Friday, February 12, 2016

I need a ruling on this restaurant issue

SCENE: A bustling, fairly trendy restaurant in San Francisco.  The kind of place with artisanal cocktails that all have one ingredient you have no idea what it is and waitresses with full sleeves.  The Wife and I are out on one of our very very very very very very rare nights out together.  Baby Beyonce - who is now Toddler Beyonce I guess or even Kid Beyonce, because she's almost 3 and speaks in full sentences and has opinions about things - is being babysat by her great-aunt and great-uncle.

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENS: Having drinks, perusing the menu.  I pick the following option:


OK!  I definitely know what beef is.  I know what braised means.  I kinda know what kohlrabi is - some kind of cabbage thing? Hey, the Times is ON IT.  I know what lollipops and kale are, never had them together, but what the hell, I like them both so it couldn't be that bad.  I even sort of know what bagna cauda is!  It's like a vegetable sauce you dip shit in, like a less-fun fondue.  OK, let's do it.

After the obligatory deviled eggs (seriously, if you have a restaurant and you don't have a deviled egg appetizer you might as well just fucking send your address in to Eater's "Restaurants That Closed" because you are FUCKED), entrees arrive.  It looks fine!  It's a little bit of beef with some green stuff sprinkled around it.

Now, of course, like all restaurants in San Francisco of the aught-teens, it is PITCH BLACK inside and so I'm basically eating blind but I take a couple of bites and it's fine, and then suddenly I take a bite and BOOM my mouth is full of fish taste.  ACK ACK WHY IS THERE FISH ON THIS.  I didn't ask for fish and don't want fish.  And this is like really sharp fishy fish.  Ugh.  My life is ruined.

The Wife sees me convulsing and examines the dish with her superior eyesight.  "It's an anchovy," she says.  WHY GOD WHY.  Why have you cursed my otherwise satisfactory dish with the loathsome presence of anchovies, the broccoli of the sea?

THE DISPUTE: Do I say something to the waitress or not?  Something like, "Excuse me, but I think some mental deficient in the kitchen accidentally sprayed stale fish all over my otherwise edible beef" or "Excuse me, I think someone's pizza from 1975 is missing something" or "Excuse me, please get this the fuck out of my sight."  The Wife says no, so I accede to her wisdom and say nothing.

(Further research conducted IMMEDIATELY after leaving reveals that bagna cauda "is made with garlic, anchovies, olive oil, butter, and in some parts of the region cream." Which, fine, mix them in the BC if you must, but that doesn't mean drape them all over my meat like a fish blanket.)

I guess I should have said something but I'm always like who does that?  I don't want to be that guy.

Anyway, have a good weekend.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Fuller House teaser trailer, reviewed by someone who's never seen Full House

That's right, I've never seen a single episode of Full House.  It originally aired between 1987 and 1995, or so Wikipedia tells me, a time in my life in which my interests were not aligned with family-friendly TV sitcoms.  I understand that it was set in San Francisco and the Olsen twins were involved.  Beyond that, I couldn't tell you a thing.

There is apparently a sequel series coming to Netflix.  This trailer "dropped" as we say in the cool kids biz, yesterday or something.


I can tell it's set in SF because of the establishing shots of that bridge and Alamo Square.  This is the exterior.  I am informed by Google that it is at 1709 Broderick, vaguely near the bro-y section of Divisadero.  I guess they probably hang out at Lion Pub.

Then there are some long shots of the interior.  It looks expensive.  These people were probably angel investors in Apple or something.  The house is extremely staged.  It is clear no one actually lives there.

BUT WAIT.  At around 1:15, there is a development.  A dog is in the house, apparently alone.


A car horn honks.  Someone says, "Gosh, it feels good to be back.  Hey, can someone help me with these boxes?"  WHAT THE FUCK.  Has the dog just been living in the fucking house alone since 1995?  What has it been eating?  Are there Olsen twins skeletons upstairs, stripped clean of flesh?

More voices.  A group of people approach.  The dog paws madly at the door.  FINALLY, NEW FOOD.  SALVATION.


