I don't think before I type's Posts
Recently, economic turmoil coupled with a lack of congressional bipartisanship has caused an downward financial slope for government subsidized programs, most recently manifested in an act known as 'sequestration'. It's not great. Lots of programs are losing money, lots of people are losing their jobs, and Congress has an approval rating somewhere in the vicinity of the Val Kilmer Batman movie (topical reference).
That being said, it's not like the effects of sequestration are all bad. From NBC Bay Area:
The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels announced on Tuesday that because of federal budget cuts and sequestration, the entire 2013 season has been canceled.The Blue Angels were scheduled to appear in San Francisco during Fleet Week in October. The event is still scheduled to go on, but the Blue Angels were arguably the biggest draw.
Despite what your views on patriotism are, there are no doubt that the Blue Angels are just the absolute fucking worst. They spend the entire week performing over the city, shaking buildings by being very fast and aerodynamic jerkoffs. An unnecessary pollutant the tranquil skies of our oh-so-cherished microclimate, the Blue Angels only function is clogging the bridges and roads with a massive influx of North Bay, Coolpix camera-wielding tourists.
So if a few bus drivers and other city employees lose their jobs, so be it. I full-heartedly embrace sequestration. It enables us to spend one extra week of the year not having to jump under our desks in a Cold War-style bomb drills. Except for every Tuesday at noon.
Go Congress! 6 more years!
Previously on Uptown Almanac
Look guys. It's known Adobe Books has been threatened by a number of factors lately, including dramatically increased rent and landlords flat out ignoring large scale citizen activist protests to keep a local institution in place. I know that you think that preserving centrally-located community-based bookstores is somehow important to the continuation of our culture, and that getting rid of bookstores for mass-market retail outlets will erode our neighborhood into a blackness of bumbling, shop-a-holic moronicism.
But I'm just saying, think about it... we could have a Liz Claiborne store here!
When you really think about it, it makes sense. Bookstores are just a novelty of looming obsolescence; a facet of our parent's foregone generation, like newspapers and jazz and Social Security. Our dads went to bookstores, but we stimulate our intellects with ebrochures and tumblogs, and the new Jack Spade shoppe will sell excellent designer handbags to hold all of our Kindles, Kindle Fire, and HD Nook tablets just fine.
I know it seemed that our chance of happiness was ruined, years ago, when some unruly citizens took to the streets and drove American Apparel out of the space next to ATA. And then when that Levi's pop-up store disappeared, I know a lot of us just thought about packing it up and moving to Russian Hill, towards some real cultural landmarks like the Google Bus Stop and the house where they shot The Real World: San Francisco. But this is our opportunity to usher in a new generation to the Mission. We can make a world where our kids can go to school with artisan leather handbags instead of, you know, "books."
I'm just saying all we have to do is roll over and one of our obsolete, oversized spacial occupants, Adobe Books, can be replaced by a renowned, internationally-certified gender-neutral leather handbag haberdashery.
This is America. This is what we were promised. Gone will be the days when San Francisco residents have to go all the way to the airport and buy the cheapest ticket to anywhere just to get through security to shop for Liz Claiborne at Terminal 3, near the Tommy Bahama and the World News candy stand. If this deal goes through, none of us will have to tell another TSA agent that "I just decided not to go to Dallas/Ft. Worth today."
So don't get outraged, don't don't write letters, don't protest, and don't petition. With the replacement of culture with large-chain retail, we can finally start what we've all been after this entire time: turning the Mission into a small, downtown Walnut Creek. We can finally replace Arinell Pizza with a California Pizza Kitchen and turn Dear Mom into an even better Dear Mom.
It's going to be great. I'll see you guys there.
Previously on Uptown Almanac
It's that time of year again--when we celebrate a week of local music in the Bay Area by boasting Noise Pop: the Bay Area's premiere indie music festival. Truly, it's an exciting time to be alive. Bands will influx. Tickets will sell out. The Bay Guardian will do a puff piece-turned-cover story on up-and-coming bands that are on the middle of the marquee list of Noise Pop artists. All those bands will share their newfound exposure on their facebooks, and the wheels of blogocracy will keep turning.
Except, here's the thing about Noise Pop: it's just a week of San Francisco shows. We live in a major metropolitan area with vast appeal and resources, any given week of shows is good, and Noise Pop makes a random week of the year out to be, somehow, a thing. To call this week of shows somehow spectacular (or even, particular), is a bombastic and perplexing tradition that serves little tangible meaning in the Bay Area music scene. It's a waste of energy that distracts--not highlights--from the terrific and unwavering musical draw and appreciation the Bay Area has.
