Archive for the ‘Boozing’ Category

The San Francisco Chronicle carried an article recently about a noted pick-up artist who will, for a thousand dollars, reveal his techniques on how to pickup women.

The attendees were described generally as handsome, some with money, a few just coming out of relationships, but all lacking the confidence needed in today’s competitive pickup market. Personally, I fail to grasp the concept of a handsome rich guy who lacks confidence.

Be that as it may, I sincerely hope they all gained an appreciation of the latest pick-up techniques and successfully used them. I honestly pray their investment pays dividends in the future in case any of them weren’t immediately successful following the completion of the seminar and lab time in various bars along Geary.

But for those who haven’t scored and for those who couldn’t afford 10 C-Notes, I have some follow-on advice that may help.

First of all, if your target covey is usually found in bars and other watering holes, never make an appearance early in the evening. You may need a little advance reconnaissance to establish an appropriate arrival time, which may take as many as three visits. Eventually, however, you will sense the time when everyone in the bar is drunker than a skunk. The proper timing will reduce or eliminate your competition because most if not all habitués will be in the end stages of inebriation. It just stands to reason that a sober man (you) will have an edge over a mumbling, glazed-eyed, incoherent, gaseous son of a billionaire Nob Hill scion. Moreover, it’s easier to hook up with an inebriated woman than a sober one.

But where’s the challenge? It seems to me that a red-blooded American male would find the conquest of sober women a feat more worthy of his talents. That’s why I am suggesting that all aspiring pickup artists seriously consider expanding the field of operations beyond booze joints. Here is a list of possibilities for you to mull over, along with my observations.

The romance section of bookstores.
Any bookstore will suffice, although this tactic may not work in specialty stores such as one selling used Army technical manuals. There aren’t many women interested in learning how to dissemble and assemble a .50 caliber machine gun except an occasional jilted wife. In these sorts of stores, you will waste too much time waiting. Increase the possibilities of a connection by browsing Borders, for example. As you browse, keep your head buried in an open book as far as you can bury it while at the same time scanning the activity around you through squinted eyes. When a potential target moves into view, slowly approach her. If she notices you and smiles…well, you get the idea.

Organic food markets
Women who buy organic foods are, as a general rule, healthy, intelligent, moderately well-to-do, and of indeterminate age. They are good looking because they follow a daily regimen of skin care and spa workouts, grooming activities that will largely camouflage those pesky signs of aging. The methodology for a pickup in this arena is twofold. First, dress appropriately. Wear a pair of knee length athletic shorts and a logo-ed athletic shirt. These have definite advantages because they speak of athleticism, which women admire in men, and suggest the possession of a college degree, a definite plus in today’s relationship market. Second, fill a shopping cart half full of organic goods selected at random and simply browse the isles. Sooner or later, you’ll catch the eye of a beautiful blonde cougar.

A university research library
These days, institutions of higher learning are heavily populated with women who have returned to school seeking skills appropriate to the21st Century job market. The number of female master’s and doctoral candidates has skyrocketed. And, as anyone who is familiar with the process for acquiring an advanced degree knows, several 40-page research papers as well as a 300-page dissertation are required for the successful completion of the program. That means many women virtually live in a graduate library. You don’t have to be a candidate to approach one of these women. Merely dress in a manner commensurate with today’s young executive and present yourself as a recruiter for a large company. Hand a likely target a business card and engage her in conversation about her skills and future plans. Of course, if you score, your lie may catch up with you sooner rather than later. But, then, that’s one of the hazards of lying to a woman, even an inebriated one.

I believe these three examples of alternate pick up locations will suffice for the time being. For now, let me close with these words of wisdom.

To begin with, consider very seriously the possibility of an entirely new pick up approach currently under study in a research lab in a top secret location near Las Vegas. Here’s how it works.

Dress neatly, walk into your selected arena with a pleasant look on your face, and go about your business.  When a woman catches your eye, smile and merely say, “Hi,” or “Good morning.” If she’s interested, she’ll take it from there. After all, why do you think women are out and around in the middle of the morning? Chances are, they are embarked on the same mission you are on.

