Drama Talk & Drinks: Shout-out

caveman play

We’re finally getting back to the theater! Excited to see Faultline Theater’s Caveman Play tonight!

When I read the description that: “when you arrive, you will enter into a cave. In a cave, there are many different seating options. Ever dream of sitting on a comfy log? We got you. You want to lounge on a pillowy fur? Done.” I knew this was a show to check out.

WHAT: “An interactive comedy in which we are given an opportunity to go back to the moment when humanity had a choice. One path led us towards global warming, institutionalized racism, and snapchat filters. The other path led mostly to being eaten by tigers. Is it time to admit that we chose wrong? You decide!”

WHERE: Z Below @ Z Space

WHEN: July 11th, 12th, 13th, 18th, 19th & 20th

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased HERE.


The stay-in generation

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Molly Young at the New York Times takes a look at why nobody on Monday morning at the office has a good answer anymore for the “How was your weekend?” query:

The reason is obvious: We no longer go out. And why would we, when the allure of staying in has reached irresistible proportions? Why risk a restaurant when you can order Seamless or sauté premade gnocchi from Blue Apron? Why go to a bar when you can swipe right? Why go to a reading when you can download a podcast? Why pay $15 to see a boneheaded Marvel rehash in theaters when the world of premium streaming content is at your fingertips? Food, entertainment, romance: The traditional weekend staples are now available entirely on demand. The centripetal force of our homes has never been stronger.

The rise of city-dwellers staying in is hard to quantify; how do you measure the frequency with which people don’t leave their homes? But culture, as usual, offers a mirror. Of all the customs that seem dated on shows like “Sex and the City” and “Entourage,” one of the most glaring is how often the characters went out — to premieres, cocktail parties, restaurant openings (are those even still a thing?), art openings, clubs … events. Multiple events in one evening! These tableaux have been replaced by Abbi and Ilana of “Broad City” getting trapped on the Internet all night and the stylishly domesticated Dev and Rachel on “Master of None” barely leaving their apartment.

Read on for lots more astute analysis and some stuff about Willa Cather. I particularly like the part about the upsides of going out (“You could have a life-altering adventure, meet your soul mate, find your new best friend”). And the line, “[W]hat’s the point of living in a city if you treat it like a suburb?”

So, for goodness sake, go out this week. Here are some ideas:

And of course…

  • American Tripps, the “Berlin-style” ping pong night, every Monday at Pop’s ;)

Have a life-altering adventure!!!

(“Master of None” is really good though.)

[Photo by Christine Huang]

An explanation

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By the excellent local blog anadromy:

Dear Woman Who Parked on a Hill on Castro Street Yesterday,

I was coming back from the gym and still had my headphones in my ears when I saw you pull into the parking spot, so I didn’t hear that your car’s engine was still running when you got out and closed the door. It looked like you were walking away from your car instead of simply checking to make sure your rear bumper wasn’t sticking over the crosswalk. I swear I wasn’t trying to be a condescending jerk by cheerfully reminding you to turn your wheels as I walked by and I could plainly see that you, ‘Knew how to fucking drive.’ I misread the situation and was just trying to keep you from getting an expensive parking ticket.


The Accidental Man-splainer in the Santa Cruz Hoodie

[link] [Photo by salenoy]

Control is an illusion; let there be socks

Best SF blogger of all time Brock Keeling the other day posted this thoughtful seasonal greeting on Facebook:

In between your unfollow-worthy posts about Donald Trump vs. Bernie Sanders, “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays,” imported vs. locally-sourced terrorism, and other Daily Show- vs. FOX News-inspired dreck you insist on shouting to followers who think and feel exactly the same way you do — far be it from me that I should tell anyone to stop screaming into a bag of birdseed! — cushion your self-righteous updates with one like my own:

Socks remain one of the most requested clothing items at homeless shelters, but rarely the most donated. Freezing temps, blisters, and infections are common conditions that can lead to more serious health issues for our homeless population. Go ahead and donate a bag or five of socks to your nearest shelter. (Black non-dress socks, imo, are ideal because they last longer and are better suited for inevitable job interviews.) But best of all, not only will you feel better inside your own crazy head, you’ll get to make pious, grandstanding posts like this one. Fabulous.

St. Anthony Foundation is a good place to start (details: https://goo.gl/O1OBZN). Check your local shelters for drop-off info.

Get to work!


Note: the title of this post also refers to a post we did in 2009 involving another all-time blogging great, Tony Pierce, and the prospect of a Valencia Street American Apparel shop.

