Yes. Absolutely. It is exactly the same.

I don’t really have much to add here. It’s tempting to rant about how clueless these people (these horrible, horrible people) are; these people who are so incensed that Penn State is being punished for its failure to take any meaningful action to stop child rapist Jerry Sandusky- but they clearly just don’t get it and never will. They don’t understand that the punishment is for the institutional flaws in the school’s athletic program and thus Penn State is being punished institutionally.

But yes, this. Definitely this. Some guy making a completely valid analogy about Penn State’s punishment:

I just can’t put my arms around it, it’s, to me, it was our 9/11 today. I just saw planes crashing into towers.

I couldn’t embed the video of this character, so you can watch it here.

Tom Price, Penn State Alumnus & Douchebag


I love a good rant – and I love Fran Lebowitz.

The worst thing about being around these people,  these students, is overhearing their conversations.


from The Awl

The Idaho Stop

Probably one of the most challenging parts of being a bicyclist in SF (besides dodging potholes, jaywalking peds and inattentive drivers) is that we are typically portrayed as a singular entity. That is, people rely on their own anecdotal evidence of a-hole cyclists to reach the conclusion that all cyclists are a-holes. In fact, most cyclists ride in a safe and generally law-abiding manner.

Of course, to some degree, “law-abiding” can be in the eye of the beholder. Check out this crackdown by the SFPD on cyclists on the Wiggle, all being sited for failure to come to a complete stop at stop sign. N.B.: Pay close attention to traffic behind the irate dogwalker.

Why are bikes being singled out for enforcement here? Those cars coming to a rolling stop should be getting ticketed as well.

Of course, the larger issue is that it simply doesn’t make sense for bikes to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. In the report above, the guys who didn’t slow down or check the intersection? They deserved to be cited.  But it is actually completely possible for a cyclist to obey the premise of a stop sign, yielding to peds and cars, without coming to a two-wheel stop. Here’s a great piece on the Idaho Stop, something the state of Oregon is attempting to introduce.

Of course, I hold out little hope of such a logical and appropriate law to ever be implemented (or even considered) in Cali. The cultures of “zero-tolerance” and self-entitlement (and this applies to everybody – drivers, bikers, peds… especially in SF. Well, everybody except me of course, since I am a paragon of virtue in all that I do. But I digress…) pretty much guarantee that any change in traffic laws that required people to be reasonable, attentive and patient would never be tolerated.

Adventures in Predictive Text

Honestly, I have no idea on this one. The only time “uterus” ever comes up in conversation for me is when I’m quoting Homer Simpson, who responds to Marge’s unwillingness to earn money by being a surrogate mother with the line, “But Marge! It’s a uterus, not a uter-you.” Which is hilarious (or should I say “hysterical”? Probably not…)


The humiliations of online dating (well, any kind of dating really) are legion – and for the most part beyond one’s control. One has to take the good with the bad (soooo much bad…) when wading into this morass of indignity and shame.

But, when it comes to the online version, one does choose one’s own onscreen name. The wiser among us go with a first name or perhaps a monongram. The tiresome (if they are gay men, that is) rely on some combination of “muscular,” “hot,” “sexy,” “hairy,” “smooth,” “top,” “bottom,” “bear,” “cub” and “ass” – though this construction is often a signal that they are looking for “dates” only in the very loosest of terms… The photos accompanying such profiles are usually mirror shots with a toilet in the background, along with an overly-fussy shower curtain that belies the owner’s stated sexual proclivities.

And then there are the clever sorts, who come up with something intended to be amusing, overly-descriptive or nudge-nudge-wink-wink. Which is fine, as far as it goes. But since online dating sites are often visited via mobile devices, one’s too-long screen name may be truncated when displayed in the Grid of Scorn. And hilarity ensues…

  • IrishHam…
  • SoCal Bea… (I sooooo wanted this to be accompanied by a photo of Maude Findlay)
  • LongTallDud…
  • PowerButt… (yes, I realize this is probably some dude’s actual handle – but in this case, it was the truncated version of PowerButton.)
  • ThunderP…
  • FurryGal…
  • ThrobinHo… (actually not as bad as ThrobinHood)
  • browneye…
  • dirtycow…

And for those of you who doubt how terrible online dating is, behold OKCupid Enemies. Taking the veil becomes more attractive by the day…

The Queen’s English

While I remain primarily a Francophile (I mean, any culture that produces the macaron, the ever-fascinating city of Paris and the little black dress is clearly one to be emulated), I am also a devoted fan of the British – not least for their facility with the English language.

They are particularly adept at slang. “Wanker,” “tosser,” “knob” and “bell-end,” for example, are all far superior to (and arguably less sweary than) the common American expression “asshole” (though “douchebag” and its various permutations remain personal favorites).  And there is no American analog for the always delightful “great pillocky ponce” (let alone “sniveling little rat-faced git“).

