Sunday, March 30, 2008

Finally! Confirmation by experts that my sushi snobbery is actually good for me. Sadly, though, this article seems less about the horrors of rampant sub-par sushi and more about free advertising for sushi at Wal-Mart.

I want to see more of this:

"I get these questions all the time -- people call me: 'Hey Yoshi, my husband went to fish a big salmon, we're looking to eat it as sashimi. We opened it and a bunch of worms came out. Can we eat it?'"

Christ on a bike.

Also very sad that there was no talk of what a fellow yelper calls, "Jive-Ass Rolls." You know what I'm talking about: those mayonnaise, teriyaki, and otherwise sauce-covered concoctions that, IMHO, exist primarily to mask dodgy fish.

My friends had a roll recommended to them at a Louisville, Kentucky sushi bar that not only had all of those jive-ass hallmarks -- tempura, hot-sauce spiked fish, teriyaki sauce, and mayo -- but also melted mozzarella cheese. Oh yeah, and it was served on fire. WTF? Run away!

I'm going to risk my Nihonjin card and say I actually like and partake of some rolls considered jive-ass. But I fight my urge for spicy tuna, spicy scallops, and crab salad all the time, unless I'm at a trusted Japanese joint. I humbly suggest you do the same. No one likes barfing, tapeworms, or crap masquerading as culinary delight that somehow manages in all its crappiness to still set you back at least a tenner.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Better late than never: a few pics from Wednesday's Red Sparowes show at Bottom of the Hill.

As to be expected, it was superb. Recorded, Red Sparowes are really impressive, but live they're epic.

The show itself was amazing, but the crowd a little trying, as it was again an all-ages show. Don't get me wrong, I am all about the all-ages show and give mad props to venues and bands who swing this way, because it can be a pain in the ass to negotiate. But it's been a long time since I was in high school, and as you can tell by that first shot I had to relinquish second row and beat it to the back as I dislike being reminded of what teenage boy smells and acts like, especially when multiplied by 200.

BTW, can you tell what a sausage party this was? I think I was one of about 10 chicks in attendance. Too bad, because this is monumental RAWK that should know no gender lines.

Dig it that both the man and I, unbeknownst to each other, were oddly annoyed by the bass player, and upon conferring afterward realized it was because we both thought he looked like Gaius Baltar. Nerds!

I also have a new favorite, opening band Russian Circles from Chicago. Check this band out now, yo, before they are super-huge.

Their bassist was the fucking man. He brought the dirty fuzzy and the epic metalscape with equal badassity. Plus, cute beard!

Russian Circles at Crepe Place in Santa Cruz, 3.25.2008

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Haha, you know it had to be coming sooner or later. Hot on the heels of Stuff White People Like, looky here, it's Stuff Asian People Like.

Hoarding, Bargains, Honda Civics, White Guys -- the truth is all there.

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Peter Hartlaub at the SF Chron listed his best breakup songs a while back, and I saved the article because I thought I'd take a stab someday. But then I thought, breakup songs are easy.

I want to make a mix of the best stalker songs -- not the obvious ones like "You Oughta Know" and "Every Breath You Take" and such, but the ones that masquerade as terribly romantic ditties. Though I don't think I can bring myself to place some of them in my iTunes long enough to burn the disc.

See what I mean:

1. "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?" by Michael Bolton

And I don't wanna face the price I'm gonna pay for dreaming
Now that your dream has come true

Screw you and your dream! And hello -- y'all know who is actually going to "face the price." Nice.

Tell me how am I supposed to live without you
Now that I've been lovin' you so long
How am I supposed to live without you
How am I supposed to carry on
When all that I've been livin' for is gone

Truly chilling.

2. "I'm Your Man" by Wham!

Admittedly controversial in its stalker potential, for George Michael finishes the song with a nod to the consensual -- "If you want me, I'm your man" -- but I still place it on my list for this:

So good, you're divine
Wanna take you wanna make you
But they tell me it's a crime

Everybody knows where the good people go
But where we're going baby
Ain't no such word as NO

And the best one ever...