Fade to black.  Hopefully the next teaser trailer is the now-insane abandoned dog tearing them apart and gleefully consuming their limbs.  THIS SHOW RULES.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

ilu Waze

For reasons too complicated to explain but involving preschool and the nature of time, my life now requires that twice a week I drive from the Mid-Sunset at just after 8:30 to a parking garage in the Civic Center area where I must arrive by 9:00 a.m. or the parking fee doubles.  IT'S REAL EXCITING.  If you know your San Francisco geography and morning commuting patterns, you might be thinking "IT CAN'T BE DONE" or "GOOD FUCKING LUCK" but I have a friend helping me and his or her name is WAZE.

WAZE is a traffic app like blood is a helpful liquid.  Basically what it does is take info from everybody who has it and is driving around in their car and puts it all into its computer brain and then tells you the best route to take to get wherever you're going.  Before I started using it I would miss the cutoff pretty regularly and get screwed but I haven't missed it yet since I started using it.  Disclaimer I don't work for Waze.

Plus the best part it also functions as a free game called DO I HAVE ANY FUCKING CHANCE OF MAKING IT ON TIME.  Here's the screen you see:


Or the screen I saw this morning anyway, while I was on morning commute nightmare Oak Street.  As you can see, Waze is telling me to turn left on Scott which I did and which worked out fine but see that time at the bottom?  The 8:58?  That's the time Waze thinks you're going to make it to wherever you're going.  It changes as you go along, depending on traffic or whatever.  WOW EXCITING.  So you can constantly check it and see how fucked you are.

This morning, I made it to the garage at 8:58.  THANKS WAZE.

Waze has not been without controversy!  Mainly because it's been steering loads of people onto formerly quiet side streets when freeways are jammed.  Oh well!  You can't stop progress!  

Google owns Waze now, natch.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Hell is about the size of Canada, a little bigger

So I was reading this interview with Ben Carson about his religious beliefs (Medium-weird, I guess? Hard for me to tell, not being in the game myself anymore) and it says:

He also does not believe in hell: “I don't believe there is a physical place where people go and are tormented. No. I don't believe that,” he says.

Huh, I guess I never thought of it like that.  Like Hell could be an ACTUAL, PHYSICAL place where people go and are tormented.  Like a huge DMV or something.

Well, WHAT IF IT IS?  What if there is a Hell, and it's an actual facility staffed by demons, I guess, where people are physically incarnated to serve out their sentences for lying or killing a rabbit or swearing or whatever?

HOW BIG IS IT?

Well, first of all, let's assume that only humans from Earth go to Hell, and that whatever aliens live on other worlds have their own Hell.  Also, we will assume animals don't go to Hell, because they're cute and Cute Things shouldn't suffer Eternal Torment, with the exception of the Olsen twins.

OK, SO, according to my sources (a shady outfit called the "Population Reference Bueau," as quoted in this BBC News post on the Internet websites), the total number of people who have ever lived is about 107 billion.  That's a lot!  For purposes of comaprison, if every person in America had 336 identical twins there would be about 107 billion Americans in this crowded and, frankly, extremely creepy, America.

Next we will assume that almost everyone who has ever lived is in Hell, because it is way, way, way too easy to fuck up, so there are like 5000 people in Heaven tops.  Everyone else is a Sinner who is in Hell.  5000 people is not statistically significant for our purposes.

I would imagine Hell is fairly densely populated, since crowded is slightly more unpleasant than roomy.  Not like Hong Kong crowded, but maybe like NYC crowded.  The population density of New York City is about 26,403 people per square mile.  (San Francisco, by comparison, is a much spaciousier 17,246 ppsm).

So NYC Hell is about 4,052,569 square miles, or about the size of Canada, plus Peru stuck awakwardly to its side.  All as densely populated as NYC.  Holy shit, that evening commute from Firey Burn And Poke Pit to your house on Gasoline Poured In My Open Wounds Lane is maybe the worst part of Hell. Unless you live next door to Hitler, who has fucking wind chimes.  What an asshole.



HELL IS FUCKING HUGE. It takes the Regional VP for Waterboarding and Telling You What a Failure You Are like 3 hours just to get from Hell Vancouver to Hell Winnipeg (or just "Winnipeg" I guess JOKING JOKING).  All the while flying over a teeming crowded cityscape.  Horrible!

