Archive for November, 2008

Books: Chipp Kidd at 111 Minna

[Image at left by Kuwata Jiro (video link); controversy provoked by the book is summarized here.]

Just a quick reminder about an unusual and exciting book event tonight that you might have missed in yesterday’s altogether too comprehensive books calendar: Chip Kidd, the world-famous book designer and author, is going to be at 111 Minna tonight at 6:00 for a special book reading and signing event hosted by Last Gasp, the publisher of Kidd’s new book, BAT-MANGA!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan.

Film: SF International Animation Festival, Nov 13-16


The San Francisco Film Society presents the Third Annual San Francisco International Animation Festival at Landmark’s Embarcadero Center Cinema, from Thursday through Sunday.

The opening film is Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues (pictured above), which has been described as “Betty Boop meets bhangra.” It “updates the ancient Sanskrit epic Ramayana by weaving the settings of San Francisco’s Potrero Hill and ancient India with the traditions of shadow puppetry, 1920s-era American torch-singing and Bollywood.” Awesome. It plays at 7:00 and 9:15 PM Thursday night. Nina Paley is expected to attend.

The rest of the Festival includes “the talk of the 2008 Cannes Film Festival,” the documentary/fiction hybrid Waltz with Bashir; Idiots and Angels, the latest from animation legend Bill Plympton, who is also expected to attend; seven shorts programs with the filmmakers in attendance, one free panel discussion, and a “Meet the Maker” seminar with master animator Gene Deitch (he did the original Where the Wild Things Are). Check out the whole schedule here, and get your tickets here.

The Word Nerd: Book Events, Nov 13-15

As I mentioned last week, this weekend is so stuffed full of book events — oddly enough, most of them on Thursday — that this post covers only the next three days. Highlights are Bizarro, Ben Ratliff, Chip Kidd, Opium’s Literary Death Match, and the final SF in SF event for the year. Get all the details after the jump.

Drinkup With The Guild, ICM, Laughing Squid & Metblogs – Tonight!

Following up from last weeks insanely successful “let’s all show up at a bar at the same time and get drinks” we thought we’d do another one this week! Tonight’s overhyped event includes Felicia Day and Kim Evey of The Guild, George Ruiz of ICM and Scott Beale of Laughing Squid and whoever else decides to show up. The unimaginable excitement begins around 7pm at Lucky 13, and like any good event you can find it on Upcoming as well. Come hang out, it’ll be fun. Or at least not suicidally boring!

Friday Night Pimp’in

Yep, I’m posting my friend’s event. Hey, when you write this much on SF Metblogs, there are perks once in a while. She’s singing at Rite Spot on Friday! She said something about an “Elvis pedophiliac song” and “homemade pie night.” I have no idea if those two thoughts are related.



the soul queen from san diego




Craigslist Cracks Down On Sex Peddlers

With the Attorney General’s of 40 states breathing down their necks, the folks at Craigslist have succumbed to pressure and have revised their policies on sexual service adverts. Not only will the ads no longer be free (with proceeds supposedly going to charity), but the once cute and cuddly Cole Valley based website whose pages have become a haven for sex traffickers & pimps have removed much of the anonymity factor from posting. Sex ad posters must now verify a phone number and have valid ID, which has pared down the prurient listings by about 80% so far.

CEO Jim Buckmaster told the NY times some of the ads were “crossing the line,” and that “We resolved to see what we could do to get that stuff off the site.”

Craigslist’s legal travails don’t end there, as the site has lawsuits flying between itself and eBay, who were able to buy a chunk of the biz from a former partner of Craig Newmark’s and they announced plans last week to sue several companies that provide services which help users circumvent the site’s abuse protections. They’ve been involved in blocking and/or prosecuting the offenders by enlisting the aid of ISPs and police.

Working the Neighborhood

Lunch in north beach
I walked two precincts Tuesday- mine, and an adjoining one up the slope of Telegraph Hill from Washington Square Park. I was getting out the vote- and in my precinct we got almost 70% out (by our numbers) and also stumping for David Chiu. The crowd at Mabuhay Gardens was thrilled when the first reports came out that he got 38%, ahead of Alioto’s 24%.

So it was an odd Supervisor race- I didn’t pay attention to the politics, just tried to stick to the platforms & issues. The weird thing about District 3 is that it’s basically 1/2 of downtown, long and skinny. Lower Polk, Financial District, North Waterfront, ritzy Russian Hill & Telegraph Hill, and North Beach. As a North Beacher, you have some issues but you can’t hog the limelight. So I went for the well-rounded candidate (see: Cheat Sheet for more details) I worked on election day so I didn’t have to sit at home on my hands in front of CNN.

The best part was meeting neighbors. Some of the cool people I met on the beat:
– A very overwhelmed college student/election worker, who was in a tough position but she tried really hard to do her work in less than ideal circumstances, as it was hard to even to get a bathroom break.
– Alioto’s wife, who I stood with for about 2 hours and chewed the cud. Official congratulations on your new baby!
– Aaron Peskin, who chauffered me around the Hill and otherwise was a super supportive worker
– Matthew, campaign worker who killed an hour with me talking about his problems moving to SF, a topic that brought up all kinds of nostalgia for me
– Sorry to all the absentee voters- I have no idea why the election office didn’t know you had voted yet (and that fact kinda scared me, to be honest).
– Young woman who does Chinatown alleyways, volunteer-run.
– The guys from the DNC who stood on my corner and helped out a ton
– The teacher’s union guys who showed us the defunct dot-com office in your headquarters. I am *so* going to write about that.

