The classiest fam in Hollywood loves Mara's barrettes; this time Violet rocks them. Nice. Buy em here, and pass it on.
File this one under: Holy crap. It has come to the attention of the tabloid-reading world that Jennifer Garner was seen wearing red barrettes! But, wait, there's more. A certain barrette-making friend of ours made them. By hand. In San Francisco.
This is from Just Jared, and I must say: If the blog really is just a guy named Jared writing about celebrities, my hat is off to him. He publishes some tidbit of celebrity gossip roughly every 5 seconds. That's dedication, homes. If you're interested in the barrettes, you can buy a pair for yourself at Little Something; if you're concerned that they'll make you look like Jennifer Garner, you can ask Mara for some guidance in the proper way to wear them.
I'm glad that the barrettes got the full paparazzi treatment. A couple of photos just wouldn't have been sufficient. Better get 17 and be safe. Check em all out.(Congratulations, you big loser).
A couple of weekends ago, I visited the site of an Airstream trailer that Yoshi and I shared outside Stinson Beach, California. The trailer is long gone, but the spot is still the same: Overlooking the Pacific Ocean on a scraggly lawn at the end of a farm road. We spent many a night sitting on a homemade couch out under the stars, listening to a crusty Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain cassette, hanging out with farm people, and generally being our best wild selves. They were simpler times, so the wildness was simpler. One time, police showed up and asked Yoshi if he knew anything about the ritual animal sacrifices happening in the area. Naked toddlers often woke him up by tickling his eyelashes with wildflowers.
The article is vintage Yamada, reminding me of the many excellent, excellent letters and postcards that I've accumulated over the years:
I have not put ramps in my pipe, but I have smoked them and also roasted, sauteed, blanched, pickled, braised, and pureed them. I have eaten them raw and dirty, and I have cleaned so many in a row that I almost wished for winter again. This year I may take a few home to put under my pillow, just because … my precious.
Not sure that I've eaten a ramp, but I bet they'd be tasty with a ritually sacrificed animal. Mmmmmmm ritual sacrifice.
I always meant to write about my close encounter with public television fame — the only kind that's worth pursuing, if you ask me — but somehow I got waylaid by summertime, its various parties and good ol times. But I've got a sec, so I should just spill it before the good times take hold again.
Check, Please! Bay Area is a restaurant review show on our local public television station, KQED Channel 9 (what!). On each show, three Bay Area residents sit around a table and discuss their thoughts and feelings about three local restaurants. At the beginning of the process, each person gets to choose a favorite1 restaurant; then, each participant goes to all three restaurants; THEN, everyone assembles at KQED studios to discuss them in front real TV cameras.
So, yeah, it all started back in June.
Mara and I were at Pauline's Pizza, eating dinner with some friends when we saw Leslie Sbrocco, the host of Check Please. We're Check Please superfans, so we couldn't resist the urge to approach Leslie and creep her out with our extensive knowledge of the show. Later, Leslie and her dining companion (who turned out the be the producer) stopped by our table and asked us to apply to be on the show. Somehow, I was the one who applied, even though Mara would have been 10 times better. Somehow, I was accepted, for reasons that are still unclear to me.As I mentioned in the footnote, I chose a taco truck as my favorite restaurant, and this was a slight — SLIGHT — departure from those chosen by my cohorts — a fancy Noe Valley bistro, and a classic Financial District steakhouse. Therefore, my entire preparation for the show involve crafting arguments about why they needed to give the taco truck another try. "The ecology of taquerias is rich and diverse," I would instruct them; "each one has its own specialty, a thing it does better than all others, and it takes time to fully explore this richness." (Anyway, you can read more of this BS in my review on KQED's website).Turns out, my cohorts loved the taco truck. I was speechless, really. I had nothing productive to say to people who agreed with me. It could have been the wine. (IT'S REAL, by the way). And I drank too much of it, too much for a non-wine drinker, too much for 11am on a weekday (when we taped it), too much to generate extemporaneous bon mots worthy of PUBLIC TV. If you're curious about what the blogosphere had to say about my taco truck recommendation, you need only get a load of this review from a guy named Ely, also from KQED's site:
Dont eat from El Tonayense, I had a beef burrito that made me sick! The meat was too oily and mix in with fatty fat peices. The burrito was tiny and the ingridients had little favor.
My bad.1 Check Please kinda repeatedly implies that each restaurant reviewed is the "favorite" restaurant of the person who suggested it. I chose a taco truck.
