Monday, July 30, 2007

BBQ in the B'East?

Yes, it's true. I spent a few hours outside the protective bubble of San Francisco yesterday, attending a BBQ in Lafayette--the East Bay--the B'East. Luckily, no one (read: me) was hurt. It was warm and I ate three desserts. Then I played badminton. Then I had a coronary.

All in all, a good time was had by the bunch that gathered. Thanks to Rachel for hosting (and for the pies!!)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Is Our Wealth Hurting Africa's Feelings?

Something to think about. . .

In The Know: Is Our Wealth Hurting Africa�s Feelings?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

No Parking

Underneath this window?

No Parking under this window

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Missing Kitty

Missing Kitty

Missing in my neighborhood. Here kitty, kitty!

Zuni Cafe

Iced Tea from Zuni Cafe

R and I had lunch at Zuni Cafe today with Renee and Yasu. We literally all got the hamburger, and I have to say that it may have been the best hamburger I've ever had. Cooked medium and served on focaccia, this burger was juicy, tasty, and completely balanced. The gruyere I added was perfect.

Oh, and I had iced tea. Of course.

Dinner at Absinthe


We had dinner at Absinthe last night to celebrate Blake and Sean's birthdays (one week apart, so we killed two birds with the one proverbial stone). This was Absinthe's opportunity to redeem itself for me. I went there in January for my birthday and was underwhelmed by the food. Now, don't get me wrong. I've been back several times for drinks. And I have not been disappointed. Don't believe me? Check out The Art of the Bar.

This time around I had a Caeser salad (fine, not great) and the Crispy Pork Confit as my entree. It was delicious! Perfectly cooked pork with olive oil poached fingerling potatoes and some greens with a pork/mustard sauce. I ate every last bit.

After dinner, we went to Sugar for a drink, then to Marlena's to have one more sip of the sauce and enjoy a few performances in Hayes Valley's only drag venue.

All in all, a really good night with friends, food, and fun. Happy birthday, guys!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Pics from the AIDS Walk

As promised, here are some pics from the 2007 AIDS Walk. From shots of the foggy Golden Gate park to all the walkers to protesters and blisters, the walk was fun and productive.

I can't wait to hear how much everyone raised.

Thanks to everyone who walked!

Rand looks smarmy while waiting for the 21 Hayes The Walk Begins

He's Anti-Walking Leslie--Always the publicist

Sarah, Renee, Yasu (left to right) The End of the Walk

Rand had sock issues The ribbons we got for completing the walk

The Walk Begins Leslie's hubby, Youngblood and puppy

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My Results for the Online Color Test

Should I be happy, concerned, blue or green?

ColorQuiz.comTodd took the free personality test!

"Needs a change in his circumstances or in his rela..."

Click here to read the rest of the results.

Wanted: New tenant for former cafe space

Location: Historical and charming, this space begs to be filled.
Price: Negotiable
Clientele: Urbane meets traditional meets shut-in

For more information: Click here

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Kindness of Strangers

Someone gave this man a donut while he slept today. Better than a quarter, I think.

I really want to know what we can do about homelessness in this country, though. We are quite simply too wealthy to allow this. One little war in the Middle East could build how many homes, fund how many rehabilitation programs, help how many people vs. killing how many? It's sad and makes me feel helpless, so I wade back into the warm pool of apathy that anesthetizes us.

The Kindness of Strangers

McCain's Karma Tour 2007

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Struggling Republican presidential contender John McCain suffered another wave of staff resignations on Monday, including his national press team and aides in the early voting states of Iowa and South Carolina.

Campaign communications director Brian Jones and his two deputies resigned along with the research director and another communications aide. Press aides in Iowa and South Carolina also quit, as well as a South Carolina field director.

The resignations come a week after McCain's top two advisers, campaign manager Terry Nelson and chief strategist John Weaver, departed after a poor fundraising quarter that left the one-time front-runner nearly broke more than 15 months before the November 2008 presidential election.