Perhaps the greatest misdemeanor Noise Pop commits is that the so called 'Festival' suffers from a complete deficit of noteworthy headliners. For example, Noise Pop 2013 headliners include:
Toro Y Moi: Don't get me wrong, Toro Y Moi is a great and tremendously relevant band that does a terrific live show, but fall short of being considered the flagship headliner of a music festival, especially considering they've done three Bay Area shows in the last two years.
Body/Head: You run a real gamble paying money to see a Kim Gordon noise project in concert: you might witness one of the most profound and honest pieces of musical performance art in the modern era, or you might see a totally self-indulgent spectacle of humiliation and shame. There is a good chance, actually, that the concert will be both. As cool as it may or may not be, it is a guaranteed salting of our collective wounds that Sonic Youth will probably never get back together, and that children (us) are the real losers in divorce.
Rogue Wave: Playing the Noise Pop Festival in a rare Bay Area live appearance.
Amon Tobin: That's cool. Amon Tobin is cool, except, he's playing a DJ set. Not putting the 'DJ set' in parentheses next to your music festival's feature headliner is kind of like padding your bra in the giant middle school that is San Francisco.
!!! (chk chk chk): !!! was the most bloggable band of 2005, immediately before people began to realize the psychedelic jam rock they were listening to was the very same psychedelic jam rock they don't care for very much at all. Almost immediately after their plateau, the band would become largely marginalized by a new influx of electronic bands. A more accurate name for this band today would be '…', which will also be your reaction when you realized you payed $23 to see this band in concert.
Look, no offense to Portland or Los Angeles or New York, but fuck those cities. We live in the greatest city in America. We don't need to create imaginary music festivals to make ourselves cool. Go to foopee.com--a website that outlines every show happening in the Bay Area on any given night, for weeks into the future--and you'll find that every week in San Francisco is a relentless deluge of awesome shows both with big and small bands.
Spend a few dollars to go see some shitty band's first show at Bottom of the Hill. Sell some jorts at Buffalo Exchange so you can get $12 to go support that new venue on Valencia. Don't do it under the guise of a festival, do it because it's a fucking Wednesday. We don't need to waste our time making a big deal about a Thao And The Get Down Stay Down show, pretending it's part of a some big art and culture festival. It isn't. So before you spend $150 on a Noise Pop lift pass that gets you into (some of) the Noise Pop shows, remember: Noise Pop is all in your head.
Thanks for coming to CityMatch™! We’re really happy you could make it. Please, have a seat over there. We here at CityMatch™ have been working tirelessly help to assimilate you to your first post-college, metropolitan city living experience. Our resident team of supercomputers use a randomized, 14-point compatibility algorithm to ensure that your transition into this new life will be smooth and painless. We know that giving up college life for adulthood is sometimes disappointing, but don’t worry, we here at CityMatch™ will teach you how to find the joy in your new-found adulthood.
Here, take this pamphlet, and memorize everything inside of it, it has the complete vernacular used to express your exaggerated appreciation for all the foods the city has to offer. In no time, you will expand your lexicon to include essential city jargon like “Artisan”, “Brewmaster”, and “Gorgonzola”. Until now, you’ve spent your entire adult life going to “parties” and getting “tanked”. Well, that was college, and college is over. From now on, you will spend your time going to bars and restaurants, to talk to friends and coworkers about the bars and restaurants you were at yesterday.
It’s important that you buy a Messenger Backpack right away. Sure, it just looks like an airplane-seatbelt that goes over your chest (and if you’ve been in an airplane before, you know that isn’t how that goes), but it’s actually a slated insignia of bikeliness. Proudly sash it across your personage, to make other city inhabitants think you ride a bike--always giving people the impression that you ride a bike is a very important part of living in a city (possibly the most important part). Not only will this help expedite your assimilation into normative city culture, making people think you are a cyclist means you are pretending to be working towards doing your infinitesimal part in preserving the planet. Very important city stuff. Very important.
In the mean time, here is a totebag. Just write the name of your startup on the side of it. Yes, you work at a startup now, you just moved to the city, remember? It’s not hard work, just show up and be professional. Try to limit the frequency of bringing your cat to work to two days a week, and in meetings, take your nose ring out before you pick your nose. Remember, professionalism is key. You’ll do great, just think of every work day as a theme party, where the theme is ‘Cargo Shorts’. Look, here comes the Vice President of your startup now! His job is to wander around your company looking concerned, flailing his arms and violently flexing his face. Don’t worry If he constantly asks you ambiguous questions about "where you see yourself in 5 months"--that’s totally normal. The purpose of these questions are both to make you realize your own lack of foresight, and routinely call into question your job security.
