Archive for May, 2005

Illiteracy Accommodation Confounds The Literate

I love establishments that provide not just good food and potent coffee, but also various diversions for those of us badly in need of a study break.

But for the second day in a row at my favorite cafe-that-would-get-linked-here-if-they’d-ever-link-back, I’ve sat next to a group of Uno players confounded by the new Uno Cards – the motto of which seems to be “Fewer Words Makes Thinking Less Important!”

You know Uno, don’t you? That card game that is surprisingly as much fun today as it was in the 3d grade? Remember how it had “Wildcards,” “Reverse” cards, and “Skip” cards? Not anymore. Not it has a seemingly incomprehensible system of pictograms and symbols based on some culture other than one in which most of us grew up.

Maybe it should be called Uno 2.0. Or just Due.

While it is fun to watch what are clearly educated, straight-shooters-with-upper-management-potential furrow their brows over this new breed of Uno, it is mostly just desperately sad if we’ve let go of any hope of wide-spread literacy to the point where we have to dumb down a card game with at most three words in it.

I’m going to have to start pimping out my old school deck to the other diehard readers here.

Bay to Breakers: Some Met-Coverage

Top O’the Post Update: Per most predictions, a Kenyan man won the race – his time? 34 minutes, 49 seconds. Sweet Jeezus, that’s a tad over 4:30/mile. Peter Gilmore was the first American man to finish at 37:46. Moroccan Asmae Leghzaoui took the top women’s slot in 38:22 and Los Angeleno Sylvia Mosqueda came in 3d among women in 40:15. Fifty-thousand registered runners and an estimated 20,000 additional participants comprised the field.

Getting up early to run on Saturdays is bad enough – on Sundays it’s just . . . unholy. But after 3 years of NorCal life without participating in the infamous spectacle that is Bay to Breakers, it seemed time. Here’s the breakdown:

6:20am – I and my equally sleepy roomie board the N-Judah “express” to the start line along Howard.

6:40am – We arrive at the start line and realize we are there WAY too early since the race doesn’t start until 8am. There’s music. And plenty to look at, however, even way up front in the Team start area which really was, as promised, right behind the Kenyans. Between us and them were the seeded and subseeded runners, the seeded centipedes (a Chevy’s team in sombreros; what appeared to be some kind of Pussycat Dolls type group), and a few others. Behind us, a mob of talk radio team members seemed less deserving of the front-of-the-pack status. I’m sure some where runners, but many seemed to be just in it for the pole position.

7:00am – Tortillas in the wind, on the ground, in my hair . . . . . It’s all in the wrist . . . .
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BACK IN TIME

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The other day I stopped by Paramount Imports at 455 Meridian Avenue in San Jose. I hadn’t been there for years.

When I was much younger I would go there just to buy incense and try to feel a part of what was happening. For me this was a walk on the wild side.

As I stepped inside I was transported back in time. The only thing missing was Jimi Hendrix music filling the air. They still sell T-Shirts, Incense, Posters, Pipes, Papers, Jewelry, and wind chimes etc.

When I told the clerk that I used to come here way back when, he told me some of the original workers left their marks out back in the cement.
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As I was checking the ancient Peace Symbol someone said, “Hi”
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Audra and Jennifer run a cool little shop called Lost Horizon (belongs to Paramont)
They have a colorful collection of clothes and accessories, but they seemed most proud of the Mary Janes.
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sf.metbloggers @ E3

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In the Bay Area & the Silicon Valley, one of the most high-tech areas in the country, gaming and the game industry are very prominent forces. Many of you have heard of E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or are lucky enough to be attending. It is the premier event for the gaming industry, where the latest and greatest systems and games are often revealed. This year looks to be a doozy, with three next-gen consoles to be unveiled.

Many Bay Area companies will be in full force at E3, including your humble correspondent’s current gig. I will be there workin’ the booth, please come by and say hello if you will be there at the expo!

I’ve put together a gathering of blogerati at the Golden Gopher on 8th Street in downtown L.A., for those in attendance or in the area at the time of E3… hoping to see metbloggers from all over in attendance!

Lucasfilm Finally Going (Totally) Public About Move to Presidio

It’s about time! Some time ago I was told that Lucas bought the Presidio and planned to make it Lucasfilm Headquarters.


Story from the SF Gate by Chronicle Writer Dan Fost:

“Now that the ‘Star Wars’ saga is drawing to a close, Lucas won’t be fighting any rebel forces. Instead, he’s leading his company Lucasfilm into a new era with a move this summer into a dazzling new Golden Gate home in San Francisco’s Presidio. The new headquarters will allow Lucas’ famed special effects wizards to work in tandem with his computer game developers. At the same time, Lucas himself will concentrate on a long-suppressed ambition to make smaller films, even documentaries.”

The Onion is in San Francisco

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How awesome is this: The paper edition of The Onion — an uber popular news satire publication — will be out on our city’s street corners every week starting TODAY, May 12 (The Onion also has an extremely popular online edition).