Finally, studies have consistently proven that women are the real selectors. They select the man they want to pick them up. Women have said over and over that the juvenile approaches employed by men are actually turn offs. Men, you will improve your chances immeasurably by just being yourself. Women are, after all smarter than men and more perceptive. Give them credit. Save a thousand dollars.


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When the story first broke, I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to CNN News. CNN is the news outlet after all that continually flashes “Breaking News” or something similar across the ticker at the bottom of the screen. Every thing is “breaking” or “developing.” My mind numbs itself in self defense.

But then something caught my attention. I heard the words “Richmond High School.” There are other Richmonds in the U.S., including Richmond, Virginia. I went back to my latest issue of Country Weekly magazine.

As I read, I heard the announcer, I think it was Kyra Phillips, mention California. My ears perked up. The gang rape occurred on the grounds of Richmond High School, Richmond, California. Once upon a time, I attended that very high school. My tenure there was brief, but still, things stick in the mind.

Richmond when I lived there was a classic All-American town, or perhaps I should say a classic California town. However, I’ve lived in many towns and the habits of teens weren’t substantially different from the habits of Richmond’s teens.

In Richmond, as in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, cars were a big deal, and every Saturday night, McDonald Avenue, Richmond’s main drag, would be lined with cars full of kids dragging the street from 23rd Street in the east to the train depot at the west end of town.

If the kids weren’t tooling up and down shouting at one another or at a gaggle of girls walking along the street toward the movie, they were parked in or just idling in any available spot near a drive-in with real live and often good-looking girls taking and delivering orders.

If you want to get a good idea of Richmond then, watch the movie American Graffiti. The movie wasn’t filmed in Richmond but in several nearby towns like Petaluma (the primary filming location), Pinole, Concord, Larkspur, Mill Valley, and San Francisco.

Mel’s Diner in the movie was filmed at a diner (since torn down) on South Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. And 4th Street in San Rafael was used for many of the street scenes. Another coincidence: my wife and I lived on 4th Street shortly after we were first married and then later in Petaluma.

Times have changed since American Graffiti was released in 1973. Most of the towns where the movie was filmed have undergone dramatic growth spurts accompanied by an influx of people from other areas of the United States and from foreign countries.

Richmond has also experienced its share of changes. But unlike the positive changes in many other Bay Area communities, the changes in Richmond have been mostly negative.

The reputation of Richmond today is a place to avoid. The town is widely known as the murder capital of the state. In 2007 (last year I have a figure for), there were 37 murders in this town of roughly 100,000 people. And, the part of I-80 passing through Richmond has achieved dubious standing as a war zone based on the number of shootings that happen along that short stretch of the highway.

To compound these negatives, the Richmond-San Pablo area has become rife with gang activity that often erupts in violence. And lesser crimes such as robbery and burglary are beginning to spill over into once small and peaceful enclaves like El Sobrante.

The causes of Richmond’s decline have often been attributed to its ethnic shift. While the town was once overwhelmingly white, today whites make up about 25 percent of the population. The balance consists mainly of Blacks and Hispanics.

However, the attribution of Richmond’s ills to its ethnic balance is a specious argument. So many variables come into play that it’s difficult if not impossible to narrow the root cause or causes to one factor. More likely, the cause lies in both economics and a failure of civic leadership to address Richmond’s burgeoning crime rate and rapidly declining infrastructure. McDonald Avenue, for example, that one-time image of Americana embodied in American Graffiti, became an absolute, decaying roadway to nowhere before the civic leadership seemed to wake up.

Regardless of the reasons for Richmond’s decline, there can be little doubt that many of the students at Richmond High School are products of the current culture of violence, poverty, drugs, decay, and a nation-wide attitude that drives individuals to seek the immediate gratification of their own desires.

Given such an environment, it was probably inevitable that violence would eventually reach the ground of the high school. In fact, at least one of the active participants in the gang rape apparently wasn’t a student and shouldn’t have been at the homecoming dance to begin with.

