Monday, December 28, 2015

George and Martha

I desperately needed a new banner photo and my mind was blank and I just threw this one up there, to get that other one down. Smiller and I recently watched Night Of The Iguana (I have mixed feelings about it), but I was loving Richard Burton and we talked about Virginia Woolf so I thought of this. Voila! Why doesn't anyone locally produce any Albee plays? I've never seen one live. I'm excited Big Idea Theater is going to produce The Motherfucker With The Hat in a couple of weeks.
OK, so this Tamaya story is just the weirdest, in that, really, you can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to a space and the cops aren't even going to investigate? It obviously looks like the Tamaya owners, or maybe employees who didn't get paid or something. They poured cement down the drains, so how about looking to see who bought cement right before this, Columbo? This story is just bizarre for what is not said in it.
I just noticed Eatuscany Café (not into the name!) yesterday and here is this very fun to read review. JB does well with the dis reviews, could have used a better closer but hey it's got a great opener. I just don't really eat gelato so I may not go there. You know what I do eat - Russell Stover candies that my boss gave me because I am bored at work and everything on campus is closed so I can't get a snack. I feel sick.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Stephen Glass of chocolate

Wow, if you care about such things, this four part article on a couple of fake bean-to-bar (yes, it's a thing) Brooklyn chocolatiers is hilarious. They are accused of being the Milli Vanilli of chocolate, and even dying their beards. It's funny, just yesterday I noticed that they were selling these bars at Insight and that I knew it had some crazy backstory, and then this article came out.
The Four Eyes Christmas show was super fun. I did not get as wasted as past years nor freak the light up Christmas tree, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and was not hungover yesterday! One of the best nights of the year, reliably.
I recommend Spotlight if you like long movies about journalism. Such an honorable profession, it's too bad that it's withering on the vine.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015


It's not online quite yet, but I have a piece in the SNR coming out this afternoon that's on Celebration
Arts, the African-American arts organization founded by the legendary James Wheatley. I just looked online to try and link it and I saw that besides the Kyle Kinane thing I wrote in March 2015, I haven't had anything in the SNR in over a year! Can that be true? It's really important to me to get back to writing something every once in a while. My transition to my "new" job (it's been 2 1/2 almost 3 years), and my actual new position (5-6 months) has been ROUGH. I am settling in a bit, so thanks to those who have supported me and listened to my whinging. Glad to get back on the horse, and thankful that editors still want me to write!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Hmong New Year report

Yeah, Hmong New Year! Did not roll with a crew this year, just my wonderful husband, who is my favorite accomplice for eating adventures. What more solid foundation could a marriage be built on? That's some bomb-ass Hmong sausage. Nice lemongrass flavor, and the meat was very finely chopped, so you didn't get those not-always-appetizing big chunks of fat. We also got the pork chop/rib thingy that comes all cleavered up. Both came with Hmong chile, which is mostly just chilies and fish sauce. What more do you need?
I was not going to get papaya salad, but then we got in a line for a place that had Kao Poon (which is a soup) that they advertised as "Changmai style". That intrigued me and the picture didn't reveal much about what it actually was. Then as we waited...and waited...and realized that everyone in line was there for the papaya salad. The woman in front of us told us it was rumored to be the best. A woman in back of us said she had waited an hour the day before and was now back for more. I am not a huge papaya salad lover, but we had to try it. And no one seemed to be getting the kao poon anyways. Guess what? It was truly the best papaya salad I've ever had. I don't know the difference, but the fish sauce had lots of little crab bits in it, and they also put an intense amount of lime. And a substance that was either sugar or a sugar/MSG mixture. I vote for the mixture because it was so savory. Yum!

 How rad are these Hmong novelty tees? The blow me one is for some instrument, and the Hmong Bong is, IDK, another instrument? Something that you smoke ceremonially? There were a lot of people selling herb and stick bundles that looked to be for ceremonial burning.
This year marked my second straight year of leaving my phone in the car, so not many pictures. These are cute ladies doing the cute ball toss ritual.
Oh man, what about that story about James Deen, the porn star? You following that? I have always agreed with something I read that James Deen is like a 4 in the regular world but a 9 or 10 in the porn world, and he's Jewish, too! But sounds like he is a rapist, crappy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hmong New Year!!

I almost forgot about it! That's how crazy distracted I am, mostly by work in my new #officelyfe #meetinglyfe
That's right, this weekend at Cal Expo (and Friday), just when you don't want to be eating a bunch, there's an event with the best festival food around. Make sure to go! It is awesome. Better even than a meeting that ends early. Hell, better than when a meeting you are dreading gets CANCELLED.

Friday, November 20, 2015

so mad

One month later, and only anger has brought me out of blogging retirement. Anger against....Thai Basil. Seriously, fuck that place!!! The only reason I was going to eat Thai in my neighborhood was because I was going to see A Doll's House at CapStage with my mom and didn't have much time. So, my thoughts turned to Coconut. Which is our local spot, which has a funny pseudo-focus on craft beer and had bottles of Blind Pig at one point. It's really popular. It was mysteriously closed, which turned out to be due to a rodent infestation. Sooooo....right across the street is Thai Basil. The menu is weird and not appealing. I knew pad thai was a no no because odds were it would be cloyingly sweet. The only place I like pad thai is Asian Café. We got a shrimp and chicken spicy noodle salad, fried egg rolls (like I said, not a lot on the menu sounded good), a curry with eggplant, and a green curry of some boring kind with tofu.  The food took quite a while. It was loud in there, because the place is so inexplicably popular.
Our noodle salad was just...ugly. Soupy sauce, had TWO SHRIMP in it (served to a table of three). A few sad herbs tossed in, including a big chunk of cilantro with long stem. The green curry was basically soup. Tasteless soup with not much in it. The rice was even dry and not tasty. The whole thing was just bullshit. And the kicker? Subtracting the beer - our meal was like 60 bucks before tip! It wasn't even particularly filling. I have not had a meal make me that angry since the Head and I went to the Dime, and that was like, two years ago or more.
A Doll's House was good - it's very long. The woman playing Nora was fucking great. I need to read the play. I'm confused by how weak the supporting characters were, and can't tell if it was because of the adaptation. Of course they had to fuck with the era, and set it in the late 1940s instead of the 1870s, which I think weakened the radical punch of it. At least they didn't make it post-apocalyptic like they did Macbeth!!! Still CapStage is on a roll with their first two plays of the season. I guess the article about Mr. Burns is going to be on the cover of American Theater, which is a really big deal in the theater community.

