Thursday, September 30, 2004
So, my loyal readership, let's get acquainted. I'll begin by telling you something somewhat personal & embarassing about myself. Yesterday I went to Joe Sun & bought some underwear. My favorite part about buying underwear there is that before they finalize the sale, they inform you that once you open it, you can't return it. This conjures up wonderful scenarios of people trying to return old, dirty underwear. "But I ain't even worn it!" etc. The fact that Joe Sun is on the K Street mall makes these scenarios that much more ripe. I laugh, assuring the lady that I won't be doing any such thing. But the joke was on me! I got home, opened them, & they were 4 sizes smaller than the size advertised on the package. (the fact that I'm talking about underwear is making the word 'package' sound nastier than it should) So now I'm going back at lunch today & attempting to return them. Fortunately I struck up a little playful reparte with the counter lady so maybe she'll cut me a break. She was criticizing my shoulder bag for being too worn out. She made a hilarious joke about how, if I put the underwear in my bag, the bag would fall apart. Vixen!! "Hey, I got my dollar's worth out of it!", I fire back. Then I got her respect as a smart shopper. That's right lady, I could've bought 6 thrift store shoulder bags for the price of one package (he he) of your wrong-sized pants. I love that the English call underwear 'pants'! It's only so they can sound all English by calling pants 'trousers'. Also, I like the slang 'pants' for something that's crappy. This new Jackie Green CD is PANTS! There's that new Feeling song with the word 'trousers' in it. I really like it but I don't know what it's called so I have to yell "Trousers!" when I want to hear it. At least I'm not yelling 'pants!'. Does James really refer to his pants as trousers? "Danny, where are my trousers??!".
I'm going to Joe Sun now.
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
I need to make a confession. I'm drunk. I'm in Williamsburg. Which, if you read Rachel Leibrock in the Bee religiously as I do, means that I'm in West Sac. Here are the reason that Sac beats Williamsburg:
1)WEATHER, who needs it? Not me. Weather is inconvenient, it makes my hair look bad, and it stresses me out. Today there is weather up the ass in NYC. I got soaked by rain (that's a wet kind of weather, for you Cali people) on my way from the subway to my friend's house. It made me grumpy and stressed and at risk for crotch rot.
2) So we went to this Willaimsburg bar and I tried to put something good on the jukebox and I was paralyzed by indecision, you know why? Because everything was good. I had choices ranging from Novos Bainos to every disk of the Nuggets box set. Guess what? That's not fun at all. You know what I want to listen to in a bar? Now that's what I call music volume 76. Or the Eagles greatest hits. When I am drunk I want to hear "take it to the limit". and not because i'm being ironic, but because that's what's fun to listen to when you're drunk. I don't want to worry about whether the song I picked was cool enough when I'm at a bar, I want to pick a song that's retarded and sing along.
But, conversely, guess why NYC rules forever.
1) JEWS. You cannot beat this factor. Ever. Cali is sorely lacking in Jews and this sucks. I'll maybe write another entry later but I have to go because the hilarious Jewish girl I met tonight is making crank calls. Take that Cali!
Posting fake mean experiments from her lab is one of the many things I threatened to do to Becky while she was gone. I also threatened to find the worst blogs out in cyberspace & cut & paste them in here - but I couldn't find any bad blogs! They're all great! My dad asked me the other day what a blog was. I thought that was pretty good. He was showing me his computer & suddenly I was trapped in one of those Leno skits about how incompetent his parents are with new technology. I showed him how to save a picture to his background & I thought he was gonna hit the roof. I can't wait to see what picture he picks first - I'm guessing it will be Raiders related. He also bought this 900 foot phone cable because he wanted to be able to have his computer anywhere in the house. Of course he has it sitting right next to the phone jack so there's a big pile of tangled phone cord on the floor. Miraculously, as I was showing my dad a picture of me singing with the Frenchmen (sometimes I don't think my dad actually believes that I go anywhere or do anything), he managed to trip over this 900 foot beast - yanking it out of the wall & ripping all the wires. That was that. I'm thinking about my dad because it's his birthday today. Happy birthday dad - may you never read this.
All I can think about is Becky reading this & thinking "hmm, not quite what I would have done..". Damn you Becky! Stop stifling me! She gave me tomorrow off claiming she would post something from NYC. I hope it includes a story about spilling cocaine all over her new wardrobe.
With Karen O.
I often abstractly think about moving to New York when in reality I most likely won't - probably because I don't even really want to. I guess that, since Sac's so middle of the road, I worry that I'm missing out on the real fun or something. You'd think after living here for 34 years, I'd accept the fact that I live here. Now, to add to it, I'm suddenly romancing the country life! I went to visit my friend's Scott & Kiersten up in Fort Bragg this last weekend. About an hour before I got there, I lost all cellphone service & it was all uphill from there. They have this HUGE piece of land with a little house in the middle. 2 big barns that came pre-furnished with a bunch of old rustic junk, a massive front lawn that you could farm, & their back yard turns in to a trail through this forest that ends in a clearing on the bank of the Noyo River. And it's all their property! They sold their house in Sac 4 years ago & bought that with the money. They're blocks from the ocean too. I didn't want to leave at all & when I got back here & thought about all the stupid shit that one gets concerned about in the city, I was super bummed. I takes up so much head space even when you don't want it to. Like, I'll sit & deliberate whether or not I should go to some stupid party or I'll worry about my job. What if all that we're replaced with a hammock & a canoe? And what if I suddenly lost all desire for material possesions?! And what if I lived off the land?!!! And what if I made my own award-winning wine?!!!! And what if they selected my farm for the next season of The Simple Life??!!!!!!