3. "Hungry Eyes" by Eric Carmen

The classic from every girl's favorite movie, Dirty Dancing. Aww it's so romantic! Um, no.

I've been meaning to tell you
I've got this feelin that won't subside
I look at you and I fantasize
You're mine tonight
Now I've got you in my sights


I want to hold you so hear me out


Now did I take you by surprise
I need you to see
That you were meant for me


I can't front worth a shit though -- I actually like that song, saxophone and all. Makes me feel like I'm 12 again.

Okay, and those of you who know me know I'm totally bullshitting about not frikken LOVING that Wham! song too. George Michael in black, gyrating with inexplicable gloves and a tambourine = best. thing. ever. Though I was always an Andrew Ridgeley kind of girl.

I know I'll make you happy with the one thing that you never had.

C'mon, admit it -- you're so 12 again too.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tibet, Taiwan, China's unapologetic eff-you to the international community by shielding Sudan from the UN Security Council, and all other politics aside -- at the end of the day, who says protest can't be both powerful and well-designed, and simply elegant in its message?


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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Yet another entertaining way to despair at the absurdity of existence? Or insipid pomo rubbish?

Garfield Minus Garfield

Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life?

Remembering, too, that Garfield with Garfield plumbs the depths of comic strip excruciation, only slighty mitigated by the bowels of hell that is The Family Circus.

I'll hedge my bets and vote for an "entertaining exercise in postmodern nihilism." Quality!

Cheers to Kasey for the heads up.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Nothing finer than game night, friends, BBQ, fresh cut grass...

...and my man in a hammock in the setting sun.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter, Happy Spring!

My Easter morning: still life at the Piedmont Avenue laundromat with goi cuon, fixin's for the potato salad I'm making for a BBQ at game night this evening, and The Meat and Spirit Plan (which is absolutely brilliant, BTW!)

If you look hard enough, you can see the Anton Chigurh bookmark my baby made for me. It's pretty righteous.

For the interested, a superior goi cuon tutorial can be found here.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Best editorial I've read about today, the anniversary of our shameful Half a Decade of War.

...we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should've been authorized and never should've been waged, and we want to talk about how we'll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned.

Barack Obama

Also, in case you missed it -- what about Barack Obama and his pastor's comments? Watch and listen (or listen or read here) to what a leader of the free world should, and could, be.

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Annalee Newitz questions the bullshit around Eliot Spitzer's transgressions.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Michael Cera in final negotiations to star in Scott Pilgrim's Little Life.

"Life" tells the story of a young slacker (Cera) who meets the woman of his dreams but finds that he can only win her heart by battling and defeating her seven evil ex-boyfriends.

This rocks, right? Love Michael Cera -- loved him since Arrested Development -- and this looks like it'll be a really good fit for him, and a fun film.

And eeek! Did y'all know Cera is a wee 19 years old? Sigh, I'm too young to be a cougar, but there it is.

Thanks to Mark for the heads up.

Also on my radar: More about the new Dune (love David Lynch's, so am curious but skeptical of the newfangle that will inevitably be relied upon), and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead. Starring: Jake Hoffman, Devon Aoki, John Ventimiglia, Kris Lemche, Ralph Macchio, Joey Kern

Dude, Ralph Macchio. Curiosity beckons.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run - and often in the short one - the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative.

Arthur C. Clarke, 1917-2008
The Exploration of Space, 1951


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I love springtime.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Went to see the live action film of Death Note at the 2008 San Francisco International Asian-American Film Festival.

The story is split into two parts, and we only watched the first as the sequel won't be shown until later. Won't spoil it, but suffice to say that some of the plot devices were done a little differently from the anime, and the result was much better (the whole Naomi Misora bit in particular). Also, the Ryuk animation was really well done. The film was quite good, but I think it would have been just alright had I not seen the anime.

But joy! Saw it at the lovely Castro Theater, which has a Wurlitzer!