The rest of the story.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

SF AIDS Walk 2007

It's today!! I'll post pics later. Be sure to wave to the Chronicle Books team.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Fight Crime with Wine

An armed intruder had a change of heart when offered a glass of wine in Washington, DC. After having a swig of the French brew, the would-be thief put his gun away and asked for a hug.

Who new the power of Chateau Malescot St-Exupéry?

Moral of the story: Always have wine for your unexpected guests. It could save your reputation--and life.

Poll Results: My Future Tattoo

It will be Underdog!


Friday, July 13, 2007

US Publisher Turns away from Cartoon Nudity

This woman is a hero. Children's book author Rotraut Susanne Berner refused to allow her illustrations to be censored by American publisher Boyds Mills Press. As reported on Spiegel Online, the publisher asked the author to make some changes to the book to make it more amenable to the U.S. market. In short, our children cannot be subjected to the artistic nude as seen in a museum. Their sensibilities are simply too fragile. As Spiegel summed it up, "The problem? Cartoon breasts and a half-millimeter-long willy."

Another feather in our cap, America.

Here are the offending illustrations in case you're interested:



And here they are in their original context, not cropped to show the "naughty bits":


Dear Ms. Berner,

Call Chronicle Books. I doubt we will be so fearful

Universal Cafe

Did I mention that I went to Universal Cafe for brunch last weekend? Well, it was yummy. R and I had to wait 20-30 minutes before we were seated, but in the end it was worth it. We got a piece of coffee cake to start. I order the soft scrambled egg dish with a side of potatoes. R ordered the flat bread. Now, and here is my only criticism, I never got my potatoes, but I'm mostly glad. I was full by the end of brunch. The potatoes would have pushed me over that delicate edge. And, our server (I forget your name darling) was very friendly in an un-saccharine way. Much appreciated.

I will definitely go back, even though that neighborhood feels a million miles away. (sorry, R)

So Much for the ADA

Accessible Entrance on 2nd

Freedom of Speech on the Job?

Do you think you have the same freedom of expression at your workplace? Think again. The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression has a short but interesting interview with Bruce Barry about his book Speechless. Check it out and get rid of all those bumper stickers!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

More O'Reilly? Think of the Children!!!

Bill is keeping us on our toes these days. For example, who knew that the San Diego Padres were part of the vast gay social engineering project?

Lesbian Gangs Are Taking Over

Thank god for Bill O'Reilly. Without him bringing this to our attention, who knows how many may have suffered at the hands of an angry Sappho?

Personally, I will be on the lookout for these pink pistol packin' mamas. And when I get a photo of them, I will post it here. And if they break my legs for doing so, it will all be worth it. Anything to prove Bill right. Go Bill!!

A President or a King

House Democrats on Thursday took the first step toward holding former White House counsel Harriet Miers in contempt of Congress after she defied a subpoena — at President Bush's order — and skipped a hearing on the firing of U.S. attorneys.

Over the strenuous objections of Republicans, a subcommittee cleared the way for contempt proceedings by voting 7-5 to reject Bush's claim of executive privilege. He says his top advisers, whether current or former, cannot be summoned by Congress.

"Those claims are not legally valid," Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., said of Bush's declaration. "Ms. Miers is required pursuant to the subpoena to be here now."

At what point, I wonder, will our representatives in Congress choose to start representing us?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

She may need some Pepto

I knew she should have steered clear of the food bar at Liquor and More. For your entertainment, we taped her post-lunch experience. It's not pretty.

It Puts the "No" in North Korea

In an effort to stem the tide of evil foreign influences, North Korea has shut down all its karaoke bars. Both of them. (I joke.) The Ministry of Mind Control and Magic stated that this was a "mopping-up operation to prevent the ideological and cultural permeation of anti-socialism." I feel safer already.

Actually, you may not know this, but Tiananmen Square was actually the largest karaoke bar in the world. Its revolutionary forces caused all sorts of trouble for China and its tanks. We simply cannot underestimate the power of drunken, tone deaf caterwauling.