On the other hand, there is a killer Hell halal cart near Hell Saskatoon.

Have a good weekend, everybody!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Your Guide to Super Bowl Festivities in Downtown San Francisco

How many times have you thought "Hey, I wish my city was hosting activities tangentially related to a sporting event that will actually be played 50 miles away at enormous civic cost and virtually no return on investment, but with guaranteed headaches and inconveniences for vast swaths of the local population, all for the purpose of enriching a few billionaires and perpetuating a morally questionable sport that leaves some who play it with lifelong diminshed cognitive function?"

A lot, right? Well, FEEL THE EXCITEMENT!!!!!  SUPER BOWL 50 IS HERE!!!*

* Not actually "here."

Check out all the fun events and activities at SUPER BOWL CITY!!!


First you'll want to note the area in RICH OWNER RED.  That's fabulous SUPER BOWL CITY, where you'll be subjected to invasive, airport-style security just to get to the Subway, which you probably shouldn't be going to anyway.  Inside SUPER BOWL CITY you'll find fun activities like OH NO NOT THE PATRIOTS AGAIN, a 36-hour-long loop of Tom Brady throwing an 8-yard pass to a tight end, and BUILD ME A STADIUM YOU LITTLE FUCK, where you can pretend to be a megarich team owner and force a struggling municipality to go to a three-month school year to have enough money to build you a new stadium to replace the one you had them build you just 8 years ago!

Oh no!  What's that sound?  Has an NFL player gotten loose from the Containment Area and is threatening passerby?  Please quickly and quietly assemble at the ROID RAGE EVACUATION POINT for removal by ferry while our team of trained specialists restrains and calms Mr. Hardy.

Down Market Street a bit you'll find CONCUSSION JUNCTION.  Take a monster blow to the head in our Aeneaswilliamsizer and then compete to finish simple tasks like remembering to pick your kids up from school or successfully ordering bottles of Ace of Spades for your boys at XS!  Don't try taking Muni there, though.  We've removed all the busses so limos full of cocaine and champagne can get through!

[PLEASE NOTE: NFL Executives, you will need to check in at the Mayor's Reception/Quid Pro Quo Donation Station upon arrival.  Please remember to discard dirty money in the box marked "ILLEGAL CONTRIBUTIONS HERE." Thank you!]

Want to participate in the fun, but don't have thousands of dollars in disposable income?  You'll be welcomed warmly at the CITIZEN PEN, where you'll find a VCR with a grainy copy of one of the Cowboys-Bills Super Bowls and a box of Bagel Bites.

Also remember, we've partnered with Uber to bring you GUESS THE SURGE all week!  Trying to get home from work because Muni is completely shut down?  That'll be 2.4x normal!  Thanks for playing!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

How to Make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Last night on Twitter a fierce battle broke out. It concerned what duty we owe to our fellow man and the nature of empathy. No, I'm shitting you, of course. What it actually had to do with was how to make a grilled cheese sandwich. If you thought ISIS was bad get a load of some of these psychopaths. We had people buttering the bread first, there was some kind of talk about cheese curds, and one freakshow kindly, albeit misinformed, citizen said to put olive oil in the pan.  I had no idea people were so fucked up.

It's cool, I can help.

Liv Tyler eating a grilled cheese.  From Mario Batali's Instagram, apparently.  I just Googled "Liv Tyler eating a grilled cheese" to find it.  
A GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH, despite its name, is not prepared on a grill, but in a 10-12" saute pan.  There are three ingredients: bread, cheese, and butter.  Olive oil is not an ingredient.  Mayonnaise is not an ingredient. Chipotle aioli is not an ingredient.  Maybe those are ingredients in some kind of grilled sandwich, but not a grilled cheese.

BREAD.  You can use a wide variety of breads to make a grilled cheese.  The Classic GC is on white bread, and if that's your steeze, Orowheat Buttermilk White does a fine job.  Sourdough also makes an excellent GC.  Try Beckmann's California Sourdough, which is fantastic.

