Archive for September, 2006

In defense of the jukebox

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I suppose I shouldn’t get defensive right away. After all, I have yet to observe in Sacramento the jukebox-offensive to which I am reacting. Perhaps you have seen the offenders in this town, however, or in San Francisco, where I used to live and first noticed the scourge descending.

I am talking about those new-fangled internet or satellite connected jukeboxes – the soul-less wall units giving bar patrons a seemingly endless array of musical options to pair with their Sierra Nevadas, Jack and Cokes, whiskeys, or cosmos. Have you seen them? They have touch screens. They have categories. They have search engines.

They don’t have Neil Diamond.
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I guess I’m not the only one who’s depressed by the war.

The last few months, every time I see an anti-war protestor, I feel the tears coming on. You could say it’s because I’m a Gulf War veteran, and I know what it is like to don the uniform and swear your life to this country. It is no small sacrifice, and should never be belittled. (Read Viet Nam) I supported the troops, by being one. However, I take offense at a $6 Chinese-manufactured magnet stuck on the car as if the person driving it had some sort of moral superiority to others because they supposedly, stupidly, blindly, support the current administration in its on-going bad decisions. I am not a pacifist, but this war, the U.S. in Iraq, doesn’t make sense to me.

Yesterday, there was a lone woman on 16th and X Streets with a big sign proclaiming, “You can stop this war.” I honked support, and yet at the same time, I felt tears rolling again. I wish I believed it. Today, I spoke with a co-worker who said she saw the same woman. We agreed. Neither one of us feel like we can stop the war. It’s a powerless feeling, and when you see our government vote in more money to support this black hole war of poor planning and mismanagement…let’s just say this. I hope the money goes to truly support the troops by giving them body armor, supporting them medically and psychologically, and bringing them home alive and well. Not in body bags. No one who takes the oath when entering the U.S. Armed Forces deserves any less than the full support of the country it is serving. Not only that, but the troops deserve a Commander in Chief whose experience, decisions, and morality are respected and honorable. They deserve an honorable leader. And that’s something, along with body armor, that is in short supply these days.

Not an Amber Alert but close enough

Photo of missing child

Heads up. Friends and family of name removed by request, who has been missing for about a week, will be gathering at 10 AM on Saturday, 9/30/06 at Denny’s on 3rd and J Streets to distribute and post flyers. Volunteers who want to help–please come and bring tape and/or staple guns.

Name removed by request is 15 years old, approximately 6 feet tall and weighs about 170 lbs. He has hazel eyes and dark hair. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, blue jeans, and Adidas T-Shoes in the Old Sacramento / Downtown Plaza Area.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of this young man, please call 916.XXX.9900 or the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department 916.874.5111 or 911

Midtown Moon Festival this Saturday

Deep Art Yoga (I know, I’m turning into a one-trick poster, but I haven’t been getting out much lately) is hosting a Moon Festival this Saturday, September 30 from 6-9pm at their studio on the corner of 21st and H Streets. The flier recommends grabbing a girlfriend (men welcome as well, of course) to join the $3 evening of fun featuring a belly dancing troupe, tarot readings, henna body art, massages, collaging and that mystical promise of “more.” Sounds like a steal for some earthy-fun at just $3!

Pedal vs. Peds

On the way home from work the other day, I passed the new Mike’s Bikes on I Street. I recognized the name from runs I’d done past their Sausalito branch.

Now, the last bike I owned had a banana seat and blue streamers blazing from the handlebars – so I certainly don’t know a thing about the cycle shops in town. I know there is an enthusiastic group of cyclists out there, however, who enjoy the miles and miles of trails along the river – from here all the way up to Folsom Lake, if not further. (I saw them, felt them, whizzing past full speed along the trails out there – my one complaint: if drivers are supposed to watch out for cyclists, then cyclists could certainly share the road better with runners, but I digress).

I don’t necessarily like the idea of having a bike – they take up a lot of space, get jacked all too easily, and you have to wear a helmet or risk death or worse. But, I’ve always wanted a shiny beach cruiser – pink or yellow, with big, steady wheels and large, gleaming handle bars.

Passing Mike’s Bikes, I thought, you know, beach cruisers aren’t so expensive and given the short distance between my office and my house, maybe a bike is the way to go as the days get shorter. Storing the thing at home would be easy enough, but I’m not sure about the office. There’s still the helmet factor, not to mention the practical realities of dress pants, shoes, suits, and gears (or even just a chain, for the gear-less cruiser) – all of which are at odds with turning up ready to meet with clients.