Help Wanted (a poem)

I’ve been writing this blog every day
For a little over eight years
I’ve met heaps of interesting people
And conquered a lot of fears

But I’m getting older
And the neighborhood is a-changin’
And it’s starting to feel a bit like
The masthead could use some rearrangin’

I still love the Mission
And I still love this blog
I just need a little bit o’ help
A-rustlin’ up this hog

This thing’s never made a lot of money
So you couldn’t expect to get rich
But if a creative outlet and a lot of fun is what you’re after
Please continue a-listenin’ to my pitch

If you love this place
And you reckon your blogging abilities are the bomb
Please drop me a line
At allanhough@gmail.com

[Vintage staff photo via our Facebook account]


No greater horror in life than splitting the check

Former local blogger Ramona tells us all about it:

There is no greater horror (in a life with few horrors) than getting the check after dining or drinking with a large group of people. The worst worst time is when everyone has cash except for you, so they’re like “How about you put it on your card and we’ll give you money?” That innocent sounding “How about…” always ends with you putting $200 on your debit card and them handing you 16 crumpled ones, and you being like, “What the fuck?” and everyone being like “I put in the correct amount PLUS a little extra for tax,” and then turning back to their conversations to leave you to be evicted from your apartment. The best worst time is when some extremely chill person who has never been out to dinner before is like “Just give me your cash and I’ll put it on my card,” and you’re like “Okay,” but are thinking: welcome to hell motherfucker.

Read on for Ramona’s latest check-splitting horror, at an outdoor bar in Brooklyn.

[Photo by Honey Jets]

Should you say ‘in Potrero Hill’ or ‘on Potrero Hill’?

As part of a digression in a great post about Thomassons (objects in cities that are useless but still remain, like these hitching posts from the days of horses in SF), TK from 40 going on 28 poses a question:

When you’re saying something is located in a neighborhood that ends in “Hill,” do you say “in” or “on”?  Like, I say “You know, Thee Parkside, over on Potrero Hill,” or “That is the douchiest place on Russian Hill, and that’s saying something.”  Sally obviously prefers the “in” usage, as in “My bro sold his startup to Google and bought a place in Rincon Hill.”  Is either one right or are they both cool?  I don’t know.  *shrugs*

Tough one! Maybe think geographically? Thee Parkside is technically in the Potrero Hill neighborhood, but it is not on the hill. So I’d say “in.” Whereas Blooms Saloon is definitely *on* Potrero Hill, so maybe I’d say, “Blooms, on Potrero Hill.” Or would I? Hard to say.

The time my cousin Jono prevented a fight by dancing his ass off, while the Strokes played ‘New York City Cops’ in the distance

We’re in a tightly packed crowd, pretty far back, for the closing set of FYF 2014 by headliners the Strokes. They’ve just finished, but we just know they’re coming back for an encore. People are starting to stream out though, and amidst the chaos, some guy shoves another guy, the other guy shoves back, the crowd parts around them. It’s gonna get real.

But then, the Strokes (off in the distance) launch into “New York City Cops” (which is poignant already for its 9/11-related history and what’s happening currently with the NYPD) and my cousin Jono (who incidentally just won an Emmy) launches into the middle of the two guys and starts *boogying down*. The tough guys that were about to fight each other look confused for a moment and then go their separate ways. The rest of the crowd swarms in around Jono and we all dance and sing and shout along to the chorus.

Anger diffused by dancing. Violence prevented by party.

Let’s rock:

[Photo by Stephano Higuera]

Does the bartender who seems to like you really actually like you?

Local veteran barfly David Enos thinks not:

Group of cool guys on the train tonight, each with khakis, thick frame glasses, desert boots, hoodies.  ”Cantina’s where its at because the bartender knows us, he knows us, we’re down.  We go in, our table’s the focal point, we can get loud and not be kicked out.  I, personally, have gotten into some awesome conversations with random people in there.  We start a fight, the bartender’s on our side, he’s fightin’ with us, know what I mean?” I guarantee that the bartender of this establishment hates these cretins to the core.

Ouch. Read on for some thoughts on whether or not these guys are good tippers.

[Photo by Honey Jets]

The beholder’s eye

“It’s a clue.” he said as he slammed it down on my desk. I couldn’t see what he had put down. Firstly, because my eyes were closed. Secondly, because I wasn’t sitting at my desk, I was curled up beneath it. Vic, Helen and I had closed down the Latin American the night before. Or was it this morning? In any case, we had also opened it up this afternoon. That kind of week. I had gone back to the office to get some blogging in, but I don’t think I actually did any. And now all I could see were three pint-sized margaritas floating in front of me. I swatted at them fruitlessly.