In order to celebrate The Onion coming to the streets in San Francisco, Craigslist and INFORUM have organized a great party tomorrow, featuring The Onion staffers as DJs! Here’s the deets from Craigslist:

WHAT: The world’s most popular news satire publication is coming to the streets of San Francisco. craigslist and INFORUM invite you to celebrate in style at 12 Galaxies with bands, beer and The Onion writers (who apparently also DJ)! More than 4 million readers visit The Onion online for genius headlines like, “Supreme Court Rules Supreme Court Rules” and “Drugs Win Drug War.” Get your much-needed weekly dose on street corners beginning May 12.

* 10:45 – 11:30pm: Dead Hensons
* 11:30 – 12:30am: Special Guest ONION DJs
* 12:30 – 2:00am: DJ Jester the Filipino Fist
* 2:00 – 6:00am: Staring Contest between Onion writers and craigslist staff

WHO: The Onion writers & management
WHEN: FRIDAY MAY 13TH – 10 p.m. Doors Open
WHERE: 12 Galaxies, 2565 Mission Street, San Francisco
HOW: Free event – No tickets or reservations necessary!

I am SO THERE. And I don’t think any of you will want to miss it either.

Potrero Hill Craters

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…Like a Bandit

Okay, so I’m a bit of a loser and have only just recently discovered the joy that is the Make-Out Room. Think of your living room at Christmastime (or similar twinkly holiday). Then add beer and live bands and BAM! Happy Funtime!

As it happens, a friend of mine does some MOR booking and she’s promised to keep me apprised of any upcoming goodness that you, my fun-loving Metroblog readers, might enjoy. Lo and behold, tonight is a peach of a night for you to trundle in, with three fine bandingtons on the roster.

Check ‘em out:
El Olio Wolof
Franklin Delano
Six Eye Columbia

The aforementioned pally has positively impeccable taste in tunes, so rest assured that your pocket money (A mere $6! Hell, you can find that in your couch cushions!) will be well spent this eve, should you choose to attend.

Also, stay tuned for Scrabbel on the 19th of May. I forgot to tell yinz all about them when they opened for The Lucksmiths earlier this month, and I regret it so much, I’m giving you this week-and-a-half heads-up. If you go, you can tell all your friends you saw Scrabbel way back when…

La Suite

La Suite

It was a gloriously warm day a few days ago, and a few co-workers and I were nearing the completion of a special project we had been working on for weeks if not months. So we decided to head out to an all-expenses-paid lunch to celebrate. We ended up going to La Suite, a French brasserie type spot along the Embarcadero. It’s located on the corner of Brannan and the Embarcadero, right along the N Judah route and overlooking the Bay. Since it was so nice outside, we decided to dine on the patio.

Having not actually eaten at a bonafide French restaurant, I found it almost comical how everything was just so… French. The waiter spoke in that lilting overwrought French accent, peppering “la”s on almost every noun (eg. La table! La fish!). I felt like I was in a Monty Python episode and he was about to launch into a diatribe on flying sheep.

That aside, the menu had some pretty decent offerings. Some were fancy, with dishes that included Kobe beef tartare and oysters on the half shell, while others were souped-up American classics like $10 burgers and $9 hot dogs. I ended up having the tuna tartare, which was a mixture of raw tuna, raw quail’s egg, lemon, and some spices and herbs, all mixed together and shaped into a heart. It was absolutely delicious, and the cool tuna was a perfect match for the warm day. Of course, the best part of the meal was the fantastic weather, the view of the Bay, and the amusing conversations. But raw seafood definitely helped improve the mood.

La Suite
100 Brannan St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Lunch: Monday – Saturday: 11:30am – 3:00pm; Dinner: Monday – Sunday: 5:30pm – 12:00pm

Hellish commute

I did everything right this morning. I got up at 8 a.m., got on the train by 9 a.m., confident that I’ll be able to make it to the office by 9:45 at the latest. Then, of course, Muni Metro decided to suffer a meltdown of massive proportions. We were held up forever at the West Portal stop, and by the time we reached Castro, we were forced to get out and move on to another train which was in front of us. The driver said there was a some kind of system shutdown all the way from the Civic Center to the Embarcadero, and he’ll have to let us all off at the Van Ness stop. Joy.

So as the masses emerged from the Van Ness subway, it was evident that many people didn’t know what else to do. A lot of people just started walking along Market, while others were smart enough to grab the nearest bus. I joined the latter, and grabbed the 9 all the way to 4th Street, transferred to the 45, and finally arrived at my destination. By the time I entered the office, it was already 10:45. That’s right, it was a 1 hour and 45 minute commute. It could’ve been a lot worse I guess.

UPDATE: Turns out, the big MUNI stall was caused by a bomb scare at the Embarcadero station. My husband told me that when he was on his way to work around 9:30, MUNI Metro was closed all the way from Church to the Embarcadero, so he had to get out at Forest Hill station. He said he got on the 43, transferred to the 6, and then walked the rest of the way to work.

According to the husband as well, the “suspicious package” mentioned in the article was a box that apparently contained a bunch of wires. Not sure if this is accurate though.

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