Don’t get me wrong. Most of the school’s students are undoubtedly decent individuals doing their best to make it in a cruel environment. Moreover, the high school wasn’t exactly pristine when I attended it. There were fights, usually between individual boys over a girl, and other students would gather and watch, cheering on one or the other of the gangly teens.

But there were no rapes on campus, gang or otherwise. Those were different times. In retrospect, so innocent. Sadly, once upon a time will never come again.

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Gavin Newsom continues to reveal his lack of judgment and absolute insensitivity to the feelings of those he has harmed.

His newest revelation about his affair with the wife of his campaign manager appeared in Details Magazine in response to a question about his lowest point. Here’s the money transaction:

Details: Was your lowest moment in 2007—after news of your affair broke?

Newsom:  No—not even close. There was clarity then. Honestly, the things that have hit me the most—I’ve been at some homicide scenes that were much more devastating.

Let me see if I understand this. His betrayal of his best friend and campaign manager and the destruction of his family don’t even come close to being the lowest moment in his life. He places more value on a deceased person he doesn’t know than on living humans. By his own words, he characterizes his betrayal as virtually nonexistent in the scheme of life’s low points.

One wonders, if the revelation of his affair was “not even close” to his life’s lowest point, how many other low points rank ahead of it. Two, five, ten? What were those higher ranking happenings: snubbed in the 4th grade by the plainest girl in class? Petulant because Alex and Ruby aren’t still campaigning for him?  The beat goes on.

Contrast Newson’s trivialization of his betrayal (not even close to being his lowest moment) to recent statements by Patti Solomon in The San Francisco Weekly. Solomon, a former receptionist for Newsom’s campaign organization and a close friend of Ruby, said Ruby has struggled immensely. “She lost her husband. Her job. Her identity…She’s working on getting that back…She did get the shaft really bad.”

Her words verify the devastating aftermath of the affair and its effects on Ruby and her family. Moreover, it is clear from Solomon’s statement that Ruby, unlike Newsom, feels an almost overwhelming sense of guilt and remorse.

On the other hand, Newsom suffered no repercussions from the betrayal of his former best friend.  In fact, his fortunes have sailed to new heights. He was reelected Mayor of San Francisco with 73 percent of the votes cast. And recently, he received the endorsement of Bill Clinton, a major money raiser for Democratic politicians.

Still, the cruelest aspect of the entire matter is Newsom’s failure to acknowledge the harm he has caused to others. He continues to trivialize his betrayal and its devastating effects on innocent people.

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We parked on Valencia just around the corner from 24th Street. The four of us walked across 24th for a bite of lunch in a corner café, which was almost empty at that time of the afternoon. The waitress was a nice young girl who seated us promptly and then left us to review the menu of exotic goodies ala San Francisco.

I opted for the 24 hour breakfast…two eggs, scrambled, crispy bacon, like, snap, sourdough toast, and coffee. It was good, the best the city had to offer.

My companions ordered…what?…I don’t remember. But they all raved about the food and complimented the waitress who beamed.

Following our meal, my buddy and I stepped outside while the women fought each other over the check. I leaned against the door jamb and watched a female police officer walk across the street toward us and get in an SFPD patrol car. She eyed me up and down and I smiled at her.

Across the street, we spotted a place called Holey Bagel. It turned out to be a bagel shop. We reversed our course and walked back toward Valencia. On the other side of the intersection, we spotted a guy unloading beer and booze from a truck. We decided to check it out. Turns out the guy was stocking the Dubliner in preparation for the evening’s usual festivities.

By now, the girls had settled the bill and left a chintzy tip. We decided to head for the Marin Headlands and after that, finish our day with a drive across the San Rafael-Richmond Bridge.

My buddy unlocked the car doors and like the gentlemen we are, we opened the doors for the women and saw them safely ensconced before we took our own seats.

Just then, I spotted a woman walking toward us. She was tall and had a haughty air about her. But she was beautiful. San Francisco beautiful. Not one of your stringy haired bottle blondes, but a dark-haired beauty with long legs carrying her confidently past us and onto 24th Street. I had visions of the Maltese Falcon strapped to one of those legs.