Friday, October 23, 2015


Wow, what a week! KJ is out!! YESSSSSS!!! I have been waiting for this day for so long. I can barely remember what it was like before him but I can't wait to find out what it's like when he's gone. Get lost, creep!
I had a brief trip to New York last week. I pretty much forgot to take pictures, probably because my battery was often low. I packed a lot into a couple of days. I should remember that short trips to New York are ok. You can take that Jet Blue nonstop and it's not that far, and you can do so much in 2-3 days. I walked the High Line with Gballs, brunched with Chapstick, went to the sprawling, overstuffed Jim Shaw show at the New Museum (great review here), went to Grand Central Oyster Bar which is pretty much on my top ten of best places. Had a cannoli at Fortunato Bros, a bastion of Italian-American, unhipsterfied Williamsburg.
At Grand Central I had the New York-to-the-max server guy pick me out some raw ones, and my favorite (which I ordered two more of) was the Belon, which is large and flat. Then I had a cherrystone clam pan roast. I didn't know exactly what pan roast is, but it's a delectable soup/stew, cream-based, with chile and paprika, some big, chewy clams, and a piece of toast in the middle. I asked how it was so delicious and he said the recipe was from 1913. That's the kind of answer I like! I had it with an ice-cold martini made from Green Hook Ginsmith's American Dry Gin. I need to get a bottle. It was served in a teeny martini glass with a little carafe of "extra" on the side. I was in absolute heaven.
On Saturday night !!! were having an album release party on Avenue A and I stayed up all night there, well I slept from 4-5 am at my airbnb, and then headed to the airport. That's how you maximize two days in New York!

Friday, October 09, 2015

Shirkin' not workin'

I'm shirking work today because it's Friday and I have three meetings to look forward to. I just turned in a piece I wrote for a safety newsletter and it referenced a gripping document called "Why didn't the custodian pick up my trash?". See, I am still a "creative". HATE that term. Too many "creatives" not enough people with real skills. I myself have no real skills so I shouldn't talk.

I had a beer at Empress last night that I knew nothing about and it was fucking great. It is brewed by Grimm Artisanal Ales (?) and it's called Rainbow Dome. It's a hazy apricot sour aged in oak barrels and dry hopped. Hopped sours are hard but when it's done right they're my fave. Cuvee de champions from Cantillon is in my top 5 favorite beers. And it's only 5% ABV which makes me even more confused about how I got so drunk last night. Had a Bike Dog Mosaic and a Thornbridge Jaipur at Pangaea last night (the Jaipur is 10% but it was a tulip) and then the Rainbow Dome. At that point I started to gush about Smiller because I miss him because he's in SoCal for work (getting hella instagram props and hashtags from beer bros). Then I went up to Thiemann and drank a swig out of his glass of Wild Turkey without asking. Nice move, rudenik! Split the burger at Pangaea and it is indeed the bomb and comes with McDonald's-esque fries (which is a good thing). Had a bite of the fried chicken and greens and I will be getting that sometime. Then scarfed up a pumpkin bon bon and nutty cone from Gunther's and off to Empress. Oh yeah, and I ate a Parker House roll. Those smell incredible. I love Empress so much.

The two flavors of the month at Gunther's are pumpkin (meh) and licorice, which is insane. It is dark green and tastes like eating a frond on an anise plant (is that what those are called?) or Fernet or something. I didn't want more than a sample because it's so strong but now I can't stop thinking about it.

Friday, October 02, 2015

KJ's shitbaggery, explained

You have to go 20 minutes into this Deadspin podcast (titled "Kevin Johnson's shitbaggery, explained) for them to start talking about KJ (although I ended up listening to the first 20 minutes which was a pretty funny dissection of a recent choking incident in baseball), but it's worth checking out. For some reason they did not bring in McKenna, the Deadspin reporter who is an expert on KJ, and it's obvious they don't have much more than a passing acquaintance with the scandal. It's painful to realize that as a concerned citizen I am forced to be an expert in KJ's Machiavellian dealings and general sleaziness. They get the outlines pretty much right and throw in a shoutout to the SNR in the end and a funny dismissal of KJ's "heroic" saving of the Kings. They marvel at how KJ has not been brought down by his many, many scandals and conclude that if he was mayor of New York or another, more prominent politician he'd be long gone. It's true, all Weiner did was send a dick pic!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hawker Fare

I am eating at Hawker Fare in Oakland tonight! Very excited. My last meal there was the bomb. I can only have one drink due to driving but hopefully they will have some Faction on like last time.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Hot Sac Nights

I had such a fun Sac weekend. I saw the Mr. Burns play at Cap Stage on Friday - I recommend it. There is maybe a week left in the run. It's about a post-apocalyptic society (stay with me here), in which the Simpsons becomes social currency (stay with me her) and the entire third act is musical (you still with me?) I found it to be surprisingly poignant. The play is critically acclaimed but has been very divisive for audiences. I fell on the "love" side instead of the "hate" side.