The ceiling:

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When I read this guy's yelp review of Hiro Japanese Restaurant in San Bruno, I almost peed my pants.

"NON CIRCUMCISION Nigiri." Class. That one's going into the ol' vernacular.

BTW, this guy totally knows what he's talking about. Japanese, and he likes sushi done old school. Never steered me wrong, and he's funnier than hell.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Oh Oklahoma, I know it's unlikely, but please please join the 21st century and salvage some bit of basic humanity by booting this woman's ass to the curb.

Forget about her ridiculous ideas that gay people wanting civil rights and equal protection under the law are the "cancer in the little toe" of America (haha, gotta love it!) and that this is "worse than terrorism" for a moment. What about calling Islam -- not fundamentalist extremism -- a threat to a nation that was built on religious freedom?

What about your fundamentalist extremist Christian agenda, Ms. Sally Kern, State Representative for Oklahoma? Is it to eliminate other religions in this country, eliminate separation of church and state? Indoctrinate the children so that they think exactly like you want them to, and trash who your god (who is weeping, mind you) deems unfit? I think so.

What if I agreed with you and let you go to town on the gay "cancer" in the United States, the gay "indoctrination" of the children? And looked the other way while millions of gays and other "undesirables" (obviously Muslims, but why not Jews? The disabled? Uppity women? And race traitors and their progeny, like me) were eliminated because, dammit, they were destroying our country? My, what a strong, beautiful -- and most important, enduring -- nation we would have, Ms. Sally Kern.

Oh wait, that already happened somewhere. Nazi Germany.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Fully vested in an orgy of British teevee at the moment. Why is it that the Brits have the best telly, especially comedy? I can give it up for Project Runway and Make Me A Supermodel, but most American stuff is so crap.

Here's something that may possibly be the best thing I've ever seen in my life (most definitely at least since the last best thing, and this one may reign for a while).

I'm not kidding, muthalicker.

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Payday came, and with it beer.

As well as throwing down family-style at Asmara Ethiopian restaurant.

From foreground, clockwise: spicy tebsy (beef, onion, butter, and hot spices), those nasty potatoes that Trevor likes, ye-gomen alicha (mustard greens), kik alicha (ground yellow split peas), temtmo/yemissir watt (red lentil stew), shiro (roasted ground peas, berbere sauce).

Hooray for payday!

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Check out the article on the lovely musician, friend, and beadmaking badass that is Joyce Rooks, in the April issue of Bead and Button magazine.

I've blogged aplenty about Joyce's scrumptious beads in the past. Like candy, they are. Those seed pod beads on the front page of the article? I can vouch -- just as delicious in person. I can also fully get behind marching down to her Etsy shop or website and blowing your tax return on her heavenly creations.

Go on, you're worth it.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sweet mother, I love The IT Crowd. Can't wait for season 3.

My favorite thing about it? Chris O'Dowd as Roy.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I have always preferred Mary Ann to Ginger.
Does Iggy Pop ever put on a shirt? Especially, and at least, for last night's 2008 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City?

Am I the only one who finds this official, post-award photo op bizarre? EDIT: Apparently not.

I know The Stooges performed that night, and I do respect Iggy for bringing it with the fuck you shirtless rawk, but come on! I think we all get it now, Ig -- you look amazing, especially for a 60 year old man who did enough heroin to kill numerous herds of elephants. Now put on a t-shirt, a jacket, a wifebeater, anything! Thanks.

P.S. Love Madge's dress. Thought it was Gaultier, but no! Spring 2008 Chanel. Not that I would ever pay the outrageous price for it. Reminds me very much of a structured sheer yellow vintage dress I had in high school. I bought it for two dollars!

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Monday, March 10, 2008

There's only one good thing about Trevor being sick.

He wants Korean food. Hot, spicy, make-you-sweat, burn-the-sickness-out-your-pores Korean food, four blocks from our place at Pyung Chang. Sweet mother of god, it's good stuff.

