All posts by lebronald

in search of the perfect sandwich

Spotlight

This movie’s all about the acting. Kind of an obvious statement, but in the case of Spotlight, the viewer isn’t waiting for any chilling plot twists or cinematic treasures. They’re locked in because Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel McAdams make you root for them right off the bat. It takes place in late 90’s and early 2000’s Boston where the Globe is about to bust open a huge story on a pervasive cover-up of child molestation perpetrated by the Catholic church.

Actor Michael Keaton arrives at the Hollywood Film Awards in Hollywood
mmmm I’m active again

That’s a rough subject that keeps you on the uncomfortable edge of your seat, methodically picking at your cuticles. But look at this guy – I would love to work for Michael Keaton. He’s the editor of the Spotlight investigative team, providing the perfect balance of excited encouragement and bust-your-balls demands. A team that’s on the verge of a devastating scoop and all the corroborative pressure that goes along with it. The viewer gets the impression that in most American towns this kind of story would easily burst on the scene and instigate sweeping institutional changes from the offending party. But Boston is a Cat’lick town. Like super Cat’lick. You want to make it to sergeant in the fire department? Better be a consistent contributor on Sundays. Continue reading Spotlight

SPORTS! – February

Our monthly sports primer featuring everything you didn’t know you needed to know about sports! February’s edition features Super Bowl prop betting, “Y” Cubans, and a ridiculous goal.

nflNational Football League
– MMDG and MDDG

Super Bowl Sunday is upon us, and chances are, whether you’re interested in the pageantry, the commercials, or maybe even the actual sporting event, you’re going to be tuning in at some point. And if you live in the Bay Area, like many of us, you have been blown away by the sheer volume of money and commerce associated with this championship game.

imagesAnd that’s just the tip of the iceberg. One news source cites an estimated $4.2 billion dollars to be spent on Super Bowl bets this year. When you think about the amount of money that changes hands in the name of the National Football League on this day alone, the chaos and grandeur of Super Bowl City and the Super Bowl Experience starts to make a little more sense.

So get in on the action.

Even if you’re not betting on the actual outcome of the game, Super Bowl parties around the country are typically staging grounds for a near limitless stable of prop bets, ranging from the interesting to the ridiculous. A proposition, or “prop” bet, is a sidebet dealing with an event, in this case the Super Bowl, that has no actual bearing on the outcome. And they’re incredibly popular. In fact, Forbes reports that the money wagered on prop bets now surpasses the money wagered on the actual game.

Bet on what color of Gatorade will be doused on the winning coach. Which animal will show up in a commercial first — cat, horse, or dog. How many times a broadcaster will reference a particular topic. The length of the National Anthem. The list goes on and on. SBNation has a list of all the “official” prop bets seeing action on online gambling sites. Sports Illustrated’s Andy Benoit has comments on some of the crazier options, all of which are living room nickel-bet friendly.

Don’t stop there with the gambling and hijinks. Next-level Super Sunday entertainment is taking form in Prop Pets.

Every mid-level manager and his boring family are joking about the length of the national anthem or how many times Peyton will say “Nebraska” or something; smirking like they came up with the joke themselves. Don’t stoop to that level without vaulting into a higher plane of enjoyment.  Prop Pets – where you try and avoid hitting your prop bet,  thereby becoming the pet for everyone to order around.

It’s really a win-win for the whole living room crew. The pet has to run for beers, prepare snack plates, and answer the door when the pizza guy arrives. [BTW – there are several new app-based services that will combine these and deliver booze to your door.] It’s  a win for the loser as well because sometimes you just need alone time with your snack table.

Yeah, you might be a Bronco fan or think Cam is awesome and want to watch, but make lemonade, my friend and dig into that smorgasbord while you have exclusive access. No more awkward chip-dipping hesitation while you and another guy dive for the same bowl. And if you’re granted the go-ahead there’s the inevitable quick scrape out of gratitude. No one wants a quick scrape. Each person has subconsciously determined the maximum loading of every brand of chip and have a consistent goal of maxing that out every time. You can only break the chains of pet-dom if another prop bet is hit and you can hand over the collar, so try and space them out.

Give it a whirl, experiment with different collars, take pics. And treat your pets with respect. Keep the doggie bowl filled with imported beer, and praise him when he’s been a good boy. Gooooooo………. Not-Patriots!!!

Continue reading SPORTS! – February

First Review of the Outer-Outers

I have always blindly defended the Richmond district of San Francisco because that’s where I grew up. I now re-focus that devotion to the Outer Richmond and Outer Sunset (the Outer-Outers) in particular because that’s my new hood. So for all you transplants and hilltopping locals, here are the spots to eat, drink, and be merry…

Where the sidewalk ends

In many cases my reviews and opinions are based on a small sample of visits and the chance encounters that occur, but are presented as absolute and consistent truths. There are far too many places in the city to experience and I’d rather hit ‘em all a few times rather than hash out a documentary on the true heart and soul of a few. Besides, extrapolation always works. It’s proven accurate, like, 2 times for me already. Every single time I see Monta score 8 or 10 points in the first few minutes of a game, the phrase “at this rate” pops into my head  and I envision him holding up a little piece of paper with the number 102 crudely drawn on it. That’s how I think.