Friday, September 24, 2004
This was my first time seeing ol' Willie & I think my expectations were a little high. I liked it but rarely was I totally wrapped up in creaky velvet Willieness. Pancho & Lefty was the highlight for me. The songs I thought would get a thorough workout (Whiskey River for example) seemed oddly brief & I got the feeling that the Family was going through the motions a bit. Now I don't mean for this to be a bad review. The show was fun & besides, I was in the same place as Willie - it was just not the epic thing I had imagined. It was at Raley Field so it had a more casual state fair vibe going on. The crowd never really fully settled in & there was lots of talking & walking around. One thing I will say is that Willie has some off the chain solos in him! He'd pull these solos out of his bandana that were borderline avant-garde! That was my favorite part. Also, I found myself getting way too in to Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys. I'm not sure if Willie reads Heckasac but if he does I would like to tell him to reintroduce Bloody Mary Morning back in to his set. I wasn't expecting Phases & Stages but no Bloody Mary Morning??!! C'mon Willie! And ditch the long blues jams! I know. A little blues lick, some sultry harmonica & half the ladies in the place have their shirts off - but you got songs Nelson! Songs that this guy wants to hear. I haven't even told you about the random "Willie For President" theme that was running throughout the evening. This guy came out before Willie played & said "How many of you are voting for George Bush?", then "How many of you are voting for John Kerry?" and then the kicker: "How many of you are voting WILLIE FOR PRESIDENT!!??". This would've gone off better if there weren't such a tense amount of boos & cheers when both real candidates' names were mentioned. If you want an accurate presidential poll, I suggest conducting it at a Willie concert. I entertained the idea of buying one of the Willie For President posters but then I saw that they were $25. That's how much my ticket was!! I'll make my own Willie For President poster thank you. Ed was suggesting that Neil Diamond be his running mate so I'm thinking maybe a "Nelson/Diamond '04" lawn sign might be just the thing to shake things up in ol' East Sac. What else? I'd like to give a shoutout to drunk-dog in front of me who early on was shaping up to be the worst but his near religious reverence for Willie made him the best. He'd be talking really loudly with his friends through whole songs, but during other songs he's shush everyone & become very quiet & focused. And he made friends with the old couple next to him & kept buying them beer. The old lady had her arm around him by the end of the night. It was Ed's birthday so we went to the Flame afterwards & Sacramento was playing in there when we arrived. All in all, a pretty sweet late summer Sac evening.
Other than that, I'm eating a good sandwich right now & I'm tired.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Originally uploaded by becklerg.
I ate at Nishiki last night and it was excellent. The food was all delicious and the server was really good and gave us a few free extras. We were far away from the sushi bar so the sushi guys couldn't make me nauseous with their sexist comments. They are really out of control. And it really makes me sick to see some mid-town hottie whore herself for free edamame and a sake bomb. The crowd looked uncannily like we were at the Empire Club pre-party. Everyone was in the 18-22 age range. Where are the old people in this town? It's like we live in that weird town on Star Trek where the kids chant scary things in unison. Except instead of ragged, stained clothing the kids all wear designer jeans that show their crack and sparkly tube tops.
Good job vetoing that illegal immigrants drivers license bill, Arnie. As far as I can tell the rationale goes: They're illegal immigrants, so it's not right for them to get drivers licenses. That's really logical considering tons of them are already driving. This is such a transparent PR ploy that panders to peoples racism. Especially considering that 10 other states allow illegal immigrants to get licenses, Cali allowed it until 1994, and there are stringent background checks.
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
I just finished reading Middlesex, and if you've read that or the Virgin Suicides and you're interested in a good interview of Jeffrey Eugenides, here's one: http://www.bombsite.com/eugenides/eugenides.html
I saw that in the author picture in the back, he looks kind of like a Musketeer, which is how the hermaphrodite in Middlesex describes him/herself, so I became convinced that it was a true story and that he's a hermaphrodite. He has a daughter so it's not true. I recommend either book. The part on the Detroit riots in Middlesex is insane and makes me want to read more about it. I can't believe how many people died! I'm very excited that Phillip Roth is writing a new book. It contains a narrator named Phillip Roth and lets hope that this narrator seems to be in a bit less pain than the Phillip Roths of recent books. That way I can cross Phillip Roth of my list of random people and things I worry about. What with the prostate cancer, the drug psychosis, and the tell-all book by that bitch Claire Bloom, Roth doesn't seem to be sailing into his golden years with ease.
I have big plans for when I get back, including harassing Graswich, Ask Joey, and Steve Vanoni for interviews.
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
The only notable thing about the pictures is the sheer quantity of Keystone Light. There is even a picture of Michele, dancing, with a Keystone Light in each hand.
In other news, I wussed out on interviewing Pauly Shore and I hate myself because of it. I seriously sat there during the movie thinking about how much I sucked for chickening out. A self-hating Jew sitting in a theater watching a movie about a self-hating Jew who learns to love himself through the power of Sam Kinison, who was, and correct me if I'm wrong, a self-hating Jew. The serpent bites its own tail. And the movie itself? So-so. The best part was when Pauly was riffing (that's a comedy term) before the movie on hurricane Ivan being a Jewish hurricane:
Pauly using newscaster-type voice: Did you destroy anything, Ivan?
Pauly using Jewish old man voice: Eh, not so much.
What if Pauly Shore got a job at the Crest, like when Kevin Seconds worked at Java City? That would be awesome.
The Bee continues to trumpet Sheriff Lou Blanas' arena plan, with this article in yesterday's Bee:
Some notable items in this article:
The statement that Tsakopoulos has "lent" Blanas at least $73,00 during his campaign for Sheriff. Is this the same kind of "loan" that the city gave the Maloofs a few years back? Meaning "a loan that you don't have to pay back".
Also this paraphrasing of the Sheriff is amusing: "A proposal the sheriff maintains is a potential victory for the Kings, sports fans, developers and the environment." I'm reading this sentence and I'm thinking, victory for the Kings, check, yeah, yeah, of course it's a victory for developers, then I read on, what? Victory for the environment? I mean, sure, if the Swainson's hawks get season tickets they'll be stoked, but what if they get pissed when Ostertag misses a pass and they claw his eyes out? And no way can the hawks and the field mice sit together. I think you all know what I mean.
Monday, September 20, 2004
Originally uploaded by becklerg.
Wow! That weather was insane and so exciting. Michael and I were driving on T st. during the hail storm and I really thought it might break my windshield. My block was flooded and I had to wade in water that was over my shoes to get in the house. We saw three little kids playing in the hail like it was snow. Maybe this storm will blow away the flies. Has anyone else noticed Sac's fly infestation the last month or two? It's really repulsive and I have this to say to Naked Lounge: take care of your fly problem. When there is a fly buzzing inside the sugar container, it's gone too far. And I don't even want to think about those scones and muffins that sit out all day.
