Sunday, June 21, 2009

Top 100 Ads of the Century


Volkswagen, "Think Small", Doyle Dane Bernbach, 1959

Coca-Cola, "The pause that refreshes", D'Arcy Co., 1929

Marlboro, The Marlboro Man, Leo Burnett Co., 1955

Nike, "Just do it", Wieden & Kennedy, 1988

McDonald's, "You deserve a break today", Needham, Harper & Steers, 1971

DeBeers, "A diamond is forever", N.W. Ayer & Son, 1948

Absolut Vodka, The Absolut Bottle, TBWA, 1981

Miller Lite beer, "Tastes great, less filling", McCann-Erickson Worldwide, 1974

Clairol, Does she...or doesn't she?", Foote, Cone & Belding, 1957

Avis, "We try harder", Doyle Dane Bernbach, 1963

Federal Express, "Fast talker", Ally & Gargano, 1982

Apple Computer, "1984", Chiat/Day, 1984

Alka-Seltzer, Various ads, Jack Tinker & Partners; Doyle Dane Bernbach; Wells Rich, Greene, 1960s, 1970s

Pepsi-Cola, "Pepsi-Cola hits the spot", Newell-Emmett Co., 1940s

Maxwell House, "Good to the last drop", Ogilvy, Benson & Mather, 1959

Ivory Soap, "99 and 44/100% Pure", Proctor & Gamble Co., 1882

American Express, "Do you know me?", Ogilvy & Mather, 1975

U.S. Army, "Be all that you can be", N.W. Ayer & Son, 1981

Anacin, "Fast, fast, fast relief", Ted Bates & Co., 1952

Rolling Stone, "Perception. Reality.", Fallon McElligott Rice, 1985

Pepsi-Cola, "The Pepsi generation", Batton, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, 1964

Hathaway Shirts, "The man in the Hathaway shirt", Hewitt, Ogilvy, Benson & Mather, 1951

Burma-Shave, Roadside signs in verse, Allen Odell, 1925

Burger King, "Have it your way", BBDO, 1973

Campbell Soup, "Mmm mm good", BBDO, 1930s

U.S. Forest Service, Smokey the Bear/"Only you can prevent forest fires", Advertising Council/Foote, Cone & Belding
Budweiser, "This Bud's for you", D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, 1970s

Maidenform, "I dreamed I went shopping in my Maidenform bra", Norman, Craig & Kunnel, 1949

Victor Talking Machine Co., "His master's voice", Francis Barraud, 1901

Jordan Motor Car Co., "Somewhere west of Laramie", Edward S. (Ned) Jordan, 1923

Woodbury Soap, "The skin you love to touch", J. Walter Thompson Co., 1911

Benson & Hedges 100s, "The disadvantages", Wells, Rich, Greene, 1960s

National Biscuit Co., Uneeda Biscuits' Boy in Boots, N.W. Ayer & Son, 1899

Energizer, The Energizer Bunny, Chiat/Day, 1989

Morton Salt, "When it rains it pours", N.W. Ayer & Son, 1912

Chanel, "Share the fantasy", Doyle Dane Bernbach, 1979

Saturn, "A different kind of company, A different kind of car.", Hal Riney & Partners, 1989

Crest toothpaste, "Look, Ma! No cavities!", Benton & Bowles, 1958

M&Ms, "Melts in your mouth, not in your hands", Ted Bates & Co., 1954

Timex, "Takes a licking and keeps on ticking", W.B. Doner & Co & predecessor agencies, 1950s

Chevrolet, "See the USA in your Chevrolet", Campbell-Ewald, 1950s

Calvin Klein, "Know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing!

Reagan for President, "It's morning again in America" Tuesday Team, 1984

Winston cigarettes, "Winston tastes good--like a cigarette should" 1954

U.S. School of Music, "They laughed when I sat down at the piano, but when I started to play!" Ruthrauff & Ryan, 1925

Camel cigarettes, "I'd walk a mile for a Camel", N. W. Ayer & Son, 1921

Wendy's, "Where's the beef?", Dancer-Fitzgerald-Sample, 1984

Listerine, "Always a bridesmaid, but never a bride", Lambert & Feasley, 1923

Cadillac, "The penalty of leadership", MacManus, John & Adams, 1915

Keep America Beautiful, "Crying Indian", Advertising Council/Marstellar Inc., 1971

Charmin, "Please don't squeeze the Charmin", Benton & Bowles, 1964

Wheaties, "Breakfast of champions", Blackett-Sample-Hummert, 1930s

Coca-Cola, "It's the real thing", McCann-Erickson, 1970

Greyhound, "It's such a comfort to take the bus and leave the driving to us", Grey Advertising, 1957

Kellogg's Rice Krispies, "Snap! Crackle! and Pop!", Leo Burnett Co., 1940s

Polaroid, "It's so simple", Doyle Dane Bernbach, 1977

Gillette, "Look sharp, feel sharp", BBDO, 1940s

Levy's Rye Bread, "You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's Rye Bread", Doyle Dane Bernbach, 1949

Pepsodent, "You'll wonder where the yellow went", Foote, Cone & Belding, 1956

Lucky Strike cigarettes, "Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet", Lord & Thomas, 1920s

7 UP, "The Uncola", J. Walter Thompson, 1970s

Wisk detergent, "Ring around the collar", BBDO, 1968

Sunsweet Prunes, "Today the pits, tomorrow the wrinkles", Freberg Ltd., 1970s

Life cereal, "Hey, Mikey", Doyle Dane Bernbach, 1972

Hertz, "Let Hertz put you in the driver's seat", Norman, Craig & Kummel, 1961

Foster Grant, "Who's that behind those Foster Grants?", Geer, Dubois, 1965

Perdue chicken, "It takes a tough man to make tender chicken" Scali, McCabe, Sloves, 1971