In other news, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has boldly voted to censure Kim Jong-il for his recent album, PyongYingYang: Kickin' It Britney-Style in the DMZ for its use of too little post-consumer plastic in the production of his CDs. Supervisor Ed Jew stated, "We must hold ourselves and the world to a higher standard when it comes to recycling and global warming. Without taking a stand today, our homes in Burlingame could be submerged by rising sea levels in the next 20 years. We simply will not sit still and let this travesty of justice occur."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Kiss the Penguin

Kiss the Penguin

If this doesn't make you smile, nothing will.

Eat the Menu!

So, as you may know, I'm running for mayor of San Francisco. It's sort of a shadow candidacy. No posters. Or commercials. Or endorsements. Or money. Just me, in my head, ranting to my friends about stuff I hate (hello, Muni!).

So, as part of my platform, I will move to ban the hanging of menus on all doors, gates, fenceposts, and slow-moving homeless. This wastefulness must stop! How many redwoods must die to tell me about General Cho's Fiery Chicken at Jade Inn or the new Scallop and Peanut Butter pizza at Extreme Pizza or the vegan-friendly kabob's at Mother Earth on a Stick?! Not only will we be carbon neutral; we will also be Menu-tisement free!!

Seriously, my building has three of these things hanging from the front gate as I type. Who should be responsible for pulling them off and throwing them away? And is it acceptable for me to call the offending restaurants and threaten them if they leave menus here again? Will I be branded a menu terrorist?

And, most importantly, can I count on your vote?

Todd X in 2008! No menus for oil!!

Is SF a safe place?

Well, it may be a little safer tonight. I wonder what they were being arrested for.

An Arresting Photo

Photo by Renee

Will It Blend?

Has anyone seen this website? Will It Blend? I'm horrified, mystified, and completely entertained by the wanton destruction of, oh, just about anything you can imagine. In fact, this reminds me of an article I recently read in Details by Michael Chabon about the inherent sadism in boys. Chabon and his family are in Hawai'i and his daughter comes over and tells the parents that some boys are catching fish and ripping their gills open. Mrs. Chabon is shocked and turns to ask Michael if he ever did such a thing. He uses the opportunity to think back on his own childhood, his friends, and the nature of boys. In short, he's not shocked. Boys, as they say, will be boys. And apparently we like to torture stuff (and we aren't all psychopaths because of it). Back to the blender motif, though. The main graphic for the article is a blender filled with snakes and frogs. Voilá: will it blend?

I can totally imagine myself blending all sorts of things (especially things I should not be blending) when I was 8 years old. I mean, hello! It makes noise, it chops things up, and that is cool.

Now, the idea of spending $600 on something, tossing it into a blender, and turning said blender on frightens me a bit. I need to keep my inner billionaire in check, you know. Having said that, I can't help posting this timely little video.

iPhone meet iBlender

Monday, July 9, 2007

Katie Couric: She's so mad, she could just spit

NEW YORK — Katie Couric allegedly slapped a "CBS Evening News" editor "over and over and over again" during a tense newsroom confrontation, according to a source quoted by New York magazine, which goes on sale Monday.

Couric became angry over the word "sputum," written by news editor Jerry Cipriano into a story about tuberculosis last month.

The anchor, however, told the magazine the slapping was a joke, and her spokesman, Matthew Hiltzik, dismissed the altercation as a "non-issue."

"Katie has had a long career and she's not had anything physical with anyone at any office," he said.

Couric confirmed to the magazine that she was "aggravated" over use of the word "sputum" -- a coughed-up mix of saliva and mucus.

"I sort of slapped him around," Couric admitted to the magazine. "I got mad at him and said, 'You can't do this to me. You have to tell me when you're going to use a word like that.' I was aggravated, there's no question about that."

Couric also told the magazine that the move to CBS would have been less appealing if she had known she would be doing the more traditional "CBS Evening News" broadcast that she anchors now.

"People are very unforgiving and very resistant to change," Couric said. "The biggest mistake we made is we tried new things."

Couric's move to CBS has been a bust so far. The evening newscast's ratings are deep in third place, and CBS has rolled back some of the changes it made last fall to shake up the format. Couric conducts fewer interviews, an outside opinion segment was scrapped and the anchor admits she's even dressing down a little to give her critics less ammunition.