Saturday I went to Empress and ended up there for over 4 hours, till well past close. I spent too much and drank to much but it was SO FUN and the food was all the bomb. Nuts. I split the prime rib, which was juicy and had a piquant horseradish sauce. Am I using piquant right? I don't know, it's just a blog, lighten up. I have to go back soon for the insane beef cheek stroganoff. And the beer list - off the chain. Prairie, Logsdon, all the best. And gin and tonics made with tonic from Zeal?! It's too much.

Then I closed down the Distillery with a karaoke krew Despite it being Monday I will hold onto that fun to cheer me up. That's right, with my current position I really do hate Mondays.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

the brews they are a'changin'

Some changes have been going on in the craft beer world, with a wave of corporate buyouts. Not too shocking - the latest one was Golden Road being bought by InBev. Golden Road is kind of a middle-of-the-road, corporate-ish brewery so not too suprising. Smiller thought the Lagunitas one was the most surprising. But an insider type pointed out the me that being bought out by Heineken is at least a little different in the sense that it's family-owned and that they only make two other beers: Heineken and (augh) Heineken light. I guess the Lagunitas deal was a half a billion dollars. The president of Golden Road was quoted as saying "this wasn't a sellout deal for me". It's nice you can just declare that.

As I mentioned, there was 10 Barrel at TBD because of the InBev connection. That meant I had access to a good IPA, but it also maybe meant that local breweries got shut out. InBev is all about profit, it's not like they are nice guys who want to help the industry in general. I work with a guy who worked for Budweiser in the past and he was like "well, there's another beer I'll never drink".

Monday, September 21, 2015

TBD lowdown

So I did the full TBD this time. I made the same mistake as last time where I came early to see a friend's band and got heatstroke and had to leave (on Saturday, to see Dusty Brown, who were rad). But this time instead of just going home I went to see Black Mass and came back. Black Mass is obviously a terrible name for this movie because every single person I've mentioned it to does not know what I'm talking about until I say it's the Johnny Depp gangster movie. That name just does not stick in anyone's mind. It's pretty good - Johnny Depp is very creepy. But Bulger is not that compelling of a gangster.
I realized that the whole deal with a festival is the different levels of VIP. That's because festivals are really not a great place to see music, but they are excellent for hanging out with friends and people watching (aka butt watching as there were sooooo many exposed butts to see). And drinking. So in order to do that, it's nice to be able to get to the shade that VIP has more of. And then there's the penultimate (yes I am using it right) level of VIP that has free beer and wine. I got in there a couple of times. The ultimate is the artist's lounge, which I never got to glimpse. There is also a viewing deck over the main stage which I could not access (I didn't try that hard). It was in full sun though so that didn't seem that great.
Highlights included the chef's demo with Thiemann and Matt Masera and the Hapa Ramen guy who was at the center of the huge food world scandal. Drinking lots of red heather kombucha from Zeal to stay hydrated. Ty Dolla Sign turning up. Death Grips. Riding the ferris wheel the first night while Tyler the Creator played. Butts.
The food was not as good this year. I ate Lowbrau sauages twice, but there wasn't a lot else that was appealing. The beer situation was weird because I'm assuming they had a contract with Anheiser Busch, who bought 10 Barrel Brewing from Bend, so that was the only craft beer. Well, that and Sudwerk Pilsner. It was rad to be able to get Bike Dog and Track 7 last year. I hope that comes back.
At various times, mostly because of the temperature or because none of my friends were there yet, I would feel like I was in hell, and other times I would feel like I was having the best time. So, TBD: kind of like life. With butts.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Enjoyably savage

This review is pretty savage - and well written! An enjoyable diss.  I myself had a great time in my one visit (ever) to Paragary's in July, but I decidedly did not have my critic hat on and also had my meal paid for as a present. Also, I got the quail as my entrée, which was her favorite thing, so maybe I just got lucky.
The burger stuff was also fun to read. That's cool that Pangaea won best burger. I don't eat a lot of burgers, but I like theirs. I agree with their assessment that it shouldn't be too damned big. I will try the Magpie one and South ones soon, I swear by all that is holy! It's funny that barely being able to move around because of my broken toe (ok, at this point, 2 weeks on, I am using it as an excuse) has not caused me to gain any weight. I think when I exercise I just eat more.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Best Fest

Jeez, epic weekend, starting on Thursday. All because of the Cali Craft Beer Summit and all the brewers being in town. Thursday the peeps from Russian River, Firestone Walker and Karl Strauss were at Pangaea, and it was Scott's bday, so we went there, and then ended up at Lowbrau because people from Faction were there and the tap list was off the hook. The Faction 2 Hop is delicious. Pangaea had Taras Boulba on, which was also a standout amid the brew-haze of the night.

Friday Empress had a crazy taplist, including the Sante Adairus Saison Bernice. The Sante people were in town and loving Empress. And so was I! It's that rare place where just about everything on the menu sounds good and is good. I had a French dip that was heavy on the horseradish and I loved it. EC was loving her beef cheek stroganoff and I had a bite. Wow.

Then on Saturday was the actual fest, with like 130-something California brewers. It started at 4 and I definitely was not feeling it, but once I had my first few pours I was raging (babbling) all over the fest. I definitely did not eat enough food or drink enough water. The lineup of breweries was totally nuts. One of the best ever definitely. As far as whether it was a business success, I know the Summit board was psyched on the events and if the tasting event was small this year, I'm sure it will be much bigger next year. I wonder what Beer Advocate chatter is like? It's a fest that people are going to be driving in for or maybe even flying in by year 2 and 3.

I fuzzily ended the night at Bottle and Barlow drinking a Bike Dog beer with ancho chilies in it - the spiciness of the beer luckily slowed my pace a bit. I kept focusing on this spotted weinerdog, the poor thing probably just wanted me to leave it alone.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fruit to root? Augh!