So now to get to what is one everyones minds, the wedding. Ooh what an awkward sentence. Anyway, it was spectacular, heartwarming, heckafun, etc., etc. and I will be posting pictures from it tomorrow, barring disaster (meaning: too much work in the lab).
Now, for an interview with Anna. I have known Anna for many years and she is a real firecracker. Lovely, hilarious, enthusiastic, kind, and such a dancer! She followed her dream and moved to New York, where she ended up studying food at Hunter College and working for the prestigious (and scandal-ridden!) James Beard foundation. This charity holds the Oscars of the food world. She recently moved back to Sac with her husband, Eric, and together they are working hard to make Sac a better place for all. Here goes:
Where were you born?
What neighborhood did you grow up in?
East Sac. The thrifty part of the 40s.
What high school did you go to?
How was your high school experience?
I loved it. I didn;t feel like it was too cliquey. For example, Grace, DP, Alicia and I were buddies with the football quarterback and we weren;t sporty at all.
Where have you lived besides Sacramento?
Berkeley for 6 months, suburban Southern California for 2 years and Brooklyn for 5 years.
Why did you move to NY?
I'd wanted to live there since I was a little girl. My influences were Sesame Street, the Bloodhound gang and this book called The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. That book is about two kids running away from home and living in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Plus, as I got older, it seemed like a lot of pop culture I was interested in was connected to NYC, like Woody Allen and Paul Simon.
Why did you move back to Sacramento?
Since 9/11 and my wedding happened in the same month, it was very motivating for me to want to be back here. It was like I was settling down in getting married, but I didn't feel secure or like NY was home. Also it made me reevaluate why I was in NY and not in Sac. It seemed like my reasons were somewhat shallow, because somehow living in NY gives you the illusion that you are cool and important. For the three years before returning, we didn't want to be anywhere else but Sac though, it wasn't like a, "Let' move to the Bay Area."I began to appreciate the character of Sac and its mellow pace.
Do you miss NY?
So far I haven' really missed NY yet. Of course I miss the friends we made.
Describe the restaurant/store you would like to open in Sac (I' not sure if your current plans include both or just one)
I really love cheese stores where you buy according to the weight and they wrap it for you on the spot. I like that you could sample the cheeses before having to make a commitment, since they can be expensive. I thought it would be neat to have a restaurant that had a small retail cheese section that would be open between lunch and dinner. As for the actual restaurant, I' still trying to sort my ideas. I' thinking a small place with 20 seats that does simple stuff for lunch and a prix fixe dinner, like for a set price, you get three courses. The menu would be small (like 2-3 choices per course) and would change weekly. It would be fun to do regional foods that aren' very common, like a stew from New Mexico or a loosemeat sandwich from Iowa. We'l see if anything actually happens, but it' fun to dream.
What do you think of the restaurant "scene"in Sac?
So far I haven't been too disappointed. I know I'm answering in the negative, but my friends seem pretty down on the restaurants here. I guess there is a complaint about the new restaurants being pretty pricey and upscale, but I am still happy about the old stuff like Amarin, Hana Tsubaki, Pho Bac and Zelda's. Also, like I think we've talked about before, sometimes it's important to leave the grid to find something exciting. In New York, people traveled all over the city to try new places, sometimes we're talking an hour on the train. Compare that with 25 minutes in the car to try a new Vietnamese restaurant in Citrus Heights.
What do you think of Randy Paragary and his empire?
I haven't eaten at a Paragary place in years so I don't know about the quality, though I do remember enjoying the food at Centro. At least with Paragary it is a local chain. Also, in New York it was pretty common for restaurateurs to have a network of restaurants, like Danny Meyer or Drew Nieporent. I know that since Sac is smaller, Paragary stands out a bit more, but there are also those folks that have 33rd Street Bistro and Riverside Clubhouse or the Ernestos people that just opened Zocalo, which is crazy busy. They may give RP a run for his money.
If you want to, tell about your encounter with Frank (is it Frank, I can't remember) Corti and why you wanted to meet him.
Darrell Corti, Frank is his father, but he is long gone. I wanted to meet him because a few years ago I was reading one of Ruth Reichl's memoirs (she is the editor-in-chief of Gourmet Magazine) where she shares about an evening of driving from Berkeley to Sacramento to have dinner with Darrell Corti and how impressive he was. I think he had some really rare balsamic vinegar and was on the phone with someone in Italy. I remember freaking out, thinking this woman who I really look up to looks up to Darrell Corti, a hometown man I never really thought about. Then I worked for the James Beard Foundation (a fancy culinary organization) and found out that he was in their "who's who of food and wine," so I wanted to meet him.
I met him by accident before your birthday. I was talking to a man in the wine department, and for some reason I didn"t think it was him. (I thought Darrell was in his seventies and more behind the scenes.) I was slightly trying to show off that I knew something about wine, so I asked him about Hungarian wines and he blew me away with his knowledge. He showed me several different types he had, some under lock and key. When he was finished, I was like "Oh crap, I think that was Darrell."I asked a checker who he was, and sure enough.
Have you eaten at Bibas? Does it live up to the hype?
Nope, haven"t eaten there.
I don"t have one yet. Right now, I am pretty happy about a new lunch place on K Street called Ambrosia. I"ve eaten at Aioli a couple times and its pretty good.
What do you think about the arena issue?
I think if it were downtown, the place would be enveloped by chain restaurants and shops for sure and the area would lose any regional character. If it is "necessary" for a new one to be built, I think the city could contribute some funds, but not like $100 mil or more.
How has Sac changed in the time you were living in NY? Both positively and negatively?
Positively, meeting people that are happy here and want to do creative things here. I also like the ethnic diversity. Maybe it hasn't changed, but I just didn't notice before. Also, the amounts of events going on, like cultural events on weekends and Second Saturday.
Negatively, K Street. What happened? Where did all the shops go? The whole CineArts proposal happened when we were still in NYC and we were reading about how economically-depressed K Street is but I assumed they were exaggerating. I just walked down it for the first time in years last weekend and was blown away.
Also, housing prices, totally depressing subject.
What is your dream neighborhood in Sac?
Curtis Park or the part of East Sac near Coffee Works and 33rd Street Bistro.
Do you think you will ever move?
No, unless my health can"t take it, I have asthma.
Favorite local celebrity or celebrity sighting?
