17th I Have In Common With Sarah Palin (& poll update!) Friday, Oct 31 2008 

17.  We both have rather expensive hair-dos. (She’s in the $10,000 travelling hair stylist echelon — to which I can only aspire — but I do rather routinely drop a somewhat discomfiting amount of dollars on a certain {stylistician!}  someone to tame my tresses into a semblance of submission that I wish I could figure out how to get financed under the wardrobe subsidy I will be describing to you shortly…)

Now, as far as the pre-election/practice-election polls are concerned, let’s just say that they continue to mimic the actual election as far as the chances for persons going by variations of the moniker “Joe the McCain” are concerned.  Just like in real life (for some reason), it’s the (either retarded or lying) “undecided” voters who (that) are going to decide whether or not The Hostess has a drink with Mr. McWhomever after the election dust settles.   It’s literally a neck-&-neck, tit-for-tat, and [insert your preferred any-other-tied-race-results-reference here] situation.

Click here to vote now whether The Hostess should have an un-conditonal post-election Cocktail Conversation with the ridiculous blog responder “JSMcCain”, or not.

“Exciting.”  “Historic.”  “Once-In-A-Generation.”  (Can I get a “Transformational” bandied about?) The same adjectives apply to my own simple 1-question survey as to the mind-numbing 22-Measure San Francisco ballot and / or the presidential popularity contest.  I’d be biting my nails … but I’ve just have them done and they look too nice to gnaw on, frankly (and besides, some of you know from experience what freshly-filed fingernails are good for…).

Look at is this way (if you must): you’ve already wrestled with the pros and cons for or against high-speed rail; you’ve come out (so to speak) one way or another on the semantics of the word “marriage”; and you are either voting for the black politician or the old one.   Isn’t it about time you get to cast a vote that really will be counted, considered, and acted directly upon?!?

Click here to vote now whether The Hostess should have an un-conditonal post-election Cocktail Conversation with the ridiculous blog responder “JSMcCain”, or not. One tiny question, 2 seconds to answer, & totally anonymous — in other words: like a marshmallow with a vodka twist .. inevitably intriguing, except for the incurious…


16th Thing I Have In Common With Sarah Palin (plus exciting electioneering extras!) Saturday, Oct 25 2008 

16.  We both have low regard for those who are supposed “to protect and to serve”. (She’s got some psycho ex-brother-in-law state trooper who has tasered her nephew and threatened to kill her dad.  I’ve got — well, let’s just say I am firmly of the opinion that police officers are all misogynistic homicidal maniacs who are way too mentally unbalanced to be carrying weapons.  At least, in my personal experience, I have found this to be the case.   The derogatory slang “pigs” is far to unkind…to actual swine.)

OK, now on to the real point of this post.  I know that many of you have been avidly following the commentary exchange between The Hostess and one “JSMcCain”.  He did, in fact, live up to his word to continue our discussion in a more private forum, where, in a series of entertaining e-mails, he has been suggesting that I meet him for a post-election cocktail caucus.

Being the democratic demagogue that I am, and in recognition of “JSMcCain”‘s own nod to his Public Servitude, I have decided to put the question of whether to accept his invitation for libations to you, the people.

Click Here to Vote Now!

(caveat voter: I think SurveyMonkey won’t let you vote more than once,

so make sure you mean your first vote!)

Think of it as a warm-up to the real election.  Only without 20+ months of mind-numbing campaigning, pathetic efforts to discredit each other, or any false promises made to you, the voter.  That’s right, you will get nothing by participating in this micro-election — no health care, no tax cuts, no energy independence.  Casting your vote on this issue won’t solve the economic crisis, win the war on terrorism, or go anywhere near the issue of immigration with a ten-foot swizzle stick.

In fact, casting your vote for whether or not The Hostess should agree to have a drink with “JS” is so much like the real election, that failing to choose one way or the other would be downright un-patriotic.  I’m not even ruling out treason, here, folks.  And you know, all it takes is one letter to be able to rearrange the word “treason” to spell “terrorist” (well, ok, so you have to bust up the “n” into two more “r”s, and twist the “a” into another “t”, but you I’m sure you see where I’m going with this).

