it's fascinating.  Here's an example, found at the Lefty O'Doul Bridge on 3rd Street by AT&T Park:


This appears to be a remnant of the old gate that would come down and block traffic while the bridge was up.  Obviously the arms have been cut off and it doesn't do anything any more but it's apparently still painted and will have its arms raised into eternity as if to say "WOOO-HOOO!!!!  OBSOLESCENCE!!!"

Anyway, this got me thinking, as these things are wont to do, about other examples.  Then, as if by magic, this tweet by Devin McCutchen appeared:


That, my friends, is a Thomasson. This started us talking about other horse hitching posts around SF.  Burrito Justice knew about one:


Good find, Burrito Justice! But Sally Kuchar, editor of Curbed SF (and a totally cool chick) tipped us off that "there's a row of them on Pleasant Street in Nob Hill."

[BRIEF BUT ANNOYING DIGRESSION: This raises another issue that I've been thinking about for years.  When you're saying something is located in a neighborhood that ends in "Hill," do you say "in" or "on"?  Like, I say "You know, Thee Parkside, over on Potrero Hill," or "That is the douchiest place on Russian Hill, and that's saying something."  Sally obviously prefers the "in" usage, as in "My bro sold his startup to Google and bought a place in Rincon Hill."  Is either one right or are they both cool?  I don't know.  *shrugs*]

Indeed there are.  Pleasant Street appears to be accurately named!



Can't you just see a row of horses tied up there, waiting for their owners to return from whatever business they had in or on Nob Hill?  I guess they did perpendicular parking and not parallel parking with horses.

That's about all I've got.  Are there any other SF Thomassons I should know about?  Do let me know.  No one's reading this anyway because it doesn't have anything to do with iPhones and today's iPhone 6 Day or whatever.  My personal wish for the iPhone 6 is that it doesn't give a shit which direction you hold it when you shoot video and fixes it for you so it always looks right.  THAT would be something.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Did you watch the California gubernatorial debate last night? Of course not. I watched it for you.

You probably don't even know there's a gubernatorial election in November.  Look up from your bong every once in a while, hippie, there's a whole world out there.

Anyway, yes, there is, and something named Neel Kashkari is running against Jerry Brown, who has been governor, on and off, since Three's Company was on TV and puts the "elder" in "elder statesman."  Brown is a 2-touchdown favorite and basically will only lose if he dies or Neel Kashkari calls down his space alien overlords which is not out of the question.  The eyes.

Here's a synopsis of the whole thing:

Brown: When I got back on the scene California was a rotting, fetid corpse floating facedown in an irrigation ditch.  I dragged it out and gave it mouth-to-mouth.  Now it looks like Kate Upton.

Kash: Middle class.  I used to be a middle class.  Water.

There were some moments.  I've never noticed this before, but when a Jerry Brown is cornered or threatened, it turns BRIGHT RED as a warning to BACK OFF.  Like when someone asked him if cap and trade will raise gas prices and he said climate change was VERY BAD and someone said WHAT ABOUT GAS PRICES THOUGH and he puffed himself up to look bigger and flushed red and then tried to spit into the eyes of the questioner.

My fave though was when Telemundo host Dunia Elvir asked Kash if he still thinks we should send those poor immigrant kids home!  Kash stumbled around a bit and said hey I love kids but we can't keep them all.  Dunia shot him the best "bitch no way" face I've ever seen.


Most of it was pretty really boring.  Old Man Brown kept reminding everyone that Kash made a lot of money on Wall Street and Kash kept saying "water" and "middle class."  It's actually kinda hard to tell if Kash is a Republican or not, since he's for gay marriage and drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants and dogs in restaurants.  But he actually did pretty well, if you can get past the crazy eyes.  Close your eyes a little, Neel.

In a final desperate move, Kash said he would make sure that we could get the job we want.  Sweet!  I want to be in Guns N Roses, circa 1987.  Hook a brother up.