Thursday, December 26, 2013


Whew, UCD is like a ghost town. Jeez, between Heckarap and having to get up early on Christmas Eve day and Christmas Day to do Xmas stuff and then the U st party I am pretty exhausted. Then I got to work at 830 and I couldn't even get into my building. It's pretty pointless for me to be here. After all, 90% of my work is lab reviews or the resulting paperwork (the other 10% is meetings which are not happening either) and if you think a single professor has scheduled a review before the 2nd you don't know professors. Cushest job in the world! And super overpaid IMHO. Almost everyone at UCD is overpaid IMHO. Overpaid on the backs of the students.

I was spoiled because I have had these two weeks of work off (without having to use vacation) for the previous 10 years and before that I was in college when we got, what? 4 weeks off? This is the time of year when smiller used to get bitter that nothing good was on the internet but now he does not have time for the internet.

Anyone else at work? Natalie? Can you amuse me with what is going on at the work desk right now?
We have a new Xmas tradition where I make a dish called "Spanish chicken" for Scott's dad. Scott's grandma Juanita used to make it. A Welsh woman named Juanita. It's if really funny 60s food but I doctor it up. It calls for two entire cans of Campbells cream soup and a pound and a half of cheese. I make my own white sauce supplemented by a little cream of mushroom. It has tortilla strips, salsa, olives, muschrooms and chicken in it. I did not use canned mushrooms.

Monday, December 23, 2013

rich boy

Pretty into playing this song tonight at Heckarap.

Four Eyes...well if you were there you know and if you won't you will never understand. I enjoyed the arm wrestling contest after the show. I enjoy also that people think I am strong although I totally am not. I give the impression of strength I guess.

Friday, December 20, 2013

todd barry

I get to interview Todd Barry for the SNR! Hope he's nice! This is funny! He will be at the comedy spot jan 17th and 18th

Wednesday, December 18, 2013



And here I am worrying about stupid crap like R. Kelly and whether I have gone from hating the songs "cookie" to possibly thinking it is the best "lollipop" sounding song since Lil Wayne recorded "lollipop" which in itself is the best use of autotune ever so that would maybe make the other second best.

I'm very excited and then two nights later is Heckarap. I spend two hours recording some more music for it yesterday on my outdated gonkulator system. That system is fine except last time I got drunk and kept dropping all my cds on the ground and they might be scratched. I still need to check if they are.

Plus, Charles and Stine got engaged!! Yay!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

debate it on facebook

I've deleted two posts because I wanted to take down the album review one and then another one because I got too defensive. I won't post about R. Kelly any more here or on facebook. But here is not the place to talk about that article.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

blah blah blah

I had a really good dinner at hook and ladder yesterday. I'm not sure if the food got better, but I think a big factor is that giving up the food critic hat means I can just be ok with ok food if it's because it's a neighborhood spot (or in the case of h and l a pleasant 30 minute walk from my house). The kale salad was more than ok, with a ton of parm and whole boquerones on top, and the pizza was damn good too.  I'm guessing gas oven rather than wood-fired (I was chatting so didn't really examine it) but the burrata and fresh oregano topping is a really good combo.

I am not trying to stir anything up, but Bill Burg has been getting a lot of press for his assertion that what our central city needs is the return to the downtown dense population we used to have. To get back there we need what, like 30,000 people (I am having trouble finding the exact number that is being quoted). To put it succinctly: fuck that. I consider Bill a genius, but I would not want to live in that city. If it's sprawl or doubling the population of downtown/midtown I say sprawl, for yes, purely selfish reasons. I realize that.

Let's call a Sac a Sac and admit that there will be some awesome things brought in from growth downtown, but mostly lame lip service to smart growth and chains. Do you know how mad it makes me that BevMo is going in? (although I am less mad since they can't skirt the stupid single bottle law - hopefully they will push to end it. I assumed they would get a special exemption). Yeah, sure a cheap six pack here and there instead of the horrible selection at safeway, but will add nothing besides that.

 Are there a lot of people who live in sprawl areas who would love to live downtown or close in older, connected to downtown suburbs but can't afford it and would like to live in new apartments instead? I'm sure some but really how many? My experiences with coworkers in Davis is that they either choose Natomas or Woodland for cheap big housing and never come downtown except sometimes to visit the Mermaid Bar or Pizza Rock. I know there are reasons that people make these choices for schools and things, but if it's a family that wants a house, those aren't going to be built anyway. Dense housing is not going to make old downtown houses any more affordable.

Many many things were different in Sacramento at the time of this dense population including mostly local businesses instead of chains and no mall (and no big arena where the mall stands now). Will Sac really ever get smart about public transportation? Probably not. The other day I was over by Richards and watched the empty light rail green line come and go but we still don't have light rail to the airport.

Some of these points have nothing to do with the others.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

it's a rambler

The not-ripping-it-up streak is raging on, which is really a contradiction. Black Panties dropped today, which I know because R. Kelly s/texted me. Just bought it off iTunes. Don't have high hopes but we'll see.