OK, OK, so I like The Weeknd! What, I have a vagina, what do you expect? He's kind of like R. Kelly lite. I wish that a vocal coach would work with him and FKA Twigs (or a songwriter) and tell them that you can't just do the same, plaintive whispery thing over and over with your voice and have it keep working. You have to change it up! But still, I can't help but like both of them. Her more for the dancing. I've been listening to radio lately in my new car. Pop music is in a good phase right now.
It's smiller's birthday today! So far I have given him two of his presents. One was this picture book by Sam Knee about the British pop scene of like, the Pastels and TVPs and Primal Scream. I saw it at MK and DK's house. I also got him a tennis racket that electrocutes bugs, which I saw at MD's house. His pathological hatred of fruit flies made it seem perfect. They love to buzz around a glass of brew.
Man, do you ya ever feel like if you read another article about the Center For Land Based Learning that you will be qualified to run the damn place yourself? No? Then you must not read local food-related content. It's a great place, don't get me wrong. Just....the Farm to Fork issue??? Really?!?! Snoresville man. I'm proud of what we tried to do at Edible when I was there, and I really always tried to tamp down the farm coverage. Farms are wonderful and (obviously) necessary, but not exciting to read about. It's hard to find a new take there. They have either been in the family for generations (those tend to be more interesting to read about) or started by some young idealistic person who usually made money first at something else and then decided to go into farming. And you know what, the new Edible does not have a good track record of paying people. There, I said it.

Friday, September 04, 2015

have a good weekend!

This management training I am doing doesn't have that many funny stock photos but look at these cretins! No one likes getting assignments, it's true.

I am off to go see Diary of  Teenage Girl. My neck is hurting from my car accident poor me. Bananas are playing Awesomefest tomorrow! I can't seem to find the lineup for it (damn crusties!) so I don't know who else is playing but I'm sure they will rock it.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

cautiously optimistic

It's been a long day without you my friend, and I'll tell you all about it when I see you again. If you know that cheesy Wiz Khalifa song it will now be stuck in your head. Do I love the song? Do I hate it? The answer is yes.

Since I last posted I got a promotion and life has been pretty meh on the whole. For one thing instead of my tucked away office that no one even knew the location of I'm now in a fish bowl type arrangement where everyone who is walking past can see my giant monitor. Which has not been a problem because for two solid months I have not checked a website for amusement at work. Ocasionally, (is that the hardest word to spell in the English language? I just tried 5 times) I will have a half hour on a Friday where I am done with everything but basically it's been a whole new world as far as how busy I am at work. The screen capture is from a training on meeting etiquette that I will be taking today, so maybe I can post more funny ones.

I am cautiously optimistic and seem to finally be settling in. I don't feel like I can say too much since this is public so I will just keep it positive. I just took on my first writing assignment in months (deadline in early November - Smiller can expect to hear whining about it soon) so that makes me feel good. The thing with this promotion is that the hiring process also took like 4 months, so basically the last half year has been consumed with it.

Went to the friends and family thing at Empress last night. What a monumental accomplishment! It's beautiful inside. I loved my gin cocktail, which was very savory (made with fennel soda) just like I like. The beer list is next level nutz. The dizzying array of food was overwhelming and I had foolishly worn a jumpsuit that I can barely breathe in, but everything was delicious and the bigtime standout was the rotisserie chicken on top of Texas toast with a shmear of pate. The chicken had chimichurri and the toast mopped up all the sauce and juice. Great steak tartare, too, which erased the memory of the oddly tasteless tartare I had at Brasserie Capitale recently. I look forward to many wonderful nights there.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Finally watched the Sopranos

I haven't posted in sooooo long and I never posted about Japan! Maybe one little post will get me jumpstarted about a Japan post. Japan was so fun! I want to go back and this time we are thinking of exploring some new areas like Okinawa.

A couple of months ago I decided to finish watching the Sopranos, I had never gotten past mid 4th season. I finished it yesterday and it's weird to say that it actually made me really sad. Some of that is probably that I started watching it almost concurrent with its first airing, in a completely different time of my life. So there's a lot of nostalgia mixed in. Also, it's really sad that James Gandolfini is dead. When I first watched it I was closer to Meadow's age and now I am closer to Tony's age.

What a brilliant, disturbing show. What a crazy ending (I know, all of you that care got over this 8 years ago!) Then I went down the rabbit hole of reading long shot-by-shot analyses of the last episode, which just gave me insomnia and feverish half-asleep thoughts.

There's a Knock Knock show at the Bike Kitchen tomorrow. See you there?

Friday, May 01, 2015

Sun and Meh

I am not sure how I feel about Sun and Soil, but I've been there three times lately. This last time I got the "dirty chai" and it was gross and did indeed taste like dirt. For nine bucks! I don't really think the drinks are great but I keep ending up there when I want to meet a friend and don't want to go for alcohol or coffee. Or yesterday because it was a good length of walk and I wanted something a little sweet. I always end up going for the smoothies because getting a juice for nine bucks doesn't seem worth it. Now that I'm writing this up I should probably stop going there. I usually end up drinking the smoothie really fast and not paying attention to it because I'm yapping about something.