Pretty much the only thing the director told me: "Don't look at the camera." Dang. More on my explosion onto the local public television restaurant-reviewing stage sometime soon; until then you can check out my episode of the Check Please Bay Area here.
Via Burritophile, an awesome resource for all things burrito.
Last Friday night was just another night in the penthouse of the Fairmont Hotel for Mara and I. We relaxed in seal-skin robes, shuffled around in baby polar bear ear fur slippers, snorted the finest powdered snow leopard pancreas, fed Kobe beef to the pigeons who delivered the New York Times piecemeal in tiny scrolls tied to their feet, and generally killed time. (While enjoying the Cooper holiday party). When we emerged from a blissful reverie, we noticed that the walls were covered with an unusual world map.
Lots of intriguing stuff at Clare Rojas's opening at Gallery Paule Anglim tonight. Woodland creatures, naked dudes in tai chi poses, an excellent video of Peggy Honeywell playing a slow sad song at a raging frat party filled with beer bongs and keg stands, Amaze, Barry McGee, and much, much more. Worth it.
Gallery Paule Anglim is at 14 Geary in downtown San Francisco.
I've said it before: I don't like Barry Bonds. So it may seem strange that I wanted to be there when he hit home run number 756. But consider this: I love baseball; the record for career home runs is, like it or not, one of baseball's hallowed milestones; Bonds plays in my city; the Giants were beginning a home stand as he was poised to break the record. Too many stars were aligned for me to NOT try to get into a game. I could always boo, right? So, on Tuesday, August 7, I rode my bike to AT&T Park, hoping to get lucky and figuring that I wouldn't. Immediately, I got really lucky, scoring an amazing ticket in the club level (a $70 value) for the price of two AT&T Park beers. At that moment, I had a good feeling. A couple of hours later, Bonds faced a 3–2 count, and I decided to join 45,000+ other fans in pointing my digital camera at the plate. Up to that point, I made sarcastic remarks about mediating the experience in that way. Now I'm posting my crappy version on the Internet. Why? I don't know. Anyway, a moment later, Bonds drilled the pitch into deep, deep center field and the stranger next to me grabbed my arm and started jumping up and down.For the next five minutes, I high-fived a lot of people, and someone gave me a hug as I was filming the celebrations. Fireworks exploded over McCovey Cove; streamers rained down; the Nationals left the field; Hank Aaron congratulated Bonds asynchronously through a pre-recorded video. It was surreal, but festive and exciting.Of course, there was also a weird vibe. People seemed to feel personally gratified that they got to witness history, but few seemed really, truly happy for Bonds. Few people said: "Wow, good for Bonds.â€ Those who did were either people who possessed amazing capacities for forgiveness and seemed genuinely happy, or younger guys with way too much bitterness who saw Bonds as a kindred spirit. The rest of us said: "Wow. I can't believe I saw that. Wow. This is really weird." After hitting the home run, Bonds left the game. It was the 5th inning, and the Giants had a 5–4 lead; the Nationals came back and won. My question: Who does that? Hank Aaron? No. Dimaggio? Never. Ted Williams? God no. Sort of a perfect ending to a conflicted, surreal night.
This weekend I got an incredible book about San Francisco called San Francisco in Maps & Views. I usually avoid glossy coffee-table historical books because they're so often filled with disappointments — bad color, bad printing, messy layout, uninspired writing, PLUS they're really expensive. But THIS ONE. This one is different. The maps are very well-reproduced, high-res and colorful, and all are supported by detailed and surprisingly engaging commentary. After I got over the initial thrill of using it like a flip-book and watching my neighborhood evolve, I started to notice smaller trends in land-use evolution — a plot labeled "orphan asylum" became "hospital;" many things labeled "cemetary" became "park" or "civic center." "Dunes" become "the Sunset." I was also intrigued by the use of public places as refugee camps after the big one hit in 1906. Apparently, SF carpenters sprang into action and built thousands of makeshift cottages for the earthquake/fire refugees, turning many well-known SF public spaces into refugee camps, including South Park, Dolores Park, and Precita Park, and lots of the then-outlying, undeveloped areas, like the Richmond and the Sunset.
As the city began to return to normal a year later, a few of the refugees decided to use the cottages — or, "shacks" as they were commonly known — as more permanent residences. Some industrious people combined multiple shacks into one residence. Incredibly, a few shacks are still around, and naturally folks have organized to preserve them. (Here's a 2002 Chronicle article about efforts to save some shacks in the outer Sunset).
Finally, here's a map of the locations of the known existing earthquake shacks. Seems like a good project for a weekend afternoon.