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With climate change threatening life as we know it, perhaps it's time to revive the forgotten goal of spending less time on our jobs

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GREEN ISSUE: Save the planet, work less. Plus: Martinez Brothers, Hope Mohr Dance, Oakland Drops Beats, 'Faust,' more. Articles Online | Digital Edition

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Back to the mat for Ting and the Catholics

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By Ryan Thomas Riddle

What city officials called the “second largest transfer tax event in our city’s history” is set to go back before the Transfer Tax Review Board. The Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco has filed an appeal, contesting the delinquent tax value of the board’s Dec 4. ruling that states an estimated $14.4 million in transfer taxes are owed to the city. Read more »

Source switch clouds SF's water

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By Jobert Poblete

If you've noticed that your water has been looking a little off recently, you aren't the only one. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is warning Bay Area residents that tap water may look cloudy for the next few weeks while maintenance and construction work is completed on the pipeline that delivers pristine water from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park.Read more »

Gonna mixtape you up in my love

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Damn straight. Photo via tapedeck.org

Mixtapes were the bomb, right? They represented dedication; time spent crouching by your boombox, starting and stopping and racing for the ‘record’ button when that song came on the radio (early piracy?). The order of songs, the meaning of songs… remember when you’d even record sweet nothings in between tracks for that special someone?

The last mixtape in my possession was made for me by one of my best friends (shout out to you, A cup!) when we were 15 years old, to bring on my exchange student summer in Mexico. It contained the following classics:

1. “The Bad Touch” (the ‘Discovery Channel’ song) by the Bloodhound Gang
2. “I Get Around” by Tupac Shakur
3. “Thug Passion” by Tupac Shakur
4. “Ojos Asi” by Shakira
5. “Bye Bye Bye” by N*SYNC

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Street Threads: Vivian

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SFBG photog Ariel Soto scoops SF street fashion. See the previous Look of the Day here.

Today's Look: Vivian, Cortland and Bennington

Tell us about your look:"Comfort, classic and simple." Read more »

Kinky Comic Carnival will get fingers sticky

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By Amber Schadewald

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Justin Hall's Hard To Swallow will go nicely with a Wicked Grounds mocha -- extra whip, of course

Surprising, unsettling, naughty and quite nice, kinky comics are way more fun than the traditional cats in the daily papers. Whether you’re already a fan or instantly curious at the thought, the Kinky Comics Carnival is the perfect place to entertain your illustrated fantasies. Charm local comic creators, grab their goods, and beg for an autograph while sipping lattes among a stellar lineup of pervy cartoonist-types like Serena Valentino (Gloom Cookie), Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin), Tristan Crane (How Loathsome) and Greta Christina (Best Erotic Comics).

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How bad does Muni have to get

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By Tim Redmond

Before Gavin Newsom is willing to consider extending parking meter hours to make drivers pay their fair share?Read more »

Obama to base: "Continue to fight"

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Tosca in North Beach was packed last night for the State of the Union watch party that was thrown by Organizing for America, President Barack Obama’s grassroots organizing operation, and the crowd was predictably supportive of the president despite his political difficulties and declining popularity.Read more »

"Waiting for Guffman" forever!

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By Louis Peitzman

In honor of SF Sketchfest’s Jan. 31 screening of Waiting for Guffman (1996) with star Fred Willard in person, I tried to interview the entire cast of the film. I failed. I did, however, speak to four cast members — two of Corky’s actors and two Blaine councilpeople — who reflected fondly on their experience and humored my fanboy questions. Where are these characters now? And, of course, is Broadway finally ready for Red, White and Blaine?

Fred Willard (Ron Albertson, travel agent)

On getting involved with director Christopher Guest: “I was in Spinal Tap. I’d worked with Michael McKean and Harry Shearer before, and I knew Rob Reiner. I was doing a show called Fernwood 2 Night at the same time he was doing All in the Family. We would pass in the halls and say hello, how are you. I would say mostly it was because of Harry Shearer, who’s a fairly good friend and who I’ve worked with. So I got in Spinal Tap, and then I was in a movie that Eugene Levy wrote and directed in Toronto called Sodbusters, which is kind of a spoof of Shane. Then next I knew, I got to know Christopher Guest.”

On the improv process: “[Guest] calls you and discusses your character and kind of aims you in the right direction. But there’s nothing, no lines written down. So he films a lot and then cuts out what he doesn’t need, and puts in what moves the plot forward, as he puts it. Which always kind of frustrates me, because some of the funniest stuff that not only I do but that a lot of people do, doesn’t really move the plot forward, but it’s just stuff I’d enjoy seeing. But he likes his movies about 85, 86 minutes. And that way, I think, a lot of people I find tell me they watch them over and over, which you can’t do with a two-and-a-half hour movie.”