Do yourself a favor and vote, if for no other reason than to keep yourself off the “No-Fly List”.   It’s one little itty-bitty question, it’s anonymous, and will take less of your time than reading this post already has:

Click Here to Vote Now!

And rest assured, you are not disenfranchised in this election. I may not have CNN’s magic techno-map of the country, but I will keep you apprised of the returns.  (The polls close at midnight PST,  November 3 {I need something to do while watching the real election returns} 2008, so don’t dally.)  I’m not so sure about the real world, but on this ridiculous blog, your vote will be counted and the majority will rule!

(Do take note that I am not invoking any particular deity to confer blessings upon our country as a conclusion to my remarks, and please know that is on purpose.)

If you are still unmotivated to vote (i.e. if you are either lobotomized, a zombie, or a lobotomized zombie), then please watch my dear friend Hooman’s voter-motivation video short on YouTube:
He is very proud of it and it is getting a lot of what I guess is best-described as “YouTube cred”.   Please go ahead and give him another click — and a “Bars-By-The-Book-Bump” — in the spirit of…ROCKING THE VOTE IN 2008, &c.

15th Thing I Have In Common With Sarah Palin (I know it seems too good to be true!) Wednesday, Oct 22 2008 

15.  We both have soft spots for the “special needs” segment of society. (Of course, I realize how those of you who think you know me will either immediately lapse into hysterical laughter at this point, and/or conclude that I have finally come utterly unglued according to the standards of any sanity index.  In my defense, I would refer “those of you” to the response thread of my previous post.  And I sincerely inquire of everyone happening upon this particular post to this ridiculous blog: why are so many of the men in The Hostess’ acquaintance ever so much more charming, entertaining, and erudite online than they are in person?!?!?!?!?!?!?)

2 More (in a potentially endless list of) Things I Have In Common With Sarah Palin Friday, Oct 17 2008 

13.  We both are being bedeviled by a charlatan calling himself McCain. (Please refer to the lively exchange between one so-called “JS McCain” and The Hostess in the responses to my previous post on the 12th — (in a series) Thing I Have in Common With Sarah Palin . Really, do. Or else you won’t “get it”, real McCain-style.)

So, “JS McCain”, I tried in good faith to send you the following reply to your initial attempts to spam me here with your rhetorical endeavours:

Do be sure to check the ridiculous blog for my riposte to your parry. Wouldn’t want you to miss it in all your “anonymous” swift-boating activities…

Of course, you didn’t do me the “honor” of providing me with a valid e-mail address, did you?   Even so, I wanted to be certain that you appreciated the appropriateness of the metaphor I used in my personal invitation for you to view my response to your own Allegation, Observation, and Query, (which I see you did subsequently read on your own, when you got home from your costumed camping caper).

I must point out, “Johnboy”, that this ridiculous blog — for all its nods to patriotism and democracy — is not a dialogue.  Comments are permitted to remain insofar as they are entertaining, interesting, and/or complimentary (and not necessarily in that order, but this should also explain the disappearance of your other comment, which met none of the required criteria).  If it is a debate in which you wish to engage, then you need to contact me directly and at least create an alter-ego with whom The Hostess can have a dialogue.

Alternatively, should you be too busy to spar  — being otherwise so viligantly pre-occupied with your alleged “fealty to Truth and Factual Accuracy” as it seems you believe yourself to be, this would be perfectly understandable — I would be happy to simply send you a list of things you could do besides bedevil me.

In fact, just off the top of my head, I can think of at least three things you could otherwise do, all of which are tailored specifically to your personal proclivities (your enervated effort at obfuscation nothwithstanding, even).   However, if you insist on simply being churlish, please let’s not bore everyone else with it.   Besides, as I have had to say (truly far too often), “If somebody wants to watch me fence with someone else, such a splendid sight shall not be seen for free”.

