Thursday, January 30, 2020

Ready for Halloween for which I will probably not actually dress up?

Man, I have really bad insomnia the last few days. Last night I barely slept and I was having feverish thoughts about what I should post on Heckasac and also Sacramento-related Halloween costumes. I mean, mostly worrying about spreadsheets but the former are the fun topics. I almost just got up and went to work at 4 am but then I decided that was insane and slept from 4-630.

Sac-related Halloween costumes:
Jizz Tree (hopefully everyone gets this)
1987 Sacramento Jazz Jubilee (I'm hoping smiller will do this as a team costume)
Pancake Circus (a clown with pancakes pinned to her)

Then I took notes on my phone on what to remember to post. Grab bag of half-baked ideas. After the jump!

Monday, January 27, 2020


I have been craving bagels lately, and it's been a really long time since I've been to Beauty Bagels. I don't know how I used to get there so often and now it's been too long. Smiller and I went to Solomon's on Saturday. I went to the Davis one twice, and this is now the second time I've been to the K street one. The first time at the K street one I got a lox bagel, which was too piled with stuff for me to enjoy. You can't pile capers on a towering (get it, TOWER-ing) mound of salmon, they will just roll off which is upsetting. Scott got that this time, and it had terrible tomatoes. They were so orange he thought they were more salmon. The salmon was again very good. The bagel not so much, so he bought one to take  home and toast and make sure. I have no idea why it is so hard to make a good bagel but if it was easy everyone would do it, instead of literally like maybe 20 places in America.

I got the pastrami sandwich. The pastrami is very tasty, it's kind of thin-sliced and grilled, which is interesting. The rye bread was dry and almost crumbly, and it needed more mustard. This for $15.99 is a hard sell.

It seems like they are doing a steady business, I sensed tourist in a lot of the customers, which is not bad at all. There needs to be places for tourists to go that aren't lame like PF Changs. The potato salad on the side was great. Unbeknownst to me until I paid, that Topo Chico was four bucks??? They have Zeal kombucha there too and if I had known I was venturing into that beverage price point I probably would have gone for Zeal.

Looks like Golden Bear won the Baconfest again? So that's two years right, although they won it with a different chef last year. I don't think she work for Golden Bear any more. I took a break from judging this year. Maybe I'll be back next year.

Has anyone been to The Good Bottle? Scott and I keep trying to find it when we are riding around and can't. We haven't tried that hard obviously. I'm interested.

Friday, January 24, 2020


I would like to retract my comment below about Polanco. No, not about it being meh, which is is, but about the pint size. Scott proved to me using one of our glasses at home that that was likely a pint. I struggle with a concept that toddlers master about container sizes. It's not object permanence, I think that's something else, and I have been over the game peek-a-boo for a long time, but I will often grab the way wrong container to store leftover food. I can't eyeball it.

Cooked these bad boys yesterday, learn more after the jump

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Podcast Tawk

This article on The Daily podcast in NYMag has got me shook. Michael Barbaro left his husband for producer Lisa Tobin, who was also engaged??!!?! Who knew podcasts were so sexy!! Dang those long hours in small studios I guess.

I am hooked on a couple true crime podcasts right now, even though for my overall mental wellbeing I want to listen to more music and less murder on my commute. I listened to the Kristin Smart podcast, because I read that supposedly there is going to be a break in the case. I didn't realize that they know who did it but due to police bungling they couldn't arrest the creep.

And now I'm listening to Chasing Cosby too, which is new. So terrible. Thank god for Hannibal Burress (who was so freaking funny at Harlow's last year! I think about his bit about Two Chainz' obsession with a Bentley truck a lot) but it's infuriating that a man had to say something to get momentum going on accusations that were well documented a decade prior. Also infuriating to hear a 2006 grilling that Matt Lauer gave to one of the victims, knowing what we know now about that predator (Lauer I mean).

Speaking of podcasts (which I do, a lot, but hey, 90 minute daily commute), This American Life turned me on to the writing of Robert Walser. That's him in the pic, obvs. This story of his lost (later recovered) writing that he did in a mental hospital is nuts. I'm reading The Assistant and it's really good! Almost done. Nothing happens really but it's very funny and sharply observed. The clerk's petulant rants that keep getting him in trouble are hilarious. I guess he was a favorite writer of Kafka in his day, and keeps getting forgotten and rediscovered. Very relaxing descriptions of parties and meals in a luxurious, but precariously funded, mansion in a Swiss canton (what the heck is a canton anyway and are they only in Switzerland?) The protagonist also shares the author's real love for long walks and there are multiple passages dedicated to walking into and through the larger nearby town.

