Wednesday, February 22, 2017


My friend Aaron Gilbreath (the guy who wrote the lengthy Tiki Men arcticle) loves traveling in Japan, and I urged him to go to Ganja/Acid in Osaka. He did and wrote this piece, which captures the vibe quite well. I almost wonder if the same guy was at the bar when we were there, except that my recollection is that that guy didn't know English very well. He knew it well enough to translate, but this guy sounds more fluent. I feel like I would have figured out he took photos for a host bar, too, but who knows?
Man, I really want to go back to Japan. We might go this fall. We are weighing a couple of ideas, but it's always so fun there.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

I'm in it for free mochi

I did indeed make all three events, after a fashion. If the fashion is that I stayed at the last one for maybe 15 minutes. It seemed pretty windy-downy at that point.
There is a new proposed UCD Chancellor, if the regents vote to approve. Gary May. He received Obama's presidential award for excellence in STEM mentoring, has instituted many programs for STEM students of color, AND he credits Star Trek for sparking his interest in engineering, so that sounds pretty, pretty good to me! The fact that they are going for another person from the field of engineering (after Katehi) makes it seem like UCD would still like to be a big player in that scene. That's the direction Katehi was going.
Made it to the Crocker for the Day of Remembrance event. I got free mochi and sake. People were definitely tearing up during Doris Matsui's speech. Her parents met, married, and she was born in a camp in Arizona. Watched the taiko drumming but couldn't see the photo exhibit or Japanese ceramics because it was too crowded. Quite a successful event. The orange specter was hanging over everything, and was mentioned, but not by name.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Three events?!?!

I really don't want to work today. I am, but I don't want to, so I need lots of breaks. I actually started a writing exercise that isn't due until March 6th today, so I feel very proud of myself.
Has anyone noticed how Alley Katz has a jank plastic sign on it now that says "The Bunker" and that it's open, but that the "grand opening" is in a couple of weeks. Perhaps the owner got too much feedback that calling it "The Brig" was too similar to calling it "The Bolt" or "The Stud" or something. It's military-themed. Whatever that means. Whatever is going on there I want to check it out. And now it has wings! The real shocker is that Alley Katz did not have wings.
I found out there is a third thing going on Saturday, in addition to a bday party and Ganglians, and a DJ from Frankfurt, Philip Lauer, who I'm guessing is probably good. Mike C. is somehow behind it so that seems like a good bet. I guess theoretically one could attend three events in one night.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Kings blow it

I watched the third quarter yesterday just in time to see the Kings blow it big time. The Warriors went on like a 21-0 run. The funny thing is, we watched it at Bar West and it's actually a decent place to watch a game! They had multiple good beers on, tons of TVs, and it wasn't crowded at all. I guess it's my new spot.
I went to Bar West after seeing the Pinter play at Cap Stage. I would give it a mixed rating. It's good, not great. A bit of a trifle. The acting was solid. I think the problem was really with the play, but I guess this is the only Pinter I've seen, and don't think I've read any.
The Crocker is having a day-long event on Sunday (I already posted about it) to commemorate the order that led to the internment of Japanese-Americans. I just read the SNR piece about it, and was happy to see that Kiyo Sato, who wrote a book I reviewed in maybe the first thing I ever wrote for SNR, is still alive at 95, and still talking to kids about the camps. Ha ha I see that I am always looking for a way to work "frisson" into stuff that I write, I need to quit that.
Ganglians reunion at the Starlite on Saturday as well. With The Rippers

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I love LA

I went to LA this weekend and it was verrryyyy fun. Airbnbed in Echo Park, the airbnb was cool but we didn't hang there, just used the proximity to other areas. The family lived over the studio and there was some demon child who woke up early and seemed to be at various times: playing a stringed instrument, dragging concrete blocks across the floor, etc.
Friday was an epic drinking sesh that culminated in a hazy trip to Jumbo's Clown Room. Other spots hit up were: Cole's, Buzzed (beer store with taps), The Last Book Store (buzzed book buying), Las Perlas (a mescal bar that always gets me in trouble, they have the best cocktails tho) and then JCR. I was not a fan of Jumbo's, but one girl did dance to the Stone Roses so that was memorable. I managed to spend every single damned dollar I had, but luckily did not hit up the ATM. I didn't eat anything after Cole's French dip at 3pm (mediocre) and then had a slice of lemon meringue pie at midnight, which I sort of remember. Hilarious night, and did not feel too bad the next day, considering.
Saturday we went to coffee in Silverlake, home of the felt floppy hats for both men and women, ate breakfast at Silverlake Ramen (the tsukemen was decent but not outstanding), and then went to the Broad. The Broad is great, really good collection with tons of the hits, manageable size and free! The Jeff Koons tulips piece is irresistibly fun. I don't know how it could be resisted. There were more women represented in the collection than at the new SFMOMA space, which was nice. We had to put our name in to see the Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room and then leave and come back. You only get 45 seconds. I saw it (or some incarnation of it) at the Tate a few years back and I don't remember getting 45 seconds, but maybe that was the case. Anyway, it's worth it. I felt at one with the universe and very friendly towards myself, like I wanted to shake my own hand. That's not often a feeling I have.
Waiting 95 minutes (!) to get a table at Night Market + Song and concluded it was like Hawker Fare but not as good. But still good! But not worth waiting that long. The Kao Soy at almost any Lao place is better. Good wine list, but no good beer and to me that kind of food doesn't go very well with wine.
Blah blah, next day hit up Canter's. I probably should branch out and not always go to Canter's but I love it so much. A chopped liver/pastrami sandwich and matzoh ball soup was all I needed to eat for the day. Then home!

