Archive for March, 2009

March 31, 2009

bg/ish: Critical Mass

As I mentioned last week I rode in my first Critical Mass this last Friday evening. Held for nearly 17 years on the last Friday of every month here in San Francisco, I can only say that I wish I’d rode in every one of these since I’ve been here in SF. In no way had I anticipated how amazing it would feel to ride with hundreds of other riders in a show of protest, solidarity, and celebration.

I’ve seen estimates of Friday’s turnout at somewhere between 2500-3000 riders. My best guess was “at least a thousand, maybe a couple thousand”, but in all honesty when you’re in the midst of the sea of bicycles it’s really anybody’s guess.

There was a pervasive feeling of justification at completely taking over the very streets we battle everyday. On this day, shutting down the narrow streets of the Financial District was first on the agenda, the mass of bikes slowed to a walking crawl on several occasions. Looping around Union Square, we made a left turn and took over the Stockton Tunnel. Shortly after that, we took over the Broadway Tunnel, before making our way back to Market Street and into my boy the Mission.

We got some encouraging waves from bystanders, some puzzled looks from tourists, and some horns honked in our favor, but of course there were some middle fingers and nasty words exchanged. I didn’t see any of the incidents mentioned at SF Appeal, but I’m not surprised. There are always a few idiots who take things too far.

Friday March 27, 2009 Critical Mass from Cassidy Friedman on Vimeo.

I didn’t get any pictures that are worth a damn, but the video above is a nice little documentation of the event. There are also some nice snapshots here. Sadly, your boy bg does not make a cameo in any of them.

Critical Mass ended up being the most fun I’ve had in a long, long time. I really wish I could get this point across more eloquently, but the fact is I ended up seeing Midnite at the Independent last night and that ended up being one of the most ire, deep grooves I’ve been a part of in a long time! Yeah boy! Thanks to the resident GQ your boy was up in the VIP and err’thang.

I’ve got nothin’ left, and it’s only Tuesday…

March 30, 2009

chair: camps. foreals

contrary to popular belief and prediction, i was not hungover this weekend! i almost said i didn’t drink, but that would be a total lie. gone are the days where the term drinking, air quotes and all, meant getting completely plastered and blacking out. now i’m sipping on alcohol of choice with most of my meals and ending my day with a cold one is the norm (yo). is that progress? or regress? i’m an optimist so let’s go with progress.

i’ve had the outdoor itch for a while, now. maybe it’s the nice cali sun burning me brain cells silly; i actually want to be outside, doing stuff. this weekend, i went camping with some girls i’ve known for over a decade at our 6th grade teacher’s ranch in temecula. on the drive up, i noticed we were all constantly checking our blackberries. once in the mountains we lost reception and so we had a nice divorce from those addicting lil fuckers for almost 24 hours!

our teacher, charlie and his wife elivie, are probably the two most nice and generous people i’ve ever had the chance of knowing. for a few years, i lost touch but they welcomed us back without mentioning anything except they were glad to see us again. charlie is building a dream villa for his wife, a nice two-story clay and wood creation with custom doors from mexico and a charming antique stove. my friend’s brother and his friends were there helping charlie install steps on the patio. his ranch is huge and filled with different fruits, but the season is limited to citrus so we just hiked and ate tangerines and kumquats til our bellies expanded and protested (won’t say in what manner heehee) for us to stop.

one of the very first times i camped here, we named an oak tree across the stream after me. it’s still standing and makes me all nostalgic and shit. i remember admiring sycamore trees on that hike, but he said that despite them growing to be handsome and tall, they also tend to break easily. oak trees are firm and grow to be hundreds of years in age.

charlie is now retired from teaching; elvie is a part-time mental ward nurse. they take care of the thousand-acre ranch by themselves and plan to sell fruits at the local farmer’s market once they are both retired. i can’t wait to come back this summer to all the flowering fruits, eaten right off the branch. boisenberries, jujubees, peaches oh my~

March 28, 2009

agIsh: “Sword Of Omens, give me site beyond site.”

Happy Saturday, n-words. I hope bg‘s Critical Mass extravaganza was an inspiring and safe one (i.e., I hope he didn’t get checked off his bike by a faggot cop…). I hope that chair is recovering nicely from her hangover…at whoever’s house she happened to wake up at. As for me, I got nothing. I got home at midnight after a chill night of beers and hookah and decided to work on a website.