“Hey. Hey!” Allan’s low top sneaker kicked me in the arm. “I need you on this. And I need it now.”

I was lying on what felt like a burrito butt and a gum wrapper was stuck to my cheek. My maid was on vacation. “Did you bring me coffee?” I croaked from my little dusty bed. It was just about five, and I couldn’t get as far into the afternoon daylight as I used to be able to without some slow drip.

“I’ll put a pot on. Let’s get to work,” Allan’s kicky feet walked away from my desk. “Commenters want to know, is this art?” I slowly crept out and slithered into my chair. The sideways sunlight cut through the office fog of dust, slicing it to ribbons with help from broken and uneven venetians.

“Where did you get this?” I asked, finally getting a look at the photo. It was an oddly shaped paint dribble. It almost seemed accidental, but something about the curvature suggested intent. Allan was hot on the trail of a new tagger in town. Someone who approached every untouched spot in the city like a beautifully blank surface with the potential to be a new Mona Lisa. Or at least one of Reyes’ letters.

“Don’t worry about that, just suss out the meaning.” Allan plopped a full coffee mug on my desk. The sound of porcelain against oak was pleasing. As was the hot drop that splashed out and burned my hand, teasingly. I took a long sip, searing the roof of my mouth and probably also my throat. The Mission Mission office’s snack budget didn’t reach as far as the fancy neighborhood boutique cafes. This was brown bean water. But it would do.

Half an hour later, I had this.

I brought it to Allan. He was lost in thought. “Someone’s been passive aggressively hate-faving my tweets. Can I just disable all engagement?”

I didn’t know. “I don’t know,” I responded. “Here’s your image.”

“Ariel. You’re so literal. This is quirky and whimsical, but it’s not what I need. This goofy lil’ ankle biter, this isn’t what we’re after. It’s great, it’s fine. You did your best. But take a look at these. I went ahead and had Extra Pizza Toppings take her own crack, and I think she found it. I think she found both of it.”

And he was right. She found something. “Go with this,” I said, “Something about people looking like their pets.”

“Huh.” Allan frowned. “Could it really be that banal?”

“You can’t spell banal without anal.” I grabbed my whisky flask from the middle drawer of my desk.

“What they hell is that?”

“I dunno. A joke? A headline? An out of context status update?” I grabbed my hoodie off the rack and flung the door open. “I’m meeting a commenter who’s ready to go legit, I’ll find you at The Alley, I’ll be there by the time the sun burns into Sutro.” I closed the door behind me, this day had posed too many questions and I was all out of answers. I stepped out onto Mission Street and stumbled East into the Capp Street wind.


Budget yachting

I was hella blessed to be asked to make a guest appearance this morning on Roll Over Easy (the finest morning radio broadcast on the planet), and during the show I talked about how much I like to get on the Oakland-Alameda ferry and order some gins ‘n’ tonics and take in the gorgeous views of the Bay Bridge and the Port of Oakland and everything.

And then our pal Ben Russo figured out what to call it:


Here are scenes from my last two budget yachting trips btw:

P.S. One time in a “Drink of the Week” column, I explained why to have gins ‘n’ tonics on boats.


They might be kindergarten teachers

Local blogger anadromy experienced some deep thoughts while observing a pair of twentysomething dudes on the 47 the other day:

Both of them had their noses buried in their phones. Just as I was about to get off, they noticed each other and said what’s up. From the way they interacted, it was obvious they worked together and were both on the way to the office. Based solely on appearance, vibe, and where the bus was heading, I would be willing to place a large wager that they were both tech dudes on their way to some kind of startup South of Market. One guy said he was coming from Pacific Heights. The other said he was coming from Hayes Valley. The guy from Pac Heights asked, “Where’s that?” and I got bummed out because these two guys started to seem like a microcosm of everything that is wrong with San Francisco these days but then I got off the bus and thought about it some more and, whatever, at least they were riding MUNI and not some disgusting luxury shuttle and at least their company is based here in the city and not some fucked up suburb an hour away. Then I realized I could be totally wrong about them. Who knows? They could be kindergarten teachers or something. I was recently at a bar in Baja and there were these American bros having a bachelor party there. I assumed based on appearances and context that the women with them were probably prostitutes. But it turned out the women dancing with the bros were, in fact, kindergarten teachers just out having fun on a Saturday night.

Seems like a good rule of thumb to me: don’t hate, for They Might Be Kindergarten Teachers. (Also, who the hell cares where Hayes Valley is, anyway?)

[link] [Photo by Colleen Cummins]