This Berkeley brewed ale tastes and smells like Campbell’s Vegetable soup. No, seriously. I’d recommend against it.(0)
Archive for the 'Berkeley' Category
This place fills the void left by the cheeseboard as something I miss from Berkeley, and it’s just a nice walk through Golden Gate Park away. My personal favorites are the pizzas with kalamata olives or lemon.(0)
It’s really sad that most of my initial observations about San Francisco are about driving. But given that I had to drive to get here, I guess that’s kind of understandable. Let’s get them out of the way quick:
- San Francisco needs some pretty serious traffic sign infrastructure to get people where they need to go. And yet, there are still several classes of information that I’m having a really hard time finding when I need it:
- All way stops lack the “All Way” placard at the bottom of the stop sign, making me nervous about pretty much every stop sign I stop at. I’m gradually learning to look at the street for that information, though.
- Street names can be awfully hard to find, because they seem to vary in size, color, placement, and redundancy.
- As if the idea of parallel parking on 19th street weren’t daunting enough, let’s throw in the added complication of needing to pop the right side of your car up onto the sidewalk unless you want your car to get smeared.
- Parking in my neighborhood turns out to not be as impossible as I feared, but it can be still frustratingly difficult at times. Easily the most irritating thing is the spots between two driveways that are ever-so-slightly too small for my slightly longer than average car that I park in only to find I’m sticking over on both sides. Those’re the worst, and only make me want a Mini that much more.
On Wednesday night we listened to Kevin Smith answer questions for five hours before we finally couldn’t take it anymore and left.
Now don’t get me wrong — the “it” I couldn’t take certainly wasn’t Kevin himself, because he’s one damn funny man. Rather, what I couldn’t stomach was all the fanboys (and girls) creating some truly awkward moments with their poorly thought out and unrehearsed questions. Now I grant it might be a little obsessive to rehearse a question, but given that you had to plan in advance to buy a ticket in the first place, you might as well plan your damn question in advance too. And I guarentee all these people saw An Evening With Kevin Smith, so I can’t help but wonder if they realized that their poorly thought out questions made them “that guy” that made you squirm while watching the DVD.
Highlights of the evening that I remember were:
- Kevin clearly found the signers on stage novel. Extra funny was that he didn’t notice the first time they swapped, so when he turned and saw a new person sitting there, he was visibly startled.
- The Jewish girl who goes to a Catholic high school in Oakland (because public schools in Oakland = no good). Kevin was fascinated, and was asking her a lot of questions about how that works.
- The guy from New Zealand who sounded like Kermit. Once Kevin pointed out his voice, everyone couldn’t help but laugh every time he tried to finish asking his question. It was kind of mean, but fucking funny. After answering the question, Kevin sang a bit of Rainbow Connection.
- I was amazed by the scope of his potty mouth. It gave me something to strive for.
- Kevin was also amused by the Berkeley/Stanford rivalry, and by the NorCal/SoCal rivalry, and especially amused by the idea of LA stealing “our” water. “Do they really steal your water? I’ve never heard of that before,” he said. “You’re all Californians to me,” he said.
- Apparenly Jason Mewes had sex with 27 women in a month. “If I knew all it took was starting a conversation with ‘How you doin”? and ending it with ‘Snooch,’ I would have been all over that a long time ago.
- Apparently, Jason Mewes is also living clean now, and he’s moved into a house with some other clean living people named “The Falcon’s Nest.”
It took me awhile, but I think I figured out how Kevin deals with the stupid questions:
- Someone paid him a whack of cash.
- He makes a moderate amount of fun of some of the people who ask the really stupid questions, so that’s probably entertaining for him.
- If they’re really stupid, then he can put them on a DVD, in hopes of both making the person feel like a real idiot, and in hopes of having that serve as a warning to dissuade future idiots from asking the same stupid questions.
Clearly 3 doesn’t work in practice, so I guess he has to focus on 1 and 2. I would be curious to hear his internal monologue during the Q&A, though. “Oh damnit, not this question again.” “Oh damnit, this fucker already asked me a question.”
The straw that broke the camel’s back was this: The girlfriend of the guy who asked the first question got into line after her boyfriend asked his question, so it was 4 or 5 hours later that she made it to the front of the line. She asked some stupid question, and then followed it up with a request for a kiss. “What!?” “My boyfriend’s cool with it. He’s sitting right there.” And after she sat down, her boyfriend got back in the line to ask another question.
As it happened, though, we apparently left about 10 minutes before Kevin called it quits, and we missed someone ask him what his favorite bird of prey was. “What, like from the comic book?” he asked. “Wait, did you say you were a falconer?” Heh.