I'm bummed about the changes coming up at The Bee. I'm bummed that papers are on their way out. Chalk it up as another thing the internet has ruined. Who is going to report on local news? Certainly not TV. We have the SNR, but that never seems totally solid either as far as revenue. We need an established local paper and we need an alternative newsweekly. They both serve their roles and our local society can't really function without them

Friday, April 24, 2015

but he doesn't have a wife or smoke weed

The Bananas had a super posi, fun show the other night. It was such a great way for them to emerge from hiatus. They opened for the Dead Milkmen. I am a fake punk and never listened to The Dead Milkmen and I had no idea they had a legion of rabid fans and were so influential! Mike and Marie from Bananas are both huge fans so they were thrilled to be on the bill. The Bananas rocked it and it was awesome to be in a crowd with a bunch of people who had never seen the Bananas and got their mind blown. They blew through almost all of their merch, mostly from people who had just seen them for the first time. Their next show in Sac is June 20th at the Hideaway with G Green. The Hideaway shows I have seen lately have been great so I'm really looking forward to that.
This is a crazy scandal in the local hip hop scene. It's worth taking a look at the guy's explanation video because it's hella ridic! This is a funny quote:
Lei said he’d heard about Task1ne using other people’s verses about a year ago but didn’t really know how deep it went. He said looking back it seemed obvious because Task1ne would rap about having a wife and smoking weed, but he doesn’t have a wife or smoke weed.
Speaking of scandal, the SNR has a piece this week where they got ahold of a bunch of the mayor's and his minion's emails. There's one that makes it clear that Breton gets his orders from the mayor's office. How is it possible that he won't be fired over this?!?
For example, here’s an excerpt of an email from Dorso to the mayor and his lieutenants, on March 15, 2013:
“Met with [Sacramento Bee columnist] Marcos Breton today and put him in the dog house. He tried to back peddle [sic] saying it was just more neutral than negative. I hit him on this saying he needs to keep in mind his goals and focus on economic benefits of downtown development. He said he would do a better article Sunday. We will see.”

Thursday, April 23, 2015


The fact that Baird Brewing has a taproom that serves New Haven style pizza, and that the text of the website says it offers "one of life's truly subliminal food-beverage experiences" is making me very psyched for my imminent trip to Japan. Just a combination of the funny phrasing and the weird concept pretty much says it all. SO PSYCHED.
I also plan on visiting SPAWORLD in Osaka, which has various themed baths, such as Greek and Finish themed, and restaurants. You can't visit if you have a tattoo, so I guess I'm glad I held up on getting that Steal Your Face tat.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

quick one

It's been long that I have posting anxiety so I will just do a quick one with a link to a Nordstrom festival pop up shop. It has such helpful items as a bathing suit with James Franco's face on it.
I am eating leftover Bombay chana masala that got so spicy since yesterday that I can barely stand it. It's really good, though! Their pakoras and samosas are also bomb. I didn't eat any meat yesterday and Bombay made that easy since I think their vegetarian dishes are their best.

Oh yeah, and tonight is the first Heckarap that I'm not involved with. I'm not going. I know this was a good decision. I hope Mike C. gets a good turnout though.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Great Show!!

The Trash Talk show was really fun. If you don't know, that's a hardcore band that is really popular, and they're from Sac (link to Blake's article). The crazy thing is that despite being around for years, they have only played once here. Sounds kind of jerkish, right? The show was at Harlows and was 15 bucks. I would say that it was not very well attended. In SF they are playing the Independent, which is big, but who knows, maybe that wasn't that well attended either. They were really fun and really good. Super pro in the showmanship sense of the word. I was poking around for videos (some of which have almost a million views) and I see that Jay Howell animated one, which makes sense as to why they gave him a shoutout. They also gave a shoutout to Tales of Terror. I felt disappointed in (at?) Sacramento that it wasn't better attended. I'm guessing they won't play here again, although in fairness Harlow's is a really weird venue for it. Blue Lamp would have maybe been a good substitute. The front dude is still charismatic enough that he got a huge pit going and urged everyone to ignore the stage diving policy at the end. NM counted 16 stage dives in one short song. Harlows kicked a lot of people out.

Rat King opened and they were janky, cute little crew. Pretty creative and I liked the electronic drum/beat machine that they use. They were not psyched on the crowd and they seemed to be in a fight at the end because they were told they only had one song left and the white dude wanted to do two. The other guy left the stage while he did the last one. Another weird thing about the show is that it had to end really early because it was all ages - by ten.

A rap producer originally from Sac (Lee Bannon) opened the show, and he was really interesting, too! I thought he was a rapper so I didn't know what I was watching but I was digging it. He did a jungle-house-ish mix of an old Erykah Badu song. I didn't know that Blake interviewed him, but here it is. I'm going to have to check out the Alternate/Endings album. Maybe jungle will be my new thing? Scott will be psyched about that!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Heckarap RIP

So that's going to be my last Heckarap. It was really well attended, it's not that. I am out 60 bucks cuz I paid the rappers 100 and then had to split the money we did make around to other peeps, but it's not the money. It's a combination of things. One is that I am too tired to function well at my job today, which is just not acceptable to me. Considering I earn about 1 1/2 days of vacation time a month, there is no way I am going to use a vacation day a month after Heckarap so this is always a problem. I try to not imbibe too much since I have to work, but it's hard when you're there from 9-2 am.

Two is that we just can't get a consistent crowd going. It's always different people every month. People will come and have fun and be like "this is the best, how did I not know about this?" and then they never come again. Tired of trying to figure that out. Tired of promoting it and thinking about how to get people to come.

I could go into reasons 4, 5, 6, 7 - 69 but I won't. The reasons for it are just that it's fun sometimes and I have met some cool people through it. Way more reasons against.

 It's been like a year and a half and we still never recaptured the vibe we had at the first few. I don't know what people want to dance to and I'm tired of trying to figure it out. Ready to start listening to other music, too. I was driving around with Scott last weekend and we were listening to new country radio for amusement, and I started getting choked up that the people in the songs wanted love and relationships and it made me really think about the ugliness of the music I've been listening to almost exclusively for about two years. I love it, don't get me wrong, but the fact that I wanted to tear up at the corny sentiment of just men and women wanting to be together romantically made me feel like what I'm listening to is getting to me in a way I didn't realize.

