Archive for April, 2007

Support Improv in Sacramento

“What do you want to do tonight?”
“I don’t know. What do you want to do?”
“I don’t know.”

I think we’ve all been in this bit of nothing speak. I hate it. In fact, I hate it so much, I want to save you from these doldrums. Here is something you should do tonight:

Sac Comedy Spot Improv Battle

Sac Comedy Spot has been around for five years performing sketch and improv comedy, and tonight their very best improvisers compete for a $300 cash prize. Sacramento has limited options when it comes to comedy, so support the Sacramento Comedy Spot. If you like Whose Line is it Anyway? (you know, that show hosted by the portly Drew Carey) you’ll love the battle. And, for $7 it’s well worth the look.

Did you almost give? I didn’t.

I saw a commercial the other day that caught my eye–probably because I don’t usually watch TV. It was filmed in black and white and the message was “Don’t Almost Give” as illustrated by a homeless family sleeping in their car.

The commercial was so good at inducing guilt that I went and checked out the website.

That commercial came to mind again quite recently as I watched a begging older man on the 16th Street highway off ramp onto W Street weave through rush hour traffic to take a can of diet cherry Pepsi from someone who felt the need to give. Or was it almost giving?

Do you think that begging guy wanted the diet cherry Pepsi? Maybe he prefers diet Coke. I wonder what his story is–obviously he can walk, he has all his limbs. He appears to be in his right mind, other than the fact that he has a piece of cardboard that says “Please Help.” How kind of him to ease the donor’s guilt by accepting a soda he may not even like.

At a recent CHP safety presentation, an officer there said that begging along the freeway is quite profitable. Did you know that? The daily haul can be as much as $500. No taxes, no boss. With that kind of “profit”–who can afford to work? The begging guy is most definitely in his right mind. It’s those of us who struggle to make ends meet working 9 and 10 hour days for a difficult boss who are NOT in our right minds.

Spare any change?

Copycat Crazies

Yeah, I’m tired of the news too, these few days. I need to take a news diet. So do a lot of copycat crazy people like this fool who said he would do the same thing to the north of Sacramento.

“Jeffery Carney, 28, is being sought by authorities from across the region after he told his pastor that he wanted to embark on a killing spree that would make the Virginia Tech massacre “look mild,” authorities said. He is possibly armed with automatic weapons and explosives, according to Sutter County Undersheriff J. Paul Parker.”

Well, I hope they get him. And I hope the frenzy about VaTech calms down. The last thing I need is to look at the photo of a young man pointing a gun in my face–sickening.

Great message from the Governor’s Office today, though:

“Due to potential public safety concerns, please allow employees who need to pick up their children at schools in Yuba and Sutter Counties to do so without requiring that they utilize leave or sick time. Thank you for your consideration.”

Perhaps we should rephrase it:

“Due to the media feeding frenzy on the Virginia Tech deaths, we now have several weirdoes around the country trying to get their 15 minutes of fame. Parents who actually care about their children by sending them to school are being allowed to take their children home. Please let the anxiety-ridden parents out of work, because they’re not doing any work, anyway.”

…Gun control is beginning to take on a more poignant meaning, as well as improved mental health services for young people, especially male immigrants (think Salt Lake City shopping mall–Bosnian immigrant)…

Downtown Partnership Announces Photo Contest!

The Downtown Sacramento Partnership has announced its annual photo contest – which seeks entries celebrating Dowtown’s rich historical, cultural, and geographic diversity. Winning photos will be featured in the 2008 Downtown Sacramento Calendar.

You can find the rules, details, and release forms here..

The deadline is a looong way off – September 7, 2007 – so you still have quite awhile to get out there, enjoy downtown, and snap your winning pic. You can enter up to 3 photos for consideration. There’s no money prize, just the chance to share your work with the community.

I’d also like to credit the Partnership for coming up with a licensing policy that makes sense (unlike some others). All submitted images remain the property of of the photographer, and the photog agrees to let the Partnership display the photo in the calendar. See, easy peasy. (Was that so hard, SMF?)

Have fun, Shutterbugs!

The Heart Of Where, Now?

For the past few weeks, as construction continues at the corner of L and 15th, as lanes open up, and parking returns, I’ve been bothered to no end by advertising for the new condos perched atop the Marriott.