It’s times like these that I’m reminded I have a love-hate relationship with web design. On the one hand, you reap the fruits of your labor immediately – you code, save, refresh. On the other, shit just doesn’t work sometimes and the pressure to adhere to “good coding practices” while keeping browser compatibility in mind is ever present. Mind you, I have Notepad, Photoshop, and FileZilla. That’s it. So I have no idea why I put myself through these things every couple of years. I just get an itch sometimes and just need to scratch it, I guess.

Anyhways, there were some major changes I wanted to make to Long Beach State Archery Club’s website and I think it was worth the four hours invested. Check out the page, n-words! Long Beach State fo’ lia nia’s!


Edit: Even at 4am, I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t able to fall asleep right away. But I remember now having a bag of Skittles earlier in the night! Damn you delicious Skittles! *kicks mirror*

March 27, 2009

bg/ish: Friday, Effin’ Friday

A few thoughts on this gorgeous Friday afternoon in the city of San Francisco…

* * * * *

I’m riding in my first Critical Mass tonight! So damn excited, I think i wet my spandex. Wait, I’m no superhero. For those of you unfamiliar with what Critical Mass is, well, it’s not so easy to explain. It’s part protest, part social movement, but was originally founded to draw attention to the safety of cyclists. ” Critical Mass is sometimes called an “organized coincidence”, with no leadership or membership.”

Tonight it’s kicking off at 6 p.m. at Justin Hermann Plaza (Embarcadero), and as is the norm, I have no idea what route it’s taking or where it’s going. But I’ll be there, and I’ll be sure to report back next week with some pics of the ride.

* * * * *

Had a fabulous lunch at Cafe Claude this afternoon. Many thanks to the fine people at Emerge for their time and generosity. I’ve been researching and in the market for a CRM / ticketing solution and have been very impressed with their products and customer service.

Thanks again.

* * * * *

The month of March (while not yet over) has brought it’s own version of March Madness to bg/ag publishing. We’ve had more posts this month than the entire year of 2008, with ag and our newest contributor chair beefing up the content with some good ish. It makes me proud that some janky little website ag and I started up on Yahoo! Geocities almost 10 years ago not only still exists in some form, but is at the moment full of life and kicking away.

Hell, I might even buy our domain again. Patent pending!

* * * * *

Speaking of March Madness, this happens to be the first NCAA Tournament in 20 years that I have not filled out a bracket or even watched a single game. I’ve been working on kicking my sports addiction, and no longer worshiping at the altar of ESPN. I don’t even know why I bring this up, it’s part of a much larger purge of television in general from my life. Despite all this though, I just wanted to say that I’m still picking UNC to go all the way. Go Heels!

* * * * *

I wanted to say thanks again to my brother and good friend John who totally came through last weekend with a much needed furniture delivery. Chewie and I are living quite comfy now. Let’s hope this weather holds up and you can catch us in Dolores Park all weekend long.

* * * * *

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Have a good weekend and be safe in whatever you do and as always, thanks for reading.

March 27, 2009

bg/ish: Stars & Stripes – The White Stripes Reimagined

Some more good music for you on this fantastic Friday. Adrian Champion has released a FREE album of White Stripes remixes and mash-ups. Featuring hip hop artists such as Outkast, Kanye, Mos Def, Common, Jay-Z, Nas, Biggie and Pac, I’m thinking it’ll be hard to go wrong on this one.

I haven’t listened to it yet, but at the very least I’m intrigued, and will give it some PT later this afternoon. Cheggid if you so desire.

March 27, 2009

bg/ish: Got $3500 To Piss?

Seen over at Uncrate, Brian’s Toys has the complete 79 figure set of original Star Wars action figures for the low low price of $3499. You get every original figure (no variants) from Star Wars (pictured above), Empire Strikes Back, and Return of The Jedi. Sadly, no Darth Maul, or his Spanish speaking Sith bretheren, Darth Raul.

Interestingly enough, it may take them 3-6 months to complete the order, however you will only be charged shipping once. You can also set up a 12 month payment plan for a mere $299 a month.