Pics from tonights Prop 8 protest

Prop 8 Protest

Prop 8 Protest

Prop 8 Protest

More pics on my flickr stream and witty commentary on my twitter tweets.

The Word Nerd: Book Events, Nov 7-12

Today and tomorrow, Stacey’s Books is continuing their semi-annual License to Save for Literary License holders (it’s the store card). That’s 20% off anything in stock except periodicals. Now’s your chance to stock up on those Best American anthologies at a discount!

No book events (to my knowledge) are going on tonight.

But tomorrow November 8th is a big day:

First, Kathi Kamen Goldmark will be honored as the recipient of the 2008 Women’s National Book Association Award at the Century Club of San Francisco, in an event from 4:30 to 6:30 PM. Tickets or RSVP (for members) here. Amy Tan will be a guest speaker.

Kemble Scott says of Ms. Goldmark:

It would be tough to find a person who’s contributed more to the local literary scene. Kathi Kamen Goldmark helped launch Litquake, Book Group Expo, and The Rock Bottom Remainders – and her work as a literary escort means she has some of the best author anecdotes in publishing. She’s an accomplished writer and musician herself, making her one of the jewels in the Bay Area’s literary crown. Bravo!

Another event Saturday is at 7:00 PM at Book Bay Fort Mason (Building C). The San Francisco International Poetry Festival presents Vietnamese Poets of the Diaspora. Free event.

Your third option is something involving a little more booze and perversity. If that’s your thing, head out to the Make Out Room (22nd at Mission, don’t act like you’ve never been there) at 7:30 PM for Writers in Drag, featuring Michelle Tea, Austin Grossman, Stephen Elliott, Annalee Newitz and Jaime Cortez. The doorkeepers will exact a teensy-tiny cover charge of $3 to $5.

Sunday the 9th at 3 PM, Glen Park’s Bird & Beckett features Jeff Kaliss discussing his book I Want To Take you Higher: The Life and Times of Sly and the Family Stone. B&B owner Eric says: “Author Jeff Kaliss is a local hero, and for his book he scored the first face-to-face interview Sly has granted in 20 years! He even got Sly to write the intro and George Clinton to write the preface! Don’t miss this one!”

Funny thing, Sly’s been in the news lately. (Thanks for that item, Allan!)

Monday, November 10th has its own slate of literary events to watch out for, including Alison Bechdel (author of Dykes to Watch Out For) at the Booksmith on Haight at 7:30 PM.

Also, Lambda Literary Award finalist Sarah Schulman, author most recently of The Child, will appear at 7:30 at Books Inc. in the Castro.

Note: the John Hodgman/Dave Eggers event at the Herbst Monday night is already sold out, and I’ve been advised that rush tickets are not likely to become available for this one, considering the great fame of both authors. But if you’re a total Hodgman nut, fear not:

John Hodgman will make his next appearance on Tuesday night the 11th at 7:00 PM, at Book Passage in Corte Madera, which is just over the Golden Gate Bridge, at 51 Tamal Vista Blvd. The event is free, and if you show up early enough, you’re likely to get a good seat.

Wednesday the 12th at 7:00 PM, City Lights brings Charles Robinson & Al Young, who offer Jazz Idiom, a book of photography by Robinson and commentary by Young. Knowing these two, it’s bound to be a cool night, and it looks like a beautiful, fun book.

There are so many great events next Thursday and Friday, I’ll have to prepare a special edition of the Word Nerd early next week. Til then!

Film: 12th International Latino Film Festival, Nov 7th to 23rd

12th International Latino Film Festival

The 12th International Latino Film Festival is set to open tomorrow night at the Castro Theatre with Cachao: Uno Mas!, and it closes November 23rd. In between, the festival offers more than 50 films at four venues in San Francisco (plus one in Berkeley and 10 on the Peninsula).

The opening night film celebrates “the life of one of the most influential Afro-Cuban musicians,” Israel “Cachao” Lopez. The documentary “follows the legendary bassist from his early days in Cuba to worldwide recognition and features interviews with Andy Garca, John Santos, and more.” (As I recall, it was quite the favorite at SFIFF 51.) Naturally there will be a Noche Cubana to follow the film! (Nota bene: the party’s at the Hotel Kabuki.) If that’s not your style, you might stay on at the Castro to watch Los travestis tambien lloran, a French feature about two Ecuadorian transsexuals struggling to get by in Paris.

Other opening weekend highlights include Chevolution, which explores the life and legacy of Che Guevara; Children in No-Man’s Land, which documents the plight of the 100,000 unaccompanied minors who enter the US each year and are caught by immigration authorities; and the film that has, for my money, one of the best titles ever: Amor, dolor y viceversa, a “sexy thriller” featuring “the stunningly beautiful but forever single Chelo (Barbara Mori),” who is “haunted by recurring visions of a handsome lover (Leonardo Sbaraglia). But dreams turn to nightmares and nightmares to reality. As this tense and noirish jigsaw plot unfolds, truth, fantasy, and lies blur together, and a longing for love turns to unrelenting obsession.” Wow, sounds pretty good to me!

All films Saturday and Sunday are being screened at the Brava Theater for Women in the Arts (located at 24th & York, near Bryant, in Potrero Hill). There are several worthy films this weekend that I haven’t mentioned; for info on them and the other films in the weeks ahead, just check out the full schedule here.

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