Probably my all-time favorite bit from across the pond, and one I still use all the time, is a term for the overly-pious and proselytizing type: “god-botherer.” It’s just so perfect in its construction, particularly in its implication that even god finds this person insufferable.

And today I learned a marvelous new compound word, when my friend in Cardiff complained on Facebook about a portly family blocking the aisle at the supermarket. He referred to them as “salad-dodgers.” Actually, as “dirty salad-dodgers.” And I’m still laughing at that vivid characterization.

Oh No They Di’n’t!

Minding my own business in the line at Whole Foods and checking out the various magazine covers. I’m not a People reader (seriously, it’s not even a guilty pleasure – it’s the worst kind of drivel and I honestly don’t understand why people give a shit about anything any Kardashian does or says. But I digress…) but I’m not made of stone – the cover was “Before They Were Stars!” along with pictures of various celebs as kids and teens. “OK, that’s Britney. That’s Brad Pitt. Hmm… Not sure about him… Oh, it’s Bruno Mars – who cares? There’s Taylor Lautner. Why’s he showing off his abs when he appears to be 12-years-old? Gross… Wait a minute… WTF?” I think some queen on staff at People is giving us all a little nudge-nudge-wink-wink. Actually, maybe closer to hitting us with a sledgehammer. Check out just behind Miss Lautner on the right. Gurl. GURRRRRRL. GURRRRRRRRRRRLLLLL!! Seriously, there must be literally thousands of pictures of this kid and this is the one that makes its way onto the cover? Mmmm-hmmm.

I wouldn’t go a penny over $20 million…

I love me some good NYC real estate porn – and this three-level penthouse in the  West Village is porn-a-riffic! The apartment itself (listed at $30 million) looks quite nice and awash in light – though frankly, nothing really out of the ordinary, other than being palatial by NYC standards. But the terraces (plural!), my god, the terraces. They  are just absolutely mind-boggling.

Of course, the floor plan might give one pause. As one of the commenters on Curbed NY pointed out re. traveling between the first and second floors:

oh yeah, and no interior connection to the first floor. Nothing says luxury like going through a common hallway to get to part of your apartment.

Truly deluxe! Though there seemed to be consensus that a spiral staircase (ugh) between the two floors is tucked away in a closet somewhere. Me? I’d sell off the first floor, convert the top floor great room into a full-floor master and then spend my days drinking champagne (LOTS of champagne – real champagne not that cheap cava that I happily get by on today) on my terraces (plural!) while bellowing “Let them eat cake!”

The maintenance/CC fees are $5675 – per month. Oh, and taxes are another $3666 – per month. Hilarious!

from Curbed NY

Bicycles in the Netherlands

This is a fascinating overview of how the Netherlands transformed their transportation infrastructure for bicycling. One of the most interesting things to me is that it was partially in response to the oil crisis of the ’70s (which ushered in car-free Sundays in city centers).

I especially love this image of protesters occupying Amsterdam’s Museumplein – which is now closed to automobile traffic.

The other day, I took a different route to work, traveling via Market St. after taking The Wiggle (can I just say that I love the fact that SF has a well-known bike route called The Wiggle?) from the DMV. Market St. is probably the most heavily traveled bike route in SF, especially during the commute hours. And I must say, it was pretty great traveling in a pack of cyclists on the way to work (my usual route down Post St. is generally just me, cars and buses).

As a cyclist it made me feel safer and more visible – and frankly it just made the ride more fun. Of course, just as with automobiles, there were a couple of jerks on bikes, who felt the need to squeeze past me at a red light so they could be 4′ closer to their destination. And this pack of cyclists obeyed all traffic rules for the entire trip, stopping at red lights and yielding to pedestrians – which, despite all of those who will shout their anecdotal evidence to the contrary, is more typical than not.

I should also add that the traffic lights on Market St. are not timed for bikers, which seems ridiculous. And that on at least two occasions all 20 or so of those in my pack were forced to squeeze past double-parked cars dropping off a single passenger somewhere on Market St. Not only does this slow everyone down, it forces cyclists to interact too closely with buses and streetcars, as well as the treacherous tracks and grates in the transit lane. And this is all on top of the typical but no less dangerous potholes and half-assed repairs that make Market St. into an obstacle course for those on two-wheels.

The current Better Market Street planning seems to be headed in the right direction. It will be interesting to see what actually gets built – though I’m hoping that (finally) Market St. is closed to private automobile traffic, with dedicated transit and bike lanes and improved sidewalks for pedestrians. We shall see.

from SFist

Lies, Damn Lies and Anything Ed Lee Says

What, me worry?