14. We both have a history of not winning silly contests. (She lost that beauty pageant. I {inexplicably, to this day} lost that Sarah Palin look-alike contest. I suppose I should be somewhat grateful to “JS McCain” — and his cronies with zero judgement — who perpetrated that sham, otherwise I might be stuck on only having an unlucky number of 13 Things In Common With Sarah Palin, and that girl needs all the luck she can get in this next silly contest. Far be it from me to jinx my new role model. So, “JS”, if you’re not too busy defending verisimilitude — and the honor of “slim brunette[s]” everywhere — do let me know if the detente you seek has any pre-conditions.)

This Just In! Wednesday, Sep 24 2008 

Speaking of black…here’s a sure sign of the impending Apocalypse* (in case there was any doubt):

Is the rich-hued Kodachrome era fading to black?

Emergency Vodka Program members, prepare yourselves!

*Which reminds me, I need a date for the gun show at the Cow Palace this weekend…I’ll buy a box of ammo for the right charming escort.

Bars By The Book WAS on hiatus…I know you missed me! Tuesday, Apr 1 2008 

To help get you in the mood for our happy reunion, you can finally read all about the sublime splendiferousness that you missed out on at Double Dutch. Don’t be stuck waiting for the low-down on The Next Bar! Watch for the Offical Visit to be announced and get yourself there to experience it with me or who knows how long you’ll be left wondering, obsessively, what it was like. Come tell me how desperately you missed me and..maybe I’ll buy you a drink!!! (I bought Chica Cherry one at Durty Nelly’s, so it is definitley possible, mabye.)

Past Tense:

Don’t worry, The Hostess isn’t doing anything drastic like going into rehab. (And if you thought that even for a moment, go wash your brain out with vodka!) I just have to take care of some business…

I need to do some yoga (apparently, my motorcycle mounting needs some finessing that increased flexibility might possibly enhance). I need to apply some pyrotechnology to a vintage Bakelite shot glass holder (ummm…it’s for an “art project”?…yes, that’s it)mission accomplished and quite a spectacle, at that. I need to wrangle some more with the federal Central Violations Bureau (even though I’m surely on the “no-fly list” for life at this point, no matter what). I’ve got to hold Chica Cherry’s hand (and maybe carry her to her own birthday party) as she turns 40 (yikes!)mission accomplised and frickin’ finally and otherwise none too soon. I need to figure out what I want to be when (or perhaps more accurately: if) I grow up…

…and last — but certainly not least, darlings — I need to catch up on this ridiculous blog! It’s just not fair to anyone how long it is taking me to share all the primo drinking information I am gathering. So here’s the deal: I’ll be updating this space fast and furiously, but there won’t be any Official Visits for a couple of weeks. The Official Visits will resume — fittingly — on April 1st. Just be sure not to let that stop you from checking in regularly, because the long overdue updates are definitely going to be up to the usual informative and entertaining standard in between now and then, I promise.

Finally!!! (with my apologies to Lewis Carroll) Friday, Jun 22 2007 

“Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”

OK, my name’s not Alice. I don’t have a sister. And I haven’t seen any White Rabbits hurrying past me (at least not lately — but you do realize that the italicized sentences above are the opening sentences of “Alice In Wonderland”, right?). And while I think pictures and conversations are great fun, in my opinion that Alice is wrong about their being essential to books. Especially helpful books such as the Yellow Pages, which could probably have helped poor Alice find something to do.

Yes, at last, it’s actually starting: “Bars by the Book”UPDATE: It has started, it is in progress, it is happening as you read this: “Bars By The Book”.

If I sent you the link to this ridiculous blog, you’re smart — you’ll figure it out. But the short version is that the Inaugural Imbibing date has been set:

UPDATE: OK, so maybe you missed it. And some of the others. But you don’t have to drown your sorrows, because you can still make up for lost time. See over there on the left, where is says “THE NEXT BAR!”?  (Scroll down if you have to, under “Categories”, just above the calendar.) If you click on that link, you’ll see all the latest up-to-the minute descriptive details and diverse plot developments and you, too, can be as erudite as you are inclined.