Now, seeing as apartments are very expensive here in the city, you are going to need some roommates. Having roommates will allow you to not have to take residence in an unsuitable living situation, like in your car or in a lazily-gentrified ethnic neighborhood. Looking at the report that that our resident supercomputer has produced, we have matched you with some compatible roommates down to a level of .001% accuracy. The system is very good, it put the ladies from TLC together in a studio apartment in the 90’s. Let’s meet your roommates: Gwen, Ivan, and Roots. Now, Gwen spends her time in the living room drowning her social anxiety with a synthesis of pot and cat-ownership. Ivan will have no money, but an inexplicable plenitude of bicycles, and will often offer his least favorite bike in lieu of paying his share of rent. Roots is an eco-terrorist who is intent on, as he puts it, “exploding congress”. He also bakes gluten-free muffins! You guys will get along famously.
I think you are ready to go out there. Thank you for choosing CityMatch™, and on behalf of myself and my resident team of supercomputers, welcome to the big city! Before you go, I want you to meet Tony. This is Tony, he’s a magical elf who will follow you around and talk about how your coffee place is inferior to his. All residents of the city are issued one, but you have to put down a deposit of $100 and promise you won’t leave him locked up to a parking meter overnight. Now go make the best of everything this city has to offer, and start planning your inevitable move to a different city.
Volume 1: Caramel Offsets
This had been the worst day of Janet's life. She floated down the street incredulous as to how everything had gone so wrong, teetering on the highly erodible cusp of a full emotional breakdown.
It was earlier that morning, the proverbial nail in the coffin of her nine-month relationship had been hammered in. As Janet strolled up the street of her city's main thoroughfare mourning the relationship she had put all of her hopes and dreams into, she felt as if one of the Mayans from Raiders of The Lost Ark had just torn her heart out and watched it beat in front of her. If anyone had approached Janet on the street that afternoon, even a Greenpeace canvasser or a Mormon proselytizer, she would have lost complete control and spent well over twenty minutes delivering hysterical and unintelligible confessions to a total stranger.
Janet knew there was but one consolation left in her life. When she was pushed to the edge, to the last point where a human could tolerate the sickening intangibles that accrue on your conscience, there was only one last thing that could give her the courage to keep fighting.
Janet was going to drink some caramel.
She stared at the barista, making dead eye contact with him while her tear ducts sat like a dam with a large crack down the middle, looking for any semblance of inertia to break open and flood a village with uncontrollable chaos.
"I'd like a Caramel Blended," Janet explained. "Large. With whip. And caramel. Extra caramel. Can you put extra caramel in there?"
She watched as the guy behind the counter chased ingredients from every orifice of the overly thought-out establishment, consolidating them in a blender and blanketing them in unbroken sheets of ice. When the barista, knowingly looking up to her for signs of feedback regarding his proportions of ingredients, Janet shot him a dead-pan poker face of disdain and abhorrence, as if saying "fucking caramel."
"WHIIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR," The blender whirred.
Drink in hand, she stabbed a straw into it and sucked violently through the straw. The time for patience was over, the time for caramel was now. As the icy Caramelita-Blended drink slid into her mouth and down the back of her throat, suddenly her heart collapsed. It was assembled totally wrong. Everything was wrong. The icy inconsistencies overrode the sweet, tender texture that was such a desperate necessity to her in this dire moment. Despite everything she was already braving, she would have even stomached the icy unpalatability of this one last pleasure that her life yielded, but what got Janet was the caramel: there wasn't extra-fucking caramel in this drink. There was an average amount of caramel in this drink.
With all will gone and only her visceral human instincts left, she took the icy drink, cocked her arm back, and chucked it straight behind the counter towards the man who had assembled it, nailing him square in the chest and causing whipped cream and icy caramel to explode onto several employees and a customer standing dominantly over the pastry case. Janet fell to her knees and began sobbing violently, in an arrhythmic overture to her full emotional breakdown. "I'm sorry," she choked through her heavy, asthmatic sobs. "I WASN'T AIMING FOR YOU."
Previously on Uptown Almanac
Look, Mark. We get it. You are our generation's poster child for technological innovation and entrepreneurship. You are the CEO of a very powerful company that connects the world with their closest friends and boredest aunts. Justin Timberlake invented Napster for you. You are person of the year 2007-200FOREVER. And that's great! I'm proud to call myself one of your 500 zillion friends that you didn't get to without making a few enemies.
But recently, Mark, you've been being kind of a dick. I was at the Phone Booth last night, a local
cigar humidifier Italian wedding bar that you have been known to frequent be at one time, and while using the restroom, I found something you left behind.