I always waffle on Heckarap and whether I enjoy it or not, but I'm putting this in writing so I'll stick to it. Smiller is skeptical.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

going to be so tired tomorrow

Soooo.....tonight it Heckarap, hopefully a big one since we have these two popular local rappers and I would like to be able to pay them not out of my pocket. I suspect it will be mostly out of my pocket. They didn't ask for anything, but I appreciate them doing it.

I was thinking that you could make a Bad News Bears-style movie about Heckarap. I had written out a scenario of that below that could be really funny if I was honest but unfortunately because of all the trumped-up vitriol on social media and the fact that I've been mocked for writing about rap before I erased it. Suffice to say it would be our rag tag Heckarap band vs. a monster, cult-y trap/EDM night and a more popular rap night run by skater bros.

Having that pedometer app has been interesting, but more because it's keeping track of how long my commute it, and it's depressingly long. Usually I almost try not to figure out how long it is since there's nothing I can do about it, but it's longer than I thought on average. Today it randomly took me 46 minutes to get to work. The app can tell when you're riding your bike too, which I didn't expect. If you are tracking my sleep progress, got about 6 hours again last night and pretty tired, but I also drank for the first time in a week. Tonight I will likely get 4ish. Hopefully 8 will be on the horizon at some point.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Koons! Not just on facebook!

Night two of very little sleep and not stressing on it. Sanity: holding. I got about 5 1/2 hours last night and when I laid down and wasn't tired at all, which is what happens to me all the time, I watched an episode of Empire rather than laying there calculating how many hours of sleep I would get if I feel asleep right that minute. Slept about 12:30-6. Not tired at all. Perhaps you can watch for signs that my sanity is slipping.
So this article about the Jeff Koons "debate" (the deal is done I'm pretty sure so it really doesn't matter) was covered in a national art blog. If you could see my iphone case, you'd see a photo of one of Koons' big silver balloon bunnies, so that's the side I come from. Sure, he's become a hack I guess (although I don't know enough about what he's been doing in the last five years to even say I agree with that), but he's in the late stages of his career, and it's hard for an artist with 100 bajillion dollars to stay good and relevant, whether we are talking about a singer, visual artist, whatever. I think some of his best work was his earliest, which is going all the way back to the mid-80s. Plus, I have always loved the Cicciolina series, I think it's hilarious, but I like smut. I don't care that he doesn't fabricate his own stuff, that has it's place, but "art" and "craft" aren't necessarily synonymous. People objecting to it mostly seem to just hate Koons, or the price tag, not so much the work, which is innocuous. I think it's going to look a lot better in person. I'll refer you to a Soriano quote re: the price:
"And as I mentioned elsewhere, complaining about Coloring Books cost is akin to quibbling about the size of a tip when you just got served a Shit Sandwich which will bloat your credit card for years. "
PS am I the only one who likes the Indo Arch?

Monday, March 09, 2015

local theat-ah

I saw a play at UC Davis and it made me a bit depressed about local theater. It was a guest director who has directed at BAM and Lincoln Center, among other places, so I guess the bar is pretty high. The staging, including a scrim with film projected, was mind-blowing. They were student actors so the performances varied in quality, but it was the performances of two male actors in their 50s that really drew a line for me between what they were doing and most local performances. One big thing was that their accents were so good. I have come to dread any local production with accents. They are so labored as to be very distracting. These actors were just so comfortable and natural. This was a much bigger theater than Cap Stage, Big Idea and B street so that brings limitations to their staging but still. It doesn't help that in the last Cap Stage play I saw the actors were really struggling with their rhythm and lines, which is not normal. It sucked because I really liked the actual play. In the case of Woyzec (which is the UCD one - adapted by Neil Labute) the play was befuddling.

Staying off social media today for the whole day! Planning to check it once around 4. I am pretty addicted and now I bought an ipad so it's one more device for me to be on with fingertip access to all of it. And I started tweeting again recently so another time-waster. It drives me nuts. I really would get off facebook if I didn't have heckarap to shill. I don't know if we're ever in danger of getting the night canceled since attendance is sparse and I guess that would be a blessing in disguise. It provides amusement for sure, and connection, but I follow so many feeds that if I don't check it for a day it can take a half hour or more to check it. Between checking time, taking photos, listening to music, texting a lot, etc. sometimes I reach for my phone every few seconds. It sucks.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015


I saw Michael Hunter's obituary in the paper today and I thought back to the film class I took with him at Sierra College in 92-93. Might have been more than one. He was very influential on me thinking of film as an art form and getting more into  it. I can't remember if it had any influence on me getting a job in a movie theater, but it very well could have, and that's something that had a ripple effect on my life. I remember he was an elegant, theatrical speaker and that I thought he was cute. He was probably 46 at the time, but his hair was already totally gray. I remember that he showed Cutter and Bone (which is a cool choice) and Children of Paradise. RIP!
I guess BAR is out as the critic of the Sac Bee. Crazy. Six years. I haven't seen much on social media, and a few of the comments have been snide (surprise!) I think he's done a service to Sac and raised the level of the conversation. He's written some scathing reviews, which were also really funny, and me might have been the first person to ever do that in a food review in Sacramento. He took the food criticism from something that I never read to a must-read (except when he's reviewing spots in like, EDH or something). I've definitely checked out places I never would have otherwise, and he's boosted business at some favorite spots, sometimes to annoying levels. There are a lot of armchair critics who think they or someone they know could do it better. Most couldn't. It's hard to have the chutzpah to write things as critical as he has and live and eat in this town. Nobody likes writing something critical and then seeing the person you wrote about, and knowing that even if your criticism is legit they won't take it as such and will always defend and deflect and turn it around or find some way to discredit you. His tenure was a good one. We'll see what they do. Sounds like they may not even have a set food critic, which would be too bad.