Besides D. Corti, Jack Gallager. Is he still around? In the eighties, I went to a couple of tapings of TV Lite and thought it was cool that they had that show in Sac.
Predictions for the Kings this year?
They are going to do it this year. And I will finally be able to be here for it.
Friday, September 17, 2004
Please modulate the volume of your ear-shattering screams. You are yelping so loud that you didn't even hear me when I yelled at you to shut up. I know it is really cool and "old school" that you are playing dice with your friends. I know you think that all eyes are on you, which they are, because you won't shut the fuck up.
P.S.-When you and your girlfriend bumped chests to celebrate some hot roll of the dice, you looked extra retarded.
On monday, you can expect some gossip about the wedding of the century that is occurring this weekend in Merced. Who will have the wedding hook-up? Will there be an orgy tent, as rumored (by me). Will the bride and groom finally call this pathetic charade off? We all know that she's in it for the money and that he's getting married so that people will believe that he's straight.
Also, I am going to try to interview Pauly Shore tonight. Keep your fingers crossed.
And, coming soon (hopefully) an interview with Anna.
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Originally uploaded by becklerg.
I had my favorite local celebrity sighting last night at T.J.s (that's Trader Joes to you). I saw askjoey, the advice columnist and New-ager extraordinaire. She is so tall and attractive and so nice. I wish she was my mom and she could always be counseling me to believe in myself and listen to my inner child and crap like that. I saw Vann and told him not to look too deeply into Joey's eyes because she would read him like a book. I also saw Tippy (is that how you spell it?)on my way out for a second. T.J.s is the hip place to make the Sacto scene
I've been meaning to write on entry on the craze that is sweeping Sacto, and possibly the nation. We've all done it, we all love it: frontloadin'. Frontloadin' is imbibing at your house or a friend's house before you go to the club or show because you are poor. It's only a matter of time before this concept starts to infiltrate the hip hop world (just think, E-40 is pretty close in Vacaville, so he could easily hear about it, and E-40 generates 99.9% of all hip hop slang, or so he claims). Just think, LL could have one of those nostalgia songs where he talks about when he was so poor he had to frontload. Oftentimes I find that frontloadin' actually turns out to be the most fun time of the night, and the event itself is kind of a letdown. It has been rumored that Jay Baker is working on the first frontloadin' concept album, so let's cross our fingers that that's true and he'll finally put Sac on the hip hop map.
And finally, Sherrif Lou Blanas I am watching you. Where did you get the money for the shady poll that supposedly shows that Sacramentans like your fake charity idea to build an arena? The Bee says your political consultant set it up, and that he owes the pollsters. Since when do you just comission something like that and say, "uh, pay you later at some indefinite date". Seems fishy. And I reiterate, how does the Sheriff have money to hire a political consultant?
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Speaking of the Crest, I caught a little bit of Leon Redbone's performance there on Friday. His repertoire was very old timey and it was driving me nuts trying to figure out which commercials he sings. I kept trying to sing all the jingles I could think of in his gravelly, old-timey voice but I couldn't figure it out. Hard to believe that he actually sings "Camptown Races" and that people pay to see it. I thought only Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig sing that song. When the crowd started to filter out I sat in the lobby and started counting hawaiian shirts, which were the garment of choice for both men and women, and I counted 37 in just a few minutes. The best was the Cheech and Chong one. Nothing says, "I want to feel dressed up, while still being too much of a slob to put on anything nice" like a hawaiian shirt.
Coming soon: an interview with Anna DeKok, foodie extraordinaire!
Monday, September 13, 2004
Originally uploaded by becklerg.
I finally saw it this weekend. This movie is big, no, gigantic, well, not gigantic, but really, really big. And Chloe's such a trooper. She can act even when her mouth is full. Seriously, though, I kinda liked it. Not as much as I thought I would, but it was thought-provoking. Chloe looked great and Vincent Gallo was funny when a rare bit of dialogue would occur. As far as ultra-boring movies go, I prefer Gerry.
If anyone is interested in my continuing correspondence with Mark Kreidler (the sportswriter at the Bee who is pushing the arena agenda), here's the last couple of emails. He never got back to me about recommending something by the Stanford guy for me to read. As I suspected, he was just namedropping to sound smart. And is anyone surprised that not only does he not live downtown, but he lives in Davis, where he doesn't have to pay for the arena or worry about it moving into his neighborhood and ruining it.
Thanks for replying. I appreciate it. Could you recommend something
by Roger Noll that I could read? If he publishes academic papers rather
than books, I have access to those through the university, so it would be
great if you could recommend a few. I didn't question whether you live
here, or say that you were stupid, and I don't think the authors of "Field
of Schemes" really questioned the intelligence of journalists. I think
that they were pointing out that these arena struggles follow a
predictable pattern, and one part of that pattern is that the local
mainstream media always champions the cause of a new, publicly financed,
arena. You say you welcome discussion, but what if part of that
discussion is the idea that we don't need a new arena, or that it should
not be publicly financed?
Listen, I love the Kings as much as anyone (well, not Ostertag), but
just because the Maloofs could pick up and leave doesn't mean that it's OK
for owner after owner to blackmail cities into using tax money to line
their pockets. Even if this could generate revenue for the city (and I'd
like to see some proof of that), I'm sure there are other plans that could
generate more revenue.
Becky: Great question about access to Noll's writing. In addition to books, I've been able to learn quite a bit about his basic tenets through some very good, longer magazine and newspaper pieces in which either he or his hypotheses were the centerpice of the writing. I'll see if I can find a couple of those and send them along.
I understand what you're saying about the public discussion. I have an extremely clear viewpoint on it: I live in Davis; as of now, it's not my tax money being pondered; therefore, you won't hear me tell the city of Sacramento how to spend it. I'm rising lately to write on the arena issues because I've been involved in so many similar situations regarding sports franchises over the years, and I've never seen the level of naivete that is at work in Sacramento right now.
Regardless of how the city's residents ultimately decide they want their tax dollars spent, it's important to at least understand that the Maloofs (or any owner) will take the franchise out of town without a new facility. That's business. I think that truly embracing that reality helps to clarify the issue so that it can be discussed honestly.
