Archive for May, 2008

San Francisco Chihuahua Meet-up!

Calling all tiny dogs!

Tomorrow, Sunday, June 1st, at Stern Grove in San Francisco, from 12pm to 2pm, you will be able to sniff butts your own size a plenty!

A group of chihuahua-lovers on Meetup.com are holding a gathering of chihuahua’s, mixes and their cousins for all to enjoy.

A new post tomorrow will contain pictures of my own tiny companion enjoying the festivities.

Here are some helpful links:

San Francisco Chihuahua Meetup on Craigslist

Directions to Stern Grove

Critical Mass

Critical Mass May 08
Went to dinner at (the new, remodeled) Magnolia at 7:30PM and narrowly missed the traffic jam following Critical Mass- this is the corner of Masonic & Haight. Personal vow here to bike in the Mass next month!

Matters Literary: Michael Chabon, Oakley Hall, & Oscar Villalon

Recently I posted about Michael Chabon, who read from his new book, Maps & Legends, at Stacey’s last Wednesday. During the Q&A session afterwards, he talked about how — before he moved to an unspecified house on 29th Street, between Noe and Sanchez — he studied writing under the guidance of the late Oakley Hall. (The obituary is here.)

I’d never heard of him, but Chabon attested to his influence as a teacher with an entertaining anecdote. It seems that without Hall, we might not have The Mysteries of Pittsburg as we know it. Hall eviscerated the first draft by the 23-year-old aspiring novelist; in a kind, gentle fashion, but still. “He pointed out that basically, my character just went from one party to another without anything else really happening,” Chabon said, “and that in each chapter, one or two new characters were introduced, with which nothing was subsequently done by the author.” But most importantly, Hall pointed out a line where Chabon had described a character as looking like a gangster.

So Hall asked: “Well, is he a gangster, then?”

Chabon: “Um. No.”

“Oh. That would have been interesting.”

And then Hall changed the subject. Of course, Chabon decided to run with that “disappointed suggestion” when he started over. And without it, it just wouldn’t be the book that launched his career.

Anyway, check out this fascinating appreciation of Hall, written by Oscar Villalon, the Books editor of the Chronicle. Hall seems to have been quite a significant force in making San Francisco such a literary town.

And of course, now I’ve got yet another novel to add to my reading list.

Shakespeare, Bollywood-Style

Midsummer Night's Dream
[Image via SFgate.com.]

Through June 1st, the good old Curran Theater is presenting a Bollywood-inflected version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which has been translated into a mixture of seven Indian languages, plus English. Created in 2005 in India and later performed at Stratford-upon-Avon (and across the UK), the show includes, at a minimum, the following:

  • Singing!
  • Dancing!
  • A man magically transformed into a donkey!

So what’s not to like? Here’s the Examiner review that originally clued me in. And here’s the SFGate.com review, where I got that picture. Even more information is available here, where you can also buy advance tickets. Finally, here’s the official website of the show.

Performances are at 8:00 PM Thursday through Sunday. There are also two matinee performances remaining at 2:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $35-$80.

Bay Area Ridge Trail

The Presidio

How many of you have walked it within San Francisco? A good place to start would be The Presidio. Get outside and enjoy the Wilderness… it’s free!

Carnaval in more ways than one

Today’s the annual San Francisco version of Carnaval — always the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, since its traditional Mardi Gras date happens in February when the weather is likely to be horrid here — featuring squads of be-feathered dancing girls and boys cavorting and shimmying down Mission St. It’s a great parade, if you’ve never seen it. And if you miss it, just check Flickr in a few hours. (Update: try the 2008carnaval tag.)

Also today, conveniently beginning a few hours after the parade of nearly-naked people: the annual Masturbate-a-thon, a benefit for the Center For Sex and Culture. It starts at 3:00 pm, features live performances by real porn stars, and is open to all persuasions. Interestingly, it costs $20 to participate — and $40 to just watch.

Calif. legislator proposes porn tax to fix budget shortfall

Assemblyman Charles Calderon, who represents a suburban district in southern California, has proposed a 25% tax on pornography to help fix California’s budget shortfall. Money would go to an “Adult Entertainment Venue Impact Fund.”

The bill, AB2914, would tax both live adult entertainment and video production and sales, according to one of the few news reports. Its sponsor suggests it could glean as much as $665 million.

An excerpt from the text of the bill itself, after the jump

Cathedral of Sewing: Britex

lengthWalking up the four flights of stairs to the interfacing area of Britex, that sewing oasis on Maiden Lane, I remembered shopping here with my Mom when I was about 13. All happy memories, but also a lot of stress, as I knew we were dropping a bundle on woolen fibers, and I wasn’t sure I’d proven myself with my sewing skills, as they were.

Overheard at Britex yesterday:
– “So any other tips on going to Burning Man?” Between two salespeople
– “You could always make your dress out of safety pins.” Saleswoman to a guy, referring to an episode of Project Runway.

I got some great advice on lining a skirt, and when she checked out my meager Simplicity pattern, she didn’t sniff and say, “We don’t sell those.” (they’re super basic), instead she nicely said, “Did you bring that from home?” And then gave me tons of tips on how to do the lining without a pattern.

Landlord Vs. Tenant Pt. II

A couple of weeks back we posted about a court battle that is raging in sf between a tenant and his alleged slumlords. The alleged were brought up on criminal charges and were jailed at the time with an amazingly high bail for their crimes. The judge has decided to lower bail and the fur is still flying as the husband paid bail and the wife sat in jail. And I guess the Chron published a picture of one of the accused today, although I missed that, maybe in the paper today?

Prosecutor Max Peltz urged that bail remain the same, saying Morrow was hardly a vexatious litigant. He also stressed that Morrow was just one of four tenants who allegedly had been victimized by the Macys.
Peltz said that over nine years, Morrow has filed four legal actions: a still-pending lawsuit against the Macys, one against the building’s prior owners in which he won a settlement, and the failed request for restraining orders against both Macys. Labeling Morrow a vexatious litigant was a baseless effort to “malign the victim,” Peltz said.

Bail cut for S.F. landlords in tenant terror case.

State-Approved Art?

My wife works for the city, and she recently got a letter in the mail that promised to contain something of culturally uplifting value:

Official Ballet Enclosed

Wow! Wonder who the choreographer is?

Actually, it just turns out that somebody at the Health Service Board can’t spell:

HSB Envelope

On that note, don’t forget to cast your own ballets in ten days, and joking aside, please vote NO on 98!

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