Archive for December 2009

A Virtual New Year’s Eve

December 31, 2009

Do not try this at home. (I didn’t). Or else get lots of rest first. All times calibrated to PST (UTC-8); your results may vary.

It rotates.

Wake up @ 2:50 am or so. Brush teeth.

3 am – Drink a Steinlager. Because it’s from New Zealand (UTC+13).

4 am – Sip an “orange phosphate”, to honor the phosphate mining that has devastated the environment of Nauru (UTC+12). And yes, I know it’s impossible to get phosphoric acid anymore; so have an orange Fanta instead.

5 am – Enjoy a Toohey’s New. And sing Waltzing Matilda (UTC+11).

6 am – Snack on plantain chips, (sliced and fried in oil) and think of Guam (UTC+10).

7 am – Eat a rice ball (preferably with smoked salmon) and have some cold green tea. My Japanese breakfast (UTC+9).

8 am – Haul my happy self down to Chinatown, for dim sum, or whatever else I can find that early in the morning (UTC+8).

9 am – Singha Beer. Because it’s Thailand time (UTC+7).

10 am – Fire up the movie Travellers and Magicians. To dream of Bhutan (UTC+6).

noon – Watch a replay of the 2009 Fifa Club World Cup final, held in Abu Dhabi (UTC+4). Fast forward, as there are only three goals.

1 pm – Sit down at Axum Cafe, an Ethiopian restaurant (UTC+3) in the Lower Haight. Appetizers only.

2 pm –Grab a bottle of Ouzo at a nearby liquor store and take a few sips of this Greek (UTC+2) beverage. Stagger toward Hayes Valley.

3 pm – Snack on some macaroons (pardon moi, “macarons”) from Paulette. Wash them down with a Belgian beer from Frijtz (UTC+1).

4 pm – Back down to Haight Street, for a Guinness or a Murphy’s or whatever the hell they’re serving at Danny Coyle’s Irish Pub (UTC+0). Sláinte!

And some fish and chips, since we’re not in a hurry. And they’re English.

5 pm – Think of the Azores. Walk down Haight Street.

6 pm – Grab dinner at Espetus Churrascaria Brazilian (UTC–2) Steak House, at the corner of Haight and Market Streets. Brad can recommend.

7 pm – Keep eating. It’s still midnight in Brazil.

8 pm – Raise a glass of Canadian whiskey, in honor of the maritime provinces (UTC–4).

9 pm – Troy would insist on a Manhattan (UTC–5). I couldn’t refuse at this point.

10 pm – Heat up some Little Star leftovers. That’s Chicago-style (UTC–6) pizza in case you’re interested.

11 pm – Sopaipillas at NOPA, in honor of New Mexico (UTC–7). Or something from Green Chile Kitchen. I can’t decide. What time is it?

midnight – Happy New Year! Champagne, or perhaps French 75’s, made with simple syrup, lemon juice, and two California (UTC–8) products: Junipero Gin and Iron Horse sparkling wine.

1 am – Stand outside, and enjoy the cold. It’s colder in Alaska (UTC–9).

2 am – I’ve been saving that Spam musubi all day. It tastes sooooo good right now (UTC–10). With a Primo beer.

Collapse on the sofa, or the nearest soft place. Sleep.


A Learning Weekend

December 29, 2009

Spent the weekend @ Hotel Vitale across the street from the Ferry Building. Troy learned about concussions and other Bad Things and how to make them better. Dan learned about the Ferry Building.

Troy enjoyed having his partner alongside him for Blue Bottle coffee and crosswords on Sunday. Dan can apparently look Very Official as he works the NYT puzzle. So much so that several people stop to ask him directions. Didn’t hurt that he was sitting right in front of the mall map.

What a lovely view. Such a lovely part of town. Except for the Non-Fatal shootings that occurred at 10:35 pm outside Sinbad’s, behind the brick building in Photo #1. T & D watched a throng of party-goers running heedlessly across the street after what they thought were firecrackers went off. 20 police cars screamed to a halt across the way a minute later, and the block outside became a crime scene. Troy monitored the sichy on Twitter, etc. Apparently that’s how the SF Chronicle also gets their news.

Walks and jogs. Tourists everywhere. Too many Trojans (in town for the bowl game). Townhall, meh. RN74 = amazing. A Pleasant Time. Paul & Lyndsay were there too, but we didn’t know it until we bumped into them at breakfast on Monday. Small World! The Bay Bridge:

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas

December 26, 2009

Hope everyone is having a relaxing Christmas break.  We enjoyed spending time with Dan’s family with lots of eating and playing games with the little ones.  And there was a holiday-lights boat tour along the Foster City canals.

one of these characters was fast asleep by the end of the cruise

Diviz street lights

holiday display on Diviz

Completist challenge

December 15, 2009

A friend has a favorite blog, The Film Experience, whose author recently wrote about his effort to see all of Michelle Pfieffer’s films– even her direct-to-video stuff.  His goal is to be a Michelle Pfeiffer “completist”.  I think many of us try to do this with film, music etc.  I didn’t know there was a term for this activity, but recognize that with the help of my DVDs-the-the-mail service (and increasingly the instant-movie-thru-the-computer service) I’ve been putting certain artists in the queue mainly for this purpose.  It can be challenging at times–  especially when your favorite actor makes unwise choices like appearing as a Amish dude in the teen sex comedy/road-trip-to-Knoxville film “Sex Drive”.  I had to stop after 10 minutes.   Ostensibly due to technical difficulties with the download, but if I were to be totally honest, the awfulness of the movie was equally to blame.  I didn’t even get close to Seth’s big scenes.  And then there’s his latest.  Sigh.  You may have seen billboards like this one lately that have been making me cringe for a month now:

Seth, you aren’t making it any easier for me when you sign up for comedy sequels starring Robin Williams and John Travolta.  Who is your agent?  I hope you can start listening again to whoever it was that told you to get involved with Austin Powers, “Idle Hands” and of course Buffy.  I know greater things are in store, but in the meantime I’ll continue my march down your IMDB catalog in an effort to become a completist.  (and no, i don’t count the millions of TV shows he’s been in.  Though that episode of Grey’s Anatomy in which he exsanguinates was pretty cool).

Wong Kar-wai, otoh, is keeping it easy for me.  No real turkeys in his oeuvre– just beautiful gems.  Since I wrote an early draft of this post a month ago, I’ve knocked off “Ashes of Time” (1994) with Dan and now only have “As Tears Go By” (1998) left.  And it looks like he has two shorts on imdb.  Don’t know if I should count those– they’d be pretty hard to come by.  I”ll have to look into it.

Christmas arrives early

December 11, 2009

I finally got my copy of the San Francisco Panorama (aka McSweeney’s Quarterly Issue 33) and it feels like 12/25 morning already.  So many goodies and where to start first?  The massive comics section?  The Sean Andrew Greer essay on going to races with his Nascar-obsessed boyfriend?  Miranda July interviewing James Franco in the book section?  The directors’ roundtable on film distribution?  Michale Chabon on music?  The cover article on the mega cost-overrides of the new bay bridge?  ….  and so on…  where to begin?  Good thing the xmas shopping is done.

various sections

the Greer story