Monday, March 02, 2015


This is my favorite film I've seen in a long time. Well, since Inherent Vice, but one of my favorite Japanese films ever. Up there with Kurosawa. The use of  sound is incredible, and it has an intense, earthy sexuality. It's nice to get DVDs in the mail because I got to watch an interview with the director, who was 90 at the time and still making films. He lived to 100. Kaneto Shindo. 45 credits as director and over 150 writing credits. He talked about how the cast and crew all lived in a hut in a rice field for 30 days to film it to create the atmosphere he wanted, and it shows. Now this is what I'd like to see on the big screen, no offense to Goonies! But I know 5 people would show up.

Satan Wriders were typically good the other day in Davis and they have a show with Vasas and Monster Treasure at the Press on March 24th. SW just moved to Sac! Maybe the young Stockton crew can be the new Yuba crew as far as moving here and enriching the city. Satan Wriders AND Jeff Koons, we are all set.

Beer Week! Woo! Beer week! Tuesday Magpie is having a Faction tap takeover and Bike Dog is at West Capitol Bowl. I am going to try to hit both. Thursday Pangaea is having a Shelton Bros night with unbelievable brews on. Tonight is Madre at Mother with a crazy keg from Santa Adairus but it is sold out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


I was surprised I liked Still Alice so much. Cried like a baby multiple times and man is the last scene WRENCHING. I had assumed it was the typical Oscar bait-type film but it was way better. From my times of reading more about neurological diseases, I have more hope that Alzheimer's will one day have a cure or way better treatment than I do about autism. But I don't really know what's going on currently with either. Well, besides that we all know that vaccines cause autism. And deodorant causes Alzheimer's. If you are into seeing a depressing, haunting movie by one of the most mesmerizing, beautiful actresses in the world, then see it. Not talking about Kristen Stewart, although she is in it and rocks a cool silk baseball embroidered jacket that you can totally tell is hers. Alec Baldwin is pretty blank in it as a character so it's not perfect but it's all about Julianne Moore.
It's not on Facebook (shocker!) but Satan Wriders, Monster Treasure, and a Burger band with the dumb name Dude York are playing tomorrow in Davis. My love for Satan Wriders is going to overpower my hatred of staying in Davis after work.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Dick move

I was bummed to read that Temple is opening a coffee shop at around 22nd and L (can't recall the exact block). It's only a few blocks from The Mill, which is itself only a few blocks from the Weatherstone. I feel like it's kind of a Starbucks move on the part of Temple (strong words!). I LOVE The Mill and they are just starting out and doing so well I don't want anything to mess it up. Oversaturation is a real thing and there aren't an unlimited amount of coffee customers in my hood. It is sure to filter off some of them. Dick move.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Wonder Cafe indeed

Me and MC were cruising South Sac for a place to eat after midnight and coming up short. The places that used to be open really late (Cuidad Neza., various Pho spots) all seem to have started closing earlier. We almost went to Rick's Hacienda in desperation but it was packed for karaoke only and not serving food (?!). We ended up down on Stockton at a place called Wonder Café. It had 40-ish and younger bro Vietnamese dudes and cute young women, some of whom were sitting at their tables, obviously "hostessing" for tips. It had a lot of exotic stuff on the menu, including virility-related dishes like deer and cow penis. I asked about the deer but it was pretty clear I'd have to arm twist to get it served to me, and since I didn't even know if the food was good I dropped it. We got deep fried quail and a chicken salad with a really good, sweet/sour dressing but kind of off-flavored meat. I am having digestive troubles currently. The girls were very sweet in that stripper kind of fake-ish way. There is yelp drama about it, but funnily enough nobody mentions the hostess aspect. I didn't feel like it was unfriendly at all. Except for the servers no one paid any attention to us. At first when we got there they were karaoke-ing Vietnamese songs and then it switched to blaring rap, which is obviously ok by me.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015


oh man, so long since I've posted. It's the thing where I get overwhelmed by the things and then I don't write the things. You know what movie was fucking great? Inherent Vice! Hope you didn't miss it. I think it played three weeks and if DB hadn't mentioned that it was ending I might have missed it LOVED IT.

you know what other movie is good? The Player. Gotta be one of the best Altman movies. I don't think you can see it on Netflix streaming. Netflix streaming sucks! I am glad to be back on the DVDs, although the movie about Portuguese junkies I tried to watch last week was the worst. Like a parody of an art film. The director, Oliveira, is very divisive and I see why.. I fall on the hate side

You know who else is good? Tobias Wolff! That talk he gave at the Verge was so great. Hero! I was worried about Janis Stevens reading the story because she bugs me in local plays sometimes (especially as Lady Macbeth) but it was a slam dunk and he loved it! What a cool guy. I recommend a story called The Hunters from The Garden of the North American Martyrs. The second reading at The Verge was from the classic story "Bullet in the Brain", which is also on the New Yorker fiction podcast (I highly recommend this podcast in general.) I see that Tobias Wolff was on it and read the Denis Johnson story "Emergency" which is one of my favorites ever and reminds me a lot of "The Hunters".

Thursday, January 22, 2015

hashtag live from the kitchen!