With that being said, Hockey Haven is a piece of shit bar.

Hockey Haven

Balboa & 37th Ave

“This bar’s for locals,” the bartender suggesta-threatened. My buddy Serge countered with “we are the new locals. Whoooooo.” A quick and funny comeback delivered with such enthusiastic joy that it perked me right up, but it failed to warm the limp pickled heart of the proprietor. No laugh, no smile, nothing. If she wasn’t so beaten down by life, she may have made a real effort to ask us to leave. But we lingered a little while longer until the last flicker of a potentially fun night disappeared. The briefly heated discussion caused the flanking locals to raise their extremely slumped postures to some sadly supported sags. This was the closest bar to my new house. This was the first week of my arrival. Oh well. There’s another bar basically equidistant in the other direction. Tee Off. Guess I’ll have to settle for Tee Off.

Tee Off sucks – discussed in a later post.

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A couple people more “localer” than you

Dive bars are charming, but they need to have the bare essentials: cheap drinks, bar games, and funny bartenders. If all you have are cheap drinks – as is the case with Hockey Haven – you end up catering to a depressing bunch of drunks. I’ve never been the kind to drown my sorrows in a bottle, so I don’t understand the draw of a place like this. All it seems to do is sap the energy from the patrons.

Also, not a single piece of Sharks memorabilia in the entire place. Hockey Haven? Psshhh. Word on the street is that they have a helluva steak feed on Mondays. I’ve heard it from a number of sources and it’s more likely than not the first thing they mention when this bar is discussed. But that only happens during football season. So what? Like 17 days of the year this place is worth going to? Maybe I’ll try it out next time the Niners are on MNF. Maybe the vibe has taken an upward shift in the last 3 years. Maybe aliens visited Earth 10,000 years ago and we’re all genetic hybrids of pigs and fish. I’m not ruling anything out.

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Worst picture ever

And so the very first Outer-Outer rating gets applied to Hockey Haven. Judged on a scale of 1 to 5 raccoons because those little buggers are everywhere out here. You can hear them scrapping in the surrounding backyards at night, see them scurrying up trees, or oftentimes just boldly trotting across the street at fairly early hours of the evening. I can never seem to get a good snapshot of them, but you can see the cool glow from a couple pairs of eyes. This was a pack of four bold roamers who were checking out my front yard and stairway. At like 7pm.

Hockey Haven

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Gather ’round while I tell a tale of great men…

It’s Man of the Year award season again, and while the also-ran’s are busy preparing for the conclave to determine the 2010 winner, it’s time for the rest of us to look ahead to the potential events for 2011. Man of the Year. MOY. These phrases combined comprise 30% of my daily vocabulary. For the unenlightened, check out some bold words from the co-founders, inaugural year Viceroy, and perpetually disappointed-in-the-rest-of-the-field MOY 2008 champion:

http://www.manoftheyearcompetition.org/about/dfInterview.php

The short of it is, we have right here in the SF Bay Area a year long competition amongst the upper tank of manly men to prove who had the best year. The core of this competition being the individual events. We’ve had some hits like the paintball gun duel and the human corn maze, but in an effort to avoid flops I’m asking you readers to vote on your favorite. I submit mostly my own ideas or overheard gems because the 2011 kick-off banquet and gathering has yet to be held, so prepare for some updates in the near future.

Continue reading Gather ’round while I tell a tale of great men…

Am I doing this right?

Hello.

To get the blog ball rolling, I’m just going to repost something from last June that I uploaded to a little underground google group of the same name. This is all new territory to me, but I’ve always felt that the general public needed to be more aware of my daily musings and groundbreaking insights.

Revelations in Traffic [Now with bonus revelation and updates!]

1. A cool haircut is 90% the product of a cool face. The same goes for fashion trends. If enough attractive people start doing the same thing where the masses begin to notice, the fad will catch on regardless of the validity of the thing itself. Eventually enough unattractive people adopt the same trend until it becomes glaringly obvious how stupid it looks. So here’s to the final few months of retro neon 80s sunglasses, folks.
 

2. If you got rid of the tamale husk and reduced the Chicago deep dish style to a more foldable and less overpowerinig thin crust pizza in the taco town taco joke from SNL, you’d have a pretty amazing meal. If I remember, there was: a soft taco, crunchy taco, gordita, pizza, tamale, pancake, crepe, all adhered to each other with cheese, guacamole, refried beans, marinara sauce, and chili. All of those ingredients are thin enough to actually produce a viable wrap. Let’s make that wrap.

[Editor’s note: Done did. see it here:

http://www.manoftheyearcompetition.org/shenanigans/tacoTown.php ]

Continue reading Am I doing this right?