Before I closed the car door, I did a double take. My head swiveled around in an effort to check out her…um…aspects. She was perfectly proportioned all around. I followed her with my eyes until she disappeared and I thought about jumping out and asking her if she could direct us to the zoo or something.

By now, my buddy had noticed my body facing forward and my head to the rear. He began to chuckle and didn’t let up for the balance of our tour.

A couple of weeks have passed and I still can’t get 24th Street out of my mind. I intend to return as soon as I can and spend more time there.

Those were the best damned scrambled eggs I’ve ever tasted.

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Or is it?

You’ll pardon me, I hope, if I descend into the murky depths of illicit affairs, which I take in this instance to mean sexual relations outside of marriage.

I’m thinking right now of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and his Argentine inamorata. Reports from Argentina have referred to her as a 43-year old professional woman of uncommon beauty. Sanford is 49, so the age range is in line with general expectations.

The element in this romance that strikes me as interesting is the appearance of the two. Given that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we are, nonetheless, prone to accept reports that the woman is pretty darned good looking.

Sanford, on the other hand, altghough tall and with a commanding presence by virtue of that alone, doesn’t have the face of a Hollywood idol. He has close-set eyes that some may describe as beady. And a long, narrow nose reminiscent of the noses of some species of lower primates. Plus, he seems to have a perpetual five o’clock shadow.

As your typical generic Anglo-Saxon male, I am thus naturally prone to ask, “What does she see in that guy?”

In fact, when I look at Sanford’s face, I am reminded of an old Mickey Gilley honky-tonk song, “The Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time.”

The song clearly suggests that a woman’s attractiveness increases in proportion with the amount of alcohol consumed by the male. I hold that the rule also applies to women. The more booze a woman consumes, the handsomer a generic will appear to be.

I am not suggesting that Sanford’s inamorata has to get loaded to engage in an affair with him. But Sanford surely must possess some sort of characteristic that transforms him into a desirable male, a characteristic that acts on the female brain much in the manner of booze, a characteristic that casts a soft glow around his entire being.

In my judgement, power is that characteristic. As pudgy Henry Kissinger once said, “Power is an aphrodisiac.” This once-Secretary of State ought to know. He used to squire some of Hollywood’s most beautiful women around town.

And now, generic Sanford is the beneficiary of the essence of Kissinger’s pithy homily. If only the rest of us plain folks were as fortunate, how sweet it would be.

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So, Big Rush, you wanna challenge Barry to a debate? Mano y mano?

Big mistake, man. Not that you can’t whup Barry’s ass. He’s a lightweight compared to you, man. It’s just the wrong debate against the wrong guy at the wrong time.

I’m talking up front here, no one gives a crap about the economy and socialism and the stock market and health care and junk bonds. People want a debate about something important, something that affects their lives every day of the year for years to come. People want a debate about sex.

Why sex, you ask? Well, it’s this way, Big Rush, your constituents look at more porno than any other segment of the population but don’t get much real stuff. When you come right down to it, they don’t really know a heck of a lot about the really evil things men and women do.

In San Francisco, they have nonstop sex, booze, drugs, and scenery to boot. And there’s only one man who reportedly can talk intelligently about the real stuff. That’s the Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom

Although Gavie has turned over a new leaf, he still knows all about the things your constituents have only read about in comic books.

Railing against Gavo and watching him cringe would be a hell of a debate. Hell, man, you have one up on the guy before the debate even starts. Gavin Christopher? God Almighty! What kind of a man’s name is that?

And on top of that, the latest poll on the California Governor’s race in 2010 shows Gavo down near the bottom. Christ, Code Name DiFi is leading the pack. A woman, a plain ordinary woman. He can’t even beat a woman. You can’t lose against this guy.

But wait, there’s more.

You know how your people rail against hoe-muh-sek-yew-uhls?  Well, the Gavster will make a perfect target for you. Score some more points, eh?  Hee hee hee. He’s all in favor of same-sex marriage. You’ll have a field day.

But there is a danger here. Just a heads up. This guy is Hot, with a Capital HOT! The women and about half of the city’s male population fall all over the guy. Before the debate starts, you might want to shed 500 pounds or so. Tip: Head for a clinic in Beverly Hills.