They are called “The Penthouses at Capitol Park.” The website touts them as “Exquisite with just a touch of elegance…..” Phew, thank god it’s just a touch. Too much elegance is just so . . . . uh, elegant. Which is bad?

I digress.

Their street corner sign bears the tagline “In the heart of the Capitol.”

Are they building these condos in the rotunda? Filling the circular space in the basement of the Capitol? How, exactly, are these penthouses in the heart of the CapitOl?

In the heart of the Capital, maybe. Close to the heart of the Capitol Park area, okay, sure. But Os are buildings and As are places.

They may have just a touch of elegance, but what they need is a generous application of grammar.

I’ll buy a drink for whoever places a (non-vandalizing, non permanent) post-it “A” over the O in the sign and gets a photo. Submit to the flickr group and leave us a comment.

Train Engineer Attacked in West Sac

From today’s news:

The engineer of an Amtrak Capitol Corridor train was seriously injured Monday night in West Sacramento after a group of people forced the train to stop, dragged the engineer from the train and assaulted him with rocks and bottles, according to Capitol Corridor officials.

The attack occurred as the train from the Bay Area neared the I Street Bridge to Sacramento’s rail station and slowed for a signal, said Eugene Skoropowski, managing director of the Capitol Corridor. A group of people stood on the tracks to block the train, which stopped. When the engineer went downstairs and opened the door, he was dragged off the train and assaulted, Skoropowski said.

The engineer, who was taken by ambulance to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, suffered head injuries and possible internal injuries, Skoropowski said. The engineer remains hospitalized.

Skoropowski is calling for more police patrols in the area, for all vegetation around the rails to be removed, for federal agencies to consider filing federal charges in the case, for Union Pacific Railroad to take steps to speed trains through the area, and for additional security measures, including night-vision cameras.


Rage On

Yesterday I was doing a bike ride out on the roads west of Sacramento. It’s
intensely personal time: no radio, no iPod, just time for focus on
what it feels like to be working hard, engaged with my Felt 75,
keeping the cadence up above 90, feeling the road, the wind, and
engaged with my own internal dialog. It’s a hallowed time for me in
which the disparate parts of my consciousness get their say.

I couldn’t get Virginia Tech out of my mind.

It seems to me that we live in a culture on the edge of rage. A poorly
chosen word, a brief angry gesture on the freeway, a thoughtless
profanity and the next minute events can take a leap to the wild side
in a way that’s simply not sane.

Breaking News: Updates on the VT Shooting at Metroblogging DC

From our sister site and the closest to VT, an open thread, with frequent updates, on today’s shooting.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the students and families of Virginia Tech.

What’s in a name?

So I’ve been reading my recently purchased copy of Sacramento’s Midtown – another tome from Arcadia Publishing, which specializes in micro-local history books, interesting stuff, highly recommend it, got mine from Ace Hardware on I Street, and they have ’em for like EVERYWHERE around here too, just search “Sacramento” – and I sort of chuckled in 21st Century, I-can’t-believe-that-even-existed, wonder at a photo of a restaurant at the corner of F and 5th Streets in the 60s called “Sambo’s.” It used to be a national, popular chain. It’s name came from combining parts of the two owner’s names – but the decor played on the obvious reference to a racially-charged book character.

The kind of connection eventually caught up with the chain and led to its demise – though one location remains in Santa Barbara, where it started originally.

I suppose the photo, the restaurant, and the issue were on my mind this week with all the Imus news in the air.

Which must also be why I found myself thrust into deep thought while driving to friends house over at Natomas Crossing. So if Sambo’s is unacceptable, why are we building and patronizing new Hooters?

Picnic and fun at UCD this Saturday

Oh yeah, it’s time for picnic day once again. It’s in downtown Davis and on the University of California, Davis campus, a mere 15-20 miles from Sacramento’s city center. A parade, ice cream…maybe a dachshund race (do they still have the little dog races?), battle of the bands…it’s all about picnicking and having fun as the University opens its doors for the annual event.

I still recall the fun we had as kids going to picnic day. There was always an informal shaving cream fight before the parade. Loved that. There was always music, and shows, and then there was that weird cow who had a plug in the side so they could watch its stomach. Oh yes, and usually a freshly hatched batch of chicks to ooh and ahh over. I don’t know if they still do that anymore. But the best part of the day was that aside from feeding yourself…everything was free. (Looks like it still is.)

The parade begins about 10 am on Saturday April 14…you’ll want to get there early to beat the crowd.

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