Friday, September 10, 2004
Lo and behold, Mark Kreidler wrote back to me, and quite quickly, too. Here it is:
Becky, thanks for your note. I don't expect you to take my word for the fact that I have read innumerable studies related to the benefits and disadvantages of arena construction, including a raft of Roger Noll's fascinating work at Stanford. I have written several times already that I believe the public discussion over what constitutes an acceptable expenditure of its tax dollars to be both worthwhile and important.
Though I found "Field of Schemes" to be informative and interesting, I'd also caution you against swallowing whole the authors' remarkably ignorant blanket assumption about the base intelligence level of local journalists. I live here, yes. Doesn't make me stupid.
If you read my letter first, and then his reponse, you'll notice that he doesn't really address most of my points. I'm a bit puzzled about the last two sentences. I never asked if he lived here or said that he was stupid (well, I guess I implied it). Presumably, those two sentences refer to the previous sentence about the book, "Field of Schemes". I didn't think that that book questioned the intelligence of local journalists, I think that they studied the reporting in different cities on arena issues and found a lack of investigative journalism and a willingness to print whatever the owners and developers were saying as fact. He doesn't answer my question about whether he investigated the report that concluded that Arco could not be remodeled. I like how he name drops Stanford to sound smart. Now, if you read his column from yesterday and note the desperate tone, you will see that it doesn't really match with his statement about public discussion being "worthwhile". He has already made it clear that this discussion cannot include the possibility that there will be no new arena, or that we won't pay for it. So really the discussion must just take the form of how much we will pay, and it would be "naive" to think it could be as low as fifty percent.
By the way, speaking of naive, when I was talking about the local government doing something about air quality, I realize that that is more of a county issue, or even a multi-county issue, but my point was that if people put the energy and money into that that they put into the arena issue, some progress could be made.
Thursday, September 09, 2004
There are only a few basic themes:
The (wanky) Tottenham Hotspur went to Rome...
The (wanky) Tottenham Hotspur went to Rome to see the pope,
The (wanky) Tottenham Hotspur went to Rome to see the pope,
The (wanky) Tottenham Hotspur went to Rome to see the pope,
and this is what he said - "FUCK OFF
Away in the manger...
Away in a manger,no crib for a bed,
the little Lord Jesusstood up and he said...
WE HATE TOTTENHAM,
AND WE HATE TOTTENHAM...
There were a lot of variations on this “magic hat” theme, I like to think of it as a wizard’s hat
Bergkamp's fuckin magic
He wears a magic hat
And when he saw the Arsenal
He said I fancy that
He didn't sign for Villa
Or Chelsea cause they're shite
He signed for the Arsenal
Cause they're fuckin dynamite.
You're shit, and your ground's a dump,
You're shit, and your ground's a dump,
You're shit, and your ground's a dump,
You're shit, and you got no silverwear.
I don’t get the foreskin thing, but it’s also a common theme:
We'll be walking round Highbury
With our willies hanging out
Singing I've got one more foreskin than you...
Singing I've got one more foreskin than you...
Singing I've got one more foreskinI've got one more foreskin
Singing I've got one more foreskin than you...
My one skin goes over my two skin
My two skin goes over my three.
My three skin goes over my foreskin.
Oh bring back my fore skin to me!
Bring back! Bring back!
Oh bring back my fore skin to me!(To Tottenham)
There’s no better way to show support for your team:
Get your tits out, get your tits out,
Get your tits out for the lads!
Get your tits out for the lads!
Shit on the city!!
Shit on the city tonight!
OHH AHH AHH!!
Shit on - the city.
Shit on the city tonight.
We'll say shit on the city!
Tonight lads COME ON!!
Many of the chants are personal insults against individual soccer players. I enjoyed this one cuz thanks to posh spice, I actually know who David Beckham is:
Theres only one David Beckham
One David Beckham,With a packet of sweets
And a cheeky smile
Beckham is a fucking pedophile!
Theres only one... David Beckham
Your Not Very Good
Your Not Very Good
Your not very
Your not very
Your Not Very Good
Again, with the hat insults! There is a variation on this chant for almost every team:
Ronnie Moore's a wanker
he wears a wankers hat,
and when he wears it back to front,
he looks a fuckin twat.
Is this good or bad?
You've got sweetcorn on your knob,
You got sweetcorn on your knob,
You got sweetcorn on your knob,
You got sweetcorn on your knob!
Who's ate all the pies?,
Who's ate all the pies?,
You fat bastard, you fat bastard ,
You've ate all the pies!.
Who can rob yer houses?(echo)
Violate your gran?(echo)
Sell cocaine from an ice cream van?
A scouse cunt can(echo)
This is my favorite. Are disco pants like party pants? If this is because this guy is known to wear funny pants then it is an ace insult:
Nial Quinns disco pants are the best
they go up from his waist past his chest
Nial Quinns disco pants are the best
Nial QuinnsDisco pants
A local variation on a popular American song:
Who let the Goat out?Who?Who?Who?
Geofreys van is full of clit.
Geofreys van is!
Geofreys van is
Geofreys van is full of clit
Is it? Is it really?
I assume this is sung to the tune of “Daydream Believer”:
Snort up Paul Merson
Oh what can it mean
To a cocaine dealer
In a shit football team
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
If there is one "scientific" phenomenon that bugs the crap out of me it is Koko the gorilla. Koko is brought up a lot in attacking animal research because she can supposedly communicate on a human level, thus proving that animals have "thoughts" and "feelings" just like us. I have always heard little rumblings here and there about the scientific community having doubts about Koko, so here are some issues that have come up:
Koko's trainer, Penny Patterson, has published very little about Koko in peer-reviewed scientific journals. In fact, I searched two of the major scientific databases (one of which contains just about every journal that could pertain to this subject) and found no peer-reviewed papers, only a book that Penny Patterson had written. This basically amounts to saying that you can't call this science. Your scientific peers must be able to subject your work to intense scrutiny and accept it as fact, or it's nothing. In contrast, that slightly weird lady at MIT that has been training her grey parrot to communicate for 25 years has at least 23 papers published. That parrot knows hundreds of verbal commands and can perform complicated tasks, yet would anyone put it on a "human" level? You can train a rat to punch keys in a sequence to get food, and if you wanted to you could hook these keys to a synthesizer that could produce sentences as the keys are pushed, but is the rat "talking"?
