Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Doctor Horrible's Sing Along Blog

Mad scientists never get their big break. They plot and scheme and build devices of mass vaporization but in the end they get their comeuppance, when all they aspire for is getting some comedownance on the general population. After all, they're smarter than most of us, and shouldn't the smart people take advantage of their god given right to look down on everyone else? Thankfully we have Doctor Doogie Howser Horrible, MD, or just Dr. Horrible. Doctor Horrible has a blog, he rants on the internet, he talks about the status quo and how it's not quo at all. He's got big plans because the world's going down the toilet and to fix it he just needs to rule it. And he's like the rest of us, he does laundry, he's got problems, he has a crush on the girl at his laundramat. And we learn all this through song and dance.

Yes Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog chronicles the age old tale of a man's struggle to conquer the world, kill the good guy, and get the girl. It's a tale that stretches back to biblical times when men struggled to conquer the world, kill the good guy, and get the girl. Standing in his way is Captain Hammer, aka Captain feathered-hair-tight pants. He's dashing and buff and kind of a dick, the way you imagine most super heroes being in real life. He likes to ruin Dr. Horrible's day. He's also taking his girl. It's almost like Revenge of the Nerds, the musical, which would also be a great musical if they ever made it. But I digress.

In the end, Doctor Horrible is delightful to watch. It's got romance, suspense, danger, pretty redheads, and mad science. All the ingredients for a perfect musical. It's also got a villain named Bad Horse the thoroughbred of sin, created by the guy who created The Tick, and Fake Thomas Jefferson, and you know you've got gold when something has menacing equine villains.

Doctor Horrible's Sing Along Blog gets 4 Horrible Gomorrahs. They're like regular Gomorrah's but horrible, like they kicked babies and strangled prostitutes growing up.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lucky 13

The purple paint outside, the big black cat logo, yes this is Lucky 13. It's got convenience of location, being near the Church St Muni and the bus lines going down Market St. It's got a beer selection worthy of a brewery, including Framboise Raspberry Ale, a beverage that a roommate of mine has affectionately dubbed Raspberry Angel Jizz (TM). It's the type of dive bar that you'd imagine the Ramones or the Sex Pistols hanging out in, the walls are covered in punk rock murals, concert posters for the Misfits, and the entire decor is very dark. You feel like you're stepping into the void when you go there, except the void is slinging cheap beer and cheap liquor to the tune of Bad Religion. It's location seems to garner just about every facet of San Francisco's demographics. Gays wander in from the Castro, hipsters from the Mission, people coming back from shows at Cafe Du Nord and the regular San Francisco cross section of old hippies, ex rockers, and Gen X yuppies. The place gets serious praise for it's liquor selection, price, and juke box. Other bonus points are a popcorn maker dispensing free movie style popcorn that you'd pay 5 bucks for at the movie theater and the place allows dogs and other pets. After all, why walk your dog in the park when you can take him to a dive bar and give a diet of floor popcorn and spilt booze. Like most places it's not all that perfect. It's perpetually noisy in there. Blaring jukeboxes in an enclosed space and everyone shouts to be heard above the music. It's also perpetually crowded inside. But these are minor things compared to the liquid goodness this place dispenses. But for all it's boozery, I give Lucky 13 3 1/2 Gomorrahs. It can be great, but the crowdedness can be too much.

Lucky 13 is located on Market St. Parking is moderate, but doable, and transportation is handled by the Church St. Muni station. Bar is cash only, and the place has no kitchen but Castro St. and a 24 hour Safeway are nearby.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Meet Wall-E, he's a robot. See Wall-E collect trash. See Wall-E befriend a cockroach. See Wall-E squat a log (er in this case cube) of garbage and arrange it like Jenga pieces in a tower. See Wall-E fall in love. No really, just see Wall-E. You have to hand it to Pixar, they somehow managed to pull off a post apocalyptic sci-fi Chaplin-esque romantic comedy adventure movie about the environment and not suck or be preachy about it.