Car payment? Complete set of Star Wars action figures?…

Car payment? Complete set of Star Wars action figures?…

I’d buy it for sure, but I’ve got “some old debts I gotta pay off with this stuff. Even if I didn’t, you don’t think I’d be fool enough to stick around here, do you?”

March 27, 2009

bg/ish: Iron & Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog Alternate Tracks

A couple months ago Iron & Wine released some of the alternate studio tracks from the 2007 The Shepherd’s Dog recording sessions for free download. Best word there is, that F-word. I swooped them up and shortly after they went away. Well, they’re available for download again over at the official site.

Or, just click here to start downloading. Here’s a track listing:

1. The Devil Never Sleeps
2. Boy With A Coin
3. Pagan Angel And A Borrowed Car
4. Peace Beneath The City
5. Lovesong Of The Buzzard
6. Innocent Bones
7. Flightless Bird, American Mouth
8. Resurrection Fern

Mr. Beam has also announced “the May 19, 2009 release of Around the Well, a 2-CD/3-LP collection of rare tracks ranging from out-of-print to never-before-released”, as well as a 10 show Spring Tour which, is sadly SOLD OUT.

March 26, 2009

bg/ish: The Man Who Laughs

I saw an interesting post on Laughing Squid about what was fairly certainly the visual inspiration for The Joker, nemesis of one Batmaing… er Batman.

The “creators drew their visual inspiration from German actor Conrad Veidt’s portrayal of the character Gwynplaine in the 1928 film The Man Who Laughs. An adaptation of a Victor Hugo novel, the film was directed by German expressionist filmmaker Paul Leni, with Veidt in the title role.”

Pretty cool, ifyouknowwhatimsayin.

Check out the post for more info and pics.

March 24, 2009

chair: 666

one of the very first things i signed up for when i got the internet was a journal. back then, livejournal was the shiet. but being so avant garde and all, i went and got a deadjournal. i have no idea what that site is like now, but back then if you hit the “random” button you’d get a lot of teenage angst slit-your-wrist type of prose. mine was a lot of the former. guess not that much has changed. shit.

anyway, i will admit that the culture associated with black/skulls/satan/death/the list goes on is way commercialised now. skull-printed alexander mcqueen scarves retailing slightly under a thousand bones (haha i made a pun) were on every fashionista’s musthave list mid-2000. i never saw the appeal of those particular scarves, but it doesn’t mean i don’t succumb to all the other marketing schemes associated with this darkness.

here’s the latest in what chair wants…

takashi murakami plush skull:

pam fang necklace (long coveted but i can’t justify paying almost 3 hundo for a streetwear brand):

oh yeah, and i remember my favorite mood in deadjournal was “pensive.” i’m so cool.

March 24, 2009

bg/ish: “These Are Not The Beers You Are Looking For”

Over at Mission Mission, they got a pretty cool snapshot of this local Jedi questioning the cops for making people pour out their beers at Dolores Park.

Dolores Park is pretty much my backyard. Literally. I’m right on the corner of 18th and Church. I was in the park that day, although I didn’t see the SFPD making people pour out beer, I did come across this particular Jedi fellow. If I recall he had a Doberman named Mary Jane. Her and Chewie played for a bit. I love how he’s holding a lightsaber.

Funny thing is, I saw the same dude a few days later dressed like a woman. He was mildly surprised I didn’t recognize him and his dog. But there are bigger issues at stake here…

Why are the cops rolling people for drinking beer in Dolores Park? Lots of locals hit the park on nice days (or any day for that matter) to chill out and have a beer after work, or before work, or just because. I’m there at least 3 times a day with my dog, and I can tell you that what these cops were doing is absolutely unnecessary. I see crack deals in broad daylight no less than 4 blocks from this park!

So far during my time here in SF I’ve had no reason to have anything other than respect for the police. But lately I’ve had a couple mild run-ins I’ve considered to be foolish, and I’ve seen some pretty harmless people getting rolled and hassled for minor, if not petty offenses.

Note to SFPD: You may have thrown a wrench into a few relaxed and well meaning peoples plans the other day, but beyond that you’ve accomplished nothing. Why decide to hit DP at all? Did a resident call to complain? Was there violence? No. My guess is boredom.

I hope this doesn’t become a trend. I’m looking forward to a brilliant summer by the park. I don’t want to be hassled in my neighborhood by a few cops who’s intentions cannot even be classified as “well meaning”.