Malena and Margaux have a DJ night at Old I tonight. Should be cool. I am planning to cruise by, early-ish. Unrelated: a couple of people I trust have told me I have to really give the D'Angelo album time to grow on me. I am willing to devote the time.
 Ugh Blogger why are you so weird to upload this picture in a different orientation than I did? What is your problem. This is the nam kao tod at Asian Café, a dish I have written about ad nauseum. Crispy rice and fermented pork sausage. This time it was lacking the fiery dried chilies that are fun/scary to nibble on.
 Kao Poon! Love ya babe! K.I.T.
 I must have ordered the Lao sausage here before but I can't rightly recall. WB ordered it and I'm glad. I will probably order it every time now. I've had a lot of Hmong/Lao sausage and this might be the best. Very redolent of lemongrass and good mix of meat/fat. Not overly salty. Comes with total sting ring chile sauce that is great on sticky rice.
 Boom! Right in the middle you have a picture of Npire (on left, big bro of rapper C+, and Clyde aka Lurkavelly). They were performing at a legitimate rave I went to at Barfly that was very fun. You can't find much better people watching than 18 year old candy ravers. The setup had three rooms with DJs and my favorite one was the actual kitchen, which used to be the kitchen of Bacon and Butter. It was DJ Sushi from FM 103 playing R&B and early 2000s hip hop and he kept saying "live from the kitchen!" in his DJ voice. And "hashtag live from the kitchen", which I think was a joke. And then a guy started making French toast right next to him! The best. I think I got me and MC Ham a gig there in the future. Fingers crossed. Heckarap! Live from the kitchen!
 Oh man Yang's Noodles is so good! You know this. I love the tofu appetizer.
 Beef noodle soup has been praised to the heavens in the Bee and it deserves it. Stew-like beef, tangy rich broth and rustic noodles.
I like the smoked meat pancake better than the beef roll! I said it.

Friday, January 16, 2015

young people

Scott pointed out something about young people (probably younger than any of you reading out there, although I guess I would count some that are edging up to 30) they say "amazing" a lot, even if it's not warranted. Now you'll notice it. They are easily amazed I guess, which is not a bad trait. They also put "lol" into written communication reflexively, not always to indicate something funny. It's just peppered in there.

Fun new video for a song I like that's been out for a while. Typical creative, weird (amazing!) Young Thug lyrics. "Catch me ridin' with them slimes, them my youngins"
Heckarap was fun. It's like a new crowd drifts in every ten minutes, so it's a completely different vibe every time I look up. I enjoyed Mike C.'s set a lot, and Amir (aka Slap God) took over the decks to play the latest latest as usual.

Monday, January 12, 2015

2014 and 2015

I had a really fun, kinda busy weekend. Sac is really hopping these days. Thursday night I went to see Tig Notaro (it was unseasonably warm if you recall) and was biking around areas I never see, like where University of Beer is. It was packed, including the patio and I'm not gonna hate. I might not hang there but it looked like a place you would see in a city that's open at night and makes things livelier if you are out walking around.
Long post after the jump

Thursday, January 08, 2015

cool show bro

We did this personality test at a team-building exercise at my work today and I scored like the exact opposite of most of the people in my department. Kind of depressing. The personality description was VERY ACCURATE for me. I am a total Abstract Random (which sounds pretty bad) in a sea of Concrete Sequentials. They emphasized it takes every type to build a team. I'm the person who cares about birthdays and stuff like that, which is important! Still, made me wonder if I'm in the wrong line of work. I'm sure in a creative workplace the distribution is opposite.
There's a good early show on Saturday at the Hideaway. Crude Studs (Nick from Phono Select's band), 2015 and Monster Treasure from Stockton. I love Stockton bands!!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Chain and The Gang

So no pho recommendations, huh?
Saw Screature/G. Green/Chain and the Gang last night. I didn't know Ian Svenonius had a band called Chain and the Gang until not too long before the show, I was just going because of the local bands. Dude keeps is sooooo fricking real. The realest. He is punk as hell. I first saw Nation of Ulysses probably in 92, because Sassy had named him Sassiest Boy In America. Hmm...guess they broke up in fall 92 so maybe it was even 91. I got him to autograph my 7 inch at the Cattle Club. That must have been really weird for him to come from such a punk place and having suburban chubby teens ask him for his autograph but he was very nice about it. He drew little lucky charms doodles on it and I treasured it.
Here he is with Sac's own Tiger Trap!
Here's the sassy spread that started it all! Damn I wish I had saved them. The Kurt and Courtney one is on ebay for 180 right now. Anyway, last night....Ian elbowed in front of me to watch Screature and he really liked them. Then he and his cool-looking band changed into sharp gray shark skin suits and proceeded to put on a show. He has always been an insane front man. I saw the Make Up a couple of times, too, at big places like the Fillmore and he would always walk around on top of the crowd. Even with this small but enthusiastic crowd he gave it his all and was really funny and cool. He spread high fives around after and that 18 year old in me felt quite a thrill. Great show and Starlite is an OK venue. It's just about the only place, except for Café Colonial, so maybe there will be more shows there.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Bon Mua

I wanted to get pho last night but since I have eaten at Pho Saigon one million times I decided to go somewhere else. I don't like to use yelp usually but in this case I checked it out. I was surprised to see that Pho Saigon was not that highly rated. Bon Mua had about a half-star above it and I hadn't tried it so I figured why not. We started with their chicken salad, served with rice crackers. Pho King 2 serves this same dish (peanuts, cilantro, lime, fish sauce, shredded chicken, cucumber, some more stuff) and theirs is sooooo much better and fresher tasting. In fact, I even had a second biting into this one where I wondered if I was going to get food poisoning, just because it tasted rather old. I totally did not.

 At Saigon the rare steak with tendon is always my jam, but I was not about to order tendon at a place unless I knew that everything else was good. At Bon Mua the specialty is New York steak pho (rather odd) so I went with that. You can see above that they use wide flat rice noodles and that they are skimpy with the scallion and white onion.
The meat is lovely and has a more luscious (uh) mouthfeel, but the broth was lacking the flavor and spice of Saigon and I missed that damn tendon. It was fun to try a new place and I was happy to confirm that Saigon is my by far favorite pho and I'm not missing out on something better. I'd be happy for pho recommendations, though!

Monday, January 05, 2015

hot new band 2015

Happy New Year!! I think it's going to be a good one based on leading indicators.
 I haven't been to New Canton in so long since I always go to Asian Pearl 2000 in fear of the New Canton wait. On Sunday at noon there wasn't a wait and this rad sign with the golden pointing finger is new to me. Some early 2015 pictures after the jump