Damnit, I saw the sign for the “No Ghost Hamlet” on that theater when I drove by it every day for a month, but I only remembered to look it up once the sign disappeared, only to find out that A. I want to see it, and B. I missed my chance.(0)
I got my citation today, and in case you were wondering, it turns out Berkeley’s Left Turn Tax is $142.
Remember those Mervyn’s ads for the day after thanksgiving sale, that would show throngs of women lined up outside the doors to get in at 6 am?
Well, it turns out people actually do line up outside Berkeley Bowl on Sunday mornings before they open at 10 am. And the produce section was just insanely packed. On the bright side, I didn’t have to wait in line (a chore which can take 20 minutes some Sunday afternoons), so going early was worth it after all. I like Berkeley Bowl, but damn if I can’t stand the crowds.
Hey, y’know what?
The city of Berkeley doesn’t like it when you make a left turn from Ashby onto MLK between 7 and 9 am.
You know what else?
Cops don’t like it, either.
A block after turning onto MLK, I noticed one cop behind me with his lights on, and another cop to my right. Not having any clue what was going on, and unsettled as I was by the fact that I’d just been swarmed by cops, I went ahead and pulled over.
He prefaced the whole exchange with “It’s a city ordinance that you can’t make a left turn from Ashby onto MLK between 7 and 9 am, and it’s 8:13 right now. This is just a city ordinance, so it won’t go on your record or affect your insurance, but I have to give you a citation.”
And given his qualification, I figured I’d just pay my left turn tax and be done with it. “Oh… I just got the car two days ago, and I’m still learning the city.” I told him. He gave me the citation anyway.
“I’m never awake between 7 and 9 am, so I ignore that sign every time I see it,” I said in my head.
Of course, I didn’t realize until a day later that the clock in the car was still set to daylight savings time.
So Berkeley Blogs.org, the Berkeley blog directory that I maintain, kind of went away for a little while, but now it’s back and better than before. Now Berkeley Bloggers can and submit their own link, and edit their entry, and include a short description of themselves or their site. This is great because it makes it massively easier for me to maintain the list, and makes it easier for Berkeley Bloggers to get listed, too.
So if you’ve got anything to do with Berkeley, past or present, (and you want to be listed in the directory), head on over to Berkeley Blogs.org and hit “Add Link.” And if you’ve got any questions or suggestions, let me know.
A few weeks ago, I heard that an EB Games was moving into one of the empty storefronts on Telegraph. A few days later, I confirmed this through visual inspection. “Cool,” I thought. “It’s about damn time we’re getting a game store in Berkeley.” Keith and Michael and I had all complained at one time or another about the lack of any such store, and finally, things are changing. Of course, two out of three of us have moved out of Berkeley at this point, and I won’t be too far behind.
But then, yesterday, I was walking to the BART station, and I saw they were putting in another EB Games on Shattuck and Allston.
What the hell? Why on earth are they putting in two stores so ridiculously close to each other? In that proximity, they’re just going to compete with each other, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they put each other out of business.
If I were them, I would have just put in the store on Shattuck. I suspect the Shattuck rent is a cheaper, and it’s in a better location (one block from BART), and perhaps most importantly, the next time there’s any sort of looting on Telegraph, that EB Games will lose a lot of money.
Oh well, at least I won’t be around to see them fail.
4.0 at 10:47 am? How much more of a backup alarm clock could I possibly ask for?
Seriously, parties shake the building more. The garbage truck shakes the building more. This was just one little jolt, and for some reason, it woke me up. I didn’t even think it was an earthquake until I went back and checked the site.
And I didn’t even feel the 3.5 aftershock.
Actually, it’s worse than that:
I got a summons to serve in Oakland on December 4th, and a second summons to serve in Hayward on December 2nd. Literally two envelopes, containing two separate Alameda County Jury Summons. How ridiculous is it that I got my fifth and sixth jury summons in two and a half years (between two different counties) on the same day?
Man, Hayward! Hayward is sufficiently far away from Berkeley that I had to look it up on a map to see exactly where it was! It’s like 20 miles from my apartment!
I’m trying to figure out how I can use each one to get out of the other, because after 10 weeks of perfect attendance, I’ll be damned if I’m going to let jury duty sabotage that one day (or three days, depending on which summons I listen to) before my last day of classes at Berkeley.
And to top it off, I also found a notice that my rent is going up $30 next month taped to my door today. Bah.
Hopefully your Friday was better than mine.