You can use other kinds of bread, too.  Dill rye makes a nice GC with aged swiss (as discussed below), although that is certainly a nontraditional GC.  Wheat is usually fine.  Sliced brioche is heavenly, since each slice of brioche is made with about a stick of butter anyway.

Type of bread you can't make a GC with: hot dog or hamburger buns, sandwich rolls, biscuits, croissants, those weird hard little dinner rolls, banana bread or any other fruit bread (which really aren't bread anyway but cakes but I'm wildly digressing now).

CHEESE.  God has given us many cheeses; use them.  The classics, of course, are cheddar and American, but like I said, swiss on rye is a great GC.  I think the Classic GC is American on white bread, but smoky sharp cheddar on sourdough is a [insert 100 emoji] sandwich.  Smoked gouda on almost any bread.  Don't use mozzarella.  It's too stringy and doesn't belong in a GC anyway.

BUTTER.  Use butter.  Not oil, butter.

METHOD.

Here's where shit went south online.  It appears, to my horror, that some people believe you should butter the bread, then put it in the pan.  This is an absurd waste of time that will just end up shredding the bread like wiping dog feces on onionskin.  Do people who do this just enjoy doing everything in the most difficult fashion possible?  Do you boil one penne at a time?  I guess you toast a bagel and then SMASH IT facedown into a pile of cream cheese and hope some cream cheese sticks.  Lunacy.

Let me make it easy for you.  Put a pan on a burner.  Adjust to medium-low heat.  Let it warm.  Place a pat of butter (about 1/2 tbsp) in the pan.  Enjoy it sizzling and melting.  Place your previously-assembled sandwich in the butter.  Slide it around a little for maximum coverage.  Cook for about a minute and hald, two minutes.  Lift up a corner with a spatula and look.  Is it golden brown, with a slight hint of darker crust forming around the edges?  If so, remove it from the pan.  Drop another 1/2 tbsp butter in.  When it melts (and it will be fast), put the sandwich back in, uncooked side down. Turn the heat down slightly.  Another 90 seconds to 2 minutes.  Voila.

There, was that so hard? 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The See's Candy Demystifier

Oh hey it's just post-holiday-season which means every work kitchen has an open box of See's candy leftover from some gift or sent back from some client that didn't leave a forwarding address.  What the fuck is in those, anyway?


1 - Oh good, just normal chocolate OH SHIT SOME KIND OF RASPBERRY GOO JUST SHOT OUT FUCK

2 - Literally a bar of peanuts

3 - Some kind of nougat/uinidentifiable nut thing

4 - Why is the center of this rock hard? Wait, it's pulling apart now but it's lodged in my teeth shit it's gonna pull a tooth out

5 - Dopey Clusters

6 - Just a couple of almonds with a thunk of chocolate loosely holding them together

7 - The only good one.  They move it around and put it in a different place in every box so you'll never find it again.

8 - Looks like the good one but actually has anchovy paste under a thin layer of chocolate.  GOTHA MOTHERFUCKER

9 - Hazelnut paste and broken promises

10 - What, just more chocolate inside chocolate? OK, this one is ok.

11 - They call this one El Diablo.  No one knows why.

12 - Actual maple tree sap, like with bits of bark and ants still in it and shit.

13 - You think it's another peanut bar but hidden inside is deadly fugu fish. You have 8 minutes to live, run don't walk to the nearest Japanese ER.

14 - Swirls of Hate

15 - Some kind of mint thing. It's OK.

16 - Walnuts 'N Roofing Tar

17 - Monkey foot

18 - Just some shit swept up off the factory floor and dropped into a paper sleeve

19 - Macadmia nuts on top, who the fuck knows underneath

20 - The Admiral Akbar

21 - It's a Snickers Fun Size, don't tell anyone

22 - This one's called Chocolate Suicide because Crystal killed herself the first day we made these oh God Crystal I miss you so much

23 - Chocolate so dark it makes Requiem for a Dream look like My Little Pony

24 - Now we're just fucking with you and seeing how many of these cheap-ass Payday knockoff peanut bars we can drop in here without you noticing

25 - I think this is the one made w/ hemp butter but I'm not 100% sure hang out for a while and see if Sheila in Accounting starts talking about the faces of the Buddha