So, one last little detail. You’ve got to work fast. Everyone in California wants a nude picture of this guy. Slip your debate challenge into a letter asking for a frontal nude shot. Oh, and enclose a side shot of yourself with that coal black tent you were wearing on television the other day. Check with a fashion consultant for just the proper amount of chest exposure to create the illusion of a rakish gentleman about town. Little things mean a lot.

Okay, Big Rush. Let me know how things turn out. We’ll be talkin’ you hear?

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A slew of those 25 things clones is making the rounds. The latest is a series of 25 questions we’re supposed to answer Yes or No to without additional comment. The questions are kind of personal, and I have a hunch a sedate housewife or a CEO might be reluctant to answer some of them. Here’s an example followed by my response:

Have you ever held a snake?

Me: That kind of depends on the whether we’re talking reptilian snakes or the human variety, although the similarities are often striking.

The Snake thing is included in a set making the rounds on Facebook. With certain deletions and additions to spice up the list, here’s my version of the game, along with my answers.

Have you ever?

Kissed any one of your Facebook friends? Depends on the kind of kiss we’re talking about. I have relatives who are my Facebook Friends.

Been arrested? YES and spent two hours in the coldest jail in Asia before I was released in the middle of nowhere on a night with the lowest temperature ever recorded in the history of temperatures.

Kissed someone you didn’t like? Well, I liked them before the kiss…..

Slept in until 5 PM? Only when I was too drunk to move.

Fallen asleep at work/school? This is no problem for me. I’ve learned to sleep sitting up with my eyes open.

Done it in the men’s restroom while your friends were dining in the main dining room? At a Jack in the Box in Okaland.

Ran a red light? On Van Ness near City Hall, right in front of a San Francisco motorcycle officer. The son of a bitch followed me into a parking garage and gave me a ticket.

Been suspended from school? YES, for slapping my hand on my desk and accusing the kid next to me of making me hold my nose.

Totaled your car/motorbike? YES, twice, but only one was my fault.

Sang karaoke? Is it spelled right? There’s a Latin melody called Carioca.

Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t? Every day of my conscious life.

Did it standing up while watching a baseball game in Giants stadium? Isn’t that what the 7th inning stretch is all about?

Caught a snowflake on your private parts? Only when caught in a sudden blizzard.

Kissed in the rain? YES. We were riding across the desert when a thunderstorm blew over and forced our lips together. My horse didn’t like that at all.

Sang in the shower? No, but I tuned my electric guitar once. Once.

Sat on a rooftop? YES, but they hauled me away, Santa Claus costume and all.

Been pushed off of a thousand foot cliff while nude? Yes

Broken a bone? A few wishbones, but my wishes never came true.

Shaved your head? NO. The barber in basic training handled my sartorial needs.

Blacked out? Only when my alcoholic consumption rendered me unconscious.

Played a prank on someone? Once signed up a friend for a correspondence course.

Felt like killing someone? No, just waterboarding them for an eternity.

Made your girlfriend/boyfriend cry? A couple of times when I couldn’t pay for dinner and she had to ante up $115.49.

Had Mexican jumping beans for pets? With tortillas a few times.

Been in a band? I was drummed out of my first grade rhythm band on the first day of practice.

Shot a gun? Many times. I shot my best friend in his right leg one day. My mistake devastated me until I learned he had shot himself in the hand with a German Luger.

Tripped on mushrooms? Not sure. Are you talking about those big round mushrooms vegans use as a meat substitute?

Donated Blood? They never explained why I wasn’t qualified.

Eaten alligator meat? This is another “not sure questions.” A cousin worked in a sausage factory, and he told me they throw everything in the grinder, including alligators.

Eaten cheesecake? Oh, God, YES! With blueberry jam.

Still love someone you shouldn’t? My pet pig, Rosie.

Think about the future? Only when someone asks me this damned question.

Believe in love? Occasionally, when under the influence of something.

Sleep on a certain side of the bed? No. It’s all mine.

Now it’s your turn. Be honest now. That’s the whole point of the game. Relationships are built on honesty. Unless dishonesty is called for.

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