I ate at Polanco last night. Meh to the nth degree. Meh cubed. It has that taken-from-a-kit type of modern decor. Geometric accents, colorful molded plastic chairs, graffiti-ish mural of beautiful woman. My shrimp tacos governador (Sinaloa-style, with melted cheese, that's their spelling on the menu, rather than gobernador) were not as good as any taco of that style I've had in Mazatlan. The tortilla was thick and borderline stiff, and they were not warm enough and had a runny thin sauce when they should have been small, greasy, cheesy crispy delicious morsels.

They serve Knee Deep Breaking Bud, which is tasty but for 7 bucks it was served in a short glass that I guess is a 12 ounce pour. So they went one better (worse) than the cheater pint that is not really 16 ounces and just thought they'd serve a small glass. It's fine, just another passionless spot in Sac.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Bye bye Luke Walton?

I went to see the King's lose to the Mavericks on Wednesday night. The nosebleed seats were 20 bucks. As a verrrrryy casual basketball fan I was aware that the big deal was that Luka is on their team and we passed on him as our draft pick, but if he had come here we would probably have made him terrible.

The most notable thing about the game was Luke Walton getting booed when he was introduced. Let's get rid of this guy. For multiple reasons.

We ate at the new Jimboy's at DoCo. Pretty standard JB, both my beef and bean tacos were good. No beer and no El Gordo on their menu. It was not crowded despite the game.  Will someone start a petition to get a Jimboy's in the arena?

The Agnes Varda autobiographical doc. was really good, although I could have taken less on her foray into visual art and installations that she got into later in life. It seemed great for her financially, since the Cartier foundation was financing it and she kept referencing them buying her pieces, but I found her art to be clumsy and not compelling. Her movies, however, I have to get to know better! I have mostly seen a few shorts through the Verge when they showed them. I want to watch Vagabond for sure, and the hippie musical one.

Turnout was huge last night at Verge. Felt almost at the capacity as far as seats being filled.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

food for thought on food writing

A friend sent me this LARB (who knew there was an LA review of books? There's some joke about LA "culture" that could go here. I guess those jokes are outdated now that LA is such a cultural and food hub, but I'm thinking of the movie LA story) long think piece on "The midlife crisis of the American restaurant review"

Maybe only KW and I will take the time to read it, you could also just skip to the writer's recommendations at the end if you don't want to read. I would add to the author's points that the length of restaurant reviews has been cut at many publications due to what I call the blurbification of writing that the internet has led to. So now even print pubs mimic the blurby feel of online pubs. At SNR I argued against word count cuts that kept getting tighter and tighter for the weekly reviews.

I agree that 2018 was a watershed year in food writing, and honestly I do feel pretty irrelevant to the conversation right now and that's ok. The world moves on.

Gioia is spot on about how the reviews that are pans bring out creativity that the raves rarely do. Food writers would do well to try to tap those same creative juices and humor for a positive review.

That said, some of the suggestions are kind of silly. Writing about an area (a few restaurants with some kind of overarching theme) with context and having more roundtable-type reviews are good suggestions. I think everyone likes reading roundtable discussions. I would often write what I called "roundups" for MidMo, but they centered around a certain cuisine or dish, so it might be deeper to write about a geographic area with context. I mean, a lot of food writers do roundups, I didn't invent it, but that was how I wrote the majority of the food coverage in MidMo so that's why I'm mentioning it.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Varda by Agnes on Thursday

Hey, how great that Jeffrey Day is keeping up his blogging and has a couple new posts linked on his blog at right. On Saturday I also checked out the Thiebaud-curated show at Elliot Fouts (cool to see original Krazy Kat artwork!) and the Axis show. When I arrived at Axis a young woman (maybe one of the artists?) was singing a song and accompanying herself on what I think is either a lyre or that instrument that Spock played once on Star Trek. The Axis show is cool and also don't forget the Verge movie night is this Thursday (that reminds me, I need to get a ticket online - members are free). It's the doc "Varda by Agnes" and is her final film, about her career. Right, did she make it? Or did someone make it about her?

I went to Waterboy last night. If you want to hear about it, it's after the jump

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Rolle too!

I don't want this reblogaissance to solely consist of being sad about restaurants that are closing, so hopefully this trend will end.

Rolle announced he is closing Cafe Rolle. I'm not sure if it's already closed or if maybe we can all go grab one more salmon sandwich. Read more after the jump

Wednesday, January 08, 2020


I'm doing this fitness challenge thing this month at my spin studio. I'm supposed to go to spin 20 times this month, and then do something else on my own every other day. Anyhoo, I always have ideas for tweets about spin when I'm in spin, because it's hot and traumatic in there so my mind is active aka freaking out.