I went to maker's mart at bows on Sunday. I think there's something similar at Delta Workshop on Saturday. These fairs really are a good place to pick up gifts. I am going on Saturday to get more bottled kombucha, since Zeal Kombucha ran out of their bottles at maker's mart. This shit is good! I was so impressed. I wish I had more people to gift it to but I have at least one person in mind. Nutty flavors that work: maybe some astringent green tea, maybe some woodruff, maybe some Persian dried lemons, all kinda stuff.

The maker's mart was a cute contrast to the hell that is Christmas shopping in our retail-worshipping country. I looked all over the mall and natomas (I was out there to see a movie any way, see below) for a simple item that I thought would be everywhere, a quality version of this basic classic item (can't spoil the surprise) instead I was confronted by acre upon acre of ugly stupid garbage. In some of the stores if someone blindfolded you and walked you in there you would be hard pressed to distinguish it from a Goodwill. It was really depressing. And I went home empty handed. The shopping megaliths (is that a thing) in Natomas are so insane that I kept getting lost driving around looking for a specific store.

I was out there watching Narcocultura, thanks to DB's endorsement. It's a top-ten documentary on my list, but not for the faint of heart. The two things are the Mexican drug carnage, told through the eyes of a forensic cop in Juarez, and the rise of the Narcocorridos , which ya know, really, if you haven't heard of this stuff it's pretty involved to explain. Wow the new York times harshed on it with a dismissive "this stuff has been covered elsewhere". I think this exemplifies the callous attitude towards the distressing carnage going on with the country that is most intertwined with ours. I feel like it's not getting through to anyone here in power so so what if it's being repeated and anyway I don't know what they're talking about.

I could go on and on. I'm really distressed and I wish there was something I can do. A couple of years ago Juarez had about 3500 murders in a city of 1.5 million and right across the river El Paso had 6. That is fucked. Looks like things are improving a bit. As far as I know Pena Nieto has tried to step back from waging war, and the return to the PRI party was supposed to get things back to corruption as usual rather than the all-out war between cartels. I know I've talked about this on here in the past. Maybe someone reading has more up to date info than me. My mom seems to never want to tell me if anything bad is going on in Mazatlan, except for the one time maybe four years ago when she told me not to visit for a while. One of the big three cartels is from Culiacan, which is 70 miles from Mazatlan, and for a while I think the violence moved south and then left again.

Monday, December 09, 2013

honey pics

I in fact did not rip it all this weekend, still continued my streak of staying in in the biting cold (which I am loving - a real winter finally). Below see that we are still enjoying the delicious honey we got from Bee Local in Portland. We bought a honey dipper so that we could drizzle (ugh that word sucks) without making a mess. Paired it with some pt. reyes blue. Also see below the new Faction Brewing taphouse/brewery in Alameda at the military base. The view of SF from there is incredible. It's in the same row as St. George Spirits. Picked up a bottle of their absinthe and I forgot how above and beyond it is. No need to drink it any other way than with an icecube and a tiny splash of water.

Anyway, Faction: excellent hoppy brews. I tried two special ones, but not the flagship one yet. Lowbrau recently tapped a Defcon 3, so expect to see these beers here soon. Exciting brewery and a stop to add to your list especially if you are also visiting Drake's or the Trappist.  Bottom pic is pretty self-explanatory.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Wow Alice Munro. The nobel committee knew what they were doing here, unlike past years. C'mon, Nadine Gordimer and Doris Lessing and V.S. Naipaul? Srsly? I guess. None of those three are my faves. I like them all, Lessing probably the least.

ZUH William Golding in 1983?!? For a pretty good young adult novel? Lagerkvist,eh? I read the Sibyl and didn't have any idea her was a big dude. WEIRD book.

I digress. Alice Munro rocketed to the top of maybe my top ten list with this first book of short stories I am reading. Either she just thinks about life and people the same way I do and is kind of seeing into my head and that's why I like it, or it is just incredible. Either way, I love it. The New Yorker just printed an old story cuz of the Nobel, set in a nursing home and there is another one in the book and they are beautiful. The interrelationships of women in her stories is just beyond beyond insightful and fascinating.

Can you tell I haven't been going out much? Just posting about books and movies. I am ready to rip it up at least once this weekend. And then start again.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Jonathan Richman ~ When Harpo played his Harp ~ live circa 1987

Also, let's not forget this. Who is that awkward woman?

I shot an elephant in my pajamas

It's probably not news to some of you that the Marx Brothers are the fucking funniest, but you might need reminding. I got Animal Crackers in the mail and it was one of those sneaky movies that creeps to the top of the queue over years and I'm like "crap, I don't feel like watching this". Boy was I wrong. The opening scene is a stupid musical number for that song hello I must be going and when it started I thought that the humor from 1930 was probably not going to be something I could relate to. But then once Groucho started in I was sold. Not to mention the genius of Harpo. Not to mention the fake Italianness of Chico. There's a really funny scene where he calls out a guy for masquerading as a gentile and the guy calls him out for pretending to be Italian. Zeppo whatevs.

I liked these movies as a kid and I was tripping on thinking about the fact that it was 44 years old when I was born which is the equivalent to a movie filmed in 1969 today. Woah trip out. No I was not stoned.

And that's all my news. I turned in a thing about the pusha t show to SNR and then had anxiety about it last night that I had blathered on about the Clipse for too long and not said enough about the show and then it was too late to add more. I also need to start my article for Edible.