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Spray the Champagne

Went to see the Kings last night with some peeps and I was all bummed that Cousins was suspended but that actually made the game super fun to watch and they blew out the Celtics! The trio of Collison, Cauly-Stein and Barnes had hustle and flow. And no babyman getting T-ed up or running off the court like a little bitch. I had two good brews (Bike Dog and Fieldwork) and a vegan sausage from Lowbrau, which was pretty good. Pretty similar to what you can get there. I was going to go with the duck fat fries, because I used to love those when I would go to Low Brau, but they looked totally different so I demurred.

I watched the recent Noisey episode on Atlanta rap and some observations are that Young Thug is a total dick and Lil Yachty is an actual big nerd. Their Atlanta series from a year or so ago was really good, but I'm surprised they would have this one hosted by a different generic white guy, one who really adds nothing. Why not blow minds and have, oh, I don't know, a woman of color hosting? Too crazy, right? Migos are so cool looking and I listened to Spray the Champagne today for the first time (from a mixtape from last year that I haven't listened to) and they are really deconstructing rap in this brilliant way. The chorus is like an incantation. I love it! I have to watch the series "Atlanta", I hear it's really good.
Aw man, I think Werner Herzog is gonna be at SFMOMA tomorrow night, but I'll be in LA. Oh well, it's sold out anyway. SFMOMA is showing a ton of good films coming up, I think I might buy tickets to see "the land of silence and darkness" just in case so it won't sell out. Driving to SF on a Thursday night is rough, though. Oh crap and it's at 6? I just watched Fata Morgana recently, or should I say, I just slept through it recently.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Lily's show

The Lilys are playing at Starlite tomorrow! Four band show (drats). I saw them in NY last year and they were super good, but that club Baby's All Right were having some kind of ventilation problem and even though it was April it was too hot for me to stand it in there. I've been to enough house shows in the summer to say that it was truly intolerable. Check out this show!

The Bananas are playing the Knockout on Saturday. I wasn't positive that was where it was, but then I found out the The List is still active. Yay for pre-Facebook resources!

SacTown Mag did a listicle for their cover story of 30 dishes in Sac you should try before you die. The cover is a squeezeburger, which is fitting, because the one time I ate one I felt like I was going to die. Overall, lists are fun, but it's too heavy on sweets and there isn't a single Vietnamese dish in there. Jimboy's taco got a great picture and a full page, though.

I like the Weeknd, but every time I hear him I think about Swifty's tweet (relayed through Smiller) that Weeknd songs are like Michael Jackson D sides and I laugh.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Art Street: is it a street

Last night I took a Lyft from Obo to my house, and the Lyft (yes I stopped using Uber) driver said, wait for it, "you are my first ride". Last time I took an Uber from my house to Obo (I don't like the food at all, but others I dine with do, and South had a line last night that looked to be about a half hour, although I wish we had just waited in it), the Uber driver said I was his first ride and proceeded to take a series of jawdropping moves, culminating in an illegal U-turn right in front, and when I got out of the car a woman outside said, "what was that damned fool up to?" Last night the guy was whiteknuckling it, literally sweating, and pulling moves like stopping at green lights on a turn. I was trying to reassure him that it's just a grid system. He was from Arden area, so I'm not sure why he was so stressed! Anyway, being an Uber or Lyft driver obviously sucks because people seem to try it out for a couple of days and then quit.

I'm hopefully going to Art Street Friday? I don't really know what it is. I thought it was actually a street. Is it a fake street? Not a street at all?
Aww man, Hawker Fare in Oakland is closing??? That is one of my favorite places. Scott got sick after we ate there, but since there were four in our party and we all ate the same thing it must not have been from there. I figured he would have a bad association and not want to go back. I'm gonna have to find a way to eat there one more time. I loved how they always had Faction pale on, which is great with their spicy salty fare.