Here is an exchange between Penny and Koko:
Question: Koko are you going to have a baby in the future?
Koko signs: Pink
Patterson explains: We had earlier discussion about colors today.
Question: Do you like to chat with people?
Koko signs: Fine nipple.
Patterson explains: Nipple rhymes with people, she doesn't sign people per se, she was trying to do a "sounds like..."
Question: Does she have hair? Or is it like fur?
Koko signs: Fine.
Patterson explains: She has fine hair.
Question: Koko, do you feel love from the humans who have raised you?
Koko signs: Lips, apple give me.
Patterson explains: People give her her favorite foods.
Wow! It seems like good ol' Penny can come up with an explanation for any random thing that Koko signs! I have also heard somewhere, although I could not confirm it with a source in my limited research, that Koko's signs are very hard to read and that to most sign readers they look kind of like nonsense. Somehow only Penny can read everything that Koko signs.
There are quite a few linguists that have a problem with the idea that Koko is using language and they point out that Koko has not graduated to using even the simple syntax that a young children would use and that it is curious that some of the abilities that these marvelous talking gorillas exhibit in captivity are never seen in the wild. For instance, why aren't wild gorillas making art out of mud and sticks and whatever they have laying around?
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not against gorillas in general. I think they're great. And they have all kinds of cool behaviors like, I don't know, layin' around, sniffing their poop, jerking off, whatever, but they're animals and they don't use language in the way that humans use language.
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
So now on to Esquire Grill. I ate there last week. The block that this establishment on has been rendered really sterile and plastic, oops I mean revitalized. I went with my sister, Song. We walked in and were seated by the obligatory skanky underfed hostess with the one-shoulder tank top. The ambiance was so-so, nothing impressive. The lighting was pretty low, there was a large oil painting that looked like it had been done by an eight year old. We were seated and immediately cheesy waiter guy came over to begin his program of harassment. I ordered a glass of Paragary's chardonnay (I was so super happy to find out the Paragary is expanding his empire to include wine) and scanned the menu. I had a really hard time ordering because nothing looked good at all. As I vainly searched among the overpriced items for something I would actually like to put in my mouth, the waiter came by three times to bother us. The first time he asked if I had any questions. I said no, but apparently my eyes must have been saying yes because he came by twice more before I was ready to order. He also tried to do his cheesy flirting thing which as my sister pointed out later, may work for him normally, but it was obviously not working with us, so he needed to drop it. I finally ordered a Dungeness Crab Louie salad. My sister always raves about the mac and cheese so I got a side of that to take to Michael at the Crest. My sister ordered a ginger-honey glazed salmon fillet with mashed potatoes. Whitey (a guy named Whitey, this is not a racial slur) was working in the kitchen so he sent us a complimentary order of corn bread with some kind of flavored butter (I'm guessing chipotle). My salad was, in a word, gross. Now I'm sure this is probably a recreation of an authentic Crab Louie from the fifties, because that goes along with the Esquire Grills whole kind of traditional, meat and potatoes vibe, but there is a reason that some of the food of the fifties has fallen out of style. Some of it is nasty. Like aspic. This salad had a generous portion of crab, but it was covered, no smothered with an overly sweet, thousand island-style dressing. The romaine lettuce appeared to be a bit brown, but that could have been the lighting. The only other ingredients of the salad were avocado, egg, and capers. With a light, lemony dressing this probably would have been great. The corn bread was good, but it was very similar to an appetizer you could get at T.G.I. Fridays. My sisters salmon was your standard salmon and the mashed potatoes were an oozing pool of butter. They were actually yellow and glistening and spreading over the plate they had so much butter in them. The mac and cheese was really good when I sampled it.
Later today I hope to post a party review of Lance's party on Saturday night.
Friday, September 03, 2004
Were you born and raised in Sacramento?
Yep…that’s all I can say about that.
O.k. Interview over. So where you born? What neighborhood did you grow up in ?
I was born at Sutter General and grew up in Old Land Park, by Riverside.
What was it like growing up in Sacramento?
At first, when you’re a kid it feels like just growing up anywhere, I don’t know, I enjoyed my schools and stuff. The kids I went to preschool with I pretty much graduated high school with. That really made an impact on me, having friends for a long time.
What high school?
What was the first band that you were ever in?
I was in a band called R.M.A.B.
What does that stand for?
It’s a secret!
Sorry! That was me and Ed and then Jason D. joined and then we changed the name to the Janked and our friend Tim started playing bass and it became more of a band. Before it was a band where we’d write lyrics and say, “ok, go!” and we’d just play one snare drum and an acoustic guitar and it wasn’t really a band but we recorded all of it, (laughing) so I guess it’s kind of a band now. But the Janked was the first band I was in that tried to write songs and I just sang in that band. We were kinda goth-y.
What were the venues where you saw shows back in the day?
I think the Oasis ballroom was where I saw my first local show but that wasn’t until I was sixteen. And that was, what, the Toy Dolls I think? I never thought about Sacramento as being that musical of a place. I guess when I was in high school we were like, “well, we’ll move to San Francisco when we graduate cuz that’s where there’s shows”. Like I never really realized what was going on - I knew who the Earwigs were - and that was the only local band who I knew, and I didn’t know of any venues, although it turned out there actually were clubs - the Oasis Ballroom and Club Can’t-Tell, and that was basically it before the Cattle Club.
I used to totally buy into the whole Loft vs. the Cattle Club thing, and I was totally on the Cattle Club side and I thought the Loft was all dumpster-diving snobs or something so I was wondering what your early perspective was on all that?
I feel like I’m lucky because I missed it in a way. Because, I mean when Nar first started we didn’t have anywhere to play so we just played parking garage shows, which I’m sure you know about to some degree and then we started getting Cattle Club shows because Jerry Perry heard us or something and put us on a show so our Cattle Club shows were pretty well-attended. We actually, for a year, had a somewhat legitimate following, and we thought “oh we’re like this local band that people know about”, but then Jerry Perry just kinda stopped calling us because it was like, styles were changing or whatever. And that’s when Ironsides started doing more shows and someone was like , “look there’s all these bands that the Cattle Club won’t book anymore that want shows so why don’t you do them”. And around then the Loft was starting as well. The Loft was one of those things that started where I was like, “Oh great. It’s about time someplace like this came around” but I never really saw it as a rivalry, I think as much as some other people did, probably because I’m older. Although I do recognize that that was the best place to play because it subtracted that quality of someone in charge or someplace where you had to say, “oh hey, sorry we’re late”, or “did we sound ok?” or something like that. Though I guess Ironsides was even like that in the beginning.