It began:

” Sunday 18 February 2007

This date coincides nicely with a three-day weekend that commemorates the birthdays of not only some of our early Presidents, but also myself, your not-exactly-humble Hostess.

In order to make up for lost time — and because it sounds so catchy and we have all day — this will be henceforth known as “All 4 A’s in One Day Day”.

At present, I am still trying to confirm the operating hours of Amnesia. (Not to mention the operating status of Arrow!) A more precise — but nonetheless still quite estimated — timetable will be posted here as soon as these elusive establishments are contacted.

“All 4 A’s in One Day Day” Bars:

1. Aces : Act 1…..mid-to-late afternoon

2. Amnesia Bar Inc. : Act 2…..intermezzo

3. Annex, The : Act 3….early that same evening

4. Arrow : Act 4…..possible cliffhanger — ”

UPDATE: Been there, done that. Read the next paragraph, figure out how you want to stay informed, and I’ll see you soon!

Like those fantastic “Choose Your Own Adventure” books some of us were lucky enough to read as budding book lovers, your own future enjoyment of this escapade depends on decisions you make about staying informed from here on in. I’m intending to have a blast no matter what, but I definitely believe there will be enough action, adventure, drama, and suspense to amuse anyone who can make it to a Bar or two, so I do hope at least some of you will be able to join me at some of the Bars. Besides, pictures and conversations are really much more entertaining in the company of people than White Rabbits. (Trust me on this.)

Ace’s Friday, Jun 22 2007 

998 Sutter (415) 673-0644

Prologue: Open “every day from 6am ’til 2am” –so they say — what’s not to like?

Afterword: What a cheerful place to start this admitedly somewhat daunting adventure; Ace’s set the bar perhaps a bit high for “All 4 A’s in One Day Day”. Per force, the visit was ameliorated auspiciously by the appearance of three Barflies, bearing birthday gifts for the Hostess, no less!

Ace’s makes the most of its corner location with walls of windows, which allow one to enjoy the sunshine, should one find oneself there on such a lovely sunny afternoon as we did (who knows what it looks like at night?). It’s obviously a bar with a local clientele, but I certainly felt very welcome, despite never having been there before, and notwithstanding the fact that we were taking so many pictures that we could have been mistaken for <shudder> tourists. There are many large-flat-screen tv’s mounted about for sports viewing, but there is also a jukebox stocked with everything from the Ramones to Willie Nelson. There is some original art on the walls, as well as an apparently compelling mug shot of a very young Frank Sinatra.

Eric was our bartender of record, and Paladin and I were delighted that he already knew that Bloody Marys taste better with lemons than limes. All the mixed drinks he made for the Barflies were tasty and filled to the brim. Four dollar beers and five dollar cocktails confirmed my original suspicion that Ace’s was going to prove to be a stellar start to this sojourn.

Bathroom Biography:
One, unisex, MUCH cleaner than you would think; huge, nice pink lighting (so you will think you look pretty), overwhelming scent of air-freshining product (but in an inarguably good way); plenty of supplies; Bottom line: Do It.

Amnesia Bar Inc. Friday, Jun 22 2007 

853 Valencia      ~     WEBSITE      ~     (415) 970-0012

Prologue: This place seems a little impressed with itself — when you get their voice mail they actually imply they may be “too busy to answer the phone” — but I’m working on finding out what time they will actually be open on “All 4 A’s in One Day Day”…

Afterword: OK, this place is probably a lot more happening later at night, but it also seems to be more of a performance venue with a bar, than a bar where things are performed, if you know what I mean. Granted, we got there seconds before 6pm — when they allegedly open — but we were basically disuaded from trying to enter by someone setting up for the 7:30 show, which she attempted to assure us was worth staying around in the increasingly cold Mission for.