Ok? Man? Shuthefuckuperburg. It's very wonderful you that you are having your IPO and you are marrying beautiful Asian doctors. We should all be so lucky to have our IPO's and marry beautiful Asian doctors. It's wonderful to open the stock market in a sweatshirt like you just invented a more casual, chiller economy. But when you walk into the bathroom and tag your CEO status on a dive urinal, you are just being a major wang. We already KNOW that you were at the Phone Booth, we here at Uptown Almanac had a field day about it. Keeping that in mind, you need to learn how to be tactful of asserting your presence when you come to the Mission. At least other Bay Area CEOs have some panache.
Well, maybe not.
Previously on Uptown Almanac
To answer your question, yes.
Hey guys! Even though Cinco de Mayo is a made-up holiday perpetrated by tequila interest groups, it still rules. Be safe out there, and if you go home with someone, make sure to wear protection:
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Previously on Uptown Almanac
I am writing you regarding your the advertisements that you have elected to put on the side of every BART and Muni car in the Bay Area. You know the one--the one with the wolf? And its mouth is open? And it's shouting "WORK AT KIXEYE / BE AWESOMER." You know the ones.
First of all, congratulations. Congratulations on pioneering the exciting new frontier of memevertising. In this frantic and confusing age of holographic dead people and glasses that teach us to play ukelele, it's hard to break through to your average mama-grizzlybear consumer. BUT YOU DID IT! You said, "let's take jokes from the internet and use them to get people to come work at our startup!" A week and a half later, your very well-conceived ads were gracing every Muni bus, light rail train, and BART train in the city, extending an invitation to tens of thousands of commuters to seek employment at your startup.
But there are a few problems with your campaign, Kixeye. You see, when you exercise esoteric facets of internet culture to promote your recruitment campaign, you separate your potential applicants into two kinds groups of people:
- Those who understand the reference.
- Those who don't understand the reference.
The latter contingency are people who are just confused about why a wolf is shouting at them to work at your company and are nonplussed by your ploy to be "awesomer." This ad is not for them. Clearly.
The former category, the small group of people that will have any idea what this joke is alluding to, will understand that you have very aggressively misappropriated this peculiar segment of internet humor. What you wanted to use was the "Courage Wolf" meme, where you do something that results in being successful by being courageous. But, Kixeye, the joke you made was created using the "Insanity Wolf" meme, where the joke is that you do something excessively insane or irrational (to quote, "Insanity wolf tells his viewers to rape, kill, and commit other acts of insanity"). What you basically ran is an ad telling people that they would have to be insane to work at Kixeye. I'm guessing that it's just a happy coincidence that anyone would have to be totally insane to want to work at a ding-dong startup that simultaneously boasts an obscure reference to something on every bus and light-rail in the city, but somehow misses the joke that nobody got in the first place. Maybe one would have to be insane to work at a company with whatever knuckleheads thought that it was acceptable to pollute the city with this ad.
Anyway, good luck in the coming business quarter!
Previously on Uptown Almanac
Since the Mission District was established by urban explorer Straüs VanMission Sløot in 1989, no bar within the jurisdiction of its confines has inspired such polarizing opinions from people as Dear Mom. Built from the ashes of El Rincon, the mere mention of Dear Mom elicits such a dichotomous emotional response that it threatens to tear the native Caucasian community of the Mission District apart.
If you've been there before, you left with one of two statements rolling off of your tongue: "Hey man. I found this really cool bar. You should come out, I'm having all of my birthdays there forever." Or "Yo, fuck this place. Get my Segway. I'm going back to NOPA."
At the end of the day, all we have are facts. And here are the undisputed pros and cons of Dear Mom, which are all very real and none of which based on conjecture.
- Ample standing
- The Bar is co-owned and managed by Neil Diamond's son Brad Diamond
- Interior lit exclusively with artisan lightbulbs hand-crafted by estranged Latvian light-psychics
- Over 4 different kinds of canned beers
- Sports attractions such as football, pool and flannel olympics
- The bar is made of cocaine-mâché
- The staff make fun of you if you order a drink
- Brad Diamond will throw you out if you joke that he's "Your Friend in the Diamond Business"
- Getting stabbed on Folsom as you walk home
- No designated coke room (handicapped bathroom)
- Every record in the jukebox is the new Beach House record
- The bar is exclusively populated by shitheads
These are the facts as they stand. But seeing as nightlife is a wild, frenzied, subjective medium, it's left to you to decide. You, the plumbers, the joe twelve-packs, and the freelance art directors that give the Mission its gritty, working class spirit. What do you think about Dear Mom?
[Photo via The Bold Italic]