The best thing -- those little side dishes of goodness (panchan) you get at the beginning of your meal.

The main event:

From front to rear: hot, bubbly soft tofu stew (soondooboo jigae), bulgogi, and bibimbap.

Soondooboo Jigae

4 oz pork (or beef), sliced thin and chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ginger juice
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp kochukaru (Korean chili powder)
3 cups water
1/2 cup kimchee, roughly chopped
1 pack Korean soondooboo (or soft tofu)
1 tsp saewoojeot (salted shrimp)
1 red hot chili, sliced
2 green hot chilis, sliced
2 green onions, sliced
1 egg (optional)

Marinade pork with ginger juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, and minced garlic. In a pot, add canola oil and saute pork. Add kochukaru and stir. Add water and kimchee, bring to a boil. Scoop in soondooboo with a spoon. Reduce heat, add saewoojeot, all chilis, and green onions. Cook for a minute or so.

Serve with a raw egg cracked into the center (if desired) and a dash of sesame oil. Serve with rice.

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Anne-Marie Duff, nominated for Best Actress for Saint Joan, at last night's 2008 Lawrence Olivier Awards in London.

Oi, Anne-Marie Duff -- isn't she something else? Forget about her merely being a magnificent actress just for a moment. She's also cute like a pixie, dressed like a dream (WANT this dress!), and, lest we forget, married to sex on a stick. Would want to be her if I didn't already have the best one out of three of these things myself.

(For those keeping score at home, I'm fierce like an Amazon and dressed like Saturday afternoon softball and beer.)


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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Go right now to the March 2008 issue of Arthur and read this fantastic interview (scroll to page 34) with Diamanda Galás.

I remember the first time I heard Diamanda Galás. I was in high school. I fancied myself as dark and artsy, political and tough, intellectual and fearless. But with my first listen to this powerful woman, I was scared shitless! She was, and continues to be, such an inspiration, and a force. So true, so visceral yet metaphysical, and so FIERCE.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

Tonight was First Friday's Art Murmur. Despite the emo-er than thou vibe this event sometimes (okay, always) evokes, I convinced the old man that we should hit it tonight for reasons I will get to soon. But I'm glad we went for the art too, because there was a fantastic animation installation on Grand Avenue:

My pics don't do it justice.

But this, this is why we made the trek to the crowded sidewalks of Telegraph and 24th. This was so fun tonight!

The event was hosted by the incredible and sassy Kitten on the Keys, who I have loved since seeing her with David J last year. Gotta love a woman who belts out songs like "Grandma Pimps My Knickers on Ebay" while playing ukulele and wetting her whistle sipping through whisky bottle pasties.

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Oi, it's Stuff White People Like.

I agree with my Extremely White English Friend who sent this to my hubby: you two are so PWNED!


Thursday, March 06, 2008

In case you didn't know...

Men Who Do More Housework May Get More Sex.

I hope my taxes aren't funding these oh-so-surprising conclusions! :)

Also, C.W. Nevius in the SF Chron today gets it right when he says that everyday life is the best argument for gay marriage.

I'm really for civil unions for all, and think we'd gain a lot more converts quickly if we lobbied for both straight and gay unions to be recognized as civil unions instead of marriage by the State and Feds for tax, inheritance, etc. purposes, and then recognized marriage as only a religious, extraneous thing that is personal and private.

But I digress: gay unions becoming commonplace and acceptable by most is inevitable, and this is common knowledge to me and many people I know, but it is still nice to read this in print -- at the very least, in order to keep the faith while we trudge forward through the haters toward that destination:

At the end of the day, when the change comes to allow same-sex marriage - and it's coming, don't kid yourself - it won't be because of protests. It will be because people in this state, and across the country, are talking to gay and lesbian co-workers and neighbors, meeting same-sex couples and their kids at Little League games, and working at companies with domestic-partner health plans.