Off the top of your head, can you think of a memorable show?
Well…I don’t know… I can think of the shows that might look good on paper.
Not necessarily that.
My favorite show that we ever played in Sacramento was at a party that was at Tim White and Tim Foster’s at the Pet and Puppy center because we didn’t know we were gonna be playing. There were other bands playing and we were all there so they just asked us if we wanted to play. That’s when I realized how much I psych myself out for playing, and how much of the time, like a day, or two days before, or even the day after, was taken up by going “oh, did we play ok?” or “are we going to play ok?”. Just being able to spontaneously get up there and play I felt like we were so into it and I know a lot of people that think that was one of our best shows.
What bands have you been in?
I don’t know
You can’t think of them?
Yeah, look at Dave Smith’s list.
Ok, I’ll reference it.
What are some bad things about playing in a band in Sacramento?
My initial response is “oh god there’s a lot”, but I mean I really, I don’t know. The lack of a venue is the biggest. As a band, you can pretty much adapt to any venue you’re playing at, but I feel like for the audience there’s not a good place. Where people go, and feel comfortable and excited, and that’s sort of more important to me that the audience wants to see a show. And again that’s why the Loft was good because people just felt at home there. Even a place like the Distillery, we’ll play there because we’ll get paid, and people are mellow there but when I look out when we’re playing people are just kinda standing there. It’s not like they’re necessarily bored, they just don’t look like they wanna be there. That’s my main complaint about clubs, is that they don’t take the audience into consideration – what makes them comfortable and makes them want to get into it.
Which is not a five band show that starts at midnight.
Yeah, or employees that are assholes or bouncers that tell you you can’t do something. There’s this idea that goes along with punk or rock that things are going to get out of control, which they don’t really. But there are all these people who assume that’s what’s gonna happen. Just like a place like Ironsides or, not to foster the you know, True Love “battle” but I mean I was amazed when I went to see a show there just how many rules there were, like “you have to buy this amount of drinks” or “you can’t go here” or “sit down”. Do this, do that. It surprised me. I think that small things like that make a big difference, but that’s the main thing for me. And there’s kind of a missing generation. It seems like everyone’s either 21 or 31 right now, that’s an exaggeration but there does seem to be something missing. A lot of people didn’t come up for a while and that sort of killed off a lot of enthusiasm, I think. There are people like Marie and Charles, but there are not a whole lot of people that age that are in bands or doing something.
What’s your favorite Sacramento neighborhood?
I like the old area of downtown, where the numbers and letters get smaller. I mean, I have a fondness for Old Land Park because it’s where I grew up but I don’t think I’d really want to live there now. I don’t know, a lot of downtown I really like. I’ve never lived smack in the middle like Capitol and 21st, I’ve always thought that would be cool. I like a lot of it. Where I live, which is just in to East Sac, I like it but I do have to always ride just a little bit further than I’d like to.
The drawbacks and non-drawbacks about being single in Sacramento or the dating scene.
The drawback is that there just aren’t that many people around that I don’t know that look interesting. Not saying that you shouldn’t go out with someone that you know, because that’s awesome too. But you wanna get excited like when you first fell in love with somebody. It’s hard when it’s someone that you already know all about. Then again, I’m single partially by choice. I like not having to think about someone else all the time. I pretty much retreat in to my own little world when I’m on my own &, while that’s obviously not always the greatest cuz it gets lonely, I do tend to get more done at those times. I’m also just picky - I guess I’m holding out for that perfect mixture of dorky & cool – someone who doesn’t have to go to Lipstick every week but still understands why the Bananas are good. Cuz I don’t wanna have to explain the whole deal, “well, I’m in a band and we get drunk and we play these shows but we don’t get paid” You know I just don’t want to explain that, you know, “You do what?”
I think it’s really hard to date in Sac and that’s just why we date people we already know, but when you’ve exhausted that…
People age really slowly here because of things like that. I know very few people who have gotten swept up into moving in together and going off and getting married. I’m a little bit older than a lot of people but not that much. Even old man Soriano is just finally coming around and he met a girl in San Francisco. In some ways I like that every day is just one long day here.
(laugh) That’s a quote! Do you seriously think about moving, if so where?
My biggest regret in Sacramento is that I didn’t listen to everybody six or seven years ago and move to Portland. No just kidding, and buy a house.
I really wish that I had known that. Because Sacramento is a great place to stay. People bitch when they visit and they say that there’s nothing to do and they’re right. But living, here I really like. I do wish that I had a place for all my shit and that I could just go off and do things. I was just in New York hanging out with Chaffin and it was fun but we did the same things we do here. You know we rode around and drank brews and listened to music, cracked each other up and went to some shows. It was more glamorous, a little bit, but by the end of the week he was just kinda looking at me like, “there’s nothing else to do”, you know. I like going to museums and shit like that but it doesn’t really define a place for me. I wish Sac had a little more of that, but I don’t need a lot of it. I just like to travel. I’d like to leave for a year, but I don’t think of specific places where I want to go for a year, I just wanna go around. That’s really vague. That’s a classic Sacramento answer.
That’s what I think. Cuz basically you do the same shit everywhere, and it’s whether you know people someplace or not.
It’s almost like there’s more of an embarassment of living in Sac than there is a dislike of living in Sac. Everyone feels like they should leave and if they haven’t left….
I’ve gotten over that personally. I don’t feel like that anymore.
I mean, even our dogs in SF, like Margaux or Jenny or something. It’s almost like they’re glad they moved and they’re happier when they come back and visit because they don’t have to think about it - they left.
They come back every weekend though!
Or what the chkchkchk dudes did, I mean they were smart, but they did it Sac-style, they did it as a gang. If ten of my friends were gonna move somewhere, I’d go. I wish people were in a state of mind to do that. I’m never gonna start bands that I’m as into somewhere else. Or meet people. I have friends all over the place just from touring. And I could definitely live in New York for a couple of months, but whatever, my life isn’t gonna change that dramatically unless I meet a rich woman or something.