Under new executive producer Rick Kaplan, the "CBS Evening News" is a more traditional hard-news evening newscast in the mold of its predecessors and competitors.

If she had known that would happen, the job "would have been less appealing to me. It would have required a lot more thought."

A thriftier corporate culture at CBS and colleagues who backbite anonymously in the media surprised her, she said. She also said she underestimated the feeling people would not consider her a credible news person because of her work on NBC's "Today" show, even though she thinks it's "patently unfair."

She said she's looking forward to doing more work for "60 Minutes" next season. "If it turns out it wasn't a perfect fit (at the evening news), then, you know, I'll do something else that's really exciting and fulfilling for me."

Couric admitted there are days when she wishes she hadn't made the move to CBS.

"Of course," she said. "I'm human. I'm not going around 'dee-da dee-da dee.' I have days when I'm like, 'Oh my God, what did I do?' But for some weird reason, they don't happen that often."

Fox News

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Peace Wall in the Lower Haight

Peace wall cropped

In the Lower Haight (or Hayes Valley or Western Addition--seriously, can we get a definitive map on our neighborhoods in this city?!), we recently had the Peace Wall commissioned. It's a cute collection of hand-painted tiles affixed to the retaining wall of Koshland Park. Actually, I call it a "park-lette" because it's so small.

The community project is supposed to reaffirm the neighborhood's commitment to peace and love and rainbows and unicorns. I got the impression that kids did the majority of the tiles, but some interesting ones seem to have slipped in. I wanted to share them with you.

Give Bush a Snack
Stop the corruptionIt's all good.

I'm just waiting to see how long it will be until someone sprays graffiti all over it.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Orechiette with Cannellini Beans and Sausage

R and I tried this recipe last night, and it was pretty yummy and easy to make (thanks, Giada!). We had a Caesar salad to go with it, and I cheated and added some parmagiana on top of the pasta.

Other than that, we followed the recipe pretty faithfully. I have a suggestion, though. I think the dish needs either a spicy Italian sausage or the addition of some red pepper flakes to the sauce. Otherwise, I think the dish tends to be a bit bland. The pepper will spice things up--like an arrabiata. Also, don't skimp on the oregano. I think we may have needed more of that.

So, get out there and start cooking!


1 pound orechiette pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound turkey sausage, casing removed
1 small onion, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

In a large, heavy skillet warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and onions. Using a wooden spoon break up the sausage into bite-sized pieces as it browns.

Continue cooking until the sausage is golden and the onions are tender. Add the beans and oregano cook for 2 more minutes. Add the cup of pasta cooking liquid and stir, scrapping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir until it dissolved into a light sauce. Add the salt, pepper, and hot pasta. Stir until coated and serve.

July 4th Celebration

San Francisco had an amazing Fourth of July this year. The weather was phenomenal; the skies were clear. R and I decided to have lunch in the park, so we got some sausages at Rosamunde's. After a short walk, we ended up near Steiner and Waller and set up camp. The sausages were great. I had the beer sausage with grilled onions and sweet peppers and a root beer. Sitting on the grass with the sun shining down and eating yummy sausage is just about perfect. After lunch, we headed over to Peet's on Market St. for some iced tea (um, have you noticed the title of this blog?). I got a few shots of the great SF weather from the vantage of the beginning of the Castro. The streetcars were out in abundance, and the tea was thirst-quenching.

Later in the day, after much debate on what to do and where to do it, we decided just to have people come over to R's place and watch the fireworks from there. The view was limited, but we were inside and comfortable. We also had drinks, taquitos, drinks, and music--both recorded and live. The best part of the evening was probably R's performance of his song "I wish your boyfriend was dead." (I may have a video to post, but the quality is terrible. [EDIT] NEVERMIND. IT WON'T BE POSTED.) We also had a small collaborative effort on a new song. Apple's "GarageBand" made for some fun recording. We stayed up until about 3am, then everyone headed out. Between the mojitos, maitais, friends, fireworks, and music, I think a good time was had by all. Until next year.

The View on July 4thPartygoersThe YaliesFireworks  July 4th, 2007Rand entertains the groupRachel and Rand