Hallmark, "When you care enough to send the very best", Foote, Cone & Belding, 1930s

Springmaid sheets, "A buck well spent", In-house, 1948

Queensboro Corp., Jackson Heights Apartment Homes, WEAF, NYC, 1920s

Steinway & Sons, "The instrument of the immortals", N.W. Ayer & Sons, 1919

Levi's jeans, "501 Blues", Foote, Cone & Belding, 1984

Blackglama-Great Lakes Mink, "What becomes a legend most?", Jane Trahey Associates, 1960s

Blue Nun wine, Stiller & Meara campaign, Della Famina, Travisano & Partners, 1970s

Hamm's beer, "From the Land of Sky Blue Waters", Campbell-Mithun, 1950s

Quaker Puffed Wheat, "Shot from guns", Lord & Thomas, 1920s

ESPN Sports, "This is SportsCenter", Wieden & Kennedy, 1995

Molson Beer, Laughing Couple, Moving & Talking Picture Co., 1980s

California Milk Processor Board, "Got Milk?", 1993

AT&T, "Reach out and touch someone", N.W. Ayer, 1979

Brylcreem, "A little dab'll do ya", Kenyon & Eckhardt, 1950s

Carling Black Label beer, "Hey Mabel, Black Label!", Lang, Fisher & Stashower, 1940s

Isuzu, "Lying Joe Isuzu", Della Famina, Travisano & Partners, 1980s

BMW, "The ultimate driving machine", Ammirati & Puris, 1975

Texaco, "You can trust your car to the men who wear the star", Benton & Bowles, 1940s

Coca-Cola, "Always", Creative Artists Agency, 1993

Xerox, "It's a miracle", Needham, Harper & Steers, 1975

Bartles & Jaymes, "Frank and Ed", Hal Riney & Partners, 1985

Dannon Yogurt, Old People in Russia, Marstellar Inc., 1970s

Volvo, Average life of a car in Sweden, Scali, McCabe, Sloves, 1960s

Motel 6, "We'll leave a light on for you", Richards Group, 1988

Jell-O, Bill Cosby with kids, Young & Rubicam, 1975

IBM, Chaplin's Little Tramp character, Lord, Geller, Federico, Einstein, 1982

American Tourister, The Gorilla, Doyle, Dane Bernbach, late 1960s

Right Guard, "Medicine Cabinet", BBDO, 1960s

Maypo, "I want my Maypo", Fletcher, Calkins & Holden, 1960s

Bufferin, Pounding heartbeat, Young & Rubicam, 1960

Arrow Shirts, "My friend, Joe Holmes, is now a horse", Young & Rubicam, 1938

Young & Rubicam, "Impact", Young & Rubicam, 1930

Lyndon Johnson for President, "Daisy", Doyle Dane Bernbach, 1964

Thank You to for this info.

All Rights Reserved © 1999 & 2005, Advertising Age
Crain Communications, Inc.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Roadkill 101

As a relatively new driver, I realize there are a certain number of "firsts" which I am sure to encounter. First speeding ticket. First "slo-poking" along behind an elderly driver. First "I locked my keys in car". First drive to work on icy streets. But this past Monday, as I headed into work, I encountered one of my most dreaded firsts - my first roadkill.

Granted, I see all sorts of unfortunate animals strewn about the streets, many times impossible to even indentify. It had fur and legs - and that's about all you can usually make out.

But this past Monday morning, at around 5:10 am, I was heading up Creedmoor Road here in North Raleigh, completely caught up in my "Beatles For Sale" CD when out of nowhere this adorable, furry, happy-go-lucky bunny rabbit comes darting across the road. As I caught him in my headlights, I froze. He froze. Neither one of us sure of what to do. With traffic to my right and behind me, I had to think fast. He didn't seem to be doing any sort of deep thinking. He just stood there, staring at me as if to say, "Hey, I know you gotta think fast, but could you please try not to hit me?" Believe me when I say I am the last person to intentionally take a small animal's life, but this situation called for a quick manuever. My logic said try and get him in between my tires (brand new tires too, by the way) and hopefully he'd clear the bottom of the car and come out unscathed. I did just that.

Sadly, my calculations did not account for the fact this rabbit may, in a moment of panic, try to hop, as rabbits do, whilst under the car.

I hear a sickening "thud" as I passed over him. Clearly he had hopped. I immediately looked up in my rear view mirror, only to see this poor little guy spinning in circles on the pavement, obviously killed by the blunt force trauma to his head.

Needless to say, I lost it. I felt like I had just opened fire on the damned thing. Between trying to drive, and praying for God to forgive me, and crying, I finally did make it to work semi-composed. Not a good way to start off the week.

As the week went on, I slowly let that memory go, and forgave myself for something which I had no control over. What was done, was done. I just hoped I would not be put in that position again any time soon. Too much to ask for apparently.

This morning, coming home from Kroger, on that same stretch of Creedmoor Road, only this time heading in the opposite direction, I came across a squirrel darting across which was, at 10:00 am, a very busy road. This time I was lucky enough not to have anyone behind me within a dangerous distance, so as he ran out in front of my car, I slowed to almost a stop, safely, and the squirrel panicked and darted left, only to have the car in the lane next to me honk and then speed over him like a steamroller. I watched in horror as parts of the squirrel exploded all over the road. Even though it was not at my hand this time, it was almost just as upsetting.

I couldn't believe it. Twice. Twice in five days I encountered this nauseating scene. Is it normal for a person to be shaken the way I was when this happens? Perhaps I am making a mountain out of a mole hill, but I digress. Even knowing that this happens to hundreds, if not thousnads of animals every day doesn't make it sit any easier on my conscience. Go ahead and call me "over sensitive" if you like, but man, what an awful beginning and end to this week.
Now, where's that bus schedule????

Making hubby happy - in 1955

I came across this Housekeeper's Monthly excerpt from May 1955. According to society in the fifties, wives sole purpose is to cook, clean, and keep quiet - not to mention lighting fires and realizing her topics of conversation are not as important as his. No surprises there...
(open this image in paint and zoom to read article - it's worth it!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

To My Love

I post this from my heart, because that is where he lives....

No one ever claimed life was an easy road to travel. I will be the first to admit that. But considering the places I have been, and the person I have become as a result of this, I have to say that the "me" that writes this is content and truly happy.

I don't care to recount all my mistakes and painful memories, although they are undoubtedly a part of who I am. I want only to let you know how I truly feel, so that you will have no reservations or confusion.

John Taylor, you have no idea just how important you are to me, in my life, my heart, and my very existence here on Earth. You inspire me always!!! It is your sheer essence that puts a smile on my face every morning when I awake; even more so when you are there with me. This is the happiness I have longed for...I see in you the man I have always dreamed of. A man of beauty, strength, compassion, intelligence, humor, and wit. But not just these things - you possess the rare ability to understand me, and I can't thank you enough for that. It speaks volumes to me and lets me know every day how much you love me.

I adore you. In every way. Your smile is contagious, your embraces warm and passionate at the same time. When you touch me, nothing else matters. All of a sudden it's only you and I in the universe, and that's a beautiful feeling. Whether it be Raleigh, or Orange Beach, or Jupiter, I am the luckiest girl alive.

Unfortunately, my life has taken its toll in several ways over the years, and so many times I feel unable to show you just how much I love you. For this, I can only apologize and hope that you will know that my love for you is real, and complete, and forever lasting. Unconditional.

Since we have come together to share our lives, I have learn so many things, and continue to do so. I have learned that it is ok to trust, and its even more ok to dream. I look forward to the future now, when before all I could see was pain and obstacles. I had always fought my way uphill alone, but I know now that I have a solid partner in you, and honey, I can't describe how happy that makes me.

What are the odds of two quirky outcasts seeking each other out in the cosmos AND finding one another? I think it's something like 2 to the power of 3.1423045867374 and falling (LOL). We enjoy the most random things - and its awesome!!! You are an inspiration as well as best friend. A lover, and also a teacher. We journey together and hold each other's hand as life finally becomes bright again - and forever shining.

I post this as a blog because I have no fear in showing how I feel. I see no need to hide my feelings - you make me proud to be yours.

I love, cherish, and adore you. XOXOXOXOXO Me

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dammit Jim - I'm a doctor, not a....

Finally, after much internet scouring, I have landed this classic SNL clip featuring the Star Trek parody "Star Trek V: The Restaurant Enterprise":

Classic SNL: The Restaurant Enterprise

Dana Carvey SNL Auditions

I was cruising youtube looking for a rare old SNL sketch featurin Dana Carvey as Khan in the Star Trek revolving restaurant but...instead, here's a great look into the auditions for Lorne Michaels that Dana Carvey performed prior to getting to SNL spot:

Saturday, June 13, 2009!!!

From the news desk of KPIX Channel 5 come a story about one very protective bird down on Front Street:

SF Bird Attacks Pedestrians, Gets Worldwide Notice

The bird is reported to reside on Front Street between California and Sacramento streets, and has been featured in articles on CNN and BBC News after continually diving down on people walking along the street.

The bird has a small nest in the area and has been doing the attacks for a couple of weeks, according to an employee at Schroeder's, a German restaurant located nearby.

None of the attacks appear to have caused serious injury. However, they have attracted groups of people "laughing, waiting and watching during their lunch breaks," the employee said. "He's a star right now."

A Web site,, has been set up to follow the bird, referred to as Swoops by the site's creators.

An official with San Francisco Animal Care and Control said that these types of incidents happen all the time because of birds guarding their nests.

Johnny Carson and Uri Geller

Watch as Uri squirms in the presence of Johnny. Enjoy....

Never touch another dirty toilet tissue!!

How can you NOT love this?? It's real...and it frightens me.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Where am I?


Well, when I started this blog three months ago I was happily unemployed, but really needing an outlet (not to mention a supplemental income!!). Since going back to work, you have no doubt noticed the sluggishness in which posts are made. Honestly, I have been drawn to other avenues of my life, mainly work and home. I have also began toying with the idea of expanding this blog to include all things ME. I have far too many interests to maintain 20 different blogs, so look for more and more "off the beaten path" entries as well!! Never fear, though, new posts are coming!! Stay tuned....

Until then, enjoy this hilarious short clip of the infamous bush man at Fisherman's Wharf courtesy of

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Evening Magazine w/ Jan and Steve 1980

This clip from vintage Evening Magazine with Jan Yanahiro and Steve Fox wishing goodbye to San Jose's Frontier Village.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Conan O'Brien in San Francisco 2007 w/ Tom Waits

Thomas Alan Waits (born December 7, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car." With this trademark growl, his incorporation of pre-rock music styles such as blues, jazz, and vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music, Waits has built up a distinctive musical persona. (courtesy wikipedia)

I am really digging Tom Waits lately - I mean really digging him. Pure genius this I heard the entire "Nighthawks at the Diner" LP from 1975 and was mesmorized. I wanted so badly to tie in Tom Waits and San Francisco, so here ya go. Conan O'Brien filmed in San Francisco one week back in 2007 and interviewed Tom Waits. HA!! I did it!!

Also, congrats to Conan for snaggin' that Tonight Show gig - good luck Monday night!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Tuesday noon siren

All of us living in the city know what this is. Every Tuesday, even as I grew up in Daly City, at noon on the dot, you would hear this noise. Check out this very cool informative video regarding the siren from Youtube:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Harvey Milk

Yesterday would have been Harvey Milk's 79th birthday. Unfortunately, Harvey's life was cut short in November of 1978 when he was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone in City Hall.
We will never forget all you did for the San Francisco gay community, not to mention securing the civil rights of gay/lesbian/transgender people around the world.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Back to the streets

Returning to The Streets of San Francisco
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
posted July 29, 2008

CBS is developing a contemporary remake of the classic 1970s cop series "The Streets of San Francisco," which starred Michael Douglas and Karl Malden.The Hollywood Reporter says feature writer Sheldon Turner (The Longest Yard) and "Numb3rs" producer Robert Port are writing the script, with Simon West on board to direct the potential pilot.CBS Paramount TV, which owns the rights to Quinn Martin Productions' original series, is producing the new take that has received a script order from the network.Turner and Port, a certified member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, had worked on reinventing "Streets" for the past seven months. They spent time in San Francisco, riding along with SFPD cops.The trade adds that the remake will keep key elements from the original series: the title, the names of the two main characters and, of course, the backdrop of the City by the Bay. The series will also feature elements of a traditional crime procedural.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Arboretum update

Those who can attend SHOULD! The more we sit idly by, the more they sell off our City like an auction. Please don't let it continue. Help preserve what little character San Francisco has left. BE HEARD!

Speaking of bizarre....

Wanna know just how screwball San Francisco really is?? I suggest checking out the Holy Grail of weird SF...Jack Boulware's "San Francisco Bizarro: A Guide to Notorious Sites, Lusty Pursuits, and Downright Freakiness in the City by the Bay". Here are a few of his strange entries:

One of the original drag reviews on the West Coast, Finocchio's on Broadway broke new ground with it's frighteningly convincing female impersonators. Somehow I get the feeling that the gowns were the least of the attractions!

I love this item! Mark McLoud is hardly a household name, but he happens to own an out of the ordinary collection. Also known as the "Institute of Illegal Images" it is the most comprehensive collection of decorated neutralized LSD blotter paper in the world. As such, the collection has been the target of two criminal trials where McCloud was forced to defend not only the collection, but also his own liberty.

An artist named Jeanie M. at offers an unusual service: taxidermy of a rodent nature. That's right - you can have your favorite gerbil stuffed and mounted, not to mention papally dressed, in one of many twisted religious costumes.

Where do I start with this one?? Apparently anyone can become an "ordained minister", so says the Universal Life Church. They even send you a card to stick in your wallet, right next to your Costco card. Famous members in good standing include Johnny Carson, Mae West, Wolfman Jack, and even LBJ. What's not to love?

I always wanted to write a book like this, but apparently Mr. Boulware beat me to it. Kudos to you, sir!

Bizarro - Dan Piraro

Today I thought I would share a smattering of some of my favorite Bizarro panels. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Praise to fellow blogger Peter Bruce

I don't know how many of you have noticed, but on the righthand side of my blog you'll see a column of the San Francisco blogs I currently follow. One of my favorites is titled "1 Picture. 3 Words. 365 Days." This blog, started my Bay Area wedding photographer Peter Bruce, follows a daily routine of randomly picking people on various downtown streets in the City, taking their picture, and then asking for three words from them to describe their current mood/situation. Peter even has a link to his Cafe Press store which sells everything from hats to hoodies. All profits will help publish a book of the whole project; all 365 days on day 366.


I really enjoy this blog! Every day, the photo selected reaches out to you and seems to fall into place with the rest of his collection. What a great idea - a virtual photo journal of 365 random citizens summing up their mood in three words. Brilliant.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pip, pip, cheerio!!

About 12 years ago I briefly dated this scientist who had a penchant for the Beatles and carried about 25 patents. We have since parted ways, but at the time weekends were spent cruising up and down the California coast in search of rare gems. Cameron's in Half Moon Bay was one of them.

This place was like nothing I had ever seen. Thousands of beer cans from all over the world covered the walls (see Pictures tab on the website). As you walked in, you immediately felt as though you'd been born there. What a home away from home.

Out back, Cameron's offers a rather unusual array of old double decker buses from London. These buses are open to the public, and you are free to enjoy a drink and/or a smoke inside these UK treasures. They are actually set up as mini diners inside with tables and seats.

Cameron's in also a bed and breakfast offering charming rooms at a reasonable price.

Clowns to the left me, jokers to the right

The Purple Onion
(thanks to Wikipedia for the 411)

The Purple Onion is a well known club in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco located at 140 Columbus (between Jackson and Pacific). The club offers an intimate, 80-person setting and was a popular influence in local music and entertainment during the Beat era. Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Woody Allen, Richard Pryor, Maya Angelou, Phyllis Diller (who made her stand-up debut here), the Kingston Trio, and the Smothers Brothers (who recorded their first album, Live at the Purple Onion there) all played the club through the 1950s & 60s.

In the early 90s, owner Tom Guido made the club the center of San Francisco's garage rock scene. Although almost always packed, Guido's mismanagement and penchant for giving away free beer doomed the future of the club.

In 2004, the club returned to its comedy roots. A weekly comedy night was started that featured comedians such as Robin Williams, Paul Krassner, Jim Short and Tom Rhodes. Since then, comedians such as Greg Proops, Zach Galifianakis, Todd Barry, Dan Piraro (yes, of Bizarro fame) and Judah Friedlander have all graced the Onion's stage. Today, the club's weekly comedy nights are produced by Bay Area comedy website SF Standup.

The Purple Onion is a comedy landmark. In 2005, the San Francisco Bay Guardian voted it the "Best back-from-the-dead nightclub". Don't ya just love miracles?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Here we go again

I seem to remember a time back in the 1990s when MUNI attempted to get rid of transfers....are you laughing as hard as I am? Those sure were funny times. I think it lasted about a month and soon peace was restored on all MUNI lines. Thousands of us public transit riders breathed a sigh of relief and foolishly thought they had learned their lesson.

Not hardly.

With the City's budget out of whack, and overpaid underworked bigwigs doing everything in their power to maintain their 6 figure incomes, it's now been proposed that MUNI cut several routes and raise fares, thus you will be paying more for less. Weren't we doing that already? I was very surprised to see that the fare had jumped to $1.50 already! When was this??? Now they want to hike it up another 50 cents to $2.00?? Really?

Last month, the agency proposed to cut several lines altogether, such as the 3-Jackson, 4-Sutter, 7-Haight, 20-Columbus, 26-Valencia. The Examiner reported on May 1st that all proposed route eliminations and fare hikes (including a $60 monthly Fast Pass) were approved. Awww, come on!!

There goes another piece of the City.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Letters to our Mothers

Dear Mom:
Thank you. For all the hugs, and coffee chats, and constant support no matter how stupid my actions. Thank you for the cookies, and the Blair orders, and the slippers, and Santa goodies ever year. Thank you for listening to me no matter how upset (or drunk) I was. Thank you for never losing faith in your Pooh. Thank you for every loaf of zucchini bread. Thank you for those cookbooks you spent a whole summer putting together just for me. Thank you for listening to my piano playing over the phone and NOT cringing. Thank you for all the movie recommendations. Thank you for all the music. Thank you for sharing the funniest commercials on tv with me. Thank you for all the Twilight Zone marathons. Thank you for all the good times at Western Village. Thank you for hanging in there as long as you could. Thank you for giving me so much love and I look forward to endless Downy hugs. Thank you for getting my jokes. Thank you for laughing at my Rod Serling impressions. Thank you for always knowing what I needed and when I needed it. Thank you for sharing in my joys and achievements. Thank you for giving me a solid private school education. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you mom for bringing me into this world. I try to make the most of it every single day.

Miss you and love you,
Your Pooh

Happy Mother's Day to you and yours. Peace.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Wanna stop and smell the roses? It'll cost ya....


Over the years, one of the most unsettling truths about the City I love is that it no longer loves me. Nor does it seem to care much for the hundreds of thousands of us that either grew up there, or even still can afford to call it home.

Seems every day, more and more San Franciscans are fighting tooth and nail to hold on to those seemingly small, yet VERY significant, pieces of their culture. It wasn't always this way. Frankly, it never should have been.

Such is the case regarding the SF Botanical Gardens (i.e. Strybing Arboretum). A recent city meeting was held to try and convince locals that it is absolutely a GRAND idea to start charging upwards of $7.00 to stroll through a public garden that otherwise has been FREE since 1940. For 70 years, maintaining these gardens was possible, but somebody finally figured out that they weren't turning a profit, and realized that in today's San Francisco, that's ILLEGAL!! The Dept of Parks & Rec claim the gardens as they sit now aren't good enough. Seems we must "Disney" ourselves up to compete with the rest of the nation, or the world, or the universe, or some other ridiculous argument that only serves to show, yet again, just how greedy and clueless our city officials have truly become.

Nancy McNally of San Francisco recently shared some disturbing photos with me regarding the upcoming King Tut exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences. I was confused. Was it a museum exhibit, or the newest ride at Six Flags??? So hard to tell!! And while we are on the subject, since when did good ol' Great America become SIX FLAGS? (I know it was owned by Marriott, but still). And am I the only one that became outraged when the new Giants ballpark was called PAC BELL PARK? 3 COM? ORACLE Arena (aka the old Oakland Coliseum)??!?!?!? What's next, Microsoft Gardens???

Okay, so here's the next question: What can I do?

Well, you can start by visiting THIS ONLINE PETITION to make your voice heard. Residents want to live in a city - not an amusement park.

Seems its working. Check out this recent post from Livin' in the Loin. (Great blog by the way!!!) Never underestimate the power of angry inner Sunset residents!!

The city of my youth was a city of character; bold and stunning uniqueness that stood out among other major U.S. cities. We never required a corporate sponsor. Since when does it cost money to stroll through a public garden? Before long, photgraphing our landmarks will require a permit and an ALL SEASON PASS!

To live here is/was an honor, a birthright, not an award to the highest bidder!!! ARGH!!

It's only noon, and I need a drink...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mother's Cookies Update UPDATE

Okay, here we go - Kellogg's HAS released Mother's Cookies at Safeway's in the Bay Area and they are in fact Mother's!!! No Flaky Flix (sigh) but plenty of the true classic favorites. If anyone out there would like to send me a package of Circus Animal cookies (because I know how you all love me) email me at Please let me know how these new Mother's Cookies stand up to the original.

Now go grab some milk and start snackin'!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mother's Cookies UPDATE

Just when all hope was lost:

Earlier this week I posted a blog entry regarding the demise of Mother's Cookies, an Oakland institution for almost 100 years. I scoured through pages of comments on various sites left by heartbroken cookie connosieurs that were determined NOT to open that LAST bag of Circus Animal Cookies hidden in the pantry for fear that it may be their last. Well, I have some wonderful news for you all:

Circus Animals are back. Really. I think.

According to one of my readers, somewhere in all this hostile corporate hijacking and bankruptcy filing, Nabisco has just come out with what they call Nabisco Classics which, as far as either one of us can tell, are Mother's cookies. I don't see Flaky Flix in that assortment, but I do see circus animals, and that's just fine. I am still rubbing my eyes in amazement.

The only thing that really concerns me is that I have read time and time again how so many of these products are bought up by other companies,the recipe is changed, they are re-released, and long time fans run out to buy them up, only to be sadly disappointed that they are nothing like they used to be. As I read more about these new circus animals, I am seeing it seems to be the case. Big thumbs down. But I am still hopeful - I have to be!

This happened to me recently when I bought a few tubes of Flicks. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Ghirardelli had these delicious chocolate candies called Flicks. They looked like flat oversized chocolate chips and they came in colored cardboard tubes. They vanished for years, then resurfaced not too long ago on one of those "candy from your childhood" websites. I couldn't resist, but to my dismay, these things were disgusting; nothing like the original.

Tomorrow is grocery day. I know what I'll be looking for.

Museum of Toons? ZOINKS!

Tucked away in between 2nd and 3rd Streets on Mission (Yerba Buena Gardens) is the too often overlooked Cartoon Art Museum. Started in 1984, this "museum without walls" wandered from exhibit to exhibit until finally setting up shop in 1987 at its current location. This was made very possible by the very generous backing of Charles M. Schultz (Peanuts).

The Cartoon Art Museum is the only museum on the West Coast dedicated to cartoon art in all its many forms. This unique institution houses approximately 6,000 original pieces in its permanent collection and a complete volume research/library. In addition to seven major exhibitions a year, the museum has a classroom for cartoon art and a bookstore.

Currently, the museum is showcasing two very fabulous exhibits that are definitely worth checking out:

thru July 19th

The Cartoon Art Museum presents an in-depth look at the film and the graphic novel that inspired it in its latest exhibition.

The Art of Stan Sakai thru July 5th

The Cartoon Art Museum proudly presents The Art of Stan Sakai: Celebrating 25 Years of Usagi Yojimbo, a career-spanning retrospective featuring over 60 pieces of original artwork by the critically-acclaimed artist.

Click here for more information.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

For love of coffee

Last time I was in San Francisco was back in 2007. I was living just north of Boston at the time and had traveled back home to take care of some unfortunate family business. While passing through SFO, imagine my surprise to find a Peet's coffee kiosk tucked away at the end of one of the terminals!! It was been so long since I had enjoyed a true cup of coffee (New England is Dunkin' Donuts country). I think I sort of freaked out the girl behind the counter when I gleefully exclaimed, "You have no idea how happy I am to see you!!!" Still, she was more than cordial, and within moments I was indulging in a cup o' joe so thick that had I used a spoon, it would have surely disintegrated. Lucky for me, Peet's is now available at my local Kroger market in whole bean form here in Raleigh!

I mention this because today I go to work for one of the biggest coffee conglomerates in the known universe, Starbucks. Although I am the last to admit to being a fan of corporate coffee, I definitely look forward to surrounding myself with one of my favorite guilty pleasures. But still, I miss my hometown brew.

Luckily, there are a few very well-reviewed local coffee roasters worth checking out should you ever find yourself in need of something unique and tasty:

Blue Bottle Coffee
315 Linden St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 252-7535

Numerous reviews say this locally micro-roasted organic coffee is tops. This would definitely be one of my first stops.

Philz Coffee
Three locations in the city, including the Castro, the Mission, and Mission Bay
Also coming soon to San Jose and Berkeley

Philz Coffee in San Francisco has developed a devoted following, and for good reason. The twenty blends that are now available by the pound are the result of 25 years of coffee alchemy and invention. How can a true coffee connoisseur resist?

Peet's Coffee and Tea
Various locations nationwide

Alfred Peet first started roasting the seedlings of the coffee revolution in his tiny location on Vine Street in Berkeley back in 1966. Today, his coffee is availble throughout the United States and has never lost its unique body or zesty aroma. This is coffee to swear by, and believe me I do, on a daily basis.

This list is far from complete, so it's really up to you to get out there and support your local coffeehouse to find that "perfect cup o' joe" and when you do, feel free to email me at because I never know when I will be back in my hometown, jonesing for java!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Edible Expeditions May 7- Nov 1

Coming soon to the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco's historic Golden Gate Park:

Edible Expeditions

This is a great opportunity for foodies of all ages to get a chance to experience gourmet finds frm all over the world. Arranged in lush garden demonstrations, you'll see chocolate, vanilla, coffee, rice and spices galore. Find out just how these treasures find their way into your pantry and onto your palate.

Click here for more information.

Mother's Cookies RIP 1914-2008

Old news for some, a shocking realization for others

As many of you are well aware by now, or if some of you are wondering why you haven't been able to find a package of iced oatmeal cookies on local Safeway shelves, Mother's Cookies of Oakland, CA bought the farm last October when bankruptcy swept them up and away, along all of our favorite treats as kids, like Circus Animals, Taffy, and the almighty most delicious Flaky Flix.

According to cookie legend, Mother's was founded in 1914 by a newspaper vendor named N.M. Wheatley, as a one-man shop. It expanded and moved to the 81st Avenue location in 1949.

Throughout the 1990s, up until their abrupt closure in 2008 Mother's had been handed of to many different owners and from what I have heard is currently owned by Kelloggs but whether or not these timeless treats will be put back into production is still in question.

I don't know how I can live in a world without Flaky Flix! It was pure genius - crispy wafers with chocolate creme in between , covered in milk chocolate, and THEN rolled in some sort of Corn Flake mixture. Sheer bliss.

Doesn't Kellogg's make Corn Flakes? Hmmmm.....

Friday, May 1, 2009

Paris Hilton don't eat that.....

The only thing San Francisco about this post is that it comes from and comes from an AP medical writer, but it definitely had to be shared:

Paris Hilton not only one confused about swine flu
By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer

Friday, May 1, 2009

(05-01) 01:06 PDT CHICAGO, (AP) --

Paris Hilton says "I don't eat that" when asked about swine flu in an online video. She's not the only one confused about the outbreak.

Others have vowed to stop eating pork. Some, worried about germs spreading in confined spaces, won't fly — anywhere. Or they think petting zoos and farm visits are off limits.

Like the swine flu itself, misinformation is spreading like a virus across the Internet, around the watercooler and across the backyard fence. Here are some facts to dispel myths about swine flu.

Q: Should I avoid pork?

A: There's no evidence that swine flu spreads through pork. While it's important to cook it properly to protect against other germs, experts say even handling raw pork poses no realistic risk of swine flu.

Q: What about airplanes — aren't airline cabins breeding grounds for germs?

A: Vice President Joe Biden suggested he believes that when he said Thursday he has advised his family not to fly. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises against going to Mexico, the country hardest hit by swine flu. And public health officials say people with flu symptoms should avoid public transportation. But they aren't telling healthy people to avoid all air travel, and Obama administration representatives later said Biden had misspoken.

Most modern airliners have air filtering systems that are as efficient at weeding out germs as those used in hospital isolation units. While there have been occasional infectious disease outbreaks associated with airplane travel, they're not common, and generally only people within a few rows of the sick individual have gotten sick.

"We shouldn't go overboard" on limiting air travel, said Dr. Mark Dworkin, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. But he said it's a good idea to check the CDC's Web site before making travel plans because the agency's advisories may change as the outbreak develops.

Q: My child's preschool class is planning a visit to a petting zoo — with piglets. Should we skip it?

A: Dr. Kenneth Alexander, the University of Chicago's pediatric infectious disease chief, says there's no danger in touching pigs, although a sneezing, sick-looking animal should be avoided. Adults also should be vigilant about making sure kids keep their hands away from their faces after contact with farm animals and they should always wash their hands thoroughly afterward.

Q: My child is healthy and there are no reports of flu at her school, but I'd feel more comfortable keeping her home for a while.

A: Right now, public health authorities say there's no reason to restrict healthy children if there's no flu at school. That could change if the outbreak turns into a global pandemic.

Q: If this outbreak is declared a real worldwide pandemic, tens of millions will get sick and die, just like in the 1918 Spanish flu — right?

A: Public health officials say there are a lot of reasons why that's unlikely, at least in the United States. Unlike that crisis, we now have flu-fighting medicines and antibiotics for secondary infections such as pneumonia, which killed many people during the 1918 outbreak.

Because it appears to be a novel flu strain, everyone exposed to the virus is at risk of getting sick. Authorities are trying to determine how aggressive the new flu is, but even if it turns out to be a particularly dangerous strain, the United States and other developed countries have a strong surveillance network and comprehensive public health measures that didn't exist in 1918, Dworkin noted.

If the new flu turns out to be similar to regular seasonal flu, as some authorities predict, Dworkin said it might double the number of illnesses and deaths seen in an average flu season. In the United States, that would mean about 70,000 deaths and more than 400,000 hospitalizations.

In developing nations, without strong public health networks, the situation could be more dire.

"It could do much more harm than we would see in a country like ours," Dworkin said.

More free stuff...

One of my loyal blog followers, Celestine S of San Bruno, has been nice enough to give me a few additions to the list:

More free things in San Francisco:

Asian Art Museum is free the first Sunday of every month.

SF Zoo is free first Wednesday of every month.

Free swing dance lessons every Sunday at the bandshell in Golden Gate Park.

If there is one thing to be said for those of us who grew up in SF, especially those of us with families of our own, we sure learn to be frugal. Thanks!!!

Free in San Francisco

As usual, while doing some research for a proposed blog topic, I end up coming across something completely unrelated that compels me to post about that instead!

Living in the city is expensive, to say the least. I am surprised Gavin Newsom hasn't proposed a "taking up space" fee for full-time residents. Worry not, for there are many things in San Francisco that are ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Thanks to a fabulous blog called "Free in SF" and a little Googling, I was able to put together a pretty good list of things to do without going broke.

Botanical Gardens (Strybing Arboretum)

Escape to a unique urban oasis of extraordinary beauty. Enjoy the San Francisco Botanical Garden's world of gardens, excellent horticulture library, bookstore, and education programs. The San Francisco Botanical Garden is open daily, 365 days a year and is free to the public. Weekdays: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Weekends & Holidays: 10 am to 5 pm. FREE GUIDED WALKS are given daily at 1:30 pm.

First Tuesdays

Downtown: Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Museum of Craft and Folk Art, and Cartoon Art Museum (pay what you wish).

Golden Gate Park: de Young Museum and the Conservatory of Flowers

Outer Richmond district: Legion of Honor

Third Wednesdays (Academy of Sciences)

The Academy of Sciences is free on the third Wednesday of every month, which this month will be on May 20. Check out the new living roof!!!

Fun facts: The new building cost $500 million dollars. The roof contains 1.7 million native plants. Sixty-eight percent of the building’s insulation is from recycled blue jeans. The Philippine Coral Reef tank holds 212,000 gallons of water. Inside the rain forest exhibit, it’s 82-85 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity is at least 75%. The blue-whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling is 87 feet long.
Open 9:30 am - 5:00 pm in Golden Gate Park @ 9th Avenue (near bandshell)

And of course, the scenery is ALWAYS free!! Now get out there and enjoy the City!

Do you have a suggestion for this list?? Email me at

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Colma: The Musical!

***After a brief hiatus at Atlantic Beach with John, I am back, albeit sunburned, and ready to dive back into our beloved City blog!!****

Yes, you read that right - there is actually a musical based on the little city of Colma, California. For those of you that don't know, Colma is a small town that rests just south of San Francisco, right after Daly City (where I grew up!). As a kid, I recall the strange bumper stickers around town that read, "It's great to be ALIVE in Colma!"

What's the joke, you ask? Well, it is fairly common knowledge that the only burial places in the city proper are the S.F. Columbarium and San Francisco National Cemetery in Golden Gate Park, neither one providing space for public burial. Just about anyone who passes away in San Francisco is buried at one of the many cemeteries in Colma, making the deceased to living ratio approximately 1500:1.

This fact has always intrigued me, so I set out to do a little Colma research, only to find the very first entry on the Google search results to be....Colma: The Musical! Am I the only one that feels a sudden urgent need to see this film???

I never thought this sleepy "dead" town would ever become the theme for a film that, in 2006, was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, among various others.

I definitely will be looking for this in my Netflix queue with a review sure to follow.

Friday, April 24, 2009

a warm san franciscan night....

The San Francisco of the 1960's was a place that oozed hip. Music and art came together in such a perfect union it is easy to claim that the Hippie movement of this era inspired a sound that to this day is not only revered, but copied and built upon.

Two heads really are better than one!

the LIVE version!!

Awesome song!!

its my grammar school....St. Stephen!

QMS - Edward the Mad Shirt Grinder circa 1970

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lollipop Concerts

As a child, it was my good fortune to attend Catholic grammar school (insert nod or laughter here). One of the many perks this status provided was the opportunity to attend one of the San Francisco Symnphony's many children's concerts. I honestly don't know how many they actually had that were geared towards kids, but it seemed the only one they ever took us to was "Peter and the Wolf".

Why they were called lollipop concerts I never understood - no free lollipops were distributed and no lollipops were down on stage making music - I am pretty sure those were in fact people. Maybe it was because we were all "suckers" for having to go. Perhaps it was just a code word that meant "this is a kid friendly concert!" But then I am left to wonder, what sort of concert could the S.F. Symphony POSSIBLY present that was NOT child-friendly? Were there some sort of midnight performances at the Market Street Cinema that none of us were aware of?

I remember absolutely nothing about the concerts we went to, all I remember was the vastness of Davies Symphony Hall, getting lost (twice), and all that glass.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oh, how the great have fallen

I really wish I could find someone to explain to me why it is that San Francisco feels this ever growing need to destroy and forget its past.

One of the most disturbing trends that has swept San Francisco in recent years is the snowballing closure of local single screen and small scale theaters. The Coronet, The Alexandria, The Metro, The Royal, The Alhambra...the list goes on and on.

These are the places we visited as children and again as young adults; it was where we got a glimpse at diversity and culture, while already growing up in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. These landmarks were historic treasures built with craftsmanship and beauty. How and why did this happen?

Overdevelopment happened. People decided they needed BIGGER and BETTER...LOUDER and FLASHIER. In gaining these things we have lost pieces of our past, replaced by mega-gyms and parking lots. They really DID pave paradise....

Luckily, there are organizations that work to fight such abominations, such as the Friends of 1800.

But look on the bright side!!! Many of our classic theaters remain. At last glance, the list included the Presidio, the Marina a.k.a. Cinema 21, the Clay on Fillmore,the 4 Star on Clement (running Asian films now), the Red Vic on Haight, the Roxie on 16th, the Lumiere on Polk, the Empire on West Portal and a handful more. Get out and about in your neighborhood to see which ones are near you!

As far as historic movie houses go, only one true "palace" remains, and that is the one and only Castro Theater. This theater has been completely restored and kept so beautiful...the orchestra pit even still has a Wurlitzer organ which still plays pre-show (as far as I know)! I was lucky enough to see a few great films here such as Casablanca, Yellow Submarine, and one of the infamous midnight showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Please do your part to keep these important pieces of San Francisco history alive and thriving! Instead of heading to the Metreon this weekend with the masses, how about a cozy independent/foreign film at your local neighborhood movie house? Isn't that what being a San Franciscan is all about?

Here's to the ghosts of yesteryear. Cheers.

Monday, April 20, 2009

San Francisco Columbarium

I had always wondered what this building was...and now I know!

The Columbarium of San Francisco is a repository for human ashes owned and operated by the Neptune Society of Northern California. Built in 1898 by architect Bernard J.S. Cahill, the Columbarium is a beautiful example of Neo-Classical architecture. The copper-domed Columbarium holds the remains of some of San Francisco's most prominent founding families, and memorials to such notable individuals as Harvey Milk. It is the only non-denominational burial place in the City of San Francisco with space available.

The Columbarium is at 1 Loraine Court, near the intersection of Stanyan and Anza Streets, just north of Golden Gate Park. It is open to the public.*

* File and photo courtesy of

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A mini monument moment...

It is no surprise that the City by the Bay is full of many well known monuments...The Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, Washington Square Park, etc etc. But what about the ones that aren't so famous? Here's a few not-so-famous points of interest:

Lotta's Fountain

Lotta's fountain was dedicated in 1875 at the intersection of Market Street where Geary and Kearny Streets connect in downtown San Francisco, California.

The cast pillar with a drinking fountain at its base was donated to San Francisco by the entertainer Lotta Crabtree. It served as a meeting point during the 1906 earthquake and fire.

Commemorations of the earthquake, including a dwindling pool of survivors, are held every year at 5:12 a.m. on April 18th at the intersection.

In 1999, the fountain, which had suffered neglect in the past decades was totally refurbished to its 1875 appearance.*

Anton Szandor LaVey's infamous "Black House"

Many locals recall the eerie black house at 6114 California St. owned by the Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey. As a child, my mom would tell me stories of how she would pass him on the street while taking a walk with me in the stroller (we lived on 24th Ave) and crossing the street out of sheer fear because she would notice him coming towards her walking two full grown tigers down the sidewalk!! Can you blame her? Sadly, this curious S.F> landmark was demolished in October of 2001.

Stow Lake @ Golden Gate Park

This beautiful lake is nestled in the cozy confines of Golden Gate Park. I have wonderful memories of Wright's pink popcorn and my dad renting the motor boat, only for me to drive the damned thing right into the reeds. I can still hear him yelling at me...

But apparently Stow Lake isn't all fun and games. Legend has it that the statue which sits near Stow Lake titled "Pioneer Woman with Children" is incredibly haunted. The story goes that sometime in 1915, a mother drowned her young children. Some locals say that late at night, if you listen, you can still hear the children crying. NOw this is all merely heresay, but I know I have yet to venture out on the lake at night - alone.

If you'd rather enjoy the lake from home, this site offers a breathtaking 360 degree panoramic view of Stow Lake.

*Information provided by

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