That’s sort of like the biggest complaint of everyone. I like the Waterboy a lot, that’s somewhere I go with my mom. Where do I eat? I go to the Black Cat a lot.
I only ate there once and it was gross.
I like it. I generally go out to eat by myself a lot, so I take that into consideration. If I can sit somewhere and read or if it doesn’t seem like a “just one?” type of thing. I go to Morelia’s on the K street mall all the time. There’s not a whole lot of places.
You have to go out into the suburbs.
Definitely. When I was going out with Lisa we ate the best food of my entire life because we were driving out into the burbs all the time. And that made me realize that it really just is the downtown where there’s no good food.
Where’s your favorite thrift store?
I guess it changes. I like the Salvation Army off of Stockton by Florin.
The secret one.
Yeah, I like that one. There’s only a few I hate. I hate Next Time - I never find anything there. And I hate that Deseret by Skip’s.
More recent changes in Sac and how do you feel about them as far as your future living here?
Everyone I know is of the opinion that all the changes that are being made are bad. It’s so expensive and the kinds of people that are around these days are just more shitty. I moved downtown in ’86 and it seemed so cool to me. It was like, “wow, I haven’t been downtown except to go to church”, and it just seemed so sweet. I thought of it in my mind as hip but it was never like, “oh, that bohemian area”. Through the nineties it got categorized as that. And now there’s so many - I don’t even want to call them yuppies. There’s not even a word for them anymore. It’s just Paragary’s people. They’re all around now. What you could call the Bohemian feel of downtown is just not there anymore but there’s nowhere else to go. In a bigger place that’s more connected, there’s just sort of a natural migration. Here, downtown is kinda it - you can see people going like, “well, maybe oak park, or maybe del paso heights” but I don’t know that those neighborhoods have the same appeal. Basically, it’s getting so expensive but it doesn’t merit being that expensive. Like there’s a house that I saw in your neighborhood today and I’d kinda like to live in a house again someday and it was $1600 and it was shitty! That’s what makes me sad about it. If I don’t feel at home in Sacramento I’m fucked because it’s the only place I’ve ever felt at home. Those qualities, you know, they do worry me.
Favorite band in Sac now and all time?
I don’t have a favorite right now. Not one that stands out. There are about five that I like equally. I really like the Knightmares. I feel like every time I see them they sound different but they always like the Knightmares. I think Knock Knock is really rad. I like the Feeling, except when they sound like a Harlow’s band, like 10% of the time.
Do you want me to cut that out?
(laughing) No, I don’t care. I was at Ironsides and they played this song and I saw all the Harlow’s girls that were bored and waiting for them to finish start dancing. I like Daisy Spot a lot, although they never play. I thought Lyme Regis was really good although I’ve only seen them once. It’s not like hoppin’ in the way I would like it to be, but I’m as much a part of that problem as anyone else. The bands I start never get it together to play. As far as all time favorites, it’s hard to say. When the Pretty Girls first started I was really into them. I’ve always thought Daisy Spot was awesome. At every point since I’ve lived here there’s always some band I’m amped on. Oh the Four Eyes. The Four Eyes are the best band.
OK, I usually close up with asking about thoughts on the Kings or predictions for the Kings this season.
I think like everyone else, I’m worried about it. At the beginning of the last season everyone was like, “they’re gonna fuckin’ suck” and watching the first game got me so high because everyone was playing really well, so I have this hope that we’re going to watch the first game this year and they’re gonna kick ass. I haven’t lost the fever, well I’ve lost it a little bit, my fever went down a degree.
Thursday, September 02, 2004
oh yeah, sorry people can't make comments. if anyone knows how i can fix this could you let me know?
The Sacramento police dept. has released pictures and locations of 18 "high-risk" sex offenders here:
Hmmm...no one looks familiar, although there is one guy that lives at 14th and T. Howdy neighbor! There are two guys that seem to live in the same house (now there's an idea for a reality TV show!) that' s pretty close to my old house at 26th and U. The weird thing is, it looks like they live in Curtis Park. I wonder if it's a halfway house. Well, anyway the people that the PD deem high-risk seem to only attack juveniles. So I can't check on all the adult rapers. I have mixed feelings about this Megan's law kind of stuff. It does seem like maybe the only people pictured and tracked should be the ones who attack kids. I basically treat every stranger on the street as a potential rapist, anyway. That sounds really bad, but what I mean is, I watch people to see if they're getting too close, I won't really help men too much with directions (by this I mean I won't get really close to their car if I can't hear them too well) or fixing their car or anything, cuz why would they ask me and not some other dude? And I know that some registered sex offenders have to register for statutory rape. It's weird that you have a right to know where a rapist lives, but not a murderer or violent burglar or anything.
Speaking of rape, Kobe's statement was so creepy. I guess he's just laying the groundwork for an out of court settlement. I'm sure he doesn't really stay up at night crying for what his accuser has been through.
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Originally uploaded by becklerg.
This sign wins my vote for worst political protest sign ever. It's simply repulsive. It conjures up a horrible mental picture and it really makes no coherent political statement. Maybe is she left out the word "my" it would have made more sense but with that word in it seems like she's just confessing to an embarassing hygiene problem. Why do left-wingers have to do shit like this at protests? Why the giant Uncle Sam puppet smoking a joint? Why do we always have to talk about freeing Mumia? When I've been at protests they're always trying to make us chant stupid shit, and there was one march where they forced us to stop, crouch down, and then all get up and start running. We ran for a short distance and they wanted us to crouch down and repeat the cycle. I wanted to die. How was that going to bring affirmative action back? The thing that sucks is that we really have no legitimate avenues to effect anything (due to low balance in the bank account), and no one gives a shit about the protests unless it is to just laugh at the spectacle. Sigh.
The other day Scott made a joke about the movie "maria full of grace" sounding like a porno title or that the porno could be called "grace full of maria". That got me started thinking about other current movies and their porno titles:
code 46=too easy, code 69
garden state=hardon state
the cunting of the president
riding giants doesn't really need to be changed and neither does anaconda
alien fucks predator
a home at the end of the world=a bone at the end of the world or a bone at the end of the bed
the princess diaries 2: the princess has anal sex
ok, that one was a stretch (heh-heh) and i guess i can't think of any more