Curiosities, quirks, oddites, and items from around the Bay and beyond
A. E. Housman (who once deliciously referred to poetry as a "morbid secretion") said, "Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure. " And as John McWhorter so ably demonstrates, Sarah Palin's words -- or at least the art of parsing them -- can be extremely pleasurable:
"This reminds me of toddlers who speak from inside their own experience in a related way: they will come up to you and comment about something said by a neighbor you’ve never met, or recount to you the plot of an episode of a TV show they have no way of knowing you’ve ever heard of. Palin strings her words together as if she were doing it for herself — meanings float by, and she translates them into syntax in whatever way works, regardless of how other people making public statements do it."
I was saddened to hear that my former associate of many years, Tricia Taborn, died today (April 7) of cancer at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland.
She was four days shy of her 62nd birthday.
She entered the hospital on Saturday (April 3). Her mother Neomi flew out from Dallas, Texas, to be with her the last few days. Her sister Ginny, her two brothers Kenneth and Michael and her husband Gerald Baron were with her when she died. Read more »
Who says you can't get a proper pastrami sandwich in the Bay Area? Granted, that's one of the things I miss most from days growing up in Jersey when my Dad would take us to the city for pastrami at Carnegie Deli. You have to hunt here but there are a few gems, besides classic Miller's East Coast Deli. P.S. I'm wishing Orson would bring back its unparalleled pastrami and kraut pizza.
You really can’t make this shit up, people. Since we last reported on the shit show which had gone cross-bay all the way to Alice Waters’ backyard, further accusations have been lobbed, acid press releases have issued forth, and now there’s even a "legal complaint" against, get this, the UK’s Guardian newspaper.
A white tent, lit up like a lantern in the midst of a field darkened by night. A gathering of diverse souls; a musician, a hippie, a film director, all seated on the floor about a low, round dinner table. It could be anywhere (well no, not really, that whole tent thing is kind of crazy). But then, an exquisite dish is passed around, to the delight of the bohos gathered. It’s transcendent! It’s fresh! It’s radishes and strawberries. We’re not in Kansas anymore.
But we are in the midst of a beautiful film about Japanese food culture -- Eatrip, which has its US premiere at New People’s Viz Cinema Sat/10 through Thur/15. Read more »
The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that the Planning Commission in Humboldt County, Nevada blocked Recology's landfill expansion application in Winnemucca, which is halfway between San Francisco and Salt Lake City.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has its first TV ad out, blitzing the state with a Yes on Prop. 16 message paid for with some 30 million of your ratepayer dollars. And it's breathtaking in the majesty of its lies and misinformation.
You've written occasionally about infatuation, but is it really such a bad thing? It has driven even logical, structure-loving me to be romantic and loopy. But isn't it based on genuine attraction? Is it something to be wary of?
Blanket. Booze in a paper sack. Treats. Those are probably the ingredients to any adventure at Dolores Park, but wouldn't it be better if Michael J Fox was there, too? Maybe not the real guy, but the cute '80s version in Back to the Future [Universal Pictures, 1985] could be cool, or at least it will be when Dolores Park Movie Night starts up this Thursday. Read more »
New Young Pony Club really got me revved when they released their debut album Fantastic Playroom [Modular, 2007] and packed it with a whole ranch full of songs for hot gallops and rapid romping. Now that it's been a good chunk of years, the London five-piece claims they've grown up and grown out of their label contracts-- they've become totally self-produced, self-funded and their new album The Optimist (fresh on the shelves this week) is self-released. Is it self-improved? Neigh (as in a horse noise and symbolizing my uncertainty).
Duncan Sheik’s “Barely Breathing” was ranked #88 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s, but in the past decade, the singer and composer has been winning even fancier gold awards for his musical theater scores. This week Sheik’s singing with the San Francisco Symphony-- Wed/7- Sat/10 at Davies Symphony Hall-- and performing the world premiere of the orchestral arrangement of songs from The Whisper House.
Tuesdays will occasionally be given over to a guest columnist. This week, please welcome a bitter queen.
Have you heard? Gayboorhoods are becoming extinct. So sayeth Matt Katz tosday in Obit mag, a self identified straight man who has spent enough time among that mythic fairy land, "where gay people lived and hung out, somehow fulfilling stereotypes while simultaneously stimulating social justice" (via hand jobs?) to tell us of the local color that once flourished there and to lament their passing.