It is that familiarity driving the change in perception. Polls tell us that those born before 1940 are probably a lost cause. But those in their 40s, for example, have seen a dramatic uptick in support for same-sex marriage. And the real sea change is among the teens and twentysomethings who seem to wonder what the fuss is all about.

When my parents were children, it was illegal in the State of California for them to marry and/or have children. My father once told me of an interracial couple who were tarred and feathered in my hometown when he was a small child in the late 1930s.

These horribly backward things are, thankfully, just ugly, fading memories for many Americans now. But they are very relevant in the fight to recognize full equal rights for gay unions. So, it is good to be reminded of this truth: in my lifetime, anti-gay marriage platforms and the moral panic around gay folk that feeds it will go the way of anti-miscegenation laws.

It is just so tiresome fighting the haters, and waiting!

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I think my sweetheart posted the most fitting and honorable tribute to the late D&D creator, Gary Gygax, that I've had the pleasure to read.

The poem he includes, by the magnificent César Vallejo (and translated by the incomparable Clayton Eshleman), bears reposting here.

RIP, Gary Gygax. May your modifiers be plentiful, and your dice always come to rest 20 up.

The Eternal Dice

My God, I am crying over the being I live;
it grieves me to have taken your bread;
but this poor thinking clay
is no scab from your side:
you do not have Marys who leave you!

My God, had you been a man,
today you would know how to be God;
but you, who were always fine,
feel nothing for your own creation.
Indeed, man suffers you; God is he!

Today there are candles in my sorcerer eyes,
as in those of a condemned man--
my God, you will light all of your candles
and we will play with the old die...
Perhaps, oh gambler, throwing for the fate of
the whole universe,
Death's dark-circled eyes will come up,
like two funeral snake eyes of mud.

My God, and this deaf, gloomy night,
you will not be able to gamble, for the Earth
is a worn die now rounded from
rolling at random,
it cannot stop but in a hollow,
the hollow of an immense tomb.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Oh glorious April 2008 issue of Vanity Fair!

Who Says Women Aren't Funny?

Certainly, the rewards of wit are not nearly as ample for women as for men, and sometimes funny women are actually penalized. Not everything has changed since 1885, when educator Kate Sanborn tried to refute the conventional male wisdom in her book The Wit of Women. Sanborn pointed out that women have good reason to keep their one-liners to themselves. “No man likes to have his story capped by a better and fresher from a lady’s lips,” she wrote. “What woman does not risk being called sarcastic and hateful if she throws the merry dart or engages in a little sharp-shooting. No, no, it’s dangerous—if not fatal.”

Or as Joan Rivers puts it, “Men find funny women threatening. They ask me, ‘Are you going to be funny in bed?’?”


It used to be that women were not funny. Then they couldn’t be funny if they were pretty. Now a female comedian has to be pretty—even sexy—to get a laugh.


There has been a epochal change even from 20 years ago, when female stand-up comics mostly complained about the female condition—cellulite and cellophane—and Joan Rivers and Roseanne Barr perfectly represented the two poles of acceptable female humor: feline self-derision or macho-feminist ferocity.

Comedy has changed on sitcoms, in clubs, and on Saturday Night Live. The repertoire of women isn’t limited to self-loathing or man-hating anymore; the humor is more eclectic, serene, and organic.

Love Annie Leibovitz's shots of some of my favorite smart, funny, feminist women -- Amy Poehler, Amy Sedaris, Sarah Silverman, and Tina Fey -- done up like some the most tragic yet high-profile examples of our gender: casualties of celebrity or unformed, outdated, and patriarchal ideas of power and womanhood:

Check the spot-on Amy Winehouse in Sarah Silverman:

My only gripe -- where is my beloved Margaret Cho?

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Artist and friend Jon Stich, of "portrait of me and my sweetie as circus freaks" fame, is on fire and will not be denied. If you just can't get enough of his work, or of me and the hubby, catch his cover for Hyphen next month on the political Asian invasion.

And if that isn't enough to make you a Stich groupie, remember to pick up Vibe magazine this month for his take on Lenny Kravitz.

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