But lots of people commute by bike, appreciating the environmentally and physically friendly aspects of the practice. So is it worth it? I’m no fan of Sacramento drivers to being with – take away my steel safety cage and I wouldn’t know what to do. . . . Maybe I should just walk?

Seafood comes downtown

I’m very excited that two vacant spaces in the greater downtown area are being transformed into two very excellent seafood restaurants. First, McCormick & Schmick’s is opening an outlet in the ground floor of the Elk’s Building. If you’re not familiar they run some excellent restaurants in major cities, including three Bay Area locations. Even if you’re not a seafood person, you won’t be able to resist the $1.95 bar food menu. You can get a 1/2 pound cheeseburger, fish tacos and more for just a handful of change.

The other new arrival is an extension of a Sacramento food family, Fin’s Market, across from the shiny horse Safeway at 19th & R. The bonus here is that it’s a fish market and more casual restaurant (Mc & Schmicks is installing lots of mahogony paneling) all in one. It’s within walking distance of home so I’m looking forward to being able to buy fresh fish without dropping some serious dough at the Co-Op.

Bad Cell Karma…but a savings of $175

I’m on T-Mobile, and have been relatively happy with their coverage in Sacramento…I used to be on Verizon and had TONS of dropped calls. I’m also pretty pleased with their phones and plans. While I know this might not be the case for everyone, I submit that this method of cancelling cell coverage is a bit extreme for my taste. I also wonder if cell companies will catch on and make the process harder for those in a real situation.

OY GAVULT, THE PERFECT COMBO!!!

I’m Jewish, so this post is written with love…let’s face it-Jews love food!!! A family dinner never happens at my house without the mention of new restaurants, everyone’s weight, the quality of the food, where food was better, etc. (there’s almost always a discussion of the Ghoul Pool-or celebrities who are near death)…so let’s celebrate what we love with a Jewish Food Festival at Congregation Beth Shalom in Carmichael on Sunday October 8th.

The year’s celebration of matzo is not to be missed…matzo balls, matzo brie, matzo granola..the list is endless (which makes sense since matzo is just like a cracker and can have many uses).

Admission is $2 with a canned food item, and $3 without an old can of some disgusting food you’re never going to eat anyway.

Italian Market Heaven, Volume 1: Corti Brothers

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As the sign says, Corti Brothers has been around since 1947, and as local, ethnic market goes, Corti Brothers is It, in my book. Well, now, I shouldn’t be too hasty. Thanks to a historically high number of Italian immigrants and Italian-Americans in Sacramento (mostly from Lucca, at least according to my anecdotal research), this town supports more than its fair share of Italian markets. Because I care, I hereby volunteer to visit all known Italian Markets and fawn over them accordingly for your reading enjoyment. And Corti Bros gets the first treatment because I was hungry before class this evening and that’s where I ended up.

You can do all your shopping at Corti Bros – it’s not like the place is solely a collection of large hanging hams and netted provolone. They have, like, oatmeal and Prego pasta sauce too. But what sets this apart from your average small town, resisting-the-super-sized-Safeway invasion holdout, is the outstanding collection of deli items, imported goods, and, perhaps most importantly, booze. I mean vino – am impressive array of domestic and imported bottles as well as a wall of harder-to-find liqueurs
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Jingle All The Way

You’re 26 years old, and it’s a Saturday night…what are you going to be doing??? Well, if it happens to be December 9th, and you love being the oldest person at a concert designed for the all-important 12-17 demographic, you should hightail it over to Arco Arena for 107.9 The End’s Annual Jingeball Concert! Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. and are offered as low as 20 bucks!!!

There are some good acts this year, including many of the ladies who dominated the summer airwaves…Nelly Furtado, Pussycat Dolls, JoJo, and Natasha Beningfield…there will probably be some acts added and there are usually surprises at these events (Gwen Stefani came as a surprise a couple of years ago)…Don’t Cha wish you could see this Promiscuous Maneater telling people to loosen up my Buttons…These Words are Unwritten, so you better make it down there or I’ll Fly Like a Bird to Get Out (Leave)…

How many song titles of feautured artists did I manage to slip in there????

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