Wall-E is about the last robot on Earth. In fact he's the last anything on Earth. You see, in the future mankind treated Earth like a toilet and like any lazy people who don't pick up after themselves, decided to ditch the planet and lounge it up in space while thousands of little garbage picking bots cleaned up their mess. Flash forward several centuries later and all that's left is Wall-E. He wakes up, he picks up trash, he builds neat little skyscrapers out of them, he finds little trinkets to take him, he watches musicals, then he goes to sleep (mode) and repeat. He's good at what he does, which is why he's the last thing on Earth. The only other things that seem to survive with him are the last cockroach (you know shit's hit the fan when there's only one cockroach left alive) and Twinkies. Makes you wonder why more things can't be made from Twinkies since all forms of media seem to portray them as invulnerable to the ravages of time and environment.

Now meet Eve. Apparently in the future Ipods are not only robots, they carry neat blaster cannons, scanners, and are named Eve. Eve meets Wall-E. Wall-E falls for Eve, Wall-E and Eve act out a time tested love story, but with robots. Eve takes Wall-E to her giant space ship with giant fat humans who became lazier than the Jetsons ever portrayed humans being. All the things you love about sci-fi movies seem to take place. Robots uprise, artificial intelligences deem humans stupider than them, battles are fought, lives in peril, the fate of humanity in jeopardy. And all the while, Wall-E is seducing Eve with his underdog charm and gritty exterior (really, he's one filthy bot, he picks up garbage all day remember?) and not much else since in the future robot's can't say anything beyond their name. Yes, you can count the number of words all the robots in the movie say on one hand. Which means it takes some talented body language for Wall-E to flirt with Eve, that sly devil-bot. In the end, Wall-E is about the environment, and what happens when we ignore Al Gore and the hippies and crap where we eat. But it's nice to know someday my Ipod will have a blaster cannon.

Wall-E gets 4 1/2 Gomorrahs. One for the two robots, one for the ghost of Fred Willard, one for showing the invulnerability of Twinkies, 1/2 for the references to old sci fi films, and -1/2 for getting show tunes stuck in my head.


1. (noun) The spirit of the time; the taste and outlook characteristic of a period or generation
2. A San Francisco dive bar that doesn't need your praise to be cool.

Zeitgeist is a quintessential dive bar. It's located under a freeway, the walls are covered in graffiti, rocker memorabilia, bumper stickers abd the bathrooms are either porto potty horrors or badly lit closets of questionable sanitation. Furthermore, the staff seems to display only two moods, frantically busy or surly. And yet, Zeitgeist is probably one of the more beloved institutions in the city. This is a bar that locals go to, and they don't need your shit or your attitude if you plan to bring it.

Those who are open minded and patient can find a silver mine of lining underneath the dark cloud exterior. For one thing, Zeitgeist boasts a very large selection of beers on tap. They also are well known for making one of the best bloody marys this side of the country. Even better, they're on the cheaper end of the spectrum for booze in the city and pitchers (big glass ones, not the sissy plastic water pitchers you find in pizza places) seem to range between $10-$12 bucks. The place serves some delicious freshly grilled bbq for the cheap, although instead of fries they're served with grilled potatoes that always seem slightly undercooked. The biggest draw, however seems to be the large outdoor beer garden, where at any given time during the spring and summer seasons you'll find college kids, hipsters, bikers, bike couriers, and just whoever chilling outside with their friends over several pitchers of ale. It's like a large no stress social gathering.

Quirkier features of the place are $30 rooms you can rent per night up above that claim to be clean, though I honestly have never heard of anyone ever renting a room upstairs nor could imagine anyone wanting to sleep above the cacophony of noisy drunks, and the Mission District Tamale Lady. The Tamale Lady is somewhat of a local hero, dispensing cheap tamale treasures around the streets of the Mission District and Zeitgeist is her headquarters. At any given night cries of "The Tamale Lady" can be heard and gaggles of hipsters will line up around her as if she's bringing manna from heaven. If I were to ever give Zeitgeist a score, I'd give it a solid 4 Gomorrahs, minus one for the horrors of the bathroom I've had to endure there while drinking a pitcher of pear cider by myself, but it's Zeitgeist. They don't need my praise.

Zeitgeist is located on the corner of Valencia and Duboce, under the freeway. Parking is decent, the 16th Street BART is close by, and they only take cash so bring lots.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


this spot is reserved for the great San Francisco Buffalo Wing tasting test that will eventually happen.