Couple/three problems with this:
1) I stay off twitter because it turns your brain into garbage
2) I am bad at tweeting so no one likes my tweets and also I often feel like I don't really "get" twitter and am doing stuff wrong
3)What if something I write goes viral for the wrong reason?

I had a great idea to generate some of the content that you readers are all demanding: write my spin tweets here! Part of the reblogaissance can be destroying twitter by bringing tweets to blogs. If we had all never stopped blogging we might not have Trump for president so I am just trying to do my part.

Oh boy. This is going to be....something.

Here's an idea I had for an old one, that is no longer topical at all:

Avicii dying was like 9/11 for spin instructors.

Here's one I texted to Matt R. previously, but that I would like a wider audience for:

Most of the inspirational stories that the instructors tell either involve moving to LA or moving back from LA

That's all I can remember now. A lot of them are just fantasies about tweeting about this one instructor (who I avoid) that makes the room so disgusting and hot that when you go to pick up the weights they are dripping with someone else's sweat. And she keeps the class late too! Can you feel my petty outrage? Feel it.

Can't wait to post more #spintweets

Tuesday, January 07, 2020


Maybe 2 or 3 times a year I get restaurant food so bad that I go through at least a couple of the 5 stages of grief. Today I went through anger and now that I ate this monstrosity and I'm not hungry: sadness. Read more about this tragic food-like item after the jump

Monday, January 06, 2020

Reblogaissance: Day 1

Halloween band calling is going on over on the website. The theme is Soundtracks 2. Should be good. I really want to be a part of Reality Bites in that I want to sing backup for Lisa Loeb and also do my Janine Garafalo (no idea how to spell) imitation but I am not going to call it.

New year, Day 1 of the Reblogaissance. And in the spirit I have changed up the blog links at right. I eliminated all the ones without recent posts and added a new one. Jeffrey Day works in communications at UCD, for the College of Letters and Science. Before that he was a longtime arts journo. He always has great recommendations for art and especially classical and new composers, which is an area of art I know nothing about. I hope you keeps blogging!

Yolkie has kept up Best Summer Ever, and also DB consistently is still writing about movies. I kept up the Halloween show ones, cuz, nostalgia.

Friday, January 03, 2020

too stupid to be true

The new Boulevard Park newsletter has a somewhat innocuous listing about an upcoming forum regarding the train station. It has this rather casual statement " Ironically, Union Pacific’s decision to move the train tracks quite a distance away from the old station means that a new one must be built closer to the new tracks. Hence there is a need to find new uses for this terrific building and for the area immediately around it, which will gain even greater importance as an intermodal transportation hub."

WAIT HOLD UP, NEEDLE SCRATCHING ON RECORD SOUND. Are you telling me that since they moved the goddamned tracks ridiculously far that now they have eventually rendered this beautiful, functional building obsolete and freed it up to be a series of failing business!?! This is worse when they took our (not beautiful), functional bus station out of downtown and moved it out to Richards boulevard and now the building is STILL EMPTY.

You can just look at The Bank to see why Sacramento does not need more of this type of cavernous, echoey business space.

This is just awful and I feel like it can't possibly be true. It's too stupid. Or is it?

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Restaurant closings and mind openings

(stole this pic from

I saw a somewhat unexpected Instagram post yesterday that Mother has closed and now today news that Cafe Marika has closed as well. Jeez, brutal year for change in Sacramento. I'm sad about Mother, that was a real Sacramento classic, and we only get like one of those a year that feel like permanent fixtures. I would say Canon was probably that for 2018 and Pizza Supreme Being for 2019.

I am very glad I went to Marika a couple times in 2019. I'm happy they are retiring, and not shutting it because it went out of business. The loss of June's continues to reverberate in our community as well, especially since we didn't get to say goodbye.

On a happy note, Dead & Co. put on a great show for NYE and I'm so glad we went. It was at Chase Center, but serendipitously (how to spell?) Matt R. lives in the neighborhood and wanted to go. They played from 8 until almost 1 am, with long breaks. I was grousing about a particularly long break, which went from like 11:20 to almost midnight, but then it turned out that was because they were setting up a FULL SIZED BIPLANE to fly on a track over the audience, with Trixie Garcia sitting in it waving. It has a stealie painted on the side and an iridescent lighting bolt on the front. Then Wavy Gravy and Bob Walton came out dressed as baby new year and father time and Walton gave the trippiest, slowest countdown ever that probably had little to do with the actual time it was. Oh, also, like 20 flappers came out and danced the Charleston. And then they did a killer 3rd set and encore. So yes, it was worth it and also, yes I do love John Mayer now so deal with it.

The 3rd set was:
Sugar Magnolia
Uncle John's Band
Scarlet Begonias
Fire on the Mountain
Sunshine Daydream

Touch of Grey