On creating Ron: “First, [Guest] kind of gave me everything. He said I was a high school athlete. It was his idea, the penis reduction joke. In fact, he wanted to have a scene where I was running, you know an old film clip of me running the hurdles, and each hurdle being knocked over. That never was filmed or put in the movie, which I’m kind of glad about. He pretty much told me that Catherine [O’Hara] and I were like the Lunt and Fontanne of this little town, that we’d been in every production and when we had to audition, it was just kind of a technicality. We considered ourselves the pros of all the amateurs. I can say we’re about the most annoying couple I’ve seen in film.”

On the Chinese restaurant scene: “[Guest] just said, all right, what we’re going to do is, you’re going to take Eugene Levy and his wife out, because this is their first show and you’re going to try to make them more comfortable, because they’re the newcomers. So my key there is, in making them more comfortable, we would make them as uncomfortable as possible. And I didn’t know that Catherine was going to be drinking and get kind of tipsy during this scene, which added a whole nother dimension. And Eugene is a perfect victim. … [Guest] said the Chinese restaurant scene, we’ll probably film for two hours and then cut it down. And my first thought is, ‘Oh my God, what am I going to think of to say for two hours?’ But the night we did it, it was filmed late at night. We’d finished another scene. We got to the restaurant and we started filming, and went on and on. And finally, he said, cut, that’s it. And I said, ‘Wait a minute, Chris. There’s more! We can still do more!’”

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Strange sounds: "Trimpin" hits the Red Vic

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This is what genius is made of. Toy monkeys, Bunsen burners, turkey basters, wooden shoes, a 10,000 volt neon transformer, water. Or at least, this is the shape of inspired thought in “Trimpin: The Sound of Invention,” a film playing this weekend at the Red Vic Movie House whose focus is on a sound sculptor creating fantastic sculptures of instruments that are actually played by intricately tuned computer programs.

"Trimpin: The Sound of Invention" playing this weekend at the Red Vic Movie House

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Appetite: Hoist your stein for Beer Week

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By Virginia Miller of www.theperfectspotsf.com. View the previous Appetite here.

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Howard Zinn has died

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By Steven T. Jones

Historian and social justice advocate Howard Zinn – whose work inspired me and countless others to look at history and the world from the people’s perspective, rather than that of the conquerors and power-brokers – has died.Read more »

Alioto-Pier drops out of insurance commissioner race

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By Steven T. Jones

Michela Alioto-Pier has withdrawn from the race for insurance commissioner. “Michela suffered an injury to her leg which required surgery and will entail additional time in the hospital time to heal,” her husband Tom Pier said in a public statement. “The necessary recuperation, as well as the demands of her duties as a San Francisco Supervisor and as a mother of three young children, make a statewide run for Insurance Commissioner impractical at this time.”Read more »

Marijuana goes mainstream

Take a tour of the Bay Area's best cannabis clubs, which are proving that prohibition is the problem, not pot

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I've smoked marijuana on and off for most of my adult life, usually in the evening to help let go of the anxieties associated with being a progressive wage slave in an increasingly conservative capitalist country.

Buying my pot, which is California's biggest cash crop, has always been a criminal transaction: in hushed tones or coded language, I arrange to meet a dealer I've been set up with through friends. And when I meet him (they've always been men), I give him cash in exchange for an eighth- or quarter-ounce of whatever kind of pot he's selling.Read more »

Live Shots: Phoenix at the Fillmore, 01/26/2010

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Text and photos by Ariel Soto

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I remember the first time I heard the music of the amazing French band Phoenix (http://www.wearephoenix.com/). I was in college and some kid in my Spanish class gave me a copy of their first album, "United," and I sat in my tiny closet-sized, pink wallpapered room and played it over and over again. When I find music I like, I play it ad nauseam, driving everyone around me crazy. That album also became the background to many a make-out session with my now fiance in that teeny pink room. Today when I listen to Phoenix's music, it's like downing a huge glass of sweet nostalgia.

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alt.sex.column: The old triangle

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By Andrea Nemerson. Email your questions to andrea@mail.altsexcolumn.com. Read more of Andrea's columns here.

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Dear Andrea:

I seem to find myself being one-third of a long-term, stable threesome. Or is there no such thing?

I was dating "Jill," who is bi but was only dating me. We decided to try a threesome just for fun and invited her friend "Jen." It turned out not to be one-time thing. Jen came back, and came back again, and she and Jill started to fall in love, and so did we (Jen and me), and before you knew it, we had this thing that looks weird from the outside but feels very normal and even simple to us. Only a few close friends know, and we are worried about what parents and others would say if they knew. Jill and I were planning on getting married and having a kid, and we still want to, but now Jen would be part of our family too. And we'd like to get a house together, but wouldn't people know then?

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