Thank heaven for the Hostess’ dedication to “All 4 A’s in One Day Day”! And thank Bacchus for Sean, who was tending bar and instantly understood the importance of the Barflies being able to come in and belly up, so to speak. How hilarious, when, after such strife, I asked for a vodka martini — when I had been duly warned during dinner at a taqueria down the street that Amnesia was a beer & wine & <ick> soju only joint. But Sean didn’t kick me out, so I settled for a glass of Voigner, and the Baflies and I sized up the joint.

It’s not exactly spacious. But all the lights are red, so everyone looks their best. And we were witnessing some sort of show setting-up, so we were basically backstage for something (either Klezmer music, a puppet show, or a band — depending on who we asked). A priceless memory was made when one of the evening’s eventual performers came back to our end of the bar and asked, a bit frantically, “did I drop my nose here?” It is not as if you can go just anywhere and hear something like that, after all.

My final analysis of Amnesia is that the bartenders are wonderful. They “GET IT”, and will answer any number of questions you ask. Is it a venue with a bar or a bar with a stage — you should decide for yourself. But I do think you will have a better time there if they are having a show in which you are interested. That is probably why they have the website — to keep out interlopers such as myself and the Barflies. But they were ultimately hospitable, never the less. Which, I must say (pun intended) speaks volumes.

Bathroom Biography:
One for each traditional gender, differentiated by somewhat ambiguous pictures on each door (ladies, walk to the back–what follows applies to ladies’ accommodations only); quite unsavory at first — force necessary to engage lock; soap: implied but not actual; paper towels: strangely very high on the wall (decidely not ADA compliant, in case you manage to get a wheechair in the first place). Bottom line: Wait if Possible.

Annex, The Friday, Jun 22 2007 

6282 Mission, Daly City ~ (650) 755-9286

Prologue: The woman who answered the phone laughed when I inquired if they were open on Sundays. “This is a bar,” she giggled. Well, at least after 10am every day it is, so let’s check it out.

Afterword: It was pretty precious how the heretofore hearty Barflies had pre-conceived reasons not to venture to the wilds of Daly City. Not that I blamed them. It did seem foolhearty. And Paladin was very cranky, on account of giving up cigarettes (again) the day before and also not having had any real drinks (meaning scotch) so far (in retrospect, he really actually deserves a serious commendation). And yet, we bid the Barflies farewell and went bravely on our way.

I’m here to tell you: Daly City is no big deal. It is a little far away, but it’s not at all scary. At least not at The Annex. I mean, you might not ever choose to go there, but if you were driving by and happend to be co-incidentally thirsty, you could do a lot worse.

Especially if you are deaf. The Annex has something Paladin and I will be investigating (once we can hear ourselves think) called an “Internet Jukebox”. We are not sure how it works, but we can attest that it is possible to play at egregiously ear-piercing volumes. I, for one, wondered if they turned up the music to encourage us leave…not that we actually wanted to stay in that deafening din, mind you.

The good news is that The Annex is right next to a Daly City Municipal Parking Lot, so, if you manage to happen upon it — given the entirely unrealistic driving directions with which yellowpages.com provides you — at least you can park.

The bad news is that the nicest part of The Annex is the sidewalk. Not only is the jukebox deafening, the Bar is strangely and quite unpleasantly bright, which is odd and icomprehensible considering that there are no actual lights in the Bar; there are only tv’s, neon bar signs, and a string of Christmas lights — hardly enough illumination to explain the actual lighting situation. The overall effect is disconcerting, to say the least.

With this many strikes against it, The Annex needed to have some serious cocktails to get us on its side. Alas, the watery drinks we had did not exactly endear us to the establishment. It didn’t help matters that “Ick Blick & Yick” was what I was thinking when I saw all the wads of gum where Hooks should have been…

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not unhappy I went to The Annex. A truer test of my mettle could not have been devised. It would have been easy to abdicate the adventure once the Barflies understandably took their leave. It would have been a snap to summarily dismiss The Annex in the first place on the grounds that is not even located in the city and county of San Francisco. But then I wouldn’t be doing this by The Book, now, would I?

Bathroom Biography:
I didn’t even check. But I’m sure it was loud in there, too.

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