Politicians lie. All of them, good and bad, Democrat and Republican. It’s part of the job – and cynic that I am, it barely registers anymore. So why then does SF Mayor Ed Lee make my blood boil? I was certainly not a particular fan of Willie Brown or Gavin Newsom – but I was sort of, “Eh, whatever. Not great, but not terrible. Typical SF politicians who are socially liberal but financially and politically in the pocket of big business.” Ed Lee is pretty much the same – yet I’d like to see him run out of office.

I suppose it’s because he lied his way into being appointed mayor to replace Newsom, when he was elected Lt. Governor. Lee stated unequivocally that he would not seek election the following November – which was key to getting the support of the Board of Supes to appoint him as the putative “interim” mayor. Within a couple of months he “changed his mind” and decided to run, and vaulted to the front of the crowded field of candidates. He won handily and totally cock-blocked the first chance in ages that SF would get a truly progressive mayor.

And now – ¡escandalo! – Lee is being accused of perjuring himself – twice! – in his testimony to the Ethics Commission during its investigation of suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. And I’m channeling Capt. Renault insofar as I am shocked – shocked! – that Mayor Lee might have lied.

Frankly, I’ll be delighted if the charges stick and he’s drummed out of office. But seriously, what did anyone expect? He lied his way into office! He didn’t stretch the truth or massage the facts or artfully dissemble – he told a bald-faced lie that he would not seek election as mayor and then, virtually immediately upon being appointed, announced he would seek election. He is a craven, lying liar-head, beholden to loathsome power-brokers Rose Pak and Willie Brown, whose pockets are lined by wealthy developers and big business.

In other words, business as usual.

Feelin’ Good

Nina Simone – her musical legacy speaks for itself frankly. I heard Jennifer Hudson singing her own cover of Feelin’ Good last night on the TV. She was pretty darn great – but Miss Simone’s version sends chills down my spine.

And, as if her music alone wasn’t enough, there’s this:

Simone had a reputation in the music industry for her volatility. In 1995, she shot and wounded her neighbor’s son with a pneumatic pistol after his laughter disturbed her concentration. She also fired a gun at a record company executive whom she accused of stealing royalties.

OK, OK – this was likely the result of her diagnosed bipolar disorder and what sounds like a rather… um… challenging personality. But seriously – all she wanted was some peace and fuckin’ quiet and the money she was owed. I think we can all identify with that – and if someone occasionally gets shot, well, some times shit gets a little real.

And as wonderful as Feelin’ Good is, check out Who Knows Where the Time Goes? N.B.: Do NOT under any circumstances listen to this if you have recently been dumped or suffered the death of a family member, dear friend or beloved companion animal. You will bawl your eyes out. And by “recently,” I mean “ever.”

Take My Hand, Come With Me

You know, I love a good patriotic song as much as anyone. I mean The Stars and Stripes Forever is pretty irresistible. And the 1812 Overture? WOW. Even God Bless America, despite its god-bothering, is pretty great.

But, honestly, you know what song represents what I want my country to be? Free to Be You and Me. I’ve loved this song since I first heard it as child in the ’70s (the 1970s, you smart alecs…) I still listen to it pretty regularly and it often shuffles onto my iPod at the gym. And it always gets me all misty-eyed.

Part of this, of course, is the nostalgia for the uncomplicated life of childhood. But the lyrics, simple and sweet, remind me that there was a time not all that long ago when I (and many others, I think) had yet to have our cynicism calcify; that while this country was not perfect, we envisioned it as a land where we would be free to be you and me.

For me, being an American remains a complicated proposition. I am solidly middle-class and lead a life that is staggeringly luxurious when measured against virtually any other time or civilization. I have access to high quality health care. I have clean drinking water, cheap energy and an affordable and safe domicile. All of this because I was lucky enough to be born into the world’s richest and most powerful nation.

And yet… I remain surrounded by a sizable, vocal and powerful segment of the population of my fellow Americans who want to roll back history; who think that the poor are poor by choice; who believe that all taxation is theft; who are willing to take to the streets and protest the very idea of providing health care to all; who think that they have the right to tell others what to do with their lives and their bodies, be it marriage, child-bearing, dying on one’s own terms; who profess to worship the U.S. Constitution while showing not only a complete lack of understanding of the document, but an actual contempt for its tenets.

In other words, they embrace intolerance – which, to me, is the complete antithesis of what it means to be an American. Of course, as a Jew-y gay pinko, I don’t think my views count much to these folks.

Anyway, happy 4th to one and all. I still want to live in a land where the river runs free…

This doesn’t bode well.

A typical Sunday evening, wine glass firmly in hand and watching Family Guy, when a commercial for the new Spiderman movie came on. It looks just completely blah – not even terrible, just so very, very meh. And, since any thought that isn’t expressed on Facebook doesn’t truly exist, I grabbed my phone to post a status update to the effect that I am not interested in seeing this film.

Apparently, though I am not the only one – the autopredict robot in my phone’s keyboard is also not keen to rush off to the multiplex this week. To wit: